Spice Girls to Compete in The US TV Dance Contest

The Spice Girl is one of 12 celebrities signed up to compete in the fifth series of the US TV dance contest, along with Hollywood star Jane Seymour and former Beverly Hills, 90210 actress Jennie Garth.

Mel B, 32, will be partnered with professional dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy. Other celebrities competing include racing driver Helio Castroneves, supermodel Josie Maran and NBA’s Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
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The new series return with a new format on September 24. The last series of the show - which saw competitors including Sir Paul McCartney’s estranged wife Heather Mills and The Sopranos actor Vincent Pastore was won by US speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno and ballroom dancing partner Julianne Hough.

Last year, Mel’s Spice Girl bandmate Emma Bunton competed in the British version of the show, BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, and came third. The Spice Girls reunion world tour begins in December.

Rihanna Gave Up Friends For Fame

Singer Rihanna has lost a lot of pals over the years because they became jealous of her. The ‘Umbrella’ hitmaker reveals that she had learnt to cope with the emotion from an early age, for she lost friends in school, when they became resentful that she had won a beauty pageant.

When I was in school, I lost a lot of my friends to jealousy, when I won a beauty pageant, Contactmusic quoted her, as saying. And, things only got worse when she grew up, for when she signed with her record label, the 19-year old lost even more pals because of the green-eyed monster.

When I signed my record label it got worse. People were very envious, she revealed.

Keira Knightley Played Scenes In Pirates Of The Caribbean Without Scripts

Keira Knightley has said that she played scenes in the Pirates of the Caribbean films without a script. While Knightley said that she enjoyed playing the role of Elizabeth Swann in the action-packed tales of plunder on the high seas, she says she’d rather not repeat her experiences in the Pirates films.

“I find it very difficult to work without a script, which is what that was,” she said. The 22-year-old added that the lack of script meant that she originally played a scene with martial arts star Chow Yun Fat slightly differently. “

That scene with Chow Yun-Fat where he dies, I didn’t know what the scene was about. I thought he had kidnapped me and that I was completely terrified of him. After four set-ups the director was like, ‘Why are you playing it like that?’ And I was like, ‘Well, he’s kidnapped me and I don’t want to be here. I’m terrified.' And he was like, ‘What? You haven’t been kidnapped!’”

Knightley, who opened the 64th Venice Film Festival with the premiere of her latest film, also spoke about how rewarding the portrayal of Cecilia Tallis had proved to be.
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“She is nothing like I’ve played before — she is brittle and she is difficult she is like a pressure cooker. It’s like that feeling you get in the summer when there needs to be a thunderstorm. I just responded to her,” Knightley said in regard to her latest role.

In the interview, the star also speaks about how she found it difficult to get challenging roles at the start of her career, adding that Atonement director Joe Wright was one of the first people to have faith in her acting ability.

Mattel Sues Porn Queen China Barbie of ChinaBarbie.Com

Earlier this month, Mattel, which makes Barbie dolls, was forced to recall millions of toys that were made in China because of lead paint and loose magnets.

So what's their next step in recovering from possible lost revenues? To attack porn star "China Barbie" of ChinaBarbie.com of course.

Rather than focusing on their own legal problems, the major US corporation has decided to take aim at suing porn queen China Barbie for her comparatively nominal monetary assets.

"The site's been up for like five years, so it's like why are they coming after me right now?" she questioned recently of the trademark-infringement lawsuit leveled at her Web site ChinaBarbie.com by the California-based toymaker.

"It's because they're in trouble right now with the lead poisoning thing, and everyone's been Googling it and that's how they found out about the site," she told Hasani Gittens of The New York Post in a recent interview.

"I'm not marketing myself to children, in any way shape or form," said China Barbie, whose real name is Terri Gibson.

Regardless of what the outcome of this recent lawsuit will be, long time fans of China Barbie are rallying around many through her website and her Adult Yahoo! Group.

The tactic being undertaken by Mattel is especially questionable in this case. Often intellectual property owners who file lawsuits in similar circumstances often lose the case.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and US Federal Courts generally opins that personal names meant and used as the identification of an individual does not give rise to infringement or damages unless the individual is seeking to identify with and purposefully using intellectual property of the complainant. Which, China Barbie is not.

'Barbie' is a common name, but is also a Trademark owned by Mattel for certain purposes, and has certain limitations. 'China', of course cannot be trademarked for a myriad of reasons but essentially that it is the name of a country and thus too 'generic'.
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However, the mixed 'word mark' of "China Barbie" would, likely, be a valid registration - if it wasn't the current subject of objection. Many onlookers could bet that Mattel's intellectual property attorneys are working over time to register, "Barbie of China", "China Barbie", "Chinese Barbie", or similar word marks to arm themselves in this campaign.

This still forgets that Miss Barbie is using the name as a personal moniker without seeking to use or infringe on Mattel's intellectual property. Any long term court battle would likely end up ruling against Mattel, in Barbie's favor.

Even the domain name that Mattel is fussing over - which is part of the lawsuit - does not enhance the claim. Domain Name System (DNS) Registrar that allowed China Barbie to register and use ChinaBarbie.com, stands strongly on a first come, first served basis.

Mattel had the opportunity to spend their millions long before China Barbie to buy up any domains they felt might represent a threat to their intellectual property (IP) rights. That might sound ominous for owners of intellectual property, but it is not; if Miss Barbie had used the domain in question to some how infringe on the IP rights of Mattel they could contest it. However usually the first step is making a complaint with Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) an arbitration board provided by Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) before taking it to the US Federal Courts.

In either case - for successful prosecution by the plaintiff - she would have had to use Mattel images, products or advertising to promote her site, which she hasn't.

Unlike Barbie, Mattel hasn't got legs in this case. So why are they bothering to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to prosecute this case?

It could be summarized by keywords: "China, Barbie, production, lead, trade, labor, paint, magnets, Mattel" versus what you might find by just searching on "China Barbie". For Mattel it is a public relations action - while they are being lambasted in the West for producing in a 'trade' pariah like 'China' a 'product' that might be dangerous because of 'lead' or 'paint', Mattel's PR guru's can turn the attention on this "slut, porn star" who is misusing their good, honorable name.

Often the methodology of larger businesses and corporations is to 'bleed' your victim through litigation. Smaller organizations - like China Barbie - have no where near the resources to successfully fight an attack from a company like Mattel.

Mattel and their IP attorneys might realize that they have no valid litigation against China Barbie that would recover damages, but the job is not to recover assets. The job is public relations, disinformation and redirection.

Sex Awareness Very Poor Among Indian Women

Men in the land of Kamasutra have proved their mettle (ahem!) in the past and today they are happily surging ahead of their female counterparts, especially in terms of sex awareness as reported in a recent survey.

Talking about sex is still considered a taboo in a country like India. It is spoken about in hushed tones, behind closed doors. And it is a topic, which is supposed to make women quite uncomfortable. A recent survey conducted by the International Institute of Population Sciences, Mumbai and a Mumbai-based NGO, Population Council, reflects on the lack of sex-related awareness among the women.

Quite pitiable

City-based model Krishna Somani says that she was in her college when she got correct information about sex and related issues. She adds, "In the school it was only through the text books that I came to know about the reproductive system and when I was in the college, I learnt about contraceptives and STDs."

The 20-plus girl agrees that she was a little late in seeking awareness about sex-related issues and attributes it to the conservative nature of the society.

Budding actor Shweta Prasad, who is on the threshold of womanhood, says that she is embarrassed to talk on 'this' issue. She admits that in case she has a physical problem or wants to know something about sex, she would rather discuss it with her mother than her friends.

"I really don't have the urge to know more than what is being taught to me in Class X and what I see on the television. I will learn about 'these things' with time," says she. Ask her whether she is OK with pre-marital sex or browses the net to get more information on the topic, and she replies, "It's too early for me to indulge in such things."

'I am experienced'

Model Shawar Ali admits that even as a teenager, he was quite inquisitive about girls and sex, even though his knowledge was limited to theoretical sphere only.

He adds in a matter-of-fact manner, "Today I am 30 and yet unmarried, but I am quite experienced and believe in satisfying my partners. I am aware about the correct usage of condoms and other sex-related aspects."

India's Media Banned From Showing Monica Bedi's Nude Pictures

India's Supreme Court barred the media on Friday from showing nude photographs of a former Bollywood actress, said to have been taken by a camera hidden in the bathroom of the jail where she was imprisoned over a forgery case.

Monica Bedi was sentenced to five years in prison in 2006 over a passport forgery case.

Monica Bedi, who was released on bail from a jail in southern India last month, said the pictures shown by one TV channel on Thursday, whether "genuine" or "morphed", violated her right to life and dignity.

"If indeed the photographs were taken by installing a camera in the bathroom of the prison it was a serious invasion of the right of privacy of the petitioner," her lawyer K.T.S. Tulsi told the court.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan agreed with Tulsi.

"We direct all news channels ... to immediately stop telecasting the offending news item," the court ruled.

Bedi, a small-time actress, was extradited from Portugal along with Mumbai underworld figure Abu Salem in 2005 in a high profile passport forgery case linked to India's worst bomb attacks.

Salem is accused of involvement in the Mumbai bomb blasts in 1993 which killed 257 people and is currently facing trial over the attacks. Police say the pair fled the country soon after the blasts.

Bedi was acquitted by a court in the central Indian city of Bhopal because the police did not produce adequate witnesses against her. The nude pictures are said to have been taken while she was in jail there.

She was released on bail from jail in the southern city of Hyderabad pending an appeal after a court sentenced her to five years in prison for a similar offence.

Her lawyer argued that the freedom of press was not an "absolute" right and it could not be misused by TV channels to telecast her nude pictures under the "garb of showing the dismal state of jails".

He also demanded tough action against jail officials.

India does not have separate laws governing privacy, and hidden camera pictures or videos of some Bollywood actresses bathing, changing or canoodling with their companions have been circulated online or as mobile phone messages in the past.

Keira Knightley Sick Of Britney Spears And Lindsay Lohan

The English actress says that she is sickened by celebrities who expose themselves to photographers, and claims their actions make them "s**ttier than everybody else.

Actress Keira Knightley has taken a pot-shot at celebs like Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan for flashing their private assets more often than not.

The English actress says that she is sickened by celebrities who expose themselves to photographers, and claims their actions make them "s**ttier than everybody else".

The ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ actress insists that she has too much class to follow in their footsteps.

"I'm not going to get blind drunk and then stumble out and fall over an puke up in front of people. I'm not saying I don't do that in private, but I try not to,” Contactmusic quoted her, as saying at the Venice Film Festival.

"The whole celebrity thing is not magic. They're real people proving they're s**ttier than everybody else because they don't even wear knickers,” she added.

Keira Knightley - The Best Kisser Ever

Keira Knightley has kissed some of the biggest heartthrobs in Hollywood, but her current leading man gets top billing.

"James [McAvoy] is the best kisser ever!" a giggling Knightley, 22, said of her Atonement costar while sitting in romantic Venice.

Despite kissing Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom, Knightley – who is currently dating actor Rupert Friend – glanced at McAvoy and diplomatically dubbed him the best on the opening day of the Venice Film Festival.

McAvoy, 28, reciprocated the compliment saying, "I was blown away by Keira. The amount of poise and grace she has is just incredible."

In Atonement, a war drama set in 1935, Knightley plays plays Cecilia Tallis, an upper-class beauty whose fledgling love affair with the housekeeper's son (James McAvoy) is destroyed by a tragic misunderstanding.

McAvoy – who is married to British actress Anne-Marie Duff – told PEOPLE he was enjoying Venice "very much," adding, with a smile, "it's very romantic."

Princess Diana....'Was The Best Mum In The World'

Princes William and Harry today led moving tributes to Princess Diana, saying she was the best mother in the world.

Ten years to the day since Diana lost her life in a car crash in Paris, her sons addressed a memorial service in her honour at Wellington Barracks, near Buckingham Palace. The moving service was watched on TV by millions worldwide.

The princes were greeted with cheers from the crowd lining the Mall as they arrived. The Queen was also met with cheers despite the fallout over her public response to Diana’s death.

In his speech, Prince Harry said his mother should be remembered with love, adding: “We completely took for granted her unrivalled love of life. She was simply the best mother in the world.”

Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, stayed away but well-known figures including Prime Minister Gordon Brown,Sir Richard Branson, Sir Cliff Richard, Lord Attenborough and Sir Elton John were among the 500 guests.

At Kensington Palace, Diana’s former residence, hundreds of people paid respects and tied photos of the princess to the railings.
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Still our princess

It is ten years since Princess Diana was killed in a Paris underpass but the thousands of people in the capital today showed she is still the ­People’s Princess.

As the great and the good paid moving tributes at the memorial service at Wellington Barracks, thousands of ordinary Londoners stood ten-deep along the Mall and at Kensington Palace.

Some laid flowers at the palace gates of Diana’s home, echoing the scenes there a decade ago, while others were content to mark the princess’s life in silence.

Margaret Tyler, 53, of Wembley, has a house devoted to the Royal Family, including a Diana Room. She said: “She was such a special person with the common touch. It’s in you, you can’t manufacture it. She let us into her life.”

As well as the many photographs of the princess which were tied to the railings outside the Palace, there were Union Flags and banners bearing messages such as “We Miss You Diana”.

Father Frank Gelli, former curate of nearby St Mary Abbots Church, has held a service every year since the first anniversary of Di’s death. He said: “This is to offer spiritual support to people.”

Many flew in from across the globe to pay tribute. Dusam Gluvic, 28, of Cologne, said: “I had to be here. She touched everyone.”

Britney Spears Places Kevin Fedeline Under Surveillance

Detectives from Javoric’s agency have been watching Federline’s every move as he parties in Las Vegas, and are especially keeping a close watch on who comes and goes from his suite.

As they get set to battle over the custody of their sons, Britney Spears is trying to get an upper hand on her Kevin Federline by reportedly hiring a top California private detective to monitor her ex hubby.

Britney is said to be reacting to Federline serving her friends and her aides with subpoenas to testify in the custody trial.

And she’s now turned to Lisa Javoric to dig up dirt on her ex husband.

Detectives from Javoric’s agency have been watching Federline’s every move as he parties in Las Vegas, and are especially keeping a close watch on who comes and goes from his suite, a source tells In Touch Weekly.
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"The detective watched him intently as Kevin partied in public areas of the hotel. He made a note of everyone who went into his suite," Contactmusic quoted the source, as telling the publication.

Britney is said to be hoping that the information the PI gathers will be enough to ensure that she gets custody of the couples two young sons - Sean Preston and Jayden James.

Federline, in the meantime, has managed to serve Britney’s former manager Larry Rudolph with papers to testify in court.

Flubbed Response Earned A Miss Teen USA Contestant The Third Place

A Miss Teen USA contestant is receiving a lot of attention for her confused, mangled response to a pageant question about Americans' knowledge of geography.

Lauren Caitlin Upton, 18, got a chance to redeem herself Tuesday on NBC's "Today" show when she was again asked why one-fifth of Americans cannot locate the United States on a map.

"I would love to re-answer that question," the Miss Teen South Carolina said. "Well personally, my friends and I, we know exactly where the United States is on our map. I don't know anyone else who doesn't. And if the statistics are correct, I believe there should be more emphasis on geography."

That was much better than her previous response, a rambling answer that included references to "U.S. Americans" and mentions of South Africa and "the Iraq."

See The Interview Here

A YouTube video of the Friday pageant has drawn a couple million hits and thousands of comments, many of them with harsh remarks for the teen, who plans to attend Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina.

Upton was taking her flubbed answer — and the attention — in stride.

"Everything did come at me at once. I was overwhelmed and I made a mistake. Everybody makes a mistake. I'm human," she said Tuesday. "I seriously think I only heard about one or two words of the actual question."

Miss Teen Colorado Hilary Carol Cruz won the crown. Upton was third runner-up.

Britney Spears reported To Have Abused Her Sons

Britney Spears is under investigation for child abuse allegations that her sons have poor dental hygiene, eating and sleeping habits, it has been revealed.

The allegations, lodged with Department of Children and Family Services, are contained in legal papers filed yesterday by Federline's attorney, suggesting it might have been Federline who lodged the complaint.

Spears, 26, is currently battling ex-husband Kevin Federline for custody, and the allegations involve her two sons Sean Preston, 23 months, and 11-month old Jayden James.

The Daily Mail reported today that Spears gives her sons bottles of fizzy drinks and lets them snack on sugary food.

The allegations were reportedly raised at an unscheduled hearing yesterday at Los Angeles Superior Court.

Although Britney was not present, her lawyer, Dennis Wasser, was said to be there along with Mark Kaplan, who represents her estranged husband, Kevin Federline.

Federline is also said to have served legal papers to a string of witnesses who can allegedly testify about her chaotic behaviour.
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Spears's recent off the wall indiscretions, which include a topless swimming pool romp with a stranger earlier this month, have led Federline to seek full custody of their children.

The troubled pop star's ex manager Larry Rudolph has continued his support of Spears, saying he would still support her.

TMZ.com reported today that Rudolph said in a statement: "Despite the things that Britney has publicly said about our relationship in the past, I truly understand where she's coming from and why she's said the things she said about me post-rehab and I don't take it personally.

''As her former manager, I know and understand Britney better than anyone, I know what makes her tick and I understand everything she's going through.

''With that being said, my loyalty will always stay strong with Britney.
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''I have consulted with my lawyers and I do understand that eventually the time will come when they will find me, but until then, I'm trying to avoid being broguht in to this mess.''

In April last year, child welfare officials visited Spears's Malibu mansion after she was spotted driving with Sean, then just four months, sitting on her lap.

Although she was reprimanded for not using a child seat, she was not charged with any offence.

With the break-up of her marriage, the wayward star has seemingly spiralled out of control and is involved in a bitter rift with her mother, Lynne.

Spears has been in and out of a rehab clinic and caused a sensation when she shaved her head in February.

Just last week, she was said to have spent the night in a Beverly Hills hotel with magician Criss Angel, 39, after a night drinking Dom Perignon champagne.

The wild night came just hours after she left a midday summit with her solicitors over her looming custody fight in tears, according to reports.

Website TMZ said a hearing in the custody case, following up from yesterday's appearance, has been scheduled for September 4.

A spokesman for Spears has not yet commented.

Could Kate Moss Be The New Britney Spears?

Is the Kate Moss the new Britney Spears? Quite possibly, if this week's mags are to be believed. News is that Moss has reunited with her seriously demented former boyfriend: the druggie, cheater and aspiring criminal Pete Doherty.

After throwing him out of her house last month for sleeping around, the filthy rich masochist, I mean, model, has retrieved Doherty from his new home in the gutter and treated him to a stay in a $3600-a-night-suite at London's glamorous Claridge's hotel. The couple were apparently "holed up" in the hotel together, "rekindling" their love.

"She's a lost cause when it comes to Pete," says Famous, stating the bleeding obvious.

"It's like he can do absolutely anything he likes - cheat on her, flout the law - and she just doesn't care."

NW says Doherty's crazed behaviour also includes feeding his cat crack cocaine. We're hoping it's because that was all he had in the fridge (which is quite feasible, given his scrawny frame) rather than a deliberate act of cruelty.

Oh well, at least the drama has given Spears a well-earned break from her top spot in the most-screwed-up-celebrity race. Not that the mags are ignoring Spears entirely. An unusual absence of any real news about the former singer hasn't stopped NW from fashioning a revelatory story about her hair.

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The two-page feature is pegged to the nascent regrowth of Brit's real hair - a much-anticipated development after she shaved her head during a meltdown a few months ago. The magazine features a gallery of pics tracking the evolution of Brit's interim hair - including an array of wigs and hair extensions in every shade of blonde and brown, as well as a pretty pink.

"It seems the sleazier and weirder Britney's behaviour has been in recent months, the messier and dirtier her hair has become," the magazine offers in an attempt at Freudian analysis.

Also in need of a session on the couch is Jordan. The balloon-chested celeb isn't exactly renowned for her sense of modesty but even we were shocked by her latest revelation. "I'm thinking of having my vagina tightened," she says in Famous. "After three kids, I really notice the difference. By the time I'm finished I'll be like a nun." OK, err, thanks for that.

Another future candidate for vaginal surgery is the pregnant starlet Nicole Richie, who is also in the news this week after finally completing her stint in prison for driving under the influence of drugs.

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Richie was reportedly petrified of serving her four-day jail term but it turns out that she needn't have worried. The LA County Sheriff's Department was seemingly overcome with compassion, sending Richie back to her mansion after, NW says, a whopping 35 minute stay in her cell. It's amazing what a couple of free Lionel Richie CDs and Simple Life DVDs will get you.

Speaking of babies, Woman's Day gushes over the Scientologist and actor Jenna Elfman's newborn son. Elfman confirms our suspicions about Scientologists - that they are weird and capable of cruelty - with the announcement her baby's name: Story. At the very least it'll make playtime with that other famous Scientology offspring, Suri, a potential tongue-twisting nightmare.

Giving their babies embarrassing made-up names isn't the only trend among the faithful. NW tells us that Suri's mum and dad are sleeping in separate bedrooms in their new $43 million home.

Apparently it's because Katie Holmes can't bear Tom Cruise's snoring but she admits she enjoys having her own "cluster of suites" because she's been able to decorate them to her taste, which includes the placement of a "small carousel and many stuffed animals".

We imagine there's still a lot of spare room at the Cruises' house. Maybe they could offer Doherty somewhere to stay next time Moss chucks him out.

Paris Hilton will play Antoinette Giancana, who now runs a successful pasta business.

Hotel heiress Paris Hilton is all set to play the lead role in a film based on the life of gangster Sam Giancana’s daughter.

Hilton will play Antoinette Giancana, who now runs a successful pasta business.

Giancana’s daughter has given her blessings to the actress.

"I think she'd be great. She's a little wild - just like I was at that age." Contactmusic quoted, Antoinette as telling In Touch Weekly magazine.

Hilton, who recently wanted to start a family, is reportedly in negotiations to play Antoinette in the film project.

Britney Spears under animal charity’s surveillance after dog’s injury.

Pop star Britney Spears has reportedly been under surveillance of an animal charity ever since her dog was seen wearing a cast recently. A team of activists from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals visited Britney’s home in Los Angeles on Saturday, in order to ensure that the dog was getting adequate medical treatment after the injury.

The singer’s young sons Jayden James and Sean Preston had allegedly injured the pet terrier, due to which he suffered a broken a leg.
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"We have received various sources of complaints throughout the day. Some said that Britney's Yorkie dog was injured and had a cast on and some said the dog had a broken leg and was not treated, "contactmusic quoted SPCA President Madeline Bernstein as telling TMZ.com.

"After the calls started pouring in, we did go to Britney's house but were just able to leave a note with the housekeeper. The matter is not if the dog had an accident, but if the dog is getting proper care," Bernstein added.

Lindsay Lohan's Estranged Father Grateful For Light Imprisonment To Lohan

Actress Lindsay Lohan's estranged father, Michael, has praised Los Angeles authorities for not awarding his daughter a longer prison sentence. He considers the verdict of the judge, who sentenced Lindsay to one-day imprisonment on August 23, to be a right decision because the actress was putting in her best efforts to mend her lifestyle.

"I am very thankful that the system saw it as longterm rehab that Lindsay needed and not long-term incarceration. This is a good thing. Lindsay is putting her life back in order. I believe Lindsay wants to do that," Contactmusic quoted him as saying.
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Michael also expressed his gratefulness to the people who are trying to help the ‘Mean Girls’ actress on US news show Extra.
"I believe Blair Berk, her attorney, and Bev, her counsellor at (Utah rehab facility) Cirque Lodge have Lindsay's best interests at heart. The results are going to speak for themselves,” he said.

"I believe that Lindsay's restoration can and will be a great sermon to many," he added. Lindsay was charged with seven misdemeanour and DUI charges in court on Thursday.

The judge initially sentenced her to four days jail, but later her punishment was cut in half and ordered her to carry out 10 days of community service instead. A further day was taken off the sentence because of time Lohan has already served during her arrests.

Naomi Campbell Plans To Set Modelling Agency To Check Racism

Supermodel Naomi Campbell has vowed to set up her own modelling agency in her beloved Kenya in an attempt to redress the balance between black and white fashion models.

She made her fiery voice loud and clear (once again), after telling a Kenyan journalist earlier this week. “It’s a pity that people don’t appreciate black beauty.” She continued. “There is prejudice. It is a problem and I can’t go along anymore with brushing it under the carpet.”

Campbell, notorious for her temper tantrums and who has earned a lucrative living as one of the world’s most famous black models, was speaking at a press conference in the beach resort of Malindi, Kenya, where she is on holiday.

The 37-year-old said she found it harder to get onto the coveted front cover as editors of magazines like Vogue consistently chose less prominent white models for news stand impact.

“This business is about selling, and blonde and blue-eyed girls are what sell.”

“Black models are being sidelined by the major modelling agencies,” she added.

Campbell has so far appeared a total of eight times, which when compared to Kate Moss’ enormous 24, is a small amount. The supermodel first appeared in British Vogue in 1987, and has risen to fame to join an extremely small number of prominent black models. She last made the cover five years ago.
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In 2005, the singer Beyoncé Knowles was caught up in a controversy after appearing on the front cover of Vanity Fair, when some accused the magazine of airbrushing the image to make her skin appear lighter, an allegation Vanity Fair vehemently denied.

Anya James, 20, a black model from London and a former contestant on channel Five's reality show, "Make me a Supermodel," said Campbell's words rang true. "From my experience as a black model, I have to work 10 times as hard. For example, at castings, I make sure I look 110 per cent and that I'm on my best form. You hardly ever see a black model in the public eye, but no-one seems to be speaking up about this imbalance," she said.

Select Model Management, owned by Tandy Anderson, who is among the top 50 most influential black businesswomen in a list published by New Nation next week, said: "We have some very successful black models on our books such as Nadine Willis, who was the first black girl to get a Gucci contract. Nell Robinson, another of our top black models, has appeared in campaigns for Victoria's Secret and Rimmel and is shooting for H&M."

A regular visitor to Malindi, Cambell is now expected to fly to Nairobi to scout for talents among modelling agencies.

Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt In Hampton To Raise Funds For New Orleans

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt treated their kids to the quintessential New York City weekend, complete with a trip to a hot-dog cart and a carousel ride in Central Park. Then on Saturday night, it was all about helping a good cause: The pair took a helicopter to the Hamptons to host a dinner party raising money to help rebuild New Orleans.

Both dressed in white, Jolie, 32, and Pitt, 43, left Manhattan and flew into Westhampton for the event, after they were diverted from nearby East Hampton because of foggy conditions. From there, the couple ended up taking a cab to the home of Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff, the married couple who co-founded the Tribeca Film Festival with Robert De Niro.

Christie Brinkley, Ellen Barkin and Jimmy Buffett were among the celeb guests, New York's Daily News reports, and Pitt himself gave a speech on helping those affected by Katrina.

The more than 50 guests were served cocktails followed by dinner (a buffet of lamb, salmon and corn pudding), all under a giant tent decorated with black-and-white photos of everyday life in New Orleans.

The fund-raiser helped promote Pitt's Make It Right project, which is aiming to rebuild areas of New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward with environmentally friendly homes.

Last week, Pitt was in New Orleans to give a tour of homes being built in cooperation with Global Green and the Home Depot Foundation.

Lady Laura Bush Skips APEC Summit For Health Reasons

US President George W. Bush is leaving the APEC summit in Australia early, and now US First Lady Laura Bush isn't going at all, her office said overnight, citing her doctors' advice.

"Mrs Bush extended her regrets in a telephone conversation yesterday to Mrs Janette Howard, wife of Prime Minister John Howard," her spokeswoman, Sally McDonough, said.

"Mrs Bush has been treated with physical therapy for a pinched nerve, which she injured while hiking earlier this year. Her physicians have strongly advised her to not travel overseas in order to avoid potential complication and aggravation by extended long distance travel," said Ms McDonough.

Mr Howard said earlier this month that Mr Bush will arrive in Sydney on September 4, two days earlier than scheduled, and return to Washington while the September 7-9 Asia-Pacific Economic (APEC) summit is still underway.

Mr Howard said Mr Bush's schedule bent to accommodate the release of a critical September 15 progress report on the war in Iraq. White House officials have declined to address speculation that Mr Bush will go to Iraq before the report.

Mr Bush also wants to be back in the United States ahead of ceremonies marking the sixth anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks on New York and Washington, Mr Howard said.

Kerryn McCann Plans A Hard Fight Against Cancer

Champion marathon runner Kerryn McCann has spoken publicly for the first time since being diagnosed with breast cancer, saying there's a tough battle ahead but she's determined to fight.

The two-time Commonwealth Games champion and three-time Olympian, 40, is pregnant and was diagnosed with the disease two weeks ago.

She has already had surgery to remove a lump from her breast and is due to start 18 weeks of chemotherapy after the birth of her third child, which is expected to be induced on September 5, Fairfax has reported.

"It's worth fighting for another little baby," she told Fairfax.

"I plan on fighting the cancer and other women have been through it so I can do it too."

McCann said the diagnosis had been a shock.

She said she had no family history of the disease she didn't think fit and healthy people would ever get cancer.

"It has all happened so quickly but I think the good news is it is treatable," she said.

"It's a rough road ahead."

McCann, who has been going to breast cancer fundraisers, said she was inspired by fellow runner and cancer survivor Raelene Boyle.

"I'll be back," she said.

"Not at an international level, but I plan on coming back and running races around Australia."

McCann provided the highlight of last year's Commonwealth Games, when she edged out Kenyan Hellen Cherono by just two seconds to successfully defend her marathon title.

The lead changed several times in the final two kilometres of an unforgettable race before McCann triumphed, receiving a huge ovation from the packed MCG crowd.

Increasing Chinese Women Are Turning To Prostitution

In an attempt to escape poverty, women in China are increasingly turning to prostitution and competition for clients has reportedly resulted in lower pay and more dangerous conditions for China's estimated ten-million sex workers.

Although prostitution is technically illegal in China, freelance sex workers operate openly throughout the country at every level of society, the International Herald Tribune reports. They work in bars and state-owned hotels as well as in poor neighborhoods.

Although open prostitution in China is common today, it was nearly nonexistent a quarter of a century ago, reports Asian studies scholar Jinghao Zhou in China: an International Journal.

The recent resurgence of prostitution, he says, comes from economic changes that have taken place in China over the last three decades -- rapid urbanization due to globalization, and the reform of China's market economy.

Sociology and AIDS Policy Professor Jing Jun told the Washington Post that China's thriving sex trade is tied to the country's poor economy. "A lot of these women send half their income back to support their families," he said. "Prostitution is not fundamentally connected to a lack of values but a lack of jobs, choices, opportunities and education."

Health experts worry about heightened medical risks for increasingly desperate women -- some earning just over USD $1 per session -- who cannot afford to lose clients. Fearing loss of business, many sex workers give in when their clients refuse to wear a condom, according to the Post.

In 2006, less than 40 percent of sex workers used condoms according to Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention surveys.

HIV Positive Husband Kills Wife For Not Having Sex With Him

An HIV positive man has been arrested by the Dahisar police for allegedly poisoning his wife.

The 26-year-old woman, who is fighting for her life in a hospital, had refused to have sex with him.

Senior Police Inspector Ravi Thakur said factory labourer Dilip Barut (30), a resident of Chitrakoot building in Ashokvan, married Yogita in 2002.

"Yogita gave birth to a girl two years later, but her in-laws were not happy as they had wanted a boy," Thakur said.

A year later Barut was diagnosed HIV-positive. Yogita left Barut to live with her mother Pramila Bhabat at Oripada in Dahisar (East).

"Only when Dilip promised her he would discontinue sexual relations did she go back, for the sake of her daughter," said a teary-eyed Bhabat. "But her in-laws went on pestering her to try again for a boy."

Late one night last week, the police said, Barut returned home drunk and demanded that Yogita have sex with him. Hearing the two fight, Barut's mother Anita came into their room and began insisting that Yogita give in to her husband's demands.

When she continued to refuse, they allegedly stuffed poison in her mouth and beat her unconscious.

She left with her daughter the next morning and returned to her mother's house. On Monday evening, Yogita started vomiting and was rushed to Borivli's Bhagwati Hospital by her mother.

The doctors called in the police, who registered a case of assault and attempt to murder against Barut and Anita. Barut was arrested on Monday night. The police are on the lookout for Anita.

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Bahraini Women Duped Into Sexual Slavery

Many Asian women in Bahrain are being duped into working as sex slaves for men who lure them with promises of marriage, according to Thai Ambassador Phithak Phrombubpha.

He says victims are put up in apartments and visited once a week by their boyfriends, who brainwash them into believing they will eventually live together and start a family.

Mr Phrombubpha said women who want to escape are powerless to act as their passports are confiscated and once their visit visas expire they become illegal residents who rack up huge overstay fines that they have no means to pay.

His comments come after one victim of human trafficking, who managed to escape from her captor, came to the embassy seeking help.

The 25-year-old, whose identity is being protected, is being kept in an emergency accommodation in Zinj until she flies home on Friday.

"These people come to Bahrain because of an economic problem and they want to earn money," Mr Phrombubpha told the GDN.

"People recruit them by any means but they may not know exactly what kind of work they will be doing.

"Many Arabs come here and hire apartments and have these kind of women staying there.

"There maybe many Thai women with similar cases and who is to say there may not be women of other nationalities.

"Some of them can go out freely but others are kept inside and they cannot leave because their passports are confiscated.

"We would like to warn the newcomers that they have to be on alert and comply with the laws here.

"They have to know about the visa system."

The Thai victim came to the embassy in Zinj after her Saudi boyfriend beat her up while he was under the influence of alcohol.

She managed to run away and a taxi driver dropped her off at the embassy.

"She was a registered nurse and was promised a job in her profession, but she was sent to a hotel and the people who brought her here said she had to pay back BD1,500," said Mr Phrombubpha.

"She thought that she had a chance to go to Australia because she was told they needed nurses.

"She was told that she would go there from Bahrain once her paperwork was completed.

"A Saudi customer then later bought her from the pimp and she fell in love with this man.

"He kept her locked in a room and every week he would come to see her and give her some money so she could send it to Thailand."

The woman, from Chiang Mai in northern Thailand, is single and does not have children but travelled abroad to support her parents and other family members. Her Saudi lover gave her BD50 a month to send back home.

An embassy spokesman said this was one of the more extreme cases officials had come across.

"This is a genuine case of human trafficking," he said.

"It is the tip of the iceberg and hopefully we will be able to encourage more people to come out."

Although willing to go home, the embassy official said the woman still appears to be in love with the Saudi man and is hoping he will stick to his promise to marry her.

She does not wish to press charges against him and, while officials say they are powerless to stop her if she wishes to return to him, they are determined to protect her and ensure she leaves Bahrain.

Ban Or Legalize Prostitution In Kyrgyzstan

It was midnight and I was coming back from the party, the celebration of my sister's birthday. I needed to buy some water. Asked the taxi driver to stop on the crossing of Sovietskaya and Toktogula street. What I saw absolutely shocked me.

I never witnessed it from such a close distance. A bunch of extremely young girls in revealing, short dresses and excessive make-up gathered in front of an internet cafe "Alfa" and were having vulgar chats and selling themselves in the sex trade.

The whole situation reminded me of one young girl who once came from a small and remote village to the capital in the search of a better life. She was so young and unexperienced in life that she did not notice that one day the profession she had was the 'oldest profession' as it has been dubbed.

But she never considered herself as a prostitute, or a sex-worker. She said it perfectly suits her as she likes her way of life. Her parents have no suspicion about their daughter's way of earning money.

They were quite sure she goes to university and does a part-time job in a small cafe nearby the relative's house where she temporarily resided. This is not a sole example; there are hundreds of cases of girls with similar fate.

There are several spots where the ladies of the night gather to offer themselves. One of them is right in the corner of Sovietskaya and Toktogula streets. Before it used to be just the corner, now the commerce extends down to Tynystanova street as well.

As I live nearby, sometimes I hear their loud voices and cars during the night. The other one is in front of ZAGS, the central marriage registration institute. Poor brides and grooms, as this is the scene they view on the first day of their marriage.

Recently, Bishkek militia forces displayed a haunt for sexual services in Bishkek. There are many such places where illegal prostitution prospers, and it has become a way of business which has lasted for many years.

Some even spread this business in the porches of private homes and have clients who know their address and telephone numbers make 'in calls'. There is much less exploitation by the militia at the private residences, because the militia usually cannot muscle their way in as easily as they can with freelance girls on the street. If they close one place, another two or three will be opened soon and resolving the problems has proved challenging.

Some make an argument for legalizing the prostitution, even though it goes against Islamic rules and eastern mentality. With legalization, they believe, the rights of sex-workers will be protected; they will go through regular medical checks and receive any essential treatment in case they become ill. It would also protect them from physical violence and mistreatment both from those who use their services and militia that exploits them as well. It is said that militia workers use the services for free any time they want and can also act as pimps taking cuts of the women's earnings.

Others believe that legalizing is not right, what we need to do is to fight against prostitution. However, fighting prostitution cannot be done through the militia, who are already exploiting the women sexually and making money from the trade. So, how do we really fight it? Or do we indeed have to fight it?

Prostitution remains illegal throughout much of Asia, but at the same time seems to flourish as a blackmarket trade.

Woman Charged For Sodomising Lover

A Perth woman will go to trial next year accused of handcuffing her soldier lover to a chair and sodomising him with a sex toy in an alleged hour-long sex attack.

Nicola Clunies-Ross, 19, allegedly lured the Darwin-based soldier, also 19, to her East Perth home on October 28, 2006 and tricked him into being handcuffed and tied to a chair.

Once he was secured, her soldier boyfriend, Peter Justin Gurdulic, 19, allegedly appeared and bashed her lover.

Clunies-Ross and Gurdulic then allegedly both penetrated the soldier with a sex toy during an hour-long attack.

Clunies-Ross has pleaded not guilty in the West Australian District Court to assault occasioning bodily harm, aggravated sexual penetration without consent and deprivation of liberty.

She was granted bail.

The court set down January 21 for her trial.

Gurdulic, who was from the same Darwin regiment as the victim, was found dead at Leeuwin Barracks in November 2006 after being charged over the alleged attack. There were no suspicious circumstances.

Clunies-Ross' family was granted the Cocos Islands, in the Indian Ocean, about 2,700km north west of Perth, by Queen Victoria in 1886 after Captain John Clunies-Ross, a Scottish trader, landed on the islands in 1825.

The Australian government bought the islands from the family in 1978.

Airline Stewardess Delivers Premature Baby Mid-Air

An airline stewardess helped deliver a premature baby during a flight from England to Crete.

Flight supervisor Carol Miller helped Nicola Delemere give birth to her son, Alfie, in her seat while receiving instructions from doctors on the ground.

But when the tiny baby had problems breathing, Miller had to use a drinking straw to help inflate his lungs to keep him alive.

She also carried out mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and heart massage for more than half an hour on Alfie, who arrived 15 weeks early.

"He was born very quickly and at first we weren't sure he was breathing so I just applied my medical training, cleared his lungs gently using the straw and then carried out mouth-to-mouth resuscitation," Miller told The Daily Telegraph.

"We were also lucky to have the support of a retired nurse and ambulance driver on board."

Delemere, 31, had been checked by a doctor before deciding to go on holiday with her husband in Crete.

Her waters broke while the First Choice Airways charter plane was flying over Germany.

The pilot then flew back to London's Gatwick Airport to make an emergency landing so the mother and baby could receive medical attention.

Pregnant Nicole Richie Checks In And Out Of Jail

A pregnant Nicole Richie checked into a Los Angeles jail today to serve a 96-hour sentence for drink-driving, and was released after 70 minutes.

Entertainment Tonight reported that Richie was booked at the county jail for women in Lynwood shortly after 3pm (8am AEST) and was released after serving an hour and ten minutes

"If she is processed into the Los Angeles County jail system, Ms Richie will be handled like any other inmate with a similar sentence of 96 hours," the L.A. County Sheriff's Department said in a press release.

"At this time, the criteria for a female arrestee sentenced to 30-days or less for a non-violent offense is as follows: the arrestee is booked, screened and usually released within 12 hours," the press release said.

"This procedure is based on jail overcrowding to manage population levels mandated by Federal Court guidelines. Based on the mandated guidelines and Ms Richie's 96 hours sentence, she will be treated in the same manner as other inmates with a similar sentence."

The reality TV star was arrested in December after police officers found her car parked on a freeway and facing the wrong way.

The Lynwood facility is the same one that housed Richie's Simple Life co-star Paris Hilton for nearly three weeks after she was convicted of driving on a suspended licence while on probation for an alcohol-related reckless driving case.

Richie is expecting a child with Good Charlotte frontman Joel Madden who she has been dating for over six months.

Lindsay Lohan Escaped Felony Charges In DUI Cases

Lindsay Lohan dodged felony charges in her two drunken-driving cases, with prosecutors filing misdemeanor counts after tests found she possessed insufficient amounts of cocaine, authorities announced Thursday.

The actress was charged with seven counts, including two counts each of driving under the influence, driving with blood alcohol of over .08 percent, being under the influence of cocaine, as well as reckless driving, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office says.

By avoiding felony charges, Lohan faces a maximum penalty of days – rather than years – behind bars. If convicted of the two DUIs, she faces a mandatory sentence of at least four days in jail. However, her attorney could successfully argue for more rehab in lieu of jail time.

The charges stem from two separate DUI incidents, one in May in Beverly Hills and one in July in Santa Monica.

In both incidents, police found Lohan in possession of cocaine. But in each case, the amounts tested were below the .05 grams required by office policy for felony filing.

A conference before a Beverly Hills judge is set for Thursday afternoon, in which Lohan may enter a plea a day before her arraignment which was originally set for Friday.

The 21-year-old actress is currently in rehab at the Cirque Lodge program in Utah.

Lohan was arrested on July 24 after allegedly hijacking an SUV with two men inside, and recklessly chasing another SUV – driven by the mother of her personal assistant – through the streets of Santa Monica, Calif.

She was booked for DUI, possession of cocaine, transporting a narcotic into a custody facility, and driving on a suspended license. Officers found a container on Lohan that tested at .02 grams of cocaine, according to the DA.

Lohan was previously arrested for DUI after crashing her Mercedes-Benz in Beverly Hills just two months prior. Tests showed that the substance found in her purse was .04 grams of cocaine powder.

On Aug. 14, Tracie Rice, a passenger in the car Lohan was allegedly chasing, filed a lawsuit for an undisclosed amount against the actress.

Rice "thought she was going to die that night," her attorney Paul Hoffman told PEOPLE, "and Ms. Lohan needs to be held accountable."

pregnant Foxy Brown Heads Back To Jail

Foxy Brown has been ordered to jail for violating her probation, police said Thursday

Brown (real name: Inga Marchand), 27, was remanded to state custody and ordered to jail by Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Melissa Jackson after two recent brushes with the law, the Associated Press reports. Brown has been ordered to remain jailed until a hearing on Sept. 5.

Last week, Brown surrendered to police on charges that she assaulted her Brooklyn neighbor with her BlackBerry device.

Then, just one day after her surrender, police in Mahwah, N.J., pulled the rapper over after she was spotted talking on her cell phone while driving her 2007 Land Rover.

Officers cited her for talking on the phone and failing to stop at a stop sign.

In addition, Brown gave police officers a false birth date and a variation of her name. Forced to admit her real identity, police reportedly learned that the musician was driving with a suspended license, the Associated Press reported.

Her Land Rover's registration also had been suspended.

Arresting officers took Brown to a station, where she was issued seven traffic tickets and released.

The Il Na Na rapper's probation stems from a 2004 argument in a nail salon; at the time, she pled guilty to misdemeanor assault charges.

Yet despite all of her legal troubles, Brown has made headlines of another sort: She apparently announced that she's pregnant, the New York Post reports.

According to the paper, the rapper was seen shopping at a New York City Bed, Bath & Beyond, where she said, "I'm getting married in September. I'm pregnant."

New York's local ABC station also reported last week on its Web site that Brown is three months' pregnant.

Paris Hilton Vs Zeta Graff Lawsuit Settled

It appears Paris Hilton’s pockets are about to get a whole lot lighter.

Paris has settled her defamation lawsuit with fellow socialite Zeta Graff, according to the Santa Monica County court clerk, although the official paperwork has yet to reach Superior Court.

Lawyers for both parties were in a Santa Monica court this morning, and ended up settling the case.

And while the court calendar indicated jury selection process is still scheduled to begin on Monday, that presumably will no longer be needed.

Details of the settlement are unknown at this time.

The attorneys for Paris and Zeta released the following joint statement to Access Hollywood:

“Zeta Graff and Paris Hilton are pleased to announce the amicable resolution of the lawsuit between them. Both parties are glad that the matter could be resolved without the time and expense of a trial. The resolution is confidential and no one will comment further.”

Graff had filed a $10 million suit against Paris in 2005, claiming Paris fed a slanderous story to the New York Post about Graff attacking her at a club and ripping a necklace off her neck in what was supposedly a jealous rage over Hilton’s fiancĂ©e at the time, Paris Latsis.

The article that ran in gossip columnist Richard Johnson’s Page Six section on July 2, 2005.

According to reports, Latsis dated Graff for two years before hooking up with Hilton and having a “Z” tattoo (presumably for Zeta) removed from his wrist.

When Graff saw Hilton and her ex dancing to Barry Manilow’s “Copacabana,” the story in the Post said, she went “berserk.”

The article goes on to report that Graff tried to snatch a $4 million diamond necklace off Hilton’s neck, and had to be physically restrained by security guards before she was booted out of the club.

In reaching the settlement, it’s possible Paris saved herself from a perjury charge.

During her deposition, Paris insisted she didn’t know anything about the article in the Post. However, her former publicist Rob Shutter went on the record to say that Paris was the one who gave him the information to pass on to the Post.

Did Exposure To Asbestos Kill Maureen Bell?

They were only meant to be short-term jobs to help save for family holidays. But Maureen Bell's relations believe in just two years she was exposed to the cancer-causing asbestos which eventually killed her.

The 65-year-old lost her fight for life in February 2005, within months of being diagnosed with mesothelioma.

And now her family are fighting to find out how the much-loved gran-of-two, from Houghton, died.

Outgoing and popular, Mrs Bell, a widow, started developing pains in her side in May 2004.

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Sister Christine Naisbitt, 57, of Mill Estate, Rainton Bridge, said: "She wasn't a person who was poorly, Maureen was always fit and active. She didn't have high blood pressure or any of the other illnesses associated with people of that age. She was chatty, friendly, active, outgoing, enthusiastic and full of fun."

Daughter Karen Grundy, 49, added: "She didn't really know what was wrong with her. Her biggest problem until then was having arthritis in one toe which meant she couldn't wear high heels.

"She put it down to all sorts of different things, age related, but little by little it got worse."

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Maureen, an energetic gran who threw herself into hobbies such as line dancing and gardening, holidayed with her extended family and insisted on doing everything they did.

"When we went to Florida she insisted on doing all the big rides, like Space Mountain," added daughter-in-law Janet, who lived just doors away from her on Houghton's Dairy Lane Estate.

For most of her life Mrs Bell worked in shops, finishing at a grocers in Gilesgate, Durham.

But her family believe a two-year spell in factories in the mid-1960s triggered her exposure to deadly asbestos.

Mrs Grundy, an optician, of Rickleton, Washington, said: "We couldn't fathom out where she had been exposed. As far as we know she hadn't worked anywhere with asbestos."

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Mrs Bell worked at GEC in Newton Aycliffe in 1965 for two years, making telephone parts, followed by 10 weeks at a furniture firm RW Toothill Limited, also in Newton Aycliffe.

"By the time she knew it was mesothelioma, she was really too ill to take anything in. It happened that quickly."

Mrs Grundy said, adding: "I find it frustrating to think mum was doing that those jobs to make our lives better and to get the money for holidays."

Mrs Bell, died in Sunderland Royal Hospital on February 4, 2005. Tests, five months earlier, had revealed mesothelioma, with doctors confirming she had just months to live.

Sister Christine said: "There was no available medication and the last few months of her life were horrible. I think Maureen's life was taken long before she should have died. Why was she punished for going out to work on an evening?

Mrs Grundy added: "People have a choice whether they want to smoke and develop lung cancer, people like my mum never had a choice."

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Solicitors acting for the family are looking to former workmates to help solve the riddle behind her death.

Neil Wilkinson, of Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, said: "A review of Mrs Bell's career history indicated several jobs where asbestos exposure could have taken place".

They include the two Newton Aycliffe factories and a four-week spell at a sewing factory in Fence Houses known as Hires, when Mrs Bell was 15 in 1953.

The dangers of asbestos have been known since the 1930s, with Sunderland an area particularly affected by fatal diseases caused by working with it.

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Claims are now spiralling, with 2,000 people dying in the North East from asbestos cancer
mesothelioma between 1985 and 2004. More women are now being affected.

Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos dust and symptoms can appear decades after the asbestos dust was inhaled. Many diagnosed die within months.

Asbestos was widely used for insulation in the once thriving shipbuilding industry, and there was an asbestos dust "mountain" at the Cape Insulation works in Washington.

In addition, the rapid post-war housing growth led to an increased use of asbestos in the building industry.

Mr Wilkinson said: "Mesothelioma claims are very reliant on witnesses coming forward and I ask that if anyone worked with Maureen Bell to come forward and share any information that they may have.

"Mrs Bell's life was cut short due to unnecessary exposure to asbestos and the family are seeking answers as to why this happened."

To help, can contact Neil Wilkinson, tel. 279 0100.