Discrimination on the catwalks?
Though America stands poised for its first black president in history, the fashion world descending on Paris for this week’s couture-show summit will be treated yet again to a “white-out” on the catwalks. After the emergence 30 years back of black faces on catwalks — thanks largely to recently demised French couture giant Yves Saint Laurent — fashion in the first decade of the 21st century has turned relentlessly white. “I asked the modelling agency for black girls for our next show but there simply aren’t any,” said Mario Lefranc, half of the Lefranc-Ferrant designer duo, one of 40-odd labels presenting couture collections in Paris over the coming week. “I’m sick of blonde Russian girls,” he told AFP. “Clearly the trend now is all for blue-eyed blondes.” And at Jean-Paul Gaultier’s, a designer renowned for using models of all ages, sizes, and origins, one assistant said: “It’s really very difficult at the moment. There are no black models on the market, the agencies have none.” In the last few years, she added, “there’s been an invasion of girls from Eastern Europe, of their type of beauty.” (Continue Reading…)
Indian gets life term for killing son’s black wife
An Indian-origin businessman in the US has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for hiring hitmen to murder his son’s black wife as he was enraged at the inter-racial marriage. Prosecution had sought death peanlty for Chiman Rai, 69, for paying two men USD 10,000 to kill Sparkle Michelle Rai, an African American, in April 2000 weeks after her marriage to his son Rajeev Rai alias Ricky, with whom she had a daughter. The 22-year-old was found strangled and stabbed more than a dozen times at the couple’s apartment. Jurors deliberated for less than two hours before delivering the verdict in an Atlanta area courtroom in Georgia this week. The case had gone cold but grabbed headlines as an “honour killing” after police arrested Chiman Rai and four others following a tip off two years ago. (Continue Reading…)
Zimbabwe Looms Over Africa Summit
UN Deputy Secretary General Asha-Rose Migiro said this was the “moment of truth” for the African Union leaders. President Robert Mugabe is attending the meeting. He was sworn in on Sunday after a victory that observers said had been undermined by pre-poll violence. South Africa has now urged Mr Mugabe to hold talks with the opposition towards forming a transitional government. Mr Mugabe claimed a landslide victory as the sole candidate after the leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Morgan Tsvangirai, withdrew. The South African presidency said it would consider reports from election observers together with other members of the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) before adopting a unified position regarding the result. (Continue Reading…)