Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tax Cut Bill Passes Through Senate Vote

Tax Cut Bill Passes Through Senate Vote - Acting with uncommon speed, Congress gave final passage Thursday night of sweeping, bipartisan legislation to avoid a Jan. 1 spike in income taxes for millions and renew jobless benefits for victims of the worst recession in 80 years.
The House passed the measure 277-148 to send the bill to President Barack Obama for signing.
The measure also will cut Social Security taxes for nearly every wage-earner and pump billions of dollars into the still-sluggish economy.

The legislation was the result of a reach across party lines by President Barack Obama and top Republicans in Congress — stubborn adversaries during two years of political combat that ended when the GOP emerged the undisputed winner in midterm elections on Nov. 2.
Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Fla., called it "a bipartisan moment of clarity" as the House moved toward an expected late night vote.

After forcing a delay in the House early in the day, Democratic critics settled for a separate vote in their bid to toughen an estate tax provision they attacked as a giveaway to the very rich. They were defeated, 233-194, with one vote of "present."

Tax Cut Bill Passes Through Senate Vote

"The president will be able to sign it as soon as he likes," said Rep. Rob Andrews of New Jersey, who added later on the House floor he would support "an imperfect bill" in hopes of stimulating job creation.

Like the Senate, much of the House support came from Republicans. Democrats were deeply divided on the bill. Only a few dozen out of 179 Republicans voted against it.

On the bill's final vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., did not vote; House GOP leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., voted for the bill, and Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-SC, voted against the bill.

Tax Cut Bill Passes Through Senate Vote

Niagra Falls Dry

Niagra Falls Dry - From June to November 1969 the American Falls were dewatered. This action cut back the normal flow of 60,000 gallons a second to almost nothing. Most of the diverted water was either sent over the Horseshoe Falls or diverted to the Robert Moses generating plant's upriver intakes. The action enabled Canadian and US power companies and the US Army Corps of Engineers to do on-the-spot inspections and aerial photographs of the river bed's rock formation. This was all part of a plan to reduce erosion to the Falls.

Niagra Falls Dry

Europe's Tallest Building

Europe's Tallest Building - London's new tallest building, the Shard of Glass, near London Bridge, has been topped out, cementing its position above Canary Wharf's One Canada Square in the capital's skyscraper pecking order.

Topping out refers to when a building is finished, or when the last significant structural piece of its jigsaw is put in place. In the case of the Shard, the topping out ceremony was performed when the central core was completed.

With that core topped out, the Shard now stands proud at around 245m tall, five metres higher than One Canada Square, the official name for the Docklands landmark that most of us call simply 'Canary Wharf'.

Europe's Tallest Building

But that's not the end of it for the knife-shaped Shard, as it still has 65m to go before it has finished its skyward ascent. By that time, it will not only be the tallest structure in London, but the tallest in Europe, too, pipping three Moscow giants to the winner's post.

"Once complete, this huge engineering feat will be the tallest building in Europe, and is destined to become as iconic a landmark on London's cherished skyline as the Gherkin, St Paul's or Big Ben," said London Mayor Boris Johnson.

Europe's Tallest Building

Faye Resnick

Faye Resnick - Tonight on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills we’re re-introduced to a reality-star-before-there-were-reality stars: Faye Resnick of O.J. Simpson trial fame.
Resnick made headlines when her friend Nicole Brown Simpson was murdered in 1994. She testified against O.J., claiming that he told her that he was going to kill Nicole. She later wrote several books about her experience with the O.J. trial.

Resnick posed nude for Playboy for the March 1995 issue, something Camille Grammer took a moral issue with on tonight’s episode (even though Camille has appeared in Playboy 15 times, she takes issue with the fact that Resnick used her friend’s death to gain fame.)

Resnick attended a dinner party with the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills as a guest of Kyle Richards, who describes Resnick as “like a sister.” She’s currently a Hollywood interior designer, and on her websites her clients are listed as Kyle and Maurico Umansky, Paris Hilton, Nicky Hilton, Nick Lachay, and Kevin Connolly.

Faye Resnick

BMW Logo Burnt into Eyes

BMW Logo Burnt into Eyes - Perhaps knowing that most commercials for motor vehicles are duller than the water in a Russian hotel, BMW decided to equip one German cinema with a Profoto Pro-7B and a studio flash unit strong enough to illuminate the dark mind of every member of Congress.

They rigged the machines behind the movie theater screen and, at a particularly dull moment in this wonderfully dull BMW ad, they fired the flash.

Then, the fascinating man on screen suggested that the audience members close their eyes. In a moment that melded science fiction with the happy possibilities of authoritarian politics, the audience could see the BMW logo, as if it had been imprinted on the backs of their eyelids. You know, like when you stare at the sun and then shut your eyes.

I am left to wonder whether the fine, forward-thinking minds behind this stunt availed themselves of a strong insurance policy before attempting this light of fancy.

BMW Logo Burnt into Eyes

Rumer Willis' New Job

Rumer Willis' New Job - Rumer Willis , 22, was fitted recently by designers Mark Badgley and James Mischka in Malibu, Calif., as she prepped to appear in their spring marketing campaign, it was announced today.

"We adore Rumer, she is glamorous, youthful and fun," Badgley and Mischka said in a statement. "Rumer captures the spirit of all of our spring collections, especially our newly launched Mark + James collection."

The campaign, which will begin appearing in March fashion and lifestyle magazines, will feature Rumer modeling everything from couture evening wear to footwear and swimwear.

Rumer Willis' New Job

Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3 - With Jon Favreau officially moving on to 'The Magic Kingdom,' Marvel's going to need to hire a filmmaker to bring 'Iron Man 3' to the bigscreen. Early talk has the film positioned as a sequel to 'Thor' and 'Captain America' and 'The Avengers,' the film where Marvel will start to lay the groundwork for whatever big story they're going to tell next with these characters. That's a lot of groundwork for any film to cover, so they're going to need someone who can play well with Robert Downey Jr. and the rest of this ever-growing ensemble.

But mainly Downey.

Iron Man 3

After all, he's the star of the show, the lynchpin of the Marvel Universe so far. His charisma set the tone that seems to be the guiding influence on each new film as they come together. Who has the cred to make the geek nation happy up front, keep Downey happy on the set, and deliver a movie that keeps all the various Marvel franchises chugging along while actually making something good at the same time?

Who is hero enough for that job? HitFix has come up with a list of possible men and women for the job. See what you think.

Iron Man 3

Mark Cuban Could Break BCS

Mark Cuban Could Break BCS - What good is having a billion dollars if you can't use it to fix the world's wrongs?

For Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban that means the Bowl Championship Series.

Cuban tells Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com that he'd like to topple the BCS with his own version of a college football playoff.

"The more I think about it, the more sense it makes..." Cuban said. "You can do something the whole country wants done."

Cuban, who wants a 12-team or 16-team field, says he's already talked to two athletic directors and will be pursuing college presidents and state senators. The Mavs owner would not eliminate bowl games but would put big money into the playoff.

"Put $500 million in the bank and go to all the schools and pay them money as an option," said Cuban, who thinks he'd need three or four years to put his plan into play. "Say, 'Look, I'm going to give you X amount every five years. In exchange, you say if you're picked for the playoff system, you'll go.' "

Mark Cuban Could Break BCS

New Haven Explosives

New Haven Explosives - New Haven authorities have found what appear to be homemade bombs and materials to make explosives in a city home.

Police Officer Joe Avery says firefighters were called to the home on Hubinger Street late Wednesday night for reports of smoke and found the materials.

No injuries were reported and Avery says there's no immediate danger.

Avery says it's not clear how many bombs and explosive materials are in the home.

Police and FBI agents are at the scene Thursday and authorities are waiting for a judge to sign a search warrant application.


New Haven Explosives

Shelley Malil Jailed for Life

Shelley Malil Jailed for Life - Actor Shelley Malil was sentenced today to life in prison for stabbing his former girlfriend with a kitchen knife.

Malil, 45, will be eligible for parole in seven years, the report said, according to KNSD-TV in San Diego.

A San Diego jury found the actor - who played Haziz, Steve Carell's co-worker at the electronics store in the 2005 film The 40-Year-Old Virgin - guilty of premeditated attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and domestic violence in September. He was also convicted of assaulting a man at the San Marcos apartment of his ex-girlfriend Kendra Beebe, 38, in 2008.

Ms Beebe was stabbed more than 20 times.

"I am at a loss for words right now," Malil said in court. "I failed miserably, not only as a human being but as a father, son, uncle, brother, friend. What I did to Kendra, I don't have the words to express my remorse."

Shelley Malil Jailed for Life

Julian Assange Gets Bail

Julian Assange Gets Bail - A London court granted Julian Assange bail Thursday and he walked out of jail a free man. For now. Assange is still under house arrest and faces an extradition hearing in Janurary. Our correspondent explains what's next for Assange and any U.S. charges against him.

Julian Assange walked out of jail on Thursday, his first freedom in nine days.

"Well it's great to smell the fresh air of London again," said Assange.

Assange turned himself in on December 7 after an international warrant was issued for his arrest. Swedish authorities want to question him about allegations of rape.

"I hope to continue my work and continue to protest my innocence in this matter and to reveal, as we get it, which we have not yet, the evidence from these allegations," he said.

Assange is free after he posted more than $300,000 in cash. He must wear a monitoring device and check in with police daily.

Julian Assange Gets Bail

LAPD Releases 180 Photos

LAPD Releases 180 Photos - In hopes of identifying other possible victims, Los Angeles police today released 180 photos -- all of women -- found at the home of a man suspected of the "Grim Sleeper" serial killings.

The images of women partly or completely nude and striking sexually graphic poses were found at the home of Lonnie David Franklin Jr., who was arrested in July for allegedly killing 10 people, beginning in 1985.

Franklin has pleaded not guilty to the killings.

LAPD officials decided to go public with the images after months of trying to identify the women, the Los Angeles Times reports.

LAPD Releases 180 Photos

The images were among about 1,000 still photographs and hundreds of hours of home video of women found during a search of Franklin's south Los Angeles home, police say.

Franklin is accused of killing seven women between 1985 and 1988, according to authorities, then resuming in 2002, 2003 and 2007.

The L.A. Weekly dubbed the serial killer in the cases the "Grim Sleeper" because of the long gap between the slayings.

LAPD Releases 180 Photos

Amy Locane Indicted

Amy Locane Indicted - Amy Locane would probably prefer the melodrama of Melrose Place right about now.

The former prime-time soap hottie has been indicted by a grand jury on charges of aggravated manslaughter and assault by automobile for a June crash that killed a fellow motorist in Montgomery, N.J.

Amy Locane Indicted

"I believe that the aggravated manslaughter charges are totally inappropriate and misplaced," Locane's lawyer, Blair Zwillman, tells E! News. "I believe that when all of the facts of the incident become known, Amy Locane will be acquitted. She has confidence in the criminal justice system. She is distraught about the death of Helene Seeman. Amy has two young daughters who mean everything to her."

According to the original criminal complaint, Locane admitted to police that she had been drinking wine before getting behind the wheel.

At around 9 p.m. on June 27, her 2007 Chevy Tahoe hit the passenger side of Fred Seeman's 2010 Mercury Milan as he was turning into a driveway. Helene, who was sitting in the passenger seat, was killed at the scene, according to poilce.

Amy Locane Indicted

Morgan Freeman is not Dead

Morgan Freeman is not Dead - Morgan Freeman died on Thursday -- not in real life, but according to a Twitter hoax that duped countless users.

Though the actor is alive and well, a rumor rocketed across the internet on Thursday that CNN had reported his death.

"RT @CNN: Breaking News: actor Morgan Freeman has passed away in his Burbank home," many Twitter users posted on Thursday evening.

On Twitter, a post starting with the letters RT indicates that a user is simply re-tweeting what another user has said.

Morgan Freeman is not Dead

Confusion continued to spread as Twitter users "re-tweeted" or re-posted the post purportedly from CNN.

The post was re-tweeted by many other media outlets, including LiveNewsWire and ESPN's Bruce Feldman, as well as Borders headquarters.

This epidemic of re-tweets caused many to believe that CNN had posted the news, and others were simply passing it on.

But CNN's Twitter account did not display the original post, leading users to wonder whether it had been deleted as a retraction, or was potentially hacked.

"Now I'm curious if CNN even tweeted a statement about Morgan Freeman, or if someone simply hoaxed the tweet with a 'RT @CNN,'" one user wrote.

CNN itself cleared up the rumors on Thursday evening with a post to its official Twitter page.

Morgan Freeman is not Dead

UBS Dress Code

UBS Dress Code - Swiss banking giant UBS is implementing a strict new dress code for employees, according to MSNBC, which obtained a document of the requirements.

The bank is going to test out its 43-page dress code at five branches in Switzerland.

Under the new rules, women’s wear skirts must be knee-length, nothing shorter. Body piercings and some forms of jewelry are banned.

Also, makeup is required: foundation, mascara, and light lipstick “will enhance your personality,” the document says, according to MSNBC.

UBS Dress Code

“Women should not wear shoes that are too tight-fitting as there is nothing worse than a strained smile,” added the document.

Men will have to wear a traditional two-button jacket and cannot wear the same shoes or the same tie for two consecutive days. They also cannot use hair dye, acccording to MSNBC.

According to the document, men can “wear only ties that match the bone structure of the face and do not wear socks with cartoon motifs,” reported the news agency.

UBS Dress Code

Grim Sleeper Case

Grim Sleeper Case - Los Angeles authorities expanded their investigation into the Grim Sleeper serial killer case Thursday by asking for the public's help in identifying women in 180 photographs whose images were found in the suspect's home this summer.

Police are trying to determine if there are additional killings among the more than 100 women depicted in the photos.

Last July, 57-year-old Lonnie David Franklin Jr. was arrested and charged with 10 murders and one attempted murder dating back to 1985, and Los Angeles police spent hundreds of hours sifting through thousands of photographs, Polaroids and videotape found in Franklin's house.

The bodies of victims, many working as prostitutes, were all found in close proximity to each other in a neighborhood formerly known as South Central Los Angeles.

Grim Sleeper Case

Franklin, a mechanic who once worked for the LAPD, was arrested in July after police say they matched his DNA with DNA left on some of the victims. Police were led to Franklin after his 28-year-old son got arrested and gave a DNA swab, authorities said.

Authorities said they narrowed down the confiscated images down to 180 photographs, some of them duplicates of the same women.

At a media conference attended by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Police Chief Charlie Beck, authorities said they had difficulty determining whether some of the women were alive or dead in the photos.

Grim Sleeper Case

Bobby Jenks to Sign With Sox

Bobby Jenks to Sign With Sox - Former Chicago White Sox closer Bobby Jenks has agreed to a $12 million, two-year contract with the Boston Red Sox, a person familiar with negotiations told The Associated Press.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet final. The agreement was first reported by ESPN.com.

In addition, the Red Sox agreed to an $875,000, one-year contract with right-handed reliever Matt Albers and sent utilityman Eric Patterson to the San Diego Padres to complete the trade for first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.

Bobby Jenks to Sign With Sox

Jenks has the chance to earn more with performance bonuses. He saved 27 games last season but lost his closing job at the end of the year when he struggled with injuries.

Jenks was second in White Sox history with 173 saves since joining Chicago midseason in 2005 and helping the club win its first World Series since 1917. He had four saves in the postseason, pitching in all four Series games during a sweep of the Houston Astros.

Jenks saved 81 games over the next two years. But last season, when he earned $7.5 million, he missed the final 27 games with ulnar neuritis in his right forearm. General manager Kenny Williams said he would consider bringing Jenks back at a lower salary.

Bobby Jenks to Sign With Sox

Facebook Crash

Facebook Crash - Social network website Facebook was down for about 30 minutes today, with the company saying it was experiencing "sitewide issues".

Facebook published a statement on its Platform Live Status page that read: "We are currently investigating sitewide issues that will affect Facebook Platform. We apologise for any inconvenience and will post here with updates."

According to tech blog Mashable, the outage stemmed from a Facebook rollout of new features, including redesigned brand Pages and the ability for users to switch accounts for managing different Facebook Pages without having to log out and log back in.

Facebook Crash

Bing Facebook Search

Bing Facebook Search - Can search engines effectively move into the social realm? Bing things so.

The search engine will soon show which links have been “liked” by the internet surfer’s friends, Microsoft announced today at the Bing Search event in San Francisco, Calif.

Since October, Bing has integrated “liked” content from Facebook into its search results in a separate content area that says “Liked by your Facebook friends.” Side note: For us, the special Facebook “like” results didn’t show up all the time—but did show up when we searched “tech” and “social media.”

Coming soon, Bing says they’ll show U.S. users which individual page/URLS have been liked by their Facebook friends as a part of the regular search results. Therefore, Facebook “liked” results will no longer be relegated to a special box, rather it will be matriculated into the regular search area.

Bing Facebook Search

Facebook Login Problems

Facebook Login Problems - Had trouble getting on Facebook earlier today? You weren't alone.

Facebook was down for many users at around 4:00PM ET on Thursday.

Facebook explained the outage after the site was back up and running:
For a brief period of time, some internal prototypes were accidentally exposed to people externally. As a result, we disabled the site for a few minutes. It's back up, and we apologize for the inconvenience.

Mashable confirms that the outage took place around 4:15 p.m. (ET), around the same time the site began rolling out redesigned brand Pages, a new Photos section and a new Page management feature.

Facebook Login Problems

Why Isn't Facebook Working Right Now

Why Isn't Facebook Working Right Now - Call it odd coincidence: earlier, I wrote a blog post about Facebook launching a new “off-site registration tool.” Just hours later, in the early afternoon (Pacific time), Facebook went offline for around 20-30 minutes.

My original post on the registration tool saw a lot of traffic as a result, but I’m guessing most readers were there to learn about the Facebook outage rather than some new tool. So I figured that I owe it to you to point you in the direction of the real story.

See my colleague Mike Isaac’s post Facebook Down In Wake Of Pages Update for the whole story, where Facebook went offline due to the work around “internal prototypes”.

Cheers, and while you’re here, feel free to vent your frustration about Facebook outage in the comments below. Did the Facebook outage inconvenience you? Or did it free you to go out and form in-person connections, if just for that half hour? Or did you go onto Twitter to read/post snark on how Time’s person of the year can’t even keep his own social network up?

Why Isn't Facebook Working Right Now

Facebook Not Working

Facebook Not Working - Facebook apologized for a brief outage today, citing a technical glitch that prompted the company to take the site offline for a short while.

"For a brief period of time, some internal prototypes were made public to a number of people externally," a Facebook spokesman said this afternoon when asked for comment. "As a result, we took the site down for a few minutes. It's back up, and we apologize for the inconvenience."
It was unclear how widespread the outage was, how long it lasted and if it was related to the rollout of new brand pages on the site. A Facebook spokeswoman provided this comment when asked additional questions: "We do not comment on future products and have nothing to announce at this time."

Numerous reports surfaced on Twitter earlier today about a Facebook outage, though it appeared to remain accessible for some users.

Facebook tweeted this comment before issuing a statement: "Facebook is available again after being down for a brief period. We apologize for the inconvenience."

Facebook Not Working

Facebook Down December 16

Facebook Down December 16 - Facebook, the online social network used by more than 500 million people around the world, went down briefly on Thursday after the website miscued the introduction of some new features.

"For a brief period of time, some internal prototypes were made public to a number of people externally," a spokeswoman for the company said. "As a result, we took the site down for a few minutes. It's back up, and we apologize for the inconvenience."

Messages on Twitter and technology blogs put the outage at about 15 minutes, around 1.30 pm U.S. Pacific time.

Downtime for Facebook, which is relatively rare, not only affects users, but can hurt other sites and advertisers dependent on traffic from links in Facebook.

Facebook Down December 16

What's Wrong with Facebook

What's Wrong with Facebook - Facebook was down. And now Facebook is back up again.

According to reps for the social networking site, the outage last only a few minutes, and was a direct result of updates to the Facebook interface. But five minutes is an eternity in the Web world, and plenty of shut-out Facebook users took to Twitter to commiserate about their shared inability to aimlessly browse their pals's profiles.

What's Wrong with Facebook

"#Facebook is down. Half the world population had suddenly become productive. The other half of the population is using #Twitter," read one widely-circulated tweet, according to PCMag.com. Other Twitterers were less bothered by the outage. "I think I am the only person on the planet not bothered by fact that Facebook went down," one user wrote.

Facebook, for its part, blamed the black-out on a sweeping update to Facebook Pages. “For a brief period of time, some internal prototypes were made public to a number of people externally," a Facebook spokesperson told Forbes magazine earlier today. "As a result, we took the site down for a few minutes. It’s back up, and we apologize for the inconvenience.”

What's Wrong with Facebook

Is Facebook Down Today

Is Facebook Down Today - Many of Facebook's more than 550 million members found they could no longer log on to the social networking website for approximately 30 minutes earlier today starting at about 4:15 p.m. ET due to a leak of internal prototypes to the public, which caused the company to take the site down for a short time.
The outage occurred just as Facebook began debuting several new features, including redesigned brand pages, a new photo section and the ability to go back and forth between different accounts without having to log in and out, reports Mashable.

Numerous Facebook users discovered only a blank white screen when they tried to visit the website.

Is Facebook Down Today

CenterNetworks reports that Like buttons were not loading.

Currently, Facebook is up and running with the following status message from developers:

"We are currently investigating sitewide issues that will affect Facebook Platform. We apologize for any inconvenience and will post here with updates."

Facebook also tweeted an apology on Twitter:

"Facebook is available again after being down for a brief period. We apologize for the inconvenience."

Is Facebook Down Today

Carmelo Anthony Trade

Carmelo Anthony Trade - The towering, smirking portrait on 34th Street was painted over long ago. The clever quips — “America, I come in peace” — seem quaint now, seven months later, amid another gloomy December in New Jersey.

The Nets are mired in another listless season of bad basketball. Their new owner, Mikhail D. Prokhorov, who projected his swagger in billboards and press conferences last spring, has faded into the background as his team has faded in the standings.

Charisma, it seems, could only carry the Nets so far. And that anticipated rivalry with the Knicks — which was supposed to be stoked by that Midtown billboard — will have to wait another year.

Carmelo Anthony Trade

The Knicks are 16-10 and celebrating a happy revival with their new star, Amar’e Stoudemire. The Nets are 6-19 and still searching for a comparable savior. The best they can do for now is generate intrigue.

The Nets fueled a speculative frenzy Wednesday when they made a deal to acquire a pair of first-round draft picks — two more chips to use in a potential blockbuster trade, presumably one involving Carmelo Anthony, the discontented Denver Nuggets star.

Carmelo Anthony Trade

Missile Defense System Test Failure

Missile Defense System Test Failure - A top US general said Thursday it was unclear why an interceptor meant to knock out incoming ballistic missiles failed in a test for the second time in a row.

General James Cartwright, the military's second highest ranking officer, said he had no doubts that the country's missile defense system could fend off potential threats, despite Wednesday's failed test.

"I'm not the least bit concerned that we don't have a capability to defeat, should we need to, that rogue threat that the system's been designed against," Cartwright told reporters.

In the test on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, an interceptor rocket launched from a base in California failed to intercept its target, an intermediate-range ballistic missile, the Missile Defense Agency said.

Missile Defense System Test Failure

Officials will carry out an "extensive investigation to determine the cause of the failure to intercept the target," the agency said in a statement.

A similar test carried on January 31 resulted in failure.

Cartwright said the latest test involved an "upgraded version" of an interceptor, but that older models currently deployed were reliable.

"We test in order to find out if something works," Cartwright said.

"The question now is, make sure we understand, was it two failures that were of the same ilk or was it two very different failures?" he said.

"We just don't know those answers yet."

Out of 15 tests of ground-based interceptors since 1999, seven have failed, according to the Missile Defense Agency.

"The next flight test will be determined after identification of the cause of the failure," the agency said.

Missile Defense System Test Failure

Citytime Scandal

Citytime Scandal - Subsequent to New York City Comptroller John Liu's call for an emergency session of the Office of Payroll Administration Board of Directors, Comptroller Liu and Mayor Bloomberg have agreed to suspend Executive Director Joel Bondy indefinitely without pay.

Comptroller Liu also suspended all payments to the vendor Spherion -- effective immediately -- until the City conducts a comprehensive review of subcontracting, consultant billing and recordkeeping practices.

Comptroller Liu's office will continue to assist the U.S. Attorney's Office and DOI in their ongoing investigation into the CityTime project.

Citytime Scandal

Just yesterday, Comptroller Liu rejected a $32 million encumbrance on the CityTime project, pursuant to the 9/28/2010 agreement that stipulates the City will not pay any more money until the full and timely completion of the Citytime project.

The scandal in a nutshell: Four highly paid consultants hired to computerize the municipal payroll to eliminate waste and fraud were charged Wednesday with using the city as a "cash cow" to steal $80 million.

Citytime Scandal

Chargers Will Play Without Antonio Gates

Chargers Will Play Without Antonio Gates - San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates, who has been hobbled by a torn plantar fascia in his right foot, and wide receiver Malcom Floyd, who has a hamstring injury, have been ruled out of Thursday evening's game against the visiting San Francisco 49ers, NFL Network's Kara Henderson reports.

Listen to Live NFL games -- hear all the action online in premium sound quality with NFL Audio Pass. Sign up now!
Chargers coach Norv Turner confirmed they would be on the Chargers' inactive list for the game, which has major implications in the AFC West and NFC West races.

49ers linebackers Patrick Willis and Takeo Spikes will play, although both have broken right arms, a source with knowledge of the situation told NFL.com senior writer Steve Wyche. Spikes and Willis have had their arms casted and are expected to have them reinforced with padding and tape in order to play. Both were listed as questionable.

Chargers Will Play Without Antonio Gates

Noel Gallagher Claims Tevez Will Stay at Manchester United

Noel Gallagher Claims Tevez Will Stay at Manchester United - Noel Gallagher, an avid Manchester City supporter, is convinced captain Carlos Tévez will remain at Eastlands despite his recent transfer request.

The former Oasis guitarist believes Tévez’s desire to leave the club is part of a tactic from the player and his agent to negotiate an improved contract with cash-rich City – and is not due to a falling out with the hierarchy at the club, as suggested by player himself.

Gallagher finds it hard to comprehend how the relationship between the Argentine and chief executive Gary Cook could ever spiral out of control.

“He would be the first person I’ve ever heard of to leave a football club because he didn’t like someone in the office,” said Gallagher. “For a guy who can’t even speak English how are we supposed to believe he has got a relationship with the executives in the first place, unless he’s been trying to get himself a new deal anyway.”

Noel Gallagher Claims Tevez Will Stay at Manchester United

The Manchester-born guitarist referred to the Wayne Rooney transfer saga earlier this season as a new precedent for players trying to achieve the best possible deal during contract negotiations with their current clubs.

“He has two choices now if he means this – he either leaves or he retires. But I think there’s more to it than meets the eye,” he continued.

“Everyone was saying the same thing about Wayne Rooney: ‘He’s going, he’s definitely going.’ What is happening now is that Rooney’s agent has set the bar when it comes to modern‑day transfer requests. But I would still put money on Tévez being here next season.”

Noel Gallagher Claims Tevez Will Stay at Manchester United

Jailbreak 4.2 Release

Jailbreak 4.2 Release - The API could be used by spyware and was primarily IT departments that began developing applications criticising the device. Apple has not given a reason for ending the device, but blame rests on the insufficiency of keeping the headset secure for enterprise users.

With the iOS 4.0 update in June, Apple had introduced mobile device management APIs that would let third-party mobile device management (MDM) applications have direct server access to iOS features and information. Basically, third-party apps could check if the iOS device has been jailbroken or not. Apple didn’t give any formidable explanation on why the API was dropped and several mobile device management API users would certainly be hunting for alternatives already.

Jailbreak 4.2 Release

Apple iBooks Update 1.2

Apple iBooks Update 1.2 - Apple is making a big push for illustrated e-books in the iBookstore, The New York Times has said.

More than 100 new color e-books are being introduced into the store with iBooks 1.2, the newest version of Apple's iPad e-reader software, which debuted on Wednesday. These books include children's books, cookbooks, and photo books, the Times said.

Popular texts like chef Thomas Keller's cookbook "Ad Hoc at Home," books from the "Olivia" children's book series, and photographer Ansel Adams' collection of images called "In the National Parks" are a few examples of the content that will be included.

Apple iBooks Update 1.2

Illustrated picture books for kids are a big part of Apple's announcement, the Times said. They're also something publishers have been gunning for.

Publisher Jon Anderson from Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing said his company has been "itching to do it since e-books became possible," but they were limited by the lack of color options. "It finally gives us the opportunity to have our picture books join the e-book revolution," he said. "It gives us great opportunity to monetize our content in a way that we previously haven't been able to."

Some of the first books from Simon & Schuster that will be included in the color e-books rollout in the iBookstore are Candace Fleming's "Tippy-Tippy-Tippy, Hide!"; Elise Broach's "When Dinosaurs Came With Everything;" and Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell's "And Tango Makes Three."

Apple iBooks Update 1.2

Kardashian Christmas Card

Kardashian Christmas Card - The Kardashian Christmas card is out, and unlike your typical Hallmark special with a note enclosed detailing marriages, babies and surgeries of 2010, this one has drama -- not to mention Kourtney, Khloe and Kim Kardashian and mom Kris Jenner in glam gowns.

Did we mention lots of drama?

So much drama we're not sure it says "Christmas" as much as it says, "We're ready for New Year's Eve, even the little guy, and we have a better table than you do" -- but hey, spirit of the season and all.

There's even a noir version of photographer Nick Saglambeni's setup, from the behind-the-scenes shots.

Kardashian Christmas Card

"Hi dolls," Khloe Kardashian writes on her blog. "Christmas cards have always been a REALLY big deal in my family. For as long as I can remember, my mom has made it a point to go all out, whether it was a ninja turtles themed card, or bringing a Santa into the mix, each year she always managed to top the year before. I'd have to say though that our card this year might be my favorite. It turned out beautifully -- just SO glam! Plus, Mason is in it, which makes it even more special. Look at him standing there in his pinstripe suit, such a little gentleman!!! LOL. I love it!

How does your Christmas card effort measure up to the Kardashians'? Or, vice versa, does your tradition have an edge on on theirs?

Kardashian Christmas Card

Yeardley Love Slaying

Yeardley Love Slaying - Defense attorneys for George Huguely are attempting to show that the women’s lacrosse player he’s accused of killing, Yeardley Love, may have died due to the presence of Adderall in her system.

Huguely is accused of beating Love to death while the two attended the University of Virgina (she was found “lying in a pool of blood in her off-campus apartment, with one eye swollen shut and a large bruise on her face caused by ‘blunt force trauma,’”).

He was a member of the men’s lacrosse team, while she played for UVA’s women’s team.

Now, Huguely’s defense team is arguing that their are irregularities in the original autopsy report, and are requesting access to it. Emergency personnel performed 24 minutes of CPR on Love, which, they’re arguing, may have added to said irregularities.

Yeardley Love Slaying

Julie Andrews Survives Blake Edwards

Julie Andrews Survives Blake Edwards - Beloved comedy writer-director Blake Edwards passed away late Wednesday evening after suffering from a bout of pneumonia. Edwards had been hospitalized for the last two weeks, and died at St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California at the age of 88, with wife Julie Andrews and other family members and friends at his bedside.

The prolific artistry of Blake Edwards is responsible for creating such classic movies as Breakfast at Tiffany's, 10, and The Pink Panther. He was known for his crisp, clever dialogue and his ability to create poignancy out of absurdity. He reigned throughout the late 60s, 70s, and well into the 80s as the premier comedic voice in film. Before bringing his wit to the big screen, Blake was also known in the television world for creating the popular series Peter Gunn, for which he was nominated for an Emmy, and Mr. Lucky.

Julie Andrews Survives Blake Edwards

In 1982, Edwards received an Oscar nomination for his writing on Victor/Victoria. Though he lost, he was later awarded a Lifetime Achievement Oscar in 2004. His work slowed down considerably in the late 80s, though his voice resonated throughout the rest of that decade and continues to be heard today in the comedies of Judd Apatow and Adam McKay. At the time of his death, Blake was working on two very different Broadway musicals. The first was a stage adaptation of his own The Pink Panther, and the second was an original comedy titled Big Rosemary, which is set during the prohibition era.

At the time of his hospitalization, Edwards was recovering from an unsuccessful knee surgery, and had been confined to a wheelchair for the better part of a year. It is suspected that this past injury helped to worsen his condition.

Julie Andrews Survives Blake Edwards

Neva Patterson Dies Aged 90

Neva Patterson Dies Aged 90 - According to The LA Times, Broadway's Neva Patterson passed away in her home in Brentwood, California on December 14. She was 90. Patterson is survived by her daughter and son: Megan and Filippo, along with six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Patterson's Broadway credits include: The Druid Circle, The Ivy Green, I Know My Love, Ring Round the Moon, The Long Days, Lace on Her Petticoat, The Seven Year Itch, Double in Hearts, and Romantic Comedy.

Her first feature movie was in 1953 film Taxi; other film credits include The Buddy Holly Story, and All of Me. Moviegoers may best remember her as Cary Grant's fiancee in the 1957 tearjerker, An Affair to Remember.

Neva Patterson Dies Aged 90

Patterson starred in the TV series Nichols as Ma Ketcham from 1971-1972. She also starred in the TV series Doc Elliot as "Mags Brimble" and the TV series The Governor & J.J. as Maggie McLeod. She also starred in many TV movies; one of her best known TV movie roles was on the 1983 NBC hit mini series V as Eleanor Dupres, a role she reprised in the 1984 sequel V: The Final Battle.

She made guest appearances on many TV shows; some of those appearances range from The Defenders, Ironside, Barnaby Jones, The Dukes of Hazzard, and St. Elsewhere.

Neva Patterson Dies Aged 90

Blake Edwards Comedian

Blake Edwards Comedian - Towards the end of his long, prolific career, Blake Edwards films became so wrenchingly autobiographical — like That’s Life, about a man suffering a mid-life crisis — that the director began sharing writing credit with his Hollywood analyst. But, of course, what Edwards, who died Wednesday evening at his home in Santa Monica at age 88, will most be remembered for are his comedies. Nobody had a lighter touch with sex farces (movies like 1979’s 10, or 1982’s Victor Victoria, both of which starred his second wife, now widow, Julie Andrews) or was more at home filming physical comedy (especially when shooting the six Pink Panther films he made with Peter Sellers from 1963 to 1982). Edwards was never much of a critical darling, but he ultimately did receive Hollywood’s highest honor: In 2004, he was awarded an Academy Award for his lifetime achievements in film.

Blake Edwards Comedian

Edwards began his career as a scriptwriter for radio. In fact, one of his early breaks was writing dialogue for Orson Welles’ famous 1938 production of War of the Worlds. In the 1950s, he moved on to television writing, tapping out detective scripts for shows like Peter Gunn. He began directing in the 1950s, as well, making films like Operation Petticoat, but his first big-screen success came with 1961’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s, an adaptation of Truman Capote’s bestseller starring Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard. Edwards followed that up with 1962’s Days of Wine and Roses, a groundbreaking drama about alcoholism starring Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick. But it was 1963’s The Pink Panther, with Sellers playing the bumbling Inspector Clouseau, that would come to define Edwards’ career. No matter how successful some of his other films ended up being — including the one featuring Bo Derek in a string bikini running slow-mo on a beach in Mexico — the Panther movies always returned. Even after Sellers died in 1980, Edwards continued to churn out sequels, the last being Son of the Pink Panther in 1993.

Blake Edwards Comedian

TJ Lavin Vegas Benefit

TJ Lavin Vegas Benefit - Professional BMX dirt rider and television host T.J. Lavin continues to heal at home following his October 14 crash at the Dew Tour Championships in Las Vegas, Nev. "He's kicking butt. When I talk to him, he's all there: memory and everything. He's the same old T.J.," said Lavin's friend and fellow BMX dirt pro Tim 'Fuzzy' Hall on Thursday.

"He's in major pain with his wrist though. T.J. always jokes around, and he said something like, "Now I know what it's like to put my hand in front of a train and have it run over. That's how much pain I'm in," Hall continued.

"When I just spoke to him, he was at the doctor having his wrist examined," Hall added.

Lavin's crash during the Dew Tour Championships in mid-October left him with bleeding and swelling on the brain, a broken wrist and an orbital fracture. Lavin remained in a medically induced coma for close to a week, but has made significant progress in his recovery since emerging from the coma. Doctors expect Lavin to make a full recovery.

TJ Lavin Vegas Benefit

To aid in Lavin's recovery, the Las Vegas and action sport communities are coming together to support Lavin and fellow BMXer Ty Pinney, who suffered a similar head injury as Lavin while riding Lavin's backyard in October. To benefit the T.J. and Ty Recovery Fund, UFC president Dana White is hosting a fundraising benefit on Friday, Dec. 3 at the Vanity Nightclub in the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Raffle items include a drum kit from Travis Barker, free admission to Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory and personal baseball instruction from Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino. 100 percent of the money raised will go to T.J. and Ty.

"I'm in Hollywood right now, but we're going to Vegas tomorrow for T.J.'s benefit," said Hall, with a reminder that the benefit is not just for Lavin. "T.J. is really concerned about Ty Pinney. That's a big deal to T.J. It's not just T.J.'s fundraiser, it's for Ty as well," he added.

TJ Lavin Vegas Benefit

Bob Feller Hall of Famer

Bob Feller Hall of Famer - Bob Feller, the Cleveland Indians’ Hall of Fame righthander whose blazing fastball earned him the nickname “Rapid Robert’’ and made him the dominant pitcher in the Major Leagues during the late 1930s and much of the 1940s, died last night. He was 92.

Mr. Feller was diagnosed with leukemia in August and more recently was hospitalized with pneumonia before being moved to a Cleveland-area hospice, the Indians said on their website.

Ted Williams called Mr. Feller “the fastest and best pitcher I ever saw during my career. . . . He had the best fastball and curve I’ve ever seen.’’ Stan Musial called him “probably the greatest pitcher of our era.’’

Bob Feller Hall of Famer

Even with four years spent in military service during World War II, Mr. Feller pitched 18 seasons. His career won-lost record was 266-162, a winning percentage of .621. His career earned run average was 3.25.

Mr. Feller was the Nolan Ryan of his day, combining great speed with great durability and, at least early on, considerable wildness. He pitched 31 complete games and led the majors in strikeouts, with 263, in 1940. In 1946, he recorded 348 strikeouts. Overall, he led the league in strikeouts seven times and wins six times.

Bob Feller Hall of Famer

Panama City Shooting

Panama City Shooting - After a shooting at a Bay County School Board meeting on Tuesday night, many public agencies in Northeast Florida are looking at their own security measures and wondering if it could happen to them.

A 56-year-old man walked to the front of the Bay board meeting, cleared the room of spectators and women, and fired at the superintendent and board members. The district’s security chief bolted into the room and shot the gunman, Clay Duke, multiple times. Duke fired a fatal round into his own head, according to police. No one else was hurt.

Panama City Shooting

The incident was captured on video and broadcast around the world, leaving many elected officials shaken by the scene that unfolded at a familiar setting. A survey of school boards and county governments by The Florida Times-Union found that armed law enforcement officers are routinely present at a majority of public meetings in Northeast Florida. Governments are unsure what else they could do to prepare for the unlikely situation.

Panama City Shooting