April 2021

From supersized to a more natural look: The evolution of breast implants

Written by Marianna Cerini, CNN Breast implants are more popular than ever. They remain one of the most sought-after cosmetic surgeries in many countries from the United States and Brazil to the UK and China. They’re the subject of reality shows and tabloid spreads, a recurrent topic of celebrity culture and a perennial punch line. But in terms of size, implants are actually getting smaller. A shift has been underway since the mid-2010s, with women around the world, from Victoria Beckham to Crystal Hefner, seeking implant removals or reductions. While some, like Hefner, do so due to health complications, there…


The evolution of the skyscraper, from New York to Dubai

Written by Oscar Holland, CNN When New York’s Equitable Life Building opened in 1870, the businessman behind the project, Henry Baldwin Hyde, was berated for having delusions of grandeur. Costing more than $4 million (around $81 million in today’s money), his insurance company’s headquarters soared a then-astonishing seven stories above the streets of Manhattan. One hundred forty years later, when the 163-floor Burj Khalifa topped out half a mile into Dubai’s sky, it too was seen by some as extravagant. Both buildings serve as a reminder that it is not only economics and technology that have driven the history of…


The Australian-German couple who met on the beach at Byron Bay

(CNN) — It was a summer’s day in Byron Bay, Australia in early 2003. The sun was shining and Gianna Mazzeo, who’d been basking in its rays for most of the day, decided to freshen up with a swim. As she was coming out of the ocean, Gianna noticed a group of men playing soccer further up the beach, calling to one another as they kicked a ball back and forth on the sand. Gianna, then 27, is Australian but her parents are from Italy, so she’d spent a lot of time traveling around the EU. She figured the group…


Italian hermit on island alone is leaving after 32 years

(CNN) — He’s become known as Italy’s Robinson Crusoe after spending more than 30 years as the only resident of an idyllic island off the coast of Sardinia. But Mauro Morandi is bidding farewell to his tiny hut on the Isle of Budelli after local authorities repeatedly threatened him with eviction. The 81-year-old, who has been living on the island since 1989, announced his departure in a message on his Facebook page on Sunday. “I’m going to leave,” he wrote, adding that he hoped “Budelli will be safeguarded as I have done for 32 years.” He also said he was…


Are we ready for our smart home devices to become truly “smart”?

Written by Jacqui Palumbo, CNN For decades, the smart home has been a mainstay in pop culture, from Disney’s 1999 flick “Smart House,” in which an artificially intelligent home takes on the personality of a domineering mother, to the retro high-tech home of “The Jetsons.” The 1960s cartoon offered a view of domestic life a century later, from a grooming room that combs your hair and brushes your teeth, to the ever-attentive and overworked Rosie, the robot maid. Some of the Jetsons’ housewares and furnishings, such as the bed that ejected the occupant like a piece of toast, are still…



US investigating possible mysterious directed energy attack near White House

Multiple sources familiar with the matter tell CNN that while the Pentagon and other agencies probing the matter have reached no clear conclusions on what happened, the fact that such an attack might have taken place so close to the White House is particularly alarming. Defense officials briefed lawmakers on the Senate and House Armed Services Committees on the matter earlier this month, including on the incident near the White House. That incident, which occurred near the Ellipse, the large oval lawn on the south side of the White House, sickened one National Security Council official, according to multiple current…


Prince William and Kate photos mark 10-year wedding anniversary

The couple, who married at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011, released the portraits on Wednesday ahead of their anniversary on Thursday. The photographs were taken at Kensington Palace, in London, this week by the photographer Chris Floyd, who shared them on Instagram. Floyd said he had recently visited Cambridge, eastern England, for the first time and that by “astonishing coincidence” on that same day he was asked to photograph the couple to commemorate their anniversary. “It was a thrill to spend some time with them at Kensington Palace, especially as The Duchess is a rather keen photographer,” Floyd wrote…


Top US military intelligence official says Russian military poses an ‘existential threat’ to the US

(CNN) —   The top US military intelligence official said during a congressional hearing on Thursday that the Russian military is an “existential threat” to the United States. “The Russian military is an existential threat to the United States,” Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing about worldwide threats. Berrier said the country’s military is being used to maintain influence over states “along its periphery, compete with US global primacy and compel adversaries who challenge Russia’s vital national interests.” “Moscow continues to invest in its strategic nuclear forces, in…


Afghanistan: US troop withdrawal has begun

“A drawdown is underway,” White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One Thursday. “While these actions will initially result in increased forces levels, we remain committed to having all of US military personnel out of Afghanistan by September 11, 2020.” Fewer than 100 troops, along with military equipment, have been moved largely by aircraft to execute President Joe Biden’s order to begin the withdrawal process no later than May 1, according to several US defense officials. In addition, contractors and US government workers are also departing the country, the officials said. The Pentagon has said…


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