Garcia Marquez says he has stopped writing


Nobel Prize-winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who rarely offers glimpses into his private life, says he has stopped writing - for the time being, at least.

"The year 2005 was the first in my life when I did not write a single line," the 78-year-old author was quoted as saying in yesterday's edition of Barcelona's La Vanguardia.

Garcia Marquez is best known for One Hundred Years of Solitude, which earned him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, and Love in the Time of Cholera.

Garcia Marquez said there might be another book in him - if inspiration strikes - but he's not optimistic. "With the practice I have, I could write another novel without further problems, but people notice when one has not put the guts in it," he said.

Economic Forum honors Ali

Muhammad Ali was honored at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, for his efforts to promote dialogue and understanding between the Muslim and Western worlds. Accompanied by his wife, Yolanda, Ali received the first-ever prize from the Council of 100 Leaders, a group formed at the forum's annual meeting two years ago to promote understanding between the West and Muslims.

Watanabe defends casting

Ken Watanabe, the Japanese star of Memoirs of a Geisha, is defending the casting of Chinese actresses for the film's main roles, saying talent is the most important consideration.

The English-language movie has inflamed historical tensions between Japan and China, with critics saying a movie about Japanese culture should have a Japanese actress in the lead.

But Watanabe likened the casting choices to using non-Italian singers in an Italian opera. "Talent is the most important thing. A beautiful soprano. A wonderful tenor. Not your nationality," Watanabe says in the February edition of Prestige Hong Kong.

The film is set in Japan and adapted from the American novel. It stars Chinese actresses Ziyi Zhang and Gong Li, and Chinese-Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh. They join several Japanese performers.

Top 10 girlfriends

More guys want Jessica Alba for their girlfriend than any other woman, according to's top 99 list for 2006. The 24-year-old actress tops the Web site's list ranking female celebrities on their "long-term relationship material." Alba is followed by Alfie star Sienna Miller and the ubiquitous Angelina Jolie.

The rest of the top 10, in order, is Brazilian model Adriana Lima (No. 1 last year), Access Hollywood correspondent Maria Menounos, Charlize Theron, Jessica Biel, singer Amerie, Natalie Portman and Eva Longoria.

"I always ask the universe for things if I feel I need to learn a lesson ... I ask for mental clarity, peace and I always receive it."

Lost actress Michelle Rodriguez

AP quoting New Hollywood magazine

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