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Sunday, July 31, 2005
· 'Wedding Crashers' Takes Box-Office Cake. Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn caught the box-office bouquet as their comedy "Wedding Crashers" pulled a switch with a $20.5 million weekend, becoming the No. 1 movie after two weekends in second place. Johnny Depp's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," the top movie the previous two weekends, slipped to No. 2 with $16.4 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.
· Little Caesars sets up injured soldier with franchise. When Little Caesars pizza owner Mike Ilitch read about soldier Robbie Doughty's struggle after losing two legs in Iraq, it reminded him of an injury that curtailed his baseball career. Ilitch, who owns the Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Red Wings, had a Little Caesars executive track down the injured soldier and offer him a chance to open a franchise in Paducah. "This is the first time I've done this," Ilitch said. "It was an impulse type thing."
· Texas municipal worker ordered stray dogs drowned. City officials in Jourdanton, Texas are outraged that a public works supervisor ordered employees to drown six stray dogs at the city sewer plant, rather than having the dogs properly euthanized. City councilman D. Richter said the workers took the dogs from the pound to the sewer plant and dropped their cages into the water.
· County to begin using alcohol-detecting ankle bracelet. Luzerne County, Pennsylvania will soon begin outfitting repeat drunken driving offenders with an ankle bracelet that detects alcohol in perspiration. The 8-ounce device samples the wearer's perspiration at least every hour and collects, stores and sends data to a monitoring agency. It also detects and reports attempts to tamper with the device, such as trying to insert something to block the sweat.
· Deputy shoots man throwing baseballs. Sheriff Harold Grice says a deputy shot a man twice in the legs after he would not stop throwing baseballs at cars and people. Grice says the man in a baseball uniform was throwing baseballs outside the Dillon Video Store on state Highway 34 Saturday morning. The sheriff says when Corporal Charles Hester arrived, Thomas Gaeta kept throwing baseballs and bats, so the officer shot him twice in the legs.
· Missing teen's mother leaves Aruba. After spending two months on Aruba following the disappearance of her daughter, the mother of missing Alabama teen Natalee Holloway has returned home to Birmingham indefinitely. Beth Holloway Twitty will return to the island if there are any developments in Holloway's case.
· Al Gore's TV Network to Make Debut Tomorrow. Much of the talk around Al Gore's new Current TV network has been broadly philosophical, like the former vice president's statement that "we want to be the television home page for the Internet generation." With its debut Monday, Current TV will be judged by the same mundane standards as other networks - on whether its programming can hold a viewer's interest.
· Illegal immigrants caught working at Air Force base. Six illegal immigrants who were working at the Homestead Air Force Base have been arrested. The men all had counterfeit documentation, according to authorities.
· 'Tonight Show' Comic Pat McCormick Dies. Pat McCormick, a walrus-mustachioed comedy writer for Phyllis Diller, Red Skelton and others who also appeared on "The Tonight Show" and had a role in three "Smokey and the Bandit" movies, has died. He was 78.
· Moore Says Doc Already Has HMOs Spooked. Michael Moore says his next documentary already has HMOs quaking in their boots. Moore has not yet begun shooting the film, "Sicko," but his planned critique of the nation's health care system, he says, is making "freaked-out" HMOs warn employees what to do if approached by the filmmaker.
· Man Admits Role in Failed London Attack. A suspect in the failed London transit bombings admitted Saturday to a role in the attack but said it was only intended to be an attention-grabbing strike, not a deadly one, a legal expert familiar with the investigation said. Osman Hussain told interrogators he wasn't carrying enough explosives even to "harm people nearby."
· Astronauts take out the trash. Astronauts on Sunday exchanged supplies for trash that has accumulated on the International Space Station since shuttles were grounded after the 2003 Columbia tragedy. They also prepared for a second spacewalk set for Monday.
· Virginia Millionaire Buys Himself a Ghost Town. The millionaire who bought a town likes to save a buck. He breakfasts at McDonald's, flies economy class and asks for a doggie bag when he doesn't finish his meal at cheap motel restaurants.
Saturday, July 30, 2005
· Outback loses appeal in DUI crash. The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld a $39 million judgment against Outback Steakhouse Inc. in an Indiana couple’s lawsuit alleging that they were severely injured in a crash caused by a motorist who got drunk at an Outback restaurant’s grand opening.
· Doctor who had sex in waiting room punished. The license of a Clifton Park, NY obstetrician/gynecologist who had sex in a hospital waiting room and who induced another woman's labor early so he wouldn't have to change his vacation plans has been revoked by state health officials.
· Update: De Niro maid also cleaned up at Lauer's. Robert De Niro's sticky-fingered maid cleaned up at Matt Lauer's home, too - swiping $10,000 worth of valuables from the popular NBC morning show host, law enforcement sources said yesterday.
· Aniston's Ex Cancels eBay Auction Plans If you wanted a makeshift birthday card supposedly written on a piece of toilet paper by Jennifer Aniston, you'll have to look elsewhere. Aniston's former fling Michael Baroni, a California lawyer, has canceled his eBay auction — originally set to begin Friday — of keepsakes from the pair's teenage romance.
· Rocket launcher prompts shutdown in Mexico. The United States is closing its consulate in the violence-wracked border city of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico for a week following a shootout in which assailants used machine guns, grenades and even a rocket launcher to attack a home, the U.S. Ambassador said Friday evening.
· Bob Hope's Remains Moved to New Garden. Bob Hope's family is saying thanks for the memories with a garden celebrating the late entertainer's life. Hope's remains were moved from a mausoleum at the San Fernando Mission's cemetery this week to the mission's new Bob Hope Memorial Garden.
· How American Airlines turned a profit. Two American Airlines mechanics didn't like having to toss out $200 drill bits once they got dull. So they rigged up some old machine parts - a vacuum-cleaner belt and a motor from a science project - and built "Thumping Ralph." It's essentially a drill-bit sharpener that allows them to get more use out of each bit. The savings, according to the company: as much as $300,000 a year. And it was a group of pilots who realized that they could taxi just as safely with one engine as with two.
· Lachlan Murdoch quits News Corp post. Lachlan Murdoch, who was a front-runner to succeed his 74-year-old father Rupert as News Corp's chief, abruptly resigned from the global media conglomerate on Friday without explanation.
· America's favorite ice cream. Americans annually consume about 6 gallons of ice cream per person - roughly 19,200 calories, for those who are counting. In every part of the country, regional dairies compete with the multinationals for shelf space and customers. In fact, about 500 companies make and distribute ice cream in the United States.
· Giant 'Bra Fence' Sparks Controversy. A New Zealand man is resisting demands to take down hundreds of women's bras strung on his farm's fence. For years, women returning from a pub in the nearby town of Wanaka have stopped at the fence and removed their bras.
· Cities where car ownership will cost extra. It costs more to own a car in Detroit, an amazing $11,844 a year for a mid-sized sedan, than in any other city in the country, according to a new report comparing the cost of car ownership in various a U.S. cities.
· Julia Roberts to Make Her Broadway Debut. Julia Roberts, movie star, is heading to Broadway next spring. The 37-year-old actress will make her Broadway debut in a revival of Richard Greenberg's "Three Days of Rain."
· Children Stranded in Ark. Immigration Raid. When immigration authorities raided a poultry plant and took away more than 100 employees to face deportation, some workers were able to call home and arrange care for their children. But about 30 children, some as young as 3 months old, were left behind with no parents after the arrests, officials said. A spokesman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in New Orleans, said Friday that each person arrested was asked whether they had children and they all said they did not.
· Italian creates wooden Ferrari. Livio de Marchi has created wooden replicas of his favorite cars so that he can move around in the water canals of Italy, Venice. Some of his creations include a wooden Ferrari, a Mercedes and a Jaguar.
· All July 21 London bombers now captured. suspected member of the July 21 suicide bombing team was under arrest last night after an extraordinary day of police operations stretching from a West London housing estate to the backstreets of Rome. While police are jubilant following a series of successful armed raids across London they believe that the masterminds behind the London terror campaign are still at large.
· B.C. pot activist arrested in extradition bid. Police raided a marijuana seed store run by the B.C. Marijuana Party leader in Vancouver Friday, at the request of U.S. authorities in Seattle. U.S. officials are accusing three Canadians of growing marijuana, distributing marijuana seeds and conspiring to engage in money laundering.
· 60 Hurt in Disney Roller Coaster Collision. Two cars on a roller coaster at Disney's California Adventure theme park collided Friday evening, injuring 60 people, authorities said. The mishap sent a fleet of ambulances to the park adjacent to Disneyland.
· Gadgets Can Keep People From New Friends. The amount of technology helping college students stay in touch with family and friends back home can be a blessing and a curse, a Purdue University media expert says. Glenn Sparks says people used to leave home to establish new friends and contacts. Today, computers and cell phones keep them in touch with the old gang.
Friday, July 29, 2005
· Astronomers Find Another Planet in Solar System. Astronomers announced today that they had found a lump of rock and ice that is larger than Pluto and the farthest known object in the solar system. The discovery will likely rekindle debate over the definition of "planet" and whether Pluto should still be regarded as one. The astronomers say the unnamed planet's brightness and distance tell them that it is at least as large as Pluto.
· Umpire reprimanded by Little League. An umpire who ordered a Little League baseball team to stop speaking Spanish during a game this week was barred from officiating any more games this year, league officials said on Friday. The incident occurred when a bilingual assistant coach shouted out instructions in Spanish to the team's 14-year-old pitcher and catcher, who are immigrants from the Dominican Republic and speak little English.
· Extreme house cleaning after foreclosure. Police think a 46-year-old woman and her boyfriend more than cleaned out their former home in Osceola, Indiana after it was foreclosed. They apparently took $60,000 worth of cabinets, toilets and light fixtures, the central air unit, landscape shrubbery, sprinkler system, plus kitchen and bathroom sinks.
· The news everybody has been waiting for. Fox has renewed another season of "The Simple Life." Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie are stuck together for another season of "The Simple Life" - even if they're not speaking to each other.
· Jimmy Hendrix 'pretended to be gay' to get out of army. Rock legend Jimi Hendrix pretended he was gay to get out of the US Army, a new biography reveals. Hendrix was discharged from the 101st Airborne division in 1962, after Capt John Halbert recommended him for discharge, citing his “homosexual tendencies.”
· Woman Accused Of Slamming Girl At Putt-Putt Course. A 40-year-old woman in Daytona Beach, Fla., was arrested on child abuse charges for allegedly body slamming a 5-year-old girl as both played putt-putt golf. The incident apparently happened as a result of the little girl not getting out of the way of an oncoming golf ball.
· Prosecutor loses DNA battle; man set free. Almost 20 years after being convicted of rape, a Pennsylvania man will be set free because DNA testing proved he did not commit the crime. DNA tests, which the prosecutor had fought against, excluded Thomas Doswell, now 44, from the rape of a 48-year-old woman in 1987.
· Lightning strike kills another Scout leader. Deadly lightning struck a group of Boy Scouts who had gathered under tarps to escape a summer storm at Sequoia National Park, a ranger said Friday. One man was killed and seven other people were hurt in the strike.
· Pastor charged with secretly taping girls in bathroom. A North Carolina pastor is accused of sexual exploitation and peeping after investigators found videos of women and girls at his church undressing and using the bathroom. The 54-year-old minister, Leon Harris, has been released on bond. Detectives said at least eight females were videotaped on June ninth, including four girls under the age of ten.
· Armstrong loses court joust with British newspaper. American Lance Armstrong suffered defeat in London's Court of Appeal on Friday, just five days after his record seventh victory in the Tour de France.
· Tasered grandmother gets probation. A 67-year-old grandmother who was shocked with a Taser stun gun after she honked her car horn at a police cruiser has been given a year's probation for sparking a quarrel with officers.
· Thousands Of Beer Cans Snarl Traffic. About 30,000 cans of beer blocked an Arizona interstate Wednesday after a tractor-trailer flipped. Thousands of cans of Bud Light spilled on the highway, snarling traffic for hours.
· Small plane enters shuttle no-fly zone. The pilot of a small plane that penetrated the no-fly zone around Kennedy Space Center shortly before the space shuttle's launch Tuesday disappeared after being forced to land, Air Force officials said.
· Carnegie Hall benefactor commits suicide. Arthur Zankel, the financier who gave $10 million for the Carnegie Hall recital space that bears his name, plunged to his death from his ninth floor apartment in an apparent suicide, police said Friday. He was 73.
· Update: Prom limo driver charged with DUI loses license. A limousine driver busted for drunken driving by her own passengers on the way to their high school prom has been stripped of her driving privileges for 18 months by a state agency.
· DNA on duct tape not missing teen's. DNA taken from strands of blond hair stuck to duct tape found on a beach in Aruba does not match the DNA of missing Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway, an FBI spokeswoman said Thursday.
· Lennon lyric sheet sells for $1 million. A handwritten lyric sheet for "All You Need is Love" used by John Lennon in 1967 was sold for $1.04 million at an auction in London on Thursday, organizers said.
· Man Allegedly Makes False Abduction Report. A man was arrested Thursday for allegedly making a false police report that his niece was in his car when it was stolen in hopes that the vehicle would be found quickly.
· Helen Thomas: 'If Cheney runs, I'll kill myself.' Veteran reporter Helen Thomas, the "dean of the White House press corps," says she would not be able to live if Vice President Cheney were to run for the highest office. "The day I see Dick Cheney is going to run for president, I'll kill myself," she told The Hill newspaper.
· Pryor Bustin' Loose with Lawsuit. Richard Pryor wants his movie back. The iconic comedian has filed a lawsuit against director Penelope Spheeris over the first film that Pryor ever starred in, which he claims Spheeris has, or had, in her possession.
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."
· Counsel to Probe Alleged 'Idol' Affair. Taking a page from Washington, the producers of "American Idol" and Fox TV hired an independent counsel to determine whether judge Paula Abdul had an affair with a contestant on the hit talent show. "Any allegations against this show we take quite seriously," Fox Entertainment President Peter Liguori said Thursday, calling the competition's credibility "extraordinarily important to us."
· Rice Tops Forbes' Most Powerful Women List. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has beaten 99 female heads of state, chief executives and celebrities to top Forbes magazine's list of the world's most powerful women for the second year in a row. Daytime talk show giant Oprah Winfrey was ninth on the list and the magazine's choice for most powerful female celebrity.
· How to keep kids in class. When students return to Chelsea High School near Boston next month, they'll get more than an impeccable attendance record if they make it to class each day: They'll get cash. Under a new plan, a student who misses not a single day per quarter will receive $25 in an account - redeemable upon graduation.
· Ex-Microsoft Exec Barred From Google Job. A judge has temporarily barred a former Microsoft executive from performing his job at Google, saying Microsoft has a well-grounded fear that leaked trade secrets could hurt its business.
· Prosecutors: CIA agents left trail. It wasn't their lavish spending in luxury hotels, their use of credit cards or even frequent-flier miles that drew attention. Instead it was a trail of casual cellphone use that tripped up the 19 purported CIA operatives wanted by Italian authorities in the alleged kidnapping of a radical Muslim cleric.
· Hatfill's Suit Against NY Times Reinstated. A federal appeals court has reinstated a libel suit against the New York Times filed by a former Army scientist who claims one of the paper's columnists unfairly linked him to the deadly anthrax mailings in 2001. Steven Hatfill sued the Times for a series of columns written by Nicholas Kristof that faulted the FBI for failing to thoroughly investigate Hatfill for the anthrax mailings that left five people dead.
· Physicist throws time-travel theories a curve. What do you get when you join a 1981 DeLorean, a "flux capacitor" and a digital dial set to Nov. 5, 1955? If you're the character of Dr. Emmett Brown in the 1985 movie Back to the Future, you've created a time machine. The possibility of time travel has occupied the fantasies of philosophers, authors, children and directors. But to some physicists, it's more than pure fancy.
· Florida State University Unveils World's Largest Magnet. A new $16.5 million super magnet unveiled at Florida State University Thursday could lead to major scientific breakthroughs. The new super magnet weighs more than 15 tons and has a magnetic field 420,000 times that of the Earth's - strong enough to pull a metal object out of a person's hand and send it flying - if people were allowed to get close enough.
· Frist to Back Stem Cell Research. Breaking with President Bush, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said Friday he will support legislation to remove some of the administration's limitations on embryonic stem cell research. Frist, who last month said he did not support expanded federal financing of such research, said his decision was consistent with both his experience as a physician and his opposition to abortion.
Thursday, July 28, 2005
· NBC Universal in DreamWorks Talks. NBC Universal is in talks to buy the privately held live-action film studio DreamWorks SKG, according to news reports Thursday. The Wall Street Journal reported Universal may acquire the studio founded in 1994 by Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg.
· Brooke Burke and Husband Split. TV personality Brooke Burke and her husband, Garth Fisher, have called it quits. The co-host of CBS's "Rock Star: INXS" and Fisher announced their separation in a statement issued to People magazine Wednesday. The couple, who have been married since 2001, have two children. Burke, 33, formerly hosted E!'s "Wild On" series. Fisher, a plastic surgeon based in Beverly Hills, has appeared on ABC's "Extreme Makeover."
· UK 'blocked bomb plotter' arrest. A month before the London bombings, British authorities denied a request by their counterparts in the United States to apprehend a man now believed to have ties to the July 7 bombers. U.S. officials had Haroon Rashid Aswat, 30, under surveillance in South Africa weeks before the July 7 attacks that killed 52 commuters and the four bombers. U.S. authorities had asked Britain if they could take Aswat into custody but they refused because he was a UK citizen, the sources said. Later British authorities said they suspected Aswat lent support to the July 7 bombers.
· Convicted sex offender on parole exposes himself to girls at Walmart. Police said they arrested a man this week on public indecency and parole violation charges after he tried to lure girls, including an 11-year-old, inside a Wal-Mart store. "I walked around the corner and there was this guy standing there, looking at me, and the next thing I know he exposed himself," said the girl.
· Coke to launch new calorie-burning soda. Coca-Cola is planning to launch Enviga, a soda that is said to burn 50 to 100 calories just by drinking a 12-oz. serving. Enviga, a green tea-based, caffeinated, carbonated drink, is in clinical testing and is said to speed up the user's metabolism.
· The elusive Bigfoot turns out to be a bison. Perhaps he is still stomping around somewhere, but a DNA test has confirmed that it was not Bigfoot that was sighted in Canada — it was just a bison. Bigfoot's presence was refuted after a geneticist from the University of Alberta did tests on a hair sample, and said the DNA match for a bison was 100 per cent.
· The story that won't die. Eight years after Princess Diana died, the car she was riding in when she was killed has been sent from France to Britain for forensic examination, police said Thursday. Forensic experts are expected to examine the car, which is on loan, for clues to understand what happened when it crashed into a pillar inside a Paris tunnel.
· Lindsay in divorce hell. Lindsay Lohan is missing her own movie's premiere because her parents are getting divorced. She was meant to join her co-star Michael Keaton at the Leicester Square showing of the Disney film Herbie: Fully Loaded on Thursday night. The Hollywood star has had a fraught relationship with her father Michael Lohan who is currently serving four years in prison on various charges including assault and drink-driving.
· A dying dad's message in WWII reaches his son after 6 decades. John Marsh Jr. was 2 weeks old when his father was killed by shrapnel from a mortar attack on July 10, 1944, near Normandy, France. Six decades passed before Marsh learned his father's dying words: "They may get me, but they won't get my boy."
· Behind the scenes look at 'Jeopardy!' Walking on the 'Jeopardy!' set, it looked much the same as on television. During commercial breaks, Alex takes questions from the audience. He's goofier and more relaxed than he appears on the show, and he cultivates what fellow contestant Doug Meyer termed a "lounge lizard" persona. "What do you do when you're not hosting 'Jeopardy!'?" a spectator asked. "Drink!" said Alex, only half-joking. He loves California wine and has a clear affection for the "Potent Potables" category, which came up during one show that day.
· There's just no pleasing some singles. It was heartening to see Denver named "Best City for Singles" by Forbes magazine. Some may have suspected Denver would win this honor again (Denver was tops last year) after a triumphant emergence as "America's Drunkest City" according to Men's Health magazine. It's incontrovertible science: Success rates for singles are clinically proven to skyrocket when most of the population is inebriated.
· Former Miami commissioner kills self in newspaper lobby. A former city commissioner recently indicted on corruption charges fatally shot himself in the lobby of The Miami Herald building the same day another newspaper published lurid accusations against him. Arthur E. Teele Jr. shot himself in the head Wednesday after asking a security guard if he could deliver a message to a columnist.
· List of Chicago City Hall whistleblowers "accidentally" given to Mayor Daley. The names of dozens of current and former city employees who are confidentially aiding federal investigators in their probe of patronage and corruption in Mayor Daley's administration have wound up in the hands of City Hall.
· Pond Drained in Aruba Search. Investigators trying to determine what happened to Natalee Holloway focused their search efforts Wednesday on a pond near where the U.S. teen was last seen nearly two months ago. Authorities used a large pump to drain the pond across from the Marriott Hotel while investigators await the results of DNA analysis.
· Heat makes hundreds of Jamboree Scouts ill. More than 300 Boy Scouts were sickened by the heat Wednesday while waiting for President Bush to arrive at a memorial service for four Scout leaders who were killed while pitching a tent beneath a power line. The president's visit to the Scout Jamboree was postponed because of the threat of severe thunderstorms and strong winds.
· John Lennon Memorabilia to Be Auctioned. Money can't buy you love. But a few hundred thousand can get you a piece of Beatles history. A collection of John Lennon memorabilia valued by auctioneers at more than $2 million is being sold in London Thursday.
· Grandma of accused cop-killer could lose reward. Whether or not the grandmother of accused cop-killer Raul Gomez-Garcia qualifies for the $100,000 reward that was offered for his capture is a "gray area," say Crime Stoppers officials.
· Carson Donates Another $5 Million to Alma Mater. Johnny Carson's donations to his alma mater now total more than $11 million. A $5 million endowment to support theater, film and broadcasting programs was announced Tuesday by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
· North Dakota man wins bad writing trophy. A North Dakotan man who compared fondling a woman's breasts to repairing carburetors won an annual contest Wednesday that celebrates the poorest writing in the English language. "As he stared at her ample bosom, he daydreamed of the dual Stromberg carburetors in his vintage Triumph Spitfire," wrote winner Dan McKay, "highly functional yet pleasingly formed, perched prominently on top of the intake manifold, aching for experienced hands, the small knurled caps of the oil dampeners begging to be inspected and adjusted as described in chapter seven of the shop manual."
· DaimlerChrysler CEO Schrempp to step down. DaimlerChrysler CEO Juergen Schrempp, the architect of the 1998 merger that married Daimler-Benz to Chrysler, will leave the company by the end of the year and turn over the reins to Dieter Zetsche, now head of the U.S.-based Chrysler Group.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
· 2 McDonald's Employees Kidnapped, Terrorized. A man attempted to rob a northeast Houston McDonald's Wednesday morning before kidnapping two female employees and sexually assaulting one of them, police said.
· Trial To Begin For Principal Accused Of Soliciting Sex. The trial for an Orange County assistant principal accused of soliciting sex from an undercover deputy begins today. Deputies said Megan Caldwell and Randolph Ray, an assistant principal at University High School, told an undercover officer that they were willing to pay for sex. Orange County Sheriff's Office said Ray pulled up to an undercover officer and offered $10 for oral sex and Caldwell allegedly offered $20 to watch.
· Japanese develop 'female' android. Japanese scientists have unveiled the most human-looking robot yet devised - a "female" android called Repliee Q1. She has flexible silicone for skin rather than hard plastic, and a number of sensors and motors to allow her to turn and react in a human-like manner.
· NASA Grounds Future Shuttle Flights Over Foam Debris. NASA officials said Wednesday it would ground future space shuttle flights because foam debris that brought down Columbia is still a risk. A sizable chunk of foam insulation that came flying off Shuttle Discovery's fuel tank during Tuesday's liftoff did not hit the orbiter and is not expected to pose a risk to the seven astronauts. But it is a problem NASA thought had been fixed, and represents a tremendous setback to a space program.
· City to pay $75,000 for man driving illegally. The Buffalo, New York City Council has approved a settlement to pay $75,000 for injuries Richard Adam suffered in an automobile accident. Police say Adam's alcohol level was double the legal limit at the time of the crash, and was driving with a suspended license in connection with an earlier drunken driving incident.
· Schwarzenegger signs new used car law. Californians who buy a used car on a dealer's lot will be able to return it within two days if they pay a fee in advance for the right under a new law signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Tuesday.
· Massage Workers Sore Over Prostitution Crackdown. Police in Providence have begun cracking down on prostitution houses disguised as massage parlors, but some spa owners say they are being unfairly targeted.
· Iraq Wants Quick Pullout of U.S. Troops. Iraq - Iraq's prime minister said Wednesday he wants U.S. troops "on their way out" as soon as his government can protect its new democracy. The top American general in the country said he hopes to begin significant withdrawal by next spring. At the same time, in an unannounced visit, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Iraqi security forces should take on more tasks now performed by U.S. troops.
· Beer Company To Take Down Billboard Ads. A weekend boating accident has prompted a beer maker to take down some controversial billboards. The advertisements show jet skiers and boaters enjoying the water with a huge beer bottle in the background. The controversy over the billboards comes after a man in his 20s drowned Sunday in a boating accident on the Columbia River.
· Website encourages hunt for schoolgirl killer. A website created after schoolgirl killer Karla Homolka was released from a Quebec jail has declared it its mission to find her and publish her address. "We have the right to know where all the dangerous offenders live, where they work, how they're living their lives after incarceration," the site www.whereiskarla.com states.
· Illinois Republicans Offer Reward on Daley. The Cook County Republican Party is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an indictment and conviction of Mayor Richard M. Daley, whose administration has been buffeted by scandal. There is an ongoing federal investigation of bribes being given in return for jobs in a $38 million program in which the city outsourced hauling work. Twenty-one people have pleaded guilty so far.
· Hollywood Money Man Steals $1.36 Million. Robert Cataldo has been sentenced to 37 months in prison for stealing $1.36 million from the health and retirement fund of the union that covers TV and radio performers, including people such as Regis Philbin, Kelly Ripa, Howard Stern and Susan Lucci.
· 2 teachers charged with growing pot. Two high school teachers have been arrested for growing marijuana in their home. Stephen V. Caswell, 36, and Mary L. Coverdale, 37, were both charged with manufacturing marijuana, maintaining a dwelling, second degree conspiracy, five counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, endangering the welfare of a child and possession of marijuana.
· Only one pitcher alive who remembers pitching to Babe. Seventy-one years ago, Elden Auker made baseball history and never had a clue. He was a 24-year-old pitcher in his second season with the Detroit Tigers, and the dreaded New York Yankees were in town. Auker, now 94, is the last man alive who knows what it was like to pitch to Babe Ruth in the major leagues. Nobody in baseball made a big deal about 701 home runs. "We didn't pay too much attention to statistics," Auker said. "We didn't even know how many home runs he had until we read about it in the papers a while later."
· A sad way to get in the newspaper. A La Crosse Tribune press operator died Sunday as a result of injuries sustained on the job. Police said that Larry R. Humfeld, 24, of Stoddard, Wis., was fatally injured when he was struck by a roll of newsprint.
· NASA Not Fazed By Chipped Shuttle Tile. NASA said Wednesday that a chipped thermal tile on space shuttle Discovery's belly does not appear to be a serious problem, based on what engineers have seen so far.
· Sales of New Homes Hit Record Level in June. Sales of new homes soared to an all-time high in June as the red hot housing market kept sizzling. The Commerce Department reported that single-family home sales jumped to a record annual pace of 1.37 million units in June, up 4 percent from May.
· Rodman Ticketed Twice During Charity Race. Even when he's doing good, Dennis Rodman comes across as bad, bad, bad. The former NBA star was pulled over for speeding twice Tuesday while driving his gold-and-black Lamborghini in a charity rally race, according to the Colorado State Patrol. In between, Rodman was involved in a minor crash and later accused of stealing a hat in what he says is a "misunderstanding" at a gas station in Glenwood Springs.
· Update: DJs Placed On "Indefinite Suspension" After Discussing Ways To Disarm Police. Two local radio DJs, suspended for hosting a discussion on how to harm or disarm police officers, are on "indefinite suspension."
· McCready Apparently Attempted Suicide. Mindy McCready apparently attempted suicide, and a man charged last spring with trying to kill her was with the country singer when police found her unconscious in a Florida hotel lobby, authorities said Tuesday.
· Suit filed over courtroom oaths using the Bible. The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina filed a lawsuit Tuesday, challenging the practice by state courts to deny people the right to take a religious oath on anything other than the Christian Bible. The lawsuit comes after Muslims in Greensboro tried to donate copies of the Quran to Guilford County courtrooms last month. The county's two top judges turned down the gift after determining that an oath on the Quran is not a legal oath.
· Teen who threw up on teacher sentenced. A high school student convicted of battery for vomiting on his teacher has been ordered to spend the next four months cleaning up after people who throw up in police cars.
· Firefighter who married captain's daughter fired. A firefighter who married a fire captain's daughter was fired Tuesday after a judge ruled against a request to let him keep his job while he sues the city over its anti-nepotism policy.
· The Dell Dude Goes Off-Broadway. Ben Curtis, that slacker computer spokesman who was busted on pot charges and fired by Dell Computer in 2003, will appear as a good-time party boy in "Joy," a comedy by John Fisher about seven friends and their romantic entanglements.
· Microsoft Vista may face trademark trouble. There's a line of sewing machines, an elevator monitoring system, even detergent for dairy equipment — all bearing the brand name Vista. There are plenty of computer products that claim the Vista trademark, too. So Microsoft Corp.'s choice of Vista as the name for the next version of its Windows operating system has some intellectual property experts wondering if a company that has been fiercely protective of its own trademarks will get hauled into court.
· New York pastor charged with looting $800,000 from parish. A Manhattan Monsignor with a weakness for Rolex watches, fine dining, expensive clothes and golfing vacations in sunny Spain was charged yesterday with looting more than $800,000 from his upper East Side parish.
· Turning Wheat Into Dough. When he was 24 years old, Jeff Riggs wanted something extraordinary: $1.1 million. That's the amount of money the Bozeman, Mont., resident hoped to borrow to buy an empty plot of land, construct a building and open the first restaurant franchise of Wheat Montana, a locally known farm that also operates a deli and a bakery.
· Aruba pond drained in hunt for missing teen. Firefighters in Aruba are draining a lake in connection with the search for missing Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway. Joran van der Sloot, 17, has said he was with Holloway near the lake the night she disappeared. She hasn't been seen since May 30. The draining is expected to take up to 24 hours. Police may be getting new information from two new witnesses who have come forward, Holloway's stepfather, George Twitty, said.
· GM running out of cars to sell. General Motors will end its successful “employee discounts for everyone” promotion on Aug 1. The automaker will then begin a new pricing strategy for 2006 models, focusing on permanently lower sticker prices instead of big rebates. A GM spokesman said the employee-discount plan, which began on June 1, has been so successful that the company doesn’t have enough vehicles in stock to continue the program.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Ethereal [e·the·re·al] adj. Characterized by lightness and insubstantiality; intangible. "Her fragrance lingered in the room, an ethereal reminder of her presence." 2. Highly refined; delicate. "Ethereal beauty."
· Danny Glover: Latin station won't demonize U.S. American actor Danny Glover on Tuesday defended a new TV station financed by Venezuela's government as a way to bring Latin America together, denying claims by critics that it will be used to demonize the United States.
· Couple Cleared Of Child Sex Charges. Parents who were charged with child abuse last August have been exonerated and reunited with their children. Charbel Hamaty was charged with sexually assaulting his newborn son, and Teresa Hamaty was arrested for taking sexually explicit pictures. The couple describe the ordeal as a "nightmare" that started over a roll of film that Charbel Hamaty dropped off at a north Raleigh Eckerd. The photo that raised alarms shows a naked Kristoff, now 16-months-old, getting a kiss from his father on the belly button, Teresa Hamaty said.
· While reporter sits in jail, hubby sets sail. Famed editor Jason Epstein, husband of jailed New York Times reporter Judith Miller, has lately been making himself scarce at the federal facility in Virginia where his wife has been incarcerated for the past three weeks.
· Amish Teen Charged With Stealing Numbers. Callers complaining about loud music coming from a buggy led deputies to charge a 19-year-old Amish man with stealing house numbers and flower pots. David Byler was charged with theft and underage consumption of alcohol, both misdemeanors.
· Jerry Lewis to Receive TV Academy Award. Comic legend Jerry Lewis is getting the television academy's prestigious Governors Award in recognition for his more than half-century of work on behalf of Muscular Dystrophy.
· Supermodel Moss wins 'cocaine coma' libel case. British supermodel Kate Moss won substantial libel damages on Wednesday over a Sunday newspaper's claims that she had collapsed in a cocaine-fueled coma.
· BTK's Wife Granted Emergency Divorce. A judge waived the usual 60-day waiting period and granted an immediate divorce Tuesday to the wife of BTK serial killer Dennis Rader, agreeing that her mental health was in danger. Rader didn't contest the filing or appear for the hearing. He signed over the couple's property and all his retirement benefits to Paula Rader, who had been married to him for 34 years.
· Senate Changes Line of Succession. The Senate approved a bill Tuesday to raise the homeland security secretary from last to eighth place in the presidential line of succession, just after the attorney general.
· Superman's stuntman injured after fall on set. Things went terribly wrong for a high-profile stuntman during a Superman stunt at a film set yesterday. Christopher Sayour, the stunt double for actor Tom Welling, who plays Clark Kent on the TV series Smallville, was badly injured in a 25-30 foot fall from a structure.
· Garner to Become Pregnant Spy on 'Alias.' Jennifer Garner is expecting a baby, so her "Alias" character will be too, even though she's a globe-trotting spy. "We are going to embrace the fact that she's pregnant," ABC programming chief Stephen McPherson said, referring to the character, Sydney Bristow.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
· Neb. Charges Man For Having Sex With 14-Year-Old Wife. A 22-year-old man faces criminal charges in Nebraska for having sex with an underage then 13-year-old girl, although he legally married her in Kansas after she became pregnant. The man's lawyer said the couple, with their families' support, "made a responsible decision to try to cope with the problem." Matthew Koso, 22, was charged Monday with first-degree sexual assault, punishable by up to 50 years in prison. Kansas law sets no minimum marriage age, although case law sets the minimum age at 14 for boys and 12 for girls.
· Authorities Arrest Men With NYC Maps, Video. Five Egyptian men with maps of the New York City subway system and video of New York landmarks have been arrested by the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Newark, N.J. the five men — four illegal immigrants and one fugitive — were arrested Sunday night, police said today.
· Bogus military suppliers sentenced. Two Florida men who bid on hundreds of military supply contracts were sentenced Monday to federal prison for providing the military with at least $4 million in fraudulent electronic parts. They admitted shipping thousands of non-working parts for various military equipment to the Defense Supply Center in Columbus, Ohio.
· Women pushing broken car get DUI. Two women who took turns steering a broken-down vehicle face drunk driving charges after their slow-moving car crashed into a parked car. Authorities said the women were operating the vehicle while intoxicated — even though the car’s engine wasn’t working. A prosecutor acknowledged the charges could be difficult to prosecute in court.
· U.S. can't afford to deport millions of illegals. The United States may have to spend $40 billion a year deporting undocumented people, a new report says. The costs of deporting every undocumented person would be at least $206 billion over five years according to a new report released Tuesday by the Center for American Progress.
· Elizabeth Smart kidnapper incompetent to stand trial. A judge this afternoon declared Brian David Mitchell incompetent to stand trial in the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping case. Judge Judith Atherton issued her decision today in a 60-page report. The judge says Mitchell has some understanding of right and wrong, but is under religious delusions that make him incompetent to stand trial.
· What do you suppose he thought would happen? A Texas man was arrested on Monday after calling police to complain about the theft of his marijuana, authorities said. Stephen Knight, 17, said three men broke into his apartment and hogtied him with Christmas lights. Police arrested Knight after finding several marijuana plants growing under heat lamps in the apartment.
· Possible Debris Spotted Falling From Shuttle. NASA officials are analyzing video of a portion of Tuesday's shuttle launch "frame-by-frame" after one of several cameras aboard the craft captured pieces of debris separating from Discovery.
· Michael Jackson hospitalized after trial. Michael Jackson went to a hospital suffering from dehydration and weight loss after jurors acquitted the singer of child molestation last month, his lawyer said today. "Michael Jackson was ill from time to time. In fact, people didn't realize he actually entered the hospital after the verdict," Jackson's lawyer Tom Mesereau told BBC radio in an interview.
· Woman faces prison after run-in with airport screener. 62-year-old retired school teacher Phyllis Dintenfass of Appleton, Wisc. faces one federal count of assault of a federal employee for allegedly shoving a Transportation Security Administration supervisor before grabbing the female agent’s breasts to protest what Dintenfass felt was an invasive search.
· Amnesty International:
Terrorist scumbags Armed groups show utter disdain for basic principles of humanity. Armed groups opposed to the US-led multinational force and Iraq's government are showing utter disdain for the lives of Iraqi civilians and others, continuing a pattern of war crimes and crimes against humanity, Amnesty International said in a new report published today.
· Some Papers Pull, Edit 'Doonesbury' Strip. About a dozen newspapers have objected to use of toilet humor in Tuesday's and Wednesday's "Doonesbury" comic strip, and some either pulled or edited the strip. Kansas City-based Universal Press Syndicate, which distributes the strip to around 1,400 newspapers, said it had received some complaints from editors about a reference to presidential aide Karl Rove. In the strip, a caricature of President Bush refers to Rove as "turd blossom."
· Declining membership forces Boy Scouts to include girls. Sierra White, 17, is part of Venturing, a coed Boy Scouts program for ages 14 to 20 that focuses on outdoor adventure. It's part of the organization's larger attempt to boost its sagging numbers.
· A Cadillac on just two wheels? Detroit News reports that General Motors Corp. has started licensing its luxury car brand and logo to Kent International Inc., which has created a Cadillac Bicycles unit and is producing a line of mid- to high-end bikes. The bikes will cost $500 to $1,900, according to the report.
· Mindy McCready Hospitalized After Overdose. Troubled country singer Mindy McCready has been hospitalized in Florida after an overdose. McCready, 28, was found unconscious in a hotel lobby, according to authorities in Pinellas County, Fla.
· Harrison 'aided' Paul McCartney song. Sir Paul McCartney has suggested late Beatles bandmate George Harrison helped him write a song for his latest album from beyond the grave. Sir Paul said he wrote Waiting For Your Friends To Go with help from Harrison, who died in 2001. "It just wrote itself very easily because it wasn't even me writing it."
· Anti-Muslim Sign Draws Strong Reaction. The sign in front of the First Conservative Baptist Church near Jacksonville, Florida has an eye-catching - and some say inflammatory - message. "Islam is evil and believes in murder," it reads. "Jesus teaches peace."
· Planned tower would be tallest in U.S. At 115 stories, the tower would be 1,458 feet to its roof, taller by eight feet than the roof of Sears Tower. But the Calatrava building would include a spire that, depending on structural details, would bring the building to around 2,000 feet.
· Teen arrested for taking $20,000 from safe. One Charlotte County teen apparently hasn't been paying attention to the news. Just a month after a bar cleaning crew was caught on tape allegedly downing $4,000 worth of booze, a former employee was caught on the same surveillance system allegedly taking $20,000 from the safe.
· Lottery winning streak just luck, officials say. When Jeffrey Hintz won the state lottery's second-chance drawing five weeks in a row, some in state government got a little suspicious. Hintz told auditors he spent thousands on lottery tickets every week and hours stamping envelopes with the lottery's address so he could enter losing tickets in the drawings.
· Fake Purple Heart off 'Crashers' site. Following complaints from a congressman, the producers of "Wedding Crashers" removed from the movie's Web site Monday a printable Purple Heart medal advertised as a gimmick to pick up women and get free drinks.
· Aruba case reward rises to $1 million. The mother of Natalee Holloway on Monday announced a reward of $1 million for the safe return of her 18-year-old daughter, who disappeared in Aruba nearly two months ago.
· Bill Gates will be frisking you with a simple point and click. The next time you visit the website of Microsoft Corp. to download some software, be prepared to let the world's biggest software company have a look inside your computer. In a determined strike to quell the proliferation of counterfeit software, beginning today, Microsoft will require that all customers coming to its website for upgrades and other downloads submit their computers to an electronic frisking.
· Katie Holmes 'rash from cult.' The London Sun is reporting that mouth sores suffered by Tom Cruise’s fiancée Katie Holmes were caused by a bizarre Scientology ritual. A Scientology spokesman said: “Whatever is on Katie’s face has nothing to do with us.”
· TV Guide Relaunching As Larger Magazine. TV Guide is slashing the circulation it guarantees advertisers by about two-thirds and relaunching itself as a large format magazine with far fewer TV listings and more emphasis on lifestyle and entertainment, the magazine announced Tuesday.
· Bloomberg Apologizes to Sikhs cuffed in New York. Mayor Bloomberg apologized yesterday to a group of British tourists who were handcuffed and forced to kneel on a Broadway sidewalk after cops swarmed a sightseeing bus - even as another bomb scare rattled downtown Brooklyn.
· Democrats Urge Party to Be 'For Something.' If the Democratic Leadership Council has anything to say about it, the Democratic Party will reach out more to voters in the center of political America. "We've got to be for something, and it is pretty clear that America is waiting for us. They are desperate to know what we are for," Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack told those attending the group's conference on Monday.
· Chocolate maker to make medicine from cocoa. Mars, the company that made its fortune satisfying chocolate cravings, unveiled plans on Monday to develop medications that use a component of cocoa to help treat diabetes, strokes and vascular disease.
· Why you get stuck for hours at O'Hare. A recent study identified the real culprit: the deliberate overscheduling of flights at peak periods by major airlines trying to increase the amount of connecting traffic at their hub airports. American Airlines, for example, uses O'Hare as a hub and schedules a cluster of flights to arrive there from the east in the earlier afternoon. Another cluster leaves for points west and south soon after. In the 30-minute period between 2:45 p.m. and 3:15 p.m., American has scheduled about 18 takeoffs, not counting its regional flights. That comes close to maxing out the airport's capacity, without any other airline.
· Accident kills 4 Scout leaders. The Boy Scouts of America vowed to continue their Jamboree despite the death of four adult Scout leaders in an electrical accident while setting up camp on the opening day.
· Sen. Clinton works to shed liberal image. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton courted a moderate image on Monday, urging a truce between the liberal and centrist wings of her Democratic Party and a platform that bridges differences as she positions herself for a possible bid for the presidency.
· Daily Show spoof leads to firing of Broward Art Guild chief. Once again, there's controversy over "Controversy," the Broward Art Guild's May exhibit - this time brought by The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. The guild's board of directors on Wednesday fired executive director Susan Buzzi, who has worked there at least 10 years, after she appeared in a Daily Show spoof on an explicit art piecethat depicted an Arab sheik having his way with President Bush over an oil barrel.
· Truck carrying dynamite overturns near Seattle. A tractor-trailer rig carrying nine cases of dynamite overturned Monday on Interstate 405 near Seattle. Police said it posed no hazard because it was not hooked to blasting caps.
Monday, July 25, 2005
· Teen fatally shot by motorist after egg-throwing incident. A 15-year-old boy was found dead earlier today, apparently killed by a person in a pick-up truck that had been egged by some teens, police said. Another boy, 17, was shot in the leg but survived.
· Heeeeere's Al, Thanks to Carson. As vice president, Al Gore learned that the most disarming way to counter his wooden image was to tell better jokes about himself than the late-night comedians did. Mr. Gore now says he received occasional tutoring on those one-liners from the master of the television monologue, Johnny Carson. Mr. Gore said he had telephoned Mr. Carson on several occasions in the mid-1990's to seek his guidance on "timing and delivery."
· Sony settles 'payola' probe for $10 million. Sony BMG Music Entertainment agreed Monday to pay $10 million and to stop paying radio station employees to feature its artists to settle an investigation by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.
· Photographer Convicted in Diaz Photos Case. A photographer who took topless pictures of Cameron Diaz before she became a star was convicted of forgery, attempted grand theft and perjury on Monday for a scheme to sell the images back to the actress 11 years later for millions of dollars.
· Marine's family upset official came to funeral. Written apologies will be sent to the family of a dead Marine who was upset that the Pennsylvania lieutenant governor appeared uninvited at his funeral last week, Gov. Ed Rendell said. Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll went to the July 19 funeral of Staff Sgt. Joseph Goodrich, passed out her business card and made a remark about the state government being against the war, family members said.
· Banks offering mortgages to illegal immigrants. Banks are are now offering home mortgages to illegal immigrants in metropolitan Phoenix, according to a recent report by the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals. Dozens of immigrants in metro Phoenix already have been approved for these loans, often for up to $150,000.
· Woman Claims Pregnancy Caused Firing From Maternity Store. A federal jury in Boston will be asked to decide if a company that makes maternity clothing fired a worker because she was pregnant. Jury selection begins Monday in the suit filed by Cynthia Papageorge. She alleges that in 1999, a vice president for Mothers Work Incorporated pulled her aside and asked if she was able to do her job in her "condition."
· Man Forced to Wear Sign for Animal Cruelty. A western Pennsylvania man said he endured more than he expected when he agreed to an unusual sentence for an animal cruelty conviction. Instead of a fine or jail time, the judge ordered him to stand at a busy intersection wearing a sign that read, "I Plead Guilty ... Animal Cruelty is a Crime ... My Dog's Name WAS Salt and Pepper."
· Cats Can't Taste Sweets. Cats are notoriously finicky eaters, as millions of pet owners can attest. Now, there's a scientific theory explaining, at least in part, why cats have such snobby eating habits: genetics. "Because cats can't taste sweets, they're cranky," joked Joseph Brand, Monell's associate director.
· NBC: We got clobbered, but we'll be back. NBC officials, having watched the network slip to fourth place last season after two decades of relative dominance in prime time, tried something new yesterday when assessing its status with the nation's TV reporters - blunt, sometimes harsh honesty.
· Touring Doors can't use band name. The former drummer for the Doors won a permanent injunction on Friday preventing his bandmates from using the rock group's name while touring with a revamped version of the legendary 1960s act.
· New Jersey Bill Pushed to Stop Drivers From Smoking. Ashtrays have been disappearing in cars like fins on Cadillacs, and so could smoking while driving in New Jersey, under a measure introduced in the Legislature.
· Mario Lopez to co-anchor 'ESPN Hollywood.' Former "Saved By The Bell" star Mario Lopez has been named the co-anchor of "ESPN Hollywood," ESPN 2's new show looking at the intersection between Hollywood and the sports world.
· Teamsters leaving the AFL-CIO. Jolting organized labor, the Teamsters and a massive service employees' union decided Sunday to bolt the AFL-CIO, paving the way for two other labor groups to sever ties in the movement's biggest schism since the 1930s. The four dissident unions, representing nearly one-third of the AFL-CIO's 13 million members, announced they were boycotting the federation's convention that begins Monday, a step that was widely considered to be a precursor to leaving the federation.
· U.K. Police Release Names Of Suspected Terrorists. Police on Monday released the names of two of the four men suspected of taking part in the failed July 21 bombings and said a fifth device similar to others used in the botched attacks was found in a west London park. They have been identified as Muktar Said Ibraihim, also known as Muktar Mohammed Said, 27, and Yasin Hassan Omar, 24.
· NASA Plans To Launch Shuttle Even If Problem Recurs. NASA plans to launch the first space shuttle flight in 2 1/2 years, even if it is plagued by the same fuel gauge problem that halted the previous countdown two weeks ago, officials said Sunday.
· Armstrong's final ride sparks emotions. Sheryl Crow shed a tear. Cancer survivors praised his inspirational tale. Rivals and fans fondly bade farewell to a cycling great. On the day of his last ride in the Tour de France, Lance Armstrong absorbed all of the accolades with a calm smile.
· Ex-teacher says Bush photo caused firing. A former third-grade teacher in Massapequa says she lost her job for displaying President George W. Bush's picture in her classroom -- a charge the school district denies. The teacher, Jillian Caruso, 26, who was hired in 2003, sued the Massapequa Union Free School District in federal court in Central Islip last week, saying the principal of Birch Lane Elementary School discriminated against the teacher for being a Republican.
· Women spin wheel for free breast implants at Canadian nightclub. Hours before a 22-year-old personal banker won a free set of breast implants, elderly churchgoers in this Okanagan Valley city did their bit to change the minds of 36 contestants in the controversial competition.
· Non-Religious Kids Find Refuge in 'Godless' Camp. Nicole Ward grew tired of having to pray during the hot activity-filled days of her summer camp experience; especially since she comes from a family that doesn't believe in God. "I really didn't enjoy having to say a million prayers a day at other camps," said Ward.
Sunday, July 24, 2005
· New Jersey town wary of Sopranos request. The town of Boonton, NJ is considering a request by hit TV series The Sopranos to film there after being depicted as violent in a previous episode. Some residents in the New Jersey town complained after the show depicted a killing there, despite not having used the location for filming.
· Walter Cronkite dating Carly Simon's sister. Walter Cronkite suffered a devastating blow in March with the loss of his wife of 65 years, Betsy. Now pals are openly wondering whether his close friendship with a neighbor is going to lead to marriage. Joanna Simon, who lives in the same East Side building, supported Cronkite in his bereavement and has been accompanying him to events. Cronkite, 88, is some 20 years older than Simon, an elder sister of pop icon Carly Simon.
· Iacocca's a hit; jury's still out on cars. The new Chrysler ads starring Lee Iacocca are a big hit with customers, according to a new survey from Advertising Age. More than eight in 10 customers who have seen the ads touting Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles said Iacocca was believable and relevant.
· Losing The 'War.' The bottom fell out for Steven Spielberg's "War of the Worlds" on Friday night. The $182 million horror epic, struggling to hold its own among new releases, was beaten at the box office by an indie film about a pimp-turned-rapper. "Hustle and Flow" is playing in only 1,013 theaters. "War" is on 3,265 screens. But the former film took in $2,750,000 on Friday night, beating the latter by about $300,000.
· Life-Sized Statue of Betty Boop Beheaded. Her ebony hair perfectly parted and saucer-like eyes perpetually staring, the life-size Betty Boop statue became a local landmark on the city's Shore Drive. But Sunday morning, a patron discovered the $1,600 figure a block away from its home in front of Cool & Eclectic Furniture and Fashion - without its head.
· Woman Bitten By Poisonous Snake Hiding In Toilet. In one Florida household, a whole family is afraid of the toilet after a poisonous snake used it as a hiding place. Alicia Bailey was bitten by a large water moccasin that had been hiding in their bathroom bowl in the middle of the night. The snake bit her thigh after she lifted the lid, sending her to the hospital for three days.
· Sitter gets 90 days for baby's tub death. An Oak Harbor woman will serve 90 days in jail because her friend’s baby, left unattended, drowned in a bathtub while in her care. The woman had been cited on three prior occasions for unsafe parenting. “The defendant failed to recognize and change her pattern of irresponsible and dangerous behavior,” the judge said during her sentencing.
· Wealth doesn't always predict good health. The findings from a study of insulin resistance in Europe suggest that high earnings and an advanced educational level do not always translate into good health.
· Shooting victim's kin: Sorry not enough. Police said they regret the death of a Brazilian national shot and killed Friday by armed officers in a London Underground subway station, after determining he "was not connected" with last week's string of attempted bombings. He challenged police and refused to obey orders, before he was shot and killed in front of horrified commuters Friday morning, Blair said. A cousin of Menezes, Alex Alves Pereira, said his family was upset and angry over the death, and he challenged police statements that he failed to obey orders, and jumped a ticket barrier.
· No gas guzzling for this Hummer - it's Styrofoam. Andrew Junge, the latest artist-in-residence at San Francisco's garbage dump, puts the finishing touches on the Hummer he sculpted out of Styrofoam he scavenged at the trash disposal site.
Saturday, July 23, 2005
· Child molester wins libel case against Vanity Fair. Legendary director and child molester Roman Polanski has won his libel suit against the publishers of Vanity Fair when a jury ruled Friday that the magazine was in the wrong when it printed a salacious story accusing him of trying to seduce a young model while on the way to the funeral of his murdered wife, Sharon Tate. The panel, composed of nine men and three women who deliberated for up to four and a half hours before reaching their unanimous verdict, awarded Polanski nearly $90,000 in damages, plus legal fees, in London's High Court.
· Aruban PM: Give Natalee Records to FBI. Aruba's prime minister has urged investigators to give the FBI all documents related to the disappearance of Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway, according to a letter released late Friday.
· Oops! London man shot dead was not a bomber. The man shot and killed on a subway car by London police in front of horrified commuters had nothing to do with this month's bombings on the city's transit system, police said Saturday in expressing their regrets.
· Love-struck Kenyan awaiting Clinton's nod to marry only daughter, Chelsea. Former US president Bill Clinton, who was visiting Kenya, will probably never hear about it but he's being offered 20 head of cattle and 40 goats for the hand of his daughter in marriage. The 36-year-old bachelor, Godwin Kipkemoi Chepkurgor, has waited five years after writing to the president and vows to remain unmarried until he gets an answer.
· Egyptian resort town blasts kills at least 74. Three deadly explosions that rocked the Egyptian city of Sharm el-Sheikh on Saturday may be linked to a series of bomb blasts last October in the Red Sea resort of Taba, Egypt's interior minister said. At least 74 people were killed and 111 wounded when at least three explosions early Saturday rocked Sharm el-Sheikh. It was the country's deadliest bombing in recent years.
· Inmate Sues Over Fingertip In Frozen Food. A California prison inmate has sued after finding a fingertip in his frozen dinner - and this time the food company is not crying fraud. Pelican Bay State Prison inmate Felipe Rocha was eating dinner when he "chewed on a crunchy object" in his cornbread and discovered the fingertip, according to the lawsuit filed against GA Food Services Inc.
· American diver taken to hospital. American diver Chelsea Davis hit her face on the board during the three-metre springboard competition Friday at the world aquatic championships. But Davis did not break her nose, and there was a chance she would be released from hospital before the end of the day, U.S. diving team leader Bob Rydze said.
· Cuellar Aide Arrested for ID Theft. An aide to U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar is the focus of a Secret Service investigation after police say he posed as his ex-girlfriend online, News 4 WOAI learned Friday. Twenty-nine-year-old Jason Wayne Roller is charged with fraud and identity theft, Secret Service agents said.
· 'Secret' recipe to KFC's success is locked away. The handwritten recipe that launched a fast-food dynasty and made Col. Harland Sanders world famous is locked away at KFC headquarters — its contents so concealed that not even the chain's top executive knows the ingredients.
· "Will & Grace" Will Do It Live. And for its big finale, the generally risque Will & Grace will be risking it live. Twice. The NBC sitcom will air the premiere episode of its eighth and final season in real time on both the East and West Coasts on Sept. 29.
· Microsoft to introduce Vista in 2006. For years, Microsoft's codename for its Windows XP replacement has been Longhorn. The company announced Friday that the new operating system will officially be called Windows Vista.
· Pentagon wants to raise age limit for recruits. Faced with major recruiting problems sparked by troop deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon has asked Congress to raise the maximum age for U.S. military enlistees from 35 to 42 years old.
Friday, July 22, 2005
· Love goes to L.A. hospital after feeling faint. Rock singer Courtney Love was taken by ambulance to a Los Angeles hospital on Wednesday night after complaining of feeling faint, but she was discharged soon after, her spokeswoman said on Thursday.
· Accused 'Mafia cops' free on $5 million bail. Two former police detectives accused of moonlighting as killers for the Mafia walked free on $5 million bail each Thursday as a defense lawyer said he would seek dismissal of the charges.
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."
· Teacher nabbed in sex sting. A Queens middle school teacher was arrested while cradling his baby son after he showed up for what he believed would be a sex romp with a 13-year-old girl, cops said yesterday. Alan Schaefer was holding his 14-month-old son when he arrived outside a Greenwich Village building Wednesday to meet the girl he had exchanged lewd messages with on an America Online chat room, police said.
· Trump Pleads to Rebuild U.N. Headquarters. Donald Trump is the only person standing between an honest deal to rebuild the aging U.N. headquarters and a massive waste of public money. He told senators so on Thursday. "When can you start?" said one appreciative lawmaker, Sen. Mark Dayton, D-Minn. The United Nations says it will cost $1.2 billion to overhaul the 39-story building along New York's East River. No, says the city's highest-profile developer. More like $3 billion, he told senators.
· Prosecutors Must Return Jackson's Property. The judge who presided over Michael Jackson's child molestation case ordered prosecutors Thursday to return to the entertainer hundreds of items seized by investigators. The items, including computers, books and adult magazines, were gathered as evidence by authorities looking into allegations that Jackson molested a 13-year-old boy two years ago. Jackson, who was acquitted last month, was not in court.
· Mich. Teen Gets Prison Time for Threats. A teenager accused of plotting a massacre at his suburban Detroit high school was sentenced Thursday to at least 4 1/2 years in prison for threatening terrorism and amassing an arsenal in his home.
· Suspected suicide bomber shot dead on Tube. A suspected suicide bomber has been shot dead by police at Stockwell Tube station in south London. The man was shot five times by police at close range, a passenger on the Northern Line train said. There were unconfirmed reports that the suspect was one of the attackers involved in yesterday's incidents.
· House reauthorizes USA Patriot Act. The House of Representatives, ignoring protests from civil liberties groups, renewed the USA Patriot Act on Thursday mostly along party lines, to make permanent the government's unprecedented powers to investigate suspected terrorists.
· SAG President Gilbert Won't Seek 3rd Term. Melissa Gilbert, who has presided over a sometimes bitterly divided Screen Actors Guild during the past four years, announced Thursday she won't seek a third term as president. The former child star of "Little House on the Prairie" acknowledged she would be leaving the presidency of the nation's largest actors union with some degree of frustration.
Thursday, July 21, 2005
· Tele$cammers offer new option: Do not call ... the dead. The nation's largest direct marketing group set up a registry Thursday to remove dead people from its telemarketing, e-mail and direct mail lists - for $1. The scammer's new Deceased Do-Not-Contact list is designed to help families dealing with the loss of a loved one.
· Drunk Airline Pilots Face Prison. A judge Thursday sentenced Two fired America West pilots to prison for operating a jetliner when drunk. Pilot Thomas Cloyd, 47, of Peoria, Ariz., was sentenced to five years in prison. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge David Young said he had no sympathy for Cloyd, who had been on probation for a DUI just months before his arrest.
· Woman accused of stealing $1 million, ten bucks at a time. A secretary at a Long Island marketing company has been charged with stealing $1 million in small bills from her company. Nassau County Police say 25-year-old Jamine Alabre of Westbury worked for IPSOS - an international marketing company - that conducts opinion polls and pays people for their surveys.
· Police to Check Bags on NYC Subways. New York City police will begin random searches of bags and packages carried by people entering city subways, officials announced Thursday after a new series of bomb attacks in London. Passengers carrying bags will be selected at random before they pass through turnstiles, and those who refuse to be searched won't be allowed to ride, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.
· Evidence quickly found in paint abuse case. An Ohio man was nabbed yesterday morning for "abusing harmful intoxicants" as he attempted to make a purchase at Bellaire's Dollar General Store. The 41-year-old Tribett, it seems, had been sniffing spray paint and needed a refill. According to a Bellaire, Ohio Police Department report, Tribett's pupils were constricted and he replied slowly to their questions. Oh, and "officers observed the paint on face and hands," as can be seen in his very revealing mug shot.
· Latest London bombers failed. Two weeks to the day after the July 7 London bombings, attackers tried - and failed - to set off explosive devices at three Tube stations and on a double-decker bus. Police said evidence left behind in Thursday's attempted bombings has given them what may be a "significant breakthrough" in their investigation.
· While NASA flails helplessly, privatized spaceflight firms position themselves for success. At a time when the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) struggles to return its aging shuttle fleet to service and realign itself to implement President Bush's blueprint for sending astronauts to the moon and beyond, several companies are pursuing their own vision for putting humans into space more cheaply.
· Airport Baggage Handler Steals Thousands Of Credit Cards. A Virginia airport baggage handler has admitted he stole 2,000 credit cards from undelivered bulk mail. Emmanuel Osho, 49, supervised baggage handling for United Airlines at Dulles Airport.
· Pitt makes appearance after illness. Brad Pitt, diagnosed with a mild case of viral meningitis and released from the hospital last week, accepted a $250,000 check on behalf of the Film Foundation Inc. at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association luncheon in Beverly Hills, California.
· 'Mr. Scott's' ashes to be beamed up. He made his name in Hollywood beaming his colleagues back to the safety of the Enterprise on "Star Trek." Now, actor James Doohan's family is hoping to beam him up to the "final frontier" that Doohan's character "Scotty" loved so dearly. The actor, who died Wednesday at age 85, had told relatives he wanted his ashes blasted into outer space, as was done for "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry.
· Friend: Girl on sex video was 14. The girl in the alleged R. Kelly sex video was only 14 years old when it was made, the girl's best friend testified Wednesday. Kelly, the 38-year-old R&B superstar now enjoying his second week at the top of the music charts with his album "TP.3 Reloaded," was charged three years ago with 14 counts of child pornography for allegedly videotaping himself engaging in various sex acts with the underage girl he referred to as his "Goddaughter" on his "TP2.com" album.
· Young Potter readers need to talk, grieve. Less than 24 hours after the book was released last weekend, readers who had already finished it were seeking solace: "I am in shock. Oh my God, I can't believe what I just read. I spent like the last three chapters bawling my eyes out. I'm just in shock, pure utter shock." We won't be the spoiler here, but it's no secret that a much-beloved character dies in this sixth book in the series by J.K. Rowling.
· Rice receives Sudan apology after scuffles. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice demanded and received an apology from Sudan Thursday after officials and press accompanying her - including NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell - were "manhandled" by security staff at President Omar al-Beshir's residence.
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."
· Elizabeth Smart's Sister Discusses Kidnapping for First Time. Mary Katherine, who is now 13, is speaking out for the first time about the night of the kidnapping and the agonizing months leading to Elizabeth's recovery in an exclusive interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC News' "Primetime."
· NASA shoots for Tuesday shuttle launch. NASA officials decided Wednesday to go ahead with the launch of the space shuttle Discovery Tuesday morning, even though they have still not definitively found what caused a fuel sensor malfunction that forced the mission to be scrubbed last week.
· Surgeon found liable for needle left in patient. A New York City surgeon has been found liable in a lawsuit that accused him of losing a needle inside a patient and
leaving it inside after not being able to find it.
· Bald man loses fight for state-financed toupee. Bald men in Germany have no entitlement to state support for toupees, a court ruled on Wednesday. Throwing out a legal challenge by a bald 46-year-old man, the court said the state was not discriminating against men even though health insurance covers the cost of wigs for women.
· Jackson Resemblance Surprises Depp. Johnny Depp, star of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," says he didn't base his Willy Wonka character on Michael Jackson - and is surprised that some people see a resemblance. Depp's demure voice, pasty complexion, perfectly bobbed locks, neo-Victorian garb and androgynous air seem to present a reflection of pop singer Jackson, recently acquitted on child-molestation charges.
· Update: Man confesses to throwing grenade near Bush. A man has confessed to throwing a live grenade near where U.S. President George W. Bush was speaking during the American leader's visit to Georgia in May, a government official says. Vladimer Arutiniani, 27, was wounded then detained in former Soviet nation Georgia on Wednesday, following gunfire in which a policeman was killed, Interior Minister Ivane Merabishvili told reporters.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
· Jackson Misses Hearing in Civil Case. Neither Michael Jackson nor his attorney showed up Wednesday for a hearing in a civil case that accuses the pop star of sexual assaulting an 18-year-old during the 1984 World's Fair. Joseph T. Bartucci Jr. claims in the lawsuit that he was lured into Jackson's limousine, then held against his will and sexually assaulted. Bartucci was 18 at the time and claims he repressed the memories until 2003.
· Anna Nicole Smith still parties hearty. Anna Nicole Smith continues to live up to her reputation as a party girl. The former reality-TV star stunned crowds with her outrageous behavior in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina recently. “She entered a wet T-shirt contest at a club called Freaky Tiki and exposed herself and got into a loud fight with some guy everyone says is her boyfriend.”
· Inventor of TV dinner dies at age 83. Gerry Thomas, the former poultry company executive who helped marry American television with mealtime as inventor of the TV dinner, has died at age 83, his family said Wednesday. Thomas, honored in Hollywood in 1999 by having his handprints placed in cement outside Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, died of cancer Monday.
· Denver Pit Bull Owners in a Panic Over Ban. A few weeks ago, two police cars and two animal control vehicles pulled up at the home of Stef'ny Steffan looking for her beloved 4-year-old pit bull, Xena. Seven officers hauled the animal off to the city shelter, putting her on death row. Xena became an outlaw after Denver won a court fight and reinstated one of the toughest pit-bull bans in the nation. Since May, more than 380 dogs have been impounded and at least 260 destroyed — an average of more than three a day.
· After Uproar, Ms. Wheelchair America Pageant Opens In New York. The 33rd Annual Ms. Wheelchair America pageant opened yesterday in Albany after a controversy over how disabled a contestant must be to earn the title.
· Microchip saves turtle from soup pot. They're calling him "the lucky royal turtle" - a rare and endangered reptile that was saved from a likely fate in a Chinese soup pot by keen-eyed wildlife officers and a microchip.
· Georgian Police Detain Grenade Suspect. Georgian police on Wednesday detained a man suspected of throwing a live grenade during a rally at which President Bush spoke in May, the Interior Ministry said. The capture came after a shootout in which one officer was killed and another wounded.
· Scent of a rose. HOO-ha! Al Pacino, 65, is romancing "Charmed" actress Rose McGowan, 31. According to Us Weekly, McGowan, whose first date with Pacino was at Mortons in L.A., "thought he was too old for her at first, but . . . Al won her over."
· 100 teachers in Miami-Dade landed jobs with fake credentials. When James Majors applied for a teaching job at Miami-Dade County Public Schools in 2002, school district officials took little notice of a remarkable achievement: three degrees in only three months. Without scrutiny from school officials, no one noticed that Majors, 26, provided fake teaching credentials to the district, and he went on to teach 300 students, according to a Miami-Dade grand jury.
· Star Trek's Scotty 'Beamed up.' James Doohan, the burly chief engineer of the Starship Enterprise in the original "Star Trek" TV series and movies who responded to the command "Beam me up, Scotty," died Wednesday. He was 85.
· PETA trial delayed. The trial date for two PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) employees has been continued. The trial was originally slated to begin today in Hertford County. Adria Joy Hinkle, 27, of Norfolk, Virginia and Andrew Benjamin Cook, 24, of Virginia Beach, Va. stand accused on a combined 62 felony counts of cruelty to animals and eight counts each of illegal disposal of animals.
· 3 girls sue man who shot at them. Three girls who were shot at when they pulled into a Tenn. man's driveway are suing him for $6 million. Bill Cherry fired at the girls who were lost and running low on gas near midnight, when they pulled into his driveway.
· Lorenzo Lamas not getting married. Lorenzo Lamas was supposed to get married a fifth time to Playboy Playmate Barbara Moore on Saturday, but the wedding was suddenly called off that morning. A source told Page Six, "Lorenzo surprised Barbara at her bachelorette party Friday night and caught her in a compromising position with a male stripper."
· Is the Internet about to be 50 times faster? Broadband Internet access via TV cables will be able to hit 100 megabits per second as early as next year, 50 times faster than the average broadband speeds now offered to cable TV homes, a Finnish firm said Wednesday.
· From grocery clerk to Earl of Essex? Retired grocery clerk Bill Capell woke up to a phone call from a British reporter last month informing him that a cousin had died. He told his wife to go back to bed, gave the reporter a comment and was snoozing minutes later. Capell's cousin was the 10th Earl of Essex. His death puts Capell, a born-and-bred Californian, one step away from the title. But he was largely unimpressed that he might become a nobleman.
· Moderate Muslims Split on Suicide Bombings. The two meetings by Muslim leaders occurred only three days apart, one in Birmingham and one in London. Both condemned the terrorist attacks in the British capital, but they couldn't agree on one key issue: Are suicide attacks forbidden by religious law? The fact that one group said "yes" and the other group said "not always" could be one reason Muslim radicals sometimes succeed in recruiting disaffected young people as suicide bombers, even in Western democracies such as Britain.
· San Diego gives new meaning to small government. Mayor Dick Murphy left office Friday in the face of a deepening scandal at City Hall. His replacement, councilman Michael Zucchet, was convicted of fraud and other charges Monday and resigned yesterday. Fellow councilman Ralph Inzunza was found guilty of the same charges and plans to resign, his attorney said. Members of the City Council are vanishing so quickly that the odds of getting anything done are shrinking. Five votes are needed to pass legislation.
· How the rich ignored Niger crisis. The costs of saving millions of people starving in Niger are rocketing because rich nations ignored calls for early intervention to avert the ravages of last year's drought, relief workers said on Wednesday.
· Volvo seeks permission to drink and drive. Carmaker Volvo has asked for special exemption from Sweden's tough drink-driving laws so its test drivers can have a glass too many to test new safety systems that warn if a driver is not reacting to danger.
· Fire captain uses fire truck to water lawn. A city fire captain in Indiana has gotten in trouble for mixing work with his home life. Capt. Kevin Shaffer must repay the department $120 for using a fire truck to water his yard. He also was reprimanded and must pay 35 cents per gallon for the water he used, officials said.
· Aiken’s charity isn’t that charitable. Looks like Clay Aiken’s charity isn’t terribly charitable. Aiken co-founded the Bubel/Aiken foundation to benefit children with disabilities, but a document filed with the IRS revealed that of the more than $1 million the group raised last year, less than a third was handed out in grants.
· Whitney Houston Skips Matriarch's Funeral. Whitney Houston comes from a pretty talented gene pool, but for some reason she missed the funeral yesterday of her aunt, who was considered the matriarch and icon of the family. Whitney was noticeably absent from the service for Lee Warrick, beloved mother of superstar Dionne Warwick.
· Tabloids Help Keep Celebs in the Closet. Rock Hudson. Cary Grant. James Dean. Laurence Olivier. Danny Kaye. They were all leading men during some of the golden years of Hollywood, and they often played dashing, romantic men over whom women swooned. The celebrity press fawned over their every relationship with young starlets, sophisticated beauties and Tinseltown actresses, and dedicated reams of paper to hinting at what kinds of lovers they'd be to the bored housewives who lapped up the gossip. Yet the gossip sheets somehow managed not to mention that these star actors were gay or bisexual, or at least that they were rumored to be.
· Williams sisters serve up reality series on ABC Family. Serena Williams' life really should be somewhere between serene and sublime. At 23, she's a tennis star, tall and strong. She's a media event with scripts in the mail and a new reality show ("Venus & Serena: For Real") premiering tonight on ABC Family. She's a fashion designer. She seems to have the love of her sister Venus and her dog Jackie. What could possibly go wrong? Well, lots.
· Western policies are to blame, says London mayor. London mayor Ken Livingstone said: "This particular strand of extremism was funded by the West in Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden was just another businessman until he was recruited by the CIA." "I suspect the real problem was that we funded these people, as long as they were killing Russians. We gave no thought to the fact that when they stopped killing Russians they might start killing us."
· Father of 9/11 hijacker praises London attack. The father of one of the hijackers who commandeered the first plane that crashed into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, praised the recent terror attacks in London and said more would follow.
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
· Man accused of killing his 'gay' baby son. Ronnie Paris would shake, wet himself and vomit as his father forced him into a box and repeatedly slapped him on the head in an effort to prevent him from being gay, the child's mother, Nysheerah Paris, testified Monday. "He was trying to teach him how to fight," the boy's aunt, Shanita Powell, told the court. "He was concerned that the child might be gay." "He didn't want him to be a sissy," Shelton Bostic, the defendant's Bible-study friend, testified.
· Cable giant may bid for NHL broadcast rights. According to sources inside and outside the company, Comcast is preparing an offer to televise NHL games for the 2005-06 season. In April, ESPN chose not to exercise its $70 million option to televise the NHL for 2005-06 and 2006-07.
· Bank: No law against 'banking while intoxicated.' HSBC bank says there is no law against banking while intoxicated, as outlined in a multi-million dollar claim by supermodel Maggie Rizer. Rizer, who estimates that roughly $7 million was stolen from her, claims HSBC was negligent in allowing her stepfather to withdraw large amounts of money from her accounts while he was drunk.
· N.J. boys were alive for 13 to 33 hours in car trunk. Three boys who suffocated in a car trunk last month were trapped alive for at least 13 hours, slowly succumbing while police searched their neighborhood, prosecutors said Tuesday. The boys, ages 5, 6 and 11, died between 13 and 33 hours after they climbed into the trunk on June 22, the Camden County prosecutor's office, citing part of an autopsy report. The deaths were ruled accidental.
· Appellate court judge Roberts is Bush pick. President Bush chose federal appeals court judge John G. Roberts Jr. on Tuesday as his first nominee for the Supreme Court, selecting a rock-solid conservative whose nomination could trigger a tumultuous battle over the direction of the nation’s highest court, senior administration officials said.
· Visa, Amex Cut Ties With Card Processor. Visa USA Inc. and American Express Co. are cutting ties with the payment-processing company that left 40 million credit and debit card accounts vulnerable to hackers in one of the biggest breaches of consumer data security. CardSystems Solutions Inc. "has not corrected, and cannot at this point correct, the failure to provide proper data security for Visa accounts," said Rosetta Jones, a spokeswoman for Visa.
· Traffic cops getting trickier in Illinois. Illinois state police have a new way to catch speeders. State troopers will be dressed as construction workers in construction zones, and when a speeding car goes by, they will radio ahead to a waiting patrol car.
· Teaching group to consider banning word "fail." The word "fail" should be banned from use in classrooms and replaced with the phrase "deferred success" to avoid demoralising pupils, a group of teachers has proposed.
· Former Boston Herald columnist fired from teaching job. A former Boston Herald columnist was fired from a part-time job teaching journalism at Boston University after posting a note on an Internet site that a female student was "incredibly hot."
· Dozens of California pilots found to be licensed to fly, but getting disability pay. The pilots, who include commercial and transport pilots, claimed to be medically fit to fly airplanes. However, they may have been flying with debilitating illnesses that should have kept them grounded, ranging from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder to drug and alcohol addiction and heart conditions.
· Hillary blasts Bush for not subsidizing college tuition for illegal aliens. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton told leaders of the nation's Latino community Monday that the Bush administration is not doing enough to help illegal immigrants go to college. Currently about 65,000 illegals that graduate from high school are ineligible for any sort of tuition assistance, the Senator said.
· 'Roseanne' Cast Reunites at Bowling Alley. It's taken eight years for a Conner family reunion. But, at long last, Roseanne, Dan and the gang came together at ... where else? A Hollywood bowling alley. Roseanne was joined by co-stars John Goodman and Laurie Metcalf, as well as the three original actors to play the Conner kids: Alicia Goranson, Sara Gilbert and Michael Fishman.
· California resumes ID card program for medical pot. State health officials Monday reinstated a program to issue identity cards to patients who have been prescribed medical marijuana, after receiving advice from the state attorney general that they could do so without violating federal law.
· DuPont Sued Over Teflon Chemical. A $5 billion class-action lawsuit is being filed against DuPont over a chemical used to make Teflon. Two Florida law firms are filing the lawsuit in federal courts in eight states on behalf of 14 people who used cookware with the nonstick Teflon.
· Daryl Hannah Quits Movie Business. Daryl Hannah, aka Elle Driver from the "Kill Bill" series announced she has decided to quit the movie business, saying that she wants to focus on saving the planet instead.
· NASA: 'We don't have a clue.' Five days of meticulous detective work by NASA engineers have failed to turn up the cause of a fuel sensor malfunction on the space shuttle Discovery, which is still sitting on its launch pad as precious days tick away toward a July 31 launch deadline.
· Killer used posh perfume in bomb. One of the London terrorists bought more than $2000 worth of designer perfume as a deadly napalm-style ingredient in the bombs. Just three days before the carnage, Jamaican-born Jermaine Lindsay bought dozens of bottles of scent that investigators believe were to make the bombs more flammable.
· Polanski 'unable to tell truth,' Farrow in court. Roman Polanski was unable to tell the truth when it mattered, lawyers said on Tuesday in a libel trial in which the film director is testifying via video link from Paris. Shields read an extract in which Polanski admitted to having sex with a "couple" of air stewardesses shortly after his wife's death. "I did not have sex with two air stewardesses, certainly not at the same time," the director said. "It would be something that I would not miss if I had the opportunity," he added.
· Reader's Digest to hit 1,000th issue. The 1,000th issue of the 83-year-old minimagazine comes out this week, and the occasion is expected to prompt thoughts about the Digest's colorful history and its status as an American symbol.
· Math book doesn't add up. Struggling New York public-school students are facing a new threat to their education - math teachers are using a summer-school manual riddled with laughable errors. For example, the book teaches kids that there are 25 minutes between 3 o'clock and 3:30 among the incomprehensible information.
· Motown producer sentenced on tax charges. Motown Records producer Norman Whitfield, who co-wrote such R&B classics as "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" and "Papa Was a Rolling Stone," was sentenced on Monday to six months of home detention for failure to file U.S. income tax returns.
· Your credit card minimum payment may double next month. If you have a high balance on your credit cards, you may be in for a shock when the next bill comes. Within the next month, Bank of America, MBNA and Citigroup will raise minimum monthly payments on their cards from 2 percent of the balance to up to 4 percent, not including interest. Other card issuers are expected to make similar changes by the end of the year.
· McCain on sexy film: 'I work with boobs every day.' Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is defending his cameo appearance in "Wedding Crashers," the sexy comedy the Drudge Report called a "boob raunch fest." "In Washington, I work with boobs every day," joked McCain during an appearance on NBC's "Tonight Show with Jay Leno."
· Pages magically absent from some Potter books. Some copies of the latest Harry Potter book are missing the first chapter, according to Scholastic, publisher of the fantasy series. A few surfaced in St. Charles, but three teens from Batavia don't mind. They're trying to sell a couple of the flawed books on eBay, hoping they have a hot collectible.
· Teddy bears perform airborne mission in Iraq. They can be seen parachuting into various areas around Baghdad bringing smiles to the faces of Iraqi children. These airborne “Soldiers” are actually “Teddy Troopers” or “Para-Bears,” stuffed animals with makeshift parachutes jumping into the arms and hearts of children during Operation Teddy Drop.
· Teacher who had sex with pupil will claim insanity. A teacher will claim she was insane due to emotional stress and did not know right from wrong when she had sex numerous times with a 14-year-old student, her attorney said yesterday. "What teacher in her right mind would do something like this?" attorney John Fitzgibbons said after a brief hearing for his client, Debra Lafave, a middle-school reading teacher. The judge agreed to appoint two mental health professionals to evaluate LaFave. Prosecutors have said a state psychologist already determined Lafave was not insane, while one hired by the defense concluded that she was mentally ill.
· Madonna reinvents herself...again. Madonna isn’t the person she once was — and that’s the way she wants it. These days, the former Material Girl spends more time with her two children than she does performing. She collects art instead of boyfriends, and she’s traded in her leather and lace undergarments for more demure outfits.
· Acura Integra tops most stolen list. The Acura Integra is the favorite of car thieves, according to a report released Tuesday by a firm that tracks auto theft claims. The report by CCC Information Services tracks theft claims for 2004 based on make and model year, and it found that one of every 200 registered 1999 Acura Integras was stolen last year, making it the most stolen model.
· Gore: New TV Channel Won't Be Partisan. Former Vice President Al Gore, co-founder of a new television channel launching next month, said he's shunning politics - and so is his media venture. When asked if he was concerned the 24-hour news and information channel, called Current, would be perceived as having a political slant, "I think the reality of the network will speak for itself. It's not intended to be partisan in any way," said Gore.
· Congressman Says He Doesn't Advocate Bombing Mecca. Colorado U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo said he was talking about deterrence when he raised the possibility of bombing Mecca if Muslim terrorists set off nuclear weapons in American cities.
· Farrell Sues Ex Over Sex Tape. Actor Colin Farrell is suing a woman for allegedly trying to distribute and profit from a sex tape he says the two recorded with the agreement they would never make it public.
· Rapper Lil' Kim Sues Trial Witness. Rapper Lil' Kim struck back Mondayat a trial witness who helped to secure her false-statements conviction and yearlong prison sentence, filing a lawsuit accusing the witness of unlawfully using her name to promote a DVD.
· Vietnam-Era Commander Westmoreland Dies. Retired Gen. William Westmoreland, who commanded U.S. forces during the Vietnam War from 1964 to 1968 and advocated a strong military buildup at a time when American casualties were mounting, has died.
· Suspicious note diverts flight. An American Airlines flight from Fort Lauderdale to San Juan, Puerto Rico has been diverted after a passenger found a suspicious note written on a napkin behind her tray table, an FBI spokeswoman told CNN. About 40 minutes into the flight, a note saying, "Bomb, bomb, bomb ... meet the parents," was found on a crumpled napkin with a wad of chewing gum in it.
Monday, July 18, 2005
· Court strikes blow against 'casting couch.' The California Supreme Court struck a blow against the “casting couch’’ today, ruling that an employer can be sued for sexual harassment for conveying a message that the way to get ahead at work is to sleep with the boss.
· Average British woman spends $54,000 dollars on shoes during lifetime. The average woman in Britain spends more than $54,000 dollars on shoes during her lifetime and almost $25,000 on belts and other accessories, an insurance group said. One third of women say they have 25 pairs of shoes in their wardrobe, and around 1.3 million women claim to have well over 30 pairs, according to research carried out by the group.
· Sex offender jailed for possessing Maxim magazine. Authorities in Florida are sending convicted sex offenders to jail for violating the terms of their probation by having men’s magazines such as Maxim.
· Wedding bells aren't ringing, but neither are phones of divorce lawyers. Divorce is on the decline in the USA, but a report to be released today suggests that may be due more to an increase in people living together than to more lasting marriages.
· Kenny Rogers Has Another Run-In With Cameraman. Texas Rangers pitcher Kenny Rogers had another run-in with a cameraman Monday when he turned himself in on misdemeanor assault charges stemming from an earlier tirade against two cameramen.
· Celebrities whose lives and careers need intervention. If you're famous, you're constantly surrounded by hangers-on and sycophants and people who just want a chunk of your fame, or your fortune, or both. And that's when really bad decisions begin. This goes beyond simply pleading to "Free Katie!" — though you'll note Ms. Holmes tops our list. After all, some celebrities are simply beyond help (Tom Cruise, Britney Spears) and some aren't worth saving (Pam Anderson, Ashton Kutcher).
· Southern California county pushing Ebonics for black students. The goal of the district's policy is to improve black students' academic performance by keeping them interested in school, by incorporating Ebonics for the lowest-achieving group in the San Bernardino City Unified School District. Blacks make up the second largest racial group in the district, trailing Latinos.
· NRA moves convention from Columbus, Ohio. The National Rifle Association said Monday it is pulling its 2007 national convention out of Columbus because of the city's ban on assault weapons. "The party is canceled because last week your City Council unanimously voted to revoke the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens in Columbus by banning perfectly legal firearms," NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said.
· Update: Polanski's sex life under spotlight in libel case. Roman Polanski's personal life was put under the spotlight on Monday at the start of a libel trial in which the director testified via video link from Paris to avoid extradition to America for sex with an underage girl. "You are a fugitive from morality," said lawyer Thomas Shields, representing Vanity Fair publishers Conde Nast. Polanski had just admitted having "casual sex" with other women before and during his marriage to Tate, as well as once four weeks after her murder and at least one incident of having sex with two females at the same time, one of them aged 15. "You are putting it in a grotesque way," Polanski responded.
· Library readers’ records seized in Scottsdale. The U.S. Department of Justice used court orders three times in early 2004 to obtain documents from the Scottsdale Public Library containing reader account information, according to records recently released by the city. Arizona law protects library records from being released unless the institutions are presented with a court order, making it impossible for taxpayer-funded libraries to fight a subpoena.
· Jewish settler seeks to become Palestinian. Jewish settler Avi Farhan, determined not to give up his home overlooking the sea when Israel quits the occupied Gaza Strip, is looking into becoming a Palestinian.
· Charges filed against teen in stolen earthmover. The 14-year-old boy who was shot by police after leading officers on a chase in a stolen 40-ton earthmover is now facing numerous charges related to the incident, including seven counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of theft by control.
· Law Apologizes to Fiancee for Affair. Jude Law publicly apologized to his fiancee, actress Sienna Miller, expressing his "sincere regret" over an affair with one of his children's nanny. "Following the reports in today's papers, I just want to say I am deeply ashamed and upset that I've hurt Sienna and the people most close to us," the 32-year-old actor said in a statement Monday.
· Discovery Airing Re-Creation of Flight 93. The Discovery Channel will air a re-creation of the terrorist hijacking of Flight 93 on the fourth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The program will be called "The Flight That Fought Back" and will include about 45 minutes of re-created scenes depicting what happened before the plane crashed in a Southwestern Pennsylvania field. Forty passengers and crew members were killed.
· SEC probes Fidelity's 'dwarf' party? A wild bachelor party thrown for a Fidelity Investments trader has become part of an investigation into possibly improper gratuities from Wall Street trading firms. Thomas Bruderman's bachelor party, a onetime star trader for Fidelity, began with a private jet ride from Boston to New York City, where revelers picked up Wall Street traders and at least two women, the newspaper said. Investigators think the women may have been paid for their attendance, the report added. The partygoers continued on to South Beach in Miami where they partied all weekend at the Delano Hotel, on a yacht cruise and with a hired dwarf.
· Flip-flops to White House appalls mothers. When some of the Northwestern University women's lacrosse team appeared in the White House in flip-flops it raised some eyebrows back home in Chicago. About half of the national championship team wore flip-flops for the photo opportunity with President George Bush.
· DNA Tests Slated for Hair Found in Aruba. Four strands of blonde hair are being flown to Holland for DNA testing, Aruban police have confirmed to FOX News. The discovery could be a much-need break in the search for missing Alabama high school student Natalee Holloway. The foot-long locks were attached to a piece of duct tape in a remote part of the island territory known Boca Tortuga. Police received an anonymous tip that led them to search the area.
· UM professors want you to bet on where the next hurricane will strike. Storm watchers, listen up. If you think you have the weather knowledge and financial fortitude, you'll soon have the chance to bet for - or against - the coastline nearest you. Three professors at the University of Miami are launching an electronic futures market to forecast where a hurricane will make landfall in the United States.
· Trial Set To Begin For Teacher Accused Of Sex With Student. The trial for the Central Florida teacher arrested and charged with having sex with a 14-year-old student is set to begin Monday. In a case that garnered international attention, investigators have said that Debra Lafave, 24, had sex with the boy at her Riverview town house, in a portable classroom at Greco Middle School and in the back of her sport utility vehicle while his 15-year-old cousin drove them around the Ocala area.
· Governors: Drivers License Costs to Soar. In the name of homeland security, motorists are going to see costs skyrocket for driver's licenses and motor vehicle offices forced to operate like local branches of the FBI, the nation's governors warn. The new federal law squeezed this spring into an $82 billion spending bill had Republican and Democrat governors fuming at their summer meeting here, and vowing to bring their complaints to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff at a Monday meeting. "It's outrageous to pass this off on the states," said Republican Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, incoming chairman of the National Governors Association. "You're essentially asking the front-line clerks at the DMV to become an INS agent and a law enforcement agent."
· Delivery Room Translators Needed With Rise In Immigrant Births. Almost one in four American births is now to a foreign-born mother, according to a recent report by the Center for Immigration Studies. The result, medical experts and advocates say, is a growing pressure on American health care centers to not only deliver babies, but deliver them in more languages than one.
· Birth control patch linked to higher fatality rate. Though the Food and Drug Administration and patch-maker Ortho McNeil saw warning signs of possible problems with the birth control patch well before it reached the market, both maintain that the patch is as safe as the pill. However, the reports obtained by the AP appear to indicate that in 2004 — when 800,000 women were on the patch — the risk of dying or suffering a survivable blood clot while using the device was about three times higher than while using birth control pills.
· A Love letter to Courtney's judges. Courtney Love has been drug- and alcohol-free for nearly a year now, and she credits the judiciary for her turnaround. "I've always had trouble with authority," according to Love, who says her own mother gave up responsibility for taking care of her by the time the future rocker-actress was age 7. "But sometimes authority is a good thing. I had really good judges."
· Polanski, in court video link, 'shocked' by article. Roman Polanski said Monday he was in a "state of shock" when he read an article in Vanity Fair magazine alleging he tried to seduce a woman while on his way to his slain wife's funeral in 1969. Polanski was speaking from Paris to avoid the risk of extradition from Britain to the United States, where he is wanted after pleading guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977. He cannot be extradited from his native France for the crime.
· Far from discovering life on Mars, NASA may have put it there. The US space agency believes the two rover spacecraft scuttling across the red planet are carrying bacteria from Earth. The craft, Spirit and Opportunity, landed on Mars last year. One key task was to look for signs of life: now it seems that if there are any organisms, it is man who has put them there. If proved, the contamination would raise concerns at possible breaches of a UN treaty to stop other planets being polluted from Earth.
· Air Ambulance Crash Rate Soars. If commercial jetliners crashed at the same rate as air ambulances, 90 planes would have gone down over the past five years. USA Today reports a record level of medical helicopters have crashed since 2000. The paper reports 60 people have died in 84 crashes. That's more than double the number in the previous five years.
· Gotti Junior regrets life he has led. The son of late Mob boss John Gotti says he regrets "involvement in this life" and doesn't want his children to follow his path. John "Junior" Gotti, set to go to trial next week on charges he tried to kill the founder of the Guardian Angels crime-fighting group, never defines "this life" in an interview published Monday.
· New Potter Book Breaks Sales Records. The new Harry Potter book sold an astonishing 6.9 million copies in its first 24 hours, smashing the record held by the previous Potter release. "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" averaged 250,000 sales per hour, more than the vast majority of books sell in a lifetime.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
· Jefferson, Hemings Descendants Meet. In their first meeting away from Thomas Jefferson's estate in Virginia, about 65 people who believe they are descendants of the nation's third president and slave Sally Hemings gathered for a weekend reunion in southern Ohio. "My son is only 4, so I want him to meet his black cousins," said Lucian Truscott of Los Angeles, a descendant of Jefferson's brother who has spoken at several previous reunions.
· Reporter: Rove was first source on CIA leak. White House political aide Karl Rove was the first person to tell a Time magazine reporter that the wife of a prominent critic of the Bush administration's Iraq policy was a CIA officer, the reporter said in an article Sunday. Time correspondent Matthew Cooper said he told a grand jury last week that Rove told him the woman worked at the "agency," or CIA, on weapons of mass destruction issues, and ended the call by saying "I've already said too much." He said Rove did not disclose the woman's name, Valerie Plame, but told him information would be declassified that would cast doubt on the credibility of her husband.
· Nigeria jails woman in $242 million email fraud case. A Nigerian court has sentenced a woman to two and half years in jail after she pleaded guilty to fraud charges in the country's biggest e-mail scam case, the anti-fraud agency said on Saturday. Scams have become so successful in Nigeria that anti-sleaze campaigners say swindling is one of the country's main foreign exchange earners after oil, natural gas and cocoa.
· Bad habits, poverty undermine health in Kentucky. Kentucky is one of the sickest states in America, a place where too many people die too soon, and many who live endure decades of illness and pain. Its residents as a whole fare poorly on almost every health measure - 2nd worst in the nation for cancer deaths, 5th worst for cardiovascular deaths, 7th worst for obesity. Kentucky adults smoke at the highest rate in the nation and exercise at the lowest.
· Bigger wallet, more sex. As their incomes rise, men and women are more likely to have a higher sex drive, according to a study of almost 30,000 people from 170 countries - the largest survey of its kind.
· UPS driver found with $100,000 of merchandise in home. A United Parcel Service driver has been arrested following a search of his home that turned up a veritable warehouse of pilfered UPS packages, according to a Louisiana sheriff's spokesman. Maj. John Doran said investigators found opened packages with six computers, more than 40 handguns and rifles, dozens of fishing poles, 200 bottles of wine, several boxes of cigars and a $2,000 bicycle.
· Kentucky Dumps Mr. Smiley License Plate. The much-maligned Kentucky license plates featuring a smiling sunrise are going off into the sunset. The sunshine insignia, known as Mr. Smiley, was met with discontent and ridicule when then-Governor Paul Patton unveiled the design in December 2002.
· Study Says Ethanol Not Worth the Energy. Farmers, businesses and state officials are investing millions of dollars in ethanol and biofuel plants as renewable energy sources, but a new study says the alternative fuels burn more energy than they produce. Cornell University and the University of California-Berkeley say it takes 29 percent more fossil energy to turn corn into ethanol than the amount of fuel the process produces.
· Sandra Bullock, Jesse James Exchange Vows. Actress Sandra Bullock married mechanic and reality TV star Jesse James at a ranch near Santa Barbara, according to reports. Bullock, 40, and James, 35, exchanged vows Saturday in front of several hundred guests at the Folded Hills Ranch in Santa Ynez Valley's wine country.
· Ten year-old becomes Microsoft engineer. Arfa Karim Randhawa, aged 10, has become the youngest person to be certified as a Microsoft engineer. Randhawa passed her Microsoft Certified Professional examinations last year. She met Bill Gates this week and was taken on a tour of Microsoft's Redmond campus.
· Wonka Gives Movie-Goers Their Sugar Fix. Willy Wonka gave movie-goers their sugar fix for the weekend. "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," starring Johnny Depp as candyman Wonka, had a sweet debut of $55.4 million, helping Hollywood make a dent in a box-office downturn that has lingered most of the year. Opening as a solid No. 2 was Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn's comedy "Wedding Crashers," which took in $32.2 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.
Word of The Day by WordThink
feckless [feck·less] adj. 1. Careless and irresponsible. "The kids were feckless during spring break." 2. Lacking purpose or vitality; feeble or ineffective - unlikely to be successful. "It was a feckless attempt to make the company a success."
· Rape Spurs Anti-Hispanic Backlash in Ohio. It started with the spray-painted, misspelled "Rapest" on the house of a Hispanic man accused of sexually assaulting a 9-year-old white girl. Then the house went up in flames in a suspected arson.
· Ex-Clinton Aide Charges Republicans 'Want to Kill Us.' Young liberals this week flocked to the nation's capital to hear, among other things, liberal television pundit and Democrat political strategist Paul Begala accuse Republicans of wanting to kill him and his children to preserve tax cuts for the rich.
· Film role casts doubt on McCain judgment. It turns out McCain has a cameo role playing himself attending the big wedding in the raunchiest R-rated movie of the weekend, "Wedding Crashers." We've been exposed to the trailers and ads for weeks.
· Colombia catches reputed cocaine cartel leader while he's jogging. Police captured a suspected leader of a drug cartel believed to have trafficked half of the cocaine sold in the United States in the 1990s, officials said. The U.S. government offered up to $5 million reward for his capture.
· Congressman Apologizes for Hitler Remark. Congressman Frank LoBiondo apologized for suggesting that Guantanamo Bay detainees were worse than Adolf Hitler because the Nazi dictator "sort of had a political rationale about what he was doing." The New Jersey Republican said "Hitler, in his philosophy, was, you know, he hated Jews, he was murdering Jews, and there were some people he liked. But he never went to the level that these people are going to," LoBiondo said.
· Writer Recalls Opening of Disneyland. When Walt Disney built Disneyland, he supervised every aspect of planning and construction - right down to the paint color inside the railroad station. But there were a couple of things he couldn't control at the opening 50 years ago: the temperature and the turnout.
Saturday, July 16, 2005
· Brothers sue cops... again. A pair of litigious brothers kept their winning streak alive against the city - just barely. A federal jury awarded a paltry $8,000 plus train fare to Cedric and Kevin Matthews, who claimed they were beaten by cops in a subway station. Lawyers for the cops had portrayed the Matthewses as professional provocateurs who staged confrontations so they could sue the city. They had pocketed $206,500 since 1996 by settling three earlier cases against the NYPD.
· KKK Chief Testifies About 1979 Shootings. A Ku Klux Klan leader who was at a workers' rally more than 25 years ago where five people died and 10 others were injured gave defiant testimony to a commission Saturday, saying "maybe God guided the bullets."
· Rowling now richer than the Queen. J.K. Rowling thought up Harry Potter in 1990. She has been credited with winning over a new generation of young readers and publishers have cashed in with extravagant marketing campaigns. The books have made Rowling the richest woman in the United Kingdom, richer even than the queen, with a personal fortune estimated in 2004 at $1 billion.
· Suicidal women causes fatal crash. A woman who said she “wanted to end it all” is accused of deliberately causing a high-speed crash that killed three Chicago rock musicians, authorities said. Jeannette Sliwinski, 23, was charged with first-degree murder and was being held under guard at a hospital after she was denied bond Friday. “She said she wanted to end it all when she ran into the back of the car,” said Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Colleen Daly, adding that prosecutors might accomodate her original wishes by seeking the death penalty.
· London bombers may have been duped into killing themselves. The evidence is compelling: The terrorists bought return rail tickets, and pay and display car park tickets, before boarding a train at Luton for London. None of the men was heard to cry "Allah Akhbar!" - "God is great" - usually screamed by suicide bombers as they detonate their bomb.
· CNN's "That's Bullsh*t" Coverage. Lou Dobbs last night, (7/15/05) as Lou was introducing a piece on the Rove story. Lou says, "...Rove testifying that he first learned about Plame from columnist Robert Novak, a CNN contributor. Dana Bash reports." Immediately after that you can clearly hear a female voice on mic whispering "that's bullsh*t". Then Dana Bash continues with her report.
· ACLU pushes state on Quran oaths. The ACLU of North Carolina on accused state court officials of not responding quickly enough to a controversy involving the use of the Quran for courtroom oaths. The group’s legal foundation is calling on the state Administrative Office of the Courts to adopt a policy allowing the Quran and other religious texts for oath-taking in North Carolina courtrooms. A Greensboro Muslim group has been waiting for an AOC decision for three weeks after Guilford County’s two top judges decided that Muslims could not legally take an oath on the Quran.
· Idaho County Sues Over Immigrant Workers. Faced with the costs of coping with illegal immigrants, one county is looking to the courts for help by filing a racketeering lawsuit against the businesses that hire these workers. The legal theory: that a pattern of immigration violations by employers is costing Canyon County millions for law enforcement, education and social services. The county's attempt to recoup its expenses would be filed under the federal Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly called the RICO Act, which has been used against targets ranging from organized crime to Internet spammers.
· Court denies secondhand smoke claim. William Larson figured his hypertension and heart disease probably had something to do with the secondhand cigarette smoke he was forced to endure. It wasn’t as if Larson could simply walk away: He’s serving life in prison for a murder that happened 23 years ago in St. Louis. Trapped inside prison walls and says he's forced to breathe the dirty air, he filed suit against Department of Corrections officials.
· Hopes dwindle for ever finding Alabama teen. Yellow ribbons reminding people to keep an eye out for an Alabama teenager still flutter on tree trunks and telephone poles, but they’re unraveling and fading in the sun, along with hopes of solving the mystery of her disappearance.
· Protecting Calif. Salamander to Cost $367 million. Protecting the California tiger salamander as a threatened species will cost the state $367 million in lost development opportunities over the next two decades, federal wildlife officials said Friday.
· Rocker Rod Stewart has found God. If any more proof were needed that rock veteran Rod Stewart has turned over a new leaf, his missus has just provided it. Model Penny Lancaster - who is four months pregnant - claims the singer's life has changed since finding God.
· Fans Lobby to Get Oprah the Nobel Prize. Never mind the Emmys, some fans think Oprah Winfrey deserves an even bigger award: the Nobel Peace Prize. Citing the TV queen's humanitarian work, generosity, charity and "high fashion," a grassroots campaign has emerged to hand the honor to Winfrey.
· Schwarzenegger ends deal with fitness mags. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Friday that he will end his multimillion-dollar consulting deal with two fitness magazines that rely heavily on advertising for nutritional supplements.
· Rowling Promises Answers in Potter Book. J.K. Rowling says her latest tome will have many, many answers. "I'm excited about this book," the author said Friday after arriving at Edinburgh's 11th-century castle, where thousands of fans eagerly awaited the stroke of midnight to hear her read from "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." "You get a lot of answers in this book," Rowling said. "I can't wait for everyone to read it."
Word of The Day by WordThink
Homogeneous [ho·mo·ge·ne·ous] adj. 1. Uniform in structure or composition. 2. Of the same or similar nature or kind: "The corporation maintains tight-knit, homogeneous board members."
· $90 million purchase may have set new U.S. record. In a neighborhood where tear-downs go for seven figures, a modest three-bedroom, three-bathroom farmhouse on the ocean just down the road from comedian Jerry Seinfeld has reportedly been sold for $90 million — a new record for a residential property in the United States.
· Alligator Kills Man Swimming In Fla. Canal. A man swimming in a Port Charlotte canal Friday night was killed by an alligator, state officials said. It was the 17th recorded fatal alligator attack in Florida. Kevin Albert Murray, 41, of Northport, was swimming in the Apollo Waterway when a 12-foot, 2-inch alligator attacked and killed him, said Gary Morse, spokesman for the southwest Florida office of the state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
· Angelina's Baby Out of Hospital. Angelina Jolie is finally bringing her daughter home. The Oscar winner's newly adopted baby, Zahara, was released Friday from an undisclosed New York hospital after spending a week there being treated for dehydration and malnutrition, People magazine reports.
· L. Ron Hubbard: Scientology's esteemed founder. Our summer of Tom Cruise's madness and Katie Holmes' creepy path toward zombie bridedom has been a useful reminder of how truly strange Scientology is. By now those interested in the Cruise-Holmes saga may be passingly familiar with the church's creation myth, in which an evil, intergalactic warlord named Xenu kidnaps billions of alien life forms, chains them near Earth's volcanoes, and blows them up with nuclear weapons. Strange as Scientology's pseudo-theology may be, though, it's not as entertaining as the life story of the church's founder, L. Ron Hubbard.
Friday, July 15, 2005
· Coach Allegedly Paid Player to Hit Boy. A T-ball coach allegedly paid one of his players $25 to hurt an 8-year-old mentally disabled teammate so he wouldn't have to put the boy in the game, police said Friday. Police added that the disabled boy was hit in the head and in the groin with a baseball just before a game, and didn't play. "The coach was very competitive," state police Trooper Thomas B. Broadwater said. "He wanted to win."
· Wash. boy dies fleeing from angry driver. A 12-year-old boy who was firing bottle rockets at cars was chased into traffic Friday by an angry driver and killed by another car, authorities said. The driver and his passenger, both 22, were arrested for investigation of manslaughter.
· Teen Spends 9 Days in Jail for Burning Flag. A teenager was jailed for nine days after being accused of burning an American flag on the Fourth of July, and he faces trial next month. While the case could test a state statute against flag burning — an act the U.S. Supreme Court says is protected under the First Amendment.
· Original Village People member busted on drug charges. Victor Edward Willis, the original policeman and lead singer in the over-the-top disco group the Village People, was arrested and did some time in the clink this week after police found a loaded weapon and what they believed was crack cocaine in his vehicle, said police Lt. Matt Bushong.
· No dinner suit for Daly at St Andrews. John Daly, no lover of formality, says he skipped the traditional champions dinner before this week's British Open to avoid wearing a tie and jacket. The big-hitting American, winner of the 1995 Open at St Andrews, is known for his laid-back approach to life and holds the unofficial title of "the people's player."
· BALCO chief reaches plea deal in steroid case. BALCO founder Victor Conte has agreed to plead guilty to steroid distribution and money laundering in a deal with federal prosecutors, making it less likely that top athletes such as Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi and Marion Jones will be forced to testify about alleged drug use.
· Anorexia Linked To Pleasure-Regulating Brain Chemical. A new study finds a connection between anorexia and a brain chemical that's associated with regulating pleasure. In the anorexic women, they found overactivity by dopamine receptors, which might explain why anorexic women are driven to lose weight, but don't get any pleasure from it.
· Two Kentucky inmates found crushed in garbage truck. A medical examiner office in Louisville, Kentucky, is conducting autopsies to determine whether two inmates whose bodies were found in a landfill were crushed to death. Investigators believe the inmates may have been loaded into a garbage truck from a dumpster. Authorities think the men were hiding in the dumpster after escaping Wednesday.
· Escapee Caught While Waiting for Cab. An inmate from the Snyder County Prison who walked away from a work-release project in McAllisterville Thursday night has been caught. Police say 22-year-old Kevin Fulton got a ride to a truck stop in Juniata County. But others there became suspicious and called police. Police found Fulton at a nearby motel, waiting for a cab to take him to Harrisburg.
· Massive Marlin Leaps Into Fishing Boat. An Atlanta area family had a very frightening experience while on a Fourth of July weekend bill fishing trip off the coast of Panama - and it was all caught on video. Marietta resident Robert Schultz, his 18-year-old son Stephen and 20-year-old daughter Allison were on a fishing trip before Stephen went off to college at Colorado State. Stephen had a Black Marlin on the line about 30-miles off Darian Jungle, Panama. The beautiful fish, estimated to weigh about 6-hundred pounds, had jumped a couple of times and then unthinkable happened. The marlin came out of the water straight toward the boat.
· Falcons' Coleman arrested for disorderly conduct. Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Rod Coleman was arrested for misdemeanor disorderly conduct during a traffic stop early Friday, allegedly cursing at an officer and asking, "Do you know who I am?"
· Military recruitment news. A young Marine is accused of staging his own shooting so he wouldn't have to go back to Iraq. Moises Hernandez, 19, faces a felony charge of filing a false police report. Authorities say he persuaded his cousin to shoot him in the leg and then claimed he'd been hit by random gang gunfire.
· Critics charge Harry Potter used performance-enhancing potions. Best-selling children’s book wizard Harry Potter – already under fire from evangelical Christian groups and even the Pope for promoting witchcraft – now faces charges that he has used performance-enhancing potions. To cast his magical spell over young minds throughout the world, Potter has reportedly dabbled in a list of banned substances that includes Flobberworm, Chocoballs and Peppermint Toads.
· Pregnant Brain-Damaged Patient’s Family Sues. The family of a brain-damaged woman filed a lawsuit on her behalf Thursday alleging that she was sexually assaulted at the nursing home where she lived and is pregnant. "The woman was clearly raped," said attorney Ed Fox, who is representing the 23-year-old patient's mother in her suit against the nursing home. "Equally outrageous is that they seemed to have concealed the pregnancy."
· State asking hundreds to pay back taxes on cheap smokes. Washington state patrons of an American Indian-owned online tobacco store are being asked to pay uncollected taxes on their cheap cigarettes, and the state is threatening them with fines if they return to the Internet for tax-free smokes. The enforcement efforts follow a state lawsuit against a business based in New York's Seneca Nation of Indians, whose reservations are home to some of the country's largest online tobacco retailers.
· Neb. Woman Trapped in Van, Hospitalized. A 90-year-old woman was trapped for 10 hours in a stifling senior-citizens van after the driver forgot to take her home, and by the time she was found, she was unconscious, her daughter said.
· Comedy Central to Chappelle - 'Phone home.' There's still no word from Comedy Central on when "Chappelle's Show" will return to the network, more than two months after Dave Chappelle abruptly stopped work on the series and essentially disappeared. The third season of the top-rated sketch show had been scheduled to begin May 31 under a $50 million deal that also covered a fourth season. But that didn't happen. Instead, Chappelle flew to South Africa, saying he needed a break.
· Philadelphia sues online travel services over hotel tax. The city filed a lawsuit against 17 online travel services, contending they shortchanged the city on the hotel occupancy tax. The lawsuit was filed in Common Pleas Court in Philadelphia against Expedia, Orbitz, Priceline, Travelocity and other travel services. The city alleges the companies did not fully pay the 7 percent tax because they collected the levy based on the discounted price they paid for the hotel rooms instead of the higher rates they charged consumers.
· Man gives rare rifle to police. He bought it for two packs of Chesterfield cigarettes. He sold it for a $75 Target gift card. But World War II Navy veteran Bruno Filippelli never knew the Japanese rifle that collected dust in his closet for 60 years was a bona fide wartime treasure worth $5,000.
· Public Pays $73K for Congress' Trip. Forty-four members of Congress flew to Cape Canaveral for the scrubbed launch of space shuttle Discovery at a cost of more than $73,000, according to figures provided to The Associated Press.
· 'Housewife' scorned. "Desperate Housewives" star Eva Longoria was snubbed in yesterday's Primetime Emmy nominations - the second time she's been ignored for a major award honoring TV's hottest show. Longoria, who plays sultry Gabrielle, was the only major "Housewife" not to get an Emmy nod as Best Actress in a Comedy.
· Diaz Wasn't Ashamed of Topless Photos. Cameron Diaz testified she was not ashamed of topless pictures taken early in her career by a photographer who threatened to sell them before the release of one of her films. "I wasn't ashamed to be out there like that," said Diaz, testifying Thursday in the criminal trial of the man who took the photos and 11 years later tried to sell them back to her for millions of dollars.
· Rapper fired as baggage screener. When Bassam Khalaf raps, he's the Arabic Assassin. His unreleased CD, Terror Alert, includes rhymes about flying a plane into a building and descriptions of himself as a "crazy, suicidal Arabic . . . equipped with bombs." Until last week, Khalaf also worked as a baggage screener at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston.
· Finger Scanning At Disney Parks Causes Concern. The addition of finger scanning technology at the entrances of Walt Disney World theme parks for all visitors has caused concern among privacy advocates.
· Two St. Louis Disc Jockeys Suspended. Two hip-hop radio personalities have been suspended for an on-air discussion of ways to fight police officers - comments made not long after an officer was slain. The two suspended disc jockeys, whose professional names are DJ Kaos and DJ Sylli Asz, were discussing with callers on their morning show how to fight for an officer's radio so he or she cannot call for help, the station said.
· Rehnquist Says He's Not Retiring. As rumors swirl about his possible retirement, Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist on Thursday emphatically announced his intention not to step down. Hours after being released from the hospital, Rehnquist, who suffers from thyroid cancer, released a statement saying he plans to stay on the court for as long as he can serve.
· Rove Learned CIA Agent's Name From Novak. Chief presidential adviser Karl Rove testified to a grand jury that he talked with two journalists before they divulged the identity of an undercover CIA officer but that he originally learned about the operative from the news media and not government sources, according to a person briefed on the testimony. The person, who works in the legal profession and spoke only on condition of anonymity because of grand jury secrecy, told The Associated Press that Rove testified last year that he remembers specifically being told by columnist Robert Novak that Valerie Plame, the wife of a harsh Iraq war critic, worked for the CIA.
· Woods: Mom in London During Bombings. The two-minute silence observed Thursday at the British Open took on special meaning for Tiger Woods, who says his mother was in London during the terrorist bombings last week.
· American Confirmed Dead In London Terror Bombings. The family of an American presumed missing in the London bombings has received official confirmation of his death. A childhood friend, speaking on behalf of the family, said the remains of 37-year-old Michael Matsushita were positively identified as being among the victims.
· Chemistry student held in Egypt. An Egyptian chemistry student sought by police over last week's London bombings has been arrested in Cairo. Magdi Mahmoud al-Nashar, 33, had not been seen by colleagues in Leeds since early July.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
· Lesbian cycling group continues to fight patent office about "Dyke" term. Many lesbians have taken a term once commonly used to insult them and made it something of a badge of honor — but they're having a tough time persuading the federal government that it's no longer offensive. The "Dykes on Bykes" motorcycle club, which leads San Francisco's annual Pride Parade, has spent two years sparring with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in hopes of protecting the phrase. The office has twice rejected the group's application, saying that "dyke" is a vulgar term.
· Martha Stewart Sets "Rules." Martha Stewart wants people to start playing by her Rules. The domestic diva has announced plans to release a how-to manual titled Martha's Rules that will instruct readers how best to develop their interests into money-making ventures, much as Stewart herself turned her affection for life's good things into a billion-dollar brand.
· Cell phone saves immigrants lost in Arizona desert. A group of stranded illegal immigrants facing death in the parched Arizona desert saved themselves by using a cell phone they found to call rescue services, the U.S. Border Patrol said on Thursday.
· Drunk with a midget fetish. Since you usually can't anticipate an arrest for drunk driving, a motorist does not have the luxury of planning a wardrobe for the mug shot session. Floridian Jon Matteson, who last month pleaded no contest to a DUI count, knows all about that predicament.
· R. Kelly album debuts at #1. Despite a litany of legal troubles, most involving his purported penchant for videotaping sexual encounters allegedly with minors, the R&B star is back at number one on the Billboard 200 pop album chart with TP.3 Reloaded.
· All-Star game ratings in the dumpster. Ratings for baseball's All-Star game hit a new low for the second straight year. The American League's 7-5 victory over the National League in Detroit received an 8.1 rating and 14 share on FOX, Nielsen Media Research said Wednesday, down 8 percent from the 8.8 rating for the AL's 9-4 win last year in Houston.
· Critics slam Schwarzenegger deal with fitness mags. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is being paid $1 million a year as a consultant to a company that publishes fitness magazines, a deal critics say is a conflict of interest for the former bodybuilding champion.
· London Muslim scholar: Killing civilians OK. Responding to questions about the terrorist attack on London, a Muslim scholar in the British capital asserted Islam makes no distinction between civilians and military targets. "The term 'civilians' does not exist in Islamic religious law," said Hani Al-Siba'i, head of the Al-Maqreze Centre for Historical Studies in London. Al-Siba'i, in an interview with the Arab news channel al-Jazeera, elaborated, "There is no such term as 'civilians' in the modern Western sense. People are either of Dar Al-Harb or not." Dar Al-Harb refers to the Muslim concept of the world being divided into two "houses," the House of Islam and the remaining territories, the House of War, or Dar Al-Harb.
· Woman Arrested After Giving Birth Drunk. An Oklahoma woman has been arrested on child neglect charges after giving birth while drunk, police said. Melissa Irene Tanner, 37, is accused of having a blood alcohol content close to three times the legal limit when she gave birth to a baby girl.
· Pizzeria Owner Gets Jail Time For Refusing To Serve Germans, French. A Danish pizzeria owner has been jailed for refusing to serve French and German tourists in protest of their countries' opposition to the U.S.-led war in Iraq. A Danish court found the owner, Aage Bjerre, guilty of discrimination and fined him $900. He refused to pay, and will serve an eight-day sentence.
· Christian Slater Turns Down Plea Deal. Christian Slater rejected a plea bargain deal from prosecutors Thursday on a charge of allegedly groping a woman. Slater was charged with forcible touching - a misdemeanor that carries up to one year in jail - after he allegedly walked up behind a woman and grabbed her buttocks as she was buying a soda in a small grocery store on Manhattan's Upper East Side.
· London Police Identify 4 Suicide Bombers. Police believe they have identified all four suicide bombers who carried out the deadly attacks on London subway trains and a bus last week, the city's police chief said Thursday. They have been identified as Hasib Hussain, 18, Shahzad Tanweer, 22, Mohammed Sidique Khan, 30, and Lindsey Germaine.
· Debt-ridden Georgia man shoots postal worker. An Atlanta man was deep in debt and hatched a plan to cover his medical care and costs: kill a federal worker, just as Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph did years before. "If all he wanted to do was commit a federal crime, all he had to do was walk into a bank with an empty gun and point it at them and say, 'Give me your money.' And that's your federal crime, and no one gets hurt," Lazenby said.
· Bus In Eminem's Tour Crashes On Way To Denver. The Anger Management Tour 3 featuring rappers Eminem and 50 Cent will still go on as scheduled at the Pepsi Center Thursday night, despite a tour-bus crash in Missouri that sent 12 people to hospitals.
· 'Desperate Housewives' Gets 15 Emmy Nods. "Desperate Housewives," a dark satire about suburbia that became an instant television hit in its debut season, was among top nominees announced Thursday for the 57th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. The ABC series, competing in the comedy category, received 15 nominations, sharing status as series front-runner with the rowdy NBC sitcom "Will & Grace," which also got 15 bids.
· Hilton’s fiancé is from controversial family. Paris Hilton’s fiancé has a family with a colorful past. Paris Latsis changed his last name from Kasidokostas and took on his mother’s maiden name — reportedly to evoke the fabulous shipping fortune from that side of his family. But some people are wondering whether that was a wise move socially. Latsis’ maternal grandfather, shipping tycoon John Latsis, who died in 2003, was a notorious figure abroad and has been called a Nazi collaborator and a black marketeer.
· On-air radio personality shot in parking lot. An on-air radio personality was shot at a Clear Channel Radio station in Columbia, SC. Apparently when he was getting out of his car, someone first yelled, then shot him. Authorities say 38-year-old Christopher "Topher" Thompson, sports director for WVOC radio, was shot in the parking lot behind the building.
· Coroner: Toddler killed by LAPD bullet. The 19-month-old toddler who died during a gunfire exchange between police and her father was killed by a single police bullet to the head, the Los Angeles County coroner said Wednesday.
· Airliners may get missile defenses. The government will begin testing anti-missile equipment on three airliners next month, a first step toward what could be the most expensive security upgrade ever ordered for the nation's aviation system.
· Hemingway Friend Buried Near the Writer. Tillie Arnold was working at an Idaho mountain resort back in 1939 when she came across an adventurous writer named Ernest Hemingway, who was at the lodge's restaurant eating marinated herring and drinking a beer for breakfast.
· Woods Surges to British Open Lead, Nicklaus Says Goodbye. Tiger Woods finally found the sand but even that wasn't enough to keep him from taking the early lead at the British Open. Jack Nicklaus, meanwhile, struggled to hold off his farewell until the weekend. Woods, hoping to capture his second British Open title at St. Andrews, surged to the top of the leaderboard Thursday with seven birdies in a stretch of nine holes on the Old Course en route to 6-under 66.
· Fla. City Officials Regret Using 911 Calls of 9/11 In July 4 Show. City officials apologized for playing a song during Fourth of July celebrations that was mixed with voiceovers of 911 calls from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. About 70,000 people had gathered to celebrate Fourth of July when the song "God Bless the U.S.A." was played, but this version had voices of people recorded during the terror attacks on the World Trade Center. One of the voices on the mix said "Oh my God, another plane has just hit." Another said, "Some of the casualties are in the collapsed building."
· New TV to bring whole family together - watching different shows. A new television will allow two different programs to air at the same time depending where one sits. Japanese electronics firm Sharp Corp on Thursday unveiled the liquid crystal display (LCD) set that can simultaneously display different images into the right and left sides of the screen through a backlight.
· With stock under fire, Bronfman is roasted. Entertainment mogul Edgar Bronfman Jr. can't escape Warner Music's tanking stock price - even when he's being honored at a big music industry event. Yesterday, Warner Music Chairman Bronfman received the United Jewish Appeal's Music Visionary of the Year Award, an exec-glutted event emceed by Sean (Pee Diddy) Combs at the Pierre Hotel. "Roses are Reddish. Violets are Blueish. Our stock's in the toilet. But at least we're both Jewish," Jason Flom, head of Warner subsidiary Atlantic Records, reminded his boss. Flom added in a heartfelt tribute: "Sincere congrats to a great music man and a true mensch."
· Newly discovered planet has 3 suns. A newly discovered planet has bountiful sunshine, with three suns glowing in its sky. It is the first extrasolar planet found in a system with three stars. How a planet was born amidst these competing gravitational forces will be a challenge for planet formation theories.
· Brad Pitt treated for meningitis. Film star Brad Pitt was released on Wednesday from a Los Angeles hospital where he had been admitted for a flu-like illness that turned out to be viral meningitis, his spokeswoman has said.
· Kennedy raps Santorum for sex abuse remarks. In a rare personal attack on the Senate floor, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy accused Sen. Rick Santorum on Wednesday of being self-righteous and insensitive for a column he wrote three years ago linking Boston’s liberalism to the sex abuse scandal in its Catholic diocese. Santorum, R-Pa., wrote in the July 2002 column for Catholic Online that promoting alternative lifestyles feeds such aberrant behavior as priests molesting children.
· Bernie is bye-bye. Telecom Cowboy" Bernard Ebbers cried openly yesterday as a judge knocked him off his high horse and sent him to prison for 25 years for engineering the nation's worst corporate scam. The once brash WorldCom billionaire switched on the waterworks moments after Manhattan Federal Judge Barbara Jones tagged him with a sentence that will keep him behind bars until he's at least 85.
· South Africa deems Wesley Snipes ‘undesirable.’ South Africa has declared actor Wesley Snipes an “undesirable person” after the Hollywood star was found traveling on a forged South African passport.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
· 'Preppie Killer' Robert Chambers pleads guilty to drug charge. "Preppie Killer" Robert Chambers, who was recently freed after serving 15 years in prison for strangling a woman in Central Park, pleaded guilty yesterday to charges of misdemeanor heroin drug possession and unlicensed driving.
· Rob Thomas Slams Reports He Seduced Tom Cruise. According to IMDB.com - the largest online movie database - Matchbox 20 frontman Rob Thomas denies reports he had sex with Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise - and is even more mortified he's been labeled a fellow Scientologist. The singer is horrified by claims he was caught in bed with the War Of The Worlds star and has finally spoken out to end the rumors.
· 'Cooter' Urges Fans to Skip 'Dukes' Movie. If television's "Crazy Cooter" has his way, fans of the "Dukes of Hazzard" may be speeding away from a new movie version of the cornpone classic faster than the Duke boys running from Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane. Ben Jones, a former Georgia congressman who played the wisecracking mechanic on the popular series from 1979-85, said profanity and sexual content in the film make a mockery of the family friendly show.
· Mini-cam found in Starbucks restroom. Oregon cops are trying to figure out who stashed a wireless pinhole video camera inside a roll of toilet paper in a Starbucks bathroom. The camera, powered by a nine volt battery, was outfitted with a wireless transmitter that could have sent the video to a receiver up to 300 feet away, according to West Linn Police Department officials.
· Bus driver run over by his own bus. A San Antonio, Texas bus driver was killed Wednesday morning after he was run over by the bus he was driving. Witnesses said the driver, a man in his 40s, had stopped to get a drink from a gas station when the bus started moving. The driver ran out and tried to stop the bus, but it ran into a car and then rolled over him, witnesses said.
· Psychologist busted for sniffing whipped cream cans. A Hartford Conn. psychologist who has spoken out on eating disorders was arrested after she collapsed in a supermarket, allegedly after inhaling propellant from whipped cream cans. Lisa Berzins, 49, was often interviewed on television and in newspapers, and has written and lectured on eating disorders, sex roles, and self-esteem.
· Actor Fox Urges Congress on Stem Cell Bill. Actor Michael J. Fox is pushing Congress hard to lift President Bush's restrictions on embryonic stem cell research. "Embryonic stem cell research holds enormous promise," said Fox, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, in remarks prepared for a Capitol Hill news conference on Wednesday. "More federal funding and more lines are needed or progress will stall."
· Fan Files Lawsuit Against Comedian Gallagher. A fan who was smacked by comedian Gallagher during a performance has filed a lawsuit, claiming he was severely injured. The complaint filed by Edwin May III in Clark County District Court on Monday follows a decision last week by prosecutors not to file misdemeanor battery charges against the 58-year-old comedian.
· French outraged by Tokyo governor. A group of French speakers in Japan are suing the governor of Tokyo after he described French as a failed language. The 21 teachers and researchers, are demanding compensation and an apology for the "insulting remarks" from Governor Shintaro Ishihara.
· God orders jihad says University of Florida professor. Jurors on Tuesday saw a dramatic video of University of South Florida professor Sami Al-Arian saying God "commands us to jihad, because there is honor" in holy war. The video introduced by prosecutors also shows Al-Arian asking for donations, exhorting the crowd to give money "so that we will confront our enemies united."
· Kids skip drugs; get high by choking themselves. A 10-year-old boy who died after hanging himself from a tree is apparently the second Idaho youth killed while playing a choking game. The Fremont County sheriff's office said Dalton Eby apparently was playing a game known as the "pass-out game," trying to cut off the oxygen supply to his brain to achieve a type of "high."
· 'Trick shot' kills liquor store robber. A 32-year-old Fort Collins, Colorado man was shot in the head while attempting to rob a downtown Windsor liquor store with a garden hose nozzle. When the robber forced the liquor store owner to the floor, he grabbed a pistol from under the counter and fired, striking the inside of the garden hose nozzle which exited the top of the nozzle and struck the robber in the head, according to police.
· Elvis' Favorite Cook Dies. Pauline Nicholson, Elvis Presley's cook, who prepared the King's favorite peanut butter and fried banana sandwiches, died of cancer. She was 76. Nicholson was featured in the movie "This is Elvis," and loved to talk about her time with the King of Rock and Roll, whom she called Mr. P.
· Radio listener sues after getting toy prize in lieu of real Hummer. A radio listener has gone to court claiming to have been snookered by a California station that awarded her a new Hummer H2 in an April 1 prize contest - and then instead presented a toy replica of the expensive SUV.
· Calif. Guard Targeted Over Pig-Blood Flier. Islamic leaders and peace groups are criticizing the California National Guard for a flier posted in its headquarters suggesting the United States execute Islamic terrorists with bullets dipped in pig's blood to deny them entry to heaven. A second flier showed the wings and tail of a bomber forming a peace sign with the slogan, "Peace the old fashioned way."
· 'Pee Diddy' Resolves Random House Suit. Sean "Pee Diddy" Combs and Random House, Inc., have settled a lawsuit in which the publisher alleged that the hip-hop mogul never paid back a $300,000 advance for a memoir he never completed.
· Sizemore Misses Hearing, Checks Into Rehab. Actor Tom Sizemore missed a probation violation hearing Tuesday after checking into a live-in drug rehabilitation program. If the court finds Sizemore violated probation, he could be sent to prison for up to three years. The actor was ordered into drug treatment after pleading guilty in October to possession of methamphetamine.
· Children are latest target for suicide bombers. A car bomber sped up to American soldiers distributing candy to children and detonated his explosives Wednesday, killing up to 27 other people, U.S. and Iraqi officials said. One U.S. soldier and about a dozen children were among the dead.
· Prince Albert takes Monaco throne. Prince Albert II of Monaco officially became the ruler of this tiny Riviera principality in a celebration that began with a solemn Mass at the cathedral where his father, Rainier III, was buried three months ago.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Pundit [pun·dit] n. 1. Somebody who expresses an opinion: somebody who acts as a critic or authority on a particular subject, especially in the media. "The election results threw the political pundits into confusion." 2. Somebody wise: somebody with knowledge and wisdom.
· Homeland Security gets a makeover. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff will announce a major restructuring of his 180,000-employee department today, changing how the two-year-old agency handles intelligence, sets policy and manages key law enforcement operations in response to criticism that domestic security remains unfocused and poorly coordinated.
· $56,000 robbery at bank drive-thru. Even bank robbers appreciate a drive-through window. Police say a man drove up to a LaSalle bank and slid a note demanding money to the teller through a tube at the window. The teller complied, shooting back about $56,000, Belmont District police said.
· Girl Remains Critical After Riding Disney's 'Tower Of Terror.' A 16-year-old British girl remained in critical condition Wednesday after riding the "Twilight Zone Tower Of Terror" ride at Disney-MGM Studios at Walt Disney World.
· Details Emerge on London Terror Suspects. Details have emerged about three of the four suspected homicide bombers who carried out the deadly terrorist attacks on London last week. According to British media reports, three of the four are described as British nationals of Pakistani origin, all of whom lived in and around Leeds in the English Midlands, which is heavily populated with lower- and lower-middle-class blue-collar workers.
· Idaho suspect allegedly stalked children. During six weeks on the run with an 8-year-old girl, convicted sex offender Joseph Duncan told his young victim that he had driven around her neighborhood, scouting for children, new court documents say. He told Shasta Groene that he spotted her playing in a bathing suit with her 9-year-old brother, Dylan, and that he stalked their home for days, using night-vision goggles to learn the layout of the house.
· Chowing goats clear threat of wildfires. The latest workers at San Pedro's Peck Park Canyon may have spent most of their time on the job eating, but officials were pleased with the end results. For the past two weeks, goats have been grazing on 12 acres of brush at the canyon, reducing the threat of wildfires.
· Ill. Woman Receives $74,000 Water Bill. It's been a hot, dry summer in this St. Louis suburb, but Rose Mary Cook knew there was no way she could have used $74,000 worth of water. The city's utility department claimed Cook used 10 million gallons of water last month, charging her $29,787 for water, $43,581 for sewer, plus $893 for municipal tax. "Luckily, when I opened the bill, I was sitting down," Cook said. "I could have filled every pool in southern Illinois and still not used that much water."
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
· Knife found at Peterson home analyzed; Authorities suspect hoax. Authorities are conducting forensic tests on a 10-inch knife reportedly found at the home where convicted murderer Scott Peterson lived with his now dead wife, but questions remain about whether it had been planted there recently. "You could tell there had been liquid on the blade" and a "red stain on the handle," said Gerry Roberts, the man who recently bought the home. Roberts said two of his friends found the knife last week inside a cabinet near the swimming pool in the backyard.
· Paris snubs Cruise. The Paris city hall has pledged "never to welcome" the actor to the city of love - all because of his membership of the Church of Scientology. In a debate yesterday, the municipal assembly approved a resolution "never to welcome the actor Tom Cruise, spokesman for Scientology and self-declared militant for this organization." Like many other European governments, the French authorities view Scientology - founded in the United States in 1954 by science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard - as a dangerous cult.
· CBS to launch 24-hour Internet news network, bypassing cable. CBS News announced plans to create a 24-hour on-demand Internet network that bypasses cable television and could transform one of the oldest US broadcast news operations.
· Jack Nicklaus on new British bank note. Golfing great Jack Nicklaus has become only the third person to have themselves commemorated on a British bank note while still alive. The American follows the Queen and late Queen Mother to be honoured and will see his image on the back of two million £5 notes.
· Muslim Extremist Confesses to Van Gogh Slaying. The Muslim extremist on trial in the slaying of filmmaker Theo van Gogh confessed Tuesday, saying he was driven by religious conviction. "I don't feel your pain," he told the victim's mother. Mohammed Bouyeri stunned the courtroom when, in the final minutes of his two-day trial he declared: "If I were released and would have the chance to do it again … I would do exactly the same thing."
· Nasa space shuttle tiles damaged. A plastic cover has fallen off a window on space shuttle Discovery, damaging tiles near the shuttle's engines. The shuttle's vehicle manager, Stephanie Stilson, said she did not yet know if it would have any impact on the launch planned for Wednesday.
· Man's good deed goes refunded. After years of telling our kids that nice guys really do finish first, that honesty is its own reward and that the virtuous shall prosper, we can finally believe it ourselves. Larry Hoffman, the 70-year-old West Bend retiree who confounded pessimists, thieves and con men everywhere by returning $2,000 he found in the pocket of a Goodwill shirt, gets to keep the money.
· Comedian Freddy Soto Dead at 35. Freddy Soto, an up-and-coming comic who received a standing ovation after a performance Saturday night at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood, was found dead Sunday morning. Soto left the club just after midnight and died in his sleep at a friend's house in Los Angeles, said Jamie Masada, owner of the Laugh Factory.
· Wal-Mart Tweaks Willie's Reggae. The cover art of Willie Nelson's Countryman, released Tuesday, features green marijuana leaves over a red and yellow background and looks similar to a large pack of rolling papers. However, for those looking to snap up the CD at Wal-Mart's famously rolled back prices, the cover features a palm tree in place of the offending leaves.
· Brad Pitt rushed to hospital. Actor Brad Pitt has been rushed to hospital with a flu-like illness. The 41-year-old celeb checked himself into an undisclosed Los Angeles area hospital on Monday night, his publicist confirmed. The star was in Ethiopia last week with his Mr & Mrs Smith co-star Angelina Jolie to pick up the actress' newly-adopted baby girl, the second child she has adopted.
· Rosie O'Donnell loves Canada. Rosie O'Donnell sailed into Halifax's historic port aboard a gay-friendly cruise ship Tuesday, saying "We love Canada." "In fact, most Americans love Canada a lot more than they used to before we had our current president. Now we love you even more. Every time he opens his mouth Canada gets a little more appealing."
· Prison guard sentenced to 10-28 years for sex with inmates. A former corrections officer at the Allegheny County Jail, convicted in May of having illegal sexual contact with female inmates, was sentenced today to up to 28 years in prison. Another former guard who pleaded guilty to fondling and kissing an inmate was sentenced to probation.
· Mariah Carey's Clothes Fall Off. Pop beauty Mariah Carey accidentally flashed her breasts at stunned fans during a TV show in Germany when her dress fell apart. The star, who experienced a moment reminiscent of Janet Jackson's infamous "wardrobe malfunction" last year, was saved from further shame when floor managers cut the lights to allow the singer to recover her dignity - and clothes - in obscurity, according to MTV News.
· Sean Penn and wife survive car crash. "Mystic River" star Sean Penn and wife Robin Wright Penn narrowly escaped a car crash in London recently. According to the Internet Movie Database, their chauffeur drove in the wrong direction down a one-way street. The driver took a wrong turn down the one way Notting Hill road and smashed straight into an oncoming car.
· Snooping by satellite. When Robert Moran drove back to his law offices in Rome, N.Y., after a plane trip to Arizona in July 2003, he had no idea that a silent stowaway was aboard his vehicle: a secret GPS bug implanted without a court order by state police.
· Editor of youth publishing group arrested on sex charges. An editor for a Connecticut-based youth publishing group was arrested for allegedly soliciting sex from a minor on the Internet. Noel Neff, 46, of Norwalk, Conn., an editor at the Weekly Reader Corp., was arrested Saturday afternoon in the parking lot of the Franklin Village Mall, where he'd arranged a meeting with a minor for sex.
· Diaz set for closeup in kinky-photo trial. "Charlie's Angels" star Cameron Diaz is expected to be a star witness this week in the trial of a photographer she accused of trying to "steal" kinky topless photos she posed for before she became famous.
· Farm Aid to Celebrate 20th Anniversary. Twenty years after Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young organized a daylong music festival in central Illinois to benefit cash-strapped farmers, Farm Aid is coming back to the state where it started to celebrate its anniversary.
· Wheelchair bike is star of show. A new British-made motorcycle for wheelchair users was the star of this year's Mobility Roadshow in the UK. The Conquest is based on BMW 850 or 1150 motorbikes which have been integrated into a racing car-type aluminium body shell. The Conquest costs about $32,000.
· London bus attack believed to be suicide bomber. Scotland Yard says that they identified the body of a suspected suicide bomber thought to have been responsible for the bus blast in Tavistock Square. Reports have previously quoted eye-witnesses on the bus who said he saw an "agitated" olive-skinned man rummaging in a backpack.
· Barcelona president does striptease in airport dispute. Barcelona president Joan Laporta has apologised after he stripped to his underpants during an argument with security staff at the city's airport.
· Drivers on cell phones more likely to crash. A study released Tuesday said drivers who use cell phones - even hands-free models - are four times as likely to be involved in wrecks involving a serious injury than are drivers who do not use cell phones.
· Wife cleared of manslaughter after butt insult. A Brooklyn newlywed who claimed beatings caused her to snap and stab her husband to death after he complained about the size of her butt was acquitted yesterday of manslaughter.
· Behind the scenes at NASCAR. NASCAR started its engines on the sands of Daytona nearly 50 years ago and is now a multi-billion-dollar enterprise that attracts more money from more Fortune 500 companies than any other sports or entertainment property in America.
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."
· Firm Sues Jacko for $48 million. A financial company specializing in asset acquisition sued Michael Jackson on Monday, saying it is owed $48 million in fees for rescuing the singer's stake in the publishing rights to songs by the Beatles.
· Was the wrong man executed? Up to the moment that lethal injection took his life in the early morning hours of June 21, 1995, Larry Griffin insisted he was innocent of a drive-by murder in St. Louis. Now new disclosures support his claim, and St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce has reopened an investigation of the case. A man wounded in the same drive-by shooting says Griffin was not involved. And the first police officer on the scene has given a new account that undermines the trial testimony of the only witness who identified Griffin as a killer.
· Spanish power plant bombed. Four small bombs exploded Tuesday near a power plant in the Basque region after a warning call from the separatist group ETA, the Basque Interior Ministry said. The explosions occurred in the town of Amorebieta in Vizcaya province, the ministry said, adding that there were no casualties.
· PETA goes nude to protest Pamplona bull run. Some 600 animal-rights campaigners, all in the nude, brought the northern Spanish city of Pamplona to a virtual standstill as they protested against the nine-day running of the bulls festival.
· BTK Killer's House Sold at Auction. The suburban house where Dennis Rader quietly raised his family while terrorizing Wichita as the BTK serial killer was sold at auction Monday for $90,000, far above its assessed value.
· Cop tangled in web. A highly decorated cop got canned because of his Web site, NYPD Rant - a forum for disgruntled cops that is brutally true to its name. Operating under the name Polecat, Police Officer Edward Polstein allowed his Finest brethren to take shots at Mayor Bloomberg, top cop Raymond Kelly, pompous bosses and even the police union. Police brass weren't amused - bringing departmental charges that have led to the dismissal of Polstein, a housing cop for 18 years.
· Condo developer requires $2,500 deposit to inquire about unit. A Boca Raton-based developer has announced plans to build a condominium project in Fort Lauderdale - and you'll need to plunk down a $2,500 deposit just to meet with a sales representative to learn more about purchasing a unit.
· White House Grilled About Rove-CIA Leak Connection. For two years, the White House has insisted that presidential adviser Karl Rove had nothing to do with the leak of a CIA officer's identity. And President George W. Bush said the leaker would be fired. But Bush's spokesman wouldn't repeat any of those assertions Monday in the face of Rove's own lawyer saying his client spoke with at least one reporter about Valerie Plame's role at the CIA before she was identified in a newspaper column.
· Mother charged after kids take turns in trunk. A mother has been charged with felony child abuse and child cruelty after she allegedly forced two of her children to take turns riding in the trunk of a car on an eight-hour drive from Alabama to Virginia. Cheryl Ann Schoonmaker, 38, forced the two girls, ages 8 and 10, to take turns in the trunk July 1 because there wasn't enough room in the car, according to Curtis Schoonmaker, her ex-husband.
· Idaho suspect to be charged with murder. A convicted sex offender accused of kidnapping an 8-year-old Idaho girl will be charged Tuesday with three counts of first-degree murder, the prosecutor in the case said Monday.
Monday, July 11, 2005
· Sir Elton sues papers for libel. Sir Elton John is suing the Daily Mail and Sunday Times for libel, his publicist has confirmed. The legal action is in connection with allegations about the star's behavior at a social event held for the Elton John Aids Foundation.
· Cops cite mom for 5 kids found drunk. Colorado Springs police officers found five children ages 9 to 16 drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana at home with their mother and aunt Saturday night. Felony delinquency charges were filed against the mother, Jerianne Garcia, 35, and her sister, Melissa Collins, 39. The 9-year-old had a blood-alcohol level of 0.16, police said, well above the 0.08 level at which Colorado drivers are considered intoxicated. The others had blood-alcohol levels between 0.10 and 0.15.
· Doctor Files Lawsuit Against Don Imus. A doctor who once took care of sick children at Don Imus' New Mexico ranch has sued the tart-tongued broadcasting personality for slander, claiming he made false derogatory comments about him on his "Imus in the Morning" radio show. Dr. Howard Allen Pearson, a pediatric cancer and blood specialist, says in court papers that on at least four days last year, the tart-tongued shock jock said Pearson "was one of the worst doctors in the world and did not care if children suffered."
· Doc Baker on 'Little House' Dies at 77. Veteran television character actor Kevin Hagen, who left behind a string of Western bad guy roles to become the kindly Dr. Hiram Baker in "Little House on the Prairie," has died.
· Letterman Kidnap Prosecutors Reach Deal. Prosecutors on Monday reached a plea deal with the man accused of plotting to abduct David Letterman's young son, allowing him to plead guilty to lesser charges and dropping a kidnapping-related charge in return. Kelly Frank pleaded guilty in state District Court to felony theft, misdemeanor obstruction and possessing illegally killed wildlife, a felony. In exchange, Teton County Attorney Joe Coble dropped a felony charge of solicitation, which accused Frank of plotting to kidnap the talk show host's son from Letterman's ranch.
· Orlando Diocese ordered to pay $1.5 million for pervert priest cases. The Diocese of Orlando has been ordered to pay one of the largest settlements in state history in connection with several clergy sexual abuse cases. The $1.5 million settlement is on behalf of three victims who accused two priests of sexually abusing them when they were children more than 30 years ago.
· Israel seeks $2.2 billion from U.S. for pullout. Israel will ask the United States for $2.2 billion, one of the largest aid requests by the Jewish state, to pay for its planned withdrawal from the occupied Gaza Strip, Israeli political sources said on Monday. The special funding would be used to pay for the evacuation, slated to begin in mid-August, of all 21 Jewish settlements in Gaza and four of 120 in the West Bank, and the relocation of the 9,000 settlers to underpopulated areas of Israel.
· Willie Nelson turns reggae but keeps his pot smoking roots. While the music on Willie Nelson's new "Countryman" album might raise the eyebrows of country purists, so will the cover. With green marijuana leaves on a red and yellow background, the cover art makes the CD look like an oversized pack of rolling papers. The marijuana imagery reflects Jamaican culture, where the herb is a leading cash crop and part of religious rites, but it also reflects Nelson's fondness for pot smoking.
· New Potter book leaked, gag order issued. Harry Potter's latest secret is already out in Canada. Book distributor Raincoast Books said a "small number" of the books were sold, and it has won a court injunction barring the buyers of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" from disclosing the plot.
· Thompson's Ashes to Be Blasted From Cannon Next Month. Friends and family of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson are preparing to pepper the sky with the late writer's ashes. His cremated remains will be shot into the air Aug. 20 from a cannon installed on a 150-foot-high tower behind his home.
· 4 Terror Suspects Escape U.S. Afghan Base. Four suspected terrorists escaped Monday from the main U.S. base in Afghanistan, the first time anyone has broken out of the heavily guarded detention facility, sparking a massive ground and air search, officials said.
· Felon gets 99 years for stealing cell phone. Glenn Reed of Waco, Texas testified in his own defense during his trial, often going into profanity-laced tirades and telling jurors he didn't care if they gave him life in prison for the robbery. The jurors, who deliberated about 15 minutes, happily obliged.
· 'Spoiled movie brat'? Schroder caught up in Wild West land dispute. In an era when celebrities seclude themselves in grand enclaves throughout the Rocky Mountain West, including David Letterman's Montana ranch and Julia Roberts' New Mexico hacienda, actor Rick Schroder has announced he's pulling up stakes in western Colorado and offering his 16,000-acre ranch for sale for $29 million - nearly 10 times what he paid for it 15 years ago.
· Masked woman 'improving.' A survivor whose suffering symbolised the horror of the London bomb attacks is improving every day, her sister says. Newly-released pictures of the Davinia Turrell show the beautiful trainee barrister in her graduation gown. But she is known to the public - and the world - as the woman in the white surgical mask who was photographed stumbling from Edgware Road Tube station.
· Zeta-Jones stalker receives 3-year sentence. A woman who pleaded no contest to stalking and threatening Catherine Zeta-Jones was sentenced Friday to three years in state prison, but with credit for time served, she could be imprisoned for as little as 7 months.
· The best places to live in the U.S. MONEY magazine and CNN/Money spent months looking for Great American Towns - where you would want to raise your children and celebrate life's milestones. Starting with more than 1,300 cities.
· Van Gogh murder suspect on trial. The man charged with the murder of the controversial Dutch film-maker Theo van Gogh has gone on trial in Amsterdam. Prosecutors allege that Mohammed Bouyeri killed Mr Van Gogh in a ritualistic murder carried out in the name of radical Islam.
· Gyllenhall Learns Not to Talk Politics. Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal says she has learned the hard way not to talk about politics on the red carpet. The 27-year-old actress, who stars in a film about the 2001 terror attacks on the World Trade Center, said in an interview last April that the United States was "responsible in some way" for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
· London Back in Business After Bombings. Commuters returned to work in London on Monday, the start of the first full week since bombers killed at least 49 people on a bus and subway trains. Many travelers said they would defy the attackers by using public transportation as normal, but some were too afraid and took taxis instead.
· Mick's mistress in HBO lineup. Some family members of baseball great Mickey Mantle aren't thrilled that his longtime mistress will be featured in a new HBO documentary about the Yankee slugger. Greer Johnson was Mantle's agent and lover for the last decade of his life, while he was separated from his wife, Merlyn.
· Arizona School Goes Textbook-Free. Students at an Arizona high school won't have to lug textbooks to class this fall. They're not getting any. Vail Unified School District has decided to go wireless. The 350 students will use laptops to access electronic and online articles. The superintendent said the move will free teachers from having to plow through textbooks every year.
· Ed Klein, Drowning in Ink and Gasping for Air. Despite the enormous hype surrounding Edward Klein's scathing and hearsay-filled book about Hillary Rodham Clinton, the author has been ignored by all but two television talk shows. This collective cold shoulder hasn't stopped "The Truth About Hillary" from hitting No. 2 yesterday on the coveted New York Times list. "It's the biggest example to date of how major media censorship doesn't stop a book anymore from being a bestseller," Klein declares.
· U.S. workers say they waste 2 hours a day. U.S. workers say they squander over two hours a day at the workplace, with surfing the Web, socializing with co-workers and simply "spacing out" among the top time-wasting activities, according to a survey released on Monday. Wasted time did not include the standard lunch hour or daily dose of Tabloid Column.
· Tragedy strikes two air shows. Two small planes collided Sunday at an air show in central Canada, killing both pilots instantly, while in Delaware, two planes practicing for a show collided and killed at least one of the pilots, officials said.
· L.A. Cops Shoot, Kill Man, Baby in Gunfight. Police officers shot and killed a man Sunday night when he emerged from his home carrying a young girl following an hours-long standoff and opened fire, wounding one officer, authorities said. The girl was also killed in the gunfire.
· Double duty for power lines. CenterPoint Energy is testing a system to bring high-speed Internet access to consumers through the medium it knows best — the electric wall socket. The technology, called broadband over power lines, or BPL, has long been used by power companies to monitor and manage their electric grids.
· A Great Stonehenge Mystery Solved. The inner circle of Britain's Stonehenge is made up of about 80 giant bluestones that weigh up to four tons each. This question has baffled historians for generations: From where did those bluestones originate? A university professor is confident he knows the answer.
· Partners Worried As Microsoft Thinks Small. Microsoft Corp. will further expand its software offerings for small businesses, even though that will turn many of its current partners into competitors, CEO Steve Ballmer said on Sunday.
· Man Flees Mini-Fortress Home On Gulf. Last year, Mark Sigler slept soundly through Hurricane Ivan in his dome-shaped, steel-reinforced house built to withstand 200-mph winds. But he fled this time with Dennis. Even he was scared that it would be a monster Category 4 when it came ashore and what 140 mph winds would do to his fortress on the sand.
Sunday, July 10, 2005
· Katie More Zombie-Like Than Ever. Katie Holmes' interview in W magazine has set off a firestorm. Reading it can only be even be more worrisome for her parents as they see the steady hold Tom Cruise and Scientology have taken of their beloved daughter. She's accompanied on the interview by Jessica Feshbach Rodriguez, her Scientology minder.
· Remains identified as Idaho 9-year-old. Investigators said Sunday that DNA testing "positively identified" human remains found in Montana last week as those of missing 9-year-old Dylan Groene. The remains were found in the Lolo National Forest in western Montana, and sent to the FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia.
· London Police Release 3 Nabbed at Airport. Britons gathered in churches Sunday and piled bouquets of flowers at an Underground station to mourn victims of last week's bomb attacks on London's transport system as police sorted through hundreds of tips from the public. Three men arrested at Heathrow airport on Sunday under anti-terrorist laws were released later in the day without charge, police said.
· 'Fantastic Four' knocks 'War of The Worlds' off top spot. The latest superhero movie may have been just fantastic enough to snap Hollywood's longest modern losing streak at the box office. The comic-book adaptation "Fantastic Four" raked in $56 million during its first three days, apparently helping to end a swoon in which domestic movie revenues had been down 19 weekends in a row compared with last year's.
· Firefighter Takes Suspicious Pipe Bomb into his Firehouse. An investigation is underway tonight into why a New York City firefighter removed a pipe bomb from the scene of a suspicious fire and took it back to his firehouse in Queens.
· Judge bans Boys Scouts on Pentagon property. A federal judge has ruled the Pentagon can no longer spend millions in government money to ready a Virginia military base for a national Boy Scout event typically held every four years, the American Civil Liberties Union announced Thursday.
· Wrong man identified as drug lord. A man held for a week on suspicion of being the head of an infamous drug cartel in Mexico will be released after DNA tests proved him to be a law-abiding architect.
· Jones Plans 'Big Show' at Clinton Library . Paula Jones plans to make her first visit to the Bill Clinton presidential library a profitable one - she plans to wear a T-shirt emblazoned with a sponsor's name. "I'm going to make a big show out of it," said her publicist, David Hans Schmidt. "Paula is going to go to the Clinton Library and go on a tour like the faithful taxpayer that she is."
· Estimates update: Catholic abuse by pervert priests could now cost more than $2 billion. The chairman of the Catholic lay reform group Voice of the Faithful predicted Saturday that the clergy sexual abuse scandal will eventually cost U.S. dioceses $2 billion to $3 billion.
· Nike Using Kobe Bryant Again. Nike is using photos of Kobe Bryant for the first time since his arrest two years ago for an alleged assault on a female employee at a Colorado resort. "Nike agrees with most NBA observers that Kobe ranks among the very best players in the NBA," said Nike spokesman Rodney Knox.
· DiCaprio buys Caribbean island. Leonardo DiCaprio reportedly snapped up the all-around waterfront property named Blackadore Caye, a 104-acre paradise east of Belize complete with an airplane landing strip, for $1.75 million.
· Skateboarder Clears Great Wall Of China. Daredevil skateboarder Danny Way rolled down a massive ramp at nearly 50 mph and jumped across the Great Wall of China on Saturday, becoming the first person to clear the wall without motorized aid, an event sponsor said.
· Spielberg risking Israeli anger over Munich tragedy. A drama about the 1972 Munich Olympics where Black September Palestinian terrorists killed 11 Israeli athletes is being filmed by Steven Spielberg, who is courting controversy by concentrating on the bloody aftermath as the murders were avenged.
· 'Monster' Storm To Slam Gulf Coast With 140 MPH Winds. A "monster" Hurricane Dennis is expected to slam into the Gulf Coast Sunday as a Category 4 storm with 140 mph winds, according to Local 6 meteorologist Tom Sorrells. "This storm just flat out blew up," Sorrells said. "This thing is going to devastate where it hits. It's a monster Category 4 storm by tonight. It's going to be a huge national story for days to come."
· Big Labor Taking a Beating. Leaders within the AFL-CIO are currently brawling over how to reverse organized labor’s declining political clout. After spending a reported $45 million on a failed attempt to oust President Bush in 2004, old-guard federation president John Sweeney is up for re-election this month, while union membership is in a 50-year tailspin. In 1952, 36 percent of private-sector workers belonged to a union. Today, that figure is less than 8 percent. Unions are now so desperate for members, they are attempting to organize unique sectors of the workforce such as babysitters.
· Attack of the Weasel Words. Does the idea of a water-cooler company saying that it sells “workplace refreshment solutions” seem ridiculous? Does it infuriate you that everyone, from the local pastor to your kid’s school principal, seems to have a “mission statement” touting their “core values.” If so, you’re not alone, says Australian author Don Watson speaking about his book “Death Sentences: How Clichés, Weasel Words and Management-Speak are Strangling Public Language.”
· Driver travels from coast to coast in his golf cart. He avoids the motorways, gets wet when it rains and was once nearly swallowed by a twister in Kansas. But that does not stop George Bombardier, 64, driving across the country from his home in California to visit his daughter in Connecticut — in his golf cart.
· HoJo's Times Square eatery shuts down. The show is over for HoJo's. Howard Johnson's, a Times Square staple for 46 years, shut its doors at midnight yesterday leaving many New Yorkers in mourning. "It's the end of an era," cried general manager Joseph Shahery, who logged 40 years at the Broadway eatery, once a proud nationwide chain.
Saturday, July 9, 2005
· Plea deal likely in Letterman kidnap case. Attorneys reached a tentative plea agreement Friday in the case of a man charged with plotting to kidnap the young son of talk show host David Letterman, a prosecutor said.
· Owner says firefighters could have saved Murphy Plywood its jobs. The owner of a $30 million plywood mill destroyed in a Tuesday fire says he is not sure he wants to rebuild the business "in a city that can't protect it." John Murphy contended that a more aggressive firefighting strategy could have halted the blaze that ravaged Murphy Plywood, leaving nearly 300 people jobless and laying waste to a five-block area in the heart of town.
· Stone, Cage to Team Up on Film About 9/11. Nearly four years after the collapse of the World Trade Center, Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone will direct a film based on the story of two police officers who were trapped in the rubble on Sept. 11, 2001. Nicolas Cage, who won a best-actor Oscar for "Leaving Las Vegas," will star as Port Authority police Sgt. John McLoughlin. McLoughlin and fellow officer William J. Jimeno became trapped during rescue efforts after the collapse of the twin towers.
· Man Accidentally Runs Over Son Preparing To Evacuate For Dennis. A Florida man accidentally ran over his 3-year-old son while the family prepared to evacuate in the Panhandle ahead of Hurricane Dennis, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
· Burial for 3 million chocolate bars. With a tip truck and a bulldozer, confectionery manufacturer Masterfoods began the final stage of a week-long product recall in NSW prompted by an extortionist claiming to have poisoned seven Mars and Snickers chocolate bars.
· Chan Says Tucker Holding Up 'Rush Hour 3.' Jackie Chan says the third installment of "Rush Hour" is stuck in neutral because co-star Chris Tucker is making too many demands. "He wants too much power. The movie company hasn't obliged. He wants final editing rights and the final look at the movie and so on," Chan said.
· Morgan Stanley CEO shuns pay guarantee. John Mack, the new chairman and chief executive officer of Morgan Stanley, told employees Friday he will no longer accept a guaranteed minimum of $25 million a year of pay, and instead will tie his compensation to the investment bank's performance.
· Police: London Blasts Were Seconds Apart. Three bombs containing sophisticated explosives hit the London Underground within less than a minute of each other, police said Saturday as a clearer picture emerged of the coordinated attacks last week that killed at least 49 people. The bombs on the subway went off within a span of 50 seconds Thursday, suggesting detonation by synchronized timers rather than suicide bombers, police said, revising earlier accounts that the blasts occurred within a 26-minute span. An explosion tore through a double-decker bus nearly an hour later.
· Sasser virus author gets suspended term. A German court has convicted the teenager who created the Sasser worm that snarled tens of thousands of computers last year and sentenced him to 21 months' probation.
· 450 Sheep Jump to Their Deaths in Turkey. First one sheep jumped to its death. Then stunned Turkish shepherds, who had left the herd to graze while they had breakfast, watched as nearly 1,500 others followed, each leaping off the same cliff.
· Wie flirts with cut, but falls short at John Deere. Michelle Wie had the number she wanted, proclaimed to everyone on that sparkly buckle on her turquoise belt, and a historic finish was just four holes away. After one ill-timed three putt and a stray tee shot, though, she went from historic to just plain history.
· Mom Accused Of Driving On After Toddler Falls From Car. A Tennessee woman has been jailed on charges of child abuse after Nashville authorities said she failed to notice that her unrestrained toddler had tumbled out of her car as it rounded a curve. The child suffered cuts and bruises and was rescued from the street by several passersby.
· Geldof, Bono Praise G-8 Aid for Africa. Rockers Bob Geldof and Bono, two of the world's best known Africa fund-raisers, declared victory Friday in their campaign to push leaders at the G-8 summit to double aid to the continent. "We've pulled this off," said U2 frontman Bono. He and Geldof praised the Group of Eight summit for pledging to double aid to Africa to $50 billion, saying the move will save the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who would have died of poverty, malaria or AIDS. "The world spoke and the politicians listened," Bono said.
Friday, July 8, 2005
· Blindness warnings ordered for Viagra. The government on Friday ordered warnings onto the labels of Viagra and two other impotence drugs that some users have developed a form of blindness — while cautioning that it’s impossible to know if the pills are to blame.
· Health Screenings for Teflon to Start. Tens of thousands of people could be tested over the next year to determine if their health has been affected by drinking water containing a chemical used to make the nonstick substance Teflon.
· Man Sues for Right to Be Drunk. A man arrested when police showed up to break up a New Year's Eve party at a friend's house has filed a lawsuit, arguing he had a constitutional right to get drunk on private property as long as he didn't cause a public disturbance.
· Couple Sentenced for Hiring Son a Stripper. A couple pleaded guilty Thursday to hiring a stripper for their son's 16th birthday party and were sentenced to two years probation. Landon and Anette Pharris, who were charged with contributing the delinquency of a minor, also were ordered to take parenting classes.
· ACLU challenges 'speak no Wal-Mart' policy. The Yelm, Wash mayor and council members were fed up with complaints about Wal-Mart's application to build a superstore and demands for a moratorium on big-box stores, so they inacted a speak-no-Wal-Mart policy in town council meetings. Aaron H. Caplan, an ACLU lawyer in Seattle, has written Yelm Mayor Adam Rivas and council members that the group believes it is unconstitutional to prohibit any mention of Wal-Mart or big-box stores in general at council meetings.
· Arab view: 'Enough, enough.' Arabs and Muslims in Britain and across the world expressed outrage at the terrorist attacks in London, with the dominant viewpoint summed up by one person who wrote on a Web site, "Enough ... enough."
· It doesn't pay to be ugly. Studies show attractive students get more attention and higher evaluations from their teachers, good-looking patients get more personalized care from their doctors, and handsome criminals receive lighter sentences than less attractive convicts. The ugly truth, according to economics professors Daniel Hamermesh of the University of Texas and Jeff Biddle of Michigan State University, is that plain people earn 5 percent to 10 percent less than people of average looks, who in turn earn 3 percent to 8 percent less than those deemed good-looking.
· David Lee Roth to replace Howard Stern. Infinity Broadcasting is mum on an online report penned by a former Howard Stern Show regular that suggests David Lee Roth will be one of the personalities that ultimately replaces the ribald DJ on the airwaves.
· More heartbreak for Jen as she collapses on set. Jennifer Aniston has collapsed on the set of her new film as reports grow of a romance between her estranged husband Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. The former Friends star fainted after complaining of nausea and headaches while filming The Break Up in Chicago.
· Death toll tops 50 in London blasts. More than 50 people were killed in a series of terrorist bombings on London's transport system, police said Friday as they warned more attacks were possible. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Ian Blair said police were having "great difficulty" determining the number of deaths because of the damage at the four blast sites. One train "still contains a number of bodies that have not been retrieved," Blair told reporters.
» Blair delivers a classically British rallying cry. For Prime Minister Tony Blair, the high of winning the 2012 Olympics was followed by the devastating low of deadly bombings in the heart of London. He rose to the occasion Thursday, delivering an almost Churchillian appeal for unity and vowing steadfastly to defeat terror and root out the perpetrators.
· Writers Sue Producers of Reality TV Shows. Hollywood writers have filed a lawsuit against producers of TV reality shows, including "The Bachelor," as well as several networks, accusing them of violating California's labor laws. The suit, which is seeking certification as a class action, is designed to increase the pressure on producers to agree to an industrywide contract with those who "write" the supposedly unscripted shows.
· Pauly Shore guarantees a laugh. Pauly Shore is fronting the new TBS show "Minding the Store." "Store" follows Shore as he attempts to rebuild and revitalize The Comedy Store, the Los Angeles standup comedy haven owned by Shore's mother, Mitzi Shore. He's even promising to give viewers a $1 check if they don't laugh at the first episode.
· Governor to close Schiavo inquiry. In what could be a final chapter in the legal saga of Terri Schiavo, Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney Bernie McCabe says he could find no evidence that Michael Schiavo caused his wife's collapse 15 years ago.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Systemic [sys·tem·ic] adj. A systemic problem or change is a basic one, experienced by the whole of an organization or a country and not just particular parts of it: "The recession was the result of a systemic change within the structure of the country's economy."
· G-8 Leaders Reach Compromise on Africa Aid. World leaders, shaken by deadly bombings in London, shortened the final day of their economic summit on Friday to allow British Prime Minister Tony Blair to rush back to chair a government panel dealing with the attacks. The leaders were expected to pledge to double assistance by 2012 to reduce poverty and fight disease in Africa, the world's poorest continent.
· Hotels 'cash in' on bomb attacks. Hundreds of commuters spent Thursday night stranded in London and some have accused hoteliers of cashing in on the crisis in the capital. Prices at a number of London's hotels increased by more than double on Thursday night.
· Minn. Cancels 'Whorehouse Days' Festival. Organizers of the first-ever "Whorehouse Days" festival in Gilbert had big plans: a four-poster bed race, a beer mug-sliding contest, a showdown for best-dressed madam. Now, they're looking for a lawyer, after the City Council's refusal to rent out public buildings effectively killed the festival.
· Baseball, softball dropped from Olympics. Baseball and softball will not feature in the 2012 London Olympics after they were wiped from the program in a controversial vote Friday. Baseball and softball's ejection opens the door for two of golf, squash, karate, rugby sevens or roller sports.
· Winfrey, Rusesabagina Given Freedom Awards. Oprah Winfrey and Paul Rusesabagina, whose heroism in the face of genocide inspired the movie "Hotel Rwanda," were announced Thursday as recipients of the National Civil Rights Museum's top honors.
· Man faints, dies after seeing wife's epidural. A California woman is suing a hospital for wrongful death because her husband fainted and suffered a fatal injury after helping delivery room staff give her a pain-killing injection.
Thursday, July 7, 2005
· Jolie AND Pitt Taking Home Ethiopian Orphan. Angelina Jolie and her "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" co-star Brad Pitt are in Ethiopia to pick up the orphaned baby girl she is adopting, an official said Thursday. Pitt, Jolie and Jolie's 3-year-old son Maddox arrived Wednesday. The couple have refused to speak to The Associated Press about the adoption.
· Is Britney Spears carrying twins? Is pop star turned reality-TV diva Britney Spears expecting a dynamic duo in the delivery room? So claims one report Thursday by New York's Daily News, which said Spears just learned she is expecting twins, though it couldn't confirm that with Spears' spokeswoman, Leslie Sloane Zelnick.
· 'Apprentice' Ereka Fired From 'Danza Show'. Ereka Vetrini says she's not bitter about losing her job as sidekick-turned-correspondent on "The Tony Danza Show." "I saw it coming, but I don't understand the reasoning behind it," Vetrini, 28, says of being axed along with "Danza" executive producer John Redmann.
· Rather surprising book help. Former CBS producer Mary Mapes, whose mishandling of the National Guard memo story cost Dan Rather his anchor's chair, has turned to her famed former colleague for help on her upcoming tell-all. "Dan is in constant contact with Mary," an insider tells PAGE SIX. "We are all in shock. I mean, she [bleeped] him and put him on the National Guard story, and now he calls her every day and helps her with the book!"
· Neighbor: "O.J.'s Girlfriend Attacked Him, Me." A neighbor who went to O.J. Simpson's home on the Fourth of July to perform a favor ended up calling police to report a fight. "I figured if I called the police, at least he has a record" of the disturbance, Steve Dockendorf said Wednesday. "He said he should have done that with Nicole."
· Woman arrested after leaving son in hot SUV while at bar. A mother left her 7-year-old son sleeping in a sports utility vehicle late Monday night while she ducked into a bar for an hour and ran up a $14 tab, police said. The Plantation, Florida woman cracked a window three inches and left the boy, who was not harmed, sleeping on the back seat on an 85-degree and humid night. A doorman at the Ye Olde Falcon Pub noticed the boy sweating in the SUV and called police.
· Kalpoe lawyer blasts Holloway's mom. A lawyer for one of the brothers released from an Aruban jail in the case of missing Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway threatened legal action Wednesday over comments by the missing student's mother. Elgin Zeppenfeldt, an attorney for Satish Kalpoe, accused Beth Holloway Twitty of making "prejudicial, inflammatory, libelous and totally outrageous" statements.
· Kelly Monaco Wins 'Dancing With the Stars.' Kelly Monaco tore up the dance floor Wednesday night with a hip-shaking samba and emerged the champion of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." The "General Hospital" star upset the odds-on favorite, John O'Hurley, on the runaway hit ballroom dancing competition. In the end, she proved more fleet of foot than O'Hurley, famous for playing J. Peterman on "Seinfeld."
· Mistrial Declared in Notorious B.I.G. Case. A federal judge on Wednesday declared a mistrial in the Notorious B.I.G. wrongful death case, setting the stage for the rap star's family to file a new lawsuit seeking to link his unsolved 1997 killing to a Los Angeles Police Department corruption scandal.
· NHL Players, League Reach Deal. The NHL and its players' association reached a tentative deal on a new collective bargaining agreement that, if finalized, would end a lengthy lockout, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.
· Mark Hacking gets 30 years for wife's killing. Mark Hacking will spend at least 30 years in prison for the murder of his wife before the state parole board even considers a possible release date for the 29-year-old man. Mark Hacking pleaded guilty to shooting his wife, Lori Kay Soares Hacking, in their Salt Lake apartment on July 18 and disposing of her body in a Dumpster at the University of Utah. News of the 2035 initial hearing date came as members of the Utah Sentencing Commission seek to stem public outcry that arose from Hacking's original sentence of six years to life, which many perceived as too lenient given the circumstances of the case.
· Liza Loses Bid to Gag Bodyguard. Liza Minnelli can't stop her former bodyguard from talking about their relationship, an appeals court has ruled. In a unanimous decision, a five-judge panel of the state Appellate Division denied the Oscar winner's bid to gag M'Hammed Soumayah from talking about any of his claims in his explosive $100 million lawsuit against her.
· Prosecutors get Limbaugh medical records. After a lengthy legal fight that went all the way to Florida's highest court, a judge Wednesday gave prosecutors some of Rush Limbaugh's private medical records related to his use of prescription drugs. But the judge returned the rest of the records, seized in 2003, to the conservative talk show host.
London Terrorist Attack News
· London's mayor may have stated it best. London Mayor Ken Livingstone said "This was not a terrorist attack against the mighty or the powerful, it is not aimed at presidents or prime ministers, it was aimed at ordinary working-class Londoners," Livingstone told reporters. "That isn't an ideology, it isn't even a perverted faith, it's mass murder," Livingstone said. "We know what the objective is. They seek to divide London." Continuing, Livingstone said "Black and white, Muslim and Christian, Hindus and Jews, young and old," he said. It was an "indiscriminate attempt to slaughter irrespective of any considerations for age, class, or religion."
· NY transit on alert. New York City was on heightened alert this morning following the London blasts. Increased police coverage of subways, buses and transit stations was ordered throughout the city. About 4.5 million passengers use New York's subways daily. In Washington, police sent bomb-sniffing dogs and armed police officers to patrol subways and buses.
· Al-Qaida group claims responsibility. A group calling itself "The Secret Organization of al-Qaida in Europe" has posted a claim of responsibility for the series of blasts in London, saying they were in retaliation for Britain's involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.
· Blair Leaving Summit After London Blasts. British Prime Minister Tony Blair said deadly explosions in London were the work of terrorists "designed and aimed to coincide" with a summit of world leaders. Blair said he was leaving the summit for the day to return to London, while the other leaders continued the meeting.
· Financial markets tumble after London explosions. Stock markets across Europe suffered steep losses and futures trade in the U.S. indicated similar falls when Wall Street opens after London’s transport system was hit by a series of explosions.
· ‘The back of the bus was missing.’ Shocked eyewitnesses recall horror in the aftermath of London blasts. “I was on the bus. I looked round and the seats behind me were gone.” The middle-aged survivor of the bus blast in central London could not say any more. Shocked, disorientated, and with oil and pieces of debris in her hair and clothes, she asked for directions, but refused all help.
· Newsday: Blasts Rock London, Killing at Least Two. At least six blasts rocked the London subway and tore open a packed double-decker bus during the morning rush hour Thursday, police said, killing at least two people and injuring nine, prompting officials to shut down the entire underground transport network. The near simultaneous explosions came a day after London was awarded the 2012 Olympics and as the G-8 summit was getting underway in Scotland. Initial reports blamed a power surge, but officials were not ruling out an intentional attack.
· NBC: Multiple blasts hit London transport system. Near simultaneous explosions rocked the London subway and three double-decker buses at the morning rush hour Thursday, police and news reports said. Authorities said the six blasts caused at least two deaths and nine injuries. The near simultaneous explosions came a day after London was awarded the 2012 Olympics and as the G-8 summit was getting underway in Scotland. Initial reports blamed a power surge, but officials were not ruling out an intentional attack.
· London Media: Terror attacks rock London. A series of terrorist blasts ripped through central London today leaving scores of casualties. Eye-witnesses reported seeing bodies piled in the wreckage of damaged Tube trains. A double decker bus packed with people forced off the underground when the network was shut down was ripped apart by a massive blast. The terror attacks began with a series of co-ordinated blasts on the Tube network. Emergency services rushed to rescue trapped passengers. At Liverpool Street Station in the City, the wounded were treated by medics as they lay on the concourse. The Hilton Metropole on the Edgware Road was used as a makeshift treatment centre.
· BBC: Multiple blasts paralyze London. Large numbers of casualties have been reported after at least six explosions on the Underground network and a double-decker bus in London. Scotland Yard confirmed one of several reports of explosions on buses in the city - in Tavistock Place - but said the cause was not yet known. UK Home Secretary Charles Clarke said several explosions in central London had caused "terrible injuries."
· Daily Mail: Fatalities as bomb blasts rock London. A number of people have been killed in a series of terror blasts which rocked the London Tube and bus network during the morning rush hour. Commuters have 'streamed out' of stations 'covered in blood' and the Tube network has been totally suspended with all stations evacuated. Police are reported to have confirmed blasts on three buses in central London, one at Tavistock Place near Holborn, in central London.
Wednesday, July 6, 2005
· Reparations suit tossed. A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by slave descendants seeking reparations from corporations that benefitted from slave labor — the end of the line in U.S. District Court. The lawsuit, originally filed in 2002, sought to hold 18 corporations liable for their business activities in the slave era.
· Rogers Apologizes for Shoving Cameramen. Texas Rangers pitcher Kenny Rogers apologized on Wednesday for last week's tirade against two TV cameramen that sent one of them to the hospital and prompted a police investigation, but said he has not decided if he will play in next week's All-Star game. Rogers, who is appealing his 20-game suspension for the outburst, apologized to fans and the cameramen in his first public comments since the incident.
· Homeowners say theme park fireworks debris ends up in yards. Some Orlando homeowners got closer to some Fourth of July fireworks than they wanted. They live near Universal Studios and debris from the display landed right in their yards. Now they want Universal to make sure it doesn't continue to fall on their cars and in their yards. "This one says, 'Six-inch shell - If found, do not handle, contact local fire or police department,'" one neighbor said.
· Website owner defies judge's orders. Four days after a federal judge shut down a lucrative Internet pharmacy in Burnsville, MN and ordered owner Christopher Smith to refrain from selling drugs, Smith boarded a plane to the Dominican Republic and opened a new online pharmacy, authorities said Tuesday. To do so, an FBI affidavit says, Smith traveled abroad under a false passport, used a cash card to obtain money from a bank account after it had been seized by the court, and had his wife, his girlfriend and others bring him thousands of dollars in cash.
· Outhouse update. The Maine man recently discovered hiding in a sewage-filled chamber below an outhouse told cops that he dropped his wedding ring into the women's toilet and simply climbed in to retrieve it. Gary Moody, 45, was arrested after a "female entered the restroom and saw a man down in the 'vault' looking up at her."
· Off-Duty Deputy Fatally Shot In Case Of Mistaken Identity. A Harris County Texas deputy constable died Wednesday in northeast Houston when a fellow officer mistook the off-duty official for a chase suspect and shot him.
· Intel Invests in Movie Distribution Co. Actor Morgan Freeman and chipmaking giant Intel Corp. are teaming up on a new venture to distribute premium movies to consumers over the Internet before the films become available on DVD.
· President Bush crashes into cop. President Bush appears to have trouble staying on anything with two wheels. First, it was a tumble on a Segway - now it's a bicycle. Bush collided with a local police officer during a bike ride on the grounds of the Gleneagles golf resort while attending a meeting of G8 world leaders. Bush suffered scrapes on his hands and arms and the police officer was taken to a local hospital, said White House spokesperson Scott McClellan.
· Tennessee's illegal drug tax generates $600,000 in first six months. Tennessee's unauthorized substances tax has generated more than $600,000 in collections and $15 million in assessments. The statute became effective January first. When the Revenue Department taxes an alleged drug possessor, that person has an opportunity to pay the tax.
· Women Suffer More than Men. New research has found that women report more pain throughout their lifetime. Compared to men, women feel pain in more areas of their body and for longer durations, said Ed Keogh, a psychologist from the Pain Management Unit at the University of Bath.
· Billy Graham's Daughter Arrested. The 59-year-old eldest child of Rev. Billy Graham is facing a domestic violence rap for allegedly choking and pushing her husband during a bizarre roadway dispute. According to a charging affidavit, Foreman, a public speaker who has authored several Christian-oriented books, got into a beef with her husband Chad as he piloted a Mustang along State Road 44 in New Smyrna Beach.
· Bear Climbs Telephone Pole For Better View. A bear trying to find her way home climbed a 90-foot telephone pole to get her bearings, and the whole incident was caught on tape. An official with the game department said he thinks the bear was just trying to find her way home. [Click photo in article for incredible video].
· Group Hopes To Build 10-foot Statue Of James Garner. A group in Norman, Oklahoma is raising money to build a statue and plaza in honor of actor and favorite son, James Garner. The 10-foot statue would stand in the plaza and face the Sooner Theatre in Norman at a cost of $185,000.
· White victim 'had to die.' Concetta Russo-Carriero "had to die" because she was white, the man accused of killing her told White Plains detectives in a videotaped statement. "I never seen her before, and I didn't care," Phillip Grant said on the tape, which was played at his felony hearing in City Court yesterday. "As long as she had blond hair and blue eyes, she had to die." Grant said he knew he would get caught. "I want the death penalty," he said. "I want to die. But I wanted to kill somebody white first."
· Mobile home madness: Prices top $1 million. The crazy California real estate market has come to this: a million-dollar trailer. A two-bedroom, two-bathroom mobile home perched on a lot in Malibu is selling for $1.4 million. This isn't a greedy seller asking a ridiculous amount no one will pay. Two others sold in the area recently for $1.3 million and $1.1 million. Another, at $1.8 million, is in escrow.
· Update: Rapper Lil' Kim Gets a Year for Perjury. Grammy-winning rapper Lil' Kim was sentenced Wednesday to a year and a day in prison and fined $50,000 for lying to a federal grand jury to protect friends involved in a 2001 shootout outside a Manhattan radio station. While many rappers have served time in prison, Lil' Kim is the first big-name female to do so. Lil' Kim, who turns 30 next week, was the sidekick and mistress of the late Notorious B.I.G. As a solo artist, she has become known for her revealing outfits and raunchy lyrics.
· Circumcision reduces AIDS risk by 70%. According to an AIDS research study's preliminary results, circumcision reduced the risk of contracting HIV by 70 percent - a level of protection far better than the 30% risk reduction set as a target for an AIDS vaccine.
· Judith Miller jailed. A federal judge on Wednesday ordered New York Times reporter Judith Miller jailed for refusing to divulge her source to a grand jury investigating the Bush administration's leak of an undercover CIA operative's name.
· Mozambique says days of squandering aid over. Mozambique President Armando Guebuza, whose country will win more than $2 billion in debt write-off under a plan by rich nations, said the days of squandering foreign aid were over in Africa.
· Steve Jobs calls family of teenager killed for iPod. As Errol Rose made preparations on Monday to bury his 15-year-old son, Christopher, who was killed last week in Brooklyn during a fight over an iPod, he received a telephone call from a stranger. The man spoke in tones that the grieving father said had momentarily quieted his anguish. The stranger, Rose soon learned, was Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer, the company that makes the iPod.
· Arubans: Natalee's Mom Out of Line. A latent but growing resentment here became evident for the first time when more than 200 people, some wrapped in Aruban flags, said they were incensed by statements made by the mother of a missing American teen.
· Spears running out of money. The pop star and husband Kevin Federline are struggling to fund their celebrity lifestyle and the recent $7 million purchase of and renovations on a new Malibu, Calif., house, because neither is working - Spears rested her mike after conceiving the couple's first child, and dancer Federline hasn't worked for over a year.
· London beats Paris to 2012 Games. The 2012 Olympic Games will be held in London, the International Olympic Committee announced on Wednesday. London won a two-way battle against Paris at the IOC vote in Singapore, after bids from Moscow, New York and Madrid were eliminated.
· Angelina Jolie adopts Ethiopian orphan. Actress Angelina Jolie is adopting a newborn Ethiopian girl orphaned by AIDS, People magazine reported Tuesday. Jolie, who has toured the world as goodwill ambassador for the United Nations’ High Commissioner on Refugees, said the baby would be named Zahara Marley Jolie but would not reveal the child’s age, height or weight, People said.
· McDonald's seeking star makeover. Fast food giant McDonald's is searching for a top fashion designer to give its US workers a trendy new makeover. The firm said rap star Sean 'Pee Diddy' Combs and designer Tommy Hilfiger were leading choices to design new uniforms for its 300,000 US restaurant staff.
· Window frames JFK auction. The purported windows in one of the most tragic moments in American history - the assassination of President John F. Kennedy - go up for auction next week. Aubrey Mayhew claims that in the past he's turned down offers of $1 million for the sixth-floor windows where Lee Harvey Oswald fired the fatal shots that killed Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963.
· Sentencing Set for Rapper Lil' Kim. Grammy-winning rap diva Lil' Kim is finally learning her fate, four months after she was convicted of lying to a federal grand jury to protect friends involved in a 2001 gun battle outside a Manhattan radio station. Lil' Kim, whose real name is Kimberly Jones, could face up to 20 years - five years each on three counts of perjury and one count of conspiracy - at sentencing Wednesday.
· Buffett flies in for surprise visit at his Margaritaville. Jimmy Buffett was in and out Tuesday as he made a surprise visit at his restaurant Margaritaville. It's good for the area to have Buffett visit, said Randy Mullins, president of Myrtle Beach's Coast of Carolina Parrot Head Club. Buffett made a visit to Margaritaville on Tuesday morning, surprising the staff and a few customers dining at the restaurant in Myrtle Beach, according to a restaurant manager.
· Steelers fan celebrates 'final road game.' In silk black-and-gold pajamas, velvety black robe and slippers, James Henry Smith is at rest. His feet are crossed, his pack of cigarettes and a beer by his side. Steelers highlights are playing on a high-definition TV screen nearby. With the TV remote in his hand, leaning back in his recliner, a Steelers blanket across his legs, it's like a game-day Sunday. Except that it's not - and Mr. Smith is dead. It was last night at Samuel E. Coston Funeral Home in Lincoln-Lemington, and family and friends were filing in to pay their final respects to Smith, whom they called one of the biggest Steelers fans in the universe.
· Cybill Speaks Out. At 55, Cybill Shepherd is hardly resting on her laurels. The former model became a superstar in the 1970s with movies like "The Last Picture Show" and "Taxi Driver" and then with the hit TV 1980s show "Moonlighting." More recently, she took to the stage in London last fall to perform her autobiographical one-woman show (based on a book of the same name), "Cybill Disobedience: How I Survived Beauty Pageants, Elvis, Sex, Bruce Willis, Lies, Marriage, Motherhood, Hollywood and the Irrepressible Urge to Say What I Think. With Music!"
· Will 'J. Peterman' Be Lord of the Dance? The biggest and most unexpected hit of the summer TV season, ABC’s "Dancing with the Stars," will end on Wednesday night with a showdown between soap star Kelly Monaco and John O’Hurley, that debonair ham from "Seinfeld."
· Bernardo's lawyer says killer 'agitated' over attention given to Homolka. An "agitated" Paul Bernardo insisted Tuesday that his ex-wife, Karla Homolka, attempted to murder Ontario schoolgirl Leslie Mahaffy on her own. Speaking through his lawyer, Bernardo said on Tuesday that he has been thinking about the release of Homolka, his co-rapist and co-killer, who was set free on Monday after serving 12 years for her part in the killings of Mahaffy and Kristen French.
· German plane lands on speeding Porsche. A German pilot and driver escaped unhurt when a one-seater plane landed on top of a speeding car at a little-used airport, police in the western town of Bitburg said on Wednesday. The driver was racing at 100 mph with 11 other members of a local Porsche club at the airport, a former U.S. air base, when the single-engine plane accidentally landed on his roof.
Tuesday, July 5, 2005
· A food fight the French may lose. Jacques Chirac joked with German and Russian leaders: "One cannot trust people whose cuisine is so bad" referring to the British food he was eating. Adding insult to injury, Chirac added "The only thing they (the British) have ever done for European agriculture is mad cow disease," Mr. Chirac said. Chirac then inserted his foot a little deeper by adding that Britain had the worst food after Finland. His last statement may have even damaged France's much sought after Olympic bid - challenged by London - by criticizing food from Finland since Finland has two votes on the Olympic committee voting on the 2012 location.
· Clooney puts his money where his mouth is. George Clooney is too cool to demand a $20 million up-front salary to prove his self-worth; he writes, directs and produces; and he expends his movie star capital to push for the things he believes in. His "Ocean's Eleven" model "has paid me big-time, on the back end," Clooney said.
· 'Last Mogul' lifts lid on terrifying studio boss. Lew Wasserman, the secretive movie mogul who ruled Hollywood with an iron fist for more than half a century, could make men in $1500 suits vomit with fear. At its peak in the early 1960s, Lew Wasserman's MCA controlled 60 percent of American show business.
· Man Stabbed Over Bag of Chips. Police are searching for a man they believe stabbed a 35-year-old man in the head. On the morning of Monday July 4, Mesa, Arizona Police were called to Brookfield West Apartments in reference to a stabbing. The 35-year-old victim was transported to a local hospital with a stab wound to the head. He is still listed in critical condition.
· Aspirin may cut cancer in men, but not women. Men who took aspirin over five years slightly lowered their risk for prostate cancer, but women who took low doses over 10 years didn’t reduce their risk of cancer, two separate studies indicate.
· Ford matches GM's employee discount. Ford Motor Co., bowing to pressure from General Motors Corp., said Tuesday that it was matching its larger rival’s employee discount consumer incentives program. Ford announced its new marketing campaign hours after GM said it was extending its “Employee Discount for Everyone” deals through Aug. 1. The GM program, which resonated with consumers, drove its June sales up 41 percent and delivered the company its best sales month in almost 19 years.
· After a thorough review, Ward Churchill gets raise at CU. University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill is getting a $2,150 raise this fiscal year as a faculty committee reviews allegations against him including plagiarism. Churchill was earning more than $114,000 a year until January, when he stepped down as chairman of the ethnic studies department following criticism for comparing World Trade Center victims to Nazis.
· Would you spend $3,500 on a 50 Cent watch? It has been a busy couple of weeks for celebrity-driven hip-hop brands. 50 Cent announced he would launch the designer G-Unit watch line, including an MP3-playing model, that is priced at up to $3,500.
· Driver aiming at ex-girlfriend kills toddler. Police in Tampa, Florida, are looking for a man they say tried to run over his ex-girlfriend with his pickup, but ended up killing a two-year-old boy instead. Police say Derrick McNeal fled after yesterday's crash, leaving his red Dodge pickup behind. They say McNeal saw his ex-girlfriend sitting outside a friend's house and tried to run her over. Instead, they say, McNeal hit a car, drove over a fence and through the yard, and hit two children, killing one of them.
· Holloway's Mother: "Don't Let Brothers Go." The mother of missing U.S. teen Natalee Holloway begged authorities Tuesday not to let two Surinamese brothers leave Aruba after they were released as suspects in the probe. "Do not allow these two ... to enter your country until this case is solved," Beth Holloway Twitty said during a public plea to reporters.
· "100 People Who Are Screwing Up America." The main issue of the new book, "100 People" is that America has lost its civility, and its public demeanor is held hostage by trashy TV shows and celebrities, where profanity and near-nudity are the only way to get a producer's (and the consumer's) attention. While some entries are obvious - Michael Moore tops the list - some are less so, including Paris Hilton's parents, and the guy who gave us "Fear Factor."
· United Church of Christ Backs Gay Marriage. The president of the United Church of Christ said his denomination "acted courageously to declare freedom" when it passed a resolution endorsing same-sex marriage on Independence Day.
· Armstrong takes over yellow jersey. Lance Armstrong’s Discovery Channel squad won the team time trial at the Tour de France on Tuesday, handing the six-time champion the yellow jersey as overall race leader.
· Martha Stewart Calls Lockdown 'Hideous.' Martha Stewart says in a new interview that her nickname in prison was M. Diddy, that house arrest is "hideous" and that her prosecution was about bringing her down "to scare other people." In the interview, Stewart tells Vanity Fair magazine she agrees with those who say her crime - lying about a personal stock sale - is far different from massive corporate scandals such as Enron, WorldCom and Tyco.
· Lawyer says Applebee's apology not enough. The lawyer for a Louisiana woman who said she found a severed fingertip in her salad said Monday that an apology from restaurant chain Applebee's International Inc. didn't "totally compensate" his client.
· Give us cash, not sympathy, Africa tells West. African Union chairman Olusegun Obasanjo urged rich nations on Monday to send the continent "massive" financial help, saying it was moving from a past of military coups to a future of good governance.
· U.S. donations to Africa outstrip Europe by 15 to 1. American citizens donated almost 15 times more to the developing world than their European counterparts, research reveals this weekend ahead of the G8 summit. Private U.S. donors also handed over far more aid than the federal government in Washington, revealing that America is much more generous to Africa and poor countries than is claimed by the Make Poverty History and Live 8 campaigns.
· U2 win memorabilia court battle. Rock band U2 have won their court fight for the return of memorabilia - including a Stetson hat - which they accused a former stylist of stealing.
The judge at Dublin's Circuit Court said he preferred the evidence frontman Bono gave over Lola Cashman's testimony that the items had been given as gifts. Judge Deery said he found Ms Cashman's version of how she had been given the items doubtful, particularly her description of Bono running around in his underpants backstage.
· Sex killer walks free and into TV studio. Canada's most notorious female inmate was secretly spirited from prison on Monday after serving 12 years for the rapes and murders of three teenage girls, including her younger sister. "I don't want to be hunted down," Homolka told RDI, the CBC's French-language news network hours after her release from prison. "I don't want people to think I am dangerous and I'm going to do something to their children."
· Israeli Arabs sue settlers over orange protests. An Arab party has asked an Israeli court to stop right-wing Jews using orange in protests against withdrawing from Gaza settlements, saying the color was already theirs.
· Princess Paris wants fairytale wedding. The self-described "American royalty" wants to host a fairytale ceremony in London, at St Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Abbey or Windsor Castle, and sees no reason why the royal family shouldn't let her. "I've always wanted to be a princess on my big day and only a wedding in England could make that happen," Hilton said. There's just one hitch: only British royals or heads of state can marry in the historical venues, a fact which doesn't seem to faze the party princess.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Extrapolate [ex·trap·o·late] v.tr. To infer or estimate by extending or projecting known information. "He extrapolated the historical data to determine the projected outcome."
· Texas Man Arrested After Heroic Rescue. A man who rescued a swimmer caught in swirling river currents found himself in trouble soon afterward when he was arrested by authorities who claimed he was interfering. Dave Newman, 48, disobeyed repeated orders by emergency personnel to leave the water, police said. He was charged with interfering with public duties.
· Player flush after high-stake mistake. When Robert Guinther switched on his computer for a game of online poker, the most he thought he could win was a couple of hundred dollars. Little did he know that fate would deal him a slightly luckier hand. Instead of entering a regular game with a $10 entry fee, as he had intended, he accidentally clicked on the wrong link and stumbled into a World Series of Poker satellite tournament costing ten times as much. Mortified at his error, but realizing that there was no going back, he played on. By the end he had beaten 180 other contestants, scooped the $11,000 prize and earned a coveted seat at the WSP finals in Las Vegas, where there will be a prize pool of $100 million.
· Ice Cream Vendor's Music Sparks Outcry. The company's name may have a catchy ring to it, but work has been no picnic for Mr. Ding-a-Ling ice cream vendors in some parts of central New York, as vendors continue to receive tickets for violating local noise ordinances.
· Snapped spine driver walks again. Six weeks after snapping his spine in two in a car crash, a 25-year-old man is able to walk out of hospital. Matthew Hunt, of Harleston, Norfolk, was not wearing a seatbelt when he lost control of his car near Bungay as he drove to work. Medical experts said he should have been paralysed but he was able to walk again because crucial nerves survived.
· TomCruiseIsNuts.com debuts. Ladies and gentlemen, Tom Cruise has tossed off the shackles of Hollywood oppression and is piloting his Scientology-fueled funny car straight towards you. The tires are smoking and he's screaming to the stands about Katie, psychiatry, sex, space aliens, and Brooke Shields.
· Stars unleash their passion. The potential for permanent fan alienation has made religion, like politics, long a taboo topic for most celebrities to publicly schmooze about. Variety columnist Army Archerd, who has covered Hollywood for more than 50 years, says the newfound celebrity outspokenness isn't surprising. "Celebrities have been willing to put their citizenship on the line over politics for years. Now they're talking more freely than ever about things we wouldn't have dared ask about."
· Oops! Pelosi Turns In Delinquent Reports for 3 Sponsor-Funded Trips. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) filed delinquent reports Friday for three trips she accepted from outside sponsors that were worth $8,580 and occurred as long as seven years ago, according to copies of the documents.
· Studies back evidence linking lots of TV with poor academics. Too much television-watching can harm the ability of children to learn and even reduce their chances of getting a college degree, three studies suggest in the latest effort to examine how television affects children.
Monday, July 4, 2005
· Human remains found in search for Idaho boy. Police believe they have found the remains of 9-year-old Dylan Groene in Montana, after a search of the alleged kidnapper's car turned up evidence helpful to the boys location. The investigation is still ongoing, and the remains are being sent to an FBI lab for DNA analysis.
· Aruban Judge Frees Two Holloway Suspects. Deepak and Satish Kalpoe, two of the three men detained in the Natalee Holloway case, were ordered freed Monday by an Aruban judge who ruled authorities had no grounds to hold them another 60 days without charges. That left Joran van der Sloot, the 17-year-old Durch-born son of a justice official, as the sole person in custody in connection with the disappearance of the 18-year-old Alabama woman.
· 'Cell phone elbow' has users in a pinch. Every time he held his cell phone to his ear for more than a minute, David Moriarty's forearm ached and his fingers went numb. So Moriarty was forced to abruptly cut short conversations. He was suffering a malady his doctor is calling "cell phone elbow." "I'm seeing it more and more," said Moriarty's doctor, microsurgeon Dr. John Fernandez of Rush University Medical Center.
· Hall of Fame Coach Hank Stram Dies at 82. Hall of Fame coach Hank Stram, who took the Kansas City Chiefs to two Super Bowls and was known for his inventive game plans and exuberance on the sideline, died Monday, his family said.
· Two missing Navy Seals found dead. Two of the three U.S. special forces soldiers missing in eastern Afghanistan for almost a week have been found dead, U.S. government sources tell the BBC. The whereabouts of the other team member remains unclear, while a fourth soldier was found alive on Saturday.
· Boy, 7, drowns at hotel pool. A 7-year-old boy vacationing with his family drowned in a hotel pool and remained unnoticed for a couple of hours as deputies and others searched for him, authorities said. "The 7-year-old was very anxious to go swimming, so he took off ahead of his family and he went to the pool first," police said. "By the time the family got down to the pool, they did not see him." "There were about 30 people in the pool area and we had asked everyone if they had seen him, police said. "We did a search of the pool area ourselves, an extensive search."
· Live8 celebration fit for a king. While many of the stars were pitching their lastest album to a worldwide audience, all were feasting on the catered lobster and imported caviar brought in to cool their enlarged egos. Each A-list celeb was then given a $12,000 goodie bag containing jewelry and computer equipment, while the B-listers received $2,000 bags consisting of a 3G Nokia phone and i-Pod.
· French ban "illegitimate" children. France has abolished the legal terms "legitimate" and "illegitimate" for children with a decree saying the distinction, dating back to the Napoleonic Code of 1804, no longer made sense. About 46 per cent of French babies are now born out of wedlock.
· Canadian sex killer released from prison. Karla Homolka was quietly spirited away from a Quebec prison Monday to face a daunting and uncertain future she fears will be fraught with peril after 12 years behind bars for her role in the sordid sex slayings of two Ontario schoolgirls.
· Natalee Holloway's Mom a Media Star. She's been a regular on "Larry King Live," "Today" and many other U.S. television shows since her teenage daughter disappeared five weeks ago during a high school graduation trip to Aruba.
· Poor Writing Costs Taxpayers Millions. States spend nearly a quarter of a billion dollars a year on remedial writing instruction for their employees, according to a new report that says the indirect costs of sloppy writing probably hurt taxpayers even more.
· Timberlake sick in own restaurant. Justin Timberlake threw up on his own restaurant floor after he "ate too much." The star was dining at his eatery 'Chi' in Los Angeles and found himself broadcasting the entire contents of his stomach on the floor as he couldn't make it to the toilet in time. A source told Star magazine: "He really overdid it. He partied until he puked, right there at the bar."
· African leaders look forward to more G8 handouts; more Mercs for jerks. Africa's leaders cannot wait for the G8 leaders - hectored by rock star Bob and his Live8 concerts into bracelet-wearing submission - to double aid and forgive the continent's debts. They know that such acts of generosity will finance their future purchases of fancy, customized Mercedes-Benz cars, while 315 million poor Africans stay without shoes and Western taxpayers get by with Hondas. This is the way it goes with the WaBenzi, a Swahili term for the Big Men of Africa. After joyriding their way through six Marshall Plans worth of aid, Africa is poorer today than 25 years ago; and now the WaBenzi want more.
· Student learns it's lucrative to beg as a homeless person. Life is good for Ben Wolf. The honors student has been subject to the finest education as well as travel experiences that have taken him through Europe and the Caribbean. But one recent afternoon at a busy intersection, Wolf spent an hour begging for money. After that hour, Wolf began counting the money he had collected, and couldn't hide his astonishment: $30.66 plus 46 cents in Canadian currency - about five times Florida's minimum wage rate.
· Church Asks Florida City To Ban Baggy Pants, Gold Teeth. A Florida church has asked for a citywide ban on low-hanging pants and gold-capped teeth, saying they promote a thuggish image. Changing the image of young people could help Jacksonville cut unemployment, racial profiling and a rising per-capita murder rate now the highest in the state.
· Tenn. Minutemen aim at 'illegal aliens,' raise fears of prejudice. This small southern Appalachian industrial town of 25,000 residents is nearly 1,800 miles from the Arizona-Mexico border where citizen patrols out to catch undocumented immigrants have stirred controversy and fears of vigilantism.
· 5-Pointed Star in One Snip. While George Washington wanted a 6-pointed star, Betsy Ross, recommended a 5-pointed star. When the flag committee protested that a 5-pointed star was too difficult to make, she took a piece of paper, folded it deftly, and with a single snip of her scissors, produced a symmetrical five-pointed star. This seeming feat of magic so impressed her audience that they readily agreed to her suggestion. Here are the instructions to make a paper 5-pointed star. (great for the kids!)
· 'Reclaim our faith': America's pulpit politics take a left turn. America's moderate and progressive evangelists, outgunned for years by the mighty "religious right," are demanding their own share of the political action. Their mantra, in a building campaign against conservative Christians, a key constituency of President George W. Bush, is: "Since when was God pro-war, and pro-rich?
· Space probe crashes into comet. A NASA probe smashed into its comet target late Sunday, setting off a spectacular fireworks show that scientists hope will reveal clues to how the solar system was formed. "What a smashing success!" Andy Dantzler, NASA's solar system division director, said at a post-impact news briefing for the $333 million Deep Impact mission.
· Russian astrologist sues NASA over comet crash. A Russian astrologist who says NASA has altered her horoscope by crashing a spacecraft into a comet is suing the U.S. space agency for damages of $300 million, local media reported on Monday.
· Paula Jones wants to go to a library. Paula Jones wants to go to a library - but she isn't looking for a book. The woman who claimed that former President Bill Clinton exposed himself to her thinks it's time she visited the $165 million study center dedicated to his administration. "My house is about 17 miles from it," says Jones, who lives just north of Little Rock, Ark. "I pass by [the Clinton Presidential Center] all the time. I kept saying, 'I ought to go in there.' My friends and I talked about putting on wigs - just in case they won't let me in - and making a day of it."
· Celine booed at Live 8. Celine Dion is no longer Canada's favourite daughter - the singer was loudly booed during her Live 8 set in Barrie because she failed to perform onstage live. Concert co-host Dan Aykroyd had to beg the crowd to stop booing Dion. He took to the stage and said, "No, no, no. Be proud of Celine Dion. She's here to help and entertain us.
· Bin Laden’s half brother: I'll pay for defense One of Osama bin Laden’s half brothers said he would pay for the terror mastermind’s defense should he ever be captured, Yeslam Binladin said in a broadcast interview. “For sure,” Yeslam Binladin responded when asked if he would help pay. “Everyone has the right to defend himself, anyone who is accused of doing something.” Yeslam and Osama are among 54 sons and daughters of the late Saudi construction magnate Mohammed bin Laden, who had 22 wives.
· Springsteen plays impromptu airport gig. Bruce Springsteen thrilled airport workers in Iceland last week when his airplane made a refuelling stop enroute to America and The Boss took time to play a short set in a terminal.
· Teachers Union Renews Fight for Higher Pay. The head of the country's largest education union has pledged to renew his fight to get higher pay for starting teachers, instructors and aides — policies likely to require hundreds of millions of dollars. "The issue is where the money is going to come from," National Education Association president Reg Weaver said. "And to respond to that, my answer is I don't care. I don't care where the money comes from."
· Man recites pi from memory to 83,431 places. Japanese psychiatric counselor has recited pi to 83,431 decimal places from memory, breaking his own personal best of 54,000 digits and setting an unofficial world record, a media report said Saturday.
Sunday, July 3, 2005
· Hotel clerk arrested after choosing privacy over police. Police trying to stop a suicide at a Windsor Locks, CT hotel last night say they were stymied by a hotel clerk who didn't want to violate the person's privacy. The drama unfolded late Saturday night at the Day's Inn hotel after police got a phone call from someone who said a family member was at the hotel and planned to kill themselves.
· 911 tapes released in Idaho missing girl case. Idaho investigators have completed their scrutiny of a vehicle used by a registered sex offender charged with kidnapping an 8-year-old girl six weeks ago, and authorities released tapes of two 911 calls - one from a customer at the Denny's and one from the restaurant's manager - reporting the presence of a girl they thought might be Shasta.
· Teenager slain for iPod, police say. Two teenagers were under arrest Sunday on suspicion of killing another teen for his iPod portable music player, police said. Samuel Darran, 16, and Daryl Stephen, 17, were facing charges of murder, robbery and weapons possession in the death of 15-year-old Christopher Rose.
· Pink Marrying Motocross Racer. Multiplatinum singer Pink is reportedly getting married. The 25-year-old proposed to her boyfriend of nearly four years - motocross racer Carey Hart - during a race in Mammoth Lakes, California. The singer, whose real name is Alecia Moore, reportedly wrote 'Will you marry me' on a pit board, which Hart saw while he was racing.
· Three suspects escorted to Aruba beach. Investigators took the three suspects in the disappearance of American student Natalee Holloway to a beach Sunday morning to check out their accounts of the night the girl was last seen, a government spokesman said. "Investigators wanted to make sure that their stories matched," he said.
· Steve Fossett succeeds again. Millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett and his co-pilot landed safely in western Ireland on Sunday after re-enacting the first trans-Atlantic flight made more than 80 years ago.
· Miss Pennsylvania wants to touch America's youth. Nicole Brewer, the newly-crowned Miss Pennsylvania said "I want to touch the youth of our country as well as everyone," during her interview, referring to her platform of outreach to underprivileged youth.
· Applebee's May Have Found Fingertip Source. Applebee's International Inc. says an internal investigation has discovered that a former employee at a Jefferson, La., restaurant cut the tip off his thumb a year ago and that likely is the fingertip found by a customer now suing the restaurant chain.
· Fla. Girl Can't Hand Out Anti-Abortion Info At School. A federal judge refused to allow a 15-year-old girl to distribute anti-abortion pamphlets at school, saying the divisive issue could turn the hallways into a "battlefield."
· High schools now selling naming rights. Selling of naming rights for gyms, stadiums has supporters and detractors. When a booster club's effort to buy lights for a Northern Virginia high school football field fell short last year, fundraisers followed the lead of professional sports. They struck a naming-rights deal with a local company, which contributed $50,000 to the project. George Mason High's 1,500-seat facility became Moore Cadillac Stadium.
· Jerry Seinfeld's ex' home blows up. An explosion flattened the tony Hamptons home of fashion designer Shoshanna Lonstein yesterday. Lonstein, 30, who first garnered headlines with her lengthy romance with comedian Jerry Seinfeld, which started when she was just 17, now has her own clothing line, which is popular among Hollywood stars.
· Officials hopeful Ground Zero lures will draw renters. Attention real-estate shoppers: There's a great new sale for office space going on at Ground Zero, thanks to new city and state incentives. And experts say those new financial lures could be just the jump-start his downtown Manhattan district needs to help lift Ground Zero out of the political morass that has caused one delay after another.
· Teacher Attire Becoming a Touchy Topic. School boards and superintendents increasingly are pursuing dress codes for teachers. At issue is the same kind of questionable attire most often associated with students. In some districts, teachers can get dressed down for wearing skimpy tops, short skirts, flip flops, jeans, T-shirts, spandex or baseball caps.
· Arlington Cemetery undergoes expansion. As a result of growing demand, Arlington National Cemetery is adding 26,000 graves to the roughly 215,000 already in place on the sweeping lawns across the Potomac River from the nation's capital.
· Weighty issue for the military: fat recruits. Military officials fear the U.S. war on terror is being compromised by the homefront's battle of the bulge. An Army nutrition expert says America's bulging waistlines are "becoming a national security issue."
· Nevada legalizes wireless handheld gambling. Nevada Gov. Kenny Guinn signed a law authorizing gamblers in Nevada to play slot machines, video poker, blackjack and other games on hand-held wireless devices from public spaces in casinos.
· Missing Idaho girl reunited with her father. The father of an 8-year-old girl, missing in the aftermath of a triple homicide at her mother's house six weeks ago, was reunited with his daughter Saturday, hours after she was found alive in a Denny's restaurant with a convicted sex offender. Steve Groene was out of town when Shasta was found around 2 am PST and rushed back to this community. The two were reunited at Kootenai Medical Center Saturday afternoon. "There's no greater love between a parent and a child, and having a child come back to you has got to be a great experience," Kootenai County Sheriff Capt. Ben Wolfinger said.
· 'War of the Worlds' wins box office battle. Tom Cruise celebrated his 43rd birthday Sunday atop the holiday box office with "War of the Worlds," the costly alien-invasion thriller directed by Steven Spielberg. The film sold $101.7 million worth of tickets - a solid number, but far short of the record $152 million that "Spider-Man 2" earned during the same time last year.
· Toyota worker arrested for torching scores of cars. An employee of Toyota Motor Co. who claims to have set fire to almost 80 cars has been arrested, police said. Junji Kubo, 26, the Toyota employee, was arrested for willful destruction of property. He admits to the allegations. "I did 78 cars," he told the police. He later added: "I did it because I was worried and frustrated."
· Bus filled with 37 children rolls over in Maine. A school bus transporting youngsters from a summer camp rolled over Sunday on Interstate 295 in Topsham, Maine, injuring several passengers. The 37 girls and boys, ages 12 and 13, were taken to five area hospitals. Also on the bus were 10 counselors and the driver.
· Feds seek millions in hurricane overpayments. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has asked thousands of Floridians whose homes were damaged by last summer’s four hurricanes to give back more than $27 million in aid overpayments.
· U.S. Policy Lets Illegal Immigrants Go. Several times a day, a chain-link gate rolls open and dozens of illegal immigrants stroll out of the U.S. Border Patrol station here, blinking into the hot Texas sun as they look for taxis to the bus station and a ticket out of town. Each holds a piece of paper that Spanish-speakers call a "permiso" — permission, courtesy of the U.S. government, to roam freely anywhere in the country.
· Air Force sergeant arrested for molesting 10-year-old girl in Okinawa. A United States Air Force sergeant stationed at Kadena Air Base was arrested Sunday for molesting a 10-year-old Japanese girl, police said. Armando Valdez, 27, the sergeant, was arrested for indecent assault.
· Family of man killed by drunken driver paid by party hosts. The family of a man killed by an 18-year-old drunken driver will be paid $80,000 by the insurance policy of the couple who hosted a high school graduation party where the teen drank.
· Teacher with childporn not fired. Aken McCoy, a senior teacher at Junee Public School pleaded guilty last month to downloading 650 images of child porn on his home computer and received a 12-month suspended sentence. The Daily Telegraph reports McCoy has not been fired because the Education Department fears he could sue, following the decision to award $28,000 to former teacher Jeff Sinclair after he had an affair with a student.
· O.J. Simpson Exposed. On the 10th anniversary of his murder trial, O.J. opens up. He's a traveling circus, a certified freak who draws stares, camera-phones and whispers. He maintains his innocence while maintaining a smile. Under his breath he talks about leaving as soon as he can.
· Steven Spielberg Baffled By Lack Of UFO Sightings. Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg is baffled that fewer UFO sightings are made now than were made 20 years ago - because the technology to record would-be aliens is so commonplace today.
· Rock, rap, reunions at Live 8 concerts. Twenty years after a scruffy one-hit wonder first demonstrated his gift for lofty dreams and grandiose statements, hundreds of the world’s top performers and more than 1 million fans united for 10 free concerts across the globe aimed at fighting African poverty. Bob Geldof claimed Saturday’s shows would be “the greatest concert ever,” and it was hard to argue with him after the unprecedented gathering drew everyone from Snoop Dogg to Bill Gates, Mandela to Madonna.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Cathartic [ca·thar·tic] adj. Producing a feeling of being purified emotionally, spiritually, or psychologically as a result of an intense emotional experience or therapeutic technique. "The strength of the movie had a cathartic effect on her."
· U.S. adventurers lift off from Newfoundland to recreate historic transatlantic flight. After three weeks of weather delays and technical glitches, two Americans finally lifted off from Newfoundland on Saturday, beginning their 3,000-kilometre re-enactment of the first transatlantic flight. Millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett and co-pilot Mark Rebholz left St. John's for Clifden, Ireland, under cloudy skies and in high wind at around 7:20 p.m.
· Shower health warning. Taking regular showers could pose a health risk and even result in permanent brain damage, it has been claimed. Scientists believe that breathing in small amounts of manganese dissolved in the water may harm the nervous system. The damage may occur even at levels of the naturally occurring metal normally considered safe, say the U.S. researchers.
· Fla. Company Sends Putting Greens To Soldiers. A company in St. Petersburg is sending portable putting greens to golf-loving American military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tour Links president Dave Barlow said his company has sent six of the portable golf units to U.S. military forces - and 14 more are on the way.
· AMD sues rival Intel for billions of dollars. Intel Corp. pushed price cuts and rebates on computer sellers in exchange for exclusionary contracts – and punished those that used competing microprocessors, rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. claims in a lawsuit against the world’s leading chip maker.
· Warplanes to search for missing teen. Holland will send three F-16 warplanes rigged with search equipment to find Natalee Holloway, Aruban authorities said Saturday, as U.S. lawmakers increased pressure on the Aruban government to do more to find the Alabama teenager nearly five weeks since she disappeared.
· Stewart Finally Wins at Daytona. After numerous frustrating finishes, Tony Stewart finally won at NASCAR's most famous track. Stewart dominated the rain-delayed Pepsi 400 on Saturday night, but still needed a dramatic four-wide pass to move to the front, then pulled away on a restart with nine laps left to seal his first Nextel Cup victory in 14 starts at Daytona International Speedway.
· Williams outlasts Davenport to win marathon final. Venus Williams leaned against the wall behind the baseline for several seconds, gasping for air. At the other end of the court, Lindsay Davenport doubled over, using her racket like a cane to rest a bothersome back.
· Ex-agent: Iranian leader wasn’t a hostage-taker. A top Iranian former secret agent said Saturday the hostage-taker in a 1979 photograph that has come under intense scrutiny is not President-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad but a former militant who committed suicide in jail.
Saturday, July 2, 2005
· Too much pride? Resident asked to take down some American flags. Richard Zelek's love for America now has him in trouble with the neighborhood's homeowners association, which feels that he's gone too far. "We're not trying to bring down the neighborhood. We're just trying to be patriotic," said Zelek, who generally considers his neighborhood a friendly one.
· Ward Churchill files complaint against himself. In a swipe at his critics, embattled University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill said Friday he has filed a formal complaint against himself, demanding that school officials investigate a spurious claim that he failed to acknowledge research help from graduate students. Churchill, who touched off a firestorm with an essay that likened some of the World Trade Center victims to a Nazi architect of the Holocaust, is under investigation by the university on allegations that he committed plagiarism, fabricated some research findings and falsely claimed to be an American Indian.
· O'Connor Retirement Sparks NOW March. The president of the National Organization for Women declared a "state of emergency" for women's rights and planned a march on the state Capitol as news of Sandra Day O'Connor's retirement reverberated through the group's annual convention.
· Canada's Most Notorious Female Prisoner Set for Release, Facing Threats, Scorn. The most reviled woman in Canada is set to walk out of prison Monday, facing death threats and rage from a public still bitter that she only served 12 years for the rapes and murders of teenage girls, including her younger sister. Karla Homolka is so frightened someone might harm her that her lawyers are demanding an unprecedented media blackout on her release and subsequent whereabouts.
» Karla read book on how to disappear. If Karla Homolka truly wants to disappear from public sight and attempt to live a normal life, one way would be to assume a whole new identity, preferably from someone dead, according to a book she apparently favoured during her years behind bars.
· Mothers Protest, Legislator To Push For Nursing Law. About 25 nursing mothers protested outside a Victoria's Secret lingerie store in Mount Pleasant last week, supporting the right of women to breast-feed in public.
· Idaho girl missing since mid-May found alive. Eight-year-old Shasta Groene, missing with her brother Dylan, 9, since May 16 after the brutal murders of their mother, her boyfriend and their older brother at their Idaho home, was found alive Saturday in a Denny's restaurant in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho. Taken into custody at Denny's was Joseph Edward Duncan, 42, of Fargo, N.D.
» Update: Sheriff believes Shasta's brother is dead. Cheryl Morgan, the siblings' grandmother, initially told FOX News that Dylan had also been found alive at a house in the area after Shasta told authorities the location. A subsequent news conference held by Kootenai County Sheriff's Capt. Ben Wolfinger, indictates that Dylan has not yet been located and in an updated news conference at 11am PST, Sheriff Wolfinger says he has information to believe that Shasta's 9-year-old brother Dylan has been killed. DEVELOPING...
· N.J. governor rips Cruise over comments on anti-depression. Actress Brooke Shields has an ally in her war of words with Tom Cruise over her use of drugs to treat postpartum depression: New Jersey's governor, Richard J. Codey. "Tom Cruise knows as much about postpartum depression as I do about acting, and he should stick to acting and not talk about women who need help," said Codey. Codey's wife, Mary Jo, struggled with the illness and has campaigned to raise awareness about depression.
· American companies find manners still matter. Business etiquette coach Barbara Pachter likes to tell the story of a financial executive who, dining with a potential client, licked his knife clean at the end of the meal. "It was a $30 million dollar lick," she said at an etiquette seminar in New York, referring to the value of the deal the executive lost by offending the potential customer.
· Teacher should have 'beat a kid' rather than wrestle. A high school social studies teacher took 11 sick days so he could perform as a professional wrestler. According to school investigators, Matthew Kaye told school officials he was taking the sick days in December and February to care for an ill sister. After stepping down, Kaye said in a statement "I would have been better off beating a kid, because those teachers always seem to keep their jobs."
· Going after smokers' sex lives. The British government launched a series of tough anti-cigarette advertisements Friday with the message that smoking is bad for your sex life because it makes men impotent and women ugly.
· U.S. to Retain Oversight of Web Traffic. A unilateral decision by the United States to indefinitely retain oversight of the Internet's main traffic-directing computers prompted concerns Friday that the global telecommunications network could eventually splinter. Many countries favor gradually releasing oversight of the Internet's so-called "root servers" to an international body, and a showdown on the issue could come in November at a U.N. information society summit to be held in Tunisia.
· Surprise dope test for Tour de France star Armstrong. Reigning champion Lance Armstrong of the United States was given a surprise anti-doping test on the eve of the Tour de France, race sources revealed. The test was carried out in the afternoon by doctors from the French sports ministry. No doping was found in his system.
· Lawsuit Against James Brown Dismissed. A federal judge dismissed a woman's lawsuit that claimed singer James Brown was to blame for her suffering from Graves' disease because he allegedly raped her 17 years ago.
· Doctor ordered to pay up in sportscaster's death. A Manhattan jury ruled yesterday that award-winning sports broadcaster and writer Dick Schaap died after receiving negligent care at Lenox Hill Hospital and awarded his family $1.9 million. Schaap, 67, who authored 30 books and broadcast for ABC and ESPN, went into the hospital for hip replacement surgery.
· Parks Seeks Fees After OutKast Lawsuit. Lawyers for Rosa Parks went before a federal judge to seek legal fees in the civil rights pioneer's settled lawsuit against the Atlanta-based rap duo OutKast. The April settlement ended a 1999 lawsuit in which Parks' attorneys accused OutKast of wrongly using her name in a song title. The amount of the settlement was not disclosed.
· Infamous Nevada Brothel Back in Business. The Mustang Ranch, the best-known little whorehouse in the West, is back in business at a new location. The gaudy pink stucco buildings and the working girls are there. The only thing missing is the name. The bordello reopened Friday east of Reno with the generic name World Famous Brothel six years after the government shut it down and auctioned off its buildings and contents.
· Man Arrested for DUI on Horseback, Again. Remember Millard Dwyer who was arrested two months ago for driving under the influence on a horse? Somerset, Kentucky police say he's been back in the saddle again and drunk again. A 911 call last night alerted police and responding officers found Dwyer riding his horse in the middle of the road near the Somerset city limits.
· Possible jail for 'scumbag' remark. A prospective juror may be sent to jail for using a vulgar term to describe an accused kidnapper. Stephen Caruso, 27, was in Manhattan State Supreme Court Thursday as a potential juror in the case of a defendant who allegedly got into a car in uptown Manhattan last year, put a gun to the driver's head, told him to drive away and demanded his wallet. "I'm not going to be fair and impartial in this case," Caruso told Justice William Wetzel. "I have been held up three times at gunpoint. One time almost identical, sir, to this." Caruso later said that he had been on a bus hijacked at gunpoint while attending college in New Orleans in 1997. He added that he was mugged there twice that year. "You would judge the case on what happened to you even if you were satisfied he was not guilty?" the judge asked. "I am already looking at him. I think he is a scumbag," Caruso responded.
· Judge Urged to Dismiss Suit Against Moore. A lawyer for Michael Moore urged a federal judge Friday to dismiss a libel lawsuit against the documentary filmmaker filed by the brother of Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols. Moore attorney Herschel Fink argued during a hearing that James Nichols' claims "range from the frivolous to the silly," and that Moore only reported the truth and his constitutionally protected opinion in the 2002 film "Bowling for Columbine." James Nichols' attorney, Kenneth McIntyre, argued that Moore "offered half-truths or total untruths" to accuse his client of being an accomplice in the April 1995 bombing that killed 168 people.
· Live 8 Fails to Generate Interest in Japan. The Live 8 global music marathon to raise awareness of African poverty began in Japan on Saturday, as Bjork and Good Charlotte joined local bands in a concert that failed to generate much interest in Asia's only G-8 nation.
· FBI searches congressman's home. Federal authorities intensified their investigation into U.S. Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham's dealings with a defense contractor Friday by searching his California home and a yacht where he has stayed while in Washington, D.C. FBI agents searched Cunningham's $2.55 million mansion outside San Diego and a 42-foot yacht named Duke Stir, according to a bureau spokeswoman, who said agents from the Department of Defense and Internal Revenue Service assisted.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Supercilious [su·per·cil·i·ous] adj. 1. Full of contempt and arrogance. 2. Behaving as if or showing that a person thinks they are better than other people, and that their opinions, beliefs or ideas are not important, condescending: "He spoke in a haughty, supercilious voice."
· MSNBC Analyst Says Cooper Documents Reveal Karl Rove as Source in Plame Case. Now that Time Inc. has turned over documents to federal court, presumably revealing who its reporter, Matt Cooper, identified as his source in the Valerie Plame/CIA case, speculation runs rampant on the name of that source, and what might happen to him or her. Tonight, on the syndicated McLaughlin Group political talk show, Lawrence O'Donnell, senior MSNBC political analyst, claimed to know that name--and it is, according to him, top White House mastermind Karl Rove.
· Taser files suit against USA Today. Stun gun maker Taser International Inc. yesterday said it filed a libel lawsuit against USA Today publisher Gannett Co. for running an article that Taser said misled readers about the safety of its products. Taser, which has been under scrutiny over the safety of its stun guns, said it filed suit in Arizona Superior Court accusing Gannett of libel, false light invasion of privacy, injurious falsehood and tortious interference with business relations.
· Federal prisons at Coleman to start using killer fences. Two high-security federal prisons in central Florida and five others will be getting fences that can kill prisoners who touch them, a $10 million project intended to allow the prisons to operate with fewer perimeter guards. The 12-foot-high "stun-lethal" fences, similar to ones already used at some state prisons, can be set to deliver electrical shocks to prisoners who touch them once and fatal shocks if they are touched a second time.
· Report Finds Motorists Running On Empty Promises. AAA conducted tests to determine whether promises posted on new car stickers actually held up under real-world conditions. In not a single case did AAA findings compare to those slick sticker claims, according to the report. The EPA rating claims the BMW Z-4, for example, gets 21 miles to the gallon, but AAA found it gets only 14.5. "The EPA tests are done without the air conditioning even being on," AAA Manager O.S. Brannon said. In fact, Brannon said the mileage numbers on which you rely are created in a lab, where the EPA simulates driving conditions without ever putting the car on a real road.
· U.S. sues bulletproof vest makers. The Justice Department joined a federal lawsuit Friday against a U.S. company and a Japanese firm, alleging they knowingly provided defective bulletproof vests to federal, state, and local law enforcement officers. The whistle-blower lawsuit was brought in February 2004 by a former company official who alleges the suppliers knew the vests' ability to stop bullets was being misrepresented.
Friday, July 1, 2005
· Aruba Suspects Could Be Charged Monday. Aruba's chief government spokesman said Friday that three young men detained in the disappearance of an Alabama teenager have not been formally charged but could be as soon as Monday. Earlier, Aruba's attorney general, Karin Janssen, told Associated Press that the young men had been charged with murder since their arrest three weeks ago.
· R&B crooner Luther Vandross dead at 54. Luther Vandross wasn't just a singer. He was a wedding day. A radio-show song dedication. A seduction. The supremely smooth Grammy-winner died Friday at a hospital in New Jersey. The cause of death was not immediately disclosed. Vandross, whose hits included the romantic renderings "Power of Love/Love Power," "Here and Now," and "Always and Forever," was felled by stroke on April 16, 2003, at his Manhattan apartment.
· Rangers' Kenny Rogers Suspended 20 Games. Major League Baseball on Friday suspended Texas pitcher Kenny Rogers for 20 games over his altercation with two TV cameramen Wednesday. Baseball commissioner Bud Selig told Dallas-Fort Worth television station KDFW that Rogers' behavior was "unprofessional, unwarranted and completely unacceptable." Rogers shoved two cameramen before Wednesday's game against the Angels in a tirade that included throwing a camera to the ground, kicking it and threatening to break more.
· "Jen's Revenge" competes with Brad & Angelina covers. "JEN'S REVENGE," reads the ominous headline in Us Weekly next to a photo of Jennifer Aniston, 36, in the arms of co-star Vince Vaughn, 35, on the set of their upcoming movie, The Break Up. Us Weekly says Aniston is "Happy Again!" thanks to the help of Vaughn. The two are photographed cuddling during a filming break.
· Army recruits shortfall blamed on Iraq war critics. Several Senate Republicans denounced other lawmakers and the news media on Thursday for unfavorable depictions of the Iraq war and the Pentagon urged members of Congress to talk up military service to help ease a recruiting shortfall.
· Kissinger regrets calling Gandhi a "bitch." Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has expressed regret over anti-India comments he made to former President Richard Nixon. "The Indians are bastards," Mr Kissinger said shortly before the India-Pakistan war of 1971, it was revealed this week. Mr Kissinger also called former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi a "bitch" during the conversation.
· Racing Fans Fake Handicaps, Make Signs For Parking Spots. About 20 people were caught trying to sneak into handicapped parking sections during a crackdown on motorists illegally looking for the best parking spots at the Daytona International Speedway for this weekend's racing events.
· NFL coach fined $100,000 for scalping tickets. Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Tice was fined $100,000 by the NFL on Thursday for scalping his Super Bowl tickets. Tice was on vacation and unavailable for comment, but he issued a statement through the team, in which he said he used "poor judgment."
· Minn. Government Shuts Down; 9,000 Jobless. Minnesota's government shut down Friday for the first time in state history after lawmakers failed to pass a temporary spending plan and left 9,000 employees jobless and highway rest stops unattended for the July Fourth weekend.
· Supreme Court Justice O'Connor retiring. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court and a key swing vote on issues such as abortion and the death penalty, said Friday she is retiring.
· 'War of the Worlds' Rakes in $21 Million During Opening. Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise's sci-fi thriller "War of the Worlds" raked in about $21.3 million at the domestic box office on its opening day, according to studio estimates released Thursday.
· Government slow to reward, informant says. The U.S. government promises as much as $25 million for information leading to the capture of the world's most-wanted terrorists and criminals. But how easy is it to actually collect that money? One undercover informant who helped the FBI arrest one of the 10 most-wanted international fugitives says, in his case, it was a nightmare.
· FTC chief's credit card info stolen. The Federal Trade Commission stays busy helping millions of Americans who fall victim to identity theft each year. But one recent victim is the head of the agency, FTC chief Deborah Platt Majoras.
· Marlon Brando's effects sell for $2.4 million. Hollywood legend Marlon Brando's personal effects were auctioned on Thursday in a sale that raised more than $2.4 million, but which Brando's biographer said would have the renowned recluse "turning over in his grave."
· Gay channel loses its best market. MTV was hoping millions of gay and lesbian TV viewers would be saying "I Want My Gay TV" today, when the cable network launched Logo, a major entry in the gay television sweepstakes. The irony is that the channel won't be available to most San Francisco viewers.
· Mysterious 'stealth' boat in Portland. People who are used to seeing a variety of boats moving up and down the calm waters of the Columbia River have recently reported seeing a UFO- of sorts. The sleek, silvery craft is definitely not designed for pleasure cruises or towing water skiers. It rides very low on the water, so low it looks like even a not-so-large wave could swamp it.
· Shields blasts Cruise for 'rant.' Actress Brooke Shields on Friday fired back at Tom Cruise after the actor criticized her for having revealed she had taken an antidepressant to cope with post-natal depression. Shields called Cruise's comments "a disservice to mothers everywhere" in an opinion column for The New York Times. "To suggest that I was wrong to take drugs to deal with my depression, and that instead I should have taken vitamins and exercised shows an utter lack of understanding about postpartum depression and childbirth in general," the actress wrote. "If any good can come of Mr. Cruise's ridiculous rant, let's hope that it gives much-needed attention to a serious disease."
· DJ admits false tale about missing teen. A disc jockey who spent 10 days in jail after being arrested and questioned about a missing American teenager admits he lied to Aruban police to protect one of the suspects in custody. "I heard this guy talking on the phone at the Internet cafe," Steve Croes said. "So my story was like almost exactly as his."
· He grabbed girl's arm - now he's a sex offender. Fitzroy Barnaby said he had to swerve to avoid hitting the 14-year-old Des Plaines girl who walked in front of his car. She said he yelled, "Come here, little girl," before getting out of his car and grabbing her by the arm. He said he simply lectured her. She said she broke free and ran, fearful of what he'd do next. In a Thursday ruling, the Appellate Court of Illinois said the 28-year-old Evanston man must register as a sex offender. While acknowledging it might be "unfair for [Barnaby] to suffer the stigmatization of being labeled a sex offender when his crime was not sexually motivated," the court said his actions are the type that are "often a precursor" to a child being abducted or molested.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Ambivalence [am·biv·a·lence] n. 1. Uncertainty or indecisiveness as to which course to follow. 2. The coexistence of opposing attitudes or feelings, such as love and hate, toward a person, object, or idea.
· Unions back perv teacher. The city's teachers union is fighting "tooth and nail" to put a pervert teacher back in the classroom, the Department of Education charged yesterday. "This action speaks a lot louder than the union's hypocritical rhetoric," the department said in a statement condemning the United Federation of Teachers for standing behind chemistry teacher Cary Hershkowitz.
· Second St. Louis bar employee cited for baring breasts. For the second time in a month a female bartender at E ‘n' J's Grill and Pub in O'Fallon, Mo. was arrested for exposing her breasts while on the job.
· Barbecue chain spends $6,000 to buy porn Web site. Surfers trying to find the barbecue chain Sticky Fingers on the Internet no longer face the possibility of ending up at a much saucier Web site. The Charleston company spent $6,000 to buy the address stickyfingers.com from a site offering pornography. "Now we don't have to talk to angry customers calling, thinking we're perverts," said Jeff Goldstein, a partner in the 15-restaurant chain.
· Update: Winner To Pay $351,000 For Lunch With Buffett. Saying "check, please" will cost a bidder in this online auction more than $350,000. Someone bid $351,100 to have lunch with billionaire investor Warren Buffett, the so-called "Oracle of Omaha," in an online charity auction that closed at 10 p.m. EDT Thursday on eBay.
· Just how common is ID theft? Another day, another big number about identity theft. On Wednesday, the public policy think tank Privacy and American Business released a study saying 1 in 5 Americans identify themselves as a victim of identity theft. Researchers there estimated the crime has hit a staggering 44 million people.
· Tom's com-on for a wife. He cooks, cleans and irons. He owns a house on the bay and, for Pete's sake, he shops at J. Crew and the Gap. How on Earth is this 41-year-old teacher still single? Tom Barrella has asked himself the same question for years. Now, bored with the dating scene, the salt-and-pepper-haired bachelor is renting a billboard at the exit of the Midtown Tunnel in hopes of landing a bride.
· People Magazine Scores Pitt, Jolie Photos. After months of avoiding being photographed together, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie appear in new photos published in People magazine. In the six pictures featured in the July 11 issue, Jolie stands in a field near her Buckinghamshire, England, estate while a shirtless and bleached-blond Pitt rides a dirt bike with her safety helmet-clad son Maddox. Larry Hackett, People's deputy managing editor, won't disclose how much the magazine paid for the photos, obtained from a photographer in Britain. But he told The Associated Press Thursday that the price tag was under $1 million.
· Novak: 'I will reveal all.' Time Inc. announced Thursday it will turn over the subpoenaed records from journalist Matt Cooper regarding the leak of a CIA operative's name, following a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court not to hear an appeal in the case.
· NASA sets date. Lucky 13. NASA administrator Michael Griffin announced Thursday afternoon the space shuttle's return to flight in July. "Based on a very thorough and very successful flight readiness review, we're currently go for launch of Discovery on July 13," Griffin said.
· California prison smoking ban set to take effect. California inmates and their guards will no longer be able to light up starting today when a law takes effect that bans smoking in the nation's largest prison system. The California Legislature last year approved legislation that bars tobacco products from state prisons.
· Ex-police chief run over by squad car. Nigeria's graft-tainted former police chief fell out of a squad car which then rolled over his legs Wednesday in a bizarre incident after a court ruled he would face a second trial on corruption charges. Not surprisingly, Tafa Balogun is accused of stealing and laundering $100 million in his three years as Inspector General of Police in one of the most high-profile cases resulting from a government crackdown on graft. He denies the accusations.