September 12, 2008

Laila Ali a Knockout Mom

Laila Ali has motherhood down for the count.

The comely boxing champ and American Gladiators cohost has welcomed her first child with hubby Curtis Conway, son Curtis Muhammad Conway Jr.

Their new addition, whose middle name references his iconic grandpa, Muhammad Ali, arrived Aug. 26, according to a statement on Ali's website.

"He's a healthy baby boy who weighed 6.8 pounds and measured 19 inches long," the statement read. "Mama and baby are resting!"

Tara Reid Ain't Getting Hitched

Tara Reid has no plans for marriage right now.

The 32-year-old actress' rep is shooting down a tabloid report that Reid and her fashion executive boyfriend, Julien Jarmoune, are engaged.

"Not true," the rep says. "It's just a bunch of lies and rumors."

The rep did, however, confirm that the two are dating.eonline


The European Union (EU) is rankled by Tuesday's announcement by Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that it would cut oil production by 520,000 barrels per day, a development that initially led to a marginal rise in international prices of crude. The EU Commissioner for Energy, Mr Andris Piebalgs, who made this known to energy correspondents in Abuja yesterday, said the action by OPEC, which supplies 40 per cent of global oil output, was not in the interest of EU. However, Brent crude fell back below $100 a barrel yesterday as signs of weaker global oil demand have offset OPEC’s decision to reduce output levels, the BBC reported yesterday. Piebalgs said the EU and OPEC substantially disagreed on that move. “We believe that OPEC should not reduce or increase its production into the market,” he said. “Let market forces determine the price, as we still know that there is very high demand for oil by China and many emerging economies. This practice is what makes the world to look as if OPEC is responsible for high crude prices.” He said the market was still very volatile as a result of many factors, “so OPEC announcing a cut in production is adding to the volatility and is bad for the market”. He stated that too high price of crude and very low price of crude is bad for both the EU and OPEC. “This is one area we disagree with OPEC,” he said, “but I have tremendous respect for the professionals in OPEC, especially for the analytical dept at understanding the fundamentals for oil future.” Crude price shortly before the OPEC meeting slumped by $3.08 to $103.26 a barrel after peaking at $149 in April. But the announcement yesterday led to a marginal rise of about a dollar in crude futures supply. The EU Commissioner of Energy will again address the Press today after meeting with Nigerian Ministers of Energy. But despite initially rising following OPEC's announcement, Brent was down $1.67 to $98.67 by yesterday evening in Europe. US light crude was also lower, falling $1.41 to $101.85 a barrel. After talks in Vienna, OPEC’s member states decided to cut daily production levels by 520,000 barrels, starting within 40 days. While the news initially saw oil prices rise, they then fell back, helped by the International Energy Agency (IEA) cutting its estimate for global oil demand this year and next. The IEA - which had asked OPEC to keep its output unchanged - said consumers in industrial nations were changing their lifestyles in response to high prices.


The dollar weakened against other major currencies yesterday as investors worried about the health of the U.S. economy after the nationalisation of two mortgage finance giants over the weekend. The euro rose to $1.4134 around 2100 GMT from $1.4129 late Monday in New York. Against the Japanese currency, the dollar fell sharply to 106.89 yen from 108.27 yen on Monday. The dollar on Monday had hit an 11-month high against the euro at $1.4045 on news of the federal bailout Sunday of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), which underpin nearly half of the US housing sector. But the euphoria faded, leaving markets on edge. The unease was exacerbated by fears of a meltdown at investment firm Lehman Brothers that prompted heavy selling on Wall Street. "While the news of the U.S. government's seizure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac led risky assets to gain throughout the financial markets, we've seen investor confidence dwindle as traders become skeptical of the long-term benefits of the intervention," said Terri Belkas, analyst at Foreign Capital Markets. Andrew Busch at BMO Capital Markets underscored the unforeseen implications of the extraordinary government action. "As the smoke clears and cooler number crunchers prevail, the take-over/ conservator ship of the GSEs is getting some skeptics," Busch said. "From the taxpayer footing the bill to the expansion of the U.S. government into the financial markets, worries hang over the longer term implications are swirling." Some dealers said the plan could also become costly for the U.S. taxpayer without repairing the fundamental problems of the housing market. "There are many areas in the government's plan that remains unclear and fresh concerns have cropped up over the U.S. economy, including its finances," said Chuo Mitsui Trust Bank chief strategist Yosuke Hosokawa. "Markets are questioning: is the U.S. really alright?" In late New York trade, the dollar fell to 1.1265 Swiss francs from 1.1311. The pound rose to $1.7611 from 1.7582. Guardian.