Three years ago, a group of school-children scrawled political graffiti on a wall in the remote Syrian town of Daraa. Their subsequent arrest and torture was the spark that ignited the civil war now ravaging Syria and devastating the lives of so many of its 22 million people. This civil war is now thought to have spawned the world's worst humanitarian crisis.
Racing at 90mph, head-first, down an artificially frozen hill with more twists and turns than Silverstone... with no steering... on a tray. It takes a special kind of person to take up the Skeleton, with a unique set of skills: split-second decision making, nerves of carbon-fiber and razor-sharp clarity of mind...
Evgeni Plushenko, bowed out of the competition right before he was to take the ice in the singles event. As disappointed as he undoubtedly was (not to mention the fans), 31-year-old Plushenko has the rest of his life ahead of him, with a stack of Olympic hardware to his name and a celebrity brand to build upon. In time, his decision may be seen as noble- or at the very least, inevitable. Sometimes, you just have to know when it's time to quit. Street protesters in Ukraine and besieged civilians in Syria are probably hoping that the Russian government will follow their golden boy's lead and have the nerve to admit that their current foreign policy just isn't cutting it anymore.
We do need to tell President Putin and those horrendous vigilante gangs who hunt down gay men and women on the streets of Russia that what they are doing is vehemently wrong; and we do need to be explicit in singling this European country out over its human rights reputation, but we must allow time and the opportunity for education.
Yesterday in the centre of Beirut the army blocked off roads after a suspicious vehicle was found. It apparently contained some explosives and was thought to be a booby trap. At around the same time, Olympic skier Jackie Chamoun, currently in Sochi competing in Alpine skiing, was the talk of social media when images and video footage of her posing without much on, emerged.
The Sochi Olympic Games are taking place in a region of tightly interwoven conflicts, the roots of which lie as much in contemporary military, political and social upheaval and the post-soviet geo-politics as in historical events and their various interpretations among different Russian and Caucasian populations...
Throughout our creative process (which was also supported by Philips, Samsung and Snow Queen Vodka), we've always made the conscious decision to partner with rebels and pioneers; for example every model cast was (and will always be) chosen on account of their personality, creative attributes and character - as opposed to solely their appearance.
Last week I came to London to announce that a long held dream of mine is coming true. In partnership with Vodafone, I'm going to share self-defence techniques and tips with women throughout India. We'll teach women mental and physical skills that will improve their self-confidence and help them defend themselves.