Karl Lagerfeld

Fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld dies aged 85

Iconic fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld has sadly died at the age of 85.

The German-born designer and artistic director was one of the fashion industry’s most iconic and influential figures.

Best recognised by his white ponytail and dark sunglasses, Chanel’s creative director has been hailed as one of the most prolific designers of the modern age.

It’s believed he was battling pancreatic cancer, and had suffered weeks of ill health in the lead up to his passing.

An out pour of obituaries have flooded in from various designers, celebrities and the like, as the world wakes to the devastating news.


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It is with deep sadness that the House of CHANEL announces the passing of Karl Lagerfeld, the Creative Director for the CHANEL Fashion House since 1983. An extraordinary creative individual, Karl Lagerfeld reinvented the brand’s codes created by Gabrielle Chanel: the CHANEL jacket and suit, the little black dress, the precious tweeds, the two-tone shoes, the quilted handbags, the pearls and costume jewelry. Regarding Gabrielle Chanel, he said, “My job is not to do what she did, but what she would have done. The good thing about Chanel is it is an idea you can adapt to many things.” A prolific creative mind with endless imagination, Karl Lagerfeld explored many artistic horizons, including photography and short films. The House of CHANEL benefited from his talent for all the branding campaigns related to Fashion since 1987. Finally, one cannot refer to Karl Lagerfeld without mentioning his innate sense of repartee and self-mockery. Alain Wertheimer, CEO of CHANEL, said: “Thanks to his creative genius, generosity and exceptional intuition, Karl Lagerfeld was ahead of his time, which widely contributed to the House of CHANEL’s success throughout the world. Today, not only have I lost a friend, but we have all lost an extraordinary creative mind to whom I gave carte blanche in the early 1980s to reinvent the brand.” Bruno Pavlovsky, President of Fashion at CHANEL, said: “Fashion show after fashion show, collection after collection, Karl Lagerfeld left his mark on the legend of Gabrielle Chanel and the history of the House of CHANEL. He steadfastly promoted the talent and expertise of CHANEL’s ateliers and Métiers d’Art, allowing this exceptional know-how to shine throughout the world. The greatest tribute we can pay today is to continue to follow the path he traced by – to quote Karl – ‘continuing to embrace the present and invent the future’.” Virginie Viard, Director of CHANEL’s Fashion Creation Studio and Karl Lagerfeld’s closest collaborator for more than 30 years, has been entrusted by Alain Wertheimer with the creative work for the collections, so that the legacy of Gabrielle Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld can live on.

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He reportedly leaves behind a US$200 million fortune.

William, Harry to split household

Prince William and Prince Harry are reportedly set to split their royal household.

The brothers and their wives, the Duchess of Sussex and Duchess of Cambridge, will formally separate their staff within weeks, the Sunday Times reports.

Harry and Meghan are due to move to Frogmore Cottage in the grounds of Windsor Castle this year and are expecting their first child in the (northern) spring.

The couple has been living at Kensington Palace in London, near William and Kate and their three children.

The paper quoted a source saying: “William and Harry’s double act has naturally been supplanted by the two couples and their families.”

Kensington Palace declined to comment.

© PAA 2019

Gold Mine

Hope fading for 40 trapped in Liberia mine

Fellow miners have been using their bare hands to remove debris in an effort to free about 40 goldminers who have been trapped for a week, a spokesman for Liberia’s disaster management agency says.

Authorities are now trying to arrange for an excavator to help in the rescue effort in Gbonipea, located in northeastern Liberia’s Nimba county, said Archievego M. Doe, spokesman for the National Disaster Management Agency.

The miners became trapped after a sudden soil collapse on February 10. Already seven bodies have been recovered and the government has declared Monday a national day of mourning.

“The goldmine is inaccessible and so the manual effort is proving difficult to get to the trapped easily,” Doe said Sunday.

Initially rescuers had been fearful of using heavy equipment because it could hurt or unknowingly kill those trapped alive underneath.

There were signs, though, that the rescue effort was turning into a recovery one. The health ministry was conducting “disease surveillance for possible outbreaks of air-borne or water-borne diseases”.

Other residents reported a strong stench from the area where the miners have been trapped.

About 10 people are believed to have survived the soil collapse at the mine, and were treated for broken bones, cuts and dehydration, medical officials said.

Amid the weekend rescue effort authorities also deployed police and military to the area, where they arrested 65 illegal goldminers who had resisted the presence of authorities.

Regional authorities had previously tried to shut down the goldmine because of the dangers it posed. But in a region with widespread poverty, many still risk death to take part in illegal mining.

© AP 2019

Beagle Puppy

Vet jailed for implanting heroin into pups

A veterinarian who surgically implanted liquid heroin in puppies on behalf of Colombian drug traffickers has been sentenced to six years in prison.

The sentence for Andres Lopez Elorez was announced on Thursday in Brooklyn by US Attorney Richard P. Donoghue and other law enforcement officials.

Elorez, who pleaded guilty in September to conspiring to import heroin into the United States, was part of a scheme that turned puppies and dogs into drug couriers by stitching packets of liquid heroin into their bodies.

The US government said Elorez leased a farm in Medellin, Colombia, where he secretly raised dogs and surgically implanted bags of liquid heroin in nine puppies for importation.

On January 1, 2005, law enforcement searched the farm and seized 17 bags of liquid heroin, including 10 bags that were removed from puppies.

Three of the puppies died after contracting a virus following the surgeries.

The Colombian-born Elorez was a fugitive until he was arrested in Spain in 2015. He was extradited to the US in May 2018.

At least two of the puppies went on to a better existence.

Donna, a beagle, was adopted by a Colombian police officer and his family.

And Heroina, a Rottweiler, was trained by Colombian police to be a drug detection dog.

© AP 2019

Turkey building collapse toll rises to 10

At least 10 people have been killed in the collapse of a multi-storey building in Istanbul, according to reports from pro-government media.

The residential building came crashing down on Wednesday afternoon in Kartal, a densely populated district on the Asian side of Istanbul.

Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya said earlier on Thursday that the tragedy had claimed six lives.

Disaster management agency AFAD head Mehmet Gulluoglu said it was unclear how many more people remained trapped under the debris.

Yerlikaya said the number of people rescued stood at 13.

The condition of two of three people who were listed as critical was improving.

On Thursday, five-year-old Havva Tekgoz was rescued from the debris after 18 hours, according to state news agency Anadolu.

The governor told reporters on Thursday evening that Havva was reunited with her mother, who was rescued on Wednesday.

NTV reported she was the second child to be rescued. A 9-year-old boy was saved on Wednesday.

Search crews were asking bystanders to remain silent so that any screams for help from survivors could be heard.

The Istanbul prosecutor’s office has started an investigation into the cause of the collapse.

© DPA 2019