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Tuesday, February 28, 2006
· Boy Sticks Gum On $1.5 Million Painting At Museum. The Detroit Institute of Arts is stuck with having to repair a painting worth $1.5 million. It has to remove a stain left by a wad of gum stuck on the painting by a 12-year-old visitor.
· Police: Woman Fakes Death To Avoid Paying Traffic Tickets. An investigation concluded that a Des Moines woman faked her own death to avoid paying traffic tickets. Polk County investigators said Kimberly Du, 36, faked her own obituary and forged a letter telling a Polk County judge she was dead. The case began to unravel when investigators said Du was stopped for another traffic ticket in January, which was a month after the obituary was dated.
· Disabled Teen Kicked Out Of Theater For Laughing Too Loudly. The mother of a disabled teen complained to the American Civil Liberties Union after she and her son were kicked out of a movie theater because he was laughing too loudly. Susan Brown said she and her 19-year-old son, Matt, were asked to leave an AMC Woodlands 20 theater during a showing of "The Pink Panther" Sunday.
· Smithsonian preparing for hip-hop exhibit. For nearly three decades, hip-hop relics such as vinyl records, turntables, microphones and boom boxes have collected dust in boxes and attics. On Tuesday, owners of such items - including pioneering hip-hop artists such as Afrika Bambaataa, DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash and Fab 5 Freddy - will blow that dust off and carry them to a Manhattan hotel to turn them over to National Museum of American History officials.
· Supreme Court Hears Ex-Playmate's Case. With an oil fortune on the line, former stripper Anna Nicole Smith encountered a sympathetic audience at the Supreme Court on Tuesday. Several justices said they were concerned that the one-time Playboy Playmate was kept from pursuing a piece of her late husband's fortune.
· Mother sad daughter didn't carry out bombing. The mother of a woman arrested in a suicide-bombing attempt told a Palestinian TV interviewer she was upset by her daughter's capture, but only because it meant the 21-year-old wouldn't be able to kill Israelis targeted for attack, including children.
· Update: Crash Of $1M Ferrari A Growing Mystery. The mystery of the $1 million sports car continues to spin out new subplots and story lines. The rare Ferrari Enzo that disintegrated in a spectacular crash last week was roaring along Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu at 162 mph when it hit a bump in the road, flew into the air and slammed into a telephone pole.
· Psssst ... wanna buy a wedding dress? Blakely Smith dreamed of getting married in a Monique Lhuillier wedding gown - the kind she'd always loved when she saw them on pop stars like Pink in People magazine. Now she's out $2,400 to an eBay scammer, and thinking maybe she should get married in a courthouse. After desperate pleas for her money, her scammer responded in an e-mail with: "I just scammed you, sorry for that, it's nothing personal... It's what I do, and it pays well."
· From Cash to Yachts, Convicted Congressman Set Bribery Rates. Prosecutors call it a corruption case with no parallel in the long history of the U.S. Congress. And it keeps getting worse. Convicted Rep. Randall "Duke" Cunningham actually priced the illegal services he provided. His note cards reveal an escalating scale for bribes, starting at $140,000 and a luxury yacht for a $16 million Defense Department contract. Each additional $1 million in contract value required a $50,000 bribe.
· Teacher Allowed To Teach After Sex Change Operation. To students at Eagleswood Elementary School, she used to be Mr. McBeth. Now, after undergoing a sex change, 71-year-old Lily McBeth is ready to return to teaching as Miss McBeth.
· Sen. Clinton: Rove obsesses about me. Reacting to a new book quoting Karl Rove as saying she will be the 2008 Democratic nominee for president, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday that President Bush's chief political strategist "spends a lot of time obsessing about me."
· Distributed computing cracks Enigma code. More than 60 years after the end of World War II, a distributed computing project has managed to crack a previously uncracked message that was encrypted using the Enigma machine.
· Man comes up with good excuse for losing wedding ring. Pieter Abrahamse has an original excuse for a lost wedding ring: a crocodile ate it, along with the arm it was attached to. "He took my wedding ring, I suppose he ate it up," Abrahamse told Reuters by telephone from his hospital Monday as he recounted his life-or-death struggle with a man-eating reptile.
· Airline hostess sparks panic. A panic-stricken airline stewardess sparked terror on her turbulence-hit flight by screaming: "We're going to crash." The hostess, named only as Wendy, stunned hundreds of passengers on the Gatwick-to-Las Vegas Virgin flight by repeating the outburst three times. She cracked as the jet began shaking and sharply dived 8,000ft.
Monday, February 27, 2006
· Woman Burns To Death After Cigarette Apparently Ignites Housecoat. A 72-year-old woman was burned alive after a cigarette apparently ignited her clothes as she stood inside of her Pennsylvania home.
· Distillery To Revive 184-Proof Whisky. A Scottish distillery said Monday it was reviving a centuries-old recipe for whisky so strong that one 17th-century writer feared more than two spoonfuls could be lethal.
· 'McCloud' actor Dennis Weaver dies. Dennis Weaver, who played the slow-witted deputy Chester Goode in the TV classic western "Gunsmoke" and the New Mexico deputy solving New York crime in "McCloud," has died, his publicist said Monday. The actor was 81.
· Disney Star Runs Afoul of Law. The Florida Monroe County Sheriff's Office have again been "messing around" with the agency's online arrest database again. Now, one Donald Luis Duck of 1201 Happy Place Lane in Orlando appears on the blotter, complete with photo and pedigree information.
· Chicago schools chief faces shoplifting trial. The recently hired superintendent of North Chicago schools has been charged with felony shoplifting in connection with an incident last summer at a Springfield Wal-Mart store.
· Auditor loses McAfee security software firm's employee data. An external auditor lost a CD with information on thousands of current and former McAfee employees, putting them at risk of identity fraud. The disc was lost on Dec. 15 by Deloitte & Touche USA, McAfee spokeswoman Siobhan MacDermott said.
· Parking Crusader Issues Tickets, Makes Enemies. She's becoming a familiar, though sometimes unwanted, sight in Glassboro, New Jersey. Maryann Cottrell bounds out of her car door with a tiny camera in hand, snapping photos of vehicles parked in handicapped spaces. So far, she's reported nearly 300 motorists. The 53-year-old Cottrell has nabbed two Philadelphia Eagles players, mail trucks and so many college students that Rowan University has barred her from campus.
· Former Teacher Convicted of Having Sex With Student Out of Jail. She was sentenced to 9 months in jail, but ended up serving just a little more than six months due to good behavior. Rogers was serving the sentence for her sexual relationship with a 13 year-old male student from Centertown. At the time, Rogers was married and went by the name Pamela Turner.
· Gum Flap Gets Inmate Dentist As New Cellmate. A man accused of stealing a plane in Florida and flying it to metro Atlanta has a new cellmate after his parents complained their son has dental problems. Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway moved Daniel Andrew Wolcott Friday night to the cell with a dentist facing murder charges in the death of his wife.
· Girlfriend Dies After Man Drops Her Out High-Rise Window. A 25-year-old Pennsylvania man is charged with criminal homicide in the high-rise death of his girlfriend. Authorities said the man dangled the woman out the window during horseplay Saturday night and lost his grip on her arms. Rachel M. Kozlusky, wearing only underwear and a sweater, fell 23 stories, breaking a portico skylight and landing on the pavement in front of the building.
· Man Charged In Prostitution Sues Clients. A Dutch man who was deported for running one of the largest escort services in Florida has sued six former customers. Arthur Vanmoor, 46, said the customers broke the law after purchasing time with the escorts, which he claims ultimately led to his arrest, incarceration and deportation. To pay the $245-per-hour escort fee, the men signed a credit card slip that said, "Cardholder states that this transaction is not for illegal activity," said Vanmoor's attorney, Montgomery Sibley.
· President Bush crashed by trying to 'pedal, wave and speak at same time.' He may be the most powerful man in the world, but proof has emerged that President George Bush cannot ride a bike, wave and speak at the same time. Scotland on Sunday has obtained remarkable details of one of the most memorably bizarre episodes of the Bush presidency: the day he crashed into a Scottish police constable while cycling in the grounds of Gleneagles Hotel.
· Burglar Leaves Parole Card Behind. A woman didn't have to look far to figure out who likely broke into her home and took a camera from her purse. Police said the burglar left behind his probation and parole card.
· Hussein gets hungry - decides to end hunger strike. Citing health concerns, former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein has ended his hunger strike after 11 days, his attorney said Monday from Amman, Jordan. Khalil Dulaimi said he met with his client for seven hours in Baghdad on Sunday and the defense team had convinced him it was time for him to start eating again.
Sunday, February 26, 2006
· Singer George Michael arrested in drugs probe. British singer George Michael was allegedly arrested on Sunday on suspicion of possessing drugs after he was found slumped in a car in central London. Michael, 42, who has sold more than 80 million records worldwide during a 25-year career, was arrested in the Hyde Park area of the capital early on Sunday, according to sources.
· Asking for police complaint form stirs up injunction. After CBS aired a piece where several South Florida police officers were caught on camera intimidating would-be complainants against their police departments, one officer has taken action against the station in court. Sergeant Peter Schumanich, who filed the lawsuit, was caught on camera cursing and screaming at a member of a police watchdog group who went to his department asking to file a complaint against an unspecified officer.
· Anna Nicole Smith's Legal War Continues. Anna Nicole Smith went to work in a Houston strip club and wound up as the trophy wife of an aging multimillionaire, setting up an 11-year-long legal war over his estate that now has traveled all the way to the highest court in the land. The case is remarkable in part because of the number of zeros involved — the estate has been estimated at as much as $1.6 billion in 2000.
· Illegal immigrant detained after fatal crash. A police detective who provided security for Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio died Saturday after a car crash on Interstate 75 in Florida yesterday. Jose Luis Espinoza was charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving a death and having no valid driver's license in a crash involving a death, both felonies. Officials said Espinoza will be held on an immigration detainer after his release from the hospital.
· Students Suspended For Snowball Fight. Two Ramona High School students were suspended for bringing dangerous objects to school - snowballs. Seniors Michael Sepulveda and Daniel Zavala, the snowball co-conspirators, made a pre-dawn run to the San Bernardino Mountains to fill their pickup trucks with snow and bring it to school for what they hoped would turn into an annual "bring Big Bear to Riverside" ritual.
· Actor Darren McGavin Dead At 83. Darren McGavin, the tough-talking performer was one of the busiest actors in television and film, starring in five TV series, including "Mike Hammer," and endearing holiday audiences with his role as the grouchy dad in the 1983 comedy classic "A Christmas Story."
· S.D. Gov. 'Inclined' to Sign Abortion Ban. Gov. Mike Rounds said he is inclined to sign a bill that would ban nearly all abortions in South Dakota, making it a crime for doctors to perform an abortion unless it was necessary to save the woman's life. The ban, including in cases of rape or incest, was approved Friday by South Dakota lawmakers, setting up a deliberate frontal assault on Roe v. Wade at a time when some activists see the U.S. Supreme Court as more willing than ever to overturn the 33-year-old decision.
· Bode Miller: "I did it my way." Unbent, unbowed and ultimately unsuccessful, Bode Miller said in an interview Saturday he is skiing away from these Olympics on his own terms — content without any medals and impressed by the local nightlife. "I just did it my way. I'm not a martyr, and I'm not a do-gooder. I just want to go out and rock. And man, I rocked here," Miller said.
· Oops! Authorities now say powder in dorm not likely ricin. Authorities doubt that the whitish-brown powder found in a roll of quarters at the University of Texas at Austin is ricin because no one has shown symptoms of exposure to the powerful poison, an EMS spokesman said late Saturday afternoon.
· Streaker Runs Across Ice In Curling Match. The men's bronze medal match Friday was interrupted by a streaker. Midway through the United States' 8-6 win over Britain, a man wearing what appeared to be a strategically placed rubber chicken ran onto one of the covered sheets of ice not being used in that session. He danced around for a bit but never tried to approach any of the players.
Saturday, February 25, 2006
· Don Knotts, star of 'The Andy Griffith Show,' dead at 81. Don Knotts, the saucer-eyed, scarecrow-thin comic actor best known for his roles as the high-strung small-town deputy Barney Fife on the 1960s CBS series "The Andy Griffith Show" and the leisure-suit-clad landlord Ralph Furley on ABC's '70s sitcom "Three's Company," has died. Knotts, who lived in West Los Angeles, died Friday night of lung cancer at a Los Angeles hospital.
· Pushy new aides signal Hillary's run for White House. Hillary Clinton has recruited two loud-mouthed consultants who masterminded her husband's "back from nowhere" presidential run in a clear hint at her own White House ambitions. James Carville, known as the "Ragin' Cajun", for his no-holds-barred approach and Louisianan roots, became the world's most sought-after election adviser after Bill Clinton's 1992 victory. Officially, he and his long-time partner, Paul Begala, have been hired by Mrs Clinton to raise funds for her campaign for re-election as a senator for New York state in November.
· Psycho Path Voted Wackiest Street Name. Farfrompoopen Road, the only road to Constipation Ridge, lost to Divorce Court and Psycho Path, which placed No. 1 in an online poll of the nation's wildest, weirdest and wackiest street names.
· Police Catch Man Who Escaped Prison In Dog Crate. Prison officials said that escaped inmate John Manard and his alleged accomplice were captured Friday night in Tennessee. Authorities said they captured John Manard, 27, who escaped from the Lansing, Kan., Correctional Facility on Feb. 12. U.S. Marshals also arrested 48-year-old Toby Young, who is accused of helping Manard escape in a crate used to transport dogs in a prison animal training program.
· Elementary school teacher accused of sex with young boy. It's the latest case of a female schoolteacher accused of having sex with a young boy. Authorities in Laurens, South Carolina, have arrested a 36-year-old elementary school teacher on charges that she'd had sex with one of her eleven-year-old students. Wendie Schweikert was booked on two counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor.
· Polygamist Judge Ordered Off Utah Bench. A small-town judge with three wives was ordered removed from the bench by the Utah Supreme Court on Friday. The court unanimously agreed with the findings of the state's Judicial Conduct Commission, which recommended the removal of Judge Walter K. Steed for violating the state's bigamy law.
· Winning Powerball Ticket Found Under Bed. After hearing of a newspaper account of an unclaimed $853,492 Powerball ticket from October, Steve Jones decided to do a little housecleaning. Of the three tickets he swept out from under the bed, one wound up being the prizewinner. Jones took the ticket to the Louisiana Lottery Corp.'s headquarters in Baton Rouge and walked out with $597,447 after taxes.
· Toledo councilman Steamed Over Mayor's New Shower. A Toledo city council member is steaming over the mayor's new $10,000 shower stall. Councilman Frank Szollosi questions the expense, particularly with the city facing a $4.5 million dollar shortfall for this year.
· Chicago Man Gets 190 Years for Deadly Fire. A former Chicago commodities trader convicted of setting a house fire that killed his 90-year-old mother was sentenced Friday to 190 years in federal prison. Marc Thompson, 54, desperate for cash, got $730,000 in insurance money plus $300,000 for sale of the lot after burning down his house with his mother inside, prosecutors said.
· Al-Qaida Threatens to Hit More Saudi Sites. Al-Qaida suicide bombers will attack more Saudi oil facilities, the terror group purportedly threatened Saturday in an Internet statement that claimed responsibility for the foiled attack on the Abiqaiq plant in eastern Saudi Arabia. Two suicide bombers tried to drive cars packed with explosives into Abiqaiq, the world's largest oil processing facility, on Friday afternoon, but security guards opened fire and the vehicles exploded outside the gates, killing the bombers and fatally wounding two guards.
· Bonds tells media no more interviews without release waiver. Barry Bonds won't conduct interviews with media members until they sign a release waiver allowing footage of them to be shown on his upcoming reality TV show on ESPN. Bonds is being followed this spring by a videographer, who is filming his every move, including his interaction with media members. ESPN is working with Bonds for a behind-the-scenes look at his quest for baseball's all-time home-run record.
· Crow Recovering From Breast Cancer Surgery. Sheryl Crow says she is recovering from breast cancer surgery and doctors have assured her she should make a full recovery. Crow had the surgery in Los Angeles on Wednesday and is recovering without complications.
· Ricin discovered in University of Texas dorm. A substance discovered by a student in a University of Texas dormitory has tested positive for ricin, a potentially deadly poison, officials said. The chunky powder was found at the Moore-Hill dormitory Thursday and reported to university police, officials said.
Friday, February 24, 2006
· 4 robberies + 1 cell phone = 12 years. The boyfriend of the woman dubbed the "cell phone bandit" was sentenced Friday to 12 years in prison for his role in four bank robberies last year. Dave C. Williams, of Fairfax, Virginia, apologized profusely for helping Candice R. Martinez rob four Wachovia Bank branches from October 12 to November 4 - while she chatted with Williams on her cell phone.
· Driving tip: Don't honk at the cops. A Tennessee judge gave a college student a driving lesson in court this week: don't correct the police. Clay Palmer, a student at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, honked his car horn when he saw a policeman turn on blue flashers to pass through a red traffic light. The officer then turned the flashers off after moving through the intersection.
· Injured woman can sue Postal Service. A woman who tripped and fell over letters, packages and periodicals left on her front porch can sue the U.S. Postal Service for damages, the Supreme Court ruled.
· No Money: New Orleans May Release 4,000 Prisoners. The New Orleans court system may be forced to start releasing an estimated 4,000 prisoners - from potheads to murder suspects - if money isn't found to run the local public defender's office, a state judge warned Thursday.
· Inmate Says Andrea Yates Said to Copy Her. Andrea Yates once advised a fellow inmate that she could escape prosecution by pretending to be mentally ill and persuading a psychiatrist she suffered from serious disorders, according to court documents filed Thursday by prosecutors.
· H&R Block goofs on its own taxes. H&R Block, which provides tax advice to millions of Americans, made an embarrassing confession on Thursday. It goofed on its own taxes. The company said it had underestimated its own “state effective income tax rate” in previous quarters - meaning it owes another $32 million in back taxes.
· FCC to deliver bad news to networks. CBS, Fox and NBC are about to get some bad news from the Federal Communications Commission, Daily Variety reported Thursday. Fox will reportedly be fined for two obscenities uttered by Nicole Richie during the 2003 Billboard Awards broadcast, and will also lose its appeal of a $1.2 million fine for an episode of "Married by America." CBS will also lose its appeal of the $550,000 fine levied for Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show.
· U.S. to end funding abstinence-only program. The federal government agreed to stop funding a nationwide program that promotes teen abstinence to settle a lawsuit alleging the money was used for Christian proselytizing.
· Rob Reiner Denies Impropriety in Preschool. Hollywood director Rob Reiner denied any wrongdoing Thursday in response to recent scrutiny about the potential misuse of taxpayer funds for a June ballot initiative he is spearheading.
· London mayor guilty over Nazi jibe. London's mayor has been found guilty of bringing his office into disrepute when he compared a Jewish journalist to a German concentration camp guard. The Adjudication Panel for England ruled Ken Livingstone had acted in an "unnecessarily insensitive" manner.
· Midwest Oil fined for selling gas too cheaply. The Minnesota Commerce Department on Thursday announced plans to fine a gas station chain $140,000 for repeatedly selling gas below the state's legal minimum price.
· 'Pieces' author's book deal nixed. Author James Frey, who admitted last month he made up parts of his best-selling memoir "A Million Little Pieces," has been dropped by his publisher, Riverhead Books, Frey's representative said Thursday.
· Man on murder charge after TV boast. A man who bragged on national television about the killing of his former sister-in-law after a murder charge against him was dropped before he could stand trial has again been charged over her death.
· Famous but forgotten. They are the guys that have graced our screen but without recognition - actors who are adored by fans but ignored by critics. Empire magazine has picked its Top 10 most underrated actors and the list starts with all-American hero, Kevin Bacon.
· Most dangerous destinations 2006. From the black plague to avian flu, Attila the Hun to Osama bin-Laden, Mount Vesuvius to the Indian Ocean tsunami - and let's not even mention biological or nuclear warfare - people and cultures are eternally prone to natural disaster, social upheaval and just plain killing each other. Some places have it worse than others.
· Pentagon Told to Release Gitmo Transcripts. A federal judge ordered the Pentagon on Thursday to release the identities of hundreds of detainees at Guantanamo Bay to The Associated Press, a move which would force the government to break its secrecy and reveal the most comprehensive list yet of those who have been imprisoned there.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
· Teacher Arrested For Alleged Sexual Relationship With Student. A Wayne County, North Carolina teacher has been arrested and charged with a felony for allegedly having sex with an 18-year-old male student.
· Why poor people win the lottery. It's not karma that rewards hotel maids and ditch-diggers with huge jackpots. Studies show that the heaviest lottery players - the 20% of players who contribute 82% of lottery revenue - disproportionately are low-income.
· Police Charge 9-Year-Old In Rape. An 9-year-old southern Delaware boy faces adult charges for an alleged rape. The state attorney general's office signed the arrest warrant Tuesday, although the boy has not been arrested.
· Stockton Coach Accused of Lewd Conduct with Student. A part-time coach and physical education teacher at a private school in Stockton was arraigned this afternoon on charges she had an inappropriate relationship with a student. The coach is 25, the female student is 15.
· Building 19 Apologizes for T-Shirt Ad. Discount retailer Building 19 has apologized for an advertisement in a recent flier that offered three "wife beater" undershirts for $5.98. The tank-style T-shirts are called "wife beaters" because of a stereotype that physically abusive men wear them.
· Update: Former Gizmondo exec's crashed $1m Ferrari Enzo. Stefan Eriksson - the former Gizmondo executive who stepped down amidst allegations of his involvement in the Uppsala Mafia Swedish organized crime ring - no longer has his 2003 Ferrari Enzo, of which 399 were made, and each cost a million dollars.
· Offender won't wear monitor, cites religion. A convicted sex offender in southern Iowa with ties to a doomsday commune has refused to wear an electronic monitor, saying the device conflicts with his religious beliefs.
· Heist cash haul may be record $70 million. Detectives on Thursday launched a huge manhunt for an armed gang who posed as police officers to steal what could be up to $70 million in what would be Britain's biggest-ever cash robbery.
· 'Brokeback Mountain' shirts auctioned. Tom Gregory just spent more than $100,000 on two used cowboy shirts. And he couldn't be happier. The shirts are the ones worn by the ill-fated lovers, played by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, in Oscar front-runner "Brokeback Mountain." The shirts that represent their relationship. The shirts that, to Gregory, represent the ongoing plight of gays for acceptance in society. "They really are the ruby slippers of our time," said Gregory, 45.
· Christian mobs seek avenge deaths. Christian mobs in southern Nigeria attacked Muslim motorists and traders Wednesday, leaving more than 30 people dead, according to witnesses, as riots sparked by the publishing of cartoons of the prophet Muhammad continued into a fifth day. Nationwide, the death toll reached at least 80.
· Pesci Will Not Be Prosecuted In Alleged Punching Case. Oscar-winning actor Joe Pesci will not be charged for allegedly punching a fan who photographed him in a shopping center parking lot, officials said Wednesday.
· Behold the power of poop. San Francisco city officials hope to harness the power of dog waste in this dog-friendly city where animals make up nearly 4 percent of residential waste. San Franciscans already recycle more than 60 percent of their garbage, but officials hope to turn into energy the 6,500 tons of dog waste a year - nearly as much as disposable diapers.
· Fishermen to be paid for snagging sub. A local fisherman will be getting paid for an unusual catch of the day - a nuclear submarine. Alan Chaplaski said the Navy has agreed to pay him for damages to his boat from an incident last summer when the USS Montpelier, a 362-foot-long submarine, allegedly snagged his gear and almost capsized the boat.
· Marines Caught Selling Combat Gear Online. A civilian and several Marines have been convicted on charges connected to an operation that stole ballistic vests and other gear from Camp Pendleton and sold it on the Internet, authorities said.
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
· Paul McCartney's brother 'assaulted 16-year-old.' The brother of Sir Paul McCartney flew into a rage and demanded "don't you know who I am?" after he was accused of groping the bottom of a teenage waitress, a court heard today.
· Videotape Shows Natalee Holloway and Joran Van Der Sloot Together at Aruba Casino. Natalee Holloway, the Alabama teen who disappeared last May on a school trip to Aruba, sat at a blackjack table with Joran van der Sloot in a casino the night she disappeared, according to a videotape obtained exclusively by ABC News from a confidential source.
· Ugly Costumes Make Figure Skating a Nightmare on Ice. There's something very bad going on in figure skating. Not the new judging system — no one understands that enough to know if it's good or bad. Not the abundance of techno-pop music. Not even the exit of Michelle Kwan. No, it's much, much worse. It's Halloween on Ice.
· U.S. Says Will Help Rebuild Bombed Shrine. Top U.S. officials strongly condemned the bombing of a revered Shiite shrine Wednesday, calling it a desperate and despicable act designed to foment sectarian strife. "Given the historic, cultural and religious importance of this shrine, this attack is a crime against humanity," the U.S. ambassador said.
· Powerball jackpot goes to 8 meat plant workers. Eight workers at a Nebraska meat processing plant claimed the record $365 million Powerball jackpot Wednesday, each getting about $15.5 million after taxes. When one of the winners, Eric Zornes, 40, was asked whether he was still working at the plant, he replied: "No. I've been retired for about four days now."
· Mystery surrounds Ferrari crash in Malibu. Authorities were investigating the circumstances behind a spectacular crash on Pacific Coast Highway that destroyed a rare Ferrari Enzo that experts said was worth more than $1 million. Authorities said Stefan Ericksson, 44, of Bel Air, told them that he was a passenger at the time of the crash and that the driver - a German acquaintance he knew only as Dietrich - ran into the nearby hills. A three-hour foot and helicopter search failed to turn up anyone else connected to the car. Ferrari Enzos have a top speed of 200 mph and investigators believe the sports car was traveling at least 100 mph.
· New Orleans officials: Get a job or don't come back. New Orleans doesn't want its poorest residents back — unless they agree to work. That was the message from three New Orleans City Council members who said government programs have "pampered" the city's residents for too long.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Assiduous [as·sid·u·ous] adj. 1. Constant in application or attention; diligent: "An assiduous worker who strove for perfection." 2. Unceasing; persistent: "Assiduous cancer research."
· Yates' lawyer wants photos of kids barred. The image of 7-year-old Noah Yates floating facedown in the murky brown water that filled a bathtub after he and his four siblings were drowned is something Andrea Yates' defense attorney doesn't want jurors to see during her second capital murder trial, claiming the photographs could cause jurors to be unfairly prejudiced or serve to confuse and mislead them.
· Unreturned camera story takes an unusual twist. A person claiming to be a Canadian barrister has threatened to sue the website Boing Boing, over a post they made about a Canadian family that refused to return an expensive digital camera owned by "Judith" that they found while on holiday in Hawaii.
· Angry Bond Fans Threaten to Boycott Film. They're shaken, stirred and just plain angry. And several months late with their response. A group of James Bond fans have launched a Web site to protest British actor Daniel Craig replacing Pierce Brosnan in the 007 film franchise, and boycott the upcoming Bond movie "Casino Royale."
· Police Identify Man With 'Cecil' Tattoo. Officers began to suspect that the man they pulled over was lying when he identified himself as Robert despite a tattoo with the name Cecil on the back of his neck.
· Holocaust Denier Gets Three Years in Jail. Right-wing British historian David Irving was sentenced to three years in prison Monday after admitting to an Austrian court that he denied the Holocaust — a crime in the country where Hitler was born.
· Hells Angels feeling 'depressed.' The Stockholm chapter of the biker gang Hell's Angels is being investigated for fraud after police found 70 per cent of members were certified as depressed by the same doctor and were getting state sickness benefits.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
· Bikers roll to military funerals to oppose anti-gay protests. Wearing vests covered in military patches, a band of bikers roll around the country from one soldier's funeral to another, cheering respectfully to overshadow jeers from church protesters.
· Dallas remake in Louisiana? It is a betrayal as galling as anything cooked up by JR Ewing, the arch schemer of the 1980s soap opera Dallas. The Texan oil city that spawned the sex-drenched drama could be ignored as a backdrop for a big-screen update of the soap in favor of Florida or Louisiana. Producers of the long-awaited film, which has been in development since 2002, say the Lone Star State cannot compete with the financial incentives offered to film productions elsewhere.
· Retired Doctor Says Anti-Smoking Law Too Risky. Washington state's tough new anti-smoking law has an unlikely opponent: a retired doctor who argues the ban is forcing elderly smokers in nursing homes to take unnecessary risks.
· Man Charged With Killing Man Over Toilet Tissue. A Central Florida man was arrested for fatally beating his roommate with a sledgehammer and a claw hammer because there was no toilet tissue in the home, authorities said.
· Osama bin Laden watches Larry King. It may seem a rather trite observation considering the numbing frothiness of King's CNN talk show compared with the gravity of all that surrounds the world's most hunted terrorist. But it may reveal much about the role al-Qa'ida's leader sees the Western media playing in his bloody war against the infidel.
· Anesthesiologists Delay Calif. Execution. The planned execution of a man convicted of raping and murdering a 17-year-old girl was delayed until Tuesday night after two anesthesiologists refused to participate because of ethical concerns. No word yet on whether they have concerns over the killer's victim, Terri Winchel, who was attacked with a hammer, stabbed and left to die half-naked in a vineyard.
· Bus driver leaves four-year-old at stranger's house. All a four-year-old boy wanted to do was go to the bathroom. Now a Dayton ISD bus driver is suspended for what happened next. That bus driver is in hot water for leaving the child alone while she continued with her bus route.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Precarious [pre·car·i·ous] adj. 1. Dangerously lacking in security or stability: "The precarious life of an undercover cop." 2. Subject to chance or unknown conditions: "His kingdom was still precarious." 3. Based on uncertain, unwarranted, or unproved premises: "A precarious solution to a difficult problem."
· Former Stripper Not Typical Evangelical. Heather Veitch is not your typical evangelical Christian. The 31-year-old married mother of two visits one strip club a month, paying for lap dances so she can talk to the strippers about God.
· Funds restored to energy lab before Bush visit. On the eve of a presidential visit to a renewable energy lab in Colorado, the Department of Energy said it has transferred $5 million to the operation, which had its funding cut and employees laid off this month due to budget shortfalls.
· Man Dies In Fall Down Shopping Center Elevator Shaft. A man fell several stories to his death Monday night while trying to climb out of a stuck elevator in a Seattle suburb. Authorities said five people were in the elevator when it stopped between floors at a parking garage of a new shopping center and entertainment complex.
· Town's Offer of Free Land 'Snowballed.' An offer of free land prompted more than 1,200 hits in two weeks on this western Iowa town's Web site. "It snowballed," said Marne Mayor Randy Baxter, following coverage of the free land offer by nearby newspaper, radio and television outlets. The land giveaway is the first step in the process of increasing the town's population from 149 to 200 in the next four years.
· Yahoo! Mail bans Allah and Dirty Harry handles. Yahoo! is banning the use of allah in email names - even if the letters are included within another name. This was uncovered by Reg reader Ed Callahan whose mother Linda Callahan was trying to sign up for an email address. She could not get it to accept her surname.
· Connecticut Casino Offers $3,000 Martini. Connecticut's Foxwoods Resort Casino is offering a new signature cocktail. It's called the Sapphire martini and is made with Blue Curacao, Bombay Sapphire Gin, a splash of dry vermouth and is coated with blue sugar on the rim.
· Who won? Who won the record $365 million Powerball jackpot? Stories circulated throughout Lincoln on Monday, with possibilities including a group of eight co-workers from a food-processing plant or a 54-year-old man who was treating everyone to lunch at Village Inn. Lottery officials, however, weren’t confirming anything.
Monday, February 20, 2006
· Burned Home Next To Fire Station Raises Concerns. A home destroyed by flames just feet from a Central Florida fire station has raised concerns about the department's ability to protect the community.
· Mississippi to put rapists on posters. Mississippi plans to put the names and faces of convicted sex offenders on roadside billboards. About 100 posters showing offenders, particularly those who prey on minors, will be put up, a state official said.
· High school senior discovers ironing deactivates anthrax. Protecting yourself from biological weapons might be as simple as using a hot clothes iron. Through a project for a statewide science competition, Central Catholic High School senior Marc Roberge discovered truth in the urban legend that ironing can kill anthrax spores in contaminated mail.
· Scientists Study 4.5 Billion-Year-Old Comet Dust. Scientists said Monday they have begun slicing and dicing the first of hundreds of microscopic specks of comet dust, virtually unchanged since the birth of the solar system, that a NASA spacecraft successfully returned to Earth in late January.
· Mom jailed after dropping off girl at school - on Saturday. A 27-year-old League City woman who police said confused the weekend with a weekday and dropped her 6-year-old off at school was arrested Saturday. A few hours later a passer-by saw the child, who was coatless in a chilly drizzle, and called police.
· T-shirt, bumper-stickers have the last laugh. It isn't over for Dick Cheney just yet. Now come the bumper stickers and T-shirts. One of the more popular includes the "I'd rather hunt with Dick Cheney than ride with Ted Kennedy" bumper sticker.
· A Catholic millionaire's dream town draws fire. For Tom Monaghan, the devout Catholic who founded Domino's Pizza and is now bankrolling most of the initial $400 million cost of the 5,000-acre project, Ave Maria is the culmination of a lifetime devoted to spreading his own strict interpretation of Catholicism. Though he says nonbelievers are welcome, Monaghan clearly wants the community to embody his conservative values.
· 'Godfather' Actor Killed by Bus in NYC. Richard Bright, a character actor who appeared in all three "Godfather" movies and more recently on "The Sopranos," was struck and killed by a bus, police said. Bright, 68, was hit by a private Academy Bus as he crossed the street at about 6:30 p.m. Saturday in his Manhattan neighborhood, police Detective Bernard Gifford said.
· Trump to Stewart: 'Take Responsibility.' Sometimes there is too much of a good thing. Martha Stewart believes her version of NBC's popular reality show featuring Donald Trump flopped this past fall because of too much "Apprentice." Her show was supposed to be the sole show, starting out by having her fire Trump on the air, she told Newsweek.
· Couple could be evicted for helping their soldier son’s family. Outside the Riviera Estates clubhouse a flag flies stating “We Support our Troops”, but some residents in the Clearwater mobile home park say that support is pretty limp. Debbie and Tom Boyette are being threatened with eviction, because they’ve taken in their son’s family into the adults-only park while he serves in Iraq.
· Bin Laden Vows Never to Be Captured Alive. Osama bin Laden promised never to be captured alive and declared the U.S. had resorted to the same "repressive" tactics used by Saddam Hussein, according to an audiotape purportedly by the al-Qaida leader that was posted Monday on a militant Web site.
· Stripping away the mystery. Amsterdam's famed red light district held its first ever "open day" Saturday as its peep-shows and brothels gave crowds of wide-eyed visitors free entry to help shed the area's increasingly negative reputation.
Sunday, February 19, 2006
· SUV tax break far outweighs hybrid deal. New tax breaks are available to anyone who wants to help the environment by purchasing fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles. But if owners of small businesses really want to save money, they can get even bigger federal tax breaks by buying the largest gas-guzzling SUVs.
· The Case of the Missing Camera. A lady, Judith, lost their $500 digital camera on a trip to Hawaii, the camera had well over 500 pictures from the trip. She received a call from a park ranger informing her that somebody found the camera and Judith was given the contact information. After a phone call, the finder informs Judith that they gave their diabetic son the camera and was not going to return it. After asking to at least get the memory card with the photos, Judith received a package two weeks later that had burned CDs of the pictures and a note saying that they needed to keep the memory card for the camera.
· 007 actor already loses two front teeth in first fight scene. New James Bond Daniel Craig has already failed to make the grade as a tough guy - after a villain knocked out two of his teeth in his first fight scene. Craig, 37, was in Prague filming the remake of Casino Royale when the stunt went wrong.
· Sex offender sentenced to cut hair of the homeless. A judge sentenced former St. Louis firefighter Reginald Morris to 60 days in jail, probation and 750 hours of cutting the hair of homeless men as punishment in a molesting case.
· Rule #1: Close door before take-off. An Alaska Airlines flight bound for Seattle had to turn around and make an emergency landing early Saturday at Washington Dulles International Airport after the aircraft did not pressurize properly, airport officials said. Once the aircraft landed at Dulles, maintenance crews determined a rear door had not been latched properly.
· Mom Charged With Letting Man Have Sex With Daughter. A man has been charged with the second-degree assault of a child. Police said Aaron Corkill met a 15-year-old Wisconsin girl over the Internet, visited her there and had sex with her four times. The girl's mother is accused of giving the man permission to do so.
· Here's a guy that goes shopping at Best Buy. What would you do? Apparently the employees of my local Best Buy aren't familiar with annoying pedantic individuals who will choose principals over convenience when walking out with a shopping cart full of expensive home entertainment gear. I manage to get about 5 steps out the door before the door guard catches up to me and grabs my cart, with the "sir" in his "I need to see your receipt, sir." This is apparently a stalling tactic, as shortly a few more blue-shirted employees make a move to block me from making any more progress toward my car. I ask, still calm, if I am being detained for shoplifting. This suggestion apparently shocks my captor into regaining some of his senses, and he lets go of my cart. I explain that unless he wishes to do so, he has no right to stop me.
· Winning $365 millon Powerball ticket sold in Nebraska. One person overcame the 1-in-146.1 million odds to buy a winning Powerball ticket worth a record $365 million, lottery officials said early Sunday. Only one winning ticket was sold for Saturday's jackpot, the largest in the country's history.
· Pat Robertson Accused of Damaging Movement. Fellow conservative religious leaders have expressed concern and even open criticism over Pat Robertson's habit of shooting from the hip on his daily religious news-and-talk television program, "The 700 Club." The Christian Coalition founder and former GOP presidential candidate has said American agents should assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and suggested that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine retribution for pulling Israel out of the Gaza Strip.
· 16 die in cartoon protests in Nigeria. Sixteen people were killed and 11 churches were burned Saturday in Nigeria as part of the continuing violence over cartoons of Islam's Prophet Mohammed. The violence comes a day after at least 10 people were killed in Libya and another in Pakistan, where five deaths have been reported this week.
Saturday, February 18, 2006
· No free speech in this city. The public-comment portion of a city council meeting is one of the rare opportunities people have to address their elected leaders face to face. After one of those meetings, the La Mesa, CA city attorney sent a letter to resident Chris Tanner accusing him of defaming council members when Tanner hinted that the city might be cozy with developers. The letter asked for a public retraction, apology, then threatened legal action.
· Italian court: Not a virgin? Sex crimes aren't as serious. Sexually abusing a teenager is less serious a crime if the girl is not a virgin, Italy's higher court said on Friday in a controversial ruling that immediately drew a barrage of criticism. The court ruled in favor of a man in his forties, identified only as Marco T., who forced his 14-year old stepdaughter to have oral sex with him after she refused intercourse.
· Famous Chefs Gamble on $12 Million Restaurant. The problems Del Posto has endured since it opened in New York underscore just how unforgiving the restaurant business can be - even for celebrity chefs Mario Batali and Lidia Bastianich. The elegant Del Posto seats fewer than 200 people in a huge space, 26,000 square feet. When you arrive, you'll first shell out $29 just for the valet parking, then sip on your $24 Chinese tea, and finally choke on the $240 rack of veal entree.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Homogeneous [ho·mo·ge·ne·ous] adj. 1. Uniform in structure or composition. 2. Of the same or similar nature or kind: "The corporation maintains tight-knit, homogeneous board members."
· Judge Upholds Firing Of Unwed Pregnant Teacher. A Christian school's firing of an unwed pregnant teacher has been upheld by a federal judge who ruled that the school is exempt from a federal pregnancy discrimination law.
· "I'm going to Disneyland!" Jason Griffin decided to go on vacation to Disney World with his 7-year-old daughter, leaving behind his dog locked up in a closet without food or water, according to prosecutors.
· Man who jumped White House fence says Bush told him to do it. A man who claimed to have a cellphone implanted in his head was convicted Friday of jumping a White House fence in a bid to meet former president Bill Clinton's daughter Chelsea.
· Jury gives mistaken verdict in murder trial. Nicholas Ibrahim's body trembled and his hands shook uncontrollably as he stood in the dock of the Victorian Supreme Court after a jury found him guilty yesterday of an underworld murder. That meant Ibrahim — who had shot a business associate five times with a pump-action shotgun — could expect prison for 20 years, and possibly more. But the verdict was all a big mistake. In a monumental legal faux pas, the jury forewoman had announced the wrong verdict. What she meant to say was not guilty of murder, but guilty of manslaughter.
· Jury rules in favor of drug maker in first Vioxx win in federal court. A federal jury handed Merck & Co. a major victory Friday, clearing the drug maker of any responsibility in the death of a 53-year-old Florida man who had a heart attack after taking its once popular painkiller Vioxx for less than a month. This was the second court victory for Merck, and the first in a federal court.
· Powerball Players Scoop Up Tickets As Jackpot Swells. The jackpot for Saturday night's drawing is a record $365 million. On Friday, West Virginia lottery officials had to set up extra terminals to help handle the long lines that were forming as tickets sold at an average of 29 per second.
Friday, February 17, 2006
· Nurse Accused of Drugging for Thrill. The prosecution in the trial of a male nurse in Britain says 18 of his patients were injected with lethal drugs so he could enjoy the thrill of reviving them. Two of the patients died and another 16 were taken to the brink of death, the prosecution told the jury.
· Sex with a sheep gets Michigan man prison time. A Battle Creek man charged with having sex with a sheep has been sentenced to prison. Jeffrey S. Haynes, 42, was sentenced to 30 months to 20 years in prison for sodomy. Haynes pleaded no contest in January to the charge.
· Waffle House Poisoning Suspect Indicted. A 19-year-old former Waffle House cook was indicted today after daring a man to drink a concoction that included industrial strength dishwashing liquid two months ago. Rex Leo, 50, took that dare, and was rushed to the hospital as a result.
· Update: Two years probation for laser prank on jet. A New Jersey man was sentenced to two years probation on Friday after he pleaded guilty to interfering with pilots of an aircraft by shining a hand-held laser into the cockpit of a private jet.
· Sicko "Marriage Contract" One For The Ages. 33-year-old Travis Frey is facing among other things, charges that he tried to kidnap his own wife. Frey, prosecutors contend, apparently is a rather demanding guy. In fact, he actually drew up a bizarre four-page marriage document - a "Contract of Wifely Expectations" - that sought to establish guidelines for his spouse in terms of hygiene, clothing, and sexual activities. In return for fulfilling certain requirements, Frey offered her "Good Behavior Days."
· Airlines lost 10,000 bags a day in 2005. U.S. airlines last year lost about 10,000 bags a day on average, the worst performance since 1990. The rate of lost suitcase reports per 1,000 passengers on flights soared 23% from a year earlier.
· Muslim Cleric Puts Bounty On Cartoonist's Life. A Pakistani cleric announced a $1 million bounty for killing a cartoonist who drew the Prophet Muhammad caricatures, as thousands rallied across the country Friday and authorities arrested scores of protesters.
· Man shot by Cheney says he's sorry. The lawyer shot by Vice President Dick Cheney during a hunting trip was being discharged from a hospital on Friday and told reporters he was sorry for all the trouble Cheney had faced over the past week. "We all assume certain risks in what we do, in what activities we pursue," Whittington, 78, said as he stood out the hospital in a suit, his face clearly bruised.
· Texas Candidate Acknowledges He Was Male Prostitute. A man running for state representative acknowledged that he once worked as a prostitute but said he's turned his life around and doesn't regret his past. Tom Malin, who sold Mary Kay cosmetics, conceded that his illicit past could cost him the nomination in the March 7 Democratic primary.
· Virus attacking Apple Macintosh PCs. A malicious computer worm has been found that targets Apple Computer Inc.'s Mac OS X operating system, believed to be the first such virus aimed specifically at the Mac platform.
· Update: Sheriff Ends Policy Of Officers Having Sex With Hookers. The Spotsylvania County sheriff in Virginia has suspended the practice of allowing detectives to receive sexual services while investigating vice cases. Sheriff Howard Smith defended the practice this week. But he said in a statement Friday that he suspended the policy "because of the public's express response."
· The Ugly Face of Crime. Not only are physically unattractive teenagers likely to be stay-at-homes on prom night, they're also more likely to grow up to be criminals, say two economists who tracked the life course of young people from high school through early adulthood.
· Costly kiss. The Oregon Court of Appeals on Wednesday upheld a ruling that sent Nicholas Meyrovich to life in prison under a 2001 three-strikes law. Meyrovich got his third strike, a felony sex offense, for delivering an unwanted kiss. Meyrovich, in his appeal, had claimed that a life sentence for the kiss violated the Oregon Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
· Texas phone fiasco settled after assault plea. Tourist Pauline Clayton has been fined $200 for telling a woman in a Texan cinema to turn off her phone. Fearing a drawn-out legal case, Ms. Clayton yesterday pleaded guilty to assaulting the woman by asking her to turn off the phone and then touching her on the shoulder.
· Rural firefighters take pass on battling flames at nonpaying residence. Rural firefighters stood by and watched a fire destroy a garage and a vehicle because the property owner, who was injured battling the flames, had not paid membership dues.
· Houston eyes cameras at apartment complexes. Houston's police chief on Wednesday proposed placing surveillance cameras in apartment complexes, downtown streets, shopping malls and even private homes to fight crime during a shortage of police officers. "I know a lot of people are concerned about Big Brother, but my response to that is, if you are not doing anything wrong, why should you worry about it?" Chief Harold Hurtt told reporters.
· Man Charged With Pirating Oscar Screener. A man accused of uploading a copy of the film "Walk the Line" that was intended for an Academy Award voter has been charged with copyright infringement. Luis Ochoa, 25, of Corona, faces up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine if convicted.
· False rape case pays for recent murder defense. A man who served 18 years in prison for a rape he didn't commit settled his lawsuit against authorities for $400,000, which he likely will use to defend himself against a recent murder charge, his attorney said. The settlement was a small fraction of the $36 million Steven Avery had sought after he was freed in 2003 when DNA tests showed he was wrongly convicted of rape.
· Aruba mystery: Holloway's parents sue Dutch teen. The parents of missing Alabama teen Natalee Holloway have filed a lawsuit against one of the teenagers who was questioned in the case. Joran van der Sloot is accused of "malicious, wanton and willful disregard of the rights, safety and well-being of the plaintiffs and their daughter, Natalee Holloway." Holloway's parents, Elizabeth Ann Twitty and Dave Edward Holloway, have asked for an unspecified amount of punitive damages from van der Sloot and his father, Paulus van der Sloot, an Aruban judge.
· Students Find Teacher After Apparent Suicide. High school students arriving for class Thursday morning found the body of a teacher who had apparently shot himself to death the day before, a coroner said.
· Police: Dog Trainer Uses Crate To Help Inmate Break Out. A dog trainer who did volunteer work at a prison ran off with a convicted killer after helping him escape in a dog crate loaded into the back of her van, authorities say. Toby Young, a 48-year-old married mother of two grown sons, was the founder of a program that rescued dogs from animal shelters and worked with inmates to train the pets and make them suitable for adoption.
· Ambulance Brings Faster Stroke Care. You may not be doing a stroke victim a favor by driving the patient to the hospital. People who arrive by ambulance are far more likely to get fast care once they get to the emergency room, new research shows.
· Lisa Marie Presley Marries Guitarist. Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of rock 'n' roll king Elvis Presley, has married guitarist and music producer Michael Lockwood in a ceremony in Kyoto, Japan, her publicist said Thursday. Presley, 38, and Lockwood exchanged vows in a traditional Japanese ceremony on Jan. 22, spokesman Paul Bloch said. It was Presley's fourth marriage. She was previously married to Nicolas Cage, Michael Jackson and Danny Keough, who is the father of her two children.
Thursday, February 16, 2006
· Middle School Kids Paid $1-A-Day To Skip Gym Class. An Escambia County middle school gym teacher let children sit out his class if they paid a $1 bribe daily, netting him perhaps thousands of dollars, officials said Thursday.
· Father Who Punched Teacher's Aide Sues School District. The father who got national attention for punching a teacher's assistant in front of class full of students has sued the school district. Dave Swafford was charged after marching into a classroom at Lakewood Ranch High School east of Bradenton last month and punching the assistant, whom he had accused of inappropriately touching his foster daughter, a student at the school.
· Coast Guard Seizes $66 million Worth of Cocaine. The Coast Guard seized more than one ton of cocaine, worth an estimated $66 million, from a fishing boat that had been stopped off the coast of Panama, officials said Thursday.
· Top Hollywood lawyer indicted in Pellicano case. Reaching for the first time into the upper ranks of Hollywood's legal establishment, the federal grand jury investigating private eye Anthony Pellicano indicted prominent Los Angeles entertainment attorney Terry N. Christensen on Wednesday for allegedly having the ex-wife of billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian wiretapped.
· 8 People Duped In Fake $1M Bill Scam. Eight people in southern Japan forked over $1.27 million to a man who promised huge returns involving fake American $1 million bills and then disappeared with their money, a news report said Thursday.
· Microsoft unveils multiple versions Office 2007. Microsoft Corp. has unveiled multiple versions of its upcoming Office business software suite with features that aim to simplify worker collaboration and improve efficiency. Microsoft last launched an Office upgrade in September 2003.
· Calabasas no smoking outside law begins next month. The new Calabasas, CA secondhand smoke ordinance, which would prohibit smoking in all public areas of the city including parks, sidewalks and outdoor businesses, will take effect by the middle of March, city officials said.
· New Photos of Abu Ghraib Abuse Surface. New images showing Iraqis abused by U.S. guards at Abu Ghraib prison three years ago threatened Wednesday to enflame public anger already running high over footage of British soldiers beating youths in southern Iraq.
· Anti-Tax Author Claims Mental Illness. Anti-tax crusader Irwin Schiff is mentally ill and his time in federal prison for tax fraud and other convictions should be reduced, according to documents filed by his lawyers. Court documents claim Schiff, 77, suffers from suicidal depression, bipolar mental disorder, paranoia and delusions that made him believe paying taxes was voluntary.
· At confession, man unloads sins, gun, grenade. A priest in Germany got more than he bargained for during confession when a man not only declared his sins, but also handed over a machine gun and a hand grenade, police in Bavaria said on Tuesday.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Obtuse [ob·tuse] adj. 1. Lacking quickness of perception or intellect. 2. Characterized by a lack of intelligence or sensitivity: "An obtuse remark." 3. Not distinctly felt: "An obtuse pain."
· Parents don't see a crisis over science and math. Science and math have zoomed to the top of the nation's education agenda. Yet Amanda Cook, a parent of two school-age girls, can't quite see the urgency. "In Maine, there aren't many jobs that scream out 'math and science,"' said Cook.
· Sleep A Thing Of The Past. New drugs which will allow people to survive on only two hours sleep a day are being developed, scientists have said. The New Scientist magazine says the new 'lifestyle' pills will deliver sleep which is deeper and more refreshing than the real thing, with some giving what feels like eight hours sleep in half the time.
· Gretzky's Wife Unlikely to Be Charged in Scandal. A spokesman for the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice told ESPN.com on Wednesday that it is unlikely that additional people will be charged in connection to a gambling ring allegedly financed by Phoenix Coyotes assistant Rick Tocchet and a New Jersey state trooper. John Hagerty said Janet Jones Gretzky, who allegedly wagered through the ring, and others could be called as witnesses in the case but indicated that Jones Gretzky would not be charged because she has not done anything illegal.
· Infant dies in car outside casino. California authorities are investigating the death of an infant apparently left in the car with his father while the mother was inside a casino. The child, identified as 6-month-old Thomas Baca, died in the parking lot of the casino on the Sycuan Indian Reservation near San Diego, investigators said.
· Court: Jackson's ex-wife's parental rights improperly terminated. A California appeals court ruled Wednesday that a lower court improperly terminated Deborah Rowe's parental rights to her two children with pop star Michael Jackson, opening the door to a possible custody battle between the singer and his ex-wife.
· ACLU Attacks David Horowitz's Book of 101 Most-Dangerous Professors. A coalition of liberal groups and teachers’ unions - including the ACLU, People For the American Way and the National Education Association - is denouncing David Horowitz’s new book, The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America.
· Soaring Powerball Jackpot Is Biggest In History. Millions of tickets were sold, but none of them correctly matched the six winning numbers in the multi-state Powerball lottery game. As a result, Wednesday's $300 million jackpot went unclaimed, hiking the size of the kitty to $365 million for Saturday's drawing.
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
· Cheney: 'I'm the Guy Who Pulled the Trigger.' Vice President Dick Cheney told FOX News on Wednesday that he alone is responsible for a weekend hunting accident in which he shot Austin attorney Harry Whittington. The image of him falling is something I will never be able to get out my mind," Cheney said, somberly. "It was one of the worst days of my life."
· New 'Allah' film ready to raise a ruckus. Sandi Dubowski, who won the Teddy gay and lesbian award in 2001 for his controversial documentary "Trembling Before G-d," may cause an even bigger stir with "In the Name of Allah," which explores the struggles of homosexual Muslims. Gay Indian Muslim helmer Parvez Sharma is directing the pic, which looks at gay, lesbian, and transgender Muslims across the Muslim and Western worlds.
· Pamela to Derby: Cluck You. From Kentucky Fried Chicken to the Kentucky Derby, the Bluegrass State isn't scoring points with Pamela Anderson. The former Baywatch babe has announced plans to boycott the annual horse race, claiming it's a form of animal cruelty.
· Police: Toddler Left In Car At Bar While Grandparents Drank. A Lake County couple is facing child neglect charges for leaving their 2-year-old grandson in their car while they were drinking in a bar. According to police, the grandparents were drinking out on the patio at Steve's Redhouse Pub and Restaurant. The problem is, their 2-year-old grandchild was 75 feet away in a car.
· Trouble in Scientology paradise? Not true, says Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes Tuesday to a Valentine's Day report by Life & Style magazine claiming that the Hollywood superstar and his pregnant paramour have split up.
· Judge: Calif. Must Change Execution Drugs. A federal judge ruled Tuesday that California must change its lethal injection method for an execution next week, saying the current mix of drugs may constitute cruel and unusual punishment.
· Katrina Victims, Military Personnel Sell Rations Online. Emergency rations paid for by taxpayers and distributed to Hurricane Katrina victims and military personnel to sustain them in their hour of need are being sold on eBay. Prices for the items range from 99 cents — the opening bid for an unopened pack of chicken stew — to $69 for a case of mixed meals.
· Reebok Marketing Campaign Draws Criticism. The images that sell Reebok sneakers these days are edgy. One ad depicts the devil. Another has fingerprints on what appears to be a police booking form, as rapper 50 Cent advises buyers to "take advantage of today because tomorrow is not promised."
· Turned 50? Fail this test and you might not see 54. It sounds like a perfect parlor game for baby boomers suddenly confronting their own mortality: What are your chances of dying within four years? Researchers have come up with 12 risk factors to try to answer that for people over age 50.
· Willie Nelson Releases Gay Cowboy Song. Country music outlaw Willie Nelson sang "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys" and "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys" more than 25 years ago. He released a very different sort of cowboy anthem this Valentine's Day. "Cowboys Are Frequently, Secretly (Fond of Each Other)" may be the first gay cowboy song by a major recording artist.
· Nightclub comedy act gets police sergeant suspended. Did you hear the one about the off-duty cop with the raunchy comedy act? His superiors at the West Orange Police Department sure did, and they suspended Sgt. John Feder for it. The 22-year veteran, known in comedy circles as "Club Soda Kenny," a name he picked up as part of potty-mouthed comedian Andrew Dice Clay's posse, is facing departmental charges that could lead to the loss of his $88,000-per-year job.
· Painter's gutter laziness. Lazy line-painters couldn’t be bothered to clean up gutter dirt and fill potholes — so they went around them. Stunned Peter Hughes, who lives on the road, said: “One of my children could have gone out and done a better job.”
· Rare photo sets $2.9m sale record. A rare print taken by U.S. photography pioneer Edward Steichen has set a world record for the highest price paid for a photograph auction. The Pond-Moonlight - taken in New York in 1904 - was sold for $2.9 million, more than doubling the previous record.
· Man Loses Bet, Stages Own Disappearance. A man staged his own disappearance in the Bighorn Mountains after losing $40,000 on a Super Bowl bet, police said Monday. It turns out Marvin Hackworth, 46, had stashed a new pick up truck in the mountains before the Super Bowl in order to "disappear for a while" in case he lost the bet, police said.
· Ohio Bowler Rolls Perfect 900 Series. Lonnie Billiter Jr. didn't mind being the center of attention at Fairfield Lanes. It's not every day that people get a chance to see bowling perfection. Billiter, 24, of Colerain Township, rolled three consecutive 300 games Monday night to achieve a perfect 900 series sanctioned by the United States Bowling Congress.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
· KFC and Pizza Hut destroyed in latest violence. Thousands of Muslims rampaged through two cities Tuesday in Pakistan's worst violence against Prophet Muhammad caricatures, burning buildings housing a hotel, banks and a KFC, vandalizing a Citibank and breaking windows at a Holiday Inn and a Pizza Hut.
· Student finds toilet water cleaner than ice at fast food restaurants. 12-year-old Jasmine Roberts decided to choose her science project based on comparing the cleanliness of fast food ice and toilet water - with very disturbing results.
· Couple relives 1946 honeymoon at Drake. Fresh out of the Army, Arthur Reis did what he could to treat his new bride, Ardell: He checked into Chicago's Drake Hotel for their honeymoon. It was 1946. The cost: $7 a night. Making reservations at the Drake recently to mark their 60th anniversary, Ardell presented the yellowed hotel receipt from 1946. Amazed by the artifact, Drake officials, as a gift to the Cicero couple, decided to charge them the original rate: seven bucks a night.
· Wal-Mart Forced To Stock Contraceptives. The state board that oversees pharmacies ordered Wal-Mart on Tuesday to stock emergency contraception pills at its pharmacies in Massachusetts, making the Bay State the second in the nation to require the world's largest retailer to carry the drug.
· Update: Hunter Shot by Cheney Has Heart Attack. Doctors in Texas said some of the birdshot that Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally fired at a fellow hunter over the weekend has lodged in the man's heart, causing a minor heart attack.
· Blown Gate Costs Bode Miller Shot at First Gold. American Bode Miller was disqualified from the Alpine combined Tuesday for straddling a gate in the first slalom run, just when he seemed to have built a commanding lead for his first Olympic gold medal.
· Passenger Jumps From Plane After Orlando Flight Lands A man was hospitalized Tuesday after he jumped from a door of a Delta flight that left Orlando, Fla., and had just landed in Atlanta, according to authorities. He fell about 30 feet.
· Update: Air marshals face smuggling charges. Two federal air marshals are facing drug charges after allegedly agreeing to smuggle cocaine from a man who turned out to be a government witness, the U.S. attorney's office in Houston, Texas, announced Monday. Shawn Ray Nguyen, 38, and Burlie Sholar, 32, were arrested Thursday after allegedly receiving 15 kilograms of cocaine and $15,000 cash delivered to Nguyen's home and agreeing to take the drugs on a plane, prosecutors said in court papers.
· Coroner Rules Actor Chris Penn's Death Accidental. The Los Angeles County coroner's office said actor Chris Penn's death was accidental. An enlarged heart, also known as nonspecific cardiomyopathy, and the effects of a mix of multiple medications together killed Penn.
· Update: 'Aunt Jemima' Sues. An activist arrested after disrupting a City Council meeting dressed in an Aunt Jemima costume and banned from attending meetings until the end of March has filed a lawsuit claiming her rights were violated.
· TV joke writers take shots at Cheney. Television talk shows took aim Monday at Vice President Dick Cheney's accidental weekend shooting in Texas of a hunting companion. Here are a few of the jokes. Leno: "Dick Cheney accidentally shot a fellow hunter, a 78-year-old lawyer. In fact, when people found out he shot a lawyer, his popularity is now at 92 percent."
· Cheney Lacked $7 Hunting Credential. Although he was not cited with breaking any laws, Vice President Dick Cheney did not have proper hunting credentials when he accidentally shot a fellow hunter at a private ranch over the weekend, authorities said Monday. Cheney, an experienced outdoorsman who had a valid out-of-state hunting license, will receive a formal warning for failing to purchase the required $7 stamp for bird hunting, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said.
· Official Police Report. The Texas Wildlife Department today issued a report on Vice President Dick Cheney's accidental shooting Saturday of a fellow quail hunter on a sprawling Texas ranch. The hunting accident report, a copy of which you can find below, briefly recounts how Cheney plugged Harry Whittington, a 78-year-old Austin lawyer, with birdshot in the face, neck, and chest.
· 'Incredible Hulk' Star a Reserve Deputy. The Incredible Hulk is now a county sheriff's department reserve deputy. Lou Ferrigno, 54, who played the green-skinned monster on the CBS TV show from 1977 to 1982, was sworn in during a ceremony Monday night.
· Bode Miller Surges to Lead. Bode Miller had the fastest time on the downhill portion of the men's Alpine combined event Tuesday, putting him in excellent position for his first medal at the Turin Olympics.
· 'Choking Game' Continues To Attract, Kill Children. Hundreds of children have died in Central Florida and across the country attempting to get a "high" during an activity called the choking game, according to a Problem Solvers investigation. The choking game, which is also called rising sun, suffocation roulette and space monkey, kills nearly 1,000 children a year, according to the report.
· Money really doesn't buy happiness, study finds. "Money doesn't actually buy happiness and that's what was shown very clearly for the nearly 23,000 people we've interviewed so far," researcher Liz Eckerman told ABC radio.
· A Valentine’s Day celebration of the most memorable Hollywood kisses. Kissing is one of cinema’s most common actions (right up there with punching), and yet what stands out? Something from “Casablanca” surely, and “Gone with the Wind.” “Titanic”? Did Leo really kiss Kate on the prow of the boat or was that just in the poster?
Monday, February 13, 2006
· Judge to hurricane victims: hit the street. A judge let the federal government Monday drop some 12,000 families made homeless by last year's hurricanes from a program that has put them up at hotels nationwide.
· Gore Laments U.S. 'Abuses' Against Arabs. Former Vice President Al Gore told a mainly Saudi audience on Sunday that the U.S. government committed "terrible abuses" against Arabs after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and that most Americans did not support such treatment. Gore said Arabs had been "indiscriminately rounded up" and held in "unforgivable" conditions. The former vice president said the Bush administration was playing into al-Qaida's hands by routinely blocking Saudi visa applications.
· Eddie Sutton DUI in crash, leaves team. Eddie Sutton was cited with driving under the influence after he was injured in a car accident, and the Oklahoma State basketball coach will take a medical leave for the rest of the season.
· Undercover detectives receive sex services. They enter the massage parlors as undercover detectives. They leave as satisfied customers. In Spotsylvania County, VA, as part of a campaign by the sheriff's office to root out prostitution in the massage parlor business, detectives have been receiving sexual services from "masseuses." During several visits to Moon Spa on Plank Road last month, detectives allowed women to perform sexual acts on them on four occasions and once left a $350 tip, according to court papers.
· Jury: Southwest flyer was too fat. A jury said Southwest Airlines did not racially discriminate against a black woman when she was asked to buy a second seat on a plane because of her size. The jury deliberated for a little over an hour before finding against Nadine Thompson, who sued Southwest in federal court.
· Timing of Wiretap Reportedly Backs Gretzky. Wayne Gretzky's contention that he had no prior knowledge of an illegal gambling ring linked to his wife and Rick Tocchet appears to be supported by the timing of a wiretap conversation involving the hockey Hall of Famer.
· SWAT Storms House After Obscene Gesture. An 8-and-a-half-hour standoff between a heavily armed woman and sheriff's deputies ended when the woman flashed her middle finger and a SWAT team took the gesture as a cue to storm her house.
· Italian Prime Minister: "Jesus Christ of politics." First it was Napoleon. Now it is Jesus Christ. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Belusconi has compared himself to both, prompting the open scorn of his political opponents and even the quietly raised eyebrows of his coalition partners. "I am the Jesus Christ of politics," Belusconi said at a dinner with supporters on Saturday night.
· Redford: Sundance a Bit Too Intense. The Sundance Film Festival is too intense for Robert Redford, who says he wasn't around for all of it this year. "To the outside world, it's a big fat market where you have people like Paris Hilton going to parties. Now, she doesn't have anything to do with anything. I think the festival is close to being out of control," the festival's creator told Newsweek.
· Company implants electronic tags in workers. An Ohio company has embedded silicon chips in two of its employees - the first known case in which US workers have been “tagged” electronically as a way of identifying them.
· Flashback: Cheney portrays Kerry as threat to gun owners. Vice President Dick Cheney portrayed President Bush and himself as champions of the Second Amendment — and Democratic candidate John Kerry as a potential threat to gun owners — in a speech at the National Rifle Association’s 133rd annual convention.
· This woman buried her criminal past in the attic. 85-year-old Marie Sushames received an unusual birthday gift this year - a $6,600 library fine. It seems that Sushames borrowed "The Punch Library of Humor" from the Rotorua Library in 1945 and forgot to give it back.
· Detective's Employer Knew About His Sleuthing Device. Throughout the three-year federal investigation of Anthony Pellicano, the celebrity detective at the center of a huge Hollywood wiretapping scandal, the top-tier entertainment lawyer Bert Fields and his firm have insisted that they never knew their go-to investigator was secretly recording his targets' phone calls.
· Kwan Says Thanks, but No, to NBC's Offer. Michelle Kwan won't be on the ice, and she won't be behind a microphone either. Soon after an injured Kwan bowed out of the games, NBC courted the athlete they had banked on being its biggest draw, hoping to lure her into the broadcast booth. But Kwan turned down the job offer, saying she didn't want to be a distraction for remaining members of the U.S. Olympic figure skating team.
· Plane crashes into California home. A single-engine plane that appeared to have been performing an aerobatic stunt lost control and crashed into a suburban home Sunday, killing at least two people and sparking a fire that gutted the house, police said.
Sunday, February 12, 2006
· Vice president accidentally shoots man during hunting trip. Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot and injured a man during a weekend quail hunting trip in Texas, his spokeswoman said today. Harry Whittington, 78, was "alert and doing fine" after Cheney sprayed Whittington with shotgun pellets Saturday at the Armstrong Ranch in south Texas.
· 'Jaws' author Benchley dead. Peter Benchley, whose novel "Jaws" terrorized millions of swimmers even as the author himself became an advocate for the conservation of sharks, has died at age 65, his widow said.
· Germany's ex-chancellor backs Hillary Clinton for president. Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, a fierce critic of the Bush administration, said Saturday that he's pulling for U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to win the White House.
· Boy charged with felony for carrying sugar. A 12-year-old Aurora, Illinois boy who said he brought powdered sugar to school for a science project this week has been charged with a felony for possessing a look-alike drug, Aurora police have confirmed.
· Janet kept vice on ice. For years, Janet Jones had kept her secret vice out of the public eye. There had been sightings in Atlantic City and Las Vegas, but nothing that elicited more than a casual mention in the celebrity columns. All of that has changed. Now the wife of hockey legend Wayne Gretzky has had her secret blown: She is a closet high roller, reportedly laying down more than $100,000 in wagers over a 40-day period with an illegal betting ring. As much as $75,000 of that money was bet on the Super Bowl — with one $5,000 wager reportedly made just on who would win the coin toss.
· Shameful abuse of 9/11 footage. A budding filmmaker that FEMA found in the yellow pages used his taxpayer-funded video of the smoldering World Trade Center ruins in a documentary featuring topless women chatting about their breasts, a Daily News investigation has found.
· Alaska Seeks to Remake State's Image. It's known as The Last Frontier. But lately, Alaska is worried the rest of America sees it as the Freeloading Frontier. Gov. Frank Murkowski says it is time for an image makeover. He wants the state to hire a public relations firm to change the perception of Alaska and its people as greedy for federal dollars and all too willing to plunder the environment for profit.
· Winn-Dixie, bankrupt, awards CEO $1.15 million bonus. Winn-Dixie Stores, a grocer operating under bankruptcy protection, on Friday said it had awarded chief executive Peter Lynch a $1.15 million bonus, provided he remains in his job through Aug. 31.
· Congresswoman says she didn't sign bill, can't prove it. U.S. Rep. Barbara Cubin, R-Wyo., said she believes she did not sign forms to co-sponsor legislation she in fact opposes that would sell off lands in the West, saying she was listed as a co-sponsor through a clerical error. "I sincerely believe I did not put pen to paper to sponsor that legislation," she wrote in an opinion piece submitted to the Casper Star-Tribune.
· Love Is in the Air ... and on the Airplane. A new service called Airtroductions.com matches solo travelers with their ideal seatmates, giving singles a chance at love as they travel. "I would do it in a heartbeat, absolutely," said Karolyn Woo. "I fly every week and it really makes a difference who you're sitting next to."
· Gingrich Cheers Frustrated Conservatives. Newt Gingrich, who led the Republican Party to power a dozen years ago, told cheering conservatives Saturday it is time to overhaul a balky, slow-moving government locked in the last century. Citing multiple government failures after Hurricane Katrina, the former House speaker said the government meltdown at all levels illustrated how badly government needs to be updated in all of its operations.
· A top Tennessee Lottery official sent porn e-mails. A top Tennessee Lottery official who was fired after an investigation into allegations of workplace harassment used his state computer to send crude e-mails to a subordinate, a review of his e-mail records shows. Steve Adams, 54, also forwarded to his home e-mail several pornographic photos and videos, including depictions of bestiality and other explicit sex acts.
· Child struck and killed by ice cream truck. As investigators examined her ice cream truck, on the route she's been driving more than six years, Sheila Patel stood in disbelief convinced she did not hit 17-month-old Raymundo Aguirre, saying the proof is how far the child's body was found in front of her truck.
· Bush team seeks to sell land. The Bush administration Friday laid out plans to sell off more than $1 billion in public land during the next decade, including 85,000 acres of National Forest property in California. Most of the proceeds would help pay for rural schools and roads, making up for a federal subsidy that has been eliminated from President Bush's 2007 budget.
· Arab company poised to control six U.S. ports. company in the United Arab Emirates is poised to take over significant operations at six American ports as part of a corporate sale, leaving a country with ties to the Sept. 11 hijackers with influence over a maritime industry considered vulnerable to terrorism.
Saturday, February 11, 2006
· Indiana House Wrongly Valued at $400 Million. A house erroneously valued at $400 million is being blamed for budget shortfalls and possible layoffs in municipalities and school districts in northwest Indiana. County Treasurer Jim Murphy said the home usually carried about $1,500 in property taxes; this year, it was billed $8 million.
· Police say woman arrested after calling to buy marijuana. Police were surprised to get a call early Saturday from a woman seeking to buy marijuana. "A young lady called the West Fargo Police Department and asked the dispatcher if he knew where there was marijuana," Officer Ken Zeeb said. The dispatcher told her it was illegal, but she insisted, and police then told her they had some in the evidence locker, Zeeb said. The 20-year-old Fargo woman showed up at police headquarters a short time later, and gave the dispatcher $3 to buy pot, he said.
· Head found in woman's luggage. US immigration officials have arrested a Haitian woman after baggage screeners found a human head in her luggage at a Florida airport. Myrlene Severe, 30, has been charged with failing to declare the head on a customs form and transporting "hazardous material."
· Muslim activists burn Valentine's Day cards in Kashmir. Nearly two dozen black-veiled Muslim women stormed gift and stationery shops Friday in Kashmir, burning Valentine's Day cards and posters to protest a holiday they say imposes Western values on Muslim youth.
· Big Easy ushers in Mardi Gras jawing. Mardi Gras has long been an occasion for the city to laugh at tragedy and aim barbs at authorities, and given all the pain New Orleans has suffered in the past year the irreverence should reach new heights this season.
· Drug Smuggling Air Marshals? Two Federal Air Marshals were taken into custody in Houston, allegedly involved with the possession or transportation of cocaine, and may have been paid several thousand dollars to move the drugs.
· Saudi Cleric Demands Trial Over Drawings. Saudi Arabia's top cleric called on the world's Muslims to reject apologies for the "slanderous" caricatures of Islam's Prophet Mohammed and demanded the authors and publishers of the cartoons be tried and punished, Saudi newspapers reported Saturday.
· American Airlines Pilot Arrested On Suspicion Of Drunkenness. An American Airlines pilot has been arrested in Britain on suspicion of being intoxicated. One of three pilots on Flight 55 was arrested shortly before the plane was scheduled to leave Manchester in northwestern England.
· Grandma sued for $150,000 in alleged 'Longest Yard' piracy. Meet the movie industry’s Public Enemy No. 1. A 63-year-old Brooklyn grandmother is being sued by Hollywood for allegedly downloading a pirated version of the Adam Sandler film “The Longest Yard.”
· Dad: Son put up for adoption without his knowledge. David Archuletta says he knew his former girlfriend was pregnant in 2001, but she told him the baby was stillborn. More than a year later, she told him the truth - that she had given birth after traveling to New Jersey from their home in Colorado, and turned over the baby for adoption.
· Protests over jailing of 'scapegoat' driver. A Siberian railway worker jailed for a car crash that killed a senior official has become a people's hero for working-class Russians who feel the chauffeur- driven elite is riding roughshod over them. Oleg Shcherbinsky was sentenced last week to four years in prison for failing to give way to a speeding Mercedes carrying the regional governor, Mikhail Yevdokimov. The limousine careered off the road and into a tree, killing the governor.
· Lawyers Sent Fake Letters for Death Row Clemency. Lawyers for a death row inmate, including former Whitewater independent counsel Kenneth Starr, sent fake letters from jurors asking California's governor to spare the man's life, prosecutors said.
· X-Rated Fortune Cookies Mistakenly Served At Fundraiser. A box of X-rated fortune cookies was mistakenly delivered to a fundraiser hosted by a Brooklyn politician. The 350 cookies stuffed with "the most graphically lurid" fortunes got mixed up with a batch of 1,750 cookies ordered for the Chinese New Year event, Borough President Marty Markowitz said Friday. Some guests "were stunned, to say the least."
· Fossett breaks record; makes emergency landing. Adventurer Steve Fossett completed the longest nonstop flight in aviation history Saturday after flying around the globe - and then some - in roughly 80 hours. Fossett, 61, was forced to land his lightweight experimental plane, Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer, at Bournemouth International Airport, in southern England, instead of his planned landing point in nearby Kent, after encountering generator problems.
Friday, February 10, 2006
· Oops! 'Sex Offender' sign placed on wrong house. Officials in Benton County say a woman hung a sign on a neighbor's door warning people that the man who lives in the Bella Vista home is a sex offender. Sheriff's deputies say she had the wrong house. The sign said "Don't play here. Child molester lives here."
· Politician compares stem cell research to Holocaust. Discussing his position on embryonic stem cell research with Baltimore Jewish leaders yesterday, Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele said he is "concerned about the destruction of human life" and made a comparison between the controversial science and experiments done on Jews during the Holocaust.
· Actor Who Played 'Jeffersons' Neighbor Dies. Franklin Cover, who became a familiar face as George and Louise Jefferson's white neighbor Tom Willis in the long-running TV sitcom "The Jeffersons," has died, his publicist said Thursday. He was 77.
· Newspaper regrets running "Meth Made Easy" story. As a result of last week’s cover story, “Meth Made Easy” in the San Luis Obispo New Times newspaper, the editor said "many faithful readers vowed never to pick up New Times again. Businesses told us they no longer want the paper in their stores, while other businesses withdrew advertising. Some people vowed to launch a boycott of those advertisers who remain. Certain individuals took it upon themselves to confiscate copies of the paper — many thousands of copies."
· Police Say Burglar Checked E-Mail, Showered, Ate. Police said the guy made himself right at home - making coffee, eating food and taking showers. But he wasn't in his own house. Police in Baraboo, Wis., have arrested a 24-year-old suspect they think committed three home break-ins.
· In California, Clothing Is Optional. Maybe it's the warm weather. Or maybe it's just California. This much is for sure: in the Golden State, clothing appears to be optional. From naked dining to mass-mooning an Amtrak train, California offers a little something for the budding exhibitionist — or voyeur — in all of us.
· Woman gets 18 months for having sex with boy. A woman was sentenced in Superior Court Thursday to 18 months in prison for performing sexual acts on a 14-year-old neighbor — including one time while the boy was held down by her ex-husband.
· Bus driver tosses complaining rider into traffic. A transit bus driver grabbed a woman by the hair, knocked her head into a pole, opened the door and tossed her into traffic after she yelled at him for missing her stop, police said. The 52-year-old woman, who was not identified, suffered a broken shoulder.
· Billboards for Christian group oppose homosexuality. A controversial Christian conference that claims homosexuality is preventable and treatable is coming to St Louis. Cryptic billboards with the tagline, “I question homosexuality,” went up around St. Louis this week.
· Can judges spell L-A-W-S-U-I-T? The Nevada state spelling bee is growing by two contestants to make up for a judging error that had one girl's parents ready to spell "lawsuit." Sara Beckman was disqualified from the Washoe County spelling bee this week despite correctly spelling "discernible." Officials say the word was misspelled on the judges' lists.
· Tom Sizemore gets probation after admitting drug use again. A judge on Thursday sentenced Tom Sizemore to three years probation after the actor tearfully admitted he used methamphetamine last month. Sizemore, 44, could have faced 16 months in prison after violating his probation stemming from a conviction for methamphetamine possession.
· Chicago Merc to Trade Snowfall Futures. First came temperature futures, then frost-day futures. Now - futures involving how much snow falls at Logan Airport in Boston or New York's Central Park is being sold by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
· New York mayor fires man for playing computer game. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has fired a city employee after seeing the man play solitaire on his computer at work. "The workplace is not an appropriate place for games," Bloomberg told reporters on Thursday. The man was fired last Tuesday after six years on the job with no warning or severance pay.
· Libby: Superiors Authorized Information Leaks. A former top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney told a federal grand jury that his superiors authorized him to give secret information to reporters as part of the Bush administration's defense of intelligence used to justify invading Iraq, according to court papers.
Thursday, February 9, 2006
· Update: Two held in Curious George author's Florida death. Two men have been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Alan J. Shalleck, 76, who co-wrote "Curious George" books and helped bring the very curious little monkey to television. Rex Spears Ditto, 29, and Vincent Puglisi, 54, were arrested shortly before midnight on Wednesday and confessed to a home invasion, murder and robbery of Shalleck, Sgt. Gladys Cannon of the Boynton Beach police said on Thursday.
· Jury Rejects Claim That Tossed Shrimp Resulted In Death. A jury took two hours Thursday to reject a widow's claim that her husband's death resulted from an injury he suffered while ducking a piece of flying shrimp at a Benihana steakhouse.
· Jet Lands in Denver After Apparent Suicide. A man apparently hanged himself in an airplane lavatory during a flight that was diverted to Denver after his body was discovered, police said. Denver medical examiner's spokeswoman Michelle Weiss-Samaras said an autopsy was planned for the body of Gerald Georgettis, 56, of Miami, which was found Wednesday on a United Airlines flight from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles.
· Feds Consider Warnings on ADHD Drugs. A federal health official said Thursday that there was a strong possibility that popular drugs like Ritalin used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may be linked to the deaths of 25 people.
· 'Curious George' Collaborator Found Dead. Alan Shalleck, who collaborated with the co-creator of "Curious George" to bring the mischievous monkey to television and a series of book sequels, was found dead outside his home, and police were treating the death as a possible homicide.
· Councilman admits egging officer's car. A city councilman and former police officer in Northglenn, Colorado admits he egged the car of a Broomfield officer whom he believed was having an affair with his ex-girlfriend, authorities say.
· Jacko Kicked Out, Cut Off by Arab Prince. Today will be the seventh week in a row that employees at Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch have not received paychecks, according to FoxNews. And now there's really bad news for them: Jackson has been cut off and kicked out by Prince Abdullah, son of the King of Bahrain. He is no longer funding Jackson, and his kids and nanny are on an extended stay in Bahrain.
· Sports Bar's 'Baby On Board' Shirts Prompt Lawsuits. Two Central Florida sisters have filed lawsuits against a popular sports bar after they claim they were told to wear 'Baby on Board' T-shirts and were retaliated against when they became pregnant.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Cathartic [ca·thar·tic] adj. Producing a feeling of being purified emotionally, spiritually, or psychologically as a result of an intense emotional experience or therapeutic technique. "The strength of the movie had a cathartic effect on her."
· Ex-FEMA chief: I may tell all about Katrina. Former disaster agency chief Michael Brown is indicating he is ready to reveal his correspondence with President Bush and other officials during Hurricane Katrina unless the White House forbids it and offers legal support.
· Oprah Signs 3-Year Deal With XM Satellite. Oprah Winfrey has signed a three-year, $55 million deal with XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. to launch a new radio channel beginning in September, Winfrey and XM announced Thursday.
· Man Arrested in Wife and Daughter's Deaths. British authorities arrested a man Thursday in the shooting deaths of his wife and infant daughter, whose bodies were found in their Massachusetts home last month, officials said. Neil Entwistle, who returned to his native England a day after his family was killed, is charged with two counts of murder and two weapons-related charges.
· Deputy Dog. A Florida sheriff's deputy was fired this week for using his patrol car's dashboard camera to film scantily clad women at public beaches. Jack Munsey, 36, lost his job with the Martin County Sheriff's Office after internal affairs officers obtained two videotapes showing the cop's cinematic efforts.
· Fla. School Boots Jerry Springer. The talk show host had accepted an invitation from Sarasota High School's cheerleaders to headline the "Hollywood Nights" dance Saturday. But administrators withdrew the invitation Wednesday, saying that Springer, whose TV guests include unfaithful lovers and brawling friends, was not an appropriate role model for students.
· Fries fattier than thought. McDonald's, the world's largest restaurant chain, says its french fries contain a third more trans fats than previously thought, citing results of a new testing method it began using in December.
· Violence mars Ashura festival. The observance of the Shiite Muslim festival of Ashura was marred when at least 15 people died and more were wounded in a suicide attack during a holiday procession in northwest Pakistan, officials said.
· Accuser: NASCAR Publicist Bragged Of 50 Child Sex Encounters. A teenage girl has painted an ugly picture of Richard "Chip" Williams, the former NASCAR publicist who was charged last week with raping a child.
Wednesday, February 8, 2006
· Blind student sues Target because he can't see their website. A blind UC Berkeley student has filed a class-action lawsuit against Target Corp., saying the retailer is committing civil-rights violations because its Web site is inaccessible to those who cannot see. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Alameda County Superior Court, said the upscale discounter's on-line business, target.com, denies blind Californians equal access to goods and services available to those who can see.
· Muslims now blame U.S. for cartoons. Police killed four people Wednesday as Afghans enraged over drawings of the Prophet Muhammad marched on a U.S. military base in Afghanistan, directing their anger not against Europe but America. The U.S. base was targeted because the United States "is the leader of Europe and the leading infidel in the world," said Sher Mohammed, a 40-year-old farmer who took part in in the demonstration.
· Ex-music executive jailed in celebrity sleuth case. A former music industry executive indicted as part of a Hollywood wiretapping scandal was sent to jail after talking of plans to flee or kill himself to avoid standing trial, a federal prosecutor said on Wednesday. Robert Pfeifer, who served as president of Walt Disney Co.'s Hollywood Records in the mid-1990s, was ordered detained as a flight risk.
· Scandal shakes up small Arkansas town. The mayor was arrested in a corruption probe, the police chief is accused in a drug-making scheme, and the prosecutor says the chief's wife took prisoners from jail to have sex with them - and more arrests could be coming.
· Update: Fast-Food Litter Tax Takes Effect In Oakland. Fed up with burger wrappers, french fry containers and paper cups, Oakland is the first city in the nation to force fast-food restaurants, convenience stores and other businesses to help pay for cleaning up street trash.
· NY strip club CEO, manager charged for tax evasion. The chief executive of a posh New York strip club frequented by celebrities and executives were indicted on Tuesday on allegations of evading $3.1 million in state income tax. The club, Scores, one of New York's best-known "gentleman's clubs," was already under investigation for overcharging patrons. Celebrity sightings at Scores have been tabloid fodder. The club also hit the headlines when executives were said to have entertained there at company expense, spending $241,000 for a team of lap dancers.
· Wounded Solider Charged For Damaged Body Armor. A former U.S. soldier injured in Iraq says he was forced to pay $700 for a blood-soaked Kevlar vest that was destroyed after medics removed it to treat shrapnel wounds to his right arm.
· First-Grader Suspended for Sexual Harassment. A first-grader was suspended from Downey Elementary School in Brockton, Mass., after school officials said he sexually harassed a female schoolmate. The young boy is accused of touching a fellow first-grader's skin underneath the rear waistband of her pants.
· Thousands of Katrina Evacuees Booted From Hotels. Hauling everything he owned in a plastic garbage bag, Darryl Travis walked out of the chandeliered lobby of the Crowne Plaza, joining the exodus of Hurricane Katrina refugees evicted from their hotel rooms across the country Tuesday.
· Gretzky's wife named in probe. Wayne Gretzky's wife and about a half-dozen NHL players placed bets - but not on hockey - with a nationwide sports gambling ring financed by Phoenix Coyotes assistant coach Rick Tocchet, New Jersey authorities said.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Supercilious [su·per·cil·i·ous] adj. 1. Full of contempt and arrogance. 2. Behaving as if or showing that a person thinks they are better than other people, and that their opinions, beliefs or ideas are not important, condescending: "He spoke in a haughty, supercilious voice."
· Teen Convicted Of Killings On Sam Donaldson's Ranch. A New Mexico teen was convicted of killing his father, stepmother and stepsister on the ranch of newsman Sam Donaldson. Cody Posey hung his head and wept briefly when the verdict was read.
· Some sap put a tree in Bronx house. It's the most bizarre treehouse in New York. A property-line dispute between a builder and a lifelong Bronx resident is in an architectural stalemate - with a live tree right in the middle of a cinder-block wall of a new house.
· Afghanistan Welcomes Debt Cancellations. Afghanistan on Wednesday praised a decision by the United States, Russia and Germany to cancel its debts to the three countries, totaling more than $10 billion.
· Asbestos Bill Moves Forward After Reid Lifts Objection. Legislation to set up a $140 billion fund to pay people sickened by asbestos cleared its first hurdle Tuesday when Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid reversed course and removed his objection to debating it. The bill would pay asbestos victims from a $140 billion privately supported trust fund in exchange for halting all asbestos-related court cases.
· CIA worker accused of secret life of crime. A CIA worker was arrested and charged with being a serial burglar responsible for more than a dozen incidents near the spy agency's headquarters. Fairfax County police said Tuesday that George C. Dalmas III had been charged with 17 burglaries in McLean, Virginia, between October and last month.
· Man Gets Over A Year in Jail for Marriage to 14-Year-Old. A 23-year-old man was sentenced to more than a year in prison Tuesday on a sexual assault charge filed after he impregnated a teenager, then married her last spring when she was 14. Judge Daniel Bryan sentenced Matthew Koso to 18 to 30 months in prison, saying probation wasn't an option because Koso continued to have sexual relations with his underage wife.
· Court Grants Restraining Order on Hilton. A court commissioner issued a restraining order Tuesday against celebutante Paris Hilton, ordering her to stay away from producer Brian Quintana, 37, who claimed she threatened and harassed him.
Tuesday, February 7, 2006
· Tabloid sued over miner hospital photo. Anna McCloy, the wife of the lone survivor of the Sago mine accident, has sued the National Enquirer over a hospital room photograph published in the supermarket tabloid. Also named in the suit is Matthew McCloy, her husband's brother, who took the photograph of the hospitalized miner for the tabloid. The Enquirer paid McCloy $800 for the photo.
· Muslims Offended by Rap Song. Sony BMG Music Entertainment recalled two Thai rap CDs from stores Tuesday after Muslims complained the tracks insult their faith. A recent article states the songs "clearly insults the Quran," the Muslim holy book. It said the CDs contain verses from the Quran and "the Quran strictly forbids the use of its verses in songs."
· The nanny’s revenge. Told she would never be a nanny in Hollywood again, Suzanne Hansen’s response was a book exposing the foibles of celebrity families. Hansen was galvanized into writing the book when she saw a well-known celebrity mother on television. Something inside her snapped. “I was so mad. I was shouting (at the TV), ‘You’re not telling them you get driven to work, you get your hair and makeup done for you!’ These women don’t pay their own bills, have clothes brought to their home, their groceries delivered.
· Flood doesn't water down Danza's show. Tony Danza appears to be a firm believer in the theory that the show must go on. That's because yesterday, instead of canceling his show when faced with a flooded studio, Danza did it live without an audience and with a bunch of candles.
· Hells Angels get million dollar settlement for dead dogs. California county will pay nearly $1 million to settle a lawsuit brought by the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club after police shot and killed three guard dogs during raids of the group's headquarters and suspected members' homes.
· Madonna compares pop stars to terrorists. Madonna says she’s more stubborn than a terrorist — at least when it comes to her music career. “What’s the difference between a pop star and a terrorist? You can negotiate with a terrorist,” jokes Madonna, poking fun at her diva reputation in the March issue of Harper’s Bazaar.
· Johansson, Knightley Bare All for Magazine. With award season still under way, Scarlett Johansson and Keira Knightley are exchanging ballgowns for birthday suits. Under the artful eye of photographer Annie Leibovitz, the starlets posed nude for the cover of Vanity Fair magazine's yearly Hollywood issue, to be released Wednesday. Fashion superstar Tom Ford also appears on the cover photo, though he stuck with a more traditional suit - one of black fabric.
· Mystery of Author 'JT LeRoy' Unravels. One of publishing's most bizarre mysteries appears to finally have been solved. The writer penning the novels of "JT LeRoy," a purported 25-year-old former male prostitute and drug addict, has been unmasked as a 40-year-old woman who allegedly undertook the ruse to get her work recognized.
· 'Banned' Aphrodisiac Soda To Be Sold In Stores. A new soda promising to sexually arouse the person drinking it will be available in stores nationwide. The soda was banned in France and Denmark, but makers insist it is safe and works as an aphrodisiac.
· Court overturns seizure of home. A city agency violated the separation of church and state when it seized a woman's home to help a religious group build a private school in a blighted Philadelphia neighborhood, a state appeals court ruled Monday.
· Suspects Arrested In Snatching Of Necklace From 5-Year-Old. Police arrested a man for investigation of yanking a gold chain from the neck of a 5-year-old girl as she waited outside a market where her mother was shopping. The man, along with a woman who allegedly drove away in the Lexus getaway car, were arrested Friday, a day after detectives released a surveillance videotape of the crime.
· Mayor: New Orleans seeks aid from other nations. Shortcomings in aid are making New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin look to other nations for help in rebuilding his hurricane-damaged city. "France can take Treme. The king of Jordan can take the Lower Ninth Ward," Nagin said, referring to two of the city's neighborhoods.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Ambivalence [am·biv·a·lence] n. 1. Uncertainty or indecisiveness as to which course to follow. 2. The coexistence of opposing attitudes or feelings, such as love and hate, toward a person, object, or idea.
· Firearms Left In Vans Transporting Inmates. Correctional officers in Orange County, Fla., said two private transport companies have left firearms unsecured in unlocked vans while transporting inmates to and from jail.
· Mother's blue tattoo leaves airline cabin crew red-faced. For five years, Peta Bull's tattoo of a naked man and woman embracing hardly raised an eyebrow - not at work, not in public, not even at her daughter's school, where she helps out from time to time. Then she flew Jetstar. Soon after boarding a flight to Brisbane last month, the 36-year-old said she was asked to cover the tattoo on her shoulder blade - even though singlet straps already hid the most potentially offensive bit - or get off the plane.
· Iran to publish Holocaust cartoons. Iran's largest selling newspaper announced today it was holding a contest on cartoons of the Holocaust in response to the publishing in European papers of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed. "It will be an international cartoon contest about the Holocaust," said Farid Mortazavi, the graphics editor for Hamshahri newspaper.
· Spears defends photos of baby in car. Pop singer Britney Spears has issued a statement defending herself after pictures of her driving with her baby son Sean Preston on her lap were released on the Internet. The singer claims that the actions were taken after photographers approached her parked car.
· Protester is returned to prison. A demonstrator who imitated a suicide bomber in a Muslim protest over cartoons satirizing the Prophet Muhammad has been recalled to prison. Omar Khayam, 22, of Bedford, is a convicted drug dealer who was jailed in 2002 and released on probation last year after serving half his sentence.
· B.B. King Offers Guitar As Reward for Dog. B.B. King's dog, Lucille, has disappeared, and the legendary bluesman is offering an autographed copy of one of his signature "Lucille" guitars in an effort to get her back. The 2-year-old white female Maltese, named after King's signature guitar, went missing about 10 days ago in West Hollywood while she was under the care of his
ex-manager co-manager, Matthew Lieberman.
Monday, February 6, 2006
· Man dies in car burn scam. A Bronx man burned to death torching his leased car in a bungled bid to avoid a final payment, cops said. Wilfred Elize, 31, had just parked near his home with his wife when the black Nissan Altima went up in flames.
· Muslim Cartoon Protests Turn Deadly. Islamic fury over the cartoons of Prophet Muhammad spilled violently into the streets of Afghanistan. Police gunned down at least four people, some as they tried to storm a U.S. military base. Thousands more joined increasingly violent demonstrations across the world, including in Somalia where stampeding protesters killed a teenage boy.
· Sessions' aide revealed on sexy Internet diary. An aide to Sen. Jeff Sessions agreed to shut down her Web diary, which included a provocative photo of her bare midriff in unzipped jeans, after the office heard about a complaint, the senator's spokesman said. Stormie Janzen would not speak to reporters, but the blog indicated she was logged onto the site Friday morning during Senate business hours.
· Did You Hear the One About 'Brokeback'? Some of the "Top Ten Signs You're a Gay Cowboy," courtesy of David Letterman: You enjoy ridin', ropin' and redecoratin'. Instead of a saloon, you prefer a salon.
· Italian Priest Wants Jackson on CD. An Italian priest who runs a music label specializing in religious songs said on Monday that Michael Jackson could be one of several artists to sing on a CD of Pope John Paul II's prayers, but cautioned that the project is "only a small idea" that has yet to be run by the Vatican for approval.
· Judge Leads Super Bowl Chant During Manslaughter Trial. A judge overseeing a manslaughter case embarrassed prosecutors and upset the victim's family when she called for a Super Bowl cheer for the Seattle Seahawks before the start of sentencing.
· Pellicano Wiretap Indictment. An illegal wiretapping and information gathering network run by disgraced Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano allegedly recorded Sylvester Stallone's telephone calls and accessed confidential law enforcement records pertaining to other entertainment industry figures, including actors Garry Shandling, Kevin Nealon, and Keith Carradine.
· Reese's Theme Park Photog Found Dead. A paparazzo who was charged with battery and child endangerment after pestering Reese Witherspoon and her kids at a theme park last fall has apparently been found dead. Friends of photographer Todd Wallace said his body was discovered in his Brentwood apartment, according to published reports. Police confirmed that a body was found, but were unable to identify it as Wallace's because of the state of the corpse.
· Monetize Your Roof. Click on the aerial view of a cityscape on Google Earth or Microsoft's Live Local, and most of us don't discern much more than a cluttered expanse of buildings and car-lined streets. But where others see a sprawl of empty rooftops, Colin Fitz-Gerald sees a cornucopia of unused advertising space.
· A politician's answer to litter... tax it. Oakland officials are so fed up with fast-food trash that they want to tax the businesses they blame for much of the city’s garbage woes, then use the money to clean up the streets. “It’s not fair that the residents have to clean up after a fast-food establishment that’s making a profit,” said Councilwoman Jane Brunner, who proposed the new ordinance.
· Montana, Bradshaw skip ceremony over cash. When the NFL unveiled its MVPs from the previous 39 Super Bowls, only three living members skipped the ceremony. Former 49ers quarterback Joe Montana and former Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw decided to stay home. Sources said that Montana asked for a guarantee of at least $100,000 in appearance money.
· Jury selection opens in Moussaoui trial. Proclaiming "I am al-Qaida," Zacarias Moussaoui was removed from a federal courtroom in Alexandria on Monday at the outset of jury selection in his terrorist conspiracy trial.
· Cops pull pastor from pulpit. The Rev. Jimmy McCants was delivering a sermon titled "Can We Mend a Broken Heart?" on Sunday morning when Chicago Police arrested the 54-year-old pastor on a misdemeanor trespassing charge, outraging some members of his congregation.
· Rapper's Bodyguard Slain During Video Shoot. Police in New York are trying to figure out who killed a bodyguard for Busta Rhymes. The rapper was on a music video shoot in Brooklyn when gunfire broke out. Israel Ramirez died after being hit once in the chest with a bullet.
· It started with a parking ticket. Sometimes it's the small stuff that reveals the deep divides in local politics. A police officer issued a parking ticket. A civilian official ordered the police chief to withdraw the ticket. The chief refused. The township manager suspended the chief for 10 days.
· Catholic Priest Shot, Killed at Church. A teenage boy shot and killed the Italian Roman Catholic priest of a church in Turkey Sunday, shouting "God is great" as he escaped, according to police and witnesses.
· Face transplant patient speaks. The woman who received a new face in a groundbreaking transplant operation has appeared before the world's media at a hospital news conference in northern France. "I now have a face like everyone else," Isabelle Dinoire told reporters Monday.
· Bottled Water: Nectar of the Frauds? Water, water everywhere and we are duped into buying it bottled. Consumers spend a collective $100 billion every year on bottled water in the mistaken belief that it is better for us than what flows from our taps.
· Turns out Paris' possessions weren't stolen after all. The not-so-simple life of Paris Hilton has hit another bump in the road. It turns out that the items she thought were stolen, including clothing, furniture, computers, personal journals, photos and videotapes, were stored by Hilton in a Los Angeles storage unit. Apparently, the items were obtained by an unnamed buyer last November when the contents of the storage locker were sold for $2,775 after the bill to maintain the unit went unpaid. Her possessions are now on sale at the bargain price of $20 million.
· Man Angry With Car Price Sets Dealership On Fire. A disgruntled car customer in South Florida who was apparently angry with the price he was charged for his new car drove the vehicle into the dealership showroom, poured gas on it and set it on fire, police said.
· Consumers Scratch Heads Over New TV Lingo. The digital TVs that will eventually replace today's analog system bring a whole new language, leaving consumers who are eyeing or buying new sets scratching their heads.
· Yahoo, AOL to Charge Some E-Mail Senders. Two of the world's biggest e-mail account providers, Yahoo Inc. and America Online, plan to introduce a service that would charge senders a fee to route their e-mail directly to a user's mailbox without first passing through junk mail filters, representatives of both companies said Sunday.
· Dutch Islamists post cartoons depicting Anne Frank, Hitler in bed. A Belgian-Dutch Islamic political organization posted anti-Jewish cartoons on its Web site in response to the cartoons of the prophet Mohammed that appeared in Danish papers last year and offended many Muslims. One of the cartoons displayed an image of Dutch Holocaust victim Anne Frank in bed with Adolf Hitler, and another questioned whether the Holocaust actually occurred.
· Teen Saves Woman's Life, Seven Years After She Saved His. A teenager recently got the chance to thank the woman who saved his life - by saving hers. The 17-year-old successfully performed the Heimlich maneuver on the choking woman in the restaurant where he was washing dishes. Then his mother recognized the woman as the nurse who performed CPR on him in 1999 after he was struck in the chest by a baseball bat.
· ABC Uses Tape Delay for Stones Halftime Show. They may not have flashed any body parts — except for Mick Jagger's well-toned stomach — but the Rolling Stones made ABC glad it imposed a five-second tape delay on the Super Bowl halftime show.
Sunday, February 5, 2006
· New Charges Await Celebrity Private Eye. Hollywood loves a good scandal — cheating spouses, sex tapes, drug addictions. The industry's obsessive rumor mill has churned over the past few months in anticipation of the outcome of a three-year FBI investigation into suspected illegal wiretapping by celebrity private investigator Anthony Pellicano.
· One Super Bowl commercial you won't see - nor want to. A lavishly-produced television spot mimics the publicity for a sexploitation video venture called Girls Gone Wild: good-looking college girls go on spring break and flash for the cameras. But in the PETA version, the girls have udders instead of breasts, which soon start leaking milk.
· Newspaper defends printing Mohammad cartoon. The Philadelphia Inquirer, one of the few U.S. newspapers to publish a caricature of the Prophet Mohammad from a series that sparked a wave of protests by Muslims, defended the action on Sunday by saying it was just doing its job. "This is the kind of work that newspapers are in business to do," said Amanda Bennett, the newspaper's editor.
· Robots race camels in Kuwait. Kuwait on Sunday held the first regional camel race using robots as riders after child jockeys were banned from the lucrative sport following criticism by human rights groups.
· Town rejects proposal to evict Justice Souter. Residents on Saturday rejected a proposal to evict U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter from his farmhouse to make way for the "Lost Liberty Hotel." A group angered by last year's Supreme Court decision that gave local governments more power to seize people's homes for economic development had petitioned to use the ruling against the justice.
· Scuffle at Penn funeral. A fracas broke out yesterday at the funeral for actor Chris Penn when a paparazzo got too close for grieving brother Sean's comfort. Sean Penn, 45, became irate over the shutterbug's intrusion at the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, Calif., sources said.
· Islamic outrage continues over cartoon depicting violent Mohammed. Islamic anger spread internationally, with the latest including the torching of the Danish consulate, over newspaper cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed wearing a turban shaped like a bomb with a lit fuse, among other violent depictions.
· Tampa area girl pushes for a wheelchair Barbie. Morgan Kelly wasn't looking for special treatment or a handout. She simply wanted an answer to the question: "Why can't there be a Barbie in a wheelchair?"
· 'Naked Short-Sellers' Target Overstock. Overstock.com Inc. has problems, and its CEO wants you to believe they're your problems, too. Patrick Byrne, the Internet retailer's chief executive officer, has called short selling of his company's shares essentially a bet their price will fall a conspiracy orchestrated by a "Sith Lord." He later likened the conspiracy to an organization structured like al-Qaida and said his stock has been targeted by "naked short-sellers," a practice he said has ties to Italian, Russian and Israeli mafia.
· Libby case delayed until after congressional midterm elections. The obstruction of justice trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby - the former chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney - will begin almost a year from now, on January 8, 2007, a federal judge ruled. Adding an even heavier political cast to the case, Libby's trial will not take place until after the congressional midterm elections.
· Nationally known coroner indicted by federal grand jury. Dr. Cyril Wecht, a county coroner who has consulted on dozens of high-profile cases from Elvis' death to JonBenet Ramsey's killing, was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that he used government resources to further his private practice.
· No side shots for Pee Diddy. Sean "Pee Diddy" Combs doesn't like his profile. Insiders on the set of Diddy's MTV reality show "Making the Band 3," tell Page Six he asked cameramen to avoid shooting him from the side. "He wants to be shot from the front, the back, anything but the side. Apparently he's concerned that it reveals his overbite and his nonexistent chin."
· Job promise leads to arrest. A Burlington businesswoman who advertised $25–an–hour jobs but failed to pay her employees turned herself into police Friday night after an arrest warrant was issued earlier in the day. An investigation into Brown's business venture began Jan. 6, three days after she began taking applications and collecting a one–time $10 processing fee.
· Finally, affordable housing in New York. Nick Freeman demonstrates how to get into the hole-in-the-wall "bedroom" that he and his fellow roommates intended to rent for $35 a month in their Brooklyn apartment.
· Gay bar attack suspect captured in gunfight. An 18-year-old suspected in hatchet attacks and shootings at a Massachusetts gay bar was captured 1,200 miles away Saturday after killing a police officer and the passenger in his vehicle, authorities said.
» Update: Man Held in Bar Attack Dies After Shootout. The teenager suspected of a hatchet-and-gun attack in a Massachusetts gay bar and in the killing of two people in Arkansas, including a policeman, died Sunday of wounds suffered in a gun battle with officers, authorities said.
· The State of the Union's Mystery Suspect. T-shirts, it turns out, aren't the only things that get you in trouble with the Capitol Police at the State of the Union address. Much has already been made of the fact that both anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan and Beverly Young, the wife of Republican Congressman Bill Young, were ejected from the speech for wearing shirts with political messages. But on the same evening that President Bush was lauding democracy and freedom, there was one other person in attendance whose rights were infringed upon.
· Oops! She did it again? Britney Spears stunned shoppers in Malibu, Calif., last week when she clutched her belly and announced she was pregnant with her second child. One fellow shopper, Ginny Masse, tells In Touch magazine, "Britney put her hands on her belly, laughed and said, 'That's right, number two!'"
Saturday, February 4, 2006
· NOW founder Betty Friedan Dies At 85. Betty Friedan, whose manifesto "The Feminine Mystique" became a best seller in the 1960s and laid the groundwork for the modern feminist movement, died today, on her birthday.
· Philippines stampede kills 73 over chance to win $384. Thousands of people lined up outside a stadium near Manila to watch a TV game show surged toward the gates Saturday in the mistaken belief they were open, and at least 73 people were trampled to death, officials said. Survivors said the game show was to include a raffle with a jackpot equivalent to $384.
· 'Grandpa Munster' Al Lewis Dies at 95. Al Lewis, the cigar-chomping patriarch of "The Munsters" whose work as a basketball scout, restaurateur and political candidate never eclipsed his role as Grandpa from the television sitcom, died after years of failing health.
· Red Sea ferry survivors say captain fled. Survivors of the Red Sea ferry disaster said on Saturday the Egyptian captain had fled his burning ship by lifeboat and abandoned them to their fate, as hopes faded of finding some 800 missing people. "There was a fire but the crew stopped the people from putting on lifejackets so that it wouldn't cause a panic," said Abdel Raouf Nabi, one of the survivors.
· Woman accused of stealing thousands from Make-A-Wish. The former president of a Make-A-Wish Foundation chapter was charged with fabricating cases of terminally ill children and using the money on shopping sprees, home remodeling, gifts, a hot tub and a Super Bowl trip. Jessica Robertine Hardy, 53, of Wilkes-Barre, defrauded the charitable group of cash and merchandise worth $50,000 to $100,000 from 1996 through 2005, Luzerne County authorities said Friday. The money or gifts were supposed to go to chronically or terminally ill children.
· Plaintiffs reportedly drop suits against nuns. A group of lawsuits in which the now-defunct Boston School for the Deaf was portrayed as being rife with cruelty and abuse was reduced yesterday to a single complaint that a male student was made to wait in his underwear while a nun washed his pants, a lawyer for the defense said.
· Lance Armstrong, Sheryl Crow Split. The much anticipated wedding of Lance Armstrong and Sheryl Crow is officially off, People magazine reported. The couple, who released a joint statement to the magazine through Armstrong's spokesman, are calling it quits after two years of dating and an engagement that only lasted a little over four months.
· Robert Blake Files for Bankruptcy. Robert Blake has filed for bankruptcy, 2 1/2 months after a civil court jury found he "intentionally caused" his wife's death and awarded her children $30 million in damages. In Friday's filing, he listed his biggest liabilities as the $30 million judgment, a $1,274,783 million federal tax bill and a $334,337 state tax assessment.
· Top Gun. This miniature figher jet can reach speeds upwards of 280 M.P.H. The models use small jet turbines, functionally identical to those used in actual full-sized jets to achieve remarkable speeds and flying precision. [With Video].
· Celebrity sleuth Pellicano re-arrested in California. Private eye to the stars Anthony Pellicano, freed from prison on Friday after serving 2 1/2 years for firearms offenses, was immediately arrested again in a federal wiretap investigation closely watched in Hollywood.
· Senator Clinton: Jerry Springer's money OK; Wal-Mart's is not. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton gathered checks from Hollywood friends, Jerry Springer, John Kerry's wife and even a former Republican congressman, but records filed Friday show she returned cash from an even older ally - Wal-Mart.
· Men Charged With Firebombing Wrong House Twice. Five men in upstate New York are charged in a failed plot to firebomb a house. Officials say the suspects targeted the wrong home - twice. All five are charged with second-degree conspiracy in the May 2004 firebombings. Three also face charges of arson, attempted arson or both.
· Message in a bottle? It's just U.S. litter. Usually when someone finds a message in a bottle thousands of miles from where it was launched their reaction is one of amazement and even joy. Not so, in this case. When a man discovered the note dropped in the Atlantic by an American 3,000 miles away, he returned it with a rebuke for littering the beach. The letter said: "I recently found your bottle while taking a scenic walk on a beach by Poole Harbour. While you may consider this some profound experiment on the path and speed of oceanic currents, I have another name for it - litter. "You Americans don't seem to be happy unless you are mucking up somewhere. If you wish to foul your own nest, all well and good. "But please refrain in the future from fouling mine."
· 25 Florida Strippers Nabbed. Florida investigators yesterday returned to the scene of the grind, arresting more than two dozen strippers in an undercover investigation. According to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, the dancers were allegedly involved in a variety of criminal activities, including cocaine peddling, prostitution, lewdness, exposure of sexual organs, and the improper solicitation of alcohol sales.
· Judge ends home monitoring for Courtney Love. Singer-actress Courtney Love won a release from home detention monitoring on Friday from a Los Angeles judge who praised her progress in recovering from drug addiction. The judge said Love must continue twice-weekly random drug and alcohol testing.
Friday, February 3, 2006
· Painting of Bin Laden as Christ now hanging in New York gallery. At the National Black Fine Art Show in New York, the gallery features an inverted Christ-like figure with a face resembling Osama bin laden. When asked about the painting, the artist said "the resemblance to Bin Laden was no accident."
· Man Accused Of Offering Crack To Officer In Marked Car. A 34-year-old man was arrested Friday on suspicion of asking a uniformed Orange County sheriff's deputy sitting in a marked patrol car if he wanted to buy some crack cocaine.
· Quiet hybrids pose an 'invisible' risk. As hybrid sales skyrocket, there's a growing concern that the battery-gas powered vehicles pose a risk because they aren't as noisy as gas-powered engines. When idling, hybrids run on the quiet electric battery.
What follows is silence at locations where drivers are likely to tangle with pedestrians and bicyclists - crosswalks, turning lanes and parking lots.
· Fires Ravage Six Rural Alabama Churches. The search for a possible arsonist was underway Friday after six churches in rural Alabama were found burning. At least five of the fires were suspected to have been set deliberately. The fires were set "as fast as they could drive from one location to the next," Bibb County Chief Deputy Sheriff Kenneth Weems said.
· The Go Daddy commercials you won't see during the Super Bowl. Here are the Go Daddy Super Bowl XL commercials that were too naughty for the television censors. [Click on the "View Video" link next to each "Denied" listing].
· Tanning Salon Employee Accuses Wrestling Star McMahon of Groping. A tanning salon employee says a wrestling personality allegedly tried to kiss and grope her. Boca Raton Police say they want to talk to Vince McMahon about the alleged incident at Tanzabar Tanning Salon Saturday.
· Chappelle Says Stress Caused Him to Leave. Comedian Dave Chappelle told Oprah Winfrey he was stressed out and not crazy or on drugs when he abruptly left his hit Comedy Central show last spring during production.
· Moss Loses Court Bid Over Allegations. Kate Moss failed in a legal challenge Friday to prevent damaging allegations about her recent cocaine use from being used in an upcoming libel case. The 32-year-old British supermodel filed the suit after British broadcaster Channel 5 aired allegations of Moss's drug use in show called "The Truth About Kate Moss" last year.
· Now Pitching for Scientology: Katie Holmes. Last year, writer Roger Friedman received an unsolicited gift package in the mail from the Church of Scientology. It included a personalized, signed note from Tom Cruise, informing him that a donation had been made in his name to the organization. The package also included a framed set of Scientology lessons to live by. The most memorable was No. 12: "Never fear to hurt another in a just cause." Friedman just received his package for 2006, which now includes a signed note from both Tom and Katie Holmes.
· Downloading isn't what ails the music biz. While one-quarter of the nation's music fans say they have downloaded songs onto their computers - legally or otherwise - a new nationwide poll suggests music executives should look elsewhere to explain their business woes. Three in every four fans complain that compact discs are too expensive, and 58 percent complain that music in general is getting worse.
· Accountant's firewalk foray too hot to trot. A firm of corporate consultants has been fined after a senior accountant burnt her feet while walking on embers as part of a confidence- building exercise. The woman, who worked for the international business advisory group Deloitte, ended up in hospital.
· Local Ohio council member is charged with petty theft. Police say surveillance video shows newly elected Lakemore council member Gary Bennett walking into a "Dunkin Donuts" in Akron. While waiting for his order, he apparently grabs $2 from a donation cup for hurricane victims. Bennett told police he thought the cup was a "give a penny, take a penny" jar.
· The dollar up, unemployment down. The dollar rallied on Friday bolstered by upwardly revised U.S. payroll numbers and a fall in the unemployment rate which reinforced expectations for higher U.S. interest rates.
· 'Bond' director dragged in on gay-sex-for-sale charge. "Die Another Day" director Lee Tamahori wasn't filming a "Tootsie" remake, but he was in full "drag" when he was busted for prostitution by an undercover vice cop, officials said yesterday. The 55-year-old director of thrillers like "The Edge" and "Mulholland Falls" was dolled up in a long black wig, a dress, make up and accessories when he offered to perform oral sex for a fee, said Frank Mateljan, a spokesman for the Los Angeles city attorney's office.
· Cruise ship vanishes at sea. An Egyptian cruise ship with 1,300 people on board has disappeared from radar screens in the Red Sea off the Saudi coast, Egyptian maritime officials said Friday. Helicopters have spotted bodies floating on the sea and one lifeboat carrying three people in the vicinity of where the ship, the "Salaam 98," was last seen on the radar screens. Some of the passengers are believed to be pilgrims returning from the annual hajj to Mecca, which ended last month.
· Officials say they'll be monitoring new strip club. Police Chief Mike Medders said uniformed and undercover police were monitoring Diamond Men's Club - it's standard practice to monitor any liquor establishment, he said. Diamond Men's Club West does not have nude dancers - all dancers wear a G-string and pasties.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Synergism [syn·er·gism] n. Interaction of discrete agencies or conditions where the total effect is greater than the sum of the individual parts. "All the stockholders saw considerable synergism in the merger." [also Synergy].
· NTSB Releases Details About Ebersol Crash. It was just before takeoff when NBC Sports executive Dick Ebersol saw slush sliding off the charter jet. The wings looked clear to the pilots, so they tried to leave without deicing. Moments later, one of Ebersol's sons was dead. So, too, were the pilot and flight attendant. Details about the last minutes of the flight emerged Thursday when the National Transportation Safety Board released interviews with the Ebersols, along with the cockpit voice recorder and other information.
· New Orleans Facing Election. In great confusion and peculiar circumstances, this city has suddenly found itself in the midst of an unexpected mayoral election campaign. The result may once again upend this city's old order: a white man might be elected mayor in a city that was, until a few months ago, mostly black.
· Roseanne Barr: Photo could spoil Oscars for Clooney. Barr tells Britain's Attitude magazine, "One night when we were all drunk, John Goodman took a picture of George Clooney naked with Groucho Marx glasses over his private area and we used to have that on the fridge on the Roseanne show, with a magnet on top of it. But someone stole it.
· Ga. Child Groom Runs Away From Group Home. A 15-year-old boy whose 37-year-old wife is due to give birth to the couple's baby this month has run away from a group home, and his wife through her lawyer says she has no idea where he is.
· Sex offender's neighbors say he poses risk. The return of a well-known convicted sex offender — who claimed in 1997 that a multiple personality disorder prompted him to try to arrange a weekend of bondage sex with an 11-year-old boy — has a neighborhood demanding that he be forced to move.
· Pirates Hit Howard Stern Show. Sirius Satellite Radio Inc., which liberated radio shock jock Howard Stern from the federal decency standards that he felt had shackled him, is finding that freedom's just another word for $500 million to lose. Since Jan. 9, when Stern debuted on Sirius, pirated versions of the shows have been made available for free via several online file-sharing networks just hours after Stern signs off.
· Angry Parents Toss Kids Over Sold-Out Disney Park Fences. Angry families stormed fences at Hong Kong Disneyland and tossed their children over gates Thursday after the theme park sold out for an eighth consecutive day.
· Vanity Fair's Photo Finagling. In its December 2005 issue, Vanity Fair magazine manipulated a photograph to make it appear that veteran journalist Peter Arnett was among a group of war correspondents gathered on a teeming Ho Chi Minh City street during a reunion of the Vietnam press corps. In fact, Arnett was not present when photographer Jonas Karlsson shot a group portrait of the eight journalists.
· Demonstrators storm embassy building. It was the latest angry protest by Muslim activists offended by a cartoon of their prophet Mohammed that appeared in a Danish newspaper last September and in a small Christian magazine in Norway earlier this month.
· Hooters Opens Vegas Casino Just Off Strip. Hooters, the tongue-in-cheek eatery that parlayed spicy chicken wings and busty waitresses in skimpy outfits into an international restaurant chain, is opening its first ever casino and hotel a stone's throw from the Las Vegas Strip.
· Daughter who paid to have dad killed is saved from prison - by her dad. Police say his teenage daughter paid $200 and delivered the dad's own gun to her friend to use to murder him, but Michael Pulcini begged a judge Thursday to keep his family together - and his daughter out of prison.
· Senate Approves $70 Billion in Tax Cuts. The Senate passed $70 billion in tax cuts Thursday, one step in an effort that Republican leaders hope will preserve President Bush's tax reductions for capital gains and dividends.
· N.Y. Health Officials Consider Circumcision Safety Guidelines. For thousands of years, rabbis performed a simple procedure to cleanse the wound during a ritual circumcision: Like outdoorsmen treating a snake bite, they sucked blood from the cut and spit it out. That age-old procedure is now the subject of a clash between religion and science in modern-day New York.
· Pee Diddy Smells Money. Sean "Pee Diddy" Combs launched a fragrance last night with the usual fanfare that accompanies his projects. The perfume is called "Unforgivable," but there were just enough well-intentioned jokes that it could have been dubbed "Unindictable" or "Acquitted" or "Unbelievable."
· Prosecutors Say Sizemore Failed Another Drug Test. Prosecutors accused actor Tom Sizemore of failing another drug test and of getting thrown out of a drug treatment program for arguing with another person.
Thursday, February 2, 2006
· McDonald’s owner dies in bizarre crash. A man who owned three McDonald’s fast-food franchises crashed his truck on Interstate 90 early Wednesday, then got out, took his clothes off and stood in a traffic lane, where he was run over and killed.
· Prosecutors to fight release of killer. James Yang, 30, was found not guilty by reason of insanity in Oakland County Circuit Court in 2001 after he beat his mother, Kazuyo Yang, 58, to death with a chair leg, crowbar, hammer and iron weights in their Troy home. Now, state psychiatrists say he should be released because his mental illness is in "remission."
· The French Are Getting Taller and Fatter. Memo to fashion designers: The French aren't quite as thin as you might think. French men and women are getting taller and heavier, and the average woman in France has gone up a dress size since 1970, according to a major fashion industry study released Thursday.
· L.L. Bean Sorry For Sending Shoppers To Phone Sex Line. Famed outfitter L.L. Bean is caught a little red-faced, trying to hook fishermen. If anglers call the number printed in the catalog they'll get one of those phone sex lines.
· Wonder what caused this accident? A woman suffered a horrific accident when her arm was severed in a car crash near Lexington, KY. Jacqueline Dotson and her six-year-old daughter had to be cut out of their vehicle after the accident in which Dotson veered into the median, rolling her truck over the guardrail and landing upside down after flipping several times. Her arm was found near the scene still clutching a cell phone.
· Sony puts robot dog to sleep. The world's first mass-marketed robot, Sony's Aibo, recognizes its owners' faces and is programmed for sympathy, like a canine companion. Its eyes light up in red to show anger, green to convey happiness. It even learns its own name. But none of that prevented Sony Corp. from announcing it will scrap the four-legged robot pet.
· Mental Health Counselor Charged With Watching Porn With Client. A counselor at a mental health center has been charged with smoking marijuana and watching a pornographic movie with a 16-year-old girl who was a client.
· Nap lands Saudi airport worker in Turkey. A weary Saudi airport worker took an unwanted free flight to Turkey when he fell asleep in the hold of a Turkish Airlines plane bringing pilgrims home from Jeddah. As he began banging the walls, the crew realized that someone was travelling below and began heating the area, saving him from almost certain death, airport officials said.
· NASCAR Publicist Faces Statutory Rape Charges. Richard Norman "Chip" Williams Jr. or North Carolina was arrested Tuesday in a parking lot, where he was scheduled to meet someone he thought was a 14-year-old girl he met on the internet.
· Women sue Wal-Mart over contraception. Three Massachusetts women backed by pro-abortion rights groups sued Wal-Mart on Wednesday, saying the retail giant violated state law by failing to stock emergency contraception pills in its pharmacies.
· Mom Charged With Drowning 5 Kids Gets $200K Bail. A Houston judge on Wednesday set a $200,000 bail for Andrea Yates, the Houston homemaker charged with drowning her five children. Yates' attorney, George Parnham, asked for a $50,000 bond, which would require $5,000 in cash to release Yates from jail. With $200,000 bond, Yates would have to come up with $20,000. Parnham hopes to raise the money.
· Jimmy Carter: Give Hamas a chance. Hamas deserves to be recognized by the international community, and despite the group's militant history, there is a chance the soon-to-be Palestinian leaders could turn away from violence, former President Jimmy Carter said Wednesday. Carter, who monitored last week's Palestinian elections in which Hamas handily toppled the ruling Fatah, added that the United States should not cut off aid to the Palestinian people, but rather funnel it through third parties like the U.N.
· Man Sues Apple Over Potential Hearing Loss A Louisiana man claims in a lawsuit that Apple's iPod music player can cause hearing loss in people who use it. Apple has sold more than 42 million of the devices since they went on sale in 2001. The iPod players are "inherently defective in design and are not sufficiently adorned with adequate warnings regarding the likelihood of hearing loss," according to the complaint, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court.
· Canada known only for moose, mountains, Mounties, tourism officials complain. Travellers from the United States would rather visit Mexico and the Caribbean than the Great White North, tourism officials complained Wednesday as they urged all levels of government to generate some badly needed buzz about Canada. "Unfortunately, when they think of our country, they only see the age-old stereotype of the three M's - moose, mountains and Mounties."
· Martha's Daughter Accused of Stealing Idea. Whatever! Martha Stewart's company and daughter infringed upon the trademark of a California cable television program, "Whatever," with their own show of the same name on satellite radio, a lawsuit alleged Wednesday.
· Cheerleader claims she was kicked off squad for Hooters job. A former college cheerleader says her Hooters job knocked her off the squad. Kimberly Sams says she knew some might object to her Hooters uniform, a snug white top and skimpy orange shorts. But she says sometimes she's "more embarrassed to wear" her cheerleading skirt at games.
· Britney, NBC plan to mock crucifixion. Forced to pull its highly touted new show "The Book of Daniel" last week because of charges its portrayal of Jesus was blasphemous, NBC is pushing the envelope again with news Britney Spears will guest star on "Will & Grace" as a conservative who hosts on a Christian TV network a cooking segment called "Cruci-fixin's."
· 'Flight 93' Draws Record A&E Audience. A television movie about one of the doomed Sept. 11 airplanes was A&E's most-watched program ever, a sign that audiences may be ready for a coming spate of movie and TV projects dramatizing the terrorism of five years ago. "Flight 93," about the hijacking of the United Airlines plane and passengers' efforts to retake it, drew 5.9 million viewers when it premiered Monday, the cable channel said.
· "Full House" Star Admits Meth Problem. Former Full House cutie Jodie Sweetin has earned herself a spot on the lengthy list of child stars gone wrong. During an appearance on Good Morning America Wednesday, Sweetin, who played middle sister Stephanie Tanner on the hit sitcom, revealed that she is a recovering meth addict and once battled a daily drug habit.
· Alito splits with conservatives on first case. New Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito split with the court’s conservative wing Wednesday night, refusing to let Missouri execute a death-row inmate contesting lethal injection.
Wednesday, February 1, 2006
· Felon In Ankle Monitor Brings Guns To Range. A 28-year-old convicted felon was arrested after workers at an Orlando gun range noticed he was wearing an ankle monitor while dropping off guns to be repaired, according to a police report.
· Motown Artists Not Happy About Super Bowl. America's biggest sporting event is in Detroit this year, but there won't be any corresponding celebration of the Motown sound that has long defined the city. At least not on the NFL's turf.
· Suspects' camera shows alleged rapes. Quick thinking police led to the capture of two men who allegedly raped two Japanese women in Honolulu. Police recovered a digital camera, which the suspects used to photograph themselves while allegedly sexually assaulting the victims after they passed out in a Waikiki hotel room, according to police.
· Oil Truck Makes Delivery To Wrong House. A driver for a Long Island company mistakenly pumped at least 50 gallons of heating oil into a family's Bethpage home through a long-idle filler pipe after misreading the address on a bill, said Juliann and Edward Tesoriero, who were forced from their home by the error. The oil flooded their basement and rendered the house uninhabitable for at least a month due to the fumes, the couple said. Everything in the basement - including carpeting, furniture and pictures - was ruined.
· Some US troops question Woodruff coverage. The American media stood up and took notice when an improvised explosive device grievously injured an ABC News crew Sunday. In Iraq, and throughout the military, there is sympathy and concern for anchor Bob Woodruff and cameraman Doug Vogt, but there is also this question: "Why do you think this is such a huge story?" wrote an officer stationed in Baqubah, Iraq via e-mail. "It's a bit stunning to us over here how absolutely dominant the story is on every network and front page. I mean, you'd think we lost the entire 1st Marine Division or something.
· Postal shooter's former neighbor found dead. A former neighbor of the woman who opened fire inside a mail processing center in Goleta, California, was found dead, a possible seventh victim of the woman's rampage, sheriff's officials said today.
· Update: Video Shows Deputy Shooting Air Force Officer Apparently Obeying Commands. The FBI is investigating possible civil rights violations in connection with home video of a California deputy shooting an Air Force security officer back from Iraq who appeared to be obeying his commands. An amateur photographer said he began shooting the video after the Corvette crashed into a wall. [Click on video image in article].
· Agent drops ‘A Million Little Pieces’ author. Brillstein-Grey Entertainment literary manager Kassie Evashevski, who represented the author of “A Million Little Pieces” for more than four years, said she’s not representing him anymore because of his tall tales.
· In the stall with two Carolina Panther cheerleaders. It's taken three months, but The Smoking Gun finally obtained a complete copy of the police report detailing witness accounts of what allegedly happened between those two Carolina Panther cheerleaders in the bathroom of a Tampa nightclub last November.
· With nothing else to do, Homeland Security focuses on fake T-shirts. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Immigration officers will focus on bogus NFL memorabilia this week. At last year's game in Jacksonville, Fla., agents seized some 21,000 pieces of counterfeit NFL merchandise worth $5 million.
· Judge says trial to move forward against dermatologist. The indictments accuse Dr. Michael Rosin of lying about the slides to make false diagnoses of skin cancer for 70 elderly patients. Every biopsy Rosin took was diagnosed as cancerous, his former employees told federal agents, according to court records. He once performed skin cancer surgery after reviewing a slide that contained a piece of chewing gum on the X-ray.
· Eyebrow-Raising Tattoo - (too stupid for work) Jose Luis Gomez, 20, is locked up in the Polk County Jail on robbery and assault charges. Nothing special there. What sets Gomez apart from other accused felons is the distinctive tattoo above his eyes.
· Flight Attendant Announces She Was Kenny Chesney's Lover. The New York Post quoted a Southwest Airlines flight attendant named Paula Jackson as saying she had been Chesney's lover for 10 years before he met and married Renee Zellweger, adding she "taught him everything he knows."
· Employers Stand To Lose Big Money On Super Bowl. Even if they don't gamble, the nation's employers stand to lose hundred of millions of dollars on the Super Bowl this week. Global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas puts the loss to American companies at more than $780 million in productivity output this week as workers become distracted with Big Game hype.
· Boston Globe delivers more than newspapers. Credit and bank card numbers of as many as 240,000 subscribers of The Boston Globe and Worcester Telegram & Gazette were inadvertently distributed with bundles of T&G newspapers on Sunday, officials of the newspapers said Tuesday. The confidential information was on the back of paper used in wrapping newspaper bundles for distribution to carriers and retailers.
· MPAA Hires former Homeland Security Director to fight movie piracy. The Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) today announced it is bringing out the big guns to thwart movie piracy by naming Michael Robinson the new director for its controversial Anti-Piracy Operations.
· Barney Fife? Police Officer Shoots Self. An undercover Lauderhill, Fla. police officer is recovering after accidentally shooting himself in the leg. Authorities said the officer was working with an undercover narcotics unit when the incident happened Tuesday night.
· (Headline of the week) Postal Shooter Had 'Psychological Problems.' A former postal worker who had been put on medical leave for psychological problems shot five people to death at a huge mail-processing center and then killed herself in what was believed to be the nation's deadliest workplace shooting ever carried out by a woman.
· Sex ed raises eyebrows. A demonstration of an opened tampon held up against a model of the female anatomy to show Kings Park, NY fifth-grade boys and girls how feminine hygiene products work as part of their lesson on puberty has angered a number of parents and sparked a debate within the community.
· Kentucky Derby Gets Its First Sponsor. The Kentucky Derby will have a sponsor for the first time, striking a five-year deal with a fast-food restaurant company that owns KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut.
· Police: Weaving Driver Distracted By Porn. A man who was stopped for driving erratically on a divided highway was distracted because he was looking at pornography, authorities said. David Kennedy, 33, of Nashville, was charged with felony reckless endangerment after motorist Deborah Dotson reported Friday afternoon that he nearly ran her vehicle off State Route 840 several times.
· Western Union drops telegram service. In a short message on its website, the company announced that "Effective January 27, 2006, Western Union will discontinue all Telegram and Commercial Messaging services. We regret any inconvenience this may cause you." Since being founded in 1851, Western Union had sent millions of telegrams worldwide.
· No TV for Grandpa. The young'uns have "American Idol" and "24," but what's on the tube for Grandma and Grandpa? With the Baby Boom generation now between the ages of 45 and 60 — and watching TV in large numbers — experts feel advertisers will soon begin paying more attention to the older folks.
· Man in Pokey After Reporting Purloined Pot. A man who called police to report the theft of a quarter-pound of marijuana was arrested when police recovered the bag of pot and then invited him to come to the Public Safety Building to identify it. Kory C. Tippetts, 18, identified the pot as his and then was arrested and booked into the Utah County jail.
· Woman Accused Of Burning Home, Self For Sympathy. A 35-year-old woman who was seriously burned in a house fire last month was arrested Tuesday after an investigation discovered she apparently set the blaze for sympathy.
· Too much money to tax. Microsoft founder Bill Gates, the world's richest man, said today the IRS has to store his financial data on a special computer because his fortune is so vast. "My tax return has to be kept on a special computer because their normal computers can't deal with the numbers," he said at a Microsoft conference held in Lisbon. "So I am constantly getting these notices telling me I haven't paid something when really it is just on the wrong computer," he added in comments broadcast on television. Gates's fortune is listed at $47 billion.
· Clay Travis Column: 25 annoying Super Bowl party guests. Every year, Super Bowl parties bring together awkward groupings of people who are then forced to sit and watch a football game. Inevitably this drives me crazy. Primarily because I don’t understand why I should suddenly be forced to watch football games with people who haven’t bothered to watch a game all season.
· Bush has plan to end oil 'addiction.' On the heels of a politically tough year, President Bush used his State of the Union speech Tuesday to propose weaning the United States from its "addiction" to imported oil and studying how the baby boom generation may strain federal entitlements. The president also spent a good deal of his address on the U.S.-led war in Iraq, efforts to fight terrorism and Iran's nuclear program.