Sinopec reports sharp rise in profits

Venezuelan Stefania Fernandez was named Miss Universe 2009 on Sunday night.
Chinese oil refiner Sinopec has announced its net profit in the first half of 2009 jumped fourfold from a year earlier, fueled by changes in state price controls for fuel, China state media reported.

The 18-year-old was crowned by another Venezuelan, Dayana Mendoza, Miss Universe 2008, marking the first time that two contestants from the same country have won the title in consecutive years. As Miss Universe, Fernandez will have the use of a New York City apartment for the year of her reign, and will receive living expenses. Other prizes include a two-year scholarship at the New York Film Academy; a vacation for two in the Bahamas; and a wardrobe, including evening wear, swimsuits and jewelry. The competition involves swimsuit, evening gown and interview phases, which a 12-member panel judged. Miss Dominican Republic, Ada Aimee De La Cruz, was named first runner-up and would assume Fernandez’s duties if she couldn’t complete her term.