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23/10/2010

Jewels owned by Wallis Simpson on show before sale

LONDON – Sotheby's is taking jewels once owned by American socialite Wallis Simpson — and the king who gave up his British crown for her — on an international tour before offering them at auction.

The brooches, bracelets and other gems are on display in London from Thursday to next Wednesday, followed by stops in Hong Kong, Moscow, New York and Geneva.

The 20 pieces are expected to fetch 3 million pounds ($4.7 million) when they are sold Nov. 30.

They belonged to Simpson and King Edward VIII, who abdicated to marry the twice-divorced 40-year-old in 1937.

Their relationship caused a scandal that culminated when the king made an abdication broadcast to the nation in December 1936, declaring "I have found it impossible ... to discharge my duties as king as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love."

They became the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and lived out their lives largely in exile from Britain. Edward's younger brother — father of Queen Elizabeth II — succeeded him as George VI.

The jewels, many specially commissioned and given as gifts from one to the other, chart the course of the couple's decades-long romance and reflect the duchess' innovative style.

They include an onyx and diamond Cartier bracelet in the shape of a panther; a jewel-encrusted flamingo clip glittering with rubies, sapphires, emeralds, citrines and 102 diamonds; and a heart-shaped emerald, ruby and diamond brooch with the initials W.E. — Wallis and Edward — commissioned by the duke for the couple's 20th wedding anniversary in 1957.

David Bennett, head of Sotheby's jewelry for Europe and the Middle East, said the collection represents "the most important jewelry collection put together in the 20th century."

The items were last sold in 1987, as part of a Sotheby's auction that fetched $50 million, still a record for a jewelry collection. Sotheby's would not disclose the identity of the current seller.

The story of Edward and Mrs. Simpson continues to fascinate, and is currently being turned into a movie, "W.E.," directed by Madonna.

22/10/2010

Philip Morris Int'l 3Q net income rises 1.3 pct

RICHMOND, Va. – Cigarette maker Philip Morris International Inc. said Thursday that its third-quarter net income grew 1.3 percent as higher prices helped offset unfavorable changes in currency exchange rates.

The seller of Marlboro and other brands overseas said it earned $1.82 billion, or 99 cents per share, for the period that ended Sept. 30. That's up from $1.79 billion, or 93 cents per share, in the same period last year.

Excluding one-time items, the company says it earned $1 per share. Analysts expected $1.01 per share.

Revenue excluding excise taxes edged up less than 1 percent to $6.6 billion. Analysts expected $6.98 billion.

Philip Morris International shares edged up 25 cents to $57.74 in morning trading Thursday.

The company also raised its full-year earnings guidance Thursday to a range of $3.90 to $3.95 per share, on favorable currency exchange rates, improved business performance and a lower tax rate.

When the dollar is rising, companies that sell goods internationally and must convert revenue from foreign currencies usually take a hit in the dollar value of that revenue. That effect is particularly strong for Philip Morris International, because it does all its business overseas. The effect is reversed when the dollar's value is declining, as it has recently.

"Our underlying businesses performed strongly in the third quarter ... with good share momentum across all regions," Chief Financial Officer Hermann Waldemer said in a conference call with investors, adding that Marlboro is performing well and "pricing power remains strong."

Philip Morris International, with offices in New York and in Lausanne, Switzerland, said cigarette shipments grew 4.5 percent from last year's third quarter to 229.2 billion sticks. Especially key were large gains in Asia, including Indonesia, Korea and Pakistan, and the favorable impact of acquiring Fortune Tobacco Co. in the Philippines.

Shipments fell 4.6 percent in the European Union, where tax hikes hurt as well. Volumes fell about 3 percent in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa and about 2 percent in Latin America and Canada.

Total shipments of its premium Marlboro brand fell 1.2 percent to 75.9 billion cigarettes in the quarter, while market share increased or remained stable across the regions in which the company operates.

Smokers face tax hikes, bans, health concerns and social stigma worldwide, but the impacts on cigarette demand are less stark outside the United States. Philip Morris International has compensated for volume declines by raising its prices, increasing its market share and cutting costs.

Philip Morris International is the world's second-biggest cigarette company after the state-controlled China National Tobacco Corp. Altria Group Inc. in Richmond, Va., owner of Philip Morris USA, spun off Philip Morris International in 2008. Altria is the largest U.S. cigarette seller.

21/10/2010

Keepers of the Art -- The Best in Entertainment and Education! "Truth Music" Movement from Northeast Ohio

The more you get involved, the more love you can spread. Become a writer/blogger now! Hip Hop Flavas every saturday night @ 10 pm (EST) 91.3FM The Summit - Hip Hop is something you LIVE!

Akron, OH (PRWEB) October 21, 2010

Keepers of the Art, Inc. is a Hip-Hop advocacy organization designed to preserve the roots and integrity of the culture through progressive educational & entertainment outlets. Keepers of the Art, Inc. specializes in lectures, youth workshops, and programming all centered around youth and the preservation of Hip-Hop Culture. Presently, Keepers of the Art, Inc. produces and sponsors "Hip-Hop Flavas - Celebrating the Golden Age & Beyond" an "edutainment" media reform radio program designed to spotlight "true school" hip-hop music (91.3 The Summit WAPS, Saturday nights at 10pm). Keepers of the Art, Inc. provides the following services: Youth Workshops, Lectures, Program Development and more.

Keepers of the Art produces Hip Hop Flavas, an "edutainment" radio program designed to mix "true school" Hip Hop past and present with relevant social commentary. Hip Hop Flavas airs every Saturday night at 10pm on 91.3 WAPS- The Summit. To date, the following in-studio guests have been: Akron Public Schools Superintendent- Dr. Sylvester Small, Akron Urban League President- Bernett L. Williams, Educational Lyrics Founder- Gabriel Benn, Assistant to the Mayor- Billy Soule, among many others.

Hip Hop Flavas is sponsored by the City of Akron and Akron Community Foundation's Neighborhood Partnership Program, Guitar Center, Cargill, SHOOIn Company, JenBStampin and Square Records.

Also presently, Keepers of the Art is in partnership with the Ohio Governors Office, Akron Public Schools and the Akron Urban League to provide mentoring services for the purpose of closing the achievement gap among 9th grade African-American males.

Keepers of the Art also teaches classes via the H.E.L.P Workshop- designed for educators who are looking for a unique way to culturally connect to the diverse youth they serve. The creation of H.E.L.P. came out of a desire to use the influence of Hip Hop music on the 21st century student, to promote student interest in reading and strengthen their abilities in all five areas of literacy: phonemic awareness, vocabulary development, comprehension, writing and fluency.

The Hip-Hop Generation and the Need for New Leadership: This workshop will delve into the current state of Black leadership in America. Additionally, students will understand how hip-hop culture is the most influential, and the only universal social phenomenon in the American marketplace. With this being said, it is imperative for the next generation of leaders to understand its past and present power in order to effectively use it to influence political, economic and social policy.

Hip-Hop v. Rap - A Historical Perspective: This workshop offers an historical perspective of Hip-Hop culture from its conception to present day. The elements of the culture will be highlighted and explored. Additionally, we will break down the love-hate-love relationship between hip-hop and American society. Lastly we will discuss and explore the un-seen corporate forces that are negatively influencing Hip-Hop Culture.

The Dwindling Number of Men of Color on College Campuses: This workshop explores the crisis of the shortage of men of color in institutions of higher education. Along the way, we will spotlight social barriers that have and continue to impede these young men from achieving academic excellence. Lastly, recommendations and solutions will be introduced in order to empower our young men to overcome these social barriers.

Young Genius Program: A collaborative mentoring effort between Gov. Strickland's Initiative To Increase The Graduation Rate, Akron Public Schools, The Akron Urban League and H.E.L.P. The Young Genius Program seeks to provide socially relevant, holistic approaches to academic, socio-economic and cultural improvement.

Facilitated by Keepers of the Art, Inc., the program consists of four components: Violence Prevention & Gangs (Anger Management-Conflict Resolution-You and the Law-The System-Violence-Community Panel Discussion), Negative & Positive Images in Hip Hop & the Media (History-The Message-Bling Bling-Video Girls-The Media-What's Good), H.E.L.P. (the Hip Hop Educational Literacy Project), and Financial Literacy (Setting Financial Goals-Understanding Credit-Savings Strategies-Managing Debt). Classes are conducted at The Akron Urban League, currently for ninth grade students in various Akron Public Schools.

Please contact Keepers of the Art at info(at)keepersoftheart(dot)com or 330-990-1178 for more info, questions or booking.

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Brandon BucknerKeepers of the Art330-990-1178Email Information