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April 27, 2007

Monarch's Military Moxy

England's Prince Henry's military deployment to Iraq is under review, reports the Associated Press.
"Harry's regiment, the Blues and Royals, is due to begin a six-month tour of duty in Iraq within weeks," according to the AP.
Harry, who may face a desk job instead of seeing combat, has said he would retire from military service if he isn't sent to Iraq with his regiment, reports the AP.
Offically the Cornet Wales, Harry is third in line to the throne, according to OneNews.
"A second lieutenant, Harry is a tank commander trained to lead a 12-man team in reconnaissance vehicles," reports the AP.

April 21, 2007

Pimp My Planet: MTV Show Goes Green For An Episode

Popular MTV show "Pimp My Ride" will celebrate Earth Day Sunday the only way they know how: making a 1965 Chevy Impala run on canola oil, reports the Associated Press.
The previously-recorded episode will air Sunday and will feature an introduction by Cali. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, according to the Los Angeles Times.
What begins as a rusted, beat-up old muscle car, gets transformed into an environmentally conscious machine, reports the LA Times.
Additions include: "upholstery made of renewable hemp fiber and carpeting from recycled plastic bottles," and a "6.6-liter Duramax diesel V-8 engine from General Motors Corp." capable of up to 600 horsepower, according to the LA Times.
Schwarzenegger's endorsement of the episode is part of a slew of events attempting to draw international attention to issues of environmentalism and problems of global warming, reports the AP.

Eric Bana Crashes 'Painstakingly' Restored Car

Australian actor Eric Bana crashed during an "around-the-state" car rally Saturday, but walked away unharmed with his co-driver, according to the Associated Press.
During the Targa Tasmania rally, Bana, 38, and his co-driver Tony Ramunno were in 53rd of 115 cars in the Outright Classic competition at the time of the accident, reports the AP.
His car is a 1974 Ford XB Coupe that Bana has had since he was 15 years old, according to the AP.
The accient occurred when the actor "misjudged a tight left-hander" and "went into a couple of trees at a fairly low speed," Bana said, according to the AP.
The actor and co-driver emerged unscathed, and though the car was not totaled, it "is a little battered on the driver's side," Bana said, reports the AP.

April 13, 2007

Willa Ford To Play Anna Nicole Smith In Biopic

Willa Ford, a singer, dancer and model is confirmed to star in the title role of Anna Nicole Smith in the biopic "Anna Nicole," reports Reuters.
Ford became a one-hit-wonder in the early 2000s with the single "I Wanna Be Bad." She also made a guest appearance on the TV show "Dancing With the Stars," according to the Associated Press.
Ford, like Smith posed for the popular magazine "Playboy," reports the AP.
The film will follow Smith's life from age 17 to her death on February 8, 2007, according to Reuters.
Shooting starts next week, reports Reuters.

Crocodile Takes A Bite Out Of Arm

A Taiwanese zoo worker had his arm re-attached Wednesday following a caged crocodile attack, reports the Associated Press.
Chang Po-yu was reaching into the 440-pound reptile's cage to retrieve a tranquilizer when the animal chomped through, severing his forearm, according to the Ottowa Citizen.
Co-workers shot at the crocodile to retrieve Po-yu's arm, reports the AP.
The arm and its owner were rushed to a nearby hospital where it was successfully re-attached, according to the Ottowa Citizen.
The crocodile was unharmed and Po-yu is in stable condition, reports the AP.

April 6, 2007

Keith Richards Says He DID NOT Snort Father's Ashes

Keith Richards, 63-year-old Rolling Stones guitarist, retracted his statement that he snorted his father's ashes mixed with cocaine, claiming that it was a joke, reports the Associated Press.
"It was an off-the-cuff remark, a joke, and it is not true. File under April Fool's joke," said Bernard Doherty, a Rolling Stones spokesman, according to the AP.
The magazine in which Richards made the comment, NME, claims the guitarist said the statement after much thought, reports the AP.
"He didn't offer the information, I had to ask him a couple of questions to get the information out of him," said interviewer Mark Beaumont. "He didn't come straight out with that," according to AP.
Richards said he spread his father's ashes near an oak tree, also stating he would never do coke at this point in his life unless he wished to commit suicide, reports the AP.

March 30, 2007

200-Pound Milk Chocolate Jesus Causes Controversy

The New York exhibition of a milk chocolate, all-nude, anatomically correct statue of Jesus set to go on display Good Friday was cancelled due to Catholic outrage, reports USA Today.
The "My Sweet Lord" display was shut down by the Manhattan hotel in which the exhibition was set to occur. The gallery's creative director, Matt Semlar, resigned in protest, reports USA Today.
Cardinal Edward Egan led the protest, calling the exhibition a "sickening display," according to the Associated Press.
The hotel was forced to cancel the display after some of the angry letters threatened the lives of the artist and the gallery personnel were threatened, reports USA Today.
The artist, Cosimo Cavallaro, is recognized for his creative use of food as art, reports the Associated Press.
"Past efforts include repainting a Manhattan hotel room in melted mozzarella, spraying five tons of pepper jack cheese on a Wyoming home, and festooning a four-poster bed with 312 pounds of processed ham," reports USA Today.

Britney Spears Goes To Church and A Gun Is Pulled

A security guard pulled a gun on a paparazzo attempting to get shots of celebrity Britney Spears leaving church Tuesday, reports The Mirror.
Spears had left the church only to be followed by the photographers rapidly giving chase, dodging police attempting to stop traffic. One of the paparazzo apparently came close to one of the traffic officers, reports the Mirror.
The security guard, supposedly a retired police officer, pulled out a gun and stopped the snapper's Lexus 4x4, reports the National Ledger. The photographer was handcuffed and made to sit on the side of the road.
The guard accused the paparazzo of attempting to run over the traffic officer, which the snapper denied, reports AHN.
Spears was not witness to the event, according to the Mirror.

March 23, 2007

Mel Gibson Verbally Attacks Professor

In a university screening of his film Apocalypto Thursday, Mel Gibson got into a heated argument with a professor ending in profanity and her removal.
The argument began when "Alicia Estrada, an assistant professor of Central American studies at California State University, Northridge, accused the actor-director of misrepresenting the Mayan culture in the movie," reports the Australia Herald Sun.
Gibson reportedly used the F-word and told the professor to "get a history book and read," according to the Herald Sun.
The professor stated that her question was in no way aggressive, reports the Associated Press.
Estrada was described as a rude and risruptive heckler, according to Alan Nierob, Gibson's publicist, reports the AP.

Japanese Realtor Attacks Hawaii With Kindness

A Japanese billionaire donated three of his 22 multimillion-dollar homes to extremely poor native Hawaiians Thursday.
Genshiro Kawamoto, a real estate mogul and one of Japan's wealthiest citizens handed over keys to three of his approximately $5 million homes on the island of Oahu. He plans to gift eight homes total, according to the Assicated Press.
The needy families will live rent-free for ten years, but will be required to pay their own utility bills, reports the AP. Kawamoto also gave the families the $100 bills to "help them move on," according to the AP.
"Kawamoto selected the eight low-income families from 3,000 people who wrote him letters last fall after he announced his plan. He has said he tried to pick working, single mothers," according to the AP.
The billionaire has embarked on the venture because it reportedly makes him happy, reports the AP.

March 16, 2007

Oprah Opens Second South African School

Business mogul Oprah Winfrey opened her second public school for underprivileged South African youth Friday.
The Seven Fountains Primary School is intended to be a model of public education, boasting eco-friendly amenities and community-uplifting educational tools.
The school is solar powered. Also, due to an "irregular" water supply, the building uses a system by which rainwater is recycled. Seesaws and merry-go-rounds act as pumps for the water system. Additionally, Seven Fountains has landscaped gardens that provide fresh produce for school meals, according to the Associated Press.
The $1.6 million price tag was covered by Oprah's Angel Network, "a public charity that supports organizations and projects focused on education and literacy," according to the AP.
The school features 25 classrooms, a computer room, a library and two sports fields as well as other amenities. The building is not solely intended for the youth of Kokstad, night classes and open access to the building are being offered to the adults in hopes that educational opportunities will combat poverty, reports the AP.

March 2, 2007

Turn around, every now and then I get a Total Eclipse of the Moon

The first total eclipse of the moon in three years will occur this Saturday night, causing the satellite to turn shades of amber and crimson, reports the Associated Press.
Lunar eclipses occur when the earth is in between the moon and the sun. They are rare, because the moon is never typically directly in the earth's plane of orbit, according to the AP.
The moon will be an eerie reddish hue due to the sunlight passing through the earth's atmosphere.
The event, which has no real scientific value according to Robert Massey of the Royal Astronomical Society, will be best experienced in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, will still be enjoyable for the Americas and Asia, reports the AP.
"Earth's shadow will begin moving across the moon at 3:18 p.m. EST Saturday, with the total eclipse occurring at 5:44 p.m. EST and lasting more than an hour," according to the AP.

February 28, 2007

Largest squid discovered

The largest Colossal squid ever caught was landed off the coast of Antarctica by New Zealand fishermen Thursday, Feb. 22.
Scientifically known as Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni, the squid was captured by a fishing crew searching for Patagonian toothfish, also known as Chilean sea bass, reports the Olberlin Times.
The squid has eyes "the size of dinner plates" and "wheel-sized calamari rings" according to Gristmill. It is about 39 feet long and weighs about 992 pounds, reports DiscoveryReports.
"The new specimen is likely the first intact male ever recovered", New Zealand's Fisheries Minister Jim Anderton said, according to Progressive U.
The squid was frozen and transported to New Zealand's capital, Wellington, where it will be studied at Te Papa, the national museum, reports the Olberlin Times.

February 26, 2007

Martin Scorsese wins Best Director

Martin Scorsese won the best director Oscar for his film "The Departed" at the 79th annual Academy Awards Sunday.
"Could you double check the envelope?" the eight-time nominee said, according to ABC News.
Scorsese has been nominated for best director six times for his work on such classics as "Raging Bull" and "Taxi Driver," according to the Los Angeles Times. He has also been nominated for best screenplay twice.
The award was presented by Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola. Scorsese received a standing ovation for the long-overdue acknowledgement.
"So many people have been wishing this for me," Scorsese said, joking about all the encouragement he received prior to the award show.
Other nominees in the category were Clint Eastwood for "Letters from Iwo Jima," Stephen Frears for "The Queen," Paul Greengrass for "United 93" and Alejandro Gonzales Iñárritu for "Babel."
"The Departed," Scorsese's highest-grossing film to date, stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Wahlberg, Jack Nicholson and Matt Damon. The film also won best picture.

February 23, 2007

Derailed train kills one, traps over 100 and severely injures eight

Out of 180 passengers travelling from London to Glasgow, Scotland eight have been seriously injured and one killed when the train derailed Friday.
The cause of the crash is not entirely known, according to Reuters. The Associated Press reported that the nine-car Virgin train hit an obstruction at about 8:10 p.m.
"I can confirm one death," said a spokesman for the Royal Lancadter Infirmary, according to Reuters.
Hundreds of passengers were trapped when a part of the train slipped down an embankment.
"Rescue services were unable to reach them until the power lines had been switched off," reports Reuters.
"Rail safety has been a major problem in Britain in recent years," according to The Guardian.

February 16, 2007

Development: Democratics Decisively Decide Against "Decider"

The Democratic-controlled House voted 246-182 (with aid from 17 Republicans) Friday to deny a Presidentially-backed plan to deploy more troops to Iraq.
The resolution came on the heels of a heated four-day debate with both Democrats and Republicans expressing opinions over presidential authority during war. About 400 of the 434 House representatives spoke. Democrats called President Bush's decision to send 20,000 more troops to Iraq part of a flawed plan that has only led to more violence, reports the New York Times.
The Republicans expressed concern that denying an increase in troops will lead to a decrease in military funding, reports Chicago's Daily Herald.
"Democratic leaders say they will not cut money for troops abroad but will try to attach conditions on war funding that would force Mr Bush to halt the buildup" reported Ausralia's Herald Sun.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for action against the President, stating that the war in Iraq is no longer a war on terrorism, but a distraction from it, according to the New York Times.
"If senators do vote to consider the resolution in their unusual Saturday session, Mr Bush faces the possibility that both chambers of Congress will repudiate his Iraq policy within two days," reports the BBC.
President Bush has not responded to the House's decision, with his advisors saying he was too busy to watch the preceedings on TV, reports Canada's CTV.

February 9, 2007

Astronaut kidnapping scandal

An astronaut love triangle ended in the arrest of Navy Capt. Lisa Nowak on charges of attempted kidnapping, battery and other crimes, reports the BBC.
Nowak allegedly drove from Houston to Orlando International Airport with the intention of kidnapping and murdering Colleen Shipman, a woman she believed to be a rival for the love of Navy Cmdr. William Oefelein, reports the Associated Press.
Nowak supposedly wore a wig to conceal her identity and a diaper to eliminate restroom breaks on her 1,000-mile-drive. Also in her possession was a BB gun, rubber tubing, a mallet and garbage bags, reports The Jamaica Star.
"Attempted kidnapping carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment," according to the BBC.
The Nowak case has led NASA to reevaluate its psychological evaluation process.

February 2, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Infinitely popular author of the Harry Potter series JK Rowling has completed the final installment, titled Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which is set to be released July 21.
The title has been announced since the beginning of January, but the completion of the book had not been reported by the author. BBC has announced that Rowling wrote a message on the wall of her five-star Balmoral Hotel room in Edinburgh that read, ""JK Rowling finished writing Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows in this room on 11 Jan 2007."
Fans across the world have eagerly anticipated the seventh and final installment, and have shown their interest by setting amazon.com records for most first-day pre-orders, according to Reuters. The report claims that first-day sales surpassed the sixth book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince's first-day pre-orders by 547 percent.
So far the series has sold over 325 million copies in over 64 languages, reports the Associated Press.
An additional bi-product of the Harry Potter Dynasty has been the immensely successful series of films based on the books. The next film, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is set to be released later this year, while the movie version of "The Deathly Hallows" is not slated to be released until 2010, according the Internet Movie Database.

U.S. helicopter shot down north of Baghdad kills 2

A U.S. AH-64 Apache helicopter was reportedly shot down north of Baghdad claiming the life of two soldiers Friday, report the BBC and Los Angeles Times.
Witnesses to the shoot-down include Iraqi police and civilians, all of whom have confirmed that the helicopter was shot down over farmland 10 miles north of Baghdad in Taji.
There are no clear suspects to the shooting, but a militant Web site regularly used by Al Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the attack, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The U.S. helicopter, the fourth shot down in 2 weeks, was said to be accompanying a convoy of military vehicles. "The U.S. military relies heavily on helicopters to ferry personnel and equipment across Iraq because of the risk of roadside bombs," said the Los Angeles Times.
According to the BBC, more than 50 U.S. military helicopters have been lost in Iraq since May 2003.