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Old-school gentleman or gun-toting sadist? Both, say Spector’s women. May 13, 2007

Posted by iniquity in Legal News, True Crime.
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Inside the diminutive body of Phil Spector reside two men, according to witnesses at his murder trial.One is a sweet, courtly gentleman whose bygone-era approach to wooing women includes dates arranged by his secretary, long-stemmed roses and pleasant evenings that end with a kiss on the cheek.

The other is a nasty drunk with a filthy mouth and a habit of sticking guns in the faces of women who refuse to spend the night with him.
This portrait of a music industry Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde emerged over the past two weeks as a string of women who dated Spector in the 1980s and 1990s recounted the rise and fall of their relationships with him.

The witnesses described their reactions to his gun threats as equal parts terror and astonishment because, they said, the threat came from a man as well-known to them for his chivalrous kindness as he was for producing stars such as The Beatles and Tina Turner.



Billions in Oil Missing in Iraq, U.S. Study Says May 13, 2007

Posted by iniquity in U.S. News, War In Iraq, World News.
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Between 100,000 and 300,000 barrels a day of Iraq’s declared oil production over the past four years is unaccounted for and could have been siphoned off through corruption or smuggling, according to a draft American government report.

Missing Oil

Using an average of $50 a barrel, the report said the discrepancy was valued at $5 million to $15 million daily.

The report does not give a final conclusion on what happened to the missing fraction of the roughly two million barrels pumped by Iraq each day, but the findings are sure to reinforce longstanding suspicions that smugglers, insurgents and corrupt officials control significant parts of the country’s oil industry.

The report also covered alternative explanations for the billions of dollars worth of discrepancies, including the possibility that Iraq has been consistently overstating its oil production.


Nicolas Cage Confirmed As Capone In ‘Untouchables’ Prequel May 13, 2007

Posted by iniquity in Entertainment, Movies.
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MTV News has confirmed that Nicolas Cage is set to play Chicago crime boss Al Capone in “The Untouchables: Capone Rising.”Cage will reteam with “Snake Eyes” director Brian DePalma for the project, playing a younger version of the character made famous by Robert DeNiro. “Capone Rising” is a prequel to DePalma’s 1987 classic “The Untouchables,” and will revolve around the early dealings between Capone and Irish cop Jimmy Malone, a role that garnered an Oscar for Sean Connery.


John Travolta is trying to prevent you from watching a BBC show May 13, 2007

Posted by iniquity in Religion, Scientology, World News.
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John Travolta has launched a bitter attack on a veteran BBC reporter over a Panorama film that exposes the methods used by Scientology and questions whether it is a “brainwashing cult”. The Hollywood star has written to Corporation chiefs accusing journalist John Sweeney of venting “personal prejudices, bigotry and animosity” and harbouring “hatred against my religion”.

Travolta also urges the BBC to halt the screening of the documentary tomorrow.

The star’s intervention is the latest in what Sweeney says is a campaign of intimidation since he embarked on his film, in which former Scientologists claim they were forced to cut themselves off from their families.

He says he has been followed by mysterious cars and even had his wedding gatecrashed.

But the Church of Scientology has hit back with its own film questioning Sweeney’s methods, and plans to distribute 100,000 copies on DVD. Clips have already been posted on the YouTube website.

During filming, Sweeney confronted Travolta at a London film premiere, shouting from the crowd: “Are you a member of a brainwashing cult?”

The star complained to George Entwistle, the BBC’s head of TV current affairs, and deputy director-general Mark Byford.


Church buys pastor 4 MILLION DOLLAR house, doesn’t have to pay taxes. May 13, 2007

Posted by iniquity in News.
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A Redford Township church that believes wealth is God’s reward is raising eyebrows for buying its pastor a $3.65 million mansion and taking it off the tax rolls.

This month, township officials grudgingly conceded they had no choice but to remove the 11,000-square-foot home overlooking Maybury State Park from its assessment rolls, losing $40,000 annually in taxes.

They concluded the plush pad is a parsonage, but that hasn’t quelled debate among township officials and neighbors about whether Christian charity extends to the Detroit World Outreach Church’s purchase in September of the home for Pastor Ben Gibert and his wife and co-pastor, Charisse Gibert.

“I also have faith in God, but I don’t expect to live in such opulence,” said Evgenia Asimakis, a single mother of two who lives nearby and has trouble paying her property taxes.

Her neighbor, Gary Wall, is blunter: “You don’t need a multimillion-dollar place to see God. He’ll take a lot less.”

Detroit World Outreach Church isn’t apologizing. In fact, members say the mansion is proof God has blessed them.


Why John Locke Is NOT Dead! May 10, 2007

Posted by iniquity in Entertainment, Lost, Television.
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So, as anyone who watched last night’s episode of Lost knows that John Locke was shot in the chest. It looked like a fatal wound to me, and of course I freaked. Locke is my favorite character, and one of the reason I was hooked on the show from the start. I thought he was dead. Well, he’s not, and here is how I know:

Executive Producer Carlton Cuse offered this exclusive tease about the show’s two-hour, sure-to-be-blockbuster season finale on May 22: “Let’s just say the end of the season features a showdown between Jack and Locke — a showdown long anticipated and a showdown with an extremely significant outcome for the future of the castaways.”

It looks like John Locke is still with us…for now.

Protect America, Not George Bush: Generals take out ads calling Bush a liar May 10, 2007

Posted by iniquity in News, Television, U.S. News, War In Iraq, World News.
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One of the favorite GOP talking points is that Congress shouldn’t be making decisions for troops on the ground, that Bush listens to his generals and that they determine the course of action in Iraq. Three retired generals, John Batiste, Paul Eaton, and Wesley Clark, and a veteran of Afghanistan are taking to the airwaves to dispute that claim in a new series of ads sponsored by VoteVets. The ads are intended to force Congress, and particularly GOP members who have continually rubberstamped this war, to do its job and end this war.


Mayweather Victory Sets Pay-Per-View Mark May 10, 2007

Posted by iniquity in Boxing, Entertainment, Sports.
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Floyd Mayweather’s split decision against Oscar De La Hoya in Saturday night’s superwelterweight title fight generated 2.15 million pay-per-view buys — eclipsing the 10-year-old record for the second Evander Holyfield-Mike Tyson fight.
Mark Taffet, an HBO senior vice president, said the figure was based on reports from cable and satellite operators serving more than 80 percent of the 61 million homes that can order, up from the usual 50 percent.


Another Woman Says Phil Spector Pulled A Gun On Her May 10, 2007

Posted by iniquity in Legal News, True Crime.
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Pressing her index finger to her cheek to mimic a gun barrel, a former assistant to Phil Spector testified Monday the famous music producer and murder defendant threatened to shoot her in 1989.

“He put it all over me,” Dianne Ogden, on the verge of tears, said as she moved her finger from her right cheek to her nose to her forehead.

Spector, she said, ordered her to the bedroom of his home, then in Pasadena, because, Ogden said, “he wanted to rape me.”

Spector, the producer of records for the Beatles, Ike and Tina Turner and the Righteous Brothers, is charged with murdering actress Lana Clarkson, who was shot in the mouth at his Alhambra mansion Feb. 3, 2003. He has pleaded not guilty and is free on $1 million bail.

Ogden, who said she had been a friend and part-time assistant to Spector, is the second woman to testify that the music producer threatened her with a gun when she tried to leave his home.


ABC’s ‘Lost’ Gets An Official End May 10, 2007

Posted by iniquity in Entertainment, Lost, Television.
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The official word from ABC on the end of Lost:

Starting with the 2007-08 season, ABC will begin airing the 48 remaining original episodes of the hit drama “Lost,” it was announced today by Stephen McPherson, president, ABC Entertainment. The episodes will air uninterrupted over three seasons (16 episodes each season), with the series concluding in 2009-10 with a highly anticipated and shocking finale.

“In considering the powerful storytelling of ‘Lost,’ we felt this was the only way to give it a proper creative conclusion,” said McPherson. “I always said that we would allow the series to grow and give viewers the most compelling hour possible. And, due to the unique nature of the series, we knew it would require an end date to keep the integrity and strength of the show consistent throughout, and to give the audience the payoff they deserve. “

“Additionally,” said McPherson, “having Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse signed on to complete the journey of this show was critical to me and the network. Damon and Carlton have tremendous talent, and we’re thrilled that they’ll be with the show throughout its run.”

“This is a bold and unprecedented move for ABC,” said Lindelof and Cuse, executive producers. “The show would not be what it is without the vision and support we’ve received from Steve McPherson, Mark Pedowitz and everyone at ABC and ABC TV Studios. We always envisioned ‘Lost’ as a show with a beginning, middle and end. By officially announcing exactly when that ending will be, the audience will now have the security of knowing that the story will play out as we’ve intended.”

“Lost” premiered September 22, 2004 and soon became the most talked-about new show of the season, with a never-before-seen storyline that spawned water-cooler talk and blogs galore. In its premiere season “Lost” was the No. 1 scripted series on Wednesday night with Total Viewers and Adults 18-49. On average “Lost” delivered the highest Adult 18-49 rating for any 8:00 p.m. drama on any network in seven years.

For the second season in a row, “Lost” stood as the No. 1 scripted TV program on Wednesday night during the season in Total Viewers and Adults 18-49. It also ranked No.1 in its hour among Total Viewers and Adults 18-49 (tied w/Fox), regularly competing with Fox’s “American Idol” results show during its first half-hour. Despite the “Idol” competition, “Lost” retained nearly all of its overall viewers from the same point the previous season, and actually grew 11% with Adults 18-49. The sophomore ABC drama was the No.1 scripted program on the evening among Adults 18-49 in all 22 of its original telecasts, and qualified as ABC’s most-watched series in the time period in nine years.

“Lost” has ranked No. 1 in its time period with Adults 18-49 for the third season in a row, and is the No. 1 10:00 p.m. series on any network with Adults 18-49. It is the most recorded show on TV, gaining 18% more Total Viewers through “time-shifted” (TiVo/DVR) viewing. On average in its

10 o’clock time period, Nielsen reports 2.1 million additional viewers watch the show after its live broadcast. On top of Nielsen’s reported numbers, millions more viewers watch “Lost” episodes through “place-shifted” viewing via streaming replays on ABC.com, iPod downloads and DVDs.

“Lost” has garnered numerous awards, including six Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Writers Guild of America Award, a Producers Guild Award, an NAACP Image Award, a Prism Award and two ALMA Awards, just to name a few.

From ABC.com