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Topless Sarkozy's love handles airbrushed away

Sarkozy Shirtless

Because of French President Nicolas Sarkozy's un-French habit of "le jogging," you wouldn't expect the leader of France to have much blubber accumulating around his waist. And, indeed, Sarkozy doesn't appear to have any rolls of fat in a photo of him canoeing shirtless during a recent trip to the United States that the French magazine Paris Match published.

But that photo happens to have been airbrushed by the magazine to tighten what the French call poignées d'amour—or what Americans call "love handles."

The French newsweekly L'Express broke the news of the retouched photo by printing "before" and "after" pictures in which Sarkozy's bulge disappears. It also reported that Paris Match said the president's posture made the love handle bulge out more. So maybe he only has rolls when he slouches?

Makes me wonder if any airbrushing went into the recent love handle-free topless photos of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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"If I can change, and you can change, everybody can change!"

DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images

Zitiste may be a long way from South Philly, but this beleaguered Serbian village is hoping for a morale boost from the Italian Stallion himself. City officials unveiled a three-meter bronze statue of Rocky Balboa by sculptor Bojan Marceta over the weekend in the town square. Thirty-five miles north of Belgrade, Zitiste has fallen victim to flooding and landslides in recent years, gaining a reputation for misfortune and catastrophe. Officials hope that Rocky's underdog story will help the town's image:

For years, only negative reports on farm disease, monstrous murders, floods and landslides have been coming from our village," said Mayor Zoran Babic.

"This is the chance to give a better, more positive image to Zitiste."

No word yet on whether Vladimir Putin's government—always a factor in Serbian politics—will insist on equal representation for Ivan Drago.