Tuesday, August 31, 2010

TMZ.com-Man Sues LeBron James; Claims To Be His Dad

Lebron James and Leicester Stovell, who is suing James and claims to be his dad: TMZ.com
(Story reported by TMZ Staff for TMZ.com)

LeBron James wants a court to be as dismissive as he is over a lawsuit filed by a man who claims to be his father.

TMZ broke the story ... Leicester Bryce Stovell filed a $4 million lawsuit against LeBron and Gloria James, the NBA star's mom, claiming fraud and defamation.

Now attorneys for LeBron and Gloria have asked a judge to dismiss the suit, labeling it "rank speculation."  According to the new legal docs obtained by TMZ, LeBron's lawyers scoffed at "... a man who claims that as a twenty-nine year old lawyer he got a 15-year old girl pregnant during a one-night stand and who never contributed a penny in child support would earn millions in commercial endorsements by crawling out of the wood-work after the child he never gave a thought to became an NBA star."

(Click here to read the full story on the TMZ.com website)

Atlanta Journal Constitution-Hurricane Earl Threatens East Coast

Image of Hurricane Earl: AP
(Story reported by Emery P. Dalesio)

RALEIGH, N.C. — A powerful Hurricane Earl threatened to sideswipe much of the East Coast just ahead of Labor Day, worrying countless vacationers who planned to spend the traditional last week of summer at the beach.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency warned people along the Eastern Seaboard to prepare for possible evacuations and islanders in the Turks and Caicos hunkered down in their homes Tuesday as the Category 4 hurricane steamed across the Caribbean with winds of 135 mph.

Earl was expected to remain over the open ocean before turning north and running parallel to the East Coast, bringing high winds and heavy rain to North Carolina's Outer Banks by late Thursday or early Friday. From there, forecasters said, it could curve away from the coast somewhat as it makes it way north, perhaps hitting Massachusetts' Cape Cod and the Maine shoreline on Friday night and Saturday.

"My guests are calling and they don't know what to do and I don't know what to tell them," said Dave Dawson, owner of the oceanfront Cape Hatteras Motel in Buxton, N.C.

Forecasters cautioned that it was still too early to tell how close Earl might come to land. But not since Hurricane Bob in 1991 has such a powerful storm had such a large swath of the East Coast in its sights, said Dennis Feltgen, spokesman for the National Hurricane Center.

(Click here to read the full story on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution website.)

Wired.com-Obama Administration To Clamp Down On Music Piracy

US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke: Wired.com
(Story reported by David Kravets for Wired.com)

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke issued a blistering diatribe against music piracy Monday, declaring it “a growing threat” that “should be dealt with accordingly.”

“This isn’t just an issue of right and wrong,” Locke said in a speech at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, one of the nation’s musical focal points. “This is a fundamental issue of America’s economic competitiveness.”

Borrowing a page from the Hollywood and recording studios, Locke urged internet service providers and content owners “to work collaboratively to combat intellectual property infringement online.”

“Especially to combat repeat infringement,” he added.

Locke’s statements came a week after Cary Sherman, president of the Recording Industry Association of 

America, declared that copyright law “isn’t working” because internet service providers are allowed to turn a blind eye to customers’ unlawful activities with impunity.  Hollywood and recording studios have been pushing for the removal of online pirates from the internet in what is largely known as “three strikes” or “graduated response” policy.

The Commerce Department, Locke said, is preparing to craft an “administration-wide policy on copyright protection and innovation.”

“At the Commerce Department, we are trying to figure out how we shut out the pirates, while preserving the internet as an avenue for commerce for music and for other creative industries,” Locke added.

(Click here to read the full story on the Wired.com website.)

UK Mirror-Dead UK Spy Worked With US NSA As Terrorist Codebreaker

Dead UK Spy Gareth Williams: UK Daily Mail
(Story reported by Jon Clements for the UK Mirror)

EXCLUSIVE: Chiefs mourn loss of 'genius'

The full extent of murdered spy Gareth Williams' role in the world of espionage slowly began to emerge last night.

He was rated as one of the best codebreakers in the business - an elite agent who fought in secret to thwart al-Qaeda terror attacks at home and abroad.

And the 31-year-old maths genius's unique skills were also recognised by spy chiefs across the Atlantic.

Despite a dislike of flying, he regularly travelled from London to Baltimore to meet US National Security
Agency officials at their Fort Meade HQ - dubbed the Puzzle Palace.

He made the trip up to four times a year "on business" for the Government's GCHQ listening post.

Last night his uncle told how he would mysteriously disappear for up to three or four weeks at a time.

Speaking at his farmhouse at Anglesey, North Wales, Michael Hughes said: "The trips were very hush-hush.

They were so secret that I only recently found out about them - and we're a very close family. It had become part of his job in the past few years. His last trip out there was a few weeks ago, but he was regularly back and forth."

Mr Williams' mysterious death has shocked and dismayed officials at the NSA, which has an agreement with GCHQ to pool their signal intelligence - known as SigInt.

Fort Meade officials have been updated on the police investigation into how the keen cyclist, who was on attachment to MI6, was found dead in a sports holdall in his bathtub.

They are anxious to know if there has been any breach of global security as a result of the murder at Mr Williams' Government-owned flat in Pimlico, Central London.

Britain now relies heavily on the NSA to help monitor phone calls, emails, texts and other communications of UK terror suspects.

(Click here to read the full story on the UK Mirror website.)

Billboard-Kanye Remixes Justin Bieber's "Runaway Love" Feat. Raekwon

(Story reported by Mariel Concepcion for Billboard.com)

Justin Bieber can add two more names to the long-list of heavy-hitter he's collaborated with in his short career. As promised, Kanye West released the remix to Biebz's "Runaway Love" today (Au.g 30), adding Raekwon and himself to the mix.

The track -- a mash-up of the original "Runaway Love" off Bieber's "My World 2.0" album and Wu Tang Clan's "Wu Tang Clan Ain't Nuthing Ta F' Wit" -- blends Staten Island gully with the tween pop star's sweetness in a way that only Kanye can make work. Who'd a thunk it?
(Click here to read the full story and to listen to the Kanye West remix of Justin Bieber's "Runaway Love" feat. Raekwon and Kanye West on the Billboard.com website)

Talking Points Memo-DOJ; Tenn. Mosque Arson Was A Hate Crime

photo credit: YouTube/ABC News/Talking Points Memo.com
(Story reported by Rachel Sladja for Talking Points Memo.com)

A veteran of the DOJ's Civil Rights Division says he'd be surprised if the fire at the site of a mosque in Murfreesboro, Tenn. isn't investigated as a hate crime.

"I think it's pretty clear that there's a hate crime investigation underway," William Yeomans, who served in the division for 24 years and was briefly the acting director, told TPMmuckraker today.

Federal authorities, including the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Bureau and the FBI, have said that there's "no indication" that the fire -- set early Saturday morning to pieces of construction equipment at the site of the proposed Islamic center and mosque -- is a hate crime.

(Click here to read the full story on the Talking Points Memo.com website)

The Hill-Members of Congress Grew Richer As The Economy Tanked

John Kerry: The HIll.com
(Story reported by Kevin Bogardus and Barbra Kim for The Hill.com)

The wealthiest members of Congress grew richer in 2009 even as the economy struggled to recover from a deep recession.

The 50 wealthiest lawmakers were worth almost $1.4 billion in 2009, about $85.1 million more than 12 months earlier, according to The Hill’s annual review of lawmakers’ financial disclosure forms.

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) tops the list for the second year in a row. His minimum net worth was $188.6 million at the end of 2009, up by more than $20 million from 2008, according to his financial disclosure form.

While the economy struggled through a recession during much of 2009 and the nation’s unemployment rate soared to 10 percent, the stock market rebounded, helping lawmakers with large investments. The S&P 500 rose by about 28 percent in 2009.

(Click here to read the full story on The Hill website.)

Reuters-One of Mexico's Most Wanted Drug Kingpins Is Captured

Mexican Police take Edgar "La Barbie" Valdez into custody in Mexico City: Eliana Aponte/Reuters 

(Story reported by Missy Ryan and Cyntia Barrera for Reuters News)

(Reuters) - Mexican authorities displayed in public a top drug lord Tuesday whose arrest this week they hope will mark a breakthrough in President Felipe Calderon's bloody campaign against powerful cartels.

Edgar "La Barbie" Valdez, a Texas-born 37-year-old, held back a smile as he was led handcuffed by masked federal police before reporters, flanked by fellow suspects, sophisticated weaponry and plastic packages of drugs.

Wearing a green polo shirt, jeans and sneakers, Valdez, nicknamed "La Barbie" for his fair complexion, grinned openly as authorities discussed his capture outside of Mexico City on Monday evening.

"He has been detained, and this operation closes a chapter in drug trafficking in Mexico," senior federal police official Facundo Rosas later told local broadcaster Televisa.

It is unclear whether Valdez' arrest, Calderon's second coup this year against cartels, can staunch rampant drug violence that threatens Mexico's image as it struggles out of recession and seeks to hold on to tourist revenues.

Over 28,000 people have died since Calderon launched his crackdown in late 2006, and bloodshed shows no sign of stopping as rival gangs battle for control of smuggling routes.

Authorities said Valdez, a leader of the Beltran Leyva cartel based in central Mexico, trafficked a ton of cocaine each month and was responsible for "several dozen" murders.

His arrest follows an operation in July that killed Ignacio "Nacho" Coronel, No. 3 in the rival Sinaloa cartel.

(Click here to read the full story on the Reuters News website.)

Monday, August 30, 2010

UK Guardian-Fidel Castor Says Bin Laden Is A US Spy

Fidel Castro: Alex Castro/EPA
(Story reported by Chris McGreal for the UK Guardian)

Fidel Castro has more reason than most to believe conspiracy theories involving dark forces in Washington. 

After all, the CIA tried to blow his head off with an exploding cigar.

But the ageing Cuban revolutionary may have gone too far for all but the most ardent believer in the reach and competence of America's intelligence agency. He has claimed that Osama bin Laden is in the pay of the CIA and that President George Bush summoned up the al-Qaida leader whenever he needed to increase the fear quotient. The former Cuban president said he knows it because he has read WikiLeaks.

Castro told a visiting Lithuanian writer, who is known as a font of intriguing conspiracy theories about plots for world domination, that Bin Laden was working for the White House.

"Bush never lacked for Bin Laden's support. He was a subordinate," Castro said, according to the Communist party daily, Granma. "Any time Bush would stir up fear and make a big speech, Bin Laden would appear, threatening people with a story about what he was going to do."

He said that thousands of pages of American classified documents made public by WikiLeaks pointed to who the al-Qaida leader is really working for.

"Who showed that he [Bin Laden] is indeed a CIA agent was WikiLeaks. It proved it with documents," he said, but did not explain exactly how.

He made his comments during a meeting with Daniel Estulin, the author of three books about the secretive Bilderberg Club which includes men such as Henry Kissinger, the former US secretary of state, leading 

'European officials and business executives. Estulin says that the club is form of secret world government, manipulating economies and political systems.

Estulin offered his own views on Bin Laden: that the man seen in videos since 9/11 is not him at all but a "bad actor".

(Click here to read the full story on the UK Guardian website)

UK Independent-Fmr. PM Tony Blair Tried To Make A Deal With Mugabe

Former UK PM Tony Blair and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe: AFP/Getty Images
(Story reported by Robert Verkaik for the UK Independent)

Tony Blair secretly courted Robert Mugabe in an effort to win lucrative trade deals for Britain, it has emerged in correspondence released to The Independent under the Freedom of Information Act. The documents show that the relationship between New Labour and the Zimbabwean President blossomed soon after Tony Blair took office in Downing Street.

Just weeks after the Government unveiled its ethical foreign policy in May 1997, the British PM wrote a personal letter to Mr Mugabe congratulating him on his role in unifying Africa and helping to improve relations between the continent and Britain. The signed message, which welcomed Mr Mugabe's appointment as leader of the Organisation of African Unity, paved the way for an attempt to bring the two leaders together in a face-to-face meeting in Downing Street during the first weeks of the New Labour administration. 

(Click here to read the full story on the UK Independent website.)

Politico-Pres. Obama Says He's Not Pasting Birth Certificate On HIs Head

President Barack Obama: White House.gov
(Story reported by Glenn Thrush for Politico)

President Barack Obama dismissed a recent poll showing that a third of Americans don’t know he’s a Christian — and blamed an online campaign of misinformation by his conservative enemies for perpetuating the myth that he’s a Muslim.

Obama, speaking with NBC "Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams on Sunday afternoon, was equally dismissive of conservative talk show host Glenn Beck — saying he didn’t watch the Fox host’s Saturday rally in Washington but wasn’t surprised that Beck was able to “stir up” people during uncertain economic times.

Williams, sitting under a tent in a rain-soaked New Orleans, where the first family commemorated the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, asked Obama why so many people were uncertain about something so fundamental as his faith.

“I can’t spend all of my time with my birth certificate plastered on my forehead,” quipped Obama, who took a deep breath to gather his thoughts when asked if the poll reflected his inability to communicate with voters.

“The facts are the facts. We went through some of this during the campaign — there is a mechanism, a network of misinformation that in a new media era can get churned out there constantly,” said a visibly annoyed Obama, referring to “birthers,” who have waged a guerrilla campaign questioning either the existence or the validity of his Hawaiian birth certificate.

“I will always put my money on the American people, and I’m not going to be worried too much about what rumors are floating around there.”

(Click here to read the full story on the Politico website)

BBC News-Ambassador's Daughter Falls 25 Floors To Her Death In NYC

Herald Towers Hotel in NYC: AP/BBC News
(Story reported by BBC News)

The 17-year-old daughter of the US ambassador to Thailand has died after falling from the top floor of a 25-storey building in New York City.

Police said Nicole John was believed to have been drinking at a party on Friday in Manhattan when she removed her shoes and climbed out onto a window ledge.

She is believed to have been trying to take a photograph before falling to her death at about 0415 (0815 GMT).

Her father, Eric John, was appointed US ambassador to Thailand in 2007.

Ilan Nassimi, who rents the apartment where the party took place, was arrested later on charges of giving alcohol to a minor.

Police said Ms John, who was beginning her first year at Parsons The New School for Design in New York, had been out earlier with friends at Tenjune, a club on the west side of Manhattan.

(Click here to read the full story on the BBC News website)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Politico-Beck Calls His Restoring Honor Rally..the "End Of Darkness"???

Participant at Glenn Beck's "Restoring America Rally": AP Photo
(Story reported by Mike Allen for Politico)

Glenn Beck sees his weekend rally at the Lincoln Memorial as a revival — and even a revolution.

“This is the beginning of the end of darkness. We have been in darkness for a long time,” Beck told followers in a preview of his “Restoring Honor” rally, on the 47th anniversary of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “I Have a Dream” speech. 

“Here's what's amazing: They keep saying this is a political event, and it is not. It is not a political event at all. … We have lost our way. We have been standing in spiritual darkness for decades. … Our churches, quite frankly, have grown soft. … It is to give you backbone and spine, and to know that you are not alone — but people are begging for right and wrong,” said beck to an audience of more than 2,500 at the Kennedy Center Friday night. His comments were live-streamed to subscribers to the “Insider Extreme” pay service on his website. 

(Click here to read the full story on the Politico website.)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Hip Hop DX-Drake And Nicki Minaj...Got Married?

Mr. and Mrs. Drake?: Hip Hop DX
(Story reported by Allen Jacobs for Hip Hop DX)

BREAKING: This evening Young Money's two biggest stars tied the knot, as Drake says he's "never scared," after allegedly wifing a Barbie.

On Thank Me Later's "Miss Me," Drake professed his love to Young Money label-mate Nicki Minaj. "I love Nicki Minaj, I told her I’d admit it / I hope one day we get married just to say we fuckin' did it / And girl I’m fucking serious I’m with it if you with it / 'Cause your verses turn me on and your pants are mighty fitted," rapped the Toronto sensation, expected to reach platinum this week.

Well, according to Twitter, that verse was prophecy.

(Click here to read the full story on the Hip Hop DX website.)

UK Telegraph-President Obama Plans Middle East Peace Visit

President Barack Obama: Getty/AFP
(Story reported by Mark Weiss for the UK Telegraph)

The US president's peace plan calls for Israel and the Palestinian Authority to hold a series of regular meetings over the coming year.

Mr Obama, who set Middle East peace as one of his top foreign policy goals when he assumed office in 2009, will make his first visit as president to Israel and the West Bank to persuade both sides to agree to concessions for the sake of peace.

Mr Obama will oversee the relaunch of direct talks between the two sides next week in Washington.

Although Washington is pushing for a comprehensive peace deal within 12 months, implementation will be spread out over a 10-year period, according to a report in Yediot Aharonot, the Israeli newspaper.

Washington wants the intensive talks to cover core issues, including borders, refugees and the future status of Jerusalem, according to the leaked White House protocols of a conference call held this week between senior administration officials and American Jewish leaders.

(Click here to read the full story on the UK Telegraph website.)

Slate Magazine-South Africa; #1 Destination For Refugees

Zibabwean refugees inside a South African Methodist church: Slate.com
(Story reported by Maura R. O'Connor for Slate Magazine)

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa—Givemore Gift Nhidza is not dead.

Over the last year, several newspapers have reported that Nhidza, a political activist in Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change opposition party, is dead. But he is alive, and like 3 million other Zimbabweans, he is living in South Africa until the day he can return home without fear of being killed or going hungry.

South Africa's refugee population is massive. In 2009, the country received more than 222,000 new asylum requests, according to UNHCR, the U.N. refugee agency, making it the No. 1 asylum destination in the world, ahead of the United States, Sweden, France, and Germany. Africans go to South Africa to escape violence and poverty because it is a beacon of stability and economic growth on the continent. They arrive by bus after journeys that last weeks from countries such as Congo, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, Sudan, Somalia, and Tanzania. When they get close to the border, those without legal papers walk through the bush and swim across rivers to avoid being sent back.
(Click here to read the full story on the Slate Magazine website.)

UK Independant-Godard; The Director Who Ignored Hollywood

Iconic French director Jean Luc Godard: EPA
(Story reported by Guy Adams for the UK Independent)

Hollywood is waiting for Godard. Jean-Luc Godard, the legendary French film director, controversialist, and self-styled intellectual who – to the bafflement of the US media (but the delight of his loyal fans) – has responded to news that he is to receive an honorary Oscar with the weariest of Gallic shrugs.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced on Wednesday, with huge fanfare, that the 79-year-old auteur, whose career spans in excess of half a century, is one of four lofty individuals who will this year be given a special gong for "extraordinary distinction" and "exceptional contributions" to cinema.

That's the plan, at least. But after two days of frantic effort, the Academy has failed to track down Godard to inform him of his good fortune. Letters, faxes and calls have all gone unanswered, and they now suspect that the reclusive film-maker may be deliberately ignoring them.
(Click here to read the full story on the UK Independent website.)

UK Guardian (2008)-French President Sarkozy's Son Is Hip Hop Producer

PIerre Sarkozy, a.k.a. Mosey, with Timothy "Timbaland" Mosely:myspace.com
(Story reported on 8 January 2008 by Paul MacInnes for the UK Guardian)

First, to France, where a burgeoning hip-hop talent by the name of Mosey is making waves with his beats, his hooks and his genetic similarity to President Nicolas Sarkozy. Yes, it turns out that the French president, who once called the disaffected youth of the banlieues scum, has himself sired wannabe pondlife. Which would be funny, if it wasn't so flipping predictable.

The story regarding the rise of Sarkozy's son Pierre in the French hip-hop fraternity is reported this morning in the Independent and the Times, but the Times' account is both haughtier and more dubious in tone, so we'll concentrate on that one.

"It emerged yesterday that Sarko junior, a hip-hop producer who calls himself Mosey, has written a song for Poison, one of the angriest minstrels from the Paris banlieue ghettos."

Minstrels - see, it's already off to a good start. Anyway, the piece goes on to explain that Pierre's transformation into Mosey has been a while in the making. Apparently, while Sarkozy was interior minister and pledging to clear the streets of "racaille" (which the Times translates as "layabouts"), he was also gently encouraging young Pierre to get the hell rid of the dreadlocks he was sporting at the time. While Pierre obliged, that wasn't the end of his love for Afro-Caribbean culture. In fact, it was only strengthened.

(Click here to read the full story on the UK Guardian website.)

Billboard.com-Maroon 5's Cover Story In Billboard Magazine

Maroon 5: Rachel Been/Billboard Magazine
(Story reported by Mikael Wood for Billboard Magazine)

Adam Levine doesn't want to sound like he's complaining. He recognizes that Maroon 5, the Los Angeles-based outfit he's led for the better part of a decade, has consistently enjoyed the kind of success most bands only dream of: millions of albums sold, multiple Grammy Award wins. Yet on the eve of the release of Maroon 5's third studio album, "Hands All Over" (due Sept. 21 from A&M/Octone), Levine can't help but gripe a little.

"The general perception of our band," he says, "still needs work."

The 31-year-old frontman is talking about an image issue that's dogged Maroon 5 since the group's earliest days, when it broke out with the sleek top five single "This Love." "On paper we're really no different than any other rock band," he says. "We're a group of guys who've been friends for years who write songs and release them. But there's definitely this strange disconnect over who we are and what roles we play in making our music." Levine remembers once catching wind of a rumor that Maroon 5 -- which also includes guitarist James Valentine, keyboardist Jesse Carmichael, bassist Mickey Madden and drummer Matt Flynn -- started out as a boy band.

"I have to admit that's very frustrating for me," he says. "I do a lot of work and write the lion's share of our music. As much as the band plays a huge role in helping me put it together and writing certain parts, it's all done in-house. No one has ever written a note for this band who wasn't in the inner circle. I'm not sure people know that."

It's suggested to Levine that perhaps what fuels the misunderstanding about Maroon 5 is his place in young Hollywood's glittery firmament. "That's probably true to a certain extent," he acknowledges. "I do feel like if I had long, shaggy hair and wore a hat with a feather in it and refused to do interviews I'd probably have a different reputation. But I look kind of like an architect, so people get confused. I upset their rock'n'roll norms."

(Click here to read the full story on the Billboard Magazine website.)

MSNBC.com-Miss. Reverses Race-Based Student Election Decision

Miss. School Board memo stating Black students could not run for class president: MSNBC.com
(Story reported by NBC News and MSNBC for MSNBC.com)

The school board in Nettleton, Miss., voted Friday to reverse its policy under which race determined whether a candidate could run for class positions, including president. 

According to a memo sent home with students last week, African-American students could not run for class president in Nettleton Middle School this school year. However, the board voted at an emergency session Friday to drop that policy, according to Craig Ford, a reporter with the NBC News affiliate WTVA, who attended the meeting.

According to the district's statement, the practice had been in use for more than 30 years with whites and blacks rotating among offices annually. 

"It is the belief of the current administration that these procedures were implemented to help ensure minority representation and involvement in the student body," Superintendent Russell Taylor said in a statement. 

(Click here to read the full story on the MSNBC.com website)

BBC News-Kenya Celebrates New Constitution

Kenyans jubilant over new constitution: BBC News
(Story reported by Peter Greste for BBC News)

Kenya has adopted a new constitution, more than three weeks after it was overwhelmingly approved in a national referendum.

Tens of thousands of people watched as President Mwai Kibaki signed the document into law at a large ceremony in the capital, Nairobi.

The debate over a new constitution has lasted 20 years.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir was present at the event, despite being wanted for war crimes.

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton urged Kenya to arrest Mr Bashir and hand him over to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The ICC, which wants to put Mr Bashir on trial for alleged war crimes and genocide in the Darfur region, has reported his visit to the UN Security Council and asked council members "to take any measure they may deem appropriate."

Kenya has ratified the statute requiring it to co-operate with the ICC. However, last month the African Union instructed its members - which include Kenya - not to apprehend Mr Bashir.

(Click here to read the full story on the BBC News website.)

UK Daily Mail-"Blind Date" Contestant Kills Herself; She Felt "Ugly"

Pamela Noble: UK Daily Mail
(Story reported by Daily Mail Reporter for the UK Daily Mail)

A former Blind Date contestant hanged herself because she thought she was ugly and was terrified that her boyfriend would leave her.

Pamela Noble, 26, killed herself following a disagreement with her live-in boyfriend, Graeme Lewis at their home in Carlisle last December.

Pamela had appeared on the ITV1 show Blind Date in 2002 - but her family claim she was riddled with insecurities about her looks and suffered from 'crippling low self-esteem'.

The blonde hit the headlines following her TV appearance - after she paired up with another date reject after he failed to score with his partner.

Pamela had just selected her date, Tal Dubnov, for a trip to Austria, when builder Lee Theobald began chatting to the then 18-year-old.

Lee had just returned from a weekend in Paris with his date who he had chosen the week before, but she had snubbed him in the French capital.

The 21-year-old then searched the streets of Paris for sex and found two other girls to sleep with.

When back in the Blind Date studios, after describing his disastrous date, Lee then turned his attentions to Pamela, who later slept with him in a hotel.

After her death her devastated boyfriend, Graeme, told an inquest that his girlfriend had convinced herself, with no grounds, that he was unfaithful, and would frequently spiral into depression.

(Click here to read the full story on the UK Daily Mail website. May GOD Rest the soul of Pamela Noble and Bless her family in their time of grief and need.)

Moscow Times-Russian Rapper Slams Police After His Apology

Russian Hip Hop artist Noize MC (wearing the hoodie) and his crew: Moscow Times
(Story reported by Sergei Chernov for the Moscow Times) 

ST. PETERSBURG — Rapper Noize MC, who was jailed for 10 days for “disorderly conduct” during his set at an outdoor festival after the local police took offense at his mocking them with a song and improvised rap, has released a new song that lambastes the police and calls Russia a “police state.”

In the song rush-released last week — almost immediately after the artist’s release from jail — Noize MC, whose real name is Ivan Alexeyev, sarcastically thanks the police for the inspiration and 10 days spent in “paradise,” while the video demonstrates endless and extremely diverse instances of Russian police brutality — from two policemen stopping and beating a lone cyclist to the recent outburst of police violence at the July 31 demonstration in St. Petersburg.

The powerful protest song has two names, “10 Days in Paradise” and “10 Days (Stalingrad)” — in a reference to Volgograd’s Stalin-era name — and describes Russia as a “police state” and Volgograd as its “capital.”

The song, posted at NoizeMC.ru, features a sarcastic “apology” — a brief, videoed rap that Alexeyev read from a piece of paper distributed by the Volgograd police’s press service while he was in prison.

In an interview with Gazeta.ru, Alexeyev explained that he wrote and performed the “apology” rap under pressure, when he was threatened with having his charges changed to “insulting a policeman,” an offense punishable by up to one year of “correctional labor,” but the sarcasm was lost on the police — as well as on some of the public, as he later discovered.

The “apology” rap in its entirety has been included in “10 Days” as the chorus. Alexeyev’s arrest brought a rare show of unity from other musicians, with hundreds signing a letter in his support.

One of the first to sign the letter was Alexei Nikonov of punk band Posledniye Tanki v Parizhe, or “Last Tanks in Paris,” which is renowned for its anti-establishment stance.

(Click here to read the full story on the Moscow Times website. Below is the YouTube video for MC Noize's "A Song For Radio.")

THR.com-"Transformers" Director Sued For Pistol Whipping 2 Men

Michael Bay: The Hollywood Reporter
(Story reported by Matthew Belloni for The Hollywood Reporter)

EXCLUSIVE: Director Michael Bay is ready to deploy legal firepower against the two men who sued him Tuesday claiming they were pistol-whipped by his security guard outside a trendy nightclub.  

"It's 100% frivolous," Bay tells us from the set of "Transformers 3" in Chicago. "We're all pretty perplexed by it. But we're not going to be perplexed when I go after these moneyhounds for malicious prosecution."

Bay isn't blowing smoke. The firebrand director has hired Hollywood litigator Marty Singer and plans to fight the battery and negligence suit.

Joshua Stewart and Paul Klimczak claim that in 2008, an intoxicated security guard working for Bay smashed the men in the face with a gun outside the Hollywood hotspots Beso restaurant and Kiss nightclub. Bay says he was indeed at Beso that night having a friendly dinner with seven couples, but he says he left by 11:30 p.m. and doesn't employ a bodyguard, let alone one who might have been inebriated.

(Click here to read the full story on The Hollywood Reporter website.)

Wired Magazine-Many Troops Question Their Mission In Afghanistan

photo credit: Wired Magazine
(Story reported by Spencer Ackerman for Wired Magazine)

BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan — Two years ago, when I was last in Afghanistan, soldiers complained to me off the record that there weren’t enough of them to properly fight the war. This time around, in similarly candid moments, I heard a more fundamental complaint: The war doesn’t make sense.

To get the caveats out of the way: This post is based on an unrepresentative sample, drawn from what fewer than a dozen soldiers, airmen and contractors told me at this sprawling military base (and only here). There’s some anecdotal evidence that troops stationed on megabases are prone to greater despair than those serving in more spartan conditions. Most of my interlocutors sought me out to vent; none of them wanted speak on the record, fearing command reprisal. And I’m factoring out the typical (and understandable) deployment gripes. Your mileage will vary around the battlefield. I don’t mean to suggest there’s a groundswell within the ranks against the war. But it would feel irresponsible if I didn’t report the skepticism I heard at Bagram about the course of the Obama administration’s strategy.

Some considered the war a distraction from broader national security challenges like Iran or China. Others thought that its costs — nearly ten years, $321 billion, 1243 U.S. deaths and counting — are too high, playing into Osama bin Laden’s “Bleed To Bankruptcy” strategy. Still others thought that it doesn’t make sense for President Obama simultaneously triple U.S. troop levels and announce that they’re going to start coming down, however slowly, in July 2011. At least one person was convinced, despite the evidence, that firing Gen. Stanley McChrystal meant the strategy was due for an overhaul, something I chalked up to the will to believe.

But if there was a common denominator to their critiques, it’s this: None understood how their day-to-day jobs actually contributed to a successful outcome. One person actually asked me if I could explain how it’s all supposed to knit together.

(Click here to read the full story on the Wired Magazine website.)

Macon.com (GA)-Mom Arrested On Child Porn and Meth Charges

Dawn Deborah Brantley: Macon.com
(Story reported by Christian Boone for the Macon Telegraph)

A former Upson County substitute teacher has been charged with possession of child pornography, according to the GBI.

Dawn Deborah Brantley, 44, of Meadow Drive in Thomaston, was arrested Wednesday afternoon following a search at her home, said John Bankhead, GBI spokesman. 

A preliminary search uncovered 65 pornographic images and five movie files. GBI agents discovered the images of suspected or known child pornography through observing the images being shared using Brantley’s computer’s IP address, Bankhead said.

“The computer was seized and they will analyze it forensically to determine how many images were on there,” he said.

Bankhead said he didn’t know if the images depicted girls or boys.

While serving the search warrant for the child pornography, authorities discovered a small amount of methamphetamine and methamphetamine smoking devices at Brantley’s home, he said.

Upson County deputies charged Brantley with a violation of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act, according to a news release.

Brantley was released from the Upson County jail on $15,000 bond Thursday morning, according to the Upson County Sheriff’s Office.

(Click here to read the full story on the Macon.com website)

LA Times-After Oil Spill, Some Locals In Louisiana Won't Eat The Catch

Lafitte Frozen Seafood Corp in Louisiana: Win MacNamee/Getty Images
(Story reported by Kim Murphy for the Los Angeles Times)

President Obama served plates of barbecued gulf shrimp to guests at his 49th birthday party Aug. 9. But Kindra Arnesen, who runs a shrimp boat with her husband here in southern Louisiana, isn't nearly ready to eat what comes out of the tepid gray waters.

When news first hit of the massive oil blowout 50 miles southeast of here, Arnesen filled her freezer with shrimp. She has no intention of eating fresh seafood until she stops hearing from her fellow fishermen about blobs of oil on the sea bottom and tiny droplets of dispersed hydrocarbons in the water.

"I'm not going to sell somebody something I wouldn't feed my own kids, and we're not eating it," Arnesen said. "They can eat burgers for awhile."

(Click here to read the full story on the LA Times website)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

NY Times-Fmr President Carter Wins Release of American In N. Korea

Former President Jimmy Carter with N. Korean President Kim Yong Nam: Kyodo News/Associated Press
(Story reported by Choe Sang-Hung and Sharon LaFraniere for the NY Times)

SEOUL, South Korea — Former President Jimmy Carter was expected to leave North Korea on Friday with Aijalon Mahli Gomes, an American who was sentenced to eight years of hard labor for illegally entering the country, the Carter Center said. 
Aijalon Mahli Gomes: newshopper.sulekha.com
“Former President Jimmy Carter announced that he is leaving Pyongyang, North Korea, this morning accompanied by Mr. Aijalon Mahli Gomes,” the Carter Center said in a statement sent in an e-mail message.

Mr. Carter had been visiting Pyongyang on a private humanitarian mission to win the release of Mr. Gomes, who was sentenced in April to eight years in a North Korean prison and fined $700,000 for entering the country illegally. There has also been speculation that North Korea might try to use Mr. Carter as a conduit to ease tensions with the United States. 

(Click here to read the full story on the NY Times website.)

UK Guardian-Wyclef Jean Cannot Appeal Haiti Presidency Ruling

Wyclef Jean:Jemal Countess/Getty Images
(Story reported by Sean Michaels for the UK Guardian)

Electoral council tells singer its decision to disqualify him from the Haiti presidential race is final.

The door has slammed shut for the second time in Wyclef Jean's bid to become president of Haiti. According to the country's electoral council, the singer cannot appeal against his disqualification from the race. With officials refusing to review his file, Jean will now reportedly file a complaint with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

"Wyclef does not intend to stop here," explained Jean Renel Senatus, a member of his legal team. "We will exhaust all options, we will go all the way to fight this unacceptable decision." Last week, Jean was one of 15 proposed candidates disqualified from Haiti's presidential race, with the provisional electoral council citing the country's five-year residency requirement. Although Jean initially said he "accepted" the ruling, he later announced plans to appeal. "Friends ... warned me that much trickery would be used to block me," he said. "[This] has proved true."

A representative for the council's legal department declared yesterday that their decision cannot be challenged, citing article 191 of Haiti's electoral law. "When it comes to electoral matters, the electoral council is the supreme court, meaning there is nowhere else to go," Samuel Pierre said. "There is absolutely no possibility for Wyclef Jean to be added to the list of candidates approved to run in the next presidential elections. So it's over."

(Click here to read the full story on the UK Guardian website.)

NY Magazine-Antoine Fuqua To Direct Tupac Biopic

Tupac Shakur: Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
(Story reported by Claude Brodesser-Akner for Vulture in NY Magazine)

Oscar-nominated screenwriters Stephen J. Rivele and Chris Wilkinson (Ali, Nixon) have just been hired to write the Tupac Shakur biopic, which means the Antoine Fuqua-directed film could begin shooting by mid-November. (No cast yet; Fuqua is looking for an unknown to play the late rapper.) While the writing partners are known for adapting true lives and stories — they also worked on the Moneyball script, and an upcoming Jackie Robinson story — Wilkinson tells Vulture that the key to this script is an approach that “is not in any way biopic-y.”

That’s a big change in direction for the project. An initial draft written by Steven Bagatourian (2005's American Gun) was largely documentary in style, simply laying out the facts of the slain rapper-poet-actor's brief 25-year life. But Wilkinson says that their script will center on the last day of Tupac's life, flashing back to show the final four years leading up to it.

(Click here to read the full story on the NY Magazine website.)

TMZ.com-Mos Def Sued By Canadian Promoters for Toronto No-Show

Mos Def: Getty Images
(Story reported by TMZ Staff for TMZ.com)

Rapper Mos Def is accused of recently bailing on a gig 24 hours before it was set to go off and causing the promoter to take a $57,000 hit ... this according to a new lawsuit.

According to the documents -- filed today in L.A. County Superior Court and obtained by TMZ -- Mos was paid a $12,500 deposit to do a show at the Kool Haus in Toronto back on February 25.

In the suit, the promoters, REMG Entertainment, claim Mos suddenly backed out of the concert on February 24 ... and failed to pay back the $12.5k.

REMG claims it's another $45,000 in the hole for "lost customers, sales, and goodwill" --  and is suing Mos and his crew for at least $57,500.
(Click here to read the full story on the TMZ.com website.)

National Post (Canada)-Mounted Police Uncover Canadian Bomb Plot

Accused Canadian terrorists, Hiva Alizadeh and Misbahuddin Ahmed: Dave Clendining/Postmedia News

(Story reported by Stewart Bell for the National Post)

OTTAWA — The RCMP identified six suspects on Thursday it said had plotted a terrorist attack in Canada.

One was also accused of financing the purchase of weapons to be used against Canadian Forces.

All are Canadian citizens, the RCMP said.

The case is the latest indication that Canada has a problem with “homegrown extremists,” a term that refers to Canadians who have become so radicalized by al-Qaeda’s ideology that they want to commit terrorist violence.

“There’s a growing concern about radicalization inside Canada. So that is homegrown terrorism,” Public Safety Minister Vic Toews told reporters in Winnipeg yesterday. “It’s a relatively new phenomenon that we must be very vigilant about.”

But what is Canada doing about it?

Interviews with officials and de-classified documents indicate that counter-terrorism agencies have been fighting a behind-the-scenes battle to identify Canadians that are radicalizing and, in some cases, taking steps to intervene.

(Click here to read the full post on the National Post website.)