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Saturday, April 30, 2005
· Hatcher not so desperate. "Desperate Housewives" star Teri Hatcher didn't look quite so desperate when she was spotted leaving a hot Chelsea nightclub at 3 a.m. yesterday holding hands with a young, tattooed stud.
· Cynical look at Tom's latest romance. Less than 48 hours after Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' publicists sought to convince the world that the unlikely pair have embarked on a hot romance, CNN's Bill Hemmer said on "American Morning": "What kind of sham is this, by the way?"
· Georgia Runaway Bride's 9-1-1 call. On the 911 tape, Jennifer Wilbanks told the dispatcher she was at a 7-Eleven but doesn't know where. "I've got my family and police on the phone," she said. "I was kidnapped from Atlanta, Georgia. My parents said it's been on the news. I don't know."
· Mexican TV Actress Dies After Seeing Gun. A Mexican television actress died on Friday of a heart attack after a man armed with a pistol approached her vehicle on a Mexico City street, officials said.
· Some Balk at Naming Highway After Willie Nelson. A state legislator had proposed naming a 49-mile stretch of Texas Highway 130 being built around Austin in honor of the Texas country music singer. But two Republican senators, Steve Odgen of Bryan and Jeff Wentworth of San Antonio, said they didn't want Nelson's name on the road that crosses their districts, citing the musician's fondness for drinking and smoking, and active campaigning for Democratic candidates.
· Hair Club customer flips lid over head tumor. An Oregon member of Hair Club for Men has accused the company of failing to warn him during monthly visits to reglue his hairpiece that a malignant tumor was developing on his scalp. Sy Sperling unavailable for comment.
· Birds remake is an insult, says Tippi. One of Alfred Hitchcock's most praised - and most frightening - films is to be remade, to the dismay of its original star. Tippi Hedren, who starred in The Birds and became known as one of "Hitchcock's blondes," said: "It's appalling, I find it so offensive. To take a work of art like that and try to copy it is like trying to imitate the Mona Lisa."
· Wynn Las Vegas executive, councilman's aide arrested, jailed. Wynn Las Vegas executive was Tasered by police and jailed on drunken driving and hit-and-run charges early Thursday after he dragged an officer who tried to prevent him from fleeing a car accident in front of the newly opened Strip resort, police said.
· Cleaning lady finds wallet; her honesty questioned. Cleaning woman Darla Gingerella, 41, found and turned in a wallet containing more than $1,000 in the trash - then the owner said he had $3,000 in the wallet. After she took a lie detector test and passed, the owner finally admitted he was probably wrong about the amount. With all the confusion and stress of the ordeal, the cleaning lady now questions whether she would be so helpful in the future.
· Leash Girl to Plead Guilty to Prisoner Abuse. Pfc. Lynndie England will plead guilty to abusing Iraqi detainees in Abu Ghraib prison, her lawyer said late Friday, about a year after photos of her sexually humiliating inmates made her the face of a scandal that damaged the credibility of the U.S. military.
· L.A. on Edge After Freeway Shootings. A string of highway shootings since mid-March has left four people dead in Southern California and raised fears of a return to the bad old days of the 1980s, when the Los Angeles area gained a reputation for freeway gunplay.
· 'American Pie' Star Klein Pleads Guilty to DUI. "American Pie" star Chris Klein pleaded guilty Friday to a misdemeanor drunken driving charge, was fined $1,800 and ordered to perform 150 hours of community service.
· $208M jackpot winners come forward. A Michigan couple Friday claimed a downpayment on their $208 million Mega Millions lottery win - the third-largest-ever jackpot for the game - and then promptly hit the road in a recreational vehicle.
· PETA Targets Jennifer Lopez Film Premiere. Dozens of protesters representing People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals greeted Jennifer Lopez at the premiere of her new movie "Monster-in-Law with signs declaring her the "monster-in-fur" for her Sweetface fashion collection.
Friday, April 29, 2005
· LPGA Golfer Seduced Caddie. A former caddie for LPGA golfer Jackie Gallagher-Smith is suing her, saying she seduced him in order to get pregnant. Gary Robinson says Gallagher-Smith, who is married, used him as "an unwitting sperm donor." He is suing claiming fraud and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
· Dave Matthews Band Settles Bus Waste Case. The Dave Matthews Band, settling a lawsuit stemming from human waste dumped from a tour bus onto people touring the Chicago River, has agreed to pay $200,000 to an environmental fund and take measures to avoid a repeat of the incident, the Illinois attorney general said Friday. The agreement with Attorney General Lisa Madigan does not settle several personal-injury lawsuits that also have been filed.
· Brando possessions up for auction. More than 250 personal items belonging to late actor Marlon Brando are to be auctioned in New York. The collection includes an annotated Godfather script and a letter from author Mario Puzo saying he was "the only actor" who could play the lead.
· Pat O'Brien to Get Session With Dr. Phil. This didn't take long: Pat O'Brien, fresh from rehab, will have to face Dr. Phil next week in a prime-time CBS special. Dr. Phil McGraw will "confront O'Brien about the incidents that led up to his stay in the recovery program, the issues he faced while in treatment and the stories about his personal life that made headline news," CBS said Friday.
· Agent convicted of charges he bilked famous speakers. A New York agent has been convicted of bilking tens of thousands of dollars from his famous clients. Alan Walker booked speeches for the likes of Magic Johnson, actor James Earl Jones and Andy Rooney of "60 Minutes" -- but failed to pay them. He was convicted today of fraud and conspiracy.
· Girl Sticks Schoolmates With Used Needle. A third-grader stuck 19 schoolmates with her mother's diabetes blood-testing needle this week, and one pricked student tested positive for HIV on a preliminary test, officials said.
· Cops Call Off Search for Missing Woman. Police said Friday they had called off the search for Jennifer Wilbanks and also asked her fiancé to undergo an officially administered polygraph test. "We've turned over every leaf in this city. I have suspended all future searches" until more evidence is found, Duluth Police Chief Randy Belcher told reporters.
· Cash for You! Seinfeld Sued. So Jerry Seinfeld and his wife buy a brownstone in Manhattan and, yada yada yada, they're hit with a lawsuit. When Seinfeld and wife Jessica Sklar plunked down $4 million on their new digs, real estate broker Tamara Cohen claims they neglected to pay her company the $117,000 commission.
· R.I. Police Say Man Offered Steak for Sex. He didn't have any money. But police say that didn't stop Wayne Glaude, 22, from soliciting sex from an undercover officer Thursday night. Instead, police said, he offered steak.
· Jackson Prosecution May Use 1993 Evidence. Prosecutors in Michael Jackson's child molestation trial on Friday showed jurors two books seized from his bedroom in 1993 that include pictures of nude boys.
· Girl Scouts Sue Deadbeat Cookie Buyers. Girl Scouts File Small-Claims Lawsuits Against Deadbeat Cookie Buyers, Alleging Fraud. Girl Scout cookies aren't free, as a few alleged deadbeats are about to find out. One scout group has filed small-claims lawsuits against people who failed to pay up.
· Internet posting stirs bin Laden mystery. A posting on an Islamist Web site stirred speculation over the fate of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, and prompted a flurry of denials on Friday that the world’s most wanted man was dead.
· Koppel on Bad Hair Days and Howard Stern's Money. Koppel reflects, "I've been watching with great interest the fact that Howard Stern got $500 million for a five-year contract, and it does open all kinds of new possibilities."
· Update: 2 Arrested After Claiming Buried Treasure. Two men who claimed in numerous national media interviews that they found buried treasure in the back yard of a home were arrested early Friday after being questioned by police, who said they had determined that the money was stolen.
» Police Say Roofers Found Money In Someone's House. From the beginning it sounded a bit like a tall tale, and it turns out it may well have been just that. Police say the roofers actually found the money in the rafters of an old house they were renovating in Newbury, Mass., so it doesn't belong to them.
· CSU Asks Students To Only Use Cold Water. School Says It Could Save $30,000 If Students Wash Clothes In Cold Water. A week after proposing tuition increases, Colorado State University is asking students to help the school save money by warming up to cold water.
· Cruz regrets getting too close to Salma. Penelope Cruz regrets grabbing pal Salma Hayek's backside during a recent photo shoot, because it sparked stories the friends were lesbians. The Spanish star blames her indiscretion on being sick with the flu.
· How the President's News Conference Ended Up Live on Four Networks. In a showdown that featured inside-the-Beltway lobbying and bare-knuckle boardroom negotiating, Donald J. Trump and President Bush effectively squared off yesterday in pursuit of the same parcel of real estate - a piece of the NBC-TV prime-time lineup. And it was the president who blinked first.
· FEMA Worker Buys Storm Victim's Oceanfront Home For $250,000. Gary C. Jones was sent to Florida in October by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help hurricane victims rid their homes of mold and mildew. He wound up ridding a 72-year-old woman of her oceanfront home - for $250,000 - after she walked into a FEMA service center seeking his advice on mold removal.
· ‘Apprentice’ turns into a dogfight. This was officially the last week for team competition on "The Apprentice" this season, but you’d never know it from watching Thursday’s show, since there was almost no teamwork to be found. The winning project manager did almost everything herself and ignored her teammate except when she had the chance to snipe at him, while the loser took a cab ride to Staten Island in search of beads.
· Legionnaires' killed wife - hospital kept mum. A Queens woman was diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease and died more than a month ago at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center - but the hospital didn't tell her devastated husband until this week.
· 'Alcohol makes your brain grow.' Drinking alcohol boosts the growth of new nerve cells in the brain, research suggests. But while good in theory, the Swedish team believe these new cells could contribute to the development of alcohol dependence.
· Gov. Praises 'Minuteman' Campaign. Calling the nation's borders dangerously porous, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday praised the private "Minuteman" campaign that uses armed volunteers to stop illegal immigrants from crossing into the U.S.
· Spitzer Sues Intermix Over 'Spyware.' New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer sued a major Internet marketer Thursday, blaming it for secretly installing software that delivers nuisance pop-up advertisements and can slow and crash personal computers.
· Akbar Sentenced to Death for Grenade Attack A military jury sentenced a soldier to death Thursday for a grenade and rifle attack on his own comrades during the opening days of the Iraq invasion, a barrage that killed two officers and that prosecutors said was driven by religious extremism.
· Kids, blogs and too much information. Teenagers are among the most active Internet bloggers, and many are posting pictures, names, addresses, schools, even phone numbers, almost always without their parent's knowledge.
Thursday, April 28, 2005
· Mason Adams, 'Lou Grant' star, dead. Mason Adams, known for his Emmy-nominated role on the television series "Lou Grant" and as the voice behind the Smucker's jelly commercials, died Tuesday at his home in Manhattan. He was 86.
· "Idol" Finalist Dodged Cocaine Rap. One of the five remaining "American Idol" finalists was once arrested for felony cocaine possession, but had the charge dismissed last year after completing a so-called "diversion program" for first-time offenders.
· Star Tabloid Fakes Photo of Pitt, Jolie. To match Us Weekly's real cover photos of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie together on an African beach, Star magazine doctored two separate oceanside pictures of each actor. Tucked away on page 8 is a disclaimer noting the image is a "composite of two photographs." Us Weekly won a bidding war for the real photos of Brad and Angelina together, by spending a reported $500,000 to $1 million for the pictures.
· White Supremacist Runs for School Board. First came the leaflets. Left on front porches around the college town of Bozeman last summer, they called for a white homeland and espoused a need to protect the white race. Then, residents learned a month ago that a member of the group that distributed the leaflets had gathered enough signatures to run as a candidate in next Tuesday's school board election.
· Ex-Wife Calls Jackson Associates 'Vultures.' Michael Jackson's ex-wife is blasting the singer's associates in her testimony at the pop singer's child-molestation trial. On the stand for the second day Thursday, Debbie Rowe called some of Jackson's people "opportunistic vultures."
· Fla. Court Refuses to Hear Limbaugh Appeal. The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday declined to consider an appeal from commentator Rush Limbaugh claiming his privacy was violated when his medical records were seized for an investigation of whether he illegally purchased painkillers.
· Apple gets a dose of its own medicine. Apple Computer has been slapped with a lawsuit by Tiger Direct Inc. for allegedly infringing its trademark with the new Mac OS X "Tiger'' operating system scheduled for release on Friday.
· Mother let kid starve; now she wants money. The abusive mother of a boy found starved to death in Newark two years ago is now going to court, claiming that state child welfare officials should have stepped in and saved her son. Yep, mama wants money.
· Tina Fey and Husband Expecting First Baby. This just in: "Saturday Night Live" comedian-writer Tina Fey is pregnant. The baby is due in September, People magazine reported Wednesday. It will be the first child for the Weekend Update co-anchor and her husband, "SNL" composer Jeff Richmond.
· Kelly Vs. Katie. What a week for Katie Couric. First came a raft of negative publicity for the "Today" show, following the firing of its executive producer. On Monday, a scathing Times story blamed Couric's "downright scary" image for the program's declining ratings. Then Jeff Zucker, president of NBC Universal Television, gave high praise to another network's morning personality - Kelly Ripa - at an off-the-record meeting of magazine execs.
· Pope products proliferate. The Vatican sent up smoke a little more than a week ago to declare a new pope. But already Joseph Ratzinger's emergence as Benedict XVI is being announced in another, less-ceremonial way, with a stream of licensed pope products coming on the market.
» Rush on last Pope John Paul II euro coins, prices skyrocket. The Vatican issued the last set of euro coins bearing the portrait of the late Pope John Paul II, but the collector's item quickly ran out and sent prices skyrocketing within minutes.
· Sniper terror on the LA freeway. Motorists in Los Angeles are being terrorised by seemingly random shootings on the city’s freeways which have left four dead from car-to-car gunfire in the past month.
· 'ET' Snares Rights to Letourneau Wedding. The television show "Entertainment Tonight" has won the rights to the planned May wedding of Mary Kay Letourneau and her former sixth-grade pupil Vili Fualaau, the father of her two youngest children.
· Rule #1, don't leave baby behind if you're going to shoplift. A woman confronted and accused of shoplifting in a Wal-Mart store fled into the parking lot on foot Wednesday - leaving her 8-month-old baby in a shopping cart in the store.
· Miss France stripped of her crown. Miss France 2004 has been stripped of her title for six months after posing for Playboy. The head of the committee that runs the contest said she was "dismayed and appalled" by the half-naked photos of Laetitia Bleger in the magazine.
· 'Internet evangelist' held on child rape charges. A self-described Internet evangelist who has preached about everything from morality to spirituality on his family's Web site was arrested Wednesday and charged with raping a child younger than 12.
· Lap Dance Leads To Robbery Plot, Shooting. A 22-year-old man was shot in the abdomen Wednesday during an alleged robbery plot hatched by a Central Florida stripper and two friends, according to authorities.
· Update: Two Men Sue Chicago Tribune for Defamation. Two men claim photographs in the Chicago Tribune misidentified them as high-ranking mobsters, prompting one of the men Wednesday to sue the newspaper. Retired businessman Frank Calabrese is suing the Tribune Co. for more than $1 million in damages, claiming defamation.
· McGreevey Resigns From Law Firm. Amid conflict of interest allegations, former Gov. James E. McGreevey resigned Wednesday from a law firm that hired him last year after he left office over a homosexual affair.
· Homeowners association sells woman's house. Pamela Bernhardt was close to completing renovations on a house she owned and hoped to sell. She had installed a new roof, new granite tops in the kitchen and new tiles in the bathroom. Earlier this month, she found a small, yellow note stuck to the front door. The handwritten note said that the house had been sold at a foreclosure sale seven months earlier. The local homeowners association had sold the house, valued at about $250,000, saying Bernhardt failed to pay a $420 assessment fee.
· Jackson's ex-wife contradicts prosecution. Michael Jackson's ex-wife testified Wednesday that she was not honest when she praised her former husband as a parent during an interview she gave in February 2003 to help defend him after the broadcast of a damaging television documentary. However, contradicting earlier statements from the prosecution, Debbie Rowe said her comments in the interview, while not truthful, were also not scripted or rehearsed, and she said she even turned down an offer to see the questions in advance.
» Jacko ex stings DA. In tearful testimony that may backfire on prosecutors, Michael Jackson's ex-wife, Debbie Rowe, called the pop star "my friend" yesterday and said she hoped to "reconnect" with him and the two kids she bore for him.
· Witness in Marine Case Taken Off Stand. A key witness in the case against a Marine officer accused of murdering two Iraqi civilians was abruptly taken off the stand Wednesday on suspicion of violating orders on giving interviews about the case.
· Shocking find at supermarket. Firefighters found more than 200 vehicle airbags believed to be stolen in the back room of a Brooklyn supermarket, where materials were found to make pipe bombs, and newspaper clippings about Osama bin Laden and beheadings in Iraq covered the walls, authorities said. The biggest shocker: The FBI says it doesn't believe it is related to terrorism.
· Internet Growing As Main Source Of News Among Online Adults. The number of online adults who prefer the Internet as their main source of news has grown by over 35 percent in the last four years, at the expense of television and newspapers, a market research firm said Tuesday.
· Hollow glass stops drinks being spiked. A design student has come up with an invention he hopes will help eliminate drinks being spiked in bars. The idea for the glass came after a friend was sexually assaulted when her drink was spiked in a bar last year.
· Washington interns are still struggling to shake off the Lewinsky tag. In Washington, playing the role of the gullible intern is an effective way to move up the ladder. One intern says that everyone should understand the relationships between older men and young women in Washington - the women use the men to "work their way up". And if they have to use sex, that's a fair tactic.
· Cemetery To Begin Vertical Burials. An Australian company has been given approval to begin work on a cemetery where bodies will be buried vertically to save space and minimize impact on the environment, a spokesman said Thursday.
· Scientists Say Everyone Can Read Minds. Simulation theory states that we are natural mind readers. We place ourselves in another person's "mental shoes," and use our own mind as a model for theirs, according to scientists.
· Too Little Sleep Could Cause Diabetes. If your schedule robs you of slumber, you may be setting yourself up for diabetes. But don't press the snooze bar too many times, because oversleeping might bring the same result.
· Sex Offender Caught Driving Special Needs Van. A convicted sex offender arrested in Stoughton, Mass. driving a van for special needs students will be in court Thursday on charges he violated his probation and failed to register as a sex offender.
· Nevada ghost town sells for $150,000. For sale was a 135-year-old Nevada ghost town by the name of Palisade, located halfway between Reno and Salt Lake City and a long walk to the nearest gas station after a visitor's car breaks down.
· The most expensive ZIP codes. What's in a ZIP? In this case, some of the priciest real estate in the country. From Beverly Hills to TriBeCa, from notorious enclaves of mansions and lush lawns to little-known niches of wealth, we looked at ZIP codes around the country to find the ones where home prices were the highest last year.
· 7 men sue Florida City Denny's after being called 'bin Ladens.' Seven men of Middle Eastern descent have sued a Denny's restaurant in Florida City, claiming the restaurant refused to serve them. According to the $4 million suit, Ascano said, "We don't serve Bin Laden's here."
· Best Man Arrested in Honeymoon Blaze. A honeymooning couple was to return Wednesday night to find their home had been set on fire while they were away, and that police arrested the best man at their wedding and charged him with setting the blaze.
· Exploding toads baffle scientists. More than 1,000 toads have puffed up and exploded in a Hamburg pond in recent weeks, and German scientists still have no explanation for what's causing the combustion.
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
· Thieves Load Up on Lohan's TVs, Booze. Lindsay Lohan, the star of the upcoming "Herbie: Fully Loaded," had her Los Angeles-area home burglarized by thieves who loaded up on her expensive electronics and alcohol.
· Boy Scout leader charged with molestation. The assistant scoutmaster of a local Boy Scout troop has surrendered to authorities today after being charged with sexually molesting a 12-year-old member of his troop during an overnight sleepover in 2003, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.
· 'Extinct' woodpecker found. The ivory-billed woodpecker, long feared extinct, has been rediscovered in a remote part of Arkansas some 60 years after the last confirmed U.S. sighting, bird experts said Thursday.
· Wynn's $2.7B Vegas Hotel-Casino Opens. For five years, casino developer Steve Wynn has labored over his latest creation, the $2.7 billion Wynn Las Vegas, forbidding photographs of the interior and keeping most of its design aspects secret.
· Late regrets: Tenet says he regrets 'slam dunk' comment. Former CIA Director George Tenet said he regretted assuring President Bush in 2002 that he had "slam dunk" evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
· Update: Man on Trial for Not Paying Celebrities. Alan Walker kept his company's doors locked all day long, apparently afraid that Andy Rooney or Erin Brockovich or Magic Johnson would try to force their way in, looking for cash.
· "You got the wrong man!" At first, Frank Calabrese thought Tuesday's front-page Tribune story was simply another article about the mobster who shares his name. Then he turned to page 18. There, in black-and-white, was his own picture in a graphic titled "Infrastructure of a Chicago mob." Calabrese, a longtime Chicago businessman and horse owner who has no mob ties, could barely believe his eyes.
· Julia Roberts tops 50 Most Beautiful list. The actress graces the cover of People's annual "50 Most Beautiful People" issue, on newsstands Friday. It is a record-breaking third time that Roberts has been the issue's covergirl.
· Man Demands Ransom for Pooch. A man whose truck was stolen with his 11-week-old puppy inside said the thief threatened to kill his pet unless he paid a $500 ransom. Instead, the dog owner brought the police along to the planned rendezvous, and a suspect was arrested.
· Anti-Castro Majority Leader Tom DeLay enjoys a fine Cuban cigar. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. And sometimes, according to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, a cigar is an economic prop to a brutal totalitarian regime.
· Garland's 'Oz' Dress Nets $250,000. The blue and white gingham dress worn by Judy Garland in "The Wizard of Oz" was sold for $252,000 at auction Wednesday. The dress, one of the most recognizable in movie history, went to a buyer bidding by telephone who did not wish to be identified.
· Man shot by cops was in handcuffs. The body of a man who was shot by a sheriff's deputy arrived at the state medical examiner's office with his hands cuffed behind his back, according to an autopsy report. State police had told the coroner that the man died in an exchange of gunfire.
· Third-Grader Found Hanging From Hook In School Coatroom. A 9-year-old boy was in critical condition after he was found unconscious in a school coatroom, hanging from a hook by his shirt collar, authorities said.
· Convenience Stores Aim to Remake Image. Gas stations as gourmet destinations? It's an unlikely culinary revolution, but Slim Jims are making way for sushi as convenience stores transform themselves with upscale eats and shed their image as junk food pit stops.
· Congress tries again for a dollar coin. Despite two wildly unsuccessful attempts to introduce a dollar coin, legislators are trying again. On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to create a new $1 coin, which would accompany the current Sacagawea piece. The measure enjoyed enormous bipartisan support, passing by a vote of 422 to 6.
· Bush Signs Bill to Let Parents Strip DVDs. President Bush on Wednesday signed legislation aimed at helping parents keep their children from seeing sex scenes, violence and foul language in movie DVDs.
· Nike to capitalize on Woods' historic shot. Two weeks after Tiger Woods' historic shot on the 16th hole in the final round of The Masters, Nike is finally ready to capitalize. One reason the Nike ad couldn't be turned around even quicker was because the company had to negotiate for the rights to the footage with Augusta National, with CBS for the rights to the audio and with announcer Verne Lundquist for the rights to use his voice.
· Survey: U.S. Trusts the News but Sees Bias. A national survey conducted by the Missouri School of Journalism's found 85 percent said they detect a bias in news reporting. Of those, 48 percent identified it as liberal, 30 percent as conservative, 12 percent as both, and 3 percent as other bias.
· Laura Ingraham has cancer. Feisty radio gabber Laura Ingraham yesterday revealed she's fighting breast cancer, and insisted she'll beat it. "People have gone through much worse, and I know I'll obliterate this," Ingraham, 40, said on her Web site.
» Update: Photo Of Girl Released In Child Porn Probe. Detectives released a photo Wednesday of a young girl who has been known to be with another girl sought in an ongoing case of child pornography involving a Disney hotel.
· NFL player blown off boat, killed. Stanley Shakespeare, a former Tampa Bay Buccaneers replacement player and member of the 1983 national champion Miami Hurricanes, died when he was blown off his boat.
· Flight was diverted over medicine. A report of suspicious material aboard a United Airlines flight from New York to San Francisco led authorities to divert it and make an unscheduled stop in Chicago. The 'suspicious materials' ended up being two vials of medicine, an MP3 player and wires for his laptop computer, a TSA spokesman said.
· Black student confesses to 'hate mail' hoax. After an evacuation and a visit from the Rev. Jesse Jackson, a Christian university discovered that "racist hate mail" reported on campus actually was sent by a black student looking for a way to be pulled out of school.
· Homeless man sues bus company. A homeless man who sued and received $230,000 after being ejected from a New Jersey library is suing a bus company, alleging it refused to allow him and other homeless men to board buses while allowing clean-cut passengers to ride.
· Brosnan 'will stay on as 007.' Pierce Brosnan will play James Bond in the next 007 film, co-star Dame Judi Dench has revealed. After much speculation, the 51-year-old will reprise his role as the suave secret agent in Casino Royale, she said.
· Russian Cosmonaut Says Alcohol Should Be Allowed on ISS. Russian cosmonaut Salizhan Sharipov, just back from space, said that alcohol should be allowed on the International Space Station as it helps to cope with stress and enhances performance.
· Update: Gyllenhaal 9/11 Comments Spark Outcry. Maggie Gyllenhaal has waded into sensitive political waters by raising questions about Sept. 11 and American foreign policy. The 27-year-old actress, who stars in a new film about the 2001 terror attacks on the World Trade Center, said in an interview last week that the United States "is responsible in some way" for the attacks.
· 'The Simpsons' Hit 350th Episode Milestone. As the legendary Fox series wraps up its 16th season, the denizens of Springfield are wading in some uncharted prime-time waters. When executive producer Al Jean boasts that "The Simpsons" "just enjoyed the best 16th season of any comedy ever," that's because no other comedy has ever made it this far.
· Casino Camera Operators Accused Of Ogling. Four more surveillance camera operators at Caesars Atlantic City Hotel Casino have been accused of using the equipment to ogle women, according to a complaint filed Tuesday. In December, the same casino was fined $80,000 for incidents involving two camera operators who trained their in-ceiling cameras on low-cut blouses and revealing clothing.
· Tyco chief: 'I just was not thinking.' The former CEO was the first defense witness in the trial of Kozlowski and former chief financial officer Mark H. Swartz, who are accused of looting the conglomerate of $600 million.
· Apple allegedly angered by CEO biography. Technology publisher John Wiley & Sons said Apple Computer Inc. had removed all of its books from Apple store shelves ahead of the publication of a biography of Apple CEO entitled "iCon Steve Jobs."
· Woman surprised by stranger in bed. A Virginia woman went to bed Sunday night with her eight-year-old daughter sleeping at her side, but awoke yesterday in the arms of a neighbor - who is a convicted sex offender.
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
· 'Insider' Host Pat O'Brien Out of Rehab. "The Insider" co-host Pat O'Brien has allegedly been released from rehab and could be headed back to TV as soon as next week. O'Brien was spotted Sunday at L.A.'s tony Hotel Bel Air and is expected to appear on an upcoming edition of "Dr. Phil."
· World's most expensive hotels. At a certain level - and price point - a hotel room ceases to be simply a place to sleep and shower in a strange city and, instead, becomes a physical manifestation of one's status and power. Like buying a $100,000 wristwatch, the point is not to tell time better but to show the world you can afford it.
· Pamela Anderson Joins PETA Boycott of KFC. Pamela Anderson has another beef with Colonel Sanders. The former "Baywatch" star is calling for a boycott of KFC, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) announced Tuesday. Anderson narrates a new 5-minute video produced by the animal rights group that documents the alleged mistreatment of chickens.
· Nazi Arms Supplier's Heir Pays Reparations. The billionaire grandson of a Nazi arms supplier has paid $6.5 million into a fund for former slave laborers after years of pressure, a move that a senior German Jewish official said Tuesday was long overdue.
· Thief's interview takes priority. A former Provident bank employee who last month pleaded guilty to stealing $70,000 from a bank customer couldn't make his court sentencing hearing - because he said he had a job interview.
· 'CBS Evening News' Hits Low Ratings Mark. While critics have praised changes made to the "CBS Evening News" since Bob Schieffer took over for Dan Rather last month, viewers clearly haven't been intrigued. The show's average of 6.1 million viewers last week was the lowest since Nielsen Media Research began measurement with "people meters" in 1987.
· Man Who Put Mom in Freezer Had Odd History. As a teenager, Philip Schuth was teased mercilessly by the other kids because his mother still walked him to school. As an adult, he lived with his mother, cut his backyard with a scythe, and once bought $150 worth of Spam in a single grocery store outing.
· How to blow a career with the highway patrol. Leading authorities on a motorcycle chase and going the wrong way on the highway in rush-hour traffic is no way to impress a potential boss. Authorities said David Carpenter, 24, was set to take his physical exam next week to be a Florida Highway Patrol trooper, but his dangerous habit of riding at 140 mph on the Florida Turnpike and fleeing from troopers likely put an end to his law enforcement career.
· ABC exposes "American Idol." ABC News has discovered "startling" things about Fox's singing competition series "American Idol." ABC News announced yesterday that a special hour-long "Primetime Live" report "will explore explosive claims about behind-the-scenes activities at 'American Idol,' the hit television show that became a cultural phenomenon."
Another teacher faces sex charges. A teacher’s aide has been accused by prosecutors of stripping naked in the classroom and touching herself in a seductive manner and of having sexual contact with seven students, both boys and girls between the ages of 11 and 15, was charged today with nine criminal counts.
· Brother, sister arrested on incest charge. A brother and sister were arrested on felony incest charges after the man's wife called Trafford, Alabama sheriff's deputies, who allegedly caught the '40-something' siblings having sex.
· Men Dig Up Over $100,000 In Buried Treasure. Two men digging up a small tree in Methuen, Massachusetts, found more than just roots. The men uncovered a wooden box, which contained nine rusty tin cans filled with one-, two- and 20-dollar bills. There were about 1,800 bills in all, dating from 1899 to 1929. There also were some gold and silver certificates as well as notes from local banks at the time.
· More evidence of Saudi Arabian doubletalk. Sheik Saleh Al Luhaidan, seen in video seated to the right of the crown prince, is chief justice of Saudi Arabia's Supreme Judicial Council. His sermons and words carry great significance. In a secret audiotape recording, Luhaidan encourages young Saudis to go to Iraq to wage war against Americans.
· Bully case verdict a warning to doctors. When a jury recently ordered an Indiana heart surgeon to pay $325,000 to a hospital employee on a claim of "workplace bullying," experts who have studied the subject said it was a significant decision in a growing, yet murky, area of law.
· Microsoft Says PC Users Drowning in Info. Computer storage technology is getting so cheap a person could record every conversation of a lifetime and decades of photographs, but experts must improve search systems so users can make sense of such mind-boggling amounts of information.
· Bono bunks with Bill Gates when in Seattle. When U2's lead singer came to Seattle over the weekend for a concert, there was only one logical place to stay - the home of Bill Gates, who shares Bono's passion for Third World development and relief efforts.
· Felons overseas can carry guns in U.S. The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that people convicted of a crime overseas may own a gun in the United States. The court reasoned that U.S. law, which prohibits felons who have been convicted in “any court” from owning guns, applies only to domestic crimes.
· Schoolgirls using steroids to get toned, experts say. An alarming number of American girls, some as young as 9, are using bodybuilding steroids - not necessarily to get an edge on the playing field, but to get the toned, sculpted look of models and movie stars, experts say.
· Florida Man Arrested For 16th DUI. The Seminole County sheriff's office said a Volusia County man is in custody on his 16th drunken-driving arrest. Mitchell Raulerson, 55, of Seville, was stopped in Sanford by an officer who was suspicious about his hand-drawn license plate.
· Florida Law Expands Right to Kill in Self-Defense. People in Florida will be allowed to kill in self-defense on the street without trying to flee under a new law passed by state politicians that critics say will bring a Wild West mentality and innocent deaths.
· School Administrators Arrested For Soliciting Prostitute. Two assistant principals from different Orange County, Fla., schools were arrested Monday for allegedly soliciting sex from a police officer posing as a prostitute.
· Woman gets choice: Go to jail or give up Packers tickets. It's a choice that could give pause to some Green Bay Packers fans. A judge ordered an Appleton woman convicted of theft to decide whether to spend 90 days in jail or donate her family's Packers tickets next season to charity.
· Is dead last good enough for Utah's kids? Congratulations, Utah. You're No. 50! As in dead last in the nation in money spent on public school students. According to news reports, all they need is another $300 million to improve their ranking — to No. 49. Next goal: Overtake Mississippi.
· Jackson's legal team shaken up. Michael Jackson's legal team is undergoing a shakeup just days before the defense is expected to start presenting its case to jurors in the pop star's trial on child molestation charges.
» Jacko Lawyer Axed. After court Monday, several reporters watched as Oxman had an animated conversation with lead Jackson attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. The two then embraced in a hug. Oxman did not return a call for comment Monday. Oxman was taken from court last month and hospitalized with what turned out to be right lung pneumonia. Jackson and his mother welcomed him back with hugs when he returned. Oxman is the fourth attorney to part ways with Jackson.
· Would-Be Car Burglar Locks Self in Trunk. A man attempting to burglarize a car over the weekend locked himself in the trunk and was swiftly arrested, police said. A security guard at an apartment complex in southeast Fresno followed a trail of blood to a banging noise coming from the trunk.
· Palace: Paparazzi endangered Harry. Aides to Britain's royal family have complained to the country's press watchdog that paparazzi put Prince Harry in danger by chasing after his car to snap photos of him on safari in Botswana.
· Was Kidnapped Teen's 911 Call Thought To Be A Prank? The Elgin Police Department is investigating a call made by a kidnapped teen who was later found brutally murdered. David Steeves dialed 911 from inside the trunk of a car seconds after his abduction. Now there's speculation that operators thought the call was a prank.
· Reunion? Phil Jackson to meet with Bryant. ESPN reported on Monday night that Phil Jackson, who coached the Los Angeles Lakers from 1999-2004 and earned three championship rings, is scheduled to meet with Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles later this week. The meeting could be seen as a step to Jackson possibly returning to coach the Lakers.
· Update: Japan Train Crash Death Toll Up to 73. death toll from Japan's worst rail accident in four decades rose to 73 on Tuesday as searchers pulled bodies from twisted metal train cars and rescued a 19-year-old student believed to be the last survivor.
Monday, April 25, 2005
· Nolte son charged with possession. The 18-year-old son of actor Nick Nolte and an acquaintance were arrested early Sunday in St. Albans, West Virginia and charged with possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.
· Benedict Says He Prayed Not to Be Elected. Pope Benedict XVI said Monday he had viewed the idea of being elected pope as a "guillotine," and he prayed to God during the recent conclave to be spared selection but "evidently this time He didn't listen to me."
· On-demand airline could alter travel to midsize cities. DayJet, of Delray Beach, Fla., will marry two advanced technologies: Very Light Jet (VLJ) aircraft, which can seat four passengers and operate at half the cost of today's small jets; and sophisticated computer databases that can determine the most efficient ways to route those aircraft to pick up customers.
· Tennessee Man Discovers What May Be The Deepest Cave In U.S. That pleases caver Kent Ballew because he thinks he's found the deepest pit cave in the country, perhaps 800 feet deep. The Center for Cave and Karst Studies at Western Kentucky University will map caves in the region for the next two years.
· NASA offers prize for 'space elevator' Beams of light could propel cargo, humans. NASA has $400,000 in prize money riding on a competition to stimulate the innovative concept - no matter how weird it may seem - for sending people, spacecraft and robots directly out to Mars and the other planets of the solar system.
· Nick Lachey staying close to Jessica Simpson. Lachey has flown down to Louisiana, and has been doing business in Baton Rouge, not far from the set of the “Dukes of Hazzard” movie, amid reports that wife Jessica Simpson is getting a tad too cozy with her co-star Johnny Knoxville.
· 'Will & Grace' May Get Salary Cuts. The aging NBC sitcom's producers are close to signing a deal with the network that would significantly lower the licensing fee they are paid to produce the show, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
· Declaring cars as scrap? Bangladeshi customs officials found luxury cars, large-screen television sets and refrigerators in a container declared to be carrying metal scrap - so they made it just that at a public ceremony on Monday.
· GM Recalls 2 Million Vehicles, Most Sold in U.S. General Motors Corp. on Monday said it was recalling more than 2 million vehicles to fix a variety of potential safety defects, most of them on cars and trucks sold in the United States.
· Sheriff was warned about man accused of killing Jessica Lunsford. State law enforcement officials say they alerted the Citrus County Sheriff's Office six months ago about potentially missing sexual offenders. The warning included the man charged with abducting and murdering Jessica Lunsford.
· 'Today' show seeks yesterday's glory. Something has to be very wrong with NBC's "Today" if viewers are turning to ABC's Diane Sawyer as a refreshingly wholesome alternative. Panic is now setting in at Rockefeller Center. Last week NBC dismissed the executive producer of "Today," Tom Touchet, and replaced him with a sports producer, Jim Bell, the program's fourth impresario since 2001. It gets worse: NBC also fired a longtime contributor, style and fashion expert, Steven "Cojo" Cojocaru, three weeks after he underwent a kidney transplant.
· Is the bubble about to burst in the real estate market? In manias, a few people buy in at the top. They buy an asset that will fall like a stone from astronomical levels. People who would not normally have been willing to roll the dice on such a high-risk venture buy in and gratefully sign the mortgage papers. Normally, no lender would have loaned to them. But the mania affects lenders, too.
· Jackson Prosecutors Plan to Wrap Up Case. Stung by several recent rulings favorable to the defense, prosecutors in the Michael Jackson child-molestation case said they planned to wrap up their case as early as this week.
· Taser contributes to police families. Barely 24 hours after Officer James Prince was gunned down during a traffic stop in January in rural North Carolina, a package arrived in the office of Boiling Spring Lakes Police Chief Richard White. Inside, the chief says, was a black envelope embossed with a police badge. Attached was a message with the condolences of the Taser Foundation and a check for $6,500, made out to Prince's family.
· Reality TV Makes It Tough for Miss America. How about Miss Arkansas in a cat fight with Miss Texas? Or Miss Alaska plotting with Miss Tennessee to get Miss Maine voted off the runway? Or a swimsuit contest featuring bikini-clad women walking the runway while covered in leeches?
· Redfaced professor made up scary story. Last week we told how University of Berkeley professor, Jasper Rine tried to put the fear of god into the student who nicked his laptop by claiming it had all sorts of top secret government data on it. He warned that almost every James Bond in the world was hunting that laptop. He also said he knew who the thief was.
· Holy fraud, Batman, aspiring councilwoman cheated. An aspiring city councilwoman admitted to forging dozens of signatures, including those of "Batman" and "The Joker," on her petition to get on the ballot
· FEMA inspectors include people with criminal records. A newspaper reports that government inspectors who visited disaster victims' homes to verify damage claims include at least 30 people with records for crimes such as embezzlement, drug dealing and robbery.
· Driver slips on his grease. A Brooklyn man turned a traffic ticket into four felony charges last night by trying to use $100 to bribe a cop who had pulled him over for running a red light in lower Manhattan, police sources said. The quick-thinking officer, realizing the he would need witnesses to prove a bribe attempt, responded to Holiam Clement Ho's offer by saying that two fellow officers wanted in on the action, cop sources said. Ho hand the trio of officers $100 each, cops said.
· Restaurant fined for throwing out kissing lesbians. A Swedish lesbian couple who were thrown out of a Stockholm restaurant in 2003 for kissing won an appeal on Monday against an earlier court ruling that cleared the restaurant owner of sexual discrimination.
· Man Ordered To Pay Support For Child That's Not His. Maine officials are coming after a 35-year-old man who they said owes thousands in back child support for a child that is not his. They said Geoffrey Fisher owes about $11,000 in child support to cover the time from the child's birth until paternity tests proved that Fisher was not the father.
· Bringing Back NFL Could Be Bargain for NBC. NBC says its re-entry into the business of televising NFL football is not an admission that it was a mistake to walk away eight years ago. "We never really regretted that decision, simply because of the price," said Randy Falco, president of the NBC Universal Television Group. "It wasn't because we didn't think that it had value, it was just what we thought that it was worth."
· 50 dead in Japan rail disaster. A packed commuter train left the tracks and slammed into an apartment building, killing 50 people and injuring more than 340 others in Japan's deadliest rail accident in four decades.
Sunday, April 24, 2005
· 'Interpreter' Translates to Box-Office Win. Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn's "The Interpreter" translated into solid box-office as the United Nations thriller debuted with $22.8 million to top the weekend for Hollywood. Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet's romantic comedy "A Lot Like Love," had a so-so opening of $7.7 million, coming in at No. 4, according to studio estimates Sunday.
· Rumsfeld/Dolly Appearance a Hit With Opry Fans. As members of the U.S. military watched on television via satellite from Iraq, Dolly Parton invited their boss, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, onstage at the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday.
· Bruce Springsteen's drummer says vintage car dealer sold him $93K lemon. The longtime drummer behind rock legend Bruce Springsteen will not be cruising around in a glamorous vintage Thunderbird to celebrate his birthday today — but he might be behind the wheel of a $93,785 lemon. New Jersey native Max Weinberg, who is also the bandleader on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," has filed a lawsuit against the car dealer.
· Mitch Albom disciplined after newspaper review. Best-selling author Mitch Albom and four other employees of the Detroit Free Press were disciplined after an investigation prompted by a column by Albom that contained errors and purported to describe events at a game even though it was written before it took place, the newspaper said in a letter to readers in Saturday’s paper.
· Did Martha break house arrest? The U.S. Probation Department is investigating whether Martha Stewart violated the terms of her house arrest when she attended a Time magazine dinner last week, The New York Post reported Sunday. "We're going to do some investigating to see if this event was directly related to her employment," Chris Stanton, chief federal probation officer for the Southern District of New York.
· Satellite to Help Determine Muslim Holidays. Muslim countrier are to use satellite technology to help in moon sightings, used to determine Islamic holidays, the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference said Sunday. The OIC, the world's largest Muslim body, plans to launch an $8-million satellite within two years to take pictures of the moon to find lunar calendar dates.
· Jackson Jurors Face Dilemma With Witnesses. As the prosecution nears the end of its case against Michael Jackson, jurors face a dilemma: how much should they believe testimony from key witnesses who have admitted past lies?
· Brad and Angelina spotted on beach. They've been denying it for ages but sources last night claimed Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are finally an item. Onlookers said they were relaxing together on a beach in Morocco - just four weeks after his actress wife Jennifer Aniston filed for divorce, according to the London Sun.
· BlackBerry users feel thumb-struck. Many people have been forced to shelve their BlackBerry, a handheld device that combines telephone, e-mail, messaging and Internet services with a personal organizer. Orthopedists say they are seeing an increasing number of patients with similar symptoms, a condition known as "overuse syndrome" or "BlackBerry thumb."
· Woman Says Horn Honking Part Of Free Speech. A California woman says being ticketed for honking her car horn violates her right to free speech. Carol Harris is appealing the $143 citation for "unreasonable use of horn."
· Fraudster sells Indian PM's residence on Web site. intelligence department is investigating reports that a fraudster sold an American businessman the prime minister's residence in the heart of New Delhi recently, a leading daily reported on Sunday.
· The Blind Struggle As Gadgets Proliferate. As technology has evolved, it's become lighter, smaller and more portable. For most people, that makes it more convenient. For millions of blind and vision-impaired people, it's anything but.
· Oscar-Winning Actor John Mills Dies at 97. Actor Sir John Mills, the quintessential British officer in scores of films, died Saturday after an Oscar-winning career spanning more than 50 years that included roles in "Gandhi" and "Ryan's Daughter."
· Sky Diver Hit, Killed By Plane During Jump. A skydiving cinematographer died Saturday after his legs were severed in a midair collision with airplane as both descended over a Central Florida airport, authorities said.
Saturday, April 23, 2005
· Versace Hopes to Put Addiction Behind Her. Donatella Versace has designs on staying sober after a trip to rehab last year. The fashion guru tells the May issue of Vogue that her 18-year addiction to cocaine began at 32, when she mostly used the drug at parties in New York and Los Angeles.
· Update: Johnny Carson Microphone Sells for $50,787. An anonymous bidder Friday snatched a piece of TV history, offering $50,787 for the microphone that sat prominently on the desk of late-night king Johnny Carson until the 1980s. The offer was about twice that expected at auction.
· Sheriff's Office To Post Photos Of Juvenile Sex Offenders. The Orange County Sheriff's Office will become the first agency in Florida to post online photos and release information about juvenile sex offenders, some as young as 11 years old.
· N.H. bans man from hunting for 10 years. An FBI firearms instructor has been acquitted of negligent homicide after fatally shooting a fellow hunter has been banned from hunting in New Hampshire for 10 years.
· Why New Coke and other ‘good’ ideas fizzle. It was early 1985, and the news was slowly leaking out: The Coca-Cola Co. was working on a new kind of Coke, a variation of a product that reached back through American history and a rejoinder to the emerging challenge from an upstart called Pepsi.
· Director pleads guilty in ferry accident. A former director of the Staten Island ferry admitted yesterday that he deliberately failed to enforce a rule that could have prevented the deadly 2003 crash - one of the worst mass transit disasters in city history.
· Woman stopped bus, joined daughter's fight. The Lee County, Florida school bus driver accused of hopping off her loaded bus while the engine still was running and jumping into her daughter's street brawl resigned Friday.
· Army clears senior commander in Abu Ghraib. The Army has cleared four top officers — including the three-star general who commanded all U.S. forces in Iraq — of all allegations of wrongdoing in connection with prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib, and they will not be punished, officials said Friday.
· Littleton Teacher Says She's Targeted For Being A Lesbian. An elementary school teacher in Littleton said she is being targeted for dismissal because she is a lesbian. Coronado Elementary School teacher Susan Romeo has been called a bully and has been accused of intimidating teachers, students and parents. Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Cynthia Stevenson has recommended she be fired.
Friday, April 22, 2005
· Mayor Bloomberg says school sex is 'business as usual.' New York Mayor Bloomberg yesterday downplayed the ongoing sex scandal rocking city schools, calling recent sex-abuse charges against a string of teachers "business as usual."
· Key Setbacks For Jackson D.A. Prosecutors in the Michael Jackson molestation case lost a key battle when a judge refused their request to allow testimony from a domestic violence expert to explain why the mother of Jackson's accuser lied under oath.
· Pammy slams J-Lo. Pamela Anderson has slammed Jennifer Lopez for wearing fur, calling the Latin diva an "idiot." People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) of which Anderson is a member, say they will step up their campaign against the sultry singer.
· Golfer's shot lands in unlikely spot - a gator's tail. A Hilton Head golfer recently landed his ball in one of the more difficult lies of his golfing career - smack dab in the middle of an alligator's tail. When he saw where the ball landed, he wasn't tempted to remove it from the gator's tail. He put down a new ball and, in compliance with course rules, wasn't penalized a stroke for the drop.
· Feds probe realtors' 6 percent commissions. Did you pay your real estate broker too much? The U.S. Department of Justice is gathering information on the bully tactics that full-commission brokers in Tulsa allegedly use against discount rivals.
· Police Handcuff 5-Year-Old After Tantrum. The videotaped altercation with a 5-year-old girl who was hauled off in handcuffs following an extended tantrum at her St. Petersburg, Fla., school has led to questions about whether the police overreacted.
· Carson's famous microphone up for sale. A microphone that sat on late TV host Johnny Carson's Tonight Show desk in the 1960s and '70s is being auctioned. The microphone was an ever-present prop for Carson, who hosted the talk show for 30 years and died in January at 79.
· Air Marshal Sues Homeland Security Chief. A federal air marshal sued Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to block government rules that prevent him from speaking out about possible security lapses.
· Abdul: I'm Addiction Free. Don't mistake Paula Abdul's "American Idol" niceties or silliness for drug addiction. Despite a neuropathic disorder and 12 operations, Abdul says she's "not addicted to pills of any kind."
» Ex-‘Idol’ contestant claims Abdul affair. Has Paula Abdul been judging more than the singing talents of the hopefuls on “American Idol”? Corey Clark, a 24-year-old former contestant, is claiming that he had a “secret affair” with the 42-year-old judge from the hit show, according to the new issue of Globe magazine.
· Phyllis Diller hurts head, neck after falling out of bed. Comedian Phyllis Diller injured her head and neck after falling out of bed at her Brentwood mansion, her manager said Thursday. "She has a big bruise on her forehead," Milt Suchin said. "I think she blacked out. ... She just awoke and a housekeeper came in and found her on the floor."
· 10-times Cosby woes. The woman suing Bill Cosby for sexual assault has lined up 10 witnesses to testify they also were doped and groped by America's favorite TV dad, her lawyers said in court papers.
· Update: Stolen 18th-century violin found in Los Angeles alley. An 18th-century violin reported stolen from an aspiring performer's car was returned by a man who said he found it in a nearby alley while walking his dog, authorities said.
· Murder, Suicide Rates Up in Parts of U.S. Murder rates are on the rise in a handful of U.S. states, according to a federal study that bolsters indications the nation as a whole may be experiencing its first significant jump in violent deaths since the early 1990s.
· Moussaoui set to plead guilty today. Alleged Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui is writing the latest chapter in his strange journey through the U.S. criminal justice system, demanding that he be allowed to plead guilty to crimes that carry a possible death sentence.
· Officer on Toilet Accidentally Fires Gun. Officer Craig Clancy strolled to the appropriate facility and was lowering his trousers when his pistol fell from his waistband. When Clancy fumbled for the falling firearm, it went off, twice. One of the bullets nicked a bit of floor tile into the leg of a man who was washing his hands nearby. That man was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.
· Juror’s 74-cent purchase costs her $25,000. The juror in the Prince William County murder trial swore to the judge that she had not bought any newspapers. The defense attorney swore that she had. Then came the videotape.
· Moore's Law original issue found. A copy of the original Electronics magazine in which Moore's Law was first published has turned up under the floorboards of a Surrey engineer. Now he's celebrating after collecting the $10,000 reward which was offered on eBay by chip maker Intel.
· Famed Shakespeare portrait a fraud. One of the best-known portraits of William Shakespeare is a fraud, painted 200 years after the playwright’s death, experts at Britain’s National Portrait Gallery said Thursday.
· Sex Offender Kills Self Over Neighborhood 'Child Rapist' Signs. Residents in a Ocala neighborhood could face charges after a convicted sex offender apparently committed suicide in despair over signs labeling him a "child rapist" posted in his neighborhood.
Thursday, April 21, 2005
· Affleck, Garner engaged. Call it Bennifer: Part Deux. Nine months after they started dating, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner are engaged, People magazines is reporting. Citing a "close friend" of Affleck's, People says the "Pearl Harbor" actor has been privately spreading the news.
· 'Fashion guru' fired from 'Today Show' after kidney transplant. Three months after Steven Cojocaru's kidney transplant, Oprah Winfrey rolled out the red carpet for the fashion maven. Unfortunately, "The Today Show" fired him - after more than four years - because he made plans to appear on "Oprah." "I wasn't just fired, I was dumped," he said. "I was shot at the crack of dawn, I was left in the gutter, I mean, it was so cold."
» Monday: 'GMA' threatens dominance of 'Today.' The steady rise of ABC's "Good Morning America" threatens "Today's dominance. So far this season, the "Today" ratings lead has averaged 662,000 viewers, down from 1.3 million last year.
· Paris Hilton Cuts Ties With Nicole Richie. Paris Hilton isn't saying what's behind the feud with her co-"Simple Life" star. "It's no big secret that Nicole and I are no longer friends," Hilton said in a statement Wednesday. "Nicole knows what she did, and that's all I'm ever going to say about it."
· Snipes 'sues Blade 3 producers.' Actor Wesley Snipes is suing producers of movie Blade: Trinity for $5 million for allegedly failing to pay his full $13 million salary. Action star Snipes starred in all three films in the Blade trilogy, most recently in 2004's Blade: Trinity.
· Pope Benedict XVI gets e-mail address. Got a prayer or a problem for the new pope? Now you can e-mail him. Showing that Pope Benedict XVI intends to follow in the footsteps of John Paul II's multimedia ministry, the Vatican allows users to e-mail him directly. No word yet on how many Viagra and Nigerian 'business opportunities' he has received so far.
· Stockard Channing Pleads Not Guilty to DUI. Stockard Channing pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges she allegedly was drunk while driving on the shoulder of the Hollywood Freeway to avoid a roadblock.
· Ryan Seacrest receives star - Robert Redford still waiting. Television and radio host Ryan Seacrest poses after receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood. Robert Redford and Julia Roberts still waiting for theirs.
· Macaulay Culkin to testify for Jackson. Former child movie star Macaulay Culkin plans to testify on behalf of Michael Jackson in the singer's trial on child molestation charges, a source close to the case told CNN.
» Neverland Guard Says Boy Couldn't Leave. Jackson's attorneys did not explain the apparent discrepancy as they presented the logs while cross-examining a former Neverland security guard. Prosecutors called the guard to testify that he once had orders not to let the accuser leave Neverland.
· Amy battles hubby. Amy Fisher's middle-aged husband dropped squealed on the former "Long Island Lolita," phoning police because she became loud and abusive in an argument over her 17-year-old stepson, sources told The Post yesterday. Fisher, who now lives in obscurity under the name Elizabeth with her Joey Buttafuoco-lookalike husband, Louis Bellera, woke the neighbors in a ruckus Monday night after her husband's son returned home.
· Yahoo! gives dead Marine’s family e-mail info. E-mail provider Yahoo! has pledged to give the family of a Marine killed in Iraq full access to their son’s e-mail account, ending a court battle that began after his parents sought messages he wrote before his death.
· Mystery of Unpopped Popcorn Is Discovered. Eat your way to the bottom of almost any bag of popcorn and there they are: the rock-hard, jaw-rattling unpopped kernels known as old maids. The nuisance kernels have kept many a dentist busy, but their days could be numbered: Scientists say they now know why some popcorn kernels resist popping into puffy white globes.
· An Honest Attorney! A couple of misplaced commas on a check issued by the City Comptroller's Office nearly wound up costing taxpayers more than $8 million — and the lawyer who got it says it's not the first time it happened. Gary Mayerson, who represents children with autism in educational-rights cases, expected to receive a settlement for his clients from the Department of Education for $86,415.75.
· 20 arrested in multi-country crackdown on Internet pharmacies. Twenty people in the United States and abroad have been arrested on charges they ran Internet pharmacies that illegally shipped narcotics, steroids and amphetamines to teenagers and other buyers around the world, federal authorities said Wednesday.
· Yankees Will Pay Record Luxury Tax. The struggling New York Yankees will be hit with a record luxury tax this year. Initial projections by the commissioner's office based on opening-day rosters have the Yankees owing $30,637,531, according to information obtained this week by The Associated Press.
· It takes the real Secret Service to punk Kutcher. After Ashton Kutcher turned the tables on the crew of his MTV celebrity prank show Punk'd with the help of Britney Spears, he declared himself "unpunkable." That was before he ran into former senator and vice presidential candidate John Edwards.
· Pizza Parlor Owner Accused Of Racial Slurs, Death Threats. A woman has filed suit against the owner of a pizza parlor who left racially motivated threats and harassment messages on her cell phone after a disagreement about the delivery of two pizzas.
· L.A. attorney moonlights as a porn star. Criminal defense attorney Ronald S. Miller does more than file his briefs - he also takes them off. Miller has spent days in front of a judge and nights in front of a camera as Don Hollywood - porn star.
· Schwarzenegger Apologizes For Border Remark. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger moved quickly Wednesday to apologize for suggesting that California's border with Mexico should be closed in an effort to solve the nation's illegal immigration problem.
· Pope Predicted a Short Reign to Cardinals. Pope Benedict XVI predicted a "short reign" in comments to cardinals just after his election, and his brother said Wednesday he was worried about the stress the job would put on the 78-year-old pontiff.
· Homeless Man Receives Souped-Up Shopping Cart. A homeless man named "Ja" is walking the streets with a new souped-up shopping cart filled with high-tech gadgets. The cart is electric candy blue color and outfitted with high-tech audio, visual and miscellaneous equipment.
· Documents give details of 9-year-old's death. New details emerged Wednesday on the last moments in the life of slain 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford, while Florida lawmakers moved forward on a bill named for her that would impose tougher penalties on sex offenders.
» 9-Year-Old Jessica Lunsford Was Raped, Buried Alive. State prosecutors say Jessica Lunsford, who was found dead last month, had been raped, bound and buried alive, kneeling and clutching a purple stuffed dolphin. She was buried behind the mobile home where her alleged killer was living, state prosecutors said in newly released documents.
· Fla., Calif., Tex. seen as fastest growing states. Reflecting a continued shift of U.S. population to the South and West, Florida, California and Texas will make up nearly half of total U.S. population growth between 2000 and 2030, the Census Bureau said.
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
· The check cleared: Bill O’Reilly accuser starts spending his money. Andrea Mackris, the former associate producer for Fox News Channel who made healines by suing talking head Bill O’Reilly for sexual harassment, recently purchased a diminutive 750-square-foot condo in Manhattan's prestigious Upper West Side for $809,500, according to deed-transfer records.
· Michael Moore Creates Free Speech Scholarship. Maverick film-maker Michael Moore on Wednesday announced a "freedom of speech" scholarship for students at a Southern California university. Moore, who raked in more than $120 million on "Fahrenheit 9/11," established the meager $2,500 award for students attending California State University San Marcos.
· Singer Toby Keith Surprised To Be Tracked Down By FBI. Even when you know you're squeaky-clean, it's still a bit unnerving to be tracked down by FBI agents. FBI agents tracked down Toby Keith last week, backstage at the 2005 CMT Music Awards. The good news? The manhunt was to present Keith with a commendation, honoring the singer for his patriotism and service to the armed forces through his USO trips to Iraq and other overseas outposts.
· Condoleezza Rice announces presidential bid to Russians. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice tried out her rusty Russian in a Moscow radio interview Wednesday, only to get caught out by a question on whether she might run for president. "Da (Yes)," Rice answered in Russian, before realizing her misunderstanding and hastily adding "Nyet," "Nyet" (No) -- seven times.
· News With Views. 60 Minutes producer, Don Hewitt says what's missing from network newscasts is opinion - the kind of personalized, highly subjective material that people turn to the commentary page of their newspaper for after they've finished with the front page.
· 3 Manhattan hospital employees sue co-worker to share lottery pot. A Manhattan judge has frozen most of the Mega Millions lottery winnings of a Mount Sinai Hospital employee and has told three co-workers who pooled money to buy tickets with him they may proceed with their lawsuit to get a share of the prize.
· Desperate Plea for Missing Violin. The rare violin and bow are worth $850,000 and were on loan to 20-year-old Lindsay Deutsch of West Hills. The violin was made in year 1742 and the bow is just one of five in the world.
· Leno Accepts Hall of Fame Award. Jay Leno joked that as the only living host of "The Tonight Show," he was the obvious choice to represent the late-night talk show at its induction into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
· Candidate uses twin in parade. Every politician in a tight race has wished he could be in two places at once. Julian Castro has managed to pull it off. Castro said today that his identical twin brother, San Antonio State Representative Joaquin Castro, took his spot on the San Antonio City Council barge during the Texas Cavaliers River Parade Monday night so he could attend another event.
· Actor James Caan Files for Divorce. Actor James Caan has filed for divorce from his wife of more than nine years. His publicist, Paul Bloch, said Tuesday he didn't have details about the divorce but issued a statement from Caan.
· New pope's brother very concerned about his election. The brother of Pope Benedict XVI Georg Ratzinger, 81, said he was "very concerned" and "shocked" upon hearing that 78-year-old Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger had been elected as head of the Roman Catholic Church. "I am very concerned. I would have thought his advanced age and his health which is not very stable would have been reason enough for the cardinals to pick someone else."
· Top Executive at NBC's 'Today' Show Fired. NBC on Tuesday ousted the chief executive behind the "Today" show, with the network's biggest money-maker in a ratings slump and feeling the heat from ABC's "Good Morning America."
» Griffin gets top job as of 'Today.' Phil Griffin, VP of primetime programming at MSNBC, will become VP and executive-in-charge of "Today." NBC sports producer Jim Bell will be executive producer of the show.
· Church 'depressed' at paparazzi. Charlotte Church becomes 'depressed' about the constant press pursuit over her private life, says the 19-year-old singer's mother. Press photographers, or paparazzi, are a particular problem, said Maria Church, because they follow her "morning, noon and night."
· Trial Date Set in Letterman Son's Case. A judge set a trial date for the man accused of plotting to kidnap the toddler son of "Late Show" host David Letterman. Kelly Frank is scheduled to go on trial July 18 on charges of soliciting to kidnap, theft and obstruction.
· NBC Chief Mulls Blogs for Top News Anchors. NBC could create Internet blogs for its top news anchors and celebrity interviewers as it seeks to maintain the appeal of U.S. network news, its top executive said.
· Oprah's magazine marks a milestone. Happy Anniversary O! The May issue - on newstands today - marks five years since Oprah Winfrey launched her magazine, O, which was the most successful startup ever. To celebrate, she threw a party for the 100-person staff and gave them each a bonus check for $5,000.
· Will new pope help PETA? PETA believes it may have a powerful new ally: the Pope. The star-studded animal rights group — whose high-profile spokespeople include Paul McCartney and Pamela Anderson — is saying that Pope Benedict XVI is an animal-rights supporter and they’re hoping he will join their cause.
· Beatles 'mystery' film discovered. Some rare footage of the Beatles' visit to the South West has been unearthed in the BBC library in Plymouth. The film of them at Plymouth Hoe in 1967, as part of the "Magical Mystery Tour", was found during a transfer of old film reel onto digital format. It is part of the uncut original film - much of it unseen for nearly 40 years.
· TSA official spent $500K on decorations. A Transportation Security Administration official spent $500,000 on art, silk plants and other decorations for a new operations center and then went to work for the vendor after leaving the agency, according to a report from the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general.
· Juror Fined for Yawning in L.A. Court. Call it a rude awakening. A juror was cited for contempt and fined $1,000 by a judge for yawning loudly while awaiting questioning in an attempted murder trial.
· Missing man's body went unnoticed in his car trunk. Hamilton County Sheriff Simon Leis admitted his deputies - weeks ago - should have opened the trunk of an impounded car in which a man's body was found Monday.
· Mall Won't Allow Teens Without Parents. Every kid knows hanging out with Mom or Dad can be kind of a drag. Kids who want to spend time at the Pheasant Lane Mall on Friday or Saturday nights might not have a choice.
· Man Charged With Shooting Car 'To Put It Out Of Misery.' A man with car trouble is in trouble after allegedly shooting his 1994 Chrysler LeBaron. John McGivney, 64, pumped five rounds from a .380-caliber semiautomatic into the hood. When the property manager at his apartment complex asked what he was doing, McGivney said, "I'm putting my car out of its misery."
· Woman Sues for Being Fired for Piercing. A woman who was fired by Costco in 2001 for refusing to remove her eyebrow ring has accused the company of religious discrimination, saying she is a member of the Church of Body Modification.
· Larger people requiring larger caskets. With an increasing number of Americans considered obese - including many in Alabama - funeral directors have been dealing with a big problem. Their caskets were not large enough. Enter companies like Southern Heritage Casket Co., that are pumping up the size of caskets to meet the needs of increasingly large people.
· Kutcher Makes Bet to Model if Film Is Hit. Ashton Kutcher said he'll be back in boxers if his new movie is a box-office hit. Kutcher made a bet to return to modeling if "A Lot Like Love," out this Friday, is the weekend's top-grossing film, he told the television show "Access Hollywood."
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
· Man made bomb threats on his court dates. A 36-year-old Florida man faces charges for allegedly phoning in bomb threats to county courthouses on days he was due to appear in court. By the looks of his booking photo, cops weren't very happy with him.
· Comedian Chris Tucker Arrested. Comedian Chris Tucker was briefly jailed Sunday morning after Georgia cops pulled over his speeding 2005 Bentley when he did not immediately stop for them. Tucker, 33, was doing 109 mph on Interstate 20 when pulled over by state troopers.
· Gun, Bullets, Badge Stolen From U.S. Marshal's Car. A U.S. marshal's gun, bullets and a badge were all stolen from her car and it took days for her to realize they were gone. The agent couldn't tell deputies exactly when or where her car was burglarized.
· Burger King Manager Accused Of Attacking Irate Customer. The manager of a fast-food restaurant followed a disgruntled customer to another restaurant, threw a cup of liquid at the woman and injured her 6-year-old son, authorities said.
· Chilton County Substitute Teacher Accused Of Sexual Abuse. A Chilton County substitute teacher has been arrested on charges of sexually abusing two underage students. Tiffany Elkins, 36, is currently in jail on charges of sexual abuse. She was a substitute teacher at Jemison Middle School. The alleged abuse is said to have occurred last year with two boys who were under 16.
· Jacko Accuser's Mom Wraps Up Testimony. Michael Jackson's attorney on Tuesday challenged the authenticity of photographs that appeared to show the mother of the pop star's accuser with severe bruises from an alleged beating by store security guards.
· Eat Up! Obesity danger overstated. Being overweight is nowhere near as big a killer as the government thought, ranking No. 7 instead of No. 2 among the nation's leading preventable causes of death, according to a startling new calculation from the CDC.
· Donaldson: Network News Dead. Former ABC News reporter/anchor Sam Donaldson is ready to say the last rites for network news because it will soon lose its dominant position as Americans' primary source of news. "I think it's dead. Sorry," he said during a breakfast panel Tuesday at the National Association of Broadcasters' convention in Las Vegas. "The monster anchors are through."
· Millions exposed to possible ID theft. Computer-security flaws at the U.S. tax-collection agency expose millions of taxpayers to potential identity theft or illegal police snooping, according to a congressional report released yesterday.
· Tom Jones: 'I nearly committed suicide.' Singer Tom Jones contemplated suicide on the eve of his first big hit. The Welsh crooner, 64, said he thought about throwing himself in front of a train. He said he was not getting any success in London - but just weeks later he was at the top of the chart with It's Not Unusual.
· For L.A. homeless: a gym, movies, and hair salon. Opening yesterday and trumpeted proudly by city officials is the Midnight Mission - and one of the nation's plushest homeless shelters. The $17 million state-of-the-art facility boasts a full-sized gymnasium, library, playroom, hair salon, education center, and gourmet kitchen.
· Ex-Porn Star, Gubernatorial Candidate Arrested. A former porn star and one-time candidate for California governor was arrested last Friday in an undercover sting operation at a Lakewood strip club. Mary Cook, also known as Mary Carey, was arrested after performing at the Club Paradise.
· Celebrities don't need the tabloids. Celebrities don't need the tabloids to tell their stories when they can do it themselves. Britney Spears announced her pregnancy on it, Rosie O'Donnell takes to verse in hers and last week Tom Green even used his to lash out at fellow comedian Martin Short and got fans to do the same.
· BTK prosecutors to reveal evidence. The man accused of terrorizing Wichita for years, the alleged BTK serial killer, has a preliminary trial this week that may provide the public with a fuller glimpse at the state's case against him.
» Update: Alleged BTK killer waives right to hearing In a surprise turn, the man accused of the BTK serial killings waived his right to a preliminary hearing Tuesday, meaning he acknowledged the state has enough evidence to go to trial.
· Absent Minded Champ. It's one thing to win two million dollars on "Jeopardy," but the real challenge is remembering where the car is parked. So says record-setting "Jeopardy" champ Ken Jennings, who spoke yesterday to students at Siena College in a suburb of Albany, New York.
· Brando Island to Become Luxury Resort. It was near where he filmed "Mutiny on the Bounty," and fell in love with his Tahitian co-star. Years later, it was Marlon Brando's retreat, where he would lie on the beach and marvel at the night sky. An environmentally-sensitive 30-bungalow resort, to be called, "The Brando," is now scheduled to open in 2008 on Tetiaroa, the island the actor bought in 1965.
· GM Has $1.1 Bln Loss, Withdraws Forecast. General Motors Corp. on Tuesday posted a first-quarter net loss of $1.10 billion, its worst result since the industrial icon skirted bankruptcy in 1992, due to weaker U.S. sales and growing costs for employee health care and raw materials to build cars.
· White smoke blows from Vatican. No, the Sistine Chapel is not on fire, it's just the third sign that cardinals have chosen a new pope, after stretchinbg out the news coverage for as long as possible.
» Benedict XVI: German cardinal elected pope. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany, a hard-line guardian of conservative doctrine, was elected the new pope Tuesday evening in the first conclave of the new millennium. He chose the name Pope Benedict XVI and called himself “a simple, humble worker.”
» What's in a name? For a new Pope, quite a bit. When Karol Wojtyla was elected pope in 1978, he took the name of John Paul II. Legend has it that the first Pole to become pontiff had considered choosing Stanislaus during the conclave, presumably to pay homage to the 11th century saint from his homeland.
» Special Vatican stamps sold out - along with church. Hundreds of thousands of special stamps issued to mark the period between Pope John Paul II's death and the election of his successor have sold out, the Vatican post office said yesterday. The Vatican said it had printed 700,000 of the stamps in three values: 78 cents, 80 cents and $1.04.
· 'Growing Pains' Star Alan Thicke to Wed. "Growing Pains" father Alan Thicke is headed to the altar again. Thicke, 58, will wed his longtime girlfriend, Tanya Callau, in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, on May 7, his publicist said in a statement Monday. It will be the third marriage for Thicke, who played TV dad Jason Seaver on ABC's "Growing Pains," which ran from 1985 to 1992.
· Monaco's Prince Albert eager for an heir. Monaco's Prince Albert is said to be eager for an heir - even if he's in no hurry to find out whether he really is the father of a 13-year-old girl in California. Representatives of the prince - whose father, Prince Rainier, was buried Friday - are quietly approaching well-born women in Europe and America with an unusual proposal, we hear.
· Student gets 8 years for SUV vandalism. An aspiring physicist was sentenced Monday to more than eight years in prison and ordered to pay $3.5 million for his role in a spree of arson and vandalism that targeted gas-guzzling Hummers and other sports utility vehicles.
· Moussaoui Planning To Admit 9/11 Role. Zacarias Moussaoui has notified the government that he intends to plead guilty to his alleged role in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks and could enter the plea as early as this week if a judge finds him mentally competent, sources familiar with the case said yesterday.
· Man Barred from Making Slavery Tax Claims. A New York man was temporarily barred from preparing income tax returns for others because he has been including bogus tax credits such as reparations for African-American slavery and segregation.
· Wandering whale appears headed back to Atlantic. The wayward whale that has spent a week thrilling folks watching from boats and along the banks of the Delaware River appears headed back toward open water, though he still has miles to go.
· Minuteman founder leaving Mexico border area. The chief organizer of the Minuteman Project, which attracted hundreds of volunteers to watch for illegal immigrants and smugglers along the Mexican border, said Monday he's leaving his post early.
· Canadian Police Say Don't Lay on Road to Get Help. Police in a Vancouver suburb issued an unusual warning to drivers on Monday: If you run out fuel, do not lay down on the road to get assistance. Police were alerted to a man's body laying along the Trans Canada Highway in the predawn darkness only to discover he was "quite alive", but that his car had run out of gas and he "wanted to attract someone's attention."
· Woman admits starting Paris fire. A woman detained in connection with a fire that killed 22 people at a budget hotel in Paris last week admitted that she started the blaze by accident, police said Tuesday.
· Man Buys Hot Dog, Gets Valuable Dime. Nathan Burton needed something to quell the rumbling in his stomach, so he stopped by a neighborhood convenience store and grabbed an extra-cheesy, 99-cent hot dog on Sunday night. It proved to be a stop that changed him, briefly filling his belly and dropping into his hand a dime with an unusual patina — copper. Now, Burton holds a coin that could be worth 500 to 1,000 times its face value.
· Happy moments 'protect the heart.' A team from University College London said happiness leads to lower levels of stress-inducing chemicals. They found that even when happier people experienced stress, they had low levels of a chemical which increases the risk of heart disease.
Monday, April 18, 2005
· Veteran TV Host Tom Snyder Diagnosed with Leukemia. Veteran late-night talk show host Tom Snyder says he has been diagnosed with leukemia, although doctors assure him his condition is treatable and is "nothing to worry about."
· Krispy Kreme seeks creditor protection for KremeKo. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. on Friday said the private company responsible for bringing its doughnut shops to most of Canada filed for protection from its creditors.
· Ruling says cop shouldn't be fired for having sex while on duty. A Painesville, Ohio police officer who was fired after being accused of having sex while on duty should be reinstated because he was on a break, an arbitrator ruled. Even Dirty Harry took time out to finish his hot dog before chasing a bad guy, arbitrator Dennis E. Minni wrote.
· 'Good Morning America' threatens 'Today.' For 487 weeks, viewers have made NBC's "Today" show team of Katie Couric and Matt Lauer their favorites in the morning. The steady rise of ABC's "Good Morning America" is threatening that dominance. So far this season, the "Today" ratings lead has averaged 662,000 viewers, down from almost 1.3 million last year.
· Bush supporter sues over 'W' logo. A supporter of President Bush is suing the Republican National Committee and one of its suppliers, claiming they stole his design for the ubiquitous "W" bumper sticker logo in the 2004 campaign.
· Jackson accuser’s mom dodges more questions. The mother of Michael Jackson’s young accuser cited attorney-client privilege Monday in refusing to say whether she was represented by a lawyer at a time she and her children were allegedly held captive by the pop star.
· Monday night football says 'good-bye' on ABC. The NFL's "Monday Night Football," a staple on ABC for the past 35 seasons, will move to ESPN starting with the 2006 season. And NBC is returning to the NFL after six years away by taking the Sunday night broadcast previously on ESPN.
· Viacom Paid Top 3 Execs $160M in 2004. Viacom Inc., the media conglomerate that owns CBS, MTV and VH1, paid its chief executive Sumner Redstone $56 million last year, a 58 percent increase over the year before, even though the company's stock price fell 18 percent in 2004.
· New Twist In Case Of Warden's Wife. The case of the warden's wife who lived with fugitive killer Randolph Dial for more than 11 years has taken a bizarre turn with news that a second woman aided Dial during his years on the lam.
· Dog Rejected As $410 Cash Drawing Winner. A gasoline station owner is trying to smooth some ruffled fur over the winner of a cash drawing. The name on the winning entry, "Mr. Jengels," turned out to be that of a dog owned by Kevin Strybos, who said he used the name of his miniature dachsund-pinscher cross to avoid telemarketers.
· Wendy's Workers Face Layoffs After Finger Food Story. Wendy's top executive says the report of a finger found in a bowl of chili has affected the company's "brand reputation" across the country. Since then, sales have plummeted and forced layoffs and reduced hours.
· Martha Stewart Gets Own Channel on Sirius. Six weeks after being released from federal prison, Martha Stewart has reached a deal with Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. to create a 24-hour channel featuring cooking, gardening and entertaining programming for women.
· Marathon Winner Paula Apologises for Unscheduled Stop. Paula Radcliffe apologised to the nation today after sparking fears of a repeat of her Olympic failure by making a surprise 'relief' stop en route to her Flora London Marathon victory.
· NBC's Williams Heads to Oklahoma City. With cardinals meeting in Rome to begin selecting a new pope, NBC "Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams chose instead to travel to Oklahoma City for broadcasts commemorating the 10th anniversary of the bombing there.
· Hollywood's Mindless Love Affair With Castro. Why do Hollywood and the mainstream media so love him? Why do hordes of American lawmakers and business executives flock to him? Castro is a murderous dictator. Would these same people who wine and dine with him have wined and dined with Adolf Hitler?
· 'God's banker' murder: 4 charged. Four people have been indicted on murder charges in the death of Italian financier Roberto Calvi, after the disappearance of $1.3 billion with close ties to the Vatican who was found hanging under a bridge in London in 1982, a defense attorney said.
· Governor's mansion offered for free. A mansion that was home to more than half of South Dakota's governors now sits in three pieces, nearly forgotten on a storage lot. If you want it, it's yours. Free for the taking.
· Modest demands by the Beatles in 1965. Unlike today's spoiled celebrities, the Beatles just wanted adequate police protection, a "hi-fidelity sound system with adequate number of speakers," and "a platform for Ringo Starr and his drums." The backstage dressing room accommodations were also spartan: "four cots, mirrors, an ice cooler, portable TV set and clean towels."
· McCartney Announces U.S. Tour for Fall 2005. Ex-Beatle Paul McCartney has announced that he will tour the United States and Toronto beginning this September in support of a new, yet to be named album to be released on Capitol Records.
· Student Dies 'Car Surfing' In Central Fla. A 17-year-old student in Seminole County, Fla., was killed Sunday when he fell off the hood of a moving car. Car surfing involves someone getting on the hood of a car and trying to hold on as the car accelerates.
· Airline Tickets Sell for $1.86 Plus Fees. US Airways became the low-cost carrier of all time over the weekend — selling round-trip flights for less than the price of a gallon of gasoline — until the carrier fixed a glitch in its computer system.
· Jacko Accuser's Mom Still in Hot Seat. Michael Jackson's defense has tried to chip away at the credibility of his accuser's mother, and more of the same was anticipated as the trial entered its eighth week.
· Adobe to buy Macromedia for $3.4B. Computer document company Adobe Systems Inc. said Monday it agreed to buy multimedia software firm Macromedia Inc. for about $3.4 billion in stock, in a move designed to extend its lead in the market for creating and distributing digital documents.
· Is publisher copy chief? Does The Observer, a 118-year-old northern New Jersey weekly with a claimed readership of 100,000, have its very own Jayson Blair? Lisa Tortoreti Pezzolla, author of the Observer column "A Word with the Publisher," seems to have been borrowing whole passages from other newspapers and Internet sites for the past two years.
· 'Pee Diddy Day' Marred by Combs' No-Show. "Pee Diddy Day" pooped out. Sean "Pee Diddy" Combs was a no-show at an event scheduled Friday at the Aladdin hotel-casino. Mayor Oscar Goodman had been set to proclaim it "Pee Diddy Day," but plans were scrapped at the last minute when word came that the hip-hop mogul wouldn't attend.
· Dean: Schiavo case will hurt GOP. Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, who has accused congressional Republicans of "grandstanding" in the Terri Schiavo case, said his party will use it against the GOP in coming elections.
· Florida gives up; privatizes child-welfare programs. Florida has become the first state in the nation to fully privatize its child-welfare programs, after signing a $75 million contract to hand over those responsibilities in its last two counties.
· Air Traffic Controllers Forced To Use Backup Handheld Radios. Air traffic controllers were unable to hear pilots for about 20 minutes due to an equipment malfunction at Tampa International Airport. Backup handheld radios were used for about five hours before the system was restored.
· Yankees owner blasts $200M team. George Steinbrenner simply couldn't take it anymore. It didn't matter that there are still 150 games left to play, or that the hated Boston Red Sox were well within striking distance in the AL East.
Sunday, April 17, 2005
· Land of the freeloaders. We all know celebrities get free stuff - swag - just for being famous. But did you know that there are some stars who eat, fly, sleep, party, do virtually everything in their day-to-day life for free? All they do is demand it, take it, or simply walk out on the tab. The Hollywood "gimme!" syndrome has run amuck.
· Oklahoma City bombing victims struggle on. What is the value of an American life claimed by terrorists? The answer, it turns out, depends on where and when you die. Congress gave the families of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks generous federal compensation payments. Most ended up millionaires. Congress gave the families of victims of the April 19, 1995 Oklahoma City bombing a two-year reprieve on their federal income taxes.
· 'Amityville' Tops 'Sahara' at Box Office. "The Amityville Horror" returned from the dead with a vengeance, with the gory update of the 1970s fright flick taking in $23.3 million to top the weekend box office.
· Suspect kills detective inside police HQ. A Providence detective was killed with his own gun at police headquarters Sunday by a suspect who was not handcuffed and managed to get hold of the weapon, the police chief said.
· Truth or Fiction? Demi and her toyboy set to wed in Vegas. Hollywood beauty Demi Moore and her toyboy Ashton Kutcher are planning a secret Las Vegas wedding. Demi, 42, and Kutcher, a 27-year-old model turned actor, have already commissioned wedding rings, according to the London Daily Mail.
» Update: Sex Offender Charged in Fla. Girl's Death. A registered sex offender confessed to killing a 13-year-old girl who disappeared a week ago, saying he broke into her house and choked her to death, the sheriff said Sunday.
· The new age of celebrity greed. How stars rake in millions - Here's a surprising look at who's footing the bill for a separate private jet from LA to Europe just for a celebrity's luggage, at a cost of $40,000. There's the pop singer whose dressing-room requirements while making a video for charity included $50 French candles and enough food to sustain a family of tsunami victims for a month.
· 70-foot 'Freak' wave rocks cruise. A "freak wave" more than 70 feet high slammed a luxury cruise ship steaming for New York yesterday, flooding cabins, injuring passengers and forcing the liner to stop for emergency repairs.
· Police search for Pennsylvania prosecutor. With helicopters and road patrols, police searched across central Pennsylvania on Saturday for a prosecutor who was reported missing after he failed to return home from a drive the day before.
· Mishap ends robotic test craft mission early. A NASA robotic spacecraft located a Pentagon satellite in space without any help from human controllers, but the mission ended early when the computer-driven craft detected a fuel problem, the mission manager said Saturday.
· Man Fights Off Shark With Board, Continues Surfing. A surfer in Australia fought off a seven-foot shark with his board - and kept on surfing, a lifeguard said. Simon Letch returned to Sydney's Bronte Beach 30 minutes after surviving the attack, despite the beach being closed because of the danger, lifeguard Aaron Graham said.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Auspices [aus·pi·ces] n.pl. 1. With the protection or support of someone or something, especially an organization: "Financial aid is being provided under the auspices of NATO."
· Camilla Postpones First Solo Royal Gig. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, has postponed her first solo royal engagement, Prince Charles' office announced. Camilla, who married Prince Charles on April 9, had planned to visit a hospital in southern England on April 25, but the trip has been put back until sometime after the May 5 national election, a spokesman for Clarence House said late Saturday.
· Top Names for Dogs. What are the most popular pet names? For the second year in a row the name "Max" has taken top honors as the nation's most popular pet name according to research by Veterinary Pet Insurance.
· Ton of cocaine found in canned fish. Police have seized more than a ton of cocaine destined for the United States as it was being packed into a shipment of canned fish at a seafood processing plant, authorities said Saturday.
Saturday, April 16, 2005
· 911 dispatcher offers harsh discipline as joke. A 911 dispatcher apologized for an ill-timed wisecrack to a mother who called for help in dealing with her unruly daughter. Caller: "The 12-year-old is completely out of control." Dispatcher: "O.K., did you want us to come over and shoot her?"
· Update: Tillman declined discharge in '03. Four months before he was killed in Afghanistan, pro NFL starter Pat Tillman was told that he could opt out of extending his military service because NFL clubs were interested in him.
· New 'Amityville' Hopes to Scare Up a Crowd. Closer to the 1977 book than the 1979 original movie, this remake centers on the believed-to-be true story of a newlywed couple with three kids moving into a house where multiple murders occurred a year earlier and demonic inhabitants still remain.
· Prisons order end to using word-puzzles as training. Prison officials ordered an end to using word puzzles as a substitute for guard training Friday after an assemblyman questioned how finding hidden words such as "elf,""snow" and "gingerbread" prepared officers to handle dangerous inmates. Guards at some prisons were told they could get nearly a quarter of their annual training by completing word search and crossword puzzles on the job.
· Seattle man catches fire during surgery. Seattle police launched an investigation on yesterday to determine how a patient undergoing emergency heart surgery caught on fire at a local hospital. The male patient went up in flames after alcohol poured on his skin was ignited by a surgical instrument.
· Titanic's Heroes, Villains Identified. A current museum exhibit and a rare newsreel recently found in a Glasgow garage are shedding further light on who the heroes and villains were on board the Titanic, which struck an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. on April 14, 1912, and sank at 2:20 the following morning.
· Teacher quits in new sex scandal. In the fourth sordid case involving city teachers this week, a Queens English instructor is under investigation for having sex with two female students, the Daily News has learned.
· Reports to Say Airport Baggage Screening Still Poor. Two upcoming government reports will say the quality of screening at airports is no better now than before the Sept. 11 attacks, according to a House member who has been briefed on the contents.
· Mother of Jackson accuser admits lying under oath. The mother of Michael Jackson’s young accuser was barraged with questions and insinuations on the witness stand Friday as the singer’s attorney tried to portray her as a con artist and forced her to admit she had lied under oath twice in an unrelated case.
· 'Bully' Can't Sue Eminem. A man who admits picking on Eminem when they were schoolmates cannot sue the rapper over a song that depicts his bullying as a brain-jarring attack, the state appeals court said.
· AOL sued over chat room seduction. A 19-year-old Los Angeles woman has sued AOL, saying that a former monitor of its “kids only” chat room seduced her online when she was a lonely teenager, persuading her to send him nude photos of herself and to engage in phone sex.
· B.B. King Monument to Be Built in Arkansas. The Arkansas Legislature has approved a $5,000 expenditure to build a monument honoring bluesman B.B. King in the tiny Delta town of Twist. More than 50 years ago, King's famed guitar Lucille earned its name after a dance hall brawl in Twist. King's trademark Gibson guitars have been called Lucille ever since.
· Blake Snubbing Ex-Bodyguard Who Stood By Him? When Robert Blake was acquitted of murdering his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, he thanked everyone who helped him win the case - except for Earle Caldwell, the man who stood by him from day one.
· Arrest in $1M graffiti case. A graffitti vandal whose spray can chalked up nearly $1 million in property damage has been busted. Cops said Paul Bruno, 19, defaced whole stretches of Staten Island, Brooklyn and New Jersey with his pen and paint. His tag of choice was "Done."
· NASA robotic test craft takes off. A NASA robotic spacecraft equipped with navigational computers and sensors was launched into orbit Friday to rendezvous with a Pentagon satellite without the help of astronauts or human controllers.
· Dog Killed In Coyote Attack On Cape. An 11-year-old American Eskimo dog was killed by one or more coyotes in the Cape Cod town of Mashpee, Mass. The dog, Lucy, was let outside at 1 a.m. Thursday when she was attacked near the front door of the family's condominium. A Barnstable woman was bitten by a coyote in February when she tried to shoo it away from her dog.
· Lasers to fence off Washington airspace. The U.S. government will launch a system next month that uses a ring of laser lights around the Washington area to alert all pilots who breach restricted airspace.
Friday, April 15, 2005
· Mogul Yields Beach Access to Public. Ending a long-running dispute over coastal access, music producer David Geffen gave up the key to locked wooden gates next to his Malibu home, allowing the public to enter an exclusive stretch of beach walled off by multimillion-dollar homes.
· Jackson judge threatens to close court. Exchanges between the mother of Michael Jackson's accuser and the pop star's lead defense attorney were so combative Friday that the judge threatened to end court for the day after listening to hours of sniping between the witness and lawyer.
· Reality TV winners get tax reality check. One Illinois husband and wife got a brutal reality check after they discovered they owe $529,000 in taxes after Fox-hired contractors tore down their old house and built a new one with special accommodations for their paralyzed son.
· Wendy's Doubles Chili Finger Reward to $100,000. As the mystery deepens on the finger food case, Wendy's International Inc. on Friday doubled to $100,000 the reward it is offering for information on the origin of a human finger found last month in a bowl of chili at one of its restaurants.
· Car shopper hits husband, salesman, car, tree, wall. A woman preparing to take a test drive at a car dealership hit her husband, a salesman, a car and a tree before running into a wall. "She must have panicked," said sales manager Joe Sica.
· Writer Fabricated Boston Globe Story on Seal Hunt. A Boston Globe writer fabricated large chunks of a story published this week, the newspaper said on Friday in the latest incident to embarrass the U.S. mainstream media.
· Comcast sued for disclosing customer info. Comcast, the top U.S. cable TV network operator, is being sued by a Seattle-area woman for disclosing her name and contact information to the Record Industry of Association of America (RIAA), court records showed Thursday.
· $10,000 is found wrapped in foil and tucked in fake vent. When the homeowner found $10,000 cash wrapped in tinfoil in his Orem, Utah house he bought a year ago, he knew it must be returned to its rightful owner.
· The FBI popped in on Hearst's Esquire last week. According to the New York Post, the feds issued subpoenas to Esquire publisher Kevin O'Malley and associate publisher Jeffrey S. Ahl in connection with a probe into illegal off-shore gambling operations. Although it is technically legal for Americans to place bets at such operations, the Justice Department last September warned American media outlets about accepting any ads from the gambling establishments.
· Snipes headed for foreclosure. It's been a rough week for Wesley Snipes. The "Blade" star's 4,000-square-foot house near Orlando, Fla., is headed for foreclosure. Orange County officials told "Celebrity Justice" that Snipes owes more than $23,000 in back taxes, interest and fines.
· Man charged with robbing job-seekers. A Houston man charged with robbery is accused of using a local radio station to find two victims, who gave their names and phone numbers on the air in an attempt to find work, police said Thursday.
· Man arrested with suitcases at Capitol deported. The man who caused a scare with suitcases at the U.S. Capitol this week was deported to Australia on Friday for violating the terms of his visa, Homeland Security Department officials said.
· IRS employee accused of destroying tax forms arrested on Tax Day. An Internal Revenue Service employee was arrested Friday on charges he destroyed numerous tax forms and letters from taxpayers, according to the U.S. Attorney's office in Boston.
· Iraqi Reality Show Features Insurgent Confessions. A reality show featuring brutal confessions from suspected insurgents captured and held by the Iraqi military has become the country's most popular television show.
· Driver Uses Car To Keep Trucker Off Freeway. A New York man who says he lost a close friend to a drunken driver - and didn't want to see it happen to anyone else - used his car to block a tractor-trailer from pulling onto a highway because he thought the trucker was drunk. Michael Scanlon's vehicle wound up being rammed by the truck.
· Rolling speed trap. IBM announced a four-year, $125 million deal with the United Arab Emirates to design a custom traffic management system that, when a car goes above the speed limit, the device gives the driver a warning and sends authorities data on the route the car is taking.
· After 50 years, influence of McDonald’s still felt. The Golden Arches are everywhere — and it started 50 years ago today, when a milkshake machine salesman opened his first McDonald’s in a Chicago suburb and began turning a small chain of hamburger stands into an empire that would include 30,000 restaurants and serve 50 million people every day.
· Is the World Ready for a Black Pope? The leading African candidate is Cardinal Francis Arinze, a 72-year-old Nigerian who has worked at the Vatican for more than 20 years, mostly as the pope's point man for Islamic relations.
· FBI: Muslim GI wrote of killing comrades. A Muslim Army sergeant charged in a deadly grenade attack on his comrades wrote in his diary that his fellow soldiers were mistreating him, and that once he was sent to Iraq, "I am going to try and kill as many of them as possible," a jury was told Thursday.
· Emmanuel Lewis Gets Away With Speeding. Emmanuel Lewis, the former child star of the '80s TV series "Webster," got off with a warning for speeding after giving his autograph and posing for a photo with police, officials said.
· Searchers Seeking Missing Girl Asked To Spot Beer Bottles. Detectives asked searchers looking for a missing 13-year-old girl Friday to look for empty bottles of Budweiser or Bud Lite - the type of beer a sex offender allegedly snatched from a kitchen table of the girl's home about the time she disappeared.
· Porn Star, Publisher Sue Over Reality Show. "How to Make Love Like a Porn Star" author Jenna Jameson has filed a federal lawsuit to bar her publisher from getting a cut of a proposed reality show featuring the adult film actress.
· Report: Britney Spears’ baby is a girl. a posting on her Web site Tuesday, Britney Spears told fans that she and husband, Kevin Federline, were expecting their first child together, not mentioning a gender. But on Thursday night, numerous online publications were reporting the baby is female.
· Study Finds Racism In New Orleans' Bourbon Street Bars. Head to New Orleans' famed Bourbon Street any hour of the night or day and you'll find music, booze and a party atmosphere. If you're black, you run a better than even chance of also finding discrimination, harassment and price gouging, according to a new study.
Thursday, April 14, 2005
· Ralph Lauren clothing's a steal - of customer identities. Data apparently stolen from the popular clothing retailer Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. is forcing banks and credit card issuers to notify thousands of consumers that their credit-card information may have been exposed.
· U.S. frees illegal alien murderers under loophole. The United States has freed numerous illegal aliens into the community who are dangerous murderers, rapists and child molesters under a legal loophole created by Supreme Court decisions, the Bush administration said on Thursday.
· Update: Librarians fuming over Intel magazine bounty. A day after Intel said it would offer $10,000 for a copy of a magazine in which Moore's Law was first announced, a University of Illinois engineering library noticed that one of its two copies had disappeared.
· Man Arrested For Racist Slur On 9/11 Can't Sue Police. A New Jersey man who was arrested for painting an anti-Arab slur on the side of his truck the day of the Sept. 11 attacks cannot sue the police officers for violating his free speech rights, a federal court ruled Tuesday.
· KFC in Texas Greets PETA With Sprinklers. A trio of animal-rights protesters didn't find any welcome mat when they stopped at a KFC, but the restaurant manager did turn on the sprinkler system for them. One of the wet protesters said "It hasn't been quite like this in other parts of the state."
· Guardsmen accused of smuggling Ecstasy. A U.S. military pilot and a sergeant were being held on federal narcotics charges after admitting they flew an Air Force jet from New York to Germany and returned with 290,000 pills of Ecstasy worth millions of dollars, authorities said.
· GMs New Giant Hummer Starts At $140,000. It's bigger and badder and would be right at home with the GIs patrolling Baghdad. The civilian Hummer has touches GIs can only dream about, like air conditioning, power windows and door locks, a premium stereo system and leather-trimmed seats. But you need something like the Pentagon budget to buy one.
· Congress Passes Bankruptcy Reform Bill. Tens of thousands of people who want to wipe out their debts in bankruptcy court would have to work out repayment plans instead under legislation Congress approved today.
· Case Dismissed Against Coach Who Bought Drinks for 16-Year-Old Girlfriend. A judge has dismissed misdemeanor charges of corruption of minors and furnishing liquor to minors against a former assistant high school football coach.
· Conviction appealed after jurors find confession in pocket. A man found guilty of rape is appealing his conviction because jurors found a confession that was never offered as evidence in the pocket of a pair of pants they examined during deliberations.
· Radio Host Fired For Wondering If Pope Went To Heaven. An evangelical Christian talk show host who questioned the beliefs of the Catholic church and entertained a caller's question about whether the late Pope John Paul II would go to heaven has been fired.
· Woman Thinks Fingertip in Chili Is Hers. A woman who lost part of her finger in a leopard attack believes it was her body part that allegedly showed up a month later in a bowl of fast-food chili in California.
· Bernie Kerik: From Hero to Tabloid Target. After President Bush nominated Bernard Kerik to the top job at the Department of Homeland Security, an avalanche of tabloid stories put the former New York City police commissioner's personal and professional life under the microscope and badly tarnished his reputation.
· Bruce Willis Gets Top Award From France. France honored American movie star Bruce Willis Wednesday, making him an officer in the Order of Arts and Letters, one of the country's top awards for cultural achievement.
· Man Shoots Accused Robber; Suspect's Father Wants Shooter Charged. The state attorney's office has to decide whether a liquor store owner who allegedly helped a woman being robbed outside his store will face criminal charges.
· Audit finds poor service at the IRS. The Treasury Department inspector general says if you call, the IRS has the right answer only 86 percent of the time; if you visit an IRS help center, it's 67 percent of the time; if you send an e-mail, the answer is right only 64 percent of the time. That's if you can figure out how to send one. In a recent Government Accountability Office report, the IRS admitted moving its e-mail form to "a less prominent position" on its Web site so that you'd have to "stumble upon it accidentally" to find it.
» Will we Segway into oblivion? Tax Day is a good time to take a hard look at the way government spends your tax dollars - if you have the stomach for it. Since Sept. 11, 2001, Congress has poured nearly $6 billion into homeland security, which has been wasted on everything from yacht companies - to Segways.
· Extinguished: airports begin ban on lighters. Starting today, air travelers will have to leave their lighters at home. Unlike guns, knives and other dangerous items that a passenger cannot carry aboard but may stow in checked bags, lighters are banned everywhere on a plane.
· Murdoch: Newspapers Must Embrace Internet. Rupert Murdoch urged newspaper editors Wednesday to embrace the Internet, saying print news executives have "sat by and watched" as a new generation of digital consumers has turned away from newspapers.
· Mafia's new growth industry. The Mafia has gotten into a new growth industry: Paying off doctors for Viagra. The Gambino crime family has been stockpiling Viagra and a pharmacy full of other prescription drugs allegedly supplied by three prominent Westchester doctors, according to the Daily News.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Arduous [ar·du·ous] adj. 1. Demanding great effort or labor; difficult: "An arduous undertaking." 2. Testing severely the powers of endurance; strenuous: "A long, arduous, and exhausting war."
· A happy-anniversary meal. You deserve a break tomorrow. You'll get one at area McDonald's, where they're throwing parties for their big 5-0. At the fast-food fete, you can order a cheeseburger for 50 cents - not the typical $1.39.
· Dream Pregancies That May Outdo Britney. Britney Spears is eating for two now, so what other celebrity pregnancy would gobble up the headlines? The Associated Press asked three lifestyle authors which baby announcement would top Spears' big news, which she revealed Tuesday.
· Calif. Boy Says He Was Suspended For Wearing Makeup. A ninth-grade student suspended for wearing lipstick and eye makeup has accused officials at a Southern California high school of discrimination.
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
· Update: Wisconsin Gov. Dampens Cat Hunting Hopes. Feral felines fearing for their lives in Wisconsin got a boost Wednesday from Gov. Jim Doyle, who said a plan to allow hunters to shoot wild cats at will is dead. "I don't think Wisconsin should become known as a state where we shoot cats," said Doyle.
· FBI Ethics Agent Charged With Lying. The agent in charge of ethics at the FBI's Charlotte bureau was accused Wednesday of lying about two expenses-paid trips to Las Vegas he accepted from a witness in a criminal investigation.
· Jacko accuser's mother takes the stand - and the Fifth. The mother of Michael Jackson's child sex accuser took the stand in his trial, but in a dramatic twist, refused to testify about aspects of her shady past.
» Jackson Accuser's Mom: 'Don't Judge Me!' Holding her arms out to the jury, the mother of Michael Jackson's teenage accuser sobbed and pleaded, "Please don't judge me!" as she recounted her family's involvement with the pop star in dramatic testimony Wednesday.
· Update: Possible clue in Wendy's finger food case. Police in California say they're checking out a possible lead in the case involving an allegedly contaminated bowl of Wendy's chili. San Jose police are investigating the case of a woman who lost part of her finger in a leopard attack. The woman, who has several exotic animals, reportedly got the finger back in a bag of ice, after doctors couldn't re-attach it. She lives in a town about 45 miles north of Las Vegas.
· Cops steal woman's identity for undercover sting. State liquor control agents in Ohio stole the identity of a Cincinnati woman using her driver's license and Social Security number to establish a fake identity for a college student to pose as a stripper for a sting operation. The father of the woman whose identity was used (Hailey Dawson), and state legislators are upset that police are engaging in identity theft rather than enforcing Ohio's identity theft laws.
· Garland's 'Wizard' Dress to Be Auctione. The blue and white gingham dress worn by Garland when she played Dorothy Gale in 1939 is on display at Bonhams & Butterfields here, and is set to be auctioned April 26 in London. Bonhams said the dress could fetch from $50,000 to $70,000.
· Man Confesses To Killing Woman, Says 'It Was Kind Of Fun.' 34-year-old Florida man confessed that he enjoyed killing his "busy body" neighbor and would kill again if given the chance during a jailhouse interview.
· $400 Sharper Image Ionizing Air Filter Found Potentially Damaging to Respiratory System. You shell out $400 to help clear the air and assist your breathing if you have asthma, but now Consumer Reports has found that these ionizing technologies may actually be bad for your health.
· Alex Trebek sued over missing horse. A woman has sued "Jeopardy!" TV quiz show host Alex Trebek in connection with the disappearance of a $100,000 broodmare she delivered to his central California horse breeding farm.
· 20 Firefighters Needed To Remove 800-Pound Man From Home. Firefighters used special equipment borrowed from the National Aquarium to remove an 800-pound man who has not left his home in at least two years.
· Update: Ex-AIG CEO gives $2.2B in stock to wife. Maurice "Hank" Greenberg, who last month relinquished his posts as chairman and chief executive of American International Group Inc. ( AIG) amid intense regulatory scrutiny, reported Tuesday a gift of 41.4 million company shares to his wife, Corinne P. Greenberg.
· Clues Are Few in Twins' Deaths. In the late 1980s, twin sisters Jennifer Rowse and Charlotte Johnston were police officers patrolling the streets of Tampa. Now, seemingly a lifetime later, the sisters turned up dead inside a Lakeland motel room.
· Police: Woman sold daughter for car. A woman was arrested for allegedly forcing her 12-year-old daughter into prostitution and trading a 14-year-old daughter for a car. The 39-year-old woman was charged with aggravated child abuse and sexual performance by a child.
· Merv Griffen to be honored. The "Jeopardy!" and "Wheel of Fortune" creator will be honored by the Museum of Television & Radio at its annual New York gala on May 26. The gala will be held at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel.
· Unpublished Tennessee Williams Poem Found. A previously unpublished poem by Tennessee Williams, described as having been "written out of absolute, complete despair," has been discovered in his blue test booklet from a college course in 1937.
· Tryst teacher's shame. A Manhattan high-school teacher slept with her 18-year-old boy toy student for months and got pregnant with his child — but gave him only a barely passing 65 in social-studies class.
· Mental health bill gets star treatment. A Church of Scientology group brought celebrity firepower to the Capitol Tuesday, recruiting actor Kelly Preston to lobby for a bill that aims to restrict mental health services in public schools. Preston, the wife of actor and prominent Scientologist John Travolta, spent the day talking to lawmakers and Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings.
· Woman Who Claims To Find Finger In Chili Won't Sue Wendy's. A woman who claimed she scooped up a human finger along with her chili at a Wendy's restaurant has decided not to sue the fast-food chain. Anna Ayala dropped her claim because it "has caused her great emotional distress and continues to be difficult emotionally," said her attorney, Jeffrey Janoff.
· Texas murder victim wrote killers' licence plate number on back of hand. A set of numerals written on the back of a dead man's hand turned out to be a licence plate number that led police to his suspected killers.
· Accuser's stepdad: I asked Jax for cash. The stepdad of Michael Jackson's accuser said yesterday his family was offered "protection ... college education and a house" to make a favorable video about the singer - but he asked for cash instead.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Oxymoron [ox·y·mo·ron] n.pl. A phrase in which two words of contradictory meaning are used together for special effect, for example, “wise fool” or “to make haste slowly.”
· How billionaires live. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the median American house size is slightly more than 2,000 square feet. Compare that with the domicile of the world's richest man: As might be expected from one with that sobriquet, Microsoft founder Bill Gates' house is more than 30 times the average size. The NAHB says that most houses have three bedrooms, one fireplace and are sided with vinyl or aluminum. Some billionaires' homes have more than a dozen bedrooms, and the only vinyl is in the rare-record collection housed in the custom-built listening room.
· New Pope to Face Enormous Financial Issues. The next pope will not only have to care for the souls of his 1.1 billion-member flock worldwide, but also the church's accounts, hit by the falling dollar, sex abuse settlements and a growing diplomatic mission. Like the chief executive of a worldwide corporation, John Paul II demanded financial accountability and promised greater transparency after years of secrecy and even scandal.
· Actor guilty in model assault case. A jealous Manhattan man was convicted yesterday of holding his girlfriend, a striking brunette model, prisoner for six hours and beating her - a verdict the victim hailed as a victory for women.
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
· High flying hookers. The feds yesterday busted a multimillion-dollar prostitution ring that allegedly dispatched call girls to cities across the United States and the world, charging johns from $1,000 to $2,000 per hour, officials said.
· Sony to introduce more movies that stink. According to New Scientist magazine, Sony is developing a device that will bombard viewers with pulses of ultrasound that will stimulate neural activity in our brains and have us smell what we see on the screen.
· Police Charge Man Living In Closet With Murder Of Homeowner. A man was beaten to death after catching his wife's lover living in a closet in their home, police said Tuesday. Jeffrey A. Freeman's wife had allowed Rafael Rocha-Perez to live in a closet of the Freemans' home for about a month without her husband's knowledge, police said. On Sunday, her husband heard Rocha-Perez snoring and discovered him, authorities said.
· Spears Reveals Pregnancy on Her Web Site. Britney Spears has revealed what might be Hollywood's worst-kept secret: She's pregnant. In a posting on her Web site, Spears told fans that she and husband, Kevin Federline, were expecting their first child together. The couple were married in September.
· Florida OKs $5 Million Cap For Wrongfully Imprisoned. Innocent people who were wrongfully imprisoned could seek up to $5 million in compensation for lost wages, attorney fees and other losses under a bill approved Tuesday by a Florida Senate panel.
· Bowflex maker to pay $950,000 fine. Nautilus Inc. agreed to pay a $950,000 penalty to settle allegations that the company failed to give reports on serious injuries and safety defects with nearly 800,000 Bowflex fitness machines, the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced Tuesday.
· Ambulance mows down cancer doctor. A trailblazing breast cancer surgeon and researcher at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center was killed yesterday morning when a private ambulance mowed her down on her way to work.
· Candidate Blames Stolen Signs On 'Chappelle Show' Sketch. City council candidate Rick James says having the same name as the late funk legend is no laughing matter - his campaign signs have been stolen or defaced because of a popular sketch on Comedy Central's "Chappelle's Show."
· Data on 310,000 People Feared Stolen. Data broker LexisNexis said Tuesday that personal information may have been stolen on 310,000 U.S. citizens, or nearly 10 times the number found in a data breach announced last month.
· Joan Kennedy, family feud over sale of home. Joan Kennedy, whose three children took temporary guardianship of her last year to ensure she receives treatment for alcoholism, is putting her oceanfront Cape Cod home on the market for $6.4 million over her children’s objections.
· Report: Sharpton Pocketed Donations. The FBI, as part of an ongoing criminal investigation into the Rev. Al Sharpton, secretly videotaped him pocketing campaign donations from two shady fund-raisers in a New York City hotel room and then asking for more, it was reported yesterday.
· Judge to Martha: Grin & wear it. Looks like Martha Stewart will have to tough it out with pantsuits into the dog days of August. A judge yesterday shot down the domestic diva's plea to end her home detention and whisk away the bothersome electronic ankle bracelet that's keeping her from wearing skirts.
· Judith Regan goes Hollywood. Celebrity book publisher Judith Regan, whose authors include Michael Moore, Amber Frey and Jenna Jameson, is moving her operation from Gotham to Los Angeles, where she plans to expand her brand in film and TV.
· Billy's in a rehabbed state of mind. The Piano Man is out of rehab. Billy Joel completed his treatment at the Betty Ford Center over the weekend, we've learned. And the cherry on top is that he outwitted the omnipresent paparazzi by checking out at 6:30 Sunday morning.
· Students Take Keys, Bust Prom Limo Driver. A limousine driver was arrested for drunken driving after ten Winter Springs High School students on their way to prom took the keys to the vehicle when she allegedly ran stop signs, drove on the wrong side of the road and cut cars off, according to a Local 6 News report.
· Feuding clans shoot it out; romance was the last straw. Members of neighboring families shot across a street at each other, wounding six people and capping a long-running feud that victims said came to a head when a girl from one family began dating a boy from the other.
· Cancer risk: Yes, No, Yes, No, No. Using a mobile phone does not increase the risk of developing a brain tumor, the latest research suggests. The Danish study, which appears in the journal Neurology, involved more than 1,000 people.
· Study Finds Japanese Watch Most TV. The newly released report found Americans' daily dose of TV climbed by three minutes last year to an average of four hours and 28 minutes - nearly 90 minutes above the world average. The Japanese watched the most television last year, clocking in a daily average of five hours.
· Coffee-Shop Worker Accused Of Stealing From Blind Boss. A courthouse coffee-shop employee has been arrested for stealing from his boss, who is legally blind. Daniel Williams was arraigned Monday on a misdemeanor charge of stealing. He is accused of taking $180 out of the coffee shop safe at the Kent County Courthouse.
Monday, April 11, 2005
· Andy Rooney questions oath 'under God.' Leading a parade of celebrity witnesses who claimed they were stiffed by a speakers bureau, Andy Rooney began his testimony Monday by questioning the wording of the oath to tell the truth. As Rooney, 86, entered the courtroom muttering, he balked when asked to swear to tell "nothing but the truth, so help you God." "I don't know about God," he said, as he took the witness chair.
· Robber allegedly steals from TV ad. The first time, authorities said, Timothy Connor just slipped a note to a bank teller. The next time, he slipped the note while nonchalantly talking on his cellphone, an act, police said, that mimicked a Super Bowl commercial.
· Update: Wendy's sales "severely impacted." Reports of a human finger in a bowl of chili at a Wendy's restaurant have hit the firm's sales, a spokesman said. "We've had a severe sales impact from this," said Wendy's spokesman Bob Bertini.
· An odd twist for an ex-dominatrix. When Susan Peacher hung up her latex evening gown and wooden paddle for a job with the federal government, the former dominatrix thought she was done with abuse. She went to work for the Treasury Department in San Francisco, but when she arrived at her new job, she found that one of the office managers was a former client.
· Witness: 'Jackson begged to sleep with my boy.' The mother of a boy who received a multimillion-dollar settlement from Michael Jackson in the 1990s testified Monday that she initially refused to let her son sleep in the singer’s bed but relented when a “sobbing and crying” Jackson made another request.
· Is Kerry calling Democrats stupid? Former Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry told a voters' group Sunday that Democrats were duped into not voting. "Leaflets are handed out saying Democrats vote on Wednesday, Republicans vote on Tuesday. People are told in telephone calls that if you've ever had a parking ticket, you're not allowed to vote," he said.
· 'Apprentice' Contestant Arrested at Tampa Casino. What does it take to get fired on "The Apprentice?" Getting arrested on a disorderly conduct charge at a competitor's casino can't help real estate millionaire Chris Shelton.
· FEMA paid for nearly 200 extra hurricane funerals. The Federal Emergency Management Agency paid for funeral expenses for at least 315 people following last year's hurricanes, even though the state officially recorded 123 storm-related deaths.
· Suspicious Man Tackled At Capitol. All employees inside the U.S. Capitol are being evacuated because a suspicious person with what appeared to be two suitcases was standing on the west side of the building.
· Mum reporter says he has no regrets. The boredom was worse than reporter Jim Taricani expected during his four-months of home confinement for protecting a source. Too much TV watching, house cleaning and reading left him looking for ways to kill time.
· Poll: 49 Percent Prefer Trip To Dentist Over Doing Taxes. Seven in 10 said their federal taxes are too complicated, according to a poll conducted for The Associated Press by Ipsos-Public Affairs. The survey found 49 percent would prefer a trip to the dentist while 48 percent would rather prepare their taxes.
· The shot heard 'round the world. Tiger's incredible 16th hole birdie at Augusta was a shot both golfers and non-golfers alike will not soon forget. After Tiger purposefully shot a 30-foot, wide approach to the hole, the ball slowly rolled across the ominous grade to land - and stay - on the lip of the cup, for a full two seconds before dropping. If you missed it, here is a site that has a 30-sec movie that replays the excitement.
· Jackson Prosecution Hits Another Snag. The prosecution in the Michael Jackson case ran into another problem Monday when a witness did not testify as expected that he may have seen the pop star lick a boy's head in the 1990s.
· Update: Protest planned for controversial cardinal's Mass. Cardinal Bernard Law, accused of covering up priestly sex abuse when he was the Boston archbishop, is to celebrate Mass Monday at St. Peter's Basilica -- a gesture of honor by the Vatican that has erupted into controversy and been denounced as "insensitive" and "embarrassing."
· Longoria’s Pussycat routine leaves crowd purring. Eva Longoria of "Desperate Housewives" had a celebrity-laden crowd purring when she helped open a new lounge featuring the famous Pussycat Dolls at Caesars Palace hotel-casino. Armed with a horse whip, wearing knee-high leather boots and a zebra-striped mini skirt, Longoria introduced the sexy song-and-dance group to Las Vegas with a provocative meow on Saturday night.
· Obese Shoppers Say Store Clerks Not So Helpful To Them. A Rice University study details some of the unpleasant experiences of overweight shoppers. The study suggests sales clerks subtly discriminate against obese shoppers unless they think the customer is trying to lose weight.
· Genovese boss: 'I'm penniless,' He's reputed to be the acting boss of the wealthiest and most powerful organized crime family, yet Genovese chieftain Dominick (Quiet Dom) Cirillo is claiming he's a poorfella.
· Jacko's Mom Denies Leaving Court to Avoid Testimony. Michael Jackson's mother said Sunday that she left the courtroom during her son's child molestation trial last week to use the rest room — not to avoid hearing graphic testimony.
· Georgia high school looking for few good snitches. Using revenue from its candy and soda sales, Model High School plans to pay up to $100 for information about thefts and drug or gun possession on campus. "It's not that we feel there are any problems here," said Principal Glenn White. "It's a proactive move for getting information that will help deter any sort of illegal activity."
· Scientists Create Remote-Controlled Flies. Yale University researchers say their study that used lasers to create remote-controlled fruit flies could lead to a better understanding of overeating and violence in humans. Using the lasers to stimulate specific brain cells, researchers say they were able to make the flies jump, walk, flap their wings and fly.
· NYC subway gets a computerized facelift. A subway train rattles halfway into Manhattan’s Union Square station and shudders to a halt. Over a crackle of static, a voice on the PA system announces congestion ahead and says it will be several minutes before service resumes.
· Mall boots booth targeted by teens. It is a kiosk of baby clothes in the middle of Walt Whitman Mall - a splash of pink roses and white cotton - and it is Terry McMullen's livelihood. But after a year of run-ins with local teenagers who she said regularly curse at her, release stink bombs nearby and sometimes destroy her hand-made goods, McMullen said mall management has decided to deal with her rather than them.
· 44-Year-Old School Bus Driver Accused Of Street Racing. A 44-year-old Osceola County school bus driver was arrested early Sunday for allegedly taking part in an illegal street race with her 13-year-old daughter and 17-year-old son.
· McDonald's brews up competition for Starbucks. Hoping to win back breakfast business it's losing to Starbucks and other cafe chains, McDonald's says it's ready to brew some new coffee flavors. The fast food giant is testing stronger Java blends, including cappuccino and latte, as it takes a stab at attracting coffee lovers to the golden arches, according to some Wall Street analysts.
· Pay Phones: A Dying Breed?. Mark Thomas, who runs a website tracking pay phone locations, says as long as people need them, pay phones will endure - and should not be required to be profitable any more than streetlights are.
· Bad Tackle Kills Arena Football Player. Former NFL defensive lineman Al Lucas died Sunday from a presumed spinal cord injury sustained while trying to make a tackle for the Los Angeles Avengers during an Arena Football League game, the team said.
Sunday, April 10, 2005
· 'Sahara' Tops North American Box Office. "Sahara," the year's first action-adventure film, took the top spot at the North American box office over the weekend, with the noir "Sin City" sliding to No. 2 in its second week.
· KKK auction canceled over recruitment fliers. A planned auction of Ku Klux Klan items was canceled Saturday after fliers encouraging KKK membership were distributed in the community where the event was to be held.
· Update: Ex-NFL Player Saw Siegfried, Roy As Threat. A former pro football player accused of shooting at the compound of Siegfried & Roy wanted to "warn the world" of the threat posed by the illusionists, according to a psychiatric report.
· Warren Buffet only a witness in AIG. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett is merely a witness who could “shed light” on transactions involving the former chief executive of insurer American International Group, which is at the center of federal and state probes, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said Sunday.
· Newspaper Apologizes Over Bo Jackson Story. A Southern California newspaper on Sunday apologized to Bo Jackson and retracted part of a story saying the former football and baseball star used steroids. In a story published under sports editor Jim Mohr's byline, dietary expert Ellen Coleman was quoted as saying she knew personally that "Bo Jackson lost his hip because of anabolic abuse." [If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck...]
· Birdie putt on first playoff hole defeats DiMarco. Tiger Woods is The Masters champion again, turning back a surprising challenge Sunday with a shot of sheer magic and a birdie putt to win a playoff he never expected. A spectacular finish of birdies and bogeys finally ended when Woods produced the most important shot of all . a 15-foot birdie putt on the first extra hole to capture his fourth green jacket and finally put away the gritty Chris DiMarco.
· Phyllis Diller Recounts Her Life. On a chilly March night in San Francisco 50 years ago, a suburban housewife stood in the spotlight at the avant-garde Purple Onion night club and rapid-fired jokes about managing a household with five children and an indolent husband she called Fang.
· $100 Martini in Seattle. Some cities always live large, but every once in a while, Seattle dabbles in decadence, too. Tini Bigs Lounge brings liquid luxury to revelers' lips with its latest "bling bling of Martinis," the $100 Martini.
· Scandal-hit cardinal to lead Mass. A support group for sexual abuse victims has condemned a decision by the Vatican to choose Cardinal Bernard Law to lead a Mass for Pope John Paul II. Cardinal Law resigned as Archbishop of Boston in 2002 following accusations that he covered up sexual abuse of children by priests.
Saturday, April 9, 2005
· Jessica Lunsford may have been buried alive. A convicted sex offender facing capital murder charges in the killing of a 9-year-old Florida girl told investigators he buried her alive, law enforcement sources told CNN Friday night.
· Woman who claimed to find finger at Wendy's has litigious history. Anna Ayala, who hired a San Jose, Calif., attorney to represent her in the Wendy's case, has been involved in at least half a dozen legal battles in the San Francisco Bay area, according to more than a decade of court records.
· President of NOW feminazi chapter charged with false rape. A 23-year-old Florida woman, and president of the Brevard Chapter of the National Organization for Women has been charged with making false statements about a rape that left area college students scared to walk the campus, according to WKMG-TV in Orlando.
· Update: Unlimited beer, food and beauty pageants: life's a hoot for Daly. The disheveled pro golfer, drinker, and gambler extraordinaire, John Daly gets an unlimited lifetime supply of Hooters food and beer; he and Hooters will work on co-branded merchandise; and finally, it is obligatory that he takes a place on the judging panel in the annual Hooters international swimsuit pageant.
· Bonds ignores advice of his lawyer. Going against the advice of his lawyer, San Francisco Giants outfielder Barry Bonds continues to train with longtime friend Greg Anderson as Bonds rehabs his knee, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. Anderson is awaiting trial in the BALCO steroids case on charges of distributing performance-enhancing drugs to elite athletes.
· Rudolph caught, but Jewel's life still tarnished. Remember that name, Richard Jewell? You may, and there's a reason for it: He is the man who was identified, first privately by federal investigators and then publicly on the screaming front page of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, as the No. 1 suspect in the Olympic bombing case. It took authorities seven years before they were able to bring in Eric Rudolph, the man who actually appears as the kind of soulless cretin that people wanted to believe Richard Jewell to be.
· Ex-Employee Says Jackson Touched Culkin. A former employee of Michael Jackson was the second witness in the singer's molestation trial to describe watching intimate contact between Jackson and child star Macaulay Culkin.
» Jacko: DA's Witnesses Admit Lying. The prosecution put on two witnesses yesterday in the Michael Jackson child molestation case, each determined to demolish the defense. At first their plan looked good. But then defense attorney Tom Mesereau came twirling on to the court, and the rest is history.
· Mickelson tearing up course, literally, Singh complains. After play was halted at 4 p.m. because of an approaching thunderstorm, Mickelson confronted Singh in the champions' locker room over the Fijian's complaints to officials that Mickelson's metal spikes were tearing up the greens.
· G.O.P. Consultant Weds His Male Partner. Arthur J. Finkelstein, a prominent Republican consultant who has directed a series of hard-edged political campaigns to elect conservatives in the United States and Israel over the last 25 years, said Friday that he had married his male partner in a civil ceremony at his home in Massachusetts.
· Charles, Camilla ready for big day. In the climax to a decades-long love story fraught with scandal, Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, will marry Camilla Parker Bowles in a low-key ceremony on Saturday.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Assiduous [as·sid·u·ous] adj. 1. Constant in application or attention; diligent: "An assiduous worker who strove for perfection." 2. Unceasing; persistent: "Assiduous cancer research."
· 'Apprentice' Reject Surprised at Outcome. Although he has chewed tobacco during tasks and thrown tantrums at teammates, young millionaire Chris Shelton was spared by Donald Trump on the latest episode of NBC's "The Apprentice." Gym franchise owner/cabaret singer Angie McKnight was fired, despite pleas from advisers Carolyn Kepcher and George Ross.
· DeLay in Hot Water Again. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay came under more fire Friday for his comments suggesting that judges who refused to further consider the Terri Schiavo case could one day pay for their decisions.
Friday, April 8, 2005
· No more drinking and driving in Montana. Some Montana motorists, the joke goes, measure distances driven by how many beers they can down along the way. But the long-cherished right to have a cold one behind the wheel is about to end. State lawmakers passed an open-container ban today that makes Montana one of the last states to outlaw drinking while driving.
· Bye-bye, MGM. MGM is gone. So is United Artists. The deal involves a consortium of companies (including Sony Corp.) to purchase the MGM assets for some $4.8 billion. Ted Turner was right: "It's the library, stupid." All 4,000 titles, including "The Wizard of Oz" and "Gone With the Wind" go with the deal.
· The Real Atlanta Olympic bomber to plead guilty. A bombing victim's relative confirmed Friday that Eric Rudolph has agreed to plead guilty in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic bombing and three other bomb attacks.
· Secret Of Ashlee Simpson's "Success." The pop singer's backstage rider reveals she requires a "Ubiquitous Deli Platter with appropriate condiments," and Throat Coat tea, a favorite of singers who actually sing.
· Cops get Zapped by taser. Alexandria, VA police Cpl. Ricky Vercher squinted his eyes and tensed up as he waited for the 50,000 volts that were about to go through his body. There was a popping noise, then his body fell backward.
· Driver hits DMV building, renews license. A 48-year-old man drove his car into a wall of the Division of Motor Vehicles Thursday, then walked inside and renewed his driver's license, Anchorage police said.
· Prince Charles and Zimbabwean president shake 'in error.' While at the Pope's funeral, The Prince of Wales shook hands with the Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, who side-stepped a European Union travel ban to attend the service in Rome.
· Jackson Maid Testified She Used Tabloid 'Broker.' Michael Jackson's former maid testified Friday at his child molestation trial that she and other employees used a "media broker" to sell stories to tabloids, including one claiming inside knowledge of Jackson's sex life with ex-wife Lisa Marie Presley.
· Odd Corrections: She was an alleged assassin - not a spy. The New York Times corrected an article that stated designer Eva Zeisel was arrested in 1936 for conspiring to assassinate Stalin, Not for being a German spy as the newspaper reported.
· Female lawyer suspended for having sex with client. The state Supreme Court on Thursday announced a two-year suspension for a lawyer caught having jailhouse sex with a triple-murder defendant she was representing.
· U.S. Postal Service wants 2 cent rate hike. The agency wants a 2-cent increase in first-class mail, and similar increases for other types of mail, to take effect early next year. It would increase the rate for regular mail to 39 cents from 37 cents.
· Judge Sentences Spammer to Nine Years. A Virginia judge sentenced a spammer to nine years in prison Friday in the nation's first felony prosecution for sending junk e-mail, though the sentence was postponed while the case is appealed.
· ‘Apprentice’ sponsors are the real losers. This season, those millions of dollars spent on product integration haven't necessarily helped the companies — or the candidates. This week, some of the companies featured on the show were even blamed by the losing team for their problems.
· Airline Providing Mile-High Service. It is the Mile High Club, and now an area business is trying to cash-in on sex in the skies. The service is so controversial one nearby airport has already declined to have it.
· Court rejects peanut butter and jelly patent. On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit rejected an effort by J.M. Smucker Co. to patent its process for making pocket-size peanut butter and jelly pastries called “Uncrustables.”
· TSA director asked to step down. The Transportation Security Administration, once the flagship agency in the nation's $20 billion effort to protect air travelers, is now slated for dismantling. The TSA has been plagued by missteps, public relations blunders and criticism of its performance from both the public and legislators.
· New Jersey cop charged with having sex with 17-year-old girl. A policeman assigned to Absegami High School as a school resource officer was arrested Thursday, charged with having sex with a 17-year-old girl in his patrol car, authorities said.
· Jessica Lunsford May Have Been Alive When Cops Came. A 9-year-old girl who was abducted from her bed and allegedly slain by a sex offender might have been alive when officers questioned residents at the mobile home where the suspect lived, according to court documents.
· Rat-infested hole in the ground on Beacon Hill has sold for $450,000. Time was, $450,000 would buy you a home on the Hill. Now it gets you a 1,500-square-foot trash dump on Storrow Drive with a view underneath Beacon Hill in Boston.
· Has Cookie Monster given up sweets? PBS announced that "Sesame Street" would kick off its 35th season this week with a multiyear story about healthy eating habits, with Cookie Monster now being its biggest spokesmonster and advocate.
· Romance Working for Cruz, McConaughey. workplace romance was "Gigli" bad for Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. It was "Far and Away" a mistake for Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. But Matthew McConaughey and Penélope Cruz intend to stay in "The Loop."
· GM Stops Buying Ads in The Times. General Motors Corp. on Thursday pulled its advertising from the Los Angeles Times over disagreements with car reviews and other articles that have appeared in the newspaper. The world's largest automaker said the move was "based on factual errors and misrepresentations in The Times editorial coverage."
· Newest Drink Fad: Liquor With Shot Of Oxygen. Some people may think the low-carb fad is going too far. The big new thing is alcohol without liquid, or AWOL for short. A shot of liquor is mixed with oxygen and inhaled.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Precarious [pre·car·i·ous] adj. 1. Dangerously lacking in security or stability: "The precarious life of an undercover cop." 2. Subject to chance or unknown conditions: "His kingdom was still precarious." 3. Based on uncertain, unwarranted, or unproved premises: "A precarious solution to a difficult problem."
· Recent arrests could bring police closer to solving "The Scream" heist. Norwegian police said that a number of recent arrests of Norwegian criminals could bring them closer to tracking down Edvard Munch's world-renowned masterpieces "The Scream" and "Madonna" that were stolen from an Oslo art museum last August.
· Crash Miracle. A born-again Christian in an SUV — whose license plate read "I M SAVED" — miraculously survived a fiery collision yesterday that killed a retired firefighter who was going the wrong way on the Belt Parkway.
· It’s a dog’s life and cat’s too: Pet owners spend $36 billion annually on pets. According to a survey taken by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, pet owners spend $36 billion annually caring for their animals. That amounts to the seventh largest retail segment in the U.S.
» Better wealthy than handsome? Why not both? Researchers at the nation’s central bank have confirmed what you always suspected: If you want to make more money, it helps to be tall, slender and good-looking.
· Pee Diddy ordered to pay $21,000 a month in child support. Hip-hop star Sean "P. Diddy" Combs has been ordered to pay more than $21,000 a month in child support to an ex-girlfriend with whom he has an 11-year-old son.
Thursday, April 7, 2005
· Winning Powerball to Get Even Harder. The 29 lotteries that participate in the Powerball game have voted to make changes that will slightly increase the size of the average jackpot but substantially decrease the chance of winning.
· Update: Trapped elevator guy may be deported. The Chinese food deliveryman who was trapped for 31/2 days in an elevator went into hiding yesterday — fearing his newfound fame may get him in hot-and-sour soup with immigration officials.
· ACLU: School kids can wear gay marriage shirts. School officials in Dublin have been warned by the American Civil Liberties Union that they can't pick and choose which political messages they'll allow on student T-shirts.
· Russell Yates says he's ready for new family. The ex-husband of a woman sentenced to life in prison for drowning their five children said he is ready to move on with his life and might like to start another family.
· Unlucky Numbers. In the nearly two-and-a-half years since he won the largest single lotto jackpot ever, Jack Whittaker has driven drunk, been sued for sexual assault and endured the drug-induced death of his granddaughter, Brandi Bragg. Now he's the target of a $100 million wrongful death suit, with the dean of ambulance chasers looking to make a very wealthy man pay for his sins.
· Judge Orders DNA Sample in Kidman Bugging Case. A Sydney court on Wednesday ordered a celebrity photographer to give a DNA sample to police investigating the apparent bugging of Oscar winner Nicole Kidman's home.
· Prince Charles' wedding security breached. Two days before Britain's Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles will entertain 750 VIP guests at their wedding, police at Windsor Castle failed to detain a British newspaper reporter who casually drove a van carrying a box marked "bomb" into the castle grounds.
· Ads appear on dollar bills. So is there any open space left that marketers can use to make a buck? Well, the buck itself. USA Network has launched an unusual promotion to publicize its upcoming miniseries. The network is distributing 50,000 one-dollar bills in trendy bars in Los Angeles and New York. Affixed on each of those bills: a removable sticker bearing the USA Network logo, along with the title and airtime of the show.
· GOP senators say keep Willie Nelson's name off highway. Legislation to name the Texas 130 turnpike after the man who put Austin music on the map cleared its first committee Wednesday, but there were signs that some Republicans might not be so comfortable honoring the well-known Democrat.
· The Print Stains on Her Fingertips are Starting to Fade. Renowned publicist Lois Whitman knows a big secret. A lot of people know about it, but few are willing to talk. It could throw the entire newspaper and magazine publishing business into turmoil. Here it is: An increasing number of publication houses are making more money from their online versions than from their print editions. The media won’t publicize this story because it could result in the beginning of the end for many print periodicals.
· Hole Drilled to Bottom of Earth's Crust. The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) seeks the elusive "Moho," a boundary formally known as the Mohorovicic discontinuity. It marks the division between Earth's brittle outer crust and the hotter, softer mantle. This latest effort drilled 4,644 feet (1,416 meters) below the ocean seafloor.
· Flashy fake ring gets mother with 3-month old robbed. A heartless thug robbed a woman — pointing his gun at her 3-month-old boy — in broad daylight in Central Park yesterday morning as dozens of New Yorkers were enjoying the sunny weather, cops said.
· Smelly Money Lands Indiana Man in Jail. A man who went to the sheriff's department to bond out his brother-in-law also ended up in jail when police realized the money he handed them reeked of marijuana.
· Former guard testifies Jackson engaged in sex act with boy. A former security guard at Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch testified Thursday that he saw the pop star performing oral sex on a young boy while the two were standing nude outside a shower in 1993.
· New York city workers arrested for stealing from homeless fund. Four city employees were arrested on charges they stole more than $130,000 from public funds meant to help homeless people pay for housing.
· Underinflated Tire Sensors In 2008. New passenger cars must have tire pressure monitoring systems in place by the 2008 model year. If any one of the four tires is underinflated, the sensors set off a dashboard warning light.
· Marriott Bans Green Day. The Independent Film Channel had booked an outdoor space at the Times Square hotel to advertise IFC's year-long association with Green Day. However, when Marriott executives got a look at the grenade-in-bloody-hand image on the 28-by-43-foot billboard they said "not on my watch."
· Bryant case witness stands behind accuser. A key witness in the failed sexual assault case against NBA star Kobe Bryant said in his first interview that he remains convinced Bryant’s accuser was telling the truth, and that the case should have gone to trial.
· Jackson Jurors May Have Mocked Witness. Jurors in the Michael Jackson molestation case were apparently overheard laughing at a remark that might have been mocking a witness, although no court action was expected.
· Google Shows Off Satellite Map Feature. Online search engine leader Google Inc. has unveiled a new feature that will enable its users to zoom in on homes and businesses using satellite images, an advance that may raise privacy concerns as well as intensify the competitive pressures on its rivals.
· U.S. lawmakers want daylight-saving time change. A House committee voted on Wednesday to expand U.S. daylight-saving time by two months to help reduce energy consumption, but rejected a plan to shave total U.S. oil demand by 1 million barrels a day.
· Richard Gere meets with leaders to settle world's problems. Richard Gere told Israel's foreign minister that Palestinians and Israelis must put the past behind them and take advantage of what he called a "special moment" to make peace.
· ‘Admiral, I shrunk the spy plane.’ If the Wasp buzzed your backyard barbecue and sent out a live video feed, you probably wouldn't notice. The new robotic plane is designed for troops who need a peek at the enemy before going in. The diminutive drone, about the size of a magazine, was tested recently during Navy exercises off Southern California.
· Florida eyes allowing residents to open fire whenever they see threat. Florida's legislature has approved a bill that would give residents the right to open fire against anyone they perceive as a threat in public, instead of having to try to avoid a conflict as under prevailing law.
· Minuteman Project Volunteers Face Probe. Three volunteers patrolling the border for illegal immigrants were being investigated after a man told authorities he was held against his will and forced to pose for a picture holding a T-shirt with a mocking slogan.
· Thieves call 911 before fleeing. Two thieves tied up a Near Northside apartment manager and ransacked his residence, but they weren't completely heartless. When the 72-year-old victim told the two robbers Wednesday night that he feared for his welfare because of a heart problem, they used his cell phone to dial 911 and summon help.
· Stools fool Sox. Workers at a Hudson Valley furniture maker got in a good-natured jab at the Red Sox Nation this week by delivering 72 custom-made bar stools and chairs to a Fenway Park sports bar with "Made in Hudson New York by New York Yankee Fans" stickers adorning several of them.
· Rome braces for terrorist attack during Pope's funeral. Anti-aircraft rocket launchers are in place around Rome, and a navy warship armed with torpedoes is patrolling the coastline near the capital. Those and other security measures are Italy's menacing message to terrorists ahead of Pope John Paul II's funeral.
· Mobiles to ‘replace TV as prime ad medium.’ Mobile telephones and other wireless communication devices will soon become the most important medium for advertisers to reach technology-savvy consumers, one of the world's leading advertising executives said on yesterday.
· Author of Schiavo memo steps forward. The legal counsel to Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) admitted yesterday that he was the author of a memo citing the political advantage to Republicans of intervening in the case of Terri Schiavo, the senator said in an interview last night.
Wednesday, April 6, 2005
· Average MLB salary a record $2.6 million. Baseball’s big-money boom pushed the average salary to a record $2.6 million on opening day, and the New York Yankee’ payroll of just under $200 million topped five teams combined.
· Supremacist sentenced to 40 years for trying to have judge killed. Avowed white supremacist Matthew Hale was sentenced to 40 years in prison Wednesday for trying to have a federal judge killed - the same judge whose husband and mother were murdered five weeks ago by a man who had no connection to Hale.
· Flight attendants fight against cell-phone use on planes. You can't escape them. Not in cars or bars, classrooms or restrooms, back yards — or even graveyards. There's only been one steady refuge from cell phones: a plane in flight. But federal regulators are weighing an end to that sanctuary as well.
· Update: Police Raid "Art Night" at Strip Club. Police raided the strip club for violating the Idaho capital's nudity ordinance. The law requires minimal cover for dancers unless they're involved in a performance with "serious artistic merit." To get around that, the bar distributed sketch pads and pencils to patrons twice a week.
· Report alleges steroid use ended Jackson's career. Bo Jackson filed a defamation lawsuit Wednesday against a California newspaper that quoted a dietary expert who said the former two-sport star used steroids.
· Woman fleeced lawyer of $1.2 million. A personable, 65-year-old con-woman dubbed "the queen of greed" duped 10 people out of more than $2 million before losing the money to a classic Nigerian email scam.
· "The Doctor
Will Won't See You Now." The young medical student was nervous as he slid the soft, thin tube down into the patient’s windpipe. It was a delicate maneuver — and he knew he had to get it right - and did, despite the fact that the recent medical student and now graduate Dr. Tim Cordes is blind.
· CEO bonuses run amuck: Now they don't even need to be living. McDonald's Corp. said on Wednesday it paid more than $5 million in bonuses to the estates of former Chief Executives Jim Cantalupo and Charlie Bell following their deaths.
» Yesterday: HP's $3 million for 45 days 'work.' Hewlett-Packard plans to give a $3 million bonus to CFO Robert Wayman, who served as interim chief executive after Carly Fiorina was ousted in February. Wayman, the company's longtime finance chief, served as CEO from Feb. 9, when Fiorina resigned, until April 1, when Mark Hurd officially started on the job at HP. Fiorina got more than $21 million in severance.
· Radio journalist shot on U.S.-Mexico border. A radio reporter on Mexico's border with Texas was in serious condition after being shot several times by an unknown gunman, the latest journalist to be attacked along the border in recent months.
· 'Fat' sheriff tracks down critic. Orange County Sheriff Kevin Beary has a vast array of computers designed to track down terrorists and criminals - or a Winter Park, FL mother of four. Upset at being described as too fat for basic police work, Beary ordered his staff to use restricted records to find the woman who also criticized his agency's use of stun guns in a letter to a newspaper editor.
· Pastore Ordered to Leave Girlfriend Alone. Vincent Pastore, the actor who played a gangster on the HBO hit series "The Sopranos," was ordered by a judge Tuesday to stay away from the girlfriend he was accused of beating last weekend.
· Fearing a killer's profit, Laci Peterson's parents up suit to $25 million. Laci Peterson's parents upped the amount of their civil suit against her killer by $20 million because they fear he may use Hollywood contacts to get a lucrative movie deal or otherwise turn a large profit on his infamous crime, according to an attorney for the victim's mother.
· Suit: Brando could have been an offender. A former business manager for Marlon Brando is claiming that the late screen legend sexually harassed her and that he had a "disturbing" attraction to underage girls.
· Court: Man Can Disparage Company on Web. A man can disparage a hair-restoration company on a Web site using the company's name without violating copyright law, an appeals court ruled Monday. Bosley Medical Institute in Seattle sued former client Michael Kremer after he created a Web site in 2000 in a "bald-faced effort to get even" with the company, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said.
· Another UCF professor arrested - accused of stealing DNA. A University of Central Florida biology professor has been arrested and held without bail for allegedly stealing potentially deadly DNA. Police say 33-year-old Singh Meena took eight vials of cloned DNA pieces from a tuberculosis organism that could be used as a weapon for bioterrorism.
· California turns out to be so... California. A recent survey has people outside the state no doubt saying: "See, I told you." Among the findings: 63% of Californians have actually hugged a tree; 24% have surfed; and 21% admit to enjoying mud baths. "It turns out that Californians actually do a lot of the things that make up the stereotype."
· "Star Wars" geeks line up at wrong theater. 46 days before "Star Wars: Episode III" opens, fanatics are already lined up at the Chinese theater. Unfortunately, 20th Century Fox doesn't plan to open the film at the Chinese, opting instead for the ArcLight a few blocks east.
· Jennings Vows to Continue ABC Broadcast. While Peter Jennings vows to continue his anchor desk, his recently diagnosed lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in the United States, and roughly four out of five people diagnosed with the disease die within five years, said Dr. Cliff Connery.
· New FCC Chair Warns Cable; Congressman Advocates Jail Time For Indecency. In his first speech as head of the Federal Communication Commission, Chairman Kevin Martin strongly suggested on Tuesday that the cable industry clean up its act and shield children from indecent content. But Martin's speech was overshadowed by a fiery talk by Wisconsin republican congressman F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., who said he'd rather see indecent broadcasters thrown in jail.
· Basketball Attracts More Viewers Than Pope's Death. The evening of Pope John Paul's death U.S. television viewers were more interested in watching basketball than special news programs about the leader of the Catholic Church.
· Former Jackson maid says she saw singer showering with boy. Michael Jackson's former personal maid testified Tuesday that she saw the pop star showering and laughing with a young boy at Neverland Ranch - with their underwear lying outside the shower door.
· The art of switching airline seats. How many times have you come across this scenario: the airplane is completely full, apart from nine seats, but those nine seats have only three people in them, who are stretched out and happily slumbering away? Did they pay for those extra seats? No, they have perfected the technique a travel columnist calls “seat shuffling.”
· Calif. Fugitive Accused Of Movie Piracy Arrested In Central Fla. A California man who escaped from custody after being charged with trying to videotape movies at premieres was taken into custody Tuesday near Orlando, authorities said.
· Tomorrow's Net speeds could be up to 1,600% faster. If you think that today's high-speed Internet connections are fast, wait till you see what cable operators plan. The industry's standard-settings unit, CableLabs, plans to endorse technology that will let operators boost speeds 400% to 1,600%, over their existing lines.
· Political Groups Paid Two Relatives of House Leader. The wife and daughter of Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, have been paid more than $500,000 since 2001 by Mr. DeLay's PAC committees, according to a detailed review of disclosure statements filed with the Federal Election Commission.
· Arkansas nixes offensive pink jerseys. Arkansas coach Houston Nutt has decided that his players who are caught loafing will no longer wear pink jerseys during practices in an effort to avoid offending breast cancer survivors.
· Shuttle May Miss Liftoff Date. Space Shuttle Discovery is set to move to its launch pad Tuesday, but an official said there is a 50 percent chance that NASA will have to delay launching the first post-Columbia mission on May 15, according to reports.
· Nobel, Pulitzer winner Saul Bellow dies. American Nobel laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Saul Bellow died Tuesday evening at his home in Brookline, Massachusetts, his literary agent said. He was 89.
Tuesday, April 5, 2005
· New York deliveryman stuck in elevator four days. A deliveryman who vanished after taking Chinese food to a Bronx apartment complex was found alive Tuesday after apparently spending four days trapped in an elevator that had become stuck between floors.
· Idaho Sheriff Admits to Driving Drunk. Sheriff Sam Slavin was arrested early Thursday morning in Boise for driving under the influence while driving an unmarked county vehicle the wrong way on a one-way street.
· John Paul II was not embalmed, only 'prepared' for public viewing, Vatican says. Departing from tradition, Pope John Paul II was not embalmed, only "prepared" for viewing by hundreds of thousands of mourners, the Vatican said Tuesday.
· HP earmarks $3 million bonus for 'interim' chief. Hewlett-Packard plans to give a $3 million bonus to CFO Robert Wayman, who served as interim chief executive after Carly Fiorina was ousted in February.
» Hundreds of Students Kicked Out of School. Some 300 students heading into one of the five high schools in the Fremont Union High School district were sent home early and for good Monday. The school district is enforcing a policy that limits enrollment to only those students who can prove they live in the district.
· Update: Thompson's ashes to be shot from cannon. Hunter S. Thompson’s ashes will be blasted from a cannon mounted inside a 53-foot-high sculpture of the journalist’s “gonzo fist” emblem, his wife said Tuesday.
· Desperate divas go to war over photoshoot. When the stars of Desperate Housewives arrived for a glamorous photoshoot for the magaizne Vanity Fair they found themselves at each other's throats - just as they are in the show.
· Domestic diva unhappy about commute. The diva of domesticity claimed yesterday she spends three to four hours a day traveling to and from her Westchester farm estate and her offices in Manhattan. Time spent in traffic is seriously cutting into the 48 hours a week she's allowed out of her house for work, visiting the doctor, attending religious services and grocery shopping.
· 38 Minor Leaguers Suspended For Steroid Use. MLB announced that 38 minor league players were suspended for violating "Major League Baseball's Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program" against performance-enhancing substances (steroids and steroid precursors).
· ABC News' Peter Jennings has lung cancer. This morning, Peter Jennings emailed his senior staff at World News Tonight that yesterday afternoon he was diagnosed with lung cancer.
"As you all know, this is a challenge,'' Jennings wrote. "I begin chemo-therapy next week. I will continue to do the broadcast. There will be good days and bad, which means that some days I may be cranky and some days really cranky!''
· Report: Boston's Big Dig Tunnels Safe, but bring oars. Boston drivers are breathing a little easier after the release of a Federal Highway Administration report that concluded the Big Dig's tunnels under the city are structurally sound and safe for traffic despite recent flooding. The $14.6 billion, Kennedy/Dukakis-sponsored Big Dig is the most expensive highway project in U.S. history.
· Escaped Convict, Warden's Wife Found. The wife of a deputy prison warden who disappeared 10 years ago along with a convicted killer has been found unharmed in East Texas but doesn't appear to be in any hurry to return to her old life, authorities said.
· More about Fonda than we want to know. Jane Fonda is fairly open in her memoir, "My Life So Far," about the infidelities in her marriages to Roger Vadim, Tom Hayden and Ted Turner, as well as her bulimia and addiction to Dexedrine.
» Fonda Book: 'Ted Turner cheated on me first month.' Fonda writes that her religious conversion coincided with the revelation that Turner had never stopped cheating on her. A month into their marriage, she realized he'd had a "nooner" with another woman. She confronted him and bashed him over the head with a mobile phone.
· Pilots fear computers taking over. Increasing use of aircraft computers is potentially dangerous, according to the people in charge - the pilots. One example is a bird strike encountered just after take-off by an Airbus A320. "One engine indicates an engine fire that is delivering full power while the other engine has failed ... The Ecam computer prioritizes the fire and instructs the crew to shut down the only engine delivering thrust."
· FBI seeks expanded search powers. FBI Director Robert Mueller on Tuesday asked lawmakers to expand the bureau’s ability to obtain records without first asking a judge, and he joined Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in seeking that every temporary provision of the anti-terrorism Patriot Act be renewed.
· Jackson Witness Pleads Poor Memory. A man who testified he was molested by Michael Jackson more than a decade ago repeatedly pleaded a poor memory Tuesday as the pop star's lawyer cross-examined him about his story. The 24-year-old man clashed with Jackson attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr., who tried to highlight inconsistencies between the story that the witness told on the stand and his earlier accounts. The housekeeper's son received $2.4 million from Jackson in 1994 and no criminal charges were filed.
· Man warned about dangers of stealing before his death. Elizabeth Lockridge-Lewis told her grandchildren about the dangers of stealing. "I talked to all of them that night about how people do to people that steal something," she said. "They kill you." Less than 12 hours later, that was exactly what had happened.
· Tenn. lawmaker's sex scandals now the least of his problems. Over three decades in the Tennessee Senate, John Ford has lost paternity lawsuits, given a political job to a girlfriend and been successfully sued for sexual harassment. So it was not entirely surprising last year when the 62-year-old lawmaker testified at a child-support hearing that he has two households -- one with a pregnant ex-wife and their three children, another with a longtime girlfriend and their two offspring.
· 9/11 evacuation slower than expected, report concludes. Investigators have concluded that new thinking is needed on how to evacuate people from endangered skyscrapers and how to get rescuers into them more quickly, according to a federal report released Monday on the collapse of the World Trade Center towers.
To underline the importance of the finding, NIST estimated that had the buildings been hit at a time when they were full, as many as 14,000 people may have died.
· Female Boxer Dies After KO. A woman who won a regional boxing title three years ago died from a head injury sustained in a Golden Gloves competition. Becky Zerlentes, 34, of Fort Collins, died Sunday afternoon, Howard Daniel of the Denver County coroner's office said Monday. The preliminary cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head, but results from an autopsy were not immediately available.
· A royal fiasco or a great love story? In truth, it's turned into a bit of a royal fiasco. This weekend wedding of Britain’s Prince Charles and his long-time companion Camilla Parker Bowles has necessitated a delay, a change of venue (and perhaps British law), a call for the future king to apologize for adultery and a sniffy non-appearance by the queen at the downscale nuptials of her eldest son.
· CBS to End 'JAG' After 10-Year Tour. The drama series "JAG," which mixed real war and conflict with fiction, is ending after a 10-year run. Canceled after a single season on NBC, the show was picked up by CBS and became a reliable ratings performer and part of the network's turnaround, said CBS chief Leslie Moonves.
· Simple rules for business start with: No touching. The law firm of Holland & Knight was born in Florida and today is one of the largest firms in the world, with 1,250 lawyers in 30-plus cities from Bradenton to Beijing. One of the senior partners recently got a promotion after allegedly grillin female law associates about their boyfriends and sex lives, engage in running commentary about their clothes, hair and appearance, and jokingly threaten their jobs.
· Farm facts. Did you know people in the U.S. spend only about 10 percent of their disposable income on food? That's lower than any other country in the world, and for every $1 spent on groceries, only 19 cents goes back to the farm.
Monday, April 4, 2005
· 'Minutemen' Gripes Begin. Volunteers who have converged on the Mexican border to watch for illegal immigrants are disrupting U.S. Border Patrol operations by unwittingly tripping sensors that alert agents to possible intruders, an agency spokesman complained Monday.
· Lauren Bacall derides today's actors. Bacall said today's crop of stars lacked talent. "Actors today go into TV, which I don't consider has a lot to do with acting. "We live in an age of mediocrity. Stars today are not the same stature as Bogie, Jimmy Cagney, Spencer Tracy, Henry Fonda and Jimmy Stewart."
· Irish bookmakers take bets on next pope. While the world discusses the passing of one pope and imminent election of another, Ireland is putting its money where its mouth is - and having a bet on Pope John Paul II's successor. The early favorites were Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi of Milan and Francis Arinze of Nigeria, both listed at 11-4 odds.
» Africa Asks if Time Right for African Pope. They say having a black at the top would anchor the Roman Catholic Church among the world's poor - signaling that the Vatican aims to lead the fight against inequality and disease, offering a hope of salvation in this world as well as the next.
· Jackson witness says he was molested. In a halting, emotion-choked voice, the son of Michael Jackson’s former housekeeper testified Monday that the pop star molested him during a tickling game in 1990.
· Watch makers cast nervous eye on mobile phone challenge. Watch makers are bracing for a new challenge to their declining sales: the cellphone. "Youngsters don't have a watch anymore today. If they want to know the time, they look at their cellphone, which never leaves them," said Patrick Besnard.
· Boy Band Singer Runs for Cincinnati Mayor. Justin Jeffre, a former member of 98 Degrees, wants to be Cincinnati's next mayor, saying his love for his hometown and desire to make it better motivated his decision to run.
· Jacko could beat it to Brando paradise. If Michael Jackson ever left the country, he could live out his days on a tropical island paradise - thanks to his friend Marlon Brando. A notarized deed obtained by the Daily News shows that on June 5, 2003, Brando granted Jackson sanctuary on one of the Pacific islands he owned "for the rest of [Jackson's] natural life."
· Would-Be Assassin Mourns Pope. Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turkish gunman who shot and seriously wounded the pope, was deeply saddened by the pope's illness and is now believed to be mourning in a Turkish prison over the death of the pontiff, his brother said Sunday.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Obtuse [ob·tuse] adj. 1. Lacking quickness of perception or intellect. 2. Characterized by a lack of intelligence or sensitivity: "An obtuse remark." 3. Not distinctly felt: "An obtuse pain."
· Airline buy-on-board meals are a tough sell. Whenever lawyer Sandra Wilson has a flight of more than two hours, she buys a small cheese pizza for $8 to take aboard rather than buy a $5 airline sandwich. She and other passengers are the reason buy-on-board service isn't measuring up to the airlines' expectations.
· Will Joss's love affair cost her the Gap millions? Teenage singing sensation Joss Stone has risked her new multimillion-pound contract as the face of the Gap fashion chain by setting up home with her older lover. Under Californian law, Joss is under the age of sexual consent, which means her new boyfriend could face a potentially ruinous prosecution for so-called "statutory rape."
· States hold largest anti-terror drill. The largest anti-terror drill ever undertaken in the United States started Monday morning with police officers investigating a fake car accident on a college campus and health officials on the lookout for a mock biological attack.
· Update: Royal wedding moved to Saturday. Prince Charles' wedding to Camilla Parker Bowles has been moved to Saturday to allow Charles to attend Pope John Paul II's funeral at the Vatican on Friday, his office said.
· Peanuts shed fat stigma, stage comeback. Peanuts, a dietary outcast in the fat-phobic 1990s, have made a comeback, with consumption soaring to its highest level in nearly two decades and doctors recommending nuts as part of a heart-healthy diet.
Sunday, April 3, 2005
· MLB suspends first alleged steroids violator. Tampa Bay's Alex Sanchez was suspended 10 days for violating baseball’s new policy on performance-enhancing drugs, the first player publicly identified under the major leagues’ tougher rules.
· Another 911 Dispatcher Caught Napping. Another Maryland 911 operator caught napping on the job. The commander at the call center in Millersville, MD Captain Tim Bowman, says a supervisor found a female dispatcher sleeping during a graveyard shift last week.
· Border Group Report Results in Arrests. Minutemen volunteers for an effort to patrol the Mexican border reported their first sighting of suspected illegal immigrants, resulting in 18 arrests, authorities said Sunday.
· Pope Leaves Behind Struggling U.S. Church. Pope John Paul leaves behind an American church that struggles with a dramatically shrinking U.S. priesthood, disagreement over the proper role for lay leaders, and a growing conservative-liberal divide over sexuality, women's ordination and celibacy for clergy.
· TV News Icons Leaving at Rapid Pace. A remarkable amount of TV news star power has dimmed over the past eight months: Barbara Walters, Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather and, just last week, Ted Koppel. Each has left, or announced a departure from, the jobs that gave them the most stature, reminding television viewers how the business has changed in the years since they became news celebrities.
· Florida education chief: Make it easier for schools to pass. Reacting to last year's failure of 77 percent of Florida schools under the federal No Child Left Behind law and an outcry by superintendents and school board members, the state education commissioner on Friday asked the U.S. Department of Education to make it easier for schools to pass under the federal grading system.
· Lawsuit: gospel singers tricked by record execs. Record executives at Sony-BMG Music Entertainment tricked some of gospel music’s biggest stars into firing their agent to keep gospel singers underpaid, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court.
· Muslim Girl Can Wear Scarf In Orlando Basketball Tournament. A 12-year-old Muslim girl will be allowed to wear her head scarf in an basketball tournament after officials originally told her not to, the Florida Council on American-Islamic Relations said Saturday.
· Ind. Parents Paint Quadruplets' Toenails. A southern Indiana couple has found a novel way to distinguish their four newborn boys. Kathy and Jody Yager use different colored nail polish on the boys' toenails. "Each baby has a color assigned to him."
· Culkin's dad: 'He never slept with my son.' Actor Macaulay Culkin's boyhood relationship with Michael Jackson has suddenly taken center stage in the King of Pop's trial. The "Home Alone" star always denied being abused by Jackson, who became his close pal after he invited Culkin and his family to Neverland.
· Prostitution horror for young women. Hundreds of young women stand with their backs pressed up against a graffiti-covered concrete wall on a side street in Tijuana. Leering men swarm around the girls, some as young as 8, as a chill wind blows across their exposed skin, bound tightly inside leather bustiers, miniskirts and schoolgirl uniforms.
· Eminent domain faces legal test. Eminent domain. It is the ultimate exercise in government power over individual property owners. A city can forcibly buy out a homeowner and take over his land, with the argument that the public would benefit more from a shopping mall than a private house.
· Pope's Death Covered Without Big 3 Anchors. After more than two decades in which Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings and Dan Rather told television viewers nearly every major story, none of the men played a part in Saturday's special coverage of Pope John Paul II's death.
» Guessing Game Begins on Pope's Successor. Roman Catholics and others began to speak out Sunday about their hopes - and expectations - for a new pope, as the intense guessing game began over who would succeed John Paul II in leading the Church. Only one thing is certain: The cardinals must decide whether to follow John Paul II with another non-Italian or hand the papacy back to its traditional caretakers.
· Scrutiny for petting zoos. The county fair exhibits offered a real down-on-the-farm experience - children could milk a cow, bottle-feed a calf, gather eggs or handle a kid goat. The exhibits were "interactive" and "hands-on." But late last week, Florida health officials identified the petting zoos at three local fairs as the most likely source of a vicious strain of the bacterium E. coli that so far has sickened dozens of people, most of them children.
· Rev. Gene Robinson: Jesus "might be gay." Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly homosexual bishop of his denomination, has angered traditionalist Anglicans by suggesting that Jesus Christ might have been homosexual.
· Update: Man gets back dog given away by estranged wife. Stasha Hollings, Earle's wife of 30 years, said she had given the dog away because she was moving into an apartment where dogs aren't allowed. She said no one told her Earle Hollings wanted the dog, so she handed him off to a stranger she saw outside.
Saturday, April 2, 2005
· Lance Armstrong fights back, files countersuit. Lance Armstrong is seeking at least $125,000 from a former personal assistant who contends he found a banned substance in the cycling champion’s apartment last year.
· Best Buy will stop rebates. Retailers' love affair with mail-in rebates may be coming to an end. In response to customer complaints, Best Buy Co. Inc., the world's largest electronics retailer, promised Friday to eliminate mail-in rebates within two years. "Our customers are telling us they just hate the process," said Ron Boire, executive vice president.
· Cancer Patients Exposed to High Radiation. Dozens of patients at a Tampa cancer treatment center were exposed to radiation levels 50 percent stronger than they were supposed to receive because a radiation machine was improperly installed. Officials said 77 patients were affected. Twelve have since died.
· Pioneering TV Director Greg Garrison Dies. Greg Garrison, a pioneering TV director who worked with such stars as Dean Martin, Jack Benny, George Burns and Lucille Ball in a 40-year career, has died. He was 81.
· Refused kiss costs girl, 15, her life. When a frustrated suitor named Alfred Bishop 15-year-old Elisa Hernandez for a kiss, she refused him. Again and again, he asked. She said no. When he pulled out a revolver and pointed at her head, Atlantic County Prosecutor Jeffrey Blitz said, she pushed it away. "She laughed him off," Blitz said.
· Pope John Paul II Dies at 84. John Paul II, who led the Roman Catholic Church for 26 years and helped topple communism in Europe while becoming the most-traveled pope in history, died Saturday night in his Vatican apartment, ending a long public struggle against debilitating illness.
· Tom Sizemore on the defensive. Actor Tom Sizemore has come a long way since he was on Hollywood's A-list, working with directors like Steven Spielberg and Ridley Scott. His chronic drug problems, repeated run-ins with the law, and bizarre public meltdowns have derailed, for now, a once-promising career.
· Robbie Knievel Makes Jump to Reality TV. The son of famed daredevil Evel Knievel, motorcycle stuntman Robbie Knievel, is jumping into reality television in a new cable series. It follows the 42-year-old stunt rider, family members and crew as they work and travel. The first episode features a jump over 25 police cars at a New Jersey car dealership.
· Jackson lawyers call for mistrial. Lawyers representing pop star Michael Jackson have asked the judge in the singer's child sex abuse case to declare a mistrial. They say they have evidence that witnesses have discussed their testimony outside the courtroom, in violation of court rules.
· Neil Young treated for 'dangerous' aneurysm. Rocker Neil Young was treated for a "dangerous brain aneurysm" this week but is expected to make a full recovery, his agent said Friday. Young underwent "minimally invasive neuroradiology" treatment Tuesday at a New York hospital and remains hospitalized.
· Michael Douglas gets plastic surgery? Veteran actor Michael Douglas was recently seen in Barbados dining with his sexy young wife Catherine Zeta Jones — and showing some strong tell-tale signs of plastic surgery [with photos].
· 'Apprentice' Reject Sticks by Criticism. After a tumultuous tussle between Net Worth members Alex Thomason and Chris Shelton, it was project manager Stephanie Myers who was sliced out of NBC's "The Apprentice" for her weak leadership ability during a task involving pizza.
· Boy pal's mug rivets Jacko jury. Michael Jackson's jury saw the impish face of his 1993 accuser for the first time yesterday as the boy's former lawyer testified the singer shelled out big bucks to silence the kid and his parents.
· Jackson Accuser's Ex-Lawyer Denies Plot. Larry Feldman took the stand Friday, telling jurors he has never been asked to file a lawsuit against Jackson but acknowledging the boy could file a civil lawsuit against Jackson until he turns 20.
· Schiavo's Parents Sought, Denied Own Expert To Observed Autopsy. Terri Schiavo's parents legal setbacks are continuing even after their long-fought battle to protect their daughter's life ended, most recently being told they couldn't have an independent medical expert observe her autopsy, a family attorney said Saturday.
· Police suspected in Rio massacres. Police may have carried out massacres in two impoverished suburbs of Rio de Janeiro, killing 30 people, state officials said. In Queimados, gunmen mowed down 12 people, some in Bible Square and others in front of a car wash, while in nearby Nova Iguacu, they killed 18 people at a bar.
· Others Aware of Red Lake Murders. As many as 20 teenagers may have known ahead of time about plans for the shooting spree that resulted in the deaths of 10 people on the Indian reservation here March 21, tribal and federal officials said Friday.
· Illinois governor: No delays in birth control prescriptions. Gov. Rod Blagojevich approved an emergency rule Friday requiring pharmacies to fill birth control prescriptions quickly after a Chicago pharmacist refused to fill an order because of moral opposition to the drug.
Friday, April 1, 2005
· Oops! FBI decade late in finding explosives. Pursuing a tip that they missed evidence a decade ago, FBI agents searched the former home of convicted Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols and found blasting caps and other explosive materials related to the 1995 attack, officials said Friday.
· French say we're not drinking enough of their wine. French winegrowers have set off dynamite in government offices to highlight their financial plight. Members of the radical CRAV committee of winegrowers threw the explosives into a government agriculture office in the southern town of Carcassonne, in France.
· Records Released: Sen. Heinz Died With $423 Million. Sen. John Heinz III had about $423 million in cash, stocks and other property when he died in a 1991 plane crash, according to documents released Friday after a newspaper challenge. The estate of Heinz whose widow, Teresa, later married Sen. John Kerry paid about $41 million in federal estate taxes and $17 million in state death taxes, the records show.
· Festival Must Pay $100,000 to Nugent. A Muskegon County jury ruled that a music festival must pay $100,000 in damages to Ted Nugent. The guitarist-singer, who had a 1977 hit, "Cat Scratch Fever," had sued the Muskegon Summer Celebration over the cancellation of his June 2003 concert.
· Government sex Web site draws protests. A new government Web site gives parents advice on how to convince their children that “abstinence is the healthiest choice.” That’s dictating values, say organizations ranging from the American Civil Liberties Union to gay rights groups, and they want the site taken down.
· Oscure news site gets hacked on April fool's day? While one never knows for sure with Drew Curtis' Fark.com website, it would appear that he received a nasty hacking on April Fool's day this morning. Since 5am EST, the normal list of obscure news items have been replaced by dressed up guinea pigs, and even more disturbing administration screens used to control the website.
· Patrick Kennedy: Mom's fall a 'wake-up call.' Joan Kennedy's son said her fall this week was a "wake-up call" that he hopes will convince her of the reasons he and his siblings sought temporary guardianship of her.
· Fox News chief has no solution for MSNBC's failed ratings. When Fox News chief Roger Ailes was asked what he thought of MSNBC mired in third place, he quipped "They've hired every blonde that doesn't work for us, so I'm not sure how they get out of that ditch."
» Ailes: "CNN is the anti-American channel." Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes claimed that CNN's global outlet regularly accentuates the negative about the United States. "The one thing I know about America is, there are a hell of a lot of people trying to get in, and nobody's trying to get out," Ailes said. "In fact, if you can find somebody trying to get out, I'll do a story on him - because that's a hell of a story."
· ABC to decide what to do for late night. Possibly the best one for ABC is Ellen DeGeneres, who has impressed viewers and critics with her daytime talk show, which has as its format a comedy monologue followed by guest interviews, like most late-night shows. A woman might be the ideal way to compete against the two male stars in late night, and Ms. DeGeneres is considered clearly the best female comic working in television.
· Noah Wyle to Leave As 'ER' Regular. The doctor is out: Noah Wyle is leaving "ER" as a regular cast member at the end of this season, NBC said Thursday. Wyle, 33, the only original star who remained with the medical drama through its 11 years, will return for four episodes in each of the next two seasons. "ER" has been renewed through the 2007-08 season.
· 'Idol's' sour music. It turns out that "American Idol" finalist Scott Savol has some hits in his past — just not of the musical kind, it was revealed yesterday. Savol, 28, was busted on a felony domestic- violence charge in 2001.
· Frank Perdue Dies at 84 After Illness. Frank Perdue, who transformed a backyard egg business into one of the nation's largest poultry processors using the folksy slogan, "It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken," has died.
· PETA to Target Star Jones Reynolds. If you're Star Jones Reynolds, beware on April Fool's day. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals will target the co-host of "The View" with a parody of Jones Reynolds, to be unveiled outside the ABC studio on Friday. PETA will display a new "Fur is a Drag" ad featuring 6-foot-tall cross-dresser Flotilla DeBarge dressed in a large white wedding gown and a white fur coat splashed with blood.
· Mercedes recalls 1.3 million cars for quality issues. Mercedes-Benz recalled almost one in three of the 4 million cars it has sold in the past four years to fix electronic problems that have tarnished its reputation for high-quality cars.
· Model gets her girls back. Ex-Playboy model Bridget Marks celebrated a "wonderful victory" yesterday after a unanimous appeals court gave her back custody of her twin daughters. "I knew I would be vindicated and my children would be coming home," said Marks. "I always believed that right is might."
· Koran scholar: U.S. will cease to exist in 2007. The study, which has caught the attention of millions of Muslims worldwide, is based on in-depth interpretations of various verses in the Koran. It predicts that the US will be hit by a tsunami larger than that which recently struck southeast Asia.
· Family Feud Continues Over Terri Schiavo. As the family of Terri Schiavo began grieving over her death, the seething feud between her husband and parents raged on as they planned their own separate memorials for the brain-damaged woman whose final months riveted the nation and reached all the way to Capitol Hill and the White House.