|April 2004 - Week 4|
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Friday, April 30, 2004
· Michael Jackson Indicted on 10 Counts. Michael Jackson pleaded not guilty Friday to all 10 counts of a grand-jury indictment, including a surprising charge of conspiracy to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion.
· Williams Acquitted of Aggravated Manslaughter. The jury in the Jayson Williams trial on Friday found the former NBA star not guilty of aggravated manslaughter in the shooting death of his former limo driver.
· Girl’s face foils store robbery. The would-be robbers changed their minds when one of them spotted a 3-year-old behind a counter, and they refused to go through with the crime. The man apologized to a clerk, saying the 3-year-old looked like his daughter.
· Schwarzenegger threatens to sue bobblehead company. Arnold Schwarzenegger is threatening to sue an Ohio company that is selling a bobblehead doll featuring the name and likeness of the California governor.
· Four Treasury agents track bin Laden and Saddam money, while 21 work Castro. The Treasury Department agency entrusted with blocking the financial resources of terrorists has assigned five times as many agents to investigate Cuban embargo violations as it has to track Osama bin Laden's and Saddam Hussein's money, documents show.
· Walters Calls '20/20' Adoption Ad 'Overly Zealous.' Barbara Walters says ABC News was "overly zealous" in its promotion of this week's "20/20" that involves five couples interviewed as potential adoptive parents.
· Michael Jackson to hear charges today. California court officials hope they can prevent the circus-like scene that overshadowed January's arraignment, when singer Michael Jackson appears Friday morning to hear the charges a grand jury returned against him last week.
» Court Readies for Michael Jackson Siege. The Santa Maria courthouse had the look Thursday of a fortress ready for a siege, with chain link fences and metal barricades to hold back an expected invasion of Michael Jackson fans.
· Woman Allegedly Robs Bank, Tries Deposit. For Sharon Ann Luck, it was not a day to try pushing hers. The 43-year-old woman was arrested by police and FBI agents after she allegedly robbed a Fort Worth bank, then went to a Burleson financial institution in an attempt to deposit the stolen money in her account.
· Iraq Prisoner Images Anger Arabs, Bush. Arabs expressed outrage at graphic photographs shown on TV screens Friday across the Middle East of naked Iraqi prisoners being humiliated by smiling U.S. military police. President Bush condemned the mistreatment of prisoners, saying it "does not reflect the nature of the American people. That's not the way we do things in America. I didn't like it one bit."
· Fans Rally Behind Booted 'Idol' John Stevens. So John Stevens isn't the next "American Idol." That doesn't mean the fans who wore out their telephone redial buttons voting for him are ready to give up the dream.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Auspices [aus·pi·ces] n.pl. 1. With the protection or support of someone or something, especially an organization: "Financial aid is being provided under the auspices of NATO."
· Third porn star tests positive for HIV. A third adult movie performer tested positive Thursday for the virus that causes AIDS in the midst of an HIV outbreak that has halted most production, according to the director of an AIDS testing service.
· Sept. 11 Commission Hears Bush, Cheney. President Bush defended his administration's efforts to stop terrorist strikes and assessed the nation's potential vulnerabilities to attack in an extraordinary meeting with the Sept. 11 commission, setting the stage for the panel to focus on reform proposals as it finishes its work.
· Experimental armor uses liquid to make men of steel. Army scientists are working on a liquid body armor for clothing that stays flexible during normal use but can harden to stop a projectile when hit suddenly.
· 'Buffy' Star Nicholas Brendon Enters Rehab. Former "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" co-star Nicholas Brendon said Thursday he has voluntarily entered an unspecified treatment center due to an alcohol problem.
· Jayson Williams Jury Deadlocked. The jury in the Jayson Williams manslaughter trial said Thursday it has reached a decision on six of the charges against the retired NBA star but is split on the other two.
Thursday, April 29, 2004
· Google files for $2.7 billion IPO. Google, the world's number one Web search provider, has filed with U.S. regulators to become a publicly listed company and sell as much as $2.7 billion in stock in a widely expected initial public offering.
· Donald Trump Proposes to Girlfriend. There's a new member of Donald Trump's "A-Team." Following Ivana and Marla, model Melania Knauss became engaged this week to the billionaire developer, Trump spokesman Norma Foerderer said Thursday.
· Convicted Felon Running Nebraska's Tobacco Program. The state of Nebraska hired a man convicted of theft to oversee a million dollar program, while he was still serving time for his offense. Now, the state can't account for thousands of dollars, and hundreds of thousands more may have been mismanaged, according to the state auditor.
· Fast food prices on the rise. Ben Affleck Speaks on Behalf of Wage Increase. Affleck was promoting an increase in the federal hourly minimum wage from $5.15 to $7 proposed by his home state senator, Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.
· Feds issue terror warning for L.A. mall today. A terrorism task force was investigating an "uncorroborated" threat to a Los Angeles area shopping mall where federal officials say an attack may have been planned for Thursday.
· Rob and Laura are rich now. In CBS's new, updated edition of "The Dick Van Dyke Show," the Petries - Rob (Dick Van Dyke) and his wife, Laura (Mary Tyler Moore) - live in a Manhattan apartment that's so huge, there's enough room for Laura to run a dancing school for little girls in it.
· Security tight for Jackson arraignment Friday. As officials in the town of Santa Maria coordinate security plans for pop star Michael Jackson's court appearance Friday, the singer's legal team decided to revise its security as well by replacing the Nation of Islam with a private firm, a source familiar with the defense said.
· Time Inc. Steps Up Plan to Bring Back Life Magazine. Time Inc. is stepping up its plans to relaunch Life magazine, whose world-famous photojournalism made it one of the publisher's best-known brands.
· Bible student jailed for drug dealing. A mother intent on becoming a vicar and helping drug addicts entered a world that eventually saw her hooked on heroin and relying on prostitution to feed her habit, a court heard yesterday.
· Bryant to enter plea during 3-day hearing in May. The judge in the Kobe Bryant case said Wednesday the NBA star will formally enter a plea in his high-profile sexual assault case sometime during a three-day hearing that starts May 10.
· First four charged under 'can spam' law. U.S. authorities charged four people in Detroit on Wednesday with e-mailing fraudulent sales pitches for weight-loss products, the first criminal prosecutions under the new "can spam" legislation.
· Motorcycles, SUVs Lead Crash Count. NHTSA said there was an 11 percent increase in motorcycle deaths for a total of 3,592. Passenger car fatalities declined by 778, but SUV fatalities increased by 456. Overall, 43,220 people died in traffic accidents in 2003.
· Hit-And-Run Teacher Charged. Nearly a month after stepping forward and apologizing, an elementary school teacher was charged Wednesday in a hit-and-run that left two young brothers dead and their two siblings injured.
· Idaho County Bills Mexico $2 Million for Illegal Aliens. Canyon County Commissioner Robert Vasquez mailed the bill to the closest Mexican consulate, in Salt Lake City. He says the county is due more than $1.4 million for jailing and more than $575,000 for doctoring foreign lawbreakers over past two years.
· New York Times owner blames readers for Jayson Blair scandal. Pinch Sulzberger, owner of the New York Times, last week blamed the readers of the Times for the Jayson Blair scandal which rocked his newspaper last year and brought it - and him - to their knees.
· The $160,000 Parking Space. Real estate is going through the roof in Boston. A small place in the posh Beacon Hill neighborhood is selling for $160,000. That's not a house or even a condo – but a parking place.
· House Passes Tax Cuts for Married Couples. The bill, passed 323-95, would permanently change three parts of tax law that cause some married couples to pay higher taxes than they would as single individuals.
Wednesday, April 28, 2004
· Aniston, Pitt Lead 'Most Beautiful' List. Couples rule People magazine's list of "The 50 Most Beautiful People in the World 2004," with cover girl Jennifer Aniston and her husband, Brad Pitt, among them.
· Drunk Driving Teacher Fired. Police say that the instructor showed up for class Monday at the Sears Authorized Driving School intoxicated and also had a nearly empty bottle of rum on her when she was escorted from the class to the hospital.
· Kevin Spacey's Family Secrets Are Out. In a tell-all interview with the London Mail, Spacey's brother Randy Fowler speaks out about their father who was allegedly an American Nazi, rapist, and abuser.
· Ex-husband causes sensation by modeling wedding dress on eBay. When a man in Seattle found his ex-wife's wedding gown and decided to sell it on eBay, the photo of the dress on a hanger just didn't do it justice.
· 97-year-old handcuffed, jailed for unpaid traffic ticket. Police say they had no choice but to go by the book when they handcuffed a 97-year-old woman and took her to jail for failing to pay a traffic ticket.
· It's now against the law to smoke on LA beaches. Los Angeles County is getting 13 miles of smoke-free beaches. The smoking ban will apply to the sand, bus stops and much of the city's historic wooden pier.
· Win This Baby. A giant-sized controversy is brewing over a baby adoption special on "20/20" - and sending ABC execs into a tailspin. Millions of viewers across the country watched a promo for Friday's segment, which pits five desperate couples against each other for the privilege of adopting a 16-year-old's baby.
· Robert Downey Jr. Ending Marriage Robert Downey Jr.'s marriage to actress-singer Deborah Falconer is ending in divorce. The couple, who were married in 1992 and have a son, Indio, had been separated.
· 'Cowboy' taught Travolta to party, Texas-style. John Travolta says the single best experience he ever had on a film was the 1980 honky-tonk movie "Urban Cowboy" - and that good experience had a lot to do with Texas.
· Army Wants Howitzers Back From Ski Areas. The U.S. military is demanding the return of five howitzers that two Sierra Nevada ski resorts use to prevent avalanches, saying it needs the guns for the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
· Drug Charges for Former Pointer Sister. June Pointer-Whitmore, formerly of the Pointer Sisters, was charged with felony drug possession and misdemeanor possession of a smoking device, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.
· Customer stabbed, apparently over tip. A man was stabbed in his back outside a Clemmons restaurant Friday night after he failed to pay the tip that had been automatically included in the bill for his wife's birthday dinner.
· $1 Billion Award In Diet Drug Case. A jury awarded $1 billion Tuesday to the family of a woman who once took the Wyeth-made diet drug Pondimin, part of the now-banned weight-loss combination fen-phen.
· 'Double Your Money' ATM quite popular in London. News tends to spread fast in a British village. Especially when the news is that the local bank's cash machine is paying out twice the money you ask for.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Ethereal [e·the·re·al] adj. 1. Characterized by lightness and insubstantiality; intangible. "Her fragrance lingered in the room, an ethereal reminder of her presence." 2. Highly refined; delicate. "Ethereal beauty."
· 'Pee Diddy' Combs Receives Mixed Reviews for 'Raisin.' The hip-hop impresario, known on stage by his real name, Sean Combs, got a lukewarm reception from most New York critics for his portrayal of Walter Lee Younger, the angry, frustrated hero of "A Raisin in the Sun," Lorraine Hanberry's landmark drama now being revived on Broadway.
· Last Oldsmobile to roll off assembly line Thursday. The last Oldsmobile is scheduled to roll off a Lansing assembly line this week, ending production of an automobile line that began in the city in 1897.
Tuesday, April 27, 2004
· Martha Stewart prosecutors argue against new trial: $14,000 handbag at issue. Federal prosecutors urged a judge Monday to deny Martha Stewart and her ex-stockbroker a new trial, disputing a claim that the first trial was tainted when the jury discussed Stewart's expensive handbag.
· Athens Olympics Now Insured for Cancellation. For the first time, International Olympic officials have taken out cancellation insurance: a $170 million policy to cover the risk of the Athens summer games being called off because of war, terrorism, earthquakes or flooding.
· 'Schindler' co-producer guilty in bribery scandal. The Polish co-producer of the Oscar-winning "Schindler's List" and "The Pianist" was convicted Monday of fraud and sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison in a bribery scandal that has fueled public anger about corruption in high places.
· Al-Fayed sues CBS over Diana pictures. Mohamed al-Fayed has launched a legal action against CBS after the network aired pictures of Diana, Princess of Wales, lying fatally wounded in the wreckage of her Paris car crash.
· Judge: Gary Consit's slander suit against Dominick Dunne to proceed. U.S. District Judge Peter Leisure ruled that Gary Condit's slander claims over statements Dunne made in 2002 on "The Laura Ingraham Show," Entertainment Tonight Online, "Larry King Live," and at celebrity dinner parties would remain in the case.
· Elton John Says 'American Idol' Vote Is 'Racist.' Elton John, a guest judge this month on the U.S. talent hunt TV series "American Idol," said on Tuesday that he found the voting by the national viewing audience "incredibly racist."
· Shriver: Schwarzenegger 'more compassionate.' Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who faced accusations of sexual misconduct with women during his campaign, is "more compassionate and considerate than he has ever been," his wife, Maria Shriver, told a women's organization.
· Missouri tracks scofflaws via pizza-delivery databases. If you owe fines or fees to the courts, that phone call for Pizza may get you busted. Databases compiled by private companies and government agencies are a key tool for firms such as ACS, Coplen said, and "one of the databases they find to be most helpful are pizza delivery databases."
· 'Friends' Sex Suit. It's the episode the writers of "Friends" never wanted you to see: Amaani Lyle says male writers discussed in graphic detail how and where they would like to have sex with stars Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox, joked about David Schwimmer's sexuality, and making Matt LeBlanc's character a serial rapist.
» Friends' Court Documents. A California appeals court this week reinstated a harassment claim brought by a woman who worked on the hit show as a writer's assistant and claimed that she was subjected to an array of racial and sexual harassment.
· Kobe Lawyers: Let Us Tell The Jury. Defense lawyers say details of the alleged victim's sex life are important evidence because, they argue, injuries found on the woman could have been caused by sex with multiple partners before and after her encounter with Bryant.
· Jacko Fires the Nation of Islam. Michael Jackson is ending his relationship with the Nation of Islam, sources say. Jackson has apparently decided, in the wake of firing his lead attorneys over the weekend, to also get rid of his controversial recent "business manager" Leonard Muhammad, son in law of Louis Farrakhan.
· Britney tour wares bring in millions. As Britney Spears begins her European tour Monday in London, the pop singer can count on selling more than $10 million worth of concert souvenirs like baby-doll shirts and posters during the five-week trek.
· Expedition Will Seek to Find Noah's Ark. An expedition is being planned for this summer to the upper reaches of Turkey's Mount Ararat where organizers hope to prove an object nestled amid the snow and ice is Noah's Ark.
· Changes in Store As Google's IPO Nears. Once Google goes public, the company almost certainly will lose many employees who will become so wealthy that they either will decide to stop working or break away to launch their own startups.
· IRS sues cafeteria worker over princess' millions. The government is suing a cafeteria worker who received a $2.1 million tax refund by claiming to be a Hawaiian princess and heir to a billion-dollar estate, authorities said.
· Woman leaves 70% of estate to IRS - on purpose. When Maria Woods died in September at age 80, she left 70 percent of her estate to the U.S. Treasury as a way of showing her gratitude to the nation that took her in as an immigrant from Germany.
· NYPD Video Cops Are Sex Spies. Some cops in the Police Department's video surveillance Viper Units have used their cameras to spy on tenants having sex in city housing projects when they should have been on the lookout for criminal activity, a self-described whistleblower charged yesterday.
Monday, April 26, 2004
· Billy Joel Unhurt After Another Car Wreck. Singer Billy Joel was involved in his third car accident in two years Sunday when he slammed into a house on a wet road on Long Island. No one was seriously injured.
· Martha Stewart, Kmart Extend Deal. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. and Kmart Holding Corp. on Monday said they amended and extended their deal to sell the style guru's products in Kmart stores, just weeks after Martha Stewart was convicted of lying about a stock sale.
· The Mona Lisa Is Deteriorating. The Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece of a mysterious woman with a slight smile, is deteriorating, and the Louvre Museum said Monday it will conduct an in-depth technical study to determine why.
· McDonald's Japan founder dies. Japanese billionaire Den Fujita, the man who established the McDonald's fast-food chain in Japan, has died of a heart attack - just one week after the McDonald's CEO in the U.S. dropped dead of a heart attack.
· Clinton's Memoirs to Be Released in June. The suspense is over, almost. Former President Clinton's memoirs will be published in late June, and promotion will begin a few weeks earlier with a speech at BookExpo America, the industry's annual convention.
· Police retrace Diana's last steps. London's police commissioner has traveled to Paris to retrace Princess Diana's final steps as part of a new investigation aimed at determining if the princess was a victim of conspiracy or a mere traffic accident.
· Google float moves a step closer. Internet search company Google Inc. has moved one step closer to its eagerly awaited initial public offering, choosing Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse First Boston to be lead underwriters, the Wall Street Journal says.
· Missing 5-Year-Old Girl Found Bound In Duct Tape At N.Y. Warehouse. A 5-year-old girl was found bound in duct tape under a tarp at an abandoned warehouse Sunday, a day after she left home to visit a friend two blocks away.
· Jackson Changes Lawyers As Hearing Looms. Less than a week before his latest arraignment, Michael Jackson dumped his high-profile legal team in his child molestation case in favor of a single well-known attorney.
» Jacko's Lawyer Switch: Blame Brother Randy. Michael Jackson, seemingly committed to blowing up his own case, fired his lawyers and hired new ones this weekend based on the advice of his brother Randy.
· Bush Calls for Ban on Broadband Taxes. Tying high-tech innovation to prosperity, President Bush is using a speech in a swing state to address an election-year vulnerability: a sluggish job market that hasn't rebounded with the national economy.
· Ex-nurse to enter plea deal. A former nurse who prosecutors say has confessed to killing dozens of patients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania hospitals is expected to plead guilty to murder charges in a deal that would spare him from the death penalty, according to a prosecutor's spokesman.
· Pay versus performance in America's boardrooms. Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com, tops the list by delivering a 58 percent annual return to shareholders since taking his company public in 1997 - and has only taken an average annual salary of $82,000 over the past six years.
Sunday, April 25, 2004
· 'Man on Fire' Burns Box Office Rivals. Denzel Washington, who sets out to rescue a little girl in "Man on Fire," pushed aside another little girl in the comedy "13 Going on 30" to claim the top spot at the weekend box office.
· Martha Stewart's brother to auction diva's dreck. The domestic diva's estranged younger brother, Frank Kostyra, plans to begin selling on eBay today mementos from Stewart's childhood, right down to her dried chewing gum.
· Omarosa walks off 'Jimmy Kimmel Live.' Omarosa, whose apparent sense of entitlement and bad attitude seems to increase daily, left the show's studio about 22 minutes into the live telecast because a lie-detector had been set-up on stage.
· Japanese Web site mistakenly offers Apple's computers for 25 bucks. A Japanese company says it was deluged with thousands of orders for multiple Apple Computer eMac PCs this week after a glitch caused the computers to be listed on an online shopping site for the knock-down price of $25.
· Stallone Goes Back to Boxing for TV Show. Sylvester Stallone, the star of the five "Rocky" movies, says he's hoping to draw people who don't like boxing to his latest on-screen venture - a reality television show featuring young fighters.
· Top allergy capitals in America. Atlanta tops the list of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America's top 100 Spring Allergy Capitals, with Augusta, Ga.; Louisville, Ky.; Charlotte, N.C., and St. Louis rounding out the top five for severe allergy regions.
· HBO Special Goes Undercover in 'Jockey.' They're the little people who hop on the backs of 1,100-pound thoroughbred horses for a 40-mph ride around a racetrack up to 10 times a day, but many abuse their bodies trying to reach riding weights that range from 110 to 117 pounds.
· Killed Porn Star Linked to 'Snuff' Film. A Canadian porn actress found stabbed to death last month may have been killed while shooting a film that was to have simulated the murder of a woman during sex, prosecutors said.
· FCC Recommends $4K Fine for Castro Prank. A radio station that crank-called Cuban President Fidel Castro and broadcast the recording should be fined $4,000, the Federal Communications Commission said.
· Man dies at hospital after forgetting his insurance card. A 21-year-old man died of appendicitis after he was refused treatment at an emergency clinic because he didn't have his provincial health card with him.
· Coors Under Fire for Kerry-KKK Quip. The dispute started when The New York Times inadvertently published a photo of Republican Senate candidate Pete Coors above a story about a KKK member who murdered a black sharecropper.