|July 2004 - Week 1|
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Wednesday, July 7, 2004
· Peterson testimony turns to gruesome discovery of bodies. Prosecutors have abruptly changed the direction of their case against Scott Peterson after last week's questioning of witnesses about his affair with Amber Frey.
· 14-Year-Old Murder Defendant Escapes After Gluing Electronic Monitor To Cat. A 14-year-old girl under house arrest on charges of murdering her father escaped after cutting an electronic monitoring device off her ankle and gluing it to a cat, authorities said.
· Enron Ex-Chief Ken Lay Indicted. Former Enron Corp. (ENRQ) Chairman and Chief Executive Kenneth Lay, who ran the company as it grew into an energy trading giant then fell into ruins as a symbol of corporate greed, was indicted on Wednesday for his role in the company's collapse, sources said.
· Britney: Who needs prenup? Britney Spears says she's marrying for love, not money — and the pop tart is resisting pressure from her parents to force her fiance, dancer Kevin Federline, to sign a prenuptial agreement. Spears, worth $100m, reportedly had to pay for her own $40,000, 5-carat engagement ring, and has put Federline on her permanent payroll as he has no money of his own.
· French Flock to Anti-Bush 'Fahrenheit.' France's passion for cinema and the collective antipathy for President Bush made Wednesday's opening here of "Fahrenheit 9/11" a headline event that quickly proved a boon at the box office. But, alas, even Michael Moore could not escape that critical Gallic eye.
· State clamps down on cold medicines. Arizona officials revoked the permit allowing a gas station in North Phoenix to sell over-the-counter decongestants after it sold nearly $500,000 worth in the past year. "He sold more pseudoephedrine than he sold gas," says Hal Wand, executive director of the pharmacy board.
· Portland Archdiocese declares bankruptcy. The archdiocese of Portland, Oregon, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Tuesday, just as the civil trials of two priests accused of sexual abuse were set to begin.
· Maria Sharapova: The New Face of Tennis. Three months ago, when the New Haven Parks and Recreation summer camp program asked Maria Sharapova to appear at its charity tennis event, she was merely a promising young player - one of many.
· Dead Fla. Woman Has 'Help Me' Carved On Stomach. Police say when rescuers turned over the body of a woman killed Tuesday morning in a scooter accident, they made a bizarre discovery, according to a report.
· 'Spider-Man' Tobey Maguire Hates Heights. "Standing on the edge of a building, looking over the edge - it's so horrible. I hate it," Maguire said Tuesday ahead of the screening. Still, he said, he had no problem swinging over streets on a crane or a rope.
· Martha's house made many mansions. Martha Stewart has one child — and many heirs, or at least wannabe heirs. But even aside from the gaggle of would-be domestic divas actively campaigning for her throne, there are scores of designers, decorators, gardeners, cooks, crafters, retailers and fine-living experts who would not be a part of the national culture but for Stewart's all-encompassing influence.
· 'Beam me up' Scotty has Alzheimer's, agent says. James M. Doohan, the actor who played Scotty on the '60s "Star Trek" TV series, has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, his agent confirmed Tuesday.
· La. Golf Club Must Let Women Into Men-Only Restaurant. The Louisiana Supreme Court Tuesday ordered a country club to open its men-only restaurant to women, rejecting claims that members sometimes dine there in the nude.
· Connery to Pen Autobiography. HarperCollins announced Monday that it has a deal with the Scottish actor for a memoir to be published in the latter half of 2006. The publisher declined to comment on press reports that Connery had agreed on a six-figure deal.
· Another Internet Explorer flaw found. A computer science researcher has highlighted the shortcomings of Microsoft's latest patch for its Internet Explorer browser by identifying another way that online vandals could run malicious programs on a Web surfer's computer.
· Spammers can be beaten in two years. The global battle against spammers who use the Internet to disseminate pornography, distribute unsolicited sales pitches and engage in the new menace of "phishing" can be won in two years, officials running a three-day U.N. meeting told a news conference.
Tuesday, July 6, 2004
· Kirk Douglas' Youngest Son Found Dead. Oscar-winning actor Kirk Douglas' youngest son, who battled drug and alcohol problems for years, was found dead Tuesday inside a Manhattan apartment building, police said.
· Marlon Brando cremated. LATE Hollywood legend Marlon Brando was cremated over the weekend in a private ceremony in Los Angeles attended only by family, his longtime friend Jay Kanter said. The funeral took place over the weekend in Los Angeles.
· Ashley Judd Locked Out Naked. Ashley Judd's love of nature led her to be locked out of her cabin at the Ahwahnee hotel in Yosemite without her clothes. Judd says she leaned outside her door trying to get her yoga mat when the door slammed behind her.
· Peterson Denied Affair, Witness Testifies. A day after his wife, Laci, disappeared, Scott Peterson told a state polygraph expert that he was not having an affair and that his marriage was fine, the expert testified Tuesday at Peterson's murder trial.
· Marlon Brando was a 'monster', claims ex-wife. He might have been the proverbial Godfather for many, but Hollywood legend Marlon Brando was a monster and a cruel and unforgiving father to his own son, if his ex-wife is to be believed.
· Tennis babe has 'sugar daddy.' Wimbledon's latest star Maria Sharapova reportedly has a millionaire mentor who financed her. "He's like a sugar daddy, but without any sex involved," the London Sun quoted a source as saying.
· Peterson Mistress Could Be Key. Prosecutors spent the bulk of last week portraying Scott Peterson as a lying cheat who maintained a relationship with his mistress even after his pregnant wife, Laci Peterson, had vanished.
· Kerry Picks Edwards to Be Running Mate. Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry selected former rival John Edwards to be his running mate, picking the smooth-talking Southern populist over more seasoned politicians in hopes of injecting vigor and small-town appeal to the Democratic presidential ticket, The Associated Press learned Tuesday.
· Dem ticket now has a 'wealth' of experience. While John Edwards built his fortune as an ambulance-chasing personal injury attorney, John Kerry got his by saying "I do," marrying the $600 million woman - Teresa Heinz - heiress to the ketchup empire. Heinz was a big step up from Senator Kerry's first wife - Julia Thorne - whose endowment is reportedly worth only $300 million.
· Nigeria arrests 500 suspected email scammers. Nigeria's agency against economic and financial crime said Monday that it had detained more than 500 suspects and seized property worth more than $500 million from suspected fraudsters.
· 'Spider-Man 2' Success Astounds Director. The director of summer blockbuster "Spider-Man 2" is "flabbergasted" by the film's record-breaking success at the box office, but Sam Raimi said that he's too busy writing Part Three to relax and enjoy the victory.
· Mexican soldiers interrupt funeral of U.S. Marine. Mexican soldiers carrying automatic weapons interrupted the U.S. Independence Day funeral of a U.S. Marine and demanded that the Marine honor guard give up ceremonial replicas of rifles they carried.
Monday, July 5, 2004
· If you get captured, it pays to be Muslim. A U.S. marine held hostage in Iraq was released, according to a statement purportedly from the Islamic Retaliation Movement, which had previously threatened to behead Corporal Wassef Ali Hassoun, said the marine was "returned to his safe base."
· Wildfire threatens powerful telescope. Two wildfires on a mountain in the southeast corner of Arizona threatened an observatory that houses the $120 million Large Binocular Telescope, one of the world's most powerful optical instruments.
· Fireworks, picnics mark Independence Day. Fireworks lit up the Manhattan skyline and thundered throughout the city as what was billed as the largest pyrotechnic display in the country slathered the Statue of Liberty in bursts of color.
· Cheney drops doctor over narcotics scandal. Dick Cheney's office late Sunday confirmed that a personal physician has been removed from the vice president's official medical team in the wake of an article in The New Yorker magazine revealing that the doctor has abused prescription narcotics for years.
· Record Set for Hot Dog Eating. When it comes to eating hot dogs, "The Tsunami" still blows everybody away. For the fourth straight year, rail-thin Takeru Kobayashi chewed up the competition at the Nathan's Famous hot dog eating competition Sunday, breaking his own previous world record.
· John McEnroe Serving Up Own Talk Show. In a cable TV world where a host's ability often seems measured in volume, who better to hire than John McEnroe? You cannot be serious!!! Yes, we are. The former tennis bad boy is now a talk show host, but he's not shouting.
· Look Out Houston - Piazza Likely to Catch Clemens. Mike Piazza could get a much different perspective of Roger Clemens in the All-Star game. Instead of batting against the hard-throwing 41-year-old pitcher, Piazza might be catching his old nemesis.
Sunday, July 4, 2004
· Brando kin, legitimate or not, begin grab. One dead movie star. Three ex-wives. As many as 15 legitimate and illegitimate kids. It's a recipe for the horror that's beginning to brew over Marlon Brando's will.
· A Kournikova who wins. Sharapova has Anna's looks and far more tennis success, but don't expect big endorsement deals soon. From a sponsor's perspective, cutting a deal now would be for her potential, not her current fame, which is still pretty modest. A survey done in April by Marketing Evaluations Inc., the research firm that does the Q ratings used by advertisers to judge an endorser's appeal, found that only 23 percent of sports fans knew who she was.
· Elizabeth Taylor denies Van Gogh stolen by Nazis. Screen legend Elizabeth Taylor is fighting a family's claims that a Vincent van Gogh painting she owns was taken from one of their ancestors by Nazis.
· The scientific flash behind the fireworks. As you ooh and aah at the dazzling explosions of a fireworks display, there are three things going on that you probably wouldn’t guess: The chemists who made those pyrotechnics designed most of them so they wouldn’t explode, you’re actually seeing nature conserving energy, and most peculiar of all, when things are at their flashiest, you’re actually seeing the fireworks as they’re cooling down.
· Dr. Atkins killed me, suit says. From beyond the grave, a woman who died of breast cancer is suing the late diet guru Dr. Robert Atkins for giving her the advice that she says ended up costing her life.
· Judge horrified at finding a mouse in his beer. It'll be a long time before Judge Randy Anglen can enjoy a cold bottle of beer. When he set the bottle on the counter, he heard a "plop" as something dropped from the neck to the bottom of the bottle. When he peered into it, the first thing he saw was a long tail coiling around the inside of the bottle.
Saturday, July 3, 2004
· Paris Hilton Snubs Ex-Host Farm Family. When Entertainment Weekly magazine asked Paris Hilton last month if she kept in touch with the farm family that hosted her during the first season, she replied, "I changed my number."
· Judge throws out libel suit against Schwarzenegger. A judge dismissed a libel lawsuit filed against Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger by a woman who came forward during last year's recall campaign to accuse the action film star of groping her on a movie set.
· Midwest Theaters Ban 'Fahrenheit 9/11.' The president of a company that owns movie theaters in Iowa and Nebraska is refusing to show director Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11." R.L. Fridley, owner of Des Moines-based Fridley Theatres, says the controversial documentary incites terrorism.
· Best U.S. airport lounges. Having access to the right airport lounge can make all the difference between a good business trip and a stressful one. We've all been in a situation where we're rushing to the airport, check in and then feel frustrated by the two-hour wait until boarding time.
» Love life as big as the legend. Like everything thing else about him, Marlon Brando's romantic life was large - and so complicated even he had trouble keeping track of his lovers and their offspring.
» Screen never was the same. Though he appeared in only 41 movies over 54 years, and in fewer than a dozen good ones, Marlon Brando's impact on the medium ranks right up there with the advents of color and sound.
· World's supply of vehicle identification number combinations runs short. The auto industry's number is almost up. The 17-digit codes (VIN numbers) that identify the origin, make, model and attributes of cars, trucks, buses and trailers worldwide will be exhausted by the end of the decade.
· Sole winner in record $290 million lottery. A single winning ticket was sold in Friday's record $290 million Mega Millions lottery drawing. The ticket - 10-25-38-39-50 and the Mega Ball 12 - was bought in Massachusetts, said Georgia lottery spokesman J.B. Landroche.
Friday, July 2, 2004
· Jeffrey Jones Sex Offender Bust. The snarling principal from Ferris Bueller's Day Off - and convicted sex offender - Jeffrey Jones was arrested yesterday for failing to inform Florida authorities that he had moved from a temporary residence in Sarasota where he was bunking with his mother.
· Crosby Cops Plea. David Crosby, 62, pleaded guilty in Manhattan to attempted criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree. Although the charge carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison, the singer was able to get away with paying a $5,000 and a promise of staying out of trouble.
Chew on This
Valerie Karriman watches as chewing gum spills out of her car Thursday afternoon in Liberty Township. Karriman's boyfriend filled the vehicle with as much gum as he could purchase from Sam's Club in an effort to encourage Karriman to quit smoking. She hasn't smoked in two days.
· Poisoned Soda, Cupcakes Mailed To Kan. Mayor Leads To Charges. A couple has been accused of trying to kill the mayor of a Kansas City suburb and her husband with poisoned soda and cupcakes sent through the mail.
· Marlon Brando Dead at 80. Actor Marlon Brando died Thursday night in Los Angeles, according to local CBS affiliate KPHO in Phoenix this morning. His lawyer and family members confirm that Brando died at UCLA Medical Center at approximately 6:30pm last night. The cause of death was related to a collapsed lung.
· Confessions of a Teenage Genie? According to the latest issue of Empire magazine, Lindsay Lohan has been signed to play the lead in “I Dream of Jeannie”, the big-screen adaptation of the ol’ Barbara Eden/Larry Hagman series.
· Booze good for the bones. A study of 46 pairs of identical twins, showed the modest drinker had "significantly" denser bones than the one which had little or no alcohol - helping to fight brittle bone disease. The reasons are still unknown.
'Debbi Does Tampa' Sex Scandal
More information is coming out about a Tampa, Florida area teacher accused of having sex with a 14-year old student. Provocative photos of 23-year old Debra Lafave taken five years ago have surfaced on the Internet.
The photos came from the pages of Makes And Models magazine. They were brought to light by a morning radio disc jockey in Tampa.
Debra Lafave Magazine Photos
Debbie Lafave was featured in the first issue of Makes & Models Magazine (May 1999), where she sat on a big-screen television for an advertiser (in magazine photo at right).
· In Neverland, porn rumors can help. Police who raided Michael Jackson's Neverland mansion last November are said to have found pornography. But Jackson allies think the X-rated materials could actually help his child-molestation case.
· Fla. Man Suspected Of Making Strip-Search Calls. Police have identified a Florida Panhandle man suspected of making hoax phone calls to fast food restaurants in Massachusetts and around the country and encouraging management to strip search employees and in at least one case, a customer.
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."
· On the road with Wynonna Judd. She may have copped to a drunk driving rap, but that hasn't stopped Wynonna Judd from demanding that promoters provide her with wine and beer during her current concert tour.
» More diva demands - from Sharon Stone. Not only did the pampered prima donna demand the usual multi-million dollar salary but Benjamin Bratt was vetoed as her co-star. Stone also produced a five-page list of conditions covering travel and expenses, dressing facilities, security, on-screen credits, publicity and even the choice of director.
· Maria from Russia we love. Tennis babe Maria Sharapova roared into the final of Wimbledon yesterday — proving she’s not only a smasher, but a WINNER. And her coach brushed aside comparisons to fellow Russian stunner Anna Kournikova, saying: “There's a lot more to Maria.”
· Girl burned when cell phone catches fire. A 16-year-old California girl suffered second degree burns Thursday when her cell phone caught fire in her back pocket, according to the Ontario, California Fire Department.
Thursday, July 1, 2004
· Coed Who Faked Abduction Gets Probation. Audrey Seiler, the University of Wisconsin-Madison student who faked her abduction, was sentenced Thursday to three years probation after she pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts.
· NBC embarrassed by Katie's backhand. NBC's "Today" show was embarrassed Thursday when it aired Katie Couric outside playing badminton while its rivals ABC and CBS showed the first footage of Saddam Hussein's court appearance. "We made a mistake," said executive producer Tom Touchet. "In retrospect, I'd do it completely differently."
· Coke's Global Positioning Device Not Welcome In Secure Areas. A soft-drink company's promotion offering prizes to customers who buy special cans equipped with a global positioning device has raised concerns at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
· Judge in Jackson Case Seals More Documents. Intense interest in the Michael Jackson child molestation case led the judge to seal more information from the public and the press Thursday, saying he wanted to avoid media reporting and analysis of evidence.
· 616,400 Signatures Taken to Saturn. The signatures of Stewart and Chuck Norris were among 616,400 that were copied onto a DVD and placed aboard the Saturn probe Cassini by The Planetary Society, a group dedicated to advancing space exploration and the search for extraterrestrial life.
· Bryant prosecutor will take smaller role at August trial. The Eagle County, Colo., prosecutor who has led the sexual assault case against Kobe Bryant since last summer said yesterday he will not take a prominent role in the NBA star's trial, instead leaving day-to-day responsibilities to his chief deputy and two others.
· NBA Great Calvin Murphy Indicted on Sex Charges. A grand jury indicted National Basketball Association Hall of Famer Calvin Murphy on Thursday on charges he sexually molested five of his daughters more than a decade ago.
· Jury Decides Stealing A Kiss Isn't A Crime. A computer repairman who kissed a customer during a house call was acquitted of battery Wednesday. Steven Allen Moyer, 40, said he figured the woman was lonely and might want companionship.
· 'Spider-Man 2' takes in record $40.5 million on first day. "Spider-Man 2" took in $40.5 million in its first day, a record debut that positions the film to challenge more box-office highs through the Fourth of July weekend.
· Podiatrist Accused of Billing Amputees. A podiatrist has been indicted for allegedly defrauding Medicare by submitting more than $400,000 in false claims, some for treating patients who don't even have feet.
· New $50 bill debut set. The new bill will be released September 28, and has background colors of blue and red, and a waving American flag and a small metallic silver-blue star.
The new bills will be distributed through commercial banks starting on the release date.
· Bike, wet concrete case waste of time, judge says. A felony charge of malicious destruction of property against a 9-year-old boy accused of riding his bicycle over wet concrete more than a year ago was dismissed yesterday by a Macomb County, Mich. Family Court judge. "I'm going to be devoting two or three days to a case where a second-grader drove his scooter over wet cement - that just fries me," Judge Matthew Switalski said.
· Designer coffins offer a stylish exit. Coffins shaped like a fish, a giant onion and a Mercedes saloon have gone on show in Berlin in an exhibition on sepulchral culture aimed at reminding Germans they can go out in style.
· Auction Involving Tony Bennett Goes Awry. Tony Bennett is demanding that the organizers of a recent concert refund $15,000 to a man who bid that amount in a charity auction, expecting to eat dinner with the singer, Bennett's manager said. Gary Pusateri placed the winning bid on a package that said it included "dinner with Tony Bennett," but instead was ushered to another table by himself.
· Bill Cosby: More harsh words for the black community. Bill Cosby went off on another tirade against the black community Thursday, telling a room full of activists that too many black men are beating their wives while their children run around not knowing how to read or write.
· Witness: Peterson Lied About Laci. The woman who introduced Scott Peterson to his mistress testified Wednesday that when she first met him, Peterson never mentioned he was married and told her he had "lost" his first love.
· Teen Arrested In Alleged Effort To Bootleg "Spider-Man 2." A teenager was arrested early Wednesday in a California theater showing "Spider-Man 2" after a projectionist using night vision goggles saw him using a camcorder to make an illegal copy of the superhero sequel.
· Microsoft provides 'sneak peek' at new search engine. After many years of speculation, Microsoft/MSN have finally released a preview of their upcoming search technology designed to compete with industry leaders Google and Yahoo.
» Experts suggest ditching Microsoft Web browser. Government cyberdefense experts, along with other computer gurus, are urging users to consider a switch away from Microsoft's widely used Internet Explorer because of new security problems.
· Elvis Song Stirs Debate of Rock's Birth. While Elvis may be universally known as the King of Rock 'n' Roll, some consider it a stretch to anoint him the creator of a genre that mixed blues, R&B, country and even a bit of swing — musical styles that were around long before Elvis.
· Halle Berry likes her sex toys. Movie actress Halle Berry has advocated the use of sex toys to add spice to your love life. The Bond girl has revealed that when she is in a mood to experiment with her sex life, she visits an L.A. store called 'Pleasure Chest' that specializes in sexy lingerie, whips, and rubber products.
· 'Boston Phoenix' IDs 'Anonymous' CIA Officer. The active U.S. intelligence officer known only as "Anonymous," who has gained world renown this month as author of an upcoming book called "Imperial Hubris," is actually named Michael Scheuer, according to an article in the Boston Phoenix today by Jason Vest.
· Detroit joins 2 cities on slave disclosures. Detroit has followed the lead of two other large cities — Los Angeles and Chicago — in enacting legislation that requires companies seeking contracts with the city to disclose any profits they received from slavery.
· Bulldozer falls off truck, kills motorist. A bulldozer fell off a flatbed truck headed south on Highway 47 near Warrenton and landed on a northbound pickup Wednesday, killing the driver instantly, the Missouri Highway Patrol said.
· Court: E-mail providers can read messages. In an online eavesdropping case with potentially profound implications, a federal appeals court ruled it was acceptable for a company that offered e-mail service to surreptitiously track its subscribers’ messages.
· Domestic violence an 'epidemic' in Texas. The number of Women in abusive relationships is at an all-time high, announced Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott Tuesday as he celebrated the start of a statewide help line with the Texas Council on Family Violence.
· Time Warner joins bidding war for MGM. A bidding war has broken out for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, with Time Warner Inc. making a nearly $5 billion offer for the venerable Hollywood studio, according to newspaper reports.
· Woman Reportedly Puts Ice in Maid's Bra. A 30-year-old mother of two was jailed for 14 weeks for kicking her maid and putting ice cubes down her underwear in the latest case of maid abuse in Singapore, a local newspaper reported Wednesday.