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SUNDAY MORNING

Six degrees

Mark Peters

 

 

Edison Chen Koon-hei, the Hong Kong actor and amateur photographer, celebrates his 32nd birthday today. Despite winning acclaim for his acting in the Infernal Affairs trilogy, Chen seems intent on shooting his career in the foot with mistimed bullets of controversy. After the 2008 sex-photo scandal, which ended in Chen’s self-imposed hiatus from the Hong Kong entertainment industry, this year he found himself embroiled in another drama involving pictures, this time of 16-year-old model Cammi Tse. The public outrage of 2008 resulted in his role in The Dark Knight being cut back to one fleeting scene, opposite actor Morgan Freeman …

 

The warm, dulcet tones of the 75-year-old American, now the announcing voice of CBS Evening News, can make even the most vitriolic tirade sound like a welcome invitation to a chocolate and marshmallow love-in. Freeman is one of the latest victims of a social media death hoax, a rumour he also endured two years ago. Now fully recovered from a near-fatal car crash, the actor received his most recent Oscar nomination for the on-screen portrayal of a friend, Nelson Mandela …

 

The Nobel Peace Prize winner has been honoured with more than 250 humanitarian awards in the past four decades and, since his retirement, has dedicated much of his time to fighting Aids. Mandela was the first president of South Africa to have been elected in a fully representative democratic election. One official who was there to witness his momentous 1994 inauguration was then United States vice-president Al Gore …

 

The environmental activist, who publicly criticised the Bush administration for its poor handling of Hurricane Katrina, has never spoken of his own rescue actions. After hearing of the desperate conditions at the Charity Hospital in New Orleans, Gore sent in, and initially paid for, two passenger jets to evacuate 270 patients. After 30 years of involvement in environmental issues, Gore still receives criticism for not advocating vegetarianism as a way to reduce carbon emissions, from animal rights campaigners Peta …

 

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) says more than half of the fur in the United States comes from Chinese farms, where millions of cats and dogs are skinned for the trade, many of them while they are still alive. Known for its aggressive media crusades against large corporations, Peta’s “I’d rather go naked than wear fur” campaign continues to gain support from celebrities willing to be photographed in the buff. Having penned the lyric “Tell Peta my mink is dragging on the floor”, in response to the group’s flour-bomb attack on the fur-wearing Kim Kardashian, one person sure to be left off their Christmas card list is the reality-television star’s boyfriend, Kanye West …

 

The Chicago rap artist was the fourthhighest earner in hip hop last year, with an income of US$35 million. According to Forbes, he is still some way behind Dr Dre, who sits at No 1, with wages of US$110 million. The rap game certainly pays well and the “unfortunate” timing of a leaked sex tape, believed to star West and Kardashian, has not damaged the sales of his latest album. In 2007, West produced a track for the Putonghua album Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself by a prescandal Edison Chen.

 

 

 

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