|August 2004 - Week 2|
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Sunday, August 15, 2004
· Box Office: 'Alien Vs. Predator' Smacks Down Rivals. Movie-goers were easy prey for a double dose of space invaders. The sci-fi smackdown "Alien vs. Predator," featuring the creatures of the "Alien" and "Predator" franchises, debuted as the No. 1 weekend movie with $38.25 million, studio estimates showed Sunday.
· Empty Olympic seats prompt give-away. IOC officials, worried by the television images being flashed around the world of athletes competing in near empty stadiums, have told the Athens Games organisers to give tickets away for free if necessary.
· Book Reveals Johnny Cash Sick, Grief-Stricken. Sick and consumed by grief after his wife's death, Johnny Cash struggled to record his last songs and spoke regularly with the Rev. Billy Graham for comfort, according to a new family authorized biography.
· Kobe Due Back in Court Tomorrow. With Kobe Bryant's sexual assault trial scheduled to begin in less than two weeks, speculation is mounting that prosecutors are looking for a way to dismiss the charge after a series of setbacks.
· Iranian refuses to compete with Jew at Olympics. Iran's world judo champion Arash Miresmaeili refused to compete against an Israeli Sunday, triggering a fresh crisis at the Olympic Games where race, creed or color are barred from interfering in sport.
· No Black Rock Musicians on Miller Cans. A Miller Brewing Co. promotion celebrating the "50th Anniversary of Rock 'n' Roll" has Rolling Stone cover shots of Elvis Presley, Blondie and others on eight commemorative beer cans. What's missing is a black artist. Robert Thompson, a professor of pop culture at Syracuse University, said the absence is "beyond conspicuous" since black artists often are credited with inventing rock 'n' roll.
» What’s in a Name? Every year, the National Hurricane Center releases a list of hurricane names for the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season. It's an eclectic mix of short, distinctive names designed to be easily pronounced and culturally sensitive.
· Former McGreevey official sought $50 million, aides say. The man who claims Gov. James E. McGreevey sexually harassed him was pushing for a cash settlement of up to $50 million before the governor decided to announce that he was gay and had an extramarital affair, sources told The Associated Press.
» Man Linked to N.J. Gov. Says He's Straight. The Israeli man at the center of New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey's resignation over a gay affair said in an interview published Sunday that he is straight and had no idea initially that his former boss is a homosexual.
· Drama Expected Between Jackson and D.A. Tomorrow. On Monday, Michael Jackson's family will be standing by him for a courtroom confrontation with the man who wants to put him in prison a district attorney whose pursuit of Jackson dates back more than a decade. Although the legal agenda for Monday's pretrial hearing is significant, emotional overtones may take center stage. The subject of this session is District Attorney Tom Sneddon, the man who also tried to bring charges against Jackson in 1993 in a confrontation so bitter that Jackson wrote an angry song that only slightly disguised Sneddon's name.
· Wireless net to get speed boost. Wireless networks could soon be running 10 times faster than they do now. Competing technology groups are proposing different ways to speed up the data rates of wi-fi which could reach 540 megabits per second.
· New York Plaza Hotel sold for $675 million. There's room for change at The Plaza: A Saudi prince is selling the hotel to an Israeli company that is expected to convert some rooms to pricey apartments.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Pugnacious [pug·na·cious] adj. 1. Quarrelsome or combative in nature; belligerent. 2. Expressing an argument or opinion very forcefully: Rather than maintaining a calm demeanor, his boss was quite pugnacious.
· Athens Organizer's Fireworks Start Blaze. Chief Olympic organizer Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki threw a party at her hillside villa Saturday after Athens' lavish opening ceremony went off without a hitch.
· Cycling star's dad questioned by Greek police. The father of a British Olympic cyclist was quizzed by Greek police after daubing his daughter's name on an Athens street where she is due to race. Anthony Cooke used white spray paint to write his daughter Nicole's name on the roadway - but was spotted by a patrol and taken to a local police station, the Greek authorities confirmed.
· Beach volleyball’s bikini cheerleaders stir up a storm. Fans arriving at the Olympic Beach Volleyball Center by the Greek coast on Saturday were greeted by the sight of 12 women wearing skimpy, orange bikinis and dancing up a storm in the sand.
· Oldest Heinz Son Pursues Hands-On Activism. Teresa Heinz Kerry once hinted at tensions with her first-born son, a 37-year-old blacksmith who seeks an anonymous life with his wife and child in rural Pennsylvania.
· Ex-Verizon employee charged with fraud. A former Verizon Wireless employee was indicted by a federal grand jury Thursday on charges he stole more than $20 million from the company's prepaid cellular telephone service.
Saturday, August 14, 2004
· Phelps Wins First Gold in Bid for Record. Michael Phelps grabbed his head in disbelief, then thrust his left fist in the air. He's an Olympic champion - just like Mark Spitz. Phelps began his quest to overtake Spitz's 1972 record haul of seven gold medals with a dominating performance in the 400-meter individual medley, breaking his own world record Saturday night and claiming the first U.S. gold medal of the Athens Games.
· Charley Causes 'Significant Loss of Life.' The death toll from Hurricane Charley rose early Saturday, when a county official said there had a been "significant loss of life" at a mobile home park and deputies were standing guard over stacks of bodies because the area was inaccessible to ambulances.
· Sheriff Seeks Release of Jackson Findings. Santa Barbara County's sheriff has asked a judge's permission to release the results of a state probe into allegations that Michael Jackson was "manhandled" by authorities after his arrest for investigation of child molestation.
· Request denied for indefinite delay in Kobe case. The judge in the Kobe Bryant sexual assault case denied a request from prosecutors for an indefinite delay in the trial late Friday, saying there was no justification for a postponement. Now the prosecutors can claim it was the judge's fault to drop the criminal case rather than blame themselves for their continued blunders.
Friday, August 13, 2004
· Kilborn Calls It Quits at 'Late Late Show.' Craig Kilborn has decided to quit CBS'"Late Late Show" after five seasons, leaving the network to find a new host for the hour that follows "Late Show with David Letterman."
· NBA Owner In Sex Scandal. Just what the NBA needs, another sex scandal: Donald Sterling, the miserly tycoon who owns the Los Angeles Clippers, testified last year that he regularly paid a Beverly Hills woman for sex, describing her as a $500-a-trick "freak" with whom he coupled "all over my building, in my bathroom, upstairs, in the corner, in the elevator."
· Looser Gag Order Sought in Bryant Case. Prosecutors in the Kobe Bryant sexual assault case have joined the NBA star's accuser in arguing that a strict gag order imposed by the judge makes it impossible for them to rebut rumors on the Web or allegations in released transcripts.
· Fred Savage Weds Childhood Friend. It was love at second sight for Fred Savage and his new bride, Jennifer Stone. Savage, who starred on the 1980s series "The Wonder Years," wed Stone, a childhood friend, at the L'Orangerie restaurant in Los Angeles.
· Oprah Winfrey Scheduled for Jury Duty. Some defendants could be in for a jolt when talk show queen Oprah Winfrey shows up for jury duty in Cook County Criminal Court. Winfrey is scheduled to appear Monday, along with about 300 other prospective jurors, Cook County sheriff's office spokeswoman Sally Daly said.
· Hacking's Parents Visit, Urge Forgiveness. Mark Hacking, accused of killing his sleeping wife and dumping her body in a trash bin, has been grieving and praying, his parents said after visiting him Thursday night. Janet Hacking said Thursday night she has spent a lot of time thinking of Mark as "a sweet, little boy," of the promise and the good things, "and that I still have faith in him that he will find his way back."
» Funeral For Missing Utah Woman Set. Lori's parents - Eraldo and Thelma Soares - are preparing for her memorial service, to be held Saturday at a Mormon church in Orem, Utah, which will have a display honoring their daughter's life.
· Jackson to Attend Next Hearing. Michael Jackson has decided to attend court when the man prosecuting him for child molestation is on the witness stand, sources said. Santa Barbara County District Attorney Tom Sneddon will be testifying in an unusual pretrial proceeding Monday.
· Robert De Niro plans to remarry. Robert De Niro reportedly plans to remarry his ex wife, Grace Hightower. The couple, who have a six-year-old son together, married in 1997 before their relationship ended two years later in bitter divorce.
· Doom elevator. An out-of-control freight elevator zoomed up to the top of the Ernst & Young Building in Times Square yesterday and crashed into the roof, killing a security guard inside, fire officials said.
· Bidding opens new chapter for Google. Google Inc. plans to open the bidding in its highly anticipated public offering of stock at 9 a.m. today, kicking off an unconventional auction that will help it set an initial share price next week on its way to becoming a public company.
· Columbine Diaries Are Public Record. In the five years since the Columbine High School massacre, the audio tapes and diaries of the student gunmen have remained sealed from the public. Now, an appeals court has ruled they may see the light of day.
Thursday, August 12, 2004
· Iraq stuns Portugal in first-round of Olympics. In its first Olympic competition since its country was shattered by war, Iraq upset star-studded Portugal 4-2 on Thursday in a gritty, come-from-behind victory as about 200 chanting fans cheered.
· N.J. Governor Resigns, Admits He Is Gay. In a stunning announcement, Gov. James E. McGreevey announced his resignation Thursday and acknowledged that he had an extramarital affair with another man. "My truth is that I am a gay American," he said.
· Elvis' Old Apartment Open for Tours. Want to spend a few days holed up in Elvis Presley's old digs - sleeping in his bedroom, eating in his kitchen? No, Graceland isn't taking in boarders. But there might be a room available at the public housing apartment where Presley spent his teenage years.
· Scott To Amber: We're 'Destroyed.' In one of the last recorded telephone calls between Scott Peterson and his mistress, Amber Frey confronted him about the disappearance of his wife, and he confessed he had been lying to her about his marital status and whereabouts.
"The media has been telling everyone that I had something to do with her disappearance," Peterson said in the Jan. 6, 2003, call. "So the past two weeks I've been hunted by the media. ... I know that I am, you know, I'm destroyed."
· Calls Show Amber Asked Scott About Laci. In one of the last of hundreds of recorded telephone calls between Scott Peterson and his mistress, Amber Frey confronted him about the disappearance of his wife, Laci, and he confessed he had been lying to her about his marital status and whereabouts.
· First casualties at Olympics. Vowing "zero tolerance" for mistakes, Greece has fired two television executives after the state broadcaster fluffed its Olympic debut and went blank during the home team's opening soccer match.
· All California gay marriages 'null and void.' The California Supreme Court ruled today that San Francisco's mayor overstepped his authority by issuing same-sex marriage licenses this spring. The court also voided all the marriages of gay and lesbian couples sanctioned by the city.
· Did Letter Spark Hacking Murder? A search warrant in the case of a missing Salt Lake City woman revealed a handwritten letter suggesting marital trouble between the woman and the husband accused of killing her. "I hate coming home from work because it hurts to be home in our apartment," the police document, released Wednesday, quotes from the letter. "I can't imagine life with you if things don't change."
· Peterson Loved 'The Shining.' Prosecutors played for jurors a series of telephone calls Scott Peterson made to his mistress — including one where he tells her Jack Nicholson's murderous "The Shining" is "the best movie ever" — in their attempt to show his nonchalance just days after his wife went missing and bolster their theory that the other woman was his motive for murder.
· McEnroe Hits Zero Rating. Patience is the watchword at CNBC, despite low ratings for the cable channel's fledgling primetime lineup, especially tennis star-turned-talker John McEnroe, whose show has twice registered a 0.0 rating.
· Outrage over rapist's lottery win. Home Secretary David Blunkett said Thursday he plans to bar convicted felons from benefiting from financial windfalls while behind bars after a jailed rapist won $12.6 million on the national lottery.
· Madonna has thirst for Kabbalah water. Madonna stunned concert organizers in Ireland with her backstage demands which, according to sources, which included a request for 25 cases of Kabbalah water. The one-time Material Girl refuses to drink anything but the water sold by the trendy religious movement, which some have called a cult.
· Kobe Accuser's Father Blasts Judge in Letter. The father of Kobe Bryant's accuser has written a blistering letter to the judge overseeing the sexual assault case, saying his family has "lost trust that we can obtain a fair trial in your court."
· NYC Mayor to Probe Arrest of Mike Wallace. Eighty-six-year-old CBS newsman Mike Wallace - arrested and cuffed after a confrontation with taxi and limousine inspectors - wonders why anyone thought he was such a threat. So does Mayor Mike Bloomberg. "Why a man in his 80s was so threatening that they had to arrest him when they normally don't arrest anybody certainly gives you cause to ask the question," Bloomberg said at his daily press briefing Wednesday.
· NYC Airport Screeners Charged With Theft. Four federal security screeners were charged with stealing watches, jewelry and other property from baggage at two New York City airports, authorities said Wednesday.
· Rethinking MSNBC duo. Microsoft and NBC are switching the channels on their relationship. The co-owners of No. 3 cable news net MSNBC are discussing a host of options - including pulling the plug on their 8-year partnership.
· Justin tells 'NSync 'Bye Bye Bye.' Justin Timberlake is out of sync with his bandmates - and they're not happy about it. The most successful member of 'NSync recently broke the news to the other four warblers that he's not interested in being part of their next album.
· Photographer Sues Aguilera, Bodyguard. Christina Aguilera and a bodyguard were sued by a photographer who says the guard punched and spat on him after he took the singer's picture outside a Hollywood nightclub last year.
· Spears to step up as stepmom. Oops, she's getting ready to be America's favorite stepmom! After months of headline-grabbing stunts, Britney Spears is settling down and spending plenty of quality time with her new fiancé's 2-year-old daughter and infant son.
· Sizemore Arrested on Probation Violation. Actor Tom Sizemore was arrested Wednesday on a probation violation and released after posting $10,000 bail, authorities said. Sizemore, 42, was arrested for a narcotics violation when probation officers conducting random visits discovered drugs at his residence, said Los Angeles County sheriff's Sgt. Vance Duffy.
· Shaq parody has radio producer in trouble. Z100 radio in Portland, Oregon broadcast an interview in which O'Neal supposedly said a jury would have to include rappers Ludacris, Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre in order for Kobe Bryant to be found innocent of rape charges. However, it was later discovered that producer Dan Clark spliced O'Neal's quotes to make it sound as though he were being interviewed. Clark also sent out a news release.
· Teen Pleads Guilty in Web Worm Attack. Minnesota high school senior pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to unleashing a variant of the "Blaster" Internet worm, which crippled more than a million computers last summer. Jeffrey Lee Parson, 19, of Hopkins, Minn., is likely to face 18 months to three years behind bars after pleading guilty to one count of intentionally causing or attempting to cause damage to a protected computer.
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
· Kobe Accuser's Sex Allegations. A former college pal of Kobe Bryant's accuser is defending the NBA star on the Internet, where she's posted sordid allegations about his alleged victim's past, including what she claims was a plot to have sex with the rapper Eminem.
· Xbox murders: Victim Made Seven 911 Calls Before Mass Murder. Investigators in Volusia County, Fla., released seven 911 calls Tuesday made from one of the six victims of the Deltona mass murder of six people over an Xbox.
· 600-Pound Woman Dies After Being Surgically Removed From Couch. A dramatic rescue ended tragically in Stuart, Florida, a rescue so difficult firefighters say they have never seen anything like it. A 600-pound woman who was having trouble breathing and firefighters found 40-year-old Gail Grinds literally stuck to her couch and had to be removed surgically at the hospital. Authorities estimate she had been on the couch anywhere from two to five years.
· Judge: Accused Smart Kidnapper Still Incompetent. A judge has ruled Wanda Barzee still is incompetent to be tried in the kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart and has ordered her back to the Utah State Hospital for another year of treatment.
· Jury says girl responsible for injuries from fall. A Kanawha County jury ruled that a 15-year-old girl has nobody but herself to blame for her 50-foot fall through Stonewall Jackson Middle School's auditorium ceiling.
· CBS' Mike Wallace arrested and handcuffed for disorderly conduct. CBS News veteran Mike Wallace, 86, was arrested Tuesday evening outside a Manhattan restaurant and issued a summons for disorderly conduct.
· Topless 'Girls Gone Wild' Suit Settled. A suit brought by two Louisiana women against rapper Snoop Dogg after their breast-flashing pictures were used on a cover of the video series "Girls Gone Wild" has been settled.
· Philippine Prez: Don't Kiss Me! Annoyed by a stream of unwanted kisses, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo warned overzealous male fans and supporters Wednesday that to avoid embarrassment they should not pucker up in her direction.
· Deaths, injuries on U.S. highways drop in 2003. Fewer people were killed or injured on U.S. highways last year, a decline that regulators said owed much to an increase in seat belt use and a decrease in accidents involving drunken drivers.
· Olympic ticket sales a nightmare. Slightly less than half of the 5.3 million tickets are still unsold. Organizers hope to sell 3.4 million before Friday’s opening ceremony, but last week, only 284,000 were purchased.
· Jacko ex: I'll win kids. Michael Jackson’s ex-wife Debbie Rowe is “utterly convinced” she will win the custody battle over their two kids, friends said last night. She is so confident that she is selling the Beverly Hills mansion Jacko bought for her and is looking for a bigger home for her and the children.
· The Donald show - 'Bankruptcy!' Maybe Donald Trump's next reality TV series should be called "Atlantic City." This time he'd be a contestant, not the king holding court - and this time, the show would end with the government telling him, "You're bankrupt!"
» Trump's toys for the newly bankrupt. Trump. You gotta hand it to him. One day, he's introducing a new line of fancy clothing. Next, he's declaring bankruptcy like it's no big deal. In fact, it may turn out to be a great deal! The perfect opportunity for him to start pitching products that are a bit more downscale.
· How Scott lured me to bed. Accused wife killer Scott Peterson used champagne, karaoke and a private room in a restaurant to woo Amber Frey to his bed, then fed her lies as they planned a life together, Frey testified yesterday.
· Blair security blunder. Secret details of Tony Blair's planned holiday to Italy have been leaked. A fax with security arrangements was inadvertently sent from police headquarters in Tuscany to the Italian press. Siena police said the release of the information was down to a malfunctioning fax machine.
· Falwell wins Web site dispute. A judge has ruled that a gay activist must stop using a variation of the Rev. Jerry Falwell's name in the address for a Web site critical of the conservative television evangelist.
· Kobe accuser's suing him. Kobe Bryant's accuser has a new message for the hoops star: Show me the money. The 20-year-old college student filed a civil suit against the L.A. Lakers guard yesterday, raising new questions about the future of the criminal case against him.
· Shatner may be back. Reports of Captain Kirk beaming back up onto "Star Trek" again are getting stronger. A trailer for the new season of UPN's "Enterprise" showing William Shatner reprising his famous role as the maverick starship captain was shown to a select few at the CBS Television City Research Center in Las Vegas last week.
· Microsoft Unveils 'XP Lite' System. Microsoft announced Wednesday it would offer a low-cost starter edition of its Windows XP operating system in Asia starting in October, as it strives to hold onto market share facing erosion from the open-source Linux system and software piracy.
· 'Toolbelt Diva' Hopes to Inspire Handywomen. If Oprah Winfrey and Bob Villa had a kid, their offspring could be Norma Vally, the Discovery Home Channel's "Toolbelt Diva" who wants to empower women — with power tools.
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
· Basketball's Rick Fox to Divorce Vanessa Williams. NBA veteran Rick Fox has filed for divorce from singer-actress Vanessa Williams, a spokeswoman for Fox said on Tuesday. No reason was given for the divorce.
· Bryant's accuser files civil lawsuit. Woman seeks unspecified monetary damages for 'public scorn, hatred and ridicule.' The attorneys asked for a jury trial and compensatory damages of at least $75,000, with punitive damages to be determined later. With the filing, the woman’s attorneys backed up a threat they made a week ago. A criminal case requires a higher standard of proof to convict — beyond a reasonable doubt — and punishment can involve prison time. A civil case has a lower standard of proof — a preponderance of evidence — and punishment is usually a monetary award.
· Peterson got lucky with Frey 'within hours.' At the hotel room, Peterson, whom she described as cheerful, pulled a bottle of champagne out of a brown leather bag and poured it into glasses. He also produced a box of strawberries, and he put a few in the glasses, Frey said. Peterson later said it was awkward to have slept together after just meeting her, because he was leaving the following week, Frey testified.
· U.S. to Give Border Patrol New Powers to Deport Illegal Aliens. Citing concerns about terrorists crossing the nation's land borders, the Department of Homeland Security announced today that it planned to give border patrol agents sweeping new powers to deport illegal aliens from the frontiers abutting Mexico and Canada without providing the aliens the opportunity to make their case before an immigration judge.
· Mothers stage 'nurse-in' at Starbucks store. More than two dozen mothers staged a breastfeeding “nurse-in” at a Starbucks Corp. store in Maryland over the weekend in an effort to get the world’s largest coffee shop chain to adopt a policy allowing breastfeeding in all its U.S. stores.
· Driver Acquitted in DVD Case. A man accused of causing a fatal collision by watching a DVD movie while driving was acquitted Tuesday of two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of manslaughter by a Kenai Superior Court jury.
· Alcohol, pills killed Kirk Douglas' son. The death of the youngest son of Oscar-winning actor Kirk Douglas was caused by an accidental overdose of alcohol and prescription pills, authorities said Monday.
· Trump to seek bankrupcy on hotels. Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts Inc. on Monday said key bond holders had agreed to take the company into voluntary bankruptcy and restructure its $1.8 billion in debt to get a $400 million capital infusion.
» Trump set to fire himself. Developer will step down as CEO of casino company. Donald Trump, the real estate developer and star of reality show "The Apprentice" appeared poised to use his trademark line "You're fired!" on himself as chief executive and to cut his controlling stake to 25 percent if the deal with debt holders and a Credit Suisse First Boston equity fund goes through.
· Schwarzenegger has broad support. Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has the highest level of support at this stage in his term of any Californian governor in nearly 30 years, with even a plurality of Democrats backing the performance of the former action hero.
· Voice of treason. 'Simpsons' voice Harry Shearer says the show's run out of gas. Shearer, who voices "Simpsons" characters Mr. Burns, Smithers and Ned Flanders, said this week that he believes the show has run its course and that he'd "rather not be there now.
· FCC Clears 'Buffy,' 'Grace' on Charges of Indecency. "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Will & Grace" passed the indecency test at the FCC on Monday as the agency rejected complaints against the popular TV shows filed by two conservative-leaning interest groups.
· Empire State Building to Honor Fay Wray. The Empire State Building - the skyscraper that King Kong scaled while holding tight to Fay Wray - will dim its lights for 15 minutes Tuesday in honor of the actress who died Sunday, a building spokesman said.
· Author ponders lawsuit over 'Village.' Simon & Schuster Inc. is reviewing its legal options against The Walt Disney Co. and writer-director M. Night Shyamalan over what the author of a children's book says are similarities between its plot and the film "The Village," a spokeswoman for the publisher said.
· New Windows update for XP arrives, but IBM says don't install it. Microsoft has finally released its SP2 update for Windows XP, whose hype has only been matched by its constant delays in being released. IBM is advising its employees not to install it because of compatibility issues.
· Naomi strikes again. Naomi Campbell may need a refresher on her anger-management courses. Police were called to the sinewy supermodel's Manhattan apartment Saturday after her maid, Millicent Burton, claimed Campbell slapped her across the face. She then threw her purse out the door, says a source.
Monday, August 9, 2004
· Kobe Judge Keeps Posting Documents Online. The judge in the Kobe Bryant sex assault case has rejected a request by the woman accusing the NBA star of rape to stop placing court documents online — despite mistakes that have led to her name and other details being posted.
· Can You Name All 53 States? A chain of private California schools that taught immigrants there are 53 U.S. states and four branches of the U.S. government was ordered to stop handing out phony diplomas this week, Attorney General Bill Lockyer said.
· Google to Give Yahoo More Stock. Online search engine leader Google Inc. will surrender more than $300 million of its stock to Yahoo Inc. in a settlement that removes a legal threat hanging over its IPO at the expense of enriching a nettlesome rival.
· Private spacecraft explodes in test launch. A team taking a low-budget stab at the $10 million Ansari X Prize for private manned spaceflight suffered a setback Sunday, when their rocket malfunctioned and exploded after shooting less than 1,000 feet in the air.
· Actress Fay Wray of 'King Kong' Fame Dies. Fay Wray, who won everlasting fame as the damsel held atop the Empire State Building by the giant ape in the 1933 film classic "King Kong," has died, a close friend said Monday. She was 96.
· Stooges Digitally Painted on DVD. Purists consider it desecration, while Sony executives say the process can help introduce Hollywood classics to young audiences reluctant to watch anything in black and white.
· 'Collateral' Cruises to Top Spot. Good guy or bad guy, Tom Cruise is still No. 1. Cruise's "Collateral," in which he plays a psychotic hit man who hijacks a taxi for a one-night killing spree, debuted as the top weekend movie with $24.4 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.
· Dem honchos tell babs to stay home. Snarled one insider: "She was a nightmare!" Barbra Streisand delivered a typewritten list of demands that blah-blah-ed on for pages about makeup artists . . . hairdressers . . . a fleet of limos . . . hotel suites for the star's entourage and a small army of private bodyguards.
· The Xbox murders. A stolen Xbox video-game system triggered a brutal Florida massacre that killed six people, including an upper Manhattan man who was "in the wrong place at the wrong time," cops and friends said yesterday.
· Do you wanna dress like The Donald? Hoping to help aspiring moguls - and to cash in on the success of "The Apprentice" - Trump is launching his own line of men's suits, coats, slacks and, possibly, golfing gear.
Sunday, August 8, 2004
· Johnson Ordered to Pay $5K Grocery Tab. Actor Don Johnson has been ordered to pay a grocery store nearly $6,000 for an unpaid tab. Pitkin County District Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely said Johnson must pay $5,470 for his past-due balance at Clark's Market, along with $426.85 in interest and court costs of $101.
· Red Adair, world-renowned firefighter, dies. Paul N. "Red" Adair, a world-renowned oil well firefighter who revolutionized the science of capping exploding and burning wells, has died, his daughter said. He was 89.
· Rick James' Cause of Death Uncertain. An autopsy Saturday failed to determine the cause of death for funk legend Rick James, authorities said. James, 56, died in his sleep Friday at his home near Universal City. The singer was a diabetic and also had a pacemaker. He suffered a stroke in 1998.
· al-Qaida Made Pre-9/11 Diamond Buy. A series of witnesses place six top al-Qaida fugitives in Africa buying up diamonds in the run-up to the Sept. 11 attacks, according to a confidential report by U.N.-backed prosecutors obtained by The Associated Press.
· McCready Charged With Drug Fraud. Country singer Mindy McCready has been charged with prescription drug fraud after authorities said she used a fake prescription to obtain the pain medicine OxyContin.