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Monday, January 31, 2005
· Sen. Clinton Collapses During Appearance. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton collapsed Monday during a speech on Social Security, a radio station reported. Colleen DiPirro, president of the Amherst Chamber of Commerce, told WBEN-AM radio that Clinton told the crowd she was feeling weak and had had a stomach virus. Clinton started to speak then collapsed, DiPirro told the radio station.
· Letterman Pays Special Tribute to Carson. David Letterman paid tribute to Johnny Carson on Monday by telling his jokes. On his first "Late Show" since Carson's death on Jan. 23, Letterman's opening monologue was comprised entirely of jokes that Carson had quietly sent to him over the past few months from retirement in California.
· U.S. students say press freedoms go too far. One in three U.S. high school students say the press ought to be more restricted, and even more say the government should approve newspaper stories before readers see them, according to a survey being released today.
· Carson's Hometown Turns Out for Memorial. Johnny Carson didn't want a public memorial in Los Angeles, but people from the Nebraska town where the comedian was raised gathered Sunday at the high school auditorium that bears his name for a last chance to say goodbye.
· Rodney Dangerfield still gets no respect. EVEN in death, Rodney Dangerfield gets no respect. The late comedy legend's longtime publicist, Kevin Sasaki, got a call from a booker at CNN last week asking him if "Rodney would be available to share his comments on the passing and legacy of Johnny Carson." Sasaki replied that unless CNN had a new way of linking up to the afterlife via satellite, that would be impossible.
· 'If you don't take a job as a prostitute, we can stop your benefits.' A 25-year-old waitress who turned down a job providing "sexual services" at a brothel in Berlin faces possible cuts to her unemployment benefit under laws introduced this year.
· Louisiana Community Finally Gets Telephone Service. There's a fish-fry Monday in this hamlet of 15 households to celebrate big news: phone service. Gov. Kathleen Blanco plans to call 83-year-old Mink resident Alma Louise Bolton from Baton Rouge to mark the occasion, which finally connects one of the nation's last rural areas without access to regular phone service.
· Newspaper claims tsunami was retribution for area's sex trade. A controversy erupted in Morocco yesterday after an Islamic newspaper said the tsunami that devastated southern Asia was a result of divine retribution against the region.
· Utilities Issue Warning Over 'Fear Factor' Episode. An episode of NBC's show "Fear Factor" in which couples stand next to an electric substation and allow themselves to be shocked has prompted a warning from the Kissimmee Utility Authority and other utilities in the United States.
Sunday, January 30, 2005
· Apple, Al Jazeera among top global brands Arabic media channel Al Jazeera has been voted the world’s fifth-most influential brand in a poll of branding professionals that gave the top slot to the iPod and its manufacturer, computer icon Apple.
· Piazza Weds Former Playboy Playmate. Mets catcher Mike Piazza married former Playboy Playmate and "Baywatch" star Alicia Rickter in a candlelight church ceremony. With baseball superstars including former Mets pitcher Al Leiter and Detroit Tigers catcher Ivan Rodriguez in attendance, Piazza and Rickter took their vows at St. Jude's Catholic Church on Saturday before boarding a yacht to a lavish reception on nearby Fisher Island.
· 'Hide and Seek' finds No. 1 at box office. Robert De Niro returned to the No. 1 slot at the North American box office on Sunday with the thriller "Hide and Seek," six weeks after his comedy "Meet the Fockers" began a three-week reign.
· Iraqis Brave Attacks; Voter Turnout High. Iraqis defied violence and calls for a boycott to cast ballots in Iraq's first free election in a half-century Sunday. Civilians and policemen danced with joy at one of the five polling stations where photographers were allowed, and some streets were packed with voters walking shoulder-to-shoulder to vote. Officials said turnout among the 14 million eligible voters appeared higher than the 57 percent that had been predicted.
· Update: Volkswagen files criminal charges over spoof Internet ad. Volkswagen AG has filed criminal charges over a spoof advertisement for its Polo small car that has been circulating on the Internet, Europe's biggest carmaker said today.
· Auction house taking bids on Klan robes. Gary Gray said he felt more like a teacher than auctioneer Saturday, as visitors looked over the Ku Klux Klan robes he was putting up for bids in a sale that had attracted more interest than he'd seen before.
· Jackson plea on eve of abuse case. Michael Jackson has made an impassioned plea for a fair hearing on the eve of his trial for child abuse. The pop icon said he would be "acquitted and vindicated when the truth is told", in a statement made on his website.
· Class Teaches Appalachian Kids How To Lose Accent. A theater group in eastern Kentucky is teaching middle and high school students how to lose their Appalachian accents. The class has set off an age-old debate - should mountain natives drop their drawl or hold on to their hillbilly twang.
· Jackson’s accuser must testify in open court. Michael Jackson’s young accuser will have to testify against the pop star in open court when he takes the stand in the singer’s child molestation trial.
· Eastwood Wins Directors Guild Honor. Clint Eastwood was declared filmmaker of the year by his peers on Saturday, winning the Directors Guild of America honor for the boxing saga "Million Dollar Baby."
Word of The Day by WordThink
Assiduous [as·sid·u·ous] adj. 1. Constant in application or attention; diligent: "An assiduous worker who strove for perfection." 2. Unceasing; persistent: "Assiduous cancer research."
· Germany proposes hefty fines for spammers. People sending junk email, or spam, in Germany will face fines of as much as $65,190 according to a draft law agreed by Germany's ruling coalition of Social Democrats and Greens.
· Lockheed Martin wins presidential helicopter contract. Lockheed Martin will build the new presidential helicopter fleet, the Navy announced Friday, putting an end to a fierce competition that had both political and international overtones. The $6.1 billion contract to buy 23 high-tech, high-security aircraft, is relatively small in the military budget. But it is emblematic of two important issues: the outsourcing of American jobs and the question of how open the U.S. military market is to foreign contractors.
· California gets a coin to flip over. According to the mint, it costs a nickel to manufacture a quarter. Every state quarter removed from circulation and stuck in a coin album, a jar or a sock drawer represents a profit of 20 cents for the U.S. Treasury.
· Britney's Kid Sister Gets Own TV Show. She's been surrounded by celebrity just about all of her life, but Jamie Lynn Spears would have you believe she's just another teenager blown away by the fact she gets to travel to Los Angeles to make TV shows, and they sometimes let her keep the clothes she wears on set. But then Britney Spears' kid sister, still kidlike and disarmingly polite at 13, makes a pretty good case for her innocence when she recounts her reaction to learning she would be starring in her own TV show.
Saturday, January 29, 2005
· Judge tells moms in custody cases to learn English. A Tennessee child-court judge has been ordering foreign-born women to learn English for the good of their children — an action that some regard as unconstitutional. In a case this week, Judge Barry Tatum insisted that an 18-year-old Mexican woman take language classes and consider using birth control.
· Crash Survivor loves Family and Privacy. He thought he was going to die. He was having trouble breathing. As he lay wedged under a train seat and metal debris, with whatever energy he could summon and a heartbreaking economy of words, he scrawled a farewell in blood on the seat. "I love my kids. I love Leslie," he printed. The blood ink seemed to be running out as he got to the second sentence.
· Despite Complaints, 'Crazy' Bear to Stay on Shelf. A straightjacketed "Crazy for You" Vermont Teddy Bear has drawn rebukes from the governor, mental health advocates and human rights groups — but it's a hit among shoppers.
· ‘Missing’ Los Alamos disks never existed. Two computer disks that supposedly disappeared last summer, prompting a virtual shutdown of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, in fact never existed, according to a report released Friday.
· Susan Lucci Receives Walk of Fame Star. The conniving Erica Kane, who has had a dozen careers and nearly as many marriages, made the trip from Pine Valley to Hollywood Boulevard Friday to see her alter ego, actress Susan Lucci, receive a star on the Walk of Fame. Lucci is celebrating the 35th anniversary of the ABC daytime soap opera "All My Children."
· Families want college to cancel speaker. Families of victims of the World Trade Center attacks want an upstate New York college to cancel the speaking appearance of a controversial professor who has compared the victims to Nazis and said they got what they deserved.
· Billboard Blitz to Blast Hollywood. The billboards feature the faces of liberal Hollywood icons Michael Moore, Whoopi Goldberg, Ben Affleck, Martin Sheen, Chevy Chase, Barbara Streisand, and Sean Penn, and offer thanks to Hollywood for their help in getting President Bush reelected. Three of the billboards will be near the Kodak Theatre (home of the Academy Awards) for the month of February, which includes Oscar Night, Sunday, February 27.
· Jackson judge allows 'sexually explicit' evidence. Dozens of adult-oriented books, magazines and DVDs seized at Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch - one with the fingerprints of Jackson and his accuser - can be used as evidence in the singer's upcoming trial, the judge ruled Friday.
· View to a killer. The heartless mugger who gunned down a stunning actress on the lower East Side was caught on tape by a security camera just minutes before the killing, police sources said yesterday.
· T-shirt company defends right to 'offend.' Tshirthell.com boasts the motto, “where all the bad shirts go.” And few would disagree after a T-shirt with the slogan, “Arrest Black Babies Before They Become Criminals” went on sale on the site. The shirt is emblazoned with the image of a hand-cuffed Black baby sucking on a pacifier.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Precarious [pre·car·i·ous] adj. 1. Dangerously lacking in security or stability: "The precarious life of an undercover cop." 2. Subject to chance or unknown conditions: "His kingdom was still precarious." 3. Based on uncertain, unwarranted, or unproved premises: "A precarious solution to a difficult problem."
· Man Accused Of Threatening Super Bowl With 'Big Bang.' A man accused of leaving voice mail on the City Council president's phone saying "killing 100,000 people would get people's attention," was arrested Thursday, accused of making a bomb threat.
· Lockheed Wins Marine One Contract. The Pentagon today chose the Lockheed Martin Corporation and a group of international partners over an American-only team headed by the Sikorsky Aircraft Company to build the next fleet of presidential helicopters, perhaps the most prestigious aircraft contract in the world.
· Black Actors Gain Record Oscar Esteem. Six years ago, Chris Rock joked that the Academy Awards looked like the "million white man march" for its traditional under-representation of blacks. This time, with Rock taking his maiden voyage as host of Hollywood's biggest party, he will preside over a record Oscar night for black actors, who earned five of the 20 nominations.
· Mechanic Runs Errand, Returns Wrong SUV. An auto mechanic used a customer's sport utility vehicle to run an errand, left it in a parking lot with the motor running, then mistakenly took another running vehicle and returned to the garage, police said.
Friday, January 28, 2005
· Internet Hoax Turns Some People Against Starbucks. An e-mail message making its way through the Internet has prompted many people to pass up their favorite cup of coffee at Starbucks. New York City television station WNBC wondered what it's all about.
· Gitmo Soldier Details Sexual Tactics. Female interrogators tried to break Muslim detainees at the U.S. prison camp in Guantanamo Bay by sexual touching, wearing a miniskirt and thong underwear and in one case smearing a Saudi man's face with fake menstrual blood, according to an insider's written account.
· Actress shot dead outside New York bar. An aspiring actress and playwright whose work explored life's darker sides was shot and killed as she confronted an armed robber during an early-morning street holdup.
· P&G buys Gillette for $57 billion. Procter & Gamble Co. said Friday it would buy Gillette Co., for about $57 billion in stock, uniting two iconic U.S. producers of household goods ranging from Pampers diapers to Duracell batteries.
» Buffett profit no close shave. Legendary investor Warren Buffett had nothing but praise Friday for Procter & Gamble Co.'s $57 billion deal to buy Gillette, which helped him make about $645 million - in one day.
· Arnold Palmer Ties the Knot in Hawaii. At 75, Arnold Palmer feels like a kid again after saying, "I do." Palmer married fiancee Kathleen Gawthrop in an intimate beachside ceremony on Oahu's North Shore. "I feel like a 25-year-old," he said Thursday.
· Michael Moore Fails to Make Cut with Writers Guild. Two days after being snubbed when the Oscar nominations were announced, Michael Moore was left off the list Thursday when the Writers Guild of America unveiled nominees for its first documentary writing award for a feature film.
· Judge Considers if Jackson Should Testify. With jury selection set to begin Monday, the judge in Michael Jackson's child-molestation case is still considering whether the entertainer's accuser should testify in public and whether jurors should see a British documentary about the pop star.
· Man peed way out of avalanche. A Slovak man trapped in his car under an avalanche freed himself by drinking 60 bottles of beer and urinating on the snow to melt it. Rescue teams found Richard Kral drunk and staggering along a mountain path four days after his Audi car was buried in the Slovak Tatra mountains.
· Investigators conclude sexual misconduct against Bill Cosby. Investigators probing the sexual misconduct allegations made against Bill Cosby by a former Temple University employee have concluded there was sexual contact between the entertainer and the woman, but they are trying to determine whether it was consensual, a source close to the investigation said.
· California Train Wreck Spawns Possible Copycat Bid. A suicidal California man could face the death penalty for triggering a rail crash that killed 11 people, authorities said, and they described a possible copycat attempt by another depressed driver.
· Chris Rock Hip-Hops Into Oscar Gig. Chris Rock's eyes darted around the room, studying the chattering group of international print journalists. He licked his lips, clasped his hands ... and only dropped one F-bomb as they questioned him in a variety of accents.
· Daughter of Blake's Slain Wife Testifies. Robert Blake's first wife and the adult daughter of his slain second wife took the witness stand at the actor's murder trial Thursday, testifying about Blake's troubled relationship with Bonny Lee Bakley.
· Security fee on plane tickets may double. A fee charged to airline travelers to help pay for airport security would more than double under President Bush's spending proposal for the Homeland Security Department.
· Shot by police, Robbins charged with attempted murder. Former Oakland Raiders center Barret Robbins was charged Wednesday with three counts of attempted felony murder, less than a week after being shot during a furious struggle with three police officers investigating a burglary call.
· Massive cow manure mound burns for third month. Urban dwellers who enjoy dining on filet mignon at five-star restaurants would probably just as soon not know about David Dickinson's dilemma. But Dickinson, who makes his living in the cattle business, has an environmental problem on his hands that is vexing state officials: a 2,000-ton pile of burning cow manure.
· "Fahrenheit 9/11" is already dated, but "The Passion" will endure. The conventional wisdom concerning Tuesday's Oscar nominations suggests that the entertainment establishment made an appropriately cautious decision to avoid controversy by simultaneously snubbing both polarizing pictures.
· Students Admit To Sneaking Into Classroom To Have Sex. Students at a Lorain, Ohio high school are under closer scrutiny after it was discovered that a student couple was having an inappropriate relationship in a classroom.
· Officer who arrested Lee Harvey Oswald dies. Nick McDonald, a former policeman who arrested Lee Harvey Oswald at a Dallas movie theater after President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, died Thursday. He was 76.
· Ford Recalls Nearly 800,000 Pickups, SUVs. Ford Motor Co. is recalling nearly 800,000 pickups and sport utility vehicles because the cruise control switch could short circuit and cause a fire under the hood, the nation's second biggest automaker said Thursday.
· Owner Auctioning Drive-Thru Strip Club. The owner of what's billed as the world's only drive-thru strip club is selling it on the Internet. Bidding for the Climax Gentleman's Club opened at $299,000 this week on the auction site eBay.
· Wife of 'Brady Bunch' Star Seeks Divorce. The wife of former "The Brady Bunch" kid Barry Williams has filed for divorce, according to court papers. Barry, 50, who played Greg Brady on the series, married Ella Mary Matt Williams in 1999.
· Man on Morgue Slab Starts Breathing. A medical examiner studying a body in a morgue was startled when the man took a shallow breath. Emergency medical technicians had declared 29-year-old Larry D. Green dead almost two hours earlier, after he was hit by a car.
Thursday, January 27, 2005
· Travel firm's poor-taste ad yanked. It's a new low in advertising: An E-mail offering "Special Tsunami Fares" on Singapore Airlines - complete with a tasteless picture of people fleeing a giant wave.
· Murder Charges for Suspect in Train Crash. The suicidal man who authorities say caused the chain-reaction train derailment that killed 11 people has been charged with multiple counts of murder and could face the death penalty, the DA said Thursday.
· Carson Felt Guilty About Smoking. Soon after Johnny Carson's death last weekend, NBC announced the 79-year-old entertainer had died of emphysema, a respiratory disease that can be attributed to smoking.
· Turin shroud 'older than thought.' The Shroud of Turin is much older than suggested by radiocarbon dating carried out in the 1980s, according to a new study in a peer-reviewed journal. A research paper published in Thermochimica Acta suggests the shroud is between 1,300 and 3,000 years old.
· Films today are 'crap', Dustin Hoffman complains. Multiple Oscar winner Dustin Hoffman lamented the state of modern filmmaking, using a promotional session for his latest feature to pan a money-hungry marketing-focused industry.
· Bill Haas says he may kill himself. St. Louis School Board member Bill Haas, who also is running for mayor, says in a Web log that loneliness, depression and financial problems have led him to consider suicide.
· Teen Prostitution on Rise in California. Junior high schools and malls filled with young girls are now prime picking grounds for pimps looking to fill a fast-growing network of underage prostitution rings in San Diego.
· Blake's Handyman Left Town Before Slaying. Robert Blake's handyman left town before the actor's wife was slain and had his girlfriend get his possessions out of his apartment afterward because he feared police would seize them, the girlfriend testified Wednesday in Blake's murder trial.
· Kim Cattrall cooking up a storm with hot young chef. Actress Kim Cattrall has said that she is nothing like Samantha Jones, the predatory, oversexed alpha-female she played with such delight on six seasons of Sex and the City. But the 48- year-old actress does share one thing in common with her small-screen alter ego: a fondness for younger men.
· Florida judge duct tapes vociferous murderer's mouth. A Florida judge reportedly issued his own version of a gag order when he had officers duct tape the mouth of an angry murderer who had been hurling abuse at him.
· Madam's banking on O.J. lawyer. The alleged Million-Dollar Madam has hired a celebrity lawyer from Los Angeles who is pushing a defense strategy straight out of Sin City. After Jenny Paulino and her sister pleaded not guilty to money-laundering and prostitution charges yesterday, lawyer Robert Shapiro chided prosecutors for trifling with the world's oldest profession.
· Bank Robber Itemizes Cost of Gun. Crime may not pay in the Netherlands, but it is deductible. A bank robber in the southern Dutch town of Chaam was able to subtract the cost of his gun from his fine, the Daily Telegraph of London reported.
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
· Passengers subdue man on Southwest flight. Passengers aboard a Southwest Airlines flight helped wrestle a fellow passenger to the floor Tuesday night after he tried to force his way into the cockpit, law enforcement officials said.
· Kidnappers demand $3 million for MLB player's mom. Kidnappers holding the mother of Detroit Tigers pitcher Ugueth Urbina have demanded a $3 million ransom, but have not contacted the family in several weeks, Venezuelan police said Tuesday.
· California firefighters suspended in sex case. Four Sacramento, California firefighters who admitted to having sex while on duty have been suspended pending an investigation, says a spokesman for the city's fire department.
· Ed. Sec'y Slams PBS Show With Lesbians. The nation's new education secretary denounced PBS on Tuesday for spending public money on a cartoon with lesbian characters, saying many parents would not want children exposed to such lifestyles.
· Entire staff of NYC radio show pulled over tsunami slur. The entire staff of the New York radio show "Miss Jones in the Morning" was taken off the air after broadcasting a song that ridiculed victims of the tsunami in South Asia, the radio station said.
· Nicole Kidman Seeks Restraining Order. Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman has asked a court to issue a restraining order against two Sydney photographers, their lawyer said Wednesday. Police officers were called to Kidman's home Sunday after an electronic listening device was found near a security vehicle that was monitoring her mansion from the street.
· Stockard Channing Arrested for DUI. Emmy-winning actress Stockard Channing was arrested for investigation of drunk driving after she tried to drive around a roadblock on the Hollywood Freeway, authorities said Tuesday.
· Country store becomes shootout site. When two men walked into a popular country store outside Atlanta, announced a holdup and fired a shot, owners Bobby and Gloria Doster never hesitated. The pair pulled out their own pistols and opened fire. The armed suspect and his partner were killed. "I just started shooting," said Gloria Doster, 56. "I was trying to blow his brains out!"
· Fallen Porn King Goldstein Rebuilds with Bagels. He spent a lifetime peddling smut and once had an $11 million fortune, but after losing everything and becoming just another homeless New Yorker, Al Goldstein is now happy pushing bagels instead of porn.
· Britney's Kabbalah Tattoo. Britney Spears is taking her Kabbalah lessons seriously - she has had a Hebrew symbol tattooed on the back of her neck. The superstar has dabbled with the mystical offshoot of Judaism after being introduced to it by her friend Madonna.
· Obesity suit may dog McDonald's. A federal appeals court Tuesday revived part of the widely-watched obesity suit against McDonald's Corp. that accuses the world's biggest fast-food company of using misleading advertising to lure children into eating fattening, unhealthy foods.
· Girl Scout cookies often lead to office stress. "There is pressure, tremendous pressure, on people,'' says Ethan Winning, founder of Winning Associates, a Walnut Creek consulting firm that specializes in writing employee handbooks. "It isn't just Girl Scout cookies, it is any kind of giving campaign. It can become almost like tithing a salary.''
· Sens. Kennedy, Dayton vow to oppose Rice confirmation. A handful of determined Senate Democrats on Tuesday assailed President Bush's decision to invade Iraq and said they would oppose Condoleezza Rice's nomination for secretary of state as a principal architect of a failed policy.
· Original 'Survivor' winner arraigned on tax evasion charges. Richard Hatch, who rose to fame as the first winner of the "Survivor" TV series, was arraigned on charges of tax evasion Tuesday for not declaring more than $1 million in earnings.
· Attorney: Bakley Signed Child Custody Pact. Bonny Lee Bakley signed a prenuptial agreement and a child custody pact forfeiting her legal rights to actor Robert Blake's assets and strictly limiting access to the couple's baby, Bakley's former lawyer testified at the actor's murder trial.
· Sticker stuck in cop's craw. A Denver police sergeant is under investigation for allegedly threatening to arrest a woman Monday for displaying on her truck a derogatory bumper sticker about President Bush.
· Hong Kong police arrest mainland men for stealing 'good luck' trees. Hong Kong police intercepted and arrested two Chinese men for shipping allegedly stolen "good luck" trees to the mainland, a police spokesman said Tuesday.
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
· Turner Compares Fox's Popularity to Hitler. Ted Turner called Fox a propaganda tool of the Bush administration and compared Fox News Channel's popularity to Adolf Hitler's popular election to run Germany before World War II. FOXNEWS response: "Ted is understandably bitter having lost his ratings, his network, and now his mind," said a Fox News spokesperson. "We wish him well."
· Prosecutors Interview Cosby Accuser. Prosecutors say they want to interview Bill Cosby after meeting with a former Temple University employee who alleges the comedian fondled her in his suburban Philadelphia home.
· VW 'outraged' by viral suicide bomber ad. Volkswagen is at the center of a global controversy after a disturbing film featuring a Palestinian suicide bomber in a Volkswagon flew around the world on the internet.
· Man Sells Forehead Ad Space To Company For $37,375. A Web-page designer who auctioned off the use of his forehead for advertising space is letting it go to his head. Andrew Fischer, 20, of Omaha, who put his forehead for sale on eBay as advertising space, received $37,375 on Friday to advertise the snoring remedy, SnoreStop.
· Rolling Stone Will Accept Ad for New Bible. Rolling Stone magazine has reversed itself and agreed to accept an advertisement for a new translation of the Bible, the nation's largest Bible publisher said Tuesday.
· Jury Finds FBI Agents Framed Former Cop. A former policeman who served 14 years in prison was awarded more than $6.5 million in damages Monday after a federal jury found that two FBI agents had framed him for murder and kidnapping.
· 'The Aviator' Gets Leading 11 Oscar Nods. Martin Scorsese's "The Aviator" led the Academy Awards nominations Tuesday with 11 nods, including best picture, acting honors for Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett and Alan Alda and a directing slot for Scorsese. The boxing saga "Million Dollar Baby" and the J.M. Barrie tale "Finding Neverland" followed with seven nominations each, among best picture and acting nominations for Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Hilary Swank and Johnny Depp.
· 'Tonight Show' Pays Tribute to Johnny Carson. Johnny Carson was remembered Monday on "The Tonight Show" with an affectionate lookback at his nearly 30 years as host, including tributes by comedians and former guests that left many in the audience teary-eyed.
» Sidekick Ed McMahon Remembers Carson. Johnny Carson, so public each night on "The Tonight Show," was intensely private off screen. But former sidekick Ed McMahon knows why Americans still felt close to him.
» Carson kin hide final plans. As visitors flocked to Carson's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to pay respects, his family said there will be no memorial service and no release of information about his final resting place.
· Texas cops undress to catch prostitution. Some suspects in prostitution investigations are confronting naked justice. A prosecutor says police are now allowed to undress in an effort to persuade suspected prostitutes to negotiate sex acts.
· Prince soars on public tab. Reports that Prince Andrew spent hundreds of thousands on air transportation in a year - including taking a helicopter flight to lunch - have sparked a royal flap. Eyebrows were raised over Andrew - the Duke of York - spending $6,800 for a 80-km helicopter flight for lunch in Oxford. The same trip by train would have cost about $225.
· Snowboarder's change of plans had saved him from tsunami, then dies in avalanche. Bay Area native Daniel Berk had planned to spend the Christmas holiday in Sri Lanka, getting his scuba certificate, but canceled his plans at the last minute. He missed the deadly tsunami, but on Saturday, he was killed in an avalanche while snowboarding off-trail in the Austrian Alps.
· Leak forces Michigan nuclear plant shutdown. A water leak at the Fermi II nuclear power plant outside Monroe, Michigan, forced a shutdown of the facility Monday, but no radioactivity was reported to have escaped and no evacuations have been ordered, authorities said.
· Google partying, but not quite like it's '99. The first company to rent out this entire ski resort, arguably Lake Tahoe's most expensive and exclusive, didn't even exist a decade ago. But such is the fame of its name and the magic of its reported wealth that workers here immediately began dreaming of getting their own tiny shares.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Obtuse [ob·tuse] adj. 1. Lacking quickness of perception or intellect. 2. Characterized by a lack of intelligence or sensitivity: "An obtuse remark." 3. Not distinctly felt: "An obtuse pain."
· Company Fires All Employees Who Smoke. A Michigan health care company enacted a new policy this month, allowing workers to be fired if they smoke, even if the smoking takes place after-hours, or at home.
· Gates foundation injects 750 million dollars for infant vaccination. The foundation run by American computer software multi-billionaire Bill Gates is to donate $750 million over 10 years for worldwide infant vaccination.
· Man who claims Elvis is father now wants a little less conversation. Is he the son of Elvis Presley? Five months after he hired an attorney to seek the approval of the Presley estate to undergo a DNA test, former Jackson resident Tim Farrell continues to pursue the answer to that question.
· Radio station apologizes for tsunami slur. A New York radio station apologized Monday for repeatedly airing a joke song that ridiculed victims of the recent tsunami in South Asia and used racial slurs, saying the piece was in poor taste.
· Pastor who was pushed from bike in 2002 settles for $650,000. The pastor who was violently shoved off his bicycle and seriously injured by a carload of laughing teenagers nearly three years ago has settled his civil lawsuit against two of the teens and their parents for $650,000.
· Google to Branch Into Television. Google plans to introduce a new video search service Tuesday in an index that will be operated separately from the market-leading search engine offered on its home page. The feature pinpoints content previously aired on a variety of television networks by scanning through the closed caption text that many programmers offer.
Monday, January 24, 2005
· New Krispy Kreme CEO gets $760/hour. Struggling doughnut chain operator Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. said Monday it will pay its new chief executive, Stephen Cooper, the standard hourly rate of $760 charged by his financial consulting group.
· 'Catwoman' leads Razzies for movie litter box. The fur is still flying over Halle Berry’s action flop “Catwoman.” The Razzies, which mock the worst in film, gave “Catwoman” a leading seven nominations Monday, among them worst picture, worst actress for Berry and worst supporting players for Sharon Stone and Lambert Wilson. “Catwoman” also was nominated for worst screen couple for Berry with either Stone or co-star Benjamin Bratt.
· Oprah Winfrey Wants to Return to Acting. Oprah Winfrey's been bitten by the acting bug again - and you can thank the desperate housewives. Marc Cherry, creator of the hit ABC show, wrote a "Desperate Housewives" skit for Winfrey's daytime talk show. She got to play several of the roles.
· Spy bug found in Kidman's home. A sophisticated bug has been found at Nicole Kidman's Darling Point mansion after extensive renovations while she was in the US. Security footage shows a person planting the listening device. Noel McMaster, director of an agency that provides security for Kidman, yesterday said: "We have conclusive evidence that it was planted and this has been captured on video."
· Carson was everyman, with charisma. The day television died was May 22, 1992, when Johnny Carson hustled out of a Burbank studio, leaving tear-soaked cheeks, 30 years of memories and a void that could never be filled.
» Never the typical 'star.' You never saw Johnny Carson weep on "Oprah" about being sick, or lonely. Johnny Carson never got accused of fondling somebody. You never saw him on a reality show trying to relive past glory.
» Carson remembered as master of his craft. Stars who spent time on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show” couch came away with a shared insight: America’s late-night TV buddy was a singular talent and man. “It’s a sad day for his family and his country,” David Letterman said. “All of us who came after are pretenders. We will not see the likes of him again ... He was the best, a star and a gentleman.”
· January 24th depressing day. Today is the most depressing day of the year, says a British psychologist. Cliff Arnall of Cardiff University in Wales is a psychologist of happiness, and his formula covers time since Christmas, debt level, weather and other stresses and picked Jan. 24 as the worst of times.
· Viagra May Aid Treatment of Enlarged Hearts. Viagra may aid in the treatment of enlarged hearts that can result from high blood pressure, tests on animals indicate. Plans are under way for a trial to determine if similar results occur in humans given the drug widely used to treat erectile dysfunction.
· Nevada Judge Throws Out Lap-Dance Law. A Las Vegas law prohibiting strippers from fondling customers during lap dances is unconstitutionally vague, a judge ruled. District Court Judge Sally Loehrer affirmed a lower court ruling that as many as five misdemeanor criminal cases filed against Las Vegas strippers should be dismissed.
· Dennis Hopper Dissed at Presidential Party. Hopper, who organized The Creative Coalition's Ball after the Ball Thursday night as part of the activities surrounding President Bush's inauguration, apparently got a surprise phone call from the Presidential Inaugural Committee Wednesday night — telling him not to come to his own party.
· Tenn. Senator Says He Keeps Two Families. State Sen. John Ford testified in a juvenile court hearing that he keeps two homes, living with two different women whose children he fathered. Ford's testimony was part of his defense in a child support case. The Memphis Democrat heads a Senate committee that guides the state's child welfare policies, and for the past year he's tried to make use of a law he authored that keeps court-ordered support lower when a father is financially responsible for other children.
· Google gears up for a free-phone challenge. Google revolutionised the internet. Now it is hoping to do the same with our phones. The company behind the popular search engine looks set to launch a free telephone service that links users via a broadband internet connection using a headset and home computer.
Sunday, January 23, 2005
· Famed TV Entertainer Johnny Carson Dead. Legendary television entertainer Johnny Carson has died of emphysema at age 79, the NBC television network reported on its Web site on Sunday. Carson hosted NBC's popular "The Tonight Show" for nearly 30 years, long dominating late-night television with an estimated 12 million viewers each night. He did his final show on Friday, May 22, 1992, seen by 55 million, and was replaced the next Monday by the current host, Jay Leno.
· Bush runs out of cash. He may be in charge of the world's richest country - but even George Bush can find himself a little short of cash. The President was left financially embarrassed while attending Friday's National Prayer Service in Washington DC. When the collection plate came round, Mr Bush had nothing to put on it. Vice president Dick Cheney was quick to offer Mr Bush some money.
· A new deal is in the works for NBC's morning star. NBC has begun talks to extend the contract of Today show anchor Katie Couric, which would preclude any chance of her jumping to CBS. NBC president Jeff Zucker said Friday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour that discussions to keep Couric at the network beyond the 18 months left on her contract are under way. The new deal is likely to keep her on the Today show as well.
· After Ups and Downs, Diana Ross Is Back. Ross has had her ups and downs in recent times, both personally and professionally. She spent two days in jail last year following a no-contest plea to driving under the influence in Tucson, Ariz. Her ill-advised effort to reunite the Supremes for a 2000 concert tour without co-founder Mary Wilson or veteran Cindy Birdsong was largely a failure.
· Austria Official Chides Schwarzenegger. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger should be stripped of citizenship in his native Austria for approving the execution of a convicted killer, a leading Austrian politician said Saturday.
· Clapton Rocks Tsunami Benefit Concert. Headline acts including rocker Eric Clapton, pianist Jools Holland and The Manic Street Preachers drew more than 60,000 people to a charity concert raising money for Asian tsunami relief. Paul Sergeant, manager of the Millennium Stadium and organizer of the event, said the concert was on track to raise more than US$1.9 million.
· You're married! Donald Trump weds. Property mogul and reality television star Donald Trump married Slovenian model Melania Knauss on Saturday at a lavish social event in the exclusive Florida resort town of Palm Beach. Trump, star of the NBC television show "The Apprentice" where he pitilessly dismisses contestants with the words "You're fired!" and his bride were married at an evening ceremony at the Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea, set amid waving palm trees and immaculate landscaping.
· Husband Commits Suicide, Then Wife Wakes from Coma. An Italian pensioner committed suicide after his wife fell into a coma, but just hours after he killed himself the woman woke up, Italian media reported on Saturday.
Saturday, January 22, 2005
· Marine held after kidnapping, killing of Wal-Mart cashier. A Marine who served in Iraq was arrested Friday in connection with the kidnapping and killing of a Wal-Mart cashier snatched from a parking lot in Texas while leaving work.
· 'Cool Mom' Threw Sex Parties for Boys. A 40-year-old woman faces charges of sexual assault and contributing to the delinquency of a minor for allegedly supplying drugs and alcohol to high school boys and having sex with some of them. Sylvia Johnson, 40, told police she wanted to be a "cool mom," according to an arrest affidavit.
· Bears' Terrell handcuffed in Traffic Court. Chicago Bears wide receiver David Terrell was handcuffed and taken to jail today after missing a morning Traffic Court date and showing up in court in the afternoon.
· White House cuts Hubble fix-up funds. The White House has eliminated funding for a mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope from its 2006 budget request and directed NASA to focus solely on deorbiting the popular spacecraft at the end of its life, according to government and industry sources.
· Crash Victim Gets $105 Mln from Concessionaire. The family of a girl paralyzed in a car crash caused by a drunken football fan won $105 million in damages from the concessionaire that sold him beer, and the girl's father said on Thursday the case should have far-reaching effects.
· NBC Sticking With 'Joey' As Ratings Slide. NBC is sticking with "Joey" - and several other new series - despite modest ratings. "We knew we were going to be in for a tough year this year in the post-'Friends' era," Jeff Zucker, NBC Universal Television Group president, said Friday. "It turned out to be tougher than we expected."
· Virus strikes cruise ship. Nearly 250 people on a seven-day Caribbean cruise were sickened by a Norwalk-like stomach virus, which officials believe was brought on board by a passenger previously exposed to it, the cruise line said Friday.
· Cosby Lawyer Asks Why Accuser Took So Long. The attorney hired to defend comedian Bill Cosby from allegations he fondled a female acquaintance questioned Friday why the woman took a year to come forward.
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."
· Paris Hilton allegedly steals own sex video. Paris Hilton is being investigated for suspicion of petty theft, authorities said. “There was an incident, and she is alleged to have taken something,” sheriff’s Deputy Steve Suzuki said.
· Miami woman gets 20 years for poisoning boss to cover theft. A woman received a 20-year prison sentence Thursday for putting rat poison in her boss' soda to cover up the fact that she was stealing his money.
· Texas billboards feature Osama, Arafat. A Texas radio station has sparked some controversy by erecting not-so-flattering billboards featuring al Qaida head Osama bin Laden, former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. The signs say "Two down, one to go," an apparent reference to Arafat's death and Saddam's toppling by a U.S.-led invasion last year.
· NBC: Rather's Story Wouldn't Happen Here. Dan Rather's lack of involvement in the discredited story about President Bush's military service was "shocking," NBC's chief said Friday, promising it would never have happened at his network.
· Half-ton man drops nearly 500 pounds. Deuel, 42, was scheduled to leave the hospital as early as Friday, seven months after he checked in in grave condition, at 1,072 pounds. After undergoing stomach-reduction surgery in October, he is down to 610 pounds and is healthier.
Friday, January 21, 2005
· Lottery winner gets lucky — 10 times. Archie Herring of Seattle just missed winning this week’s huge $130 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot, correctly guessing five of the six numbers drawn but missing the all-important Mega Ball number. He is crying all the way to the bank with $1.75 million.
· Police Nab 'Handshake Man' at Bush Inauguration. The unidentified man who embarrassed police by sneaking past inauguration security four years ago to get a handshake from President Bush was arrested on Thursday before he had a chance to get another presidential grip.
· Clemens to play, sets record salary for pitchers. Roger Clemens is coming back for one more year - and is getting the highest salary for a pitcher in baseball history. The Rocket and the Houston Astros agreed to an $18 million, one-year contract.
· Reid Says Wardrobe Malfunction an Accident. Tara Reid says she had no idea she was flashing the paparazzi when the strap of her dress slipped off her left shoulder as she walked the red carpet at Sean "P. Diddy" Combs' 35th birthday party last year.
· oops! Professor's Saturn Experiment Forgotten. David Atkinson spent 18 years designing an experiment for the unmanned space mission to Saturn, but someone forgot to turn on the instrument Atkinson needed to perform his experiment.
· Dave Matthews Driver Charged With Dumping Human Waste. The driver of a Dave Matthews Band tour bus was charged Wednesday with dumping 800 pounds of human waste onto a sightseeing boat on the Chicago River last summer.
· Ex-judge denies bad bench behavior. A former state judge who allegedly used a sex device called a penis pump in court was charged Thursday with three felony counts of indecent exposure by Oklahoma authorities.
· Police Bust Brothel Across Street From Station. Police in Concord, CA have busted four suspected hookers as well as the alleged madam. They were doing business out of a new apartment building near the city's police station. Detective Thomas Parodi said the women are "very, very attractive" and were charging $260 an hour.
· Woman Accuses Bill Cosby of "inappropriate touching." A female acquaintance of comedian Bill Cosby has leveled an allegation against him that has prompted a police investigation in Philadelphia, the entertainer's attorney said Thursday.
· Christians issue gay warning on SpongeBob video. Conservative Christian groups accuse the makers of a video starring SpongeBob SquarePants, Barney and a host of other cartoon characters of promoting homosexuality to children.
· Ex-Policeman: Blake Wanted to 'Whack' Wife. A former police detective who worked for Robert Blake as a private investigator testified Thursday that the actor proposed kidnapping Bonny Lee Bakley, forcing her to have an abortion, and if that did not work, "whack her."
· Jimmy Carter linked to oil-for-food scam. Former President Jimmy Carter has been linked with a key figure in the U.N.'s oil-for-food scandal by the group leading the nationwide effort to evict the United Nations from American soil and halt U.S. funding of the U.N. Move America Forward today will call upon Carter to provide a full accounting of his meetings and conversations with Samir Vincent, who yesterday pleaded guilty to participating in numerous illegal activities as part of the U.N. scandal.
· Limbaugh Seeks Return of Medical Records. Rush Limbaugh asked the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday to return his medical records to his doctors and permanently keep them from prosecutors investigating his use of painkillers.
Thursday, January 20, 2005
· ABC's 'The View' Gets 'Desperate.' The ladies at "The View" are getting pretty desperate. During the week of Feb. 7, the five stars of "Desperate Housewives" will co-host ABC's "The View" while the show broadcasts from Los Angeles. Teri Hatcher, Eva Longoria, Nicollette Sheridan, Felicity Huffman and Marcia Cross will each join the daytime talk show for a day.
· U.S. Teens More Sexually Active Than Parents Think. The survey of 1,000 teenagers aged 13 to 16 showed 27 percent said they had "been with somebody in an intimate or sexual way," while 83 percent of 1,000 parents surveyed said they did not think their teenager had gone beyond kissing.
· The book that’s too hot for Rolling Stone? Rolling Stone magazine declined to run an advertisement for a new translation of the Bible aimed at young people, the nation’s largest Bible publisher said Wednesday.
· Inside Rudy's mansion. Take a sneak peek at Rudy and Judi's new home away from home - in the Hamptons. The selling price for the 6,000-plus-square-foot two-story summer home was a cool $3.95 million.
· Farrell tops gay film nominations. Colin Farrell has received two nominations in the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation awards shortlist, for his roles in the films Alexander and A Home at the End of the World.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Metaphor [met·a·phor] n. A figure of speech in which a word or phrase that ordinarily designates one thing is used to designate something else. "She was drowning in money."
· Judge Lets Jackson Respond to Transcripts. The judge in the Michael Jackson molestation case has allowed the singer to make a statement responding to grand jury transcripts leaked to ABC News, according to media reports Wednesday.
· Cancer now top killer of Americans under 85. For the first time, cancer has surpassed heart disease as the top killer of Americans under 85, health officials said Wednesday. The good news is that deaths from both are falling, but improvement has been more dramatic for heart disease.
· Simpson, Lachey Return for 'Newlyweds.' Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey are putting a strain on the term "newlyweds." The couple, who wed two years ago, will return Jan. 26 for the third season of their MTV reality show, featuring the difficulties of being a (relatively) recently married couple.
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
· O.J. Simpson's daughter arrested. O.J. Simpson's 19-year-old daughter was arrested after she refused to stop yelling at officers who had been summoned because of a fight outside a basketball game involving her old prep school, police said.
· Boston terror threat probed. Federal and state authorities are investigating a nuclear terrorist threat against Boston after a man calling from Mexico told California police that he smuggled two Iraqis and four Chinese over the border.
· 'Everybody Loves Raymond' Ends Run. Don't look for a supersized, super-stuffed final episode of "Everybody Loves Raymond." Television's most popular sitcom will end its nine-year run on May 16 with - get this - a half-hour show, CBS said Tuesday.
· CDC Report Was Wrong; Obesity Deaths Not Overtaking Smoking. Blaming a computer software error, the government says it overstated the nation's weight problem in a widely reported study last year that said obesity was about to overtake smoking as the No. 1 cause of death in the United States.
· Construction worker changing jobs after nail removed from head. A construction worker who shot himself in the head with a nail gun - an accident he didn't discover until he went to the dentist with a nagging toothache - said he'll change his line of work. "I'll make pizzas," Patrick Lawler, 23, said.
· Online hue & cry to silence Ashlee. It turns out football fans aren't the only ones fed up with Ashlee Simpson's seemingly omnipresent caterwaul. Ever since the detuned diva shrieked her way through the Orange Bowl halftime show Jan. 4, an army of detractors has been assembling on the Internet.
· Carson Feeds Jokes To Letterman. Johnny Carson, the former Tonight Show host who's avoided the public eye since he retired from the show in 1992, still watches late-night television and stays in touch with friends including David Letterman. "Johnny is alright," his friend, Peter Lassally, told reporters Tuesday during a press conference to promote "The Late Late Show" on CBS.
· Wrong Body Cremated, Ashes Scattered In Ocean. A dispute is brewing in Jacksonville, Fla. over a mix-up at the Duval County medical examiner's office in which the wrong person was cremated and the ashes scattered in the Atlantic Ocean.
· Fired police officer awarded $1.6 million. A former Inglewood police officer who was fired for punching a black teenager and slamming him against a patrol car was awarded $1.6 million Tuesday by the jury in a discrimination lawsuit he and his partner brought against the city.
· Singer Curses at Inaugural Youth Concert. Borrowing a word from Motley Crue's Neil, the lead singer of Fuel proclaimed, "Welcome to the greatest ----ing country in the world." Brett Scallions followed with a quick apology of "excuse my language."
· Marla Trumps the Donald With Silence. With Donald Trump's opulent wedding scheduled to take place in three days, his most recent ex-wife, Marla Maples, is not attending. Despite rumors to the contrary, she wasn't even invited.
· Attorney meets the 'jury pool from hell.' The group of prospective jurors was summoned to listen to a case of Tennessee trailer park violence. Right after jury selection began last week, one man got up and left, announcing, "I'm on morphine and I'm higher than a kite."
Word of The Day by WordThink
Synergism [syn·er·gism] n. Interaction of discrete agencies or conditions where the total effect is greater than the sum of the individual parts. "All the stockholders saw considerable synergism in the merger." [also Synergy].
· Surviving WTC restaurant staff starting new eatery. Workers from the Windows on the World restaurant atop the World Trade Center have signed a lease to create the city's first employee-run restaurant - only a short walk from ground zero.
· Blake Trial Focuses on Gunshot Residue. An expert witness at Robert Blake's murder trial said Tuesday he could not be sure whether possible gunshot residue on the actor's hands and clothes came from firing a gun the night his wife was shot to death.
· Clemens proves he's all about money, not winning games. If the Astros are forced to pay Roger Clemens $22 million, they won't have enough money to field a winning team around him, writes columnist Mike Celizic.
· Personal Computer Shipments Rise 13.7 Pct. Worldwide shipments of personal computers grew 13.7 percent in the fourth quarter on strong demand from small- and medium-sized businesses and holiday shoppers, IDC reported Tuesday.
· Stars Auction Clothes for Tsunami Relief. Actress Teri Hatcher took off her clothes — but not on the set of ABC's "Desperate Housewives." Hatcher, who won a Golden Globe for her role on the nighttime soap opera, shed the silver Donna Karan dress she wore to Sunday's awards ceremony and handed it over to a fund-raising auction for victims of the Dec. 26 tsunami.
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
· Hatch to Plead Guilty to Tax Evasion. Richard Hatch, a Newport resident who became a millionaire when he won the first-ever "Survivor" series, has agreed to plead guilty to two counts of tax evasion for failing to report income including the $1.01 million he won on the show. Federal prosecutors charged that Hatch, 43, filed false 2000 and 2001 tax returns, omitting his income from the CBS show, as well as another $321,000 he was paid by a radio station.
· CBS May Use Multi-Anchor Format. CBS will probably replace Dan Rather on the evening news with a multi-anchor, perhaps multi-city format that changes the "antiquated" way of reporting the day's top stories, CBS chief Leslie Moonves said Tuesday.
· Man buys nearly 125,000 bottles of wine at auction for $100. Ken Jacques just bought nearly 125,000 bottles of wine for $100. That's less than a penny a dozen. And this isn't cheap wine, either. It sells for $9 to $15 a bottle at your local store. It all started when the 46-year-old San Luis Obispo wine distributor was sued. That led to a countersuit, which led to a six-figure monetary award for him, which led to a bizarre auction that ultimately found Jacques bidding alone.
· First X-Rated Reality Show In Works. You knew this had to happen someday: The world of reality television is getting X-rated. No, don't worry, it's nothing the Federal Communications Commission will have to get all worked up about. It will be on pay-per-view television.
· Woman falls to death attempting balcony handstand. A woman fell to her death while trying to do a handstand on the railing of a second-floor hotel balcony, sheriff's officials said. Just before she fell, she had called out to a friend, "Watch to see what I can still do," a police report said.
· Take my wife. Kevin Bacon, who has played every imaginable kind of role in his busy, three-decade movie career, faced a challenge with his new film, "Loverboy": directing his real-life wife, Kyra Sedgwick, in sex scenes with several other actors.
· CEO of Struggling Krispy Kreme Retires. Struggling Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. on Tuesday named new top executives, retained a financial adviser and said it is taking other steps to address its current situation.
· Pets to Earn Frequent Flyer Miles. Midwest Airlines is focusing on four-footed customers in hopes of wooing more of the two-footed kind. Midwest announced a program Monday that gives pets a free round-trip ticket for every three domestic round-trip flights they take with their owners.
· Break-up may end in court for Pitt and Aniston. A bitter court battle looks to be on the cards for former Hollywood golden couple Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. Friends say a tug-of-war could develop over their fortune because they never made a pre-nuptial agreement.
· Virgin wants casino on its A380 jets. Gyms, beauty parlors, private double beds and an in-flight casino will be featured on Virgin Atlantic's giant Airbus A380 planes when it starts flying them in three years' time, the airline's half-owner Richard Branson said. "Since you have gaming and you have private double beds maybe there are two ways of getting lucky on a Virgin plane," entrepreneur Branson told reporters in France.
· Virginia Mayo, '40s and '50s Film Actress, Dies. Virginia Mayo, the stunning blonde actress who brought beauty and romance to films of the 1940s and 1950s with such co-stars as James Cagney, Bob Hope, Gregory Peck, Danny Kaye and Ronald Reagan, died Monday at a nursing home in Thousand Oaks. She was 84.
· Picture-perfect Mrs. Trump III. At $100,000, the wedding dress for the future Mrs. Donald Trump takes the cake. Slovenian supermodel Melania Knauss has picked a hand-embroidered frock from Christian Dior that carries a price tag that is pure Trump. With its 13-foot train and even longer veil, Knauss' dress is so heavy, she was advised to eat hearty so she has the strength to make it down the aisle Saturday, Vogue magazine reports.
· 'All My Children' Star Ruth Warrick Dies. She played the icy first wife of Orson Welles in "Citizen Kane" and a mysterious housekeeper on "Peyton Place," but one role seemed to resonate the most with Ruth Warrick - that of Phoebe Tyler Wallingford, an inveterate busybody on "All My Children." She was 88.
· Kirstie Alley Developed 'Fat Actress' Idea. The person who dreamed up a TV series about Kirstie Alley's embarrassing battle with her weight and struggles inside the Hollywood fishbowl might be surprising.
· Study: Colon cancer test nearly 'worthless.' A common screening test failed to detect potentially cancerous colon growths 95 percent of the time, falsely reassuring patients and doctors, according to a new study.
· FCC fears force Fox to pixelate cartoon nudity. Fox says it covered up the naked rear end of a cartoon character recently because of nervousness over what the Federal Communications Commission will find objectionable.
· Verizon, Yahoo team up to woo users. Subscribers to Verizon Communications Inc.’s high-speed Internet services will be able to access customized and premium content from Web giant Yahoo Inc. under a multiyear agreement that combines the companies’ offerings into a single brand.
Monday, January 17, 2005
· Las Vegas weatherman fired after Martin Luther 'Coon' slur. A weekend television weatherman was fired after he made an on-air racial slur about Martin Luther King Jr., station officials said. Rob Blair of KTNV-TV was delivering the extended forecast Saturday morning when he said: "For tomorrow, 60 degrees, Martin Luther Coon King Jr. Day, gonna see some temperatures in the mid-60s."
· Fox Says It Needs to Lay Off on Reality. The sagging Fox network's chief executive admitted Monday it had leaned too heavily on reality programming this TV season, including the disastrous "Who's Your Daddy?"
· Women Lack 'Natural Ability' In Some Fields, Harvard President Says. The president of Harvard University prompted criticism for suggesting that innate differences between the sexes could help explain why fewer women succeed in science and math careers. Lawrence H. Summers, speaking Friday at an economic conference, also questioned how great a role discrimination plays in keeping female scientists and engineers from advancing at elite universities.
· Teenager finishes world's largest burger. Kate Stelnick, a petite college student weighing in at 100 pounds, took the Denny’s Beer Barrel challenge on Wednesday. They almost laughed her out of the restaurant when she placed her order. Turns out she was the one laughing (and burping) on the way out.
· Jerry Garcia's heirs sue over burrito chain's use of his image. The heirs of rock legend Jerry Garcia are suing a burrito franchise based in Atlanta for improper use of the singer's image in its restaurants and advertising.
· Farrah Fawcett Gets Reality TV Show. Cameras are following Fawcett around as she shops, does her painting, goes to celebrity events and plays at the beach. She is also spotted on the water's edge with former longtime lover Ryan O'Neal. "Chasing Farrah" premieres in March on cable's TV Land.
· U.S. military nixed gay ‘aphrodisiac' weapon. The U.S. military rejected a 1994 proposal to develop an “aphrodisiac” to spur homosexual activity among enemy troops but is hard at work on other less-than-lethal weapons, defense officials said.
· Band 50 Foot Wave copes with some bad timing. Rock singer Kristin Hersh had something else entirely in mind when she named her new band 50 Foot Wave. Sometimes there's just not much you can do about bad timing.
· Former McDonald's CEO dies at age 44. Charlie Bell, who began his McDonald’s Corp. career as a part-time worker in a suburban Sydney restaurant and later became chief executive of the fast-food icon, died early Monday of colon cancer in his native Australia.
· Prince Charles Orders Harry to Visit Auschwitz. Prince Charles "hit the roof" after his son, Prince Harry, showed up at a costume party wearing a swastika armband and ordered him and his brother to visit the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz.
· Iraq prostitutes 'invade' Syria. When Saddam Hussein fell from power, the world of prostitution collapsed in Iraq. Escaping war and the rise of Islamic moralism, thousands of Iraqi prostitutes packed their bags and fled to Syria.
· Teen accused of leaking Apple secrets. A Web site that disclosed Apple's top-secret plans to bring out a $499 mini computer and a new bare-bones iPod - prompting a lawsuit from the company - turns out to be the brainchild of a 19-year-old Harvard University student.
· 'Aviator' soars at Golden Globes. The Golden Globes celebrated Hollywood's time-tested veterans and its more youthful side for the 62nd annual edition of the awards show Sunday. "The Aviator," director Martin Scorsese's epic-size biography of Howard Hughes' Hollywood years, landed the prize for best drama.
» Sexy 'Housewives' Rule Golden Globes. The stars pulled out their party clothes for the Golden Globes Sunday night, with on-screen boxer Hilary Swank looking like a bronze goddess in a simple-yet-slinky Calvin Klein gown, and all the "Desperate Housewives" in sexy dresses instead of twin sets and jeans.
» Controversial Faves Snubbed at Globes. The powers that be at the Golden Globes aren't "passionate" about Mel Gibson's hugely popular contribution to film this year, nor did the mercury rise over Michael Moore's inflammatory documentary.
· Airbus to Unveil Largest Passenger Jet. The A380, a four-aisle, four-engine, double-decker "superjumbo," will roll onto the tarmac Tuesday at Airbus headquarters in southern France, in a lavish ceremony attended by EU leaders and thousands of guests. In a standard three-class cabin configuration, the A380 will carry 555 passengers — one-third more than the plane it is designed to displace, the Boeing 747.
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."
· Hockney 'was wrong' over art copying claims. Computer analysis of a 17th century painting shows that the artist did not, as has been claimed, use optical devices to project a perfect image of the scene onto his canvas. The researcher behind the analysis believes his findings undermine many aspects of a theory recently put forward by the painter David Hockney.
· Willie Nelson Marketing Biodiesel. "On the Road Again" means something new for Willie Nelson these days — a chance for truckers to fill their tanks with clean-burning biodiesel fuel. Nelson and three business partners recently formed a company called Willie Nelson's Biodiesel that is marketing the fuel to truck stops. The product — called BioWillie — is made from vegetable oils, mainly soybeans, and can be burned without modification to diesel engines.
· Couric catches CBS eye as Rather replacement. Besieged CBS executives reportedly have approached "Today" show co-host Katie Couric about replacing outgoing evening news anchor Dan Rather. Couric, 48, still has 16 months on her NBC contract, but Time magazine says it has confirmed with CBS sources speculation that she's at the top of a short list of candidates for Rather's job when he vacates it in March.
· How to Get 'Real.' The people who cast reality TV shows have seen it all - from naked women jumping out of airplanes to old men running around in yellow underwear. But if you want to get on their shows, they say, you don't need a gimmick - just a personality.
Sunday, January 16, 2005
· Gibson Loses Bid to List Estate As Farm. Mel Gibson has lost his bid to have a portion of his Connecticut estate classified as a farm. The director of "The Passion of the Christ" asked to have 17 of his 75.7 acres in Greenwich taxed as farm land, but town officials rejected the request.
· Ex-Raider Robbins shot by police in burglary. Former Oakland Raiders center Barret Robbins was shot and critically wounded during a struggle with a police officer investigating a burglary at a South Beach office building.
· Tryst turns torrid. Some early morning hanky-panky nearly proved deadly for a 32-year-old Manhattan woman when a candle ignited a comforter while she and a neighbor were in bed, witnesses said. The victim was having sex with her neighbor, who identified himself only as Leo, at her first-floor apartment on Broadway on the upper West Side yesterday.
· Ex-Porn Star Lords in Cosmetics Contract. Traci Lords is putting her best face forward as the star of Duprey Cosmetics' 2005 advertising campaign. "Traci has incredible sex appeal," said Duprey co-founder Brian Duprey. "Her look can be ethereal, flirty or downright dangerous. She's the ultimate temptress."
· Former US Attorney General joins Saddam's defence team. One of America's most renowned human rights lawyers has astonished even close friends and supporters by taking on Saddam Hussein as a client and describing the former Iraqi dictator as "reserved, quiet, thoughtful and dignified."
· Stars shine at tsunami benefit. With Norah Jones singing "we're all in this thing together," movie and music stars contributed their talents for a hastily arranged benefit for tsunami victims televised live on Saturday.
Saturday, January 15, 2005
· Expert: Blake Clothing Didn't Have Blood. An expert witness said he did not find any blood on the clothing that Robert Blake wore the night his wife was shot to death, but prosecutors said that doesn't eliminate the actor as a suspect.
· Anti-Bush Bracelets Say, 'Count Me Blue'. After spending 10 days in London with friends who were outspoken about their disdain for President Bush's policies, Berns Rothchild came home wishing she had a way to show the world she didn't vote for him.
· Moore Gets No Love From Old High School. Oscar on the shelf or not, Michael Moore is not getting much respect at his old high school. Despite his fame and many honors, the filmmaker has been rejected all four times that he has been nominated for Davison High School's Hall of Fame.
· 'Simple Life' Denies Deer-Poaching Claim. Paris Hilton's reality show "The Simple Life" is disputing allegations that a deer was illegally killed so that it could be gutted by the socialite and her sidekick, Nicole Richie.
· Bump, grind your way to riches, students told. Students at a Palo Alto, California middle school learned more than school officials ever expected when a recent "career day" speaker extolled the merits of stripping and expounded on the financial benefits of a larger bust.
· Listerine Drinker Arrested for DUI. A woman who admitted drinking three glasses of Listerine mouthwash had a blood-alcohol content more than three times the legal limit when she was arrested for drunken driving, police said Friday.
· FBI Warns of Suspicious Inaugural Activity. The federal government is receiving reports of "suspicious activity" around buildings where presidential inaugural events and a parade are scheduled to occur Jan. 20 in Washington.
· Woman who piled up $17,651 in fines is caught in sting and jailed. For Marcella Adams, getting around town Wednesday wasn't easy. Adams was pulled over after sailing her EZ Tag-less Mazda 626 through an EZ Tag lane at the toll plaza on the West Sam Houston Parkway North.
· Courtney Love Regains Custody of Daughter. Singer Courtney Love has regained full custody of her 11-year-old daughter, her attorney said. Love, 40, lost custody of Frances Bean Cobain, her daughter with late Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain, in 2003 after she overdosed on painkillers in front of the girl.
Friday, January 14, 2005
· Pentagon reveals rejected chemical weapons. The Pentagon considered developing a host of non-lethal chemical weapons that would disrupt discipline and morale among enemy troops, newly declassified documents reveal. Most bizarre among the plans was one for the development of an "aphrodisiac" chemical weapon that would make enemy soldiers sexually irresistible to each other.
· Another Pilot arrested in cockpit after screener smells alcohol. An armed AirTran Airways pilot was charged with operating an aircraft under the influence after a federal screener at Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport smelled alcohol, authorities said Thursday.
· 'Diana would be proud.' The Duchess of York leapt to the defence of Prince Harry over his Nazi costume blunder yesterday, saying: 'His mother would be proud of him.' The prince's aunt said he 'deserved a break' and added: 'I am behind him 100 per cent. OK, he wore a fancy dress costume, he got it wrong. I hope the world accepts his apology.'
· Robert Blake Jurors Tour Shooting Scene. Bundled in hats and coats against the chilly night air, jurors in Robert Blake's murder trial took a field trip to the murder scene, inspecting the street where shots rang out and even stopping at the restaurant where Blake's wife had her last meal.
· Serena Williams Unveils New Tennis Apparel. Just days after being ranked No. 6 on Mr. Blackwell's annual worst-dressed list, Serena Williams unveiled her new line of lime green-and-white Nike tennis apparel.
· Man Arrested After Ricin Seen in Fla. Home. A man was arrested after authorities allegedly found the deadly toxin ricin stashed in a cardboard box at his home along with a small cache of weapons, officials said Thursday.
Thursday, January 13, 2005
· Man Who Claimed Partner Died In 9/11 Attacks Pleads Guilty. A man who collected $68,000 by falsely claiming his domestic partner died in the 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center has pleaded guilty to grand theft.
· Kraft To Curb Some Snack Food Advertising. Kraft Foods Inc., the nation's biggest food manufacturer, said Wednesday it plans to curb its advertising of Oreo cookies, regular Kool-Aid and other popular snack foods to children under 12 as part of an effort to encourage better eating habits.
· Beating of Queens Satanist Prompts Hate Crime Charges. A blue-haired satan worshiper was attacked by two teenagers who have been charged with hate crimes, authorities say. Hate crimes, which carry harsher penalties, are usually leveled when an attack involves a victim's ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation.
· Outfits Worn by Blake, Wife Shown to Jury. On the spring night in 2001 that actor Robert Blake's wife was killed, they both wore black to a neighborhood restaurant. Their outfits, hers with gunshot holes, and his with gunshot residue, were shown to jurors as his murder trial entered its scientific phase on Wednesday.
· Moore is in the line of Clint's ire. Clint Eastwood squinted like Dirty Harry Tuesday night as he took aim at Michael Moore. "Michael Moore and I actually have a lot in common - we both appreciate living in a country where there's free expression," Eastwood told the star-dotted crowd attending the National Board of Review awards dinner at Tavern on the Green, where Eastwood picked up a Special Filmmaking Achievement prize for "Million Dollar Baby." Then, the Republican-leaning actor/director advised the lefty filmmaker: "But, Michael, if you ever show up at my front door with a camera - I'll kill you."
· TV's 'Biggest Loser' Crowned. No fat lady sang when it was over, but "The Biggest Loser" crowned its first-ever weight-loss champion on NBC last night. The winner started the show six months ago weighing 330 pounds. Last night, he weighed 208 pounds, a loss of 122 pounds.
· Agreement Reached for Tougher Steroid Laws in MLB. Baseball players and owners have reached an agreement on a tougher steroid-testing program that will include a penalty for first-time offenders, The Associated Press has learned.
· Mother Killed by Hit Man, Kids Get $32.4 million. A jury has awarded $32.4 million to the children of a woman killed by a hit man their father hired 30 years ago. Eloise Bonicelli's three children were each awarded $10.8 million for the death of their mother, who was shot by an intruder in her Colorado Springs home in 1975.
· Restaurant Regulars Testify in Blake Case. Two regulars at the restaurant where Robert Blake ate his last meal with his wife testified that the actor appeared nervous, agitated and "was messing with his hair a lot" shortly before she was killed.
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.
· Michael Jackson's Accuser, In His Own Words. The boy accusing Michael Jackson of child molestation has given a vivid, detailed account of his alleged sexual encounters with the pop star, according to grand jury testimony — more than 1,900 pages — reviewed by ABC News' "Primetime Live."
· Nancy Grace Part of New CNN Headline Shows. A nightly talk show with hard-charging, acerbic legal analyst Nancy Grace and a live program with entertainment news will be part of CNN Headline's revamped prime-time lineup.
· Martha's early spring? The Supreme Court tossed out federal sentencing guidelines yesterday, giving hundreds of inmates - including Martha Stewart - a shot at new sentences. The stunning ruling is expected to unleash a flood of requests by defendants around the nation to be resentenced.
· Hacker Breaks Into T-Mobile Network. A hacker broke into a wireless carrier's network over at least seven months and read e-mails and personal computer files of hundreds of customers, including the Secret Service agent investigating the hacker, the government said Wednesday.
Wednesday, January 13, 2005
· Arabs say America and Israel Caused Tsunami. The earthquake that caused tidal waves to slam into the coast of Southeast Asia, killing at least 145,000 people, could have been the result of joint American, Israeli and Indian underwater weapons testing, an Egyptian weekly and other Arab media charged.
· Law enforcement officers escape tickets. You blow through a stop sign, slam into a car and injure the other driver. Automatic traffic ticket, right? Maybe not. Some police agencies, including Tampa and St. Petersburg, exempt their on-duty officers from traffic tickets in crashes not involving alcohol or other criminal offenses.
· Woman Beats Out 12 Men For 'Sexiest Plumber' Title. A Massachusetts native has been crowned the nation's new princess of plumbing. Lori Costa of Fall River defeated 12 men to take the title of "Sexiest Plumber," an honor recognized in New York City.
· Desperate dig for buried kin. Jimmie Wallet went out for ice cream and came home to the nightmare of his wife and three daughters buried under tons of mud. Wallet was only a couple of blocks from his La Conchita house when he walked out of a store Monday to see the avalanche of mud headed toward his home.
· No Kid Rock at Bush concert. Kid Rock, the vulgar rock-rapper whom inauguration staff initially talked of headlining the youth concert next week as part of the festivities for President Bush's swearing in, will not be appearing after all.
· Don King Sues ESPN for $2.5 Billion. Boxing promoter Don King filed a defamation suit Wednesday claiming he was portrayed in a false light in an ESPN "SportsCentury" segment aired last May, and his attorney said King is entitled to damages of more than $2.5 billion. The lawsuit says the program accused King of being "a snake oil salesman, a shameless huckster and worse," claimed the flamboyant promoter underpaid Muhammad Ali by $1.2 million and claimed King — convicted in a 1967 beating death and acquitted in another killing in 1954 — "killed not once, but twice."
· Desperate housewife tops worst-dressed list. Nicollette Sheridan of TV's "Desperate Housewives" is the worst of the worst when it comes to wardrobe, according to Mr. Blackwell's annual list of fashion winners and losers.
· 'Cocoa the Clown' kills home intruder. A North Carolina man who allegedly shot and killed a suspected burglar at his house Tuesday morning will not face charges in the shooting death, authorities said. Gene Watson is known for his work as Cocoa the Clown.
· Teacher suspended over reported anti-Arab remark. A middle school teacher has been suspended with pay while officials investigate a report he told his students that Bedouin Arabs used the Quran as toilet paper.
· Pair arrested after telling lawyer jokes. The line leading into First District Court in Hempstead Monday morning was long and frustrating, but it was the punch line in a lawyer joke that got two rabble-rousing comedians arrested. "How do you tell when a lawyer is lying?" Harvey Kash, 69, of Bethpage, said to Carl Lanzisera, 65, of Huntington, as the queue wound into the court. "His lips are moving," they said in unison, completing one of what may be thousands of standard lawyer jokes.
But while that rib and several others on barristers got some giggles from the crowd, the attorney standing in line about five people ahead wasn't laughing. " 'Shut up,' the man shouted," Lanzisera said. "'I'm a lawyer.'" The attorney reported Kash and Lanzisera to court personnel, who arrested the men and charged them with engaging in disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor.
· Thatcher 'guilty plea' over coup. Sir Mark Thatcher is to plead guilty over his part in an alleged coup plot in Equatorial Guinea, reports say. The son of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is accused of helping to finance an alleged coup.
· Student Athletes Contract Herpes While Wrestling. A handful of Oregon high school wrestlers got herpes from practicing their sport. Concerned parents say they were left in the dark about the risk that their kids were taking.
· Playmate of the Year on Trial for Assault. A Playboy Playmate accused of grabbing a dance pole and karate-kicking the ex-girlfriend of NFL quarterback Jeff Garcia went on trial Tuesday on a misdemeanor assault charge.
· 4 More Bodies Found After Calif. Mudslide. Rescuers searching with shovels, high-tech cameras and their bare hands found the bodies of three children and an adult before dawn Wednesday, bringing the death toll from a mudslide in this seaside hamlet to 10, an official said.
· 130,000 wishes come true. When the boy's church asked what he wanted for Christmas, Nick, who cannot talk and was born with no arms, slowly typed his reply with his feet: Lots of Christmas cards. Ten thousand of them. More than two weeks after Christmas, he has more than 130,000 cards - and they are still coming.
· Warrant issued for New York radio personality's arrest. An arrest warrant was issued Tuesday for ``Howard Stern Show'' regular Crazy Cabbie after he failed to appear in court for his tax evasion case.
· Rather: I'll Keep Report's Lessons In Mind. Dan Rather assured his CBS News colleagues that he had read the independent report on his network's ill-fated story about George W. Bush's military service, "and I shall keep its lessons well in mind."
· Teacher Gets Probation in Pornography Case. A suspended Pa. high school teacher accused of assaulting a teenager and of encouraging male students to view online pornography in class was sentenced to three years probation.
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
· Springfield principal files police brutality lawsuit. A school principal who says he was beaten by at least four city police officers while having a diabetic attack is suing the officers, accusing them of dragging him through his car window and calling him a drug user before getting him medical help.
· 'Apprentice' Cast Will Sail to Caribbean. An eight-day cruise themed on the hit NBC show will sail from New York to the Caribbean on Sept. 26, after a bon voyage party in Manhattan with a send-off from Donald Trump. Cast members from the show - including Bill Rancic, the first apprentice, and Stacie J., Jennifer C. and Raj from the second season - will be on board.
· Floor buffer pulled into MRI machine's magnets. An expensive MRI machine at Virginia Mason Medical Center sustained at least $200,000 in damage when a metal floor buffer was mistakenly placed nearby and was sucked in by the machine's powerful magnets.
· Clooney, O'Reilly spar over tsunami telethon. Three years after they jousted over a celebrity telethon that raised millions for 9/11 victims, Fox News' Bill O'Reilly and actor George Clooney are at it again, this time over what will happen to funds pledged in a telethon for tsunami victims.
· Beer Losing Ground in Beverage Market. Wines and distilled spirits continue to gain a bigger share of the alcoholic beverage market, at the expense of the beer industry. "We believe there is an overall image crisis with beer," Smith Barney Citicorp analyst Bonnie Herzog said.
· Preacher dies during sermon about heaven. A Presbyterian minister collapsed and died in mid-sentence of a sermon after saying "And when I go to heaven ...," his colleague said Monday. The Rev. Jack Arnold, 69, was nearing the end of his sermon Sunday at Covenant Presbyterian Church in this Orlando suburb when he grabbed the podium before falling to the floor.
· Three Killed, 21 Missing in California Mudslide. Rain lashed water-logged California again early Tuesday, hampering efforts to find survivors buried under a mud slide in a coastal community and prompting hundreds to flee a mountain town before a rain-engorged lake spills over a dam.
· 'Simple Life' Will Not Film at N.J. School. The Fox TV reality series "The Simple Life" will not be using a New Jersey school as the setting for one of its episodes. The proposed filming had provoked heated opposition from parents who felt it was not appropriate and feared that it would hold their community up to ridicule.
· $32 million crybaby. The Big Unit is oficially New York's biggest $32 million crybaby. Thin-skinned superstar Randy Johnson got into confrontations with a TV cameraman yesterday and a Daily News photographer - a day before he was to appear at Yankee Stadium in his official introduction as a Bronx Bomber. Instead, Yankee fans got a crash-course intro to the star pitcher's prickly personality.
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.
· Man Pleads Guilty to Threatening Bush. A man pleaded guilty Monday in federal court to threatening to kill President Bush. Darrel D. Alford, 56, admitted he threatened on Aug. 4 to fly a bomb-laden model airplane into an arena or stadium where Bush would be speaking. He faces up to five years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine of up to $250,000.
· Bush picks judge to head homeland security. President Bush will nominate federal appeals court judge Michael Chertoff, a former federal prosecutor who helped craft the early war on terror strategy, to be the new secretary of Homeland Security, officials told NBC on Tuesday.
· Housekeeper Slashes 6 at Va. Home. A housekeeper went on a rampage at a nursing home with a knife, slashing four elderly residents and two other people after a dispute with a supervisor, authorities said. Mustafa Mohamed, 30, was denied bail Monday on charges of malicious wounding. More charges were possible in the attack Sunday, prosecutors said.
Monday, January 10, 2005
· Court OKs KKK highway cleanup signs. A Supreme Court ruling means the KKK chapter must be allowed into Missouri's Adopt-A-Highway program, which publicly thanks participants with signs along the highway acknowledging their help.
· Abe Lincoln slept here . . .was he gay? The subject of the 16th president's sexuality has been debated among scholars for years. They cite his troubled marriage to Mary Todd and his youthful friendship with Joshua Speed, who shared his bed for four years. Now, in a new book, C.A. Tripp also asserts that Lincoln had a homosexual relationship with the captain of his body- guards, David V. Derickson, who shared the president's bed when Mary Todd Lincoln was away.
· Detective: Blake Wanted to Prepare Will. In the hours after his wife was murdered, Robert Blake told his lawyers he wanted to prepare a will because he was worried about their baby, and about in-laws he described as "piranhas" and "crazy people," a detective testified Monday.
· Woman Who Insulted Pope Fined. An Austrian woman who shouted insulting remarks about Pope John Paul II outside Vienna's main cathedral was fined $325 after a court convicted her Monday of disturbing the peace. The 46-year-old Viennese woman, whose name was not released by authorities, repeatedly and loudly denounced the pope and other Roman Catholic leaders as "child molesters" while standing in front of St. Stephen's Cathedral in 2003.
· CBS Ousts 4 For Bush Guard Story. Four CBS News employees, including three executives, have been ousted for their role in preparing and reporting a disputed story about President Bush’s National Guard service.
· ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ is the People's Choice. The Michael Moore film “Fahrenheit 9/11,” which took a critical look at President Bush’s actions after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, won the favorite movie award, while Mel Gibson’s explicit “The Passion of the Christ” won in the favorite drama category.
· Pitt, Aniston Couldn't Agree on Kids. Brad Pitt's overwhelming desire to have children sunk his marriage to Jennifer Aniston, after the "Friends" star decided to put motherhood on hold to pursue her acting career, a pal of the power couple said.
· Hollywood lesbian affair ends with duel on the legal frontier. Hell hath no fury like a Hollywood lesbian scorned. The former girlfriend of Ellen DeGeneres is considering legal action against both the comedian and her new lover, the Ally McBeal actress Portia de Rossi, in a case that could redraw the boundaries of romantic strife in America.
· Columbia House plans porn club. Columbia House, famous for its "12 CDs for a penny" record clubs, will launch its own adult video club with Playboy Entertainment at the end of this month. The service, called Hush, will sell pornography through direct mail and a Web site.
· County Removes Emblems After Decals Fail To Hide Crosses. Following a failed $1,800 bid to use decals to cover crosses on two Los Angeles County seals, officials removed the giant Hall of Administration emblems and put them in storage. The American Civil Liberties Union threatened to sue because of the cross on the county seal.
· Some Miss. Libraries Ban Jon Stewart Book. Library officials in two southern Mississippi counties have banned Jon Stewart's best-selling "America (The Book)" over the satirical textbook's nude depictions of the nine U.S. Supreme Court justices.
· Entrepreneurs Bet on 'Exergaming' Future. Consumer electronics companies commonly cater to couch potatoes by pitching bigger television sets, more mesmerizing video games and remote controls that can even place online orders for pizza. But a small cadre of entrepreneurs at the world's largest technology exposition hope their gizmos make you work up a sweat.
· Man Dies While Delivering Carbon Dioxide To McDonald's. A truck driver delivering carbon dioxide to a Central Florida McDonald's restaurant died Saturday after the gas leaked from its container, authorities said.
· Outlandish Gadgets in Short Supply at Show. The world's premier consumer electronics show wouldn't be complete without the fanciful and outlandish: A smart oven preserved and cooked meals based on remote commands, while a 102-inch plasma TV - taller than the 8-foot walls in many homes - inspired ooohs and aaahs from couch potatoes.
· Two Fla. Teens Gunned Down at Birthday Party. Two gunmen crashed a girl's 15th birthday party early Sunday morning, shooting two teenagers to death and injuring another in a back yard crowded with revelers, police said. One suspect was in custody.
· Frank Lloyd Wright Homes a Tough Sell. Imagine having a dream home in a private, peaceful, bucolic setting - and being unable to sell it because it was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Some owners of one-of-a-kind houses conceived by the iconic architect are discovering it's not easy selling them.
· 'Fockers' Beats Horror Flick at Box Office. The horror of meeting the in-laws beat out the fright flick at theaters this weekend. "Meet the Fockers" took in $28.5 million to remain the top movie for the third straight weekend, holding off the horror newcomer "White Noise," which debuted a strong No. 2 with $24 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.
Sunday, January 9, 2005
· Paul Newman Uninjured in Daytona Car Fire. Academy Award-winning actor Paul Newman escaped injury Saturday when the race car he was testing caught fire following a spin at Daytona International Speedway.
· Muscled Austrian Actor Playing Arnold. He's Austrian, he bears a striking resemblance to his hero and he's got bulging biceps he likes to call "my little Alps." Who better to play Arnold Schwarzenegger in a U.S. made-for-TV movie than local actor Roland Kickinger?
· Dad made me junkie. Diminutive funnyman Dudley Moore was a lousy father who his son blames for turning him into a homeless drug addict, according to a British newspaper. Now living in a Harlem studio apartment, Patrick Moore, 28, told London's The Daily Telegraph he started taking drugs to cope with loneliness.
· Audit: Texas Improperly Spent Terror Funds. An audit of the state's spending of nearly $600 million in federal anti-terrorism funds found that some of the money was spent improperly, including to buy a trailer that was used to haul lawn mowers to "lawn mower drag races."
· Victims Outraged As Judge Seeks Job Back. A judge's bid to be reinstated after he was convicted of groping five women while drunk at a conference on domestic and sexual violence is sparking outrage among his victims.
· 'Million Dollar Baby' Tops With Critics. "Million Dollar Baby," the story of a woman trying to rise above her hard-knock life by training as a boxer, was voted best film and earned awards for actress Hilary Swank and actor-director Clint Eastwood at the National Society of Film Critics awards Saturday.
· Kathie Lee Begins New Career as a Writer. In the bowels of a small New York theater in a seedy section of town, Kathie Lee Gifford is being a little naughty. "So I'm having a little vino," she says sweetly. "So sue me."
· Angelina Jolie rumors swirl. A day after they announced their marriage was over, Hollywood heartbreakers Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston shared a plane back to Los Angeles - as rumors swirled that the "Troy" hunk cheated on the "Friends" cutie with man-eating movie star Angelina Jolie. Pitt, 41, and Aniston, 35, had spent one last week together on the Caribbean island of Anguilla before deciding to pull the plug on their four-year union.
· Automakers put hydrogen on fast track. The brakes are controlled by a computer, so the car can stop a full length shorter than most. Each rear wheel has its own motor and can turn by itself, which not only improves traction but also makes parallel parking a snap. And the only thing this car emits is water vapor.
· Fans Shunning Kobe Bryant's Jersey. Kobe Bryant is no longer a fashion icon. For the last month, Bryant's No. 8 Lakers jersey — previously one of the best sellers in the world — has fallen out of the top 50, according to point-of-sale data tabulated by a Florida market research firm.
· Fans celebrate Elvis' 70th birthday. If he were still alive, Elvis Presley would have turned 70 on Saturday. But old age and the unfortunate problem of being deceased haven't slowed down the King. "There's no age to him," said Jerry Engelby, one of 800 or so fans gathered on Graceland's front lawn for a cake cutting and "Happy Birthday" sing-along. "He's just Elvis."
· Doctor aids juror, mistrial declared. A judge declared a mistrial in a medical negligence case against a physician after the doctor came to the aid of a juror who passed out during opening statements.
· Legal scholar in midst of check probe. When the Nigerian government e-mailed University of Miami law professor Enrique Fernandez-Barros for help, he said he felt flattered. He said a purported Nigerian official promised in late 2003 to pay him for legal services if he would help the government and a well-connected Nigerian businessman recoup $1.68 million from a U.S. truck-leasing company. His incentive: $200,000 in fees for his work.
Saturday, January 8, 2005
· Toyota drops "Tsunami" name for sports car model. Toyota is abandoning plans to name one of its most popular models of sports cars in this country, the "Celica Tsunami." The automaker confirmed that it was immediately changing the name of the car - and pulling all advertising and marketing containing the tsunami name.
· Boys detail lurid acts of alleged sexual abuse in sealed court, police, grand jury records. The Smoking Gun has compiled an authoritative, behind-the-scenes account of the prosecution's case against the King of Pop, who was indicted last April on ten felony counts for the alleged sexual abuse of a Los Angeles boy in early 2003. This story (and the ones linked at right) are based on a review of confidential law enforcement and government reports, grand jury testimony, and sealed court records.
· Woman claiming to be KISS rocker Simmons' ex-girlfriend sues him. A woman who says she is a former girlfriend of KISS rocker Gene Simmons is suing him for slander, saying the bass guitarist made her sound like a ``sex-addicted nymphomaniac'' during a ``rockumentary'' on VH-1 television.
· U.S. nuclear sub runs aground in Pacific. U.S. Coast Guard and military aircraft Saturday are en route to the western Pacific, where a nuclear attack submarine ran aground, injuring at least 20 crew members - one critically, U.S. Navy sources said.
· Butt out: Fox nixes Super Bowl backside ad. A year after Janet Jackson's breast brought a crackdown on indecency, Fox has rejected an ad for the Super Bowl offering a rare view of another celeb: Mickey Rooney's backside.
· Cat Stevens Still Not Allowed In. U.S. Yusuf Islam is still barred from entering the United States because of intelligence that identifies him as a security threat. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said the intelligence is the same and the reasons the U.S. rejected Yusuf Islam several months ago still exist.
· U.N. accuses force of sex abuse. U.N. peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo exchanged eggs, bread and a few dollars for sex with girls they were meant to protect, the United Nations watchdog agency has said.
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.
Friday, January 7, 2005
· Pitt, Aniston Announce Separation. Hollywood glamour couple Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston have split, his publicist confirmed Friday. "For those who follow these sorts of things, we would like to explain that our separation is not the result of any speculation reported by the tabloid media," the actors said.
· Spector Said He Accidentally Shot Actress. Rock music producer Phil Spector initially told police he accidentally shot actress Lana Clarkson, then later said she committed suicide, according to newly released grand jury transcripts.
· Hillary Clinton's Campaign Finance Director Indicted. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's former finance director has been indicted on charges of causing false campaign finance reports to be filed with the Federal Election Commission, the Justice Department said.
· CBS to Develop Movie Based on Frey Book. CBS has bought the rights to make a television movie based on Amber Frey's book, released this week. The Fresno massage therapist's book, "Witness For the Prosecution of Scott Peterson," chronicles her relationship with Peterson, who was convicted on Nov. 12 of murdering his wife, Laci, and her fetus.
· 3 in 10 in U.S. Give Tsunami Aid. Almost three in 10 Americans say they have donated to victims of the tsunami in Southeast Asia, according to an Associated Press poll taken as the private total begins to approach the amount given by the government.
· Julia Roberts buys land from Rumsfeld. Actress Julia Roberts has purchased about 37 acres of land in Taos County, New Mexico, from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the Taos County clerk's office said Friday.
· 'Growing Pains' Actress Pleads Guilty. Former "Growing Pains" child star Tracey Gold pleaded guilty to driving drunk when her sport utility vehicle overturned, hurting her husband and two of her three children.
· Spacey to be Superman baddie. Double Oscar winner Kevin Spacey has been signed up to play the villainous Lex Luther in the new Warner Bros version of "Superman." "The Usual Suspects" and "American Beauty" star will play opposite Brandon Routh, the newcomer chosen in October as Superman in the role once played by the late Christopher Reeve.
· Judge: Listerine not same as flossing. An advertising campaign that says the mouthwash Listerine is as effective as floss at fighting tooth and gum decay is false and misleading and poses a public health risk, a judge has ruled.
· Latest Martha Stewart Show Needs Fixing. The latest cooking show from Martha Stewart's company should have been a good thing. But it isn't, and fixing it should be at the top of the domestic diva's post-prison to-do list.
· Singer James Brown Sued for Rape. A woman has filed a federal lawsuit claiming that famed rhythm and blues singer James Brown is to blame for her suffering from Graves' disease because he raped her at gunpoint in South Carolina in 1988.
· Drink-driver, 13, did 70mph in stolen car going the wrong way. A 13-year-old who became one of the youngest drink-drivers in the UK was given a four month custodial sentence yesterday after driving a stolen car at 70mph without lights in a 30mph residential area.
· Hooker Turns In John After Seeing Child Porn At His Home. A hooker turned in a customer after seeing child pornography, including a video of an apparent toddler rape, on the man's home computer, police said Thursday.
· The Dark Secrets of Highway Numbering. Major interstate routes have a one or two digit number associated with them. North-south routes have odd numbers (I-5) while east-west roads have even numbers (I-10).
· Britney's Kid Sister to Star in TV. She's been surrounded by celebrity just about all of her life, but Jamie Lynn Spears would have you believe she's just another Louisiana teenager blown away by the fact she gets to travel to Los Angeles from time to time to make TV shows, where they sometimes let her keep the clothes she wears on set.
· Reputed Ku Klux Klansman charged in 1964 slayings. A reputed Ku Klux Klansman was arrested late Thursday on murder charges in the 1964 slaying of three voter-registration volunteers, one of the last unsolved mysteries from the civil rights era, officials said.
· Beloved Manhattan doorman held in burglaries. An East Side doorman with a charming smile and the heart of a thief was charged yesterday with sneaking into co-op apartments and stealing a fortune in jewels and cash, authorities said. Investigators believe that between May and November, he stole a quarter-million dollars worth of treasures - and they are still linking him to other thefts.
· Betting the farm on low-carb potatoes. The smaller carb count may be good for marketing, but this particular tater was born out of Florida farmers’ hunt for a premium potato they could sell at higher prices to picky shoppers.
· Charges dropped in FBI 'spy case.' A federal judge Thursday dismissed all charges against a Chinese-American woman accused of using a sexual affair with an FBI agent to gain unauthorized access to classified documents.
· Docs: Spector Told Cops He Shot Actress. Rock music producer Phil Spector initially told police he mistakenly shot actress Lana Clarkson, though he has since changed his story to suggest she committed suicide, according to newly released grand jury transcripts.
· Dick Clark Remains Hospitalized. The "American Bandstand" icon watched Regis Philbin host "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve 2005" from his hospital bed and said "he enjoyed the show and thought Regis did a wonderfully professional job," Clark publicist Paul Shefrin said Wednesday. As promised, Clark kissed his wife, Kari, at midnight, the spokesman added.
· Jacko's sleazy secrets. The case against Michael Jackson is built on the memories of two young brothers who have detailed for prosecutors everything from the combination of Jacko's bedroom door to the location of one of his many stashes of pornography.
· The Odds of Dying. When major catastrophes strike, like the recent Asian earthquake and tsunami, the mass deaths can lead one to think that natural disasters are the most likely way people can die. Not by a long shot. You are more likely to commit suicide or fall to your death than be killed by a tsunami or any natural disaster, the statistics show.
· Detective: Blake's Cry Seemed Insincere. The police detective who told actor Robert Blake his wife was dead testified Thursday that Blake responded with a cry, but the officer said "it didn't seem to me to be a sincere cry."
Thursday, January 6, 2005
· Texas Mom's Murder Convictions Overturned. Andrea Yates walked into the warden's office Thursday at the psychiatric prison where she's serving a life sentence for drowning her children in the family bathtub and learned the murder convictions had been overturned.
· Couple Who Locked Boy In Trunk Avoid Prison. A judge in a downtown courtroom sentenced a couple to probation Wednesday for locking the woman's son in the trunk of their car while they celebrated her birthday in a bar.
· Man divorces wife before claiming lotto prize. It took Robert G. Swofford Jr. more than a month to come forward and claim his $60 million Lotto prize, but he had to take care of some unfinished business - divorcing his wife.
· Ashlee Simpson Booed at Orange Bowl. Ashlee Simpson's Orange Bowl halftime performance was a lemon, according to the 72,000-plus Miami crowd. The 20-year-old singer was soured by a discernible chorus of boos from the audience following a performance of her song "La La."
· Seattle fittest, Houston fattest. Seattle has been named the fittest city in the United States in the February issue of Men's Fitness magazine, leaping past the buff competition from Honolulu, Colorado Springs, San Francisco and Denver.
· Couple Mail Obits To Papers, Kill Selves. Authorities say a prominent Cheyenne couple who committed suicide over the New Year's weekend apparently died from carbon monoxide poisoning. The bodies of Ethan and Helen Levine were found Tuesday at their Cheyenne home after authorities and at least two media outlets received obituaries for the couple in the mail. The couple had written their obituaries themselves.
· Update: City of Anaheim seeks restraining order to block 'Los Angeles' Angels. The city of Anaheim asked a judge to block the Angels from adding Los Angeles to their name. Anaheim officials claim the name violates a stadium lease agreement that has provided nearly $30 million in public subsidies.
· CNN Lets 'Crossfire' Host Carlson Go. CNN said goodbye to pundit Tucker Carlson on Wednesday, and with him likely the "Crossfire" program that has been the granddaddy of high-volume political debate shows on cable television.
· Toilet brush wins wacky bowl. A toilet brush with a tag that says "Do not use for personal hygiene" has taken top prize for the wackiest consumer warning label of the year, according to an anti-lawsuit group.
· Oprah Hires Troops for Sri Lanka Search. Oprah Winfrey has hired a group of ex-Marines to search for "Oprah" regular Nate Berkus' friend, Fernando Bengoechea, who was swept away in the Dec. 26 tsunami. The team of former Marines will travel to the resort town of Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka, where Berkus and Bengoechea were vacationing when the tsunami hit.
· Boston Tea Party chest going home. A small wooden tea chest has returned to Boston more than 230 years after rebellious colonists dumped it overboard during a famous protest that helped set the scene for the American War of Independence. Or at least that's what the new owners would like you to believe.
· Teacher Accused Of Having Sex With Two 13-Year-Old Students. A middle school teacher was arrested for investigation of having sex with two former students. Sarah Bench-Salorio, 28, was arrested Tuesday after investigators questioned her about having sexual contact with 13-year-old boys in "numerous" locations.
· Apple sues popular Mac Web site. Apple Computer has sued a popular Macintosh rumour Web site for allegedly distributing trade secrets, the latest in a string of lawsuits the company has filed to stop Internet leaks of details of upcoming products.
· Blake Defense Attacks Handling of Evidence. A detective assigned to collect Robert Blake's clothes the morning after the actor's wife was shot to death testified Wednesday that he left the evidence in an uncovered box for two days in the trunk of his police car before it was turned in for testing.
· Accused deserter a no-show after leave. A U.S. Marine corporal already charged with desertion in his disappearance from Iraq last year has failed to return from leave and may have fled to Lebanon, Pentagon officials said Wednesday.
· New York FBI employee accused of soliciting sex from a minor. An FBI employee has been charged with trying to have sex with someone he thought was a minor but was actually an undercover police officer operating in an Internet sting, authorities said Wednesday.
· Going for the throat. An investment adviser that Carl Bernstein accused of following the honey is now following the money - seeking $13 million from the Watergate sleuth and his ex-model wife. Jeffrey Silver was arrested last year and accused of stalking the journalist and his wife, Christine Kuehbeck, who is Silver's ex-girlfriend, but the charges were dropped. Now Silver wants to bring down the man who helped bring down President Richard Nixon.
· Boston gang linked to al-Qaeda. A burgeoning East Boston-based street gang made up of alleged rapists and machete-wielding robbers has been linked to the al-Qaeda terrorist network, prompting Boston police to ``turn up the heat'' on its members.
· Witness: Jacko Defense Harassing Me. A comedy club owner who is a witness in the Michael Jackson molestation case held a news conference Wednesday to accuse the singer's defense team of harassing him. As soon as he wrapped up his remarks, he was served with a fresh defense subpoena.
Wednesday, January 5, 2005
· Judge tosses suit against Kennedy Smith. A judge Tuesday threw out a civil lawsuit filed against William Kennedy Smith by a former personal assistant who alleged he sexually assaulted her. Smith, the nephew of Sen. Edward Kennedy, has repeatedly denied he assaulted Audra Soulias. "(The lawsuit) had no merit from the beginning, it was frivolous," said Dan Webb, Smith's attorney. "Of course she was trying to cash in ... this case has been about money from the beginning."
· Knievel loses 'pimp' appeal. An ESPN caption under a photo of motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel and two women, declaring that "you're never too old to be a pimp,'' was a lighthearted use of teen slang, not a potentially libelous criminal charge, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday. Knievel, 66, and his wife, Krystal, one of the women in the photo, sued ESPN for libel after the photo appeared on the sports network's Web site. But in a 2-1 ruling, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a federal judge's dismissal of the suit.
· Klum Seals Seal Engagement. Last summer, Heidi Klum said she didn't want to rush into another marriage. So she waited about four months. The German-born supermodel is engaged to English-born singer Seal, her reps announced Tuesday. The New York Daily News supplied the juiciest engagement tidbit, describing Klum's new finger accessory as a "honking canary diamond ring." The marriage will be the second for Klum, 31; the first for Seal, 41.
· Man Charged Under Patriot Act for Laser Incident. Federal authorities Tuesday used the Patriot Act to charge a man with pointing a laser beam at an airplane overhead and temporarily blinding the pilot and co-pilot. The FBI acknowledged the incident had no connection to terrorism but called David Banach's actions "foolhardy and negligent."
· Kobe, T-Mac to donate $1,000 per point. Tracy McGrady, Kobe Bryant, Jermaine O’Neal and four other NBA players have promised to donate $1,000 for every point they score in a game later this week to help victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami.
· Tsunami survivor saved after 8 days on tree. An Indonesian has been rescued by a passing ship after surviving for eight days afloat on an uprooted tree in the Indian Ocean, Malaysian officials said on Wednesday.
· Mansion for a knockdown price. Billionaire co-founder of the computer giant Apple Steve Jobs is offering one of his homes for free to anyone who can afford to dismantle the 35-room mansion and remove it from his San Francisco estate.
· Reinventing the Wheel (and the Tire, Too). After decades spent persuading the world to ride on air, Michelin has begun work on an innovation that could render the pneumatic tire obsolete. Engineers at Michelin's American technology center here envision a future in which vehicles would ride on what they call the Tweel, a combined tire and wheel that could never go flat because it contains no air.
· Stern off four more stations. Broadcasting Corp. yanked Howard Stern from four stations this week due to tensions over the controversial radio host's tendency to tout his upcoming move to satellite radio.
· Richard Gere Speaks 'For Entire World' To Palestinians. In a transcript obtained by The Associated Press, he said: "Hi, I'm Richard Gere, and I'm speaking for the entire world. We're with you during this election time. It's really important: Get out and vote."
· Sheriff posts snipers after firings. On his first day on the job, the new sheriff called 27 employees into his office, stripped them of their badges, fired them, and had rooftop snipers stand guard as they were escorted out the door.
· Prosecutors Focus on Blake's Demeanor. Prosecutors in Robert Blake's murder trial focused on the actor's demeanor after his wife was found dying of gunshot wounds to suggest that Blake was putting on an act.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Venality [ve·nal·i·ty] n. 1. The condition of being susceptible to bribery or corruption. 2. The use of a position of trust for dishonest gain: "The venality of a corrupt court."
· Tech Gadget Show Features Hottest Products. With billions of dollars in sales at stake, telecommunications companies are joining the intensifying battle already begun by computing stalwarts and consumer electronics giants to push digital music, photos and television deeper into homes in 2005.
· Nine-Year-Old Boy Fascinated by Toilets. Nine-year-old Joey Sinay is so interested in how toilets work that he wrote a letter to a toilet maker asking if they would produce a clear commode. A clear toilet wasn't doable. But officials at Kohler wrote back twice. "We were so impressed by the fact that he took the time to write us a letter," Bashaw said. In December, the little plumber from Massillon got a present from Kohler — a state-of-the-art bulk flush toilet.
· Instant credit means instant identity theft. Today, consumers can walk into a Circuit City electronics store with nothing in their wallets, and walk out with a $3,000 plasma television in about 15 minutes. This is the "miracle of instant credit," described by the Federal Trade Commission's Howard Beale. But it's also a miracle for identity thieves. Just as consumers can drive off a car lot in an hour with a brand new $30,000 car, so can their imposters.
· Women Targeting Shoppers' Purses In Florida Cities. Authorities are searching for three women who are accused of stealing thousands of dollars worth of credit cards, bank cards and checks from purses in several Florida cities.
Tuesday, January 4, 2005
· Laser man charged with pointing at aircraft. A man who initially claimed his daughter aimed a laser at a helicopter was charged after he told federal agents that he pointed the light beam at two aircraft, authorities said Tuesday.
· Robert Blake Murder Trial Resumes. Actor Robert Blake's murder trial resumed Tuesday after a holiday recess with a woman recounting how she and her boyfriend hid by a tree and avoided intervening when they heard Blake yelling for help for his bleeding wife.
· Texas Thinking Big on Transportation. A new $175-billion project will be a transportation behemoth of mind-boggling proportions: 4,000 miles of mostly toll lanes perhaps a quarter-mile wide, capable of carrying cars, trucks, and high-speed freight and commuter trains.
· Officials Fear Child Traffickers May Prey On Tsunami Survivors. The case of a Swedish boy feared kidnapped in Thailand after the tsunami has raised fears in South Asia that child-trafficking gangs will exploit the disaster. The boy's father fears his 12-year-old son was taken by pedophiles.
· Pervert priest abuse nets $100 million deal. A judge unsealed the details yesterday of a record $100-million US settlement with a Southern California diocese over sex abuse allegations against clergy. Alleged victims sobbed as they spoke publicly about a deal that was nearly two years in the making.
· Update: Megabucks winner loses in court. Louise Outing's luck ran out Thursday when a judge denied the 94-year-old woman's request to force the state Lottery Commission to pay her entire $5.6 million winnings up front. Now, she must receive the payments over 20 years.
· Aid Flight Delayed in Indonesia After Plane Hits Cows. A Boeing 737 carrying aid for Tsunami victims hit a herd of cows as it landed early Tuesday in Indonesia's devastated Aceh province, forcing the airport to close and delaying relief flights.
· Rocker Drops F-Bomb on 'Tonight Show.' NBC hasn't received any calls about the F-word that Mötley Crüe rocker Vince Neil dropped during the live New Year's Eve broadcast of "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno."
· Painkillers Damage Intestine, U.S. Expert Says. More than 70 percent of patients who took painkillers such as ibuprofen for more than three months suffered damage to their small intestines, U.S. researchers reported on Monday.
· Bullock, DiCaprio, NBC to Aid Tsunami Victims. Hollywood opened its wallet on Monday to survivors of the tsunami disaster as movie stars Sandra Bullock and Leonardo DiCaprio donated big sums to relief agencies and NBC planned a celebrity benefit.
· Tribe shoots arrows at aid flight. There were fears that endangered tribal groups had been wiped out when massive waves struck their islands. But helicopters have been attacked by tribesmen using bows and arrows - giving authorities a strong signal that they have survived.
· Krispy Kreme busted. Plaintiffs claim Krispy Kreme knew its rapid expansion was saturating markets. Indeed, former company and franchise employees told plaintiff's lawyers that Krispy Kreme by mid-2003 was double-shipping wholesale orders to some grocers at the end of quarterly reporting periods in order to boost sales and earnings results temporarily, even though executives knew many of the doughnuts would be returned for credit later.
» Krispy Kreme to Restate '04 Results. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. on Tuesday said it would restate financial statements for its 2004 fiscal year due to errors in how it accounted for the repurchase of franchises, which could reduce earnings more than the company had previously forecast.
· Mistress says Scott still on her mind. Scott Peterson's ex-mistress Amber Frey confesses in her book that she "still thinks about Scott from time to time" — and "I sometimes wonder if he thinks about me."
· Latest Jackson ruling shields evidence. Less than a month before Michael Jackson's child-molestation trial is scheduled to begin, the court continued a pattern of shielding all evidence from public view Monday, releasing rulings with blacked-out pages.
· Baghdad governor assassinated. Baghdad Governor Ali Al-Haidri was assassinated Tuesday morning in Baghdad, according to an Iraq Interior Ministry official. One of the governor's bodyguards was killed and two wounded in the road ambush, officials said.
· Mom defends 'wave rat.' A Canadian student dubbed a "wave rat" for offering the domain name "tsunamirelief.com" for $50,000 on eBay was only trying to raise money for relief efforts, his mother said today
· Proof of diet claims slim, review finds. A review of 10 of the nation's most popular weight-loss programs found that except for Weight Watchers, none of them offer proof that they actually work at helping people shed pounds and keep them off.
· Tsunami Hero Jailed for Theft in Australia. An Australian hailed as a hero for allegedly rescuing more than a dozen tsunami victims in Thailand was arrested Monday as he returned home by police who recognized him as a suspected burglar.
· Bank Robber Does Nearly Everything Wrong. How many mistakes can one bank robber make? Let us count the ways the man who held up the Enterprise Bank in Salley, S.C., on Christmas Eve got things wrong.
Monday, January 3, 2005
· Starbucks hitches cab ride. Starbucks Coffee is not only popping up on every street corner, it's springing from the roofs of Boston's taxicabs as well. A holiday advertising gimmick placed atop cabs in recent weeks has been fooling Hub motorists who continually mistake the ad for a Starbucks cup left on the roof.
· Kathie Lee calls Regis show "tabloid hell." Kathie Lee Gifford, the irrepressible, effervescent, distaff half of the popular "Live With Regis and Kathie Lee" daytime talk show, shared her hopes, her dreams and her nightmares with morning television audiences for 15 years. But after several episodes of what she called "tabloid hell," she pulled up stakes four years ago, claiming she wanted to spend more time with her family.
· Did Jackson Accuser's Mom Falsely Solicit Aid for Son's Treaments? In 2000, when Jackson first met his accuser, an article appeared about the boy and his family in Mid Valley News, a community newspaper in the town of El Monte, just outside of Los Angeles. The story was an emotional appeal, detailing the boy's illness and asking for readers' financial charity. "Our car has been repossessed" the mother was quoted as saying. "One chemotherapy injection costs more than $12,000." Now, Connie Keenan, the editor of Mid Valley News, has characterized the accuser's mother in a most uncharitable manner. "My gut level: she's a shark. She was after money," Keenan said. "My readers were used. It's sickening."
· Expert tried to warn of tsunami. A Thai expert says he tried to warn the government a deadly tsunami might be sweeping towards tourist-packed beaches, but couldn't find anyone to take his calls. Samith Dhammasaroj said Monday he was sure a tsunami was coming as soon as he heard about the massive Dec. 26 earthquake off Indonesia's Sumatra island that measured magnitude 9.0 - the world's biggest in 40 years.
· Bullock Donates $1M for Tsunami Relief. Actress Sandra Bullock has donated $1 million to the American Red Cross to help relief efforts in countries affected by the deadly earthquake and tsunamis in southern Asia and eastern Africa.
· Bill Murray Scoffs at 'Difficult' Label. Bill Murray gets defensive when told he has a reputation for being difficult. "If it keeps obnoxious people away, that's fine," he tells Time magazine in its editions on sale Monday. "It makes me think of that line you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. People say this to you with a straight face, and I always say, 'Who. Wants. Flies?'"
· Queen tumbles at Christmas feast. A zealous young courtier moved aside the chair as Britain's Queen Elizabeth II arose at Christmas dinner — then looked on in horror as she promptly sat down again, ending up on the floor.
· Angels add Los Angeles to name. Baseball's Angels have a new name, and it's a mouthful: The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The switch will "strengthen the Angels' long-term economic health by enhancing the marketability through this metropolitan area and beyond," the team said Monday.
· Fox Affiliate Dumps 'Who's Your Daddy.' At least one Fox Broadcasting Co. affiliate has balked at airing Monday night's 90-minute special "Who's Your Daddy," which has raised the ire of adoption advocacy groups for a premise that revolves around an adopted woman trying to pick her biological father from a group of eight candidates.
· Renaming road snares mayor in legal tussle. When Paul Patton was governor, he named - without incident - nearly every bridge on U.S. 23 in Pike County for a car dealer, a radio station operator, and an ex-wife.
· Amber Frey set for primetime interview, book to hit stores Tuesday. Oops. The book wasn't supposed to be read just yet. But copies of Amber Frey's book somehow made it to the shelves in Modesto. It happens to be the home town of her ex-boyfriend, and now San Quentin death row resident, Scott Peterson.
· Date today is oddest in century. Today's date - 1/03/05, the first three odd numbers - is a digital fluke that happens, well, only once a century. "Haley's Comet happens more frequently than this does," said Ron Gordon, a teacher from Redwood City, Calif., who has declared today an official holiday for fellow oddballs.
· California Catholic school angers some parents and parishioners by admitting gay couple's sons. Some parents and parishioners have accused the Roman Catholic diocese in Orange County of violating church doctrine by allowing a gay couple to enroll their children in a church school.
· New Year: Time for a New Start? Whether it's Jan. 1 or March 24, Troiani said change starts with self-scrutiny. "You have to ask yourself heartfelt questions. Imagine a picture of what you want most in your life. Imagine two to five years go by and you haven’t made that change already. This will help you create a vision for your life, a mission statement," psychologist Maryann Troiani said. Then: make two to four little goals, with a specific start and finish time.
· Tigers, Tigger Among Weirdest 2004 Florida Stories. Only in Florida could tigers and Tigger rank among the strangest news stories. Tigger was on trial for groping a Disney World visitor and two tigers made the news
· US Airways execs serve passengers. More than 100 US Airways executives and other employees volunteered to serve coffee and snacks, sort and move bags and help passengers find their way Sunday at Philadelphia International Airport to try to avoid a repeat of the bankrupt carrier's Christmas weekend debacle.
· Mad Magazine Illustrator Freas Dies at 82. Kelly Freas, an influential illustrator who produced sleek, stirring images for science fiction and fantasy books and helped shape the image of Mad Magazine mascot Alfred E. Newman, has died.
Sunday, January 2, 2005
· 'Fockers' set two box office records. "Meet the Fockers" was the most popular movie in North America for a second weekend, and has now earned almost as much as its 2000 predecessor, "Meet the Parents," did in its entire run, according to studio estimates issued on Sunday.
· Delta to Slash Fares. Delta Air Lines Inc., the No. 3 U.S. carrier which has been restructuring in efforts to avoid a bankruptcy filing, is expected to slash fares and remove restrictive rules such as Saturday-night stays.
· Boy, 9, Gets Dying Wish To Meet Football Hero. A 9-year-old St. Louis boy, diagnosed with brain cancer, has always wanted to meet his favorite Rams Football Player. Today, his wish came true with the help of Dream Factory of Saint Louis.
· Dave Barry Column May Be Done in Miami. Popular humorist Dave Barry said Sunday's column for The Miami Herald was his last - maybe. Barry, who has written humor columns for three decades, including 22 years at the Herald, says he's holding out the possibility of a return.
· Man admits to 'playing' with laser. The attorney of a Lake Parsippany resident questioned by authorities about his suspected use of a laser light said Saturday her client was in the "wrong place at the wrong time."
· Astronauts on Candy Diet After Pantry Raided. The two U.S. and Russian astronauts on the International Space Station had to rely on a candy-laden diet for five weeks because their predecessors raided the pantry.
· Travolta Almost Unrecognizable in New Role. John Travolta is almost unrecognizable when he's first on the screen in the drama "A Love Song for Bobby Long." His hair is white, and his face is drawn and beaten.
· Magazine Toasts Unabashed Alcoholism. Modern Drunkard is an irreverent, 50,000-circulation glossy magazine full of pinup girls and macho men alongside articles on drinking, getting drunk and hiding a hangover from "the Man," i.e., the boss. It also includes serious examinations of liquor, biographies of history's great drunks and selected odes to the drinking life.
· Man Changes Name To Pronoun `They.' The 44-year-old formerly known as Andrew Wilson (and now known as "They") says the moniker swap started as a family joke because he always wondered, "Who is this `they' when people say `They say this' and `They say that?'"
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.
· Teen rabies survivor leaves hospital. A teenager who became the first person known to survive rabies without a vaccination went home Saturday after nearly 11 weeks in the hospital, officials said. Only five people are known to have survived the rabies virus after the onset of symptoms.
· Internet Sites Allow Gift Card Exchanges. The gift card - often viewed as the little, plastic solution for keeping friends and family out of the return lines - doesn't always serve as the ideal present. Responding to consumers who don't want to buy themselves another sweater, or will take a pass on a fancy steak dinner, Internet businesses have sprung up allowing people to sell or swap unwanted gift cards.
Saturday, January 1, 2005
· Al Pacino Began Career As Stand-Up Comic. Al Pacino as a stand-up comic? That's how he started his career, the Oscar-winning actor says. "There's a facility I have to fall down. I had a certain physical comedy I did with a partner. And I thought I was going to do that," he recently told reporters, according to AP Radio. "But I didn't want to be funny all the time, only when I felt like it. And that's not a good idea."
· Gifts stolen, winning ticket eases pain. Vincent Messina was upset when somebody stole several Christmas gifts from his mother, right off his back porch. But his mother gave him another gift that made up for the loss - a $100,000 lottery scratch ticket.
· Joyful start to 2005. It was out with the cold and in with the new year in Times Square last night, as up to a million party people welcomed 2005 with a glittering crystal ball, a blizzard of confetti and balmy temperatures.
· Man quizzed about laser incidents. Law enforcement officers were questioning a Parsippany, New Jersey, man who they say may have pointed a laser beam at an airborne police helicopter Friday night and a Cessna aircraft two nights before, said a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
· Exits found blocked at gutted nightclub. Emergency exits at a nightclub packed with teenagers were padlocked or wired shut when a flare ignited the foam ceiling, sparking a blaze that killed 175 people and injured more than 700 in one of Argentina’s worst disasters, survivors and officials said Friday.
· Punk Band Plays Baghdad on New Year's Eve. Two years ago, Saddam Hussein could not have imagined in his wildest nightmares that on New Year's Eve 2004 he would be sitting in a jail cell and a punk band known for albums titled "Hitler Bad, Vandals Good" and "Look What I Almost Stepped In" would be playing in the heart of his former empire.
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.
· Tsunami Survivors Mob U.S. Aid Copters. Desperate, homeless villagers on the tsunami-ravaged island of Sumatra mobbed American helicopters carrying aid Saturday as the U.S. military launched its largest operation in the region since the Vietnam War, ferrying food and other emergency relief to survivors.
· Tips to minimize your New Year's hangover. In a 2000 paper, Tulane University researcher Dr. Jeff Wiese and other researchers concluded that drinking cost the United States $148 billion in lost productivity each year, most of it from next-day hangovers at work. Remedies abound. Many are apocryphal, most are more folklore than science. It is not so much possible to neutralize drinking's effects as to minimize the aftermath.
· Anna Nicole's Lawyer Vows to Appeal Ruling. Anna Nicole Smith's lawyer vowed to ask a federal appeals court to reconsider after it ruled that the former Playboy model turned reality TV star is not entitled to $88.5 million from her late husband, an oil tycoon who married her when he was nearly 90.
Friday, December 31, 2004
· Casino wants to shed Trump brand. It might be called Trump: You’re fired. The Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians is seeking an early buy-out of the casino management contract it has with Trump’s bankrupt hotel and casino company to run Trump 29 Casino in Palm Springs.
· Tourists keep coming. While volunteers struggled to collect bodies washing up on the once-pristine beaches of an upscale resort isle in Thailand, tourists rolled out their towels yesterday, doffed their bikini tops and vacationed like nothing had happened.
· Hilton Arrives Late for Fla. Club Opening. The pink carpet was rolled out, the pink spotlights danced through the crisp night air of downtown Orlando, and everything seemed in place for the opening of Paris Hilton's first nightclub. Notably missing: One pink-loving hotel heiress. Hilton arrived six hours behind schedule - after many guests had left.
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.
· Argentina Club Fire Kills at Least 174. A fire swept through a crowded Buenos Aires nightclub during a rock concert, killing at least 174 people and injuring more than 410 as young concert-goers scrambled for the exits, officials said Friday.
· Bright light near airport bothers pilot. Somewhere on O'ahu today, a homeowner is rethinking the number of outdoor lights he turns on at night after the Federal Aviation Administration and Honolulu police told him they bothered a commercial airliner pilot making his approach to Honolulu International Airport.
Thursday, December 30, 2004
· In money-saving bid, TSA slashes party costs. The Transportation Security Administration nixed the $1,500 cheese plates and $4-a-cup coffee it had at last year’s ceremony recognizing the accomplishments of its employees, and instead opted for off-brand fruit punch and store-bought cookies for this year’s event.
· Tsunami Death Toll Rockets to 117,000. The death toll from last weekend's earthquake-tsunami catastrophe rose to more than 117,000 Thursday as Indonesia uncovered more and more dead from ravaged Sumatra island, where pilots dropped food to remote villages still unreachable by rescue workers. A false alarm that new killer waves were about to hit sparked panic in India, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
· Lasers illuminate airline cockpits on approach. Six commercial airliners in the past four days have had their cockpits illuminated by laser beams while attempting to land, a government official told CNN Wednesday. The incidents have happened "all over the place" and in "kind of odd places," the official said without elaborating.
· Another mad cow case suspected. A Canadian agency says it has found what may be another case of mad cow disease – just one day after the U.S. announced plans to reopen its border to live young cattle from Canada after a 19-month ban.
· Lottery winner, 94, sues to get it all now. Louise Outing is 94 years old, and she knows it would be foolish to expect to live another 20. So the lottery winner wants all of her cash now, not in payments spread out over the next two decades.
· Champagne or another sparkler? A bubbly 101. New Year’s Eve is right around the corner, and in the beverage business, the marketers and sellers of champagne and sparkling wine can be heard clinking their glasses from sea to shining sea.
· Porn unseated in list of 2004 junk email. Porn ads have slipped down the list of top junk e-mails in 2004, replaced by offers for arthritis drug Vioxx, ID theft scams and stock pick information, America Online says.
· Kim Cattrall's injures back because of so much time in bed. Kim Cattrall has injured her back - because she's spent so much time in bed. The blonde actress, who shot to fame playing man-eater Samantha Jones in hit US sitcom 'Sex and the City', sustained the injury rehearsing for new show 'Whose Life Is It Anyway.'
Word of The Day by WordThink
Anecdotal [an·ec·dot·al] adj. Based on casual observations or indications rather than rigorous or scientific analysis: "There is anecdotal evidence that the stock will soon double in price."
· Jazz giant Artie Shaw dies at age 94. Bandleader and clarinetist Artie Shaw, famed for his recording of “Begin the Beguine” and one of the giants of the swing era of jazz, died Thursday at age 94, his manager Will Curtis said.
· World Debates Decency Standards for TV. When the BBC recently announced it would air "Jerry Springer: The Opera," the West End hit famous for its vulgarity and a cast of characters including transsexuals and a man wearing a diaper, no one batted an eye. In Britain, after all, the biggest-selling daily newspaper carries a photograph of a bare-breasted woman every day.
· Man Said to Use Compressor on DUI Device. A man is accused of using an air compressor to defeat an ignition interlock device. Michael Simo, 41, had the device installed in his car after being convicted of multiple drunken driving offenses. Drivers are supposed to exhale into the device, and if it detects enough alcohol on the breath, the car won't start. Police said Simo used an air compressor to make it seem like he was breathing into the device.
· Minn. Can't Regulate Internet Calls. A Minnesota agency may not regulate calls through cyberspace as it does calls through traditional phone lines, a federal appeals court ruled. The Dec. 22 order by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis upholds a lower-court ruling and is a win for fledgling companies like Vonage Holdings Corp. of Edison, N.J., which provides Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP.
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
· US Lawyer Helped Spread Terror Message. A U.S. criminal defense lawyer was part of a plot to help her militant Muslim client smuggle messages out of prison calling for a return to violence in Egypt and the killing of Jews wherever they are, a federal prosecutor said.
· Attenborough family in shock as granddaughter is killed in tsunami. LORD Attenborough, the eminent actor and director, who regards the Isle of Bute as his home, is among those grieving after his 14-year-old granddaughter, Lucy, was killed in the Asian tsunami disaster.
· B of A's CEO to get $16.4 million severance. Bank of America Corp. Chairman Charles ``Chad'' Gifford will get severance pay of about $16.4 million when he retires next month, as well as incentives for this year valued at about $8 million.
· 'Jeopardy!' to Hold 'Super Tournament.' If winning more than $2.5 million wasn't enough, "Jeopardy!" whiz Ken Jennings will have a shot at winning an additional $2 million - but the competition will be tougher this time around.
· Elvis guitarist Hank Garland dead. Legendary country, rock and jazz guitarist Hank Garland, who performed with Elvis Presley, the Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison, Patsy Cline, Charlie Parker and many others, has died at the age of 74.
· 'Scary' past of New Jersey Governor's wife. New Jersey's first lady went public with details of her struggles with depression yesterday, telling a television interviewer that she once thought about putting her "baby in my microwave."
· Woman, 55, gives birth to own grandchildren. A 55-year-old woman who gave birth to triplets for a daughter who was unable to conceive said Wednesday she was "a caring incubator" and was awe-struck when she learned she was carrying three children.
· U.S. Population to Total 295 Million on New Year's Day. As our nation prepares to ring in the New Year, the U.S. Census Bureau today projected the Jan. 1, 2005, population of the United States will be 295,160,302, up 2,835,602 or 1.0 percent from New Year's Day 2004.
· Gotti gets out of 'hole.' Peter Gotti will soon be back rubbing elbows with the mob - in federal prison. A federal judge ordered the convicted Gambino mob boss removed from solitary confinement yesterday. "He basically lives in a concrete tomb and we've managed to change that," said Gotti's lawyer Joseph Bondy.
· Celebrities Among Victims of Tsunami. A German statesman, a Czech supermodel and a Swedish Olympic ski champion were among the vacationers whose search for peace and sun in tropical southern Asia was shattered by the tsunamis that spared neither rich nor poor.
· Where are all the dead animals? Sri Lankan wildlife officials are stunned - the worst tsunami in memory has killed thousands of people along the Indian Ocean island's coast, but they can't find any dead animals.
· American diver underwater during catastrophe. An American woman who was scuba diving with her husband in Thailand as one of Sunday's tsunamis roared overhead said she was oblivious to the disaster until after they surfaced, her mother said Tuesday.
· Family Complains About Public Access Porn On Christmas Morn. A northeast Ohio family hoping to see choirs perform holiday music on Christmas morning instead saw adult programming on the local public access television station.
· Pennsylvania man receives no Christmas gifts, burns down Mom and Dad's house. A Pennsylvania man, angry because he received no presents for Christmas, burned down his parents' house early the next morning, police said.
· Broadway's Box Office Up Slightly in 2004. Broadway's box office inched upward in 2004 and attendance also increased slightly, according to figures released by the League of American Theatres and Producers.
Tuesday, December 28, 2004
· Ousted Fannie Mae CEO to Get $1.3 Million a Year - For Life. Franklin Raines, who was forced out as Fannie Mae's chief executive after five years, is due to receive a pension of $1.3 million a year for life, according to an agreement with the mortgage lending giant.
· Britney, Paris Top List Of Most Annoying People. It's a tie between Britney Spears and Paris Hilton for Star magazine's title of most annoying person of 2004. Spears got the nod for doing everything but singing and dancing, including getting married - twice.
· Author and Activist Susan Sontag Dies. Susan Sontag, the author, activist and self-defined "zealot of seriousness" whose voracious mind and provocative prose made her a leading intellectual of the past half century, died Tuesday. She was 71.
· Tsunami Death Toll Hits 30,000 Mark. Officials now say at least 30,000 people are dead in the weekend quake and tsunamis in south Asia. Officials say another 3,700 deaths have been confirmed in Sri Lanka. That country reports the greatest number of dead out of the 11 south Asian and African countries reporting fatalities in the disaster.
· U.N. official slams U.S. as 'stingy' over aid. The Bush administration yesterday pledged $15 million to Asian nations hit by a tsunami that has killed more than 22,500 people, although the United Nations' humanitarian-aid chief called the donation "stingy," saying there would be more available if taxes were raised.
· N.Y. supermodel held on for dear life for 8 hours in raging surf. Jet-setting supermodel Petra Nemcova survived the terrifying Asian tsunami by clinging to the top of a palm tree for eight hours - wincing through the pain of a broken pelvis and haunted by the sight of her boyfriend being swept out to sea.
· Defense secretary's remark to troops fuels conspiracy theories. A comment Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld made during a Christmas Eve address to U.S. troops in Baghdad has sparked new conspiracy theories about the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. But in his remarks, Rumsfeld referred to the "the people who attacked the United States in New York, shot down the plane over Pennsylvania."
· Yanks, Angels BoSox to Pay Luxury Tax. The Boston Red Sox got an extra bill after winning the World Series. Boston and Anaheim must pay baseball's luxury tax along with the New York Yankees, according to final figures compiled by the commissioner's office. The Yankees are required to pay $25,026,352, according to a Dec. 21 memorandum that was sent to all major league teams. Boston owes $3,155,234 for exceeding the payroll threshold of $120.5 million and Anaheim got a bill for $927,059.
· Physics Whiz Reveals Age To Classmates After Invite To Strip Club. Daniel Koo is a star physics student at Cerritos College - and he's only 14. Koo skipped three high school grades - he scored 1510 out of a possible 1600 on the SAT - and he's taking tough physics courses in hopes of being accepted next year by the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
· AOL Reports Drop in Spam Messages. The world's largest Internet service provider believes spammers are starting to give up - at least when it comes to sending junk to its subscribers. The total number of e-mail messages destined for America Online Inc. members averaged 1.6 billion in November a day, down from 2.1 billion daily a year earlier, the company said Monday. The drop was almost entirely in spam, AOL said.
Monday, December 27, 2004
· George Carlin Entering Drug Rehab Clinic. Comedian George Carlin is entering a drug rehabilitation facility to shake his dependence on wine and a painkiller. "I'm going into rehab because I use too much wine and Vicodin," the 67-year-old Carlin said in a statement released Monday by his publicist, Jeff Abraham. "No one told me I needed this. I recognized the problem and took the step myself."
· Another reason to drop more money in the Catholic basket this Sunday. Police on foot patrol in one of the world's largest pedestrian islands - St. Peter's Square - got some welcome relief on Friday when new golf-cart style electric vehicles arrived just in time for Christmas. The four new carts, made by Italy's famed Lamborghini carmaker, will allow Italian police to move more quickly around the vast square in front of Christendom's largest church.
· Man Says Internet-Controlled Christmas Lights Were Faked. A Lafayette, Colo., man who claimed his Christmas lights could be controlled by Internet visitors from all over the world admitted Monday that it was all a big hoax.
· 'Oprah' regular survives tsunami devastation. A celebrity interior decorator vacationing in Sri Lanka said Monday that all he could see was "utter devastation" in the wake of a deadly tsunami that slammed the island.
· Asia quake death toll tops 21,000. The death toll from Sunday's tsunamis climbed to 21,000 by Monday as fears of disease from decaying bodies and contaminated water grew in Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
· Silver Dollar May Be Worth Millions. A man in Nebraska said he got just that when he checked out a retirement gift he was given. Larry Svoboda said he thinks he's in possession of an 1804 silver dollar. Only 15 1804 silver dollars were ever made. The first sold for $4.5 million.
· Year-End Tax Tips Can Save You Money. During the holiday season, visions of sugar plums are typically dancing in our heads, not Uncle Sam. Here are 10 things you can do before Dec. 31 to reduce your 2004 tax bill.
· Amazon.com Tops Record for One-Day Sales. Amazon.com Inc. on Monday said sales of consumer electronics surpassed book sales for the first time and was its largest sales category over the Thanksgiving weekend, launching the online retailer's busiest holiday selling season in 10 years.
· Worker Shortage Snarls U.S. Airways Flights. Bankrupt US Airways late Saturday blamed more than 300 canceled flights and thousands of pieces of stranded luggage on the aftereffects of a heavy winter storm and large numbers of workers who called in sick during the crucial holiday travel period. US Airways canceled 176 flights on Friday and 143 flights on Saturday mainly due to "an unusually high number" of flight attendants and other workers calling in sick, said Amy Kudwa, an airline spokeswoman.
· Man Walks Miles With Bullet Wound In Head. A Fort Valley, Ga. man walked nearly 2 miles with a bullet hole in his head after being shot in a robbery, determined to die in the presence of loved ones if that was his fate. Larry Taylor, 37, finally made it to his mother's house, but didn't realize she had moved away to a nursing home.
· Freed Actor Reunited With Family in U.S. Actor Erik Anthony Aude, who was freed from a Pakistani prison after serving two years on a drug charge, returned home Sunday night to an emotional reunion with family and friends.
Sunday, December 27, 2004
· ‘Fockers’ sets Christmas Day box-office record. Millions of Americans went shopping for comedy this weekend, giving the star-studded “Meet the Fockers” the record for the best single Christmas Day box office take. The sequel, reuniting Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro and adding Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand as Stiller’s parents, earned $44.7 million over the holiday weekend according to studio estimates.
· Martha loses decor award at Camp Cupcake. Martha Stewart — the princess of perfection and guru of gracious living — suffered a major Christmas setback at Camp Cupcake. She and her jail "cottage" mates failed to win the annual Alderson Prison contest for the best decorated cottage door.
· Drug Firms Issue Memos on Michael Moore. Some pharmaceutical companies are telling their employees to look out for the scruffy guy in the baseball cap. The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that at least six drug companies have released internal communications telling employees to be wary of filmmaker Michael Moore.
· Thousands of travelers cope with holiday headaches. Tens of thousands of travelers spent Christmas in an airport, as Comair canceled all of its flights and many US Airways passengers waited to be reunited with their luggage.
· 'Minister of Defense' Reggie White dies at 43. Reggie White, a fearsome defensive end for the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers and one of the NFL's greatest players, died Sunday, his wife said.
Saturday, December 25, 2004
· Man gives $35,000 to Denver homeless. The man walked into the building, pulled out a thick roll of $100 bills and began passing them out to each of the approximately 300 residents. When he was finished, he had given out $35,000.
· Ohio Couple Plunk Down $85 to Have Pew for Christmas Eve. Joe and Kathy Tricaso weren't taking any chances on not getting a seat for Mass on Christmas Eve. The couple, who live in the Akron suburb of Green, spent $85 in a church auction last summer to reserve a pew.
· Letterman Tapes Christmas Eve Show in Iraq. David Letterman brought his late-night show to Marines serving in Iraq on Friday, loosening up the Camp Taqaddum crowd with the line, "Anybody here from out of town?"
· Market May Pull Microwaveable Stuffed Animals. Whole Foods Markets is reconsidering whether to continue selling a line of microwaveable stuffed animals that an educator said could lead children to believe there is nothing wrong with putting their pets in household appliances.
· Naughty children lose gifts to eBay. Dad and Mom had warned their sons that the Nintendo DS video system — and the three games that go with it — were headed for the auction block if they didn’t get their act together. “No kidding. Three undeserving boys have crossed the line. Tonight we sat down and showed them what they WILL NOT get for Christmas this year. I’ll be taking the tree down tomorrow,” the man announced in his eBay posting.
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· First white Christmas in 86 years for Texas town. Mother Nature delivered a bone-chilling Christmas to much of the nation Saturday, but holiday travelers made it out in droves despite record snow that shut down highways two days early.
· Brando Ex-Business Manager Files Lawsuit. Marlon Brando's former business manager filed a $3.5 million claim against his estate, alleging the Oscar winner sexually harassed her and breached their contract by removing her as a co-executor of his will days before his death.
· Fast-food worker rescues drive-thru customer. A McDonald's worker ran to the rescue of an allegedly drunk driver whose car was rolling toward a canal, pulling the man from behind the wheel about 10 feet before the vehicle fell into the water and submerged.
· Howard Hughes Grave a Popular Tourist Site. Howard Hughes probably would have liked Friday, his 99th birthday. With temperatures around the freezing mark in normally balmy Houston, the gravesite of the man whose name was invariably prefaced by "reclusive eccentric billionaire" was devoid of visitors.
· 'Motor City Madman' Ted Nugent Turns Texan. The Motor City Madman is officially turning Texan. Michigan rocker and hunting activist Ted Nugent says he plans to get a Texas driver's license soon. He said in a phone interview Wednesday that he'll officially become a Texas resident in 2005, after moving his family to Crawford, Texas, about 18 months ago.
· Hackers Aim to Sabotage Holiday Computing. Hackers, spammers and spies go into overdrive in December and January, when unsuspecting neophytes unwrap new computers, connect to the Internet, and, too often, get hit with viruses, spyware and other nefarious programs.
Friday, December 24, 2004
· Bible insert in Sunday paper inspires debate in Springs. When subscribers to the Colorado Springs Gazette picked up their Sunday paper this week, they got more than the typical free sample of detergent.
· YMCA Chief Fired for Transgender Ball Flap. A YMCA director has been fired and overnight facility rentals banned after the parents of young children arriving for a morning swim meet clashed with participants in an overnight transgender fashion show and ball.
· New 'Late' host: It's not just for laughs. Craig Ferguson doesn't yet know exactly where he's going to take "The Late Late Show" he'll start in mid-January. But there's one thing the standup comedian knows for certain: It isn't all about the laughs.
· Has Paige Davis gone into hiding? The 35-year-old fix-it vixen - who presides over The Learning Channel's house-swapping show, "Trading Spaces," in which neighbors redecorate each others' homes - had been scheduled to go on the "Today" show this morning for an interior-design segment. But Davis abruptly canceled the appearance after it was reported that she's the object of hot cyberspace rumors concerning an allegedly steamy homemade video.
· Cold Turkey: No More Paris for Columnist. Gossip columnist Lloyd Grove is so over Paris Hilton. Grove devoted his full column in Thursday's New York Daily News to Hilton - and why she won't appear there ever again.
· Boy Claus booted out of N.H. school dance. A 12-year-old New Hampshire boy who wanted to jolly up his junior high dance by dressing in a Santa suit instead got a lesson in political correctness when his Scroogelike principal turned the student away, fearing he might offend his classmates.
· Accuser's lawyers to seek Kobe's sexual history. Attorneys for the woman accusing Kobe Bryant of rape say they should be allowed to ask the Los Angeles Lakers star about his sexual history as part of her civil lawsuit, according to court documents prepared Thursday.
· Radio Stations Face Fine For 'Naked Twister' Game. Popular Kansas City rock jock Johnny Dare has something in common with Howard Stern and Janet Jackson - all three have been accused of indecency by the Federal Communications Commission.
· Tower Blast Sends Steel Bolt Into Bedroom. A Cleveland couple were jarred awake when a three-inch steel bolt crashed through their window and landed on their bed. Walter Currier and Faith Wiley weren't hurt by the bolt but were unnerved by the incident that included a deafening sound.
Thursday, December 23, 2004
· Camera Phone Criminals Targeting Holiday Shoppers. Thieves armed with camera cell phones are using the devices to steal credit card numbers, bank account numbers and even ATM numbers from holiday shoppers.
· Pope defrocks pervert priest shot amid abuse charges. A priest who was shot and wounded in 2002 by a former altar boy he allegedly molested more than a decade ago has been defrocked by Pope John Paul II.
· Baby Kidnapping Suspect Had Her Tubes Tied, Her Ex-Husband Says. According to her ex-husband, the woman accused of taking a fetus from a mother-to-be often faked being pregnant to get attention. And Carl Boman told a local Kansas City TV station that he thinks his former wife needed to come up with a baby to save face. Boman says Lisa Montgomery had her tubes tied 14 years ago.
· Gang Can't Spend $42 Million Haul. $24.5 million of the Northern Ireland haul were new notes bearing Northern Bank's own design and destined for ATMs, which aren't readily accepted in other parts of the United Kingdom or other countries. Jeffrey Robinson, author of the book "The Money Launderer," said the gang took too much cash, and of too conspicuous a design, to spend or even hide. "They obviously did not count on there being so much money, and Northern Irish notes," Robinson said. "The money is fundamentally useless. I suspect they know that by now."
· Rowland pleads guilty to corruption. Former Gov. John G. Rowland, driven from office by a corruption scandal, pleaded guilty Thursday to a single federal charge that carries a sentence of up to five years in prison.
· Government Alters Airport Patdown Rules for Women. In response to numerous complaints from women, the government has ordered airport security personnel to avoid touching female passengers between their breasts when performing patdowns.
· Judge Lifts Block on Arizona Immigrant Law. A federal judge lifted a block on a controversial Arizona law on Wednesday forcing state officials to begin restricting some government benefits to illegal immigrants.
· Down goes Gotti, guilty of hit plot. A jury found Peter Gotti guilty yesterday of ordering the failed revenge hit on mob snitch Salvatore (Sammy Bull) Gravano - meaning the Gambino crime boss is likely to spend the rest of his days behind bars.
· Nevada high court says ‘Son of Sam’ law is unconstitutional. A state law allowing victims of felonies to collect money from offenders who produce books, magazines or movies related to the crime is an unconstitutional violation of free speech, the Nevada Supreme Court has ruled.
· Ford won't sell cars to Arkansas police. A dispute with Arkansas' attorney general over claims made about its police cars has led Ford Motor Co. to suspend delivery of its Crown Victoria Police Interceptors to Arkansas agencies.
· Jury Hears Testimony in Blake Murder Trial. Dr. Jeffrey Gutstadt said that the absence of soot and "stippling" marks around Bonny Lee Bakley's wounds indicated that the shooter was more than 1 1/2 feet away when the gun was fired. He also said the damage from the shots made it unlikely that paramedics could have saved her life.
· Martha unwraps wish for jail reform. Martha Stewart has undergone a Scrooge-like transformation behind bars, sending out a Christmas call for prison reform that would make Charles Dickens proud. "So many of the women here at Alderson will never have the joy and well-being that you and I experience. Many of them have been here for years, devoid of care, devoid of love, devoid of family," wrote Stewart, who's serving a five-month stint at the federal prison camp in Alderson, W.Va.
· 'Who's Your Daddy?' TV show sparks fury. The "Who's Your Daddy?" show, in which a young woman given up for adoption as a child gets a $100,000 prize for picking out her biological father from a line-up, is the latest in America's obsession with reality TV programming.
· Waitress saves Santa's sack of $3,000 in cash. This is a tale about a forgetful Santa and the honest, hardworking Manhattan waitress who saved Christmas for dozens of little boys and girls in the Bronx.
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
· Bernard Kerik Resigns From Giuliani's Consulting Firm. Former police commissioner Bernard Kerik resigned Wednesday from Rudolph Giuliani's consulting firm, less than two weeks after his nomination as U.S. homeland security chief collapsed amid a rash of allegations of personal and professional improprieties.
· 'Friends' Lawsuit Takes on Tradition. Writer Janis Hirsch faced a painful ritual at one sitcom: She'd get a tap on the shoulder from one or another male colleague, turn around and find them exposing themselves.
· Ga. Dentist Indicted for Ex-Girlfriend's Death. The husband of a Gwinnett County woman found dead in her home was arrested Wednesday after a grand jury returned an indictment in another case — the death of his former girlfriend 14 years ago.
· Mosul Attack Was a Suicide Bombing. New evidence shows the bombing of a U.S. military mess tent in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Tuesday — which killed 22 people and wounded 69 others — was a suicide attack. Investigators at the base have found remnants of a torso and a suicide vest that was probably a backpack.
· Teen Accused Of Shooting Santa With Pellet Gun. A 17-year-old is accused of firing a pellet gun from a second-story window, hitting a man dressed as Santa Claus on Monday night. Police said the boy confessed.
· OOPS! NASA says rocket left satellite in wrong orbit. NASA officials said Wednesday that a Delta 4 satellite is in the wrong orbit. The new Boeing Delta 4 Heavy rocket launched from Cape Canaveral Tuesday afternoon. However, hours after the launch, the rocket stranded a dummy satellite in the wrong orbit. It happened when the booster's first stage shut down 10 seconds early and did not reach the right altitude.
· Mystery Martian 'Carwash' Helps Space Buggy. An unexplained phenomenon akin to a space-borne car wash has boosted the performance of one of the two U.S. rovers probing the surface of Mars, New Scientist magazine said on Tuesday.
· Scared of Santa photo gallery. Nothing says Happy Holidays like a photo of sweet little toddlers screaming at Santa. The first 25 photos in this gallery are from the Chicago Tribune's "Scared of Santa" contest.
· U.S. Actor Blake Acted Oddly, Witnesses Say. Actor Robert Blake kept his distance and offered no aid to his wife as she lay dying of bullet wounds in a parked car, the first three witnesses in his murder trial said on Tuesday.
· Survey Reveals Physicians' Views of Faith, Prayer and Miracles. A national survey of 1,100 physicians, conducted by HCD Research and the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies of The Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City over the past weekend, found that 74% of doctors believe that miracles have occurred in the past and 73% believe that can occur today.
· Pregnant victim, suspect were together at dog show, participant says. Bobbie Jo Stinnett and the woman accused of strangling her and cutting her baby from her womb were photographed together at a dog show months before last week's attack, a woman who attended the show said.
· Mom sues Wal-Mart over daughter's suicide. Near the end of her short life, Shayla Stewart, a diagnosed manic-depressive and schizophrenic, assaulted police officers and was arrested for attacking a fellow customer at a Denton Wal-Mart where she had a prescription for anti-psychotic medication.
· Census: Nevada, Arizona tops in growth. U.S. population grows another 3 million, reaches nearly 294 million, with Nevada, spurred in large part by the sprawling growth around Las Vegas, grew by 4.1 percent to 2.3 million people, and Arizona had the second-largest growth, up 3 percent to 5.7 million.
· Death of lotto winner's granddaughter 'not looking like murder.' An autopsy Tuesday on the 17-year-old granddaughter of the nation's largest lottery winner provided few clues to her death, though investigators are leaning against homicide.
· Wrong John Kerry Gets NY Electoral Votes. Even John Q. Public knows the middle initial of losing presidential candidate John F. Kerry. But New York's 31 electoral college votes are currently on the books for some guy named John L. Kerry. State officials acknowledged the mistake Tuesday after the official "certificate of vote" appeared on the Web site of the National Archives.
· Toy maker equips train with condom. A 145-year-old German maker of toy trains is giving its adult customers a chance to have a one-track mind. The miniature train company Marklin is packing a condom alongside a blue freight car emblazoned with the name of Blausiegel, a German condom maker.
· Boeing test-launches mammoth new rocket. A massive new 17 million horsepower Boeing rocket lumbered from its seaside pad Tuesday on a mission to prove the vehicle is capable of lofting super-sized military satellites into orbit.
· Man Tries to Stop Wrong Van at Wal-Mart. A 71-year-old woman heading home from a store was surprised to find a man accusing her of stealing his van. The kids were screaming something terrible," she said. "I started driving with him still hanging onto the car. He fell off somewhere along (the way)." The honking got the attention of police Cpl. Susan Lambright, who was working a security shift in the store. As it turns out, the man did not have permission to be in that van either, but the owner declined to press charges, police said.
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
· Miami police use taser to subdue man in wheelchair. Police say they responded to a domestic violence call at a home where the wheelchair-bound man got into an argument with his girlfriend, then allegedly threatened police with a pair of scissors.
· Remains of Mafia captains identified. The New York Medical Examiner's Office has identified the skeletons of Philip "Phil Lucky" Giaccone and Dominick "Big Trin" Trinchera, two Mafia figures believed to be the victims of a gangland shooting more than 20 years ago, FBI officials said Tuesday.
· Clark Hospitalized at Least Through December. TV personality-producer Dick Clark will spend Christmas, and perhaps New Year's Eve, in a hospital where he's recovering from a mild stroke, his spokesman said Tuesday.
· Pilot sought after cocaine found. Authorities called to the scene of a weekend Piper Aerostar twin-engine plane crash found no people - dead or alive - but they did find $24 million worth of cocaine.
· Record $39M Robbed From Irish Bank. Thieves stole more than $39 million from a Belfast bank in the biggest robbery in Northern Ireland history after holding family members of two bank officials hostage for a day in their homes, authorities said Tuesday.
· Washington Post buys Slate online magazine. Microsoft Corp. sold its popular Slate online magazine Tuesday to The Washington Post Co., a move that makes Slate's political commentary and quirky feature articles more broadly available across the Internet.
· Rap Singer Snoop Dogg Sues Woman, Lawyers. Rap singer Snoop Dogg has sued a woman and her attorneys for extortion, alleging they demanded $5 million to keep silent about an alleged assault against her, according to a lawsuit.
· 'Urinating' Deputy Resigns. A uniformed Orange County sheriff's deputy who was caught on a security camera urinating in a building's elevator resigned Monday, the same day a hearing was scheduled on the appeal of his firing.
· Google/Yahoo Rivalry Moves Into 2005. Even as they trade counterpunches punctuating their similarities, Internet heavyweights Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc. have strived for different goals - distinctions that may become more apparent as the fierce rivalry moves into 2005.
· Pregnant-Slay Probe Followed Cyber Trail. In the end, it wasn't a fingerprint or a blood spatter that led authorities to the woman suspected of strangling a mother-to-be and cutting the baby from her womb. It was an 11-digit computer code.
» Suspect's husband recaps meeting baby. When Kevin Montgomery was presented with a newborn child, he said he believed his wife's story - that the girl was theirs. He had no idea, he said, that an eight-months-pregnant woman had just been strangled in her home, her baby cut from her womb.
· Aleve Latest Drug to Draw Scrutiny. An Alzheimer's disease prevention trial was suspended after researchers said there were more heart attacks and strokes among patients taking naproxen, an over-the-counter pain reliever in use for 28 years and commonly known under the brand name Aleve.
· Prosecutor accused of crime after ethics speech. Police suspect a French prosecutor of paying a prostitute with a stolen credit card just hours after addressing a conference on ethics, a Justice Ministry source says.
· Red Bull founder rides wave of success. Dietrich Mateschitz grabbed the one-billion-cans-a-year energy drink market by the horns when he introduced Red Bull more than a decade ago, and he hasn't let go.
· Wal-Mart introduces $498 laptop without Micro$oft. Walmart.com has released the $498 Balance laptop, which runs the Linux-based operating system Linspire. The laptop comes fully equipped with the operating system, Internet suite, and Microsoft-file compatible office suite, and can be used with both dial-up modems and broadband connections.
· Prosecutor Accuses Blake in Wife's Death. Robert Blake's prosecutor and defense attorney differed Monday over whether the actor killed wife Bonny Lee Bakley, but agreed that the couple's marriage was not a Hollywood-style love match.
· Companies Team Up for All-In-One HIV Pill. Two drug companies announced Monday they will collaborate on developing the first all-in-one, once-a-day pill to treat HIV infection — a long-sought goal that would make it much easier for patients to stick with their medication.
· Cruise Leaves Big Tip For Accident Victim. Cruise walked into a Virginia Dairy Queen and saw the jar with a photo of Ashley Flint and her story. Flint was in a go-cart accident in September. It has left her family with a mountain of hospital bills. So Cruise left $5,000 in cash in the jar.
· Wesley Snipes Sues NYC Over Paternity Test. Action film star Wesley Snipes sued the city, charging that it had no jurisdiction to seek his DNA in a paternity suit filed in Indiana by a woman he said was crack-addicted and mentally ill.
· Prosecutors, Ex-AOL Engineer Strike Plea. Federal prosecutors and a former America Online software engineer have negotiated a tentative plea agreement over charges he stole more than 92 million e-mail addresses and sold them to Internet spammers, according to two people familiar with the case.
· Rowling Completes Sixth Potter Book. Harry Potter readers, here's an extra special holiday gift: J.K. Rowling announced Monday that she has completed the sixth Potter novel, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince."
Monday, December 20, 2004
· Lottery winner's granddaughter found dead. The 17-year-old granddaughter of Jack Whittaker, winner of the nation's biggest lottery jackpot ($314.9 million), was found dead today along a country road, more than two weeks after she disappeared. Whittaker has had several brushes with the law since he won the prize.
· Low-carb craze over. A study by NPD Group, an independent marketing information company, found that the percentage of American adults on any low-carb diet in 2004 peaked at 9.1% in February and dropped to 4.9% by early November.
· Zamboni explodes on ice rink. Investigators were trying to determine on Monday the cause of the Sunday night explosions that destroyed a local ice arena and injured several broomball players and fans. People inside the building said they suspected the explosion came from a room containing an ice-grooming machine, which are often known by the brand name Zamboni.
· UPS driver in need of delivery. A United Parcel Service driver was on his way to deliver parts to Cheshire Medical Center in New Hampshire when his truck was involved in a serious crash. The driver was taken to the same hospital by ambulance with a head injury, but the hospital couldn’t run some of the tests he needed because the machine was broken, and the parts to fix it were still on the man's UPS truck.
· Author suing over Da Vinci bestseller. A New Zealand author is embroiled in a plagiarism row over Dan Brown's blockbuster hit, the religious thriller The Da Vinci Code, and has launched legal action against the novel's publishers.
· Campaign of deception used to push patriotic song up charts. Country singer Chely Wright said yesterday she was dismissing the head of her fan club and shutting down a team of volunteers after it was learned that some of them posed as members of the military or their families to promote her latest song.
· Jackson's Lawyers Seek Six-Week Delay. Michael Jackson's lawyers went to court Monday to seek a six-week delay in his child molestation trial, saying they need the extra time to sort through 14,000 pages of evidence filed by prosecutors over the past two months.
· War hits home for 'Kato' Kaelin. Aspiring actor and former O.J. Simpson houseguest Brian "Kato" Kaelin says his nephew was killed in the war in Iraq. Kaelin said he considered canceling his public appearance because of the death of his nephew.
· Indian eBay CEO jailed over sex tape listing. Parent company eBay and Indian industry officials have expressed anger and concern over the jailing of the CEO of eBay's Indian subsidiary in connection with the online sale of a sex video.
· Lane calls cops & hubby's arrested. Actor Josh Brolin was arrested yesterday in Los Angeles on a charge of spousal battery after an argument with his wife, actress Diane Lane. The son of actor James Brolin was booked in West Los Angeles after cops responded to a call from Lane at the newlyweds' home, LAPD Officer Grace Brady said.
· Mick has more children to see than Santa. If you are daunted by the endless Christmas merry-go-round of family visits, remember there is always someone who has it tougher than you. And that someone is probably Sir Mick Jagger. The 62-year-old lothario has to pay for his womanising ways every December by juggling his time to keep his girlfriend, ex-girlfriends, ex-wives and seven children happy.
· Geragos sets up a Scott Peterson website to beg for funds. Mark Geragos has created a website that is designed "for Scott to get the justice he deserves," and is asking people to pull out their credit cards and send him money for further investigation costs. Like OJ Simpson, Geragos is apparently hoping to find the real killer.
· Woman Accused Of Cutting Baby From Womb Due In Court. The woman accused of killing an expectant mother and cutting the baby from the victim's womb will make her first court appearance Monday in Kansas City, Kan.
· Grisly killing adds to town's notoriety. First came the notorious "Skidmore bully," Ken Rex McElroy, whose death made national headlines. He had so terrorized the town that when somebody gunned him down in broad daylight in 1981, nobody would admit to seeing a thing. Then on Oct. 16, 2000, Wendy Gillenwater was stomped to death by her boyfriend. Locals take comfort in knowing the killer is serving life in prison. The next year, a 20-year-old resident vanished. Many think he was murdered.
· Wall Street's most famous bull for sale. Sculptor Arturo Di Modica, who created the famous flared-nostril, 7,000-pound bull that sits in the heart of New York's financial district in lower Manhattan, is auctioning his famous piece to the highest bidder.
· Celebs Go Bust: Entertainment Lows in '04. It was a year of weddings, stripteases and hype that didn't amount to anything ... here's a look at the entertainment busts of 2004. Boobs of the Year: Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake.
· Katie pops up on list to take Dan's chair. CBS has a new name on top of its list of poten tial replacement for Dan Rather — Katie Couric. According to Broadcasting & Cable magazine, CBS wants to "land a superstar to take over" for Rather and the "Today" show diva is its top choice.
· DWI Suspect Killed By Alleged Drunken Driver. A man who was suspected of drunken driving is dead after an ironic crash. Authorities in Burlington County, N.J., said an officer pulled over the 34-year-old man early Friday. But while he was being given the roadside sobriety test, a tractor-trailer crashed into the police car, which then hit the man's vehicle.
Sunday, December 19, 2004
· Small Plane Strikes Radio Tower, Killing 2. A small plane crashed Sunday morning into the Los Angeles station KFI Radio's tower, killing two people aboard and temporarily knocking the station off the air, officials said.
· Schwarzenegger urges GOP left turn. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger suggested in a newspaper interview published Saturday that the Republican Party should move "a little to the left," a shift that he said would allow it to pick up new voters.
· Kerik's email messages fuel mess. Former Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik is likely to face fresh questions about his conduct this week when explosive E-mails are turned over to city investigators.
· A restaurant full of beds? Yep, it's no lie. What is a bed-filled restaurant? You know - a restaurant filled with about 30 king-size beds, tons of satin pillows and some very awkward-looking waiters bending down to change the sheets between customers. Don't worry. Those stains are from the artichoke purée.
· Strange case of Empire State jumper no one knows. He chose the city's most famous skyscraper as the place to end his life. But three weeks after a man leaped off the observation deck of the Empire State Building, his absence has gone unnoticed by the world at large and he is still known to police simply as No. 6071.
· Hijacking Joke Causes Terror Scare. An Italian tourist aboard a flight from Sydney to Vienna caused an international security alert when he sent a joke text message from his cell phone to his wife claiming his plane had been hijacked by terrorists, the Australian government confirmed Sunday.
Saturday, December 18, 2004
· Slice Of Diana's Cake Fetches $450. Would you pay $450 for a piece of cake - from 23 years ago? Somebody did that today - buying a piece of the wedding cake from the marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
· Liza to bodyguard: Zip it! Liza Minnelli's lawyers complained to a Manhattan judge this week that leaks about a sexual-harassment lawsuit filed by her former bodyguard are costing her jobs, and they asked the court to tell the bodyguard to zip his lips.
· B-52's 'Love Shack' Burns To Ground. The "little old place" believed to be the inspiration for the B-52's hit "Love Shack" has burned to the ground. A fire has gutted the five-room cabin in Athens, Ga.
· Three more arrested in Maryland arson case. Three more people were arrested Saturday in connection with the largest residential arson in Maryland history, a collection of blazes that caused $10 million in damage to new houses in an upscale development near a nature preserve.
· Police Recover JFK Assassination Artifacts In Drug Raid. A drug raid on a Dallas apartment unexpectedly turned up a stash of artifacts relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Among the finds: a police card bearing Jack Ruby's nine fingerprints (he lost a finger in a fight); photos of Ruby shooting alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald; what appears to be a drawing of a map containing important assassination-related locations and a photo inventory of Oswald's belongings.
· Florida county reverses Christmas tree ban. Christmas tree decorations were being rehung at Pasco County buildings after the reversal of a county attorney's finding that the trees were unacceptable religious symbols.
· First cash, then claims come out of the wall. Kevin Skoog was wiring a Stockade basement last year when he took a shortcut and got lucky. Pushing a wire through a newly bored hole, he hit something hard behind the bricks. Maybe it's a body, he thought. A peek into a green trash bag revealed $210,000 in stacks of $100 bills.
· Conductor Kills Self Inside L.A. Cathedral. The longtime conductor of the Crystal Cathedral Orchestra - a composer and arranger who worked with Celine Dion and John Tesh - shot himself to death at the soaring glass-and-steel church Friday after a nine-hour standoff that started just before a Christmas pageant was to begin.
· San Antonio strippers will have to wear permits. Strippers in this city will soon have to put on something they can't take off -- a business license. The City Council on Friday approved a measure requiring exotic dancers to apply for permits and wear them while performing.
· Sheen, Richards Expecting Second Child. Christmas has come early for Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards. The couple are expecting their second child, due in June, People magazine reports. Their first, daughter Sam Sheen, was born in March.
· Two screeners reassigned over fake bomb incident. Two baggage screeners have been reassigned pending the outcome of a federal investigation into how a bag containing a simulated bomb made its way aboard a Continental Airlines flight bound for Holland, a Transportation Security Administration official said Friday.
· Saves ex from fire. Priestly Green was on his way to a deli in Hempstead, L.I., at 2:30a.m. yesterday when he saw flames coming from an ex-girlfriend's home. Green knew that 22-year-old Shakeba Chambers would be sleeping inside with her two young daughters, so he braved the smoke and fire.
· U.S. Wireless Use Behind Rest of World. An estimated 57 percent of the U.S. population chats on wireless phones - not much greater than the percentage of wireless phone users in much poorer Jamaica, where 54 percent of the people have mobile phones, according to the International Telecommunications Union. By comparison, in Hong Kong there are 105.75 mobile subscribers for every 100 inhabitants. In Taiwan, there are 110.
· Microsoft buy comes with strings attached. A software company that Microsoft acquired this week to help beef up computer security may come with a bug of its own - a company claiming ownership of the programs.
Friday, December 17, 2004
· Stolen Fetus Believed Found Alive. Authorities found a healthy, two-day old baby girl in Kansas that they are hopeful is the same infant taken from her mother's womb Thursday after the woman was killed in Skidmore, Missouri.
· George Harrison Guitar Sells for $567,500. A classic Gibson guitar played by George Harrison on the Beatles'"Revolver" album and by John Lennon during the recording of the "White Album" sold Friday to an anonymous bidder for $567,500, Christie's auction house announced.
· Norville Signs Off MSNBC. Deborah Norville, who does double duty hosting an MSNBC show and syndicated magazine Inside Edition, is ending her cable news show in mid-January. She will continue to host Inside Edition.
· Guard admitted arson role. The security guard accused of burning down several new homes in a Maryland housing development has admitted being present when the fires were set, and said that he knew of the arson plan, according to court documents released Friday.
· New York City starts probe of Kerik. The inquiry - one of two confronting Kerik - will explore numerous ethical lapses. In a series of investigative stories, The Daily News disclosed that Kerik broke rules on accepting gifts, developed close ties with an allegedly mob-linked city contractor and maintained a secret downtown apartment for simultaneous extramarital liaisons with two women.
· Schwarzeneggers Sued Over House Sale. lawyer who recently bought a $7.95 million Pacific Palisades home from Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver is suing California's first couple, claiming that they hid damage to the estate's pool and tennis court, as well as a mold problem in the screening room.
· Ashes Set Condo On Fire. Firefighters were called to a fire at a townhouse that was caused by some genius that cleaned out the fireplace and placed hot ashes in a plastic can and set them on their wood deck.
· Trump picks his 'Apprentice.' One key lesson if you want to be on Donald Trump's payroll: don't let the boss fly off unnoticed. The Donald chose software executive Kelly Perdew, 37, to join his staff during the season finale of "The Apprentice" on Thursday. He rejected feisty lawyer Jennifer Massey despite her bare-knuckled fight for the job.
· 'Merry Christmas' - Or No Sale. In California, a group called the Committee to Save Merry Christmas is boycotting Federated Department Stores, accusing it of replacing "Merry Christmas" signs with ones wishing shoppers "Season's Greetings" or "Happy Holidays."
· Pfizer Finds Celebrex Heart Attack Risk. Pfizer says it has found an increased risk of heart attacks with patients taking its top-selling painkiller Celebrex, a drug that is in the same class as Vioxx, which was pulled from the market in September because of safety concerns.
· 10 tips to buying the meat you really want. The corner butcher has all but been replaced by the conveniences of the modern supermarket, and a shrinking industry keeps shrinking, with just 6,042 meat markets across the United States in 2001. Just four years earlier, there were more than 7,200. Shoppers lucky enough to frequent a butcher have a rare resource, and one that many of us still appreciate. "People kind of miss the opportunity to talk to the person behind the counter."
· An apartment building that revolves. Out of the drawing boards of a Curitiba based builder comes the unthinkable: Suite Vollard, the first revolving building in the world. The building is made with reinforced concrete and gigantic metal platforms.
· $1.3 million awarded to fiery bar stunt victim. A jury has awarded more than $1.3 million in damages to a former University of Iowa student who was burned when a fiery bar stunt flamed out of control.
· Cheerful Scott Peterson Enjoys Fan Mail. Scott Peterson remains cheerful despite being sentenced to death just days ago, buoyed in part by the constant flow of fan mail he continues to receive, the San Mateo County sheriff said Thursday.
· Stars flee London hotel fire. Hollywood actor Jim Carrey, in London to promote his latest movie "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events," was forced to flee his hotel after a fire broke out.
· Gunman Opens Fire at Crystal Cathedral. An employee of the world-famous Crystal Cathedral walked into the complex and opened fire, but no one was hit and children in a church day-care center were rushed to safety, police said.
· Officials Unveil New Details of WTC Memorial. The memorial honoring World Trade Center victims will include a forest of oak trees with a clearing for Sept. 11 gatherings and a Memorial Hall between the twin reflecting pools that will mark the footprints of the lost towers, officials announced Thursday.
· Fla. County Bans Christmas Trees From Public Buildings. Pasco County officials have banned Christmas trees from public buildings in a move that one constitutional law group said Thursday was "the most extreme example of censorship imaginable."
· Man bleeds to death after tooth removal. A man bled to death overnight after having a wisdom tooth removed at the dentist, an inquest has heard. Robert Braber, 59, was found dead in bed in August, the morning after the extraction, by his wife Jane at their home.
· New device detects symptoms of heart failure. A device that automatically detects early symptoms of congestive heart failure has been implanted in patients in the United States this month for the first time.
Thursday, December 16, 2004
· Bryant says he would like to apologize to Shaq for comments made to police. During Kobe Bryant's interview with investigators, he said he heard O'Neal had paid up to $1 million to various women to keep quiet about situations like his own. O'Neal, who now plays for the Miami Heat, dismissed those allegations as "ridiculous." There have been no published reports of O'Neal ever being accused of any sex crimes.
· Man gives charity Social Security check. A prosperous businessman didn't think he was entitled to his 2004 Social Security payments, so he became an early Santa Claus for the Salvation Army. Last week, the man dropped a check for $14,845 into a bell ringer's red kettle outside a bookstore in downtown Minneapolis.
· Fast lifts rise into record books. Two high-speed lifts at the world's tallest building have been officially recognized as the planet's fastest. The lifts take only 30 seconds to whisk passengers to the top of the 1667 foot tall TFC 101 Tower in Taipei, Taiwan. The 56 feet per second top speed of the lifts translates to about 37mph.
· U.S. Worries Flu Shots May Go to Waste. Two months after the government recommended that scarce flu shots be reserved for people most at risk, health officials are now worried that tens of thousands of doses could go to waste, and they are considering easing the restrictions. The demand for flu shots has turned out to be lower than expected because the flu season has been mild.
· Court Throws Out Prison Sentence In Huge Colorado Wildfire. An appeals court Thursday threw out a 12-year state prison sentence given to a former forestry worker who started the largest wildfire in Colorado history.
· Whitney Houston OK After Rear-Ending Bus. Singer Whitney Houston rear-ended a city bus with her sports car, but no one was hurt, police said. The accident happened Wednesday afternoon as Houston was making a left turn, said Sgt. Chris Lagerbloom. The bus sustained minor damage. The bumper of Houston's Porsche was mangled but the singer was not injured.
· Bush Prepares for Possible GPS Shutdown. President Bush has ordered plans for temporarily disabling the U.S. network of global positioning satellites during a national crisis to prevent terrorists from using the navigational technology, the White House said.
· It's the F-Time Show With Chevy Chase. Even certified Hollywood liberals were reeling after Chevy Chase's potty-mouthed Bush-bashing at the Kennedy Center, where the actor hosted an awards ceremony staged by People for the American Way. After actors Alec Baldwin and Susan Sarandon delivered speeches accepting their Defender of Democracy awards, Chase took the stage a final time and unleashed a rant against President Bush that stunned the crowd.
· Giuliani spanks Bernie. After days of embarrassing revelations, Rudy Giuliani scolded former NYPD commissioner Bernard Kerik yesterday, saying he has a "fair amount of explaining to do." "I told him directly, 'There are are some significant mistakes you made here, even granted that only some of this is true,'" Giuliani said.
· Presley Estate May Get New Management. Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc. has an agreement to sell 85 percent of its assets to businessman Robert F.X. Sillerman, founder of promoter SFX Entertainment, it was announced Thursday. The estate was inherited by Presley's only child, Lisa Marie Presley.
· Frey's book deal to be announced. Amber Frey, the mistress who turned on her creepy married boyfriend, may now be ready to tell the whole story — to an editor who did the same thing. Publishing sources say that Frey has signed with Judith Regan to write a memoir of her life, her relationship with convicted murderer Scott Peterson, the investigation, trial and its aftermath.
· Janitor allegedly stole over 100 Olympic medals. A janitor has been charged with stealing more than 100 Olympic medals and other memorabilia from the International Swimming Hall of Fame, including Hollywood star Johnny Weissmuller’s 1924 medals and an ancient Greek medal.
· Airport screeners lose fake bomb during training. Baggage screeners at Newark Liberty International Airport spotted - and then lost - a fake bomb planted in luggage by a supervisor during a training exercise.
· Iceland approves Bobby Fischer residency. Iceland has approved a residency permit for former chess champion Bobby Fischer, who is being detained by Japanese immigration authorities, an Iceland embassy official said Thursday.
· Man snubs $3051 meal for takeaway. It was the social ticket of the year, a star-studded charity gala where the glitterati ate gourmet food prepared by Britain's top chef. But for one party-goer, the curry house across the road just looked more tempting.
· Motley Crue Singer Accused of Assault. Motley Crue singer Vince Neil is accused of knocking out an employee of a Dallas nightclub after a disagreement over sound levels during a concert. An arrest warrant for misdemeanor assault was issued Wednesday for Neil in the fight at Gilley's Dallas during an Oct. 30 show.
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
· FCC Won't Stifle Satellite Stern. Howard Stern will be free to be indecent on satellite radio, the Federal Communications Commission effectively said Wednesday - a decision that should also make cable - and satellite-TV providers breathe easier, at least for now.
· Politician Who Won't Say Pledge Of Allegiance May Be Recalled. A recall election is now set for an Estes Park, Colo., trustee who refuses to stand up and recite the Pledge of Allegiance during the Town Board meetings.
· Lowe's Hardware Hacker Gets Nine Years. One of three Michigan men who hacked into the national computer system of Lowe's hardware stores and tried to steal customers' credit card information was sentenced Wednesday to nine years in federal prison.
· Man Charged With Fatally Shooting Friend Through Protective Vest On Dare. A man has been charged with involuntary manslaughter for fatally shooting his friend through a protective vest on an apparent dare, police said.
· School cancels Christian rock band. Rossford, Ohio high school officials were considering letting a Christian rock band play during an anti-drug assembly next week, but decided yesterday to cancel the performance because of concerns over having religious music played in a public school.
· Prosecutors seek prior claims in Jackson trial. Prosecutors in the Michael Jackson child molestation case want to include as evidence previous allegations of sex offenses for which police did not charge the singer.
· Lawyer Stole to Pay for Law School. A lawyer has been convicted of using a credit card scam to pay his way through law school. Christian Ehlers, 29, a 2001 graduate of Loyola Law School, was found guilty Tuesday of conspiracy, fraud and other federal offenses in a scam authorities said cost credit card companies $1.2 million.
· Plants sow seeds of hate. Gardeners hired by Melbourne City Council intended to arrange the purple and white potted plants into neat geometric shapes. But they left six 3m garden beds along Swanston St displaying large Nazi symbols.
· Ex-offenders make a beeline to a honey of a business. Mayor Daley awarded a $259,367 grant to the North Lawndale Employment Network to help finance three beekeeper programs designed to help ex-offenders readjust to life on the outside.
· Marion Jones Sues BALCO Founder, Denies Steroid Use. Olympic track star Marion Jones filed a defamation lawsuit Wednesday against BALCO head Victor Conte, who told a national TV audience that he gave her steroids and watched her inject herself with them.
· Star Jones In Roof Garden Flap. Star Jones stiffed a New York City company that helped "beautify" her penthouse garden for an Architectural Digest photo shoot last year, according to a lawsuit filed against the freebie-loving star of ABC's "The View." Although she offered the company an autographed photo of herself in exchange for payment, the company prefers the $7,189.20 they are owed.
· School Bus Camera Catches Mom Beating Student. A Lake County mom convicted of simple assault after a school bus camera caught her beating a student who had gotten into a fight with her daughter didn't show up for her sentencing Tuesday.
· $2,500 reward offered for missing radioactive rod. A piece of construction equipment that contains a radioactive steel rod is missing in Colorado. Health experts said it can be dangerous and there is a $2,500 reward for finding it.
· Publishing titan calls Kerik 'Insane & Maniacal.' When publishing titan Judith Regan took up with former top cop Bernard Kerik, she thought she'd met her match. And vice versa. But the illicit relationship came tumbling down, according to the New York Post, not when she discovered her married lover had another mistress. It ended horribly after Regan learned Kerik's wife was pregnant.
· Dems to Hollywood: The End. As dispirited Democrats mull various routes back to relevance, here's a quick and easy first step: Say goodbye to Hollywood. The attitudes and behavior of the film-industry elite are out of sync with much of the country, and linking the party with the West Coast glitterati makes national Democrats suspect with too many voters.
· Geragos Stunned by Peterson Loss. Last winter, Mark Geragos was the king of defense lawyers, a legal superstar who was managing to represent both Michael Jackson and Scott Peterson. What a difference a year makes.
· Hospital targets the Big Mac. The Pizza Hut is shuttered, its neon sign collecting dust on the floor. But knocking down the Golden Arches has proved far more difficult for Toby Cosgrove, the new head of the Cleveland Clinic.
· Schwarzenegger To Cameo In Tom Arnold Film. When California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says "I'll be back," you know he means it. Schwarzenegger will return to the big screen next year to make a cameo in a comedy written and produced by friend Tom Arnold.
· New Kerik puzzler. How does someone who's flat broke afford a sumptuous renovation of two Riverdale apartments? Ask Bernard Kerik. In 1999, Kerik had workers convert two first-floor apartments into one large home at the W. 239th St. building - even though he apparently was having trouble making ends meet in a single apartment upstairs.
· Blockbuster to end late fees in 2005. Blockbuster announced Tuesday it will continue to set due dates, with one week for games and two days or one week for movies. But the company will give customers a one-week grace period at no additional charge, starting on New Year's Day.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Precarious [pre·car·i·ous] adj. 1. Dangerously lacking in security or stability: "The precarious life of an undercover cop." 2. Subject to chance or unknown conditions: "His kingdom was still precarious." 3. Based on uncertain, unwarranted, or unproved premises: "A precarious solution to a difficult problem."
· Media not as fired up about 'Apprentice.' At this point during the first season of "The Apprentice," Syracuse professor and media observer Robert Thompson had done 50 interviews about the success of the NBC reality show.
· Wife regrets man's huge lottery win. The wife of the lottery winner who took home the richest undivided jackpot in U.S. history says she regrets his purchase of the $314.9 million ticket that has thrust her family into the public spotlight.
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
· Police Apologize for Scissors Arrest. The police chief and the head of the city's schools apologized yesterday to the mother of a 10-year-old girl who was arrested and handcuffed after she brought a pair of scissors to school in her backpack.
· Peterson execution years away — if it happens. For Scott Peterson, ultimately there may be little difference between a death sentence and life in prison. In California, the chances are greater that a condemned inmate will die in prison than be executed by lethal injection.
· Taxi Driver Shoots Man in Bin Laden Mask. Osama bin Laden take note: You wouldn't be safe in Costa Rica. A startled taxi driver shot and wounded a jokester wearing a plastic mask of the al-Qaida leader, police said Tuesday.
· Concorde crash blamed on U.S. jet. A metal strip that fell off a Continental Airlines jet and a design fault in Concorde led to the supersonic jet's crash outside Paris in 2000, which killed 113 people, an official report on Tuesday.
· Hollywood to Sue Server Operators. The U.S. film industry is preparing to sue computer server operators in the United States and Europe who help relay digitized movie files across online file-sharing networks, a source familiar with the movie studios' plans said Tuesday.
» Jurors Speak Out. All 12 jurors made an appearance at a press conference Monday afternoon. Three stayed on to speak to reporters. "For me, a big part of it was at the end — the verdict — no emotion. No anything. That spoke a thousand words — loud and clear," Richelle Nice said, responding to a reporter's question about whether they wanted to hear a statement from Peterson. "I heard enough from him."
· Scandal might cancel Bernie Kerik biopic. Miramax bought the rights to Kerik’s best-selling “The Lost Son: A Life in Pursuit of Justice” last year; “Aviator” executive producer Rick Schwartz was hired to produce it. “There are now a lot of question marks."
» Bernie cops to trysts. Former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik all but admitted having affairs with two women, as the fallout from his failed bid to become homeland security czar continued to explode yesterday. The women - publishing tycoon Judith Regan and Correction Officer Jeanette Pinero - were simultaneously involved in extramarital affairs with Kerik, sources told the Daily News.
· Texas Trooper Suspended For Comment To Gay Couple. Gays can kiss in Texas -- but that was news to a state trooper. Department of Public Safety Trooper Michael Carlson got into trouble for telling two gay men who were kissing at the state Capitol that homosexual conduct is illegal in Texas.
· God Used To Sell Food On Controversial Billboard. A controversial new billboard where God is apparently used to sell burritos and tacos for a local restaurant is raising eyebrows in Orlando's religious community.
· Christmas deadliest day for Americans. Christmas is the deadliest day of the year for Americans with 12.4 percent more deaths than normal, researchers said on Monday. More Americans die from heart attacks and other natural causes on Christmas, the day after and on New Year's Day than on any other days of the year, the researchers reported.
· Sharon Stone sues in 'face-lift slur.' Sharon Stone today sued a plastic surgeon whom she accused of falsely telling reporters he had performed a facelift on her. Stone, 46, filed suit against Beverly Hills surgeon Doctor Renato Calabria for allegedly telling US Weekly and In Touch Weekly magazines he performed a facelift on her.
· Jackson Lawyers Move to Dismiss Charges. Michael Jackson's lawyers have filed a motion to dismiss the child molestation charges against the pop star on grounds of "vindictive prosecution and outrageous government conduct."
· Was the prophet Muhammad a paedophile? Columnist Charles Moore was criticised by Muslim organizations yesterday for an article which began by asking if the prophet Muhammad was a paedophile. He went on to argue that people were entitled to pose the question, because of the story that Muhammad married one of his wives, Aisha, when she was nine.
· Man paid $20,000 in support for nonexistent child. Steve Barreras’ attorney said he had never seen anything like it. After Barreras was hauled into court, peppered with threats and demands for money for a child he adamantly denied fathering five years ago and even paid out $20,000 to support, his ex-wife was under a judge’s order to produce the child. So last week, Viola Trevino picked up a 2-year-old girl and her grandmother off the street, promised them a trip to see Santa Claus and $50 and took the girl to court, alleging it was her daughter.
· Judge Hears Geico, Google Trademark Case. Attorneys for auto insurance giant Geico told U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema that Google should not be allowed to sell ads to rival insurance companies that are triggered whenever Geico's name is typed into the Google search box.
· Google to scan books from major libraries. Google Inc. is trying to establish an online reading room for five major libraries by scanning stacks of hard-to-find books into its widely used Internet search engine.
· Gotti crew sicced cops on G-men. Only in Gotti-land: The mob called the cops on the FBI. That was the testimony of an FBI agent who took the stand yesterday in Peter Gotti's truth-is-stranger-than-fiction federal racketeering trial.
· Dances With Bull: Woman Claims Kevin Costner Stole Her Baby. Romana Medina claims she befriended Costner more than 20 years ago; around the time she gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl. She claims Kevin and Cindy Costner adopted the girl, Annie, and claims that in April, 1984, the couple "had the birth certificate of her child changed into the names of Kevin and Cindy Costner."
Monday, December 13, 2004
· Philbin Stepping In For Clark To Host New Year's Eve Show. Regis Philbin said that he's landed "the greatest temp job in the world." The "Live with Regis and Kelly" co-host announced Monday that he's taking Dick Clark's place hosting the legendary music impresario television special "New Year's Rockin' Eve 2005" from Times Square in New York.
· Man Evicted From Hut On Chicago Drawbridge. Anyone who thinks it is impossible to find an affordable place on one of the city's priciest streets - Lake Shore Drive - should talk to Richard Dorsay. For three years that's where the homeless man lived. Actually, he lived under Lake Shore Drive, inside the beams and girders of the drawbridge that crosses the Chicago River.
· Jurors Convict Pelosi In Killing Of Long Island Millionaire. Capping an eight-week trial that made headlines with tales of adultery and family betrayal, a Long Island man was convicted Monday in the savage beating death of his lover's estranged husband as he slept in his $10 million East Hampton mansion.
· Jury Agrees on Sentence for Scott Peterson. The jurors deciding whether Scott Peterson should be executed or spend life in prison for killing his pregnant wife reached a verdict in the trial's sentencing phase Monday, a court official said.
· USS Arizona Memorial Sinking. The USS Arizona Memorial's visitors center was designed to accommodate 750,000 people a year when it was built in 1980, but today it's jammed with crowds more than twice that big - and it's literally bursting at the seams. Portions of the shoreside building and plaza commemorating the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor have settled as much as 30 inches, and the concrete structure is cracking.
· Gary Webb, reporter who exposed CIA, dies. Gary Webb, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter who wrote a controversial series of stories linking the CIA to crack cocaine trafficking in Los Angeles, has died at age 49. Webb was found Friday morning at his home in Sacramento County, dead of an apparent suicide. Moving-company workers called authorities after discovering a note posted on his front door that read, "Please do not enter. Call 911 and ask for an ambulance."
· Kerik cheated on wife with Judith Regan and correction officer. Former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik conducted two extramarital affairs simultaneously, using a secret Battery Park City apartment for the passionate liaisons. The first relationship, spanning nearly a decade, was with city Correction Officer Jeanette Pinero; the second, and more startling, was with famed publishing titan Judith Regan.
» Rudy tells W he's sorry for brouhaha. Rudy Giuliani went to the White House last night and ate crow for dinner. The former mayor, invited to a Christmas-season celebration, apologized again to President Bush for the messy fallout from Bernard Kerik's nomination for homeland security secretary.
· Foxx collects three Globe nominations. Jamie Foxx scored three Golden Globe nominations Monday, among them lead actor in a musical or comedy as Ray Charles in the film biography “Ray,” as Hollywood entered its award season.
» 'Sideways' leads Golden Globes with seven. The road-trip flick "Sideways" led Golden Globe contenders Monday with seven nominations, including best musical or comedy film, three acting nominations and best director.
· Police close curtain on nude performance. Atlanta police shut down a bar that was showing a successful musical revue featuring nudity because the business didn't have an adult entertainment license.
· Highway worker wins ‘Survivor.' CBS’s “Survivor: Vanuatu — Islands of Fire” came down to two highway workers, but only Chris Daugherty was able to drive home with the $1 million prize and a new car.
· Celebrity Nativity Scene Damaged in Attack. A waxwork nativity scene that features soccer star David Beckham and his pop star wife, Victoria, as the parents of Jesus has been damaged in an attack, Madame Tussauds museum said Monday.
· AOL Creates Its Own Browsing Software. As part of its reincarnation, America Online Inc. is creating its own software for browsing the Web and playing movies and songs. It's a question of staying relevant in an increasingly broadband world.
Sunday, December 12, 2004
· 'Twelve' steals top spot at box office. Ocean's Twelve," the heist caper that George Clooney, Brad Pitt and their A-list pals shot in their spare time while living it up in Europe, stole the No. 1 slot at the North American weekend box office. According to studio estimates issued Sunday, the Warner Bros. film sold $40.9 million worth of tickets in the three days since opening December 10.
· Funeral Held for Nightclub Shooting Victim. Mourners attended a funeral Saturday for one of the four victims of a nightclub shooting, a fan of "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott who a witness said had tried to save the heavy-metal guitarist.
· Strippers' Gifts Denied by Housing Project. A public housing complex in North Carolina wasn’t feeling the holiday spirit last week when the manager turned away what many boys and girls wish for this time of year – Christmas presents. That’s because in this case, “Santa” takes her clothes off for cash.
· Fingerprints of Jackson, boy on magazines. Fingerprints of Michael Jackson and those of his accuser have been found on "pornographic magazines" seized during a raid on the pop singer's Neverland ranch, a source familiar with the case told CNN.
· Pizza courier 'targeted' Amsterdam sex zone. Justice authorities arrested a Moroccan man last month after receiving a tip-off that Islamic extremists were allegedly planning an attack on the Red Light District in Amsterdam.
· 'A little overweight,' Bush admits. President Bush was found in good health and pronounced "fit for duty" after an annual physical Saturday that also showed that the 58-year-old chief executive is now, as he rather sheepishly conceded, "a little overweight."
Saturday, December 11, 2004
· NTSB disputes Ebersol jet crash report. Federal authorities on Friday disputed a newspaper report that included details from the cockpit voice recorder on the private jet that crashed at a Colorado airport, killing the 14-year-old son of NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol and two other people.
· Gas Mistakenly Put Into Kerosene Pump, Sold To Customers. Authorities issued a warning Friday night after gasoline was accidentally put into a kerosene pump at a Deland, Fla., gas station and mistakenly sold to customers.
· Homeland security nominee withdraws. One week after President Bush's nominated him to be secretary of homeland security, former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik withdrew from consideration Friday night after discovering a former household employee had a questionable immigration status.
· Osbourne devastated after friend shot dead. Rocker Ozzy Osbourne was left devastated last night after one of best friends was shot dead on stage. Damageplan guitarist, "Dimebag" Darrell Abbot was killed instantly when crazed gunman Nathan Gale ran onstage and began firing at the band and the fans in the crowd.
· Mormons who banked on doomsday find the debt collector at the door. If the 9,000 members of a polygamous Mormon sect in south-west Utah felt comfortable borrowing from their local bank like there was no tomorrow, it was because, in their minds, that was precisely the case. The world, they had been told, was coming to an end.
· Heavy Metal Gunman 'Off His Rocker'. The man who shot former Pantera guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott and three other men to death at a nightclub was obsessed with the popular heavy metal band and made bizarre accusations against it, a onetime friend said in reports published Friday.
· Ohio Club Shooter Obsessed With Band. The man who gunned down former Pantera guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott during a concert was an obsessed fan of Abbott's former band and alarmed people with his bizarre behavior, a one-time friend said Friday.
Friday, December 10, 2004
· Condit ready to reveal sexual history in slander case. Gary Condit is ready to answer questions about his sexual history so he can pursue his slander case against a magazine writer who suggested the former congressman is hiding information about the death of intern Chandra Levy, his lawyer said.
· Jurors now to decide life or death. The witnesses have gone home. The lawyers have argued. Now the rest of Scott Peterson's life lies in the hands of just six men and six women. The same jurors who judged him a murderer on Nov. 12 began Thursday making one of the most difficult decisions of their lives: whether to sentence the 32-year-old to death for killing his wife, Laci, and unborn child or punish him with life in prison.
· Concertgoers recall seconds before shootings. At first, Damageplan's heavy-metal fans thought it was part of the show. A man in a hooded sweatshirt climbed onto the stage Wednesday night at the Alrosa Villa nightclub and opened fire on guitarist Darrell Lance Abbott, better known as ''Dimebag Darrell," one of the fastest metal guitarists around, famous for his aggressive licks and his hard-partying life. Abbott's blood was real, though, and the gunman wasn't through. He fired into the crowd, killing three more people, and had someone else in a choke hold before a cop shot him dead.
· Mel Gibson buys personal Pacific island. Australian actor Mel Gibson, flush from the huge success of his religious film The Passion of Christ, has splashed out $15 million on a private Pacific island, a report said. Gibson flew to Fiji earlier this month where he bought the 2,160 hectare island of Mago from a Japanese hotel chain, People magazine reported.
· Plane lands on truck, crashes onto highway. A small plane that had lost power briefly landed atop an 18-wheeler before crashing onto the highway, authorities said. The two people aboard the plane came out unscathed, and the truck driver never heard a thing.
· Jennifer and Kelly 'Apprentice' Finalists. Donald Trump is only one more "you're fired" away from hiring his second apprentice. Lawyer Jennifer Massey, 30, and software executive Kelly Perdew, 37, are the last candidates standing in NBC's "The Apprentice."
· Editor Backs Embed in Rumsfeld Incident, but Criticizes Aftermath. The editor/publisher of the Chattanooga Times Free Press offered support late Thursday for his embedded reporter who has been criticized for prompting a national guardsman to ask Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld a controversial question during a visit to Kuwait, but added "He is there to write stories, not make news himself."
· Review: 'Ocean's Twelve' high-spirited fun. The miracle of "Ocean's Twelve" isn't just that it's a sequel every bit as good as the 2001 production. It's that producer Jerry Weintraub was able to get some of the biggest stars in the industry - and Academy Award-winning director Steven Soderbergh - to clear their schedules for a 77-day shoot in Europe.
· The Rev. Houdini. New York's premier political escape artist, the Rev. Al Sharpton, is about to give his pursuers the slip once again. In the cover story of this week's Village Voice, reporter Wayne Barrett alleges that Sharpton had an affair with a top aide, Marjorie Harris, who runs the National Action Network, Sharpton's nonprofit advocacy organization. Despite financial troubles at NAN, Harris, according to the Voice, lives in a swanky Trump Place apartment and sports top-drawer toys like a Mercedes, a mink coat and a $7,000 Rolex.
· Space station crew forced to cut calories. Food is running so low aboard the international space station that flight controllers have instructed the two crewmen to cut back on calories, at least until a Russian supply ship arrives in a little over two weeks.
· New York Waits, Upstate Is Fed Security Pork. Less than 60 percent of federal homeland-security funding sent to New York State this year has ended up in New York City, the scene of the most damaging attack in American history. That left nearly $50 million to spread around the rest of the state. The state government also shaved the maximum allowable share, 20 percent, off grants targeted specifically at urban areas.
· Government Says Terrorists May Use Lasers. Terrorists may seek to down aircraft by shining powerful lasers into cockpits to blind pilots during landing approaches, federal officials are warning in a bulletin distributed nationwide.
Thursday, December 9, 2004
· Sandwich Pitchman Speaks On Being a 'Real' Character. Jared Fogle has become one of the ad world's best-known commercial figures in recent years. Unlike Betty Crocker or Toucan Sam, however, Mr. Fogle, 27 years old, is a real person, hailing from Indianapolis. His weight-loss story has fast become the stuff of legend: He weighed 435 pounds, but shed the unwanted heft with exercise and a diet of low-fat Subway sandwiches.
· Famous Atheist Now Believes in God. A British philosophy professor who has been a leading champion of atheism for more than a half-century has changed his mind. He now believes in God — more or less — based on scientific evidence, and says so on a video released Thursday.
· Butane lighters to be banned from airline flights. As part of the intelligence reform bill passed Wednesday, Congress added the lighters to the long list of items, including scissors and pen knives, that passengers are barred from carrying on to planes.
· Prosecutor: Peterson a 'monster.' Calling him "the worst kind of monster," a prosecutor Thursday urged jurors to recommend that Scott Peterson die for killing his pregnant wife, Laci, and unborn son, Conner, nearly two years ago.
· Jewel-Inlaid Cabinet Fetches $36 Million. An 18th-century jewel-inlaid cabinet broke its own record as the most expensive piece of furniture sold at an auction, fetching more than $36 million at sale Thursday.
· Kerik made millions from agency contractor. Bernard Kerik, President Bush's choice to run the Homeland Security Department, made $6.2 million by exercising stock options he received from a company that sold stun guns to the department — and seeks more business with it.
· Nightclub Massacre. A man walked onstage in a crowded nightclub during a rock concert Wednesday night and opened fire, killing at least four people and wounding at least two others before he was shot to death by police, authorities said.
· Survey: Nurses tops in honesty, car salesmen last. Nurses get top marks when it comes to honesty and ethics, and car salesmen are the least trusted people, according to Gallup's annual U.S. survey of professions.
· Update: TV Icon Dick Clark's Stroke Considered Mild. "American Bandstand" icon Dick Clark was hospitalized this week after suffering a mild stroke. Clark, who turned 75 on Nov. 30, suffered the stroke this week, publicist Paul Shefrin said Wednesday, declining to give any details. He would only say Clark had been hospitalized in the Los Angeles area.
· Mike Tyson Arrested After Nightclub Incident. Former heavyweight boxing champ Mike Tyson, 38, was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor criminal damage for allegedly jumping on the hood of a car outside of city nightclub, police said Wednesday.
· Authorities Charge 12 in NBA Brawl. Five Indiana Pacers players and seven Detroit Pistons fans were charged Wednesday in one of the worst brawls in U.S. sports history — the melee last month that broke out on the basketball court and spread to the stands.
· Sean Hannity inks $25M radio contract. ABC Radio has locked in its crown jewel. Looking to protect its turf against fast-rising challenger Fox News, radio syndication giant ABC has quietly signed conservative talk show host Sean Hannity to a new contract.
· Senators condemn mystery spy project. Congress’ new blueprint for U.S. intelligence spending includes a mysterious and expensive spy program that drew extraordinary criticism from leading Democrats, with one saying the highly classified project is a threat to national security.
· Shanghai rejects Playboy club. Authorities in Shanghai said today they had rejected an application to open a Playboy club in China's largest city. The rejection came only a day after the Chinese joint venture company of the US group had announced plans to open the venue.
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.
· Denver Cop Who Shot Invalid Not Charged. Prosecutors declined Wednesday to file charges against a police officer who fatally shot a bedridden man after mistaking his soda can for a weapon, citing a grand jury's decision not to indict the officer.
· Nat'l Enquirer: Boy's prints on Jacko's porn stash. Cops found Michael Jackson's fingerprint and a fingerprint from the boy accusing him of sex abuse on the "same page" of a porno mag seized from the pop star's home last year, according to a published report.
· U.S. GIs Hit Rumsfeld With Hard Questions. In a rare public airing of grievances, disgruntled soldiers complained to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Wednesday about long deployments and a lack of armored vehicles and other equipment. "You go to war with the Army you have," Rumsfeld replied, "not the Army you might want or wish to have."
· Her girls made how much? Doing what? 'Oh, the pain!' Wails mom, 75, in E. Side madam case. The sexy sister of an accused millionaire madam pranced out of Manhattan court yesterday as their Bible-thumping mom said she cannot believe her daughters got rich on sins of the flesh.
· Truck Driver Wins $1 Million at Route 66 Casino. En route to Arkansas, truck driver Jimmie Dale Palmer and his wife, Laurie, on Tuesday stopped at Albuquerque's Route 66 Casino and made history when he won $1 million. Palmer, 42, is the first million-dollar jackpot winner at Route 66 Casino; he played a penny slot machine.
· Fed Up With Kids, Parents Go on Strike. Even though the dishes, garbage and dirty laundry were piling up, homeowners Cat and Harlan Barnard were getting no help from their two children. After begging and pleading with their 17-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter to help out around the house, the Barnards decided they were fed up. So they went on strike — and moved out to the front yard.
Wednesday, December 8, 2004
· Dick Clark hospitalized for stroke. Longtime "American Bandstand" host and pop music producer Dick Clark has been hospitalized in the Los Angeles area after suffering a stroke, a spokeswoman said on Wednesday.
· Bush Gives $20 Million Directly to Palestinians. But the White House imposed restrictions on the $20 million in direct aid approved by Bush: the authority will use it to pay Palestinian utility bills owed to Israeli companies.
· Florida Police Investigate Death Of Wallet Snatcher. Daytona Beach police are investigating the death of an alleged wallet snatcher who died after bystanders jumped him. The victim was thrown to the ground after trying to get the wallet back. A female store clerk then hit McCray over the head with a metal bottle.
· Peterson's mother: 'My Life Is Hard.' A frail-looking Jackie Peterson tearfully pleaded with jurors Wednesday to spare her son's life, saying that "if you were to take Scott away from us ... we would lose a whole family."
· Martha Stewart Gets Homemaking Show for Fall 2005. Martha Stewart will host an hour-long, daily syndicated show with a live audience when she gets out of prison, her multimedia and home fashions company said Wednesday.
· NASA's longest-serving astronaut to retire. The longest serving astronaut in history, who flew twice to the moon and commanded the first space shuttle mission, has announced his retirement after 42 years at NASA. John W. Young, 74, was the first human to fly in space six times and the only astronaut to pilot four different spacecraft. He flew in the Gemini, Apollo and space shuttle programs.
· Air Force Academy Blamed for Sex Scandal. The Pentagon's inspector general says a series of commanders at the Air Force Academy failed to recognize and deal with reports of sexual assaults against female cadets on campus, officials said Tuesday.
· A case of bad timing. Royal Jewelers owner Greg Olson knows watches well. He knows his own $28,000 Rolex even better. So when a 21-year-old sought appraisal of a custom piece strikingly similar to the one Olson reported stolen three months ago, he called police.
· Landlord convicted of hiring hit men to beat tenants. landlord was found guilty of hiring hit men to force two brothers out of a rent-controlled apartment last year. He allegedly wanted to oust the victims from their three-bedroom, $400-a-month apartment in the Elmhurst section of New York's Queens borough so he could raise the rent to $1,500.
· Jolie: I'd marry a woman. Angelina Jolie has rejected the hypothetical opportunity of taking Kate Beckinsale or Carmen Electra as a lesbian lover. But the Alexander star would not rule out a fling with a woman in the future - or even marrying one.
· Morgan Freeman Banned From Flying. Movie star Morgan Freeman's flying dreams have been dealt a severe blow - he has been grounded by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for breaking altitude rules. The 'Driving Miss Daisy' star was reprimanded when he failed to observe landing regulations at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey.
· She loves him like a (13G) rock. This martini had more than just an olive in it. A Westchester County man last night plunked down $13,000 for a marriage martini with a diamond ring at the bottom - and got the right answer from the love of his life.
· PETA lets fur fly. Cindy Crawford is really in the doghouse with animal rights activists. The former spokesmodel for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has been named high atop the group’s list of the Worst Dressed of 2004.
· China Computer Maker Acquires IBM PC Biz. China's biggest computer maker, Lenovo Group, said Wednesday it has acquired a majority stake in International Business Machines Corp.'s personal computer business for $1.75 billion in cash and stock, in one of the biggest Chinese overseas acquisitions ever.
· Disgruntled Driver Let People Raid Beer Trailer. Police say they're looking for a former deliveryman accused of allowing people to raid a semitrailer containing nearly $30,000 worth of Miller Lite beer.
· Handling of Violinist's Estate Questioned. After the violinist Isaac Stern died, pieces of his legacy, including autographed photographs, a music collection and violins and bows, were auctioned off.
· Who poisoned Yushchenko? MEDICAL experts have confirmed that Viktor Yushchenko, Ukraine’s opposition leader, was poisoned in an attempt on his life during election campaigning, the doctor who supervised his treatment at an Austrian clinic said yesterday.
· Ga. School Suspends 8-Year-Old Girl. An 8-year-old girl was suspended for nine days for bringing to school what appeared to be about 30 "Jell-O shots" - though it was unclear whether they contained alcohol.
Tuesday, December 7, 2004
· Woman Found With 35,000 Cut Diamonds On Her Body. Diamonds may be a girl's best friend - but not when Russian officials find you carrying more than 35 thousand of them. One Russian women is trying to explain herself after customs officers at a Moscow airport spotted the gems as she was returning from the United Arab Emirates.
· Millionaire Kerik A Former Deadbeat. While a recent stock windfall has left Bernard Kerik sitting on $6 million, President Bush's nominee to head the Homeland Security department hasn't always been so flush. In fact, Kerik was once a deadbeat who declared bankruptcy when he couldn't handle his credit card bills, loan repayments, or Sears and J.C. Penney tabs.
· Ferguson Tapped As 'Late Late Show' Host. Scottish actor Craig Ferguson, who played the boss for many years on "The Drew Carey Show," will be the new host of CBS'"Late Late Show." A formal announcement was expected Tuesday, according to two executives close to CBS who spoke on condition of anonymity.
· Jimmy Carter's grandson facing burglary, drug charges. A teenage grandson of former President Jimmy Carter has been charged with burglary and possession of marijuana after police said he broke into a house of a former friend and took a video game console.
· IOC Opens Doping Probe Against Jones. The IOC opened an investigation Tuesday into doping allegations against Marion Jones, who could eventually be stripped of her five medals from the 2000 Olympics.
· Bill Clinton Helps Launch Search Engine. Former president Bill Clinton on Monday helped launch a new Internet search company backed by the Chinese government which says its technology uses artificial intelligence to produce better results than Google.
· City buys 50 new cop cars but can't afford cops to drive them. Twenty never-been-driven police cruisers sit in the parking lot of Taylorsville, Utah City Hall. Thirty more - all 50 are paid for - will be on the way soon. Now the City Council is unsure if they can afford the officers to drive them.
· Peter, Paul and Mary singer has leukemia. Mary Travers, 67, of Peter, Paul and Mary is undergoing chemotherapy for a form of leukemia, but a full remission is expected within a few months, her publicist, Ken Sunshine, said Tuesday.
· Tipster turns down $40,000 reward for murder arrest. An anonymous tipster who was eligible to receive a $40,000 reward for providing information that led to an arrest in a murder case has turned the money down, asking that it go instead to a charity established in the victim's name.
· Pitcher's arrest on sex charge brings a $19 million firing. Colorado Rockies officials paid a Major League Baseball record 19 million dollars here to fire pitcher Denny Neagle after his arrest last week on charges of soliciting a prostitute.
· WTC Destruction 2 Events for Insurance Purposes. A federal jury ruled Monday that the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center was two occurrences for insurance purposes, meaning leaseholder Larry Silverstein stands to collect up to $4.6 billion.
· Put Kobe's sex life off limits. NBA star Kobe Bryant's lawyers, who pried into the sexual past of the woman who accused him of raping her, now are asking a judge to stop her lawyers from doing the same to him. "Plaintiff's counsel has indicated that he intends to depose Mr. Bryant on sexual matters having no possible relevance to the claims and defenses in this action," Bryant's attorneys wrote in court filings.
· Ghost cane nets $65,000 on eBay. An online casino offered $65,000 Monday for a metal walking cane that an Indiana woman put up for sale in hopes her son would believe his grandfather’s ghost would leave their house with it. Buyer is same casino that nabbed 'Virgin Mary' grilled-cheese sandwich.
· Updated: World's largest digital photo a staggering 2.5 GigaPixels! A Netherlands company has produced the largest digital panoramic photo in the world. It has 500 times the resolution produced by the large 5 megapixel cameras currently on the market. [Take the 'Tabloid Challenge' and find the girls in the photo].
· Last 'Apprentice' challenge: 3-hour finale. Fans watching the conclusion of "The Apprentice 2" will have to wait nearly three hours to hear Donald Trump utter "You're hired." NBC confirmed yesterday that the finale of "The Apprentice 2" will air over the course of three hours on Dec. 16.
· Ritz phone gang can keep $2.5 roulette winnings. Casinos across Britain were reviewing their security last night after three gamblers who used a mobile phone to win more than a $2 million at the Ritz were allowed to keep their takings. A device in the phone allegedly enabled them to predict the outcome of every spin of a roulette wheel. But Scotland Yard has decided that there is no ground to prosecute the gamblers and refunded them the “significant” quantity of cash which officers seized after their arrest.
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.
· Mondo bizzarro ... five hours' gossip a day. The Italians talk so much and so animatedly that visitors often wonder what on earth they can be discussing. Now a research firm has come up with the answer: each other. Urban Italians, it claims, spend an average of five hours a day gossiping.
· Pa. sues school that awarded MBA to cat. The Pennsylvania attorney general’s office Monday sued an online university for allegedly selling bogus academic degrees — including a $299 MBA awarded to a cat.
· 80's Metal Band Motley Crue to Reunite. The original members of 1980s glam metal band Motley Crue, which made hard living and wild sexcapades a centerpiece of their music and their lives, on Monday announced a world reunion tour.
· Want to lose weight? Don't forget to hit the sack. For years, weight loss experts have preached the importance of cutting calories and getting more exercise. Now a growing body of research is pointing to a third possible key to weight control: Get a good night's sleep.
· Robotic fix for Hubble challenged. When it comes to fixing up the Hubble Space Telescope, is the best person for a job actually a robot? A report being submitted to NASA this week casts doubt on that proposition, contending a robotic repair mission would be costlier and riskier than the space agency thinks.
Monday, December 6, 2004
· Amber's Book Deal. She was the star of the Scott Peterson murder trial and now she'll reportedly tell her story in a book. Amber Frey, whose testimony and taped conversations helped cement Scott Peterson's reputation as a cad, is said to have signed a lucrative deal for a book that will reportedly be published in February. Sources say Judith Reagan from Harper Collins is the publisher.
· Groundhog Punxsutawney Phil Recruited to Defend $100,000 in 'Pork' Funding. Pennsylvania's number-one four-legged weather prognosticator - Punxsutawney Phil - will make a Capitol Hill appearance on December 7, to "defend" a $100,000 grant for the Punxsutawney Weather Discovery Center. The furry weatherman will also "explain the difference between 'pork' and legitimate federal earmarks," according to one congressman's office.
· Greek Lawyers Drop Legal Threat to 'Alexander' Film. Greek lawyers are dropping efforts to have a new Hollywood film banned and its makers sued for depicting Alexander the Great as a bisexual. After previewing the movie a day before the movie's Greek premiere, the lawyers panned the flick, and its "gay action hero," adding that any further legal action "is just not worth it."
· Activists Dominate Content Complaints to FCC. According to a new FCC estimate obtained by Mediaweek, nearly all indecency complaints in 2003 — 99.8 percent—were filed by the Parents Television Council, an activist group.
· Officer can be fired for selling sex tapes of himself. The Supreme Court ruled Monday that San Diego, California, officials were right to fire a policeman who sold sexually explicit videotapes of himself in uniform.
· Electronic payments surpass paper checks. For the first time, Americans' use of credit cards, debit cards and other electronic bill paying has eclipsed paper checks. The number of electronic payment transactions last year totaled 44.5 billion — exceeding the number of checks paid, 36.7 billion — according to Federal Reserve studies released Monday.
· Woman Charged With Running Down Boys Who Hit SUV With Golf Ball. A woman ran over two teenage brothers after they accidentally hit her sport utility vehicle with the golf ball they were bouncing in a parking lot, officials said, leaving one of the boys with life-threatening injuries.
· Baseball not likely to punish Bonds, Giambi. For all the fuss over reported admissions of steroid use by Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi and Gary Sheffield, major league baseball probably won’t discipline them.
· Landlord won't ask Rosa Parks to pay rent. Rosa Parks’ landlord has offered to let her stay in her apartment rent-free, two years after threatening to evict her when the owners said her caretakers missed rental payments.
· Bob Dylan keeps his tryst with destiny. Bob Dylan says he has lost the "magic" that drove his early songwriting, but, aged 63, keeps up a gruelling tour schedule because of a pact he once made with destiny.
· Sex often the price for passage to U.S. "If you come to my office and lie down with me, you can pass." That was the offer, Ileana Figueroa recalled, that taught her sex was the price of passage to the United States.
· Andy Griffith presents unique gifts to town's children, residents. "It's my pleasure to announce that the town of Manteo is about to become the first town in America to provide free unlimited high-speed wireless internet access to every school child who lives in the town," actor Andy Griffith told the crowd gathered along the waterfront Friday night to usher in the holiday season.
· Paris the heiress snubs gift bag. Paris Hilton, backstage at the VH-1 Big in ’04 Awards, was complaining about the “lame” contents of her goodie bag full of freebies. “That was about the only thing she thought was lame,” though says a source. “Every other thing out of her mouth seemed to be ‘that’s hot’ or ‘do you love it?’ It was really annoying.”
· Update: Report of Tillman's death describes friendly fire horror. The last minutes of Pat Tillman's life were a horror of misdirected machine-gun fire and signals to firing colleagues that were misunderstood as hostile acts, according to an account published Sunday of the death of the NFL player-turned-soldier.
· 'Gilligan' Plays Santa in W.Va. Gilligan turned into Santa's helper when former television star Bob Denver and his wife joined a car dealership's toy campaign. "I think it's all been fantastic. It has only been 45 minutes and we've already done really well," Denver said during Saturday's event, which transformed Ramey Chrysler's lot into an island of toys.
· Robert Blake Faces Uphill Defense Challenge. On the surface, it appears Robert Blake's defense is hamstrung in his murder trial for the slaying of his wife. Opening statements are expected to begin today in Blake's trial in the May 2001 shooting death of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley. Blake, 71, is charged with murder and solicitation to commit murder as prosecutors contend that he tried to hire others to kill his wife.
Sunday, December 5, 2004
· 'Hacking' Removed From Lori's Gravestone. The family name "Hacking" has been removed from the gravestone of a woman whose husband has been charged with killing her and dumping her body in a trash bin.
· Trump Wants $500M From Investors. Donald Trump got fired. Now he's asking for $500 million. The real estate mogul and television star is offering to drop his breach of contract lawsuit against the Eastern Pequot tribe and the casino investors who replaced him in exchange for a half a billion dollars.
· Dealers Report Stolen Marijuana To Authorities. A Panhandle couple is under arrest after notifying police Thursday that their quarter-pound stash of marijuana was stolen and that they needed the weed back, because they were going to later sell it. "They're America's dumbest criminals," said Lt. Ricky Ramie, head of the Bay County Sheriff's Office narcotics task force.
· Blake Trial Falls Out of Spotlight. In the 3 1/2 years since Robert Blake's wife was slain, the case has faded from the public spotlight so much that prospective jurors had trouble remembering what it was all about. "I think there was something about a glove being found," said one prospect, confusing it with the O.J. Simpson murder case.
· 11 Arrested After Being Directed to Wrong Courtroom. Eleven people directed to the wrong courtroom in the Seminole County, Florida courthouse were arrested and jailed when they didn't appear before the proper judge, who was in an adjoining courtroom less than 100 feet away.
· Canadian transport minister to investigate missing airport uniforms. More than 1,000 airport security uniforms and parts of uniforms were lost or stolen, and nearly 100 security badges went missing over a nine-month period.
· 'Treasure' Retains Box-Office Booty. The Founding Fathers keep earning interest on their loot. Nicolas Cage's "National Treasure," about a race to find a fortune hidden by the signers of the Declaration of Independence, was the top movie for a third straight weekend with $17.1 million in ticket sales, according to studio estimates Sunday.
· Bush Downplays Thompson's Terror Worries. President Bush played down on Saturday a stark warning from his resigning health chief that the nation's food supply is largely unprotected from terror attack.
· From beyond the grave, Prince finally admits taking $1m bribe. Prince Bernhard, father of the Queen of the Netherlands, admitted in a posthumous confession that he pocketed more than a million dollars from Lockheed aircraft in one of the biggest corruption scandals of the 1970s.
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."
· 'e-Junk' Recycling Still in Its Infancy. When Office Depot, Inc. stores ran an electronics recycling drive last summer that accepted everything from cell phones to televisions, some stores were overwhelmed by the amount of e-trash they received.
· Anna forced off stage again. Anna Nicole Smith had to be forced off stage after trying to show her breasts at an awards ceremony. The Daily Star reckons she was trying to recreate Janet Jackson’s infamous Nipplegate stunt.
· Mormon Choir Cancels Overseas Trips. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has canceled its planned tour of northern Europe next year because of concerns about terrorism, and the choir will instead tour the Northwest.
· Woman Arrested in Bizarre Flu Shot Case. A woman who gave what she said were flu shots to more than two dozen people, then fled when asked for information about her credentials, was arrested Friday, police said. State health officials said they didn't know what was in the shots given to at least 28 people, but no one had reported any ill effects as of Friday.
· Teen Says Zoloft Led to Slayings. Authorities say three years ago, Christopher Pittman, then 12, shot his grandparents as they slept because they had scolded him for fighting. But Christopher's father, Joe Pittman, thinks his son killed because his sense of right and wrong was clouded by the anti-depressant Zoloft.
Saturday, December 4, 2004
· Jet Searched in L.A. for Missing Explosives. Police at Paris' top airport lost track of a passenger's bag in which plastic explosives were placed to train bomb-sniffing dogs, police said Saturday. Warned that the bag may have gotten on any of nearly 90 flights from Charles de Gaulle, authorities searched planes upon arrival in Los Angeles and New York.
· Sen. McCain threatens major league baseball. As Major League Baseball's steroid scandal widened to include the sport's most prolific active home run hitter, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) said yesterday that he will introduce legislation imposing drug-testing standards on professional athletes if baseball players and owners do not adopt a stringent crackdown on steroids by January.
· Teacher, Alleged Sex Victim Did Witchcraft. A teacher and a 14-year-old former female student whom she is accused of sexually assaulting participated in witchcraft together and even "wed" in a pagan ritual, police said.
· Driving Instructor Allegedly Drove Drunk To Lesson. A New Hampshire driving instructor is reportedly out of a job after being arrested on suspicion of driving drunk while on his way to pick up his students last month. State police say the man hit a reflector pole on the side of a turnpike and continued driving with two flat tires until he had to pull over.
· No buyer for 'Night before Christmas.' A rare autographed copy of the poem known as "'Twas the night before Christmas," which was estimated to fetch at least $200,000, failed to find a buyer at an auction on Friday, Sotheby's said.
· Kevin Kline Gets Hollywood Star. "The Big Chill" star Kevin Kline got a warm reception on Hollywood Boulevard on Friday as he received a star on the walk of fame to mark the DVD release of his Cole Porter biography "De-Lovely."
· 'Red' wine under hammer. Legendary wines from the cellars of 19th-century Russian tsars and Joseph Stalin has gone under the hammer - but less than half were sold. The wines had been expected to be snapped up for more than $1,000,000.
· Napster founder goes legit. Shawn Fanning, founder of Napster and former scourge of the music industry, has set up his own firm in an attempt to legitimise online file-sharing. Mr Fanning, 24, was demonised by the industry while a teenager when Napster became hugely popular in the late 1990s.
· Actress Laura Dern Has Baby. It's a girl for actress Laura Dern and musician Ben Harper. The daughter of actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd, Laura Dern's film credits include "Jurassic Park," "I Am Sam," "Mask," "October Sky" and most recently, "We Don't Live Here Anymore."
· Bruce Lee lifted new security chief out of gutter. Bernard Kerik was 11 years old and the survivor of a miserable childhood when he saw something that set him on the path to his nomination yesterday as homeland security czar. It was a television show called "The Green Hornet."
· Record settlement in Calif. church abuse case. A record-breaking, $100-million clergy sex abuse settlement between the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange and 87 plaintiffs brought some measure of relief to long-suffering families Friday, but legal experts differed over whether the blockbuster deal would help resolve a huge backlog of cases in California.
Friday, December 3, 2004
· Saint James describes Colorado plane crash. The charter jet carrying NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol and two of his sons lifted briefly during takeoff, then tipped back and forth before crashing and burning, Ebersol's actress wife said in an interview Friday.
· Thompson resigns with hint for terrorists. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson resigned Friday, saying "For the life of me, I cannot understand why the terrorists have not attacked our food supply because it is so easy to do," he said.
· Ashlee Simpson to Perform "Live" for AOL. Ashlee Simpson is getting behind the mic again - only this time, she's promising it will be live. Simpson, whose lip-synch-gone-awry on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" in October made her an instant punch line, will headline a concert for AOL Monday in Los Angeles.
· Passenger Slaps Airport Security Guard With Boarding Pass. A woman who objected to being frisked may be charged with assault for slapping an airport security guard's face with her boarding pass, police said.
· Denver mayor allows 'Merry Christmas' display. Seeking to avoid an emotionally charged battle, the mayor reversed a decision to remove the lights spelling out "Merry Christmas" from a city holiday display.
· Authorities Serve Another Search Warrant At Michael Jackson's Ranch. Authorities say they're again searching Michael Jackson's sprawling California estate. A spokesman said the Santa Barbara County sheriff's department served a search warrant Friday at the pop star's Neverland ranch. The spokesman would not release further details about the search.
· CNBC to end John McEnroe's show. The viewer numbers for the show, which had its debut in July, were so low at times that they failed to qualify for Nielsen's ratings reports. It was drawing an average audiences of 75,000 a night, CNBC said.
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· Florida Kerry supporters meet for group therapy. Twenty John Kerry supporters met for their first group therapy session in South Florida Thursday, screaming epithets at President Bush as they shared their emotions with licensed mental health counselors.
· ‘Apprentice’ women keep selling sex. Carolyn Kepcher has said of this season's "Apprentice" female contestants that they made her ashamed to be a woman. And if anything helped bolster her thesis on this week's show, it was desperate contestant Ivana actually yanking off her skirt on Wall Street for $20.
· Robert Kennedy's Killer Wants Hotel Left Standing. The lawyer for Robert Kennedy's assassin, Islamic terrorist Sirhan Sirhan, has gone to court to stop the demolition of the hotel where the late senator was shot dead, saying that there is evidence in its walls that can prove his client innocent.
· Pardoned Marc Rich Eyed in U.N. Oil Scandal. Former American fugitive Marc Rich was a middleman for several of Iraq's suspect oil deals in February 2001, just one month after his pardon from President Clinton, according to oil industry shipping records obtained by ABC News.
· Woman Who Beat Ken Jennings Loses 'Jeopardy!' Nancy Zerg, aka "The Woman Who Toppled Ken Jennings," did not have long to savor her victory. Wednesday night, she was knocked off in her first game after beating the famous "Jeopardy!" champ.
· Pals portray Laci's killer as 'St. Scott.' Scott Peterson's relatives, friends and neighbors yesterday made the convicted wife-slayer out to be the Dalai Lama of San Diego. Longtime friend Aaron Fritz recalled how Peterson participated in a high-school program in which students visited nursing homes and senior centers, and traveled to Mexico to read to orphans.
· Young male student outlines case against schoolteacher. In his statement - which is written in the childish scrawl of a young teen - the victim revealed how he became entangled in an affair with the comely teacher. "She told me that she had feeling for me," he wrote. "She told me that she was thinking about me a lot and had feeling for me [and] she didn't know what to do with them. "We did not have sex until Monday June 14," he added. "On Monday she asked me to help her clean out her portable [classroom at the school]. We had sex for the first time."
· Retailers Stock Up on Latest Gadgets. Some of the biggest fashion trends at department stores this holiday season have more to do with MP3 players than cashmere ponchos or fur-trimmed sweaters. With high-tech gadgets at the top of many holiday wish lists, department stores such as Marshall Field's, Macy's and Bloomingdale's have stocked up on such items as $299 iPod music players, $700 pink cell phones, and $300 digital cameras.
· The wings on this plane go up and down. With help from his graduate students, James DeLaurier, a professor at the University of Toronto's Institute for Aerospace Studies, has created an ornithopter--a full-size plane designed to get off the ground when its wings flap.
· IBM reportedly puts PC business on the market. IBM, whose first PC in 1981 moved personal computing out of the hobby shop and into the corporate and consumer mainstream, has put the business up for sale, people close to the negotiations said Thursday.
· President George Bush Charged in Provincial Court. On the heels of President Bush's visit to Canada, a Vancouver lawyer has filed torture-related criminal charges against the President in Vancouver Provincial Court. Gail Davidson, cochair of an international legal group called Lawyers Against the War, told the Straight that she charged Bush on November 30 with seven counts of counselling, aiding, and abetting the commission of torture in connection with the actions of U.S. armed forces at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and at a U.S. naval base at Guantánamo Bay.
· Bonds Admitted to Using Substances Thought to Be Steroids. Barry Bonds testified to a grand jury that he used a clear substance and a cream given to him by a trainer who was indicted in a steroid-distribution ring, but said he didn't know they were steroids, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Friday.
· Reclusive millionaire tops Schwarzenegger donors. He's spent his millions on exotic show horses, a home for retired chimpanzees -- and California's actor-governor. William Armsted Robinson, founder of the DHL courier service, has quietly become a top donor of Gov. Armold Schwarzenegger.
· National Sales Tax Promoted as Fairer System. The IRS and all payroll taxes should be scrapped and replaced with a national sales tax that would require the poor to pay nothing, some tax reform advocates are proposing as an ideal plan to rejigger the U.S. tax code.
· Gibson's Alleged Stalker to Stand Trial. A 34-year-old drifter was ordered to stand trial for allegedly stalking Mel Gibson. Superior Court Judge Leland Harris ruled Thursday that there was enough evidence to try Zack Sinclair on a felony count of stalking. The defendant remained jailed on $500,000 bail pending a Dec. 16 arraignment.
· Police dismiss reports of 'BTK' arrest. Police in Wichita, Kansas, dismissed television reports Thursday that said a 64-year-old man arrested on minor charges may be linked to the so-called "BTK" killings in the 1970s.
· Jones used steroids, BALCO founder says. Olympic star Marion Jones injected herself in the leg with human growth hormone while BALCO head Victor Conte watched, he told ABC News in an interview for “20/20,” to be aired Friday.
· Singer Lynn Anderson Charged With DWI. Lynn Anderson, who won a Grammy for "Rose Garden" in 1970, was charged with drunk driving Thursday after police found her passed out in her car on the shoulder of a highway.
· The Temp Job That Lasted 60 Years. Madeline Vaughn was looking for a temporary job when she went to work for the federal reserve bank in Dallas, Texas. She was 20 years old then, and FDR was the president.
· A rough ride for Schwinn Bicycle. In the glass atrium that marks the entrance to the Pacific Cycle company, the old and the new of the bicycle business are displayed side by side. Each is called the Schwinn Sting Ray, and each in its time has been a bestseller.
· Female sex patch needs more study. A hormone patch that works to restore a woman's sex drive should not be approved until additional studies to determine its risk, federal health advisers said Thursday.
Thursday, December 2, 2004
· Brian Williams has distaste for bloggers. Tom Brokaw's NBC News chair will be taken over this evening by Brian Williams — a self-described "NASCAR freak," who has made it clear he isn't receptive to the blogging community. Bloggers are "on an equal footing with someone in a bathroom with a modem," Williams told attendees at a recent Time magazine "Person of the Year" luncheon.
· Blake Trial Postponed After Theft of PC. Robert Blake's lawyer said Thursday he hopes to go forward with his client's murder trial despite the theft of a computer that contained what a court representative described as "the heart and soul of the defense case."
· Strip-Club Killers Videotaped Murders. A Fort Hood soldier suspected in the Thanksgiving weekend slayings of four people, including three strip club employees, told police he videotaped two of the killings while another man did the shooting, according to court documents released Tuesday.
· Babe's first bat sold for record $1.26 million. Going, going, gone. The massive 46-ounce Louisville Slugger used by Babe Ruth to drill the first home run in Yankee Stadium history was sold for a record $1.26 million to an unidentified collector.
· Police Release Tapes in Teacher Sex Case. Police released audio tapes Thursday of phone calls between a teacher and a 14-year-old student she is accused of raping. In the calls, Debra LaFave speaks with the boy about the affair they were allegedly having and the student expresses concerns that the middle school teacher might be pregnant. Police were also releasing DNA evidence as part of the public record of the case.'
· Kenneth Starr says he shouldn't have been involved in Lewinsky case. Kenneth Starr says he never should have led the investigation that resulted in the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton. The former independent counsel, now dean of the Pepperdine University law school, says "the most fundamental thing that could have been done differently" was for somebody else to have investigated Clinton's statements under oath denying he had an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
· Jennings’ loss may result in windfall. The “Jeopardy” champ won $2.5 million before he blew a question about H&R Block. H&R’s people have some very clever ideas about ads starring Jennings. They would be along the lines of ‘You can be the smartest guy in the world and still not know where to get your taxes done.’
· Gay Minister Found Guilty in Church Trial. A jury made up of United Methodist Church clergy convicted a lesbian minister Thursday of violating church law by openly living with her partner in a committed relationship.
· TV Networks Shift Times, Run Longer Shows. Television networks are lending new meaning to time-shifting: TV shows don't necessarily start or end right on the hour or half-hour anymore, so it can screw up some TiVo viewers' video recordings.
· Kerik Named to Lead Homeland Security. President Bush has chosen former New York police commissioner Bernard Kerik, who helped direct the emergency response to the Sept. 11 terrorist strikes against the Twin Towers, to lead the Homeland Security Department, charged with safeguarding Americans from future attack, administration officials said Thursday.
· CBS' Moonves: "I Want To Be Single. Now!" CBS boss Leslie Moonves is so anxious to return to the single life that he has asked a California judge to immediately grant him a divorce - despite the fact that he has yet to work out alimony, child support, and property division arrangements with his estranged wife.
· Lawyer Admits He's Source of Leaked Video. A defense lawyer came forward and admitted he is the person who leaked an FBI videotape to a TV reporter now facing jail time for protecting the source, court papers filed Wednesday said.
· Lawyers: Kobe Shouldn't Blame Media. Lawyers for the woman accusing Kobe Bryant of sexual assault filed documents Wednesday disputing his argument that others were at least partly responsible for any emotional injuries she suffered.
· CBS, NBC refuse to run church ad welcoming all. A new national television commercial promoting the United Church of Christ says that "Jesus didn't turn people away," but two major networks have turned away the ad itself, saying it violates their policy of airing commercials on hot button topics -- such as tolerance toward gays and lesbians.
· Defense's Turn at Peterson Sentencing Trial. Scott Peterson's defense team began making its case for life imprisonment Wednesday in the penalty phase of his murder trial, a day after his slain wife's mother delivered heart-wrenching testimony about why the former fertilizer salesman should get the death penalty.
· Jerry Orbach Diagnosed With Cancer. "Law & Order" actor Jerry Orbach has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, his manager said. "We expect he'll be fine. He's been playing golf, shooting his episodes and doing real well," manager Robert Malcolm told the New York Daily News for Thursday editions.
· Blue Angels Pilot Ejects Before Plane Crashes. A Blue Angels pilot safely ejected before his jet crashed into the Gulf of Mexico during a training flight Wednesday, a spokesman for the Navy precision flying team said.
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.
· Lip service, Liz? Her beauty has been her fortune. But it seems Liz Hurley may still be finding imperfections in the mirror. At her latest public appearance, her plunging white silk Versace gown and $290,000 diamond earrings were very much secondary talking points. The main topic for conversation was her lips which, observers agreed, appeared to have taken on a new dimension.
· Record Powerball winner hit with DUI, weapon charges. Record Powerball jackpot winner Jack Whittaker spent Wednesday morning in jail after being charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and carrying a concealed weapon without a license.
· Microsoft sees blogs for the masses. The company that helped push word-processing and graphical computing into the mainstream wants to do the same thing with weblogs. Microsoft Corp.'s MSN Internet division last night introduced a preliminary version of MSN Spaces, a new service that includes a tool for publishing weblogs, online journals commonly known as blogs. The tool is less flexible than many existing blog-publishing services, but it's meant to be easier to use.
· 'E.T.' Cereal Grain Gets $804 On Auction. First it was a purported likeness of the Virgin Mary in a cheese sandwich. Now, a single grain of breakfast cereal with an uncanny resemblance to cuddly movie alien E.T. has reportedly fetched $804 in an Internet auction.
· Giambi Testified He Used Steroids, Human Growth Hormone. New York Yankees slugger Jason Giambi injected himself with human growth hormone in 2003 and also used steroids for at least three seasons, according to his grand jury testimony reviewed by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Wednesday, December 1, 2004
· First U.S. Muslim TV Channel Hits Airwaves. A new Muslim cable television network is broadcasting from Buffalo, N.Y., Wednesday presenting news coverage, dramas, children's shows, classic movies, and programs about food, travel and culture.
· Ebersol's boss says hurt exec is "being very strong." The head of the company that employs NBC Sports executive Dick Ebersol, who was injured in a plane crash Sunday in Montrose that killed his teenage son and two crew members, said in an interview that the elder Ebersol "has significant physical problems" but is doing as well as can be expected under treatment.
· Man Pleads Guilty In Plot To Extort $180,000 From Supermarket Chain. A man pleaded guilty to trying to extort $180,000 from a supermarket chain by threatening to put poisoned baby food on store shelves. Police said David Ian Dickinson, 43, told them he planned to use the money to pay for his 5-month-old son's college education.
· Thieves Use Backhoe In Attempted Robbery. The US Bank branch near Oak View Mall in Omaha was apparently the target as thieves tried to remove the nigh deposit box from the side of the building. They weren't successful. (photo)
· Glitches mar launch of free credit report site. Consumers eager to learn about their credit history began asking for free copies of their credit reports Wednesday, but many were having trouble using the Web site built by the nation's three credit bureaus.
· Pamela Anderson Makes a Return to TV. Former Baywatch beauty Pamela Anderson is to set to make a return to TV, after signing a deal for her own sitcom. The busty actress is teaming with Just Shoot Me creator Steven Levitan for the show, which focuses on a "less famous" version of Anderson.
· Peterson attorney: 'This is a life worth saving.' Scott Peterson's life "is a life worth saving," an attorney told jurors Wednesday as the defense opened its case for sparing him from the death penalty for killing his pregnant wife.
· 'Passions' star David Bailey drowns in LA pool accident. Actor David Bailey, a soap opera veteran who recently began playing the ruthless Alistair Crane on NBC's "Passions," drowned in a pool accident, authorities said Tuesday.
· Frenchman walks free after wife forgives murder attempt. A man who blinded his wife in a failed murder and suicide attempt has won a suspended five-year sentence after his spouse publicly forgave him and begged the court to acquit him.
· Brokaw Says Goodbye, Chokes Up on 'Today.' Tom Brokaw briefly struggled to maintain his composure on NBC's ``Today'' show Wednesday morning, as he was being toasted by his staff on his last day as ``NBC Nightly News'' anchor.
· Men arrested for dumping dirt in a forest. Two men have been arrested for dumping dirt in a national forest. The Kootenai County Sheriff's Department said the men, who have not been publicly identified, were arrested at a garage in Coeur d'Alene where the dirt had been removed and the base apparently prepared for paving.
· Rudy Giuliani to open investment bank. Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who made headlines in the 1980s prosecuting Wall Street financiers, now plans to join the club and build an investment advisory practice.
· Laci's Mom Rips Into Scott. Laci Peterson's mother took the stand Tuesday in the sentencing phase of Scott Peterson's murder trial, screaming at her former son-in-law that divorce was always an option over taking her daughter's life.
· Jennings hits 'Jeopardy' milestone. In a victory telecast yesterday, Nancy Zerg beat a pop-culture icon who had achieved an aura of invincibility. Ken Jennings won $2,520,700, a record for a TV game show contestant, since his first appearance June 2. [How He Lost] The category was business and industry. The clue: Most of this firm's 70,000 seasonal white-collar employees work only four months a year.
· Michael Moore Unveils New Look. Filmmaker Michael Moore made his first appearance on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" since the 2004 presidential election. As is often the case with Moore, he surprised the audience. But in this case, the surprise was the result of his new look. Moore appeared on stage wearing a suit and tie, no beard or hat and a trim haircut.
· Wal-Mart to cut prices after poor sales. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the No. 1 U.S. retailer, Tuesday signaled it will cut prices through Christmas after holding back deep discounts on the first weekend of the holiday shopping season.
· Man Blames Ruined Business On Unwanted Faxes. A West Virginia man says unwanted faxes ruined his business. Wade Peer says his automotive accessory business was doomed by a flood of misdirected faxes from one of North America's largest banks.
· Ex-nanny gunning for Imus. Get ready for Imus in the courtroom: Acid-tongued radio host Don Imus was slapped with a lawsuit yesterday by a nanny he fired and allegedly branded a "terrorist" on the air. Nichole Cathleen Mallette contends that Imus went berserk last year after discovering she was carrying a cap gun and pocketknife while caring for his 5-year-old son, Wyatt.
· Election Day May Be Eliminated In Florida. Florida's elections supervisors have proposed dramatic reforms to eliminate Election Day, replacing it with an 11-day election season and eliminate voting precincts.
» Complaint filing from the Smoking Gun. In the complaint, Mallette alleges that during two separate stays at the Imus Ranch for seriously ill children, "neither sick children nor children who had lost brothers and sisters to SIDS were present," just Imus, his family, and ranch employees. Along with Imus and his wife, Mallete named as defendants the radio syndicator Westwood One and NBC, which simulcasts Imus's show on its MSNBC cable network.
· Hanks, Howard Reunite for 'Da Vinci Code.' Tom Hanks will reunite with director Ron Howard to star in "The Da Vinci Code," the film adaptation of Dan Brown's best seller dissecting the origins of Christianity.
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.
· Lincoln Photograph Goes For Record $85,000 At Auction. A unique portrait of Abraham Lincoln sold for a record $85,000 and a copy of Robert E. Lee's farewell address to his troops went for $70,000 at an auction of manuscripts and other historical items.
· 'Martini on the Rock' priced at $10,000 per cocktail. The drink is New York's latest overpriced menu item, joining such notables as the $1,000 frittata at Norma's in Le Parker Meridien hotel, the $71 hamburger at the Old Homestead and the $1,000 Golden Opulence Sundae at Serendipity 3. The Algonquin Hotel martini's actual price depends on the size and cut of the included diamond, but its liquid ingredients - a mix of Belvedere vodka and Martini & Rossi vermouth - remain the same as always.
· Man Acquitted of Stalking Sheryl Crow. A love-struck fan who ardently pursued singer Sheryl Crow for 15 months was acquitted Tuesday of stalking her. A jury deliberated about three hours before finding Ambrose Kappos, 38, not guilty of burglary and stalking charges. He faced up to seven years in prison if convicted.
· Portman ready for nude internet coverage. Actress Natalie portman is comfortable with the inevitable prospect of seeing her naked body splashed across the internet, after her new movie Closer hits cinemas. The sexy screen star plays a stripper in the raunchy film - in which she appears alongside Julia Roberts - and she's prepared for the fact stills grabbed from her nude scenes will soon dominate celebrity websites.
· Paris vs. Britney in Perfume-Bottle Battle. It's the blonde leading the blonde ... and something smells tarty. Two celebrity perfumes have arrived in time for the holidays and, depending on your tolerance for pop-tart culture, you'll love them, hate them or buy them as gag gifts.
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
· Princess and former Marine file for divorce. The five-year marriage is over between a former Marine and a young Bahraini royal whose story provided the basis for a made-for-television movie, "The Princess and the Marine."
· Liu to guest on LeBlanc slate 'Joey.' Lucy Liu has signed to guest in at least two upcoming episodes of NBC's "Joey," reuniting her with "Charlie's Angels" love interest Matt LeBlanc. Liu will play Lauren, a tough-talking TV exec producer for the nighttime soap where Joey recently scored a role as the father of one of the show's main characters.
· Former teacher to use insanity plea against charges of sex with student. When a young Hillsborough County teacher was accused this summer of having a sexual affair with a 14-year-old student, many people's first reaction to the notorious case was, 'She's crazy.' Tuesday, Debra Lafave's attorney announced that his client would indeed be using an insanity defense.
· Hardee's Planning Ad Blitz for 1,420-Calorie Monster Burger. Two weeks since serving up its Monster Thickburger packing 1,420 calories and 107 grams of fat, Hardee's looks to beef up sales with a new multimillion-dollar ad campaign.
· Martha Stewart Eyeing Reality TV Comeback. The Hollywood reporter is reporting that Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia is close to sealing a deal with NBC for a primetime reality series to feature the domestic diva. It will be produced by "Survivor" Svengali Mark Burnett. Specifics of the series are still murky, but sources said that it would have an elimination-style competition element along the lines of Burnett's "Survivor" and "The Apprentice."
· 25 Ways to make your next flight easier. Tips for stress-free travel from departure to arrival. Between delayed and canceled flights, understaffed ticket counters, long lines, intrusive security procedures, lost luggage, no meals, surly passengers, stressed-out flight attendants and the specter of terrorism, chances are your next trip won't be a lot of laughs—but there are some things you can do to make it a little more bearable.
· 'Blog' Tops Dictionary's Words of the Year. A four-letter term that came to symbolize the difference between old and new media during this year's presidential campaign tops U.S. dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster's list of the 10 words of the year.
· Is it final Jeopardy for Jennings? The soft-spoken software engineer Ken Jennings, who is Jeopardy!'s longest-running champ, could finally get beaten and booted off the pre-taped show tonight after a record 75 appearances, according to numerous Web reports. With $2.5-million in his back pocket, the 30-year-old Jennings has earned the title of highest-earning player ever on a syndicated quiz show.
· Dirty Teeth Can Kill You, U.S. Study Shows. Germs found in dental plaque can make their way into the lungs and cause potentially fatal pneumonia in elderly nursing home patients, U.S. researchers reported on Tuesday.
· Ready to save money on airline tickets? It helps to be gay. IF you are gay or lesbian, America West is offering you an extra 10% discount on its already discounted coach and first class fares. [OR, be 'gay for a day'... how will they prove it? -ed].
· Annan 'surprised' at son's link to oil-for-food scandal. The United Nations has revealed that the son of the secretary general, Kofi Annan, worked for a company being investigated in the Iraqi oil-for-food scandal for four years longer than he first admitted.
· Online Retailers See Thanksgiving Surge. Computer-savvy consumers did plenty of online shopping over the Thanksgiving weekend, giving companies like Amazon.com and walmart.com the same kickoff to the holiday season as department stores and malls had. Online sales excluding travel shot up 100 percent to $133 million on Thanksgiving Day compared to the same day last year. On Friday, online sales hit $250 million, up 41 percent.
· Rogers story was a hoax. An article link we ran yesterday morning about Kenny Rogers' bodyguard in a brawl with police was a hoax. While we review every article that is submitted to us, this one fooled us (and ABC News, among other mainstream media). We apologize for this error.
» The original Kenny Rogers story was here. If you wonder why they would put together such an elaborate hoax, their disclaimer states it is "because we are immature malcontents with an internet connection and too much time on our hands," among other things.
· George Clooney Sidelined by Ruptured Disk. George Clooney is suffering from a ruptured disk that kept him from promoting his new film, "Ocean's Twelve," this week. Clooney had been scheduled to travel to New York Sunday for appearances on shows including "Good Morning America,""The Daily Show" and "Charlie Rose," his spokesman, Stan Rosenfield, said Monday.
· Update: Body of NBC TV exec's son believed found. Authorities said Monday they had removed a body from the wreckage matching that of 14-year-old Edward Ebersol, a freshman at a Connecticut boarding school.
· Film Studios Win $24 Million Against Web Site. Hollywood's major movie studios said they won a $23.8 million judgment against a California company and its Malaysian owner for operating a Web site that charged customers to download illegally copied movies.
· Principal Sorry for Reading 'Prayer' Poem. A high school principal apologized Monday for reading a poem called "The New School Prayer" over the school's intercom, which brought complaints from some parents who said it violated the principle of separation of church and state.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Anecdotal [an·ec·dot·al] adj. Based on casual observations or indications rather than rigorous or scientific analysis: "There is anecdotal evidence that the stock will soon double in price."
· Pacers Players to Be Charged in NBA Brawl. Members of the Indiana Pacers will be charged in the brawl that broke out Nov. 19 when the Pacers played the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills, Oakland County Prosecutor David Gorcyca says.
· Postal Service expects 20 billion pieces of mail. The U.S. Postal Service expects to handle 20 billion pieces of mail between Thanksgiving and Christmas, up slightly from last year, the agency said Monday.
· Now everyone can spy. New Internet-based technology could soon turn regular computer users into armchair spies, a Canadian inventor says. Vincent Tao, an engineer at Toronto's York University said he has invented a mapping and surveillance tool called SAME (see anywhere, map anywhere). The resolution is 2 feet - fine enough to determine the make of a car, though not the details of a human face, according to Tao.
· Report: NAACP President to Step Down. Kweisi Mfume, who has been president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People since 1996, planned to make the announcement Tuesday, The (Baltimore) Sun, citing an anonymous source, reported in Tuesday editions.
· Study confirms stress speeds aging. Scientists have identified the first direct link between stress and aging, a finding that could explain why intense, long-term emotional strain can make people get sick and grow old before their time.
· 'Ringback' may be next big thing. Service allows callers to hear music until phone is answered. Ring tones are so 'yesterday.' If wireless companies have their way, the next multibillion-dollar surprise in the cellular business will be "Ringback" tones.
Monday, November 29, 2004
· Alabama Voters Refuse To Remove Racist Language From Law. The failed measure would have re-written an education section of the constitution, specifically taking out a line about separate schools for "white and colored children."
· No Psychological Exam for Jackson Accuser. The judge in the child-molestation case against Michael Jackson refused on Monday to order Jackson's accuser and the boy's family to undergo psychological examinations.
· Sotheby's to Auction Lost Capote Novel. A manuscript of Truman Capote's unpublished first novel, which the author abandoned and claimed to have destroyed, has been found in a box of papers and will be auctioned this week at Sotheby's.
· Maher: Ex Is Serial Shakedown Artist. Denying an ex-girlfriend's legal claim that he used racial slurs and assaulted her, comedian Bill Maher has fired back at the woman, describing her as a would-be extortionist who launched a campaign to embarrass and humiliate the HBO star after the demise of the pair's ten-month relationship.
· Heidi Klum Hosts New Reality Series. Heidi Klum is hosting her own reality TV show, but that doesn't mean she's a big fan of the genre. The supermodel prefers to call "Project Runway" - a contest among 12 aspiring fashion designers that premieres Wednesday on Bravo - a documentary.
· Smiling Frowned Upon In Visa Photographs. Imagine being denied a passport for, of all things, your teeth. It could happen, but not because they're crooked. Under new rules for visa photographs that began this summer, the State Department doesn't want to see them at all.
· Official: Ebersol's son likely among 3 dead in plane crash. NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol and his college-age son emerged from the wreckage of a chartered jet after the plane crashed, but authorities said Monday his 14-year-old son was presumed dead in the wreckage.
» The actual private jet - before the crash. According to the Jet Alliance website who owned the downed Challenger private jet, "The rich and elegant interior of this Challenger is swathed in burgundy leather interior with contrasting soft beige accentuation." A typical one-way flight, from LA to New York, runs about $20K.
» "Oh my God! Oh my God!" Eyewitness Chuck Distel told The Associated Press by phone that he was driving on a highway parallel to the runway when he saw the plane skid sideways through a fence and brush before hitting a roadway that ripped the cockpit from the fuselage, leaving it an unrecognizable wreck. The Denver Post reported that the jet lifted off briefly before crashing.
· Chip power, times 10. IBM, Sony Corp. and Toshiba Corp. on Monday unveiled some key details on the powerful new "Cell" processor the three are jointly producing to run next-generation computers, game consoles and TVs. Cloaked in secrecy and the object of much speculation since the three conglomerates announced the project in 2001, Cell will be 10 times more powerful than conventional chips and able to shepherd large chunks of data over broadband networks.
· Paralyzed woman walks again after stem cell therapy. A South Korean woman paralyzed for 20 years is walking again after scientists say they repaired her damaged spine using stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood.
Sunday, November 28, 2004
· NBC Sports Exec Injured in Colo. Jet Crash. NBC Sports Chairman and President Dick Ebersol survived a charter plane crash that killed at least two people Sunday, NBC said in a statement through its Denver affiliate KUSA-TV. The jet crashed through a fence and burst into flames at Montrose Regional Airport, which serves the Telluride Ski Area.
· Doughnut giant might sue over name. One sells doughnuts, the other sells ice cream. One's been in business since 1937, the other since 1968. Now, the musclebound company, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc., is on the verge of suing Krispy Kream Drive-In for stealing its company name.
· Chief Justice Won't Return to the Court This Year. Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, who missed the Supreme Court's November argument session while being treated for thyroid cancer, will be absent for the December session as well, the court announced on Friday.
· It's a Girl, and a Boy, for Julia Roberts. It's a girl - and a boy - for actress Julia Roberts and her husband, cinematographer Danny Moder. Roberts gave birth to twins Hazel Patricia Moder and Phinnaeus Walter Moder on Sunday morning at a Southern California hospital, publicist Marcy Engelman said Sunday.
· Daughter turns in dad who called police on her. A father's attempt to teach his daughter a lesson about drinking backfired when the teen led police to a stash of drugs and weapons inside their home.
· 'National Treasure' Retains No. 1 Spot. "National Treasure" continued to strike box-office gold, taking in $33.1 million from Friday to Sunday to retain the No. 1 slot over the busy Thanksgiving weekend.
· Pepper Spray Released in Toys R Us. Pepper spray was released inside an elevator at Toys R Us' crowded flagship store Saturday, sending at least three people to the hospital and leaving others with irritated eyes, fire and police spokesmen said.
· U.S. Holiday Shopping Starts with $8 Billion Day. Americans spent more in stores at the start of holiday shopping than a year ago, according to figures released on Saturday, but retailers' hopes for the key season were curbed as titan Wal-Mart cut its November sales forecast.
· Celebs Shun Once-Famed Hollywood Parade. The biggest stars at the Hollywood Christmas Parade this year will be the marble ones under the feet of spectators. The annual parade, which winds past the Hollywood Walk of Fame, was once a tradition as rich and famous as the celebrities who graced its floats: Jimmy Stewart, Bob Hope, Mary Pickford and Gregory Peck, to name a few.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Ostensible [os·ten·si·ble] adj. 1. Intended for display, open to view. 2. Being such in appearance, plausible rather than demonstrably true or real. [the ostensible purpose of the trip was business].
· Pope Concerned About U.S. Priest Shortage. Pope John Paul II expressed concern over the decline in priestly vocations in the United States, telling visiting American bishops that the drop presents a "stark challenge" that cannot be ignored.
· Official: Colombian Rebels Told to Kill Bush. Colombia's main rebel group asked followers to mount an assassination attempt against President Bush during his visit to Colombia last week, Defense Minister Jorge Uribe said. There was no evidence Saturday that rebels even tried to organize such an attack.
· Missing pilot found alive in Alaska. A pilot missing since Monday was found alive Saturday afternoon in a remote southern Alaska bay, in good shape and upbeat spirits, the Alaska National Guard said.
Saturday, November 27, 2004
· Man dies in leap from Empire State Building. A man jumped to his death Friday from the 86th-floor observation deck at the Empire State Building, one of Manhattan's busiest tourist destinations, police said.
· Video found in search of blackmail suspect's home. Federal authorities have seized a videotape believed to be at the center of an alleged blackmail attempt against New York Yankees slugger Gary Sheffield and his wife, a prosecutor said.
· TiVo's new ad plans have users worried. Digital video recording pioneer TiVo Inc. has long promised "TV Your Way." But the company's plans for pop-up ads and restrictions on copying have sparked worries that the service may be eroding consumer control in favor of Hollywood and advertiser interests.
· Stewart's prison secrets. Martha Stewart's prison secrets — right down to the spices she allegedly sneaks into her bra — have been revealed by her cellmates. Fellow "Camp Cupcake" inmates are monitoring Martha's every move in jail, and are disclosing the lengths she goes to to whip up gourmet treats behind bars, including stashing condiments and such in her unmentionables.
· Fake Saudi Princess Countersues AmEx. A woman who was sued by American Express over an alleged scam where she posed as a Saudi princess to steal thousands has countersued the company, saying she was mentally incompetent when she opened her account and the company should have known it.
· Roberts Does Movie PR While on Bed Rest. A pregnant Julia Roberts was confined to bed last month after experiencing a series of early contractions. The 37-year-old actress is expecting twins — a boy and a girl — in early January.
Friday, November 26, 2004
· 'Cheers' Star ODs in Apparent Suicide Try. Bubbly blond "Cheers" star Shelley Long - depressed over the bust-up of her marriage - was rushed to the hospital after taking an overdose of painkillers in an apparent suicide bid.
· Average American Will Spend Almost $1000 On Holiday Gifts. According to a gift-giving survey by Coinstar, that's how much the average American plans to spend on Christmas and Hanukkah presents - an 11 percent increase from last year.
· Heidi curves for Golden Arches. Supermodel Heidi Klum has been tabbed to supersize McDonald's public image. The Victoria's Secret mannequin has signed a two-year deal to endorse the hamburger giant.
· Turkey TV: What to Watch This Holiday Weekend. Feeling full after all that turkey? If you're too stuffed to move - or just gathering around the tube with family and friends this weekend - here's a couch-potato cheat sheet to "It's a Wonderful Life," and other holiday favorites.
· Math Whiz Sets Record for Mental Calculation. A German computer scientist has broken the world record in mental calculation, needing just 11.80 seconds to work out the 13th root of a 100-digit number, a German mathematics museum said.
· Eminem: "Escaping from prison saved me." Eminem claims the day he escaped prison was the most important moment in his life. The rap star has confessed he would have been devastated if he was sent to jail in April 2001 after being convicted of threatening behaviour with a firearm. He said: "Nothing woke me up more than standing in front of that judge with his life in my hands."
· Novelist Arthur Hailey dies at 84. Arthur Hailey, the best-selling author who plucked characters from ordinary life and threw them into extraordinary ordeals, died in his home in the Bahamas, his wife said Thursday.
· Prez reaches out to G.I.s by phone. A year ago, President Bush secretly flew to Iraq for a meal with U.S. G.I.s. This year, he called them. Bush made several calls from his Texas ranch yesterday "to express his gratitude for their service and sacrifice and to wish them a happy Thanksgiving," said White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan.
· British cop accused of speeding by motorist he booked for same offense. Motorist Neil Saunders was outraged when the police officer who had just booked him for speeding pulled away in his official car at well over the speed limit. So he gave chase and administered a reproach of his own.
Thursday, November 25, 2004
· Basketball player arrested, tasered outside Indy club. NBA player Michael Olowokandi was arrested early Thursday at an Indianapolis nightclub after a dispute with police, during which the Minnesota Timberwolves center was hit twice with an electronic stun gun, police said.
· Students Free to Thank Anybody, Except God. Maryland public school students are free to thank anyone they want while learning about the 17th century celebration of Thanksgiving — as long as it's not God.
· Bad Weather Disrupts Holiday Travel. Travelers didn't plan on starting their long Thanksgiving weekend stuck in airports or driving on slippery roads, but then again they hadn't figured on snow - and a lot of it.
· Chicago to auction Windy City 'experiences.' City officials hope there are people willing to pay plenty of money to own a vintage Playboy Bunny costume, toss green dye into the Chicago River or throw a dinner party prepared by Oprah Winfrey's chef.
· Passengers complain about pat-down searches at airports. Shocked by what she perceived as far too intimate a security check, Melanie Higley burst into tears. First, the wand was placed too aggressively between her legs, then the airport screener at Dallas-Fort Worth International groped her, she said. Hysterical, she protested that she was being abused. The screener's response: She was just doing her job.
· Peterson turns to state Supreme Court. Attorneys for convicted murderer Scott Peterson Wednesday asked the California Supreme Court to change the location of the penalty phase of Peterson's trial and let a new jury decide whether he deserves to die.
· Police Seek NBA Brawl Chair-Thrower. Police said Wednesday they have received some tips in their effort to determine who threw a chair during the brawl that broke out during last week's Pistons-Pacers game.
· Hinckley denied longer parental visits. A federal judge Wednesday denied a request by John Hinckley, the man who shot President Reagan in a 1981 assassination attempt, to have extended visits at his parents' Virginia home.
· Mickelson reaches golfing milestone with round of 59. Phil Mickelson ended his magical year with golf’s magic number. The Masters champion shot a 13-under 59 on Wednesday to win the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, a two-day competition for the year’s four major winners. Al Geiberger, Chip Beck and David Duval are the only players to shoot 59 on the PGA Tour.
· Real-life 'Mary Ellen Walton' dies. Marion Hamner Hawkes, a tomboy-turned-nurse who inspired the character of Mary Ellen on television's "The Waltons," has died following a long illness. She was 74.
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
· 'Sex and City' Star Forced to Cover Up. It looks like Sarah Jessica Parker is too sexy for some Israelis' tastes. A poster and billboard campaign showing the "Sex and the City" actress in a skimpy, sequined dress was quickly replaced with new ads of her in a dress that covered her arms, back and thigh, reportedly after ultra-Orthodox consumers objected to her outfit.
· Rumors on Rather's Successor Already Flying. With Dan Rather announcing on Tuesday that he plans to step down as anchor of "CBS Evening News" after 24 years, speculation about his replacement has kicked into high gear. Insiders say that chief White House correspondent John Roberts and "60 Minutes" correspondent Scott Pelley are on a short list.
· Badge keeps paparazzi out of the picture. Celebrities hounded by paparazzi may at last be able to emerge from behind their dark glasses without trepidation. By wearing a specially designed electronic badge that jams electronic cameras, they will be able to prevent photographers from taking unwanted pictures.
· Ex-stripper, lover acquitted in casino heir's death. A jury in Las Vegas, Nevada, acquitted a former stripper and her lover of murder Tuesday in the 1998 death of casino heir Ted Binion. It was the second trial for Sandy Murphy, 32, and Rick Tabish, 39, in Binion's death. They were convicted of murder in 2000 and faced life in prison, but the Nevada Supreme Court overturned the verdicts in July 2003 and ordered a new trial.
· Pig Out! CDC overstated obesity deaths. A prominent study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may have overstated the number of obesity-related deaths in 2000 by as much as 20 percent, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
· CyberNET chairman in standoff with police. Police have surrounded the home of CyberNET's Chairman Barton Watson in a gated Ada Township community. We're told Watson is alone in the home with a gun. Two bomb squad units, tactical units and an ambulance are on the scene.
· Hunter suspect says he was shot at first. A man suspected in the killings of six hunters told investigators he began firing after he was shot at first and some of the victims called him racially derogatory names, according to documents filed Tuesday.
· Pilot warned before fatal Texas crash. The pilot of a private jet was warned the plane was flying low minutes before it crashed en route to a scheduled landing in Houston to pick up former President Bush, a federal investigator said Tuesday.
· Man Accused Of Throwing First Cup Has Criminal History. Police continue to identify all of the fans involved in Friday night's brawl at The Palace of Auburn Hills, while the man accused of throwing the cup that sparked the incident speaks out.
· Con Ed settles with dead woman's family. The beloved memory of the 30-year-old woman will be honored in a settlement between her family and Con Edison, which admitted responsibility for her fatal sidewalk electrocution.
Tuesday. November 23, 2004
· Rather to Resign 'CBS Evening News' Post. Dan Rather, whose nearly 24-year tenure as anchor of the "CBS Evening News" was clouded by a recent questionable report on President Bush's National Guard service, said Tuesday he will step down in March.
· Osbournes Distressed by Home Burglary. The thief, who was unsuccessfully tackled by Ozzy as he raided the house early Monday morning, made off with items including wedding rings, gem-encrusted watches, necklaces and a rare 24-carat sapphire, the couple and police said.
· ‘Virgin Mary grilled cheese’ sells for $28,000. A woman who said her 10-year-old grilled cheese sandwich bore the image of the Virgin Mary will be getting a lot more bread after the item sold for $28,000 on eBay.
· Trump calls bankrupcy a 'success.' Donald Trump said he will remain chairman and CEO of Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts, but his share would be reduced to 27 percent from 47 percent under a proposed restructuring plan reached with bondholders last month. Trump denied the bankruptcy was a setback. "I don't think it's a failure, it's a success," he said in the interview. "In this case, it was just something that worked better than other alternatives. It's really just a technical thing, but it came together."
· Bruce Willis Sues Over Film Mishap. Claiming that he has suffered "substantial injuries" - both mental and physical - as a result of a movie set accident, Bruce Willis has filed a negligence lawsuit against a major Hollywood studio. According to a Los Angeles Superior Court complaint filed last month, Willis was injured in October 2002 while filming "Tears of the Sun," a Revolution Studios production co-starring Monica Bellucci.
· Michael Moore Tops List of Least-Intriguing Celebrities. Director Michael Moore, whose anti-Iraq war film "Fahrenheit 9/11" sparked a firestorm of controversy before becoming a post-election footnote, topped an annual list on Monday of Hollywood's "coldest" celebrities.
· McDonald's CEO Resigns. McDonald's Corp. CEO Charlie Bell, who was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in May, resigned Monday to focus on his battle with the disease, the company announced. The fast food giant named vice chairman Jim Skinner as its new CEO, and the board elected Mike Roberts, CEO of McDonald's USA, to the position of president and chief operating officer.
· From nada to Mega. Parking attendant Juan Rodriguez had just 78 cents in the bank and a whopping $44,000 in debts when he hit a $149 million Mega Millions lottery prize, bankruptcy documents revealed yesterday.
· Wal-Mart heiress' school of hard cash. Wal-Mart heiress Paige Laurie got rich off "Everyday Low Prices" — but she allegedly paid top dollar every day to hire a fellow student to do her homework. Laurie paid her former college roommate $20,000 to write papers and do out-of-class assignments for much of her academic career at the prestigious University of Southern California in Los Angeles, according to ABC's "20/20."
· Man who copyrighted name faces more jail time. A man who says he copyrighted his name and claims people must pay him $500,000 each time they use it faces more jail time for filing frivolous liens against lawyers and public officials.
· Woman Loses $17,000 in Fast Food Restaurant. A California woman is asking for the public's help after losing her life savings while at a fast food restaurant. Maria Morales says she doesn't trust banks and was carrying $17,000 in her purse.
· Government Uses Color Laser Printer Technology to Track Documents. Next time you make a printout from your color laser printer, shine an LED flashlight beam on it and examine it closely with a magnifying glass. You might be able to see the small, scattered yellow dots printer there that could be used to trace the document back to you.
· Fast-Internet Use Doubles in U.S. The number of Americans using fast Internet connections doubled from 2001 through late 2003. The Commerce Department report said use of fast Internet connections grew dramatically through October 2003 to 20 percent of U.S. households.
· Stern's Robin ready to fly own show. Robin Quivers, the long-time sidekick of radio's Howard Stern, has landed a new gig: daytime TV talk host. Quivers has signed a deal with Sony to develop a one-hour show that could hit screens as early as next fall.
· Krispy Kreme Posts Loss on Slow Sales. Struggling doughnut shop chain Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. on Monday reported an unexpected quarterly loss, hurt by store closing costs and sluggish sales, and its stock fell 15 percent.
Monday, November 22, 2004
· Ex-Pres. Bush Was to Board Doomed Jet. A private jet that was en route to Houston to pick up former President Bush clipped a light pole and crashed Monday as it approached Hobby Airport in thick fog, killing all three people aboard.
· Former janitor leaves millions to school. When Genesio Morlacci left $2.3 million to a small college here, many people were astonished at the wealth amassed by a man who operated a dry-cleaning shop and later worked as a part-time janitor.
· SpaceShipOne named Time's 'Invention of the Year.' SpaceShipOne, the first privately financed manned rocket to fly into space, has been named Time magazine's "Invention of the Year" for reviving the dream of spaceflight for regular folks.
· Five hunters gunned down. Sheriff's deputies are investigating the killings of five hunters Sunday in northwest Wisconsin - bloodshed apparently sparked by a dispute over a hunting spot. A suspect has been arrested. "This is completely nuts," said Chief Deputy Tim Zeigle of the Sawyer County Sheriff's Department.
· Trump's casino operations file for bankruptcy. Donald Trump's casino operations filed for bankruptcy on Sunday in a long-expected move that would allow the real estate maverick to restructure the company's debt and overhaul its aging casinos.
· Game lets players take shots at JFK. Just in time for today's 41st anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination, a tasteless Internet game is being launched that lets players be Lee Harvey Oswald.
· Tax returns measure labeled 'outrageous.' Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said Sunday that "accountability will be carried out" against whoever slipped a provision into a spending bill that would have allowed two committee chairmen to view the tax returns of any American.
· Actor Jim Carrey Says He's Drug-Free. Living a life free of Prozac, drugs and alcohol has helped comedian Jim Carrey deal with depression, he told the CBS program "60 Minutes." In an interview scheduled to air Sunday, Carrey said he took Prozac for a long time but it didn't cure his depression.
· Lawyer going to jail for telling witness to lie. It was a lie that was used to try to help his client avoid a robbery conviction, but it's going to cost Nashville attorney David Gold 90 days in jail and possibly his law license.
· Commons motion to impeach Blair gets go-ahead. The parliamentary motion to impeach Tony Blair for "gross misconduct" over the war against Iraq will be published next Wednesday, the day after the Queen's speech.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Auspices [aus·pi·ces] n.pl. 1. With the protection or support of someone or something, especially an organization: "Financial aid is being provided under the auspices of NATO."
· Camden, N.J., named most-dangerous city. Camden has been named the nation’s most-dangerous city, snatching the top spot from Detroit, according to a company’s annual ranking based on crime statistics.
· Scientists flood Grand Canyon. Scientists flooded the Grand Canyon on Sunday to restore beaches and save fish and plants that have been disappearing since sediment-free water began flowing from a man-made dam 40 years ago.
Sunday, November 21, 2004
· 'National Treasure' Drowns 'SpongeBob.' Nicolas Cage's treasure hunt soaked up more box-office cash than a cartoon sponge. Cage's "National Treasure" debuted as the No. 1 weekend movie with $35.3 million, coming in just ahead of "The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie," which opened in second with $33.5 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Ethereal [e·the·re·al] adj. Characterized by lightness and insubstantiality; intangible. "Her fragrance lingered in the room, an ethereal reminder of her presence." 2. Highly refined; delicate. "Ethereal beauty."
Saturday, November 20, 2004
· Thurman, Boyfriend Buy Guccione Estate. The former Hudson Valley estate of Penthouse magazine founder Bob Guccione is being sold to hotelier Andre Balazs and actress Uma Thurman, according to the property's auctioneer.
· Target Stores offering Anal Massage at discount prices. What is often considered a family-friendly store, Target is offering a 10% discount and free shipping for its $35.96 "Anal Massage" listed under the "Entertainment" section of their website.
· Tim Allen Gets Hollywood Walk Star. Actor Tim Allen received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and declared it just the beginning of major neighborhood improvements. "Stop traffic! All these buildings will be named after me!" the former "Home Improvement" star joked during the ceremony.
· Exhibit features man who shot Kennedy's killer. He might have more instant recognition than the man who killed President Kennedy 41 years ago. After all, strip club owner Jack Ruby was caught on live TV and in a Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph firing the shot that killed presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald on November 24, 1963, two days after Kennedy was gunned down in a Dallas parade.
· DMV Worker Arrested For Allegedly Fondling Girls During Driving Tests. An employee with the Department of Motor Vehicles is due back in court next month after he was arrested on suspicion of fondling teenage girls as they took their driving tests.
· FBI arrests radio station's injured owner. FBI agents arrested investment adviser and radio station owner Bradford C. Bleidt yesterday afternoon at a locked psychiatric unit at Massachusetts General Hospital and charged him with mail fraud in allegedly bilking 140 clients out of tens of millions of dollars over two decades.
· Trucker Hits Panhandler After Donation. A truck driver gave a panhandler $1, then struck and killed the man as he drove his rig away. Police said it was possible the driver didn't know what happened.
· World's oldest man dies in New York. Fred Hale Sr., documented as the world's oldest man, died on Friday. Hale died in his sleep at The Nottingham in suburban Syracuse, while trying to recover from a bout of pneumonia, his grandson, Fred Hale III, said. He was 12 days shy of his 114th birthday.
· Pacers Brawl With Fans During Pistons Game. Indiana's Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson charged into the stands and fought with fans in the final minute of their game against the Detroit Pistons on Friday night, forcing an early end to the Pacers' 97-82 win.
· Turkey-tossing teens went on spending spree with a stolen credit card before nearly killing driver. It was the biggest turkey Jack Cutrone had ever seen. And there in the backseat was the driver's pal, Ryan Cushing, threatening to toss the fowl into oncoming traffic. "'If I throw it at the door, it won't hurt nobody,'" he responded, according to Cutrone's five-page admission. Cushing couldn't have been more wrong. Seconds later, with his head and part of his body leaning out the rear passenger window of Cutrone's 2002 Nissan Altima, Cushing hurled the 20-pound bird, causing the car to sway, Cutrone told cops.
Friday, November 19, 2004
· Recording companies sue another 761 people. The recording industry has filed copyright infringement lawsuits against 761 computer users, the latest round of litigation in the record companies' effort to stamp out unauthorized trading of music online.
· Sen. Introduces Bill to Protect Reporters. Reporters would not be forced to reveal their sources, and their notes, photographs and other material would be protected from government eyes under a bill introduced Friday.
· Outraged Greeks say Alexander was not bisexual. A group of Greek lawyers are threatening to sue Warner Bros film studios and Oliver Stone, director of the widely anticipated film "Alexander," for suggesting Alexander the Great was bisexual.
· Accuser's attorneys want to talk to Kobe's wife. Attorneys for Kobe Bryant and the woman who accused him of sexual assault have filed long lists of people they want to interview for her civil suit against him, including the NBA star, his wife and a woman he told police he had extramarital sex with.
· Bush speaks at Clinton library opening. President Bush admired Clinton’s talent as a man of the people, telling the story of a voter who praised Clinton’s ability to look you in the eye, shake your hand, hold your baby and pet your dog... “all at the same time.”
· Reporter convicted of contempt. A Providence, Rhode Island, television reporter was convicted of criminal contempt Thursday for refusing to say who gave him an FBI videotape showing a city official taking a bribe.
· Deathbed Confession Leads Cops to Body. A deathbed murder confession from a Massachusetts woman led to the discovery of her husband's remains Thursday inside a freezer at a storage facility, where his body has been for at least six years, authorities said.
· Daughter of slain CIA pilot wins $86 million from Cuban government. A woman who sued the Cuban government over the death of her father during the Bay of Pigs invasion was awarded $86.5 million on Thursday by a Miami-Dade circuit court judge.
· Navy diver 'obsessed' with Crow. A former Navy deep-sea diver charged with stalking rock star Sheryl Crow had developed "a dangerous obsession" for the singer, prosecutors told the US trial jury today.
· A meteor is coming and we're all going to die, British teacher tells pupils. A British schoolteacher, attempting to motivate her pupils into making the most of each day, told them a meteorite was about to smash into the Earth and that they should all return home to say goodbye to their families.
· Hooters, rival argue over stealing ideas. Hooters of America and a rival restaurant chain began arguing in federal court over who has rights to the concept of using scantily clad women to sell food and beer.
· Capos had their hands in stores, eateries, stoolie tells Gotti trial. From the city's diners to the fanciest restaurants, from toy stores to department stores, the mob took its cut, according to evidence emerging in the trial of alleged Gambino boss Peter Gotti. Yesterday, mob turncoat Anthony Rotondo testified that a JC Penney store and a Toys "R" Us on Staten Island were built with nonunion labor organized by the mob.
· No more reality TV for Ozzy. Ageing rocker Ozzy Osbourne may have made his comeback by starring in one of MTV's most popular reality TV shows to date, but he's had enough. "When you watch a 25-minute episode, I've been filming all day," Ozzy said, when asked if he and his family were thinking of doing another series of "The Osbournes."
· Teen girls accused of serving poisoned cake that sent 12 students to hospital. Two 13-year-old middle-school girls were held on assault charges Wednesday after being accused of serving poisoned cake to about a dozen students who became ill and went to a hospital.
· Sliwa may sue 'Law & Order.' Curtis Sliwa's character was played by Jose Zuniga as a hypocritical, philandering, self-righteous, publicity-seeking phony who sacrifices his principles for the lure of a satellite radio show.
· Furniture Store Sues Michael Jackson. An antiques and furniture store has sued pop star Michael Jackson for allegedly failing to pay a nearly $180,000 bill. Kamad Enterprise, which owns Mayfair Gallery, claimed Jackson owes $178,875 of the $378,875 in merchandise he allegedly purchased in May, according to a complaint filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Thursday, November 18, 2004
· Linda Ronstadt, hummin' the same old tune. From her cluttered midtown hotel room, Ronstadt said "People don't realize that by voting Republican, they voted against themselves... Now we've got a new bunch of Hitlers."
· Light in the sandals. Stone, who previously stirred controversy with "JFK" and "Natural Born Killers," is on the hot seat again with his biopic about the bisexual Macedonian emperor, played by Colin Farrell, which opens next Wednesday. As Alexander the Great, Farrell speaks softly and sports a blond pageboy and mini-toga, looking a bit like something out of Queer Eye for the Macedonian Guy.
· Wendy's Bringing Back Dave Thomas In Ads. The founder of Wendy's, who died of liver cancer nearly three years ago, will be featured in a new series of ads celebrating the fast-food chain's 35th anniversary.
· Update: Cirrhosis of the liver 'killed Arafat.' Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat died of cirrhosis of the liver, but French doctors were loath to say so because the disease is often the result of heavy drinking, which is forbidden in Islam.
» The FCC may also go after satellite radio. FCC bureaucracy may try to survive by expanding its jurisdiction to encompass the alternatives - cable TV, satellite TV and radio, maybe even the internet. Earlier this year, a Senate committee barely rejected a plan by Louisiana Sen. John Breaux, a Democrat, to allow the FCC to oversee some cable programming.
· Bill Gates 'most spammed person.' Microsoft chairman Bill Gates is inundated with up to four million e-mails a day - most of them junk. Fortunately, the billionaire software magnate has almost an entire department working to filter out unwanted mails.
· Jury finds serial killer Watts guilty for life sentence. One of America's most vicious killers is finally going to prison for murder. This time, it really is for life. Coral Watts won't appeal Wednesday's guilty verdict in the 1979 murder of a Ferndale woman, ending a 25-year nightmare of legal blunders and dumb luck that some feared would end in the release of a confessed serial killer in 2006.
· Chimney Remains ID'd As Man Missing Since 1999. Human remains found in the chimney of local Salvation Army Thrift Store last week were those of a 37-year-old man who was reported missing in 1999, the chief medical examiner's office said Wednesday.
· Woman Dumped Urn Containing Ex's Brother's Ashes. A Manchester, N.H. woman is accused of breaking into her ex-boyfriend's house, trashing the place and dumping out an urn containing the ashes of the man's brother.
· News anchor appears nude. A Cleveland television news anchor appeared on the air nude in a first-person report about an artist's photographs, drawing a record number of viewers for the time slot, the station said.
· Trojan Hijacks Browser, Sends User To Porn Site. Unwary surfers infected by a new Trojan horse may be in for a shock when their browser is unexpectedly redirected to a hard-core porn site, a security firm warned yesterday.
· Peterson Defense Seeks New Jury for Penalty Phase. Scott Peterson's defense wants to seat a new jury in another county to weigh whether Peterson deserves to die for the murders of his pregnant wife and the fetus she carried, according to a motion filed Wednesday.
· Jude Law named 'Sexiest Man Alive.' British actor Jude Law, currently starring as the irresistible cad in the remake of "Alfie," was named this year's "Sexiest Man Alive" by People magazine Wednesday.
· Democrats question Kerry's campaign nest egg. Democratic Party leaders said Wednesday they want to know why Sen. John Kerry ended his presidential campaign with more than $15 million in the bank, money that could have helped Democratic candidates across the country.
· Start saving - New York Olympics expected to be $1,500 a ticket. Hoping to experience the magic of the 2012 Summer Olympics in New York City? It will cost you - especially if you want to see the opening or closing ceremonies. If New York wins the 2012 Games, tickets for the opening ceremonies at the proposed Olympic Stadium on Manhattan's far West Side will range from expensive to exorbitant: $550 to $1,500.
· 'All My Children' Tapes 9,000th Episode. The cast and crew of ABC's "All My Children" celebrated the taping of the daytime soap opera's 9,000th episode Wednesday - with cake. The card of Susan Lucci, 54, who plays diva Erica Kane, read 9,000. Yes, she's been on the show since its 1970 debut when her character was a teenager in high school.
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
· Lionel Richie's wife jailed for bathroom beauty 'clinic.' Musical legend Lionel Richie's estranged wife has been arrested for allegedly allowing her boyfriend to turn her bathroom into an illegal cosmetic surgery clinic, officials said.
· Berserkely pampers its homeless. Berkeley, California loves its homeless people, and takes good care of their stuff when they abandon it in shopping carts. Not only does the city pack carts and other belongings into a huge container in case folks want it back - it also deep-freezes the mess for as long as 90 days.
· Is Fergie the latest Kabbalah recruit? Looks like Demi Moore may have snagged a royal Kabbalah recruit. Sarah Ferguson the Duchess of York had a hush-hush meeting in London with Rabbi Michael Berg, the co-director of the Kabbalah Centre and the author of “Becoming Like God.” A source says Kabbalah devotee Demi Moore arranged the meeting.
· Jackson Hit With $3 Million Lawsuit. Former porn producer says star is dogged by drug, money problems. Claiming that Michael Jackson is a drug- and booze-impaired deadbeat, a former business associate yesterday sued the singer for more than $3 million in unpaid loans and producing fees.
· 'Arafat's death caused by liver disease.' Yasser Arafat suffered from cirrhosis – widespread disruption of normal liver structure usually caused by alcohol abuse – although he was "a true water drinker," the French newspaper Le Monde reported Wednesday.
· Abercrombie & Fitch Settles Race Suit. Abercrombie & Fitch Co. has agreed to pay $40 million to black, Hispanic and Asian employees and job applicants to settle a class-action federal discrimination lawsuit that accused the clothing retailer of promoting whites at the expense of minorities, lawyers said.
· Man in Americas earlier than thought. Archaeologists say a site in South Carolina may rewrite the history of how the Americas were settled by pushing back the date of human settlement thousands of years.
· Abortion Pill Death. There's controversy surrounding the abortion pill RU-486 following the death of a California teen who took the medication. 18-year-old Holly Patterson is believed to have suffered fatal side effects from the pill. She's the third woman to die after taking RU-486 but the FDA hasn't definitively tied any deaths to the use of the pill.
· Trying to Lose Weight? Sleep More, Get Dog. A large study has found a surprisingly strong link between the amount of shut-eye people get and their risk of becoming obese. Researchers also found that dog owners who dieted alongside their pets did slightly better than their dog-less counterparts.
· Experimental NASA jet reaches Mach 10. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration conducted a third and final test flight of the unmanned X-43A aircraft, which uses an experimental scramjet engine designed to push the craft to nearly 10 times the speed of sound.
· Yanks star swats sex-tortion bid. Yankees slugger Gary Sheffield revealed yesterday he was the victim of a shakedown artist who threatened to release X-rated video of his gospel-singer wife and a professional musician. Court documents do not identify the musician, but a Chicago TV station and Billboard magazine identified him as R&B star R. Kelly.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Assiduous [as·sid·u·ous] adj. 1. Constant in application or attention; diligent: "An assiduous worker who strove for perfection." 2. Unceasing; persistent: "Assiduous cancer research."
· Google Stock Falls as Selling Restrictions End. Shares of Google Inc. fell as much as 6.5 percent on Tuesday, as selling restrictions were lifted on 39 million shares held by employees and early investors in the newly public Web search company.
· A 'Desperate' ploy. A steamy intro to "Monday Night Football" - featuring "Desperate Housewives" star Nicollette Sheridan - generated so many complaints from viewers that ABC apologized yesterday. The sexy spot had Sheridan, clad only in a white towel, flirting with Philadelphia Eagles star Terrell Owens in the Philly locker room. Sheridan provocatively asks Owens to skip the game with the Dallas Cowboys in order to spend time with her.
· 'Virgin Mary' sandwich back on eBay. The people at eBay were no believers in this cheesy miracle: half of a 10-year-old grilled cheese sandwich whose owner claimed it bore the image of the Virgin Mary. Top bid reached over $16,000 so far in second round.
· Coffin Maker Hillenbrand's Outlook Hurt by Lower Death Rate. Hillenbrand Industries Inc., which makes medical equipment and caskets, on Tuesday said quarterly earnings rose ten-fold, capping a year that saw sales helped by acquisitions.
· Motorola Acquires MeshNetworks. Motorola Inc. is acquiring MeshNetworks Inc., developer of a technology that makes it easy to set up and expand wireless networks, in a deal expected to help the world's No. 2 cell phone maker win more government business.
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
· California Considers by-the-Mile Driving Tax. Newly appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to head up the DMV, Democrat Joan Borucki has long advocated a tax-by-the-mile scheme. According to the L.A. Times, her scheme would require each car be fitted with a mileage tracking device that beamed a signal to a GPS satellite. A driver's tax would then be calculated based on total miles driven.
· David Lee Roth training to become EMT. Rocker David Lee Roth, the former Van Halen frontman, is taking up a new trade. Instead of screaming "Jump," he'll be yelling "Clear!" Roth, 50, has been riding for several weeks with a New York ambulance crew in training to become a paramedic.
· Psychologists blast Rush Limbaugh for mocking traumatized Kerry voters. Mental health officials in South Florida blasted Rush Limbaugh on Monday, saying the conservative talk show host’s offer of “free therapy” for traumatized John Kerry voters has made a mockery of a valid psychological problem.
· Pfizer ordered to pull Viagra commercials. Pfizer Inc. has been asked to pull two television advertisements for its Viagra impotence drug by U.S. officials who say the “wild thing” ads make unsubstantiated claims about a return of sexual desire.
· Failed hit angered Peter Gotti. Like any boss, Peter Gotti kept a close eye on the bottom line. When he realized he had spent $70,000 of Gambino crime family money plotting to whack mob snitch Salvatore (Sammy Bull) Gravano and had no body to show for it, he wasn't happy, prosecutors said yesterday. "I gave $70,000 into this scheme?" Gotti allegedly complained to family capo Michael (Mikey Scars) DiLeonardo. "It must have been a bad investment."
· Gilligan's Island reality show picks Rachel Hunter as its Ginger. Just sit right back, and you'll hear a tale ... a tale of a new reality show. On Monday, The Real Gilligan's Island - a new TBS reality show that drops real people who fit the mould of the original 1960s characters onto an island - announced who will play Ginger, the pampered movie star: Rachel Hunter. Hunter, the swimsuit model turned actress, "shares the flightiness and aloofness of Ginger."
· Shark devours woman off Africa. A great white shark "as big as a helicopter" gobbled up a 77-year-old woman yesterday as she swam off a South African beach, officials and witnesses said. "All that was left was a little red bathing cap," said Paul Bennett, one of a dozen witnesses who watched helplessly from shore as the bloody attack unfolded.
· Victim of auto theft turns tables on man who stole her car. An ironic car theft happened in Pocatello, Idaho over the weekend. Saturday night, someone stole Cheryl Otero's 1996 Eagle Talon from her house. She even heard the thief drive away. Otero and her husband went driving around town looking for it, along with some neighbors. They had stopped at a gas station when they saw Otero's car pull into a supermarket parking lot. The thief got out to use a pay phone. Before he knew what happened, Otero and her friend drove up to the car, Otero put her keys in the ignition and sped away.
· Study: Low-fat vs. low-carb. Regardless of how they shed pounds in the first place, big losers stayed that way by limiting fat rather than carbohydrates, according to new research that could add fuel to the backlash against low-carb diets.
» Hardee's hails burger as 'monument to decadence.' As many fast-food chains are catering to the health-conscious, Hardee's is introducing the biggest and thickest of its Thickburgers — one with enough calories to make Ronald McDonald blush.
· Prison worker money undeposited. More than $377,000 proceeds from the sales of prisoner-made goods and services was squirreled away over a period of years in a state employee's office, mostly in a desk drawer. Authorities believe incompetence, rather than any criminality, was to blame.
· Dumper & dumber. School officials who were caught by the Daily News dumping confidential student records on a Bronx street apparently didn't learn their lesson. A reporter returned to the Education Department's E. Tremont Ave. offices yesterday - where a decade's worth of sensitive files were found tossed on the curb Thursday - and discovered more student records stuffed in the garbage.
· 1,540 Pounds of Cocaine Hidden in Squid. Peruvian anti-drug agents seized almost 1,540 pounds of cocaine destined for the Mexico that was hidden inside of a shipment of squid, police said. The shipment had an estimated street value of $17.5 million dollars.
· Rapper's 7 children to share his money. Rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard, who collapsed and died Saturday, left behind seven children, and his estate will be divided up among them, his manager said yesterday. Contradicting published reports that the Wu-Tang Clan star was a father of 13, manager Jarred Weisfeld said the entertainer had three children with his wife, Icelene Jones, and four out of wedlock.
· Brawl erupts during Vibe awards taping. A fight broke out near the stage at the Vibe awards ceremony as rapper Snoop Dogg and producer Quincy Jones were preparing to honor Dr. Dre., and one person was stabbed, authorities and witnesses said.
Monday, November 15, 2004
· Behind the scenes of 'The Price Is Right.' Winning $25,393 requires you to obey Bob Barker's rules: 'Repeat after me: Girls can kiss Bob. Boys can't kiss Bob. Everybody can hug Bob, but the No. 1 rule is don't hurt Bob.'
· Condoleezza Rice to Be Named Secretary of State. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, one of President Bush's closest counselors, will be nominated to replace Colin Powell as secretary of state.
· Beavers Weave Stolen Cash Into Dam. It was probably the world's richest beaver dam. Beavers found a bag of bills stolen from a video poker casino last week, tore it open and wove the money into the sticks and brush of their dam on a Louisiana creek. Major Michael Martin of the East Feliciana Parish Sheriff's Office says bills used to build the dam were still whole. The money was part of $70,000 taken from the Lucky Dollar Casino in Greensburg, LA.
· Maybe he was unhappy with the election results. An unidentified man tried to set himself on fire outside the White House fence midday Monday, witnesses said. Onlookers said the incident took place outside the Northwest gate. Uniformed Secret Service agents were seen rushing to surround the man, who was heard screaming in pain.
· Charges Dropped After Woman Uses Fake Bush $200 Bill. Authorities in Pennsylvania are dropping charges against a woman who used a phony $200 bill featuring Bush. The fake bill has the current president's face on the front with the serial number DUBYA-4-U-2001. There's a picture of the White House on the back with several signs erected on the front lawn, including those reading "We Like Broccoli" and "USA Deserves A Tax Cut." Deborah Trautwine was charged with passing the bogus $200 bill. Her attorney said she was unaware the currency was fake.
· Blake Lawyers Seek Conspiracy Theorists. Robert Blake's lawyers are looking for jurors who love a good mystery and may be open to conspiracy theories while prosecutors are seeking conservative, common sense people who make quick decisions, according to legal experts.
· Spector transcripts to be made public. Transcripts of grand jury hearings in the Phil Spector murder case should be made public, a judge ruled Wednesday, brushing aside vehement arguments by the defence that the documents are "full of lies." Judge Larry Paul Fidler said lawyers for the rock music producer failed to show how releasing the documents would prevent a fair and impartial jury from being chosen for the trial.
· Tiny Antennas to Keep Tabs on U.S. Drugs. The Food and Drug Administration and several major drug makers are expected to announce initiatives today that will put tiny radio antennas on the labels of millions of medicine bottles to combat counterfeiting and fraud.
· Lost city of Atlantis found? An American researcher claimed Sunday to have discovered the remains of the legendary lost city of Atlantis on the bottom of the east Mediterranean Sea. But Cyprus' chief government archaeologist was skeptical.
· 'Incredibles' Derails 'Polar Express.' Santa Claus could not conquer "The Incredibles." The cartoon hit retained the top slot at the box office for a second weekend, taking in $51 million to fend off animated newcomer "The Polar Express," a Christmas tale that debuted at No. 2 with $23.5 million.· Frey: Please Let Killer Live. A regretful Amber Frey wept when she heard her ex-lover Scott Peterson was convicted of murdering his pregnant wife and unborn child — because she doesn't want him to die. While she was a key witness in the trial that led to the conviction, she loved Peterson deeply and he still has a place in her heart. So the realization that Peterson could be facing execution hit her hard, her father told The Post yesterday. "I could hear the tears in her voice," after the verdict came down, Ron Frey said.
· Schools trashed over files. Parents whose children's confidential files were dumped on a Bronx street erupted in fury yesterday, as red-faced Department of Education officials offered a too-little, too-late apology.
· Mrs. Arafat strikes lucrative deal with Palestinians. An unseemly battle is now beginning for access to Arafat's riches. According to friends of Arafat's combative wife, Suha, a will has indeed been left, handing the control of assets to members of her family. Some are reporting a deal has already been struck between the Palestinian Authority and Mrs Arafat guaranteeing a pension of $22 million per year for the rest of her life.
The pension would supposedly be paid in exchange for total control of President Arafat's assets which Forbes magazine estimates at $300 million - while Israeli intelligence officials have suggested that the true total may be closer to $6 billion.
· New York may snuff out Indian & Web cigarettes. The days of buying cheap smokes via the Internet or on an Indian reservation may be numbered in New York. Gov. Pataki has until today to sign a bill requiring him to collect taxes on cigarettes from distributors - before they're shipped to Indian land.
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."
· Death sentences at 30-year low. The number of people sentenced to death reached a 30-year low in 2003, when the death row population fell for the third year in a row, the government reported Sunday.
· Perv Priests causing chaos in dioceses across America. More than two years after approving a plan to remedy the clergy abuse crisis in the US, Roman Catholic bishops face reverberations from the scandal and remain a long way from regaining the trust that the plan aimed to restore.
· DA Busted in Prostitution Sting. An Oklahoma County prosecutor who helped prosecute bombing conspirator Terry Nichols has been arrested in a prostitution sting. Assistant District Attorney Lou Keel is accused of trying to hire an undercover female police officer who was posing as a prostitute.
Sunday, November 14, 2004
· Macy's Christmas tree snaps in half. It was briefly beginning to look a lot like Christmas. A 75-foot Christmas tree snapped in half Sunday as workers were preparing it for Atlanta's traditional Thanksgiving Day lighting ceremony at Rich's-Macy's store.
· State tax collectors short of money. The Oregon state tax-collecting agency says it will run out of money to pay its staff early next year - just as tax season heats up - because it overestimated cigarette tax collections. Revenue Department Director Elizabeth Harchenko said her staff miscalculated how many Oregonians would curtail or stop smoking or avoid cigarette taxes altogether by buying on the Internet.
· Marlboro Man Fires Up Troop Morale. The young Marine dubbed the "Marlboro Man" after his front-page appearance in many newspapers has become a celebrity poster boy for the U.S. effort in Fallujah and a hero in his hometown. But there's one drawback to being the Marlboro Man — everyone keeps bumming your smokes. "If you want to write something," Marine Lance Cpl. James Miller, 20, told a reporter this week, "tell Marlboro I'm down to four packs, and I'm here in Fallujah till who knows when. Maybe they can send some. And they can bring down the price a bit."
· Wal-Mart's hoard of data staggering. Wal-Mart has 460 terabytes of data stored on mainframes. The Internet has less than half as much data, according to experts. In advance of a hurricane, for example, they know they will need seven times as many strawberry Pop-Tarts, and truckloads more of beer.
· Kerry's ex-girlfriend relives their affair in steamy novel. Lee Roystone, a former girlfriend of Mr Kerry, has written a semi-autobiographical novel in which her fictional alter ego, Nikki Matthews, has an on-off affair with a dashing Massachusetts senator - a Democrat whom she says is modeled on Mr Kerry.
· America or bust! A lucky reporter takes to the air with five Victoria's Secret models. Take five supermodels: Heidi Klum, Tyra Banks, Gisele Bündchen, Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio. Dress them in lingerie, then find a private plane. Add one journalist from the Daily News and you have the Victoria's Secret Angels Across America tour 2004.
· Schwarzenegger still working on campaign promises. It's been a year since Arnold Schwarzenegger became California's 38th governor, and the Hollywood actor-turned-politician remains a phenomenon - theatrical and radiating raw confidence.
» Ads to back Schwarzenegger for president. Californians will soon see advertisements urging them to help give Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and other foreign-born citizens the chance to run for president.
· Penalty Phase Next for Scott Peterson. Scott Peterson's lawyers failed to persuade the jury that someone else killed his pregnant wife. Now, they'll try to persuade the same 12 people to spare him from the death penalty.
» Scott's life up to these 12. A teamster, an accountant, a mom, a firefighter, a coach, an ex-cop. They're all ordinary people set to make a life-or-death decision Nov. 22 about convicted wife-killer Scott Peterson. The Peterson jurors are predominantly white and blue-collar, dress neatly and, with one exception, would be unremarkable if you passed them on the street outside the courthouse in Redwood City, Calif.
· How do bloggers impact political news? The woman who writes Wonkette! needed no introduction and offered no apologies Saturday, telling her peers in online journalism that Web logs like hers have spurred a quicker response to breaking news by major media outlets.
· Internet represents future of news, says head of world's largest news service. The future of news is online, and traditional media outlets must learn to tailor their products for consumers who demand instant, personalized information, the head of The Associated Press said.
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.
· Trial reveals spammer techniques. As one of the world's most prolific spammers, Jeremy Jaynes pumped out at least 10 million e-mails a day with the help of 16 high-speed lines, the kind of Internet capacity a 1,000-employee company would need.
· Rapper O.D.B. dies at recording studio. The rap artist O.D.B., whose utterly unique rhymes, wild lifestyle and incessant legal troubles made him one of the most vivid characters in hip-hop, collapsed and died inside a recording studio. He was 35.
· Minister fired over sex scandal. A prominent politician and journalist embroiled in a recent controversy over the death of a British hostage in Iraq has been fired from senior posts in the Conservative Party because of a sex scandal, the party said yesterday.
· Popeye the Sailor Man Turns 75. Put away the cake. Pass the spinach. Popeye celebrates his 75th birthday this year, animated evidence that a steady diet of leafy green vegetables and pipe smoking can guarantee you Hulk Hogan forearms as a septuagenarian.
Saturday, November 13, 2004
· ABC's Simpson: Bush Win Means Public "Not Bright." ABC News correspondent Carole Simpson, who through 2003 served as the anchor of World News Tonight on Sunday and who now travels the country for ABC News to talk to high schoolers about how to consume news, lashed out at how the election results reflect the triumph of the "stupid" and how the red/blue maps match the slave versus free states.
· Jack Daniel biographer disputes long held legend of the famous whiskey. Jack Daniel's whiskey is liquor built on a legend: an Old No. 7 label, a recipe crafted at the nation's oldest distillery and a medal signifying it as the best whiskey in the world. But the author of a Jack Daniel biography contends the company that runs the famed distillery has allowed that legend to grow so much that marketing spin has overtaken the facts, and that some of the most cherished notions about the whiskey and its founder are simply not true.
· City Council Race Settled By Coin Toss. Florida, the state that decided the 2000 presidential race with hanging chads and botched ballot designs, added a page to its history of electoral quirkiness Friday: a city council race that was decided by a coin toss.
· Sentencing Hearing Next for Scott Peterson. Scott Peterson's lawyers failed to persuade the jury that someone else killed his pregnant wife. Now, they'll try to persuade the same 12 people to spare him from the death penalty. But Peterson himself is unlikely to take the stand and beg for mercy - doing that would require him to admit to the murders, and throw away any chance of overturning the convictions on appeal.
» Baby-faced liar & cheater shocked by verdict and could face death. The two-timing husband of Laci Peterson was found guilty yesterday of killing his wife and unborn son - and now waits to learn if he will die, too.
· Sharper Image Loses Suit Over Panned Product. Sharper Image was just blowing smoke. So said U.S. District Judge Maxine Chesney when she tossed out a suit filed by the upscale retailer against Consumers Union over negative reviews of its best-selling product, the Ionic Breeze Quadra Air Purifier.
· Rod Stewart Must Repay $780,000 in Tour Fight. Singer Rod Stewart must repay the $780,000 he accepted as a deposit for a Latin American concert tour that was canceled, a jury ruled Friday. The jury also assessed damages of $1.6 million against Stewart's lawyers and agents at the ICM talent agency for their roles in negotiating a contract for the tour.
· Diaz, Timberlake sued by paparazzi. Two photographers sued Cameron Diaz and her boyfriend Justin Timberlake for assault and battery, claiming the celebrity couple taunted and attacked them outside a fancy hotel.
· 'CSI' cut-in costs CBS producer job. CBS news has fired the producer who cut into "CSI: NY" to report the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, the Broadcasting & Cable Web site said yesterday. The staffer, a female senior producer, broke into the crime drama shortly before 11 p.m. Wednesday with the report, outraging viewers who missed the end of the show.
· NYC Lawyer Sues 'Law & Order' for $15 million. A lawyer sued the producers of the television show "Law & Order" for $15 million Friday, claiming they defamed him by portraying him as a crooked attorney in one "ripped from the headlines" episode. Ravi Batra said the show titled "Floater" maliciously inflicted emotional, economic and professional injury on him.
· Iowa man wins $100K lottery for 2nd time. An eastern Iowa man has beat extraordinary odds by winning $100,000 from the Iowa Lottery's Cash Game a second time. K. Morris Richardson picked up his second jackpot last week.
· 'The city stole my car.' Adrienne Leonard was traveling overseas last year on a missionary trip when she got a frantic phone call from her mother: The city of Chicago had taken Leonard's car. The city gave her 15 days to get the money, but she ran out of time. The car became the city's - an "involuntary surrender," the city calls it. In January, the city sold the Kia to a politically connected towing firm that has an exclusive contract on city business. How much money did the city get for the car? Just $125.54. That's right. The city sold a 3-year-old car for $125.54. Leonard, 47, didn't get a dime from the sale and lost all the equity in her car. And she still owes $13,800 for the Kia - a car she no longer owns.
· Self-Destructing DVDS to Reach More People. The Christmas-themed movie "Noel" most likely won't be coming to a theater near you - but if you miss it on cable, there's always the self-destructing DVD. Disposable DVDs look and play like normal DVDs, except that their playable surface is dark red.
Friday, November 12, 2004
· Scott Peterson Convicted of Murdering Wife. Scott Peterson was convicted Friday of murdering his pregnant wife and dumping her body in San Francisco Bay in what prosecutors in the made-for-cable-TV case portrayed as a cold-blooded attempt to escape marriage and fatherhood for the bachelor life.
Peterson, 32, could get the death penalty. The former fertilizer salesman was convicted of one count of first-degree murder for killing his wife, Laci, and one count of second-degree murder in the death of the son she was carrying.
· Prosecutor, tough on DUI, charged with DUI. A Tampa prosecutor known for being “tough as nails” in drunken driving cases was charged with DUI after police said they stopped her with three children in her car.
· Blake's Murdered Wife to Be Film Subject. In the opening scene, Robert Blake and his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, are leaving the restaurant. He goes back inside. A vehicle pulls alongside the couple's car and Bakley's hit by gunfire. The killer is not shown.
· Kidnapping videotaped by California mall camera. California Police in California say they're investigating an apparent abduction caught by a shopping mall security camera. The tape shows a woman chased through a parking structure by two men, grabbed and stuffed into the trunk of a car as shoppers seemed to notice but took no action.
· Dave Matthews offering $100,000 to people he pooped on. Rather than wait around for the results of his DNA Test — a culpability crap-shoot if there ever was one — Dave Matthews is trying to make amends with the offended poop-ees in the lawsuit his band are facing. The state of Illinois is suing the lads for allegedly emptying their tour bus’ septic tank through a metal-grated bridge into the Chicago River. Or rather, it would have gone into the river, had a boat full of the unluckiest tourists ever not been directly under the bridge, bus, and subsequent shower of human waste.
· Scott Hamilton has benign brain tumor. World champion figure skater Scott Hamilton was diagnosed Thursday with a benign brain tumor, his publicist said. Hamilton, who lives in Los Angeles, is a four-time U.S. national champion, a four-time world champion and the 1984 Olympic gold medalist.
· Woman sentenced for 9/11 scams. A woman who wrongly accepted more than $90,000 from organizations helping families victimized by the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has been sentenced to a 10-month jail term.
· Stern Wants Out of Job Now. Howard Stern — claiming he's being "jerked around" and "threatened" by his bosses — says he might start on satellite radio a lot sooner than Jan. 1, 2006. "A buddy of mine who shall remain nameless says ... Viacom is trying to get Sirius [Satellite Radio] to pay off my contract and then I would leave early 'cause Sirius is anxious to get the show started," Stern told listeners Wednesday.
· Bono accepts award, quips: 'I want to go kill myself.' Bono, lead singer of Irish rock band U2, was handed an award inducting him into the UK Music Hall of Fame. Minutes later the reluctant recipient joked that he was tempted to hand it back.
· Online fraud costs $2.6 billion this year. High fraud rates continue to plague electronic commerce Web sites, with criminals expected to steal $2.6 billion from online merchants this year, according to a new survey.
· Warhol painting fetches $15 million. Andy Warhol's "Mustard Race Riot" has sold for $15 million at Christie's auction house. The 1963 work, silk screen, ink, acrylic and pencil on linen, was part of Warhol's "Death and Disaster" series. It was the second-highest amount ever paid for the artist's work - "Orange Marilyn," sold in 1998 by Sotheby's, fetched $17.3 million.
· Ugly sign misses the mark in subway. New York's lovely ladies began railing yesterday when an electronic message board in a Manhattan subway station suddenly declared: "PRETTY GIRLS DON'T RIDE THE SUBWAY."
· Doctors apologizing to avoid lawsuits. It's a lesson children learn even before their ABCs - say you're sorry when you hurt someone. But it's now being taught in the grown-up world of medicine as a surprisingly powerful way to soothe patients and head off malpractice lawsuits. Some malpractice-reform advocates say an apology can help doctors avoid getting sued, especially when combined with an upfront settlement offer.
· Microsoft Launches Web Search Technology. Microsoft Corp. finally debuted its own Web search technology on Thursday, hoping to challenge Google's long dominance of the field with results tailored to a user's location and answers from its Encarta encyclopedia. Google signaled that it is ready for a fight, announcing Wednesday that it would nearly double the amount of Web pages available to search through its site.
· 59 - with twins on the way! Aleta St. James, you're just a spring chicken. A 59-year-old great-grandmother in rural Georgia says she's expecting twins - and that would make her one of the oldest Americans ever to give birth.
· Male contraceptive targets immune response. The world of male contraception has been limited to condoms and vasectomies. But researchers now point to a new method that shows promise — a shot that prompts an immune reaction to a protein produced in the male reproductive system.
· AOL Tells Customers to Find New Carrier. America Online, which earlier this year stopped signing up new broadband customers, is telling existing broadband subscribers in nine Southern states that they must find a new broadband carrier by Jan. 17. Those customers who do not switch to a new broadband carrier by that date will have their accounts revert to AOL's traditional dialup service, said AOL spokeswoman Anne Bentley.
· Update: Who killed 'CSI' climax? Fans of CBS' hit "CSI: NY" series got a surprise during the final few minutes of Wednesday night's episode. And the shocker ending had nothing to do with a plot twist. Rather, a CBS News producer with an itchy trigger finger interrupted the program's crucial last minutes to report that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat had died in the Paris hospital.
· The Music Man – King Of The Pirates. Here's the story of a guy who spends every free moment collecting music. So far his music collection rivals Apple’s iTunes Music Store - more than 900,000 songs - and his goal is to own a copy of every song ever recorded. Can he do it? Maybe, but you know what they say; it’s the journey not the destination.
· The very best in first-class service. Imagine the chief executive of a company in which you hold stock has to make a long overseas flight to attend a meeting that could have a major impact on the company's share price. Naturally, you would want the CEO to be at the top of his game, rested, refreshed, relaxed, ready. When millions of dollars hang in the balance, the price of a first-class airline ticket doesn't seem so expensive after all.
Thursday, November 11, 2004
· Rich rival Trump gives Branson poor marks. Trump, star of NBC's "The Apprentice," was very happy rival billionaire Richard Branson's Fox reality show debuted to low numbers Tuesday night. "I thought his show was terrible," Trump told the Daily News. "And I thought he was terribly miscast."
· Bill Maher Hit With Palimony Suit. Comedian Bill Maher was slapped yesterday with a $9 million palimony suit by an ex-girlfriend who alleges that the HBO star subjected her to physical and verbal abuse, including "insulting, humiliating and degrading racial comments."
· Back So Soon?! Moore Set to Shoot 'Fahrenheit' Sequel. Dem poster boy Michael Moore plans a follow-up to "Fahrenheit 9/11," his hit documentary that assails President Bush over the handling of the Sept. 11 attacks and the war on terrorism, according to a Hollywood trade paper.
· Carson Gives $5.3 million to Univ. of Nebraska. Former "Tonight Show" host Johnny Carson has given $5.3 million to the University of Nebraska Foundation. The gift from Carson, an alumnus of the school, will support the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts' Department of Theatre Arts.
· Peterson jury 'out of control.' He was the juror most likely to understand the law and the medical evidence in Scott Peterson's capital murder trial, and now he's gone. By midmorning on Wednesday, Gregory Jackson, the panel's foreman and a 46-year-old Burlingame biologist with law and medical degrees, was bumped from deliberating on the double-murder trial. Just 24 hours earlier, Frances Gorman, a Foster City retiree, also was booted from the jury for conducting her own research on the case.
· Smoking hoax causes uproar. A Lexington radio station jokingly reported yesterday that the Urban County Council had passed an ordinance banning residents from smoking cigarettes in their vehicles. But it wasn't a laughing matter to hundreds of angry callers who tied up telephone lines to the Lexington police and health departments, to City Hall and to the county attorney's office.
· Magic Johnson raking in the big bucks. The biggest shock in Inc. magazine's list of the "Top 10 Celebrity Entrepreneurs" is that Magic Johnson has built a $700 million empire, largely by opening movie theaters and other businesses in black neighborhoods.
· Cops Suspended for NASCAR Chopper Ride. Two Georgia State Patrol troopers were suspended without pay for letting NASCAR driver Bill Elliott hop a ride in their helicopter when they were supposed to be reporting about marijuana fields. The troopers spent two hours shuttling Elliott from his home in Dawsonville, where he had dropped off an airplane, to Blairsville, where Elliott's car was parked.
· All sides finally in agreement: Arafat is REALLY dead. Yasser Arafat, the guerrilla leader turned Nobel Peace Prize winner who forced his people's plight into the world spotlight, died at age 75 - still reviled by many as a terrorist.
» Back To Work: Call to avenge Arafat's 'assassination.' The militant Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades urged militants to attack Israel to avenge the "Zionist assassination" of Yasser Arafat, who died hours/days earlier in a Paris hospital.
· Fox to Create Series for Wireless Phones. The Twentieth Century Fox studio, a veteran of the big screen and the TV screen, is about to break into an entirely new realm: the really little screen, the kind that comes on a cell phone.
· Homeless man kills Queens, NY bridge painter. A hardworking father of three was killed yesterday by a pistol-packing vagrant, who was enraged about having to move his Queens shanty for a highway painting crew, authorities said.
· Man Says He Was Blinded 4 Times in One Eye. In 1985, Brian Calen claimed he was blinded in the right eye in a cruise ship accident. Seven years later, he said a ship's telescope blinded him again. Then, he said, he was blinded on two more trips — by a champagne bottle and a flying disc. All in the same eye. Calen's unlucky streak — which allowed him to collect more than $1 million in travelers' insurance money — finally caught up with him.
· Terror Alert for Financial Institutions Lowered. Federal authorities lowered the terror alert status for areas around financial institutions in New York, Washington and Newark, N.J., saying Wednesday that additional security precautions had reduced the threat.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
· Two football players booked for alleged bomb-planting. Two Michigan State football players were arrested and charged with possessing a dangerous chemical compound after they allegedly planted bombs that blew up outside campus apartments.
· NASCAR Lifts Ban on Liquor Ads on Cars. NASCAR returned to its roots Wednesday by lifting a ban on liquor ads on cars, opening the door for teams to be sponsored next season by distilled spirits. "We felt the time was right," NASCAR president Mike Helton said. "Attitudes have changed, and spirits companies have a long record of responsible advertising."
· Judge Removes Foreman From Peterson Jury. The judge in the Scott Peterson murder trial removed the foreman from the jury Wednesday, the second time in two days a juror has been sent home. The judge did not disclose why he removed juror No. 5., a man in his mid-40s who has both medical and law degrees. The juror was replaced by an alternate whose son-in-law now owns a restaurant that Scott and Laci Peterson themselves once owned.
· Katie Couric's New Squeeze. Move over Matt — Katie Couric's new squeeze is a boyish-looking jazz trumpeter named Chris Botti. The musician, 42, who has opened for pop star Sting and is promoting his own CD, told USA Today that he's nuts about the morning show pixie.
· Liza Minnelli Countersues Ex-Bodyguard. Oscar-winning singer-actress Liza Minnelli filed a $250,000 counterclaim Tuesday against a former driver and bodyguard in response to his reported allegations that she frequently beat him. The 58-year-old Minnelli, who also has been accused by her estranged husband of assault, accuses M'Hammed Soumayah of breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty.
· Third-Grader Charged With Sex Crime. A 9-year-old boy was arrested after he lifted a female classmate's skirt and touched her, authorities said. The boy, a third-grader at a Tampa elementary school, was released to his parents after being booked on charges of lewd and lascivious molestation.
· Boston's $14.6 billion ‘Big Dig project’ is leaking. The Big Dig highway project in downtown Boston is riddled with leaks dumping millions of gallons of water into the $14.6 billion tunnel system, according to an engineer hired to investigate the cause of a massive leak in September.
· Group Sues Union for Dem Electoral Aid. An anti-union group is urging the Federal Election Commission to investigate one of the largest unions in the country, claiming the Service Employees International Union unlawfully spent workers' dues to elect Democrats in last week's election.
· Chicago teacher accused of paying boys for sex. A Chicago high school teacher is accused of having sex with three teenage boys this summer, paying them a total of $5,000 for their services and plying them with alcohol and marijuana, police said Tuesday.
· Alex's Lemonade Stand Exceeds $1 Million Goal. Three months after Alexandra Scott died of cancer at age 8, her goal of raising $1 million for cancer research this year by selling lemonade has been surpassed.
· Conservative Radio Host Pulled Off Air After Racial Slur. A radio station pulled a conservative talk radio show from the airwaves Monday as Hispanics continued to protest its host and his use of a racial slur. Several advertisers complained or pulled ads after Belling used the word "wetback" to describe illegal Mexican immigrants on his Oct. 27 show about potential voter fraud in Wisconsin.
· Peterson Juror dismissed - must restart deliberations from scratch. Frances Gorman, a retired Pacific Gas and Electric Co. employee and formerly juror No. 7, was replaced for doing her own research in the case, by an alternate - a mother with flaming pink hair and tattoos who works in a bank. Judge Alfred Delucchi told jurors they had to leave behind whatever they had accomplished during nearly five days of deliberations and start all over from scratch.
· Zemeckis Gets Star in Hollywood. Director Robert Zemeckis, traveling on "The Polar Express," stopped long enough to pick up a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Zemeckis, who won an Oscar for directing "Forrest Gump," received the 2,268th star Friday.
· Handgun Stops Man From Driving Drunk. Taking to heart the credo that friends should never let friends drive drunk, a man shot out two tires on his pal's car to keep him from driving under the influence.
· Colin Farrell May Star in 'Miami Vice.' Colin Farrell says he's not bonded to Bond, but thinks it would be nice to star in "Miami Vice." The star of the upcoming historical epic "Alexander" said he's had no talks with producers to replace Pierce Brosnan as the superspy James Bond in a new 007 movie, and laughed at the idea of sporting the legendary tuxedo.
· Smits heads 'West.' Smits reprised his role as Detective Bobby Simone on "NYPD Blue" last night, appearing as an apparition to counsel former partner Detective Andy Sipowicz (Dennis Franz). Tonight at 9, he makes his debut on NBC's "The West Wing" as a Democratic senator from Houston who could, if the show continues next season, be the next President.
· California woman killed in home as she prepares to let police into back yard. Police officers went to Lynn Schockner's front door to ask her to unlock her back gate so they could search her yard for a possible intruder, reported by her neighbor. Schockner agreed, left the front door, and never came out of the house. Officers rushed into Schockner's backyard, but it was too late. She was outside her back door, stabbed to death.
· More Jurors Called for Robert Blake Trial. One hundred prospective jurors have passed muster for further questioning in the Robert Blake murder trial, but the judge summoned another 50 prospects Tuesday to ensure a large enough jury pool. So far, 689 have been excused for hardship, some citing the estimate of a five-month trial and how it would impact them financially and personally. About half of some 200 who said they could to serve were dismissed after displaying possible bias.
· Iraq PM's relatives kidnapped. At least two members of Iraqi interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's family have been kidnapped at gunpoint from their home in Baghdad, amid conflicting reports from government officials and sources close to the family.
· Microsoft to Preview New Search Engine. Microsoft is stepping up its efforts to compete with rival Google Inc. by offering consumers a preview of its technology for searching the Internet, beginning Thursday.
· 'Seinfeld' DVD to Hit Stores. Six years after its final episode aired, "Seinfeld," the sitcom that redefined television, is finally available on DVD — and it's just as obsessive as the show. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
· California measure fuels stem-cell gold rush. A 21st-century gold rush is on in California after the voters approved $3 billion for human embryonic stem cell research. "California will be the epicenter of stem cell research in the future," said Dr. Edward Holmes, medical school dean at UC-San Diego. "Many people were reticent to move into this field, but this will attract some of the best and brightest young minds."
· 1,818 Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Used To Build Wedding Cake. Carefully, carefully, 1,818 Krispy Kreme doughnuts were built into a 5-foot, 3-inch heap in an attempt to set a world record for the highest doughnut wedding cake.
· Giant Chicken Holds Up Grocery Store. Why did the chicken cross the road? To hold up the grocery store, of course. Donald Haines, 39, of Hilliard, Ohio, admitted to a Columbus court that he had dressed up in a chicken costume to rob a Kroger store.
Tuesday, November 9, 2004
· Peterson Juror Dismissed. A juror in Scott Peterson's double-murder trial was dismissed and replaced Tuesday, forcing the jury to start its deliberations all over again. The pool of 12 had been mulling over the case for five days. Juror No. 7 was let go by Judge Alfred A. Delucchi on Tuesday and replaced by alternate Juror No. 2, a white woman in her 30s.
· Update: Woman claims boy, 8, was the aggressor. A demure Tammy Imre, tears running down her face, stood before a Superior Court judge yesterday to face charges that she repeatedly had sex with an 8-year-old boy from her Stratford, Conn. neighborhood. The divorced 29-year-old has told investigators the boy — a playmate of her own 7-year-old daughter — was the aggressor in their relationship. Imre said he ordered her to dump an adult boyfriend and told her not to take birth control pills.
· FCC ruling favors Net-based phone services. Federal regulators gave a boost Tuesday to the fledgling Internet phone industry, removing a regulatory hurdle that threatened to drive up the cost of making calls through cyberspace.
· Madonna calls for U.S. troops to leave Iraq. Pop star Madonna made a foray into politics again, calling for her home country to withdraw its troops from Iraq during an interview with British radio. "I just don't want American troops to be in Iraq, period," she said on BBC Radio. "My feelings are 'can we just all get out?'," said the 46-year-old star, who lives mainly in London with British film director husband Guy Ritchie.
· Ex-lottery official charged in $1 million payout scam. A former security officer for the Indiana lottery is accused of conspiring with two other men to rig a $1 million scratch-off game. Prosecutors say William C. Foreman told two men that a winning ticket in the "$2,000,000 Bonus Spectacular" game had been sent to a store in Cross Plains, Ind. One of those men then went to that store and bought its entire supply of the game's $20 tickets - about $700 worth, according to court documents.
· Experimental new super diet pill may be the real deal. The biggest test yet of an experimental new diet pill found that people not only lost weight but kept it off for two years, longer than any other diet drug has been able to achieve, scientists reported Tuesday.
· Firms warn of new Mydoom worm. Anti-virus software maker McAfee Inc. is warning about a new version of the Mydoom worm that infects computers of people who click on a link in 'PayPal' e-mail they receive.
» Where's the Money? In his four decades as Palestinian leader and terrorist, Yasser Arafat has run a murky financial empire that includes far-flung PLO investments in airlines, banana plantations and high-tech companies, and may have stashed up to $700 million in hidden bank accounts across the globe.
· Court rules that Sept. 11 'silver dollar' ads are deceptive. A court has ruled that a company engaged in deceptive advertising in its heavy marketing of "Freedom Tower" commemorative coins, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said Tuesday.
· Peterson Jurors Struggling With Verdict. Jurors deciding Scott Peterson's fate may have hit a snag after less than a week of deliberations. Judge Alfred A. Delucchi summoned the panelists to the courtroom Monday morning where he reissued instructions on several key points and lectured them about the importance of keeping an open mind.
» Judge Lectures Jury in Peterson Trial. Judge Alfred A. Delucchi summoned the panelists to the courtroom Monday morning where he reissued instructions on several key points and lectured them about the importance of keeping an open mind. "The people and the defendant are entitled to the individual opinion of each juror," the judge said. "Do not hesitate to change your opinion for the purpose of reaching a verdict if you can do so."
· Convicted Spammer's Bail Set at $1 million. Bail was set at $1 million Monday for a North Carolina man awaiting sentencing in the nation's first felony prosecution of illegal distribution of junk e-mail, or spam. Prosecutors had argued that Jeremy Jaynes of Raleigh is too great a flight risk to be allowed bail, saying he's been squirreling away parts of his $24 million fortune in foreign bank accounts.
· Astronaut's son faces sex charges. The son of Mercury astronaut Walter Schirra has been arrested on child sex tourism charges, federal authorities said Monday. Walter Schirra, 54, was arrested at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday morning just before he was to board a flight to Thailand where he allegedly intended to solicit sex from underage boys, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
· Marsh & McLennan to Lay Off 3,000 Amid Probe. Insurance brokerage Marsh & McLennan said it will lay off 3,000 employees, or about 5 percent of its work force, as it struggles with the fallout from a bid-rigging probe by New York's attorney general.
· Judge Sides With Brokaw in Hunting Suit. A judge has ruled in favor of "NBC Nightly News" anchor Tom Brokaw in his attempt to keep an outfitter from bringing more big-game hunters on land bordering the newsman's ranch.
· The Boss Gets Name Change for Condos. It's good to be The Boss. Less than a month after the city broke ground on a waterfront redevelopment project, Bruce Springsteen rendered his verdict on a planned condominium called The Rising, the same name as his Grammy-winning album and song.
· NASA Studying Inspiration for 'Rain Man.' NASA scientists are studying the man who was the basis for Dustin Hoffman's character in the 1988 film "Rain Man," hoping that technology used to study the effects of space travel on the brain will help explain his mental capabilities.
· Arkansas jail inmate escapes twice in one week. Twenty-year-old Tristian Wilson, originally jailed on theft, forgery and burglary charges, first escaped October 30th. Jailers freed him after receiving a letter supposedly written by a detective authorizing his release. Wilson's wife has been charged with forging the letter and faxing it from a McDonald's restaurant.
· How Danny Pelosi turned $6.7M into $308. Long Island electrician Danny Pelosi shot through $6.7 million he got from the widow of the Wall Street big shot he's accused of killing - blowing the cash on everything from gambling to cigars, a prosecution witness testified yesterday.
· USA Gold Medalist Phelps Charged With DUI. Six-time Olympic swimming gold medalist Michael Phelps was charged with drunken driving in southeastern Maryland after running a stop sign in his sport utility vehicle, state police said Monday.
· Ex-Yale student sues Freedom Tower designers. A former architectural student sued the designers of the World Trade Center site’s planned Freedom Tower on Monday, saying designs for the skyscraper mirror those he created at Yale University.
· Bond set for woman accused of having sex with 8-year-old. A judge set bond at $250,000 on Monday for a Stratford, Conn. woman accused of having a sexual relationship with an 8-year-old boy. Tammy Imre, 29, is accused of first-degree sexual assault, fourth-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor.
· Contractor Bulldozes Wrong Home. A family in Punta Gorda, Fla., who had just repaired and painted their hurricane-damaged home returned to find the structure mistakenly demolished and removed from its lot.
· Flap over fingerprint fee. Thank you for agreeing to teach in New York City - that will be $115, please. Each year, thousands of new teachers hired by the city are charged $115 for the cost of processing their fingerprints and completing criminal background checks.
Monday, November 8, 2004
· Peterson jury may be deadlocked. In a sign of possible discord in the jury room, the judge in Scott Peterson's murder case lectured the panel Monday about the importance of deliberating with an open mind. "They're stuck," said Jim Hammer, a former prosecutor and trial regular. The judge "clearly has indications that they're beginning to hang."
· Newspaper mistakenly publishes sex-line number. A Jacksonville, Fla. newspaper mistakenly published the telephone number of a sex talk service on the front page on Election Day. The number was supposed to be for a national voter hot line.
· Hockey star jailed for plotting murder. Former NHL tough guy Mike Danton was sentenced Monday to 7 1/2 years in prison for trying to have his agent killed. "I do not believe in over 18 years on the bench I have been faced with a case as bizarre as this one," Stiehl said, noting that Danton chose a 19-year-old acquaintance and a police dispatcher as his would-be helpers in the murder plot.
· Recluse voted to school board. Steve Rocco didn't file a candidate statement or mount a campaign for the school board. He's unknown to teachers and the district and only barely known to his neighbors. Nonetheless, the mystery candidate easily beat an opponent who is active and relatively well known in the Orange Unified School District. "Absolutely nobody, but nobody has seen this guy," said Paul Pruss, a middle school teacher who is president of the union. "The whole thing is just bizarre."
· Dennis Farina New Face on 'Law & Order.' For more than two decades, Farina, 60, has been a character actor with remarkable dexterity and charm. He has films including "Midnight Run,""Get Shorty,""Saving Private Ryan" and "Out of Sight," a string of theater credits, and a 1980s cult-favorite TV series, "Crime Story." Now he has joined the "Law & Order" ensemble.
· Radio station puts bounty on yard signs. Many in Wichita are upset with two radio stations that offered to pay $1 for each campaign yard sign that listeners turned in. The offer of more than $5,000 in cash and prizes led people to pull signs from private property, party leaders and candidates said.
· 9/11 Compensation Totals $38.1 Billion. Victims of the Sept. 11 attacks received $38.1 billion in compensation, with insurance companies picking up the largest portion of the tab, according to a study released Monday.
· Enron: Big Prison Time Possible. Five men convicted of helping push through Enron Corp.'s sham sale of power barges to Merrill Lynch & Co. could serve more prison time for the tiny deal than former Enron finance chief Andrew Fastow, who admitted orchestrating schemes that fueled the company's collapse.
· Love woe in WTC suicide. The Georgia man who killed himself at Ground Zero was upset about President Bush's reelection - but his biggest problem may have been his double life, a source told the Daily News yesterday. Andrew Veal, 25, was engaged to be married to an Iowa college student, whom he was supposed to see at her sister's wedding in Seattle this weekend. But Veal also had a girlfriend in Athens, Ga., where he lived, sources said.
· Jessica Simpson's Dad Joe Has Sold His Soul To The Devil Say Critics. JESSICA SIMPSON's manager dad JOE was accused of selling his soul to the devil by his Christian friends when he turned his pop star daughter into a sex symbol. The former youth minister in Texas once tried to sell the idea of his then-teenage daughter to Christian record labels, but he quickly realized her look and her sizeable bust was making her more than just a pop singer.
· At 57, career gal is now ready to start a family. Aleta St. James is expecting the best gift of her life for her 57th birthday this week: newborn twins. St. James, a motivational speaker and the eldest sister of Guardian Angels leader Curtis Sliwa, is set to shatter conventional limitations of childbirth tomorrow when she is slated to deliver a baby boy and girl at Mount Sinai Hospital, just three days shy of her birthday.
· 'Incredibles' rakes in an amazing $70.7 million. "The Incredibles" lived up to their name at the box office as the animated adventure debuted with $70.7 million in its opening weekend, continuing an unbroken string of hits for Pixar Animation.
· A nite with Jacko. Teen pop singer Aaron Carter spent a wild unsupervised night with his "idol" Michael Jackson last year, and Carter's mom is still haunted by fears of what may have happened, she says.
· Larry Hagman wants to be made into a cake after his death. Ever the eccentric, Dallas star Larry Hagman has stipulated that upon his death, he wants his body to be ground in a wood chipper and scattered in a field, where wheat is to be harvested for a cake to be eaten by his friends and family one year later.
Sunday, November 7, 2004
· Belushi Sues Neighbor Julie Newmar. Actor James Belushi has sued next-door neighbor Julie Newmar for $4 million in damages, accusing the actress of a "campaign of harassment" designed to drive him from his home. Belushi, 50, claims in the lawsuit filed Nov. 2 that Newmar destroyed a fence and landscaping at the home in the posh Brentwood neighborhood and repeatedly made defamatory statements about him to neighbors and friends.
· Private spaceship team picks up $10 million. The designers of the first privately manned rocket to burst into space were handed a $10 million check yesterday, a prize designed to encourage technology that will open the heavens to tourists.
· Priest Charged With Embezzling $500,000. A longtime pastor charged with embezzling $500,000 in parish funds allegedly spent the money on vacations, cars and gifts to friends, including a church worker who was given a BMW and whose mortgage, taxes and utilities were paid.
· Actor Busey Settles Dispute Over Home. Actor Gary Busey walked into court and handed over a check for $30,000 to settle a lawsuit accusing him of falling behind on the rent for his Malibu house. Busey, 60, has lived in the modest three-bedroom hillside home with ocean views for more than 10 years.
· Danza Pulls An Oprah, Surprises Audience With Vacations. Nearly two months after Oprah Winfrey gave everyone in her audience a new car, talk show host Tony Danza has given everyone in his audience a week-long vacation in Miami.
· Man Kills Self at Ground Zero. A 25-year-old university worker from Georgia shot and killed himself at ground zero Saturday morning, authorities said. Andrew Veal apparently was distraught over President Bush's re-election, Newsday reported ysterday.
· Calling pupils 'sluts' lands teacher aide in trouble. A Catholic primary school principal has apologized to four 12-year-olds because a teacher aide called the girls "sluts" after they exposed their midriffs to sunbath during a break.
· Police officer charged with kidnapping. Authorities arrested a man for allegedly kidnapping and attacking a police officer, but after an investigation they released the suspect and put the officer behind bars.
· Gulf War vet sues after being called back up. A veteran of the first Persian Gulf War is suing the Army after it ordered him to report for duty 13 years after he was honorably discharged from active duty and eight years after he left the reserves.
· Mr. Filthy Rich. Meet the king of the slumlords, Morris Piller. His empire of 29 residential buildings is riddled with an astounding 7,313 current housing code violations, according to city inspections performed this year.
Saturday, November 6, 2004
· Lost Beatles Tape May Steal AMA Show. This year's American Music Awards will feature stars such as Usher, Alicia Keys, Gwen Stefani and Rod Stewart, but the most talked-about moment might come from the Beatles. The show plans to air a 2 1/2-minute tape from 1964 that was recently discovered.
· Documents: Kobe Accuser Said She Wanted Implants. A month after a woman accused NBA star Kobe Bryant of rape, she told friends she was considering suing him in civil court and wanted to buy breast augmentation surgery and a koala bear with any award money, according to court documents released yesterday.
· Insanity defense possible in Siegfried & Roy shooting. A former National Football League player accused of firing shots into the compound of Siegfried & Roy may seek an insanity defense, his attorney said Friday.
· Pee Diddy's Group Will Stay Involved. Pee Diddy's "Vote or Die!" initiative lives on. Sean "Pee Diddy" Combs, who started the group Citizen Change to increase voter turnout among young people for the Nov. 2 presidential election, told The Associated Press the group will continue to be involved in politics.
· Donald Reveals The Wedding Date. The real estate mogul-turned-reality TV star announced on "The View" Friday morning that he plans to wed his fiance, Melania Knauss, on Jan. 22, 2005, in Palm Beach.
· Stars check out stars on IMDb. In Hollywood there are no real distinctions between business and social life, and dating - like acting - has its methods. The latest development: judging your love interest according to how he or she shows up on the Internet Movie Database.
· Thieves have money to burn. A gang of incompetent British thieves who tried to break into an automated cash point using a blow torch saw their plans - and the money - go up in smoke when the machine caught fire, police said on Friday.
· Subway ads: Big fat lie? Group asks FTC to weigh in on claims. When Subway took to the airwaves to advertise its sandwiches, it probably didn't expect a food fight. But a public interest group accused the sandwich chain yesterday of making grossly misleading claims about its health benefits.
· New 'brain' teaser: N-word in ads. The salacious advertisements being stripped off scores of city buses and subway platforms for their hidden sexual message also contain a secret reference to the N-word. Stamped faintly below the logo for the ads' sponsor, the hip-hop clothing line Akademiks, are the initials "H.N.I.C." - slang for "Head [N-----] In Charge."
Friday, November 5, 2004
· Strings attached. A 74-year-old gent met two ladies in their 30s and invited them up to his Boston home where things went so swimmingly that the old buck was soon having sex with one of the women. But while the geriatric stud was in the throes of ecstasy, the other lady was cleaning out his pockets.
· Maker of 'Dessert' Sues Jessica Simpson. Jessica Simpson was named in a lawsuit by a California cosmetics company that claims it hasn't received all of the $1 million in products it supplied for the "Dessert" beauty line the singer endorses. In a lawsuit filed Oct. 21 in Los Angeles Superior Court, Cosmojet claims Simpson and Dessert Beauty Inc. failed to pay nearly $200,000 for products it made for the line.
· Mechanic Finds Live Bomb Under Car During Oil Change. A Hollywood, Fla. mechanic performing a routine oil change discovered a live bomb underneath a car apparently rigged to explode when the driver turned the vehicle's lights on.
· Three Sentenced for Golf With Prostitutes. Two California golf course managers and a tournament organizer were sentenced to house arrest for hosting two competitions featuring prostitutes and strippers stationed along the putting greens in Norco, Calif.
· Women recant sex abuse allegations. Two women whose testimony in a child molestation case put a man behind bars for 20 years have recanted, with one saying her grandmother pressured them to finger the wrong man to protect a cousin.
· Miami Architect Sues Donald Trump. A judge should order the destruction of two condo towers being built for an oceanfront resort that carries the name of Donald Trump, according to a lawsuit filed by a Miami architect who claims the billionaire and a hotel developer took his design.
· Americans Flock to Canada's Immigration Web Site. The number of U.S. citizens visiting Canada's main immigration Web site has shot up six-fold as Americans flirt with the idea of abandoning their homeland after President Bush's election win this week.
· NTSB: NASCAR team plane forgot to climb before crash. The Hendrick Motorsports plane that crashed October 24 and killed all 10 aboard missed the approach to the airport and then failed to climb before crashing into a mountain, according to the NTSB.
· Pee Diddy Exhausted After 'Running Wild' On Election Day. Pee Diddy says he got off on the wrong foot when it came to his political endeavors in 2004. If he could do things over again, he wouldn't have yelled for folks to get George W. Bush's "ass out of office."
· Diamondback's manager fired after 4 days. Just four days after he was introduced as Arizona Diamondbacks manager, Wally Backman was fired Friday following revelations he was arrested twice after a fight at his home involving his wife.
· Fat Americans weigh down airlines' bottom lines. Heavy suitcases aren't the only things weighing down airplanes and requiring them to burn more fuel, pushing up the cost of flights. A new government study reveals that airlines increasingly have to worry more about the weight of their passengers. Through the 1990s, the average weight of Americans increased by 10 pounds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The extra weight caused airlines to spend $275 million to burn 350 million more gallons of fuel in 2000 just to carry the additional weight of Americans.
· No same-sex marriage in Texas textbooks. The State Board of Education approved health textbooks for Texas high school and middle school students Friday, after publishers changed the wording in their books to reflect marriage as being between a man and a woman.
» Insiders blame daughter for loss. JOHN Kerry campaign insiders are blaming some of the high-profile people surrounding the candidate for helping President Bush win re-election. A prime target of the finger-pointers is Kerry's filmmaker daughter Alexandra, who made a splash at the Cannes Film Festival last spring when she appeared on the red carpet in a see-through dress. She then hired a pricey publicist at powerhouse agency PMK — on her dad's dime, sources say — and went on the campaign trail. But insiders snipe that all she did was rack up major expenses. "She had an entourage of five people with her everywhere she went," one Kerry confidant sniffed to PAGE SIX's Jared Paul Stern. "A hairdresser, makeup artist, publicist and two assistants. It ended up costing something like $8,000 a month. And she didn't exactly do anything."
· Rev. Al & wife to split. The Rev. Sharpton and his wife, Kathy, are splitting up after 24 years of marriage. The couple will announce the separation today, Sharpton's representative Rachel Nordlinger confirmed to the Daily News.
· Air Force report calls for $7.5M to study psychic teleportation. Star Trek fans may be happy to hear that the Air Force has paid to study psychic teleportation. But scientists [and taxpayers] aren't so thrilled.
· Porn Video Shown To Third-Graders During Civics Lesson. Officials at a North Texas school say an Election Day civics lesson for some third-graders inadvertently included a sexually explicit videotape.
· U.S. Unsure if Election Terror Plot Foiled. More than 700 people were arrested on immigration violations and thousands more subjected to FBI interviews in an intense government effort to avert a terrorist attack aimed at disrupting the election.
· Peterson Judge Rules Against Live TV Coverage. The judge in Scott Peterson's murder trial ruled Thursday against allowing video or still cameras in the courtroom for the verdict, citing concern for the families of both the defendant and his slain wife.
· Lip-Synching Has Always Been the Standard. It seems Ashlee Simpson will forever bear the scarlet "L" - for lip-synching. The 20-year-old "singer" has been lampooned and shamed, held up as an example of today's style-over-substance culture - all because of one lip-synch gone famously awry on "Saturday Night Live."
· Florist Finds Hundreds Of Medical Records In Trash Bin. A man in Orange County, Fla., found hundreds of sensitive medical records dumped into a trash bin behind a florist shop. The medical records found in a trash bin in Orlando contained social security numbers, medical information and other personal patient information. "Driver's licenses, phone numbers, addresses, I got everything - that's not right," florist J. Michael Hicks said after finding the stash.
· Garry Trudeau may lose comic strip. Bush-bashing cartoonist Garry Trudeau is in danger of having his "Doonesbury" comic strip dropped by papers across the country as he gets increasingly partisan. In the Oct. 30 strip, Trudeau had Vice President Dick Cheney say, "Tell him to go [bleep] himself," an echo of the remark he made to Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy in June. Newspaper editors complained that neither Trudeau nor Universal Press Syndicate warned them about the line in advance. Some 20 papers pulled the strip, and some are considering killing "Doonesbury" altogether.
· Deputy Accused Of Urinating In Parking Garage Elevator. An Orange County court deputy is the subject of an internal investigation. Channel 9 found out he was caught urinating in an Orlando parking garage elevator, and the people who run the garage believe he's done it more than once.
· National Guard Fighter Fires At School In New Jersey. A National Guard F-16 fighter jet on a nighttime training mission Wednesday fired 25 rounds of ammunition that tore through an elementary school. No one was injured.
· "SNL" Gets Real. Comedians who think they are ready to become a Not Ready for Prime-Time Player will have a shot at landing a spot in the Saturday Night Live cast in a new talent-search reality show NBC is developing.
· Charges Dropped Against Wrestler Accused Of Stabbing Opponent. Prosecutors dropped an aggravated battery charge against a professional wrestler accused of stabbing his opponent 14 times with a prop during a match.
· Bell Mobility clients hit by billing errors. Bell says it's sorting things out, but that until the system is fixed, subscribers should pay only what they think they owe. Overpayments will be refunded, and interest will not be charged for late or underpayments.
· Al Roker to Report on Gastric Bypass. NBC's Al Roker reports on his health since his gastric bypass surgery, and the potential dangers and benefits involved in the procedure, in an hour-long special to air Friday night on "Dateline NBC."
Thursday, November 4, 2004
· Edwards' Wife Has Breast Cancer. Elizabeth Edwards, wife of former Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards, was diagnosed with breast cancer the day her husband and Sen. John Kerry conceded the presidential race.
· CNN/Netscape Calls President Bush & First Lady 'Asshole.' In a not-so-surprising move on the part of CNN/Netscape employees, they placed images of President Bush and his wife Laura on their homepage, and named the photo images asshole.jpg and moron.jpg.
· Bloggers Said to Blame for Bad Poll Info. News organizations promised Wednesday to look into why their Election Day exit polls showed an initial surge for John Kerry, but the National Election Pool also threw bloggers under the bus for spreading news that gave a misleading view of the presidential race.
· Lawyer shoots lawyer. A former prosecutor was arrested for investigation of attempted murder after he shot and critically injured a lawyer he had been scheduled to face at a court hearing, police said.
· Jury begins deliberation in Peterson trial. Jurors began deliberating the fate of Scott Peterson on Wednesday, more than five months after testimony began in the murder of his wife and her fetus. Judge Alfred A. Delucchi sent the panelists off with lunch into the jury room after about 45 minutes of instructions. They met for four hours before retiring for the day.
· 'Jeopardy!' Champ Breaks Earnings Record. Quiz-show king Ken Jennings has broken another record on "Jeopardy!" He won $45,099 on the episode that aired Wednesday, bringing his total earnings to $2,197,000 to make him the top TV game-show winner ever. He beat the previous record of $2,180,000, set by Michigan engineer Kevin Olmstead on ABC's "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" in 2001.
· They've re-shot J.R.! Big oil, big cars and great big wads of cash combined to make "Dallas" one of the most successful prime-time soaps in television history. "Dallas Reunion: Return to Southfork," Sunday night on CBS, revisits the sun-baked kingdom of JR Ewing, the oil man everyone loved to hate.
· Pee Diddy Plans A-List 35th Birthday Party. Pee Diddy plans to celebrate his 35th birthday Thursday with an A-list, ultra-exclusive, all-night party. Pee Diddy's party, dubbed a "Royal Birthday Ball," was billed as "his biggest, most lavish soiree to date."
· Elderly Driver Faces Trial In Deadly Santa Monica Market Crash. An 87-year-old man whose car plowed into a Santa Monica farmers market last year, killing 10 people, was ordered Wednesday to stand trial for manslaughter.
· Actress Duke Has Heart Bypass Surgery. Oscar-winner Patty Duke underwent single bypass surgery Wednesday and was in fair condition, officials said. The 57-year-old actress was in the intensive care unit at the North Idaho Heart Center.
· Biggest turnout of voters since 1968. Estimated 120 million chose president, up from 105 million in 2000. Driven by an intense race for the presidency, a greater percentage of Americans voted Tuesday than at any time in more than three decades.
· DNA test may name names. Scientists are developing genetic tests that will be able to take DNA from crime scenes and churn out possible surnames of the culprits. If the tests work, they could allow police forces to quickly identify families to which a criminal might belong. The tests are based on the idea that people who share the same surname may have more similar Y chromosomes than those with different surnames. For example, the make-up of the Y chromosomes in people called Smith may differ slightly from those called Jones.
· Two Guilty in 1st Felony Spam Conviction. A brother and sister who sent junk e-mail to millions of America Online customers were convicted Wednesday in the nation's first felony prosecution of Internet spam distributors. Jurors recommended that Jeremy Jaynes, 30, be sentenced to nine years in prison and fined Jessica DeGroot, 28, $7,500 after convicting them of three counts each of sending e-mails with fraudulent and untraceable routing information.
· Man Accused of Killing 6 Ala. Relatives. A man methodically killed a couple and four family members because they were trying to keep him away from the couple's 16-year-old daughter, a prosecutor told jurors Wednesday.
· Ancient Roman cosmetic cream found. Scientists have unearthed a small tin canister dating back to the middle of the second century AD in an excavated Roman temple precinct in London that contains a sophisticated white cream that could rival today's top cosmetics.
· Hugh set to be 'Mr January' in new calender. Hugh Grant is set to be Mr January in a new calendar - of police celebrity arrest photos. The actor - who was arrested in 1995 after being caught with prostitute Divine Brown - will join a host of Hollywood stars in the Celebrity Mugshot Calendar 2005.
· Jackson Lawyers Seek Removal of Prosecutor. Michael Jackson, saying his upcoming child molestation trial is nothing more than a grudge match by a vindictive prosecutor, wants a judge to remove District Attorney Tom Sneddon and allow the state attorney general to intervene.
· Naked bid to fly Down Under. A man angry that he was refused a plane ticket to Australia at Los Angeles International Airport, stripped naked, sprinted across the tarmac and climbed into the wheel well of a moving jumbo jet, officials said on Wednesday.
Wednesday, November 3, 2004
· In-Flight Gambling Next on the Wish List. Airline passengers may soon be able to wile away the air miles with in-flight gambling if low-cost carrier Ryanair's latest cash-generation scheme becomes reality.
· Rape Victim Spots Alleged Attacker On TV Show. A rape victim spotted her alleged attacker on the "Blind Date" television show and notified police. Ulrick Kevin White, 31, of Santa Barbara, was arrested by Santa Barbara police detectives at the request of Ventura investigators.
· Clapton Gets Honor From Buckingham Palace. Rock guitarist Eric Clapton set aside his "rebellious streak" to become a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, or CBE. The 59-year-old singer-songwriter described the honor - conferred by Princess Anne, daughter of Queen Elizabeth II, during a ceremony Wednesday at Buckingham Palace - as the "icing on the cake" of his career.
· Unhappy Democrats Need to Wait to Get Into Canada. Disgruntled Democrats seeking a safe Canadian haven after President Bush won Tuesday's election should not pack their bags just yet. Canadian officials made clear on Wednesday that any U.S. citizens so fed up with Bush that they want to make a fresh start up north would have to stand in line like any other would-be immigrants - a wait that can take up to a year.
· Peterson Jury May Begin Deliberations. Scott Peterson should not be convicted of killing his pregnant wife, Laci Peterson, just because prosecutors made him look like "a jerk and a liar," his lawyer told jurors.
· Eight Muslim scumbags arrested in filmmaker's death. Eight suspected Muslim extremists with alleged terrorist ties were arrested Wednesday for allegedly killing a Dutch filmmaker who received death threats after his recent movie sharply criticized how women are treated under Islam.
· Man tries to convert lions to Jesus, gets bitten. A man leaped into a lion’s den at the Taipei Zoo today to try to convert the king of beasts to Christianity, but was bitten in the leg for his efforts.
· Did Eminem Lip-Synch On 'SNL?' One week after Ashlee Simpson's now-infamous appearance on "Saturday Night Live," rap superstar Eminem is now being accused of lip-syncing to his song "Mosh" on the show. Twice Eminem had his microphone at his side while his vocals continued.
· Renee Zellweger: From Bridget Jones to Skin and Bones. Normally blonde and wholesome looking, Renee Zellweger is shocking industry insiders and fans alike with a new goth-like look, including dark hair, ivory skin and a startlingly stick-thin figure of about 100 lbs. stretched over her 5'5" frame. Although she went brunette for a part in the upcoming film The Cinderella Man, co-starring Russell Crowe, a bony body was not required for that role.
· Bungling burglar leaves police a handy clue. London - It was not the most difficult case Britain's police have ever faced. The burglar, having broken into a house, not only dropped some of his loot nearby but also abandoned a keyring bearing his name and photograph.
· Man Tries to Stop Robbery, Wrecks Car. A man trying to stop a robbery at a gas station ended up smashing a plate glass window, wrecking his car and fingering the wrong man. The suspect escaped, minus a shoe, and remains at large.
· Horror of $20,000 HIV goof. In 1995, Sharon Smith thought she was given a death sentence when she was told she was HIV-positive. She became depressed, reclusive and even contemplated killing herself. Seven years later, Smith was in for an even bigger shock. The diagnosis was a mistake - leading to a $20 million negligence suit, made public yesterday.
In Political News...
· Bush wins a second term in office. President Bush on Wednesday emerged as the victor in fiercely fought race for the White House after Sen. John Kerry decided against contesting the vote in the battleground state of Ohio. Kerry's decision was relayed to NBC News by a senior adviser, who said the senator had phoned Bush to concede and would make a concession speech at 1 p.m. Wednesday.
· Democracy Rocks, But in a Very Low Key. "Nobody wants to throw a party for a bunch of losers," observed Hans Riemer, Rock the Vote's Washington director, as he watched returns at the 9:30 club. While Democrats rested their hopes on a large youth vote - they didn't make it to the polls.
· Americans decide on legalising pot, cocktail law, while picking president. Americans decided a raft of weighty ballot issues ranging from electing their president, to legalising pot, to scrapping a ban on bartenders serving spirits from mini-bottles.
· Eleven states vote to ban same-sex marriage. In a resounding, coast-to-coast rejection of gay marriage, voters in 11 states approved constitutional amendments Tuesday limiting marriage to one man and one woman. The amendments won, often by huge margins, in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Ohio, Utah and Oregon - the one state where gay-rights activists hoped to prevail. The bans won by a 3-to-1 margin in Kentucky, Georgia and Arkansas, 3-to-2 in Ohio, and 6-to-1 in Mississippi.
· Clooney dad not headed to Washington. Nick Clooney, father of actor George Clooney, has lost his race for U.S. Representative in Kentucky. With 87 percent of precincts reporting, Republican Geoff Davis had received 55 percent of votes, compared to Clooney's 43 percent. CNN declared Davis the winner.
· So did they vote? Or are they gonna die? The early returns from Sean 'Pee Diddy' Combs' mega-hyped Citizen Change campaign suggested that reality television star Paris Hilton and rapper 50 Cent - who appeared in eye-catching posters modeling Combs' "VOTE OR DIE!" T-shirts to encourage voting - didn't make it to the polls yesterday.
· Egg On Face of Exit Pollsters - Again. Once again, exit polls received a black eye in the presidential election. By the time most of the polls closed in precincts across the country Tuesday night, real numbers began to suggest that the early estimations that had been so upbeat for Sen. John Kerry were over-inflated — so much so, that most media outlets decided to quit using the exit poll results Tuesday evening, calling them inaccurate and unreliable.
· Republicans Extend Decade of House Control. Republicans extended their decade-long hold on the House for another two years, knocking off four veteran Texas Democrats along the way. By winning their 218th seat — with several more likely to come — Republicans were set to control the House for a dozen consecutive years, the first time they have achieved that feat since the 12 years that ended in January 1933.
» GOP Boosts Senate Majority to 52 Seats. Republicans tightened their grip on the Senate early Wednesday, capturing a string of Democratic seats across the South. Democratic leader Tom Daschle struggled for political survival in South Dakota.
» Daschle Loses South Dakota. Daschle, vilified by top Republicans as an obstructionist to President Bush's agenda, was the GOP's top Senate target this year. Thune's campaign painted Daschle as out of touch with South Dakotans' values.
· Kerry campaign refuses to concede Ohio. President Bush won Ohio and Florida, two of the three battleground states that were key to the 2004 presidential election, according to projections Wednesday morning by NBC News, but Sen. John Kerry’s campaign was unwilling to concede, insisting that he would win Ohio’s 20 electoral votes when all the ballots were counted — which might not happen for almost two weeks.
Tuesday, November 2, 2004
Bush Wins. As Tabloid Column first reported at 9:42pm EST, George W. Bush has won the Presidential election.
· Closing argument rips two-faced Scott. Scott Peterson smothered or strangled his pregnant wife, wrapped her in a tarp and dumped her in San Francisco Bay so he could pursue his fantasy of becoming a jet-setting playboy, the chief prosecutor said yesterday in a powerful closing argument.
· Supreme Court turns down Kevorkian. Supreme Court issued several decisions Monday with only eight justices on the bench. Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist was absent after issuing a statement that he would be undergoing radiation and chemotherapy treatment for thyroid cancer.
· Liz Hurley to marry in India? The actress is hosting two parties for boyfriend Arun Nayer's 40th birthday and friends claim the couple will tie the knot at one of them. The Austin Powers star is throwing a lavish bash for Arun in India on Friday followed by another big party at an ancient palace on Lake Udaipur the next day.
· Dutch Filmmaker Theo Van Gogh Murdered. A Dutch filmmaker who had criticized the treatment of women under Islam in a movie and in newspaper columns was shot dead Tuesday outside a city government office in Amsterdam, police said.
· Woman returns $1,100 in real thrift store find. Yvette Heelan thought she got a great deal when she bought a white fleece jacket at a consignment store for just $8.95. That was before she looked in the pocket. Tucked inside were 11 crisp hundred dollar bills.
· FDA: Olive oil may fight heart disease. The monounsaturated fat in olive oil may reduce the chances of suffering coronary heart disease, the Food and Drug Administration said Monday, opening the door to revised food labels.
· Crook let off 13th charge. A UK judge kicked out the 13th charge against a conwoman yesterday — because he is superstitious. Housewife Mandy Flanagan, 36, admitted 12 charges, including deception involving stolen credit cards and checks.
· Philly tops with tippers. New York is the best U.S. city to visit, restaurant lovers in Philadelphia are the biggest tippers and sunny climes seem to bring out the most diners, according to new national Zagat Surveys published Monday.
Monday, November 1, 2004
· Peterson prosecutor: 'Freedom is what he wanted.' Scott Peterson strangled or smothered his pregnant wife not simply to be with his lover, but to rid himself of an unwanted child and to pursue life as a freewheeling bachelor, a prosecutor contended Monday during closing arguments.
· California's left: 'I don't think I can stay if Bush wins.' As with the previous election, some left-leaning Californians say they would rather leave the United States - and go to Canada or elsewhere - than stay with George W. Bush as president.
· Homeland Security Agents Chase Down Toy Knockoffs. Toy store owner Stephanie Cox didn't think she was harboring any terrorist toys. So she said she was shaking in her shoes when she got a call from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Two agents stopped by her store, Pufferbelly Toys, in St. Helens, Oregon to have her remove Rubik's Cube immitation toys. Cox is still scratching her head over her brush with Homeland Security. She asked, "Aren't there any terrorists out there?"
· 2004's Scariest Halloween Costumes. With a chill in the air and frost on the pumpkins, it's the spookiest time of the year. Out of a trunk from the attic and a bag from the cellar, 2004's Scariest Halloween Costumes are here!
· Barry Bonds Fingered In Steroid Probe. During raids last September, BALCO president Victor Conte identified 27 athletes who received illegal steroids - known as "the clear" and "the creme" - from his firm. Included on that roster were baseball players like Bonds, Gary Sheffield, and Jason Giambi, and track and field stars Tim Montgomery and Marion Jones.
· Journalist Arrested After Photographing Voting Lines. A freelance journalist taking pictures of voters waiting outside the Palm Beach County elections headquarters was arrested after ignoring a deputy's orders to stop, sheriff's officials said.
· Superstitious John Kerry Supporters Get Welcome Omen Sunday. If you look at sports history, since 1936, the result of the Washington Redskins' final home game before the presidential election has always accurately predicted the White House winner. If the Redskins win, the incumbent party wins. If they lose, the incumbent party is ousted. Sunday, on Halloween, the Redskins played the Packers - and lost 28-14.
· Osama kin smells money. Forget Chanel No. 5. The next big thing may be "Bin Ladin 9/11." Though that's not the name of the new fragrance being touted by Yeslam Bin Ladin, Osama Bin Laden's big brother, he's hoping to cash in on the notoriety of the Sept. 11 attacks.
· Bullock Amuses, Delights Home-State Crowd. Actress Sandra Bullock told a home-state crowd that she feels it is her purpose to "make you laugh a little," and inadvertently did just that when she came on stage to accept an award.
· Prince of scam rips himself off. Many of us have been angered by endless scam emails and letters offering millions of dollars if you send details of your bank account and some money to clear the way. But a computer operator in the UK decided to do something about it. He decided to scam the scammers, and ended up getting $129 from them in a hilarious sting.
· Networks Ready for Big Election Night. ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, PBS, CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC will all devote prime time to election results Tuesday night. Smaller networks with specialized audiences, like BET and MTV, have unprecedented coverage because of the intense interest in the presidential race.
· Americans Gobble 45 Billion Sandwiches Annually. This year, Americans will eat almost 200 sandwiches apiece. That's not a prediction, that's an actual statistic from "The Sandwich Lady," Becky Mercuri, author of the new book, "American Sandwich" (Gibbs Smith).
· Cleveland Clinic Eyes First Human Face Transplant. A person severely disfigured by burns or disease could receive the first human face transplant using tissues from an organ donor. The review board at the Cleveland Clinic this month approved the procedure for the hospital. The vote of the 15 members was unanimous after 10 months of debate over medical, psychological and ethical issues.
· Hilton's bad heir day? The New York Daily News is reporting that Conrad N. Hilton 3rd, the 44- year-old scion of the hotel dynasty and first cousin to Paris' dad, Rick, allegedly behaved so badly last week at the New York Hilton that he's no longer welcome at the swank hotel that bears his surname.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Oxymoron [ox·y·mo·ron] n.pl. A phrase in which two words of contradictory meaning are used together for special effect, for example, “wise fool” or “to make haste slowly.”
· Osama's deadly warning to 'red' states. Osama bin Laden warned in his October Surprise video that he will be closely monitoring the state-by-state election returns in tomorrow's presidential race — and will spare any state that votes against President Bush from being attacked, according to a new analysis of his statement.
· Votes From the Dead May Still Be Counted. An untold number of ballots from people who have died since casting them will be counted this year because of the haphazard and cumbersome process of enforcing laws in many states to weed out these votes.
· Police accuse pair of college students with forging Subway Sub Club stamps. Scott Hillyard says he's seen everything as a business owner, but he never imagined the lengths police say a pair of college students would go for a free submarine sandwich.
· German Museum Unveils Rebuilt Berlin Wall. Fifteen years after the destruction of the Berlin Wall, a museum in the German capital unveiled a rebuilt segment of the Cold War barrier Sunday, defying criticism that the structure uses a painful piece of German history to create a tourist trap.
Sunday, October 31, 2004
· 'The Grudge' Stays at No. 1; 'Ray' Second. Halloween spirit possessed movie-goers as Sarah Michelle Gellar's fright flick "The Grudge" remained the top draw for the second straight weekend with $22.4 million. The film biography "Ray," which has drawn Academy Awards buzz for Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles in the title role, debuted in second place with $20.1 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.
· Excedrin week looming for Gotti. His 42-year-old marriage may end any day now. His mistress killed herself in a Long Island motel room. And this week, he goes on trial for crimes that could keep him in prison until he dies. Peter Gotti, this is your life.
· Elton John blames tantrums on creativity. Elton John told Britain's Sunday Times magazine that his behavior had changed since beating drug and alcohol addictions 14 years ago, yet "the rage and the temper are still there ... but it's part of being creative." The British superstar, famous for his outbursts, grabbed headlines last month when he cursed and shouted at Taiwanese photographers for surprising him as he arrived at Taipei airport, calling them "rude, vile pigs."
· Cash's First Wife Wants Sentimental Bench. The first wife of the late singer Johnny Cash says she would like to own the San Antonio River Walk bench that she and Cash carved their names on in 1951 - but city officials say that's unlikely.
· Judge Orders Heinz Records Unsealed. A judge ordered the unsealing of court records in a 1994 lawsuit by Teresa Heinz Kerry and her sons in the airplane crash that killed her first husband, U.S. Sen. H. John Heinz III. The judge ruled that nearly all documents related to the case should be made public by tomorrow.
· Summing up Scott's fate. It's Scott's last chance. Whether fertilizer salesman Scott Peterson is convicted of murdering his pregnant wife, Laci Peterson, and dumping her body in San Francisco Bay may likely be determined in closing arguments beginning tomorrow.
· 'Image is all' for PLO leader's fashion-loving young wife. If anything was guaranteed to annoy the Palestinians, it was a comment made by Yasser Arafat's wife after the birth of their daughter, Zahwa. As Suha Arafat proudly showed off the Palestinian leader's only child at the £1,100-a-night hospital in Paris in July 1995, she declared: "Our child was conceived in Gaza, but sanitary conditions there are terrible. I don't want to be a hero and risk my baby."
· Brokaw Opposes Permit for Big-Game Hunting. "NBC Nightly News" anchorman Tom Brokaw wants a judge to require a state board to reconsider its decision to grant a hunting permit to an outfitter who wants to guide big-game hunting trips on land next to Brokaw's ranch.
· Three U.N. workers taken hostage in Afghanistan. The Al-Jazeera anchor reported the two women and one man identified themselves on the videotape as Filipino, Irish, and Kosovar. One of the female hostages can be heard saying in English: "I thought I could help a Muslim country."
Saturday, October 30, 2004
· CBS has exclusive on Ashlee SNL snafu. When Ashlee Simpson ran off the "Saturday Night Live" stage last week after her lip-sync gone awry, CBS' 60 Minutes cameras were there to record her embarrassing exit, and the reaction from show creator Lorne Michaels and other shocked SNL staff members.
· Two telephone line repairmen shot. A man armed with a gun emerged from his home Friday and opened fire on two workers repairing telephone lines nearby, police said. After the shooting, the gunman ran back inside. He surrendered to SWAT team officers about an hour later.
· Bill bucks buy cup o' joe. Bill O'Reilly's accuser showed no signs of letting her multimillion-dollar windfall affect her yesterday as she spent the morning in typical New York fashion - grousing about a $4 cup of coffee. "It's over and I get to move on now," Andrea Mackris said a day after the 33-year-old TV producer and her former boss agreed to an out-of-court settlement reportedly worth between $2 million and $10 million for her.
· Renee's lingerie-mail. Renee Zellweger sends used undies home by courier — because she doesn’t want airport security men handling them. Renee says she is often stopped by officials because she is famous.
· Man run over while sun-bathing. A 22-year-old man is recovering in hospital after being run over while sun-bathing on his driveway. "He was sun-bathing on his driveway and someone coming to the house ... has run over him," the spokesman said.
· Maestro cuffed after curtain. A Metropolitan Opera conductor was unceremoniously arrested Thursday night as the curtain fell on "La Boheme" at Lincoln Center - his baton replaced by handcuffs. City cops arrested Daniel Oren, 49, after his second wife, Shumilith Orvieto, claimed the maestro stiffed her out of $100,000 in spousal support.
· Bin Laden's Reemergence Shakes Up Campaign. Osama bin Laden's sudden reappearance on videotape sent President Bush and Democrat John Kerry into a sharp final round of argument over which one can defeat terrorism and make Americans safe, the transcendent questions of the campaign.
· Living near power lines can 'double child cancer risk.' Children living under high-voltage power lines could run double the risk of getting cancer, new research reportedly suggests. Those living to the cables are more likely to suffer from leukaemia, the study indicates.
· Man evicted from cave in New Mexico. Authorities have evicted a man from a cave on Los Alamos National Laboratory land where they say he apparently lived for years with the comforts of home - a wood-burning stove, solar panels connected to car batteries for electricity and a satellite radio.
· Exploding battery sends Edwards' plane back to airport. More plane trouble for Senator John Edwards while campaigning for the Democratic ticket. A nine-volt battery exploded into flames in his jet's press cabin soon after takeoff from Raleigh, NC. An emergency was immediately declared, and the plane turned around.
· 'Take a hike,' jury tells drunk. A Manhattan jury said "no way Jose" to a man who sued cops for not holding him tightly enough after he allegedly beat his wife and then drunkenly fell down some steps. Jose Ordonez, 48, had asked the panel to award him more than $500,000, arguing that the arresting officers knew he was drunk and should have held him more securely since he was unsteady on his feet.
Friday, October 29, 2004
· Another Man Denies A Lewinsky Relationship. A New York journalist wants to make it clear: he is not having a sexual relationship with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky. Responding to an October 24 New York Post gossip item identifying him as Monica's latest squeeze, Perry van der Meer, 40, contends that he is not the former White House intern's new boyfriend and does not go on "romantic strolls" with her.
· Judge: Peterson jury may consider lesser charge. The judge in the Scott Peterson case ruled Friday that the jury will be allowed to consider a lesser murder charge that would spare the former fertilizer salesman a possible death sentence if convicted.
· Bin Laden Condemns Bush, Says New Attacks Possible. Osama bin Laden burst into the U.S. election campaign on Saturday, releasing his first video tape in more than a year to deride President Bush and warn of possible new Sept. 11-style attacks.
· American Muslim scumbag speaks out. A Muslim man wearing dark glasses and an Arab headdress said "The magnitude and ferocity of what is coming your way will make you forget all about September 11th,” the man calling himself "Azzam the American” says on the video. “After decades of American tyranny and oppression, now it's your turn to die. Allah willing, the streets of America will run red with blood, matching drop for drop the blood of America's victims.”
· Maria Shriver Breaks Her Foot. The curse of the Bambino wasn't the only thing that was shattered during the Boston Red Sox's championship run. Faithful Red Sox fan Maria Shriver broke her foot. When the Sox's David Ortiz smacked a 14th-inning single, an excited Shriver jumped off the sofa - landing on one of her children's shoes, breaking her foot.
· Dot-com bombs get an archive of their own. For more than two years, Kirsch, a professor of entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland, has been frantically collecting business plans of the dot-com era. To let these documents lie idle and scattered is to risk losing an important piece of American business and cultural history, he argues.
· Brother Urges Hacking to Plead Guilty. A man charged with killing his wife and dumping her body in the trash should "be a man" and plead guilty to her murder, the woman's brother wrote to the suspect.
· Bush Campaign Drops 'Still the One.' The Bush campaign abruptly stopped using the 1970's hit "Still the One" at campaign rallies Friday after the songwriter, no fan of the president, claimed the Republicans never got permission.
· Cher song dropped after audience laughs at soundtrack. Cher's title song for the remake of "Alfie" has reportedly been dropped after test audiences laughed at the track. That's ironic, because Cher sang the theme for the original 1966 movie.
· Ex-hostage unchanged. When former Beirut hostage Tom Sutherland won a $353 million judgment (and cash settlement of $17.25 million) against Iran 31/2 years ago, he promised it wouldn't change him. "We drink a lot more champagne around here than we used to," Sutherland said.
· Executive Accused of Killing Mother, 90. A Chicago executive facing $672,000 in debts was charged with committing a bankruptcy fraud scheme that included setting a fire that killed his 90-year-old mother and making it look like a suicide.
· NAACP leader's speech probed for tax-exempt offense. The Internal Revenue Service is investigating whether a speech by National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Chairman Julian Bond last summer that criticized the Bush administration violated a federal law that prohibits tax-exempt charitable organizations from engaging in most forms of political activity.
· Arnold, Mel debate over stem cells and phone etiquette. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger expressed disbelief Thursday that Mel Gibson thought the governor all but hung up on him when the "The Passion of the Christ" director called to talk about embryonic stem-cell research.
· Actor Rip Torn Acquitted of DUI Charges. Rip Torn was acquitted of drunken driving charges Thursday by a jury that deliberated less than two hours - and then was treated to a personal thank you from the Emmy-winning actor in the courthouse.
· David Hasselhoff Pleads No Contest to DUI. Actor David Hasselhoff pleaded no contest Thursday to a charge of driving under the influence and was ordered to enroll in an alcohol program for six months.
» What a big Bill! Bill O'Reilly and the decades-younger producer who claimed he tormented her with unwanted phone sex reached an out-of-court settlement last night - putting a seeming end to an embarrassing sex scandal for the Fox News superstar. Sources told the Daily News that O'Reilly will have to pay Andrea Mackris at least $2 million - and possibly as much as $10 million.
· Child to 911 dispatcher: 'My daddy killed me with a butcher knife.' A seriously wounded 8-year-old boy calmly described his father's deadly knife rampage during a call for help to 911. "My daddy killed me with a knife and I'm gone," the boy told a dispatcher. "Can you please send the Army men or the ambulance?"
· 'Azzam the American' Threatens U.S. A man wearing dark glasses and an Arab headdress wrapped around his face claims to be an American member of Al Qaeda and promises attacks that will make the streets of America "run red with blood" in a video aired Thursday night.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Assiduous [as·sid·u·ous] adj. 1. Constant in application or attention; diligent: "An assiduous worker who strove for perfection." 2. Unceasing; persistent: "Assiduous cancer research."
· Prez Ah-nold? The Gipper did it, so why not The Terminator? Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to run for president. "Yes, absolutely," the muscleman tells CBS' "60 Minutes" in an interview set to air Sunday. Even though the Austrian-born California governor cannot seek the presidency unless the U.S. Constitution is amended to make foreign-born citizens eligible, he's mulling the idea. "Why not? With my way of thinking, you always shoot for the top," Schwarzenegger said.
· Rudy faults G.I.s on lost cache. Rudy Giuliani stepped all over President Bush's message of the day when he suggested yesterday that U.S. troops and not the White House were responsible for the missing explosives in Iraq. "The actual responsibility for it really would be for the troops that were there," Giuliani said on NBC's "Today" show. "Did they search carefully enough? Didn't they search carefully enough?"
· NASA mulls early retirement for space shuttle. Even as NASA gears up for the space shuttle's return to flight next year, officials at the space agency are quietly studying the possibility of cutting back its number of missions and retiring the spacecraft years ahead of schedule.
Thursday, October 28, 2004
Bill O'Reilly Settles Sex Case. Fox News Channel television host Bill O'Reilly and a former producer of his talk show have agreed to settle their legal dispute over her allegations of sexual harassment, O'Reilly's lawyer announced Thursday.
Andrea Mackris had claimed O'Reilly made a series of explicit phone calls to her, advised her to use a vibrator and telling her about sexual fantasies involving her. O'Reilly actually sued Mackris hours before her case was filed Oct. 13.
The talk show host said he was fighting an extortion attempt, that Mackris and her lawyer demanded $60 million in "hush money" to make the case quietly go away. O'Reilly, who's married, is host of the top-rated prime-time cable news program - and he's seen his ratings go up by 30 percent since the case was filed.
· "Ferris Bueller" star Jeffrey Jones hit with teen sex suit. More than a year after actor Jeffrey Jones was convicted of paying a boy to pose for explicit photos, the teenager, now 19, has sued the star of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" for alleged sexual abuse.
· Condoms With Madonna's Face To Be Handed Out At University. The University of Kansas is about to be flooded with condoms featuring the face of pop superstar Madonna. The health department will be given 21,000 Madonna Condoms, with an authorized picture of the pop star on the wrapper.
· Elton John Ready to Apologize to Madonna Elton John is ready to apologize to Madonna after recently accusing the pop star of lip-synching. "Would I apologize to her if I saw her?" said John. "Yeah, because I don't want to hurt any artist's feelings. It was my fault. I instigated the whole thing. But it applies to all those bloody teenage singers."
· Large Plane Part Falls From Sky. A large piece of an Delta Airlines plane fell from the sky Wednesday and landed on a mobile home in Pinellas County, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. The part was discovered to be a section of a plane's main landing gear.
· Lawyer: Consensual sex is not child porn. The lawyer for a man convicted for videotaping consensual sex with his 17-year-old girlfriend argues that the former high school teacher should not have been prosecuted under a child pornography law.
· France Minister Seeks Funding for Mosques. France's finance minister, a presidential hopeful, says mosques need state funding and it's time for a century-old law banning financing for religious groups to be modernized, according to excerpts of a new book hitting the shelves on today.
· Woman says Love attacked her with bottle. A woman has testified that U.S. singer-actress Courtney Love threw a whiskey bottle in her face during an attack that left her with bruises, nail marks and a chipped tooth.
· Chicago Tribune Pulls 'Vulgar' Section. A preprinted section was pulled from Wednesday's Chicago Tribune because it contained an article discussing the use of a vulgar slang term in referring to women, according to the newspaper. The article, under the headline "You c_nt say that," was on the front page of a weekly section called WomanNews.
· Chris Rock Radio Ad Bleeped For Gospel Stations. In one 30-second spot, Rock says: "If you think voting is a waste of time, then I have three words for you: You are crazy. Your ancestors got hit in the head with bricks and got bitten in the ass by German Shepherds so you could vote."
· Caregiver Stores Dead Woman in Freezer. Detectives who responded to a Tallahassee apartment found the body of a 57-year-old woman inside a chest-style freezer, Capt. Bruce Roberts said. Police said the caregiver arrived at the woman's apartment about a week ago and found her dead, then put her in the freezer.
· Red wine key to cancer prevention. A glass of red wine a day could keep tumors at bay according to a study of men with lung cancer. Research published in the specialist medical magazine Thorax suggested that each daily glass of red wine gives 13% protection against cancer when compared with non-drinkers.
· Man Has Odd Defense for Attempted Murder. A man who said he threw a live electrical wire into his wife's bath hoping a near-death experience would save their marriage was convicted of attempted first-degree intentional homicide Wednesday.
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
· Americans getting taller, fatter. Americans' waistlines are growing faster than their height, according to a new government report. The report, released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says adults are roughly 1 inch taller than in the 1960s, on average. But they're nearly 25 pounds heavier.
» Big Dummies Mean Big Business. With more high-end designers creating profitable lines for larger women, department stores are ordering bigger dummies to replace the skinny manis that traditionally modeled clothes of all sizes. Standard mannequin size is size 4, with measurements copied from models like Christy Turlington — a fraction of the average American woman's size 14.
· Boston Red Sox Poised to Win First Series Since 1918. Manny Ramirez drove in two runs, including a solo homer, and Pedro Martinez set down 14 straight batters as the Boston Red Sox defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 4-1 Tuesday night to move within a victory of their first World Series title since 1918.
· Prosecution to Begin Rebuttal in Peterson Case. Scott Peterson's lawyer wrapped up his case without calling his client to testify, instead relying on experts and family members to show why the former fertilizer salesman didn't kill his pregnant wife, Laci.
· Bush website blocked outside U.S. Surfers outside the US have been unable to visit the official re-election site of President George W Bush. The international exclusion zone around georgewbush.com was spotted by net monitoring firm Netcraft which keeps an eye on traffic patterns across many different sites.
· Web kidney donor says he'll take polygraph. A man who gave up one of his kidneys in response to a commercial Web site solicitation said Tuesday he would be willing to take a lie detector test to show he did not sell the organ, despite claims to the contrary. "I'm being treated like garbage by the media and I haven't even committed a crime," said Rob Smitty, 32.
· Medical Journal to Be Available Online. A new online medical journal will make its research articles available to the public free of charge and accessible through the Internet. The Public Library of Science Medicine (PLoS Medicine) was launched earlier this month and will be available to physicians, patients, scientists and anyone with Internet access.
· Man arrested in assault on Katherine Harris. A man accused of attempting to run over U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris with his Cadillac was arrested today. “I was exercising my political expression,” Barry Seltzer told officers, according to the arrest report. “I did not run them down, I scared them a little.”
· What a deal! Drug dealer allowed tax deduction on slolen drug money. An Australian court ruled Wednesday that a convicted heroin dealer can claim a $200,000 tax deduction for money that was stolen during a drug deal.
· Ready for Faster Check Cashing? Consumers who rely on the float period (the lag time between when a check is deposited and when the funds clear) to get by every month are soon going to find themselves out of luck. Starting tomorrow, a federal law called Check 21, will allow banks to process checks immediately.
· Stern challenges FCC chairman on air. Howard Stern got into a heated exchange with Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell during a radio call-in show Tuesday, with the shock jock saying the only reason Powell is in his position is because of his father, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell.
· Siegfried & Roy ready to let cat out of the bag. Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn, the hugely popular big cat tamers who were sidelined when Horn was mauled by a tiger last year, are secretly shopping around their joint memoir.
· 'Gone With the Wind' Maker Gets Star. Even though he produced "Gone with the Wind" and other movie classics, David O. Selznick never had his own star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame. That oversight was corrected Tuesday when the Producers Guild sponsored the late producer's star on Hollywood Boulevard, a half-block from Grauman's Chinese theater where many of his films played.
· Brittany apologizes for small manhood gaff. Brittany Murphy has apologized for hinting ex-boyfriend Ashton Kutcher has a small manhood. The sexy actress, who dated the handsome star after meeting him on the set of 'Just Married', revealed Ashton's little secret on a recent US chat show while talking about his relationship with older woman Demi Moore.
· U.S. marshal gets $129,000 salary for a few hours' work. A Boston Globe investigation found that a U.S. marshal, who is paid $129,000 to protect judges, juries, and jailed suspects at Massachusetts' three federal courthouses, rarely puts in a full day on the job.
· FBI Ends Mafia Burial Ground Dig. The FBI ended a three-week excavation of a vacant New York City lot suspected of being a mob cemetery after finding just two skeletons and abandoning hope of unearthing more bodies.
· Just call him bobby on spot. A visiting British bobby instantly proved himself one of New York's Finest yesterday when he tackled a knife-wielding wacko who allegedly stabbed a Diamond District jewelry clerk.
· 7-Eleven Gives Woman $711 Bonus for Baby. For 7-Eleven employee Erin Kappen, a surprise was in store when she had a baby. Because Parker John VanWormer weighed 7 pounds and 11 ounces when he was born Oct. 4, Kappen received a check for $711 from Garb-Ko Inc., which operates the Essexville 7-Eleven store where she has worked part-time for 18 months.
· Woman accused of stealing Bush signs says it's not political. A Clearwater woman is accused of stealing her neighbor's political signs after a homemade sting. "I am trying to help him alleviate a $50-a-day fine, which is what they charge you in this homeowners association," explained Nancy Rapp.
· Martha called a survivor. Who knew that jailed domestic diva Martha Stewart and reality television guru Mark Burnett were such close friends? Burnett, who has signed a deal with Stewart and NBC for an "Apprentice"-type reality show and a daily lifestyle show, trekked to West Virginia on Friday to visit her in prison.
· Teacher charged with raping a minor. New Madrid County, Missouri Sheriff's Department charged 47 year old Susan Sharp with 4 felony counts involving high school boys. In addition to the rape charges, Sharp, a teacher at New Madrid Central Middle School, has also been charged with providing drugs and alcohol to minors.
· Norovirus Confirmed As Flamingo Hotel Illness. Health officials have identified what caused dozens of people to fall ill at the Flamingo hotel last week. The Flamingo says they will fog all the 3,500 rooms in the hotel with an anti-viral chemical.
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
· Arnold mocks chubby Teddy. Uncle by marriage isn't stopping California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger from poking fun at Senator Ted Kennedy's weight. At a campaign appearance for a Republican candidate to the California Assembly, Schwarzenegger said "My kids just brought home a beautiful pumpkin, but you know what? I'm going to return it because it's a Democratic pumpkin. It has the orange color of John Kerry's tan, and the roundness of Teddy Kennedy," said the Republican governor.
· Bed dining puts the 'rest' in 'restaurant.' The latest trend is eateries that offer beds instead of tables and chairs, giving New York residents the chance to do as the Romans did and indulge in a meal out while reclining.
· St. Louis arch turns pink. The 630-foot arch was lit in pink Monday evening in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Normally, the national monument is bathed in white light. About 100 people were on hand for the lighting, including a Missouri woman who is battling breast cancer.
· Williams sister killed in gang war. A trigger-happy street gangster named Baby Spank killed the sister of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams as he defended a Los Angeles crack house from gangland rivals, a Los Angeles court was told yesterday.
· Gay 'dogfight.' A lover's squabble between a gay couple who groom the dogs of Jennifer Lopez, Pee Diddy and Janet Jackson turned bloody when one pet primper allegedly stabbed his partner with a pair of scissors. The fur flew between the owners of Midtown pet salon Doggie Do and Pussycats, Too, after one accused the other of embezzling money from their business.
· 'Jeopardy!' champ tops $2 million, but his run may be ending. The game show's all-time winner increased his total to more than $2,006,000 on Monday's show. It was his 59th straight winning Jeopardy appearance. Jennings also has the longest winning streak in game show history.
· Three Charged With Sending Spam in Virginia. Three people who allegedly sent America Online customers millions of junk e-mail messages touting penny stocks and other Internet gimmicks went on trial Tuesday in the nation's first such felony case. The three face up to 15 years in prison if convicted on all three counts.
· Peterson Defense Rests Case. Scott Peterson's defense lawyers rested their case Tuesday without calling him to the stand, taking a fraction of the time spent in the prosecution phase. Judge Alfred A. Delucchi told jurors the prosecution would call eight rebuttal witnesses Wednesday. After any defense rebuttal to that, the court will be off until Monday, when closing arguments are set to begin.
· Elvis Presley tops dead rich list. Elvis Presley has come top of a list of the highest-earning dead celebrities, with an annual income of $40 million. Fans of The King have continued to snap up merchandise and visit his Graceland home 27 years after his death.
· Segways speed up candidates' canvassing. Battery-powered Segway scooters, first unveiled three years ago, are being used by some politicians this election year as an easy ride to door-to-door campaigning.
· Pilot Error Blamed for Flight 587 Crash. The co-pilot of American Airlines Flight 587 caused the November 2001 crash that claimed the lives of 265 people, the staff of the nation's airline safety agency reported Tuesday. The short-lived flight departing from JFK airport was the second deadliest plane crash on U.S. soil.
· New Yorkers unhappy with deadbeat diplomats. That was the widespread reaction to a Daily News report Sunday on foreign nations that try to evade property taxes on their fancy New York City buildings. The News reported that seven nations have tax balances totaling $106 million, but without federal help, city officials have little power to collect on those bills.
· Fatal attraction of swallowed magnets. American scientists have identified yet another improbable accident waiting to happen. Don't, they warn today, ever let your baby swallow two magnets at the same time. "Any time more than one magnet passes beyond the stomach of a child, urgent surgical consideration is required," doctors warned. If the magnets pass beyond the stomach, they can lodge in the gut, attract each other through opposing intestinal walls, and stop each other from moving on.
· Actor Arrested for Punching Leading Lady. An actor playing a stressed-out soldier in a local stage production was arrested after he punched his leading lady in the face and then beat up the director backstage just before a scheduled performance, police said.
· Dallas judge throws party for man before sending him to prison for life. A Dallas judge welcomed fugitive back to her court, throwing him a party that included balloons and a cake. Then, she sent him to prison for life. "You just made my day when I heard you had finally come home," Criminal Courts Judge Faith Johnson told Billy Williams, who was captured Thursday by a fugitive task force after nearly a year on the run.
· Peterson's parents take stand to defend son. Scott Peterson's mother withdrew $20,000 in cash in the days before her son was arrested and gave him thousands of dollars in exchange for his pickup truck, she told jurors in his double murder trial Monday.
· NTSB examining cause of Hendrick plane crash. One of auto racing's most successful dynasties was in mourning after a plane owned by Hendrick Motorsports crashed in thick fog en route to a NASCAR race, killing all 10 people aboard, including the son, brother and two nieces of owner Rick Hendrick.
· Newspaper sorry for Bush assassination remark. A British newspaper apologized Monday for a weekend article in which a writer appeared to call for the assassination of President Bush. In a regular column in The Guardian newspaper's Saturday TV listings magazine, Charlie Brooker described Bush in scathing terms, and concluded: "John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr., where are you now that we need you?"
· Blake Juror Screening Gets Off to Slow Start. The search for a jury to decide whether or not actor Robert Blake murdered his wife got off to a halting start Monday with only 20 of the first 133 prospects saying they could be available for a long trial.
· 'Stump the Geek' Helps Google Recruit Tech's Elite. Google Inc. locates almost anything on the Web within seconds, but finding the brainy engineers who program the company's lightning-quick search engine takes more time - and a quirky bit of ingenuity.
· John Deere, iRobot Team Up to Make Robot. In a trailblazing pairing of robotics and tractor companies, iRobot and John Deere announced plans Monday to build a 9-foot-long semi-autonomous battlefield vehicle.
· FBI: Overall crime falls, murder toll rises. More than 16,500 people were murdered in the United States last year an FBI report has revealed. Last year, 16,503 murders were committed in the United States, a 1.7 per cent rise over 2002, it said. The Crime in the United States, 2003 report found 9 out of 10 murder victims were adults and 78 per cent were males. Nearly half of the victims, 48.5 per cent, were black.
· Tangled chute is cited in crash. A Springfield man's parachute opened early and tangled around the tail of a single-engine plane as he was preparing to jump, killing him and sending the plane into a nose dive that caused the other five men aboard to bail out.
· Secretary gets prison time for stealing $22 million. A company secretary who stole more than $22 million from the companies of Port Adelaide Football Club sponsor Allan Scott to feed a gambling habit has been jailed for at least nine years.
· Cup of tea may help boost memory. Drinking regular cups of tea could help improve your memory, research suggests. A team from Newcastle University found green and black tea inhibited the activity of key enzymes in the brain associated with memory.
· Three drown in SUV accident. Three women returning from a birthday party in Newark drowned when the driver lost control of a Jeep Cherokee and went off the road, plunging into a river as the women frantically called a friend on a cell phone instead of dialing 911.
Monday, October 25, 2004
· Hit by bullet, female trucker stayed at the wheel. The first thought that crossed Amy Holder's mind when she was shot in the head wasn't the pain, the blood that ran down her face or the broken glass that sprayed across her lap. The Paris Crossing, Indiana truck driver's first priority was keeping her 78,500-pound semi from swerving into other traffic.
· Update: Ashlee Owns Up, Takes Responsibility For 'SNL' Lip-Synch Snafu. Although she'd initially blamed her band, Ashlee Simpson took full responsibility for her lip-synching snafu on "SNL," saying that her voice was ragged from too much work.
» Ashlee Simpson to Sing Live Again Tonight. Singer Ashlee Simpson gets another chance to sing live - perhaps - on national television Monday after walking off "Saturday Night Live" in a does-she-or-doesn't-she lip-synch moment.
» Simpson Dad Blames Acid Reflux for Gaffe. If Ashlee Simpson's stomach was upset Saturday night, imagine how she's feeling now. Busted for a "Saturday Night Live" lip-synch gone awry, her manager-father said Monday his 19-year-old daughter used the extra help because acid reflux had made her voice hoarse.
· Wayne Newton Gets Vegas Reality Show. Mr. Las Vegas is set to star in a new reality television series for E! Entertainment Television. The show, titled "The Entertainer," will be a cross between "American Idol" and "The Apprentice," casting Newton as the leader of a panel of judges who will try to pick a fresh, new face to perform in his show at the Stardust.
· TV Meteorologist Accused Of Soliciting Sex With Minor. South Florida TV meteorologist Bill Kamal was arrested Sunday in Fort Pierce as part of an investigation into sexual predators. Authorities say Kamal set up a meeting for sex over the Internet.
· Ashlee's Career is Sync-ing Fast. Ashlee Simpson was a lip-syncing laughingstock yesterday after she got caught using prerecorded vocals on live TV. In a humiliating appearance on "Saturday Night Live," Simpson held a microphone at her hip while her voice boomed from the speakers - then inexplicably blamed her band for making her look like a karaoke coward.
One of her former fans laughed out loud when she saw the flub. "I'm glad she finally got caught. She's so bad," 16-year-old Mari Vievering said. "You've got to kind of feel bad for her. You're supposed to be a singer and you're not, and then you get caught."
· Saturday Night Live tried to cover it up. After an embarrassed Ashlee Simpson was hopping around like a fool as her recorded voice played in the background, SNL editors were busy pulling the recorded voice track off the tape so the fraud would not be so obvious to West Coast viewers who saw it (without the karaoke track) 3 hours later.
A blogger on Simpson's official Web site claimed to have backstage information leading up to the gaffe.
"Ashlee can't sing. She tried all day Friday, but was whining to her voice coach. They decided to leave her mic on so she could sing along to the track, but after the first line or two of the first song, (they) turned her off cause she was awful."
In a previous interview with Lucky Magazine, Ashlee Simpson was asked for her take on lip-synching. "I'm totally against it and offended by it," Simpson said. "I'm going out to let my real talent show, not to just stand there and dance around. Personally, I'd never lip-synch. It's just not me..."
Ashlee's Career: October 23, 2004 - October 24, 2004 RIP
· NASCAR team owner's family killed in plane crash. A plane owned by the Hendrick Motorsports organization crashed Sunday on its way to a NASCAR race, killing all 10 people aboard, including the son, brother and two nieces of the owner of one of auto racing's most successful teams. Hendrick owns the teams of Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Terry Labonte and Brian Vickers.
-The next First Lady? Just one more reason
why some people shouldn't drink.
· Will movies keep betting on Ben? If Ben Affleck can't survive "Surviving Christmas," the latest in a series of critically ravaged turkeys on his downwardly mobile résumé, what's left for the one-time golden boy? Turning his in-our-face relationship with Jennifer Lopez into a soap opera? Wait a minute. They did that. And it, too, is so over.
· 'Grudge' terrifies competition. "The Grudge," a low-budget horror movie starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, delivered an additional shock Sunday by selling $40 million worth of tickets in its first three days at the North American box office, doubling the expectations of its distributor.
· Electoral College is too strongly rooted to be replaced. The system for picking the president is wildly unfair, say those calling for its abolition. Inequities abound, they say. Wyoming has three electoral votes, so every 71,000 votes cast in 2000 equaled one electoral vote. California had 54 electoral votes in 2000, so 200,000 votes equaled one electoral vote. Whatever happened to one man, one vote?
· Condom cupcake. A young Manhattan woman split open her breakfast muffin — only to find what seemed to be a condom baked inside. Theresa VanHorn, a 29-year-old writer at MTV Networks, said she was eating a muffin from her office building's bodega on West 50th Street in New York when she found a piece of latex baked into the crumbly delicacy. VanHorn called the Health Department to report it, but was told not to bother. The representative added that the department routinely gets complaints of foreign objects in food and doesn't have time to deal with them.
· A little something to stand out in a crowd. Nick Dagostino of Saratoga Springs, NY wanted to build a bike that would stand out from the crowd. A bike he could park and never worry about a similar bike being nearby. Nick decided to build an in-line 3 wheeler with the emphasis on horsepower. [website pages load slowly]
· Skater sustained concussion in head-first fall. World champion pairs skater Tatiana Totmianina was released from the hospital Sunday, a day after sustaining a concussion in a fall during the free skating program at Skate America. Totmianina fell on the ice face-first Saturday night when partner Maxim Marinin dropped her while performing a one-handed lift.
Sunday, October 24, 2004
· NASCAR team plane crashes en route to race. A twin-engine plane owned by stock car racing team Hendrick Motor Sports crashed en route to Sunday afternoon's Subway 500 race in Martinsville, Virginia, NASCAR officials said. Hendrick owns cars driven by Brian Vickers, Jeff Gordon and Terry Labonte.
· UPDATE: `Saturday Night Live' gaffe exposes Ashlee Simpson. Singer Ashlee Simpson's "extra help" may have been exposed when a "Saturday Night Live" audience heard her voice singing the wrong song while she held a microphone at her waist. Although her record company blamed a computer glitch, Simpson threw her band under the bus for the SNL incident.
· Minister Ailing After Daughters on 'Oprah.' A former Lincoln County minister was hospitalized after his adult daughters went on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and accused him of molesting them. It was unclear Saturday whether he would be well enough for Monday's scheduled start of his trial on sex abuse charges involving one of the daughters in Yadkin County Superior Court.
· Bees 'hold key to alcohol abuse.' Scientists believe the honey bee may hold the key to understanding how alcohol addiction affects humans. Researchers at Ohio State University in the US have found that bees react to alcohol in the same way as people do.
· How covers came off O'Reilly sex scandal. On Sept. 29, a messenger hand delivered a six-paragraph letter to the office of Peter Chernin, president and chief operating officer of News Corp., the parent company of Fox News. Over the course of the next two weeks, in-house attorneys for Fox and News Corp. met six times with attorney Benedict Morelli in his offices.
Word of The Day by WordThink
Cathartic [ca·thar·tic] adj. Producing a feeling of being purified emotionally, spiritually, or psychologically as a result of an intense emotional experience or therapeutic technique. "The strength of the movie had a cathartic effect on her."
· Record companies subpoenaed. New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's office is investigating whether the United States' largest record companies are skirting payola laws by hiring middlemen to influence which songs are heard on the public airwaves.
Saturday, October 23, 2004
· Frightened candidate abruptly walks off stage. An Indiana congressional candidate abruptly ended a debate because she got stage fright. Democrat Maria Parra walked off a television stage Thursday, ending what would have been her only debate with Republican incumbent Mark Souder in the 3rd District race.
· Stewart Adjusting to Prison, Daughter Says. Martha Stewart has been exercising, reading and making friends in prison, but the food at the minimum-security prison camp in West Virginia is "terrible," the domestic diva's daughter said Friday. "I'm sure she could give them quite a few pointers, but I think that the budget is so limited that ... I'm not sure how much change they'd be willing to make," Alexis Stewart said on CNN's Larry King Live.
· Lenny Kravitz sued over clogged toilet. Court papers filed yesterday claim the rocker's penthouse toilet got clogged with "various materials" and flooded his downstairs neighbor's apartment at the high-profile loft building at 30 Crosby Street. Now the insurance company that paid to clean up the mess, wants Kravitz to reimburse it to the tune of $333,849.77.
· O'Reilly, accuser cash-talking now. Lawyers on both sides of the Bill O'Reilly sex harassment case began intense negotiations yesterday to hammer out a deal, the Daily News has learned. They met late into the night at an undisclosed location in Manhattan.
· Joan anger at frisk strip. Joan Collins spoke last night of her “humiliation” after Heathrow airport security staff ordered her to strip off items of clothing in front of other passengers. The ex-Dynasty soap queen had to remove her hat, sunglasses, jacket and shoes as she queued for a Virgin flight to LA yesterday with fifth husband Percy Gibson, 38.
· Mom stopped CPR to help EMTs. A Bronx mom had to stop giving CPR to her dying son to help get an EMS ambulance into her building complex, former City Councilman Pedro G. Espada said yesterday. Maritza Robles was called back by a 911 operator asking her to intervene to get paramedics past security at the Stevenson Commons complex in Soundview, Espada said.
· Man's Body Found In Wheel Well Of Miami-Detroit Jetliner. A man's body was found early Friday in the wheel well of an American Airlines jet from Miami landing at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. The body was found about 1 a.m. by an airport worker after passengers had disembarked. The man's identity and cause of death were not immediately known.
· Crashed plane lacked updated warning system. A commuter plane that crashed while approaching an airport this week lacked an updated system that warns pilots when they fly too low, equipment that will be required next year, investigators said.
· Lennon 'stalked by the President's men.' Richard Nixon's aides tried to get John Lennon thrown out of America amid fears that he would disrupt the president's plans for a second term, FBI papers have revealed.
· Three-quarters of Brit workers drunk after lunch. An alarming 76 per cent of employees are coming back to work drunk after taking a "liquid lunch", according to a new survey carried out by Peninsula employment law constancy. The results show that an increasing number of employees are consuming alcohol during their lunch break - a trend that could harm the reputation and productivity of a business.
· Homeowner goes on vacation, stranger moves in. A woman came home from vacation to find a stranger living there, wearing her clothes, changing utilities into her name and even ripping out carpet and repainting a room she didn't like, authorities said.
· Stranded climbers agree to be helped off El Capitan. Two climbers who had refused offers to be helped off the face of Yosemite National Park's El Capitan relented today and are back on the ground at this hour. The pair agreed to be hoisted to the top of El Cap after refusing an earlier invitation to be rescued by the teams that removed the bodies of a Japanese couple that perished on the face of the thirty-two hundred foot mountain after a snow storm struck the Sierra.
Friday, October 22, 2004
· Alcohol Will Be Sold During World Series Games. Alcohol will be sold at Boston bars during the World Series, afterall. But Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and local bar owners have agreed to concessions to try to prevent rowdiness.
· Avon's Daughters Make Their 'Mark.' This is not your mother's Avon lady. Young women are primping and profiting as a result of Mark, beauty veteran Avon's trendy new line that targets the next generation of makeup users.
· Mickey Mantle's restaurant won't change name after all. A day after the owner of Mickey Mantle's restaurant said he would change the establishment's name to Ted Williams' and make employees wear Red Sox uniforms during the World Series, admitted the idea was a joke.
· Grand jury halts murder charge indictment. The man who shot and killed a would-be thief in his yard will not face murder charges after a Gloucester County grand jury voted against indicting him. Neighbors had protested when Robert J. Clark Jr. was first charged with murder after slaying a man who was trying to steal his all-terrain vehicle from a backyard shed.
· Men Nail Conservative Ann Coulter With Pies. Two men ran on stage and threw custard pies at Coulter as she was giving a speech at the University of Arizona Thursday night. Coulter was hit in the shoulder. The men were arrested by university police.
· O'Reilly accuser to cut deal? Andrea Mackris may be ready to settle her sex-harassment battle with Fox TV host Bill O'Reilly. Her lawyer made a back-channel overture to O'Reilly's team on Tuesday, according to a source close to O'Reilly. Yesterday, an unconfirmed news report stated Mackris is almost $100,000 in debt.
· Searchers Check Tips In Hunt For Missing Jet. A Seattle news station reported the missing plane was listed for sale on the online auction Web site eBay. The plane was painted to look like an Air Force jet. The asking price was $190,000.
· Boston police accept 'full responsibility' in death of Red Sox fan. The Boston Police Department "accepts full responsibility" for the death of a 21-year-old college student killed by a police projectile fired to disperse crowds celebrating the Boston Red Sox victory over the New York Yankees.
· Flasher Farrell: I liked heroin. Wildman actor Colin Farrell claimed he would calm down after the birth of his son, James, a year ago. But it appears he is back to his foulmouthed worst, after confessing to a love of flashing and having tried heroin, according to a London newspaper.
· Shatner aims for real 'Star Trek.' William Shatner wants to boldly go where he's only pretended to go so far. The "Star Trek" star is among more than 7,000 people who have told Richard Branson they would gladly pay him $210,000 for a trip aboard his planned spacecraft, the entrepreneur said Friday.
· Peterson Defense Dealt Blow. Prosecutors Thursday attacked a witness critical to Scott Peterson's defense who nervously conceded he made an assumption as he calculated when Laci Peterson's fetus died.
· They flu to Canada. The U.S. government may be having a tough time getting flu shots from Canada, but hundreds of desperate New Yorkers are trekking across the border to get the potentially lifesaving injections.
· Halliburton may keep disputed $billions. The Army is laying the groundwork to let Halliburton Co. keep several billion dollars paid for work in Iraq that Pentagon auditors say is questionable or unsupported by proper documentation, according to a report published Friday.
· U2 Frontman Bono Finds His Missing Lyrics. A long-lost briefcase full of notes and lyrics that were intended for the 1981 U2 album "October" has been returned, 23 years after it was stolen at a Portland concert.
· Stewart Rails Against Real News. Before he went on CNN's "Crossfire" program and made news by lecturing its hosts, "Daily Show" comedy anchor Jon Stewart complained about cable news to 60 Minutes Correspondent Steve Kroft. Kroft's profile of the Comedy Central star and his satirical news show will be broadcast this Sunday.
· Google posts $52 million profit. Google Inc. exceeded analyst expectations in its first quarterly earnings report as a public company, propelled by a continued surge in online advertising distributed by its Internet-leading search engine.
Thursday, October 21, 2004
· Judge Rules Out Key Blake Defense Theory. In a blow to Robert Blake's defense, a judge ruled Thursday the actor's lawyer can't present jurors a theory that others, including the star prosecution witness, conspired to kill Blake's wife.
· U.S. gymnast Hamm can keep Olympic gold. Sports' highest court rejected a South Korean appeal Thursday, ruling that Hamm is the rightful champion in the men's all-around gymnastics competition at the Athens Games. The decision by a three-judge panel from the Court of Arbitration for Sport ends a saga that began more than two months ago when South Korea's Yang Tae-young claimed a scoring error cost him the title. Yang finished with the bronze medal.
· Martha Stewart's lawyers file appeal. Attorneys for Martha Stewart have filed an appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second District claiming that the process leading to her conviction was tainted.
· Her dad mad as hell, out to whup O'Reilly. Bill O'Reilly's accuser blasted him for pursuing a campaign of sleaze against her - and warned that her 74-year-old dad is out for blood. Andrea Mackris told the Daily News yesterday that the Fox talk-show host had "a lot to answer for, to his wife and to his God."
· Gotti Jr. to court: Hush Sliwa. Gotti lawyer Jeffrey Lichtman told a Manhattan federal judge yesterday he wants to muzzle Sliwa for making disparaging comments on his radio show about the late Dapper Don's son.
· Boston Red Sox Top Yanks to Win Historic AL Pennant. No curses this time. Johnny Damon clubbed two homers, including a grand slam, and drove in six runs as the Boston Red Sox defeated New York 10-3 to win the AL championship series in seven games and complete baseball's most historic comeback Wednesday night.
· With a week left, Bonds' homer ball tops $700K. Bidding for Barry Bonds' 700th home run ball has been feverish with the top bid exceeding $700,000 Wednesday night with a week still remaining in the online auction.
· Travolta threats put stars on high alert. JOHN Travolta and Kelly Preston, his actress wife, are under heavy guard after receiving threats. The couple arrived late as dogs, trained to sniff out explosives, checked guests at the premiere of Travolta's latest film – A Love Song for Bobby Long.
· Court rules whales, dolphins can't sue Bush. The world's whales, porpoises and dolphins have no standing to sue President George W Bush over the US Navy's use of sonar equipment that harms marine mammals, a federal appeals court has ruled.
· NEC launches world's fastest supercomputer. Japanese electronics giant NEC Corp, said it has begun selling the world's fastest supercomputer. NEC claimed its SX-8 is the most powerful 'vector-type' supercomputer, with a sustainable data processing speed well beyond IBM's recently unveiled Blue Gene/L supercomputer.
· Organizers told to stop using models as ball-girls. A senior Spanish government official on Tuesday asked the organizers of the Madrid Masters tennis tournament to stop using models as ball-girls, saying it was sexist.
· Kerry: Color 'em gone. John Kerry ridiculed President Bush's color-coded terror alert system and his wartime leadership yesterday as both candidates abandoned their domestic issue scripts to trade insults on national security.
· Michael Moore Brings Bush-Bashing to Utah. Filmmaker Michael Moore brought his Bush-bashing to conservative Utah Wednesday, saying he felt perfectly safe and was proud of student organizers who held firm against attempts to bar him from the Republican bastion.
· Catro hurt in fall. Cuba's president Fidel Castro has been injured after a fall. Bodyguards rushed to help the Communist leader when he tumbled after descending a flight of steps during a graduation ceremony in Santa Clara.
· Commander reassigned after unit refused duty. The company commander of a U.S. Army Reserve unit whose soldiers refused to deliver fuel along a dangerous route in Iraq has been relieved of her duties, the U.S. military said Thursday.
Wednesday, October 21, 2004
· Peterson Judge Gags NBC TV Analyst. Several television networks covering the Scott Peterson trial were caught in a tough spot Wednesday after a lawyer they've used as an objective legal analyst decided to provide some extracurricular help for the defense.
· Pastor's 'bomb' at airport was the Bible. As Nashville International Airport security screeners were searching through a man's carry-on bag, Jose Gonzalez announced that he had a bomb. He then plunged his hand into his luggage and withdrew a Bible, declaring, "This is my bomb," federal agents charge.
· Update: Motorcyclist says he was going fast, but not 205 mph. A motorcyclist who set jaws dropping across the nation last month when cops stopped him for going 205 miles per hour south of the Twin Cities tells a reporter for Midwest Quick Throttle Magazine in an upcoming issue that he was going closer to half that speed.
· Saboteur Knocked Orlando Radio Stations Off Air. Police in Orlando, Fla., believe an interruption in several radio station transmissions Tuesday night was the result of sabotage, according to Local 6 News. Investigators said an engineer for Cox Radio discovered someone broke into a transmission tower's breaker box, shut off the power and damaged a back-up generator. As a result, several radio stations were knocked off the air for about an hour.
· Lawmakers urged to get flu shot. Some members of Congress got flu shots before they headed home to campaign this month, despite the vaccine shortage. They were following the advice of the Capitol physician.
· Bryant files his version of encounter. Basketball star Kobe Bryant filed a formal answer Tuesday to Katelyn Faber's federal lawsuit, denying he raped her more than a year ago in Eagle County. "The plaintiff consented to all actions taken by Mr. Bryant during their encounter on June 30, 2003," the answer said.
· Air Canada emerges from bankrupcy to hire Celine Dion. After airline workers gave up more than $1 billion a year in cost cuts to help in the airline's restructuring, Air Canada management decided to use the extra money to hire Celine Dion to model its new uniforms.
· FBI Investigating Punctures Found In US Airways Jets. The FBI is investigating whether someone intentionally punched small holes in the bellies of two US Airways airliners. Airline officials described the holes as similar to those made by a screwdriver and said the punctures were unlikely to be caused by normal wear.
· Police use stun gun on 75-year-old woman. The Rock Hill, SC Police Department is investigating why a 35-year-old officer had to use a stun gun on a 75-year-old woman who refused to leave a nursing home where she had gone to visit an ailing friend.
· Doctor: Plane Crash Survivors 'Truly A Miracle.' Corporate Airlines Flight 5966 went down just south of Kirksville Regional Airport killing at least eight of the 15 people on board. Charles Zeman said doctors "see car accidents with worse injuries" every week after he treated a male survivor for a broken hip and a broken bone in his lower back.
· Love Pleads Guilty to Hitting Clubgoer. Rocker Courtney Love pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct Wednesday for hitting a clubgoer on the head with a microphone stand during a performance. Manhattan Court Judge Melissa Jackson granted Love a conditional discharge, meaning her case will be sealed after one year if she pays the victim $2,236 to cover medical expenses, joins a drug-treatment program and does not commit any other crimes.
· Customs officials accused in drug ring. Two customs officials were among 20 people accused of participating in a drug ring that smuggled millions of dollars in heroin, cocaine and marijuana from Mexico to the U.S., according to a federal complaint unsealed Tuesday.
· Martha Stewart stirs up tasty prison treats. An inmate at Camp Cupcake reportedly said the guru of good living spent some time last week picking crab apples from trees on the camp grounds and used them to cook up sweet jelly. "The normal person would get punished for that, but the prison guards managed not to see her," the inmate was quoted as saying.
· Reality Catches Up With Reality TV. Old standbys like "Fear Factor" and "The Bachelor" have experienced significant ratings declines. Newer shows that enjoyed good ratings, such as "The Apprentice" and "America's Next Top Model," are also slipping.
· Tracey Gold Pleads Not Guilty in DUI Case. Former "Growing Pains" star Tracey Gold pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges that she was driving drunk when her sport utility vehicle overturned, injuring her husband and 7-year-old son.
· Christopher Reeve's wife reflects on last days. Christopher Reeve's widow, Dana, reflected on his life and the days before his death in a letter released Tuesday to family, friends and supporters of the film star and activist.
· FCC Chief Pushes Telephone-Over-Internet Services. Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, technology "has ignited a fire under a stalled and depressed industry," FCC Chariman Michael Powell said, referring to traditional landline phone carriers. "There is no need to organize a regulatory regime around permits and prices and costs as we have done for nearly a century with common carriers," Powell added.
· Woman Files New Charges Vs. Fox, O'Reilly. A Fox News Channel producer who filed a sex harassment lawsuit against talk show host Bill O'Reilly filed new accusations Tuesday, alleging she has lost her job because she complained to Fox about her alleged mistreatment.
» O'Reilly drama's $2 million tale. Bill O'Reilly accuser turned down $2million to make her sexual harassment complaint disappear, sources told the Daily News. Lawyers for Fox News had proposed the $2 million settlement to Andrea Mackris.
· Peterson defense: Money not a motive. Scott Peterson was not experiencing money problems and stood more to gain financially if his pregnant wife remained alive, a defense witness testified Tuesday at his murder trial.
· Red Sox 4, Yankees 2. With blood seeping through his sock and bravado etched on his face, Curt Schilling shut down the Yankees and - just as he wanted - shut up 55,000-plus New Yorkers. The Boston Red Sox are just one win away from the most shocking comeback in baseball postseason history and another chance to reverse The Curse.
· Panama Revokes Sean Connery's Passport. Panama's government canceled diplomatic passports issued by then-President Mireya Moscoso to the Scottish actor, who gained fame as agent 007 in James Bond films, and 120 other "artists, businessmen, politicians and other people on account of them being international promoters of culture, health, business, tourism or athletics."
· Muslim American Vote Shifts Toward Kerry. Zogby International and Georgetown University's Project MAPS on Tuesday released a survey that showed, despite the fact that a plurality of Muslims supported Bush in 2000, 76 percent now support Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and only 7 percent support the incumbent.
· Microscopic Diamond Found in Montana. The bright green rocks jutting through the prairie soil were hard to miss, but Tom Charlton still couldn't believe his eyes. It was kimberlite, the molten rock in which diamonds are found, and preliminary tests had yielded a microscopic diamond.
· North Mexico Town Offers Bounties for Rats. For one northern Mexican town, an army of cats seemed like the best strategy against a plague of mice. But the cats proved no match for the problem, and now the town is pinning its hopes on a more lethal predator: men armed with cash incentives. Those who can stomach it can earn 40 cents for each rodent they kill, said Jesus Velazquez, the mayor of the city of Guadalupe.
· Matt ready to put money where vote is. Matt Damon doesn't rest when it comes to politicking for his presidential pick John Kerry - even while in Germany. "I would pay $1 million to have Kerry in the White House," the actor said at the premiere of "The Bourne Supremacy" in Berlin.
· Police get it wrong in cellphone mix-up. An Italian man borrowed a cellphone to call his mother and ended up spending 10 days in jail on suspicion of being a dangerous drugs trafficker, Italian media reports said on Tuesday. Sergio Bernia, who lives near the northern city of Como, asked to borrow a phone while in a bar.
· Smuggler Arrested With $197K in Stomach. Before boarding a plane in Madrid, a Colombian smuggler ate a pricey meal that landed him in trouble upon his arrival in Bogota. Customs officials in the Colombian capital noticed the man, whose name was not released, appeared to be in distress after arriving at Bogota's El Dorado International Airport. "He looked nervous - sweating, and all that, and so we X-rayed him," Customs Police Lt. Sandra Gutierrez said Tuesday. Inside his stomach were 40 latex-wrapped packets containing a total of $197,000 in large denomination bills, Gutierrez said.
· Brothers Reunited by Fate After 53 Years. Two brothers from Australia and Argentina who lost contact for 53 years were reunited by chance after recognizing each other on a tour bus to their native Portugal.
· A silent killer took family of 3 while they slept. A vent left covered by sloppy construction workers unleashed the deadly carbon monoxide cloud that stole the breath of a popular Albanian singer, her 8-year-old daughter and mother in their Staten Island home yesterday, authorities said.
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
· Sports bars beware - New invention turns off any TV. A new universal remote called TV-B-Gone turns off almost any television. The device, which looks like an automobile remote, has just one button. When activated, it zaps out 209 different codes to turn off virtually any television, the most popular brands first.
· Bambino curse hits Wall Street. Major League Baseball's American League championship series between the New York Yankees and archrival Boston Red Sox is leaving Wall Street staffed with bleary-eyed baseball fans who've been glued to their TV sets during three marathon games in as many nights.
· ABC's 'Housewives' Too Hot for Advertisers. Several advertisers have yanked their spots from ABC's "Desperate Housewives" because of the show's racy content. But that hasn't stopped the network from doubling the price it charges other advertisers for spots on the show.
· NASCAR Rejects Appeal Over Earnhardt Jr.'s Cursing. Dale Earnhardt Jr. lost his appeal of a 25-point penalty and $10,000 fine for use of improper language while in Victory Lane following his win in the EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Oct. 3. The National Stock Car Racing Commission Monday upheld NASCAR's penalties issued to Earnhardt after he cursed during a post-race television interview. If Earnhardt's appeal was successful, he would have taken the lead in the Nextel Cup standings by a point with five races remaining. Instead, he remains in second place, 24 points behind Kurt Busch.
· Perv sting snares sailor. A sailor who recently returned from Iraq was nabbed in an NYPD Internet sting after he booked a Queens hotel room to have kinky sex with who he thought was a 14-year-old girl. Steven Diles, 39, a decorated first-class petty officer stationed at Naval Station Annapolis in Maryland.
· 7 ex-Gitmo prisoners return to terror. At least seven former prisoners of the United States at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have been involved in terrorist acts, despite gaining their freedom by signing pledges to renounce violence, according to the Pentagon.
· Hurricane Flooded Cars End Up On Car Lots. Vehicles damaged by flooding from this year's hurricanes are now finding their way to used car lots. Over the next few months, many of the cars will be hitting used car markets after being dried out.
· Patti Davis Sues Salvation Army Over Talk. Patti Davis, daughter of the late President Ronald Reagan, has filed a lawsuit charging that the Salvation Army canceled her speech planned for one of their events because she supports stem cell research.
· Paris Hilton's Book: a Bust. There's an old adage in showbiz: All publicity is good publicity as long as they spell your name right. But even old adages may need updating. Apparently, American book buyers realized pretty fast that Hilton is merely an adult porno star and a one-note joke from TV's "The Simple Life."
· Bush Adviser Lays Under Air Force One. Karl Rove laid himself on the line Monday for his boss, the president of the United States. That is, he laid himself under the wheels of Air Force One. Reason: Unclear, but it seems to have been an inside joke between Rove and President Bush.
· John Cleese's guide to wine. Comedy veteran John Cleese decided to crush his grapes of ignorance and explore just what all the gourmet magazines and wine experts are talking about. "I felt it was a shame that something that is such a source of pleasure should have become restricted by all this snobbery," Cleese said.
· Peterson Defense Begins Making Their Case. Scott Peterson's attorneys launched their defense Monday, striking at a key prosecution theory in the murder case: that Peterson lied when he told police he used the same cement to make a boat anchor and repair his driveway.
· BBC ticked off over bleeping blunder. It's the sort of on-air ****-up that inevitably ends up as television entertainment. A BBC1 show devoted to exposing embarrassing on-screen mistakes supplied one itself by showing subtitles of the foul language it had bleeped out.
· Escalade, Maxima top most-likely-to-be stolen list. The Cadillac Escalade EXT, a $53,000 chrome-trimmed luxury pickup with leather bucket seats, a seven-speaker stereo system with satellite radio and a global tracking system, is the vehicle most targeted by thieves, a study by the insurance industry found.
· The sweet perfume of New York's streets. Ask New Yorkers what their city smells like, and they're likely to suggest exhaust fumes, hot dog carts or the last garbage strike. Not so, says perfume-seller Laurice Rahme, who thinks New York neighbourhoods smell so good that they're worthy of a line of fragrances. The newest one, Wall Street, debuts on November 1.
· Jennifer Lopez 'opening her own dance school'. Jennifer Lopez is reportedly opening her own dance school. The sexy star has set-up the salsa dancing school in the Bronx, the New York district where she grew up.
· Whittling down host of choices. CBS is more than halfway through its on-air tryout period testing replacements for Craig Kilborn on "The Late Late Show." Over the last three weeks, the series of guest hosts presented has drawn slightly more viewers than Kilborn drew a year ago, so the audience is staying put during the nationwide audition process.
· New York cabbie's $360,000 buys medallion & a dream. It cost him $360,000, but Mohammed Shah is glad to be in the driver's seat. The cabbie shelled out the record cash for a taxi medallion yesterday, mortgaging his East Elmhurst house and laying out a 10% down payment to finance the purchase at a city auction. Medallion owners can drive their cab - and lease the vehicle at a profit to other drivers. The medallions are also a license to make money as an investment, judging by past auctions.
· Man Drives Through Target Store. A man crashed a stolen car through the front of a Target store, drove around the store for a bit and then drove back out before police were able to arrest him, authorities said. No one was injured.
· Fake millions found in Colombia. Colombian police have made Latin America's largest seizure of fake euros in an international operation. The haul of counterfeit notes included two million euros and two million dollars, in 50 and 100 notes, as well as forging equipment.
· Police kill India's 'Robin Hood.' India's most wanted criminal, who once boasted of cutting up his victims and feeding them to fish, has been shot dead in an hour-long gunbattle with police in a jungle in southern India.
Monday, October 18, 2004
· CNN's Tucker Carlson, Jon Stewart Still Feuding. How's this for a feud that straddles the line between politics and entertainment: CNN's bow-tied conservative Tucker Carlson vs. "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart. Carlson on Monday fanned embers still hot from their "Crossfire" confrontation, saying Stewart looked ridiculous during his CNN appearance and was a sellout for publicly backing Democrat John Kerry for president.
· 'Stolen Honor' Vet Sues Film's Producer. A Vietnam veteran shown in a documentary criticizing Sen. John Kerry's anti-war activities filed a libel lawsuit against the movie's producer Monday, saying the film falsely calls the veteran a fraud and a liar.
· Texas Fire Lieutenant Fired Over Hosing. A veteran firefighter from the Southlake Department of Public Safety has been fired for supervising the hosing down of a high school band and color guard, injuring 13 students.
· Martha Reeves complains about Social Security release on eBay. Former Martha and the Vandellas lead singer Martha Reeves says eBay left her open to identity theft by posting a contract on its Web site that showed her Social Security number and signature. Reeves filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission about the posting.
· TV Calls Air Force for Help. An Air Force search and rescue alert was trigged by Chris van Rossman's flatscreen Toshiba TV. And it has an undocumented feature that has authorities scratching their heads. Some sort of electric glitch was causing van Rossman's TV to transmit on the international distress frequency. The signal was picked up by a satellite and relayed to the Air Force Rescue Center in Virginia.
· L.A. critics to pay tribute to Jerry Lewis. The French are no longer alone. The Los Angeles Film Critics Association voted Saturday to bestow its lifetime achievement award on Jerry Lewis, 78, the comic actor and filmmaker whose “idiot” character made him something of a cultural hero in France to the general incomprehension of American critics.
· Pushed into train's path, woman ducks, survives. A woman who survived a tumble into the path of a subway train says she avoided death by lying between the tracks while the train passed over her. Lenora Ventura told Le Journal de Montreal she closed her eyes to remain calm after a youth, who was rough-housing with friends, pushed her in front of the train at a north-end subway station in Montreal.
· $321,329.48 of spare change. Passengers in the U.S. racing to catch their plane have left behind a total of $321,329.48 in those little plastic trays during the past year, according to Amy von Walter, a TSA spokeswoman.
· Angelina Jolie named ‘sexiest woman alive.’ Actress top pick of Esquire magazine editors, readers in ‘Women We Love’ issue. The 29-year-old Jolie, who also lends her voice and sexy persona to a vampish fish named Lola in the computer-animated undersea adventure “Shark Tale,” received 7 percent of all votes cast by readers. Fellow Oscar winner and “Catwoman” star Halle Berry ran a close second with 6 percent. Newlywed pop princess Britney Spears made the cut this year at No. 3.
· California Blocks Named After Kirk Douglas. Actor Kirk Douglas will never be forgotten in this desert city, where he lived for more than 40 years. The Palm Springs International Film Society and International Film Festival honored the 87-year-old "Spartacus" star Sunday by naming a six-block stretch near the city's airport after him.
· Peterson drilling for possible testimony. Lawyers for Scott Peterson are scheduled to begin presenting his defense to double murder charges Monday, with Peterson preparing for a possible appearance on the witness stand.
· Bobby Fischer mulls lawsuit against U.S. Former world chess champion Bobby Fischer, wanted by Washington and detained in Japan since July, may file a lawsuit in the United States on the grounds that the executive order he violated by playing chess in Yugoslavia in 1992 was unconstitutional, his U.S. lawyer said on Monday.
· Marc Almond 'critical' after crash. British pop singer Marc Almond, best known for the song "Tainted Love" -- a global hit for his band Soft Cell in 1981 -- has been critically injured in a motorbike crash, police say.
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.
· Sony May Open Stores, Worrying Retailers. Few people took notice when Sony Electronics Inc. opened a tiny storefront last year here at South Coast Plaza, a swanky mall south of Los Angeles. As it turns out, the small store would represent a big change in how Sony sells its televisions, DVD players and other gear.
· Gamers mark 30 years of Dungeons & Dragons. Dungeons & Dragons players gathered in game stores around the country Saturday to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the grandfather of fantasy role-playing games - a pop culture phenomenon that has influenced myriad video games, books and movies.
· Plane nearly hit Tokyo Tower. A Thai charter plane veered off course while approaching a Tokyo airport last month, almost hitting the Tokyo Tower, a well-known landmark in the center of the Japanese capital, a newspaper says.
Sunday, October 17, 2004
· School Throws Whiskey Fundraiser. Preschoolers have parents hitting the bottle. Parents and staff of the Children's Center of San Lorenzo Valley, California planned a whisky fundraiser after the school's grant was cut for a second year. They've hired a liquor connoisseur to introduce area residents to the finer points of single-malt Scotch whisky at a $35-a-person fundraiser Saturday.
· 'Shark Tale' Wins Third Straight Weekend. Movie-goers stuck with fish and football over puppets and prancers as "Shark Tale" and "Friday Night Lights" retained the top two box-office spots for another weekend. The animated "Shark Tale" was No. 1 for the third straight weekend, pulling in $22.1 million, studio estimates showed Sunday. With the family audience almost entirely to itself, "Shark Tale" had climbed to a 17-day domestic total of $118.8 million.
· Former ABC newsman Salinger dies. Pierre Salinger, who served as President John F. Kennedy's press secretary and later had a long career with ABC News, has died at a hospital in southern France. He was 79.
· Fleeing Truck Crashes, Killing Six. A stolen truck filled with suspected illegal immigrants and speeding away from deputies rolled over at a busy intersection near Phoenix Saturday, causing an 11-car crash that killed six people and seriously injured 15, sheriff's officials said.
· NASA rethinking the shuttle. That NASA is entertaining dumping the shuttle as a crew rotation vehicle underscores the lasting problems of the accident-prone program. Designed primarily to deliver large payloads to space, the shuttle played a crucial role in the construction of the space station. But ferrying crews to the space station is costly.
· New steroid link to Bonds. Ever since Barry Bonds' name was first linked to the BALCO investigation, MLB has been at a loss as to how it should handle him. That task became more complicated yesterday when a newspaper reported that Bonds' personal trainer was secretly recorded last year discussing Bonds' steroid use.
· Elizabeth Hurley's Beach Strip Gets Director Arrested. Actress ELIZABETH HURLEY landed her director in trouble with the police in the United Arab Emirates, when she broke the law by stripping off. Early in her career, the sexy star was touring the Middle East, performing in a play directed by veteran English actor LESLIE PHILLIPS - but forgot the Muslim country's strict anti-nudity laws during a spot of sunbathing on the beach in capital Abu Dhabi.
· Space age plan to tame fury of hurricanes. Scientists are developing techniques aimed at taming the power of the world's most devastating storms. The project, backed by funds from Nasa, would involve seeding clouds, coating seas with biodegradable 'slicks' and even beaming microwave radiation from orbiting power stations to slow or even halt hurricanes.
· Turning a corner 3 years after 9/11. The "help wanted" signs are back up all across New York. After three long and painful years, the city's job market is humming, with 51,000 new jobs created this year in the private sector and another 70,000 expected in 2005.
Saturday, October 16, 2004
· Backwards Drawings May Have Doomed Genesis. The NASA spacecraft that smashed into the Utah desert last month while bringing home fragile samples of the sun may have been doomed by engineering drawings that had been done backwards, an investigating board said Friday. Because of the backward drawings, the switches that were supposed to detect Genesis' re-entry into Earth's atmosphere and trigger its parachutes were placed incorrectly, said Michael G. Ryschkewitsch, chairman of the Mishap Investigation Board.
· Robert De Niro Explains Absences in Italy. Actor Robert De Niro said "serious communications problems" led him to miss two appearances in Italy. "It was a complicated situation and I'm not sure how it was handled at their end, but it certainly wasn't handled properly at mine," De Niro said in a statement issued Friday by his publicist.
· Money can't buy him love. Donald Trump's Manhattan-sized ego can be bruised, after all. Not to mention kicked around, stomped on and even punctured - thanks to a bunch of aging comics and low-wattage celebrities at yesterday's Friars Club roast.
· Lucas to Receive AFI Lifetime Award. After creating "Star Wars,""Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "American Graffiti," Darth Vader might insist it was George Lucas' DESTINY to get the American Film Institute's lifetime achievement award. Lucas, 60, was picked on Friday to be the recipient of the organization's 33rd annual prize, following such recent recipients as Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro and Tom Hanks.
· Martha: No more money, please! Martha has been sent hundreds of letters in the past week, including gifts and money. Instead, she asked gift-givers to make donations to their favorite charities or organizations. "Please know that while these gestures of friendship and support are deeply appreciated, any such items must be returned to the sender by prison officials," she wrote.
· Lawyer sends £1.5m bill for one hour’s work. A self-employed German who earns just £12,000 pounds a year has been landed with a £1.5 million pound legal bill after asking a lawyer to do a few minutes work. Under German law, lawyers are entitled to a certain percentage of the reduction if their action results in a reduction in the tax bill, and the man were landed with a one-and-a-half million pound bill for the lawyers work.
· Fergie urged to keep 'em on. News that Sarah Ferguson is to pose nude for a charity book was greeted perhaps ungenerously by one British newspaper today, as it launched a campaign urging her to stay clothed.
· R Kelly Mocks Charges at Gig. Prosecutors in R KELLY's child-pornography case have requested to see a video of the singer's recent concert date after hearing reports the R&B star mocks his charges on stage.
Friday, October 15, 2004
· 11-Year-Old Arrested For Pointing Cap Gun. An 11-year-old boy in Marion County, Fla., was arrested Friday after he pointed a toy gun at a Marion County school bus and another passer-by, according to the sheriff's office. The boy was transported to the Juvenile Assessment Center, where he was charged with two counts of aggravated assault.
· Web coming to electrical outlets. Electric companies may soon join the fray of providing Internet services after regulators cleared the way for utility companies to offer broadband services through electrical outlets. The system uses a modem that plugs into any electrical outlet, and so far the Web access runs at 1 to 3 megabits per second, comparable to other current broadband offerings.
· Man Badly Burned, Shocked While Trying To Steal Electrical Cable. A man got badly burned while trying to steal a copper cable from a Maui distribution system in Hawaii. The idiot allegedly crawled through a tunnel to an underground junction box where he attempted to cut through a a 12,000-volt distribution line.
· Woman Waiting In Line For Oprah Show Dies. A woman who collapsed while waiting in line for tickets to the "Oprah Winfrey Show" died of a brain hemorrhage. Police say 70-year-old Barbara Alzamora of Connecticut lost her balance and hit the pavement while waiting outside Harpo Studios in Chicago.
· Bryant accuser publicly identifies herself in civil lawsuit. The woman accusing Kobe Bryant of rape - whose name has been widely published on the Internet despite her efforts to remain anonymous - identified herself by name in a revised version of the lawsuit she filed against the NBA star.
· Why Cleveland is broke. The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District just moved to its new headquarters, spending more than $18 million on its state-of-the-art headquarters. Paintings and artwork alone total more than $40,000, and a two-story indoor waterfall cost the sewer district $132,691.
· Democrat playbook opened to criticism. Democrats got caught with their election playbook open Thursday when a leaked page was published urging operatives to lodge a "pre-emptive strike" of claiming voter intimidation, whether it's true or not.
· Wacko chef causes stir over spoon. A businesswoman left the top London restaurant where she had just spent $960 entertaining business clients to find the chef blocking the door. No, instead of a 'thank you,' the recruitment company owner found herself loudly accused of stealing a teaspoon.
· Race to find stolen crocodiles. Israeli police are desperately searching for hundreds of missing baby crocodiles stolen from a breeding farm in the south of the country. Wildlife experts fear the African crocodiles might be released into the country's waterways. "It is a race against time," a spokesman for the Nature and Parks Authority told Reuters news agency. The missing crocodiles would grow to a size dangerous to man within three years, he said.
· Teacher: Prince Harry cheated in exam. A former teacher who claims she was unfairly dismissed from Eton College after being ordered to help Prince Harry cheat in an exam has tried to prove her allegation to a tribunal by playing a secret tape recording she had made while talking to him.
· Angelina Jolie used "phone-sex" voice in 'Shark Tale.' Angelina Jolie says she used her "phone-sex" voice for her latest role in animated movie 'Shark Tale.' The sexy star, who plays femme fatale fish Lola in the film, confessed she used her sexual experiences for inspiration while recording the voice. She said: "I just had to think a lot of naughty thoughts."
· Public barred from talking in Jackson courtroom. In the latest restriction on the news organizations covering the Michael Jackson case, bailiffs Thursday imposed an unusual new rule on reporters and members of the public attending a routine hearing: No talking in court, not even before the proceedings.
· Beatles 'Cirque' show to replace Siegfried & Roy. Only in Las Vegas: Beatles songs, as portrayed by the acrobatic troupe Cirque du Soleil, will replace animal training duo Siegfried and Roy at one of the city's biggest tourist theaters, according to a deal announced on Thursday.
· Chapman Wanted to 'Steal' Lennon's Fame. Mark David Chapman felt like a nobody and wanted to "steal John Lennon's fame" when he shot the former Beatle outside his New York City apartment in 1980, according to a transcript of Chapman's most recent parole hearing, released Thursday.
· O'Reilly: 'Worst day of my life.' TV host Bill O'Reilly suffered "the worst day of my life" yesterday after being thrust into a sleazy sex scandal. "I have been advised to keep my big mouth shut, and I have promised to do that," O'Reilly told the Daily News from his Fox News studio yesterday. But he didn't.
· FCC Won't Prevent Airing Of Anti-Kerry Film. The Federal Communications Commission will not stop Sinclair Broadcast Group from airing a critical documentary about John Kerry's anti-Vietnam War activities.
· How the Electoral College works. So do we the people really elect the president and vice president? Technically, we don't. Presidents are elected by the states and the District of Columbia, not by a national tally of voters. When you vote, you cast your ballot for electors who will vote for a candidate they are politically aligned with.
Thursday, September 14, 2004
· Atomic clock smaller than grain of rice. Scientists at the National Institute for Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado have developed an atomic watch driven by inner workings barely bigger than a grain of rice. The atomic clock would be accurate to within a second every 300 years, making it more than 1,000 times more reliable than the best quartz wristwatches.
· Judge Rejects Request to Toss Jacko Case. A judge Thursday rejected a defense request to throw out the indictment in the Michael Jackson case, saying prosecutors had presented enough evidence of child molestation and an attempt to silence the alleged victim's family for the case to go forward.
· Would-Be Bank Robber Gets Laughed At. He put a mask on his face, pulled out a gun and demanded money. But when the bank clerk laughed in his face, the would-be robber was so humiliated he just ran away. The 31-year-old clerk, identified only as Martina S., "laughed aloud" at the threat from the bandit because she knew she was protected by a bulletproof glass, said Gordana Vulama, a police spokeswoman.
· Attorney: Blake's Wife Victim of Conspiracy. Robert Blake's attorney urged a judge Thursday to allow a jury to hear evidence about an odd assortment of people who may have conspired to kill the actor's wife. Attorney M. Gerald Schwartzbach used elaborate charts to draw connections between the late Marlon Brando's son Christian and a group of methamphetamine addicts and former stuntmen.
· Chris Rock to Be Host of Academy Awards. The Oscars have a piece of the Rock. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Thursday announced Chris Rock will host the next Academy Awards telecast.
» Flashback: Getting Chris Rock's Cell Calls. This is a weblog of a woman who got a new cell phone that happened to include Chris Rock's old phone number. From Adam Sandler - to Jack Nicholson - her new phone gave her months of entertainment talking to many of Hollywood's biggest stars.