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Friday, June 30, 2006
· Complaint: Racist mayor abuses office. Tennessee officials are taking the rare step of trying to remove a small-town mayor accused of frequently using racial slurs, including the n-word, and targeting Hispanic drivers for tickets because they are "mostly illegal anyway."
· Florida lawmakers caught on tape voting for absent colleagues. When the Florida Legislature is in session, you can watch representative Democracy at work. Every member of the Florida State House represents 140,000 Floridians. Each member has one vote. Or should have one vote. But on April 18th, Clearwater Representative Kimberly Berfield pushed the "yes" button of hers, and three other representatives, on a bill she sponsored. The bill passed.
· Judge Tosses 'Mafia Cops' Convictions. A judge on Friday threw out a racketeering murder conviction against two detectives accused of moonlighting as hitmen for the mob, saying the statute of limitations had expired on the slayings. District Judge Jack Weinstein also granted a new trial to the defendants, Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa, on money laundering and drug charges.
· Philly Cops Find $5 Million In Cocaine In Sofa. Philadelphia police and the FBI have announced the arrest of two men and the seizure of about 60 pounds of cocaine hidden in a sofa. Police Captain Chris Werner says authorities seized 47 kilos of cocaine - more than 100 pounds of it - with a street value of nearly $5 million. Investigators determined that Mexican nationals were bringing the illegal narcotics into Philadelphia from the Southwest.
· Reuters: Operation removes lightbulb from man's rear end. Fateh Mohammad, a prison inmate in Pakistan, says he woke up last weekend with a glass lightbulb in his anus. Wednesday night, doctors brought Mohammad's misery to an end after a one-and-a-half hour operation to remove the object. "Thanks Allah, now I feel comfort," the man said. "We had to take it out intact," said Dr. Farrukh Aftab at Nishtar Hospital. "Had it been broken inside, it would be a very very complicated situation."
· Pastor's wife said she 'snapped', agent testified. A minister's wife charged with murdering her husband told police she shot him after they argued over family finances and then told him "I'm sorry" as he lay dying in their bedroom, according to testimony at a bond hearing Friday.
· Heavier Toys May Mean Fewer Fat Kids. Doctors and health advocates have warned for years that American children are getting fatter. Now even some kids' teddy bears are packing on the pounds. But these heavy toys aim to combat obesity, not add to it.
· Elvis-crazy PM hits high notes at Graceland. After an in-flight airing of Elvis Presley's greatest hits on Air Force One and an offering of "the king's" favored grilled fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches, President Bush took Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi on a tour of Graceland, home of Koizumi's undisputed musical hero, with Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley greeting them.
· Man Sues Creator Of Web Site That Lets Women Dish Dirt On Men. A city attorney is suing the creator of a Web site that lets women dish dirt on men they claim have wronged them, saying they made defamatory statements about him.
· Judge throws out confession in Jessica Lunsford case. The confession of a man charged with kidnapping, raping and killing 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford isn't admissible in court, but the discovery of her body can be used as evidence, a judge ruled today. John Evander Couey, a 47-year-old convicted sex offender, gave the confession to detectives, but also told them that he wanted to consult a lawyer. He wasn't given the opportunity to do so.
· New cell phone helps keep you out of trouble. A new cell phone hitting the U.S. market allows users to set it up so they don't call certain people in their phone book - Think ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend. If you have a blood alcohol level over .08, the phone will not let you dial that person. So it not only promotes sobriety, but chastity — and probably your dignity, as well.
· Guard to Miss Border Mission Deadline. The Bush administration has been unable to muster even half of the 2,500 National Guardsmen it planned to have on the Mexican border by the end of June. As of yesterday, the next-to-last day of the month, fewer than 1,000 troops were in place, according to military officials in the border states of Texas, Calif., New Mexico and Arizona.
· NASA Officials Say Shuttle Not Safe. Key NASA officials who oversee the agency said they don't believe the shuttle is safe for launch. NASA already had a "no go" for flight from the agency's top safety official and chief engineer. However, NASA managers went ahead and gave the "go for launch" for tomorrow.
· Update: 'Penis pump judge' convicted. A Creek County jury late Thursday convicted a former judge who was accused of exposing himself by using a sexual device while he presided over court cases. Jurors recommended one year in prison and a $10,000 fine on each count against judge Donald Thompson, 59, who served more than 20 years on the bench in eastern Oklahoma before his retirement.
· Rich folks get more sleep - blacks and men get less. In a study of sleep characteristics in 669 adults in Chicago who were compared by sex and race, investigators found that blacks got less sleep than whites, while men got less sleep than women. Furthermore, the wealthier you are, the more sleep you're likely to get, Dr. Diane S. Lauderdale of the University of Chicago and her colleagues found.
· Woman auctions herself with her Ferrari. A woman living in Germany is auctioning off her red Ferrari Enzo sports car and including a little extra in the package - herself. The 26-year-old has invited bids on Internet auction site ebay starting at $1.6 million. She said she was rich herself, liked her car and was looking for a man who could foot the bill for such a luxury.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Disingenuous [dis·in·gen·u·ous] adj. Not straightforward or candid; insincere or calculating. 'It was disingenuous of her to claim she had no financial interest in the legal case.'
· Defense: Cartoons Provoked Yates. Andrea Yates believed that cartoon characters told her she was a bad mother who fed her children too much candy, a jail psychiatrist testified Thursday. Dr. Melissa R. Ferguson said Yates thought the television characters were berating her for giving her children too much candy and cereal.
· Shopping Addict Gets 27 Months In Prison. A woman accused of embezzling more than $1.5 million from a credit union and buying more than 1,500 items, including hundreds of pairs of shoes and a $60,000 swimming pool, was sentenced to 27 months in prison.
· Judge Blocks Georgia Sex Offender Law For All. A federal judge Thursday temporarily blocked the state of Georgia from preventing registered sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of school bus stops.
· Lil' Kim to Be Released From Prison. Lil' Kim says she'll be celebrating Independence Day early this year. The rapper, who was sentenced in September to a year and a day in prison for lying about a shootout outside a hip-hop radio station, is being released Monday, the day before July Fourth.
· Reynolds: ABC Said to 'Make Up a Story.' Ousted cast member Star Jones Reynolds said Thursday she was told she could "make up a story" about why she was leaving "The View" and her colleagues would have gone along with it. The news that Reynolds wouldn't have her contract renewed for a 10th year on the daytime talk show exploded this week into a bitter war of words involving show creator Barbara Walters.
· Abortion Foes Worry About Buffett Donation. Warren Buffett's new philanthropic alliance with fellow billionaire Bill Gates won widespread praise this week, but anti-abortion activists did not join in. Instead, they assailed the two donors for their longtime support of Planned Parenthood and international birth-control programs.
· MSNBC Replaces 'Rita Cosby.' Rita Cosby is losing her year-old MSNBC show and will be doing specials for the cable channel. The shuffle, which MSNBC announced Thursday, is the first big move of Dan Abrams' three-week tenure as MSNBC's general manager.
· Psycho-therapy may benefit sex offenders. Psychological treatments do not cure sex criminals but they may help reduce the number of times they re-offend, researchers said on Friday. Types of psychological therapies, which are usually stipulated during sentencing, vary but criminals who complete treatment programmes tend to re-offend less often and less seriously. "Sexual offending, like many medical conditions, cannot be cured," said Belinda Brooks-Gordon, a psychologist at the University of London.
· Power Outages Plague New Orleans. With temperatures regularly climbing into the 90s and straining New Orleans' power supply, the fragility of the storm-beaten utilities has started to show. Tuesday afternoon the lights suddenly went out on thousands of residents, and the lights stayed out for hours. As power was restored to one area, it was lost in another, and power was lost again Wednesday. "We need restoration of the infrastructure," said City Council member Cynthia Hedge-Morrell. "Right now, they are patching the holes, but sooner or later we'll run out of patches."
· As the Spellings Turn. Not even the Carringtons issued this many press releases. In the latest volley in the PR war between the "Spelling Family" and Tori Spelling, the former accused the latter of tainting the legacy of the clan's legendary patriarch with "mean-spirited and surprising comments."
· G-Forces On Theme Park Thrill Rides Evaluated. Questions about G-forces surfaced after the death of a 4-year-old on Epcot's Mission Space ride. A medical examiner recently determined that Daudi Bamuwayme died from a pre-existing heart condition. Officials said G-forces produced by the thrill rides are harmless for healthy riders. However, theme parks refuse to release information about the intensity of their rides.
· Denise Moves Out, Charlie Moves On. It seems Denise Richards wants to put some distance between herself and her ex-friend Heather Locklear. Richards has placed the Los Angeles-area home she bought last year after her initial separation from Charlie Sheen on the market for $4.3 million, the Los Angeles Times reports.
· Drug runners flew copters through canyons, officials say. U.S. and Canadian authorities said Thursday they had arrested more than 40 people and broken up six rings that smuggled drugs across the border using planes and helicopters. The cross-border drug runs got public attention in July 2005, when Playboy magazine profiled the practice. Investigators have also seized 8,000 pounds of marijuana, 800 pounds of cocaine, more than $1.5 million in currency and two aircraft.
· Bin Laden praises al-Zarqawi, defends attacks. Osama bin Laden defended attacks by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi against civilians in Iraq, purportedly saying in a taped Web message Friday that the slain al-Qaida in Iraq leader was acting under orders to kill anyone who backs American forces. Bin Laden paid tribute to al-Zarqawi in a 19-minute audio message posted on an Islamic militant Web site. The message has narration by a voice resembling bin Laden’s as a video shows an old photo of him in a split-screen next to images of al-Zarqawi taken from a previous video.
Thursday, June 29, 2006
· Nun accused of stealing $300,000 turns self in. A nun accused of stealing more than $300,000 from the Omaha Archdiocese turned herself in. Sister Barbara Markey, 71, turned herself in to Omaha Police on Wednesday, after a warrant was issued for her arrest.
· Congress OKs $700 million for Mars mission. President Bush's plan to send man to Mars in coming decades received a green light Thursday as the House passed a bill funding the annual budgets of NASA and the departments of Commerce, Justice and State.
· Md. Governor Chooses Blind Running Mate. Gov. Robert Ehrlich announced Thursday that Kristen Cox, the state disabilities secretary, will be his new lieutenant governor running mate. Cox said she agreed to join the ticket in part because the governor has stepped up for people with disabilities who, she said, "tend to be marginalized, overlooked, diminished."
· Ark. High Court Backs Gay Foster Parents. Arkansas cannot ban homosexuals from becoming foster parents because there is no link between their sexual orientation and a child's well-being, the state's high court ruled Thursday.
· New York Cops Make Pot Bust in KFC Drive-Through. Two men in their 20s pulled up to the window at the KFC Wednesday afternoon and asked for the daily special. Narcotics detectives, who were inside ordering their usual Wednesday special, noticed a cloud of marijuana smoke wafting into the restaurant and spotted the two men smoking what one of the cops called "the biggest marijuana cigar your ever saw."
· Tom Petty amused over plagiarism debate. Tom Petty has decided to take the high road when it comes to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Music insiders were shocked when the Peppers debuted their hit song, "Dani California," last month - as was reported, it's eerie similarity to Petty's "Mary Jane's Last Dance." But Petty tells Rolling Stone: "I seriously doubt that there is any negative intent there. And a lot of rock 'n' roll songs sound alike."
· U.S. Supreme Court quashes 'illegal' Guantanamo tribunals. Military tribunals arranged by the Bush administration for detainees at Guantanamo Bay are illegal, the United States Supreme Court ruled Thursday. The justices also rejected the government's argument that the Geneva Conventions regarding prisoners of war do not apply to those held at Guantanamo Bay.
· Ex-governor convicted in corruption trial. Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman and former Health South CEO Richard Scrushy were convicted Thursday in a bribery scheme that derailed Siegelman's campaign to retake his former office.
· Coopertown Mayor's City Hall Of Shame. A Tennessee mayor spewed racial slurs, attempted to set up foes for arrest, and tried to boost his town's traffic ticket revenue by specifically profiling soldiers and Hispanics, according to a lawsuit seeking the politician's ouster from office.
· Baby Left in Minivan All Day Dies. A 5-month-old baby died in a minivan Wednesday after the mother apparently forgot to drop the child off at a Grand Forks day care. The tragedy was discovered about 5:30 p.m. outside the Wonder Years 2 day care. The baby's mother stopped at the day care after work to pick up the child and was told by staff that the baby had not been dropped off. She realized then that the baby had been in her minivan all day, where the temperature exceeded 100 degrees.
· Feds recover stolen computer with sensitive data on vets, military personnel. The government has recovered the stolen laptop computer containing sensitive data for up to 26.5 million veterans and military personnel, Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson announced Thursday. Nicholson also said there have been no reports of identity theft since the May 3 burglary at the Maryland home of an agency employee.
· Orlando Commissioner: 'White Boy' Is No Racial Slur. Orlando Commissioner Daisy Lynum insisted she did nothing wrong when she called a city officer who pulled over her son a "white boy," and continued her crusade against racial profiling last night.
· Judge Accused of Sex With Teens. A Milledgeville, Georgia lawyer who serves as a municipal court judge and prosecutor was released on $75,000 bond after he was arrested on charges of having sex with 13- and 14-year-old girls. Jon Philip Carr, 53, a municipal court judge in Ivey and McIntyre and a prosecutor for Milledgeville Municipal Court, was released Monday and is charged with six counts of child molestation and four counts of statutory rape, said Baldwin County Sheriff Bill Massee.
· Katrina Looters Get 15 Years For Alcohol Theft. Three people convicted of hauling away liquor, wine and beer from a grocery store after Hurricane Katrina were sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in prison.
· Nolte Makes Suit Go Away. Nick Nolte will probably opt to stay home the next time his kid throws a party. The Affliction star has reached a settlement with the parents of a teenage girl who said that she was date-raped during a party at the actor's Malibu home. The family sued Nolte on their now-18-year-old daughter's behalf in 2004, and the case was headed to trial after a judge refused to dismiss the lawsuit last month
· Berkeley, California to vote on Bush impeachment. The municipal council in the liberal California city of Berkeley plans to give voters a say on a measure calling for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, the mayor said on Wednesday. A number of local governments across the United States have pressed resolutions urging impeachment, but the Berkeley city council's goal is to be the first to put the issue directly to voters, Mayor Tom Bates said in an interview.
· Update: Pentagon says homosexuality not a mental disorder. The Pentagon no longer deems homosexuality a mental disorder, officials said on Wednesday, although the reversal has no impact on U.S. policy prohibiting openly gay people from serving in the military. After a 1996 Pentagon document placing homosexuality among a list of "certain mental disorders" came to light this month, the American Psychiatric Association and a handful of lawmakers asked the Defense Department to change its view.
· Dubai embezzler busted for posing as Brad Pitt. A salesman tried to fleece a money exchanger in the United Arab Emirates by using an identity card bearing the picture of Hollywood heart-throb Brad Pitt, a local newspaper reported on Thursday. The Gulf News said the 29-year-old Jordanian had been told by his brother, who worked at the Dubai money exchange, that more than $23,000 in cash had been transferred to the bureau for a client who had not picked it up for more than three months.
· Charged Marine Says He Felt 'Under Attack.' An Iraq war veteran charged with injuring two people when he fired his rifle from his home testified Wednesday he wanted to scare away a rowdy crowd after a bottle crashed through his second-floor window.
· Tori Spelling's Mother Issues. The Spelling family feud is on. In a new interview with Us Weekly, Tori Spelling reveals she learned of father Aaron Spelling's death last week as she dined in Toronto. Her BlackBerry broke the bad news. "My first thought was, I can't believe my mom didn't call me!" "My mom's behavior simply made me uncomfortable to be around my family," Tori Spelling says in the magazine. Specifically, Tori Spelling is said to be unhappy that her mother, Candy, was spending time with a longtime family friend while her father's health deteriorated. Candy Spelling has denied a romance with the friend.
· Jackie Chan looks to bequeath half of wealth. Hong Kong action movie star Jackie Chan is looking to bequeath half his fortune to charity, following in the footsteps of Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, local media reported on Thursday.
· Gun amnesty uncovers attic rocket launcher. An amnesty program designed to reduce the number of illegal and unwanted guns in British Columbia, Canada has also turned up an unexpected weapon - a rocket launcher from an elderly woman.
· "Devil Wears Prada" skewers fashion boss from hell. Meryl Streep, who plays a tyrannical fashion magazine editor in "The Devil Wears Prada," insists she didn't draw on Vogue editor Anna Wintour for her character - on the contrary, she based it on men.
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
· Britney Bares All. Apparently, Britney Spears is out to prove she's not a girl and very much a woman. Just days after baring her soul on Dateline, the pregnant pop tart is taking a page out of Demi Moore's playbook and baring, well, everything else, for the cover of the August issue of Harper's Bazaar.
· Cost for Queen is a buck per person. Queen Elizabeth costs each UK taxpayer $1.13, with the overall cost of running the royal family increasing above the rate of inflation, Buckingham Palace said on Wednesday. The Royal Public Finances report said the queen's family and household spending was $68.2 million, a 4.2 percent increase from the previous year, costing the taxpayer an extra 1 pence more a year.
· Teacher scandals - They happen in England too. A married teacher who had sex with one of her teenage pupils has been jailed for four years and three months. Elvira Fairhurst, from Liverpool, began an affair with the boy when he was 14 and had sex with him up to 10 times.
· Plane Crashes After Taking Off Without Pilot. A small plane crashed Tuesday afternoon near the Mount Comfort airport in Hancock County, but no one was on the plane when it went down. Police said the plane's pilot, Michael Bower of Greenwood, went out for an afternoon flight out of the airport, but had some trouble starting the plane.
· Pervert priest blames parents of daughter he molested. Former Roman Catholic priest Oliver O'Grady claims it was the parents' fault that he raped a 5-year-old girl, because they allowed him to be too close to their daughter. [Disturbing Video]
· Awkward moments abound in penis pump trial. Serving on the jury in an indecent-exposure trial unfolding in this conservative Oklahoma town has been a giggle-inducing experience. Former Judge Donald D. Thompson, a veteran of 23 years on the bench, is on trial on charges he used a penis pump on himself in the courtroom while sitting in judgment of others. It sounded like a penis pump to me," Daniel Greenwood testified. "I still use those," another testified.
· High court says prisons can withhold newspaper. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that Pennsylvania officials did not violate the free-speech rights of troublesome inmates by keeping secular newspapers and magazines away from them. Justices, by a 6-2 vote, said the state could use newspapers as incentives to get inmates in a high-security unit to behave themselves.
· School Administrator Accused Of Exposing Self. A 51-year-old school administrator was arrested and charged with exposing himself at a park in Osceola County, Fla., according to a sheriff's office news release.
· New tool to save ocean life: Buy out the fishermen. Two environmental groups working to reduce an often-harmful kind of commercial fishing that drags nets along the ocean bottom off the California coast have decided to fight it with a novel new weapon - cold cash.
· Amish farmer fights milk law after sting. Arlie Stutzman was busted in a rare sting when an undercover agent bought raw milk from the Amish dairy farmer in an unlabeled container. Now, Stutzman is fighting the law that forbids the sale of raw milk, saying he believes it violates his religious beliefs because it prohibits him from sharing the milk he produces with others.
· Insurers Give Better Rates To Churchgoers. Churchgoers are in even greater hands with an Iowa-based insurance company that offers them special benefits and unique coverages. When it was founded in the 1940s, GuideOne Insurance offered lower insurance rates to people who didn't drink alcohol. Now regular churchgoers get special blessings.
· Flag-burning amendment fails by one vote. The Senate by a single vote Tuesday rejected a proposed constitutional amendment to ban desecrating the American flag. The measure would have rolled back a 1989 Supreme Court decision allowing it. The vote was 66-34.
· Reynolds' Announcement Upsets Walters. The gloves are off for the women on "The View." Creator Barbara Walters said she was "betrayed" by Star Jones Reynolds' surprise on-air announcement of her exit from the daytime talk show Tuesday. Reynolds said in a magazine interview she felt she was fired. "I would have loved for Star to have left and not said 'I was fired,' and not make it look like the program was somehow being cruel to her," Walters said.
· News Agency Apologizes to Ariz. Candidate. A Spanish news agency apologized for a report that described a Republican gubernatorial candidate's proposed work program for illegal immigrants as "concentration camps." EFE Executive Vice President Emillio Sanchez said a freelance writer for the news agency inaccurately described Goldwater's plan. "Upon further reflection, our investigation has determined that your plan to house illegal prisoners in a tent city is consistent with accepted practices for nonviolent American prisoners in your area."
· Officials: 'Hooters For Neuters' Degrades Women. Several Los Angeles city officials are criticizing a planned bikini contest to raise money for spaying pets, saying the "Hooters for Neuters" event is degrading to women. Hosted by the Hooters restaurant chain, the July 13th fundraiser will donate money to the spay and neuter programs at Los Angeles Animal Services.
· Senator Wants Pimps to Face Tax Collectors. Pimps and sex traffickers could soon find themselves being chased by tax collectors, not just the vice squad. Sen. Charles Grassley, chairman of the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee, wants the Internal Revenue Service to chase after pimps and sex traffickers with the same fervor it stalked gangster Al Capone for tax evasion.
· Limbaugh Likely to Wait Several Days. Rush Limbaugh will likely have to wait several days to find out if he violated his deal with prosecutors in a prescription fraud case when authorities found him in possession of a bottle of Viagra that was apparently prescribed to someone else, a spokesman for the state attorney's office said Tuesday.
· Update: Ellison reneges on $115 million donation to Harvard. It's official: Larry Ellison is backing away from a promise to donate $115 million to Harvard University. The Oracle founder and CEO, the world's 15th richest person, had made headlines in 2005 when, in an interview with The Chronicle, he pledged to make a major donation to an institute at Harvard to study world health.
· Police Shoot Man at Las Vegas Airport. Police shot and wounded a man at the city's airport Tuesday after he grabbed a 3-year-old boy at knifepoint and sprinted through a security checkpoint, authorities said. The 25-year-old man snatched the boy at a toy store in an unsecured area just outside a gate area at McCarran International Airport, officials said. The child was not harmed and was returned to his mother.
· Hip-hop producer faces Dubai drug charges. Grammy-winning hip-hop producer Dallas Austin faces drug possession charges in the United Arab Emirates that could land him a lengthy prison term, legal sources said Tuesday. Austin, 34, was the producer behind TLC, one of the biggest R&B groups of the 1990s.
· 'Railroad Killer' begs forgiveness before dying. A train-hopping serial killer linked to at least 15 murders near railroad tracks around the country said "I deserve what I am getting" before he was executed Tuesday night. Angel Maturino Resendiz mumbled a prayer, saying "Lord, forgive me. Lord, forgive me," and acknowledged the presence of relatives watching through a nearby window. "I want to ask if it is in your heart to forgive me," he said as he looked toward the relatives of victims in another room.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
· Montana man's suicide bullet kills girl. A man who committed suicide at a party also killed a 16-year-old girl when the bullet traveled through his head and struck her in the chest, authorities said. Jacob R. Lee, 19, and Lorena Mocko, 16, were found shot to death at around 1 a.m. Saturday, authorities said.
· Firefighter resigns over stolen soda. A Plainfield firefighter resigned Tuesday after being accused of removing a soda from the refrigerator of a burned home and drinking the beverage. “He had removed what was described as soft drink, but regardless of whatever the (item) is, it’s a violation. It is actually theft,” said Fire Chief Byron L. Anderson.
· Texas Woman Receives Finger in Letter From Ex-Boyfriend. Corpus Christi police say a woman reports her ex-boyfriend mailed her a severed human finger. Police Captain John Houston says police aren't sure which finger was removed or how it was removed, but that the finger appeared to have been cleanly severed and washed. Police said a letter was enclosed, stating "This is the last chance to touch you."
· Humble grocer quietly gave away millions. Waldemar Kaminski, who quietly ran a food stand in Broadway Market for more than 50 years, has been revealed to be a self-made millionaire and philanthropist who anonymously gave millions to Buffalo charities and neighbors in need.
· Ailes Cracks Whip as Fox News Slips. Slackers at Fox News Channel, you’re on notice! Your boss is not pleased. Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes is on the warpath following his network’s recent ratings slump, and he won’t hesitate to clean house to turn things around.
· Lottery Winner Claims Medication Made Him Miss Deadline. A man who failed to claim a $40,000 scratch Colorado Lottery ticket jackpot before a 180 day deadline expired said the he was on heavy medication for cancer and the state should cut him some slack.
· Woman Says Pastor Forced Her To Have Sex For Spiritual Reasons. Cocoa, Fla. Police have arrested a pastor who they said forced a woman to have sex with him as her spiritual advisor. Authorities said Tuesday that Jesse M. French, 43, who is the pastor of the Solid Life Ministries, Church of Disciples in Rockledge, was arrested on 10 counts of sexual battery and 15 counts of lewd and lascivious acts to a member of his congregation.
· Boy George, garbage man. The one-time Culture Club singer will do five days of court-ordered community service as an employee of the Department of Sanitation, a spokesman for the city agency confirmed Tuesday.
· Star Jones Reynolds leaving 'The View.' Don't expect any smackdown between Rosie O'Donnell and Star Jones Reynolds on "The View." Reynolds said Tuesday she was leaving the show. 'I feel like I was fired,' she tells People magazine.
· Michael Jackson Overhauls Business. Michael Jackson, who has been living in Bahrain since he was acquitted of child molestation charges a year ago, is moving to Europe, has fired his business managers and has hired a New York-based firm to oversee his business affairs, his spokeswoman said Tuesday.
· Need An Excuse For Being Fat? Here Are 10 More. Why are so many people fat? Scientists have come up with some novel excuses, including air conditioning, lack of sleep, fewer smokers, and more sex among obese people, which can produce chubby kids.
· Rocker Axl Rose Jailed in Stockholm. Axl Rose was arrested early Tuesday after allegedly biting a security guard in the leg at his hotel, police said. The Guns N' Roses frontman was ordered held in jail by prosecutors on suspicion of attacking and threatening the guard, as well as causing damage to the Berns Hotel where the alleged scuffle took place, said a police spokeswoman.
· Yates sobs, jurors teary at sight of kids' bodies. Andrea Yates sobbed as prosecutors played a crime-scene videotape in court Tuesday showing her 7-year-old son floating dead in a bathtub and the bodies of her four younger children laid out on a bed.
· Update: Abandoned Arizona casket mystery solved. An empty casket with a military seal discovered in the desert was discarded by a mortuary after the deceased's family requested that the body be exhumed and cremated, authorities said.
· Rowling: Two 'Potter' Characters Will Die. Author J.K. Rowling said two characters will die in the last installment of her boy wizard series, and she hinted Harry Potter might not survive either. "I have never been tempted to kill him off before the final because I've always planned seven books, and I want to finish on seven books," Rowling said.
· Buffett's Big 'Oops!' Warren Buffet's decision to make a mega-donation to charity was followed by a mega-gaffe, though one that was quickly remedied. Warren Buffet and the Gateses sat down for an interview Monday with Buffett's close friend, PBS talk show host Charlie Rose. And Rose says the most excitement came when the session ended. "We were all walking down. I was gonna say goodbye to them at the sidewalk," he told The Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm Monday. "And Warren turns to me and says, 'I forget the documents!' I said, 'Where are they?' And he said, 'I left them in the studio.' So, I ran back to the studio and brought back the documents and Bill said, 'Check and make sure I (Rose) didn't change the beneficiary!' The Charlie Rose Foundation, with assets of $30 billion, suddenly came into existence, Rose joked.
· 'Marlboro Man' Marine files for divorce. A Marine who was dubbed the "Marlboro Man" after appearing in an iconic photograph from the Iraq War has filed for divorce less than a month after dozens of Americans contributed to a dream wedding for him and his bride.
· Surgeon General Warns of Secondhand Smoke. Separate smoking sections don't cut it: Only smoke-free buildings and public places truly protect nonsmokers from the hazards of breathing in other people's tobacco smoke, says a long-awaited surgeon general's report. Some 126 million nonsmokers are exposed to secondhand smoke, what U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona repeatedly calls "involuntary smoking" that puts people at increased risk of death from lung cancer, heart disease and other illnesses.
· Check cursing may cost jail time. Robert Militzer saw the rectangular white parking ticket on his windshield and cursed. When the time came to pay the $10 fine to Berkley District Court, Militzer grudgingly pulled out his checkbook. He scribbled his name, filled in the amount and - in a moment of sheer spontaneous gratification - penned a profane note for the court on the check's memo line: "BULL---- MONEY GRAB." Those three questionable words have turned a simple parking ticket with a nominal fine into a criminal charge and have raised questions about Militzer's right to free speech.
· Teacher charged with having sex with student fired. School board members vote today to fire a Tulsa Washington photography teacher and soccer coach for alleged illegal sexual conduct with a 16-year-old student.
· Rush Limbaugh Detained At Palm Beach Airport. Conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh was detained for more than three hours Monday at Palm Beach International Airport in Florida. Authorities said they found a bottle of Viagra in his possession without a prescription. A sheriff's office spokesman said it didn't have Limbaugh's name on it, but that of two doctors. Limbaugh attorney Roy Black said a doctor had prescribed the drug, but he said, it was "labeled as being issued to the physician rather than Mr. Limbaugh for privacy purposes."
· Pitt-Jolie Baby Shower Photos Stolen, Lawyers Say. Lawyers for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have sent a letter to a number of media outlets warning them not to purchase, distribute or publish stolen pictures of the couple. According to TMZ.com, a "memory card containing a number of personal copyright-protected photographs" has been offered for sale.
· Six of 10 Trapped People Rescued From Collapsed Missouri Elks Lodge. A three-story building partially collapsed as members of an Elks Club gathered for a dinner, trapping 10 people inside. Six of the 10 were pulled out early Tuesday.
· Another Maid Sues Model Naomi Campbell. Naomi Campbell is being accused of less-than-model behavior again, this time by another maid who claims the supermodel hit her. In a terse single-sheet filing in Manhattan's state Supreme Court, Gaby Gibson accused Campbell of "personal injuries,""employment discrim-ination,""civil assault,""civil battery" and other complaints.
· Dog That Starred In 'Frasier' Dies. The dog that drove Frasier crazy has died. Eddie was played on the television series by a Jack Russell terrier named Moose. His trainer told People magazine that Moose was 16 1/2 years old when he died in Los Angeles.
Monday, June 26, 2006
· University of Colorado To Fire Ward Churchill. The University of Colorado announced Monday that it will dismiss controversial professor Ward Churchill. "Today, I issued to Professor Churchill a notice of intent to dismiss him from his faculty position at the University of Colorado Boulder," CU Interim Chancellor Phil DiStefano said Monday afternoon.
· The Wimbledon cover-up. Tennis fans who like to see a little more of their favorite players at Wimbledon could be disappointed this year. Tournament bosses have issued a warning to the stars that could see short skirts banned from the courts.
· Iced marijuana tea to debut in British health food shops. British health food shops will soon be offering customers iced cannabis tea, its Swiss distributor said. Sold under the label "C-Ice Swiss Cannabis Ice Tea", the beverage contains five percent of hemp flower syrup and a tiny (0.0015 percent) quantity of THC, the active ingredient of marijuana.
· Lawyer scolds jury; client gets death. The jury that found Justin Barber guilty of murdering his wife during a stroll on the beach has recommended that he receive the death penalty. "I don't know how you got where you are," the defence attorney said, shaking his head. Echoing accusations he made against police in the closing argument of the trial, Willis said, "Apparently, you have found every sinister inference there is."
· Prince Charles's private income hits $26 million. Prince Charles's private income rose six percent to $25.6 million last year, lifted by investments and rent rises on his country estates, figures from his office show.
· Vegas Casino Shooting Rampage Caught On Tape. Police are circulating a dramatic security videotape showing a gunman shooting and people scrambling for cover in a Nevada casino. One man was killed and a woman was wounded in the shooting a little before 4 a.m. Sunday inside the Silver Nugget casino in North Las Vegas.
· Not the best way to get out of jury duty. An Ohio man who tried to get removed from a jury pool claimed in a questionnaire that he is a heroin addict and a killer, a judge said. Benjamin Ratliffe, 21, of Columbus, was charged with contempt of court and obstruction of justice and ordered to spend a night in jail.
· How did Nicole Kidman re-marry in a Catholic church? Nicole Kidman's wedding to country singer Keith Urban in Sydney have many people perplexed at how the former bride of actor Tom Cruise managed to tie the knot for a second time, in a Catholic church. It turns out that Kidman didn't need an annulment for one simple reason: in the eyes of the Catholic Church her 10-year union with Tom Cruise, a renowned Scientologist, never happened.
· Boy Scouts foil arson attempt in California. Maybe the Boy Scouts should start handing out arson prevention badges. A group of Scouts preparing for a camping trip spotted a 17-year-old boy setting fire to a museum building, yelled at him and chased him and two female companions into the street Sunday morning, according to a police statement.
· Missing N.H. Mom, Son & Student Found In Florida. Police found a missing New Hampshire boy, his mother, and a student who ran off with them in Florida Monday, just days after people reported seeing them there. 32-year-old Jennifer Malone, her eight-year-old son Brennan and 16-year-old Christopher Cole were found on a bus Monday morning. It’s unclear where they were going. All three are now at the police station in St. Petersburg, Florida.
· Man wins an early retirement. Some guys get all the luck. Five years ago, Bill Farner, 51, of Joseph won a $1 million as a contestant in a promotion on Howard Stern’s show. On Wednesday, he held the winning ticket in the Oregon Lottery’s Megabucks game. He quickly went to Salem to claim his $8.8 million prize, choosing to collect $352,000 a year for the next 25 years before taxes.
· Fla. man wrongly fined for feeding squirrels. Retired Kennedy Space Center mechanic Jack Garrison doesn't own a dog. He doesn't own a squirrel, either, though he admits he likes to feed the squirrels in his backyard. Recently the Florida man was issued notices of fines totaling nearly $1,400. The infractions, which Garrison calls just plain nuts, included a barking dog violation along with four squirrel-related charges - from squirrel disturbing the peace to squirrel at large. The city of Melbourne, Florida has admitted its mistake.
· Deputy charged with assaulting fellow officer responding to noisy party. The music was too loud, so neighbors called the police. When two Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to the call, they found one of their own, angry and quick to point his gun at them. Deputy Howard E. Howell, 39, was arrested late Friday and charged with aggravated assault with a firearm.
· Woman On Cell Phone Struck By Train. A woman having a conversation on her cell phone was struck and severely injured when an Amtrak passenger train at a crossing near Safeco Field in Seattle Sunday afternoon.
· Oops! Sheriff’s deputy mistakes pistol for Taser. A sheriff's deputy who was trying to get a man down from a tree shot and wounded him after mistakenly pulling a gun instead of a Taser, authorities say.
· 10,000 cram downtown Toronto for 'Dyke March.' Being a gay geek doesn't mean you can't show off your assets too. "I'm marching topless because I thought it was important for women to see other women's bodies," Gillian - who didn't want her last name used because she tries not to freak out her parents "too badly too often" - said during yesterday's Dyke March. With her bare breasts and rainbow-coloured dreadlocks, the 27-year-old computer programmer joined thousands of women in the 11th annual event, which is part of Pride Week.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Ostensible [os·ten·si·ble] adj. 1. Intended for display, open to view. 2. Being such in appearance, plausible rather than demonstrably true or real. [the ostensible purpose of the trip was business].
· No 'Joy of Gay Sex' at This Idaho Town Library. There would be no joy in sex for homosexuals in one Idaho town if one public library user had his way. Randy Jackson, of Nampa, Idaho, checked “The Joy of Gay Sex” out of the library and says he has no intentions of returning it. The library recently decided it would continue to carry “The Joy of Gay Sex” and similar titles as part of its collection, but the controversial books would be housed on higher shelves.
· Young Muslim women in Europe go to extremes to be virgins — again. Chastity can exact a painful price from young Muslim women, forced into lies or surgery to go to the marriage bed as virgins. Hymen repair, fake virginity certificates and other deceptions, said to be commonplace in some Muslim countries, are practiced in France and elsewhere in Europe, where Muslim girls are more emancipated but still live under rigid codes of family honor. Such ploys have saved many a young woman from scorn and worse.
· Key to long life may be mom's age at birth. People are more likely to see their 100th birthday, research hints, if they were born to young mothers. The age at which a mother gives birth has a major impact on how long her child will live, two researchers from the University of Chicago's Center on Aging told the Chicago Actuarial Association meeting this spring. The chances of living to the ripe old age of 100 — and beyond — nearly double for a child born to a woman before her 25th birthday.
· Pupil kills family to hide failure. A 16-year-old Japanese boy, pushed to the limits of academic effort and dreading a parental scolding, has admitted starting a house fire that killed his stepmother, five-year-old sister and seven-year-old brother.
· Bibles Are Hot Item At Adult Film Show. One of the hottest items at the weekend's Erotica pornography show was a Bible with a cover that said "Jesus Loves Porn Stars." The Rev. J.R. Mahon of the Web site www.xxxchurch.com said his anti-porn ministry handed out its entire stock of 3,300 Bibles on the first day of the three-day show.
· Sales calls push security hotline to refuge of Do Not Call list. The federal government has decided to put its own secret Homeland Security hotline to the nation's 50 governors on the federal Do Not Call Registry, according to Delaware Gov. Ruth Ann Minner. The move came after a complaint Thursday by Minner, who said that when her line rings, chances are it's not an emergency but an unwanted intrusion. "Every time that phone rings, it's telemarketers," she said in Washington.
· Man Robbed by Teen Girls, Thought He was Meeting MySpace Friend. A Jacksonville man says he was duped and robbed by two girls after attempting to meet with a woman he met on the internet. The victim says he chatted online with a woman, known on her MySpace.com profile as “Natalia”, for two weeks before deciding to meet with her. He says her prfile showed sexy photos, and a blurb which said “just lookin’ for something fun”. That brief, friendly description was all he knew about her before they planned to meet.
· Studio Bosses Face Unwanted Attention. Studio bosses Brad Grey and Ron Meyer have scaled Hollywood's ruthless ranks to become two of the most powerful men in the entertainment industry. On their way to the top, both enlisted the help of private eye Anthony Pellicano, who is now accused in a federal indictment of wiretapping celebrities and others to dig up dirt to help clients.
· Arizona Deputies Find Empty Casket, Look For Owner. An empty casket with a military seal was discovered in a desert area south of Tucson, and sheriff's deputies were looking for the body. "Obviously it had the smell, and there was other evidence that it had been inhabited recently," Deputy Dawn Barkman said Sunday.
Sunday, June 25, 2006
· Armstrong threatened my life, claims LeMond. Former Tour de France champion Greg LeMond has claimed that he was threatened by fellow American Lance Armstrong for having criticised the seven-time race winner's association with a doctor implicated in doping affairs.
· Murtha says U.S. poses top threat to world peace. American presence in Iraq is more dangerous to world peace than nuclear threats from North Korea or Iran, Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., said to an audience of more than 200 in North Miami yesterday.
· Foot Fondler Sentenced. A Brooklyn man accused of fondling the feet of four women on the subway has been sentenced to 60 days in jail. Joseph Weir, 23, also was ordered to attend psychological counseling and spend the next six years on probation.
· Study: Sexual harassment of men at the office. A hidden world of sexual harassment, with female managers exploiting their power over men in the office, has been unveiled by a new government survey. Despite the common stereotype of the male executive putting pressure on his secretary, two in five victims of sexual harassment are men, the study found.
· Jail is no fun, so why the games? After a long day of work, some inmates at the Hernando County Jail get to relax with a few hours of video games. Daniel Sanchez holds a PlayStation 2 controller loose in his hands as he whips his dirt bike around a turn on the screen. "You can actually feel like you're at home," said Sanchez, 21, who is serving time for burglary. "It gets you away. You don't feel like you're locked up."
· Buffett Gives 85% of Wealth to Charity. Warren Buffett, estimated to be worth $44 billion, will give away 85 percent of his wealth starting in July, most of it to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Fortune said.
· Providence police officer admits stealing magazines. A Providence police officer pleads no contest to charges he stole magazines from a local supermarket. Court records say 41-year-old patrolman John Sigillo took magazines from a Shaw's supermarket several times, and was ordered to pay the supermarket $93.50 in restitution.
· Female fistfight forces plane landing. Police detained one woman and questioned two others early Sunday after a fight broke out in the first minutes of a flight to Puerto Rico, causing the plane to be diverted to John F. Kennedy Airport in New York.
· Teen Killed After Jumping Off Bridge With Friends. A Utah teenager was discovered dead after he went missing in Northern Utah Friday night. The 16-year-old boy was with some friends late Friday afternoon along the Bear River near the town of Trenton.
· General says troops to start coming home this September. The U.S. commander in charge of coalition forces in Iraq projects large reductions in the 127,000-member American force in Iraq, starting in September and continuing through 2007, according to an online report posted late Saturday.
· University of California Chancellor Dies After Apparent Jump From Building. A University of California chancellor died Saturday in an apparent suicide jump from a 43-story apartment building on Saturday, authorities said. Denice Dee Denton, 46, the chancellor of the Santa Cruz campus, apparently jumped from an undisclosed section of the Paramount luxury apartment building around 8 a.m. and landed on a parking garage, police and university officials said.
· U.S. Population to Hit 300 Million in 2006. The U.S. population is on target to hit 300 million this fall and it's a good bet the milestone baby - or immigrant - will be Hispanic. Latinos - immigrants and those born in this country - are driving the population growth, accounting for almost half the increase last year, more than any other ethnic or racial group.
· U.S. Releases 14 Saudis. Fourteen Saudi Arabians were released on Saturday from the detention center at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and transferred to their home country, the Pentagon said. The releases bring to 310 the number of detainees who have departed Guantanamo to other governments.
· Disney lifts ban on Pooh gravestone. The Walt Disney Co., which had denied permission to grieving British parents to put Winnie the Pooh on their child's gravestone, has had a change of heart. Disney had warned that a stonemason would be in breach of copyright if he included the bear's image along with "bear of very little brain," on the gravestone.
· Police: Woman swallowed 320 drug condoms. A woman who police allege swallowed 320 condoms full of heroin appeared in an Australian court on drugs charges on Sunday. The 25-year-old Australian woman was stopped by Customs officials after she got off a flight from Singapore on June 18 on suspicion that she was concealing drugs internally.
· Kidman, Urban tie knot in Sydney. Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban have wed, People magazine reported Sunday. A crowd of cheering people swarmed into the street leading to the church compound when Kidman's Rolls Royce limousine came past, causing it to slow down to avoid hitting someone.
· Miss Universe may be stripped of title. Miss Universe Australia may be stripped of her title because of a series of raunchy photographs. The photos of Gold Coast model Erin McNaught, 24, published in Zoo Weekly magazine, have thrown the pageant into turmoil.
· Washington Metro ponders signs in Spanish. Metrorail officials are considering adding permanent Spanish-language signs, system maps, fare-card machines and announcements in stations after a push by immigration advocates.
· Web Generation Preserves Memories Online. John Shin refuses to buy a copy of his high school yearbook. Instead, he's turning to the Internet to preserve and share memories of his sophomore year. "I'm going to bring everyone who matters to me to MyYearbook," said John, who attends school in Eastchester, a suburb just north of New York City. "I'm confident in that, and besides, they're like $70." Jostens and other yearbook companies have responded to changes in technology by offering a supplemental DVD offering student-compiled music, photos and video.
· The unperson. In the Tampa Bay area's burgeoning Scientology community, members abide by a policy considered by some religious experts extreme: Scientologists declare their outcasts “suppressive persons.” Another Scientology policy — called “disconnection” — forbids Scientologists from interacting with a suppressive person. No calls, no letters, no contact. An SP is a pariah. Anyone who communicates with an SP risks being branded an SP himself.
· Student loan rates are going up. It's graduation season, and for many the cost of that college education drags on for a decade or more. The average college graduate owes $20,000 in loans and pays more than $5,000 in interest over the life of the loan.
· Jayson awaits trial, plans eatery in N.J. Jayson Williams, the retired NBA star awaiting retrial in the killing of a man at his Hunterdon County home four years ago, plans to open a restaurant in Trenton.
· Aging Hubble blind in one eye. main camera on the Hubble Space Telescope, which has revolutionized astronomy with its stunning pictures of the universe, has stopped working, engineers said Saturday.
· Tori Spelling makes amends with dad. Actress Tori Spelling was able to make peace with her father, TV titan Aaron, before his death Friday from complications from a stroke. "I'm grateful I recently had the opportunity to reconcile with my father and most grateful we had the chance to tell each other we loved one another before he passed away," she told People magazine.
· Agassi to Retire After U.S. Open. Andre Agassi will retire after this year's U.S. Open, leaving tennis after two decades during which he collected a career Grand Slam and morphed from "Image Is Everything" brashness to elder statesman. The 36-year-old American announced his plans Saturday during a news conference at the All England Club, where Wimbledon starts Monday.
Saturday, June 24, 2006
· 81-year-old busted with $600,000 in pot at border. An 81-year-old Niagara Falls pensioner has been arrested and charged with smuggling almost $600,000 worth of marijuana into the U.S. in the trunk of a car. "He is one of the older suspects we have ever seen," said Kevin Corsaro, of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
· ACLU: Let's hear it for the boys. The American Civil Liberties Union wants Michigan's governing body for high school athletics to reconsider a policy keeping boys out of the postseason tournament for competitive cheerleading.
· Gay foster couple to be sentenced for abusing boys. A gay couple found guilty of sexually abusing boys placed in their foster care have been sentenced to a total of 11 years in jail. Ian Wathey, 41, and his partner Craig Faunch, 32, were found guilty at Leeds Crown Court last month of a series of sex offences against young boys.
· Patsy Ramsey, JonBenet's mother, dies. Patsy Ramsey, mother of slain 6-year-old JonBenet, died Saturday of ovarian cancer, her lawyer told CNN. She was 49. She was diagnosed with cancer in 1993 but was cancer-free for nine years until a relapse three years ago.
· Goldwater lambasted for 'tent city' plan. Top Arizona Republicans pounced Friday on gubernatorial candidate Don Goldwater's plan to build a "tent city" for illegal immigrants, who would be required to build a fence along the border and clean the desert.
· $5 lotto tiff to cost state $1.1 million. A dispute over a winning lottery ticket would have cost Indiana's Hoosier Lottery $5 to resolve in 1997. Now it will cost more than $1 million to settle in court. Tom H. Smith, of Indianapolis, Indiana, bought an instant-win, scratch-off lottery ticket in 1996, which awarded him the disputed $5 prize.
· Pioneering TV Producer Spelling Dies At Age 83. Aaron Spelling captivated generations of television viewers with shows like "Charlie's Angels" and "Beverly Hills 90210" and left an indelible stamp on American pop culture, but he never won the critical acclaim he sought. Spelling died Friday at his Los Angeles mansion after suffering a stroke on June 18, according to his publicist.
· Physicians barred from using hand-written prescriptions. A new law went into effect that could paralyze the penmanship-impaired. It says that if a prescription isn't hand-printed, typed or electronically generated, it can't be filled, Jeff Smith of the state Health Department explained.
· Man who fought Playmate for inheritance dies. E. Pierce Marshall, who feuded for years with former Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith over his father's oil fortune, has died, his spokesman said Friday. He was 67.
· Oops... Britney dyed it again. There's nothing like a new hairdo to make a girl feel better. And after the recent criticism of her mothering abilities, Britney Spears could do with a pick-me-up. Unfortunately going from blonde to black has only given her critics more ammunition.
Friday, June 23, 2006
· Senior class trip to winery gets school in hot water. Two Montana high school athletes have lost some sports privileges after tasting wine at a Washington state winery during a senior class trip. Their chaperones included the chairman of the school board.
· Handyman sues because it worked too good. A former handyman won $400,000 from a medical device maker's insurance company. Charles Lennon received a penile implant in 1996 that he says has caused him to have an erection for ten years.
· Reno Shooting Suspect Surrenders in Mexico. An international manhunt ended peacefully Friday when a Nevada man suspected of murdering his wife and shooting a judge turned himself into authorities in Mexico, FBI officials said. Darren Mack, a former Reno pawnshop dealer, surrendered to Mexican immigration officials in Puerto Vallarta just after midnight Friday morning.
· Pillsbury 'Dope Boy' Shirts Spark Protest. A store in Warren, Ohio, has decided to stop selling T-shirts that had about 30 people out protesting Thursday. Demonstrators complained that the shirts sent harmful messages to young people by combining pop culture icons with references to drugs. They pointed to one example of the Pillsbury "Dope Boy," not Dough Boy.
· Nigerians travelling to Britain have been warned to watch for con men. Crime-infested Nigeria, famed for its email scams, has warned citizens travelling to Britain to watch out for con men who use tricks to rob or rip off visitors.
· 10-Year-Old's 'Smiley Face' Bandana Causes Controversy. A 10-year-old girl got in trouble while shopping at a Springfield, MO mall with her mom, because she had on a bandana. Lydia Smith was wearing a bandana, decorated with peace signs, smiley faces and flowers. A security guard approached her at the food court and said the bandanna violated the mall's code of conduct, which is "wearing apparel which is likely to provide a disturbance or embroil other groups or the general public in open conflict."
· Deputy quits amid internal investigation. After reporting that a woman he was supposed to be watching at Sarasota Memorial Hospital swiped his car keys and stole his SUV, Deputy James Marino quit his job late Wednesday.
· A Penny for K-Fed's Thoughts. That dude in the Abraham Lincoln mask standing in Times Square Wednesday wasn't just your average Joe looking for attention and a handout. Au contraire. It was Kevin Federline. "Man, I feel good about the penny!" the aspiring rapper announced to the crowd, removing his mask and joining the throng of people gathered to support his new cause - saving our nation's one-cent currency.
· Fla. Couple Sells Old Currency For $4.2 Million. Two 19th-century pieces of U.S. currency, including a $100 note issued during the Civil War, have sold for $2.1 million each. The $100 note is a 1863-series gold certificate signed Dec. 13, 1866. The other bill was an 1891 treasury note for $1,000.
· Are You Ready For TV Pop-Ups? That hallmark of Internet life - the pop-up ad - may be coming to a TV screen near you. Cable and satellite TV companies serving the Tampa Bay area have begun experimenting with onscreen features and advertising that are more interactive and, they argue, helpful for TV viewers and clients.
· Update: Seven held over 'Sears Tower plot.' Seven people were in custody Friday after FBI agents and police carried out raids against an alleged terrorist plot that may have included the Sears Tower in Chicago and Miami's FBI offices as possible targets, law enforcement sources said. Sources also told CNN that the suspects believed they were dealing with an al Qaeda operative who was actually a government informant. Other law enforcement sources said the seven suspects were radical Muslims, and at least one of them had taken an oath to serve al Qaeda.
· Funerals Now Available Via 'Net. When a Long Island man died this week, some of his extended family, scattered across the country, were unable to fly in for the funeral, which under Jewish custom was held within 24 hours. But they said they felt a part of it anyway because they were able to watch it LIVE via the Internet.
· Hollywood loses eminent domain fight. The city can't take a family's downtown property and give it to a private developer, a judge ruled Thursday, ending a two-year legal battle and potentially jeopardizing a $100 million condominium complex.
· Taking vitamins to prevent cancer? Think again. Your parents may still tell you to take your vitamins, but a cancer doctor might hesitate. A recent study that found calcium and vitamin D supplements don't reduce the odds of developing breast cancer is the latest to deflate the cancer-prevention claims of some vitamin proponents.
· US army officer refuses deployment to Iraq. A young US army officer could face court martial after refusing to obey orders to prepare for deployment to Iraq, claiming the war is illegal, his supporters said.
· Man upset over parking tickets threatens police. A man upset that officers had ticketed a friend's car parked near his home has been charged with disorderly conduct, accused of calling the dispatcher to threaten the police department and say he'd burn down City Hall.
· Seal's Former Manager Wins Court Judgment. A former manager of singer and songwriter Seal on Thursday won a court judgment claiming he was owed commissions from the artist's first two albums. The judge ordered Seal to make an interim payment of $922,000, but the full amount to be paid to Wadlow will be decided at a future court hearing.
· Man nabbed for trying to photo Jolie's son. A paparazzo was arrested Thursday for investigation of trespassing while trying to photograph Angelina Jolie's adopted son, said a publicist for her partner, Brad Pitt. Photographer Clint Brewer, 25, was attempting to take pictures of 4-year-old Maddox at a daycare center the child was attending.
· Saddam ends hunger strike after missing one meal. Saddam Hussein ended a brief hunger strike after missing just one meal in his U.S.-run prison, a U.S. military spokesman said on Friday. The former Iraqi leader had refused lunch on Thursday in protest at the killing of one of his lawyers by gunmen, but the spokesman said he ate his evening meal.
· Drug-proof bug found in illegal tattoo customers. A worrisome superbug seen in prisoners and athletes is also showing up in people who get illegal tattoos, federal health officials said Thursday. Forty-four tattoo customers in Ohio, Kentucky and Vermont developed skin infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
· Dioceses won't perform background checks. The Roman Catholic dioceses of Los Angeles and Orange County have backed away from a promise to conduct fingerprint background checks on anyone working with children, saying they don't want to lose volunteers who are illegal immigrants.
· Stolen truckload of dish soap mystifies police. Police are left scratching their heads after a stolen tractor trailer full of dish soap was found with a new load. Police were called out to a tractor trailer parking lot Monday morning when a man reported that a truck he had parked there Friday evening was gone. The truck contained $17,000 worth of dish soap. Police managed to locate the abandoned truck Wednesday, but when they opened the trailer the soap had been replaced with 1,400 boxes of bleach.
· Man finds message in bottle from friend killed in accident. A Wisconsin man has received an unexpected message from a deceased friend - in a bottle floating in a lake. Steve Lieder was chatting with friends near White Lake when he looked down and saw a bottle. They broke it open and found a note. Lieder was amazed to find it was written eleven years ago by one of his closest friends, who died last year. The message included "If you find this, put it on the news."
· What Rather and Chung teach us: How not to end a career. More than a decade has passed since Dan Rather and Connie Chung had us shaking our heads at the obvious tension when they briefly shared an anchor desk between 1993 and 1995. Rather won in the end, using a nasty behind-the-scenes campaign to force out his co-anchor. He remained at CBS; she jumped to ABC and later to cable. Nobody would have guessed their separate and drastically declined careers would share headlines again - and in the same week. As for which wins the competition for most pathetic, you be the judge.
· FBI arrests 7 in domestic terror threat against Sears Tower. Seven people were in custody Thursday night after and state and local officials raided anti-terrorism raids in Miami, law enforcement sources told CNN. The arrests were made in connection with the early stages of a plot to attack Chicago's Sears Tower and the FBI building in Miami, the sources told CNN.
· Teacher Who Killed, Ate Teen Seeks Release From High-Security Mental Ward. A former teacher who admitted killing a teenager and eating part of his body 27 years ago still belongs in a secured mental ward, two psychiatrists told a judge. Dr. Khin Myo testified Wednesday that Albert Fentress did not currently display symptoms of major mental illness but said he cannot grasp Paul Masters' murder, or why he sexually mutilated and cannibalized the young man.
· County wants to shut down strip club because it promotes AIDS. Prince George's County, MD lawmakers are considering legislation that would regulate strip clubs. A bill has been introduced by Council member Thomas Hendershot amid concerns the clubs promote prostitution, drug use and the spread of AIDS.
· Woman Sentenced To Death For Starving Child. An Arlington, Texas, woman was sentenced to death Wednesday for the starvation death of a 9-year-old boy who prosecutors say weighed 35 pounds when he died.
· Fraud Trial Set for Jackson Accuser's Mom. The woman who claimed Michael Jackson molested her son, leading to the sensational trial a year ago at which the singer was acquitted, was ordered Wednesday to stand trial on a charge of welfare fraud. The attorney for the 37-year-old woman, whose name by marriage is Janet Jackson, entered a not guilty plea on her behalf. She did not speak during the arraignment.
· Ray Romano in talks to star in new series. "Everybody Loves Raymond" veteran Ray Romano, whose show was television's top sitcom when it ended its nine-year run last year, is looking to return to the small screen starring in a new comedy on cable's HBO.
· Baldwin Evalution Going Forward. Alec Baldwin has his marching orders. A Los Angeles court has appointed the psychological evaluator who will meet with the 48-year-old actor before he is allowed extra visitation privileges with his 10-year-old daughter Ireland.
· Congressman Apologizes For Helen Thomas Virgin Remark. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa was talking about the death of terrorist leader Musab al-Zarqawi when he mentioned reporter Helen Thomas. "There probably are not 72 virgins in the hell he's at," King said about al-Zarqawi. "And if there are, they probably all look like Helen Thomas."
· ACLU sues Fla. schools over Cuba book ban. The American Civil Liberties Union asked a federal judge to stop the Miami-Dade County school district from removing a series of children's books from its libraries, including a volume about Cuba which depicts smiling kids in communist uniforms.
· White Sox Manager Sorry For Gay Slur About Reporter. Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen has apologized for using a derogatory term in referring to Chicago Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti on Wednesday. Guillen called Mariotti ''a piece of s---'' and a "f------ fag,'' according to the Chicago Sun Times.
· Harvard says no sight of Ellison's $115 million. Harvard is still waiting for software billionaire Larry Ellison to make good on a $115 million pledge, a year after he announced what would have been the largest single contribution in the university's history.
· Worker’s blunder at factory costs $11 million. A worker who accidentally tripped a shut-off switch at a major Ontario plastics plant will cost the manufacturer $11 million in lost profit, the company said Wednesday. Nova Chemicals Corp. said it will not be able to fulfill some contracts because of the blunder, and forcing two weeks of repairs at the facility.
· strip club mogul's daughter busted on prostitution charges. The daughter of strip club mogul Joe Redner is facing charges for prostitution after a sting. Tampa Police arrested Reyline Redner in a prostitution sting on Nebraska Avenue early Wednesday morning after they say she offered to perform a sex act for $25. Redner admitted she has H.I.V. She's charged with prostitution and criminal transmission of an S.T.D.
· Alton Brown injured on set of new show. Alton Brown might have taken the title of his new show, "Feasting on Asphalt" a little too literally, as he was reportedly involved in a serious motorcycle accident. He hit a ditch near Las Vegas, got thrown off the bike, and broke his collarbone.
· Cemetery vandal sentenced. Repairs at the historic St. Michael's Cemetery in downtown Pensacola still are under way, nearly five months after a man admitted to vandalizing at least 25 graves in his quest for jewelry to sell for cocaine. Greg Allen Woodard, 24, who caused thousands of dollars of damage in January, was sentenced last week to 10 years in state prison.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
· Woman Preparing For Driver's Test Plunges Car Into Canal. A 19-year-old woman drove a borrowed taxi into a Pompano Beach canal while practicing for her driver's license test in the parking lot, according to authorities.
· "Peace" group gets hostile. The Rainbow Family peace gathering turned hostile Tuesday when a group of attendees began hurling rocks and sticks at law enforcement officers, U.S. Forest Service officials said.
· Man Sent to Hospital in Suicide Party Plan. A man who tried to organize a Valentine's Day mass suicide has been sentenced to up to 20 years in a state mental hospital. Gerald Krein Jr., 27, had been charged with solicitation to commit murder after allegedly forming a Yahoo chat room to organize "Suicide Party 2005," asking women to hang themselves naked on Valentine's Day.
· Bar reviewing sexual claims against lawyer. The Virginia State Bar is investigating a former Suffolk mayor and lawyer for professional misconduct based on charges that he touched the breasts of some of his female clients and told them he would reduce their legal bills in exchange for sexual favors.
· Senate Votes Against Raising Minimum Wage. The Republican-controlled Senate refused Wednesday to raise the minimum wage, rejecting an election-year proposal from Democrats for the first increase in nearly a decade. The vote was 52-46, eight short of the 60 needed.
· Evans' Unlucky Number Seven. Robert Evans is saying goodbye to spouse number seven, Victoria White O'Gara, filing for divorce last Friday, citing the catch-all cause of irreconcilable differences. The 75-year-old producer swapped vows with the socialite little more than 10 months ago in Cabo San Lucas.
· Scientist: Southern San Andreas fault waiting to explode. The southern end of the San Andreas fault near Los Angeles, which has been still for more than two centuries, is under immense stress and could produce a massive earthquake at any moment, a scientist said on Wednesday.
· Mandela to defend De Beers from bad "Blood." A new movie, “The Blood Diamond,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, is a wrenching story of two South Africans, a mercenary (DiCaprio) and a fisherman during the savage ‘90s Sierra Leone civil wars when rebels seized mines to sell “conflict” or “blood diamonds” to buy arms, murdering and mutilating (hand/arm amputation was a popular rebel sport) thousands of innocent men, women and children. It apparently has the diamond industry concerned.
· Bush Visit Draws Protesters, Including Cindy Sheehan. President Bush briefed reporters Wednesday on his talks in Vienna with European leaders. His visit has drawn protesters. An estimated 1,200 students, led by anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, blew whistles, beat drums and shouted "Hey, ho, Bush has got to go" in a demonstration at a train station in Vienna.
· Prison guard opens fire on feds sent to arrest him. Two people were killed and one wounded at a prison in Tallahassee, Florida, as federal agents served an indictment on six corrections officers, authorities said. One of those being arrested opened fire, said Jeff Westcott, a spokesman for the FBI. The six guards were being arrested in a corruption investigation into involving guards trading drugs for sex with female inmates.
· Illegal Immigrants Free To Go. Ohio police said they intercepted 20 illegal Mexican immigrants, but were ordered by immigration officials to let them go free. "Once we find out they are illegals, it's like pat them on the back of the head and tell them, 'Go on down the road; you'll probably get stopped again,'" Belmont County Sheriff Fred Thompson said.
· 'This is some nasty,' dying inmate says. Proclaiming his innocence, an admitted drug dealer was executed Tuesday evening for a shooting spree in 1999 that left three men dead and two others wounded outside a Fort Worth convenience store. Lamont Reese, 28, had to be carried into the death chamber. As the drugs began taking effect, he said, "This is some nasty." Then he gasped.
· Orlando Police seeks apology for city commissioner's remarks. Angry Orlando cops demanded an apology from Commissioner Daisy Lynum on Tuesday, saying she insulted the department by saying her son was a victim of racial profiling who might have been shot by a "white boy" officer.
· Dallas County Wants Refund For Mexican Nationals Care. Dallas County Commissioners will ask the Mexican government to reimburse the county for medical care provided to Mexican nationals. This is the first time Dallas County will be sending a bill to Mexico for indigent care. Each year, Dallas County taxpayers spend $15 million to treat Mexican nationals at Parkland Hospital. That total only reflects the first two days of the patients’ emergency care. Now, Dallas County leaders want the money back.
· Police bypass subpoenas to get Americans' phone records. Federal and local police across the country - as well as some of the nation's best-known companies - have been gathering Americans' phone records from private data brokers without subpoenas or warrants. These brokers, many of whom market aggressively across the Internet, have broken into customer accounts online, tricked phone companies into revealing information and sometimes acknowledged that their practices violate laws, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.
· Man tries to pay with bartender's checks. A 21-year-old Georgia man was arrested after trying to buy drinks with a checkbook he found at a bar. Unfortunately for Jody Brian Minor of McRae, the checkbook's owner was the bartender serving him. Minor was arrested on theft and forgery charges early Saturday morning, Statesboro Police Detective Terry Briley said.
· Kmart plans blue-light special on fine art. Who knew discount retailer Kmart Corp. had a vault, much less one filled with more than 1,000 works of fine art? The retailer plans a public showing and liquidation sale of the art starting Friday. Most of the art including watercolors, sculpture and tapestry will be available for immediate sale. But the higher-end pieces such as a Picasso tapestry are expected to sell through a bid process.
· Size 00: Sizes Shrink as Women Get Bigger. Nicole Fernandez, a 25-year-old professional from Boston, has trouble finding clothes that fit. She's 5’4 and 105 pounds, and she’s been forced to find her clothing in the children's section her whole life.
· Dan Rather leaves with harsh words for CBS. CBS News said Tuesday it had reached an agreement with Dan Rather for the former "CBS Evening News" anchorman to leave the network after 44 years. The 74-year-old Rather has complained of being virtually forgotten at CBS Corp. since his exit as anchor last year, six months after a discredited story on President Bush's military service.
· Another idiot takes a knife to a gunfight. A man who attempted to rob a DeKalb County pawn shop was in stable condition Tuesday after being shot by an employee, a police spokesman said. The 21-year-old man, armed with a knife, entered Evans Mill Pawn Shop and tried to hold up the store Tuesday morning, Dekalb County police Officer Herschel Grangent said. The man attacked one of the store's employees, who pulled out a gun and shot the man several times, Grangent said.
· Southwest Airlines to test assigned seating. Southwest Airlines Co. will test assigning seats to travelers, another indication that the maverick carrier may get in line with other U.S. airlines by junking its first-come, first-served seating system. Passengers will be assigned seats on about 200 flights from San Diego for several weeks beginning July 10, an airline spokesman said Tuesday.
· NASA picks woman to lead shuttle mission. Air Force Col. Pamela Ann Melroy will become the second woman to command a space shuttle mission when her crew heads to the international space station next year, NASA announced.
· Court: Father Can't Raise Child Despite Mother's Deception. A biological father should lose his parental rights because he did not establish himself as a caregiver, even though the mother deceived the man by claiming she had a miscarriage, the state Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
· Saddam Hussein lawyer slain. Iraqi police today discovered the bullet-riddled body of Khamees al-Ubaidi, a lead defense attorney for former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. He is the third member of the defense team to have been killed since the start of the trial late last year.
· 'Miami Vice': Summer's Biggest Bust? The inside word on Michael Mann’s “Miami Vice” is that it’s a dud, and a major one at that. The remake of the 1980s TV series cost $125 million, “and that’s what we’re admitting to,” says a source at Universal Pictures. “It’s probably more like $150 million.” That doesn’t count advertising, promotion and carting the likes of Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell around with their entourages and expensive habits, according to Fox News' Roger Friedman.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
· Vancouver woman finds bear eating oatmeal in kitchen. A woman in this suburb north of Vancouver had reason to feel like Goldilocks in reverse when she arrived home to find a bear eating oatmeal in her kitchen, police say.
· Personalized plates lead to arrest. A juvenile in Portsmouth is accused of stealing two vehicles from the driveway of a judge, the State Highway Patrol said. When a trooper stopped the 17-year-old boy for a traffic violation around 4:30 a.m. Monday, the officer recognized the personalized license plate.
· Equifax says laptop with employee data was stolen. Equifax, one of the three major U.S. credit reporting bureaus, on Tuesday said a laptop computer containing employee names and Social Security numbers was stolen from a worker traveling on a British commuter train. The theft affects nearly all of the Atlanta-based company's nearly 2,500 U.S. employees.
· Police: Kids slept next to drug stash. A man in Leesburg, Fla., was arrested Monday after his 5-year-old niece led officers to a stash of drugs located feet from where she and her brother slept, according to police.
· Smithsonian dumps electric car exhibit. The Smithsonian Institution has pulled a rare electric car from display, weeks before the release of a movie that was expected to boost interest in the vehicle.
· No end in sight for Africa's suffering masses. Just imagine for a moment that everything you own - from your hard-earned money to your home to your car to little mementos like pictures on the wall - has just been taken from you by a group of people who don't like the way you look or the shade of your skin or the shape of your nose. Everything gone except, perhaps, the clothes on your back.
· NASCAR Owner Charged With $20 Million Tax Fraud. A NASCAR team owner is accused of defrauding the government of more than $20 million in taxes. Gene Haas, the 54-year-old owner of Oxnard, Calif.-based Haas Automation and NASCAR's Haas CNC Racing, was arrested Monday for investigation of conspiracy, filing false tax returns and witness intimidation.
· Cuban fined $250,000 for Game 5 outbursts. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was fined $250,000 on Tuesday for his outbursts following Game 5 of the NBA finals, and commissioner David Stern said he's getting tired of the team's antics off the court.
· Judge Dismisses Child Rape Case After Attorney Late For Court. A Cuyahoga County, Ohio, judge threw out the charge against a man accused of raping a girl six years ago when the prosecutor in the case was 45 minutes late to trial. The mother of the now 16-year-old Rocky River girl said her daughter feels victimized by the judge's decision.
· City to crackdown on illegal immigration. With tensions rising and its police department and municipal budget stretched thin, Hazleton, Pennsylvania is about to begin what the mayor calls one of the toughest crackdowns on illegal immigrants in the United States. "Illegal immigrants are destroying the city," said Mayor Lou Barletta, a Republican. "I don't want them here, period." Last week Barletta introduced, and the City Council tentatively approved, a measure that would revoke the business licenses of companies that employ illegal immigrants; impose $1,000 fines on landlords who rent to illegal immigrants; and make English the city's official language.
· Katie who? Couric's departure not hurting 'Today.' In the measurements that mean the most to television executives — ratings and ad sales — NBC's "Today" show appears not to have suffered from the departure of Katie Couric, at least not yet. "Today" beat second-place "Good Morning America" of ABC by an average of 1.3 million viewers in the two weeks following Couric's last show on May 31, according to Nielsen Media Research.
· 6-Year-Old Falls From Ferris Wheel To His Death. California authorities said a mother watched in horror as her 6-year-old son fell from the top of a Ferris wheel to his death. Ruben Castillo was riding alone in his gondola at the San Joaquin County Fair on Sunday when he plunged 90 feet, authorities said.
· Daughter discovers birth-mom is co-worker. Michelle Wetzell told her co-workers at the Davenport, Iowa salon that she had a fantasy about meeting her biological mother. That was 10 years ago. The memory gives Wetzell chills because of what she recently learned.
· Teen, mom sue MySpace.com for $30 million. A 14-year-old Travis County girl who said she was sexually assaulted by a Buda man she met on MySpace.com sued the popular social networking site Monday for $30 million, claiming that it fails to protect minors from adult sexual predators.
· Bruce Willis Sues Paparazzo Over Assault Claim. Bruce Willis sued a paparazzo for defamation, claiming that the photographer fabricated a story about being assaulted by the movie star outside a West Hollywood restaurant.
· Staten Island Man Plays Ring Toss With 3.5 Carats. A little help from sanitation workers probably saved Ron Goldstein a lot of explaining to his wife. The Staten Island man, who had tucked his wife's 3.5-carat diamond ring in a napkin for safe keeping while she was at the hospital, accidentally threw the bauble in the trash.
· Police call for ethics review of McKinney. Police labor officials, angry over a federal grand jury's refusal to indict Rep. Cynthia McKinney for assaulting a police officer, said Monday said they want the House ethics committee to review her conduct. And they said the grand jury's decision last week sent the message that "it's okay to hit a police officer."
· Confusing fireworks laws. New Jersey's and Pennsylvania's fireworks laws don't really mesh. It's illegal to purchase, own, or use fireworks in New Jersey. In Pennsylvania, the same goes for Pennsylvanians. However, it is legal, under Pennsylvania law, for out-of-staters to buy fireworks there. That's what local mayors along the Delaware River say doesn't make sense.
· Embarrassing farewell for Connie Chung. For the handful of people who knew about the "Weekends with Maury & Connie" show, MSNBC has cancelled it. And for some unknown reason, Connie Chung felt the need to go out with a hideous bang. [Video unsafe for ears]
· Buffalo to roam again, as a 24-Karat gold coin. The golden buffalo, the legendary symbol of the American West, will soon roam again — this time as the nation's first pure gold coin. The coin will be slightly larger and thicker than a Kennedy half dollar, will contain one ounce of gold and will be designated a $50 gold piece. The actual price will depend on the market price of an ounce of gold, plus markups.
· New US church leader says homosexuality no sin. Newly elected leader of the U.S. Episcopal Church Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said on Monday she believed homosexuality was no sin and homosexuals were created by God to love people of the same gender.
· Durham Republicans to Challenge District Attorney Over Duke Case. The Durham Republican Party will field a candidate to run against the district attorney leading the investigation in the Duke lacrosse rape case in the November election.
· Columbine Killers' Journals Set For Release. The Jefferson County sheriff said Monday he would release nearly 1,000 pages of documents seized from the homes of the Columbine High School killers but not the video tapes the two teenagers made.
· South Dakota Voters to Decide Fate of Abortion Ban. Voters will have the final say on South Dakota's tough new law that bans almost all abortions. The state's abortion law, among the strictest in the nation, bans the procedure in all cases except when necessary to save a woman's life, with no exceptions for rape or incest.
· Poll: Clinton gets high 'no' vote for 2008. With the presidential election more than two years away, a CNN poll released Monday suggests that nearly half of Americans would "definitely vote against" Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.
· Seattle judge tells Canadians to spread word about harsh U.S. penalties. A federal judge who sentenced five B.C. First Nations members for marijuana-smuggling advised them to spread the word back home about harsh U.S. penalties.
· Major Web Browsers Getting Facelifts. The major Web browsers are getting facelifts as they increasingly become the focal point for handling business transactions and running programs over the Internet rather than simply displaying Web sites. On Tuesday, Opera Software ASA is releasing its Opera 9 browser, while Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Firefox are in line for major overhauls later this year.
· Michael Jackson's lifestyle due back in court. A year after Michael Jackson was acquitted of child molestation charges, a lawsuit by a former associate is headed for a trial that will put Jackson's chaotic financial dealings in the spotlight. The pop star is expected to be seen through videotaped depositions.
Monday, June 19, 2006
· Woman jailed for deliberately infecting lover with HIV. A receptionist at an upmarket hair salon deliberately infected her boyfriend with HIV in a revenge attack on black men who she blamed for giving her the disease.
· Norway building 'doomsday vault' to protect seeds. It sounds like something from a science fiction film - a doomsday vault carved into a frozen mountainside on a secluded Arctic island ready to serve as a Noah's Ark for seeds in case of a global catastrophe. But Norway's ambitious project is fast becoming a reality. Constr-uction began Monday on the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, designed to house as many as 3 million of the world's crop seeds.
· Presbyterians Think Of Changing 'Father, Son, Holy Spirit.' Mainline Presbyterians have stopped short of approving gender-inclusive language for worship of the Trinity, along with the traditional "Father, Son and Holy Spirit." One of the proposed alternatives is "Mother, Child and Womb."
· Palestinian Anguishes Over MySpace Romance. The Palestinian man who had an Internet romance with a 16-year-old Michigan girl is a music-loving computer buff who says he loves the teen and is heartbroken she was sent home. Abdullah Jimzawi, a 20-year-old high school dropout who lives with his parents in Jericho, said he and Katherine Lester had planned to marry and she intended to convert to Islam.
· iTunes going to the movies. After conquering the digital music bizbiz and taking the lead with TV shows online, Apple is looking to feature films. The main sticking point is price. Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who has been personally involved in the talks, initially proposed selling all films at a flat price of $9.99 - an offer the studios flatly rejected.
· Plagiarism Case Against Clooney Rejected. A French court dismissed a lawsuit against George Clooney and Warner Bros. filed by a screenwriter who alleged "Syriana" was plagiarized from her script, court officials said Monday.
· New Orleans mayor calls on state to control chaos. Mayor Ray Nagin asked the governor to send National Guard troops to patrol his city after a violent weekend in which five teenagers were shot to death and a man was fatally stabbed in argument over beer.
· 'Too much God' - School pulls plug on speech. She knew her speech as valedictorian of Foothill, Nevada High School would be cut short, but Brittany McComb was determined to tell her fellow graduates what was on her mind and in her heart. But before she could get to the word in her speech that meant the most to her - Christ - her microphone went dead.
· Pittsburgh Steelers' quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to be cited. Officer Dan Connelly told a news conference in Pittsburgh that Roethlisberger will be cited for not wearing a helmet and not having a motorcycle license. Only licensed cyclists can ride without a helmet in Pennsylvania.
· Kid turned away from public school because of his skin color. When Crystal Meredith of Louisville tried to enroll her young son in Bloom Elementary School, she was told he couldn't transfer out of Young Elementary, the school where he was already assigned. Why? Not because of his grades or interests. It was because he is white. As a federal district court later recounted the facts, he "was denied admittance because his transfer to Bloom would have had an adverse effect on Young's racial composition."
· Guantanamo deaths 'not suicide', say families. Fresh post-mortems were being prepared today on the repatriated bodies of three Guantanamo detainees found dead in their cells last week, amid claims from grieving relatives that the men were killed. The distraught families of the three men have demanded independent autopsies on their remains in their native countries, claiming that the devout Muslims would not have violated the Islamic faith by committing suicide.
· State won't stop funding shock therapy school. The state won't stop funding a school for disabled youths despite finding "skin shocks" - sometimes administered while students bathed - for offenses as minor as nagging, swearing and sloppy appearance, the school reported Monday.
· Cosmetics mogul pays record $135 million for Klimt portrait. Makeup magnate and fine art enthusiast Ronald Lauder has paid $135 million, the highest known price ever paid for a painting, for a 1907 Gustav Klimt portrait.
· Firefighter Charged With Setting Fires. A volunteer firefighter was charged with arson on suspicion he set several fires and then was among the first responders who put out each blaze. Christopher Nixon, 24, was arrested over the weekend and charged with arson in 16 fires in Powhatan County near Richmond, Va.
· Fatalities soar after helmet law lifted. Motorcycle fatalities involving riders without helmets have soared in the nearly six years since Gov. Jeb Bush repealed the state's mandatory helmet law, a newspaper reported Sunday. A Florida Today analysis of federal motorcycle crash statistics found "unhelmeted" deaths in Florida rose from 22 in 1998 and 1999, the years before the helmet law repeal, to 250 in 2004, the most recent year of available data.
· The phone booth returns — without a phone. In an effort to appease patrons and etiquette police, restaurants, bars, movie theaters and libraries are providing phone booths designed to bring your own cellphone.
· Mexican drug cartels take over U.S. cities. Mexican drug cartels operating in cities in the U.S. are buying up legitimate businesses to launder money and using some of the proceeds to win local mayoral and city council seats for politicians who can shape the policies and personnel decisions of their police forces, according to Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., who has led the fight to secure the U.S.-Mexico border and enforce the nation's immigration laws.
· Credit 'freeze' under fire. To protect herself from identity theft, Sylvia Coates maintains a "freeze" on her credit files - a system whereby no lender can run a credit check without first seeking her permission. California has required that consumers be granted this right since 2003. But federal legislation that is coming up for a vote would pre-empt credit-freeze laws in California and 17 other states, and would limit the right to victims of I.D. theft.
· "New car smell" is actually a lot of airborne poisons. Every new car has a new car smell, indicative of some level of chemical emissions. Exposure levels are tricky to evaluate, and human beings have different reactions to chemicals. How strong the emissions are inside a car and how long they last vary, and those variables are important because they influence our exposure, and ultimately could affect our health.
· Jersey City Mayor Arrested In Bar Incident. Jersey City's mayor said he was arrested and roughed up by police over the weekend for intervening in an argument outside a beach bar. Mayor Jerramiah Healy said he had just left Barry's Tavern in Bradley Beach - a bar owned by his sister - around 2 a.m. Saturday when he saw a couple arguing in a nearby parking lot. He said the man was jumping on the hood of his girlfriend's car.
· Kidman, Urban in Australia to marry. Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman and her fiance country music star Keith Urban said on Monday they had returned to Australia to be married. "We are very happy to be back in Australia. We have come home to celebrate our wedding with our family and friends," the couple said in a statement issued by Kidman's publicist in Sydney.
· Nestlé set to purchase diet firm Jenny Craig. Nestlé, the Swiss food giant, was planning to announce Monday that it had agreed to pay about $600 million for Jenny Craig, the weight-loss company that has had a surprise turnaround in recent years as a result of an irreverent advertising campaign chronicling the slimming waistline of Kirstie Alley, of "Cheers" and "Fat Actress" fame.
Sunday, June 18, 2006
· Court Says 15-Year-Olds Can Common-Law Marry. A 15-year-old girl can enter into a common-law marriage in Colorado, and younger girls and boys possibly can, too, a state appeals court ruled Thursday. While the three-judge panel stopped short of setting a specific minimum age for such marriages, it said they could be legal for girls at 12 and boys at 14 under English common law, which Colorado recognizes.
· Homeland Security Officials Quitting. Lured by high salaries and generous perks, many members of the Bush administration's homeland security team are quitting their government posts for private sector jobs in the security business. The Times found that at least 90 former officials in the Office of Homeland Security now work for companies that do billions of dollars worth of business in the homeland security industry.
· Dutch to pass tough immigration laws. A draconian new law is expected to force immigrants to the Netherlands to attend 600 hours of coursework before even being tested. The rules, drafted by the country’s hardline immigration minister, “Iron Rita” Verdonk, and likely to be approved this autumn, will set a challenge for up to half a million mainly Muslim immigrants.
· Oddjob's hat, Elvis's belt sold at auction. The steel-rimmed derby used by the villainous Oddjob in the James Bond movie "Goldfinger" was auctioned for $33,600. The hat was among several celebrity items, including Elvis Presley's belt, that were sold to bidders from around the world.
· Fat, ugly teens tied to mood disorders. In a study of adolescents who were admitted to a psychiatric hospital, those with body image concerns were more likely to suffer from symptoms of depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts than those who didn't have such concerns. Also, patients preoccupied with body shape or weight were significantly more likely to have post-traumatic stress disorder, dissociation and sexual preoccupations.
· London to start doing face transplants. A British hospital is set to give the go-ahead for four British patients to undergo face transplants in what will prove a major landmark in surgery. The ethical committee of the Royal Free Hospital in north London is expected to announce on Wednesday that it will approve the first operations for a full-face transplant.
· Yellowstone tourist dies in 500-foot fall. A woman lost her footing after stepping over a retaining wall to take a photograph and went over a cliff, falling 500 feet to her death in a canyon, Yellowstone National Park officials said. The 52-year-old woman was visiting the park with her husband and two children.
· Accused sex ringleader calls Time Warner CFO one of her "sugar daddies." The Brazilian beauty accused of running a Manhattan million-dollar prostitution ring insists she's no hooker. Andreia Schwartz said yesterday her luxurious lifestyle was made possible by several "sugar daddies" - some of the world's most influential, wealthy men. In a Rikers Island interview, Schwartz reeled off some of the names from her past - including Time Warner Chief Financial Officer Wayne Pace.
· ACLU Probes Six Flags Hairstyle Ban. The American Civil Liberties Union is investigating complaints from more than a dozen black employees at a Six Flags theme park who were told their hairstyles were inappropriate. Jonathan DeLeon, 17, was hired at Six Flags America in Largo, Md., in March to wear the costumes of Sylvester and Daffy Duck. A few weeks later, he said he was told to cut his braids, which were at least 3 feet long.
· Yearbook pics prompt new rules. North Central High School officials are revising policies that govern student publications after a page in the 2006 yearbook promoted drug and alcohol use, Superintendent James Mervilde said this week. Students violated at least three school board policies in creating page 39 of the yearbook, which showed students drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco products and using illegal drugs, Mervilde said.
· Pardon talk for Libby begins. Now that top White House aide Karl Rove is off the hook in the CIA leak probe, President George W. Bush must weigh whether to pardon former vice presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the only one indicted in the three-year investigation.
· One minute late could cost man $1.2 million. Efforts by independent gubernatorial candidate John Michael to qualify for a $1.2 million publicly funded campaign landed him in limbo Friday after the former Auburn state representative delivered his required documents one minute after the state's deadline.
· Gay parade draws 2.4 million. More than 2 million gay men, lesbians and transvestites waving rainbow flags and dressed in lavish Carnival costumes paraded Saturday to celebrate gay pride and demand an end to homophobia. The 10th annual Sao Paulo Gay Pride Parade saw go-go boys and drag queens dancing on the roofs of sound trucks blasting music as they rolled down the skyscraper-lined Avenida Paulista - the heart of Brazil's biggest city.
· World's most expensive lemon? The owner of a Los Angeles car dealership is suing Mercedes-Benz, its parent company DaimlerChrysler and other affiliates, alleging that a $1.7 million car purchased in 2004 wouldn't run for more than 10 blocks without problems. The car, a Mercedes-Benz AMG CLK-GTR Limited Edition Roadster, was supposed to be one of only five made. In the lawsuit, the owner of exotic car dealership Grand Prix Motors also alleges that six were actually made, reducing the value of his car.
Saturday, June 17, 2006
· Mom discovers son may have been sniper victim. When her son was shot and killed in 2002, Sarah Dillon got a button that read "Billy Gene Dillon is a very important person" and vowed to wear it until a suspect was found. That button was still clasped above her heart Friday after Dillon learned that Washington-area sniper Lee Boyd Malvo reportedly told authorities that he and his one-time mentor were responsible for her son's death and three other unsolved shootings.
· Payroll Company Accidentally Faxes Worker Information. Paul Dullea, a financial planner who lives in Nashua, said he received 121 pages of information Thursday from Automatic Data Processing Inc. The pages had the names, addresses, Social Security numbers and income information for at least 80 people who work for companies in Illinois, California and Florida.
· Starbucks targeted over high-fat products. Starbucks Corp. may be next on the target list of a consumer-health group that this week sued the operator of the KFC fried chicken restaurant chain for frying foods in oils high in harmful trans fat. The Center for Science in the Public Interest said it is planning to campaign against the global cafe chain because of the increased risk of obesity, heart disease and cancer associated with high-calorie, high-fat products it sells.
· Texas ranchers add ladders to border fences. few Texas ranchers tired of costly repairs to cattle fences damaged by illegal immigrants have installed an easier route over the U.S.-Mexican border — ladders. “It’s an attempt to get them to use the ladders instead of tearing the fences,” said Scott Pattinson, who owns one of a group of ranches known as La Copa.
· 'Screech' Hopes to Be Saved by the T-Shirt. More than a bell is needed to save Dustin Diamond this time around. Diamond, best known as geeky Screech Powers on the 1989-1993 teen comedy series "Saved by the Bell," is selling T-shirts with his photo on them to try to raise $250,000 so he doesn't lose his gray two-story house under a foreclosure order.
· PETA pests ambush Beyonce The nerdy couple who paid thousands of dollars to have dinner with Beyoncé Knowles at Nobu 57 on Thursday turned out to be bullies from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals who ambushed the pop diva about wearing fur. The meal had been sold off at a Save the Music benefit last year as part of the charity's silent auction, but Knowles had no idea she was being ambushed.
· Cost for illegal immigrants' care soars. In Harris County Texas alone, the hospital district's unreimbursed costs of caring for illegal immigrants approached $100 million last year, a 77 percent increase in three years. The district treated more than 57,000 illegal immigrants last year, at a cost of $128 million. The federal and state governments reimbursed about $28 million, and the patients themselves paid about $3 million. Over the past 11 years, the district has paid about $607 million in unreimbursed costs for treating undocumented immigrants.
· Four killed in New Orleans shootout. Four people, including a 16-year-old boy, were killed early Saturday in a shootout and a fifth person was in critical condition, police said. The 16-year-old and two men were found dead inside a sport utility vehicle rammed up against a pole and the fourth victim was on a sidewalk.
· Ricky Skaggs' Tour Bus Hits, Kills Man. A tour bus carrying bluegrass artist Ricky Skaggs from a performance at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival struck and killed a man Friday night, authorities said.
· Motto: Don't take a knife to a gunfight. 74-year-old Willie Brown said he thought he was back in a foxhole in Korea on Thursday morning when a burglar stood at the door to Brown's bedroom. "He said, 'I got a knife, don't move,'" Brown recalled. "I reached behind my back and whipped my gun from under my pillow and said, 'Take this .38,' and I blasted him."
· Car goes through roof, kills man in bed. A man watching a basketball game on TV in his bedroom was killed when a car crashed through the roof of his home, authorities said. William Christopher Villar, 22, was trapped under the car for three hours until a crane was able to lift it off him, Milton Police Sgt. Jimmy Barnes said.
· Art teacher in hot water over topless photos. Until they found the topless photos, Austin High School officials considered Tamara Hoover an excellent art teacher with a knack for helping students find their creativity. Now, she's fighting for her job.
· Song lyrics into reality: 'Paul McCartney Turns 64.' "When I get older, losing my hair, many years from now," sang Paul McCartney on "When I'm Sixty-Four," a jaunty tune from The Beatles' classic "Sgt. Pepper" album. The hair is intact, but the year is now — McCartney turns 64 on Sunday.
· Rep. McKinney Beats Indictment In Capitol Slap. A grand jury declined to indict Rep. Cynthia McKinney on Friday in connection with an incident in which she admitted hitting a police officer who tried to stop her from entering a House office building.
· N.Y. Judge Issues Warrant for Boy George. clearly annoyed Manhattan judge issued an arrest warrant Friday for Boy George after the former Culture Club singer failed to appear in court to explain why he wants to change his sentence for falsely reporting a burglary. Judge Anthony Ferrara also ridiculed the singer's suggestions for serving community service, which included a proposal to hold a fashion-and-makeup workshop.
· Schwimmer wins judgment in defamation suit. David Schwimmer won a $400,000 judgment in a defamation lawsuit against former charity fundraiser Aaron Tonken, the actor's publicist said Friday. Schwimmer filed the lawsuit last year over statements Tonken made claiming the former "Friends" star demanded two Rolex watches to attend his own charity event.
· Police Say Dad Left Children In Car Overnight. A Wisconsin man is in trouble with the law for leaving his two sons in the car overnight while he went to work. A citizen called police after spotting the boys - ages 6 and 10 - sleeping in the car under a street light in the parking lot at Poly Vinyl Company.
Friday, June 16, 2006
· Man charged with having crack on a banana split. This banana split was topped with something more potent than just a cherry. A motorist was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance after he was caught with two rocks of crack cocaine he had stashed in his ice cream dessert.
· Billionaire's Son Charged With Burglary. The son of billionaire oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens was charged with burglary after he was found hiding under a table in a fly fishing shop, authorities said. Michael Pickens, 51, spent three days in jail following his arraignment Monday.
· Britney Following Angelina To Namibia To Give Birth? Jolie and Brad Pitt, Britney Spears is considering a Namibian birth for her next baby, a government official said Friday. Deputy Environment and Tourism Minister Leon Jooste said officials have received an inquiry on behalf of the 24-year-old pop star, who has a 9-month-old son, Sean Preston, with husband Kevin Federline.
· Country Weekly Names Urban Sexiest Man. Nicole Kidman's Aussie fiance, Keith Urban, is country music's sexiest man, according to a reader poll to be released Friday in Country Weekly. Readers picked their top 10 sexiest male country artists with Toby Keith, Trace Adkins, Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney rounding out the top five, in order.
· Study: Blacks Hear Better Than Whites. A government study says black adults hear better than white adults. The study also found that women hear better than men, and that overall, hearing in the United States is about the same as it was 35 years ago. That's despite the advent of ear-blasting devices such as the Walkman and the iPod.
· Wife's Severed Head Flies From Truck When Man Crashes. The severed head of a man's wife flew from his pickup truck Thursday when he crashed into an oncoming car, killing the driver and her child, police said. The head, which landed on the roadway after the crash early Thursday, is unrelated to the accident. Police found the rest of the woman's body at the man's home.
· Whole Foods Bans Sale of Live Lobsters. Customers craving fresh crustaceans will have to look beyond Whole Foods Market Inc. after the natural-foods grocery chain decided Thursday to stop selling live lobsters and crabs on the grounds that it's inhumane.
· 'Idol' Winner Studdard Awarded $2M in Suit. American Idol winner Ruben Studdard has been awarded $2 million in his lawsuit against his ex-manager for misappropriating the singer's money and credit cards.
· Roethlisberger released, promises to wear helmet. Ben Roethlisberger apologized to the Pittsburgh Steelers, fans and his family on Thursday, hours after being released from a hospital, saying he was fortunate to be alive and pledging to wear a helmet if he ever again rides a motorcycle.
· 75-Year-Old Jewel Thief Sentenced to Prison. A 75-year-old woman who employed charm and guile in stealing jewels around the globe was sentenced Thursday to at least two years in prison, an official said. Doris Payne was convicted of walking away with an $8,499, 1.5-carat diamond ring from a Las Vegas store in March of last year.
· Marshall's marijuana? Ville Platte's City Marshall's office says they're moving a marijuana plant seized as evidence out of plain view and into police storage. This afternoon a KATC camera caught the marijuana plant in the City Marshall's window. A few minutes after we showed up a female hand removed the plant.
· Cruise tops Forbes' celebrity power list. Despite the jokes and sneers he drew for hopping on couches and slamming psychiatry, actor Tom Cruise on Thursday reclaimed his No. 1 spot on Forbes magazine's annual list of the world's 100 most powerful stars.
· Elvis Still on Top of Forbes' List of Dead Celebs. Even in the afterlife, some celebrities remain big-time moneymakers. Elvis Presley, Albert Einstein, Kurt Cobain, Andy Warhol and Marilyn Monroe continue to earn enviable incomes from the grave, according to Forbes magazine. Presley, who died in 1977, raked in an estimated $52 million last year.
· Jefferson to fight suspension on House floor. House Democrats voted Thursday evening to suspend a recalcitrant Rep. William Jefferson from his seat on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, unswayed by both his own argument that the sanction was unfair and complaints from other black lawmakers that he was the victim of a double standard. Jefferson is the subject of a criminal probe into allegations he accepted bribes in return for using his office to facilitate business ventures in Africa. In court documents, prosecutors said $90,000 in cash was found in the freezer of his Washington house.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
· Bush Received Weapons Cache From Jordan. President George W. Bush received a $10,000 sniper's rifle, six jars of fertilizer, 11 antique handguns, ten pounds of dates, and a DVD of "Singin' in the Rain" from various foreign leaders, according to a report filed today by the U.S. Department of State.
· Bill Gates stepping down from Microsoft. Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates said Thursday he will transition out of a day-to-day role at the company he co-founded to spend more time on global health and education work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
· Ex-Teacher Who Faked Stomach Cancer Sentenced To 2 Years. A former special education teacher who faked having cancer and spent $37,000 in donations on a vacation and jewelry was sentenced Thursday to serve two years.
· Police don't have to knock, justices say. A split Supreme Court ruled Thursday that drug evidence seized in a home search can be used against a suspect even though police failed to knock on the door and wait a "reasonable" amount of time before entering. The 5-4 decision continues a string of rulings since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that in general give law enforcement greater discretion to carry out search-and-seizure warrants.
· The iPod that let's you roll with it. It gives a completely new meaning to the phrase 'rock 'n' roll.' This cutting-edge gadget combines a portable music player and a toilet paper dispenser. The state-of-the-art device called "iCarta" makes it easier for people to listen to beats while using the bathroom. [With silly photo].
· Court: 15-year old girls can marry. A 15-year-old girl can enter into a common-law marriage in Colorado, a state appeals court ruled Thursday. Younger girls and boys may also be able to marry. While the three-judge panel stopped short of setting a specific minimum age for such marriages, it said they could be legal for girls at 12 and boys at 14 under English common law, which Colorado recognizes.
· 10 Years Later, Teacher Delivers On Promise. A Cleveland teacher has kept a promise she made 10 years ago to her second-grade class. Kara Bryan told her second-graders she would buy each of them dinner when they got a high school diploma.
· Mom Accused Of Feeding Kids Poisoned Applesauce. A mother is accused of trying to kill her children by giving them applesauce laced with prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Police said 33-year-old Marianne Streeter, 33, of Ogdensburg, N.Y., took her 8-year-old son, Andrew, and 5-year-old daughter, Emily, to a motel in Canton, N.Y., and fed them the applesauce mixture.
· Jurors Award $2 Million To Family Of Child Run Over By Lawn Mower. A jury has awarded $2 million to a couple whose 4-year-old son died after being run over by a riding lawn mower at his day care center. The Roanoke Circuit Court jury on Wednesday found the mower's manufacturer liable for the April 2004 death of Justin Simmons. "I find it incredulous that a jury no longer cares about common sense and personal responsibility," company attorney John Fitzpatrick said. The jury held MTD responsible for not designing a mower that automatically stops its blades whenever it rolls backward. No such mower exists or has ever been tested, Fitzpatrick said.
· Heather McCartney battles national pariah status. Marrying a national icon can be a risky business. Divorcing one can turn the world against you - as Heather Mills McCartney has discovered to her cost. Within a month of separating from former Beatle Paul McCartney, Mills has been the target of lurid allegations in Britain's tabloid newspapers, prompting her to launch legal action against one paper which printed allegations she was once a prostitute.
· Pet shop worker fights for life after cobra bite. A pet shop worker is fighting for his life after he was bitten by a nine-foot King Cobra snake. Adam Ockwell, 27, was in a critical condition in hospital after the snake attacked him at feeding time. King Cobra venom is so potent that it can kill a man in 15 minutes without urgent medical attention.
· North Dakota To Sue NCAA Over University's Fighting Sioux Nickname. State officials voted Thursday to sue the NCAA for penalizing the University of North Dakota over its "Fighting Sioux" nickname and Indian head logo.
· Pet Owners Warned Of Cocoa Mulch. A popular type of yard mulch can be dangerous and even deadly for pet dogs. Cocoa Mulch, which can be found at home improvement stores, is popular because of its chocolate smell. However, Consumer Reports said dogs can be attracted to the smell and if they eat more than four ounces, it could cause an increased heart rate and more than nine ounces of it could cause death.
· Stopwatch Ticking for Dan Rather. CBS executives have decided there is no future role at the network for Dan Rather, making it certain that the man who sat in the anchor chair for 24 years will depart by this fall.
· Sweep Nets Nearly 2,100 Illegal Immigrants. A blitz by federal agents during the last three weeks captured nearly 2,100 illegal immigrants across the country in raids targeting child molesters, violent gang members and past deportees who re-entered the country. The operation has caught more than 140 immigrants with convictions for sexual offenses against children; 367 known gang members, including street soldiers in the deadly Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13; and about 640 people who had already been deported once, immigration officials said.
· Britney Spears says "I'm an emotional wreck." Britney Spears, whose marriage and parenting skills are under a media microscope, tearfully admitted being "an emotional wreck" in excerpts of an interview aired on Thursday.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Cognitive [cog·ni·tive] adj. 1. Relating to the process of acquiring knowledge by the use of reasoning, intuition, or perception. 2. Having a basis in or reducible to empirical factual knowledge.
· Bush sorry for 'shades' jibe to vision-impaired man. President Bush, who often teases members of the White House press corps, apologized Wednesday after he poked fun at a reporter for wearing sunglasses without realizing they were needed for vision loss. The exchange occurred at a news conference in the Rose Garden. Bush called on Los Angeles Times reporter Peter Wallsten and asked if he was going to ask his question with his "shades" on.
· California gold hunter got 'carried away.' A homeowner digging for gold in his front yard said he got "carried away" and ended up with a 60-foot-deep hole, authorities said. Norm Enrique, 63, began digging 10 days ago after his gold detector reported a positive hit near his front patio. He told authorities he only intended to go down 3 or 4 feet.
· MSNBC Keith Olbermann apologizes after more emails revealed. Keith Olbermann's angry E-mail responses to critical viewers included broadsides against Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter. Olbermann apologized for his messages.
· Suspected Bank Robber Flees In Cowboy Gear. A suspected bank robber who stopped at a nearby Western store after the heist escaped in his new cowboy clothes on one of Fort Worth's city buses, police said.
· Backward switches doomed probe. A report released Tuesday blamed a design flaw for the 2004 crash of a NASA space probe carrying solar wind atoms back to Earth and criticized engineers for failing to detect the error. The 231-page document prepared by independent investigators found that gravity switches on the Genesis probe designed to trigger the deployment of its parachutes were installed backward.
· Teacher Accused Of Offering $100 To Watch Girls Fight. A teacher in Denver was arrested for allegedly offering $100 to watch a teenage girl beat up another girl, according to a Local 6 News report. Douglas County authorities arrested Mark Asimus, 45, at a park in Lone Tree after he arranged a meeting with a 14-year-old girl he spoke with online. The 14-year-old girl was actually an undercover sheriff's investigator.
· 'Wonderful Life' Tops Inspiring Film List. George Bailey's brother proclaimed him the richest man in Bedford Falls. Now the story of the despondent businessman, who got a chance to see how ugly the world would be without him, has been proclaimed the most inspiring American movie. Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life," starring James Stewart as the disillusioned George, led the American Film Institute's list of inspirational films revealed Wednesday in the group's annual top-100 TV special.
· Molester Nabbed After Oprah Show Gets Decades In Prison. A fugitive arrested last fall on sex abuse charges after he was profiled on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" has been sentenced to 68 years in prison. A Vanderburgh County, Ind., jury found William C. Davis, 33, guilty in April of five counts of child molestation.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
· Marijuana found in Home Depot vanities. Large quantities of drugs were found inside merchandise from at least two Home Depot stores in Massachusetts, and authorities are investigating, police said Wednesday. A contractor discovered two 50-pound "bricks" of marijuana worth about $145,000 wrapped in plastic bags inside a bathroom vanity he had purchased at a Home Depot store.
· Doctor Accused Of Molesting Boys. A Central Florida doctor is accused of sexually molesting at least three children. For more than 15 years, Dr. George Pyke treated adults and children at his and conducted sports physicals at a Seminole County High School.
· Immigration Raid Nets Dozens at Dulles Airport. An immigration raid at Dulles International Airport resulted in about 50 arrests, Immigration and Customs Enforcement says. Without specifying exactly what jobs the people hold, immigration officials say those arrested work for contractors, and would potentially have access to runways and airplanes.
· Nanny Files Suit Over Cam. A nanny who was arrested after police viewed hidden camera video recordings that appeared to show her shaking a 5-month-old baby is suing the recording system's manufacturer. Claudia Muro, 32, alleges that distorted camera footage wrongfully led to her arrest and imprisonment.
· FEMA Funds Spent on Divorce, Sex Change. Houston divorce lawyer Mark Lipkin says he can't recall anyone paying for his services with a FEMA debit card, but congressional investigators say one of his clients did just that. The $1,000 payment was just one example cited in an audit that concluded that up to $1.4 billion - perhaps as much as 16 percent of the billions of dollars in assistance expended after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita - was spent for bogus reasons. The Federal Emergency Management Agency also was hoodwinked to pay for season football tickets, a tropical vacation and a sex change operation, the audit found.
· Underwear Photo Ripped From N.J. Yearbooks. The 2006 edition of the yearbook at Phillipsburg High School showed a little bit more than school spirit, and now is a tad thinner for it. School officials ripped a page out of hundreds of students' yearbooks because it contained a photograph that showed a student's underwear. The picture on page 224 showed a female student wearing a skirt and sitting on a desk during a play; a bit of her underwear could be seen.
· Nurse Admits Molesting Comatose Child. A nurse told investigators he touched the genitals of a comatose girl under his care at Children's Hospital "to see if he liked it," according to court documents unsealed Tuesday.
· It's 'Putdown With Keith Olbermann.' Now that Dan Abrams has given up his MSNBC show to run the third-place cable news outlet, he might want to focus on the rising tensions between two of his prime-time personalities: Keith Olbermann and Rita Cosby. "Rita's nice," Olbermann wrote to a fan from his MSNBC E-mail account, "but dumber than a suitcase of rocks." Yesterday Cosby retorted: "Keith got it wrong. I'm not that nice."
· Mom Sent To Prison For Making Child Steal. A judge sentenced a woman to prison for making her 6-year-old daughter steal a volunteer fire company's fundraising jar, a crime that netted the family $1.85. Judith Weidner, 42, had told police she needed the change for gasoline, but in court she blamed a heroin addiction.
· Homeland Security delays thousands of weddings. Red tape has put weddings on hold for about 10,000 U.S. citizens seeking visas for their foreign brides and grooms as the department works on new paperwork for their applications.
· Ex-Atlanta Mayor Headed To Prison. He presided over one of the most prosperous and dynamic periods in Atlanta history, now former Mayor Bill Campbell is headed to prison. Campbell was sentenced Tuesday in federal court to 2 1/2 years behind bars and fined $6,300 for tax evasion.
· Unpaid Palestinian Workers Storm Parliament in Protest. Dozens of Palestinian civil servants stormed a parliamentary session to demand long-overdue salaries, attacking Hamas lawmakers and forcing the parliament speaker to flee the building.
· Wounded Anchor Returns To Newsroom. ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff made his first visit to the network's newsroom since he was wounded by a roadside bomb in January while on assignment in Iraq. "There are a lot of happy faces around the newsroom today," said Jon Banner, the "World News Tonight" executive producer.
· Update: 7-hour Roethlisberger surgery called success. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger underwent seven hours of surgery Monday to repair multiple facial fractures suffered in a motorcycle crash earlier in the day. Physicians would not describe most of the injuries at the request of Roethlisberger's family, but city police said he lost most of his teeth, fractured his left sinus cavity bone, suffered a nine-inch cut on the back of his head and a broken jaw, and injured both knees. "He was bleeding really bad. There was blood everywhere."
· Physicist Stephen Hawking Says Humans Must Spread Out In Space To Survive. The survival of the human race depends on its ability to find new homes elsewhere in the universe because there's an increasing risk that a disaster will destroy Earth, world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking said Tuesday.
· Warrant issued for Detroit Tigers' slugger. An arrest warrant for Dmitri Young was issued Tuesday after the Detroit Tigers designated hitter failed to appear for a pretrial hearing on a domestic violence charge.
· Woman Sentenced To Prison For 'Stealing' House. A would-be home buyer with less than a dollar in her bank account was sentenced to up to two years in prison for using fake documents to get a mortgage on a $328,000 home.
· Jerry Lewis Suffers 'Mild' Heart Attack. Comedian Jerry Lewis has postponed a July engagement to perform live after reportedly suffering a heart attack Sunday. A spokeswoman for the Orleans hotel-casino in Las Vegas, where Lewis was to perform July 13 through July 16, describes the heart attack as "mild."
· Man Charged With Stealing 5 Newsstands. An apparently frustrated, would-be newsstand operator used a rented crane to steal five newsstands from city streets and redeposit them elsewhere, authorities said.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
· Daryl Hannah removed from tree. Sheriff's deputies evicted people from an urban community garden to make room for a warehouse Tuesday, touching off a furious protest in which actress Daryl Hannah and others climbed into a walnut tree or chained themselves to concrete-filled barrels. At least 39 people were arrested.
· ESPN: Roethlisberger didn't have motorcycle license. Ben Roethlisberger might have been riding without a license to drive a motorcycle when he was involved in an accident Monday. Sources told the TV station that Roethlisberger had a license to operate a car but has never had a Pennsylvania motorcycle license.
· Britney's "Today" Confessional. Britney Spears is a good mom, and if you're rooting for her marriage to fail, then that's just sad. At least that's what the pop star herself had to say during an interview at her home with the Today show's Matt Lauer that's scheduled to air Thursday.
· Car Parked On School's Roof. School officials and Nassau police are trying to figure out how pranksters were able to get a car up to the roof of a New York high school. Students arriving at school Monday saw the pink car covered with green question marks on top of the building.
· Coffee may cut alcohol liver damage. Researchers report that drinking coffee cuts the risk of cirrhosis of the liver from alcohol - by 22 percent per cup each day - but they stopped short of saying doctors should prescribe coffee for that reason.
· Prosecutor: Defendant Killed Out Of 'Hatred Of White People.' A woman who was stabbed to death in a mall parking garage was targeted by a homeless convicted rapist who was planning a murder motivated by his "hatred of white people," a prosecutor said. Phillip Grant, 44, who is black, is accused in the June 29 stabbing death of Concetta Russo-Carriero, 56. "The defendant's perfect victim had just arrived," said Assistant District Attorney Timothy Ward during opening statements Monday at Grant's trial. "Petite, sandy-haired, female and white."
· Kennedy pleads guilty to DUI. Rep. Patrick Kennedy has reached a deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to a charge of driving under the influence of prescription drugs in connection for his middle-of-the-night car crash last month near the U.S. Capitol.
· Tipper Gore Ready to Support Another White House Run. She's spent five years recovering from the last run at the White House, but Tipper Gore says she's ready if her husband wants to do it again. "If he were going to run in the future, of course I would support him," Tipper Gore told ABCNews' Claire Shipman in her first television interview in four years. "I think he'd be a fantastic president. He already got a majority of votes of people in this country once, and so that says something."
· School Apologizes For Hitler Yearbook Quotes. A New York high school is apologizing for Adolf Hitler quotations appearing in its yearbook. Two students at Northport High chose quotes from Hitler's book "Mein Kampf" to appear under their senior pictures. One said "Strength lies not in defense, but in attack." The other reads "The great masses of people...will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one."
· Federal Judge Nixes 'In God We Trust' Lawsuit. A federal judge on Monday rejected a lawsuit from an atheist who said having the phrase "In God We Trust" on U.S. coins and dollar bills violated his First Amendment rights. U.S. District Judge Frank C. Damrell Jr. said the minted words amounted to a secular national slogan that did not trample on Michael Newdow's avowed religious views.
· Dan Abrams to run MSNBC. NBC News legal correspondent Dan Abrams was put in charge of MSNBC Monday — and his first move was to take himself off the air there. As general manager of the cable channel, Abrams will drop "The Abrams Report," and report directly to NBC News executive Phil Griffin. The management team replaces Rick Kaplan, who left MSNBC last week. MSNBC has been mired in third place in the ratings behind Fox News Channel and CNN during virutally all of its 10-year history.
· Philadelphia "English-only" eatery faces probe. A civil rights watchdog agency opened an investigation on Monday into a Philadelphia cheese steak restaurant that posted a sign saying "This is America - when ordering, speak English." The Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations complaint effectively opens a case against Geno's Steaks of South Philadelphia, said Rachel Lawton, acting executive director of the agency. The Philadelphia controversy has fed a national debate over immigration in which the U.S. Senate passed a bill that would declare English the national language and politicians have raised objections to a Spanish version of the national anthem. The sign may violate the city's Fair Practices Ordinance, which bans businesses from discriminating on the basis of nationality or ethnicity, Lawton said.
· Mills McCartney to sue News of the World. Heather Mills McCartney said she intends to sue the News of the World over allegations she was a prostitute who engaged in group and lesbian sex. Lawyers acting for Sir Paul McCartney's estranged wife said claims in the paper that she was paid thousands of pounds to have sex with wealthy Arabs while she was in her 20s were "untrue and highly defamatory."
· Homeland Security accepts fake ID. A man using a fake identification card was able to enter the Homeland Security Department headquarters in Washington, he said, even though the United States government considers the type of Mexican-issued card he used invalid. Undocumented Mexicans can use the cards at banks and other institutions that accept them. The cards are not valid for entry into federal government buildings.
· Leno, Rice top celebrity dinner survey. When Esquire asked a panel of men whom they'd invite from a list of 14 notable women to a dinner party, they chose Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice over such stars as Oprah Winfrey, Angelina Jolie, Julia Roberts and Jennifer Aniston.
· Car Payment Late? System Won't Let Engine Start. Starter-interrupt devices are becoming a popular way for lenders to ensure they get paid, and consumers seem willing to accept them to get into nicer cars, use a smaller down payment and qualify for a lower interest rate, according to device manufacturers.
· Prosecutors inform Rove he won't be charged in CIA leak case. Top White House aide Karl Rove has been told by prosecutors he won't be charged with any crimes in the investigation into leak of a CIA officer's identity, his lawyer said Tuesday. Attorney Robert Luskin said that special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald informed him of the decision on Monday, ending months of speculation about the fate of one of President Bush's closest advisers.
· Police Officers Patrolling Calif. Beach Run Over, Kill Sunbather. Two police officers patrolling the beach in an SUV ran over and killed a sunbather Monday, authorities said. The officers did not immediately realize they ran over the woman and continued driving, police Cmdr. Tom Chronister said in a statement. The officers, who were not immediately identified, had stopped on a small berm of sand to watch a swimmer whom they believed to be in distress. When they saw the swimmer was fine, they drove over the berm and apparently over the woman's head, authorities said.
· Brown No Longer Consumed by Hate for O.J. The sister of Nicole Brown Simpson said she is no longer consumed by hate for O.J. Simpson. Denise Brown told "Inside Edition" that she has moved on and the feelings she once had for her former brother-in-law have melted away. Brown said that she still has a relationship with her niece and nephew, Justin and Sydney, but they never discuss their mother's murder when they're together.
· Judge Overturns Controversial SF Hand Gun Ban. A state trial judge sided Monday with the National Rifle Association in overturning a voter-approved city ordinance that banned handgun possession and firearm sales in San Francisco.
· Roethlisberger Breaks Jaw, Nose in Motorcycle Crash. Ben Roethlisberger has a lot more to worry about than playing quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Roethlisberger was in serious but stable condition late Monday night after breaking his jaw and nose in a motorcycle crash earlier in the day. His brain, spine, chest and abdomen appear to be without serious injury and there are no other confirmed injuries at this time," Dr. Harry W. Sell said.
· Foundry Worker Who Died In Molten Steel Pit May Have Fainted. A foundry worker who died when he fell into a pit and had molten steel poured on him might have had an illness that caused him to faint, an investigator said Monday. The body of 41-year-old Gordon Hickman was so damaged in Thursday's accident at United Foundries Inc. that a complete autopsy would have been impossible, said Harry Campbell, an investigator for the Stark County coroner's office. The exact cause of the accident may never be known.
· Leno to Host Carlin, Coulter on Wednesday. Tonight" host Jay Leno might want to consider wearing referee stripes on Wednesday's show when Ann Coulter and George Carlin are his guests. Coulter, the acid-tongued conservative with a new book out, and Carlin, the quick-witted, antiestablishment comedian who's in the voice cast for the new animated film "Cars," were booked at separate times for the NBC late-nighter, a spokeswoman said Monday.
Monday, June 12, 2006
· Boston Window Washer Arrested, Then Fired After Killing Sea Gull. A high-rise window washer in Boston has been fired because he killed a sea gull on the job. Christopher Guay was washing windows at a building on Devonshire Street last Friday. He told WBZ Radio’s Carl Stevens he was being harassed by sea gulls. “I was waving a broom all day and it was working up until the end of the day and I accidentally whacked one of them and killed it.” Someone called police, and soon an officer for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) arrested Guay. He spent Friday night in jail, and was later fired from his job.
· Streaker selling bikini to pay for court costs. A woman who invaded the field in the final seconds of Saturday's test between New Zealand and Ireland in Hamilton wearing just a bikini has put the two-piece suit up for sale on an online auction website to help pay for her court costs.
· Neighbor Rushes Into Burning Home To Save Man. An Orange County man ran into a burning building Monday morning to save his neighbor's life. Albert James lives right across Nashville Street from the small home his neighbor has been renting.
· Deputy nabbed in prostitution sting. A county corrections officer has been arrested in a prostitution sting after being accused of propositioning an undercover officer. Christopher Morris Johnson, 40, was arrested Friday night after riding up on a bicycle to proposition the officer, Assistant Police Chief Jeff Turner said.
· Rapist of Top Gun actress convicted in new assault. A man convicted of raping "Top Gun" actress Kelly McGillis in 1982 was found guilty on Monday of raping and robbing two other women in 1996 in their New York apartment. After deliberating four hours, a New York state court jury convicted Leroy Johnson, Jr., 39, of eight counts of robbery, burglary, sodomy and rape.
· Steelers quarterback Seriously Injured in Motorcycle Crash. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was badly hurt in a motorcycle crash Monday and undergoing surgery. The extent of his injuries was not known. Roethlisberger was in serious but stable condition, said Dr. Larry Jones at Mercy Hospital.
» Flashback: Roethlisberger to keep riding motorcycle without helmet. Ben Roethlisberger was lectured by Steelers coach Bill Cowher on the dangers of riding a motorcycle without a helmet - as Roethlisberger has been spotted doing recently - but the quarterback isn't ready to get off his $20,000 cycle. Asked why he doesn't wear a helmet, "Obviously Pennsylvania doesn't think people need to (wear a helmet)," he said. "There's a law you've got to wear it in football."
· Man Eats 47 Cheese Sandwiches In 10 Minutes. California man Joey Chestnut downed 47 grilled cheese sandwiches in ten minutes this weekend in Las Vegas to set a world record. That's eleven more sandwiches than the old record of 36.
· Violent Crime Up for 1st Time in 5 Years. Murders, robberies and aggravated assaults in the United States increased last year, spurring an overall rise in violent crime for the first time since 2001, according to FBI data. Murders rose 4.8 percent, meaning there were more than 16,900 victims in 2005.
· Beer Ingredient May Fight Prostate Cancer. A main ingredient in beer may help prevent prostate cancer and enlargement. But researchers say don't rush out to stock the refrigerator because the ingredient is present in such small amounts that a person would have to drink more than 17 beers to benefit.
· Al-Zarqawi Lived for 52 Mins. After Strike. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi lived for 52 minutes after a U.S. warplane bombed his hideout northeast of Baghdad, and he died of extensive internal injuries consistent with those caused by a bomb blast, the U.S. military said Monday.
· Clerk Shot, Killed Across Street From Police Substation. A $5,000 reward is being offered Monday for information leading to the arrests of three men involved in a fatal liquor store shooting in Brevard County, Fla.
· Dangerous cooking lesson for teen. A North Philadelphia teenager has learned not to try to cook bullets. The 14-year-old found a bullet on the street and wanted to see what would happen if he held it over an open flame on the stove.
· Flier blasted on drawing of Jewish opponent. Senate candidate James H. Webb, President Reagan's former Navy secretary, was criticized by his Jewish opponent Friday over a campaign flier that depicted the opponent with a hooked nose and cash spilling from his pockets.
· 2 Florida Men Drown Trying To Rescue Woman. Two men drowned in Tampa Bay after they jumped in the water to save a female boater who had fallen off her boat, authorities said. A passing boater saw the woman yelling for help and pulled the three people from the water. The woman survived.
· The Afternoon Slowdown People hit their lowest point of the day at 2:16pm, new research has shown. A survey of 2,000 people found that respondents had least enthusiasm for doing tasks of any kind at this point in the day. The second lowest trough happens at 11:37am, according to research carried out by TNS on behalf of tea company Typhoo.
· Prosecutor's Silence on Duke Rape Case Leaves Public With Plenty of Questions. When a woman hired to dance at a Duke University lacrosse team party claimed that members of the team raped her, Michael B. Nifong, the district attorney for Durham County, responded with an aggressive, unflinching and very public investigation. But in the intervening months, the case has come to appear far less robust. Three players have been indicted, but evidence that has surfaced, much of it turned over to defense lawyers by prosecutors and then filed in court with defense motions, has thrown the woman's claims into doubt. Mr. Nifong, so vocal at first, has refused to speak publicly about the case since the beginning of April.
· Students Use High-Pitched Ring Tone Many Adults Can't Hear. Some students are using a new ring tone to get messages in class, and many teachers can't hear the ring. The ring tone is too high-pitched to be heard by most adults.
· Insurance Disputes Delaying Gulf Coast Rebuilding. The owners of the sagging, flood-stained home aren't in. Above the front door, a banner explains their absence, and the lack of progress: "Allstate paid $10,113.34 on this house for storm damage." "I want people to drive by my home and decide for themselves: Could I repair this for $10,000?" asks Eric Moskau, the home's exiled owner who had over $1.2 million in coverage on his 3,000-square-foot home.
· National Nuclear Safety Administration hacked. A computer hacker got into the U.S. agency that guards the country's nuclear weapons stockpile and stole the personal records of at least 1,500 employees and contractors, a senior U.S. lawmaker said. The target of the hacker, the National Nuclear Safety Administration.
· Debt-weary SUV owners unload their gas-guzzlers on insurance companies. SUV owners who are faced with rising gas prices have found a new way to get out from under their high car payments — arson. This trend was spotted by a Southern California arson task force in the summer of 2005 when gas prices spiked.
Sunday, June 11, 2006
· Criminal case finally dropped in snake mercy killing. Juvenile authorities have dismissed the criminal case against a 13-year old boy in Dundee, Oregon who killed a garden snake. Richard Cornwell, a middle-school student, found a badly injured garden snake and took it home to his parents and asked what he should do with it. His father told him to put it out of its misery. The boy did as he was told. But several nearby girls who saw it happen were upset by the incident. One of the girl's parents called the police to report a suspected case of animal cruelty. Police cited Cornwell with animal cruelty. But because the act was committed in the presence of a minor, it moves from a misdemeanor to a felony.
· Sailor home on leave killed by carjacker. A Navy chief petty officer home on leave from the Middle East was shot and killed by a carjacker three days before he was to report back for duty. Kameron Pratt, 34, was parked in the driveway of his parents' home in Dallas on Friday night when two men in a pickup pulled up next to his.
· Fallen Photog Wants Britney to Foot the Bill. Britney Spears wasn't behind the wheel this time, but she has attracted controversy just the same. A paparazzo who claims he was seriously injured in June 2004 when Spears' mom, Lynne, allegedly ran over his foot and knocked him down in her small SUV has sued the pop star and her mother, according to court documents.
· 'Cars' Roars Up Box Office in $62.8M Debut. The animated comedy "Cars" raced to first place at the weekend box office with a $62.8 million debut, maintaining the Disney-Pixar cartoon brand's undefeated record with a seventh straight hit.
· Saudi lawyer blames US for Guantanamo suicides. A lawyer for Saudi nationals imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay said on Sunday he held U.S. authorities responsible for the deaths of two Saudi prisoners who hanged themselves at the U.S. naval base.
· 4 charged with hate crimes in attack on singer. A singer whose songs have topped the Billboard dance chart was attacked by a group yelling anti-gay slurs Saturday, and four people were arrested on hate-crime charges, police and his publicist said. Kevin Aviance, 38, underwent surgery for a broken jaw after the attack, said his publicist, Len Evans. Police said the singer, whose song "Alive" hit the top of the chart in 2002, was in stable condition.
· Kate living in fear after carjacking of daughter. Kate Moss is living in fear after a gang raided her Range Rover while her three-year-old daughter Lila Grace stood just yards away. The robbery took place only days after the supermodel's mobile phone was stolen, and friends say she fears her daughter Lila might be kidnapped or become the victim of an even more horrific 'carjacking' - where gangs target expensive vehicles.
· Women told 'drink less' to avoid rape. A police chief sparks controversy by suggesting the number of rapes in Scotland could be substantially reduced if women drank less. Neil Richardson said "a lot" of the 1,100 rapes a year could be prevented "by people not allowing themselves to be in a vulnerable position."
· Foiled Burglar Sues For Emotional Distress. A man who was beaten by employees of a store he was trying to rob is now suing. Police said Dana Buckman entered the AutoZone in Rochester, N.Y., last July, brandished a semi-automatic pistol and demanded cash. That's when employees Eli Crespo and Jerry Vega beat him with a pipe and held Buckman at bay with his own gun.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Axiom [ax·i·om] n. 1. An established rule, principle, or law. 2. A self-evident or universally recognized truth; a maxim 3. A self-evident principle or one that is accepted as true without proof as the basis for argument.
· Tattoo nation - the U.S. is getting inked. A generation or two ago, Dan Yu's tattoos - to say nothing of his pierced nose - probably would have placed him in a select company of soldiers, sailors, bikers and carnival workers. But no longer. The American University employee is among about 36 percent of Americans age 18 to 29 with at least one tattoo, according to a survey.
· Sex scandal hits Air Force base. A senior noncommissioned officer at Patrick Air Force Base has been charged with arranging for an enlisted woman at the base to have sex with several people, including one of the lead members of the team in charge of inspecting the base, according to documents released by the Air Force.
· Pro wrestler miffed by pregnancy tests. A professional wrestler claimed Friday that the state is intruding on her privacy by requiring her to provide proof from her doctor that she is not pregnant within a week of every match.
· Disney says goodbye fat, hello fruit. Less than one month after announcing it will end a 10-year promotional tie-up with McDonald's Corporation, Walt Disney Company has signed a deal to license the branding of fresh fruit in Tesco supermarkets across Europe.
· Fired Ford worker gets 30-year certificate. A former Ford Motor Co. employee fired in a downsizing move just before becoming eligible for a full pension says he's gotten a certificate honoring him for his years of service, calling it a "slap in the face." Michael Stawasz, 49, lost his job as a transmission engineering technician in January about nine months short of his 30-year anniversary, the point when he would have been able to retire with full benefits, The Detroit News
· Pellicano Blasts Federal Wiretapping Case. An imprisoned private investigator accused of eavesdropping on Hollywood celebrities called the federal wiretapping case against him bogus and reiterated a promise that he would not testify against his former clients.
· Polygamist sect leader came home for weddings. Arizona's attorney general believes polygamist leader Warren Jeffs recently returned to perform more marriages involving underage girls in his church's community along the Utah-Arizona state line.
Saturday, June 10, 2006
· Black Caucus Opposes Jefferson Treatment. House Democratic leaders are determined to sanction Rep. William Jefferson, scandal-scarred but unindicted, despite a blunt reminder from the Congressional Black Caucus that he is entitled to a "presumption of innocence." "It's about to blow up in their face," predicted Rep. Melvin Watt, chairman of the CBC.
· 3 Guantanamo Inmates Commit Suicide. Three detainees at Guantanamo Bay apparently committed suicide amid protests of the U.S. military prison by inmates, the Defense Department said Saturday. They were the first reported deaths at the controversial detention center where suspected terrorists have been held for as long as 4 1/2 years.
· Hundreds of clowns honor Red Skelton. Red Skelton always wanted a theater of his own. His career spanned six decades and four genres — vaudeville, radio, movies and television — but the rubber-faced comic never owned one of the buildings he often called "palaces."
· Court filing reveals 'omissions' in Duke case. The stripper who has accused three Duke lacrosse players of gang-raping her was drinking while taking medication that night, and had sex with at least four men and a sexual device in the days immediately leading up to the off-campus party, according to court papers filed Thursday.
· Racial slur could increase sentence in baseball-bat beating. A white man accused of pummeling a black man over the head with a baseball bat was convicted of second-degree assault as a hate crime after a three-week trial that focused the defendant's use of a racial slur during the beating. A jury deliberated for eight hours over two days before finding 20-year-old Nicholas Minucci guilty in the assault of Glenn Moore last June in the predominantly white Queens neighborhood. Moore, who suffered a fractured skull, admitted that he and two friends were in the neighborhood trying to steal a car but said they had not taken anything when they crossed paths with Minucci and his companions. The defense argued that Minucci used reasonable force against someone attempting to commit a crime and said he was "a scapegoat because he's a dope."
· Oklahoma governor approves death penalty law for repeat child molesters. Oklahoma on Friday became the fifth state to allow the death penalty for certain sex crimes, although legal scholars questioned the constitutionality of the new state law. Under the measure signed by Gov. Brad Henry, anyone convicted twice for rape, sodomy or lewd molestation involving children under 14 can face the death penalty.
· Alec Baldwin Getting Evaluated. Alec Baldwin may have requested last year that his ex-wife, Kim Basinger, be forced to undergo psychological evaluation, but a Los Angeles court has instead ordered the 48-year-old actor to consult a therapist before he is allowed extra visits with his 10-year-old daughter, Ireland, L.A. City News Service reported Friday.
· Judge Allows R. Kelly Tape Viewing. A judge will allow the public and the media to view a videotape in court that prosecutors allege shows singer R. Kelly having sex with an underage girl. In his ruling Thursday, Judge Vincent Gaughan said he saw no "overarching interest" in banning the tape from public view.
· Valuable Mistake On $100 Bill. Open up your wallet, and you might find a piece of paper worth a pile of cash. If your $100 bill bears a certain mistake, it may be worth a lot more. On the face of a few misprinted bills, the serial numbers and seal over the largest "100" are missing. One dealer is paying $400 for the misprinted $100 bills.
· Anheuser-Busch Sued Over 'Dirty Water.' The song "Dirty Water" blares at Fenway Park after every Red Sox victory and has become part of the winning soundtrack of baseball-crazy Massachusetts. The band that wrote the 1966 hit says it is used in Budweiser commercials, and the rock 'n' rollers are none too happy. The Standells filed a federal lawsuit last week claiming that Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. used "Dirty Water" without permission in commercials to try to tap into the song's connection to the team.
· Guess who's coming to dinner? For the Lorettas, it was a big "what" that came a knockin' at their Sun City Hilton Head home Friday night. A 6-foot-long alligator pounded on the front door of their Penny Creek Drive home at around 7:45 p.m. and started scaling the wall at the entryway - its front left claw inches from the doorbell. [click on article photo for enlargement]
· Court Sides With Bush On Internet Phone Spying. A federal appeals court sided with the Bush administration Friday on an electronic surveillance issue, making it easier to tap into Internet phone calls and broadband transmissions.
· Critics say Canada too immigrant-friendly. Canada has long prided itself for opening its doors wider than any nation to immigrants and asylum-seekers, but that tradition is coming under intense scrutiny — at home and across the border — after the arrests of 17 men from Muslim immigrant families in an alleged terror plot.
· Oklahoma cowboys rope meeting with Oprah. Three rodeo cowboys roped a chance meeting with Oprah Winfrey after the talk-show host's entourage missed a turn and ended up at a small horse ranch outside this northern Oklahoma town.
· Hilton Backs SUV Into Car After Shopping. Paris Hilton had a fender-bender accident when her Range Rover backed into a car in a parking garage after a shopping trip, her publicist said Friday. Hilton backed into a parked Honda Civic on Thursday. A videotape on the TMZ.com Web site showed Hilton getting into the car, saying goodbye to someone and backing up. The sound of a crash followed.
· Britney's new nanny wanted to be a Navy SEAL. At the U.S. Naval Academy, Perry Taylor was addressed as "midshipman." Now, though, he's known as Perry Poppins. The 28-year-old Easton native has popped up in supermarket tabloids as the male nanny - or "manny" - for Britney Spears, who has a 9-month-old son, Sean Preston, and is pregnant.
Friday, June 9, 2006
· Councilman Wants 'English Only' Cheesesteak Policy Dropped. There is more sizzle over the "English-only" ordering policy at a Philadelphia cheesesteak joint. A Philadelphia City Council member is asking the owner of Geno's to take down his sign reading, "This is America: When ordering, speak English."
· Apologize or we'll cut your funding, US envoy tells UN. America’s bitter dispute with the United Nations escalated last night when John Bolton, the US envoy to the UN, threatened to withhold funding to the organization unless it apologized for the remarks of a senior British official.
· Police raid original 'Animal House' at Dartmouth. Authorities raided the Dartmouth College fraternity that inspired the 1978 movie "National Lampoon's Animal House." Court documents regarding search were sealed, and authorities said only that the Alpha Delta house raid Thursday was part of a two-year investigation.
· Police Search For Meat Bandit. Several hundred pounds of meat was stolen from a Gwinnett County outreach program meant to help the homeless. Now, the Quinn House is scrambling to find other means of feeding hundreds of people they help everyday.
· Report details failure of U.S. prison system. Americans spend $60 billion a year to imprison 2.2 million people — exceeding any other nation — but receive a dismal return on the investment. The consequences of that failure include continuing financial strain on states, public-health threats from parolees with communicable diseases and a cycle of crime and victimization driven by a recidivism rate of more than 60 percent, the report says.
· 2nd Border Agent Jailed on Smuggling Charges. A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer was arrested Thursday on alien-smuggling charges, the second member of the agency this week to be accused of working with Mexican-based groups to sneak illegal immigrants into the country. Richard Elizalda, a nine-year veteran, waved through migrant-laden cars at his inspection lane at the San Ysidro Port of Entry for as much as $1,000 per illegal immigrant, according to U.S. authorities.
· Democrats Hope World Cup Ads Reach New Voters. World Cup soccer is "mas que un partido" - more than a game - to a group of Democrats. It's a chance to win over Hispanic voters. The New Democrat Network is starting a $2 million Spanish-language campaign of radio and television ads urging Hispanics to get involved in the political process. The five-month effort begins with ads during the World Cup soccer tournament that begins Friday in Germany.
· Dixie Chicks cancel US concerts. Country music stars the Dixie Chicks have cancelled some US concerts after slow ticket sales. Concerts in Memphis, Oklahoma City, Indianapolis, and Fresno, California, have been dropped from the tour schedule for now, according to industry magazine Pollstar. Box office sales for a concert in Houston have also been cancelled. But the band have encountered no problems in Canada. Tickets for a Toronto appearance sold out in just eight minutes, and a second date has been added.
· Man arrested for "waving" at drivers. Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputies arrested a 37-year-old man, accusing him of waving his genitals at passing drivers and then punching in a car window when one of the motorists complained. James Tidwell is charged with Felony Burglary of an Occupied Vehicle, Misdemeanor Exposure of Sexual Organs, and Criminal Mischief.
· Bush Says Deportation 'Ain't Gonna Work.' President George W. Bush has this to say to lawmakers calling for mass deportation of illegal immigrants: "That ain't gonna work." The president told a Hispanic prayer breakfast in Washington that sending home all of the millions living in the United States illegally is "impractical."
· Nicollette Sheridan sued by ex-manager. The former manager of "Desperate Housewives" co-star Nicollette Sheridan sued the actress Thursday, accusing her of breaking an agreement to pay a percentage of her income.
· Connery Given Lifetime Achievement Award. Hollywood's elite gathered to pay tribute to Sean Connery, who received The American Film Institute's annual lifetime achievement award. Directors Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, and actors Harrison Ford, Andy Garcia and Mike Myers were among the stars who cheered on the legendary actor Thursday at the ceremony at the Kodak Theatre.
Thursday, June 8, 2006
· Woman Charged With Providing Sex, Alcohol To Teens. A Portsmouth, NH woman has been accused of providing sex and alcohol to children under 16. Police said Peggy Bick, 30, was already awaiting trial on indecent exposure and lewdness charges when she was arrested this week. Bick is accused of throwing an alcohol party for some teenagers and having sex with two adolescents.
· Illinois mayor arrested in corruption probe. A longtime suburban Chicago mayor was arrested Thursday on federal charges of steering business to a friend's insurance agency in return for bribes for almost two decades.
· Update: $25 million bounty to be paid on Al-Zarqawi. "We will meet our promise," al-Maliki told al-Arabiya television without elaborating. The United States had put forth the $25 million bounty for information leading to the death or capture of al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq. Al-Zarqawi, a 39-year-old Jordanian-born terrorist, was killed in a U.S. airstrike Wednesday.
· Democrats seek to keep DeLay's name on ballot. The Democrats are trying to keep Tom DeLay's name on the ballot, which would also keep his legal problems in front of voters. DeLay leaves Congress on Friday.
· Principal seeks to charge 2 students. It's a day Clio, Michigan's graduating class and the principal won't soon forget. Principal Keith Smith is working to press charges against two students he says grabbed his bottom after they accepted their diploma. Smith says "As they were shaking my hand they reached around grabbed my butt and started rubbing it." An attorney for one of the accused students says he has been retained because the principal wants the students charged with fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.
· Gym teacher accused of sex assault on student. former West Preston Middle School physical education teacher has been charged with sexually assaulting a 13-year-old male student last September. Lana Jo Rinehart, 26, of Terra Alta, was indicted Tuesday on charges of third-degree sexual assault and sexual abuse by a custodian. Both are felonies.
· eBay Invites Internet Regulation, Backs Online Gambling Ban. Rep. Bob Goodlatte is in the process of pushing through Congress a bill that would "ban" Internet gambling. I've previously explained why the bill is bad public policy. But since that column, it has come to light that online auction giant eBay has thrown its support behind Goodlatte's efforts.
· Teachers resign over sex in classroom. Two former Hillsborough County middle school teachers are facing a state inquiry after students said they saw them having sex in a classroom during school hours.
· Police: Candy thieves leave cell phone. Burglars who stole $30 worth of Skittles and Starburst candy from a Little League concession stand in this Minneapolis suburb left behind an incriminating piece of evidence. Police found a cell phone inside the building.
· Manchin orders poker tables for Governor’s Mansion. West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin may be noncommittal when it comes to allowing table games at the state’s racetracks, but that reluctance apparently doesn’t extend to the Governor’s Mansion.
· Man convicted of raping actress on trial. A man convicted of raping "Top Gun" actress Kelly McGillis in 1982 went on trial on Wednesday for a similar crime against two women years later. Leroy Johnson Jr., 39, is accused of forcing his way into the women's home and attacking them at knifepoint.
· Border Patrol Officer Arrested On Drug Charge. A federal Border Patrol officer has been arrested on a charge of marijuana distribution, official said. Tony "Hollywood" Henderson, 45, was arrested Wednesday on a criminal complaint that alleges he arranged for a marijuana transaction over the telephone, setting the price of the drugs and arranging for a transaction at his home.
· Dixie Chicks tour struggling in several markets. Initial ticket sales for the Dixie Chicks' upcoming tour are far below expectations and several dates will likely be canceled or postoned. Ticket counts for the 20-plus arena shows that went on sale last weekend were averaging 5,000-6,000 per show in major markets and less in secondaries, according to sources contacted by Billboard. Venue capacities on the tour generally top 15,000.
· Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Dies in Bombing Attack. According to the prime minister of Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi - the leader of the terrorist group Al Qaeda in Iraq who has led a bloody campaign of suicide bombings, kidnappings and hostage beheadings – has been killed in a U.S. air raid north of Baghdad.
· Scientology is newest NASCAR sponsor. Tom Cruise came to Charlotte in 1989 to film "Days Of Thunder." Little did we know that someday his idealogy would come zooming back to NASCAR as a sponsor. A No. 27 red Taurus emblazoned with "DIANETICS" and featuring the volcano from the cover of L. Ron Hubbard's book has been tearing around California's Irwindale Speedway. NASCAR is decidedly reluctant to comment on scientology's sponsorship. "This has generated a lot of interest the past few days," NASCAR PR man Scott Warfield says. Not surprisingly, he didn't want to say much more.
· 911 call leads to rescue of 8 lost illegal immigrants. Eight illegal immigrants were rescued by Border Patrol agents early today after they used a cell phone to dial 9-1-1 and report they were lost in the desert of southwestern Arizona. The Border Patrol says the group was located by a Customs and Border Protection helicopter crew about two hours after the call came in. The individuals said they had been walking for two days and had no water or food.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Voracity; Voracious [vo·ra·cious] adj. Consuming or eager to consume great amounts of food; ravenous. 2. Having or marked by an insatiable appetite for an activity or pursuit; greedy: "A voracious reader."
· MPAA board gives PG rating for 'too much God' in Christian movie. The Motion Picture Association of America is crystal clear when it describes why its "PG" rating exists - it's a warning flag. The Christian moviemakers behind a low-budget film called "Facing the Giants" were stunned when the MPAA pinned a PG rating on their gentle movie about a burned-out, depressed football coach whose life - on and off the field - takes a miraculous turn for the better. "It is kind of interesting that faith has joined that list of deadly sins that the MPAA board wants to warn parents to worry about," said the producer's spokesman.
· Apple surpasses beer on college campuses. In a rare instance, Apple Computer Inc.'s iconic iPod music player surpassed beer drinking as the most "in" thing among undergraduate college students, according to the latest biannual market research study by Ridgewood, New Jersey-based Student Monitor. Nearly three quarters, or 73 percent, of 1,200 students surveyed said iPods were "in" - more than any other item in a list that also included text messaging, bar hopping and downloading music.
· Bolton: U.N. official's criticism of U.S. a 'grave mistake.' The United States strongly criticized the No. 2 United Nations official on Wednesday for a speech in which he accused the U.S. government of using but not defending the organization and for leaving Americans in the dark about the world body's good works. U.S. Ambassador John Bolton called Tuesday's speech by Deputy Secretary-General Mark Malloch Brown a "very, very grave mistake" that could undermine Secretary-General Kofi Annan's efforts to push through an ambitious reform agenda at the world organization.
· City: Rapper's kin are lying for dollars. Lawyers for the city accused the family of slain rapper Notorious B.I.G. of going to "odious" and "absurd" lengths - including lying - to "satisfy their ambition to extract hundreds of millions of dollars" from the city, according to papers filed in federal court.
Wednesday, June 7, 2006
· Update: Boy's ignored 911 call leads to charges. Two 911 dispatchers who authorities say wrongly assumed it was a prank when a 5-year-old boy called to report that his mother had collapsed have been charged with neglect of duty. By the time an officer arrived, the boy's 46-year-old mother was dead.
· USDA Nixes Florida Sending Fruit To Other Citrus-Producing States. The federal government is barring Florida citrus growers from sending fresh fruit to other citrus-producing states this season. They fear diseases that have damaged crops in Florida would spread elsewhere.
· Congress Increases Indecency Fines Tenfold. Congress gave notice to broadcasters Wednesday that they will pay dearly for crossing the line with offensive material like Janet Jackson's 2004 Super Bowl "wardrobe malfunction," passing legislation that would multiply indecency fines 10 times.
· Teacher Disciplined For "Racy" Test Given To Students. School officials disciplined a middle school teacher for distributing a reportedly "racy" personality test during a summer orientation. The test contained more than 200 questions, but there were at least five questions some parents found unappropriate for 12 year olds. Those questions asked things like "Do you like ordinary sex?" or "Would you take part in an orgy?"
· Baby's body at center of corpse abuse 'worst case.' A Houston woman accused of hiding a baby's body in the pants of a man's corpse, apparently to avoid paying an extra $50 for cremation, should be fined $41,500 and lose her funeral director's license, the Texas Funeral Service Commission said Tuesday.
· Macy's Removes Gay Pride Display. Macy's department store has removed a window display marking Boston's gay pride week after a group that opposes gay marriage complained it was offensive. The display at the downtown Boston store featured two male mannequins, with one wearing a gay pride rainbow flag around his waist, next to a list of several planned Boston Pride Week events.
· Ann Coulter Lambasts Some 9/11 Widows. When their husbands were killed on 9/11, four New Jersey widows tried to find out why - and now no-holds-barred conservative pundit Ann Coulter is mercilessly denouncing them as "witches." "I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much," Coulter writes in her new book. "These broads are millionaires... And by the way, how do we know their husbands weren't planning to divorce them?"
· Veterans sue government over massive theft of personal data. Personal data on about 2.2 million active-duty military, Guard and Reserve personnel — not just 50,000 as initially believed — were among those stolen from a Veterans Affairs employee last month, the government said Tuesday.
· Judge Throws Out Lawsuit Of Woman Who Choked On Shellfish. Where there are shellfish, expect shells. That was the ruling from a Long Island judge, who recently dismissed a claim by a woman who sued a restaurant for $750,000 after choking on a piece of mussel shell. Mary Slaymaker said she suffered a punctured throat and an infection after choking on a 1-inch piece of shell during a meal of mussels marinara.
· Sex offender held in student's slaying. A registered sex offender wanted in the death of a Clemson University student who was strangled with her bikini top was captured late Tuesday in Tennessee, officials said. Jerry Buck Inman, who was wanted on arrest warrants for murder, rape and kidnapping, was taken into custody without resistance during a traffic stop about a mile from his parents' home in Dandridge, Tennessee, Sheriff David Davenport said.
· 'Con Air' Deports Illegal Immigrants to Central America. As the debate over border security continues to escalate, many illegal aliens are being deported via U.S. government "Con Air" planes serving as high-flying paddy wagons. For some 47,000 illegal immigrants — non-Mexicans caught near the border and those caught committing crimes in the United States — the journey into America on foot ends quickly with a journey out of America on an airplane as part of the U.S. Marshals Service's Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System.
· Feds seize church's fake $1 million bills. The U.S. Secret Service confiscated bogus $1 million bills printed as religious tracts from an evangelical ministry, saying the handbills too closely mimic real money.
· Photo Of Jolie-Pitt Baby Leaked Online. Apparently, there is a bit of a disagreement in the entertainment world about the word "exclusive." Despite the fact that magazines worldwide have paid millions for "exclusive" rights to publish the first pictures of Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, one picture of the new baby was leaked online Tuesday. The leaked photo was a cover shot for British-based gossip magazine Hello! The issue featuring the photo goes on sale in the U.K. on Thursday. The picture was reportedly posted on the Hello! Web site Tuesday, before it was quickly removed.
· Missing Newton-John Beau Spotted? Olivia Newton-John may honestly love her missing boyfriend, Patrick Kim McDermott, but if new reports relating to his mysterious disappearance can be believed, it seems her sentiments might not be reciprocated. Four separate witnesses are now claiming to have spotted McDermott in Mexico since his disappearance last year.
· Chuck Yeager Sues Children in Pension Fund Fight. Famed pilot Chuck Yeager is accusing his children in federal court of diverting hundreds of thousands of dollars from his pension fund. The lawsuit filed Thursday is the latest legal dispute between Yeager, 83, the first pilot to fly faster than the speed of sound, and his four children.
· Jazz pianist dies after fall outside New Orleans bar. Jazz pianist and composer Hilton Ruiz, who excelled in a wide variety of styles from Afro-Cuban rhythms to the blues, died early Tuesday, never regaining consciousness after a fall in front of a French Quarter bar. He was 54.
Tuesday, June 6, 2006
· Whiz kid admits $7 million scam. A former New York University student pleaded guilty to bank and wire fraud Tuesday, admitting he used his student ID and expertly forged documents to pose as the heir to a billionaire Turkish family and trick investors into pouring millions into a nonexistent hedge fund.
· Treat me like I'm black, sez Kennedy. Fresh from rehab, Rep. Patrick Kennedy said yesterday he wants to be treated like an African-American from Washington if and when he gets charged for crashing his car on Capitol Hill.
· Heather Mills admits her erotic past. Heather Mills McCartney has been forced to admit her unsavoury past after pictures of her posing for an erotic book emerged which showed her performing sex acts on a stranger.
· Singer, Songwriter Billy Preston Dies. Billy Preston, the exuberant keyboardist who landed dream gigs with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and enjoyed his own series of hit singles, including "Outta Space" and "Nothing From Nothing," died Tuesday at 59.
· Washing machines and gasoline don't mix well. A Minnesota man who says he used gasoline over the years to clean grease from clothing, has decided to stop that practice after a close call. The fire department says Glenn Johnson suffered second degree burns on his legs after pouring a couple cups of gasoline in his washer.
· Special forces to use strap-on 'stealth wings.' Elite special forces troops being dropped behind enemy lines on covert missions are to ditch their traditional parachutes in favour of strap-on stealth wings. The lightweight carbon fibre mono-wings will allow them to jump from high altitudes and then glide 120 miles or more before landing.
· 'American Bandstand' Director Dies. Edward J. Yates, who directed "American Bandstand" for 17 years, from a fledgling local TV show to a national institution that made Dick Clark a star, has died at age 87.
· At least they remembered his birthday. A 6-year-old boy who was accidentally left behind by his family after they celebrated his birthday at a restaurant will temporarily remain in state custody, a judge ruled Monday. Michael James Emanuel Jr.'s family said they accidentally left him Saturday night and didn't notice he was missing until the next day.
· ACLU Sues Alaska Over State's 'Pot' Law. The American Civil Liberties Union sued the state of Alaska on Monday over a new law that would restore criminal penalties for marijuana possession. The law, which was signed by Gov. Frank Murkowski on Friday, is an attempt to reverse a 30-year-old Alaska Supreme Court decision that ruled the privacy rights of Alaskans trumped the harm the drug could cause.
· TV Comes To The Gas Pump. Coming soon to a gas pump near you - television. Gas Station TV, a Michigan-based company, is testing a service using TV monitors installed above gas pumps that show short clips of news, weather and traffic - and commercials.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Embellish [em·bel·lish] tr.v. 1. To make beautiful, as by ornamentation; decorate. 2. To add fictitious details to exaggerate the truth: "A fanciful account that embellished the true story."
· Indianapolis suspect 'started shooting everybody.' The slayings of seven family members unfolded when one victim returned home and drew a weapon as two gunmen were ransacking the house to find a safe they believed contained cash and cocaine, according to documents filed by prosecutors.
· Dead Marine's Father Sues Anti-Gay Protesters. The father of a Marine whose funeral was picketed by anti-gay protesters from a fundamentalist Kansas church filed an invasion-of-privacy suit against the demonstrators Monday. It is believed to be the first lawsuit brought by a soldier's family against Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., whose members routinely demonstrate at military funerals around the country, including several in Oklahoma.
· 6-6-6: Is our number really up? Is Tuesday's date - 6-6-6 - merely a curious number or could it mean our number is up? There's a devilishly odd nexus of theology, mathematics and commercialism on the sixth day of the sixth month of the sixth year. You can even make sport of it, betting online whether the apocalypse will happen on that date. The good news is that one online oddsmaker has made the world a 100,000-to-1 favorite to survive Tuesday.
· Complaint Filed Against New Orleans Police Chief's Plan To Grab Guns. The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) is calling upon U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to investigate New Orleans Police Superintendent Warren Riley over his announcement last week that police in his city would once again confiscate privately-owned firearms in the event of another catastrophic storm like Hurricane Katrina.
· Missing infant found in Texas. An ailing 5-day-old girl, snatched from her mother by a woman who had posed as a hospital worker, has been found and is being evaluated at the University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas, police and hospital officials said. "This little baby is in remarkably good shape," said Lt. Roy Bassett, a Lubbock Police Department spokesman. After a tip called in to police, Priscilla Nicole Maldonado was found unattended, lying in a car seat in a carport at a Lubbock condominium complex. Temperatures at the time were in the low 100s.
· Baseball clown Bob Uecker claims stalking by 45-year-old woman. Proving that just about everyone has a stalker, baseball funnyman Bob Uecker got a restraining order yesterday against an Illinois woman who allegedly has been pursuing the Milwaukee Brewers announcer for years. In a detailed sworn affidavit, Uecker, 72, charges that 45-year-old Ann Ladd's behavior has "resulted in repeated and serious invasions of my personal privacy."
· Carnival Ride Operator Arrested For Lewd Conduct. A church carnival ride operator accused of committing lewd acts on two children, ages 3 and 4, was behind bars Sunday, a police sergeant said. Jesse Fernando Perez, 19, of Los Angeles, was detained Saturday night at St. Frances of Rome Church after complaints were made that he fondled children on the ride he was operating, said Azusa police Sgt. George Brown.
· Meat Loaf sues over "Bat Out Of Hell." Veteran rocker Meat Loaf has sued songwriter Jim Steinman and manager David Sonenberg over trademark rights to "Bat Out of Hell," asking for more than $50 million.
· Documents May Change Young Abe Lincoln's Image. Historians might have to rethink the image of Abraham Lincoln as a carefree, cash-strapped young adult who only later developed the character traits that helped him become one of the nation's most celebrated statesman. New artifacts and documents found recently at New Salem, a historic site near Springfield where Lincoln lived in his 20s, indicate the 16th president owned property and one or more buildings.
· Pitt and Jolie to Sell Baby Photos. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt will give the world its first peek at their newborn daughter by releasing photos of Shiloh Nouvel, with profits going to charity. The images, taken at a private photo shoot, will be distributed by Getty Images, the photo agency said Monday. All profits will be given to charity, though no specific foundation was announced.
Monday, June 5, 2006
· Stepfather Who Impregnated Teen With Syringe Gets 20 Years. An Ohio man who used a syringe to get his 16-year-old stepdaughter pregnant has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. John Goff plans to appeal his convictions for rape, sexual battery and child endangerment. Goff and his wife claim the teen agreed to be impregnated, though he admits to what he calls "the most ill-conceived plan since Enron." He said he did it because the girl's mother could no longer conceive.
· Canadian Terror Suspects Arrested in U.S. Last Year. Two men believed to be part of a terrorist ring in Canada were arrested last summer while trying to smuggle guns and ammunition from the United States, authorities said. Mohammed Dirie, 22, and Yasin Abdi Mohamed, 24, were both in jail serving two-year sentences for weapons smuggling when they were hit with new Canadian terrorism charges Friday.
· Lawmakers took millions in free trips. Members of the U.S. Congress and their aides took free trips worth nearly $50 million paid for by corporations, trade associations and other private groups between January 2000 and June 2005, according to a study released on Monday. Some of the 23,000 trips featured $500-a-night hotel rooms, $25,000 corporate jet rides and visits to popular spots such as Paris, Hawaii and Colorado ski resorts.
· Criminology Students Find Dead Body In Fla. Some high school criminology students in Fort Lauderdale got a taste of the real thing Monday morning. Their teacher had set up a mock crime scene at Holiday Park for their class. The students were supposed to bag evidence, take pictures of the scene and try to solve the fake crime. The students from St. Thomas Aquinas High School soon discovered a man's body and began taking notes and pictures as they were taught. But at the time, they didn't know it was a real dead person. One student even said he thought his teacher "planted it there."
· Coffee drinkers say 'yes' more. People are more likely to say "yes" after drinking coffee, according to new research. Australian scientists found that moderate amounts of caffeine can increase people's willingness to be persuaded.
· Oprah Crashes Wedding Receptions. In a turn perhaps inspired by Vince Vaughn or Owen Wilson, Oprah Winfrey crashed several Tulsa wedding receptions over the weekend, collecting footage that will be seen on her show. "When we were getting ready, we heard that Oprah was in town buying wedding gifts," said Sarah Klein, the sister of groom Ben Klein, who married Heather Anderson. "We were all joking that she should come to the wedding." And that's exactly what happened.
· Two FedEx Drivers Awarded $61 Million in Racial Bias Case. A Superior Court jury in San Francisco awarded $61 million to two FedEx Ground drivers of Lebanese descent who claimed a manager harassed them with racial slurs for two years.
· Speeding driver dies in crash at cemetery. After the black Corvette convertible followed a second sports car into the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, the car skidded out of control and crashed into a mausoleum. The 52-year-old driver, who was not immediately identified, was pronounced dead a short time later.
· It's Now Official: Florida Dining Goes To The Dogs. Dog owners will no longer have to leave their best friends at home when they dine out in Florida. Gov. Jeb Bush signed the so-called "doggie dining" bill in Orlando Friday. The law will allow local governments to let restaurants permit dogs to eat with their owners outside.
· Watch illegals crossing live on the Web. Texas is enlisting web users in its fight against illegal immigration by offering live surveillance footage of the Mexican border on the internet. The plan will allow web users worldwide to watch Texas' border with Mexico and phone the authorities if they spot any apparently illegal crossings.
· Julia Roberts bust: Brokers selling tickets below face value. A night with the Pretty Woman isn't the hottest ticket in town anymore. Julia Roberts' star turn in "Three Days of Rain" was the talk of the city when it opened in April, but with two weeks left in the play's run, ticket brokers say they are finding themselves stuck with hundreds of seats — and are now selling them below their face value, according to the New York Daily News.
· Oprah getting her new jet. Oprah Winfrey is about to receive her custom-built, $47 million executive jet she ordered from Bombardier Aerospace. The plane, which was assembled in the Montreal area over the span of a year, will have leather interior and designer fixtures for the bathroom and galley, among other high-end trimmings.
· Fake Nurse Snatches Newborn Girl. A woman posing as a nurse kidnapped a 4-day-old girl Sunday, prompting an Amber Alert. The woman befriended mother Erica Ysasaga while she was in the hospital, and asked for her address when she was discharged saying she had a swing and some clothes for the baby.
· New parking meters accept credit cards. Out of change for the meter? That will no longer be a worry in downtown San Diego, where workers yesterday installed 50 high-tech, $10,000 [each] parking meters to replace its dated, mechanical coin meters.
· 2 found dead inside deflated balloon. Two college students were found dead inside a large, deflated helium balloon after apparently pulling it down and crawling inside it. The 8-foot-diameter balloon was used to advertise an apartment complex.
· Sylvester Stallone Turns 60 in Las Vegas. It was a Hollywood - and a Planet Hollywood - reunion in Las Vegas Sunday night as Sylvester Stallone celebrated his 60th birthday. The "Rocky" and "Rambo" star was joined by fellow Planet Hollywood founders Bruce Willis and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for the bash at Stallone's soon-to-open Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino.
· 'The Break-Up' Upsets 'X-Men' at Box Office. Supported by real-life romantic splits and hookups, Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn's "The Break-Up" pulled an upset over the mutant world of the "X-Men." "The Break-Up" debuted more strongly than expected with $38.1 million to take over as the No. 1 weekend movie from "X-Men: The Last Stand," which slipped to second place with $34.35 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.
Sunday, June 4, 2006
· Northeast still has dumbest drivers. The tiny state of Rhode Island still ranks rock bottom in terms of driving knowledge, according to a national test conducted by GMAC Insurance. Oregon drivers answered the most questions correctly. The test revealed that about one in 11 licensed drivers in the United States would fail a state drivers test.
· Men break jail window, escape on city bus. Two men charged in a fatal shooting broke through an office window at the District of Columbia Jail on Saturday and escaped aboard a city bus, authorities said. An officer arriving for work chased the two men, but lost them in the area of a Metro station not far from RFK Stadium.
· U.S. government hiring Mexicans. In one of those post-9-11 ironies, about three dozen Mexican nationals from Boquillas, Mexico come across the Rio Grande to provide vital firefighting services to Big Bend National Park across the border in the U.S.
· Class VP arrested after coming late to graduation. For Maquisha Cosey, vice president of Thornton Fractional North High School's class of 2006, graduation day is not one she'll soon forget. It's the day that Cosey was arrested and charged with criminal trespass and disorderly conduct after trying to participate in the ceremony for being late.
· Pricey 7-mile ride. For $3.25 each way during peak travel times (less during off-peak), well-heeled commuters can leave the riffraff behind and sail along the luxurious champagne asphalt of a high-occupancy toll lane for 7 miles on Denver's north side.
· Democratic candidate tells Latinos: 'You don't need papers for voting.' Francine Busby, the Democratic candidate for the 50th Congressional District, was speaking before a largely Latino crowd in Escondido, California when a man in the audience asked in Spanish: “I want to help, but I don't have papers.” It was translated and Busby replied: “Everybody can help, yeah, absolutely, you can all help. You don't need papers for voting, you don't need to be a registered voter to help.”
· Party in Hell planned for 6-6-06. They're planning a hot time in Hell on Tuesday. The day bears the date of 6-6-06, or abbreviated as 666 - a number that carries hellish significance. And there's not a snowball's chance in Hell, Michigan that the day will go unnoticed in the unincorporated hamlet 60 miles west of Detroit.
· Hotels.com Customer Info May Be at Risk. Thousands of Hotels.com customers may be at risk for credit card fraud after a laptop computer containing their personal information was stolen from an auditor, a company spokesman said Saturday. The password-protected laptop belonging to an Ernst & Young auditor was taken in late February from a locked car, said Paul Kranhold, spokesman for Hotels.com.
· National Guard begins Mexico border duty. Fifty-five National Guard members from Utah arrived in Yuma, Arizona, on Saturday as the first troops to be sent to the Arizona-Mexico border in a plan announced by President George W. Bush to crack down on illegal immigration.
· Grateful Dead's last keyboardist dies. Vince Welnick, the Grateful Dead's last keyboard player and a veteran of other bands, including the Tubes and Missing Man Formation, has died, the Grateful Dead's longtime publicist said Saturday. Welnick was the last in a long line of Grateful Dead keyboardists, several of whom died prematurely, leading some of the group's fans to conclude that the position came with a curse.
· Does it come in beige? There's a reason why men's clothing is on the main floor of your local department store. That's as far as a man will go to buy something he doesn't even want. Most men hate to shop, especially for clothes. Even male designers have pared down their own dressing routines to avoid the dreaded task. But it's not guys' fault, honestly. It's all in their genes.
· Suspect in family slayings surrenders. The man police consider the prime suspect in the slayings of seven Indianapolis family members surrendered to police at a fast-food restaurant Saturday evening, a police source said. Desmond Turner, 28, has been charged with seven counts of murder and seven counts of felony murder.
· Cloned Mules Win Prelims in Nevada. Two qualifying heats, two wire-to-wire victories, two nearly identical times. It was almost like the same mule won twice. Idaho Gem, the world's first equine clone, and his brother, Idaho Star, made successful debuts Saturday in what scientists billed as the first professional competition between clones of any kind.
· Man In Florida Accused Of Trying To Use Potato As Silencer. A man is accused of putting a potato on the barrel of a gun, believing the spud would act as a silencer and muffle the shooting of a woman, according to Miami-Dade police.
Saturday, June 3, 2006
· Judge outlaws prison group's Bible program. A judge has ruled that a Bible-based prison program violates the First Amendment's freedom of religion clause by using state funds to promote Christianity to inmates.
· Man Convicted In Mouse-In-Burrito Scheme Gets Prison. A Michigan man who stuffed a dead mouse in a burrito in an attempt to extort money from Taco Bell will be chowing down on prison food for the next 16 to 30 months.
· Learjet registered to Pat Robertson crashes. A Learjet registered to religious broadcaster Pat Robertson crashed in Long Island Sound while flying in heavy fog Friday, killing both pilots, authorities said. All three passengers escaped without serious injury. Robertson was not aboard.
· Ireland Passes Emergency Under-Age Sex Law in Supreme Court Snafu. Ireland passed an emergency bill Friday on under-age sex, and the Supreme Court ordered a man at the center of the controversy to be reimprisoned for having sex with a 12-year-old girl.
· Indiana Coroner Blames Deputy In Mix-Up Of Crash Victims. An Indiana coroner blamed one of his deputies Friday for the mix-up that left one family thinking their daughter was dead, while another believed their daughter was alive. The coroner in Grant County, Ind., says a concerned deputy coroner advised Cerak's sister not to look at the body of the girl who died. But the coroner said the victim's head wasn't seriously injured, and that had the sister looked, the whole mix-up might have been avoided.
· TV Crew Arrested Trying To Get To Helicopter Crash. Two members of a Tallahassee TV crew were arrested after allegedly trying to access an area where a military helicopter crashed. Four soldiers died in the crash and a fifth suffered minor injuries.
· Jolie grabs 24 domain names for daughter Shiloh. Actress Angelina Jolie has reserved 24 domain names featuring various versions of her daughter Shiloh Nouvel's name. Internet registration files show the Web addresses "shilohjolie," "shilohpitt," "shilohjoliepitt," "shilohnouveljolie," "shilohnouvelpitt" and "shilohnouveljoliepitt" -- with the extensions ".com," ".org," ".net" and ".info" - were reserved as of May 27, the baby's birthday.
· 'K-Fed' Gets a Makeover. Yep, the scruffy-faced, sideways-baseball-cap-wearing, rapper wannabe cleans up pretty good. He almost looks ready to get a real job. With a "Queer Eye" type makeover, Britney Spears' hubby, Kevin Federline, is trying to put his greasy, grimy image behind him — and all it took was a shower, a shave and a collection of stylish suits.
· Teen Arrested After Ambush Attack Video Posted. A 16-year-old in Jacksonville, Fla., was arrested and accused of posting video of an ambush attack online in which a teen is punched in the face and knocked on his back. The video shows three teens walking in a Jacksonville parking lot before a boy runs up and punches another teen in the back of the head. As the attack continues, another teen is punched in the face and falls to his back.
· Vargas' Exit Provokes Debate. "I can't believe that a woman who's worked so hard to get where she is would just resign like that," says Suzanne Holstein, 39. "I think they pushed her out." Empathy, respect, disappointment, suspicion: women seem to be expressing many emotions when they discuss ABC's Elizabeth Vargas, co-anchor of "World News Tonight" until this week, when she was replaced by Charles Gibson.
· Mistake On Price Sends Drivers Into Fuel Frenzy. There was a brief fuel frenzy at a Lukoil gas station in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, when a pump was selling premium for 32.9 cents a gallon. About a dozen cars lined up for the cut-rate gas. But it was a mistake. The pump was supposed to have been set at $3.29 a gallon.
· Russian Web site angers music industry. A Russian Web site that lets visitors download albums for less than $1 is a smash hit with music fans - but not with U.S. trade and music industry officials. Apple Computer Inc.'s iTunes Music Store, which is the world's most popular online store licensed by the industry, charges 99 cents per song, but the Russian site offers tracks for a tenth of that price.
· L.A. Loses TV Pilots, Industry Study Finds. Television pilot production in the Los Angeles area for the upcoming season fell more than 23 percent from last year's levels, costing more than 1,000 jobs and draining up to $70 million from the local economy, a new study concludes. Twenty-five other states have used tax incentives to lure away pilot production, which takes place from February through May, according to FilmL.A. Inc., a private group that promotes the city's film and television business.
Friday, June 2, 2006
· Duke Lacrosse Player Charged With DWI, Drug Possession. Matthew Wilson is charged with DWI and drug possession. The 21-year-old rising senior was stopped in Chapel Hill last week after police say he ran a red light. Court records show Wilson's blood alcohol registered 0.21. They also show the officer found marijuana in his car.
· Air Marshal Drops Bullets, Leaves Plane. A U.S. air marshal removed himself from a Southwest Airlines flight Thursday after dropping a clip of bullets on the floor just before the plane was to take off, an airline spokeswoman said. The marshal arrived at Midway International Airport on a flight from Philadelphia and was boarding a flight to Kansas City when the clip fell to the floor, scattering bullets, Southwest spokeswoman Whitney Eichinger told the Chicago Tribune.
· How Will a Gay Icon Fly at the Box Office? Superman has been missing from the movies for 19 years, and now that he's scheduled to fly into the multiplex on June 28, his worries may not be limited to Lex Luthor and kryptonite. Even at a time when moviegoers and awards organizations embraced the overtly gay love story "Brokeback Mountain," there may be a different challenge for a mainstream action movie that happens to be attracting a gay following.
· Man Leaves $28,000 On Restaurant Toilet. A tax collector in the southern Austrian city of Graz accidentally left $28,000 in cash in an attache case he placed on top of a toilet in the men's room of a local restaurant Thursday, police said. By the time he realized it was missing and went back, the cash was gone, authorities said.
· Britney hires a 'manny.' With questions being asked about her parenting skills, and reports circulating that her husband has walked out on her, Britney Spears could definitely use a man about the house right now. So it is perhaps no surprise to find this newest staff member - a male nanny - on Miss Spears' payroll.
· School Letters About Fat Kids Bring Changes. It's been two years since Arkansas schools started sending letters home to parents with their kids' report cards - letters telling them if their children were fat. Plenty of parents weren't happy. But a lot of them did something about it.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Colloquialism [col·lo·qui·al·ism] n. 1. An informal word or phrase that is more common in conversation than in formal speech or writing. Colloquialisms can include words such as "gonna" and phrases such as "ain't nothin'" and "dead as a doornail."
· Judge: It's Unconstitutional To Make Students Stand For Pledge. A federal judge ruled Thursday that it is unconstitutional to require a student to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Judge Kenneth Ryskamp also ruled that a student does not have to get a parent's permission to be excused from reciting the pledge. The American Civil Liberties Union sued the state Board of Education and state Education Commissioner John Winn on behalf of a Boynton Beach High School student who said he was disciplined for not standing during the pledge last year.
· Rocker Pete Doherty detained on plane to Spain after syringe find. British singer Pete Doherty was detained on board a flight from London to Barcelona after a blood-filled syringe was found in the plane's toilet but was then released, airline easyJet said.
· Shiite Muslims Protest Over Comedy Show. Thousands of Shiite Muslims enraged by a TV comedy that mocked the leader of Hezbollah took to the streets of southern Beirut on Thursday night, burning car tires and blocking roads, police and witnesses said.
· NYC closes famed deli that served celebs. A famed deli that has served corned beef and pastrami on rye to celebrities such as Mike Tyson, former President Clinton and Milton Berle was briefly shuttered by city officials this week after it failed health inspections. The Stage Deli, on the edge of midtown Manhattan's Theater District, was closed Tuesday, reopened without permission and was closed again on Wednesday.
· Report: 7 Killed in Indianapolis Shooting. Police found seven people fatally shot execution-style Thursday night inside a home near a prison, according to media reports. Officers were called to the home about a block from the Indiana Women's Prison about 10 p.m. They found a young woman screaming that her mother had been shot, police Sgt. Steve Staletovich said.
· Schwarzenegger to order troops to border. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger agreed Thursday to send the California National Guard to the Mexican border, ending a 17-day standoff with the Bush administration. The two sides had been at odds over whether California Guardsmen would join the effort to bolster the Border Patrol and who would pay for it.
· Stares, Glares for Afghan Female Drivers. Everyone she passes - each taxi driver, every man and burqa-clad woman - is looking at Sofia. The stares and glares are no surprise: She's female, she's driving, and she's just 14 years old. Women drivers are so rare in Afghanistan that it's a head-turning, hand-pointing shock for most people who see one. The license bureau reports that of the more than 17,000 licenses issued in the Kabul area last year, only 85 went to women.
· Democrats Tear Each Other Apart in Calif. Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is wounded and vulnerable, and yet the two Democrats vying to unseat him are tearing each other apart in a nightmare scenario party leaders had feared. State Treasurer Phil Angelides and Controller Steve Westly are spending millions on attack ads heading into Tuesday's primary, trading accusations of being corrupt, indulging in dirty politics and wanting to raise taxes.
· Celebrities roast actress Jane Fonda. Actress Jane Fonda was on the wrong end of a celebrity roast Thursday, the target of spirited insults from actresses, comedians and — horror of horrors — her ex-husband. CNN founder Ted Turner was among the celebrities who zinged the two-time Oscar winner to raise money for a charity.
Thursday, June 1, 2006
· New York boy, 16, got Mercedes for sex. A 39-year-old woman has been charged with repeatedly having sex with a 16-year-old neighbor to whom she gave a $35,000 Mercedes Benz. Lisa Frodella was charged Wednesday with two counts each of third-degree rape and third-degree criminal sexual act after the youth told police they had been having an affair since January, according to reports.
· Fake Gas Station Attendant Arrested. A man pretended to be a station attendant and "sold" gasoline to drivers for $10 a tank, then pocketed the purchase money, police said. Joseph K. Boulware, 41, was arrested May 19 at a gas station in West Baltimore where, police said, he dispensed 450 gallons of gas worth about $1,300.
· Autopsy: Man beaten with bat says stun gun contributed to death. An autopsy on man who died in San Jose, California, after being beaten by a group of men and then stunned by police using a Taser is adding to the controversy over the use of the devices.
· Official Apologizes For Saying Bush Should Be Shot Between Eyes. New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi publicly apologized Thursday for a "beyond dumb" remark about "putting a bullet between the president's eyes."
· Woman jailed for hiding child groom. A 37-year-old woman who married one of her son's 15-year-old friends pleaded guilty to helping her young husband escape from state custody. Lisa Clark was sentenced Wednesday to two years in jail and three years' probation after entering the plea to two counts of hindering the apprehension of a child.
· Movie sets: Hotbeds of hot beds. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise. Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas. Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger. Penelope Cruz and Matthew McConaughey. Jen and Ben. Angelina and Brad. The high-profile pairings all share one thing: love bloomed on the set.
· Lollipops May Allow People To Lick Weight Away. The new Power Pop may be Hollywood's latest secret to staying thin. The key ingredient in this little lollipop is Hoodia, which could have you losing weight in no time. "60 Minutes" started the Hoodia craze with a story about South African bush men who suck on the plant to curb hunger. Even Leslie Stahl was convinced, promising, "I was never hungry all day."
· ACLU sues over Indianapolis sex-offender ban of playground access. Six sex offenders sued the city Wednesday to block a new ordinance that bars them from venturing within 1,000 feet of parks, pools and playgrounds when children are present.
· Petitioner Wants 'Too Short' Judge's Resignation. A Nebraska woman has opened a petition drive demanding the resignation of a judge who sentenced a sex offender to probation partly because he is short.
· Prince admits second illegitimate child. Prince Albert of Monaco, son of the late Hollywood actress Grace Kelly, has admitted that he fathered a second illegitimate child, his lawyer said in a newspaper interview. Fourteen-year-old American high school student Jazmin Grace Rotolo will not be entitled to the throne because under the constitution of the tiny Mediterranean principality only a child born into Catholic wedlock can succeed.
· Mistaken ID stuns crash victims' families. A couple sat by their daughter's hospital bedside for weeks after an auto accident until she came out of a coma and they realized she was not their daughter, but another blond-haired young woman injured in the wreck. Their own daughter, it turned out, was dead and buried.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Oxymoron [ox·y·mo·ron] n.pl. A phrase in which two words of contradictory meaning are used together for special effect, for example, “wise fool” or “to make haste slowly.”
· Iraq veteran sues Moore over 9/11 film. A veteran who lost both arms in the war in Iraq is suing filmmaker Michael Moore for $85 million, alleging that Moore used snippets of a television interview without his permission to falsely portray him as anti-war in "Fahrenheit 9/11." Sgt. Peter Damon, a National Guardsman from Middleborough, is asking for damages because of "loss of reputation, emotional distress, embarrassment, and personal humiliation," according to the lawsuit filed last week. Damon, 33, claims that Moore never asked for his consent to use a clip from an interview Damon did with NBC's "Nightly News."
· Authenticity of Monroe exhibit challenged. A lawsuit claims that Marilyn Monroe had no connection to many of the items in an exhibit that claims to showcase her possessions. The exhibit aboard the Queen Mary, which is moored in Long Beach, features items including hair rollers, suitcases, a lipstick holder and a "red shiny dress" that the iconic sex symbol supposedly owned.
· Dixie Chicks Bush-whacked at record stores. Country trio the Dixie Chicks, the darlings of Nashville until their singer criticized U.S. President George W. Bush three years ago, opened at No. 1 on the U.S. charts on Wednesday with their first studio album since then, but sales were sharply lower. The lower sales for the new Dixie Chicks album were not unexpected given that country radio is largely ignoring the Texans. The first single, the defiant "Not Ready To Make Nice," stalled at No. 36 on Billboard magazine's Hot Country Songs chart.
· Police: Teacher Busted In Campus Drug Sweep. Police who were searching for drugs at a Texas middle school with canines found marijuana, but it didn't belong to a student, San Antonio television station KSAT reported. During a routine parking lot drug sweep, police found the drug in the car of teacher Samuel Flores, 27.
· Would-be Japan robber asks bank how to do it. A would-be Japanese bank robber asked staff how he should carry out the crime before meekly obeying a request to leave and then accidentally stabbing himself in the leg with a knife he was carrying.
· O.J.'s daughter enters plea bargain. O.J. Simpson's daughter was sentenced Wednesday to 50 hours of community service in a deal with prosecutors that stemmed from a confrontation with police during a fight outside a prep school basketball game. Sydney Simpson, 20, did not appear in court, but her lawyer accepted the deal on her behalf in a teleconference with a judge.
· Killer Wants State To Pay For Sex Change. A convicted killer serving a life sentence for murdering his wife 16 years ago wants Massachusetts to pay for his sex change operation. The court has previously granted the 57-year-old the right to have the state pay for his female hormone treatments and laser hair removal after a judge ruled he is entitled to treatment for a condition called gender identity disorder.
· Homeland Security grants rile D.C., NYC. The Homeland Security Department said Wednesday that the cities of New York and Washington will get less money in this year's allocation of grants, drawing harsh criticism from politicians in both areas. The department announced the recipients of $1.7 billion distributed through various programs to help states and cities help prepare for potential terror attacks and natural disasters.
· Ice Cream Truck Driver Charged With DUI. Police say they found a nearly empty pint bottle of vodka between the front seats of an ice cream truck after they pulled over the driver for swerving into the wrong lane. Goshen Police Patrolman Jared Baer spotted the yellow-and-white van in a subdivision, after several motorists called Saturday to report the swerving vehicle.