Sunday, March 29, 2009

New Animated Disney Movie Causes Uproar

New Animated Disney Movie Causes Uproar:
Though the Company Made Strides by Creating First Black Princess, Other Issues Causing Controversy

Written by: Karen Benardello

The Disney company took an historic step in 2006 when it finally decided to include an African American pricess with its other animated royals. (The company has representation from every other race, including Jasmine, Pocahontas and Snow White.)

By December, Disney will release 'The Princess and the Frog,' which is set in New Orleans and will feature the voice of actress Anika Noni Rose, who will portray Princess Tiana. Oprah Winfrey will voice Eudora, Tiana's mother.

While the company is being praised for finally including an African American pricess, Disney is receiving criticism over the fact that her prince isn't black. Princess Tiana's prince, Naveen of Maldonia who is voiced by a Brazilian actor, only sports tan skin.

The prince's skin color isn't the only thing in the movie causing uproar. Originally, people became offended that the princess was first named Maddy, who was a maid for a white family during the 1920s in New Orleans. So Disney changed Maddy to Tiana, a more African American name. The movie's location of New Orleans even caused outrage, as the city is famous for slavery and voodoo.

However, Rose doesn't seem offended. "It's great and wonderful, and bigger even is being the first American princess," the Tony Award-winner told Black Voices. "They have chosen to give the world an American princess who looks like me. I really can't think of anything else that would be more exciting," she added.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Charlie Sheen, Wife Have Twin Boys

Actor Charlie Sheen, Wife Brooke Mueller Sheen Have Twin Boys

Written by: Karen Benardello

Bob and Max Sheen are the newest Hollywood baby additions, as "Two and a Half Men" star Charlie Sheen's wife Brooke Mueller Sheen went into labor on Saturday night in Los Angeles.

Though the actor's publicist said the twins weren't due for another few weeks, they're still doing great. Sheen is reportedly ecstatic about the birth of his children with his wife, whome he married last May.

Sheen already has experience with children, as he has two daughters, Sam, 4, and Lola, 3, with ex-wife/actress Denise Richards, and 24-year-old Cassandra from a previous marriage.

Mueller Sheen, 31, had a false alarm last month when she was hospitalized with early contractions. However, she was released soon after.

Levi Johnston Opens Up About Split from Bristol Palin

Levi Johnston Opens Up About Split from Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's daughter Bristol

Written by: Karen Benardello

Levi Johnston, the former fiance of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's daughter Bristol and the father of her infant son Tripp, told ABC's "Good Morning America" this morning that he hopes he can reconcile with Bristol at some point.

Johnston, 19, and Bristol, 18, ended their engagement, saying it would be better if they separated for a while, after Tripp was born on Dec. 27. Johnston said he feels they need time to grow up before going through with the marriage, but also said that "I'd like to get back together with her. I don't know what she's thinking."

But Johnston said they are civil, for the most part, when they speak, and as for the future, "Whatever happens, happens." He also said that he sees Tripp whenever he wans.

Gov. Paterson Accepts Post's Apology for Cartoon

NY Gov. David A. Paterson Accepts Post's Apology for Cartoon

Written by: Karen Benardello

New York Gov. David A. Paterson has accepted the New York Post's apology for the cartoon it published, in which many saw as racist and portraying President Barack Obama as a chimpanzee.

However, the governor called for a discussion about satire of public officials. "It might be a time to open up a dialogue on just where that line is, where good clean fun and degradation are," Paterson told reporters in Manhattan.

The governor also disagreed with the Rev. Al Sharpton, state senators and other African-American leaders who have called for boycotting the paper. Paterson called the Post's apology "very honorable...At this time when tensions are running high, with the economy down and also even the media outlets having to lay off people, it is an act of sensitivity."

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mandy Moore, Ryan Adams Secretly Marry

Singers Mandy Moore, Ryan Adams Secretly Marry in Private Ceremony

Written by: Karen Benardello

Singers Mandy Moore and Ryan Adams secretly married on Tuesday in a private ceremony in Savannah, Georgia, her rep told PEOPLE Magazine. This is the first marriage for both.

The pair was able to pull off the secret ceremony because they weren’t recognized when they applied for their marriage license earlier in the afternoon. Also, they both kept the rekindling of their courtship secret from the public after breaking up last July. The two ended their relationship after a few months because Adams was uncomfortable with all the paparazzi attention she received, but recently got back together.

While Adams likes to keep his personal life private, Moore has been romantically linked to numerous stars, including actors Zach Braff and Wilmor Valderama and tennis player Andy Rodick. She also briefly romantically reunited with DJ AM, aka Adam Goldstein, and helped him recover from his September plane crash. The two broke up again in December.

In the April issue of Marie Claire magazine, Moore seems like she’s truly happy with Adams, saying: “I’m in awe of him: his brain, his passion. He’s truly one of a kind.” Adams also seems genuinely happy with her, as he told OK! Magazine when they broke up that: “Mandy is one of those genuinely sweet angelic people you wish to meet your whole life.”

Geri Halliwell Calls Off Engagement

Former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell Calls Off Whirl-wind Engagement

Written by: Karen Benardello

Former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell’s personal life has made headlines yet again: Britain’s The Sun is reporting that she has broken off her engagement to Italian yacht tycoon Fabrizio Politi, because she said she realized she “isn’t the marrying type.”

The report is also saying that the singer loved being in a relationship, but decided that her daughter Bluebell Madonna was the only person that truly makes her happy. Her friends are not surprised, the tabloid also states, as she has a track record of having multiple short-term relationships.

Though the couple was only engaged for less than three months, and Politi proposed a mere two weeks after they met in December at a Florence nightclub, he is reportedly upset over the break-up, but respects Halliwell’s decision. The report comes after Halliwell publicly proclaimed Politi is “the one” and introduced him to Bluebell.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

NASA and Goggle Earth Teaming Up To Release Goggle Mars 3D

NASA and Goggle Earth Teaming Up To Release Goggle Mars 3D; Users Will Be Given a High Resolution, 3D View of the Red Planet

Written by: Karen Benardello

In conjunction with Goggle, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced on Monday, February 2 that it is releasing a new Mars mode on Goggle Earth. The virtual globe, map and geographic information website will offer a high-resolution, three-dimensional view of the Red Planet.

This immersive 3D view of Mars, which will unsurprisingly be called Goggle Mars 3D, will not only aid the public’s understanding of the planet’s scientific studies, but will also provide researchers a platform for sharing data, much like Goggle Earth does for scientists studying Earth.

Goggle Mars 3D will not only allow users to virtually fly through the planet’s enormous canyons, but also let them scale the huge Martian mountains that are much larger than any found on Earth. People will also be given a unique perspective of the planet by being able to explore the latest satellite imagery through the eyes of Mars’ rovers and missions, including the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

The website will also allow users to learn about new discoveries and explore the indexes of the Red Planet’s available imagery. The new Mars mode will also let users add their own 3D content to the planet’s map.

This new Mars mode is the latest collaboration to arise from the Space Act Agreement, which NASA's Ames Research Center entered into with Google in November 2006. Under the agreement’s terms, NASA and Google decided to collaborate, in order to make NASA's data sets available to the world.

This 3D addition to Goggle is a great idea, as it will get people interested in science again. With the ever increasing popularity in 3D movies, NASA undoubtingly decided to jump in on the trend to spike public interest in Mars. With all the new developments in the Mars’ chemistry and science, people should become interested in, and understand, what’s going on in their neighboring planet; providing real-life images will help people do so. Plus, the added bonus of Goggle Mars 3D is that scientists will be able to study the Red Planet from the comfort of their own homes or labs.

Phoenix Mars Lander to be Honored With 2009 John L. “Jack” Swigert Award

Phoenix Mars Lander to be Honored With 2009 John L. “Jack” Swigert Award for Space Exploration

Written by: Karen Benardello

To pay tribute to the team working with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Phoenix Mars Lander mission spacecraft, which has confirmed the presence of frozen water, potential nutrients and other substances in the soil and observed snow in the atmosphere on the Red Planet, the Space Foundation will honor the team with the 2009 John L. “Jack” Swigert Award for Space Exploration.

On February 19, the foundation announced that it will present the award to the Lander team at the 25th National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado on March 30 “in recognition of the technical developments that led to one of the most startling and meaningful discoveries of the new millennium.” In addition to acknowledging the outcome of the Lander mission, the award also recognizes the management of the program.

“The (Phoenix Mars) Lander’s confirmation of water on the Red Planet is one of the most important discoveries of our time,” the foundation’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Elliott Pulham, said in a news release. “The exploratory spirit of (Jack) Swigert is evident in the winning team’s ceaseless and well-choreographed pursuit of this noble goal.”

The team that designed, developed, landed and operated the Lander included NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory; Lockheed Martin Space Systems; the Canadian Space Agency; the University of Neuchatel, Switzerland; the universities of Copenhagen and Aarhus, Denmark; Germany’s Max Planck Institute; and the Finnish Meteorological Institute.

The annual award honors the memory of Swigert, who served as the command module pilot on the 1970 manned lunar-landing mission crew on Apollo 13. The crew was able to successfully return to Earth despite the fact that there was an electrical explosion that crippled the spacecraft.

The Lander became the sixth spacecraft to arrive successfully on Mars when it landed on May 25 last year. The Lander surpassed its original three-month mission, lasting five months in the Martian northern plains. While operating, the mission confirmed NASA’s ‘follow the water’ strategy for extraterrestrial exploration.

“It is a tremendous honor to win this award that honors a great American space hero who had a bold vision, but was given slim odds for success,” said Peter H. Smith of The University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, the principal investigator for the Lander Mission. What makes it even more noteworthy is the fact that it is the first mission to receive the award.

The foundation is an international nonprofit organization that was founded in 1983, a year after Swigert's death. It promotes such important space-related endeavors as the National Space Symposium, major industry events, and educational enterprises that bring space into classrooms. The foundation also conducts research, analysis and government affairs activities from its Washington, D.C. office.

Hopefully, the Lander will eventually be able to resume its efforts into looking for nutrients on our neighboring planet to prove that even basic life forms can live there. Now that the Space Foundation has officially recognized the importance of the Lander’s previous discoveries, nothing should stand in the way of the spacecraft looking further into Mars’ atmosphere and soil.

Identity of Suspect in Australian Wildfires Not Released

Identity of Suspect in Australian Wildfires Surrounded by Smoke

Written by: Karen Benardello

Australian authorities arrested a man on Friday, Feb. 13 in connection with the deadly wildfires that raged through the southeastern section of the country’s Victoria state. The man, who was whisked into protective custody to guard him from public fury, was charged with one count of arson causing death and intentionally lighting a wildfire.

The fire was lit on Feb. 7 near the town of Chruchill, where at least 21 people died. This one fire sparked several hundred more fires, which in total left 7,000 people homeless and destroyed entire towns. Police are currently searching for more victims and are trying to identify the victims already found. After the search is complete, the final death tally is expected to exceed 200, with more than 1,800 homes and 1,500 square miles of forests and farms burned.

During a news conference, the Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner, Dannye Moloney, said the police department is keeping the identity of the suspect, who was brought to the state capital of Melbourne, secret for his own safety.

The Australian Broadcasting Corp., who, like all publications and broadcasters, is banned from running any identifying details or photographs of the suspect. The corporation did report that the suspect was formally charged in the town's magistrate’s court, but he did not appear in an effort to protect his safety. The report also stated that he was ordered to be held in custody and undergo psychiatric evaluation.

If found guilty, the man faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison for the deadly arson charge, and a maximum of 15 years on the second arson charge. He can receive these long sentences because police believe foul play was the cause of at least two of the deadly blazes, including the Churchill fire. But experts, including Thomas Fee, a former president of the Maryland-based International Association of Arson Investigators, say arson can be very hard to prove. Physical evidence usually goes up in smoke or is taken away by the arsonist(s).

Even more difficult to prove is murder by arson. One wildfire often sparks several others, making it tough to link a fire set by an arsonist with the blaze that eventually kills people, said Damon Muller, who has researched arsonists for the Australian Institute of Criminology.

In an effort to help the survivors, officials said the nation has pledged more than 75 million Australian dollars ($50 million USD) in donations to various charities. The government has also ordered that military bases be opened to house some of the homeless.

Officials partly blamed the high death toll on the number of people who waited until they saw the fast-moving blazes coming before trying to flee. The disaster increased the urgency for a nationwide fire warning system, which has been hasn’t been implemented in years because state and federal officials haven’t been able to agree on one system. Currently, the public is allowed to make their own decisions on when to flee areas stricken by wildfires.

While officials are right to withhold the suspect’s identify right now in an effort to insure he lives to make it to his trial, hopefully they will release his name to the public once the trial does start. The suspect should have to face the charges publicly, so he can either admit to the crime if he’s guilty, or fight the charges if he’s innocent. If he is guilty, he should be forced to face the country where he caused damage and harm to countless people, animals and acres of property.

Low-Cost Health Insurance Plans for Young Adults

No Need for Recent American College Graduates

To be Left Out in the Cold to Catch a Cold by Employers

With Help of Low-Cost Health Insurance Plans

Written by: Karen Benardello

While 19- to 29 year-old age group is one of the largest and fastest-growing populations in America, unfortunately it is also one of the largest groups in which the majority is not covered by health insurance. Luckily, several health insurance companies offer plans specifically tailored for young adults, based on their salaries.

Unmarried dependant children are often covered by their parents’ health insurance or by such government programs as Medicaid until they turn 19. Some health insurance policies, such as the Health Insurance Plan of New York (HIP), even cover full-time college students until they graduate. But once students graduate, they are left to find their own insurance plan, or go without it.

According to a new report from The Commonwealth Fund, the number young adults who are living without insurance hit 13.7 million in 2006; this means two out of every five recent college graduates are uninsured. This number can be reduced if graduates take the time to sort through the different plans offered and pick the best one suited for them.

College graduates all across the country are going without health insurance because their employers refuse to offer medical benefits, since health insurance premiums (the money that companies pay for coverage) have skyrocketed in the last five years. Unfortunately, employers aren’t likely to change their minds anytime soon, but there are state agencies that can help young Americans find the best insurance plan.

One such agency for Massachusetts residents is Commonwealth Connector, a group that helps residents compare health insurance plans and choose the best one, based on their income.

The agency has an appealing, specialized program for young adults between the ages of 18 and 25. This program allows young adults them to stay on their parents’ health insurance for two years after they are no longer claimed as a dependent on their taxes, as long as the parents have a Massachusetts-based health insurance plan. Young adults who make less than $31,000 a year can join, and will receive help paying for physician check-ups, prescriptions and vision and dental care.

A low-cost insurance plan that’s available to young Americans in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico is BlueCross BlueShield (BCBS). It offers several different plans, including a health maintenance organization (HMO), that share the cost of health care with their members, who pay a predetermined fee every month based on their salaries.

One attractive option for BCBS members is the Flexible Spending Accounts plan. With this option, members set up an account, and they determine how much money goes into it from each paycheck. Members pay for their medical care expenses with money from their accounts.

One state plan that residents of New York can apply for is Healthy NY; graduates are accepted as long as they meet the eligibility requirements. Such requirements include not being covered by any health insurance plan at all, or not having full, comprehensive coverage (e.g., only having coverage for doctors visits or hospital visits, but not both). Applicants must also submit proof of employment status and current income (the monthly maximum is $2,107, including all wages, salary, self-employment, interest and dividends, alimony, unemployment benefits and workers? compensation), as well as proof of residence. People interested in Healthy NY must also apply and be recertified every year.

On the other coast, young Americans can apply for one of the various plans offered by PacifiCare. With a variety of packages and price points, PacifiCare is attractive to a wide array of people.

One low-cost option PacifiCare offers is the Signature Value plan, in which members are a part of an HMO. This plan has contracted primary care physicians (PCP’s), in which patients pay a small co-payment, based on their salary, for every visit.

For people who want a larger option of which doctors they can visit, they can become a part of the Signature Freedom plan. Patients pay a small co-pay to visit one of PacifiCare’s contracted PCP’s, but if they wish to visit another doctor, they must pay the difference out-of-pocket.

Employers should pay for their employees’ health insurance as a basic courtesy for their work and contribution to the company, and the fact that being able to see a doctor is an essential human right. But companies are unfairly stopping this practice because it’s too expensive, and are therefore putting the burden of paying for health care onto the young Americans themselves. With the increase in the national unemployment rate, the decrease in the creation of new jobs, and banks not being able to afford to give loans, young adults are being forced to turn to the cheapest plans available. Luckily, there are financially-friendly plans available to recent college graduates in all 50 states.

Jon Stewart Criticizing CNBC Reporter for Backing Out of Scheduled Daily Show Appearance at Last Minute

Jon Stewart Following David Letterman's Lead, Criticizing Scheduled Guest for Backing Out at the Last Minute:
Stewart Upset at CNBC Reporter Rick Santelli for Cancelling

Written by: Karen Benardello

David Letterman isn’t the only late-night show publicly discussing his disappointment and anger over guests canceling at the last minute. Jon Stewart, the host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, brutally criticized CNBC reporter Rick Santelli for backing out from his scheduled appearance (on Wednesday, March 11) at the last minute.

Santelli shot to fame after millions of people watched an online video of him criticizing President Barack Obama’s housing plan, saying it is “promoting bad behavior” by rewarding people who might otherwise be foreclosed.

During a report at the Chicago Board of Trade on February 19, Santelli said: “This is America. How many of you people want to pay for your neighbor's mortgage that has an extra bathroom and can't pay their bills?” When the other attendees began booing, Santelli said: “President Obama, are you listening?”

But Santelli backed out of The Daily Show on Friday, March 6, with his CNBC spokesman Brian Steel saying that “we all made a decision it was just time to move on to the next story.” In response, the angered talk show host said “I guess the phrase would be bailed out.”

“How many people would have liked to see Rick Santelli on this program,” Stewart asked his audience, who responded with a cheer. “Are you listening? Are you listening, Rick Santelli?,” Stewart then said.

Stewart then began mocking CNBC even further by airing a selection of clips from personalities like Jim Cramer, who gave opinions and predictions about the economy that looked spectacularly ill-informed. “If I had only followed CNBC's advice, I’d have a million dollars today,” Stewart said, “provided I’d started with $100 million.”

In response to Stewart’s outburst, Steel said neither CNN executives nor Santelli would comment on the broadcast. But Santelli and CNBC only brought more attention to his self-described “rant” when he said he felt threatened after Robert Gibbs, President Obama’s spokesman, fought back. But when Matt Lauer, co-host of NBC’s The Today Show, interviewed Santelli on February 26, said “He wasn’t threatening you,” CNBC and Santelli decided it was time to move on.

American Idol Now Has 13 Contestants

New American Idol Surprise: Along With Extra Judge, Extra Contestant:
Reality Show Now Has 13 Contestants

Written by: Karen Benardello

American Idol host Simon Cowell, notoriously known for being the harshest judge on the competition show, actually provided some good news to contestant Anoop Desai. After announcing the three contestants who would round out the Top 12 during Thursday night’s wild card round, Cowell announced the show was proceeding with a previously un-announced 13th contestant.

The 22-year-old college student from Chapel Hill, N.C., who is a fan favorite, won the surprising 13th spot, as in past seasons, only 12 finalists were picked to move on (except for the first season, which only had 10). “We decided-recently-we’re going to make this a top 13,” Cowell revealed during Thursday’s show.

The other wild-card finalists included Jasmine Murray, a 16-year-old high school student from Starkville, Miss.; Megan Corkrey, a 22-year-old single mother from Sandy, Utah; and Matt Giraud, a 23-year-old piano player from Kalamazoo, Mich. The wild-cards were selected by the show’s four judges, as the contestants were previously overlooked by fans.

Desai, Murray, Corkrey and Giraud join the previously fan picked finalists Kris Allen, Danny Gokey, Alexis Grace, Allison Iraheta, Adam Lambert, Scott MacIntyre, Jorge Nunez, Lil Rounds and Michael Sarver. The Top 13 will start competing on Tuesday, with the first contestant being sent home on Wednesday.

Lauren "LC" Conrad Leaving The Hills

Reality Star Lauren "LC" Conrad Leaving The Hills (The TV Show, That Is)

Written by: Karen Benardello

MTV’s hit show The Hills will no longer be featuring the drama of breakout star Lauren Conrad, at least not after the fifth season. Liz Gately, one of the producers of the show, and confirmed that after the season premiere on March 30, Conrad will no longer be on the show.

Gately said that Conrad, who is pursuing a fashion career, wants to lead a more private life, and move onto the next stage in her life. The producer, who plans to give Conrad a big send-off, is currently deciding how to proceed with the show after Conrad leaves.

The Hills was originally conceived to showcase Conrad’s life, including relationship, friendship and career struggles after she left high school, when she was on the hit reality show Laguna Beach.

Jimmy Kimmel, Sarah Silverman Split Again

Comedian and Talk Show Couple Jimmy Kimmel, Sarah Silverman Split Again

Written by: Karen Benardello

Funny comedian and talk show host couple Sarah Silverman and Jimmy Kimmel have reportedly broken up for the second time in less than a year, according to

After six years of on-again, off-again dating, the website is reporting that Silverman initiated the split within the last two weeks, leaving Kimmel saddened. The couple, who split the first time in July and made headlines last year for Silverman’s hit video ‘I’m F**king Matt Damon’ and Kimmel’s response video ‘I’m F**king Ben Affleck,’ reconciled in October. PEOPLE Magazine is also reporting that “They’re taking it slow. They’re on the road back to being together.”

Kimmel, the host of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, met Silverman, the host of the Sarah Silverman Program, at a roast for Hugh Hefner. Kimmel was married for 14 years before he began dating Silverman, who has never been married.

"Do you wanna know a secret?"

This was just something I came up with quickly...

"Do you wanna know a secret?"

Do you wanna know a secret?

She walks into a room and you don’t even know her name
She catches your attention
It’s like no one else is in the room

The fascination with her is undeniable to you
But I don’t see her appeal
You’re drawn to her/her force pulls you in like a magnet

But do you wanna know a secret?

She can care less about you
You don’t even exist to her
She doesn’t know you’re alive,
So why does she have a hold on you?

You try to capture her attention
But you already have mine
What can she give you that I can’t?
I don’t understand the attraction

This is a one time shot with me
I’ll walk away forever/I won’t always be here
But I still don’t want you with her

‘Cause do you wanna know a secret?

She can care less about you
You don’t even exist to her
She doesn’t know you’re alive,
So why does she have a hold on you?

Was I never good enough for you?
Tell me, what did I do wrong?
Should I stay, or should I leave?
Will you miss me when I’m gone?

I was better for you…so do you wanna know a secret?

She can care less about you
You don’t even exist to her
She doesn’t know you’re alive,
So why does she have a hold on you?

You ran out of time…

Saturday, March 7, 2009

New Photos, Documents Released by Prosecutors in Caylee Anthony Case

New Photos, Documents Released by Prosecutors in Caylee Anthony Case:
Incriminating Evidence Against Mother Casey

Written by: Karen Banardello

The investigation into the death of Caylee Anthony has taken another twist, as Florida police have released more than 1,000 pages of documents and photos found on her mother’s computer. The pictures, which include images of skulls and skeletons, were released by Orlando investigators on Thursday, but perhaps the most incriminating one was of Caylee with a heart-shaped sticker similar to the one later found on her body when her remains were discovered.

PEOPLE Magazine first reported the find yesterday on its website. The report also mentioned the transcript of a conversation Caylee’s mother Casey, 22, had with police after she was charged with her daughter’s murder. According to the transcript, Casey told police she was not trying to flee authorities but merely trying to avoid the media when she switched vehicles several times on a Florida highway right before she was arrested on Oct. 14.

Casey told her side of the story to the Orlando Sentinel: “That was us trying to counteract the media from following us down to jail because our only intention was to take me down to the jail to surrender me before this happened. That was the only thing we were trying to accomplish.”

The documents also revealed that Anthony Lazzaro, Casey’ ex-boyfriend, went undercover for police when he met with her brother Lee on July 29. Not much information was exchanged, but Lee did tell Lazzaro that Caylee had been missing for 31 days before it was reported to police. Lazzaro also told police that he saw Casey, who was charged with the Caylee’s murder two months before her body was found, crying as she watched a video of her daughter.

Casey’s defense attorney, Jose Baez, tried to downplay the importance of the documents. “We are going to reserve comment on discovery releases until those times when the discovery is of some importance to the real evidence in this case,” he said in a statement he e-mailed to the Sentinel.

Casey was only two when she vanished in June. Her body was discovered six months later, in December, in a wooded area near the home where she lived with her single mom and grandparents.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Miley Cyrus Doesn't Understand Newest Photo Scandal

Miley Cyrus Doesn't Understand Newest Photo Scandal:
Pic Shows Disney Star's Shirt Sliding Down, Showing Her Bikini Top

Written by: Karen Benardello

Now that Miley Cyrus has declared herself to be the new Britney Spears, at least in terms of being the singer to be the most targeted by the media, the Disney ‘tween queen is once again exasperated by paparazzi who sold a picture of her. The photo shows the top of Cyrus’ shirt slipping down and revealing the bikini top underneath while she was jogging with boyfriend Justin Gaston

The star of the hit show Hannah Montana told Ryan Seacrest while on his radio show that she doesn’t see the big concern over the picture. “I don't get the big whoop, but whatever. I guess I'm not allowed to jog any more. [We] wanted to have a car wash. It’s, like, 100 degrees out. As I’m running, [the shirt] got a little bit lower and you could see a little of the bathing suit top. So, oh my goodness, Miley Cyrus wears a two-piece! Kill me! I'm wearing a two-piece.”

Cyrus also said that she doesn’t understand why the paparazzi are allowed to take pictures and blow them out of proportion. “But I guess that's just how their job works and how they'll make the most money.”

Man High on Drugs Put 'Hyper' Cat in Bong

Man High on Drugs Put 'Hyper' Cat in Bong to Calm Her Down

Written by: Karen Benardello

A Nebraska man has been cited with a misdemeanor animal cruelty charge, paid a $400 fine and faces drug charges for stuffing his “hyper” cat into his boxlike homemade bong.

The sheriff’s deputies in Lancaster County responded to a domestic disturbance call after Acea Schomaker’s neighbors claimed they saw the 20-year-old smoking marijuana through a piece of garden hose that was attached to a duct-taped, plastic glass box. Schomaker told the deputies that he put her into the 12 inch-by 6 inch box to calm his 6-month-old cat Shadow.

When the cat was discovered, she was in a daze, according to police. She was then wrapped in a blanket and put on the front seat of a cop car, and “never moved all the way to the humane society,” said Sgt. Andy Stebbing. After Shadow was examined at the Capital Humane Society, executive director Bob Downey said she was timid but in good condition.

Sharon Osbourne Being Sued for Charm School Fight

School-Yard Fight Turns Ugly: Sharon (Not Husband Ozzy!) Osbourne Being Sued for Charm School Fight

Written by: Karen Benardello

The same girl drama that drove viewers to tune into Rock of Love: Charm School, Sharon Osbourne’s recent reality show, has landed the rocker wife into legal trouble. A former contestant has sued Osbourne for an altercation that occurred during the filming of the hit VH1 show, and was shown during a December episode.

The channel’s web site is currently showing the fight in a video titled Sharon and Megan's big fight. Contestant Megan Hauserman exchanged insults with the host, who then poured a drink on her, before fellow cast and crew members rushed in to break up the fight.

In Hauserman’s lawsuit, she claims Osbourne not only hit and scratched her, but also pulled her hair. Hauserman is seeking punitive damages over battery, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress, which she hopes to receive from a jury trial.

Hauserman’s lawyer, Warren J. Binder, thinks it will be an easy case to win, as he said in an interview: “It's pretty hard to deny what happened on the video.” Publicists for Osbourne have not said anything on her behalf, as they have not returned phone calls and e-mails from The Associated Press.

Rachel Ray Not Ashamed of FHM Magazine Photos

Talk and Food Network Show Host Rachel Ray Not Ashamed of FHM Magazine Photos

Written by: Karen Benardello

Food Network personality and talk show host Rachael Ray told ABC’s Nightline during an interview that despite receiving negative feedback from fans and even her own mother for posing in next to nothing for the magazine FHM, she’d do it again if given another opportunity.

This insistence, however, comes amidst an admission that since she was at the ripe-old age of 35 when she was asked to pose for the magazine, she had second thoughts in the moment. “…I thought about it for a while, and I said, ‘You know what? This magazine has as young as 17-, 18-year-olds in hottie bikinis, and these are all actresses, models, pin-up girls. I don’t belong to any even remote club of theirs.’”

But the Oprah protégé decided to take the plunge anyway. She said she also thought: ‘“If I’m gutsy enough to do this, this is a good thing for everybody. This is the everywoman, here she is.’” “And I did it, and it was the most scared I've ever been, and I wouldn't change a thing. I'd do it again tomorrow."

While Ray stands behind her FHM decision, she did admit that becoming a Dunkin’ Donuts spokeswoman, for which she has received recent public scrutiny from fans, critics and fellow TV chefs alike, wasn’t the greatest thing for her PR. But she thought it was a good idea at the time when she accepted though, because the doughnut shop said it wanted to make healthier food and would give its support and money to her children’s charity Yum-o.

Ray further went on to say that she does enjoy an occasional doughnut, which she doesn’t find anything wrong with, but fellow Travel Channel host Anthony Bourdain called Ray’s Dunkin’ Donuts commercials are not only “evil,” but are also “like peddling crack to kids.” Notoriously famous harsh TV chef Gordon Ramsay even insulted Ray last October during an interview with the New York Times. When he was asked why he became a celebrity chef, he replied “It’s not greed or TV or stick your ass to the window to endorse Dunkin’ Donuts.”

But Ray denies being a celebrity chef, or a chef in general, saying “I haven’t created any new technique in the kitchen…I think I’m good at writing accessible, fun, and affordable meals for the average American family. That’s what I think I’m good at.”

Melissa's betrayal by Bachelor Jason Mesnick

Melissa's betrayal by Bachelor Jason Mesnick during After the Final Rose taping

Written by: Karen Benardello

Jason Mesnick, the most recent man looking for love on ABC’s The Bachelor and who once had America’s sympathy after embarrassingly being turned down by DeAnna Pappas on last season’s The Bacherlotte, simply said he had no choice.

This simple explanation is his reasoning for publicly dumping his fiancée and Bachelor winner Melissa Rycroft in order to re-unite with runner-up Molly Malaney on Monday night’s After the Final Rose special.

Though he said he would have preferred to have broken the news to Rycroft off camera, Mesnick is insisting the producers told him he had to do the painful act on national television. “That was part of the deal. I signed up for it in my contract. Your relationship is…in front of everybody,” Mesnick told PEOPLE Magazine about the surprising turn of events.

The single Seattle father, who was famously not only looking for a wife but also for a mother for his four-year-old son, Ty, also said: “If I could have, I would have seen Melissa the night before. It killed me. It kills me now.”

In the two-hour season finale, Mesnick proposed to Rycroft immediately after ending his relationship with Malaney, for whom he cried over a balcony for in a now-infamous scene. Rycroft enthusiastically accepted, but was pushed aside by Mesnick six weeks later during the filming of After the Final Rose when he confessed he still had feelings for Malaney. When he asked Malaney for a second chance, she immediately agreed. The two kissed and cuddled during the rest of the special, as if nothing happened, further fueling Rycroft’s sense of betrayal, and causing America’s love affair with Mesnick to end.

Mesnick said he believes Bachelor viewers must think of him as a jerk. “I’m not proud of what I had to do,” he said, because he insists that soon after the cameras stopped rolling, the joy of his engagement to Rycroft began to fade. “After we got back into the real world, all of a sudden, we had less to talk about and I didn’t know why. I started thinking wow, what’s happening? Why aren’t we communicating the way we did when the show was going on?” Mesnick said, and also insists that he held off on sharing his doubts with Melissa.

“I didn’t say something right away because I wanted to figure out what was going in inside of me,” he also told PEOPLE. “There was part of me that wanted things to work out with Melissa so bad. But the whole other piece was I had these crazy feelings for Molly.” Mesnick said he finally couldn’t deny the truth any longer: “Melissa and I just have different ways of communicating. We’re not right for each other.”