|January 2004 - Week 1|
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Saturday, January 10, 2004
· Princess Diana's driver may not have been drunk. In the latest twist, British police now have serious doubts over whether chauffeur Henri Paul was drunk when he crashed the car carrying the princess and her boyfriend Dodi Fayed
· Pete Rose Sees No Reason to Quit Gambling. In his latest autobiography and accompanying interviews this week, baseball's hits king says he's still wagering at race tracks, but insists that his gambling isn't a problem and shouldn't be a concern.
· IRS agents shut down gambling at Binion's Horseshoe casino in Las Vegas. U.S. marshals and agents from the Internal Revenue Service shut down gambling at Binion's Horseshoe hotel-casino Friday, enforcing what authorities said was a federal court judgment for nonpayment of union benefits.
· Allegations arise in Peterson trial survey. Several university students said they fabricated survey results factored into in a judge's decision to move Scott Peterson's capital murder trial out of Modesto. "We falsified the info," said a 20-year-old criminal justice student at California State University, Stanislaus. "The stuff we submitted wasn't true."
· Jury kicks butt. In a precedent-setting case, Brooklyn jurors yesterday awarded $20 million to the widow of a cigarette smoker who died of cancer, saying they wanted to teach Big Tobacco a lesson for selling a deadly product.
· Bryant defense blasts 'hand span' request. Defense lawyers for NBA star Kobe Bryant, accused of raping a hotel employee in Eagle, Colorado, said in court documents released Friday they had no objection to a prosecution request to measure the basketball player's hand span.
· For internet sale: aircraft carrier, only three owners. For the man who has (almost) everything it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Tired of corporate jets, ocean-going yachts and seafront properties in Barbados? Then what about your very own aircraft carrier?
· State phone books held up for image. The Idaho Department of Administration recalled 500 state telephone directory books after state lawyers warned they did not have explicit permission to use an image of a deceased Iraq war hero on the cover.
· SCO approached Google about Linux license. SCO Group Inc., the software company that is suing IBM and extracting royalties from other Linux users, said Friday that it had held "low-level talks" with Internet search engine Google about a license agreement.
· Jackson Leasing Beverly Hills Mansion. Michael Jackson, who says he'll never live at his Neverland Ranch again, has found a $20 million substitute. The pop star is leasing a cliffside estate described as the "crown jewel of Beverly Hills."
Friday, January 9, 2004
· Aspen Ski instructor fired for calling student "fat retarded kid." Alison Berkley described one student as a "fat retarded kid" and "whale boy," and said students' "ultrawealthy" parents "think I'm a miracle worker because their brain-dead kid actually got excited about something besides video games for the first time since the day she turned 13."
· Woman objects to carrying coffin photo of crash victim. A judge ordered a woman to carry a photo of the man she killed while drunk driving in a head-on collision. The man's parents complied by sending a picture of him in his casket.
· Sports celebrity phone numbers leaked by AP. The world's largest wire service accidentally transmitted an internal list of sports figures' phone numbers - more than 750 celebrities - to many of its media customers.
· Burger King customers told: 'You are too fat to have a Whopper.' Police believe teenage pranksters are hacking into the wireless frequency of a US Burger King drive-through speaker to tell potential customers they are too fat for fast food.
· Kazaa is a virus minefield. Forty-five percent of the executable files downloaded through Kazaa, the most popular file-sharing program, contain malicious code like viruses and Trojan horses, according to a new study.
· 13-year-old drunken driver surprises Minnesota troopers. "We do arrest teens for drunken driving," police said. "But usually they're 16 or 17. In 24 1/2 years of doing this, I can't remember a case when a 13-year-old was arrested for DWI."
· Jury Selection Begins in Blake Murder Trial. Jury selection for the murder trial of actor Robert Blake began a full month before the publicly announced date and while the court was telling news organizations that the process wouldn't begin until next month.
· Man Finds, Returns $4,000. Honesty is the best policy. That's the way long-time MBTA employee Peter Popovics sees it. Popovics found an envelope in a Dunkin' Donuts parking lot. Inside was $4,000 and a checkbook. He didn't keep the cash.
· Gadgets Galore To Make Home Entertaining. The long-promised dream of digital home entertainment networks seems closer to reality than ever at the annual gadget extravaganza known as the Consumer Electronics Show, which kicked off yesterday with a dazzling lineup of new contraptions.
· Forbes Family to Sell Faberge Eggs. The Forbes family's Faberge collection - 12 eggs and an assortment of other gems - will be auctioned in the spring and could fetch up to $90 million, Sotheby's said.
· Volvo solves blind spot. Swedish automobile maker Volvo claim to have solved one of the great problems with car driving, the blind spot responsible for many traffic accidents. A digital camera installed in side mirrors monitor traffic around the car and issues warnings to the driver.
· Castro lover Danny Glover visits Venezuela's Chavez. Actor Danny Glover was among a delegation of black American activists who began a nine-day visit to meet President Hugo Chavez and study the situation of blacks in Venezuela.
· Gennifer Flowers Joining N.Y. Music Revue. The woman who says she had an intimate relationship with President Clinton will be joining "Boobs! The Musical," a revue currently running at a midtown Manhattan nightspot, on Jan. 21.
Thursday, January 8, 2004
· Manhunt for Murder, Kidnap Suspect Over. Jerry William Jones, 31, was in police custody after shooting himself. The three kidnapped girls, the murder suspect's two daughters and a former stepdaughter, were found unharmed.
· Treasury breaks word on e-mail anonymity. The U.S. Treasury Department plans to publish nearly 10,000 e-mail addresses on the Web, violating its privacy promise to Americans who used e-mail to comment on a government proceeding.
· Judge OKs Moving Peterson Trial. A judge ruled on Thursday that accused murderer Scott Peterson can't get a fair jury in his dead wife's hometown and ordered the case moved out of Stanislaus County.
· $1 million offered for wedding video. Britney broke his heart, but Jason could be crying all the way to the bank. Jason Alexander has been offered $1 million for the video of him and Britney Spears exchanging I do's at a cheesy Las Vegas chapel.
· Actor Jim Carrey Tops Money-Making List. Nicole Kidman finished second, followed by Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts, Johnny Depp, Russell Crowe, Tom Hanks, Will Ferrell and Renee Zellweger.
· Smoking Cops Kick Butts to Keep Badge. Riverside County wants to cut back their skyrocketing workers' compensation insurance costs, and is kicking off the effort by banning smoking for anyone who wears a badge.
· Robert Duvall slams Spielberg. 'I'll never work at DreamWorks again.' In a CBS "60 Minutes II" interview, the Oscar-winning performer sharply criticized filmmaker Steven Spielberg for meeting with Cuban dictator Fidel Castro in November 2002.
· Garr: "The whole MS stuff put the kibosh on my career." There's a reason we haven't seen much of Teri Garr. It's very simple, she says. "My agents have me in the Actors' Protection Program. It seems to be working very well. Nobody can find me."
· Canadian taxpayers to pay $1 million for Conan O'Brien visit. Canada's taxpayers will help foot the bill to the tune of $1 million when American late-night talk show host Conan O'Brien tapes a week of shows in Toronto.
· Company Targets Teens With Hip-Hop Condoms. A campaign to market a new line of condoms to teens has some people wondering if it's conveying a message that condom use — and, in essence, sex — is cool for kids.
· News Anchor Arrested For Allegedly Stealing Store Items. A television news anchor for the Villages News Network [Florida] was arrested for allegedly stealing a fruit tray and some cigarettes from a grocery store, according to a report.
· Oops, TV news did it again. Turmoil in Iraq, a bicycle bomber strikes in Afghanistan, mad cows are reported to be roaming the West, but the big story on Action News tonight is the marriage of pop diva Britney Spears. And now, here’s your Action News team with the full report.
· Injured Goofy Sues Disney For $300,000. It's true! Goofy is suing Disney. It's the man who played the Disney character on the company's cruise ship. The man suing says the Magic turned into a nightmare for him.
· Liza Minnelli Appears in Divorce Court. Liza Minnelli made an appearance Wednesday in divorce court, where her lawyer complained that the entertainer's husband, David Gest, was avoiding pretrial examination by hiding in Hawaii.
Wednesday, January 7, 2004
· Man says he’s addicted to cable TV; wants to sue. Cable TV made a West Bend man addicted to TV, caused his wife to be overweight and his kids to be lazy, he says. And he’s threatening to sue the cable company.
· Clinic teaches problem drinkers to drink. Blue Cross director Halvor Kjoelstad said that drinking habits must first be charted, people must understand what attracts them to drinking alcohol, and then they examine potential problems that could be creating negative reactions when they are intoxicated.
· Diana not pregnant when she died. The Princess of Wales was not pregnant when she died, a former royal coroner says, apparently ruling out one of the rumours that has swirled around her death in a car crash six years ago.
· Pete Rose's Former Cohorts Say He's Still Lying. Baseball's hits king finally acknowledged that he bet on baseball while he managed the Cincinnati Reds, but insists that he never placed wagers from his office. Not true, say two of his reputed bet runners.
· Dying George Harrison forced by doctor to sign autograph. George Harrison was forced to autograph a guitar on his deathbed for his Staten Island cancer doctor - and even had to endure an impromptu concert by the physician's 12-year-old son, a new bombshell lawsuit charges.
· Father accused of beating convicted sex offender. A Gainesville man was arrested Tuesday morning after authorities said he used an ax handle to beat up a convicted sexual offender who authorities said touched his son.
· Celine Dion Gets Star on Hollywood Walk. Celine Dion broke down in tears as she thanked her late father for being her "No. 1 fan" during a ceremony Tuesday to receive her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
· Duvall: Money Was 'Godfather III' Issue. Actor Robert Duvall says money was the reason he didn't appear in Frances Ford Coppola's "Godfather III," in an interview to air Wednesday on CBS'"60 Minutes II."
· Strutting your stuff in stilettos is good for you. New research will bring joy to the hearts of Sex and the City's Carrie and Charlotte, and shoe-loving women everywhere - high heels may actually help their wearers avoid painful knee conditions.
· Lottery Loser's Shady Past. The Ohio woman who told police that she purchased - and then lost - the winning $162 million Mega Millions lottery ticket - has several arrests on her rap sheet, including convictions for assault and credit card fraud.
· Girl forced to sex as payment for cab ride. A taxi driver is charged for having sex with a 16-year-old girl. The 35-year-old man forced himself on her because she did not have the money to pay for the cab.
· Peterson Prosecutors Will Call Burglary Suspect. One of the men who burglarized a home in Scott Peterson's neighborhood hours after Laci Peterson's Christmas Eve disappearance will be called as a witness by the prosecution in the upcoming double murder trial, according to court documents filed.
Tuesday, January 6, 2004
· Jail for high-calorie hoaxer. Robert Ligon, 68, begins a 15-month jail sentence today for claiming, fraudulently, that his “carob-coated” doughnut contained only three grams of fat and 135 calories. In fact, the chocolate-glazed treat contained a belt-busting 18 grams of fat and 530 calories.
· 'Trust Me.' Woman claims $162 million Mega Millions ticket lost. A Cleveland woman has told police she picked the winning numbers for the $162 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot but lost the ticket before the drawing, according to a police report.
· Smart Kidnap Suspects Seek Closed Hearing. Attorneys for the homeless couple accused of kidnapping Elizabeth Smart went to court Monday to block efforts by the news media to have the suspects' competency hearings held in open court.
· Stewart Trial Jury Selection to Get Under Way. Round one of jury selection for the trial of Martha Stewart gets under way Tuesday when potential jurors will be screened for conflicts of interest in what is the highest profile corporate fraud case in years.
· Coroner Begins Inquest Into Princess Diana's Death. Britain's first formal inquest into the deaths of Princess Diana and her boyfriend Dodi Fayed opened Tuesday, a case in which some see a sinister conspiracy but one of Diana's bodyguards dismisses as a "mundane road traffic accident."
· Amputee soldier denied access to club. The shoes he uses with his prosthetic legs didn't meet the nightclub's dress code. Abby Jackson, wife of Spc. Robert Jackson, 22, who lost his legs in an explosion last August while serving in Iraq, says her husband was denied access to an upscale Des Moines nightclub because his shoes weren't fancy enough.
· Kobe's Attorneys Seek to Close Evidence Hearing. Attorneys for NBA star Kobe Bryant are asking the judge in his sexual assault case to close a February hearing to the public, saying evidence that will be discussed might taint the jury pool and may not even be allowed at trial.
Monday, January 5, 2004
· Jacko Defense: He Wasn't There. What kind of defense is Mark Geragos putting together for Michael Jackson? How about: absentee molester? The word is coming down that Geragos will use the specific dates mentioned in the charges filed against Jackson to exonerate the singer.
· Britney Annuls Marriage Day After Wedding. Britney Spears and a childhood friend apparently "took a joke too far" by tying the knot at a wedding chapel after a long night of partying - and then quickly arranged an annulment.
· Crocodile Dumb-Dee. "Crocodile hunter" Steve Irwin has survived tussles with giant pythons, poisonous snakes and, of course, crocodiles. Now he faces accusations that he went too far and endangered his infant son.
· Clarkson Poor Loser. Stunned "American Idol" champ Kelly Clarkson abruptly left the set of "World Idol" New Years' night after fans snubbed her in favor of Kurt Nilsen - a gap-toothed plumber with a great voice from Norway.
· The Best TV Commercial In 2003! This clever two-minute Honda ad is a real-time creation that took seven painstaking months to prepare - and 606 video takes - that results in a mesmerizing chain reaction that will leave you scratching your head.
· 'Lucky' woman has heart attack on flight. Fifteen heart specialists, all bound for a medical conference in Florida, stood up to offer help when a cabin attendant asked: "Is there a doctor on board?"
· Lewinsky Denied Reimbursement of Legal Fees. Former White House intern Monica S. Lewinsky is not entitled to be reimbursed for $1.1 million she spent in legal fees related to an independent counsel investigation of President Bill Clinton and his affair with her, a federal appellate panel ruled.
· Michael Jackson's $1 Million Interview Deal. Michael Jackson struck a deal with CBS to be paid in effect an additional $1 million for both an entertainment special to be broadcast on Friday and his interview on "60 Minutes" this past Sunday.
· New Year Resolutions? Don't Bother. Impulsive New Year resolutions were almost guaranteed to fail, a researcher has warned. Dr Duncan Murray, of Queensland's Griffith University, said people usually aimed high with "big ticket" resolutions like losing weight, giving up smoking or getting rid of credit card debt. However, they failed to consider the implications of what they were attempting.
· Antique chandelier crashes to Missouri Senate floor. A 600-pound antique chandelier crashed to the Senate floor Tuesday at the Missouri Capitol, smashing a bench typically used by pages but injuring no one.
· Christmas Closeout Sale: F-16 fighter jets. American made assault helicopters, F-16 fighter planes and tanks are all available at knock-down prices in an end-of-year sale being staged by the Israeli army.
· Parents outraged after son finds bullets in Christmas toys. A Houston, TX father received a nasty surprise when he looked inside one of his kids' new Christmas toys. He found 29 live 22-magnum bullets mixed in among the parts.
· 'Home Improvement' Actor Hindman Dies. Actor Earl Hindman, best known for playing a neighbor whose face was forever obscured by a fence on the television show "Home Improvement," died of lung cancer Monday in Stamford, Conn. He was 61.
· Woman ticketed for appearing naked on the Internet. It may be legal to appear naked in cyberspace, but police ticketed a Lincoln woman Monday for posting nude pictures of herself on the Web that were taken in downtown bar.
· Woman sues sheriff's department after being forced to leave jail wearing only panties and T-shirt. A 36-year-old woman is suing Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, claiming she was badly beaten after she was forced to leave Madison Street Jail wearing only the panties and T-shirt she had on when she was arrested.
· 'Odd Couple' Chosen as Most-Admired. Americans again say the man and woman they most admired in 2003 are President Bush and New York Sen. Hillary Clinton - a political odd couple that bested Oprah, the Pope, Bill Clinton and Laura Bush, too.
· As Stewart trial approaches, a young ex-brokerage worker plays pivotal role. Douglas Faneuil is a 28-year-old, baby-faced former brokerage assistant who lives in relative obscurity in an apartment in Brooklyn - and could be the deciding factor in whether Martha Stewart goes to prison.
· Bryant Case Voted AP 'Sports' Story of Year. The young hotel worker's accusation was shocking enough: Thrilled by a chance encounter with a celebrity, she went to his room only to be forced over a chair and sexually assaulted. More startling was the name of the accused: Kobe Bryant.
· Michael Jackson's Spokesman Resigns. Michael Jackson's chief spokesman resigned on Monday, citing "strategic differences" with other members of the embattled pop star's team over the handling of child molestation charges.
· Cyber blackmail targets office workers. Cyber blackmail artists are shaking down office workers, threatening to delete computer files or install pornographic images on their work PCs unless they pay a ransom, police and security experts said.
· Domain interest rekindled. ONE more sign the technology sector is rebounding: an internet domain name is again commanding seven figures. Last week, a Florida man sold men.com for $1.3 million, a healthy profit over the $15,000 he paid for it in 1997.
· Baghdad has lower crime rate than New York. Startling new Army statistics show that strife-torn Baghdad - considered the most dangerous city in the world - now has a lower murder rate than New York and most other American cities.
· Schwarzenegger Eyes Sentencing, Parole Changes for Calif. Prison System. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration is considering moneysaving changes in sentencing and parole supervision for California's $5.3 billion prison system.
· France warning tipped off terrorists. One or more terror suspects may have escaped due to a premature disclosure in France of the security concerns behind the cancellation of Christmas flights to Los Angeles, U.S. officials said yesterday.
· We Hate Spam, Congress Says... Except From Us. Even as Congress was unanimously approving a law aimed at reducing the flow of junk e-mail, members were sending out hundreds of thousands of unsolicited messages to constituents.
· Closing In: Investigators Trace Diseased Cow to Canada. The Holstein infected with mad cow disease in Washington state was imported into the United States from Canada about two years ago, federal investigators concluded.
· Dean not sure Osama's guilty. Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean says he's not sure Osama bin Laden is guilty of anything – even though the leader of the al-Qaida terrorist network has boasted of his attacks on the U.S., including the one on September 11, 2001.
· Jackson: It's OK to Sleep With Children. Michael Jackson told CBS' "60 Minutes" that he still believes it's acceptable to sleep with children and that he would "slit my wrists" before he would hurt a child.
· Reputed NY Mobster Shoots Man for Heckling Singer. The scene in one of New York's fabled Italian restaurants would have done "The Sopranos" TV scriptwriters proud - a reputed mobster shot a man dead for heckling a woman singer.
· Saying Farewell to Entertainment Greats in 2003. From Bob Hope, Katharine Hepburn and Gregory Peck to Johnny Cash and his wife June Carter Cash and John Ritter, the talented performers were beloved by the public and influential across generations.
· Report: Michael Jackson's Secret Wedding. MICHAEL Jackson has secretly married for the THIRD time according to pals. The singer is said to have wed a stunning 23-year-old Muslim beauty in the summer.
· Pellicano's ex-wife wants to write a book. "He's an old-style Italian guy who enjoys living on the edge," she added. "He did what he needed to do. He took care of people's problems. He could be a bully. That's what he did for a living. And he did it very well."
· Kobe says he is 'Living in a Nightmare.' Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant said in a televised interview Thursday that he sometimes becomes distracted or scared as he fights a felony sexual assault charge.
· Prosecutors set up website on Michael Jackson. California prosecutors took the unusual step of setting up a Web site on the Michael Jackson case, triggering a debate on use of the Web within the legal community.
· Thief Feels Holiday Spirit, Returns Stolen Car. A thief stole a woman's car along with a purse that contained $200 and credit cards, but - apparently struck by the Christmas spirit - returned the car along with a letter of apology.
· Celebrity Knuckleheads For 2003. It's been a busy year, friends, and we've been keeping tabs on the famous and stupid -- practically a full-time job. Like last year, we only considered celebrities, no politicians or meddling Chicago baseball fans.
· Parents of Slain Child Beauty Queen JonBenet Ramsey Sue Fox News. The parents of slain 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey filed a $12 million federal defamation lawsuit against Fox News Network over a story they say cast suspicion on them.
· Awful Plastic Surgery. The pressure to appear young and beautiful can be overwhelming to people who make their living in the limelight. But how far is too far in the seemingly endless process of nips and tucks?
· Questions still haunt Laci Peterson case. Peterson told Modesto police he decided to go fishing [one year ago today] in the San Francisco Bay rather than play golf as originally planned, and last saw his wife mopping the floor at home.
· 13-Year-Old Indiana Girl Faces DUI charges. A 13-year-old girl has been charged with drunken driving in northern Indiana. According to police, the girl hit a utility pole, causing nearly 600 homes to lose electricity near LaPorte.
· Embarrassed Namath apologizes to Kolber. Embarrassed by Saturday night's national television interview, pro football Hall of Famer Joe Namath admitted on Tuesday that he had been drinking and apologized to ESPN reporter Suzy Kolber for saying he wanted to kiss her.
· Celine Dion Billboard Makes Nevada Man's Dreams Come True. A Nevada man has had his songwriting dreams come true after renting a billboard on a dusty stretch of road outside of Las Vegas in hopes Celine Dion would see it and contact him.
· Cellphones that track kids click with parents. On the train returning to Armonk, N.Y., from a recent shopping trip in Manhattan with her friends, Britney Lutz, 15, had the odd sensation that her father was watching her. He could have been.
· Geragos Moves for Dismissal of Peterson Case. Scott Peterson's lawyer, arguing that Modesto police failed to pursue a "genuine investigation of Laci Peterson's disappearance" last Christmas Eve, is seeking dismissal of double-murder charges against his client.