Mrs. Clooney is 2014’s ‘Most Fascinating Person’

Updated 15 December 2014

Mrs. Clooney is 2014’s ‘Most Fascinating Person’

LONDON: Amal Clooney has many titles.
Former adviser on Syria to UN Special Envoy Kofi Annan, for example. Internationally renowned human rights lawyer. Barrister to Julian Assange and former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
And now Mrs. George Clooney, too. The one title that, according to ABC host Barbara Walters, elevated her from the ordinary woman about a life-saving international tribunal somewhere to ‘Most Fascinating Person of 2014’.
“You could say hers was the wedding of the year, but let’s put it into perspective, it was really one of the greatest achievements in human history,” Walters said of Amal’s marriage Clooney, which took part in Venice in September shortly before she wrote to the Egyptian government demanding the release of imprisoned journalist Mohamed Fahmy. Or the British government, for that matter, calling for the return of the Elgin Marbles to Greece.
“Amal has been the subject of very little snark or envy, maybe because we — like George Clooney — find it impossible to resist perfection,” Walters continued to crow.
“Or maybe because it is heartening to think that no matter how long it may take, the perfect someone is out there for everyone. And that, for us, makes her the most fascinating person of 2014.”
However, unlike a number of other ‘Most Fascinating’ people featured on her annual two-hour show, Mrs.Clooney was not interviewed as part of it. Others who appeared on Walter’s ultimate list of intrigue included Neil Patrick Harris, Chelsea Handler, Oprah Winfrey, Taylor Swift, billionaire businessman David Koch, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and George R. R. Martin, the festive-looking author of Game of Thrones.


Taj Mahal damaged in deadly India thunderstorm

Updated 31 May 2020

Taj Mahal damaged in deadly India thunderstorm

  • India’s top tourist attraction has been shut since mid-March as part of measures to try and combat the coronavirus pandemic

AGRA, India: A deadly thunderstorm that rolled across parts of northern India damaged sections of the Taj Mahal complex, including the main gate and a railing running below its five lofty domes, officials said Sunday.
One of the New Seven Wonders of the World, India’s top tourist attraction has been shut since mid-March as part of measures to try and combat the coronavirus pandemic.
AFP images showed workers assessing the railing of the main mausoleum, after the storm on Friday night battered Agra city in northern Uttar Pradesh state.
“One sandstone railing which was a part of the original structure has been damaged,” Superintending Archaeologist of the Archaeological Survey of India, Vasant Kumar Swarnkar, said.
“One marble railing which was a later addition, a false ceiling in the tourist holding area and the base stone of the main gate has also been damaged.”
He added there was no damage to the main structure of the monument to love — built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a tomb for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died giving birth in 1631.
Local media reports said thunderstorms and lightning on Friday killed at least 13 people in two Uttar Pradesh districts.
Fatal lightning strikes are relatively common during the June-October monsoon season.
Last year, at least 150 people were killed by lightning in August and September in Madhya Pradesh state in central India.