Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Aaron spelling production company

Aaron spelling production company
Aaron spelling production company, From All Movie Guide: The son of an immigrant Russian tailor, Aaron Spelling grew up in the Jewish ghetto of Dallas. Traumatized by constant bullying from his WASP schoolmates, Spelling psychosomatically lost the use of his legs at age eight and was confined to bed for a year.

He spent his solitude with the written works of Mark Twain, O. Henry, and other masters, developing his own storytelling skills in the process. After wartime service with the Army Air Force, Spelling attended Southern Methodist University, then headed to New York, hoping to find work as an actor and writer.

No one was interested in his writing, though he did eventually secure a few good film and TV roles (he was the squirrelly murderer in Vicki, the 1952 remake of 1941's I Wake Up Screaming). He then moved to California in the company of his wife, actress Carolyn Jones. While her career flourished, his dreams of becoming a great writer dwindled, and he reluctantly returned to acting. Spelling's writing skills finally came to the attention of actor/production executive Dick Powell, who hired Spelling as a scripter and producer for Powell's Four Star Productions.

Spelling's strong suit during this period was the ability to woo TV-shy film actors into the Four Star fold by writing the sort of parts they'd like to play, but had never been permitted to by the Hollywood typecasting system. After Dick Powell died, Spelling became aligned with comedian/TV mogul Danny Thomas, for whom Spelling produced the hit series The Mod Squad in 1968. His new-found industry clout permitted Spelling to produce one TV hit after another:

The Rookies, Starsky & Hutch, S.W.A.T., Charlie's Angels, Dynasty, among others. Whenever accused of merely turning out "schlock," Spelling could point with pride to his highly regarded weekly drama Family, and, much later, to his Emmy win for Day One, a 1989 TV movie about the wartime Manhattan Project.

After several years of indifferent projects, Aaron Spelling once more became the king of youth-oriented television with his 1990 series Beverly Hills 90210 (which co-starred his daughter, Tori) and the equally popular follow-up, Melrose Place. Spelling's name continued to grace the credits of numerous youth-oriented soaps on the fledgling WB and UPN networks right up until his death in June of 2006. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Lionel Richie net worth

Lionel Richie net worth
Lionel Richie net worth, Lionel Richie net worth: American musician, actor, singer-songwriter and record producer Lionel Ritchie has an estimated net worth of $200 million in 2013. He is also known to be one of the members of Commodores, a musical group which was signed by Motown Records.

After working for around 14 years with the Commodores, Lionel Ritchie launched his solo career in 1982 with his debut album Lionel Richie. The album spawned the #1 hit single titled “Truly”. The release of his debut album which sold more than four million copies led him to be named as one of the 1980s most successful and popular balladeers.

It was followed by the release of his sophomore album titled Can’t Slow Down which sold twice as much as his debut album. It was named Album of the Year and won him two Grammy awards. It spawned the single titled “All Night Long” which peaked at #1 on US music charts.

Eventually, it was followed by the release of his other albums titled Dancing on the Ceiling, Back to Front, Louder Than Words, Time, Renaissance, Just for You, Coming Home, Symphonica is Rosso, Just Go, and Tuskegee.

Some of his other hit singles include “Hello”, “Stuck on You”, “Penny Lover”, “Running with the Night”, “Say You, Say Me”, “We Are The World”,  ”Dancing on the Ceiling”, “Say You, Say Me”,  ”Ballerina Girl”, and “Se La”.

Lionel Brockman Richie, Jr. was born on June 20, 1949 in Tuskegee, Alabama, USA.

Robert Kardashian diaries

Robert Kardashian diaries
Robert Kardashian diaries, Robert Kardashian, one of the attorneys who defended O.J. Simpson against charges he murdered his wife, left his widow with several diaries in which he exposes many of the Kardashian family secrets while he was married to former wife Kris Kardashian.

His widow Ellen has released some of their contents, revealing that Kris, who subsequently married Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner, was less than a model wife and mother. In the diaries, written over a two year period from 1989 to 1990, Robert Kardashian recounts how his former wife beat daughter Kim in a hysterical rage.

In addition, Kardashian says that his wife often left their children alone for days at a time without even leaving a contact number in the event an emergency happened. During Christmas of 1989, Kardashian claims he spent the holidays alone with his kids.

The attorney, who succumbed to cancer in 2003, also states that Kris was unfaithful during their 12-year marriage, entering into a relationship with a much younger soccer athlete. His children were so upset that their stepmother sold their father’s diaries to be published by In Touch magazine that they filed a lawsuit against her, claiming that the handwritten journals were left to them by their father’s will.

Robert kardashian and kids

Robert kardashian and kids
Robert kardashian and kids, An ailing Robert Kardashian made a deathbed warning to his wife Ellen — “run as far away from the drama as you possibly can!”

The widow of the famed attorney — who became nationally known as a member of O.J. Simpson‘s criminal defense dream team — was referring to the shame he felt about the lives his three daughters had started to line, according to Ellen, who is now being sued by Kim, Kourtney, Khloe, Rob‘s and their mother, Kris Jenner over some of her late husband’s belongings.

“His last wish to me was that I have freedom and I would get as far away as I possibly could from the drama and everything that we had experienced during our time together,” Ellen said in a 2012 interview, a transcript of which RadarOnline.com has obtained.

“When he told me that I should go far away, on some level I thought it was a warning.”Nine years after Robert’s death of esophageal cancer, however, Ellen willingly put herself back in the middle of the Kardashian’s “drama.”

She broke her silence to Star, revealing how Robert thought Khloe might not have been his biological child and how Bruce Jenner was a cross dresser!

It came after years of silence between her late husband’s children and Ellen.I tried to stay in contact with the children after Robert passed away,” she revealed.

“I made several attempts and several phone calls. I never got a return phone call. I did speak to Rob for a couple of years, but then without phone numbers to get a hold of them, we just lost touch.

“I tried to get a hold of them through family members, but they said it was just as well that I didn’t, or I didn’t attend my mother-in-law’s funeral because of them.”

According to Ellen, Robert hoped his third-wife could save herself from “the drama within the girls and their mother.”

“It was constant,” she said. “It was phone calls to the house, upsetting a dinner, being out with somebody and having one of the girls call.  They were fighting with her (Kris). Just continual.

“The drama and their lifestyle was excessive and not like anything that I had ever seen or been through. It was constant and it was a lot of fighting, a lot of arguing between them and their mother.

“Robert wanted me to be free of chaos and all the family issues and things that had taken place that I had experienced.”

She said Robert, who died at age 59, “was very disappointed in a lot of different things that had taken place with the girls.”

“They had their disagreements and they argued about a lot of things,” Ellen recounted.

“Robert was very family oriented and loved, you know, his culture and he loved being Armenian and that’s something the girls would not participate in. He found that very disturbing and he was sad.”

“He also felt that as a father, he shouldn’t give them more than they needed.They wanted new cars, they’d come to him for new handbags or expensive shoes. Robert being Armenian, well, he worked for everything he ever had and that’s the way he lived his life.

“He wanted his family to do that.  He wanted his girls and his son to be raised with the same ethical background and to be hard working and make money the right way.”

The Kardashians have accused Ellen of profiteering from photo albums and a journal the siblings claim is copyrighted to them.

Duck Dynasty net worth

Duck Dynasty net worth
Duck Dynasty net worth, Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson says that his days on the popular A&E reality program are numbered.

The hit show follows the eccentric Robertson family in Louisiana and has consistently brought in stellar ratings for the network. With 9.6 million viewers, it is the highest rated telecast in the network’s history.

Duck Dynasty returns on August 14, but family patriarch Phil might not be a part of the show much longer. He tells Parade magazine that despite the show’s success, he doesn’t want to be a part of it for much longer.

When asked how much longer, Phil replied:

“Not long. But I think it’ll go on without me… I’ll catch a few fish. Hunt squirrels, deer, ducks. Stay out in the woods. Come in. Make the jam. Enjoy life.”

Despite the interview, family spokesman Al Robertson said that Phil is not leaving the show any time soon when asked for comment on the rumor.

The Robertson family owns and operates the Duck Commander and Buck Commander companies out of its West Monroe warehouse. It has become a huge tourist magnet since the A&E series began.

Phil once said that he actually turned down a career opportunity with the NFL in order to pursue his dream duck hunting business.

“They said, ‘Why don’t you go in the NFL and play football?’ In the ’60s, the late ’60s, the going price was $60,000. You make the team? 60 grand. I thought, ‘And I miss duck season? And I have large, violent… men chasing me trying to stomp me in the dirt?’ It just seemed like a lot of stress and not a lot of money.”

It paid off too. Phil Robertson has an estimated net worth of $15 million.

Do you think there’s any truth to the rumor that Phil Robertson will be leaving Duck Dynasty in the near future?

Phil robertson created duck commander company

Phil robertson
Phil robertson created duck commander company, Photos of the 'Duck Dynasty' stars without their famous beards are circulating around the Internet again this week and have become a trending topic on Bing as the hit A&E reality TV show continues to create waves among fans.

Fans of the show have gotten to know and love each of the characters with their long bushy, and wild beards. However, they did not always look like that, and the photos below show the cast members of the hit A&E show in all their beardless glory.

Here is a photo of Phil Robertson, who is known as the Duck Commander. He let go of a potential career in the NFL to create the Duck Commander Duck Call in 1973.

This photo shows Uncle Si without his glasses and beard. He looks almost unrecognizable in the photo on the left which was taken when he served in the military. Uncle Si, of course, was sent a blue mug by his mother when serving in Vietnam. Now more than 30 years later he takes it everywhere with him and only drinks from that blue mug every day.

Here is a before and after shot of Willie. The left photo shows Willie when he was a student at Louisiana State University. A lot has changed since then, however, and he has now grown one of the most impressive beards in the Robertson family, and has put his business degree to good use, becoming the CEO of Duck Commander.

The photo on the left shows Jase and Missy looking clean cut and fresh as newlyweds from their wedding day. On the right, the photo shows them 20 years later – still happily married – but with Jase donning a massive beard for his part in Duck Dynasty.

"Duck Dynasty" Season 4 had a premiere date on August 14, 2013, and became the most watched reality TV show as millions tuned in to watch the show.

Here is a video of Phil Robertson speaking at Harvest Crusade 2013.

El Paso Triple-A team picks 'Chihuahuas' as nickname

El Paso Triple-A team picks
El Paso Triple-A team picks 'Chihuahuas' as nickname, The Padres' Triple-A affiliate is moving from Tucson to El Paso, and as such, they decided to shift nicknames after life as the nondescript Tuscon Padres and join the rich tradition of silly minor league nicknames.

Today, they announced their decision after a contest, and it was ... well ... it was a decision, alright.Yes, the team is now the Chihuahuas. Given the option of picking their mascot, they opted for the tiniest, yippiest, least cuddliest, most-pick-up-able-by-an-owl-iest dog in the world.

There is a local connection, I suppose -- El Paso does border the Mexican state which gives the world's smallest dog its name -- but still. Chihuahuas! I don't agree with the notion that all mascots should be fierce but at the very least, your mascot shouldn't be frightened by particularly feisty housecats. I love dogs, and have noticed that I'm not alone among people who love dogs in having an anti-Chihuahua bent.

I will say, I rather like this logo.To be fair, the El Paso Times writes that the company that's helping the now-Chihuahuas do branding has had success with similarly silly teams, like the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs and Richmond Flying Squirrels, and, I mean, I'm writing about it, so ... .

I don't think it's logistically possible, but I'd love to see a lineup featuring David Eckstein, Jose Altuve, Shane Robinson, and this guy.

Aledo's 91-0 win earns bullying complaint from Western Hills parent

Aledo's 91-0 win earns bullying complaint from Western Hills parent
Aledo's 91-0 win earns bullying complaint from Western Hills parent, Aledo's coaches said they did everything but take a knee Friday night to hold the score down against Western Hills.
They still won 91-0.

The parent of a Western Hills player filed a formal complaint accusing Aledo's coaches of bullying. Aledo released a copy of the complaint with the writer’s named blacked out. It appears to be from a father struggling to make the game a teachable moment for his son.

"We all witnessed bullying first hand, it is not a pretty sight," he wrote.
"You don't want to see their kids give up 91 points," responded Aledo head coach Tim Buchanan. "Our kids aren't very excited at the end of the game, either."

Buchanan said neither his coaches nor his players bullied the losing team.
In the complaint, the father wrote: "I did not know what to say on the ride home to explain the behavior of the Aledo coaches for not easing up."

"I'm not going to ask a football player to go out on the field and not play hard," Coach Buchanan responded, saying that would be insulting to opponents and unfair to his own players who have practiced so hard.
Buchanan said his starters played only about half the game on Friday night.

The Western Hills parent said the lopsided game provided a bad lesson for both teams, writing: "I thought how tough it must have been for the parents of the Aledo football players to explain what happened..."
Aledo's superintendent answered that coaches did use the game as a teaching moment, but not the negative lesson alleged in the bullying complaint.

"I can tell you, our kids learn from our coaches' compassion, and slowing things down," said Superintendent Derek Citty. "It could have been worse than what it was."

Citty said Aledo’s principal talked to the parent, and described him as a gentleman expressing his concern.
Aledo's superintendent hopes the University Scholastic League moves the school into a tougher district next year. The powerhouse program ended up playing weaker Fort Worth teams after Dunbar High moved up to 4A, forcing the UIL to realign districts before last season.

Dunbar has a 3A student population, but is also undefeated this season.
As for this season's Aledo team, even the concerned Western HIlls parent thanked them for showing respect and good sportsmanship to his son.

Plane crash Arkansas: Pryor couple dies in crash

Plane crash Arkansas: Pryor couple dies in crash
Plane crash Arkansas: Pryor couple dies in crash, A plane crashed in Arkansas after leaving Alabama. KFOR-TV reports on Oct. 22 that the Piper Saratoga plane was carrying two people. Their bodies were found in the wreck near Huntsville.

Officials believe Ivan and Adina Williams were the victims they found in the single-engine plane crash. The couple is from Pryor and owns a business in Oklahoma. Ivan is the CEO of Williams Construction Co., and family members confirmed that he was using this plane.

The plane left Alabama in the morning and was headed to Oklahoma. It did not encounter any problems in Sylacauga, but it was losing altitude by the time it was near Huntsville. The weather has been described as rainy. However, it is not known if this was responsible for the crash. Air-traffic control was notified about the plane’s problems before it disappeared from radar. Ivan and Adina Williams never reached their destination of Claremore.

Local residents describe hearing a loud crash and being confused by the sounds in the afternoon. It took several hours to find the plane near Huntsville. Williams Construction Co. has declined to issue a statement at this time and is waiting for a spokesperson to come forward and discuss the crash with the media.

Explosion North Hollywood: Huge Explosion Blows Up Pickup Truck on Miranda Street

Explosion North Hollywood:
Explosion North Hollywood: Huge Explosion Blows Up Pickup Truck on Miranda Street, An explosion in North Hollywood has blown the roof off a pickup truck, shocking locals. However, reports have confirmed that no one was injured or killed in the incident.

The explosion hit North Hollywood at about 12.30 a.m. last night, and is believed to have taken place from the pickup truck's cab.

The pickup was parked in the back of a home on the 11300 block of Miranda Street.

Sgt. Mike Kammert has said, "Police and firefighters arrived about the same time and found the truck with its roof blown open and at least one propane tank inside the truck. Kammert said the LAPD bomb squad was at the scene to determine what exploded. Officials were focusing on the propane tanks as the likely source," according to The Los Angeles Times.

He added that investigators were carrying out their work and that they were securing the area to ensure no further risks remained to locals in the region.

He said, "It'll probably be another hour or so. The bomb squad doesn't move fast, which is probably a good thing."A bomb squad was sent in to help with the investigations, and local residents were advised to find shelter.

One local witness described to NBC Los Angeles that the explosion "shook everything." One witness, Laura Weir told the network: "I heard a big loud noise and the dog started barking… The next thing I know, I see the helicopters, I see the fire department."

A propane tank was thought to have been in the pickup truck's cabin at the time of the explosion. Investigators have removed the truck to further examine it as part of their investigations.

LAPD Lt. Todd Hankel explained, "[The blast] caused extensive damage to the vehicle and damage to the surrounding buildings… We were unable to determine the source of the explosion, so we evacuated the area."

It still has not been confirmed whether the explosion was intentional or an accident. Investigations are ongoing. 

Saudi to reassess relations with US: report

Saudi to reassess relations with US: report
Saudi to reassess relations with US: report, Saudi Arabia's intelligence chief has said the kingdom will make a "major shift" in relations with the United States in protest at its perceived inaction over the Syrian war and its overtures to Iran, a source close to Saudi policy said.

Prince Bandar bin Sultan told European diplomats that Washington had failed to act effectively on the Syrian crisis and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, was growing closer to Tehran, and had failed to back Saudi support for Bahrain when it crushed an anti-government revolt in 2011, the source said on Tuesday.

It was not immediately clear if Prince Bandar's reported statements had the full backing of King Abdullah.

"The shift away from the US is a major one," the source close to Saudi policy said. "Saudi doesn't want to find itself any longer in a situation where it is dependent."

"This happens after the US failed to take any effective action on Syria and Palestine.

"Relations with the US have been deteriorating for a while, as Saudi feels that the US is growing closer with Iran and the US also failed to support Saudi during the Bahrain uprising."

UN seat rejection

The prince's initiative follows a surprise Saudi decision on Friday to reject a coveted two-year term on the UN Security Council in protest at "double standards" at the United Nations.

John Kerry, the US secretary of state, said he had discussed Riyadh's concerns when he met his Saudi counterpart, Saud al-Faisal, in Paris on Monday.

Kerry said he had told the Saudi minister that no deal with Iran was better than a bad deal.

"I have great confidence that the United States and Saudi Arabia will continue to be the close and important friends and allies that we have been," he told reporters in London.

"I reaffirmed President Obama's commitment that he will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon," said Kerry.

Policy hawk

Prince Bandar, who was Saudi ambassador to Washington for 22 years, is seen as a foreign policy hawk, especially on Iran.

The kingdom has informed the US of its actions in Syria, and diplomats say it has respected US requests not to supply the groups with advanced weaponry that the West fears could fall into the hands of al Qaeda-aligned groups.

Saudi anger boiled over after Washington refrained from military strikes in response to a poison gas attack in Damascus in August when the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, agreed to give up his chemical arsenal.

Saudi Arabia is also concerned about signs of a tentative reconciliation between Washington and Tehran, something Riyadh fears may lead to a "grand bargain" on the Iranian nuclear programme that would leave it at a disadvantage.

'As bad as it gets': Australia braces for worst of wildfires

'As bad as it gets': Australia braces for worst of wildfires
'As bad as it gets': Australia braces for worst of wildfires, More than 70 wildfires -- including 29 that are uncontained -- are raging across a wide swath of Australia's most populous state, now threatening the western suburbs of Sydney, authorities said Wednesday.

"It's only a matter of hours before we see a flare-up in fire activity and a breach of these tenuous containment strategies," said Shane Fitzsimmons, Rural Fire Service (RFS) commissioner, in Sydney earlier in the day.

The wildfires stretch along a nearly 1,000-mile line in New South Wales, from the far north of the state south of Brisbane -- which lies just across the Queensland border -- to east of Canberra, the country's federal capital. Fires in the Blue Mountain range west of Sydney are a particular worry as rough terrain has impeded firefighting efforts.

"If our strategies don't work and weather materializes tomorrow that is forecast ... it could be absolutely devastating," said Rural Fire Service (RFS) Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers in New South Wales on Tuesday. "We lost a couple hundred homes the other day -- we could get worse losses than that." Wednesday is expected to be "about as bad as it gets," added Fitzsimmons.

With high temperatures, low humidity and strong winds forecast, fire officials have urged residents to evacuate from the path of the fires. "On days like today, minutes really matter," Fitzsimmons said.

At least one death has been reported. A 63-year-old man died of a suspected heart attack Friday while defending his home against a blaze on the New South Wales Central Coast, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, or ABC, reported.
'Eerie' skies over city of Sydney

Some urban areas that border the Australian bush have been devastated by the fires, which have destroyed more than 200 homes in the Blue Mountains region since Thursday.
Scores of fires now have burned 25,800 hectares (310,859 acres) -- an area greater than the size of Los Angeles. On Tuesday, officials said they were bringing in 1,500 firefighters to join the more than 1,000 emergency crews already on the ground.

At Blue Gum Forest inside the Blue Mountains National Park, firefighters were doing controlled burns -- setting fires in the bush ahead of the frontline of the blazes to eliminate tinder and slow the progress of the fires. Instead of cloud-shrouded mountaintops, the valleys of the region were covered with a dense layer of smoke.

Fears are still high that fires could join to form a "mega-fire" and endanger heavily populated areas of this popular natural retreat west of Sydney.

Most of the firefighters in the area were volunteers who've left their ordinary jobs to put out the fire, pouring in from different parts of Australia.

"There's a sense of community, doing what they can -- you can get a sense of resilience, strength, and a deep sense of pride of each brigade pulling their weight," said CNN's Robyn Curnow, reporting from the Blue Mountains.
The state of emergency issued by authorities gives firefighters and police the authority to carry out measures such as cutting off water, power and gas and ordering mandatory evacuations of areas at risk.
A total fire ban is in place for the Greater Sydney region until further notice, officials have said, meaning no fire may be lit in the open, and all fire permits are suspended. The fires have spread a cloak of smog over Sydney in recent days.

The bush fires in the area spread out of control Thursday amid high temperatures and powerful winds. Emergency officials said the region is emerging from a very dry winter and has had little rain in recent months.
The causes of the Blue Mountains fires are still under investigation -- officials are looking into whether one major blaze was caused by a military training exercise.

Police said Monday they had arrested two boys, age 11 and 15, over two earlier bush fires in the Port Stephens area, more than 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of Sydney, that began October 13. One of the fires they are accused of starting burned more than 5,000 hectares (12,000 acres) in the surrounding area.

The 11-year-old has been placed under house arrest, charged with two counts of intentionally causing fire and being reckless as to its spread, NSW Police Force said. The child is scheduled to appear in court next month where he is expected to plead not guilty to the charges, CNN affiliate Sky News reports.

Civilian Deaths in Drone Strikes Cited in Report

Civilian Deaths in Drone Strikes Cited in Report
Civilian Deaths in Drone Strikes Cited in Report, In the telling of some American officials, the C.I.A. drone campaign in Pakistan has been a triumph with few downsides: In more than 300 missile attacks there since 2008, dozens of Qaeda and Taliban leaders have been killed, and the pace of the strikes, which officials frequently describe as “surgical” and “contained,” has dropped sharply over the past year.

But viewed from Miram Shah, the frontier Pakistani town that has become a virtual test laboratory for drone warfare, the campaign has not been the antiseptic salve portrayed in Washington. In interviews over the past year, residents paint a portrait of extended terror and strain within a tribal society caught between vicious militants and the American drones hunting them.

“The drones are like the angels of death,” said Nazeer Gul, a shopkeeper in Miram Shah. “Only they know when and where they will strike.”

Their claims of distress are now being backed by a new Amnesty International investigation that found, among other points, that at least 19 civilians in the surrounding area of North Waziristan had been killed in just two of the drone attacks since January 2012 — a time when the Obama administration has held that strikes have been increasingly accurate and free of mistakes.

The study is to be officially released on Tuesday along with a separate Human Rights Watch report on American drone strikes in Yemen, as the issue is again surfacing on other fronts. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, a vocal critic of the drone campaign, is to meet with President Obama in the White House. And on Friday, the drone debate is scheduled to spill onto the floor of the United Nations, whose officials have recently published reports that attacked America’s lack of transparency over drones.

But nowhere has the issue played out more directly than in Miram Shah, in northwestern Pakistan. It has become a fearful and paranoid town, dealt at least 13 drone strikes since 2008, with an additional 25 in adjoining districts — more than any other urban settlement in the world.

Even when the missiles do not strike, buzzing drones hover day and night, scanning the alleys and markets with roving high-resolution cameras.

That is because their potential quarry is everywhere in Miram Shah — Islamist fighters with long hair, basketball shoes and AK-47 rifles who roam the streets, fraternize in restaurants and, in some cases, even direct traffic in the central bazaar. The men come from an array of militant groups that take shelter in Waziristan and nearby, including Al Qaeda and the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban.

The militants’ commanders, however, are more elusive. Some turn up at the town’s phone exchange, to place ransom calls to the families of kidnapping victims who have been snatched from across Pakistan. Others run Islamic-style courts, filling the place of the virtually invisible government system. Still others stay completely out of sight, knowing they are being sought by the C.I.A.

In theory, the Pakistani security forces should be in charge. A sprawling base, with a long airstrip that is home to a fleet of American-made Cobra helicopter gunships, dominates the northern part of the town. Military engineers have just completed a new road that leads to the Afghan border, 10 miles to the north.

But apart from sporadic exchanges of fire with the militants, the soldiers are largely confined to their base, leaving residents to fend for themselves.

Unusually for the overall American drone campaign, the strikes in the area mostly occur in densely populated neighborhoods. The drones have hit a bakery, a disused girls’ school and a money changers’ market, residents say. One strike occurred in Matches Colony, a neighborhood named after an abandoned match factory that is now frequented by Uzbek militants.

While the strike rate has dropped drastically in recent months, the constant presence of circling drones — and accompanying tension over when, or whom, they will strike — is a crushing psychological burden for many residents.

Sales of sleeping tablets, antidepressants and medicine to treat anxiety have soared, said Hajji Gulab Jan Dawar, a pharmacist in the town bazaar. Women were particularly troubled, he said, but men also experienced problems. “We sell them this,” he said, producing a packet of pills that purported to treat erectile dysfunction under the brand name Rocket.

Despite everything, a semblance of normal life continues in Miram Shah. On market day, farmers herding goats and carrying vegetables stream in from the surrounding countryside. The bustling bazaar has clothes and food and gun shops.

Communication, however, is difficult. The army disabled the cellphone networks, so residents scramble to higher ground to capture stray signals from Afghan networks. And Internet cafes were shut, on orders from the Taliban, after complaints that young men were watching pornography and racy movies.That ban distressed families that use the Internet to communicate with relatives working in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and across the Persian Gulf states. Emigrant remittances are a cornerstone of the local economy.

On the edge of town, where buildings melt into low, tree-studded hills, young boys play soccer on the banks of the Tochi River. As in so many other countries, some youngsters wear the jersey of the English soccer club Manchester United.

But the veneer of normality is easily, and frequently, shattered. Every week the streets empty for a day as army supply trucks rumble through. The curfew is strictly enforced: several children and mentally ill residents who have strayed outside have been shot dead, several residents said.

In the aftermath of drone strikes, things get worse. Many civilians hide at home, fearing masked vigilantes with the Ittehad-e-Mujahedeen Khorasan, a militant enforcement unit that hunts for American spies. The unit casts a wide net, and the suspects it hauls in are usually tortured and summarily executed.

Journalists face particular risks. In February, gunmen killed Malik Mumtaz Khan, the president of the local press club. Some blame Pakistani spies, while others say the Taliban are responsible.

Meanwhile state services have virtually collapsed. At the local hospital, corrupt officials are reselling supplies of medicine and fuel in the town market, doctors said. At the government high school, pupils are paying bribes to cheat in public exams — and threatening teachers with Taliban reprisals if they resist, one teacher said.

The collapse has created business opportunities for Taliban spouses: one commander’s wife is a gynecologist, while an Uzbek woman works as a homeopath, the pharmacist said.

For some residents, the only option is to leave. Hajji, a 50-year-old businessman, moved his family to the port city of Karachi in 2011. His family was scared by militant pamphlets that threatened to execute American spies, he said, and the militants prevented his children from obtaining polio vaccinations.

“They think vaccinators are spies who are looking for militant hide-outs,” he said during an interview in Karachi, agreeing to be identified only by part of his name.

For a number of outraged Pakistani officials, the drone debate has centered on claims of civilian casualties, despite American assurances that they have been few. In defending the drone strikes, which have sharply decreased this year, American officials note that the operations have killed many dangerous militants. One major militant killed this year was the Pakistani Taliban deputy, Wali ur-Rehman. He was killed at Chashma village, just outside Miram Shah, in May.

Still, in a speech announcing changes to the drone program in May, Mr. Obama admitted that mistakes had been made. Civilian deaths from drone strikes will haunt him, and others in the American chain of command, for “as long as we live,” he said.

He added, “There must be near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured.”

But the new Amnesty International report, which examines the 45 known strikes in North Waziristan between January 2012 and August 2013, asserts that in several cases drones killed civilians indiscriminately.

Last October, it says, American missiles killed a 68-year-old woman named Mamana Bibi as she picked vegetables in a field close to her grandchildren. In July 2012, 18 laborers, including a 14-year-old boy, were killed near the Afghan border.

Ms. Bibi’s son, Rafiq ur-Rehman, and two of her injured grandchildren are due to travel to the United States next week to speak about their experiences.

“The killing of Mamana Bibi appears to be a clear case of extrajudicial execution,” said Mustafa Qadri, the report’s author, in an interview. “It is extremely difficult to see how she could have been mistaken for a militant, let alone an imminent threat to the U.S.”

Leah Remini says Church of Scientology looks to make an example of her

Leah Remini says Church of Scientology
Leah Remini says Church of Scientology looks to make an example of her, Actress Leah Remini has opened up further about her leaving the Church of Scientology weeks after she was subpoenaed to testify in a lawsuit against the church.

Remini split from the church in July. She has now said that Scientologists hope she fails on Dancing With The Stars so she can be an example of what happens to people who leave the church.

“The church is looking for me to fail,” the King of Queens star said on Tuesday night’s episode of DWTS. “So they can say, ‘Look what happens when you leave.’”

When she left the church, Remini said she did so because Scientology officials were controlling and intimidating toward members.

During her 30 years as a member of the church, Remini served a one-year stint in the church's elite "Sea Org" religious order and was friends with some of Scientology's most high-profile members, including Tom Cruise.

The star was subpoenaed to testify on October 15 in a case against the church earlier this month, but the church has postponed her deposition indefinitely.

In the case, former member Monique Rathbun is suing the church and its leader, David Miscavige, for allegedly harassing her and her formerly Scientologist husband, Marty.

Because of what Remini could divulge, lawyers for the church said they “don’t particularly want that deposition taken,” attorney Marc Wiegand said. “But we’re entitled to discovery on matters that are relevant, and this is a relevant matter.”

"Who knows what may come up," Ray Jeffrey, lead counsel for the plaintiffs, said.

Today, at Nokia World in Abu Dhabi, Nokia unveiled its two new large screen smartphones, the Nokia Lumia 1520 and Lumia 1320.

Today, at Nokia World in Abu Dhabi, Nokia unveiled its two new large screen smartphones, the Nokia Lumia 1520 and Lumia 1320., Both devices feature 6-inch screens to make the most of the enhanced Windows Phone Start screen and three columns for Live tiles allowing you to see and do more on the larger screen.

The Nokia Lumia 1520 features a 1080p full HD screen, 20MP PureView camera with optical image stabilization, enhanced sensor technology, oversampling and outstanding zoom capabilities, along with the latest imaging app called Nokia Camera. You will also enjoy the new Nokia Storyteller app to relive your memories in a new and dynamic way and truly share better stories with your friends and family.

Nokia Storyteller automatically integrates the pictures from your phone with HERE location information and creates a chronological picture journey on a map. Look up points of interests, get contact information and check out user reviews all directly from Nokia Storyteller for an interactive experience. It also automatically plays back animated pictures, videos and smart photos so your stories truly come to life.

But the stories don’t stop with the Nokia apps alone. With Twitter Vine soon available for the first time for Windows Phone 8, you can capture and tweet short looping videos to share more via social media. Or maybe you just want to share all of your new photos and quick video clips. Now you can with Instagram for Windows Phone 8.

And to capture some stunning videos, the Lumia 1520 features Nokia Rich Recording with four microphones, providing directional stereo recording capability to capture distortion free audio from the preferred direction for clear, accurate sound. (We will have more information to share with you about the Lumia 1520’s audio capabilities soon.)

You will also find the new Nokia Beamer app to share content, like pictures, location on a map or even your camera viewfinder from your Lumia to any compatible screen – with people in the same room or even in another location by sending them a link via social media, email or SMS.


Boost your daily productivity

The Lumia 1520 is a genuine workhorse, too. It comes with Microsoft Office built in, so you can have the flexibility to work when you need to; and it includes a massive battery with integrated wireless charging (Qi compatible). This powerful combination means you can manage to easily log a whole day of work and enjoy entertainment like movies without worrying about finding a place to charge up.

The ability to show a third column on the Start screen isn’t just about scaling the experience of Windows Phone 8. It really is about getting to you favorite apps faster with less scrolling. For instance, the email app now shows one additional row of content in the Live tile, right on the Start screen.

Do you do a lot of video conferencing? The front-facing camera on the Lumia 1520 offers 1.2 HD 720p wide angle video so you’ll always look your best.

And, with the new Papyrus app coming to Windows Phone for the first time, you can easily take handwritten notes on your Nokia Lumia 1520.

Boost your high scores

This phone will also please the gamer in all of us. With the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor and full 1080p HD display, graphics-intensive Xbox games will explode with action. You will also find 2GB RAM built in, 32GB of storage, plus the option to add a microSD card (up to 64GB), as well as 7GB of free SkyDrive cloud-based storage.

The Lumia 1520 features all the latest in display technology to make the beautiful six inch screen stand out, even in the brightest sunlight. With ClearBlack display technology, High Brightness Mode and assertive display technology by Apical, the screen offers a viewing experience to enjoy no matter what the light conditions are. And when winter rolls in, wearing gloves won’t prevent you from using the screen just as easily as before thanks to the super sensitive touch screen with Gorilla Glass 2.

According to Ilkka Husgafvel, the lead industrial designer for the Lumia 1520, “Purity was one of the main drivers in the creation of this device, along with understanding the scale available in the large screen. We aimed to create a device that feels thin and comfortable in the hand: it’s only 8.7mm deep.”

The Nokia Lumia 1320 – going large at a lower price


The phone features ceramic keys on the side, and subdued icons at the front. It will be available in four Lumia colors (white, yellow, red and black): the black phone is made of recycled materials.Similar to the Lumia 1520 – and building on the affordability of the Lumia 520 – the new Nokia Lumia 1320 also features a 6-inch screen and a wealth of features at a lower price.

But this does not mean that there was a compromise on quality. The phone boosts a 720p HD screen made with Gorilla Glass 3, and features a super sensitive touch screen. It includes Nokia Music and HERE Maps for great music and location experiences, and welcomes both Nokia Camera and Nokia Storyteller apps, available in the Windows Phone Store.

With the latest apps, the best from Nokia, and the best from Microsoft supported by LTE connections you can make the most out of the bright large screen on the Lumia 1320. Sit back and relax while you play the latest Xbox games, read web content, or watch movies on the six inch screen. A wealth of content can be stored using the free 7GB of SkyDrive storage or with the addition of a micro SD card adding up to 64GB more space.

When can I get it?

The Nokia Lumia 1520 is expected to begin selling this quarter in Hong Kong, Singapore, the United States, China and Europe (including Finland, France, Germany, and the UK), followed by other markets; and it has an estimated price of around USD 749 before local taxes and subsidies.

The Nokia Lumia 1320 will be available in a choice of orange, yellow, black, or white, and is planned to be available first in China and Vietnam in early 2014, followed by other Asian markets, India and European markets. It carries an estimated price of USD 339 before local taxes and subsidies.

Many of the new features and imaging innovations found in the Nokia Lumia 1520 and Nokia Lumia 1320 will be coming to existing Nokia Lumia smartphones running on Windows Phone 8 aligned with the next software update called “Lumia Black”. The update, including the latest Windows Phone update from Microsoft, is expected to begin rolling out in early 2014.

Specifications for the Nokia Lumia 1520

Operating System: Windows Phone 8 with the latest updates
Networks: GSM/EDGE: 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz; WCDMA: 850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz; ROW LTE: 1, 3, 7, 8, 20; USA LTE: 2, 4, 5, 7, 17; HSPA+: DL 42 Mbps (Cat 24) / UL 11.5 Mbps (Cat 7)
Speed: LTE 150/50 mbps, DC-HSPA 42mbps
Memory: 2GB RAM, 32 GB internal user memory; 7 GB SkyDrive cloud storage, micro SD card support up to 64GB
Display: 6-inch full HD 1080p LCD , ClearBlack, High Brightness Mode, Sunlight readability, Super sensitive touch for glove and nail usage, Gorilla Glass 2
Processor: 2.2GHz Quad Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
Primary camera: PureView 20-megapixel Auto Focus ZEISS optics with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), 2x lossless zoom, oversampling technology, dual LED flash, 1080p @ 30 fps full HD video with optical image stabilization
Secondary Camera: HD 1.2-megapixel wide angle
Size & weight: 162.8 x 85.4 x 8.7mm (volumetric). Weight: 209g
Connectivity: NFC, A-GPS+GLONASS, WLAN (2.4/5Ghz) a/b/g/n/ac, ╬╝USB, BT 4.0 LE, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Magnetometer, Gyroscope, Ambient Light Sensor
Battery: 3400 mAh (integrated) with built-in wireless charging (Qi compatible)
Audio: Rich Recording with four microphones; Wideband Voice and multi-microphone noise reduction with four microphones; Dolby(R) Headphone, Graphic equalizer, Audio leveling; FM radio

Josh Sundquist Continues To Win Halloween With Awesome, One-Legged Flamingo Costume

Josh Sundquist Continues
Josh Sundquist Continues To Win Halloween With Awesome, One-Legged Flamingo Costume, We've already seen some pretty clever Halloween costumes this year, but Paralympian Josh Sundquist's costume for 2013 is downright inspiring.

As we witnessed with his spot-on "A Christmas Story" leg lamp costume last year, Sundquist doesn't let having one leg prevent him from dominating Halloween.

His website describes him as a, "Son, brother, cancer survivor, author, Paralympic ski racer, motivational speaker, YouTuber and mediocre rapper," but we think his friend who uploaded the picture below to Reddit nailed it by saying he's "an all-around awesome dude."

Just take a look at his seriously impressive flamingo costume below for all the proof that you need. Oh, and if you're wondering what he was in 2011, it was a pirate (because of course). We can't wait to see what he comes up with next year!

Betty White Spoofs Miley Cyrus' 'Wrecking Ball' Video - Watch Now!

Betty White Spoofs
Betty White Spoofs Miley Cyrus' 'Wrecking Ball' Video - Watch Now!, Check out this hilarious video where Betty White spoofs Miley Cyrus‘ music video for “Wrecking Ball”!

In the video, which is a promo for her show Betty White’s Off Their Rockers on Lifetime, Betty said, “So I got some ideas from recent pop culture events that really got the kids talking.”

At the end of the video, Betty even asks for a sledgehammer and a foam finger, two Miley-esque props. LOL!

Betty White’s Off Their Rockers is a hidden camera series!

Check out the “Wrecking Ball” video in case you missed it.

WHAT DO YOU THINK of Betty White coming in like a wrecking ball for her new promo???


Dodgers, Don Mattingly need to find middle ground

Dodgers, Don Mattingly need to find middle ground
Dodgers, Don Mattingly need to find middle ground, If Mattingly's not the perfect manager, he's certainly a good one for this veteran team. But he needs to watch what he says, or he's gone, quicker than you can say Trey Hillman.

Don Mattingly has taken his shots, the Dodgers have fired back, the steam that had been building under their disillusioning October failure has been angrily blown off and will soon drift away into the quiet of winter.

Does everybody feel better? Good. Now, for the sake of this current roster's rapidly closing window on a championship, it's time for a compromise.

The Dodgers need to realize the importance of Mattingly's strengths and give him some security beyond his current one-year contract.

Mattingly needs to realize the importance of his weaknesses and embrace a new bench coach to help him with late-game decisions, even though this coach will replace fired friend Trey Hillman.

Both of these things should happen during the calm of baseball's World Series-mandated news embargo, after which the Dodgers should hold a news conference announcing Mattingly's new deal and introducing the new coach.

This is not only the most obvious solution, it's the only solution. Anything else, and Mattingly is gone. Anything else, and it becomes clear the Dodgers wanted him gone all along, and that would be a mistake.

No, the Dodgers don't need Mattingly walking Reed Johnson or pinch-running for Adrian Gonzalez. But, yes, for a variety of other reasons, the Dodgers still need Mattingly.

Armed with someone to guide his strategy as Don Zimmer or Larry Bowa helped Joe Torre, Mattingly has the potential to become another Torre. He is a great clubhouse presence who led the Dodgers to the postseason by deftly defusing explosives in every corner. He is the first manager to influence Hanley Ramirez to play hard and play hurt. He is the first manager to turn Andre Ethier into a team player.

He kept wild child Yasiel Puig from turning the place into a circus. He helped turn former clubhouse lawyer Adrian Gonzalez into a quiet leader while navigating the changing role of injured but still influential Matt Kemp.

The Dodgers need him, and Mattingly needs the Dodgers. He thinks he can walk away from here and into a better spot? Really? Where? With the high payroll, huge fan base and Hollywood exposure, the Guggenheim-led Dodgers have become one of the best managerial destinations in baseball.

All of which makes it surprising that Mattingly would choose to blindside ownership Monday with thinly veiled public threats to leave. Mattingly stunned the organization by using a routine end-of-the-year news conference to express his distress over the one-year renewal of his contract. After working as a lame duck all season, Mattingly intimated he could not work another year under the same conditions.

"When you're put in this situation, the organization basically says, 'We don't know if you can manage or not,'" Mattingly complained.

It was so unlike the calm and considered Mattingly to pull such a power play that one wonders if he was receiving some advice from elsewhere. If so, it was bad advice, because it made the Dodgers suddenly wonder about his loyalty. Why would they give a multiple-year contract to a guy who they now believe is capable of publicly ripping them when times are tough? If Mattingly is suddenly fired, this outburst will be the breaking point.

On Tuesday, the Dodgers showed exactly what they think of his managing by firing his close friend Hillman. This was not a surprise, and not because Hillman was a bad bench coach, but because Hillman was just the wrong bench coach for Mattingly, who needs a more veteran presence unafraid to challenge him.

So what happens now? The immediate future of the Dodgers as a contender hangs in the balance.

Here's hoping the Dodgers realize that Mattingly was just speaking out of frustration, and that he's worth another year on his contract.

Here's hoping Mattingly realizes that he indeed needs a new bench coach, and embraces change while acknowledging to the Dodgers that this entire issue could have been handled internally.

Although the final game was only days ago, it seems some folks have already forgotten that these Dodgers finished just two games — or one Hanley Ramirez broken rib — short of advancing to the World Series for the first time in 25 years. This is not the time to change managers.

If Don Mattingly and the Dodgers won't agree on anything else, can't they agree on that?

Farrah abraham new boyfriend

Farrah abraham new boyfriend
Farrah abraham new boyfriend, Farrah Abraham is dating a nice young man. A nice young DJ named Brian Dawe, with whom she often likes to hold hands and kiss. But sometimes even the nicest of DJs can post blow job offers from other women on their public Facebook accounts.

According to Dawe, who posted the letter on Facebook with the caption, "this happened," he found the anonymous taped to his car.

The writer of the letter provides her phone number (redacted) and says, "I would so hold his penis in my mouth..." which sounds like a person who does not know what a blow job is. "It feels like a cup of Minestrone soup!"

Take a gander at the eloquently written words for yourself:Whether he took the groupie up on the offer, well, Farrah, you'll have to ask him yourself.

3.85 canary diamond

3.85 canary diamond
3.85 canary diamond, In sharp-eyed teenager Tana Clymer's case that must be true. The 14-year-old was visiting the aptly named Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas, when she saw something glistening on the ground.

"I thought it was a piece of paper or foil from a candy wrapper," she told park officials, the New York Daily News reported.

"Then, when I touched it, I thought it was a marble."It was a 3.850-carat canary diamond that park officials say could be worth $50,000 to $60,000.

Tana and her parents, from Oklahoma City, had been sifting through the park's volcanic soil for about two hours when she made her find on the surface.

Tana had been begging her parents to visit the park after a 12-year-old boy from North Carolina found a 5.16-carat diamond in July.

The park, the only diamond-producing site in the United States that is open to the public, is said to contain more than 75,000 canary diamonds, which have a distinct yellow colour.

Its "finders, keepers" policy" is drawing huge crowds and almost 400 diamonds have been dug up this year.
Few though are of the size and quality of the diamond Tana found, Joan Ellison, a spokeswoman for Arkansas State Parks, told NewsOK

Tana had fallen behind her parents when she found the rock.
"I was about to sprint to join my family, and God told me to slow down and look," Tana said. "Then, I found the diamond!"

Her mother Amanda Giordano Told NewsOK: "She screamed at me, 'Mama, mama I found something.'"
The rock Tana found is similar to a 4.21-carat rock discovered in 2006. That one was appraised for about $50,000 to $60,000, said Bill Henderson, assistant park superintendent.

"It appears to be of the same quality," Henderson told the New York Daily News.

"This particular yellow canary will knock your eyes out. The colour is so brilliant," he said. The value though is still unknown and Tana's parents have placed the diamond in a safety deposit box.
She said she may turn the diamond into a ring or use it to help pay for college.

Dolly parton car crash

Dolly parton car crash
Dolly parton car crash, Dolly Parton has sustained minor injuries in a car crash in Nashville. The country singer was treated at hospital before leaving to recover at home, according to Billboard. Parton said in a statement that she's "all good. Just a little tired and sore." Police reports state that the singer was riding in an SUV that was hit by another vehicle.

The car crash news arrives on the same day as Parton announced details of a UK tour, to take place in June 2014 as part of her 'Blue Smoke World Tour'. Starting on June 8 in Liverpool, the tour will comprise of 13 arena tour dates and ends at Nottingham Arena on July 2. Scroll down to see the full list of UK dates and ticket details.

Meanwhile, Parton has recently announced that she will be expanding her Dollywood theme park to the tune of $300 million (£190 million). New plans for the park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee – which opened 28 years ago – will include the DreamMore resort, a 300-room luxury hotel which will open in 2015. A new range of attractions, shows and rides will include the Fire Chaser Express, a roller coaster set to open next year.

Biggest loser in Miami's NCAA football sanctions case? It's USC, again

Biggest loser in Miami's NCAA
Biggest loser in Miami's NCAA football sanctions case? It's USC, again, The NCAA has made it clear it isn't giving football scholarships back to USC, or presenting Matt Barkley with an honorary Rose Bowl participation plaque.

Being the NCAA means never having to say you're sorry. The governing body of college athletics keeps saying it was wrong, though, every time it releases a sanctions report on another school.

First it was Ohio State, then Oregon, and now Miami.The NCAA on Tuesday essentially accepted Miami's self-imposed, two-year bowl ban and deducted only nine more total scholarships.

Miami announced it would not contest the findings, which translates to "whew."

All three cases appeared to rise somewhere near the level of what would constitute major infractions, which cost USC the 2004 Bowl Championship Series national title, two bowl seasons and 30 scholarships.

The NCAA in 2010 insisted it was out to make an example of USC, but then it did not. "The struggle is, the NCAA hasn't explained why USC is different than all the others that have come after," John Infante, a former director of compliance at Loyola Marymount and Colorado State, said in a telephone interview.

The NCAA hammered USC football essentially because Reggie Bush's parents took money and accepted free rent on a home from a would-be agent. The NCAA said USC should have known Bush was a future star who might be tempted by unscrupulous people.

"High-profile players demand high-profile compliance," said the late Paul Dee, the former Miami athletic director who was chairman of the NCAA infractions committee that punished USC.

Then Ohio State came along.

Buckeyes players received free tattoos in exchange for jerseys, rings and memorabilia. Coach Jim Tressel knew of the violations but lied about it. The NCAA hit him with "unethical conduct" and charged the school with "failure to monitor." Tressel was forced to resign in disgrace.

The NCAA punishment: a one-year bowl ban and the loss of nine scholarships.

Then Oregon came along.

The Ducks received three years of probation earlier this year for "failure to monitor" because it paid $25,000 to a scouting service that may have been steering players to Eugene.

It sounded bad. Chip Kelly received a "show cause" penalty, which means he was effectively banned from coaching in college for 18 months. Kelly dodged that by becoming head coach of the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles.

Oregon's punishment: no bowl ban and the loss of a couple of scholarships.

Then Miami came along.

There were cries for the death penalty three years ago when Yahoo Sports broke the salacious story of Miami football being a modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah.

There was no disputing that booster Nevin Shapiro, who donated more than $500,000 to the Miami athletic program, had over the course of a decade — including years when Dee had been the athletic director — plied Hurricanes athletes with money, gifts and other favors. Miami, only when caught, impressed the NCAA by self-imposing the bowl ban and other sanctions.

Miami's football punishment: three years' probation and the loss of nine scholarships.USC responded as you might expect. "We have always felt that our penalties were too harsh," Athletic Director Pat Haden said Tuesday in a statement. "This decision only bolsters that view."

NCAA Committee on Infractions member Britton Banowsky suggested during a conference call that Miami's cooperation mitigated the damage.

Banowsky said each case is different but said of Miami, "In this particular case we felt like the institution's self-imposed penalties were absolutely significant, unprecedented really, and the level of cooperation in the case was commendable."

Infante suggested it would be helpful to know how much more severe the sanctions would have been had Miami not cooperated. "Just tell us what they would have got," Infante said.

USC was cooperative with the NCAA, but the process was certainly contentious with Mike Garrett, the athletic director at the time, leading the charge.

So that led to 21 more lost scholarships for USC than Miami?

One reason USC fought the NCAA was it thought the organization had bungled the case, particularly as it pertained to assistant coach Todd McNair's alleged involvement. McNair, who is no longer at USC, has filed a defamation lawsuit against the NCAA, and a lot of legal minds think it has merit.

If McNair wins, wouldn't that prove USC was right for being defiant? "That's the Catch-22," Infante said.

Miami's advantage was that it had a powerful legal wedge because it was revealed that NCAA investigators worked with Shapiro's lawyers to improperly depose witnesses.

In the end, it seems Miami and the NCAA may have played nice with each other.

Try as it might, USC can't shake the repercussions of its sanctions. Tuesday's lenient decision probably takes Miami Coach Al Golden off the list of potential Trojans coaching candidates.

Could there be one last course of action?

Haden picked the wrong fight when he flew to Indianapolis last month to ask for commensurate relief after the NCAA returned some scholarships to Penn State. NCAA President Mark Emmert had the perfect comeback — no case was comparable to Penn State's.

But USC's case is comparable to Miami's.

Haden needs to get back on a plane and ask the NCAA to waive the final year of scholarship losses. He now has the facts at hand that his school incurred more scholarship losses than the cases of Ohio State, Oregon and Miami combined.

He can rightfully ask: "Is this what the NCAA had in mind in making an example out of USC?"

New Baldness Cure Joins History of Hair-Loss Fixes

New Baldness Cure Joins History of Hair-Loss Fixes
New Baldness Cure Joins History of Hair-Loss Fixes,  will work. In a study just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the authors took human hair cells and packed them into wee 3D spheres, implanted the hair balls into human skin, then grafted the skin onto the backs of mice.

Hair grew!

The hair was white. And the hair gurus don't know if new hairs would grow if these were removed. Human trials are three to five years away. So that gives us a lot of time to ponder other milestones in the age-old battle against baldness.

Biblical times: In the Book of Kings, mean kids call Prophet Elisha "baldhead." The humiliated Hebrew is said to have slapped bear grease on his pate as a remedy. For centuries, other bald men do the same. Their rationale: Bears are very hairy.

50 B.C.: Julius Caesar's laurel wreath? It's his version of a toupee.

1940s: Rest easy, male-pattern bald man. You did not cause your condition by emitting heat from thinking too hard or, as Samuel Johnson proposed in 1778, by having a "dry" brain. Nor is it the fault of dandruff or air pollution, as some thought. Research points to heredity and hormones.

1950s: A New York doctor moves plugs of hair from a fecund area to a bald patch, where the hairs follow genetic orders: Sprout! Thus begins the era of hair transplantation.

1988: The FDA approves minoxidil, an ointment applied to the scalp to stop hair loss and stimulate growth. Dermatologists say two-thirds of balding patients see minimal to moderate improvement. Women reportedly get better results than men.

1990s: Hair in a Can hopes guys will pay to spray their scalp the color of remaining hair. Meanwhile, the stylish baldness of basketball star Michael Jordan launches a head-shaving craze.

1997: Finasteride, the first prescription pill for balding men, gets FDA OK. According to one study, the prostate-drug derivative offers a 75 percent chance of halting hair loss for men ages 18 to 40, but only a 37 percent chance of regrowth at the front of the scalp.

2007: The FDA approves the first device to combat baldness, a laser comb. In tests, 123 men used the light-emitting contraption three times a week. Nine out of ten reported fewer hairs lost; some saw new growth. Dermatologists weren't entirely skeptical. A rare side effect from laser hair removal is … hair growth!

"Windmills of Your Mind" singer Noel Harrison dies at 79

"Windmills of Your Mind" singer Noel Harrison dies at 79
"Windmills of Your Mind" singer Noel Harrison dies at 79, British singer and actor Noel Harrison, known for the Oscar-winning 1960s song "The Windmills of Your Mind", has died aged 79, his friends and family said on Tuesday.

Harrison was reported to have suffered a heart attack at his home in Devon in southwest England last Saturday after performing at the nearby village of Black Dog.

His co-star in the 1960s spy-fi TV series "The Girl From U.N.C.L.E", Stefanie Powers, announced his death on Twitter.

"Let us all light a candle to speed him on his way - he deserves to fly with the angels," she wrote.

Harrison, the son of the six-times-married movie star Rex Harrison, was born in London, raised in Cornwall in southwest England, and lived in Switzerland, the United States and Canada.

He developed a passion for skiing and competed for Britain in the giant slalom in two Olympic games in the 1950s.

In the 1960s he moved to the United States where he had chart hits with "A Young Girl" by Charles Aznavour and "Suzanne" by Leonard Cohen.

"I was part of the 'British Invasion' spearheaded by The Beatles. I bought a nice house in Los Angeles," Harrison wrote on his website.

His best known work, "The Windmills Of Your Mind", won the Academy Award for best original song of 1968. It was the theme to the movie "The Thomas Crown Affair".

"People love that song, and it's great to have a classic like that on my books," Harrison said in his final interview with the magazine Devon Life a few weeks before his death.

But Harrison, who married three times and has five children, said he never enjoyed celebrity life and headed to Canada in the 1970s for a life on the land where he quickly became broke.

He moved back to Los Angeles in the 1980s where he was greeted with "great disinterest", he said, and his second marriage failed. But he stayed, working in construction, performing some live gigs and met his third wife, Lori Chapman, a former fashion stylist.

The couple moved to England about a decade ago where they settled in a two-bedroom terraced house.

Casey Anthony, Texas Group Reach Settlement

Casey Anthony, Texas Group Reach Settlement
Casey Anthony, Texas Group Reach Settlement, Casey Anthony has reached a settlement in her bankruptcy case with a Texas search group that helped look for her missing 2-year-old daughter.

Texas Equusearch Mounted Search and Recovery will be allowed to have an unsecured claim of $75,000 in Anthony's bankruptcy case under the terms of the settlement filed late last week in federal bankruptcy court in Tampa.

The search group won't be entitled to any other claims and won't be allowed any further dealings in the case.

The group had objected to the bankruptcy, claiming it spent more than $100,000 searching for the girl in 2008. Attorneys for the group said Anthony knew her daughter was already dead.

Anthony was acquitted of murder in the death. She filed for bankruptcy in January.

Arnold Schwarzenegger delivers fans’ favorite quotes for Reddit to promote ‘Escape Plan’

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger delivers fans’ favorite quotes for Reddit to promote ‘Escape Plan, ‘It’s not a tumor!’ Arnold Schwarzenegger re-enacts his most famous lines in a series of YouTube videos.
The most quotable action star in Hollywood history delivered a few of his famous one-liners just for fans this weekend.

Arnold Schwarzenegger opened the floor to Reddit users Friday to send along their favorite bits of dialogue in a bid to promote his new action flick, “Escape Plan,” which hit theaters that same day.

Requests came pouring in, spanning a dozen different movies over the Hollywood icon’s long career. Most were from his best-known hits, including the original “Terminator,” “Kindergarten Cop” and “Predator.” But there were others from classics such as “Total Recall” and “Conan the Barbarian.”

In the end, Schwarzenegger was able to offer up only a few notable recitations via YouTube.Arnold Schwarzenegger delivers one of his famed lines from ‘Predator’ in front of a burning field.

The first video includes quotes from his new movie, in which he stars opposite fellow action icon Sylvester Stallone.
It was followed by a line from his infamous Christmas comedy, “Jingle All The Way.” Notable lines from “Conan the Barbarian” and “The Running Man” followed.

Kindergarten Cop” got dual treatment. One video focused on the famed “It’s not a tumor!” exclamation, while the other centered on Schwarzenegger’s probing question to his young students: “Who is your daddy, and what does he do?”
The last video pulled from his 1987 sci-fi classic, “Predator.” He then posted a final video thanking everyone for participating, leaving them with his single most famous bit of dialogue as he promised he’ll “be back.”

It’s not clear where he captured the videos. The location on each appeared to change. The “Predator” video was shot in front of a burning field, another outside his trailer and the last on an airplane.



Jake Gyllenhaal explains dramatic weight loss for ‘Nightcrawler’: ‘I was always a bit hungry’

Jake Gyllenhaal
Jake Gyllenhaal explains dramatic weight loss for ‘Nightcrawler’: ‘I was always a bit hungry, Gyllenhaal plays a video news journalist in ‘Nightcrawler,’ which he’s also co-producing.

Jake Gyllenhaal is a prisoner to his art.

The 32-year-old actor dramatically changed his appearance by dropping a significant amount of weight for his role in “Nightcrawler,” reports Us Weekly.

“I knew that [Lou] was literally and figuratively hungry,” he said of his character, a freelance crime reporter who discovers a dark underground world in Los Angeles.

“It takes place in a land where I think there is a desert in a lot of ways, great opulence, and at the same time, great vastness and emptiness,” he said of the film’s scenery.

Noticeably gaunt, Jake Gyllenhaal arrives at the 17th annual Hollywood Film Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Monday in Beverly Hills, Calif.

The “Prisoner” actor showed up to the 17th Annual Hollywood Film Awards on Monday with his shocking new look. He appeared bony with protruding cheekbones.

In order to truly relate to his part, Gyllenhaal said, he stayed in a “mode where I was always a bit hungry.”Other Hollywood heavy weights who have shed several pounds for roles include Christian Bale in 2004’s

“The Machinist,” for which he lost 65 pounds in order to portray an insomniac industrial worker, and “Magic Mike’s” Matthew McConaughey, who grinded down his physique by 50 pounds for “Dallas Buyers Club” to play a HIV-positive man.

“I play a lot of intense characters, and going the other way can help,” Gyllenhaal said in the November issue of GQ Australia about rocking out to pop music in order to transition between roles.

Gyllenhaal with his standard, heavier appearance in June at the Tony Awards in New York City.

“Sometimes if you listen to something that’s the complete opposite of the feeling you’re having, you can dive even deeper,” he added.

Gyllenhaal’s recent shift for the Tony Gilroy-directed thriller is momentary, as the actor admits to his love affair with various cuisines.

“I’m obsessed with food,” he told the Aussie mag. “I love eating in general, but if I’m somewhere on location, I tend to find one restaurant and weirdly will eat one or two things that I love. Then I’ll know I’m going there at the end of the day to eat that thing.”

But food aside, Gyllenhaal’s new gaunt appearance is surely his way of staying focused on the character he’s tasked to portray in the film he’s also co-producing.

“I think [I’ve lost] probably a little over 20 pounds, something like that,” he told People. “Who’s to say what the process is? I have a strange one … but I love what I do.”

One-armed basketball star Zach Hodskins headed to Florida to play for Billy Donovan

One-armed basketball star
One-armed basketball star Zach Hodskins headed to Florida to play for Billy Donovan, Zach Hodskins is an inspiration and incredible basketball talent. He commits to the University of Florida and hopes to earn playing time for Billy Donovan's Gators.

Zach Hodskins, the Georgia high school baseketball star born without the lower half of his left arm, has verbally committed to the University of Florida, ESPN reports.

Hodskins, a 6-4, 200-pound guard who tore up the AAU circuit this summer, will be a preferred walk on for the Gators, not a scholarship player.

"It's always been my dream growing up," Hodskins told ESPN. "I never expected it to be like this, but the hard work has paid off. I'm ecstatic I'm going to be a Florida Gator."

Hodskins' story of overcoming adversity has inspired the likes of Clippers guard JJ Redick and even singer Beyonce. But the talented playmaker is looking to be more than just a feel-good story, he says.

"I'm coming on as a preferred walk-on, but I'll be treated like every other player," Hodskins said to ESPN. "If I work hard, Coach Donovan told me I'll have a chance to play."



Iraq veteran's SpongeBob SquarePants headstone removed from cemetery

Iraq veteran's SpongeBob SquarePants headstone removed from cemetery
Iraq veteran's SpongeBob SquarePants headstone removed from cemetery, An Iraq war veteran's towering SpongeBob SquarePants headstone has been removed from her grave because officials at the historic Cincinnati cemetery deemed it inappropriate.

The headstone of Kimberly Walker, 28, was made in the likeness of her favourite cartoon character and erected at Spring Grove Cemetery on 10 October, almost eight months after her body was found in a Colorado hotel room.

Despite getting the cemetery's prior approval of the headstone's design – a smiling SpongeBob in an army uniform, with Walker's name and rank – her family said on Monday that cemetery staff called them the day after it was installed to say it would have to come down.

The 2 metre-high (7ft) headstone, along with a near-exact duplicate erected for Walker's living twin sister, have been removed and will not be allowed back up, the cemetery president, Gary Freytag, said.

"We've decided that they aren't appropriate for our historic cemetery and they can't be displayed here," Freytag said, adding that the employee who approved the headstones made an inexplicable error in judgment, given the cemetery's traditional, stately appearance.

He acknowledged the cemetery is at fault and that staff members would be meeting Walker's family on Tuesday to try to find a solution, which could include a more traditional gravestone bearing a small likeness of the character.

Freytag also said Spring Grove is prepared to reimburse the family for each headstone, which cost a combined $26,000 (£16,000), and pay for new ones.

"I feel terrible that it got to this point but I'm hoping we can come out at the other end of the tunnel with a solution," he said.

Walker was a US army corporal assigned to the 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion and served two tours of Iraq in 2006 and 2010 as a petroleum supply specialist, her family said.

Walker was found dead in a hotel room in Colorado Springs on Valentine's Day this year, strangled and beaten to death. Her boyfriend, an army sergeant stationed nearby, has been arrested and charged with her killing.

Walker's twin sister, Kara Walker, said the family is beyond distraught. A lot of thought went into the gravestones, which she said were chosen because her sister loved SpongeBob, covering her bedroom with the cartoon character's decorations.

"It is frustrating that you entrust a cemetery to have your best interest at heart and accommodate you and your family at a hard time … and because they don't like it they're going to take it down," said Kara Walker, 29, an information technician for the US navy stationed in Italy.

"My sister served our country and most people try to accommodate veterans and try to take care of them," she said. "For them not to accommodate and respect what my sister sacrificed, not only for my family, but for everyone else in this country, really bothers me."

She said the only way the cemetery can make it up to the family, which she said pre-paid for six plots for $29,000, is to put the headstones back. "They already brought enough grief and pain to the family," she said. "We want what we paid for and what I know my sister would have wanted."

Melissa Rycroft Expecting Second Child

Melissa Rycroft Expecting Second Child
Melissa Rycroft Expecting Second Child, The Bachelor alum, 30, and her husband Tye Strickland are expecting their second child together, she announced Tuesday on Twitter.

“Clearly excited to share our big news!!! A new little Strickland will debut this fall!” Rycroft wrote, only to quickly correct herself with a new Tweet. “Oops … clearly not due this FALL! I meant SPRING. (Pregnancy brain at work!).”

The couple — who wed in 2009 — are already parents to 2½-year-old daughter Ava Grace.

“Sooo … It’s official, the Strickland Family is growing by one next Spring! Ava is so excited to be promoted to Big Sister! We are so excited for our new little addition!” Rycroft wrote on Facebook.

“I totally got lucky in the husband department. I’ve heard the rumors … when the baby comes it [ends up] being 90 percent the woman’s responsibility,” Rycroft has said.

“Tye’s there in the middle of the night to get up with Ava and is there when I just need a five-minute break. There is definitely that bond.”

Kim kardashian engagement ring

Kim kardashian engagement ring
Kim kardashian engagement ring, Kim Kardashian's engagement ring from Kanye West is a whopping 15 carats, but that seemingly pales in comparison to the reality star's impressive engagement ring from ex-husband Kris Humphries.

The "Yeezus" rapper popped the question to the reality star Monday — her 33rd birthday — at  AT&T Park in San Francisco with the help of a 50-piece orchestra, family, friends and the glowing 15-carat diamond engagement ring.

"Last night was truly magical!!! I am the luckiest girl in the world!" Kardashian told E! News. "I get to marry my best friend!"

Kardashian eagerly posted a picture of her latest public display of wealth sitting on her finger. She gave it a simple caption that read "YES!!!" and showcased West's illuminated "PLEEESE MARRY MEEE!!!" on a scoreboard shining in the background.

The couple have been good friends since 2007, began dating in August 2012 and has gushed over each other in the media quite a bit.

But no ordinary engagement ring would do for the voluptuous reality-TV maven — who will be saying "I Do" for the third time — especially when her previous show-stopping sparkler got so much attention. This time around it would appear that her man was going for quality rather than quantity. (Though he didn't balk at quantity all that much either....)

The sparkler was designed by the budding fashion designer and Kardashian family jeweler Lorraine Schwartz, E! News reports, and is reportedly top of the line.

"The ring is flawless. Not just internally flawless, it's flawless. It's a D-stone, the best diamond there is, type 2A," a rep for the designer told E!. "It's a perfect cushion-cut diamond."

And of course, the Grammy-winning visual and recording artist had to have a say in the creation of the glittering confection.

"Kanye was involved in every single way. He had a vision from the beginning. He looked at a lot of stones, and he wanted only the best," the rep said.

"He and Lorraine emailed back and forth and stayed up nights discussing how he wanted it to be. He wanted the diamond to look like it was floating on air. Everything was his idea from beginning to end."

The site had a jewelry expert estimate the ring's worth at somewhere above $3 million, which makes her ring from Humphries, estimated recently to be worth about $2 million, seem like a mere trinket.

What's interesting is that the designer also created her previous ring from the basketball player, which weighed in at 19.8 carats, with its 16.2-carat center rock stealing the spotlight. Meaning, all of West's carats probably could have fit inside the center stone of her old ring, which her ex had designed after a replica of a ring Kardashian had coveted at a young age. (FYI: Original stories about her Humphries ring said it clocked in at 20.5 carats, comprising a 16.5-carat center stone and two 2-carat side stones.)

That's the same old bauble that fetched $749,000 at a Christie's New York Magnificent Jewels auction on Oct. 15, so it's not like it's chump change or anything.

But not all diamond promises last forever, as witnessed by the dissolution of her marriage after 72 days hitched to the basketball player. The former sex-tape star and Humphries infamously split in October 2011, with the proceedings lasting much longer than their short-lived union. The pair finalized the split early in June, just in time for the arrival of Kardashian and West's baby girl, North, on June 15.

However, Kardashian's family hasn't had the best track record with wedded bliss: Her mom, Kris Jenner, who first divorced Robert Kardashian, now deceased, announced this month that she and her second husband, Olympian Bruce Jenner, were separating after 22 years of marriage. Younger sister Khloe Kardashian has been in the news quite a bit lately because of her rumored marital woes with basketball player Lamar Odom. And Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick haven't deigned to tie the knot, despite having two kids.

So pardon us if we're still holding our breath about this particular union. Though we can imagine it's hard to say no to a sparkler of that stature...