|May 2004 - Week 1|
[Some Source Links May Unexpectedly Drop]
Return to TabloidColumn.com
Return to Tabloid Archives Sitemap
Friday, May 7, 2004
· Five Baltimore High School Kids Shot. Gunfire erupted at a Baltimore high school Friday afternoon, injuring four students. The driver of a black BMW with tinted windows shot the gun four or five times, then handed it to the passenger, who also fired.
· Spector's Lawyers: It Was Suicide. Attorney for Spector says "The theory cannot be that Philip Spector somehow was able to walk up to this woman, put a gun inside her mouth, and shoot the gun without any defensive measures from Ms. Clarkson."
· Ex-Oregon governor admits affair with 14-year-old girl. A former Oregon governor and transportation secretary under President Carter has admitted to a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl in the 1970s, when he was mayor of Portland.
· Missouri governor mulls ban on sexy signs. Billboards promoting strip clubs and other adult businesses would be banned within one mile of Missouri highways under a bill given final legislative approval yesterday.
· Fox News threatens lawsuit over billboard near CNN. The proposed sign would read: "Now That CNN's Ratings are Gone With the Wind, Our Work on This Board Is Done. We Love You Atlanta. Brought to you by your friends at FOX News Channel."
· Air America Radio Chairman Resigns. The chairman and vice chairman of Air America Radio have resigned, dealing the latest setback to the fledgling liberal radio network headlined by comedian and author Al Franken.
· Rumsfeld: Worst Still To Come. Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld apologized to Iraqi prisoners abused by U.S. troops and warned that "a lot more photographs and videos" exist that could "make matters worse."
· Judge: TV camera allowed during Bryant plea. A judge Friday agreed to allow a TV camera into the courtroom next week when basketball star Kobe Bryant formally pleads not guilty to raping a 19-year-old Colorado woman in a case that has captured worldwide attention. The judge's order did not specify on which day during next week's three-day hearing from Monday through Wednesday Bryant will enter his plea.
· Taped campaign message phoned at 3 A.M. Taped telephone message from political candidate to get out and vote can be annoying enough. Some residents of this Lake County community were even more annoyed when the calls came between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. Tuesday.
· Wedding dress guy jilted by eBay bidder. Larry Star, who achieved his 15 seconds of fame last month as the "wedding dress guy" after he tried to sell his ex-wife's wedding gown on eBay, tells Buzz the original $3,850 bid for the gown was bogus.
· Mel Gibson pal signed $5 million deal to finance Moore movie. Before Miramax was involved in Michael Moore's Bush-bashing "Fahrenheit 9/11," the project had a different godfather. That was Bruce Davey, the Australian born producer who runs Mel Gibson's company, Icon Productions.
class="hot" » Moore admits Disney block was publicity stunt. Less than 24 hours after accusing the Walt Disney Company of pulling the plug on his latest documentary in a blatant attempt at political censorship, the rabble-rousing film-maker Michael Moore has admitted he knew a year ago that Disney had no intention of distributing it.
· Another 'You're So Vain' clue from Carly. The game of trying to figure out who's so vain in Carly Simon's song is turning into "Wheel of Fortune" or "Concentration." On "Live With Regis and Kelly," Simon added an "e" to her previous clues of "a" and "r." That leaves both Warren Beatty and Mick Jagger still in the running.
· 'Friends' say farewell. Note: The following story contains plot details about the final episode of "Friends" that some viewers might not want to know before viewing the show itself. "Friends" parted ways with viewers Thursday evening, with the cast moving out of their rent-controlled New York apartment, each leaving behind a door key.
» Estimated 51.1M Tune in for 'Friends.' An estimated 51.1 million people tuned in to watch Ross and Rachel get together on the final episode of "Friends" Thursday night - roughly two-thirds of the audience gathered by the "Cheers" and "Seinfeld" finales.
» 'Friends' Finale Ties Up Major Loose Ends. It couldn't possibly have lived up to expectations - and didn't, by a long shot. It fulfilled its frantic mission to tie up the major loose ends, but did so grudgingly, with no surprises. And destiny-wise, it left Phoebe and Joey to fend for themselves.
· The baffling turnabout of a small-town soldier seen in the Iraqi prison-abuse photos. The town of Fort Ashby, W. Va., population 1,354, has a close connection to the 372nd because it is a reserve unit whose members work and live in the community, and are shocked that one of their own posed with naked and hooded Iraqi detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison.
· Baby Dies In Car With Mother Passed Out Inside. Four hours after a deputy let a woman found unconscious in her car drive off with her 4-month-old daughter, the baby was left in the car and died when the mother passed out again in her apartment, officials said.
· Krispy Kreme: Diets hurt doughnut sales. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. said Friday its earnings this year would be about 10 percent lower than previously estimated as consumer interest in low-carbohydrate diets has hurt demand for doughnuts.
· Will gay mobster on 'Sopranos' get whacked? It's a first for "The Sopranos" - a gay mobster. On last Sunday night's episode, capo Vito Spatafore was caught in a compromising position with a male security guard - definitely not the kind of behavior that would go over well with the oglers at the Bada-Bing.
» Flashback: Gay's as good as dead, mob turncoat testifies. It's an unwritten rule of the real mob - if you're gay, you die. A Mafia turncoat testified in April at Manhattan Federal Court that he ordered the killing of a mob soldier because he heard the man had performed a sex act on another man.
· Family Seeks Judge Disqualification In Disney Pooh Royalty Fight. The judge who dismissed a civil suit against Disney in a Winnie the Pooh royalty dispute was biased and should have been disqualified, lawyers for the plaintiffs in the case said today.
· New evidence of Saddam link to 9-11. New evidence about a meeting in Prague between September 11 plot leader Mohamed Atta and Iraqi intelligence officer Ahmad Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani has been uncovered, reports Geostrategy-Direct, the global intelligence news service.
· Oregon attorney held in connection with Madrid bombings. A lawyer in Portland, Oregon, has been taken into custody by the FBI in connection with the March 11 terror attacks in Madrid, law enforcement sources say.
· Stossel proudly labeled a 'scourge.' "It's not fun being a scourge," ABC's John Stossel said. "But I knew I was a scourge when two of my producers quit rather than work on my first special. And I knew it when I went on CNN's 'Reliable Sources' and they titled it 'Objectivity in Journalism: Does John Stossel Practice Either?' "
· Mannequin in alderman's office draws complaints. Some politicians are grilled for the skeletons in their closet. But an alderman in this Milwaukee suburb came under fire for the mannequin in his office.
Thursday, May 6, 2004
· Spidey Ads Don't Stick. A day after announcing a novel promotion to put advertisements on bases next month, Major League Baseball reversed course Thursday and eliminated that part of its marketing deal for "Spider-Man 2."
· Shamed Boston Priest Defrocked. Paul Shanley, a central figure in the child-molestation scandal that rocked the Boston Archdiocese, has been defrocked, along with another priest imprisoned for raping a 12-year-old boy, the church announced Thursday.
Demi Moore weds her boy-toy in secret. The London Mirror is reporting that movie star Demi Moore has secretly wed boytoy lover Ashton Kutcher in Hollywood, Florida. Demi, 41, and Ashton, 26, tied the knot in a Jewish kabbalah ceremony. They were married by spiritual guru Rabbi Moshe Rosenberg at a kabbalah convention attended by Madonna and Guy Ritchie.
· Gizmo owners seek $200,000 in suit over dog's death. The owners of Gizmo, a 16-year-old Yorkshire terrier killed last month when they say he was kicked like a football, are asking a court to award them $200,000 in damages.
· Actress May Have Shot Self in Spector Case. An actress killed at music producer Phil Spector's home was shot with a gun inside her mouth and had gunshot residue on both hands, indicating she may have fired the weapon, according to a coroner's report.
· New McDonald's CEO has surgery for cancer. McDonald's Corp.'s Charlie Bell, who became chief executive of the world's largest restaurant company last month when James Cantalupo died suddenly, underwent surgery Wednesday for colorectal cancer.
· Vermont Horse Track Up for Grabs on eBay. Live racing could return to Vermont if a buyer is found for Green Mountain Park, located near Pownal, Vt. The track, which hasn't conducted live racing since 1992 and currently does not have a racing license, is listed for $2.5 million on the Internet auction company site, eBay.
· Google Stock Auction Approach May Backfire. Google Inc.'s initial public offering has a lot of people salivating for a piece of the action - an appetite that the Internet search engine leader hopes to satisfy by inviting the masses to the bidding table.
· Bush, Wife to Skip Daughters' Graduations. President Bush and first lady Laura Bush will skip their twin daughters' college graduations later this month to avoid creating a distraction at the respective schools, the White House said Thursday.
· 'Phishing' scams shooting up. Fraudulent e-mails designed to dupe Internet users out of their credit card details or bank information topped the three billion mark last month, according to one of the largest spam e-mail filtering companies.
· Students Sue Over Videotaped Hazing At Chicago-Area School. Three Chicago-area teens who claim they were injured in a high school hazing incident are suing more than 20 of their former schoolmates and their parents.
· Judge Rules Schiavo Law Unconstitutional. A Circuit Court judge ruled Thursday that the law pushed by Gov. Jeb Bush to keep a severely brain damaged woman alive is unconstitutional. The governor's office filed an immediate appeal.
· Quarterly report shows latest squeeze at Trump casinos. Trump is essentially placing a high-stakes bet that his casinos will generate enough cash over the next few weeks to make a $73.1 million debt payment due at the end of the month.
· Teacher Charged With Having Sex With Fla. Student In Classroom. A substitute teacher was arrested Wednesday on charges he allegedly had sex with a 17-year-old student in his classroom, officials said.
· Wife's court fury at woman her husband 'tried to buy for $1 million.' The wife of a wealthy businessman accused of trying to buy his friend's wife for $1 million angrily interrupted the High Court Indecent Proposal slander case yesterday, shouting at the woman her husband allegedly sought to buy.
· Bush pauses to comfort teen. In a moment largely unnoticed by the throngs of people in Lebanon, Ohio waiting for autographs from the president of the United States, George W. Bush stopped to hold a teenager's head close to his heart.
· Tillman Cartoon Sparks Death Threats. Cartoonist Ted Rall says he has received numerous death threats over a cartoon he did this week saying that Tillman was a "cog in a low-rent occupation army that shot more innocent civilians than terrorists to prop up puppet rulers and exploit gas and oil resources."
· Jail for man who left bag in airport. A plumber who left an unattended bag containing a teddy bear, some fruit and clothes in an airport lounge was jailed yesterday for causing a full-scale security alert.
· Family Backs Reservist in Iraq Prison Case. Family members of an Army reservist photographed with naked Iraqi prisoners said Tuesday she was merely a "paper-pusher" who was in the "wrong place at the wrong time."
· Lea Fastow to Plead Guilty in Enron Case. The wife of former Enron Corp. finance chief Andrew Fastow was scheduled to plead guilty to a misdemeanor tax charge on Thursday, the culmination of a critical plea bargain that propelled the Enron criminal investigation forward.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Clandestine [clan·des·tine] adj. 1. Kept or done in secret, often in order to conceal an illicit or improper purpose. "The CIA maintains clandestine operations in many countries."
· 'Friends' Finale to Be Released on DVD. No need to tape that final episode of "Friends" for posterity - Warner Bros. plans to release a DVD of the finale just five days after its Thursday broadcast.
· Man Arrested In Court For Impersonating Another Lawyer. Most criminal defendants expect their attorney's to keep them out of jail, but a Brevard County, Fla. woman watched as her attorney was put behind bars for impersonating another lawyer.
Wednesday, May 5, 2004
· No New Trial for Martha Stewart. A federal judge Wednesday turned down Martha Stewart's motion for a second trial based on allegations that a juror lied about his arrest record on a pre-trial questionnaire.
· MGM Considers Selling Fabled Studio. Film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. has pushed back its annual shareholders meeting to give it extra time to consider its strategic options including a possible sale. Sony Corp. has expressed an interest in buying the fabled studio.
· Paula Jones' legacy debated 10 years later. When Paula Jones sued Bill Clinton on May 6, 1994, alleging sexual harassment, she touched off a blizzard that made Monica Lewinsky a national figure and led to the first presidential impeachment since 1868.
· Overnight blasts in Greece fuel Olympic concerns. Three bombs exploded outside a police station Wednesday in a series of timed blasts, causing serious damage and rattling security forces just 100 days before the Olympic Games.
· NJ Coach Draws Fire for 'Crybaby' Award. The Pleasantville, NJ school board voted Tuesday night to fire a middle school basketball coach because he gave a "crybaby award" to one of his 13-year-old players.
· Guard commander disciplined for nude photos of female soldiers. The former commander of a California National Guard unit faces a court martial after being accused of taking naked pictures of female soldiers in Iraq while they showered, the Contra Costa Times reported.
· Disney Forbidding Distribution of Film That Criticizes Bush The Walt Disney Company is blocking its Miramax division from distributing a new documentary by Michael Moore that harshly criticizes President Bush, executives at both Disney and Miramax said.
· Fourth HIV Case Found in California Porn Industry. A fourth adult film performer has tested positive for the virus that causes AIDS but the case is unrelated to an outbreak that virtually shut down pornography production last month, an industry health care official said on Tuesday.
· FCC Swamped With Oprah Indecency Complaints. In the wake of an Oprah Winfrey show that included explicit talk about teen sexuality, the Federal Communications Commission received more than 1600 letters complaining about the racy March 18 broadcast and demanding that the talk show host be cited for indecency.
· Barbie-shaped women more fertile. Large-breasted, narrow-waisted women have the highest reproductive potential, according to a new study, suggesting western men's penchant for women with an hourglass shape may have some biological justification.
· 'Van Helsing': NBC's First $200 Million Bust? Since the TV network essentially bought Universal Pictures from Vivendi, they've been waiting for a big release. Stephen Sommers' "Van Helsing," which cost $200 million more or less, should send the peacock patrol its first lesson in the big leagues.
· Bush to Go on Arab TV Over Prisoner Abuse. Trying to contain an increasingly damaging controversy, President Bush planned two interviews with Arab television to underscore his aversion to photographs of naked detainees and gloating U.S. soldiers at a prison in Iraq.
· Microsoft Touts Computerized Future. As their annual hardware developers' convention kicked off Tuesday, Microsoft Corp. executives touted a touchy-feely future of computerized "experiences" - high-tech homes, offices and automobiles filled with digital music, movies and communications.
· Senate votes to guarantee overtime pay for all workers. In an election-year snub of the Bush administration, the Republican-controlled Senate voted Tuesday to require that new Labor Department regulations guarantee the right to overtime pay for all workers who currently qualify.
Tuesday, May 4, 2004
· 100 days before Olympics, and still no stadium. "My major challenge is the same as that faced by everybody else involved in games preparations: Stay focused and make every minute count, because we don't have a moment to lose," chief Athens Olympics organizer Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki said.
· Tillman's brother shocks memorial audience. Asking mourners to hold their spiritual bromides, Pat Tillman's youngest brother, Rich - dressed in a white T-shirt - said at Pat's memorial service, "Pat isn't with God, He's f -- ing dead. He wasn't religious. So thank you for your thoughts, but he's f -- ing dead."
· Recording Companies Agree to Pay $50M. Major recording companies have agreed to return nearly $50 million in unclaimed royalties to Sean Combs, Gloria Estefan, Dolly Parton and thousands of lesser known musicians under an announced settlement.
· Protecting the mayor from missiles. Sources say fear of terrorists armed with shoulder launch missiles is prompting Mayor Bloomberg to install passive anti-missile systems on 2 of the Bloomberg Financial Corporation jets which the mayor uses. The price tag? Two and a quarter million dollars a piece.
· NBC Posts Second Strong Night with Quake Movie. The ground kept shaking for NBC on Monday night, as the second and final part of its earthquake miniseries "10.5" delivered another set of strong ratings for the network.
· Workers pick internet over caffeine. The survey found 49 per cent would rather abandon their morning caffeine fix if they had to choose between it and internet access, although 46 per cent were more attached to their coffee habit.
· Mona Lisa to be X-rayed. Leonardo da Vinci's 500-year-old painting of the woman with the mysterious smile will go under the microscope and be X-rayed for the first time in a half-century to determine what's causing it to warp.
· Time theory for jet lag. Scientists believe they may have found the reason why humans suffer from jet lag. They believe we have two timekeeping centers in our brains - one sticks to the clock, the other is influenced by cues such as sunrise and nightfall.
· Gore Launches Cable TV Network. An investor group headed by former Vice President Al Gore said Tuesday it is buying a cable channel and launching a news network that will offer "irreverent and bold" programming for young adults.
· Tillman's Hometown Honors Hero. Many celebrities and politicians were among the approximately 3,000 people who came out in his hometown Monday to remember a man so moved by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that he left the Arizona Cardinals to join the Army.
· Police Investigate Peanuts Found Under Allergic Firefighter's Mattress. Police in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. are investigating the discovery of shelled peanuts under the mattress of a female firefighter who says she is allergic to peanuts.
· Brothers Who Were Also Neighbors Die On Same Day. They grew up together, lived across the street from each other, and served their small eastern Ohio town together. And last week, brothers Ben and Robert McNutt died from heart attacks within minutes of each other, about 10 feet apart.
· 'Friends' farewell Thursday. A staggering 85 million fans of the hit sitcom - who have watched the six stars grow up over 10 seasons and 236 shows - are expected to tune in to the top-secret, one-hour finale on Thursday.
· Photos, underwear seized in Jackson case. Underwear believed to have been worn by Michael Jackson and photographs of him with young boys have been seized by authorities investigating child molestation charges against the pop star, Monmouth County, New Jersey, officials confirmed Monday.
· Donald Trump Publishes Life Advice Book. Donald Trump has more advice on how to get rich. To coincide with the debut this fall of the second season of his hit reality TV series "The Apprentice," Random House is releasing "Think Like a Billionaire," an advice book Trump describes as a fast path to the good life.
· Charges dismissed against Miami teacher in case of duct-taped 1st graders. A judge dismissed child neglect charges Monday against a teacher accused of letting her aide tape five misbehaving first-graders to chairs and a blackboard, saying the law doesn't permit teachers to be charged with that crime.
· Man in 'Passion' confession pleads innocent. A man who police said made his girlfriend's slaying appear to be a suicide, but then confessed after seeing "The Passion of the Christ," pleaded innocent to murder Monday.
· Red Hat Unveils Linux System for Desktops. In a sign that demand is growing for alternatives to Microsoft's Windows software, Red Hat Inc. will release a version of the Linux operating system and other programs tailored for desktop computers in corporations, universities and government agencies.
· Man accused of trying to electrocute wife in bathtub. A man set up a bubble bath for his wife, complete with candles and music, then tried to electrocute her by pushing a radio into the tub, authorities said Monday.
· L.A.-Dulles flight seen as terror target. Federal officials have pinpointed an airline flight from Los Angeles to Washington as a potential terrorist target in the past two weeks and have begun scrutinizing the flight crew's luggage and using security agents to follow pilots preparing for the flight.
· New hook to snag fish, not turtles. A new "circular" fishing hook could save thousands of endangered marine turtles snagged accidentally each year by commercial fishermen, the environmental group World Wildlife Fund said.
Monday, May 3, 2004
· 'Mean Girls' Tops Box Office With $25M. Maybe nice guys finish last, but "Mean Girls" came in first at the weekend box office. The comedy starring Lindsay Lohan as a student who gets swept up in the backstabbing politics of fashion, love and popularity among high school cliques earned $25 million, according to studio estimates.
· Angry Google cuts Goldman from IPO. Google Inc. excluded Goldman Sachs Group Inc., one of the world's largest underwriters, as a lead manager for its planned $2.7 billion initial public offering because it was angry with the investment bank.
· Britney's new Hebrew neck art. According to the London Mirror, 22-year-old Britney Spears has had a series of Hebrew symbols etched into the back of her neck in an act of devotion to the mystical form of Judaism she was introduced to by Madonna.
· 20 years after 'molestor' is jailed, victims recant. A judge Friday threw out the conviction of a man imprisoned 20 years for molesting children, concluding that the testimony of the alleged victims was unreliable. Most of the children now say the assaults never happened.
· Buffett praises Google corporate governance. Warren Buffett has heaped praise on Google for adopting his unconventional corporate governance style but stopped short of recommending the search engine's initial public offering to his own shareholders.
· 7 American Service Members Reprimanded. Seven U.S. soldiers have been reprimanded in connection with the alleged abuse of Iraqi prisoners carried out by guards at Baghdad's notorious Abu Ghraib prison, a senior military official said on Monday.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Juxtapose [jux·ta·pose] tr.v. 1. To place side by side, especially for comparison or contrast. "The exhibition juxtaposes Picasso's early drawings with some of his later works."
· Police officers tell driver at sentencing that he's lucky they didn't shoot him. "Being a police officer for 16 years, this is the closest I ever came to killing a man, and that was you, Mr. Jordan," Bridgeton Officer Steve Wootten told him.
· Real 'Donnie Brasco' Offers Mob Insights in New Book. After his six-year stint as an FBI undercover inside the Bonanno crime family, agent Joe Pistone - you know him better as "Donnie Brasco" - had enough stories to fill a best-selling book.
Sunday, May 2, 2004
· Drew Carey Is Quietly Going Away. For all the attention given to this week's "Friends" finale, another long-running comedy taped its final episode a few weeks ago - and few people outside its Hollywood set were aware of it. The finale of "The Drew Carey Show" is expected to air on ABC sometime this summer.
· NASA Considers Robot To Save Hubble. Think Edward Scissorhands, but with bolt drivers and pliers for hands and a giraffelike neck topped with a pair of cameras resembling black cratered eyes instead of the handsome head of Johnny Depp. Could this strange robot take the place of astronauts in fixing the Hubble Space Telescope? NASA is yearning to find out.
· Kidnapped U.S. contractor found safe. An American contractor, missing since a convoy attack last month, was recovered and is in good health after escaping from his captors, U.S. Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt announced Sunday.
· Troublesome worm spreading fast. A NEW Internet worm was spreading automatically worldwide and had probably already infected millions of computers. The worm typically shuts down the computer, then automatically re-boots it, repeating the procedure several times, an anti-virus expert said today.
· U. of Wisconsin Block Party Gets Keg Quota. Police set a beer quota on an annual spring block party that draws thousands of drunken revelers, but Saturday's partiers weren't exactly tapped out: The limit was four kegs per household.
· America's Christians launch assault on The Da Vinci Code. The staggering success of The Da Vinci Code, the quasi-historical thriller which claims that Jesus was a mere mortal and Christianity a sexist conspiracy to exclude women from positions of power, has spread panic among the clergy who fear that people will literally take what they read as Gospel.
· Husband burns trailer to spite wife. A man who set his mobile home on fire, then sat in the yard to watch it burn told authorities he did it to keep his estranged wife from getting any property in their divorce, officials said.
· Female Rapist Heads to Men's Prison. For the past six years, convicted child rapist Laura Faye McCollum has lived a lonely existence inside the state's women's prison. On Monday, she is scheduled to move to the new Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island to live among 190 other dangerous sex offenders — all of them men.
· Computer glitch grounds Delta flights. A glitch in a Delta Air Lines computer system grounded flights out of Atlanta on Saturday afternoon because data needed for takeoffs was not available, an FAA spokeswoman said.
Saturday, May 1, 2004
· Supreme Court Justice Attacked. Supreme Court Justice David Souter suffered minor injuries when a group of young men assaulted him as he jogged on a city street, a court spokeswoman and DC Metropolitan Police said Saturday.
· Smarty Jones Wins Kentucky Derby. Splashing his way past Lion Heart in the stretch, the 3-year-old chestnut colt won America's premier horse race and is well on his way to winning racing fans' hearts.
· Small Details Helped Jayson Williams. Two small details made a big difference in the trial of retired NBA star Jayson Williams, who was acquitted of the most serious charge he faced in the shooting death of a hired driver at his New Jersey mansion.
· eBay loser goes literally ballistic. A year after getting outbid at an online auction for a collection of used band uniforms, the New Orleans native traveled to New York to confront his rival bidder with a gun.
· Slain Ex-NFL Player's Memorabilia on EBay. Pat Tillman memorabilia have become hot items on the online auction site eBay. Some people are offended that sellers are trying to profit from the former NFL player who was killed in combat in Afghanistan.
· Berkshire's Buffett, Apple's Jobs Join Kerry Advisers. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett and Apple Computer Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs are advising Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry on economic issues.
· Hollywood Writer Talks Come Down to Wire. Hollywood writers meeting with producers for a sixth straight day sought a larger share of profits from the $15 billion DVD market in the final hours before their contract was set to expire Saturday.
· NASA says U.S. hotter because of airlines. NASA scientists have found that cirrus clouds, formed by contrails from aircraft engine exhaust, are capable of increasing average surface temperatures enough to account for a warming trend in the United States that occurred between 1975 and 1994.
· Others Could Be Charged in Jackson Case. A conspiracy charge against Michael Jackson signals a new direction in the case, one that could include indictments for other people accused of conspiring with the singer to commit the crimes of abduction, false imprisonment and extortion.
· Judge rules officer can wear turban on duty with NYPD. An administrative law judge has found the New York Police Department guilty of religious discrimination by banning a Sikh police officer from wearing a turban while on the job.
· Coach's E-Mail Mentions 'Sexual Conquests' of U. of Colo. Rape Accuser. University of Colorado football coach Gary Barnett sent his boss an e-mail asking "how aggressive should I be re; katie ... sexual conquests by her etc." after former player Katie Hnida said she had been raped by a teammate.
· Joel's smash hit on eBay. A goofy Long Island radio personality is offering pieces of Billy Joel's damaged car for sale on the Internet and says he will donate the proceeds to a charity - Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
· Tillman Promoted Posthumously. Pat Tillman, a former NFL player killed while serving as an Army Ranger in Afghanistan, was promoted posthumously from specialist to corporal, an Army spokeswoman said Thursday.
» UMass [Amherst] Student Apologizes To Tillman Family For Column. Rene Gonzalez had written a column for the campus paper saying the football player-turned-soldier who died in combat in Afghanistan wasn't a hero - but a "G.I. Joe guy who got what was coming to him."
» FLASHBACK: Amherst professor and mentor thinks flag is 'symbol of terrorism.' Jennie Traschen, a 45-year-old University of Massachusetts physics professor, made it clear what she thought of the American flag at an Amherst town meeting on the eve of the terrorist attacks.
While discussing the flying of 29 American flags that a group of veterans and volunteers had hung from lamp posts along Amherst's main streets, Traschen told the board: "It's a symbol of terrorism and death and fear and destruction and oppression."
· Brad Pitt Says He's Ready for Fatherhood. Hollywood hunk Brad Pitt says his actress wife Jennifer Aniston is at a crossroads now that her hit NBC TV sitcom "Friends," is ending its 10-year run and hinted the time might be right to embrace parenthood.
· DA Changes Dates of Jacko Accusations. Does the Santa Barbara District Attorney really know what happened between Michael Jackson and his accuser? The latest charges filed againt Jackson suggest that Tom Sneddon is either confused or unsure.
· Woman who used oral-sex defense acquitted. A woman charged with manslaughter in the 1999 highway death of her boyfriend was acquitted Thursday. Her attorney had argued that she couldn't have been behind the wheel because she had been performing a sex act on the driver at the time.
· Man Cashes in on Trashed Lottery Ticket. A man stopped at a convenience store in Morgantown to buy his usual Powerball tickets, but was instead coaxed by a clerk to purchase two Hot Lotto tickets that another player decided he didn't want for the April 21 drawing. It was worth $10,000.
· Pilot falls asleep in mid-air - twice. A Japanese airline pilot nodded off twice while at the controls of a domestic flight last month - in front of a transport official who happened to be on board for a routine inspection.
· Man avoids jail in fatal shooting. A New Orleans man who gunned down a teenager trying to break into his car one night in 2002 left court on probation Thursday, moments after the victim's mother urged the judge to impose a harsh sentence.
· South Carolina to give up miniature booze bottles. The state currently stands in splendid isolation as the last place on Earth where, by law, a bar or restaurant must serve spirits out of miniatures, which are pleasing to the eye but a nightmare to handle.