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Showing posts from January, 2011

First Map of the United States $1.8 Million

First Map of the United States $1.8 Million - The first map printed in North America, depicting the boundaries of the new American nation and showing the "Stars and Stripes" for the first time, will be displayed at the Library of Congress in the early spring thanks to the generosity of David M. Rubenstein, co-founder and managing director of The Carlyle Group.

The map was printed in early 1784 and is considered the best preserved of those few copies in existence. It's the single most important American cartographic document missing from the collection of the Library of Congress, according to John Hébert, chief of the Library’s Geography and Map Division.

The map by Abel Buell is entitled, "A New and Correct Map of the United States of North America Layd Down from the Latest Observations and Best Authorities Agreeable to the Peace of 1783." It is the first map to be copyrighted in the United States and was published only six months after the Treaty of Paris sign…

Peter Jackson "Doing Well"

Peter Jackson "Doing Well" - "Lord of the Rings" director Peter Jackson is said to be in stable condition in intensive care after undergoing surgery for a perforated ulcer.

His publicist, Melissa Booth, said Jackson was "doing well" but would remain at Wellington Hospital for at least a few more days. Booth said doctors expect the director to make a full recovery.

Jackson was admitted to Wellington Hospital last week for severe stomach pains.

His health has delayed the start of filming of "The Hobbit," the two-part prequel to the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.

Production of "The Hobbit" had previously been troubled by financial issues and the departure of its initial director Guillermo del Toro.

Peter Jackson "Doing Well"

Derek Hough Leaving Dancing with the Stars

Derek Hough Leaving Dancing with the Stars - Derek Hough won't be on the upcoming spring season of the show.

The good news, for him: He's got a movie role. reports that three-time DWTS champ (Nicole Scherzinger, Brooke Burke and Jennifer Grey) will star in Cobu 3D.

The film will team him with BoA, a top recording artist and performer in Asia. Duane Adler, who wrote Save the Last Dance and Step Up, will direct his screenplay. Principal photography will start in Toronto and New York this spring, while Hough is on hiatus from the show.

Hough says he has already started training by working out in the gym and brushing up on his tap dancing skills. He tells he's put on "about 10 lbs. of muscle" for the film, "which is a lot for me."

Derek Hough Leaving Dancing with the Stars

Obama Kill Switch

Obama Kill Switch - There is a bill before Congress that is loosely referred to as the Internet Kill Switch that was introduced by Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins. This gives the President the power to literally kill the Internet. Other similar bills by Jay Rockefeller and Olympia Snowe are also being pushed.

These are designed to give authority to the Executive Branch to shut down the Internet in the USA completely during any sort of National emergency or cyber attack.

Let's look at this idea more closely. You'll have to ask Collins, Lieberman, and the other supporters of these bills (there are lots) why exactly they want this. They aren't Internet experts trying to protect the Net from damage. They, to be frank, are clueless about the Internet.

The most specious reason for this mechanism is that if some evil worm or attack on the National infrastructure—a.k.a. "Cyberwar"—would be underway, the Internet would need to be shut down to prevent further damage to the…

Sushi on Models South Africa

Sushi on Models South Africa - South Africa's governing party has pronounced: eating sushi off the body of a model in a bikini is politically incorrect.

A Monday statement from African National Congress secretary general Gwede Mantashe is unequivocal: "This act is anti-ANC and anti-revolutionary. This act is defamatory, insensitive and undermining of woman's integrity."

The fish-on-flesh question has raged in South African media in recent months following reports of the practice at parties of wealthy businessmen and socialites. Earlier Monday, Johannesburg newspapers reported the head of the ANC's powerful youth league had attended such a party over the weekend.

Sushi on Models South Africa

Student gets $637 Fine for Swearing

Student gets $637 Fine for Swearing - A suburban Dallas teenager had to take on a waitressing job to pay $637 after being ticketed for using bad language in a high school classroom.

Court records show that teacher Michelle Lene heard Victoria Mullins say "you trying to start (expletive)" loudly in class one day last October. She was sent to the principal's office and given lunch detention. The next day, the school resource officer presented the North Mesquite High School student a ticket.

The Dallas Morning News reported that the fine for disorderly conduct/abusive language was $340, but other charges included failure to show for a hearing.

The complaint said Lene was offended, and that Mullins' language was a breach of the peace.
Mullins acknowledges she was wrong, but said a classmate was getting on her nerves.

Student gets $637 Fine for Swearing

Model Genevieve Morton Super Bowl Party

Model Genevieve Morton Super Bowl Party - The party people are taking over Dallas this week.

On Friday, the Black Eyed Peas, which is providing half-time entertainment at Super Bowl XLV on Sunday, will join with Sports Illustrated to host - get this - the "Sports Illustrated Presents: The Official Black Eyed Peas Friday NightB4 XLV Party."

That's not a misprint; that's the name of the event, which organizers say means music and models.

According to the Peas' website, there will be DJ sets from and David Guetta along with a host of special guests including Sports Illustrated Swimsuit models Genevieve Morton, Christine Teigen, Julie Henderson and Anne V.

It's unusual to have such a high-spirited act play the Super Bowl. Since Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" in 2004, halftime entertainment has been provided by a string of older - but still popular - performers like Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and a t…

Chicago Midwest Brace for Winter Storm

Chicago Midwest Brace for Winter Storm - The Midwest braced for a massive and potentially dangerous winter storm on Monday with up to two feet of snow and strong winds that could make travel virtually impossible.

The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning and hazardous weather outlook for the Chicago area, with wind gusts as high as 50 miles per hour and wind chills as low as three below zero Tuesday night.

The storm could be the biggest since a 1967 blizzard paralyzed the city, Chicago officials said.

The system is also expected to bring ice storms Monday night through early Wednesday for an area that includes the Ozarks in Missouri and Arkansas, as well as St. Louis, Indianapolis, Columbus, Pittsburgh, and New York, according to Oklahoma and Missouri both declared a state of emergency.

United and Continental Airlines are allowing travelers affected by the weather in the Midwest and Northeast to change flights without fees from January 31 through February 3.

Niecy Nash Married on TV

Niecy Nash Married on TV - Today, the actress announced that she would be tying the not on television.

Nash, 40, is set to marry fiancé Jay Tucker on TLC. She announced that she would be airing a two-hour special documenting her spring wedding to Tucker. She would document not only the special day but also the days leading up to it including her wedding dress shopping, venue shopping and more.

The “Dancing With The Stars” star has enlisted the help of her A-list friends, Sherri Shepherd of The View, and actress’ Raquel Robinson and Sheryl Ralph.

Nash told People Magazine, “I am telling you, I was so excited to find the man, I didn’t even think about planning.”

Nash accepted the electrical engineers proposal, but this wont be the first time the comedian will be walking down the isle. She was married for 16 years but divorced in 2007.

Niecy Nash Married on TV

Riots Rage in Egypt Against President Hosni Mubarak

Riots Rage in Egypt Against President Hosni Mubarak - More countries are sending planes to evacuate their citizens from the unrest in Egypt, as leaders from around the world call on President Hosni Mubarak to seek a peaceful resolution to the week-long anti-government protests.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Janice Jacobs told reporters that the first U.S.-government sponsored flight will be leaving Cairo Monday.

China's state television reported that a plane is on its way to start transporting the more than 500 Chinese nationals at the Cairo airport. Azerbaijan, India, Iraq, Japan and Turkey are among the nations that sent planes Sunday.

In a statement late Sunday, China's Foreign Ministry said Beijing hopes normalcy and stability will return to Egypt soon.

U.S. President Barack Obama called for an "orderly transition" to a more responsive government in Egypt, while European leaders appealed for free and fair elections in the world's mos…

New York Senator Bath Salts Ban

New York Senator Bath Salts Ban - Two drugs that produce a "meth-like" high and are being sold under the guise of "bath salts" would be banned as federally controlled substances under a bill unveiled on Sunday by Senator Charles Schumer.

"These so-called bath salts contain ingredients that are nothing more than legally sanctioned narcotics, and they are being sold cheaply to all comers, with no questions asked, at store counters around the country," said Schumer, a New York Democrat.

Schumer said he will introduce a bill to outlaw the two synthetic drugs -- mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone, or MDPV. The drugs come in powder and tablet form and are ingested by snorting, injection, smoking and, less often, by use of an atomizer.

Users experience an intense high, euphoria, extreme energy, hallucinations, insomnia and are easily provoked to anger, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration, which is currently investigating the drugs.

New York S…

Dead Cows Mystery Solved

Dead Cows Mystery Solved - Authorities investigating the deaths of 200 cows in Wisconsin have come up with an unlikely culprit: the sweet potato.

The cows were found dead in a Stockton pasture two weeks ago. Locals were left scratching their heads about what caused the mass die-off.

Investigators from the University of Wisconsin have determined that the animals were killed by a poison found in spoiled sweet potatoes that were part of the cattle's feed.

"It is likely that a mycotoxin from moldy sweet potato was a major factor in the disease and deaths of these steers," said Peter Vanderloo, associate director of the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.

There's been a spate of mass animal deaths in recent weeks, from fish in Maryland and Arkansas to birds in Louisiana and South Dakota.

Dead Cows Mystery Solved

Wikileaks on 60 Minutes

Wikileaks on 60 Minutes - In an exclusive interview with "60 Minutes" tonight, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange discussed, among other things, his relationship with sources (a crucial legal issue, as the U.S. considers taking court action against Assange), WikiLeaks' vulnerability to government shut down (presumably of concern to Assange, especially since some WikiLeaks supporters have found themselves grappling with various law enforcement agencies), and rumors about an upcoming release of documents embarrassing to Bank of America.

"60 Minutes" offers a transcript of the interview, along with video extras, here, and a behind-the-scenes video here. Readers can check out CNET's roundup of the latest WikiLeaks news here. (CNET News is published by CBS Interactive, a unit of CBS. CBS broadcasts "60 Minutes.")

Read more:

Wikileaks on 60 Minutes

World's Richest People

World's Richest People - Every year the rich get richer with some new billionaires also making the cut. Here is a list of the 10 world's richest people and their net worth in 2010.

1 Carlos Slim Helu & family, Mexico, US$ 53.5 billion

2 William Gates III, United States, 53.0 billion

3 Warren Buffett, United States, 47.0 billion

4 Mukesh Ambani, India, 29.0 billion

5 Lakshmi Mittal, India, 28.7 billion

6 Lawrence Ellison, United States, 28.0 billion

7 Bernard Arnault, France, 27.5 billion

8 Eike Batista Brazil, 27.0 billion

9 Amancio Ortega, Spain, 25.0 billion

10 Karl Albrecht, Germany, 23.5 billion

World's Richest People

The Lost Valentine CBS Jan 30

The Lost Valentine CBS Jan 30 - Seven-time Emmy winner Betty White just turned 89, and she'a busier than ever. Not only is she starring in the second season of the TV Land sitcom "Hot in Cleveland," but she'll soon be seen in a very different type of project, the CBS Hallmark Hall of Fame TV movie "The Lost Valentine."

Of her busy schedule, White told "Early Show" co-anchor Erica Hill, "It's wonderful. At 89, you don't expect to be working this much. But I enjoy it."

Hill remarked, "Yeah, you're nonstop. Not only the TV movie and the series, but there was the Snickers commercials, there was 'Saturday Night Live.' The Emmy. I read at one point you were getting a little concerned about overexposure."

"Oh, a lot concerned about overexposure," White said. "It's like, 'Oh, my God, there's Betty White again."'

Hill responded, "You really think people do that? I think th…

Brittany Murphy Home Auction

Brittany Murphy Home Auction - The Hollywood Hills home where Brittany Murphy and her husband Simon Monjack died within months of each other is set to be sold at auction on Monday morning.

The Clueless star died suddenly in December, 2009 after suffering a cardiac arrest at her California residence.

Murphy's devastated mother Sharon, who lived with the couple at the mansion, put the house on the market in March 2010 - only to remove it from sale a month later.

The family was hit with another tragedy when Murphy's husband Monjack passed away weeks later in May. Bizarrely, both husband and wife died of pneumonia combined with anaemia.

Now Sharon Murphy has decided to move away from the bad memories and is set to put the house under the hammer in an auction at a courthouse in Pomona, California.

According to, court documents show there is still over $4 million owed on the house, which fetched an asking price of $7.25 million last year.

Brittany Murphy Home Auction

Souvenir Condoms Royal Wedding

Souvenir Condoms Royal Wedding - While Britain has a public holiday to celebrate Prince William's wedding, one company is taking the party one step further with souvenir condoms that urge lovers to "lie back and think of England".

Crown Jewels Condoms of Distinction is producing special celebration packs that bear the slogan: "Like a royal wedding, intercourse with a loved one is an unforgettable occasion".
Critics have dismissed the novelty condoms as "tasteless".

Military helicopter pilot William, second in line to the throne, is to marry his university sweetheart Kate Middleton on April 29 at London's Westminster Abbey.

All manner of predictable unofficial souvenirs such as tea towels, chinaware and postcards have been rushed out by manufacturers, with condoms now joining the ranks.

Hugh Pomfret, a spokesman for Crown Jewels Condoms of Distinction, insisted they were "a unique way to remember this great British occasion".

"In yea…

Javier Bardem Bond

Javier Bardem Bond - Just days after the news broke that he'd been offered the lead role of gunslinger Roland Deschain in the epic film and TV adaptation of The Dark Tower comes word that Oscar winner Javier Bardem has also been offered a major role in Bond 23.

"Details about the character are being kept under wraps for now. But traditionally the biggest male role opposite 007 is the villain," according to Deadline. "The EON Productions offer by principals Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli to Bardem to join star Daniel Craig and director Sam Mendes was made last week, at around the same time that Bardem received his Best Actor nomination for Biutiful."

Javier Bardem Bond

David Arquette Out Rehab

David Arquette Out Rehab - The "Scream" star has left rehab after spending about a month in an unspecified facility, the Daily News confirmed.

"He has completed treatment," his publicist told the News on Sunday.

Arquette, 39, reportedly sought help for alcohol addiction and emotional issues.

He separated from wife Courteney Cox, 46, last year and spent much of the end of 2010 partying and surprising fans with his candid talk about his marriage problems.

Arquette attributed his behavior to being "heartbroken."

Cox has stood by her estranged husband as he battled his demons.

"I really admire David and his choice to take charge and better his life," she told People shortly after Arquette entered treatment.

David Arquette Out Rehab

Desert Inn Daytona Beach Dirtiest

Desert Inn Daytona Beach Dirtiest - The world's largest travel site, TripAdvisor, announced its Top 10 list of the dirtiest hotels in America. Coming in at No. 1 is The Grand Resort Hotel & Convention Center in Pigeon Forge, TN, whose customer ratings resemble descriptions of a crime scene.

"If you are looking for a hotel with chewing tobacco spit oozing down the halls and corridors; spiders actively making webs in every corner of your room; carpeting so greasy and dirty you wouldn't want to sit your luggage down - let alone walk around barefoot … by all means, stay at The Grand Resort," said a reviewer identified as JordynC.

The Grand Resort Hotel is a historic Smoky Mountains hotel and graded "terrible" by 161 of 224 reviews on the TripAdvisor's site.

Not only do many travelers see this "Grand Resort" as terrible, 87 percent of people warned against staying there.

"The Grand Resort Hotel & Convention Center would get a B+, if tr…

'Like Crazy' Dundance Top Drama

'Like Crazy' Dundance Top Drama - A story of young love challenged by geography emerged as the big winner at the Sundance Film Festival on Saturday night.

Drake Doremus' "Like Crazy," a romantic drama starring Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones as a star-crossed couple and Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence as the third wheel, took the U.S. dramatic grand jury prize, the festival's highest honor.

The award was the second of the evening for the film; the jury had previously handed a special prize to Jones.

The movie centers on the American Jacob (Yelchin) and the Brit Anna (Jones) as students who fall in love at university and are later kept an ocean apart because of an immigration complication.

The film was acquired by Paramount Pictures and the production company Indian Paintbrush, and will be released by Paramount later this year.

'Like Crazy' Dundance Top Drama

Pro Bowl 2011

Pro Bowl 2011 - A contingent of nine Falcons players will lead the NFC team in the Pro Bowl at 7 p.m. Sunday at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. The team will be coached by Falcons coach Mike Smith and his staff.

The players arrived in Hawaii last week and have practiced with the other all-stars.

"It wasn't that bad, but it was kind long," Falcons fullback Ovie Mughelli said about the flight in a telephone interview. "I fell asleep two or three times and I thought we were there, and we still weren't halfway there.

"I had to use my iPhone and my laptop. I watched movies on the plane and read a book. I got up and talked to some of my coaches who were on the plane, too."

While the Falcons were enjoying their time in Hawaii, they still were dealing with the abrupt end of their season, a 48-21 loss to the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round of the playoffs.

Pro Bowl 2011

'The Rite' Leads Box Office

'The Rite' Leads Box Office - The Anthony Hopkins horror flick inspired by 1970s classic "The Exorcist" captured $15 million in just under 3,000 theaters, despite poor reviews by critics.

Last week's leader "No Strings Attached," the romantic romp starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher, slipped to second place. The Ivan Reitman film about casual sex between friends took in $13.7 million.

Tied in third place were action movie "The Green Hornet" and new release "The Mechanic," both with $11.5 million.

Other films basked in the glow of an Oscars nomination bump.

During its 10th week in theaters, British historical drama "The King's Speech" was in the fifth spot after drawing 12 nominations from the Oscars race. It earned $11.1 million, for a total of $72.2 million so far.

Colin Firth has also captured the best actor award for portraying a stuttering King George VI.
The Western "True Grit" came in sixth, with…

Sag Awards 2011 Nominees

Sag Awards 2011 Nominees - The SAG Awards 2011 cap off a big week. Most of the SAG Awards 2011 nominations went to actors that just got Oscar nominations five days ago. For those that didn't, this is their last chance to play spoiler for the favorites. As for the favorites, this is another opportunity to increase their already substantial leads in the Oscar derby. But the Best Picture race is not a big talking point tonight, since this ceremony is all about actors. However, the SAG Awards could offer a boost to the Best Picture leaders, or those still trying to catch up.

Tonight, the actors and actresses take the spotlight, as their peers get to choose their fate. The Screen Actors Guild is not only the primary union for actors, but they also hold one of the last pre-Oscar ceremonies of the season.

As such, the SAG Awards 2011 offer another chance for Colin Firth, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale and Melissa Leo to rack up honors. But the night won't end with a Best Picture com…

Henry Cavill Superman

Henry Cavill Superman - British actor Henry Cavill, who is largely unknown to those who aren’t fans of the Showtime drama “The Tudors,” has landed the part of perhaps America’s most iconic character: Superman.

Cavill will play the red-and-blue-clad superhero, as well as his alter ego Clark Kent, in the Zack Snyder-directed reboot of the franchise set for release in December 2012, Warner Bros. announced Sunday.

The 27-year-old actor is familiar with the role as he reportedly was very close to getting it in 2006′s “Superman Returns,” before director McG was replaced by Bryan Singer, who instead cast Brandon Routh.

He will be much better known to movie fans this November when he stars in the Greek myth drama “Immortals.”

Henry Cavill Superman

Comcast Completes NBC Universal

Comcast Completes NBC Universal - Cable company Comcast and industrial conglomerate General Electric announced Saturday that their deal to merge Comcast's cable networks with GE's NBC Universal entertainment unit was complete.

The new joint venture, dubbed NBCUniversal, LLC, is 51% owned by Comcast (CMCSA, Fortune 500) and 49% owned by GE (GE, Fortune 500). Comcast will manage the company.

The complicated deal, which values NBCUniversal at $30 billion, was first announced in December 2009. Comcast will pay GE $6.5 billion in cash and also contribute some of its programming assets to the joint venture.

The merger combines Comcast's cable networks, such as E!, Versus and the Golf Channel with NBCUniversal's struggling NBC broadcast network, as well as popular cable networks USA, Bravo, MSNBC and The Weather Channel. NBCUniversal also owns the Universal Studios film and theme park businesses.

Comcast Completes NBC Universal

Benjamin Walker Abraham

Benjamin Walker Abraham - One of the most famous figures in American history is to be played by a relative newcomer. Broadway star Benjamin Walker has been handed the title role in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, the latest in a series of "mash-up" projects that are heading towards cinemas.

The film sees the 16th US president fighting the undead during the Civil War. Based on a novel by Seth Grahame-Smith, it will most likely follow the same author's Pride and Prejudice and Zombies on to the big screen. The latter sparked the current mash-up craze by taking Jane Austen's out-of-copyright tale of Regency romance and unleashing an army of the undead to liven up proceedings.

Other similarly pitched movies are on the way. Jon Favreau's Cowboys and Aliens is arguably a loose example of the genre, while the 2010 blacklisted Boy Scouts vs Zombies sounds similarly enticing. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter will be directed by Timur Bekmambetov, a Russian film-maker who s…

Bruno Mars Guilty

Bruno Mars Guilty - The seven-time Grammy nominee will plead guilty to felony cocaine possession in order to avoid jail time, according to E! News.

In September, Mars was busted at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas on suspicion of narcotics possession. The "Grenade" singer, born Peter Hernandez, had 2.6 grams of a substance believed to be cocaine.

Next up for Mars is a court appearance on February 4 when he'll enter his guilty plea. He'll be fined $2,000, sentenced to a year of informal probation, 200 hours of community service and drug counseling. After completing the terms, the first-time offender's record will be wiped clean.

Bruno Mars Guilty

Chris Brown Completes Domestic

Chris Brown Completes Domestic - Chris Brown has completed a domestic violence counseling program required as part of the singer's guilty plea to assaulting then-girlfriend Rihanna nearly two years ago.

On Friday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg congratulated the 21-year-old R&B performer for finishing the yearlong program.

As a result of completing the required counseling, Brown will no longer have to appear in court every three months for progress report hearings.

Brown is serving five years of probation after pleading guilty last year to assaulting pop star Rihanna in a rented sports car after a pre-Grammy Awards party.

City News Service reports the judge said she would consider lifting the protective order against Brown at a later date. The order requires Brown to stay at least 100 yards away from Rihanna.

Chris Brown Completes Domestic

Egypt Prisoners Escape

Egypt Prisoners Escape - Thousands of prisoners have escaped from prisons across Egypt as rioting spreads following days of violent protests.

Numerous jailbreaks have been registered in Alexandria, Aswan other places. An estimated 5,000 inmates are reported to have broken free in El Fayoum, south of Cairo, killing a senior police officer.

Army units have temporarily blocked traffic along the highway connecting the capital Cairo with the country’s second biggest city of Alexandria.

Egypt Prisoners Escape

Milton Babbitt Dies

Milton Babbitt Dies - Composer Milton Babbitt, who was known for his complex orchestral compositions and credited with developing the first electronic synthesizer in the 1950s, died Saturday. He was 94.

Paul Lansky, a composer and Princeton University colleague who was once a student of Babbitt's, told The Associated Press he died Saturday at a Princeton hospital. Lansky said he did not know the cause of death.

Born in Philadelphia, Babbitt earned degrees from both Princeton and New York University. He joined Princeton's faculty in 1938 and became a professor emeritus of music there in 1984.

In the 1950s, RCA hired Babbitt as a consultant as it was developing the Mark II synthesizer. He became a founder and director of the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center, where the synthesizer was installed.

He blended electronic music with vocal performances in compositions such as "Vision and Prayer" and "Philomel" in the 1960s and "Reflections" in 19…

Monk Smoking Law

Monk Smoking Law - A Buddhist monk could face five years in prison after becoming the first casualty of a stringent anti-smoking law in the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, which vows to become the first smoke-free nation.

The monk has been charged with consuming and smuggling contraband tobacco under a law that came into force this month, the newspaper Kuensel reported on Friday, having been caught in possession of 72 packets of chewing tobacco.

Monk first to be charged under Bhutan smoking law

Bhutan, where smoking is considered bad for one's karma, banned the sale of tobacco in 2005. But with a thriving smuggling operation from neighbouring India, the ban failed to make much of an impact.

The new law has granted police powers to enter homes, threatening jail for shopkeepers selling tobacco and smokers who fail to provide customs receipts for imported cigarettes.

"He can be charged with smuggling of controlled substances, which is a fourth degree felony," a police off…

Mail Carrier Discount Coupons

Mail Carrier Discount Coupons - A mail carrier on New York's Long Island is accused of pinching thousands of discount coupons intended for residents' mailboxes.

Police say 38-year-old Thomas Tang of Baldwin stole more than 7,000 J.C. Penney Co. discount coupons he was supposed to deliver to the department store's customers. Police say Tang then sold the coupons on eBay.

Tang was charged with grand larceny. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Friday and was ordered held on $5,000 cash bail.

His attorney was not immediately available for comment.

The alleged theft occurred between October 2009 and this January.

Mail Carrier Discount Coupons

Lea Michele Sing Super Bowl

Lea Michele Sing Super Bowl - Not only will Lea Michele be starring in a "Glee" Thriller-themed post-Super Bowl episode, she'll also be singing before the big game.

She has signed on to belt out "America the Beautiful" at the start of the Super Bowl on February 6.

As previously announced, Christina Aguilera will sing the national anthem.

After the Super Bowl game, the cast of "Glee" will perform a mash-up version of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" as part of special episode of the series. It is said to be the most expensive episode in the 18 month history of "Glee."

The annual Super Bowl is traditionally the most-watched event on U.S. television, drawing more than 100 million viewers.

Lea Michele Sing Super Bowl

Eva Longoria Dating Penelope Cruz Brother

Eva Longoria Dating Penelope Cruz Brother - Two of the world's most stunning women - EVA LONGORIA and PENELOPE CRUZ - could soon be family, if the Desperate Housewives star's new romance works out.

US reports claim Eva, who split from husband TONY PARKER in November, is dating Penny's younger brother, singer EDUARDO CRUZ.

A source told an American magazine: "He's there at least three nights out of every four - he turns up and he leaves the next morning. They are trying desperately to stay beneath the radar."

The pair reportedly met at a party and, on Christmas Eve, the 25-year-old Spaniard was spotted with the 35-year-old actress in the garage of her home.

A rep for Eva stated: "Eva and Eduardo are friends."

Eva Longoria Dating Penelope Cruz Brother

Jeremy Piven Miley Cyrus

Jeremy Piven Miley Cyrus - Entourage star Jeremy Piven, 45, and teen queen Miley Cyrus, 18, apparently have all the makings of a true friendship.

"I think I must be an 18-year-old girl because we got along really well," Piven told E! during the Sundance Film Festival. "It was just so much fun. I had so much fun with her and we had great chemistry. It was really really weird -- we're like polar opposites."

So, where did they meet? That would be on the set of their upcoming movie So Undercover, which has been filming in New Orleans for the past few months. Like a real best friend, Piven defends Cyrus against negative buzz for racy photos and a recent video showing the teen smoking the hallucinogen salvia.

Jeremy Piven Miley Cyrus

First Beatles Degree

First Beatles Degree - A Canadian singer has become the first person in the world to graduate with a Masters degree in The Beatles.

Former Miss Canada finalist Mary-Lu Zahalan-Kennedy was one of the first students to sign up in England for the course on the Fab Four when it launched at Liverpool Hope University in 2009.

Twelve full-time students joined the Master of Arts course in The Beatles, Popular Music and Society that year and 53-year-old Mary-Lu is the first to graduate.

She said: "I am so proud of my achievement. The course was challenging, enjoyable and it provided a great insight into the impact The Beatles had and still have to this day across all aspects of life."

The course looks at the studio sound and composition of The Beatles and how Liverpool helped to shape their music.

The MA also examines the significance of The Beatles' music and how it helped to define identities, culture and society.

Founder and leader of the Beatles MA, Mike Brocken, said: "…

Beaten Man Found in BMW Trunk

Beaten Man Found in BMW Trunk - Police in New York City say a man found stabbed, bound and barely alive in the trunk of a BMW after a fender-bender had placed an online ad to sell the car.

The NYPD says they are looking for the man they suspect was driving and fled the scene, 30-year-old Barion Blake of Manhattan. Police spokesman Paul Browne tells The New York Times that the motive appears to be the robbery. The newspaper also reports Blake has a history of stealing BMWs.

Police say the bloodied 33-year-old victim — identified as Akeem Ajimotokan — was found in the car's trunk in upper Manhattan on Wednesday. The car had collided with a taxi and the driver fled. That's when police noticed a man in the trunk.

Beaten Man Found in BMW Trunk

iPad-Only Paper

iPad-Only Paper - News Corp's much awaited tablet-only paper, specifically crafted for Apple's iPad is due to be launched on Feb. 2 at a price of 99 cents per week.

Reuters reported that the digital publication called 'The Daily' will be unveiled by Newcorp's chairman Rupert Murdoch and Apple Vice President of Internet Services Eddy Cue. The earlier launch date of Jan. 19 was postponed due to technical issues. The digital paper will be initially available in US only.

Reports of the project have been circulating since Murdoch stated in an interview with Australian Financial Review: "I'm starting a paper in six weeks. A brand new paper. It will be like the New York Post. But it will be national." He had also said that "It will only be seen on tablets. It will only employ 10 journalists - and maybe eight to 10 technicians."

iPad-Only Paper

Hawaii Bill Obama Birth Certificate $100

Hawaii Bill Obama Birth Certificate $100 - Moving to dispel claims that President Barack Obama was not born in Hawaii, his supporters in the state's legislature have introduced a bill that would allow anyone to get a copy of his birth records for a $100 fee.

The idea behind the measure is to end skepticism over Obama's birthplace while raising a little money for a government with a projected budget deficit exceeding $800 million over the next two years.

"If it passes, it will calm the birthers down," said the bill's primary sponsor, Rep. Rida Cabanilla. "All these people are still doubting it because they don't want the birth certificate from Obama. They want it from our state office."

The bill introduced this week would change a privacy law barring the release of birth records unless the requester is someone with a tangible interest, such as a close family member.

It was introduced by five Democrats but has not yet been scheduled for a public heari…

Mark Salter Author of "O"

Mark Salter Author of "O" - Washington has been buzzing over the identity of the anonymous author behind "O: A Presidential Novel," a fictionalized account of the 2012 presidential campaign starring an Obama figure named simply "O." The book features obvious stand-ins for Arianna Huffington, Sarah Palin and the website Politico, and it offers a complicated portrait of "O" as a somewhat-compromised idealist who sometimes struggles under the weight of the presidency.

Hotsheet got an early copy of "O" and devoured it in a weekend; as I discuss in the video below, the author seemed likely to me to be a political reporter, not an administration insider. That's because while the book is great on the workings of a campaign and the interaction between reporters and their sources, it did not strike me as having great insight into the president or his White House.

Now a suspect has emerged who is not, in fact, a political reporter - but who …

Palin to Keynote Reagan 100

Palin to Keynote Reagan 100 - Sarah Palin will deliver a speech at Ronald Reagan’s former ranch to celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth. On February 4th the former Alaska Governor will be the keynote speaker at the “Reagan 100 Opening Banquet” at the Reagan Ranch Center in Santa Barbara California. The celebration is being hosted by the Young America’s Foundation.

In a press release the group said, “To commemorate the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s birth, Governor Palin will reflect on the seminal speech by President Reagan, “Time for Choosing,” that discussed the risks and rewards before an America at a crossroads in the early 1960’s. Governor Palin will draw parallels to today while calling for young people to continue the Reagan revolution into the future.”

Sarah Palin frequently refers to Ronald Reagan in her speeches and writing. Her last book, “America by Heart,” included 33 references to Reagan, her first book, “Going Rogue” 34 references.

According to their we…

Professor Charged with Urinating

Professor Charged with Urinating - A California university professor has been charged with peeing on a colleague's campus office door.

Prosecutors charged 43-year-old Tihomir Petrov, a math professor at California State University, Northridge, with two misdemeanor counts of urinating in a public place. Arraignment is scheduled Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court in San Fernando.

Investigators say a dispute between Petrov and another math professor was the motive.

The Los Angeles Times says Petrov was captured on videotape urinating on the door of another professor's office on the San Fernando Valley campus. School officials had rigged the camera after discovering puddles of what they thought was urine at the professor's door.

Read more:

Professor Charged with Urinating

Diet Programs Disease Risk

Diet Programs Disease Risk - Losing weight is often touted as a way to improve health, but many weight-loss programs may not help stave off disease since people tend to gain the weight back, Australian researchers say.

In a report in the International Journal of Obesity, they note the focus of such programs may need to change if they're really going to have a lasting effect.

To test the potential impact of different diets, the researchers ran two computer simulations: One included a low-fat diet, the other a diet rich in whole grains and vegetables plus 180 minutes of exercise per week.

According to the models, people lost an average of 8 to 12 pounds on the diets and kept the weight off for an average of 6 months. But the pounds slowly crept back on, and after less than 6 years, the dieters were back where they started -- negating any improvement in health from the weight loss.

In addition, the researchers estimate that only about 3 percent of Australia's population would par…

Tristan Gale Geisler Medal Stolen

Tristan Gale Geisler Medal Stolen - The winner of the women's skeleton at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics says her gold medal has been stolen.

Tristan Gale Geisler says her medal, Olympic ring, engagement ring, computers and other possessions were taken during a break-in at her Southern California home Wednesday.

Police in Oceanside, Calif., confirmed Thursday that an investigation is under way.

Competing under her maiden name at the time, Geisler helped American sliders sweep the skeleton golds at Salt Lake nearly nine years ago, when the sport returned to the Olympic program after a 54-year absence.

If the medal is deemed to be lost, there are contingency policies in which Geisler could have her Olympic prize reissued.

Tristan Gale Geisler Medal Stolen

Peter Jackson Surgery

Peter Jackson Surgery - Filming of Peter Jackson's two-part adaptation of The Hobbit has been delayed after the director was admitted to hospital in New Zealand for a perforated ulcer.

Jackson, 49, was in satisfactory condition after the surgery, performed Wednesday. He had been suffering severe stomach pains.

Publicist Melissa Booth said he is resting comfortably and expected to make a full recovery. In a statement Thursday, Booth said Jackson's illness is "not expected to impact on his directing commitment to The Hobbit beyond a slight delay to the start of filming."

Jackson stepped in to take on the adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit after original director Guillermo del Toro quit the project last year.

Jackson, who directed the Lord of the Rings trilogy, is also producer and co-writer of the two Hobbit films.

In 2003, he won the best director, best picture and best adapted screenplay Oscars for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.


NFL Players May Lose Millions if No Deal

NFL Players May Lose Millions if No Deal - NFL officials on Thursday outlined for the media the finances behind some of their proposals for a new collective bargaining agreement, expressing why they believed there should be significant urgency on both sides to complete a deal.

The officials, led by general counsel Jeff Pash, the NFL's chief negotiator in talks with the NFL Players Association, also shared slides from presentations they have made to all 32 owners, as well as to the NFLPA itself, during the months of talks aimed at generating a new CBA.

The current CBA is set to expire March 4, with the sides far apart on an agreement. Pash said there are no "intensive, round-the-clock negotiations" scheduled with the players at this point but stressed again that Commissioner Roger Goodell has no greater issue on his agenda.

NFL Players May Lose Millions if No Deal

Jay-Z and Will Smith Film Deal

Jay-Z and Will Smith Film Deal - Hollywood powerhouse Will Smith has inked a deal with fellow singer/songwriter Jay-Z to produce a feature film. Jay-Z and Smith along with his wife Jada Pinkett Smith as Overbrook Productions will produce the remake of the 1982 film “Annie.” The Smiths’ daughter, Willow Smith, is slated to play the leading role in the film produced by her daddy. Overbrook also produced the couple’s son, Jaden Smith’s film, “The Karate Kid.”

This will be the first starring role in a feature film for the youngest Smith. The 10-year-old Willow burst onto the music charts with her single “Whip My Hair” and hopes to follow in her father’s footsteps with an acting career as well.

The family affair will most likely include remixes to the popular songs “Hard Knock Life” and “Tomorrow.” Jay-Z has already ventured down that road with his version of “Hard Knock Life” that was released on his album in 1998.

Jay-Z and Will Smith Film Deal

Mike Tyson New Baby Morocco

Mike Tyson New Baby Morocco - Mike Tyson joins the new-baby club after it was announced on Wednesday (January 26) that the boxer and his wife Lakiha Spicer Tyson welcomed a son.

The boxer's rep confirmed the birth to sharing that, "Morocco Elijah Tyson arrived Jan. 25 in Henderson, Nev., weighing in at 8 lbs. and 13 oz., and measuring 19 inches in length."

The couple announced they were expecting last September. It's the second child for the couple, who already have a daughter, Milan, 2.

Tyson and his wife married in June 2009 in Las Vegas. The wedding came less than two weeks after Tyson's 4-year-old daughter Exodus died as a result of an accidental strangling when she was ensnared in a treadmill power cable at the family's home in Phoenix.

"I'm just looking forward to trying to do this stuff right. Of course, you know, you — I want to do it right. I've been married — this is my third marriage. I want to do it right. I want to do it r…

Stock Market Correction Coming in 2011

Stock Market Correction Coming in 2011 - My computer mouse pad says: "If you can't run with the Big Dogs, stay on the porch."

As goofy as it may sound, the "Big Dogs" of the investment world pray that the stock market crashes from time to time. Since "crash" is a little strong, the preferred euphemism for a minor downdraft is "correction."

Why is a correction a good thing? Because it lowers stock market values temporarily and offers opportunities to buy stocks and mutual fund shares at reduced values. When we take advantage of this opportunity, we are reducing the average cost of all the shares we happen to own. This is especially true if we have some shares that we bought on rising markets and at their recent peaks.

If you're a 401(k) investor, automatically depositing money every pay period, you are lucky because you don't have to think. It's dangerous when investors begin to think. We are sorely tempted to try to second guess …

Girls Hospitalized Pot Cookie

Girls Hospitalized Pot Cookie - Two girls, ages 10 and 11, were hospitalized Monday after eating a marijuana cookie they found on a kitchen counter, according to Covina police.

Authorities said the mother was arrested on suspicion of child endangerment.

Police Lt. Tim Doonan said the girls found the chocolate chip cookie in a baggie when they came home from school on Monday. Doonan told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune hat the girls felt ill, complaining of numbness and pale, clammy skin, and were taken to a hospital where tests showed traces of marijuana.

Their 33-year-old mother was arrested and remained jailed Wednesday on $100,000 bail.

Girls Hospitalized Pot Cookie

Facebook Posts Republish Advertisers

Facebook Posts Republish Advertisers - Facebook users who check in to a store or click the "like" button for a brand may soon find those actions retransmitted on their friends' pages as a "Sponsored Story" paid for by advertisers.

Currently there is no way for users to decline this feature.

Facebook says this lets advertisers promote word-of-mouth recommendations that people already made on the site. They play up things people do on the site that might get lost in the mass of links, photos, status updates and other content users share on the world's largest social network.

The new, promoted posts would keep the same privacy setting that the original posting had. So if you limit your check-ins to a specific group of friends, only these same friends would see the "Sponsored Story" version later.

The promoted content will appear on the right side of users' home pages, not in their main news feed. That's where regular ads, friend requests and …

Top Tax Saving Tips 2011

Top Tax Saving Tips 2011 - Saving from paying tax is everyone wage owners goal. We all like to pay as little tax as possible to be able to spend our hard earned cash.

Knowing the tax system is an important first step. Knowing what you can deduct is very important to reduce your taxable income. In knowing your deductions, you must also keep your receipts as proof of your purchases.

Seeing a professional will also help. Professionals have an intricate knowledge of tax law and as such can help you maximize your tax return.

Donating to a registered charity is always tax deductible. Make some donations to your favorite one and you might just drop down a tax bracket.

Top Tax Saving Tips 2011

Breast Implants Cancer Risk

Breast Implants Cancer Risk - Women with breast implants may be at increased risk for a rare but serious form of lymphoma, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.

The FDA says it has identified 34 cases of what’s known as anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) in women with silicone and saline breast implants after reviewing research published between 1997 and 2010.

An aggressive type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, ALCL appears in the scar tissue that forms around breast implants.

But considering that an estimated 5 million to 10 million women worldwide have implants, known cases of the condition are “too few to say conclusively that breast implants cause the disease,” the FDA says.

To better understand who may be at risk, the FDA is partnering with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons to create a registry of ALCL cases in women with implants.

Breast Implants Cancer Risk

Padma Lakshmi Custody

Padma Lakshmi Custody - Padma Lakshmi, the top Chef host, model and media personality is involved in a public custody battle which is living nightmare according to her.

Adam Bell, the child’s father is seeking a greater role in this 11-month daughter, Krishna’s upbringing, as he feels that Padma Lakshmi is unable to devote much time from her busy schedule to devote to her child.

"[Dell] is the parent who can be relied upon to put Krishna's needs before his own," reads the suit, according to "[Lakshmi's] career as a television personality and her commitment to celebrity status involve a hectic, irregular schedule and require frequent and distant travel," it further adds.

Dell also claimed that Lakshmi has tried "to minimise, if not eliminate, [his] role in Krishna's life" by encouraging the child to view her current partner Ted Forstmann as a father figure.

Naturally this is denied by Lakshmi’s spokeswoman, Christina Papadopoulo…

Taco Bell Lawsuit

Taco Bell Lawsuit - Taco Bell officials on Tuesday rejected claims made in a lawsuit that the meat in their tacos, burritos and other products is not all beef.

Taco Bell President Greg Creed said in a statement that the lawyers who filed the lawsuit got their facts wrong and that Taco Bell plans to take legal action against those making the allegations. He did not explain specifically what type of legal action Taco Bell might take.
"At Taco Bell, we buy our beef from the same trusted brands you find in the supermarket," Creed said. "We start with 100 percent USDA-inspected beef. Then we simmer it in our proprietary blend of seasonings and spices to give our seasoned beef its signature Taco Bell taste and texture."

The class action lawsuit filed Friday in federal court in California by the Montgomery law firm Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles claims the Taco Bell meat mixture contains binders and fillers.

An attorney for the law firm, Dee Miles, said…

Ryan Murphy Blasts Kings of Leon

Ryan Murphy Blasts Kings of Leon - Kings of Leon drummer Nathan Followill issued an angry Twitter post today (Jan. 26) directed at "Glee" co-creator Ryan Murphy, in response to his latest comments about the band's decision not to license its music to the hit Fox show.

"Dear Ryan Murphy, let it go," Followill wrote. "See a therapist, get a manicure, buy a new bra. Zip your lip and focus on educating 7yr olds how to say f---." About an hour later, Followill wrote another Twitter post apologizing to "anyone that misconstrued my comments as homophobic or misogynistic," although he kept his original tweet against Murphy intact.

Murphy quickly replied to Followill's comment in a statement to Perez Hilton this afternoon, saying, "Wow. That's a homophobe badly in need of some education. I'm all for manicures, don't wear a bra. Would guess most gay dudes don't. But it's telling that Nathan can reduce a group of people to …

Jordan Brown Superior Court Appeal

Jordan Brown Superior Court Appeal - Lawyers for a child in Pennsylvania who was 11 when he allegedly shot and killed his father's pregnant fiancee attempted today to persuade an appeals court not to try him as an adult under America's harsh system of juvenile justice.

Unless the lawyers for Jordan Brown who is now aged 13, can convince the judges to change tack, he will be tried in adult court and if convicted will serve an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole. He would become the youngest child in US history to be sentenced to be incarcerated forever.

The US is the only country where juveniles are serving life imprisonment without parole under the so-called "life means life" policy. Only the US and Somalia have refused to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which rules out life sentences with no chance of release for crimes committed before the age of 18.

Brown is accused of having killed Kenzie Houk, in February 2009 at her home in the…

Toyota Recall Fuel Leaks

Toyota Recall Fuel Leaks - Toyota Motor Corp. took almost two years to submit its U.S. recall today of Lexus models after the automaker’s initial investigation of a potential gasoline leak failed to find defects in the cars’ fuel-line components.

The first U.S. report of fuel odor was in March 2009, according to a letter Toyota sent today to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Toyota investigated the case and two more reports in 2009, including one from the U.K., and “no abnormality in parts was found,” said Brian Lyons, a spokesman for the Japanese automaker’s U.S. unit in Torrance, California.

Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, voluntarily recalled today about 245,000 Lexus IS and GS luxury cars in the U.S. to inspect and tighten fuel-pressure sensors. Globally, the Toyota City, Japan-based company, is recalling 1.7 million vehicles for potential defects in fuel pipes and pumps, pressure sensors and spare-tire carriers, including 1.28 million units in Japan.


Arizona First State to Ask for Medicaid Waiver

Arizona First State to Ask for Medicaid Waiver - Arizona is the "first state to officially ask the federal government's permission to eliminate Medicaid coverage for hundreds of thousands of low-income residents" from the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, reports the Arizona Republic.

Governor Jan Brewer wants to suspend the eligibility of 280,000 low-income adults, which would "scale back the state's coverage to near that of most other states and save $541.5 million," the report states.

According to the Washington Post, the move is widely regarded as a long shot.

But the paper notes that Arizona's spending on Medicaid has increased by 65 percent over the past four years, now accounting for 29 percent of the state budget compared with 17 percent in 2006.

Add to that - the extra federal Medicaid funding expires in June, contributing to an anticipated $1 billion shortfall for the state program in the 2012 fiscal year.

Despite the long odds Bre…

Government to Ditch Terror Color Warning

Government to Ditch Terror Color Warning - By the end of April, terror threats to the U.S. will no longer be described in shades of green, blue, yellow, orange and red, The Associated Press has learned.

The nation's color-coded terror warning system will be phased out beginning this week, according to government officials familiar with the plan. The officials requested anonymity to speak ahead of an announcement scheduled Thursday by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

The Homeland Security Department and other government agencies have been reviewing the Homeland Security Advisory System's usefulness for more than a year. One of the most notable changes to come: The public will no longer hear automated recordings at U.S. airports stating that the threat level is orange.

The Obama administration will take the next three months to roll out a replacement, which will be called the National Terrorism Advisory System. The new plan calls for notifying specific audiences abo…

Nova Scotia Baby Offered Sale Online

Nova Scotia Baby Offered Sale Online - Police in Nova Scotia are investigating after someone posted an online ad offering someone else's baby for sale.

The posting appeared briefly Friday on classifieds website Kijiji, according to Cape Breton Regional Police.

The ad listed a two-month-old Sydney, N.S., baby boy for sale and provided the contact information of his parents, police said.

Police visited the home and found the mother and her seven-month-old child were not in distress. The mother wasn't aware of the posting.

Police are trying to track down who posted the ad but currently suspect it was just a bad joke.

Facebook Feud Long Island

Facebook Feud Long Island - A Facebook feud turned real-life violent in Long Island after a woman allegedly ran over her cousin, twice, with a minivan after a dispute over "friend requesting" a potential love interest, according to reports.

The New York Post reports that 21-year-old Giselle Penagos was rushed to the hospital Monday to treat a shattered pelvis and a broken leg after a stranger found her bleeding in a freezing New York street.

"If it wasn't for the good Samaritan, she could very easily have been hit by another car," Nassau County Detective Sgt. Robert Galgano told the newspaper.

After a night of drinking at a local bar, Penagos and her cousin, Melanie Spanopoulos, argued about a "friend request" that Penagos allegedly sent through Facebook to a guy her cousin liked, according to the Post.

University of Connecticut Donor Wants Money Back

University of Connecticut Donor Wants Money Back - A long-time donor to the University of Connecticut has demanded back $3 million and will halt future donations in a public spat over the school's hiring of a new football coach.

The donor, Robert G. Burton, president of Burton Capital Management, accused the school's athletic director of mismanaging the program and not communicating properly with him.

Burton addressed a five-page letter, dated Jan. 19, to the university's athletic director, Jeff Hathaway. Burton said Hathaway, who succeeded former director Lew Perkins in July 2003, did not comply with his request to be "involved in the hiring process for the new coach." Burton said Hathaway only informed him of the new pick, Paul Pasqualoni, after he was hired on Jan. 13.

Gabrielle Giffords Good Condition Transfers to Rehab Center

Gabrielle Giffords Good Condition Transfers to Rehab Center - The Arizona Democrat, who suffered a bullet through the forehead in the Jan. 8 shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz., that left six others dead, has been at a Houston hospital since being airlifted from Tucson on Friday.

Doctors at the Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center Hospital upgraded Giffords' condition late Tuesday from serious to good and this morning transferred her to the TIRR Memorial Hermann, an adjacent rehab facility.

Giffords "has made strong progress" in the hospital's neurology intensive care unit, the facility said in a statement posted on its website.

The three-term U.S. representative was kept in intensive care a bit longer than expected because of a buildup of fluid in her brain. A tube was inserted to help drain excess fluid and relieve pressure on Giffords' brain. That procedure led to some improvement, and the hospital said "preparations are under way for her transfer to the …

Britain's Youngest Grandfather

Britain's Youngest Grandfather - A 29-year-old man, who became a father at the age of 14, is set to create a record by becoming Britain's youngest grandfather, after his 14-year-old daughter has become pregnant.

"It's history repeating itself . I like the idea of being the youngest grandad in Britain, but at the same time I'm fuming that she (daughter) is pregnant. I know myself how tough it is being a teenage parent and now she has to go through the same thing. However, we're all going to stand by her and we will welcome the little one into the family. She is very young, but she was determined to keep the child.

"We're not going to force her into doing anything else. We don't want her to hate us," the'Daily Mail quoted the man as saying without revealing his identity to protect his young daughter.

The man's daughter became pregnant by her 15-yearold boyfriend and is expected to give birth in August. The couple study at the same compr…

Troy Aikman Divorce

Troy Aikman Divorce - According to recent reports, Troy Aikman and wife Rhonda are throwing in the towel after 10 years of marriage.

Troy released the following statement today : “This has been a difficult decision for Rhonda and me, but after 10 years of marriage we have decided to separate. We remain deeply committed to our children.”

Aikman is a former Dallas Cowboys quarterback who was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006 and into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008.

Aikman was once named the most eligible bachelor in Dallas by Texas Monthly. He dated Lorrie Morgan and he is rumored to have dated stars, Sandra Bullock and Janine Turner.

Aikman married Rhonda Worthey, a Texas publicist. They have two children together.

Michele Bachmann State of the Union

Michele Bachmann State of the Union - Rep. Michele Bachmann will take aim at President Obama tonight after his State of the Union Address, chiding him for failing to find solutions to help the ailing economy.

In excerpts of remarks the Minnesota Republican will deliver to the Tea Party Express, Bachmann will also thank supporters of the small-government, anti-tax movement who "voted out big-spending politicians."

In Obama's first two years in the White House, Bachmann will say, "we saw an unprecedented explosion of government spending and debt ... unlike anything we've seen in the history of our country."

Bachmann, who is considering running for president next year, will offer her own suggestions to Obama on how to fix the economy and create jobs.

First Tweet Rep Giffords Birthday Wishes Intern Daniel Hernandez

First Tweet Rep Giffords Birthday Wishes Intern Daniel Hernandez - Rep. Gabrielle Gifford's Twitter account lit up Tuesday for the first time since her near-fatal shooting.

In a message marked as "From the entire Giffords team," the account offered a message for her most famous intern.

"Happy 21st Birthday Daniel Hernandez! Sounds like you have fun plans tonight :)"

Hernandez has been heralded for running to the side of the Arizona Democrat during the Jan. 8 shooting and helping to staunch her bleeding.

He will be a guest of honor sitting with First Lady Michelle Obama at the State of the Union speech Tuesday evening. His father will also be present.

President Barack Obama mentioned Hernandez in his remarks at a memorial service after the shooting.

State of Union 2011 Full Text

State of Union 2011 Full Text - Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans:

Tonight I want to begin by congratulating the men and women of the 112th Congress, as well as your new Speaker, John Boehner. And as we mark this occasion, we are also mindful of the empty chair in this Chamber, and pray for the health of our colleague – and our friend – Gabby Giffords.

It's no secret that those of us here tonight have had our differences over the last two years. The debates have been contentious; we have fought fiercely for our beliefs. And that's a good thing. That's what a robust democracy demands. That's what helps set us apart as a nation.

But there's a reason the tragedy in Tucson gave us pause. Amid all the noise and passions and rancor of our public debate, Tucson reminded us that no matter who we are or where we come from, each of us is a part of something greater – something more consequential than party or pol…

Kristen Bell Neutrogena

Kristen Bell Neutrogena - "Burlesque" babe Kristen Bell is scoring a $500K paycheck for her celebrity endorsement of Neutrogena. The face brand signed Bell to rep their latest line, Neutrogena Naturals.

According to reports, the 30-year-old Michigan native has already shot commercial spots - including TV, print and online ads - and raked in a half a million for the total deal.

Bell joins other celebrity endorsers of Neutrogena including Jennifer Garner, Vanessa Hudgens and Hayden Panettiere.

With no further news from Neutrogena on when the campaign will launch or exactly how much Bell was paid, E! says that she was the perfect match for the brand.

Continue reading on Kristen Bell goes all natural for Neutrogena...for $500K, of course - National Celebrity in Media |

Consumer Freedom and Lead and Shopping Bags

Consumer Freedom and Lead and Shopping Bags - The Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) has released evidence that several major retailers are distributing reusable bags containing levels of lead above acceptable limits.

CCF tested bags from 44 retailers and found that 16 contained more than 100 parts per million of lead, the level at which many states set the limit for heavy metals in packaging. Among these retailers were several national chains such as CVS, Safeway, Bloom, and Walgreens. The highest level of lead, 697ppm, was found in CVS bags, which has since been recalled. All the reusable bags tested were constructed from nonwoven polypropylene, the most commonly used material in reusable grocery bags, production of which can include heavy metals.

CCF senior research analyst J Justin Wilson said, “Across the country legislators are proposing bills to ban or tax paper and plastic bags, but the unintended consequence of such legislation is that people are using reusable bags, which ind…

Singer Monica Weds

Singer Monica Weds - "The Boy is Mine" singer slam-dunked herself a husband. Monica has joined Khloe Kardashian in an elite group of Lakers wives. She secretly wed Shannon Brown last year.

The star exclusively told, "This is a very special time in my life. I am blessed to have married the man that God sent me. He's loving, compassionate, strong and supportive of my children, family and career. I look forward to our lives together."

The couple celebrated their nuptials at their Los Angeles home on November 22. They plan to renew their vows in a more elaborate ceremony this summer and may expand their family in the near future.

Woman Confesses to 1987 Kidnapping

Woman Confesses to 1987 Kidnapping - A woman who raised a child who went missing from a New York hospital 23 years ago was ordered detained on Monday on kidnapping charges, a day after she confessed to snatching the baby and turned herself in.

According to the criminal complaint filed in U.S. federal court in Manhattan, Ann Pettway admitted to taking the victim from a Harlem hospital and bringing her to Connecticut. She is charged with one count of kidnapping.

Pettway, 49, was ordered detained and did not apply for bail at a brief hearing on Monday. Dressed in a dark blue jail smock, she did not enter a plea.

She faces up to life in prison if convicted and is due back in court on February 7.

Pettway told investigators she had been dealing with the stress of several miscarriages.

"She's pretty upset," said Robert Baum, her attorney. "She understands the gravity of the charges."

Authorities had been looking for Ann Pettway ever since news broke last week that Car…

Woman Survives 23 Story Fall in Argentina

Woman Survives 23 Story Fall in Argentina - A young woman who fell 23 stories from a Buenos Aires hotel survived by hitting the roof of a taxi, the BBC reports.

The driver had stepped out of his cab only seconds after noticing a police officer looking up. The impact crushed the roof of the taxi and shattered the windshield.

The BBC reports that a witness saw the woman climb over a safety barrier and leap from a restaurant at the top of the Hotel Crown Plaza Panamericano.

The woman, who is reported to be an Argentine in her 20s, was hospitalized with multiple injuries, the BBC says.

Kate Hudson Pregnant Baby Bump

Kate Hudson Pregnant Baby Bump - Hollywood actress Kate Hudson's family is secretly hoping she is expecting a baby girl with Muse frontman Matt Bellamy, according to her stepfather Kurt Russell.

The 31-year-old actress who confirmed earlier this month she is pregnant with her first child with current boyfriend Matt Bellamy has delighted her mother Goldie Hawn and stepfather Kurt Russell with the news, but they would be even happier if she gives them a granddaughter, reports people.

"It's fun having babies once again. And it's fun to watch them grow. It's fun to see what they're grasping. I think secretly we're all hoping for a girl," said Russell.

Goldie, 65, admitted she is "excited" about the latest addition to their family.

"I'm excited, it's exciting. You know, we're just all very happy... happy for them both. What's more to say?" she said.

Post Office Closing Thousands of Locations in 2011

Post Office Closing Thousands of Locations in 2011 - The money-losing U.S. Postal Service is planning to shut down thousands of stations and branches to try and ward off its fiscal woes.

The Postal Service has set a goal of closing 2,000 stations and branches in 2011, said Postal Service spokeswoman Joanne Veto. That's in addition to the 491 closures that are already underway, she said.

The Postal Service is not planning to close any post offices, she said, noting that the law prevents the closure of post offices for solely economic reasons. She described stations and branches as being smaller than post offices, with no mail processing, and sometimes no mail carriers.

Mail volume, the main source of income for the Postal Service, has plunged in tandem with the recession. Not only is it competing with the Internet as a means of communication, but businesses have been spending less money to send out advertisements, a form of mail that is not-so-affectionately known as junk mail.

Keith Olbermann to Run for Senate

Keith Olbermann to Run for Senate - A bid to draft Keith Olbermann to run for Joe Lieberman's Senate seat in Connecticut has been launched.

On the liberal Daily Kos website, someone going by the handle Stranded Wind says he (or she) and some friends started an online bid to get the recently departed MSNBC host to run for the office. They have launched a Draft Olbermann for Senate page on Facebook.

The blogger who goes by Stranded Wind said Olbermann is "just old enough, smart enough, polished enough, and has all of the other attributes that would make him a darned good senator for the state of Connecticut."

Johnny Depp May Replace Robert Downey Jr

Johnny Depp May Replace Robert Downey Jr - Robert Downey Jr. has fallen out of "Oz, the Great and Powerful," Disney's prequel-ish take on the "Wizard of Oz" tale, and the studio is in talks with Johnny Depp to don the great wizard's robe.

The story revolves around a showy young illusionist who is forced to flee a traveling circus. His hot air balloon is swept up by a tornado to the land of Oz, which is run by two magical wicked witches. Sam Raimi ("Spider-Man") will direct.

While it doesn't have a start or release date, the project is a high priority for Disney, which hopes to start production in the second half of the year.

Depp has a close relationship with the studio after starring in its "Pirates of the Caribbean" films and last year's "Alice in Wonderland." The issue is timing.

He is scheduled to begin shooting "Dark Shadows," Tim Burton's adaptation of the 1960s gothic soap opera, for Warner Bros. th…

Two More Matrix Movies

Two More Matrix Movies - Another two Matrix films may be leaping into cinemas, the Grauniad shrugs.

The curiously youthful Keanu Reeves, star of the Matrix trilogy and of an exceptionally lame meme told an audience at the London School of Performing Arts that he may be getting back into Neo's slinky strides once again.

Excitable source El Nino told big fat film site Ain't It Cool News that the Wachowskis have completed a "two picture script treatment" for two more Matrix films. The films - which would presumably find humanity and the machines falling out again, alas - sound suitably ambitious.

"Keanu stated that he still has an obligation to the fans to deliver a movie worthy of the title 'The Matrix' and he swears this time that the treatment will truly revolutionise the action genre like the first movie," quoth AIC, which also makes mention of - gasp - 3D.

A stylish and thoughtful combination of the iconic, much-imitated 'bullet-time' meth…

Ted Williams Leaves Rehab

Ted Williams Leaves Rehab - Ted Williams, the "golden-voiced" homeless man who became an overnight media sensation, left a Texas drug rehab facility Monday, less than two weeks after checking in, TMZ reported.

Williams, 53, entered Origins Recovery Center on Jan. 12 for drug and alcohol dependency after admitting on the "Dr. Phil" TV show that he struggled with addiction.

But after 12 days at the facility in South Padre Island, Tex., he left against medical advice and headed for an unnamed airport, TMZ said.

Williams became an overnight sensation after a Columbus Dispatch reporter discovered him panhandling on the side of a highway in Ohio with a sign saying he had the God-given gift of a radio voice.

Heart Disease Costs to Triple

Heart Disease Costs to Triple - The costs of treating heart disease in America, where one in three people has some form of the disease, are expected to triple by 2030 due to the growing population, researchers said Monday.

While current costs of medical care for heart disease are around 273 billion dollars per year, that figure will skyrocket to 818 billion dollars by 2030, the study said.

The findings came from an expert panel that estimated future costs based on current disease rates, and expanded those costs according to projections from US census data about approaching shifts in the population.

The researchers assumed that no new discoveries would be made between now and 2030 to stem the tide of heart disease, said the study published in Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association.

"Despite the successes in reducing and treating heart disease over the last half century, even if we just maintain our current rates, we will have an enormous financial burden on top o…

Jaime Pressly Taxes

Jaime Pressly Taxes - A report on January 23 by RadarOnline is declaring that Jaime Pressly who was arrested on January 5 for DUI is not only facing that ugly little demon, but she also is embattled with the law in that she owes just over $637,000 to the Federal government and the State of California.

RadarOnline said that The Detroit News uncovered public records stating that the former co-star of My Name is Earl is in serious trouble with the government.

On December 6, the IRS filed a $260,370 tax lien against Pressly in addition to filing a lien months earlier (September 8) for $281,699 for 2008 income taxes.

Prior to the September 8 filing, the State of California filed a lien for $95,080 on June 21.

Famous Investment Scandals

Famous Investment Scandals - Scam artist Robert Sucarato admitted this morning that he ripped off investors to the tune $1.6 million, then used the money for department-store shopping sprees and to pay his EZPass bill.

The Bernard Madoff scandal made investors wary that they could get double-digit returns in a collapsing market, despite Sucarato‘s promises as owner and president of New York Financial Company (“NYFC”), a hedge fund firm that did its business online while he pretended to operate prestigious offices with large staffs.

Investors began asking questions, and soon federal regulators were on his tail.

Federal prosecutors said Sucarato, a former School Board candidate in Old Bridge, pulled what is known as a “Suite Scam,” holding up in a funky flatiron-styled building at the 22nd floor of 67 Wall Street, an historic revival tower, where he rented “virtual space” for $100 a month before shifting his base of operations to to an equally powerful address: 501 Fifth Avenue.


Utah Trooper on Leave for Punching Woman

Utah Trooper on Leave for Punching Woman - A Utah Highway Patrol trooper is under investigation after a video showed him punching a woman several times during a traffic stop, a spokesman for the Utah Department of Public Safety said.

A dashboard camera captured footage of Sgt. Andrew Davenport punching 53-year-old Darla Wright in August.

Davenport is on paid administrative leave, said Brian Hyer, spokesman for the Utah Department of Public Safety.

Wright was speeding in Ogden when officers tried to pull her over, authorities said late Saturday. According to an incident report, the driver evaded police, and a chase ensued. Authorities stopped the woman by trapping her car between two vehicles.

"The suspect was still trying to escape, she had the accelerator floored and engine revving in an attempt to push our vehicles out of the way," Davenport wrote in an incident report.

Davenport said Wright would not roll down her window and gripped on the steering wheel.

On the video, Da…

Woman Fall 23 Stories Lands on Taxi Argentina

Woman Fall 23 Stories Lands on Taxi Argentina - A 33-year-old woman fell from the 23rd floor of a hotel in Buenos Aires, landed on a taxi cab parked on the street below and survived.

The woman, whose name was not released, underwent surgery today, Telam, the national news agency of Argentina, said. Doctors believe she has fractured ribs, two broken hips and is bleeding internally.

A hospital spokesman said the woman hit the taxi in a seated position, which likely saved her life. Had she come down head first it would probably have been a different story, noted Alberto Crescenti, director of Argentina's emergency medical services.

The taxi driver, Miguel Cajal, narrowly escaped death, he told a Buenos Aires television station, C5N.

Mr Cajal said he saw a police officer looking up and, following his glance, also looked up. He saw the woman falling and got out of his cab just moments before the impact completely destroyed both the roof and the windshield.

Kelly Osbourne New Face Material Girl

Kelly Osbourne New Face Material Girl - Singer Kelly Osbourne is set to replace Taylor Momsen as the new face of Madonna's Material Girl clothing line.

"Kelly's always been a massive fan of Madonna and recently heard Lourdes idolised her, which she was very flattered by. It's a huge coup," quoted a source as saying.
According to reports, Madonna recently launched an online search for the next poster girl for her fashion collection, encouraging fans to vote for their favourite through the brand's website.

Singer-turned-reality TV star Osbourne is now said to be in the lead to take over from the " Gossip Girl" actress to front the next advertising campaign for the range, which is designed by Madonna and her daughter Lourdes.

Man Dies Tortilla in Mixing Machine

Man Dies Tortilla in Mixing Machine - A New York man died today after falling into the tortilla mixing machine at a factory making the popular Mexican food.

"At approximately 2.30am, police responded to a call of an unconscious male.... Upon arrival, police discovered a male Hispanic, 22 years old, who had fallen into a mixing machine," a spokesman for the New York City Police Department said.

Police said they did not suspect foul play. "We believe it was an accident at this time," the spokesman added.

The New York Post quoted investigators saying the victim was sucked in while trying to retrieve something he'd dropped into the tortilla machine.

Bristol Palin Dating Pipeline Worker

Bristol Palin Dating Pipeline Worker - Giacinto “Gino” Paoletti and Bristol Palin are dating, claims a new report. Giacinto “Gino” Paoletti Bristol Palin dating reports surface the same week that Levi Johnston confirmed he has a new girlfriend, Sunny Oglesby.

While Bristol approves Oglesby, Levi has yet to comment about Paoletti. All four are residents of Wasilla. The Enquirer claims Bristol has known Gino Paoletti for many years but only fell in love with the local resident in recent weeks. The couple have been spotted in New York but reportedly had become friendly last year as well, claims the paper.

Gino Paoletti is 20 years and is employed as a pipeline worker. Sunny Oglesby is one year younger than Levi, 19. Levi and Sunny confirmed their relationship via Facebook last week; but Sunny has been loving Levi for two months, claim reports.

The same paper earlier this month claimed that Bristol is set to sign a multi-million deal for her own reality series along with a book deal.

Tiffany Apologizes for Outing Jonathan Knight

Tiffany Apologizes for Outing Jonathan Knight - Eighties singing sensation Tiffany is apologizing to former flame Jonathan Knight of New Kids on the Block after seemingly outing him during a recent TV appearance.

While promoting her upcoming SyFy movie "Mega Python vs. Gatoroid" with Deborah Gibson on Bravo's "Watch What Happens Live" last Friday, Tiffany admitted that she and Knight dated back in their heyday.

"He's fabulous. But he became gay later," the 39-year-old said casually. "Looking back when we were dating, he was so much fun - we used to do facials together, he was so easy to talk to."

Though Tiffany was laughing and joking during her interview, she changed her tune the next day when Knight, who has never publicly acknowledged his sexuality, tweeted about the incident.

"I'm so devastated," Knight tweeted. "How can I not remember getting facials???????"

Realizing that she revealed too much, Tiffany apolo…

Subway Skins Ads

Subway Skins Ads - In yet-another blow to MTV’s controversial show “Skins,” Subway has pulled out of all advertising spots amid allegations of the show’s use of child pornography, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

While ads for the sandwich chain appeared on the premiere episode last week, a rep for Subway tells THR that they “will not be advertising on [Monday’s] episode.”

Subway is the fourth major sponsor for the show to pull out of the show’s advertising after the Parents Television Council (PTC) began targeting advertisers last week. Taco Bell was the first company, followed by Wrigley and General Motors, as FOX411 first reported.

Tim Winter, president of the PTC, said in a statement FOX411, "Every single advertiser who sponsored the premiere episode of 'Skins' is not only endorsing but glorifying teen drug and alcohol abuse, not to mention a plethora of baseless sexual content."

Indonesian Crop Circles

Indonesian Crop Circles - Hundreds of curious visitors have flocked to a small rice field in Yogyakarta to witness what could be Indonesia’s first documented crop circle, an occurrence attributed by some to close encounters of the alien kind.

Ngadiran, one of six farmers who owns the land in Sleman district where the crop circle, measuring 70 meters in diameter, was found on Sunday afternoon, told the Jakarta Globe on Monday that he had not seen what had caused the distinctive pattern but others may have.

“According to several residents, they saw a tornado on Saturday evening,” he said.

“On Sunday afternoon, we saw the design in our fields.”

He would not say if he believed that an unidentified flying object was behind the crop circle, which contains a number of symbols.

The farmers have fenced off the area to prevent their fields from being trampled by sightseers, while police have cordoned off the area.

The latter have declined to speculate on how the circle was made.

Serial Killer Theory Returns

Serial Killer Theory Returns - Authorities on New York's Long Island say that they have identified three remaining bodies found near a beach and that it may be the work of a serial killer, after all.

Officials in Suffolk County say the bodies belonged to three women who worked as prostitutes or escorts and advertised online.

They were identified as Maureen Branard-Barnes, of Norwich, Conn.; Melissa Barthelemy, of New York's Erie County; and Amber Lynn Costello, of North Babylon, on Long Island.

Authorities last week identified the first of the four women as that of a missing Craigslist escort from Maine.

County police initially thought a serial killer was responsible but backed away from that theory. District Attorney Thomas Spota (SPOH'-tuh) raised the possibility again Monday.