|March 2004 - Week 3|
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Sunday, March 21, 2004
· 'Dawn of the Dead' debuts with $27.3 million to dethrone 'Passion.' Audiences feasted on zombies as the fright flick "Dawn of the Dead" ruled the box office, debuting with $27.3 million and bumping "The Passion of the Christ" from the top spot.
· Pope in vegetative state says its wrong to pull feeding tubes of others in vegetative state. Pope John Paul II said Saturday the removal of feeding tubes from people in vegetative states was immoral, and that no judgment on their quality of life could justify such "euthanasia by omission."
· Loyal Users Cheer Google's Integrity. With a gigantic index of nearly 4.3 billion Web pages and counting, Google has become the Internet's top search engine. Credit good technology, but perhaps as important, Google's Philosophy No. 6: "You can make money without doing evil."
» All Eyes on Google. In six short years, two Stanford grad students turned a simple idea into a multibillion-dollar phenomenon and changed our lives. Now competitors are searching for a way to dethrone the latest princes of the Net.
· Microsoft plans new search engine. Microsoft says that a new engine for its MSN Search service will start up in July, another step in its plan to challenge Google's pole position as the Web's top search destination.
· Ouch! Kerry-Jacko comparison. Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney makes a joke about a rumor that Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry had plastic surgery, holding photos of Kerry and pop star Michael Jackson during the annual St. Patrick's Day breakfast in Boston.
· Marijuana may be made available in pharmacies. Health Canada plans to make government-certified marijuana available in pharmacies, a move that could rapidly boost the number of registered medical users - for sale to approved patients without a doctor's prescription.
· Angelina Jolie says she will quit acting soon. Tomb Raider star Angelina Jolie is ready to quit acting to become a humanitarian pilot. She said: "My dream is to retire in a few years and help deliver food and get people from one place to another."
· Same-sex weddings continue in New York. Six ministers of the Unitarian Universalist Church performed marriage ceremonies for 25 same-sex couples Saturday, defying prosecutors who view the practice as illegal.
· A&E Recounts Wild Ride of King Charles II. England's Charles II lived an up-and-down, rather curious life. Here's a guy, for instance, who enjoyed more hanky-panky as king than went on in the Clinton White House. Yet, despite siring more than a dozen youngsters with his many mistresses, he couldn't find a queen to bear him a successor.
· Fran Drescher announces campaign for women's health. 'Four more years, four more years,' is a familiar chant to victorious politicians. It's also Fran Drescher's goal as she nears the fourth anniversary of her being cancer-free. Now, the former Nanny star and health advocate is contemplating adding a new role to her resume — politician.
· Joke implies Kentucky filled with toothless citizens - and worse. At a fund-raising dinner for Monroe County Republicans, a candidate for Indiana governor joked that Louisville is not chosen as the setting for police TV shows because there are no dental records there and all the DNA is the same.
· Seeing less sex on TV lately? Thank - or blame - the FCC. If it seems you're hearing fewer four-letter words and seeing less sexually graphic material on radio and TV, it's not your imagination. Regulators are cracking down on indecency, and broadcasters are paying attention.
· Our newest planet, Sedna, explained. Astronomers from Caltech, Gemini Observatory, and Yale University announced the discovery of the coldest, most distant object known to orbit the sun. The object was found at a distance 90 times greater than that from the sun to the earth - about 3 times further than Pluto, the most distant known planet.
» Doomed Hubble's fans flood NASA with ideas. Hubble's pending demise has touched a national nerve. It has become the people's telescope, its fate of vital interest to everyone from the scientists who use it and minister to its needs to amateur astronomers to breakfast-table enthusiasts who marvel at Hubble's spectacular images.
· Ga. Radio Morning Show Hosts Suspended. Clear Channel Communications suspended two Atlanta radio talk show hosts after sexually explicit talk with a porn star was aired during their morning program.
· Philadelphia's Veterans Stadium imploded. Veterans Stadium was reduced to a pile of rubble in just more than a minute on Sunday. About 3,000 pounds of explosives took down the old concrete home of the Philadelphia Phillies and Eagles, section by section in a clockwise direction as loud booms rang out.
· Eisenhower Letters Show Secret Government Plans. A few weeks after the Soviets launched the first manmade satellite in 1957, shattering America's sense of security, CBS President Frank Stanton was summoned to the White House to participate in a succession plan that went wildly beyond the scope of the presidency.
· Crime Pays for Ex-Philly Mobster. For "Big" Ron Previte, crime paid — big time. By all accounts, Previte (pronounced Prev-ity) is the last gangster. He pulled off one of the greatest disappearing acts in the history of the mob, and he did it "legally," with the FBI's blessing and $1 million of taxpayer's money — but not before handing the feds enough evidence to essentially shut down some of the biggest players in the Philadelphia mob.
· OutKast Wins, Leads Soul Train Awards. OutKast's "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below" won two awards, including R&B/soul or rap album of the year, to lead the winners at Saturday's 18th annual Soul Train Music Awards.
· 'Lad Lit' Chronicles Search for Ms. Right. Will Leitch was 21 and in love with a woman who was "blond and beautiful, sleek and refined." He gave her his grandmother's engagement ring, set the date, and decided to be a contestant on Comedy Central's "Win Ben Stein's Money." Then, she dumped him.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Cathartic [ca·thar·tic] adj. Producing a feeling of being purified emotionally, spiritually, or psychologically as a result of an intense emotional experience or therapeutic technique. "The strength of the movie had a cathartic effect on her."
· Ho-Hum Anniversary In Iraq. The first anniversary of the start of the war that ousted Saddam Hussein was a day like many others in Iraq: a mortar attack in a northern city, an attempt to kill a politician, and news of a U.S. Marine cut down by rebel fire. Overall, Saturday was average by recent Iraqi standards.
· New Testament Translated To American Sign Language. After 23 years of work by some 60 people, a ministry group for the deaf has finished translating the entire New Testament into American Sign Language.
· Carbon Dioxide At Record Levels In Atmosphere. New data shows that carbon dioxide - the gas largely blamed for global warming - has reached record levels in the earth's atmosphere. Scientists say the latest numbers also show the gas has been building up at an accelerted pace in the past year.
· The Real Impact Of Gay Marriage On Society. Legalized gay marriage may never cause the transformation of society that some have predicted, given that it is likely to affect less than one in 100 U.S. married couples in the United States today. But culture warriors say the small numbers aren't reason to ignore the issue.
· Connecticut governor denies wrongdoing. A day after an antiques dealer said he helped facilitate a sweetheart real estate deal for Gov. John G. Rowland, the governor insisted he has committed no crimes and done nothing to compromise his office.
Saturday, March 20, 2004
· Two split reward in D.C.-area sniper case. Two men will share a $500,000 reward for providing information that led to the capture of convicted D.C.-area snipers Lee Boyd Malvo and John Allen Muhammad.
· High-speed police chase leaves 3 people dead. Police chased a man in a stolen SUV early Saturday for about four miles - nearly all of the pursuit within Omaha's city limits - until the vehicle hit two motorcycles, killing three people, and crashed.
· Website snoops on neighbor's campaign donations. Just type your address and ZIP code into the "Neighbor Search" tool at fundrace.org, and you'll get a list of what your neighbors gave to any of the presidential candidates last year - and how much.
· Things get worse with Coke. First, Coca-Cola's new brand of "pure" bottled water, Dasani, was revealed earlier this month to be tap water taken from the mains. Then it emerged that what the firm described as its "highly sophisticated purification process", based on Nasa spacecraft technology, was in fact reverse osmosis used in many modest domestic water purification units.
· Intel wants chips with sleeker names. Think of the Pentium as the BMW of computer chips. Intel executives may hope you do now that they're naming their microprocessors after the Ultimate Driving Machine. Consumer-unfriendly clunkers like the Pentium 4 processor with HT Technology Extreme Edition 3.40 GHz will be traded in for the much sleeker 300, 500 or 700 series.
· Off-Off-Off-Roading on Mars in a $414 Million S.U.V. To date, there are no traffic jams on Mars. This is a good thing for John R. Wright, an engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory here, whose daily drive includes time at the controls of the Mars rover Spirit, whose $414 million price tag makes the most luxurious Range Rover look cheap.
· Lost Police Reports Hint at Problems. Police in Atlanta recently revealed they were missing 22,000 crime reports from a single year. While the underreporting shocked many civilians, it was no surprise for those in law enforcement, who are well aware that agencies across the country lose or alter crime reports to burnish their widely reported crime statistics.
· Arafat sees Mel's Passion. Yasser Arafat has watched Mel Gibson's film The Passion of the Christ with a top aide, who compared Jesus' pain during crucifixion to Palestinians' suffering in the conflict with Israel.
· Jack Kelly's ironic words of faith. "Journalism is a calling," he explains. "I feel God's pleasure when I write and report. It isn't because of the glory, but because God has called me to proclaim truth, and to worship and serve him through other people."
» Flashback: USA Today's statement on faked stories. Seven weeks into an examination of former USA TODAY reporter Jack Kelley’s work, a team of journalists has found strong evidence that Kelley fabricated substantial portions of at least eight major stories, lifted nearly two dozen quotes or other material from competing publications, lied in speeches he gave for the newspaper and conspired to mislead those investigating his work.
· City declares desert land 'urbanized,' 'blighted' to take it over. When Hyundai needed land for a new auto testing track, officials in this remote, high-desert town were eager to oblige.
Under a state law that allows governments to seize land designated as "urbanized and blighted," the city's redevelopment agency went to court and won permission to take more than 700 acres from private landowners, paying them what many in the area considered a fair amount.
· Sweater Gives New Meaning To 'Cash Crop.' A professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln says he has a billion dollar idea for the state. He wants to turn cornhusks into clothing. It gives a whole new meaning to the words "cash crop.
· Vigilantes dispense cyberjustice on eBay. Five months ago, Klaus Priebe, a soft-spoken building contractor who said he was sick and tired of fraud on eBay, decided it was time to catch the cheaters.
In one recent auction, he bid as much as $2.5 million on a telescope worth no more than $2,000. He knew he would not have to pay for the telescope because he was sure that it did not exist.
· Arizona Bishop Apologizes for Hit-And-Run Accident. The former head of the Catholic Church in Phoenix, convicted last month of leaving the scene of a fatal accident, apologized to the victim's family on Friday and asked a judge to spare him from prison.
· Oliver Stone on Castro: "I think [Americans] are worried they might like him." Oliver Stone spent three days in Cuba with Castro talking about youth, power, everything from Fidel's failings as a father to drinking nights with Krushchev. The result is a film HBO won't show, perhaps because it puts a human face on the U.S.'s eternal enemy.
· Bush, Kerry to Spend Almost Half-Billion. President Bush and Democratic nominee-to-be John Kerry are on track to spend nearly a half-billion dollars vying for the White House this year, making it the most expensive presidential race in history.
· Stern: Oprah Talks Dirtier. Howard Stern accused Oprah Winfrey of being a fellow potty-mouth yesterday, saying the afternoon TV queen has aired the same kind of kinky sexual material for which he was being pilloried.
· Eisner's book on life's lessons delayed a year. A new book by embattled Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Michael Eisner on the lessons about life he learned at summer camp has been delayed for about a year, publisher Warner Books said on Friday, adding that the book will be out for Father's Day 2005.
· Jackson's 1st Accuser May Testify. The prosecutor in Michael Jackson's child molestation case is considering asking a boy who reached a multimillion-dollar settlement with the entertainer to testify before a grand jury, according to a published report.
· Update: Museum to be closed over wax Hitler figure. A waxworks museum in Berlin that featured a life-size figure of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler has proved to be so controversial it is to be shut down.
· Photographer Claims Injury at Love Show. A photographer says she was hurt when Courtney Love dove off a stage, less than a day after the rocker was arrested for allegedly throwing a microphone stand at an earlier performance that injured a fan.
· Whites-Only Scholarship Stirs R.I. College. On the sleepy coastal campus of Roger Williams University, a small liberal arts school unaccustomed to student activism, the College Republicans are reveling in the debate they've kicked up by offering a scholarship for whites only.
· Paris Hilton Injured During Show Taping. Paris Hilton was hospitalized Friday after a horse she was riding threw her off and kicked her in the stomach during the taping of "The Simple Life 2," a reality show featuring the hotel heiress and a friend on a 30-day cross-country trip.
· Update: Airline halts plan for lip-shaped urinals. Virgin Atlantic Airways Friday scrapped plans to install bright-red urinals shaped like women's open lips at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, saying it had received complaints they were offensive.
· What's in a name? A fortune, some inmates say. It may not be a strategy that's tried, tested and true, but that hasn't stopped inmates across the nation from claiming copyright to their names and then demanding money from lawyers and judges who dare to utter them.
· New domains '.mobi' and '.xxx' under consideration. Ten organizations submitted applications to sponsor new Internet domains, including ".mobi" for mobile services and ".xxx" for adult content, the group that oversees key aspects of the global network said.
· Montreal girl carrying U.S. flag booed by junior high classmates. A U.S.-born teenager carrying an American flag in a multiculturalism parade was reduced to tears and booed off a stage by fellow students at a Montreal high school this week.
· Lottery Officials Cover Porn Number On Ticket Terminals. Lottery officials had to send new stickers to merchants to cover up an embarrassing glitch - a toll-free number on the new lottery's ticket terminals that directed callers to a phone-sex line.
· U.S. drops all charges against Muslim chaplain. All charges against Army Muslim chaplain James Yee - who was initially accused of espionage at the terrorist detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba - have been dropped, the U.S. Army said.
Friday, March 19, 2004
· Actor Paul Reubens Pleads Guilty in Obscenity Case. Actor Paul Reubens, who won fame as children's television star "Pee-wee Herman," plead guilty on Friday to a misdemeanor charge of possessing obscene material.
· Donald Trump Riding High With 'Apprentice.' Trump, now 57, has managed a bold return to the land of bold-faced names. He's working on a new book; Trump recently boasted that he received a $5 million advance for "Trump: How to Get Rich" (Chapter one: write a book with a $5 million advance).
· AOL says it sees sharp decline in 'spam' e-mail. America Online, the nation's largest Internet provider, said Friday it has seen a dramatic decline in the amount of "spam" e-mail entering its network over the past month.
· Teen's right to wear sweatshirt is restored. A Denbigh High School student prevented from wearing an anti-abortion sweatshirt in school last month by a school administrator now can wear it after a Michigan law center raised the possibility of a lawsuit.
· Man Hit By Train, Then His Ambulance Hit By Car. A janitor in Texas may be the world's luckiest man even though he had a really bad day. The 60-year-old workman walked into the path of trolley car outside Houston's Reliant Stadium, then got another jolt when a car slammed into the ambulance taking him to the hospital.
· Frozen French Fry Baron Dead At 76. Harrison McCain, founder of one of the world's largest frozen food companies and known as king of the frozen french fry, died today. His food company produces one-third of the world's frozen french fries - with annual sales of more than $4.5 billion.
· Hero who helped nab Ohio sniper suspect had to call police repeatedly. Las Vegas Sheriff Bill Young said he will review emergency-dispatch policies after the man who tracked down the Ohio sniper suspect had to place about one dozen calls before officers responded. "Most citizens would have gotten fed up and hung up in disgust," Young said.
· Mistrial declared in trial of former Steelers linebacker. A mistrial was declared this morning in the case of former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Greg Lloyd, who was charged with aggravated assault for allegedly shoving a gun in his son's mouth to punish him for poor grades.
· Vacationing Kerry 'doesn't fall' on slopes. Kerry was snowboarding when he unexpectedly fell down. Moments later, Kerry said sharply, "I don't fall down," then used an expletive to describe the agent who "knocked me over."
· Bush campaign gear made in Burma. The official merchandise Web site for President George W. Bush's re-election campaign has sold clothing made in Burma, whose goods were banned by Bush from the U.S. last year to punish its military dictatorship.
· Sierra Club Divided on Immigration. The Sierra Club is one of the nation's most influential environmental groups, but these days, along with fighting for the environment, its members are fighting among themselves. The issue is immigration, on which the Sierra Club is neutral, at least for now.
· French nutritionists give thumbs up to Big Mac. In an unexpected message to a country priding itself on the superiority of its food, a new food guide praises the McDonald's burger for having a higher and healthier protein-to-fat ratio than France's Quiche Lorraine.
· Teen found with 20 bombs at school. A teenager was charged with attempted murder after police found him outside school with 20 homemade bombs, a rifle and a note saying he wanted to injure everyone at his high school except for three friends.
· Ex-USA TODAY reporter faked major stories. Seven weeks into an examination of former USA TODAY reporter Jack Kelley’s work, a team of journalists has found strong evidence that Kelley fabricated substantial portions of at least eight major stories, lifted nearly two dozen quotes or other material from competing publications, lied in speeches he gave for the newspaper and conspired to mislead those investigating his work.
· Net virus can strike unseen. Five new variants of a malicious e-mail virus released overnight Thursday on the Internet break new ground in that recipients are no longer required to open attachments to infect their computers.
· Limbaugh attorneys unearth precedent. Rush Limbaugh's lawyers pulled a "gotcha!" out of their hat Thursday, pointing an appeals court to one of its own decisions forbidding the seizure of medical information without due process.
· Hubbub Over Hubble's Demise. Many of the astronauts who worked on Hubble hundreds of miles above Earth are dismayed, bewildered or both by NASA's decision to pull the plug on the mighty observatory.
· Low-carb diet could hurt fetuses. The popularity of low-carbohydrate regimes like the Atkins diet could trigger a sharp resurgence in devastating birth defects and childhood cancers, scientists warn.
· Study Links Childhood Obesity To Video Games. A recent study suggests that video games - not television - is associated with overweight children. But the video games might not be causing obesity, as many might suspect.
· Saddam was $10 billion bandit. Saddam Hussein stole a staggering $10.1 billion from the humanitarian U.N.-run oil-for-food program - billions more in thievery than earlier estimates, a congressional investigation revealed yesterday.
· Fla. City Wants To Fine Promoters If Rockers Swear. City council members plan to ask each promoter to put up a $10,000 cash bond for each concert at a city park. A $500 fine would be levied for each profanity.
· Maryland Town Sets Own Rules. On the northeast border of the District of Columbia lies a little town that time forgot, except for when it finds itself in the headlines for a brand of activism reminiscent of the 1970s.
· House votes to double reward for Osama. The House of Representatives, amid an intensifying hunt for leaders of the al Qaeda terrorist network, voted unanimously Thursday to double the reward for Osama bin Laden's capture to $50 million.
· Indicted CEO Turns TV Preacher. When HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy was indicted on 85 counts of cooking his company's books and barred from entering the offices of the Birmingham empire he built, most thought they'd heard the last of him at least until his trial.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Pundit [pun·dit] n. 1. Somebody who expresses an opinion: somebody who acts as a critic or authority on a particular subject, especially in the media. "The election results threw the political pundits into confusion." 2. Somebody wise: somebody with knowledge and wisdom.
· Red Lobster to trim all-you-can-eat deals. Darden Restaurants Inc. said Thursday its Red Lobster chain will cut back on all-you-can-eat promotions, which generated customer traffic but hurt profit margins.
· Soldiers put Iraq 'war trophies' on eBay. A year after the U.S.-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein's government in Iraq, items touted as having come from Saddam's palaces have turned up for sale on the auction Web site eBay.
» Zookeeper's `Fear Factor' prank ends in `You're fired.' A zoo official said senior zookeeper Tiffany Whipkey's dunk into the penguin tank began with a lunch table discussion about the television show Fear Factor and turned into a bet over whether she would jump into the 16,000-gallon penguin tank.
Thursday, March 18, 2004
· FCC Cites Stern, Bono for Indecency. Federal regulators continued their crackdown on indecency Thursday, issuing a fine for a broadcast of the Howard Stern radio show and ruling that an expletive by rock singer Bono on NBC violated broadcast standards.
· N.C. Parents Angry Over Gay Children's Book. The parents of an elementary school pupil are fuming over the book their daughter brought home from the school library: a children's story about a prince whose true love turns out to be another prince.
· J.J. Jackson, One Of MTV's First VJs, Dies At Age 62. J.J. Jackson, remembered as one of the first faces of MTV, died Wednesday night in Los Angeles of an apparent heart attack, according to friends.
· Was Whitney Houston's rehab decision really her idea? Whitney Houston’s decision to check herself into rehab this week came as a surprise to some in the music world, but a well-placed source says it wasn’t entirely Whitney’s decision. Clive Davis, the new head of BMG, “made her do it,” says the insider.
· FTC shuts down 'American Idol' phone scam. Viewers who misdialed and got one of the scammer's numbers were directed to dial a 900-number to place their vote. The FTC said about 25,000 consumers were charged up to $3 per call during the 2002 and 2003 seasons.
· Eternal flame snuffed out in gas bill feud. A so-called "eternal flame" erected in the central British city of Birmingham to promote world peace has been extinguished after little more than three years in a feud over who pays the gas bill.
· Congress Tries To Nix Internet Rx. Unsolicited e-mails arrive daily across America offering cheap, quick access to prescription drugs. Without ever seeing a doctor, people can use the Internet to have drugs prescribed and shipped to their homes by a "licensed U.S. pharmacy."
· Blair's 'House' Flops on Book Sales Chart. Jayson Blair and Stephen Glass, two young journalists notorious for fabricating stories, have something else in common: Both have written highly publicized books that have flopped at the bookstores.
· Jury Begins Deliberating Former Tyco Execs' Fate. Jurors have begun their deliberations in the trial of former Tyco International executives charged with looting the company of more than $600 million.
· ‘Apprentice’ star stands by racism claims. Fired “Apprentice” Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth — hated by some of her fellow cast members — got plenty of love Thursday at Ebony magazine’s awards luncheon, but stands by her claims of racism.
· TSA to require airlines to obtain personal records. The Transportation Security Administration said it will order airlines to turn over passengers' personal records in the next couple of months to test a computerized passenger screening program that they say may keep dangerous people off airlines.
· Gay Federal Workers Lose Job Protections. The head of the Office of The Special Counsel, Scott Bloch, says his interpretation of a 1978 law intended to protect employees and job applicants from adverse personnel actions is that gay and lesbian workers are not covered.
· Teenager topples ex-world chess champ. Magnus Carlsen of Norway continues to make headlines on the international chess circuit. The 13-year-old boy from Baerum defeated one of the game's most successful players ever, former world champion Anatoly Karpov.
· Latest exploits of 'The Donald.' If The Donald gets the nod from The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, he'll be able to exclusively slap the words "You're Fired" on clothing and "games and playthings," and use it in connection with "casino services."
· Baby Shakes Loose Battery Worth $100,000. A boy's inquisitive nature is no longer considered a problem since he opened the battery compartment on the television remote and uncovered a purple Duracell battery worth $100,000.
· German Jews Attack Vegetarian Ad Campaign. PETA said it would go ahead with a controversial advertising campaign that likens the slaughter of animals to the murder of Jews under the Nazis despite threats of a legal challenge.
· Gibson movie spurs surrender, robber says. In December 2001, James Anderson stormed into a Palm Beach Gardens bank, grabbed an employee and - he now admits - forced tellers to hand over $25,000 in large bills. This week he turned himself in, telling police investigators that he was stirred deeply after watching The Passion of the Christ and felt compelled to come clean.
· Sue-happy Zeta-Jones loses fight to ban business. Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones on Thursday lost a bid to stop a businessman running his IT business from a barn close to her new luxury home in her Welsh hometown.
· Methodist Church Tries Lesbian Pastor. Despite efforts by dozens of protesters to block it, the United Methodist Church trial of an openly lesbian pastor got under way with one witness warning clergymen not to "replicate the crucifixion of Jesus."
· Tiger Woods Goes for Army Training. Woods said he will take part in four days of military training at Fort Bragg, N.C., before hosting a junior golf clinic April 16 at the army base about 75 miles southeast of Raleigh.
· Singer Courtney Love arrested in New York nightclub. After baring herself on "The Late Show with David Letterman," singer Courtney Love was arrested early Thursday at a New York City nightclub for reckless endangerment after she tossed a microphone stand into the audience, striking one of the club's patrons in the head.
» Courtney's TV strip show. Clearly bra-less, she finally exposed herself while singing Danny Boy on top of Letterman's desk, forcing the network to blur the picture using a time delay. Love then boasted: "I haven't shown my boobs for so long."
» Courtney Love Fights for Career, Daughter - but not too hard. Her new album has sold a paltry 65,000 copiers, and she's temporarily lost custody of her 11-year-old daughter, Frances, to — of all people — her ex-stepfather.
· Fresno police probe if officers were outside during killings. Fresno's police chief acknowledged Wednesday that his department is looking into whether Marcus Wesson fatally shot nine of his children while police waited outside his house, despite frantic pleas from relatives to intervene.
· Katherine Hepburn Items Set for Auction. Katharine Hepburn's fans will get a glimpse into her personal life when a trove of her possessions, including clothes, furniture and love notes from Howard Hughes, goes on sale at Sotheby's in June.
· House ethics panel steps up bribery probe. The House Ethics Committee on Wednesday stepped up its investigation into since-retracted allegations by a Republican congressman that he was offered a bribe in return for his vote on last year's sweeping Medicare prescription drug bill.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Ambivalence [am·biv·a·lence] n. 1. Uncertainty or indecisiveness as to which course to follow. 2. The coexistence of opposing attitudes or feelings, such as love and hate, toward a person or idea.
· Confession gives new insight into Hoffa's murder. This week, a purported undated, unwitnessed confession, said to be signed by Frank "Big Irish" Sheeran before he died at 83 in a nursing home in Chester County, Pa., claimed he had disposed of Hoffa's body in a Detroit area incinerator - a fate that matches one of the FBI's theories.
· Lawyer to Press Jackson Custody Issue. Attorney Gloria Allred said Wednesday that Los Angeles County officials have turned down her request that Michael Jackson's three children be removed from his custody, but said she would bring the matter to a juvenile court judge.
· Can America build a better doughnut? Does it need to? What is now a nearly $4 billion business in the United States has a foggy past. Sources put the doughnut's arrival on these shores anywhere from the 1600s to mid-19th century.
· Pressure Building for Drug Importation. Importing drugs would save Americans 30 to 300 percent of the cost, but industry sources say that with this discount come fewer safety controls and a risk to the development of new life-saving medicines.
· 'Passion' rising toward box-office history. The Passion of the Christ, the movie personally financed by Mel Gibson because no studio thought it commercially viable, could become the highest-grossing film in history.
· U.S. Minority Groups on Rise by 2050. The Asian population is expected to more than triple to 33 million by 2050. Hispanics will increase their ranks by 188 percent to 102.6 million, or roughly one-quarter of the population.
· 100-Foot Asteroid to Make Closest Pass. A 100-foot diameter asteroid will pass within 26,500 miles of Earth on Thursday evening, the closest-ever brush on record by a space rock, NASA astronomers said.
· Lower-priced cable TV alternative unveiled. A Utah company launched what it called a digital cable-style subscription television service "for the rest of us" on Tuesday, an alternative that eliminates the coaxial cable and strips basic service to a few essential networks with a price to match.
Wednesday, March 17, 2004
· Actress Mercedes McCambridge Dies at 85. Actress Mercedes McCambridge, who won an Oscar for the 1949 film "All the King's Men" and later provided the raspy voice of the demon-possessed girl in "The Exorcist," has died. She was 87.
· Kissing in the men's room. The newly-designed Virgin Airways Clubhouse in New York’s John F. Kennedy airport has installed urinals shaped like a woman’s mouth, dolled up with red lipstick, wide open and ready for business.
· Martha team finds key point to appeal. Martha Stewart's lead attorney Robert Morvillo intends to appeal her conviction by arguing the judge unfairly prevented him from explaining to the jury Stewart had not been charged with criminal insider trading, according to a person close to the defense team.
· Philadelphia unions kill MTV location. The producers of the MTV series The Real World gave up on Philly as the site of its 15th season after weeks of picketing by Teamsters, painters, carpenters and electricians. MTV was concerned that the unions might stage on-camera protests during their four months of taping.
· Powell to India: 'You can have our jobs.' Secretary of State Colin Powell, encountering the other side of a tempestuous debate in the United States, sought to assure Indians that the Bush administration would not try to halt the outsourcing of high-technology jobs to their country.
· Tennessee County Officials Seek to Ban Gays. Rhea County commissioners unanimously voted to ask state lawmakers to introduce legislation amending Tennessee's criminal code so the county can charge homosexuals with crimes against nature.
· Texaco lives on as star is reborn. Beginning July 1 ChevronTexaco - who had previously closed all Texaco stations - plans to resurrect the Texaco brand in a swath of states from Texas through the Southeast.
· Gibson breaks Hollywood's 10 Commandments. In breaking or bending so many of Hollywood's basic rules - studio development executives would probably give them the punchier name Ten Commands rather than Ten Commandments - Mel Gibson showed considerable courage that's paid off big-time for him.
· Former Dole Aid Pleads Guilty to Mail Fraud. A former official in North Carolina Sen. Elizabeth Dole's 2002 election campaign pleaded guilty Wednesday to mail fraud in an embezzlement scheme involving more than $174,000 of the campaign's money.
· R. Kelly Child Porn Charges Dropped. Prosecutors here dropped all child pornography charges against R. Kelly after a judge ruled that photos allegedly showing the singer having sex with an underage girl were illegally seized.
· Witness pregnancy affects Peterson case. Amber Frey was Scott Peterson's secret lover. Then she became the Modesto police's secret informant. Now she's the star witness against the man accused of killing his wife, and is as pregnant as Laci Peterson was when she disappeared on Christmas Eve 2002.
· Delta Accused of Losing Alzheimer's Patient. Delta Air Lines lost an 80-year-old man with Alzheimer's disease who was supposed to have been given an escort between flights in the Atlanta airport, his relatives said.
· Unlikely Snowbirds. Among the tidy cottages and bungalows in Sarasota, Florida is a little-known getaway for the horse-and-buggy set that defies their somber stereotype. Here at Pinecraft, the Amish go deep-sea fishing, play volleyball, shuffleboard, and golf.
· Tyco Execs Saw Themselves 'Above the Law.' Two former executives of Tyco International are on trial not over their wealth, but because they stole hundreds of millions of dollars from the company "with both fists," prosecutors said.
· Derek Protests Slaughter of Horses. Bo Derek loved horses long before she galloped onto American movie screens in the hit movie "10." The movie star now hopes to ride to the rescue of thousands of American horses killed every year to feed European and Asian diners.
· Presley Says Jackson Was Not Inappropriate. Lisa Marie Presley clarified her remarks in an Australian TV interview, saying in a statement Wednesday that she never saw her ex-husband, Michael Jackson, engage in inappropriate behavior with kids.
· Stern, O'Reilly and others are crossing the line from self-promotion to narcissism. Welcome to the IAM (as in "It's About Me") school of broadcasting, where self-promotion risks giving way to narcissism.
· Teacher has lesbian sex with student. A married high-school teacher has been busted for allegedly engaging in steamy lesbian sex with an underage student - sending shock waves through the halls of their private religious institution in Queens, New York.
» Music Teacher Charged With Molesting Boys. A violin instructor from Erie, Colo., faces charges in connection with the alleged fondling of several students, and police said think there may be more alleged victims. When confronted by police about one of the alleged victims, the man responded, "Which one?"
· Pentagon Bankrolls Swedish Stem Cell Study. The Pentagon has granted $240,000 to a Swedish team for embryonic stem-cell research linked to Parkinson's disease, researchers said, despite U.S. government limits on stem-cell research.
· Man with video camera shuts down California freeway. Law officers arrested Rickey Roy Badgley, 51, almost two hours later after a standoff, only to discover he was targeting motorists with a video camera fitted with a high-powered lens, not a rifle fitted with a high-powered scope.
· 80 mph approved by Arizona. Arizona state senators may be sending negative messages on highway safety by clearing the way for 80-mph speeds on rural interstates and rejecting a bill to allow police to pull over drivers not wearing seat belts, activists say.
· Cunning fraudsters net castle. A federal grand jury has indicted seven people for carrying out an international scheme that cheated 1,000 investors of $56 million, money the defendants used to buy race cars and a century-old castle, officials say.
· Wrong place, and no words to explain. John Thomas Petters, son of a Minnesota corporate executive, might have died Saturday during a vacation in Italy because he didn't understand the threats of a man who mistook him for a burglar.
» Martha Stewart Says Stripes Are “In” for Fall. Leavenworth, Kansas - Homemaker/fashion maven Martha Stewart says that stripes will definitely be the main focus of this year’s Fall fashion collections.
· Mother of Girl Raped In School Bathroom To Sue School Board. The mother of a girl who was raped in the bathroom of a middle school last year has notified the Duval County (FL) School Board of her intent to sue.
· Room For One More Veteran? In 1973, a Vietnam POW killed himself just four months after returning to the U.S. His brother wants the man's name to go on the Vietnam War memorial. But the memorial administrators say no suicides allowed.
· Meat-eating vegetarians transform the movement. The so-called “flexitarians” — a term voted most useful word of 2003 by the American Dialect Society — are motivated less by animal rights than by a growing body of medical data that suggests health benefits from eating more vegetarian foods.
· Stars Get Their Hands Dirty for Charity. Hollywood's elite typically travel with posses of publicists and stay in penthouse suites, but some young stars are taking their polished faces to less-than-glamorous locales for charity.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Benevolent [be·nev·o·lent] adj. 1. Charitable: performing good or charitable acts and not seeking to make a profit. 2. Characterized by or suggestive of doing good; showing kindness or goodwill.
· Embarrassed U.N. Secretary orders 'oil bribes' probe. An embarrassed U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan confirmed yesterday he has ordered a probe into allegations that top U.N. officials were getting payoffs from Saddam Hussein under the controversial Iraqi oil-for-food program before the war.
· 'Dr. Phil' Isn't Doctor for All. When Neal Sutz entered the Dr. Phil's Paramount studio, he was expecting to see a psychologist he respected. Instead, he was asked to sign a waiver that essentially signals "that his advice is not real medical, psychological advice at all," said Sutz. "It is pure entertainment and he should stop insinuating that it is anything but that, especially not real counseling."
· City Bans Outside Smoking In Front Of Kids. City council members in Port Orange, Florida passed a controversial law that bans outdoor smoking in front of children at public parks and recreation properties.
· 'Attack on London is inevitable.' London's police chief warned of the ever-widening terrorist threat to the capital, stressing that bombers could strike not just on the rail or tube network but virtually anywhere - pubs, nightclubs, buses or roads.
» NBC: Clinton Ordered Bin Laden Spared. A secret CIA videotape shows that the Clinton administration had pinpointed the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden a year before the 9/11 attacks, but declined to kill him because of White House orders that he should be taken alive.
· Romantic's roses for ex-lover put him in jail. In the short history of harassment law, Michael Hibberd's treatment of his former girlfriend was scarcely as bad as it gets. He sent her roses and cards, and now he faces jail time.
· Mom & tot die in tub accident. A 3-year-old boy drowned in a bathtub, probably after his mother suffered a fatal heart attack in their Queens home and fell on top of him, law enforcement sources said yesterday.
· Some on Iowa list of missing persons are safe at home. Nearly 11 percent of the people whose names appear on the state's official list of missing persons have actually been found, according to an investigation by the Cedar Rapids Gazette.
Tuesday, March 16, 2004
· Martha feels 'like her life was wasted,' daughter reveals. Martha Stewart is “disappointed over feeling like her life was wasted” after being convicted for lying about a stock sale, her only child says.
· Nevada judge tosses out Flowers defamation suit. A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit accusing James Carville and George Stephanopoulos of defaming Gennifer Flowers when they commented on claims by Flowers that she had an affair with Bill Clinton.
· Howard Stern should stop bellyaching. For the past two weeks, Stern has railed against the religious right, President Bush and FCC Chairman Michael Powell for a climate aimed at reducing questionable material on the air. On the Howard Stern web site, he's even depicted himself as Christ. Enough is enough. Now its time to stop bellyaching and go back to entertaining.
· Suspect stopped for speeding after Ohio shootings began. The man authorities seek in connection with 24 Ohio shootings was pulled over twice for speeding after the attacks began last May, court records show.
· Timberlake misses Britney's wild ways. Pop idol Justin Timberlake, 23, is having trouble with women - there are just too many of them! The Star is reporting that while Timberlake has been telling pals he feels "blessed" to have girlfriend Cameron Diaz, 31, in his life, he misses the wild times he had with ex Britney Spears.
· Judge Allows Release of Guns N' Roses CD. A federal judge has rejected a bid by Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose and two of the metal band's former members to block Geffen Records from releasing a greatest hits compilation next week.
· Martha's new title may be meaningless. As a convicted felon, Martha Stewart had little choice but to relinquish her positions as director and chief creative officer at the company she founded.
She resigned from both those positions Monday and assumed the newly created role of "Founding Editorial Director." But if she is sentenced to serve prison time on June 17, she may be of little help to Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, whatever title it gives her.
· Ex-spouses abound at Bruce Willis' birthday party. It was a case of the more the merrier at Bruce Willis' birthday party, which saw the action star ring in his 50th year alongside his 27-year-old fiancee Brooke Burns, ex-wife Demi Moore, and her 26-year-old flame, Ashton Kutcher.
· Rachel Hunter finally strips for Playboy. She first turned them down 17 years ago when she was 17. And two years ago they turned her down, saying she was too fat. Now Rod Stewart's ex has shed the weight and gained £1million for the raunchy shoot.
· Hitler returns to the heart of Berlin - in wax. A life-size wax figure of Adolf Hitler has gone on display in the heart of Berlin in what musuem officials say is the first such public exhibition of the Nazi dictator in post-war Germany.
· Woman Arrested After Flipping Off SUV Carrying Sheriff. Officers pulled her over and ran a routine check on her license plate. The check turned up outstanding warrants for the woman and her husband.
· Guinness record for world's smallest disk drive. Japan's Toshiba Corp said on Tuesday that Guinness World Records had certified its postage stamp-sized hard disk drives (HDDs) as the smallest in the world.
· Symantec Details Net Threats. Symantec's semi-annual Internet Security Threat report, released this week, paints a picture of an increasingly threatening Internet. But unlike previous reports, there seems to be little in the way of good news.
» Low-Carb Products Any Good? Fitness Magazine put some of these low-carb alternatives to the test in their latest issue. And on Tuesday, the magazine's executive editor Liz Vaccariello tells The Early Show co-anchor Julie Chen the results.
· Three Tennessee cities among worst for asthma. Asthma hits all areas of the United States, but Knoxville, Tennessee, is the worst, according to an organization's ranking of the nation's cities released Tuesday.
· She should thank God she at least has her looks. Jessica Simpson, whose verbal gaffes have confirmed she is dumber than a box of rocks, pulled another one while visiting the White House.
According to the Washington Post, the singer was allegedly introduced to Interior Secretary Gale Norton and gushed: "You've done a nice job decorating the White House."
· Taxpayers on hook for Janklow damages. Bill Janklow was on duty as South Dakota's congressman when his car collided with a motorcycle last summer, meaning federal taxpayers will have to pay any civil damages arising from the fatal crash, a prosecutor has concluded.
· Paper Removes Lesbian Reporter, Photographer From Gay Marriage Story. The San Francisco Chronicle has removed its lead City Hall reporter and photographer from covering the city's same-sex marriage controversy.
It seems the long-time lesbian partners were wed last week themselves and Chronicle editors are trying to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.
· African Aids drug plan faces collapse. A United Nations plan to provide three million HIV-infected patients in Africa with anti-retroviral drugs by 2005 is in danger of collapsing owing to lack of funds, UN and World Health Organisation officials said.
· Billy Bob Thornton swears he didn't cheat on Angelina. In an upcoming GQ article, Thornton says, "No, no, no. That was the rumor but that was never it. It was a great relationship. For the time we were together, we loved each other and we did it all the way."
"We didn't leave any stone unturned. But we had different ideas about how we wanted to live our lives. She's all over the world, and I respect her for it. I want to stay home," Thonton said.
· Saying farewell to Frasier: A trip down memory Crane. After 20 years - 9 in a Boston bar called "Cheers" and 11 on a Seattle radio show - Kelsey Grammer is signing off as the lovable but neurotic shrink Dr. Frasier Crane.
· Prince reigns at hall of fame inductions. Dressed in a white suit Prince brought the normally staid crowd to its feet with some vintage funk-rock. A restless perfectionist, the Minneapolis-based singer often played every instrument used on his music.
Prince also made a few comments at the inductions, providing some wisdom that could be used by many celebrities: "A real friend and mentor is not on your payroll," Prince said.
· Beatles to Sue Apple Computers. The big news out of last night's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame dinner at the Waldorf? The Beatles are indeed about to sue Apple Computers over the iPod, iTunes and Apple Music.
» Fla. Worker Survives More Than 80-Foot Fall From Apartment Building. A construction worker fell more than eight stories from an apartment building, leaving him in critical condition with fractures and internal injuries.
· Ralph Nader looms as lethal threat to Dems. The candidacy of Ralph Nader looms as a potentially lethal threat to Democratic hopes of regaining the White House: With Mr. Nader in the race, Mr. Bush leads Mr. Kerry by 46 percent to 38 percent, with Mr. Nader drawing 7 percent of the votes.
· It's a Girl for Sheen, Richards. Charlie Sheen and his wife, Denise Richards, are co-starring in a new project - parenting. Their daughter, Sam Sheen, was born in Los Angeles on March 9, Sheen's publicist, Biana Bianconi, said Monday. The baby weighed 7 pounds, 3 ounces.
· Popcorn worker awarded $20 million in lawsuit. A factory worker who claimed his lungs were ruined as result of mixing flavoring oils used in microwave popcorn was awarded $20 million by a jury Monday.
· Late-model car codes frustrate mechanics. Gary Putman is an accomplished mechanic, but says if you don't have the car's computer code, you lose the job. "They have to go to the dealers. It's an illegal monopoly, in my opinion. It happens enough that it's a real problem," said Putman, who owns a Seattle garage.
· Graffiti alarm set off by spray-can sound. Science and sound may soon be used to catch graffiti vandals in the act, thanks to a device called Taggertrap, that uses ultrasonic technology to capture taggers in the act of spray-painting.
· NJ Hostage-taker Wanted to Meet 'Sopranos.' A woman held hostage for 10 hours by a Union Township man said her captor had a bomb and envelopes containing anthrax, and made demands that included meeting cast members of "The Sopranos."
Monday, March 15, 2004
· Supect named in Highway Shootings. The Highway Shootings Task Force is naming a suspect in the series of attacks in Central Ohio that have killed one person and assaulted more than a dozen other drivers.
· Kobe Defense Wants More Info About Accuser. Kobe Bryant's defense team filed a motion Monday asking the judge to force the prosecution to give them any exculpatory evidence and information about the basketball star's accuser.
· Bush administration pays actors to pose as TV journalists. Congressional investigators are scrutinizing television segments in which the Bush administration paid people to pose as journalists praising the benefits of the new Medicare law, intended to help elderly Americans with the costs of their prescription medicines.
· Rapist In 'Day At Beach' Case Gets 40 Years. A convicted rapist whose case drew national attention when a judge said, "Why would he want to rape her?" was sentenced Monday to 40 years in prison by a different judge.
· Decades later, a windfall for code talker. Fifty-nine years after he narrowly survived the Battle of Iwo Jima, Navajo code talker Teddy Draper Sr. finally has been awarded the Purple Heart by the U.S. Marine Corps.
· Husband Arrested On Charges Of Running Over Wife, Mother-In-Law. A man has been charged in the deaths of his ex-wife and elderly former mother-in-law, who police say were run down in their front yard.
· Stewart quits Omnimedia posts. Martha Stewart resigned Monday from the board and as chief creative officer of the media empire she built, a little more than a week after she was convicted of lying to federal investigators related to a 2001 stock sale.
· Will 'Everyday Living' replace Martha? Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia apparently was already working on a possible plan to rebrand products even while the company's founder Martha Stewart was still on trial, according to a published report Monday.
· Study links bankruptcy, proximity of casinos. Not surprisingly, the recent study showed personal bankruptcy filings in counties with casinos were significantly higher than in non-casino counties in the United States during the 1990s.
· NASCAR drops humble beginnings - moves toward image and big business. NASCAR officials told Naples-based Arnold Motorsports that it would have to remove the logos of its primary sponsor, Redneckjunk.com, from Derrike Cope's No. 50 Dodge. NASCAR said through spokesperson Herb Branham: "We just didn't feel like that projected the proper image of our sport."
· Hundreds Line Up to Star in 'Apprentice.' The line to audition for the second season of the hit reality show "The Apprentice" stretched the length of four football fields outside NBC's Burbank studios as more than 1,000 people sought a spot on the program featuring billionaire Donald Trump.
· Calif. Officials Nearly Fall for H2O Hoax. City officials were so concerned about the potentially dangerous properties of dihydrogen monoxide that they considered banning foam cups after they learned the chemical was used in their production. Then they learned, to their chagrin, that dihydrogen monoxide - H2O for short - is the scientific term for water. "It's embarrassing," said City Manager David J. Norman.
· The 'sexiest man alive' is no match for Christ. Despite the decent opening Johnny Depp's Secret Window enjoyed over the weekend, it just could not displace Jim Caviezel's The Passion Of The Christ as the most popular film across North America.
» Hollywood Rethinking Films of Faith After 'Passion.' As the overwhelming success of "The Passion of the Christ" reverberates through Hollywood, producers and studio executives are asking whether the movie industry has been neglecting large segments of the American audience eager for more openly religious fare.
· Rooney gets record response for calling Gibson 'wacko.' The "60 Minutes" curmudgeon said Sunday he got 30,000 pieces of mail and e-mail in response to his Feb. 22 commentary, in which he called "The Passion of the Christ" filmmaker Gibson a "wacko."
· Scientists say stem cells may yield baldness cure. Research showing that bald mice can grow hair after being implanted with a type of stem cell could lead to a cure for baldness, a group of scientists says.
· Label revisions, other changes part of FDA anti-obesity plan. The Food and Drug Administration on Friday launched a broad anti-obesity campaign that will include revising the familiar nutrition label on food packages to make it easier for people to count their calories.
· Ben there, done that. For Ben Affleck, laughter might prove to be the best medicine to mend a broken heart and halt a career slump. As the host of Saturday Night Live over the weekend, he didn't just promote his film Jersey Girl, Affleck brazenly skewered his tabloid-monopolizing breakup with ex-fiancée Jennifer Lopez.
· Wal-Mart Sees Tax Refunds Boosting Sales. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said its March sales at stores open at least a year were tracking near the high end of its forecast for a 4 percent to 6 percent increase as customers cashed tax refund checks.
· 'American Idol' Set for Final Rounds. So far, breathtakingly untalented William Hung is the big hit of this season's "American Idol." The situation should change Tuesday as the 12 freshly minted finalists take the stage for a two-hour show and the chance to really let TV viewers see what they've got.
· Nasa discovers new planet beyond Pluto. The new planet, the tenth heavenly body in the solar system, has been named Sedna, after the Inuit goddess of the ocean, and is located 6.2 billion miles from earth.
· Privacy Protecting Programs Killed. Two cutting-edge computer projects designed to preserve the privacy of Americans were quietly killed while Congress was restricting Pentagon data-gathering research in a widely publicized effort to protect innocent citizens from futuristic anti-terrorism tools.
· U.S. Gasoline Prices Hit a Record High. Prices for all grades of gasoline rose 1.34 cents in the last two weeks to a record high nationwide average of $1.77 a gallon, according to a study released yesterday.
· Regenerative medicine searches for fountain of youth. In laboratories the world over, scientists bent on turning back our biological clocks are looking past harvesting human embryos and cloning in their quest for disease cures.
· Indictment Links Madrid, 9-11 Suspects. Months before bombs tore through commuter trains in Spain, authorities had suspicions about Jamal Zougam - a Moroccan being questioned in the worst terrorist attack in Europe since World War II. Investigators suspected that Zougam had ties to an al-Qaida cell leader and found a video of mujaheddin fighters during a search of his home, according to an indictment reviewed yesterday.