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French fashion designer, Givenchy, dies at 91

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Hubert Taffin de Givenchy, French fashion designer aged 91, has died.

The designer, who is famous for designing the little black dress, died at the Renaissance Chateau near Paris where he lived with his partner and fellow designer, Philippe Venet.

DailyMail UK reports that Venet, a former haute couture designer, confirmed the news through the Givenchy fashion house.

“It is with huge sadness that we inform you that Hubert Taffin de Givenchy has died,” he said explaining that the deceased passed away in his sleep.

“Hubert de Givenchy was a symbol of Parisian elegance for more than half a century… who revolutionised fashion,” his label said on Monday.

Clare Waight Keller, its current British-born designer, said Givenchy was ‘not only one of the most influential fashion figures of our time, whose legacy still influences modern-day dressing, but he also was one of the chicest most charming men I have ever met’.

“The definition of a true gentleman that will stay with me forever.”

During her stay in the White House, Jacqueline Kennedy, former US first lady, adopted the Givenchy look with a uniform of shift dresses, pillbox hats and low-heeled pumps.

The designer, who learnt his craft under Cristóbel Balenciaga, became a giant of the fashion world in every sense.

“To dress a woman is to make her beautiful,’ the late designer, who resigned in 1996, once said.

“In haute couture, we are cosmetic surgeons, erasing imperfections and refining the silhouette… for isn’t a couturier a magician of sorts, who creates illusion and perhaps beauty itself.”

His creations were eagerly anticipated and sought out by the titled and wealthy in the 1950s and 60s, including Princess Grace of Monaco and the Duchess of Windsor.

His presence was felt on the 2018 Oscars red carpet, when stars, including Black Panther’s Chadwick Boseman, wore custom Givenchy designs.

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FOREIGN

South Africa legalises marijuana use

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South Africa’s constitutional court has decriminalised the private use of marijuana.

The ruling came after a provincial high court in 2017 held that the use of cannabis in private space should be allowed because laws against it were inconsistent with the country’s constitution.

The state appealed to the constitutional court, which upheld the high court’s findings.

“It will not be a criminal offence for an adult person to use or be in possession of cannabis in private space,” judge Raymond Zondo said while delivering the judgement on Tuesday.

The judgement did not say how much cannabis one may have at home for private use.

Celebrations broke out in the court, which was packed with marijuana advocates and members of South Africa’s Rastafarian community.

“It’s been persecution and prosecution for the Rastafarian community,” one of those celebrating, Prince, told TV channel eNCA.

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Workers fired for selling 15,000 apples to one client

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Workers fired for selling 15,000 apples to one client

Several employees of a Cuban supermarket have been fired for selling 15,000 apples to a single customer in a country regularly plagued by food shortages.

State news outlet Granma reported on Friday that the employees involved were let go after news of the sale first broke on the blog of a Cuban journalist, who witnessed it at a supermarket in Havana.

A group of “young, husky people” who were “organized in a quasi-military” way appeared at the store and bought 150 cases of 100 apples, according to journalist Iorel Sanchez, who said all the fruit was for a single customer.

The buyer paid the equivalent of 45 cents per apple, according to receipts published in the blog post.

It is not uncommon in Cuba — regularly hit with shortages on staples including fruit, butter, milk and beer — for a trader to buy a large stock of food to resell it at a higher price.

Granma said eight employees of the store — owned by Cimex Corporation, which is state-run but subject to the laws applicable to private enterprise — had been dismissed.

Cuba imports almost all the food consumed by its 11 million inhabitants, including apples, according to the official site Cubadebate.

The island is seeking to reform its Soviet-style economic model: a new constitution to replace the 1976 version has been approved by parliament and submitted to public debate.

In a bid to improve its supply of food products, Cuba’s government recently extended the area and allowed period of cultivation granted to the island nation’s farmers.

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‘I just grabbed and kissed her’ — Mugabe opens up on love affair with Grace

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Former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe has spoken on how he started his romance with his then secretary Grace, while his Ghanaian wife Sally was dying.

In a report by New Zimbabwe, Mugabe revealed that he one day just grabbed and kissed Grace Marufu, marking the beginning of their affair.

The now 95-year-old former Zimbabwean leader was speaking at the funeral of Grace’s mother at the couple’s Blue Roof Harare home.

Grace looked taken aback as the veteran leader revealed that he just kissed her and decided she loved him too because he had not been resisted.

The affair started while Mugabe’s wife Sally was struggling with renal complications.

The former Zanu PF leader, a strict Catholic, said he was torn between obeying church doctrine against adultery and pleasing his mother who wanted grand children.

Sally could not have children because of her health complications.

“Yes, we had gotten involved when Sally was still alive, I had to,” Mugabe told mourners last Thursday during a church services for his late mother-in-law.

“Grace and I never dated either, I was just introduced to her and I said to myself she is a beautiful girl.

“So she came as a secretary and they were many of them, I just looked at them and then it was love at first sight with Grace. Then I said to her one day, I love you and she didn’t respond.

“I then grabbed her hand and I kissed her. She didn’t protest or refuse and then I said to myself now that she has accepted to be kissed, it means she loves me.”

Mugabe’s daughter Bona was born two years before Sally died in 1992.

The widely respected Ghanaian died in January with Grace giving birth the following month to their second child Robert Junior.

Mugabe has since claimed that Sally gave her blessing to the relationship with Grace.

He married his mistress in 1996 and they went on to have their third child Bellarmine Chatunga the following year.

Mugabe, who had ruled Zimbabwe since independence in 1980, was ousted through a military coup last November.

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