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Monday, July 31, 2006
· Mom tracks down toilet-tissue pranksters. Teenagers who toilet-papered and damaged a home now face felony vandalism charges because of a mother's extraordinary sleuthing. Katja Base, mother of six, was unwilling to let the teens get away with it, saying she tracked them down to teach her kids about accountability.
· Motorists turning to nitrogen to save gas. Many motorists seeking to improve their mileage as gas prices soar this summer are examining everything — right down to the air in their tires. And for a growing number, plain old air isn’t good enough. Nitrogen has been used for years in the tires of race cars, large commercial trucks, aircraft and even the space shuttle. But it is finding its way into the mainstream at a growing number of tire dealers — including Costco Wholesale Corp.
· Scientist thinks invisibility possible in future. It's unlikely to occur by swallowing a pill or donning a special cloak, but invisibility could be possible in the not too distant future, according to Dr. Ulf Leonhardt, a theoretical physicist at St Andrews University. Invisibility is an optical illusion that the object or person is not there. Although the devices are still theoretical, Leonhardt said scientists are making advances in metamaterials - artificial materials with unusual properties that could be used to "bend light," thus making invisibility possible.
· Mass. Gov. Romney apologizes for "tar baby" remark. Gov. Mitt Romney has apologized for referring to the troubled Big Dig construction project as a "tar baby" during a fundraiser with Iowa Republicans, saying he didn't know anyone would be offended by the term some consider a racial epithet.
· Churches Putting Town Out of Business. Stafford, Texas has 51 tax-exempt religious institutions and wants no more: 'Somebody's got to pay for police, fire and schools,' said the mayor. Nilda Martinez, who owns a flower shop between two churches, has had enough. "The churches, they're everywhere here," she said. "There are too many; the city should control it. It hurts the city when you don't have enough businesses paying taxes."
· Christina Aguilera tones down look. Unveiling her new 1940s-style "Blonde Bombshell" image, Christina Aguilera said she has had all but one of her peircings taken out. She has ditched her old style of sexy corsets and bumless chaps, which her grandmother told her made her look "like a whore", plus her tattoos and her piercings - in her right nipple, bottom lip, left nostril and a diamond sparkler between her legs.
· Mel Gibson: Malibu's Finest. Amid rumblings that Mel Gibson received preferential treatment from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, a public service announcement that Gibson taped on their behalf has surfaced. In the spot, Gibson, dressed in a sheriff's uniform, pulls over Scott Baio to thank him for supporting LASSO. He implores viewers, "Give back to those who give so much."
· Danny Glover Helps Union in Puerto Rico. Danny Glover helped launch a campaign to rally Puerto Rico's 2,100 hotel workers to join the local branch of a large U.S. labor union in a bid to gain better pay and benefits.
· First labor union formed at Chinese Wal-Mart store. The first labor union at a Wal-Mart store in China has been formed following a lobbying campaign by the country's official union group. Wal-Mart opened its first Chinese outlet in 1996 and says it has 28,000 employees in China.
· Photos reveal Hezbollah's strategy for attacks. The images, obtained exclusively by Australia's Sunday Herald Sun, show Hezbollah using high-density residential areas as launch pads for rockets and heavy-calibre weapons. Dressed in civilian clothing so they can quickly disappear, the militants carrying automatic assault rifles and ride in on trucks mounted with a cannon.
· Woman Dies During Liposuction at Home. A man was arrested on charges of practicing medicine without a license after a woman died during a liposuction procedure performed in the basement of a home, authorities said Monday.
· Lindsay Lohan's mommy comes to her defense. A studio executive was "way out of line" for scolding Lindsay Lohan for her absences from the set of her new movie, the teen actress' mother said. Dina Lohan acknowledged that Lindsay has been late to the set on occasion and that the production once had to be scheduled around her to accommodate her lateness. But she defended her daughter's most recent absence. "Lindsay was in 105 (degree weather) saying, 'Mommy, I feel sick; like I am going to faint.' She took herself to the hospital. She has asthma and in extreme cold or heat you can't breathe."
· Gibson Skated Twice Before. Mel Gibson had been stopped for reckless driving two other times in Malibu but he was allowed to leave without a ticket or arrest. TMZ has confirmed that approximately three years ago, Gibson was driving 74 miles per hour on Pacific Coast Highway, one mile from his house. The deputy was suspicious of Gibson's sobriety, but let him go. Approximately one year ago Gibson was stopped again, after driving 64 miles an hour on Pacific Coast Highway - where the speed limit is 45. The deputy decided to let him go without giving him a citation.
· Jews Upset Over Mel Gibson's Remarks To Officer. Jewish groups are fuming over what Mel Gibson admits were "despicable" remarks when he was arrested Friday in California for alleged drunken driving. Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center said, "If that's what he said, even under intoxication, it clearly shows that Mel Gibson has a problem with Jews." Drunken or not, the words came from somewhere and one media consultant said, "It's a nuclear disaster for him."
· 25 kidnapped from Baghdad cell phone shop. Gunmen wearing military fatigues on Monday kidnapped 25 employees and customers from a mobile phone store in the main shopping area of the capital, Baghdad, police said. The gun-wielding kidnappers barged into the shop around noon and bundled the staff and employees into 15 cars they had arrived in, said police Lt. Thair Mahmoud. The whole operation lasted 10 minutes, he said.
· Michael Moore says he gets lots of Republican hugs. Michael Moore - gadfly filmmaker, liberal activist and political lightning rod - says he finds himself being hugged by a lot of Republicans these days.
· Hi-tech ink perfects egg boiling. The age-old argument over the best way to cook the perfect boiled egg could be a thing of the past thanks to a new hi-tech ink logo going on shells. After cooking begins, an invisible, temperature-sensitive thermochromic print appears in black to indicate when an egg is soft, medium or hard-boiled.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
· Fox News' discrimination suit near settlement. Fox News Channel is close to settling a sex discrimination suit filed by four former female employees. Sources said Fox will pay a nominal sum - less than $250,000 - to the four women involved, but admits no wrongdoing. The suit alleged that Fox marketing veep Joe Chillemi sexually harassed the women using such seemingly innocuous expressions as "useless as tits on a bull" and referred to the women in his promotions department as "Promo Girls."
· Katie Couric has airline pilot delay flight. Katie Couric had fellow passengers aboard a New York-bound Delta jet on the warpath this week when, as their plane was about to taxi to the runway, she got out of her seat and begged the pilot to allow one of her late-arriving producers to board. "It was like, 'Who the hell does she think she is?' " fumed one passenger who observed Couric's diva-like antics. "If you or I attempted something like this, we'd be cooling our heels at Guantanamo."
· Lohan returns to 'Georgia Rule' set. After a highly publicized absence this week from the set of Morgan Creek's "Georgia Rule," Lindsay Lohan has returned to work. Lohan made up for her Wednesday absence by working Thursday, a day she was originally scheduled to be off. This is not a first for Morgan Creek's CEO. He also sent a similar letter to Sharon Stone in 1996. "It was not a nasty letter," James G. Robinson recalled. "It was, 'Come on, be a professional,'" referring to Stone's letter. "We're halfway through and there's no turning back. I wrote the letter; it was from me, not some damn attorney. She showed up. That's all I cared about."
· 'Miami Vice' takes $25.2M, sinks 'Pirates.' The "Miami Vice" speedboat overtook the "Pirates of the Caribbean" juggernaut to capture the top spot at the weekend box office. "Miami Vice" took in $25.2 million compared to $20.5 million for "Pirates."
· Illegals burying Arizona in garbage. Authorities estimate the 3.2 million-plus illegal immigrants caught by the Border Patrol have dropped nearly 25 million pounds of trash in the Southern Arizona desert. Cleanup crews have hauled out about 250,000 pounds of trash, but its piling up faster than it can be cleaned up.
· The skateboard that cost Amazon.com investors $4.5 billion. That's how much the online retailer's market capitalization has fallen since March 6, when a judge voided Amazon.com's distribution agreement with retailer Toys-R-Us.
· Fire Erupts on New James Bond Movie Set. A blaze erupted Sunday on the set of the latest James Bond movie west of London, but no injuries were reported, fire officials said. The fire broke out just before 11:30 a.m. at Pinewood Studios, where the new James Bond movie "Casino Royale" was filmed featuring actor Daniel Craig.
· New Orleans Cops Probe 6 Killings in 1 Day. Police were investigating six fatal shootings that occurred within 24 hours, the latest round of killings as the city struggles to rein in violence that has shadowed the recovery from Hurricane Katrina.
· Cuban oil renews embargo debate. America will pay a price for maintaining its 45-year trade ban with the communist nation - a strategic and economic price that will have negative repercussions for the United States in the decades to come. What has changed the equation? 4.6 billion to 9.3 billion barrels of crude oil.
· Man Sentenced To Life For 2002 Killing Of 1950s TV Actress. A man convicted of slaying former model and actress Barbara Jean Laney was sentenced Saturday to life in prison. Gary Michael Cloud, 49, was convicted in June of strangling, stabbing and beating Laney, 67, at her Bradenton condo in August 2002. The two were family friends, according to relatives. Prosecutors said Cloud robbed Laney, who acted in the 1950s TV western series "Sky King," because he wanted drug money.
· Mel Gibson's statement on his DUI arrest. The following is the complete text of Mel Gibson's statement regarding his arrest for investigation of driving under the influence of alcohol: "After drinking alcohol on Thursday night, I did a number of things that were very wrong and for which I am ashamed. I drove a car when I should not have, and was stopped by the L.A. County sheriffs. The arresting officer was just doing his job and I feel fortunate that I was apprehended before I caused injury to any other person.
· Anderson, Kid Rock Marry in St. Tropez. She was once Pamela Anderson Lee. Now actress Pamela Anderson is Mrs. Kid Rock. The former "Baywatch" babe wed the rock star Saturday in St. Tropez, Anderson's spokeswoman, Ann Gurrola said. She said more details on the wedding would be available Monday.
· World's fastest man tested positive. Another American champion was hit with a shocking positive drug test Saturday — Olympic and world 100-meter titlist Justin Gatlin. Gatlin said he has been informed that he tested positive for testosterone or other prohibited steroids — the same violation that, only two days ago, threw Floyd Landis' victory in the Tour de France into question.
· Friedman rallies supporters at beer garden stop. Independent gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman mixed gladhanding, wisecracks and suds Saturday at a sweaty informal meet-and-greet session with supporters at a Houston beer garden. "You know I have no political experience whatsoever," the 61-year-old entertainer and author-turned-candidate told a small but appreciative crowd packed in the cramped bar area of Hans' Village Bier and Vino Haus. "I'm too young for Medicare and too old for women to care."
· Suspect ticketed before Jewish center shootings. A man accused of killing one woman and wounding five others at a Jewish center Friday was ticketed for a minor traffic violation a half hour before the shootings, the Seattle police chief said Saturday. Three of the shooting survivors were in serious condition, according to Harborview Medical Center; the other two victims were in satisfactory condition, including a woman who is five months pregnant. Police said she was shot in the arm while covering her abdomen.
· Children Found In Home With 68 Pit Bulls. Two Kansas children are in protective custody after authorities found 68 pit bulls living in their home. Police said the children - an 11-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl - were found living in deplorable conditions. The dogs were living inside and in the back yard. Many of the dogs have scars and were probably used for fighting, authorities said.
· Artist Builds Vegas Sign With Cards, Dice. Take 500 decks of playing cards, 1,800 poker chips, 800 dice and more than a few tubes of Super Glue. Add an artist who likes to stack things and mix in some Vegas glitz. "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas," or at least welcome to a life-size replica of the famous sign made out cards, dice and poker chips.
Saturday, July 29, 2006
· Police: "Simple mistake" caused elderly driver to mow down Starbucks' customers. An 85-year-old man who drove a car onto a patio at a Starbucks coffee shop and injured 10 people - two of them critically - isn't likely to face charges, police said Saturday. "It sounds like it's just a simple mistake by an elderly man," said police Sgt. Richard Williams, adding he "seriously doubts" charges will be filed.
· Update: Mel Gibson apologizes for DUI arrest. Mel Gibson issued a lengthy statement Saturday apologizing for his drunk driving arrest and saying he has battled alcoholism throughout his life. Gibson also apologized for what he said were "despicable" statements he made to the deputies who arrested him early Friday morning on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu.
· Astronaut Chuck Brady kills himself. Astronaut Charles E. Brady has died of a self inflicted gunshot wound in the woods surrounding his home. He was 54. Brady was an Eagle Scout, an athlete, a doctor, a Blue Angel, and a space traveler. His space flight 10 years ago remains the longest such mission to date.
· Perry campaign to change "ass" check code. Texans who make mocking donations to Gov. Rick Perry's campaign no longer have to worry about how their canceled checks will be labeled. Perry's campaign said Friday it will likely stop using the code "ASS 06" - short for "A Small Supporter" - on the canceled checks of small-change contributors who donated mere pennies in protest of the governor's support for a new business tax.
· Silicon Valley Takes On Detroit. At a glittering Los Angeles party, an ambitious new car maker declared the electric car alive and well. He let a privileged few experience its power. The Tesla Roadster, which can go from 0 to 60 mph in 4 seconds doesn't come from Detroit, but from high tech Silicon Valley. The company claims it runs on 1 cent per mile.
· Illegal Mexican who lied to get Border Patrol job sentenced. An illegal immigrant from Mexico who lied about his citizenship to become a U.S. Border Patrol agent and admitted to helping more than 100 illegal aliens to enter the country was sentenced Friday to five years in federal prison.
· Police spies chosen to lead war protest. Two Oakland police officers working undercover at an anti-war protest in May 2003 got themselves elected to leadership positions in an effort to influence the demonstration, documents released Thursday show.
· Sheriff charged with stealing $120,000. An Iowa sheriff was charged Friday with stealing $120,000 from bundles of cash seized when deputies stopped a suspicious vehicle in March. Sheriff Brian Gilbert, 43, was charged with felony theft and released from Polk County Jail in Des Moines after posting a $13,000 bond. Gilbert says he plans to continue serving as sheriff.
· Mel Gibson's Anti-Semitic Tirade - and Alleged Cover Up. Mel Gibson went on a rampage when he was arrested Friday morning on suspicion of drunk driving, hurling religious epithets, according to TMZ.com. TMZ obtained the initial police report that indicates the LA County Sheriff's department had doctored it to keep the real story under wraps. In the original report, Gibson allegedly told the deputy, "You mother f****r. I'm going to f*** you," adding 'I own Malibu.' The report says Gibson then launched into a barrage of anti-Semitic statements: "F*****g Jews... The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world," then asked the deputy, "Are you a Jew?"
· Muslim man shoots six women at Seattle Jewish center. One woman was killed and five others were wounded, three critically, in a shooting at the Jewish Federation in downtown Seattle. Police have detained Naveed Afzal Haq who is a U.S. citizen of Pakistani descent. All of the shooting victims - including the one killed - were women. The Seattle Times reports that one of the victims is described as 17 weeks pregnant.
· Connecticut priest leads life of luxury. A priest who resigned from a church in an affluent Connecticut community misspent up to $1.4 million in parishioner donations to lead a life of luxury. The Rev. Michael Jude Fay shopped at Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom, drove a Jaguar, attended a sports club, bought jewelry from Cartier, spent $130,000 for limo rides, stayed at hotels such as the Ritz Carlton, Hotel De Paris and the Four Seasons, and bought himself a luxury Florida condo, the auditors found.
· Police encounter another friendly fire incident over pit bull. A Hollywood, Florida police officer is recovering after one of his colleagues, who was aiming at three pit bulls, accidentally shot him while serving a search warrant. One dog was fatally shot, another was shot multiple times but survived and the third ran back into the house unharmed, police said. "It's tough to anticipate a charging pit bull - and in this case three of them." In the midst of the gunfire, a sergeant was struck in the shin area of his leg. A second officer was also injured when a bullet grazed his lower leg.
· Secret Service Agent Tasered Then Arrested. A Secret Service agent faces public intoxication and other charges after an incident at a Waco bar. Police say 30-year-old John Scott Lewis argued with a bar manager and became so unruly he had to be shocked with a stun gun to be arrested.
· Cities, schools cash in on naming rights. A growing number of cash-strapped U.S. cities and schools are making some quick cash by selling naming rights to just about everything. Names for donations are posted in parks, gyms, locker rooms, classrooms, even the principal's office, USA Today said. Kitchens at two high schools in Sheboygan, Wis., soon will be the Kohler Credit Union kitchens, thanks to a $45,000 donation.
· Durham D.A. Nifong Regrets Publicly Discussing Duke Lacrosse Rape Case. The district attorney prosecuting three Duke lacrosse players charged with rape acknowledged Friday that he erred by openly discussing some aspects of the investigation, but he urged voters not to judge him by one case alone.
· Officers accused of assaulting suspect to remain on force. Jackson Mayor Frank Melton said he will not fire three Jackson police officers caught on camera allegedly assaulting a handcuffed suspect. “I’m not going to ruin their careers for a thug,” Melton said.
· Mistrial Declared in Swallowed Cell Phone Assault Case. A judge declared a mistrial Friday after a jury was unable to reach a verdict in the case of a man accused of shoving a cell phone down his girlfriend's throat.
· Bottle rockets ruffle chicken's feathers. A man accused of shooting bottle rockets at another man in a chicken suit was arrested on Wednesday and charged with assault in the second degree and with discharging fireworks in the city limits.
· House Approves Minimum Wage Increase. Republicans muscled the first minimum wage increase in a decade through the House early Saturday after pairing it with a cut in inheritance taxes on multimillion-dollar estates. The GOP package would increase the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 per hour, phased in over the next three years, and would exempt $5 million of an individual's estate, and $10 million of a couple's, from estate taxes by 2015.
· Bogus Names Feared on New Jersey Sept. 11 Monument. A 100-foot-tall bronze sculpture evokes the twins towers that once soared from the Manhattan skyline across the Hudson River, but some question whether all the names etched into the base are of people who died in the 2001 terrorist attacks. The memorial lists 3,024 names, according to the artist's attorney. That's 45 more than the official list, which includes six people killed in the World Trade Center bombing in 1993 and the 2,973 killed on Sept. 11, 2001, in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.
Friday, July 28, 2006
· Woman in doghouse over Jehovah's Witness sign. A British woman has been ordered by police to take down a sign on her garden gate which read "Our dogs are fed on Jehovah's Witnesses." Janet Grove, who owns a terrier puppy called Rabbit, insisted the sign was a gentle joke to discourage callers at her front door.
· Al Franken getting celebrity support. The list of contributors to comedian Al Franken's political action committee reads like a celebrity who's who: singer Barbra Streisand, writer-director Nora Ephron, actor-writer Larry David and actor Jimmy Smits. Franken, who hosts a radio show on the liberal Air America Radio network, is considering challenging Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., in 2008, and has so far raised $500,000 according to campaign finance reports.
· Woman killed by own car. A 26-year-old driver was run over and killed by her own car in suburban Chicago after she fell out an open door while backing up in the middle lane on Lake Cook Road. Police speculated she might have been backing up because she may have missed a turn.
· Canadian Mounties admit they're outgunned. Despite banning hanguns and the registration of all rifles, Canadian Mounties are being wounded and killed in increasing numbers, and yesterday said the force is simply "outgunned" by the bad guys. "They've got the big guns and they're not afraid to use them," said Const. Rip Mills. "So you go to a gunfight with a pistol and the bad guy has a rifle. What do you do with a pistol - duck and take cover."
· Self-proclaimed psychic gets probation for scam. A palm reader and self-proclaimed psychic has been put on probation for a year for trying to scam a Slidell business owner out of $5,000. Police said Lecia Urich told four customers that their enemies had put curses on them and offered to dispel the hexes for a total of $7,100, which she said she would bury in a church or cemetery.
· Hollywood movie boss blasts Lohan. Lindsay Lohan's hard-partying antics and recent bout of "heat exhaustion" has left one Hollywood big shot steamed. In a blistering July 26 letter to the 20-year-old actress, James G. Robinson, who heads the L.A. firm producing Lohan's current movie, calls her recent erratic behavior "discourteous, irresponsible and unprofessional." Robinson notes that while Lohan's aides have chalked up her lateness and absences to illness, he is "well aware that your ongoing all night heavy partying is the real reason for your so called 'exhaustion.'" Noting that Morgan Creek refuses to "accept bogus excuses for your behavior," Robinson warns Lohan that she will be held "personally accountable" for losses caused by her actions.
· Poisoned Pigeons Create Hazmat Incident. An attempt to control pigeons at a hospital escalated into a hazardous material incident as sick and dying birds falling from the sky forced a temporary shutdown of the emergency room. "Birds were coming down like dive bombers," said Fire Chief Robert Farstad.
· Chess prodigy death plunge mystery. A promising young woman British chess player taking part in a chess tournament in the Czech Republic has died after a mystery fall from her hotel room. Jessie Gilbert, 19, fell Wednesday from the eighth floor of her hotel amid conflicting reports that she could had been sleepwalking and had suffered from depression.
· Canadian government shopping for stronger pot. Health Canada's five-year, $5.75-million contract with its current supplier of medicinal marijuana, Prairie Plant Systems, is winding down and the department is preparing to seek proposals from all potential dealers that can supply fresher and stronger marijuana.
· Sheehan's Crawford purchase involved elaborate ruse.
More details are now emerging on Cindy Sheehan's Crawford property purchase. Sheehan stated on her website that she had purchased five acres in Crawford, Texas, and County records indicate she is acquiring the property through a third party. Longtime Crawford resident Bobby D. Ramsey sold a little more than five acres to Gerald T. Fonseca, who told Ramsey that he was displaced by Hurricane Katrina last fall and wanted to build a home on the property. Fonseca turns out to be another war protester in Sheehan's group, and confirmed he never indicated to his new neighbors that the land would be transferred to Sheehan, but aded "that was always the plan." According to the Waco Tribune, Fonseca said the $52,500 used to pay for the property — a spread of rustic, wooded prairie with no houses — came from Sheehan and her Gold Star Families for Peace.
· 71-Year-Old Mauled To Death While Gardening. A 71-year-old woman died Thursday when she was attacked by a pit bull in Kansas City, Kan., officials said. Jimmie May McConnell was in her garden about 11:30 a.m. when the dog jumped the fence and attacked her. Firefighters had to hit the dog with an ax and a pole to get it off McConnell, officials said. Neighbors said McConnell was so badly injured they could hardly recognize her when she was pulled from the garden.
· Neighbors' complaints shut off air conditioning to poor. The low-income residents of the Pauline Downs Apartments are sweltering in silence so their neighbors in "The Club" luxury apartments can enjoy quiet nights. As an unrelenting heat wave grips most of the nation, a nonprofit agency in charge of hundreds of affordable housing units in Salt Lake City is shutting off the air conditioning at one of its sites from 8 p.m. until 11 a.m. daily.
· To serve and protect. Investigators say a woman called 911, saying a car had followed her home and was now sitting outside her house. Police responded and found Jason Nosal, 28, a fellow police officer passed out in his personal car in her driveway. Nosal was cited for misdemeanor DUI, and resigned from the police department.
· Deadbeat Pete's Shut for Not Paying Taxes. A Mexican restaurant named Deadbeat Pete's was closed Thursday by state revenue agents because its taxes have not been paid, officials said. The popular restaurant in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains mostly serves tourists passing along the town's main thoroughfare to the national park.
· Politics as usual: "Bite Me." Rep. Gene Taylor, a Democrat from Mississippi said Michael Brown is "an incompetent fool, and everyone in South Mississippi knows it." In response, "He said I didn't recognize the death and suffering that was going on," Brown said of Taylor. "For that little twerp to claim I didn't recognize death and suffering - he can just bite me, for all I care," Brown said.
· Norwegian May Do Hard Time for Cake-Toss. A student who last October threw a cake at Norway's new finance minister may face up to 15 years in prison for assaulting a government official, a state prosecutor said Friday.
· Glut of unsold new homes across US hits record high. The glut of brand new unsold homes for sale across the United States hit a record high in June, a government report showed, as some economists warned of a worsening market in coming months. The government said the inventory of unsold new homes on the market rose 0.7 percent in June to a record 566,000, representing a 6.1-month supply of brand new homes at the June sales pace.
· Update: Publicist claims Hasselhoff was sick, not drunk. A spokesperson for David Hasselhoff denied a report Thursday that the former "Baywatch" and "Knight Rider" star had been turned away from a British Airways flight because he was drunk. Judy Katz, the actor's publicist, called the story by the tabloid Sun "totally untrue." Katz said Hasselhoff had not been drinking, but felt unwell after taking some medication for a recent arm injury and wasn't able to get on a flight Wednesday. The airline said only that a male passenger had been refused boarding after he was deemed unfit to travel.
· Montana Senator Blasts Firefighters. Sen. Conrad Burns confronted members of a Virginia firefighting team at an airport and told them they had done a "poor job" battling a southern Montana wildfire, according to a state official's report obtained Thursday.
· Scientist: Inject Sulfur into Air to Battle Global Warming. Injecting sulfur into the second atmospheric layer closest to Earth would reflect more sunlight back to space and offset greenhouse gas warming, according to Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen. Crutzen suggests carrying sulfur into the atmosphere via balloons and using artillery guns to release it, where the particles would stay for up to two years. The results could be seen in six months.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
· Officials Raid Texas Monastery. A bishop said he was troubled by seeing a boy dressed as a monk at a Central Texas monastery where five men have been accused of child sexual assault charges, but he was told the boy's presence was "our tradition." Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church Bishop Michael Jachimczyk said he visited the Christ of the Hills Monastery near Blanco once or twice a year in the 1990s and sometimes saw the boy roaming the grounds. "It was something that always bothered me," said Jachimczyk.
· Update: Landis found - tested positive for Tour De France. Floyd Landis' Tour de France victory was thrown into question Thursday when his team said he tested positive for high testosterone levels during stage 17, when the 30-year-old American champion began his stunning comeback with a gritty charge into the Alps.
· Station changes format from God to sex. KFYE-FM hasn't budged from the Fresno-area dial, but it's about as far as you can get from the Christian music, sermons and Bible stories it was broadcasting until about a week ago. Now it calls itself "Porn Radio" - "all sex radio, all the time," with a suggestion that people under 21 not listen.
· Student with no arms sues university. A man with no arms wheeled into the executive offices of the University of Houston today to serve officials with a lawsuit accusing them of failing to provide him someone to help him take notes. Gary Bradford, 42, of Baytown, who also suffers from rickets, watched from his wheelchair as his lawyer handed university General Counsel Dona Hamilton a copy of a lawsuit.
· Seattle stunned by 'bizarre' killings. A 3-year-old boy and his family are killed while the father serves in Iraq. A librarian and her daughter are found shot to death along a trail. Three young men are gunned down. The crimes left nine people dead in the past nine days.
· Scarlett Johansson Denies Diva-like Demands. Scarlett Johansson has denied claims that diva-like demands cost her the lead role in a big-budget revival of "The Sound of Music," a spokesman for the actress said Thursday. Lloyd Webber was quoted as saying Johansson's representatives "couldn't understand why she would want to appear in the West End for $18,500 a week when she could be earning $10 million for a movie." Webber added that he was also told that Johansson would need two assistants stationed backstage at all times, according to the report.
· Cindy Sheehan Buys Property in Crawford. War protester Cindy Sheehan has purchased a 5-acre plot down the street from President Bush's ranch in Crawford with some of the insurance money she received after her son was killed in Iraq.
· Tori Won't Inherit the Earth. In the history of poor little rich girls, Tori Spelling may be the poorest. At least that's the way her story is told in the new Us Weekly, which quotes sources as saying the daughter of Aaron Spelling will inherit just $800,000 of the TV legend's estimated $500 million fortune. "She was never banking on getting a lot of money," the "pal" tells the magazine. "[But] she thinks it's weird that an interior designer would get almost as much as her."
· Former Governor Criticized For Comments About Blacks, Hispanics. Former Colorado Gov. Dick Lamm (D), gave a speech in Vail stating that blacks and Hispanics should take responsibility for their "underperformance" and follow the example of Jewish and Japanese-Americans.
· Doctor Charged in Drive-By Shooting. A doctor at the University of Texas in Galveston has been charged in the drive-by shooting of a bicyclist, who was hit in the chest and shoulder and is now recovering at the same hospital where the physician works.
· Money stolen from vending machine - in courthouse. Sheriff's officials say a man who began removing money from a vending machine outside a circuit courtroom in Casper, Wyoming "looked like he knew what he was doing" and didn't raise anyone's suspicions.
· 34 illegal immigrants rescued from tunnel. Nearly three dozen illegal immigrants spotted clinging to the sides of a flooded drainage tunnel in Arizona were rescued Thursday morning by U.S. Border Patrol agents and police, but at least two others are believed to have been swept away, officials said.
· Daytona Officer Reprimanded For Calling Prostitute 82 Times. A Daytona police officer has been reprimanded for associating with a prostitute and calling her 82 times over a three-month period. Officer Thomas Lopez said he called prostitute Tara Price to collect information from her for his cases.
· Hasselhoff Too Drunk to Fly. David Hasselhoff was turned away from a British Airways flight because he was drunk, a British newspaper reported Thursday. The former "Baywatch" and "Knight Rider" star was told he could not board the flight Wednesday from Heathrow Airport to Los Angeles.
» David Hasselhoff last Monday: `I don't drink anymore.' After press reports that an intoxicated Hasselhoff had to be removed from Wimbledon, Hasselhoff responsed: "The tabloids make so much stuff up," he says. "I was at Wimbledon, and they said I was escorted out drunk. ... Absolutely not. I don't drink anymore."
· Barney Fife Statue Toppled. Mayberry will have to find another way to honor its favorite deputy. The North Carolina man who commissioned a statue of Don Knotts in full-on Barney Fife mode to put in the town that served as inspiration for The Andy Griffith Show's Mayberry has ordered for the half-finished work be destroyed after one too many obstacles got in the project's way.
· Pantless policewoman nabbed for DUI, using "training device." A Florida Police Academy DUI instructor was charged with drunken driving after she was clocked doing 90 mph and found to be lacking any pants. Officer Laurie Primeau also had an open bottle of Southern Comfort in her car when she was arrested, but her lawyer said the booze was merely a training device for cadets.
· Woman Accused of Stealing From Blind Boss. A woman is accused of stealing at least $14,000 from a blind attorney who hired her as assistant last year. Marissa Renee Wren, 24, of Medford was charged with theft and forgery and was scheduled to be arraigned this week.
· Lawyer group afraid of lawsuits. The nation's lawyers are coming to Hawaii, and some of them apparently have no fear of sharks - unless they're the kind that file lawsuits. About 40 lawyers have signed up so far for a surfing contest scheduled during the Aug. 3-8 American Bar Association annual meeting in Honolulu. But the ABA has pulled out of sponsoring the surfing competition, saying that the lawyers are afraid of being sued.
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."
· Anderson, Kid Rock to wed numerous times. Pamela Anderson confirmed Wednesday she's ready to tie the knot with Kid Rock in France. And California. And Michigan. And Tennessee. Asked how she's coping with her nerves before the big event, she replied: "I have two words for you: champagne."
· Billionaire In Palm Beach Sex Scandal. Jeffrey Epstein, the billionaire financier, has been arrested for soliciting sex from a teenage masseuse at his Florida mansion. In a New York magazine profile of Epstein, Donald Trump called the moneyman a "terrific guy" who "likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side."
· 7-year-old memo gave Big Dig warning. Seven years before falling concrete crushed a motorist to death inside one of Boston's Big Dig tunnels, a safety officer warned that the bolts could not possibly hold the heavy ceiling panels, according to a bluntly worded memo that came to light Wednesday. John Keaveney wrote the memo in 1999 to one of his superiors at contractor Modern Continental Construction Co., saying he could not "comprehend how this structure can withhold the test of time." "Should any innocent State Worker or member of the Public be seriously injured or even worse killed as a result, I feel that this would be something that would reflect Mentally and Emotionally upon me, and all who are trying to construct a quality Project," he wrote.
· Former teacher pleads guilty to sex-with-student charge. A former San Diego history teacher pleaded guilty Wednesday to five criminal charges for having sex with a 16-year-old male student two years ago. Danielle Marie Walls, 27, faces a maximum prison sentence of 5½ years in prison.
· Losing Mexican candidate declares himself president. The leftist contesting Mexico's July 2 election on the grounds of vote-rigging declared himself president on Wednesday and said his supporters would step up a campaign of civil disobedience next week. "I am already president. I won the presidential election. I am president of Mexico," Lopez Obrador said.
· Howard Dean compares Katherine Harris to Stalin. Democrat leader Howard Dean called the Iraqi prime minister an "anti-Semite" during an address before party loyalists on Wednesday, drawing a swift rebuke from Republicans. The Democratic National Committee chairman also called Republican Senate candidate Katherine Harris a "crook" and compared her to Stalin.
· Woman involved in fatal DWI crash sought help. Eight days before she allegedly killed a priest while driving drunk, Karen Fisher contacted an East Hampton alcohol abuse treatment center for help but was told it was relocating and couldn't process any admissions. "Your name is on a waiting list," a substance counselor said.
· Teen sues Spokane fire department, police. A $1 million claim for “wrongful conduct” was filed Friday against Spokane’s Fire and Police departments by attorneys representing the 16-year-old girl who now contends she was raped by an on-duty firefighter.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
· English-Only Bill Decried As Racist. Congress' standoff over immigration legislation flared into emotional rhetoric Wednesday over a House proposal to make English the nation's official language. Hispanic lawmaker Ruben Hinojosa, D-Texas, said that was "code for official discrimination." Rep. Mark Souder, R-Ind., said "If you are going to come to America then learn our language."
· Chicago City Council OKs 'living wage.' Brushing aside warnings from Wal-Mart and the Mayor, the City Council approved an ordinance Wednesday that makes Chicago the biggest city in the nation to require big-box retailers to pay workers at least $10 an hour in wages plus $3 in fringe benefits. As a result of the new ordinance, Wal-Mart, who already pays almost $11 an hour, will scratch plans to build in the poorer downtown area, and redirect their focus to suburban areas outside Chicago's city limits.
· Pam Anderson Grilled over Pate. The foie gras is flying. Pamela Anderson, who as a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals activist has called out fur-wearers and fast-food giant KFC, now stands accused of peddling the "delicacy of despair." A PETA adversary says Anderson is a partner in a Hollywood restaurant called BlackSteel and "earning a second income with a menu that includes ham-hock ravioli, lamb chops, lobster tails, and the vegetarian sin-of-sins, foie gras." Pam Anderson is trying to have it both ways," Andrew Porter, spokesman for the Center of Consumer Freedom said. Anderson said, "I'm not really involved with it, I just gave Chef Jay $25,000 to help start it" but a BlackSteel press release describes Anderson as "a partner."
· Yates not guilty of murdering her kids. Andrea Yates was found not guilty by reason of insanity Wednesday in her second murder trial for the bathtub drownings of her five young children. Yates, 42, will now be committed to a state mental hospital, with periodic hearings before a judge to determine whether she should be released. An earlier jury had found her guilty of murder, but the verdict was overturned on appeal.
· Ohio court stops greedy city from seizing homes. The Ohio Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Wednesday that a Cincinnati suburb cannot take private property by eminent domain for a $125 million project of offices, shops and restaurants, finding that economic development isn't a sufficient reason under the state constitution to justify taking homes.
· Teen Hides Dead Newborn In Entertainment Center. A 17-year-old Colorado girl is facing a first-degree murder charge, accused by police of hiding her newborn baby in an entertainment center. Police believe Cheyenne Corbett hid her pregnancy from her parents and delivered the baby in a shower early Sunday.
· Red-faced spellcheck firm corrects own spelling. A company that sells software to correct irritating Internet spelling mistakes has reissued its latest news release to correct a minor snafu. The company re-released its announcement to correct a mistake that listed the most common spelling errors on "the 16 million we (sic) pages it has spell checked over the past year."
· Relative says New York philanthropist abused. Philanthropist Brooke Astor, the 104-year-old society queen who gave away nearly $200 million to New York charities, is now sleeping on a filthy couch in torn nightgowns while her son withholds money and proper medical care, her grandson charged in court papers.
· Music cartel strong arms Syracuse bar. Karaoke night sounded a sour note for a Syracuse bar that is being sued in federal court for using unlicensed songs. The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) claimed that the bar violated copyright laws for a small portion of the songs it played. An ASCAP investigator said the bar allowed at least five songs to be played that it didn't have a license to use. In the lawsuit, ASCAP attorneys requested that the pub stop hosting karaoke nights and pay up to $30,000 for each violation.
· It's official: 'N Sync's Lance Bass Reveals He's Gay. Former 'N Sync member Lance Bass has revealed that he's gay. Bass said that he kept his sexuality under wraps during his 'N Sync days because he was afraid it would derail the band's success.
· New York councilwoman Finds Horse Head in Her Pool. A councilwoman found a severed horse's head in her swimming pool Tuesday, state police said. "We're looking at a threat as a possible angle," Lt. Pierce Gallagher said.
· Instead of building classes, school donates $1 million to zoo. At a time when Florida says Seminole County needs more money to build classrooms, the School Board has been dipping into its construction funds to give $1 million to the Central Florida Zoological Park. The money could have paid for six or seven new classrooms, which would reduce the crowding in several dozen classes.
· Woman sues Bacardi over flaming rum. A woman who says she was severely burned at a Miami night club four years ago is suing Bacardi, claiming the company's rum is dangerous and defective. The lawsuit says a bartender was pouring shots when a customer lit a menu on fire and placed it in the stream of alcohol. A bottle of Bacardi 151 that was being used to pour the shots turned into a flame thrower.
· MPAA finally sues the wrong guy. A wealthy american software developer is set to make a stand against the MPAA and it's controversial use of the legal sytem by going to court over it's claims that he downloaded a film from bittorrent.
· Reporter tracks down Karla Homolka. Karla Homolka has resurfaced.
The notorious sex killer has not been seen in public since last summer, when a Toronto Sun reporter found her working in a hardware store in Longueuil, Montreal.
· Web site reveals your inner celebrity twin. According to MyHeritage.com, everyone has a little celebrity inside. Largely meant for charting family trees, the Web site also boasts an addictive face recognition technology that blurs the boundary between the great unwashed and the thoroughly groomed.
· Three Men Convicted of First-Degree Murder in Xbox Slayings. Three men accused of orchestrating a revenge killing of six people over an Xbox video game were convicted of first-degree murder Tuesday.
· Sheriff Impersonated In New Scam. The Brevard County Sheriff's Office is warning residents about a scam with a new twist that involves a man impersonating the sheriff to steal money from residents. The report featured Cocoa resident Ann Mumby who received a call telling her she won $350,000 in a lottery she did not remember playing. "It sounded awfully good to me until they told me I had to pay $1,200 duty tax on the money." They wanted me to tell Western Union that it was money I was sending to a relative in Canada."
· New bikini beeps to warn of sun dangers. As the bikini turns 60, it's entering the electronic age with a new model featuring a built-in alarm to warn wearers to get out of the sun - and ease concerns that the scanty swimsuits damage the health.
· '70s sex case is shocker. A popular teacher at the Roeper School in Birmingham is charged with child abuse, a felony, for having sex with a former student in the early 1970s when he taught in Baltimore, police said Tuesday.
· Honda to Enter Aircraft Business With Small Jet. Honda Motor Co. announced plans Tuesday to start accepting sales orders this fall for the small jet it debuted last year. The company also said it has formed a business alliance with Piper Aircraft.
· Teen admits to Indiana highway shootings. A 17-year-old confessed Tuesday to committing a series of highway shootings that killed one man, wounded another and damaged at least four vehicles, authorities said. Zachariah Blanton was arrested earlier in the day and was jailed in Jackson County.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
· Many Americans too fat for X-rays, scans. More and more obese people are unable to get full medical care because they are either too big to fit into scanners, or their fat is too dense for X-rays or sound waves to penetrate, radiologists reported on Tuesday. With 64 percent of the U.S. population either overweight or obese, the problem is worsening.
· Update: Good news for homeless man that returned bonds. A homeless Detroit man who returned $20,738.88 in savings bonds he found in a dumpster to their rightful owner has been rewarded with additional cash and a job. After a meager $100 reward for turning in the bonds, another $4,000 have been pledged so far, along with a shopping spree at a men's clothing store and a lead on a job.
· Hezbollah Says Israeli Response a Surprise. A senior Hezbollah official said Tuesday the guerrilla group did not expect Israel to react so strongly to its capture of two Israeli soldiers. Mahmoud Komati, deputy chief of Hezbollah's political arm said "The truth is we didn't even expect (this) response.... that Israel would exploit this operation for this big war against us," said Komati. He said Hezbollah had expected "the usual, limited response" from Israel to the July 12 cross-border raid, in which three Israelis were killed.
· Teenager Being Held as Suspect in Indiana Highway Shootings. A 17-year-old from Delaware County was being held Tuesday as a suspect in the weekend sniper shootings along two Indiana highways, a prosecutor said. Indiana State Police also recovered a rifle they believed was used in both shootings.
· Leading "Desperate Housewives" Character to Get Killed. We know Wisteria Lane is not safe. Several people have already died there, including Mary Alice in the first episode. Now the creator of "Desperate Housewives" tells TV Guide he's "building up to a huge hostage situation in a supermarket" for the upcoming third season. And, a leading character will be murdered.
· Stars of 'Crash' not getting paid well. The Oscar winning movie cost about $7.5 million to make and it took in $180 million world wide, so it would seem logical to think that the people who created and starred in the film would have to be making a lot of money, but that's not the case with "Crash."
· Teacher fired in tape incident to get $40,000. School officials will pay $40,000 to an elementary teacher wrongfully fired over a disciplinary incident in exchange for her leaving the district. The school board will pay Jennifer Silva who was fired for putting adhesive tape over some of her pupils' mouths to remind them to work quietly.
· No clowning around in threatened lawsuit. Happy the Clown is sad - and looking for a good attorney. A New York law firm is threatening to sue Happy and other clowns if they don't stop dressing as purple dinosaurs or red dogs in their shows at children's birthday parties. Those characters, the firm alleges, are too much like Barney and Clifford the Dog. Calls to the law firm and its "Costume Litigation Hotline" were not returned.
· San Francisco dictates more affordable housing from developers. Housing developers in San Francisco will be required to sell or rent more new units at below-market rates or pay higher fees to the city to comply with a new law expected to win approval from the Board of Supervisors today.
· Granny re-creates Crocodile Dundee scene to see off knife-wielding burglar. An 80-year-old woman said how she re-created a famous scene from the film Crocodile Dundee to tackle a knife-wielding burglar. Winifred Whelan woke up to find a man in a hooded coat standing over her bed brandishing a knife and demanding money. The terrified pensioner managed to run downstairs where she grabbed a 14-inch carving knife from the kitchen and shouted at the thug: "That's not a knife, this is a knife."
· George's 'wedding is off.' George Michael and his American lover Kenny Goss have called off their gay 'wedding' after the pop star was discovered having an illicit encounter with a stranger in a London park. The couple had been looking forward to an Elton John-style 'wedding' ceremony followed by a lavish party to mark their 10th anniversary. But plans for the nuptials have been called off after the singer was seen emerging from bushes following a sexual encounter with a pot-bellied, jobless van driver.
· Ken Jennings Blasts Jeopardy. All-time "Jeopardy!" champ Ken Jennings has emerged from the "Where Are They Now?" shadows to bite the hand that fed him $2.5 million just a short time ago. He calls the show's categories "effete, left-coast c—- nobody's heard of" and even snipes at show host Alex Trebek. "I know, I know, the old folks love him," Jennings writes about Trebek. "Nobody knows he died in that fiery truck crash a few years back and was immediately replaced with the Trebektron 4000.
· Missing 5-Year-Old Found Dead In Neighbor's Home. A missing 5-year-old Utah girl has been found dead. Destiny Norton's parents said she disappeared from her front porch July 16. Her body was found Monday night in the basement of a neighbor man's home - about 150 feet behind the Norton's home. The neighbor, Craig Roger Gregerson, 20, who lived alone in the home, was arrested on suspicion of murder.
· Brinkley's Husband Says He Was Stupid. The estranged husband of Christie Brinkley has until now kept silent about recent reports that he had an affair with a teenage employee while married to the supermodel. Now his reportedly desperate apology is receiving a very public airing. "This is an aberration," Peter Cook said through a lawyer. "I'm sorry. I'm contrite. I'm stupid. Foolish. No excuse." Cook said he is hoping for a reconciliation with Brinkley.
· Farrell Stalking Case Goes Federal. Dessarae Bradford, who unexpectedly approached Farrell during a Tonight Show taping Thursday and left a copy of her self-published tell-all on Jay Leno's desk before being escorted out of the building, announced Monday that she had been trying to serve the 30-year-old Irishman with court papers.
· Snake Bites Man At Central Fla. Wal-Mart. A man was treated with anti-venin after he was bit by a snake in the garden department of a Central Florida Wal-Mart. Officials said a man was reaching into a plant Monday at a Wal-Mart in Sanford, Florida.
· Mayor's assault on sign goes national. Bogota, New Jersey Mayor Steve Lonegan has been a fixture on the national talk show circuit since he demanded two weeks ago that McDonald's replace a Spanish-language billboard in his town with an English version.
· Man Gets 8 Months for Taping Jackson. A private jet executive was sentenced yesterday to eight months in federal prison for secretly videotaping Michael Jackson as the pop star flew to Santa Barbara with his attorney to surrender in a child-molestation investigation.
· Wake-up call almost fatal. A man who crashed his car into a sleeping couple's bedroom allegedly cracked open a beer after freeing himself from his crumpled sedan and declared: "I'm going to jail for sure."
· Fox News Calls Olbermann 'Over the Line.' Fox News Channel chairman Roger Ailes responded to Keith Olbermann's latest critical volley against Bill O'Reilly on Monday, saying the MSNBC host's behavior "is over the line." Ailes, appearing Monday at the summer meeting of the Television Critics Association, was referring to a weekend incident at the gathering in which Olbermann whipped out a mask of O'Reilly and gave a Nazi salute. "Clearly he has no viewers except those he gets when he attacks Fox News," Ailes said.
· PBS Kids' Show Host Fired for Video. The PBS Kids Sprout network has fired the host of "The Good Night Show" after learning she had appeared in videos called "Technical Virgin." The host, Melanie Martinez, had alerted network officials about one of the videos late last week and she was immediately taken off the air. "PBS Kids Sprout has determined that the dialogue in this video is inappropriate for her role as a preschool program host and may undermine her character's credibility with our audience," said Sandy Wax, network president.
· Doc's wife charged with helping his killer. The details read like a juicy romance novel: A wealthy physician is said by authorities to have been killed by the other man - a handsome, young lover who'd been in and out of trouble. The killing purportedly caps a highway robbery staged by the adulterous couple, who prosecutors say dreamed of getting their hands on the doctor's millions.
· Another ship on its side, crew start leaving. The crew of a cargo vessel listing virtually "on its side" off the coast of Alaska have begun to abandon ship, Coast Guard officials have said. The vessel is carrying 4,813 cars from Japan to Vancouver, Canada.
· NYC Private Eye Accused of Impersonation. The private investigator who was the inspiration for the fictional detective in Kinky Friedman's crime novels was charged Monday with intimidating a witness by impersonating an FBI agent. Steve Rombom denied the charge at his arraignment in Manhattan federal court and was released on his own recognizance. Rombom was arrested at a New York hotel Saturday as he was about to give a lecture at a computer hacking conference. The FBI handcuffed him and led him away in front of a stunned audience.
· Lubbock, Texas, plans to pray for rain. Public officials in Lubbock, Texas, are organizing a day to pray for rain. "Nobody is going to tell God what to do and what not to do, but we are in a serious drought in West Texas and since he is the man who controls the rain clouds, we're asking him for his mercy and his help," Mayor David Miller said.
· Drought-stricken Australia considers drinking recycled sewage. Residents of a drought-stricken Australian town will vote this week on whether they're prepared to drink water recycled from sewage - the first such scheme in the country and one of only a handful in the world.
· Oil-rich Kuwait gives citizens $690 each. The one million citizens of Kuwait, where government financial assets have topped $166 billion, are to receive a grant of $690 each, the government has announced.
· Jockey sorry for butting horse. Jockey Paul O'Neill has apologized for the headbutt on a horse which could see him punished by the Horseracing Regulatory Authority. O'Neill said: "I would like to say to the public that I'm very sorry they had to see such a thing. I've never done it before and it will never happen again."
· Killer Who Sparked 3-Strikes Law Survives Overdose. Death row inmate Richard Allen Davis, whose 1993 kidnap and murder of 12-year-old Polly Klaas led to California's three-strikes law, overdosed on opiates in his San Quentin Prison cell but was revived, officials said Monday.
· As Many as 540,000 New Yorkers at Risk for Identity Theft After Security Breach. The names, addresses and Social Security numbers of as many as 540,000 injured workers have been lost, and the state and a contracted company are trying to protect the workers from identity theft.
· Hillary Clinton: 'It's the American dream, stupid.' New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, a possible White House contender in 2008, said Monday the Bush administration had hurt working Americans, and Democrats must offer new ideas to strengthen the middle class. Clinton said President Bush and Republicans had "made a mess out of the country's finances." Rewriting her husband's famous 1992 campaign slogan, "It's the economy, stupid," she declared: "It's the American dream, stupid."
Monday, July 24, 2006
· Congressman Jokes About Cocaine on TV. Democratic Rep. Robert Wexler says he was just playing along with the joke when comedian Stephen Colbert prodded him in an interview to say: "I enjoy cocaine because it's a fun thing to do."
· Space, the final frontier for "Star Trek's" Scotty. The remains of actor James Doohan, who played the starship Enterprise's chief engineer "Scotty" on "Star Trek," will be blasted into space in October, the company organizing the flight said on Monday.
· Man Accidentally Drives Over Wife On The Beach. A woman was accidentally run over on the beach by her own husband late Monday morning. The accident happened in Daytona Beach Shores. Police said the man's vehicle got stuck in an area of soft sand on the beach. His wife got out to push the car when her husband put the vehicle in reverse, mistakenly running over her.
· Boston Woman Slain at Same Spot As Brother. On the fourth anniversary of her brother's slaying, a woman lighting candles at a makeshift shrine to him was gunned down, killed at about the same spot, on the same day and at nearly the same hour as her older sibling.
· Man Hits Elderly Woman With Car, Steals Her Purse. Police are searching in several neighborhoods off U.S. 192 Monday morning for a man who hit an elderly woman with his car, then got out and took her purse.
· Nobel peace prize winner to school children: 'I would love to kill George Bush.' Nobel peace laureate Betty Williams lashed out at President George W. Bush during a speech to hundreds of schoolchildren. "Right now, I would love to kill George Bush." Her young audience at the Brisbane City Hall clapped and cheered.
· Long-awaited sunscreen approved for sale. Americans are now going to be allowed to buy a sunscreen that has been available elsewhere for quite a while. The Food and Drug Administration has put its seal of approval on a sunscreen that blocks the type of ultraviolet radiation linked to some cancers.
· AOL founder says he is 'sorry' for Time Warner merger. Steve Case, co-founder of the one-time biggest online service AOL, apologized for the company's merger with media conglomerate Time Warner Inc. in an interview with U.S. journalist Charlie Rose. The deal, known as one of the worst corporate mergers in history, destroyed some $200 billion in shareholder value.
· Judge Who Told Illegal Immigrant To Leave Court Is Dismissed. A judge who threatened deportation to Mexico for an illegal immigrant seeking a restraining order against her husband has been dropped from the roster of part-time judges used by the Los Angeles County Superior Court. During the hearing in Pomona, Judge Pro Tem Bruce R. Fink asked Aurora Gonzalez if she was an illegal immigrant. Gonzalez, who accused her husband of verbal abuse and threatening to report her to immigration authorities, acknowledged being in the country illegally.
· Strange Tax Exempt "School Supplies." Its tax free week in Florida and parents are packing the isles to buy what’s on the back to school list. The list includes aprons, bowling shoes and lingerie. The list might make parents of little ones too young for school happy. They’ll save seven percent on receiving blankets, bibs, diaper bags and diapers. And for the sportsman, fishing and hunting vests are included.
· Teen Uses Discovery Channel Tip To Escape Alligator Attack. A 16-year-old being dragged into a Florida lake by a large alligator used a tip he watched on the Discovery Channel to break free and likely save his life. "If he was every bitten by a shark, he (learned) to put his hand in its gills and if he was ever attacked by a gator, to take his thumb and poke his thumb all the way in his eye and the gator released him," mother Elisa Badger said.
· Miss Universe dons crown, collapses minutes later. Forty minutes into her reign as Miss Universe, Miss Puerto Rico Zuleyka Rivera Mendoza collapsed during a post-pageant news conference and was rushed offstage Sunday night.
· Boy, 3, Killed By Falling Mirror At Wal-Mart. A mirror at a store fell on a 3-year-old boy, killing him, officials said. Christopher Antonio was apparently playing near the 5-foot-tall floor-mounted mirror in the children's section of a Wal-Mart when it fell Saturday. The toddler was likely killed by the blunt force of the crash, said Marion County Sheriff's Lt. Michael DeHart.
· Protest meets Shriver's visit. Hundreds of people welcomed first lady Maria Shriver during a visit to the City Plaza on Friday before a rowdy group of protesters drove her out. Shriver came to encourage low-income families to use food stamps to buy healthy fruits and vegetables. But about a dozen Watsonville Brown Berets shouted "You're not welcome here" and "racist."
· American stem cell researchers heading to Singapore. For a serial kidnapper, Philip Yeo looks harmless enough. But to hear some people tell it, he's a dangerous man. Over the past six years, Yeo has been roaming the world, trailing talented scientists in Washington; San Diego; Palo Alto, Calif.; Edinburgh and elsewhere, and spiriting them back to his home country of Singapore. What distinguishes Yeo from other kidnappers, of course, is that his targets go willingly. They happily relocate to Singapore's new 2 million-sq.-ft. Biopolis research center, where they can concentrate on one thing they can't always study so easily back home: stem cells.
· Spanish interpreters in demand at clinics. Interpreters trained in medical terminology, especially those speaking Spanish, are in high demand as the country's population becomes more and more diverse, said Cindy Roat of the American Translators Association. The boom in Hispanic population has led to the Spanish demand, but there's short supply of speakers of other languages as well
· 40% of weight-loss surgeries develop complications. About 40% of patients who have weight-loss surgeries develop complications such as a hernia, abdominal cramping or pneumonia in the six months after the procedure, a study shows. Researchers say such complications often add thousands of dollars to patients' medical bills.
· Man Chokes Ex-Girlfriend Through Hole Punched In Windshield. A man in Orange County, Fla., was arrested after he allegedly punched a hole in the windshield of a sport utility vehicle and began to choke his ex-girlfriend as she sat in the vehicle.
· The Eagle has broken - first men on Moon used pen to fix lander. In a new documentary to be released, it was learned that Neil Armstrong, the first man on the Moon, and Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin Jr, his fellow astronaut, accidentally snapped off the switch of a circuit breaker, and found they could not take off without it. Aldrin then jammed a ballpoint pen into the hole where the switch had been, allowing the astronauts' lunar module Eagle to leave the surface of the Moon.
· An Emotional Tiger Woods Celebrates Third British Open Win. The emotions had been trapped in Tiger Woods since he stood at his father's grave two months ago, set loose only after he tapped in his final putt Sunday to win the British Open.
· Cell Phone Deflects Bullet. Police in New York said a cell phone may have saved a 25-year-old Brooklyn man's life. Rashawn Blake and two friends were shot at by a gunmen over the weekend. The two friends were hit and hospitalized. Both were in stable condition Sunday.
· 'Pirates' sequel rides wave of success. Depp's "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" remained the top movie for the third straight weekend, hauling in $35 million and lifting its total to $321.7 million after just 17 days, according to studio estimates Sunday.
Sunday, July 23, 2006
· 3 NYC cops shot in friendly fire in pit bull incident. Three police officers were accidentally shot Sunday as one or more officers took aim at a pit bull attacking another officer, police said. With all the bullets flying, fortunately one of them finally hit the dog. The three officers remain hospitalized, but are in stable condition.
· What happens in Vegas, stays quarantined in Vegas. A section of the Las Vegas airport was closed for several hours after a flight arrived from Denver with 11 sick people on board, officials said Sunday. Passengers and crew members on United Airlines Flight 1491 were quarantined for several hours Saturday night at McCarran International Airport while the plane, passengers and luggage were checked by hazardous materials experts.
· Kansas Church Sues On Funeral Picket Law. A Kansas church group that protests at military funerals across the nation filed suit in federal court on Friday. The group claims a Missouri law banning such picketing infringes on religious freedom and free speech. The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Jefferson City on behalf of the fundamentalist Westboro Baptist Church. Members of the church show up at soldiers' funerals with anti-homosexual signs. The church and the Rev. Fred Phelps claim God is allowing soldiers, coal miners and others to be killed because the United States tolerates homosexuals.
· Flaming dog meat sets Chinese school on fire. A Chinese headmaster, who tried to buy off colleagues by cooking dog meat for them after secretly selling off trees around the school, ended up setting fire to classrooms when the meal burst into flames, a Chinese newspaper said on Friday. Ten classrooms containing televisions, computers, printers and textbooks burned down.
· IRS may cut lawyers who audit the rich. The federal government is moving to eliminate the jobs of nearly half the lawyers at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) who audit tax returns of some of the wealthiest Americans, specifically those subject to gift and estate taxes when they transfer parts of their fortunes to their children and others.
· 1996 allegations still painful for Richard Jewell. Richard Jewell's fortunes changed in a split second. The security guard was initially hailed as a hero for spotting a suspicious backpack in a park and moving people out of harm's way just before a bomb exploded during a concert at the 1996 Summer Olympics. Then the media called him a suspect and he became a public spectacle. As the 10th anniversary nears of the July 27 blast that killed one and injured 111 others, the episode is still fresh in Jewell's mind.
· "Black" budgets are loophole for shady politicians. An independent investigation has found that imprisoned former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham took advantage of secrecy and badgered congressional aides to help slip items into classified bills that would benefit him and his associates. Cunningham's case has put a stark spotlight on the oversight of classified — or "black" — budgets. Unlike legislation dealing with social and economic issues, intelligence bills and parts of defense bills are written in private, in the name of national security.
· State arbiter restores job for fired chemistry teacher. A teacher fired for dousing two students and a colleague with liquid nitrogen has been returned to his job by a state arbiter. Scott Griffis was accused of pouring liquid nitrogen, which has a temperature of minus-320 degrees Fahrenheit, on colleague Lois Schneider, and two 16-year-old students.
· Reports of big fortune a "huge lie" Salma Hayek says. "With things as they are in Mexico, it bothers me that they put me in a group of millionaires with $100 million I don't have when there are so many people dying of hunger," Salma Hayek said, pausing the interview in a brief panic to scoop a drowning rat out of her swimming pool.
· Angry bank customer calls police, claims bank robbed him. A disgruntled man having problems with his checking account was arrested Saturday and accused of falsely reporting a bank robbery in progress, Reno police said. William McHaney, 57, told police he placed the call because he thought the bank was robbing him.
· Back By unpopular demand. Live 8 promoter Bob Geldof has been forced to cancel two concerts in Italy because of lack of public interest, after only 45 people turned up to see him perform in Milan's 12,000-capacity Arena Civica on Friday.
· Court bans lawyer ads containing misleading content. Lawyers who practice in New Jersey should stop advertising their inclusion as "Super Lawyers" in an annual magazine supplement or their listings in a "Best Lawyers in America" directory because such designations could be potentially misleading, a New Jersey Supreme Court committee has determined.
· Florida teacher convicted of having sex with student. A 25-year-old former Escambia County teacher was convicted of having sex with an underage student at a private school where she taught before working at the public Escambia High School.
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.
· For turning 50, Hanks takes buds to ballparks. Tom Hanks, Ron Howard and Dennis Miller turned a two-hour rain delay during a Reds-New York Mets game into a media event. Cincinnati was the third stop on their hush-hush ballparks tour. Hanks, who turned 50 on July 9, decided to visit seven ballparks as a birthday present to himself. “Tom is so influential that he’s arranged a St. Louis Browns game,” Miller joked, referring to the defunct team.
· Police detonate package sent to golf legend Nelson. A package sent to the home of golf legend Byron Nelson was detonated by a bomb squad after his wife and police believed the parcel looked suspicious. The contents turned out to include golf banners and a letter, Roanoke Fire Department Chief Mike Duncan said. Nelson, 94, won five majors in his career had one of the greatest years in golf history when he won 18 tournaments in 1945.
· Anti-Israel rally underway in New York. Among the controversial signs carried by members of the "Islamic Thinkers Society" in New York last week: "Allah will destroy the terrorist state of Israel" and "God will send a mushroom cloud from the sky on Israel."
· Family Vows to Battle Anna Nicole Smith. A month after the death of E. Pierce Marshall, who feuded for years with Anna Nicole Smith over his father's oil fortune, his family says they are more committed than ever in their legal battle against the former Playboy playmate. "Nothing has changed from the family's standpoint as to how this case should end up and we will handle it as Pierce did, in his honor," the family told The Dallas Morning News.
· Pentagon garage sale offers shoulder-fired missile launcher accessories to the public. Undercover U.S. government investigators purchased sensitive surplus military equipment such as launcher mounts for shoulder-fired missiles and guided-missile radar test sets from a Defence Department contractor. Much of the equipment could be useful to terrorists, said a report by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress.
· Horse Race Cut Short By Gate Left on Track. A Nebraska horse race was cut short because the starting gate was still on the track. The horses pulled out of the gate and started down the Omaha track, but the gate didn't move out of the way. As the horses came around the final turn, the gate caused a backup as they tried to jockey around it.
· Women too late to sue over stolen embryos. A group of women anguished over having their eggs and embryos stolen and placed in other women were told by a judge it is too late to sue. Orange County Superior Court Judge Stephen J. Sundvold on Friday dismissed eight lawsuits sparked by the University of California Irvine fertility clinic scandal of the 1990s, saying the cases should have been filed within three years of myriad newspaper articles that began appearing in 1995.
· Kansas Police Find Two Starving Girls in Parents' Basement. Two emaciated girls who told police they ate only when their father wasn't traveling on business, were hospitalized Friday after police found them in an advanced state of starvation.
· Partially Paralyzed Woman Pursues Dancing Dream. Briana Walker's routine for the Laker Girls squad tryouts Saturday included the energy and rhythm expected from a performance dance team. But Walker, who is partially paralyzed, performed her routine from a wheelchair.
· Kim Jong Il shacking up with his secretary. North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has been living with his former secretary, who is virtually acting as the communist nation's ``first lady,'' South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported Sunday.
· Colorado Man Convicted of Trying to Have Ex-Wife, Girlfriend Killed. A jury convicted a man of trying to persuade his girlfriend to kill his ex-wife, then trying to hire a hit man from behind bars to kill both. Stuart Shader, 35, was found guilty Friday of three counts of soliciting to commit first-degree murder and two counts of attempting to commit murder.
· NBC wants to keep Leno for other projects. Contrary to popular perception, NBC is not putting Jay Leno out to pasture. "Jay is a workhorse," said NBC entertainment president Kevin Reilly. "He is tireless." Conan O'Brien will inherit the stewardship of the network's vaunted "Tonight Show," now hosted by Leno, in 2009.
· Latinos poised for pivotal role in U.S. elections. Hispanics are the largest and fastest growing minority group in the country, accounting for more than 14 percent of the population and about half the annual growth. But about four in 10 adult Hispanics are not citizens, which means they are ineligible to vote.
· Unique bottle of tequila sold for $225,000. Forget the salt and lime, you'll need a mint to enjoy this tequila. Producer Tequila Ley .925 announced Saturday that it has sold a bottle of Mexico's best-known beverage in a gold and platinum casing for a whopping $225,000.
· N.H., Iowa could have company on caucus calendar. Nevada and South Carolina will likely join Iowa and New Hampshire as kickoff states for the Democratic presidential nominating process in 2008 after a panel voted to recommend the measure to the party's national committee Saturday.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
· Jury acquits man of 'handshake' assaults. A jury acquitted a man who had been charged with assault after authorities said an assistant prosecutor, police officer and courtroom bailiff got sick after shaking hands with him.
· Homeless man finds $21,000 in bonds, gets $100 reward. A homeless man searching for returnable bottles in a trash bin found 31 U.S. savings bonds worth nearly $21,000 in a bag of clothes. "What a good Samaritan," said Neil Lehto, who picked up the bonds and left behind a $100 reward.
· Plane Rented for Marriage Proposal Crashes. A plane that was chartered to help a man propose to his girlfriend crashed, injuring the Georgia couple and the pilot, authorities said. Relatives holding a sign with "Erica, will you marry me?" painted on it watched from the ground as the Cessna 127, circling low over the airport, stalled and then crashed into the ground Friday evening.
· Grounded teen killed family before going to prom. A jury convicted a man Friday of killing his father, stepmother and two stepsisters 17 years ago inside their church parsonage home so he could attend some high school prom events. The jury found Jeffrey Pelley, now 34, guilty on four counts of murder.
· New York taxes lap dances in strip clubs. Richard Snowden is fed up with New York's taxes, and is moving to a more business-friendly environment. He says New York wants him to pay $216,000 in sales taxes on private lap dances provided by the nearly nude performers in his Rick's Tally-Ho gentleman's club.
· Judge Rules in Jordan's Favor in Paternity Payment Battle With Ex-Lover. A judge ruled Friday for Michael Jordan in a legal battle between the former NBA star and a woman who claimed Jordan reneged on a promise to pay her $5 million in hush money when she claimed she was pregnant with his child. Judge Stuart E. Palmer ruled in Cook County Circuit Court that any alleged agreement between Jordan and Karla Knafel would be invalid, pointing to definitive tests that showed Jordan is not the child's father.
· Diana coroner quits over pressure. The inquest into Princess Diana's death is likely to be delayed after the royal coroner quit, blaming the work load of his main job as the coroner for the county of Surrey in southern England, newspapers said on Saturday.
· Man acquitted of molestation after judge accepts doughnut. A man has been found not guilty of child molestation at his second trial. The verdict from his first trial was overturned because the judge had improper contacts with the jurors, which included accepting a doughnut from one of them. The jury originally convicted James DeGroff of molesting the 6-year-old girl.
· Congress to spend $750 million to promote marriage. For the next five years, Congress is setting aside up to $100 million a year to promote marriage and $50 million a year to produce committed fathers.
· Sorkin quickly rues 'crack' TV metaphor. Aaron Sorkin, the acclaimed wordsmith behind "The West Wing" and the upcoming "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," was left wishing Friday he could reclaim one public remark. "I do think television is a terribly influential part of this country and when things that are very mean-spirited and voyeuristic go on TV, I think it's bad crack in the schoolyard," Sorkin told a meeting of the Television Critics Assoc. He paused briefly, then asked: "Why did I use that word?" In 2001, Sorkin was arrested at a Southern California airport and charged with possession of cocaine, mushrooms and marijuana.
· Religion prof arrested on sex charges. A minister who chairs the religious studies department at a private university was arrested in an Internet child-sex sting, state authorities said. David B. Eller, 61, was arrested Thursday and charged with unlawful contact with a minor and criminal use of a computer, both felonies, the state Attorney General's Office said.
· Charlie Sheen Feeling Worthy. Apparently, Charlie Sheen takes career advice from Friends. The Two and a Half Men star, who recently earned his first Emmy nomination for Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, is seeking a hefty pay hike to the tune of a million dollars per episode, or $24 million a year, the Los Angeles Times reports.
· Former 'Ally McBeal' star returns to TV. Calista Flockhart says it's time to get back to work. The former "Ally McBeal" star, who has spent the last five years at home with boyfriend Harrison Ford and her 5-year-old adopted son, returns to TV this fall as a right-wing radio host turned pundit in the new drama "Brothers & Sisters." The show, which co-stars Sally Field and Rachel Griffiths, debuts Sept. 24 on ABC.
· Stamos to join cast of 'ER' this fall. John Stamos will become a regular on "ER" this fall, when Sally Field, Andre Braugher and John Mahoney will make guest appearances during the NBC medical drama's 13th season.
· Update: Teen loses fight to use alternative cancer treatment. A judge ruled Friday that a 16-year-old boy fighting to use alternative treatment for his cancer must report to a hospital by Tuesday and accept treatment that doctors deem necessary, the family's attorney said.
· Virginia firm offers spacewalks for $35 million. A private Virginia firm that already has sent three super-rich men to the international space station for $20 million each announced Friday it would offer an even rarer adventure: A stroll outside the space station for an extra $15 million.
· Couple Sells Penny for $660,000. Denis Loring and Donna Levin bought the 1792 copper penny at auction last year for $437,000. They sold it in May for $660,000. The coin originally was owned by descendants of Oliver Wolcott, who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and Connecticut's governor in the 1790's.
· Zippo fanatics gather in small Pa. town. Derrick Stainton can't stop talking about his old flames. He's got more than 1,000 of them at home in Scotland. "My daughter thinks I'm crazy," the 54-year-old welder said. The objects of his affection: Zippo lighters, 1,056 of them to be exact. And he's not alone in his hobby. Thousands of fellow fans, dealers and curiosity-seekers are gathering this weekend here to celebrate the shiny, rectangular windproof lighters that flick open with a distinctive clicking sound. "So simple. So basic. The design is so nice," Stainton said. "I eat, sleep and drink Zippos."
Friday, July 21, 2006
· Tyra Banks' show shut down by union demands. A behind-the-cameras battle is emerging on the set of Tyra Banks' hit reality show America's Next Top Model. A dozen writers and producers for the model search competition walked off the job Thursday and staged an hour-long protest outside the show's Los Angeles offices. They vowed to walk out again if the executive producers do not agree to their demand for union representation.
· Man in chicken suit cries foul over abuse. To Steven Turnage, it was bad enough to dress up in a chicken suit and stand along a city street in 105-degree heat. Having passers-by shoot bottle rockets at him has him crying foul. "People don't take this costume seriously," said Turnage, who wears the suit to promote a restaurant.
· Teacher under fire for his Cheney-9/11 theory. More than 60 state lawmakers are urging the University of Wisconsin-Madison to fire an instructor who has argued that the U.S. government orchestrated the September 11 terrorist attacks.
· Driver's license fees to go up. Applying for a drivers' license is expected to skyrocket once federal standardizing laws go into effect. In Texas, a license could jump to more than $100 from the current $24 when the federal government begins requiring states to issue uniform drivers' licenses in 2008.
· Minister Won't Be Tried On Sex Charges. The state attorney's office decided Friday not to pursue trial against a church leader accused of multiple counts of sexual battery involving a congregation member. Jesse French, a 43-year-old Cocoa resident who leads Solid Life Ministries in Rockledge, was accused in late June of as many as 25 counts of sexual misconduct. After a careful review, we decided the case could not successfully be prosecuted beyond a reasonable doubt," said Julia Lynch, assistant state attorney.
· Creator of the Philly Cheesesteak Dies. Harry Olivieri, who with his brother Pat was credited with inventing the Philly cheesesteak in 1933, had died. He was 90. Despite a heart condition, Olivieri had showed up at Pat's King of Steaks almost every day until about three years ago.
· Congresswoman refuses to return cash. U.S. Rep. Barbara Cubin, R-Wyo., said Thursday she will keep the money she received from former Rep. Tom DeLay's fundraising committee even though the organization has been fined for campaign finance violations and is shutting down.
· Famous Paint Sniffer Arrested Again. The West Virginia man whose spray-painted face became a national icon synonymous with paint huffing has been arrested once again. Patrick Eugene Tribett, 42, was arrested last week on charges of being a fugitive from justice, public intoxication and carrying a concealed weapon.
· Driver Goes 2 Miles With Dead Woman On Car. The body of a pedestrian killed early Friday was carried on the roof of a car for more than two miles before the driver, apparently impaired by drugs or alcohol, was pulled over by police, authorities said.
· W.R. Grace lawyers don't want victims to testify. Allowing people with lung disease caused by asbestos exposure to testify in the case against W.R. Grace & Co. would risk "extraordinary prejudice" to jurors, defense attornies argued Thursday.
· Judge says 'no ashes' in courtroom. A white plush teddy bear containing the ashes of a slain little girl will be sequestered during her father's murder trial. Judge Timothy Kenny ruled that Lori Lemons cannot bring the bear with the remains of her 2 1/2-month-old daughter NaKita into the courtroom where her husband, Milton Lee Lemons, 32, faces first-degree murder charges.
· 8 Grocery Store Employees Stabbed In Tennessee. Police said a grocery store employee in Tennessee stabbed eight co-workers with large kitchen knives Friday morning, critically injuring four before a witness tackled him. By the time he was apprehended, six women and two men were bleeding from stab wounds.
· Same-sex marriage pioneers separate. The lesbian couple whose lawsuit led to legal same-sex marriage in Massachusetts have announced they have separated. "Julie and Hillary Goodridge are amicably living apart," Mary Breslauer, a local political consultant, said Thursday night on their behalf. Breslauer declined to comment on how long they had been separated or whether the couple planned to divorce.
· Nissan Pulls Raunchy Ad in New Zealand. Japanese carmaker Nissan said Friday it has pulled a raunchy commercial starring "Sex and the City" actress Kim Cattrall from New Zealand television after complaints over its content. "Why didn't you tell me it was so big, I just wasn't prepared for it?" she gushes in the ad. "The all-new Nissan Tiida makes you feel really, really, really good inside."
· Think 100 degrees is hot in Tulsa? Temperatures soared past the century mark again Thursday. Many Tulsans say they've never seen anything like it. That may be true, but they just weren't born early enough. The hottest that Tulsa "ever" got was 70 years ago, back in 1936, when the temperature hit 115 degrees. It also saw 26 days in a row where it was above 100.
· Tens of Thousands in New York Without Power for Fifth Day. Tens of thousands of New Yorkers were still without power Friday, the fifth day of a mysterious electrical problem that has been blamed for subway delays, flight cancellations and dead air conditioners during the hottest week of the year. Power company Con Edison estimates 25,000 customers are affected.
· Hard At Work? The power problems had New York's Mayor Bloomberg promising swift action by Con-Ed. He said they're doing all they can, but CBS 2 caught Con Edison workers on video, sleeping and reading newspapers.
· Dad Breathes Air Into Son Trapped Underwater For 7 Minutes. A 14-year-old who was sucked to the bottom of a hotel hot tub and kept under water for at least seven minutes was likely saved by air his father breathed into his mouth during the ordeal. Aljuwon Pipkin, who was visiting Walt Disney World from New Jersey, became stuck at the bottom of the hot tub last Thursday at the Radisson Parkway Hotel. Officials said a grate at the bottom of the tub apparently broke and created a strong suction that pulled the teen underwater.
· Cynthia McKinney Missing In Action. Rep. Cynthia McKinney was a no-show this week in the U.S. House, as WSB Washington Correspondent Jamie Dupree reports that the Georgia Democrat missed all four days of legislative business and all 19 votes on the House floor as well. Her absence also affected an attempted override vote of President Bush's veto of a bill dealing with embryonic stem cell research.
· Colin Farrell confronted by woman on "Tonight Show." Irish actor Colin Farrell was confronted by a woman who leapt up from the audience as he was taping an episode of "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" on NBC in Los Angeles, a police spokesman said on Friday. When it became clear that her intentions were less than friendly, the woman was hustled away by the show's security staff. Quoting an audience member, the woman shouted at Farrell, "I'll see you in court," and Farrell replied, "You're insane."
· 5-Year-Old Tells Neighbor 'Mommy Is Dead.' Police in Philadelphia may have a 5-year-old murder witness. A youngster who picked up the phone when a neighbor called Wednesday night told her, "Mommy is on the chair dead." The neighbor called police when she was unable to get into the house, and investigators found 25-year-old Tiffany Bond dead on the couch. She had been stabbed in the chest.
· Paintballers told to target their own cars. A judge ordered two paintball shooters to take aim at their own cars in order to stay out of jail. Joshua Breeding, 20, and 19-year-old Christopher Lyons were found guilty on Thursday of splattering up another man's vehicle with paintballs in May. They each got a sentence of 60 days in jail. Municipal Court Judge Michael Cicconetti gave them the option of shooting their own cars with paintballs and then cleaning up the mess - or go to jail.
· Man impersonates road kill to get car help. A driver stranded on a remote stretch of Australian highway Wednesday tried to summon help by playing dead in the middle of the road, a police officer said. A woman who was driving with her two children spotted the man and had to swerve to avoid hitting him. Local police arrived with an ambulance and found the man alive and well, but with car troubles.
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.
· No food for Richie. Nicole Richie, 24, was browsing through the clothes at the Los Angeles boutique Kitson when she fell to the floor, according to Life & Style magazine. An onlooker says, "She was looking through a rack of clothes when she suddenly fainted and hit the floor. The staff helped her to a chair and offered her something to eat. She shot back, 'No!' and mumbled something about it being 'so hot.'"
· Spanish firm claims it can make oil from plankton. A Spanish company claimed on Thursday to have developed a method of breeding plankton and turning the marine plants into oil, providing a potentially inexhaustible source of clean fuel.
· Some men have their priorities. Romie L. Days III who expects to be sentenced to five years in prison next week was on his way to pay his lawyer when he stopped for a quickie with a woman he thought was a prostitute, according to Syracuse Police.
· Motorized scooters for the disabled are finding a lucrative new market: People just sick of walking. On a recent afternoon at Walt Disney World, Dennis Robles was cruising around on an electric "mobility scooter" that the park usually rents out to people with disabilities. Mr. Robles doesn't have a problem walking - he says he was simply saving up energy for late-night dancing. "I'm pretty healthy," says the 37-year-old truck driver from Brooklyn, N.Y. "Just lazy, I guess."
· Internet baby gear hits nerve with Damon. A Red Sox fan angry that Johnny Damon defected to the New York Yankees has fought off an attempt by his high-powered agent to stop her from selling baby bibs with a very grown-up insult. Tucked among the "I Love My Mommy" bibs and "Pregnant Princess" maternity clothes, Ann Sylvia also offers bibs and onesies adorned with the ballpark epithet "Damon Sucks."
· Fugitive Child-Rape Suspect Found Working at Tennessee Carnival. A video-game store worker who fled authorities while he awaited trial on child rape charges was returned to Nashville Thursday. Jeremy Duffer, 35, of Nashville, was captured Wednesday night while working at a traveling carnival. Duffer has been missing since February after he cut off an electronic monitoring device while he was awaiting trial on charges of child rape and aggravated sexual battery involving a boy who was 12 years old at the time.
· Naomi Campbell Was Reportedly Detained. Naomi Campbell was detained after allegedly causing a disturbance outside a former boyfriend's home, a British newspaper reported Friday. Police were called after Campbell, 36, arrived at the house in the early hours of July 10 seeking the return of some belongings. The Metropolitan Police confirmed that a 36-year-old woman had been detained for breach of the peace after "reports of a woman causing a disturbance" in London's Belgravia district.
· Daniel Craig to Return for 2nd Bond Movie. The new James Bond hasn't even had his first martini yet and he's already got another job. The producers behind "Casino Royale," this fall's return to action for agent 007, said Thursday that new star Daniel Craig will reprise the role in a second Bond flick due out May 2, 2008.
· Police: 'Band-Aid Bandit' Captured. A 50-year-old man believed to be a serial Florida bank robber known as the "Band-Aid Bandit" was arrested by Florida Department of Law Enforcement and FBI agents Thursday. More than $500,000 in cash was stolen from the banks. Authorities believe that Rondon used a Band-Aid to apparently cover up a mole on his face.
· Prosecutors Seek to Deter Gay Panic Defenses for Violent Crimes. Prosecutors said they want to limit the use of "gay panic" defenses — where defendants claim their crimes were justified because of fear or anger over their victims' sexual orientation.
· Superman, Wonder Woman Coming To Mailbox Near You. From Superman to Wonder Woman, the Postal Service is paying homage to America's most beloved cartoon heroes with new postage stamps released Thursday. The new 39-cent stamps and 24-cent postal cards include tributes to Batman, Supergirl and a half-dozen lesser known heroes like Hawkman and the Green Arrow.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
· Ex-Teacher Gets 'Confinement' For Sex With Student. A former junior high school teacher who had sex with a 15-year-old boy, has been sentenced to three months of "home confinement." Brandy Yates, 30, pleaded no contest to third-degree attempted forcible sexual abuse with the teen.
· Julia Roberts pumps up alternative fuel. Dallas-based Earth Biofuels announced that Julia Roberts will become a spokeswoman for the company and chair its new advisory board. "It's very important that we expand our use of clean energy and make a long-term commitment to it. Biodiesel and ethanol are better for the environment and for the air we breathe," Roberts said.
· Board Recommends Ex-Adult Film Actress Not Be Hired. An attorney for the McCracken County school board says a recommendation has been made that a former science teacher who appeared in an adult film not be re-hired. Tericka Dye was suspended with pay in April after the surfacing of an 11-year-old adult film in which she appeared.
· Ice Chunk Falls From Sky Into Teen's Bedroom. It may seem far fetched but an Illinois teenager thought the sky was falling when he woke up Wednesday morning to a loud bang. Jeremy Lindstedt found a basketball-sized chunk of ice on the floor and a hole in the roof just a few feet from his bed. The FAA says the ice came from a commercial airliner flying at high altitude.
· Man Sues Over Sperm Bank Hidden Camera. Claiming that he found a video camera hidden in the ceiling of a sperm bank's "donation room," a Los Angeles man is suing the firm for negligence and emotional distress. Ken Rigberg, 27, charges that he discovered the pinhole camera during a visit to Pasadena's Pacific Reproductive Services.
· Family beats would-be thief trying to rob father. Craig Mack approached Mateo Perez in his yard as the man returned home from an exhausting 12-hour day at work. Perez called out for his family, who rushed from the house to help. Perez's wife beat on the man as his 13-year-old daughter hit him with a chair and his ten-year-old son whipped the attacker with a stick. Perez continued to wrestle the man on the ground. Authorities arrived and found a bloodied and bruised Mack lying face down in the back yard, his legs bound by jump-rope. Perez was sitting on top of him.
· Schwarzenegger OKs Stem Cell Research Loan. A day after President George W. Bush vetoed expanded federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday authorized a $150 million loan to fund California's stem cell institute, which has been stalled by lawsuits.
· Report Finds Drug Errors Hurt 1.5 Million. More than 1.5 million Americans are injured every year by drug errors in hospitals, nursing homes and doctor's offices, a count that doesn't even estimate patients' own medication mix-ups, says a report that calls for major steps to increase patient safety. Perhaps the most stunning finding of the report was that, on average, a hospitalized patient is subject to at least one medication error per day.
· Power Outage Sends Guard to St. Louis. The governor sent in the National Guard to evacuate people from their sweltering homes Thursday after storms knocked out power to nearly half a million St. Louis-area households and businesses in the middle of a searing 100-degree heat wave that has killed at least 17 people across the country.
· Vegas City Council bans feeding the homeless. The Las Vegas City Council has taken its most aggressive action yet as it tries to clean up the homeless problem. They've passed an ordinance that forbids people from feeding the homeless in public parks.
· Lawsuit: Starbucks Coffee Was Too Hot. Starbucks may pride itself on serving its coffee hot, but a woman from Chicago has filed a lawsuit saying her drink was too hot. The lawsuit claimed Carrie Hernandez suffered suffered "severe and permanent injuries" from the coffee spill, the suit says, which have caused her "great pain and suffering, both physical and mental."
· Connecticut Chef Arrested in Beating Over Cold Canapes. The executive chef at Stew Leonard's was arrested after police said he beat a fellow chef at a private party because her appetizers were cold. George Llorens, 60, turned himself in, and was charged with third-degree assault and released on $10,000 bond.
· Convicted crack dealer: 'Feels good to make lots of money.' Self-confessed crack dealer Eric Coughlin acknowledged to a judge that selling drugs can hurt people, but added "At the time, I felt good because I had lots of money."
· Spanish PM in scarf scandal. Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has come under criticism for posing with a Palestinian scarf on his shoulders after accusing Israel of using force "abusively" to defend itself, press reports said on Thursday.
· Update: Barry Bonds won't be indicted today. Federal prosecutors said they would not seek an indictment Thursday against Barry Bonds, but that a grand jury investigating the baseball star for perjury and tax evasion charges would continue its work.
· Blind man tries unsuccessfully to balance fried chicken and a pistol. A blind man accidentally shot and killed his wife while trying to balance a plate of fried chicken and a 38-caliber pistol, authorities said.
· Student Set Dorm Fire To Meet Women. A student at the University of Central Florida is accused of setting a fire on campus as a way to meet women. Police said Matthew Damsky admitted to lighting a couch on fire at the Academic Village Dorms last week. Damsky told officers he hoped he would be able to meet women as the building was being evacuated.
· Michigan teen fails driver test. A 16-year-old boy taking his driving test hit four vehicles, then rolled over before going airborne and crashing into a fifth car that was pushed through the front window of a rug store. The teen and other drivers were treated at a hospital after the crash. The driver's license examiner, Gregory Desmet, 59, was hospitalized overnight with a broken arm. "Based on what Mr. Desmet told us, it appears the driver may have suffered some kind of seizure," Dearborn police Sgt. Doug Topolski said.
Cindy Sheehan, Cynthia McKinney, and activist Medea Benjamin share a laugh at McKinney's primary gala.
· Machine Vote-Flipping Claimed in McKinney Primary. "You’ve got electronic voting machines. They pushed the button for Cynthia McKinney and Hank Johnson came up," says Karen Fitzpatrick, who has been monitoring elections for US Rep. McKinney’s re-election campaign. To show their support for Cynthia McKinney during her primary election, Cindy Sheehan and activist Medea Benjamin attended McKinney's primary gala.
· Backlash emerges against Latino culture. People are realizing how much illegal immigration is costing them... they watched the May 1 demonstrations, and they are mad," says former Colorado governor Richard Lamm. In a 2002 study, illegal immigrants living in the US used $2,700 worth of government services per person more than they paid in taxes.
· Autopsy of Enron's Lay shows severe artery blockage. Enron's founder Kenneth Lay had severely clogged arteries when he died in Colorado earlier this month. The autopsy showed that three of Lay's arteries were 90 percent blocked. Lay had awoken at about 1 a.m. on July 5 at the rented vacation home in Old Snowmass, Colorado, and spoke to his wife, Linda, before going into the bathroom. He was found dead on the bathroom floor.
· Porn star's fundraiser far from typical political event. Republican gubernatorial candidate Melody Damayo couldn't decide what karaoke song to sing. "Oh, I know - 'She Bangs! She Bangs!' " the former adult film star said, laughing. "Just kidding." Damayo, also known by her stage name, Mimi Miyagi, says her run for Nevada's top office is not a stunt or a joke, but the consequence of a passion for politics.
· Kate Hudson wins 'skinny' lawsuit. Actress Kate Hudson accepted libel damages on Thursday from a magazine that printed a photo making her look too skinny, alongside an article that said her movie star mother Goldie Hawn wanted her to eat more.
· Top Stars Donate to Sen. Hillary Clinton. If Hollywood has a "Da Vinci Code," Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has cracked it. Top stars such as Tom Hanks, Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson donated to the New York senator in recent months, generating the kind of cash usually associated with a major box office opening — or a potential presidential bid in 2008.
· Haley Joel Osment in car crash. Actor Haley Joel Osment was hospitalized early Thursday after he apparently lost control of his car while heading to his Los Angeles-area home, authorities said. Osment, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his role as a boy who could see dead people in "The Sixth Sense," was driving a 1995 Saturn about 1 a.m. when the car collided with a brick pillar and flipped.
· Biel Charity-Auction Date Raises $30,000. A date with Esquire's "The Sexiest Woman Alive" and "7th Heaven" star Jessica Biel raised $30,000 to help a teenager who lost her leg in a prom night limousine accident.
· Plymouth politician arrested in Web sex sting. A newly elected Plymouth city manager was arraigned on charges of soliciting sex from minors on the Internet after he was arrested along with 10 other people in a far-reaching sting operation. Sean Dodgson, 45, later told investigators that he knew he was talking to undercover officers and that he was just conducting his own investigation to see how a police sting works.
· Famous Geneticist Guilty of Molestation. A renowned geneticist was convicted Wednesday of molesting a colleague's daughter, starting at age 10 when the girl took martial arts classes at his home. William French Anderson, 69, is widely credited as the "father of gene therapy."
· MySpace Served Spyware to more than 1 million users. An online banner advertisement that ran on MySpace.com and other sites over the past week used a Windows security flaw to infect more than a million users with spyware when people merely browsed the sites with unpatched versions of Windows.
· Producer Jon Peters wants ex-wife evicted. It's been nearly 20 years since former Sony Pictures chief and "Superman Returns" producer Jon Peters split with ex-wife Christine Forsyth Peters. He now feels it's time for her to leave the Bel-Air mansion where he says she's been living rent-free since 1993.
· 3-Year-Old Locked In Room for Month as Punishment for Swearing. A man and his girlfriend were arrested after his 3-year-old son was found locked in a room with a broken arm as punishment for swearing, authorities said. The boy and seven other children in their apartment were taken into state custody.
· A few choice words in parting. Nobody wanted to read Fred Clark's obituary when he wrote it last December. Now, after his death on June 18th, it's a big online hit. A few lines from his obituary: He had a life long love affair with bacon, butter, cigars and bourbon. You always knew what Fred was thinking much to the dismay of his friends and family. His sons said of Fred, "he was often wrong, but never in doubt." He was deprived of his final wish which was to be run over by a beer truck on the way to the liquor store.
· Barry Bonds faces indictment today. Baseball superstar Barry Bonds could face a criminal indictment on Thursday on charges he lied to a federal grand jury about steroids, his lawyer said in an interview on Wednesday.
· Yahoo drop erased about $10.4 billion in shareholder wealth. Yahoo's stock price plunged by nearly 22 percent Wednesday, marking its largest one-day drop ever after the Internet powerhouse postponed a pivotal change to the advertising formula that propels its profits.
· Bush's Veto of Stem Cell Research Risky. After waiting 5 1/2 years to make good on a veto threat, President Bush used his first to underscore his politically risky stand against federal funding for the embryonic stem cell research that most Americans support. The veto puts some Republicans in the uncomfortable position of having to chose between the wishes of their conservative backers who consider embryonic stem cells to be early human life and those in greater numbers who want to use the cells for research that could one day save lives.
· Probe: Black Chicago suspects tortured. Chicago police beat, kicked, shocked or otherwise tortured scores of black suspects in the 1970s and 1980s to try to extract confessions from them, prosecutors reported Wednesday. However, the prosecutors — appointed by a Cook County judge four years ago to look into torture allegations — said that the cases are too old or too weak to prosecute anyone now.
· Police Say Rap Song Sparked Deadly Shooting. Dallas police are blaming a profanity laced rap song for inciting a fight that eventually led to bloodshed. ‘Put Yo' Hood Up’, by Lil John and the Eastside Boyz, tells the listener to get up in the face of those from a different gang than they are.
· Poker players sue WPT over use of likeness, name. Seven professional poker players filed an antitrust lawsuit Wednesday against the operator of the World Poker Tour over the use of their likeness and their access to play in televised tournaments.
· Cruise ship leaned less than NTSB first thought. Federal investigators were examining a recently launched cruise ship Wednesday to try to determine why the 951-foot vessel rolled to its side at sea. The Crown Princess rolled 15 degrees to its right Tuesday afternoon. This is significantly less than the 38 degrees that the National Transportation Safety Board estimated yesterday.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
· 2nd Woman Claims Cook Seduced Her at 19. A second woman has come forward to claim she had an affair with Peter Cook when she was 19, but before his marriage to Christie Brinkley. Samantha Cole, now 29, said that Cook proposed marriage to her in a last-ditch bid to win her back after she broke up with him in 1996. She refused, and Cook became engaged to the supermodel a month later.
· Wife Of Slain Pastor Tricked In Nigerian E-Mail Scam. A woman accused of shooting her preacher husband to death after they argued over money may have been taken in by a swindle known as an advance-fee fraud, or "Nigerian scam," that strained their finances and their marriage. Bogus checks totaling almost $20,000 from Nigeria and Canada were deposited by Mary Winkler before she shot her husband in the back with a 12-gauge shotgun as he slept.
· Daniel Baldwin Injured in L.A. Car Crash. Daniel Baldwin was hospitalized Wednesday after his speeding car crashed into two vehicles parked on a Los Angeles street, police said. Police saw Baldwin's car weaving in and out of traffic shortly before 1 p.m. today, driving at about 80 mph in a 35mph zone.
· Jury acquits country singer McCready. Mindy McCready was found not guilty Wednesday of driving under the influence in May 2005. But a jury found her guilty on the charge of driving on a suspended license.
· House Debates Pledge of Allegiance Bill. House debate on a bill to protect the Pledge of Allegiance from legal challenges because of the "under God" phrase erupted in heated rhetoric Wednesday with lawmakers from both parties using religious references to support their side.
· Yates latest excuse. Andrea Yates drowned her five children in the bathtub because she thought she had ruined them so much that one would grow up to be a serial killer and another would become a mute gay prostitute, a forensic psychiatrist testified Wednesday.
· Boy, 5, Takes Off in Grandma's SUV. A 5-year-old boy hopped behind the wheel of a Cadillac Escalade sport utility vehicle and drove it several blocks looking for his mother following an argument with his grandmother, authorities said.
· Tax On Orange Growers Raised 19 Percent To Pay For Advertising. Citrus officials raised taxes on orange farmers by 19 percent Wednesday, hoping to support a more aggressive marketing campaign to halt decreasing juice consumption.
· Project to protect airliners in doubt. "Any two-bit terrorist can buy a shoulder-fired missile for $5,000 and fire it tomorrow at a plane," says Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., an authority on the issue in Congress. "More than 750,000 of these (missiles) are proliferating around the world in the hands of 27 separate terrorist organizations, and we're still studying the complexity of the problem."
· Ship Was 5 Degrees From Flipping. The Crown Princess cruise ship tilted 38 degrees during a steering malfunction near Port Canaveral - which was reportedly five degrees from flipping over and sending 3,100 passengers and 1,200 crew into the sea.
· Texas Man Catches Fish With Human-Like Teeth. A fish caught in Lubbock, Texas, with teeth that look like they belong to a human has baffled wildlife officials in the area. The rare fish may be a pacu, which originated in South America.
· WRKO suspends show host after homosexual slur. Boston radio station WRKO suspended talk-show host John DePetro yesterday for using a slur for homosexual in reference to Turnpike Authority chairman Matthew J. Amorello. After uttering the slur, DePetro added: ``I don't mean gay [slur]. I mean like he's a sissy boy. He's a little sissy boy."
· Judge Overturns Wal-Mart Health Care Law. A federal judge on Wednesday overturned a Maryland law that would have required Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to spend more on employee health care, arguing the retail giant "faces threatened injury" from the law's spending requirement.
· Bush Vetoes Stem Cell Bill. As expected, President Bush cast the first veto of his 5 1/2-year presidency Wednesday, rejecting legislation to ease limits on federal funding for research on stem cells obtained from embryos.
· Ark. gov. to pardon Keith Richards' ticket. The state of Arkansas is prepared to pardon Keith Richards for being a reckless driver, 31 years later. Richards was arrested July 5, 1975, as he, bandmate Ron Wood, a security guard and a fan traveled from Memphis, Tenn., to Dallas.
· County OKs Reality TV Shows With Deputies. Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies and cadets will be allowed to take part in two proposed reality television shows. Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who had expressed reservations about the projects, warned that he didn't want the shows to interfere with the deputies' work. "No Dick, Tom or Harry can come in there and get in the way," Yaroslavsky said. "Either a detective is out there trying to solve a crime, or he's trying to look pretty for a reality show."
· Airline Putting Ads On Barf Bags. It's enough to make you sick - barf bags with ads. U.S. Airways will start selling advertising on its air-sickness bags. Airline spokesman Phil Gee said the company is looking for new ways to counter rising jet fuel and labor costs.
· Elderly woman runs over elderly man - three times. An 84-year-old woman backing up her car ran over and killed an 87-year-old tenant who was sitting in a lawn chair in a grassy area at the base of her driveway Tuesday morning. Iola DeSanto did not know Milton Katz was there, said Gerry DeSanto, her daughter. She backed over him, and then while horrified witness yelled for her to stop, she ran over him a second time, then a third.
· Jaclyn Smith, queen of merchandising. Before Jennifer Lopez began hawking frocks and perfume, before Sean "Diddy" Combs and his Sean John threads, before Kathy Ireland led the charge into supermodel merchandising, there was Jaclyn Smith.
· Owens Signs Bill Banning Child Brides. Gov. Bill Owens signed a measure banning child brides on Tuesday, ending an uproar over a court ruling that 12-year-old girls could enter common-law marriages in Colorado.
· Sports-Betting Operation Shuts Web Site. An offshore sports-betting operation targeted by U.S. prosecutors shut down its Web site Tuesday night, a day after a federal judge ordered the company to stop letting Americans place wagers.
· Unknown artist has huge following. Dennis Hwang may be the most famous unknown artist in the world - his work doesn't hang in galleries or museums, but hundreds of millions of people have seen it. The 28-year-old webmaster designs the whimsical logos that decorate Google.com's website.
· DHS wasted funds on dog booties, beer. The Homeland Security Department wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars last year on iPods, dog booties, beer-making equipment and designer jackets, congressional investigators have concluded. More than 100 laptop computers and a dozen boats also bought by Homeland Security employees are missing, the investigators found.
· Unpaid Taxes Could Be Bonds' Downfall. The easy money Barry Bonds made by aggressively selling his name, likeness and sports equipment through his Web site and brief autograph sessions in hotel conference rooms could prove to be the embattled slugger's legal undoing. A federal grand jury is probing whether he paid taxes on some of that fortune, and key government witnesses include a scorned business partner and a jilted lover who profited from the name "Barry Bonds." He also is being investigated for allegedly lying to another federal grand jury about his steroid use.
· What's up with this photo? Reuters: Athlete Kathy Brennan of Washington, D.C., helps to apply tanner to another contestant before the Physique competition during Gay Games VII in Evanston, Illinois.
· San Francisco OKs Universal Health Plan. San Francisco moved closer Tuesday to becoming the nation's first city to provide health care coverage for all its residents. The city's Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a plan that would give adults access to medical services regardless of immigration or employment status. The plan's estimated cost is $200 million a year.
· United States to Israel: you have one more week to blast Hizbullah. The US is giving Israel a window of a week to inflict maximum damage on Hizbullah before weighing in behind international calls for a ceasefire in Lebanon, according to British, European and Israeli sources. US strategy in allowing Israel this freedom for a limited period has several objectives, one of which is delivering a slap to Iran and Syria, who Washington claims are directing Hizbullah and Hamas militants from behind the scenes.
· Newspaper Revolt Angers Calif. Community. Mass resignations, rallies and charges and countercharges of newsroom meddling and biased coverage have rocked the Santa Barbara News-Press. The reason they gave: Owner and co-publisher Wendy McCaw was telling them what to print and what not to. McCaw shot back with a front-page note to readers saying those who quit were upset they could no longer inject their personal opinions into the newspaper's coverage. The tumult is the talk of this sunny Pacific playground where Oprah Winfrey, Michael Douglas and others from the rich-and-famous set have multimillion-dollar homes.
· CinemaNow to Sell Movie Downloads. CinemaNow Inc. will begin selling mainstream movies for download that can be transferred to DVD and watched on standalone players, marking a first for Hollywood films bought and distributed over the Internet. The online movie provider's "Burn to DVD" service was to debut Wednesday with more than 100 movies available, including "Scent of a Woman,""About a Boy,""Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" and "Barbershop."
· Faulty Thermostat Causes Homeowner's Power Bills To Skyrocket. A man in Central Florida discovered that a newly purchased thermostat was faulty after several major spikes in his power bills. When he was unable to collect compensation for the faulty product, he called the Problem Solvers.
· Meth still No. 1 drug problem, study finds. Meth abuse continues to fuel an increase in crimes like robbery and assault, straining the workload of local police forces despite a drop in the number of meth lab seizures, according to a survey released Tuesday. Nearly half of county law enforcement officials consider methamphetamine their primary drug problem, more than cocaine, marijuana and heroin combined, the survey of the National Association of Counties found.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
· Man Accused of Blinding Wife With Carrot. A 46-year-old man is accused of assaulting his wife with a carrot, causing her to lose sight in one eye. Roderick Vecsey is charged with second-degree assault and disorderly conduct.
· Lesbian Couple Files Malpractice Suit. A lesbian couple filed a medical malpractice lawsuit Tuesday claiming cancer treatments damaged their sexual relationship. Their attorneys said it is the first lawsuit of its kind under Connecticut's new law allowing civil unions for gay couples.
· Iran's Hizbollah says ready to attack US, Israel. Iran's Hizbollah said on Tuesday it stood ready to attack Israeli and U.S. interests worldwide. "We have 2,000 volunteers who have registered since last year," said Iranian Hizbollah's spokesman Mojtaba Bigdeli. "They have been trained and they can become fully armed. We are ready to dispatch them to every corner of the world to jeopardise Israel and America's interests. We are only waiting for the Supreme Leader's green light to take action. If America wants to ignite World War Three ... we welcome it," he said.
· Family Dog Saves Toddler Playing On Rooftop. A Philadelphia family's dog is being called a hero after sounding the alert when he saw their toddler playing on the roof. As the child’s parents slept Sunday night, two-year-old Philip Redman Jr. crawled out of bed and on to the roof of the family’s home with Alfie, their dog, in tow.
· Pamela Anderson, Kid Rock to Tie the Knot. Next week, Pamela Anderson will make an honest man out of Kid Rock. The couple, now vacationing in St. Tropez, France, will marry July 29 on a yacht near the glamorous hotspot, Us Weekly magazine reported. Anderson confirmed the good news in an entry in her online diary: "It's been a whirlwind ... spontaneous but well thought through."
· As stocks sank after attacks, some companies rushed to issue options. On Sept. 21, 2001, rescuers dug through the smoldering remains of the World Trade Center. Across town, families buried two firefighters found a week earlier. And boards of directors of scores of American companies were also busy. They handed out millions of bargain-priced stock options to their top executives.
· Woman Killed By Pet Wolves. A woman has been killed by her pet hybrid wolves that she kept in a pen in her back yard. The county coroner said 50-year-old Sandra Piovesan was alive when she was attacked and she bled to death. Piovesan was found mauled Wednesday morning inside the pen. The canines were part wolf and part dog.
· States stepping up to tackle immigration laws. State lawmakers are offering more than 500 bills this year targeting state-mandated services, illegal aliens and the employers who hire them, responding to a growing chorus of public opinion nationwide calling for stricter enforcement of immigration laws. Lawmakers have focused on constituency concerns regarding an estimated 10 million to 12 million illegal aliens now in the country, resulting in rising costs for education and medical care, higher crime rates and exploitation by employers.
· 79-year-old man trashes girlfriend's carport with golf cart. Edmund Gaston, 79, is facing a felony rap for allegedly using his golf cart to destroy his girlfriend's carport. According to a Lady Lake Police Department arrest affidavit, Gaston backed his "Club Car" golf cart into a support pole before driving forward and knocking down an entire wall of the structure, causing approximately $2000 in damage.
· McCready takes stand in her DUI trial. Country singer Mindy McCready testified Tuesday that she thought police were pulling her over to "give her a hard time" — not because they thought she was driving under the influence. She said she used to live in the area where she was stopped and knew some of the officers well. "Way back when — when I used to have hit records 10 years ago — I would get pulled over a lot and had officers ask me to do the strangest things.
· Judge ordered to watch 'Jerry Springer Show.' A British Court of Appeal judge on Tuesday ordered a trial to settle a dispute between distributors of "The Jerry Springer Show" and a company claiming the program is too racy for British TV.
· Lawyer Allegedly Stole Inheritance, Lost It In Scam. A former South Florida lawyer has pleaded guilty to stealing $300,000 from a client, saying she lost the money in a Nigerian e-mail scam. Knovack Jones said a Nigerian doctor contacted her in 2001. "He had a contract with the government for $38.6 million, and he needed my participation," Jones said.
· Self-described drunk who wrecked car sues bar that sold him drinks. A lawsuit representing a man who wrecked his car while drunk accuses a Gulf Coast strip club of serving drinks to the 50-year-old patron even though employees should have known he was a habitual drunk. The lawsuit says "club employees knew that Johnny Smith was a drunkard, but continued to serve him alcohol and after getting him intoxicated helped him into his car."
· General Electric CEO bounces check. General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt, who received $15.5 million in 2005, and has nearly $190 million in GE stock, bounced a check to the campaign of New York gubernatorial candidate William Weld. It was apparently the result of an administrative error. "He has replaced it," Gary Sheffer, a spokesman for G.E. said.
· City Pledges To Toughen Dangerous Dog Rules. City commissioners have pledged to toughen up a city rule so that dangerous dogs can be removed from neighborhoods after just one bite. A week ago, a 3-year-old poodle was mauled and killed by a neighborhood pit bull terrier. The pet's owner was issued a citation and the dog was returned to him. A state law allows city officials to remove a dog immediately - but it takes two attacks to do so.
· Councilman refuses to take oath of office. Elected for a third term to the Tequesta, Florida city council, Basil Dalack refused to take the oath, saying he could not swear to "support, protect and defend" the U.S. government because of President Bush and the war. He is suing the city claiming its oath violated his right to free speech.
· Immigrant labor dilemma hits California beach town. Laguna Beach's day labor center for immigrants is a place where the deepening division over the tide of illegal workers in the United States is on display. "I don't think these people should be here because they are illegal, they are breaking the law," Jeff Hillman said as he picked up a day laborer to dig a hole for $12 an hour, almost twice California's minimum wage.
· Louisiana develops animal evacuation plan for hurricanes. A statewide plan to evacuate pets during hurricanes is being worked out by state and local officials, who are required to map the procedures under a new animal protection law enacted to avoid the problems that erupted after Hurricane Katrina struck. No word yet on an evacuation plan for people.
· Mike Hammer Creator Mickey Spillane Dies. Mickey Spillane, the macho mystery writer who wowed millions of readers with the shoot-'em-up sex and violence of gumshoe Mike Hammer, died Monday. He was 88.
· 11 Including Gambling Web Site CEO Charged. Federal officials on Monday charged 11 people, including the CEO of a big gambling Web site, alleging they committed conspiracy, racketeering and fraud in taking sports bets from U.S. residents. The indictment charges Kaplan with failing to pay federal wagering excise taxes on more than $3.3 billion in U.S. wagers. Authorities also charged that Kaplan's group fraudulently claimed that Internet and phone wagering on sporting events was legal and licensed.
· NAACP chief wants some companies boycotted. Even companies that make an effort to work with minority-owned businesses typically spend barely 5 percent of their contracting dollars with them, the NAACP president said Monday as his group released report cards on several industries.
· Arabs look to U.S. for diplomatic solution. Diplomatic efforts to resolve the Middle East crisis are unlikely to prove successful until Israel feels it has crippled Hezbollah or President George W. Bush pressures Israel to halt the offensive, Arab diplomats said.
· Massachusetts Gov. Romney Says 1,100 Big Dig Bolts 'Unreliable.' Gov. Mitt Romney on Monday dramatically raised the number of potential trouble spots identified by engineers and investigators in a Big Dig connector tunnel where the ceiling collapsed.
· Brinkley separation explodes in scandal. The recent separation of Christie Brinkley and her fourth husband, Peter Cook, exploded in scandal Monday when a 19-year-old former employee of Cook's claimed he seduced her with lavish gifts while married to Brinkley. On Monday, 19-year-old Diana Bianchi emerged in press reports as a central figure in the separation. Bianchi's attorney, Joseph Tacopina, said that Cook "first lured this girl into his web by employing her ... and then showering her with gifts." He described their relationship as consensual, but claimed Cook's role as employer and his gifts of a car, money and jewelry could possibly constitute sexual harassment.
· Rap artist freed from home confinement. The rapper who once went by the stage name of C-Murder has been released from home confinement as he awaits a retrial on a second-degree murder charge. Corey Miller's participation in a home-monitoring program was a burden on the Gretna Police Department, which runs the program in Jefferson Parish, State District Judge Martha Sassone said.
· Power and Light Commissioners in the dark over rate increase. Henderson Municipal Power and Light's Commissioners were told Monday that they may have to increase rates by 22-percent just to keep their business in the black. The Commissioners were forced to consider a 22-percent rate increase in the dark, after the power went out 15 minutes into their meeting.
· Man Fights Aliens, Then Pops the Question. Ross Savedra fought aliens to rescue his girlfriend, then popped the question in an out-of-this-world proposal. Savedra, 32, staged his elaborate proposal Sunday afternoon for Ariana Ash, 23, with the help for family members and Roswell's UFO Museum.
· Three arrested in Katrina hospital deaths. Three arrests were made late Monday in connection with the alleged deliberate deaths of some patients at New Orleans Memorial Medical Center after Hurricane Katrina hit.
Monday, July 17, 2006
· Lawyer who sued airlines crashes plane. An attorney specializing in lawsuits related to aviation disasters has died after crashing his plane in Portland, Oregon. Robert Guilford's law firm was employed in the cases of more than 55 airline crashes, including the 1996 wreck of TWA Flight 800 near East Moriches N.Y.
· 3-Year-Old Dies After Locking Self In Hot Car. Police in Indiana said it's too early to determine if any charges will be filed in the death of a 3-year-old boy who apparently locked himself in a hot car in South Bend over the weekend.
· S.C. Legislator Arrested After Shooting. A state lawmaker was arrested after his pistol fired as he confronted two utility workers checking for storm damage outside his parents' home. Rep. Wallace Scarborough, 47, was charged with two counts of assault with intent to kill after he pointed a pistol at utility workers and then fired it Saturday night. "I don't think it's against the law to fire a pistol into your own back porch," his attorney said.
· Keira Knightley's Breasts Digitally Enlarged for Publicity Photos. From SUVs to Double Whoppers, Americans believe bigger is better - and that includes Keira Knightley's breasts. She said this week she was dismayed when movie marketers decided her natural A-cup chest could be no less than a bouncy C.
· Mexican army rolls into Gulf state of Tabasco. Hundreds of soldiers patrolled three cities in the Gulf Coast state of Tabasco in Mexico on Monday to restore security. The soldiers also looked for presumed drug traffickers who engaged in a shootout with police that left two officers dead and seven people injured.
· Dutch Court OKs 'Pedophile' Political Party. A Dutch court refused Monday to ban a political party whose main goal is to lower the age of sexual consent from 16 to 12. The judge said it was the voters' right to judge the appeal of political parties. "We expected this result," said party treasurer Ad van den Berg, 62. "We are not doing anything illegal so there is no reason to ban us." Van den Berg was fined and given a suspended prison sentence for molesting an 11-year-old boy in 1987.
· Oprah: Gayle And I Are Friends, Not Lesbian Lovers. In the August issue of "O" magazine, Oprah Winfrey opens up about those gay rumors involving her and best friend Gayle King. She said she can see why people think they're an item, because they're always together. Winfrey added that if they were gay they'd admit it, "because there's nothing wrong with being gay."
· Al Gore describes life as a movie star. Al Gore has met the Dalai Lama, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Lech Walesa, and Nelson Mandela. But now - at a special star-studded screening of An Inconvenient Truth — he's about to step up to a whole other level. The former Vice President of the United States will shake hands with Denise Richards.
· Don't call the fire department to fill your pool, unless you're the mayor. Georgetown Mayor John Jandes recently had the fire department fill his pool a short time after two fire department employees made the same request and were denied. Taxpayers are upset because of the way the situation was handled. "It's more than wrong," said one Georgetown resident. "It's outrageous."
· This is no yolk: CBS lays an egg with new ad idea. In September, CBS plans to start using a new place to advertise its fall television lineup: your breakfast. The network plans to announce Monday that it will place laser imprints of its trademark eye insignia, as well as logos for some of its shows, on eggs — 35 million of them in September and October. CBS’ copywriters are referring to the medium as "egg-vertising."
· Dallas Cowboys player shot twice. Dallas Cowboys safety Keith Davis was shot twice while driving on a Dallas highway early Sunday and was hospitalized in stable condition after undergoing surgery to remove bullet fragments. This is the second time in three years that Davis has been shot.
· Mission Accomplished: U.S. may stay in Iraq until 2016. Commanders think U.S. military forces in Iraq may not be completely withdrawn before 2016 but their presence will have the support of a majority of Iraqis.
· Manilow tunes annoy residents. It could be magic for some, but the use of loud Barry Manilow music to drive away late-night revelers from a suburban Sydney park is getting on the nerves of nearby residents.
· MSNBC Aims to Get Edgy 10 Years Later. Since MSNBC switched on a decade ago, the question has hung over its executives' heads: Is there really a need for three all-news networks? "I have no interest in being anything like CNN," said new general manager Dan Abrams. "The biggest weakness of CNN is I often find myself dozing off as I am watching. I rarely find CNN's coverage to be compelling." As a contrast, Abrams said he's determined to make MSNBC's programming "a little edgier, a little faster and more urgent" than before.
· Mayor defends strip-club job. Mayor Dale Sparks defended himself Sunday against allegations that he interfered with an undercover police investigation into a strip club where he worked as a doorman. But his critics are talking about trying again to recall Sparks.
· Space Shuttle Discovery Lands Safely. Space shuttle Discovery and its crew of six returned to Earth through thick clouds Monday, ending an impressive mission that put NASA's space program back on a solid, safer course. Discovery landed at Kennedy Space Center at 9:14 a.m. in only the second shuttle flight since the 2003 Columbia disaster.
· Hooters chairman found dead in home. Robert Brooks, the chairman of Hooters of America, Inc. who made his fortune selling chicken wings served by scantily clad waitresses, was found dead at his home Sunday, officials said. He was 69. It was unclear how Brooks died, but the Horry County coroner's office told The (Myrtle Beach) Sun News that an autopsy would be performed Monday.
· Man Shoots Attacking Pit Bulls Off Neighbor. A man in Leesburg who heard screams for help from his neighbor during an attack by two pit bulls grabbed his shotgun and opened fire, killing one dog and possibly saving the man's life. The dead dog's owner was fined $50. The second dog involved in the attack was spotted again on the victim's property later Sunday.
· Grandmother, 97, left in sweltering car at Wal-Mart. A 97-year-old woman is recovering in a Burlington hospital after she was left alone in a sweltering vehicle for almost an hour during the worst heat wave of summer while her family went shopping. With criminal charges laid against her daughter and granddaughter, Phyllis Arnott can't return to her home.
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.
· Banned lighters might fly again. Momentum is building to lift the ban on lighters, which took effect in April 2005. Since then, security screeners have confiscated 16 million lighters, which typically cost $1 to $2 each unless they are luxury models. It costs the government $6 million to dispose of the lighters, about $4 million more than it cost to get rid of all confiscated items before the lighter ban, according to the Transportation Security Administration.
· Lights, camera, confession. Eyes closed and head swaying, George Griller tells detectives he didn't kill the man police dug up in his back yard. I couldn't have, he claims, I'm blind. But when investigators leave the room, Griller opens his eyes, pulls a paper from his pocket and begins reading. A video camera captures Griller's interrogation-room blunder. Jurors later convict him of second-degree murder.
· Mideast crisis drives Bush to colorful language. Not realizing his microphone was on, President Bush was talking privately to British Prime Minister Tony Blair during a lunch at the Group of Eight summit in St Petersburg, "What they need to do it to get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this sh*t." Shortly afterwards Blair noticed the microphone and hastily switched it off, but not before the recording had reached news media.
· Three University of Wyoming Students Found Dead Near Campus. Three University of Wyoming students were found dead in a home near campus Sunday in what police said appeared to be a triple murder or murder-suicide. A fourth student, who lived at the house, suffered superficial wounds and had yelled for neighbors to call for help, police said.
· Officers Dressed As Gas Workers Trick Drug Suspects. Police officers in Daytona Beach, Fla., dressed up as gas company workers to trick and then nab several people in a unique sting to rid the area of drug activity. The officers warned people in homes located on and near Pelican Drive in Daytona Beach this weekend that their gas line was going to explode and ordered them to evacuate the area. When the people fled their homes, other officers in uniforms took them into custody.
· Dozens Of Illegals Targeted In 'Operation Return To Sender.' A federal task force swept through Tulsa, netting dozens of illegal immigrants. Dubbed 'Operation Return To Sender', it's being run by the Department of Homeland Security.
· News Online Seems to Have Long Shelf Life. A new research paper seeks to answer a riddle for publishers, editors and even readers: when does new news become old news? In the case of a news article on the Internet, the answer is surprisingly long: 36 hours on average, according to the paper, “The Dynamics of Information Access on the Web.”
· Knotts' hometown won't get Fife statue. An unfinished statue of Barney Fife apparently won't be heading to Don Knotts' hometown after all. Knotts' widow endorses a statue but says the monument should be of her husband, not of the bumbling deputy he made famous on "The Andy Griffith Show." Knotts died in February at age 81.
· Food Network Star Becomes Daytime Hostess. Rachael Ray is everywhere with her Food Network shows, best-selling cookbooks and lifestyle magazine. Now, she's adding daytime talk show hostess to her crowded resume. The high-energy cook who shows America how to whip up inexpensive meals in 30 minutes promises her hour-long syndicated show, debuting Sept. 18, will present "can-do" advice about cooking, travel, relationships and pop culture trends.
· Yahoo to Launch New Finance Features. Yahoo Inc. is beefing up the finance section of its Web site with more interactive stock charts and other features to help it maintain its longtime lead over rival financial information sites.
Sunday, July 16, 2006
· Florida Sex Offender Kills Teen, Himself. A registered sex offender fatally shot a 17-year-old girl he had been harassing, then killed himself after an hourlong standoff with police Saturday. "Unfortunately this mad man was not kept behind bars where apparently he should have been kept, and unfortunately we have a young girl who is now dead," police spokesman Rob Vega said.
· Homeland Security arrests 154 illegal immigrants in Ohio. Homeland Security agents took to Ohio streets the past week, arresting 154 illegal immigrants. The agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement came heavily armed and loaded with files and warrants for deportation. They took in immigrants from 30 countries and every continent except Antarctica. Among those arrested, 82 were from Mexico, followed by 19 from El Salvador and seven from the African country of Mauritania.
· 9/11 Families Want More Thorough Search. Scores of people rallied at ground zero Saturday to remember the fallen, and call for a more thorough search for the bone fragments still being found at the World Trade Center site.
· Man celebrates 100th birthday at Hooters. A Roanoke, VA man held his 100th birthday party at Hooters. Nat Back said it wasn't his idea, but they didn't have to drag him to the restaurant kicking and screaming either.
· A crackdown on Halliburton. Could it be that the days of $100 laundry bags and $45 cases of soda are at an end? The St. Petersburg Times says it's nice to hear that Halliburton, the company that charged the U.S. taxpayer such outrageous fees, will soon have to competitively bid on some of the billion-dollar government contracts that it had previously been handed.
· Christie hubby cheated with teen assistant? Glamour gal Christie Brinkley kicked fourth husband Peter Cook to the curb after she found out he was cheating on her with his 19-year-old assistant, according to the New York Daily News.
· NYC Doctor Suspected in Building Collapse Dies. The doctor suspected of blowing up his Upper East Side town house rather than allowing his ex-wife to benefit from its sale has died nearly a week after suffering critical injuries in the blast, a hospital spokeswoman said Sunday. Dr. Nicholas Bartha, 66, died late Saturday.
· Judges allowed to pack gun under robes. The New York state Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics has ruled that it is permissible for judges to pack a pistol beneath their robes while on the bench. And though it ruled in favor of pistol-packing jurists, the committee warned that judges must "be patient, dignified and courteous" to those appearing before the bench.
· Katherine Harris pulls out cash to fix house. Katherine Harris gave her campaign more than $3-million to run for Senate, but then took back $100,000 to finish renovating her "historic home in Washington, D.C.," her campaign said. "I have never heard of a candidate taking money out of a campaign coffer like it's an ATM. It absolutely boggles my mind," said former Harris campaign manager Jim Dornan. "You don't take your campaign contributors' money, whether it's yours or not, and spend it to renovate your house," he added.
· Students who paid for trip feel taken for a ride. Java Umarov didn't get the American experience he was looking for when he doled out nearly $3,000 as part of a work-exchange program for foreign college students. The Uzbekistan native says he might have reconsidered his travel plans if he had known he would be sent to the site of the worst natural disaster in U.S. history, where workers are still clearing debris 10 months after Katrina. "I can't say it's beautiful here," said Umarov, 20, who earns $8 an hour at McDonald's.
· Foreign companies buy U.S. roads, bridges. Roads and bridges built by U.S. taxpayers are starting to be sold off, and so far foreign-owned companies are doing the buying. On a single day in June, an Australian-Spanish partnership paid $3.8 billion to lease the Indiana Toll Road. An Australian company bought a 99-year lease on Virginia's Pocahontas Parkway, and Texas officials decided to let a Spanish-American partnership build and run a toll road from Austin to Seguin for 50 years.
· Hollywood stars meet the real world. It's pay cuts all round. Hollywood stars are being forced to take pay cuts as the major studios are pulling the plug on big-budget projects. With last year's box office takings down 5.2 per cent and the cost of making movies ballooning because of added expenses for digital enhancement and global marketing, studios are refusing to meet stars' financial demands.
· Rocker Avril Lavigne wed in California. Canadian pop star Avril Lavigne, famed for her feisty anthem "Sk8er Boi," married fellow musician Deryck Whibley in California on Saturday, according to People magazine.
Saturday, July 15, 2006
· Visiting pervert priest arrested in Florida. A Roman Catholic priest from India visiting the Florida Panhandle has been arrested on charges of sexual abuse involving a minor, officials said. Father Vijaya Bhasker of the Diocese of Cuddapah in India was charged Thursday with lewd and lascivious battery against a minor.
· Update: Beer baron loses license after DUI arrest. Beer baron Peter Coors' driver's license has been revoked after his arrest for drunken driving following a wedding celebration. Hearing officer Scott Garber ruled Friday that Coors did not stop at a stop sign and was driving impaired on May 28. Coors, 59, said he had consumed a beer about 30 minutes before leaving the wedding, the Rocky Mountain News reported Saturday.
· Rights groups sue Pennylvania town on immigrant law. A Pennsylvania town that passed one of the toughest immigration laws in the United States this week overstepped its authority, said a civil-liberties group which announced plans on Friday to sue. The city council of Hazleton passed a measure that will deny a business permit to anyone hiring illegal immigrants. It also imposes a $1,000 fine on any landlord who rents to illegal immigrants, and establishes English as the town's official language.
· If you see it on TV, it must be true. Our love affair with the car is no longer a cheap date considering today's high gas prices. But are there secrets out there that would allow you to get more miles for your money? Plenty of companies claim if you just buy their fuel-saver products, you'll save on gas.
· Scientists: Hunley's hatch was unlocked. Scientists say they may have found an important clue in the mystery of why the Confederate submarine Hunley sank 140 years ago after making history by sinking an enemy warship in battle.
· Heat-stricken Michelle Wie pulls out of PGA event - on stretcher. Missing yet another PGA Tour cut was the least of Michelle Wie's worries. The 16-year-old phenom was treated for heat exhaustion at a local hospital after withdrawing from the John Deere Classic with nine holes left Friday. She struggled to keep herself from getting sick on a hot, steamy afternoon, and left the course in an ambulance with an IV in one arm.
· Eminem Accused of Assaulting Man at Strip Club. A man named Miad J. says he was punched in the face by rapper Eminem early Thursday. He says he was hit 4 or 5 times while using the men’s room at a local strip club.
· Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund Director Quits. The head of a Katrina charity established by former Presidents Bush and Clinton resigned Friday under duress, a day after the exodus of seven members of one of its committees. In a statement, the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund announced that "in the best interests of the mission of The Fund," its executive director, Mary Ann Wyrsch agreed to step down. Her resignation comes after the abrupt departure of seven out of nine religious leaders serving on a committee charged with disbursing $20 million to hurricane-damaged churches.
· Dog leaps in, stops bullets, saves owner. Except for one small detail, Jet, a 5-year-old Australian shepherd mix, is like any other dog, enjoying squeaky toys and swimming. Jet is enjoying these pastimes again only a few weeks after he heroically defended his owner, who was being held at gun point, and took three 9mm bullets meant for her.
· 'South Park' guys still upset. The creators of "South Park" lambasted Comedy Central for removing an episode that lampooned Scientology and Tom Cruise from the network's repeat schedule and for blanking out the image of Muhammad during another episode. "So there are two things we can't do on Comedy Central: show Muhammad or Tom Cruise," creator Trey Parker said.
· Religious valedictorian sues Nevada school. A high school valedictorian who had the plug pulled on her microphone as she gave an address referring to Jesus Christ has filed a lawsuit against school officials, claiming her rights to religious freedom and free speech were trampled.
· Thanking Jesus in Court Lands Man in Jail. Junior Stowers raised his hands and exclaimed, "Thank you, Jesus!" in court last month when he was acquitted by a jury of abusing his son. But his joy was short-lived when Circuit Judge Patrick Border held him in contempt of court for the "outburst" and threw him in jail.
· Caught on Tape: Police say man stole dead man's cell phone. First came the tragic suicide of a 19-year-old, who jumped to his death from a parking garage in Lincoln, NE Wednesday about 3:50 a.m. But it was what followed, in the minutes after, that Lincoln’s police chief described as one of the lowest things he’s seen in his 32 years on the police force. Someone, later identified as 24-year-old Stephen Moon, circled Vincent Head’s body three times before stealing his cell phone.
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.
· ATLA wants to drop 'trial lawyer' from name. To spiff up its image, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America is considering changing its name to the American Association for Justice. "The discussion has arisen because we want to make it clear about what's at stake," ATLA spokeswoman Chris Mather said Thursday. "People's rights, their safety, their health, their well-being are on the line. Big corporations are fighting for bigger profits, and trial lawyers are fighting for people," she said.
· Web site comparing shipping rates launches. The inspiration struck Bill Van Wyck while he drove around one day trying to find a good deal on a package he was sending to Australia: What if a Web site could offer side-by-side comparisons of shipping rates, just like travel sites do with airfares?
· Pro-Family Groups Oppose Bid to Buy Braves. Liberty Media's bid to buy the Atlanta Braves is facing new opposition from pro-family advocates because Liberty owns On Command, which sells adult movies in hotel rooms across the nation. Those opposed to the sale call Liberty chief John Malone a "white-collar pornographer."
· Post worker caught with thousands of letters. A Berlin postal worker who was caught with several thousand undelivered letters in his basement has admitted he was overwhelmed by the job but insisted he planned to deliver them soon. Police recently found 90 boxes of mail stacked in his basement.
· Girl Becomes Diamond After Her Death. Just before 8-year-old Hannah Rowley died of leukemia, she told her parents "I think the Lord is going to heal me, but just in case he takes me home, I want you to make me into a diamond." So her parents did.
· Democrats pull ad with flag-draped coffins. Democrats pulled an Internet ad that showed flag-draped coffins Friday after Republicans and at least two Democrats demanded it be taken down on grounds the image was insensitive and not fit for a political commercial. The ad by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee called for a "new direction" and displayed a staccato of images, including war scenes, pollution and breached levees as well as a photograph of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay doctored to look like a police mug shot.
· Men Who Built Drug Tunnel Sentenced. Three men convicted of digging the first tunnel discovered under the U.S.-Canadian border were each sentenced Friday to nine years in prison. Prosecutors said Francis Devandra Raj, 31, Timothy Woo, 35, and Jonathan Valenzuela, 28, spent a year working on the 360-foot tunnel, which cost about $400,000 and was designed to smuggle Marijuana into the U.S.
· Comic and TV host Jan Murray dead at 89. Jan Murray, one of the fabled generation of comics who rose from the Catskills to prime time TV, tickling fans of the 1950s game show Treasure Hunt, has died. Murray, who appeared in dozens of movies and TV shows, died at his home in Beverly Hills.
Friday, July 14, 2006
· Update: Ex-teacher gets 7 years prison for probation violation. Pamela Rogers, 29, was ordered by Judge Bart Stanley to report to state prison for violating her probation on a sentence for having sex with a 13-year-old boy. He revoked Rogers' probation and ordered her to serve the rest of a seven-year prison sentence that had been largely suspended.
· Smoking with oxygen mask can be hazardous to your health. A patient who was wearing an oxygen mask tried to light a cigarette in his hospital room, sparking a fire that forced the evacuation of more than 100 patients, destroyed the room and melted medical equipment, officials said. "He somehow got the strength to smoke a cigarette with a nonremovable oxygen mask," Dallas Fire-Rescue Capt. Paul Martinez said.
· Update: "Last Photo" of Princess Diana. Although profoundly popular in life, Princess Diana's untimely death in 1997 continues to fuel controversy. Today, many in the mainstream media and tabloids - particularly in Europe - are doing their best to sensationalize the Italian Chi Magazine cover story. The truth behind the "Final Photo of Princess Diana" is far less ominous.
· Police sergeant charged with rapes in college town. A police sergeant was charged with four rapes dating back to 2002 Friday, two days after he was charged with stalking a woman who found him lurking outside her home. In addition to the rape charges, Bloomington, Illinois Sgt. Jeff Pelo, 41, faces two counts of home invasion and charges of aggravated stalking and attempted residential burglary.
· No Privacy for Lance Bass at Gay Bar. How much privacy should onetime *NSYNC star Lance Bass expect when he visits a prominent gay bar with a prominent gay star? It was reported Wednesday that Bass had been spotted with "Amazing Race" star Reichen Lehmkuhl at Atlantic House, a gay bar in Provincetown, Mass.
· Jackson jury reaches split decision. In a split decision Friday, a civil court jury awarded a former Michael Jackson adviser $900,000 — far less than he claimed in the money dispute — and awarded the pop star $200,000 in his cross-complaint.
· Hillary has more than $22 million in war chest. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has more than $22 million for her re-election run against two little-known New York Republicans, raising the possibility of plenty of leftover cash for a potential White House bid.
· Why is Al Gore grinning? The government reported Friday that the first half of this year was the warmest on record for the United States, with the average temperature for the 48 contiguous United States from January through June was 51.8 degrees Fahrenheit, or 3.4 degrees above average for the 20th century. That made it the warmest such period since recordkeeping began, according to the National Climatic Data Center.
· Wal-Mart changes employee job descriptions. Officials are investigating complaints by Quebec Wal-Mart employees that they were forced to help police search for suspicious packages in their store after it received a bomb threat. One employee, Mailie Fournier said "I have a colleague who had a nervous breakdown, another who has heart problems - the beads of sweat were hitting the floor."
· Woman trapped in car wash. An Ocala, Florida woman who got trapped in a car wash remains hospitalized. Police say the woman was working at Soapy's Car Wash yesterday when she got tangled in a water hose. She was then pulled into a spinning brush that trapped her leg.
· Duke Sued Over Surgical Instruments. A man who says his surgery with instruments washed in used hydraulic fluid left him with fevers and fatigue on Thursday sued Duke University Health System over the incident. The lawsuit came more than 1 1/2 years after university medical officials admitted that a mistake in a Raleigh hospital it owns resulted in thousands of patients being exposed to the instruments.
· Miami-Dade detective nabbed on child porn charges. A Miami-Dade County detective who lives in Southwest Ranches has been arrested for allegedly posting videos of child pornography on the Internet. Franklin Smith, 38, was charged with one count of promoting the sexual performance of a child and five counts of possession of child pornography.
· Stem cell funding, a silver bullet for Democrats? Nancy Reagan supports federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. So does Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah. So do 50 House Republicans. Last year the House passed a bill to permit federal funding. But President Bush is against it, and when the Senate votes next Tuesday on the House-passed bill, it will do so in the face of a likely veto.The House passed the funding bill last year by a vote of 238 to 194, well short of the two-thirds needed to over-ride a veto. Some Democrats gleefully predict that the veto will boost their chances in November elections.
· Disgraced Cunningham among honored lawmakers. Four months after being sent to prison, former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham is being honored for serving time – in Congress. Cunningham, who admitted to accepting more than $2.4 million in bribes, will be among 37 departing members of Congress honored for “hard work, service, time and sacrifices” by the U.S. Capitol Historical Society in a reception next week.
· City Passes Anti-Illegal Immigrants Law. The Hazleton, PA City Council approved a law Thursday night that makes this city among the most hostile places in the U.S. for illegal immigrants to live or work. The ordinance would deny licenses to businesses that employ illegal immigrants, fine landlords $1,000 for each illegal immigrant renting their properties, and require city documents to be in English only. "The illegal citizens, I would recommend they leave," Mayor Lou Barletta said after the meeting.
· Daughter Who Surprised Mom With Birthday Visit Sues Parents. An Illinois woman is suing her Wisconsin parents for maintaining an icy driveway that she blamed for a fall that broke her ankle two winters ago. Carriel Louah, 25, visited Darlington, Wis., to surprise her mother on her birthday in January 2005. But the next morning, she was injured when she slipped and fell on her parents' driveway. The daughter said that a letter from her mom apologizing months after the fall proves that her parents knew they had a defective gutter for years and did nothing about it.
· Family sues agencies over boot camp death. The family of a 14-year-old boy who died hours after being manhandled by guards at a juvenile boot camp sued two agencies Wednesday, seeking more than $40 million in damages. Even though a video shows seven guards punished Martin Lee Anderson by kicking, punching, kneeing, choking and slamming him while they jammed ammonia tablets up his nose and covered his mouth, "none of these officers set out to harm this young man in any way," a defense attorney said.
· Girl Dies After Sears Mirror Falls on Her Head. Maria Victoria Rocha, her mother and her grandmother were in a waiting area adjacent to the dressing rooms about 12:30 p.m. Saturday when the mirror, 2 feet by 6 feet, somehow came loose and fell on the young girl. The police department ruled the death of a three-year-old girl at the Sears store in Burbank was an accident.
· Woman calls 9-1-1 to hook up with cute cop. An Oregon woman was looking for love in all the wrong places when she called 9-1-1 wanting a "cute" sheriff's deputy to return to her house. Lorna Jeanne Dudash succeeded in getting a date - in court, that is. After her neighbors reported a noise complaint, two Washington County sheriff's deputies knocked on Dudash's door. When they left, Dudash dialed 9-1-1 in a desperate attempt to get the deputy she described to dispatchers as "a cutie pie" to return. The dispatcher repeatedly asked why Dudash needed the deputy to return. Dudash's response: "Honey, I'm just going to be honest with you, okay? I'm 45 years old and I'd just like to meet him again." The deputy returned and arrested Dudash for misusing 9-1-1. She now faces a $6,000 fine and up to a year in jail.
· Iraqi Parliament speaker accuses 'Jews.' The speaker of parliament Thursday accused "Jews" of financing acts of violence in Iraq in order to discredit Islamists who control the parliament and government so they can install their "agents" in power. Speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani hinted that the Americans and Israelis did not want to see officials of Sunni and Shiite parties running Iraq because "this is not their agenda."
· Senate denies funds for new border fence. Less than two months after voting overwhelmingly to build 370 miles of new fencing along the border with Mexico, the Senate yesterday voted against providing funds to build it. "We do a lot of talking. We do a lot of legislating," said Sen. Jeff Sessions, the Alabama Republican whose amendment to fund the fence was killed on a 71-29 vote.
· Campbell sued by another former employee. Naomi Campbell was sued Thursday by another former employee, this one a young Florida woman who claims the supermodel abused her verbally and physically on three continents. Amanda Brack, 20, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., accused Campbell of assault, battery, false imprisonment and infliction of emotional distress in incidents that started a month after she began working for her in February 2005, court papers say.
· Rogers indicted on four new charges. Ex-teacher to meet with judge Friday. Pamela Rogers, the former elementary school teacher accused of sending sexually explicit images of herself to a male teen she'd had sex with, has been indicted on additional charges stemming from her communications with the boy, court records show. Rogers, 28, who pleaded no contest in 2005 to charges that she had a sexual affair with the student, has been indicted on four counts of sexual solicitation of a minor, related to events that prosecutors say occurred while she was on probation for the first offense.
· Most Americans plan to vote for Democrats. Republicans are in jeopardy of losing their grip on Congress in November. With less than four months to the midterm elections, the latest Associated Press-Ipsos poll found that Americans by an almost 3-to-1 margin hold the GOP-controlled Congress in low regard and profess a desire to see Democrats wrest control after a dozen years of Republican rule.
· Fury over 'last photo' of Princess Diana. An Italian magazine has published what it claims is the “last photo” of Princess Diana – taken just moments after the Paris car crash which claimed her life in 1997. The black and white image shows the princess being given oxygen in the crashed Mercedes following the high-speed smash in the Pont de L’Alma tunnel.
· RIAA loses court case. The RIAA'S policy of accusing people of file sharing and then threatening them with court action if they do not come up with wads of cash has suffered a bit of a setback. Oklahoma mother, Debbie Foster, was accused by the RIAA of illegally downloading downloading music over Kazaa back in November 2004. The RIAA said that it would leave the single mother alone if she paid $5,000. However, Foster didn't have $5,000 and more to the point, she had not downloaded any music. In fact she didn't even own a computer.
· Man hands robbery note to teller, waits for police to arrive. A 37-year-old Mobile man walked into Coastal Waters Credit Union on Spring Hill Avenue about noon Thursday, handed a teller a note demanding money and promptly sat down inside the business and waited for officers to arrive to arrest him, authorities said.
· For Some Athletes, Courses With No Classes. A graphic popped up on James Gundlach’s television during an Auburn football game in the fall of 2004, and he could not believe his eyes. One of the university’s prominent football players was being honored as a scholar athlete for his work as a sociology major. Professor Gundlach, the director of the Auburn sociology department, had never had the player in class. He asked the two other full-time sociology professors about the player, and they could not recall having had him either. So Professor Gundlach looked at the player’s academic files, which led him to the discovery that many Auburn athletes were receiving high grades from the same professor for sociology and criminology courses that required no attendance and little work.
· Magazine names Ed McMahon top sidekick. Greatest sidekick of all time? According to Entertainment Weekly, in the issue hitting newsstands Monday, it's Johnny Carson's longtime couch-warmer, Ed McMahon. The magazine picked what it deemed an all-time top-50 of second bananas.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
· Man on trial for theft robs judge. A 61-year-old man on trial for theft got himself into more trouble when he stole from the judge during his court hearing, police said. The man pocketed a bunch of keys from the judge. When confronted, he said he was "shocked to discover the keys in his pocket."
· French Lawyer wants Cup final replayed. A French lawyer plans to ask a court to intervene in the controversy over Zinedine Zidane's sending-off in the World Cup final. "If it is proved that the fourth referee used video evidence, FIFA can have the final replayed," he said.
· 'Band-Aid Bandit' Strikes Again. An unidentified man dubbed the "Band-Aid Bandit" who has robbed banks in several Central Florida counties struck again Thursday, according to authorities. Police said the suspect - who gets his name from the adhesive bandage he wears on his cheek - robbed bank tellers at gunpoint at a Pinellas Park bank Thursday. Authorities said it is his 39th bank robbery since 2000.
· Jews, Christians and Muslims finally agree on something. Christian leaders condemned it. Jewish radicals put a bounty on participants. Muslim clerics threatened to flood the streets with protesters. Conflicting religions have found rare common ground: Opposition to an international gay pride parade next month.
· Man barred from palace job for being white. A history graduate had been banned from applying for a post in a royal palace because he is white. Kieron Keenan, 23, said he was told he could not put his name forward to work as a trainee museum assistant at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton on the southern English coast because he is not of African, Afro-Caribbean, South Asian or Chinese descent. The Race Relations Act block whites from applying for the $16,500 a year job to help fill quotas for ethnic minority employees.
· Something else that might kill you. A Greek study suggests a relationship between high humidity and increased incidence of heart attacks, but the finding comes with a lot of "buts" and "maybes" attached.
· Woman's dime bet is $21,584 winner. A woman who placed a 10-cent bet at Sports Creek Raceway won $21,584 last week. The Michigan woman, whose name was not released, placed a dime wager on a horse race simulcast from Hollywood Park.
· Good News: Alabama petting zoo off list of potential terrorist targets. Sherry Lewis was baffled to learn that her Old MacDonald's Petting Zoo was on a federal list of potential terrorist targets and thankful it's no longer listed that way. "We've never had a bomb threat or anything that would possibly come close to terrorism," Lewis said Thursday.
· Valerie Plame sues Dick Cheney over leak. The CIA officer whose identity was leaked to reporters sued Vice President Dick Cheney, his former top aide and presidential adviser Karl Rove on Thursday, accusing them and other White House officials of conspiring to destroy her career. In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, Valerie Plame and her husband, Joseph Wilson, a former U.S. ambassador, accused Cheney, Rove and I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby of revealing Plame's CIA identity in seeking revenge against Wilson for criticizing the Bush administration's motives in Iraq.
· Drunken Pilots To Remain Jailed After Losing Appeal. Two pilots who were drunk in the cockpit have lost an appeals court bid to overturn their convictions and prison sentences. The pair were about to fly an America West plane from Miami to Phoenix back in 2002. Thomas Cloyd of Peoria, Ariz., and co-pilot Christopher Hughes of Leander, Texas, were arrested before the jet took off.
· Wear nice panties when you're wasted. Police have warned women setting off for a night on the town to wear "nice pants." It's in case they fall down drunk in the street and "show off more than you intended." The advice comes in a Suffolk police safety campaign magazine which shows pictures of young women slumped on the ground. "If you've got it, don't flaunt it," they are urged.
· 'Bewitched' regular Kasey Rogers dies. Kasey Rogers, an actress who was a regular playing Louise Tate on television show "Bewitched," but was best known for an appearance in Alfred Hitchcock's "Strangers on a Train," has died. She was 80.
· Reverend compares fallen energy titan to Jesus. The Reverend Dr. Bill Lawson compared Lay with civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and Jesus Christ, and said his name would eventually be cleared.
· Oops! Need for safer panels was debated but dropped. The engineer who oversaw completion of the Interstate 90 connector said in an interview with the Globe yesterday that he questioned the need for heavy concrete panels in the tunnel's drop ceiling when he came on the job, but that he didn't press the issue with senior Big Dig officials, because the ceiling work was already well underway and he was persuaded it was being done safely.
· Man Survives 24 Hours In Ocean After Dog Knocks Him Off Boat. A New Smyrna Beach man survived about 24 hours stranded in the Atlantic Ocean without a life jacket after his dog knocked him into the water.
· Ex-wife #1 sues Michael Jackson. Debbie Rowe, the former Mrs. Michael Jackson, has sued the pop singer, seeking an immediate payment of $195,000 for attorney fees and $50,000 in living expenses so that she can continue suing for her child-custody case against him.
· "Vanity sizing" is latest trend for women's clothing. A recent national survey noted that in the past 50 years, the average woman's waist has gone from a 27 to a 34; yet, more and more women are miraculously fitting into smaller and smaller sizes. "Retailers don't want size 16 women coming in their store and saying, 'I need to lose some weight; I'll buy this later.' They want them to think they're a 12 and buy it now."
· Man who pistol-whipped wife is now new mayor. David Spellman, a former Black Hawk, Colorado councilman who pleaded guilty to pistol-whipping his wife, will be sworn in today as mayor of the casino town. Spellman was charged in 2005 with hitting Lynnette Hailey, his wife, repeatedly in the head with a .380-caliber handgun and firing at least three shots.
· Decision Day On Planned Fisherman's Wharf Pot Club. Fisherman's Wharf is packed with itinerants and iconography, from cable cars to postcard views of Alcatraz and the scent of sourdough. And now the fragrance of fresh marijuana? City planners will consider Thursday whether to issue a permit for a medical marijuana dispensary in the heart of the San Francisco's tourist hub, despite outrage from neighbors and businesses.
· Sex Offender Credited on Children's CD. Officials are distancing themselves from a state-sponsored CD of children's songs recorded by prison inmates after it was revealed a child sex offender helped put it together.
· Driver: 'Time of month' could help Danica in NASCAR. Fellow IRL driver Ed Carpenter says Danica Patrick has what it takes to succeed if she switches to the paint-swapping world of NASCAR and she's plenty aggressive in open-wheel racing when it's "the right time of the month." Carpenter later told The AP he didn't mean to be disrespectful of Patrick by using a female stereotype.
· Thieves Try To Cash Stolen Checks That Belong To Bank Employee. Three people accused of stealing checks in Worth County went to the wrong bank to cash them. Joyce Powell is a clerk at the Sylvester Banking Company and was at work when a co-worker in the drive-through window told her someone was trying to cash one of her personal checks.
· LA police corruption whistleblower arrested in baffling perjury case. Rafael Perez, the former officer who helped expose a misconduct scandal that shook the Los Angeles Police Department and resulted in scores of criminal convictions being thrown out, was arrested Wednesday on a felony warrant charging him with perjury. Prosecutors allege that Perez, 38, lied in his application for a California driver's license last June, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said in a statement.
· Million-Dollar House Uninhabitable Due To Setback Spat. A million-dollar house in Hixson, Tenn. can't be occupied because city inspectors say the garage is 27" too close to the property line. The setback requirement for the homeowner's association is 25 feet and the corner of the garage is at 22 feet and nine inches.
· NYC reggae concert canceled after protests. Citing concerns about potential violence, an organizer on Wednesday canceled a reggae concert meant to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS after protesters complained two of the scheduled performers were anti-gay.
· Phoenix police hunt two potential serial killers. Phoenix police are trying to solve two separate strings of killings that have terrorized the community. Authorities say they are looking for someone who has shot 34 people at random in the past year as they walked or rode bicycles, killing four. Police say the other suspect is a serial killer and rapist who has struck 20 times, killing six of his victims.
· Furor Over Sony Patent. Sony Corp. has patented technology that would prevent its PlayStation consoles from playing used, rented or borrowed video games — raising questions about whether the electronics and entertainment giant may attempt to redefine what it means to own something in the digital age.
· Microsoft Releasing Old-School Video Games for Xbox 360. Microsoft's Xbox 360 may exemplify the high-tech future of video game consoles, but the company is hoping some of its avid players still pine for the good old days of Pac-Man and Frogger.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
· Judge: Voter ID requirement discriminates against people who don't have ID. The same federal judge who threw out Georgia's voter ID law last year blocked the state Wednesday from enforcing its revised law during this year's elections. U.S. District Judge Harold Murphy said the state's latest attempt at requiring voter photo IDs discriminated against people who don't have driver's licenses, passports or other government IDs.
· Murderers Sue Prison Over Nudie Magazine Ban. Indiana prison officials are being sued by inmates who want their Playboys. The suit seeks to overturn a Department of Correction policy that bars girlie magazines. The policy went into effect July 1 and bars printed material that contains nudity or other sexual content. Two inmates said the ban is a violation of their civil rights.
· Airwaves Again Safe for "South Park" Scientology Spoof. One week after South Park's controversial "Trapped in the Closet" episode garnered an Emmy nomination, and nearly four months after it was abruptly pulled from rotation on the cable net, Comedy Central has finally acquiesced and will allow the Scientology-skewering episode back on the air. The episode reportedly ruffled some high-powered feathers upon its first airing. In addition to an accurate, if cartoon-depicted, primer on Scientology, the show featured a literally closeted Tom Cruise who refuses to come out, only to be joined in his hiding by fellow Scientologist John Travolta.
· A Picture Worth 1,000 Words - And $135 Million. Starting later this week at a new museum in New York, art lovers can see with their own eyes the painting that set a world record at auction. Gustav Klimt's gilded masterpiece, the portrait of Adele, cost Cosmetics tycoon Ronald Lauder a record-breaking $135 million.
· Fights, Arrests Follow Gas Giveaway. Two vehicles crashed and four people were arrested in excitement over a gasoline giveaway Wednesday to reward the city for its safe-driving record. For the most part, hundreds of drivers waited patiently for hours for about $30 worth of free gasoline each that Allstate Insurance provided at one station.
· US unveils emergency alert system for mobile phones, computers. The US government unveiled a communications system that in case of emergency should soon allow it to send SMS alerts to Americans' mobile phones and computers.
· 'Soup Nazi' Plans Franchises in Britain. New York chef Al Yeganeh, who inspired the brusque "Soup Nazi" character on television's "Seinfeld," is taking his recipes across the pond. Yeganeh and partners plan to open 50 Original SoupMan franchises in Britain during the next year, Original SoupMan CEO John Bello said Wednesday.
· FDA Approves First Once Daily, 3-in-1 HIV Pill. A once-daily pill that combines three drugs used to treat HIV received federal approval Wednesday, giving U.S. patients the first triple "cocktail" therapy that can be swallowed as a single dose. The pill, called Atripla, combines three Food and Drug Administration-approved AIDS drugs that already form one of the most widely prescribed AIDS "cocktails."
· 80-Year-Old Admits Dealing Crack For Sex. An 80-year-old man acknowledged Wednesday that he dealt drugs at his house in return for sex with prostitutes. Felix Cocco of Pittsburgh pleaded guilty to charges of possession of a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia.
· Homeland Security: Indiana leads all states in targets for terrorism. It reads like a tally of terrorist targets that a child might have crafted: Old MacDonald's Petting Zoo, the Mule Day Parade, Sweetwater Flea Market and an unspecified "Beach at End of a Street." But the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security, in a report released Tuesday, found that the list is not child's play: All these "unusual or out-of-place," sites "whose criticality is not readily apparent," are inexplicably included in the official federal anti-terrorism database.
· Pamela Anderson's A Soccer Mom. Don't Let The Stripper Pole In The Bedroom Fool You. Pamela Anderson may have a stripper pole in her bedroom, but she's a soccer mom at heart. "I go to every game!" says the 39-year-old actress, discussing her young sons' sports schedules in an interview in the August issue of House & Garden magazine.
· Alcohol may have been a factor III. A teenage girl is recovering in hospital after being mauled by a rare Amur Siberian tiger in Dublin Zoo, after scaling two fences and sticking her arm into the enclosure. The 19-year-old, who it is believed had been drinking, first climbed a solid 6ft timber barrier into a service area and then over a smaller 4ft wall.
· Man heads to trial for serving free alcohol. All Randy Barton wanted was for everybody to have a good time. But now he's being prosecuted for giving away wine and beer at a free concert. "I asked the sheriff if he knew of any law that precluded giving away alcohol," Barton recalled. "And he said he didn't know of any." The sheriff confirmed the discussion. Nonetheless, he recognized that in Utah, some see drinking as sinning. And for that, the Utah native is willing to go to court. "There's nothing like wasting taxpayer money on morality issues," he said.
· Judge hears 11 hours of testimony in case of Va. teen fighting to treat his cancer his way. A teen cancer patient fighting for the right to use alternative treatment on his illness told a judge Tuesday what it was like to go through chemotherapy and why he didn't want to relive that. "What it boils down to is does the American family have the right to decide on the health of their child or is the government allowed to come in and determine that themselves and threaten one way or the other to split our family up?" Jay Cherrix said Tuesday night.
· Jury Selected For Xbox Murder Trial. After six days, a jury was selected Wednesday for the trial of three men charged with the beating and stabbing deaths of six people over an Xbox video game system.
· Washington D.C. Declares Crime Emergency. Two groups of tourists were robbed at gunpoint on the National Mall, just hours after the police chief declared a crime emergency in the city in response to a string of violence that included the killing of a British activist.
· Bipartisan Political Strategists to Launch Web Site. A bipartisan group of prominent political strategists on Tuesday announced an Internet information venture designed to interact with America's opinion leaders and serve as an antidote to the right-left clash that typifies political discourse on the Web.
· Slain Rapper's Family Wants to Expand Suit. The family of Notorious B.I.G. has asked a judge for permission to expand its wrongful-death lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles, contending police Officer Rafael Perez was on duty at Petersen Automotive Museum the night of the killing.
· Joey Buttafuoco gets a year in jail. Joey Buttafuoco, who gained notoriety in the 1990s when his teenage girlfriend shot his wife in the face in New York, was sentenced to a year in jail Tuesday after pleading no contest to possessing ammunition as a felon.
· Saudi prince selling Aspen getaway for $135 million. The getaway of Saudi Prince Bandar is up for sale for an asking price of $135 million, which could set a U.S. sales record. Bandar's 15-bedroom, 16-bathroom 56,000-square-foot mansion - complete with a racquetball court and indoor pool - is up for sale because the prince is too busy to enjoy his mountain palace.
· University of Wisconsin teacher: U.S. government behind 9/11 attacks. Controversial though it is, the decision by UW-Madison to let an instructor who believes the 9/11 terrorist attacks were orchestrated by our own government fits within the most conservative traditions of the university. Kevin Barrett will teach a course on Islam at the school. He apparently believes the twin towers of the World Trade Center were blown up by U.S. government operatives in order to provoke war in the Middle East.
· Rather boasts "absolute control" over HDNet show. Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather said on Tuesday his new boss, billionaire investor Mark Cuban, was giving him "total, absolute control" over the weekly news program that Rather will host on cable television.
· Sexual Predators Push To Overturn Law. A group of sexual predators in Jacksonville wants to overturn the city ordinance that requires them to keep their distance from places where children congregate.
· Novak: Rove Was a Source in Outing Plame. Now that Karl Rove won't be indicted, now that the president won't fire him, now that it really doesn't matter anymore, more details of the Valerie Plame leak investigation trickle out.
· Move around and live longer, study says. Elderly people who load the dishwasher, climb stairs or just keep moving are bound to live longer than their sedentary counterparts, a study said on Tuesday. 302 people aged 70 to 82 found those who engaged in more physical activity - not necessarily formal exercise - were much less likely to die than those who did not move as much.
· Duke Lacrosse Player Gets Probation. A Duke University lacrosse player charged with raping an exotic dancer during a team party was convicted of a misdemeanor Tuesday in a separate assault last year on a bar patron. Collin Finnerty, 19, of Garden City, N.Y., was sentenced to six months' probation after a two-day trial.
· Christie Brinkley separates from 4th husband. Supermodel Christie Brinkley and her fourth husband, Peter Cooke, have separated, her publicist said Tuesday. Brinkley, 52, was previously married to Frenchman Jean-François Allaux, singer Billy Joel and developer Richard Taubman.
· Fool Mother Nature, fix warming. It may be hard to imagine the world getting so hot that scientists and engineers would design a fleet of 55,000 mirrors, each bigger than Manhattan, and send them into space to deflect sunlight away from Earth. Or that they would mimic a major volcanic eruption in order to cool the melting Arctic, shooting dust and other particles into the upper atmosphere, where they would scatter the sun's light away from Earth.
· Lifting barriers to electing more women. Most Americans want a "change of scenery" in Congress, a Gallup poll finds. One possible reason? Recent scandals. With elections in November, it's time to really alter lawmaking - by removing stubborn barriers for women candidates.
· 'It's tough,' ex-wife says of destruction. The ex-wife of the doctor who blew up the couple's upper East Side home spoke out yesterday, saying of the blast that shook the city and nearly killed her former husband, "It's tragic."
· Teen riding on car roof injured in accident. An alleged drug-induced joyride left a 17-year-old Rockford man with severe head injuries and listed in critical condition. Police say Atmore was riding on the roof of a four-door Toyota with another teen.
· Jury Convicts Man Who Killed Woman Because She Was White. A homeless convicted rapist who told police he stabbed a woman to death because she was white was convicted Tuesday of murder as a hate crime. Jurors found Phillip Grant guilty of second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon. Grant, who is black, had admitted killing Concetta Russo-Carriero, 56, last June in a mall parking garage. "As long as she had blond hair and blue eyes, she had to die," Grant said on a videotaped statement to police, which was shown at the trial. "I have no remorse whatsoever because she was white."
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
· Update: Romney takes steps to remove Turnpike Authority chairman. Gov. Mitt Romney said Tuesday he's taking legal action to oust the head of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority after a woman was crushed to death by falling cement in Boston's $14 billion Big Dig tunnel. Attorney General Tom Reilly said he is treating the collapse as a crime scene that could lead to charges of negligent homicide. His office has already begun issuing subpoenas to those involved in the design, manufacturing, testing, construction and oversight of the panels and tunnel.
· Former police officer prosecuted for taking $3 bowl. A former Lady Lake police officer has been prosecuted and acquitted for allegedly stealing a bowl valued at three-dollars instead of placing it in evidence storage.
· Alcohol may have been a factor II. A Westchester architect was nearly burned to death after he climbed atop an Amtrak Acela Express train linked to power lines and caught fire. Brian Hopkins, 24, had been bar-hopping with pals in Boston then decided to go home. He climbed up the side of the train to the roof, where he apparently came in contact with overhead electrical wires that sent 25,000 volts of electricity surging through his body, authorities said.
· University receives $200,000 grant to figure out Rubik's Cube. Gene Cooperman, director of the Institute for Complex Scientific Software at Northeastern University in Boston, just received a $200,000 National Science Foundation grant so he can play with Rubik's Cubes.
· Jesus beer billboard causing quite a stir. Someone covered up a billboard on La Branch at Winbern with a poster featuring a picture of Jesus Christ holding a Budweiser can. The company that leases the billboard believes vandals made the poster at home and then pasted it on top of the ad that's supposed to be there. It shows Jesus holding a Budweiser in between the phrases "Jesus, King of Jews" and "Jesus, King of Beers."
· Clerk Accused of Attacking Boy for Not Buying Yo-yo. A convenience store clerk is being held without bail for allegedly attacking a boy in Fort Pierce for not buying a yo-yo, according to police. Amar Shreiteh is charged with attempted murder and false imprisonment.
· Fox News Beats Up On Poor Keith Olbermann. In today's New York Times piece about MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, Fox News vice president Irena Briganti says: "Because of his personal demons, Keith has imploded everywhere he's worked," Ms. Briganti said. "From lashing out at co-workers to personally attacking Bill O'Reilly and all things Fox, it's obvious Keith is a train wreck waiting to happen. And like all train wrecks, people might tune in out of morbid curiosity, but they eventually tune out, as evidenced by Keith's recent ratings decline. In the meantime, we hope he enjoys his paranoid view from the bottom of the ratings ladder and wish him well on his inevitable trip to oblivion."
· Lecturer Quits After Blog Comments On JonBenet. An adjunct psychology lecturer at the University of Arizona has resigned after writing to a conservative blogger that she wouldn't care if his young son was killed in the same manner as JonBenet Ramsey. Deborah Frisch said she quit her $32,861-a-year part-time position because she regrets the university ended up in the middle of what was intended to be a "sick joke."
· Bartender's Toxic Peach Martini Sends Two to Hospital. A woman and her sister had to go to the hospital after a bartender mistakenly dipped their martini glasses in a caustic substance used to clean the restaurant's fryer.
· Mayor Nagin still doesn't have a rebuilding plan for New Orleans. Nearly a year after Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans, the city still does not have a plan for rebuilding. The delay has postponed delivery of billions of federal recovery dollars and has left many residents unsure of what to do with their flood-ravaged homes. After a series of false starts, Mayor Ray Nagin said last week he hopes to have a blueprint for reconstruction by December.
· Teen gets 45 years for dismembering classmate. A teenager accused of helping his ex-girlfriend kill and dismember a 16-year-old classmate last year was sentenced Monday to 45 years in prison. Cory Gregory, 18, had pleaded guilty in April to murder and concealment of a homicide in the death of Adrianne Reynolds. Gregory's ex-girlfriend will be sentenced August 18th.
· Stolen Body Parts Used On Patients. A bizarre scheme of alleged stolen body parts and illegally harvested tissue has a Texas man angry and frightened. He's one of an estimated 25,000 patients nationwide who are walking around with tissue or bones allegedly stolen from bodies at funeral homes in the northeast.
· "Silver Lining" in $1 Billion AOL Loss. Shares in Time Warner Inc. fell as much as 2 percent on Tuesday on a report that Internet unit AOL could lose nearly $1 billion in operating profit in the coming years with a strategy to rely more on advertising revenue.
· 9 facing unemployment in Indiana win $9 million. Nine auto parts workers whose factory is slated to close at the end of the year have something to celebrate: a $9 million Hoosier Lotto jackpot. For nearly 16 years, the men - all current and former Delphi Corp. employees - pooled their money to buy $50 worth of lottery tickets each week. After buying $41,000 in tickets, they finally matched all six numbers in the July 1 drawing.
· Materazzi: "I don't even know what an Islamic terrorist is." FIFA will open a disciplinary investigation into Zinedine Zidane's conduct in the World Cup final, when he was sent off for head-butting Italy's Marco Materazzi. "I did insult him, it's true," Materazzi said in Tuesday's Gazzetta dello Sport. "But I categorically did not call him a terrorist. I'm not cultured and I don't even know what an Islamic terrorist is."
· At least 145 killed in Indian train blasts. A series of seven explosions killed at least 145 people on crowded commuter trains and stations Tuesday evening in the Indian financial capital of Mumbai, police said. Officials said 250 to 300 people were injured in the blasts in the city's western suburbs as commuters made their way home. All seven blasts came within an 11-minute span.
· Yuck: Top 10 lines in language of love. "Was your father a thief? Because he stole the stars from the sky and put them in your eyes." Equipped with that line, you can be certain to score in the universal language of love - so say the authors of a new top 10 of chat-up lines. Or maybe: "You must be tired because you've been running through my mind all day." [Can you beat this list?]
· Drunken Jackie Chan Disrupts Show. Jackie Chan disrupted a concert by Taiwanese singer-songwriter Jonathan Lee and exchanged insults with the audience, a news report said Tuesday. Ming Pao Daily News quoted the 52-year-old action star as saying onstage that he was drunk.
· Woman killed when part of ceiling falls in $14 billion Big Dig tunnel. Three-ton slabs of concrete fell from the ceiling of one of Boston's Big Dig tunnels, crushing a woman in a car and again raising concerns about the integrity of the massive highway project that is the central artery through the city. The $14 billion Big Dig highway project, which buried Interstate 93 beneath downtown and extended the Turnpike to the airport, has been criticized for construction problems and cost overruns that state officials have said did not compromise safety.
· Alaska judge's decision keeps pot legal. A judge on Monday struck down part of a new Alaska law criminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana, saying it conflicts with past decisions by the Alaska Supreme Court. Under the ruling, people could legally possess less than an ounce of marijuana in their homes.
· Tax dollars at work. People who took an illegal drug made from mushrooms reported profound mystical experiences that led to behavior changes lasting for weeks — all part of an experiment that recalls the psychedelic '60s. Funded in part by the federal government, the research was published online Tuesday by the journal Psychopharmacology.
· Shell says biofuels from food crops "morally inappropriate." Royal Dutch Shell, the world's top marketer of biofuels, considers using food crops to make biofuels "morally inappropriate" as long as there are people in the world who are starving, an executive said.
· Marion County sheriff gets $50,000 boost. Marion County Sheriff Frank Anderson, who made more than $360,000 last year, was quietly handed a $50,000 boost to his salary this year. Anderson holds the most lucrative public job in the state because Indiana laws let him keep some of the money his deputies collect in overdue taxes - nearly $268,000 in 2005. That money comes on top of a salary that had been about $100,000 a year.
· Two Border Patrol agents plead guilty to helping smugglers. Two former US Border Patrol agents have pleaded guilty here to helping illegal immigrants cross into the United States in return for bribes from smugglers, US authorities confirmed. Mario Alvarez, 45, and Samuel McLaren, 44, were veteran agents who operated out of El Centro in the US state of California, across the border from the Mexican city of Mexicali. They acknowledged receiving a total of 186,000 dollars in bribes from smuggling groups ferrying illegal immigrants into US territory.
· Update: Witnesses Say Wife Accused of Poisoning Her Marine Husband Was a Chronic Overspender. A woman accused of poisoning her Marine husband and using money from his life insurance policy to get her breasts enlarged was a chronic overspender who refused to live within a family budget, witnesses testified Monday. Cynthia Sommer, 32, pleaded not guilty in March to charges of murdering Sgt. Todd Sommer, 23, in February 2002 for financial gain.
· Math Teacher Suspected In String Of Rapes. Police in Arlington said a high school math teacher is suspected in a string of rapes. So far, 32-year-old Nicholas Demont Wilborn has been charged with aggravated sexual assault, burglary of a habitation with intent to commit sexual assault and two counts of attempted burglary of a habitation with intent to commit sexual assault.
· Simpson dreaming about Pitt, but not dating. Jessica Simpson has been linked to several hunks lately, but the “Dukes of Hazzard” star insists she hasn’t dated anyone since her split from hubby Nick Lachey. Simpson says that exercise helps keeps her a “strong woman” — but she says she has no desire to lose weight. “There’s something empowering about curves,” she tells OK!. “You can’t strut when you’re skinny, you gotta have a little bit of bounce.”
· Group Sues Fletcher for Blocking Web Site. An advocacy group sued Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher and two of his top administrators, claiming they violated the constitutional rights of a political commentator by blocking access to his Web site on government computers. Fletcher spokeswoman Jill Midkiff previously said the state blocked numerous Web sites to boost employees' efficiency.
· $54 Million Lost for Atlantic City Casinos During State Shutdown. Gamblers stayed away, hotel occupancy rates plunged and casinos workers took a hit. Atlantic City's 12 casinos estimate they lost approximately $54 million dollars during the three days they were shuttered due to the budget impasse.
· Duct Tape Suggested As Quick-Fix To Spacewalking Problem. Astronaut Piers Sellers suggested using some of the multipurpose sticky material to fix a safety-jet backpack used during spacewalks after it almost came loose from him while he repaired the international space station.
· Freescale Unveils Magnetic Memory Chip Achieving a long-sought goal of the $48 billion memory chip industry, Freescale Semiconductor Inc. (FSL) announced the commercial availability of a chip that combines traditional memory's endurance with a hard drive's ability to keep data while powered down. "This is the most significant memory introduction in this decade," said Will Strauss, an analyst with research firm Forward Concepts. "This is radically new technology. People have been dabbling in this for years, but nobody has been able to make it in volume."
Monday, July 10, 2006
· Update: 'I Will Leave The House Only If I Am Dead.' The signs were ominous that Dr. Nicholas Bartha had no intention of selling his Upper East Side townhouse to settle a nasty divorce. The ex-wife claimed in court papers that he would "die in my house." Then came the dark e-mail from Bartha himself Monday morning. Hours later, a gas explosion ripped through the house, setting off a raging fire and turning the building into a pile of bricks.
· Actress June Allyson dies. June Allyson, the sunny on-screen "perfect wife" of James Stewart, Van Johnson and other movie leading men, has died, her daughter, Pamela Allyson Powell, said Monday. She was 88.
· Syndicator Denies Coulter Lifted Material. The syndicator of Ann Coulter's newspaper columns rejected allegations that she had lifted material from other sources, saying a review of the work in question turned up nothing that merited concern. "There are only so many ways you can rewrite a fact and minimal matching text is not plagiarism," Lee Salem said.
· Jeb Bush: FBI Asked Me To Wait Before Firing Prison Head. On the day before former Florida prisons chief James Crosby turns himself into federal authorities on a kickback scheme, Gov. Jeb Bush said he wanted to dismiss Crosby in January, but the FBI asked him to hold off until it had a strong case against the prison official.
· Va. Governor Exonerates Convicted Witch. The Witch of Pungo is no longer a witch. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine on Monday exonerated Grace Sherwood, who 300 years ago became Virginia's only woman convicted as a witch tried by water.
· Dallas-area school district bans mouth "grills." The Arlington school district has expanded its dress codes to include bans on mouth jewelry known as "grills" and the earlobe-stretching practice known as gauging.
· Online wagering under attack in Congress. Gamblers who prefer their laptops to blackjack tables won't like what Congress is doing. Tomorrow, the House plans to vote on a bill that would ban credit cards for paying online bets and could padlock gambling Web sites.
· Iowa Man Fired for Drinking Ethanol Fuel Denied Unemployment. A man who claimed discrimination after being fired from an ethanol plant for drinking "automobile fuel" has been denied unemployment benefits. According to Cory Neddermeyer, 42, hundreds of gallons of 190-proof alcohol were held in a holding pond, and curious about the taste, decided to drink 2 to 3 ounces. Later, at the hospital, medical workers said his blood-alcohol level was 0.72 - almost twice the lethal level for an adult.
· No 'Grandma' on Texas Ballot, State Rules. Carole Keeton Strayhorn won't get to be called "Grandma" on the November ballot, but fellow independent candidate for governor Kinky Friedman will get to use his nickame, the state's elections chief ruled Monday.
· Patrick may jump to NASCAR Danica Patrick could become the next high-profile driver to defect to NASCAR. "I'm trying to get her [into NASCAR]," said T.J. Patrick, father of the woman who dazzled the auto racing world last year by nearly winning the Indianapolis 500 but has struggled with a mediocre IRL car ever since.
· Building development opponents think outside the box. When the sudden appearance of an endangered flower halted a controversial housing project in the heart of California's wine country, the developer, Scott Schellinger, suspected he was the victim of a set-up. Now, after calling in experts from the state's fish and game commission, who have backed his findings, he is claiming that the "discovery" of rare and protected Sebastopol meadowfoam on the eight-hectare site near San Francisco was the work of opponents who transplanted the flowers from elsewhere.
· Quitting Smoking Boosts Weight By 21 Pounds. Former smokers may gain more than 20 pounds after they kick the habit, instead of the five to 15 pounds commonly cited, new research suggests. But that's no reason not to quit, the study's authors added. It may be a reason to add weight-control to the mix after quitting, however.
· 5 Children Drown At Missouri Church Outing. The rushing Meramec River swept away six youngsters playing in the water during a church outing, killing five of the children, authorities said Monday. The St. Louis Dream Center's website describes its church as "A healing place for a hurting world."
· Houston Police: "Nothing unusual here, let him fly." A man with a Middle Eastern name and a ticket for a Delta Airlines flight to Atlanta shook his head when screeners asked if he had a laptop computer in his baggage, but an X-ray machine operator detected a laptop. A search of the man's baggage revealed a clock with a 9-volt battery taped to it and a copy of the Quran, the report said. A screener examined the man's shoes and determined that the "entire soles of both shoes were gutted out." A police officer was summoned and questioned the man, examined his identification, shoes and the clock, then cleared him for travel, according to the report.
· Blast, fire takes down New York City building, Suicide attempt suspected. A four-story building in midtown Manhattan collapsed and burned Monday morning after what witnesses said was a thunderous explosion that rocked the neighborhood. Fire Department Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta said officials suspect the doctor, who was in critical condition, might have caused a natural gas leak in a suicide attempt.
· Southwest co-pilot arrested on alcohol charges. Authorities in Utah ordered a Southwest Airlines co-pilot out of the cockpit of his Arizona-bound jet shortly before takeoff Sunday morning and jailed him on suspicion of being under the influence of alcohol, the FBI said. Carl Fulton, 41, of Fort Worth, Texas, faces federal charges of operating a plane under the influence of alcohol.
· Wanted felon running for congress. An overseas congressional candidate who had to fight to remain on the 2004 ballot is taking another shot at becoming a Minnesota congressman. Jack Shepard has filed to run as a Republican for the Fourth Congressional District seat held by Democratic Representative Betty McCollum. But authorities say Shepard is a fugitive felon wanted on an arson charge.
· Exploding Air Bag Seriously Injures Suspected Car Thief. A suspected thief who was apparently trying to steal an air bag from a vehicle at an Orange County, Fla., salvage yard suffered life-threatening injuries when the air bag deployed and exploded.
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.
· Officer Hurt, Several Arrested During Anti-Immigration Rally. An officer was injured and six people were arrested during an anti-illegal immigration march involving the Minuteman Project and other groups Saturday evening in Hollywood, police said. Angry counter protesters, some wearing bandannas to cover their faces, yelled at the Minutemen and called them racists. They also tried to join the march, but since they did not have a permit, police stopped them, sometimes forcefully.
· Homeless alcoholics get place to live, and drink. Rodney Littlebear was a homeless drunk who for 15 years ran up the public tab with trips to jail, homeless shelters and emergency rooms. He now has a brand-new, government-financed Seattle apartment where he can drink as much as he wants. It is part of a first-in-the-nation experiment to ease the torment of drug and alcohol addiction while saving taxpayers' money.
· Security Workers Pepper-Sprayed At Airport. Two workers with the Transportation Security Administration had to be rushed to the hospital when they were accidentally pepper-sprayed at a security checkpoint Sunday morning. A total of four workers felt the stinging effects of the spray. Authorities said a passenger realized he had the vial in his possession and tried to hand it over. That’s when, authorities say, it accidentally went off.
· Child Raped By As Many As 10 College Athletes. Police are investigating the rape of an 11-year-old girl that may have involved as many as 10 men in Fresno. Police have arrested two men and identified eight others as persons of interest. They said most or all are football players at either Fresno City College or Reedley College.
· Private Memorial Held in Colorado for Enron Founder Ken Lay. Ex-Enron Corp. CEO Jeffrey Skilling was among scores of people Sunday at a private memorial for company founder Kenneth Lay, who died in this mountain resort town last week as he awaited sentencing for his role in one of the nation's biggest corporate frauds.
· Jessica Lunsford's Accused Killer Goes On Trial. The accused killer of Jessica Lunsford goes to trial Monday more than a year after the 9-year-old girl's body was found buried in a neighbor's yard in Homosassa.
· Shamed Zidane wins World Cup award. French captain Zinedine Zidane has won the FIFA award as the outstanding player of the World Cup despite being sent off for head butting an opponent during his team's defeat in the final against Italy. But as France woke up with the bitter taste of defeat on Monday, the question on everyone's lips was: "Why did Zinedine Zidane do it?" In his last game for his country after a glorious career, the outrageous assault by Zidane on defender Marco Materazzi ensured the midfield genius missed the penalty shoot-out that decided the game.
Sunday, July 9, 2006
· Slavery reparations gaining momentum. Advocates who say black Americans should be compensated for slavery and its Jim Crow aftermath are quietly chalking up victories and gaining momentum. The most recent victory for reparations advocates came last month, when the Episcopal Church both apologized for owning slaves and promised to battle current racism, launching a probe into whether the church should compensate black members. Reparations opponents insist that no living American should have to pay for a practice that ended more than 140 years ago.
· Madonna loosening her Kabbalah wristband. The pop world's most unusual partnership may be over. Madonna and Kabbalah, the once obscure sect she championed - and upon which she has lavished millions of dollars - appear to be on the verge of separation. Close friends say the singer has talked of loosening her red Kabbalah wristband and is wearying of the mystical Jewish belief system. She has decided to give it up, they say, having tired of the financial burden.
· UN blames Israel for humanitarian crisis. The United Nations blamed Israel for a burgeoning humanitarian crisis, including deaths, and harm to children, from its offensive in Gaza in a strong statement released Saturday. The UN document does not mention the incident that set off the Israeli operation - a June 25 attack by Palestinian militants who tunnelled under the border into Israel and attacked an army post, killing two soldiers and capturing a third.
· Older Women are Baring it All. When most people think of pinup girls, they probably think of gorgeous, confident and young starlets like Paris Hilton or Lindsay Lohan. Yet the face of the pinup seems to be changing as more older women are baring it all. "It's really inspiring to see older women getting into the groove of this in their 70s and 60s and dropping their clothes and feeling confident," said Sasha Charnin Morrison, fashion director for Us Weekly.
· Report: Cargo plane safety lacking. Air cargo crashes are 50 percent more likely to kill people than crashes of similar planes carrying passengers, yet federal regulators have largely ignored pleas to improve their safety, a newspaper's investigation has found.
· Fugitive Urges Cop to Watch TV Program. A man suspected of a dozen bank robberies called a northern Kentucky police detective to make sure he watched an episode of "America's Most Wanted.'' Warren Lee Back was caught by FBI agents in Indianapolis last week, less than two weeks after the call to McGuffey.
· New Jersey lawmakers outline sales tax hike, budget. Under Gov. Jon S. Corzine's $30.9 billion spending plan, it will cost more to buy cigarettes, luxury cars, fur coats and magazines. Taxes will also rise on memberships to golf and health clubs, car rentals and limousine rentals. Overall, taxes and fees on consumers and businesses are expected to grow by nearly $2 billion.
· 100,000 Obrador Supporters Protest Loss. More than 100,000 defiant supporters of leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador massed Saturday in a bid to overturn his narrow election defeat with protests that threatened to widen Mexico's regional and class divisions.
· Surprising Jump in Tax Revenues Is Curbing Deficit. An unexpectedly steep rise in tax revenues from corporations and the wealthy is driving down the projected budget deficit this year, even though spending has climbed sharply because of the war in Iraq and the cost of hurricane relief. On Tuesday, White House officials are expected to announce that the tax receipts will be about $250 billion above last year's levels and that the deficit will be about $100 billion less than what they projected six months ago.
· Teen shoots himself in groin trying to holster gun in pants. Police say a Chicago-area teen is in critical condition after shooting himself in the groin while trying to holster a gun in his pants. A police spokesman says it appears that the man pulled the trigger while tucking the gun in his pants.
· Police: "Alcohol may have been a factor." A 19-year-old Milwaukee man died performing a dangerous stunt at a party. Andrew Flick was electrocuted after reaching off a fourth floor balcony to touch a power line. Flick fell four stories to the ground below. Police believe alcohol may have been a factor.
· McKinney Skips Another Debate. U.S. Representative Cynthia McKinney let an empty podium speak for her again on Saturday as she skipped the second of two televised debates in the race for Georgia's 4th District.
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.
· Schwarzenegger gets license six months after motorcycle crash. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has finally gotten a motorcycle license nearly six months after crashing without one while riding his Harley-Davidson, according to a report.
· Hatch Helps Spring Austin From Dubai Jail. U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, a musician in his own right, helped secure the release of Atlanta R&B producer Dallas Austin from a Dubai jail after a drug conviction, the senator's office confirmed. A court had sentenced him to four years in jail and said Austin, 34, should be deported after serving the term. Hours later, Dubai ruler Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum pardoned and released Austin.
· Elderly driver runs over 27 pedestrians. An 89-year-old man driving through a crowd at a summer festival panicked after striking one pedestrian and lurched his station wagon through the throng, injuring 27 people, New London, Conn. city officials and witnesses said.
· Man Drives into Neighbor's House. Another 89-year-old elderly man was hospitalized in serious condition after plowing his car into a neighbor’s Dearborn, Mich. home. According to police, he was backing into his own garage when he hit the wall. He then put the car into drive and possibly panicked, hitting the gas and driving across the street and into his neighbor’s porch.
· Cuban migrant dies in high-speed dash to Florida. A woman died after the Coast Guard chased and captured a speedboat carrying 31 Cuban migrants and three suspected immigrant smugglers about 4 miles off the coast of Boca Chica, Florida, on Saturday, the Coast Guard said.
· Sharper Image agrees to stop selling personal breath alcohol testers. Sharper Image, the popular chain store for the latest electronic gadgets, has agreed to pay $1.2 million in restitution and $100,000 in penalties for inaccurately advertising the effectiveness of personal breath alcohol testers.
· U.S. Investigators Ask to Exhume Body of Alleged Iraqi Rape Victim. U.S. investigators have asked Iraqi authorities to help them navigate cultural sensitivities to exhume the body of a teenager allegedly raped and murdered with her family by American soldiers, a military official said Saturday.
· American filmmaker sues Rumsfeld over detention in Iraq. An aspiring Iranian-American filmmaker who spent nearly two months in a prison in Iraq without being charged has sued Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and other military officials, calling the government's detention policies unconstitutional. Cyrus Kar, 45, of Los Angeles seeks unspecified damages and sweeping changes in the government's detention policies overseas.
· No time left on the meter — by design. In the exasperating quest for street parking, victory comes in tiny increments - the stray 20 minutes left on the meter by the driver who just pulled away, for example. A Bethesda company wants to take that small pleasure away. It is marketing a parking meter called IntelliMeter that uses sonar technology to detect when a space is occupied and resets the meter to zero every time a car moves out.
· Van Gogh painted perfect turbulence. Vincent van Gogh is known for his chaotic paintings and similarly tumultuous state of mind. Now a mathematical analysis of his works reveals that the stormy patterns in many of his paintings are like real turbulence, as seen in swirling water or the air from a jet engine.
· Captain of Harvard Football Team Suspended. The captain of the Harvard football team was indefinitely suspended and could be kicked off the team after he allegedly broke into his former girlfriend's dorm room and later assaulted her. Matthew Thomas, 22, faces charges after his arrest June 5, including assault and battery, domestic abuse and breaking and entering with intent to commit a felony at a campus dorm.
Saturday, July 8, 2006
· Town outraged at cops treatment of homeless men. The town's police chief is writing a letter of apology to three homeless men for throwing away nearly all of their possessions. Dumfries, VA police evicted the men from private property, and would not allow them to retrieve their belongings which was later dumped. In the process, they lost all their identification, Social Security cards, high school diplomas, clothing, and family photos.
· Man Runs Himself Over With His Own Car. A 56-year-old Chicago man is lucky to be alive after a bizarre accident. The man apparently left the car running when he started to unload the trunk. The car slipped into reverse and hit him. [With a "how did he do that" photo]
· Woman alleges she was stripped naked and "hosed off" by police. A Claiborne County, Tenn. woman claims she was stripped naked and sprayed with a hose by police. Now she's asking for $10 million from Claiborne County to settle her dispute - even though she had been arrested in an alleged meth lab.
· Mass. Sex Offender Caught Working In Kiddie Section Of Fair. A convicted sex offender has been arrested in Massachusetts, where he was working at the kiddie section of a fair. Police haven't been doing background checks on workers at the annual fair in Brockton but said they plan to next year.
· Neo-Nazis infiltrating the US military. Neo-Nazi and white supremacist hate groups are taking advantage of relaxed recruiting standards to infiltrate the US military to get combat training, a civil rights group reported.
· 'Pirates' $55M estimated haul sets record. Move over Darth Vader. Captain Jack Sparrow is king for a day. Preliminary estimates released by Disney show that "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" earned $55.5 million on Friday, which would set the record for the largest one-day take at the box office. The previous record was set last year by "Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith," which grossed about $50 million.
· DeLay threatens to return to D.C. Former U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay told a friendly crowd Friday that Democrats seeking to force him onto the November ballot "may get exactly what they want." On Thursday, a federal judge ruled Republicans could not replace him as their November nominee. If the ruling stands on appeal, DeLay would remain on the ballot.
· Landmark al Qaeda trial collapses. The trial of 19 alleged al Qaeda members had been designed to showcase how serious Yemen was in the fight against terror. But the Islamic militants, accused of plotting to assassinate Westerners and blow up a hotel frequented by Americans, were all acquitted. Several of the defendants did confess to having been in Iraq to fight U.S. troops there and had Iraqi stamps on their passport, the court heard. "Islamic Sharia law permits jihad against occupiers," the Yeman judge said.
· 4-Year-Old Boy Survives 11-Story Fall From Window. A 4-year-old boy survived a fall from an 11-story apartment window, bouncing off a metal awning into a concrete courtyard and then trying to stand up. He was able to chat with doctors, leaving police and medical workers shocked. "I'm amazed the kid's alive," Police Chief James Tuffey said. The boy had been left alone in the apartment. The boy's mother, Elizabeth Burciaga, a hospital worker, was charged with endangering the welfare of a child.
· Woman Dumps Still-Married Man, Keeps Ring. A woman who found out that the man who proposed to her was married can keep the $40,000 engagement ring he gave her, even though she was the one who broke off the relationship, a judge has ruled.
· FBI Resumes Flying Illegal Immigrants Back Across the Border. For the third straight summer, some illegal immigrants who have been caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border are being flown back home. The flights, part of the Homeland Security Department's so-called repatriation program, aim to reduce the chances of migrants recrossing the porous Arizona border by flying them deep into the interior of Mexico.
· Inmate Donates $31,000 To Crime Tip Line. An organization that operates a crime tip line received a $31,000 donation from a man in a prison. Michael Spillan, 39, is serving a four-year sentence at the Noble Correctional Institution for planting a bomb on his front porch and trying to frame his son-in-law, as well as for unrelated convictions for theft and forgery.
· Man says he's tired of being mistaken for Michael Jordan. A Portland, Ore. man has filed a lawsuit for $832 million, saying he is tired of being mistaken for Michael Jordan, according to KGW-TV. Allen Heckard filed the suit against His Airness and Nike founder Phil Knight in county court, claiming to have been mistaken for the basketball legend nearly every day for the past 15 years. And he's tired of it.
· 'As the World Turns' actor commits suicide. Benjamin Hendrickson, an Emmy Award-winning actor on the "As the World Turns" soap opera, committed suicide this week with a gunshot to the head, police said. Hendrickson, 55, was a member of the first graduating class of the Juilliard School of Drama, along with actors Kevin Kline and Patti LuPone.
· Judge Orders Psychiatric Exam for Subway Power Saw Attacker. A man accused of wielding two cordless power saws in a subway station and slicing into a postal worker's chest while other people fled was ordered Friday to undergo a psychiatric examination.
· Woman Has Surprise Baby at Wal-Mart. A North Ogden woman had a very memorable moment in, of all places, at a Wal-Mart. Nobody expects to have a baby in a store restroom, but Brittney Miller claims she didn't even know she was pregnant.
· Ex-teacher admits sex with 6 students. A former middle school band teacher admitted she had sexual contact with six male students and entered a guilty plea one day before her trial was scheduled to start. Laura L. Findlay, 32, pleaded guilty Thursday in Saginaw County Circuit Court to 22 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a person younger than 16.
· Update: Biden Defends Remarks. Facing criticism, potential 2008 presidential candidate Joe Biden defended his recent remark that "you cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent." "I was making the point that up until now in my state, we've had a strong Indian community made up of leading scientists and researchers and engineers," Biden said.
· Crack courthouse security: No BBQ forks allowed, but knife OK. In York County, PA, a man is facing aggravated assault charges for allegedly throwing a knife at a judge in court. The man, whose name has not been released, entered the courtroom where Judge Michael Brillhart was presiding over a case Thursday. He then, allegedly threw a knife toward the judge. The knife did not hit anyone. The man also had a large barbecue fork in his briefcase that was earlier found by vigilant courthouse security.
· 9-Year-Old Girl Gives Birth in Brazil. A 9-year-old gave birth to a baby girl in the western Amazon jungle, a pregnancy that authorities say may have been the result of rape, the National Indian Bureau said Friday.
· FBI Thwarts Terrorist Plot Against NYC. A terrorist plot to flood lower Manhattan by attacking train tunnels under the Hudson River used by tens of thousands of commuters was thwarted before the conspirators could travel to the United States, authorities said Friday.
· Kyl defends bogus brief. The matter hinges on what appears to be a transcript of a live discussion on the Senate floor on Dec. 21, 2005, between senators Jon Kyl of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Sam Brownback of Kansas. They appeared to be speaking about the Detainee Treatment Act, which in part dealt with the limits of legal rights extended to terrorism suspects being detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. However, the scripted exchange never occurred. The transcript of the bogus discussion was submitted into the official Congressional Record after the actual debate had concluded. Then in February, Kyl and Graham cited the unspoken conversation in a brief to the Supreme Court as an example of the legislative intent behind the act.
· Rep. McKinney a No-Show at Debate. A debate between candidates running for Georgia's fourth congressional seat went on Friday without incumbent Cynthia McKinney. Instead, Alpharetta businessman John Coyne III and former DeKalb County commissioner Hank Johnson faced each other for one of two televised debates.
· Palestinians' new Hamas leaders vanish as Israelis advance. The Palestinian Authority has gone underground as Israeli forces have advanced through the northern Gaza Strip. Palestinian sources said the Hamas-led government has disappeared over the last two days.
· Field of her dreams: Proposal etched in corn. Brian Rueckl wanted his marriage proposal to be unique. So after a year of planning and 40 hours of work, he asked Stacy Martin to marry him Monday using a cornfield. "At first I was in shock and forgot to say, 'yes,'" Martin said. Rueckl, 23, had tilled a 40,000-square-foot message, "Stacy will you marry me," and two hearts into a cornfield.
· Governors, senators - they're all humming 'Hail to the chief.' Seems like anyone who can run for president in 2008 is considering it. And who can blame them? For the first time since 1928, there is no president running for re-election or vice president seeking his party's nomination.
· French vintners awash in too much wine. There’s a glut in Europe - a wine glut. There’s just too much of it. So, the Europeans find themselves gulping instead of sipping. Among the idyllic vineyards of France there is a nightmare becoming reality – not that the weather might produce a poor vintage, but because there is too much wine.
· N.J. Governor Ends Weeklong Gov't Shutdown. New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine issued an executive order early Saturday ending a weeklong state government shutdown. The governor acted minutes after lawmakers approved a $30.9 billion state budget that increases the state sales tax, ending a stalemate that also forced the closing of Atlantic City's casinos. The 12 casinos, which closed Wednesday, were prepared to resume operations within hours. On Monday, 45,000 furloughed state workers could return to work.
· "A School Is No Place For A Gun." One of the Columbine High School gunmen prepared a report on the danger of guns in schools more than a year before carrying out a deadly attack on teachers and fellow students. Eric Harris's December 1997 school report was included in more than 900 pages of Columbine-related documents released yesterday by Colorado investigators.
· Ottawa teen offers tearful apology to veterans for desecrating monument. An Ottawa-area teenager showed up at the offices of the Royal Canadian Legion on Friday to tearfully apologize for urinating on the National War Memorial.
· Jacko shocked at his associate's gay films. A wide-eyed Michael Jackson testified he "was shocked" when he saw a video of his ex-associate actively directing a gay porn film, according to videotaped deposition shown in court yesterday.
· Former principal and teacher husband charged with embezzling. A former school principal and her husband, a substitute teacher, were charged Thursday with embezzling $6,850 from a Minneapolis-area school district.
· Bond Set at $750,000 for Slain Pastor's Wife. Bond was set at $750,000 Friday for a small-town minister's wife charged with killing her husband at their church parsonage. "For her, that's tantamount to no bond at all," said defense lawyer Steve Farese.
Friday, July 7, 2006
· Dad Accused Of Poisoning Kids' Soup To Get Campbell's Payout. A father accused of poisoning his children's soup in a scheme to sue the Campbell Soup Co. was indicted on tampering and fraud charges, authorities said.
· Meth dealers aren't rocket scientists. They were smart enough to design a rocket that would shoot their drugs into space if they were caught by police. But they were not smart enough to remember to plug it in. That little detail led two Kentucky men to prison, after they were stopped with a homemade, cigarette-lighter-powered, drug-hiding rocket in the trunk of the car near Columbia, Missouri.
· Snappy-Suited Boy, 11, Is Lemonade Entrepreneur. When you walk or drive by the corner of 49th St. and France Ave. in Minneapolis, it’s hard not to notice the 11-year-old boy selling lemonade wearing a business suit. Ethan Esparza takes dressing for success to a new level.
· General Motors Board Agrees to Explore Nissan-Renault Alliance. General Motors Corp.'s board of directors authorized Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner to study an alliance with Nissan Motor Co. and Renault SA. The GM board today agreed to review the June 30 proposal from billionaire Kirk Kerkorian's Tracinda Corp.
· Jailed Mafia boss to have in-vitro baby. An Italian judge has ruled that a Mafia boss serving a life sentence for murder should be allowed to father a baby through artificial insemination - and the public health service should pay for it.
· Teen's Name Changed After Years Of Mockery. After nearly two decades of ridicule, a father has agreed to change his son's name from "Fined Six Thousand and Five Hundred" - the amount he was forced to pay in local currency for ignoring Vietnam's two-child policy.
· Western Union: No more money transfers for Mohammed. Money transfer agencies have delayed or blocked thousands of cash deliveries on suspicion of terrorist connections simply because senders or recipients have names like Mohammed or Ahmed, company officials said.
· Judge says doctor's poor bedside manners not basis for suspension. A judge has ordered the state Board of Medicine to stop disciplinary proceedings against a doctor accused of telling a patient she was so fat she might only be attractive to "a black guy" and advising another to shoot herself following brain surgery.
· Limo Driver Receives Generous Tip. A limo driver is recovering at Northwestern Memorial Hospital after a kidney transplant. The donor was a generous customer, a businessman from Minneapolis, who offered one of his own kidneys.
· How Eisenhower solved illegal border crossings from Mexico. Fifty-three years ago, when newly elected Dwight Eisenhower moved into the White House, America's southern frontier was as porous as a spaghetti sieve. As many as 3 million illegal migrants had walked and waded northward over a period of several years for jobs in California, Arizona, Texas, and points beyond. On June 17, 1954, what was called "Operation Wetback" began. Because political resistance was lower in California and Arizona, the roundup of aliens began there. Some 750 agents swept through agricultural areas with a goal of 1,000 apprehensions a day. By the end of July, over 50,000 aliens were caught in the two states alone. Another 488,000, fearing arrest, had fled the country. And unlike today, Mexicans caught in the roundup were not simply released at the border, where they could easily reenter the US. To discourage their return, they arranged for buses and trains to take many aliens deep within Mexico before being set free.
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.
· U.N. Diplomats With Dim View of U.S. More Likely to Ignore Traffic Tickets. Researchers who examined tens of thousands of parking tickets issued to United Nations diplomats found those least likely to pay up the $18 million in unpaid fines were from countries where people hold a dim view of the United States. Their main finding was that diplomats were more likely to run up unpaid parking fines if they hailed from countries with a history of unchecked corruption, such as Nigeria.
· Exxon Must Pay 2 Law Firms More Than $300 Million. Two Miami law firms were awarded more than $300 million Thursday in attorneys fees for their work in a 15-year legal battle involving Exxon Mobil Corp. and thousands of service station dealers who sued the company.
· Thoughtful boyfriend's coffee-maker caper. A man convicted of trying to steal a $1,200 deluxe espresso maker from a Boston-area Starbucks said he wanted to be able to make his girlfriend good coffee.
· Street gangs get Web-savvy. Some of the country's most notorious street gangs have gotten Web-savvy, showcasing illegal exploits, making threats, and honoring killed and jailed members on digital turf. Crips, Bloods, MS-13, 18th Street and others have staked claims on various corners of cyberspace. "Web bangers" are posting potentially incriminating photos of members holding guns, messages taunting other gangs and boasts of illegal exploits on personal Web sites.
· Update: Coke requests court secrecy. Coca-Cola asked for a protective order so its trade secrets allegedly put up for sale by an employee will not be divulged in any legal action. Coke also said it had fired Joya Williams, 41, who is accused with two men of offering samples of a new product to rival Pepsi for $1.5 million.
· Bizarre drunk driving case ends in crash in Hanover. Authorities say a Virginia man was too drunk to drive. So, he let his 14-year-old son get behind the wheel. The story only gets more bizarre from there. To make matters worse, deputies say, the child had been drinking, too.
· Ugly Bride Derailed Arranged Marriage. Claiming that the bride in an arranged marriage was too homely for his son, a Massachusetts man is suing friends who sought to set up the New Delhi nuptials. In his lawsuit, Dr. Vijai Pandey contends that he traveled with his family to India to meet his 37-year-old son Pranjul's future wife, but was "extremely shocked" to discover that the woman was "ugly," had "protruded bad teeth," and could not speak English or hold a conversation.
· Push for simpler spelling persists. When "say," "they" and "weigh" rhyme, but "bomb," "comb" and "tomb" don't, wuudn't it maek mor sens to spel wurdz the wae thae sound? Those in favor of simplified spelling say children would learn faster and illiteracy rates would drop. Opponents say a new system would make spelling even more confusing. Eether wae, the consept has yet to capcher th publix imajinaeshun.
· Man Offers Free Lawn Mowing To Lose Weight. A Minnesota man who has struggled to lose weight is hoping a lawn mower will help him shed between 30 and 50 pounds. After working up quite a sweat mowing his own lawn this summer, Darrell Nelson thought that he could get a good workout by mowing lawns for other people as well. So, on the Web site Craig's List, he placed an ad offering to mow lawns for free.
Thursday, July 6, 2006
· Man accused of operating airplane, pickup while drunk. A man was arrested twice in one day on alcohol-related charges, for illegally operating an airplane that veered off a runway and later for driving his pickup while drunk, authorities said.
· ABC wants fast-forward disabled on digital TV recorders. ABC has been looking in to technology that would disable the fast-forward button on DVRs, according to ABC President of Advertising Sales Mike Shaw, with the primary goal to allow TV commercials to run as intended. Shaw said the cable operators - who are beefing up their own local ad sales operations - "are in the same business we're in." "They've got to sell ads too," he said. "So if everybody's skipping everybody's ads, that's not a long-term business model for them either."
· Star Jones Takes Her Fight into Cyberspace. Star Jones is advising her fans to protest her firing directly to the ABC officials, including Barbara Walters. Jones is using her Web site, starjones.com, to tell fans exactly how to protest her firing from "The View" to ABC officials.
· Biden's quip on Indian accents drawing scrutiny. They say the main thing standing between Joe Biden and the White House is Joe Biden’s mouth. The would-be presidential candidate proved it again on a recent trip to New Hampshire, where C-Span cameras caught him telling an Indian-American activist that Indian-Americans are the fastest-growing immigrant group in Delaware. In fact, Biden said, “You cannot go into a Dunkin Donuts or a 7-Eleven unless you have a slight Indian accent.”
· Update: Lawmakers cave in to Corzine's demands - New Jersey gets tax increase. New Jersey lawmakers reached a deal on the state's budget Thursday afternoon that will allow Atlantic City's casinos to reopen after being forced to shut down yesterday. The lawmakers have agreed to Gov. Jon Corzine's proposal to increase the state sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent, a statehouse source said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
· Tom Cruise's Least Fave 'South Park' Episode Up For Emmy. One of the Emmy nominees for best animated program is the episode of "South Park" that's said to have angered Tom Cruise and Isaac Hayes. The episode called "Trapped in the Closet" implies that Cruise is gay and makes fun of Scientology.
· Gay marriage dealt setback in 2 states. The top courts in two state dealt a setback Thursday to the movement to legalize gay marriage. New York's highest court ruled same-sex unions are not allowed under state law and the Georgia Supreme Court reinstated a voter-approved ban on gay marriage.
· Florida Supreme Court rejects $145 billion jury award in smokers trial. The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a $145 billion punitive damage award against tobacco companies for injuring smokers, saying it was excessive. It was the largest award ever by an American jury.
· Sony ad casues white riot. A new billboard advertisement for Sony's white PSP has caused consternation across the gaming community. The ad shows a white model dressed entirely in white threateningly grasping the face of a black model. Next to them are the words, "PlayStation Portable. White is coming."
· Woman Jailed For Mouse-In-Soup Scam. A woman who tried to extort money from the Cracker Barrel restaurant chain by putting a dead mouse in a bowl of soup was sentenced to a year in jail. Carla Patterson, 38, and her 22-year-old son, Ricky Patterson, sought $500,000 from the chain after claiming they found the rodent in the vegetable soup.
· The self-driving Golf that would give Herbie a run for its money. It has proved one of the most endearing of cinematic legends - a loveable car with a mind of its own that can drive itself. Now German car giant Volkswagen has turned fiction into reality by unveiling a fully automatic car which really can drive itself - and at speeds of up to 150mph.
· Subway Rider Critically Injured In Power-Saw Attack In New York. A man grabbed two cordless power saws off a subway station workbench and went on a rampage Thursday, swinging the saws at riders and slicing open a man's chest before running away, police said. Police were searching for the suspect, described by witnesses as a thin man in his 30s, who had earrings in both ears and was possibly carrying a teddy bear.
· Teen Sues Over Sex Offender Boss. A Central Florida teen has accused her former employer of negligent hiring after she was allegedly touched inappropriately by a manager who she later found out was a convicted sex offender. Rachel Stephenson said she should have been told her boss, Adam Lee Hollis, 27, was a sexual offender when she worked at a Subway restaurant.
· New Jersey closure costing casinos $16 million a day. The dice stopped rolling, dealers quit shuffling and slot machines fell silent Wednesday as New Jersey's casinos closed for the first time, the latest victims of a five-day state government shutdown that showed no signs of ending soon. In the first mass closure in the 28-year history of Atlantic City's legalized gambling trade, all 12 casinos went dark. The closures forced an estimated 20,000 people off their jobs as dealers, pit bosses and cocktail servers.
· Kenneth Lay innocent, Enron criminal case to be thrown out. The law says a defendant's death wipes out the case against him. Legal analyst Joel Androphy says the law continues to give Lay the assumption of innocence. Every convict has the right to an appeal and Lay's was just getting started. Since he can't help his lawyers in his own defense, the courts will throw the case out.
· U.S. about to have 300 million Americans. As the U.S. population speeds toward 300 million, the growth is producing headaches for Americans fed up with traffic congestion, sprawl and dwindling natural resources. But the alternatives are pretty scary, too. Just look at Europe and Japan, which are on the verge of such big population losses that several countries are practically begging women to have babies.
· Amber Frey to Marry Neighbor. Amber Frey, the former mistress of Scott Peterson who became a key witness in his murder case, planned to marry her neighbor Wednesday, her attorney said. Frey, 31, is marrying Robert Hernandez, a neighbor who works in law enforcement, said her lawyer, Gloria Allred.
· Tougher Sex Crime Bill Lowers Consent Age. The new law that allows prosecutors to seek a death penalty for repeat child sex offenders also lowers the age of consent in some cases. Prosecutors can seek a death sentence for a repeat sex offender when the victim is under age eleven. But it also allows people age 18 and under to avoid maximum penalties if the other person is 14, down from 16. The provision was added to avoid severe penalties for young people experimenting with sex.
· Police: Person Of Interest Not In Home After 15-Hour Standoff. Police had been trying to get a man who they believed barricaded himself inside a home to come out, but when they entered, nobody was inside.
· FBI Computers Breached. A government consultant, using computer programs easily found on the Internet, managed to crack the FBI's classified computer system and gain the passwords of 38,000 employees, including that of FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III.
· Ex-GI Accused Of Raping Iraqi, Killing Family 'Has Disorder.' Until he was charged with raping an Iraqi woman and killing her family, Steven D. Green's life seemed as unremarkable as the flip-flops and Johnny Cash shirt he wore to court: He was a high-school dropout from a broken home who joined the Army to get some direction, yet was sent home due to an "anti-social personality disorder."
· Coroner: Enron's Lay Dies of Coronary Artery Disease. Enron Corp. founder and former CEO Kenneth Lay, who was convicted for his role in one of the largest instances of business fraud in U.S. history, died of coronary artery disease and there was no evidence of foul play, according to a forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy.
· Barry Bonds' Trainer Sent to Jail for Refusing to Testify to Federal Grand Jury. Barry Bonds' personal trainer was held in contempt of court and taken to prison Wednesday for refusing to testify to the federal grand jury investigating the San Francisco Giants' slugger for perjury. Greg Anderson served three months in prison after pleading guilty last year for his role in the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative steroid scandal.
· Cement football pranksters arrested. Police in Berlin said they arrested two men on suspicion of placing cement-filled footballs around the city and inviting people to kick them. At least two people injured themselves by kicking the balls.
· Update: Wife's severed arm leads to arrest of husband. A man whose wife mysteriously lost an arm early Sunday has been arrested and is expected to be arraigned Thursday on several charges, including drunken driving causing serious injury, police said today. The severing of her arm was not clean, as would be the result of a knife or hatchet wound, but rather appeared to have been torn off, police said.
· Sheehan would rather live in Venezuela. Activist Cindy Sheehan, who is leading a hunger strike against the war in Iraq, tells MSNBC's Norah O’Donnell she would rather live under Hugo Chavez than George W. Bush. [video]
· Please leave your iPod at the door. Voluntarily laid-off employees of National Semiconductor have been asked to return company iPods given to them in June. On June 12, National Semiconductor publicly announced that it had "equipped every one of its 8,500 employees with a 30-gigabyte video iPod." The company announced the program internally on June 9, according to Jeff Weir, a National Semiconductor spokesman.
· Pa. lottery beckons N.J. players. It takes more than a New Jersey government shutdown to keep Judy Dolton from playing her daily lottery number. The Willingboro resident discovered yesterday what many New Jersey lottery players are learning: The name may be different, but the game is the same on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River.
· Trump, 'Apprentice' loser going Hollywood. Real estate tycoon and reality TV star Donald Trump said on Wednesday he is adding a Hollywood production company to his business empire, and has named a "fired" contestant from "The Apprentice" to run it.
· Hamas' homemade rocket attack results in no casualties, but strong response from Israel. Israeli tanks and troops inched into northern Gaza early Thursday after militants fired a homemade rocket at an Israeli city for the second day in a row, signaling the largest Israeli military operation in the seaside territory since Israel withdrew a year ago. The homemade rocket exploded in Ashkelon on Wednesday, hitting the southern Israeli city of 110,000 that used to be out of range. Hamas, the Islamic terrorist group that runs the Palestinian government, claimed responsibility. No one was hurt, but Israeli leaders repeated their pledge to hit back hard.
· Former 'Survivor' Winner Arrested. A winner of the popular reality show "Survivor" was arrested Wednesday after allegedly shooting a puppy with an arrow. Brian Heidik, 38, is charged with battery and cruelty to animals.
· Man Fatally Shoots Wife, Self At Hospital. An 84-year-old man visiting his wife at a hospital fatally shot her in the head Wednesday before killing himself, police said. Authorities said Loyd Tullos had routinely visited Bonnie Tullos, 82, since she was admitted at Metroplex Hospital on Sunday after suffering a heart attack. He shot her with a revolver shortly before breakfast and then turned the gun on himself.
Wednesday, July 5, 2006
· Three charged with stealing Coca-Cola secrets. Three people have been arrested and charged with stealing confidential information about drink recipes from The Coca-Cola Co. and trying to sell it to rival PepsiCo Inc., federal prosecutors said Wednesday.
· Vegas Police Kill Driver In Confrontation Over Music. A police officer killed a motorist on the crowded Las Vegas Strip after a dispute over the driver's noisy car stereo. Police Capt. James Dillon said the man defied an order from two bicycle officers late Tuesday to turn his stereo down, then drove off with one officer hanging onto his car. His vehicle collided with a taxi and hit a pole, knocking the officer unconscious. The other officer fired once, killing the driver.
· Bloomberg: New York City Will Collapse Without Illegal Immigrants. The economy of the country's largest city and the entire nation would collapse if illegal immigrants were deported en masse, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg told a Senate committee hearing Wednesday. New York City is home to more than 3 million immigrants, and a half-million of them came to this country illegally, Bloomberg testified. "Although they broke the law by illegally crossing our borders ... our city's economy would be a shell of itself had they not, and it would collapse if they were deported," he said. "The same holds true for the nation."
· Bear driven to diet on pizza, booze. A bear cub drew a crowd of spectators at a Lake Tahoe neighborhood as it munched on barbecue-chicken-and-jalapeno pizza in the back seat of a vintage red Buick convertible. It also apparently washed it down with a swig of a Jack Daniel's mixer, some vodka and a beer taken from a cooler, the vehicle's owner said.
· Televised Arab-Israeli wife swap ends in culture clash and tears. They exchanged the meat-eater with the vegetarian, the religious with the secular. Yet only when the Israeli producers of television show Wife Swap pushed the boundaries and exchanged an Arab for a Jew did the wheels come off.
· Fans Scream At Bobby Brown To Leave After Raunchy Show. It's got to be a blow to Bobby Brown's ego to hear that the worst part of New Edition's last performance was him. Brown took off his shirt and talked about his sex life with Houston, and continued bawdy dance moves. Fans weren't impressed. By the time he finished with "My Prerogative," many in the crowd were screaming at him to get off the stage.
· Star Jones moves "up" to Home & Garden channel. The cameras are still rolling on Star Jones, even though she's no longer on "The View." Jones reportedly is going to host "House Hunters" on HGTV for a week.
· Screen legend Loren poses for Pirelli Calendar. Veteran sex symbol Sofia Loren, first featured on magazine covers half a century ago, will appear for next year's Pirelli calendar dressed up only in diamond earrings.
· Limbaugh gets off on Viagra charges. Rush Limbaugh will not face criminal charges after authorities found he had a bottle of Viagra that was apparently prescribed to someone else, prosecutors said Wednesday.
· Wal-Mart fights to keep the smiley face. Retail giant says symbol personifies its price-reducing policy, but London-based firm says it secured rights years ago. "A prehistoric man probably invented the smiley face in some cave, but I certainly was the first to register it as a trademark," said Franklin Loufrani.
· Swank says husband's addiction hurt marriage. Oscar-winning actress Hilary Swank said the breakdown of her eight-year marriage to actor Chad Lowe was partially due to the substance abuse problem he had been battling. Swank, 31, did not give details on what substances were abused by Lowe, who works mostly in television and whose career has been overshadowed by Swank's, as well that of his better-known older brother Rob Lowe.
· How Johnny Cash made his peace. Diabetes had cost Johnny Cash much of his sight, and he needed a wheelchair. Losing his wife June was crushing. Yet, in retrospect, producer Rick Rubin wasn't surprised to hear Cash's plea the day after June died.
· Ex-Soldier Spends Year In Iraq Because Of Clerical Error. A former National Guard captain whose military service was supposed to end seven years ago was sent to Iraq for a year by mistake because of an incorrect discharge date in his records.
· Enron founder Ken Lay dead. Enron founder Ken Lay has died in Aspen, Colorado, a spokesman for Lay's family said today. Lay was awaiting sentencing after being found guilty of conspiracy and fraud. He apparently died of a heart attack.
· No Dice: N.J. Casinos Close Their Doors. New Jersey's casinos ushered out the last of the gamblers Wednesday morning as a state government shutdown claimed its latest victims - the 12 gambling halls that made Atlantic City famous. It was the first ordered closure in the 28-year history of Atlantic City's legalized gambling trade. The casino businesses, with a $1.1 billion payroll, send the state an estimated $1.3 million a day in tax revenue. The dispute between Governor Corzine and his fellow Democrats who control the legislature centers on his plan to increase the state sales tax from six percent to seven percent.
· Judge gives teen robber flowers. A Manitoba judge shocked courtroom observers when she pulled out a bouquet of flowers and gave it to a convicted teen robber as a reward for progress towards rehabilitation.
· Man Arrested at Jail Job Interview. Brian Shearer thought he was being summoned to interview for a corrections officer job at Charlotte County Jail. He wound up in custody instead. Shearer, 24, who filed a job application with the Charlotte County Sheriff's Human Resources Division last month, had outstanding warrents and was hit with charges of deserting the U.S. military and being a fugitive from justice.
· Mistake sends 20,000 wake-up calls around Ann Arbor. An automated late-night telephone alert system in Ann Arbor has prompted a wave of complaints to police. More than 20,000 Ann Arbor households received calls around midnight Sunday about a 94-year-old man with Alzheimer's disease who had wandered off.
· Cocaine may be new status symbol in India. What may have begun with a couple of snorts has fast become a media-driven blizzard over whether, along with German cars and French handbags, another Western import is sweeping India — cocaine. Call it the full-on yuppification of India's latte-swilling set.
· Man arrested after hitting dog, six parked cars and house. A Des Moines man was arrested on suspicion of operating while intoxicated Saturday after allegedly crashing into six parked cars, running over his dog and hitting his own house. Matthew John Payne, 30, was laughing when police found him. He told them he had recently changed his brakes.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Innocuous [in·noc·u·ous] adj. 1. Having no adverse effect; harmless. 2. Not likely to offend or provoke to strong emotion; insipid. [the seemingly innocuous e-mail actually contained a malicious virus].
· Target any white person: the chilling guidelines for Bali suicide bombers. Any white person is a target. Avoid hotels because they are too well protected. Carry the bombs in small knapsacks to avoid suspicion. And don't worry about your escape route because you will become a "martyr." These guidelines for suicide bombers were found on a computer captured by Indonesian police.
· Michigan Woman's Missing Arm is Mystery. Stephen Humphrey, 39, told deputies that he and his wife had been at a bar in Milan, Michigan. After leaving, Brenda Humphrey got out of their truck a few miles from the bar, and her husband drove away. When he returned, he found her in a ditch missing an arm.
· Concern over scrutiny of do-it-all philanthropists. Prompted by scandals at the American Red Cross, the United Way and the Nature Conservancy, Charles Grassley, chairman of the Senate finance committee, has been reviewing the tax treatment and governance of the non-profit sector.
· Overweight burglar found dead in motel. Ralph Santiago faced up to 15 years in prison for burglary following an embarrassing trial in which he argued that he was too overweight to have fit through a neighbor's window and stolen jewelry and electronics. After failing to show up for his sentencing Wednesday, police say, he decided to end his life instead.
· Is your bank spying on you? A government program designed to track down terrorists and money launderers is frightening bank customers, frustrating financial institutions and inundating federal agencies with secret reports of dubious value. It's called the Suspicious Activity Report, or SAR, and critics say it victimizes honest citizens who are conducting legitimate financial activities through legitimate banking channels, while generating a flood of useless paperwork and burdening financial institutions with billions of dollars in costs.
· US lawmaker wants limits on A380 airport upgrades. A senior Republican lawmaker said he wants Congress to prohibit U.S. airports from spending federal funds on upgrades to accommodate the European-made superjumbo Airbus A380. The estimated cost to upgrade infrastructure at U.S. airports to accommodate the A380 could reach $927 million, even though there are no plans for an American carrier to have the A380 in its fleet.
· Pennsylvania Firehouse Catches Fire, Injuring Three Firefighters. "I looked out the window a second time, because I couldn't believe it," said Nick Lymberis, co-owner of a nearby restaurant. "I never expected a firehouse to be on fire."
· Sex offender can live next to victim. The West Australian Government and Opposition have attacked a decision to hand a suspended sentence to a child sex offender, allowing him to return to his home next door to one of his victims.
· Republicans launch immigration hearings. One day after the Fourth of July, congressional Republicans will offer a fireworks show of their own with the launch of summer field hearings on how to overhaul immigration laws. The made-for-media display begins Wednesday with dueling hearings 2,400 miles apart. A House subcommittee will meet at a San Diego Border Patrol station to discuss the vulnerability of the nation's borders to terrorists. The same day, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., will host a hearing in Philadelphia about a need for foreign workers.
· Final two "Sopranos" end pay rift. There's no need for any premature whacking of characters when "The Sopranos" returns next year for its final eight episodes. Under the new pact, Tony Sirico and Steven Van Zandt will be paid about double their most recent per-episode fee of $85,000, sources said.
· Stars align in anti-Iraq war hunger strike. Star Hollywood actor-activists including Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon have joined anti-war campaigners led by bereaved mother Cindy Sheehan plan to launch a hunger strike, demanding the immediate return of US troops from Iraq.
Tuesday, July 4, 2006
· North Korea fires long-range missile. Defying stern warnings from Washington and Tokyo, North Korea launched a long-range missile Wednesday that may be capable of reaching America, two U.S. officials said. But they said the missile failed after 35 or 40 seconds.
· Discovery Soars On Fourth Of July. The space shuttle is roaring up to meet the space station in orbit. In a mid-afternoon launch, Discovery soared into a blue sky atop a column of flame and smoke. The shuttle discarded its solid rocket boosters as it surpassed 2,600 m.p.h. in Florida's sky.
· Spanish train was going twice normal speed. A train that derailed and killed 41 people in Spain's worst subway accident was traveling at twice the normal speed, a government official said Tuesday. The train's excessive speed has led officials to believe the driver had either fainted or become otherwise indisposed prior Monday's accident, said Jose Ramon Garcia Anton, Valencia's regional transport minister. The train was traveling at 50 mph, rather than the average of 25 mph at the curved section where it derailed, Garcia Anton said.
· Motive in fatal crash unknown. Thomas Edward Cantara escaped with only minor back injuries, and his children were unharmed, after his wife chased him down with another car, ramming the back of his Mustang, and running them off the road. Virginia Cantara’s vehicle went airborne and struck a tree, where she died at the scene.
· Nanotech Researchers Create World's Smallest American Flag. Graduate students at the University of Texas at Dallas created the likeness of an American flag so small it would take more than 10 to span the width of a human hair.
· Britney Spears bailing on California? The preggers singer, convinced that the lifestyle in Malibu is hurting her battered marriage, is reportedly moving back to her home state of Louisiana, and has been upgrading her mother Lynne’s house to live there.
· Impaired driver tries to make getaway in police cruiser. A southwestern Ontario woman pulled over for impaired driving used a police cruiser to make a short-lived escape. A Chatham-Kent police officer had placed the handcuffed woman in the back of the cruiser Sunday, and was investigating outside. Police say the woman somehow freed herself from her cuffs, slid through the partition, and landed in the front seat. She drove away, but ended up in the nearby Sydenham River after missing a turn.
· Davenport man accused of driving children with a .531 BAC level. A Davenport man was arrested shortly after midnight Saturday when he was found in a parked car with his two children and a blood-alcohol content level nearly seven times the legal limit.
· Man Accused Of Sitting On, Torturing Woman For Hours. A 44-year-old Eustis, Fla., man is accused of sitting on top of a woman for as long as five hours, punching her every time she closed her eyes, according to a police news release.
· Animal rights activists admit attack on grandmother. Three animal rights activists launched a terrifying attack on a family, including a 75-year-old grandmother, for having a pro-hunting sticker on their car, a court heard yesterday.
· Woman Killed By Alligator Had Toxic Levels Of Alcohol, Drugs In System. A woman who was killed by an alligator in May had toxic levels of alcohol and an anti-depression drug in her body, authorities said Monday. According to the autopsy, Suarez-Jimenez had a blood alcohol concentration of .24 in her system at the time of her death - a level three times the amount considered too impaired to drive. She also had twice the amount of the highest prescribed dosage of Xanax in her blood, said Harold Schueler, chief toxicologist.
· Update: Music Producer Reportedly Gets Pardon Hours After Sentencing. Dubai's ruler pardoned American R&B producer Dallas Austin on Tuesday, hours after he was sentenced to four years in prison for possession of cocaine, the Dubai-based Gulf News reported on its Web site, citing judicial sources.
· Madonna producer gets 4 years jail. Grammy-winning hip hop producer Dallas Austin has been sentenced to four years in prison on charges of carrying cocaine into Dubai. The producer behind TLC, one of the biggest R&B groups of the 1990s, pleaded guilty on Sunday to bringing 1.26 grams of cocaine into the country.
· New Jersey Shutdown Means Illegal Drivers Are Hitting The Roads. New Jersey residents are reacting to the new hassles popping up daily in New Jersey. Nothing was moving at the DMV yesterday. Jorge Diaz went to the Motor Vehicles Agency only to find the place padlocked. His car's registration expired days ago. "I really need to get this done as fast as I can because right now I'm driving illegally but it's not my fault," he said.
· Taking Off Shoes At Airport Can Lead to Gonorrhea. Airport passengers are routinely asked to take off their shoes at security gates. Some are clean, some are dirty, and some carry diseases. Samples were taken from several airports to a lab for analysis, and the results were alarming. The lab identified a mold called trichophyston, which causes ringworm and favus, a nasty disease of the scalp. The lab also found staphylococcus, that causes skin infections, and finally neisseria - a "species and genus that can lead to gonorrhea," desease expert Dr. Daniel Lee said.
· Poll: No Muslims in the White House. Most traditional barriers to religion in presidential elections have toppled, a new Los Angeles Times / Bloomberg poll has found. In particular, the survey to be released today showed that anti-Semitism and anti-Catholicism are fading as voter taboos. But uneasiness about some religions persists. Thirty-seven percent of those questioned said they would not vote for a Mormon presidential candidate - and 54 percent said no to the prospect of a Muslim in the White House.
· Five Shot During Rap Concert At Club. Gainesville police said a Tampa rapper and three other men were arrested following a shooting at a downtown club. The incident took place at 238 West on Sunday morning as rapper Plies was finishing a performance. Witnesses said the rapper's entourage began shooting when the performer's microphone was cut off so another rapper could take the stage.
· Mystery of woman's 'sex ship' death. Dianne Brimble never lived to enjoy a day at sea. She died on the first night from toxic levels of a so-called date-rape drug in the company of strangers. Among her last words, heard at 3am by a woman in a cabin adjoining that of four men, were: “I’m not like that and I don’t do that sort of thing.”
· 'Rewired brain' revives patient after 19 years. A study of the "miraculous" recovery of a man who spent 19 years in a minimally conscious state has revealed the likely cause of his regained consciousness. The findings suggest the human brain shows far greater potential for recovery and regeneration then ever suspected.
· 5 Year-Old Lousiana Boy May Have Been Burned Alive in Vendetta. Investigators believe a 5-year-old boy was kidnapped in a "vendetta" against his mother and burned alive in an abandoned house, where police found his small body tied to a leather chair.
· Cindy Sheehan, Anti-war protesters stop eating for peace. Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq, said she would drink only water throughout the summer, which she said she would spend outside President George W. Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas.
· Three men learn a shocking lesson. Three men were shocked and knocked unconscious when their fishing boat hit an underwater electrical cord attached to a dock. Steven Bormann, stepped out of a boat and into the water. He was shocked and fell unconscious into the water. Dennis Larson jumped in to save Bormann and was also shocked and fell into the water unconscious. The third man, Nicholas Bormann, entered the water to help and was also shocked and knocked out, authorities said. Family members watching on the shore found the power cord, disconnected it and pulled the three from the water.
· Judge blocks Navy use of sonar off Hawaii. A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order Monday barring the Navy from using a type of sonar, allegedly harmful to marine mammals, during a Pacific warfare exercise scheduled to begin this week.
· Supreme Court Stymies Atheist In Cross Issue. The Supreme Court intervened Monday to save a large cross on city property in southern California. Lawyers for San Diegans for the Mt. Soledad National War Memorial said in an appeal that they wanted to avoid the "destruction of this national treasure." And attorneys for the city said the cross was part of a broader memorial that was important to the community. The 29-foot cross, on San Diego property, sits atop Mount Soledad. A judge declared it was an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.
· Report Prompts Call For Labels On Case-Ready Meat. The state agriculture department and Orange County's health director are calling for new labels on case-ready ground beef sold at some grocery stores that can keep its red color for months.
· Klan Gets Permit For Gettysburg Protest. The National Park Service has granted the Ku Klux Klan's request to hold a rally and protest the Iraq war at the Civil War battlefield where Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address. Gordon Young of the World Knights of the Ku Klux Klan obtained the permit Wednesday for about 100 people to participate in a Sept. 2 event at Gettysburg National Military Park. The purpose will be to demonstrate opposition to the Iraq war and to speak on "white unity between the north and south," the permit said.
Monday, July 3, 2006
· Baby died after 'walking lessons.' A 14-week-old baby suffered 40 broken bones because her parents were teaching her to walk, an inquest has heard. Chloe Thomas had fractures to her skull, wrists, ribs, legs and fingers when she died.
· Busy 21-year-old blames "failed contraceptives." A 21-year-old English man has fathered six children by six girlfriends and is about to father a seventh by another woman. Keith MacDonald, who lives on welfare and has not paid child support for any of the children, fathered his first child at the age of 15. MacDonald blamed the pregnancies on failed contraceptives.
· Hamas: Running government is not as much fun as expected. It is easier for Hamas to be popular, an aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said, by being an underground militant group that scores occasional victories against Israel than shouldering the burdens of governance. "If you are in government you are responsible for schools and everything," said Nimer Hammed. "If you are in opposition you can criticize."
· Central Texas woman run off road, raped by illegals. An 18-year-old Central Texas woman was recuperating at a hospital after she reported being run off a rural road, kidnapped and then raped and beaten by her abductors. Authorities said both men are apparently in the United States illegally and will be held without bond on immigration charges.
· Casinos to Be Casualty of New Jersey Government Shutdown. Atlantic City's casinos were ordered to close Wednesday, July 5th - the latest casualty of a state government shutdown that entered its second day Sunday after the Legislature failed to adopt a budget by its July 1 deadline. If the casinos shut down, the state would lose an estimated $2 million in tax revenue each day they stayed closed.
· Woman outraged over breast-feeding rights at Victoria's Secret. A woman offended when Victoria's Secret staff gave her only the option of an employee restroom in which to nurse her baby organized a nursing protest in front of the store. "They opened up their employee restroom, which is disgusting," she said. "I said, `No, I don't eat in the bathroom and my daughter doesn't eat in the bathroom."'
· Update: Beatles 'Reunion' in Las Vegas. Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and the widows of John Lennon and George Harrison — Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison — united for a moment in time to honor the group's historic accomplishments. Also present for the event were John’s first wife, Cynthia Lennon, their son, Julian, and Ravi Shankar, Harrison’s great musical influence and friend.
· Crash Kills Couple on Way to Their Wedding. A former Colorado State University runner and her fiance died in a car crash in New Mexico. The two were on their way to the bride-to-be's home in Tucson, Ariz., where they planned to be married.
· School Administrators Punished Over Grade Tampering. A grade-fixing scandal unraveled and a Brevard County principal and three assistants were all disciplined for changing student information to try and increase FCAT scores. Dozens of students at Cocoa High School may have to retake the test because of the violations.
· R.I. Police Kill Shoplifting Suspect. Police on Sunday shot and killed a man suspected of shoplifting from a grocery store as he tried to flee in a minivan with his 5-year-old daughter, authorities said. The officer opened fire after being struck by the suspect's minivan, according to a statement from police Chief Steven Reynolds.
· Car Plows Into Crowd At Boat Race. A car plowed into a crowd Sunday at a speedboat race on the Ohio River, injuring 11 people, police said. The car plunged into the river and the driver was unconscious when he was pulled from the water, Madison Police Chief Bob Wolf said.
· Study: Money Won't Make You Happy. "Would you be happier if you were richer?" ask Princeton researcher Daniel Kahneman, PhD, and colleagues. Kahneman shared the 2002 Nobel Prize for applying the principles of psychology to economics. Their answer: No. It's just an illusion that wealth brings happiness.
Sunday, July 2, 2006
· School employees say principal told them not to report child abuse against black children. Four Yonkers school employees have charged that School 29 Principal Marilyn Walder warned them not to report suspected child abuse of black children to county child-protective officials because such reports would be destructive to black families.
· Expert: Coulter plagiarized in her new book. Conservative scribe Ann Coulter cribbed liberally in her latest book, "Godless," according to a plagiarism expert. John Barrie, the creator of a leading plagiarism-recognition system, claimed he found at least three instances of what he calls "textbook plagiarism" in the leggy blond pundit's "Godless: the Church of Liberalism" after he ran the book's text through the company's digital iThenticate program. He also says he discovered verbatim lifts in Coulter's weekly column, which is syndicated to more than 100 newspapers.
· 'Superman' Soars to $52 Million Opening. Superman may not be the world's greatest superhero at the box office, but the Man of Steel still flies high. "Superman Returns" took in $52.15 million over opening weekend, lifting its five-day total since its debut Wednesday to $84.2 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.
· Houston sets up sting - for fireworks. From an unmarked car parked discreetly in a carwash driveway, Houston Fire Department arson investigator Scott Clements watched the men, women, teenagers and children going in and out of a fireworks store. A huge banner on the gray warehouse blares "More Bang For Your Buck!" But it does not say possessing fireworks a mere hundred feet away — within the Houston city limits — is illegal, and can bring a fine of up to $2,000.
· Workplace Expert: Monday Will Be A Lost Day. Are you one of the unlucky few who has to come into the office on Monday, before the holiday on the Fourth? Workplace experts say those who do have to go in may not get a lot done.
· U.S. farm payments go to non-farmers. U.S. land owners have been receiving federal payments intended for farmers, despite not farming their land, The Washington Post said Sunday. Since 2000, the federal government has paid out at least $1.3 billion to people who do no farming.
· USA Today retreats on phone records claim. Today acknowledged in a ''note to our readers'' Friday that it could not establish that BellSouth or Verizon contracted with the National Security Agency to provide it with customer calling records, as the newspaper had previously reported.
· Fat people blamed for tour boat tragedy. Survivors of a deadly tour boat trip in the Adirondacks say heavy people and too much water flipped the boat over, according to newly released documents in a case that exposed how America's safety rules have been eclipsed by its expanding waistlines.
· Man killed in car he won. On his MySpace.com Web site, Michael L. Fox posted his motto: ‘‘Live each day as if it were your last, cuz you don’t know when it will be.’’ The 22-year-old Austintown man was killed June 25 while driving the customized 2006 Mercury Milan he won as Stuff Magazine’s ‘‘Man of The Year.’’
· Elderly woman has heart attack after chasing down purse snatcher. A 76-year-old woman had a heart attack Friday after attempting to chase down an 18-year-old student who stole her purse at a South San Francisco McDonald's, South San Francisco police reported today.
· Mom hell for Jacko accuser. The day Michael Jackson was acquitted of child molestation charges, his teenage accuser, a cancer survivor, thought life couldn't get any worse. "Why didn't they believe me? I told the truth. Why didn't they believe me?" the anguished boy cried when prosecutors broke the news to him by telephone. But in the year since the verdict June 13, 2005, the 16-year-old's existence has sunk to an even lonelier hell. His mom has turned her back on him, blaming him for the courtroom loss, for the alleged abuse by the pop idol, even for welfare fraud charges filed against her, the Daily News has learned.
· Sheehan sues over Bush ranch parking bans. Cindy Sheehan and four other war protesters filed a lawsuit Friday challenging roadside camping and parking bans near President Bush’s Crawford ranch. Sheehan, who lives in Berkeley, Calif., was in Waco to file the case, which asks that the ordinances not be enforced during protests in August and ultimately be declared void.
· Laptop With Encrypted Donor Data Stolen From Red Cross Office. A laptop containing personal information from thousands of blood donors - including Social Security numbers and medical information - was stolen from a Dallas office of the American Red Cross, but officials said the information was encrypted. The data included matching names and birth dates of donors from Texas and Oklahoma, as well as donors' sexual and disease histories.
· Officer accused of terrorizing man. A Maplewood, Minn. police officer was charged with several felonies for allegedly falsely imprisoning a man and threatening to beat him, only to let him go when the man called 911 on his cell phone from the back of a squad car.
· Israeli strike on Gaza power plant will cost US. Israel's bombing of Gaza's main power plant could end up costing its closest ally, the U.S. government, because it insured the project for up to $48 million, officials involved in the project said on Saturday.
· Babysitter Saves 4 Kids From Burning Building. A babysitter was credited with saving four children, including her own granddaughter, during a fire at an apartment building. With flames engulfing the first floor of her apartment building, 39-year-old Lisa Pina stayed calm, called 911 and distracted the children by singing their A-B-Cs and 1-2-3s.
· Update: Lawmakers Decry Christian Film's PG Rating. A Christian-themed movie about a football coach's faith in God is finding an audience in Congress - not so much for its inspirational message, but for the PG rating it received.
· Faith Hill: most beautiful female country star. Faith Hill is country music’s most beautiful woman, according to a reader poll released Friday in Country Weekly magazine. “To thousands of fans, Faith embodies the ideal woman who really ‘has it all’ — classic beauty, a superstar career, a great marriage to Tim McGraw and three lovely daughters,” the article says. “No other country star projects a sexier, more stunning image.”
· California Denies Tracking Political Rallies. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's anti-terror office said Saturday that it has never monitored the activities of political groups in California, in response to a newspaper report that it had tracked rallies and protests.
Saturday, July 1, 2006
· Man Ordered To Stop Recruiting Sex Offenders. A sex offender who was recruiting dozens of other offenders and predators to live in the same Orange County, Fla., neighborhood has been ordered to stop. Randy Young, 50, was recruiting sex offenders to live in Lake Shore Village trailer park.
· Woman Brought Kids to Bank Robbery. When Rose Emely Miranda decided to rob a bank Thursday evening, she brought along gloves, a baseball cap to hide her face, a bag to carry the money - and her two young children, according to Lakeland police.
· New Jersey is closed. New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine closed the state government Saturday amid a bitter dispute with fellow Democrats in the Assembly over his plan to increase the sales tax, threatening to shutter beaches, parks and possibly casinos in the coming days.
· Kerik now a criminal. Defiant and unapologetic to the end, Bernard Kerik was arrested and booked yesterday, processed through the same criminal justice system in which he worked for most of his adult life. He stood before a judge in state Supreme Court in the Bronx and admitted to having illegally accepted $165,000 in free renovations from a contractor with alleged links to the mob while he was the city correction commissioner.
· Venice man acquitted again. For the third time in four years, Louis Lawson went to trial this week on charges he molested a child he met through church. Like in the other trials, the jurors heard testimony from both Lawson, 40, who taught Sunday school, and the 15-year-old girl who accused him of molesting her. And for the third time, the jury found the Venice man not guilty.
· Toddler in trailer leads to spate of charges. A Sedalia man was arrested after allegedly strapping his great-nephew in a car seat, and tying the seat to a trailer he was pulling with a motorcycle, according to Sedalia Police Department reports.
· Police catch 5mph getaway buggy. Police did not have too much trouble catching a stolen vehicle making a getaway from one of Wales' top hotels. Not surprising really, as it was a "courtesy buggy" - similar to a golf cart - doing 5mph on the main road from the Celtic Manor Resort.
· Executed Crips co-founder gets final wish, friend says. The ashes of executed Crips gang co-founder Stanley "Tookie" Williams were spread in a lake in South Africa in accordance with his will, a friend said.
· Court rules lesbians can sue school. Two teens expelled from a Lutheran high school because of an alleged lesbian relationship can sue the school even though it is a private religious institution, the California Supreme Court ruled.
· French parliament passes law to limit immigration. The French parliament on Friday formally adopted a controversial law to encourage selective immigration of skilled workers. The legislation, proposed by France's tough-talking Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, triggered heavy criticism from the opposition and immigrant groups who say it discriminates against the poor and undermines France's traditional role as a haven for the persecuted.
· Man arrested for video taping interview with cops in his own home. A Nashua, NH man is facing two felony charges for allegedly using secret video cameras to tape police who had come to his home to investigate his son’s possible role in a robbery. Michael Gannon came to the police station Tuesday with a videotape that he said showed the officers being “discourteous.” The tape included a recording of a conversation Gannon had with officers and a second conversation the police had when they were alone. While Gannon waited in the lobby of the station, police reviewed the tape. When they discovered the officers did not know they were being recorded, they arrested Gannon.
· Movie helicopter crashes killing one. A helicopter filming a scene for a movie crashed Friday in a cornfield near near the Cedar Rapids Airport, killing one on board. The helicopter was filming a parade scene for the movie "The Final Season" starring Sean Astin and Tom Arnold. A producer, photographer and pilot were reportedly the only parties aboard the chopper.
· Only 483 Guard Working on Mexican Border. On the deadline to have 2,500 troops along the Mexican border, the National Guard said Friday that only 483 were in position and working with the U.S. Border Patrol as the Bush administration had directed.
· DUI Chief Resigns From Highway Patrol After DUI Arrest. Lt. Fred Swain, commander of the Utah Highway Patrol's DUI unit, has resigned after being cited for driving under the influence of alcohol after crashing his police cruiser into a concrete barrier.
· Heist Note Had Suspect's Address. Police investigating a bank robbery of $22,000 didn't have to work hard to find their suspect: she lived at the address that was on the back of the note announcing the holdup. The note demanding money was on a bulk mail advertisement that had Stein's address on the back.
· Man Saves Dog From 10-Foot Gator. “I didn't even think- that's what scares me the most is that I just reacted." Brent Carey is still reliving the horror of Sunday afternoon. What started as a relaxing day at the park with his girlfriend Jessica Turner and her dog Chance, ended in a battle against a ten foot gator. “I can't close my eyes without seeing that gator over Chance's head- it's awful,” Turner says. She says the full-grown gator grabbed Chance while he was in the water swimming and started dragging him away. “I could almost grab him and I thought I'm going to die right now, and Chance is probably already dead." But that's when her boyfriend Brent sprang into action. "I just ran off the bank jumped in the water and grabbed a hold of the first thing I could get a hold of," he says. Brent grabbed the gator near it's back legs,causing it to release Chance from it's jaws—but not without a fight.
· Betting on the Beatles in Las Vegas. The Beatles take Las Vegas tonight. The only question is, will all the participants get along, or will their legendary feuds get in the way of a spectacular night? Not only are Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr due in town tonight for the premiere of Cirque du Soleil’s “Love” at the Mirage Hotel, but so is George Harrison’s widow Olivia Harrison and son Dhani, John Lennon’s first wife Cynthia and her son Julian as well as Yoko Ono and her son Sean.
· Helmet law repeal results in more head trauma in two years. Pennsylvania motorcyclists have suffered severe head injuries at a dramatically increased clip since the state's helmet law was repealed in 2003. In the past two years, nearly twice as many riders have landed in trauma centers with major head injuries than in the two years preceding the repeal.
· Oxygen Bar Busted For Allegedly Selling Alcohol. A downtown Boulder establishment that is supposed to sell only non-alcoholic beverages was busted Friday after police arrested two customers for allegedly driving under the influence. Undercover officers were sent into the business to buy the non-alcoholic drinks and then went outside to test them. It turns out, the drinks had high levels of alcohol.