|June 2004 - Week 2|
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Thursday, June 17, 2004
· Madonna chooses 'Esther' as new name. In an apparent effort to compete with Sean 'Pee Ditty' Combs' ridiculous name change, Esther - formerly known as Madonna - says she chose the Hebrew name because she is now a devout follower of Kabbalah.
· Mel Gibson No. 1 thanks to Jesus. Gibson, the director, producer and screenwriter for the "Christ" movie, was named the world's most powerful celebrity by Forbes magazine on Thursday, dethroning "Friends" star Jennifer Aniston from the No. 1 spot she held last year. The magazine said the "Christ" film helped Gibson earn an estimated $210 million during the past 12 months.
· Laci lied about husband Scott's occupation. While Laci Peterson was at a Modesto jewelry store to have some jewelry appraised, she told the clerk that her husband worked at a local law firm. Scott Peterson was actually a fertilizer salesman.
· Four drown in large fountain at Fort Worth park. An 8-year-old girl drowned and three people, including her father and brother, died while trying to rescue her from the suction of a 19,000 gallon/minute fountain pump. [Lawsuits not yet announced].
· Sweeping stun guns to target crowds. Weapons that can incapacitate crowds of people by sweeping a lightning-like beam of electricity across them are being readied for sale to military and police forces in the U.S. and Europe.
· Florida restores rights to thousands of felons. Almost 100,000 ex-felons will be able to vote, serve on juries and take a job with state-licensed firms after having their civil rights restored by Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida's clemency board.
· Pat O'Brien to Leave 'Access Hollywood.' It's a wrap for "Access Hollywood" co-host Pat O'Brien. O'Brien is leaving the syndicated entertainment TV show after seven years and will be replaced by Billy Bush, who now serves as the show's East Coast correspondent.
· Jackson Criticizes Settlement Terms Leak. Michael Jackson issued a statement Thursday criticizing whomever was responsible for leaking documents that disclosed the settlement terms in a 1993 civil case accusing him of child molestation.
· Florida Man Wants Photos Of Slain Daughter Limited. The father of an 11-year-old girl whose kidnapping was caught on a surveillance camera has asked a judge to restrict who gets to see photos of his slain daughter.
· A refund for Enron outrages California. As California struggled through the 2000-2001 energy crisis, Enron traders gloated about gouging the state. Now state Attorney General Bill Lockyer says federal regulators are heaping insult upon injury by demanding California pay Houston-based Enron and other energy companies almost $270 million in refunds.
· Boy Electrocuted While Mother Allegedly Smoked Meth. A Lincoln woman has been charged in the death of her 22-month-old son after she allegedly locked him in a room unattended for more than 36 hours while she went out and partied.
· Jurors can submit questions in Kobe trial. When Kobe Bryant goes on trial later this year, jurors will be allowed to submit questions for witnesses in the sexual assault case under what is believed to be the first rule of its kind.
· Under mounting pressure, jerk says he will give fowl ball to boy after all. A Texas baseball fan who prompted a public outcry when he knocked aside a 4-year-old boy to get a foul ball now says he will give the ball to the youngster, the Texas Rangers announced.
The fan, Matt Starr, also agreed to send a letter of apology to the family of Nick O'Brien and buy them tickets to future Rangers games, a club official said.
· Justice Dept: Wiretaps should apply to Net calls. Criminals could make plans over Internet phones without fear of getting caught if Congress does not ensure that existing wiretap laws apply, the U.S. Justice Department told a Senate committee.
· Raucous bar scene emerges in Baghdad's green zone. The plushest tavern is the CIA's rattan furnished watering hole, known as the ''OGA bar.'' OGA stands for ''Other Government Agency,'' the CIA's low-key moniker. The OGA bar has a dance floor with a revolving mirrored disco ball and a game room. It is open to outsiders by invitation only. Disgruntled CPA employees who haven't wangled invites complain that the CIA favors women guests.
· Model Caprice wins damages for "flop" slur. The (vitually unknown) American model and actress Caprice Bourret has won an apology and undisclosed damages in London's High Court over a London Daily Mirror article saying her acting career had "failed spectacularly."
· Woman Pleads Innocent in Zeta-Jones Case. A woman has pleaded not guilty to felony charges she stalked actress Catherine Zeta-Jones by calling and sending her threatening letters, authorities said Wednesday.
· Clinton Says He Never Considered Quitting. Former President Bill Clinton tells the CBS newsmagazine "60 Minutes" that he never considered resigning and is proud he fought impeachment, the outcome of his lying under oath about his affair with Monica Lewinsky.
» Admits 'I lied to everybody.' Former President Bill Clinton reveals his marriage was on life support for a year after he came clean about his dirty dalliance with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
· Berserkely, California says businesses have no rights. The Berkeley City Council, known for its far-out ideas, has unanimously passed a resolution calling for constitutional amendments to deny constitutional rights to corporations.
· Love Reschedules Tour Amid Legal Woes. Rocker Courtney Love will not tour in June or July so she can focus on mounting legal troubles - including a felony drug case and an alleged assault with a liquor bottle, her publicist said.
· Jones Wants Public Hearing on Possible Drug Evidence. Tired of seeing her name linked to steroid allegations, Marion Jones issued a defiant plea for a public hearing she hopes will clear her and allow her to compete in the Athens Games.
· Protesting French energy workers cut power to Eiffel Tower. Protesting French electricity workers blacked out the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Elysees and the offices of President Jacques Chirac as they pushed on with a campaign to stop the privatisation of their state-owned company.
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
· 'Martha Stewart Living' Finds New Home. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. announced Wednesday that it has signed a multiyear agreement with The Style Network to air existing episodes of "Martha Stewart Living," which was floundering with its star and host facing a prison sentence.
· Stallone Carries Olympic Torch in L.A. With the theme to his signature movie, "Rocky," blaring in the background, Sylvester Stallone took the Olympic torch from Mayor James Hahn on Wednesday and carried it on what was to be a winding journey through Los Angeles.
· Al Qaeda Originally Envisioned Plot With 10 Jets. The terrorist attacks carried out on Sept. 11, 2001, were originally envisioned as an even more spectacular assault involving 10 jetliners on the east and west coasts, but the plan was scaled back and was nearly derailed on several occasions by setbacks and squabbling among senior al Qaeda officials, according to a new report released this morning.
· Mother of Reinvention. Madonna, the master of self-invention, has come a long way since her "Material Girl" days. While she has no regrets about her moves on her climb to pop diva status, she tells ABC News' 20/20, "I brought a lot of chaos to people's lives, because of my selfish behavior."
Photos of 'foul' baseball incident.
Slide show that depicts the events that lead up to a poor kid getting trampled by an idiot reportedly named Matt Starr, a married 28-year-old landscaper and former youth minister.
· Web Inventor Finally Earns a Profit. No, not Al Gore, but the real inventor of the World Wide Web - Tim Berners-Lee - who received a $1.2 million cash prize Tuesday, and says he would never have succeeded if he had charged money for his inventions.
· Sheriff investigators' nudity, sex contact dooms prostitution cases. About 60 people arrested last year in a prostitution sting will not be criminally charged because Maricopa County sheriff's deputies used tactics including nudity and sexual contact in their undercover operations, county prosecutors announced Tuesday.
· Martha Stewart sells some of her stock. Martha Stewart, the lifestyle expert convicted for conspiring to lie over a stock trade, sold $2.16 million worth of shares in her namesake company Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia in the last week, according to company filings on Tuesday.
· Prince Countersues in Privacy Fight. Prince is denying allegations that he instructed his bodyguard to assault a college student who took the musician's photo at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
· DiCaprio's hot for 'Fahrenheit.' Leonardo DiCaprio believes in Michael Moore's bush-bashing "Fahrenheit 911" so much, the reclusive actor emerged last week for the L.A. premiere - then flew to New York to attend Monday's screening.
» Bill O'Reilly walks out. Give Fox News Channel star Bill O'Reilly credit for even attending Monday night's lefty celeb-glutted premiere of Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" - even if he walked out of the 110-minute Bush-bashing movie halfway through.
· Anonymous Kidney Donor Wins Va. Lottery. A woman who forever changed the fortunes of a man she didn't know by anonymously donating a kidney has come into a small fortune of her own, winning $500,000 in the Virginia Lottery.
· Marv leaving Knick booth. In a move as distasteful as banning mustard from hot dogs, Madison Square Garden's attempt to muzzle Marv Albert has led to the end of a 36-year relationship between the Hall of Fame broadcaster and the Knicks.
· First mobile phone virus discovered. The first ever computer virus that can infect mobile phones has been discovered, anti-virus software developers said today, adding that up until now it has had no harmful effect.
· Greenspan Says Inflation 'Not Likely to Be Serious.' Inflation is "not likely to be a serious concern," and the Federal Reserve can stick to its plan for measured increases in the benchmark interest rate unless that changes, Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan said.
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
· Feds Decline to Create 'Do-Not-Spam' List. The Bush administration said Tuesday it will not create a national do-not-spam registry to discourage unwanted e-mail, fearing it could backfire and become a target list for new victims.
· Knee Injury Forces Britney to Cancel Tour. Britney Spears won't be gyrating in revealing outfits this summer - at least not on stage. The pop star canceled her summer tour Tuesday because of a knee injury she suffered last week during a video shoot with Snoop Dogg in New York for her new song "Outrageous."
· Homeless Challenge Public Drinking Law. If the rich and powerful can drink in a public park in the weeks before next year's Super Bowl, why can't the homeless do it now? That is the question the lawyer for three homeless men is raising in a court challenge over their arrest for drinking in a park that will be part of a designated party zone before the Super Bowl.
· Jackson settled first child molestation suit for approximately $25 million. Michael Jackson paid more out approximately $25 million to settle a civil suit by a boy who accused him of molesting him in 1993, according to the confidential agreement which was exclusively obtained by Court TV's Diane Dimond.
· Jenna Bush's Bodyguards Rumble in Spain. Bodyguards for President Bush's daughter were entangled in a fist fight with two men trying to steal a cell phone in southern Spain, a U.S. Embassy official said Tuesday.
· Dick Cheney's top secret 'undisclosed location' revealed. In the new issue of Time Magazine that hits the newsstands this week, they reveal the undisclosed location known as Site R, an underground bunker on the Maryland-Pennsylvania border where the Vice President spent much of his time in 2001 after the 9-11 attacks.
Deep under Raven Rock Mountain, Site R "is a secret world of five three-story buildings, computer filled caverns and a subterranean water reservoir." It is just 7 miles from Camp David.
· Deputy gives Burlington train $5,000 parking ticket. That is, in essence, what a Kane County deputy wrote to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad for "parking" one of its trains for more than an hour on the Rhodes Street crossing in the downtown of this western Kane County community.
· C-Word heard as 'Term Of Endearment.' The president of the University of Colorado would not say in a sworn deposition whether she considered a certain slur against women "vile," and later said she had heard it used as "a term of endearment."
· Scott Peterson's Lawyer Angrily Demands Mistrial. Prosecutors in the Scott Peterson murder trial have turned to the police officers who first investigated his wife's death, while Peterson's defense is trying to characterize the probe as sloppy and incomplete.
· Madonna, Warner Music Settle Bitter Feud. Warner Music Group has agreed to buy Madonna out of Maverick Records, the label she co-founded 12 years ago, to end the legal battle that pitted the music conglomerate against their biggest star.
· Atkins-weary baker develops 'Da Vinci Diet.' A baker who lost nearly half his customers to the low-carb craze has tapped Dan Brown’s best-selling novel for an Atkins alternative called the “Da Vinci Diet” that he hopes will bring people back to bread.
· Janitor tells 9/11 panel of brush with WTC thug. A hero janitor who helped victims escape from the World Trade Center's north tower before it collapsed told the 9/11 panel that he came across one of the hijackers in the building a few months before the attack.
· Internet attack wipes out Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, and Apple. Huge Internet backbone firm, Akamai called it a "large scale international attack on the Internet's infrastructure". Akamai said the attack was primarily aimed at the large search engines - of which it runs the three largest, Yahoo!, Google and Lycos - which meant that people were unable to access the sites.
· N.Y. Friars Club Still Laughing at 100. With customary comic savagery, the members of the New York Friars Club, famous for their celebrity roasts, gathered Monday to celebrate its 100th birthday and take pot shots at each other.
· 'Queen of Mean' Leona failing. Helmsley, who turns 84 on the Fourth of July, continues to run the hotel business that her late husband Harry Helmsley left to her with the iron scepter that has earned her the epithet the "Queen of Mean."
· Screenwriter, doc slaughtered in L.A. A California drifter was busted yesterday for decapitating an old-time Hollywood screenwriter and carrying his head to a neighbor's house, where he fatally stabbed a wealthy doctor, police said.
· Web newspaper registration stirs debate. Imagine if a trip to the corner newsstand required handing over your name, address, age, and income to the cashier before you could pick up the daily newspaper. That's close to the experience of many online readers, who must complete registration forms with various kinds of personal data before seeing their virtual newspaper.
· Yahoo raises stakes in e-mail war with Google. Internet giant Yahoo! Inc. is fortifying its free e-mail service with 25 times more storage and freeing up millions of previously claimed e-mail addresses in an effort to thwart a looming threat from its increasingly disruptive rival Google Inc.
Monday, June 14, 2004
· Surprise! Most senators are wealthy. Senators' financial disclosure reports showed anew today how wealthy most of them are, with quirky nuggets like a $1,059.75 Taurus and the gift of a sled dog buried amid trust funds, blind trusts and real estate holdings.
· White House rejects calls for change of stem cell policy. The White House is rejecting calls by former President Reagan's family to change its policy on stem cell research. Press Secretary Scott McClellan says flatly, "The policy remains the same." He adds, "We are looking at other ways to combat disease."
· Judge Won't Lower Michael Jackson's Bail. A judge has refused to lower Michael Jackson's $3 million bail in his child molestation case, saying the singer's wealth justified the higher-than-normal bail amount.
· Cop Recalls Petersons' 'Model Home.' One of the first police officers to search Scott Peterson's house in the hours after his wife vanished described a "model home" with little out of place and a husband whose fishing story didn't quite catch.
· Orange Cauliflower Now Available in U.S. Do not adjust your set. That cauliflower on your plate really is orange. After its discovery in a Canadian marsh more than 30 years ago, the brightly hued crucifer is finally hitting the U.S. market.
· State of Virginia Tells Men: No Sex With Young Girls. The state of Virginia is posting billboards with messages such as "Isn't she a little young?" as part of a campaign to dissuade men from having sex with 13 and 14 year old girls.
· Supreme Court Reverses Pledge Of Allegiance Ruling. A father who sued over the Pledge of Allegiance has lost a Supreme Court battle. The high court ruled that the atheist can't sue over the reference to God in the pledge.
· Glen Campbell's Sentence Is Delayed. Country music singer Glen Campbell, who pleaded guilty last month to extreme drunken driving and leaving the scene of an accident, had his sentence delayed so he could perform Sunday at the CMA Music Festival in Nashville, Tenn.
· 'Harry Potter' Keeps Box Office Top Spot. "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" was the top movie for a second weekend, taking in $35.1 million to lift its 10-day total to $158.1 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.
· 2 million bank accounts robbed. Nearly 2 million Americans have had their checking accounts raided by criminals in the past 12 months, according to a soon-to-be released survey by market research group Gartner. Consumers reported an average loss per incident of $1,200, pushing total losses higher than $2 billion for the year.
· World's most expensive cities. Tokyo is still number one worldwide, while New York is the most expensive in the U.S. Other U.S. cities that rank among the most expensive are Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. Pittsburgh, meanwhile, ranks as the least expensive city in the country.
· NASCAR flagman hit by flying cooler. The backup flagman for Sunday's Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway, Jimmy Howell, was struck by a foam cooler filled with beer cans thrown from a fan in the grandstands as the race drew to a close under caution.
· Amphibious sports car crosses English Channel. Entrepreneur Richard Branson set a new world record on Monday by driving across the English Channel in a James-Bond style amphibious sports car in under two hours.
· Skull And Bones. As opposite as George Bush and John Kerry may seem to be, they do share a common secret - one they've shared for decades, and one they will not share with the electorate. The secret: details of their membership in Skull and Bones, the elite Yale University society whose members include some of the most powerful men of the 20th century.
· Croc Hunter Irwin in Hot Water Over Swim. "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin is in hot water again - this time for allegedly swimming with two whales in the ocean off Antarctica and getting too close to penguins and seals.
Sunday, June 13, 2004
· Fugitive CEO found - on a cruise. The indicted former CEO of a Long Island technology company is on a cruise in the Adriatic Sea, but is willing to return to the United States to face securities fraud charges, according to a Croatian reporter who says he spoke to the executive last week.
· 'Sex and the City' Gets Sanitized for TBS. TBS is promoting "five nights of great sex," and will air two of the series' best episodes each evening through Saturday, starting at 10 p.m. EDT. The network will begin showing all 94 episodes this summer, in order from the first to the last. It's been a busy stretch for TBS' editors.
· Ailing 'Pee Diddy' leaves Broadway show. Hip-hop music impresario and Broadway performer Sean "Pee Diddy" Combs was forced to leave Saturday's matinee performance of "A Raisin in the Sun" because of a stomach ailment, a spokesman for the production said.
· Bush Senior Gears Up for Birthday Skydive. More than 5,000 people were expected to help former President George H.W. Bush celebrate his 80th birthday Saturday night, part of a weekend of festivities to be topped with a skydive Sunday.
· Moore sets his sights on Tony Blair. Michael Moore's anti-Iraq war crusade is not stopping with U.S. President George W. Bush as the filmmaker says he now wants to make a movie about British Prime Minister Tony Blair's role in the war.
· Porn mogul, son plead guilty in not paying taxes. Dozens of adult video stores across Texas will be shut down now that a porn mogul and his son have pleaded guilty to skirting millions of dollars in taxes, federal officials said.
· Veterinarian Who Spray-Painted Stolen Horse Pleads Guilty. A West Palm Beach, Florida veterinarian who stole three show horses, spray-painting one to hide its identity, pleaded guilty Thursday to 13 charges, including felony cruelty to animals, grand theft and burglary.
· Lake Chesterfield down the drain. To Donna Ripp, it's nothing but freaky — millions of gallons of the manmade, 23-acre lake vanish, swallowed up by a sinkhole in a matter of days. Left to question is whether property values of folks who paid good money in this affluent St. Louis suburb for a lakeside view went down the drain as well.
· Tourists Flocking Back to Bridges, Dams. Tourists are flocking back to the nation's engineering marvels — the dams, bridges and other structures that had seen increased security and lightened visitor traffic since Sept. 11, 2001 — despite the fact that they're still potential terrorist targets.
Saturday, June 12, 2004
· Reagan laid to rest in Calif. after day of tribute in D.C. Ronald Reagan headed off into the sunset yesterday after a long and final farewell that had both a majestic state funeral in Washington - and a tearful Hollywood ending.
· Britney Spears to Launch New Fragrance. Pop star Britney Spears is a new crossover artist in the beauty business. The 22-year-old singer will launch a new fragrance, Curious, this fall. A blend of white flowers and vanilla-infused musk, the fragrance is part of a licensing agreement with Elizabeth Arden.
· Las Vegas posts biggest visitor total for April. It was the best April ever for visitor volume in Las Vegas, with a 10.5 percent increase in conventioneers and tourists over the same month a year ago, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reported.
· Jurist may face rap in rob suspect's slip. The Queens, NY judge who sneaked a wanted man out of her courtroom is being investigated by the Commission on Judicial Conduct and eventually might face criminal charges, law enforcement sources said.
· Courtney Love Surrenders to Cops. Courtney Love surrendered to police Friday for allegedly assaulting a 32-year-old woman with a liquor bottle at the home of her former manager, authorities said. Love, 39, was booked on a felony charge of assault with a deadly weapon. She posted $55,000 bail and was released.
· Christopher Walken Turns Lovable? There's a touch of evil in his character, like so many of Walken's roles. But, gradually, we're starting to see his on-screen characters go from loony to more lovable.
· Company Claims DMX Breached Contract. Rapper DMX, who growls and barks through most of his records, has landed in the legal doghouse with a company that claims he breached an agreement to promote its line of high-end doggie-wear.
Friday, June 11, 2004
· Peterson's Home Immediately Suspicious. Within hours of responding to Scott Peterson's home Christmas Eve, 2002, police summoned a detective - an uncommon practice for a missing persons case, Modesto Police Sgt. Byron Duerfeldt testified Thursday during Peterson's murder trial.
· Reagan's 50-Year Pen Pal Remembers Friend. Philadelphia native Lorraine Wagner first wrote to President Reagan when she was 13 and he was in his 30s. Her request was an autographed picture. Out of 10 celebrities she wrote to, only then-actor Ronald Reagan wrote back. They were pen pals for the next 50 years.
» University Radio Station Suspends Disc Jockey For Reagan Comments. A disc jockey at a university radio station who turned a Sunday radio show into a "celebration" that Ronald Reagan "was finally dead" has been suspended.
· Brigitte Bardot fined for inciting racial hatred. French actress-turned-animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot was convicted Thursday of inciting racial hatred and ordered to pay $6,000 — the fourth such fine for the former sex symbol since 1997.
· Former Post exec married paper to mob, sez turncoat. The Bonanno crime family conspired with a corrupt New York Post executive to help a carting company win a garbage disposal contract with the newspaper, a former capo testified yesterday.
· More Secrecy in Jacko Case. The judge in Michael Jackson's child-molestation case drew a curtain of secrecy tighter around the allegations Thursday, continuing to seal not only grand jury materials but also requests for release of unspecified evidence.
· Bicyclist Charged With Drunk Driving. Police charged a Hopkinsville, PA man with drunk driving Wednesday morning after an officer saw him riding a bicycle in the middle of the road without a headlight.
· Update: 'Mini-Me' Actor Battles Model Over 'Marriage.' Aspiring Playboy model Genevieve Gowman is circulating a copy of a marriage license showing she was legally wed to the diminutive actor who played Mini-Me in the "Austin Powers" films, disputing his claims they were never husband and wife.
· Bank error only buys trouble. It's the banking mistake nearly everyone wants to see on a monthly statement - thousands of extra dollars deposited into a personal account. Todd Harris is now on trial in federal court in Kalamazoo. Prosecutors accuse him of taking advantage of the mistake, burning through $51,000 in one day.
· Martha says feds knew witness lied. Martha Stewart demanded a do-over again yesterday, producing new evidence alleging the government knew during her trial that one of its experts was lying under oath.
· Researchers Exposed to Anthrax. At least five workers developing an anthrax vaccine at a children's hospital research lab in Oakland were accidentally exposed to the deadly bacterium because of a shipping mistake, officials reported Thursday.
· Man throws woman off overpass, jumps to his death. Two people died today in a highway argument that ended when the man pulled the woman from their car, pushed her off an overpass into oncoming rush hour traffic and then jumped about 80 feet to his death.
· Man Fined For Posing As Liquor Agent To Get Free Drinks. A man who posed as a state liquor control agent and received free whiskey and beer at a Richland tavern has been fined $450 and ordered to write letters apologizing to the bar owner and the state Liquor Control Board.
· Now he's online. Son of Sam serial killer David Berkowitz is drawing outrage from victims' families with a personal Web site that he uses to flaunt his musings on everything from gay marriage to motherhood.
· Man killed while showing friend hand grenade. A man was killed by accidentally detonating a hand-grenade while he was showing it to a friend. The man was killed instantly and his friend was seriously wounded, when he inadvertently dislodged the grenade's pin.
· Tallahassee couple say they were kicked off flight by bigoted police. A white couple from Tallahassee, Fla., and their adopted daughter were ordered off an airplane because police were concerned they had abducted the Chinese toddler.
· High School Tests Not Too Demanding. High school graduation tests are not "overly demanding" and measure only a small part of the skills considered essential by colleges and employers, according to a study of the exams in six states.
· Film fan flounders with Mary Poppins leap. A film fan ended up in hospital after trying to imitate Mary Poppins by leaping out of his second floor apartment window holding an umbrella, a news report said on Thursday.
· Judge Rules in Favor of Eminem in Lawsuit. Rap magazine The Source has been ordered to pay Eminem's legal fees for violating a federal court order not to publish full versions of the rapper's racially charged lyrics.
Thursday, June 10, 2004
· Ray Charles Dies at 73. Ray Charles, a transcendent talent who erased musical boundaries between the sacred and the secular with hits such as "What'd I Say,""Georgia on My Mind" and "I Can't Stop Loving You," died Thursday.
· Nation's Capital Mourns Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan lay in state Wednesday under the Capitol dome, his body borne to that historic place of tribute by horse-drawn carriage past thousands drawn to the high pageantry of America's first presidential state funeral in three decades.
· Cigars cost man 3 years in prison. A lawyer was sentenced Wednesday to more than three years in federal prison for smuggling thousands of fine Cuban cigars into this country and selling them for a fat profit.
· Paris Goes After SUVs. Bulky four-by-fours could be banned from clogging up the chic streets of Paris after a top official in the capital's left-wing government described them as a polluting "caricature of a car" unsuited to city life.
· Authorities Investigate Bizarre Web Camera Sex Crime Case. Federal attorneys are pursuing charges tonight against a Utah mother and her husband. Court documents reveal a list of sex crimes involving the women's 2-young boys, crimes that alledgedly played out on the internet.
· Scientists Develop Blowfish Minus Poison. Blowfish has long been a delicacy only for the adventurous: every year in Japan, a few people are poisoned to death eating it. Now scientists have put a school of pufferfish on a special diet and come up with a version that tastes just like the real thing — without the lethal consequences.
· Half of town's cops are polygamists. An eight-month investigation by the state of Utah has found that more than half of the police officers in the southern town of Hildale practice polygamy – that is, having more than one spouse.
· Police say teacher downloaded porn. A substitute teacher at Eisenberg Elementary School near New Castle has been arrested for allegedly allowing second-grade pupils to view pornographic images on a computer terminal in his classroom, state police announced Wednesday.
· Teacher suspended for washing student's mouth out with soap. Elementary school teacher Lori Thomas was placed on paid leave for dishing out some old-fashioned discipline washing a boy's mouth out with a dab of soap after he shouted an obscenity at a classmate.
· Teacher Who Ran Milk Experiment Fired. It was a science lesson for some North Carolina high school students - if you drink too much milk, you'll throw up, because your body can't handle that much acid.
· Teacher fired after student pricks finger on insulin needle. A Stafford high school teacher with hepatitis C has been fired after one of his students accidentally pricked her finger on one of his used insulin needles.
Wednesday, June 9, 2004
· Laci's stepdad: Mistress photo was 'last straw.' Laci Peterson's stepfather said Tuesday he had a good relationship with Scott Peterson - who is accused of killing Laci and the couple's unborn son - and didn't believe Scott was involved in their deaths, but seeing a photograph of Scott with his mistress was "the last straw."
· Rumors swirl about "pregnant" Lopez. Latin music star Marc Anthony has dodged repeated questions about his reported weekend marriage to Jennifer Lopez during appearances on two U.S. talk shows, even as rumors swirl that she may be pregnant.
· Howard Stern fine could set record. Clear Channel Communications Inc., the largest U.S. radio station owner, is near an agreement with federal regulators to pay about $1.75 million to settle indecency complaints.
· Marc's denials ringing false. Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony are struggling mightily to keep the world's worst-kept secret: their wedding. Never mind that everybody has seen photos of the Saturday nuptials at her L.A. spread.
· Political cartoonist defends anti-Reagan Web tirade. "I think most people view the president as a fair target," Mr. Rall said yesterday in an interview. "Reagan was a public figure, and he was an idiot. And if he were around and lucid, he would probably say that it comes with the territory."
· Judge Lets Rocco Take Photos in Restaurant. A judge gave television chef Rocco DiSpirito permission Tuesday to enter the restaurant that bears his name so he could take photographs of himself for a cookbook to be published this summer.
· Dead man arrives at bank for his pension. A shocked FNB bank customer described her disbelief at seeing three people, believed to be loan sharks, pushing a corpse in a wheelchair into the North End branch "to make a pension withdrawal."
· Disney, Miramax Engaged in Public Spat. Rarely are delicate contract negotiations, worth potentially millions of dollars, conducted in public. Except, of course, in Hollywood. Miramax, the quirky film company that virtually created the independent film movement, is having a very public spat with its corporate parent, The Walt Disney Co., about its future.
· Aspiring rapper arrested in killing of his promoter. An 18-year-old aspiring rapper from Pittsburg nicknamed "Kanyva" was arrested Monday after he reportedly shot and killed his promoter because she told him he didn't have the talent to sell records, police said.
· Gibson's Company Suing Over 'Passion' Profits. Mel Gibson's film-distribution outfit is suing Regal Entertainment Group for $40 million or more, claiming the movie chain shortchanged the company on revenues from "The Passion of the Christ."
· 'Troy': Oy! Is Brad Pitt a Movie Star? The box office take through Monday is $119 million, or less than half the number from places where English is not the primary language. The "Troy" budget is pegged at somewhere around $225 million including marketing costs.
Tuesday, June 8, 2004
· Laci Peterson's mother testified Scott Peterson distant after disappearance. Laci Peterson's mother says Scott Peterson seemed distant and avoided friends and family the evening he reported his wife missing.
· Butler serves up more dish on Diana. The butler did it — again. Princess Diana's former manservant, Paul Burrell, is appearing on the New York stage with fresh details about the tortured private lives of Britain's royal family.
· Pee Diddy, Other Exes Wish J-Lo Well. Sean "Pee Diddy" Combs, the self-proclaimed "bad boy for life," says Jennifer Lopez is his "girl for life," even after her surprise weekend wedding to Marc Anthony.
· John Wayne Gacy's Artwork Displayed In Florida. Some paintings by executed serial killer John Wayne Gacy are being displayed this month at an antiques store in Palm Beach County, despite the objections of some who say the profit from selling the art is "blood money."
· Parcells regrets 'inappropriate reference' to surprise plays. Bill Parcells apologized Monday for calling the surprise plays used in practice "Jap plays," an apparent reference to Japan's 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.
· Actress Berry Gets Restraining Order on Stalker. A Los Angeles-area judge on Monday ordered a man accused of stalking Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry to stay at least 100 yards away from her and two of her associates.
· Text Messages May Turn Up in Bryant Case. A few hours after NBA star Kobe Bryant had sex with a Vail-area hotel worker last summer, the woman exchanged cell phone text messages with a former boyfriend and someone else. What's in those messages could help determine whether the sex was consensual or whether Bryant is guilty of rape as charged.