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11 items from 2011

Vaclav Havel: A Life in Brief Scenes

18 December 2011 1:48 PM, PST | Speakeasy/Wall Street Journal | See recent Speakeasy/Wall Street Journal news »

Getty Images A portrait of former Czech President Vaclav Havel, with a text that reads: “Havel To The Castle,” a popular slogan during the Velvet Revolution of 1989, lies among candles left by mourners at the base of a statue of St. Wenceslas to commemorate Havel’s death on December 18, 2011 in Prague, Czech Republic.

Václav Havel, the politician and playwright, died today. I met him several times over the last few years. My encounters were only brief scenes, but they offered »

- Gwen Orel

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George Clooney's Signed Jacket Up For Auction To Benefit Rfk Center

5 December 2011 6:30 AM, PST | Look to the Stars | See recent Look to the Stars news »

Celebrities spanning the worlds of politics, sports and entertainment have joined together for The Robert F. Kennedy Center’s annual Ripple of Hope Holiday Auction.

Icons including Madeleine Albright and George Clooney have donated exclusive experiences and VIP access to raise funds for the organization’s integral human rights work. Bidding is currently live and runs through December 15th at leading charity auction site charitybuzz.com at www.charitybuzz.com/RFKHoliday2011.

Michael Moore, Martin Sheen, Mark Hamill and many more celebrities have donated exclusive experiences to raise funds for the 42-year-old organization dedicated to providing an ongoing base of support to human rights defenders around the world. Additional notable participants include: Jenna Fischer, George Clooney, Rosie Perez, Debra Messing, Bill Maher, Michael Lombardi, John Starks, Ray Romano, James Earl Jones, Chris Matthews, Marc Summers, Florence Henderson, Kate Mulgrew, Jay Leno, Joe Scarborough, Steve Case, Robert Wolf, Austan Goolsbee, Paul Volcker, »

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Which Front-Row Fashionista Doesn't Know Who Kim Kardashian Is?

14 September 2011 7:30 AM, PDT | E! Online | See recent E! Online news »

Believe it or not, some people don't keep up with the Kardashians. While Kim Kardashian was surrounded by flashbulbs at Vera Wang's Spring 2012 runway show, one of the front-row dignitaries went unnoticed—and ignorant about the focus of the paparazzi's attention. She which VIP is out of touch with reality...TV? Unlike the Kardashian newlywed, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright—who happens to be great friends with wedding dress diva Vera Wang—went largely unnoticed. When we informed the puzzled diplomat who the subject of the commotion was, we were met with a polite smile...and that was it. Not a hint of recongition. But hey, she's busy. One »

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TV highlights 12/08/2011: BBC Proms 2011: Film Music Night | Sex, Lies and Parkinson's | The Path To 9/11 | Chilean Miners: 17 Days Buried Alive | Dexter | How Hip-Hop Changed the World

11 August 2011 4:05 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

BBC Proms 2011: Film Music Night | Sex, Lies and Parkinson's | The Path To 9/11 | Chilean Miners: 17 Days Buried Alive | Dexter | How Hip-Hop Changed the World

BBC Proms 2011: Film Music Night

7.30pm, BBC4

It's film music night at the Proms, an act of arrant populist bone-throwing which is nonetheless terrific fun. Keith Lockhart leads the BBC Concert Orchestra through a riotously varied programme including the lament of Cinema Paradiso, the stately anthem from Star Wars and the chilling screech of the shower scene from Psycho – guest solo violinist Chloë Hanslip must be looking forward to this one, especially. Quite rightly there is also a tribute to prolific Bond theme composer John Barry, who died in January.

Andrew Mueller

Sex, Lies and Parkinson's

7.35pm, Channel 4

On Valentine's Day, 2007, paediatric nurse Vicki discovered that she had young-onset Parkinson's disease. It's a cruel condition: not only is it degenerative, but the drugs that »

- Andrew Mueller, Jonathan Wright, Ben Arnold, Phelim O'Neill

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Inside the Other Situation Room

19 May 2011 8:39 PM, PDT | The Daily Beast | See recent The Daily Beast news »

The State Department's crisis center has been operating in secrecy for half a century, currently keeping Hillary Clinton and others up to speed on what's going on, from Damascus to Kabul, 24/7. Daniel Stone gets a rare peek at how "Ops" works.

Late in April of 1961, President Kennedy was planning the Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba. While his entire administration was at work figuring out how to depose Fidel Castro, Secretary of State Dean Rusk called up one of his senior aides. "Set up a crisis center right now," he said, according to an unpublished memo declassified last month. "Figure out how to get rid of Castro and then we'll see what else there is for the center to do. You'll get any help you want in the department. Get going."

Related story on The Daily Beast: Should We Hit Gaddafi Next?

Analysts assembled in one of Foggy Bottom's biggest »

- Daniel Stone

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Conan O'Brien for Dartmouth commencement

9 May 2011 8:39 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

Conan O'Brien is to give the keynote speech at this year's Dartmouth College commencement ceremony. The school's student body president Eric Tanner announced in a video message that the Conan host will follow in the footsteps of previous commencement speakers such as former Us President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright by speaking to the New Hampshire college's graduating students. O'Brien quipped that he was slightly annoyed not to have been the university's first choice. "I was honoured to be asked to give the commencement address (more) »

- By Justin Harp

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Emma Bonino on Italy's Sexist Backlash

12 March 2011 6:12 PM, PST | The Daily Beast | See recent The Daily Beast news »

An Italian newspaper with ties to Silvio Berlusconi slammed a prominent female politician for speaking out about sexism at Newsweek and The Daily Beast's Women in the World summit.

An appearance by Italian Senate Vice Chair Emma Bonino at Newsweek and The Daily Beast's Women in the World summit has incited a backlash, with an editorial in Saturday's edition of Il Foglio, a right-leaning Italian daily edited by a former Berlusconi official, calling for a lawsuit against the longtime champion of women's rights.

Related story on The Daily Beast: Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards: The Next Wave of Women Entrepreneurs

The second annual summit was held in New York this weekend and brought together powerful female leaders and activists from around the world to tell their stories, brainstorm solutions, and inspire each other with their shared experiences. Bonino was joined by Hillary Clinton, Diane von Furstenberg, Meryl Streep, Facebook's Chief Operating Offficer Sheryl Sandberg, »

- Jesse Ellison

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Madeleine Albright and Condoleezza Rice on Libya & More

11 March 2011 3:33 PM, PST | The Daily Beast | See recent The Daily Beast news »

At Newsweek and The Daily Beast's Women in the World summit, former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and Condoleezza Rice set aside their differences for a rare and candid talk on women's rights, how Gaddafi's "a nut," and their successor, Hillary Clinton. R.M. Schneiderman and Shushannah Walshe report. Plus, complete coverage of Women in the World and video of the summit's most riveting moments so far.

Rice and Albright were critical of Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi, a leader whom Albright simply described as "a nut." Yet unlike President Clinton, who broke from the Obama administration policy and boldly advocated for a no-fly zone in Libya when he spoke at the summit Thursday evening, both Albright and Rice were more cautious. Neither diplomat would explicitly advocate a no-fly zone or a particular policy that the White House should put in place in light of the fighting going on in the country. »

- R.M. Schneiderman & Shushannah Walshe

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Review: The Adjustment Bureau

4 March 2011 8:00 AM, PST | Slackerwood | See recent Slackerwood news »

In The Adjustment Bureau, Matt Damon is a politician, Emily Blunt is a contemporary dancer, and free will is a joke. The title of George Nolfi's first film comes from a group of bureaucrats who work to keep things in line with "the plan." The movie starts off somewhat awkwardly using a montage with Damon's character David Norris on the campaign trail. In this montage: politician cameos (Madeleine Albright! Wesley Clark! etc.) and talking heads who are given the task of telling us about his character. In the first five minutes of the film, we learn more about his background from pundit Mary Matalin than from anyone else, which just seems strange.

Norris is young and hip, but still loses his Senate campaign. As he practices his concession speech in the bathroom of the Waldorf, he meets cute with wedding crasher Elisa (Blunt). They are drawn to each other, »

- Elizabeth Stoddard

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An All-American White House State Dinner

19 January 2011 6:34 PM, PST | The Daily Beast | See recent The Daily Beast news »

President Hu Jintao requested a "quintessentially American experience" at the White House-and he got one, from apple pie to glitzy performers to tough questions about human rights in China. Daniel Stone reports.

When Chinese officials accepted the White House's invitation to visit the U.S. and be celebrated at an extravagant state dinner, they said President Hu Jintao wanted a "quintessential American experience." He got a culinary experience that included lobster from Maine, buttermilk crisp onions from Ohio, ribeye steak, and-naturally-apple pie with vanilla ice cream.

Related story on The Daily Beast: Nice Rhetoric, but Need Real Results

But Hu also got to experience the type of American political discourse that China's critics have often lamented isn't allowed in the rising global power.

Despite President Obama pulling out all the stops for the red-carpet affair, several key congressional leaders were notably absent from the evening. House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, »

- Daniel Stone

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Richard Holbrooke's Fitting Memorial Service

14 January 2011 2:08 PM, PST | The Daily Beast | See recent The Daily Beast news »

Hillary Clinton called him "my biggest headache" but also an "inspiration," President Obama said Holbrooke "made a difference"-Howard Kurtz reports from a sparkling, humor-filled tribute that somehow matched the spirit of the man. Plus, Newsweek's report on Holbrooke's war with the White House.

It was somehow fitting that it took two presidents, a vice president, a secretary of State, a Joint Chiefs chairman, two heads of state, and 20 foreign ministers to pay tribute today to Richard Holbrooke, a man of boundless energy, unbridled ambition, and maddening contradictions.

Related story on The Daily Beast: Nice Rhetoric, but Need Real Results

Amid the splendor of the Kennedy Center, the bull-headed diplomat who tried most recently to solve the puzzle of Afghanistan and Pakistan was remembered as an indomitable force who often had little time or patience for niceties of domestic life.

The two-hour service had an upbeat, gently humorous tone sprinkled with superlatives, »

- Howard Kurtz

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11 items from 2011

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