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Tuesday, January 31, 2006
· Class-Action Lawsuit Against AT&T for Collaboration with Illegal Domestic Spying Program. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a class-action lawsuit against AT&T on January 31, 2006, accusing the telecom giant of violating the law and the privacy of its customers by collaborating with the National Security Agency (NSA) in its massive and illegal program to wiretap and data-mine Americans' communications.
· Accused Assailant Told To Join Army Or Go To Jail. That's the choice facing a man from Niagara Falls, N.Y., after pleading guilty to criminal contempt. Michael Guerra had been accused of assaulting his girlfriend's friend, and violating an order of protection.
· Location, Location, Location. A married couple pleaded no contest to charges they ran a brothel across the street from the Concord, California police station, authorities said. Debra Watts, 52, will serve one year of home detention after pleading to three felony counts of pimping and pandering, according to prosecutors.
· Deputy's gun used in rape, records show. Two days before a King County deputy sheriff's live-in lover allegedly shot and killed a convenience-store clerk, he used the deputy's handcuffs and gun to rape a man in their Kenmore home while the cop slept upstairs, according to police reports.
· Police: "Get up - so we can shoot you." A videotape released Tuesday shows a sheriff's deputy shooting an unarmed Air Force policeman who recently returned from Iraq as he appeared to obey an order to get up off the ground. Senior Airman Elio Carrion, 21, was told several times on the video to "get up." Carrion says on the video: "I'm gonna get up." As he rose, at least four shots were fired and Carrion collapsed.
· UPS Driver Attacked By Middle School Students. A UPS driver was savagely beaten by middle school students while delivering packages in the western Chicago suburbs. UPS driver Thomas Murphy says he was beaten by a group of 15 to 20 school kids. "Somebody clocked me with a pipe. I took kicks from my right. My eyes caked over. I tried to get up and defend myself as best I could," Murphy said.
· AP Is Older Than Was Thought, Papers Show. A collection of 19th-century documents newly acquired by The Associated Press shows that the world's largest newsgathering organization traces its origins to 1846, two years earlier than traditionally accepted by journalism historians and the AP itself.
· Firetruck joyride doesn't ring a bell. How he ended up behind the wheel of a stolen Pasadena Fire Department truck is a mystery to Kenneth Paul Engle III. Engle, 28, who isn't a firefighter, said he can't remember going to the fire station, climbing into the driver's seat or crashing the truck through the station's garage door.
· Even Billionaires need a budget. Court documents reveal Oracle founder Larry Ellison's personal spending habits are out of control, according to his finacial advisor, and Ellison's million dollar a day spending needs to be reduced in a "sensible manner."
· Moss Returns to Britain to Face Police. Kate Moss was interviewed by detectives in London Tuesday about her alleged cocaine use. The Metropolitan Police doesn't identify suspects being interviewed by name, but said a 32-year-old woman "has voluntarily attended a London police office in relation to a Met investigation into allegations of possible drug abuse."
· Police: 'Bored' Teens Tossed Cinder Blocks Into 114 Cars. Two men and two teens were charged in connection with a weeklong vandalism spree during which cinder blocks were thrown into at least 114 vehicles in Palm Bay and Melbourne, Florida.
· LA radio personality puts conditions on Muslim apology. A Los Angeles radio personality said Monday he would apologize for an on-air skit that made fun of the deaths of hundreds of Muslims, but only if an Islamic civil rights group denounces terrorism and acknowledges Israel's right to exist.
· Seven dead in California postal shooting. A female former employee opened fire at a 24-hour postal service sorting facility in Goleta, California, killing six people and critically wounding another, before turning the gun on herself, authorities said Tuesday.
· Woodruff faces long fight. ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff could come home to the United States as early as today after successful surgery overseas to reduce brain swelling by removing a chunk of his skull.
· Slain kids' mom: 'I blessed them and then I suffocated them.' A woman accused of smothering her three children was distraught over the breakup of her marriage and told police that she blessed the children before suffocating them, a prosecutor said Monday. In addition, police said, she may have fed the children hot chocolate laced with poison before she smothered them.
· 'Brokeback' Sparks Interest in Wyoming Fans of "Brokeback Mountain" don't seem to care the movie was actually filmed in Canada. They want the Wyoming experience. The Wyoming Business Council's travel and tourism department has received hundreds of calls asking about scenery in the movie, which is based on Pulitzer Prize-winner Annie Proulx's short story about two gay Wyoming cowboys.
· Fabio's maiden Super Bowl ad. Heartthrob Fabio, with his buff chest and long flowing locks, gives a beautiful woman a big surprise in his first ever Super Bowl commercial. Nationwide Insurance will go for bawdy laughs in its Super Bowl spot featuring model Fabio in a skit where he is made up to look like an 85-year old man.
· Lez Zeppelin: A band that flips the Page. Four women rockers who took on the music of Led Zeppelin are driving club audiences to a frenzy and, offstage, whipping up speculation over their sexual tastes with the name of the band: Lez Zeppelin.
· Obesity 'can be caught like a cold.' A team led by Dr Leah Whigham, of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, found that the human adenovirus Ad-37 causes obesity in chickens, marking the third virus to be linked to being overweight: two related viruses, Ad-36 and Ad-5, also cause obesity in animals.
Monday, January 30, 2006
· Pastor Gets 18 Months for Selling Church. A pastor accused of selling the town's oldest church pleaded guilty to embezzlement on Monday and agreed to 18 months in prison, court officials said. Randall Radic, 53, had preached at First Congregational Church in Ripon for nearly a decade before he sold the church last October for $525,000, allegedly using the money to buy a BMW.
· Dominatrix acquitted of killing and dismembering. dominatrix was acquitted of manslaughter Monday in the death of a man who prosecutors say suffered a heart attack while strapped to a replica of a medieval rack. Barbara Asher, a 56-year-old woman who called herself Mistress Lauren M, was also cleared of dismembering the man's corpse to conceal the death.
· Sex Offender Arrested After Asking Cops For Ride. An El Paso County man, who police said is an unregistered sex offender, was behind bars Monday, after calling officers to ask for a ride home. Authorities said that Terry Patrick Barr, 58, called dispatchers on Saturday, trying to find a ride. But officers recognized his name from a Corrections Department alert and gave him a ride to jail.
· Oops! A visitor to a British museum tripped on his shoelace, stumbled down a stairway and fell into a display of centuries-old Chinese vases, shattering them into "very small pieces," officials said Monday.
· Imus slurs are 'abusive,' Canada watchdog says. Don Imus has been fingered by Canada's TV watchdog for calling Muslims "brainwashed" and "stinking animals" during a 2004 broadcast that aired on MSNBC Canada.
· Bush-bashing takes center stage in NY theaters. It's not hard to spot the common theme in three New York theater offerings this season that go by the titles "Bush is Bad," "Bush Wars: Musical Revenge" and "Laughing Liberally." There is also a spoof romantic duet between Bush and his chief adviser Karl Rove, and a naughty bedroom scene which has Vice President Dick Cheney literally in bed with a pair of scantily-clad women named after oil companies.
· Woman With Tattoo From Homemade Gun Got Sick. Some women in Springfield, MO are regretting their decision last week to get a tattoo from a door-to-door tattoo salesman. At least one person had to be hospitalized and the others face serious health risks.
· Poll Finds Men Want Alba As Girlfriend. More guys want Jessica Alba for their girlfriend than any other woman, according to AskMen.com's top 99 list for 2006. The 24-year-old actress tops the Web site's list ranking female celebrities on their "long-term relationship material." Alba is followed by "Alfie" star Sienna Miller and the ubiquitous Angelina Jolie.
· North Dakota to Test Balloons for Cellular Service. Why put up costly cell phone towers in thinly populated areas, when a few balloons would do? In North Dakota, former Gov. Ed Schafer is backing a plan to loft wireless network repeaters on balloons high above the state to fill gaps in cellular coverage.
· Super Bowl Host Is U.S.'s Poorest Big City. Before the Super Bowl kickoff this weekend, private planes will land here, limousines will clog the streets, and lavish parties will be thrown for those with famous names or lots of money. The kitchens of Ford Field will be stocked with two tons of lobster. Much of the rest of Detroit, though, is a landscape dotted with burned-out buildings, where liquor stores abound but supermarkets are hard to come by, and where drugs, violence and unemployment are everyday realities.
· Exxon Sees Record Profits for Any U.S. Company. Exxon Mobil Corp. posted record profits for any U.S. company on Monday — $10.71 billion for the fourth quarter and $36.13 billion for the year — as the world's biggest oil company benefited from high oil and natural-gas prices and solid demand for refined products.
· Study finds toxic threat in auto interiors. A report by an Ann Arbor environmental group that says toxic chemicals are present in automobile interiors at levels five to 10 times higher than those found in homes and offices has sparked protests from the chemical industry and interest from automakers.
· FEMA's big kiss-off. The offer was this: boats, helicopters, heavy equipment, rescue personnel - even places to stay. The response from FEMA after Hurricane Katrina was no thanks, according to documents obtained by CNN. The Interior Department offered the Federal Emergency Management Agency the use of personnel who were experienced in water rescues and also offered boats, helicopters, heavy equipment and rooms.
· The latest study to worry about. Along with smoking and chronic infections, alcohol consumption is an important cause of several types of cancer, researchers said on Monday. Excessive drinking raises the risk of cancer of the mouth, larynx, oesophagus, liver, colon and breast. It may also be linked with cancer of the pancreas and lung.
· Passenger Says Cruise Ship Employee Almost Raped Her. A Royal Caribbean cruise employee has been arrested and charged with attempting to rape a passenger during a weeklong cruise. Authorities said Henry Maceto Forbes, 34, was arrested Saturday when the Legend of the Seas docked in the Port of Tampa. He's being held without bond.
· Body Armor Likely Saved ABC News Pair. Surgeons removed shrapnel from ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff's head and neck, a family friend said Monday, and a hospital official said body armor likely saved the journalist's life.
· Tenn. Certificates Lure Illegal Immigrants. Tennessee's driving certificate for illegal immigrants isn't valid as a form of ID, but people are paying hundreds of dollars on the black market and traveling hundreds of miles to get one. Tennessee has issued more than 51,000 certificates since it became the first state to offer them in July 2004, but not every certificate has gone to someone living there.
· Former 'Playboy' playmate deported. The former “Playboy” playmate was rounded up by immigration authorities and deported with her husband after living illegally in Miami for five years. Now her attorney is trying to get the calendar pinup back into this country by classifying her as, quote, “an alien of extraordinary ability.”
Word of The Day by WordThink
Autonomous [au·ton·o·mous] adj. 1. Independent in mind or judgment; self-directed. 2. Not controlled by others or by outside forces; independent: "an autonomous judiciary."
· Religious Groups Get Chunk of AIDS Money. New groups are springing up to win a piece of President Bush's $15 billion AIDS program, with traditional players and religious groups joining forces to improve their chances in a competition that already has targeted nearly a quarter of its grants for faith-based organizations.
· Sporting clubs forbid photos of kids. Parents are being banned from taking photos of their children at sporting events in response to growing fears about pedophiles. Queensland's junior sports clubs are demanding parents get permission from other parents and team officials before photographing children.
· Ex-Enron execs Lay, Skilling set for trial today. Enron Corp.'s former top bosses Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling will enter a federal courtroom on Monday to face the jury that will judge whether the two took part in the fraud that brought down the company.
· Temple Says 'Mom' Was Among Her Best Roles. She's appeared in scores of movies and kept generations of children singing "On the Good Ship Lollipop" for more than 70 years. But Shirley Temple Black says her greatest role has been as a wife, mother and grandmother. "There's nothing like real love. Nothing," Black, 77, said backstage at the Screen Actors Guild Awards where she accepted a lifetime achievement award Sunday night.
· Witherspoon, 'Crash' Win Top SAG Honors. Reese Witherspoon as singer June Carter in "Walk the Line" and Philip Seymour Hoffman as author Truman Capote in "Capote" won lead-acting awards Sunday from the Screen Actors Guild, while the ensemble drama "Crash" pulled off an upset win over Brokeback Mountain" for the overall cast award.
· Baby In Plastic Bag Rescued From Lake. A baby girl was found inside a plastic bag floating on a lake in Brazil after passers-by heard her crying. The infant was released from a hospital Sunday in good health, doctors said.
· 'Baby Jessica,' now 19, reportedly marries. A published report says "Baby Jessica," whose dramatic rescue from an abandoned Texas well was televised across the country 18 years ago, has gotten married. Crews struggled for 58 hours to rescue Jessica McClure, then 18 months old, after she fell into an eight-inch-wide pipe in October 1987.
Sunday, January 29, 2006
· Woman with transplanted face revealed. Barely two months ago, the 38-year-old French divorcee received the world's first face transplant and this exclusive photograph reveals the full extent of her transformation.
· Nervous Palestinians Circulate Hamas Jokes. A slew of jokes circulating among Palestinians following Hamas' landslide election victory reflects concerns that the fundamentalist group will impose Islamic law and social codes across the West Bank and Gaza. Speeding ticket? Pay for it with extra prayers.
· George Foreman could be in for a legal grilling. A $50-million lawsuit claims the former boxing champ and an international law firm defrauded a company hired to launch a line of George Foreman steaks.
· Too many losers force cancellation of audition. Hundreds of people were turned away from an open casting call for NBC's hit weight-loss show, "The Biggest Loser," because the restaurant couldn't accommodate the immense crowd of 1,500 people.
· TV crime dramas provide a how-to guide for killers. When Tammy Klein began investigating crime scenes eight years ago, it was virtually unheard of for a killer to use bleach to clean up a bloody mess. Today, the use of bleach, which destroys DNA, is not unusual in a planned homicide, said the senior criminalist from the LA County Sheriff's Department. Klein and other experts attribute such sophistication to television crime dramas like "CSI," which give criminals helpful tips on how to cover up evidence.
· Bob Woodruff Hurt in Iraq. ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff and his cameraman were seriously wounded Sunday in a roadside bomb attack near Taji, according to a statement from ABC News president David Westin.
· Big stereo could cost you your car. St. Louis city police would be able to seize cars blasting loud music under an ordinance passed Friday by the Board of Aldermen. The ordinance, which would take effect once signed by Mayor Francis Slay, prohibits the use and even installation of some enhanced speakers.
· No Nursing With 'Distracting' Breasts At YMCA Pool. The lifeguards find bare breasts distracting. That's one of the reasons officials at the Ann Arbor, Mich., YMCA said they've banned breast-feeding at the pool. But nursing moms counter that's no excuse.
· Hamas Suggests Using Militants in Army. The leader of Hamas suggested Saturday that the Islamic group could create a Palestinian army that would include its militant wing responsible for scores of deadly attacks on Israelis in the aftermath of its crushing victory in parliamentary elections.
· Traffic deaths escalate during Super Bowl weekend. The Insurance Institute says nearly 60 percent of traffic deaths on Super Bowl Sunday involve alcohol. Only New Year's Eve has a higher rate - 70 percent - of traffic deaths involving alcohol.
· Russia looks for 'cash crop' on the moon. Russia is planning to beat America back to the Moon to mine for an abundance of untapped riches. But it's not gold or diamonds they aim to bring back to Earth. It's rare and precious helium 3 which could provide our planet with an almost limitless source of clean energy.
· Methane Gas Deposit Discovered In Ocean Floor Off California. Scientists have discovered an undersea deposit of frozen methane just off the Southern California coast, but whether it can be harnessed as a potential energy source is unknown.
· How the U.S. fell out of love with its cars. Tail fins and chrome grilles were once the symbols of a superpower. Now, with 36,000 jobs cut in a week and foreign vehicles filling the highways, Paul Harris in New York surveys the collapse of an industry.
Saturday, January 28, 2006
· Fox Employees Sue Over "Toxic" Studio Air. Two Fox News employees have filed a lawsuit claiming they were sickened by air contaminated with toxic molds and pesticides while working in the building where "The O'Reilly Factor" and "At Large with Geraldo Rivera" are produced.
· They're baaack! Storm damaged cars return. Over four months after hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck the Gulf Coast, scam artists are already trying to pawn off flooded vehicles as your standard secondhand car, according to industry experts.
· '60 Minutes' Pioneer Arthur Bloom Dies. Television news director Arthur Bloom, who helped found the newsmagazine "60 Minutes" and donated his stopwatch to create the show's iconic ticking image, died Saturday of cancer. He was 63.
· Cindy Sheehan Threatens To Run Against Feinstein. Cindy Sheehan has decided to run against California Senator Diane Feinstein if Feinstein does not filibuster the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Samuel Alito. Sheehan made that announcement from Venezuela where she is attending the World Social Forum.
· Off-Duty NYPD Cop Shot by Fellow Officer. In a tragic case of mistaken identity, police shot and critically wounded an off-duty officer as he pointed a gun at a suspect outside a fast food restaurant early Saturday, authorities said. Eric Hernandez, 25, was hit three times and was hospitalized in extremely critical condition, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
· Pharmacists Sue Walgreen Drug Stores Over Birth-Control Policy. Four pharmacists who refused to sign a pledge promising to dispense the morning-after birth-control pill sued Walgreen drug stores Friday, alleging they were illegally fired.
· Prosecutor: 8-year-old demanded money. The 8-year-old boy who took his father's handgun to a day care Tuesday used a string of obscenities before he demanded money from a 7-year-old girl, then fired a shot that struck her in the arm, according to state prosecutors.
· Celeb Sex Tapes: a String of Grainy Hits. In a Hollywood museum specializing in erotica, there lies a grainy tape of a woman having sex with a man on a couch. The museum says it's widely believed, though denied by her estate, that the woman is Marilyn Monroe, circa 1948.
· Two Katrina FEMA Employees Accused Of Taking Bribes. The FBI arrested two Federal Emergency Management Agency employees Friday, accusing each of accepting $10,000 in cash kickbacks from a food services contractor.
· Man Falls From Ship and Survives 14 Harrowing Hours at Sea. After a night of partying on a cruise, 31-year-old Tim Sears woke up to find himself adrift in a dark sea, his ship nowhere in sight. Miraculously, he survived 14 hours at sea and was picked up by a passing cargo ship.
· David Hasselhoff hits rock bottom with music video. We just came across what has to be one of the poorest quality music videos ever produced. Watch Hasselhoff fly through the air in this 2002 kindergarten-level production for the German market.
· Rock producer Spector says mind clouded by Taser. Rock producer Phil Spector said in a sworn deposition made public on Friday he was sober when arrested in the shooting death of an actress but that his mind was clouded from having been zapped by police with a stun-gun.
Friday, January 27, 2006
· Ann Coulter: "Poison Justice Stevens." Conservative commentator Ann Coulter, speaking at a traditionally black college, joked that Justice John Paul Stevens should be poisoned. "We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens' creme brulee," Coulter said. "That's just a joke, for you in the media."
· Mystery of lost mother ends in still more loss. For 24 years, Michael Milbourn never could get straight answers from his father and grandmother about what happened to his mother, Rhonda Burgess. They would say only that she was crazy, that she was dangerous, that she abandoned him when he was a toddler and that he was better off without her. The search ended abruptly when a police detective told him the terrible family secret. Michael’s mother did not desert him after all. She was shot to death in 1981 by his grandmother.
· Ford bans competitors' vehicles from lot. Following Chrysler's lead, employees at Ford's Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Mich., will have to drive Ford Motor Co. vehicles to work or park across the street, the plant manager announced this week.
· Former NBA player Isaiah Rider arrested for kidnapping. Troubled former NBA player Isaiah Rider was arrested by Marin County sheriff's deputies Thursday on charges of kidnapping a female acquaintance, authorities said.
· Super Bowl Ad May Leave Viewers Asking, 'Que Pasa?' If you're expecting your Super Bowl Sunday to be an English-only experience, piénsalo de nuevo. Toyota will use the ultimate sports event to launch a commercial in Spanish and English, in what is the most prominent example of what analysts say is a growing trend: bilingual television ads.
· Teen Leaves Hospital After 'Flower' Tea Stops Heart. A teen in Titusville, Fla., who nearly died after drinking a batch of tea made from a common flower is out of the hospital Friday. David O'Bryan Taylor, known as Bryan, reportedly used an Internet recipe to make Angel's Trumpet flowers into a tea to get high.
· Former Ranger claims he served as Aiken's 'Claymate.' Former Army Ranger John Paulus swore he wasn't going to sell out singer Clay Aiken when contacted last week about rumors that he'd had sex with the supposedly straight "American Idol" star.
· Toddler may have mistaken cocaine for candy, police say. A 2-year-old Bronx girl died after eating cocaine stashed in her bedroom that she may have mistaken for candy, law enforcement sources said Thursday, and her mother's boyfriend and her mother were arrested on drug possession and other charges.
· Broadcaster says serious news at risk. The anchorman whose boss once characterized him as ice compared with his successor's fire was anything but chilly in the impassioned speech he delivered Tuesday at The Society of the Four Arts. "Truth no longer matters in the context of politics and, sadly, in the context of cable news," said Aaron Brown.
· Hidden Camera Busts TV Sportscaster In Woman's Home. A Baltimore television sportscaster is free on bond after he was charged with stealing painkillers from his neighbor's home. Keith Mills was arrested Wednesday afternoon at his home in Linthicum, Md., after he was captured in a police sting.
· Activists Aid Woman in Music Piracy Case. Patricia Santangelo just wanted to save money, but the mother of five quickly realized that acting as her own lawyer against the music companies accusing her of illegal downloading was a big-time money-burner. Fortunately, for her, it didn't take long for the Internet crowd to help her out.
· Cingular applies to patent smileys. Cingular, the United States' largest mobile phone network this week applied to patent emoticons, better known as smileys. The application refers to selecting emoticons on mobile phones or handheld devices over a wireless, and makes 35 claims in all. Although it uses the word 'emoticon', the application doesn't acknowledge that mutant punctuation has been livening up online communications since at least 1961.
· Cruise Ship Coverup? When 40-year-old Merrian Carver went missing on the second day of a seven-day Alaskan Royal Caribbean cruise, the crew didn't respond as one might expect. In fact, the crew acted as though nothing had happened.
· U.S. posts wrong photo of ‘al-Qaida operative.’ For a year and a half, the U.S. government has been asking for the public's help in finding Midhat Mursi al-Sayid 'Umar, also known as Abu Khabab al-Masri, a dangerous al-Qaida operative. But now intelligence officials admit they were using a photo of the wrong man.
· Joaquin Phoenix Flips Car, Avoids Injury. Joaquin Phoenix's car overturned on a canyon road and collided with another vehicle after his brakes went out, but there were no reports of injury, police said. Phoenix, the 31-year-old star of the Johnny Cash biopic "Walk the Line," was driving eastbound above Sunset Strip about 2:50 p.m. when he realized his brakes were not working, said Officer Jason Lee, a police spokesman.
· Muslim Group Asks Radio Host to Apologize. A Muslim civil liberties group demanded an apology Thursday from the host of a Los Angeles-area radio show for making fun of a stampede that killed hundreds of Muslims during an annual pilgrimage. The Council on American-Islamic Relations asked for an apology from KFI-AM 640 host Bill Handel, who allegedly made fun of the deaths the same day they happened during a segment he called the "Annual Stampede Report."
· 7 myths about the Challenger shuttle disaster. Twenty years ago, millions of television viewers were horrified to witness the live broadcast of the space shuttle Challenger exploding 73 seconds into flight, ending the lives of the seven astronauts on board. What is not widely known, however, is that it didn't explode, the crew didn't die instantly and it wasn't inevitable.
· Research puts actors' memory on center stage. How do you learn all those lines?" It is the question most asked of actors and their art. The ability to remember and effortlessly deliver large quantities of dialogue verbatim amazes non-thespians. Most people imagine that learning a script involves hours, days, and even months of rote memorization. But actors seldom work that way; in fact, they often don't consciously try to memorize lines at all. And they seldom consider memorization as defining what they do.
· Arab Opinion Over Hamas Win Divided. Some Arab leaders are calling for the peace process to continue between Israel and the Palestinians, despite the victory in Wednesday's parliamentary elections by Hamas. Israel has said it won't deal with a government that includes Hamas, a group that has called for the destruction of Israel.
Thursday, January 26, 2006
· Diner Suspect Seeks Seconds, Shoots Self. Police say a robbery suspect held up a diner on Monday, went back for seconds on Wednesday and wound up shooting himself in the foot. Police say they arrested Clayton Everett Teman, 23, who was hospitalized.
· 2 Tons of Pot Found in Mexican Border Tunnel. Authorities said they discovered more than 2 tons of marijuana in a cross-border tunnel that began near the Tijuana airport and ended inside a warehouse on the U.S. side. The 2,400-feet long passageway is longer than most of the 21 cross- border tunnels that have been discovered since authorities began keeping track after the Sept. 11 attacks, U.S. Immigration officials said.
· Philip Morris to Stop Supplying Dealers. Philip Morris USA will stop supplying cigarettes to illegal Internet and mail order dealers as part of an agreement with attorneys general for 37 states and territories, New York officials said Thursday. The nation's biggest tobacco company voluntarily agreed to end shipments of any of its products to customers, Indian tribes and enterprises that the states deem illegal, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said.
· Snowmobiler Dies During Crash In Police Chase. A snowmobiler died of injuries suffered in a crash during a police chase in Brainerd, Minn. early Wednesday. Police began chasing James Gregory Hummel, 39, of Baxter, Minn. around midnight after seeing him run a red light and speeding down city streets, Police Chief John Bolduc said. When police tried to pull the snowmobile over, the driver tried to evade officers by going through a park, across a small lake, and then back through city streets until he hit a guard rail.
· Grenade gets flight attendant in trouble. A Northwest Airlines flight attendant has been grounded and could face charges after security personnel found a real but inactive hand grenade in her carry-on luggage, officials said.
· Quebec couple find $100,000 in home. The owners of a home in Trois-Rivières, Que., have handed $100,000 over to police after finding the stacks of bills in the ceiling of their bathroom while renovating. The $20 bills were stuffed in a plastic bag and hidden above a ceiling panel. The couple who own the home promptly surrendered the cash to authorities. Investigators say the home was most recently owned by the alleged head of the Hells Angels.
· Alleged Crack Dealer Uses Business Cards. The business cards got a response, but surely not what their owner had in mind when he had them printed up. They came to the attention of Leavenworth police, who used them to make a drug arrest last week. The business card had an image of what appeared to be an alarm clock being hit by a boxing glove and said: "For a quick hit on time call the boss."
· Oprah says Frey ‘betrayed millions of readers.’ Oprah Winfrey challenged author James Frey over his disputed memoir, asking him on a live telecast of her show Thursday to explain why he “felt the need to lie.” “It is difficult for me to talk to you because I really feel duped ... but more importantly I feel that you betrayed millions of readers,” Winfrey said to Frey, who wrote the hugely popular “A Million Little Pieces.”
· Grandpa Dies After Hearing 7 Kids Died In Crash. A family reeling from the deaths of of seven children in a fiery crash on a Florida highway yesterday was struck with more tragedy when the children's grandfather suffered a heart attack and died.
· Teen beats up his grandmother - because she won't buy him beer. Deputies say a 16-year-old has been arrested for beating his grandmother with a two-by-four for refusing to give him $100 for beer. Investigators say Kurt Cass went into his 60-year-old grandmother's bedroom and asked her for $100 for beer. When she refused, he allegedly placed a razor blade on her throat and demanded she take him to the bank to get the money.
· Palestinian government resigns in wake of Hamas win. In a stunning development ahead of official election results, Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qorie said he and the rest of the Palestinian Authority government will resign in the wake of militant group Hamas' apparent victory in historic elections.
· 'Little Old Lady Killer' suspect is former pro wrestler. A former professional wrestler captured while fleeing a house where an 82-year-old woman had been strangled has been linked to the deaths of at least 10 elderly women, police said Thursday, raising hopes that the notorious "Little Old Lady Killer" is in custody.
· Bank opposes seizing land for private use. BB&T Corp. weighed into the eminent-domain debate yesterday, saying that it would not make loans to commercial developers planning private projects on land seized from private homeowners by local governments.
· Man charged for videotaping school bathrooms. A Staten Island man who is a part-time maintenance worker with the New York City Department of Education, arrested earlier this week for allegedly installing illegal spy cameras in a Long Island home, faces several new charges for placing surveillance cameras in two Brooklyn high schools, New York City police said.
· Sex calms nerves before public speaking: study. Forget pretending you are talking to one person or concentrating on a single point in the audience - having sex is good way to calm nerves before giving a speech or presentation.
· Five Iraqi women prisoners to be freed. Five Iraqi women prisoners whose release has become linked to the case of kidnapped American journalist Jill Carroll will be freed from U.S. custody on Thursday, a Justice Ministry official said on Wednesday.
· No ‘Brokeback Mountain’ for overseas troops. “Brokeback Mountain,” the movie about a gay cowboy love affair that recently won four Golden Globe awards and is expected to be in the Oscar hunt, will not play in any U.S. military theaters in Europe.
· Woods Buys Oceanfront Property for $38 million. Tiger Woods has completed a $38 million purchase of 10 acres of residential property stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Intracoastal Waterway.
Woods, who grew up in southern California, moved to Orlando in 1996 when he turned pro.
· Kerkorian boosts stake in GM. Investor Kirk Kerkorian spent more than $250 million this week to boost his holding in General Motors Corp. to nearly 10 percent, buying the shares only about a month after he'd sold a similar stake. On Thursday, investors are likely to weigh in on the wisdom of his bet.
· Al Gore on fire at Sundance. Former Vice President Al Gore, often accused of being stiff throughout his unsuccessful 2000 presidential campaign, was full of anger and passion as he visited the Sundance Film Festival this week. Since losing the presidency, the self-described "recovering politician" has found a new mission: saving the planet.
· Pilot Killed As Jet Crashes Into Alaska Mobile Home Park. A small, military-style jet crashed into a mobile home park Wednesday, killing the pilot, who was found strapped to his seat 100 yards from the site, authorities said.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
· Hatch Found Guilty of Failing to Pay Taxes. Richard Hatch, who won $1 million in the first season of "Survivor," was found guilty Wednesday of failing to pay taxes on his winnings. Hatch was also convicted of evading taxes on $327,000 he earned as co-host of a Boston radio show and $28,000 in rent on property he owned. He was acquitted of seven bank, mail and wire fraud charges. Hatch, 44, faces up to 13 years in prison and a fine of $600,000.
· Inmate accused of strangling child-molesting priest beaten at prison. The prison inmate accused of strangling child-molesting priest John Geoghan arrived in court with a black eye Wednesday as jurors began a second day of deliberations.
· Village People 'Policeman' Skips Hearing. Victor Willis, the original policeman in '70s disco band the Village People, skipped a court hearing where he was due to be sentenced on drug and gun charges and now faces more than three years in prison, prosecutors said.
· School to Be Named After Johnnie Cochran. The Los Angeles middle school attended by high-profile attorney Johnnie Cochran Jr. will be renamed in his honor, officials said. The Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday to rename the 1,900-student Mt. Vernon Middle School after the attorney best known for representing O.J. Simpson.
· College student claims he was punched by actor Joe Pesci after taking his photo. A college student has filed a police report claiming that actor Joe Pesci punched him in the mouth after he snapped a photo in a shopping center parking lot.
· Grandmother Shot, Killed Picking Up Injured Dog. Police continued searching Wednesday for the person who shot a 46-year-old mother of three to death as she was getting into a car in the driveway of a friend's apartment.
· Actor Chris Penn found dead. Actor Chris Penn, brother of Sean Penn, was found dead Tuesday at a condominium near the beach in Santa Monica, police said. Police said they discovered the 40-year-old actor's body around 4 p.m. Lt. Frank Fabrega said there were no obvious signs of foul play. Chris Penn's credits included "Mulholland Falls," "Rumble Fish," "All the Right Moves," "Footloose" and "Rush Hour."
· Former Knicks executive sues Isiah Thomas. New York Knicks president Isiah Thomas has been accused of sexual harassment and sex discrimination in a lawsuit filed by a former team executive Tuesday in federal court in New York. Anucha Browne Sanders, 43, claims Thomas made unwanted advances and says she was fired as the Knicks' senior vice president of marketing and business operations after she made the complaints.
· MPAA accused of motion picture piracy. The Motion Picture Association of America stands accused of breaking its own piracy guidelines after it admitted making unauthorised copies of a film submitted to it for classification. The accuser is film director Kirby Dick who sent a copy of his documentary "This Film Is Not Yet Rated" to the MPAA back in November. According to the LA Times, Mr Dick is "very upset and troubled" by the MPAA’s admission that it had made copies of his work. According to the MPAA’s own website, "Manufacturing, selling, distributing or making copies of motion pictures without the consent of the copyright owner is illegal."
Word of The Day by WordThink
Solicitous [so·lic·i·tous] adj. 1. Marked by or given to anxious care and often hovering attentiveness. 2. Extremely careful; meticulous: "solicitous in matters of behavior." 3. Anxious or concerned: "a solicitous parent."
· Pilot Error Blamed in Commuter Plane Crash. The crew of of a commuter plane made fatal mistakes in a crash that claimed 13 lives in northeast Missouri and federal investigators say their jovial mood was partly to blame. A steady stream of inappropriate jokes, quips and expletive-filled comments throughout the flight suggested a lack of cockpit discipline, NTSB officials said. Pilot fatigue after a 14 1/2-hour day also played a role in their "degraded performance" the agency found.
· Nagin's 'Chocolate' Remark Sparks T-Shirt Craze. T-shirts making fun of Mayor Ray Nagin's remark that New Orleans would once again be a "chocolate city" are in high demand, with recent orders coming in from overseas countries.
· NBC Drops 'Book of Daniel' From Schedule. The last chapter of the controversial religious drama "The Book of Daniel" has been written at NBC. Although the network stopped short of saying the low-rated show was canceled, a spokeswoman said Tuesday it has been dropped from the schedule. Conservative Christian groups condemned the depiction of Jesus as blasphemous, accusing the writers of portraying Christ as tolerant of sin in talks with the priest. Seven NBC affiliates refused to air it.
· Anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan hails Venezuela's Chavez. Anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan, mother of a US soldier killed in Iraq, joined more than 10,000 anti-globalization activists in Caracas, where she hailed Venezuela's leftist President Hugo Chavez. "I admire him for his resolve against my government and its meddling," said Sheehan.
· FBI Agent Punished for Exposing Boss’s Affair With an Informant. The FBI’s former top agent in Panama carried on an affair with a confidential informant that left him open to blackmail by “a hostile foreign intelligence agency,” according to his former deputy, who has filed a discrimination suit against the bureau.
· West Poses As Jesus for Rolling Stone. Kanye West, with a crown of thorns atop his head, poses as Jesus Christ on the cover of the upcoming issue of Rolling Stone. The outspoken rapper defends his brash attitude inside the magazine's pages, on newsstands Friday.
· Study: Many College Students Have Been Harassed. Nearly two-thirds of college students have experienced sexual harassment at some point during college, according to a report released Tuesday by the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation.
· Motel Burglar Leaves Room Number. A man on a weekend getaway was arrested after allegedly burglarizing the Fort Bragg motel where he was staying, then leaving a note indicating where to find him. Enrique Rodriguez Vasquez, 37, was arrested on suspicion of burglary and possession of methamphetamine after police confronted him at the Best Western motel room he'd described in the note.
· Officers Discharged Under Gay Policy. Hundreds of officers and health care professionals have been discharged in the past 10 years under the Pentagon's policy on gays, a loss that while relatively small in numbers involves troops who are expensive for the military to educate and train.
· Meg Ryan Remakes Motherhood. Meg Ryan has borrowed a page out of Angelina Jolie's guide to motherhood. Ryan picked up her new daughter from the U.S. consulate this week after an eight-day stay in China.
· Dogs may be able to detect cancer in patients' breath. Researchers exposed dogs to breath samples from lung and breast cancer patients, as well as samples from healthy people. They said the dogs were able to detect cancer with astounding sensitivity: They identified 99 percent of the lung cancer breath samples (including early-stage cancer patients) and 88 percent of the breast cancer samples.
· Lawyers: Moussaoui possibly schizophrenic. Defense attorneys said Tuesday they are prepared to present witnesses who will say Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person in the U.S. convicted in connection with the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, may be schizophrenic.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
· Greenville Teacher Gets Suspended Sentence. A former high school teacher was given a suspended prison sentence and two years of probation for taking indecent liberties with a student. Katherine Tew, 31, was cleared Monday by a Pitt County jury of a charge of having sexual relations with the male student, who was 17 at the time.
· DENIED: Pamela Anderson's request to oust KFC statue. Kentucky's governor is siding with Colonel Sanders over Pamela Anderson. Governor Ernie Fletcher wrote the actress to say a bust of the late KFC founder will stay in the Kentucky Capitol, despite her claim that Sanders is a symbol of cruelty to chickens.
· Paparazzi Help Britney With Ferrari Breakdown. The paparazzi sometimes drive Britney Spears out of her mind — but the new mom was actually happy they were around when the car she was riding in broke down in the middle of a busy road. Spears was cruising along the Pacific Coast Highway near her Malibu home in hubby Kevin Federline's Ferrari, her older brother, Bryan, behind the wheel, when the stunning $200,000 sports car suddenly seized and ground to a halt in the middle of speeding traffic.
· Woman Arrested For Leaving Toddler In Hot Car Sues City. A Connecticut woman who was arrested after her son was accidentally locked in her car on a hot day is suing city officials for defamation. Guita Sazan Silverstein was arrested in July after she allegedly told rescuers not to break the window on her Audi to free her child.
· Kathleen Turner is barely recognizable. She is the siren whose sexual chemistry with Michael Douglas lit up the screen 20 years ago. Today, Kathleen Turner is barely recognizable as she succumbs to the side-effects of steroids she is taking to ease the agony of rheumatoid arthritis.
· Hiccups lead to two shooting deaths in Colombia. A Colombian man accidentally shot his nephew to death while trying to cure his hiccups by pointing a revolver at him to scare him, police in the Caribbean port city of Barranquilla said on Tuesday.
· Katie Holmes sex scene mysteriously missing at Sundance. The Sundance Film Festival is all about discovery, but what filmmaker Jason Reitman found out during a screening of Thank You for Smoking was unusual even by Sundance standards: The Katie Holmes sex scene in his movie had vanished.
· Dad Arrested After Boy Brings Gun To Day Care. The father of the boy who allegedly shot a girl at a Montgomery County day-care center is under arrest. John Lynwood Hall is charged with leaving a firearm in a location accessible by an unsupervised minor, as well as contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
· Border face-off involved men in Mexican Army uniforms. Men dressed as Mexican Army soldiers, apparent drug suspects and Texas law enforcement officers faced off near the U.S.-Mexican border after three suspicious SUVs attempted to flee state authorities, officials said Tuesday.
· Dead man rides subway for hours. It took more than six hours for anyone to realize that a 64-year-old Brooklyn man had died on a New York City subway train. Eugene Reilly, who died of a heart attack, likely got onto a Brooklyn-bound Q train just before 1 a.m. Thursday. He wasn't found until 7:15 a.m.
· UPN, WB to Shut Down; New Network Formed. Two small, long-struggling television networks — UPN and The WB — will shut down this fall and programming from both will be used to launch a new network aimed mainly at young and minority viewers.
· Man Suffers Cardiac Arrest In Room Full Of Cardiologists. A guest at a party who collapsed from cardiac arrest was in luck: The ballroom was packed with cardiologists attending an American Heart Association fundraiser. "If you have to go down, that was the place, I guess," said Dr. Richard Westerman, a cardiologist who helped save the man.
· Trump sues Warner Books, author over new book. Real estate mogul and TV star Donald Trump on Tuesday said he had sued Warner Books and author Timothy O'Brien for what he claimed were defamatory statements in O'Brien's book "TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald."
Word of The Day by WordThink
Eclectic [e·clec·tic] adj. 1. Composed of elements drawn from various sources 2. Not following any one system, but selecting and using what are considered the best elements of all systems. "An eclectic taste in music; an eclectic approach to managing the business.
· Mother says deputies shouldn't have arrested her 9-year-old son. A 9-year-old student was arrested, handcuffed and taken to jail Friday for hitting a teacher and stomping on her glasses, according to a police report.
· Death Penalty Proposed for Repeat Sex Offenders. Repeat child molestors are becoming more and more an issue today. They are set free, only to shatter the life of another innocent child. Oklahoma Senator Jay Paul Gumm is committed to making Oklahoma the safest state possible for your children. Senate Bill 1747. It would make repeat child molesters subject to life in prison without parole or even the death penalty.
· In radioland, it's the sour grapes of Roth. Looks like rock-star-turned-shock-jock David Lee Roth is having an ugly launch as Howard Stern's successor, with radio station staffers grumbling about Roth's allegedly bad behavior. My sources at 92.3 Free FM - formerly K-Rock - tell me that the former Van Halen front man and his manager, Matt Sencio, "are totally out of control and out of their league when it comes to producing a radio show," as one disgruntled employee put it.
· Lawyer Alleges 'Survivor' Hatch Cut Deal. "Survivor" Richard Hatch decided not to pay taxes on the $1 million he won on the TV show's first season after discussions with producers, fellow contestants and his accountant, and, he testified Monday in his federal tax-evasion trial, after receiving two letters from the IRS.
· Is Bloated Airbus Too Fat to Fly? As the Airbus A380 flies across the world, spectators have focused on its massive size — wings wider than a small apartment building, a tail eight stories tall and an interior that can hold 800 people. Yet the A380 is still months away from carrying paying passengers. Industry analysts said delays came because early models of the plane were too heavy — so overweight that they exceeded the plane's million-pound original design.
Monday, January 23, 2006
· GLAAD Replies to Judges Comments on 'Idol.' Is "American Idol" homophobic? The Fox talent show elicited a response from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLADD) after judges Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson made what the gay rights group deemed questionable comments on last week's premiere episode. On Tuesday's show, seen by a Nielsen-chart topping 35.5 million viewers, Cowell told one male contestant to "wear a dress" and Jackson asked another, "are you a girl?"
· TSA: Program may use fliers' financial data. A new program to speed travelers through airport security may require passengers to agree to a check of their personal and financial records, the Transportation Security Administration said. The program will create reserved lanes for people who pass the background check and pay an annual fee, expected to be $80 to $100.
· College partner benefits: You must have sex. University of Florida employees have to pledge that they're having sex with their domestic partners before qualifying for benefits under a new health care plan at the university.
· Kobe Bryant scored a staggering 81 points. Kobe Bryant kept shooting, from all over the court and from every angle. By halftime, he had 26 points - not a bad tally for most players. By the end of the game, he had put up the second-highest total in NBA history. The Los Angeles Lakers' star scored a staggering 81 points Sunday night against the Toronto Raptors in a 122-104 win. Only Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game stands ahead of him.
· TV logos make their mark. The logos used by television stations during long days of sporting action are burning themselves into the delicate plasma digital monitors. With the hi-tech TVs costing thousands of dollars, some owners have threatened legal action saying their screens have been ruined.
· Cops bust up pants-less subway stunt. An annual comedy stunt in which dozens of pranksters board the subway in their underwear was broken up Sunday by cops who detained several participants for disorderly conduct.
· US 'outsourced' torture. A European human rights investigator said on Tuesday there was evidence the United States had "outsourced" torture to other countries and it was likely that European governments knew about it.
· Gay families plan to attend White House egg roll. Three months before the annual Easter egg roll at the White House, the usually festive event is already taking on a divisive edge because of plans by gay- and lesbian-led families to turn out en masse in hopes of raising their public profile.
· Purse goes bang, blows its secret. Black sequins rained down in the Dairy Queen after the explosion. Some thought a car had backfired. But that wouldn't explain the sequins, or the smoke, or the smell of gunpowder in the south St. Louis County restaurant. Then everyone's attention turned to a woman in line - the one with a shredded sequined purse on the tile floor near her feet.
· Gates' prediction on spam a bust. It was a prediction that captured the attention of the international media and weary Internet users alike: "Two years from now, spam will be solved," Microsoft's Bill Gates said. Well, time's up.
· 15 Excuses for Calling in Sick. CareerBuilder took a look at employees who call in sick with bogus excuses. Forty-three percent of workers said they called in sick when they felt well at least once during the last year, up from 35 percent in the 2004 survey.
Sunday, January 22, 2006
· Stars accept pay cuts as Hollywood profits dip. Facing declining cinema audiences, Hollywood is trying to persuade its top actors to set an example by cutting back a lucrative arrangement known as “first dollar”, under which the director, producer and stars receive a share of a film’s box office take regardless of whether the studio has covered its filming costs.
· Terri Schiavo's Husband Remarries. Family members say a man whose brain-damaged wife was at the center of a contentious end-of-life battle that played out on a worldwide media stage has remarried. Michael Schiavo and Jodi Centonze were married Saturday in a private church ceremony.
· NBC Cancels 'West Wing' After 7 Seasons. The new president on "The West Wing" will be a real short-timer: NBC announced Sunday it was pulling the plug on the Emmy-winning political drama after seven seasons in May.
· From Jack and Marie Lord, a parting gift of $40 million. Jack Lord, whose long-running crime drama "Hawaii Five-0" introduced Honolulu to millions of television viewers, amassed a fortune in excess of $40 million, which is all going to charity.
· Update: Souter's home an activist target. Peeved by the Supreme Court's decision to support the government seizure of private land for development, a group of activists is trying to get Justice David Souter evicted from his New Hampshire home under the eminent domain law.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Ephemeral [e·phem·er·al] adj. 1. Lasting for a markedly brief time: "The ephemeral nature of slang." 2. Living or lasting only for a day, as with certain plants or insects.
· Miss Oklahoma Crowned Miss America. A 22-year-old aspiring teacher from Oklahoma was crowned Miss America on Saturday night, the first time the storied but struggling pageant was held outside Atlantic City, N.J. Jennifer Berry, a student at the University of Oklahoma, outlasted 51 other women to become Miss America 2006, earning a $30,000 college scholarship and a yearlong speaking tour in the process.
· The Next Big Thing in Beauty. Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan have them, and J. Lo's are made of mink. Madonna's cost $10,000 and are studded with diamonds. Hollywood is hip to the latest trend. But if you blinked you may have missed it: People are getting eyelash extensions.
· MSN, Yahoo Turn Over Search Terms to Feds. Yahoo Inc. said that it recently turned over information about its users searching habits to federal investigators, a startling admission that has touched off a new round of privacy concerns.
· Suspected Robber Leaves Name, Address. A man who held up banks by claiming he had a bomb in a bag was arrested after police found the bag actually contained books, including a phone book that had a mailing label with the man's full name and address.
· Jobs to scoop $3.5bn as Pixar board approves Disney takeover. The all-share deal will make Steve Jobs, the chief executive of Apple, around $3.5bn and the single largest shareholder in Disney. Jobs created Pixar in 1986 when he paid $10m for the computer animations division of Lucasfilm, owned by Stars Wars creator George Lucas.
· British Tabloid Reporter Arrested at Buckingham Palace. A British tabloid reporter was arrested at Buckingham Palace on suspicion of deception while "investigating security" there, her newspaper said Friday.
Saturday, January 21, 2006
· E! Reporter Rubs Some Celebs Wrong Way. Was it playfully outrageous, or just plain offensive? Live from the red carpet at the 63rd annual Golden Globes, E! correspondent Isaac Mizrahi groped Scarlett Johansson's breast, looked down Teri Hatcher's dress, asked Eva Longoria about her pubic hair and otherwise caught celebrities off-guard.
· Both West Virginia miners found dead. The bodies of two miners trapped after a fire broke out in a vast West Virginia coal mine two days ago were found Saturday, West Virginia's mine safety chief Doug Conaway said.
· Belafonte Continues Tirade Against Bush. Entertainer Harry Belafonte, one of the Bush administration's harshest critics, compared the national Homeland Security department to the Gestapo and attacked the president as a liar during a fiery Saturday speech.
· James Bond car sells for $1.9 million. A Swiss businessman won the keys to James Bond's silver 1965 Aston Martin DB5 coupe on Friday with a $1.9 million bid at an annual classic car auction in Arizona.
· Substitute teacher accused of sex with teen. A Utah substitute teacher has been accused of having sexual relations with a 16- or 17-year-old male student she met while teaching at Tooele High School. Police booked 29-year-old Cameo Patch into the Tooele County jail on Friday on suspicion of unlawful sexual conduct, a third-degree felony, and lewdness, a class A misdemeanor.
· Woman jailed for leaving kids to go see Springer. A woman got a 30-day jail sentence for leaving her three young children home alone for several hours, while she and her boyfriend attended a videotaping of "The Jerry Springer Show."
· Homeowners debate how to stop Gaywood Road sign thefts. Homeowners on a private road with a name some people find alluring or amusing want their expensive street signs to stop disappearing. Thieves have so far stolen four custom wooden signs from the residents of Gaywood Road in Alamo, who said the looting is no longer a laughing matter. New signs can cost as much as $600 each, residents said.
· L.A. to Pay $1.1M to Slain Rapper's
Family Lawyers. A federal judge has ordered the city to pay $1.1 million in legal costs to the family of slain rapper Notorious B.I.G. as sanctions for intentionally withholding evidence during the family's civil lawsuit trial.
· Technology's seamier side. The standoff between the justice department and search engines has resonated in the online world not only because of its privacy implications, but because it goes to the heart of what has spurred the Internet to such prodigious growth. Online pornography, a $2.5 billion business and growing rapidly, pioneered such now-commonplace practices as streaming video, trading files and making online purchases. By comparison, sales of music downloads totaled $1.1 billion last year. It's an old joke that every new technology is driven by porn: A big attraction for digital cameras, some hold, was the ability to take bedroom photos without having to take film to the snickering teenagers at the corner photo shop.
· The World’s 10 Worst Dictators. The list draws in part on reports by global human-rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch, Freedom House, Reporters Without Borders and Amnesty International. While the three worst from 2005 have retained their places, two on last year’s list (Muammar al-Qaddafi of Libya and Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan) have slipped out of the Top 10—not because their conduct has improved but because other dictators have gotten worse.
· 11 indicted on ecoterror charges. The Justice Department on Friday announced a 65-count indictment against 11 environmental activists accused of ecoterrorism attacks in five states. The charges include conspiracy to commit arson; arson; use of a destructive device; and destruction of an energy facility.
Friday, January 20, 2006
· Anthony Franciosa Dies at Age 77. Anthony Franciosa, whose strong portrayals of moody, troubled characters made him a Hollywood star in the 1950s and '60s but whose combative behavior on movie sets hampered his career, has died, his publicist said Friday.
· Carlie Brucia's mom arrested on prostitution charges. Susan Schorpen, the mother of slain 11-year-old Carlie Brucia, was arrested just after midnight in Saint Petersburg, Florida. Schorpen is charged with posession of crack cocaine and "facility prostitution." Deputies had been looking for the mother of Carlie Brucia, the girl whose abduction was captured by a car wash security camera.
· Priest Must Prove In Court Jesus Christ Did Exist. Lawyers for a small-town parish priest have been ordered to appear in court next week after the Roman Catholic cleric was accused of unlawfully asserting what many people take for granted: that Jesus Christ existed.
· Let it be. Yoko Ono tried to stop the filming of a controversial new movie about John Lennon assassin Mark David Chapman outside the Dakota this week - but failed to stop the crew from recreating tragedy on her doorstep.
· Jury tells sheriff to pay damages to ousted nurse. A federal jury found yesterday that Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea J. Cabral acted with ''callous and reckless disregard" for a nurse practitioner's rights by barring her from the House of Correction in 2003 for talking with the FBI about an inmate's allegation of abuse.
· Fire erupts in another W.Va. Mine; two missing. Rescue teams searched early Friday for two miners who were unable to escape after a fire broke out in an underground coal mine. Nineteen miners were able to flee the blaze, state officials said.
· Feds seek Google records in porn probe. The Bush administration, seeking to revive an online pornography law struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court, has subpoenaed Google Inc. for details on what its users have been looking for through its popular search engine. Google has refused to comply with the subpoena, issued last year, for a broad range of material from its databases, including a request for 1 million random Web addresses and records of all Google searches from any one-week period.
· Ex-Fla. Teacher Gets House Arrest For Sex. A former Citrus County high school teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old female student has been sentenced to two years of house arrest. Amy Gail Lilley, 36, pleaded no contest Thursday to a charge of lewd and lascivious battery of a child under 16.
· Katsia Damankova Is Modeling's Next Big Thing. Katsia Damankova is the hottest girl in the world. So says Ford Models, which last night ended its 39-country model crawl in search of a gorgeous new face for their agency. The judges unanimously voted on Damankova, a 5-foot-10 17-year-old high school senior from Belarus, as the winner of their 25th annual Super Model of the World contest.
· Expose 'radical' UCLA teacher, get $100. An alumni group dedicated to "exposing the most radical professors" at the University of California at Los Angeles is offering to pay students $100 to record classroom lectures of suspect faculty. The Web site of the Bruin Alumni Association also includes a "Dirty Thirty" list of professors considered by the group to be the most extreme left-wing members of the UCLA faculty, as well as profiles on their political activities and writings.
· Got hazardous milk? A bulk milk truck attempting to make a turn tipped over and ended up on its side, narrowly missing the Winona County Government Center building, said Deputy Police Chief Tom Williams. Williams said the truck leaked about 1,000 gallons of milk which flowed into the gutter and storm sewer. Considered a hazardous material, the milk had to be cleaned up by a special crew that tried to remove as much milk as possible from the storm sewer, he said.
· Abramoff's dad bashes Clooney's 'ridiculous attack.' The father of controversial Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff is responding to actor George Clooney for what he's describing as a "glib and ridiculous attack" on his son. "Who would name their kid Jack with the last words 'off' at the end of your last name? No wonder that guy is screwed up," Clooney said during the internationally televised awards show.
· Beer drops bikinis to boost image. As wine, vodka and whiskey continue to distill market share from beer, leading brewers like Anheuser-Busch have crafted a new industrywide campaign that's aimed at "fighting back the enemy" by touting - get this - the finer aspects of beer.
· Hamas spends $180,000 on an image makeover. Hamas is paying a spin doctor $180,000 to persuade Europeans and Americans that it is not a group of religious fanatics who relish suicide bombings and hate Jews. Media consultant Nashat Aqtash admits he and his small team in Ramallah have their work cut out.
· Three Teachers Indicted in Defiance County. A Defiance County grand jury has indicted two Ayersville teachers and a Hicksville teacher for felony charges in three separate cases. Ayersville teachers Megan Espin and Nicole Long were both accused of improper actions with students, while Hicksville teacher Dean Peverly was charged with theft.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
· Legendary Soul Singer Wilson Pickett Dies. Wilson Pickett, the soul pioneer best known for the fiery hits "Mustang Sally" and "In The Midnight Hour," died of a heart attack Thursday, according to his management company. He was 64.
· Cruise gives Katie the birthday gift she'll never forget. Tom Cruise provided Katie Holmes with a stunning gift for her 27th birthday — a custom-designed DVD collection of every single movie Tom Cruise ever made.
· Houston Police chief ties Katrina evacuees to more killings. Katrina evacuees in Houston were the victims or suspects in 23 homicides between September and December, Police Chief Harold Hurtt said today, doubling his department's earlier numbers on how many killings have been linked to people from Louisiana.
· Slaying's goal: Open up a coffee shop. A Minnesota man and three friends allegedly planned to kill his parents to get enough money to open a coffee shop in Amsterdam, according to an attorney speaking for the victim's family. Nancy Everson, 52, was shot to death in her home in Chaska, MN but her husband escaped out a window. Their 20-year-old son, Grant Everson, and three others are expected to be arraigned on murder charges today.
· 12-Year-Old Sentenced To Foster Care For Carjacking. A Kansas boy has been sentenced to a year in foster care for carjacking a vehicle when he was eleven and driving it to school. The boy, who is now 12, also was ordered to pay $300 in damages and perform 20 hours of community service
· Bin Laden open to a conditional truce with Americans. Osama bin Laden warned that al Qaeda was preparing new attacks inside the United States, but said the group was open to a conditional truce with Americans, according to an audio tape attributed to him on Thursday.
· Texas Car Chase Ends in Head-On Crash. A high-speed chase that lasted nearly two hours Wednesday ended when the fleeing BMW sedan smashed head-on into another car while going the wrong way on a highway entrance ramp. A woman passenger in the other car jumped out, climbed over the hood and screamed at the BMW driver.
· Studio 54 founder accused of stealing. A Miami beach company filed a $15 million lawsuit on Tuesday accusing Ian Schrager, the former boss of Studio 54, of stealing money and business from a hotel he managed for it and funnelling funds to a nearby hotel he owned.
· Miss America Finds More Glitz, Less Dough. There may be more glitz for Miss America this year, but there's less dough. After losing its network television contract, moving to Las Vegas in search of a new glamorous look and turning to former winners for financial help, the Miss America Organization has reduced the amount of scholarship money it awards its winners.
· Holly Hunter Reportedly Delivers Twins. Holly Hunter, who voiced the role of superhero mom Helen Parr in "The Incredibles," will have maternal experience to draw on if there's a sequel. The 47-year-old Oscar-winning actress has given birth to twins, People magazine reported.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Visceral [vis·cer·al] adj. 1. Instinctual: proceeding from instinct rather than from reasoned thinking or intellect. "A visceral business decision." 2. Emotional: characterized by or showing crude or elemental emotions.
· Mayor says cable car conductors skim cash from riders. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said he is convinced cable car conductors are stealing fare money - and that the Municipal Railway needs to change the way it collects cash to stop the thefts.
· Google Maps prompts advertising on roofs. advertisers have realized that with Google’s online satellite pics on Google Maps, there is a completely untapped space for more eyes to see their logos. Is this the next step in our over-advertised world?
· Ted Kennedy's secret love child? A Kennedy family confidante told the Enquirer, “This is one of the biggest secrets in the Kennedy family and known to only a few people including Ted’s ex-wife, Joan.” The affair allegedly started back in 1983, when Kennedy, then 51, took up with Caroline Bilodeau, an attractive brunette, several months before divorcing Joan, the mother of his three kids — Kara, Ted Jr. and Patrick.
· Men Feel Pleasure When Cheaters Feel Pain. Bill Clinton said he felt others' pain. But a new brain-scanning study suggests that when guys see a cheater get a mild electric shock, they don't feel his pain much at all. In fact, they rather enjoy it. In contrast, women's brains showed they do empathize with the cheater's pain and don't get a kick out it.
· Challenger buff bares it all inside auto show. Forget Desperate Housewives, the sexiest display at the Detroit Auto Show may have been one that started long after the doors were locked. Show officials are trying to learn who sneaked a tipsy blond woman onto the Cobo Center show floor about 2:30 a.m. Monday to pose nude atop the new Dodge Challenger.
· Schieffer showcasing women on CBS News. Bob Schieffer makes no apologies for showcasing women on a broadcast he is shepherding while CBS News executives search for Rather's replacement, with NBC Today anchor Katie Couric emerging as Schieffer's and CBS' favorite candidate.
· Michelin lets the air out of future tire innovation. The Detroit Auto Show Michelin showcased a potential future for mobility, an integrated tire and wheel combination missing one ingredient that is vital for traditional tire performance... air. The company unveiled the first real-world fitments for its revolutionary “Tweel” – which operates entirely without air.
· 'Doodle' gets high school teen expelled. A 16-year-old boy who doodled an alleged gang symbol in his notebook has been expelled from high school in McHenry, Ill. The Chicago Tribune reported board officials said a doodle of a crown, a cross and a spider web with the initials "D.L.K." in the middle was a symbol of a street gang. The youth's full name is Derek Leon Kelly.
· Bill Maher to host Amazon.com online show. Amazon.com plans to broadcast on its Web site an original show hosted by Bill Maher and featuring performers and authors touting new releases - which, not coincidentally, will be for sale at the online retailer.
· 'Idol audience huge in premiere. More than 35 million people watched the two-hour premiere of "American Idol" Tuesday night - the highest-rated single episode since the Season 2 finale in 2003, when Clay Aiken beat Ruben Studdard for the title.
· 'Idol' Twins Charged With Forgery, Theft. They sang like angels for their audition on Tuesday's 'American Idol' premiere, but a pair of Memphis twins may sound more like jailbirds by the time the show goes live from Hollywood.
· Ex-'Idol' Clarkson stiffs her old show. Singer Kelly Clarkson, who vaulted to fame as the first "American Idol" winner in 2002, is not letting any of her songs be used by new contestants on the show. A spokesman for Clarkson insisted it's nothing personal, but the stance prompted a public scolding from "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell.
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
· Update: Former Teen Idol Garrett Charged With Heroin Possession. Seventies teen idol Leif Garrett was charged this morning with possession of heroin after his arrest in the Pershing Square subway station over the weekend.
· Paper working 'night and day' to save abducted reporter With the kidnappers' Friday deadline looming, the newspaper for which abducted American journalist Jill Carroll works said Wednesday that it is "availing itself of every option we can think of to secure her release."
· Ricky Martin angered by 'golden shower' backlash. According to Yahoo! News, the controversy stems from an interview in which Ricky told Blender, "I love giving the 'golden shower.' It's like, so sexy, the temperature of your body and the shower water is very different." Ricky added, "I'm open to everything. There are moments for soft, gentle sex, and moments for a good spank in the butt."
· Finger fraud sends couple to prison. A couple who planted a severed finger in a bowl of Wendy's chili in a scheme to extort money from the fast-food chain were sentenced Wednesday to prison terms of at least nine years.
· Classified Ads Lead Police to Stolen Motorcycle. A classified ad for a brand new motorcycle led a customer to call police Tuesday afternoon. A 2006 Kawasaki that would usually go for up to $10,000 was being advertised for $300.
· Stern admits to 2 plastic surgery procedures. Satellite radio shock jock Howard Stern, whose long face, big nose, pointy chin and tangled curls gave him the perfect face for radio, admitted yesterday that he's had not one, but two plastic-surgery procedures.
· Comedy Films May Boost Blood Flow To Heart. In a small study outlined in a letter published in the journal Heart, researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Center determined that the impact of watching a sad film was of the same magnitude as remembering episodes of anger and doing mental arithmetic, the researchers said, and the impact of watching a funny film was equivalent to a bout of aerobic exercise or starting on a cholesterol-lowering drug treatment.
· Whitney Houston to divorce the bad boy? Bobby Brown reportedly told a group of women that he and wife Whitney Houston are divorcing. Bobby, 36, was chatting them up backstage at a show by all-girl group SWV in Connecticut. A witness claimed: "While flirting with a bunch of women, they asked, 'What's up with your wife?'. "Bobby said, 'We ain't together no more. We're getting a divorce'."
· Aruban Authorities Renew Natalee Holloway Search. On Monday, police began searching sand dunes on the island's northwest coast. But Aruba's police chief said the search of the one-square-mile area was suspended Tuesday. He said more than 50 police officers took part - but that Aruba can't spare that many people from its police force of about 250. Police said the search could resume as soon as Thursday.
· Backstage requirements for The Rolling Stones. While aware that members of the aging Rolling Stones were no longer shooting heroin and gallivanting with groupies before a concert, it is somewhat surprising that Mick Jagger passes his pre-gig time watching cricket on satellite TV. That's one of the more amusing requirements found in the group's concert rider for their ongoing "A Bigger Bang" world tour.
· Aspirin May Benefit Men and Women Differently. It's no secret that aspirin may reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes for some men and women, but a new study reveals it may help them in different ways. Aspirin therapy was associated with a 17 percent reduction in strokes among women and a 32 percent reduction in heart attacks among men, according to the AMA.
· Inventor develops anti-malaria wristwatch. A South African inventor has developed an anti-malaria wristwatch to help combat one of Africa's biggest killers by monitoring the blood of those who wear it and sounding an alarm when the parasite is detected.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
· Update: New Orleans mayor apologizes for "chocolate city" remark. Mayor Ray Nagin apologized Tuesday for a Martin Luther King Day speech in which he predicted that New Orleans would be a "chocolate" city once more and asserted that "God was mad at America." "I said some things that were totally inappropriate. ... It shouldn't have happened," Nagin said, explaining he was caught up in the moment as he spoke to mostly black spectators.
· William Shatner Sells Kidney Stone. An online casino has a piece of Capt. Kirk. Actor William Shatner has sold his kidney stone for $25,000, with the money going to a housing charity, it was announced Tuesday.
· Prosecutors Ask For Maximum Sentences For Chili Finger Couple. California prosecutors say the man and woman who pleaded guilty in the infamous Wendy's chili finger case are "grifters" and deserve the maximum sentence. Anna Ayala faces up to 9 years, eight months. Jaime Plascencia could get 13 years in prison on his charges.
· Sen. Kennedy severs ties to Harvard club. Sen. Edward Kennedy, who criticized Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito's past membership in a controversial Princeton University alumni club, severed his ties Tuesday after 52 years of membership with a Harvard club that bans female members.
· Court Rules Girl Can Come Off Life Support. The state's highest court ruled Tuesday that the state can withdraw life support from an 11-year-old girl who was allegedly kicked and beaten nearly to death with a baseball bat by her adoptive mother and stepfather. The girl's stepfather, Jason Strickland, asked the Supreme Judicial Court last month to block the state from taking her off life support. He is already charged in her beating and if she dies, he could face a murder charge.
· Money-Losing Million Dollar Concert Draws Heavy Criticism. A million dollar Neil Diamond concert that lost nearly $400,000 is drawing sharp criticism from Stockton residents and members of the city council. Tickets for the Stockton concert went on sale December 17 for between $75.75 to $164.75. The prices were nearly double those charged in Sacramento. The city then dropped the prices on some seats to $22.75 in the week before the concert, angering those who had already paid the higher prices.
· 3 Percent Fee On Cell Phones Started 107 Years Ago. There is a call to repeal a cell phone tax most people probably don't even know they are paying. One of the charges is a 3 percent fee on every cell phone bill in America. The origin of the tax predates the invention of the cellular phone by nearly a century, and don't specify that the tax originates from the Spanish-American War.
· Hillary Clinton: "Congress run like a plantation." Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton sparked a Martin Luther King Day political firestorm yesterday by describing the GOP-controlled Congress as a "plantation" during a speech before an African-American congregation in Harlem. "When you look at the way the House of Representatives has been run, it has been run like a plantation, and you know what I'm talking about," Clinton (D-N.Y.) told her audience sponsored by the Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network.
· Pastor Protests Gay Rights. A pastor on Monday called for a national boycott of Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and other companies that support a gay civil rights bill, saying the corporations have underestimated the power of religious consumers.
· Mouthy parrot 'reveals sex secret.' A computer programmer found out his girlfriend was having an affair when his pet parrot kept repeating her lover's name. The African grey parrot named Ziggy, kept squawking "I love you, Gary" as his owner, Chris Taylor, sat with girlfriend Suzy Collins on the sofa of their shared home. Ziggy even mimicked Collins's voice each time she answered her telephone, calling out "Hiya Gary," according to newspaper reports.
· Former D.C. Mayor: "I Shouldn't Be A Role Model." Marion Barry had a lot to say about violence last night, but very little to say about his cocaine problem. Despite his addiction, Marion Barry still feels he can help stem the violence that's so often tied up with drugs.
· Storm over Chinese map of America. The Chinese are said to have discovered gunpowder, paper and the compass - but it may be too early to claim they discovered America. A map purported to date from 1418 suggesting a Chinese fleet sailed to America decades before Christopher Columbus was displayed in Beijing on Monday, but the piece of yellowing paper is the center of a storm of criticism over its authenticity.
· NFL admits key playoff call was wrong. The NFL acknowledged Monday that referee Pete Morelli erred when he overturned on replay Polamalu's interception of a Peyton Manning pass Sunday in the playoff game between Pittsburgh and Indianapolis.
· '7th Heaven' Canceled Because of Costs. The Camden family is disappearing from television in May strictly for financial reasons: the WB's top executive said Sunday that the network is losing $16 million this year on "7th Heaven."
Monday, January 16, 2006
· New Orleans Mayor: God Wants City To Be Mostly Black. The mayor of New Orleans is predicting that his city will once again be "a majority African-American city." In a Martin Luther King Day speech to a crowd at City Hall, Mayor Ray Nagin said, "It's the way God wants it to be. You can't have New Orleans any other way."
· 7% in U.S. drink alcohol daily on job. A little more than 7 percent of American workers drink during the workday — mostly at lunch — and even more, 9 percent, have nursed a hangover in the workplace, according to a study.
· CNN banned in Iran for translation gaffe. Iran on Monday banned CNN journalists from working there after the broadcaster misquoted President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying Iran wanted nuclear weapons.
· Airplane Mechanic Sucked Into Jet Engine. A mechanic was sucked into a jet engine and killed Monday while passengers were boarding the plane, officials said. NTSB spokeswoman Lauren Peduzzi said she did not know if any passengers saw the accident, which involved a Boeing 737-500 operated by Continental Airlines in El Paso, Texas.
· Most trusted man says "leave Iraq." Former CBS anchor Walter Cronkite, whose 1968 conclusion that the Vietnam War was unwinnable keenly influenced public opinion then, said Sunday he'd say the same thing today about Iraq. "It's my belief that we should get out now," Cronkite said in a meeting with reporters. Now 89, the television journalist was once known as "the most trusted man in America."
· Boy Critical After Asking To Be Set On Fire. A 13-year-old boy in Orange, Calif., was critically injured after he doused himself with a flammable liquid and then asked a 15-year-old friend to set him on fire.
· Former 'Beethoven' child actor missing. Former child actor Joe Pichler, who appeared in two of the "Beethoven" comedies, was missing after leaving a note in his car expressing suicidal thoughts, relatives said.
· Family gets $500,000 in inmate's death. The family of an inmate who died while in the Benton County Jail will receive $500,000 to settle a lawsuit. Ryan Dwight Mosher, 27, died in jail on June 15, 2003, after drinking windshield de-icer.
· Counterfeiters Pass Off 5s As 100s. Twice on Saturday, customers at the Music Exchange handed the cashier $100 bills, store owner Jason Bandy said. The cashier dutifully ran a special pen across the bills to ensure they weren't counterfeit. Trouble was, as Bandy learned later, they were $5 bills, not $100 bills.
· Sean Penn: Bush slowly killing him. Although politically overactive actor Sean Penn has not stepped into battle, the country’s involvement in Iraq is going to slowly kill him. The Oscar winner told the audience at an anti-war forum hosted by the Progressive Democrats of America in Sacramento, Calif. the other night that the stress of living under the Bush administration is making it impossible for him to quit smoking.
· Racist Man Sentenced To Attend Black Church. A judge has sentenced a suburban Cincinnati man to attend services for six weeks at a black church for threatening to punch a black cab driver and using racial slurs. Judge William Mallory Jr. told 36-year-old Brett Haines, "It seems readily apparent to me that you don't like black people. That's OK with me. But you have to understand that you are at the whim and authority of a black judge."
· Famous face, humble heart. Millions of Americans remember him only as the "Marlboro Man" - the grubby, exhausted Marine lance corporal with a cigarette dangling from lips in a famous 2004 photograph from the battle for Fallujah. The picture has become one of the iconic images of the Iraq war. Around Pike County, though, he's just plain Blake Miller, 21 and a civilian again. Today, he's intent on getting over the black-outs and the nightmares, and building a new life with his new wife, Jessica.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Dogmatic [dog·mat·ic] adj. 1. Expressing rigid opinions; Prone to expressing strongly held beliefs and opinions. 2. Asserting opinions in a doctrinaire or arrogant manner; opinionated.
· Family feud, new book pull at King's legacy. On what would have been Martin Luther King Jr.'s 77th birthday, his legacy is under attack and its greatest defender is unable to speak. The spotlight is again hitting King's more human side in a new book that alleges extramarital affairs and a nasty split with a civil rights colleague, the Rev. Jesse Jackson.
· KISS Bassist Promoting Indy Racing League. Don't be surprised to find a checkered flag soon amid the black-and-white KISS face paint of tongue-wagging bassist Gene Simmons. Simmons and marketing partner Richard Abramson have signed a deal to promote the Indy Racing League, the open-wheeled circuit announced.
· Alleged eBay scammer behind bars. Police in Florida arrested a northwest Ohio man who customers complained never sent the Ohio State-Michigan football tickets they ordered from him in an online auction. Mark West, 53, of Fostoria, was being held in a Volusia County jail following his arrest at a hotel bar Saturday in Daytona Beach, Fla., police there said. He was indicted in November on charges of theft and telecommunications fraud.
· Jobs suggests Dell should eat his words. It may not be the last laugh, but on Friday afternoon, after the close of the stock market, Steve Jobs, the chief executive of Apple Computer, shared an e-mail chuckle with his employees at the expense of Dell, a big rival. The message was prompted by the 12 percent surge in Apple's stock price last week, which pushed the company's market capitalization to $72.13 billion, passing Dell's value of $71.97 billion.
· Consumers find HDTV technology too confusing. There are so many considerations — price, size, technology type, programming choice, upcoming media formats — and each decision comes with its own trade-offs. This plasma set looks stunning on a wall, but it's more expensive than that Digital Light Processor set. The DLP set requires a new light bulb every few years, which isn't necessary in the liquid-crystal-display flat panel. But the LCD set doesn't handle some images as well as DLP, and it costs more in bigger sizes. "The more you add, the more choices, the more confusion's going to come," said Joni Blecher, an associate analyst at JupiterResearch.
· Suspects In Homeless Beatings Under Arrest. The 2 teenagers wanted for last week's string of beatings of homeless men have turned themselves in. 17-year-old Thomas S. Daugherty and 18-year-old Brian A. Hooks are under arrest in Fort Lauderdale. Police credit the 100+ tips from the public for identifying the pair on surveillance video.
Sunday, January 15, 2006
· Iran's President Wants Scientific Proof Of Holocaust. Iran said Sunday it would sponsor a conference to examine the scientific evidence supporting the Holocaust, an apparent next step in hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's campaign against Israel and a move likely to deepen Tehran's international isolation. Ahmadinejad already had called the Nazis' World War II slaughter of 6 million European Jews a myth and said the Jewish state should be wiped off the map or moved to Germany or the United States.
· al-Zawahri Skipped Dinner, Missed Rockets. Al-Qaida's No. 2 leader was invited to dinner marking an Islamic holiday at the Pakistani border village struck by a purported CIA airstrike, but he did not show up, intelligence officials said Sunday. The two Pakistani officials told The Associated Press that this could explain why Friday's predawn attack missed its apparent target, Ayman al-Zawahri, Osama bin Laden's top lieutenant.
· Family's Lawyer: Authorities were told student's gun was fake. The father and brother of a teenager shot at school Friday while brandishing a pellet gun told authorities before an officer opened fire that Christopher Penley's gun was not real, the family's attorney said Saturday. The eighth-grader is clinically brain dead and being kept on life support to harvest his organs, attorney Mark Nation said.
· Fla. University Finds $275,000 in Office. Three University of South Florida officials were fired after the school discovered $275,000 in misplaced checks and cash scattered throughout an office. Nearly half the money at the school's English Language Institute $133,647 was in checks up to 10 years old and could not be deposited, said university spokeswoman Michelle Carlyon.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Extemporaneous [ex·tem·po·ra·ne·ous] adj. 1. Unrehearsed. Done or said without advance preparation or thought; impromptu: "An extemporaneous lecture." 2. Prepared in advance but delivered without notes or text: "An extemporaneous speech."
· Stakes raised in whaling clash. A Greenpeace activist was thrown overboard when a Japanese whale harpoon was launched across an inflatable boat in the Antarctic seas yesterday. The incident has forced Greenpeace to rethink their human shield style protest against Japanese scientific whaling in the Southern Ocean.
· Mississippi residents still waiting for FEMA trailers; garage for Rolls. A lack of coordination among utility companies is one of the reasons why thousands of Mississippi families are still waiting for trailers more than four months after Hurricane Katrina destroyed their homes, a federal official told a congressional subcommittee Saturday.
· New personal computer design wins Microsoft competition. Two Purdue University industrial designers won a grand prize at an international competition co-sponsored by Microsoft Corp. for a new personal computer design that may change the way people watch movies, listen to music, play games and read magazines.
· Clooney: I ruined Kerry's presidential race. George Clooney is convinced he ruined John Kerry's chances in the race for US president in 2004 - by snubbing an invitation and hurting his feelings. The Ocean's Twelve actor was one of several screen stars invited to ride on Kerry's election train, but it all went downhill for the Democrat when Clooney stayed away.
· Rapper Eminem and ex-wife remarry. Rapper Eminem and his former wife remarried Saturday, five years after an ugly divorce ruptured their turbulent relationship. Eminem, whose real name is Marshall Mathers III, and Kimberly Mathers exchanged vows in a small and tightly guarded ceremony at Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester Hills, near Detroit.
· Conan's Endorsement No Joke to Some Finns. Finland's president finds her traditional support among women and the Social Democratic Party base, but lately to the surprise of many Finns — and her opponents in Sunday's election — she has gotten an endorsement of a different sort. The redheaded late-night talk show host Conan O'Brien has been promoting President Tarja Halonen's re-election bid as part of a long-running joke about their supposed physical similarities.
Saturday, January 14, 2006
· Oscar Winner Shelley Winters Dies at 85. Shelley Winters, the forceful, outspoken star who graduated from blond bombshell parts to dramas, winning Academy Awards as supporting actress in "The Diary of Anne Frank" and "A Patch of Blue," has died.
· Man Who Left Bomb Hoax Note On Airliner Sentenced To Probation. A man who admitted scribbling a fake bomb threat on a gum wrapper and leaving it on a Southwest Airlines plane was sentenced Friday to five years of probation. Elias Jeremiah Cervantez, 20, also must pay Southwest $3,753 in restitution and pay a fine of $3,000. He'll spend six months of the probation in home confinement.
· Lawyer Allegedly Kidnaps Client Over Fees. A lawyer faces a felony charge of kidnapping for allegedly abducting a client from his wedding celebration in an attempt to collect legal fees. Police say Paula Allen, 51, took Rolando Castelan from his Dec. 10 wedding and then drove him around in handcuffs as Castelan called friends and family from a cell phone to scrounge up the money he owed his lawyer.
· Your tax dollars at work. A former Canyon County Idaho sheriff's deputy who gave $9,000 of Department of Homeland Security money to a prostitute has been sentenced to six months in a work-release program.
· Shalit Sorry for "Brokeback" Bash. Gene Shalit doesn't typically respond to reviews of his reviews. But that was before the Great Brokeback Mountain Brouhaha. Shalit sought to clarify his critique in a letter of apology to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, stating that in no way did he mean any offense by labeling Jake Gyllenhaal's Jack a "sexual predator" who "tracks Ennis [Heath Ledger] down and coaxes him into sporadic trysts."
· A homeless millionaire. He's a direct descendant of one of America's wealthiest families, but Alexis du Pont de Bie Sr. says he's now "literally destitute and homeless" - at least by du Pont standards. He grew up in a house with 20 bedrooms and 13 bathrooms, set on a 260-acre estate in Delaware, but now he sleeps on the sofas of kindhearted friends. He once had a trust fund worth $7 million, but now it's worth only $2.7 million - trimming his monthly allowance to $3,000. "It has not been easy," de Bie, 62, said in a recent interview.
· America Approaches 300 Million Population. Somewhere in America, every eight seconds on average, a new baby is born. Somewhere else, someone dies every 12 seconds. And every 31 seconds … the nation adds another immigrant. Add those numbers up, and the U.S. Bureau of the Census says that sometime this fall, probably in October, the population of the United States will reach 300 million people.
· Doctor Bans Boy From Playstation To Stop Head Twitching. A 9-year-old boy in California who suffered from uncontrollable head jerking after long hours of video game playing stopped the twitching after his doctor banned him from playing PlayStation.
· Update: Deputy shoots teen wielding pellet gun. A sheriff's deputy shot a 15-year-old he believed was armed with a 9 mm handgun at a Florida middle school Friday only to learn later that the weapon was a modified pellet gun, the Seminole County sheriff said. The student is on "advanced life support" at Orlando Regional Medical Center, Sheriff Don Eslinger said, adding, "It was a terrible situation."
· Ted Koppel was wooed by Al Jazeera. Ted Koppel, an icon of U.S. broadcast journalism, said on Friday Arabic television news channel Al Jazeera was one of many news outlets that sought to hire him when he left ABC News in November, but he never seriously considered working there.
· Folks toast lifting of alcohol ban after 131 years. The central Ohio city of Westerville, once known as the "dry capital of the world," is dry no more. A pizza parlor on Thursday became the first establishment in Westerville's uptown business district to legally serve a beer since 1875.
· Taiwanese Researchers Breed Glowing Pigs. Pigs may not be able to fly just yet, but at least three of them glow. Taiwanese researchers said Friday they have bred the pigs with a green fluorescent material in a move they hope will benefit the island's stem cell research effort.
Friday, January 13, 2006
· Teacher completes suspension in spanking incident. A Daytona Beach school teacher recently completed a 10-day suspension without pay for spanking a second-grader with a yard stick at the request of and with the permission of her mother.
· 'Gay horse' case dropped. An Oxford University student who called a policeman's horse "gay" will not be prosecuted. But police stood by their decision to take him to court for "homophobic comments."
· Embattled Aspen Hairdresser Hires Kobe Bryant Attorney. A well-known Aspen hairdresser has dumped his local attorney and hired a high-powered defense lawyer who successfully defended NBA star Kobe Bryant against rape allegations in Colorado. Pascal Bensimon, 44, hired Pamela Mackey of Denver to represent him in a case involving the theft of actor Kevin Costner's laptop computer last September.
· Fire destroys Hemingway's Bahamas bar. A fire destroyed the Ernest Hemingway museum and The Compleat Angler bar Friday on the Bahamian island of Bimini, one of the American novelist's 1930s haunts during the days he stalked big game fish. The early morning blaze leveled the wood structure in Alice Town and destroyed photographs and Hemingway memorabilia, police said.
· SWAT Team Shoots Armed Fla. 8th-Grader. A suicidal eighth grader who pulled a handgun in class and forced another child into a closet was shot by a sheriff's SWAT team member Friday when the 15-year-old boy later threatened deputies, officials said.
· Mass. Judge Bans 'Stop Snitching' Shirts. A top Massachusetts judge has banned clothing bearing the phrase "Stop Snitching" and outlawed camera phones in the state's courthouses in an effort to counter a rising climate of witness intimidation.
· Aunt Jemima banned from city council meetings. An activist who was arrested after disrupting a City Council meeting in an Aunt Jemima costume has been banned by the council president from attending meetings until the end of March.
· Man sues chatroom pals: I was humiliated beyond what 'no man could endure.' George Gillespie, 53, claims that two people insulted him and harassed him in the AOL chatroom called "Romance — Older Men" to the point where it inflicted "severe emotional distress and physical injury that is of a nature no reasonable man could be expected to endure it."
· Three Jackson Lawsuits in One. Michael Jackson has been accused, at various times in his career, of molesting children, breaking contracts and stealing songs. Rarely, if ever, has he been accused of doing all three at once. Now a recent lawsuit hits the trifecta, alleging the pop star sexually abused a boy in the 1980s and 1990s, lifted lyrics and melodies from the child - who was as young as 2 at the time of the reputed plagiarism.
· Bottled water tests tests positive for chemicals. Bottled water provided to about 1,000 southeast Ohioans whose tap water contained a chemical used to make Teflon has tested positive for trace amounts of the same substance, the water company said. DuPont had agreed to pay for bottled water until it installs filters to remove the chemical.
· L.A. Mayor: City Is the 'Homeless Capital.' A report released Thursday that provided new details on the region's homeless population prompted Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to call the nation's second-largest city the nation's "capital of homelessness." A new study also reported that California's estimated homeless population of 195,367 is the highest in the nation.
· Tossed shrimp causes death, family claims. A shrimp a hibachi chef tossed at a man eating at a Japanese steakhouse ultimately led to the diner's death, his family claims in a $10 million wrongful death lawsuit against the restaurant chain Benihana.
· Former 'Baywatch' Star Files for Divorce. Former "Baywatch" star David Hasselhoff filed for divorce Thursday from actress Pamela Bach, his wife of 16 years. "The couple have agreed to an amicable settlement," said Hasselhoff's publicist, Judy Katz. Hasselhoff, 53, and Bach, 42, wed in December 1989. They have two teenage daughters.
· Gas Main Break Leads To Marijuana Garden. Gwinnett County police say a gas line broken by a drunken driver who ran into an apartment building led to the the arrest of a resident who was growing marijuana inside his apartment.
· Woman causes plane to divert, then blames Bush. A United Airlines flight from Eugene to Denver was diverted to Salt Lake City on Wednesday after a University of Oregon graduate student with no criminal record got into a physical fight with another passenger and lunged toward the cockpit, an FBI spokesman said. After allegedly disripting passengers, she then began yelling that "she had a baby named Jesus, she was impregnated by her uncle and President Bush was behind it all," charging papers said.
· Tests reveal executed man's guilt. DNA tests have confirmed the guilt of a man who was executed in the US in 1992 while proclaiming his innocence. Virginia state's outgoing governor, Mark Warner, had ordered the tests on Roger Coleman, who was put to death for raping and murdering his sister-in-law.
· Biden: Supreme Court confirmation hearings should be scrapped. Supreme Court nominees are so mum about the major legal issues at their Senate confirmation hearings that the hearings serve little purpose and should probably be abandoned, Democratic Sen. Joe Biden said Thursday. "The system's kind of broken," said Biden, a member of the Judiciary Committee considering the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito.
· Research doesn't support cannibalism by legendary Donner family. They ate the family dog, but the latest research into the Donner Party found no conclusive evidence of cannibalism by the Donner family at a Sierra Nevada campsite where several of the pioneers died in the winter of 1846-47, scientists said Thursday.
· Virtual lovers tie knot over Internet. Two Indonesians in their 50s exchanged wedding vows this week without ever meeting by using the Internet to make up for the oceans that separate them. Wiriadi Sutrisno works as a physiotherapist in California, and Rita Sri Mutiara Dewi is from the Indonesian city of Bandung.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
· Hundreds dead in Muslim stampede. At least 345 people died today in a stampede during a symbolic stoning ritual at the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, according to the country's health ministry. About 3 million Muslims are believed to have made the pilgrimage to Mecca.
· Man Jailed On Assault Charges After Handshake Sickens 3 People. A man has been jailed on assault charges after a prosecutor, police officer and courtroom bailiff became seriously ill after shaking hands with him. During a Dec. 21 court appearance on a traffic charge, John Ridgeway pulled out a vial of an unknown liquid, rubbed his hands with the contents and insisted on shaking hands with the three people, authorities said. All of them got sick within an hour.
· PETA Pal: Martha Stewart's Daughter Seeks Ban on Carriages. Martha Stewart's daughter and "Apprentice" co-star, Alexis Stewart, has written Mayor Michael Bloomberg a letter urging him to support a citywide ban on horse-drawn carriages. In a letter written on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Stewart said she was upset by a recent accident involving a horse that ran into vehicular traffic while pulling a carriage home from Central Park.
· Best man sent to prison for torching groom's home during honeymoon. A Virginia newlywed couple's best man has been sentenced to nine years in prison for torching the groom's house during the honeymoon. Joseph Overton had been the best man at the wedding of Anthony and Shannon Williams two days before the explosions.
· Frey threatens The Smoking Gun. In a January 6 letter to the website, The Smoking Gun, James Frey's lawyer threatens a multi-million dollar lawsuit if they describe the "Oprah Book of The Month" author as "a liar and/or that he fabricated or falsified background as reflected in 'A Million Little Pieces.'"
· Chesney, Zellweger Spotted Dining Together. Kenny Chesney and his ex-wife Renee Zellweger were seen together recently in a sandwich shop near Nashville. While music star spottings are old hat in Nashville, movie stars are something else. Steamer's Sub Shop owner Aaron Lefkowitz is still a little rattled by Zellweger's appearance.
· Anti-Gay Pastor Allegedly Propositions Male Officer. A Baptist minister who thinks homosexuals can become heterosexuals has been charged with offering to engage in oral sex with an undercover male police officer.
· Rock Hudson's ex-wife dead at 80. Phyllis Gates, the beautiful talent agent's secretary who said she had no idea that Hollywood heartthrob Rock Hudson was gay when she married him following a whirlwind romance, has died of lung cancer complications.
· "I'll give you the money." When the masked man came into the Bethlehem Exxon gas station Tuesday night, pointed a knife at him and demanded cash, Kuldip Singh took only a second to realize he was tired of being robbed and was going to fight back. ''Oh, I'll give you the money,'' the store clerk said in mocking tones as he grabbed a wooden baseball bat and swung it at the would-be robber. Singh then charged from behind the counter, hitting the man six times in the head.
· CBS Sportsline's hottest wives/girlfriends. So many athletes date celebrities (or Playmates, or fellow athletes) that the time has finally arrived: CBS Sportsline is going to let you, the reader, determine which professional athlete has the hottest significant other.
· Wife Of Former Detective Tried To Hire Hit Man. The wife of a former Orlando sex-crimes detective who pleaded guilty to having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl has been arrested after allegedly trying to hire a hit man to kill the teen's grandmother, authorities said. Janice Mann, 42, was arrested Wednesday at Martin Correctional Institution in Indiantown, where her husband is serving a 26-year sentence, said Geo Morales, a spokesman for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
· New Orleans plan draws outrage. Angry homeowners screamed and City Council members seethed yesterday as this city's recovery commission recommended imposing a four-month building moratorium on most of New Orleans and creating a powerful new authority that could use eminent domain to seize homes in neighborhoods that will not be rebuilt.
· Man who shot pope is freed from prison in Turkey. The Turkish gunman who tried to assassinate Pope John Paul II in 1981 has been released from an Istanbul prison. A gray-haired Mehmet Ali Agca left the prison and got into his lawyer's car amid a chaotic scene created by international media and about 50 nationalists who consider him a hero. Agca was taken directly to a military post to see if he is fit for military service, which is required under Turkish law.
· Miners Believed Alive for 44 Minutes. Officials on the surface thought for at least 44 minutes that 12 miners trapped inside the Sago Mine were alive based on communications relayed from rescue workers inside, according to a timeline released Wednesday.
· New nickels coming to cash registers near you. Coming soon to a cash register near you — a smiling Thomas Jefferson looking straight at you from a new nickel that will end nearly a century of tradition for U.S. coins.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
· Stern to dump $200 million in Sirius stock. Just three days after starting his new job at Sirius Satellite Radio Inc., shock jock Howard Stern is now able to sell the roughly $200 million in Sirius stock that he received as part of his five-year deal with the company. On Wednesday, the company made a regulatory filing saying that entities controlled by Stern would receive the proceeds of the sale of the shares.
· Readers offered refund on Oprah's book club controversial bestseller. Random House will offer a refund to readers who bought James Frey's drug and alcohol memoir "A Million Little Pieces" directly from the publisher, a move believed to be unprecedented, after the author was accused of exaggerating his story.
· Abused dogs returned to owner. After spending more than $260,000 to house, train and care for 64 pets taken in an animal cruelty case last year, the Hawaiian Humane Society was hoping the animals could be put up for adoption. Instead, Judge Rhonda Nishimura returned the dogs to the owwner.
· Israel: No More Business With Pat Robertson. Israel will not do business with Pat Robertson after the evangelical leader suggested Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's massive stroke was divine punishment for the Gaza withdrawal, a tourism official said Wednesday.
· Bishop: 'Priest abused me 60 years ago.' Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton of Detroit, arguing for more time for sex abuse victims to sue the Roman Catholic Church, says he was abused by a priest 60 years ago. He is believed to be the first U.S. bishop to disclose that he was a victim of clergy sexual abuse and also the first to endorse proposals in several states to remove time limits that have prevented many victims of sex abuse from suing the church.
· 19-year-old 'Malcom' star buys Simpson mansion. Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey are moving on. And that leaves the door open for a Malcolm in the Middle star to move in. Just days after the soon-to-be-divorced couple listed their Calabasas, California, home, the setting for much of their Newlyweds hijinks, it was snapped up by Justin Berfield, who plays Malcolm's bullying older brother Reese on the Fox sitcom. Simpson and Lachey were asking $3.75 million for the Mediterranean-style house, which includes a screening room and a music studio.
· Tired of Elvis, Fan's Girlfriend Stabs Him With Scissors. A woman was really not interested in her boyfriend celebrating Elvis' birthday on Sunday. Police said the woman stabbed her boyfriend with a pair of scissors because he repeatedly played "Burning Love" as a tribute to Elvis' birthday. A police spokesman said the man was treated for six stab wounds to his head, back and legs.
· Judge Rules Against Model in Panties Flap. A Sports Illustrated swimsuit model was blocked from launching a line of women's underwear called "SEXY LITTLE THINGS" when a judge ruled that Victoria's Secret could sue her for trademark infringement.
· Security ordeal for Qantas boss. The female head of Australia's major air carrier was suspected of being a terrorist at a U.S. airport because a security guard refused to believe a woman could run an airline. Qantas Airways chairman Margaret Jackson has said she was detained and frisked at Los Angeles airport last year after a search revealed she was carrying aircraft diagrams in her briefcase.
· Actress, cop plead guilty in Pellicano plot. The first criminal cases from the alleged wiretapping scheme of private investigator Anthony Pellicano were disclosed Tuesday, setting the stage for a steady stream of indictments that could ensnare some of Hollywood's top attorneys and executives. Actress Sandra Carradine, former wife of actor Keith Carradine, has pleaded guilty to perjury for lying to a grand jury about having Pellicano wiretap her ex-husband's telephone during their divorce, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
· Schwarzenegger Vows to Update License. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vowed to update his driver's license after police determined he had been riding his Harley Davidson illegally when he got into a minor accident over the weekend.
· Angelina Jolie Expecting Baby. Angelina Jolie is expecting a baby this summer with Brad Pitt, according to a report on the People magazine Web site. "Yes, I'm pregnant," the magazine quoted Jolie as telling charity aid worker Monday in the Dominican Republic, where she is filming "The Good Shepherd" with Matt Damon.
· Marcus Vick arrested after pulling gun on teens. Former Virginia Tech quarterback Marcus Vick, kicked off the team last week for his behavior on and off the field, was charged Monday with pulling a gun on three teenagers during an altercation in a restaurant parking lot.
· Why it's not a great idea to get out of bed in a hurry. Getting up in the morning is the first, and for many people, the most perilous moment of the day. You can sprain an ankle on the stairs, scald a hand while making tea or be floored in an ungainly tussle with your underwear. A study by scientists at the University of Colorado suggests that the performance of people immediately after waking is as bad as, or worse, than if they were drunk.
· Web Site Offering Farrell Sex Tape Closed. An Internet site that purported to be selling access to actor Colin Farrell's explicit sex tape was shut down Tuesday for violating a court order blocking release of the 15-minute video, the actor's publicist said.
· Flag painted on street splits town. Georgia town that claims to be the most patriotic in the country has been split by the painting of a flag on a quiet dead-end street. The Vietnam veteran who organized the flag-painting in Duluth and the children who carried it out thought they were showing their patriotism. But members of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter say that they had, with the best intentions, committed a terrible breach of flag etiquette.
· Britney Spears Tops 'Worst Dressed' List. Britney Spears topped Mr. Blackwell's 46th annual "Worst Dressed" list for wearing clothes that he said made her look like an "over-the-hill Lolita." "When it comes to Couture Chaos, this Tacky Terror should take a bow - looks like an over-the-hill Lolita," Mr. Blackwell said in a statement released Tuesday.
· Bird Flu Infects Turkish Girl Who Kissed Ailing Chickens. Sumeyya Mamuk considered the chickens in her backyard to be beloved pets. The 8-year-old girl fed them, petted them and took care of them. When they started to get sick and die, she hugged them and tenderly kissed them goodbye. The next morning, her face and eyes were swollen and she had a high fever.
· Pickens donates record $165M to Oklahoma State. Oil magnate Boone Pickens likes to win. And with the largest donation to an athletic program in NCAA history, Pickens hopes his alma mater will be able to compete with any school in the country. Pickens announced Tuesday he has donated $165 million to Oklahoma State to help create an athletic village north of the football stadium that already bears the name of the 77-year-old Texas oil tycoon.
· Whole Foods Commits to Wind Energy. Natural-food grocer Whole Foods Market Inc. said Tuesday it will rely on wind energy for all of its electricity needs, making it the largest corporate user of renewable energy in the United States. The Austin-based company said it is purchasing 458,000 megawatt-hours of wind energy credits a year — enough to power 44,000 homes annually.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
· Cops pack hearing for Sopranos actor. With off-duty police officers packing a Bronx courtroom, "Sopranos" actor Lillo Brancato Jr. and a co-defendant were arraigned Monday on charges that they killed a policeman who confronted them during a burglary.
· Create an e-annoyance, go to jail. Annoying someone via the Internet is now a federal crime. It's no joke. Last Thursday, President Bush signed into law a prohibition on posting annoying Web messages or sending annoying e-mail messages without disclosing your true identity.
· Lohan 'Appalled' by Vanity Fair Article. Lindsay Lohan is "appalled" by the Vanity Fair article released last week in which she confessed to dabbling in drugs and battling bulimia. The Vanity Fair story, which hit newsstands nationally Tuesday and was widely reported last week, made headlines for the 19-year-old actress' acknowledgment that she dabbled in drugs "a little."
· Woman kills ex-husband's fiancee, then shoots herself. Employees arriving at a Cool Springs office building yesterday began their workweek with a surreal scene of gunshots, bloodshed and tears in the wake of a murder-suicide that left two women dead. Police said the motive appeared to be "domestic related," and that the victim, Vicki Sawyer, 43, was the fiancée of the shooter's ex-husband.
· Mouse pleads not guilty to being pyromaniac. After 81-year-old Chano Mares's house burned down Saturday in Fort Sumner, news services picked up the quirky story. "Flaming Mouse Burns Down House" read the headline over an Associated Press story that appeared on TheDenverChannel.com, for example. According to the initial report, Mares threw the critter in a pile of burning leaves near his home, but it ran back to the house to start it on fire.
· Court dismisses Gennifer Flowers defamation lawsuit. An appeals court on Monday dismissed a lawsuit that accused Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and two former advisers to President Clinton of conspiring to discredit Gennifer Flowers after she claimed she had an affair with the former president. Flowers sued James Carville and George Stephanopoulos for defamation in 1999, after they suggested in talk show interviews that the audiotapes she used to try to prove she and Clinton had an affair were doctored.
· Hilary Swank and Husband Chad Lowe Split. Two-time Oscar-winner Hilary Swank and actor husband Chad Lowe have separated after more than eight years of marriage. "Hilary and Chad have decided to separate, but they are hopeful they'll be able to get through this tough time," Swank's manager Troy Nankin said in a statement Monday.
· Baghdad boy met with Hezbollah. The Florida teen who sneaked off to Iraq over winter break also finagled a sitdown in Lebanon with a big shot from Hezbollah, one of the Mideast's top terrorist organizations.
· Bomb found at Starbucks. An explosive device was found in a Starbucks coffee shop in central San Francisco on Monday. The building was evacuated and a police bomb squad disarmed the device, authorities said.
· Woman Who Died In 2003 Left In Front Of TV. A dead woman dressed in white was positioned in a chair in front of a television set for 2 1/2 years because she told her caregiver that she didn't want to be buried and planned to return, the coroner said.
· Cat Owner Turns to DNA to Implicate Dog. When Loudoun County, VA officials dropped the case of Lucky the dog killing Cody the cat, Cody's owner took a cue from television's legal dramas: she hired a laboratory to analyze DNA evidence she collected from her neighbors' pet to proved he was the killer. After discovering Cody's body under a tree in front of her home in August, Marylin Christian set out to find the killer. She went to Lucky's owners, neighbors Sean and Janet Daryabeygi, who consented to giving her samples of Lucky's saliva and fur. A lab in California confirmed Christian's suspicions.
· Doctors: Cough Syrups Not Effective. Despite the billions of dollars spent every year in this country on over-the-counter cough syrups, most such medicines do little if anything to relieve coughs, the nation's chest physicians say. Experts say over-the-counter cough syrups generally contain drugs in too low a dose to be effective, or contain combinations of drugs that have never been proven to treat coughs.
· Human stem cell work faked. A panel investigating the work of disgraced South Korean scientist Hwang Woo-suk has found that he faked claims of cloning human embryonic stem cells, in what could be the biggest cover-up in modern scientific history. However Seoul University investigators said on Tuesday his claim to have created the world's first cloned dog in 2005, Snuppy, was genuine.
· Drunken Student Killed After Entering Wrong Home. Police said the fatal shooting of a California man last week is a tragic mess. A 21-year-old man who'd been out celebrating his upcoming graduation from a trade school came home intoxicated and mistakenly entered a neighbor's apartment, where he was fatally shot.
Monday, January 9, 2006
· Woman may lose home over dead plants. A woman who accused neighbors of poisoning her plants is fighting to keep her home after being sued. Catherine Sara Cass suspected her garden was being poisoned by the couple next door, so she planted protest signs in her front yard. After years of putting up with the signs, Jim Wallace and his wife asked Cass to stop or they would sue. An Orange County judge recently agreed that 78-year-old Cass is a nuisance and has defamed the Wallaces and another neighbor. She was ordered to pay $320,000 in damages.
· That's no jack rabbit ... it's an artist in chains. An artist who chained his legs together so that he could accurately render a picture of his legs wrapped in chains hopped 12 hours through the desert after realizing he lost the key and couldn’t unlock the restraints, authorities said.
· Sen. Kennedy to Publish Children's Book. Meet the latest children's author, Sen. Ted Kennedy, and his Portuguese Water Dog, Splash, his co-protagonist in "My Senator and Me: A Dogs-Eye View of Washington, D.C."
· Stern Making His Debut on Satellite Radio. Finally free of federal decency laws, Howard Stern has promised everything from stripper poles to live sex on his new Sirius Satellite Radio show that was to begin airing Monday. His deal could be worth up to $500 million over five years to headline two Sirius channels.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Venality [ve·nal·i·ty] n. 1. The condition of being susceptible to bribery or corruption. 2. The use of a position of trust for dishonest gain: "The venality of a corrupt court."
· N.Y. Times Journalist Dies After Beating In D.C. A New York Times journalist, who was attacked Friday night while walking in Washington, D.C., has died. D.C. Police Sgt. Joe Gentile said David Rosenbaum was pronounced dead Sunday night at 7:10 p.m. Rosenbaum was being treated for a head injury following the attack. He was beaten from behind and his wallet was stolen.
· Belafonte Calls Bush 'Greatest Terrorist.' Singer and activist Harry Belafonte called President Bush "the greatest terrorist in the world" on Sunday and said millions of Americans support the socialist revolution of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez. Belafonte led a delegation of Americans including the actor Danny Glover and the Princeton University scholar Cornel West that met the Venezuelan president for more than six hours late Saturday.
· Mouse Thrown Into Fire Sets Home Ablaze. A mouse got its revenge against a homeowner who tried to dispose of it in a pile of burning leaves. The blazing creature ran back to the man's house and set it on fire. Village Fire Chief Juan Chavez said the burning mouse completely destroyed the home and all of its contents.
· Schwarzenegger, son hurt in motorcycle wreck. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his son, Patrick, received minor injuries Sunday afternoon in a motorcycle accident near their home. The governor received 15 stitches to repair a cut lip. Both he and his son also were treated and released from St. John's Hospital. "The accident occurred at around 3:15 p.m. when another driver backed into a street in front of Governor Schwarzenegger as he rode his Harley-Davidson motorcycle."
· Mom Sues After 5-Year-Old Allegedly Served Long Island Iced Tea. A mother in New York is suing an Applebee's restaurant after her 5-year-old son was allegedly served a Long Island Iced Tea instead of apple juice.
· 2¢ stamps hard to come buy. Getting your two cents worth was an ordeal on the last day before postal rates went up. The price of a first-class stamp rises to 39 cents from 37 cents today - but all the vending machines at Manhattan's main post office were out of 2-cent add-ons yesterday. "What they want us to do is buy another 39-cent stamp now and put it on top of the 37-cents we've already got," groused a cynical Andrew Campbell.
Sunday, January 8, 2006
· Funeral Escort Hit, Killed In Winter Park. A motorcyclist leading a funeral procession through the streets of Winter Park, Fla., was hit and killed at an intersection Saturday. Police said Scott McNamara, 33, with Federal Motor Escorts was attempting to block traffic for a funeral procession.
· Many Ready to Spar With Bill O'Reilly. If Bill O'Reilly truly loves a good fight, then he's had quite a week. The Fox personality's confrontation with David Letterman Tuesday night made for some gripping television. The cranky "Late Show" host told his guest: "I have the feeling about 60 percent of what you say is crap."
· Baby, you can park my car. Take a few leggy California blondes, throw in a passion for luxury cars, plenty of parties, and a distaste for parking your own car. What have you got? A multimillion-dollar, female valet parking business, where struggling models and actresses dressed in bikinis, miniskirts or lingerie and Santa hats park the cars of the rich and famous in the Los Angeles area.
· Utah Theater Cancels 'Brokeback Mountain.' A movie theater owned by Utah Jazz owner Larry Miller abruptly changed its screening plans and decided not to show the film "Brokeback Mountain." The film, an R-rated Western gay romance story, was supposed to open Friday at the Megaplex at Jordan Commons in Sandy, a suburb of Salt Lake City. Instead it was pulled from the schedule.
· Wealthy School Apologizes For 'Food Stamps' Chant. The Middleton High School fans chanted "food stamps, food stamps" during a game against Madison East. Middleton is a well-to-do suburb, while 40 percent of Madison East's students are eligible for federally subsidized lunches.
· Paramount may sell DreamWorks library to Soros. Paramount Pictures may sell the film library of DreamWorks to a private-equity fund headed by legendary investor George Soros to help finance its acquisition of that movie studio, the Wall Street Journal reported.
· Update: $20 Bill Printed Over Sticker Nets $25,300. A $20 bill printed on paper that mysteriously had an ordinary fruit sticker on it sold Friday for $25,300, an auction company official said. The flawed note bears a red, green and yellow Del Monte sticker next to Andrew Jackson's portrait.
· Skydiving Instructor, Student Die After Landing In Ocean. A skydiving instructor and a student from Japan died when their tandem parachute missed Oahu's Dillingham Airfield and landed in rough surf 300 yards from shore, authorities said.
Saturday, January 7, 2006
· Runaway Bride's Pastor to Publish Book.
The pastor who became spokesman for runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks has hit the ground running with a book about "the various issues of life that cause us to make foolish decisions." The Rev. Tom Smiley said he started writing "Runaway Lives" about a year and a half ago, long before Wilbanks' escapade became national news. But when it did, he said it provided a perfect window for the thesis he was trying to convey.
· Radio talkshow DJ rushes to help as caller dies on air. A late-night radio talkshow host spoke of his shock after a listener died on air during a phone-in. The caller, known only as Terry, was taking part in a debate on Liverpool's Magic FM 1548 when the line suddenly went silent. The DJ, Pete Price, was so concerned he abandoned his show and raced around to the man's house.
· Dropped baby photo and sharp-eyed viewer help cops find thief. Shenandoah police say Eugene Potts and another man broke into the Zales jewelry store on Christmas Eve. They stole more than a $100,000 worth of merchandise. Investigators say Potts accidentally dropped a picture of his daughter.
· Hip-hop star on cop assault charge. The hip-hop singer Ms. Dynamite has been charged with punching an officer in face after police arrested her for allegedly kicking a nightclub's front door, police said Saturday. The musician, whose real name is Niomi McLean-Daley, was out celebrating her birthday with her brother early Friday.
· DeLay to quit GOP leadership post. Embattled Rep. Tom DeLay decided Saturday to give up his post as House majority leader, clearing the way for new leadership elections among House Republicans eager to shed the taint of scandal, two officials said. These officials said DeLay, R-Texas, was preparing a letter informing fellow House Republicans of his decision.
· Prosecutor: Drunken Woman Sets Friend On Fire. Two friends were drinking together and one of them ended up dead. Prosecutors have charged a Pennsylvania woman with murder after they said she set her friend on fire using vodka and nail polish remover. Police said that the victim, Connie Bostic, 40, was so badly burned that they had to use dental records to identify her.
· 60-day sentence for sex crime prompts cry for longer sentences. A recent court decision that sent an admitted sex offender to prison for just 60 days has prompted a cry at the Statehouse for tougher sentences and more effective treatment. The flurry of attention stemmed from a sentencing in Vermont District Court in Burlington on Wednesday. Mark Hulett, 34, of Williston admitted to sexually assaulting a young girl for four years.
· Mo. Lawmaker Seeks to Ban Cold Beer Sales. A state senator wants to force Missouri stores to sell warm beer. Under a bill by Sen. Bill Alter, grocery and convenience stores would risk losing their liquor licenses if they sold beer colder than 60 degrees. The intent is to cut down on drunken driving by making it less tempting to pop open a beer after leaving the store.
· Update: Man Charged In Shooting Of Door-To-Door Mormons. A Virginia man is charged with killing one Mormon missionary and wounding another in a shooting that police believe occurred because the victims witnessed a crime while going door-to-door, sharing their faith. Chesapeake police said 19-year-old James Boughton Jr. was arrested Wednesday at his home and is being held without bond.
· GPS Signal Guides Police to Stolen Money. Moments after a bank was robbed, police found a duffel bag full of cash - and the global positioning satellite device that bank workers had tucked inside. "You guys are good!" Thomas R. Fricks, 38, said as Spokane Police Officer Tim Moses arrested him shortly after the Washington Trust Bank branch robbery, according to documents filed in federal court.
· Police Officer Charged In Mag Prank. A police officer has been charged with identity deception for subscribing to magazines and ordering CDs in the name of a firefighter, whose ex-wife is now married to the officer. Phillip E. Allen, 36, was charged Thursday with two counts of identity deception, a felony. Police said that on Oct. 9, Allen placed an online order for Playboy, Penthouse, Playgirl and Cosmopolitan in the name of firefighter Chris Baugh, to be delivered to the fire department headquarters.
· Google to launch online video store. Google Inc. said on Friday the company is expanding into two new fields with an online video store and a computer maintenance service, moves that mark stepped-up challenges to its biggest computer and media rivals, including Apple, Microsoft and Yahoo Inc.
· Don Imus Still Sober After 18 Years. Don Imus, after quitting drinking and cocaine nearly two decades ago, says he's still staying clear of temptation. "I don't take any chances. I've had 18 sober years," the radio talk-show host says in the February issue of Vanity Fair. "I just got to get through the day."
· Vet Sues Michael Jackson for Unpaid Bills. Michael Jackson is being sued for $91,602 in unpaid bills by the veterinarian who tends to the pop star's exotic animals at his Neverland ranch, which the singer has not occupied since being acquitted of child molestation charges last June.
Friday, January 6, 2006
· Grammy-Winning Singer Lou Rawls Dies. Lou Rawls, the velvet-voiced singer who started as a church choir boy and went on to record such classic tunes as "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine," died Friday of cancer. He was 72.
· Nominees for celebs' worst moms and dads. Despite Hollywood's pitfalls and pressures — or perhaps because of them — some celebrities' parents aren't exactly PTA material. Here are the Hall of Fame of bad Hollywood parents, who desperately need a few lessons from June Cleaver.
· Bus Driver Dies; Passenger Steers Bus To Safety. California police report mostly minor injuries on a charter bus after a passenger had to take the wheel when the driver collapsed and died. The officer said there were about 50 Colorado tourists on the bus, which was ferrying Denver visitors between two luxury hotels in the San Diego area.
· Appeals Court Upholds Stewart's Conviction. A federal appeals court Friday upheld the conviction of celebrity homemaker Martha Stewart for lying about selling stock that plunged in price soon after her trade. Stewart completed her sentence in the case last summer but had pursued the appeal anyway.
· Wal-Mart apologizes for "offensive DVD combinations." Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is shutting down the system that creates movie recommendations on its shopping Web site after it linked a "Planet of the Apes" DVD to films about famous black Americans, including Martin Luther King Jr.
· Free booze makes Canada's homeless healthier-study. Giving homeless alcoholics a regular supply of booze may improve their health and their behavior, the Canadian Medical Association Journal said in a new study. Three of the 17 participants died during the program, succumbing to alcohol-related illnesses that might have killed them anyway, the report said.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Esoteric [es·o·ter·ic] adj. 1. Difficult to understand; abstruse. 2. Not publicly disclosed; confidential. 3. Of rare, special, or unusual interest: Her software success was based on an esoteric programming language.
· TV Psychic Misses Mark on Miners. Controversial TV psychic Sylvia Browne made a major mistake about the West Virginia miners tragedy on a Tuesday night radio show. The tragic twist — that the wrong announcement had been made about the miners’ fates — turned out to be even worse for Browne. Just following the transcript of what occurred, it’s clear the psychic had no idea what had happened to the miners, though she claimed to have been right on top of it.
· Ex-Rocker Glitter Faces Obscenity Charges. Former British rocker Gary Glitter was formally charged Friday with committing obscene acts with two girls aged 10 and 11 at a Vietnamese resort town, prosecutors said. The charges carry prison terms of three to seven years.
· Miffed Canadian pays bank bill a penny at a time. A Canadian credit card holder is putting a new twist on an old trick practised by disgruntled debtors - repaying his bill in pennies to maximise the collector's inconvenience. Unhappy when his Canadian bank began out-sourcing some of its credit card processing to the United States, the man lodged his protest via the bank's online payment system, jamming its computers by making dozens of tiny payments a day. Don Rogers said he was worried that anti-terrorism laws in the United States could allow the US Government to access his data without his consent.
· DNA to decide if innocent man was executed. Gov. Mark R. Warner on Thursday ordered DNA evidence retested to determine whether a man convicted of rape and murder was innocent when he was executed in 1992. If the testing shows Roger Keith Coleman did not rape and kill his sister-in-law in 1981, it will mark the first time in the United States a person has been exonerated by scientific testing after his execution.
· Lindsay Lohan Released From Miami Hospital. Lindsay Lohan was released from a Miami area hospital Thursday, after being treated for an asthma attack, her publicist said. "She's on her way home," said spokeswoman Leslie Sloane Zelnick. In an interview in the February issue of Vanity Fair magazine, Lohan says she has dabbled in drugs and battled bulimia but adds, "I've gotten that out of my system."
· IBM to Change Pension Plan to 401(k) in '08. IBM said Thursday it would shift its pension plans to a 401(k) structure to benefit from more predictable retirement plan costs, saving up to $3 billion over five years. The current pension, worth $48 billion, will be frozen in 2008.
Thursday, January 5, 2006
· Robertson Links Sharon's Stroke to Wrath. Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson suggested Thursday that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine punishment for "dividing God's land." "God considers this land to be his," Robertson said on his TV program "The 700 Club." "You read the Bible and he says `This is my land,' and for any prime minister of Israel who decides he is going to carve it up and give it away, God says, `No, this is mine.'" Sharon, who ordered Israel's withdrawal from Gaza last year, suffered a severe stroke on Wednesday.
· 'FINDME' Plate Dooms Alleged Bank Robber. Arlie Bichlmeier's personalized license plate reads "FINDME." Thanks to the plate, authorities did find him about 90 minutes after he allegedly tried to rob the Security National Bank branch in Laurel on Wednesday.
· Howard Stern to Get $220M in Sirius Stock. Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. will give Howard Stern 34 million shares of stock worth about $220 million at today's prices because the company has met agreed-upon targets for gaining new subscribers under its 2004 deal with the shock jock.
· Kate Sought for Coke Quiz. London's calling for Kate Moss. Unfortunately, the supermodel isn't answering just yet. British police are urging Moss to return to the U.K. for questioning over the alleged cocaine use that destroyed her fashion career. When Moss does return to London, Police Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur said the supermodel will be arrested and interviewed "under caution," though it's widely believed that she will not be charged.
· GOP blogger served with libel lawsuit. A dispute between a self-described "Republican operative" and a former Democratic campaign organizer widely quoted in Minnesota media has turned into a libel lawsuit that could help set legal standards for Internet blogs. The suit pits Blois Olson, a Democratic public relations executive who is a frequent guest on Twin Cities Public Television's "Almanac" show, against Michael Brodkorb, a former Minnesota Republican Party employee who operates a political blog.
· Collectors Go Bananas for Flawed $20 Bill. An ordinary fruit sticker that mysteriously ended up on a $20 bill could spur collectors to bid up to 1,000 times the bill's face value at an auction Friday. The "banana note" bears a bright red, green and yellow Del Monte sticker next to Andrew Jackson's portrait. The flawed bill originated at a U.S. Treasury Department printing facility in Fort Worth, but just how the fruit tag found its way onto the greenback is unknown.
· Gay cowboys lead in Screen Actors Guild nominations. The cowboy love story "Brokeback Mountain" led nominees Thursday for film prizes from actors and directors unions. "Brokeback Mountain" earned four Screen Actors Guild nominations: Lead actor for Heath Ledger and supporting actor for Jake Gyllenhaal, who play old sheepherding buddies concealing their homosexual affair from their families.
· British round-Antarctic oarsman crashes after 20 miles. An intrepid British oarsman's bid to row round Antarctica ended after just 20 miles when he unexpectedly collided with the Falkland Islands, British newspapers reported. Colin Yeates was attempting to make history with the first solo unsupported rowing circumnagivation, expected to last 10 and a half months and cover 21,630-kilometres. However, the "personal quest" to "push the boundaries of what is believed possible" hit the rocks after just 20 miles.
· Stern daughter rudely exposed to stage world. The writer-director of "Kabbalah," an Off-Off-Broadway religious satire in which cast members strip naked, yesterday blasted female lead Emily Stern as a "Jewish-American princess" for abruptly quitting the show, and called her famous father, Sirius Satellite Radio jock Howard Stern, "a psycho."
· Relative Says Some Miners Left Notes. Some of the 12 coal miners who died following an explosion left notes behind assuring family members "they weren't suffering, they were just going to sleep," a relative said Thursday.
· Woman has sex with 12-year-old boy. A California woman is the latest teacher suspected of raping a student, as 41-year old Sherry Brians is in custody for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 12-year old boy. Brians, a third-year language-arts instructor at Buttonwillow School in Buttonwillow, Calif., was arrested yesterday and charged with committing a lewd or lascivious act with a child under the age of 14, a felony.
· Pups get sitter, kids left alone. A husband and wife - who found a dog sitter for their new puppies but left their 9-year-old son home to care for his younger autistic brother while they celebrated the new year in Las Vegas - were arrested Wednesday, police said.
· Bee Gee Barry Gibb Buys Johnny Cash's Home. The home of the late singer Johnny Cash has been purchased by another singer with a distinctive voice. Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees and his wife, Linda, bought the house for an undisclosed amount, an attorney for the Cash family said Wednesday.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Pugnacious [pug·na·cious] adj. 1. Quarrelsome or combative in nature; belligerent. 2. Expressing an argument or opinion very forcefully: Rather than maintaining a calm demeanor, his boss was quite pugnacious.
· Woman Killed Husband For Breast Enhancements. An extradition hearing for a California woman who allegedly poisoned her Marine husband was postponed Wednesday in West Palm Beach. Authorities said Cynthia Sommer killed her husband to get money for breast enhancements and a more luxurious lifestyle.
· 'Sound of moans' led rescuers to surviving miner. Rescuers found the sole survivor of an explosion that trapped 13 miners in a West Virginia coal mine "by the sound of moans," mining officials said Wednesday, about 12 hours after family members learned the initial report that their loved ones were alive was erroneous.
· Hilton Faces Slander, Harassment Lawsuits. Paris Hilton is accused of spewing "vicious lies" about an altercation with a romantic rival at a London nightclub, and harassing a business promoter in two lawsuits set for court this month. The first suit pits the hotel heiress-actress against diamond heiress-actress Zeta Graff, who is seeking at least $10 million in damages for Hilton's comments in a July New York Post story. The paper reported that Graff - who once dated Hilton's then-fiancee, Greek shipping heir Paris Latsis - went "berserk" at the nightclub, tried to strangle Hilton and attempted to steal her diamond necklace.
· Koppel, cohorts join Discovery Network. A little more than a month after retiring from a 42-year career at ABC News, Ted Koppel is diving back into journalism with a multiyear agreement to produce longform work for Discovery Network.
· Queen Latifah Gets Hollywood Star. Queen Latifah has become the first hip-hop artist crowned with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. "I think the reason I am here is to inspire African-American women who are rappers, full-figured women to know that they can do it, too," Latifah, 35, said Wednesday at the unveiling of the sidewalk's 2,298th star.
· Nick Nolte Completes Probation After DUI. Nick Nolte has successfully completed probation ordered after his 2002 no contest plea to a misdemeanor count of driving under the influence of drugs, a judge ruled Wednesday.
Wednesday, January 4, 2006
· Judge Clears Md. Man Accused of Mooning. A Montgomery County judge ruled Tuesday that the act of mooning is not illegal in Maryland, clearing a man accused of indecent exposure after showing his buttocks to a neighbor during an argument.
· The Cost of Raising the New Year's Baby. Dozens of local families are spending the new year welcoming a new bundle of joy. The cost of the average delivery in 2006 is $7000-$11,000. That's nothing compared with the cost of raising a child born today. The government did a recent study that shows a family making $70,000 a year will spend more than $353,000 raising a child to the age of 18.
· Marine, 65, arrested for not going to Vietnam. A Marine was being held at Camp Lejeune on a charge of desertion for not going to war in Vietnam 40 years ago, a military spokeswoman said Wednesday. Pvt. Jerry Texiero, 65, was arrested in August in Tarpon Springs, Florida, and brought to Camp Lejeune on December 14, authorities said.
· Who’s Gwyneth gonna call? Is Gwyneth Paltrow enlisting the Kabbalah version of a ghostbuster? The “Proof” star has called in a rabbi from the trendy Kabbalah Centre after becoming convinced that her London home is haunted, according to London’s Daily Mail. “Gwyneth believes that the dark energy that has dogged her lately is due to something dark and unexplained in her home.”
· Teacher doesn’t forfeit pension. A former Holliston middle school teacher who owned up to fondling and kissing a 17-year-old female student in June will receive his pension if he does not violate the conditions of his probation. Thomas V. Collins, 71, will receive his benefits package from the Massachusetts Teacher Retirement Board because he was not convicted of the crime.
· Grief, anger as all but one miner found dead. Grief and anger replaced jubilation early Wednesday as mine officials announced that, despite earlier reports, only one of 13 trapped miners had survived a West Virginia mining accident. Late Tuesday, word spread among family members that 12 miners had been found alive at the Sago Mine. Celebrations erupted as church bells rang out. Hours later, however, some miners' loved ones - some angry, others silently dejected - began leaving the community church that had been their sanctuary since the ordeal began Monday morning.
· Lindsay Lohan Admits Bulimia Battle. While Lindsay Lohan, admitted to a Miami hospital Monday night after suffering a severe asthma attack, is now "resting comfortably," a source close to the actress tells PEOPLE, an explosive interview with the Mean Girls star is set to hit newsstands Wednesday – lifting the curtain on her self-confessed bulimia, drug use and emotional wreckage over her relationships with her volatile father and her first boyfriend, Wilmer Valderrama.
· Corrections Officer Accused Of Sex Attempt With Boy. A corrections officer at the Lake County, Fla. Detention Center was arrested on suspicion she tried to have sex with a 16-year-old boy at the facility, according to police.
· Internet provider wins $11B suit against spammer. An Internet service provider who successfully sued Internet spammers in the past now has been awarded an $11.2 billion judgment against a Florida man for sending millions of unsolicited e-mails advertising mortgage and debt consolidation services.
· Wife says divorce is news to her. First, Renzie Davidson told his wife he wanted a divorce. He filed for one at the Seminole County Courthouse. Then he told her he had changed his mind, that he wanted her to be his wife forever. So, together they stayed. That was four years ago. Two weeks ago, Davidson's wife, Sally A. Erickson, sued him for fraud. Turns out, he secretly went back to court and got a default judgment against her, she says. The couple have been legally divorced for more than two years.
· Man Hits Jackpot, Can Now Get Out Of Bankruptcy. An Iowa man who filed for bankruptcy seven months ago is no longer worrying about money. He won the Powerball lottery, taking a lump sum of $54.7 million. And though he has plenty of cash, there's one thing he says he'll never buy: an alarm clock.
· Man sets self on fire in courtroom after fine. A South Korean man was in critical condition after setting himself on fire on Wednesday in a courtroom where he was sentenced to a $300 fine for disturbing the peace, a court official and an emergency room physician said.
· Lohan hospitalized after asthma attack. Teen actress Lindsay Lohan has been hospitalized in Miami for treatment of a severe asthma attack, but she is expected to be released soon, her publicist said Tuesday. Lohan, 19, was admitted to the hospital Monday night after experiencing breathing difficulties in her hotel room in Miami, where she was spending the New Year's holiday with her family, spokeswoman Leslie Sloane told Reuters.
Tuesday, January 3, 2006
· Teacher Pleads Guilty To Having Sex With Student. A former high school social studies teacher accused of sleeping with a student pleaded guilty in court Tuesday morning. Nicole Barnhart, 35, admitted she had sexual relations with a 16-year-old male student at Ponderosa High School. Barnhart accepted the plea offer made by prosecutors and pleaded guilty to felony sexual assault on a child and to felony criminal attempt to commit sexual assault on a child.
· 2005's most outrageous quotes. 2005 was filled with many who didn't think before speaking, including Richard Gere. It started when two severely disabled fans, one of whom is deaf and breathes with the aid of a trachea tube, complained that when they approached Richard Gere to pose for a photo at the White House correspondents' dinner last year, the star snippily responded, "Maybe later. I'm hard of hearing and have a bad hip. We all have problems."
· Woman wants $2M to repair home. Cost to replace appliances and furniture damaged inside a South Tampa home after a city water main broke? $15,000. The inconvenience to homeowner Tina Tyler and her yearlong battle with the city for compensation? Priceless isn't quite the answer this time. Try $2-million.
· Horse bolts & injures 3 in Manhattan. A spooked horse bolted on a Manhattan street last night, ejecting the driver of the carriage it was pulling, then galloping straight into a station wagon, police and witnesses said.
· "The Book of Daniel" makes waves before debut. NBC's newest drama doesn't hit the air until next week, but some people are trying to stop it before it even starts. Dozens of viewers have called and written NBC asking that "The Book of Daniel" not air. The show is about an Episcopal priest who is dealing with a lot of personal issues, including addiction to painkillers, an alcoholic wife and a drug-dealing daughter.
· Ryan Seacrest Lands $21 Million TV Deal. The American Idol host, who turned 31 on Christmas Eve, and his Ryan Seacrest Productions have signed a $21-million contract with the E! cable network to develop, produce and host a variety of programs that, in some cases, are scheduled to run simultaneous with his duties on Idol.
· Jailer fired for allowing inmate to have sex. A mid-Missouri jailer has been fired for granting an inmate's request for a conjugal visit. Pulaski County Sheriff J.B. King said Monday the inmate was allowed to have sex with his girlfriend in a records room. Both the sex act and the fact that the inmate was unsupervised violated procedures, the sheriff said.
· Soccer Parents Mad Swinger Convention Held In Their Orlando Hotel. Some teenage soccer players and their parents saw more sights than they wanted when they stayed at a hotel where about 200 swingers were having a New Year's Party. The families, some who traveled from as far away as South Carolina, said the sexually adventurous partygoers sashayed through the hotel atrium, sometimes flashing breasts and bare buttocks in front of the children. The parents described the dress at the Crowne Plaza Hotel-Airport in Orlando as "raunchy, despicable and worse than prostitutes."
· Wheelchair 'theft' was just sympathy ploy. A man lied about having his wheelchair stolen so he could con a sympathetic public into giving him a new one, authorities said. Virgil Stewart, 52, faces a felony charge of falsifying a police report. A car dealership and a nursing home each gave him a new wheelchair after the story was reported in the local media.
· Mining Exec 'Very Discouraged' by Air Tests. Rescuers trying to reach 13 trapped miners punched a hole into the mine early Tuesday, but a company executive said he was "very discouraged" by air quality tests.
· L.A. water department pays to drink bottled water. Despite spending $1 million in the last two years to assure Los Angeles residents that their tap water is not only safe to drink but also top quality, city officials spent $88,900 in public money during that time on bottled water from private firms.
· David Lee Roth takes Howard Stern slot. Ask him some form of the question he's heard for the last two months, about how it feels to take over Howard Stern's morning radio slot, and his first crack is, "Oh, hell, everyone knows doing morning radio is just an excuse to put bourbon in your coffee."
· Wife files to run against husband for State House seat. The wife of a state representative filed Monday to run against her husband in a South Texas race that both candidates said coincides with an impending divorce.
· 8-Year-Old Conquers World's High Peaks. He's only 4 feet tall and 8 years old. But Aidan Gold is already a veteran mountaineer who's left tracks on peaks in the Cascades, the Alps and the Himalayas.
· Palestinian police storm government offices to protest lawlessness. About 200 policemen stormed government offices in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah on Monday to protest at the failure of the Palestinian Authority to fight growing lawlessness, witnesses said.
· Library board shelves kids' unruly behavior. The Library Board in December decided to revise the library's long-standing rules of conduct to prohibit inappropriate behavior by children. The revisions include rules on running, gathering socially in a disruptive manner and refusing to follow a staff member's direction or request, said Library Director Clara Bohrer. "We have found that oftentimes children ages 11 to 15 - those who are unable to drive - are being dropped off for many, many hours, and at that age it's really hard for them to be on their best behavior all the time," she said.
· Abramoff to Plead Guilty, Attorney Says. Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff has reached an agreement with federal prosecutors to plead guilty to two criminal charges stemming from the 2000 purchase of SunCruz Casinos, his attorney said Tuesday. Abramoff will also agree to cooperate in any ongoing federal investigations in Washington, according to his Miami attorney Neal Sonnett. Prosecutors there are investigating several members of Congress who received favors from Abramoff or his clients.
· Officer Hit at DWI Checkpoint. An NYPD officer was hit by a suspected drunk driver on the Grand Central Parkway New Year's Day morning. Authorities say it happened around 1:00 a.m. at a DWI checkpoint where Grand Central and the Long Island Expressway meet. Police say the driver hit the cop when she attempted to avoid the check point.
Monday, January 2, 2006
· Boy, 3, killed in fall at Waikiki hotel. A 3-year-old boy from New York state fell to his death yesterday from an eighth-floor balcony of a hotel room at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Police said the boy was unattended on the balcony and witnesses saw him fall.
· Va. Weighs DNA Testing After Execution. With less than two weeks left in Gov. Mark R. Warner's term, time is running out for him to arrange DNA testing that could determine whether Virginia sent an innocent man to the electric chair in 1992. If the tests show Roger Keith Coleman did not rape and murder his sister-in-law in 1981, it will mark the first time in the United States an executed person has been scientifically proved innocent, say death penalty opponents, who are keenly aware that such a result could have a powerful effect on public opinion.
· 13 miners trapped in West Virginia mine. An explosion at a coal mine trapped 13 miners more than a mile underground, a county emergency official said Monday. The explosion happened about 8 a.m. at the Sago Mine in Upshur County, said Steve Milligan, deputy director of the county's Office of Emergency Management. Six miners made it out of the mine and refused treatment.
· Toddler's Talking Elmo Book Asks 'Who Wants To Die?' A mother in Dallas is one of several parents complaining about a new interactive book for toddlers in which Sesame Street character Elmo asks "who wants to die?"
· Boy's death sparks manhole campaign. For years, people in Colombia's capital stood by as thieves hauled off manhole covers to sell as scrap. Drivers simply tried to swerve around the gaping holes where the 110-pound, cast-iron lids used to be. Even after a record 10,000 were stolen in 2005, Bogotanos mainly just laughed about the missing covers, until a 6-year-old boy fell into a coverless manhole. He banged his head on the iron rim and drowned in the sewage.
· Gunman Bursts Into Church, Robs Worshipers. A gunman burst into Maryland church service Sunday night and robbed several worshipers. Police said the man wearing dark clothing and a ski mask was waving a handgun when he barged into the Mt. Zion United Methodist Church.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Incongruous [in·con·gru·ous] adj. 1. Lacking in harmony; incompatible. 2. Not in agreement, as with principles; inconsistent: a plan incongruous with reason. 3. Not in keeping with what is correct, proper, or logical; inappropriate: incongruous behavior.
· Survey Tracks 2005's Most Annoying Phrases. No up-or-down vote necessary: Everyone from persons of interest to first-time callers will agree that 2005 offered more than its share of irritating words and phrases.
· Couple discovers hidden second floor of building. A couple touring an old office building they hoped to buy made a shocking find - the structure's second story had been sealed off from the world for some 70 years. Lincoln and Lucille York Christensen bought the building last summer after discovering that a stairway passage to the second floor had been removed and the floor closed off.
· Baghdad boy home in Florida. Farris Hassan's adventure ended yesterday when the teen reporter who traveled to Iraq without telling his parents arrived home in Florida. Farris, 16, was smiling when he landed at Miami International Airport and made the thumbs-up sign as he was whisked away in a black Mercedes.
· ACLU will provide cameras to tape police. St. Louis police officers often say they feel as if people are looking over their shoulders. That feeling isn't likely to let up this year. The local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, a frequent critic of the city police, says it plans to arm residents of the city's north side with
video cameras to record officers' dealings with the public.
Sunday, January 1, 2006
· Two charged with dumping elusive gator in lake. A former police officer and another man were charged Thursday with dumping an alligator into an urban lake where it has thwarted would-be captors and gained a following. Authorities say Todd Natow, 42, and Anthony Brewer, 36, released the 7-foot pet reptile earlier this summer into Harbor Regional Park’s Machado Lake, where it has become known by the public as “Reggie.”
· Ark. Man Stole Sex Offender IDs. An Arkansas man is facing his own felony charges after allegedly using a sex offender registry to scam about $20,000 from credit cards and federal tax refunds in the name of registered sex offenders. Matthew Buescher, 35, was arrested Wednesday after a traffic stop by a Benton County Sheriff's deputy who found file folders containing financial information on several people. Deputy Doug Gay said Buescher apparently targeted Indiana sex offenders because their information was easy to get from the Internet.
· Top bartenders reveal their secrets to cure the hangover. If you have taken in the full spirit of New Year’s celebrations, chances are you know what a hangover is: a splitting headache, nausea, fatigue, and sensitivity to light … the list goes on. As long as humans have known how to distill spirits, they’ve also had to deal with the consequences the next day. Scientists swear there isn’t a hangover cure, but scientific facts also never stopped partyers from looking to virtually anything — or anyone — for help the next day.
· Boston City Hall deemed most unsightly public spot. The Boston City Hall Plaza has been deemed the most unsightly public space in the world, according to a year-end list of ”The 16 Squares Most Dramatically in Need of Improvement” by the Project for Public Spaces.
· FEMA Dumps Unused Hurricane Drinking Water. One million cans of drinking water donated for hurricane relief have been emptied and recycled because the water was never used at Texas and Louisiana hurricane shelters, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said.
· U.S. Rings in 2006 With Parties, Fireworks. Fireworks rained over the Las Vegas Strip as hundreds of thousands of revelers rang in 2006 with quickie weddings, parties at posh nightclubs and what organizers hoped was the world's largest simultaneous toast - 14,000 Chardonnay-filled plastic glasses raised just before midnight. "Las Vegas knows how to throw a party," Mayor Oscar Goodman said at the annual blowout, billed as the largest New Year's Eve party outside New York's Times Square. Hours earlier in Manhattan, a 76-year-old Dick Clark returned to television for the first time since suffering a stroke, saying from a studio above Times Square, "I wouldn't have missed this for the world."
Word of The Day by WordThink
Anecdotal [an·ec·dot·al] adj. Based on casual observations or indications rather than rigorous or scientific analysis: "There is anecdotal evidence that the stock will soon double in price."
· FHP pulls trooper off road. If Tiffany Ferrell wasn't a Florida state trooper, the car crashes she has caused in the past year could have led to a 3-month suspension of her driver's license. Instead, Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Ferrell continued to patrol the county's roadways for traffic violations even after she was found at fault in three of six squad car crashes this year.
· Homeless Man Sues Restaurant After Drinking Toxic Concoction. A homeless man has filed a lawsuit claiming he was injured when a cook at a Georgia Waffle House offered him $5 to drink a toxic concoction.