Monday, June 30, 2008

Wil Smith denies reports that his new Private School is a school of Scientology

Will Smith's soon-to-open private school is not a Scientology facility, as some reports have suggested, the academy's director said.

Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, have founded the New Village Academy, scheduled to open in September.

The school will use instructional methods developed by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard called study technology. And a few teachers belong to the church.

But the couple say they are not Scientologists, and the academy's director insists the facility has no religious affiliation.

New Village Academy director Jacqueline Olivier told the Los Angeles Times that the school is secular and "just like all nonreligious independent schools, faculty and staff do not promote their own religions at school or pass on the beliefs of their particular faith to children."

Oliver said some of the school's staffers are Scientologists, Muslim, Christian or Jewish.

In addition to reading and math, the school offers classes on yoga, robotics and etiquette.

Hospital Recall's Patients

A hospital has confirmed that it recalled nearly 100 patients because of concerns that they were treated with contaminated equipment.

The Leicester Royal Infirmary wrote to 96 people who had examinations in its endoscopy unit between May 30 and June 6 after staff discovered that one of the machines used to decontaminate instruments was not working properly.

After an alarm was triggered, they found water had leaked into the disinfectant, diluting it.

Patients are being offered blood tests to put their minds at rest, but experts said the risk of potential infection is minimal.

Pauline Tagg, chief nurse at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, said: "We can confirm that we have found a fault in one of the decontamination units in our Endoscopy Unit at the Leicester Royal Infirmary. This was a machine error, not a human error.

"The trust immediately set about recalling the 96 patients involved, to reassure them and rule out any risk of infection.

"The trust takes patient safety very seriously and has started an investigation into the incident. In the interim the machine is not being used.

"We would like to reassure patients that the advice we have received from the Health Protection Agency is that the risk of any infections is, and remains, extremely small."

Ebay fined 63 Million for selling fake Louis Vuitton

A Paris court on Monday ordered Internet auctioneer eBay to pay $63 million in damages to Louis Vuitton for selling fake luxury goods online, according to reports.

The court also barred eBay from selling four perfume brands -- Christian Dior, Kenzo, Givenchy and Guerlain.

eBay, the world's largest online auctioneer, said it would lodge an appeal and said the decision was not a victory for copyright law.

"This decision is not based on combating counterfeit material. It is based on LVMH's desire to protect its commercial practices and exclude competition," a spokeswoman for eBay in Paris said.

"This is being done at the expense of the consumers and sellers to whom eBay is always offering opportunities," she added.

eBay was ordered to pay $30.40 million to LVMH and $25.7 to its sister company Christian Dior Couture for damage to their brand images and causing moral harm.

LVMH told AFP the decision was a major coup against illegal Internet sales.

"It is a major first, because of the principles that it recognizes and the amount sought," said Pierre Gode, an aide to LVMH president Bernard Arnault.

The court barred eBay from running ads for the perfume and cosmetic brands or it would face a fine of $79,000 per day.

Ranae Shrider revealed as number 2 in Verne Troyer AKA Mini Me Sex tape

The 39-year-old Austin Powers star - who is famous for his 2ft 8in height - is seen passionately kissing Ranae in the short teaser clip posted on gossip website

Ranae has lived with The Love Guru star for the past six months and is reportedly planning to marry the actor.

However, the aspiring model is less than happy about the footage emerging, and claims the home movie was stolen and illegally distributed without her knowledge or consent.

Confronted by photographers in Los Angeles yesterday, Ranae snapped: "Do I look like I should be smiling about this?"

It has been reported that celebrity porn broker Kevin Blatt - responsible for the worldwide fame of Paris Hilton's sex tape One Night In Paris - has purchased the footage and is in negotiations for its distribution.

Verne is so distressed by the footage's release that he has filed a $20 million lawsuit against, claiming they violated his privacy rights and infringed on his copyright and trademark by putting a teaser clip for the tape on their site.

Lack of Control tower may have caused crash between two Medivac Helicopters in Arizona

Six people were killed and one was seriously injured on Sunday when two medical helicopters collided on their way to a hospital in Flagstaff, Arizona, air officials said.

The helicopters crashed near Flagstaff at about 3.45 p.m. PDT (2245 GMT), said Ian Gregor, a spokesman with the Federal Aviation Administration in Los Angeles.

Preliminary reports indicated at least one patient was among the three people killed in a helicopter operated by Air Methods Corp (AIRM.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Gregor said. The other four fatalities, as well as as the injury, occurred aboard a helicopter operated by Classic Helicopter of Utah, he added.

A spokesman for the Flagstaff Police Dept. said two rescue workers were slightly injured in a secondary blast as one of the helicopters on the ground exploded.

"They were treated for minor burns injuries and were released from the hospital in good condition," Sergeant Tom Boughner told Reuters by telephone from the crash site.

Boughner said the two helicopters slammed into a hillside covered with ponderosa pines, leaving a large field of scattered debris and sparking a fire.

The blaze torched about 10 to 15 acres (4 to 6 hectares), but was quickly contained.

Flagstaff lies about 75 miles (120 km) south of the Grand Canyon National Park, one of the largest tourist draws in the United States, which attracts some 5 million visitors a year.

Four people were killed in a similar accident in Arizona last year, when two news television helicopters collided while following a car chase in Phoenix.

At least one of those helicopters was approaching the hospital at the time.

An official with one of the helicopter companies says Flagstaff Medical Center doesn't have flight controllers.

That means pilots need to watch each other and communicate their locations by radio.

Puppy Mill in Nashville busted for inhumane treatment of Dogs

More than 150 dogs have found refuge in Atlanta from squalid conditions in a Tennessee puppy mill.

The Atlanta Humane Society had a sale this weekend to clear space so it could take in the dogs after one of the biggest puppy mill busts in Tennessee.

president Carl Leveridge said Saturday. "That's why we had this special [sale] . . . to make room."

Inhouse puppies, typically $85 to $100, were being adopted out for $50.

The new canines were among more than 700 animals, mostly dogs, discovered last week at a breeding facility outside Nashville where conditions for the animals were considered inhumane.

"Three-quarters of a mile before you got to the property, you could smell the urine, the feces and the death," said Scotlund Haisley, emergency services director for the U.S. Humane Society.

Video on the national organization's Web site showed dogs packed as many as 20 each into dog crates, or running loose throughout the building.

"There was a great deal of suffering," Haisley said. "Starvation. Dead animals. Animals that were shot. Bullets in the animals. Animals living in tiny cages on top of their own feces, and burns on their skin from urine and feces."

Puppy mills typically produce puppies at an industrial pace, linking mother and father together to breed in an endless cycle, eschewing humane care for the animals.

Area police were alerted, and they — and Humane Society rescue crews — moved in.

Leveridge's team brought back eight vehicles filled with puppies and a few adult dogs. The convoy included a 40-foot RV called the "Petmobile."

Many of the puppies are small purebreds: Yorkshire, Boston and Manchester terriers, miniature Pinschers, poodles, Chihuahuas, Maltese, Schi tzus, Pomeranians and Shar peis.

They were going to be sold online, to boutique pet stores and to mall stores, Leveridge said. Now, he said, they can be adopted as early as Tuesday or Wednesday. Each will be spayed or neutered, and have a homing chip implanted.

But getting the puppies ready for adoption won't be easy.

"Some of them are sick," Leveridge said.

They must get a veterinarian's health certificate to be moved across state lines, Haisley said. A team of veterinarians were in Tennessee screening the animals and giving preliminary check-ups.

"Some animals may take more time than others to recover," Haisley said. "But these dogs are extremely resilient."

Testing their temperament was another challenge, Leveridge said.

"We will do temperament testing to the best of our ability," he said. "We're not going to bring one that bites."

If those with foul behavior can't be rehabilitated, "In some cases, they'll be euthanized," Leveridge said. "In some cases, they'll go to sanctuaries."

Casino Fire at Historic Sweetwater Casino

Firefighters were battling a fire at the Sweetwater Casino restaurant near Hammonton, N.J., it was reported this morning. Clouds of smoke coming from the fire could be seen for miles, after firefighters rushed to the Sweetwater Casino in the early hours to find the restaurant and banquet hall engulfed by the blaze. Despite the fact that the Sweetwater Casino is on the banks of the Mullica River, fire crews reportedly struggled to get enough water onto the burning pine structure. Luckily the Sweetwater Marina and several fuel tanks nearby were untouched by the fire. Known for its seafood and views of spectacular sunsets from its riverside deck, the sprawling Sweetwater complex is a 'casino' in name only and does not offer gambling. The restaurant - built in the 1920s - is a favorite oasis for locals and for travelers headed to the gaming palaces of Atlantic City.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Six Flags Kentucky Ride severed the foot of a 13 year old girl

Nearing the top of Kentucky Kingdom's Superman Tower of Power ride last summer, 13-year-old Blair Johnson wrestled with a cable that had snapped and screamed for the ride to be shut off before it descended and severed the feet of her friend Kaitlyn Lasitter, she told lawyers involved in the case.

Although Blair Johnson's cuts and bruises have healed, the recent Noe Middle School graduate has faced post-traumatic stress disorder, elevator phobias and mental replays of the accident, according to her deposition in the case.

"I still have like really bad flashbacks," she said.

Blair and Arin Valsted, another friend who was sitting with Kaitlyn during the June 21, 2007, accident, asked a Jefferson Circuit Court judge yesterday to let them join the Lasitter family's civil suit against Kentucky Kingdom.

The teens' attorney said they suffered cuts and bruises and have required ongoing psychological counseling.

"Both girls were severely traumatized by what happened," said Jennifer Barbour, whose firm is representing the families and the Lasitters.

The two girls and their parents are seeking unspecified damages for medical expenses, emotional trauma, pain and lost wages. Circuit Judge Barry Willett took the motion under consideration but did not say when he would rule.

Michael Valenti, Kentucky Kingdom's attorney, argued in yesterday's hearing against some of the claims, including the parents' rights for certain damages.

He said the company has already paid about $3,100 for medical expenses and counseling for Blair, and $6,059 for the same for Arin.

Barbour said both girls and their families should be allowed to seek damages for their injuries, as well as the time and money spent traveling to see Kaitlyn while she was hospitalized in Nashville, Tenn., and lost wages for time taken off from work.

"There will be ongoing psychological care for both of these girls," Barbour said. "Whether Kentucky Kingdom will continue to pay for that, I do not know that. These girls visited Kaitlyn in Nashville as often as possible to make sure she was going to survive."

The families of the two girls declined to comment to The Courier-Journal.

A year after the accident, Kaitlyn, now 14, continues to recover after doctors reattached her right foot. They could not save her left foot.

In Washington, D.C., last month, Kaitlyn said the accident profoundly changed her life. She is now being home-schooled, has trouble sleeping and struggles with headaches and leg pain.

Her parents, Randall and Monique, filed suit last year against the theme park, claiming it failed to maintain the equipment and ensure riders' safety. Their attorney, Larry Franklin, said yesterday that settlement negotiations have been disappointing and predicted the case may soon be set for trial.

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State officials recently released a report blaming a faulty cable and slow response by an ride operator in the accident, but they said it was impossible to know exactly why the cable snapped.

Carolyn McLean, a park spokeswoman, said it has audited safety procedures, stepped up inspections and improved ride-operator training.

The Superman Tower of Power ride has been dismantled, but McLean would not say whether attendance has declined since the accident.

Blair said she was a friend of Kaitlyn's from summer camp. When they happened to meet last June, they decided to go to Kentucky Kingdom with Arin.

They first went to the Superman ride, which had no line and was a favorite. Their first time up, nothing seemed amiss. The second time, a jolt came 15 feet up, and at 20 feet the cable began "whipping around cutting us," Blair told lawyers in her deposition.

The girls worked to push the cable off their legs, thighs, hands and heads as they "started screaming." At the top, Blair said, she pulled part of the cable off her neck just before the ride dropped.

"We all thought we were going to die," she said. When they reached the bottom, "I looked over at Kaitlyn and, of course, her feet were gone."

At the bottom, everyone was screaming. Kaitlyn leaned one leg on Blair, and it was unclear if she realized what had happened. When paramedics arrived, Blair was covered in grease and bleeding from cuts.

In its aftermath, Blair was told by her psychologist that she had post-traumatic stress disorder, she said in her depositions.

She mentioned there had been hurtful jokes that went around Kaitlyn's school about the accident. Blair said she was considering attending a youth excursion to King's Island but was nervous about amusement parks.

Asked if she ever planned to return to Kentucky Kingdom, she replied, "Nope."

Malaysian Politician, Anwar Ibrahim, denies Sodomy allegations

MALAYSIA'S de facto opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, has denied allegations he sodomised an aide, saying the charges were an attempt by the government to discredit him.

Dr Anwar was a former deputy prime minister who was sacked in 1998 and later jailed for sodomy and corruption. He has had a revival of fortunes since a March poll when the opposition alliance recorded its best-ever result.

"The police report lodged against me earlier today is a complete fabrication," Dr Anwar said in a statement read out yesterday by his lawyer as about 200 supporters gathered outside the hotel where the news briefing was held. "I believe we are witnessing a repeat of the methods used against me in 1998 when false allegations were made under duress."

Kuala Lumpur's police chief for criminal investigations, Ku Chin Wah, said a man had filed a police complaint on Saturday claiming that Dr Anwar sodomised him.

Sodomy is punishable by 15 years' imprisonment in Malaysia, where the majority of the population is Muslim.

Mr Ku said police had no immediate plans to arrest Anwar, despite a mobile phone message sent by Anwar's People's Justice Party warning that he would be detained during the weekend.

Mr Ku declined to say who had lodged the complaint, but the People's Justice Party identified him as Dr Anwar's private assistant, Saiful Bahari. The party said it believed the aide was coerced into making the accusation.

The Attorney-General, Abdul Gani Patail, said the police should be allowed to investigate the claims.

"The Opposition has been trying to discredit us by doing a lot of things," said the Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Nazri Aziz.

"Sometimes there are allegations made against members of the Government and Anwar has made all the noise. Why is it that when things are against him that he is saying that we are trying to discredit him?"

Dr Anwar has always said the earlier sodomy and corruption charges were trumped up after he fell out with the then prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.

Dr Anwar's opposition alliance has been snapping at the Government's heels. Public anger over prices and the ruling coalition's dismal showing in a poll in March have fuelled calls for a leadership change.

The National Front had its worst electoral setback in 50 years when it lost its two-thirds parliamentary majority and ceded five states to the Opposition in March. The party needs just 30 more seats to win a simple majority and form a government. It won a record 82 seats in the Parliament's 222-seat lower house.

Dr Anwar has said he has secured tacit agreements from at least 30 National Front parliamentary members to defect to the opposition - enough to topple Abdullah Badawi's administration.

Dr Anwar did not run in the March elections because his corruption conviction barred him from holding political office for five years. The ban ended in April, and he has indicated he wants to re-enter Parliament through a by-election.

EURO 2008 Spain Vs Germany

Just a little bit of a rah rah post from a kraut over here in Canada. It will be great to see Germany kick some Spanish ass today in the EURO 2008 Final game which will pit Germany against Spain. It seems many are expecting Spain to come out victorious against German, but only time will tell. Here is some one else's opinion of the outcome, we shall see how it goes.

It is the second biggest game on the soccer calendar behind the World Cup Final and tomorrow’s Euro 2008 final between Spain and Germany has the potential to be a great final. Some of the matchups that we will be paying close attention to tomorrow are:

Goalkeeper: Advantage Spain
Spain’s Goalkeeper Iker Casillas has solidified his reputation as one of the worlds top goalkeepers (at least according to some blog) while Germany’s keeper Jens Lehmann has looked shaky in almost every game.

Defense: Advantage Spain
Germany’s traditionally strong defense has been open up way too easily this tournament. Their full backs were run ragged by the Turks on Wednesday and this has to be an area that Spain will look to exploit.

The Spanish defense has not attracted many headlines, which it not necessarily a bad thing. Central defender Carles Puyol has barely put a foot wrong all tournament. Midfield: Advantage Germany
German leader Michael Ballack has been one of the stars of this tournament and I expect him to dominate the middle of the field on Sunday. Ballack has had great support from wide men Bastian Schweinsteiger and Lukas Podolski are both having great tournaments and look a constant goal threat while Torsten Frings will add some power if, as expected, he returns to the starting lineup.

Cesc Fabregas will start on Sunday for Spain and how well he plays will have a huge baring on the game. If Fabregas is playing well then Spain can play at a faster tempo and Xavi can push forward more to support Torres. A fast tempo suits Spain. A slow tempo suits Germany.

Forwards: Advantage Germany
With the loss of David Villa, Spain will play Fernando Torres in a lone striker role which is not his best position. I think that Torres has been disappointing and I expect to see the Spanish league top scorer Daniel Guiza will probably take over during the second half.

For Germany, Miroslav Klose has scored in the last two games and is beginning to regain the confidence that made him the 2006 World Cup’s top scorer. The German height advantage is something that will they will try and take advantage of with lots of crosses from Schweinsteiger and Podolski aimed towards Klose. Winner
Cup finals are notoriously hard to predict because you never know if the fear of losing overcomes the willingness to be adventurous. I am hoping that Sunday’s Euro 2008 matches the excitement and drams that the tournament has provided and expect to see Spain win by the odd goal, 2-1 or 3-2.

Russian Model dies in apparent "Suicide" in New York

A fashion model from Kazakhstan has fallen from her New York City balcony and plunged nine stories to her death in what police called an apparent suicide, New York newspapers said.

Ruslana Korshunova, who was to turn 21 on July 2, was known for her long chestnut locks and a "fairytale" face which graced the covers of Russian Vogue and French Elle magazines.

"I turned around just as she was about three feet (one metre) off the ground and then, boom, she hit," witness Ahmed Saad, 22, who was manning a nearby halal food cart, told the New York Daily News.

Investigators found no signs of a struggle inside Korshunova's apartment on Water Street in Manhattan's downtown Financial District.

She had returned to her one-bedroom apartment in the early hours of Saturday morning, reportedly giving no sign of the tragedy that would ensue in mid-afternoon.

"She came in this morning, she smiled, no sense of depression," doorman Mahmud Nakeeb, 45, told the Daily News. "She was a very sweet girl, always smiling, never depressed-looking."

Former boyfriend, Artem Perchenok, 24, told the New York Post he dropped her off at her apartment after they had watched the Demi Moore movie "Ghost."

"She was a good person," Mr Perchenok said.

Korshunova was represented by powerhouse modelling agency IMG, which also handles the likes of Heidi Klum and Kate Moss.

She appeared in advertisements for Christian Dior, Marc Jacobs, DKNY and Vera Wang.

Teen Decapitated by rollercoaster at Six Flags GA

A teenager was decapitated by a roller coaster after he hopped a pair of fences and entered a restricted area Saturday at Six Flags Over Georgia, authorities said.

Six Flags officials are uncertain why the unidentified 17-year-old from Columbia, S.C. scaled two six-foot fences and passed signs that said the restricted area was both off-limits and dangerous to visitors, spokeswoman Hela Sheth said in a news release.

Authorities were investigating reports from witnesses who said the teenager jumped the fences to retrieve a hat he lost while riding the Batman roller coaster, said Cobb County police Sgt. Dana Pierce. Three security guards were keeping visitors away from the ride on Saturday.

Police said the ride was going full-speed when the teen was struck. The ride's top speed is 50 mph, according to the Six Flags Web site.

No one riding on the roller coaster was injured, Sheth said. The teen's friend also entered the restricted area but was not injured, Pierce said.

The teen and his parents were at the park with a group from the Oakey Spring Baptist Church near Springfield, S.C., police said.

In June 2007, a teenager's legs were severed when cables snapped on the Superman Tower of Power ride at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville, Ky. Doctors were able to reattach Kaitlyn Lasitter's right foot, but she had to have some of her left leg amputated and subsequent surgeries.

State officials blame a faulty cable and slow response by an amusement park ride operator in the accident. Her family is suing Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, claiming the park failed to maintain the ride and equipment and ensure riders' safety. The amusement park has denied liability in court filings.

The cellphone call came just as Asia D. Ferguson and his wife, Letha, finished lunch Saturday afternoon at a picnic area beside the east parking lot at Six Flags Over Georgia, which they were visiting with a church group.

Letha Ferguson answered.

On the other end was David Jenkins, a cousin, with the news the couple's 17-year-old son, Asia LeeShawn Ferguson, had been in an accident. A horrific accident.

"Shawn," as family and friends called him, had been decapitated by the Batman the Ride roller coaster at the Austell park.

The speeding roller coaster struck the Columbia, S.C., teen as it sped through a restricted area that he and another teen entered by scaling two 6-foot fences, ignoring warning signs, police said.

On Sunday, Shawn Ferguson's relatives struggled to comprehend their loss as authorities continued their investigation and Six Flags officials prepared to reopen the 11-year-old ride Monday. It was shut down after the Saturday afternoon accident, though the park remained open.

"We're awaiting the results of the investigation. We're going to have someone investigate, too," his father said. "We're not blaming the park."

The elder Ferguson had a hard time finding the words during a cellphone conversation Sunday as he and his wife rode home with other Sunday School members from Oakley Spring Baptist, a church of about 200 members in Springfield, S.C. The 67 young people and adults had come to Atlanta on Friday to sightsee and hang out at Six Flags.

"It's really hard for me to talk right now," said Ferguson, also father to Shawn's brother, Jacolby. "I'm really upset. I lost my oldest son."

Leaving Shawn's body behind for an autopsy on Monday compounded their heartache.

"It's real tough," Ferguson said. "My wife is still crying."

Jenkins, Ferguson said, hasn't been in a mood to talk about what happened to his cousin and what led the younger Ferguson to take an apparent shortcut.

Ferguson himself is at a loss to explain it.

"You don't know what's in a teenager's mind," he said. "Teenage boys do what teenage boys do. Sometimes they make some good decisions. Sometimes they make some bad decisions."

He said his son — the fourth in line of Ferguson men named Asia — was never in trouble.

Shawn Ferguson was an average student and a rising senior at Columbia's W.J. Keenan High School.

Ferguson said his son loved PlayStation 3, working out with weights and playing basketball. He also was avid churchgoer, played the drums, sang tenor in the choir at Oakley Spring Baptist and had a love for both gospel and secular music, including rap.

"He didn't do anything wrong," Ferguson said. "He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Police said the teens had been inside the park earlier and were trying to re-enter without going to the front entrance. They did not identify the other youth.

They first scaled a decorative black iron fence that circles the entire park, then a chain-link one that encircles the ride. The fences are each about 6 feet tall.

The fences are posted with signs warning of a danger zone and a "restricted area" accessible only to authorized park employees, Six Flags said in a written statement.

The Batman the Ride roller coaster travels up to 50 mph as it takes riders ski-lift style upside down and on vertical loops, corkscrews and 11-story climbs.

Neither Ferguson's companion nor any passengers were hurt when the ride struck Ferguson.

His death is the second reported in connection with the ride since 2002, when a maintenance worker was hit in the head by a rider's foot as it passed overhead. The ride opened in 1997

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Omaha Nebraska Tornado

Thousands of people were still without power as Omaha cleaned up after a fast-moving storm that swept through the area last night.

A spokesman for the Omaha Public Power District said more than one-third of customers were without power. The district serves 330,000 customers. Council Bluffs police also reported widespread power outages.

Bryan Cook, duty officer for Nebraska Emergency Management, says the Douglas County sewage treatment plant lost power.

He says sewage will likely have to be dumped into the Missouri River, where it will be picked up by plants downstream.

Cook says the county's storm-water plant also lost power, causing it to overfill and stop working. Until it is fixed, water will bypass the plant and flow directly into the river.

Cook says they've had a few reports of minor injuries at a mid-Omaha concert, mostly bruises and injuries from falling. Hundreds of people ignored warnings to leave and were still outside when the winds and hail hit. The concert and fireworks were canceled.

More on the Verne Troyer AKA Mini Me sex tape

A 25-second snippet of video showing Verne Troyer and a former girlfriend having sex that was available online over the past couple of days is all the world will see of the tape — for now.

A federal judge on Friday granted a temporary restraining order requested by Troyer's attorneys that prevents porn distributors from taking orders for the full-length video, and prevents TMZ from broadcasting any more clips.

The celebrity Web site posted the short segment on its site on Wednesday; Troyer sued the site and porn distributors on Thursday for $20 million in damages.

U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez wrote that Troyer's motion "demonstrated that he will suffer irreparable harm to his reputation" if the tape is distributed. It barred further broadcasting of the tape, which Troyer's attorney, Tracy Rane, interpreted as meaning that TMZ has to remove the video from its site.

TMZ removed the snippet of the tape by late Friday afternoon, instead redirecting Web viewers to its homepage. Another post describing the lawsuit remained active Friday.

Troyer, who is most famous for his role as "Mini Me" in two of the "Austin Powers" movies, claims the sex tape he made with a former girlfriend was stolen from his home some months ago.

TMZ, which did not return telephone messages left by The Associated Press on Friday, reported that the video could fetch $100,000 from a porn distributor. SugarDVD wrote in a statement on its Web site that hoped to reach a deal with Troyer to distribute the full, 50-minute version.

Gutierrez also indicated in his ruling that he may be inclined to issue a more forceful preliminary injunction in the case unless TMZ and other parties demonstrate why it should be released.

Troyer's suit claims release of an excerpt of the tape was an invasion of privacy and copyright infringement. He is also seeking the return of all copies of the video.

His suit claims he made the tape with his former girlfriend and never intended it to be shown publicly.

The lawsuit included a pair of letters e-mailed to TMZ and SugarDVD telling both entities to remove mentions of the tape from their Web sites and halt any further plans to distribute it.

Nessie Captures on Film in Loch Ness?

It appears Hollywoods' recent trip to Loch Ness has got the world abuzz. As a promo the film company did up a fancy recreation of the Water Horse's Head popping out of the waters of Loch ness with Urquhart Castle providing the dramatic backdrop.

Friday, June 27, 2008 Hacked

Popular hip-hop news website was apparently hacked in the early hours of Friday.

The site featured news such as “JEWS DID 9/11″ , “Notorious Hacker Group Drastically Improve Frontpage of SOHH.COM” , etc

The hackers claim to be

eBaum’s World (subtitled “Media for the masses”) is a website featuring media such as videos, Flash cartoons and web games. It is highly controversial for many reasons, primarily because content on the website is taken from other sources without permission and rebranded with the eBaum’s World logo. The site, which was originally co-owned by Eric “eBaum” Bauman and his father, Neil Bauman, of Rochester, New York, ranks in the top 1000 sites on the Internet according to the website Alexa. On August 2, 2007, eBaum’s World was acquired by HandHeld Entertainment in a complex deal involving stock and $15 million in cash.

The real people behing the apparent hack is still unknown. There have been talks on the blogosphere regarding this issue. At the time of writing, was inaccessible.

6.7 Earthquake off the coast of India

A magnitude-6.7 earthquake jolted the Andaman Islands off the east coast of India Friday, but no tsunami alert was issued by authorities, officials said.

The undersea quake struck at 5:10 pm (1140 GMT) 113 kilometres west of the state capital Port Blair, said AK Bhatnagar of the Indian Meteorological Department in New Delhi.

'The moderate quake shook the islands, causing panic amongst residents, but there are no reports of any damage or injuries,' he said.

The quake were also felt in the southern metropolis of Chennai on the Indian mainland, which lies 1190 kilometres west of the islands, news reports said.

Bhatnagar added that the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services in the southern city of Hyderabad had not issued a tsunami warning.

'There is no rise in sea levels,' he said.

Thousands were killed when the islands were hit by the December 2004 tsunami, which was triggered by a magnitude-9 earthquake off the coast of Sumatra.

Scientists said the undersea zone near Indonesia was seismically active.

'It is an extension of the same Sumatra seismic zone, and undersea quakes of magnitude 5 to 6 are common in that area,' Bhatnagar said.

Bill Gates Quiting day to day operations of Microsoft

Macintosh computer fanatics won't have Bill Gates to kick around anymore.

The Microsoft co-founder whose boyish face and nerdy manner epitomizes the US software colossus spends his last day at the office on Friday.

Paul Allen, who teamed with Gates to start Microsoft in a garage in 1975, will be among those "roasting" his childhood friend at a gala dinner affair Friday night.

After decades devoted to Microsoft, Gates turns his attention full time to the philanthropic Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation he established with his wife.

Gates leaves Microsoft to wrestle with a fast-changing computer era and growing challenges from Internet juggernaut Google and longtime rival Apple, which makes Macintosh computers.

Three people will essentially fill the void Gates leaves behind at Microsoft.

Gate's job as chief software architect is being handled by Ray Ozzie.

Craig Mundie inherited Gate's chief research and strategy officer duties, while former Harvard University classmate Steve Ballmer is chief executive officer at the software colossus based in Redmond, Washington.

Gates remains chairman of the Microsoft board of directors and its largest shareholder.

Microsoft is losing Gates at a time when "cloud computing" is shaking the packaged software foundation on while the company's fortune is built.

Cloud computing refers to a trend in which firms such as Google and let people use programs on the Internet instead of having to install and maintain software on their own machines.

Microsoft competes in the "software as a service" arena but tends to combine offerings with packaged products in a "software-plus" marketing model, according to analysts.

Meanwhile, Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system released in January of 2007 has flopped with customers, many of whom are clinging to its predecessor Windows XP.

Vista loathing is heightening interest in free Linux open-source software and Macintosh computers, which use operating systems built by Apple.

Rivalry between Microsoft and Apple is legendary in Silicon Valley. Apple ads and press conferences take swipes at Microsoft and devotees of competing systems routinely swap barbs in cafes or other social venues.

The culture-shifting popularity of Apple's iPods and iPhones is credited with increasing interest in Macintosh machines.

While Windows is still used on 90 percent of the world's computers, Macintosh computers have grown to more than five percent of the market.

Microsoft began selling Zune brand MP3 players in September of 2006 to compete with Apple's market-dominating iPods but the devices haven't been a hit with customers.

Microsoft failed in a recent bid to buy Yahoo for nearly 50 billion dollars in order to combine online resources to better battle Google in the booming Internet search and advertising.

Microsoft's server and tools division is its most profitable unit. Its entertainment unit, which sells Xbox videogame consoles and gaming software, has yet to make a profit.

Gates is expected to maintain the ears of Microsoft leaders. He bequeathed them a legacy that includes focusing in-house teams on what Gates expects to be major technology trends, such as an "Internet tidal wave."

"At some point the firm has to take the essence of what made Bill Gates successful and make sure that is preserved," said analyst Rob Enderle of Enderle Group in Silicon Valley.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Madonna & Guy Ritchie getting a divorce


Guy Ritchie and Madonna are in divorce proceedings, both have hired experienced attorneys and Madonna is moving back to New York where she recently bought an adjoining apartment. The Guy Ritchie-Madonna divorce has been in motion for over a month - Madonna hired celeb attorney Fiona Shackleworth who repped Paul McCartney in his divorce and Guy Ritchie going with old money law firm Forsters.

Madonna has already remodeled her 6,000 sq ft duplex apartment overlooking Central Park – one that she has owned for 20 years - and enlarged it to accommodate her children and staff by including an adjoining apartment she bought in her maiden name.

One source said: “Madonna is miserable and has lost her desire to live full-time in the UK.”

The source added: “They both fought so hard to preserve their marriage. But they both seem ready to throw in the towel now. It’s a shame and there’s a real sense of sadness among Guy and Madonna’s friends.”

Madonna and Ritchie met at a dinner party thrown by Sting and wed in 2000 after she had given birth to their son Rocco, but their 12-year age difference plus the singer’s wide open sexual attitudes and controlling personality have caused an irrevocable split.

And that’s the latest news on the Madonna divorce.

Heather Locklear under Physhological Observation for Suicidal thoughts

Actress Heather Locklear has checked into an Arizona medical facility for psychological treatment, her spokeswoman said. Representative for Locklear, best known for her roles in the hit US television soap opera 'Melrose Place' and sitcom 'Spin City,' has revealed that the 46-year-old actress is being treated for anxiety and depression at an Arizona facility.

"She requested an in-depth evaluation of her medication and entered into a medical facility for proper diagnosis and treatment," the New York Daily News quoted Locklear's rep, as saying. "This is a confidential medical matter and no further statement will be released," she added. In March, a man claiming to be Locklear's doctor called 911 and asked for assistance.

"I have a patient and I have a feeling she's suicidal. I would want someone to go [check on her]," he said. At that time, Locklear's publicist downplayed the incident, adding that the actress was 'fine' and 'never requested medical assistance.'

Tim McGraw Tosses Drunk out at his Concert - Almost results in a fist fight - Extended Video Here

Tim McGraw was caught on camera, getting into a slight fight with a spectator after he removed him from his concert.

McGraw was performing at his concert at White River Amphitheater in Auburn, Washington. In the middle of performing his song "Indian Outlaw," McGraw looked over in the crowd and saw a spectator getting rowdy with a female fan.

McGraw told his band to "keep going", while he walked over to the man and told him to stop. When McGraw saw him troubling a female fan in the front row, he yelled out "Get rid of this guy! Security!"

When security took longer than expected, McGraw extended his hand to the rowdy spectator and brought him onto stage himself. Once on stage, McGraw threw him into security.

The spectator got loud and came toward in attempt to fight McGraw, who then clenched his fist in preparation to fight back. Security then escorted the spectator off of the stage and out of the arena. There were no punches thrown between the two.

McGraw then continued his song "Indian Outlaw" as the band never skipped a beat with the music.

People in the crowd said that the spectator smelled of alcohol and was moving around wildly during the song, smashing into people next to him.

Supreme Court Strikes down Proposed DC Gun Ban

The U.S. Supreme Court Thursday furtively embraced an interpretation of the Second Amendment long advocated by gun-rights supporters, finding for the first time in tghe nation's history that the Constitution guarantees an individudal the right to own a handgun.

The court, in combustible 5-4 ruling, struck down Washington, D.C.'s total ban on handgun ownership. The decision greatly endangers, but not immediately affects, Chicago's similar gun ban.

The landmark decision was written by Justice Antonin Scalia, who, in describing the opinion in open court Wednesday, said the Second Amendment should be read expansively and that it "means pretty much what it means today, to have and carry weapons."

Scalia said people will "not be deprived of the right to keep and bear arms."

The ruling of the court however was, as was expected, narrow in scope, applying only to the specific aspects of Washington's law, which prohibits the ownership of handguns and their registration. The D.C. act also requires that shotguns in the home be disassembled or trigger-locked.

And like other individual rights, Scalia wrote, the right to own a gun is subject to reasonable regulation, including laws preventing felons and the mentally ill from owning guns and those forbidding guns in schools and government buildings. He also suggested that certain types of dangerous or unusual guns could be banned.

The opinion also appears to leave concealed carry laws intact.

He was joined in the opinion by Justices Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, John Roberts and Samuel Alito.

Justice John Paul Stevens summarized his dissent from the bench, blasting the majority for establishing what he called a "newly discovered" right and accusing the conservative bloc of not staying true to the principles of judicial restraint they frequently espouse.

The court, Stevens said, "is making new law today."

Both Stevens and Justice Stephen Breyer filed dissents in the case. They were joined by Justices David Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The decision is 154 pages long and can be viewed here

Woman see's Jesus in her ultra sound

OK, here is another one to add to the pile of Jesus sightings including burned toast. I guess everyone needs a reason to believe but this is a little carried away. Apparently, this Florida woman se's an image of Jesus in her 3-d Ultrasound.

Ya, ok I would like to believe there is a higher power up there, but why would he be so arrogant as to appear in an ultrasound. Of course this woman wants to feel special and she is calling it a "sign from God" OK, fine if that makes you feel important.

Here is the video, so you can judge for yourself



Sex tapes. We've all seen them. Hell, by this point, we've probably all made them (and that includes Molls)! But even on your loneliest of lonely nights, when you dial up RedTube in search of the dirtiest, kinkiest porn that the Internets have to offer, we'd bet you dollars to donuts that none of you ever typed the words "Mini-Me Sex Tape" into Google looking to get off. That is, until now.

Yes, that's Mini-Me Verne Troyer in a sex tape shot with his former live-in girlfriend at the couple's apartment. A third party has snatched up the tape and although no deal has been made, we hear dealer Kevin Blatt, who brokered the deal for Paris' video, is entertaining a $100k offer from SugarDVD to distribute the nastiness.

While we are still too mortified by the sight of Verne Troyer frenching some chick 4 times his size to properly collect our thoughts, we will go out on a limb and say that this sex tape will certainly prove to be more exciting that that snoozer of a vid that Kim Kardashian put out. And if the publicity gods are willing, maybe this means renewed hope for The Love Guru's second weekend at the box office, after all. Then again, let's hope not. See you in Gomorrah!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

People in Netherlands prepare for the end of the world in 2012 as predicted by the end of the Mayan Calendar

Thousands of Dutch people are preparing for the end of the world as we know it. They are anticipating a 2012 Apocalypse.

The end of the world is a bad thing, right? Not necessarily. At least according to some of the people in the Netherlands they are tired of the country anyway. Some say there are just so many immigrants who are building so many houses that the Netherlands is getting too heavy and sinking into the ocean. But that’s not all of it.

Thousands of Dutch are preparing for the end of the world by stockpiling emergency goods and survival gear. I find that interesting. If the world is ending, then what good is a battery operated flashlight? Maybe I’m wrong, it just seems like quitting your job and seeing the great wonders of the world would be a more effective use of the time we have left. Especially if you feel your country is sinking into the ocean.

I admit this whole 2012 Apocalypse thing freaks me out a little. The Mayan calendar ends on December 21, 2012 and many have said that’s because that is the date the world will end. While the Mayans had an unbelievably advanced culture and were scientifically advanced in a way that is hard to fathom, they failed to predict the end of their own culture. That oversight on their part would make me a little skeptical about their prediction of the end of the world, were it not for the fact that other ancient cultures predicted 2012 would be the end of the world as well, completely independently of the Mayans. THAT is a little freaky.

But there’s more to the Dutch story than the Mayan calendar. The Netherlands has become a country unexpectedly a focal point in the war between the West and Islamic terrorists. The murder of Theo Van Gogh in the streets of Amsterdam in many ways was a turning point in our recognition of the battle that had long ago been waged against the West. The note stabbed into Van Gogh’s chest called his friend and confidant, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an infidel and threatened her life for leaving islam and daring to speak openly of the repression of women in islamic society. She has lived under a fatwa since that day. There have continued to be conflicts between jihadists and the northern European region that at one time prided themselves on their liberalism and neutrality in the conflicts of the world. The immigrants, which is politically correct speak for islamic extremist, who have migrated to that area, demand that the Dutch conform to islamic law. The Dutch seem to have tired of attempting to appease and aren’t inclined to change their culture at the will of the newcomers.

A slowly growing combustible friction has simmered just under the surface between the two diametrically opposed factions. It continues to grow.

And so, while I find prophecies and apocalyptic visions interesting from a sociological standpoint, I don’t generally give them much credence. I started writing this article thinking of the Dutch preparing for the end of the world as darkly humorous. But then I remembered Theo Van Gogh, the Mohammad Cartoon riots and the many other incidents of jihadist violence towards the West. One can’t help but notice that the tribes of the world have been gathering and tyrants around the world are crying havoc and are rattling their swords. Perhaps the analogy of the Netherlands sinking into the ocean under the weight of the islamists is not as far off as it sounds on the surface.

Than again, maybe its just another cult preparing for the 2012 Apocalypse predicted in the ancient codes of long vanquished civilizations. I suppose, if we live long enough, we’ll find out in 2012.

Until then here is a video

Monday, June 23, 2008

A Sad day for Comedy - GOERGE CARLIN dead at 71

George Carlin, a Grammy award-winning comedian whose routine about ``The Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television'' was the subject of a U.S. Supreme Court decision, died of heart failure in California yesterday. He was 71.

Carlin went to St. John's Hospital, Santa Monica, yesterday after complaining of chest pain and died at 5:55 p.m. local time, his publicist Jeff Abraham said.

Carlin was one of the country's best-known comedians in the 1970s, an anti-establishment icon who appeared on popular television programs such as ``The Tonight Show.'' He wore long hair and a beard when most comedians were clean cut, and combined a bug-eyed stare with irreverent observations on politics, religion and modern life.

He was arrested for violating obscenity laws in 1972 in Milwaukee and his ``seven words'' routine, in which Carlin describes at length the words that are banned on television and radio, found its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1978, the justices ruled 5-4 that the Federal Communications Commission has a right to regulate spoken-word performances on public airwaves to prevent children from hearing profanities.


``I've always been sort of anti-authoritarian and I really don't like arbitrary rules and regulations that are essentially designed to get people in the habit of conforming,'' Carlin said in a National Public Radio interview on Nov. 1, 2004.

Carlin was born May 12, 1937, and grew up in New York City. After serving in the Air Force in the 1950s, he began to work as a radio DJ before he developed his comedy act, initially a duo with partner Jack Burns. He first appeared on the Jack Paar- hosted ``The Tonight Show'' in October, 1960. He would appear on the show more than 130 times in his life.

He continued to hone his stand-up act in open-mike venues and folk clubs in New York as a clean-cut solo act. In 1968, he had a role in the film ``With Six You Get Eggroll'' with Brian Keith and Doris Day.

Carlin's image changed at the beginning of the 1970s when he grew a beard, joined the counterculture movement and started to use hard drugs, according to his Web site. In October 1975 he hosted the debut episode of ``Saturday Night Live'' while he was ``loaded on cocaine all week long,'' Carlin said.

Stand-Up Master

The comedian's main medium was the stand-up routine. He made 23 comedy albums and appeared in 14 HBO specials. Carlin also received four Grammy Awards and was nominated for five Emmys. He performed last week at the Las Vegas Orleans Casino and Hotel.

He combined a cynic's attitude with a street-wise New Yorker's love of wordplay.

In his routine ``Baseball and Football,'' he compared the contrasting natures of two popular U.S. sports -- without a single swear word.

``Baseball is a 19th century pastoral game. Football is a 20th century technological struggle,'' he observed. ``Baseball is played on a diamond, in a park -- the baseball park! Football is played on a gridiron, in a stadium, sometimes called Soldier Field or War Memorial Stadium.''

Born a Roman Catholic, Carlin regularly mocked organized religion, claiming he believed instead in the sun because ``unlike some other gods I could mention, I can see the sun.''

Kennedy Center Honor

The comedian had health problems, suffering his first heart attack in 1978. He's survived by his daughter Kelly Carlin McCall and partner Sally Wade; his wife, Brenda, died in 1997, AP reported.

The Kennedy Center announced five days ago that Carlin was to be awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

``In his lengthy career as a comedian, writer, and actor, George Carlin has not only made us laugh, but he makes us think,'' Kennedy Center Chairman Stephen Schwarzmann said in the announcement of the award. ``His influence on the next generation of comics has been far-reaching.''

``Thank you Mr. Twain,'' Carlin responded, according to the release. ``Have your people call my people.''

The comedian said the origins of his comedy could be traced to being a teenaged class clown.

``I'm an imperfect student,'' Carlin said in an interview in March. ``I quit school in ninth grade...I still get to show off, like the little kid in fifth grade -- I still get to take these things I write and go out on stage with them and show off.''

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Race Car Driver Scott Kalitta dies in fireball accident - See video here

While some people might not want to watch the video of a fatal crash that took Scott Kalitta’s life, you must also understand this is a dangerous sport and one that took an amazing drivers life. You can watch the Scott Kalitta crash video but please bare in mind this did take a mans life so you may not want to see it. ESPN recorded the live television footage that we found on YouTube, this will give some people a horrific feeling when watching the replay.

Scott Kalitta was racing at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey. This was the final round of qualifying in the Lucas Oil NHRA SuperNationals, as we all know drag racing is a dangerous sport and his car was believed to be traveling at around 300 miles per hour at the time. It would have been impossible to save his life.

In the video you see Scott Kalitta in his funny car making a good run down the track and then at half way it bursts into flames and explodes at the end of the track, you then see a massive fireball move up into the sky. When you watch a lot of sports and more recently shows like Britain’s Got talent, the shows judges always say that it’s a lot more exciting if there is danger and if it’s not dangerous enough, the act can be boring. The judges would never want someone to get hurt, but they want to feel that there is a chance it could happen. Although this is a sport and not a dangerous art on stage, it still shows that bad things can happen and it’s very sad when they do thanks to pushing it to the limit.

You can watch the video below but be warned that you may want to turn away in parts of the video. Please feel free to leave a comment in memory of Scott Kalitta.

JESSICA LANG Denounces Bush Administration during her speach at her Daughter, Hannah Shepard's, Graduation

Oscar-winner Jessica Lange bashed the Bush administration and denounced the war in Iraq during a commencement address at Sarah Lawrence College.

The star of "Tootsie" and "Blue Sky" was applauded by students Friday at the small liberal arts college after comparing the conflict with the Vietnam War. She said the graduates have "a heavy burden" to chart a new path for the country.

"We are living in an America that, in the last seven and a half years, has waged an unnecessary war, established prison camps, condoned torture, employed corporate armies, eliminated the right of habeas corpus, practiced extraordinary rendition, and believe me, this is only a partial list," Lange said.

Lange asked the graduates, including her 22-year-old daughter Hannah Shepard, to commit themselves to the "pursuit of peace."

JESSICA LANG Denounces Bush Administration during her speach at her Daughter, Hannah Shepard's, Graduation

Oscar-winner Jessica Lange bashed the Bush administration and denounced the war in Iraq during a commencement address at Sarah Lawrence College.

The star of "Tootsie" and "Blue Sky" was applauded by students Friday at the small liberal arts college after comparing the conflict with the Vietnam War. She said the graduates have "a heavy burden" to chart a new path for the country.

"We are living in an America that, in the last seven and a half years, has waged an unnecessary war, established prison camps, condoned torture, employed corporate armies, eliminated the right of habeas corpus, practiced extraordinary rendition, and believe me, this is only a partial list," Lange said.

Lange asked the graduates, including her 22-year-old daughter Hannah Shepard, to commit themselves to the "pursuit of peace."


On Thursday last week Jamie Lynn Spears gave birth to a baby girl at a south Mississippi hospital the little girl was named Maddie Briann and weighed 7 pounds, 11 ounces. Ever since the birth many people have wanted to see the photos of little Maddie and today they have been released on Jamie Lynn’s Myspace account.

Here is the message from Jamie Lynn Spears on her MySpace page “I can’t say it was something I was planning to do right now, But now that it’s in my lap and that it’s something I have to deal with, I’m looking forward to being the best mom I can be”

Deadly TYPHOON FENSHEN hits Manila and Kills 100's while over 800 from a CAPSIZED FERRY are missing and feared dead

Typhoon Fengshen has killed 155 people in the Philippines in a torrent of flashfloods and landslides, the head of the Philippines Red Cross, Richard Gordon, told local radio on Sunday.

The death toll from the typhoon was earlier pegged at around 85. It could rise sharply after a ferry with more than 800 people are missing and many feared dead from a ferry that capsized and sank as Typhoon Fengshen continued to batter the Philippines, hampering rescue efforts.

Four bodies were recovered by police rescuers from the MV Princess of Stars, police spokesman Nicanor Bartolome said today in a telephone interview. Three survivors had been found, Senator Richard Gordon, who's also chairman of the Philippine Red Cross, said this afternoon at a news briefing. There were 747 passengers and crew aboard, according to the coast guard.

Two navy ships were on their way to the area near Romblon in the central Philippines where the ferry capsized at about 6 p.m. yesterday, and were expected to arrive there at about 2 p.m. local time, Navy spokesman Edgard Arevalo said. Rescue attempts were being hampered by ``gigantic waves, pounding rain and gusting winds,'' he said. The ferry was en route from Manila to Cebu in the central Philippines when it sank.

Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo demanded to know why the ferry was allowed to sail as the typhoon bore down on the islands. She spoke from the U.S., where she is on an official visit, with civil defense and coast guard authorities in a meeting that was broadcast on nationwide radio. ``Why did you allow it to sail and why was there no ample warning?'' she said.

Elsewhere, 82 people may be dead from flashfloods and landslides caused by the typhoon, although only eight were confirmed, according to National Disaster Coordinating Council Executive Director Anthony Golez. More than 366,000 were affected by the storms and of them, 70,717 had been evacuated, according to an earlier report from the council.

Storm Track

The eye of Fengshen, the seventh storm of the northwestern Pacific cyclone season, was over Tarlac province, northwest of the capital city of Manila, packing winds of up to 120 kilometers per hour at 4 p.m. local time, according to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration. It is moving toward the northwest coast of the main island of Luzon, the weather bureau said.

Storm debris is hampering restoration of power to areas of the capital blacked out when the storm blew through. Manila Electric Co., which serves the capital and nearby provinces, said a 10th of its total network remained without power as of 3 p.m.

Power has been restored to mass transit lines in Manila, the electricity company said.

Some power lines in southern Luzon are still being repaired, the state-run power transmission company said. Service has been fully restored on Cebu and Bohol islands in the central Philippines, according to National Transmission Co.

Flooded Iloilo

At least 30,000 residents of Iloilo City were stranded on their rooftops after the typhoon caused a dam to overflow and sparked power outages across the province, the Philippines Inquirer reported citing Jed Mabilog the city's acting mayor.

In the eastern Bicol region, the storm forced more than 200,000 people to evacuate their homes, the newspaper said, citing a civil defense official.

Arroyo arrived in the U.S. last night for a 10-day visit, according to the report. Yesterday she ordered warnings to be issued to all provinces in the storm's path.

The Philippines is regularly hit by typhoons and tropical storms that gain strength over warm waters of the Pacific before lashing the coast. At least 26 people died in November last year when two typhoons struck the country.

Fengshen is named after the God of Wind in China, according to the Web site of the Hong Kong Observatory, which lists names used for tropical storms and typhoons formed in the northwest Pacific.

Typhoon "Fengshen" passed the east of Metro Manila early Sunday and headed toward central Luzon in the vicinity of Clark in Pampanga province, 70 kilometers north of Manila, said the state weather forecasters Sunday.

"Fengshen" is expected to reach Pangasinan province 200 kilometers north of Manila in the afternoon, said the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration. The typhoon packed maximum sustained winds of 120 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 150 kph, and was moving north-northwest at 15 kph.

Metro Manila was invaded by flood waters brought about by typhoon "Fengshen" on Sunday, after one night's heavy wind and rains. All domestic flights for Sunday were canceled and international flights were delayed, according to local radio reports. The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority said gutter-deep flood waters submerged several thoroughfares in Metro Manila, while some streets in Manila were submerged with knee-deep water. Some parts of the capital region came under power outage for several hours Sunday morning due to toppled electricity posts and damaged transformers.

By Monday morning, "Fengshen" is expected to be 100 km west of Vigan, Ilocos Sur in northern Luzon. By Tuesday morning, "Fengshen" would be 300 kilometers west-northwest of Basco, Batanes in the northernmost Philippines, and by Wednesday morning, it would be 470 km north-northwest of Basco, Batanes.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Dozens die in Stampede at Mexico City Night club

Panicked youths rushed for the exits during a police raid on a Mexico City nightclub on Friday, leaving at least 12 people dead in the crush of bodies, the capital's police chief said.

Chief Joel Ortega said three police officers and nine youths, at least three of them minors, were killed. At least 13 others were injured.

Police went to the News Divine club in the working-class district of Nueva Atzacoalco in the early evening to check reports of drugs and alcohol being sold to minors.

Ortega told the Televisa network the club's owner announced to the crowd that the officers were there to arrest them, causing a stampede. He denied earlier media reports that officers threw tear gas inside the club, and also said no shots were fired.

At a news conference later Friday, Ortega said about 500 young people - more than the club's capacity - were there to celebrate the end of the school year and many more were waiting in line to get in.

Clubs in Mexico often host afternoon "tardeada" parties for clubbers as young as 16, though only patrons 18 and up are allowed to drink alcohol.

Ortega said the venue had a single entrance plus an emergency exit, which was obstructed by cases of beer.

"Many of the people concentrated at the club's emergency exit, but it was too small and it was there that people died of asphyxia," Ortega told Televisa.

Television images showed glittery high-heel shoes and T-shirts strewn over the dance floor. Bodies covered with white sheets lay by the club's entrance.

Ortega said the club, which charged a cover of US$3, was closed down last year due to several safety and other violations, but the owner won an injunction and reopened the place.

Police detained 39 people including the owner, he added.

Dozens of riot police were sent to control a crowd of sobbing relatives and friends that gathered at the scene.

Dozens die in Stampede at Mexico City Night club

Panicked youths rushed for the exits during a police raid on a Mexico City nightclub on Friday, leaving at least 12 people dead in the crush of bodies, the capital's police chief said.

Chief Joel Ortega said three police officers and nine youths, at least three of them minors, were killed. At least 13 others were injured.

Police went to the News Divine club in the working-class district of Nueva Atzacoalco in the early evening to check reports of drugs and alcohol being sold to minors.

Ortega told the Televisa network the club's owner announced to the crowd that the officers were there to arrest them, causing a stampede. He denied earlier media reports that officers threw tear gas inside the club, and also said no shots were fired.

At a news conference later Friday, Ortega said about 500 young people - more than the club's capacity - were there to celebrate the end of the school year and many more were waiting in line to get in.

Clubs in Mexico often host afternoon "tardeada" parties for clubbers as young as 16, though only patrons 18 and up are allowed to drink alcohol.

Ortega said the venue had a single entrance plus an emergency exit, which was obstructed by cases of beer.

"Many of the people concentrated at the club's emergency exit, but it was too small and it was there that people died of asphyxia," Ortega told Televisa.

Television images showed glittery high-heel shoes and T-shirts strewn over the dance floor. Bodies covered with white sheets lay by the club's entrance.

Ortega said the club, which charged a cover of US$3, was closed down last year due to several safety and other violations, but the owner won an injunction and reopened the place.

Police detained 39 people including the owner, he added.

Dozens of riot police were sent to control a crowd of sobbing relatives and friends that gathered at the scene.

Prankster responsible for most recet foot in the Birtish Columbia Floating foot case

A prankster is responsible for a sixth foot that washed on British Columbia shores, a hoax that raised fears among the families of missing persons and prompted the RCMP to launch a separate investigation.

The B.C. Coroner's Service said Thursday and RCMP confirmed that the foot found on a Vancouver Island beach the day before was not human, but in fact a skeletonised animal paw stuffed inside a sock and a running shoe.

"We have to say that this is a despicable act; we're not going to sit back and let this go," said RCMP Const. Annie Linteau. "We're now embarking on a whole new investigation, which could involve public mischief charges against the person or persons involved."

"We're talking many families of missing loved ones who are really watching and wondering that every time something is found is it their loved one?"

A woman walking along a beach Wednesday near Campbell River, on Vancouver Island, said she spotted the "foot." Authorities believed it was the sixth to wash ashore in the past year.

The first right foot was found Aug. 20 on Jedidiah Island in the Strait of Georgia. On Aug. 26, another right foot was found inside a man's size 12 Reebok sneaker on nearby Gabriola Island.

A third was found in the same area, on the east side of Valdez Island, on Feb. 8.

The fourth foot was found May 22 on Kirkland Island in the Fraser River, only a kilometre away from the site in Ladner where the fifth foot, a size 10 left foot, was found on Monday.

The coroner's service said a forensic pathologist and anthropologist examined the running shoe found on Wednesday and determined an animal paw had been placed inside the shoe and packed with dried seaweed.

The revelation didn't stop the growing public interest in the story. On websites and around water coolers, wild explanations and conspiracy theories about the found feet abound.

In the one-time hunting ground of serial killer Robert Pickton, some believe another killer is on the loose. Another person wondered if the feet were a bad prank by a "twisted mortician."

Organized crime, the mob and maniacs are all under consideration.

"Methinks that the gangsters have been attempting to provide cement shoes to their victims but are economizing and only doing half of the job," wrote one wag.

Some muse about a plane crash off the West Coast in which the bodies were never found, while others speculate that the feet could belong illegal immigrants stowed away aboard a vessel that sank off the coast.

There was a small plane crash in the Gulf Islands west of the B.C. mainland three years ago and the coroner's office has been trying through DNA matches to determine if the feet belonged to victims of that crash.

One person believes they are the remains of some of the thousands of people who died in Indonesia in the tsunami in December 2006.

"The current runs north from Indonesia and it took over three years for the feet to drift here... 30,000 to 40,000 bodies washed into the sea, some body parts should drift ashore at some point," they wrote.

So far, investigators have said DNA testing has failed to match with any known samples.

B.C. Solicitor General John van Dongen said he'd spoken with the province's chief coroner and was assured every effort is being made to try to identify the remains.

"It is certainly a concern and raises questions. But at this point, any further comment I could make would really be speculation and that wouldn't be appropriate under the circumstances," van Dongen said.

Dr. John Butt, a forensic pathologist and former chief medical examiner in Alberta and Nova Scotia, said finding the feet in the same area is difficult to explain, but what is not difficult to explain are the conditions.

The foot and leg will separate naturally, in water or in the ground, given enough time, he said.

"When tissue softens to the point that ligaments have no strength, the leg will detach from the foot."

Police have indicated that the bones of the found feet separated naturally in this way.

All five feet were found encased in sneakers, which also doesn't surprise Butt.

"There is no other clothing applied to the body as tightly as a shoe, except maybe a belt. A shoe is tight and stays on the foot and the shoe is buoyant."

Sienna Miller recalls Last night with Heath Ledger

"Heath and I had this amazing night out in Venice with my mother," she said, speaking out about her memories of the Heath who died in January from an accidental prescription overdose.

"It had been pouring with rain. Heath ran out in the middle of St Mark's Square and we were running around, and I slipped over. We all ran back to his and he gave me these dry pyjamas to get home in."

Miller said Heath's father had found the pyjamas and given them to her as a lasting memory of his son.

After much speculation Sienna spoke about her recent breakup with Rhys Ifans during her appearance on LK Today, saying: "I really thought I was very ready to settle down, but then I realised I wanted to be selfish for just a little bit longer."

Husband charged with Murder of Wife in Yongala shipwreck case

An Alabama man whose wife died during a honeymoon scuba diving trip off the coast of Australia almost five years ago has been charged in her death. An Australian coroner ruled Friday there was enough evidence to put Gabe Watson on trial for the death of Tina Watson, who was 26 when she drowned in October 2003 while diving around a historic shipwreck in Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

Watson, 31, told police his new bride appeared to panic 45 feet underwater and that he "looked into her eyes and saw her eyes were wide open but there was no response," Townsville Coroner David Glascow said in his inquest findings.

Glascow, however, cited what he said were inconsistencies in Watson's statements to investigators. The coroner said he was "unable to conclude that Tina's death was an accidental drowning." The couple married just 11 days earlier in Birmingham, Alabama. They left their home in Hoover, Alabama, for their Australian honeymoon two days later, the coroner said.

As possible evidence for the husband's motive, Glascow pointed to a statement by the woman's father that Watson asked her to maximize her life insurance and make him the beneficiary shortly before the wedding.

The insurance company confirmed that Gabe Watson inquired about her life insurance policy after her death, the coroner said.

The coroner noted that Watson, through his lawyers, contended that police had made a judgment that he killed his wife before they began their probe and that they tailored their investigation to fit their theory.

Glascow said he saw no evidence of police rushing to judgment.

"It appears certain that at some point in time investigators considered some of Gabe's explanations lacked credibility and it further appears to me that investigators gave Gabe the opportunity to clarify matters which may have caused concern," the coroner said.

The husband was an experienced diver and his new wife was considered a novice, the coroner said.

They were diving on the "Yongala" shipwreck about 42 miles off the coast of Townsville in the state of Queensland, Australia.

Friday, June 20, 2008

NASA Finds ice on Mars

NASA is expected to give details on the discovery during a news conference on Friday.

The small science probe landed safely last month on a frozen desert at the Martian north pole to search for water and assess conditions for sustaining life.

Small chunks of bright material described as the size of dice have disappeared from inside a trench where they were photographed by the craft earlier this week, NASA said in a statement late on Thursday.

This has convinced scientists the chunks were ice -- frozen water -- that vaporized after digging exposed it, NASA said.

"It must be ice," said mission principal investigator Peter Smith of the University of Arizona. "These little clumps completely disappearing over the course of a few days. That is perfect evidence that it's ice. There had been some question whether the bright material was salt. Salt can't do that."

The presence of water on Mars is a hot topic for scientists. They have presented strong evidence in recent years of huge deposits of frozen water at the Martian poles and point to geological features that indicate that large bodies of water have flowed on the planet's surface in the distant past.

Water is a key to the question of whether life, even in the form of mere microbes, has ever existed on Mars. On Earth, water is a necessary ingredient for life.

The chunks were left at the bottom of a trench dubbed "Dodo-Goldilocks" when Phoenix's robotic arm enlarged that trench on June 15. Several chunks were gone when Phoenix looked at the trench again on Thursday, NASA said.

The U.S. space agency also said that the lander, digging in a different trench, used its robotic arm to connect with a hard surface that has scientists believing they have found an icy layer on the Martian surface.

The $420 million lander spent 10 months journeying from Earth to Mars.

New AIR SCOOTER - Video of flight

Now here is a cool invention The Air Scooter Home Helicopter, was invented by Elwood Norris and presented for the first time in San Francisco in March 2004, this recreational helicopter meets US ultralight requirements, so it doesn't require registration and can be flown without a pilot's license. This incredible machine is on the market right now for less than $50.000. It uses motorcycle-style handlebars command and the altitude is control with a gear shift.
It can fly for two hours on one tank of gas and can fly at 55 Miles per hour up to 10,000 feet above sea level. Amazing considering you do not need a licence to fly the Air Scooter.

George Bush pushes for legalized Wire Tapping

President Bush today lauded Congress for reaching agreement on surveillance legislation that could shield telecommunications companies from privacy lawsuits and urged quick passage of the bill, saying it was vital to help thwart new terrorist attacks.

In a brief statement in the White House Rose Garden, Bush also hailed House passage yesterday of two bipartisan bills -- one that funds the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan into 2009 and another that would allow veterans of those wars to received increased education benefits.

Bush said he was informed by his director of national intelligence and attorney general that the proposed surveillance legislation "is a good bill" that would help U.S. intelligence learn enemy plans for new attacks on the United States. He said it ensures that telecommunications companies will be "protected from liability for past or future cooperation" with the federal government.

The war-funding legislation, Bush said, "gives our troops the funds they need to prevail without trying the hands of our commanders in the field or imposing artificial timetables for withdrawal" from Iraq.

House and Senate leaders agreed yesterday on the surveillance legislation, handing Bush one of the last major legislative victories he is likely to achieve.

The agreement extends the government's ability to eavesdrop on espionage and terrorism suspects while effectively providing a legal escape hatch for AT&T, Verizon Communications and other telecom firms. They face more than 40 lawsuits that allege they violated customers' privacy rights by helping the government conduct a warrantless spying program after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The breakthrough on the legislation came hours after the White House agreed to Democratic demands for domestic spending additions to an emergency war funding bill. Taken together, the bills -- two of the last major pieces of legislation to be approved by Congress this year -- suggest that Bush still wields considerable clout on national security issues but now must acquiesce to Democratic demands on favored domestic priorities to secure victory.

The war spending bill, for example, includes $162 billion for the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and an additional $95 billion worth of domestic spending on programs such as unemployment insurance and higher-education benefits for veterans. Bush, who had threatened for months to veto the legislation, said he will sign it.

Leading Democrats acknowledged that the surveillance legislation is not their preferred approach, but they said their refusal in February to pass a version supported by the Bush administration paved the way for victories on other legislation, such as the war funding bill.

"When they saw that we were unified in sending that bill rather than falling for their scare tactics, I think it sent them a message," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). "So our leverage was increased because of our Democratic unity in both cases."

Under the surveillance agreement, which is expected to be approved today by the House and next week by the Senate, telecoms could have privacy lawsuits thrown out if they show a federal judge that they received written assurance from the Bush administration that the spying was legal.

The proposal marks a compromise by Republicans and the Bush administration, which had opposed giving federal judges any significant role in granting legal immunity to the phone companies.

The legislation also would require court approval of procedures for intercepting telephone calls and e-mails that pass through U.S.-based servers -- another step that the White House and GOP lawmakers previously resisted.

"It is the result of compromise, and like any compromise it is not perfect, but I believe it strikes a sound balance," said House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (Md.), the lead Democratic negotiator in talks between lawmakers and the White House.

But overall, the deal appears to give Bush and his aides, including Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey and Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell, much of what they sought in a new surveillance law.

White House spokesman Tony Fratto called the measure "a bipartisan bill" that "will give the intelligence professionals the long-term tools they need to protect the nation, and liability protection for those who may have assisted the government after the 9/11 attacks."

The sharpest critics of the administration's surveillance policies were not mollified. Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) said the legislation "is not a compromise; it is a capitulation."

"Allowing courts to review the question of immunity is meaningless when the same legislation essentially requires the court to grant immunity," he said.

Caroline Frederickson, a lobbyist for the American Civil Liberties Union, said, "The telecom companies simply have to produce a piece of paper we already know exists, resulting in immediate dismissal."

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), who has opposed retroactive immunity for the companies, said he was reviewing the legislation. "There have been, from what I see, some improvements," he said yesterday. "There's good things in this bill."

Other Democrats said the bill could be more popular than a version approved in February that 20 Senate Democrats favored.

Pelosi said the most important part of the deal is "exclusivity" language making it clear that the surveillance law is the only legal authority when it comes to government spying. In defending its warrantless spying program in the past, Bush administration lawyers argued that the commander in chief's warmaking powers trumped such considerations.

Yesterday's agreement ended a four-month standoff that began after House leaders refused to pass a Senate-approved bill that would have made permanent a temporary surveillance law enacted last August. According to the administration, some wiretap orders that allowed the surveillance of foreign terrorism suspects would have begun to expire two months from now unless new legislation was approved.

The negotiations underscored the political calculation made by many Democrats who were fearful that Republicans would cast them as soft on terrorism during an election year. Earlier this week, Hoyer told reporters that many Democrats, particularly those from conservative districts, were prepared to side with Republicans and approve the Senate version of the bill if talks broke down completely.

The immunity would cover companies that helped the government between Sept. 11, 2001, and Jan. 17, 2007, when the warrantless surveillance program was brought under the authority of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. That program had allowed the National Security Agency to monitor communications to and from the United States without court oversight.

The retroactive legal protection would apply only in lawsuits filed against telecommunications firms. Any lawsuits against the government would proceed and would have to be defended by other means.