WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning gives up 2 miiltary attorneys, takes on another - @natlsecuritycnn
Pfc. Bradley Manning is suspected of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents
NEW: Manning gives up two military attorneys, takes on another
NEW: Prosecutors say some of their lawyers have changed, too
Manning’s attorneys filed two motions last week
Manning could face life in prison if convicted
Fort Meade, Maryland (CNN) — Pfc. Bradley Manning has a new military lawyer working with his civilian defense attorney as he faces charges in connection with the largest leak of classified documents in U.S. history.
The Army intelligence analyst is suspected of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified military and State Department documents while serving in Iraq. Many of those documents ended up on the WikiLeaks website.
At a hearing Tuesday, Manning requested that the two military attorneys who were assigned to him, Maj. Matthew Kemkes and Capt. Paul Bouchard, be removed and replaced with Capt. Joshua Toomes. No reason was provided.
The judge in the case, Col. Denise Lind, granted the motion.
Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, every military defendant has at least one military lawyer assigned to him or her at no cost to the defendant.
The defendant may also hire a civilian attorney but the government does not usually cover that cost. Manning has hired attorney David Coombs to lead his defense team. Coombs is being paid by Manning supporters.
The chief prosecutor, Maj. Ashden Fein, announced that some of the lawyers on the prosecutor’s side of the case have changed as well.
Manning and most of the other members of the military in the courtroom were wearing blue Army uniforms Tuesday rather than the camouflaged fatigues they’ve worn in previous hearings in the case.
The session marked the beginning of three days of hearings on a variety of motions, including another effort by Manning’s defense to get the charges against him dropped.
The charges include aiding the enemy, wrongfully causing intelligence to be published on the Internet, transmitting national defense information and theft of public property or records. He could go to prison for life if convicted.
His attorneys filed two motions last week. One pushes for all charges against him to be dismissed. If that fails, the second pushes for some charges to be dropped.
The latter filing argues that the defense should be allowed to review “grand jury materials” that are in the possession of military authorities.
Manning’s attorneys put redacted versions of the two motions online. The website, from Coombs’ law offices, explains that the government “has opposed the public filing of motions due to concerns over revealing protected information. In response to the government’s concerns, the defense has voluntarily redacted its motions in areas where the government opposes public release of the referenced information.”
Prosecutors have said they’ve complied with rules governing the mandatory disclosure of non-classified evidence. And they’ve argued that the court has not explained to them how they can disclose evidence categorized as classified.
Coombs hasn’t said whether he’ll request a trial by a military judge, a panel of senior officers or a panel that includes one-third enlisted non-commissioned officers.
Imprisoned former Ukraine prime minister on hunger strike, alleging cell beating - @cnni
Yulia Tymoshenko, Former Ukrainian prime minister, said she had been on a hunger strike after being beaten in prison.
Ukraine’s former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, hasn’t taken food since Friday night
She is in prison serving a seven-year sentence for abuse of authority
The prosecutor says his office investigated and found no “proof” of her allegations
(CNN) — Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, serving a seven-year sentence after last year’s conviction on a charge of abuse of authority, has been on a hunger strike for four days because she was beaten unconscious in prison last week, she said Tuesday.
But the prosecutor said Tuesday that his office immediately investigated Tymoshenko’s claim and didn’t find proof to substantiate her allegations.
A medical expert was sent, but Tymoshenko refused an examination, said Gennady Tyurin, general prosecutor of Kharkiv region.
He said he has declined to open a criminal case.
"The investigation is over," Tyurin said.
Former Ukrainian PM found guilty
Last October, a Ukrainian court found Tymoshenko guilty of abuse of authority for signing gas contracts with Russia and sentenced her to the seven-year prison term.
Prior to the alleged beating, Tymoshenko was discussing with officials a transfer Monday to a hospital for health reasons, she said.
But on Friday evening, her cell mate left the cell, and then “three sturdy men” entered, threw a bed sheet over her, dragged her off the bed and applied “brutal force,” she said in a statement.
"In pain and despair, I started to defend myself as I could and got a strong blow in my stomach through the bed sheet," she said in a statement.
Tymoshenko was dragged “into the street,” she said. “I thought these were the last minutes of my life. In unbearable pain and fear I started to cry and call out for help, but no help came.”
She fell unconscious, and when she came to, she was in a hospital ward, she said.
In pain and despair, I started to defend myself as I could and got a strong blow in my stomach through the bed sheet. Yulia Tymoshenko, former Ukrainian prime minister
Tymoshenko went on her hunger strike the day after the beating, Saturday, she said.
She stopped taking food “to draw attention of the democratic world to things happening in the center of Europe, in the country named Ukraine,” she said.
Tymoshenko charged that “the president of Ukraine is steadily and pedantically building a concentration camp of violence and lack of rights.”
She is asking for a “public international investigation” into the administration of President Viktor Yanukovych and added, “we must do everything possible to remove the Yanukovych regime.”
In April 2011, the Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s office opened a criminal case charging Tymoshenko with signing overpriced gas deals with Russian energy provider Gazprom that inflicted damages to the country amounting to more than 1.5 billion hryvnas (almost $190 million at the current exchange rate) and that Tymoshenko had allegedly no right to sign.
The court ruled Tymoshenko must repay the money, and she is banned from holding public office for three years.
Tymoshenko narrowly lost to Yanukovych in a presidential election in February 2010, and she became his fiercest opponent.
She has repeatedly brushed off all charges against her as political, calling the trial a “farce” and naming the judge a “stooge of Yanukovych’s administration,” appointed to “fabricate” the case.
Amnesty International has slammed the verdict as “politically motivated” and called for the release of Tymoshenko, who was prime minister from January to September 2005 and December 2007 to March 2010.
CNN’s Michael Martinez contributed to this report.
Egypt's election authority confirms former Mubarak PM Ahmed Shafiq disqualified from presidential poll: official - @Reuters
xmlns=”http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml” xmlns:fb=”http://www.facebook.com/2008/fbml”>Egypt’s election authority confirms former Mubarak PM Ahmed Shafiq disqualified from presidential poll: official - @Reuters - breakingnews.com
Facebook IPO could be delayed until June due to recent string of deals, distractions - @CNBC's Kate Kelly
Less than two weeks before the potential launch of Facebook’s initial public offering roadshow, a string of acquisitions and other business distractions are threatening to delay the sale, say people familiar with the matter.
Facebook management has been eyeing a May offering, with a roadshow launch as early as May 7 and the start of trading late the week of the 14th, people with knowledge of the deal have said. But in recent weeks, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been more focused on running the business and making acquisitions than on preparing for the share sale, according to one of these people, making it hard for him and other managers to focus wholeheartedly on the IPO preparations.
As a result of that, Facebook is more likely to launch its roadshow on May 14, or even as late as the very end of May, say the people familiar with the matter. That is a start date that would likely delay the initial trading until early or mid-June. That’s because the Memorial Day holiday, which is May 28, will likely mean that the stock market is less liquid, and therefore less hospitable, to a new issue like Facebook for several trading days late in May, making it a bad time to be on the road or to launch trading.
Effectively, says one person familiar with the matter, Facebook is looking at a “Plan A, B, C, and a D” for its IPO.
A Facebook spokesman declined to comment on the expected timing of the deal.
Having a CEO like Zuckerberg whose bias is to hunker down and do his job rather than fixating on potential stock prices and investors may be more an asset than a liability. However, Zuckerberg’s surprise decisions to buy Instagram for $1 billion over the course of a weekend and a $550 million patent portfolio from Microsoft have created the need for additional financial disclosures with the SEC, say lawyers and other people familiar with the matter, and answering all the Commission’s questions could take additional time.
Stu Hackel: Panthers a real Game 6 test for Devils
Defenseman Brian Campbell has Stanley Cup experience on a team hoping to end Florida’s playoff series drought. The Devils say that sniper Ilya Kovalchuk (right) is healthy. (Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
It’s the series that few people are watching and that’s really a shame because it’s been just as compelling as the rest of the first round, but without any of the histrionics that have accompanied most of the other matchups. So if you haven’t seen any of the Panthers-Devils clash, Tuesday is your big chance — there’s no other game on the playoff schedule to compete with their Game 6 encounter.
Florida can close out New Jersey in this one and, if you’re a Panthers fan looking for signs from the past, you might be comforted to know that the Devils have not been stellar in playoff games at The Rock since they moved from the Meadowlands three years ago. They are 4-8 in Newark. Still, it’s hard to win an elimination match on the road and the Devs are usually good in bounce-back games, but putting back-to-back wins together has been problematic for them. They’ll have to win tonight to put themselves in that position.
It’s been an unusual series in some ways. Each game has featured one team going up 3-0 at some point and, with one notable exception, the winning team has scored early in the first period or broken the ice early in the second after a scoreless opener.
“The tempo has usually been set from the start of the game,” Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said on Monday (quoted by George Richards inThe Miami Herald). “I expect nothing less from a team in desperation mode down one. Two clubs will be colliding very early in the game. We all have the thoughts in our head that we want this thing over; they want to keep going.
“One area we’ve prided ourselves on this season is our road play. We need to go in there and make a statement early. There will be no sitting on anything. I think both teams will leave it all out there.”
The one exception to the first-team-to-score-eventually-wins trend came in Game 3 a week ago. As in Game 1 of the crazy Penguins-Flyers series, New Jersey coughed up a 3-0 lead. But unlike the Pens, who never really recovered from their Game 1 collapse, the Devs followed their own with one of their best efforts of the entire season: a 4-0 victory in Game 4. However, in Game 5 on Saturday, the Panthers outworked them, winning more of the puck battles while pitching a 3-0 shutout.
It’s rare when Peter DeBoer’s Devils don’t put out their best effort in a game and neither the coach nor the players themselves were happy about it. “We haven’t had many nights this year where we’ve been out-competed for sections of the game. I think that did happen last night,” DeBoer said Sunday (quoted by Rich Chere in The Newark Star-Ledger). “We’ve got to fix that. Part of that is Florida played with some real desperation in their game. And, for some reason, we didn’t. I’m sure we’ll see it now.
“All that it’s done is you can’t have another game like that. We know that. We’ve got to bring our best game to the table here on Tuesday and then do it again on Thursday in order to keep moving forward. We don’t have that luxury anymore and that’s what the playoffs are about.”
The Devils, whose playoff absence last spring was the only time they’ve missed the party since 2001, haven’t won a series in their last four postseasons. To stay alive and give themselves a chance in Game 7, they’ll have to win two straight playoff games, and they haven’t done that since they took their last three against the Lightning in the first round of the 2007 postseason.
For the Panthers, who are making their first playoff appearance since 2000, it’s a chance to advance for the first time since their one and only magical run in 1996, when they trapped their way to the Stanley Cup Final. It’s the only time they’ve ever won a series in franchise history.
Unfortunately, these two clubs just don’t generate lots of attention or pull in big national audiences. The Devils have long been reviled as a boring defense-first team, but it’s an unfair label for this edition of Lou Lamoriello’s club. DeBoer has them playing a puck pursuit game and not sitting back waiting for their opponents to make errors on which to capitalize. They can be dynamic with the puck, led by a superstar top line of Zach Parise, Travis Zajac and Ilya Kovalchuk, although the Panthers have largely kept them from exploding this round. There’s speculation that Kovalchuk might be playing with a groin injury, but the Devils have discounted that talk.
Florida had been so poor for so long that their irrelevancy on the NHL scene was assumed to be an annual circumstance. But with a massive roster turnover last offseason and some continued tinkering, GM Dale Tallon (who was named today as a finalist for GM of the Year), assistant Mike Santos and first-year bench boss Dineen propelled them to their first Southeastern Division title. They, too, deserve much more attention than they’ve gotten.
The Panthers are loaded with veterans who have performed well in big playoff games. Defenseman Brian Campbell and forwards Kris Versteeg, Tomas Kopecky and John Madden are all Stanley Cup champions. Madden is a three-time winner. Mikael Samuelsson and Sean Bergenheim each played key rolls for the Canucks and Lightning respectively in those teams’ deep runs during last year’s playoffs. And defenseman Ed Jovanovski was a Panther the last time the club had playoff glory in 1996.
But New Jersey has a champion in goalie Marty Brodeur, who can be a difference-maker all by himself. Patrik Elias and Petr Sykora are multiple Cup-winners along with Brodeur. Shotblocking defenseman supreme Anton Volchenkov went deep into spring with the 2007 Senators.
The Panthers’ Campbell, however, discounts all previous stats and experience when it comes down to what happens on the ice. “I don’t think that pertains to hockey as much as in other sports — they always talk about it in football,” he told Craig Davis of The South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “Teams change so much over the years. For us, I don’t think those stats mean anything. If we don’t go out and play one of our better games, then we’re not going to have success … You just have to be prepared — prepare yourself a lot mentally and be ready to go to battle. It’s going to be tough going into their building. We know we can win there. It’s going to be fun.”
Michael Lohan -- Rosie O'Donnell Is a Talentless FAILURE
Rosie O’Donnell is in no position to bash Lindsay Lohan — at least according to Lindsay’s loyal father, who claims Rosie’s a washed-up failure at life … who only stayed famous because she adopted a bunch of kids.
Michael Lohan tells TMZ, “Who the hell is Rosie O’Donnell to judge anyone, especially Lindsay, who has far more talent than Rosie ever had?”
He says, “Lindsay’s talent isn’t limited to being a comedian or getting notoriety for adopting and raising a bunch of kids. Sure, [Lindsay] has her pitfalls, but she is 25, and how old is Rosie?” (50, in case you’re wondering).
Michael adds, “Two failed talk shows, a failed marriage, etc … He/she who is without sin. May they cast the first stone.”
As we previously reported, Rosie went on “Today” this morning, claiming Lindsay hasn’t made a single good film since she was sixteen … and isn’t capable of portraying Liz Taylor in her new movie.
Britney Spears is not taking a chance of losing the dude who wants to plunk down $4,253,000 to buy her Beverly Hills estate — we’ve learned the conservators have cancelled the court hearing tomorrow which would have allowed other prospective buyers to overbid.
We broke the story — Britney accepted the $4.253 mil offer, which is impressive considering the house was listed at $2,995,000.
Since Britney is under a conservatorship, the probate could generally hold a hearing which essentially turns into a bidding war. But we’re told Britney’s conservator and her lawyers asked the judge to cancel the hearing — which was scheduled for tomorrow — and they got their wish.
So, the $4.253 million offer sticks. It’s good news/bad news … even though Britney got significantly more than the asking price, she bought the estate in 2007 for $6.8 mil.
Don Cornelius Autopsy Report -- 'I Don't Know How Long I Can Take This'
Don Cornelius was in an extreme amount of pain in the days before his death … and minutes before he shot himself, Don phoned his son and told him, “I don’t know how long I can take this” … this according to the autopsy report obtained by TMZ.
According to the report, the “Soul Train" legend had been experiencing seizures as a result of an aneurysm he suffered 15 years ago.
But Don’s health took a dramatic turn for the worse in the last 6 months of his life … and he became “very depressed about his failing health.”
Don called his son at 3:00 AM on February 1 … and warned his son, “I don’t know how long I can take this.” Don’s son told him he’d rush right over … and Don said he’d leave the back door open.
When Don’s son arrived to Cornelius’ Los Angeles home, he detected an odor of smoke and saw Don seated in a chair with a pistol in his right hand.
Don’s son called 911 … and paramedics treated the 75-year-old for a bullet wound to his right temple.
He was transported to a nearby hospital … where he was pronounced dead a short time later.
Don’s son told cops he had no idea his father even owned a gun.
Popping up on NBC’s Today for the first time since the demise of her short-lived OWN variety show, the outspoken comedian couldn’t resist offering up her verdict on the casting of the Mean Girls actress to play the late Hollywood icon in a Lifetime TV movie.
"I feel very sorry for her," said O’Donnell. "I think she needs a lot of help. She needs a lot of time away."
The quip alluded to all the legal problems that have been plaguing Lohan the last few years (see her DUI and necklace-jacking case), which have landed the starlet in jail and up until last month on probation.
But when asked by Matt Lauer whether it’s a “good idea” for LiLo to do this movie, which chronicles the Cleopatra star’s love affair with husband Richard Burton, Rosie was adamantly against it.
"No. Because she’s had a lot of trouble doing every single movie, including [Saturday Night Live]. She was out and not at rehearsal and I think she’s not in a place to work.”
When fellow panelist Donny Deutch chimed in with a thumbs-up, comparing Lindsay to “this generation’s Elizabeth Taylor,” O’Donnell didn’t hold back.
"You’re out of your mind!" she replied. "You’re a crackhead…The last thing she did good she was 16!"
The former Queen of Nice elaborated further, “I don’t think she’s right for the role, and I don’t think she’s capable at this point of doing what’s needed to portray that character. I think the interest level in her has waned significantly.”
Guess Rosie won’t be tuning in.
And how did Team Lindsay take all this?
Reacting to the tirade, Lohan’s publicist told E! News exclusively: “I think Rosie should focus on her own career and stop worrying about everyone else’s.”
A German high jumper outed a stalker on Facebook after receiving a lewd email
German high jumper Ariane Friedrich says she’s no stranger to unwanted attention from stalkers. Now the athlete has taken matters into her own hands by publicly revealing the identity of the latest person to harass her.
Revenge Sneak Peek: Watch the Scene That'll Change Daniel and Emily's Relationship Forever!
That’s all we have to say about watching this sneak peek of Wednesday’s episode of Revenge. Sure, the show has a lot of OMG moments, but this one…well, it’s a different kind of OMG.
Daniel (Joshua Bowman) lovers, you may want to take a breath before viewing this clip because it shows off a pretty nasty side of the Grayson golden boy. So what does he do to Emily (Emily VanCamp) that has her possibly crossing over to Team Jack (Nick Wechsler)…forever?
Emily enters her house to see Daniel waiting there for her…which is obviously a bad idea considering his being there is violating the terms of his house arrest.
Daniel begins to question Emily about all of her suspicious behavior, the phone calls and random outings, saying, “Maybe my mom was right about you. Maybe Tyler was, too.” Ouch! He then accuses her of having an affair with Jack. ”I saw you yesterday with Jack. Is that where you went, to see him?” he questions. (Sure Daniel, she is having an affair. Not with Jack, but with her revengenda!)
But wait, it gets worse! When Emily tries to calm Daniel down, he pushes her away. Hard. When he tries to apologize, a police team comes in to apprehend him. Yikes!
Revenge airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on ABC.
Are you shocked by Daniel’s behavior in this sneak peek? What do you think Emily will do? Sound off in the comments!
Fire boats battle a fire at the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon in April of 2010.
U.S. Coast Guard/Getty Images
Fire boats battle a fire at the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon in April of 2010.
"The first criminal charges in connection with the BP oil spill have been filed against a former BP engineer named Kurt Mix," NPR’s Carrie Johnson reports exclusively.
Carrie just told our Newscast unit that Mix has been charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly deleting text messages after the spill. The texts were related to the amount of oil gushing onto the Gulf. Mix will make his first appearence in court today.
Carrie adds that there has been an expectation that criminal charges would be brought against individuals, but this is the first person charged since the spill happened two years ago.
These are preliminary charges and a law enforcement official says there are more charges to come, Carrie reports.
We’ll have more on this story as it develops.
Update at 12:59 p.m. ET. Operation Top Kill:
The Justice Department has now made the arrest and charges public, issuing a press release on its website. Essentially the Justice Department claims that Mix, who at the time was “a drilling and completions project engineer for BP,” deleted hundreds of text messages even after he was notified that he was legally obligated to preserve them.
In one instance on Oct. 4, 2010, Justice claims that Mix allegedly deleted about 200 messages exchanged with a BP supervisor. In it, Mix admits that a maneuver called Top Kill, in which BP injected heavy fluids into the well to try to stop the flow of oil, was failing.
"Too much flowrate – over 15,000," one of the text messages read, according to Justice, which also said some of those messages were recovered forensically.
At time, Justice adds, BP’s public estimate was 5,000 barrels of oil per day, “three times lower than the minimum flow rate indicated in Mix’s text.”
The Justice Department says if Mix is convicted of the charges he faces a maximum penalty of 20 yeas in jail and a $250,000 fine for each of the two counts of obstruction of justice.
Update at 12:14 p.m. ET. A Bit Of Background:
To provide a bit of background: The oil spill started after an explosion rocked the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. As our friends at State Impact reported earlier this month to mark the two-year anniversary, this was “the biggest accidental oil spill in history” and dumped more than 200 million gallons of oil.
State has called Sgt Richard Dowling, 1st officer on scene, at Jennifer Hudson's family's murder trial - @StacyStClair
xmlns=”http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml” xmlns:fb=”http://www.facebook.com/2008/fbml”>State has called Sgt Richard Dowling, 1st officer on scene, at Jennifer Hudson’s family’s murder trial - @StacyStClair - breakingnews.com
Morgan, a black railroad detective and former Chicago police officer, was driving near his West Side home shortly after midnight in 2005 when four white officers discovered during a traffic stop that he was packing a pistol he used for his job.
Minutes later, the officers had shot Morgan 28 times, including through his liver, kidney, diaphragm, colon and six times in the back. Miraculously, he survived.
Two of the officers were also hit, one grazed by shrapnel and treated with a band aid, and another by a gunshot to the arm that did not require hospitalization.
The rest of what happened is disputed. Morgan testified that he was “snatched” from his van by the officers and searched, then heard “gun! gun!” before a hail of bullets left him unconscious. Morgan did not fire a single shot, he swore. The officers testified that they pulled over Morgan because he was heading the wrong way down a one-way street with his headlights off. Morgan exited his van in an “agitated” state and, when they discovered his gun, he shot first and they responded in self-defense.
Believing the police, the Cook County state’s attorney’s office charged Morgan with four counts of attempted murder and firearms offenses. He was acquitted of the firearms charges, but the jury hung on attempted murder, leading to a retrial and conviction earlier this year. On April 5, Judge Clayton Crane sentenced the 61-year-old Morgan to 40 years.
So who is telling the truth in this case — Morgan or law enforcement? Unfortunately, an obstacle to answering is that much of the forensic evidence was inexplicably destroyed or not collected.
The bullets that hit the two officers were not recovered. Since the officers testified that they did not see Morgan fire those bullets and admitted they were constantly in each others line of fire, a jury could have reasonably concluded the officers were hit by “friendly fire.” (Only three of the bullets that pierced Morgan’s body were found - by his surgeon.)
One bullet, however, would become the centerpiece of the case against Morgan. The bullet was discovered at the hospital when it “fell” from the protective vest of another officer who had been at the scene, according to the appellate review. The officer would later claim that he saw Morgan fire the bullet, which must have lodged in the vest, he said. And a ballistics expert testified that the bullet could not have been shot by any of the officers’ guns, eliminating friendly fire as its source.
But where did this bullet really come from? The ballistics expert was unable to match it to Morgan’s gun, the appellate review found. And, remarkably, it was not jostled loose at the scene when the officer continued shooting and claimed he ran for cover. Nor did it fall from the vest when the officer probed to determine the extent of his injury. It also remained intact during the ride to the hospital.
Somehow, the bullet did not materialize until three witnesses suddenly saw it when the officer undressed at the hospital. As for the vest, police failed to inventory it and prosecutors were unable to produce it at the trial, Morgan’s lawyers pointed out in a court filing.
A magic bullet, vanishing vest and crushed car? Like much of the evidence in the Morgan case, it wouldn’t pass the smell test on CSI.
Other questions abound. Why would a former police officer with no criminal history or psychiatric problems suddenly begin shooting at four armed cops during a traffic stop? If the cops pulled over Morgan partly because he was driving with his headlights off, why did other officers later notice that the van’s lights were on? If Morgan appeared “agitated” and left his van to confront the officers, why wasn’t this mentioned in the official report of the incident? And, if race isn’t an issue in this case, why did prosecutors use all their peremptory challenges to exclude people of color from the jury, as Morgan’s lawyers have alleged in the court filing?
I don’t know whether Howard Morgan is innocent, which he has steadfastly professed. But the official version of events simply doesn’t make sense.
Undeterred by her husband’s conviction, Rosalind Morgan and a band of supporters have asked Attorney General Eric Holder to launch a Justice Department probe of the case. Mrs. Morgan told me yesterday that Benjamin Crump, the lawyer for Trayvon Martin’s family, has offered to “help in any way.”
Although an explicit racial motive for the shooting may be difficult to prove by the feds, perhaps an independent prosecutor should be appointed in Cook County to thoroughly review the case — just like in the David Koschman case involving former Mayor Daley’s nephew, where vital evidence similarly vanished.
The citizens of Cook County deserve nothing less than an impartial and relentless search for the truth. That hasn’t happened in the seven years since Howard Morgan lay bleeding on a West Side street.
California State Sen. Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego) introduced a bill that would expand access to abortion for women in her state.
WASHINGTON — As many states debate and pass new restrictions on abortion, often against increasing resistance, a small number of others are considering moves in the opposite direction, weighing legislation that would increase access to and coverage of abortions.
A California bill awaiting its first hearing this week in the state’s House would allow licensed nurse practitioners, physician assistants and nurse midwives to perform aspiration abortions on women in their first trimester. Four other states currently have similar regulations.
California State Sen. Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego), who introduced the bill, said she was worried by the current tenor of the national conversation on abortion. “I think it’s a step backward. I think it’s targeting women and women’s healthcare as something that is bad, when in actuality we need more and better health care, not less,” she said. “We would like to see that negative conversation turn around and emphasize women’s health and safe early access to reproductive services.”
She said the tone of the discussion in her state has been markedly different.
"When we see other states rolling back access to reproductive health, the bills that we’ve seen in Virginia and other states requiring ultrasounds and lectures from the doctor to the woman — those are not policies I support, nor do I think the majority of the California legislature supports those kinds of policies," Kehoe said.
The opinions of state legislatures increasingly determine the degree of a woman’s access to abortion, said Elizabeth Nash, who manages state issues for the Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit that monitors and supports abortion rights.
"A state may have anywhere from zero to one or two laws around restricting access, all the way up to a dozen or more," said Nash. "Your access to reproductive healthcare depends greatly on where you live."
Such differences aren’t lost on Josh Brahm, the director of education at Right to Life of Central California, who moved to the state from Georgia.
"Georgia is definitely a more conservative state politically, which means they have the opportunity to pass a lot of pro-life bills that wouldn’t have a shot in California," Brahm said in an email.
California voters have a history of opposing measures to restrict abortion. While 37 other states require parental notification or consent for minors to have abortions, Californians have rejected such notification measures three times in seven years. A fourth proposal is likely to make the 2012 ballot.
"If we continue to fail to pass a bill like that, I’m not convinced pro-life groups should continue spending money on legislative efforts in California, at least for the time being," Brahm said.
He added, “I think the short term goal in California, and perhaps every other state, should be to engage pro-choice people on the idea level.”
Several other state legislatures, primarily Democratic-leaning ones, have contingents making efforts to secure abortion rights, among them the pro-choice advocates in New York who are pushing a measure that would effectively codify Roe v. Wade in state law.
Meanwhile, Democratic lawmakers in Washington state also sought to expand access to abortion this year, proposing a bill that would have made the state the first in the nation to require that all insurance plans include abortion coverage unless they claimed a conscience exemption.
The bill passed the state House but died in the state Senate during a procedural fight over the state’s budget. Supporters said they believe they would have had the votes to pass the measure, and they expect to reintroduce it in 2013.
Washington State Rep. Laurie Jinkins (D-Tacoma), a sponsor of the bill, said the trend toward increasing restrictions elsewhere in the country had energized abortion rights supporters in her state.
"It’s started to make people, and women in particular, realize how important it is that we push on reproductive health issues," Jinkins said. "Every time folks think, ‘We have legal protections, everything’s fine, we’re going to be fine,’ then this kind of stuff happens across the nation and people start to see how quickly you can lose those protections."
Jinkins said that uncertainty at the national level reinforced the need for states to take action.
"There’s a huge attack on women’s reproductive health," she said. "Everything from our access to simple birth control to the right to choose to have an abortion if that’s what you decide to do … It does make it more clear why in states like Washington, where we’ve had a 40-year history of protecting women’s rights, why we need to make sure that we keep on doing it."
Efforts like those in California and Washington are still unusual, said Nash.
"We haven’t seen much action around those proactive issues, around family planning, for the past couple years precisely because there has been a lot of defensive work that has had to be done at the state level," she said. But she said that public outcry this year could mark a step toward change.
"Certainly this year we have seen push-back in ways we were not seeing in 2011 or 2010," she said.
Daoud Kuttab: To Be Trusted, Mofaz Should Begin Dismantling the Occupation
Israeli politicians are very good at negotiating with themselves. Shaul Mofaz is not much different. The Mofaz plan that apparently helped propel him to the top of the Kadima party suggests that Israel would cede some 10 percent of the territories in the West Bank as a first step towards the eventual establishment of a Palestinian state.
Before doing that, however, Palestinians must fulfill conditions — but Mofaz’s conditions (recognizing Israel, abandoning terrorism and accepting past agreements) have already been met by the Palestine Liberation Organization in both word and deed so it is unclear whether these conditions are indeed being demanded of the PLO or Hamas. Mofaz suggests that the international community “guarantee” further Israeli withdrawals to the 1967 borders, including land swaps.
The basic concept of this proposal is faulty because it assumes that Palestinians would trust the state of Israel and trust that the state of Israel would respect international guarantees. Israel’s record on both is very weak; as such, Mofaz was unable to find any serious Palestinian to accept his plan. The idea that temporary borders can remain just that is the biggest hurdle for Palestinians to swallow. Palestinian ears are still ringing with the prophetic statement made by Yitzhak Shamir around the time of the Madrid Peace conference in 1992 when he said that he would drag negotiations out for 10 years. In fact, his prediction has been doubled. It has been 20 years and the reality on the ground has not changed.
Moreover, the idea that, every time Israel has to carry out a withdrawal that is part of a signed agreement, it should request some kind of reciprocation from Palestinians is illogical. In the Oslo process, Palestinians were promised a five-year transitional period. While the accords were signed in a White House ceremony in 1993, it took another year to work out the details and by all accounts Israel was to cede the occupied territories in 1999. That never happened. Instead Palestinians were dragged against their will to Camp David to renegotiate an agreement that they thought was already signed, sealed, and delivered.
Israel’s newest party leader has some interesting attributes. He comes from a military background, a prerequisite in Israeli eyes for making political concessions. He also belongs to the oriental Sephardic Jewish community rather than the European one that has largely ruled Israel since its foundation. Mofaz leads a party that has been on the record as supporting the peace process. Its founder, Ariel Sharon, coined the term “hafrada" ("separation") to justify Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, which was supposed to be the prelude to a similar disengagement of Israel’s ugly occupation from the West Bank. Ehud Olmert, who followed Sharon, came closest to reaching a withdrawal agreement only to be removed from his position on the basis of a civilian court case against him.
If Mofaz wants to win the confidence of Palestinians, the path is very clear. As in cases of chronic alcoholism or other types of substance abuse, the way forward begins with an admission of the problem followed by active steps to remedy it. Israeli leaders from the left and right continue to stick their heads in the sand and deny that they as an occupying power are the guilty party and that they have caused the perpetuation of the conflict. This is not a case that calls for reciprocity. Rather, tough and courageous decisions need to be made.
The very first of these decisions must be the direction the Israeli army is taking in the occupied territories in dealing with Palestinians and in dealing with Israelis. Israel must demonstrate through action that it is beginning to dismantle its multifaceted machine for occupying another people. The beginning of the end of occupation also requires telling Israelis that the settlement enterprise runs contrary to peace. You can’t begin to reverse expansionist settlement policies if settlers, their ideologies, their financial support and those promoting them are not told clearly and directly that they have no future on land that is destined to be the Palestinian state.
Shaul Mofaz’s plan might have been good enough to get him more votes than Tzipi Livni and could appear to a naive follower of the Middle East as reasonable. But a quick check of its content and the question marks it leaves unanswered make it no better than most plans in which Israelis have negotiated amongst themselves, ending up nowhere.
In your own words, what is this book about? A child figures out the rules of a strange land and helps others believe in themselves after getting stranded. She goes on a quest to return home. She’s reluctant to be exceptional, the person everyone in Oz thinks she is. Believes strongly that she is normal. Always does what is right. I think it’s a child’s perspective of how to be a hero.
What was the mood, theme or specific moment from the text you depicted with this cover? This is Dorothy and her companions approaching the Emerald City. Oz is such a dense world, it was challenging to pick out one moment. There are important elements from other parts in the book also. The poppies are so iconic and beautiful I had to include them. I also wanted to include the four main heroes since the book is about how they support one another.
What inspires your design? I have to read the book, even if it’s an unedited early version - which has sometimes been the case and I begin by letting the story and style of prose be the sentinel for the overall feeling I want the design to communicate. Then I try to pick out moments that encapsulate the story and have exciting visual potential. With Oz I wanted the cover to reflect that it was an epic adventure, filled with odd characters and bizarre lands. When it came time to translate the sketch to stitchery I delved into various embroidery books, the old ones in particular, to find stitch patterns that would further compliment those ideas.
What is your previous design experience, with books and otherwise? I’ve been illustrating for over 10 years and showing in galleries for a little bit more than that. At this point in my career the cover work that is probably most recognizable is What is the What, Zeitoun and The Wild Things all written by the unfathomably talented and inspiring Dave Eggers. I’ve also worked on various advertising projects, album covers, and you-name-it’s – diversity is good and I’m happy for it. For the past year I’ve been the resident illustrator for O Magazine’s Reading Room section, edited by Sara Nelson and designed by Angela Reichers. It’s a dream job for me; I absolutely love it.
What was the biggest challenge in designing this cover? The original Denslow drawings and design of the Wizard of Oz are already beautiful. There was also the movie made about it and numerous children’s books. It’s well covered ground graphically. I hadn’t stitched extensively before this either.
Did you consider different ideas or directions for this cover? I considered many options; there are so many meaningful moments in the book. Originally I was trying to do something with the yellow road and her slippers. It took a while to figure out what would work stitched. A lot of the early ideas were eliminated simply because didn’t lend themselves well to the line quality that stitching produces. I am grateful for the final result.
What is the most important element of a successful book cover? Three things: A book cover should be as eye-catching as it is gorgeous and it needs to translate well into various mediums. It is also good for the cover to reflect the content, but I have learned that this is not necessarily imperative.
What are some of your favorite book covers? I love cover art, sometimes I’ll buy a book because the cover has captivated me though I have no intent to read its insides. The Black Beauty cover Jillian Tamaki created for the previous Threads edition is pretty wonderful. In general I like covers that take into account their medium and use it to their advantage. If it is a four-color, glossy mass market book it needs to do something amazing within that realm. If it’s turn-of-the-century color stamp printing then there are other things the cover artists needed to concern themselves with. The latter method usually produces my favorite covers. I like to see how artists can create amazing works with limited detail and color palette. Aubrey Beardsley was very good at this. I also like Pushpin, Leonard Baskin, Alvin Lustig, Saul Bass, Paul Buckley, Rodrigo Corral, Gabriel Wilson, the list goes on and on, its difficult to pick a cover without considering its creator(s), there are so many incredible book covers and designers out there!
Here are some sketches and embroidered designs made in the process of Rachell’s “Wizard of Oz” cover:
Robert Teitelman: Spain, a Housing Bubble and Who Knew What
Last week, Princeton University convened a two-day conference on the European crisis (it was the inaugural conference of something called the Julis-Rabinowitz Center for Public Policy and Finance backed by Princeton alum and founder of hedge fund Canyon Partners Mitch Julis). What’s not to like for a chance to contemplate catastrophe? The sun, the cherry blossoms and the students were out in force, and the relatively small room was full of economic luminaries, including recent Nobelist Christopher Sims and, as the day-ending keynoter, New York Times-man Paul Krugman.
The subject was relatively technical, but how else would you tackle the European crisis? The emphasis, both in the lectures and the keynote, swung inexorably to Spain, which, as Krugman said, appears increasingly to be the epicenter of what’s really a colossal mess. Spain is interesting for many reasons: its size; its massive, U.S.-style real estate bubble and collapse; its almost New Deal-like willingness to try just about anything to wriggle out of its mess, which a number of folks agreed could be either very good or very bad. But Spain does not conform to the conventional wisdom of Greek-style fiscal profligacy that hangs over the crisis. Spain, like Ireland, ran a fiscal surplus. Its problem, which is now eroding its fiscal situation, was a massive, private, credit-driven bubble fueled by the banks, notably the so-called cajas.
There’s a lot to say about this construction boom. As Luis Garicano, a professor at the London School of Economics, laid out, the Spanish have an unusually high rate of homeownership. It’s a Spanish thing. There’s also a lot of open land and a decent transportation sector — just like, joked Krugman, the American “sand states” of Florida, Arizona, Nevada and California, which were similarly hit hard. As credit poured into Spanish banks and cajas from northern Europe, particularly German banks, it flowed into housing. This went on for any number of years. Construction, which is neither a particularly efficient nor technically advanced industry, was such an overheated sector that Spain saw, unusual in a developed economy, its figures on high school and college dropouts increase alarmingly. The reason: It was too easy to take a decent-paying temporary construction job than study. As a result, despite relatively low unemployment for Spain and the appearance of a boom, the underlying situation, particularly in terms of total factor productivity, was eroding. In short, Spain was becoming less competitive.
Today, Spain famously not only has Great Depression-like 24 percent unemployment, but about 50 percent of youths under the age of 25 without work.
In the U.S., the conventional wisdom about the real estate crisis is that no one in the media or in economics saw it coming. Economists were bought off by Wall Street and captured by free-market ideology. The media didn’t pursue enough investigative journalism that would have revealed everything. In both cases, the failure to see what was in front of their noses gets distilled down to conflicts and bad faith. Is all this an exaggeration? Sure. But it’s a meme that persists.
What was the situation in Spain? The construction bubble was widely recognized, discussed, worried over and even acted upon in the years before the bust, argued Garicano, a point reinforced by Columbia Business School’s Tano Santos, who spoke on the banks. (Krugman, in his lecture, took the tack that no one saw it coming in Spain, or at least problems were denied by the euro crowd, but he offers as evidence one admittedly secondhand anecdote.) Many in and around the Spanish government were alarmed, which helps explain the fiscal surplus; well before the bust, the government was trying to shore up its own reserves and to nudge the banks to greater provisioning. And it wasn’t just the housing boom itself — Garicano estimates there may be as many as 1.5 million empty housing units, and the banks (unlike in the U.S.) resist letting prices fall — that economists and politicians feared: It was the underlying and chronic productivity and competitiveness woes. But given that the currency, the euro, was not “theirs,” meaning it couldn’t be devalued to adjust for Spain’s mounting balance of payments problems, there was little it could do but hunker down, wait and pray. The result is far worse than most imagined, which is typical of a bubble.
Let’s take this who-knew-what issue one step further. On the larger question of the eurozone’s embedded contradictions, which now seem as obvious as an elephant in the bathtub, it’s quite clear that any number of economists expressed reservations well before the euro was introduced in 1991. Krugman took up this subject, reeling off economic arguments about a single currency’s deficiencies in a market with restraints on labor mobility — folks moving to new jobs being one of the few available means of adjustment in a currency union like the euro zone. But Krugman, with a charitableness not always evident in his Times' column, also moved to defend the larger political ideals of the union, and argued that they swayed those who should have seen this coming. That seems fair. Like so many aspects of the American crisis, it's hard to believe that everything that occurred can be laid upon the altar of greed and self-interest. Certainly they exist, as does ignorance and blindness, and not just among the proverbial “low-information” voter. But some policies were pursued with reasonable, even good intentions, albeit with unfortunate consequences.
The gloomy news here is that, given Europe’s political polarization (which also stems from history and culture), no one sees an easy way out. As Garicano eloquently concluded in his talk, solving Spain’s housing problem is not that relatively costly, given Europe’s resources and Spain’s size. It would need an infusion of money, say $100 billion, to allow the banks to allow the housing market to clear. Given that the housing depression is costing Spain several percentage points of economic growth each year, that seems like a relative bargain. But even Garicano admits that it won’t be seen that way. After all, the conventional wisdom narrates a story about fiscal profligacy and looming bubbles, for which the leeches of austerity remain the one and only cure.
HOUSTON — A Houston woman has given birth to sextuplets.
Lauren and David Perkins announced on their website that doctors at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston delivered three boys and three girls Monday.
The children were born prematurely, at just over 30 weeks, and the heaviest of them weighed 2 pounds, 15 ounces. But the couple says the mother and babies are in stable condition. They did not release the children’s names.
The couple requested privacy and said they would release further details at a later date.
Health care costs can vary more than 100 times among hospitals and comparison shopping is difficult, especially during an emergency, according to a new study.
If you need to have your appendix removed in California, it could cost you as little as $1,529 or as much as $182,955. What’s worse, there’s practically no way to predict the size of the hospital bill, a new study shows.
The researchers determined that the median price for appendicitis treatment was $33,611 but that costs varied wildly depending on a number of factors, such whether the hospital is for-profit, nonprofit, or county-owned, and whether the patient was covered by private health insurance, Medicaid or was uninsured.
Almost one-third of the variation in price couldn’t be explained for any reason, according to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine this week.
"Our findings suggest that there are inherent limitations of market theory within the health care system, and much work remains to be done to allow consumers to fulfill the role of a true consumer in the health care marketplace," Renee Hsia of UCSF and her colleagues wrote. "These data should alarm those making decisions about our society’s ability to obtain medical care without financial catastrophe."
The study compares hospital charges, not how much the patients paid out of pocket, although those without insurance would be responsible for their entire bills.
The health care reform law enacted two years ago prohibits tax-exempt hospitals from charging uninsured patients more than the rates paid by health insurance companies but those provisions of the law haven’t been fully implemented, the Associated Press reports.
The study is based on an analysis of 19,368 people 18 to 59 years old who were treated for acute appendicitis in 2009 and were in the hospital for fewer than four days. Prices were highest at for-profit hospitals followed by private nonprofits then county-owned facilities, the study says. The uninsured and people on Medicaid were charged higher prices than those on private insurance.
Uninsured patients often end up stuck paying the highest prices, but hospitals will sometimes negotiate discounts and payment plans with those who haggle. Medical bills paid by auto insurers and workers’ compensation plans also are based on these higher prices, the Charlotte Observer reports.
With ailments like appendicitis that require immediate medical attention, the challenge for patients is even greater, the UCSF researchers wrote.
"A patient with severe abdominal pain is in a poor position to determine whether his or her physician is ordering the appropriate blood work, imaging, or surgical procedure," the authors write. "Price shopping is improbable, if not impossible, because the services are complex, urgently needed, and no definitive diagnosis has yet been made.”
ASPEN, Colo. — Federal forest officials want visitors of a Colorado hot springs to be very careful about what’s lurking inside a remote cabin nearby: Frozen cows.
Rangers believe the cows wandered into the cabin near the popular Conundrum Hot Springs during a snowstorm but couldn’t find their way out. Air Force Academy cadets found their frozen carcasses while snowshoeing in late March.
U.S. Forest Service spokesman Bill Kight said Tuesday that water samples have been taken to determine if the hot springs was contaminated by the dead animals.
Rangers want the carcasses gone before they thaw. Removal options include explosives or burning down the cabin.
In the meantime, officials have posted warning signs about the cows around the hot springs near Aspen in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.
Megan Fox's transformation from starlet to mama is just a couple trimesters shy of completion.
Yesterday, E! News exclusively confirmed that the actress and hubby Brian Austin Green are expecting their first child together—and today, we’re taking a look back at the road that led them to the roles of their lifetimes: parents-to-be!
2004: The now 25-year-old Fox meets the now 38-year-old Green for the first time and the duo begins dating soon after. “I was too young to remember Beverly Hills . So I didn’t know who he was,” she told Angeleno earlier this year. “But I knew I was instantly in love.” Aw!
February 2009: Trouble in paradise? Rumors swirl that Fox has called off her engagement to her fiancé, though neither party comments on the tabloid reports.
March 2009: However, if the couple did take a break, they mended themselves back together rather quickly, as just a week later the couple was spotted together all over Los Angeles. All’s well that ends well.
June 2009: Er, or not. While speaking to reporters, Megan reveals, “I’m what you would call single.”
June 1, 2010: Reengage! For the second time in their relationship, Green pops the question to his ladylove, as Fox’s rep confirms to E! News that the couple is once again altar-bound. The (second) proposal went down as the lovebirds were staying in Hawaii and Green popped the question to Fox with an assist from a 2-carat diamond ring. Fox later seemingly dismisses reports that the engagement was ever off, telling E! News she’s been engaged for four years: “I don’t know why it’s breaking now like it’s new.”
June 24, 2010: They did! The longtime duo finally make it official, tying the knot in a hush-hush ceremony at the Four Seasons Resort in Hawaii. It’s the first marriage for both and, adorably, Green’s 10-year-old son, Kassius (with ex Vanessa Marcil), gave his father away.
June 2011: So much for not kissing and telling. Fox’s Transformers costar Shia LaBeouf stirs up some trouble (and more important, press for his movie) by revealing to Details that he did indeed have a relationship with his fellow thesp. “Look, you’re on the set for six months, with someone who’s rooting to be attracted to you, and you’re rooting to be attracted to them…I never understood the separation of work and life in that situation. But the time I spent with Megan was our own thing, and I think you can see the chemistry onscreen…It was what it was.”
June 2011: Shia’s revelation doesn’t deter the husband and wife, who the same month embark on a trip to Hawaii to celebrate their one-year wedding anniversary. Fox tells E! News that they’re already considering renewing their vows: “I didn’t think I was into it until my relationship with Brian…He’ll want to do it so I’ll do it for him.”
March 5, 2012: The transformation from starlet to mama is almost complete! Fox seemingly dropped some hints about her maternal status while talking to E! News at the Friends With Kids junket in New York, saying, “I’d love to have kids. I mean, it’s going to happen when it’s going to happen, but it’s not something that I’ve planned against or for. I’m just leaving it out there for the universe.” Apparently, the universe is pretty quick on the uptake.
April 2012: Someone sure is feeling broody, as the Cosmopolitan covergirl tells the mag she wants to have “at least two, probably three kids.”
Spokesman for Peruvian judiciary confirms US made request to extradite Joran van der Sloot; US State Dept has not confirmed yet - @NBCNews
xmlns=”http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml” xmlns:fb=”http://www.facebook.com/2008/fbml”>Spokesman for Peruvian judiciary confirms US made request to extradite Joran van der Sloot; US State Dept has not confirmed yet - @NBCNews - breakingnews.com
A Swiss woman abducted in the rebel-held north Malian town of Timbuktu more than a week ago is free, officials say.
The woman, a Christian missionary in her 40s, was handed over to a Swiss official by the group holding her, the Swiss foreign ministry said.
She was taken from her house by armed men soon after Timbuktu fell to separatist and Islamist rebels.
On Sunday, the Islamist group Ansar Dine said she was in its custody and that it wanted to free her.
In a statement, the Swiss foreign ministry said the woman had been taken to safety, and that she was in good health, “considering the circumstances”.
It also thanked the authorities in Mali and Burkina Faso for their help in securing the woman’s release.
The ministry declined to give her personal details, citing data protection laws, but news agency reports have named her as Beatrice Stockly.
Eyewitnesses said that after the handover she boarded a helicopter that flew her to Burkina Faso.
Secular Tuareg rebels, along with Ansar Dine, completed a takeover of Timbuktu and the rest of northern Mali earlier this month after mutinous troops had overthrown President Amadou Toumani Toure in a coup, throwing the country into chaos.
Most foreigners fled Timbuktu at the time.
Facing sanctions from regional body Ecowas and unable to contain the rebellion in the north, the coup leaders later agreed to hand over power to civilian rule.
Since 2009, Switzerland has advised against travel to Mali, citing the risk of kidnap. After last month’s coup, it advised all Swiss nationals in Mali to leave the country temporarily.
Judge says warrant was legally obtained in separate case concerning Susan Powell's father-in-law - King5Seattle's @drewmikk
xmlns=”http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml” xmlns:fb=”http://www.facebook.com/2008/fbml”>Judge says warrant was legally obtained in separate case concerning Susan Powell’s father-in-law - King5Seattle’s @drewmikk - breakingnews.com
Stephen A. Smith of ESPN is reporting that Orlando Magic center, Dwight Howard, will request to be traded as soon as the Magic are eliminated from the postseason.
“The minute this season is over, according to what I am hearing from his camp, you can expect Dwight Howard to tell Orlando. ‘Get me out of here. I don’t want to be here any longer.’ You’ve got Stan Van Gundy annoyed with the organization. You’ve got Dwight Howard disgusted with the organization. The way he’s been treated, along with the way his teammates have been AWOL on him as far as he’s concerned. You’ve got a problem.
Not to mention the fact, there’s one other little Cliff Note that you might find interesting. When he had his back surgery, they were talking about giving him a flight on Air Tran or something like that. This is the kind of stuff that I’ve been told in the last 24 hours in terms of how they’ve treated him. He feels as a superstar, he’s been treated as a scrub.”
Howard had requested a trade from the club prior to the 2011-12 season, but later signed a document with the club that waived his right to opt out of his contract this offseason. It was believed at the time that this agreement would keep Howard in a Magic uniform through at least next year’s trade deadline, however tensions have grown between the player, the coaching staff, and the organization in recent weeks.
Prior to his season ending back injury, the six-time All-Star was averaging 20.6 points, 14.6 rebounds and 2.1 blocks.
Billboard collapses in Kolkata, India's Eden Gardens, seriously injuring 2 policemen - @ndtv
Billboard and hoarding around a section of stands at the Eden Gardens collapsed before the start of the Indian Premier League match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Deccan Chargers, here on Tuesday.
While the match itself was delayed due to heavy rain,the sign boards around what is believed to be the venues operation center collapsed, seriously injuring two policemen. TV commentator Pommie Mbangwa who was at the venue at the time tweeted on the incident. “Part of a stand has fallen and there might be some injuries. Not sure yet but doesn’t look good EdenGardens,” he tweeted immediately after the mishap.
Strong winds and a heavy downpour had begun in the city around 1900 (IST) delaying the 32nd match of IPL. According to latest reports, though the showers have halted, most parts of the ground, though covered is under substantial amount of water.
The stadium underwent a renovation last year, ahead of the 2011 World Cup. The International Cricket Council however had shifted an India-England match from here to Bangalore, reportedly due to unsafe conditions arising from the incomplete renovations.
4 new species of crab discovered in Philippines - OurAmazingPlanet
Four new species of crab that sport some wild colors have been discovered near the Philippine island of Palawan.
The newfound species are threatened by mining activities in the region, which is one of the world’s major biodiversity hotspots, its discoverers said. About half of the species that live on Palawan are endemic, meaning they are found nowhere else.
Scientists at the Senckenberg Research Institute in Germany and De La Salle University in Manila found the four new species of Insulamon freshwater crab genus as part of their Aqua Palawana research program.
The reddish-purple crabs are the only varieties that are endemic to only one or a few islands; the sea keeps them from spreading further, as they depend on freshwater at all stages of their development. Having been completely separated from their relatives, they have developed their own separate species and genera over tens of thousands of years.
"We have proved that the only previously known type of Insulamon is restricted to the Calamian group of islands to the north of Palawan. The four newly discovered species live exclusively on the actual island of Palawan and make it a unique habitat," said study leader Hendrik Freitag of Senckenberg.
But the unique species are threatened by several mining projects that could damage or alter the crabs’ habitat.
"The smaller the remaining natural habitat, the greater is the risk to endemic fauna and flora. Even minor environmental changes can lead to extinctions. It is all the more important to do research in this region and show that the biodiversity of these islands is unique and worth protecting," Freitag said in a statement.
The study describing the species was recently published in the journal Raffles Bulletin of Zoology.
Italy pays $380,000 to families of dead Indian fishermen who officials say were mistakenly shot - @Reuters
Salvatore Girone (centre L) and Latorre Massimiliano (3rd R), members of the navy security team of Napoli registered Italian merchant vessel Enrica Lexie, sit in a police vehicle after they appeared before a court at Kollam in Kerala March 5, 2012.
Americans’ access to basic necessities, including food, medicines, healthcare and housing, are improving, according to a new Gallup survey.
In another sign that the economy is recovering, Americans’ access to basic goods and services is improving, according to a new Gallup survey.
The percentage of Americans able to buy food, healthcare, medicines, safe housing or other basic necessities increased to 82.0 percent in March, up from a record low of 81.2 percent last October. While the increase is small, it represents a burgeoning optimism among the tens of thousands of survey respondents asked by Gallup researchers to assess their individual situations.
Americans’ also reported increased daily spending in stores, restaurants, gas stations and online, up to an average of $74 per day in March as compared to $63 in February, according to Gallup. Researchers attribute the increased spending to the “best economic confidence in four years, strong job creation, higher gas prices, warmer weather than usual, and a relatively early Easter.” (Easter, it turns out, is the third biggest spending holiday in the country, the National Retail Federation told the Wall Street Journal.)
When it comes to light art, Detroit is the place to be.
In the fall, two festivals will transform the city’s nights with contemporary, multimedia art that uses the medium of light.
On Oct. 5 and 6, DLECTRICITY will bring artists, lighting designers and architects to Woodward in Midtown to create installations of light, sound, performance and video projection.
The outdoor, nighttime festival is a project of Midtown Inc., Art Detroit Now and other art institutions in the city. It’s tantalizingly described as melding “sci-fi technology with Victorian spectacle.”
As the saying goes, you can never have enough festivals, and DLECTRICITY joins upcoming Figment Detroit, last year’s Art X Detroit and the Detroit Design Festival in the freshman class of Detroit arts festivals. In a release, DLECTRICITY founders said the event was planned to coincide with Detroit Gallery Week and the Mid-America College Art Association Conference. They hope to bring thousands of metro Detroiters to the “spectacle.”
A blogger and activist who reported that on a “secret religious right Facebook group" which he says was planning to promote and disseminate antigay information, has revealed the names of some of the prominent leaders in the group. Alvin McEwen of the website Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters reported that he was tipped off by a member of the group who had reservations about the group’s tactics. Shortly after he wrote about the secret Facebook group, named "Truth4Time," he reported that the group disbanded.
In his initial report, McEwen would only say that the group included a “member of a state legislature,” a “Fox News pundit,” and various other unnamed prominent individuals. Appearing on my radio show on SiriusXM, however, McEwen revealed many of the members by name, and later provided Facebook screenshots showing the members in the group.
The members he named include: the National Organization for Marriage co-founder, Maggie Gallagher, and the group’s president Brian Brown; Scott Lively, author of the Pink Swastika, who is being sued for his alleged involvement in fostering Uganda’s notorious “Kill the Gays” bill:, Phyllis Schlafly of the Eagle Forum; Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth; Oklahoma state representative Sally Kern, who’d created headlines when said gays were “worse than terrorism;” Christian rocker Bradlee Dean, who has been at the center of a firestorm over allegations he called for the execution of gays; Brian Camenker of the Massachusetts group Mass Resistance; Matt Barber of the conservative legal group Liberty Counsel; and several others. The screenshots from Facebook of the group that McEwen provided also included Dr. Keith Ablow, a Fox News pundit and psychiatrist who warned parents against allowing their children to watch “Dancing with the Stars” because of the participation of Chaz Bono, a transgender man, who he termed a “very disordered person.”
McEwen said that tactics the group planned to employ included “ganging up” on “pro-gay pages with comments and flagging Facebook pro-gay pages multiple times with the intent on getting these pages removed.” He said that his informant, a member of the group, gave him the information after becoming uncomfortable with some of the group’s plans, and was “especially disturbed by a plan, whether it will come to fruition or not, to bombard physicians and school boards with negative and distorted information about the gay community.”
Listen to the interview below:
Take a look at screengrabs of the now-defunct group below:
Frida Kahlo’s works conveyed complex physical and psychological turmoil, often with astounding anatomical accuracy. Infertility remained a motif throughout her works, with the artist creating haunting visions of fetuses, bloody bedsheets and connected umbilical cords. Though the symbolism of her heartache has been researched by art historians for decades, her unexpected mastery of human anatomy was not investigated until now.
Dr. Fernando Antelo is a surgical pathologist at UCLA. When he looked at Kahlo’s painted stories, he did not just see a figurative representation, he saw a medical mystery. From the anatomic precision in the works it looked as if Kahlo had visited a doctor or at least studied medical books in her spare time. Dr. Antelo told MSN: “I see her as a patient wanting to tell me about her symptoms, and at the same time I see her advanced knowledge, her ability to tell me about it as another physician would.”
Frida Kahlo and her husband Diego Rivera.
While many historians have dug into the possible sources of Kahlo’s pain, this is the first medical research conducted on the subject of her infertility. Andelo diagnosed Kahlo with a rare condition called Asherman’s syndrome, which occurs when scar tissue forms within the uterine cavity. The disease likely came from a tragic streetcar accident when the artist was a teenager; a metal handrail penetrated her abdomen, leaving her temporarily paralyzed. “The trauma severely damaged her skeletal framework and internal organs — including the uterus,” Antelo explained: “Her survival defied the grim prognostication by her physicians; however, complications from this physical trauma would emerge in her adulthood.” Andelo presented his research on Sunday at the American Association of Anatomists’ annual meeting in San Diego.
These medical findings illuminate more concrete realities behind many of Kahlo’s darker works, including "Henry Ford Hospital," in which a red baby floats above Kahlo’s naked body. In the image, the white sheets she rests on are soaked in blood; there is an umbilical string tied to her pelvis, which is floating near her as she sheds a single tear. This research also brings a new level of understanding to “My Birth," a disturbing depiction of a still birth with a surreal touch. In this painting, the sheets cover her face; only her lower body is visible. Her wide thighs work to expel her own head. Blood is, again, present on the white sheets beneath her. After these findings, it is difficult to look at her artwork without associating it with the accident.
This new medical conclusion provides a sense of closure on Kahlo’s life of suffering, since her visual stories helped future generations make a diagnosis that was not possible in her time. We’re just sorry that it took so long for this discovery to be made.
Is the New G.I. Joe: Retaliation Trailer Even More Kickass Than the First Teaser?
OK, so it borrows liberally elements of Transformers at the start and employs the now cliché-thumping mechanical groan a là Inception to heighten the excitement for viewers.
Forgetting that, by the look of the new trailer out today, Paramount’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation still looks pretty kickass, at least when it comes to vertigo-inducing action and its Rock-solid cast led by Dwayne Johnson and Channing Tatum.
In a twist, the Joes this time have to go rogue and survive being hunted down by their own commander in chief (Jonathan Pryce) after the highest echelons of government have been infiltrated—presumably by Cobra.
Our heroes turn to the one man who can help them, General Joe Colton, played with cheesy aplomb by Bruce Willis, who’s never met a good one-liner he didn’t like, natch. Together, with the aid of some cool-looking fighter planes, tanks and other special-ops toys, they fight to save America and provide a lot of bang for your buck along the way.
Just watch out for that avalanche, boys. The sequel invades theaters June 29.
Not this again. A Las Vegas woman in her 40s collapsed at the Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas while dining on a double bypass burger, smoking cigarettes and drinking a margarita. She was found unconscious at the restaurant and during resuscitation.
Two months ago, a customer at the same restaurant suffered a heart attack while eating a triple bypass burger. Incidentally, one year ago, the Heart Attack Grill’s 575-pound, 29-year-old spokesman died.
This bout of unfortunate events has had little effect on the restaurant’s business, in which people remain drawn to the monstrous burgers. The quadruple bypass burger clocks in around 10,000 calories — Guinness World Records has crowned the burger the most caloric sandwich on Earth.