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Wednesday, May 31, 2006
· 6-Year-Old Fla. Girl Charged With Felony For Kicking Teacher's Aide. A 6-year-old special education student who kicked a Naples teacher's aide and spent several hous in juvenile jail is facing felony battery charges. Her mother, however, wants to know why the case has gone so far.
· Woman wins $2 million in matchmaker suit. A widow won $2.1 million from a high-priced matchmaker whom she claimed failed to deliver on promises of introductions to cultured, wealthy men. Anne Majerik, a 60-year-old social worker from Erie, Pa., claimed in a lawsuit that she paid Beverly Hills matchmaker Orly Hadida $125,000 to be introduced to men who wanted monogamous relationships, earned more than $1 million and had estates of up to $20 million. Instead, she said, she only got a few introductions to inappropriate men.
· Police: Couple Offered Hit Man $100 To Kill Grandkids. Two grandparents in Lake County, Fla., were arrested for allegedly offering a hit man $100 to kill their three grandchildren, daughter-in-law and the family's pet dog. Lake County deputies said Robert Jackson, 60, and his wife, Versie, 59, traveled to a Best Western hotel Tuesday to meet a hit man -- who was an undercover law enforcement officer.
· 'Juan Valdez' is hanging up his poncho. Juan Valdez is retiring. Long live Juan Valdez! The ambassador to the world for Colombian coffee, Carlos Sanchez, is hanging up his trademark poncho after four decades of playing the role of "Juan Valdez." Now the national federation of Colombian coffee producers, owners of the Juan Valdez trademark, is searching for a man to inherit that poncho.
· NBC throws big send-off party for Couric. NBC honored "Today" show host Katie Couric as a departing heroine on her last day on the TV show on Wednesday as she leaves for her new role as the first female solo anchor on network news. Couric, 49, will take over in September as anchor and managing editor of the CBS "Evening News," filling the chair once occupied by Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather.
· Liz Taylor dismisses Alzheimer's report. Elizabeth Taylor on Tuesday dismissed tabloid reports that she was being treated for Alzheimer's disease or was gravely ill. The Academy Award-winning actress, who uses a wheelchair because of back problems, was asked about the reports during an appearance on CNN's "Larry King Live." "Oh come on, do I look like I'm dying?" the 74-year-old actress asked King in a rare television interview.
· Man Caught Filming Up Skirts At Fair. Police at Cal Expo say 45-year-old Jeff William Jones of Sacramento targeted unsuspecting women with his hidden camera attached to his shoe and was "taking pictures of females private parts," says Robert Craft, Chief of the Cal Expo Police. More disturbing is Jones is a counselor and trainer at the Sacramento Children's Home. Staff members at the children's home say Jones has a stellar reputation and is "a great example to the children and fellow employees."
· 'Lost' Actress Released From Jail Early. "Lost" actress Michelle Rodriguez was supposed to spend 60 days in jail for violating probation with a drunken driving arrest. She served less than a day because of overcrowding. A spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County city attorney's office said it's "the sad reality" of the county's overcrowded jails.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Contrite [con·trite] adj. 1. Arising from sense of guilt: done or said out of a sense of guilt or remorse. 2. Very sorry: genuinely and deeply sorry about something. "He was suitably contrite."
· Teen Arrested After Allegedly Running Over Friend - Twice. A teen is under arrest after allegedly running over a friend. The Clay County Sheriff's Office says 18-year-old Chris Summerford allegedly stole a truck in Orange Park and ran over a friend twice. "He said you ran over him and then he backed up. He said you ran over him again and he said stop it," says a mother of one of the boys who saw the incident.
· Flawless Man-Made Diamonds. After decades of experimentation, scientists can finally grow diamonds that outshine even the rarest De Beers rocks. During the past year, scientists have mastered the ability to grow 10-carat single crystals with a color and clarity that surpass mined diamonds. Within a decade, they’ll also be cheaper.
· Jury Convicts Muhammad in 2nd Sniper Trial. John Allen Muhammad's conviction for six more murders in the Washington, D.C.-area sniper spree gives prosecutors the insurance they sought - that there is little chance he will leave prison alive. Muhammad, 45, was convicted Tuesday after a monthlong trial in which he acted as his own attorney. The verdict adds to the death sentence Muhammad previously received for a sniper shooting in Manassas, Va.
· Brigadier tells it like it is. An Australian military commander who tried to ensure truth would not become a casualty of conflict in East Timor has embarrassed a TV network. Brigadier Michael Slater appeared yesterday morning in a live feed from Dili to the Nine Network's Today show, with Australian soldiers standing behind him. He was pressed by Today host Jessica Rowe about whether Dili really was as safe as the Australian military claimed, given the presence of armed soldiers at his shoulder. Pausing briefly, Brigadier Slater replied: "Jessica I feel quite safe, yes, but not because I've got these armed soldiers behind me that were put there by your stage manager here to make it look good."
· As Hurricane Season Looms, States Say 'You're On Your Own.' Convinced that tough tactics are needed, officials in hurricane-prone states are trumpeting dire warnings about the storm season that starts on Thursday, preaching self-reliance and prodding the public to prepare early and well. Cities are circulating storm-preparation checklists, counties are holding hurricane expositions at shopping malls and states are dangling carrots like free home inspections and tax-free storm supplies in hopes of conquering complacency.
· 1940s TV star Robert Sterling dies. Robert Sterling, the handsome star of 1940s movies who appeared with his wife Anne Jeffreys in the television series "Topper," died Tuesday at his Brentwood home. He was 88.
· Paris Hilton Launches Music Career. Paris Hilton is coming out with an album. She says it'll be a mix of reggae, pop and hip-hop - and a remake of Rod Stewart's "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy." Hilton told the Hong Kong magazine Prestige that once she overcame her shyness to become a singer, she realized that singing is what she loves to do the most.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
· Former Marine Knifes, Kills Would-Be Robber. Former Marine Thomas Autry fought off four attackers Monday night in Atlanta with a pocket knife, killing one and seriously wounding another, police said. Autry was walking home from his waiter job when attackers armed with a shotgun and a pistol chased him, according to Detective Danny Stephens. Autry pulled the knife out of his backpack when the group caught him.
· Prosecutor: FBI calling off Hoffa search. The FBI is wrapping up its two-week search of a suburban Detroit horse farm after finding no trace of former Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa's remains, a local prosecutor said Tuesday. On Monday, a Michigan congressman said it was time to set some spending limits on the search for Hoffa's remains.
· Doctor sues own hospital company over wife's death. A hospital company is being sued by one of its own doctors, an anesthesiologist who says hospital staff failed to perform emergency surgery to save his wife.
· Ben Affleck taken to hospital over migraine. Ben Affleck was taken to a Cambridge, Massachusetts hospital Monday after suffering a migraine. "Ben Affleck was treated for a migraine at Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts today. He was released this afternoon, and is recuperating at home," said Affleck's rep.
· Holloway case a mystery after a year of 'catch and release.' A year has passed since Natalee Ann Holloway, accompanied by three young men, walked out of a nightclub in Oranjestad, Aruba, and into oblivion.
· Moscow says banned gays because "cleaner" than West. Moscow's influential mayor said on Tuesday the city banned gay activists from holding a parade because it is morally cleaner than the West, which is caught up in "mad licentiousness."
· Pedophiles to launch political party. Dutch pedophiles are launching a political party to push for a cut in the legal age for sexual relations to 12 from 16 and the legalization of child pornography and sex with animals, sparking widespread outrage.
· Banks Ask Customers To Take Off Hats, Sunglasses. Remove the hats and glasses. That's the demand of some banks in South Florida worried about robberies. The banks want surveillance cameras to get a better look at patrons and any would-be robbers.
· 13-Year-Old Boater Arrested in Snorkeling Death. A 13-year-old boater was arrested Monday after authorities said he hit and killed a 6-year-old snorkeler, then sped away. The 6-year-old was snorkeling off Key West with his father and a sibling next to their 22-foot motorboat when he was struck.
· 75 inmates at Guantanamo on hunger strike. Seventy-five prisoners at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo were on a hunger strike on Monday, joining a few who have refused food and been force-fed since August, a military official said.
· Cordless jump-rope can help the clumsy. If you think keeping fit is merely mind over matter, Lester Clancy has an invention for you — a cordless jump-rope, a jump-rope minus the rope, leaving just two handles, so you can jump over the pretend rope.
· Pot Found in 6-Year-Old's Scooby-Doo Backpack. When a teacher asked a 6-year-old boy to pull a folder out of his Scooby-Doo backpack, a bag filled with 25 smaller bags of marijuana fell out instead, a court document said.
· Nashville proposes big increase in traffic tickets. Nashville drivers beware: The city budget that Mayor Bill Purcell proposed last week calls for traffic ticket revenue to increase $1.5 million next year. Meeting this goal means more tickets — many more tickets.
· Man Overboard May Have Jumped. A passenger was spotted jumping overboard from a cruise ship returning from the British Virgin Islands, but no sign of the person was found after searching half a day, officials said Sunday.
· Spain to get migrant patrol help. Nine EU nations have pledged to provide aircraft and patrol boats to support Spain in its effort to stem the flood of illegal migrants from Africa. Austria, Britain, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands and Portugal are backing the request.
· Miami-Dade man reports fire, arrested when officials find pot lab in home. A man who reported a fire at his Miami-Dade home was arrested Monday when emergency officials discovered a marijuana hydroponics lab, authorities said.
· Coral Gables Police Dog Runs Away From Home. A Coral Gables police officer has lost his partner. Officer Gordon Dickinson woke up Sunday morning, but when he looked in his backyard, the 4-year-old, 80-pound Belgium Malinois Dickinson works with was gone.
Monday, May 29, 2006
· Driver drags bike 4 miles. An N.C. man was charged with assault and battery with intent to kill after a car plowed into a motorcyclist early Sunday and dragged his bike for several miles down U.S. 17 Business. Larry Jacobs, of Sugar Grove, N.C., was arrested in Surfside Beach after witnesses saw a car hit 27-year-old Makino Robinson from behind, then continue driving at least four miles with the motorcycle pinned beneath his car.
· Senate Leader Took Free Boxing Tickets. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid accepted free ringside tickets from the Nevada Athletic Commission to three professional boxing matches while that state agency was trying to influence him on federal regulation of boxing.
· 2 CBS News staff, U.S. soldier killed in Iraq blast. Four people, including a U.S. soldier and two members of a CBS News crew, were killed Monday when a bomb ripped through the U.S. military convoy in which they were traveling.
· Babies aborted for not being perfect. The ethical storm over abortions has been renewed as it emerged that terminations are being carried out for minor, treatable birth defects. Late terminations have been performed in recent years because the babies had club feet, official figures show. Babies are being aborted with only minor defects. Other babies were destroyed because they had webbed fingers or extra digits.
· South Carolina Coed Strangled With Bikini. Law enforcement officials are continuing their investigation into the apparent murder of a Clemson University student. Pickens County Coroner Jim Mahanes says 20-year-old Tiffany Souers was found strangled in her off-campus apartment. According to the Clemson police captain, Ms. Souers was strangled with her bathing suit top.
· Newsweek: How Mexico treats immigrants. As tough as the United States can be for workers who slip in from south of the border, Mexico is in a poor position to criticize. The problem goes far beyond the predatory gantlet of thugs and crooked cops facing defenseless transients like Moisés. There's ample precedent in Mexico for just about everything the United States is—or isn't—doing. Calling out the military? Mexicans may hate the new U.S. plan to deploy 6,000 National Guard troops on the border, but five years ago they cheered President Vicente Fox for sending thousands of Mexican soldiers to crack down on their southern frontier.
· 'Die Hard,' 'Breakfast Club' actor Gleason dead at 67. Paul Gleason, who played the go-to bad guy in "Trading Places" and the angry high school principal in "The Breakfast Club," has died. Gleason died at a local hospital Saturday of mesothelioma, a rare form of lung cancer linked to asbestos, said his wife, Susan Gleason.
· WWII Veteran Robbed During Memorial Day Weekend Fundraiser. The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office is investigating a crime against a World War II veteran this Memorial Day. Over the weekend, a man stole $1,000 from a veteran raising money for others. World War II veteran Alfred Ricco was selling plastic red poppies outside a Boca Raton Wal-Mart to raise money for disabled veterans when a man approached him about the fund-raiser.
· Barry Bonds Hits 715th Home Run, Passing Babe Ruth's Career Tally. hit the milestone home run with a two-run shot to center Sunday, moving past Babe Ruth into sole possession of second place on the career list behind Hank Aaron. Bonds homered off Colorado's Byung-Hyun Kim and before his home fans — where he wanted to do it all along — and before the San Francisco Giants head on a road trip.
Sunday, May 28, 2006
· Student Suspended for Sharing Caffeine Gum. A middle school student was suspended for three days for sharing chewing gum because it contained caffeine, school officials said. The girl, whose name and age were not released, gave another Huston Middle School student Jolt gum. The gum is "a stimulant that has no other redeeming quality," said Amy Palermo, schools superintendent.
· Teacher in sex probe kills self. The late-night suicide of a 42-year-old Taunton teacher who strung himself up with an electrical cord rather than face an investigation of his alleged sexual misconduct with a 14-year-old middle schooler could leave the girl with deep emotional scars, police and state officials said.
· Sex offender busted at Chuck E. Cheese. Leominster police arrested a Level 3 sex offender at Chuck E. Cheese, where 40 children where celebrating birthday parties, at the Mall at Whitney Field on Friday night around 5:30, according Sgt. Michael Ciccolini. Ciccolini said that Raymond Guimond had recently been released from prison and was on lifetime parole. The conditions of his parole were that he had to wear an ankle bracelet and could not be around children.
· Drinking And Dynamite Don't Mix. Investigators say a man came to a KOA campfire showing off a powerful firework that was about 5 inches long and an inch thick. Another man tossed it into the fire, but it failed to light, so he reached in to the fire to retrieve it, police say. Two men lost their hand in the explosion, and suffered other head and facial injuries.
· Search Continues For Hoffa Remains. The FBI said the search will continue through the holiday weekend for the remains of labor leader Jimmy Hoffa. Nothing was found Saturday, the 11th day of digging at a Michigan horse farm.
· Angelina Jolie gives birth to daughter. Angelina Jolie gave birth to Brad Pitt's daughter Saturday in Africa, Pitt's publicist announced. "The night of May 27, 2006 in Namibia, Africa, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt welcomed their daughter Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt. No further information is being given," publicist Cindy Guagenti said in a statement.
· Skydiver dies after slipping from harness. A first-time skydiver slipped from her harness during a jump Saturday and fell to her death, authorities said. The 44-year-old woman from West Chester, Pa., was participating in a tandem jump, her first near Cleveland, Ohio.
· Woman tops list for CEO salaries. Carol A. Ammon, 55, a former lab technician who made millions of dollars from a pharmaceutical company she started nine years ago, earned the highest pay among Philadelphia's top executives in 2005. Ammon's total direct compensation of $171,674,814 last year put her in the same company as the chief executives of Yahoo Inc., Capital One Financial Corp., and Cendant Corp. - all among Forbes' top five income earners.
Saturday, May 27, 2006
· Dad on anniversary vacation kills two kids, self. A man killed his two young children Saturday by throwing them off the 15th floor of a landmark South Beach hotel and then jumped to his own death, police said. The children were 4 and 8 years old and the family was on vacation from Alton, Illinois, said police spokesman Bobby Hernandez.
· Minutemen Group Begins Building Border Fence in Arizona. Minutemen border watch volunteers began putting up new fencing Saturday on a cattle ranch along the southeastern Arizona border with Mexico, intent on building impediments to a flood of illegal immigration until the federal government takes up the task.
· Gay Rights Activists Attacked In Moscow. Gay rights activists came under attack while trying to hold a rally Saturday in Moscow. The activists had hoped to put on a display of gay pride despite the city's refusal to grant them permission for a parade. As the first half-dozen activists arrived carrying flowers, they were met by about 100 religious and nationalist extremists who kicked and punched them, shouting "Moscow is not Sodom!"
· 'X Men 3' Hits History Books. "X Men 3: The Last Stand" took in almost $45 million on Friday and landed in the history books. It is now the second highest opener of all time, right behind "Star Wars: Attack of the Sith."
· White House compares illegal immigration to traffic ticket. The White House on Friday said a Senate bill that would grant legal status to illegal immigrants is analogous to a traffic law that allows a speeder to pay a fine and continue driving. "If you had a traffic ticket and you paid it, you're not forever a speeder, are you?" White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said.
· More Problems For NYC's Ex-Top Cop. Bernard Kerik once enjoyed a national reputation as a brash, self-made law enforcer. As New York's police commissioner, he was at Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's side during the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. By late 2004, President Bush wanted him for homeland security chief. A grand jury in the Bronx is now hearing testimony about a possible corruption case against Kerik involving reputed mob associates.
· Political dispute over FBI raid nears showdown. Two senior administration officials said the showdown over the FBI's raid of Rep. William Jefferson's office last weekend had reached what one called "the tipping point," with threats of high-level resignations. Top Justice Department officials - Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty and FBI Director Robert Mueller - indicated they would resign if forced to give the seized materials back, the officials said.
· Sharon Stone Blasts Bush on AIDS. Sharon Stone took no prisoners Thursday night in her opening remarks at the annual Cinema Against AIDS dinner in Cannes. “Our president has spent $167 million on abstinence programs,” she said. “And zero dollars on sex education. Zero dollars on teaching about safe sex.”
· Woman to Pay Doctor $2.8 million for False Charge. A judge ruled that a woman who accused her doctor of molesting her and having his identical twin impersonate him to assault her must pay the doctor $2.8 million because she fabricated the allegations.
· STDs Running Rampant In Retirement Community. Doctors said sexually transmitted diseases among senior citizens are running rampant at a popular Central Florida retirement community. Doctors blame Viagra, a lack of sex education and no risk for pregnancy for the spike in sexually transmitted diseases at The Villages.
· 37 Million Expected to Travel for Holiday Weekend. The number of Americans driving and flying over the Memorial Day holiday weekend is expected to rise only slightly this year as consumers respond to the rising cost of airfares, hotel rooms and motor fuel, according to travel agency AAA. AAA said 37.6 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more, or about 1 percent more than last year.
· Dentist's Lawyers Seek Posthumous Divorce. Dr. John Yelenic and his wife separated in 2002, agreed to a divorce and even hammered out a property settlement. But the Blairsville dentist was slain the day before he was to sign his divorce papers, setting the stage for what attorneys say is a first-of-its-kind request in Pennsylvania: a divorce decree after death.
· Indonesia Earthquake Kills More Than 2,500. A powerful earthquake flattened homes and buildings in central Indonesia early Saturday, killing more than 2,500 people and injuring thousands more in the country's worst disaster since the 2004 tsunami.
· Pat Robertson's Claim Of Leg-Pressing 2,000 Pounds Draws Skeptics. Some trainers and strength coaches are raising their eyebrows about claims that religious broadcaster Pat Robertson leg-pressed 2,000 pounds. Experts say lifting 1,000 pounds would require a major effort even for well-conditioned athletes. They also question if there are even machines that can hold 2,000 pounds. The CBN Web site attributes Robertson's energy in part to "his age-defying protein shake."
· Rags to riches tale writes itself. It was just a movie set, but in a moment it showed Chris Gardner where he'd been - and how far he'd come. There with actor Will Smith - who is playing Gardner, a former homeless man turned millionaire - Gardner stood in what looked like the train station bathroom where he once slept a quarter century ago.
Friday, May 26, 2006
· $800,000 Later, Priest Pleads Guilty To Larceny. A Roman Catholic priest pleaded guilty to grand larceny Friday for financing a lavish lifestyle of vacations, country clubs and fancy clothes with more than $800,000 looted from his parish.
· Hilary Swank to File for Divorce. Two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank will file for divorce from actor-husband Chad Lowe, People magazine reports. "Hilary Swank and Chad Lowe have jointly decided to divorce," an attorney for the couple said.
· Oops! Capitol building reopens after false alarm. A phone call reporting gunfire — apparently a false alarm — led police to briefly shut down the Capitol Friday and search the largest House office building floor by floor as staff members and a few lawmakers were kept inside.
· Two Army Reservists Become Instant Millionaires. Two Army reservists are instant millionaires. New York State lottery officials said Thursday that two jackpots of $1 million each have been won in the Fort Drum area.
· CBS and Howard Stern Settle Lawsuit. Shock jock Howard Stern regained control of the master tapes from the last 20 years of his terrestrial radio program in a Friday settlement of the contentious lawsuit brought by his former bosses at CBS Radio. Stern's new employer, Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. (SIRI), agreed to pay $2 million to CBS Radio.
· 40,000 women 'sex trafficked' for World Cup. In response to reports that 40,000 young women will be brought to Germany from Central and Eastern Europe to "sexually service" men attending the World Cup soccer championship next month, a Catholic group warns that many are desperately poor and will be "sex trafficked" against their will. An estimated 3 million soccer fans – mostly men – are expected to descend on 12 German cities for the quadrennial sports event June 9 to July 9. Prostitution is legal in Germany.
· Teen shoots intruder after father says on phone, `Do what you have to do.' Javaris Granger wished his father was there instead of him. His father was on the phone, urging Granger, 15, to get the gun they used for shooting practice. "Do what you have to do," his father said. Granger did. He aimed the gun and fired at the violent intruder. The intruder is now in Memorial Regional Medical Center with two gunshot wounds.
· Oprah offends a few rappers. Rappers Ludacris and 50 Cent have dissed Oprah Winfrey. Now, Ice Cube has a beef with the talk show queen. "I've been involved in three projects pitched to her, but I've never been asked to participate," the rapper-actor tells FHM magazine. "For 'Barbershop,' she had Cedric the Entertainer and Eve on, but I wasn't invited," says the 36-year-old rapper, referring to his 2002 movie. "Maybe she's got a problem with hip-hop." Cube adds: "She's had damn rapists, child molesters and lying authors on her show. And if I'm not a rags-to-riches story for her, who is?"
· The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time. At PC World, even the worst products deserve recognition (or deprecation). So they put together a list of the 25 worst tech products that have been released since PC World began publishing nearly a quarter-century ago.
· Meat Loaf Says He Can't Remember 'American Idol' Performance. Remember Meat Loaf's performance Wednesday on "American Idol"? He doesn't. Meat Loaf has absolutely gripping television stage fright, yet he still performed with Katharine McPhee on the finale.
· Coach Accused Of Using School Money At Brothel. A San Diego-area high school football coach is accused of using his school-issued debit card at a Nevada brothel. When Coach Dennis Houlihan went to a coach's clinic in Reno, Nev., and according to expense accounts, Houlihan withdrew almost $300 from an ATM at 9:45 p.m. Then, less than six hours later, at 3:31 a.m., he allegedly took out another $164 from a machine located at the Kit Kat guest ranch, a legal house of prostitution located near Carson City.
· Illegal immigrant accused of impregnating 10-year-old girl. Police said they are searching for a 21-year-old illegal immigrant accused of raping a 10-year-old family member and leaving her pregnant.
· Calif. city to take Wal-Mart land by eminent domain. A developing city east of San Francisco is the first place in the country to use the Supreme Court's eminent domain ruling to keep Wal-Mart out of its area. The retail giant has 3,900 stores across the country — nearly seven new stores open every week — but there won't be one coming to Hercules, California. Tuesday night the city council voted unanimously to take Wal-Mart's 17 acres of land by power of eminent domain. It's a power the Supreme Court affirmed for municipalities in a controversial New London, Conn., ruling, in which the city wanted to take private property for a commercial development.
· The fattest boy in the world. If there is a 'face of child obesity', it is six-year-old, 210 pound Dzhambulat Khatokhov. Sheer size has made this boy from a poor Russian family a hero in his home town and an object of fascination in the west.
· NYC Mayor Advocates U.S. Worker Database. Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg thrust himself into the national immigration debate Wednesday, advocating a plan that would establish a DNA or fingerprint database to track and verify all legal U.S. workers. The mayor also said elements of the legislation moving through Congress are ridiculous and said lawmakers who want to deport all illegal immigrants are living in a "fantasy."
· Massive VA Data Theft Revealed By Gossip. The theft of personal data for 26.5 million veterans came to the attention of the Veterans Affairs inspector general only through office gossip, he told Congress Thursday.
· Petty Hasn't Changed Views on Women Racers. Richard Petty didn't think women belonged on the race track when Janet Guthrie became the first female driver to compete in the Coca-Cola 600 in 1976. Thirty years later, his opinion hasn't changed. "I just don't think it's a sport for women," Petty said in an interview with The Associated Press. "And so far, it's proved out."
· Senate Confirms Hayden As CIA Director. After hearing assurances he will be independent of the Pentagon, the Senate on Friday easily confirmed Gen. Michael Hayden, a career Air Force man, to head the CIA.
· A daily drink 'only good for men.' Drinking alcohol every day protects against heart disease in men but not in women, Danish research shows. A study of 50,000 people found that men who drank daily had a 41% reduced risk of coronary heart disease compared with a 7% drop in men who drank once a week.
· Teamster-flavored cupcakes. Not far from the farm in Milford, Mich., where authorities are searching for Jimmy Hoffa's remains, Laura Hosbach of the Milford Baking Co. sells cupcakes that are to die for.
· Scott Peterson, juror in his murder trial are pen-pals. A juror who sent Scott Peterson to death row said she's been corresponding for nearly a year with the former fertilizer salesman convicted in the murder of his pregnant wife. Richelle Nice told People magazine that she and Peterson have exchanged about two dozen letters since August.
· Couple surrender in videotaped rape-killing. A couple accused of videotaping the rape of an Independence woman and killing her were in custody Thursday night after spending several days on the run, Jackson County prosecutors said. Richard Davis, 41, and Dena Riley, 39, had a 5-year-old girl with them when they turned themselves in earlier in the day, said Jeff Lanza, an FBI spokesman in Kansas City, Missouri.
· Michael Jackson Plans Appearance in Tokyo. Michael Jackson plans to make his first public appearance since his trial acquittal last June at a ceremony in Tokyo to accept MTV Japan's "Legend Award," his spokesman said.
· Hackers can crack top antivirus program. Symantec Corp.'s leading antivirus software, which protects some of the world's largest corporations and U.S. government agencies, suffers from a flaw that lets hackers seize control of computers to steal sensitive data, delete files or implant malicious programs, researchers said Thursday.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
· Senate Passes Sweeping Immigration Bill. The Senate on Thursday approved a far-reaching immigration bill that includes a controversial program that would allow millions of illegal immigrants already living and working in the United States a new chance at legal residency and a portion of those a chance a citizenship.
· Suspected Driver In Fatal Crash Could Walk Free. The suspected driver of a stolen car involved in a crash that killed a 12-year-old boy and seriously injured two others could be back on Central Florida streets as early as Thursday night. 20-year-old Anthony Williams - a suspected drug dealer, has not been charged with causing the boy's death but only with grant theft auto, and the judge has granted Williams a $500 bond.
· Inadequate sleep linked to weight gain. Women who fail to get enough shut-eye each night risk gaining weight, a researcher reports. In a long-term study of middle-aged women, those who slept 5 hours or less each night were 32 percent more likely to gain a significant amount of weight (adding 33 pounds or more) and 15 percent more likely to become obese during 16 years of follow-up than women who slept 7 hours each night.
· Spanish-American War debt finally paid off? The Treasury Department said Thursday it will eliminate a pesky money-grab tax on long-distance telephone calls and refund about $13 billion collected from callers. The tax dates to 1898, when lawmakers needed money to fight the Spanish-American War.
· Janet Gretzky plans lawsuit. Lawyers for Janet Gretzky and Phoenix Coyotes assistant coach Rick Tocchet have set the stage for a possible lawsuit against New Jersey state officials for defamation resulting from the investigation into an alleged gambling ring, the Newark Star-Ledger reported Thursday. According to court documents obtained by the Star, both lawsuits would seek $50 million in damages.
· Date Set for First Leg of Spector's Civil War. Phil Spector has another date to get ready for. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lee Smalley Edmon set an Apr. 16, 2007, trial date in the lawsuit the notorious music producer filed in September against a former assistant for allegedly embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from him.
· Rapper Shot During Attempted Robbery. Beanie Sigel, the popular rapper who has been shadowed by his violent past, was wounded by gunfire during an attempted robbery early Thursday. The gangsta rapper was shot one or two times in the upper right arm shortly after 8 a.m., police said.
· B.I.G. Judge Feeling Wronged. The ghost of Notorious B.I.G. continues to haunt the Los Angeles legal system. The federal judge who ordered the City of Angels to pay the family of the slain rapper $1.1 million said Tuesday that she felt deceived by some of the evidence presented during the course of the family's wrongful death lawsuit last year
· Judge: Child molester is too short for prison. A Nebraska judge said a 5-foot-1 man convicted of sexually assaulting a child was too small to survive in prison, and gave him 10 years of probation instead. His crimes deserved a long sentence, District Judge Kristine Cecava said, but she worried that Richard W. Thompson, 50, would be especially imperiled by prison dangers.
· More ImClone Mess for Martha. Despite having done the time, the domestic diva still needs to deal with the fallout from the crime. Martha Stewart faces a Thursday deadline to respond to the charges in a civil suit that she was privy to insider information before ditching a lion's share of ImClone Systems stocks in 2001.
· Enron Executives Guilty On Conspiracy Charges. Enron Corp. founder Kenneth Lay has been convicted of all six counts against him, including conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud. Former Chief Executive Jeffrey Skilling was convicted Thursday of conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud, in one of the biggest business scandals in U.S. history.
· 2 Teens Charged With MySpace.com Extortion. Two New York teenagers were in police custody Wednesday facing illegal computer access and attempted extortion charges after they allegedly threatened to shake down the popular Web site MySpace.com unless its operators paid them $150,000, prosecutors said.
· Hasbro Halts Plans For Dolls Based On Risque Music Group. Hasbro Inc. shelved plans Wednesday to release a line of dolls based on the Pussycat Dolls, an all-female music group known for risque lyrics and skimpy outfits.
· Honda Says Brain Waves Control Robot. In a step toward linking a person's thoughts to machines, Japanese automaker Honda said it has developed a technology that uses brain signals to control a robot's very simple moves.
· Vicente Fox Says Immigration Challenges Friendship. Mexican President Vicente Fox said Wednesday that immigration is the most pressing challenge to the relationship between his country and the United States, but is also their greatest opportunity. Fox, speaking in English, said "Until recently, Mexico was trapped in a vicious cycle of economic crisis, recurring crisis. But we have set out to change that," he said. "Today, Mexico has the soundest, safest, most stable economy of our lifetime."
· Update: Hastert, ABC spar over investigation report. House Speaker Dennis Hastert is demanding a "full retraction" of an ABC News report that he is being investigated in connection with the Jack Abramoff corruption probe.
· 'View' Ladies 'Furious' After Dixie Chicks' Diss. The ladies from "The View" shredded a copy of Time magazine Tuesday after getting dissed by the issue's cover girls — controversial country music group, The Dixie Chicks. In Time's cover story this week, Dixie Chick Emily Robison says that the group takes its political views very seriously and will try to limit appearances to high-caliber, meaningful gigs. Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines' "new motto is, 'What would Bruce Springsteen do?'" says Robison. "Not that we're of that caliber, but would Bruce Springsteen do 'The View'?"
· Physics teacher under fire for gun experiment. Every year, physics teacher David Lapp brings his Korean War era M-1 carbine to school, fires a shot into a block of wood and instructs his students to calculate the velocity of the bullet.
· Taylor Hicks Wins ‘American Idol' Crown. Taylor Hicks proved Simon Cowell wrong, and Prince proved that "American Idol" has earned serious respect. Hicks, who barely made it past the famously judgmental Cowell during initial auditions, was named the winner of the TV talent contest Wednesday night over sultry brunette Katharine McPhee, 22, of LA. This edition of "American Idol" was the most-watched yet, with an average weekly audience of 30.3 million.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
· Study finds no marijuana-lung cancer link. Marijuana smoking does not increase a person's risk of developing lung cancer, according to the findings of a new study at the University of California Los Angeles that surprised even the researchers.
· Woman's Death Goes Unnoticed On Flight. The next time you take a flight, you might want to make sure the passenger sleeping next to you is really just taking a nap. That’s because a 78-year old woman died while on a cross-country flight out of Fort Lauderdale and everyone on the plane thought she was just sleeping. Officials with Delta Airlines said the woman died on flight 503 to Salt Lake City over the weekend.
· Janet Jackson Says She Gained Weight for Role. Janet Jackson, newly svelte after losing 60 pounds, says she gained weight for a role in an upcoming movie, which she ultimately had to pass on because of her new album. "They (the producers) wanted to see me in a different light, as a heavier woman," the 40-year-old singer, who weighed about 180 pounds at her heaviest.
· Update: Hastert "In the Mix" of Congressional Bribery Investigation. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dennis Hastert, is under investigation by the FBI, which is seeking to determine his role in an ongoing public corruption probe into members of Congress.
· ACLU Launches 'Don't Spy On Me' Campaign. A civil rights group planned to launch a nationwide campaign Wednesday demanding that authorities probe whether phone companies broke laws by sharing customer records with the government's biggest spy agency.
· Some Moms Come Forward to Defend Spears. Britney Spears. She's so easy to make fun of. Even her song titles conspire to mock her: "Oops, She Did It Again!" But the latest headlines about America's most maligned mother are evoking a new sentiment from fellow moms. Almost tripped and dropped a baby? PLEASE, they're saying. What mom hasn't? Give the girl a break!
· Angry lawmakers demand FBI return seized documents. House Speaker Dennis Hastert demanded Wednesday that the FBI surrender documents and other items agents seized on Capitol Hill in what lawmakers said was an unconstitutional raid. The Saturday night search of Rep. William Jefferson's office on Capitol Hill brought Democrats and Republicans together in rare election-year accord, with both parties protesting agency conduct they said violated the Constitution's separation of powers doctrine.
· 2 Die In Ferrari Crash In Yard Of Former "Dallas" Actress. Authorities are trying to determine why a 1993 Ferrari Testarossa crashed and overturned this afternoon near Agoura Hills, California in the yard owned by former "Dallas" actress Morgan Brittany.
· Hurricane Drill in Louisiana Canceled. A mock evacuation that was supposed to be part of a two-day statewide hurricane preparedness drill was canceled after a misunderstanding about who had jurisdiction over a Federal Emergency Management Agency trailer park.
· Edmund Hillary Blasts Everest Climbers Who Left Dying Man. Mount Everest pioneer Sir Edmund Hillary said Wednesday he was shocked that dozens of climbers left a British mountaineer to die during their own attempts on the world's tallest peak.
· Reba McEntire takes shot at Dixie Chicks. Reba McEntire, hosting the Country Music awards for an eighth time, took a shot at country music's newest outlaws, the Dixie Chicks. "I don't know why I was so nervous about hosting this show this year," she said. "If the Dixie Chicks can sing with their foot in their mouths, surely I can host this sucker."
· Duke accuser tips her drivers? According to Fox News' sources, when investigators questioned the Duke accuser after DNA tests on the semen found inside her body did not match any of the Duke players, she allegedly gave police the name of her boyfriend and two men who drove her to her dancing engagements.
· Teacher accused of arriving at school drunk. A middle school teacher was arrested after police said he showed up at school drunk, asked one of his students to fetch cognac, then fondled a student and made a sexual remark to another.
· Mom: God made me do it. A woman accused of killing her three young sons by tossing them into frigid San Francisco Bay believed God summoned her to sacrifice her children, her lawyer told a judge. "The voice of God called upon her to sacrifice her three children," Teresa Caffese said Tuesday at the woman's preliminary hearing in San Francisco Superior Court.
· Senate Votes to Hike Fines for Employers. Employers would face fines as high as $20,000 for hiring undocumented workers and have to screen all new hires as part of legislation that would grant legal status to millions of illegal immigrants.
· GM locks in $1.99 a gallon price for buyers of gas guzzlers. General Motors said on Tuesday it would subsidize gasoline purchases in Florida and California to boost sales in those key markets. GM said it would cap the price of gas at $1.99 a gallon for new buyers of some of its 2006 and 2007 full-size sport utilities and mid-size cars.
· Bible Student Charged in Phone Sex Case. A student at Pillsbury Baptist Bible College was charged in the theft of his roommate's debit card, which was used to pay for more than $2,300 worth of calls to phone sex lines, prosecutors allege.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
· 'Smiling' driver runs over 3 toddlers, 2 adults. A man ran over three young children and two women with a car in the parking lot of a McDonald's restaurant Tuesday, police said, and one witness described him as having a smile on his face.
· Bin Laden: Moussaoui Not Linked to 9/11. Osama bin Laden purportedly said in an audio tape Tuesday that Zacarias Moussaoui - the only person convicted in the U.S. for the Sept. 11 attacks - had nothing to do with the operation. "He had no connection at all with Sept. 11," the speaker, claiming to be bin Laden, said in the tape posted on the Internet.
· Update: Saudi School Bus Riders Released From Jail. Two Saudi men accused of boarding a school bus full of students were released from jail Tuesday after federal officials determined they don't pose a security threat. Through an interpreter, Mana Saleh Almanajam, 23, and Shaker Mohsen Alsidran, 20, told investigators that they got on the bus Friday morning because they wanted to visit the school and didn't know it was just for students.
· Mexico's Fox Begins U.S. Trip in Utah. To some, Mexican President Vicente Fox's visit to the United States is a sign of hope to Hispanics as Congress debates immigration policy. To others, it is an opportunity to rally again in support of tightening the border. Fox begins his five-day trip in Utah on Tuesday before moving on to Washington state and California.
· Woman, 44, Nabbed For Sex With Boy, 13. 44-year-old North Carolina woman was arrested Wednesday on charges that she carried on a month-long sexual relationship with a 13-year-old boy. Linda Ann McBride was arrested Wednesday at the Winston Salem home she shared with the boy and the child's grandmother. [Warning: Disturbing photo]
· The Most Dangerous Words on the Web. Don't try this at home - not if you want to have a working computer. Search for "Free Screensavers," it's likely that 64% of the sites you find will gum up your machine with spyware or a computer virus.
· Katrina autopsy: Police shot mentally disabled man in back. Autopsy results obtained by CNN show a mentally disabled man was shot in the back when he was killed by New Orleans police in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. This contradicts testimony by a police sergeant that the victim had turned toward officers and was reaching into his waistband when shot.
· Bernanke admits a 'lapse.' Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke admitted Tuesday to Congress that he made a mistake talking to a television reporter about market perception of his inflation-fighting credentials.
· Who would you rather buy your gas from? The Missouri Corn Growers have created a Web site for folks to vote on their next ethanol billboard campaign. The current boards, featuring a farmer and a Saudi leader, use the tagline, “Who would you rather buy your gas from?”
· Bribery case complicates Democrat's electorial strategy. Democrats' plans to make Republican corruption a theme of their election strategy this year have been complicated by accusations of wrongdoing in their own ranks, leading the party to try on Monday to blunt the political effects of the unfolding case against Representative William J. Jefferson.
· 8-Year-Old Boy Arrested After School Bus Hits, Kills Girl. An 8-year-old boy was arrested after he sneaked onto a school bus and released its parking brake, causing it to roll forward and fatally strike a second-grader, police said Tuesday.
· Former Democratic Sen. Lloyd Bentsen Dies. Lloyd Bentsen, a Texan who represented the state in Congress for 28 years and served as President Clinton's first treasury secretary, died Tuesday, his family said. He was 85. Bentsen capped off his career as a 1988 vice presidential nominee, telling rival Dan Quayle during a televised debate: "Senator, I knew Jack Kennedy, I served with Jack Kennedy. And Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy."
· Forget Kabbalah, Britney's baby is her religion. Why did Britney Spears really dump Kabbalah? The pop star revealed on her Web site that she was ditching the trendy religion for motherhood. “I no longer study Kaballah,” she recently wrote, “my baby is my religion.” (“Kabbalah” has a variety of spellings that are considered acceptable.) But her split from the trendy offshoot of Jewish mysticism may have more to do with the bottom line. “She’s tired of the way [Kabbalah leaders] kept hassling her for money,” says a well-placed source.
· Concord Teacher Accused Of Having Sex With Student On Raleigh Field Trip. former world history teacher is out of jail after she was arrested on Monday for allegedly having sex with a 16-year-old male student last month during a field trip. Janet Klatt, 44, was arrested and charged with sexual activity between a school personnel member and a student, a felony offense.
· Update: Holloway suspect released from detention. A suspect arrested in the Netherlands in connection with the disappearance in Aruba of American teenager Natalee Holloway was released from detention Tuesday, a Dutch court official said. In an interview with Dutch NOS television Sunday, lawyer Gerard Spong said Aruban authorities had suspected his client of “assisting in the murder, battery and kidnapping of Natalee Holloway.”
Word of The Day by WordThink
Assiduous [as·sid·u·ous] adj. 1. Constant in application or attention; diligent: "An assiduous worker who strove for perfection." 2. Unceasing; persistent: "Assiduous cancer research."
· Update: Reality Star's Daughter Dies in SUV Crash. The daughter of a cable television reality show star, died when the stolen SUV she was in rolled and crashed into some trees, authorities said. Barbara Katy Chapman, daughter of Duane "Dog" Chapman, was killed along with the car's driver, Scott Standefer II, in the accident Friday night, Alaska State Troopers said. The couple, both 23 and from North Pole, tried using a stolen credit card to rent a room Friday at a resort about 50 miles northeast of Fairbanks, Trooper Jeremy Stone said.
· TV network apologizes after its diet suggestions send 160 people to hospital. A major Japanese TV network has apologised to almost 160 people who were struck with vomiting and diarrhoea after following a weight-loss plan it broadcast.
· Online scams create "Yahoo! millionaires." Akin is, like many things in cyberspace, an alias. In real life he's 14. He wears Adidas sneakers, a Rolex Submariner watch, and a kilo of gold around his neck. Akin, who lives in Lagos, is one of a new generation of entrepreneurs that has emerged in this city of 15 million, Nigeria's largest. His mother makes $30 a month as a cleaner, his father about the same hustling at bus stations. But Akin has made it big working long days at Internet cafes and is now the main provider for his family and legions of relatives.
· Jail adding exercise yard for illegal immigrants. A rural mid-Missouri jail that makes money by housing illegal immigrants will add an exercise yard to meet federal requirements. Morgan County commissioners met with architects this week to begin planning for the 15,000-square-foot yard, expected to cost up to $180,000.
· Susan Estrich sick of heat from the 'left.' "I’ve taken a lot of heat from the left for working for Fox News, and frankly, I’m a little bit sick of it. The truth is that I’ve been very well treated at Fox: I say what I want; I’m treated with respect; and I’m paid well." according to Estrich.
· Madonna's giant cross 'offensive.' The Church of England has criticized Madonna's appearance on a cross to kick off her latest tour in Los Angeles. "Why would someone with so much talent seem to feel the need to promote herself by offending so many people?" said the Church in a statement.
· Boy, 7, completes swim from Alcatraz. 7-year-old boy has become one of the youngest persons to swim from Alcatraz Island to San Francisco's Aquatic Park. Braxton Bilbrey is a second-grader from Glendale, Arizona, who has completed several short-scale youth triathlons.
· 'Lost' Actress Rodriguez Sentenced Again. Actress Michelle Rodriguez, who served five days in jail in Hawaii last month for drunk driving, must serve 60 days for violating her probation with that arrest, a spokesman for the city attorney said Monday. The Honolulu arrest violated the three-year probation term the actress was given in 2004 after pleading no contest to charges of hit-and-run, driving on a suspended license and driving under the influence of alcohol.
Monday, May 22, 2006
· Man indicted for murder in Holloway case. A man has been indicted on charges of murder and manslaughter in the May 2005 disappearance of Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway in Aruba, the suspect's attorney said. Guido Wever, 18, will appear in court Tuesday in the Netherlands.
· Lawyer Sues Restaurant Over Daily Special Faxes. Tampa lawyer is suing a sandwich shop for sending daily specials by fax. Attorney William Ebsary said he just got tired of unsolicited faxes of the eatery's menu and decided to do something about it. He said the restaurant sent faxes to his office even after a certified letter asked that they stop. Ebsary sued the restaurant in February using a law designed to punish those who engage in "fax blasting," and seeking between $5,000 and $15,000 in damages.
· Personal Data of 26.5 Million Veterans Stolen. Personal data, including Social Security numbers of 26.5 million U.S. veterans, was stolen from a Veterans Affairs employee this month after he took the information home without authorization, the department said Monday. "We have decided that we must exercise an abundance of caution and make sure our veterans are aware of this incident," Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson said.
· Cigarette Butts Lead To Arrest 19 Years Later. Authorities in Sumter County, Fla. used DNA from cigarette butts to track down a suspected killer 19 years after the crime was committed. Carl E. Dausch faces first-degree murder charges for allegedly tying up a man, kicking him to death and then tossing his body on the side of the road in 1987.
· Former New Jersey governor's gay road thrills. Jim McGreevey shockingly admits that before he became governor of New Jersey, he'd have anonymous gay sex at Garden State highway rest stops. "All I knew was that my behavior was getting crazier and crazier," McGreevey says of his torrid truck-stop trysts in an upcoming book that details his tortured life of lies and sexual repression. "The closet starves a man, and when he gets a chance he gorges till it sickens him," he writes in his book, titled "The Confession."
· Madonna crucifies herself in L.A. tour opener. Madonna launched her first world tour in two years on Sunday, delighting an enthusiastic Los Angeles crowd by hanging herself from a cross, insulting President George W. Bush, and dusting off some of the sexy moves that have sustained her career for more than 20 years.
· Affidavit: $90,000 found in congressman's freezer. Federal agents searched the Capitol Hill office of a Louisiana congressman under investigation on bribery charges Sunday, while newly released court papers said agents found $90,000 in cash last year in his Washington home. Agents told a judge the money was part of a $100,000 payment that had been delivered by an informant in the bribery probe.
· Saudis Held After Boarding Fla. School Bus. Two Saudi men who boarded a school bus full of children and gave conflicting reasons why there were there were arrested and held without bail, authorities said Sunday. Mana Saleh Almanajam, 23, and Shaker Mohsen Alsidran, 20, were charged with misdemeanor trespassing and were jailed after a judge said Saturday she wanted more background information on them.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Precarious [pre·car·i·ous] adj. 1. Dangerously lacking in security or stability: "The precarious life of an undercover cop." 2. Subject to chance or unknown conditions: "His kingdom was still precarious." 3. Based on uncertain, unwarranted, or unproved premises: "A precarious solution to a difficult problem."
· Man shoots in-laws at church. A man gunned down four of his in-laws during a morning church service Sunday, abducted his wife and then shot her death before he was captured nearby, authorities said. Church members wept as they watched investigators examine evidence and search for clues. Anthony Bell, 25, of Baton Rouge, was arrested at an apartment complex, where his wife was found dead, police said.
· Bono urges Africa to tackle corruption. The recent goodwill of wealthy industrialized countries toward Africa could dissipate unless the continent tackles corruption, rock star and activist Bono told African finance ministers on Sunday.
· Veteran, 80, fired over tattoos, then rehired. To William C. Smith, the faded tattoo on each of his forearms are reminders of his World War II service. To AMC Movie Theatres, they were grounds for his termination. Smith, 80, said two AMC theater managers at Bridgewater Commons mall met with him on April 14 and said they had to fire him because of the tattoos he has had since he was a 17-year-old Marine.
· 3 Calif. Teens Burned in Aerosol Accident. Three teenagers were burned Saturday, one critically, when an aerosol spray they were inhaling to become intoxicated burst into flame inside their car, authorities said. Two boys, aged 16 and 15, and a 15-year-old girl were in a parked car "inhaling aerosol spray for the purpose of euphoria" when one of them began smoking.
· 1 In 136 U.S. Residents Behind Bars. Prisons and jails added more than 1,000 inmates each week for a year, putting almost 2.2 million people, or one in every 136 U.S. residents, behind bars by last summer. The total on June 30, 2005, was 56,428 more than at the same time in 2004, the government reported Sunday.
· Warship built out of Twin Towers wreckage. In a city still emerging from the floods of Hurricane Katrina, a ship has begun to rise from the ashes of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Bringing together America’s two great calamities of the 21st century, the USS New York is being built in New Orleans with 24 tons of steel taken from the collapsed World Trade Center.
· Nuclear cooling tower explodes - on purpose. After the explosions whipped around the outside of the Trojan Nuclear Plant cooling tower at 7 a.m. sharp, the top leaned, then slipped into the base. In about ten seconds, the 500-foot tower was reduced to a 15-foot pile of rubble.
· Injured Barbaro's odds for survival put at 50-50. Barbaro underwent more than five hours of surgery Sunday to repair rear leg bones he'd broken in the Preakness, calmly awoke from anesthesia and "practically jogged back to his stall" for something to eat. Despite the huge first step on the road to recovery, Dr. Dean Richardson said the Kentucky Derby winner's fate is still "a coin toss."
· Grand Ole Opry Legend Billy Walker Dies in Alabama Car Crash. Billy Walker, the Grand Ole Opry legend whose hits included "Charlie's Shoes" and "Cross the Brazos at Waco," died in a wreck along an Alabama interstate on Sunday. He was 77.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
· 'Da Vinci' Has 2nd-Biggest World Opening. Moviegoers gave their blessing to the "The Da Vinci Code" over the weekend, spending an estimated $77 million to see the Tom Hanks religious thriller. While the film didn't set a domestic box office record, it was the largest weekend opening of the year, and garnered some $224 million worldwide, according to Sony Pictures.
· New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin Wins Re-Election. Mayor Ray Nagin, whose shoot-from-the-hip style was both praised and scorned after Hurricane Katrina, narrowly won re-election over Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu on Saturday in the race to oversee one of the biggest rebuilding projects in U.S. history. After Katrina plunged his city into chaos, Nagin was both scorned and praised for a tearful plea for the federal government to "get off their (behinds) and do something" and his now-famous remark that God intended New Orleans to be a "chocolate" city.
· Mexico Works to Bar Non-Natives From Jobs. Even as Mexico presses the United States to grant unrestricted citizenship to millions of undocumented Mexican migrants, its officials at times calling U.S. policies "xenophobic," Mexico places daunting limitations on anyone born outside its territory. In Mexico, non-natives are banned from those and thousands of jobs, even if they are legal, naturalized citizens. Since at least 2003, it has encouraged cities to ban non-natives from such local jobs as firefighters, police and judges.
· Derby winner Barbaro undergoing surgery. Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro was in surgery Sunday fighting for his life a day after breaking his right rear leg in three places at the Preakness, and the colt’s surgeon said he’s never worked on so many catastrophic injuries to one horse.
· New Arrest in Natalee Holloway Case. Dutch police have detained a man on suspicion of participating in the kidnapping and killing of Natalee Holloway last year in Aruba, the suspect's lawyer said Sunday. Gerard Spong said his client, whose name was not disclosed, was accused of "assisting in the murder, heavy battery and kidnapping" of Holloway.
· 10 percent of Mexico's population living in U.S. Roughly 10 percent of Mexico's population of about 107 million is now living in the United States, estimates show. About 15 percent of Mexico's labor force is working in the United States. One in every 7 Mexican workers migrates to the United States.
· Couple Receives $409,000 For Adoption Agency's Negligence. A Boston-area couple was awarded $409,000 after a jury found an adoption agency failed to disclose medical records before they adopted their now severely disabled twins. Robert and Renee Albert said they never would have adopted their sons had they known of the birth mother's medical problems.
· TV Bounty Hunter Duane 'Dog' Chapman Weds Day After Daughter Killed. Duane "Dog" Chapman, star of A&E's reality show "Dog the Bounty Hunter," has married his longtime sidekick, Beth Smith. The sunset ceremony on the Big Island took place Saturday, a day after the death of Chapman's daughter. Barbara Katy Chapman, 23, was killed in a car accident.
· Dixie Chicks don't stick at country radio. Disappointing airplay for the first singles from the new album by the Dixie Chicks exposes a deep - and seemingly growing - rift between the trio and the country radio market that helped turn the group into superstars.
· Drunken cruise liner captain fired in Seattle. The captain of a cruise ship docked in Seattle has been stripped of command and will be fired after he failed an alcohol breath test, a spokesman for Celebrity Cruises, said on Saturday. The unnamed captain of the Mercury cruise liner was taken ashore on Friday after a Coast Guard inspector detected alcohol on his breath and he failed a test, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Coast Guard's 13th District Command in Seattle.
· Coast Guard warns ships of inspections. The U.S. Coast Guard sometimes alerts large commercial ships they will be searched as they approach port so as not to burden shipping companies financially, the Coast Guard acknowledged to CNN on Saturday. The New York Times first reported the story earlier in the day, saying that commanders of some ports provided up to 24 hours notice to ships to keep commerce moving.
· Lawyer: Prison Could Kill 'Dr. Death. The man once called "Dr. Death" may not survive another year if kept in prison, according to his attorney. Jack Kevorkian's lawyer said he has asked that the assisted-suicide advocate be granted a pardon or sentence commutation.
· Barry Bonds ties the Babe. The agonizing wait is over for Barry Bonds. He and the Babe are even at 714. Bonds tied Babe Ruth for second place on the career home run list Saturday, ending a nine-game homerless stretch with a shot into the first deck of the elevated stands in right-center during San Francisco's 4-2, 10-inning victory over the Oakland Athletics.
· FBI Searches Congressman's Office. FBI agents put in overtime Saturday night - at the U.S. Capitol. They started searching the congressional office of Louisiana U.S. Rep. William Jefferson shortly after 7 p.m. It was not clear what they were gathering. An FBI spokeswoman said the search was expected to take several hours. FBI agents searched Jefferson's homes in Washington and New Orleans last August, hauling away boxes and bags from one of the residences. Jefferson is the focus of a corruption investigation that authorities said has already netted two guilty pleas by two associates. The eight-term Democrat said he is innocent and won't resign.
· Elton John says photographers "should all be shot." Pop star Elton John launched an expletive-laden tirade against the press in Cannes late on Saturday while presenting an award to a young actor during the annual film festival.
Saturday, May 20, 2006
· Five Dead in Kentucky Coal Mine Blast. An explosion in an eastern Kentucky coal mine killed five miners Saturday, Gov. Ernie Fletcher said. A sixth miner was able to walk away from the blast and out of the mine on his own.
· Tip leads Border Patrol to 91 illegals in truck. Border Patrol agents discovered 91 illegal entrants who were smuggled into the country packed in the back of a box truck Thursday night southwest of Sonoita, an official said Friday.
· Sex offender who lived at day care center jailed. sex offender who was paroled from prison and moved into a home day care has been jailed as police investigate the sexual assault of a toddler. Lucious Harris, 35, turned himself in late Thursday after his parole was revoked. Harris went to live with his wife after serving about 10 years in prison for a 1996 sexual assault conviction involving a 17-year-old girl.
· Apologetic pastor gets 10 years in church fire. A pastor who recruited a homeless man to burn his east Harris County church apologized to his family and a judge Friday before being formally sentenced to prison. After four hours of deliberations, a jury agreed that Roger Marcus should be sentenced to 10 years for insurance fraud and seven years for arson.
· Kid has the right stuff. Farrah Gray began contributing to his family's financial support at the age of 6, and he made his first million by the time he was 14. His success made a lot of people change their thinking about where life in the projects of Chicago's South Side could lead. His head is shaved, and he now dresses impeccably in expensive, tailored suits when he goes to work in one of his offices in Las Vegas or New York; but he looks only slightly older than his age, which is 21.
· Air rage model leaves Labrador jail. Swedish model Marzena Kamizela is a free woman a week after being hauled off a British Airways flight and put into a Labrador jail over an air rage incident. The 32-year-old, who modelled for Versace and Lamborghini, pleaded guilty to four charges, including three counts of assault involving the crew of the jet.
· New Orleans voters must choose chocolate or vanilla. Voters headed to the polls Saturday to decide whether to re-elect Mayor Ray Nagin or turn him out in favor of Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu in an election that will help determine the course of one of the largest reconstruction projects in U.S. history. Mayor Nagin said in January that he would like to rebuild a "chocolate New Orleans."
· Mother catches teacher in bedroom with two boys. There's new information in the case of the Virginia high school teacher accused of having sex with two of her special education students. 35-year-old Bonnie Davis was allegedly in a darkened bedroom with two of her male students, ages 14 and 15, now faces far more serious allegations: six counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor; two counts of sodomy and one charge of having sex with a 14-year-old.
· Mexican conservative leads new presidential poll. Conservative ruling party candidate Felipe Calderon has a 5 point lead in Mexico's presidential race, Zogby International polling firm said on Friday. Calderon is the candidate of Mexico's ruling National Action Party and is promising to maintain the fiscal discipline and pro-market policies of President Vicente Fox, who is barred under Mexican law from seeking reelection.
· Bill Clinton to write book on public service - for $5 million. The new book will cover the work of the Clinton Foundation, the nonprofit group the president set up to work on issues including AIDS, poverty, women's empowerment and religious and racial reconciliation.
· Gitmo suicide attempt a ruse. A Guantanamo Bay prisoner staged a fake suicide attempt to draw U.S. troops into a room where they were attacked by other prisoners, military leaders at the camp told reporters Friday. U.S. troops used rubber bullets and a sponge grenade to subdue the prisoners, who were armed with improvised weapons such as sticks, light fixtures and parts of fans.
· Officials say tainted muffins contained marijuana. Muffins that made 18 staff members at a Dallas-area high school ill contained the active ingredient found in marijuana, Dallas County health department officials said Thursday.
· Evel Knievel Slowed by Illness and Pain. Evel Knievel has trouble now just walking from his condo to the pool. The '70s cultural icon and poster boy for fast living and derring-do is 67, his body broken by years of spectacular crashes and ravaged by a multitude of serious ailments. The king of the daredevils can hardly get out of bed most days, let alone straddle a Harley.
· Girl, 10, Goes for Drive, Hits Other Cars. A 10-year-old girl who drove off with her guardian's sport utility vehicle with a toddler and a 5-year-old on board crashed the vehicle into several cars, authorities said. The highway patrol charged her with careless driving, no driver's license, and not using a child restraint.
Friday, May 19, 2006
· Illegals granted Social Security. The Senate voted yesterday to allow illegal aliens to collect Social Security benefits based on past illegal employment - even if the job was obtained through forged or stolen documents. "There was a felony they were committing, and now they can't be prosecuted. That sounds like amnesty to me," said Sen. John Ensign of Nevada.
· Mother of Jackson's accuser to stand trial for fraud. The mother of the boy who accused Michael Jackson of sexual molestation in 2003 will stand trial for welfare fraud and perjury. Janet Arvizo arrived at Los Angeles County Superior Court Friday morning. Inside the courtroom she waived her right to a preliminary hearing. Arvizo is charged with fraudulently obtaining roughly $8,000 in welfare payments while having $30,000 in the bank.
· Couple Arrested For Asking For Directions. Baltimore City police arrested a Virginia couple over the weekend after they asked an officer for directions. Joshua Kelly and Llara Brook, of Chantilly, Va., got lost leaving an Orioles game on Saturday. Collins reported a city officer arrested them for trespassing on a public street while they were asking for directions. "In jail for eight hours - sleeping on a concrete floor next to a toilet," Kelly said.
· Lack of prosecutions demoralizing Border Patrol. The vast majority of people caught smuggling immigrants across the border near San Diego are never prosecuted for the offense, demoralizing the Border Patrol agents making the arrests, according to an internal document obtained by The Associated Press. “It is very difficult to keep agents' morale up when the laws they were told to uphold are being watered-down or not prosecuted,” the report says.
· Reid: Proposal To Make English The Official Language 'Racist.' Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid called a proposal to make English the official language "racist" on the Senate floor yesterday. "This amendment is racist. I think it's directed basically to people who speak Spanish," the Democrat said during the already tense debate over immigration reform.
· Some Illegal Immigrants Fear Guest Worker Program. Martin Saucedo, an illegal immigrant from Michoacan, Mexico, would like to participate in a guest worker programthat is part of sweeping immigration reform. But he's worried whether a proposal to grant millions of illegal immigrants a path to citizenship is really just an effort to find and deport them.
· Gitmo inmates attack guards stopping a suicide. Prisoners wielding fans, light fixtures and other improvised weapons clashed with guards trying to stop a detainee from committing suicide at the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the military said Friday.
· Undercover Air Marshals not so undercover. Current and former air marshals tell ABC News their own bosses are responsible for blowing their cover. A three-month investigation found five separate places at airports where air marshals are required to identify themselves in front of waiting passengers. The investigation also found air marshals are required to stay in the same hotels, which often advertise their presence. "Welcome Federal Air Marshals, Company of the Month" read the sign outside a Sheraton hotel in Florida.
· 'Runaway bride' on the rebound. The Georgia woman known as the "runaway bride" is unattached again. Jennifer Wilbanks has broken up with the man she was to marry once before she had a famous 11th-hour change of mind. Wilbanks, 33, said she recently split with fiance John Mason.
· Top priest accused of sex abuse won't face trial. The Vatican said Friday it had asked the Mexican founder of the conservative order Legionaries of Christ to renounce celebrating public Masses and live a life of “prayer and repentance” following its investigation into allegations he sexually abused seminarians.
· Britney Spears Stumbles, Nearly Drops Baby. Britney Spears stumbled outside a Manhattan hotel, nearly dropping her 8-month-old son and further fueling the ever-growing media scrutiny of her parenting skills. In photos splashed across the front page and inside the New York Post on Friday, the 24-year-old pop star is shown exiting The Ritz-Carlton hotel with Sean Preston in one hand and a glass in the other.
· Pedicure Allegedly Leads To Woman's Death. A Texas paraplegic loved getting her monthly pedicure - until the last one allegedly led to her death. Kimberly Kay Jackson's family is suing the Fort Worth salon where they say the woman developed an infected wound after her heel was cut with a pumice stone.
· Big-Money Bust. Palestinian security forces loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas confiscated $817,000 from a high-profile Hamas official who tried to smuggle it in from Egypt on Friday, a European Union spokesman said, in a possible sign of how desperate the cash-starved Hamas government is for money.
· California Border Crossing Closed After Fatal Police Shooting. A busy U.S-Mexico border crossing was shut down Thursday after U.S. authorities shot and killed the driver of a car headed for Mexico, officials said. U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents began following a black SUV after a citizen reported seeing the vehicle pick up suspected illegal immigrants near the U.S. side of the border, police said.
· Missing ring sparks mayhem. A Long Island man who suspected a friend swiped his dead mother's wedding ring for his own upcoming nuptials went nuts and plowed his SUV into the pal's family, cops said yesterday. Joseph Cassidy, 31, confronted groom-to-be Giuseppe Celantano over the AWOL heirloom Wednesday - then ran over a neighbor and four of his buddy's relatives, including an 86-year-old grandfather visiting from Italy.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Obtuse [ob·tuse] adj. 1. Lacking quickness of perception or intellect. 2. Characterized by a lack of intelligence or sensitivity: "An obtuse remark." 3. Not distinctly felt: "An obtuse pain."
· Golfer Norman in $150 million divorce. Australian golfer Greg Norman and his American wife, Laura, are to separate after 25 years of marriage, the Sydney Morning Herald reported on Thursday. The paper estimated Laura could receive $152 million in a massive divorce settlement.
· Iran eyes badges for Jews. Human rights groups are raising alarms over a new law passed by the Iranian parliament that would require the country's Jews and Christians to wear coloured badges to identify them and other religious minorities as non-Muslims.
· Povich Lawyer Asks Court to Dismiss Case. Lawyers for television talk-show host Maury Povich have asked a court to dismiss a $100 million sex harassment lawsuit against him and his staff and to compel the producer who filed it to arbitrate the dispute. Bianca Nardi, 28, of Fort Lee, N.J., complained in a lawsuit filed last month that some of her supervisors at "The Maury Povich Show" barraged her with sexual remarks and made her watch pornographic movies, wear revealing clothing and expose her body.
· Former NYC Deputy Mayor Fights Sept. 11-Related Illness. top aide to former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is among those suffering the health effects of weeks spent at Ground Zero. Former deputy mayor Rudy Washington has debilitating asthma. A friend and fellow former deputy mayor, Randy Mastro, said Washington has made several emergency visits to the hospital.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
· Thief Steals Homeowner's Front Yard. A 34-year-old California man is accused of stealing a homeowner's front lawn, including bushes and sprinklers, and using the stolen property to landscape his property. A homeowner in Adelanto called police to report that the yard in the front of his home had vanished overnight.
· Pee Diddy Driven To Settle. Sean Combs has reached a settlement with a limousine driver who claimed he was severely beaten by the rap impresario's bodyguards during a 1995 Mary J. Blige concert in North Carolina. Per the civil suit, Cedrick Bobby Lemon accused Combs' goon squad of going gangsta on him while he was standing near Blige's dressing room in Joel Coliseum even though he had the proper backstage badge.
· William Hung Crowned 'Artichoke King.' Off-key pop idol William Hung has something new to crow about: he's being crowned "Artichoke King" in the small city that calls itself "artichoke capital of the world." Hung, 23, the earnest crooner who butchered Ricky Martin's "She Bangs" tune on "American Idol," will ride in a parade Sunday.
· TV reporter arrested on drug charges. An Austin, Minn. television reporter was arrested on drug charges for allegedly selling the prescription painkiller Oxycontin to a police informant at the reporter's house, which is across the street from an elementary school. Mark Johnson, 56, was arrested Tuesday night for allegedly selling 10 pills of the powerful narcotic.
· Tenant Leaves Behind 70,000 Beer Cans. When a Utah man moved out of his townhouse, his landlord found quite a collection - an estimated 70,000 Coors beer cans. The landlord said the man had been living in the home for about eight years and never threw away a single can. After a massive clean-up effort, the cans were recycled for about $800. [with photo]
· McCartney may lose quarter of fortune in divorce. Former Beatle Paul McCartney could lose up to a quarter of his estimated $1.56-billion fortune after separating from his second wife Heather Mills, legal experts said. That would equate to roughly $1.9 million for every week of their short-lived four-year marriage.
· Students Suspended For Bringing 'Happy Crack' To School. Parents and at least one school board member said they believe an elementary school in Pennsylvania overreacted when it suspended 14 students earlier this month for mixing sugar and Kool-Aid crystals and calling it "Happy Crack."
· 60 is the new 40. Cher turns 60 Saturday, but has no reason to wish she "could turn back time." With an album in the works and a deal to replace Celine Dion as resident performer at a Las Vegas hotel, Cher is heading a pack of seasoned stars refusing to settle down and take up sewing. Celebrities in their 60s like Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda and Sherry Lansing all have projects lined up that would tire a 20-year-old, and are proving that 60 is the new 40.
· Actress Susan Sarandon Endorses Clinton Opponent In Senate Race. Actress Susan Sarandon, a longtime liberal political activist and outspoken opponent of the Iraq war, endorsed an anti-war Democrat challenging Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's re-election bid Tuesday. Sarandon has been a harsh critic of Clinton's vote on the war, telling a British television interviewer last month that Clinton had "crumbled under the pressure of the moment."
· Elementary School Allows Boy To Enroll As Girl Student. A young boy who believes he was born the wrong sex was allowed to enroll as a girl at an elementary school in southwestern Japan, a school official said Thursday. The 7-year-old boy is listed with girl students, and that he attends a girls' gym class and uses the girls' bathroom. The boy, who's in the second grade, wears a girl's swimsuit at the school pool.
· A New Tack for Airport Screening: Behave Yourself. Airport screeners plan to shift tactics, focusing less on scissors and more on passenger behavior. Here's how it works: Select TSA employees will be trained to identify suspicious individuals who raise red flags by exhibiting unusual or anxious behavior, which can be as simple as changes in mannerisms, excessive sweating on a cool day, or changes in the pitch of a person's voice.
· Straight A's don't make the grade. Theresa Schmidt has the grades - four years of straight A's in rigorous, college-preparatory classes at Mascoutah High School. Her father, Brad Schmidt, said the situation can be traced to his daughter's narcolepsy, and he has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights.
· Trappers Capture Gator In Fatal Attack. Trappers in Marion County, Fla., are confident they captured the nearly 12-foot alligator responsible for killing a 23-year-old woman snorkeling in a remote spring river. Annemarie Campbell, 23, of Paris, Tenn., suffered lacerations on her head, neck and upper torso and suffered multiple rib fractures during the alligator attack over the weekend. Campbell was found in the alligator's mouth.
· Lionel Tate Gets 30 Years in Prison for Gun Possession. Lionel Tate was sentenced Thursday to 30 years in prison for violating probation, the latest twist in the case of the teenager convicted of murdering a 6-year-old girl in what his attorneys initially claimed was a pro-wrestling move. Tate, now 19, was 12 when he was convicted in the 1999 beating death of Tiffany Eunick.
· Mexico warns of lawsuits against U.S. if National Guard detains illegal immigrants. Mexico warned Tuesday it would file lawsuits in U.S. courts if National Guard troops detain migrants on the border. “If there is a real wave of rights abuses, if we see the National Guard starting to directly participate in detaining people ... we would immediately start filing lawsuits through our consulates,” Foreign Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez said.
· If Robertson "heard God right," look for tsunamis in the U.S. The Rev. Pat Robertson says God has told him that storms and possibly a tsunami will hit America's coastline this year. The founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network has told viewers of "The 700 Club" that "If I heard the Lord right about 2006, the coasts of America will be lashed by storms," Robertson said.
· Sexual-orientation questions cause stir at high school. Parents are angry and school leaders are promising action in response to a "Heterosexual Questionnaire," approved by two teachers, that asked students questions such as: "If you have never slept with someone of your same gender, then how do you know you wouldn't prefer it?"
· Dog plucks boy from raging river. Tossed from a raft and struggling to get to shore as he was swept down the roiling Roaring Fork River south of Glenwood Springs over the weekend, 9-year-old Ryan Rambo was yelling for help and needed a hero. It came in the form of a yellow Labrador retriever. Zion - not yet 2 years old and untrained - swam out to the frightened Glenwood lad and returned to shore with the youngster clinging to his collar.
· Update: Ship's security cameras show man falling overboard on cruise. A passenger reported missing on a cruise to the Bahamas fell overboard after a night of heavy drinking with friends, authorities said Wednesday as Coast Guard crews suspended their search for the man.
· Mexican boy dies crossing Arizona desert with mother. A 3-year-old boy from Mexico died while crossing the desert southwest of Tucson with his mother, according to the U.S. Border Patrol. The boy's body was left behind by the unidentified woman, who later told border agents about his death, authorities said.
· Still looking for Hoffa. For years, there had been a rumor in the neighborhood surrounding a farm where organized crime figures used to meet. Deb Koskovich heard it in 1985 from a neighbor when she moved next door: Jimmy Hoffa was buried there. FBI agents investigating Hoffa's 1975 disappearance searched the farm, located about 35 miles northwest of Detroit, on Wednesday.
· Southwest flights diverted because nobody was in control tower. Two Southwest Airlines flights left Baltimore Monday night bound for Rhode Island, but it was just the beginning of a back-and-forth odyssey for dozens of passengers. The planes turned around in flight just before midnight. The passengers said the pilots told them they were turning back because there was no one in the control tower at T.F. Green Airport. The control tower at T.F. Green closes at midnight, and an FAA spokesman disputes Southwest's version of events.
· AT&T loses bid for a closed court. AT&T was turned down by a federal judge Tuesday in its 11th-hour attempt to bar the public from a San Francisco court hearing today about documents that allegedly show the company's involvement in a secret government electronic surveillance program.
· Another 'Idol' Gets the Boot, Leaving Two. Tears streamed from "American Idol" judge Paula Abdul's eyes when the result was announced. The audience stood and clapped, paying their respects. In a close vote, Abdul's favorite finalist, Elliott Yamin - an "Idol" underdog and blue-eyed soul singer - was bounced off the Fox talent contest during Wednesday's elimination show.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
· Senate votes for fence on southern U.S. border. The Senate voted to build 370 miles of triple-layered fencing along the Mexican border Wednesday and clashed over citizenship for millions of men and women who live in the United States illegally. Amid increasingly emotional debate over election-year immigration legislation, senators voted 83-16 to add fencing and 500 miles of vehicle barriers along the southern border.
· Man's blow up doll stolen. An Iowa man impervious to embarrassment called cops this week to report the theft of a blow-up fashioned to resemble an adult film star. According to a Council Bluffs Police Department report, Trenton Camacho called cops Monday night to report that a "Priority US Mail package" containing his "Love Doll" had been opened and that the plastic plaything was missing.
· Cop indicted on underage sex charges. A Saugerties, NY cop was indicted Tuesday by an Ulster County grand jury on charges that he had sex with two underage girls, fixed a ticket for a third and tried to force himself on a fourth girl.
· Insurers set to put patient files on the Web. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is among a group of major insurance companies working on a plan for a Web-based personal health record that would follow patients from job to job and from one insurer to another.
· Town won't let unmarried parents live together. The City Council has rejected a measure allowing unmarried couples with multiple children to live together, and the mayor said those who fall into that category could soon face eviction. Olivia Shelltrack and Fondrey Loving were denied an occupancy permit after moving into a home in this St. Louis suburb because they have three children and are not married.
· Woman Shoots Gator That Attacks Dog. A Florida woman has shot an alligator that came into her home and attacked her dog. The alligator was only 3 feet long, but Candy Frey wasn't taking any chances. After Frey and her daughter managed to push the gator out of the lanai through the dog door, she grabbed her gun and blasted away at it four times. The alligator barely bled from gunshots to the neck and shoulder, Frey said, and a wildlife officer put it back in the lake. The deputy then gave Frey a warning citation for hunting without a license.
· Yusuf Islam returns to music biz with new album. Yusuf Islam, the pop star formerly known as Cat Stevens who left the wild world of the music business in the 1970s, is returning with a new album that he hopes will bridge the divide between Islam and the west. The singer converted to Islam and dropped the Cat Stevens name in 1977, leaving the music industry where he had hits including "Moonshadow" and "Peace Train."
· Minnesota Supreme Court Lets Gambler Deduct Losses. A Minneapolis woman took a gamble with the state Supreme Court - and won. Estelle Busch claimed she worked 60 hours a week at gambling, and that her losses should be tax deductible. Busch said over three years, she won $1.5 million and lost $1.7 million. But the state wouldn't let her deduct her $200,000 in gambling losses.
· Update: Paul McCartney, Wife Confirm Split. Former Beatle Paul McCartney and his second wife, Heather Mills McCartney, said Wednesday that they are separating after nearly four years of marriage, blaming intrusion from the media and insisting their split is amicable.
· Senate Vote Gives Immigration Bill Steam. The Senate voted Wednesday to exclude illegal immigrants convicted of a felony or three misdemeanors from a chance at remaining in the United States under what critics say is an amnesty program.
· Bush To Sign $70 Billion Tax Cut Extension. President George W. Bush is hoping for an election-year boost Wednesday as he signs a $70 billion tax cut package. The measure extends a pair of tax breaks -- one benefiting investors, the other upper-middle-income families.
· Gonzales 'not clear' if kin legal. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales admitted yesterday it's "just not clear" if his Mexican-immigrant grandparents settled in the U.S. legally. The nation's top cop - who is the first Hispanic attorney general - has become a pointman for the White House on divisive immigration reforms President Bush is pushing. "Three of my grandparents were born in Mexico. They came to Texas," Gonzales told CNN. Pressed by Wolf Blitzer, Gonzales conceded he didn't know if they sneaked across the border like millions of illegals at issue in the current debate.
· Bill Cosby Cracks Down On Young Black Men. "The men as young boys are dropping out of high school, but they've memorized the lyrics of very difficult rap songs," Comedian Bill Cosby says. Stern criticism from Bill Cosby as he addresses the 2006 graduating class of Spelman College in Atlanta.
· Report: Nicole Kidman Says She's Engaged. Actress Nicole Kidman says she and country music star Keith Urban are engaged, according to a report on People Magazine's Web site. "He's actually my fiance," Kidman told People Monday after hosting a weekend gala event in New York. "I wouldn't be bringing my boyfriend."
· 'Da Vinci Code' Misses the Mark for Critics. The Da Vinci Code" drew lukewarm praise, shrugs of indifference, some jeering laughter and a few derisive jabs Tuesday from arguably the world's toughest movie crowd: critics at the Cannes Film Festival.
· Castro denies he is one of world's richest rulers. Cuban President Fidel Castro has furiously denounced a U.S. magazine report which named him as one of the world's richest leaders. An article in Forbes magazine this month puts Castro in seventh place in a group of 10 world leaders with "lofty positions and vast fortunes." The magazine claims Castro's personal wealth is around $900 million - nearly double that of the $500 million of Queen Elizabeth II and just under Prince Albert II of Monaco's estimated $1 billion.
· Mayor Accused Of Discounting Water Bills For Sex. The 72-year-old mayor of Waldron, Arkansas has been charged with patronizing a prostitute and abusing the public trust for allegedly using his official position to obtain sex.
· Trump Drive Hits a Rough Patch. He controls the chips. But they hold the trump card. That's the gist of the high-stakes card game being played in Rancho Palos Verdes as billionaire developer Donald Trump struggles to rename a street that leads to his new $250-million oceanfront golf course, Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles. Trump wants city officials to change Ocean Trails Drive to Trump National Drive.
· Report: Paul McCartney, Heather Mills Separating. A newspaper in Britain says Paul McCartney and his wife Heather Mills are planning to separate. Representatives of the couple aren't commenting but said a statement is expected Thursday.
· Latest Spears Photos Spark Safety Debate. It's not a role she auditioned for, but pop star Britney Spears has become a poster woman for child car-seat safety. "In one regard, she's done more for child safety-seat awareness than anyone else in California," California Highway Patrol spokesman Tom Marshall said Tuesday. "The fact that she's a big star doesn't play into it for us." Front-page photographs in Tuesday's New York Post and New York Daily News depict the 24-year-old pregnant pop star driving her convertible Mini Cooper with 8-month-old son Sean Preston in the back, sitting in a car seat facing the wrong way.
· Pentagon Releases Video of Plane Hitting Building on 9/11. Conspiracy theorists may or may not be disappointed Tuesday when they see footage released from the Pentagon showing two angles of American Flight 77 hitting the western wall of the building on Sept. 11, 2001. One of the tapes is from a security camera that was used to produce five still shots on that day. That video, which takes pictures in half-second increments, shows the nose cone of the plane clearly entering the picture, then a blur and then a fireball.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
· New York piano tuner defies US in Cuba. Benjamin Treuhaft believes pianos are not a threat to U.S. national security even if they are played in Cuba. Risking fines and jail for "trading with the enemy," the New York piano tuner has shipped 237 pianos to Communist-run Cuba since 1995.
· Woman's Power Shut Off Over One Cent. It was just a penny, but to Consumers Energy it was enough to cut off power in a local home. Jacqueline Williams, 41, of Flint had an electricity bill of $1,662.08 and paid all of it, except for one cent. That wasn't enough for the power company, which blacked her out for seven hours. The CMS Energy Corp. subsidiary told Williams the power would not be turned on until the penny was received.
· Update: 'Survivor' Winner Sentenced to 51 Months. Richard Hatch, who won $1 million in the debut season of "Survivor," was sentenced Tuesday to 51 months in prison for failing to pay income taxes on his reality TV prize and other earnings.
· Venezuela Weighs Selling U.S. Jets to Iran. Venezuela is considering selling its fleet of U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets to another country, perhaps Iran, in response to a U.S. ban on arms sales to President Hugo Chavez's government, a military official said Tuesday.
· FBI Notified After Cruise Ship Passenger Mysteriously Vanishes. The U.S. Coast Guard is searching an area between Cape Canaveral, Fla., and the Bahamas for a 21-year-old man who mysteriously vanished from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship.
· Video game reopens Columbine wounds. An Internet-based computer game that puts players in the army boots and black trench coats of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold as they kill Columbine High School classmates is attracting attention and sparking controversy. Called Super Columbine Massacre RPG, the game mixes cartoonish scenes with photographs of Harris and Klebold, pictures taken from television stations and excerpts from their writings.
· Mexicans Say Guard Won't Slow Them Down. After Bush announced the plan to send 6,000 soldiers to the U.S.-Mexico border late Monday, would-be migrants at a shelter in the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez said the presence of troops would not stop them from sneaking across the Rio Grande. "I have no work in my country so if the soldiers turn me back, I will try again," said Raul Garduno, a 28-year old Salvadoran.
· City pays 1.5M to kin of drunk cop victims. The loved ones of several members of a Brooklyn family killed by an off-duty cop driving drunk five years ago will collect $1.5 million in damages from the city. Prosecutors said Joseph Gray, 45, ran a red light and mowed down the family after a 12-hour beer-drinking binge with other cops from the 72nd Precinct.
· Miami commissioner accused of hitting cops at airport after incident at bar. A city commissioner struck two officers as he was being escorted out of an airport concourse after being disruptive while waiting for his delayed flight, police said. Miami Commissioner Johnny Winton also slipped and fell during the altercation with police about 7 p.m. Monday, sending him to a hospital's jail ward with an injured head.
· Babs, Brolin pay for tix? 'Impossible.' Mega-diva Barbra Streisand and television actor James Brolin might be millionaires many times over, but don't expect them to pay $20 for a pair of movie tickets. Arriving at the Mann Agoura Hills 8 near their Malibu estate on Friday night — apparently to see "Mission: Impossible III" — the 64-year-old singer-actress and her 65-year-old hubby wheedled their way into free seats by schmoozing the teenager in charge, according to the NY Daily News.
· CNN airs president's rehearsal in advance of immigration speech. "The president is rehearsing and the network pool inadvertently went to the president as he is rehearsing," anchor Wolf Blitzer explained. FOXNEWS, MSNBC, CBS, ABC and other outlets did not air the 'rehearsal.'
· Van Carrying 27 Crashes Near California-Mexico Border. At least two suspected illegal immigrants were killed and numerous others injured when a van packed with more than two dozen people crashed on a highway in the Southern California desert, officials said.
· First Home Elvis Owned Sells for $905K. The King's first home is now another man's castle. A ranch-style Memphis home that Elvis Presley bought in 1956 as his career was taking off has sold for $905,100 on the online auction service eBay. Peter Gleason, a New York attorney and retired firefighter, posted the high bid in the final seconds before the 8 p.m. deadline Sunday.
· Attorney sues to stop baseball promotions. Is attorney Alfred Rava the Grinch who would steal Mother's Day? The civil lawsuits Rava has filed against the Angels, San Diego Padres and Oakland Athletics are among more than 40 legal actions he has brought under California's Unruh Civil Rights Act. In the past, Rava has targeted bars that dangled cheap drinks and cut-rate admission on "ladies nights."
· NYC Subway Tunnels May Soon Be Ad Space. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority wants to put electronic panels capable of broadcasting commercials on the walls of some subway tunnels, said Roco Krsulic, who heads the MTA's real estate and advertising department.
· Pink Taco Restaurant Causes Stir. The name of a new restaurant in Scottsdale is stirring up some trouble. The Las Vegas-based Pink Taco Mexican Restaurant is scheduled to open its second location in downtown Scottsdale in June. Nearly half a dozen people in the upscale city recently expressed their objection to the name, claiming it's a derogatory slang term for a portion of the female anatomy.
· Teen jailed for fleeing trial of accused molester. 14-year-old girl who ran away to avoid testifying against a man accused of molesting her has been jailed for a week and denied access to an attorney, officials and court records said.
· The Rudest Thing You Can Do at Work. The rudest thing you can do at work is to use profanity, according to a survey of 2,318 employed adults conducted for Randstad USA, a leading workforce solutions company.
Monday, May 15, 2006
· Bush to Send Up to 6,000 Troops to Border. President Bush, trying to build support for a major overhaul of the nation's tattered immigration laws, said Monday night he would order as many as 6,000 National Guard troops to secure the U.S. border with Mexico and urged Congress to give millions of illegal immigrants a chance at citizenship.
· Third Indicted Duke Lacrosse Player Claims Innocence. A grand jury indicted a third member of Duke University's lacrosse team Monday on charges stemming from a woman's allegations she was raped and beaten at a team party earlier this year. David Evans, a 23-year-old senior and team co-captain from Bethesda, Md., was indicted on charges of rape, sexual offense and kidnapping.
· Fired for having sex on his desk. The manager of a charitable fundraising enterprise in Davenport has been fired for alleged financial mismanagement, drug use and having sex with a woman on his desk. Chris T. Coppinger of Davenport admitted to drinking and having sex with a woman on his desk, but he testified that many other members of the organization also had engaged in sex on his desk.
· Federal Source to ABC News: We Know Who You're Calling. senior federal law enforcement official tells ABC News the government is tracking the phone numbers we call in an effort to root out confidential sources. "It's time for you to get some new cell phones, quick," the source said.
· Female Banker Sues After She Is Fired After Swimsuit Photo. female bank vice president is suing the bank after she said she was fired over a photo was published of her posing in a swimsuit. Sheri Doub is suing Citizens Tri-County Bank and bank officials. Ms. Smith, bank president, said, "Sheri Doub's lawsuit is unfounded. We made a personnel decision in the best interest of our bank and its customers.
· BBC Interviews Cabbie As Internet Expert. The BBC has admitted it was taken for a ride by a cabbie. The network has apologized to its viewers for a studio mix-up that resulted in a cab driver appearing on live television as an expert on Internet music downloads.
· Landlords who rent to illegals could face $1,000 fines in California city. Landlords who rent to illegal immigrants could face $1,000 fines, and homeowners who hire undocumented workers could have their cars impounded under a measure being voted on today by the San Bernardino, California City Council.
· Central Fla. Officers Enter Wrong Home, Kill Dog. An investigation was launched Monday after police in Winter Springs entered the wrong house Sunday and killed the homeowner's dog. The Winter Springs officers went to the house located on Marlin Road Sunday after a residential alarm went off. When they walked inside, the owner's rottweiler dog approached. One officer shot and killed the dog, saying "it was acting aggressively."
· Teacher Regrets Murderous Essay Assignment. A high school teacher has apologized for asking students to write about who they would kill and how they would do it, and officials said he will likely keep his job.
· Sarandon Joins Sheehan in Vigil Against Iraq War. Susan Sarandon lent her star power to a Mother's Day protest against the Iraq war Sunday. Sarandon joined anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan onstage at the end of a 24-hour vigil in Lafayette Park, across the street from the White House. She read two letters addressed to first lady Laura Bush, one written by a woman from Oregon and another by herself.
· Cosby challenges Spelman graduates 'to take charge.' Bill Cosby challenged Spelman College's graduates "to take charge" today, adding those leaving the historically black college for women have no choice but to lead. Cosby told the graduates "You have to know that it is time for you all to take charge. You have to seriously see yourselves not as the old women where the men stood in front and you all stood behind, because the men, most of them are in prison."
· U.S. marshal dies in shootout with police. A deputy U.S. marshal was killed in a shootout with Memphis police officers who had stopped the agent for driving erratically early Sunday, authorities said. Mary Fisher, 46, refused to stop when officers tried to pull her over and led the officers to her home around 6 a.m., according to Sgt. Vince Higgins, a police spokesman. When the officers told her to get out of the car, she opened her door, pulled out a gun and started shooting at them, Higgins said.
· 'West Wing' Ends With Graceful Transition. It was an orderly transition Sunday night as President Jed Bartlet left office and "The West Wing" came to a graceful end. After seven TV seasons (and two terms in his fictional White House), the heroic, quirky, often embattled chief executive played by Martin Sheen was succeeded by Matt Santos (Jimmy Smits). As the Bartlet administration came to its inevitable conclusion, so did the NBC drama.
· Alligators blamed for 2 more deaths. The bodies of two women, both apparently killed by alligators, were found Sunday less than a week after a similar death in Florida, where there have been just 17 confirmed fatal attacks by the animals in the previous 58 years. A 23-year-old woman staying at a secluded cabin near Lake George was attacked at a lakeside recreation area while snorkeling, said Marion County Fire-Rescue Capt. Joe Amigliore. The lake is about 50 miles southeast of Gainesville.
· ‘Poseidon’ can’t overtake ‘Mission’ at box office. It was bottoms up for “Poseidon,” as the cruise ship disaster remake failed to topple “Mission: Impossible III” from a second week atop the nation’s box office, according to studio estimates Sunday. “Mission: Impossible III” clung to No. 1 with a $24.5 million take during an anemic North America box office weekend that saw the Tom Cruise action film drop 49 percent from its opening weekend.
· Alice Cooper Gets Key to Namesake City. The key to this city, with just a feed store, fire hall and a bar, won't open much for rock legend Alice Cooper. "There's not a whole lot of buildings to unlock with that key," Mayor Dan Lund said. "But Alice is a cool guy and Alice is a cool city — so it's a fun thing to do."
Sunday, May 14, 2006
· Mexico's Fox Calls Bush to Discuss Border. On the eve of Bush's planned Oval Office speech to the nation on immigration, Mexican President Vicente Fox telephoned President Bush on Sunday to discuss comprehensive immigration reform as members of Congress expressed concern that using National Guard troops to keep illegal immigrants from crossing the border would further burden an overextended military.
· Mom: Daughter kidnapped in 1976 is found. A woman whose father was charged with kidnapping her as a child 30 years ago has been found living in Arizona, her mother and sheriff's officials said. On Mother's Day weekend in 1976, Laura Gooder's estranged husband, Eric Douglas Nielsen, picked up 21-month-old Genevieve Rachel Nielsen for an overnight visit. They never returned.
· Sports Car Esconced as Art in Mansion. Some millionaires decorate their mansions with rare paintings. Richard Moriarty bolted a 1974 Lamborghini to the wall of his Newport Beach estate early Friday. Because Home Depot doesn't sell kits to hang cars as artwork, Moriarty hired a 70-ton crane to lower the Italian sports car through a skylight in his living room.
· Oregon sheriff tells Mexico to pay up. Out of ideas and low on cash one cold morning, the man with the biggest badge in town put his meaty fingers on a keyboard and tapped out a letter to the leader of Mexico. In his letter to Vicente Fox, he states "Last year, more than 360 of "your citizens" spent time in jail "at a cost of $63 a day which equates to a request for payment of $318,843," the letter concluded. "At this time, you will not be billed for medical, dental and transportation costs. Your prompt attention to this request will be very much appreciated."
· Teacher will not be disciplined over 'bikini team' photos. A high school teacher who posed for revealing photos on a Web site will not face any discipline, a school district official said. The district's professional standards department decided Thursday not to investigate Erica Chevillar, whose photo spread on the USA National Bikini Team's Web site has become the talk of West Boca Raton High School. Chevillar, 25, is a first-year social studies teacher at the school.
· How senator steers sub under radar. The cost of preserving and promoting the Hunley submarine has soared to nearly $100 million — thanks largely to a powerful politician’s behind-the-scenes work to steer public money toward his pet project.
· Duke prosecutors find DNA match: Accuser's boyfriend. The second round of DNA test results in the Duke University rape investigation show "no conclusive match'' to any lacrosse players, defense attorneys said, but a vaginal swab of the alleged rape victim produced DNA from a "single male source'' — a man not on the lacrosse team who did not attend a March 13 party that was the site of the alleged rape. Defense attorney Joe Cheshire declined to identify the mystery man or his connection to the alleged victim, but ABC News' Law and Justice Unit has learned that the unnamed source of the DNA is the alleged victim's "boyfriend," according to her mother.
· Mentally ill troops forced into combat. U.S. military troops with severe psychological problems have been sent to Iraq or kept in combat, even when superiors have been aware of signs of mental illness.
· Oregon teen gets 12 years for poisoning milk. A 13-year-old girl convicted of attempting to kill two classmates by slipping rat poison into their milk was sentenced to up to 12 years in a juvenile detention center.
· Church Fills Gas Tanks to Fill Pews. A church in Tullahoma, Tenn. was able to spread its word on Friday by offering a deal on gas. With gas approaching $3 a gallon, how does $2.19 sound? Some drivers said it was a blessing.
· Plane carrying Sen. Kennedy struck by lightning. A plane carrying U.S Sen. Edward M. Kennedy from western Massachusetts to his home on the coast was struck by lightning and had to be diverted to New Haven, Connecticut, his spokeswoman said. The eight-seat Cessna Citation 550 plane lost all electrical power, including communications, and the pilot had to fly the plane manually.
Saturday, May 13, 2006
· Trooper: "Everyone is a DUI suspect after midnight." Capt. Gary Orluck, commander of the North Dakota Highway Patrol, said Friday that Trooper Ryan Hoffner misspoke when he testified in court that "Everyone is a DUI suspect after midnight." "Actually," the captain said, "Statistics show that up to 10 percent of drivers are impaired after the bar closing time of 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. It is during that time window that we are aggressively enforcing DUI laws."
· Jose and Angel among top baby names. When kids born in 2005 head to kindergarten in a few years, a lot of them will be raising their hands when the teacher calls out "Emily" or "Jacob." In border states, it will be hard to miss Jose, Angel and Mia.
· Government seeks to quash eavesdropping lawsuit. The U.S. government filed a motion Saturday to intervene and seek dismissal of a lawsuit by a civil liberties group against AT&T Inc. over a federal program to monitor U.S. communications. The suit filed in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California accuses AT&T of unlawful collaboration with the National Security Agency in its surveillance program to intercept telephone and e-mails between the United States and people linked to al Qaeda.
· It's curtains for the original Hummer. With its intimidating bulk and military-style design, the Hummer H1 still serves as a head-turner. Even for the Sierra Club, which has faulted the oversized status symbol for its excesses, the H1 serves a purpose: It was a rolling billboard that illustrated America's love of gas guzzlers. But General Motors has announced that it is dropping the H1 Hummer line.
· 2nd DNA Test Shows No Conclusive Match. A second round of DNA testing in the Duke University lacrosse rape case came back with the same result as the first - no conclusive match to any member of the team, defense attorneys said Friday.
· Orlando ministry says it helps heal 'unwanted homosexuality.' Matthew Walker is one of thousands of former homosexuals who enlisted the help of an Orlando-based Christian group called Exodus International, an organization with 135 member ministries in the United States that works to "heal" gays and lesbians through prayer, counseling and group therapy.
· Lawsuits Filed by Spector Can Proceed. Record producer Phil Spector lost a bid Friday to delay court proceedings on lawsuits involving his former assistant until his murder trial is over. Superior Court Judge Lee Smalley Edmon ruled that since Spector was first to file suit against Michelle Blaine he will have to live with the consequences of that decision.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Ambivalence [am·biv·a·lence] n. 1. Uncertainty or indecisiveness as to which course to follow. 2. The coexistence of opposing attitudes or feelings, such as love and hate, toward a person, object, or idea.
· Diaz Worst for Autographs. "Cameron Diaz may be a talented actress, but she's persistently a terrible signer. Instead of just turning down a person's autograph request, she'll lecture them about how dumb autographs are," Steve Cyrkin said. Russell Crowe would have been named as the best of the worst but in recent months he has been much nicer to fans.
· Innocent man mistaken for registered offender. Eric Haskett was merely taking a nap in a car when he roused suspicion in a rural Frederick County neighborhood. A neighbor traced Haskett's license plate to an address once used by a registered sex offender. Then his girlfriend's parents told him to scram; law enforcement officials, including three FBI agents, began investigating; and Haskett began fearing that the suspicions could cost him his job at a gag shop that sells such kid-friendly items as whoopie cushions.
· Popular Seafood Chain Accused Of Racial Discrimination. A black waitress and a black bartender are suing the upscale McCormick & Schmick's restaurant chain. The federal suit claims the seafood restaurant company discriminates against black workers and applicants. The waitress works at the chain, and the bartender was denied a job.
· The Scary Guy. With 85 percent of his body covered in tattoos, Earl Kenneth Kaufmann recently petitioned an Arizona court to have his name legally changed to The Scary Guy. In February, a judge granted the Tucson tattoo shop owner's application, and The Scary Guy was born. Here's the 44-year-old businessman's name change application, the judge's order, and proof that Mr. Guy isn't trying to dodge any criminal entanglements.
· Moussaoui Takes "Con Air" Flight to Colorado. Convicted Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui on Saturday began serving his life sentence at the nation's most secure prison after U.S. marshals flew him overnight from Virginia to Colorado, where he will join Olympic Games bomber Eric Rudolph, Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, Oklahoma City bombing accomplice Terry Nichols and Ramzi Yousef, mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
· Man Hands Bullets To Archbishop Tutu. An armed man spoke briefly to Archbishop Desmond Tutu outside a Seattle cathedral and handed him three bullets, police confirmed Friday. The retired Anglican archbishop from South Africa had just left St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral after a Thursday night service when the man approached him, Officer Deanna Nollette said. Tutu handed the .45 caliber bullets to another person and continued to his car. The other person turned and gave the rounds to a Seattle police officer on scene for crowd control, she said. The "alarmed" officer approached the man who handed out the bullets, patted him down and found a .45 caliber handgun, a fixed blade knife and additional ammunition in the man's fanny pack, Nollette said.
Friday, May 12, 2006
· Police Department Throws Out $30 grand. Officers are still pondering a big blunder at the Somerville, Mass. police station where staffers accidentally threw out thousands of dollars in cash. $31,535 was in an old desk at the police station, which someone decided was junk and threw in a trash container.
· Pastor Free On Bond After Beating Teen With Stick. A suburban Chicago pastor has been charged with misdemeanor battery after he allegedly spanked a 13-year-old girl with a piece of wood because he thought she was lying about being sexually abused by a relative, authorities said. Officials said they believe the girl's allegations of sexual abuse are true.
· Lawyer Lawsuit Challenges New Bankruptcy Law. Organizations representing thousands of attorneys are challenging the nation's tough new bankruptcy law, saying it illegally restricts the advice lawyers can give and makes it harder for clients to navigate the bankruptcy system.
· Coroner: Peanut Kiss Didn't Cause Death. A Canadian coroner confirmed Thursday that a teenager — once believed to have died from a peanut allergy after kissing her boyfriend — died from an asthma attack. The 15-year-old girl stopped breathing on Nov. 20 after kissing her boyfriend, who had eaten a peanut butter snack. Official findings at the time linked the death to a peanut allergy, drawing widespread media attention.
· Largest Cruise Ship Docks in N.Y. Harbor. The world's largest cruise ship is so immense that even its captain hasn't finished exploring Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas. The $800 million ship weighs in at 160,000 tons, and is 237 feet tall and 1,112 feet long with 15 passenger decks.
· Agent Gets Probation For Exposing Sex Organs At Mall. A special agent-in-charge with the elite Immigration and Customs Enforcement operations who pleaded guilty to exposing his sex organs in front of a girl at a Central Florida mall was sentenced to 1 year probation.
· Supermodel takes wrong door to bathroom. Her million-dollar face covered in gauze, model Tatyana Simanava said yesterday there was no sign on the bus exit door she mistook for a bathroom, sending her tumbling onto a Brooklyn highway.
· Trappers Searching for Gator Suspected in Fla. Woman's Death. Trappers using pig lungs as bait scoured canals and other areas Friday as they tried to find an alligator believed to have killed a woman. Authorities killed an alligator caught Thursday night but determined it did not kill Yovy Suarez Jimenez. Its stomach contained only tennis balls and a football.
· DJ Arrested After Sexual Threats Against Rival's Toddler. The country's top rated hip-hop disc jockey, DJ Star, whose real name is Troi Torain, was arrested Friday on charges of harassment and endangering the welfare of a child in a case stemming from on-air racial and sexual remarks about a rival's wife and 4-year-old daughter. Torain, 42, was taken into custody and transported to a police precinct in Lower Manhattan.
· Update: Cops told Kennedy was at watering hole before crash. Capitol police in Washington, D.C., investigating U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy’s early-morning car wreck have been told by witnesses that the Rhode Island congressman was at a Capitol Hill bar before the crash, the Boston Herald has learned.
· New Zealand for sale on eBay. New Zealand is not for sale, despite somebody in neighbouring Australia trying to offload the nation of four million to the highest online bidder. With a starting offer of just one cent, brisk bidding for the prime chunk of South Pacific real estate quickly boosted the price to 3,000 Australian dollars before eBay pulled the plug on the auction this week.
· CBS Report: Reading, Writing and Race. Inside the walls of Brookland-Cayce High School, you expect students to be treated equally. But with Winston McCuen teaching, that may not be the case. The truth, according to McCuen, is that black people are inferior to whites. "Intellectually, yes they are," said McCuen. "This has been confirmed over and over, and this is a generalization. There are some blacks who are more intelligent than individual whites. But as a rule, that is true. I-Q tests prove it over, and over and over."
· Dixie Chicks recall 'scary' death threat. Natalie Maines says one of the death threats she received after criticizing President Bush three years ago was "definitely scary" because the sender "had a plan." Maines, lead singer of the Dixie Chicks, told a London audience during a March 10, 2003, concert: "Just so you know, we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas."
· Sheriff's Deputy, Friend Riding With Him Shot To Death. A sheriff's deputy and a friend riding with him on patrol were shot to death Thursday night and one suspect was in custody. Deputy Bill Jones and his friend, Mike Brown, were found dead along state Highway 58 in eastern Tennessee, Roane County Sheriff David Haggard said. "It looks like somebody opened fire on them and shot the officer and the ride-along," Haggard said.
· Woman jailed for beating daughter’s teacher. A woman convicted of beating and kicking her daughter’s teacher in front of the girl’s seventh-grade class was sentenced to six months in jail Thursday. Paulette Baines, 45, was convicted Wednesday of felony assault on a public servant. She also was fined $800 and ordered to pay $14,000 restitution to Mary Oliver.
· It's a miracle! "Paralyzed" woman runs from police after arrest. A wheelchair-bound Los Angeles woman, who has repeatedly filed lawsuits over access for the disabled, got up and ran after police arrested her for fraud, authorities said on Thursday. Laura Lee Medley, 35, had sued in at least four California cities over injuries she claimed she sustained while trying to navigate her wheelchair before she was suspected of fraud.
· O.J. Pulls White Bronco Prank on 'Juiced.' In a scene from his new candid-camera program "Juiced," O.J. Simpson pulls a prank involving the infamous white Bronco, drawing criticism from the family of a man he was accused of killing. As part of the pay-per-view show, Simpson pretends to sell the Bronco at a used car lot and boasts to a prospective buyer that he made the vehicle famous, "It was good for me — it helped me get away," Simpson said.
· First night of posse patrols nets one arrest. Following a week of tough talk, a 250-member sheriff's posse charged with finding and arresting illegal immigrants made just one arrest in its inaugural desert search early Thursday morning. Deputies attempted to pull over a pickup truck around 12:45 a.m. Thursday, but the truck took off in the desert and its 15 to 20 occupants scattered.
· Ex-Teen Idol Leif Garrett Gets Jail Time. Leif Garrett was sentenced to 90 days in jail and three years' probation after opting out of a drug treatment program. Garrett's attorney, Andrew Flier, said his client decided to leave the program, which required frequent tests and daily counseling, because it was too strict.
· Chris Daughtry Gets Job Offer From Fuel. Chris Daughtry is looking to launch his music career after getting booted from "American Idol." Fuel is searching for a lead singer after Brett Scallions quit. The band offered Daughtry a job Thursday, hours after viewers voted him off the Fox television talent show.
· Tom Hanks hits back at 'The Da Vinci Code' boycott calls. Hollywood actor Tom Hanks criticised calls from church groups and religious leaders for a boycott on his new film, "The Da Vinci Code", insisting they are taking it too seriously. "The story we tell is loaded with all sorts of hooey and fun kind of scavenger-hunt-type nonsense," Hanks said.
· Howard Dean says he misstated party platform on gays. Democratic chairman Howard Dean mischaracterized his party's platform on gay rights in an interview courting evangelicals, then set the record straight Thursday when an advocacy group called him on it. Dean told Christian Broadcasting Network News that the 2004 Democratic platform declares "marriage is between a man and a woman" just one of the points he made in reaching out to religious conservatives who are largely hostile to the party.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
· Farmer's gallows sales attacked. A farmer who builds gallows and has sold them to African countries with poor human rights records has been condemned by Amnesty International. David Lucas, of Mildenhall, Suffolk, said he had been selling execution equipment to countries including Zimbabwe for about 10 years.
· Update: Priest convicted of murdering nun. A Toledo, Ohio priest was convicted Thursday of stabbing a Roman Catholic nun to death as she prepared for Easter services at a hospital 26 years ago, a murder prosecutors say was steeped in religious ritual. Sister Margaret Ann Pahl was stabbed 31 times through an altar cloth, with the punctures forming an upside down cross. Her killer then anointed her with a smudge of her blood on the forehead to humiliate her in death, prosecutors said.
· Update: School backs off ban on dates amid probe. Hard-hearted Cape Cod school officials, feeling the heat over a possibly illegal misuse of criminal background checks, have relented and will let senior girls dry their tears and take their alleged bad-boy dates to the prom.
· Dave Chappelle's wife still not happy. Dave Chappelle is still explaining to his wife why he left his Comedy Central show and walked away from a $50 million contract. "My wife is still a little salty with me," Chappelle joked on NBC's "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" on Wednesday night. "She's not mad at me, but don't think you can walk away from $50 million and your wife is just going to be cool with it."
· 80 arrested in Kentucky. Four supervisors for Fischer Homes were among 80 people arrested Tuesday as part of a two-year probe into the use of illegal immigrant workers in the home construction industry in Northern Kentucky. The supervisors were charged with hiring illegal immigrants. The other 76 persons arrested were charged with being in the United States illegally.
· Kellogg's Targets Hispanic Market. From "Tony el Tigre" on Frosted Flakes boxes to a Latin-dance exercise video, Kellogg's is in hot pursuit of Hispanic grocery shoppers. The Battle Creek-based cereal maker said it's boosting marketing to Hispanics by 60 percent.
· Peggy Noonan: It may take a GOP defeat in November to learn lessons. The Republicans talk about cutting spending, but they increase it - a lot. They stand for making government smaller, but they keep making it bigger. They say they're concerned about our borders, but they're not securing them. And they seem to think we're slobs for worrying. When you've been in Congress for a while, or the White House for a while, you both forget too many things and learn too many things. You forget why they sent you.
· 56 Illegal Immigrants Locked in Freezer Truck. Sheriff's deputies found 56 illegal immigrants locked inside a refrigerated trailer with no driver in sight and no way for the shivering human cargo to escape. An anonymous call led deputies to the trailer in a warehouse district of Laredo. The key was in the ignition and the trailer's refrigeration was on, but the gas tank was near empty, Webb County Sheriff Rick Flores said. The 43 men, 11 women and two children had been in the truck for about six hours, Flores said.
· Dobbs to president: Do you take us for fools? Reports this week that the Border Patrol is notifying the Mexican government of the locations of Minutemen volunteers are being denied by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. True or not, the Bush administration continues to follow absurd policies on both issues of border security and illegal immigration. "Only a fool, Mr. President, Sen. Kennedy, Sen. McCain, would believe you when you speak of new legislation. You don't enforce the laws now," Lou Dobbs said.
· Police Shut Down Adult Video Store. After several weeks of undercover investigations, Pocola, Oklahoma police raided Adult World, accusing store owners of violating several Oklahoma obscenity laws. Officers said "they could be there all night investigating."
· Start 'em early: The Baby Channel Debuts. Escalating an already heated national debate, a first-of-its-kind TV channel premieres Thursday designed specifically for babies — an age group that the American Academy of Pediatrics says should be kept away from television altogether.
· NSA has massive database of Americans' phone calls. The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth, according to a report from USA Today. The NSA program reaches into homes and businesses across the nation by amassing information about the calls of ordinary Americans — most of whom aren't suspected of any crime.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Autonomous [au·ton·o·mous] adj. 1. Independent in mind or judgment; self-directed. 2. Not controlled by others or by outside forces; independent: "an autonomous judiciary."
· Cruise' odd behavior may have cost him $millions at box office. Powerful Hollywood friends of Tom Cruise rallied to his defense on Wednesday as a new poll suggested the actor's odd behavior in recent months may have cost him millions of dollars at the box office. In the poll of 1,013 adults conducted over the weekend the film opened in theaters, 35 percent had a favorable opinion of Cruise, while 51 percent had an unfavorable opinion.
· Minorities getting closer to the majority. The influence of traditional minorities in the United States will continue to grow, new Census Bureau statistics suggest, with Hispanics born as American citizens accounting for more than a third of the population increase last year. The overall U.S. population totaled 296.4 million in 2005; 33 percent of that number, or 98 million, were minorities. Hispanics remained the largest minority group at 42.7 million. They were the fastest growing group from 2004 to 2005.
· 'American Idol' Shocks With Latest Cut. Shock. Total shock. That was the reaction in the audience when "American Idol" finalist Chris Daughtry — predicted by many to be the last singer standing — was booted off in Wednesday's voting.
· April Tax Revenue 2nd-Highest in History. A flood of income tax payments pushed up government receipts to the second-highest level in history in April, giving the country a sizable surplus for the month. In its monthly accounting of the government's books, the Treasury Department said Wednesday that revenue for the month totaled $315.1 billion as Americans filed their tax returns by the April deadline. The gusher of tax revenue pushed total receipts up by 13.4 percent from April 2005.
· World Trade Center's 'Survivor Staircase' Named Most Endangered Historic Place. Anyplace else, the scarred concrete steps would be an eyesore. At ground zero on Sept. 11, 2001, they were a last chance for escape. Now they stand as the last surviving above-ground piece of the World Trade Center. The "Survivors Staircase," as the steps are known, was named one of the nation's most endangered historic places Wednesday.
· Some 200 pounds of stolen explosives surface in Riverside. A few hundred pounds of explosives stolen from a storage bunker in Big Bear City surfaced Wednesday when someone left two containers filled with dynamite in front of a fire station here, authorities said. Investigators were still searching for the remainder of the 500 pounds of explosives and a 30-pound bag of ammonium nitrate reported stolen from the mine company.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
· The 'Day Without Immigrants' Backfires. With last month's barrage of anti-immigration-enforcement protests, Americans had their fill of the issue. So when organizers insisted on continuing the offensive with a nationwide boycott aimed at crippling the nation's economy on May 1, it was a political disaster waiting to happen. While some may have been inconvenienced by the experience, the economy hardly came to a grinding halt, and may have done more damage to industries and businesses that employ illegal immigrants - many of them Hispanic-owned.
· Photo Offer Of Stillborn Son Sent To Mom. A company's apparent coding error mistakenly sent a Central Florida mother a solicitation to buy a photograph of her stillborn son. "What they're doing is wrong. What they're doing is sick," the stillborn's mother Fawn Martin-Hall said. "I asked them how they had a picture of my son when he had been stillborn?" Local 6 News discovered that hospitals routinely photograph newborn and stillborn children.
· Palestinian's second guessing their vote for Hamas? With one in four of the Palestinian population supported by government salaries that continue to go unpaid, and continuing healthcare shortages, some are questioning whether the new Hamas authority was a life-threatening mistake. The World Bank warned this week that its earlier predictions of a 50% rise in poverty in the occupied territories this year, driven by a sharp fall in personal income and a 23% increase in unemployment, may have been "too rosy", because it underestimated the western sanctions against Hamas.
· Band manager gets 4 years for nightclub fire deaths. A band manager who started a nightclub fire that killed 100 people in February 2003 was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in prison with 11 of them suspended, meaning he will serve 4 years. Daniel Biechele admitted 100 counts of involuntary manslaughter for igniting a fireworks display at a Great White concert that caused the deadliest blaze in Rhode Island history.
· Deputies indicted in connection with arrest of state attorney's daughter. Two Flagler County Sheriff's Corrections deputies were placed on adminstrative leave after they were indicted on felony charges of false inprisonment, battery and culapable negligence, officials announced this afternoon. The charges are the alleged mishanding of the arrest of Lisa Tanner, the 29-year-old daughter of 7th Judicial Circuit State Attorney John Tanner.
· Tony the Tiger to blame for accident with police cruiser. Police say a man eating a bowl of cereal while driving accidently hit the back of a deputy's vehicle last Friday in Seminole, Florida. Lance Kocses faces charges for failing to yield the right of way. Accident investigators say Kocses was eating a bowl of Frosted Flakes and was distracted.
· Snoop Dogg banned from future flights on British Airways. Snoop Dogg flew into London Wednesday for a meeting with police after getting involved in a brawl at British Airways' first-class lounge in Heathrow Airport last month, where seven officers were injured. A spokesman for British Airways said Snoop has been banned from future travel on the airline.
· Prom Dates Get Criminal Background Checks. As state officials investigate the legality of a controversial prom policy at a Cape Cod high school, administrators and police are saying little about unauthorized criminal background checks they conducted on 40 student dates who do not attend the school.
· Ionic air purifiers make smog. Here's how to create your own personal Stage 2 Smog Alert: Buy an indoor air purifier. Using a popular process called ionization, the air cleaners can actually generate ozone levels in a room that exceed the worst smog days in Los Angeles, a new study finds. The devices are popular in urban areas. They are touted as getting rid of dust, pollen and other airborne particles. In a small and poorly ventilated room, the ozone adds to existing ozone and creates potentially unhealthy concentrations.
· Cingular Pulls Offensive Ringtone. Cingular Wireless LLC pulled a ringtone from its Web site Tuesday after learning that it carried a message the company called "blatantly offensive." The ringtone started with a siren, followed by a male voice saying in a Southern drawl, "This is la Migra," a slang term for the Border Patrol. "Por favor, put the oranges down and step away from the cell phone. I repeat-o, put the oranges down and step away from the telephone-o. I'm deporting you back home-o."
· San Antonio Sues Online Companies for Taxes. The city of San Antonio is suing Expedia, Travelocity and other online hotel booking agencies in an attempt to collect occupancy taxes it says the Internet companies aren't paying. City Attorney Michael Bernard said the practice had shorted the city about $10 million since 1999.
· Warhol painting fetches 11.8 million dollars. An Andy Warhol canvas portraying a can of Campbell's Soup was auctioned off here for nearly 11.8 million dollars, Christie's auction house reported. The sale of "Small Torn Campbell's Soup Can (Pepper Pot)," a 1962 canvas, set a record for work from the artist's "Campbell Soup" series.
· Disco Ball Toy May Have Sparked Fire That Killed Children. Chuck E. Cheese's restaurants across the nation began pulling a popular toy off its shelves Tuesday after fire officials started looking into the toy as part of its investigation into what caused a fire that killed two children in Jacksonville, Florida.
· Plan Devised for Illegal Immigrant Hiring. Employers would have to check Social Security numbers and the immigration status of all new hires under a tentative Senate agreement on toughening sanctions against people who provide jobs to illegal immigrants. Employers found to have actually hired illegal immigrants once an electronic system for the checks is in place could be fined up to $20,000 per unauthorized worker and even sentenced to jail for repeat offenses.
· Man told to pay damages for failed suicide bid. A German man who unsuccessfully tried to kill himself by jumping in front of a train must pay compensation for the damage he caused, a court in the southern city of Munich ruled on Tuesday.
· Meth lab in home yields 'hospital room.' A home where police found a "super" drug lab last week also housed an elaborate hospital-like operation - stocked with thousands of dollars in medical equipment, surgical tools and supplies - that authorities believe was to be used to treat injured criminals.
· Churchill attorney threatens to sue over "witch hunt." David Lane, the attorney for CU Professor Ward Churchill sent a letter to the University of Colorado on Tuesday evening saying he wants the investigation and allegations about Professor Churchill to stop immediately. Churchill created a firestorm in an essay after 9-11 in which he referred to victims of the terrorist attack as "little Eichmanns." He was also questioned about whether he lied about his Indian ancestry in order to obtain a job at the University in ethnic studies.
· Half of new teachers quit within 5 years. According to a new study from teachers' union the National Education Association, half of new U.S. teachers are likely to quit within the first five years because of poor working conditions and low salaries.
· Insane criminals smart enough to escape. Two men being held as criminally insane have escaped from an Ohio state mental hospital. Damien Corley and Nathan Young created "dummy-like figures" in their beds to conceal their escape from the Heartland Behavioral Center in Masillon, the Canton Repository reported.
· Spears confirms: Another baby on the way. Pop star Britney Spears told late-night talk show host David Letterman she's pregnant again. "Don't worry, Dave, it's not yours," Spears told the comedian in a taping of his CBS show airing Tuesday night.
· City Fines People Who Feed Stray Cats. The city of Clermont, Iowa isn't going to pussyfoot around when it comes to stray cats. The City Council has decided that anyone who feeds the cuddly creatures are aiding a nuisance.
Tuesday, May 9, 2006
· Judge: California exam discriminates against the poor. A judge said Monday he is likely to prohibit the state from requiring that high school seniors pass an exit exam to graduate, siding with attorneys who say the test discriminates against the poor.
· Mortgage Mess. Home foreclosures in the first quarter of 2006 were up 72% over a year earlier, according to a study by RealtyTrak. And in such states as Alabama, Michigan and Missouri, a fifth of homeowners in the higher-interest subprime category of ARMS were at least 30 days late in making a mortgage payment at the end of 2005, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The median first-time home buyer's deposit last year was just 2% of the price, while 43% of first-timers put down nothing. That means those real estate newbies will eventually face a sizable chunk of loan principal paired with growing interest payments.
· Court Declines to Hear 'Pee Diddy' Appeal. New York's highest court declined Tuesday to hear Sean "Pee Diddy" Combs' appeal of a lower court decision ordering him to pay more than $19,000 a month in child support payments. The hip-hop mogul was ordered last year to pay ex-girlfriend Misa Hylton-Brim for the care of their 12-year-old son Justin. Combs, 36, also pays child support to model Kim Porter for their son, Christian.
· U.S. tipping Mexico to Minuteman patrols. While Minuteman civilian patrols are keeping an eye out for illegal border crossers, the U.S. Border Patrol is keeping an eye out for Minutemen - and telling the Mexican government where they are. According to three documents on the Mexican Secretary of Foreign Relations Web site, the U.S. Border Patrol is to notify the Mexican government as to the location of Minutemen and other civilian border patrol groups when they participate in apprehending illegal immigrants.
· New Orleans getting back to normal. A man wielding a bottle attacked two women in a Bourbon Street bar early Tuesday, then apparently shot to death a man who escorted them outside to wait for an ambulance, police said.
· Man Charged With Sexual Abuse In Florida Won't Go To Prison. 19-year-old man arrested last year on charges that he sexually abused children in Lakeland, Florida at his mother's home in day care won't be going to prison. As part of a plea deal, Antoin Charles Barber was sentenced to a year of house arrest, followed by 12 years of sex offender probation. Barber is required to live at his mother's home.
· Man Robs Bank, Then Orders Pancakes. A Bucks County man robbed a bank Monday, and his stomach landed him in jail, according to police. Police said Mario Caracoza stole $4,000 from a Bank of America, then a witness watched him walk next door to the diner and order five stacks of pancakes.
· Drug abuse: "Wealthy go to rehab, the poor go to prison." Like Limbaugh, Richard Paey suffers severe back pain. Also like Limbaugh, he was accused of illegally obtaining large quantities of painkillers. Unlike Limbaugh, Paey went to prison. He’s serving the third year of a 25-year term. His wife said that when he heard how Limbaugh settled his case last week — by agreeing to pay $30,000 and submit to drug tests — Paey offered a simple explanation: “The wealthy and influential go to rehab, while the poor and powerless go to prison.”
· U.S. has second worst newborn death rate in modern world. An estimated 2 million babies die within their first 24 hours each year worldwide and the United States has the second worst newborn mortality rate in the developed world.
· Mother Charged With Lacing Cookies With Ex-Lax. A woman from New Portland is charged with helping her daughter and two other teenagers bake cookies laced with a laxative. The cookies baked with Ex-Lax were left on a teacher's desk. Julie Hunt, 43, was arrested Friday after an investigation into the prank that sickened four 7th- and 8th-grade children.
· Spammer gets 57 months in prison. A 20-year-old who prosecutors say highjacked computers to damage computer networks and send waves of spam across the Internet was sentenced on Monday to nearly five years in prison. Jeanson James Ancheta, a well-known member of the "Botmaster Underground" who pleaded guilty in January to federal charges of conspiracy, fraud and damaging U.S. government computers, was given the longest sentence for spreading computer viruses, federal prosecutors said. "Your worst enemy is your own intellectual arrogance that somehow the world cannot touch you on this," Judge Klausner said in sentencing Ancheta.
· IRS Analyst Threatened Arresting Officers With Audits. An Internal Revenue Service employee who threatened police detectives with audits during her arrest on an unrelated harassment charge has had her conviction reinstated by a federal appeals court.
· South Carolina: Guns OK, Sex Toys Are Not. While virtually anyone can purchase a gun in "less than fifteen minutes," a new South Carolina bill would make the sale of sex toys "a felony, punishable by imprisonment of up to five years, a ten thousand dollar fine - or both."
· Durham Police Reportedly Said Duke Rape Accuser ‘Not Credible.’ Duke University officials underestimated the rape allegations against members of the lacrosse team in part because city police initially said the accuser "kept changing her story and was not credible." That's according to a university report issued yesterday. The report says the day after the team party where a black woman claimed she was raped, Durham police told campus officers that "this will blow over." It said the woman initially told police she was raped by 20 white men, then said three.
· Star Jones gets the boot? Star Jones Reynolds has been told to hitch up her hefty wagonload of freebies and waddle off into the sunset, according to the New York Post. ABC will announce this week that the big-boned talking head is out at "The View," a source close to the inner workings of the late-morning gabfest tells Page Six. What network brass won't say is that she's being unceremoniously ousted at the direct behest of the show's grand dame Barbara Walters and the incoming Rosie O'Donnell.
· Fla. Man Is Bogus British Nobleman. Fingerprint records have confirmed that a man who assumed the name of a dead baby and created a bogus identity as an English nobleman is an American who has been missing for more than 20 years. Charles Albert Stopford III, a 43-year-old native of Clearwater, Fla., who was arrested in January 2005 and convicted of identity theft, insisted he was born Christopher Edward Buckingham in 1963 and was the Earl of Buckingham.
· Man wants refund for fighter jet purchase. A Chinese businessman who bought a Russian fighter jet online wants his money back after finding it could not be shipped to China, state media reported on Tuesday. Zhang Cheng, a Beijing businessman, bid $24,730 and paid a $2,000 deposit for the former Czech air force plane on Chinese-based eBay, Xinhua news agency said.
· Whoopi Goldberg to Host Radio Show. Whoopi Goldberg announced Monday she'll be joining the growing ranks of radio voices this summer when she launches a live, syndicated program, "Wake Up With Whoopi." "I'm going to talk to people. People are going to talk to me. I'm going to be singing and dancing in my chair. I'm going to wake people up," Goldberg told The Associated Press by phone. "I want to have a good time in the morning and I want everyone who wakes up with me to have a good time."
· CIA chief quits after 'Hookergate.' All the ingredients for a spy thriller involving prostitutes, poker, a congressman called Randy and parties at the legendary Watergate complex may lie behind the sudden resignation of Porter Goss as director of the CIA last Friday. The saga has already been named “Hookergate” and the CIA is buzzing with rumours that there is more to Goss’s departure than meets the eye.
· Blaine pulled from water short of goal. Stunt artist David Blaine was pulled from an aquarium by divers Monday nearly two minutes short of his goal of setting a world record for holding his breath underwater. Blaine was trying to free himself from chains and handcuffs while bidding to break the record of 8 minutes, 58 seconds for holding one's breath underwater. The stunt, following a weeklong endurance challenge underwater, was televised live by ABC.
· Armoured suits are 'too goofy' say US troops. American troops have complained that a new armoured body suit designed to be worn in Iraq makes them look "goofy." The water-cooled "alien spacesuits" are being handed out to turret gunners in their notoriously vulnerable Humvee vehicles.
· Man Accused Of Rigging Gas Pumps To Steal Fuel. St. Louis police have arrested a man suspected of reprogramming service station gas pumps, allowing him to steal gasoline. The crime cost several stations tens of thousands of dollars as hundreds of motorists drove away with free gas before operators realized what had happened. Police arrested a 23-year-old man. When they searched the Cadillac Escalade he was driving, they discovered keys to pump lock boxes, and code books with computerized programs for the pumps.
· Microsoft's Plan to Map the World in Real Time. Researchers at Microsoft are working on technology that they hope will someday enable people to browse online maps for up-to-the-minute information about local gas prices, traffic flows, restaurant wait times, and more. Eventually, says Suman Nath, a Microsoft researcher who works on the project, which is called SenseWeb, they would like to incorporate the technology into Windows Live Local, the company's online mapping platform.
· Neighborhood in L.A. tries to halt adult movie shooting. On Easter Sunday, inside the million-dollar houses on a quiet cul-de-sac in Encino, the neighborhood kids delighted in what the Easter Bunny had brought. Then, about 10 a.m., the adult film stars showed up. A neighbor told his 9-year-old daughter to stay inside while what he described as a "prison-yard break" - a large film crew, many of its members covered in tattoos - entered the house. Then scantily clad women arrived.
· Flying robot attack "unstoppable": experts. It may sound like science fiction, but the prospect that suicide bombers and hijackers could be made redundant by flying robots is a real one, according to experts. The technology for remote-controlled light aircraft is now highly advanced, widely available - and, experts say, virtually unstoppable. Models with a wingspan of 16 feet, capable of carrying up to 110 pounds, remain undetectable by radar. And thanks to satellite positioning systems, they can now be programmed to hit targets some distance away with just a few metres (yards) short of pinpoint accuracy. Security services the world over have been considering the problem for several years, but no one has yet come up with a solution.
Monday, May 8, 2006
· Fox News' Murdoch to host fundraiser for Hillary Clinton campaign. Rupert Murdoch, the conservative media mogul whose New York Post tabloid savaged Hillary Clinton's initial aspirations to become a US senator for New York, has agreed to host a political fundraiser for her re-election campaign.
· Bush Orders Darfur Aid; Translator Hacked To Death. President Bush called for more U.N. peacekeepers for the Darfur region of Sudan on Monday and pledged an increase in U.S. food aid. He also welcomed a proposed peace accord as "the beginnings of hope" for Darfur's poverty-stricken population, while residents of a Darfur refugee camp hacked a translator to death.
· Lesbians' brains respond like straight men. Lesbians' brains reacted somewhat, though not completely, like those of heterosexual men, a team of Swedish researchers said in Tuesday's edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "The important thing is to be open to the likely situation that there are biological factors that contribute to sexual orientation."
· New Orleans Real Estate Market Booming. The 2,200-square-foot house promises three spacious bedrooms and two- and-a-half baths _ a bargain at $175,000. Except for the fact that the home, located in one of this city's previously elegant neighborhoods, has been gutted to the studs and has no drywall, no wallboard, nor fixtures.
· Buffett's cash crisis. Most companies struggle to produce excess cash after paying all their costs. Warren Buffett's investments are so lucrative that he struggles to find ways to put all their excess Berkshire Hathaway cash - $37 billion - to work.
· Nicole Kidman apparently needs some publicity. Five years after Tom Cruise filed for divorce, Nicole Kidman says the divorce from Cruise was a "major shock" — and, she still loves him. "That was a major shock," the 38-year-old actress says in an interview in the June issue of Ladies' Home Journal.
· Moussaoui asks for new trial. Less than a week after he was jailed for life over the September 11 attacks, Al-Qaeda plotter Zacarias Moussaoui submitted a motion asking to withdraw his guilty plea so he can have a new trial. "Moussaoui wishes to withdraw his guilty plea because when he entered the plea his 'understanding of the American legal system was completely flawed'," his lawyers said in the motion. Moussaoui said in an affadavit "I now see that it is possible that I can receive a fair trial" in the United States.
· Teacher With Porn Past Hopes For Bible-Belt Forgiveness. A teacher in Kentucky is considering what to do about being fired from her job after officials learned she appeared in an adult movie more than 10 years ago. Tericka Dye told WKYX in Paducah that she was in the adult entertainment business for only a matter of hours, recognized her mistake, and turned her life around.
· Former Band Manager's Sentencing Hearing Begins. The sentencing hearing for the former Great White band manager who set off the pyrotechnics that sparked the deadly Station Nightclub fire will begin on Monday with victim impact statements. Daniel Biechele will be sentenced for his role in the fire on Wednesday after he pleaded guilty earlier this year to 100 counts of involuntary manslaughter. Biechele could serve up to 10 years in prison under his plea agreement.
· Humanitarians Accused Of Trading Sex For Food. Aid workers and U.N. peacekeepers are trading food for sex with young girls in Liberian camps housing those left homeless by years of war, an aid group said Monday. Save the Children, which surveyed nearly 160 children and about 170 adults who were either living in camps or had recently returned home, said they were told of girls having sex with older men in exchange for money, food and other goods.
· Bush corrects fish story in newly-released transcript. President Bush says his best moment in office was the time he caught a 7 1/2-pound largemouth bass - not a perch, as was earlier reported in a German newspaper.
· Fan gets Bonds' 713th ball - but no autograph. Carlos Oliveras has a home run ball specially marked to assure authenticity. It just doesn't have Barry Bonds' autograph as the slugger refused to sign the ball. The 25-year-old Air Force serviceman bought his lucky ticket because he wanted to see Bonds chase Babe Ruth on the career home run list.
· Man arrested for impersonating a police officer. A man who met a woman online is accused of posing as a police detective, and his 18-year old date says he had a car equipped with police gear and carried a badge. But her father got suspicious when he heard the story. Her dad, a real detective, quickly exposed the guy.
· Report: Keith Richards undergoes brain surgery. Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards had surgery to relieve a blood clot on his brain caused by an accident while on vacation in Fiji, local media reported Monday. The 62-year-old rocker was recovering in New Zealand after “brain surgery,” Australian and New Zealand media reported.
· Ruling Allows Apple’s iTunes To Use Beatles’ Apple Corps Logo. The Beatles' Apple Corps has lost its bid to prevent Apple Computer from using the apple logo for its iTunes music enterprise. The record label claimed that the U.S.-based computer company broke a 1991 agreement in which each agreed not to enter into the other's field of business.
· Three die in Fatah-Hamas clashes. Three Palestinians have been killed and 10 wounded in clashes in southern Gaza between rival Hamas and Fatah gunmen. This is the most serious internal Palestinian violence since Hamas defeated Fatah in January's elections and formed a government.
Sunday, May 7, 2006
· Juror freed from bench-sitting punishment. A federal grand juror who was ordered to sit on a court bench three days a week, every other week, after he balked at serving on the jury has been freed from his punishment. William Schramm, 31, got himself in trouble after he wrote the judge saying he wanted excused from the jury because he 'lacked respect for law enforcement and the way trials are conducted, expected a six-month jury assignment would bankrupt him, and he believes minorities were more violent and criminal than whites,' according to the judge.
· Using plants to help locate landmines. Researchers at the University of Alberta, Duke University in North Carolina and other schools are trying to develop plants that will alert people to the presence of landmines by changing colour if their roots detect compounds, such as TNT, commonly used in mines.
· Cambridge: 'Illegal Immigrants Welcome Here.' The Cambridge, Mass. City Council is set to vote Monday to reaffirm its sanctuary status, which instructs police and other agencies not to inquire about a person's immigration status when providing government services. The proposal would establish an immigrant rights and citizenship commission to "ensure the equal status of immigrants in education, employment, health care, housing, political, social and legal spheres."
· Man Arrested for Driving Drunk on Lawn Mower. Dondi Bowles of Vermilion, Ohio was arrested Friday night as he drove the mower on a sidewalk. Police say a breath test showed that Bowles' blood alcohol level was .144 percent, which is over the legal limit of .08 percent.
· Mission Impossible 3 fails to accomplish predictions. Fewer people chose to accept Tom Cruise's latest mission, a possible sign that the odd behavior of Hollywood's biggest star may have taken a toll on his box-office charm.
· $3 a gallon? Not at the fuel bank. Most motorists are feeling the pain as gasoline creeps toward, or over, $3 a gallon — but not Art Altrichter. "This feels pretty good!" Altrichter said as he filled the tank of his Ford F-150 pickup for $2.03 a gallon on Thursday, when the average here was $2.73. "Right now, to be a few pennies over $2, when it's as high as it is? That's a real deal." A year ago, the retired milk truck driver bought 500 gallons of gas at First Fuel Banks, locking it in at the then-current price of $2.03 a gallon. He taps that reserve whenever gas rises above that mark.
· Polygamist Makes FBI's 10 Most Wanted List. Polygamist church leader Warren Jeffs has been placed on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list in hopes that the additional exposure and reward money will lead to his arrest. Jeffs, 50, is accused of arranging marriages between underage girls and older men.
· Titanic's Last American Survivor, 99, Dies. Lillian Gertrud Asplund, the last American survivor of the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, has died, a funeral home said Sunday. Asplund, who was just 5 years old, lost her father and three brothers — including a fraternal twin — when the "practically unsinkable" ship went down in the North Atlantic after hitting an iceberg.
· Woman Doing Nails Causes Flight To Be Diverted. A woman doing her nails caused a United Airlines flight to be diverted on Saturday. Authorities said United Flight 787 from Chicago to San Diego landed in Denver after the flight crew detected a funny odor. Nail polish is allowed on commercial flights.
· Girl, 13, admits sex with 7 was consensual. A 13-year-old girl who told Zion police she was raped by seven boys in an apartment complex laundry room last month has recanted her original statement that she was forced to engage in the sexual activity.
· Bush's best moment in office? Reeling in big perch. President George W. Bush told a German newspaper his best moment in more than five years in office was catching a big perch in his own lake. "You know, I've experienced many great moments and it's hard to name the best," Bush told weekly Bild am Sonntag when asked about his high point since becoming president in January 2001. "I would say the best moment of all was when I caught a 7.5 pound perch in my lake."
· Mayor apologizes over spending at strip club. After revelations that he racked up $1,462 in Chicago strip club charges on his government credit card, one of Will County's most prominent municipal leaders found himself on the defensive Tuesday. Though Mike Smith, the president of New Lenox, Illinois reimbursed the village for the charges with a personal check, he conceded he made "a very, very bad mistake.
· Hate groups use U.S. Internet servers. Hate groups around the world, including Islamic militants, often use Internet servers based in the United States to send propaganda and instructions to followers, according to a report released Thursday by the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
· 3 Construction Workers Trapped in Concrete Are Killed. A support frame collapsed at a high-rise construction project Saturday, killing three workers who became trapped in quick-drying concrete as co-workers dug to try to free them, authorities said.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Eclectic [e·clec·tic] adj. 1. Composed of elements drawn from various sources 2. Not following any one system, but selecting and using what are considered the best elements of all systems. "An eclectic taste in music; an eclectic approach to managing the business.
· N.J. Scraps 2nd Slogan in Less Than Year. New Jersey: "We're Not So Good With Slogans." The state has jettisoned "Come See For Yourself," its second attempt at a tagline in less than a year. It was the product of a statewide contest set up by then-acting Gov. Richard J. Codey last fall, after he rejected a consultant's offering: "We'll Win You Over."
· Men detained 3 hours for school materials. Five airline passengers speaking in foreign languages and carrying "aircraft flight materials" were briefly detained Saturday until authorities determined they were simply returning to their home countries after attending a U.S. helicopter training school.
· Government rescues six-figure 'poor.' A six-figure salary doesn't guarantee a home on Long Island anymore. Long Island's home prices have climbed so high - even in a market that has leveled in recent months - that government officials are starting to offer unprecedented help once reserved for poor and working-class families to ever higher reaches of the middle class.
· Gay Figure Skaters Claim Rink Discriminates. Two gay figure skaters from San Francisco are suing an East Bay ice rink. The men - who are partners on the ice, but not romantically - say they've been discriminated against. It's all about the "physical contact" on the ice. Alan and John have a lot of moves in their skating routines as they train for this summer's Gay Games in Chicago. But they say it is one move - holding hands - that got them in trouble at Berkeley Iceland, when a hostile manager confronted them on two occasions.
· Kansas setting minimum marriage age to 15. Kansas sets limit on child brides. After a pregnant 14-year-old from Nebraska drove to Kansas last year to marry her 22-year-old boyfriend, now serving time for having sex with the minor, Kansas lawmakers decided it was time the set a minimum marriage age.
· Goss: CIA resignation 'one of those mysteries' Porter Goss said Saturday that his surprise resignation as CIA director is "just one of those mysteries," offering no other explanation for his sudden departure after almost two years on the job.
Saturday, May 6, 2006
· Mystery woman tried to stop Kennedy, report says. Patrick Kennedy was with a woman at his Capitol Hill home Wednesday night before he smashed his Mustang convertible into a barricade near a House office building, according to a published report. “She tried to dissuade me” from leaving the house, he told The Providence Journal. “And she wishes she had done a better job dissuading me.”
· Las Vegas ex-officials guilty in 'G-sting' scandal. Two former politicians were convicted of taking bribes from a strip-club owner in a corruption scandal so laced with sex and money that it shocked a town where indulgence is an industry.
· Police: Pot With Mom Was Boy's Homework Reward. A 13-year-old Pennsylvania boy said his mother required him to do his homework first thing when he got off the school bus - then smoked marijuana with him as a reward. According to court documents, she'd been doing it since the boy was 11.
· McKinney Backers: 'Double Standard?' Congressman Patrick Kennedy said he does not recall the accident, or the citations from the Capitol Police. But a police union official charged senior officers ordered the patrol officers to leave the scene; blocked them from running field sobriety tests; and later gave Kennedy a ride home. According to Rainbow-PUSH Southern Director Joe Beasley, and close friend of Cynthia McKinney, Capitol Police appear to have responded in one way to Kennedy's accident; and in a different way when McKinney first walked past a security checkpoint on March 29 - an incident in which the police charge McKinney struck an officer who challenged her.
· Quizno's Cup Attacked. For four years, Tammy Scattell has been hiring teenagers to fill a Quizno's cup costume and advertise her Quizno's store. Now, she can't get anyone to do it. "They're like, 'Let's just give it some time.' They are afraid to go out now. It's kind of scary," Scattell said. The cup suit is a great marketing tool. But police said a teen inside the suit took punches and kicks from a man who pulled over to attack him along Route 30 while his buddies took pictures of it on their camera phones.
· Priest charged with allegedly abusing two boys. A priest already accused of molesting three boys was charged Friday with allegedly sexually abusing two more boys, authorities said. Prosecutors charged the Rev. Daniel McCormack with two counts of criminal sexual abuse for allegedly molesting a 10-year-old and an 11-year-old.
· Book Deal for Ex-C.I.A. Officer. Valerie Plame, the former Central Intelligence Agency officer whose identity was publicly disclosed three years ago, has agreed to sell her memoir for a little more than $2.5 million, according to people involved in the bidding process for the book.
· Jackson Angry at GQ for Spoof Photos. A recent GQ article spoofing Michael Jackson has the singer demanding the magazine apologize and pull the issue from circulation. In a statement released Friday, Jackson's representative, Raymone K. Bain, said Jackson is "furious" about a series of photos featuring a Jackson impersonator in the magazine's May issue, now on newsstands.
· Investigators Look Into Huge Bounced Check. A PNC bank branch in North Jersey waived its normal procedures and accepted for deposit a $25 million check at a drive-through teller window. Real estate investor Solomon Dwek of Ocean Township often conducted large transactions that way. Turns out the check bounced big-time, but not before Dwek wired $23 million of PNC's funds into other accounts, according to ABC News.
· Obesity not in eye of beholder. Obese people have a blind spot when it comes to their own weight problem, according to a study that showed only 15 percent of people in that category view themselves as obese.
· Producer Sues TV's "Dog Whisperer." Take his wife, steal his money... but never mess with a man's dog. Television producer Flody Suarez has sued celebrity dog trainer Cesar Millan, alleging that his Labrador retriever Gator was injured at the canine guru's training facility.
Friday, May 5, 2006
· Michelle Wie makes first men's tourney cut. Michelle Wie accomplished something in her ancestral homeland she had failed to do in seven previous tries elsewhere: The American teen made the cut at a men's tournament.
· News anchor arrested on statutory rape charges. The news anchor on "Good Morning Memphis" has been arrested on a statutory rape warrant from Maryland. TBI agentys picked up the 69-year-old Ron Meroney yesterday afternoon at his home, on statutory rape charges of a child under the age of 14.
· Gay Marriage Foes Face Issue in Schools. Ever since her 5-year-old brought home a book from kindergarten that depicted a gay family, Tonia Parker has felt that her parenting has been under attack in the only state that allows same-sex marriage.
· Bible College Student Charged With Burning Adult Bookstore. A Bible college student has been charged with arson for allegedly setting fire to an adult bookstore. Benjamin Daniel Warren, 20, is a student at Crown College, a fundamental Baptist college in Knoxville. Police said he confessed to the crime and told investigators he realized it was a sin.
· Update: Kennedy entering rehab after crash. Rep. Patrick Kennedy said Friday he is entering a drug rehabilitation program, following the car accident Thursday in which he slammed into a security barrier on Capitol Hill. "I simply do not remember getting out of bed or being pulled over by police."
· Hostess: "Kennedy was drinking a little bit.” A hostess at a popular Capitol Hill watering hole told the Herald she saw him drinking in the hours before the crash. “He was drinking a little bit,” said the woman, who works at the Hawk & Dove and would not give her name.
· Worker Fired, Then Sued By Former Employer. Firing a worker for lackluster job performance apparently wasn't enough for one company. Now, the company is suing to recover the man's salary and the profits it says it lost. U.S. Card Partner Services fired its sales director last year after just eight months on the job. The lawsuit for breach of contract claimed he misled the company about his qualifications, and it said he spent too much time playing with his iPod and making personal calls.
· Kentucky trooper provided alcohol to minors. A deputy sheriff in Kentucky resigned after being arrested on two counts of unlawful transaction with a minor. James A. Bunch, 25, of Russell Springs was accused of providing alcohol to one of two teenage girls with him earlier this week, said Kentucky State Police Trooper Dwaine Barnett.
· OJ's advice on the Kentucky Derby. OJ Simpson, who says he doesn't do a lot of gambling, is picking Lawyer Ron to win the Run for the Roses. "I love lawyers. I know all about lawyers. Give me Lawyer Ron. If there was a Lawyer Johnnie, I would bet my house."
· Another Kennedy car crash cover-up? Rep. Patrick Kennedy, son of Sen. Ted Kennedy, said Thursday he was apparently disoriented by medication when he crashed his car into a barricade on Capitol Hill overnight. Officers at the scene reported seeing the car swerve before the crash and said Kennedy appeared intoxicated. There was no indication that a sobriety test was given.
· Lingerie, Sex Toys Made Tax-Deductible For Prostitutes In Australia. Tax officials in Australia issued a list of "tools of the trade" sex workers can deduct on their taxes. Among other things, the list issued on the Internet includes adult toys, lingerie, condoms, gels and oils.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Ephemeral [e·phem·er·al] adj. 1. Lasting for a markedly brief time: "The ephemeral nature of slang." 2. Living or lasting only for a day, as with certain plants or insects.
· Family Kicked Out Of Buffet Restaurant For Wasting Food. Wendy Dershem may think twice before leaving that egg roll on her plate at her next Chinese buffet. The Des Moines woman, her boyfriend and her two children were kicked out of a restaurant last week after management accused her of leaving too much food on her plate.
· Randy Quaid drops "Brokeback Mountain" lawsuit. Actor Randy Quaid has dropped his $10 million lawsuit against the makers of Brokeback Mountain, saying they agreed to pay him more money, but the studio said on Thursday it knew of no deal.
· Star salaries coming down in Hollywood. Poor Jim Carrey. His movies have raked in nearly $2 billion at box offices, but now a leading entertainment magazine says the comedian's asking price of $25 million a film has become "a bit of a gamble."
· Castro worth $900 million: Forbes. Cuban President Fidel Castro was furious when Forbes magazine estimated his fortune at $550 million last year. This year, the magazine upped its estimate of the communist leader's wealth to a cool $900 million.
· Nearly 40 DirectTV Techs Fired After News Report. Nearly 40 DirectTV installers were fired this week after giving on-camera interviews to Local 6 News about a company policy they say forced them to lie to Florida customers.
Thursday, May 4, 2006
· France may seek Moussaoui transfer. France may ask the United States to allow Zacarias Moussaoui to serve his life prison sentence in a French jail, the French Foreign Ministry said on Thursday. Moussaoui, a 37-year old French citizen of Moroccan origin, was sentenced on Thursday to life in prison with no possibility of release. Moussaoui's mother and his lawyer want him to be allowed to serve his sentence in France. "A possible demand for transferring Zacarias Moussaoui could be looked at within this framework," Foreign Ministry spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mattei said.
· FCC approves Internet wiretapping taxes. Broadband providers and Internet phone companies will have to pick up the tab for the cost of building in mandatory wiretap access for police surveillance, federal regulators ruled yesterday.
· New book calls New Orleans mayor a coward. A new book about the Katrina catastrophe paints a portrait of New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin as a clueless, collapsing coward who hid out after the hurricane in a high-rise hotel - and had to be rousted out of Air Force One's bathroom.
· Moussaoui curses America but judge gets final word. Publicly blasting the United States one last time, al Qaeda terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui said: "God curse America. God bless and save Osama bin Laden - you will never get him," he told a packed federal courtroom that included family members of people killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema responded: "You came here to be a martyr and die in a big bang of glory. But instead you will die with a whimper," she said.
· Alligator Bites Florida Real Estate Tycoon. Ronald Bergeron wanted to put on a show when he came across a nearly 8-foot alligator while giving guests a tour of his private nature preserve. The alligator had another idea. Bergeron, a South Florida real estate tycoon, was bitten on the hand while trying to wrestle the animal and dragged into water 15-feet deep Sunday.
· Mayor to return money after death threats. The mayor of Fort Lupton, Colorado, who operates two funeral homes, has been afforded police protection after receiving death threats following a 7NEWS investigation that revealed he has refused to repay money illegally kept from the family of a U.S. Marine who died.
· Man Tries To Smuggle Pork In Baby Diapers. Border authorities inspecting a car crossing into the United States from Mexico uncovered an ordinary, but banned food item hiding in a strange place. Customs and Border Protection officers and agriculture agents searching a man's car Sunday found 2 pounds of raw pork sausage hidden inside disposable baby diapers.
· Hospital may have exposed obese patients to HIV. Scripps Memorial Hospital in San Diego was contacting some 300 morbidly obese patients after learning they may have been exposed to hepatitis or HIV by poorly cleaned instruments used in stomach-reduction operations.
· Fast-Food Worker Tosses Grease at Customer. A fast-food worker at Checkers restaurant in West Philadelphia tossed a cup of hot grease on a customer, giving the woman second- and third-degree burns on her arms and chest, authorities said.
· 'World's oldest person' turns 128. Friends and relatives of Cruz Hernandez’s gathered Wednesday to celebrate her 128th birthday, a milestone that might make her the world’s oldest person. She has 13 children, 60 grandchildren, 80 great-grandchildren and 25 great-great grandchildren.
· Update: Fox now reconsidering Mexican drug law. On Tuesday, Mexican President Vicente Fox’s spokesman had called the bill “an advance” and pledged the president would sign it. But the measure, passed Friday by Congress, drew a storm of criticism because it eliminates criminal penalties possession of small amounts of heroin, methamphetamines and PCP, as well as marijuana and cocaine.
· Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes Hammer Out Pre-Nup. Tom Cruise and fiancée Katie Holmes have signed a $40 million pre-nuptial agreement. The Hollywood couple - who welcomed their baby daughter, Suri, into the world last month - spent weeks thrashing out the details of the financial agreement, which determines who gets which assets if they ever split, according to StarPulse.com. A $15 million trust has been set up for Katie and her baby regardless of whether the couple wed. But if they do marry and later divorce, the Batman Begins beauty will receive an extra $25 million.
· Davis Awarded As ABC Shelves 'Commander.' On the same day Geena Davis accepted an award for her portrayal of a female president, ABC shelved "Commander in Chief" for the crucial May ratings sweeps. That's an ominous sign for the series' future. The remaining three episodes will air in June, the network said.
· Barkley says he’s lost $10 million gambling. Charles Barkley estimated that he’s lost about $10 million gambling over the years in an interview Wednesday. “My agent has really worked with me to try to get it where I can go and gamble and have fun,” Barkley told ESPN. “That’s easier said than done. Do I have a gambling problem? Yeah, I do have a gambling problem."
· Maid Of Honor Takes Bullet During Bouquet Toss. A Texas bridesmaid was struck by a stray bullet while preparing for the bouquet toss at her best friend's wedding reception. Maid of Honor Kristin Campbell said the bullet traveled far, more than a mile, and had lost most of its power after smashing through the roof of the ballroom where the reception was being held. The bullet fell out of Campbell's arm and onto the dance floor.
· Soda Distributors to End School Sales. The nation's largest beverage distributors have agreed to halt nearly all sales of sodas to public schools - a step that will remove the sugary, caloric drinks from vending machines and cafeterias around the country.
Wednesday, May 3, 2006
· Stay-at-home mom would be a high paying job. A full-time stay-at-home mother would earn $134,121 a year if paid for all her work, an amount similar to a top U.S. ad executive, a marketing director or a judge, according to a study released today.
· Tiger Woods' dad dies. Earl Woods, who was more determined to raise a good son than a great golfer and became the role model, architect and driving force behind Tiger Woods' phenomenal career, died this morning at his home in Cypress, Calif. He was 74.
· Husband: Marriage counselor had affair with wife. A McHenry County Illinois man is suing his marriage counselor, contending the therapist he hired to help improve his marriage instead began an affair with his wife. His lawsuit seeks more than $200,000 in punitive damages from his former counselor.
· Woman Gets 20 Years for Sex With Stepson. A 39-year-old woman who had sexual relationship with her teenage stepson and later gave birth to their child has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. Carla Kay Dinger pleaded guilty to sexual assault of a child before Tuesday's sentencing.
· Here comes the bride, there goes their money. A suburban Detroit woman who police say was married to three men at once, and scamming them all, was ordered Wednesday to stand trial on felony polygamy charges. Douglas Rice, one of the the three husbands, said he met Kyle McConnell on the Internet last summer and married her a few months later in a civil ceremony. According to police, she had a trail of as many as 15 husbands in her past.
· Fla. Woman Sets Snake, Apartment On Fire. After being told by her apartment complex that it was not management's responsibility to remove a snake from her porch, a Jacksonville woman set the reptile - and her apartment on fire.
· Walgreens Shut Down After Meth Lab Found In Parking Lot. Authorities say about 40 people were evacuated from a Lake City, Florida Walgreens after a methamphetamine laboratory was found in the trunk of a car in the store's parking lot.
· Reports: Rolling Stone 'has brain hemorrhage.' Rolling Stone Keith Richards is to undergo surgery after suffering a brain hemorrhage when he fell out of a palm tree, it was reported today. Richards, 62, was believed initially to have suffered only mild concussion in the accident in Fiji last Thursday.
· Sheriff to Start Posse Patrols to Curb Illegal Immigration Flow. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced that approximately 100 volunteer posse and Sheriff's Deputies will soon begin randomly patrolling the desert areas and main roadways in Arizona as part of an operation to curb the flow of illegal immigrants entering the county.
· Sex Offender Sues State. A convicted sex offender filed an anonymous lawsuit, stating that Maine's sex offender laws are unconstitutional and wants to be removed from the state's online sex offender registry. The man's lawsuit says he should not be publicly humiliated for something he did more than 20 years ago.
· Update: Mexico's Fox to OK drug decriminalization law. Mexico's president will approve a law that decriminalizes possession of small amounts of marijuana, cocaine and other drugs, the government said on Tuesday. Under the law, police will not penalize people for possessing up to 5 grams of marijuana, 5 grams of opium, 25 milligrams of heroin. Nor does the law penalize possession of 500 milligrams of cocaine.
· Duke prosecutor wins primary. The district attorney prosecuting two Duke University athletes on rape charges fought off two challengers in the Democratic primary Tuesday and vowed to continue pursuing the headline-grabbing case. "The case continues to go forward," said Mike Nifong.
· Fox, BBC, Al Jazeera most trusted-poll. One-quarter of consumers abandoned a news source over the past year because they lost trust in its reporting, according to a new survey that also found the BBC, Fox News and Al Jazeera the most trusted brands in their respective home regions.
· H.S. Teacher Accused Of Trying To Kill Student. A high school teacher in Belleville, Ill., was arrested and charged with breaking the neck of a 17-year-old student and then leaving her to die in some woods, according to police.
· Charity exec can't beat jail over dominatrix rap. An executive at a heart disease charitable foundation who embezzled close to a quarter of a million dollars over two years to pay a dominatrix to beat him was sentenced on Tuesday to two to six years in prison. Abraham Alexander, an accounts payable executive at the Manhattan Cardiovascular Research Foundation, admitted to stealing $237,162 and spending most of it on services provided by a Columbus, Ohio-based dominatrix called Lady Sage.
· Longtime TV host Louis Rukeyser dead at 73. Louis Rukeyser, a best-selling author, columnist, lecturer and television host who delivered pun-filled, common-sense commentary on complicated business and economic news, died Tuesday.
Tuesday, May 2, 2006
· Problem Drinkers Consume Almost Half Of All Liquor. Between 37.5 and 49 percent of the alcohol sold in the U.S. goes to those under the legal drinking age or those with alcohol problems, a new study says. "Underage and pathological drinkers are the alcohol industry's most valuable customers," said Joseph Califano.
· Another rapper shot to death. Big Hawk, a rapper whose 2001 album reached No. 45 on Billboard's rap chart, was shot to death, police said Tuesday. Hawk, whose real name was John Edward Hawkins, was a member of the late DJ Screw's rap collective the Screwed Up Click and brother to rapper Fat Pat, who was killed in 1998.
· Condemned man to executioner: 'It's not working.' A double murderer was put to death in Ohio Tuesday but not until after one of his veins collapsed, causing the condemned man to sit up and tell his executioners, "It's not working," officials said.
· Lakers player investigated for sexual assault. The LAPD is investigating a report of an alleged sexual assault involving Lakers player Kwame Brown. Brown is accused of assaulting a woman in a hotel somewhere in the Los Angeles area.
· 'Sopranos' Chef Busted for DWI, Drugs. He plays a chef on "The Sopranos," but John Ventimiglia cooked himself a recipe for disaster when he was busted for drunken driving and cocaine possession Monday about a block away from his home.
· Woman Who Helped Invent Television Dies. A woman who helped her husband invent television, and who was one of the first people to appear on it, has died. An official at the Utah nursing home where she lived says Elma Farnsworth died last week at age 98. The inventor's first TV transmission was on September 7th, 1927.
· Mayor Nagin outlines evacuation plan for New Orleans. Mayor Ray Nagin unveiled a new evacuation strategy for New Orleans on Tuesday that relies more on buses and trains and eliminates the Superdome and Convention Center as shelters.
· N.Y. Caddy Wins $34,000 In Settlement Of Harassment Suit. The former owner of a Long Island golf club has been ordered to pay $34,000 to a caddy for publicly ridiculing him after he lost two golf matches to a woman.
· Poll Shows Many Can't Find La. on Map. Despite the wall-to-wall coverage of the damage from Hurricane Katrina, nearly one-third of young Americans recently polled couldn't locate Louisiana on a map and nearly half were unable to identify Mississippi. Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 fared even worse with foreign locations: six in 10 couldn't find Iraq.
· Ford Tough? Not according to a Christian group. A conservative Christian group leading a boycott of Ford Motor Co. over its gay-friendly policies has criticized the automaker's links to a June event in suburban Detroit.
· CDC Study: Medical care not serving needs of transgender. For all the primping, powdering and pumping up many transgender men and women will do to pass as the opposite sex, there's one thing health care experts say too many of them can't stomach: a visit to the doctor. A health study by the Virginia Health Department and sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is intended to unravel the fears and prejudices hindering transgender people from seeking health care.
· Garofalo gushes over Scientology-linked project. Why is Janeane Garofalo touting a Scientology-linked project? The actress and talk-show host has done two segments on her Air America radio show “Majority Report,” heaping praise on the controversial New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project, a program based on the teachings of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
· 1 Million Immigrants Skip Work for Rally. Illegal immigrants stepped out of the shadows and poured into the streets, marching in waves of red, white and blue as part of a nationwide show of economic clout designed to prove their value to their adopted homeland and pressure Congress for reforms. The impact on some school systems was significant. In the sprawling Los Angeles Unified School District, which is 73 percent Hispanic, about 72,000 middle and high school students were absent.
· ACLU Challenges Ky. Funeral Protest Law. Portions of a new Kentucky law intended to prevent protesters from disrupting funerals for soldiers killed in Iraq are unconstitutional, the American Civil Liberties Union said in a federal lawsuit filed Monday. The ACLU argues that sections of the law go too far in limiting freedom of speech and expression.
· Daly: Gambling is 'going to flat-out ruin me.' John Daly says he has lost between $50 million and $60 million during 12 years of heavy gambling, and that it has become a problem that could "flat-out ruin me" if he doesn't bring it under control.
· Woman Spanked At Work To Make Rounds On TV Shows. A former saleswoman who won a $1.7 million sexual harassment verdict after being spanked by co-workers is making a TV tour about her case. Janet Orlando said she's scheduled to appear on several shows in the next few weeks.
· Ex-stripper does new turn - in missionary position. Heather Veitch, a tall, shapely blonde, made a career out of baring it all at strip clubs. Now when she walks in a club, it is just to deliver her naked truth about God.
· London mayor Livingstone in no rush to flush. London mayor Ken Livingstone has lifted the lid on his toilet habits, revealing he has not flushed the loo in 15 months. Livingstone said there was "no earthly reason" to bother if there was just urine in the bowl, he said Tuesday.
· Report: Rapists, Molesters Hired At McDonald's Restaurants. A child advocacy group has called for a national boycott of McDonald's restaurants after a TV news investigation discovered franchises in several states, including Florida, apparently hired sex offenders without thoroughly checking their backgrounds.
· Wife Forced Into "Sex Slave" Agreement? A kinky "slavery contract" may play a central role in a messy divorce case involving a Wisconsin businessman and his estranged wife, who allegedly agreed to the bizarre pact several years before their 2005 marriage.
Monday, May 1, 2006
· Blood Donations for Gas Money. With the price of gas on the rise, BYU-Idaho students are finding new ways to pay for it by donating blood plasma. Plasma Centers are reporting a record amount of donors in the past few weeks and say a lot of them are there to pay for gas.
· Volkswagen hits the mark with jarring Jetta ads. The risks Volkswagen took with two Jetta TV ads that put viewers in the car for high-impact crashes seem to be paying off in shopper interest. Volkswagen says that since the ads touting Jetta's crash safety began on April 10, requests for brochures are up 37% at call centers and 56% on the Web.
· Mexico lawmakers support ‘A Day Without Gringos.’ Thousands of union members rallied Monday to support Mexican migrants working in the United States and call for a boycott of American goods in what was dubbed “A Day Without Gringos.” At least a half-dozen state governors in Mexico endorsed the boycott of McDonald’s, Wal-Mart and hundreds of other U.S. companies — an action timed to coincide with a call for immigrants to boycott work, school and shopping in the United States to show their importance to the country.
· U.S. Pays for 150 Iraqi Clinics, and Manages to Build 20. A $243 million program led by the United States Army Corps of Engineers to build 150 health care clinics in Iraq has in some cases produced little more than empty shells of crumbling concrete and shattered bricks cemented together into uneven walls, two reports by a federal oversight office have found. The reports say that none of the five clinics in Kirkuk and only 20 of the original 150 across the country will be completed without new financing.
· Fraud Charges Against Limbaugh Dismissed. Rush Limbaugh must submit to random drug tests under an agreement filed Monday that will dismiss a prescription fraud charge against the conservative commentator after 18 months if he complies with the terms. He also must continue treatment for his acknowledged addiction to painkillers and he cannot own a gun. The single charge alleges that Limbaugh illegally obtained about 40 pills, said Mike Edmondson, a state attorney's spokesman.
· Anna Nicole Smith wins ruling. Former Playmate of the Year Anna Nicole Smith won a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Monday and gets a new chance to collect millions of dollars she says her late Texas oil tycoon husband promised her.
· TGI Friday's 'sorry' after diner finds finger slice. A diner found a piece of human flesh on his hamburger shortly after a restaurant worker accidentally cut his finger, and a spokeswoman said the company was "very, very sorry."
· When bugs fly. Ron Patrick is approaching the age of 50, a time when many men begin thinking about minutiae like pensions and second homes and third cars. But Patrick is far more interested in telling you why it is that he has stuck a big jet engine in the back of his $250,000 silver Volkswagen.
· 'A Day Without Immigrants.' Thanks to the success of previous rallies plus media attention, planning for Monday's events, collectively called Un Dia Sin Inmigrantes — A Day Without Immigrants — is widespread, though fragmented.
· Black Panther Rally Scheduled Today At Duke. A rally is planned Monday at Duke University in response to the recent lacrosse rape investigation. Members of The New Black Panthers Party plan to demonstrate at the university's front entrance.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Visceral [vis·cer·al] adj. 1. Instinctual: proceeding from instinct rather than from reasoned thinking or intellect. "A visceral business decision." 2. Emotional: characterized by or showing crude or elemental emotions.
· TV anchor files race bias suit over home. Chicago's highest-paid television news personality claims a contractor who designed and helped build her $3 million Lincoln Park mansion skimped on luxuries and did shoddy work because she is black.
· Her own car kills widow during visit to cemetery. A 76-year-old woman was killed in a Queens cemetery yesterday when her own idling car rolled into her as she visited her husband's grave, police said.
· Cher coming out of retirement - again. Cher has not retired after all. She said it’s definite: she will replace Celine Dion at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. As with Celine, Caesar’s will build a unique palace for Cher, with a launch date in 2008.