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Thursday, June 30, 2005
· Oops! Brad & Angelina are friends after all. After spending some time apart (she, in Manhattan while he was in L.A.), Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have reunited with her son Maddox on her farm in the bucolic village of Fulmer in Buckinghamshire, England.
· Congress makes move against eminent domain ruling. Key leaders of both parties in both chambers of Congress vowed today to use the power of the purse to negate this week's Supreme Court ruling allowing local and state governments to use eminent domain to take private property for economic development purposes. Bills introduced in the House and Senate would yank federal funds from any city or state project that forced people to sell their property to make way for a project like a hotel or strip mall.
· Man Pleads Guilty To Stealing Rod Stewart's Car, Given 11 Years. Maybe he should have taken a downtown train. But instead Donald Michael Smith stole a sports car belonging to singer Rod Stewart. Smith pleaded guilty yesterday to stealing Stewart's Dodge Viper. He alsp pleaded guilty to burglary and attempted burglary for a separate incident in which he choked his neighbor and held her at gunpoint.
· Bar owner bans smoking and alcohol in the name of the Lord. Randy Griffith has owned T Birds Café for the last three years. It's an eatery that has catered to bikers in the past. Until Tuesday, he had served alcohol and allowed smoking. But Monday he decided to eliminate both. "And of course the number one question that everybody is asking is 'Do you think that you'll be able to survive by taking the alcohol out of this business?' I will probably triple my business," says Griffith.
· Florida child killing confession may be thrown out. A Florida man's confession that he kidnapped, raped and buried alive a 9-year-old girl may never be heard by a jury because, according to documents, he previously asked for a lawyer but was not given one. John Couey, accused of murder in the death of Jessica Lunsford, asked for an attorney on March 17, the day before he confessed, according to the transcript of his questioning released by police.
· Cyndi Lauper Loses Bid to Reduce Rent. Cyndi Lauper has lost her bid to have the rent on her Manhattan apartment cut nearly in half. On Thursday, the state Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling that set Lauper's rent at nearly $1,000 a month. Lauper and her husband, actor David Thornton, sued the owners of their luxury apartment building, claiming they were cheated out of thousands of dollars in a scheme to end rent stabilization for their residence.
· Taiwan bowled over by toilet-theme restaurant. It may take a strong stomach to eat curry or chocolate ice cream out of a toilet bowl, but a commode-themed restaurant in Taiwan does booming business serving up just that. The Martun, or toilet in Chinese, restaurant is in the southern port city of Kaohsiung. Food arrives in bowls shaped like toilets or Asian-style "squat pots."
· Mom sells face space for tattoo advertisement. For $10,000 and a brighter future for her son, Kari Smith on Wednesday became a real life pop-up ad for a virtual casino. "To everyone else, it seems like a stupid thing to do. To me, $10,000 is like $1 million. I only live once."
· Mystery planes continue to circle over Lodi. The white plane, with its baby blue striping, spends hours and days circling over Lodi. But the plane isn't from the city. It's not even from California. The plane has traveled all the way from Delaware to move in slow circles over Lodi. It hasn't exactly blended in.
· Brutal Venus dethrones Maria. Former double champion Venus Williams dethroned center court queen and defending champion Maria Sharapova 7-6 (7/2) 6-1 on Thursday to book her place in her fifth Wimbledon final.
· Sex offender cyberstalks newscaster. A registered sex offender apparently obsessed with the breasts of a St. Louis TV anchorwoman is out on bail and back working the counter at a Belleville, Ill. gas station after pleading not guilty to two counts of felony cyberstalking.
· Bennifer II married and expecting. After months of speculation, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner have tied the knot - and she's pregnant. Representatives for both Affleck and Garner confirmed the marriage to The Associated Press on Thursday. The publicists, Ken Sunshine and Nicole King, also for the first time confirmed that Garner is pregnant with her first child.
· Crack security at Phoenix airport has police in car chase on runway. America's fifth largest airport saw a major security lapse when a pickup truck burst through a small security gate to enter the runway area of the airport. The pursuit ended when the man crashed through another fence and was rammed by two police cars. The ordeal halted several flights and undoubtably surprised many travelers waiting to take off.
· TSA audit reveals some disturbing expenditures. A recent Transportation Security Administration (TSA) audit outlines some costs that call into question about $303 million in taxpayer charges. Among them are, $526.95 for one phone call from the Hyatt Regency O'Hare in Chicago to Iowa City, $1,180 for 20 gallons of Starbucks Coffee, and $1,540 to rent 14 extension cords for three weeks.
· CU prof defends military remarks. Controversial University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill says he does not advocate "fragging" U.S. military officers in spite of his recent comments saying "Conscientious objection removes a given piece of the cannon fodder from the fray," he said. "Fragging an officer has a much more impactful effect." [Google's dictionary defines fragging as: "To wound or kill (a fellow soldier) by throwing a grenade or similar explosive at the victim."]
· Sex offender busted for being a Star Wars geek. Registered sex offender James Andrew Crawford, 35, was arrested after having camped for two weeks in a theater line that was waiting for "Star Wars: Episode III" to open. According to a Riverside County deputy sheriff, Crawford was in violation of a state law that requires sex offenders to notify the government if they adopt a new "domicile" for more than five days.
· TBS signs 'Raymond' up for 11 years. TBS is keeping "Everybody Loves Raymond" in the family for the next 11 years, paying $650,000 per episode for cable rerun rights to all nine seasons of CBS' Emmy-winning sitcom, sources said.
· No more 'brainstorming' in Northern Ireland. 'Brainstorming', the buzzword used by executives to generate ideas among their staff, has been deemed politically incorrect by civil servants because it is thought to be offensive to people with epilepsy. Instead staff at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) in Belfast will use the term 'thought-showers' when they get together to think creatively.
· Michael Jackson Vacations in Bahrain. Michael Jackson began a vacation at a prince's palace in the tiny Gulf kingdom of Bahrain, his first trip overseas since being acquitted of child molestation charges, an official close to the royal circle said Thursday. Jackson and his three children arrived on a private plane from Europe on Wednesday night for an indefinite stay, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
· Ex-Iran hostages say new leader was ’79 captor. Almost a quarter-century after they were taken captive in Iran, five former American hostages say they got an unexpected reminder of their 444-day ordeal in the bearded face of Iran’s new president-elect. “This is the guy. There’s no question about it,” said former hostage Chuck Scott, a retired Army colonel who lives in Jonesboro, Ga. “You could make him a blond and shave his whiskers, put him in a zoot suit and I’d still spot him.”
· Will Ellen DeGeneres get 'Nightline?' Daytime talk show star Ellen DeGeneres had secret meetings with ABC executives to fill the late-night void that Ted Koppel will create when he retires in December after 25 years as host of "Nightline."
· Father Gave Son Legal Advice In Holloway Case. The father of a Dutch teenager arrested in the disappearance of a young U.S. woman told his son and his two friends that "when there is no body you don't have a case," Aruba's attorney general said Wednesday. Paul van der Sloot, a judge in training in Aruba, gave his 17-year-old son Joran van der Sloot and two Surinamese brothers legal advice the day after 18-year-old Natalee Holloway disappeared, District Attorney Caren Janssen told MSNBC in an interview. "They spoke about the situation that when there is no body you don't have a case, and that was already in the first day after the disappearance," Janssen said.
· 15% of tax fraud committed by prison inmates. A South Carolina prison inmate told a rapt House panel Wednesday about how he defrauded the U.S. government of $3.5 million by filing bogus tax returns. The man, an anonymous 37-year-old inmate said he started out by filing phony returns for 10 inmates in 1991, which netted $4,200 to $5,400. He kept a $1,000 commission on each return. The Internal Revenue Service estimates that 15 percent of all tax fraud is committed by prison inmates.
· Update: Putin given Super Bowl ring as gift. Russian President Vladimir Putin walked off with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft's diamond-encrusted 2005 Super Bowl ring during a recent meeting with U.S. business executives. But not to worry: Kraft says the ring was a gift to Putin, presented out of "respect and admiration."
· School name misspelled on graduation diplomas. When Johanna R. Schechter received her Northampton Area High School diploma June 11, she expected the document certifying that she had fulfilled all the requirements of graduation to be without errors. So it was a bit of a shock when the 18-year-old learned from fellow graduate Jamie Lambert that the name of the school was spelled wrong within the body of the document.
· Fly on the wall has firm's e-mail abuzz for four hours. In the latest embarrassing e-mail chain to leak out of the corporate world, it seems a team of London accountants from the accounting firm of KPMG International, spent more than four hours debating what to do about a fly buzzing around their office.
· Model turned bounty hunter found dead. Model-turned-bounty hunter Domino Harvey - whose tumultuous life inspired an upcoming film starring Keira Knightley - has been found dead in her bathtub, authorities said yesterday. An autopsy failed to reveal what killed the 35-year-old beauty, they said.
· Jilted fiancé can sue to get ring back, court rules. A Regina judge says the tradition of returning an engagement ring if the marriage is called off is not discrimination against women. The ruling made by Queen's Bench Justice Grant Currie also means men who are jilted on the way to the altar can sue to get the jewelry back. While many have tried to argue that the courts have no business being involved in matters of love, the judge said it happens all the time in matters such as divorce, custody, access and family property.
· Parking meters get smarter, and more expensive. Technology is taking much of the fun out of finding a place to park the car. In Pacific Grove, Calif., parking meters know when a car pulls out of the spot and quickly reset to zero - eliminating drivers' little joy of parking for free on someone else's quarters.
· 911 Dispatcher Resigns After Rude Reponse. A 911 dispatcher has resigned after saying "that's not my problem" during a call from a woman reporting an apartment fire. Fire chief Casey Jones said Tuesday the dispatcher, whose name was not released, did not give a reason for resigning.
· Judge Delays Sentencing of Journalists. Time magazine lawyers told a judge the publication may give federal prosecutors notes from a reporter who says he'll go to jail rather than divulge sources about the leak of an undercover CIA officer's name. U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan agreed Wednesday to hold a hearing next week to consider arguments against jailing Matthew Cooper of Time and Judith Miller of The New York Times for contempt for refusing to disclose their sources in the leak of the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame.
· Spain's Parliament Legalizes Gay Marriage. Parliament legalized gay marriage Thursday, defying conservatives and clergy who opposed making traditionally Roman Catholic Spain the third nation to allow same-sex unions. Gay activists cheered the vote and blew kisses to lawmakers.
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
· Alleged Drunk Driver Interrupts Funeral. An altercation developed after a car whose driver is accused of being intoxicated interrupted the procession for the funeral of a man killed last week in a traffic accident alleged to have involved a drunken driver.
· Kenny Rogers sends cameraman to hospital. No, not that Kenny Rogers, but the Texas Rangers pitcher Kenny Rogers shoved two cameramen Wednesday, sending one to the hospital in a videotaped tirade that included throwing a camera to the ground and threatening to break others.
· Smart traffic forecast offers seven-day predictions. A traffic forecasting system capable of predicting traffic conditions seven days in advance will go live to the public in California on Wednesday. The system, called Beat-the-Traffic, is the first public traffic forecasting system that combines real-time traffic density and speed with historical trends on major routes.
· Couples Marriage thrives when living separately. Joshua Brody and his wife, Juliana Grenzeback, have been married for seven years, but they have never lived together. Grenzeback lives in a neat, pleasant house in San Francisco. Brody lives across the street in a rented flat. They aren't alone. According to a 2003 census report, 3 million married couples live in separate residences.
· 'Idol' Winner Studdard Files Complaint. American Idol" winner Ruben Studdard has filed a complaint with the Birmingham police department accusing his ex-manager of identity theft and forgery. Studdard claims Ronald Edwards used his credit cards to take $105,000 and had written checks for $150,000.
» Update: Studdard's Ex-Manager Files Bankruptcy. A lawsuit filed by "American Idol" winner Ruben Studdard against his former manager has been put on hold after the defendants filed for bankruptcy. Ronald W. Edwards and his marketing company, SEZ Inc., filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in north Alabama's federal bankruptcy court, prompting a stay in the case.
· Zimbabwe purges remaining white farmers. Zimbabwe has quietly continued evicting the few remaining white farmers several months after announcing it had completed its farm seizure program and would focus on rebuilding the crippled agricultural sector. Food production has plummeted by 60% since the farmer evictions began five years ago and only food handouts from international relief agencies have saved Zimbabwe from famine.
· Latest scare: Teflon may cause cancer. A controversial chemical used by DuPont to make the nonstick substance Teflon poses more of a cancer risk than indicated in a draft assessment by the Environmental Protection Agency, an independent review board has found.
· Putin Gets Patriots Super Bowl Ring. Russian President Vladimir Putin walked off with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft's diamond-encrusted 2005 Super Bowl ring, but was it a generous gift or a very expensive international misunderstanding?
· Uecker uses self-effacing humor to explain his rejected credit card. A potentially embarrassing situation was quelled during a recent dinner at Mike Ditka’s Restaurant in Chicago when Milwaukee Brewers announcer Bob Uecker’s credit card was rejected.
· Store Owner Stripped Of Lottery License. A North Andover, Mass., convenience store owner who admitted stealing a customer's winning lottery ticket has been stripped of his license to sell Massachusetts Lottery tickets, a lottery spokeswoman said. Prosecutors said Patrick Simboli, 45, told customer Elizabeth Gelarderes, of Raymond, N.H., that she'd won $2 on a "Cash Winfall" ticket purchased at his store on May 9. In fact, the ticket was worth $32,480, after taxes.
· Unhappy love affair explains Rice stance on Iran? Perplexed by the vitriol of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's attacks on Iran, one lawmaker believes he has uncovered the secret of her hatred - she was spurned by an Iranian boyfriend at college.
· Teacher accused of assigning arson. A chemistry teacher who was at least three months behind on her car payments gave passing grades to two failing students who stole and burned her car so she could collect insurance money, a fire investigator said.
· Over-exposed. Talk about a belly shirt! Britney Spears, whose first child is due in the fall, flaunts her bump in Malibu on Monday. The pop star met with sister Jamie-Lynn and a pal for lunch at Nobu and a shopping trip [with photo].
· Rape Conviction Overturned Due to Note. A judge has thrown out a man's rape conviction because the jury that convicted him found something it wasn't supposed to see — a purported confession stuck in the pocket of a pair of pants being examined in the jury room.
· Cosby Says Allegations Won't Stop Activism. Bill Cosby doesn't believe allegations of infidelity prevent him from speaking out about moral issues. Cosby said he likened his mistakes to hitting a pothole while driving on a rainy road and trying to warn others to avoid the same fate.
· Thousands mob beach in 'diamond' rush. Thousands of people have been flocking to a beach in India's financial hub in a manic diamond rush, but police said Wednesday the stones were fakes and warned them to stay away after one treasure hunter was drowned. Beggars, hawkers, street children and even housewives and tourists have been arriving at Bombay's Juhu beach, scouring the sands for glittering stones for the past three days.
· Tabloid donates to burn group after calling cop 'ugly.' A tabloid made a donation to an organization for burn victims after calling an officer who suffered disfiguring burns while on duty "ugly." It was a story that outraged Arizona earlier this year. The national tabloid World Weekly News ranked former Phoenix Police Officer Jason Schechterle, severely burned in the line of duty, as one of its "Ten Ugliest People" in a February 7, 2005 issue.
· Gas chain faces $1.6 million fine for selling gas too cheap. Gas prices are solidly over $2 a gallon, but the state of Minnesota says one chain of gas stations isn't charging enough. The state Commerce Department is accusing Midwest Oil of Minnesota, based in Shawano, Wis., of more than 160 violations of a state law that requires stations to charge at least 8 cents more per gallon than they pay. Midwest Oil faces a potential fine of up to $1.6 million.
· Convicted child molester may receive $730,000 from State of California. John Stoll walked out of prison last year a free man at 62 after 20 years behind bars. His 1985 conviction on 17 child molestation counts was thrown out by a judge who said investigators coerced the witnesses. Prosecutors still believe Stoll is guilty, but decided not to retry him, saying they no longer had enough evidence. Now Stoll wants some payback, under a state law that allows for vindicated prisoners to collect $100 for every day spent in prison.
· Wendy’s finger suspects head to court. A court appearance comes today for the two people accused of planting a finger in a bowl of Wendy’s chili. Anna Ayala and her husband Jaime Placencia are scheduled to enter pleas in a California courtroom on conspiracy and other charges. The two are accused of trying to extort money from the fast-food chain.
· Gannett Editor Promises to Burn Flag If Burning Amendment Passes. The top editor at a newspaper owned by Gannett, which publishes USA Today, promised in a recent column to burn an American flag if the Senate passes an anti-flag burning amendment. Linda Grist Cunningham, Executive Editor of the Rockford Register Star in Illinois, pledged: "If the U.S. Senate follows its silly siblings in the House of Representatives and votes for a ban on burning the American flag, I'm going to burn one."
· Saddam may sue Sun tabloid over pictures. A leading London media lawyer is to advise on Saddam Hussein's prospects of success in a High Court human rights claim over photographs of him in his underpants which appeared on the front page of the London tabloid newspaper The Sun.
· BET throws an awards party, but few show up. Extravagant performances and on-stage antics largely stole the spotlight from the winners at Tuesday night's BET Awards - if the winners showed up at all, that is. Among the eight no-shows was top honoree Kanye West, who earned trophies for male hip-hop artist and video of the year for his "Jesus Walks."
· Man Pulled From Women's Outhouse Tank. A man is facing charges after police said they pulled him from a tank under a women's toilet that was filled with human waste. Police said that Gary Moody, 45, was under a log cabin outhouse off the Kancamagas Highway in Albany, N.H. "You can draw your own conclusions as to the conditions we encountered," said Capt. John Hebert, of the local Sheriff's office. Police said that they got a call from the parents of a teenage girl who said that when she went to use the facilities, she saw Moody's face staring back at her from under the toilet seat.
· Man Jailed in Restraining Order Wedding. When Rachel Dunham took out a restraining order against her boyfriend, she didn't expect to be marrying him a short time later. So instead of honeymooning in Mexico, Rodney Tomsha sits in the Spokane County Jail, accused of violating the order by getting within two blocks of Dunham.
· Soros' bid for Nationals gets political. Republicans in Congress threatened Major League Baseball with repeal of its antitrust exemption if billionaire financier George Soros is involved in buying the Washington Nationals. Soros contributed more than $20 million to groups in an attempt to unseat President Bush last year.
· IRS Awards Data Processing Contract to Company Involved in Massive Identity Theft. The IRS has renewed a 5-year, $20 million contract with ChoicePoint to provide data processing services to the agency. ChoicePoint is one of the companies caught up in the identity theft crisis, as it allowed thieves to steal confidential information on more than 100,000 of its customers.
· Supreme Court fury targets Souter. Furious over the recent Supreme Court ruling that lets local governments grab private property for new development, a man yesterday sent a letter yesterday to ask a New Hampshire town to seize the home of Justice David Souter. Logan Darrow Clements sent the letter to the town of Weare, N.H., proposing to build "The Lost Liberty Hotel" and "Just Desserts Cafe" on Souter's property.
· Carson Estate Donates $5 Million to Hospital. The estate of comedian-TV host Johnny Carson has donated $5 million to Faith Regional Health Services. The donation will be used to fund an endowment for the Carson Cancer Center to ensure that services remain available to people in northeast Nebraska. Carson's gift is the largest the hospital has ever received.
· Britain's Prince Harry had blood test to prove Charles was father. Britain's royal family forced the late Princess Diana to blood test her younger son, Prince Harry, to prove he was not the offspring of an affair with a certain army officer.
· Activists want fish off California aquarium menu. An animal rights group has called on one of the largest aquarium in the United States to stop serving fish to its visitors, likening the practice to grilling up "poodle burgers at a dog show."
· Man steals $12,900 from bowling league for Canadian lotto scam. A former bowling league treasurer - who police say stole from two league accounts in hopes of securing a so-called Canadian lottery prize of $500,000 - was enrolled Tuesday into a special probationary program and has agreed to repay the leagues $12,900.
· Oprah Gets Empathy After Boutique Rebuff. Whether Oprah Winfrey was turned away from a bit of after-hours shopping in Paris because of a racist employee or a special event, news of the confrontation outside a luxury store has evoked empathy and anger from many American minorities. Winfrey's influence is enormous: She reportedly earned $225 million last year, her daily talk show is seen in 111 countries and Forbes magazine recently named her America's most powerful celebrity. Some commentators have suggested that her extraordinary wealth, usually a buffer from the everyday trials faced by most blacks, has fueled her outrage.
· Milk study labeled 'road map for terrorists' published. The National Academy of Sciences is proceeding with publication of a study outlining how terrorists could contaminate the U.S. milk supply with botulism - despite complaints that the article is a "road map for terrorists." The article theorizes that hundreds of thousands of people could be poisoned if terrorists exploited vulnerabilities in milk processing.
· Can you say anything about the dead? Lurid claims about Princess Diana have made the front pages once again. But what are the restrictions on what you can say about people who have died? Princess Diana, as everyone now knows, had a colorful life. Yet eight years after her death, stories - often from "close friends and acquaintances" - continue to fuel biographies and newspaper headlines.
· Armstrong About To Release Clothing Line. Lance Armstrong is about to launch a new clothing line. On Saturday, Armstrong will launch his new apparel line, called The 10-2 Collection. The name 10-2 refers to the day Armstrong was diagnosed with cancer, October 2, 1996.
· Power to tax dropped from constitution. A printing mistake has removed Congress' authority to tax in Missouri. A recently updated version of the Missouri and U.S. constitutions, published by the Missouri secretary of state's office, is missing the page that grants Congress the power to pass revenue bills, collect taxes, borrow money and print currency. Also missing is the section of the U.S. Constitution requiring senators and representatives to be paid.
· Tilly Wins Event at World Series of Poker. Actress Jennifer Tilly won the Ladies no-limit Texas Hold 'Em event at the World Series of Poker - the first time a celebrity has won an event at the famous tournament. Tilly's skillful play earned her $158,625. She beat 600 players to capture first place in a two-day event featuring some of the top female professionals in the world.
· Fed has few options in trying to cool housing. There is no doubt the housing market is a topic of increasing concern to Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and other Fed policy-makers as they hold their two-day midyear meeting beginning today. But beyond such “jawboning,” it is far from clear exactly what the Fed can or should do.
· New WTC tower design made public. A revised design for the signature new tower at the World Trade Center site was made public Wednesday. The building, dubbed the "Freedom Tower" by New York Gov. George Pataki, will remain 1,776 feet high, making it the world's tallest building.
· Tom Cruise says he believes in aliens. Hollywood actor Tom Cruise not only battles creatures from outer space in his latest film "War of the Worlds," he also believes aliens really exist, he told a German newspaper on Wednesday.
· Even O’Donnell can’t defend Cruise. Even Rosie O’Donnell is dismayed by Tom Cruise’s recent behavior. The former talk-show host — who has long been one of the star’s most vocal fans — defended him when critics mocked his relationship with Katie Holmes, but now O’Donnell is chiding her “Tommy” on her blog.
· Microsoft Unveils Cut-Rate Windows XP. Beset by rampant counterfeiting across Latin America, Microsoft on Tuesday introduced a cut-rate, reduced version of Windows XP that is aimed at first-time, low-income computer users who might otherwise run pirated software.
· Smart eyewear for keen swimmers. Smart goggles that help swimmers log lengths have been designed by a UK engineering student. The Inview goggles display a lap count and time elapsed on their lenses so swimmers can track their progress.
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
· Soccer coach faces trial on sex charges. A girls soccer coach who claimed he was under an evil spell persuaded two young players to have sex to cure him, according to testimony at a Superior Court hearing yesterday.
· Canada Legalizes Gay Marriage. Canada's House of Commons voted Tuesday to legalize gay marriage, passing landmark legislation that would grant all same-sex couples in Canada the same legal rights as those between a man and a woman.
· Town says Patriot Act lets city ban homeless. The U.S. Patriot Act allows the government to find out which books and Internet sites a person has seen. It also lets investigators secretly search someone's home and monitor people's phone calls and e-mail, all in the name of fighting terrorism. Now, a New Jersey town being sued for kicking homeless people out of a train station claims the Patriot Act allows it to do that as well.
· Florida Democratic Party Bookkeeper Takes Blame For Tax Problems. A bookkeeper for the Florida Democratic Party took the blame Tuesday for the party's failure to pay its Social Security and payroll taxes, and said she never informed her boss, gubernatorial candidate Scott Maddox. The Internal Revenue Service slapped a lien on the party last week for about $200,000 owed in taxes from 2003. The party had only $98,000 in its bank account.
· Woody Allen: 9/11 was insignificant. Director Woody Allen has dismissed the September 11th attacks as a negligible historical event not worthy of the silver screen. Allen says, "As a filmmaker, I'm not interested in 9/11 - it's too small, history overwhelms it. The history of the world is like: He kills me, I kill him, only with different cosmetics and different castings."
· Mothers in Aruba case exchange words. The mother of a Dutch teen detained in connection with the disappearance of an Alabama teenager insisted again on her family's innocence Tuesday and claimed the only reason investigators were focusing on her son and husband was because they had "lost control" of their case.
· USDA Fails to Find Cause of Attack on Horn. The tiger-was-hungry theory was ruled out. And there was no proof that the animal was deliberately provoked by someone in the audience, or that a terrorist sprayed it with a behavior-altering scent, or that it was unhinged by a woman with a beehive hairdo.
· Michelin offers refunds for Indy fiasco. On Tuesday, Michelin released a statement declaring its intention to compensate fans of the 2005 United States Grand Prix. The statement said "Michelin deeply regrets that the public was deprived of an exciting race and therefore wishes to be the first, among the different groups involved in the Indianapolis race, to make a strong gesture towards the spectators." The French company also has offered to buy 20,000 tickets for the 2006 U.S.G.P to be distributed to spectators who were present at this year's event.
· Canadian killer Karla Homolka to seek injunction to prevent media from talking about her. Convicted killer Karla Homolka, who was convicted in the sex slayings of two teenagers, is seeking a wide-ranging injunction aimed at preventing media from reporting anything about her.
· U2 Sues Ex-Stylist Over Auction Items. Bono wants his hat back. And his earrings. His sweat shirt, too. Dublin-based rock band U2 went to court Tuesday to recover items from former stylist Lola Cashman, who has a range of memorabilia from her work on their 1987 Joshua Tree world tour.
· HealthSouth CEO walks. Richard Scrushy, former founder and CEO of HealthSouth Corp., was found not guilty Tuesday on all charges in the $2.7 billion accounting fraud at the hospital chain. As the verdict was read in the early afternoon, defense lawyers were crying while the prosecutors sat stone-faced.
· Feathers fly as Crowe suit outlined. Russell Crowe is expected to get hammered this week with a massive lawsuit that will provide a blow-by-blow account of his alleged June 6 telephone rage assault against a downtown hotel clerk. The suit will charge that Crowe hurled a ceramic bowl at Mercer Hotel clerk Nestor (Josh) Estrada after hitting the 28-year-old Brooklyn man in the face with a thrown phone - an attack captured on video, according to sources familiar with the incident.
· Woman charged with stealing $793,860 from employer. A Lake Worth woman has been charged with stealing nearly $800,000 from her employer by writing more than 100 unauthorized checks to herself. Mari "Cha" Lampman, who turned 52 on Sunday, was arrested on fraud, grand larceny and computer crime charges. Lampman made repeated calls to Tarpell asking if she could pay restitution. She told the company president "that she lost count on the amount after $60,000," Napier said in the affidavit. Police said Lampman also left this tearful message on the phone answering machine of a co-worker: "I screwed up big time."
· A peek inside the real Batmobile. If the crouching, jagged Batmobile from the movie "Batman Begins" looks to you like the offspring of a Lamborghini Countach and a Hummer, congratulations. You hit the nail on the head.
· Starbucks to Release CD of Dylan Bootlegs. Starbucks Coffee Co. has reached a deal to produce and exclusively release a CD of 10 Dylan recordings from New York's Gaslight Cafe in 1962, when he was just finding himself as a songwriter. The Gaslight, in Greenwich Village, was a focal point of the folk revival in the early '60s.
· New Illinois law requires dental visit before report card. A new state law will require some students to get dental checkups before they can pick up their final report cards, but critics of the measure say that responsibility belongs to parents.
· BTK killer's spree of evil. The mind of a monster was laid bare yesterday as the notorious BTK serial killer calmly confessed to 10 murders and gave a twisted tutorial in terror. Referring to his victims as "projects," Dennis Rader made the skin-crawling admission that he was driven to mass murder by "sexual fantasies" involving bondage. "I got her a glass of water and sort of comforted her," Rader said. "Then I put a bag over her head and strangled her." Rader expressed no remorse for his crimes and told the judge he was pleading guilty to solve "just a mathematical problem."
· Miss America pageant finally finds a home - on CMT. The Miss America Organization and cable's Country Music Television have reached a multiyear deal to telecast the Miss America Pageant, which has been seeking a broadcast home since being dumped by ABC last fall after years of declining ratings.
» Transvestite pageant goes on. Islamic hard-liners have barged in on Indonesia's transvestite beauty pageant, panicking its skimpily dressed contestants but failing to stop the show. Dressed in white tunics and prayer caps, around 10 members of the Islamic Defender's Front pushed their way into the nightclub yesterday where 30 contestants were competing for the title of Miss Transvestite.
· Hero cop in a donut shop. An off-duty cop grabbing a cup of coffee at a Brooklyn Dunkin' Donuts was stabbed yesterday while wrestling with a knife-wielding robber - a gutsy move credited with saving a shop clerk's life, police said.
· Paula Abdul: Clean'em Up! Entertainer Paula Abdul is urging California legislators to force nail salons to clean up their act. Testifying Monday at a state legislative hearing in Sacramento, the 43-year-old dancer/choreographer/actress and "American Idol" judge talked about her own yearlong health ordeal caused by an unsanitary manicure.
· Stern not easy to replace. With just over six months to go before Howard Stern moves to subscription-only satellite radio, station manager Daniel Cook has been struggling to find a replacement for Mr. Stern's morning show. "We've been pulling our hair out, trying to come up with a game plan," says Mr. Cook.
· Roenick to hockey fans: Think we're greedy? Don't come to games. Philadelphia Flyers center Jeremy Roenick has some advice for hockey fans who blame the NHL lockout on players' greed: Once it's finally settled, stay home.
» Zamboni Operator Accused Of DWI At Rink. One Zamboni driver's days are on thin ice. Authorities say John Peragallo was drunk when he drove the four-ton ice-cleaning machine at Mennen Sports Arena in Morristown, New Jersey. Police said an employee reported that the machine was speeding and nearly crashing into boards. Police say Peragallo had a blood-alcohol level of 0.12. Persons are legally drunk in New Jersey at 0.08.
· Red-Carpet Maven Cojocaru Has More Surgery. Hollywood fashion commentator Steven Cojocaru underwent surgery Monday for removal of a transplanted kidney that had become infected, a spokesman said. Cojocaru, a correspondent for the syndicated Paramount Domestic Television shows "Entertainment Tonight" and "The Insider," was recovering at an undisclosed hospital.
· Stock trader makes $223 million mistake. Fubon Securities Co., the brokerage arm of Taiwan's second-largest financial holding company, said a trader erroneously bought $223 million worth of shares yesterday. "A nervous trader who was unfamiliar with our new trading system placed a wrong order to buy a basket of stocks," Victor Kung, a spokesman for Fubon said in a statement. The trade caused the island's key Taiex index to surge 54.47 points.
· New Jack the Ripper theories put sleuths in a spin. A mental patient, a butcher, the artist Walter Sickert, a serial wife poisoner and even Queen Victoria's grandson have all been touted as Jack the Ripper suspects in one of the greatest whodunits in history. But what if Jack the Ripper was not a Londoner, not even British?
· Will Smith Urges Rappers to Be Role Models. Will Smith has one big introduction to make at Tuesday night's BET Awards: Gangster rappers, meet the rest of the world. Smith told The Associated Press he hopes to impress the global significance of U.S. black culture on the show's audience and artists.
» 'Super Safe Sunday' rap concert ends in violence. Despite pleas from organizers for nonviolence, three people were shot and another stabbed as another Super Safe Sunday event turned bloody. The Super Safe Sunday series is meant to get youths off the streets and curb black on black violence in Shreveport. But about 9:30 p.m., between 30 and 40 shots were fired into a crowd in a parking lot on the north end of the Fair Grounds, Shreveport police said
· 'Girl Detectives' Still Draw From Drew. She’s looking pretty good for 75. Nancy Drew, the "girl detective" who helped lead the way for strong female characters in pop culture, just had a birthday. And not only does Nancy, who started solving mysteries in 1930, live on in the fictional sleuths who have stepped into her gumshoes, she's still going strong herself.
Monday, June 27, 2005
· Wal-Mart Heir Dies in Plane Crash. Wal-Mart heir John Walton, son of company founder Sam Walton, died Monday in a Wyoming plane crash, according to the company. Walton, 58, was piloting the ultralight that crashed shortly after takeoff from the Jackson Hole Airport, the company said. The cause of the crash was not known. In 2005, Forbes Magazine listed him as 11th on its list of the world's richest people with a net worth $18.2 billion.
· Toyota fears backlash in U.S. as sales skyrocket. Toyota and other Asian auto makers are luring customers away from General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co., and have aroused worries in some quarters about possible political fallout, to the point that Toyota Chairman Hiroshi Okuda suggested recently that price hikes might be needed to give GM and Ford room to "catch their breath."
· More finger food, this time from Applebee's. Claiming that she found a human fingertip tucked into an Applebee's salad, a Louisiana woman has sued the restaurant chain, claiming she was traumatized by her discovery of the unexpected ingredient. Applebee's said that a male employee sliced off a chunk of his finger while cutting chicken and that the severed portion could not be immediately retrieved because it landed in a "to go order."
· Hollywood Can Sue Over Movie, Music Piracy. Hollywood and the music industry can file piracy lawsuits against technology companies caught encouraging customers to steal music and movies over the Internet, the Supreme Court ruled Monday. The justices, aiming to curtail what they called a "staggering" volume of piracy online, largely set aside concerns that new lawsuits would inhibit technology companies from developing the next iPod or other high-tech gadgets or services.
· Nurse Admits Killing 5 More Patients. Killer nurse Charles Cullen on Monday admitted murdering five patients while he was working at Hunterdon Medical Center, bringing to 29 the victims whom the state's worst serial killer has confessed to slaying in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
· Psychiatrists condemn Cruise mental health remarks. The American Psychiatric Association on Monday sharply criticized actor Tom Cruise for televised remarks in which he called psychiatry a "pseudo science" and disputed the value of antidepressant drugs. "It is irresponsible for Mr. Cruise to use his movie publicity tour to promote his own ideological views and deter people with mental illness from getting the care they need," APA President Dr. Steven Sharfstein said.
» Is the new War of The Worlds a film on Scientology? While only Cruise himself can explain what motivated him to star in 'War of The Worlds,' religious experts say that space creatures do play a role in the Scientology belief system. Still, it's not so easy to find E.T. references on the Church of Scientology's official Web site and informational material, and some who question the church's legitimacy say that's done to keep from scaring away new members. "It would be more shocking to recruits to find that the link between science fiction and Scientology is so strong," says professor Stephen Kent, a sociology professor at Canada's University of Alberta, who has written extensively about Scientology and been critical of its practices.
· Cast of 'Little House' to Reunite in Arizona. The cast of "Little House on the Prarie" will reunite this weekend in Tombstone, a town known for its old West roots. Melissa Gilbert, who played Laura Ingalls Wilder, is scheduled to reunite with Dean Butler (Almanzo Wilder) and Alison Arngrim (Nellie Oleson) during the Tombstone Western Film Festival that runs Friday through July 4.
· Feeding frenzy as second shark attacks off Florida's Panhandle. A shark attacked and critically injured a teenage boy off Florida's Panhandle on Monday, two days after a 14-year-old Louisiana girl died after a shark bit her leg. The boy was bitten off Cape San Blas and was taken to Bay Medical Center in Panama City on Monday morning, hospital spokeswoman Christa Hild said. The boy was listed in critical condition with severe injuries.
· Virginia Gov. Warner injured in bike wreck. Gov. Mark Warner broke two bones in his right hand this morning in Rockbridge County when he tumbled over the handlebars while participating in Bike Virginia.
· Update: Picasso Paintings Sell for $1.87 Million. A former mistress of Pablo Picasso sold 20 of his sketches at a Paris auction Monday for a total of $1.87 million, officials said. A sketch titled "Odalisque" went for the highest price at $575,357, more than three times the estimated price, Artcurial auction house said.
· 'Bind, Torture, Kill' murderer confesses. A man accused of being the serial killer known as BTK - for "Bind, Torture, Kill" - today pleaded guilty to 10 counts of first-degree murder. Dennis Rader then matter-of-factly described how he committed the crimes. "I had never strangled anyone before, so I really didn't know how much pressure you had to put on a person or how long it would take," he said.
· Buffett lunch auction eBay bid hits $250K. The high bid in an online auction for lunch with billionaire investor Warren Buffett has reached $250,100. Since 2000, Buffett has donated lunches to benefit the Glide Foundation, a San Francisco non-profit organization that offers programs for the poor, hungry and homeless.
· Supreme Court bans God from courthouses. A split Supreme Court struck down Ten Commandments displays in courthouses Monday, ruling that two exhibits in Kentucky cross the line between separation of church and state because they promote a religious message.
· Two Aruba suspects ordered released. Aruban police Sunday released the father of a suspect in the disappearance of Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway, hours after a judge ordered him and another suspect let go. Paul Van Der Sloot, 53, was arrested Thursday. At a hearing Sunday, the judge ordered him released after finding "no sufficient suspicion for guilt," defense attorney Arie Swaen said.
· Did Princess Diana, JFK Jr. have an affair? Princess Diana and John F. Kennedy Jr. had a “passionate fling” within hours of meeting, according to excerpts from a new book published in a British tabloid on Monday.
· Stay fat and live longer – survey casts doubt on dieting. Researchers have found that moderately overweight people who diet in the hope of improving their health die slightly younger than people who stay fat. It suggests that the physiological and metabolic stresses associated with weight loss could be so great as to outweigh the benefits of being thinner.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Metaphor [met·a·phor] n. A figure of speech in which a word or phrase that ordinarily designates one thing is used to designate something else. "She was drowning in money."
· Rainbow flag flies. It would take more than a queer eye to tell who enjoyed yesterday's gay pride parade more - the drag queens or the straight guys.
The annual rite of summer known officially as the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride March drew hundreds of thousands of marchers and spectators from all walks of life.
· Today in Entertainment History. In 1989, singer Tom Jones got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in 1993, actress Julia Roberts married singer Lyle Lovett. They divorced in 1995. In 2001, comedian Paula Poundstone was arrested on child endangerment charges in Malibu, California. The charges were later dropped. Also in 2001, actor Jack Lemmon died of cancer in Los Angeles. He was 76.
· Man Attempting Movie Stunt Dies After Bridge Jump. A 36-year-old Durango man jumped from a bridge into the Animas River to his death trying to match a movie stunt by Robert Redford and Paul Newman in the movie "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid."
· Celebrity blogs say plenty about nothing. William Shatner, who calls his blog "Bill's Space," says "Elizabeth and I took a week to drive down the Italian coast looking for a great plate of spaghetti. Although the people and the sites were wonderful, we really had a hard time locating the spaghetti. Everyone told me how great the food was in Italy, but for some reason, I couldn't find any spaghetti!" And Rosie O'Donnell, whose haiku-style blog suggests a disdain for capitalization and punctuation worthy of ee cummings, detailed an evening when she couldn't stop laughing: "I thought I would pee my pants. I squeezed my thighs as tightly as could then shoved my hand between my legs as if to stop that tiny trickle of tinkle. Yes, I am now officially at the age where I need a Depends."
· Man Arrested After Handcuffing Himself to Chair During Mass at LA Cathedral. A man was arrested Sunday after he handcuffed himself to Cardinal Roger Mahony's chair during a service to protest the church's handling of pervert priests.
· Elton John’s guests told not to talk to him. Elton John’s party guests were stunned when they were told that they were not to speak to the Rocket Man unless spoken to. While stars often stipulate that co-workers on movie sets or the staff of shows where they’re being interviewed are not allowed to look at or speak to them, the request from the increasingly prickly pianist to fellow partiers struck many as bizarre.
· Jackson: Family, Fans Helped During Trial. Michael Jackson says his family, fans and God "dried my tears" and helped him through the hardship of child molestation charges and a four-month trial that ended in his acquittal. "Your love, support and loyalty made it all possible. You were there when I really needed you. I will never forget you," Jackson said in a statement posted Sunday on his official Web site.
· Drama Expected Today In U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ends its work Monday with the highest of drama: an anticipated retirement, a ruling on the constitutionality of government Ten Commandments displays and decisions in other major cases.
Sunday, June 26, 2005
· BTK Killer trial to start tomorrow. A trial is scheduled to begin Monday for the man accused of being the notorious BTK serial killer, blamed for the killings of 10 people, but aside from an early routine defense motion for discovery of evidence, the case against BTK suspect Dennis Rader has been unusually silent.
· 'Batman Begins' Wins Box Office Amid Slide. "Batman Begins" took in $26.8 million to remain the top movie for the second straight weekend, but it could not keep Hollywood from sinking to its longest modern box-office slump. Overall business tumbled despite a rush of familiar new titles - "Bewitched," a "Love Bug" update and the latest zombie tale from director George Romero.
· Jury Awards $65 Million Verdict in Bus Stop Electrocution. A civil jury decided Friday that one of the nation's largest outdoor advertisers must pay a family $65.1 million for the electrocution of their 12-year-old boy at a bus stop shelter that was built and wired by the company. The body of Jorge Luis Cabrera was found Oct. 12, 1998, lying against the shelter. The family's attorneys said Cabrera was electrocuted when he stepped on an electrical conduit at the bus stop. "They created an electrical death trap that even a defense witness admitted was only safe when it was not on," said attorney Ervin A. Gonzalez.
· Aruba Suspect Ordered Released. A judge ordered Aruban police Sunday to release a party boat disc jockey held in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, saying authorities did not have enough evidence against him, the man's lawyer said.
· Military Might Draft XM Satellite Radio. Customers of XM Satellite Radio Inc. aren't the only ones who appreciate its digital quality and nationwide coverage. The U.S. military might draft XM's service for homeland security purposes.
· Some Businesses Say eBay Starting to Slip. Jewelry dealer Michael Jansma used to be one of eBay Inc. (EBAY)'s biggest cheerleaders. The entrepreneur from Largo, Fla., sells roughly $250,000 worth of baubles every month on the auction site. But the revenue Jansma gets from eBay has declined over the past year, and in January the company raised fees, denting his profits. To compensate, he began selling on Amazon.com, where sales have more than doubled each month. "I hope eBay gets the message: People have choices, and if we're not happy we'll look elsewhere," Jansma said. "I hope eBay will rise to the occasion."
· TV Network for Gays, Lesbians to Debut. The man who's molding Logo, the new network for gays and lesbians, grew up in rural Illinois, attended Oral Roberts University and counted that cheesy keyboard solo on "Freeze Frame" as his big moment during gigs with his college band the Ozones.
· $25 to walk on beach. Asian tourists are being forced to pay $25 to walk on Australia's Bondi Beach and $10 a pop to take photos of the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. Unscrupulous practices by shonky tour operators, detected in an investigation by The Sunday Telegraph, also include locking tourists in duty-free stores until they spend a designated amount, confiscating their passports, and putting them up at substandard motels in the suburbs.
· New bullet train could be world's fastest. East Japan Railway Co. unveiled a new bullet train that will run at a speed of 360 kph, which may make it the world's fastest train. The train is equipped with retractable cat ear-shaped spoilers that can protrude from the roof are expected to help slow the train more quickly than conventional brakes.
· Six people killed at home in Arizona. Six people, including four children, were killed at a home in western Arizona, authorities said. Police discovered a woman and the children dead inside the home after responding to a call about shots fired late Friday. The children, a girl and three boys, were ages 6 to 12. It was not immediately clear how they died.
· Woman in car crash 'already dead.' A young mother found at the scene of a car crash near Tokyo in which her husband and infant son were killed had been dead for at least a day before the accident happened, police were quoted as saying on Sunday.
· Minnelli finds husband number five. Liza Minnelli has found a new man, and is ready to make him husband number five. The singer has been single since divorcing concert producer David Gest in 2003. But the 59-year-old has been snapped with a younger man near her home in Beverly Hills - and she says she's smitten.
· 'Star Wars' Creator Opens New Headquarters. A new complex that will house most of "Star Wars" creator George Lucas' empire could be the entertainment industry's most sophisticated digital arts and entertainment center complete with a stone fountain of Jedi master Yoda at the front door.
· Voice of Winnie the Pooh's Tigger dies. Paul Winchell, a ventriloquist, inventor and children's TV show host best known for creating the lispy voice of Winnie the Pooh's animated friend Tigger, has died. He was 82.
· States Bar Teen Drivers Using Cell Phones. There are a few things that the average teenager absolutely must have in 21st century America - a license to drive is one, a cell phone is another. But police officers, parents, and, increasingly, lawmakers are coming to the conclusion that those essentials are a dangerous mix when combined with inexperience on the road. A growing number of states are creating legal barriers to keep young drivers from using cell phones, even as few ban adults from talking - at least handsfree - while driving.
· Irishman fails in bee record bid. A beekeeper has failed to take the world record for attracting the most bees onto his body after managing a 200,000-strong 'bee beard.' After two hours on scales, he was forced to give up because of numb feet. [with photo]
· 14-year-old girl killed in Florida shark attack. A 14-year-old girl died Saturday after a shark attacked her while she and a companion were swimming in the Gulf of Mexico off the Florida Panhandle, authorities said.
· Mystery Shrouds Disappearance in Aruba. As the mystery of a missing Alabama honors student drags on, questions abound about Aruban authorities' handling of the Dutch Caribbean island's highest-profile case in decades. Why were the young men last seen with 18-year-old Natalee Holloway left free for days after she disappeared May 30, the last day of a five-day high school graduation trip with 124 other students?
· Music Promoter Who Launched Joplin Dies. Chet Helms, the revered father of the 1967 Summer of Love and a music promoter who launched the career of singer Janis Joplin, has died of complications from a stroke. He was 62.
· 'Squeaky' up for parole. The infamous "lady in red" who tried to assassinate President Gerald Ford in 1975 faces her first and last parole hearing next month after serving 30 years of a life sentence in federal prison. Even if she is granted parole, Lynette (Squeaky) Fromme - once a devoted member of mass murderer Charles Manson's "Family" - will still have to serve an additional 13 months because of a 1988 prison escape. If she's turned down, she will die in prison.
· Future Windows Will Include RSS Support. Microsoft Corp. said Friday that the next version of its Windows operating system will have built-in support for Internet data feeds, an increasingly popular way to get news and other information channeled straight to a computer. RSS, short for Really Simple Syndication, hasn't broken into widespread use yet, but the world's largest software maker believes it will become a mainstay.
· Burglar grabs $5,000 worth of jewelry in 26 seconds. A crowbar-carrying burglar who stole trays of rings from a Des Moines jewelry store early Friday smashed a window, wiggled under a security gate, shattered a jewelry case and escaped the same way he came in. All in 26 seconds.
· Nebraska Man Has Lost 573 Pounds in a Year. He still is a mound of a man, but his blue eyes widen with delight as he presses his chest with his fingertips, smiles mischievously and makes the grand announcement: He can FEEL his ribs. To Patrick Deuel, this small moment is huge. Headline huge. Man Can Feel Ribs — A First in 25 Years.
· NASA on track for July launch. NASA is a step closer to a July launch of space shuttle Discovery on the agency's maiden return-to-flight mission -- the first since Columbia broke up upon re-entry in 2003, shuttle program managers said.
· Panhandler Battle Takes on Racial Tone. A proposed ordinance to bar panhandlers from accosting people in Atlanta's tourist section has run headlong into the politics of race in this city of the New South that likes to portray itself as having moved beyond black and white.
Saturday, June 25, 2005
· Billy Graham endorses Hillary in last revival. In his farewell tour to America, a fragile Billy Graham gave Hillary Clinton a surprising endorsement by calling the Clintons "wonderful friends" and "a great couple," adding that the former president should become an evangelist and allow "his wife to run the country."
· Teacher's pet. O'Neal receives master's degree in business. Shaqille O'Neal was back at the Forum today - but for the MBA, not the NBA. The ex-Laker superstar was perhaps the most famous and certainly the tallest of the 2,200 people receiving degrees from the University of Phoenix this afternoon.
· Secret lover to sell Picasso sketches. A lover of Pablo Picasso is selling 20 sketches he gave her more than 50 years ago, showing the tender side of an artist often accused of treating women badly. "I have a mission - rehabilitating Pablo," Genevieve Laporte, 79, told Reuters in an interview before the sketches go up for auction in Paris Monday. The auction house puts their value at $2.44 million.
· Madonna gives $10,000 credit card to 8-year-old daughter. According to reports, pop superstar Madonna has given her eight-year-old daughter Lourdes a credit card with a $10,000 limit. Friends say Madonna hopes the exercise will teach Lourdes to appreciate the value of money.
· Why Did No One Check The Trunk? Investigators and residents of Camden, New Jersey, want to know why no one bothered to open the trunk of an abandoned car where three young boys missing for two days were discovered dead. Autopsies on the boys showed they died from accidental suffocation, not foul play, said Camden County Prosecutor Vincent Sarubbi.
· Brando's personal effects at auction in NY. The personal effects of Hollywood legend Marlon Brando - from his driver's licenses to a fake bloody finger - go on sale next week in an auction that may provide clues to the life of the private, eccentric actor.
· Sale of Calif. PBS TV Station Overturned. A state appeals court has overturned a community college's sale of a public television station to a local foundation, ruling it illegally accepted a lower bid to make sure the station didn't go to a televangelist group.
· Special Search Team Joining Search For Holloway. More help has arrived in Aruba to search for a teenager who disappeared on the island nearly four weeks ago. Seventeen more volunteers with Texas Equusearch arrived in Aruba from Houston Friday night to join the search for Natalee Holloway, 18, from Mountain Brook, Ala., who disappeared on the resort island May 30.
· Military Personnel Warned on Payday Loans. Army Chief Warrant Officer Thomas Burden needed money. He had just been through a divorce, his credit was bad and he couldn't qualify for a conventional loan. So he turned to a payday lender - one of dozens within a mile of his base at Fort Hood, Texas. Thus began a vicious cycle of getting quick cash advances at high interest rates. His first $300 loan cost a fee of $60 every two weeks. More loans and fees at the equivalent of 520 percent interest per year soon swelled the debt to more than $1,400.
· Hawaiian Pets Gain Right of Inheritance. The audience was eager for the governor to put pen to paper. Some drooled. Catching the spirit of excitement, a few even lost control and barked. Canines of all sizes and a spotted rabbit named Roxy were among those gathered Friday at the Capitol to watch Gov. Linda Lingle sign into law a measure that allows residents to leave a trust for the care of their dog, cat, or other domestic animal.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Synergism [syn·er·gism] n. Interaction of discrete agencies or conditions where the total effect is greater than the sum of the individual parts. "All the stockholders saw considerable synergism in the merger." [also Synergy].
· $300,000 gem heist in bar. In a daring heist in the heart of Manhattan, a bandit slipped into a pub frequented by diamond dealers and swiped a briefcase bulging with $300,000 in diamonds, police said.
· Nevada's $330 million water bill. Winter storms that filled Arizona lakes and reservoirs and reduced overall demand will allow the state to store part of this year's 2.8 million acre-foot allocation of Colorado River water. Under a deal signed last year, Nevada will pay Arizona $330 million in exchange for a guarantee of 1.25 million acre-feet of water in Arizona's bank.
· Judges say woman won prize share. After a bitter struggle of nearly four years, it appears Mary Marinelli is going to get what she wants, what she and a state appeals court say she deserves - a share of a multimillion dollar lottery prize.
· Flu pandemic could kill half million in U.S. Half a million Americans could die and more than 2 million could end up in the hospital with serious complications if an even moderately severe strain of a pandemic flu hits, a report predicted on Friday. But the United States only has 965,256 staffed hospital beds, said the report from the Trust for America's Health.
· Assembly OKs ban on local smoking bans. The Republican-controlled state Assembly on Thursday narrowly approved a bill prohibiting local governments from enacting smoking bans in bars and restaurants - such as the Madison ordinance due to take effect July 1.
· House votes against UAL pension default. The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Friday to block bankrupt United Airlines from defaulting on its pension plans and shifting them to the nation's pension insurer, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.
· Too good to play ball. Sometimes if you're too good, nobody wants to play with you. That's the dilemma for a team of 11- and 12-year-olds, which has been kicked out of a recreational youth baseball program in suburban Columbus. The Columbus Stars didn't misbehave or break any rules - they're just routing the competition. Since early May, the Stars have beaten the Red Sox 18-0, World Harvest 13-0, Sugar Grove II 24-0 and Sugar Grove I 10-0. Teams began complaining - and canceling. Michael Mirones, board chairman for the Canal Winchester Joint Recreation District, pulled the Stars from the league and returned their $150 entry fee.
· Hardline mayor wins Iran runoff. Tehran Mayor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - a hard-line conservative who has said Iran should embrace the principles of the 1979 Islamic Revolution - was declared the winner of Iran's presidential election early Saturday, garnering about 62 percent of the votes, the Interior Ministry said.
Friday, June 24, 2005
· Three Missing Camden Children Found Dead In Trunk Of Car. Three young boys missing since Wednesday have been found dead in the trunk of an abandoned car in their neighborhood a family member has told NBC News. Harry Hairston, of WCAU-TV, spoke with a family member, who said the car was on the property of the family of Anibal Cruz, one of the missing boys.
· Judge set bond for alleged prostitute at $1 billion. A Columbus judge made sure a woman accused of running two brothels won't be bailed out of jail. He set bond at $1 billion. Michael Jackson's $3 million bond pales by comparison.
· Update: Can Wal-Mart take your house? The Supreme Court may have just delivered an early Christmas gift to the nation's biggest retailers by its ruling Thursday allowing governments to take private land for business development. The ruling would seem to offer new opportunities to retailers. However, some industry watchers caution that with Thursday's decision thrusting the eminent domain issue into the national spotlight, companies using eminent domain risk a very public backlash.
· Cruise obviously needs a dose of Ritalin. In a manic, out-of-control interview with Matt Lauer this morning on The Today Show, Tom Cruise went off on a bullying banter that left Lauer speechless, and the interview a train wreck.
» Update: Al Roker's take on the Lauer interview. In this morning's Green Room blog, Al Roker said "Tom oughta pipe down about people he doesn't know about situations he hasn't experienced. You're an actor, not a med student. But the best part about being American is that you can say whatever the heck you want in this country, as loopy and as goofy as it might sound."
· Brazil soccer star robbed during interview. Brazilian soccer star Roberto Carlos was in the back seat of his car and doing a live radio interview Friday when two gunmen on a motorcycle pulled over and demanded valuables, a radio station said.
· Harmon, Sehorn Welcome Birth of Daughter. It's another girl for former "Law & Order" star Angie Harmon and her football player husband Jason Sehorn. The 32-year-old actress gave birth Wednesday to Avery Grace Sehorn in her hometown of Dallas, publicist Troy Nankin said.
· Aruba Authorities Detail Murder Suspicions. For the first time Friday, Aruban authorities detailed the allegations suspected of the five men being held in connection with the disappearance of 18-year-old Natalee Holloway and they suggested that Natalee was murdered. Joran van der Sloot and his friends Deepak and Satish Kalpoe are being held under suspicion of murder and kidnapping as well as being an accessory to murder.
· Huge explosion, fireballs rock South St. Louis. A blaze at an industrial plant sent huge fireballs shooting into the air Friday afternoon and cast a towering cloud of black smoke over the area. There were no immediate reports of any injuries, and no word on the cause of the explosions south of downtown St. Louis.
· Italian Judge Orders Arrest of 13 CIA Agents. An Italian judge on Friday ordered the arrests of 13 CIA officers for secretly transporting a Muslim preacher from Italy to Egypt as part of U.S. anti-terrorism efforts - a rare public objection to the practice by a close American ally.
· Vandals Blamed For Cutting Phone Service To Thousands. Vandals are being blamed for cutting phone service to more than 9,000 customers in Altamonte Springs, Maitland and Winter Park, Florida Thursday. The report said that several Sprint cross boxes, which are metal cabinets housing telephone networking equipment, were broken into Thursday and the wiring inside cut in several places.
· Elle Calls It Splits. Aussie supermodel Elle Macpherson and fiance Arpad Busson confirmed they are calling it quits after nine years together. "Whilst remaining the greatest of friends, we have decided to spend some time apart to consider our future," the couple said in a statement Friday. The 42-year-old Macpherson and Swiss financier Busson, who first met in 1996, have two kids together, seven-year-old Flynn and two-year-old Aurelius Cy.
· IBM hires 14,000 'better skilled' workers in India. As the company proceeds with layoffs of 13,000 workers in the U.S. and Europe, IBM announced today that it plans to hire 14,000 new jobs in India this year alone.
· Here come 'De' brides: Ellen, Portia to wed. Talk show queen Ellen DeGeneres and actress Portia de Rossi are reportedly ready to say "I do." Gay marriage isn't quite legal in California, so the couple will not be showing up at a courthouse for an official blessing.
· Congress controlled by illegal aliens. Rep. Candice Miller, R-Mich., believes that only legal citizens of the United States should be counted in the census, which provides the basis for how congressional districts are allotted to each state. The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires that all "persons" of a state be included in the census. Miller's amendment would change that word to "citizens." According to the Congressional Research Service, if only U.S. citizens were counted, California, with a population of 5.4 million illegal aliens, would lose six seats in the U.S. House.
· Miss World wants to sue plastic surgeon. The reigning Miss World, Peru’s Maria Julia Mantilla, is considering suing her plastic surgeon, claiming that he’s stretching the truth about the work he did on her. One of Peru’s most sought-after plastic surgeons did give her a nose job and breast augmentation in February 2004. Ten months later, the aspiring high school teacher was crowned Miss World.
· Spears ready for nude cover photo. Pop star Britney Spears is reportedly in talks to pose nude and pregnant for the cover of Vanity Fair. Citing an unidentified source, Life & Style Weekly reported in its current issue that Spears, 23, aspires to recreate Demi Moore's famous 1991 Vanity Fair cover shot.
· Woman charged with skimming $675,000. A Boyne City woman is charged with embezzling $675,000 or more from the title company where she worked. Karla Sue Lockman, 34, of Boyne City, Mich. purchased a $262,000 home with cash earlier this year, as well as two vehicles costing more than $67,000, while her alleged embezzlement destroyed Northern Preferred Title Co., law enforcement and company officials said.
· Mother charged in fatal dog mauling. The mother of a 12-year-old boy fatally mauled by the family’s pit bulls was charged Thursday with child endangerment. Maureen Faibish said she had been so concerned about one of the dogs that she shut her son in the basement to protect him.
· Airport runway in wrong place. What city officials are calling an oversight by the Federal Aviation Administration has resulted in a $1 million error at DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport in Illinois. The good news, they say, is that federal tax dollars are expected to cover nearly all the cost of correcting it.
· Aruba Brothers: 'We Lied.' The mother of two brothers detained in the Natalee Holloway case acknowledged that her sons initially lied about the night of the 18-year-old's disappearance, but said it was because they were protecting another suspect.
· Biography of Senator Clinton Has a Few Unexpected Critics. A fast-selling, unflattering biography of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is drawing fire from some prominent conservative commentators, including Peggy Noonan and Bill O'Reilly, surprising both the author and the head of the conservative book imprint that published it.
· Internet to Newspapers: Drop Dead. Consumers are shifting decisively to online information, says media analyst Lauren Fine, especially the young, and are no longer yoked to the local newspaper. "Ads are following the eyeballs to where they make transactional decisions." Fine recently forecast that newspapers' profit margins are set to enter a long period of decline.
· James Earl Jones illness dooms show. The Broadway play "On Golden Pond" will close Sunday because star James Earl Jones is suffering from pneumonia. Jones, 74, an accomplished stage actor and the voice of Darth Vader in the "Star Wars" movies, has been off the Tony Award-nominated New York production since June 15 and is not expected to make a full recovery until August.
· Court: Not Crime To Wear NYPD Hat If No Bid To Deceive. Without an intent to deceive, it is not a crime to wear an "NYPD" hat or other law enforcement insignia, uniforms or T-shirts printed with such words as "police," "sheriff" and "trooper," the Florida Supreme Court said Thursday.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Specificity [spec·i·fic·i·ty ] n. 1. The condition or state of being specific rather than general. "his input added a desirable note of specificity to the discussion;" "the specificity of the symptoms of the disease."
· Scientology’s love affair with Hollywood The search engine company Lycos reported that “Scientology” had leaped into the top 50 search terms last week for the first time, hitting 37, marking a 260 percent increase in interest. It’s a reflection of how Hollywood’s rich and famous generate positive buzz for Scientology, recognized by the federal government as a religious organization but denounced by critics as a cult that extracts tens of thousands of dollars from its followers. Central to its adherents' beliefs: Earthlings were invaded millions of years ago by alien souls sent here from outer space. Scientology, in turn, has always had a special place for artists.
· Denise and Charlie Making Peace. Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen certainly didn't look like a couple about to get divorced. The two, who reunited over the Father's Day weekend to take their 2-week-old daughter, Lola, to visit a family friend in L.A., seemed relaxed, happy and even affectionate. But sources close to the couple tell PEOPLE Magazine the cheery weekend outing doesn't mean a reconciliation is in the offing.
· Woman Gunned Down Hours After Divorce Finalized. Investigators in Port Orange, Fla., are questioning the ex-husband of a 33-year-old woman who was shot and killed hours after the couple's divorce was finalized.
· How to Make $220,000 Without Leaving Prison. Two women who participated in a prison love letter scheme that netted more than $220,000 will spend more time in prison. The inmate would ask for money to spend at the prison commissary, then claim they'd soon be released and needed money to relocate.
· Most luxurious honeymoon destinations. Honeymooners are often willing to indulge in one final blaze of nuptial glory, damning the torpedoes and full steaming their American Express cards ahead. Of course, not everyone can afford to do what golfer Tiger Woods, second on our list of The Celebrity 100, did last fall when he shelled out a reported $57 million for his extended honeymoon with Elin Nordegren on the yacht The Privacy. (The yacht was also Elin's wedding gift.)
· 'Herbie' VW Runs Over Lohan's Foot. Lindsay Lohan had a run-in with Herbie, her Love Bug co-star in the new film, "Herbie: Fully Loaded." When she shot the music video for her song "First" with Herbie, "the car just didn't stop," Lohan recently told reporters.
· '60 Minutes' Commentator Dies of Cancer. Trailblazing journalist Shana Alexander, whose verbal skirmishes with conservative James J. Kilpatrick on CBS' "60 Minutes" were spoofed in a "Saturday Night Live" skit, has died of cancer. She was 79.
· Bomber Rudolph writes about life on lam. An article apparently written by Eric Robert Rudolph and published on a militantly anti-abortion Web site offers new details about how the confessed Southeast bomber survived and evaded federal agents for five years in the mountains of North Carolina.
· Veterans Affairs faces $1 billion shortfall. The Department of Veterans Affairs told Congress that its health care costs grew faster than expected and left a $1 billion hole in its budget this year, lawmakers said Thursday. Lawmakers were to give the VA an extra $2 billion this spring, while they assembled an $82 billion emergency spending bill on war and homeland security, but the VA said it didn't need any more money.
· Celebration in San Antonio. With the NBA title on the line, Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs proved themselves worthy champions. Duncan came up huge in the second half after having the worst playoff series of his career, and Manu Ginobili had another breakthrough performance Thursday night to lead the Spurs past the Detroit Pistons 81-74 in a Game 7 that was as thrilling as it was rare.
Thursday, June 23, 2005
· Teen admits to being
alone with girl in Aruba. The mother of the Dutch teen being detained in connection with the disappearance of an Alabama high school graduate said Thursday that her son changed the story he initially gave police and now admits to being alone with Natalee Holloway on a beach. Anita van der Sloot made the disclosure hours after her husband also was arrested on "suspicion that he was involved in the disappearance" of Holloway, authorities said.
· Ebert Gets Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame. Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic Roger Ebert isn't a movie star but he critiques them on TV — so memorably that on Thursday he received his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
· Republican chosen for key public broadcasting post. Big Bird and National Public Radio won a reprieve Thursday as the House restored $100 million that had been proposed as a budget cut for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The corporation's chairman, Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, a GOP appointee, has made news recently with his contention that public broadcasting is too liberal. Also Thursday, the corporation's board selected Patricia S. Harrison, a former Republican Party co-chairman, as president and chief executive.
· Judge tough on drunk drivers is suspected of DUI. A Sonoma County judge who handed down the stiffest possible sentence in two recent high-profile drunken driving cases will remain on the bench following her arrest for reportedly driving under the influence, officials said today. The investigation of the charge against Superior Court Judge Elaine Rushing, who was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving following a single-vehicle crash late Tuesday night,
· Supreme Court Rules Cities May Seize Homes. A divided Supreme Court ruled Thursday that local governments may seize people's homes, businesses, and properties against their will for private development in a decision anxiously awaited in communities where economic growth often is at war with individual property rights. As a result, cities now have wide power to bulldoze residences for projects such as shopping malls and hotel complexes in order to generate more tax revenue.
· New York 'Johns School' hopes to teach respect. Men who are caught soliciting prostitutes in the New York borough of Brooklyn tend not to try it again.
A "Johns School" to teach the perils of hiring hookers, from grisly diseases to legal woes, has proved enormously successful, authorities with the Brooklyn District Attorney's office say.
· Jacko's Passport 'Lost' by District Attorney. There's a reason Michael Jackson 's passport hasn't been returned to him: It's missing. Or so say sources close to the case, who have tried without luck to get the Santa Barbara County district attorney's office to give it back to Jackson.
· Ex-Klansman gets 60 years for 1964 killings of civil rights workers. A Mississippi judge Thursday sentenced former Ku Klux Klansman Edgar Ray Killen to 60 years in prison for the manslaughter of three civil rights workers in 1964.
· Pentagon Creating Student Database. The Defense Department, faced with enlistment shortfalls, has reportedly begun assembling a database of young people as a recruiting aid. The Washington Post reports the Pentagon is working with a private company to collect information on high school students ages 16-to-18 and all college students.
· 3 San Francisco pot clubs raided. Federal authorities raided three San Francisco medical marijuana dispensaries Wednesday, and investigators arrested at least 13 people as part of an alleged organized crime operation using the clubs as a front to launder money. The raids were the first in the Bay Area since the U.S. Supreme Court dealt a blow to the medical marijuana movement two weeks ago by ruling that the federal government had the authority to prosecute people whose activities are legal under state law.
· Yahoo Closes Chat Rooms Over Sex Content. Reacting to angry protests from several of its top sponsors, Yahoo Inc. has pulled the plug on perhaps hundreds of chat rooms operating on its site after a media report revealed that some of the rooms were used to promote sex with minors.
· Two indicted in slaying of hostage hero's husband. A grand jury indicted two men Wednesday in the 2001 stabbing death of Daniel McFarland Smith, husband of the woman hailed as a hero for turning in a man accused of killing a judge and three other people in Atlanta.
· Bionic Man Moves Artificial Arm With Brain. Researchers have developed artificial arms that can be moved as it if they were real limbs, simply by thinking about making them move. Surgeons attached his arm nerves to healthy muscles in his chest. "So now when Jess thinks, close hand, the impulse is picked up by a transmitter, and goes to his hand," doctor Todd Kuiken said. "He thinks, closes hand and it does."
· Aruban Suspect's Mom: 'It's a Nightmare for Us, Too.' The parents of Joran van der Sloot say their son is a drug-free honors student who has nothing to do with the disappearance of missing Alabama high school student Natalee Holloway. "We still believe in Joran," said his father, Paul van der Sloot.
· Tom Cruise drops complaints against pranksters. Hollywood star Tom Cruise decided on Wednesday to drop his complaints against four pranksters who squirted him with water at Sunday's British premiere of "War of The Worlds." But Scotland Yard said Cruise's decision not to pursue the matter against the men who were filming a comedy sketch, did not necessarily mean they would not face assault charges.
· Update: De Niro's maid tells sob story. The sticky-fingered maid accused of stealing jewelry from Robert DeNiro's wife and ripping off other celebrities "lost her mind" and turned to crime after her sister died, sources said yesterday. Lucyna Turyk-Wawrynowicz apparently made no attempt to fence the $95,000 diamond earrings that DeNiro gave Grace Hightower when they tied the knot. Nor did the willowy 35-year-old Polish immigrant try to unload the $1,000 suede coat and two expensive cameras which police said belonged to actress Candice Bergen - and were found in the maid's rented digs in Queens.
· Radio Contest Winner Sues Over Candy Bar. A woman who won a radio contest that promised the winner "100 grand" sued after the station gave her a candy bar — a Nestle's 100 Grand — instead of $100,000.
» Lawsuit outlines radio station's give-away. In a May 25 blog posting promoting that night's giveaway, the radio DJ wrote that he would be presenting "our loyal listeners with a chance to Win 100 GRAND!!!! It's sitting in a bag to my left ready for someone to take off with just like the Runaway bride!" The tenth caller, he added, would be "100 GRAND RICHER!!! No joke."
· Stewart won't reveal her 'Apprentice' catchphrase. There won't be any "You're fired" death knells sounded when Martha Stewart takes the reins of "The Apprentice" this fall. The domestic doyenne will find her own way in her own reality series - but she won't say what it is yet.
· Lawyers Seek Anonymity for Cosby Witnesses. Attorneys for nine women who have agreed to testify against entertainer Bill Cosby in a sexual assault lawsuit asked a judge Wednesday to let them take the stand anonymously.
· 11 Workers Win $15 Million After Playing Wrong Lottery. It was a $15 million mistake. Eleven dental workers at Warren Family Dental in Howland, Ohio had been playing the multistate MegaMillions lottery for a year in hopes of winning big. This past week, one group member who usually doesn't play mistakenly bought an Ohio Super Lotto ticket for the group.
· A $47,000 money belt will make anyone's butt look big. A Quincy woman carrying $46,950 in cash through Logan International Airport claims she was on the way to see a Texas plastic surgeon when federal drug agents seized the money she planned to use for a procedure on her buttocks and breasts. "The agent looked at my buttocks and told me that I do not need an operation," Ileana Valdez, 26, told a federal court yesterday
· 7 Things You Can’t Say in Canada. You might think that a liberal, open-minded country like Canada would be free of such taboos, but you’d be wrong. In spite of belief in enlightened tolerance, some things are simply not open to debate, according to the Reader's Digest. One of the taboos is "The United States is the greatest force for good the world has ever known."
· Prosecutor: Sizemore Violated Probation. A prosecutor told a judge Wednesday that actor Tom Sizemore violated his probation by trying to falsify a urine test for drugs. Deputy District Attorney Sean Carney said Sizemore, 43, also failed to report to his probation officer, did not advise authorities of his new address and missed drug rehab counseling sessions.
· New York Post 'sources' include Internet chain letter. Did anyone notice that yesterday’s NY Post rehashed an Internet chain letter and passed it off as their own reporting? The Page Six column includes an item about Denzel Washington visiting injured U.S. troops at Brooks Army Medical Center in San Antonio. For the record: Mr. Washington’s visit to the hospital actually occurred in December, 2004. (See Snopes.com.) And the Post’s quotes attributed to a "source" are verbatim from an anonymous chain letter that’s been floating around for months.
· Bianca Jagger: 'I'm not wealthy.' In a rare interview, Bianca Jagger tells Liz Jones how her life is about so much more than being Mick's ex-wife and explains why she has spent 25 years fighting for human rights. Bianca says she doesn't regret not marrying again after she divorced Mick in 1979. "I should feel sometimes lonely, and I don't because I am always busy."
· ID theft racket at Indian call center. An undercover reporter was able to buy personal details on thousands of banking accounts, password particulars and credit cards numbers from crooked call center workers in India.
· Gibson Stalker Gets Prison Sentence MelGibson's prayer pal is going to need a pen pal. Zack Sinclair, the Idaho drifter who claimed he was on a mission from God to heal the Passion of the Christ filmmaker and was convicted in March of one count of felony stalking, was sentenced Wednesday to a maximum of three years in California state prison.
· McCain Slams Abramoff at Senate Hearing. Lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his partner created tax-exempt groups to funnel money to themselves from Indian tribes trying to build political support for their casinos, according to documents released at a Senate hearing Wednesday. McCain said American International paid a total of $840,000 in 2002 to Greenberg Traurig, the law and lobbying firm where Abramoff worked, making it the firm's fifth largest lobbying client.
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
· Luxury store apologizes to Oprah. Luxury store Hermes on Wednesday apologized to Oprah Winfrey for turning her away last week, saying that the store was closed to set up for a public relations event when the talk show host stopped by its Paris store. The New York Post had earlier reported she was turned away because the store had been "having a problem with North Africans lately."
· Man Accused Of Taking Drunken Joyride In Stolen Plane. An intoxicated 20-year-old man stole a small plane in Connecticut and took two friends on a three-hour joyride early Wednesday that somehow ended with a safe landing at a darkened Westchester County Airport, authorities said. When an airport security car met the four-seat Cessna at 4:15 a.m. and the plane doors opened, "a significant number of beer cans" spilled to the ground, said County Executive Andrew Spano.
· Man sues E! for libel over "stalker" label. A man who pleaded no contest to trespassing after he broke into a Malibu home that police say he believed belonged to actress Meg Ryan has sued E! Entertainment Television for calling him Ryan's "stalker" on its program, according to court papers.
· House Approves Flag-Burning Amendment. The House on Wednesday approved a constitutional amendment that would give Congress the power to ban desecration of the American flag, a measure that for the first time stands a chance of passing the Senate as well.
· E! Entertainment dropps Howard Stern show. E! Entertainment Television confirmed that it is wrapping production of The Howard Stern Show, a move that will leave porn stars, hydrocephalic dwarfs and the shock jock himself without a TV home.
· Formula One president thinks women drivers are 'domestic appliances.' Bernie Ecclestone might want to work on his apologies. When asked about Danica Patrick's success in Indianapolis, Ecclestone acknowledged her strong finish, but then made an assessment about women racing with men that caused a stir, saying, "You know I've got one of those wonderful ideas ... women should be dressed in white like all the other domestic appliances." In an auto magazine review, he added that if a woman did make it, "she would have to be a woman who was blowing away the boys. ... What I would really like to see happen is to find the right girl, perhaps a black girl with super looks, preferably Jewish or Muslim, who speaks Spanish."
· Married men earn more if wives do the chores. Married men earn more than bachelors so long as their wives stay at home doing the housework, according to a report on Wednesday from Britain’s Institute for Social and Economic Research.
· De Niro's 'maid from hell.' An alleged housekeeper from Hell is behind bars today, charged with pocketing $95,000 diamond earrings belonging to Robert De Niro's wife - and cleaning out the homes of other rich and famous New Yorkers. Sources said the sticky-fingered maid stole jewelry, credit cards and clothing from her clients - including Candice Bergen - after being sent to their swank Manhattan apartments by a housekeeping agency.
· Cleaning crew downs $4k worth of booze. The entire cleaning crew at a popular Southwest Florida sports bar was arrested early Tuesday morning. The nine crew members were caught on surveillance video allegedly consuming thousands of dollars worth of alcohol while on the job. "They were definitely going for the top dollar stuff. Everything from Hennessy to Courvoisier," said Chris Evans, manager of the bar.
· Lohan's Uncle 'Scam.' Lindsay Lohan's uncle is helping make trouble a relative term. Paul Sullivan, the 47-year-old brother of the young actress' mom, was busted at his Long Island home yesterday morning for alleged mail fraud — involving funds earmarked for 9/11 disaster relief.
· Update: Scout Found Alive in 'Modern-Day Miracle.' Rescuers on Tuesday found an 11-year-old Boy Scout who disappeared four days ago in the Utah wilderness, a discovery scouting officials called a "modern-day miracle." Brennan Hawkins was located safe and sound with no major injuries. He was found just before noon near Lily Lake, about five miles northeast of the Boy Scout camp where he was last seen Friday, said Kay Godfrey, director of public relations for the Great Salt Lake Council.
· Hydraulic fluid safe, hospitals tell patients. Duke University has told thousands of patients whose surgical instruments were mistakenly washed in hydraulic fluid before being sterilized that there's no risk of getting infections as a result.
· Mom, girl burned in attempt to kill lice. A Lansing mother's attempt to rid her 4-year-old daughter of head lice caused a fire that left them both in critical condition, authorities said Tuesday. The 44-year-old woman was apparently treating the girl with a homemade concoction containing a flammable liquid when the flash fire erupted Monday night, police said.
· New Orleans stations refuse to run Shoney's 'passing Gas' ads. Marketing officials for Shoney's thought they had a funny radio commercial when they built it around middle America towns with odd-sounding names. Some radio station officials in New Orleans thought otherwise and refused to run the spot for the Nashville-based family restaurant chain.
· Tearful Durbin apologizes for Gitmo remarks. The Senate's No. 2 Democrat apologized Tuesday for remarks comparing the treatment of detainees at the Guantanamo Bay to methods used by the Nazis, Soviets and other repressive regimes.
· Experts predict 'High risk' of WMD attack within decade. The chance of an attack with a weapon of mass destruction somewhere in the world in the next 10 years runs as high as 70 percent, arms experts have predicted in a U.S. survey.
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
· Survivor of attack put up big fight. In the process of being robbed, 73-year-old Robert Jarvis was shot in the head, bashed with a cinder block, then run over with a car - and still survived. "He's a tough, old buzzard, that's for sure," friend Vickie Wise said.
· Police Officer Dies After Brawl With Biotech Protesters. Violence between biotech protesters and police in Center City Philadelphia has turned tragic. A Philadelphia police officer has died after a scuffle in Center City on Tuesday.
· Florida Democratic Party nears bankruptcy. Broke and without enough money in the bank to pay its bills after the end of the month, the Florida Democratic Party has now been slapped with a lien by the Internal Revenue Service for failing to pay payroll taxes. On the other hand, the Florida Republican Party has raised close to $5 million already this year and has several million in the bank.
· Turin Shroud confirmed as fake. A French magazine has said it had carried out experiments that proved the Shroud of Turin, believed by some Christians to be their religion's holiest relic, was a fraud.
· Porn star's dream: Sex with Bush twins. Now that the presidential fund-raiser is over, hard-core porn star Mary Carey doesn't mind the public knowing about one of her secret desires – having sex with the twin daughters of the president.
· Traffic signal prankster on the loose. Police in Sunnyvale are keeping an eye out for a highly skilled and frustratingly elusive prankster who has been tampering with the city’s traffic lights for more than three months, authorities said today. Whoever is behind the shenanigans has kept a low profile and drawn no attention to himself - or herself - while surreptitiously turning traffic lights around to face the wrong way, tampering with control boxes so the lights flash red in all directions and throwing the timing off to stymie motorists, said city spokesman John Pilger.
· Girl Dies After Being Trapped In Washer. A 5-year-old girl died after becoming trapped in a washing machine at a coin-operated laundry, authorities said. Rebecca Hope Wagoner was pronounced dead at a hospital. The child's mother said she stepped outside the laundry, leaving the girl with her 14-year-old brother.
· Police nab stupid bank robber. Bank robbers usually try to conceal their identity, but according to Winona police, a man walked into Fortress Bank and handed a teller a note that said, "Hi, I am Thomas Mason." The note went on to demand $1,000 in $100 and $20 bills and that he would, "kill everyone in the bank if he had to come back with weapon in hand," police reports said.
· Missing scout found alive after 4 days in mountains. Just as relatives and rescuers were losing hope, a boy who vanished from a Boy Scout camp in the Utah mountains four days earlier was found Tuesday, and rescuers said he appeared "just fine."
· City Uses Public Embarrassment To Curb Prostitution. The city of Chicago is posting on the Internet the names, addresses and photos of people arrested for soliciting prostitutes. Chicago Mayor Richard Daley says the city is trying to reduce demand for prostitution through public embarrassment.
· Michelin teams charged with damaging F1 image. Formula One's governing body has charged the seven teams using Michelin tires with damaging the sport's image by pulling out of this past weekend's United States Grand Prix in Indianapolis.
· AFI to Reveal Top Movie Quotes. The American Film Institute will reveal the top 100 movie quotes of all time tonight on CBS. Clint Eastwood's "Go ahead, make my day," Jack Nicholson's "You can't handle the truth!," and Cuba Gooding Jr.'s "Show me the money!" are just some of the candidates for most memorable lines.
· Animal rights extremists top of FBI's domestic terrorist list. Violence by environmental and animal rights extremists against U.S. drug makers has increased so much in recent years that it's currently the FBI's top domestic terrorism issue, an agency official says.
· Court TV Anchor to Write Jackson Book. The Michael Jackson saga is coming to bookstores. Court TV anchor Diane Dimond is writing a book about the singer's legal struggles, to be published this fall by Atria Books.
· Six Krispy Kreme officers ousted by board. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. on Tuesday said six officers have left the company under pressure from a board committee that is looking into accounting practices that are the subject of a federal probe.
· 18-karat Wimbledon start for Sharapova. With glittery new shoes and flashy shotmaking, Maria Sharapova opened her bid for a second successive Wimbledon title by defeating Nuria Llagostera Vives 6-2, 6-2 Tuesday. Sharapova displayed her familiar grass-court flair and unveiled shoes trimmed with 18-karat gold.
· Stolen Credit Card Data Thrives on Internet. "Want drive fast cars?" asks an advertisement, in broken English, atop the Web site iaaca.com. "Want live in premium hotels? Want own beautiful girls? It's possible with dumps from Zo0mer." A "dump," in the blunt vernacular of a relentlessly flourishing online black market, is a credit card number. And what Zo0mer is peddling is stolen account information - name, billing address, phone - for Gold Visa cards and MasterCards at $100 apiece.
· Late comic Dangerfield to be subject of movie. Two of the producers of the Oscar-winning movie about soul singer Ray Charles are now turning their attention to another dead entertainer, Rodney Dangerfield, the comic famed for the signature phrase "I can't get no respect."
· Minuteman Affiliation Prompts ACLU To Suspend Chapter. The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico has suspended one of its chapters after learning that a board member was heading up a controversial organization.
· Salaries of America's favorite TV dads. Salary.com's TV Dad Salary Analysis shows that the average pay of television's most popular pops has more than doubled in real dollars since the 1950s, with a trend towards more glamorous six-figure jobs.
· D.C. police chief’s car stolen. District of Columbia Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey has personal insight into the city’s car theft problem. His unmarked black 1999 Ford Crown Victoria was stolen near his home.
· Holloway's Family Prepares Lawsuit to Demand Evidence. The family of Natalee Holloway moved to take matters in their own hands Monday, preparing a lawsuit to demand evidence in the case and hiring a Texas company to search for the 18-year-old, who vanished three weeks ago in Aruba.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Autonomous [au·ton·o·mous] adj. 1. Independent in mind or judgment; self-directed. 2. Not controlled by others or by outside forces; independent: "an autonomous judiciary."
· Former University Dean Pleads Guilty To Fraud. A former associate dean at the University of Florida pleaded guilty Friday to pocketing more than $120,000 in fees intended for the public university on continuing education programs for doctors.
· Microchip pioneer Jack Kilby dead at 81. Microchip pioneer Jack Kilby, who won the 2000 Nobel Prize for co-inventing the integrated circuits that ushered in the digital age of personal computers, cell phones and the Internet, has died after a brief battle with cancer.
· AIDS patient vs. McDonald's set to begin. Russell Rich started working the cash register at age 13 and put in 21 years with the hamburger giant, eventually becoming a corporate manager. Then, he contends, he was pressured to resign in 1997 because he has AIDS. Rich, 41, of Akron, won a $5 million verdict in his discrimination case against the burger chain in 2001.
· Chimpanzee's paintings outsell Warhol at London auction. At first glance, the broad brush strokes and use of simple, mainly primary colours could be the work of any of the prominent abstract painters. But the painting, which sold at a London auction house last night, was not the product of human hand - the artist generating such excitement was Congo, the chimpanzee called the Cezanne of the simians. Three of Congo's paintings went under the hammer at Bonhams, alongside works by Renoir and Andy Warhol - which did not sell.
· Lennon's Handwritten Lyrics On Auction Block. If the handwritten lyrics for the classic Beatles song "All You Need is Love" is all you need to complete your collection of John Lennon memorabilia, then you're going love this opportunity.
Monday, June 20, 2005
· Marijuana-Flavored Candy Shows Up At Stores Nationwide. Some anti-drug advocates are a little out of joint - over marijuana-flavored candy. Lollipops with names like Purple Haze, Acapulco Gold and Rasta are showing up on the shelves of convenience stores and smoke shops nationwide. The novelties are flavored with hemp oil from the marijuana plant.
· Fake Documents Got Workers Into Nuke Plant. Sixteen foreign-born construction workers with phony immigration documents were able to enter a nuclear weapons plant in eastern Tennessee because of lax security controls, a federal report said Monday.
· William Kennedy Smith never seems to learn. Trouble just seems to follow this William Kennedy Smith guy. The Kennedy clan member, who was acquitted of rape in 1991, has recently faced civil claims for sexually harassing female co-workers at the Chicago not-for-profit organization he chairs. While a judge this year tossed a lawsuit filed by his former personal assistant, Smith reportedly paid six figures in an out-of-court settlement to a second woman who worked for his Center for International Rehabilitation
· Chicago taverns fading in was once a shot-and-a-beer town. Taverns and booze are entwined with Chicago's history and lore - from Al Capone's bootlegging empire to the tavern owner whose curse on the Cubs is blamed for keeping them out of the World Series for a half century. But the dark, cool watering holes where for decades laborers dropped by for a belt on the way home are drying up. The city that once boasted as many 7,600 taverns in the early 1900s has just over 1,300 today.
· CNN's strategy for success: Drop the tabloid stories. CNN's president is shifting the cable channel's focus from tabloid news - to highbrow, polished stories he believes will draw a more sophisticated audience, and take back the top spot from FoxNews.
· Roy Horn Leaving Las Vegas. Illusionist Roy Horn is disappearing again, but this time it's not part of his act. The Las Vegas fixture and half of the magic tandem Siegfried & Roy has returned to his homeland, checking into a physical rehabilitation center in Germany, 18 months after a near-fatal tiger mauling that left him partially paralyzed.
· Suspect Shot in Seattle Courthouse. A man was shot inside Seattle's downtown federal courthouse on Monday after reportedly walking inside the building and making threats, police said. A man entered the lobby of the 23-story federal building with what appeared to be a hand grenade shortly before noon on Monday, police spokeswoman Christie-Lynne Bonner said. Police and federal agents responded and shot the man.
· Fergie gets her own sandwich in New York. Britain's Sarah Ferguson on Monday unveiled the "Duchess of York," a new sandwich named after her by a New York deli, but pleaded with dieters not to finish the cheese-drizzled concoction.
· LeAnn Rimes Back on Stage After Injury. LeAnn Rimes is on the road with her summer tour, after recovering from an injury to one of her vocal cords and an unspecified dental procedure. "I look at it in a positive way - I got some good vocal rest," the 22-year-old singer said.
· Frugal Teacher Leaves School $2.1 Million. A retired public school teacher who was so frugal that he bought expired meat and secondhand clothing left $2.1 million for his alma mater, Prairie View A&M — the school's largest gift from a single donor.
· Canadian female sex killer to leave prison. Karla Homolka was a pretty, bright young woman who helped drug, rape, torture and kill schoolgirls and even presented her own teen-age sister to her boyfriend as a gift. Homolka, 35, has fascinated and horrified Canadians since committing her crimes more than a decade ago. Canada's most notorious female convict, she is due to be released from prison within weeks, and the country's anxiety and anger is again on the rise.
· Grapefruit May Make Women Seem Younger. A study of smells shows that the scent of grapefruit on women make them seem younger to men - about six years younger. However, a grapefruit fragrance on men does nothing for them.
· Bloody melee at a Chuck E. Cheese. An aspiring cop stepped in to end a bloody melee at a Chuck E. Cheese in Brooklyn after hotheaded parents unleashed punches - and knives - during a weekend party at the crowded restaurant, police said.
· Brain Areas Shut Off During Female Orgasm. New research indicates that parts of the brain that govern fear and anxiety are switched off when a woman is having an orgasm. In the first study to map brain function during orgasm, scientists also found that as a woman climaxes, an area of the brain that governs emotional control is also heavily deactivated.
· Fans see more of Jane Seymour. She was a glamour girl in a Bond movie and the maverick Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman, renowned for her ladylike image on screen. Now, at the ripe old age of 54, actor Jane Seymour dared to go topless on screen.
· Motivation guru Tony Robbins' libel trial begins. Tony Robbins, the renowned monarch of motivation, has inspired millions of people around the world with pricey self-help sermons to realize their untapped potential. Now, the celebrated multimillionaire is about to "awaken the giant within" the Canadian legal system. Robbins is suing the Vancouver Sun over an article that suggests he had wooed and stolen away the wife of a Canadian businessman.
· Time's up to prosecute 800 rape cases. More than 800 New York City rape victims may never see their attackers brought to justice because of the state's five-year cap on prosecuting sexual assaults, according to a recent report.
· Update: Tom Cruise squirted with water through gag microphone. An interview with Tom Cruise found the actor all wet. While Cruise was giving an on-the-spot interview at the "War of the Worlds" premiere in London, he was squirted in the face with water. The water came from what appeared to be a microphone. [With Link to Video].
· Update: Firm admits lost credit card data mishandled. The head of the credit card processing company whose computer system was breached by hackers, exposing millions of credit card accounts, has acknowledged that his firm should not have been keeping the consumer records in the first place.
· Miss America Does Not Have Date This Year. In any other year, Miss Delaware Becky Bledsoe would be making her travel plans. The folks at Fischer Florists would know when they have to deliver all the corsages and bouquets. Boardwalk Hall would have a two-week period blocked out for pageant rehearsals, preliminary competitions and the crowning of the new Miss America. But this is not any other year. Miss America doesn't have a date, and the uncertainty has her world in a tizzy. With three months to go before its traditional start, the beauty pageant is still without a TV contract and has yet to establish a date for the crowning, which traditionally is held in early September.
· Pee Ditty lashes out at court ruling. As he prepared to celebrate Father's Day, music mogul Sean (Pee Diddy) Combs lashed out at a court ruling that ordered him to pay more than a quarter of a million dollars a year in child support. The 35-year-old Bad Boy Records founder - and one of the leaders of the hip hop revolution - was left stunned at the court's decision, the highest amount of child support in New York State history.
· Adelphia Founder Sentenced to 15 Years. Adelphia Communications Corp. founder John Rigas was sentenced Monday to 15 years in prison for his role in looting and hiding debt in a scandal that bankrupted the fifth-largest cable television company.
· 21 Club waiters canned because they're French? Three former waiters of Manhattan’s renowned 21 club have sued the posh eatery for more than $5.3 million, saying they were fired because of their ages and because they are French.
· Scarlett Johansson escapes Cruise’s clutches. The “Lost in Translation” star was expected to co-star with Cruise in “Mission: Impossible III” but was dropped because of “scheduling conflicts.” But it seems that there may have been other conflicts as well. Cruise invited Johansson to a Scientology center where he showed her literature about joining his controversial church, according to a report. “After two hours of proselytizing,” according to RadarMagazine.com, “Cruise opened a door to reveal a second room full of upper-level Scientologists who had been waiting to dine with the pair, at which point the cool-headed ingénue politely excused herself.”
· Wal-Mart store tells workers to be ready to work any shift. Workers at a West Virginia Wal-Mart store have been ordered to be available to work any shift at any time or face dismissal. The new "open-availability" policy at the Wal-Mart store in Nitro is needed to ensure there is adequate staff during peak hours, said John Knuckles, a manager at the store. Workers who cannot commit to being available for any shift between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., seven days a week, will be fired by the end of this week.
· Tough-Guy De Niro Weeps at Dad's Painting Exhibit. Robert De Niro got choked up at an exhibit of paintings by his father in northeastern France. "This is a magnificent exhibit," said De Niro, whose father, Robert De Niro Sr., passed away more than a decade ago. "I'm sad that my father is not here," De Niro said Saturday, dabbing his eyes.
Sunday, June 19, 2005
· Hillary haters scramble to stop senator's surge. These are dark days for the conservative activists who despise Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, and they're itching to brighten their mood by taking her down. Much to their horror, she appears to be shedding her 1990s image as a leftist Lady Macbeth, winning plaudits as a hawkish senator who now talks about God and breaking bread with many of the same Republicans who impeached her husband. It's gotten to the point where a Fox News poll last week found that her national favorability rating - 52 percent - matched President Bush's.
· Update: More PETA Problems. Hypocrisy is the mother of all credibility problems, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has it in spades. A new non-profit called PetaKillsAnimals.com has been created to help even the score.
· Four pranksters arrested as Cruise soaked. Four men were arrested tonight after Hollywood star Tom Cruise was drenched with water at the London premiere of his new film. They were working on a new comedy program and may now be charged with assaulting the A-list actor.
· Biden Intends to Seek Presidency in 2008. Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., said Sunday he intends to run for president in 2008. But Biden, who also sought the nomination in 1988, said he would give himself until the end of this year to determine if he really can raise enough money and attract enough support.
· USA Grand Prix descends into farce. The United States Grand Prix descended into chaos and recrimination on Sunday as only six cars started the race because of safety fears of teams running on Michelin tires.
· Aruban judge questioned in missing teen case. Police questioned Saturday an Aruba judge, whose son is a suspect in the disappearance of Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway, a law enforcement source close to the investigation said. Paul Van Der Sloot is the father of 17-year-old Joran Van Der Sloot, one of the last people to see Holloway alive early May 30.
· Runaway Bride, Hero Hostage to 'Tell-All.' One woman broke the law. The other helped catch a suspected killer. Both are selling their stories and could make millions in the process. Representatives of Ashley Smith - whose 911 call led police to courthouse shootings suspect Brian Nichols - and runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks made deals for their stories with publishing houses in the past week. The women likely received advances of about $500,000 for story rights that could turn into a windfall of millions of dollars should movies on their lives be made, entertainment experts said. The companies that acquired the rights have declined to release financial details of the deals. Smith and Wilbanks weren't the only ones striking high-profile deals.
· Wild Child. She's not a girl, not yet a woman. Those are Britney's lyrics, but they could have been written about Lindsay Lohan: the R-rated actress with the G-rated career. In the past six months, the teenage starlet has whittled her weight down to scarily thin; been romantically linked with a succession of older actors (Jared Leto, Colin Farrell, Jake Gyllenhaal, Johnny Knoxville); collapsed from "exhaustion" on more than one occasion; and engaged in public catfights, feuds and hissy fits. She's also the star of Disney's new movie, "Herbie: Fully Loaded" - a wholesome (if unfortunately titled) flick aimed squarely at the under-10 set.
· Designer dresses vs. retailored breasts. There are worse fashion dilemmas than the one confronting Heidi Pollert, 30, a marketing executive in Houston, who can afford suits from Prada and MaxMara but must spend a small fortune on alterations because her bust is too big for the cut of most designer clothes. Such is life for shoppers who have faced the double-edge scalpel of plastic surgery, which has allowed hundreds of thousands of American women to have the cleavage they deem ideal, though they no longer fit the svelte silhouette dictated by many fashion houses.
· America's love of SUVs leads to gargantuan limos. In a society where bigger is better, the latest limousine is in a category all its own. The gargantuan Hummer H2 is more than 30 feet long and can seat about 20 people, dwarfing classic limo models.
· Bar of soap sells for $18,000. Perhaps the oddest piece of work at Art Basel is a bar of soap, displayed on a square of black velvet, purportedly made from Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's fat, removed during liposuction.
Saturday, June 18, 2005
· Boston Doctor May Have Spread Tuberculosis. Boston health care officials on Friday began screening workers and patients for tuberculosis as they investigated how a doctor in surgical training continued working in four area hospitals with the disease.
· Nader's very unpleasant N-gagement. Speaking at a Washington fund-raiser, Ralph Nader complained that Democratic Party powerbrokers had kept him off the ballot in such Southern states. "I felt like a [n-word]," remarked Nader.
· Groups Unite Against Military Recruiters. People of color who go into the military are put on the front line," said the 67-year-old Carroll, who is black. A provision of President Bush's No Child Left Behind Act requires school districts to provide military recruiters with student phone numbers and addresses or risk losing millions in federal education funding.
· Snoring-Attack Suspect Is Former Principal. A woman accused of stabbing and beating her husband for snoring is a former school principal and lecturer. DeAnn Miller-Boschert, 45, said Friday in court that her husband was drunk during the incident and that the two were getting a divorce.
· DiCaprio struck with bottle at Hollywood party. Leonardo DiCaprio was hit with a bottle while attending a Hollywood party given by Paris Hilton's ex-lover and needed about a dozen stitches to close a wound near his ear, People magazine reported Friday on its Web site. DiCaprio's spokesman said "The attacker struck him with a glass object before being restrained by witnesses."
· Investigator Charged With Conspiracy, Threats Against Reporter. Anthony Pellicano, the high-profile private investigator whose clients included some of the biggest stars in Hollywood, was charged today with conspiracy and making threats against a Los Angeles Times reporter.
· Jackson Fans, Family Gather for Party. Michael Jackson's family and fans - and at least one of the jurors who acquitted him of child molestation - gathered Friday night for a huge party that was billed as a celebration of thanks. The pop star himself, who has not appeared in public since his 14-week trial ended Monday, was nowhere in sight.
· Insurance premiums declining for many drivers. Between 2000 and 2004, drivers endured nearly 6 percent average increases a year for the cost of auto insurance — jacking the average policy from $687 to $857 annually per vehicle. But this year insurance companies are throttling back on rate increases, and premiums are even declining for many drivers. A steady decline in car accidents and savvier risk-management techniques are allowing insurers to pass savings along to policyholders, while simmering competition has put pressure on prices.
· Google to start new payment system. Online search-engine leader Google Inc. is preparing to introduce an electronic payment system later this year in a move that would pose a financial threat to one of its biggest advertisers, Internet auctioneer eBay Inc.
· E-mail Embarrasses 119 Failing Students. Due to an e-mail mistake by the University of Kansas, 119 students who failed all their classes during the last semester found out who shared their misfortune. The students were notified earlier this week that they were in jeopardy of having their financial aid revoked. The e-mail sent by the Office of Student Financial Aid asked for additional information to determine if they were still eligible for aid. The e-mail address list included the names of all 119 students, with the result that everyone on it could see the names of all the others.
· Saudi Woman Gets Pilot's License. Saudi women cannot drive, but apparently they can fly. A Saudi woman who recently obtained her pilot's license in Jordan said Thursday she has been hired by a private aviation company to fly commercial planes.
· Man charged with stealing beer after trying to pay for it. A 30-year-old Sparta, Illinois man has been charged with stealing a beer from the Citgo Station on Highway 51 North early last Friday morning, even though he tried to pay for it.
· Redford Says He Linked Deep Throat to FBI. Robert Redford, who played Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward in "All the President's Men," said he used to speculate on who Deep Throat was and had figured "it probably had to do with the FBI."
Friday, June 17, 2005
· Out of Control: MasterCard cites security breach on 40 million customers. MasterCard said a security breach may have exposed some 40 million cards of all brands to fraud. MasterCard, a group of banks that issues credit and debit cards, said it is notifying its member financial institutions of the breach. The company said that about a third of the cards potentially exposed are MasterCards.
· Judge OKs Jerry Lee Lewis' Divorce Deal. A Mississippi judge has approved a divorce settlement between Jerry Lee Lewis and his sixth wife, Kerrie Lynn McCarver Lewis. "It's been a long day and it's been an expensive day," Lewis said outside the courthouse.
· Former Tyco chiefs found guilty. Former Tyco International Ltd. Chief Executive Dennis Kozlowski and finance chief Mark Swartz were found guilty on Friday of stealing more than $150 million, giving prosecutors pursuing the recent wave of corporate scandals one of their biggest victories to date.
· Police Chief Apologize To Elderly Woman Maced By Officers. A St. Louis woman got personal apologies Thursday from the Mayor and Police Chief. And her arrest last week has led to the suspension of two officers. On June 7th police went to Ruby Harriel's home looking for her grandson. When she asked officers to leave because they didn't have a warrant, the 69 year-old Harriel was handcuffed and maced.
· 'Bewitched' Statue Goes Up in Salem. Welcomed by many — including the mayor and some city councilors — but reviled by others, a statue of 1960s TV icon Samantha Stephens of "Bewitched" was unveiled amid a puff of smoke in Salem on Wednesday.
· Boy steals Cessna for joy ride. A 14-year-old boy stole a Cessna and went on a late-night joy ride, taking off and landing twice before being arrested, police said. The teen, who police said had never before flown a plane, was in the air for nearly 30 minutes. Authorities said the theft raised questions about security.
· Boston is stoned. A new report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) estimates that Boston and Boulder, Colo., are among the areas with the highest rates of past month marijuana use in the nation. One in eight Bostonians (12.2 percent) are routinely stoned, while about one in ten from Boulder, Colorado (10.3 percent) regularly partake.
· Tom Cruise proposes on Eiffel Tower. Tom Cruise is engaged to his girlfriend Katie Holmes, after proposing to her in the early hours of this morning at the Eiffel Tower. The actor confirmed the proposal at a Paris press conference, where the 26-year-old actress sat beside him wearing a large diamond ring.
· Update: PETA Workers Charged With Animal Cruelty. Two employees of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have been charged with animal cruelty after dumping dead dogs and cats in a shopping center garbage bin, police said.
· Oprah tops list of powerful celebs. In the wired world, where everyone has access to a camera, a screen or both, it is easier than ever to find fleeting fame. A hit TV show will do the trick: The cast of Desperate Housewives, largely unknown less than a year ago, is all but overexposed today. Nowadays you can be famous just for being famous — see Paris Hilton — or for having a run of good luck, as Ken Jennings did during his six-month winning stint on Jeopardy!
· First woman joins Air Force Thunderbirds. Just weeks after a high-profile debate about the role of women in the military, the Air Force is putting a woman in one of its most prestigious and high-profile jobs. Capt. Nicole Malachowski has been named the first woman pilot in the Air Force's world-famous Thunderbirds demonstration squadron.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Eclectic [e·clec·tic] adj. 1. Composed of elements drawn from various sources 2. Not following any one system, but selecting and using what are considered the best elements of all systems. "An eclectic taste in music; an eclectic approach to managing the business.
· Goodyear Blimp Crashes in Florida. A Goodyear blimp crash-landed Thursday in an industrial park and the two people aboard were briefly trapped inside while electrical crews cleared the site, authorities said.
· Black men, white ex-cons share equal job prospects. Black men with no criminal histories are about as likely to be offered jobs in New York City as white men with felony convictions, according to a new study.
· The global housing boom. Never before have real house prices risen so fast, for so long, in so many countries. Property markets have been frothing from America, Britain and Australia to France, Spain and China. Rising property prices helped to prop up the world economy after the stockmarket bubble burst in 2000. What if the housing boom now turns to bust?
· Hungry For Love, Man Will 'Work For Wife.' An Omaha man is on a mission to find a wife and he's taking it to the streets. Harold is 45, and he's bought a billboard, started a Web site, and spent Tuesday on the corner of 72nd and Dodge streets with a picket-style sign - all designed to find him a wife. The idea started with those signs people hold that say: "Will work for food." Harold's slogan is: "Will work of a wife."
· Molester may have thousands of victims. A convicted child molester jailed in California may have committed sex crimes against thousands of victims, police said Thursday after finding computers, notebooks and meticulous, handwritten lists of boys' names and apparent codes for various sex acts.
Thursday, June 16, 2005
· PETA possibly involved with dead dogs. A month-long investigation into animal cruelty has resulted in a pair of arrests, individuals possibly linked with PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Police observed a white panel van drive next to the commercial dumpster located behind Piggly Wiggly, where a person in the van tossed several dark-colored bags in the dumpster before the van attempted to pull away. The bags located in the dumpster contained 18 dead dogs, including one bag containing seven puppies. An additional 13 dead dogs were found in the van. A license check revealed the van was registered to PETA in Norfolk, Va.
· FDIC personal data breached. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which insures many of the nation's banks, has alerted 6,000 current and former employees that personal information may have been released and that some individuals could be the victims of identity theft.
· Act Two Difficult for Some Aquitted Celebs. Act 2 can be hard to do, even after an acquittal. Many people believe celebrities get away with heinous crimes thanks to their money and fame. So celebs who hear the words "not guilty" can still fall into a career limbo more difficult to escape than a cluster of paparazzi.
· U.S. kids prefer fruit over cookies. U.S. children snack on fresh fruit more than junk food such as potato chips or cookies, according to a new survey that appears to defy conventional wisdom about a lack of healthy fare in kids' diets.
· Woman acquitted of assault in snowball case. An Andover mother charged with assaulting a high school student after her car was pelted with snowballs was acquitted after another woman testified that she had been targeted the day before, the woman's lawyer said yesterday. A Lawrence District Court jury took less than half an hour on Monday to acquit Marie Needs, 48, of one charge each of assault with a dangerous weapon and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. A lesser charge of carrying a firearm - pepper spray - without proper registration was dropped.
· McDonald's to roll out line of bikes, boards. McDonald’s Corp. will begin selling skateboards and bikes bearing the fast-food company’s brand in a new effort to get kids to burn off burgers and fries with exercise.
· Brazilian doctors uncover 'Michelangelo code.' Two Brazilian doctors and amateur art lovers believe they have uncovered a secret lesson on human anatomy hidden by Renaissance artist Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel's ceiling.
· Attorney Admits Trying to Hire Hit Man. Defense attorney Maridee Costanzo made a reputation for herself as one aggressive, tough-talking and remarkably profane lawyer. She once called a judge a "sick, twisted old man" in a voice mail message. Another time, she told a client who was considering a divorce to max out her husband's credit cards. The woman did, going on a $14,000 shopping spree. But all of that was nothing compared with what she said in federal court in Thursday: She admitted trying to have her estranged husband killed.
· 'Deep Throat' Signs Deals for Book, Movie. The man who revealed himself as Deep Throat has agreed to a book and movie deal about his life, his publisher and agent said Thursday. Mark Felt, 91, and his family have chosen PublicAffairs Books to release the tentatively titled "A G-man's Life: The FBI, Being 'Deep Throat' And the Struggle for Honor in Washington."
· Florida Commissioner: Send Sex Offenders To Mexico. A county commissioner in Central Florida has offered a controversial proposal of sending the area's worst sex offenders out of the United States to Mexico.
· 'Runaway bride' inks deal with firm pitching movie. "Runaway bride" Jennifer Wilbanks made a deal with a company that is pitching a movie about her life to networks - annoying officials who spent thousands of dollars searching for her. ReganMedia, a New York multimedia company, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for a story in Thursday's papers it has acquired all media rights to the "life stories" of Wilbanks and her fiance, John Mason.
· Spotlight skips cases of missing minorities. Why would national media ignore minorities? Among the most important reasons is a lack of diversity in newsrooms, say Robinson, Lerman and Keith Woods, dean of faculty at the Poynter Institute, a school for journalists.
· Aniston breaking silence on breakup with Pitt? The New York Post's Page Six is reporting that Jennifer Aniston has granted an exclusive interview to Vanity Fair on the breakup of her marriage with Brad Pitt. It's the new bombshell interview where she tells all about Brad and Angelina having kids.
· Military Jet Carrying Bombs Crashes Into Arizona Neighborhood. A Marine Harrier jet carrying four 500-pound bombs crashed Wednesday in a residential neighborhood, forcing the evacuation of 1,300 residences. There were no reports of injuries and the pilot ejected safely, authorities said.
· Winner of $220.3 Million Powerball Jackpot Says He Wants to Be a Billionaire. A man who won a $220.3 million Powerball lottery jackpot - the second-largest single-ticket Powerball winning - plans to invest the money and become a billionaire.
· Old Spice Names Phoenix the Sweatiest City in America. In anticipation of the first day of summer on Tuesday, June 21, Old Spice today announced its Fourth Annual Top-100 Sweatiest Cities List - a ranking of the nation's heaviest sweaters during the summer months.
· Most people check weather forecasts, remain skeptical. Most Americans say they check weather forecasts, but they don't put much faith in them, an AP poll found. About a third say they think the weather forecasts in their area are accurate, but half say just "somewhat accurate," and the remainder say the forecasts are off the mark.
· House limits Patriot Act rules on library records. Advocates of rewriting the USA Patriot Act are claiming momentum after the House, despite a White House veto threat, voted to restrict investigators from using the anti-terrorism law to peek at library records and bookstore sales slips.
· TV Chef Emeril Lagasse to Host Series. The Shop at Home cable network is serving up chef Emeril Lagasse with a menu of prime-time specials and a weekly series. The star of the Food Network's top-rated show "Emeril Live" will get a chance to demonstrate his recipes and tout his utensils on Shop at Home's new "From Emeril's Kitchen."
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
· Update: Schiavo Autopsy Shows Massive Brain Damage. The autopsy released Wednesday on Terri Schiavo backed her husband's contention that she was in a persistent vegetative state, finding she was severely and irreversibly brain-damaged and blind as well. It also found no evidence that she was strangled or otherwise abused before she collapsed.
· Search of Aruban Beach Yields No Clues. More than two weeks after an Alabama teen disappeared, Aruban police once again came up empty-handed after searching a swampy beachfront based on information from a former security guard who said three young men may have lied about what happened to the missing student.
· Porn star Carey attends Republican fund-raiser. Porn star, political candidate. And now you can add one more line to Mary Carey’s résumé: Republican booster. Carey was in Washington on Tuesday to attend the President’s Dinner.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Redact(ed) [re·dact] tr.v. Edit something: to edit, revise, or delete content in preparation for publication. "Formerly classified documents were redacted so personal information wasn't released to the public."
· Schiavo autopsy report to be released Wednesday. The medical examiner's office plans to release its autopsy report Wednesday on Terri Schiavo -- findings her family hopes will shed light on the cause of the collapse that left her severely brain-damaged 15 years ago.
· Cash Spills Out Of Armored Car. The door of an armored truck flew open Tuesday afternoon, causing money to fly out the door and onto the road. The mishap occurred at about 5 p.m. near an off-ramp of Interstate 95. Traffic was tied up for more than an hour as security guards and police officers scrambled to pick up the money from the shoulder and an embankment.
· Yahoo! Buys Internet Phone Provider. Yahoo Inc. said Tuesday it had acquired DialPad Communications Inc., a 6-year-old company whose software lets people to place calls over the Internet for a fraction of the cost of regular telephone service.
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
· Mark Felt was told to find Deep Throat. Mark Felt, the former FBI official who unmasked himself as the legendary "Deep Throat" source who leaked Watergate secrets, twice led FBI probes into finding Deep Throat, The Nation magazine said on Tuesday.
· Vegas Committee Eats $95,000 for 65-Ton Cake. An organizing committee is eating the $95,000 cost of a centennial birthday cake that officials billed as the world's largest and said they thought was a corporate donation. The more than 65-ton cake was baked in Tarboro, N.C., and trucked to Las Vegas, where volunteers assembled it in seven layers for a May 15 centennial celebration. Thousands of people got pieces of the Las Vegas cake. But there were tons of leftovers. They were shoveled into a truck and fed to pigs on a farm in North Las Vegas.
· Schwarzenegger calls for special election. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Democratic and labor forces that oppose him switched into full campaign mode after the governor made official what he has threatened for months - a special election to change the way state government does business.
· Viagra may help children with lung disease. Children suffering from a rare and fatal lung disease were able to walk farther and breathe easier after taking the impotence pill Viagra, a small study suggests.
· Lawyer says Jackson won't share his bed with boys anymore. Basking in the jurors' decision to acquit his client of all counts, Michael Jackson's lawyer said today the singer will no longer share his bed with young boys. "He's not going to do that anymore," attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. told NBC's Today. "He's not going to make himself vunerable to this anymore."
· Alicia Silverstone weds. Actress Alicia Silverstone has married longtime boyfriend Christopher Jarecki at a lakeside ceremony. It is the first marriage for both Silverstone and Jarecki, the lead singer of the band STUN. The couple have been together for eight years.
· Four black prisoners accused of hate crime. Four black prisoners were arrested for battery as a hate crime after allegedly repeatedly assaulting three white inmates at the Rock County, Wis. Jail, authorities said. "Comments were made by the suspects that they were doing this to white guys and white guys were responsible for them being in jail."
· Two Guards Released in Aruba Disappearance. Aruba authorities released two hotel security guards detained after Natalee Holloway went missing but continued to hold three younger men who took the Alabama teen to a beach before she disappeared.
· Jacko Beats Child Molestation Rap. Michael Jackson quietly spent the night at his Neverland Valley Ranch while his fans gathered outside its gates to celebrate his acquittal of child molestation charges. On Monday, the pop star beat 10 charges brought by Santa Barbara County District Attorney Tom Sneddon, including molesting a 13-year-old cancer survivor in 2003 and conspiring to hold the boy and his family captive.
Jackson wiped tears from his eyes as the verdict was read. One of his lawyers, Susan Yu, burst into tears as the first verdicts were announced. Some of the women in the jury also wept and passed around a box of tissues. When it was over, Jackson stood and was embraced by his chief lawyer, Thomas Mesereau Jr., and Yu. Santa Barbara County District Attorney Tom Sneddon sat with his head in his hands.
· Experts: Jackson Could Make a Comeback. Michael Jackson's career has been declared dead before. When his success as a child wunderkind fronting The Jackson Five was waning, some doubted whether he could make it as an adult star - and were proven wrong. And when he had hits again with his brothers as part of The Jacksons, others questioned whether he could become a solo success - and they were wrong.
· Senate Apologizes for Not Passing Anti-Lynching Laws. The Senate on Monday acknowledged its own failure to stand against the lynching of thousands of black people, a practice that continued well into the 20th century.
· Jackson jurors: Evidence 'just wasn't there.' A stoic Michael Jackson walked out of court acquitted by jurors who said they didn't have enough evidence to convict him of molestation charges that could have sent him to prison for years. Jackson made no comment - and didn't even smile - as he left the Santa Maria courthouse after the verdict Monday, surrounded by his parents and siblings.
Monday, June 13, 2005
· Jackson cleared on all counts. A California jury found pop superstar Michael Jackson not guilty Monday of all charges in his child-molestation trial. The jury deliberated about 32 hours before reaching its decision.
· Grieving 9/11 Widow Spends Almost $5 Million. When her husband died in the attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, relatives, friends and strangers opened their hearts and their wallets to Kathy Trant, donating millions of dollars to Trant and her three children. Fewer than four years after the attacks, she has blown through most of the money, and is coming out with her story now to warn others against the trappings of chronic spending.
· Man to be charged for firing on car thief. Police said a shooting outside an Eastpointe gas station on Sunday may have been a case of vigilante justice. The incident occurred when a Detroit man spotted his recently stolen sport utility vehicle parked at a gas station. Police said he got out of his vehicle with a shotgun to confront the suspected car thief.
· Swazi king waits two weeks for wife No. 12. Swaziland's King Mswati III took an 18-year-old former Miss Teen Swaziland finalist as his 12th wife during the weekend, barely two weeks after marrying his 11th, media in the tiny African kingdom said.
· Surgical tools washed in hydraulic fluid. 3,800 patients at two hospitals run by Duke University Health System were operated on last year with instruments that were washed in hydraulic fluid instead of detergent, hospital regulators said.
· Apple's Jobs tells graduates they made a big mistake. Apple Computer Inc.'s CEO Steve Jobs told Stanford University graduates Sunday that dropping out of college was one of the best decisions he ever made because it forced him to be innovative - even when it came to finding enough money for dinner.
· Kennedy Family Feud May Be Ending. According to a source close to the case, Joan Kennedy has reached a settlement with her children that calls for two trustees to manage her estate, with a guardian supervising her personal affairs. Kennedy, 68, has been arrested several times for drunken driving and gone through rehab repeatedly. In March, she was hospitalized with a concussion and a broken shoulder after a passer-by found her sprawled on a Boston sidewalk.
· New Lubbock subdivision becomes first sex offender free zone. A new Lubbock, Texas subdivision is joining the fight against sex offenders. Milwaukee Ridge will be the first housing development in Lubbock to be entirely sex offender free.
· Mom: Aruba 'boys know what happened.' The mother of a missing Alabama teenager said Sunday that she believes three young men who were with her daughter the day of her disappearance know what happened to her. Beth Holloway Twitty, 44, said Aruban authorities should pressure the young men to reveal what they know.
· Case of kids kicked out of home shocks prosecutor. A mother and her live-in boyfriend are charged with child endangerment after investigators say they kicked her two kids out of the house. The investigation began after a passerby found a 12-year-old boy and his 6-year-old sister walking along a highway near Marchfield, Missouri. The kids were dragging suitcases, shopping bags and garbage bags full of clothing. They were about a quarter of a mile from their home, scared, crying and hungry. Police say the children said their mom, Roxanna Osborne, woke them up and told them to pack and leave immediately. The kids say their mother gave them $5 and went back to sleep.
· Human Toll of a Pension Default. Ellen Saracini lost her husband, United Airlines Capt. Victor J. Saracini, when his Flight 175 crashed into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Now she stands to lose more than half of her widow's pension in a very different kind of crash - United's default of its $9 billion pension obligations.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Ephemeral [e·phem·er·al] adj. 1. Lasting for a markedly brief time: "The ephemeral nature of slang." 2. Living or lasting only for a day, as with certain plants or insects.
· Krispy Kreme to leave hole in Canadian market. US doughnut maker Krispy Kreme has put its Canadian assets up for sale just four years after making a grand entry into the Canadian market. Canadian franchise rights holder KremeKo Inc., under bankruptcy protection since mid-April, hopes to sell all of its doughnut assets or the rights to operate Krispy Kreme outlets across Canada.
· Pitt, Jolie Hit the Mark With $51 million Haul. Off-screen couple or not, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie had enough on-screen chemistry to lift their assassin tale "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" to a robust $51 million opening weekend.
· Pregnant woman too fat for hospital. A pregnant woman says she has been told she cannot have her baby in a Victorian hospital because she is too fat. The woman, only identified as Lisa, today said she was told she would not be admitted because her Body Mass Index (BMI) was 41. A healthy BMI - a measure of body fat - is between 20 and 25 in men and women, and under 40 in pregnant women. A figure above that indicates a person may be overweight. Lisa, who is 31 weeks into her third pregnancy, weighs 242 pounds.
Sunday, June 12, 2005
· Mother of mauling victim feared family dog. The mother of a 12-year-old boy killed in his own home by one of the family's two pit bulls says she had been so concerned about one of the dogs that she shut her son in the basement to protect him. Maureen Faibish said she ordered Nicholas to stay in the basement while she did errands on June 3, the day he was attacked by one or both of the dogs. "I put him down there, with a shovel on the door," Faibish said in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle. "And I told him: 'Stay down there until I come back.' Typical Nicky, he wouldn't listen to me."
· Review: 'Mr. And Mrs. Smith' Ignites Little Spark. Take the "Prizzi's Honor" story and mix it with the violent comedy of "War of the Roses," and you get a pretty good idea what you are in for with "Mr. And Mrs. Smith." But the Roses didn't have grenades, rocket launchers and assault weapons to use in their marital spats.
· ID thieves target wrong victim. Two people suspected of stealing checks from a mailbox in Colorado Springs were picking the pocket of the state's top law enforcement official. Colorado Attorney General John Suthers became a victim of identity theft when checks issued by a credit-card company for a promotion were stolen from his home mailbox last week, police said.
· Update: Hendrix's boyhood home saved from wrecking ball. The boyhood home of legendary rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix was saved, once again, from the wrecking ball yesterday as supporters rushed to Seattle City Hall with a last-ditch plan to move the house and convert it into a museum and youth center.
· Democratic leaders back Dean, don't want 'wimp.' Democratic National Committee leaders embraced feisty party boss Howard Dean on Saturday and urged him to keep fighting despite a flap over his blunt comments on Republicans. Dean took fire from Republicans and some Democrats earlier this week for a series of recent comments, including calling Republicans "pretty much a white, Christian party" and saying they "never made an honest living in their lives."
· Jackson virus alert. Computer users have been warned about a virus carried on an email which claims Michael Jackson has committed suicide. The email offers users the chance to click on a suicide note left by Jackson at his Neverland ranch. But clicking on the link allows a "Trojan horse" virus to be uoaded onto PCs.
· The Worst Breakfast You Can Eat. It may be fast and convenient to stop at McDonald's for breakfast on your way to work, but this may make you think twice: Eat two McMuffins and two hash browns for breakfast and your arteries will remain inflamed until lunchtime.
· Anti-BB Gun Project Deemed Too Dangerous. Two eighth-graders who spent months working on a science project to prove how dangerous BB guns can be were disqualified from the state middle school science fair. The reason for the dismissal: BB guns are too dangerous.
· Hollywood Hardball. Hollywood does not like it when outsiders play certain games. That was the message sent this week to Microsoft and its agents at the Creative Artists Agency by movie studios outraged at the aggressive proposal being shopped for the film version of the popular Xbox video game Halo.
· Rising water changing Utah's Great Salt Lake. The water in the Great Salt Lake has begun rising again after years of drought, changing the landscape and starting to submerge one of Utah's best-known artifacts: an enormous earth sculpture called the Spiral Jetty. The six years of drought had allowed the curious to flock to the lakeside to see the 1,500-foot-long, salt-encrusted spiral that Robert Smithson built in 1970 using backhoes to pile up rock and earth.
Saturday, June 11, 2005
· Cape Coral, Florida to require permit for inflatable pools. Cape Coral residents who plan to cool off this summer in an inflatable pool may have to get a $67 permit from the city if their pool is more than 2 feet deep. Kiddie or inflatable pools sold at local stores are as deep as 4 feet.
· ‘Minutemen’ gear up for mainstream movement. Headlines from the Arizona event gave the group momentum, and turned what some first believed to be nothing more than a publicity stunt into a national movement. The group has since hired lawyers, reorganized into separate corporations, filed to legally protect the name “Minuteman Project,” hired a Washington-based media consultant and started an aggressive fund raising campaign. And, representatives of the group, have been to Washington to lobby Congress and relate the lessons learned from their time on the border.
· Cruise Says Holmes 'Digs' Scientology. Tom Cruise says girlfriend Katie Holmes "digs" the Church of Scientology. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Cruise says the 26-year-old "Batman Begins" actress is curious about Scientology, founded by L. Ron Hubbard. "Yes, absolutely. She digs it," the 42-year-old actor tells the magazine.
· Aruba police official: Suspect confesses to killing missing teen. One of three young suspects arrested Thursday in the investigation into the disappearance of an Alabama teenager has confessed to her killing, a senior police official said late Friday. Police did not say which of the three confessed to the killing of 18-year-old Natalee Holloway. The three have been identified as brothers Satish Kalpoe, 18, and Depak Kalpoe, 21, and their friend, 17-year-old Joran Van Der Sloot, the son of a judge.
· Customs: Chain saw no reason to turn back self-proclaimed assassin. A chain saw-wielding man who U.S. authorities allowed to enter the United States boasted he was a "trained sniper with over 700 kills" and refused to return to Canada for a court date, a top U.S. customs official revealed yesterday. But William Heffelfinger, deputy assistant commissioner for field operations for U.S. customs, said there was no legal reason to detain the man, who later became a suspect in the grisly murder of a couple in Canada, despite his talk of a violent past.
· Jackson jury adjourns for weekend. Jurors in Michael Jackson's child molestation trial adjourned for the weekend Friday afternoon, concluding their first full week of deliberations without reaching a verdict on the charges against the pop star.
· Davis Goes From 'Sex' to Playing a Mom. Kristin Davis is surprised as anyone that she's gone from "Sex and the City" to playing moms in the movies. Davis plays a mother in two new family films: "The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D," and a remake of "The Shaggy Dog."
· ‘Nigerian scams’ keep evolving. The most familiar Nigerian scam is an e-mail offering lots of free money in exchange for helping someone with a name like Barrister Richard Okoya. The offer varies, but the theme is the same — help a downtrodden victim recover a large sum of money trapped in an overseas bank, and you will be rewarded handsomely. For most, the e-mails are the butt of jokes and evoke a "Who would ever fall for that?" reaction. You'd be surprised, says Dale Miskall, supervisory special agent in charge of an FBI cybercrime squad in Birmingham, Ala.
Friday, June 10, 2005
· Sean Penn in new role at Friday Prayers in Tehran. Hollywood actor Sean Penn, adopting the role of a journalist, scribbled in his notebook as Friday prayer worshippers in Tehran chanted "Death to America."
· Pharmacist sues over 'morning after pill.' An Illinois pharmacist who refuses to sell the “morning after pill” has filed suit to challenge the state government’s order that the emergency contraception be available “without delay.”
· Update: Babe Ruth contract sells for $996,000. The "cursed" 1919 contract that shipped Babe Ruth from Boston to the Bronx sold at auction Friday for a staggering $996,000, delighting its new owner - a die-hard Yankees fan - and a hunger-relief group designated to receive a financial windfall from the sale.
· Mayor quits after being accused of stealing clothes. Albert Lea, Minnesota mayor Jean Eaton called it quits today, resigning from office six months after she was arrested and charged with stealing more than $800 in clothing from four Marshall Field's stores.
· Paparazzi Probed in Criminal Crackdown. Paparazzi accustomed to chasing down their high-profile targets in order to score photos that could ultimately net them huge profits are now finding themselves the focus of a criminal probe.
· 2,200 Journalists Await Jackson Verdict. About 2,200 members of the media have received credentials to cover Michael Jackson's trial — more than the O.J. Simpson and Scott Peterson murder trials combined and enough to form a vast, humming tent city outside the modest courthouse.
· Why Do Indians Excel in Spelling Bees? There are certain cultures - particularly Asian ones - that produce child prodigies. Relentless parents, goading their children to success at the youngest possible age, are but one explanation. These are all cultures in which, traditionally, children have begun work early, in which childhood as we know it in the West is an alien idea.
· $1.5 million Dream Home winner struggling to afford prize. A free house may be too expensive for Don Cruz to keep. Cruz won the 5,000 square foot house in Texas in the Home and Garden "Dream Home" sweepstakes. The $1.5 million home on the shores of Lake Tyler also has a boathouse. But to keep the home, Cruz has to find a way to raise about $631,000 he owes in taxes.
· Lawman lasts a day. Alejandro Dominguez was the only person brave enough to apply for the job of police chief of this lawless Mexican border city. He took office Wednesday afternoon, declaring he wasn't afraid of anything. Shortly after nightfall, he was dead, gunned down by assailants in this city where Mexico's two main drug gangs are waging a deadly war.
· Billionaires Battle for Business in Vegas. On one corner of the Las Vegas Strip, Steve Wynn runs his signature $2.7 billion megaresort and busily plans another. Across the street, Sheldon Adelson is building the Palazzo hotel-casino next to his successful Venetian. Soon to be shimmering near both properties are Donald Trump's gold-glass hotel-condo towers, and Phil Ruffin has ambitious plans for the aging New Frontier casino. Four billionaire-sized egos. A slew of big-budget projects. All within stone's throw of one another. Is this desert sandbox big enough to hold them?
· Jacko Prosecutors Celebrate Early. The prosecutors in Michael Jackson's child molestation and conspiracy trial apparently feel they've already won their case. On Wednesday night, the whole lot of them — DA Tom Sneddon, Ron Zonen, Gordon Auchincloss, their wives and families — all celebrated at the Hitching Post restaurant. The prosecutor's team was first spotted making merry at the bar, and then retreated to a private dining room.
· Arrested teen had met Holloway day before she vanished. A teen being held in connection with the disappearance of 18-year-old Natalee Holloway met the Alabama student at her hotel's casino a day before she vanished, according to police. Juron Van Der Sloot - the 17-year-old son of an Aruban judge - was among three teens taken into custody early Thursday. Two brothers, Satish and Depak Kalpoe, were also arrested.
· Veteran's Body Stolen From Morgue, Dumped In Trash. A body stolen from a Detroit hospital morgue was found behind a strip mall Wednesday afternoon. The body was apparently dumped in a trash bin behind a Rite Aid store on Rosa Parks Boulevard, on Detroit's west side. Police said a 22-year-old man and a 28-year-old man posed as funeral home workers and stole the body from the hospital in an attempt to pull an insurance scam.
· 5 Days Later, No Verdict in Jackson Trial. Fans outside the courthouse gates chanted "Michael's innocent" as jurors wrapped up another day of deliberations in the Michael Jackson child molestation case. The jury put in only 2 1/2 hours Thursday. The reason for the abbreviated day was not released by the court, but Judge Rodney S. Melville noted last week that some jurors had school graduation ceremonies to attend. Since receiving the case on June 3, the eight women and four men have met for more than 22 hours over five days.
· Top CEOs Describe Future Technologies. Too much wine with dinner? In the future, your car might not start if you're drunk - and it might automatically call a cab, notify your spouse and even reschedule business appointments early the next morning. That sobering vision of things to come could also include the ability to read important e-mails and other vital messages on television, wireless telephone or computers at work and at home.
· French men yearn for pregnancy. Maybe it's that mix of hot Latin blood and cool Cartesian intellect, or perhaps is just a collective guilty conscience. Whatever the cause, nearly 40 percent of French men told a recent survey that they would, science permitting, like to become pregnant.
· Nuclear worker's beating unrelated to whistle-blowing. An attack on a Los Alamos nuclear lab auditor outside a bar was unrelated to his status as a whistleblower, authorities said Thursday, calling into question the man's allegation that he was beaten to ensure his silence. Tommy Hook, 52, said the beating was carried out by thugs intent on keeping him from talking about alleged financial irregularities at the nuclear lab. But investigators disputed that account Thursday, saying the attack occurred after Hook's car struck a pedestrian while leaving the club.
· Police Officer Runs Over Hit-And-Run Victim. A police officer responding to an emergency call of a man struck by a car accidentally ran over the victim with his cruiser Thursday, authorities said. Investigators remained uncertain whether the victim was already dead when he was struck a second time by the police car, said Sheriff's Department Capt. Tony Robinson.
· Deputies to be punished over shooting. More than a dozen Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputies will be disciplined for their roles in a controversial shooting incident in which more than 120 rounds were fired at a vehicle driven by an unarmed suspect, Sheriff Lee Baca announced Thursday. The 13 deputies will face punishments ranging from written reprimands to 15-day suspensions, Baca said.
Thursday, June 9, 2005
· Pervert priests cost Catholics $1 billion. The cost to the U.S. Roman Catholic Church of sexual predators in the priesthood has climbed past $1 billion, according to tallies by American bishops. And the figure is guaranteed to rise, probably by tens of millions of dollars, because hundreds more claims are pending.
· Four 'taxi-boat' Cubans get to stay in U.S. Four of the 14 Cubans intercepted at sea aboard a vintage taxi converted into a boat will be allowed to stay in the United States because they have valid immigration documents, but the others will be sent back to Cuba, U.S. officials said Thursday.
· Lawsuit accuses Steven Seagal of ruining movies. Steven Seagal has been sued for $14 million for allegedly delaying production on two movies. Seagal showed up late and left early while shooting Today You Die and Mercenary, routinely rewrote and changed scripts on the set, and brought an entourage that interfered with film crews, alleged a lawsuit filed this week.
· 17 Chinese Restaurants Raided in Michigan. Authorities raided 17 Chinese restaurants around Michigan that they suspect of ducking millions of dollars in taxes and importing undocumented workers as a "modern version of indentured servants."
· Tom Cruise is still off his rocker. Cruise played to the crowd on "The Tonight Show" Wednesday, jumping on Jay Leno's couch and pumping his arms as he mocked his exuberant display of affection for Katie Holmes on "The Oprah Winfrey Show."
» Website Seeks to "Free Katie." Though Katie Holmes may claim that her love for Tom Cruise is the real deal, skeptics continue to insist that the relationship is nothing but a made-for-Hollywood sham. Case in point: FreeKatie.net, a Website that proclaims itself dedicated to "the movement to liberate Katie, a young, gifted, actress held captive by forces we may never understand. Even one summer of captivity is too long for one so bright!"
· Around 40,000 prostitutes expected for World Cup. Around 40,000 prostitutes will offer their services to football fans at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Cologne and Dortmund, two of the host cities for the World Cup, have even erected a number of wooden 'sex huts' for the fooball showpiece with condoms and showers at hand.
· Digital photos can look great, but some labs won't print those that appear too professional. One of the benefits of digital photography – the fact that amateurs can take better-looking photos and doctor them using photo-editing software – is also becoming a bane. Photofinishing labs increasingly are refusing to print professional-looking photographs taken by amateurs. The reason: Photofinishers are afraid of infringing on professional photographers' copyrights.
· One of Every Seven People In U.S. Is Hispanic. Hispanics accounted for half the 2.9 million U.S. population growth from 2003 to 2004 and now constitute one-seventh of all people in the United States. A Census Bureau report issued Thursday said that trend probably will continue because of immigration and a Hispanic birth rate outstripping non-Hispanic blacks and whites.
· Mortgage rates drop to 14-month low. Rates on 30-year mortgages this week dropped to their lowest levels in 14 months. Freddie Mac's weekly survey showed Thursday that rates on 30-year fixed mortgages slipped to 5.56 percent, down from 5.62 percent last week.
» Is Greenspan trying to cool housing market? Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan left little doubt Thursday that the central bank intends to continue pushing short-term rates higher. Greenspan and the Fed have little control over these fixed mortgage rates, which are pegged to movements in the massive global bond market. But the Fed does have a powerful influence over one important segment of mortgage rates through its control of short-term bank lending rates. Adjustable-rate mortgages, including what Greenspan called “relatively exotic” financial instruments such as interest-only and no-money-down loans, have been one of the major factors in sustaining high home prices in California and other coastal markets.
· Jimi Hendrix's house may be demolished. After repeated warnings and missed deadlines, the city of Seattle is giving the owners of the rundown house where Jimi Hendrix grew up one week to move it or face demolition.
· CNN Hires Costas to Regularly Sub for Larry King. Bob Costas will become a regular substitute host for Larry King on CNN, conducting prime-time interviews about 20 times a year, the network said Wednesday.
· Learjet not liable in Payne Stewart crash. Learjet should not be held responsible for the 1999 plane accident that killed golfer Payne Stewart, jurors said Wednesday. The Stewart family had sought $200 million for accident.
· Three More Aruba Suspects Arrested. Three more men have been arrested in Aruba in connection with the disappearance of American tourist Natalee Holloway — the same three young men who were previously questioned as witnesses in the case.
· Crowe sorry for phone tantrum. Two days after his arrest on assault charges, Oscar winner Russell Crowe shifted into damage-control mode on Wednesday, publicly apologizing for his telephone-throwing tantrum in the midst of a promotional tour for his latest film.
» Crowe's accuser already pays visit to his attorney. Russell Crowe's accuser, Josh Estrada, accompanied by fiancée Roxane Kramer, broke from talks with Estrada's lawyer long enough to show the Daily News the cut that curled down the 28-year-old Brooklyn man's right cheekbone. But the concierge at SoHo's swanky Mercer Hotel refused to talk about Monday's early-morning confrontation with the telephone-brandishing actor.
· Woman Sues Stephen King Claiming She's 'Misery' Character. A freelance writer is suing celebrated author Stephen King because she claims to be the real Annie Wilkes from King's best-seller "Misery." According to "Celebrity Justice," Hiltner claims "invasion of privacy" in the suit because the book's main character, "Psycho Nurse Wilkes," is a caricature of her.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Visceral [vis·cer·al] adj. 1. Instinctual: proceeding from instinct rather than from reasoned thinking or intellect. "A visceral business decision." 2. Emotional: characterized by or showing crude or elemental emotions.
· NBA smells cash in advertisements on uniforms. The NBA is mulling the prospect of stitching advertising logos onto jerseys. Team owner Mark Cuban, who never met a revenue stream he didn’t like, believes it’s a good idea. Quoted in a story in The New York Times, Commissioner David Stern said, “There may come a time, in recognition of the exposure that the uniforms get, that there’s a value proposition that would cause us to consider changing our policies.” In plain English: There’s gold in jersey space.
· Teen Trying To Kill Snake Shoots Self In Leg. A snake in the grass is to blame for a teenager shooting himself in the leg, police said. A 16-year-old boy was mowing his lawn Tuesday when he saw a snake slithering toward his dogs, which were chained in the front yard, police said. Police Sgt. Loren Scholes said he did not know what kind of snake it was, but "from what he described, it sounded as big as a freight train." The sergeant added that the reptile apparently escaped unscathed.
Wednesday, June 8, 2005
· Miami bans molesters from moving to Miami Beach. The city on Wednesday banned child molesters from moving to Miami Beach, adopting an ordinance barring them from living within 2,500 feet of schools, bus stops, day care centers, parks or playgrounds.
· Second missing woman in Aruba never found. Natalee Holloway isn't the first young American woman to disappear in the Caribbean. Seven years ago, then-23-year-old Amy Bradley went missing while on a Caribbean cruise with her family.
· Stripper is elected municipal judge. A former prosecutor who worked as a topless dancer at a Las Vegas strip club to help put herself through college was elected Tuesday night to the Municipal Court bench in Henderson, Nevada.
· Pastor Indicted Over Missing $500,000. A Baptist Church pastor has been indicted on seven counts for misappropriating nearly $500,000 in church funds. A federal grand jury alleged that Rev. Larry Davis submitted a false loan application for a church construction project to Fifth Third Bank, evaded federal taxes for four years and transferred stolen money out of state to purchase two vehicles, including a Porsche.
· Pilots Guilty of Being Drunk in America West Cockpit. Two former America West pilots were convicted Wednesday of operating an aircraft while drunk in the cockpit after an all-night drinking binge. Both men bowed their heads when the verdict was read after a two-week trial and deliberations over parts of two days. They face up to five years in state prison at sentencing. The pilots split 14 beers at a bar the night before the flight, ending their revelry about 4:40 a.m. - roughly six hours before their flight was to depart. Hours later, they registered blood-alcohol levels above Florida 0.08 legal limit.
· Cruise Makes 'Mission: Impossible 3' Deal. After more than a week of haggling over costs, Tom Cruise and Paramount Pictures have reached a deal that will allow "Mission: Impossible 3" to move ahead with filming in Italy next month. The deal fell into place after Cruise agreed to adjust his lucrative profit participation deal and shave a budget that had swelled to as much as $185 million.
· Cheers: Alcohol may lower lymphatic cancer risk. Drinking alcohol may reduce the risk of developing cancers of the lymphatic system, researchers said yesterday. An analysis of nine studies involving 15,000 people from the United States, Britain, Sweden and Italy showed that people who drank alcohol had about a 27 percent lower chance of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma than non-drinkers.
· PETA wrapped. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, protest in front of the Statehouse, in Providence, R.I., in which three people placed themselves in containers resembling supermarket meat trays, was meant to compare eating meat with cannibalism.
· First American map sells for $1 million. A 500-year-old map which was the first to use the word "America" and the first to portray the Earth as a globe has been sold in London for $1,002,267 - a world record.
· Sheriff arrests son on drug charges - again. Sometimes a sheriff's gotta do what a sheriff's gotta do -- even if it means arresting his own son on drug charges. Again. Bobby Hopper, the sheriff in Fulton County in far Western Kentucky, arrested Robert Hopper Jr. Friday after allegedly finding him making methamphetamine. The younger Hopper, 31, was one of four charged with conspiracy to manufacture meth after Sheriff Hopper said he found an active meth lab on a farm. It was Robert Jr.'s second arrest by his father on meth-related charges in a month.
· Jackson's share of Beatles catalog in doubt. As jurors weigh Michael Jackson's guilt in his child molestation trial, music industry executives and bankers have been weighing a separate, but related question: Will Jackson have to sell his $500 million stake in the Beatles' music catalog?
· Madonna Releases Final Children's Book. "Lotsa de Casha," the fifth and final installment in a series of children's books by Madonna, has been released. It tells the story of the richest man in the world, who loses everything but gains a friend.
· Busboy bags Buffett's VIP-filled cellphone. Palm Beach troubadour Jimmy Buffett is facing Paris Hilton-esque embarrassment. No, not the sex tapes. In Buffett's case, it's the cellphone. According to a police report, a busboy in a Delray Beach eatery found Buffett's cellphone. After coaxing by Buffett's staff and even wife, Jane Buffett, went awry, it took a visit from U.S. Secret Service agents to get the phone back. Problem is: The fancy Ericsson's memory card with the names, phone numbers and some addresses of dozens of big-deal Buffett buds is missing. It may be time for Democratic giants Bill Clinton, Al Gore and Jimmy Carter; country music stars Clint Black, George Strait and Alan Jackson; rap-reggae star Cam'ron; actors George Clooney, Michael Douglas and Harrison Ford; and Microsoft supergeek Bill Gates to change their numbers.
· Mel Brooks mourns loss of wife Anne Bancroft. In a long list of memorable film and stage roles, Anne Bancroft was best known for her role as Mrs. Robinson in "The Graduate." It was a part she almost didn't take. She said in 2003 that nearly everyone discouraged her from playing the role of Dustin Hoffman's middle-aged seductress "because it was all about sex with a younger man."
· J. Lo engaged — after being married. For her first wedding anniversary, the diva received an 8.5 carat engagement ring estimated to cost about $1 million from hubby Marc Anthony, according an upcoming issue of The Star. What’s more, notes the report, Anthony formally proposed to his wife.
· Pele admits son's drug, gang ties Teary-eyed soccer superstar Pele admitted Tuesday that his son was involved with a gang of cocaine traffickers arrested by police a day earlier. "Like any father, it's sad to see your son involved with groups like these, being arrested, because he will have to suffer the consequences," Pele said at a press conference at the state police narcotics division headquarters.
· Los Alamos whistleblower beaten up. A Los Alamos lab whistleblower scheduled to testify before Congress about alleged financial irregularities was badly beaten outside a bar — an attack his wife and lawyer believe was designed to silence him.
· Suspect Nabbed After Freeway Standoff. A man suspected of attempted kidnapping was captured after a freeway chase and standoff that ended when sheriff's deputies tossed a grenade into his van and a dog dragged him from the smoke-filled vehicle.
· Adult film industry pushing Bush GOP fund-raiser. While officially White House spokesmen continue to pretend they are unaware a pornographer and a porn star will attend a presidential fund-raising dinner for Republican congressional candidates, the adult-film company behind the gimmick is making the most of the photo opportunity the event presents.
· Study links teens' body image to suicide. Suicidal impulses and attempts are much more common in teenagers who think they are too fat or too thin, regardless of how much they actually weigh, a study found.
· Teen gets scholarship from death row inmates. A college student whose younger sister was murdered more than a decade ago was presented Tuesday with a scholarship from an unlikely source - death row inmates from around the country.
· Jackson Jury Deliberates for Second Day. The scene outside the courthouse was calmer than it had been a day earlier as jurors deliberated for a second full day in Michael Jackson's child molestation case. There were about 100 fans outside the gates of the courthouse Tuesday, about half as many as there were Monday, when the singer's father made an unexpected appearance and was mobbed by cameras. The only famous face to visit the courthouse Tuesday was the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who said the pop star was optimistic as he awaited the jury's decision.
Tuesday, June 7, 2005
· Actress Anne Bancroft Dies at Age 73. Anne Bancroft, who won the 1962 best actress Oscar as the teacher of a young Helen Keller in "The Miracle Worker" but achieved greater fame as the seductive Mrs. Robinson in "The Graduate," has died. She was 73. She died of cancer on Monday at Mount Sinai Hospital, John Barlow, a spokesman for her husband, Mel Brooks, said Tuesday.
· New York police officer flees after partner shot. A security camera videotape of a patrolman being shot by a drug suspect also shows the officer's partner turning and running when the gunfire erupts, a law enforcement official said on Tuesday.
· DaimlerChrysler unveils ugly car. DaimlerChrysler AG unveiled a diesel-powered concept car Tuesday that it said would meet tough emissions standards and get stronger gas mileage than conventional vehicles - if anyone is not too embarrassed to drive it.
· New use for Viagra: Treating lung disease. Viagra, the erectile-dysfunction drug used by more than 26 million men worldwide, was reborn yesterday as Revatio, a drug to treat pulmonary hypertension, a rare, fatal lung disease caused by constrictions in the blood vessels that supply the lungs.
· IRS considers ditching dreaded 1040. Under a return-free system, individual taxpayers would no longer be responsible for filling out the dreaded 1040 form and sending it to the IRS. Instead, the IRS would generate an itemized liability form using an individual's W2, 1099, and other relevant data, then send it to the taxpayer. The taxpayer would then accept or contest the IRS assessment, with refunds or further payments made accordingly.
· Which city has the safest drivers? Researchers with Allstate Insurance Co. analyzed two years worth of internal crash and claim data to calculate the chances that drivers in 196 of the nation's biggest cities would be involved in an accident compared to the national average. According to Allstate, Cedar Rapids, Iowa has the safest drivers, followed by Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Huntsville, Alabama; Knoxville, Tennessee; Des Moines, Iowa; Topeka, Kansas; Lakewood, Colorado; Fort Collins, Colorado; and Birmingham, Alabama.
· Actor Rick Schroder to Sell Colo. Ranch. Actor Rick Schroder has put his western Colorado ranch on the market for $29 million in part because of a legal squabble with a neighbor. "All this unpleasantness has left, unfortunately, a bad taste in my mouth," Schroder told The Daily Sentinel newspaper on Monday.
· Customs Lets Man In U.S., But Takes Bloody Chainsaw, Sword. Gregory Despres hitchhiked to the Canadian border crossing at Calais, Maine, carrying a homemade sword, a hatchet, a knife, brass knuckles and a chain saw stained by what appeared to be blood. Customs officials confiscated the cache of weapons and fingerprinted Despres, but allowed him to enter the United States - not knowing the gruesome scene about to unfold in the hitchhiker's hometown.
· Denver Baggage System Scrapped. United Airlines will quit using a $193 million baggage-handling system in favor of a manual one at Denver International Airport. Airport spokesman Chuck Cannon said Tuesday that even if United scraps the system, the airline will still be on the hook for 20 to 25 years of payments to the airport for the system.
· Hollywood Foots Bill for Spy Cams. The Motion Picture Association of America, which represents major movie studios, contributed $186,000 toward the cost of the cameras and a software monitoring system that detects human movement. The devices beam video to the LAPD's Central Area station, where the software alerts officers to activity. If there's rampant selling of bootleg DVDs, undercover police are dispatched to the site.
· 'The Science Guy' Back for Older Audience. Bill Nye is many things: comedian, scientist, author, inventor, TV personality. But ask the lanky, bow-tied Nye how he sees himself, and he picks another description. "I'm an educator," Nye said during a recent two-week return to teach at Cornell University, his alma mater. "You do what you have to do to get what you are saying across, and if that means being funny, that's what I do.
· Body Part Falls From Plane, Lands in Backyard. A body part apparently fell from the wheel well of a plane coming in for a landing on Tuesday at John F. Kennedy Airport and landed in a suburban backyard, authorities said. More remains were found on a South African Airways flight after it landed at Kennedy.
· Dull, low-level jobs linked to heart problems. Dull, steady, unexciting jobs may make the heart beat in an unchanging, rapid rhythm — which in turn could lead to heart disease, British researchers reported.
· Still no Sign Of Teen Missing In Aruba. A judge in Aruba was expected to rule Tuesday whether two men charged in the disappearance of an Alabama teen can be legally held. The two suspects, aged 28 and 30, were arrested in a raid before dawn Sunday. Police said the men work as security guards. Neighbors said the pair served as guards at a hotel under renovation near the one where Holloway stayed.
· Gunman Kills Teen As He Lies Wounded On Stretcher. A masked man ordered paramedics to step away from a teenager who lay bleeding on a stretcher from bullet wounds, then killed him with a shotgun blast to the head, authorities said.
· CitiGate: 4 million IDs were not encrypted. The retail finance division of Citigroup has admitted that a backup tape containing personal information on almost 4 million customers has gone missing. The tape contains Social Security numbers and transaction histories on both open and closed accounts at the bank’s lending branches. The company admitted that it doesn't use encryption on its electronic transmissions, nor explained why it took so long to notify the public.
· GM to cut 25,000 jobs. General Motors Corp. is cutting 25,000 jobs and closing an unspecified number of plants over the next 3-1/2 years, CEO Rick Wagoner told shareholders Tuesday, as the world's largest automaker struggles to stem huge losses.
· Judge In Mark Hacking Case Hears Hours Of Emotional Details. In graphic detail, a Utah man told a court he shot his pregnant wife in the head and dumped her body in a trash bin. What Mark Hacking couldn't explain is why he did it.
· Lost fishermen found after 57 days at sea. Two lost fishermen from the Pacific nation of Kiribati have been rescued after surviving 57 days in rough seas. The Solomon Star newspaper says the men, Atabu Baiaa, 32, and Ruben Baeke, 22, went missing on March 15 in their outboard motor boat after bad weather prevented them from reaching their destination. They sighted more than 10 other fishing vessels during their plight, but none came to their aid.
· Pizza Man Continues Deliveries After Being Shot. A robbery attempt and a gunshot wound to the leg didn't stop a Tampa pizza delivery man from making his deliveries Saturday night. Thomas Stefanelli says it was "dedication" that drove him to deliver four pizzas after being shot in the thigh.
Monday, June 7, 2005
· Wife Killer Mark Hacking Gets 6 Years to Life. A man who admitted shooting his wife in the head while she slept was sentenced to six years to life in prison Monday, bringing to a close the case of murder and deceit that shocked Utah last July.
· Update: Crowe's 'assault with a deadly phone.' By allegedly throwing a telephone at a hotel concierge, Russell Crowe's charges include one count of assault in the Second Degree, and one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree.
· Officer Pulls Over Stolen Car: His Own. An off-duty police officer on a Sunday drive in his police cruiser saw something awfully familiar - his recently stolen Volkswagen Jetta. After passing his car on a bridge shortly after 1 p.m. Sunday, North Charleston, S.C., patrolman Ethan Bernardi whipped his cruiser around and pulled over the stolen vehicle. He called other deputies, who took possession of the car and arrested three suspects.
· Homeless Man Accused Of Charging Tourists For Free Parking. An enterprising homeless man is facing a possible prison term for allegedly charging tourists $5 to park in a free lot during the busy Memorial Day weekend.
· Daughter of 'Deep Throat' concedes money was a motive. The daughter of a former FBI agent revealed as the famous newspaper source "Deep Throat" told a California newspaper that her aging father deserved to let go of his long-held secret but conceded that money played a part in the family's decision to go public.
· Former crematory owner sends 223 letters of apology to court. The attorney for Brent Marsh, who pleaded guilty to dumping corpses at his crematorium and was sentenced to serve 12 years in prison, has delivered 223 apology letters to Walker County Superior Court in Georgia.
· Supreme Court allows prosecution of medical marijuana. Federal authorities may prosecute sick people who smoke pot on doctors' orders, the Supreme Court ruled Monday, concluding that state medical marijuana laws don't protect users from a federal ban on the drug. The decision is a stinging defeat for marijuana advocates who had successfully pushed 10 states to allow the drug's use to treat various illnesses.
· Info on 3.9 million Citigroup customers lost. Citigroup said Monday that personal information on 3.9 million consumer lending customers was lost by UPS while in transit to a credit bureau - the biggest breach of customer or employee data reported so far.
· Wife of ex-Enron CFO released from prison. Lea Fastow, wife of former Enron Corp. finance chief Andrew Fastow, left federal prison early Monday morning en route to a halfway house to serve the rest of her sentence.
· Wal-Mart greeter run over trying to stop thief. A 72-year-old Wal-Mart greeter is recovering from broken ribs, a punctured lung and facial injuries after trying to stop a suspected shoplifter. Police said the man, Lucious Zylanz, was knocked over and then run over by the getaway car in Marietta, Ga., over the weekend.
· Unexpected arrival of Jackson's dad causes commotion at court. A commotion involving fans, media and police broke out as pop-star Michael Jackson's father unexpectedly showed up at the California court where jurors in the star's child sex trial deliberated. "Where's my son, I want to see my son," Joe Jackson asked a sheriff's deputy. The police officer told the elder Jackson that Michael Jackson was awaiting the verdict at Neverland and then escorted him into court as fans grew unruly. About 100 fans rushed past the gates of the courthouse yelling "innocent, innocent" as they saw father Joe Jackson approaching the building.
· Jagger gets no satisfaction from Kabbalah. Mick Jagger's ex-wife, Jerry Hall, tells the upcoming Index magazine that she and the notoriously tight-fisted rocker were once involved with Kabbalah: "We had a fantastic time with the center for about a year. But we couldn't go through the door of miracles unless we gave the Kabbalah people 10 percent of our money, so we stopped going.
· Man Convicted of 1982 Slaying Goes Free. A New Jersey man was convicted of manslaughter for beating his girlfriend to death with a hammer in 1982, but he will walk free because the law in effect then included a five-year statute of limitations.
· The machine that can copy anything. A revolutionary machine that can copy itself and manufacture everyday objects quickly and cheaply could transform industry in the developing world, according to its creator. It is based on rapid prototyping technology commonly used to manufacturer plastic components in industry from computer-generated blueprints - effectively a form of 3D printer.
· Keeping fit may only take minutes. Keeping fit and healthy may not require hours of physical exercise every week, research suggests. Canada's McMaster University found just six minutes of intense exercise a week could be as effective as six hours of moderate activity.
· Campbell's Soup goes do-it-yourself in Japan. For those who find cracking open a can of Campbell's Soup to be too easy a meal option, a Japanese company is offering a back-to-basics version: the vegetable seeds themselves. The seeds come in a tin that looks exactly the same as the red-and-white Campbell's can except the word "soup" is replaced by "seeds."
· DUIs thrown out due to test equipment's proprietary software. Hundreds of cases involving breath-alcohol tests have been thrown out by Seminole County judges in the past five months because the test's manufacturer will not disclose how the machines work.
· Michael Jackson Treated in Emergency Room. Michael Jackson was taken to an emergency room Sunday for treatment of a back problem that has plagued him throughout his molestation trial. He later left to the thunder of flashbulbs. Jackson, accompanied by a bodyguard, arrived at the Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital about five miles from his Neverland ranch at about 2:30 p.m., spokeswoman Raymone K. Bain said. "Mr. Jackson's back has spurred up on him again," Bain said. "It's pretty serious. It was serious enough for him to come over here."
· ‘Spamalot’ wins Tony for best musical. “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” an irreverent romp inspired by the British troupe’s film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” won the Tony Award for best musical, as well as for director Mike Nicholas and actress Sara Ramirez, who portrays the divalike Lady in the Lake in the zany spoof.
· Is Tom Cruise' bad publicity rubbing off on Holmes? Tom Cruise seems to be exerting ever more control over his fiancée's career. Katie Holmes, who has been spending a lot of time at the Scientology Center in L.A., showed up at the junket for "Batman Begins" at the Regent Beverly Wilshire with "an entourage of Scientologists in tow," according to the New York Post.
· Police say granny, 80, ran prostitution ring. Police made a surprising discovery when they busted the alleged madam of a prostitution ring called "August Playmates": The woman running the show was an 80-year-old grandmother.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Dogmatic [dog·mat·ic] adj. 1. Expressing rigid opinions; Prone to expressing strongly held beliefs and opinions. 2. Asserting opinions in a doctrinaire or arrogant manner; opinionated.
· Professor Charged With Stealing Students' Identities. A Central Florida college professor was arrested over the weekend for allegedly stealing his students' identities to obtain department store credit cards.
· Nursery school children going online. Before they can even read, almost one in four children in nursery school is learning a skill that even some adults have yet to master: using the Internet. “Young students don’t differentiate between the face-to-face world and the Internet world,” said Susan Patrick. “They were born into the age of the Internet. They see it as part of the continuum of the way life is today.”
· Frequent fliers may get wish: Property taxes on credit card. Air travelers are always looking for ways to get frequent-flier miles, and they've let Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas know it. That's why Pappas is asking the County Board to examine whether homeowners should be able to use credit cards to pay property tax bills and reap bonus miles.
· Climber dies on Everest testing safety technology. A British software engineer, who was "road testing" new safety technology for explorers during an ascent of Mount Everest, has died climbing to the summit of the world's tallest peak, Britain's Foreign Office said.
· Terror-funding trial set to begin in Florida. A Palestinian former university professor goes on trial Monday in a Florida federal court on charges of raising money for Palestinian suicide bombers in one of the most high-profile terrorism prosecutions in the United States since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Al-Arian, 47, was a computer sciences professor at the University of South Florida in Tampa from 1986 until his arrest in 2003.
· Apple Switching to Intel Chips. A stormy, decade-long relationship between Apple Computer Inc. and IBM is over, according to published reports. Apple CEO Steve Jobs is expected to announce Monday morning at the company's software developers conference in San Francisco that Apple will discontinue using microprocessor chips made by IBM in favor of Intel chips.
Sunday, June 5, 2005
· Mom Serves Detention for Daughter. Standing in for her daughter, Danielle Pelletier spent one hour in detention at Winslow, Maine High School. The 39-year-old mother said she sought to serve the detention herself because she was the one who elected to pull her daughter out of class for a hair-styling appointment a half hour before the school day ended.
· Missing Texas Student Found After 7 Years. A Texas A&M University student who had been feared murdered after disappearing nearly seven years ago has been found alive and working in Kentucky, according to authorities.
· Family of Hall of Famer vows to stop auction. Roberto Clemente's family is pursuing legal action against the auction house that is selling off pieces of the plane in which the baseball Hall of Famer died. Lelands auction house is selling a light metal piece of the airplane and a gray steel propeller.
· Two Aruba suspects charged; bloody mattress was from dog. Aruba authorities charged two men Sunday in connection with the disappearance of an Alabama teenager who went missing last week during a high school senior trip, and requested a special diving team from the FBI, the attorney general said.
· Democrats Criticize Dean Attacks on GOP. Democrats Joseph Biden and John Edwards are criticizing party chairman Howard Dean, saying his rhetorical attacks on Republicans have gone too far. Dean has said Republicans never made an honest living in their lives. Dean "doesn't speak for me with that kind of rhetoric and I don't think he speaks for the majority of Democrats," Biden said this morning.
· 'Madagascar' roars into top spot at box office. The cartoon critters of "Madagascar" ended the two-week reign of the final "Star Wars" movie at the box office Sunday, while Russell Crowe's boxing movie "Cinderella Man" opened at a disappointing fourth. "Madagascar" sold about $28.7 million worth of tickets for the three days beginning June 3.
· Majority of states pressing for taxing all Internet sales. 43 states have joined together in a coalition to collect sales tax on all Internet purchases. You already pay sales tax when you go online to buy from businesses based in your state, but a lot of other transactions float under the radar.
· Jackson's post-trial future hinges on his past. Even if he is acquitted of child sex abuse charges, there seems little doubt pop singer Michael Jackson's moonwalking glory days are behind him - but his superstar past may be the key to salvaging his future.
· Marilyn Monroe Painting, Phone Book Net $150,000. A painting by Marilyn Monroe was auctioned off with her personal phone book with numbers for Frank Sinatra, Jack Benny and scores of other celebrities for more than $150,000.
· Rather: Watergate Brought Many Lessons. Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather said Saturday he believes that Watergate whistleblower "Deep Throat" showed the importance of investigative journalism and the judicious use of anonymous sources. Rather, who left the "CBS Evening News" in March after drawing much of the public blame for a discredited report about President Bush's military service, also acknowledged he made some mistakes in his journalism career.
· The dark secrets in cyberspace. Sinners are spilling their guts at an Internet-age confessional: a Web site. Under no threat of penance, hundreds of computer users have started unburdening themselves simply by sending their confessions in postcard form to the Web site, postsecret.blogspot.com. The site allows these new-age exhibitionists an opportunity to anonymously broadcast their darkest — or just plain bizarre — secrets.
· Napoleon was poisoned: toxicological study. Napoleon Bonaparte was murdered by arsenic poisoning and did not die naturally of a stomach cancer, according to a new toxicological study which attempts to end long running historical controversy.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Extemporaneous [ex·tem·po·ra·ne·ous] adj. 1. Unrehearsed. Done or said without advance preparation or thought; impromptu: "An extemporaneous lecture." 2. Prepared in advance but delivered without notes or text: "An extemporaneous speech."
· Bride Dies In Crash On Morning Of Wedding. She was supposed to be married Saturday but hours before the wedding took place, the 25-year-old bride-to-be died in a car crash in Aurora, Colorado. Now, Arlene Gavritis' family is making funeral plans instead of celebrating a new marriage.
· How kitten became 'top dog.' Living in an area populated by dogs is probably a nightmare for most cats, but Gidget loves every minute of it. She's not there only for her good looks. She plays an important role teaching potential guide dogs how to ignore chasable critters.
· Anna Nicole's Ex-Beau's Conviction Upheld. A state appellate court has upheld the conviction of an ex-boyfriend of Anna Nicole Smith who was found guilty of making criminal threats against the former Playboy Playmate of the Year.A three-judge panel rejected Mark Hatten's claims that there was insufficient evidence to support his 2003 conviction.
· Hilton is split between two rings - takes them both. Heiress Paris Hilton is wearing two engagement rings, because she can't choose between the two diamond bands her fiance Paris Latsis offered her. The billionaire Greek shipping heir gave Hilton a choice between two pricey rings from celebrity jewellers Harry Winston and Tiffany. One has a 24 carat canary yellow stone, the other a 15 carat white diamond. Both are worth $2.1 million and $4.2 million.
· Colo. District Nixes School Bullying Film. Officials in the school district that includes Columbine High School have nixed the idea of filming a movie at another school in the county because it deals in part with bullying. Jefferson school officials said they were concerned that filming "The Sensei" at Alameda High School would reopen the wounds of Columbine, where 12 students and one teacher were fatally shot by two students in 1999. The teen gunmen, who also shot and killed themselves, had complained that they were bullied.
· Zeta-Jones Stalker to Be Sentenced in July. A woman who pleaded no contest to stalking and threatening actress Catherine Zeta-Jones will be sentenced next month. She was accused of sending threatening and violent letters to acquaintances of the actress, including Zeta-Jones' agent and her husband, actor Michael Douglas.
Saturday, June 4, 2005
· Secretary didn't burn late pontiff's notes. Pope John Paul II's longtime private secretary said Saturday he did not burn the late pontiff's notes as his will demanded, arguing that the papers contain "great riches" and should instead be preserved.
· Marine Uniform Must be Covered by Robe at High School Graduation. This year, however, the traditional dress of the graduate has become the center of a controversy at Petaluma, California High School, with the Principal saying "I see him as a graduate of Petaluma High School and a new Marine," said Simpson. "But I see it as two separate things."
· Spielberg sets his sights on a Western TV revival. Steven Spielberg is leading the big guns of Hollywood back to the lost genre of the Western. Spielberg's DreamWorks studio teamed up with Ted Turner's TNT to film six two-hour episodes that focus on the Gold Rush and on the struggle between Indians and pioneers.
· The Babe's 'curse' contract for sale. This is all that remains of "The Curse:" five neatly typed pages, two bold signatures, and the scars from 86 years of torment. The torment was free. But the original 1919 contract delivering Babe Ruth from Boston to the Bronx, forever altering baseball history and the pysches of countless Red Sox fans, is expected to draw bids of more than $500,000 when it goes on the auction block.
· Marathon Mistake Miffs Runners. They were going the distance, some trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon, but runners at the Lakeshore Marathon literally went the extra mile. Runners who competed in Chicago's Lakeshore Marathon are now getting word that the race's course was mistakenly set at 27.2 miles - a full mile longer than the traditional marathon distance.
· Another celebrity oddball baby name. Comedian/magician Penn Jillette's (of Penn & Teller) became the father of a baby girl he and his wife named Moxie CrimeFighter Jillette. "We chose her middle name because when she's pulled over for speeding she can say, `But officer, we're on the same side,"' Jillette explained. "`My middle name is CrimeFighter."' The typically mute Teller had no comment on the new arrival.
· Cruise Film's Tokyo Premiere Nixed. The planned world premiere in Tokyo of Steven Spielberg's new film "War of the Worlds" has been canceled because of concerns about providing security for Tom Cruise and preventing bootleg recording of the film, its distributor said Saturday. The film, a new take on H.G. Well's Martian invasion classic, was set to debut at Tokyo's Budokan arena on June 13, more than two weeks before its June 29 global release.
· Jackson Jurors Go Home Without Verdict. Michael Jackson's fate is in the hands of a jury. Jurors received the child-molestation case against the pop star Friday afternoon and deliberated for about two hours before adjourning for the weekend.
· More FBI agents join island hunt for missing teen More FBI agents headed to Aruba to help search for an Alabama teenager whose disappearance on the last day of a high school graduation trip has shaken the quiet Dutch Caribbean island.
· Rod Stewart Files for Divorce From Hunter. Singer Rod Stewart has filed for divorce from actress Rachel Hunter, citing irreconcilable differences. Hunter, 35, and the veteran British rocker were married in 1990, but split in 1999, court documents filed Thursday show. Hunter originally filed for divorce in 2003 but later withdrew her request for
financial unspecified reasons.
· Zsa Zsa Gabor's Family Fighting Over Will. A multimillion-dollar family feud over who controls the ailing socialite Zsa Zsa Gabor's will has spilled into the courtroom. Gabor and her ninth husband are suing her only daughter, accusing Francesca Hilton of stealing $2 million by forging her mother's signature to take out a loan on Gabor's $14 million Bel Air home.
· N.Y.'s 'Son of Sam' Killer Sues His Lawyer. David Berkowitz, the imprisoned "Son of Sam" killer who terrorized New York City for 13 months in the 1970s, filed a lawsuit Friday to stop his former lawyer from allegedly selling his personal property.
· No arrest needed for state to tax illegal drugs. Since the law took effect in January, Tennessee's Department of Revenue has collected nearly $400,000 in taxes. An additional $11 million in taxes has been levied but not collected, often because the debtors are in jail or can't afford to pay. Some defense attorneys say the new law is quickly becoming an example of government running amok, with innocent residents who have not been convicted of crimes, or even charged, being bullied into paying thousands of dollars in taxes.
· Laptops Now More Popular Than Desktops. In a sure sign that the era of mobile computing has arrived, notebooks have for the first time outsold desktops in the United States in a calendar month, the research firm Current Analysis says.
· Killer Drone Construction Begins. Northrop Grumman engineers have spent the last couple of years designing a killer drone for the Navy. The company announced that it's starting to build the X-47B Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems plane. It's the first attack drone "that can operate from both land bases and aircraft carriers."
· Israel uses sound device to disperse riot. The Israeli army on Friday unveiled a new crowd-dispersal device emitting painful bursts of sound at a special frequency to help break up a violent Palestinian demonstration, military officials and witnesses said.
· MSN Site Hacking Went Undetected for Days. Password-stealing software planted by hackers was active on Microsoft's popular MSN Web site in South Korea for days before the world's largest software company learned about the break-in and removed the computer code.
Friday, June 3, 2005
· Update: ‘Persons of interest’ identified in case of teen missing in Aruba. Three males being questioned in the disappearance of an Alabama teenager in the Dutch Caribbean are now officially considered "persons of interest." The "persons of interest" are from Suriname (near Brazil) and the Netherlands who were last seen dropping the girl off at her hotel.
· Orlando airport first to provide quick-pass cards. Beginning June 21, the Orlando airport will let travelers pay $80 a year for a card that guarantees an exclusive security line and the promise of no random secondary pat-down. To get this new "Clear" card, travelers would have to be vetted by the Department of Homeland Security and submit to fingerprint and iris scans.
· Louis-Dreyfus to Return As Sitcom Mom. Former "Seinfeld" star Julia Louis-Dreyfus will play the title role in a new CBS sitcom "Old Christine," which is on the network's midseason roster. Louis-Dreyfus will play a divorced mother and owner of a women's 30-minute-workout gym who must contend with her ex-husband's new young girlfriend, also named Christine.
· Wedding-cake toppers go interracial. Many of those keepsake bridal figurines that grace wedding cakes everywhere this time of year look strikingly different. While love may be blind, companies are now creating racially interchangeable wedding toppers - a growing market with 1.5 million interracial couples in the U.S. alone.
· Tom Sizemore Seeks to Overturn Conviction. Actor Tom Sizemore filed a petition Friday to throw out his conviction of domestic violence against former Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss. Sizemore accuses Fleiss of faking a picture of her bruises submitted as evidence during the April 2003 trial.
· People suffering from depression will now have another reason to be depressed. Scientists now confirm that depression significantly shortens a person's life by unleashing a cascade of harmful effects on the body, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
· Chappelle shows up at comedy clubs. The AWOL comedian dropped in unannounced at two popular comedy clubs Thursday night, saying he had just arrived in Los Angeles and felt like performing, Daily Variety reported Friday.
· Shaq offers to pay for Mikan's funeral. Shaquille O'Neal wants to pay more than respects to the family of George Mikan. O'Neal said Thursday that he wants the Mikan family to contact the Miami Heat offices, so arrangements can be made for him to handle funeral expenses for the NBA league's first dominant big man.
· Diaz sues paper for $10 million. Actress Cameron Diaz is suing The National Enquirer newspaper for more than $10 million, alleging the celebrity tabloid libeled her in a story that claimed she cheated on boyfriend Justin Timberlake by kissing another man.
· 'Hey! Isn't that Daddy up on that billboard?' People who solicit prostitutes in Oakland, California, could find their faces plastered on billboards under a new shaming program that one civil rights group calls bad public policy.
· Judge Denies Gag Order in Bill Cosby Case. A federal judge on Thursday denied a bid for a gag order by Bill Cosby's lawyers in a lawsuit alleging that the entertainer drugged and sexually molested a woman. Judge Eduardo Robreno also denied a motion by the plaintiff's attorneys to keep secret the names of other women alleging similar assaults who might be called as witnesses.
· China to supply $600 million Boeing plane parts. The Boeing Co. said that Chinese manufacturers will supply $600 million in aircraft parts in years to come, including some parts for its new 787 Dreamliner.
· Alabama teen missing for fourth day in Aruba. Natalee Holloway disappeared on the last night of a trip to Aruba to celebrate her graduation from high school. Four days later, the Alabama teenager is still missing, despite an extensive search of the Dutch Caribbean island.
· Jackson Lawyer to Finish Closing Arguments. Prosecutors portrayed Michael Jackson as a hard-drinking, porn-collecting pedophile to "dirty up" the pop star because they couldn't prove their case that he molested a child, Jackson's lawyer said in closing arguments. Defense attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. began his closing argument Thursday after Senior Deputy District Attorney Ron Zonen told jurors that Jackson had brought his accuser, then a 13-year-old cancer survivor, "into the world of the forbidden." Mesereau was to conclude his argument Friday, followed by a prosecution rebuttal. The case will then go to the jury.
· GM to recall more than 291,000 Saturns. General Motors Corp. is recalling 291,652 Saturn L-Series sedans and wagons in the United States because of defective tail lights, U.S. safety regulators said on Friday.
» Longtime Jackson Confidant Speaks Out. Before jury deliberations begin in the Michael Jackson child molestation case, a longtime friend and confidant of the pop star is speaking publicly for the first time to express his belief that Jackson is innocent. Frank Tyson told ABC News' "Primetime Live" co-anchor Cynthia McFadden: There's "not a question in my mind who's telling the truth. I know who's telling the truth and I know who's lying."
· Rather says he was victim of 'own shortcomings.' Former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather, recalling the stinging criticism he and the network received after airing a controversial story on President Bush's National Guard service, admits he was a victim of his "own shortcomings," in a Larry King interview last night.
· New Script Handed To Lucas For Fourth 'Indiana Jones.' Putaway your lightsabers and crack out your bullwhip: George Lucas is proceeding with the next "Indiana Jones" movie, and although it's not been made entirely official, the fourth "Indiana Jones" movie will star Harrison Ford and be directed by Lucas' friend Steven Spielberg.
· Police shoot teen to end bulldozer chase. A 14-year-old boy who allegedly stole a bulldozer and led Tucson, Arizona, police on a 15-mile chase was critically wounded Thursday night when officers fired on the tractor as it sped toward them, a police official said.
· Nixon suspected Felt. President Nixon and his aides suspected early on that FBI official W. Mark Felt was helping The Washington Post with its stories on the Watergate affair, according to transcripts of White House tapes. In a conversation recorded on October 19, 1972, four months after the Watergate break-in, White House chief of staff H.R. Haldeman told Nixon a secret source had identified Felt as the primary leaker.
· More On Lohan-Photog Crash. Lindsay Lohan was making a U-turn to get to a police vehicle when a photographer intentionally crashed into her car, police said Thursday. Lohan suffered cuts and bruises in Tuesday's accident. She told authorities she would get treatment on her own, police Lt. Ted Matthews said. Police had previously said the 18-year-old actress-singer was uninjured.
· Does a New Pill Contain the Fountain of Youth? Protandim May Slow Aging Process by Increasing Enzymes That Fight Free Radicals. Dr. Joe McCord's latest research may unravel the mystery of aging. And if he succeeds, the answer could come in the form of a little yellow pill called Protandim. The University of Colorado at Denver biochemistry professor has conducted decades of experiments into a special class of enzymes in the cell that some hope have the potential of extending lives and possibly preventing chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
· Microsoft Says MSN Site Hacked in S. Korea. Microsoft Corp. says hackers booby-trapped its popular MSN Web site in South Korea to try to steal passwords from visitors. The company said it was unclear how many Internet users might have been victimized.
· Sheriff Wants Separate Hurricane Shelter For Sex Offenders. A sheriff has proposed banning sex offenders and predators from public hurricane shelters in his county. Seminole County Sheriff Don Eslinger said sex offenders should be evacuated to a separate shelter where they can be monitored.
· Apple Offers $50 Credit for iPod Batteries. As part of a tentative settlement announced this week, Apple agreed to give $50 vouchers and extended service warranties to as many as 2 million customers whose older iPods had batteries that needed to be replaced or didn't fully charge.
· Smells can affect your driving. The smell of fast-food in your car can make you drive faster - but coffee aroma can make you drive better, according to new research. According to a study, different smells can affect how you drive.
· Women game as men's date club opens. The dating game has come to this: The controversial Harlem Club, a semiprivate gentlemen's organization, opens tonight in Murray Hill, stocked with liquor, self-described professional men and sexy babes trolling for potential mates. The club created an uproar in the black community last year when the requirements for women who don't want to pay the $2,500 membership fee came to light: They have to be pretty, in great shape, single, have no children - but be under 35 to ensure fertility - and boast a bachelor's degree.
Thursday, June 2, 2005
· $100 For Concert Parking. Fans attending Jimmy Buffett's concert at Pittsburgh's PNC Park June 26 can expect to pay as much as $100 for spaces operated by the city's Alco Parking, but the company's president said fans were willing to fork out the cash.
· New Jersey governor upset U.S. anthem not played at foreign match. U.S. and international soccer officials are puzzled over the acting New Jersey governor's outrage that the American national anthem was not played before a friendly soccer match between England and Colombia.
· School to pay $2 million in marshmallow choking death. The parents of a sixth-grader who choked to death on marshmallows while playing a classroom game settled their lawsuit against the suburban school district Thursday for $2 million.
· Mortgage rates could head even lower. Mortgage rates were supposed to be rising by now, helping to gradually cool the nation's red-hot housing market. Defying predictions, U.S. mortgage rates are lower than they were a year ago and are falling. The rate on the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 5.65 percent in the week that ended May 26, the lowest rate since mid-February and below the 6.32 percent level of a year ago, according to mortgage financier Freddie Mac.
· Book's clue leads to $25K prize. A Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, man is the first treasure hunter to decipher the clues in the book "A Treasure's Trove: A Fairy Tale About Real Treasure for Parents and Children of All Ages" to redeem a $25,000 prize. Author and publisher Michael Stadther personally hid 12 tokens redeemable for one-of-a-kind jewels with a combined value of $1 million in public places around the country. The jewels represent the 12 forest creatures featured in the fairy tale.
· James Dean's Star Shines 50 Years Later. Red lipstick kisses are sun-baked into James Dean's pink granite gravestone, testifying to the enduring allure of the man who, 50 years after his death, remains a symbol of rebellious, misunderstood youth. Frozen in time by death - forever handsome, sullen and projecting a cool nonchalance - Dean is winning new fans with his legacy of cinematic magic, sex appeal and tragedy.
· Time to ‘rein Tom in.’ Tom Cruise’s handlers have reportedly told the “Top Gun” star to cool his jets when it comes to his public proclamations of love for Katie Holmes. The normally reserved Cruise created headlines — as well as some guffaws — when he leapt up and down on the Oprah Winfrey show, declaring, “I'm in love! I'm in love. I can't be cool. I can't be laid-back.” Skeptics have been speculating that the romance is a publicity ploy gone awry.
· Britney's reality show drives viewers away. Even with only reruns to compete with, Britney Spears and Kevin Federline cannot draw a crowd. "Britney & Kevin: Chaotic" fell to its lowest ratings yet in its third outing for UPN on Tuesday.
· Shoppers naive about retail prices online. Most American consumers don't realize Internet merchants and even traditional retailers sometimes charge different prices to different customers for the same products, according to a new survey.
· Turner: CNN Focuses Too Much on Perverts. CNN should cover international news and the environment, not the "pervert of the day," network founder Ted Turner said Wednesday as the first 24-hour news network turned 25. I would like to see us to return to a little more international coverage on the domestic feed and a little more environmental coverage, and, maybe, maybe a little less of the pervert of the day," he said in a speech to CNN employees.
· Runaway Bride Jennifer Wilbanks Pleads Guilty. Runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks has pleaded guilty to a felony county of making a false statement. She could face up to six years in prison if convicted of both charges - making a false statement and making a false police report - as well as $11,000 in fines.
» Dean: GOP has 'dark, difficult and dishonest' vision. Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean further burnished his shoot-from-the-lip reputation Thursday, saying "a lot of Republicans" don't make an "honest living" and the GOP has a "dark, difficult and dishonest" vision for America. Continuing, Dean said Republicans could stand in eight-hour lines (at the polls) "because a lot of them have never made an honest living in their lives."
· Man sues to name horse after slave. A thoroughbred owner filed a federal lawsuit seeking the right to name a 2-year-old filly after Sally Hemings, the slave who was the reputed mistress of Thomas Jefferson.
· Krispy Kreme Celebrates Doughnut Day. On Friday, June 3rd, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc. celebrates National Doughnut Day by offering customers a free doughnut of their choice in participating stores throughout the U.S.
· One man's welcome to New Jersey: "A horrible place to do business." Rather than simply welcoming drivers to the Garden State, a new billboard greeting people entering New Jersey over the Delaware Memorial Bridge is instead slamming the state's business climate. "Welcome to New Jersey. A horrible place to do business," reads the billboard message.
· Patients forced to make way for Kylie. Elderly patients needing heart surgery at Cabrini Hospital in Melbourne were kicked out of their beds to make an entire wing available for Kylie Minogue. The pop princess, who is being treated for breast cancer, was allocated eight of the hospital's 18 cardio rooms in a move that angered Cabrini doctors and patients, according to News Limited.
· Sullen Jacko Awaits Jury Deliberations. A subdued Michael Jackson sat silently in court on the eve of closing arguments in his child-molestation trial, well aware that within a matter of days his future will be placed in the hands of a jury.
· Man’s bright idea ignites gas blaze. Maybe next time he should bring a flashlight. A Warrensburg man burned himself and is facing criminal charges after he used a lighter to check how his efforts to steal gasoline were going, causing a fire that destroyed a forklift, police said.
· Book Written by 'Deep Throat' on eBay. A book written and apparently autographed by the man who has revealed himself as Deep Throat, the long-anonymous source from the Watergate scandal, was being offered Wednesday for sale on eBay.
· 8-Year-Old Takes 20-Mile Ride At Night On New Go-Cart. An 8-year-old boy simply couldn't wait to show off his new gas-powered go-cart. So he sneaked out the house and hit the road for a 20-mile solo ride in the middle of the night.
· "Rambo" Back on Duty. Rambo is coming out of hiding and looking for some fresh blood. After a 17-year layoff, Sylvester Stallone is ready to reprise his role as everyone's favorite muscle-bound Green Beret for a fourth installment in the popular 1980s film franchise.
· Young Michigan drinkers invoke unique defense. Young Michigan drinkers have discovered the "Canada defense" to beat underage drinking charges in their home state. Michigan's zero tolerance law makes drinking alcohol by anyone under age 21 a criminal offence, one of the reasons American teens have turned Windsor's bar scene into a vibrant weekend mecca for those who have reached Ontario's more liberal legal drinking age of 19.
· Stage set for '.xxx' Internet addresses. The Internet's primary oversight body approved a plan Wednesday to create a virtual red-light district, setting the stage for adult-oriented sites to use new addresses ending in "xxx."
· Serial Impersonator Arrested Again. A serial impersonator of law enforcement officials and others has been arrested again - this time for posing as an appliance repairman. James A. Ross, 23, has served time in jail for false impersonation of a police officer and again for posing as a paramedic. He also has been charged with posing as a firefighter and a mortician.
· Bush picks Rep. Cox to chair SEC. Moving quickly to fill a high-profile regulatory vacancy, President Bush has picked California Rep. Christopher Cox, a Republican, as his choice to become chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission and will make the announcement Thursday morning, a senior administration official said.
Wednesday, June 1, 2005
· State of Oregon Makes Over $1 Million On Marijuana Sales. Oregon lawmakers have discovered an
expected unexpected source of revenue - medical marijuana. When Oregon began its medical marijuana program six years ago, officials say they didn't expect it to grow so fast. Now, there are more than 10,400 registered patients who have produced a surplus of $1.1 million.
· Scientists study ‘trust in a bottle.’ Trust in a bottle? It sounds like a marketer's fantasy, like the fabled fountain of youth or the wild claims of fad diets. Yet that's what Swiss and American scientists demonstrate in new experiments with a nasal spray containing the hormone oxytocin. After a few squirts, human subjects were significantly more trusting and willing to invest money with no ironclad promise of a profit. The researchers acknowledged their findings could be abused by con artists or even sleazy politicians who might sway an election, provided they could squirt enough voters on their way to the polls.
· 'Dukes of Hazzard Institute' VP hired. Office temp wins $100,000 job to watch reruns of Bo, Luke, Daisy and write blog. Country Music Television has selected its first "vice president" for the Dukes of Hazzard Institute. Christopher Nelson's new job, which comes with a $100,000 salary and a one-year contract, will be to watch reruns of "The Dukes of Hazzard" weeknights on the Country Music Television cable channel and write blog postings for the network's Web site.
· Couple Marks 80th Wedding Anniversary. A British husband and wife revealed the secrets of the longest marriage of any living couple on Wednesday as they celebrated their 80th wedding anniversary — don't sleep on an argument, always share a kiss and hold hands before going to bed.
· Hurricane Killer? A Florida businessman who claims he once made a thundercloud disappear from Doppler radar says he can take the fury out of hurricanes, too. Peter Cordani isn't a meteorologist or even a weather aficionado. He's just a Florida CEO sick of seeing his state pounded by hurricanes - and using his environmental absorbents - thinks he can take the punch out of hurricanes.
· Parole Hearing Scheduled For Onetime Manson Family. A parole hearing is scheduled Wednesday afternoon for onetime Manson family member Susan Atkins, who is serving a life sentence at the California Institution for Women at Frontera, California. Atkins, now a 57-year-old self-described born-again Christian, has been turned down for parole nearly a dozen times over the years.
· Investigation Shows Big Business Funding Sex Chat Rooms. Several well-known companies have pulled ads from a popular online chat room service after an investigation revealed to them what their money was funding. Yahoo! is facing a $10 million lawsuit that accuses it of cashing in on some disturbing chat rooms.
· Father Knows Best: Elder Bush Says Jeb Should Seek White House. Gov. Jeb Bush has many times brushed off suggestions that he should run for president. And he did so again Wednesday - only the prodding came from a new and interesting source: his father, former President George H.W. Bush. The elder Bush told CNN's Larry King on Tuesday that he would like to see the Florida governor run for the White House.
· 49ers under fire for shock training film. The San Francisco 49ers' front office is under fire for an in-house training video that including lesbian porn, off-color racial jokes, a parody of gay marriage, topless blondes, and star linebacker Julian Peterson playing the part of a panhandler,the San Francisco Chronicle reported Wednesday.
· California landslide sends homes crashing. Area evacuated before 12 homes destroyed, 15 damaged. A landslide sent at least 12 expensive homes crashing down a hill early Wednesday and damaged 15 others in this coastal Southern California enclave. Some 1,000 people in more than 300 other homes were evacuated in this town 50 miles southeast of Los Angeles.
· Paparazzi Arrested After Allegedly Striking Lohan's Car. Police say a photographer who hit Lindsay Lohan's car while allegedly following her has been booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. It happened about 5:30 Tuesday night in the Wilshire District of Los Angeles.
· City pays for private investigator to get lap dances. The city of Knoxville used tax dollars to pay for lap dances at local strip clubs. It was part of an effort to force adult businesses to adhere to stricter regulations and the city says, in essence, it was money well spent. The city paid a private investigator nearly $100 an hour to go to adult businesses. Then the city paid for the investigator to get lap dances while he was there.
· Update: Slater butt bust. Bad-boy actor Christian Slater was busted early yesterday after he allegedly squeezed the butt of a woman almost the same age as his mother, police said. The woman then dialed 911 and Slater was arrested a block away. "This is bull----!" Slater whined to cops as they handcuffed him, a police source said. "I didn't do anything," he fumed. "I'm suing you! I'm suing the Police Department! I'm suing everybody!"
· Man Arraigned On Charges He Beat Daughter's Softball Coach With Bat. A man accused of beating his daughter's softball coach with an aluminum bat has been ordered to stay away from the coach and her high school. Mark Picard, 47, faced charges that included assault and reckless endangerment. He did not enter a plea during Tuesday's court proceedings.
· Lawmaker wants lower soldier drinking age. One Wisconsin lawmaker figures if the U.S. military trusts 19-year-olds with a $10 million tank, then the state should trust them with a beer. State Rep. Mark Pettis, a Republican who served in the Navy, is pushing a bill that would drop the drinking age to 19 for Wisconsin soldiers - but only if the federal government agrees it will not yank an estimated $50 million a year in highway aid.
· Neil Armstrong suing to get hair back from barber. The first man to walk on the moon used to come into Marx's Barber Shop in Lebanon about every month for a trim. That stopped when Neil Armstrong learned that owner Marx Sizemore picked up some of the former astronaut's hair from the floor of his shop and sold it for $3,000.
· Christian activist group goes after Ford Motor Co. A week after they declared victory over Walt Disney Co., Christian activists have fired another missile in their long war against companies they think are destroying traditional American values. The target this time is Ford Motor Co., which Christians should boycott as “the company which has done the most to affirm and promote the homosexual lifestyle,” the American Family Association says.
· Trump ditches Manhattan land, gets $1.8 billion. In the biggest residential sale in city history, Donald Trump and a group of Hong Kong investors are selling three buildings and 77 acres of land on Manhattan's Upper West Side for $1.8 billion.
· Gordon backtracks on Patrick’s weight. Robby Gordon was not being critical of Danica Patrick when he said she had an unfair weight advantage in the Indianapolis 500. Rather, he said he was simply discussing a flaw in the Indy Racing League’s rules. “The only thing I was saying was that I have a problem with the rule, not any particular driver,” Gordon said Tuesday.
· Update: Bob Woodward confirms 'Deep Throat' identity. story on The Washington Post Web site says that Watergate reporter Bob Woodward has confirmed that W. Mark Felt was "Deep Throat." Felt, a former FBI official, claims he was the long-anonymous source who leaked secrets about President Nixon's Watergate coverup to The Washington Post, his family said Tuesday.
· Celebs say he'll beat it. With the King of Pop's judgment day drawing near, the Daily News turned to some famous faces for an all-star jury to predict the outcome of the case. Most of the lawyers, politicians and sex experts we contacted figure Michael Jackson is very unlikely to be convicted of child molestation; some think he may fall on some lesser charge, and many think the prosecution's case was weak.
· Kevin Spacey to Appear in Reality Show. Kevin Spacey has played Bobby Darin and one of "The Usual Suspects." Now the actor-director will take on the role of mentor to showbiz interns in "Going Hollywood," a new eight-part TLC reality series. The series, slated to premiere this fall, promises to go beyond the velvet rope and document the business of being an A-list celebrity.
· TV News Van Crash Knocks Out Power To 1,400 Homes. At least 1,400 homes in the Indialantic area were still without power early Wednesday following an accident involving a television news van late Tuesday, according to officials.
· Axed for bashing Stern babe. Howard Stern really must be "The King of All Media." Just hours after he complained on-air about FHM editor-at-large Jake Bronstein's assertion that three-time FHM cover girl Beth Ostrosky is only famous because she dates Stern, Bronstein was fired.
· CNN celebrates 25 years. Since first signing on the air June 1, 1980, CNN has reported on an ever-changing world, shaped by events of great tragedy and triumph. To mark the quarter-century anniversary, CNN looks at some of the moments and people that define history over the past 25 years.