Unravel The Secret behind a Passionate Kiss

Kissing is probably one of the best things you can do with your lips. It’s not just the most passionate way of getting close to your partner, it’s also something that enlightens your mood and adds zing to your love life. So, what comes to your mind when you first think of kissing? A peck on the cheek or a passionate French kiss? Well, if you want to explore what turns on your mate or simply add creativity to your kissing techniques, here are some lip smacking ideas …

Reverse lip kiss – Remember the sensuous kiss exchanged between Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst in Spiderman ? You can re-create the sizzling kiss with your partner. Of course you can’t hang upside down like the famed super hero, so kiss your partner when he/she is lying down or seated. Come from behind and have them tilt their head backwards. Lower down your head and gently kiss their lower lip and feel your partner breathe on your neck. Abhishek, who works with a software company in Mumbai says, “My girlfriend really took me by surprise when I was working on my laptop. She came from behind, tilted my head backwards and gave me a kiss upside-down while I could feel her hair tickle my neck. I must confess I was quite impressed with her initiative and it really turned me on.”

Underwater kiss – Dive to the bottom of the swimming pool, embrace your lover under water and suck in as if you were sucking air from their mouth. Leave them gasping for breath just for a few seconds. By the time you run out of air, reach the top, breathe and get set for the act again. If you are a guy, just pull your babe up above the water, while remaining in the pool and gently caress her thighs while rolling your tongue around her navel to provide the ultimate erotic sensation. Ashish Singh (name changed on request) says, “I would love to lock lips with my girlfriend under water. I love water sports and I think it would just add to the sizzling underwater action. What can be more sensuous?”

Ring kiss – When you and your partner are sitting together on a couch or lazing in bed, gently hold his hand and start kissing. Then smoothly, suck a ring out of his finger with the help of your teeth. Roll your tongue and slide the ring slightly to hold it around your tongue. Then share a passionate kiss by rolling the tip of your tongue to trace his lips. Let him suck the ring from your tongue and you can try stealing it again, it will heat up the scene.

Foot kiss - This one’s not just amorous, but also an erotic gesture. Gently move your fingers on his/her bare foot. It may tickle your partner initially, but relax and enjoy the sensations! Then, gently kiss her foot and suck her toes. You can make the act even more intense by rolling an ice cube on her foot as you gradually move the cube up her legs and then to her inner thighs. “My partner turns me on by massaging my foot. He rubs his thumbs in circular motions from the heel to the toe and then sucks my toes one by one. Some people think it’s kinky, but you have to try it to believe it. It works for me and it’s even more fun if you do it in the 69 position and face each other’s feet,” says newly married Meenakshi (name changed on request) .

Nip kiss - When you kiss your partner next time, gently nibble on his/her lips. Be careful not to bite too hard and hurt them though. While smooching on one’s lips is enjoyable, use your imagination and try exploring other body parts as well. Nibbling on the neck, for instance, is a great turn on. If you do it well, this kiss ignites flames of passion that will arouse you to explore your beau’s body further. Arvind (name changed on request) , who got married a year ago, says, “If I really want to drive my wife wild, nibbling is the best way to do so. It makes her squirm with desire. It is the best foreplay act and gets you in the mood for more action. Biting her gently at the right time and the right place just makes her scream for more.”

Earlobe kiss - As the name suggests, gently sip and suck your partner’s earlobe. Cuddle close to your sweetheart, bite gently to make him/her moan and whisper something naughty. Let him hear you breathe and feel your wet lips. This will surely make him want you more than ever. However, take extra care to avoid loud, sucking noises.

My hubby simply loves it when I bite him on his earlobe. And if I say something wild or naughty during the act, it sets his mood right. Just telling him what exactly I want him to do to me..the dirtiest of things makes him long for more, says Suchita Mishra (name changed on request) from Pune.

Discover the Male Pleasure Zone (G-Spot)



It’s not just women who are lucky enough to have the ‘fabled’ G spot, the route to sexual satisfaction, for men too are gifted with the ‘pleasure zone’ - and the hot spot on the male body is prostate. Yes, you heard it right. After years of bedroom exploration and debate, an expert has come to the conclusion that when it comes to ‘male G-spot’, the prostate reigns supreme.

As a man becomes sexually aroused, the prostate begins to swell with fluid, sending pleasurable sensations throughout his loins. These moan-worthy reactions get more and more intense, pulsating throughout a man’s loins as he approaches orgasm.

However, digging for this piece of gold, which is the size of a chestnut, is not that easy.

Therefore, Dr. Yvonne K. Fulbright, who is a sex educator, relationship expert, columnist and founder of Sexuality Source Inc, has provided some tips as to how to embark upon the ”treasure hunt”

1. Know what you’re looking for.
The prostate, which is found wrapped around the urethra, below the urinary bladder, is a firm, partly muscular, partly glandular body.

2. Realise that almost any time is a good time.
Unless a man isn’t in the mood or prefers to be turned on first, the prostate is always up for action. While this erogenous zone comes alive when a male becomes sexually excited, it can also send amazing sensations sans erection and other stimulation. It is best, however, for a man to be already aroused before you go “probing,” lest he’s likelier to experience pain or discomfort.

3. Discuss the preferred method of stimulation.
The best way to access the prostate involves going to a place where more than just the sun doesn’t shine. There are external ways to stimulate this organ, but you’ll have to experiment, making communication key.

4. Explore different positions.
The prostate is best stimulated when a man is in a position that allows stimulation of the entire erogenous area.

5. Try a sex toy.
There are plenty of sexual enhancement products, including vibrators, which are designed specifically for prostate stimulation.

6. Know that prostate play isn’t for everyone.
A person’s discomfort with this type of sex play can override pleasures, neither of which does anybody any good. Some men, too, don’t enjoy prostate stimulation at all, while others really don’t think that much about it.

Britney Spears Makes a Comeback to X Factor After Four Years




Britney Spears will appear on the X Factor tonight for her first UK television performance for more than four years.

The pop singer will perform her current single Womanizer, while the five remaining finalists will each cover one of her songs.

Her appearance is part of a whistle-stop tour to promote the release of her sixth studio album, Circus, which is out in the UK next week.

Spears, who is 27 on Tuesday, recently announced two concerts in London next summer as part of her world tour. She is scheduled to play at the O2 Arena in London on June 3 and 4.

The new album and tour mark a comeback for the singer, who in recent years has hit the headlines for her turbulent private life.

In January this year police took her to a psychiatric hospital, fearing she would harm herself. Her parents said at the time that they believed her life was at risk.

A representative for Spears said she would only be performing on X Factor and would not coach the show's contestants, as previous guests have done.

Contestant Alexandra Burke, who will be singing Toxic, said: "When I was nine, Britney brought out Baby One More Time, and I loved her.

"I'm very excited about meeting her. This is the Britney we all know and love.

"I hope I can do my Britney song justice, with my own twist."

Eoghan Quigg will perform Sometimes, Ruth Lorenzo will sing I Love Rock 'n' Roll, Diana Vickers will sing I'm Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman and JLS will take on Baby One More Time.

The 16-year-old pop star and actress Miley Cyrus will also perform on the show.

Previous stars to have appeared on this year's X Factor include Take That, Mariah Carey and Girls Aloud.

10 Hurdles to Overcome When Approaching Women

Starting a conversation with an attractive woman can be a nerve-racking experience. In fact, many guys are so intimidated by attractive women that they avoid most females they don't know; in turn, missing opportunities to meet potential girlfriends every day.

The solution here is to overcome your "knee jerk" reaction to avoid attractive woman and learn to approach them with confidence.

Here are 10 tips to help you do it:

Approach her no matter what
If you approach, you win -- no matter what happens. Most guys are too focused and concerned about a conversation going well and walking away with a phone number. This is a big mistake. Look at it this way: As long as you open your mouth and say something -- anything at all -- you're doing what 95% of guys can only dream about. Congratulate yourself the instant you start the conversation -- after all, you're already a cut above the rest! Once you've made this initial verbal contact, relax and enjoy the chat with her.

Ignore your excuses
One of the best ways to move forward and start a conversation is to learn to ignore your own excuses: "She'll never go for me;" "She'll think I'm a slime-ball or a pervert;" "She's busy, I don't want to interrupt her.". All these excuses come from the desire to stay in your "comfort zone," and each one is complete BS. As soon as you notice these excuses in your head, stop thinking, go over to her and start talking. You'll be glad you did.

Screw up big time
Are you a perfectionist? If so, work on restraining your need to get things just right (at least when it comes to the female sex). When you expect to have perfect interactions with women, you put too much pressure on yourself, which makes it harder to get off your butt and take action. Even if you mess up, be happy with yourself for taking the initiative.

Focus on how you'll feel if you don't talk to her
One reason you hesitate to start talking to her is because it feels uncomfortable to take the leap. But the fact is, it's more uncomfortable not to. Think about it: If you approach her, you may be nervous at first, but before you know it, the conversation is over. And if you don't approach her, you'll wish you had, and you'll carry that regret with you for the rest of the day. Save yourself the agony and go talk to her.

Don't put undue pressure on yourself
When most guys see a woman they'd like to meet, they immediately view her as a potential date -- which creates all sorts of pressure. Instead, look at the next woman you meet as an opportunity to work on your "skills." This "mindset shift" helps you to be less attached to the outcome; in turn, making you more relaxed and more likely to start the conversation. Don't forget: You also improve the chances of it turning out to be a fun experience for everyone.

Use fear as your signal to approach
Learn to make fear your friend. Next time you're afraid to say something to a woman, realize that fear is a sign that you need to start the interaction. Using fear as a guide allows you to stretch your comfort zone, become a more confident guy and meet new women. Just get it done and you'll feel great!

Be courageous and you'll become confident
How would you define courage? Is it having no fear of doing "scary" stuff? Actually, the correct definition of courage is "the ability to take action in spite of fear." The courageous man isn't the one who doesn't feel fear -- it's the one who can push himself to take action even though he is feeling afraid. The next time you want to talk to a woman and you begin to feel that nervous energy rushing through your body, see it as an opportunity to have courage and channel your fear to make the conversation happen. Your self-confidence will get an instant boost, and you might just meet a great woman in the process.

Don't stereotype
Sure, every once in a while, a woman is going to act a little grouchy when you try to start a conversation with her. But don't forget, this is the exception, not the rule. Once you start approaching more women, you'll find that most are friendly as long as you don't act like a dumbass. So stop telling yourself that every woman will turn out to be snooty, because it's far from the truth.

Make the move
Do you want to know a simple yet effective trick to get unstuck? Stop trying to figure out what you're going to say and just begin moving in her direction. On the way over, you'll naturally notice something you can comment on and use that to start the conversation -- no matter how simple it may be. The key is to say something to get the ball rolling and let things progress from there.

Grab every opportunity to talk to women
Did you just miss a perfect opportunity to talk to a woman? No, you didn't -- it's never too late. Stop what you're doing, find her, and have the conversation you should have had earlier. You'll find it's no big deal and she'll be impressed that you went out on a limb to speak to her.
master your fear of picking up
Apply all 10 tips listed here, and you'll be on your way to seducing women. Be cocky, be funny and, soon enough, you'll get more dates then you have time for.

7 Ways Texting Can Ruin Your Date

For those of you who use text messaging as a form of communication with someone you're dating, whether you have a BlackBerry or an Apple iPhone, text messaging is the most abused and misinterpreted form of communication out there.

There are some things for which text messaging is great. It's great for confirming things ("See you tonight at 7:00 at Joe's Restaurant.") It's great as a good night kiss ("Did you get home safely?"). It's great to reconfirm things ("What time are we meeting on Sunday? Let me know.") It's great for when you want to lob in a quick message to someone when they can't talk on the phone ("Can't wait to see you tonight.")

Texting is all about short conversations, and can be useful and fun in the dating context. Texting used in certain other ways, however, gets ugly within the dating context -- and can really get you into trouble. Some of these uses should be avoided because they can cause unintended misunderstandings, while others are simply bad manners or outright rude! So, here are seven of the biggest misuses of texting that you should avoid in the dating context:

1. Save the Jokes. One drawback of texting (as with any written form of communication) is that it is sometimes difficult to convey the tone of what you write. Words are often misinterpreted. You can text somebody something that you think is a joke, and they don't read it that way. This will get you into trouble, because they may never call you back and give you the opportunity to straighten out the misunderstanding. So if you want to tell someone you're dating a joke, it's best to save it and tell it to them in person.

2. Texting is Not Intended to Cancel a Date. If you don't want to see somebody again, you need to call them and cancel the plans. “Texting is the chicken way to blow someone off, whether you ever intended to see them again or not.” Texting is the chicken way to blow someone off, whether you ever intended to see them again or not. Texting is not an excuse to be rude. Be a grown-up and pick up the phone.

3. Don't Ask Someone Out via Text Message. Women especially can't stand when a guy asks them out via text messaging. Every woman I've spoken to thinks that when a guy asks them out via text message, that he really is not that interested in them. They all wish a guy would just pick up the phone. Guys, if you're interested then be a man and just pick up the phone! Granted, some women will say yes to a text date, but they will always prefer if you call them.

4. Avoid the 'Morning After' Text. If you had a great date with someone the night before, don't text the person the minute you get up the next morning. Wait a few hours. Let the post-date recap settle down on both sides. Give someone a little time to think about you. There's no harm in waiting a few hours, especially after a first date. You don't want to look over-anxious.

5. Keep the Texting to a Minimum. Once you've texted back and forth a few times, and unless one of you is in a Turkish prison being tortured by a not-so-friendly cell mate, you need to pick up the phone and have a real conversation. You will not discover whether you share a true connection with someone by conversing with them via text message. Also, as two adults, you need to have an actual voice-to-voice conversation. So go ahead and exchange a few texts, but then get yourself on the phone!

6. You May Not Get an Answer. Just because you texted someone, doesn't mean they're going to respond. This is another issue with using text messaging as your main communication method -- especially in the dating context. You're texting back and forth with someone, then you send something to them and they don't respond. They may have gotten on the phone. They may have fallen asleep. They may have gone into a meeting. Because texting is so impersonal, though, you don't know what happened to them.

7. You Are Left Wondering. Let's say you texted someone on a Tuesday, they responded to your text, you texted them again and... now it's Friday and they still haven't texted back. What does someone do in that situation? They may not be keeping a text count like you are. They may have forgotten to text you back because they got on a long phone call or got caught up in some work, and your text may have gotten lost. Let me ask you a question? Do you answer every email that comes in... or does one sometimes get buried and go unanswered? If you haven't heard from someone in a few days, pick up the phone and call them. You never know what they're response is going to be. Most of the time you're going to be pleasantly surprised, but all of the time you're going to get your answer. That's what dating is all about... getting answers. Plus, you won't drive yourself and your friends crazy wondering.

There's a lot of misinterpretation that can happen via text messaging. Understanding all of the seven reasons above will help you navigate the fun side of texting in dating, while helping you avoid the bad side of texting in dating.

Texting is a great way have a little verbal flirting to stay connected in someone's life. It's not a replacement for a phone conversation. So if you're hoarding your cell phone minutes, I suggest you contact your provider and get some more minutes. Start having conversations again instead of hiding behind text messaging!


Susan Cheever's 'Desire: Where Sex Meets Addiction'


Susan Cheever is a sex addict. She wants you to know that she has had sex - a lot of sex - with all sorts of men. She has committed adultery. She has been up to hanky-panky in hotel rooms. She has made eyes at lawyers and book salesmen and the guys from the moving company.

Now that that's out of the way, let's talk about her new book, "Desire: Where Sex Meets Addiction." (A fine title, but an even greater name for a club in the meatpacking district.) In "Desire," Cheever explores the nature of sex addiction, interspersed with her own experiences, specifically her relationship with her long-term adulterous lover turned third husband, a rakish, hard-drinking journalist named Warren. The result floats somewhere between psychology essay and issue memoir ' "A straight look at some crooked feelings," Cheever calls it ' and is slim enough to fit nicely into a copy of Smithsonian, if you want to read it on the train without advertising your innocent interest in the horizontal mambo.

Not that anyone would care. When David Duchovny recently announced that he was entering in-patient rehab for sex addiction, the whole world shrugged knowingly. We love sex ' within certain boundaries. "We are," Cheever writes, "a nation of puritanical love junkies." We are also a nation of addicts: shoe addicts, chocolate addicts, Sunday crossword addicts. The word "addict" is so overused that sex addicts have a hard time getting taken seriously, much less getting sympathy. Cheever aims to fix this.

The book ' like a manual on crabgrass control ' is divided into three parts, "What is it?" "What causes it?" and "What can we do about it?" The definition of sex addiction is tricky to pin down. What separates the addict from what Cheever terms the "passionate amateur"? It all comes down to how you feel in the morning. "Addiction," Cheever writes, "is alwaysa broken promise, whether it's a promise made to oneself or to another person." If you promise yourself you won't do it ' won't drink, won't have sex with the doorman ' and you do it anyway, it might be time to start going to 12-step meetings.

Why pursue carnal relations with the wrong people again and again? It can't all be blamed on Axe body spray. Cheever ticks off some theories ' childhood trauma, genetics, society, underlying psychological conditions, longevity. That last one is my favorite. Staying true to the missis was easier when you were dead before the seven-year-itch could hit. In the end, Cheever settles on "all of the above" ' or maybe, more accurately, a little of each.

Chastity belts, while effective, are bulky under clothing. So what is a sex addict to do? Cheever suggests we all stop giggling (and making jokes about chastity belts) and redefine how we look at addiction. "So the high­schooler smokes dope and steals from his parents' liquor cabinet," she writes, "while the businessman rents videos and hires prostitutes on trips to faraway cities, and the college freshman buys bags of groceries, eats them and vomits in the communal bathroom. Isn't this all really the same thing?"

The moral equivalency of smoking dope and cheating on your spouse is sketchy. Cheating hurts a loved one. Smoking dope makes the Grateful Dead sound better. Whatever. The argument Cheever's making is that if you scratch an overeater, you'll find a shopoholic, and so on. What makes sex addiction different, she suggests, is that "addiction to other people ' especially addiction to sex partners ' is the only addiction that is applauded and embraced."

Cheever began mulling over sex addiction when she was working on "My Name Is Bill," her biography of Bill Wilson, the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. Wilson, married for 53 years, liked to engage in the forbidden dance with women who were not his wife. Cheever, the author of a memoir about her own drinking problem, got to wondering if Wilson might just have replaced one addiction with another. Then she took a long hard look in the mirror.

Susan Cheever created a stir when she revealed the bisexuality of her father, John Cheever, in her memoir "Home Before Dark." In "Desire" she goes further, describing him as gay. You could say that her childhood was full of privilege and adventure. Or, she writes, you could say "that my parents were miserable partly because my father was a closeted gay alcoholic and that he sometimes took it out on me. Both are true." Her father hid his sexuality. She couldn't keep a leash on hers. If Cheever sees a connection, she doesn't mention it.

But that's in keeping with the book's approach. "Desire" asks considerably more questions than it answers. It's a conversation starter - like telling strangers you slept with your dying mother's oncologist or left your daughter's hospital room for an adulterous romp. True to this confessional bent, as well as Cheever's sly sense of humor, the book is dedicated "To whom it may concern." Her children, according to the acknowledgments, suggested an alternative: "To my children, who died of embarrassment."

Get A Copy of Desire Where Sex Meets Addiction By Susan Cheever. 172 pages. Simon & Schuster.

One on One With Angelina Jolie on The Changeling

Angelina Jolie may be playing an anguished mother in her latest film The Changeling, but in this exclusive interview, she explains why she's never been happier.

Angelina Jolie is in a buoyant mood as she sweeps into New York for the premiere of her new film The Changeling, directed by Clint Eastwood.

"This is such a beautiful time for me," the elegant, green-eyed actor says.

"When I look back on my life, I never really believed that I would find this kind of happiness on so many different levels.

"I think I trained myself to expect less, but meeting Brad and being with him has shown me that sometimes it just takes the right circumstances for you to meet a good man who enjoys being with you and working towards the same goals in life. Brad has always been there for me."

A year after her appearance in the harrowing A Mighty Heart, Jolie delivers another remarkable performance in The Changeling, a searing drama based on the true story of a child's disappearance in 1928 and his mother's struggle to discover the truth.

Jolie plays Christine Collins, a telephone company supervisor who refuses to be pressured by corrupt Los Angeles police into going along with a scheme wherein her missing son is "returned" to her.

Unfortunately, the child is not her real son but a substitute paraded in front of the press by a police force desperate to curry public favour.

The 33-year-old Jolie has not only managed to sustain her work for UNICEF amid her film career; she is now the proud mother of six children, three adopted (Maddox, Pax and Zahara), and three fathered by Brad Pitt (Shiloh and twins Vivienne and Knox).

You look great. How did you get back in shape so quickly after giving birth to the twins?

I have six kids and I'm breast-feeding!

As a mother, how hard was it for you to play a woman whose worst nightmare is realised when her son goes missing in The Changeling?

It was difficult because the idea of one's son being kidnapped is one of the worst things any parent can imagine. The loss of a child and not knowing where they are or what is happening to them is probably the absolute worst thing in the world. As a mother, it was harder for me imagining that somebody was abusing my child while they were wondering why mummy wasn't coming to save them.

What made it particularly troubling for me to put myself into this woman's head was my own relationship with my son Maddox. I just couldn't shake the thought of him through the whole film.

Why Maddox particularly?

Because Maddox is my eldest and also because he says things that are similar to what the boy in the film says.

I also talk to Maddox the same way I talk to the little boy. So when Brad and I saw the movie we noticed strange similarities, especially when the boy says: "Am I too heavy?" Mad says that all the time. And I tell him: "Oh, never! But one day you're going to carry me!"

How are you handling being a working mother?

I have a big, wonderful family and I get to travel and be creative with my films and that's tremendously rewarding and satisfying.

I've always loved being an actor and the ability to tell stories and express emotions and making a connection with audiences.

The publicity that comes with that is a reality of the business and it's only the paparazzi that is really a bother sometimes when Brad and I are with our children.

How do you stay so positive?

By doing the things which are important and meaningful to you and not worrying about the rest. How can I complain about anything when I wake up in the morning and I'm surrounded by so much love with Brad and our children and the feeling that comes from sharing my life with them?
Does having twins make things a little more complicated now?

It's a little more stressful in terms of your time because you have two very tiny babies wanting your attention. But it's also so beautiful to be part of that.

Once you have three or four children, having a few more isn't going to alter your lifestyle that much.

Brad and I have found a way to organize our time with the children and so we stick to that. It's also a fascinating new experience for me to have twins and look after them and have the other children seem so curious about them.

A family is a social unit in its own way and watching the children interact is part of your role as a mother.

Has Brad seemed particularly taken with the twins?

He's just so happy and having twins is something neither of us ever expected and I think that makes it all the more special for us both. When I see how much love is in Brad's eyes for the twins and for all our children -- it's a very moving experience for me. I never wanted to become pregnant and have children that way unless I had come to know Brad and see how loving he was with Maddox and Pax. So that was a big step for me.

How will you integrate the twins into the life of your family?

It's a matter of indulging the curiosity of the other children and making them feel part of the whole process. Things like helping prepare bottles or changing diapers or doing little things that help me. It all works. Kids are great at adapting.

What about teaching your kids about religion and culture?

I want to teach them about all religions, and I'm trying to find a way to do that. And when it comes to the subject of adoption, like when my daughter, who's African, wants her hair to look straight like mummy's . . . and I look for a Barbie that's African, and the African Barbie has straight hair! And you know, why has Disney never made a film with an African-American princess?

Women Manual: Top 10 Tips to Charm a Woman

David Wygant
How can you charm a woman? Do they like a daily check-in phone call? Does she secretly wish you'd text her in the middle of the day for no reason but to make her smile? Do they prefer expensive dinners to home-cooked meals? Rock-hard abs? Flowers for no reason?
Identifying women's turn-ons is complicated, because they all react differently. Some women you wish came with owner's manuals so you knew exactly how they were wired. Luckily, I've done most of the legwork for you and am happy to pass this knowledge on to you.

1. Be aware. This means cracking open more than the sports section on the daily paper. Be up on current events and learn the difference between feelings, emotions and thoughts. Women are emotional beings and tend to think things through. They are attracted to men who are as smart or smarter than them, and your knowledge of worldly matters will demonstrate your intelligence.

2. Demonstrate humor. Women love a man who can make them laugh. Now don't fret here if you're not a stand-up comedian. We all have a certain type of humor. You can be dry, sarcastic, hilariously funny, quick-witted or dark. Being able to poke fun at yourself and just plain old being goofy is a turn-on for women. Keep in mind that all women are not attracted to the same type of humor, so if you don't vibe, just walk away and try someone else.

3. Have passion. A guy who lives his life with gusto is incredibly appealing. When you speak to a woman about your life, your travels, your job, your interests, speak with passion. That passion about who you are will turn her on instantly. She will start to imagine what it will be like when you are involved with her and how passionate you will speak about her.

4. Be considerate. Pay attention to the little things and look for opportunities to make small gestures that show you care. A simple "How was your day?" and being able to listen to her when she wants to discuss something are huge. So many men forget about simple things like holding the door, paying for her valet or just thanking her for a great time last night. Women are all about a guy with manners -- she is not attracted to the dope who acts like a caveman.

5. Be honest. Share who you are by telling her something personal. Maybe share one of your favorite childhood memories or some personal growth that you have been going through. Something that will show her that you are a trusting and honest person. It also shows that you are a confident but vulnerable man. Women love to see the vulnerable side of you. Note: Don't talk about an ex in a bad way here. If you have to talk about an ex, do so in a positive manner and share what you learned and how you grew from the relationship.

6. Be flexibile. Be open to her plans but surprise her with your flexibility. Take charge and surprise her with a fun night out. Instead of being the typical guy who makes a reservation, think about how you can be the guy who listens to her and plans a great date that she did not expect. If you can pull this off, she will be open to all sorts of advances from you.

7. Be positive. If you are positive about life, it shows in your actions. I always tell men to be extra nice to waiters, bartenders and other service people. Be a courteous driver when she's in the car. When you are in line at the movies, don't complain. Look for the humor and try to have fun with people all around you. Be positive about everything, and she will find you to be very sexy and alluring. No one wants to be with a negative hothead.

8. Be balanced. Women love a successful, ambitious man. They love that you work hard, but if you constantly put work ahead of her she will become turned off. She will start to imagine what life with you will be like with her needs being ignored. If you are out meeting women to date, you need to balance your life between work and play. This will be a major turn-on for her.

9. Have ambition. Men who are ambitious about what they do are a turn-on to women. It doesn't matter if you choose to be a rich stock trader or a painter, as long as you are passionate about who you are and what you do. If you don't love what you do, find something that really turns you on. You can't attract the woman you want with a negative ambition. Women love a man who is the best at what he does.

10. Be attentive. You are out with her for the very first time, and she tells you she loves a certain type of music. On the next date take her to a lounge that plays that type of music. It is all about paying attention to the details and working on your listening skills.

This list of 10 things will work in most cases. Keep in mind there is always the woman who you just can't seem to please. If you happen to cross paths with this type of woman, ask yourself, "Why would I want to be with a woman who is so difficult?"
I tend to avoid the difficult, judgmental women. Knowing women's turn-ons and putting them into practice will help you identify women who may be relationship material. You need to realize that you want to attract and turn on the women that are attracted to you on an equal level!

Women Oppression: Acid attack on Afghan Schoolgirls

A woman’s role in Islamic society is to stay at home and to be at the back of a man and to obey him (Hurley p.87). The Sharia laws make this role not only a possibility but also a rule of life in Afghanistan. Women are considered "lower" than men for many reasons. One justification for the low value of the woman is that Eve was made from Adam’s rib. Eve also caused them to be kicked out of the holy gardens because she ate some of the forbidden fruit. This is according to the first book of the Old Testament, Genesis, in the Bible, which is considered a semi-holy book in Islam (Hurley p.88).

Did you these phrases? "be at the back of a man," "to obey him," "a rule of life," "lower than men" and "low value of the woman."
A community with people who have a hign regard for such beliefs will definitely have NO REGARD FOR WOMEN. For reasons like this we would not be suprice about women or girls been attacked with acid as shown below.







Hurley, Jennifer A., Islam: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diago, Greenhaven Press, Inc., 2001

South African Music Legend Miriam Makeba Dies at 76 in Italy


CELEAN JACOBSON
Miriam Makeba, the South African singer who wooed the world with her sultry voice but was banned from her own country for more than 30 years under apartheid, died after collapsing on stage in Italy. She was 76.

In her dazzling career, Makeba performed with musical legends from around the world — jazz maestros Nina Simone and Dizzy Gillespie, Harry Belafonte, Paul Simon — and sang for world leaders such as John F. Kennedy and Nelson Mandela.

"Her haunting melodies gave voice to the pain of exile and dislocation which she felt for 31 long years. At the same time, her music inspired a powerful sense of hope in all of us," Mandela said in a statement.

He said it was "fitting" that her last moments were spent on stage.

The Pineta Grande clinic in Castel Volturno, near the southern city of Naples, said Makeba died early Monday of a heart attack.

Makeba collapsed on stage Sunday night after singing one of her most famous hits "Pata Pata," her family said in a statement. Her grandson, Nelson Lumumba Lee, was with her as well as her longtime friend, Italian promoter Roberto Meglioli.

"Whilst this great lady was alive she would say: 'I will sing until the last day of my life'," the statement said.

Castel Volturno Mayor Francesco Nuzzo said Makeba sang at a concert in solidarity with six immigrants from Ghana who were shot to death in September in the town, an attack that investigators have blamed on organized crime.

The death of "Mama Africa," as she was known, plunged South Africa into shock and mourning.

"One of the greatest songstresses of our time has ceased to sing," Foreign Affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said in a statement.

"Throughout her life, Mama Makeba communicated a positive message to the world about the struggle of the people of South Africa and the certainty of victory over the dark forces of apartheid and colonialism through the art of song."

Makeba wrote in her 1987 memoirs that friends and relatives who first encouraged her to perform compared her voice to that of a nightingale. With her distinctive style combining jazz with folk with South African township rhythms, she was often called "The Empress of African Song."

The first African woman to win a Grammy award, Makeba started singing in Sophiatown, a cosmopolitan neighborhood of Johannesburg that was a cultural hotspot in the 1950s before its black residents were forcibly removed by the apartheid government.

She then teamed up with South African jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela — later her first husband — and her rise to international prominence started when she starred in the anti-apartheid documentary "Come Back, Africa" in 1959.

When she tried to fly home for her mother's funeral the following year, she discovered her passport had been revoked. It was 30 years before she was allowed to return.

In 1963, Makeba appeared before the U.N. Special Committee on Apartheid to call for an international boycott of South Africa. The South African government responded by banning her records, including hits like "Pata Pata," "The Click Song" ("Qongqothwane" in Xhosa), and "Malaika."

Makeba received the Grammy Award for Best Folk Recording in 1966 together with Belafonte for "An Evening With Belafonte/Makeba." The album dealt with the political plight of black South Africans under apartheid.

Thanks to her close relationship with Belafonte, she received star status in the United States and performed for President Kennedy at his birthday party in 1962. But she fell briefly out of favor when she married black power activist Stokely Carmichael — later known as Kwame Ture — and moved to Guinea in the late 1960s.

Besides working with Simone and Gillespie, she also appeared with Paul Simon at his "Graceland" concert in Zimbabwe in 1987.

After three decades abroad, Makeba was invited back to South Africa by Mandela, the anti-apartheid icon, shortly after his release from prison in 1990 as white racist rule crumbled.

"It was like a revival," she said about going home. "My music having been banned for so long, that people still felt the same way about me was too much for me. I just went home and I cried."

Makeba courted controversy by lending support to dictators such as Togo's Gnassingbe Eyadema and Felix Houphouet-Boigny from Ivory Coast, performing at political campaigns for the veteran leaders even as they were violently suppressing the movements for democracy that swept West Africa in the early 90s.

The first person to give her refuge was Guinea's former President Ahmed Sekou Toure who was accused in the slaughtering of 10 percent of the population.

Makeba, though, insisted that her songs were not deliberately political.

"I'm not a political singer," she insisted in an interview with Britain's Guardian newspaper earlier this year. "I don't know what the word means. People think I consciously decided to tell the world what was happening in South Africa. No! I was singing about my life, and in South Africa we always sang about what was happening to us — especially the things that hurt us."

Makeba announced her retirement three years ago, but despite a series of farewell concerts she never stopped performing. When she turned 75 last year, she said she would sing for as long as possible.

Makeba is survived by her grandchildren, Nelson Lumumba Lee and Zenzi Monique Lee, and her great-grandchildren Lindelani, Ayanda and Kwame.

Sarah Palin Sorry For Any Vote She made McCain to Loose.


Sarah Palin said today she was sorry if she ‘cost John McCain even one vote’ and that it was giving her too much credit to blame her for the Republican defeat.

Mrs Palin, blamed the economic crisis which engulfed the country for the loss.

In an interview with CNN today, the Alaska governor, who went from being hailed as a bold “breath of fresh air” to being ridiculed on the national stage, denied the McCain-Palin campaign had descended into nasty in-fighting.

“I don’t think anybody should give Sarah Palin that much credit, that I would trump an economic, woeful time in this nation, that occurred about two months ago, that my presence on the ticket would trump the economic crisis that America found itself in and attribute John McCain’s loss to me,” she said.

“But having said that, if I cost John McCain even one vote, I am sorry about that because John McCain is, I believe, the American hero.

“I believe he would have been the best pick, but he is not the Americans’ choice at this time.”

Sarah Palin's selection as John McCain's running mate redefined how vice-presidential candidates influence a campaign. Unfortunately for McCain, the Alaska governor hurt his presidential bid more than she helped.

Palin had been unfamiliar to most Americans, aside from some conservative writers and bloggers, who had admired her since she upended Alaska's Republican establishment by knocking off incumbent Gov. Frank Murkowski in 2006.

That all changed on August 29 -- the morning after Sen. Barack Obama's acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention -- when Palin was introduced by McCain.

It wasn't just reporters who were stunned. Even McCain staffers at the event itself were shocked. Many assumed McCain would tap a GOP heavyweight like Mitt Romney or Tim Pawlenty. The most daring option, many thought, would be Joe Lieberman, a former Democrat.

But Palin's debut instantly energized the Republican base, which had long been cool to McCain, and the GOP ticket surged in the polls.

McCain took a shine to Palin's anti-establishment streak and her familiarity with energy issues. His advisers believed her "average hockey mom" persona would attract women. The party grass roots admired her devotion to family and her conservative positions on social issues. Video Watch Palin as McCain concedes the election »

But because the Alaska governor was largely unknown, her record and background were immediately under scrutiny. Journalists descended on her hometown of Wasilla to examine her record as mayor and governor, though Palin was still sheltered from questioners.

The craving for knowledge spread outside the media and paid huge dividends at the Republican National Convention, when Palin took the biggest stage of her life and assuredly presented herself as both a small-town mother of five and a pit bull who could smile her way through a sharp political attack. The speech garnered mammoth television ratings and rave reviews.

McCain came out of the convention with a healthy bounce -- leading Obama by a 10-point margin. Palin's ratings were also riding high, with nearly 50 percent of Americans viewing her in a positive light. She got bigger crowds than McCain, an unusual phenomenon that underscored her newfound political clout.

But a series of missteps began to harm her image and McCain's standing.

Palin was still kept away from the media, even friendly conservative talk radio shows, in a strategy that campaign aides later acknowledged was flawed. Advisers chose to grant interviews only to two networks. When Palin stumbled over foreign policy questions, she undercut the foundation of McCain's experience argument. Her sometimes-rambling answers in the highly-scrutinized appearances formed the basis for Tina Fey's "Saturday Night Live" caricature.

Palin held her own on economic and energy issues in the first half of her debate with Joe Biden -- the highest rated of the presidential and vice-presidential debates. But when questioning turned to national security, she seemed to resort to talking points.

Back on the stump, Palin began to attack Obama, accusing him of "palling around with terrorists," being a socialist and not as patriotic as herself and McCain.

Her offensives were often scattershot, appearing at one rally and disappearing at the next. And while Republicans enjoyed the aggression, Democrats and independents were turned off.

Over a month, poll numbers shifted and Palin became more of a polarizing figure. Liberals called her the most divisive politician since Richard Nixon or George Wallace, and some former Hillary Clinton supporters said McCain's selection of Palin was a cynical gambit that wouldn't help him sway female voters.

Palin kept up her rigorous campaign schedule but the problems continued.

A long-running ethics investigation in Alaska determined she abused her power in firing the state's public safety commissioner, though she broke no laws.

News broke that the Republican National Committee had spent $150,000 on her wardrobe, angering her and prompting her to deviate from the campaign's game plan.

Aides insisted Palin wanted to speak to reporters but had been reined in. That changed in mid-October when she ditched her staff and launched an impromptu press conference in which she criticized the use of robocalls, even as they were being used for her boss.

Later she ad-libbed a diatribe on the wardrobe fiasco, stressing a preference for consignment-store clothing and flashing her $35 wedding ring.

McCain aides refused to go on the record about it, but they groused anonymously that Palin was "going rogue," that she was a "diva" and "difficult" to work with.

In the final two weeks, Palin was at last given a chance to make in-depth speeches on substantive issues like energy and special-needs children.

But the tide had long turned. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll in October showed she had become a bigger drag on McCain than President Bush, with voters citing her qualifications as their primary concern.

A CNN poll released last weekend showed Palin's unfavorable ratings were twice as high as when McCain picked her, and 57 percent of Americans believed she didn't have the personal qualities a president needed.

As for the future, the poll indicated that only four in 10 voters would support Palin if she chooses to run for president in 2012. But Palin's fortunes have changed before.

Amy Winehouse's Drug Suppliers Jailed


Justify FullThe British couple who supplied singer Amy Winehouse with drugs have pleaded guilty and could face jail.

The news comes as Winehouse checked out of hospital after a brief stay, E! online reported.

Johnny Blagrove, 34, and Cara Burton, 22, confessed to supplying cocaine and Ecstasy to the 25-year-old Grammy winner and then secretly filming her getting high and selling the footage to The Sun.

The newspaper published images of the Rehab star's binge in January.

The video sparked a police raid on the pair's east London home.

There, investigators turned up a purported "hit list" of stars, including Winehouse, whom they regularly supplied.

Authorities did not press charges against Winehouse.

Blagrove pleaded guilty to two counts of offering to supply Class A drugs, specifically cocaine and MDMA, and one count of offering to supply Class B, while Burton copped to two counts of offering to supply Class B drugs. Prosecutors dropped an additional charge each of conspiracy.

The twosome face unspecified jail time.

A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for November 28.

Winehouse's spokeswoman Tracey Miller told E! News the singer was home from a London hospital where she was being treated since last weekend for a chest infection.

"All has been completed and she is fine," said Miller.

Paris Hilton Stole Benji Madden from Sophie Monk


Paris Hilton has revealed that she and boyfriend Benji Madden fell for each other before his split from his Australian fiancee Sophie Monk.

The Hollywood heiress made the surprise admission during an exclusive interview with The Sunday Telegraph yesterday in Los Angeles.

Hilton, 27, said she and the Good Charlotte rocker fell in love shortly after the January 11 birth of Harlow Richie-Madden, the daughter of her best friend Nicole Richie and Madden's twin brother Joel.

"Ever since Harlow was born I was over playing with her and visiting Nicole and Joel - and we just fell in love right away,'' Hilton said yesterday.

"We've been friends for seven years and he said he always had a big crush on me and when I finally became single it was great that we got together - it was the best.''

Hilton revealed that the couple had been together for "like 8 months'', meaning from mid-February.
Monk's publicist announced on February 12 that she and Madden had split after being engaged for 13 months.

When asked if she was a factor in Madden ending the relationship with Monk, Hilton just giggled.

Asked how she felt about Monk, who parodied Hilton in the 2006 spoof comedy Date Movie, Hilton smiled widely.

"I never met her and I don't know her, so I have no opinion,'' she said.

"I wish her the best.''

Hilton also said she signed a lucrative contract two days ago to host a New Year party in Sydney, with Madden set to DJ at the exclusive event.

Jennifer Hudson to hold a Private Memorial on Monday for Relatives


Jennifer Hudson will hold a private memorial service next week for her slain mother, brother and nephew.

The invitation-only funeral will be held Monday on the South Side.

The arrangements are being handled by Hudson Funeral Home, whose owners are related to the actress.

The service comes as US Weekly has published a story claiming a friend of Jennifer said he tried to warn the family about William Balfour, who is currently the main "person of interest" in the shootings of the Hudson family.

William Balfour, a.k.a. "Flex" - who's divorced from Hudson's sister, Julia, a bus driver - got into a huge fight with Julia, Darnell and Jason about a month ago, a neighbor says. James Peyton, Hudson's ex-fiance, was also present, reports thehollywoodgossip.com

The family on Friday is expected to announce plans for a public memorial, according to the funeral home. The second service would allow fans to mourn the deaths of the Oscar-winner's mother, Darnell Donerson, brother, Jason Hudson, and nephew Julian King.

Like Jennifer Hudson, Julian's father has shunned the spotlight since the Oct. 24 slayings. Greg King's only public appearance came last weekend when he stood beside the boy's mother, Julia Hudson, as she tearfully pleaded for the 7-year-old's safe return.

Julian's paternal great-grandfather, Robey Williams, 80, said he's grateful to the Hudson family for holding a private service. He has been haunted by thoughts of the boy's final moments and says doesn't want a national audience to witness his grief.

"I don't know what I'll do when I see his casket," he said. "I cry when I think about it now. I don't know what I'll do in the church."

Police consider Julia Hudson's estranged husband, William Balfour, the primary suspect in the case, but have not charged him with the slayings. He remains in an Illinois prison on a parole violation.

Authorities found a gun Wednesday matching the caliber of weapon used in the killings. Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis confirmed Thursday that the weapon recovered was a .45-caliber Sig Sauer semiautomatic handgun, but declined to comment on anything police may have learned from tests being done on the weapon.

Community leaders held a vigil outside the Hudson home on Thursday and called on law enforcement to solve the high-profile case.

"We need answers," said John Paul Jones of the Greater Englewood Community and Family Task Force. "The world is watching."

Niger, West Africa - Where Slavery is still practiced


Sold into slavery at the age of 12, Hadijatou Mani says she was forced to labour for her master and his family for 10 years.

She quickly became one of several sexual slaves, or "sadakas" and was made to bear her master's children. She was subjected to regular beatings.

Now the former slave from Niger has won a landmark case against her government, which a regional West African court found had failed to protect her.

The court has ordered the government to pay her 10m CFA francs (£12,430; $19,750) in compensation.

"I will be able to build a house, raise animals and farm land to support my family. I will also be able to send my children to school so they can have the education I was never allowed as a slave," Ms Mani said afterwards.

The ruling could have broad implications for countries nearby where slavery is still practised, including Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Mali, according to observers.

Human rights organisations say more than 40,000 people are still in slavery in Niger, though the government says this figure is exaggerated.

Most live in conditions little changed over centuries, forced to look after animals or domestic work such as cooking and cleaning without pay.

Born into an established slave caste, they inherit a status from their mothers that it is almost impossible to shake off.

Romana Cacchioli, Africa Programme Coordinator for Anti-Slavery International, says this form of slavery began centuries ago when North African Berbers and Arabs raided the settlements of black Africans to the south and enslaved them.

Bigamy

Hadijatou Mani's case was different - she was sold by her Berber, Tuareg family to a master from the Hausa community.

She says he bought her for the equivalent of about $500 (£315).

"My master has four wives. We, the slaves, were doing all the housework like cooking, fetching water and firewood and working on farms," she told the BBC.

"I was beaten so many times I would run to my family. Then, after a day or two, I would be brought back."

But one day she heard that Niger had banned slavery, a decision that was announced in 2003.

"One of the anti-slavery activists from the Timidria association went to see the local chief who summoned my master.

"He was told that slavery had now been abolished, that he had to free his seven slaves, but he denied having seven slaves - he said he had only three, including myself.

"They told him if he loved us and we agreed, he could marry us. Otherwise he should just let us go. When he came back home he didn't tell us what happened, he just took us to another location so that we could not hear the news.

"After a while we came back, and that was when I heard that slavery no longer exists. I decided not to go back to my master but he kept going to the court saying that I am his wife."

In 2005, her master freed her and gave her a "liberation certificate", reports Anti-Slavery International, which helped her bring the case.

But when she left him and tried to marry another man, her "master" said they were married.

A local court found in favour of Ms Mani and she went ahead with her new wedding.

But this was then overturned on appeal and she was sentenced to six months in prison for bigamy.

She took her case to the Court of Justice of the West African regional body Ecowas earlier this year.

Ms Mani accused the government of Niger of failing to protect her from slavery, which was criminalised five years ago.

"I was wrongly jailed, not because of anything I did but because of slavery, and today there is no more slavery so I wanted the court to vindicate me, to give my rights which I was denied some four years ago, to compensate me," she said.

'Charm-offensive'

Ilguilas Weila, head of the local human rights group Timidria, said the situation in Niger had barely changed since the country announced that it was banning slavery.

"There has been a lack of political will," he said. "The law was only passed for Westerners. It was a charm-offensive aimed at those who were asking why slavery had not been made illegal."

Slaves are kept in humiliating and degrading conditions, he said. They can be beaten, sold, or given away as wedding presents.

"They wake up before their masters, and they are the last to go to sleep. During the day, the men look after the animals, the women collect water feed the family and gather wood."

"Almost the whole of the slave's day is spent working for their master."

Mr Weila said his group had estimated that in 2002 about 8% of the population in six of Niger's eight regions were living in slavery.

Ms Cacchioli says Anti-Slavery International has helped free about 80 women in Niger over the past five years.

She says that leaving their master is more difficult for women, as this also means abandoning any children she has had with him.

And the deeply-rooted practice has persisted in some neighbouring countries.

Ms Cacchioli says there are no reliable figures for the number of slaves in Mali.

Mauritania has also officially abolished slavery, but Anti-Slavery International says 18% of the population are estimated to be slaves.

The government there strongly disputes these figures.

Officials and some ordinary Mauritanians argue that it is difficult to define who is a slave - few records are kept, unlike during the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

They point out that abolishing slavery - and its scars - is not straightforward.

The practise is most widespread in remote, rural areas. Few have been to school and so they not be aware that slavery has been abolished.

And if they do manage to leave their masters, without training and land, they could just add to the ranks of the unemployed in the cities.

Jennifer Hudson's Mother and Brother Shot Dead and Nephew Missing



A Fatal shoot out left the mother and brother of Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Hudson dead in the mother's Chicago home - about five miles from the home of the presidential candidate Barack Obama.

The police said that a seven-year-old boy, named Julian King who is possibly the nephew of Hudson, was possibly abducted from the scene and may be in the company of William Balfour, a suspect in the double homicide investigation.

Police spokeswoman Monique Bond said the deaths appeared to be the result of a domestic incident.

Deputy Chief Joseph Patterson told reporters that a family member entered the home around 3pm today and found a woman fatally shot on the living room floor. That person left the house to notify police.

When Chicago police searched the house, they found a man fatally shot in the bedroom, Patterson said. There was no sign of forced entry.

Authorities were looking for a 1994 white Chevrolet missing from the area around the home with seven-year-old Julian King inside, Bond said. The child was the grandson of the female victim, Patterson said, and Bond added the boy could also be a relative of Hudson.

Public listings show a Jennifer Hudson and Darnell Donerson at the address. Hudson grew up in Chicago and her mother's name is Darnell Donerson.

A publicist for Hudson at her record label said she was not aware of any incident involving Hudson's mother.

She did not immediately return subsequent calls and an email seeking additional information.

An email sent to Hudson's personal publicist was not immediately returned.

The Cook County medical examiner's office could not immediately identify the victims.

Police tape blocked access to the large, white house, where a crowd gathered outside.

The tragedy comes as Hudson continues to reach new heights in her career.

Her song Spotlight is No 1 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop charts and her recently released, self-tiled album debut and has been a top seller.

She is also starring in hit movie The Secret Life of Bees and won an Academy Award for best supporting actress in 2007 for her role in Dreamgirls.

In an interview last year with Vogue, Hudson credited her mother with talking her into auditioning for American Idol, which launched her career in 2004.

The singer, whose father died when she was a teenager, described herself as very close to her family.

In a recent interview she said her family, which includes older siblings Julia and Jason, helped keep her grounded.

"My faith in God and my family, they're very realistic and very normal, they're not into the whole limelight kind of thing, so when I go home to Chicago that's just another place that's home," she said.

"I stand in line with everybody else, or, when I go home to my mum I'm just Jennifer."

Does Asha Mandela have the World's Longest Dreadlocks?


Asha Mandela, 46, said she started letting her hair grow 20 years ago. Today, it measures 8-feet, 9-inches long. She's submitted her hair's length to the Guinness Book of World Records in hopes of being the first entry in a new category of World's Longest Dreadlocks.

Her dreadlocks, which she started growing 20 years ago, are longer than she is tall. She cradles her locks in her arms like a baby. She wraps them around her neck like a scarf. She lets them hang down her back and trail behind her like a bridal veil.

Mandela said says she "used to wash it three times a week. Now I do it once a week. It's very tiring. Sometimes I don't have the energy."

It takes one bottle of shampoo and one bottle of conditioner every time she washes her hair and can sometimes take days to fully dry after she washes it.

Asha Mandela, 46, believes she has the longest dreadlocks (like those pictured here) in the world. Measuring 8'9", she's submitted her name to the Guinness Book of World Records to be the first entry in a new category of World's Longest Dreadlocks.

Beyonce changes her name to Sasha Fierce


Music World Music/Columbia Records is releasing I Am… Sasha Fierce, the new full-length double album from international superstar and cultural icon Beyoncé on Tuesday, November 18.

"The new record is a double album and has two covers, like a magazine would have two covers," Beyoncé revealed. "One of the covers is named I Am… and the second cover is named Sasha Fierce. That is my alter ego and now she has a last name.”

One of 2008's most hotly anticipated new album releases, Beyoncé's new album is the artist's first new studio collection since the Grammy-winning multi-platinum-selling B'Day debuted at #1 on charts around the world shortly after its international release on September 4, 2006 (in celebration of Beyoncé's 25th birthday).

Beyoncé's fans got their first taste of the two sides of I Am… Sasha Fierce with the simultaneous release in early October of "If I Were A Boy" (from I Am…) and "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)" (from Sasha Fierce).

The R&B singer has christened herself "Sasha Fierce" for her new double album, "I Am ... Sasha Fierce," due in U.S. stores on November 18, and has released a lengthy justification for the comical moniker.

"I have someone else that takes over when it's time for me to work and when I'm on stage, this alter ego that I've created that kind of protects me and who I really am," the former Destiny's Child frontwoman said in a statement.

"Sasha Fierce is the fun, more sensual, more aggressive, more outspoken side and more glamorous side that comes out when I'm working and when I'm on the stage."

Sarah Palin's $150,000 Spending on Clothing and Make-up


Since her selection as John McCain's running mate, the Republican National Committee spent more than $150,000 on clothing and make-up for Gov. Sarah Palin, her husband, and even her infant son, it was reported on Tuesday evening.

That entertaining scoop -- which came by way of Politico -- sent almost immediate reverberations through the presidential race. A statement from McCain headquarters released hours after the article bemoaned the triviality of the whole affair.

"With all of the important issues facing the country right now, it's remarkable that we're spending time talking about pantsuits and blouses," said spokesperson Tracey Schmitt. "It was always the intent that the clothing go to a charitable purpose after the campaign."

But even the most timid of Democrats are unlikely to heed this call for civility. For starters, the story has the potential to dampen enthusiasm among GOP activists and donors at a critical point in the presidential race. It also creates a huge PR headache for the McCain ticket as it seeks to make inroads among voters worried about the current economic crisis.

Mainly, however, Democrats (in this scenario) are not prone to forgiveness. After all, it was during this same campaign cycle that Republicans belittled the $400 haircut that former Sen. John Edwards had paid for with his own campaign money (the funds were later reimbursed). And yet, the comparison to that once-dominant news story is hardly close: if Edwards had gotten one of his legendary haircuts every singe week, it would still take him 7.2 years to spend what Palin has spent. Palin has received the equivalent of $2,500 in clothes per day from places such as Saks Fifth Avenue (where RNC expenditures totaled nearly $50,000) and Neiman Marcus (where the governor had a $75,000 spree).

Beyond the political tit-for-tat, however, the revelation of the clothing expenditures offers what some Democrats see as a chance not just to win several news cycles during the campaign's waning days but to severely damage Palin's image as a small-town, 'Joe Six-Pack' American.

"It shows that Palin ain't like the rest of us," Tom Matzzie, a Democratic strategist told the Huffington Post, when asked how the party would or could use the issue. "It can help deflate her cultural populism with the Republican base. The Plumber's wife doesn't go to Nieman's or Saks."

Indeed, the story could not come at a more inopportune time for the McCain campaign. During a week in which the Republican ticket is trying to highlight its connection to the working class - and, by extension, promoting its newest campaign tool, Joe the Plumber - it was revealed that Palin's fashion budget for several weeks was more than four times the median salary of an American plumber ($37,514). To put it another way: Palin received more valuable clothes in one month than the average American household spends on clothes in 80 years. A Democrat put it in even blunter terms: her clothes were the cost of health care for 15 or so people.

There are, in these cases, legal questions surrounding campaign expenditures. Though, on this front, Palin and the RNC seem to be in the clear.

"I don't think it's taxed," said David Donnelly of Campaign Money Watch. "I don't think she can keep it. It's owned by the RNC. They had to use coordinated funds to pay for the clothes."

And certainly the possibility exists that this issue can be effectively swept under the rug. Palin is not known for taking impromptu questions from the press. Moreover, the media, at this juncture, has other major story lines (see: upcoming election) to grapple with, thus denying the piece the relative vacuum that accompanied the Edwards story. Finally, there is little desire among conservative writers or pundits to litigate the matter, even if they were more than happy to jump on board when a Democrat was in the spotlight.

Several hours after Politico posted its findings, the topic remained nearly untouched by the major right-wing outlets. Though as Marc Ambinder at the Atlantic opined: "the heat for this story will come from Republicans who cannot understand how their party would do something this stupid ... particularly (and, it must be said, viewed retroactively) during the collapse of the financial system and the probable beginning of a recession."

Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) A West African Plague


Cross-border female genital mutilation / cutting (FGM/C) is on the rise in West Africa according to the UN, spurring the need to impose a region-wide law banning the practice, say experts.

Experts from the region met this week to discuss how to eliminate FGM/C across West Africa, at a conference sponsored by the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) in the Burkina Faso capital Ouagadougou.

A study sponsored by UNIFEM to be released in late October 2008 said circumcisers or girls who undergo circumcision are increasingly crossing borders to perform or undergo the procedure to operate in countries with weaker FGM/C laws, and border police can do little to stop the flow.

"There is a lack of collaboration among governments across borders because the issue is so politically sensitive to manage," said Dieneba Ouedraogo, coordinator of the International Centre for Research Training and Action (CIRFA). As a result, she said governments have shied away from collaborating on policies and legislation or on coming up with a joint communications strategy to try to dissuade people from crossing.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says FGM/C includes all procedures that intentionally alter or injure female genital organs for non-medical reasons. Up to 140 million girls and women worldwide live with the consequences of FGM/C, and three million girls in Africa risk undergoing the procedure each year.

Consequences can include excessive bleeding, problems urinating, childbirth complications and stillbirths. It is mostly carried out on young girls between infancy and 15 years old, according to WHO, and it is generally recognised as a violation of the human rights of girls and women.

Border populations vulnerable

Girls living near borders are most vulnerable to being forcibly moved, said Ouedraogo, particularly if they are living next to countries with weaker anti FGM/C legislation than their own.

In Mali, where there is legislation relating to FGM/C but it is poorly applied, the prevalence rate is 85 percent, which makes communities living near the border in Burkina Faso, Guinea, Cote d'Ivoire and Senegal vulnerable, said Traoré.

Circumcisers will always travel where they can work with the least restrictions, said Elize Dossou, FGM/C expert at the Benin ministry of family and children's affairs. So, circumcisers travel from Burkina Faso to Niger to circumcise nomad Gourmantché girls, while populations in northern Benin tend to cross the border to be circumcised in Burkina Faso, she said.

Hidden victims

Because of this cross-border movement, the real number of FGM victims is unknown, according to Dossou.

Official FGM/C rates in Benin are 17 percent of women and girls, but she says the real number is higher.

According to UNIFEM families are sending their daughters to circumcisers to perform the practice at an increasingly young age to avoid being caught, which also distorts official figures.

At the meeting, UNIFEM officials called on health ministry and WHO officials who coordinate annual health and demographic surveys country by country to specifically target questions relating to girls 14 and under so those who underwent FGM/C would not be overlooked.

Toughen national laws

UNIFEM is also lobbying West African governments to adopt and implement laws to prosecute perpetrators of FGM/C wherever they practice, Cecile Mukarubuga UNIFEM's Senegal-based regional director, told IRIN.

"If all countries legislate or review their laws to cover cross-border practices, I am sure it will eventually eliminate FGM," Marian Tackie of Ghana's Ministry of Women and Children Affairs told IRIN.

Among West African countries, only Ghana has reviewed its legislation to prosecute all perpetrators of FGM/C including those who perform outside the country, she said. In Ghana even the women who participate in the circumcision ceremony by shouting to drown out the screaming of the girls are subject to prosecution.

Most West African countries have some form of indirect or direct anti-FGM/C legislation, but in the majority it is poorly enforced, Tackie said.

But Lamine Traoré, coordinator for a project to eliminate FGM/C in Mali, said unless a region-wide law is applied, "countries which have weaker [anti-FGM/C laws] will become a hub for the practice."

Passing a regional law would involve appeasing leaders nervous about violations of their sovereignty, said Mukarubuga.

"It is true that border issues are sensitive, but legislation for the rights of women in the region does not violate the sovereignty of countries since it is a regionally integrated zone with mutually complementary economic and social interests, which this law would serve," she explained.

Applying such a law would also require tighter collaboration among border security officials, communities, and social welfare ministries, Mukarubuga said. At the moment, volunteer civilian surveillance teams work in villages along the borders of some West African countries to monitor and report circumcisers to the authorities, but without regional legislation, Doussou said, the border police cannot pursue them across borders.

Progress on this will not be possible unless governments, non-profits and civil society organisations work with religious leaders to try to shift their resistance. UNIFEM has started by setting up a network of 16 traditional leaders in Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) countries to try to raise awareness among families and religious leaders.

"There is still a strong resistance from all sides now, but governments need to do more to confront these traditions," said Traoré.

2 Women Killed Over Witchcraft Claims in Tanzania

Herman Meza, Shinyanga
A mob brutally killed Nhumba Nolelaga, 38, and Mwanandama Ndama, 55, at Idahina village in the district last week.

The mob implicated the two in the death of a seven-year-old boy, Maduhu Masunga, who was bitten by a black mamba while sleeping and died instantly.

Rumours had spread during the funeral of Masunga that he did not die, but was rather mysteriously turned into a ghost to work in the women's farms.

Information had it that the boy was seen alive under the deceased women's beds, leading to the mob to demand the truth from the women, lest they be killed.

The acting Shinyanga regional police commander,Mr Charles Nyanda, confirmed the incidents.

Another woman who had disappeared mysteriously from her home only to be found unconscious at a paddy field in the same village alleged that she was superstitiously kidnapped by Nolelaga and Ndama.

Fed up with allegations leveled against the duo, the Idahina villagers killed the suspects and burnt their bodies.

Witchcraft beliefs are deeply rooted in Shinyanga Region where elderly women with red eyes have for ages now been suspected as witches.

Between four and five elderly women are killed each month in connection with the witchcraft associated beliefs.

Challenges of Women Taxi Drivers in Botswana

Dan Mosekaphofu

KANYE: They continue to be victims of gender stereotypes that have corrupted the minds of the world.

Their capabilities continue to be doubted despite the fact that they have proven their worth for all and sundry to see. The world unfortunately judges them harshly and prefers to categorise them as males in the event that they are recognised.

From conductors, they have slowly but surely progressed to be the "queens" behind the steering wheel. But instead of applauding them for such an achievement, the world shuns them.

These are the women taxi drivers who unfortunately are also given the famous tag of 'Botaxi man or combi man'- a clear sign of the brainwashing that our society is still reeling from.

Kanye's 26-year-old Keabetswe Rabasimane is one of the women taxi drivers in the sprawling village. She reveals that this trade continues to prove to be a menace for her and her colleagues in this male-dominated sector. "I don't know why the society cannot accept that we are just as capable as men. This myth that woman can't be good drivers is the one that is misleading a lot of people including our customers," she says.

Rabasimane decries the fact that "our people are still not used to the idea of having a woman as a taxi driver. This is why when they get into the taxi they will say, 'How are you sir!' only to apologise later when they realise that you are a lady. This happens almost everyday and can be quite frustrating," she says.

She says society must accept that women taxi drivers are here to stay and should expect to see them in any public transport, be it a taxi or a mini bus. "Women are now into this profession and people must change their perception about women and accept the reality of the situation," she says boastfully.

She also reveals that one major challenge that confronts them in their daily operations is the issue of some men who deliberately undermine them and take them for granted.

"Some men will ask you to take them somewhere and on arrival at their destination they will give you a headache when they are supposed to pay for the trip," she laments.

Rabasimane says that such characters might advance various reasons why they cannot pay. "At times they will tell you that they don't have money and after sometime they will pay you. This is a clear demonstration of male chauvinism and a challenge to see what you can do to them as a woman," she says.

She says that others "will ask you to drop them off somewhere and will begin shouting at you when you arrive at that place. They will then accuse you of taking them to the wrong place. This is solely done by some men as a way of demonstrating their male ego, which is very unfortunate," she complains.

Francistown driver Gopolang Raditsebe, 27, echoed Rabasimane's sentiments. Raditsebe believes that society is still gripped by a sense of disbelief. She decries the fact that even some women are still wallowing in the misconceptions that emanate from the stereotyped gender roles. "Some women still allow gender stereotypes to cloud their judgement and world view. They look down upon women taxi drivers. They still have a feeling that we are encroaching onto males' domain," she says.

Raditsebe explains that for security reasons women drivers are compelled to knock off earlier than their male counterparts. "As women we have to take the necessary precautions and we mostly knock off around 6pm though such a decision is costly to our business. It means that we cannot exploit the opportunities that open up at night when demand is even higher," she says with a sense of hopelessness.

How Obstetric Fistula is Turning Malawian Women to Outcasts.


Women suffering from obstetric fistula in Malawi received free medical care to reverse their condition during the country's Fistula Week.

Between Oct. 12 and 18, the Malawian government, with technical and financial assistance from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), treated more than 130 destitute women who have no or little access to health care services.

Lausi Adamu, from Makanjira in Malawi's lake district of Mangochi, who does not know her exact age, has suffered from fistula for the last 25 years. Her affliction came to an end last week, when she received an operation free of charge to stop her ailment.

Adamu told IPS reporter Pilirani Semu-Banda about her life with the disease as she recuperated in hospital after the operation.

How did you develop fistula?

It was 25 years ago, when I was in labour for three days while giving birth to my first and only child at home.

I received no medical care throughout pregnancy, and it was only my mother who was with me during delivery. There was no midwife or doctor available. It was a very long and painful labour and the baby was stillborn when he eventually came out.

I have been unable to control the leakage of both urine and faeces from my body ever since and I haven't had the courage to have another child.

Why did you not receive medical care during pregnancy and delivery?

It takes four hours to walk from my village to the nearest hospital, and no vehicle goes into my area because the road is in a very bad condition. Most births therefore happen at home, and women rely on their mothers, their mother-in-laws or traditional birth attendants to help them during labour.

The culture in my area also demands that the first baby has to be delivered at home for elders to ensure that the husband is indeed responsible for the pregnancy. There is a belief that most women have more than one relationship after they just got married -- so the women who help at birth ask the woman in labour to mention the (name of the) real father of the baby. The belief is that if any complications develop during the process of giving birth the woman has been unfaithful.

What did you know about fistula before you developed the condition?

I thought I was bewitched, but everyone else in my community thought I had been unfaithful to my husband. It was a very strange affliction. My mother took me to five different traditional healers who told me that the condition was incurable and that I should accept to live with it for the rest of my life.

However, there have been many such cases in my area over the years, and most of the women have been treated by community members the same way as me (with contempt).

Government and UNFPA staff have in the past year been coming to my area, and they have been carrying out community meetings where they are telling us that the condition is medical and that it is repairable.

I decided to come to the hospital to see if indeed I can be helped after one of the women from my community, who had a similar condition, came back cured after visiting the hospital.

How has fistula affected your life?

It has been a terrible nightmare. My husband left me two months after I developed fistula and my mother died soon thereafter. All of my relatives, including my own brothers and sisters, deserted me.

I have been living a very lonesome life since no one wanted to be close to me because of the appalling smell that emanated from my body at all times. I could never attend any social gatherings within my community, not even funerals of my own relatives.

I have been selling mats, which I weave, to make a living, but I never got close to my customers even then. I leave the mats by the roadside and speak to them from a distance about the price.

Do you still believe fistula is caused by witchcraft?

Not any more. After listening to the community meetings being carried out by UNFPA and government and after my visit to the hospital, I believe that fistula occurs due to prolonged and hindered labour during which the baby's head puts pressure on the bladder and rectum, thereby causing holes. This causes the woman to leak urine or faeces or both uncontrollably.

Looking back 25 years, I do agree that this is what really happened.

Are many members of your community now changing their perceptions about fistula due to the meetings?

It is very difficult to change people's perceptions because most of us have not been to school. Our culture is strong and it's not easy to sway people away from what they have believed in for a long time.

Of course, there are quite a number of us that have now come to accept how fistula occurs, but it will take a lot of sensitisation before most people start to believe that fistula is indeed a medical condition.

Now that women with fistula are able to access medical treatment, what other challenges are they facing?

The medical personnel carrying out the repairs are men and because my community is very traditional and conservative, most women are not willing to be treated by men, especially since the condition has to do with private parts.

Given a choice, I would have opted to be operated on by a woman. However, we are being told that it is only men that are qualified to carry out fistula repairs, so we don't have a choice.

Will you play a role in educating people in your community about fistula?

I have had fistula for a very long time and I have experienced unimaginable torture from this condition -- I know the terrible feelings that women with fistula have to live with.

When I go back home, I will encourage women with fistula to go and seek medical help. I will also be advocating for hospital deliveries and try to change people's thinking. The best way to avoid fistula is to encourage pregnant women to go for antenatal care and to have their babies delivered in hospital.

Do you think that organisations working to combat fistula are doing enough?

They're trying their best. But apart from aid organisations we need government to help us in the reduction of poverty as well because I now understand that fistula happens mostly among poor people.

Communities like where I come from do not have easy access to proper health care and good roads because they are mostly poor. We also need education so that we can understand issues and to get rid of harmful traditional beliefs.