|February 2004 - Week 3|
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Saturday, February 21, 2004
· Spot, spaniel born in first Bush White House, dies. Spot, an English springer spaniel with a White House pedigree who spent nearly 15 years with President Bush and his family, has died, the White House announced Saturday.
· Report claims Bin Laden 'surrounded.' A British newspaper is claiming Osama bin Laden has been found and is surrounded by US special forces in an area of land bordering north-west Pakistan and Afghanistan.
· Site posts low-tech hack for iTunes giveaway. Sharp eyes and a bit of patience paid off for iTunes fans who figured out a way to "hack" the popular music download service's Pepsi promotion.
It takes a bit of squinting and some persistence, but the trick works. Those who see the word "again" after tilting the bottle have a losing cap. But random letters and numbers mean you have a winner.
· Prosecution Rests in Martha Stewart Trial. The government rested its case Friday against Martha Stewart and her stockbroker, and a judge said she would hear arguments next week on whether some charges in the case should be thrown out.
· Martha Stewart Pal Backtracks. A close friend of Martha Stewart admitted on Friday that some of her most damaging testimony against the domestic trendsetter may have been a figment of her imagination.
· Diverted flight passenger charged over hoax. A man who claimed he was being abducted - leading to the diversion of a Moroccan jetliner after it left a New York airport - was charged Friday evening with making false statements to the FBI, a statement from the Justice Department said.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Redact(ed) [re·dact] tr.v. Edit something: to edit, revise, or delete content in preparation for publication. "Formerly classified documents were redacted so personal information wasn't released to the public."
· Democratic spoiler prepares presidential bid. Ralph Nader, the consumer advocate who ran for president in 2000 as a Green Party candidate, will enter the 2004 race for the White House as an independent candidate, his advisers said.
· Judge Refuses To Halt SF Gay Marriages For Now. In another victory for gay and lesbian couples in San Francisco, a judge on Friday declined to immediately halt the rush of same-sex marriages that started with the mayor's defiance of state law.
Friday, February 20, 2004
· Air Scare Mystery: 'I've Been Captured.' Federal authorities tried Friday to unravel the story of a Chicago investment banker who vanished on Valentine's Day, may have gone to New York and then reappeared Thursday night on a Morocco-bound flight, where he claimed he had been kidnapped by Al Qaeda.
· Criminal Probe Launched into Jackson Plane Incident. A federal grand jury is conducting a formal criminal probe into secret cameras that were placed on the charter plane that flew Michael Jackson to Santa Barbara to surrender to charges of child molestation.
· Ozzy Osbourne fears he may never perform again. Heavy metal rocker Ozzy Osbourne said on Thursday he fears he may not be able to perform again after an accident on an all-terrain vehicle late last year that left him in a coma for eight days.
· Gibson's wacky dad causing more controversy. Days before the release of Mel Gibson's film chronicling the death of Jesus, which critics have accused of fuelling anti-Semitism, the filmmaker's father has added to the controversy.
· Families of R.I. Nightclub Fire Victims Reflect. They included schoolteachers and business professionals, waiters and disc jockeys, musicians and tattoo artists. And when their lives were cut short by a fire that consumed a nightclub, few in Rhode Island were left untouched by the tragedy.
· Bartman Baseball Gets Last Night Of Fun Before Execution. The foul ball deflected by Chicago Cubs fan Steve Bartman in Game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship will be destroyed in a public ceremony at Harry Caray's Restaurant.
· Survey finds Brits spend more on booze than fruits and vegetables. The British spend more on booze to drink at home than on fresh fruit and vegetables, according to a new breakdown of the nation's spending habits.
· Ireland begins smoking ban in bars next month. Ireland will introduce a tobacco ban on March 29 making it the first country in Europe to outlaw smoking in pubs, bars and restaurants, and those who defy the ban will be fined up to (US) $3,824.00 - ouch!
· Martha's 'friend' delivers blow to defense. In what may be the most troubling testimony yet, Martha Stewart's friend, Mariana Pasternak, said Stewart was tipped to sell ImClone while she and Martha flew on a private jet to vacation in Mexico, adding that Martha said "Isn't it nice to have brokers who tell you those things?"
· Ambulance Runs Over Man, Flees From Scene. Investigators believe a man crossing the street in downtown Denver Wednesday night was hit not once, but twice by passing drivers before he died and witnesses say that the second vehicle that struck him was an ambulance.
· Are Katie Couric's bangs hiding something? According to a report in Women's Wear Daily, they are there not as a fashion statement so much as camouflage. According to surgeon Cap Lesesne, wearing long bangs is a good way to hide forthcoming plastic surgery.
Thursday, February 19, 2004
· Martha Stewart: 'Tricky Ink.' A forensics expert testified Thursday that Martha Stewart's stockbroker used a different ink to make a notation next to an entry for ImClone Systems stock on a worksheet of her stock sales.
· Thanks to a semicolon, gays and lesbians keep marrying in San Francisco. A Superior Court judge told the plaintiffs that they would likely succeed on the merits eventually, but that for now, he couldn't accept their proposed court order because of a punctuation error. "I am not trying to be petty here, but it is a big deal... That semicolon is a big deal," said San Francisco Superior Court Judge James Warren.
· Lost Snowboarder Builds Igloo, Eats Pine Needles To Survive. A 34-year-old snowboarder and former Olympic hockey player was rescued after he strayed off mountain runs, lost his bearings and survived frigid conditions for a week by building a makeshift igloo and eating pine nuts and needles.
· Stern sidekick to announce for Leno. Stuttering John Melendez is leaving the Howard Stern radio show to become the new announcer on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno." He'll replace Ed Hall - who, for some - wonder why it took so long to replace him.
· Colorado Coach 'Benched' For Comments. Describing the on-field performance of alleged rape victim Katie Hnida, University of Colorado football coach Gary Barnett said yesterday, "It's a guy's sport, and they felt like Katie was forced on them," Barnett said. "It was obvious Katie was not very good. She was awful."
Reminiscent of a bad Fuzzy Zoeller interview, coach Barnett brazenly continued, "Well, Katie was a girl. Not only was she a girl, she was terrible. And there's no other way to say it. She couldn't kick the ball through the uprights."
· Olsen twins spur restaurant scuffle. A New York restaurateur has slammed multimillionaire acting twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen after their bodyguard tried to barge him out of the way in his own eaterie.
· Lawsuit Claims Jacko Failed to Pay for Surrender Flight. A travel agent sued Michael Jackson on Wednesday, claiming the pop star failed to pay her $18,000 for the infamous charter jet flight that brought him from Las Vegas to Santa Barbara where he surrendered to authorities on child molestation charges.
· FLASHBACK: Private Charter Jet Company Trys to Sell-Out Jacko. Attorney Mark Geragos called XtraJet's attempt to sell a video and audio recording in which Jackson is seen and heard talking to Geragos in flight "one of the most outrageous acts I've ever seen in my 20 years of practicing criminal law." A Los Angeles Superior Court judge forbade the release of videotape secretly filmed aboard Jackson's flight to Santa Barbara.
· Man accused of killing his children dies in jail. Scumbag accused of killing his two children and burying them in the Midwest last summer apparently killed himself in his jail cell, the state attorney general said Thursday.
· Mom turns tables in music industry lawsuit. In what legal experts described as a novel strategy, A New Jersey woman is citing federal racketeering laws like the one that jailed mob boss John Gotti to countersue record labels that accused her in December of illegal downloading music.
· Cingular almost pays extra $1.6 billion. Sleepy lawyers and bankers, exhausted after working on the takeover battle for AT&T Wireless, almost cost Cingular, the winning bidder, an extra $1.6 billion because of a clerical slip-up.
· New Norah Jones sells 1 mil in 1st week. Norah Jones' "Feels Like Home," the follow-up to her multiplatinum, Grammy-winning debut album, has sold over 1 million copies in its first week, the highest sales debut for an album since 2001.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Dogmatic [dog·mat·ic] adj. 1. Expressing rigid opinions; Prone to expressing strongly held beliefs and opinions. 2. Asserting opinions in a doctrinaire or arrogant manner; opinionated.
· Dinner brought to you tonight by Smith & Wesson. A Wisconsin man thought his guns and ammunition would be safe if he hid them in the oven while he and his wife were on vacation — only he forgot to tell his wife when they returned.
Wednesday, February 18, 2004
· America says farewell to Howard Dean and the 'Dean Scream.' Howard Dean will end his campaign for the presidential nomination and oversee a new effort to keep his issues alive and his supporters organized on behalf of Democratic causes.
· With Paris, ex sells sex. Paris Hilton's ex claims that 50,000 people a day have paid $50 a pop to download the 37 minutes of his former girlfriend having sex with him since he launched it on a Czech-based Web site run by his brother.
· 'Bachelor' Couple Aaron and Helene Put Ring in the Block. Former "Bachelor" sweethearts Aaron Buerge and Helene Eksterowicz are using eBay to auction off the 2 1/2-carat diamond ring Buerge gave to Eksterowicz on the show's finale in Fall 2002.
· Kerry's electric rock'n'roll past. First, we had Bill Clinton on saxophone. Now, prepare yourselves for Senator John Kerry on bass guitar. He even recorded an album, which one of only 500 recently sold on eBay for over $2,500.
· Barry Bonds' personal trainer admits giving steroids to players. According to the documents released Tuesday, Anderson told federal agents he gave steroids to several professional baseball players. It was unclear whether Anderson provided specific names to the federal agents.
· Ex-Colorado kicker says she was raped. A female placekicker says she was raped by a teammate at the University of Colorado four years ago and didn't tell police because she was too frightened - another hit to the scandal-plagued football program.
· Judge allows GPS evidence in Peterson case. The judge in Scott Peterson's murder trial ruled Tuesday that evidence dealing with the electronic tracking of Peterson after his wife's disappearance will be admitted in the trial.
· Cash Family Won't Let Song Be Used for Ad. Advertising writers in Florida were planning to pitch hemorrhoid-relief products with a commercial featuring the Johnny Cash classic "Ring of Fire," but Cash's family said there's no way they will let it happen.
· NBC's Conan O'Brien Issues "Apology" to Quebec. Late-night comedian Conan O'Brien sought to defuse a flap over a recent segment poking fun at the French-Canadian province of Quebec by issuing a self-deprecating "apology" on Tuesday in French.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Extemporaneous [ex·tem·po·ra·ne·ous] adj. 1. Unrehearsed. Done or said without advance preparation or thought; impromptu: "An extemporaneous lecture." 2. Prepared in advance but delivered without notes or text: "An extemporaneous speech."
· Google Adds 1 Billion More Pages to Web Index. Online search engine leader Google added an additional 1 billion pages to its Web index Tuesday, increasing its breadth by about one-third as it girds for tougher competition from Yahoo! and Microsoft.
» Yahoo dumps Google search technology. Yahoo dropped Google as the default search technology provider for its U.S.-based sites late Tuesday, signaling the beginning of the end for the Web's most high-profile marriage of convenience.
· What really happened to Natalie Wood. In 1981, when Natalie Wood drowned off Catalina Island under mysterious circumstances, the tabloids erupted in headlines that hinted at foul play by Robert Wagner or Christopher Walken on the yacht, Splendour.
· Disney Buys Jim Henson's Muppets. Walt Disney and The Jim Henson Company today announced that they have entered into an agreement under which Disney will acquire the Muppets and Bear in the Big Blue House properties from Henson.
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
· Catholic Bishop found guilty in hit-and-run. Bishop Thomas O'Brien was convicted of hit-and-run Tuesday for leaving the scene after killing a pedestrian with his Buick last summer.
O'Brien is believed to be the first Roman Catholic bishop in U.S. history to be convicted of a felony.
· Legal 'Odd Couple' join to keep Limbaugh records sealed. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has joined Rush Limbaugh's attorneys in accusing law enforcement officers of breaking the law when they seized his medical records.
· Record Industry Sues More Over Downloads. The recording industry sued 531 more computer users Tuesday it said were illegally distributing songs over the Internet in what has become a routine reminder reminder that college students, teenagers and others can face expensive lawsuits for swapping music online.
· State prison inmates threaten boycott of new healthier food. Upset over losing their deep-fried chicken and sweet cakes, inmates at a state prison in Northumberland County, Pa., are threatening a food boycott over the new heart-friendly menu.
» Cookbook features last meals of inmates. With recipes for "gallows gravy" and "rice rigor mortis," Brian Price's new cookbook brings a touch of dark wit to a subject seldom welcome at the dinner table: death.
· Canadians Still Fuming Over Conan O'Brien Visit. Canadian politicians are denouncing "The Late Show with Conan O'Brien" over a sketch in which a cigar-chomping sock puppet hurled insults at French Canadians.
· British chalet girls heat up the French Alps. British chalet girls catering for Alpine skiers have earned a reputation for all-night partying and promiscuous antics, but these traditionally big-drinking fun-loving women say this is mostly just bad press.
· Cigar-loving Arnie plans a 'smoking plaza' at state capitol. Arnold Schwarzenegger, California's cigar-smoking governor, is to tear a roof off the state capitol so that smokers can enjoy their vice inside the legislature.
· Matt Drudge: 'Oops!' After it became obvious there was no hard evidence to support the allegations against Senator Kerry, Drudge didn't miss a beat... he's now claiming that the young woman had actually been dating Kerry's finance director.
· Priest Found Dead After Talk With Bishop. A priest was found dead two days after meeting with a Roman Catholic bishop over a 1995 letter alleging the bishop was part of "a ring of homosexual Albany priests."
· New Cable Guy. Network news veteran Rick Kaplan is being tapped to rescue MSNBC, which has trailed No. 1-ranked Fox and No. 2-ranked CNN in the cable news wars, according to sources familiar with the matter.
· Boy's blow costs family $15,000. A 9-year-old boy's kick to a waiter's crotch cost his parents $15,000. The waiter, then 26, filed a lawsuit against the boy and his parents, claiming the kick caused him great pain and that sex will never be the same.
· Retailers Welcome Spring Pastels in Sub-Zero Weather. Baby, it's cold outside - but it's warm and toasty in the eyes of fashion retailers who have pastel miniskirts, tank tops and strappy sandals in their windows and on the sales floor as early as mid-January.
· Widow: Atkins wasn't obese at death. The widow of low-carb diet guru Dr. Robert Atkins said Monday that she was "outraged" at charges her husband was obese at the time of his death and denied his heart problems had anything to do with the protein-heavy diet he espoused.
· Disney Rejects Comcast Offer, Backs Eisner. Walt Disney Co.'s board said on Monday it had unanimously rejected cable operator Comcast Corp's unsolicited takeover bid as too low and endorsed Chief Executive and Chairman Michael Eisner and his strategy for the company.
Monday, February 16, 2004
· Young woman denies John Kerry affair allegations. Breaking her silence four days after the allegations surfaced on the Internet, Alexandra Polier issued a statement to The Associated Press, saying, "I have never had a relationship with Senator Kerry, and the rumors in the press are completely false."
» Kerry Would Be Third-Richest U.S. President. Sen. Kerry, like the last JFK from Massachusetts to serve as commander in chief, is also extremely wealthy. Forbes estimate his family fortune at $525 million, which would make him, if elected, the third-richest president ever to take the office.
· $58 Million In Property Missing From NASA. At least $58 million worth of government property has been reported missing at NASA centers across the country during the last five years, according to a report.
· The 'Secret lives' of past U.S. presidents. Forget about the affairs — George Washington spent 7 percent of his presidential salary on booze; John Quincy Adams liked to skinny dip in the Potomac; and Warren G. Harding once lost a box of White House china in a poker game.
· NTV inserts 'subliminal' image into TV program. Japanese broadcaster Nippon Television Network has been accused of inserting a subliminal image in one of its late-night television programs on a regular basis.
· A Penthouse Pet Peeve for Trump. Penthouse Pet of the Year Victoria Zdrok claims that reality-television star Donald Trump took her out on four dates a few years back. "I'm sure she's a lovely person but she's not my taste. Far from it," the star of NBC's hit show "The Apprentice" said.
· What happened to Farrah Fawcett's face? She once had the face of an Angel — and a legion of male fans that stretched around the world. But former Charlie’s Angel Farrah Fawcett drew shocked stares as she attended a New York fashion show, modelling a newly-sculpted nose.
· Tear-jerker for John Daly. John Daly stumbled a bit under the weight of his own expectations Sunday, but won the Buick Invitational on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff with Chris Riley and Luke Donald in front of an electrified crowd at Torrey Pines.
· Thousands Of Stolen U.S. Vehicles Found In Central America. Former Houston Oilers football player Alonzo Highsmith has wondered for almost a decade what happened to his fully-loaded Ford F-250 truck after it was stolen from a Houston restaurant parking lot in 1995. Turns out it ended up a lot farther away than he ever imagined: It's in Guatemala.
· Microsoft May Win Big in Comcast-Disney Deal. Since Microsoft already owns 7.4 percent of Comcast, it would end up controlling about 4 percent of the world's largest media company if Comcast's bid succeeds.
· Clinton busy writing own job description. Clinton received a $12 million advance for his book, which is to be published this summer. About 40% of his appearances are paid speeches, at $150,000 each.
· Ohio Highway Shooting Confirmed As 24th. The day after the chief investigator said authorities were closing in on a serial highway shooter, a man stood in plain view on an overpass and fired a handgun at cars below. He then walked to his car and slipped into traffic.
· Oscar honors geeks at Sci-Tech awards. Jennifer Garner proved her range as actress when a Hollywood audience got to hear the star of ABC's spy drama "Alias" expound on the merits of subsurface light scattering in translucent materials.
· New scholarship created for whites only. A student group at Roger Williams University is offering a new scholarship for which only white students are eligible, a move they say is designed to protest affirmative action. The application for the award requires an essay on "why you are proud of your white heritage" and a recent picture to "confirm whiteness."
· Amazon Reviewers Unmasked? Many sign their names. Many don't. They're the book reviewers on Amazon.com who use such words as "masterful," "page-turner" and "tear-jerker." But among the reviewers were the authors themselves when they lost their anonymity after a glitch on Amazon's site.
· Tests show dogs are almost human. If you think your dog can read your mind, you're right. Because pooches and people have kept company for hundreds of generations, Canis familiaris is hard-wired to pick up human social cues.
Sunday, February 15, 2004
· '50 First Dates' leads box office with $41 million. Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore's romance "50 First Dates" proved an irresistible draw for the Valentine's weekend date crowd, taking in $41 million to debut as the top movie, according to studio estimates Sunday.
· How Tyson spent a cool $470 million. Down to his last 5 grand, the one-time world heavyweight champion has been wracking what is left of his punch-drunk brain to remember what happened to the fortune - estimated at $470 million - he has frittered away.
· Texas Church Tries Guns for Roses on Valentines. It's Valentine's Day Texas style and a church in Dallas wants people to show their love by giving up their guns. The First Presbyterian Church in Dallas is sponsoring a program for people to turn in their guns to mark the Valentine's celebration of love.
· Gibson denies 'Passion' is anti-Semitic. Actor Mel Gibson denies in an ABC television interview to be aired on Monday that either he or his controversial new film "The Passion of the Christ" is anti-Semitic as some critics have claimed in the heated run-up to its opening.
· Keeping Abreast: Janet Jackson Awarded for Charity Work. In her first public appearance since her breast was exposed during the Super Bowl halftime show, Janet Jackson received an award for her humanitarian and charitable contributions.
· Young Mayor Under Fire in Pa. Community. Two years ago, at age 19, Chris Portman took office as mayor of Mercer, making him one of the nation's youngest mayors. But the celebrity that ushered in his term haven't changed much in this borough of 2,400.
· Fur, feathers are trends for fall. It may not come as welcome news to animal activists, but as the trends are tallied for the Fashion Week collections which wrapped up on Friday, the message for fall is fur.
· Smith Had Approached Another Woman In 1997. The man accused of kidnapping and killing an 11-year-old girl tried to lure a woman outside a grocery store in 1997 while he carried a knife and pepper spray, according to a police report.
· Tech Firm Eyed in Windows Code Leak Probe. Self-appointed sleuths eager to solve one of the technology industry's most intriguing mysteries found references inside files accompanying the leaked Windows blueprints indicating that Mainsoft Corp. of San Jose had been working with the computer code before it began circulating on the Internet.