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Tuesday, May 31, 2005
· Runaway bride agrees to pay $13,250 for search costs. Runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks has agreed to pay $13,250 to the city of Duluth, Georgia, to help pay for the costs the city incurred searching for her, the mayor said Tuesday.
· Man owed $617,000 refuses to identify himself and claim money. Most people wouldn't wait a minute to claim $617,000 they were owed. But not Gene Sehrt. He's owed the sum from the rental and sale of some Milwaukee commercial properties a court-appointed receiver administered at his family's request. Sehrt - or a man the circuit court clerk and his staff believe is Sehrt - frequently shows up in the very county court office where he could claim the money. But he never mentions the money, which now sits in a bank.
· Airlines tracking pet deaths. U.S. airlines will track the number of cargo-area pet deaths and begin reporting the data to the U.S. government. "The hardest part was making Delta believe that the cat wasn't just a piece of luggage. Now airlines will have to be more careful about transporting animals and realize they are responsible for their lives and that animals need air and heat," said Sarah Stano, who settled with the airline after her 6-year-old cat either froze to death or suffocated from oxygen deprival during a cross-country flight two years ago.
· Chili finger suspect getting hate mail. Anna Ayala's attorney said the Las Vegas woman has been rattled by hate mail since her April arrest for allegedly planting a fingertip in a bowl of chili at a San Jose Wendy's. "She's having a little bit of a hard time understanding the depth of the hatred,'' her attorney said. "I told her Americans love their fast food."
· KKK Hoods, Robes Sell For $600 Each At Auction. A controversial auction in Chesterfield County, Va., Monday included the sale of Ku Klux Klan hoods, robes and other paraphernalia. Several KKK outfits sold for about $600 each. "We don't do it to be derogatory or anything like that, it's just our culture and we enjoy it," said one customer.
· Judge Under Fire For Sentencing People To Church. A Kentucky judge is facing criticism for letting some drug and alcohol offenders attend worship services instead of going to jail or rehab. District Judge Michael Caperton said he's trying "to help people and their families."
· Jackson jurors can weigh lesser charges on alcohol. The judge in Michael Jackson’s child molestation trial said Tuesday that the jury will be told that the allegation that Jackson gave alcohol to his accuser can be treated as a lesser offense. The change made by Superior Court Judge Rodney S. Melville raised the possibility that Jackson could be convicted of providing alcohol to a minor — a misdemeanor — even if he is acquitted of molestation.
· 'Deep Throat' identity confirmed. No, it apparently wasn't Linda Lovelace after all. W. Mark Felt, who retired from the FBI after rising to its second most senior position, has identified himself as the real "Deep Throat" source quoted by The Washington Post to break the Watergate scandal that led to President Nixon's resignation, Vanity Fair magazine said Tuesday.
»1992 Flashback: The Atlantic Monthly suspected an FBI source. Hoover's death presented the Nixon Administration with a long-sought opportunity to gain political control of the FBI. Traumatized by Hoover's death, and anxious to preserve the Bureau's traditions, the FBI's leadership resented and resisted the Administration's efforts. By coincidence, the Watergate break-in occurred on June 17, less than seven weeks after Hoover's death and Gray's appointment. The FBI took charge of the federal investigation at the same time that the Administration was trying to limit its scope.
· Christian Slater arrested on sexual harassment charge. Actor Christian Slater was arrested in Manhattan early Tuesday after he sexually harassed a woman on the street, police said. Slater, 35, was taken into custody in an Upper East Side neighborhood of Manhattan after police responded to a call from a woman who said she had been attacked while walking, said New York Police Sgt. Mary Doherty. "Basically he grabbed a woman's behind on the street," said Doherty, adding Slater was "intoxicated at the time."
· Airline slammed for one-passenger flight on 737. Zimbabwe's government has criticized the cash-strapped national airline for flying unviable routes, including one trip which saw an Air Zimbabwe Boeing 737 jet fly 3,728 miles from Dubai with a solitary passenger aboard.
· Mob burns KFC restaurant after suicide blast at mosque. Using their typical 'blame the U.S. for everything' mentality, a mob angered by an al-Qaida-linked suicide bombing in a Pakistani Shiite mosque set a KFC restaurant on fire overnight, killing six employees and bringing the day’s overall death toll to 11, police said today.
· Arrest Warrant Issued for Rape Counselor. An arrest warrant has been issued for a rape counselor who refused to turn over records of her sessions with a former Air Force Academy cadet, one of the women whose allegations touched off a scandal that toppled the academy's top leaders.
· Court Overturns Arthur Andersen Conviction. The Supreme Court on Tuesday overturned the conviction of the Arthur Andersen accounting firm for destroying Enron Corp. - related documents before the energy giant's collapse.
· Parents Fined If Kids Skip School Or Arrive Late. Fines Start At $100 A Day. It's a classic problem. How do you make sure kids get to school on time? One Arizona community says the answer is simple: you charge parents each time a student is late or skips school.
· Sex a-peel diet. Who needs Viagra when you've got a banana? Or, for that matter, cucumbers, carrots and red hot chili peppers? All the above are foods that keep men stoked, says a new book on male health and sexual happiness.
· Flying Surfboard Kills Florida Doctor. A surfboard got loose from the roof of a sport utility vehicle and flew into the windshield of another motorist, killing an Atlantic Beach doctor, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
· Mrs. Smith director fears Jolie and Pitt's sex scenes will spark movie boycott. Director Doug Liman fears the shocking sex scenes between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in new movie Mr. & Mrs. Smith are so realistic, fans of Pitt's estranged wife Jennifer Aniston will boycott the film. Pitt and Jolie have repeatedly denied reports they started a passionate affair on the movie's set, causing the heart-throb's high-profile split from Aniston in January.
· Live 8 snub for Spice Girls as bosses brand their music too trivial for gig to aid starving. Bob Geldof will today announce the glittering line-up for music spectacular Live 8 - but the Spice Girls will not be in it. The decision by concert bosses to axe them from the concert will be a bitter blow to the five stars who had hoped to re-form and play together for the first time since they split in 1998.
· Hotel heir-head Paris Hilton engaged. Hotel heiress and "The Simple Life" reality TV star Paris Hilton is engaged to her boyfriend, Greek shipping heir Paris Latsis, her spokesman said Monday. "They are happy and excited," said spokesman Rob Shuter, confirming the story first reported on People magazine's Web site.
· Famous Rocky statue for sale on eBay. Created for the movie ROCKY III the statue was erected on the top steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. After the filming ended a furious debate arose in Philadelphia between the Art Museum and the City's Art Commission over the meaning of "art." Claiming the statue was not "art" but rather a "movie prop" the city considered various alternate locations and settled upon the front of the Spectrum sports complex in South Philadelphia.
· 'Star Wars' wins holiday weekend. "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith" beat two strong newcomers to remain the top movie with $70.75 million over the long Memorial Day weekend, though Hollywood again failed to climb out of a prolonged revenue decline.
· Fla. Lieutenant's Unmarked Car Stolen. An unmarked patrol car assigned to a Pinellas County sheriff's lieutenant has been stolen from the parking lot of a St. Petersburg shopping mall. Youth Services Lieutenant Chris Gurley was off duty when the car disappeared from the Tyrone Mall in St. Petersburg.
· Cyndi Lauper Suing Over High Rent. Cyndi Lauper may be a pop-star who's sold millions of albums, but that doesn't mean she wants to pay much more than $500 for her apartment on Manhattan's Upper West Side.
· Stanford rejects hacker applicants. Stanford University's Graduate School of Business has rejected 41 applicants who tried to access an admissions Web site earlier this year in hopes of learning their fate ahead of schedule.
· Neb. Woman Finds $3,000 Hidden In Garage Sale Chair. Linda Stafford of Omaha said she has been going to garage sales for 30 years, and taking good-natured ribbing from her family all the while. Perhaps that ribbing will stop, Stafford said, after she found more than $3,000 in bills dating from 1928 to 1953 in the false bottom of a chair she purchased for $2 at a garage sale.
· 4-Year-Old Accidentally Killed During Target Practice At Holiday Gathering. Police in Minnesota said a four-year-old boy was killed when he wandered behind a paper target while family and friends were practicing shooting Sunday. They said the boy was hit when a man fired a handgun about 30 feet through the target.
· Patrick Stewart Rushed To Hospital with Chest Pains. Former Star Trek: The Next Generation actor Patrick Stewart was rushed to the hospital yesterday after suffering chronic chest pains while shooting a new science fiction TV show. The 64-year-old halted filming of British miniseries Eleventh Hour and asked a crew member to take him to the Manchester Royal Infirmary, after suffering a heart scare.
· An itch the clerk couldn't stop scratching. Bryan W. Lietz says he doesn't know what came over him. "It's not me to normally be a thief," the 40-year-old resident of Perham, Minn., said Friday. But in the wee hours of May 12, as Lietz worked the graveyard shift at the Perham Conoco, he apparently was just that, allegedly scratching off $1,400 worth of lottery tickets without paying for them, according to a criminal complaint.
· House members belatedly disclose outside trips. Scrutiny of majority leader Tom DeLay's travel has led to the belated disclosure of at least 198 previously unreported special interest trips by House members and their aides, including eight years of travel by the second-ranking Democrat, an AP review has found.
· Search on for motive in Ohio massacre. A teen about to graduate from high school shot to death his grandparents, mother and two friends, then wounded his younger sister before committing suicide, authorities said Monday. The rampage perplexed school officials, who said he seemed to have been in good spirits.
· Canadian Natalie Glebova Wins Miss Universe. Miss Canada, Natalie Glebova, was crowned Miss Universe in the 54th annual pageant held in the Thai capital of Bangkok. The brunette from Toronto was chosen over Miss Puerto Rico Cynthia Olavarria.
· Chappelle struggles to reconcile faith, comedy. It's the $50 million question — what happened to Dave Chappelle? The comedian disappeared a few weeks ago, eventually turning up in South Africa where he was rumored to have checked himself into a mental health facility.
Monday, May 30, 2005
· $220.3 million lottery prize won, but unclaimed. Someone who bought a Powerball lottery ticket in Boise, Idaho over the weekend has won a $220.3 million jackpot, the 10th largest jackpot ever awarded by the multistate lottery, officials said Sunday.
· Wheldon wins Indy; Danica Patrick is 4th. The Andretti jinx is over at the Indianapolis 500. Danica Patrick's reign is just beginning. Dan Wheldon won it - his fourth victory in five tries this year - ending 35 years of frustration and failure for the Andretti at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as Patrick's electrifying run fell short with a nearly empty fuel tank.
» IRL not ready to measure Danica's weight advantage. he Indy Racing League isn't giving any weight to the complaints about Danica Patrick's slight frame. One day after NASCAR's Robby Gordon said he would not race against the petite Patrick because he believes she has a weight advantage at a mere 100 pounds, IRL officials said they were not considering changing their rules to level the playing field."It's no issue at all, as it pertains to the Indianapolis 500 and oval-track racing," league spokesman John Griffin said.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Esoteric [es·o·ter·ic] adj. 1. Difficult to understand; abstruse. 2. Not publicly disclosed; confidential. 3. Of rare, special, or unusual interest: Her software success was based on an esoteric programming language.
· Mom to advertisers: Place your ads on my baby. When Michele Hutchison's baby is born, she envisions more than a pure bundle of bouncing joy. She also sees a potential billboard. The suburban Philadelphia mom-to-be is inviting advertisers to put their names on her child's clothing and baby goods, saying the ads are sure to get noticed.
· 'Bored' Teens Accused Of Beating Man To Death With Sticks. Two teens in Volusia County are accused of beating a homeless man to death with sticks because they were bored and wanted something to do, according to police.
· Horse owner accused of stealing investment funds. Owner Gary Tanaka, whose stable of successful racehorses currently includes Grade 1-winning sprinter Pico Central, has been arrested and charged with using investors' money to purchase racehorses, according to reports from Bloomberg News.
· French Say 'Non' To European Constitution. In a stunning rejection of the European Union's latest ambitious move to unite its 25 nations, French voters shot down the bloc's first constitution, dealing a potentially fatal blow to the charter and humiliating President Jacques Chirac.
Sunday, May 29, 2005
· Oliver Stoned: Director Oliver Stone arrested. Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone was released from jail Saturday after his arrest on alcohol and drug charges the night before in Beverly Hills, police said. Police at a checkpoint, set up for the Memorial Day weekend, pulled over Stone when he showed signs of intoxication, said Beverly Hills Police Sgt. John Edmundson. When police searched Stone's Mercedes, they said they found an illegal drug.
· Petite Patrick has unfair advantage, Gordon says. Robby Gordon accused Danica Patrick of having an unfair advantage in the Indianapolis 500 and said Saturday he will not compete in the race again unless the field is equalized. “The lighter the car, the faster it goes,” Gordon said. “Do the math. Put her in the car at her weight, then put me or Tony Stewart in the car at 200 pounds and our car is at least 100 pounds heavier.
· Tom Cruise pops the question. Katie Holmes is not sporting a ring yet, but she is engaged to Tom Cruise. Just a month after the two started publicly canoodling to express their "love," Holmes packed her bags and moved in with the star and, pals say, she's accepted a marriage proposal. The New York Post is also reporting that Holmes, a Christian, is converting to Scientology.
· Dr Cruise’s health advice starts feud. The golden rule of Hollywood — do not rubbish your fellow actors — has been broken by Tom Cruise, one of the film world’s most image conscious and reserved stars. A feud with Brooke Shields has erupted after Cruise criticised her in a television interview for taking antidepressants to help her cope with postnatal depression.
· Mama warned us about fast food and fast women. Let's get the obvious stuff out of the way first: Paris Hilton's TV commercial for the Carl's Jr. fast-food chain, now being downloaded at a computer near you, is a shoddy, shameless, plainly outrageous publicity stunt that all decent, right-thinking people will condemn. Yes, it's that good. Paris's 30-second bump-and-grind with a Bentley, a garden hose and a hamburger is a landmark piece of bad taste. It's also an ingenious bit of hucksterism, a marketing coup fueled by a vision that is pure and simple, and altogether rare, in an age of corporate committee-think.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Pugnacious [pug·na·cious] adj. 1. Quarrelsome or combative in nature; belligerent. 2. Expressing an argument or opinion very forcefully: Rather than maintaining a calm demeanor, his boss was quite pugnacious.
· Man Serving Life For Stealing Television Released After 35 Years. After 35 years in prison for stealing a black-and-white television set, Junior Allen is a free man. Allen, 65, walked out of prison Friday, ending a case that attracted widespread attention because he remained in jail while other inmates convicted of murder, rape or child molestation were released. "I'm glad to be out," Allen told supporters outside Orange Correctional Center. "I've done too much time for what I did. I won't be truly happy until I see a sign that says I'm outside of North Carolina."
· Governor digs fixing potholes San Jose crews destroy part of road for staged event. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger traveled to a quiet San Jose neighborhood Thursday, and - dogged by protesters - filled a pothole dug by city crews just a few hours before, as part of an attempt to dramatize his efforts to increase money for transportation projects.
· A female, a rookie - and a contender. In the gritty, testosterone-fueled world of car racing it's all Danica, all the time. At 23, Danica Patrick is not only the sole woman racing in Sunday's Indianapolis 500, she's the second-youngest driver on the circuit. Oh, and another thing: She's fast.
Saturday, May 28, 2005
· Mom Indicted For Hiring Stripper For Teen. A mother faces criminal charges after she hired a stripper to dance at her 16-year-old son's birthday party. Anette Pharris, 34, has been indicted by a grand jury on charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and involving a minor in obscene acts. The boy's father, the stripper and two others also face charges.
· London's Big Ben Mysteriously Stops Ticking. Big Ben, the landmark London clock renowned for its accuracy and chimes, stopped ticking for 90 minutes, an engineer said Saturday. Officials do not know why the 147-year-old clock on the banks of the River Thames stopped at 10:07 p.m. Friday.
· ESPN declines NHL option for next season. ESPN will not pick up a $60-million option to retain NHL broadcasting rights for next season, the network said Saturday. The NHL, in negotiations with the players' association to end the lockout that wiped out all of last season, has a two-year deal with NBC to televise games when play resumes.
· Warrant Issued For Counselor In USAFA Rape Case. An arrest warrant has been issued for a rape counselor who refused to turn over records of her sessions with a former Air Force Academy cadet, one of the women whose allegations touched off a scandal that toppled the academy's top leaders.
· Clinton staff disputes he's 'exhausted.' Bill Clinton will continue his tour of the Maldives and Indonesia in the tsunami-hit regions in Southeast Asia on Sunday. Clinton's staff is downplaying reports that he is worn out. The Associated Press cites a U.N. official as saying Clinton cancelled a planned tour of tsunami-damaged areas of the Maldives Saturday because of exhaustion.
Friday, May 27, 2005
· Eddie Albert, star of 'Green Acres,' dead. Eddie Albert, whose lighthearted portrayals made him a favorite in movies and television for more than 50 years, has died. He was 99. Albert died of pneumonia Thursday at his home in the Pacific Palisades area.
· Lindsay Lohan's dad sentenced to prison. Michael Lohan, the father of movie star Lindsay Lohan, was sentenced to prison this afternoon in Nassau County Court for a variety of crimes, including assaulting his brother-in-law with a shoe at a party, driving while intoxicated and aggravated driving without a license, a felony. Judge Weinberg sentenced Lohan to a 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison.
· Illinois Senator compares gun owners to sex offenders. Illinois lawmakers are firing back at gun lobbyists by comparing gun owners to sex offenders. Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) said "Sex offenders’ names are kept on record, why shouldn't gun purchasers’ names be archived, as well?"
· Both sides rest in Jackson trial. Michael Jackson's accuser returned to the courtroom on videotape Friday as the prosecution showed a 2003 interview in which the boy - downcast and speaking quietly - told investigators for the first time that the pop star molested him. In a surprising move after the video, defense lawyers decided not to call the boy back to the stand, as they had planned to do. The defense did not put on a rebuttal case, meaning closing arguments could begin as early as Wednesday.
· Mary Kay Kills "Desperate" Ads. Don't expect to see any pink Cadillacs cruising Wisteria Lane anytime soon. Cosmetics-peddling giant Mary Kay is pulling out of a planned ad buy on Desperate Housewives following criticism from a conservative Christian group. The American Family Association president questions how Mary Kay, whose company philosophy is "God first, family second and career third," could buy into a show that he says promotes infidelity, seduction and promiscuity.
· FDA investigating whether Viagra leads to blindness. The Federal Drug Administration is investigating claims that the drug Viagra could be linked to blindness. The FDA said it is looking into 50 reported cases of vision loss in men who have taken the drug.
· Northeast has dumbest drivers. When faced with a written test, similar to ones given to beginning drivers applying for licenses, one in ten drivers couldn't get a passing score, according to a study commissioned by GMAC Insurance. Drivers in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic states flunked the test twice as much as the national average, where twenty percent of test-takers failed there.
· Perils of open houses. The housing market is on fire, but "it's common sense that the agent should tell the seller to put away any valuables," Tom Pool, a spokesman for the California Department of Real Estate said. "But the bottom line is that it's the seller who's opening his house to virtually anyone off the street."
· DJ wins $10 million over rival's scent that made her sick. A disc jockey with a severe allergy to perfume has been awarded more than $10 million in damages after being deliberately exposed to a “romantic” scent by a malicious colleague. Erin Weber, formerly the top-rated lunchtime host of a country music show on WYCD-FM in Michigan, claimed in a lawsuit that the allergy resulted in her leaving the station after a 26-year career in radio.
· Marines drop Pantano charges. The Marine Corps has dropped its charges against the Camp Lejeune officer accused of putting up to 60 bullets into a pair of Iraqi detainees and then posting a taunting sign over their bodies. Second Lt. Ilario G. Pantano, 33, faces no further action from the military, which had charged him with premeditated murder. He could have faced a court-martial and, if convicted, the death penalty.
· Depp Arranges Shooting of Thompson's Ashes. Organizers of a memorial for Hunter S. Thompson plan to erect a 150-foot structure - courtesy of actor Johnny Depp - to shoot the gonzo journalist's ashes onto his ranch near here. Friends gathered Thursday to discuss the Aug. 20 invitation-only service, which will be six months after Thompson shot himself in his Woody Creek home.
· Tiger buttered up with odd honor. Iowa's "butter cow lady" hopes to hit a hole in one at the Iowa State Fair this summer. Norma "Duffy" Lyon plans a life-size butter sculpture of one of the best known golfers in the world - Tiger Woods.
· Secret Service Looks Into Yearbook Prank. Most Mesa Ridge High School students got yearbooks with a black mark under one student's picture, covering up a phrase that has caught the Secret Service's interest. After about 100 yearbooks were distributed May 6, somebody complained about the caption, which reads "most likely to assassinate President Bush." School officials asked students to return the yearbooks, and staff members used markers to cover up the words in those and the still-undistributed books.
· DeLay angered by 'Law & Order' mention. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay reacted angrily Thursday to this week's episode of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" for what he called a "manipulation of my name" in the show. The controversy centers around Wednesday's episode in which a police officer investigating a murder of a federal judge suggested putting out an all points bulletin for "somebody in a Tom DeLay T-shirt."
· Update: Suspect In Rape, Burying Alive Of Child Is In U.S. Illegally. A 17-year-old Lake Worth teenager charged with raping an 8-year-old girl and leaving her for dead at an abandoned landfill is in the United States illegally, officials said. But Milagro Cunningham, a Bahamian native, escaped the notice of immigration authorities after three burglary arrests last year because his cases were handled in the juvenile justice system.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Incongruous [in·con·gru·ous] adj. 1. Lacking in harmony; incompatible. 2. Not in agreement, as with principles; inconsistent: a plan incongruous with reason. 3. Not in keeping with what is correct, proper, or logical; inappropriate: incongruous behavior.
· Thank God! Judge Bars Photos of Jackson Genitalia. As much as District Attorney Thomas Sneddon wanted to see it, the judge in the Michael Jackson molestation trial Thursday spared jurors from seeing a graphic piece of evidence of Michael Jackson's private parts. The attempt to admit the genitalia photographs stems from a 1993 molestation investigation of Jackson.
· Change tires after 6 years, regardless of wear. DaimlerChrysler and Ford are advising U.S. customers to replace new car and truck tires after six years, even if there is no sign of wear, beginning with 2006 models.
· Rookie female IndyCar driver on fast track. Indy Racing League driver Danica Patrick posted the best-ever qualifying mark for a female driver May 15 for Sunday's Indianapolis 500, capturing the fourth position in the 33-car field, the good old boys who crowd the Brickyard's infield may finally have to concede that a woman might just win this thing. Patrick told her race team's co-owner, talk-show host David Letterman, as much this week when she was a guest on his show. "Here I am, boss!" she quipped as she came on stage, wearing a short skirt that showed plenty of leg.
· More Sizemore Trouble? Tom Sizemore had a hard time onscreen in Saving Private Ryan. He's having a harder time offscreen trying to save Tom Sizemore. Sizemore appeared in a Los Angeles court Wednesday to ask permission to travel to Thailand to work on a movie. The judge didn't issue a ruling on the request but instead set a June 2 hearing to address some alleged misdeeds.
· Woman Sues Yahoo Over Nude Photos Posted On Internet. A woman sued Yahoo Inc. for $3 million, alleging the Internet site failed to fulfill a promise to remove nude pictures of her from the Web. Cecilia Barnes, 48, in a lawsuit filed in Multnomah County, claims an ex-boyfriend began posting unauthorized personal profiles of her containing the photos in December. The profiles included her e-mail address and work phone number.
· Smoking among women drops to record low. For first time in nearly 30 years, only 1 in 5 females lighting up. Smoking among women in the United States has dropped below one in five for the first time in nearly 30 years, the government said Thursday.
· Soda firm offers suborbital space trip. When SpaceShipOne won the Ansari X Prize last October, the marketers behind the 7UP soft drink said they would give away the "first free ticket to space" — and this week, the contest has begun.
· Oops! Inquiry Finds Some Quran 'Mishandling.' U.S. officials have substantiated five cases in which military guards or interrogators mishandled the Quran of Muslim prisoners at Guantanamo Bay but found "no credible evidence" to confirm a prisoner's report that a holy book was flushed in a toilet, the prison's commander said Thursday.
· Ask Jeeves getting aggressive. Question: What well-known Internet search engine continues to lag industry leaders no matter how smart it becomes? Answer: Ask Jeeves Inc. The Oakland-based company on Thursday is launching its latest effort to win more fans. The hook: A new feature designed to provide more immediate answers to inquiries.
· Feds indict 4 Tennessee legislators Four members of the Tennessee Legislature, including a member of the Ford family dynasty in Memphis, were indicted on Thursday after a two-year undercover operation by the FBI. Among those indicted was state Sen. John Ford, one of the most powerful politicians in Memphis, who was charged with extorting $55,000 from a bogus company created by the bureau.
Thursday, May 26, 2005
· 20,000 ex-Enron employees split $85 million. Former Chairman Lay and ex CEO Skilling objected, saying money was to help pay for their defense. Thousands of former Enron Corp. employees will share $85 million in insurance proceeds to compensate for pensions lost when the energy giant collapsed into bankruptcy, a federal judge ruled this week.
· Americans look to Jesus for diet. Five loaves, two fish and a goblet of red wine could be on the menu for Americans if a new diet takes off. Don Colbert, a Florida doctor, asks "What would Jesus eat?" is the best way to stay fit, slim and trim.
· Group Slams Product Placement in Schwarzenegger Ad. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger should pull a political commercial off the air that promotes the junk food products of his campaign donors, consumer advocates said. The TV ad, released in May, features Schwarzenegger talking to people in a lunchroom, and places Pepsi and Arrowhead Water in prominent spots next to the governor for one-third of the ad.
· Club Sues, but Judge Backs NYC Smoking Ban. A judge tossed out a lawsuit brought by a 115-year-old private club that sought to strike down no-smoking laws so it could continue to honor its members - who include Walter Cronkite and Carol Burnett - with ceremonies that include lighting up.
· Millionaire resumes space training. A millionaire inventor-entrepreneur from New Jersey has resumed training in Russia for a mission to the international space station, a year after he was bumped from an earlier flight due to an unspecified health condition, the company arranging the trip announced yesterday.
· Man arrested for wearing Grinch mask in public for no reason. A West Virginia man is in trouble with the law for wearing a Grinch mask in public. Norman Gray was stopped by police in Wheeling on Tuesday. Officers told him to take the mask off and not put it on again. Police say Gray took the mask off and asked why he couldn't wear it. After officers told him that wearing masks in public is illegal, he reportedly put the mask back on and said he didn't believe it. Gray was then arrested and the mask confiscated.
· Dems, Jackson to Pay $200,000 in Fines. The Democratic Party, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and two groups associated with the civil rights activist have agreed to pay a total of $200,000 in civil fines for campaign finance violations in the 2000 elections. At issue in the Federal Election Commission case was about $450,000 in election spending by Jackson, the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition and the Citizenship Education Fund using funds from the groups.
· Garth Brooks proposes to Yearwood - onstage. Garth Brooks stole the show Wednesday night when he got down on one knee in front of 7,000 fans and proposed to fellow country music star Trisha Yearwood. She said yes - and the crowd went wild.
· Barbie fires up court. The world-famous perky plastic doll and her maker, Mattel Inc., are in a legal tangle over her trademark name. The mammoth California-based toy company is battling a Quebec restaurateur over "Barbie's" - even though the name refers, in this case, to the menu's barbecued food.
· Tom cruise resorting to desperate measures for publicity. As Tom Cruise's promotional campaign for his "romance" with baby-faced starlet Katie Holmes shifts into high gear, it's running into a brand-new PR problem: No one believes it's for real. Cruise's weirdness/asexuality rating is now at an all-time high. But with a new movie to promote (the impending Steven Spielberg monster "War of the Worlds"), a People magazine poll showing 62 percent of readers dismissing the Tom/Katie liaison as a publicity stunt.
» Flashback: Tom 'really not gay.' When Tom Cruise says he's not gay, he means it. Just a month after suing a gay porn star, E! Online reported that Cruise has filed yet another $100 million lawsuit - this time against a man who allegedly claimed he had a videotape supposedly proving Cruise is homosexual.
· Man Sets Credit Union Record With Coin Deposit. For the past 9 years, Jeffrey Knight of Fort Washington, Maryland, has been stuffing his spare change into a couple of five-gallon water jugs. It took more than five hours for the coin machine to tally all of Knight's small fortune - which totaled more than $8,800.
· Suspect in Florida death climbs crane in Atlanta. A man wanted in Florida in the death of his girlfriend climbed an 18-story crane at a construction site and remained there Thursday morning as authorities tried to talk him down.
· 'Jeopardy!' King Dethroned. Maybe Ken Jennings isn't so tough after all. The "Jeopardy!" brainiac met his match this week, losing a three-day tournament of champions from the game show and a $2 million prize to Brad Rutter of Lancaster, Pa.
· Carrie Underwood the new 'American Idol.' The 21-year-old country crooner from Checotah, Oklahoma, won the title of the hit Fox talent show. She beat Bo Bice, the long-haired rocker from Helena, Alabama, who was believed to be the favorite going into Tuesday and Wednesday's season finale.
· Triumph for Fox, but Pain for NBC. One of the most competitive and volatile network television seasons ever recorded ended officially last night with three networks, Fox, CBS and ABC, celebrating and one network, NBC, decelerating.
· Phone, Mirrors On Stick Rigged To Watch Women Shower. A 48-year-old Florida man was arrested and charged with voyeurism for allegedly using a cell phone and a mirror attached to sticks to spy on women showering at a campground in Seminole County.
· Posing as car dealer, man takes off with Ferrari. A man passing himself off as a car dealer stole a Ferrari from an unsuspecting trucker delivering the luxury vehicle near this northern French city, police said.
· Bush to offer millions to Palestinians. President Bush will offer tens of millions of dollars in direct aid to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during their planned meeting Thursday, administration sources told CNN Wednesday. Most previous pledges of aid have been funneled through nongovernmental organizations to sidestep questions of corruption.
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
· Defense Rests in Michael Jackson Trial. The defense rested in the Michael Jackson child molestation trial without putting the pop star on the stand, wrapping up after a three-week effort to portray the accuser and his mother as shakedown artists.
· Italian restaurant may sue after Bill Clinton fails to keep reservation. When the owner of one of Rome's most fashionable restaurants received a booking from Bill Clinton and his entourage, he was happy to clear the tables and order in his best food and wine. But Romeo Caraccio was left furious after the former president and his party failed to show up without bothering to cancel their reservation.
· 'Runaway bride' charged with making false statement. Jennifer Wilbanks, the Georgia woman who fled the state and faked her own kidnapping and sexual assault before her wedding, was indicted Wednesday by a grand jury, the Gwinnett County district attorney said.
· Motley Crue Sues NBC. Motley Crue is taking on NBC. The network banned the band for using an obscenity on the "Tonight Show" on New Year's Eve. In a federal lawsuit filed in Los Angeles, Motley Crue claims the ban violates the group's free speech rights and has hurt its sales.
· Professor calls religious believers "moral retards." A Brooklyn College professor who called religious believers "moral retards" has gone on another Internet rant - calling himself a defiant "superman" and comparing religion to oppressive regimes.
· North Korea's Dear Leader stands tall in platform shoes. North Korea's Kim Jong-il has grown in stature, thanks to a pair of platform shoes that increased his height by about 4 inches, a leading South Korean daily reported on Wednesday. Kim's actual height is a tightly guarded secret and Pyongyang seldom releases photographs that show his shoes. Kim is estimated to stand between 5 feet and 5.4 feet tall in his stockinged feet.
· Woman, 80, jailed after calling 911 about pizza man. An 86-year-old woman has been sent to jail after police said she called 911 dispatchers 20 times in a little more than a half-hour to complain about a pizza parlor. Dorothy Densmore remained in jail Tuesday charged with misusing the 911 system, police said.
· $5,000 bounty is offered to smoke out tax scofflaws. Thousands of Michigan smokers are getting burned by their attempts to avoid the state's $2-a-pack cigarette tax by ordering online. The state Treasury Department has sent letters to more than 2,800 residents ordering them to pay an average of $3,200, spokesman Terry Stanton said. The crackdown, which started in February with about 500 letters, already has netted $2.5 million. Two Web sites, eSmokes.com and DirtCheapCig.com, have already given up the names of 11,579 Michigan residents who bought 581,808 cartons, costing the state $8.5 million in taxes.
· Pee Diddy to Appeal Child Support Order. Pee Diddy likes to brag about having the biggest yacht, the most expensive parties, the grandest houses and more. Now he's been ordered to pay what could be the biggest child support order in New York state history, and he's not happy. Last month, the New York State Supreme Court's Appellate Division approved an increase to $21,782 per month to Pee Diddy's ex-girlfriend, Misa Hylton-Brim.
· Last Witness Called In Jackson Defense. Michael Jackson's lawyers say they have called their last witness. Actor Chris Tucker was on the stand at the end of the day Tuesday and is scheduled to finish testimony Wednesday. The announcement by the defense means that Jackson will not testify in his own defense.
· 'American Idol' Contestants Face Off. Long-locked Alabama rocker Bo Bice and Carrie Underwood, the country fan from Oklahoma, squared off with soaring ballads and gospel choirs in the "American Idol" finals Tuesday. Millions of voters will decide whether Bice's audacious claim of one of Underwood's songs will trump Simon Cowell's last-minute endorsement of her. The winner of the nation's most popular talent contest will be announced tonight.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Anachronism [a·nach·ro·nism] n. One that is out of its proper, chronological, or historical order, especially a person or practice that belongs to an earlier time. [the sword is an anachronism in modern warfare].
· Burt Reynolds Slaps Television Producer. Burt Reynolds reportedly slapped a WCBS-TV assistant producer in the face at a movie premiere in Manhattan. The producer was asking Reynolds, 69, about his new movie "The Longest Yard" outside the premiere in the Chelsea section Tuesday night when the actor became annoyed, WCBS reported.
· Brown Says Houston Has Finished Rehab. Bobby Brown says he believes that his wife, Whitney Houston, has successfully completed a second stint in rehab. In March, Houston checked herself into a rehabilitation center for the second time in a year. Houston, who had said she was using the power of prayer to get over drugs, married Brown in 1992.
· Nokia unveils hand-held Internet tablet. Nokia Corp. is straying from its core cellular business with its first non-phone mobile device, a hand-held Internet tablet for accessing the Web around the home over a wireless broadband connection.
· California considers cancer warning labels for common foods. Buying cereal, olives, potatoes, bread, almonds - even prune juice - at the grocery store soon might come with a cancer warning from the state of California.
· Britney Spears’ dog has rejected her hubby. The singer’s Chihuahua Lucky doesn’t like Kevin Federline and growls and snaps at him, according to the Star. Faced with the tough decision — hubby or hound — Spears selected her spouse.
· Easy check fraud technique draws scrutiny. It would be music to any non-profit organization’s ears: an unexpected $1,000 donation. But the offer came with dirty strings attached, and the surprise donation to California-based Urban Age Institute was hardly a gift at all. Instead, it placed the organization right in the middle of an extensive — but elegantly simple — worldwide scam. Armed with just a checking account number and bank routing number, criminals can create checks at whim, experts and law enforcement authorities say.
· Man Hooks World Record 124-Pound Catfish. It sounds like the sort of tale Mark Twain might have cooked up: A man fishing in the Mississippi River hauls in a blue catfish roughly the size of a sixth-grader. But this is no fish story. Early Sunday, Tim Pruitt caught a 124-pound blue catfish.
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
· Watchdog group slams 'soft porn' Paris Hilton TV ad. A watchdog group known for its campaigns against on-air indecency is protesting a popular fast-food commercial featuring celebrity heiress Paris Hilton seductively sudsing both a car and herself.
· Online world bets on Jackson trial outcome. Whether or not Michael Jackson's jurors still have a reasonable doubt about his guilt, the wild world of Internet betting has rendered judgment: the smart money is on acquittal.
· TV's 'Sopranos' final season will focus on money. The much-anticipated final season of "The Sopranos" will strike a theme of money and materialism, which for the characters on the hit mob drama is "all they care about," creator David Chase says.
· Teen who buried 8-year-old in dumpster was in U.S. illegally. The 17-year-old confessed he intended to strangle her, to bury the shame of what he had done, according to court records. Only she wasn't quite dead when police unearthed her hours later. Milagro Cunningham was from the Bahamas, where he claims he had improper immigration paperwork to be in the U.S.
· Fla. Man Charged With Molesting Girls In Ice Cream Truck. A 69-year-old man says he is innocent of molesting two 12-year-old girls by enticing them to ride with him in an ice cream truck through Florida Panhandle neighborhoods, his lawyer said Tuesday.
· Leno bombs on Jacko stage. Despite his positioning as a crucial defense witness in the Michael Jackson case, comedian Jay Leno today fired a blank on the witness stand, testifying that he was never asked for money when contacted five years ago by the LA teenager at the center of the current child molestation prosecution.
· Teen Killer on Probation Held in Fla. Robbery. Lionel Tate, the teen freed from prison after becoming the youngest person in modern U.S. history to be given a life sentence, was arrested for pulling a gun on a pizza delivery man at a friend's apartment and beating up the friend, investigators said. He was serving probation following his release on a guilty plea to second-degree murder in the beating death of a 6-year-old family friend when he was 12.
· Doctors send fat lady to zoo for x-rays. A 400 pound New York woman was outraged when doctors told her she was too large for their x-ray machine - and sent her to use the facilities at the local zoo. Disturbingly, a spokesman at the Bronx Zoo told the New York Post that this was by no means an uncommon request, although it stressed that it owns no hippo-sized x-ray machines and was therefore unable to accommodate her.
· Suspect pilots could still walk, Florida jury told. Two former America West pilots charged with operating a plane full of passengers while drunk may have consumed alcohol and smelled of alcohol but they could still walk and see, their lawyers told the jury.
· Woman Arrested for Having Crowded Car. A woman was arrested after the Cal. Highway Patrol officer who pulled her car over found nine people crammed inside, including two children in the trunk. "I have never heard of this," said Officer Wendy Hahn. "There was no room left in the car, so she puts two of the kids in the trunk."
· Bank data theft could hit nearly 700,000. More than 100,000 customers of Wachovia Corp. and Bank of America Corp. have been notified that their financial records may have been stolen by bank employees and sold to collection agencies. In all, nearly 700,000 customers of four banks may be affected, according to police in Hackensack, N.J., where the investigation was centered.
· Comic Actor, Director Howard Morris Dies. Howard Morris, the wry-faced comic who costarred with Sid Caesar and Carl Reiner on the TV classic "Your Show of Shows" before going on to success as a film director, and to fame as poetry-spouting Ernest T. Bass on "The Andy Griffith Show," has died. He was 85.
· Russert's Son Wanted Board From Election. Give Tim Russert's son, Luke, credit for recognizing value. NBC's political guru, who received the 2005 Fred Friendly Award from Quinnipiac University Monday, said his son asked for his marker board when Russert got home from covering Election Night in 2000. The "Meet the Press" host whose CBS competitor Bob Schieffer was in the audience to see him accept the award said he was touched that his son wanted a memento of his father's career in journalism. Not so fast. Luke filled him in on his real motive. "You know what that thing is worth on eBay?" he said.
· Bill Maher's remark about Army is 'treasonous,' Lawmaker Says. A congressman says comedian Bill Maher's comment that the U.S. military has already recruited all the "low-lying fruit" is possibly treasonous and at least grounds to cancel the show.
· Jenny McCarthy Risks Being 'Bad Girl.' Jenny McCarthy was risque even at age 6. Grinning broadly during a recent interview, she recounts how she cracked up the mothers waiting to pick up their kids at her kindergarten with a slightly off-color joke aimed at her teacher.
· Principal Cancels Graduation After Senior Prank. A senior class prank has left all eight graduating seniors from Lighthouse Christian Academy barred from campus. The seniors, all honors students, have had their graduation cancelled, but the principal didn't stop there.
· 'Jeopardy!' Ace Ken Jennings to Get Show. More than pride, a cottage industry may be at stake when "Jeopardy!" ace Ken Jennings takes on two challengers in the game show's $2 million challenge that airs this week.
· Cloning a champion. After winning the 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, Funny Cide should be making multimillionaires of his owners in stud fees alone. Funny Cide, 2003's Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, was castrated shortly after birth to improve his temperament, so breeding the gelding is impossible.
· Web virus holds computer files ‘hostage.’ Hackers demand $200 in ‘ransom-ware’ attacks. Computer users already anxious about viruses and identity theft have new reason to worry: Hackers have found a way to lock up the electronic documents on your computer and then demand $200 over the Internet to get them back.
· Transplant patients die from rodent virus. An organ donor who was exposed to a common rodent virus, possibly from a hamster, passed the disease to four transplant patients, three of whom died, officials said Monday.
· Petra Nemcova Thanks Thai Doctors. Czech supermodel Petra Nemcova has returned to Thailand to thank doctors and nurses who helped her recover from serious injuries sustained when the tsunami struck the resort island of Phuket.
Monday, May 23, 2005
· Defense Says America West Pilots Not Drunk. Two America West pilots accused of being drunk in the cockpit were not impaired and were never in control of the jet because it was being towed by a runway vehicle, defense attorneys said Monday at the start of their trial. Prosecutor Hillah Katz told the jury that both pilots had breath-alcohol levels above Florida's 0.08 percent limit after they were arrested.
· Trump: ABC Movie Better Be Accurate. A TV movie set to air Tuesday night about billionaire real-estate mogul Donald Trump had better be accurate — or he's going to sue ABC. "I hope the overall tenor of the movie is accurate, or I'll sue their a--es off," vowed Trump, who had nothing to do with "Trump Unauthorized."
· Update: Idiot loses pilot's license. The government has revoked the license of the Pennsylvania pilot in charge of the small plane that strayed to within three miles of the White House this month. Fortunately, there is no action being taken against the student pilot who saved the instructor's butt.
· School Apologizes To Student Identified As 'Black Girl' In Yearbook. A North Texas school district has apologized to a student identified only as "Black Girl" in a high school yearbook photo of the school's National Honor Society. All white students are identified by name in the photograph in the Waxahachie High School yearbook distributed Friday. The teen identified as "Black Girl" is the only black student in the photo.
· Injudicious Judge May Be Benched. A Florida judge is facing a disciplinary hearing for a host of allegedly inappropriate behavior on the bench, including the recommendation to one female defendant that she "needed to close her legs and stop having babies."
· Teri Hatcher: 'I'd do Playboy for $10 million.' Desperate Housewives star Teri Hatcher has revealed she would pose topless for Playboy for $10 million. She told Tonight Show's Jay Leno: "I mean, really, everyone has a price and $10 million is mine. So I've put it out there. "(My cleavage) you get for free. I mean, it's not much further."
· Trump Unveils Launch of Trump University. He's built buildings, written books, married models and starred in a reality TV show. On Monday, Donald Trump announced his latest venture: Trump University. Don't expect ivy-covered walls or a football team. Trump University will consist of online courses, CD-ROMS, consulting services and Learning Annex-type seminars.
· Former Drug Addict Shows How He Hid Drugs. Some teenagers have a million tricks to hide their drug usage, including eye drops, cologne and changing clothes. “This is something a lot of parents might find lying around the house, I guess,” said Chris Gray. Gray is referring to a toilet paper tube he lined with a dryer sheet. It’s how he would hide the smell of marijuana from his parents. “All you have to do is blow the smoke out (through the tube) … and it scents the smoke,” Gray explained.
· Sex offenders get Viagra paid for by Medicaid. New York's comptroller urged the nation's top health official Sunday to ban high-risk sex offenders and convicted rapists from receiving Viagra paid for by Medicaid.
· Theft of MCI worker data reported. A laptop computer containing the names and Social Security numbers of about 16,500 current and former employees of MCI Inc. was stolen last month, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
· Magic GM Resigns to Pursue Hockey Job. Orlando Magic general manager and chief operating officer John Weisbrod resigned Monday after 14 months on the job to pursue opportunities in hockey. In other words, he's retiring for a couple years.
· Tillman’s parents lash out at Army. Former NFL player Pat Tillman's family is lashing out against the Army, saying that the military's investigations into Tillman's friendly-fire death in Afghanistan last year were a sham and that Army efforts to cover up the truth have made it harder for them to deal with their loss.
· Long-awaited answers on 'Housewives' finale. Young's secrets - "secrets I had died to protect," she told viewers - were divulged on the season finale of "Desperate Housewives." Turns out it was Mary Alice, the series' suicide-narrator, who killed the woman buried in the Young yard - and not her husband, Paul, who nearly paid for the crime with his own execution.
· Florida girl found buried alive in landfill. Police found an 8-year-old Florida girl buried alive with minor injuries in an abandoned landfill Sunday morning, hours after she was reported abducted and sexually assaulted, according to officials in Lake Worth.
· Protesters Mob Laura Bush in Jerusalem. Protesters besieged Laura Bush during her visit Sunday to two of Jerusalem's most sacred sites, with Israeli police locking arms to restrain the crowd and Secret Service agents packed tightly around America's first lady.
· Pastor and wife in arrested child sex ring. Police have arrested the pastor of a defunct church in Ponchatoula, Louisiana, his wife and six former congregants in a sexual abuse case involving as many as 24 children, authorities said.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Exacerbate [ex·ac·er·bate] transitive verb. To make more violent, bitter, or severe; to irritate or make worse [the prosecution's witness may exacerbate her legal problems].
· Camera phones getting more restricted. At Apple Computer's shareholder meeting in April, attendees weren't allowed to take pictures. So what did security personnel check for, among other things? Cell phones. It was the latest example of how camera phones are friend to some, foe to others.
· Student journalists sue school district. Student journalists sued their Bakersfield high school district Thursday in an effort to keep the school's principal from censoring student newspaper articles on homosexuality.
· It Takes One To Know One. A former con artist who now exposes scams takes 60 Minutes' hidden cameras on an investigation. At 20, he was the boy wonder of Wall Street, and CEO of a $300 million company. At 22, he had been convicted of 57 counts of fraud, and was off to federal prison.
· In Bruce Lee's Shadow: Asians Struggle to Create New Hollywood Images. Imagine Jet Li in a movie where he's not kicking butt. Difficult, isn't it? Li's portrayal of a man battling for his humanity after he's trained to be an attack dog in "Unleashed" arguably transcends the martial arts roles that have made him famous. But he is not a cinematic chameleon like co-stars Morgan Freeman and Bob Hoskins, who are known for the variety of roles they have played in their respective long careers.
Sunday, May 22, 2005
· ‘Star Wars’ sets 4-day record at box office. Moviegoers have turned out in full force for the final chapter of the “Star Wars” saga, which took in $158.5 million since its opening to shatter three-day and four-day box office records.
· Fox 'regrets interpretation' of remark on blacks. President Vicente Fox on Sunday defended his commitment to human rights on a U.S. radio program, in his first public response to his controversial comment that Mexicans take the U.S. jobs that "not even" blacks want.
· Plane crashes in Coney Island. A small plane on a sightseeing tour over Coney Island went into a tailspin and slammed into the famous beach Saturday, killing all four people aboard but injuring none of the stunned sunbathers who witnessed the crash.
· Scientists Say Sunshine May Prevent Cancer. Scientists are excited about a vitamin again. If it bears out, it will challenge one of medicine's most fundamental beliefs: that people need to coat themselves with sunscreen whenever they're in the sun. Doing that may actually contribute to far more cancer deaths than it prevents, some researchers think. The vitamin is D, nicknamed the "sunshine vitamin" because the skin makes it from ultraviolet rays.
· Time Warner may sell AOL. Time Warner Inc. may consider spinning off its America Online division in the future to help finance acquisitions, chief executive Richard D. Parsons said. Time Warner has discussed with management of Dulles-based AOL the possibility of selling shares of the unit in an initial public offering and decided not to go ahead with such a plan "at this point," Parsons, 57, told investors today at the company's annual meeting in New York.
· Boy Gets Stuck in Wal-Mart Toy Machine. A 3-year-old boy upset that his mother wouldn't let him use a crane vending machine to try to win a small stuffed animal took matters in his own hands. He climbed up the chute to get the prize himself.
· Cop avoids jail despite molesting girl. Child advocates are criticizing a plea deal that allows a former Taunton police officer to stay out of jail and keep his pension, despite admitting that he repeatedly molested his adoptive daughter. Under David Smith's plea agreement, negotiated with prosecutors this month, he was sentenced to pre-trial probation for four years, meaning the charge will be dismissed. That also means he walks away with no criminal conviction and won't have to register as a sex offender
· Cheerleading Coach Accused Of Trying To Have Sex With 14-Year-Old. A cheerleading coach in Orlando, Fla., was arrested for allegedly trying to have sex with a 14-year-old girl. Authorities in St. Lucie County arrested Patrick Chang Lan after they said he traveled to the county to lure a girl he met on the Internet.
· Former NFL player killed in shooting. Former Los Angeles Rams running back David Lang, who also played on the Dallas Cowboys' Super Bowl XXX championship team, was killed in a shooting, police said Saturday.
· 'Star Wars' Breaks Single-Day Sales Mark. The last of the "Star Wars" movies has done what no movie in history has ever accomplished - sold $50 million worth of tickets in a single day. "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith" grossed $50,013,859 from showings at 3,661 theaters and more than 9,000 screens around the country on Thursday, including special midnight shows, according to box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations. That beat the one-day record set in May 2004 by "Shrek 2," which sold $44.8 million on a single Saturday - its fourth day in theaters.
· Racial Switch Halts 'Huck Finn' Production. A black Huck Finn and a white Jim might be OK for a high school production of Mark Twain's classic tale - but those performances had to be edited out of a C-Span talent show after the copyright holder objected to the cross-casting.
Saturday, May 21, 2005
· Florida sheriff not sure how $8.2 million was spent. Sheriff Kevin Beary suggests much of the budget hike he's requesting is needed to provide raises for his deputies on the street, but county budget staffers say the agency already received millions to increase pay.
· Bring the white farmers back. Zimbabwe's central bank chief has called on President Robert Mugabe's government to allow some white farmers back on to land seized for redistribution to blacks to help revive an economy on the brink of collapse. More than three quarters of Zimbabwe's 4,500 white farmers had their properties seized under Mugabe's controversial land reform program in the last five years.
· Pedophiles rejoice over Letourneau wedding. Security leading up to the Friday night wedding of Mary Kay Letourneau and her former sixth-grade student rivaled that of a top-secret government operation - from secret instructions to a hush-hush rendezvous and identity checks.
· DeGeneres' Talk Show Wins Daytime Emmy. Ellen DeGeneres swept the Daytime Emmy awards, winning best talk show host for the first time while "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" picked up best talk show honors for the second straight year. "Oh, man, I love my job," DeGeneres said Friday night during the ceremony at Radio City Music Hall. "It's basically just sitting there and listening to people talking. It's like a bartender."
· Jackson’s lawyers to rest case next week. Michael Jackson’s lawyers could rest their case in his child molestation trial as early as Tuesday, once testimony has been heard from two more celebrity witnesses — “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno and comedian Chris Tucker.
· Trump Developing 'Apprentice' Musical. Move over Max Bialystock. Broadway's foremost wheeler-dealer in "The Producers" could be joined by another man enamored by big money. Producers Barry and Fran Weissler and Mark Burnett, with an assist from real-estate mogul Donald Trump, are developing a musical based on "The Apprentice," Trump's hit NBC television series.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Innocuous [in·noc·u·ous] adj. 1. Having no adverse effect; harmless. 2. Not likely to offend or provoke to strong emotion; insipid. [the seemingly innocuous e-mail actually contained a malicious virus].
· Beach Boys Site Now a Calif. Landmark. Hundreds of fans and three Beach Boys gathered Friday to unveil a state historical landmark at the site of the home of the legendary band's founding brothers - demolished in the mid-1980s to build a freeway.
· Woman kicked out of bar - goes back to torch it. A 42-year-old woman was arrested Thursday after she allegedly sparked a fire at a Winter Park, Fla., bar she had just been kicked out of, according to police.
· F-word costs CBS reporter his job. TV reporter Arthur Chi'en was canned by WCBS/Ch. 2 yesterday after he shouted the F-word at two meddlers who horned in on his live shot. Chi'en was in the middle of a 6a.m. broadcast about MetroCard scammers when two men sneaked up behind him with a sign promoting radio shock jocks Opie & Anthony.
· Employee alleges harassment at Pee Diddy's clothing company. Chanel Gaither, an employee of rap mogul Pee Diddy's Sean John, Inc. clothing company, has brought suit against her employer in federal court, and the documents reveal scurrilous allegations against some of Diddy's other employees.
Friday, May 20, 2005
· Saddam to sue over prison photos. Saddam Hussein plans to take legal action after a British newspaper published photos of him half-naked in his prison cell and doing his washing. "We will sue the newspaper and everyone who helped in showing these pictures," said Saddam Hussein's chief lawyer Ziad Al-Khasawneh, speaking from Jordan.
· Girl pitches perfect game against boys. Katie Brownell isn’t just the only girl playing on her Little League team. She’s dominant. The shy 11-year-old pitched a perfect game for her Dodgers team. In two games on the mound, she’s struck out 32 of 33 batters in the Oakfield-Alabama Little League program. She’s also batting .714 through the team’s first three games.
· Nancy Grace brings mob justice to CNN. Grace's mob-mentality panel discussions aren't illegal, or even especially unique. In picking Grace's show as the prime time centerpiece for Headline News, they're using the same hateful-language-attracts-viewers template that Bill O'Reilly has used to win the time period. But Grace's rants are even more dangerous, because they turn the simplest principles of our judicial system upside down. Grace continues to be proven wrong, just like the wacko runaway bride case showed: "Well, look, I don't have a degree in being a police chief. But I can tell you this much: This is not cold feet, all right?" Grace said on April 28, less than 24 hours before the bride-to-be proved her wrong. "This is not cold feet. I know that much."
· Store owner accused of stealing lottery ticket. Elizabeth Gelarderes did exactly what she always does, stop in at Richdale Food Store on her way to work for a regular coffee and a lottery ticket using her kid's birthdays for numbers. The next day, she brought the ticket in to see if she'd won. The store's owner, Patrick Simboli, 45, allegedly took the ticket, checked it, and told her that she had won $2. But that evening, Simboli went to a lottery office and cashed in a winning lottery ticket with the same numbers that were on Gelarderes's card, for a $46,000 jackpot.
· Letourneau, Fualaau to Wed Today. Mary Kay Letourneau and her former sixth-grade pupil - the father of her two youngest children - will be married Friday night, "Entertainment Tonight" and "The Insider" reported Thursday. Tents were being set up Thursday afternoon for the ceremony in a secluded spot in King County, according to the television programs, which obtained exclusive rights to cover the event.
· Linda Blair Fights Pit Bull Ban. In response to a series of fatal dog attacks, the City of Denver, Colorado, is now going after the animals, specifically Pit Bulls, but actress Linda Blair says Denver has got it all wrong.
· "Super Size Me" director sued for $40 million. "Super Size Me" director and star Morgan Spurlock is being sued for a staggering $40 million by a company that claims Spurlock failed to share the film's profits with them, despite signing a contract promising a 25 percent share. Spurlock insists he's seen little of the $30 million made by the movie - which sees him eating nothing but McDonald's food for a month - because distribution and other costs took a large chunk of the profits.
· Sperm donor fights order to support 2 children. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is weighing a case with the potential to strike fear in the hearts of sperm donors who thought they were getting $50 for their genetic material and nothing more - certainly no responsibility for babies created with it.
· ACLU Wants Teachers, Principal Jailed For Praying. The American Civil Liberties Union has asked a federal judge to jail public school teachers and administrators for allegedly violating a court-imposed ban on school prayers. It's the fourth time the ACLU has told Judge Ginger Berrigan that officials in Louisiana's Tangipahoa Parish are flouting her prayer ban.
· Former Emperor with No Clothes. The U.S. military on Friday condemned a British newspaper's decision to print photographs of a captive Saddam Hussein, including one showing him in his underwear. A front-page picture in the tabloid Sun showed the former Iraqi dictator, clad only in white briefs, folding a pair of trousers. Another on an inside page showed Saddam hand-washing a piece of clothing. The Sun said it obtained the photos from "U.S. military sources."
· Forget singles bars — Wal-Mart, Home Depot are the new hot spots. Wal-Mart stores are hosting weekly singles nights, where shoppers looking for romance tie a red ribbon to their carts as they browse for laundry detergent, loofahs and, yes, love. And Home Depot stores have become such a well-known place for single women on the prowl for handy men that it's become a running joke on radio talk shows.
· Park's Sex Offenders Stance Draws Concern. Bob Levan bought season passes to Six Flags Great America for his daughters and their best friend, but he is worried he won't be able to ride the roller coasters with them because he is a convicted sex offender. Six Flags added wording on the back of season passes to all 30 of its U.S. amusement parks this year stating that it reserves the right to refuse entry to anyone convicted of a sex crime.
· Jackson Witness Testifies on Inaccuracies. The mother of Michael Jackson's accuser complained that she and her children were being kept away from the pop star during the time period prosecutors say one of her sons was being molested, a witness testified Thursday. The testimony came after the judge refused to allow the defense to call CNN's Larry King as a witness. The talk show host was in court but left without taking the stand.
· 'Secure' Netscape released with vulnerabilities. Netscape has released the newest version of its browser with serious known vulnerabilities, claim developers of the code which forms the basis of the product.
· Gates Warns on Information Overload. At his annual shindig for CEOs, Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates told executives that businesses need to do more to help their employees sort through an ever-growing flood of information that threatens to become a drain on productivity. "It's overwhelming," Gates said Thursday at the software company's ninth annual CEO Summit.
· Trump chooses his 'Apprentice.' Donald Trump selected Kendra Todd as his first female "Apprentice," handing her a job with his organization and a $250,000 salary at the close of the NBC reality show's live finale Thursday night. "I couldn't be happier," Todd told The Associated Press after her win. "I was the girl who used to watch this on television and here I am. Dreams do come true. Just work hard and you'll get there." Todd, the 26-year-old "book smarts" real estate broker from Boynton Beach, Florida, bested "street smarts" entrepreneur and mother of two Tana Goertz during the final boardroom battle.
· Boy Catches Fire After Using Deodorant Spray. A 12-year-old boy in Alaska suffered third-degree burns when he caught fire after using a popular deodorant spray. The eighth grader said he sprayed Axe Deodorant Body Spray on his shirt but the odor was too strong, so he lighted a scented candle in the room. Moments later, the boy caught fire.
· 'Star Wars' Grosses $16.5M in Midnight Run. Moviegoers flocked to the dark side in droves, giving the final installment of George Lucas'"Star Wars" tale a record-breaking midnight run. "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith" raked in an estimated $16.5 million from 2,900 midnight screenings Thursday, according to box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations.
Thursday, May 19, 2005
· Woman Uses Ex's Credit Card for Hit. A 25-year-old woman was charged with trying to hire a man to kill her ex-husband, and police say she used one of his credit cards to pay for the would-be hit man's flight.
· "Poop on Ryan Seacrest's Star." It was a good day for Ryan Seacrest on April 20th. That's the day he got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. But not everybody is celebrating. An anonymous internet blogger is running a contest to "Poop on Ryan Seacrest's Star," for a $50 prize.
· U.S. says no billboards in space The U.S. government does not want billboards in space. The Federal Aviation Administration proposed on Thursday to amend its regulations to ensure that it can enforce a law that prohibits "obtrusive" advertising in zero gravity. "Objects placed in orbit, if large enough, could be seen by people around the world for long periods of time," the FAA said in a regulatory filing.
· Update: Leashed Teen Yearbook Photo To Be Covered. School officials will use stickers to cover the yearbook photo of a high school senior wearing a collar and leash after the teen's mother complained. Robert Richards, 19, was elected "Most Whipped" by his classmates and photographed with then-girlfriend Melissa Finley, who is holding the leash.
· Final 'Star Wars' film already hits the Internet. "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith" has been leaked onto a major file-sharing network just hours after opening in theatres, at a time when Hollywood is increasingly concerned about online piracy.
· Larry King Can't Testify for Jackson . The judge in Michael Jackson's child molestation trial ruled Thursday against allowing CNN host Larry King to testify for the defense, saying his testimony would be irrelevant.
· Why Teens are
Lazy Lousy at Chores. Finally researchers have come up with a reason other than pure laziness for why teenagers can't shower and brush their teeth or unload the dishwasher and wipe down the counter. Blame it on "cognitive limitations." Their brains can't multitask as well as those of the taskmasters.
» Shoe kick-starts active lifestyle for kids. It could be the ultimate incentive to get kids exercising - a shoe that controls the amount of TV they watch. The shoe - dubbed Square-eyes - has a unique insole that records the amount of exercise a child does and converts it into television watching time.
· Scientists Speed Creation of Stem Cells. Scientists have dramatically sped up the creation of human embryonic stem cells, growing 11 new batches that for the first time were a genetic match for injured or sick patients. It is a major advancement in the quest to grow patients' own replacement tissue to treat diseases. "I didn't think they would be at this stage for decades, let alone within a year," said Dr. Gerald Schatten of the University of Pittsburgh. This paper will be of major impact," said stem-cell researcher Dr. Rudolph Jaenisch of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Mass.
· Democrat steps up to the plate on Social Security plan. Congressman Robert Wexler (D-FL) introduced the Social Security Forever Act of 2005 – guaranteeing all Americans 100 percent of their Social Security benefits upon retirement. Wexler’s legislation will impose an additional 3 percent payroll tax on wages above $90,000, with employers to match.
· Lohan Looks Startlingly Thin in Photos. Recent photos show Lindsay Lohan looking startlingly thin. The 18-year-old actress attributes her slimmer figure to a new exercise regimen. "I'm working out. I just got a trainer," she tells People magazine in its upcoming issue.
· Outrage over desecrated Koran bought on Amazon. A Muslim group on Wednesday demanded a public apology from online bookseller Amazon.com for its part in delivering a used copy of the Koran with the words "Death to all Muslims" scrawled across the inside cover.
· Shocking, but probably Not true. Here’s news that will light the fire of Jim Morrison fans: A filmmaker claims The Doors’ frontman is alive and raising horses on a ranch in southern Oregon. Rodeo photographer Gerald Pitts insists Morrison didn’t die in July of 1971 and he has current photographs and film footage of the rocker to prove it. Pitts, who met Morrison in 1998, says the rocker staged his death because of a French conspiracy to kill him, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix with narcotics because they were all Vietnam war protestors. Pitts’ whole story airs on A Current Affair tomorrow.
· Jilting Jenny drawn to an old flame. Jennifer Wilbanks wasn't just running away from her wedding, she was running toward something — an old paramour with whom she had a steamy sexual relationship. The bolting bride set her sights on New Mexico sometime during her cross-country sprint from the altar because it's the home of a short-lived fling, according to the Post.
· Cosby Gives N.C. College $600,000 Gift. Comedian Bill Cosby and his wife, Camille, have made a $600,000 gift to Bennett College for Women, giving the historically black school a bit of good news after weeks of turmoil.
· Judge dismisses derriere case. A Manhattan judge has dismissed charges against a fabric merchant accused of patting a customer's bottom - saying the lewd move wasn't a crime. Judge Richard Weinberg said "something more than mere touching is required" to find a defendant guilty of forcible touching.
· Pepsi Exec Likens America to Middle Finger. A top executive at PepsiCo compared America's position in the global marketplace to a middle finger during a speech to the graduating class of Columbia Business School.
· Muslims think U.S. is 85% Jewish. Anti-American feelings are widespread in the Muslim world and extend to U.S. consumer brands, according to a report released Wednesday. Anti-Semitic stereotypes also were noted. Focus group members saw the United States and Israel as synonymous and estimated the proportion of Jews in the U.S. population at up to 85 percent; it is 2 percent.
· 'Housewives' actor caught smoking pot. He plays a troubled teen on "Desperate Housewives." Now, Cody Kasch has some real life troubles of his own - he got nabbed by police Tuesday night smoking marijuana in the East Village. The 17-year-old was puffing away outside a bar, at First Street and Second Avenue, just before midnight Tuesday.
· House passes bill to curb terrorism color codes. The Homeland Security Department would be forced to scale back its color-coded alert system for nationwide terrorism threats and tailor public warnings to specific, targeted locations under a House bill approved Wednesday. The color-coded system, introduced in March 2002, has been widely criticized for being too vague to help the public understand what kind of threat it faces. Under the House legislation, Homeland Security would have to give specific information about an attack’s target and how to respond to the threat. It would also make the color system optional.
· Spurned Girlfriend Awarded $10 Million. For 17 years, Peggy Horvath lived a life she had only dreamed of as a girl. She jetted around the world, dined in the finest restaurants, and hobnobbed with celebrities. But her lavish lifestyle came to an end when Bill Hubner "terminated" their relationship. After two weeks in court, a jury in April 2004 found Hubner liable for an astounding $10 million, plus the apartment she was living in, and her legal bills. It was one of the largest awards ever in a case like this.
· Napolitano avoids Dean during Phoenix visit. Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean was in Phoenix Wednesday but the state's top Democrat - Gov. Janet Napolitano - steered clear of the liberal bulldog during his Arizona visit.
· Long wait ends for ‘Sith’ fans. As Wednesday night gave way to the Thursday morning arrival of the latest “Star Wars” film, the Force swept across the United States with the speed and precision of a Jedi light saber.
· Man Planned To Kill Self In Head-On Crash. A high-speed police chase through Lake County, Fla., with a possibly suicidal man ended in a fiery crash Wednesday night. Deputies said Leonard Smith told his wife he wanted to commit suicide by ramming into an oncoming car.
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
· Bob Denver Recuperates From Heart Surgery. Bob Denver, star of the 1960s television show "Gilligan's Island," is recuperating from quadruple heart bypass surgery, his agent said Wednesday. Denver, 70, had the surgery recently after a checkup revealed problems, said his Los Angeles-based agent, Mike Eisenstadt. He is recuperating at his West Virginia home.
· Upskirt subway camera causes bomb scare. A small digital camera apparently planted by an unidentified voyeur to shoot up passing skirts caused a brief bomb scare near a Manhattan subway station, police said Wednesday.
· Pregnant student, banned from graduation, walks anyway. A pregnant student who was banned from graduation at her Roman Catholic high school announced her own name and walked across the stage anyway at the close of the program. Alysha Cosby's decision prompted cheers and applause Tuesday from many of her fellow seniors at St. Jude Educational Institute.
· Shooting Her Own Foot. In desperate need of more publicity, Britney and Kevin's "Chaotic" is being called career suicide by videocam: The singer's self-taped chronicle of her romance with the dirty dancer proves she's self-obsessed to dangerous levels.
· Trump unveils his own vision on Ground Zero. Donald Trump unveiled his plan to recreate the twin towers at Ground Zero at a press conference Wednesday, in an attempt to trump the Libeskind plan for a stand-alone Freedom Tower. The real estate mogul said he aims to build two 111-story buildings, one foot taller than the 1360-foot buildings destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001. [With Photo]
· Where do we sign up? Imagine, getting to drink free beer and watch TV – all in the name of science. Doctor Scott Lukas says he didn't have any trouble finding volunteers for his research project on a Chinese herb and alcohol. He set up a makeshift apartment in a lab at McLean Hospital in a Boston suburb. He outfitted his research pad with a TV, recliner and refrigerator stocked with beer. Lukas recruited 14 men and women in their 20's, all heavy drinkers.
· Washington political aide sues over sex blog. A Capitol Hill staffer whose romance with a female co-worker was detailed in the woman's racy online diary has sued the blogger for invasion of privacy. Robert Steinbuch, a staff attorney for Senator Michael DeWine, yesterday filed a federal lawsuit against Jessica Cutler, who chronicled their brief 2004 relationship in her "Washingtonienne" blog.
· Animal rights wackos getting more aggressive. Last month, animal rights extremists followed the wife of a pharmaceutical company executive to her job, rifled through her car and stole a credit card. They used it buy $20,000 in travelers checks, which they then donated to four charities.
· Millions Of Tax Dollars Paying For People's Sex Lives. A recent investigation uncovered Medicaid records showing millions of tax dollars paying for other people's sex lives. The drugs, including Viagra, Cialis, Levitra and Caverject, are costing taxpayers about $17.3 million in Florida alone. In one case a patient was prescribed 240 pills of Viagra for a 30 day supply - about eight pills a day. Taxpayers paid more than $2,100 for the pills, according to the report.
· CBS Cancels Wednesday '60 Minutes.' CBS said Wednesday it is cancelling the Wednesday edition of "60 Minutes," insisting the decision was made because of poor ratings and not Dan Rather's ill-fated story about President Bush's military service. "This was a ratings call, not a content call," Moonves said Wednesday.
· Mother says yearbook photo of son offensive, wants recall. For a mother who remembered the senior superlatives in her own high school yearbook hewing to "Most Likely to Succeed" and "Best Smile," the picture came as a surprise to Jacqueline Nobles. In Boynton Beach High's 2005 yearbook, her son, Robert Richards, is shown with a leash around his neck. Students voting on superlatives — a staple of yearbooks for decades — elected Richards as "Most Whipped" by his girlfriend, using the slang term for a person who is controlled by another in a relationship. The accompanying photo shows Richards, who is black, on a leash held by Melissa Finley, who is white.
· Your hot dog needs a warning label. A bill that requires warning labels on foods that pose a "high choking risk" has been introduced in the New York state Legislature. If "J.T.'s Law" — named after a 3-year-old Long Island boy who choked to death on a hot dog two years ago — is passed, New York would become the first state in the nation to require choking-related safety labels on food.
· NBC admits 'Joey' sucks, but decides to keep it. Matt LeBlanc's series "Joey" is on the network's lineup for the fall, but it's far from a perfect show, according to NBC officials. Indeed, NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly said the show this year had been "uninspired" at times and needed a broader cast.
· New twist on Wendy's finger food case. The Las Vegas man whose severed fingertip ended up in a cup of Wendy's chili gave his mangled digit to a co-worker to settle a $50 debt - but had no idea it would be used in an alleged scheme to swindle the fast-food chain, the man's mother said Tuesday. The finger belonged to her 36-year-old son, Brian Paul Rossiter of Las Vegas.
· World's great minds - and Richard Gere - gather for summit. Hollywood actor Richard Gere joined some 30 Nobel Laureates for a gathering of the world's top thinkers in Jordan. The conference, bringing together luminaries such as former peace prize winner the Dalai Lama, has set itself the none too modest task of finding solutions to the world's problems.
· Grace under fire. CNN proudly describes Nancy Grace as "one of television's most respected legal analysts," but on three occasions involving three separate cases, appellate courts have cited Grace for unethical behavior while she was a Fulton County prosecutor. The most recent of those admonitions came last week, when a published opinion from the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Grace had "played fast and loose" with her ethical duties as a prosecutor in a 1990 triple-murder case. In 1997, the Georgia State Supreme Court overturned a conviction Grace had won in the case of a man accused of arson and murder. The court found that she had withheld evidence to which the defense was entitled and had made improper opening and closing statements.
· Airline caterer cited for filth. An airline catering company must take major steps to clean its Honolulu location or risk the unit's closure after U.S. health inspectors found live cockroaches, dirty utensils and an oozing, pink slime earlier this year, according to a letter released Tuesday.
· Jury adds $850 million to Morgan bill. A Florida jury ordered Morgan Stanley to pay $850 million in punitive damages Wednesday on top of $604 million it had already awarded billionaire investor Ronald Perelman for a business deal gone wrong.
· Casino patron takes bad luck to dizzying heights. A 23-year-old Morrison, Illinois man, apparently despondent over the loss of a large amount of cash, committed suicide on the steps of the Argosy Empress Casino near Joliet.
· Squeamish lawmakers let dead keep their fillings. It's a ghoulish scenario: funeral home directors statewide prying teeth from the mouths of the dead. It's a scenario lawmakers nervously considered Tuesday at a hearing on legislation seeking the removal of mercury fillings before cremation.
· Prisons go to the 99-cent menu. Indiana is chopping the cost of state prison meals from $1.41 to 99 cents by letting a private company run the kitchens - a recipe to save the state nearly $12 million per year, Gov. Mitch Daniels said Tuesday. The 10-year, $258 million contract to Philadelphia-based ARAMARK Corp. is the first in an expected series of announcements moving state services from the public sector to the private.
· Convicted Sex Offender Suspended From Police Department. A police officer has been suspended after members of the community pointed out he's a convicted sex offender. John Matthew Langston was hired at the Blountsville, Ala. Police Department based on his service record with the Vestavia Hills Police Department.
· Update: Grenade 'could have injured Bush.' A hand grenade found close to George W Bush during his visit to the ex-Soviet republic of Georgia was armed and could have gone off, an FBI agent has said.
· Elected by his peers. Councilman Antonio Villaraigosa unseated Mayor James Hahn on Tuesday to become the city’s first Hispanic mayor in more than a century, confirming the rising political power of Latinos in the nation’s second-largest city.
· U. of Iowa to Offer Pornography Course. Jay Clarkson has had no trouble getting students at the University of Iowa to sign up for his fall class examining pornography in popular culture. One person who isn't a fan, however, is Iowa House Speaker Chris Rants, who is questioning whether tax dollars should be spent on the elective class. "Do they know that we're not done with their budget yet?" Rants, R-Sioux City, said. "I'm pretty sure we don't need to increase state funding by $40 million to teach critical pornography studies."
· Dad Charged With Beating Coach With Bat. The father of a high school softball player was arrested after police said he beat his daughter's coach with an aluminum bat during practice. Police said the parent, Mark Picard, apparently became upset over his daughter's playing time while the Sacred Heart Academy team practiced Tuesday afternoon. Authorities said he struck the coach several times in the chest, head and legs.
· Bottled-Water Group Says Stossel All Wet. The trade group for bottled-water manufacturers—yes, one actually exists—boiled over after 20/20 aired a May 6 report charging that branded versions of the world's most ubiquitous substance are a ripoff. “If you buy fancy brands because you think they taste better, you're probably just buying the hype,” said correspondent John Stossel. He noted that some bottled waters cost $5 a gallon, more than gasoline.
· CBS Tries to Replace 'Raymond.' NBC didn't have much luck replacing television's most popular comedy when "Friends" ended last year. CBS now faces the same challenge with the departure of "Everybody Loves Raymond."
· Toyota to recall 880,000 vehicles. Toyota Motor Corp. has said it will recall about 880,000 sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and pickups worldwide, mostly in the United States, to fix a defect in the front suspension that could hamper steering.
· FCC to rule on 911 access for Web phones. The Federal Communications Commission is set to rule on the issue Thursday and is expected to set strict new 911 requirements for most Internet phone providers. Public safety groups and traditional telephone companies support the idea, citing the need to support the general public's expectations for emergency calling. But the anticipated requirements, which would take effect 120 days after an FCC order is finalized, are coming too quickly to address all the technical problems, according to some of the companies involved.
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
· Jane Fonda Film Banned From Ky. Theaters. The owner of two Kentucky theaters has refused to show the new Jane Fonda film "Monster-in-Law" because of the activist role the actress took during the Vietnam War. "I think when people do something, they need to be held responsible for their actions," Boutwell said. "When you give the enemy aid, it makes the war last longer."
· Wal-Mart opens store that caters to Amish. A new Wal-Mart that caters to the Amish has opened in Middlefield, Ohio. The store has an expanded parking lot that includes 37 hitching posts for horse-drawn carriages. Also, the store is stocked with blocks of ice instead of crushed ice and fabrics for clothes to be made at home.
· Unique Marriage Proposal from Above. It's a marriage proposal like none other. One Mercer County man went above and beyond to tell his girlfriend that he wanted to marry her. When most guys propose marriage they go down on one knee to pop the question. Not Robbinsville, PA resident Kenn Van Nest, a 31-year-old cable splicer, went up about 800-feet.
· Witness: Accuser Demanded Cheetos. During their alleged captivity at Neverland, the family of Michael Jackson's accuser made several demands. Only the demands weren't about being set free - they were about body waxes, braces and "f--ing Cheetos."
· First raspberry Coke is pricey. The world’s first bottles of Coca-Cola Raspberry and Diet Coke with Raspberry have sold for $3010 in an online auction to Auckland man Michael Moot. He will receive the first bottle of each variety in a display case, with verification of their authenticity, plus a second bottle of both to drink.
· Europe unites in hatred of French. Apparently many in the U.S. aren't the only ones who hate the French. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Britons described them as "chauvinists, stubborn, nannied and humorless." However, the French may be more shocked by the views of other nations. For the Germans, the French are "pretentious, offhand and frivolous". The Dutch describe them as "agitated, talkative and shallow." The Spanish see them as "cold, distant, vain and impolite."
· How Funeral Directors Earn Free Flights. Airlines have always made their money by putting bodies in the seats. Increasingly, they're also turning a dollar by putting dead bodies in cargo, as carriers pursue the funeral-home and mortuary business. "The yield on transporting human remains - I want to be sensitive when I say this - is definitely worth our while," says Dale Anderson, director of mail and cargo for JetBlue. "I have to move close to 1,000 pounds of general cargo to equal the revenue of one human remain."
· Man Claims Firing Over Drinking Wrong Beer. A former supervisor at a Budweiser distributorship says he was fired for drinking a Coors beer in public. Ross Hopkins, 41, filed suit in Weld County District Court, saying American Eagle Distributing Co. has no right to tell him what kind of beer to drink when he is off-duty.
· Parachutist Killed In Eiffel Jump. A Norwegian man was killed after jumping from the Eiffel Tower when a parachute he was wearing got stuck on an upper deck of the monument, officials said Tuesday. Preliminary investigations indicated that the man planned to film his jump as part of publicity for a Norwegian clothing brand.
· Newsweek Blows Smoke. The mainstream media often denounce conservative criticism of Islam as "inflammatory." Then they make sure it is inflammatory by broadcasting the criticism in tabloid form to the ends of the earth so that Muslims will be properly inflamed. A few years ago, for example, Jerry Falwell's critique of Islam as a violent religion was beamed to the Muslim world by media outlets very deeply concerned about Muslim-Christian concord, and bloody riots followed. Falwell had provoked the riots, the media piously reported even as they happily stoked them.
· Colombian town makes gossip a crime. Malicious gossip often results in tears and anger, but in Colombia it had lead to murder - and officials say they've heard enough. Fed up with people targeted by false rumors turning up dead or wrongfully arrested, the mayor of a small Colombian town has made gossip a crime punishable by up to four years in prison.
· Empty Zippo Lighters Now Allowed On Airplanes. Zippo lighters are welcome on U.S. airliners again - as long as they're empty and in checked bags. Zippo said earlier this year that banning all lighters from luggage could have cut into the company's sales by as much as 30 percent.
· Donald set to unveil 'World Trump Center.' Donald Trump, escalating his war against the "empty skeleton" Freedom Tower, will offer his own design for a rebuilt 111-story "World Trade Center" at Ground Zero at a press conference tomorrow. "We have a beautiful model that has been built, a very big model," Trump told The Post yesterday.
· Detroit mayor has some explaining to do. Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick doesn't want you to know about some things: The spa visits. The hotel room for his family babysitter. The posh suite at the Luxor casino he and his family shared in Las Vegas. The $850 steakhouse dinner. The $836 charged to the city's credit card for his sister's stay in New Orleans. The $3,837 he spent on chauffeured sedans over four days. The $11,644 he dropped on Super Bowl hotel rooms.
· Senior at top of class offered 'honorary' title. Because of her absences due to anorexia, another student will be the valedictorian. A Kingwood High School senior who was denied the honor of valedictorian after a six-week absence due to anorexia was offered an "honorary" title by the Humble Independent School District.
· Britney "doesn't care" what she looks like. Pregnant pop star Britney Spears has warned fans they will never see looking sexy again because as a wife she "doesn't care" what she looks like. Spears has dumped her glamorous image and is regularly seen wearing baggy clothes, tracksuits and sporting unbrushed hair and no make-up.
· Ellen comes out of closet again - as abuse survivor. It has taken 30 years, but Ellen DeGeneres is finally talking about the molestation she says she endured at the hands of her stepfather. The comic says she was 17 when her mother, Betty DeGeneres' breast cancer and mastectomy gave Betty's third husband an excuse to "examine" Ellen.
· Air Traffic Controllers Honored for Skill in the Tower. When things go wrong in an airplane cockpit, a few words from an air traffic controller can save the day. On a clear day last July, Scott Dittamo was training at the Newark Tower when he spotted an Air India flight with 409 passengers on board making its final approach. But something didn't look right. The Boeing 747's landing gear was still up as the plane was a half-mile from landing. "Air India 145 heavy, check gear down, gear appears up," Dittamo radioed the plane. Colleagues quickly congratulated him on the "great catch." Michele Norris talks to Dittamo and Ken Hopf, who are among the 12 controllers being honored for helping prevent tragedies in the nation's skies.
· Blake blasts media, says he's 'deeply saddened' by wife's killing. Actor Robert Blake said he always will be "sorry and deeply saddened" by the slaying of his wife and lashed out at the news media in a CNN interview Monday night. Blake was acquitted in March of killing Bonny Lee Bakley, his wife, with whom he had an infant daughter at the time of the 2001 slaying.
· Witnesses: Jacko Accuser Had Own Booze, Porn. A security guard at Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch testified Monday that he caught the pop star's teenage accuser and his brother with a bottle of wine, and a maid told the jury she saw adult magazines in the brother's backpack.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Austere [aus·tere] adj. 1. Markedly simple without adornment or ornamentation. [an austere office] [an austere style of writing]. 2. Strict or stern in appearance or manner [an austere critic].
· Warren Beatty Sues Over Dick Tracy Rights. Warren Beatty wants to make a new movie featuring the comic book detective but has been thwarted by Tribune Media Services, which claims control over Tracy's character. Beatty, in response, has sued the Chicago-based company for $30 million, saying Tribune violated a complex agreement regarding the Tracy rights.
· Harvard Acts on Diversity Concerns. Harvard President Lawrence Summers committed his university Monday to spending $50 million over the next decade on a range of programs — from mentoring to child care to late-night transport — aimed at improving the climate for women scientists, many of whom were angered by his remarks that questioned female aptitude for top-level math and science.
· Same-Sex Marriages In Mass. Reach First Anniversary. A year after same-sex couples started taking their first-in-the-nation wedding vows in Massachusetts, a constitutional amendment designed to undo gay marriage is facing an uncertain future.
Monday, May 16, 2005
· Martha's Defunct "Living" Scores Emmy. The domestic diva's defunct eponymous syndicated series, Martha Stewart Living, which was forced off the air after Stewart's conviction for lying to federal prosecutors about a shady stock deal, cooked up a big Daytime Emmy win.
· Jason Priestley Weds. Jason Priestley is a married man. Again. The former Beverly Hills, 90210 star tied the knot with longtime girlfriend Naomi Lowde over the weekend on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. It was the second trip down the aisle for Priestley, whose previous marriage to makeup artist Ashlee Peterson lasted less than a year.
· Father sued for teen's downloads. Dave Bink was shocked when he learned last month that he was being sued by the recording industry for the downloading of hundreds of songs. Bink, 48, a motorcycle salesman from Racine, listens to nothing but Led Zeppelin and The Doors and can barely turn on the computer. It turns out that two years ago, Bink's teenage daughter downloaded more than 600 songs on their home computer through Kazaa.
· Pitt: Reasons for Aniston Split 'Complex.' Brad Pitt says he's still proud of his relationship with Jennifer Aniston, four months after their separation. In an interview in GQ magazine, Pitt expresses nostalgia and happiness for his 4 1/2 years of marriage with Aniston, who filed for divorce in March. Pitt describes the reasons for their breakup as "complex and multifaceted" and "not one thing."
· Agencies may pull plug on hockey. Advertisers are preparing to abandon the National Hockey League for the early part of the 2005-2006 season, unless the league reaches a settlement with players in the next month.
· Trump hired for 'Apprentice' video game. Donald Trump has been digitized. Los Angeles game publisher and developer Legacy Interactive is turning "The Apprentice" into a video game timed to coincide with the next season of the NBC show.
· Court Lets Wine Lovers Buy Out-Of-State. Wine lovers may buy directly from out-of-state vineyards, the Supreme Court ruled Monday, striking down laws banning a practice that has flourished because of the Internet and growing popularity of winery tours.
· Sticker shock at the vet's office. Like everything these days, the cost of veterinary care has increased, fueled not only by rising costs for education (most young veterinarians enter practice with $100,000 or more in student loan debt), land, construction, drugs and staff salaries, but also by improvements in technology and the greater number of procedures that veterinarians can offer. From chemotherapy to MRIs, pets can now receive a level of care comparable to that available to people.
· 'Raymond' to Say Goodbye After 9 Seasons. They were everybody's favorite "real" family: The parents fought, they lived in a normal-seeming house, they looked like people we know and they made us laugh.
· Fat smokers to pay more for health insurance. Smoke, eat, sit on the sofa. You'll probably keep your job, but you're likely to pay more for your health insurance. With health insurance costs rising an average of 12% last year and 8% this year, employers across the country are struggling for some way to continue offering medical coverage without going broke. That has companies taking a long, hard look at some of their most costly workers - those who smoke, overeat and don't exercise.
· Middle-School Girl Gets Detention For Hugging At School. Public displays of affection are against the rules at Sky View Middle School, and 14-year-old Cazz Altomare found that out the hard way. She got detention earlier this year after hugging her boyfriend in the hallway as he headed to lunch and she went to gym class.
· 'Wars' Raises Questions on U.S. Policy. Without Michael Moore and "Fahrenheit 9/11" at the Cannes Film Festival this time, it was left to George Lucas and "Star Wars" to pique European ire over the state of world relations and the United States' role in it.
· Survey Finds Huge Gap Between Press and Public. A new survey reveals a wide gap on many media issues between a group of journalists and the general public. Six in ten among the public feel the media show bias in reporting the news, and 22% say the government should be allowed to censor the press. More than 7 in 10 journalists believe the media does a good or excellent job on accuracy - but only 4 in 10 among the public feel that way. And a solid 53% of the public think stories with unnamed sources should not be published at all.
· California city thrilled at base closure. Concord, CA city officials say they're thrilled the Pentagon is adding the Concord Naval Weapons Station to the list of bases set to be closed. Concord Mayor Laura Hoffmeister says the facility isn't a community asset. Instead Concord city officials want to develop the Naval Weapons Station to accomodate as many as 30,000 new residents.
Sunday, May 15, 2005
· Newsweek says oops, Koran desecration report is wrong. Newsweek magazine said on Sunday it erred in a May 9 report that U.S. interrogators desecrated the Koran at Guantanamo Bay, and apologized to the victims of deadly Muslim protests sparked by the article. The report sparked angry and violent protests across the Muslim world from Afghanistan, where 16 were killed and more than 100 were injured.
· Some UK moviegoers find film's release hard to swallow. Deep Throat, the most infamous and lucrative porn film ever made, is to be shown in UK cinemas for the first time after a landmark decision by film censors.
· Hanoi Jane slays at box office. Two new comedies pairing veteran actors with younger stars dominated the weekend box office in North America, with the Jane Fonda - Jennifer Lopez vehicle "Monster-in-Law" taking top honors, according to studio estimates issued Sunday.
· Dave Chappelle Says He's Not Crazy. Comedian Dave Chappelle wants to set things straight: "I'm not crazy, I'm not smoking crack," he tells Time magazine in an interview more than a week after his hit Comedy Central show was suspended and the rumors started to fly.
· Wal-Mart Apologizes For Newspaper Ad. Wal-Mart is apologizing for a newspaper ad featuring a photo of a book-burning in Nazi Germany. The ad shows a historic photo of people throwing books into a large fire. A swastika is clearly visible.
· ‘Sexy cheerleading bill’ appears dead in Texas. A bill approved by the state House to ban“overtly sexually suggestive” cheerleading routines at school events apparently isn’t going anywhere in the Senate this year.
· Gumby Making Comeback on 50th Anniversary. Five decades after Gumby first captured the nation's imagination, the little green guy and his chums are starring in a new art exhibit - the first in a series of events to mark the 50th anniversary of the television icon's creation and launch his comeback.
· U.S. military security defeated by copy and paste. Experts are warning people to be careful with electronic documents that contain sensitive data after a breach in which classified information thought to be hidden in a PDF document was uncovered.
· 10 things the final ‘Star Wars’ should resolve. There are some remaining issues that have lingered all along, unaddressed questions that a viewer has every right to have answered without buying a library full of novelizations and reference guides. These aren't really plot holes; they're themes that need closure.
Saturday, May 14, 2005
· Runaway bride story spawns products. "Jennifer's High Tailin' Hot Sauce," a nod to the saga of Atlanta runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks, has sold briskly since its debut Wednesday. "I'm in the hot sauce business and this is the hottest thing I've got right now," said "Pappy" David Ryan, who runs Pappy's Peppers in Lawrenceville, Georgia. And he's not the only one cashing in. Herobuilders.com, a Danbury, Connecticut-based manufacturer, has sold out of its first batch of 250 Runaway Bride action figures at $24.95 each.
· Friday the 13th surprise for Alaska Air union workers. Alaska Airlines baggage handlers arriving for work at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport just before 3 a.m. yesterday were met with a Friday the 13th surprise. Overnight, their jobs had been given to an outsourcing company. The decision came a week after union workers in Seattle and Alaska overwhelmingly rejected a contract offer.
· Cessna pilot was ill-prepared, FAA says. The pilot who caused a midday panic in Washington on Wednesday failed to get briefings about the weather and restricted airspace and became lost minutes after leaving a Pennsylvania airport, Federal Aviation Administration records show. Hayden "Jim" Sheaffer, 69, froze when he saw a Black Hawk helicopter appear near his right wing while flying toward the White House and had difficulty operating his small, single-engine aircraft, officials said yesterday. It took the valiant effort of Sheaffer's student-pilot companion, Troy D. Martin, who had only 30 logged hours of flight time, to take over the controls and land the plane at an airport in Frederick, officials said.
· Women Who Sued CU Don't Want To Pay For Case Costs. Attorneys for two women whose recently dismissed lawsuit sparked the University of Colorado football scandal complained to a federal judge Thursday that school lawyers are seeking reimbursement for lavish spending. University attorneys want the women to pay for first-class airfare, lodging at an expensive downtown Denver hotel for an expert defense witness and other "outrageous and truly excessive costs," according to documents filed by the women's attorneys in U.S. District Court.
· Judge OKs Deposition of Blake's Ex-Wife. Actor Robert Blake's first wife can testify in a deposition as part of wrongful-death lawsuit that seeks damages from the former "Baretta" star in the slaying of his second wife, a judge ruled Friday. Actress Sondra Kerr, who married Blake in 1961 and divorced him in 1983, is expected to be deposed May 20 in the civil suit filed by the children of Bonny Lee Bakley. Blake, who was acquitted of murder in March, was deposed this week.
· Kids Who Found $80,000 May Not Get It After All. Three Boulder County kids who found $80,000 several months ago and turned it into police may not get to keep it after all. The children were a week away from getting the money after nobody came forward to claim it. Police believe the money may have come from a 2002 drug case. If police can prove it, the money will be confiscated and a judge will decide what to do with it.
· Burger Queen: Paris Hilton to promote Carl's Jr. Paris Hilton likes her burgers spicy. The hotel heiress, actress, jewelry designer and entrepreneur will star in a television commercial in which she will slap suds on the side of a Bentley automobile and chomp on a thick burger while clad in a skimpy black bathing suit.
· Fence From Grassy Knoll Up for Auction. Conspiracy theorists and collectors, take note: A section of fencing from the infamous grassy knoll in Dallas' Dealey Plaza is going up for auction. The weather-beaten picket fence, along with its metal posts, goes up for bid Sunday at the Lelands.com online auction house. Bidding on the fence from the scene of President Kennedy's Nov. 22, 1963, assassination runs through June 16."It's an iconic item, in a macabre sort of way," said Simeon Lipman, director of Americana at the Long Island-based auction house.
· Judge Apologizes for Courtroom Party. A judge who threw a courtroom party with balloons and cake to celebrate the recapture of a man who fled during his trial has apologized after a state panel admonished her. Dallas District Judge Faith Johnson served ice cream and hung streamers for a court proceeding last year in which Billy Wayne Williams discovered he had been sentenced in absentia to life in prison.
Friday, May 13, 2005
· Flight attendants show skin to publicize plight. Cover shot: 'Are your butts covered? We thought ours were too.' While some United Airlines employees are using placards and pamphlets to protest the loss of their pensions, a group of flight attendants is taking a more risque tack — showing some skin to publicize their plight. The five women, ranging in age from 55 to 64, posed for a 2006 calendar that depicts them in various states of undress.
· Jail for extortionist of Celine Dion's hubby. A judge sentenced a California minister to prison for trying to extort millions of dollars from the husband of singer Celine Dion. Ae Ho Kwon, 52, was sentenced to 28 months in prison for his conviction on charges of conspiracy, extortion and soliciting a bribe. Kwon's wife claimed Celine's husband Angelil raped her at a Las Vegas hotel in 2000. Celine and Angelil paid the couple $2 million as part of a confidential settlement in 2000, but authorities said the couple demanded $13.5 million more two years later.
· North Carolina sheriff has no tolerance for 'living in sin.' There are 144,000 unmarried couples living together in North Carolina, all in violation of state law, which puts them at risk to be fined up to $1,000 and jailed - presumably in separate cells - for up to 60 days. Thankfully, North Carolina lawmen are not enforcing this anachronism, so the 200-year law sits idly, not doing any damage. Until now. Apparently there isn't any crime in Pender County, because its sheriff, Carson Smith, has found time to fight a frivolous battle. Smith, having learned that a sheriff's dispatcher was living with her boyfriend, gave Deborah Hobbs three options: Get married, move out of the home or find another job.
· U.S. appeals court backs forced military extensions. The U.S. military has the right to keep soldiers in the service beyond their original contracted time by issuing so-called emergency stop-loss orders, a U.S. appeals court said on Friday.
· Could there actually be liberal bias in the media? In an unusual agreement, sale of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch included a 'remain liberal' clause. When Lee Enterprises, Inc. agreed to purchase Pulitzer Inc. for $1.46 billion, it also agreed that the flagship St. Louis Post-Dispatch will keep its longstanding liberal editorial slant for at least the next five years, according to the purchase agreement sent to Pulitzer shareholders today.
· Girl In Disney Porn Photos Found. Investigators involved in a child pornography case linked to a Disney hotel have located a 15-year-old girl whose photos have circulated among pedophiles on the Internet for years. The girl, whose name was not released, was located in the Pittsburgh area after officials found a match Thursday in one of several law enforcement databases of child pornography, state and federal officials said.
» Update: Internet porn victim likely safe. The apparent abuser of a young girl seen on child pornography Web sites is already in a federal prison on other charges, an FBI spokesman said Friday. The spokesman said the man is serving the first year of a 15-year prison term, and that the girl has been located and is safe.
· Hyundai customers say 'no' to Stern. Automaker's customers don't want Sirius because they don't want to listen to the shock jock. A surprising number of Hyundai customers said they didn't want Sirius Satellite Radio installed in their vehicles because they objected to Howard Stern, according to Edmunds Automotive News.
· Online Casino Hits PR Jackpot. Drew Black, director of marketing for online casino GoldenPalace.com, doesn't care what you think about his company's decision to spend $28,000 on a grilled-cheese sandwich bearing the likeness of the Virgin Mary. He's just glad that you're thinking about it.
· Wendy's finger food case solved. The finger that a woman said she found in a bowl of Wendy’s chili came from an associate of her husband who lost the digit in an industrial accident, police said Friday. The man is from Nevada and lost a part of his finger in an accident last December, Police Chief Rob Davis said. His identity was traced through a tip made to Wendy’s hot line, Davis added.
· Lawyers stunned to learn they can't lie or mislead the court. Boston legal circles are shocked that three lawyers, including two who were at one time arguably among the state's most prominent attorneys, could face the harshest possible discipline due to lying under oath and trying to mislead the court.
· ‘Real Gilligan's Island’ gets some diversity. Tiy-E Muhammad, 35, a black psychology and human sexuality professor from Atlanta, donned a dress shirt and some slacks as one of the Professors in the second installment of TBS’ “The Real Gilligan’s Island.”
· Update: Officials weighed shooting down Cessna. As a wayward Cessna flew deep in restricted airspace, national security officials were on the phone discussing whether to implement the last line of defense: shooting it down. One senior Bush counterterrorism official said it was "a real finger-biting period because they came very close to ordering a shot against a general aircraft."
· Border Patrol told to stand down in Arizona. U.S. Border Patrol agents have been ordered not to arrest illegal aliens along the section of the Arizona border where protesters patrolled last month because an increase in apprehensions there would prove the effectiveness of Minuteman volunteers.
» Crooked Border Cops Busted. A brazen conspiracy among U.S. law enforcement officers and soldiers to smuggle cocaine from Mexico was disclosed Thursday by the Justice Department, adding to concerns that public corruption north of the border was growing.
· Diaz sues Sun over affair story. Actress Cameron Diaz is suing The Sun over a story claiming she was having an affair with a married man. Diaz, who is in a relationship with singer Justin Timberlake, was pictured with another man on the front page on Thursday.
· Anchor Rita Cosby off Fox News. 'Big Story' host's departure is immediate. Fox News Channel will not renew a contract with weekend host Rita Cosby, as the two sides couldn't come to an agreement on an extension, the network said.
» Update: Rita Cosby Joins MSNBC For June Debut. Rita Cosby will join MSNBC, it was announced today by Rick Kaplan, President of MSNBC. Cosby will start with the network in June and will anchor a daily evening program. In addition, she will serve as a special correspondent. Cosby's program is in development and will debut in the fourth quarter.
· Bright yellow Livestrong bracelets a charitable success. When Nike and the Lance Armstrong Foundation planned the Livestrong campaign, their goal for the charity was $6 million. Nike officials predict 50 million of the $1 bracelets will have been sold in just the first year alone.
· Dell founder invests nearly $100 million in Red Hat Linux. The investment firm that manages the private fortune of Dell Inc. founder Michael Dell invested $99.5 million in Red Hat Inc., the world's largest distributor of the Linux computer operating system, according to regulatory filings.
· Tiger woods misses cut for first time in 142 tournaments. Tiger Woods missed the cut the first time in seven years on the PGA Tour, ending his streak at 142 straight tournaments, by failing to reach the third round of the Byron Nelson Classic on Friday.
· Feeling lucky? Today is Friday the 13th. Like many human beliefs, the fear of Friday the 13th isn't exactly grounded in scientific logic. But the really strange thing is that most of the people who believe the day is unlucky offer no explanation at all, logical or illogical. As with most superstitions, people fear Friday the 13th for its own sake, without any need for background information.
· Jacko Defense Witness Gets Immunity. Vincent Amen, one of the five unnamed, unindicted alleged co-conspirators in the Michael Jackson case, secretly got immunity from the prosecution on Dec. 30, 2004. The problem is, what Amen then told prosecutors was incredibly damaging to their case. He is now free to testify for Jackson's defense without fear of penalty.
· Lotto winner's luck was short-lived. Eric J. Wagner is one unlucky lottery winner. Wagner - who bought a $5 Quick Pick Illinois Lottery ticket worth $37.5 million last month - was arrested Thursday on federal gun and drug charges.
Thursday, May 12, 2005
· Plant worker defies Chrysler-only parking; his GMC truck towed. A DaimlerChrysler Indiana Transmission plant worker has defied a new policy by parking his GMC pickup truck in one of the front spots reserved for Chrysler products.
· Ala. School Drops Klan Founder's Name. The city school board has voted to stop using the name of Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan founder Nathan Bedford Forrest as part of a consolidation plan, a move that ends a long-simmering dispute.
· Alan Thicke Gets Married in Mexico. TV dad Alan Thicke married for the third time, exchanging vows with 30-year-old Tanya Callau. The Growing Pains star, 58, and his new bride were married in a beach ceremony in Cabo San Lucas, northern Mexico.
· Robin Williams Sues Impersonator. The Oscar-winning funnyman has sued a celebrity impersonator and his agent for taking their act to a "reprehensible level" by using Williams' moniker, voice and likeness to allegedly con charities out of money.
· Pope Benedict XVI gives thumbs up to beer. You might think the new pope would prefer water or wine, but Pope Benedict XVI has given the thumbs up to … beer. A German brewery is enjoying new success thanks to the pope's endorsement.
· 30 million cars have a black box. The black box, also known as the event data recorder is similar to a flight data recorder in an airplane. Believe it or not 30 million cars on the road have a black box recording speed, use of gas pedals and brakes, and seatbelt use. It even records the last five seconds before a crash.
· Officials: Sex Offender Ran Fla. Gynecological Clinic. The state is investigating reports that a former gynecologist, who went to prison for trading drugs for oral sex with teenage girls, was running a clinic that performs gynecological exams and other treatments.
· Culkin’s testimony could be Jackson’s salvation. In many ways he looked like any other witness in Michael Jackson’s child molestation trial. Dressed casually in a black jacket and white button down shirt, actor Macaulay Culkin arrived at the courthouse on Wednesday with little fanfare. Unlike comedian George Lopez, who arrived in a white stretch limo, with a small entourage, Culkin entered unannounced through the backdoor of the courthouse. But the star of the blockbuster movie “Home Alone” is anything but just another witness.
· Supermodel sues mayor, bank & gamblin' stepdad. Supermodel Maggie Rizer is supermad. The blond beauty is suing her stepfather and others she claims turned a blind eye while he drunkenly gambled away her $7 million fortune - a lot of it playing Quick Draw, the state video lottery game. Rizer is taking aim at some of the most high-profile citizens of her hometown, Watertown, N.Y. - including the former mayor, a tavern owner whose Quick Draw machine swallowed much of her money, a suit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court charges.
· F-16 pilot: Intercept 'a difficult period.' A small Cessna airplane flew into restricted airspace over Washington on Wednesday putting the capital on high alert. When federal officials were unable to contact the pilot, two F-16s were scrambled to intercept the plane. CNN's Kyra Phillips spoke with Lt. Col. Tim Lehmann, one of the F-16 pilots who had some difficult decisions to make.
· Study: Exotic Names Don't Make Grade For Black Students. A new study suggests that black students with exotic names don't do as well in school as black students with more common names. "When you see a particular name, like David or Catherine, you internalize it in a different way than a name such as LaQuisha," said professor Figlio, whose findings appear in a working paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research. Figlio found that poorly educated black women overwhelmingly gave their children names that begin with certain prefixes, such as "lo," "ta" and "qua," and certain suffixes, such as "isha" and "ious."
· Union heavy: Do it my weigh. A 420-pound union official who wants taxpayers to buy ambulances big enough to hold him is throwing his weight around — and a Queens legislator is doing the heavy lifting. Councilman James Sanders said he's supporting a bill that would require the city to buy 10 pricey ambulances capable of transporting patients who weigh 500 pounds or more.
· Major parkway retaining wall collapses in Manhattan. A retaining wall along the Henry Hudson Parkway in upper Manhattan collapsed on Thursday afternoon, burying parked cars under a massive mound of dirt, trees and debris.
· Smokers' Rights Groups Call For Boycott Of Major Charities. Smoking rights groups and bar owners are taking aim at some major charities. They say the charities support smoking bans that threaten civil rights and small business.
· Kentucky man gets DUI on horse. A Kentucky man is behind bars for DUI, but officers said he never got behind the wheel of a car. Instead, police said Millard Greg Dwyer, 42, of Somerset, was arrested while riding a horse.
· Sharon Stone's New Man. Sharon Stone's basic maternal instinct is taking over again. The actress has adopted a second baby boy, according to publicist Cindi Berger Wednesday. The child was born to "unknown and unrelated parents in Texas" on Saturday.
· Diverted Air France Flight Lands in Maine. An Air France jetliner en route from Paris to Boston was diverted Thursday to Maine so U.S. authorities could check on a passenger, officials said. Flight 332 was sent to Maine because one of its 169 passengers had the same name as someone on the U.S. government's no-fly list, said Ann Davis, spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration in Boston.
· Gates Says iPod Success Won't Last. Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates says Apple Computer Corp. shouldn't get too comfortable atop the portable music playing world. "I don't think the success of the iPod can continue in the long term, however good Apple may be," Gates said.
· Update: Cosby's Lawyers Deny Woman's Allegations. Lawyers for Bill Cosby denied allegations that he drugged and sexually molested a woman at his home but acknowledged that he gave her over-the-counter medication after she complained she was having trouble sleeping.
· Another Rocker shocker. In his latest wacky diatribe, spoken between very occasional relief outings for the minor-league Long Island Ducks in Central Islip, John Rocker told ESPN.com in his elegant fashion that he has endured more dire circumstances than black baseball pioneers, Jackie Robinson and Hank Aaron.
· Police Update: Runaway Bride Described Abduction. Runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks' fake story of abduction and sexual assault in a van headed from Georgia to New Mexico contained precise and graphic details of the alleged crime, according to police documents released Wednesday.
· Nixon son-in-law weighs run against Clinton. Edward Cox, the 58-year-old son-in-law of former President Richard Nixon, is "seriously considering running" against Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York in her re-election bid next year.
· Culkin Denounces Charges Against Jackson. "Home Alone" star Macaulay Culkin denounced the molestation allegations against Michael Jackson as "absolutely ridiculous" on Wednesday and testified that, contrary to prosecution claims, he was never victimized during his boyhood visits to the pop star's ranch.
· Ohio State Football Player Arrested. Ohio State kicker Jonathan Skeete was arrested Wednesday on a warrant for trafficking marijuana and was suspended from the team indefinitely, the university said.
· Man Charged With Dismantling, Stealing Building. An Anderson County man said someone stole nearly an entire building from his property, bit by bit. Brad Johnson says he drove by Friday night and saw someone had taken the metal roof off his storage building. "They took the roof. They took the rolled insulation. They rolled that up and took it with them," he said. The next day, all of the walls were missing, with each screw carefully removed.
· Woman, 70, survives nine-story fall. A 70-year-old woman survived a nine-story fall from a condominium tower Wednesday when she landed on a canopy, officials said. Gloria Jummati was cleaning her balcony at Coral Ridge Towers when she fell and landed on a first-floor canopy.
· Time Bomb cologne gets airline passenger plenty of attention. It may have sizzled with the ladies, but a bottle of cologne shaped like a bomb fizzled with airport security who detained Daniel Jensen as he tried to board a plane to Calgary.
· Okla. Burglar Leaves ID Near Hot Tub. Police have a good lead to the identity of a burglar who broke into a home, ate a meal, soaked in a hot tub and stole $4,000 worth of tools. A driver's license was found near the hot tub.
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
· Heidi Klum and Seal Marry in Mexico. Supermodel Heidi Klum and British singer Seal have gotten married, PEOPLE has confirmed. The couple, who got engaged just before Christmas, wed on a beach in Mexico. They are expecting their first child together this fall.
· From 'token bimbo' to disgraced CEO: Fiorina tells students she has no regrets. Carly Fiorina, fired as Hewlett-Packard Co.'s chief executive officer in February, said she has "no regrets" about her five years at the helm of the world's largest printer maker. Fiorina, who was paid a total $188.6-million during her five-year reign, told students she endured discrimination. She said colleagues at AT&T Corp. dubbed her a "token bimbo."
· Illinois father confessed killings, prosecutors say. The father of an 8-year-old girl who was slain along with her best friend admitted to authorities that he was the killer, saying he was angry at his daughter for taking money, authorities said Wednesday.
· Ex-worker at money printing plant pleads innocent to theft. A former employee at a printing plant that makes more than half of America's paper currency pleaded innocent today to federal charges of stealing up to $700,000 over seven years by regularly stuffing his pockets with folded sheets of $20 or $50 bills.
· Official Sues Over Letter Citing Marriages. A county Republican chairman says his bid to head the state party was sabotaged because a letter falsely accused him of having been married six times. The right number, he says, is five.
· Chappelle Reportedly Checks Into Facility. Comedy Central star Dave Chappelle has checked himself into a mental health facility in South Africa, the magazine Entertainment Weekly reported on Wednesday. The comedian's whereabouts and condition have been unknown since Comedy Central abruptly announced last week that the planned May 31 launch of the third season of "Chappelle's Show" had been postponed and production halted.
· Culkin says molestation claims ‘absolutely ridiculous.’ Actor Macaulay Culkin took the stand at Michael Jackson’s child molestation trial Wednesday and denied he was molested, saying the accusations against the pop star were “absolutely ridiculous.”
· Bride checks into a clinic for altar ego. Runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks has checked herself into an inpatient medical treatment program to deal with "physical and mental issues" that drove her to skip town just days before her wedding, a spokesman for her family's church said yesterday.
· Gellar holds Grudge against 'big mouth' agent. When you're the agent of some of Hollywood's biggest stars, your job is to make them look good. So it's probably not a good idea to bad mouth them to one of the most high-profile magazines in the world. But that's exactly what the head of the William Morris Agency did when he gave a recent candid interview, according to the London Daily Mail.
» William Morris goes after New York Post. After suffering more than a month's worth of barbs from the New York Post - over what the paper called a "mass exodus" of clients and its recent claim that the agency had financial problems - William Morris Agency has hired lawyer Bert Fields to demand that the tabloid run a retraction on the grounds of libel.
· MSNBC's Scarborough chokes on facts of bogus story. A political commentator has admitted he failed to check his facts when he erroneously reported on the MSNBC cable news network last month that Schwarzenegger had jokingly advocated doing away with the moon. In one of the stranger mea culpas from a major U.S. news outlet in recent years, the commentator, Joe Scarborough, a former congressman, acknowledged that the governor's purported lunar outburst on the nationally syndicated radio show of Howard Stern was actually a spoof.
· Errant Flight Prompts Capitol Evacuations. A small plane strayed within three miles of the White House on Wednesday, leading to frantic evacuation of the executive mansion and the Capitol with military jets scrambling to intercept the aircraft and firing flares to steer it away. A pilot and student pilot, en route from Pennsylvania to an air show in North Carolina, were taken into custody after their flight sparked a frenzy of activity that tested the capital's post-Sept. 11 response system.
· NFL player caught with kit to foil drug tests. Vikings running back Onterrio Smith was detained last month at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport after police found paraphernalia later identified as a kit used to circumvent drug tests.
· United gets OK to dump pension plans on taxpayers. United Airlines gained a significant financial victory with court approval to dump its four pension plans but faces a tough challenge to win back the support of angry employees. Taxpayers may someday have to bail out the deficit-riddled government pension agency, which now will assume an additional $5 billion in pension obligations.
· Actress Longoria Tops Maxim Hot 100 List. Eva Longoria of ABC's "Desperate Housewives" tops Maxim magazine's sixth annual Hot 100 list of the most successful women of the year in film, television, music, sports and fashion.
· N.Y. cookies help diners win fortune. Powerball lottery officials suspected fraud: How could 110 players get five of the six numbers right? That made them all second-prize winners, and considering the number of tickets sold in the 29 states where the game is played, there should have been only four or five. But from state after state they kept coming in, the 1-in-3-million combination of 22, 28, 32, 33, 39. It took some time before they had their answer: The players got their numbers inside fortune cookies.
· Forgetfulness can cost you at airports. TSA fines: $250 for a knife; $10,000 for explosives. Forgetfulness isn’t a crime, but these days it could get you fined and your name placed on a government security database.
· Pastor resigns after political spat. A Baptist preacher accused of running out nine congregants who disagreed with his Republican politics resigned Tuesday, two days after calling the issue "a great misunderstanding."
· Culkin to star in Jackson's defense. Actor Macaulay Culkin - the first real "star" witness in Michael Jackson's child-molestation trial - is set to take the stand today to boost the pop icon's defense. The 24-year-old "Home Alone" star is expected to say he was never molested or improperly touched by Jackson, 46, during his many boyhood sleepovers at the singer's Neverland Ranch.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Ostensible [os·ten·si·ble] adj. 1. Intended for display, open to view. 2. Being such in appearance, plausible rather than demonstrably true or real. [the ostensible purpose of the trip was business].
· Popularity of Flat Iron Steak Increasing. Gerrine Kirby didn't know what she was getting herself into the first time she saw it. A new cut of steak? After all these years? Kirby, who teaches a culinary arts class, hesitantly took a bite of the curiously shaped piece of meat, which looks like an old-fashioned flat iron.
· Rethink Freedom Tower? The sudden plan to redesign the Freedom Tower at Ground Zero is giving rise to lots of blame-gaming, but a more important issue is this: Do we need the Freedom Tower? Do we still want it? That the questions can fairly be asked now shows how far we've come since 9/11. The immediate impulse to fight back against terrorism by building a dramatic building, or two, was understandable. But coming up on four years since the attacks, does that impulse still make sense?
· 6 Injured As Two Northwest Planes Collide. A Northwest Airlines DC-9 that had reported hydraulic problems collided with a Northwest Airbus on the ground Tuesday at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, injuring six people.
· Enquirer reporting Jackson has sold Neverland estate. Michael Jackson has secretly sold his Neverland Ranch for $35 million, The National Enquirer can reveal. The scandal-plagued superstar is so wracked by financial troubles he can no longer afford to keep his trademark fantasy estate in Los Olivos, near Santa Barbara, California.
· Easley gets a bad start at NASCAR day. Luckily for Gov. Mike Easley, there are no walls along Lane Street behind the Legislative Building. There are only curbs. So when Easley swerved Jimmie Johnson's No. 48 Chevy Monte Carlo and nearly drove off the road yesterday, he didn't cause any damage.
· X-Rays Of Strange Items In Kids' Stomachs Amaze Doctors. Hospital X-rays showing open safety pins, forks, batteries and in one instance, a magnetic toy that reconnected in a child's stomach, often amaze doctors over what children are able to swallow.
· Update: Grenade near Bush 'was inactive.' A grenade found near the site where U.S. President George W. Bush made a speech in Tblisi was an inactive Soviet-era device, Georgian officials said Wednesday.
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
· Did the 'runaway bride' have a Julia Roberts obsession? From cutting her hair - to going to Las Vegas, one emailer to the City of Duluth thinks Jennifer Wilbanks was watching too many Julia Roberts movies.
· Stones Announce New Album, World Tour. Roll over Beethoven, and tell Tchaikovsky the news: The Rolling Stones announced a new album and world tour Tuesday with a three-song mini-concert at one of Manhattan's bastions of classical music, the Juilliard School.
· Congress gives Anchorage $1.5 million for bus stop. The city of Achorage, Alaska has $1.5 million to spend on a new bus stop thanks to Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska - commonly referred to by Alaskans as "Uncle Ted" for his ability to secure federal money for his home state.
· DA's Investigator, 5 Family Members Found Dead. Riverside County, Calif., sheriff's deputies responded to a home in the small town of Pine Meadow Tuesday morning and found six people dead. Two sources told Los Angeles television station KNBC that the victims are a Riverside County district attorney's investigator, his mother, his wife and three children.
· Healthcare Tip: Can't afford your medical bills? No insurance? No problem! Just check in as an illegal alien. Lawmakers have approved a bill that allows health care providers to charge the government for emergency care provided to illegal aliens beginning today.
· Father charged in girls' deaths. Police have taken Jerry Hobbs into custody and charged him with murdering his 8-year-old daughter, Laura, and her best friend, 9-year-old Krystal Tobias. The two friends are believed to have been stabbed to death Sunday on Mother's Day.
· Renee and Kenny - They Do! After a whirlwind four-month courtship, the erstwhile Bridget Jones' Diary spinster was hitched to country star Kenny Chesney Monday in the Virgin Islands, her publicist confirmed to E! The freshly minted marrieds--henceforth known as "RenKen"--tied the knot "in front of close friends and family in St. John," said Zellweger publicist Nanci Ryder, who offered few details of the surprise nuptials.
· Corey Clark Says He Has Affair Evidence. Responding to Paula Abdul's "Saturday Night Live" cameo appearance, Corey Clark's lawyer said the former "American Idol" contestant has "explicit" and "incriminating" evidence into their alleged affair.
· Suspect to be charged in girls' murders. An individual will be charged today in connection with the stabbing deaths of two girls from this town outside Chicago, police sources told the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday.
· Grenade Allegedly Lobbed At Bush During Georgia Visit. Georgia's security chief said Wednesday that an inactive grenade was found near the site where President George W. Bush made a speech in Tbilisi.
· Wendy's Finger Suspect Proclaims Love to Camera Crews. The woman accused of fabricating a story about finding a finger in a bowl of Wendy's chili smiled, gave a thumbs-up sign and mouthed "I love you" to television camera crews during a brief court appearance on Monday.
· $450,000 stadium suites have no view. Five new luxury suites at The Palace of Auburn Hills, the home to the NBA's Detroit Pistons and WNBA's Detroit Shock, are set to open this fall. They've already been leased for $450,000 a year despite lacking at least one thing the fan in the nosebleed seat gets: a view of the court.
· Zellweger and Chesney marry. According to Renee Zellweger's publicist, Nanci Ryder, Zellweger and Kenny Chesney were married Monday in front of close friends and family in St. John in the Virgin Islands.
· MLB sees fewer home runs amid steroid crackdown. In the first year of toughened steroid testing, home runs are down in the major leagues for the first time since 2002. Florida Marlins pitcher Todd Jones doesn't think it's a coincidence. He's convinced there's a connection.
· Sheriff's staffer leaves toddler in car for five hours. A Broward Sheriff's Office employee whose job it is to help abused and neglected children has been suspended while she is being investigated for leaving a 2-year-old girl alone in a car for five hours.
· Prince Harry is a 'weak' student, who cheated. Prince Harry was a "weak" student at school whose final work for an art examination was completed by a member of staff, a former teacher at his prestigious private school alleged.
· Irish fisherman hooks mind-blowing catch. An Irish fisherman hooked more than he bargained for when a suspiciously heavy catch turned out to be a large package of cannabis, part of a submerged haul worth $513,000 dollars.
· Chicken Ticketed for Crossing the Road. Linc and Helena Moore may have finally learned the answer to that age-old question: Why did the chicken cross the road? Because the chicken doesn't know jaywalking is illegal.
· Woman Killed, Man Badly Hurt When Souped-Up Golf Carts Collide. Two souped-up golf carts collided as they sped down a rural road at night, killing a woman and badly injuring a man, authorities said Monday.
· Don Knotts to be honored with Parade. Don Knotts will get the first star on what could become West Virginia's version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. City officials are hoping artist Jamie Lester will design a pattern that could be used in front of the Metropolitan Theater to honor other celebrities.
· Buyer Refuses To Pay For $15,400 'Runaway Bride' Toast. A man who auctioned off a slice of toast carved with his drawing of the runaway bride feels burned because the winning bidder has refused to pay for the item.
· Blake Said Sought Actors to Support Him. Robert Blake wanted to enlist other 1970s television stars to rally public support as he awaited trial on charges of murdering his wife, the Los Angeles Times reported. Among Blake's favored actors: Gavin MacLeod, captain of "The Love Boat," the Times said Monday.
· Chappelle's No-Show. The mystery of why comic Dave Chappelle's show was suddenly shut down is still alive — but some "friends" say they can explain what the problem is. He was simply unprepared for the sudden success of "Chappelle's Show," according to a report in Newsweek.
Monday, May 9, 2005
· Girls found in woods stabbed to death. Police said Monday they are investigating the discovery of the bodies of two girls in a park near Chicago, as a homicide. The girls had been reported missing by their parents Sunday evening.
· Man faces bail revocation after lying about having cancer. A man accused of fabricating letters in an attempt to secure $6 million in credit for his employment placement company now faces revocation of his bail for allegedly producing another fake letter - this one claiming he has terminal cancer and is close to death.
· Danza Loses Control of Go-Kart on Show. Tony Danza got quite a scare when he and NASCAR star Rusty Wallace were racing go-karts during the taping of a segment for the nationally syndicated "The Tony Danza Show."
· Georgia city deluged with advice on handling runaway bride. What to do with the so-called Runaway Bride? Well, the city fathers and police from Duluth, Georgia - home to troubled Jennifer Wilbanks - have been deluged with suggestions from the public about how to punish the wide-eyed woman who fled town days before her 600-guest nuptials.
· 'Kingdom of Heaven' Tops Box Office. The epic battle tale "Kingdom of Heaven" made the top spot at the box office, taking in $20 million in its debut weekend, but the film did little to boost slumping revenues at the start of the summer movie season.
· Stress 'makes us live longer.' Short bursts of stress can help people stay young, according to research which undermines the belief that a frenzied lifestyle can damage your health. Such exposure to stress will prolong life and help prevent chronic illnesses such as arthritis, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, Dr Marios Kyriazis told an anti-ageing conference in London.
· Car Plant Forces GM, Ford Owners to Walk. Workers at DaimlerChrysler's Indiana transmission plants better allow more time to walk in from the parking lot if they drive Fords or General Motors vehicles. A new policy that takes effect Monday designates about 80 percent of employee parking spaces for Chrysler vehicles only and forces workers to park much further away if they drive a car or truck made by a competing manufacturer.
· Police nab activists seeking Bush's nuke suitcase. Dutch police arrested six activists on Sunday who said they wanted to enter President Bush's Netherlands hotel and look for the suitcase which allows him to activate nuclear weapons.
· Former Jackson Employee Disputes Charge. A former employee of Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch was called to the stand in his child molestation trial Monday to cast doubt on the testimony of an ex-maid who claimed the pop star inappropriately touched actor Macaulay Culkin and other boys.
· Bets taken on Harry surviving Army. Prince Harry began his new life in the British Army Monday at the elite Sandhurst military academy, and bookmakers were already taking bets on whether he would complete the course. British bookmaker William Hill is already offering 3-1 odds that Harry will quit before his training is over - like his uncle Prince Edward did with the Marines in 1987.
· Fire causes $500,000 damage to fire station. Firefighters at a station in Charlotte needed some help from their colleagues in unusual fashion. No one was injured, but the fire caused about $500,000 in damage, including a fire truck and equipment that will need to be replaced.
· Jackson Defense Will Portray Him As Victim. Michael Jackson has played the victim in his songs for years. In "Billie Jean," he portrays the target of a false paternity claim. In "Man in the Mirror," he says he's "been a victim of a selfish kind of love." And throughout the album "HIStory," he's threatened by ominous characters such as "D.S." - a character based on the prosecutor now accusing him of child molestation.
· Climbers survive Everest avalanche. Pierre Bourdeau was tucked into his sleeping bag on Mount Everest when the avalanche struck. It plowed through his tent with chunks of ice, threw him 100 yards down the slope and buried him beneath a mound of snow.
· Witnesses: Dog cared for abandoned baby. A newborn baby abandoned in a Kenyan forest was saved by a stray dog who apparently carried her across a busy road and through a barbed wire fence to a shed where the infant was discovered nestled with a litter of puppies, witnesses said Monday.
· The world's best airports. Today, Skytrax, a London-based airline and airport passenger research firm, will release the results of an annual survey that ranks the world's best airports [U.S. doesn't make the top 10].
· Chilli sauce is real killer. A new chilli sauce goes on sale today that is so hot it could kill. Ultra-concentrated “16 Million Reserve” is the hottest science can make. The sauce is 30 times hotter than the spiciest pepper and 8,000 times more fiery than Tabasco.
· Prison Officials Buy 15 Pizzas To Bring End To Inmate Standoff. Officials bought 15 pizzas to secure the release of a guard who had been held for 42 hours by inmates at an Australian top-security prison, police said Monday.
· Nevada woman hits second $1 million jackpot in less than a year. The stars were aligned for Jo Ann Argyris, or more like the symbols that signify an incredible second $1 million jackpot. Argyris hit her second million-dollar jackpot in less than a year Thursday night at the Railroad Pass casino.
· Segway’s big wheel lays out strategy; IPO planned. James D. Norrod, the new chief executive officer of Segway LLC, says his goal is to turn the Bedford-based maker of the Human Transporter into a publicly traded company. [President Bush is not expected to participate in the IPO's public relations].
· Woman awarded $45,000 in cat death. A Seattle woman whose cat was mauled to death by a neighbor's dog was awarded more than $45,000 last week in her wrongful-death lawsuit against the dog's owner, her attorney announced yesterday.
· 'Spamalot' Takes 4 Outer Critics Awards. "Monty Python's Spamalot," based on the cheeky British troupe's film "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," won four Outer Critics Circle Awards on Sunday, including the prize for best Broadway musical.
· Wrong Woman Buried After Morgue Mixup. Two grieving families were shocked to discover recently that their loved ones' bodies, which were driven to the county morgue in the same van, had been mistakenly swapped and sent to the wrong funeral homes.
· Gay-bashing hoax at high school traced to gay rights leader. A 17-year-old top wrestler at an area high school here faked a series of gay-bashing incidents that prompted a police investigation, authorities said. The rash of gay-bashing incidents at Tamalpais High School was the work of a student gay leader who claimed she was the victim of hate crimes, according to Mill Valley Police Capt. James Wickham.
· Mistrial Declared in Ohio Shootings Trial. The judge overseeing the case of a man charged with a string of Ohio highway shootings declared a mistrial Sunday after jurors said they could not reach a verdict. The defense admitted McCoy was behind the 12 shootings over five months in 2003 and 2004 but insisted he did not understand they were wrong because he suffered from untreated paranoid schizophrenia.
· Hungry For Revenue, City Ponders Fast-Food Tax. Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is hoping people won't mind forking over a few extra cents for their Big Macs and Whoppers. Kilpatrick is preparing to ask Detroit voters to approve a 2 percent fast-food tax - on top of the six-percent state sales tax already applied to restaurant meals. However, critics of the plan say the tax would unfairly burden the poor and hamper economic development in the city.
Sunday, May 8, 2005
· Red Sox chef dies in fall. The clubhouse chef for the Boston Red Sox fell to his death from the sixth floor of a downtown parking garage early Sunday. Bernie Logue, 30, worked for the team for two years, the Red Sox said. He was the primary chef in the clubhouse who cooked for the players.
· Runaway Bride Arrested 3 Times For Shoplifting In 90'S. The Gainesville lawyer hired to represent runaway bride-to-be Jennifer Wilbanks once prosecuted Wilbanks for felony shoplifting, court records seen by the Atlanta Journal Constitution show.
· A buck offers big payoff for two Kentucky Derby bettors. Giacomo's long-shot victory in yesterday's Kentucky Derby made some small bettors some big money. Two New Jersey pony pickers won $864,000 each for hitting the $1 superfecta — picking the top four horses in their order of finish.
· Teen skips gym, loses diploma. A decision to take advanced biology class instead of gym will cost a New Hampshire high school senior her diploma. "Why would I drop an AP biology class to take P.E.?" the 18-year-old said. "It's just not on my priority list."
· Jennifer Garner's Baby on Board. Jennifer Garner's next alias: mommy. The Alias star is expecting her first child, E! Online and E! News have confirmed. Multiple sources close to Garner and beau Ben Affleck say the actress is three months along.
· Sen. Clinton Finance Director Goes to Trial. Campaign donations made more than four years ago at a celebrity-studded Hollywood gala have led to a federal criminal trial against a former finance director for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton that could hamper her future campaigns.
· Pee Diddy has close call. Pee Diddy's chartered private jet was forced to make an emergency landing after it was struck by lightning. The 34-year-old rap mogul was heading to a business meeting in Miami when the incident occurred, reports the New York Post.
· Paula Abdul Pokes Fun At 'American Idol' Scandal On SNL. Despite the controversy surrounding her, Paula Abdul is showing she can have a sense of humor about it. The "American Idol" judge being investigated for an alleged affair with a former contestant made a cameo appearance introducing the opening sketch on NBC's "Saturday Night Live."
· White supremacists rally in Somerville. About two dozen supporters of an Arkansas-based white supremacist organization rallied in the rain yesterday in a Somerville parking lot and prepared to stage a demonstration today outside a Holocaust memorial in downtown Boston, the group's chairman said.
· British team ends bid to break speed record, when car won't start. A British team trying to set a speed record for an electric car gave up because the mustard-yellow, torpedo-shaped vehicle wouldn't start for a third morning in a row. They plan to return next year for another try at topping 300 mph.
· Wendy’s finger suspect extradited to Calif.. The woman who said she found a finger in a bowl of chili in a Wendy’s restaurant has been extradited from Las Vegas to San Jose, California, to face charges for the incident, police said Saturday.
· Jesus Christ has trouble with getting driver's license. Jesus Christ is hoping to move to West Virginia, but he’s having trouble getting a driver’s license. The man is described as a white-haired businessman who’s been using that name for 15 years without a problem.
· Navy cites crew error in sub accident. The crew of a U.S. attack submarine that struck an undersea mountain in the Pacific Ocean earlier this year did not adequately review navigation charts that warned of an obstacle in the vessel's path, according to a Navy report released Saturday.
· Oceans Heating, not Carbon Dioxide, is the Cause of Global Warming. About a million journalists, bureaucrats and evnironmentalists are promoting global warming issues assuming 0.04% of the atmosphere (CO2) is causing global warming while not knowing everything else in the atmosphere is a greenhouse gass also. It’s like saying ants on the road determine gas mileage.
· Prince Harry enters British Army. Prince Harry joins Britain's Army Sunday as he begins his new life as a career soldier. The 20-year-old's time since leaving secondary school at the private Eton College has been dogged with controversy, from a bust-up with a paparazzi photographer to a Nazi fancy dress uniform gaffe that sparked outrage across the world.
· Stephen King Addresses Grads at Alma Mater. Delivering the commencement speech at his alma mater, best-selling author Stephen King told University of Maine graduates Saturday to be voracious readers, donate a tenth of their earnings to worthy causes and carve out their careers in Maine.
· Moms Testify They Trusted Michael Jackson. Two mothers testified at Michael Jackson's trial that they trusted the singer enough to let their sons sleep in his bed and were convinced that no molestation ever occurred.
· School Reduces Suspension Over Iraq Call. Following hundreds of angry phone calls and e-mails, school officials in this Army base city have reduced a suspension imposed on a student who wouldn't give up his cell phone while talking to his mom - a sergeant on duty in Iraq.
Saturday, May 7, 2005
· Longshot Giacomo wins Kentucky Derby. Giacomo defied the odds and won the $2.4 million Kentucky Derby in a gigantic upset Saturday, running down a game Afleet Alex in the final strides and generating a huge payoff. The wild results produced the second-highest win payoff in Derby history. Giacomo returned $102.60 on a $2 win ticket. The Derby record is $184.90 by Donerail in 1913.
» Kentucky Derby Payoff Results. With two longshots coming in to win and place, this year's Kentucky Derby paid $9,814.80 on each $2 exacta, and a staggering $133,134.80 on each $2 trifecta. [Go to 10th race at bottom].
· Blake Once Offered $250,000 to Wife's Kids. Actor Robert Blake says he once offered $250,000 to settle a wrong-death lawsuit brought by the children of his murdered wife - a sum he no longer can afford.
· Mothers deny Jackson molested sons. Mothers of two young men who prosecutors claim were molested by Michael Jackson during the 1990s when they were adolescents testified Friday that the pop star never behaved inappropriately around their children.
· 'Runaway bride toast' tops $15,000. Perry Lonzello, 48, says he carved a rudimentary drawing of Wilbanks on a piece of toasted Wonder Bread and posted it on eBay on a whim. "I just carved it on there real quick and put it on there as a joke," Lonzello told the Daily Record. As of about 5 p.m. Friday, Lonzello's eBay posting had 134,300 visits and 111 bids made on the toast, with a top bid of $15,400. Bidding closes Sunday.
· Georgia chief reopens 4 child-murder cases. A Georgia police chief has reopened an investigation into four of the child slayings that terrorized the Atlanta area more than two decades ago, saying he believes the man suspected in most of the killings is innocent.
· Tipster Tricked Mother of 'Precious Doe.' The tipster who helped crack the case of a beheaded 4-year-old girl went to police with his suspicions nearly a year ago and recently tricked the child's mother into providing a hair sample that he taped to a photograph and mailed to Kansas City, a community activist said Friday.
· Mercedes chief may drop goal to top quality survey. DaimlerChrysler is debating whether to abandon its goal to place its Mercedes-Benz brand first in the prestigious J.D. Power and Associates car quality survey, Mercedes chief Eckhard Cordes said on Friday.
· Religious candles kills New York teen. A deadly blaze ignited by religious candles killed a 13-year-old Queens girl and her parents yesterday, just days before the couple planned to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary in Paris.
· Math student indicted in $43 million scam. A New York University student was charged with bank fraud after depositing $43 million in bogus cashier's checks into Swiss and American accounts and trying to withdraw the money, prosecutors said Friday.
Friday, May 6, 2005
· Were Fidelity workers given drugs, sex? The investigation into whether some traders at Fidelity Investments were given gifts, including sex and drugs, by Wall Street bank brokers in an effort to win the firm’s trading business has widened to include a federal criminal probe, NBC reports.
· Kansas Pilot Lands Safely After Being Shot In Head. Hit in the head by a shot fired from the ground, pilot Mike Spicer managed, with the help of his passenger, to get his plane safely back to the Clay Center Kansas airport.
· William "Refrigerator" Perry absent from Hall of Fame induction. One of South Carolina's most recognizable athletes was nowhere to be found Thursday as the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame inducted its Class of 2005 in Columbia. Former Clemson and Chicago Bears star William "Refrigerator" Perry was among this year's seven inductees, but the Hall of Fame couldn't track him down, officials said.
· Pope Benedict's old car brings $245,000. A second-hand Volkswagen Golf once owned by Pope Benedict sold for $244,800 to a U.S. buyer in frenzied online bidding, a spokeswoman for eBay in Germany said on Thursday.
· Bio: Sinatra a rapist too. Frank Sinatra was a singer, an actor, a painter and, one woman claims, a rapist. Susan Murphy, 56, alleges that Ol' Blue Eyes demanded she do it His Way one "horrific" night in 1969.
· Paula Abdul to make surprise appearance on SNL. Apparently Paula Abdul has no plans to keep a low profile. The American Idol judge being investigated for an alleged affair with a former contestant will make an appearance on NBC's Saturday Night Live this weekend, the entertainment magazine show The Insider reported Friday.
· MLB Hall of Famer's identity stolen by son. The son of Red Sox Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski stole his father's identity and ran up thousands of dollars in debt before he died last year, according to the elder Yastrzemski's lawyer. Michael Yastrzemski son incurred debts including an IRS lien for $46,000 in unpaid taxes and credit card debt that attorney Neil Abbott would describe only as being under $100,000.
· Man Describes Innocent Jackson Sleepovers. Michael Jackson's lawyers opened their case Thursday in his molestation and conspiracy trial, calling a young man who said he repeatedly slept in the pop star's bedroom without incident as a boy and denied allegations that he took a shower with the singer.
· Author, Journalist, Vietnam Vet David Hackworth Dies. Retired Army Col. David Hackworth, a decorated Vietnam veteran who spoke out against the war and later became a journalist and an advocate for military reform, has died, his wife said Thursday. He was 74.
· Pink License Plates Proposed For Sex Offenders. Repeat sex offenders in Ohio may soon be forced to drive vehicles with pink license plates. The pink plates would identify the offenders and let children know to stay away, according to a legislator who introduced the bill this week.
· Teen People Names Hottest Stars. Who are the young stars of film, TV and music? Teen People's list of the "25 Hottest Stars Under 25" includes Alicia Keys, Ciara, Jessica and Ashlee Simpson, Jesse McCartney and Justin Timberlake.
· Fight over finger found in custard. To a dessert shop customer, the severed fingertip found in a pint of frozen custard could be worth big dollars in a potential lawsuit. To the shop worker who lost it, the value is far more than monetary.
· Man defaced underpass Virgin Mary image. A man was arrested for allegedly scrawling the words "big lie" over a stain on an expressway underpass that some believed was an image of the Virgin Mary. Authorities then painted over the stain because it had been defaced, police spokesman David Banks said today.
· Truck Slams Through Central Fla. Tavern. An out-of-control truck drove through the middle of a popular tavern in Cape Canaveral Thursday, nearly causing the building to collapse. Witnesses said the truck hit another vehicle in front of the Tip-A-Few Tavern. The vehicle then continued into the building.
· Blair back with reduced majority. British Prime Minister Tony Blair has weathered a backlash over the Iraq war to win a historic third term in the country's general election, but with a significantly reduced majority. With the count still incomplete, but the Labour Party's majority assured, Blair went to Buckingham Palace on Friday morning to be confirmed as prime minister for the third time.
» Update: Benton Harbor lifts ban on band performing 'Louie Louie.' A Benton Harbor middle school marching band has gotten permission to perform "Louie Louie" in a parade this weekend. Superintendent Paula Dawning had sent a letter to parents saying the song's allegedly raunchy lyrics makes it inappropriate.
· Mars lander wreckage found. Nearly six years after NASA's Mars Polar Lander vanished during a landing attempt on the Red Planet, a scientist said he has spotted what appears to be wreckage of the spacecraft.
Thursday, May 5, 2005
· 'Sopranos' Actor Considers Plea Deal. Vincent Pastore, the actor who played gangster Big Pussy on the HBO hit series "The Sopranos," was offered a plea deal Thursday in connection with charges that he assaulted his former girlfriend. His lawyer said he was considering it.
· Attorney: Runaway bride to 'make amends' for search. Jennifer Wilbanks, the so-called runaway bride who went missing for days in advance of her wedding, will "make amends" for money and time spent on the extensive search for her, her attorney said Thursday.
· Witness denies Jackson molested him. The leadoff witness for Michael Jackson's defense Thursday denied the pop star molested him as a boy, even though he spent several nights in Jackson's bedroom at Neverland Ranch. "Did Michael Jackson ever molest you?" defense attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. asked. "Absolutely not," the witness replied.
· Husband of Wendy's 'finger' suspect arrested. The husband of the woman accused of making up a story about finding a finger in a bowl of fast-food chili was arrested near Las Vegas on unrelated charges, including one charge of identity theft.
· Spokane mayor denies he molested boys. Two men have accused Spokane Mayor James E. West of molesting them when they were boys and he was a sheriff’s deputy and Boy Scout leader, The Spokesman-Review reported Thursday.
· Blair projected to win third term. Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Labour Party won a third term in office with a sharply reduced 66-seat majority in Parliament, according to exit poll projections broadcast as vote counting began in Britain’s national election Thursday.
· Gore to get lifetime award for creating the Internet. Al Gore may have been lampooned for taking credit in the Internet's development, but organizers of the Webby Awards for online achievements don't find it funny at all. The obscure awards group - best known for nominating archaic, abstract websites only Andy Warhol could love - thinks Gore is responsible for the Internet.
· Abdul gets 'Idol' worshiped. The Paula Abdul sex scandal was in full bloom on last night's "American Idol" episode. Five finalists presented Abdul with two huge bouquets in an apparent sign of support - just before ABC's devastating "Primetime Live" report on her alleged affair with an ex-contestant.
» Ex-'Idol' Details Claims of Abdul Affair. A former "American Idol" contestant told ABC News that judge Paula Abdul coached him on song selections, helped buy him clothes to wear on television and even gave him prescription cough medicine to soothe his throat. And, claimed 2003 contestant Corey Clark on "Primetime Live" Wednesday, Abdul initiated a sexual relationship and pleaded with him recently to keep it a secret.
· NY doctors charged with giving Viagra to the mob. Three New York doctors were charged on Thursday with giving large amounts of Viagra and other anti-impotence drugs to mob members in return for construction and auto repair work done by mafia-controlled businesses.
· God VS. Darwin. Defenders of Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection are boycotting four days of hearings — beginning Thursday — over the science curriculum in Kansas, where the state Board of Education is made up of a majority of conservatives critical of what they see as errors in the standard theory.
· Police probe blasts in New York City. No injuries reported in explosion caused by makeshift grenades. Two small makeshift grenades exploded outside the British Consulate in New York early Thursday, causing slight damage to the building but injuring no one, officials said.
· Nicklaus snubbed by the home of golf. The local council at the home of golf rejected a plan yesterday to make "the world's greatest golfer" an honorary citizen of St Andrews. This is despite the fact that record crowds are expected at the famous Old Course at St Andrews in July to watch the veteran "Golden Bear", now 65, play in his last Open Championship.
· Jacko Shocked: Bank Sells Out Beatle Loan. Michael Jackson was reportedly shocked Wednesday when he received word that Bank of America sold him out. Bank of America has sold Jackson's $270 million in loans to a private hedge fund. The group is called Fortress Investments, located in Manhattan.
· Not Their Cup of Tea. Bruce Springsteen’s lyrics are too hot for Starbucks, and the nation’s favorite coffee chain has retreated from a potential deal to sell the singer’s new album, “Devils & Dust,” because of one steamy tune on the 12-song disc.
· Lawyer: Runaway Bride 'Had to Take Action.' Runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks is "fragile ... emotional ... [and] upset" after running out on her wedding and sparking a massive search amid fears that she had been kidnapped or harmed, her new lawyer said yesterday.
· Update: Evidence destroyed after Tillman's death. A new Army report on the death of former NFL player Pat Tillman in Afghanistan last year concluded that his uniform and body armor were burned a day after he was killed -- and before investigators had determined he was shot by his fellow soldiers.
· Journalist fined for libeling alleged 'drug kingpin.' A judge on Wednesday found a British journalist guilty of libeling a Peruvian businessman, identified by the U.S. government as Peru's "drug kingpin."
· Cars, 'Star Wars' figures flex more muscle than stocks. Among assets that have beat stocks during the past six years: Back in 1998, for instance, the 1971 four-speed version of the Plymouth Hemi Cuda Hardtop could have been had for $60,000. The price now: a cool $600,000, or a 900% profit.
· Tax Receipts Exceed Treasury Predictions. After three years of rising federal budget deficits, a surge of April tax receipts brought unexpected good news to fiscal policymakers - the tide of government red ink appears to be receding.
· Loews Goes Reel Time. Coming soon to a theater near you: actual start times for feature presentations. In response to gripes from customers about the increasing number of ads, PSAs, promotions and sneak previews running before a film, Loews, the nation's third-largest theater chain, has announced that it will soon start publicizing the real times that movies unspool.
· IBM to Cut 13,000 Jobs. International Business Machines Corp. said Wednesday it would cut up to 13,000 jobs, primarily in Europe, as part a global cost-cutting plan that will result in a pre-tax charge of $1.3 billion to $1.7 billion.
· Infant Doused With Pepper Spray In Feud At Wal-Mart. A 2-month-old baby girl was doused with pepper spray in a feud between two families in a Wal-Mart, police said. Lorlie M. Gantenbein, 36, of Sagle, was charged Tuesday with felony injury to a child. She was released after posting $5,000 bail.
· Pro-baseball contract offered on eBay. WANTED: Charitable someone at least 18 years old itching to take a crack at playing in a professional baseball game, ready to go deep but with deep enough pockets to buy the chance. Glove, shoes and a pen to sign an injury waiver required. Chewing tobacco not included.
· Pot-Flavored Candy Found On Central Fla. Store Shelves. A marijuana-flavored candy carrying the slogan "every lick is like taking a hit" has raised some concerns after hitting Central Florida store shelves.
Wednesday, May 4, 2005
· Prosecution wraps up case in Jacko molestation trial. Prosecutors rested their case Wednesday in the Michael Jackson trial after more than two months of dramatic testimony in which they sought to prove that the pop star molested a teenage cancer patient and conspired to hold his family captive at his fairytale estate.
· FBI screw-up allows Georgia suspect to go free. The FBI says a glitch in its computer database led authorities to free a man suspected of sexual assault who is charged with killing at least two people after his release.
· Maher cleared in 'pali-money' suit. A Los Angeles judge has thrown out a palimony lawsuit brought by Maher's former girlfriend Nancy "Coco" Johnsen. Johnsen launched her $9 million palimony suit on Nov. 10, after the couple's relationship soured.
· Wildcatter Strikes 1 Billion Barrel Oil Field in Central Utah. A tiny oil company has snapped up leasing rights to a half-million acres in central Utah that it says could yield a billion barrels or more of oil. Geologists are calling it a spectacular find - the largest onshore discovery in at least 30 years.
· Man had 10 beers, blew up house. A 38-year-old suburban Chicago man admitted to police he drank 10 beers before lighting commercial fireworks - a 10-inch mortar shell - inside his home, blowing up the house and seriously burning himself and a female companion.
· Crackdown On Web Site 'Hunters.' Wildlife regulators took the first step Tuesday to bar hunters from using the Internet to shoot animals, responding to a Texas Web site that planned to let users fire at real game with the click of a mouse.
· Runaway bride 'deeply regretful,' attorney says. So-called runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks is "deeply regretful about the pain she caused," and she hopes her experience will "perhaps help others in similar circumstances," her attorney said in a statement Wednesday.
· WTC site's Freedom Tower must be redesigned. Gov. George Pataki and Mayor Michael Bloomberg met Wednesday with World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein and agreed that the Freedom Tower must be redesigned to address security concerns raised by the New York Police Department.
· Casino Buys Spears' Pregnancy Test. Online casino Golden Palace has spilled $5,000 for Britney Spears' alleged home pregnancy test. "It's hard to put a price on Britney Spears' urine," Golden Palace spokesman Drew Black told The Associated Press Wednesday.
· Judge throws out prison abuse guilty plea. A military judge today threw out Army Pfc. Lynndie England's guilty plea in the Iraq prison abuse scandal and declared a mistrial after England's former supervisor and boyfriend testified she did not know her actions were wrong and that she was following orders.
· Stick a fork in Bonds — he's done. Stuck on 703 home runs. Behind Babe Ruth at 714 and Henry Aaron at 755. Three knee surgeries. Turns 41 on July 24. Zero at-bats thus far in 2005. Out another two months at least. Deduction: Ain’t happenin.’
· Paris Hilton yearning for simpler life. In an extensive interview with the Associated Press, Paris Hilton was asked what she wanted to be when she was a little girl, Hilton responded, "A veterinarian, but then I realized I could just buy a bunch of animals."
· Veteran investor Kerkorian aims for GM. Investor Kirk Kerkorian is bidding for another 5 percent of General Motors Corp., a move that could force big changes at the world's largest automaker, which has fallen on hard times.
· Farrell's failed seduction. At the age of 70 she may have thought her days of being romanced by Hollywood heart-throbs were behind her. But Eileen Atkins says Colin Farrell - some 42 years her junior - spent more than two hours trying to seduce her.
· I was her 'Idol.' American Idol" judge Paula Abdul coached him, dressed him, groomed him - and bedded him - bounced second-season contestant Corey Clark claims in a blockbuster interview airing tonight on ABC.
· Nike says no to the blue-light special. Sneaker maker will pull shoes from Sears after the merger with discounter Kmart. Nike Inc. told Reuters Tuesday it will pull its products from Sears department stores in a move that analysts say blocks discount retailer Kmart from carrying the famous "swoosh" brand.
· Brothers sending 2 tons of salami to troops in Iraq. It'll take an estimated 23,000 salamis to reach that goal. But the first 2,000 or so of the dried meat - about 2 tons in all - was boxed and loaded onto a U.S. Postal Service truck Tuesday in the first phase of what the brothers dubbed "Operation Salami Drop."
· Hispanic Group Angry With Wilbanks. The list of people who are angry at the runaway bride is growing. A group called Hispanics Across America is demanding a public apology from Jennifer Wilbanks for telling police she had been abducted by a Hispanic man.
» Jilted groom's father urges caution on marriage. The man whose bride-to-be skipped town days before a lavish wedding and claimed she had been abducted says he still wants to marry her, but his father said Tuesday he's cautioning his son to go slowly. Mason's father, Claude Mason, said Tuesday in a television interview that he has told his son: "Take it slow and if this is what you still want, we're behind you."
· O'Brien: 'Out of control.' Pat O'Brien takes his first step on the comeback trail tonight. The "Insider" anchor entered rehab on March 20, just as a series of obscenity-laced voice-mails talking about cocaine, hookers, and threesomes hit the Internet.
· Victim's son wants Rader bound, tortured, killed. For the first time since 1977, Steve Relford came face to face Tuesday with the suspected BTK killer -- this time in court and not in his home. After attending the Wichita, Kansas, arraignment for suspected killer Dennis Rader, Relford said he hopes Rader suffers the same fate as his victims: "Bind, torture, kill."
· Nichols accuses third man in 1995 bombing. Saying he wanted to set the record straight, Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols has accused a man never charged in the 1995 attack with providing some of the explosives, according to a letter he wrote from prison.
· Arrow Electronics launches finance probe. Arrow Electronics Inc., Long Island's largest company, has begun an internal investigation into allegations in an anonymous letter that its audit department is "run like a frat house," the company confirmed Monday.
· Stolen Go-Carts Found In Illinois. A trailer with more than $70,000 worth of go carts and equipment have been recovered. That truck consisted of one man's entire business. It was stolen in north St. Louis County last Thursday and was recovered Tuesday morning.
· Little E calls Johnson 'idiot' over wrecks. Dale Earnhardt Jr. called Jimmie Johnson an “idiot,” and blamed the Nextel Cup series points leader for causing a 25-car accident at Talladega Superspeedway.
· Summer rental guide 2005. These days the mantra in the real estate world is: Buying beats renting. And when it comes to vacation homes, Americans have been in a buying mode - but that doesn't mean the rental market is taking a dive.
· Army Knew Early On Tillman Died From Friendly Fire. Army officials knew within days of Pat Tillman's death that the former NFL player had been killed by fellow Rangers during a patrol in Afghanistan but did not inform his family and the public for weeks, The Washington Post reported.
· Reputed mobster 'Joey the Clown' gives surrender terms. Fugitive Chicago reputed mob boss Joseph “Joey the Clown” Lombardo will surrender if he gets a separate trial on charges that he and other organized crime figures plotted at least 18 unsolved murders, according to a letter made public by his attorney.
Tuesday, May 3, 2005
· Defense: England's oxygen-deprivation at birth made her an idiot. Defense lawyers sought leniency for Pfc. Lynndie England at a hearing Tuesday to determine her punishment in the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal, with a psychologist testifying that the reservist was oxygen-deprived at birth, contributing to the largest military scandal in decades.
· Eatery Offers New 15-Pound Burger. The burger war is growing. Literally. Denny's Beer Barrel Pub, which lost its crown as the home of the world's biggest burger earlier this year, is now offering a new burger that weighs a whopping 15 pounds. Dubbed the Beer Barrel Belly Buster, the burger comes with 10.5 pounds of ground beef, 25 slices of cheese, a head of lettuce, three tomatoes, two onions, a cup-and-a-half each of mayonnaise, relish, ketchup, mustard and banana peppers - and a gigantic bun. It costs $30.
· Wedded Miss. SIX hundred invitations. Twenty-eight attendants. Eight bridal showers. By any standards, that's a monster wedding. And with all that pressure, it's no surprise that bride-to-be Jennifer Wilbanks ran away four days before her wedding.
· John Paul trading card sells for $8,100. Of all the athlete trading cards on the U.S. market today, the most valuable is not that of Barry Bonds or basketball star Shaquille O'Neal but noted skier and outdoorsman Karol Wojtyla - the late Pope John Paul II.
· Did Clark Edit Tape to Incriminate Paula? The "Idol" scandal over a former contestant's claims of an affair with judge Paula Abdul continues to rage. Now, Celebrity Justice has learned Paula believes Corey Clark called her, vowed revenge and then edited the tape to make her look bad. [They have annoying popups].
· Girl left off volleyball team sues. A female senior at Grand Junction High School who can't play volleyball because she didn't make the varsity team filed a lawsuit Monday alleging the school treats girls differently than boys.
· Jennifer Lopez wants to be first female US president. After conquering Hollywood and the pop charts, in a most unlikely statement - even for her - Latina superstar Jennifer Lopez says she is ready to wrestle George W. Bush out of the White House.
· Phoenix Man Dies After Being Tasered. A man suspected of assaulting a police officer died Tuesday after being shocked multiple times with Taser stun guns during a struggle with police, authorities said.
· Latest fad: Lose Weight on the Peanut Butter Diet. Eat 4 to 6 tablespoons of peanut butter every day. You'll lose weight and you won't be hungry. Yeah, yeah, peanut butter is loaded with calories. But it's also packed with monounsaturated fats, which Men's Health magazine calls the original death-defying potion.
· Since the men aren't interested, maybe the women will show. Louis Farrakhan, the wacky, anti-Semitic leader of the Nation of Islam, appeared with former presidential candidates Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton to announce the Millions More Movement in October. The self-described black leaders are calling for a rally in Washington this fall to mark the tenth anniversary of the Million Man March - this time including women.
· After 8 shootings, CHP creates freeway shooting team. After the eighth Southern California freeway shooting in two months, the California Highway Patrol announced it has created an investigative team to more quickly track down leads in the cases.
· Not Guilty Plea for BTK Murder Suspect. A judge entered a plea of not guilty Tuesday for a former church leader and city employee who is charged with 10 counts of murder in the BTK serial killings that terrorized Wichita since the 1970s.
· Red-hot housing markets stir fears of busts. The number of areas across the United States with real estate booms grew nearly two-thirds last year to 55, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said, warning that these booms may be followed by busts.
· Boston Pays $5.1 million to dead Sox Fan's Family. Boston pays $5.1 million settlement to family of fan slain during riot after Red Sox-Yankees game - believed to be the largest settlement in the city's history.
· Brain damaged for 10 years, firefighter makes astounding recovery. Ten years after a firefighter was left brain-damaged and mostly mute during a 1995 roof collapse, he did something that shocked his family and doctors: He perked up.
· 'American Idol' Contest, Gossip Heat Up. Two would-be idols with arrest records, one of whom also is guilty of felony cockiness. Allegations of judicial activism - in the bedroom. A phone voting gaffe. Or was it a conspiracy?
· Saddam's P.R. man leaps to his death. Von Kloberg, P.R. man to dozens of dictators, leaps to death. As part of Washington's image machinery for more than two decades, Edward von Kloberg III did his best to sanitize some of the late 20th century's most notorious dictators as they sought favors and approval from U.S. officials.
· Better ways to say 'I don't.' IF you want to cancel your wedding - no matter how close it is - here are some tips from Elizabeth Howell, spokesperson for the Emily Post Institute. First, tell your spouse-to-be, says Howell. "Tell him/her, 'I need to put a stop to this. I can't do it.' Then, you need to make a decision about whether to postpone it."
· Stewart gives new meaning to ‘house arrest.’ Is the billionaire getting special treatment? She's at business meetings, press conferences and star-studded galas. But somewhere in there, Martha Stewart is supposed to be under house arrest.
· Army Recruiters Face Investigation. In an attempt to boost slumping recruitment numbers, the U.S. Army has started offering stronger incentives, including increased enlistment bonuses. But two recruiters from Colorado have been suspended as the Army investigates accusations that they encouraged a teenager to lie and cheat so he could join up.
· Runaway bride's story perplexes authorities. 'She didn't feel like she really had done anything wrong.' Authorities say runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks cried when she met with them and recounted how she cut her hair to disguise her appearance and caught a bus heading West to escape her wedding. She did not, however, offer an outright apology, said Carter Brank, an assistant special agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
· Jolie Denies Pitt Rumors ... Again. For Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, happiness is a warm gun. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Jolie says the two actors came to trust each other while taking gun training for the upcoming "Mr. and Mrs. Smith." In the movie, they play married assassins.
· Vitamin C May Cut Pregnant Smoking Risks. Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University have found that high doses of vitamin C might counteract some of the negative effects of smoking on unborn babies.
· Parents treat ugly kids worse than pretty one.. Parents would certainly deny it, but Canadian researchers have made a startling assertion: parents take better care of pretty children than they do ugly ones.
· Prosecutors go easy on guards having sex with inmates. Prosecutors often decline to pursue cases against federal prison guards and other employees who have sex with inmates, and when there are convictions the punishment often is light, the Justice Department's internal watchdog said Monday.
· Customer finds employee's finger in frozen custard. A man who ordered a pint of frozen chocolate custard in a dessert shop got a nasty surprise inside -- a piece of severed finger lost by an employee in an accident. Unlike a recent incident at a Wendy's restaurant in California, no questions of truth have been raised about the finger served up to go at Kohl's Frozen Custard.
· Average Circulation of Top 20 Newspapers. Average daily circulation of the nation's 20 biggest newspapers for the six months ended March 31, as reported Monday by the Audit Bureau of Circulations. The percentage changes are from the comparable year-ago period.
· Jack the Ripper may have been itinerant sailor. JACK the Ripper, who murdered and mutilated a series of young women in 19th century London, is one of Britain's most infamous criminals, closely associated with the capital's fogbound backstreets. But the killer – who was never caught – might have been a sailor who interspersed his London murders with crimes in other countries, a new report said today.
Monday, May 2, 2005
· Martha Stewart to show funny, soft side in series. Martha Stewart, trying to soften her post-prison image, pitched herself to prospective advertisers on Monday as a kinder and gentler TV host who can tell a joke as well bake the perfect pie crust.
· Burrito Leads To School Lockdown, Armed Officers On Roof Tops. A 911 call about a possible weapon at a middle school prompted police to put armed officers on rooftops, close nearby streets and lock down the school. All over a giant burrito.
· Cher: 'This truly is it.' Belly dancers, a dancing elephant and a video montage of her lengthy career marked the end of Cher's three-year farewell tour. Cher, 58, played to a sold-out crowd Saturday at the Hollywood Bowl and insisted this final concert on her 325-stop tour really was the end.
» Runaway bride may forgo $250 ice bucket. After a three-day flight that included faking her own kidnapping, runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks now has to face several hundred jilted guests, many of whom had already bought gifts, according to several gift registries.
· Millions cashed out of Jackson's account. A Michael Jackson associate cashed two checks totalling $1.5 million in early 2003 on an account controlled by him and Jackson, a bank official testified Monday as prosecutors neared the end of their presentation.
· Dropping the MS from MSNBC? ALL-news cable channel MSNBC is changing its name, according to reports. The new channel will be called NBC News Channel — apparently losing its connection to software giant Microsoft. The change has long been rumored to be in the works.
· Fourth Man Arrested in Buried Treasure Case. A fourth man has been arrested for allegedly stealing $125,000 worth of old currency then claiming to have found it buried in a yard, police said Sunday.
· Cameron and Justin to Wed. Cameron Diaz is set to wed her young heartthrob honey, Justin Timberlake, in France this weekend, reports say. The couple will have a low-key ceremony at the posh Grand-Hotel Du Cap-Ferrat in Cap-Ferrat on Saturday.
· Goldie Hawn A Wallflower? When Goldie Hawn first appeared on the comedy TV show, "Laugh-In," she was cute and funny, but not much more than that. Well, she's about to turn 60. And she’s still cute and funny. But much more than that. She’s savvy, thoughtful, a mother to four fascinating young people, and still in love with Kurt Russell, the man she’s been with for the last 22 years.
· Miami-Dade Police Considering Trademark For Its Badge, Logo. The Miami-Dade Police Department is considering protecting its badge and logo with a trademark. Miami-Dade's idea more closely resembles one the LAPD adopted in 1999 in an attempt to stop productions that portray the department as crooked.
· Lewiston school has Florida education officials upset. A private school in Lewiston is making headlines in Florida and infuriating some education officials there by granting diplomas to Florida high school students who have been denied graduation because they flunked their statewide assessment exams. For $444, the students can transfer the credits they earned at a Florida public high school and receive a diploma from North Atlantic Regional High School.
· Latest debacle: Time Warner employee data is lost. Time Warner Inc. said that data on 600,000 current and former employees stored on computer backup tapes was lost by an outside storage company and that the Secret Service is now investigating.
· America won the Vietnam war after all. Thirty years after hostilities ended between the US and Vietnam, relations remain strained by one of America's most notorious weapons during the war, the chemical Agent Orange. The Vietnamese believe that Vietnam's poverty and massively high instances of genetic defects was a direct result of the chemical.
· Rincon is fifth player to test positive. Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Juan Rincon was suspended for 10 days Monday, making him the fifth player disciplined under Major League Baseball's new policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
· Jackson’s lawyers face ghosts of star’s past. Prosecutors are expected to rest their case against Michael Jackson this week after two months portraying him as a man who used his Peter Pan persona and Neverland Valley Ranch to lure young boys into a sordid web of booze, pornography and illicit sex.
» Down to the wire, will Jacko testify? Michael Jackson has sat silently in court for nine weeks, betraying little reaction as prosecutors laid out their child molestation and conspiracy case against him. Now, with the defense case about to begin, trial watchers wonder if the pop star can resist the temptation to step into the witness stand spotlight and tell the story as he sees it.
· Tsunami survivors face new threat. Still reeling from the loss of her two sons, sister and brother-in-law to the tsunami, Yuphin Chotipraphatsorn is facing another disaster: Developers want to take away all she has left -- the land where her house once stood and her family lived.
· AOL Treats Fla. Emergency E-Mails As Spam. Emergency managers in Indian River County thought the best way to get their message out was by e-mail, but AOL disagrees. The Internet service provider is treating the emergency alerts about hurricanes, tornados and other weather emergencies to 4,200 subscribers as spam.
· Elizabeth Smart Makes People's List. Elizabeth Smart, the Utah teenager who was abducted nearly three years ago, has won a more upbeat recognition, being named one of People magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People."
· Conservationists Kill Wild Pigs To Save Fox On Calif. Island. Animal rights activists are clashing with the National Park Service and The Nature Conservancy over an effort to protect native foxes on an island off California's coast. Conservationists say killing off pigs is the only way to save the endangered tiny Santa Cruz fox, which is only found on the island off Santa Barbara.
· North Korea to Get 'Hole-in-One Green.' In an effort reminiscent of North Korean elections, a South Korean company building a golf course in the North's Geumgang Mountains has created a bizarre hole where the ball will careen into the cup as long as the golfer lands his shot anywhere on the green. The green shaped like a bowl, so as long as a shot lands on the green, it will drop into the cup. "The green won't be used every day. We plan to use it on special days or for special people."
· Smackdown in smut war? Television networks are reeling from a record $7.9 million in regulatory fines in 2004 and now face an orchestrated campaign to hike indecency fines to $500,000 per violation.
· Neiman Marcus in $5.1B buyout. High-end retailer Neiman Marcus announced Monday that it has agreed to sell the company to a pair of private equity firms, Texas Pacific Group and Warburg Pincus LLC., for $5.1 billion.
· $4m scratch ticket stolen from store. Selling a $4 million scratch ticket at the Hilltop Package Store in Wareham could have brought instant fortune to a lucky customer and a cool $40,000 commission to the store's owner, Paul Hurley.
· Oklahoma Coach Larry Cochell Resigns After Racial Slur. Longtime Oklahoma baseball coach Larry Cochell resigned Sunday, five days after using a racial slur during off-camera interviews with ESPN. Cochell submitted a letter of resignation to school president David Boren, who had met hours earlier with athletic director Joe Castiglione and members of the university's black community.
· Titanic Items Auction for More Than $150K. Dozens of Titanic relics auctioned for more than $150,000 Sunday, including a gold pocket watch owned by an Irish immigrant that stopped ticking the day of the sinking when she was rescued in a lifeboat. The watch, once owned by Nora Keane of County Limerick, Ireland, was sold for $24,675, more than three times its estimated value, said Jon Baddeley, the auction house's marine collectibles expert.
Sunday, May 1, 2005
· Fury at bride who lied. Relief turned to rage in an Atlanta suburb yesterday after residents learned vanished bride-to-be Jennifer Wilbanks fabricated her abduction — which caused days of worry among her friends, family and small-town neighbors. According to a transcript of her seemingly frantic 911 call, Wilbanks told dispatchers a Hispanic man and a white woman kidnapped her in Duluth Tuesday while she was out for a jog.
· Albom’s column returns with fresh apology. Mitch Albom’s column returned to the Detroit Free Press on Sunday and the best-selling author wrote about lessons learned since writing a column that contained errors and purported to describe events at a game even though it was written before the game took place. Sunday he offered a fresh apology and called the last three weeks “the darkest yet most enlightening of my professional life.”
· New Jersey town OKs skimpy swimsuits for men. Come on in, Speedo wearers, the water's fine: Your skimpy little swimsuits are legal now. For more than 30 years, this quaint little resort at the southern tip of New Jersey said no to "skintight, formfitting or bikini type" bathing attire on males over the age of 12.
· Jumbo Queen says fat is beautiful. In an era of chiselled supermodels and bizarre weight-loss diets a Thai beauty contest celebrated women with a bit of flesh on Sunday when heavy-weight contestants battled for the Miss Jumbo Queen crown. The annual contest allows full-sized women weighing over 175 pounds to show weight-conscious Thais that big is beautiful.
· Woman With Gun Almost Boards Plane at Louisville Airport. A serious security lapse Saturday at Louisville International Airport is raising concerns about airport safety. A Kentucky woman, carrying a handgun made it past security screeners and almost boarded a plane with the weapon. Airport police were alerted to the situation only after she reported it herself.
· Salem Not Thrilled With 'Bewitched' Statue. Not all Salem residents like the idea of a statue honoring the star of the TV show "Bewitched." Thousands of tourists flock each year to the Massachusetts city made famous by the witch hysteria of 1692. The TV Land cable network wants to erect a nine-foot bronze statue in a city park honoring the late Elizabeth Montgomery, who played Samantha Stephens in the classic sitcom.
· William Bell, Creator of TV Soaps, Dies. William Joseph Bell, an Emmy award-winning daytime TV soap writer, producer and co-creator of "The Young and the Restless" and "The Bold and the Beautiful," has died. He was 78.
· Mrs. Bush Steals Show at Reporters' Dinner. First lady Laura Bush stole the show with a surprise comedy routine that ripped President Bush and brought an audience that included much of official Washington and a dash of Hollywood to a standing ovation at a dinner honoring award-winning journalists.
» 'Desperate Housewife' Laura Grabs Stage from Bush. First Lady Laura Bush grabbed the stage from President Bush at the White House correspondents annual dinner on Saturday and confessed to all his early bedtimes had turned her into a "desperate housewife."
· Bollywood 'Oscars' honor David Hasselhoff. India's version of the Oscars were handed out at the glittering Bollywood movie award ceremony on Saturday that saw a veteran director sweep the top honors and U.S. actor David Hasselhoff named international star of the year.
· Inmates Use Intermediaries to Go Online. Keith Maydak's jail cells are roomier than most. Must be all that cyberspace. State and federal prisons don't let inmates use Internet computers behind bars - and the Allegheny County Jail doesn't either. Yet Maydak has answered a reporter's e-mails from the Pittsburgh jail, and later an Ohio lockup, while he awaits sentencing for violating probation on a 900-number phone scam that cost AT&T $550,000 dollars.
· Earnhardt Jr. triggers 23-car crash that halts Talladega race. A wreck involving at least 23 cars forced NASCAR officials to temporarily halt the Nextel Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway. Dale Earnhardt Jr., battling toward the back of the top 10, nudged the rear of Mike Wallace's car on lap 133 as the cars headed toward the first turn on the 133rd of 188 scheduled laps.
· Month-Long Volunteer Border Watch Over. Volunteers recruited over the Internet to monitor illegal immigrant activity along a stretch of Arizona's border ended their monthlong campaign this weekend as they began - peering through binoculars along a dusty border road.
· Teens adrift at sea for six days. Two teenagers lost at sea for six days without food or fresh water were spotted by fishermen more than 100 miles from where they started, clinging to their small sailboat. The boys quenched their thirst with sea water and slipped into the ocean to cool off, but sharks chased them back onto the boat. At night, they used a single wet suit to keep warm.
· Stay-At-Home Moms Deserve High Pay, Analysis Shows. The old adage that "a mother's work is never done" remains as true now as ever. Today's stay-at-home Moms are learning what their predecessors always knew - they'd be making a lot of money doing their job outside the home. $131,471 annually to be exact.
· Being overweight still risky, experts say. Now that the government says fat might not kill so many of us after all, is it OK to be just a little pudgy? Maybe, but before celebrating with a hot fudge sundae, keep in mind the overriding message: Being too overweight really is a serious health risk.
· ‘Human satellite’ enters Astronaut Hall of Fame. The first man to fly freely and untethered in space, famously photographed alone in the cosmic blackness above a blue Earth, was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame on Saturday.
· Cult Hit 'Family Guy' Returning to Fox. Imagine seeing "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," if it were about a cartoon family living in suburban Rhode Island, and you'll have some idea about the obsessive cult following "Family Guy" has achieved. That loyalty was on wild display at "Family Guy Live," where cast members did a script reading on stage before the show's return to network television Sunday night.