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  • Ohio man who harassed disabled kids to tote 'BULLY!' sign - judge

    Reuters - Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    By Kim Palmer CLEVELAND (Reuters) - An Ohio man who called his neighbour "Monkey Mama" as she held her adopted, disabled African-American children, and has smeared dog faeces on their wheelchair ramp, was ordered by a judge to carry an "I AM A BULLY!" sign on a busy street this weekend. Edmond Aviv, 62, who was accused of harassing his neighbour in the Cleveland suburb of South Euclid for more than a decade, pleaded no contest to fourth-degree disorderly conduct in March. Meting out his punishment, South Euclid Municipal Court Judge Gayle Williams-Byers sentenced Aviv to spend Sunday, April 13, on a heavily trafficked intersection with the placard, which must be "large enough for a normal person to see the sign from 25 feet away." The judge also sentenced Aviv to 15 days in jail, seven months' probation, 100 hours of community service, anger management classes and mental-health counselling, according to court records. Finally, he must publish in a local newspaper a letter of apology to Sandra Prugh, his neighbour of 15 years, the documents show. More »Ohio man who harassed disabled kids to tote 'BULLY!' sign - judge

  • West Germany's Cold War ransoming of prisoners encouraged fraud - research

    Reuters - Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    By Monica Raymunt BERLIN (Reuters) - Former West Germany's decision to buy the freedom of political prisoners in the communist East during the early years of the Cold War may have encouraged fake ransoms demands and more arrests, according to new research. Between 1963 and 1989, West Germany paid to free more than 33,000 political prisoners from the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in exchange for around 3 billion deutsche marks' worth of goods that the East badly needed such as food and petroleum. But the ransom payments did not have the humanitarian effect the West had hoped, especially in the early years, author Jan Philipp Woelbern told Reuters in a telephone interview on Thursday. "On the one hand, of course the West Germans helped those prisoners," said Woelbern, who has just published a book on "Human trafficking or humanitarian actions? More »West Germany's Cold War ransoming of prisoners encouraged fraud - research

  • New Scrabble word - geocache - first ever chosen by gamers

    Reuters - Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    By Fausto Giovanny Pinto WARWICK, Rhode Island (Reuters) - There's a new word in play on the Scrabble game board: geocache. The word, a verb meaning to track down items as part of a game using a Global Positioning System device, beat out 15 other nominated words in an online fan vote to select the newest addition to The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary. It's the first change in nearly a decade to the beloved board game in which players build words - and earn points - using alphabet letter tiles, said Hasbro, the Pawtucket, Rhode Island, maker of Scrabble. "Scrabble fans are passionate about the words they get to play in the game, so we were thrilled to get them involved in selecting a new word," Jonathan Berkowitz, Hasbro's vice president of marketing, said on Thursday. More »New Scrabble word - geocache - first ever chosen by gamers

  • Father of Michigan sextuplets dies at 39

    Reuters - Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    The father of Michigan sextuplets whose birth made headlines 10 years ago died of a heart attack after setting up a backyard trampoline, a relative said on Thursday. Ben Van Houten suffered a heart attack on Wednesday night in back of the family's home in Hamilton, Michigan, about 90 miles (144 km) west of Lansing, his father-in-law Calvin Reimink said. Van Houten died in the hospital, he said. "He thought the sun rose and set on those kids," said Reimink, whose daughter, Amy, was married to Van Houten. More »Father of Michigan sextuplets dies at 39

  • Peter Gabriel, Kiss lead new class into Rock Hall

    Associated Press - Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Kiss, thumbing their noses at critics who disdained them, entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Thursday in a class that included Nirvana, Peter Gabriel, Hall & Oates, Cat Stevens, Linda Ronstadt and Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band. More »Peter Gabriel, Kiss lead new class into Rock Hall

  • Pulitzer-winning Pollock biographer Smith dies

    Associated Press - Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    AIKEN, S.C. (AP) — The co-author of a Pulitzer Prize winning biography of the artist Jackson Pollock has died. More »Pulitzer-winning Pollock biographer Smith dies

  • 'Juno,' 'Crucible' in Dowling's last Guthrie year

    Associated Press - Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — After running the renowned Guthrie Theater for 20 years, Joe Dowling plans to revive some of his favorite plays, stage new works and produce a classic American musical as part of his final season, the theater announced Thursday. More »'Juno,' 'Crucible' in Dowling's last Guthrie year

  • Peter Gabriel leads new class into Rock Hall

    Associated Press - Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — British rocker Peter Gabriel is leading the 2014 class into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his work as a solo artist. More »Peter Gabriel leads new class into Rock Hall

  • Stephen Colbert to replace Letterman on late show

    Associated Press - Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — CBS moved swiftly Thursday to replace the retiring David Letterman with Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert, who will take over the "Late Show" next year and do battle with Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel for late-night television supremacy. More »Stephen Colbert to replace Letterman on late show

  • Jim Flaherty dies soon after quitting as Canada's finance minister

    Reuters - Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    By Randall Palmer OTTAWA (Reuters) - Former Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, who steered Canada through the global financial crisis and then nearly eliminated the huge budget deficits he had run up in the process, died on Thursday just weeks after resigning. An unnamed source close to the family told CBC television that Flaherty had suffered a massive heart attack. Canada's federal and provincial legislatures, where Flaherty had served, suspended their sessions. "Today is a very sad day for me, for our government and for all of our country," Prime Minister Stephen Harper, his voice quaking, said of the friend who had stood at his side since the Conservatives took power in 2006. More »Jim Flaherty dies soon after quitting as Canada's finance minister

  • Sans persona, new kind of Colbert steps up to CBS 'Late Show'

    Reuters - Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    By Eric Kelsey LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A new kind of Stephen Colbert will be coming to late-night network television as he succeeds CBS's "Late Show" host David Letterman next year, capping the generational shift in late-night TV's landscape across U.S. networks eager to attract younger viewers and online followings. Colbert, 49, who made his mark satirizing political conservatives on his Comedy Central weeknight cable show "The Colbert Report," said on Thursday he would drop his known persona of a dim-witted, big-egoed conservative pundit. I'm looking forward to it," Colbert said in a statement. There is a measure of risk in abandoning a groundbreaking formula for the comedian whose Emmy-winning show has attracted a strong audience among young viewers, a coveted group that CBS is surely eyeing with its choice of Colbert. More »Sans persona, new kind of Colbert steps up to CBS 'Late Show'

  • Universal bets on moneymaking Minions in LA theme park refresh

    Reuters - Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    By Piya Sinha-Roy UNIVERSAL CITY, California (Reuters) - The adorable yellow goggle-wearing Minions of "Despicable Me" are not just taking over the Universal Studios theme park in Hollywood, they're ringing in a revamp of the film-themed park as it takes on competing resorts with blockbuster rides. "Despicable Me Minion Mayhem," which officially opens on Saturday at the Hollywood adventure park, brings to life the animated world of "Despicable Me," with both an indoor ride and an outdoor playground, both featuring detailed settings from the films. Chris Meledandri, the producer behind the "Despicable Me' franchise who showed Universal how to make big animated films with more modest budgets, said he wanted the ride to be "true to the movies themselves." "It was very important for us to have tremendous animation and the same kind of wit and irreverence," said Meledandri, who makes the films through his company Illumination Entertainment. "Despicable Me," released in 2010, is the story of evil mastermind Gru, voiced by Steve Carell, who adopts orphaned sisters Margot, Edith and Agnes as part of his scheme to steal the moon and become the world's most evil villain. More »Universal bets on moneymaking Minions in LA theme park refresh

  • Crocodile caught wandering around California mall

    Associated Press - Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    ROSEVILLE, Calif. (AP) — Don't shed any tears for a crocodile that was captured wandering outside a pet store at a Northern California shopping mall. More »Crocodile caught wandering around California mall

  • Police investigating NFL quarterback Kaepernick after complaint by woman

    Reuters - Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    By Zachary Fagenson MIAMI, April 10 (Reuters) - Miami police said on Thursday that they are investigating San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick after a woman filed a police report claiming that she had drinks with him and two other football players and awoke in a hospital with no memory of the night. According to the police report obtained by Reuters, the woman told police that on April 1 she went to the apartment of Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette at the Viceroy Hotel in downtown Miami. Kaepernick and San Francisco 49er wide receiver Quinton Patton were also present, according to the police report filed April 3. More »Police investigating NFL quarterback Kaepernick after complaint by woman

  • Crocodile caught at California shopping center

    Associated Press - Thu, Apr 10, 2014

    ROSEVILLE, Calif. (AP) — After a while a crocodile has been turned over to officials who are pondering where to send the reptile a day after it was captured roaming around a Northern California shopping center. More »Crocodile caught at California shopping center

  • Organizers back out of Evel Knievel festival

    Associated Press - Thu, Apr 10, 2014

    BUTTE, Mont. (AP) — A struggle for control over a festival that draws thousands of stuntmen, wannabes and fans paying homage to Evel Knievel in his Montana hometown has led organizers to turn over the event to the famous daredevil's family. More »Organizers back out of Evel Knievel festival

  • Who else was worthy of 'Late Show' prize?

    Associated Press - Thu, Apr 10, 2014

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Congratulations, Stephen Colbert, on winning CBS' "Late Show" gig. You're brilliantly funny, you've proven yourself in the Comedy Central farm leagues, and odds are you will be a worthy successor to David Letterman. More »Who else was worthy of 'Late Show' prize?

  • Date set for New Mexico dig for Atari 'E.T.' games

    Associated Press - Thu, Apr 10, 2014

    ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) — Organizers of a search in a New Mexico landfill for a rumored stash of what some call the worst video game ever made by Atari announced Thursday that the dig will get underway this month. More »Date set for New Mexico dig for Atari 'E.T.' games

  • Snapping Up A Bargain? Crocodile Roams Mall

    Sky News - Thu, Apr 10, 2014

    Shoppers at a mall in California were given a shock when a 4ft-long crocodile was spotted wandering around. Police in Roseville, a Sacramento suburb, captured the animal near a T.J. Maxx store after it escaped from a box left in front of a reptile shop called The Serpentarium. Employee Abigail Kessler told the television channel News 10: "It got out. The box had a sign saying "Nile Crocodile. More »Snapping Up A Bargain? Crocodile Roams Mall

  • No findings released on death of Ultimate Warrior

    Associated Press - Thu, Apr 10, 2014

    PHOENIX (AP) — Authorities in Phoenix don't expect to release any results just yet from an autopsy on the body of former pro wrestler The Ultimate Warrior. More »No findings released on death of Ultimate Warrior

  • Prosecutor tells Pistorius: 'Your version is a lie'

    Reuters - Thu, Apr 10, 2014

    By Ed Cropley PRETORIA (Reuters) - A South African prosecutor accused Oscar Pistorius on Thursday of lying and altering his story when the Olympic and Paralympic athlete described the night he shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day last year. The double amputee sprinter, once revered across the world for his triumph over physical adversity, faces life in prison if convicted in the Pretoria High Court of the murder of Steenkamp, a 29-year-old law graduate and model. Pistorius, known as 'Blade Runner' due to the prosthetics he wears on the track, says he shot Steenkamp in a tragic accident, firing at what he thought was an intruder hiding behind a toilet door in his luxury Pretoria home on February 14 last year. Prosecutor Gerrie Nel, whose reputation as one of South Africa's toughest attorneys has earned him the nickname 'The Pitbull', cross-examined Pistorius while looking through photographs of the couple's bedroom taken after the shooting. More »Prosecutor tells Pistorius: 'Your version is a lie'

  • Tyler, Perry's new 'Dream On' for marathon victims

    Associated Press - Thu, Apr 10, 2014

    BOSTON (AP) — Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry have recorded a new arrangement of "Dream On" to honor victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. More »Tyler, Perry's new 'Dream On' for marathon victims

  • CNN replacing Morgan with specials

    Associated Press - Thu, Apr 10, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — CNN is abandoning the talk show that anchored its prime-time schedule for three decades with Larry King and Piers Morgan in favor of several documentarylike series with personalities like Anthony Bourdain, Mike Rowe and John Walsh. More »CNN replacing Morgan with specials

  • Mariners boost anti-bullying campaign ad for kids

    Associated Press - Thu, Apr 10, 2014

    SEATTLE (AP) — A group of students helping make an anti-bullying video at Safeco Field on Thursday were surprised by Mariners ace pitcher Felix Hernandez and Seattle rapper Macklemore. More »Mariners boost anti-bullying campaign ad for kids

  • Washington state sewage plant invites weddings

    Associated Press - Thu, Apr 10, 2014

    WOODINVILLE, Wash. (AP) — A sewage treatment plant near Seattle is advertising its availability as a wedding venue. More »Washington state sewage plant invites weddings

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