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Highlights from the world's press

Compiled by Ravi Agrawal
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(CNN) -- Weighing in next on the skinny-model debate is The New York Times, which says that "if fashion models were purebred dogs instead of underfed women, there would be an outcry over the abusive standards for appearing in shows and photo shoots."

"It's doubtful that models will be in dressing rooms bulking up with cheeseburgers or anything more caloric than watercress to 'make weight,' like prizefighters and amateur wrestlers. But ending the parade of the starved and sickly seems like a fashion trend worth following."

The NYT also has some words for British PM Tony Blair: "his luster has faded, a victim of too many years in the spotlight and too many egregious misrepresentations over Iraq."

"[Blair] not only pushed his own Labor Party into the 21st century, but spurred the opposition Conservatives to revitalize themselves as well. Their new leader, David Cameron, strikingly resembles the early Tony Blair  nimble, persuasive, telegenic and popular. But those words no longer describe the prime minister himself ... It is time for Mr. Blair to move on, preferably before the end of this year."

Chavez and the Devil

The Boston Globe launched a scathing report on Chavez's comments at the U.N. this week.

"The Bush Administration deserves to be criticized for many of its foreign policies, but Hugo Chavez is not the one to do it. By his intemperate and foolish remarks at the United Nations Wednesday and his continuing support for authoritarian regimes, the Venezuelan president has forfeited his claim to leadership in world affairs."

"Were Chavez really concerned with the oppressed of the world, he would not consort with Kim Jong Il and Bashir Assad, who have continued their fathers' repressive regimes in North Korea and Syria. Nor would he have created an informal alliance with antidemocratic Iran, or extended a lifeline to Fidel Castro in Cuba, or visited Iraq in 2000 to support Saddam Hussein. If the United States opposes a dictator, Chávez backs him."

India's Hindustan Times preferred to focus on Chavez's "wicked sense of humor."

"Mr. Chavez continued his colorful rhetoric by mentioning how 'it still smells of sulphur today.' This was the United Nations, not the sets of The Exorcist or the ninth circle of Hell. But the delegates got the point: Mr Bush won't be invited to the Chavez family's Christmas dinner in a hurry. This sort of high Manichaenism is an entertaining throwback to the days when Ronald Reagan was calling the Soviet Union 'the Evil Empire' and when 'Great Satan' (Shaytan Bozorg) was the Ayatollah Khomeini's term of endearment for the United States. Mr. Chavez hopes to use his clearly impressive stand-up skills to fill the vacuum if and when his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad decides to vote Republican."

Fast Car

After Wednesday's high-speed jet-car accident which critically injured BBC TV presenter Richard Hammond, The Guardian questions the social or scientific purpose behind building cars to travel faster than the statutory limit.

"In the 21st century, with the world's supply of oil running out and Britain's road-space disappearing, how could anyone possibly justify the need to drive a car -- any sort of a car, in any circumstances -- at more than 300 mph?

"Human beings love the sensation of speed, and no doubt Hammond was experiencing the most enormous thrill in the moments before he lost control of his jet-car. But there are other ways to experience speed without encouraging the continued existence of a culture that is now not only obsolete but positively dangerous."

Food for thought

And if you thought cars guzzled a lot of oil, The Sun reports that kids "are 'eating' an average of five liters of cooking oil a year from crisps."

Worse, the one in five children surveyed who who eat two packs a day, "consume nine liters" of oil a year.
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