|March 2005 Archives|
[Some Source Links May Unexpectedly Drop]
Return to TabloidColumn.com
Return to Tabloid Archives Sitemap
Thursday, March 31, 2005
· Ted Koppel leaving ABC. Ted Koppel is leaving ABC and the "Nightline" show he has hosted since it started in 1980 - making him the third high-profile news anchor to leave a broadcast network in the last year.
· Oprah and Stedman over for good? Oprah Winfrey has lost a lot over the past year and a half. She's dropped 100 lbs. and has shed many of her insecurities - and now it looks like she may have even lost her boyfriend of nearly 19 years, Stedman Graham. Tongues have been wagging ever since Oprah appeared solo at February's Oscar ceremony.
· New drug allegations against Lance Armstrong. A former personal assistant to Lance Armstrong filed court papers Thursday alleging that he discovered a banned substance in the six-time Tour de France winner's apartment early last year.
· Sandy Berger to plead guilty in 'Sockgate.' Former national security adviser Sandy Berger will plead guilty to taking classified material from the National Archives, and hiding them in his socks, the Justice Department said Thursday.
· Academy sues after Oscar tickets fetch $30,000. Oscar organizers have sued 50 people who resold tickets for Hollywood's biggest award show, raking in up to $30,000 a pair from fans longing to rub elbows with Leonardo DiCaprio or Hilary Swank.
· High Tech Supermodel. Supermodel Naomi Campbell has angrily rejected reports that she assaulted her personal assistant with a cellphone. The 34-year-old catwalk babe and author is alleged to have attacked her personal assistant with a Blackberry PDA during a jaunt to Rio de Janeiro.
· Beauty queen brighter than nuclear physicist. A Slovenian TV program that tried to prove top models were brainless bimbos was scrapped after a beauty queen turned out to have a higher IQ than a nuclear physicist.
· Parents Worried After Learning School Name Means 'Massacre.' Parents of children who will attend the new Matanzas High School in Flagler County, Fla., are concerned after learning that the Spanish meaning of Matanzas is "massacre."
· N.Y. Student Arrested in School Bomb Plot. A 15-year-old boy who had shown strong interest in the Columbine school shootings has been arrested for allegedly plotting to blow up his high school, authorities said Thursday.
· Schiavo dies 2 weeks after tube removed. Two weeks after a court ordered her feeding tube removed, and after multiple attempts by her parents to get the order lifted, Terri Schiavo passed away on Thursday.
· Three NBA players tossed from NBA game. Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver ordered security guards to remove three Colorado Rockies players from America West Arena on Monday night for their conduct while seated directly behind him during a game against Denver.
· Girl Killed After Refusing to Kiss Man. A 15-year-old girl was fatally shot after refusing a man's demand for a kiss, authorities said. The alleged gunman was captured Wednesday night in Washington, D.C.
· Grumpy prince Charles calls media 'bloody people.' For a man about to marry the love of his life, Britain’s Prince Charles sounded distinctly grumpy on Thursday in the elegant Swiss ski resort of Klosters.
· Yankees bartender hits The Boss with bias suit. A Yankee Stadium bartender's discrimination lawsuit throws a high hard one at George Steinbrenner, accusing the Yankee owner of making a racist remark. Valentino Lopez accuses The Boss of saying in November 2000 that he "didn't want his high-profile guests seeing nonwhite girls selling souvenirs."
· Jack Welch: 'I Fell In Love.' Jack Welch, the retired CEO of GE, is one of the most successful corporate executives in the history of American business. And he is obsessed with winning, which happens to be the title of his new book, "Winning." And there was ugly publicity a few years ago, when he was still married, about his romantic relationship with a younger woman, Suzy Wetlaufer. She’s since become the third Mrs. Jack Welch.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Supercilious [su·per·cil·i·ous] adj. 1. Full of contempt and arrogance. 2. Behaving as if or showing that a person thinks they are better than other people, and that their opinions, beliefs or ideas are not important, condescending: "He spoke in a haughty, supercilious voice."
· Update: Joan Kennedy in hospital after falling. Joan Kennedy, the ex-wife of Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), who has battled alcoholism for years, was recovering in a Boston hospital yesterday after she was found passed out cold on a city street.
· Confused Cops Swarm Woman After Birth. A woman rushing to a hospital to give birth hit a few stops along the way — first at a gas station where she delivered the baby herself, then when confused police ordered her out of the car at gunpoint.
· Britney turns the tables on the tabloids. The much-gossiped about crooner is lashing out at gossip mags — and in a bizarre diatribe, is suggesting that their reporters are liars and are overweight or have misbehaving kids.
· Duct Tape Plant Explosion Kills One. An explosion late Wednesday rocked a plant that makes duct tape, shooting a fireball into the air and shaking homes a mile away. One employee was killed, officials said.
· Debt 'counselors' hit for $100M scam. Regulators announced settlements Wednesday with three debt-counseling agencies that they said had bilked consumers out of more than $100 million, a scam they said was becoming increasingly common.
· Rap mogul ordered to pay $107 million. Rap impresario Marion "Suge" Knight has been ordered to pay $107 million to a woman who claimed she helped found his ground-breaking music label, Death Row Records, before being pushed out when Knight realized how valuable the label was.
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
· Boy Scout official pleads guilty to child porn. A longtime Boy Scouts of America official who directed a national task force to protect children from sexual abuse pleaded guilty Wednesday to possession and distribution of child pornography.
· Schiavo parents running out of judges. A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday rejected a last-ditch plea by the parents of brain-damaged Florida woman Terri Schiavo for a new hearing in their fight to keep their dying daughter alive.
· Flight attendant testifies in Jackson case. A flight attendant who has undercut a prosecution claim that Michael Jackson served alcohol to his accuser during a jet trip testified in the pop star's child molestation trial Wednesday that the boy was unruly and rude and started a food fight.
· ABC's Westin Won't Drop Wal-Mart. ABC News president David Westin responded with a blunt "No" after 21 members of Congress Tuesday called on him to drop Wal-Mart Stores Inc. as a sponsor for Good Morning America segment "Only in America."
· Joan Kennedy found lying in street. Joan Kennedy, the former wife of Massachusetts Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, is in the hospital recuperating from a concussion and a broken shoulder after a passer-by found her lying in a street, according to her son.
· Courtney Love puts her legal woes behind her to play porn star Lovelace. Colorful diva Courtney Love, emerging from more than a year of legal woes, has agreed to play legendary porn star Linda Lovelace in an explosive 'Deep Throat' movie comeback.
· Jose Canseco, Omarosa to Star in TV Show. VH1 has selected seven new has-beens to stop being polite and start trying to revive their careers on "The Surreal Life." The fifth season, now in production, will premiere Sept. 4, the cable channel announced Tuesday.
· Update: Pat O'Brien has to go. Wouldn't you think that if you gossiped on-air for a living - literally made your daily bread from the sex scandals, drug-rehab stints, drunken escapades and the horrifying public indiscretions of others - that you'd keep your own life as clean as a priest's?
· GM to build fleet of hydrogen powered cars. General Motors Corp. Wednesday said it signed an $88 million deal with the Department of Energy to build a fleet of 40 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and further develop the technology.
· Swank fined for bearing forbidden fruit. Two-time Oscar-winning actress Hilary Swank has been fined for bringing forbidden fruit into New Zealand, after getting a thumbs down from judges in an appeal, a court said Wednesday.
· Joey Buttafuoco got married (barf) and we missed it. Joey Buttafuoco wed his Yugoslavian fiancée in a ceremony at a Las Vegas casino earlier this month — after managing to show some remarkable restraint at a strip-club bachelor party.
· Update: 1981 attack on Pope planned by Soviets. New documents found in the files of the former East German intelligence services confirm the 1981 assassination attempt against Pope John Paul II was ordered by the Soviet KGB and assigned to Bulgarian agents, an Italian daily said on Wednesday.
· IRS: Taxpayers Are Stiffing Us. The Internal Revenue Service reported Tuesday that the gap between taxes paid and taxes owed stood at more than $300 billion, with a large portion due to individuals understating income.
· Should Kids Be Listed as Sex Offenders? When an Iowa teenager's name was placed on the state's sex offender registry as a result of a crime he committed as a 13-year-old, some parents wanted him thrown out of high school. But does it make sense to treat a teenager who commits a sex crime the same way we treat an adult?
· Witness Lashes Out at Jacko's Attorney. A prosecution witness lashed out at Michael Jackson's attorney from the witness stand Tuesday, quoting another witness saying: "You have made this court like O.J.'s court or Robert Blake's court."
» Jet hostess: Jacko didn't give kid wine. A corporate flight attendant says Jacko never shared his soda pop can of wine with his young accuser or any other kid on a flight from Miami to California, contradicting key testimony from the boy and his siblings.
· Omelet's king of fat food. The new Enormous Omelet certainly isn't for the faint of heart - it packs in 730 calories, 47 grams of fat and 140% of the daily cholesterol recommended for an average adult.
· Up to 1,000 Dead in latest Indonesian Earthquake. Firefighters freed a man trapped in a crumpled house on remote Nias island on Wednesday, 36 hours after he was buried in rubble. As the first foreign military help arrived, officials said an estimated 1,000 people had died in the region's latest large earthquake.
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
· Attorney Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. Dies at 67. Johnnie L. Cochran Jr., the masterful attorney who gained prominence as an early advocate for victims of police abuse, then achieved worldwide fame for successfully defending football star O.J. Simpson on murder charges, died this afternoon.
· Boy Scout official charged in child porn case. A former top official of the Boy Scouts of America has been charged with downloading child pornography from the Internet after federal investigators found images of children engaging in sex acts on his computer.
· Buffett drawn into probe of insurance deal. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett is cooperating with regulators investigating a controversial transaction undertaken by one of his main operating companies but claims he was never briefed on the nature of the deal, his holding company Berkshire Hathaway Inc. said Tuesday.
· Club Owner Testifies in Jackson Trial. The comedy club owner who sought to put Michael Jackson in touch with a young cancer patient testified in Jackson's molestation trial Tuesday but hardly mentioned the pop star sitting across the courtroom.
· Steroids Prescribed To NFL Players. A list obtained exclusively by 60 Minutes Wednesday reveals that three Carolina Panthers professional football players had prescriptions filled for a banned steroid less than two weeks before they played in the 2004 Super Bowl.
· Fort Lauderdale officer in trouble for ticketing doctor on way to deliver baby. Frantic and disbelieving, Dr. Anthony Chidiac tried to explain to Officer William Lilliston that he had been speeding to get to a patient in the throes of childbirth. Chidiac was pulled over in the final block before reaching Holy Cross Hospital, traveling 35 mph in a 25 mph zone. Rather than letting the doctor go, Lilliston handcuffed Chidiac and placed him in a patrol car.
· Madonna, Hubby Don Nun, Pope Costumes. Catholic-turned-kabbalah-devotee Madonna has a bad habit of displaying poor taste, and now her boy-toy director hubby has stirred up more controversy - by dressing as the pope while John Paul II is seriously ailing.
· Many Americans too sleepy for sex, report finds. Many Americans are so sleepy that they are having problems in their marriages, making mistakes at work and even going without sex, according to a report released Tuesday.
· List of Schiavo donors will be sold by direct-mail firm. The parents of Terri Schiavo have authorized a direct-mailing firm to sell a list of their financial supporters, making it likely that thousands of strangers moved by her plight will receive a steady stream of solicitations from anti-abortion and conservative groups.
· Seeing red? Not on Ashton Kutcher’s wrist. Audiences loved Ashton Kuchter as one half of an interracial couple in “Guess Who” — the flick was the top-grossing movie over the weekend — but there’s something they didn’t like: the red string Kabbalah bracelet he wore throughout the shooting. Test audiences “were really annoyed” by the sight of the emblem of the trendy religious movement favored by Kutcher and his sweetie Demi Moore.
· Zeta-Jones for 'Dallas' movie. Catherine Zeta-Jones is to play Pamela Ewing in a big screen adaptation of Texan soap Dallas. Brad Pitt is thought to be co-starring in the movie, though producers have refused to confirm his involvement, IMDb reports.
· Yankees outrgaged at NY Times 'conflict of interest.' A New York Times editorial — which accused the Yankees of "acting like a superstar free agent and asking for the moon" in its plans for a new stadium — never mentioned that the Times Co. is a part-owner of the Boston Red Sox and has a substantial self-interest in stopping the Yankees from building a new, more profitable stadium.
· Presley Dishes About Marriage to Jackson. Lisa Marie Presley aired her "Dirty Laundry" on "Oprah." In the first of a two-part interview on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" to promote her new album, Presley spoke Monday about her brief marriage to Michael Jackson, who is on trial on child molestation charges.
· Death Penalty Tossed Over Bible Verses. The Colorado Supreme Court on Monday threw out the death penalty in a rape-and-murder case because jurors had studied Bible verses such as "eye for eye, tooth for tooth" during deliberations.
· Eli Lilly Fires Worker for Writing Book. Eli Lilly & Co. said on Monday it fired an employee who wrote a book about his tenure as a Pfizer Inc. sales representative which boasted about how little he worked and how much money he earned.
· In Secret Hideaway, Bill Gates Ponders Microsoft's Future. One way to peek into technology's crystal ball last month was to take a winding road into a cedar forest in the Pacific Northwest to seek out one of tech's top thinkers. A sunny Thursday afternoon found him waiting alone behind the gate of his secluded cottage.
· Stolen Laptop Exposes Data of 100,000. A thief recently walked into a University of California, Berkeley office and swiped a computer laptop containing personal information about nearly 100,000 alumni, graduate students and past applicants, highlighting a continued lack of security that has increased society's vulnerability to identity theft.
Monday, March 28, 2005
· Rosie O’Donnell apologizes to Kirstie Alley. The comedian recently made headlines when she took pot shots at Kirstie Alley, accusing the “Fat Actress” star of lying about her weight. “earlier this evening kirstie alley told matt lauer that her fattest was 201,” O’Donnell wrote on her Web site. “I almost choked on my yodel I am 220 fess up kirstie--201 my [bleep] i started to fume.”
· Pennsylvania police chief gets 30 days in pot case. Weatherly, PA Police Chief Brian Cara this morning pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of smoking marijuana seized by his department in Carbon County Court and was sentenced to a 30-day jail sentence.
· Another major quake causes panic - Kills Nearly 300. A major earthquake in the Indian Ocean has hit the coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, just over three months after last year's tsunami. It struck just before midnight local time, with an estimated magnitude of 8.7, and caused widespread panic.
· Schiavo to Undergo Autopsy to "End Debate." In case you think the Schiavo news will end anytime soon, the husband of brain-damaged Florida woman Terri Schiavo has ordered an autopsy after she dies to silence allegations his plan to cremate her body is aimed at hiding something, his lawyer said on Monday.
· Jerry Brown to Wed. Former California governor and three-time presidential candidate Jerry Brown has long shunned convention, but the lifelong bachelor said on Monday that he would wed within the next month or two.
· Man Places Ad After Wife Gives Away Dog To Stranger. A man who lost his dog in a messy separation with his wife has turned to the classified ads to get it back. Earle Hollings said he misses "the stupid little thing."
· Tankless Toilet Makes a Fashion Statement. A tankless toilet unveiled by Kohler Co. promises to make a fashion statement while still staying functional. The company has unveiled the Purist Hatbox, a toilet that aims to bring the throne to your home into the 21st Century.
· Harvard students want their snap, crackle, pop back. Angry cereal fans are lashing out after Harvard University cleared its dining halls this school year of brand-name cereals, such as Fruit Loops and Cap'n Crunch, and swapped them for less expensive, apparently healthier options.
· Update: Jackson judge allows previous abuse allegations. In a setback for Michael Jackson's defense, prosecutors will be allowed to introduce evidence of past molestation allegations against the singer, relating to five previous accusers, the judge ruled Monday.
· Golfer sets ugly record, shoots 12 on TPC hole. Former PGA champion Bob Tway set a dubious record Monday by hitting four balls into the water and making a 12 on the par-3 17th island green at The Players Championship.
· 'Guess Who' Tops the Box Office With $21 million. Two guesses on who topped the weekend box office. Bernie Mac and Ashton Kutcher, that's who. Their comedy "Guess Who," an update of the 1967 classic "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," debuted as the No. 1 movie with $21 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.
· Jackson Says He's Victim of Conspiracy. Declaring himself "completely innocent" of child molestation charges, Michael Jackson said Sunday that he is the victim of a conspiracy and asked fans around the world to pray for him.
» Lawyers: Past Jackson Charge Irrelevant. Michael Jackson is urging fans to pray for him, and says he has faith that he will be vindicated. But the focus may soon shift to one of the key issues in the case: details of past allegations against the singer.
· U.S. broadcasters brace for siege. Leading lawmakers and the commission's new chairman have proposed a broad expansion of indecency rules, which were significantly toughened just last year. They are also looking for significant increases in the size of fines and new procedures that could jeopardize the licenses of stations that repeatedly violate the rules.
· Airline Passenger Privacy Betrayed. A government investigation has found that the Transportation Security Administration misled the public about its role in obtaining personal information on 12 million airline passengers to test a new computerized, terrorist-screening system.
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, object, or idea.
· Selective Restraint. The sad case of Terri Schiavo has raised passions not seen since five years ago. Then another bitterly divided family argued in Florida courts over someone who couldn't speak on his own behalf: Elian Gonzalez.
· A Hidden Vatican Treasure. Deep in the heart of one of Europe's oldest cities is a place that would soothe even the most troubled soul - a sanctuary that, while not exactly a secret, is hidden from the view of millions of tourists who pass within a few feet of it.
· IRS May Consider eBay Sales Taxable Income. "When you're working on the Internet, it's kind of a gray issue," said Bart Fooden, a certified public accountant in Woodbury, N.Y., who advises small businesses and individuals. "The big issue is whether you're doing it as a business or not."
· Big Brother microphones tested. In Chicago, cops are trying out a tiny microphone positioned near the windshield so powerful it can pick up conversations on the street. "You could pull into a street corner and, if there's a drug deal going on a half-block away, you can hear what's going on."
· Dog-treat dispensers get tails wagging. It's just what New York mutts need: a doggie-treat dispenser on every corner. Gumball-style dog biscuit machines are starting to sprout up all over town so Fido doesn't have to go hungry whenever his best friend forgets the goodies at home.
Sunday, March 27, 2005
· Easter Bunny Gets Pummeled by Boy at Mall. The Easter Bunny is hopping mad. Bryan Johnson, who portrays the furry character at the Bay City Mall, says he was pummeled in an unprovoked attack on the job. Police say the attacker was a 12-year-old boy who sat on Johnson's lap the day before the March 18 incident. Johnson, 18, suffered a bloody nose. He kept his cool during the attack, deeming it inappropriate for the Easter Bunny to fight back.
· 'Give me $50,000 or Toby the bunny rabbit is history.' Animal lovers around the world have expressed outrage at a website whose owner has threatened to butcher, cook and eat a pet bunny called Toby unless he receives $50,000 in donations by the end of June.
· PC profs: Don't use B.C. dates. The term "B.C." may be going the way of the dinosaur. Politically correct history professors and some textbook companies are switching from using religious-based terms to mark history to more agnostic phrases. Instead of "B.C." or "Before Christ," the new phrase on college campuses is "Before [the] Common Era," or "B.C.E."
· House OKs $37 million for Wal-Mart H.Q. road. The U.S. House has approved a federal highway bill that includes $37 million for widening and extending the Bentonville street that provides the main access to the headquarters of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
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.
· FBI Admits Accidentally Giving Classified Files Back to Man Who Took Them. The FBI admitted Saturday it accidentally gave classified documents back to the American translator who pleaded guilty to taking them from the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Saturday, March 26, 2005
· Jennifer Aniston files for divorce from Brad Pitt. Jennifer Aniston filed for divorce from Brad Pitt on Friday, court papers showed. A long-rumored split between the "Friends" star and the "Ocean's Twelve" star was confirmed in January when they released a joint statement saying they were formally separating.
· Finger Food Claim Hurts Wendy's. Sales have dropped sharply at Wendy's fast food restaurants in the area of northern California where a woman claimed she found part of a finger in a bowl of chili, but analysts say the company's long-term prognosis should not be affected.
· 'Beverly Hillbillies' Creator Dies at 93. Paul Henning, who created the hit TV show "The Beverly Hillbillies" and wrote its theme song, died Friday. Henning, who lived in Toluca Lake, died in a Burbank hospital of natural causes.
· DMC restores the maverick automaker's famous steel sports car. Saturday's passing of John Z. DeLorean, the controversial figure behind the DeLorean Motor Car Company's short but high-profile bid for glory, closed an unusual chapter of automotive history. And the death of the 80-year-old Detroit native is only likely to increase the collectible appeal of the automobile that carries his name.
· Letterman kidnap plot accuser signed confession. The man accused of plotting to kidnap David Letterman's 16-month-old son confessed after FBI agents said they wanted to give him a polygraph test, court records show. Frank initially denied any knowledge of a kidnap plot when FBI agents interviewed him March 15, the documents said. But he gave investigators a signed confession when agents returned the next day with a polygraph examiner, the records show.
· Colombian police find 'drug sub.' Authorities discovered a submarine-like vessel Friday still under construction by drug traffickers who planned to use it to smuggle cocaine, the head of Colombia’s secret police said.
· Martha Begs to be free of ankle device. Martha Stewart has a new to-do list - and her first order of business is getting rid of that pesky electronic ankle bracelet. The domestic diva, you see, likes to wear skirts, and that bulky monitoring device cramps her style.
· Wal-Mart Director Resigns After Probe. A high-profile Wal-Mart Stores Inc. board member resigned Friday after an internal probe turned up evidence of financial improprieties of up to half-a-million dollars. Three Wal-Mart employees, including a company officer, also lost their jobs.
· Pee Diddy to make custom aluminum rims. At 35, Sean "Pee Diddy" Combs has already made his mark as a hip-hop musician, Broadway actor, marathon runner, fashion designer, celebrity boyfriend, gossip column favorite, voter registration booster and all-around entertainment entrepreneur.
· Cheating wife gets millions in divorce. A judge has awarded the former wife of a multimillionaire businessman a divorce settlement worth more than $40 million even though she admitted having affairs with her rock-climbing guide and a man she met on a flight to China.
Friday, March 25, 2005
· Paula Abdul Fined After Hit-And-Run Charge. "American Idol" judge Paula Abdul was fined and placed on probation Thursday after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor charge of hit-and-run driving stemming from an accident last December in which her Mercedes clipped a car on a San Fernando Valley freeway.
· Escape Plans Found in Nichol's Ga. Cell. Authorities found hand-drawn escape plans in the cell of a man accused of going on a deadly courthouse rampage, the sheriff said. After the March 11 attack that ended in four deaths, authorities disclosed that a judge and prosecutors requested extra security for Brian Nichols after investigators found a handmade knife in each of his shoes.
· NBC announcer hangs it up after 62 years. Through the eras of John Chancellor, Tom Brokaw and now Brian Williams, Howard Reig's voice was also heard when viewers turned on the evening news. "This is NBC Nightly News," the clear baritone would say, ushering in headlines from Watergate to terrorism.
· Update: Imus explodes at exposé on his ranch. Radio host Don Imus used his airtime yesterday to blast The Wall Street Journal over a front-page article raising questions about his charity and $3,000 per night lodging for sick kids.
· Smuggler hauls art ... into the museum. A British graffiti artist who goes by the name “Banksy” went one step further, by smuggling in his own picture of a soup can and hanging it on a wall, where it stayed for more than three days earlier this month before anybody noticed.
· Doc in hiding after nose-job death. The Manhattan plastic surgeon whose patient died after a nose job was in hiding yesterday. "That office is closed today," the doorman said as he stepped between a reporter and the entrance to the building.
· Sizemore Sentenced for Drug-Related Charge. Actor Tom Sizemore was sentenced Thursday to 17 months in jail and four months in a drug treatment facility for repeatedly failing drug tests while on probation. He pleaded with the judge for leniency, saying "I assure your honor that I'm not acting now. I'm not acting, I'm begging, I'm beseeching you." Then, outside court, he gave a high five and directed an obscene gesture at the press.
· Council Members Vote Without Re-Election. City council members LuAnn Wanamaker and Roy A. Hein attended meetings and voted on issues for about 15 months before anyone noticed they had neglected to stand for re-election in 2003.
· Error Makes Money Machine Give $100 Bills. Customers who used the bill changing machine at Bluffs Run Casino in Iowa found they had bigger payoffs than any gambling device in the place. That's because the machine was spitting out hundreds instead of twenties.
· Defiant chess champ Fischer lands in Iceland. Chess legend Bobby Fischer arrived in Iceland on Thursday, hoping to avoid deportation to the United States by accepting an offer of citizenship from a country still grateful for its role as the site of his most famous match.
· Woman Says 'Fear Factor' Saved Her Life. A prison guard who escaped a car that sank in a flooded creek credits an episode of the TV reality show "Fear Factor" with saving her life. Debra Swaim's car was swept off the road into Cucamonga Creek during a flash flood late Tuesday. As her car sank, Swaim said she remembered a rerun episode of NBC's "Fear Factor" in which contestants had to escape from a car in the water.
· Officer had nude photos of suspect, report says. It began as the fairly routine arrest of a drunken-driving suspect on a Houston street. It quickly evolved into a maze of questions as investigators checked out reports that a Houston police officer had found nude photos of the driver stored in her cellular phone, downloaded them and later showed them around the courthouse.
Thursday, March 24, 2005
· Update: Ex-Atlanta Hostage Receives $70K Reward. The woman who said she gained the trust of suspected courthouse gunman Brian Nichols by talking about her faith while he held her hostage was presented with $70,000 in reward money Thursday for helping authorities capture him.
· 'Idol' judge faces hit-and-run charges. "American Idol" judge Paula Abdul was charged Thursday with hit-and-run driving for allegedly fleeing after her car clipped another vehicle on a freeway last December.
· Imus charity questioned. Radio host Don Imus is facing criticism from the Wall Street Journal Thursday for the costs incurred by his charity that brings sick children to his ranch for visits. The paper reports that Imus' charity spent $2.6 million in 2003 and $2.7 million in 2002 to bring 100 children to the ranch each year.
DA calls Blake jury "stupid." Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley said jurors who acquitted actor Robert Blake of the murder of his wife are "incredibly stupid" and insisted his office had put on a good case. [Maybe Cooley's next jury trial should have jurors recuse themselves on the basis that they don't want to be called 'stupid' if they ultimately disagree with the DA's case].
· Update: Suspension over smoking principal photos reversed. A student who photographed his principal smoking outside a school building was allowed to return to class after initially being suspended for posting the photos on the Internet.
· Schwarzenegger May Face Libel Trial. Arnold Schwarzenegger edged closer to facing a British libel trial on Wednesday after he failed to block a legal action brought by a reporter who alleged the actor-turned-politician sexually assaulted her.
· Bonds prepares for his reverse 'metamorphosis.' In a recent interview, Barry Bonds was quoted saying "If I want to live until I'm 80 years old, I'm going to have to become a leaner-type, cardio-type individual who keeps his heart rate up."
· Seinfeld's TV dad dies at age 82. Barney Martin, a former New York City detective who went into show business and became best known for playing Jerry Seinfeld’s father Morty on the comedian’s hit television series, has died.
· Community bicycles are disappearing. Apparently some Bentonville, Arkansas residents have not learned how to share. Fifteen bikes have been stolen from the Community Bike Program - and there were only 16 to start with.
· Child abuse sinks 'Wife Swap.' A father who allegedly struck his 13-year-old daughter during the taping of "Wife Swap" has forced ABC to scrap the entire episode. A Nashville, Tennessee restaurant owner was arrested at his home Tuesday night after the incident — which reportedly happened while cameras were rolling.
· Supreme Court Won't Hear Schiavo Case. The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to order Terri Schiavo's feeding tube reinserted, rejecting a desperate appeal by her parents to keep their severely brain-damaged daughter alive.
· 'The clues were all there' School shooter depicted as deeply disturbed, ignored teen. Two days after a shooting rampage on the Indian reservation here left 10 dead, friends, relatives and neighbors of Jeff Weise - the 16-year- old assailant - began to sketch a portrait of a deeply disturbed youth who had been treated for depression in a psychiatric ward, lost several close family members, sketched gruesome scenes of armed warriors and was removed from the school where he gunned down most of his victims Monday.
· Possible shakeup at 'CBS Evening News.' CBS chief Leslie Moonves pointed to "The Early Show" as a possible blueprint for the new "CBS Evening News." "The Early Show" doubled ratings and profits in the past several years on the strength of an ensemble approach to morning news - rather than a single anchor.
· FHM Names Angelina Jolie Sexiest Woman. Angelina Jolie has been named the sexiest woman in the world by FHM magazine. It is Jolie's first time at the top of the annual readers' poll by the American edition of the men's magazine.
· Key Prosecution Witness in Michael Jackson Case Jailed. One of the prosecution's most important witnesses in Michael Jackson's child molestation trial has been jailed in Las Vegas on charges of burglary, robbery and first-degree kidnapping, all with a deadly weapon.
· Slain guard at Minnesota school called a hero. Derrick Brun wrote poetry, played trumpet and guitar, and more than anything else, wanted a career as a cop. Like the tribal police officer he longed to be, he faced down a killer this week and paid for his courage with his life.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Specificity [spec·i·fic·i·ty ] n. 1. The condition or state of being specific rather than general. "his input added a desirable note of specificity to the discussion;" "the specificity of the symptoms of the disease."
· Why we receive SPAM. According to a recent survey, nearly a third of e-mail users have clicked on links in spam messages and - most disturbing - one in ten
idiots users have purchased products from these junk advertisements. [P.T. Barnum comes to mind].
· Want better sex? Head to the grocery store Like many aspects of our health, our sex drive is affected by what we put into our bodies. A few drinks and a thick steak, followed by a rich chocolate dessert, may sound romantic, but it is actually a prologue to sleep - not sex.
· GM says it may drop its Buick or Pontiac brands. General Motors Corp., which issued a shock profit warning last week and has been losing market share, may phase out one of its weaker car brands if sales fail to meet projections.
· David Cassidy Wants to Win Kentucky Derby. David Cassidy isn't horsing around when he says his life's passion is to win the Kentucky Derby. The 1970s teen idol has a contender in Mayan King, an undefeated 3-year-old who will run Saturday in the Lane's End Stakes at Kentucky's Turfway Park. Cassidy owns the horse with several partners.
· Taped Confession Details Couey's Attraction To Children. A convicted sex offender who confessed to kidnapping and killing a 9-year-old Florida girl can be heard on a newly released tape from 1991 asking for help after attempting to molest another little girl.
· Giant lobster wins sympathy, liberation. Lobsters are the exception, an animal consumers frequently come in contact with before it is killed and prepared for the platter. The large, old ones in particular inspire animal rights activists and seafood lovers alike to come to their rescue.
· Man Floats Shroud of Turin Forgery Theory. Nathan Wilson is an English teacher with no scientific training, but he thinks he knows how Jesus' burial cloth was made and he thinks it's not a physical sign of the resurrection.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
· Whitney Houston Enters Rehab - Again. A year after her first reported stay in rehab, Whitney Houston has again checked into a rehabilitation facility. "Whitney Houston has re-entered a rehabilitation facility today," her publicist, Nancy Seltzer said.
· Jacko Lawyer Collapses. Michael Jackson's child molestation trial was interrupted on Wednesday when defense attorney Brian Oxman fell ill and had to be taken to the hospital. Several people in the courtroom, including Jackson, came to Oxman's aid when he slumped over in his chair.
· Peterson defense charged county $229,000 for experts. Scott Peterson apparently ran out of money during his more than six-month murder trial last year, and his lawyers charged Stanislaus County more than $200,000 for experts, a county auditor said Wednesday.
· School Killer's Animated Terror. The Minnesota teenager responsible for Monday's high school shooting spree last year created a violent video that included an animated character shooting four people and blowing up a police car. [Not for the timid].
· Update: GOP adviser died of overdose at Carrie Fisher's home. Republican media adviser R. Gregory Stevens, who was found dead in the Beverly Hills home of actress Carrie Fisher on Feb. 26, died of an overdose of cocaine and the painkiller OxyContin, according to the Los Angeles County coroner's office.
· Hi-Anxiety. Cameron Diaz's status as a reigning sex-goddess is under attack - by high-definition TV. HDTV is six times clearer than normal TV and like other technical innovations - talking movies, come to mind - may spell the end of some actors' careers.
· As low-carb fad fades, Atkins tries a new diet. As the low-carb fad fades, Atkins has altered its “net carbs” method by using parts of the latest trend from Europe - a glycemic-index diet - to target U.S. food companies for products bearing the new “net Atkins count” seal.
· Trump Wants Jackson to Perform in Vegas. What do Wayne Newton, Celine Dion and Michael Jackson have in common? If Donald Trump and his partners have their way, they all will have a resident performing gig in Las Vegas on their resumes.
· Man who admitted shining laser at aircraft indicted on Patriot Act charge. A man accused of pointing a laser at an airplane, temporarily blinding the pilot and co-pilot, was indicted Wednesday under an anti-terror law. He faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on one count of interference with pilots of an aircraft "with reckless disregard for the safety of human life," a provision of the USA Patriot Act passed following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
· Four die in blaze after firefighters' inspection. Hours after firefighters responding to a report of smoke in a home's basement found a minor problem with a furnace and returned to their station, flames erupted early Tuesday, killing four children and injuring their mother and a nanny.
· Celine calls her audiences sleepy drunks. Celine Dion has admitted that audiences at her Las Vegas show are often tired, drunk, sick and in some cases asleep. Dion says her stint as a regular performer in at the city's Caesar's Palace Colosseum means that for the first time in her career she's often not playing to fans.
· Golf Pro explains early departure. Mark Hensby had a good reason for not playing the 18th hole last week at Bay Hill after hitting his tee shot out-of-bounds. He was out of balls. Hensby said his (former?) caddie didn't replenish the supply when they resumed the first round Friday morning, with 11 holes still to play.
· Update: Pat O'Brien's photo scandal. Pat O'Brien, the host of "The Insider" who entered rehab on Sunday, has more to worry about than sexually explicit voice-mail messages. There's a photograph, too. The New York Post is reporting that O'Brien's girlfriend, "Betsy," has an ex-husband who claims he is in possession of a "compromising photograph" of the mustachioed broadcaster pleasuring himself.
· Trooper suspended for 'too bad' 911 remark. A state trooper was suspended for 15 days without pay after he was recorded on a 911 tape saying "too bad" to a caller seeking help for a man injured in a motorcycle accident.
· 'Idol' Mess: Wrong phone numbers cause revote. “American Idol” displayed incorrect phone numbers for three singers after Tuesday night's edition of the Fox show aired. Fox has announced that the network will air a new performance show Wednesday night and re-open the voting, with the results show moved to Thursday. According to FOX, "this new show will combine new live elements with encores of Tuesday's performances from the remaining 11 contestants."
· Girls' softball coach arrested. A registered sex offender coaching a girls softball team was arrested Monday. Bernal had been coaching softball for the past five years, most recently for the Fontana Girls Fast Pitch Softball Association.
· FDA orders killer hospital beds to be seized. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, citing a public health risk, said Tuesday it ordered the seizure of enclosed hospital beds made by Vail Products Inc. The FDA said it was aware of 30 people who became trapped in the beds, seven of whom died.
· CNN.com posted misleading graph showing poll results on Schiavo case. In presenting the results of a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll, CNN.com used a visually distorted graph that falsely conveyed the impression that Democrats far outnumber Republicans and Independents in thinking the Florida state court was right to order Terri Schiavo's feeding tube removed.
» Time Warner Settles Fraud Charges. Time Warner Inc., the world's largest media company, is paying $300 million to settle fraud charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission for overstating online advertising revenues and the number of its Internet subscribers.
· Jen's not so Jolie over pictures. Just as Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston are reportedly patching up their marriage, these newly released pictures of Brad and Angelina Jolie could see the former Friends star sending him packing again.
· Macaulay Culkin's Dad Goes to Bat for Jacko. Michael Jackson never acted inappropriately with Macaulay Culkin or any of his siblings. So says the Culkins' long-estranged dad, Kit, in a single-spaced, 40-page treatise I read yesterday.
· New town being considered for the deaf. Plans are being debated this week for the creation of a new town with the usual amenities: hotels, a convention centre, retail shops and churches. But one thing will be different: Sign language will be the preferred way to communicate.
· Former Steeler dies while lifting weights. David Little, a durable linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers who was voted to the Pro Bowl in 1990, died while weightlifting at home in Miami. He was 46.
· Nut strike cracks after 13 years. Striking workers at a walnut processing plant in California have voted to bring their 13-year walkout to an end. The 600 members of the Teamsters Local 601 union went on strike at the Diamond of California plant in September 1991 in a dispute over pay. They have now finally ratified a new five-year contract, clearing the way for their return to work. However, most of the workers have now found jobs elsewhere, and the union admits they are unlikely to return.
· This timepiece waits for no one - to get out of bed. A 25-year-old scientist at MIT's Media Lab, has come up with a gizmo she calls "Clocky" that's designed to get sleepyheads moving. When the snooze button is pressed, the clock rolls off the table and trundles to a hiding place where it lies in wait for 10 minutes before going off again. And every day it rolls to a different hiding place.
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
· Update: Teen killer used police weapon and vest. The FBI said Tuesday that Jeff Weise, 16, killed his grandfather, Daryl Lussier, and his grandfather's girlfriend, Michelle Sigana, with a .22-caliber gun Monday before going to Red Lake Senior High School. Authorities believe Weise stole his grandfather's police-issued pistol and a shot gun as well as a bulletproof vest.
· Update: Basketball's Greatest Shot? Here's the video for Blake Hoffarber buzzer-beater while lying on his back in the State Championship game. The shot sent the game into a second overtime - and helped the Royals win the title.
· Truck-sailing Cubans finally reach U.S. A Cuban family that twice tried to reach Florida with vehicles converted into boats has made it to Miami, this time coming overland via Mexico from Costa Rica, the family's lawyer said.
· New York holds off on tax refunds. The state is delaying tax refunds to 1.3 million New Yorkers who filed their tax returns early. "If the taxpayer owed taxes and was late, they would have to pay a fine," said state Conservative Party Chairman Michael Long.
· Letterman Plot Suspect Pleads Not Guilty. The man accused of plotting to kidnap talk-show host David Letterman's 16-month-old son and nanny and hold them for $5 million ransom has pleaded not guilty to all charges. According to court records, Frank told the acquaintance he had a key to Letterman's house and even knew where the child slept.
· Prince Rainier moved to intensive care. Prince Rainier III of Monaco, who was admitted to hospital two weeks ago with a chest infection, has been placed in the intensive care unit, the palace has announced.
· "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again." A man wanted for a 2003 murder in Orlando who investigators thought they had last year when they shot and killed Marvin Williams in a case of mistaken identity was captured Tuesday by police in Baltimore.
· Host Pat O'Brien goes into rehab. What's the inside story on "Insider" host Pat O'Brien's decision to enter rehab Sunday? Hollywood sources suggest the timing was to defuse the release of several sexually explicit voice-mail messages, available on the Internet yesterday, soliciting sex froman unidentified woman.
· 'Oprah' buzz works no magic for Pontiac G6. In September, Oprah gave 276 members of her "Oprah Winfrey Show" audience a new Pontiac G6 - a move heralded in marketing circles for its wide reach and emotional impact. But industry researchers said the G6 - which has been on the market for six months - has been a flop, with nothing special to set it apart except, perhaps, the panoramic sunroof. And that's optional.
· Man Killed Playing Russian Roulette After Seeing It In Movie. Police say Jeremiah Overstreet, 27, was watching the movie "Man on Fire" with his girlfriend. After the scene in which Denzel Washington played Russian roulette with another character, deputies said, Overstreet put his own gun to his head knowing that there was one bullet inside the gun.
· Blake Speculates About Who Killed His Wife. In his first television appearance since being acquitted last week in the killing of his wife, actor Robert Blake said Tuesday he does not know who killed Bonny Lee Bakley but speculated it could have been "somebody whose father was taken for a ride."
· Judge Accused Of Using Sex Toy In Court Faces Hearing. A sex toy, graphic photos and even audiotapes could be in evidence as an Oklahoma judge faces charges that he masturbated on the bench while presiding over cases. Retired District Court Judge Donald Thompson, 58, could get as many as 10 years in prison on each of three counts of indecent exposure if convicted, and would be required to register as a sex offender.
· Snap on, snap off — celebrity choppers. Think of the snap-on smile as the white-enameled cousin to the press-on nail. The resin appliance, which fits snugly over existing teeth, goes for $1,000 to $3,000.
· Update: Librarian accuses Harvard of discrimination. A Harvard University librarian claims in a lawsuit that she has been rejected repeatedly for promotion because she is black and is perceived as just a “pretty girl” whose attire was too "sexy," because she often wore low-cut blouses and tight pants.
· Judge Refuses To Order Schiavo's Tube Reinserted. A federal judge on Tuesday refused to order the reinsertion of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube, denying an emergency request from the brain-damaged woman's parents after President Bush and Congress acted on legislation allowing her case to be reviewed by federal courts.
» Pain of publicity intrudes the dying. 73-year-old Thomas Bone had incurable cancer, and didn't want to die alone. Unfortunately, he lived at the hospice where Terri Schiavo lives, so when nurses called out for his family the night he died, they could not reach him in time due to all the added security and metal detectors set up for Schiavo.
· Researchers discover wreckage of giant underwater aircraft carrier. The deep-diving scientists of the University of Hawaii have discovered another monster lurking in the waters off Oahu. "We thought it was rocks at first, it was so huge," said Pisces pilot Terry Kerby. "But the sides of it kept going up and up and up, three and four stories tall.
· Mud wrestler is mad as hell. The Camp Bucca flasher returned to her North Carolina home yesterday after being booted from the military for baring her breasts during a wild mud-wrestling party at the U.S. Army's main prison in Iraq.
· "Ban Solitaire!" says senator. Senator Austin Allran wants to erase all copies of Windows Solitaire from state-employees’ computers in his part of North Carolina - a move that some say would save taxpayers millions of dollars in lost productivity.
· Improbable basketball shot is still sinking in. It was an absurd shot. Taken out of desperation. With almost zero chance of going in. Yet Blake Hoffarber swished it, lying on his back on the three-point line late Saturday night at Target Center with his legs and arms up, looking a lot like an upside-down turtle.
· Sandra Bullock Says She No Longer Seeks 'Safe' Roles. The 40-year-old actress, best known for her roles in big-budget movies like action thriller "Speed" and the romantic comedies "Two Weeks Notice" and "While You Were Sleeping," has set her sights on riskier projects that could challenge her image as a box office darling.
Monday, March 21, 2005
· Minnesota Massacre: Student's rampage leaves 10 dead. A student on Monday killed two of his grandparents, then went on a shooting rampage at his Minnesota high school, killing seven people and wounding as many as 13 others before killing himself.
· Man Dies After Being Restrained on Flight. Prosecutors are investigating the death of a man who was subdued by several fellow airline passengers after he became disruptive on a New York-bound flight, a spokesman said Sunday.
· Thousands fume over game typo. Thousands thought they’d hit the jackpot. But it turns out it was a printing mistake. The error led thousands of people who’d played the Scratch N’ Match game in Saturday’s New York Daily News to mistakenly believe they’d won up to $100,000 in cash and prizes.
· Diva demands red carpet at 2am. As demands from divas go, Mariah Carey's latest must be among the most outrageous. When the singer's aides arrived at a London hotel at 2am yesterday to check preparations for her imminent arrival, they were dismayed to find the red carpet had not been rolled out.
· Coke to launch new no-calorie soda. The Coca-Cola Co. said Monday it will launch a no-calorie version of its trademark soft drink called Coca-Cola Zero in the United States in June. The drink will be sweetened partly with a blend of aspartame and acesulfame potassium.
· Sheriff: Evidence slain girl was sexually abused. Jessica Marie Lunsford, the 9-year-old Florida girl whose body was found Saturday near her parents' home, was kidnapped from her bedroom, and there is evidence from a medical examiner that she was sexually assaulted, the Citrus County sheriff said Sunday night.
· Michael Jackson Arrives Late to Court, again. A feeble-looking Michael Jackson arrived late again Monday to his child molestation trial, walking slowly and stiffly into court, but the judge took no apparent action against the pop star.
· Jews excluded from capital cases. A former prosecutor's claim that he conspired with a judge to keep Jewish jurors off death penalty cases will be the focus of a court hearing scheduled for Tuesday. "It was standard practice to exclude Jewish jurors in death cases," according to the former prosecutor.
· Jackson Prosecutors May Wrap Up Evidence. Prosecutors in the Michael Jackson trial could finish presenting evidence about accusations that the singer molested a 15-year-old as early as this week, though they are waiting to see if evidence of alleged prior offenses also can be included.
· UK minister: Camilla can be queen. Camilla Parker Bowles can become queen after all, despite earlier statements by Prince Charles that she will take a lesser title after marrying him, the government has said.
» A kid meets John Delorean. A variety of interesting stories meeting John Delorean. Look at "J.Z.D. Encounters" N. Jersey 1999, when a young fan visits Delorean's 400 acre estate, or the many photos of the car and manufacturing plant in Belfast.
· Kravitz helps Brazil hunger fight. Rocker Lenny Kravitz has given an electric guitar worth $5,000 to Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Kravitz donated the guitar to raise funds for the president's campaign to wipe out hunger in the country.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Autonomous [au·ton·o·mous] adj. 1. Independent in mind or judgment; self-directed. 2. Not controlled by others or by outside forces; independent: "an autonomous judiciary."
· Cabaret singer Bobby Short dead at 80. Cabaret singer Bobby Short, the tuxedoed embodiment of New York style and sophistication who was a fixture at his piano in the Carlyle Hotel for more than 35 years, died Monday.
· Why your pet needs a toothbrush. Daily brushing is the single most important thing you can do to keep Buster's and Boots’ breath fresh and teeth tartar-free. More important, good dental hygiene contributes to your pet’s overall health and can even increase his life span.
· Update: Fake Lawyer Sentenced to 12 Years. A convicted felon who posed as a Newport Beach, CA lawyer and represented hundreds of clients has been sentenced to 12 years in prison. Harold David Goldstein told the federal judge at his sentencing hearing Wednesday that he made sincere efforts to represent his clients despite his lack of a law license.
· 'Ring' Earns $36 Million to Win Box Office. Naomi Watts ran rings around the competition as her horror sequel "The Ring 2" took in $36 million to debut as the top weekend movie. The movie's take was more than double the $15 million that the original surprise horror hit grossed at its 2002 opening. "Robots," the previous weekend's No. 1 movie, slipped to second place with $21.8 million, lifting its 10-day total to $66.9 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.
· Fashion Takes a Vow of Chastity. Underwear. It can say "I'm sexy." It can say "I'm confident." But can it say "I'm waiting for marriage?" That's what Yvette Thomas is banking on. Her growing line of clothing, WaitWear, plasters slogans like "Virginity Lane: Exit When Married" and "Notice: No Trespassing On This Property. My Father Is Watching" on underwear and T-shirts, and is meant to inspire young people to abstain from sex until they tie the knot.
Sunday, March 20, 2005
· Shocker: Man electrocuted stealing copper wire. A man trying to steal copper wire from an Alabama power facility transformer died of electric shock when he grabbed a 44,000 volt line Friday night, authorities said.
· Barry Bonds' ex-girlfriend testifies he used steroids. Barry Bonds' ex-girlfriend told a grand jury in San Francisco last week the Giants outfielder confided to her in 2000 that he began using steroids, two sources told the Chronicle for Sunday's editions.
· Canadian medical: Apologizes to dead for poor health care. A letter from the Moncton Hospital to a New Brunswick heart patient in need of an electrocardiogram said the appointment would be in three months. It added: "If the person named on this computer-generated letter is deceased, please accept our sincere apologies."
· Legislative Oops allows you to serve booze at parties to anyone, regardless of age. Current Virginia law allows people who hold parties in their own homes to serve booze to anyone, regardless of age. The Governor has through March 27 to veto, amend or sign the legislation.
· Letterman is lucky, says suspect's ex. The suspect in the David Letterman kidnap case is a "very scary man" fully capable of snatching a defenseless baby, the ex-con's former girlfriend said yesterday. Letterman is extremely lucky," the woman told the Daily News. "This could have turned out much worse."
» Letterman's private world. For Letterman, privacy is nirvana - an irony, given his occupation - and he has spent the past 23 years carefully, some would say obsessively, building a wall between himself and the rest of the world. And those who know him say the horror - and relief - of the past week will serve to raise that wall higher.
· Ex-Child Star Schroder Avoids Pitfalls. He did his first commercial when he was 5 and made his starring movie debut — in "The Champ" — just two years later. Then he got richer by playing a rich kid in the TV series "Silver Spoons." Today, says Rick (not Ricky) Schroder, "I can't really remember not being famous."
· FCC Exonerates CNN in F-Word Incident. Federal regulators on Friday rejected indecency complaints about CNN’s live telecast of the Democratic National Convention last summer that featured swearing by a support staffer when balloons failed to drop as expected.
· Spring Break Fun Can Be Deadly. For many high school and college students, spring break is the mother of all parties. From Panama City, Fla., to Cancun, Mexico, young people say spring break means drinking, partying and "hooking up."
· Stars Come Out For 'Spamalot' Candice Bergen, Steve Martin and Carly Simon were among the celebrities who turned out on Thursday night for the Broadway debut of "Monty Python's Spamalot," a stage adaptation of the 1975 film "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."
· It's claws out in Hollywood. There is disarray in Hollywood after the "golden rule" of never speaking ill of an actor or director - in public, at least - was broken by the president of the venerable William Morris talent agency, one of the "big four" in Los Angeles.
· 'Ray' a big winner at NAACP Image Awards. The biopic “Ray” about the life of legendary singer Ray Charles won four NAACP Image Awards, including an outstanding-actor trophy that added to its star Jamie Foxx’s armful of honors.
Saturday, March 19, 2005
· 'GoodFellas' inspiration charged with drug possession. Former mobster-turned-chef Henry Hill, whose gangland experiences inspired the movie "GoodFellas," has been charged with felony drug possession.
· Alcohol lobbyist fighting GM. A national campaign - called MADDatGM - has been launched with the backing of 17,000 bars, taverns and liquor stores to attack the automaker and Mothers Against Drunk Driving, mostly for their efforts to lower legal blood-alcohol levels.
» Fla. Police Discover Missing Girl's Body. The body of missing 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford was found early Saturday, a day after officials said a registered sex offender confessed to kidnapping and killing the girl. Citrus County Sheriff Jeff Dawsy said Couey's half-sister and two other people were charged with obstruction for failing to notify police when Couey allegedly told them he had committed a crime.
· Blake Juror Promoting Six-Song Recording. A juror who helped acquit actor Robert Blake of killing his wife is promoting a six-song recording he produced during Blake's trial. Roberto Emerick, 30, publicized his album, "Judgment Day," during an appearance on CNN's "Larry King Live" soon after the acquittal. Emerick said he has received hate mail from critics who accuse him of making money off Bonny Lee Bakley's death.
· Letterman case: Kidnap suspect's fiancee says he was a Dave fan. The handyman accused of plotting to kidnap David Letterman's son is a big fan of the late-night king and wouldn't dream of hurting him, his fiancée said. Ex-con Kelly Frank, 43, spent three years working on Letterman's sprawling Montana ranch and was proud he once got to shake hands with the famous funnyman.
· Jacko Accuser Claimed Comic Robbed Him. Michael Jackson's lawyers will be allowed to question witnesses about allegations that the boy accusing the singer of molestation once claimed comedian George Lopez stole $300 from his wallet.
· Plea for Brokaw's harasser. A Staten Island man has admitted blitzing former NBC anchorman Tom Brokaw with thousands of nasty E-mail messages, including 13 death threats. But Steven Koplan, 46, will not serve jail time because he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and delusional disorders.
· Nebraska Prodigy, 14, Dies in Apparent Suicide. A musical prodigy who completed high school at age 10 apparently killed himself at 14, authorities said. Brandenn E. Bremmer, who taught himself how to read at 18 months and began playing the piano at 3, was found dead Tuesday at his home in southwest Nebraska with a gunshot wound to the head, sheriff's officials said.
· Follow that ball. NBC will use a cable- mounted camera — similar to the swooping camera seen on football coverage in recent years — to track golf shots, the network said yesterday. The high-tech, moving camera will allow viewers to follow the flight of a golf ball from tee to green.
· Study: Many virgins take other risks. Teens who pledge to remain virgins until marriage are more likely to take chances with other kinds of sex that increase the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, a study of 12,000 adolescents suggests. The report by Yale and Columbia University researchers could help explain their earlier findings that teens who pledged abstinence are just as likely to have STDs as their peers.
Friday, March 18, 2005
· Update: DEA Agent Suspended After Shooting Himself. An agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency was been suspended after video surfaced showing the man shooting himself during a gun safety class in front of a group of Orlando fourth-graders.
· Connecticut governor to spend a year in prison. Former Gov. John G. Rowland was sentenced to a year in prison and four months of house arrest Friday for selling his office in a corruption scandal that destroyed his career as one of the Republican Party’s brightest and fastest-rising stars.
· Update: Letterman thanks law enforcement officials. David Letterman and his girlfriend thanked law enforcement officials for uncovering a plot to kidnap their 16-month-old son from their Montana ranch, saying they were "forever grateful."
· Lawmaker wants McGwire's name off highway. A St. Louis congressman who was part of the U.S. House committee questioning the retired slugger and other players over steroids in baseball says McGwire's name should be removed from the highway because he failed to "come clean" on whether he used steroids.
· Prison: Two women want to marry Peterson. On Scott Peterson's first day on death row, two women called California's San Quentin State Prison to say they were interested in marrying him, according to prison officials.
· Judge can resentence Martha Stewart. An appeals court has ruled that the judge who sentenced Martha Stewart can modify the punishment of the celebrity homemaker, who has about 4-1/2 months of home confinement left on her original sentence.
· Demi Moore Deflects Pregnant Talk. Demi Moore is not answering the question about the P-word. Asked about tabloid stories saying she's pregnant, the 42-year-old actress told People magazine: "The rumors are just that: rumors." Moore's publicist, Stephen Huvane, issued this statement: "Having another child is something Demi would like to do, but she cannot at this time say she is pregnant."
· Lien to be slapped on Jackson's Neverland. As the latest signal of Michael Jackson's apparent financial difficulties, one of the unindicted co-conspirators in the child molestation case against the pop star intends to slap a lien Friday on Jackson's Neverland ranch, NBC News has learned.
· Atlanta police [Finally] admit mistakes in shootings. The city’s embattled police department acknowledged Friday that it made mistakes just after last week’s deadly courthouse rampage, and the chief revealed that the suspect spent as many as 12 hours undetected outside a busy mall.
· KFC pulls two items from its Chinese menu. KFC outlets in China have apologized to customers and stopped selling "New Orleans" flavor roast chicken wings and chicken burgers after finding a seasoning used in the products contains an industrial shoe polish dye linked to cancer.
· Lawmaker Seeks to End Sexy Cheerleading. The Friday night lights in Texas could soon be without bumpin' and grindin' cheerleaders. Legislation filed by Rep. Al Edwards would put an end to "sexually suggestive" performances at athletic events and other extracurricular competitions.
· McGwire Evades Questions on Steroids Use. In a room filled with humbled heroes, Mark McGwire hemmed and hawed the most. His voice choked with emotion, his eyes nearly filled with tears, time after time he refused to answer the question everyone wanted to know: Did he take illegal steroids when he hit a then-record 70 home runs in 1998 — or at any other time?
· Update: Kim told big ones. The Queen Bee got stung by a Manhattan jury yesterday. Raunch-spewing rap star Lil' Kim was convicted of lying repeatedly to a federal grand jury about a 2001 gunfight outside the Hot 97 radio station in SoHo - a rap that could get her 20 years behind bars.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Eclectic [e·clec·tic] adj. 1. Composed of elements drawn from various sources 2. Not following any one system, but selecting and using what are considered the best elements of all systems. "An eclectic taste in music; an eclectic approach to managing the business.
· Chewing gum can 'enhance breasts.' A chewing gum which the makers say can help enhance the size, shape and tone of the breasts has proved to be a big hit in Japan. B2Up says its Bust-Up gum, when chewed three or four times a day, can also help improve circulation, reduce stress and fight ageing.
· High-tech sneaker can adjust for a runner's pace, size, fatigue. Adidas will have its eyes set on the iPod market Friday when it starts selling what it bills as the world's first computerized "smart shoe." But consumers will decide whether the bionic running shoe's $250 price tag - four times the average shoe purchase price at stores such as Foot Locker - is a smart idea.
· Castro angry at being on Forbes' list of world's richest. Cuban President Fidel Castro has criticized Forbes magazine for the "infamy" of listing him among the world's richest people, with a net worth of $550 million.
· Deal Aims to Prevent Web Cigarette Sales. Major credit card companies will refuse to participate in Internet sales of cigarettes nationwide under a government agreement made Thursday. The companies and state attorneys general agreed to work together to prevent the long unchecked use of credit cards to buy cigarettes over the Internet across state lines. The agreement is effective immediately.
· Jacko's Maid: Kids Ran Wild at Neverland. A former housekeeper for Michael Jackson testified at the entertainer's molestation trial that she called his Neverland ranch "Pinocchio's Pleasure Island" because children were allowed to run wild without adult supervision.
· Swedes rich for a day after govt error. Customers of Sweden's state debt office were startled to find themselves showered with about $148 million this week after it accidentally paid out too much money.
Thursday, March 17, 2005
· Lawyer: I'll 'wipe smile off' Blake’s face. A day after actor Robert Blake celebrated his acquittal on charges of murdering his wife, a lawyer for the victim’s family said Thursday he would “wipe that smile off his face” in a civil case.
· Update: Felon Arrested For Letterman Kidnap Plot. A convicted felon who worked as a painter at David Letterman's Montana ranch has been arrested for allegedly plotting to kidnap the late night host's young son and the child's nanny. Police say, Kelly Frank, 43, believed that he could get a $5 million ransom payment from Letterman by holding the 16-month-old child for 48 hours.
· Police charge former cop for flashing with banana. A former Stamford police officer has been charged with lewd conduct involving a toy banana. Arthur Bertana, 62, who had been on probation for lewd conduct more than four years ago, was arrested after police said he placed a toy banana in his pants and flashed people.
· Rap diva Lil' Kim Convicted of Perjury. Grammy winning Lil' Kim was convicted Thursday of lying to a federal grand jury investigating a shooting outside a radio station. She was convicted of perjury and conspiracy but acquitted of obstruction of justice.
· Sex Offender Arrested in Missing Girl Case. A registered sex offender who was being sought for questioning in the disappearance of a 9-year-old Florida girl was taken into custody by deputies in Georgia on Thursday, officials said.
· Toilet paper crisis in Buffalo. It was BYOTP time in Buffalo: Bring Your Own Toilet Paper. A county budget crisis left the bathrooms in a municipal office building with empty soap dispensers, paperless towel holders and bare cardboard toilet paper rolls.
· Russell Yates Finalizes Divorce. The husband of Andrea Yates, who drowned the couple's five children in a bathtub, finalized their divorce Thursday in an agreement that gives her $7,000 in cash, a nursing chair and rights to be buried near the children.
· Leno: Jax 'guilty,' but clan hit me up. Jay Leno told cops he thinks Michael Jackson is "guilty" of child molestation, but the late night funnyman's expected testimony at the singer's trial may still boost the defense and show the young accuser to be a liar. The "Tonight Show" host says he took "one or two" phone calls from the accuser and his mother, and they made a pitch for money that sounded like a "script," according to a transcript of Leno's interview with Santa Barbara County sheriff's officers.
· 3rd trial opens for man accused of wife's murder. Twice, Jerry Jones has sat at the defense table, offering suggestions to attorneys hired to prove he's innocent of murdering his wife. Twice, he was convicted. Twice, those convictions were reversed on appeal.
· "50 Greatest Movie Stars" list not so great. A magazine's list of the "50 Greatest Movie Stars" is getting more jeers than cheers from film lovers flabbergasted that Tom Cruise outranks John Wayne and Marlon Brando. Another head-scratcher was Julia Roberts, who cracked the top 10 at No. 7, while four-time Oscar winner Katharine Hepburn came in No. 14.
· Peterson jury foreman: 'Justice done.' Members of the jury that convicted Scott Peterson of killing his pregnant wife, Laci, and their unborn son attended the sentencing Wednesday out of what some of them said was a need for closure.
» "You deserve to burn in hell!" Laci Peterson's furious mother screamed "burn in hell" at a stone-cold Scott Peterson yesterday minutes before he was sentenced to death for murdering his pregnant wife. "You deserve to be put to death as soon as possible," snarled Sharon Rocha, her face contorted in rage.
» Peterson moved to Death Row. Secured with leg irons and shackles around his wrists and waist, Scott Peterson was taken to death row at San Quentin State Prison early Thursday after being sentenced to die for murdering his pregnant wife, Laci.
· Reba McEntire Debuts Clothing Line. Country music star Reba McEntire has partnered with a department store to create her own clothing line for women. The collection will debut this month at Dillard's stores nationwide, and McEntire gave an early look at her collection on ABC News' "Good Morning America."
· The Simpsons is 'made in Korea.' Fans of the all-American cartoon The Simpsons may be surprised to know it is actually animated in Korea. A long way from Springfield, the show has been animated in Seoul since it first went to air in 1989.
· Blake Hails Lawyer Godsend After Acquittal. He's short, quiet and usually wears a bow tie to court. Attorney M. Gerald Schwartzbach may not be animated or flamboyant, but actor Robert Blake hailed him as a godsend and a lifesaver after being acquitted of murder and murder solicitation charges. Singing his praises at a news conference, Blake laid a kiss on the forehead of the 5-foot-6, 60-year-old Schwartzbach, thanking him for his hard work.
· Men Charged With Murder After Man 'Scared To Death.' Two North Carolina men have been charged with killing a 58-year-old man - by frightening him to death. Thomas McQueen Jr. died of a heart attack while fleeing a weekend shooting in Chadbourn, N.C., - north of Myrtle Beach. Police said gunfire erupted early Saturday outside a restaurant.
· Toys R Us Agrees to $6.6 Bln Buyout Deal. Toys R Us Inc. the No. 2 U.S. toy retailer, whose fortunes have sagged on stiff competition from discounters like Wal-Mart, on Thursday agreed to be acquired by two major private equity firms and a real estate group in a deal valued at $6.6 billion.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Redact(ed) [re·dact] tr.v. Edit something: to edit, revise, or delete content in preparation for publication. "Formerly classified documents were redacted so personal information wasn't released to the public."
· Martha courting new verdict. Martha Stewart's lawyers - with her or without her in court - will begin the legal battle to clear her name today as they argue to overturn her conviction for lying about a stock deal. A team of her attorneys will take their case to 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, though most experts believe Stewart has little chance of success.
· School Pays $10,000 For Boy's Haircut. Sally Miller might have been grateful if her 8-year-old son had come home from school with a nice-looking haircut. But when he showed up with "next to nothing" on his head, Miller threatened to sue. The West Linn-Wilsonville School District recently agreed to pay Miller $10,000 because a school employee cut the boy's hair without permission.
· Bond Denied for 'Biggest' Tax Cheat. A man who authorities have pegged as the biggest tax cheat in U.S. history will be cooling his heels in the D.C. Jail. Walter Anderson allegedly cheated the federal and D.C. governments out of more than $200 million in taxes. Federal prosecutors charge he made $450 million in profit from off-shore companies, but hid that from the tax man.
· CNN cans Kwame's talk show. A CNN show starring "Apprentice" runnerup Kwame Jackson has been canceled even before it got off the ground. CNN's new boss, Jonathan Klein, canned the biz show that would have featured Jackson interviewing executive bigwigs and pop stars about their careers.
· Ex-'Idol' Hires Clay's Lawyer, Releases Album. "Personal reasons" be damned. The secret is out (and so is the album). Mario Vasquez, the guy who quit "American Idol" suddenly last week, has hired Clay Aiken's high-powered record-industry lawyer. And he may have jeopardized his "amateur" status by being featured on an album that's already been released.
· Mechanic takes trip in customer's SUV. When Kim Ahlstrand of Marshfield left her 2002 Ford Escape at Herb Chambers Ford, she didn't expect the service department to lose her sport utility vehicle. And when it was eventually found yesterday, Ahlstrand was shocked to learn that a technician had driven it at least 200 miles before returning it to the dealership.
· Parents of Truant Students Miss Meeting. Prosecutors summoned parents of repeatedly truant children to attend a meeting about the law concerning excessive absences, but 241 of the adults didn't show up.
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
· Walter Cronkite's Wife, Betsy, Dies. The wife of former CBS News anchorman Walter Cronkite has died. Mary Elizabeth Cronkite, known as Betsy, was 89. Cronkite's assistant said she died of complications from cancer at the couple's Manhattan apartment Tuesday night.
· Atlanta hostage rewarded $10,000. Former hostage Ashley Smith, who helped police peacefully capture suspected Atlanta courthouse killer Brian Nichols, will receive a $10,000 reward from the state of Georgia, Gov. Sonny Perdue has announced.
· Auditors Find IRS Workers Prone to Hackers. More than one-third of Internal Revenue Service employees and managers who were contacted by Treasury Department inspectors posing as computer technicians provided their computer login and changed their password, a government report said Wednesday.
· Peterson sentenced to death for wife's slaying. A California judge Wednesday sentenced Scott Peterson to die by lethal injection for killing his pregnant wife and her fetus, calling the deaths "cruel, uncaring, heartless and callous."
Laci's mother, Sharon Rocha, told Peterson he was "stupid, stupid to think you could get away with murder," and told him he had "no love, no feelings, no heart, no soul."
"You're selfish, heartless and self-centered," she said. "You're a coward and an evil murderer. ... We had to bury her without arms to hold Conner and (without) a head to look at him."
» Shouting match in courtroom. Judge Delucchi allowed family members to speak, prompting a shouting match that led to Scott Peterson's father storming out of the courtroom. Scott Peterson's mother, Jackie, interrupted, although her voice was inaudible. "What a liar!" Scott Peterson's father, Lee, yelled from the audience before the judge admonished him. Lee Peterson then left the courtroom.
· Former Death Row Inmate Sues Because He Can't Get Jobs. A former death-row inmate now living in Denver wants the city of Omaha to seal or turn over his police records, saying his job options are limited because of his murder conviction.
· DA helped Dimond out of a 'Hard' spot. Does Court TV reporter Diane Dimond owe Tom Sneddon big time? Yesterday, New York Daily News' Lloyd Grove learned that the Santa Barbara district attorney - whose prosecution of Michael Jackson is Dimond's beat - played a key role in killing a slander suit that Jackson filed against her a decade ago.
· Update: Rapist, Murderer Looks For Love. A man serving six consecutive life sentences for rapes in Gainesville, Fla., and the murder of a 12-year-old Bradford County girl is running a personal ad on the Internet to try and find true love.
· JPMorgan Settles WorldCom Suit for $2 Billion. New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi, who is suing banks for their roles in financing WorldCom, has agreed to a $2 billion settlement with J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
· Larry King renews contract. CNN has inked a contract extension with Larry King, keeping the iconic interviewer at the news net through 2009. Deal is worth close to $7 million a year, Daily Variety has learned, and assures the immediate future of "Larry King Live" while quelling speculation that King's sometimes stand-in Nancy Grace is being groomed as his replacement.
· OPEC admits losing its grip on oil prices. Despite a pledge by OPEC ministers to increase oil production, don't expect much of a break on oil prices. With crude oil prices hitting a record $56 a barrel, OPEC ministers meeting in Iran have been grappling with a problem they haven’t confronted in the cartel’s 45-year history.
· Ebbers just one in long line of egos. In his '90s heyday, former WorldCom Inc. chief executive Bernard J. Ebbers was a cowboy-boot-wearing, larger-than-life personality with a 60-foot yacht. He bragged about his highflying stock price that helped him swallow up more valuable companies.
· Rosie all exercised over Star & Kirstie. Rosie O'Donnell is weighing in on her big sisters Star Jones and Kirstie Alley. Obviously, she's heard the rumors that Jones owes her slimmer figure in part to gastric bypass surgery. "Star says she's lost that weight through diet and exercise," O'Donnell said, rolling her eyes. "Yeah, I'd like to see that b-- do a pushup."
· Jay Leno Appears to Contradict Jackson Accuser. Jay Leno appears to contradict the alleged victim's testimony and tells investigators the boy's mother put him on the phone to speak to him. Leno said the conversation made him suspicious. "It all sounded very rehearsed to me," Leno says.
· Anonymous Letters Mailed To HIV Positive People. Palm Beach County's top health official is asking for a criminal investigation into anonymous letters received by HIV-positive people. The letters have been mailed since a confidential list of about 6,500 HIV carriers was mistakenly e-mailed to at least 16 county health workers last month.
· Harvard faculty gives Summers thumbs-down. In a symbolic but stunning rebuke, Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences passed a motion Tuesday saying it lacked confidence in President Lawrence Summers — the first such action in the nearly 400-year history of the university.
· Jackson jurors defy judge's 'diet.' The Michael Jackson trial judge was overruled by the jury Tuesday when they extended their 10-minute snack break because of an unexpected bonanza: free pizza delivered by Olive Garden.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Ephemeral [e·phem·er·al] adj. 1. Lasting for a markedly brief time: "The ephemeral nature of slang." 2. Living or lasting only for a day, as with certain plants or insects.
· Vitamin E loses luster. Vitamin E got another damning F grade yesterday from researchers who found that popping high doses doesn't help protect against heart disease or cancer - and could even be bad for your heart.
· Rosario Dawson's RNC Protest Charges Nixed. A Manhattan judge dismissed charges against Rosario Dawson and two others who were arrested while filming movie scenes near the location of last year's Republican National Convention.
· U.S. Report Lists Possibilities for Terrorist Attacks and Likely Toll. The Department of Homeland Security, trying to focus antiterrorism spending better nationwide, has identified a dozen possible strikes including blowing up a chlorine tank, killing 17,500 people and injuring more than 100,000; spreading pneumonic plague in the bathrooms of an airport, sports arena and train station, killing 2,500 and sickening 8,000 worldwide.
· Philly Mayor Declares City Violence A Crisis. Within the past eight days there have been 21 homicides in Philadelphia, including three in the late-night and early morning hours after the prosecutor made her appeal.
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
· Diana's crashed car was a replacement. The car in the crash that killed Princess Diana in Paris was a last-minute replacement either meant as a media diversion or because the vehicle she was supposed to take failed to start, according to British government documents released Tuesday.
· Judge sanctions trial attorney $6,000 for filing frivolous lawsuit against physician. A county judge formally sanctioned a trial attorney for filing a frivolous lawsuit against a Canton, Ohio physician. The case centers on a medical liability lawsuit filed against Dr. Zev Maycon for a surgical procedure that the doctor did not even perform.
· Atlanta Hostage Had 'Tough' Life. Ashley Smith, the hostage who turned in the suspect in the Atlanta courthouse shootings, didn't always make the right choices. As a teen, she was arrested for shoplifting and was on probation for a year. Later came arrests for drunken driving, speeding and battery.
· Chevy's Blazer named deadliest vehicle. The two-door Chevrolet Blazer from General Motors Corp. has the highest driver death rate of any passenger vehicle on U.S. roadways, a research group with links to the insurance industry said Tuesday.
· WorldCom CEO Ebbers guilty. Bernard Ebbers, the former CEO of WorldCom, was found guilty Tuesday for his role in the mammoth accounting scandal that resulted in the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history. A federal jury in New York, on its eighth day of deliberations, convicted Ebbers on all nine counts that he helped mastermind a $11 billion accounting fraud at WorldCom, now known as MCI.
· Dallas Gunman Kills 3 From Jaguar Sunroof. A gunman armed with an assault rifle stood through the sunroof of a Jaguar and opened fire on another moving vehicle early Tuesday, killing three men and critically wounding a fourth, police said.
· 'Baywatch' star arrested in vigil to save electric cars. "Baywatch" actress Alexandra Paul and another woman were arrested after blocking the path of trucks hauling General Motors' E-V-One electric cars to Arizona to be destroyed.
· Did Jax reporter brief DA? Has Court TV's Diane Dimond helped prosecutors gather evidence in the Michael Jackson case? New Jersey businessman Henry Vaccaro Sr. claims that's exactly what she did last March, vowing to alert Santa Barbara District Attorney Tom Sneddon after discovering a pair of soiled Calvin Klein briefs.
· Martha's bane: Bracelet. Martha Stewart offered up a fine whine last night about that nasty plastic bracelet she's being forced to wear on her once-dainty ankle. "I hope none of you ever have to wear one," she wrote to fans who joined a live "Welcome Back, Martha" Internet chat sponsored by her company.
· Update: UAW Now Says Marines Can Park In Lot. After telling Marine reservists who drive foreign vehicles or display pro-President Bush bumper stickers they no longer could use a parking lot at the United Auto Workers headquarters, union officials have changed their minds.
· Why did Mario Vazquez quit 'Idol'? That's what Mario Vazquez is insisting about his decision to drop out of Fox's "American Idol" talent search. Fans were buzzing Monday about why such a popular contender would forfeit "Idol" fame.
· Police Chief Charged With DUI Twice in One Day. A police chief was ordered held without bail Monday on charges of driving drunk twice in one day. Middletown Police Chief Roger Ashley has been held in jail since his arrest Saturday. An April 11 trial was scheduled after a court appearance Monday.
Monday, March 14, 2005
· Police Restrain GMA Booker During 'Today' Interview. Atlanta police handcuffed Good Morning America booker Mike Nagel this morning after complaints about his disorderly conduct. GMA's Nagel was trying to interrupt NBC's interview with Atlanta hostage Ashley Smith this morning. After being arrested, he tried to slander NBC by saying he worked for NBC - not ABC.
· Condit Settles Lawsuit Against Writer Dunne. Former Rep. Gary Condit has settled his defamation lawsuit against Vanity Fair writer Dominick Dunne. The terms of the settlement were filed with the court on Monday and the case has now been dismissed. The announcement meant Condit did not have to testify under oath as scheduled about any sexual relationship he may have had with murdered Federal Bureau of Prisons intern Chandra Levy.
· Peterson attorneys seek new trial. Two days before Scott Peterson is to be sentenced, his attorneys have filed a motion for a new trial. In the 135-page motion, Peterson's attorneys claim that newly discovered evidence withheld by the prosecution could have brought a different verdict.
· Security Gaffes Cited in Courthouse Spree. The deputy, a 51-year-old woman just 5 feet tall, was simply no match for the inmate she was escorting to the courtroom, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound former college linebacker on trial for rape. Authorities say Brian Nichols overpowered deputy Cynthia Hall, took her gun, and easily gained access to the courtroom, where he went on to kill the judge and a court reporter. Security cameras captured images of him overpowering the deputy, but no one, it turned out, was watching the screens.
· Accuser: Jackson 'Did Nothing to Me.' The boy who says Michael Jackson molested him acknowledged under cross-examination Monday that he told an administrator at his school that the pop star "didn't do anything to me."
· Owner gets Ferrari back after paying taxes. An auction of a rare 1967 Ferrari race car seized from an Orlando developer in a federal tax case has been canceled after the owner paid nearly $3 million in back taxes. Ferrari experts valued the car as high as $10 million.
· Faulty Sign Keeps Gas Prices Down. Some customers may have thought it was simple justice. Alas, it was technology that prevented a gas station’s sign from displaying any price $2 or higher. Byron Wheeler, who owns a Byco gas station, said he kept prices below the $2 mark for five days last week because the station’s electronic sign couldn’t display a “2” in the dollar position.
· Courtroom Massacre Hostage Kept Cool. For hours, Ashley Smith gently talked to the armed suspect in Atlanta's courthouse slayings, turning from hostage to confidant as they discussed God, family, pancakes and the massive manhunt going on outside her apartment. [Complete Coverage].
· Report: Airlines Still Vulnerable to Terror. A confidential government report issued last month, which states that the nation's aviation system remains vulnerable to terrorist attacks, reveals nothing new, a Department of Homeland Security official said.
· Kerik's royalties shocker. Former Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik accepted thousands of dollars in royalties from a book published to raise money for the families of heroes killed on Sept. 11, 2001, the Daily News has learned.
· 'Bomb Device' Unearthed At Orlando Airport. Authorities are investigating the discovery of what they called a "bomb device" unearthed during construction at the Orlando-Sanford International Airport.
· 'Current Affair' tabloid show returns. 'A Current Affair" - the tabloid TV show that cast host Maury Povich as a muckraking man-of-the-people - returns next week with a new look, a new focus and a new host.
· Secret Credit Records Keep Consumers In The Dark. Most consumers know about the one free credit report they receive each year. But not many people know that they're also entitled to other personal records that companies keep about them.
· Too much sleep. Angelina Jolie says she never slept with Brad Pitt. "Brad is a married man," the actress told OK! magazine. "I wouldn't sleep with a married man. I have enough lovers." Jolie admits sleeping with lots of women, however. "I absolutely love women and find them incredibly sexy," she says.
· Madam pleads the filth. The million-dollar Madam says she is no different from a porn producer, and authorities should keep their handcuffs to themselves. Lawyers for Jenny Paulino, busted in December for sending call girls to pricey prostitution dens in Manhattan high-rises, charge that the buxom madam is being targeted unfairly while prosecutors ignore other sex-driven industries - such as porno flicks.
· Jules Verne: mythmaker of the machine age. Verne, the author, was incomparable. His 80 novels, written from 1854 till 1904, foreshadowed space travel (even identifying Florida as the launch-site for moon shots). They predicted, amongst other things, artificial satellites; large submarines; helicopters; television; video-players; and the development of plastics.
· 'American Idol' Favorite Withdraws Self From Competition. A fan favorite has booted himself from "American Idol." Contestant Mario Vazquez has withdrawn from the hit Fox show, citing "personal reasons." The 27-year-old from New York was one of four competitors singled out by fans as early favorites to win the competition.
· Senator Getting Into Used Car Business? He came to sell President Bush’s plan to overhaul Social Security. Instead, U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley sold something else—his beat-up old car. Grassley closed the deal at a downtown Des Moines hotel, selling the 1986 Olds Delta 88 for $356, one dollar below book value, to an Iowa factory worker.
· Is there more to men than sex and cars? Dream on. Women, for example, have more emotion in their dreams and dream about food, clothing and personal appearance. Men, on the other hand, dream about other men, violence, sex, cars and weapons.
· Infant recovering after robotic surgery. Amber Vairo has grown two inches and gained nearly a pound, and the three tiny scars on her belly have all but vanished — along with any doubts she’d survive a complex surgery to fix a life-threatening condition.
Sunday, March 13, 2005
· Ashley Smith, Atlanta hero, describes ordeal. The woman held hostage in her apartment by the suspect in Atlanta's courthouse slayings said Sunday that her ordeal began with the man sticking a gun in her side and tying her up, but ended with the weapons on the floor as he let her go to see her young daughter.
· Lawmaker Threatens Contempt for Baseball No-Shows. The chairman of a congressional committee Sunday threatened to push contempt proceedings against some of the biggest names in baseball if they fail to appear for a hearing this week about performance-enhancing steroids that have rocked Major League Baseball.
· Marines driven out of UAW lot. The United Auto Workers says Marine reservists have been decidedly unfaithful to union workers by driving import cars and trucks. "While reservists certainly have the right to drive nonunion made vehicles and display bumper stickers touting the most anti-worker, anti-union president since the 1920s, that doesn't mean they have the right to park in a lot owned by the members of the UAW," the union said.
· Ga. Hostage Kept Cool. The hostage who helped end the 26-hour manhunt for a man accused of killing a judge and three others had long talks with her captor during the 13 hours she was held in her own apartment, police said Sunday. Police wouldn't release details about the woman, describing her only as a white female in her 20s to 30s, but they said they were impressed by the way she handled herself.
· Sex crime prosecutor fired over note to girl. The Marion County deputy prosecutor who was assistant chief of the sex crimes division was fired this week for sending a romantic e-mail to a 16-year-old girl.
· AOL's Terms of Service Raises Eyebrows. America Online, Inc. has quietly updated the terms of service for its instant messaging application, which gives AOL the right to "reproduce, display, perform, distribute, adapt and promote" all content distributed across the chat network by users."
· Bryant accuser repays money. The woman who accused Kobe Bryant of rape has repaid $20,000 to Colorado's victim compensation fund, a week after reaching a settlement in her lawsuit against the NBA star.
· 'Robots' Rules the Box Office With $36.5M. "Robots" ruled the box office as the animated family flick debuted with $36.5 million - a solid opening, but well below the $46.3 million premiere of the filmmakers' previous hit, "Ice Age."
· Church Gunman Angry Over Sermon. Terry Ratzmann, a buttoned-down churchgoer known for sharing his homegrown vegetables with his neighbors, walked into the room and fired 22 rounds from a 9mm handgun.
· FBI informants say McGwire was 'juiced.' The recipe called for 1/2 cc of testosterone cypionate every three days; one cc of testosterone enanthate per week; equipoise and winstrol v, 1/4 cc every three days, injected into the buttocks, one in one cheek, one in the other. It was the cocktail of a hardcore steroids user, and it is one of the "arrays," or steroid recipes, Mark McGwire used to become the biggest thing in baseball in the 1990s, sources have told the Daily News.
· Rod Stewart to tie the knot, again. Rod Stewart and Penny Lancaster are engaged to be married, after she accepted his proposal during a romantic trip to Paris, Stewart's record company said Saturday.
· Christina Applegate Breaks Foot in 'Sweet Charity.' Christina Applegate, star of the Broadway-bound revival of "Sweet Charity," broke her foot during a performance in Chicago and will be out of the musical through its Boston tryout engagement.
· Ex-Judge Jailed For Using Cough Medicine. A former Santa Clara County judge was jailed for drinking over-the-counter cough medicine while serving his house arrest sentence. Judge William Danser, who was convicted for fixing traffic tickets last year, was required to stay away from alcohol as a condition of his 90-day electronic monitoring.
· 'Sideways' Director Splitting With Wife. Director Alexander Payne and wife Sandra Oh have gone from "Sideways" to parting ways, a spokeswoman told People magazine on Saturday. The Hollywood couple "have mutually decided to separate," the spokeswoman said. "They will remain friends."
Saturday, March 12, 2005
· At least 8 dead in Wisconsin hotel shooting. A gunman opened fire Saturday at a church service being held at a hotel, killing seven people before taking his own life, authorities said. Officers found four people and the gunman dead when they arrived about 1 p.m. at the Sheraton hotel. Three others died later at a hospital.
· Police catch suspect in triple courtroom slayings. A man accused of killing three people at a courthouse was captured Saturday after taking a woman hostage at an apartment complex and was a suspect in the fatal shooting of an immigration agent hours earlier, officials said.
» U.S. Customs Agent Found Dead in Atlanta. Hundreds of law officials extended their massive search for a man suspected in a courthouse triple slaying as officials on Saturday tried to determine whether the fatal shooting of a U.S. customs agent was related.
· 'Pauley' Pulled Over Low Ratings. NBC confirmed Friday (March 11) that the first-run daytime talk show hosted by the former "Today" and "Dateline NBC" anchor will end production by the middle of April, though original episodes will run through early September.
· Will Trump Save 'Miss America'? He's a reality TV star, a billionaire and he knows a thing or two about beautiful women — between the ones he's married and the beauty pageants he already owns. Trump has approached the Miss America Organization about buying the famous pageant, which is fighting for survival after being dumped by ABC because of declining ratings.
· Winner of record lottery jackpot sued. The businessman who won the nation's richest jackpot was sued Friday by the father of a teenager who died of a drug overdose at his home. Trouble has dogged the already-wealthy Jack Whittaker since he won the $314.9 million Powerball jackpot in 2002. Among the problems, Whittaker was arrested twice for drunken driving, and his home and his vehicles have been hit with a rash of break-ins.
· Victim's husband rejects $1 million offer. A man fighting to have a feeding tube removed from his brain-damaged wife rejected yesterday a California businessman's offer to pay him $1 million to give up his right to decide her treatment.
· You Call That Art? People got very excited about Christo's latest public art work, "The Gates," in New York's Central Park. New York Post columnist Andrea Peyser said all the orange fabric on "The Gates" made it look like an ad for Home Depot.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Visceral [vis·cer·al] adj. 1. Instinctual: proceeding from instinct rather than from reasoned thinking or intellect. "A visceral business decision." 2. Emotional: characterized by or showing crude or elemental emotions.
· Kelsey Grammer Brings Sketch Show to Fox. The series is based on Britain's "The Sketch Show," and producers of the original have joined with Grammer's production company and others on the American version.
· Town offering women $9,600 to have 3rd child. To combat a shrinking population, a small town in northern Japan has decided to give a cash award worth about $9,600 to each female resident who has a third child, an official said Friday.
· Thousands stranded by Canadian airline. Discount airline Jetsgo obtained court protection from creditors Friday and grounded its jet fleet, stranding 17,000 passengers during the March break school holidays, one of the busiest travel periods of the year in Canada.
Friday, March 11, 2005
· Leno can tell Jackson jokes. Judge Rodney Melville ruled Friday that comedian Jay Leno, who has been subpoenaed to testify in the Michael Jackson trial, can tell jokes about the pop singer on “The Tonight Show.”
· Heidi Klum pregnant. Heidi Klum and her singer fiance Seal are expecting their first child together. Klum and Seal have two homes, one in L.A. and another in New York. "They are currently deciding where to bring up the baby."
· Apple Wins Trade Secrets Legal Dispute. A California judge on Friday ruled that three independent online reporters may have to divulge confidential sources in a lawsuit brought by Apple Computer Inc., ruling that there are no legal protections for those who publish a company's trade secrets.
» Boeing lays off 8,100 employees. Boeing Co. issued 8,100 layoff notices Friday as part of its sale of commercial aircraft operations in Wichita to Onex Corp., with those workers being asked to apply for their old jobs with the buyer.
· Paul Newman Winding Down Acting Career. At 80, Paul Newman is considering retirement. The movie legend, whose golden looks and piercing blue eyes have lit up screens for five decades, says he plans to give up the activities he once described as his two great passions - acting and motor racing.
· Judge, 2 others killed in Atlanta courthouse. A judge, a court reporter and a sheriff's deputy were shot dead at the courthouse in downtown Atlanta on Friday. A massive manhunt was on for the suspect, who had been before the judge on rape charges.
· Diaz rushed to hospital after fall. Accident-prone superstar Cameron Diaz was rushed to hospital after falling off a chest of drawers. The blonde beauty had to have 19 stitches in her head after tumbling off the furniture at her Hollywood Hills home.
· Actress Dies of Pneumonia Complications. Actress Nicole DeHuff, who memorably took a volleyball in the face from Ben Stiller in the 2000 hit movie "Meet the Parents," died of complications from pneumonia. She was 31.
· N.J. lawmaker wants poker tax for addicts. A New Jersey lawmaker wants cable networks that feature gambling to help gambling addicts by giving money to treatment agencies. Assemblywoman Joan Voss called for a surcharge on state cable providers if the networks don't cooperate.
· ABC Edits Fox News Out of 'Boston Legal.' When the ABC drama "Boston Legal" takes on the issue of alleged media bias in Sunday's episode, it doesn't name names - specifically Fox News Channel. In the original script, a high school principal blocks Fox News from being aired on campus television sets because he considers the channel biased and inflammatory, according to the network.
· Jury hears graphic testimony from Jackson's accuser. In the most critical day of his trial so far, Michael Jackson heard his accuser level graphic allegations of child molestation at him Thursday after the singer arrived late in pajama bottoms and slippers and was threatened with jail by a judge who was unswayed by his claim of a back injury.
· Men were cops by day, hitmen by night. Two police detectives led double lives as Mafia hitmen, kidnapping and killing rival gangsters and giving confidential information to the mob for more than a decade, federal prosecutors charged Thursday.
· Son sues dad over Steelers season tickets. Blood may be thicker than water, but that's no consolation to a man who contends that his father cheated him out of two Pittsburgh Steelers season tickets.
· Revenge likely motive in judge killings case. While Chicago authorities insist that their probe of the slayings of a judge's husband and mother remains open, more evidence is pointing to Bart Ross, a man who committed suicide after leaving a note confessing to the killings.
» DNA Links Dead Man to Lefkow Murders. A man who filed bizarre, rambling lawsuits over his cancer treatment and shot himself to death during a traffic stop appears to be the lone killer of a federal judge's mother and husband, police said late Thursday.
· Forbes' Billionaires List Has New Names. The billionaires are richer and more numerous for the second straight year, but the No. 1 spot is unchanged — Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates led the list for the eleventh year in a row with a net worth of $46.5 billion, slightly less than his $46.6 billion last year. Investor Warren Buffet held a close second with $44 billion, up from $42.9 billion.
· Typing error causes nuclear scare. The Sudanese government had a nasty shock this week, when it read on a US Congress website that the Americans had conducted nuclear tests in the country. It turned out to be a typing error. The report should have said Sedan, a test site in Nevada, rather than Sudan.
· Businessman offers $1 million to keep Schiavo alive. Hours after a judge refused to delay the removal of a feeding tube from a brain-damaged woman, a California businessman offered her husband $1 million if he would give up his right to decide her medical treatment.
· Bill breathes easy. After four hours under the knife, former President Bill Clinton was in good spirits yesterday, and was expected to make a full recovery from a rare side effect of his quadruple-bypass surgery.
· Man Robs Bank, Grabs Lunch, Flees. A suspected bank robber was arrested and taken to jail, after a bizarre heist in Salt Lake City. Police say Donald Archambault robbed the Zions Bank on Foothill Blvd. Wednesday afternoon, but his getaway was anything but speedy. After the heist, Archambault allegedly walked across the parking lot to a restaurant, where he casually ate a sandwich and drank a beer while officers searched for the robber.
· Tice admits scalping Super Bowl tickets. Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Tice acknowledged to NFL security investigators on Tuesday that he scalped part of his personal allotment of 12 tickets to last month's Super Bowl, a violation of league rules.
Thursday, March 10, 2005
· Pay as you go - with toilet paper tax. Florida Senator Al Lawson's latest involves a way to pay for wastewater treatment and help small towns and counties upgrade their sewer systems. Florida should, he says, pay as you go. Lawson, from Tallahassee, is proposing a 2 cent per roll tax on toilet paper.
· Navratilova sues sponsor of gay credit card. Martina Navratilova is suing the sponsor of a credit card directly marketed to gays and lesbians, saying it uses her name and likeness after her request last month to stop.
· Insiders Fear Jackson Will Commit Suicide. Michael Jackson's close friends now really fear that he will commit suicide. The scene this morning at the courthouse in Santa Maria has convinced people who ordinarily do not say these things that Jackson is in serious mental trouble.
· Tara Reid Sues Over 'Let It Hang Out' Ad. Actress Tara Reid sued the owners of a Las Vegas condominium project Thursday for using her name in an ad that appears to be a reference to the accidental exposure of her breast last year as she posed on the red carpet.
· The face that stole Boeing CEO's heart. Meet the woman at the center of the sex scandal that's rocked Boeing and forced the ouster of its 68-year-old CEO, Harry Stonecipher. She's Debra Peabody, 48, a 25-year employee of the company who is vice president of operations for the company's chief lobbyist in Washington.
· Ex-Worker Sues Madonna, Claims Harassment. A former female employee of Madonna's film company is suing the pop star and other executives of Maverick Films on claims she was sexually harassed and wrongfully terminated.
· One of the more distressing stories you will hear today. Eleven New Orleans family members died in their apartment after a mattress caught fire and got stuck in the front door as they tried to drag it out, authorities said. The fire was apparently started by candles that the family had been using because they had just moved in and did not yet have electricity, Sheriff Harry Lee said.
· Colo. man charged with rampage on flight. A man denied alcohol during a United Airlines flight went on a rampage, allegeldy ripping the phone off the back of the seat and breaking two tray tables, the FBI said Wednesday.
· Feds probe mysterious credit card charges. Federal authorities have opened an investigation into a rash of thousands of mysterious $30 and $40 charges appearing on consumer credit cards around the country. The charges are for the purchase of DVDs and CDs from a company named "Pluto Data Ltd."
· SpaceShipOne due for coast-to-coast trip. The world’s first privately developed spaceship, SpaceShipOne, will be taking a coast-to-coast victory lap this summer, tucked underneath its White Knight carrier airplane on a trip to the Smithsonian.
· House committee says MLB lawyer telling 'lies.' A spokesperson for the House committee that has subpoenaed Major League Baseball players and officials says that the lawyer representing many of those called to testify is telling "lies" about the committee's intentions.
· Kennedy heir is keeping odd company. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is keeping odd company these days. The son of the late Attorney General of the United States is the featured speaker at the controversial Ramtha School of Enlightenment. The school has been called a cult and is led by J.Z. Knight, a former housewife who claims that she channels Ramtha, a 35,000-year-old spirit from the lost continent of Atlantis.
» 30 Muslim workers fired for praying on job at Dell. Abdi H. Nuur removed his employee badge and walked away last month from his forklift driver's job at Dell Computer's Nashville plant. He and 29 other Somali Muslims say they were forced to choose between their faith and their employment.
· Jackson late for court; judge threatens arrest warrant. Michael Jackson was late for his trial Thursday, and the California judge trying the pop superstar's child molestation said he would issue a bench warrant for Jackson's arrest if he did not appear in court within an hour.
» Update: Michael Jackson Finally Arrives To Court. Michael Jackson arrived late to his child molestation trial Thursday to face a judge who threatened to arrest him and revoke his $3 million bail, but the judge resumed the case apparently without taking any action against the singer.
· Suicide linked to Lefkow murders. Chicago police have sent detectives to a Milwaukee suburb to investigate a suicide but declined Thursday to confirm reports that the death had any connection to the murders of a federal judge’s mother and husband.
· Oops! Inmate Requested Cold Medicine, Got Laxative As Prank. A jailer gave a laxative to an inmate who had requested cold medicine, then taunted the man as he suffered severe diarrhea, authorities said.
· Continental faces Concorde probe. Continental Airlines says it has been placed under investigation by a French magistrate judge for the suspected role played by one of its jets in the July 2000 crash of the supersonic Concorde that killed 113 people.
· Clerk Laughs Would-Be Robber Out Of Store. A stick-up at a Cranberry, Pa. convenience store could have been a scary situation. But the would-be robber left the store clerk shaking his head instead. Cranberry police said the robber entered Gordon's Mini Mart wearing a mask of the Disney dog, Pluto.
· Steroid call injects MLB rage. Major League Baseball officials erupted in their own 'roid rage yesterday, vowing to "go all the way to court" to prevent players from having to testify before Congress next week.
· Over zealous attorney accidentally sues himself. Alton, Illinois attorney Emert Wyss thought he could make money in a Madison County class action lawsuit, but he accidentally sued himself instead. Now he has four law firms after his money - and he hired all four.
» Flashback: Don't make a joke out of this, or he may have you arrested. Last month we reported on a story of a couple guys who were telling lawyer jokes on the courthouse steps. New York prosecutors - having nothing better to do - charged them with disorderly conduct and assembled a grand jury. Fortunately, common sense prevailed in the end.
· Leno: Jackson Has No Basis for Gag Order. Michael Jackson wants Jay Leno to stop with the jokes, but the "Tonight Show" host argues the First Amendment bars public figures from seeking a gag order based on their dislike of comments about them.
· Convicted killer seeks new trial based on jury's cell phone use. Daniel Blaine Latham, who was convicted in last year of murdering a church organist from Price, has asked for a new trial based on jurors' use of cell phones while they were in the court's deliberation room.
· Smoking can be hazardous to your health. A bone-thin man plunged to his death from a New York high-rise - and authorities were investigating yesterday the nightmarish possibility he was blown off a window sill by a 45 mph gust of wind while smoking.
· 'Gates' grind to close. As artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude took a final bow yesterday for "The Gates," the sprawling saffron-colored Central Park artwork was being shredded in Pennsylvania. The more than 400 tons of plastic and nylon that formed the project will become everyday items such as flower pots and paintbrushes.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Dogmatic [dog·mat·ic] adj. 1. Expressing rigid opinions; Prone to expressing strongly held beliefs and opinions. 2. Asserting opinions in a doctrinaire or arrogant manner; opinionated.
· Defense lawyer ordered to testify for prosecution. A lawyer for the man charged with throwing a chair during the Nov. 19 brawl at the game between the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons must testify for the prosecution, a judge has ruled.
· IKEA criticized for 'sexually biased' manuals. Swedish home furnishings giant IKEA is guilty of sex discrimination by showing only men putting together furniture in its instruction manuals, Norway's prime minister says.
· Gun Put To Firefighter's Head during Rescue Attempt. A woman being carried out of a burning house put a gun to a firefighter's head and pulled the trigger repeatedly but was out of bullets following the shooting death of her boyfriend, police say.
· It's publisher or perish for Peterson. Hoping to stave off a death sentence for the murder of Peterson's pregnant wife, Laci, Scott Peterson's lawyer Mark Geragos is trying to show that his client's former mistress Amber Frey had a financial motive in testifying for the prosecution. Geragos just hit HarperCollins with a subpoena demanding that the publisher produce all documents pertaining to its book deals with Frey, as well as with Peterson's estranged sister Anne Bird.
· Dan Rather Signs Off 'CBS Evening News.' Dan Rather echoed a word he once briefly used to sign off the "CBS Evening News" - courage - in anchoring the program for the final time after 24 years on Wednesday.
Wednesday, March 9, 2005
· Gay Couple Sues Over Anti-AARP Ad. A gay couple featured without their permission in an Internet advertisement criticizing the AARP sued the ad's producer on Wednesday, alleging libel and invasion of privacy.
· Paul McCartney donates painting to New York firefighters. Paul McCartney and his wife have donated a painting from their private collection to the members of the Fire Department of New York - and the subject is something likely very close to their hearts.
· Update: Congress Subpoenas Seven Baseball Players. Jose Canseco, Jason Giambi, Mark McGwire and four other players were subpoenaed Wednesday to testify before a congressional committee investigating the sport's steroids policy.
· Marine Says Public Version of Saddam Capture Fiction. A former U.S. Marine who participated in capturing ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein said the public version of his capture was fabricated. "Saddam was found in a modest home in a small village and not in a hole as announced," the Marine said.
· Jackson accuser takes the witness stand. The teenage boy accusing Michael Jackson of child molestation has taken the stand in the pop star's trial. Earlier Wednesday, the accuser's brother said that being nervous was the reason he gave different versions of an incident in which he claimed to have walked in on Jackson groping his brother.
· Update: Dave Matthews Band driver pleads guilty to dumping on tour boat. A bus driver for the Dave Matthews Band pleaded guilty Wednesday to dumping 800 pounds of human waste from the vehicle's septic tank onto a sightseeing boat on the Chicago River last summer.
· Lawyer: Hale Passed Message to Supporter. An attorney for jailed white supremacist Matthew Hale said Hale's mother asked him to relay an encoded message from Hale to one of his supporters, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
· Judge tosses homework lawsuit. A judge threw out a high school student's lawsuit against mandatory summer homework, saying he and his father should have done a little more studying themselves before bringing the case.
· Student who lied about rape is charged. A Bloomington, Ind. woman who told police she was raped and beaten in a restroom, later admitted she made up the story and has now been charged with false informing, authorities said.
· Country Singer Chris LeDoux Dies at 56. Chris LeDoux, a world champion bareback rider who parlayed songs about cowboys he knew on the rodeo circuit into a successful country music career, died Wednesday from complications of liver cancer.
· Update: The Cosby sex assault court papers. Two weeks after Pennsylvania prosecutors declined to file criminal sexual assault charges against him, Bill Cosby was sued today by the woman who leveled those accusations against the 67-year-old comedian.
· Erotic e-mails did in Boeing CEO. There is no mystery why the CEO of Boeing was forced to resign: He broke company rules by having an affair with an underling, and somebody got hold of his erotic E-mails.
· Radioactive Material Stolen While Man In Donut Shop. Police are looking for a stolen truck that is carrying radioactive material. Police said the thief probably didn't know an ammo box in the truck contained a radioactive material used in medical studies.
· Dog subpoenaed as witness in murder case. Arkansas prosecutors hoping for a witness in a murder case to roll over were barking up the wrong tree. They sent out a batch of subpoenas for anyone who had contact with Albert K. Smith while he was jailed awaiting his murder trial. One of those subpoenas went out to 5-year-old Murphy Smith — Smith’s dog, it turned out.
· 'Fat Actress' Hitting Sore Spot. While plus-size actresses such as Camryn Manheim and Queen Latifah have helped break the Hollywood cookie-cutter ideal, this show, women's groups charge, is a giant step backward. "A show that seems to be set up to make fun of fat people or to describe how miserable their lives are, is not sending a good message, and it's not the right message," laments National Organization for Women president Kim Gandy.
· Shorter Version of 'The Passion' to Open. The footage Gibson deleted is some of the goriest, which he says he removed to make it more palatable for a wider audience. While "The Passion" grossed more than $370 million in the United States alone, some critics believed its depiction of Jesus Christ's crucifixion was relentlessly, shockingly bloody.
· Blake Jury Deliberates, Silently. Jurors in the Robert Blake murder case ended their third day of deliberations without reaching a verdict. The panel deliberated for five and a half hours without asking any questions of the court or making any requests to review trial testimony.
· Dan Rather's Farewell Overshadowed by CBS Scandal. From JFK's assassination to Tiananmen Square and the Asian tsunami, Dan Rather reported on the major events of the last 40 years, but his retirement as CBS anchor has been marred by a journalistic scandal. He will sign off for the last time on Wednesday.
» Michigan CBS station viewers vote 'no' for Rather's farewell tribute. WWTV in Cadillac, Mich., began taking votes on its Web site Monday evening about whether to carry the 8 p.m. broadcast of "Dan Rather: A Reporter Remembers." Station spokeswoman Tessia Klix said Tuesday afternoon that more than 1,000 people had cast ballots up to that point, with 63 percent voting no.
· Cops want 'Gotti' show canceled. A group of city cops wants to whack Victoria Gotti's reality TV show off the air because they say it gives Italian-Americans a bad rap. A fraternal group of 6,000 NYPD officers has sent a scathing letter to A&E cable demanding "Growing Up Gotti" be canceled. One cop also brought up her 14-room mansion, "Where did she get the money for the house?"
· Snack Kills 27 Kids In Philippines. At least 27 elementary school children died and another 100 were hospitalized after eating a snack of cassava — a root that's poisonous if not prepared correctly — during morning recess Wednesday in the southern Philippines, officials said.
· Boy George aims barbs at celebrities. The 80s pop icon has written a memoir, “Straight,” and in it, he takes potshots at Rosie O’Donnell, the woman who reached into her own pocket to bankroll “Taboo,” the $10 million play about Boy George that flopped on Broadway. Boy George accuses O’Donnell of being domineering, toning down “Taboo” too much, and of not being gay enough.
· Daughter says mom chained her to bed. A 35-year-old woman remained jailed Saturday after being accused of hitting her daughter and chaining her to a bed for hours, according to the Green Bay Police Department. The girl, 15, told police her mother accused her of stealing a backpack full of marijuana from her, Galvin said.
· Chrysler's German CEO leads chorus in U.S. patriotism About 61 percent of Americans, or nearly two out of three, don't know all of the words to the 74-year-old national anthem, according to a recent Harris Interactive survey. Leave it to the Germans to teach Americans the words to their own national anthem.
· Congress May Subpoena Baseball Stars. Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire and Jason Giambi were among seven current and former baseball stars that a congressional committee plans to subpoena as soon as Wednesday to testify about steroids.
· 'Rent-a-cops’ threatening security. In the aftermath of 9/11, private security officers are being asked to step into the breach and fill gaps in the nation's homeland security plans. But experts warn that most of this 2 million person workforce receives little or no training, aren’t subjected to rigorous background checks for previous criminal behavior and are paid so poorly that many quickly leave for better paying jobs.
· Vikings' Tice target of Super Bowl scalping probe. Minnesota head coach Mike Tice is being investigated by the NFL for allegedly heading up and profiting from a Super Bowl ticket-scalping operation within the Vikings organization, a violation of NFL rules that league sources say has been going on for years.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Extemporaneous [ex·tem·po·ra·ne·ous] adj. 1. Unrehearsed. Done or said without advance preparation or thought; impromptu: "An extemporaneous lecture." 2. Prepared in advance but delivered without notes or text: "An extemporaneous speech."
· Tonya Harding To Fight Transvestite. Tonya Harding will make her first Florida appearance Thursday, taking on a transvestite television personality from a Miami station. Word is that they have not been able to get approval to box, so the "fight" may be more wrestling than boxing.
· Erasing Debts With Bankruptcy Gets Harder. Erasing medical bills, credit card charges and other debts in bankruptcy soon will become more difficult under landmark legislation that has vaulted its last major hurdle before Senate passage.
· Boater survives 60-foot drop from dam. Rescuers say Dirk Hoekstra is lucky to be alive after a scare Monday night at Tom Miller Dam in Austin. Hoekstra survived a 60-foot fall through the dam into Lake Austin.
· RoboFlops No Match for Teenage Girl. For the first time, robotic arms powered with plastic muscles took on a human competitor Monday. The 17-year-old high school student who described herself as a "weakling" beat all three robot arms handily.
· 1,700 blank licenses stolen from Nev. DMV. Thieves rammed a vehicle through the back wall of a Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles office and stole 1,700 blank driver's licenses. "This could be anything from a bunch of juveniles who want to be able to make IDs to buy beer, to major criminal activity or even terrorism," police spokesman Tim Bedwell said Tuesday. "We don't know what they took them for."
· Reality check as Martha's stock falls. As Martha Stewart might say, staying in prison was a good thing for her company's stock, which had more than doubled since she began her sentence. Her return to public life, however, is decidedly not a good thing. Her company's stock continued to fall yesterday, five days after Stewart stepped out of federal prison to return to New York and her job at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.The morning after she flew out of Alderson, W.Va., her stock opened around $33. Yesterday it closed at $25.95, down 16% since she left prison.
· Martha's jet noise - Not a good thing. Martha Stewart is already showing disregard for rules the little people manage to follow. When she flew home in a private jet after her release from the hoosegow early Friday morning, she violated the airport curfew at the Westchester County Airport, airport manager Joel Russell told us. Stewart arrived at 2:08 a.m. Since 1986 - after years of private-jet noise that plagued the affluent area - the county asked that no planes use the airport between midnight and 6:30 a.m.
· New Study Finds Experimental Diet Pill Effective. A second study confirms that an experimental diet pill can help people lose weight and keep it off for up to two years, setting the stage for its maker to seek approval to sell it in the United States. The drug, rimonabant, which the French company Sanofi-Aventis hopes to sell under the brand name Acomplia, trimmed nearly 16 pounds on average.
· Top 10 resorts for spring skiing. For many skiers, spring is the best time to ski. This season, the best snow has waited until late in the season, making this spring exceptional in the New England and the Northwest.
Tuesday, March 8, 2005
· As expected, Bill Cosby hit with civil suit for alleged sexual assault. The suit, filed with the federal court in the eastern district of Pennsylvania at about 4 p.m. EST, was brought by the 31-year-old Canadian woman who recently accused Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting her last year.
· Another teacher suspended after she was found with 17-year-old. A South Carolina high school teacher has been suspended with pay after police said they found her with a 17-year-old male student in a parked vehicle.
· Worker discovers live grenade In Miami cafeteria. A cafeteria worker found a live grenade Tuesday morning on a counter where people typically order coffee and doughnuts. The Opportunity Cafeteria had just opened when the unidentified worker found the grenade on one corner of the counter.
· Soap star arrested at Iowa airport. "Days of Our Lives" soap opera star Jason Cook was arrested after he allegedly became argumentative with airport officials who found a pipe with marijuana debris in his luggage.
· Jacko Accuser's Kin: "I Lied." A boy who testified that Michael Jackson molested his brother acknowledged under cross-examination Tuesday that the pop star didn't show him a sex magazine that the prosecution introduced into evidence. The witness also said he lied under oath in a separate civil lawsuit. When Mesereau asked him to tell the jury why he lied under oath, the boy said, "I don't remember. It was five years ago. I don't remember nothing."
· Harvard Rejects Applicants Who Hacked Admissions System. Some Harvard Business School applicants who just couldn't wait to find out if they got accepted won't need to worry about that anymore. The Boston Globe reported that the school is rejecting applications from 119 people who hacked into the school's computer system last week in an effort to learn their admissions status.
· Jersey lawmakers tackle the tomato. The humble tomato may technically be a fruit, but lawmakers here consider it a vegetable and on Monday approved a measure designating the Jersey tomato as the official state vegetable.
· Dean's money machine to fight Schwarzenegger. A liberal grassroots network that helped fuel Howard Dean's maverick run for president is crackling back to life to fight Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's ballot initiative drive, another sign that the governor's plans for a special election this year could produce a costly and fiercely partisan battle.
· Academy Award Winner Teresa Wright Dies. Teresa Wright, the willowy actress who starred opposite Gary Cooper and Marlon Brando and won a supporting Academy Award in 1942 for "Mrs. Miniver," has died. She was 86.
· Prince Charles faces bare-breasted protest. A woman bared her breasts at Britain’s Prince Charles during a walkabout in New Zealand’s capital on Tuesday while other protesters waved placards reading “death to the monarchy.”
· Bill Clinton to undergo surgery Thursday. Former President Clinton will undergo a medical procedure Thursday to remove fluid and scar tissue from his left chest cavity, his office announced Tuesday.
· Terror Suspects Passed Firearm Background Checks. More than 40 terror suspects on federal watch lists were allowed to buy firearms in the United States last year because background checks found no reason to stop them, says a government report released Tuesday.
· "The Contender" was punchless in ratings. Overnight nielsen ratings show "Contender" - the most expensive reality show ever produced - finished a distant last place behind 'Idol,' 'CSI Miami,' and ABC's 'Supernanny.'
· Teresa Heinz Kerry still yacking. Heinz Kerry flew in to Seattle on her own Gulfstream jet to say that 80% of all voting machines are owned by only two "hard-right" Republicans, and that the 2004 presidential elections were 'hacked.'
· Model loses last hopes. Czech supermodel Petra Nemcova is reliving her tsunami nightmare after learning that her boyfriend's body has finally been recovered in Thailand. "She was devastated," a friend of Nemcova's told the Daily News yesterday. "For all this talk about closure and finding the body being good, none of that was true. She was devastated." The body of Simon Atlee, 33, was identified Friday by forensic experts and will be flown back to England for burial, his family said.
· Girls as young as this five year old think they have to be slim to be popular. Girls as young as five are unhappy with their bodies and want to be thinner, according to a study which blames peer pressure in a child's early years at school.
· Al-Qaeda plot to kidnap actor. In one of the more bizarre terror plots hatched by al-Qaeda, Australian actor Russell Crowe was the target of a kidnapping scheme as part of a "cultural destabilisation plan."
· Horse that played Seabiscuit dies. "This horse was not only very popular with our visitors, but was greatly loved by everyone who worked with him," said John Nicholson, the Horse Park's executive director. "The only good thing about this is is that we will continue to see him every time the movie is shown. We also have the confort and satisfaction of knowing that he had an excellent, happy live at the park.
· Stars Attend Hunter S. Thompson Memorial. Johnny Depp and Bill Murray, who both portrayed Hunter S. Thompson in films, joined Sean Penn, Jack Nicholson and others over the weekend to remember the gonzo journalist at a private memorial. Neighbor and actor Don Johnson remembered once asking Thompson: What is the sound of one hand clapping? Thompson responded by slapping Johnson across the face.
· Jackson accuser's brother recounts seeing sexual contact. The younger brother of the teenage boy accusing Michael Jackson of child molestation testified Monday that he twice walked into the singer's bedroom and found Jackson masturbating, with his other hand down the sleeping boy's pants.
· Man turns on sprinklers to create a tower of ice. For a guy who doesn't like winter, John Reeves sure has a funny way of showing it. How else do you explain the nearly 150-foot-tall, prehistoric-looking tower of ice Reeves has grown in Fairbanks?
· Man Dies After Winning Tequila Drinking Contest. One person is dead and three are gravely ill following a tequila drinking competition. Officials said Ricardo Ivan Garcia, 21, drank more than 50 shots of tequila Sunday night at a disco and won the drinking contest. He died shortly after the event.
· Pot Smoker Gets Apology From Police. A man who was stopped by Denver police and his marijuana confiscated received an apology recently because that man was allowed to smoke the pot for medicinal purposes.
· Laughter is good for the heart, study finds. A daily dose of laughter may be good for the heart because, like exercise, it makes blood vessels work more efficiently, U.S. researchers reported yesterday.
· Scan shows King Tut not murdered. The results of a CT scan done on King Tut's mummy indicate the boy king was not murdered, but may have suffered a badly broken leg shortly before his death at age 19 - a wound that could have become infected, Egypt's top archaeologist said Tuesday.
· Docs reveal how aspirin helps women, and how it doesn't. Middle-age women can cut their risk of strokes - but not heart attacks - by regularly taking low doses of aspirin, and the pills help prevent both problems in women 65 and older, a major study found.
· Charge a battery in just six minutes. A rechargeable battery that can be fully charged in just 6 minutes, lasts 10 times as long as today's rechargeables and can provide bursts of electricity up to three times more powerful is showing promise in a Nevada lab.
· Tsunami victims file lawsuit. Several dozen European victims of Asia's tsunami disaster have filed a lawsuit demanding that Thai authorities, US forecasters, and a French hotel chain prove that they reacted adequately.
· Cronkite Praises Rather's Replacement. "Although Dan did a fine job, I would have liked to have seen (Schieffer) there a long time ago," Cronkite said during an interview on CNN. "He would have given the others a real run for their money."
· Senate defeats minimum-wage plans. Senate defeated dueling proposals Monday to raise the $5.15-an-hour minimum wage -- one backed by organized labor, the other salted with pro-business provisions - in a day of skirmishing that reflected Republican gains in last fall's elections.
Monday, March 7, 2005
· University of Colorado president resigns amid sex and Nazi scandal. University of Colorado President Elizabeth Hoffman announced Monday that she is resigning amid a football recruiting scandal and a national controversy over an activist professor who had compared victims of the Sept. 11 attacks to a Nazi.
· Man Wants to Legalize Cat Hunting. Hunter Mark Smith welcomes wild birds on to his property, but if he sees a cat, he thinks the "invasive" animal should be considered fair game. His proposal will be placed before hunters on April 11 at the Wisconsin Conservation Congress spring hearings in each of the state's 72 counties.
· Web Site Matches Rednecks Looking For Love. Hundreds of people have flocked to a new Web site that matches rednecks looking for love, including one that writes "My ideal redneck is an honest one with teeth," Becky Grimmer said. "Teeth is the plural of tooth and that means a lot of them."
· Ed McMahon Hospitalized After Fall in Home. Ed McMahon, Johnny Carson's former sidekick, was hospitalized after a fall in his Beverly Hills home left him with a mild concussion and a gash in his head that required stitches, his publicist said Monday.
· Grieving Nicklaus likely to skip Masters. The 17-month-old grandson of Jack Nicklaus died in a hot tub accident last month, and while the golf legend had planned to squeeze in a few trips to Augusta this month, the Masters is now the last thing on his mind.
· Atom-bomb designer dies. Hans Bethe, one of the last of the giants of 20th-century physics, who played a pivotal role in designing the first atomic bomb and won a Nobel Prize for figuring out how the sun and other stars generate energy, has died at the age of 98.
· Airline Ticket Agent Recalls Atta on 9/11. Michael Tuohey, a ticket agent for U.S. Airways recently discussed his issuing a boarding pass to Mohamed Atta, "I said to myself, 'If this guy doesn't look like an Arab terrorist, then nothing does.' Then I gave myself a mental slap, because in this day and age, it's not nice to say things like this," Tuohey told the Maine Sunday Telegram.
· Martha speaks to group without monitoring bracelet. While she was to be fitted this morning with an electronic monitoring ankle bracelet, Martha Stewart addresses members of her staff during a meeting at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. in New York Monday without the added hardware.
· Girls gone wild: Hard-partying students go to hospital instead of 'Dyke Ball.' A "creative black tie" evening at the annual Dyke Ball at Wellesley College ended in the emergency room or infirmary for 11 party girls who drank the night away Saturday before the school-sanctioned celebration sponsored by a lesbian, bisexual and transgender group, school officials and students said.
· Smelly readers banned from library. A new county law aims to keep readers from reeking. Libraries in San Luis Obispo County have had their own rules banning offensive body odor since 1994, but the policy became law after the Board of Supervisors last month adopted an ordinance that lets authorities kick out malodorous guests.
· 'Halloween' writer-producer dead at 54. Debra Hill, who co-wrote the horror classic "Halloween" and was one of Hollywood's pioneering woman producers, died of cancer Monday, according to a family friend.
· Jackson Accuser's Family Lived Stylishly. They rode in chauffeured limousines, were whisked across the country in private jets and were treated to spas at luxury resorts. Along the way, the poor family with the cancer-stricken son circulated within a constellation of celebrities - Chris Tucker, George Lopez, Kobe Bryant among them. But of all the stars, Michael Jackson was the brightest, and seemingly the most generous.
· Selig: No changes to the record book. Steroids or not, baseball's record book won't be changing. Commissioner Bud Selig said Sunday that no records will be taken away from players suspected of steroid use.
· Tanya Tucker Files Protection Order. Country singer Tanya Tucker has filed an order of protection against her former fiance, whom Tucker claims has harassed and assaulted her. Tucker, 46, alleges that Jerry Laseter has harassed her before shows, grabbed her by the throat, given her a black eye and threatened her.
» Tucker's alleged assaulter a noted songwriter. Jerry Laseter is one of Nashville's top songwriters noted for writing a couple of hit tunes for Tim McGraw. He wrote "Down On The Farm," and "Maybe We Should Just Sleep On It." He also wrote Arron Tippin's "Somewhere Under The Rainbow," and others.
· First-Grader Suspended Because Mom Wouldn't Spank Him. Michele Gabrielson's son, Chandler, received several disciplinary notes for talking, chewing gum and bringing toys to Schaumburg Christian School. School officials told her to spank the boy, but when she refused, Gabrielson's son was suspended.
· 10 Most Powerful American Women. What is power? Who holds the most? These questions are impossible to answer definitively; power is too fluid, and opinions are necessarily subjective. But one thing is certain: Women today are in positions of greater power, in a wider variety of fields, than ever before.
· Italians kept U.S. forces in dark. Italian agents likely withheld information from U.S. counterparts about a cash-for-freedom deal with gunmen holding an Italian hostage for fear that Americans might block the trade, Italian news reports said yesterday. The decision by operatives of Italy's SISMI military intelligence service to keep the CIA in the dark about the deal for the release of reporter Giuliana Sgrena, might have "short-circuited" communications with U.S. forces controlling the road from Baghdad to the city's airport.
» Martha's fleeting taste of freedom. Martha Stewart basked in freedom, praise and snowballs yesterday - her last chance to leave home freely without an ankle bracelet before her house arrest starts this morning.
· Rather Defends Reputation on His Way Out. As his final evening newscast approaches on Wednesday, Dan Rather is seeing the indignities pile up as quickly as the roses that were tossed in the path of Tom Brokaw when the NBC anchorman stepped down late last year.
» Rather blamed for larger problems at CBS. Some insiders blame Rather not just for his tangled role in the controversy, but for the larger problems in the news division. Executives were too deferential to him for too long, according to this line of thinking. They did not prepare for a smooth succession at the anchor desk; they permitted Rather to spread himself too thin. And above all, they allowed him to languish in the ratings for a decade.
· Pair will try to drive jet car into the record books. A restored Lockheed fighter jet with the right aerodynamics. A 52,000-horsepower jet engine. A team of 35 engineers and mechanics. Three dozen sponsors pitching in equipment. The ultimate goal: 800 mph, faster than the speed of sound, fast enough to cover a mile in four seconds.
· Milk alone not best for bones. Children who drink more milk do not necessarily develop healthier bones, researchers said on Monday in a report that stresses exercise and modest consumption of calcium-rich foods such as tofu.
· Wal-Mart to skirt size limit by building side-by-side stores. Wal-Mart is trying a new tactic to skirt local ordinances limiting the size of its stores. The company now plans to build two stores side-by-side at a site in Calvert County where plans for a single big store were thwarted by a size limit adopted last year.
· Toronto man throws daughter onto busy highway. A Toronto child is in guarded condition after she was thrown off a bridge onto the country's busiest highway by her father who then jumped to his death. "The fact that the little girl wasn't hit by a car is a miracle," Insp. Brian O'Connor of the Toronto Police Services said at a news conference.
· Asians burn the midnight oil. People in Asia burn the midnight oil, sleeping later than most Americans and Europeans and then waking up earlier, a global survey on sleep habits has found. The poll of 14,100 people in 28 countries and regions - from Asia to Europe and the United States - showed 40 percent of people in Asia only go to sleep after midnight.
· Quit smoking with a pill? Researchers say new drugs show promise. If America's 50 million smokers could vaccinate themselves against nicotine addiction or pop a pill to eliminate their cravings, drug researchers are betting they would.
· FCC Punishes Carrier for Blocking VoIP Calls. Federal regulators are giving the VoIP industry a shot in the arm by slapping a US$15,000 fine on a regional phone company and obtaining a promise from the operator that it will cease blocking voice over Internet calls.
· Car Shop Employee Accidentally Hands Keys Of Customer's Car To Thief. Police are looking for a car thief..who was accidentally given the keys to someone's car. An employee at the Autobell on Independence Boulevard in East Charlotte mistakenly handed the keys to a customer's Lexus over to the suspect.
· Thieves collect more Munch works. Thieves stole three works by Norwegian painter Edvard Munch from a hotel in south Norway overnight, adding to a list of his missing art including "The Scream," police said.
Sunday, March 6, 2005
· BTK suspect says he's depressed. The man accused of being the BTK serial killer has complained about depression and asked about his family, who have not talked to him since he entered prison, his lawyers say.
· Schwarzenegger calls for crackdown on steroid use. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Saturday he has urged bodybuilding officials to crack down on steroid use and suggested calling a summit of the sport's leaders to discuss the problem.
· Burlington Man Arrested, Jailed For Overdue Library Books. A Burlington, Washington man has been ordered to pay a library $150 and do community service after he was arrested for overdue library books. The arrest was for failure to appear before a judge to answer charges of "Detaining Property."
· Sick of red tape, physicians are buying hospitals. Tired of the hassle of dealing with hospital bureaucracies and insurance middlemen, Dr. Regan and a group of more than 100 other physicians in the Los Angeles area are banding together to purchase their own hospital.
· NBC on the ropes. The bell you hear tomorrow night isn't just for the debut of boxing show "The Contender" but signals the start of a critical new round for NBC, as the network tries to fight its way back from fourth place - to prime-time respectability.
· K-9 Came Back To Work Too Soon? Chief William McManus ordered Zack, a police dog, to be taken off the streets after biting a naked suspect in the groin and severing his testicle. McManus had instructed that Zack not return to duty , police said, and he was unaware that the dog had returned to duty.
· Local teacher had affair with student and his father. Boca Raton resident Carol Flannigan, a music teacher at a Boynton Beach public school, not only slept with an 11-year-old former student, but also had a sexual relationship with the boy’s father at the same time, according to a deposition filed this week in Palm Beach County Circuit Court.
· 'The Pacifier' Tops Weekend Box Office. Vin Diesel's family-friendly comedy "The Pacifier" pulled in $30.2 million on its opening weekend to rank as the nation's top-grossing movie, turning his action-star image - and box-office expectations - upside down. "Be Cool," the sequel to the 1995 comedy "Get Shorty," took in $23.5 million for Travolta's largest weekend opening, according to studio estimates.
· Legally Blind Woman Racing in Iditarod. Racing 16 dogs across the treacherous Alaska terrain can defeat even the most experienced of mushers, but Rachael Scdoris has an added challenge: She is legally blind.
· Plane attendant pleads guilty to bomb note. An off-duty flight attendant accused of leaving a bomb note on an airplane has pleaded guilty to intentionally interfering with a flight crew, federal prosecutors said Friday.
· Nurses to boycott 'demeaning' Virgin Mobile ads. Ontario nurses are incensed at Virgin Mobile Canada's new ad campaign, saying its depiction of nurses in short skirts and stiletto heels is demeaning to their profession. Virgin Mobile launched its Canadian mobile phone service this week with a publicity stunt by billionaire owner Sir Richard Branson.
· Birds protecting their nests attacking library workers. Visitors to the Brimhall Library in Thousand Oaks could end up in the sights of some overprotective hawks. Red-shouldered hawks guarding their nests in trees above have dive-bombed library employees and even drew blood on one man.
· Martha's bread line. Martha knows where her bread is buttered. Getting back to the domestic life she loves meant graciously serving up slices of buttered bread yesterday to the press camped outside her Katonah estate in Westchester.
· Anatomy of ape assault. James and LaDonna Davis raised Moe the chimp as their son. That was the word they used to describe him, and that was how they treated him - like a hairy, rambunctious child who was a pampered member of the family.
· 'Burn baby burn' messages lead to suspensions. Five police officers and four dispatchers were suspended for sending computer messages after a nightclub caught fire joking about the blaze and quoting a line from the song "Disco Inferno" - "burn baby burn."
· Ex-Korn Guitarist Baptized in Jordan River. Former Korn guitarist Brian "Head" Welch was baptized Saturday in the Jordan River, just weeks after quitting his band, drug habits and rock-and-roll lifestyle for religion.
· Berkshire Profit Rises 40 Pct. Berkshire Hathaway Inc., the holding company run by billionaire Warren Buffett, said on Saturday that quarterly profit surged 40 percent, helped by a $1.63 billion gain on a successful bet the U.S. dollar would fall. Berkshire Class A shares closed on Friday at $89,300 each.
· Mickelson, Tiger to have ‘fun’ Ford showdown. Phil Mickelson heard the roars of a dynamic charge ahead of him. Every time he glanced at the leaderboard, he noticed Tiger Woods taking another shot off his lead until it was down to two Saturday in the Ford Championship at Doral.
» Update: Tiger is king of the mountain ... again. Tiger Woods turned in a performance worthy of his return to No. 1. In a dramatic duel with Phil Mickelson that came down to the last shot Sunday, Woods made a 30-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole to take the lead, then a 6-foot par putt to close with a 6-under 66 and win the Ford Championship at Doral, giving him the No. 1 ranking for the first time since September.
· Four jailed for bogus TV game show. A judge has jailed four people over a TV game show scam in which viewers phoned in to solve simple riddles and were left on hold, paying $1.30 a minute for lengthy calls that went unanswered.
Saturday, March 5, 2005
· Update: Stadium vendor liable for selling beer to drunken fan. A state judge on Friday upheld a $105 million verdict against a Giants Stadium concessionaire for selling beer to a drunken football fan who later caused an auto accident, leaving a girl paralyzed.
· 'A Little Fun' Before Plane Crash. Moments before a double engine failure and a crash that killed them, one of the pilots aboard a regional airliner told an air traffic controller they had "decided to have a little fun" by flying at the plane's maximum altitude.
· Police make drug, prostitution arrests in raid on funeral home. Police raided an Athens funeral home and made drug and prostitution arrests. Lt. Mike Hunsinger, supervisor of the Athens-clarke Police Department's Drug and Vice Unit, said Hurley Funeral Home had been under suspicion for illicit activities for at least a year.
· Janet Jackson seeks restraining order. Janet Jackson is seeking a restraining order against a man she says has been stalking her for nine years and tried last year to bring a box cutter and knife to the New York studio where she was rehearsing an appearance for NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.”
· Missing Girl's Grandfather Admits To Decades-Old Arrest Record. The grandfather of a 9-year-old girl missing since last week has admitted to a decades-old criminal record, including arrests for attempted rape and planning a kidnapping, but there was no sign he had anything to do with her disappearance, police said Friday. Jessica "Jessie" Marie Lunsford hasn't been seen since Feb. 23, after her grandmother tucked her into bed at the family's home, about 60 miles north of Tampa.
· Embattled executives play the stupid card. WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers in testimony this week for his alleged role in the $11 billion fraud that tipped WorldCom into history's biggest bankruptcy filing said: "I know what I don't know. I don't, to this day, know technology. I don't know finance and accounting."
· Midwestern 'Mall Rapist' Lived Double Life. He was known as "The Mall Rapist," and over five years James Perry committed dozens of sexual attacks against children and young women. He stalked girls in the malls and shopping center parking lots, meticulously planning when and where to attack. It can be argued that Perry's wife, who we'll identify as Joanne, was his first victim. For eight years, Perry completely fooled his wife, two young daughters, and the entire Madison community.
· 'The Gates' Bring $254 million to N.Y. Economy. What many initially called a waste of time and money, Mayor Bloomberg is calling "a daring labor of love," and the 7,503 pieces of saffron fabric being dismantled this week leave a financial imprint: $254 million generated by visitors to the Central Park installation.
· Woman arrested over 96 cents. Markeeta Gould, 26, says she was stunned and embarrassed when police arrested her Feb. 19 in front of her children. Her alleged offense: failure to appear in court on a charge of failure to file a 2001 city income tax form in which she owed less than a dollar.
· Leno Surrogate Handle Jackson Jokes. Jay Leno says he can still write the Michael Jackson jokes, he just can't tell them. So while the "Tonight Show" host waits to hear whether he is exempt from a gag order barring potential witnesses from discussing Jackson's child molestation trial, Leno called on actor Brad Garrett to act as his Jackson joke-telling surrogate.
» Sister of Jackson's child sex accuser admits to lying. The sister of the boy who accused Michael Jackson of child abuse admitted in front of trial jurors that she had selectively lied about details of the case. "So you'd lie about certain things and tell the truth about certain things, depending on what you are asked, right?" Mesereau asked the woman. "Yeah," she softly replied.
· PETA gets in Anna's face. Vogue editor Anna Wintour got a face full of dessert yesterday at the Paris fashion shows, when an animal-rights protester hit her with a tofu pie. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, who quarrel with Wintour's support for the fur industry, claimed responsibility for the incident.
· Update: NHL owners dismiss $3.5 billion bid. It was, after all, a $3.5 billion deal, so the NHL owners felt they had to listen to it, even if they intended to turn up their collective noses at the offer.
· Martha Stewart Enjoys Comforts of Home. Ambling the grounds of her 153-acre estate after five months in prison, Martha Stewart said it felt good to be home. On her first day home Friday, a cheerful Stewart walked her dog, Paw Paw, into a snowy paddock and handed treats over a fence to her five horses, caressing them. Later, she ducked inside her new greenhouse and emerged with handfuls of lemons.
· Letter by victim's mom jolts judge. In a moment of stunning emotion, a Long Island judge grew so distraught while reading a statement from a murder victim's mother that he had to leave the courtroom yesterday.
· New Gadgets Push the Envelope in Hunting. Ever since man picked up a rock to kill dinner, hunters have been technology pioneers. These days, they've got more gadgets than ever to choose from. Heat sensors will spot wounded game in dense brush, remote-controlled cameras can scout game trails. There are motorized duck and deer decoys, electronic duck and coyote calls and even holographic archery sights.
· Consumer Reports picks 'Best Cars.' Japanese automobiles are the true kings of the road, judging by the latest annual "Best Cars" issue of Consumer Reports magazine, which hits newsstands next week.
· Barry's straight dope. Barry Bonds offered a litany of excuses for using steroids yesterday, although he stopped short of a confession. In a 30-minute conversation with the Oakland Tribune and ESPN, Bonds said reporters are paying far too much attention to doping in baseball. "You're talking about something that wasn't even illegal at the time," Bonds said, perhaps referring to the fact that baseball did not test for steroids until the 2003 season.
· E-mail security company accidentally deletes messages. GFI, a company that specializes in content security and messaging software, accidentally deleted thousands of customers' e-mails. GFI scans e-mails to help ensure they are secure for its customers, and the inadvertent deletion of the e-mails was a result of an upgrade that went awry.
· Update: Former Iraq Hostage Returns to Italy. Nursing an injured shoulder, an Italian journalist held by Iraqi insurgents returned to Italy on Saturday, a day after she came under gunfire from U.S. troops while on her way to freedom. An intelligence agent who had helped negotiate her release was killed.
Friday, March 4, 2005
· Jury Convicts Man of Stalking Mel Gibson. An Idaho drifter who claimed he was on a mission from God to pray with actor-director Mel Gibson was convicted of felony stalking Friday. Jurors deliberated for less than three hours before finding Zack Sinclair guilty. Sinclair, 34, faces up to 16 months in prison.
· Air Ambulances Often Slower. According to a report in Thursday's Wall Street Journal, air ambulances are often slower and more dangerous than traditional ground ambulances. Critics say the risks of flying a patient might outweigh the benefits of doing so.
· Casino Stands Firm On Firing Fat Waitresses. The battle over bulge continues at an Atlantic City casino. The "Borgata Babes" aren't getting a break on their weight. The Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City, N.J., won't budge on its new weight requirements.
· Police chief operates 3-man force on $88,000 a year. Ethan Ward, the 33-year-old police chief of this tiny township on the West Virginia line (pop. 2,428), sits in a cramped office with a single overhead fluorescent light and employs one of the most powerful crime-fighting tactics at his disposal: bargain-hunting.
· Fred Durst Sues Over Stolen Sex Video. One week after a sex video starring Fred Durst began circulating on the Internet, the Limp Bizkit front man has filed a $80 million lawsuit against web sites that posted the footage and stills from the singer's X-rated romp with a former girlfriend.
· Blake jury asked to end actor's 'nightmare.' Jurors began deliberating Friday in the Robert Blake murder trial after his lawyer ridiculed the evidence in the case and urged them to “end this nightmare” by clearing the actor’s name.
· Phil Spector Getting Married? Famed record producer Phil Spector isn't going to let a murder charge prevent him from getting hitched again this weekend. Fox News is reporting that friends are on their way out to his Alhambra, Calif., estate — where he allegedly fatally shot an actress in 2003 — to witness the secret nuptials.
· Ouch! Cheating clause to cost Charlie $4 million. As we reported yesterday, Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards have filed for divorce. What we didn't know is Page Six is now reporting that Charlie signed a prenuptial agreement with Denise that reportedly included a $4 million "cheating clause." "If Charlie cheats on Denise, she gets $4 million."
· Accuser's family praises Jackson in video. The family of Michael Jackson’s accuser heaped praise on the singer and called him a father figure in a video shown to the jury in the pop star’s child molestation case Friday.
· Republican media adviser found dead. Republican media adviser R. Gregory Stevens, who recently served as co-chairman of the Bush/Cheney Entertainment Task Force, was found dead in the Hollywood home of actress Carrie Fisher.
· Seats falling off motorcycles. Yamaha Motor Corp. is recalling around 190,000 motorcycles because the passenger seat can fall off the rear fender, federal safety regulators and the company said Friday.
· 'Blogger fear' in Apple leak case. Three blogs which published sensitive information about upcoming Apple products could be made to disclose where the leaks came from. A California judge said in a preliminary ruling that bloggers should not have the same protection afforded to journalists under US law.
· Martha Stewart Released From Prison. Martha Stewart, released after five months in a West Virginia prison, arrived at her multimillion-dollar 153-acre New York estate early Friday to begin serving the home detention portion of her sentence for lying about a stock sale. "The experience of the last five months ... has been life altering and life affirming," Stewart said in a statement issued on her Web site. "Someday, I hope to have the chance to talk more about all that has happened, the extraordinary people I have met here and all that I have learned."
» Stewart: "There is no place like home." A beaming Martha Stewart began her dramatic public comeback this morning as she was released from prison after five months behind bars. As a handful of supporters gathered at Greenbrier Valley Airport yelled, "We love you Martha!" the domestic diva smiled and waved, and gave her driver a peck on the cheek as the billionaire boarded her Falcon 50 private jet shortly after 1am.
· U.S. Forces Wound Freed Hostage in Iraq. Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena was shot and wounded by coalition troops while on her way to the airport after one month of captivity in Iraq, a military official and the Italian newspaper Il Manifesto said Friday.
· Camp Intern Fired After Discussing Lesbianism With Students. A 22-year-old camp intern was fired after it was discovered she discussed her lesbian experiences with about 60 sixth-grade girls, 10News reported. While some parents say that's enough, others are thinking twice about sending their kids to camp.
· Experts predict 24 cents/gallon jump in gasoline prices in next few days. Gasoline prices could rocket 24 cents a gallon the next few days, as stations across the USA scramble to keep up with big jumps in the prices of oil and wholesale gas, a veteran energy-price analyst forecast yesterday.
· Dan Rather Makes Appearance on 'Late Show.' During a valedictory appearance with David Letterman, Dan Rather pointedly ducked a question about whether CBS News President Andrew Heyward should have quit after last fall's discredited story about President Bush's military service.
· ANOTHER Teacher Accused of Sex Abuse. A Braxton County middle school teacher is in police custody after allegedly confessing to sexual misconduct with five of her students. Toni Lynn Woods, 37, of Strange Creek was arrested Wednesday on eight counts of sexual assault.
· Jude sacks agent after Oscars joke. Jude Law has sacked his agent after being made the butt of jokes at the Oscars over his acting. The star has reportedly replaced his agent at CAA with a rival in the hopes of being taken more seriously. Oscars host Chris Rock joked that Law, 32, was a second-rate actor and would appear in any film going.
· BA jet flies despite missing engine, again. A British Airways jet that continued on an 11-hour flight from Los Angeles to London after one of its four engines lost power also flew on three engines on a later flight from Singapore to London, the airline said Friday.
· Update: Zippo Upset by Federal Airport Ban. The war on terror is making an American flame sputter. Zippo Manufacturing Co., which prides itself on its classic brass-and-chrome lighters, says new air travel security regulations could cut into sales by as much as 30 percent.
· Blake's Lawyer Ridicules Prosecution Theory. Robert Blake's lawyer told jurors Thursday it is ridiculous to think the actor would have killed his wife in his own neighborhood while she waited in a car parked under a street light.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Esoteric [es·o·ter·ic] adj. 1. Difficult to understand; abstruse. 2. Not publicly disclosed; confidential. 3. Of rare, special, or unusual interest: Her software success was based on an esoteric programming language.
· Bubba to live on as shell of former self. A gigantic lobster that may have survived two world wars and Prohibition before being plucked from the ocean will live on - but only as a shell of its former self. The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium plans to keep the shell of the 22-pound lobster, named Bubba, and use its remains to educate school children, said Rachel Capp, a zoo spokeswoman.
· Can Animals Sense Natural Disasters? Meteorologists around the country use some of the most technical, advanced equipment to bring viewers the forecast every day. But some people believe that predicting Mother Nature is as easy as tuning in to the behavior of animals.
· Cat Survives Trip on Roof of Car. Torri Hutchinson's cat might just have one less life to live. Hutchison was driving along Interstate 15 one day recently when a motorist kept trying to get her attention and pointing to the roof of her car.
· Police Recover Stolen Ray Charles Tapes in L.A. Police said on Thursday they had recovered boxes of original recordings of soul music legend Ray Charles from the home of an audio engineer accused of taking advantage of the singer's blindness to steal the tapes in the final months of his life.
· Judge dismisses spam conviction. A judge dismissed a felony spamming conviction that had been called one of the first of its kind, saying he found no "rational basis" for the verdict and wondering if jurors were confused by technical evidence.
· Four Pennsylvania Men Billed $4,000 For Costs Of Rescue. State police say the men from Philadelphia were negligent because they ignored at least three large, fluorescent orange warning signs that they were off the trails. "Let's face the facts: Some people get lost accidentally, things happen, they make a mistake and that's one thing," Patch said. z'When you're purposely skiing out of bounds, knowing you're going out of bounds, that's a different story."
· Four Canadian Mounties killed in shootout. Four Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers were shot and killed during a raid on a marijuana-growing operation in rural Alberta Thursday, in one of the bloodiest days in the history of the national police force, a senior official said.
Thursday, March 3, 2005
· Parole denied for jet-set rapist. A parole board in Connecticut rejected a request for release from convicted jet-setting rapist Alex Kelly, who fled authorities and remained a fugitive for eight years before his capture.
· Cosby Discusses Allegations in Interview. Comedian Bill Cosby, responding to a woman's allegations of sexual molestation, said "words and actions can be misinterpreted," but insists he wouldn't give in to any attempt to "exploit" him because he is a celebrity.
· More Student Sex Allegations Raised At Milton Academy. Officials looking into the sex scandal at Milton Academy have uncovered more incidents. All four incidents allegedly involved the same 15-year-old girl, three incidents allegedly occurring on campus and one in a hotel room.
· Villagers Challenge Gibson's Island Buy. Mel Gibson has purchased a $15 million Pacific island hideaway in northern Fiji, but the sale may face a legal challenge from villagers who claim their ancestors were forced off the island.
· EXCLUSIVE: BTK Puzzle - Did the BTK cops botch the case? One of the BTK killer's clues was sent to a Wichita television station almost a year ago. It was a cryptic word puzzle that provided a series of letters and numbers that was meant to apparently taunt police investigators. The puzzle remained private, until now.
· Alleged BTK killer still president of Lutheran church. Dennis Rader remains president of Christ Lutheran Church Council, although he will "eventually" have to relinquish some church leadership positions, Rev. Michael Clark said.
· National Bank of Wal-Mart? Wal-Mart already offers money-transfer and check-cashing services. The next step is full-on banking. The financial services industry is terrified, but consumers might benefit.
· CNN sinking in fox hole. CNN saw its prime-time ratings drop sharply in February, falling further behind Fox News. CNN's ratings dipped 16 percent overall and 21 percent in prime time during February, according to Nielsen Media Research.
· Police: Choking man coughed up cocaine packets. As police officers brought Terrance Haynes into the Sixth Precinct in Coram Tuesday night on a charge of marijuana possession, he had trouble speaking, then breathing. Then, Haynes turned blue. Police gave him the Heimlich maneuver. "Then out pops the bag," said Lt. Robert VanZeyl, of the Suffolk Police Department.
· Eolas Patent Ruling Could Save Microsoft $521 Million. While a lower court had found that Microsoft infringed on the patent and upheld a jury penalty of US$521 million, the U.S. Court of Appeals remanded the case and cleared the way for Microsoft to try to prove that prior art exited for the browser plug-in technology, thus nullifying the patent.
· Leno Wants Exception to Jackson Gag Order. Jay Leno, who has been subpoenaed for Michael Jackson's child molestation trial, wants the judge to lift or clarify a gag order that could keep the comedian from one of his most vital sources of punchlines. Attorneys for the star of NBC's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" said Judge Rodney S. Melville's sweeping order barring anyone involved in the case from discussing it outside court "could be interpreted to limit Mr. Leno's ability to publicly speak about the trial."
· Muslim Cleric Gets 30 Months for Bali Attack. The alleged leader of a militant Islamic group was sentenced Thursday to 2 ½ years in prison for conspiracy in the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings that killed 202 people but was cleared of more serious charges. The United States and Australia criticized the sentence.
· Martha's face, model's body on Newsweek. In a move that has raised questions of professional integrity, Newsweek magazine has combined an image of Martha Stewart's head and a model's body on its latest cover, according to a report Thursday.
· Tool Helps Seize Cars of Tax Delinquents. Sam Byers heard a commotion outside his house, but by the time he got to the window his Ford Explorer was gone. City marshals, armed with a new tool that photographs auto license plates and instantly matches them against a tax scofflaw database, had towed Byers' car right out of his driveway.
· Former CIA chief pulls book deal. Seems that former spymaster George Tenet won't be rushing his story of running the CIA under Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to print. Insiders say he's decided to defer the deal with Crown Books, worth nearly $5 million, until after he has more time to pull his thoughts together.
· Pa. Professor Gets House Arrest for Sex Abuse. A former University of Pennsylvania professor and noted researcher in brain injury was sentenced to house arrest Wednesday for drugging a woman and then having sex with her against her will.
· Lohan Strikes Back at Father in Interview. Lindsay Lohan says her father has no right to claim a share of her earnings. "He didn't do anything for my career except go out and not come home at night," the 18-year-old actress-singer tells W magazine in its April issue, on newsstands Friday. "So I don't think he deserves anything. He doesn't even deserve my respect."
· $3.5 billion offer to buy all NHL teams. A Wall Street buyout firm and a sports advisory company reportedly made a joint proposal to buy all 30 NHL teams for as much as $3.5 billion. The NHL, which because of its ongoing player lockout recently became the first major North American pro sports league to cancel an entire season, has said its teams have lost a collective $500 million over the past two seasons.
· Pervert priest not high risk, doc says. A defrocked priest convicted of sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy should not be considered a dangerous sexual predator, according to testimony in a hearing yesterday.
· Hacker Helps School Applicants. A computer hacker gained access to internal admissions records at Harvard, Stanford and other top business schools, then helped applicants log on and learn their fate weeks ahead of schedule, officials said Thursday.
· Smarty Jones jockey arrested. Canadian Jockey Stewart Elliott, winner of last year's Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, was freed Wednesday after being held overnight on immigration charges, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
· Bubba the lobster dies after being moved to zoo. He dodged lobster pots for decades, endured a trip from the coast of Massachusetts to Pittsburgh and survived about a week in a fish market. But a trip to the zoo proved to be too much for a 22-pound lobster named Bubba.
· Robber: Prison Will Help My Crime Research. A man caught in a parked car counting loot from the bank he'd just robbed, with his fake mustache falling off, told the judge who gave him a nine-year term that prison would be an opportunity for his further study of criminal behavior.
· Fossett: 'Let's go for it.' Millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett decided Wednesday night to press ahead with his attempt to fly around the world solo without refueling, despite a serious problem earlier in the day with the plane's fuel system. Fossett and his flight crew agreed to keep the GlobalFlyer in the air rather than abandoning the record-setting attempt and setting down in Hawaii.
· Case closed for Kobe. Kobe Bryant and the 20-year-old woman who accused him of rape nearly two years ago settled her civil lawsuit against him Wednesday, ending a sordid case that tarnished one of the NBA's brightest young stars.
· U.S. death toll in Iraq hits 1,500. As the U.S. death toll in the war passed 1,500, Iraqi interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi extended a state of emergency throughout the country for 30 days, his office said Thursday.
· Company Sells Prescription Glasses For Pets. Many animal lovers would do just about anything for their dog or cat - even buy their precious pet eyeglasses or sunglasses. That kind of sentiment has fueled the creation of Doggles prescription glasses.
· Alleged Stalker of Mel Gibson on Trial. A man accused of stalking Mel Gibson ignored a restraining order and kept trying to talk and pray with the actor-director even after police made an arrest, a prosecutor said Wednesday.
· Calif. Man Sets Off Nuclear Alert Detector. A man who recently had received radiation treatment for a medical condition set off a nuclear alert detector on a fire engine, prompting police to close down a roadway in Escondido while authorities searched for a nuclear weapon.
· Stogies and Scepter Are on Gov.'s List of Gifts. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger holds millions of dollars worth of real estate and investments, and was given cigars, cufflinks and even a scepter last year by admirers, including Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and King Abdullah II of Jordan, according to the governor's financial disclosure statement.
· Byrd Critics Line Up After 'Nazi' Remark. Another Jewish group is assailing Sen. Robert Byrd for his remarks comparing the Republican anti-filibuster effort in the Senate to the actions of the Nazis. The head of the Anti-Defamation League, Abraham Foxman, says Byrd's remarks show "a profound lack of understanding as to who (Adolf) Hitler was" and that the senator should apologize to the American people.
· Pregnant woman admits to having sex with boy, 14. pregnant 34-year-old Michigan woman has pleaded guilty to having sex with a 14-year-old boy. Her attorney says the boy is the father of Stephanie Bissell’s unborn child. She has four other children with her husband, from whom she is getting a divorce.
· 6,800 photo radar tickets quashed. The Town of Devon (Canada) is on the hook to pay back $700,000 to drivers after a judge overturned about 6,800 photo radar tickets because of poorly trained operators.
· Jackson PR aide says she was fired over concerns. A public relations specialist hired two years ago by an attorney for Michael Jackson said she was fired after she expressed concern about the treatment given to the family of a teenager who would later accuse the singer of child molestation.
Wednesday, March 2, 2005
· Long Island School Officials Embezzled $11.2 Million. Flights aboard the Concorde for vacations in England. Mortgage payments for homes in Florida, the Hamptons and Pennsylvania. More than $1 million in cash advances. Even a BMW and Jaguar, cable TV and a Rolex watch. A small group of public school employees in Roslyn, a prosperous Long Island community, embezzled $11.2 million since 1996, a state audit found.
· Round-The-World Plane Running Out Of Gas. Steve Fossett's attempt to fly solo, non-stop around the globe without re-fuelling is in trouble. His GlobalFlyer plane has reached China - half way around the world - but he has insufficient fuel to get him home to Kansas without favorable winds.
· 'Crack whore' strategy in Jackson case. A public relations specialist testified Wednesday in Michael Jackson’s child molestation trial that a Jackson lawyer told her in the aftermath of a damaging documentary that the mother of the boy involved in the case would be made to look like a “crack whore.”
· Las Vegas Mayor endorses gin to fourth graders. Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman told a group of fourth graders that if he was marooned on a desert island the one thing he would want to have with him is a bottle of gin. And when a student quizzed Goodman about his hobbies he replied that "drinking" was one of them, said Mackey Elementary School Principal Kamala Washington.
· Stewart Made the Best of Time in Prison. From scrubbing floors to raking leaves, Martha Stewart spent the past five months performing the sort of tasks ordinarily done by the hired help. She also foraged for dandelions and other wild greens, concocted recipes in a microwave, even ate from the vending machines, heaven forbid.
» Martha's exit will be televised. Martha Stewart's company is planning to provide a flat-bed truck for the media to use to get a good shot of Stewart as she enters the chartered plane in West Virginia that will take her home.
· Texas man indicted over bin Laden bounty hunt. A man who told authorities he was headed to Syria to try to collect a $25 million bounty on Osama bin Laden faces charges of attempting to smuggle more than $13,000, a Taser stun device, ammunition and radiation detectors.
· School bus driver killed; student in custody. A school bus driver was shot to death as she drove her route Wednesday morning and a male student was taken into custody, authorities said. No students were hurt.
· Kobe has chance to redeem his image. Ideally, if you are going to become entangled in an extramarital affair that leads to sexual assault charges, rat on a teammate’s secret liaisons to the cops, break up a championship caliber team and feud with the greatest power forward in history, you want to do it at an early age. It leaves more time for damage control.
· Robert Blake's Murder Trial Nears Close. In his old days on "Baretta," actor Robert Blake played the good guy. On Wednesday, a prosecutor was ready to tell a jury in closing arguments that Blake crossed the line and became a killer.
· Stripper selling infamous breast implant online. A former topless dancer who was famously cleared of battering a Florida nightclub patron with her “crazy big” breasts has shed her oversized silicone implants and put one of them up for auction on eBay.
· Officers criticized following Taser use. Aurora, Colorado police found themselves in the cross hairs of public criticism after officers used a Taser stun gun to subdue a man accused of pilfering from a salad bar at a Chuck E. Cheese's pizzeria packed with families and young children. "They beat this man in front of all these kids then tasered him in my sister's lap," said witness Felicia Mayo, who was at the establishment with her 7-year-old son."
· Update: Teacher Has Sex with Pupil While Baby in Car. A California high school teacher was arraigned at a Sacramento court accused of having sex with a student in a car as her two-year child was strapped into the back seat.
· Defense goes after Jackson documentarian. Michael Jackson's attorney sparred Tuesday with a British journalist who produced a documentary on the superstar's life, challenging Martin Bashir's methods and asking the judge to sanction him for refusing to answer questions.
» 'Jacko will tell you.' The King of Pop will take the stand to deny charges he molested a cancer kid with one kidney after plying the boy with lurid porno mags and booze, his lawyer strongly hinted yesterday.
· George Soros Sued Over Dog Attack. George Soros, the billionaire liberal financier who spent more than $23 million of his own money trying to defeat President Bush last year, is being sued and could end up having to testify over a dog attack at his estate in Westchester County, N.Y.
· State Constitution May Protect Bigfoot. What do Bigfoot, Noah’s Ark and Amelia Earhart’s plane have in common? They’re all being used to make a point by Omaha Sen. Ernie Chambers, who is taking aim at a measure to protect hunting. In an attempt to mock the proposed change to Nebraska’s constitution, Chambers has filed 35 amendments to protect the hunting of a myriad of other things, including the missing Earhart plane, the ark, Osama bin Laden and the Holy Grail.
· Fox Wins February Ratings Sweeps. February ended with double milestones in television: the first-ever sweeps month victory among all viewers for Fox, and the first-ever fourth-place finish for once mighty NBC.
· NFL = National Fat League. Many of the gargantuan players of the NFL are obese jocks who have more to fear from their weight than from an opposing tackler, two North Carolina researchers say. More than half - 56% - of all NFL players are grossly overweight, the researchers said.
· Web Site to Link Older Workers With Jobs. The AARP launched an online service Monday designed to link workers aged 50 and older with job opportunities from a group of preselected employers - the latest in AARP's efforts to draw attention to the concerns of an aging work force.
· Fossett Across Africa, Mideast. A quarter of the way to history, millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett raced across North Africa and the Middle East on Tuesday in his bid to become the first person to fly a plane around the globe solo, nonstop and without refueling.
· Executive ducked $200M tax bill. A Washington business executive who earned nearly a half-billion dollars through off-shore ventures has been indicted in a massive $200 million income tax evasion scheme, federal law enforcement officials announced Monday.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Pugnacious [pug·na·cious] adj. 1. Quarrelsome or combative in nature; belligerent. 2. Expressing an argument or opinion very forcefully: Rather than maintaining a calm demeanor, his boss was quite pugnacious.
· Topless Dancers Greet Prince Charles. Topless Aboriginal dancers welcomed Britain's Prince Charles in Australia's outback on Wednesday, where locals were preparing to throw a bachelor party for the newly engaged royal.
· Sleeping on the job. This token booth clerk apparently didn't lose any sleep over the fare hikes that hit last weekend. The clerk was caught napping early Saturday at a Brooklyn subway station by an irate rider who snapped two photographs using her cell phone, she said.
· Rice with everything in China - including structures. Rice fills the bowls on many Chinese tables - and also the cracks in its ancient buildings, and maybe even the Great Wall, Xinhua news agency reported. "The legend that ancient Chinese craftsmen used glutinous rice porridge in the mortar while building ramparts has been verified."
· AnySoldier.com enables all to aid troops. When it comes to supplying an army in the field, there are thousands of materiel specialists, quartermasters and supply officers. And then there are the "special forces" - like the Horn family in LaPlata, Maryland.
· Nun snubs hug, gets slugged. A Harlem nun may think twice about being a good Samaritan after a drunken man allegedly beat her up when she returned his lost keys, but then wouldn't accept a hug in thanks.
· Video of teacher's outburst is on Web. The Board of Education may toughen its policy on use of wireless telephones in schools, after a videotape showing a Brick Township High School teacher screaming at his students to show respect for the national anthem — and then pulling the chair from underneath one student who refused to stand — was posted on several independent Web sites.
· Sanitation Workers Assaulted. The men were on their route when they passed a house that did not have its trashcans out at the curb. A family of four had apparently forgot to put their cans out. The family caught up with the trash truck further down the street, but the sanitation workers refused to take the trash saying that if its not out at the curb when the truck arrives, they cannot take the refuse.
· Prosecutor: Lil' Kim Lied About Shootout. Grammy-winning hip-hop star Lil' Kim lied to a grand jury about a shootout at a radio station in 2001 to protect her former manager and a friend, a federal prosecutor said Tuesday at her perjury trial.
Tuesday, March 1, 2005
· Update: Kobe Bryant, Accuser Agree to Settle Civil Lawsuit. Kobe Bryant and the woman who accused him of sexual assault have agreed in principle to settle the civil lawsuit she filed against the NBA star. Sources told ABC news that Bryant and his accuser have agreed to a settlement for emotional and other injuries she said she sustained in connection with the alleged rape. Sources say the parties are meeting this week to work out the details of the settlement, which could be signed by both parties by the end of the week.
· Luxury hotel opens at Hitler’s Alpine retreat. When Adolf Hitler first encountered the breathtaking mountain scenery and lofty isolation of Obersalzberg in the Bavarian Alps, he fell instantly in love with the spot. Sixty years on, the owners of a new luxury hotel in Obersalzberg, which opens this week, are hoping the area’s serene natural charm can attract a different kind of visitor and open a new chapter in the area’s blighted history.
· Jackson Defense: Accuser's DNA Not Found. Authorities investigating allegations of child molestation against Michael Jackson found no DNA from his accuser when they searched the pop star's bedroom, his attorney told the jury Tuesday.
· Senator: Decency Rules Should Apply to Pay TV, Radio. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens said that he would push legislation to apply "standards of decency" to all broadcasts, including cable TV and satellite radio and television. It could become part of a pending bill to boost fines on broadcasters who violate indecency restrictions or of an effort to overhaul U.S. communications laws. If successful, it could pose new problems for raunchy radio host Howard Stern, who has said he was forced to leave broadcast radio for satellite radio to avoid decency limits.
· Man Has 1,497 Credit Cards. Walter Cavanagh has 1,497 valid credit cards — all of which amount to a $1.7 million line of credit. Currently, he holds the record for the most credit cards and for the world's longest wallet, which stretches 250 feet, weighs about 38 pounds and can hold 800 cards. But he keeps most of them in bank safe-deposit boxes.
· BTK suspect formally charged with 10 murders. Dennis Rader, the man suspected of being the infamous BTK killer, appeared via a video link Tuesday as a judge read 10 first-degree murder charges against him.
· Man Ordered to Stay Away From Halle Berry. A judge issued a three-year restraining order against a man who allegedly sent threatening letters to Halle Berry's home. A Superior Court Judge ruled that Robert Sawyer of San Pablo, about 15 miles northeast of San Francisco, was to stay 100 yards away from Berry and to keep the same distance from her home, work and vehicle.
· Martha's new diet plan - jail food. Martha Stewart has lost so much weight in jail, she needs a whole new wardrobe. The domestic diva has dropped close to 20 pounds due to workouts, yoga and her inability to eat prison food — so she sent daughter Alexis to get her some clothes to fit her new, svelte figure.
· Federal judge finds 2 bodies in her home. A federal judge who was once targeted for death by a white supremacist leader found two people dead inside her Chicago home when she returned Monday evening, police said. U.S. District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow found the bodies about 6 p.m., police spokesman Pat Camden said. Local media reports said the victims were Lefkow's husband, attorney Michael F. Lefkow, and her mother, Donna Humphrey, 89.
· Lawyers Offer Clashing Versions of Jacko. The opposing legal teams in Michael Jackson's child molestation case delivered their opening statements Monday, painting wildly different portraits of the embattled pop star.
» Jacko accusers targeted Leno for money. Michael Jackson's lawyer lashed into his young accuser's mom as a scheming con artist who even tried to get money from "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno. But Leno smelled a rat, he said, and the talk-master later told cops, "It sounded like they were looking for a mark."
· Portman: Jerusalem Kissing Scene a Mistake. Natalie Portman says filming a kissing scene beside Jerusalem's Western Wall for her upcoming movie "Free Zone" was a mistake. "I really don't want to offend anyone's beliefs or impose anything on anyone and it was mistaken to do it."
· Buc allegedly pulled pellet gun on fans. Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Dwight Smith was arrested early Tuesday and charged with a pulling a pellet gun on two fans who approached his car while he waited in line at a McDonald’s window.
· Volkswagon builds world's most expensive car. The name Volkswagen conjures up images of solid, reliable and safe cars for the family. But the German car maker has broken the mould and produced the world's fastest and most expensive set of wheels.
· BTK suspect set for court appearance today. The man suspected of being the notorious BTK serial killer will have a court appearance Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the Sedgwick County district attorney's office said.
· High Court Ends Death Penalty for Youths. The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the Constitution forbids the execution of killers who were under 18 when they committed their crimes, ending a practice used in 19 states.
· Law Would Force Movie Theaters To List Correct Times. Don't you just hate it when you get to a movie theater on time, only to sit through a bunch of previews and commercials? An Illinois lawmaker does to, and is proposing a law that would require theaters to list two starting times. One for trailers and commercials and the other for when the movie actually starts.
· Update: Academy Awards TV Audience Down 2 Million. With comedian Chris Rock, the Academy Awards succeeded in its effort to find a younger audience - but perhaps at the expense of the country as a whole. ABC undoubtedly hoped for better, after preliminary figures released earlier Monday from the top 56 markets were the strongest they were in five years.
· Fur to fly over J.Lo’s clothing line. The actress/singer, whose album “Rebirth” is being released today, is about to become the target of a major campaign by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals because she wears so much fur and uses it extensively in her new line of clothes, Sweetface.
· Millionaire Fossett launches around-the-world bid. Millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett took off Monday night on his attempt to become the first person to complete a solo trip around the world in an airplane without making a single stop.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Incongruous [in·con·gru·ous] adj. 1. Lacking in harmony; incompatible. 2. Not in agreement, as with principles; inconsistent: a plan incongruous with reason. 3. Not in keeping with what is correct, proper, or logical; inappropriate: incongruous behavior.
· Porn star Ron Jeremy to speak at Oxford. American porn star Ron Jeremy is to address the prestigious Oxford Union debating society. Previous international figures to address the august society include Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan and Mother Theresa.
· Court Rules on False Teeth Maker. A federal appeals court says the nation's dominant maker of false teeth must stop an anticompetitive practice that has prevented other companies from taking a bite out of the market.
· It started as 2 guys in a trailer - Yahoo stands as one of Internet's biggest success stories. Jerry Yang and David Filo, Yahoo's founders, took a big gamble 10 years ago this week by creating a business from a Web site that they started as a hobby. It paid off.