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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Evangelista Tells Media Where to Draw Line

The media has been a boost for Linda Evangelista's career, but paparazzi-like publicity can sometimes go too far, the Canadian-born supermodel said Saturday at the Russian launch of the winter pr?t-?-porter lines by designers like Gucci, Christian Dior and Gianni Versace.

"I have to give credit to the media for having helped me in my career," she said, "but when it comes to my family, my dog, I think they should be left alone."

Evangelista, tanned to a healthy glow and sporting short brown hair, shed little light on her impressions of Moscow, having "seen only the hotel and two stores" -- the two fashion stores were Mercury on Tverskaya Ulitsa and the Gucci boutique.

Timed well to pacify the crowd waiting to see the evening fashion show at the Radisson Slavjanskaya, Italy's Martini & Rossi began doling out cocktails, served up by a small army of waitresses, not-so-subtly dressed in fire-engine red gowns and white bouffant wigs.

Turin native Constante Marengo accepted a drink, but said he thinks the Martini servers "definitely do not look Italian."

Not even northern Italian? "Certainly not, and I don't like the color of their hair," he said.

Marengo, market development officer with Codest Engineering, had higher hopes for the future of fashion in Russia. "It needs time to develop, for Russians to reach the level of good taste found elsewhere," he said, "but they're very eager, and things have already changed very quickly."

Gates Speaks to Cyber-Moscow

The 4,000 guests attending the Microsoft computer exhibition to catch a few pearls of wisdom from the master himself, the company's founder Bill Gates, at the Kremlin Palace on Friday first had to contend with the WWW, or as it is commonly known, the world wide wait.

As security scanned the lineup outside the Trinity Gate, two Plekhanov Academy students, Anastasia Shimuk and her boyfriend, Artyom Parshentsev, both 19, were hoping to pick up last-minute tickets to see the computer guru in the flesh.

Shimuk said she was curious about the man behind the multibillion-dollar Microsoft empire and wanted "to know more about his relationship with his family, and what's first for him: family or business."

Parshentsev was slightly more cynical. While he was curious to learn Gates' opinion of the future of Russian computing, he said, "Of course he doesn't think of Russia as a country, but only as a market."

Later at the multimedia presentation, Gates' role involved showcasing Microsoft's newest software and painting a rosy picture of the future of Russia's computing industry.

Halfway through the speech, however, a loud pop of a projector lamp exploding jarred the billionaire, who appeared to be on edge for the rest of his public appearance.

Before Gates' speech, guests strolled around an exhibition by Russian Microsoft dealers and their competitors.

Among the guests was a pair of newlyweds, Liu Yustyiang and Zhang Yyichun, 26-year-old postgraduate students from China, who met two years ago in their applied mathematics and cybernetics program at Moscow State University.

"I never thought I'd be married when I came to Russia five years ago," said Liu, smiling at his wife. "But of course you could say computers played a role in bringing us together."

Gates reportedly found his two-day visit to Moscow useful, though tight scheduling left not a spare moment for fun, said Gamid Kostoyev, Microsoft's marketing manager in Russia.

"He promised he'd come back and explore Russia's culture, and we just hope that occurs before another seven years passes," Kostoyev said. "He was here for the first time in 1990, when Russia was another country."

Taiwan Celebrates Perfection

Simon Pan, an administrator for the Taiwanese Foreign Ministry, is far from being homesick for his native Taiwan; rather he is sick from having been home. That's why he relishes the continental Russian climate.

"I get this rash in Taiwan from the wetness of the air," Pan said, showing a red blotch over his left eyebrow, the result of a recent trip home. "My posting will be up next year, and I don't know where I'll end up. I just hope it's not in Taiwan."

Pan is just one in the 200-strong Taiwanese community in Moscow who, along with well-wishers, celebrated Taiwan's Double 10th national day Friday night at the Renaissance Hotel. The day commemorates the Oct. 10, 1911 overthrow, led by the revolutionary leader Sun Yat-sen, of China's last dynasty -- the Chin. The date contains two 10s, "a really lucky number for Taiwanese," said Lee Chienli, information officer at Taipei's representative office in Moscow. The Chinese word for 10 is synonymous with the word for perfection.

As they have in other countries, the Taiwanese have sought to adapt in Russia, and Lee -- "my Russian name is Anton" -- explained that although Moscow doesn't recognize Taiwan out of deference to mainland China, the economic and cultural office has helped serve as a bridge between Taiwanese students and businesses and the Russian market.

About half the Taiwanese community in Moscow is composed of students, and many were on hand Friday. Kuo Naichia and Huang Mingyi, both 19, recently arrived in Moscow and were taking time out from wrestling with Russian grammar to sample the Oriental seafood and vegetable offerings at the buffet, "because food's the most serious thing we're already missing."

But Moscow State Conservatory graduate Yen Artemis, 27, is far from being a chainik, or rookie, in Russia. The pianist claimed to have been the first Taiwanese student ever to study in Russia when she arrived in 1993, but felt immediately welcome at the conservatory, "where they treated us not as nationalities, but as musicians."

What does she long for the most after having been away from Taiwan for so many years?

"I miss efficiency," she said.

Partya's Prize-Studded Lottery

As the husband-and-wife comedy team Sasha and Lolita, known as Duet Akademiya, looked on, a woman stunned into near-paralysis had to be led both up to and down from the stand where they were acting as emcees Saturday night at the flashy Utopia nightclub. Their comedy routine wasn't what shocked the woman, identified only as Anna, but rather their announcement that she had won a Renault in a lottery.

The Renault and other prizes were given away to the luckiest people among the 2,000 employees and guests who attended a bash thrown by the Russian electronics firm Partya in honor of its French suppliers.

"Well, while I wasn't in her condition, I was still shocked myself," Sasha said afterward, looking dapper in a triple-extra-large green and white pin-striped suit. "It's not every day that cars are given away."

Dutchman Woater Leydes was one expatriate enjoying the proceedings and shouting over the strains of pop group Syutkin and Co.

Leydes, a native of Rotterdam, has worked with ad firm Saatchi & Saatchi for 3 1/2 years in Moscow and said he'll be content to stay for a few more years.

Leydes said he wasn't concerned about being affected by a typical expatriate affliction -- boredom -- when it comes time to leave the Russian capital. He said transferring from Moscow will probably mean it's time to settle down in general.

"I'll only go home when I go home to have children," he said.

Sonny Bono Debuts in Moscow

Hippy musician-turned-TV-personality-turned-mayor-turned-Republican-congressman Sonny Bono has been in Moscow for a series of discussions on topics somewhat more serious than the usual: "So what was Cher like in those days?" or "Whatever happened to Chastity?"

The Californian congressman, who serves on the U.S. House of Representatives National Security Committee, came to Russia to discuss such weighty topics as nonproliferation legislation, chemical and biological weapon control and Russia's export of weapons technology, including supercomputers.

But Bono is most famous for his musical and comic teamwork with girlfriend Cher in the '60s and '70s and hits such as "I Got You Babe."

Bono entered politics in the late '80s. He was elected mayor of Palm Springs, California, in 1988, and was elected to the House of Representatives in 1994.