Newsmakers: Moving in

The real estate market may be in flux, but that doesn’t mean families everywhere aren’t trading up, and down

Moving inGeorge W. Bungalow
After eight years in the White House, the former U.S. president is the proud owner of a brown house. George and Laura (and a few Secret Service agents) are the newest additions to Preston Hollow, an upscale Dallas neighbourhood where the Bushes bought a bricked, ranch-style bungalow for US$3 million. It’s the perfect, peaceful place for W. to write his memoirs—if a publisher ever decides to buy them.

Conan the Californian
For Conan O’Brien, replacing Jay Leno as host of The Tonight Show meant more than moving time slots. It also meant moving his wife and two children from New York to Los Angeles—to a US$10.5-million mansion complete with a pool, spa, six fireplaces and a 1,500-bottle wine room. Andy Richter does not live in the guest house.

Cell sweet cell
Seven years after being detained in Toronto on a “security certificate,” Mohamed Zeki Mahjoub was finally granted bail. But the Egyptian al-Qaeda suspect soon discovered that the conditions of his release—including 24-hour “eyes on” surveillance—were far worse than being locked away (federal agents once followed him into a hospital room where his wife was having a miscarriage). In March, Mahjoub begged a judge to ship him back to a prison cell. He obliged.

In the doghouse
Speaking of jails, Michael Vick no longer lives in one. The canine-killing quarterback was granted house arrest after spending 18 months behind bars for his role in a deadly dog-fighting ring. Vick will serve the last leg of his sentence at home in Virginia—not in Atlanta, where his mansion is on the auction block.

Welcome to the jungle
A violent dispute over land rights in the Amazon rainforest has been settled peacefully. Brazil’s Supreme Court ruled that 18,000 natives who lay claim to the sprawling Raposa Serra do Sol reservation—all 1.7 million hectares—will be allowed to stay, despite the opposition of rice farmers who also work the land.

House for Winehouse
British singing star Amy Winehouse, who smoked and snorted her way to fame, has found sobriety in suburbia. To the delight of her parents, the 25-year-old has purchased a $2.7-million pad in a gated community not far from where she grew up. The new digs seem to be working. Daily updates from the paparazzi say Winehouse no longer looks as if her “face is literally falling off.”

Home is where the tomatoes are
The earthquake that rocked the ancient Italian city of L’Aquila forced thousands of people into a different kind of city—a city of tents. The temporary camps are hardly luxurious, but victims and volunteers are trying to make life as “normal” as possible. Some of the makeshift shelters boast schools and churches. And, of course, tomato plants.

House that $$$ built
The New York Yankees have a new stadium, and no expense was spared (martini bars and members-only restaurants are just some of the amenities). But family-friendly it is certainly not. A pair of lower-level seats goes for US$2,500—and that’s after the team slashed prices.