No veiled interest A street vendor sized up a reveler during celebrations in Granada, Nicaragua, marking the 9th International Poetry Festival honoring Nicaraguan poet, priest and former Culture Minister Ernesto Cardenal. The festival is attended by more than 300 poets from about 60 countries.
Four years ago, the buzz was all about the arms when the White House unveiled the official photo portrait of first lady Michelle Obama. Now it is all about the bangs.
For Obama’s portrait for her husband’s second term, photographer Chuck Kennedy got in closer to the first lady; in the earlier portrait, by Joyce N. Boghosian, she is shown standing at more of a distance. The first lady’s portrait makes for a more casual, if still elegant, look. She is wearing a navy dress with three-quarter-length sleeves, a contrast with her 2009 portrait, for which she wore a sleeveless black dress by Michael Kors.
This year’s dress looks to be the same one and with the same pearls that she wore recently on the Rachael Ray television show, where the 49-year-old Obama said of her new bangs, “This is my midlife crisis, the bangs. I couldn’t get a sports car. They won’t let me bungee jump. So instead I cut my bangs.”
Out of one cell, headed for another
Platinum-selling rapper Ja Rule left an upstate New York prison Thursday morning after serving most of his two-year sentence for illegal gun possession and headed straight into federal custody in a tax case. U.S. Marshals escorted the 36-year-old musician out of Mid-State Correctional Facility at 9:30 a.m. He was being held at the Oneida County Jail in central New York as he awaited word from the Federal Bureau of Prisons about where he’ll serve time in the tax case. The rapper has some time remaining on a 28-month sentence for tax evasion that ran concurrently.
Author wins $50,000 literary prize: Robert Caro has won yet another literary prize, this one worth $50,000. The New York Historical Society said Thursday that Caro had won its American History Book Prize for the fourth volume of his Lyndon Johnson series, “The Passage of Power.” Caro is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and a recipient of the National Book Award. His other books include the Robert Moses biography “The Power Broker.” “The Passage of Power” focuses on the first few weeks of Johnson’s presidency, after he had taken office upon the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
Lady Gaga has hip surgery: Lady Gaga says she’s had surgery to fix her hip. The 26-year-old singer posted on her blog late Wednesday that she had hip surgery and it “happened so fast.” She canceled her “Born This Way Ball” tour last week, after difficulties during her concert in Montreal. She explained to fans on Twitter that she’d hurt herself while performing some time ago.