|April 2004 - Week 1|
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Wednesday, April 7, 2004
· The latest fashion must-have: eyeball jewelry. Body piercing and tattoos make way, Dutch eye surgeons have implanted tiny pieces of jewelry called "JewelEye" in the mucous membrane of the eyes of six women and one man in cosmetic surgery.
· Mom, Daughter Use 8-Year-Old To Retrieve Drugs. A woman arrested with her mother in Osceola County, Fla., for allegedly selling cocaine and marijuana from their home admitted to agents that her 8-year-old daughter was used to retrieve drugs, according to authorities.
» Daughter tells deputies mom was growing marijuana in bathroom. A 48-year-old woman was arrested in Orange County, Fla., after her daughter told deputies her mom was growing marijuana in the home's bathroom.
· Janet Jackson's New CD Debuts at No. 2. Janet Jackson is apparently suffering from a sales malfunction. Her new album, "Damita Jo," sold approximately 381,000 copies in its first week to debut at No. 2 on the charts. Her last album, 2001's "All for You," debuted at No. 1 with more than 605,000 copies sold.
· New software detects plagiarized passages. White-collar copycats may be less inclined to pilfer the well-chosen words of others now that software designed to ferret out plagiarism is moving out of academia and into the business world.
· A two-pound dog used for deadly place kick. A Priest Lake, TN man killed his neighbor's 2-pound miniature Yorkshire terrier by kicking it into the air like a football, police said, and authorities have charged him with animal cruelty.
· Limbaugh attorney blasts investigators. Rush Limbaugh's attorney argued Wednesday that investigators trampled the conservative commentator's privacy rights when they made a surprise visit to a doctor's office to seize his medical records.
· Kerry hires online chief from MoveOn. John Kerry has hired an Internet-savvy Democrat to run his presidential campaign's online communications, a move that raises new questions about the link between his campaign and the independent groups that run TV ads on his behalf.
· Doonesbury Calls Condi "Brown Sugar." In Wednesday's Doonesbury cartoon, Garry Trudeau closed his political cartoon on National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice's upcoming 9/11 testimony by saying "Careful Brown Sugar."
· Kiss Drummer Criss Blasts Gene Simmons. Kiss drummer Peter Criss is blasting Gene Simmons for implying Criss is on drugs. Criss writes on his Web site, "Some people love hearing themselves talk. Gene Simmons is one of them."
· Roy Horn Named Vegas' 'Citizen of the Month.' Illusionist Roy Horn remained at home, recovering from a near-fatal tiger mauling, while the Las Vegas City Council honored him Wednesday as "Citizen of the Month."
· Coors to run for Senate. Brewery giant Pete Coors will enter Colorado's U.S. Senate race today, according to Gov. Bill Owens. The candidacy potentially gives Republicans a well-known and well-financed candidate to challenge Ken Salazar, the Democratic attorney general.
· Ex-Enron Exec Lea Fastow Withdraws Plea Deal. The wife of former Enron finance chief Andrew Fastow withdrew her plea agreement after a federal judge rejected a proposed sentence that would have given her five months in prison and five months confined at home.
· Wisconsin Wacko Getting Treatment. A Madison college student who police say faked her own abduction is receiving medical care after going from "one major crisis to another major crisis," her attorney said.
· Why Billy Bob left Jolie. Hollywood actor Billy Bob Thornton says he left Tomb Raider star Angelina Jolie because he was afraid of her. In an interview with NBC's Dateline show, he also admitted she was "too beautiful and too smart" for him.
· Beatles-Apple Trial to Be Held in London. A High Court judge ruled Wednesday that a trademark battle between Apple Computer Inc. and The Beatles' record company Apple Corps Ltd. should be heard in London.
· Roseanne's regrets. Roseanne wants everyone to know she's sorry. "I really regret losing my sanity for so many years, and if I had it to do all over again, I wouldn't do any of it," says Roseanne" "I hurt a lot of people," she tells the Daily News.
· James Brown's Wife Asked to Leave Tour. James Brown's wife says she loves her husband and wants to stay with him even though she has been asked to leave the singer's current Australian tour. Tomi Rae Brown said she's coming back to the United States to sign papers proving her previous marriage was dissolved.
· Ringling Bros. Tightrope Performer Falls. A circus performer who moments before had been jumping rope and carrying people on his shoulder has survived a high-wire fall at New York's Madison Square Garden with relatively minor injuries.
· Teacher abused by pupils wins $165,000. A teacher who suffered two years of abuse at the hands of children as young as seven has been awarded $165,000 compensation for injuries which ended her career.
· Hamburg Releases Only Convicted Sept. 11 Plotter. A Hamburg court ordered the release Wednesday of the only Sept. 11 suspect ever convicted, his lawyers' offices said, following last month's overturning of a guilty verdict against him on charges of aiding the suicide pilots.
· Dog biscuits tossed at girls leads to fatal crash. A car crash that left one teenager dead and four others injured on Staten Island late Sunday may have begun with a fight over girls and dog biscuits, a law enforcement official said.
· California voters say 'no' to Wal-Mart. Voters in this Los Angeles suburb rejected a ballot measure Tuesday that would have allowed Wal-Mart to build a warehouse-sized store while skirting zoning, traffic and environmental reviews.
· Nine reasons the IRS could call you. Are you the 1 in 154 taxpayers who'll get audited? Although it is unlikely a person will be audited, there are some red flags that can increase the odds, which you can easily avoid.
· 2-Year-Old Runs Cash Register at Eatery. Formosa Gardens restaurant has an unusual worker manning the cash register: 2-year-old Gordon Tan. "He can do the credit card machine too," said his mother, Tiffany Lei, who owns the La. restaurant with Gordon's father, Jason Tan.
· Tyco Juror Denies Giving 'OK' Sign. The juror who reportedly gave defense lawyers an "OK" hand sign during the trial of two former Tyco International executives denied in a CBS interview Tuesday that she signaled them in any way.
· Prostitute killer may be truck driver. Prostitute Renee McCullough has started keeping a box cutter in her back pocket, in addition to the four-inch blade she always carries. She has also stopped working the truck stops.
Tuesday, April 6, 2004
· Abba rules out reunion - even for $2 billion. Thirty years to the day after Abba shot to stardom with victory in the Eurovision song contest, the pop group says nothing - not even $2 billion - could tempt them back together again.
· Jackie got no satisfaction from JFK. President Kennedy had a reputation as a stud, but with Jackie he was a dud. "He just goes too fast and falls asleep," the frustrated former First Lady complained, according to a new book about the days of Camelot.
· Lying Lotto Loser Found Guilty in Jackpot Claim. A woman who claimed that she bought and lost a $162 million lottery ticket was found guilty Tuesday of filing a false police report. She was fined $1,000 and ordered to perform 50 hours of community service.
· Answering Machine Inventor Dies. Joseph Zimmerman, from Milwaukee, invented the first answering machine in 1948 and patented it a year later. The first answering machine was a box that lifted the telephone receiver from its cradle when it rang.
· TV Chef Rocco DiSpirito Files Countersuit. The celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito filed a countersuit Monday against investors in his television restaurant, accusing them of cooking the eatery's books and then cutting him out in a dispute over earnings.
· Man behind Girls Gone Wild has brand expansion on his mind. A 31-year-old entrepreneur who made millions from a video series in which students are encouraged to expose themselves to the camera now wants to apply his formula to restaurants, clothes, music and movies.
· Yuck! George Michael would love to 'smooch' with Justin. George Michael says he would love an on-stage smooch with chart-topper Justin Timberlake. He said he wanted to recreate Madonna's kiss with Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera which stunned fans at the MTV Awards last year.
· Murdoch to Incorporate News Corp. in U.S. News Corp. — owner of the Fox network, Fox News Channel and the 20th Century Fox movie studio — will move its home base from Australia to the United States in a bid to appeal to a wider base of investors.
· ACLU Challenges No-Fly List. The American Civil Liberties Union announced Tuesday that it would file a class-action lawsuit challenging the list of travelers the government has barred from flying because they are considered threats.
· Evidence grows about benefits of moderate drinking. "Responsible drinking may actually prevent the common diseases of old age," said Dr. R. Curtis Ellison, professor of medicine and public Health at the Boston University School of Medicine. "The mortality rate [among moderate drinkers] is 20 percent lower and the rate of heart disease 40 percent lower than in abstainers with similar behavior and [physical] characteristics."
· "Croc hunter" saves young girl. A retired Australian crocodile hunter saved a young girl from the jaws of a 10 foot crocodile when he jumped on top of man-eating reptile and gouged its eyes, local media says.
· American Idol: "Viewer voting results are absurd." Fans watching the third season of Fox's hit talent show have been surprised to see supposed front-runners facing possible elimination during the Wednesday night shows.
· 'The Apprentice' Soars Among TV Viewers. Trump Tower, Trump best sellers and now Trump TV. Even viewers who turn up their noses at other reality series find something intriguing about the show, which is down to the final four contestants on Thursday's show.
· Nude photo case headed to trial. A 42-year-old Easton, PA man charged with posting nude pictures of his ex-girlfriend at a post office and bank last month waived his preliminary hearing Monday and will now stand trial on several charges including harassment.
· Body missing 14 years found in storage unit. The body of a woman missing since 1990 was found stuffed inside a container at a rental storage unit, and authorities charged her then-boyfriend with murder.
· Mich. Woman Leads Police On High-Speed Chase With Daughter In Car. A woman robbed a gas station and led police on a chase Tuesday with her 6-year-old daughter in the car, reaching speeds of 100 mph before she was caught, authorities said.
· Fat kids have the arteries of a 45-year-old smoker - study. Overweight preteens have the thick, stiff arteries of a 45-year-old smoker, according to new research that shows there's more going on with fat children than doctors may realize.
· JFK Conspiracy Theory Revisited. In response to an uproar caused by a History Channel documentary that claimed President Lyndon Johnson was involved in the Kennedy assassination, the network will air a challenge to that program by a panel of three historians.
· Judge receives letters from public wanting TV coverage of Peterson case. As jury selection continued in Scott Peterson's double-murder trial, the judge took a moment before opening court Monday to joke with those in the gallery that he had been receiving correspondence from people angry he is not allowing it to be televised.
» Peterson Judge 'Pleased as Punch.' Judge Al Delucchi said he was "pleased as punch" that the number of possible jurors has reached 17. Delucchi has said he hopes to have between 65 and 80 in the jury pool by May 13th.
· Blackout was preventable, probe finds. Last summer's power outage that plunged parts of eight states and a Canadian province into darkness could have been prevented and was not a terrorist or cyber attack, according to a final report released Monday by an investigative task force.
· Disney Ponders Timing of Changes at ABC. With ABC in fourth place in the ratings and Disney under siege from investors, pressure reportedly is building for a management shake-up at the long-struggling network.
· 'Yes,' 'No,' 'Yes,' 'No'... No More Jail Time for Diana Ross. Diana Ross, who served her sentence for an Arizona drunken-driving conviction in Greenwich, Conn., won't have to return to Tucson to spend more time in jail, according to an indecisive judge.
· Principal washes out 6-year-old's blue mohawk. Parents of a 6-year-old boy say they plan to consult an attorney after a school principal washed bright blue dye out of their son's punk-style haircut.
· Police: Courtney Love admitted taking painkiller, Rocker Courtney Love appeared intoxicated when arrested last October on suspicion of drug use and told police that she had taken "Hillbilly Heroin," or the painkiller OxyContin, one of the officers testified Monday.
· Race For Space, With $10M Prize. The reward is high, but so is the risk as some of the 27 teams pursuing a $10 million prize for the first privately funded manned spaceflight near a goal that once seemed outlandish.
· In Hollywood, the Joke's On the Media. TV news is the butt of the joke in Ferrell's upcoming movie "Anchorman," as it is every weeknight on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and every weekend on "Saturday Night Live."
· U.S. declares war on porn. Lam Nguyen's job is to sit for hours in a chilly, quiet room devoid of any color but gray and look at pornography. This job, which Nguyen does earnestly from 9 to 5, surrounded by a half-dozen other "computer forensic specialists" like him, has become the focal point of the U.S. Justice Department's operation to rid the world of porn.
· Research Shows Porn Sites Continue Strong Growth. The number of pornography Web sites in the Websense database is more than 17 times greater than it was just four years ago - surging from 88,000 in 2000 to nearly 1.6 million sites today.
· Stun Gun Fatalities Rise. A recent investigation shows about 40 people have died after being stunned. The stun gun manufacturers say the taser is not to blame, because most of the victims were fighting with police, delirious, or on drugs.
· Teenage lesbians have worst rates of smoking. Teenage lesbian or bisexual girls are many times more likely to smoke regularly than straight girls their age. They are the worst hit by tobacco among all groups of young people, according to a new U.S. study.
· Rebuilding The Food Pyramid. The suggestions range from wacky to reasonable, but plenty of people have ideas about how to revamp the federal Food Guide Pyramid, that iconic graphic that supposedly guides how people eat.
Monday, April 5, 2004
· Photo may have nudged Bush on Rice testimony. A historical 1945 photograph may have helped persuade the White House to let national security adviser Condoleezza Rice testify before the independent panel investigating the September 11, 2001, attacks, a panel spokesman said.
· Dylan Appearing in Victoria's Secret Ads. New, from Victoria's Secret: the MiracleBob? Bob Dylan appears in a new series of commercials for Victoria's Secret, his grizzled face intercut with shots of model Adriana Lima cavorting though Venice in a bra, panties and spike heels.
· Abduction Overruled. If her high school yearbook had featured the category, Audrey Seiler might well have been voted the Girl Least Likely to Fake Her Own Kidnapping. A tall, pretty brunet, she was honor-society president her senior year at Rockford High School, captained the volleyball and basketball teams and graduated third in her class in 2002.
She was the kind of kid "you want to hold up as a role model," says Roman Pierskalla, Seiler's principal at Rockford High. Rockford residents may not want to hold her up quite so high anymore.
· Feds probing liberty fund raising. A federal investigation is under way to determine how a nonprofit organization spent private donations to reopen the Statue of Liberty and whether bids for work on the renovation adhered to federal guidelines.
· Army Ranger Ambushed In Iraq... By His Mom. A 26-year-old Army Ranger never expected an ambush quite like this one while stationed in Iraq - and the only warning he got was when fellow soldiers paged him over the 2-way radio. "Hey, Nick. Your mom's here," they said.
· Actress Cannon Suffers Smoke Inhalation from Fire. Actress Dyan Cannon suffered smoke inhalation when a fire broke out in her condominium, briefly forcing residents to evacuate the high-rise building in West Hollywood.
· Dieters are consuming more carbs than they think. Many people who might think they're eating a diet low in carbohydrates actually are consuming twice as many carbs as the popular Atkins diet recommends.
· Low-Cost Airlines Not Second-Rate. Most of the low-cost carriers were above the industry average on four performance indicators last year. Most of the traditional airlines were below the industry average.
· Political titles play an unusual role in this campaign. Books, the oldest of the "old media," are pushing serious issues into the presidential campaign and will remain a powerful force in coming weeks. They're shoving aside cable news networks and flashy Web sites, the "new media" it was fashionable to think would dominate political reporting.
· Attention deficits linked to television. Very young children who watch television face an increased risk of attention deficit problems by school age, a study has found, suggesting that TV might overstimulate and permanently “rewire” the developing brain.
· Gibson's 'The Passion' a Hit Among Arabs. Hanan Nsour, a veiled, 21-year-old Muslim in Jordan, came out of "The Passion of the Christ" in tears and pronounced her verdict: Mel Gibson's crucifixion epic "unmasked the Jews' lies and I hope that everybody, everywhere, turns against the Jews."
· 'Drive-by porn' bill taken up by House. Perpetrators of what one state senator calls ''drive-by porn'' may soon face criminal charges and a $50 fine under a bill scheduled to be heard this week by a state House subcommittee.
· Without a genetic fix, the banana may be history. For bananas and other crops, these bio-adjustments are designed to increase yields, improve a plant's defenses against pests or allow crops to thrive under poor conditions.
· OPEC: Don't blame us. Saudi Arabia on Sunday blamed record high U.S. gasoline prices on America's tough environmental laws and lack of refining capacity, and points out, as an example, a refinery in Springfield, Illinois cannot sell gasoline in the Chicago market because the fuel formulas are different.
· Ex-husband suspect in killing of emergency crew. An emergency medical technician and a paramedic were shot to death early Saturday in an apparent ambush, authorities said. The paramedic's ex-husband, who was a suspect in the murders, apparently committed suicide later, authorities said.
· oops! U.S. tanks crush Iraqi protesters. At least two followers of Shiite Muslim radical leader Moqtada Sadr have been killed after throwing themselves in front of U.S. tanks during a demonstration in central Baghdad.
· Mugabe land-grab advice. President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has begun to export his government's expertise on the most effective methods of seizing farms from white landowners. A team of Zimbabwean "land redistribution experts" arrived in Namibia yesterday to advise the government.
Sunday, April 4, 2004
· Police spent at least $70,000 investigating Madison coed hoax. Police who spent two days and at least $70,000 investigating a false abduction report are defending their decision, saying ignoring the woman's claims could have left the city at the mercy of a kidnapper.
· Glitch leads to overcharges on 800,000 credit card transactions. A computer hardware problem caused more than 800,000 credit and debit card transactions to be double- or triple-billed last week at stores nationwide, including Wal-Mart, officials said.
· IKEA founder said to overtake Gates as world's richest. Ingvar Kamprad, the Swede who founded furniture retail chain IKEA, has overtaken Microsoft's Bill Gates as the world's richest man, Swedish TV news reported on Sunday.
· Nigerian jailed for e-mail scam. A Nigerian has been jailed for his part in a huge international e-mail fraud, where victims are promised a share of cash if they help with the movement of millions of dollars out of Africa.
· Ozzy Accuses Doc of Overprescribing Drugs. Rocker Ozzy Osbourne filed a complaint with the state medical board, accusing a Beverly Hills doctor of overprescribing addictive drugs to him. Osbourne says the drugs led to his disoriented behavior on the reality TV series "The Osbournes," the Los Angeles Times reported.
· Calif. Geeks Tries to Create Supercomputer. Hundreds of technophiles Saturday wired their computers together in an attempt to generate computing power on a par with the world's strongest supercomputers.
· Cops raid wrong house - send fruit basket. Red-faced cops who busted into the wrong Brooklyn apartment looking for a drug dealer and instead wound up terrorizing an elderly man and his wife are trying to make up for their blunder in time for the Jewish holiday.
· Audit criticizes monitoring of sex predators. A review of state police monitoring of sexually violent predators under Megan's Law found that community notification about these felons is often "incorrect, late and ineffective," the chief auditor says.
· Firefighter gets nine years for burning down historic church. A volunteer firefighter who was once named firefighter of the year was sentenced to nine years in prison for burning down a historic church that was nearly 125 years old.
· Canadian lottery winner flees ex-wives. A man who waited for nearly a year before cashing in Canada's biggest-ever lottery winnings has apparently gone abroad, leaving two ex-wives wanting a share of his $22.5 million bonanza.
· Chefs at war as U.S. teaches Brits to cook. Eight of the most respected American chefs have been invited to take part in the debates to encourage the British culinary industry to embrace change, in what is billed as the American Food Revolution.
· Haggard Not 'All That Happy' With Bush. Country singer Merle Haggard says he's as red, white and blue as they come, but has been disappointed by how President Bush responded to the panel probing the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
· Police Union: Don't ticket other cops as 'professional courtesy.' The law requires everyone to follow the speed limit and other traffic regulations, but in Suffolk County, New York exceptions should be made for cops and their families, police union officials say.
· Hollywood horror: nudity and sex no longer sells out cinemas. A new study has found that films containing explicit sex or nudity do much worse at the box office, earning nearly 40 per cent less on average than more wholesome movies.
· U.S. vice-president's wife stops reissue of sexy novel she wrote in 1981. A publisher has cancelled plans to reissue a racy novel by Lynne Cheney, wife of U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney, after she said the book did not represent "her best work."
· Fla. Airport Getting Luggage Tracking Technology. Jacksonville International Airport will be one of the first in the country to track luggage with radio frequency identification tags, which officials believe will increase security and help reduce the number of lost bags.
· Police lose track of 'suicide bomber' as radios fail in subway. Police lost track of a suspected suicide bomber because their radios do not work on London Underground. After an anonymous tip-off that an Asian man was on his way to detonate a suicide bomb, officers located the suspect as he entered a Tube station.
Saturday, April 3, 2004
· Jury Acquits Texas Mother Who Killed Sons. A woman who claimed God ordered her to bash in the heads of her sons was acquitted of all charges Saturday after a jury determined she did not know right from wrong during the killings.
· Madison coed receiving psychiatric care. UW Madison student Audrey Seiler faked her own abduction and sparked an expensive manhunt, police said Friday, and a family friend said that Seiler was now receiving psychiatric care.
· Einstein Theories To Be Tested. A $750 million satellite designed to test two fundamental predictions made by Albert Einstein about the universe is finally ready for launch, 45 years after it was first proposed at the dawn of the space age, NASA and Stanford University officials say.
· Former brothel madam named 'Businessman of the Year.' After 15 years as the most famous brothel madam in San Francisco, Marlene Baldwin has been named California Businessman of the Year by the National Republican Congressional Committee.
· High Cost Of Malpractice Insurance. Dr. Paul Tudder figures he's delivered about 4,000 babies in 21 years, and in that time, he's never been sued. His premium was $23,000 in 2002. Then it jumped to $47,000. This year, he got a quote for $84,000.
· Michael Jackson Claimed Farm Tax Break. Pop star Michael Jackson has saved more than $1 million in property taxes on his Neverland Ranch by claiming the California land conservation tax break, but a year ago, California officials decided he had developed too much of the property to qualify for it.
· Disney's 'Tigger' arrested on molestation charges. Orange County Sheriff's Office investigators have arrested a Walt Disney World employee who worked as the character "Tigger" and charged him with molesting a 13-year-old girl and her mother while posing with them for pictures in February.
· oops... Barney in the courthouse again. A court officer accidentally fired a gun inside Brooklyn Supreme Court - because the off-duty parole officer who brought it to the courthouse insisted it was a lighter that only shot flames.
· There's too much reality on this show. Bobby Brown and his tumultuous life might be coming to the small screen. The singer - who's been jailed twice just this year - is trying to sell a show about himself to a network, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
· Drunken mother drove with 5 kids. Sandra Donat had been arrested three times already for drunken driving, so she knew that she would need someone sober to blow into the ignition-lock device on her van before it would start.
· San Antonio Tops List of Drunken Cities. The metropolitan area around the historic Texas city has the highest rate of binge drinking - imbibing till you're drunk - in the entire United States, according to a new federal study.
· Tongue stud renders breath test inadmissible. A breath test cannot be used as evidence against a woman accused of drunken driving because she had a metal tongue stud in place when the test was done, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
· 96-year-old vendor celebrates anniversary by going back to 1929 prices. To celebrate the anniversary, diFate is selling three hot dogs for 10 cents, just as he did in 1929, through Sunday. He said he expects to go through 15,000 franks if the weekend weather is good.
· Man accused of selling Florida swamp land in classic scam. A Hernando, Florida man sold Everglades swampland to unsuspecting investors for more than $300,000 amid false promises that the marshy property would be rezoned for development, investigators said.
· N.Y. Board to Hold E-Mail Spam Contest. In an effort to expose e-mail scams, the state Consumer Protection Board is holding an international competition to find the most outrageous examples of these fraudulent notes on the Internet.
· Editor's body seen on floor, but raised no alarm. The day before he was found dead, two people saw the body of Colfax, Calif. editor A. Thomas Homer on the office floor, but neither raised an alarm because they thought he was sleeping, officials said.
· Gore TV Deal Is Stalled At The 11th Hour; Major Investor Pulls Out. The New York Observer says that the deal for former Vice President Al Gore and his business partner Joel Hyatt to acquire digital-cable channel Newsworld International has hit a major obstacle and may have fallen through in the 11th hour of negotiations.
· Companies Outsource for Better Workers, Study Says. According to a report by the American Electronics Association, high-tech companies blame second-rate math and science education in the U.S. for the offshoring of high-tech jobs.
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."
· Kelly Osbourne Enters Drug Rehab. Kelly Osbourne's younger brother, Jack, 18, checked himself into a drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinic last year and Ozzy Osbourne has been candid about his decades of battles with substance abuse.
· Jacko's 'Ex-Rabbi': Did $100,000 Go to Charity? The list of con men and hustlers who've taken advantage of Michael Jackson continues to grow, especially where charity causes are concerned. Jackson has been in Washington this week talking about raising money for new charities, but his old ones are still dogging him.
Friday, April 2, 2004
· Cops: Audrey's Kidnap Story a Hoax. Police said Friday they are no longer seeking a suspect in the case of the 20-year-old college student who originally claimed she was abducted from her apartment building at knifepoint, after they discovered several inconsistencies in her story.
» Coed's parents must be proud. Wacko purchased 'abductor evidence' herself. The coed told police her abductor used duct tape, rope and a knife against her. It turns out, the police had obtained videotape of the young woman buying many of those items at a local store the morning she was found.
· Gateway to Close All Retail Stores. The company said it will eliminate 2,500 jobs as it closes all 188 stores. The businesses will close April 9 and workers will be dismissed as store operations wind down by the end of the month.
· John Belushi gets posthumous star on walk of fame. The late John Belushi was posthumously honored Thursday with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and salutes from his brother Jim and former "Saturday Night Live" cast members Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd.
· Richard Branson signs on for Fox reality show. Mixing a bit of “Around the World in 80 Days” with Trump’s hit reality series “The Apprentice,” broadcaster Fox Thursday said it has signed a deal with Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, for a new U.S. television series tentatively called “Branson’s Big Adventure.”
· Scientists Predict Major SoCal Quake Within Five Months. A state earthquake council has given a qualified endorsement to a prediction by a group of scientists who believe that a temblor of magnitude-6.4 or greater will occur in the Southern California desert sometime in the next five months.
· Judge Declares Mistrial in Tyco Case. A judge said he would declare a mistrial Friday in the trial of former Tyco International executives L. Dennis Kozlowski and Mark Swartz, citing intense outside pressure placed on one of the jurors.
· Man Drops Suit Filed Against Airline. A drunk West Virginia man who fell down an escalator at an airport said he is dropping the lawsuit filed against US Airways over the accident. The man must have still been drunk when he sued the airline, since he later said, "I learned about the filing of the lawsuit against US Airways ... along with everyone else."
· Peter Gotti Called Mistress Hours Before Her Death. Hours before she took her life, tragic mob mistress Marjorie Alexander got a nasty phone call from her lover, Peter Gotti — who ripped her for being too public about their relationship, sources close to the Gambino crime boss said yesterday.
· Treated contacts is shown to reduce pain immediately. Slipping on a pair of specially-treated contact lenses might be just what's needed to soothe the migraine headaches of some patients, according to early findings of a study being conducted at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
· FCC leader to stay tuned to racy soaps. Soap operas have become a potential target in the Federal Communications Commission's crackdown on broadcast indecency, according to a key official who said the programs might be too "steamy" for daytime television.
· 'Simpsons' Voice Actors Skip Work. The actors who give voice to Homer, Marge and other characters on "The Simpsons" reportedly skipped work on Fox's animated series as contract renewal talks hit an impasse. Each cast member is seeking about $360,000 an episode, or $8 million for the 22-episode cartoon.
· Bored Boy Behind President Gets Nationwide Attention. The son of Orange County Chairman Rich Crotty is getting nationwide attention after being featured on David Letterman's "Late Show" yawning, twisting his head and falling asleep at a rally for President George W. Bush.
» 'Bored Boy' To Appear On Letterman Show. Orange County Chairman Rich Crotty's son, Tyler, who appeared on a "Late Show With David Letterman" segment standing behind President George W. Bush yawning and fidgeting during a rally in Orlando is scheduled to appear as a guest on the show Friday night.
· Car-scam grandmother skips court. A 75-year-old Illinois grandmother suspected of scamming a dozen car dealers by passing bad checks has lost her attorney after the check she gave him bounced, media reports said Thursday.
· Police Say Robber Got Tired of Waiting. No service, no patience, no payoff. According to police, a would-be robber walked out empty-handed Wednesday when he got tired of waiting for someone at a suburban pharmacy to respond to his written demand for narcotics.
· Magazine Recalled Because of Faulty Recipe. Southern Living magazine has recalled its April issue from newsstands because of an error in a recipe for dinner rolls that resulted in minor burns to at least five readers.
· Senators want OPEC subjected to US antitrust laws. Riled by soaring U.S. gasoline prices, a key senator Thursday resurrected the idea of making the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries subject to antitrust prosecution.
· 'I saw papers that show U.S. knew al-Qa'ida would attack cities with airplanes.' A former translator for the FBI with top-secret security clearance says she has provided information to the panel investigating the September 11 attacks which proves senior officials knew of al-Qa'ida's plans to attack the US with aircraft months before the strikes happened.
· Dow is adding Verizon, AIG, Pfizer. American International Group Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and Pfizer Inc. will be added to the Dow Jones industrial average, reflecting the growing importance of finance and health care to the economy and the stock market. AT&T, International Paper, Kodak are being dropped.
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."
· Country Crooner Carlene Carter Jailed. Carlene Carter, stepdaughter of Johnny Cash and daughter of country singers June Carter Cash and Carl Smith, has been jailed, authorities said Thursday. WTVF-TV reported her bond had been revoked because she failed a drug test.
· Students handcuffed at elementary school. Security guards at elementary schools in Kent, Washington, have used metal handcuffs to restrain unruly students at least four times during the current school year, officials said on Thursday.
· Condom Label Changes Spark Debate. On one side are scientists who believe that condoms should be promoted as a crucial line of defense against several STDs and cervical cancer. On the other are groups that advocate waiting for sex until marriage.
Thursday, April 1, 2004
· Retired truck driver claims $239 million jackpot. A retired truck driver claimed a $239 million Mega Millions jackpot Thursday, calling the second-largest lottery payout in history "no big thing to me." His wife, Peggy Triplett, expressed a bit more excitement. "I'm gonna shop 'til I drop," she said.
· After smoking curbs, Ireland now eyes alcohol. Having led the world in banning smoking in pubs and restaurants, the Irish might now be about to tackle their legendary love affair with alcohol and, in particular, the problem of teenage binge drinking.
· Man Who Stole Cupcakes Gets 1 To 3 Years In Jail. A 21-year-old man who pleaded guilty to stealing cupcakes from a school was sentenced to one to three years in prison after violating the terms of his probation.
» UCF President Apologizes For Wearing Afro Wig. University of Central Florida President John Hitt apologized for wearing an Afro wig after a picture of him and a university trustee was published on the front page of the campus newspaper.
· Laxative Makers Run After Low-Carb Dieters. Some people on the Atkins and South Beach diets suffer from irregularity because they eat more meats and cheeses and don't replace the fiber that was once part of their diet.
· Man Pleads Guilty in Mistaken 'Rape Fantasy.' A California man has pleaded guilty to residential burglary after he set up a meeting with a woman on a rape fantasy Internet chat page, but instead broke into a different woman's apartment.
· Martha Stewart Lawyers Seek New Trial, Cite Juror's Arrest Record. Martha Stewart's lawyers on Wednesday asked for a new trial, claiming that one of the jurors who convicted her lied about his criminal record during jury selection.
· Pets trigger our 'feel good' hormones, research suggests. We know that dogs are dedicated companions that offer unquestioning attachment and acceptance. In the past several years, mounting scientific evidence suggests that they benefit us even beyond eager devotion.
· Student says she was abducted at knifepoint. A University of Wisconsin student - found alive Wednesday four days after she disappeared - told police she was abducted at knifepoint by a stranger. By late in the day, no suspect was in custody and police continued to investigate.
» Search On for Suspect After Wis. Coed Found Alive. Seiler, 20, was treated at a hospital and released after being there less than six hours. Dr. Philip Schultz said Seiler was cold and dehydrated and had muscle aches.
· Swedish woman drunk on tequila accuses bar. A Swedish woman who was taken to hospital after downing five tequila shots in as many minutes has pressed charges against the bar that served her, claiming the liquor contained more than the permitted alcohol level.
· Soros splashed with water and glue by young Ukrainians. The U.S. billionaire and liberal philanthropist George Soros was splashed with water and glue in Ukraine's capital Kiev by two young Ukrainians who burst into a hall where he was addressing a human rights conference.
· Schwarzenegger takes sexual harassment course. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose campaign was dogged by allegations of sexual misconduct, voluntarily took a training course about preventing sexual harassment after his election.
· A Liberal Voice Debuts on Talk Radio. Is it a radio business, or is it politics? The two seem inextricably entwined for the leaders of Air America Radio, the liberal talk radio network that launched on five stations around the country Wednesday.
» Air America Will Displace 'Black Talk' in New York. New York's radio station WLIB-1190 joins with Air America Radio, with plans to keep only a few of the station's leading Black radio personalities.
» Air America Will Displace 'Chinese and Korean programming' in Berkeley. Tiny Berkeley AM radio station KTVO that carries Chinese and Korean programming is the likely Bay Area home of Air America Radio, a new left-leaning political talk radio network designed to counter conservative talk shows.
· Dow Industrials drops companies. Three longtime components of the Dow Jones industrial average - AT&T Corp., International Paper and Eastman Kodak - will be removed from the index of the top 30 industrial stocks, Dow Jones & Co. announced Thursday.
· Stone's Suck-Up to Fidel Flick. Oliver Stone's flattering documentary on Fidel Castro will finally hit U.S. television on April 14, but "Looking for Fidel" is quite different from the first version he tried to foist on the American public last year, "Commandante."
· Jessica Lynch Ponders Survival, Celebrity One Year After Rescue. A year after the Army supply clerk's wounding and rescue made her the Iraq war's most famous soldier, she grapples with many unanswered questions.
· Fishermen Find Body During Bass Tournament. Two West Virginia men taking part in a bass fishing tournament have discovered the body of a central Pennsylvania man missing since his car crashed in December.
· Defense rests in Jayson Williams manslaughter trial. Closing arguments in the manslaughter trial of former basketball star Jayson Williams are set to begin next week after Williams' lawyers rested their case Wednesday.
· Star Magazine Goes Glossy, Takes Aim at People. Shocker! Did Star magazine desert longtime companions for lavish affair with rich, sexy young readers? Truth be told, it's too soon to tell. But such juicy speculation gets a glossy new push Thursday as uber-editrix Bonnie Fuller completes the 30-year-old gossip sheet's transformation from supermarket tabloid to mainstream magazine.
· Fans cheer Michael Jackson in second day on Capitol Hill. A crowd of shrieking fans followed embattled pop star Michael Jackson out of a Capitol Hill office building Wednesday after he met with lawmakers to discuss lending his celebrity to the fight against AIDS in Africa.
· Gas stations not cheating, state assures. After Matthew Burcham put 5 gallons of gasoline into a 5-gallon can two weekends ago and saw the can was a third empty, he did what any rational consumer would do. - He freaked out.
· High-Carb Foods Fight Back. They used to star on Americans' dinner tables and reign over the USDA's food pyramid — but now foods rich in starch and sugar like orange juice, pasta and potatoes are fighting for their image as they face increasing criticism from promoters of low-carb diets.
· Massachusetts tops U.S. tech index. Massachusetts remains the state best positioned to take advantage of a high-technology economy, while Mississippi lags the rest of the nation, according to a new study released Wednesday.
· Hotels tighten control of online inventory. After haphazardly building an Internet sales pipeline, the lodging industry sprang a $1 billion leak -- and major hotel chains are now aggressively working to plug the hole.
· Search Engine Google to Offer Free E-Mail. Google Inc. is introducing a free e-mail service to send a blunt message - the maker of the world's most popular online search engine is pulling off the gloves in its clash with high-tech heavyweights Yahoo! Inc. and Microsoft Inc.
· AOL sets up software center in India. U.S. Internet giant America Online, plagued by subscriber losses and American job cuts, is stepping into the software development market where many big companies come to save money: India.