Monday, November 15, 2010

Usain Bolt test drives Ferraris on F1 team's track

FIORANO, Italy (AP): The fastest man in the world has taken a break from training to test drive some of the world's fastest cars.
Usain Bolt took a few spins behind the wheel of two different Ferraris - a 458 Italia and a 599 GTB Fiorano - at the Formula One team's private track Monday.
The event was arranged by Puma, Bolt's top sponsor and one of Ferrari's suppliers. Bolt says "I thought I was fast, but these incredible cars give the word 'fast' a new meaning."
Bolt is back training after missing the end of the outdoor season in Europe with back problems. He is hoping to defend his 100- and 200-meter titles at the 2011 world championships in Daegu, South Korea.
Bolt won three gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in world-record times.

Shanghai apartment block fire kills 42 -- Xinhua

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - At least 42 people died and more than 50 were injured when fire swept through a central Shanghai apartment block on Monday, Xinhua news agency reported.
The blaze broke out in a 28-storey building in the Jing'an district that was being renovated and spread quickly to the upper floors, Xinhua said.
Firemen search for survivors at a burning building in Shanghai, November 15, 2010. (REUTERS/Aly Song)
Firefighters trying to tackle the flames had to set up hoses on top of a nearby building to get near the blaze and brought it under control after about four hours.
More than 50 people injured by the fire were taken to a nearby hospital, and firefighters were searching the building for bodies and survivors, Xinhua quoted the municipal authorities as saying.
At the height of the blaze, helicopters tried to rescue people trapped on the roof of the building, many of whose residents were teachers at nearby schools and pensioners.
Public Security Minister Meng Jianzhu was on his way to Shanghai to direct the rescue work.
The cause of the fire was unknown, but a witness said he saw construction materials burning before the fire climbed up the scaffolding and quickly spread, Xinhua reported.
(Editing by Tim Pearce in London)
Copyright © 2010 Reuters

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 Reviews

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Helena Bonham Carter, Clemence Poesy, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman, Tom Felton, Bill Nighy, Jason Isaacs, Bonnie Wright, John Hurt, Michael Gambon, Miranda Richardson, Ciaran Hinds

Finally Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows is here and if this Part 1 is anything to go by, Part 2 is going to be superb. The only drawback is that we'll have to wait almost a year to catch the end to the Harry Potter saga.
The movie begins with the warning, “These are dark times” and that basically describes the entire movie. Gone are the sometimes funny one-liners or the simple trips to the Leaky Cauldron for a pint of Butterbeer.
In this part one of the seventh book, Harry, Ron and Hermione are no longer under the protective arms of Hogwarts and its wizards, in fact, they are left to fend for their own as they scour the country for the horcruxes that will presumably spell the end of Lord Voldemort and his gang of merry men, who are now in charge of the Ministry of Magic and Hogwarts.
As Lord Voldemort nears the height of his power, Harry is left to wonder if his safety is worth the lives of his friends. “It's bigger than you, Harry,” Ron tells him assuring Harry that what the rest are fighting for is the safety of all human and wizard kind.

Woman Power: Fear not, I am here!

As with all the other Harry Potter movies, Deathly Hallows is full of magic, action and special effects, but unlike the other movies, this one focuses on the characters – in fact this movie has more dialogue and character build-up than the last six put together.
Kudos goes to the main actors but especially to Emma Watson whose character, Hermione, has a much bigger role. In Deathly Hallows we see the power she wields not only with her wand but the power she has on Ron, who although he loves her, is too afraid to say anything.
Unfortunately a draw back with the movie is that there are certain parts that were not properly explained. And if you're not a fan or if you've not picked up the books, you'll be left scratching your head as to why in the beginning of the movie, Hermione erases herself from her parent's memory or why on earth in the middle of the movie we see an entire neighbourhood obliterated.
This movie is understandably long but if you're a fan, which I certainly am, it will go by with a blink of an eye and at the end of the movie, you're left going “WHAT?! No. No. No. You can't end it there!”
Oh well, another 242 days to Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 ...

Valentine's Day Reviews

Cast: Jessica Alba, Kathy Bates, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Eric Dane, Patrick Dempsey, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Ashton Kutcher, Queen Latifah, George Lopez, Shirley MacLaine, Julia Roberts
Running Time: 125 minutes
Reviewer: Tracie Yeo

Valentines Day was, I suppose, the American version of 'Love Actually' – but it lacked the lovable charm their British counterpart had. I felt no connection to any of the characters, and wasn't even concerned about what would happen to them in the end. In fact, if not reminded, I may have even forgotten some of the characters in the show. The show wasn't unpleasant per say, but it wasn't memorable in any way. The main thing that kept me watching - was the group of really, really pretty people on screen.

The show revolved around the lives of the many, many interconnected characters on Valentines day. The main story follows florist Reed Bennet,(Ashton Kutcher) as he runs around being exceedingly enthusiastic about romance on the most romantic day of the year. Then there was his fiance Jessica Alba, his best friends Jennifer Garner and Mario Lopez. And then, there was Jessica Biel, Jamie Foxx, Julia Roberts, Topher Grace, Anne Hathaway and Bradley Cooper. The Taylors (Lautner and Swift) were there, but for what reason I do not know. Oh, Mc Steamy and Mc Dreamy of Greys Anatomy were present too. It was hard to keep track who was who, and what was going on where, when there are too many stories to follow.

There were several funny parts and laugh-out-loud scenes. I especially enjoyed watching Anne Hathaway's character, who moonlights as phone sex operator. However, I did feel it was incredibly odd that they made the show to be about Valentines day, seeing most parts of the show was about heartbroken people and people breaking up. In fact, I didn’t find a single part of the show to be romantic.

Anyway, I think the show is worth a watch if just for the cute people.

Sex and the City 2 Reviews

Cast: Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Kim Cattrall
Running Time: 146 minutes
Reviewer: Gayathri Nair

First of all, writing a review for any type of movie may not be as easy as some people think. There are movies that get bad reviews, and then there are those that get good reviews.

Writing a good or bad review for a movie however, is a whole lot easier to do compared to writing a review for a movie that is so bad, it stinks from beginning to end. Try as you may to look at it from as many different angles and perspective as you can, I'm afraid this one has fail written all over it.

Even if a reviewer tries to look for the tiniest glimmer of hope, skimming through the entire flick to find just a small loop to shine some positivity into the show, but alas, Sex and the City 2, brings absolutely no hope to its mind numbingly ridiculous plot, story line, direction, script...yada yada yada... and is just simply hopeless and disgraceful from beginning to end. And let me tell you, I'm still being kind here.

The sequel follows the four girls coming together for a trip to the middle east on a budget from one of Samantha's (Kim Cattrall) prospective clients. So they pack their suitcaseS and hop onto a first class flight to their destination.

The movie flows exactly like how the TV series does, there's no beginning, middle or end. There's no plot, no angle, no story line … wait, tell me again what the reason for making a sequel was? The first movie I get, Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) got married to her on-and-off lover, Big (Chris North). But seriously, what decided the sequel? Maybe Stanford (Willie Garson) and Anthony's (Mario Cantone) wedding was somewhat of a reason? Oh, come on that wasn't a was in the opening of the movie itself!

The good thing about the movie is that Carrie Bradshaw walked out of the set of Sex and the City the series, onto Sex and the City the movie, the bad news is that Carrie Bradshaw walked out of the set of Sex and the City the series and onto Sex and the City the movie! She's not changed one bit. She's still the self-centered, longing to be younger than her real age, mid-life crisis, childish, whiny pot she's always been.

And her friends, oh god her friends! Samantha's still a sl*t with absolutely no shame or self respect, Charlotte (Kristin Davis) is still trying to be the perfect wife and homemaker, Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) still has complete control in their marriage yet she whines about men and woman not having equal rights and double standards and what not.

Never mind that instead of single ladies they're now all married and dealing with struggles of being 'plus ones' to their other halves...(except Samantha of course), bottom line is they still haven't changed all that much since their 'Sex and the City series' days.

Why not just glue a couple of episodes from the TV series together and then add some predictable sequences from your imagination and make a movie of your own instead of waiting for it to hit the big screen?

Sex and the City 2 was an insult to all it's die hard fans since its TV series days. Fans who waited adoringly for each episode weekly and for the beginning of a new season each time, I'm sure have turned their heads the other way shamelessly with sighs of disappointment after the release of this movie.

If I hear rumors about a third installment, I'm pretty sure the directors are just out there to get me or to taunt me on this review. Nevertheless, I sincerely hope they stop and not release another Sex and the City movie. And even if they did make a 3rd movie, I'm afraid no amount of make-up can cover up that much wrinkles on all the women. Oh yes, I said it.

Heavy rain causes havoc in KL

PETALING JAYA: Heavy rain caused some flooding and massive congestion on most major roads in Kuala Lumpur from 4pm yesterday.
According to Twitter updates from RapidKL (, there was a service disruption at the Kelana Jaya line.
The latest update at press time was: “Trains still moving on manual mode, delays expected. Full recovery in progress.”
Prasarana Negara Berhad (SPNB) Group Communications general manager Ebi Azly Abdullah said the service disruption was caused by a 4.30pm technical problem.
“The trains are being run manually and we are looking into the cause of the problem.”
Roads that experienced heavy traffic included Jalan Kuching, Jalan Tun Razak, Jalan Duta and parts of the Federal Highway including the stretch between Angkasapuri and Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong (LDP) and from Petaling Jaya to the city centre.
Water levels remained at a safe level in the Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel (SMART) and vehicles were allowed to use it at 5.30pm.
An accident involving a stalled bus along Jalan Kuching slowed down traffic from 4pm to about 5.30pm.The Twitter community was also abuzz with reports of flooding at the old Subang airport road and the LDP, causing a near standstill as only one lane was passable on both roads.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Chopsticks Seriously Injure Chinese Boy

Everyday we hear about accidents caused by some of the strangest things; kids and pets accidentally swallow small items or fall from odd structures, and people cut themselves on new and different sharp edges. Still, whoever would have thought that chopticks could prove to be a fatal weapon?

chopsticks1 Chopsticks Seriously Injure Chinese Boy picture

This past week, in China’s Anhui Province, a family sat down to dinner in the usual manner, but got the shock of their lives when a very distressing accident unfolded before them.

Their two-year-old boy, Haohao, got down from his chair and was walking around the home carrying the chopsticks in his hand. Suddenly, he cried out and fell; his parents rushed to his side.

When they picked him up from the floor, they were horrified at the sight of one of the chopsticks buried up the left nostril of their child’s tiny nose, from which blood was pouring profusely.

Haohao was rushed to the closest hospital where doctors informed the parents that the injury might well be fatal. Haohao required special treatment and the parents paid for the expensive transport via ambulance to Shanghai’s Hinhua Hospital. Enroute, the little boy lost consciousness and developed a high fever.

Fortunately, the injury did not damage the child’s brain, which is a miracle in itself. After a 90-minute operation, Haohao is in stable condition and expected to make a full recovery.

Will this little boy ever eat with chopsticks again?

Probably yes, for custom and old habits die-hard.

But will he ever WALK across the room holding THEM again?

More than likely, his parents probably won’t permit that until he is old enough to drive!

What do YOU think about this?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Korean Woman Earns License After 960 Tries

Back in September 2009, we covered the story of Cha Sa-soon, a 69-year-old South Korean woman who, over a period of four years, spent over 4,000,000 won ($3,500) on driving tests—all of which she failed miserably. It appears that all her hard work paid off, as Miss Sa-soon has finally earned her license!

Cha Sa soon Drivers Test Korean Woman Earns License After 960  Tries picture

It took Cha Sa-soon over 960 tries, but she is now an official member of South Korea’s driving club. According to the Huffington Post, Miss Sa-soon passed the written portion of the exam on November 4, 2009 with a minimum passing score of 60 out of 100. After that came the driving test.

Surprisingly, it took Miss Sa-soon only 10 tries before she mastered the drive, which is quite a masterful feat, at least in comparison to her written performance. The irony is that more often than not, the driving test—especially the parallel parking—proves to be the most difficult for potential drivers seeking their license. Apparently, this rule of thumb worked backwards for Miss Sa-soon.

So what are her plans now? Yonhap reports say that Miss Sa-soon intends to buy a used car in the hope of visiting her children and improving her vegetable-selling business.

We wish Miss Sa-soon much luck, but beg her to remember to always drive defensively because driving is a privilege, not a luxury!

6 Pets You Can Eat In Asia

People in the West are accustomed to thinking of two kinds of animals – the ones you love and the ones you eat. However, this distinction does not cross over to the East, where most of the animals Westerners love are served for dinner. Check out our rundown of the six freakiest dinners that give the phrase pet food a new meaning.

1. Dog – Bosintang Soup (South Korea)

bosintang 6 Pets You Can Eat In Asia picture

This highly prized dish is still served in traditional South Korean restaurants, despite a ban on dog meat in the country. Pieces of dog are boiled and mixed with green onions, leeks, ginger, garlic and Taro stalk. A particular mint herb known as perilla is also added to disguise the intense smell that dog meat produces when cooked.

While not exalted for its flavor, this dog meat dish is famous for its medicinal value in cooling the body and improving virility.

2. Horse – Basashi (Japan)

basashi 600x450 6 Pets You Can Eat In Asia picture

You may well have had sashimi at a Japanese restaurant before, but perhaps not like this. Raw horse meat is served with the sashimi and a drizzle of soy sauce on the side. If you go to a local bar around Japan, you could get this as finger food with your beer. And if that doesn’t scare you, the sweet and smooth meat is also used to make basashi ice cream.

3. Turtle – Guilinggao (China)

Guilinggao 600x519 6 Pets You Can Eat In Asia picture

Also known as Turtle Shell Jelly, this dessert is a popular treat all over China. It consists of a powdered Golden Coin turtle shell mixed with medicinal substances which is then boiled for hours until all of the liquid evaporates, leaving the jello-like substance. Mass produced and even canned, this dessert is probably available at a Chinatown near you.

4. Tarantula – Fried Tarantulas (Cambodia)

fried tarantula 600x800 6 Pets You Can Eat In Asia picture

Believe it or not, this dish is very popular with locals in Cambodia and has even gained something of a cult following among tourists to the country. A palm sized species of tarantula called an a-ping is caught locally and then pan fried by the hundreds. They are said to have great natural flavor, with only a pinch of garlic or salt added. These scary little treats cost around eight cents each.

5. Mouse – Baby Mice Wine (Korea)

babymicewine 6 Pets You Can Eat In Asia picture

This amazing concoction consists of rice wine mixed with fermented baby mice. According to local folk medicine, this stuff can help cure all kinds of ailments from asthma to liver disease.

To make it, days old mice babies who don’t even have hair or open eyes are dropped into a bottle of rice wine and left to sit for about a year. The finished product has been described as tasting like “roadkill mixed with gasoline”.

6. Snake – Snake Soup (China)

snake soup 600x450 6 Pets You Can Eat In Asia picture

Eaten all over mainland China, this particular delicacy is most popular in Hong Kong. Here you can get snake meat so fresh, the snakes are still alive when you choose them. If you are a snake lover, you may want to avoid Hong Kong between November and April, when thousands of snakes are shipped in especially for eating. Many Cantonese believe the soup gives the body an inner coating to ward off colds and flu.

French tourist survives fall into Grand Canyon

An 18-year-old suffered serious injuries after a 75-foot fall into the Grand Canyon.

(CNN) -- A French tourist is recovering after falling 75 feet into the Grand Canyon, hospital officials said Saturday.

Witnesses reported that the 18-year-old was taking photographs when he slipped and fell over the edge, the National Park Service said in a statement.

He was in good condition at Flagstaff Medical Center early Saturday morning, spokeswoman Carrie Heinonen said.

He was being treated for neck, wrist and ankle injuries, the park service said.

Authorities said the man fell Thursday afternoon about a quarter mile east of Mather Point on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

Park rangers rappelled into the canyon to assess the teen's injuries before a park helicopter airlifted him out.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Man arrested after wife writes to Obama asking for help

New York (CNN) -- Not everyone expects a response when they write a letter to the president of the United States. But Caroline Jamieson got much more than she expected when her husband ended up in jail and afraid he would be deported.

Jamieson, vice president of marketing at a new-media advertising company, wrote President Barack Obama in January because her husband, Hervé Fonkou Takoulo, was facing deportation to his native Cameroon. Takoulo failed in a bid before political asylum almost a decade ago, and a judge issued a deportation order after they were married.

After he and Jamieson married on 2005, Takoulo applied for a green card based on his marriage to a U.S. citizen. But immigration law requires that the deportation order be lifted before the couple can appear before immigration officials to argue their case that the marriage is legitimate and not a ploy to legalize Takoulo's presence in the United States.

"We want to be given the chance to interview and prove that we are a married couple, so Hervé can get a green card, and that has proven extremely difficult to do," Jamieson told CNN.

They never received a direct response to the letter. But they did get two Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers waiting outside their East Village, Manhattan apartment on June 3 when Takoulo was leaving the apartment to go to the gym.

Jamieson told CNN that the officers cornered her husband and asked him if he had written a letter to the president. "He said 'No, but my wife did.' And they explained that with that letter -- when it was brought to their attention -- that the Obama administration wanted them to resolve this quickly,'" Jamieson said.

Her husband was held at ICE headquarters for six hours, alone in a room, until he was chained at the wrists, around his stomach and his ankles and taken to the Hudson County Correctional Center in New Jersey, she said.

For the next two weeks, a frantic Jamieson wrote letters to politicians and anyone else who might be able to help. She got responses, she said, but none seemed to lead anywhere. Takoulo was allowed to call his wife once a day at designated times but he knew little about his situation. He spent his days with repeat sex offenders and men accused of felonies, fearing imminent deportation.

"I did everything I could and went into survival mode and pushed for all these connections to the press," she said. "We are fortunate to have that leverage. What about the people in the country who don't have access to those means?"

Then, on Thursday, he was brought to an immigration processing jail in Manhattan and released. There was no explanation offered for his release, but Takoulo is now wearing an electronic ankle monitor while his case is being reviewed.

ICE spokesman Brian P. Hale said the circumstances of Takoulo's arrest were undergoing an internal review and he was released as "an alternative to detention pending a review of his case."

Investigators are looking to determine whether "appropriate separation" between Jamieson's letter to the president and Takoulo's deportation case were violated. If so, he said, the case will go to the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility and the Homeland Security Department's inspector general for "immediate and appropriate action."

Takoulo graduated from the State University of New York at Stony Brook with an engineering degree in 2008 and received several job interview offers after graduation. But the deportation order hung over his head and prevented any followup.

"All he wants to do is contribute to this economy," Jamieson told CNN. "We want to be a productive couple. He's been dying to work."

The couple has been following Barack Obama's rise in the political world since 2004.

"I felt a special kinship to him because I'm of mixed race, and my husband obviously has a similar background," Jamieson told CNN.

Regardless of whether or not her letter was mishandled, the incident has deeply affected the couple's faith in the Obama administration.

"I feel really confused, I don't understand how something like this is possible. I can't imagine that at the top of the Obama administration that they realize that something like this is happening," Jamieson told CNN.

Russian capital enveloped by smog amid wildfires

(CNN) -- Moscow remained under a blanket of dense fog Friday as wildfires covering large swathes of western Russia continued to burn.

Heat and drought have made Russia especially susceptible to wildfires with the country in the grip of a heatwave which has seen Moscow experience the hottest temperatures -- 39 Celsius (102 Fahrenheit) -- since records began in 1879.

However the conditions failed to disrupt South African President Jacob Zuma's visit to the Russian capital, which concluded Friday with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Kremlin Wall.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Happy birthday Mr President’…Obama turns 49 today

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama (pic) turns 49 today, visibly grayer than when he took office 18 months ago but enjoying the job despite the "enormous" physical and mental strain, the White House said.

Obama, born Aug 4, 1961, rose to become the most powerful person in the world in just 47 and a half years, but in recent days, he has made several public nods to the inevitability of aging. He remarked on his own slowing metabolism, the stress of the job and his salt-and-pepper hair.

"He knew what he was getting himself into in deciding several years ago to undertake this" ultimately victorious campaign for the presidency, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters.

"There's no doubt that it takes an enormous physical and mental strain on making the decisions that you make, on sending young men and women off to war, or tackling the greatest economic calamity our country has faced since the Great Depression," Gibbs said.

But Obama was "still in pretty good shape and is enjoying the job even with its many challenges", the spokesman said.

As for the president's head of steadily graying hair, "it will just require him to get more frequent haircuts."

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Jamar Pinkney Sr

Enraged Michigan dad Jamar Pinkney Sr. shot son, 15, over alleged sex abuse of toddler:

An enraged Highland Park,Michigan father is accused of killing his son - as he begged for his life - after learning the teen may have sexually abused a toddler.

Jamar Pinkney, 37, irate over hearing his 15-year-old son Jamar Pinkney Jr. had sexual contact with a 3-year-old girl made the teen strip at gunpoint, marched him to a vacant lot and shot him to death despite pleas from the boy and his mother, a relative said.

Michigan authorities filed a first-degree murder charge Wednesday against Pinkney Sr. in his son's shooting death Monday.

Defense attorney Corbett O'Meara said prosecutors should consider evidence of the father's state of mind over the sex abuse report.

"If something were to happen that would cause a reasonable person to lose control of himself, that is something the prosecution would have to take into account," O'Meara said outside Highland Park District Court.

Tensions were high in the courtroom Wednesday as the handcuffed suspect was led into the room for the arraignment, which lasted less than a minute. "No, No, No," one female relative cried before a police officer escorted her out.

Judge Brigette Officer entered a not guilty plea for Pinkney, who's also charged with assault, and ordered him jailed without bond until a preliminary examination Dec. 1.

"This is something that's hard to deal with for all the parties concerned, including the police," police Chief Ted Cardwell said afterward.

"Highland Park is a small city. These are people who have been members of the community for years." Caldwell said the sexual misconduct allegation that led to the confrontation wasn't part of the police investigation.

The shooting happened Monday night in a vacant lot in the once-prosperous city of 16,000, where decay, abandonment, fires and demolition have eaten away at many of the sprawling homes.

Highland Park recently exited years of state financial oversight. Visitors built an impromptu memorial at the shooting site. Two votive candles sat amid 10 stuffed animals, including two white teddy bears with red hearts embroidered with, "I love you."

The boy's mother, ,Lazette Cherry told the Detroit Free Press that her son told her he had improper sexual contact with the girl.

"I called and told his father. This isn't something you sweep under the rug," she said. Cherry said the elder Pinkney arrived at the home with a gun, ordered his son to strip and marched him outside despite her protests.

"He got on his knees and begged, `No, Daddy, No,' and he pulled the trigger," Cherry said.

Cherry did not immediately respond to a message Wednesday from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Manchester city shooting

9 killed in shooting at Conn

MANCHESTER, Conn. – One of two survivors shot in a beer warehouse rampage in Connecticut tells The Associated Press the gunman was "cold as ice" as he started firing his weapon shortly after being forced to resign for stealing beer.

Steve Hollander's family owns the beer distributorship where Omar Thornton killed eight people Tuesday before killing himself. Hollander was shot two times but survived. One other person is still hospitalized.

Hollander tells the AP that Thornton was caught on videotape stealing beer several times. He says Thornton did not contest it or get angry, and chose to quit rather than being fired.

Then, he pulled out a gun and started shooting.

Hollander says Thornton was cool and calm the whole time, and says he survived by the grace of God.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

MANCHESTER, Conn. (AP) — A warehouse driver who a union official said was caught on video stealing beer from the distributorship where he worked went on a shooting rampage there Tuesday, killing eight people and wounding two before committing suicide.

Omar Thornton, 34, pulled a handgun after a meeting in which he had been offered the chance to quit or be fired, Manchester Police Chief Marc Montminy said. Among those killed was Thornton's union representative at the meeting.

The gunman, who was black, had complained of racial harassment and said he found a picture of a noose and a racial epithet written on a bathroom wall, the mother of his girlfriend said. Her daughter told her that Thornton's supervisors told him they would talk to his co-workers.

Brett Hollander, whose family owns the distributorship, said, "I can assure you there has never been any racial discrimination at our company." And a union official said Thornton had not filed a complaint of racism with the union or any government agency.

Thornton had been caught on videotape stealing beer, Teamsters official Christopher Roos said.

"It's got nothing to do with race," Roos said. "This is a disgruntled employee who shot a bunch of people."

Thornton's girlfriend had been with him the night before the rampage and had no indication he was planning it, said her mother, Joanne Hannah.

On Tuesday morning, about 50 to 70 people were in the warehouse about 10 miles east of Hartford during a shift change when the gunman opened fire around 7 a.m., Hollander said. Adding to the chaos at the warehouse was a fire, which was put out. Montminy said he didn't know how the fire started, but didn't think it was set.

The shooting was over in a matter of minutes, Montminy said. The victims were found all over the complex, and authorities don't know if Thornton fired randomly or targeted specific co-workers, Montminy said.

After shooting his co-workers, Thornton called his mother, Hannah said.

"He wanted to say goodbye and that he loved everybody," Hannah said.

Thornton was alive when police got to the scene but killed himself before officers got to him, Montminy said. A police sharpshooter had approval to fire on Thornton when he killed himself, an official with knowledge of the scene told the AP on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss it.

Hannah said her daughter, Kristi, had dated Thornton for the past eight years. Kristi Hannah did not return calls for comment.

"Everybody's got a breaking point," Joanne Hannah said.

Hannah described Thornton as an easygoing guy who liked to play sports and video games. She said he had a pistol permit and had planned to teach her daughter how to use a gun.

Hollander's cousin, Steve, who's a vice president at the company, was shot in the arm and the face. Hollander said he thought his cousin would be OK. Steve Hollander would not comment when reached on his cell phone.

Police declined to release the names of those killed.

Among the dead was Bryan Cirigliano, 51, of Newington, president of Teamsters 1035, according to the union. He had been Thornton's representative at Tuesday's disciplinary hearing, the union said.

Bill Ackerman, a 51-year-old warehouseman, also was killed, said his girlfriend, Stephanie Laurin.

"I was like, 'Where's Billy, where's Billy?' and they said they hadn't seen him. And then one of his co-workers told me ... that he saw the shooter go to where Billy's room is that he works in," she said. "I was just praying to God that he was OK."

Ackerman, who enjoyed playing golf and rooting for the Boston Red Sox, had worked for the company for about 20 years, she said.

The Hartford Courant identified another victim as Victor James, 59, of Windsor. Two victims were being treated at Hartford Hospital.

The rampage was the nation's deadliest since 13 people were fatally shot at Fort Hood, Texas, in November. A military psychiatrist is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in that case.

In Connecticut, a state lottery worker gunned down four supervisors in 1998 before committing suicide, and six people were killed in 1974 in botched robbery at a bakery in New Britain. Two men were convicted of that crime.

On Tuesday, a few dozen relatives and friends of the victims gathered a few miles away at Manchester High School. Outside, people talked, hugged and cried. Others talked on cell phones.

Police officers from numerous agencies and police and fire vehicles surrounded the warehouse, on a tree-lined road in an industrial park just west of a shopping mall.

Thornton listed Hoffman's Gun Center & Indoor Range in Newington as among his interests on his Facebook page. A company official declined to comment.

Thornton filed for bankruptcy protection a decade ago. His Chapter 7 petition in 2000 listed $4,850 in assets, including a 1994 Chrysler Concorde, and more than $15,000 in liabilities — primarily debt on credit card and student loan payments. His debts were discharged in March 2001 and the case was closed the following month.

The Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities said Hartford Distributors has never had any complaints filed against it.

The Hollander family is widely respected in Manchester, said state Rep. Ryan Barry, a lifelong resident. He said the family-owned Hartford Distributors sponsors local sports teams and the family is civic-minded.

"Everybody knows the Hollanders as good, generous, upstanding people," Barry said. "They're embedded in the community. Everyone knows Hartford Distributors. They treat their employees very well and they're part of the fabric of the town."

In a statement, Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell offered condolences to the victims' families and co-workers.

"We are all left asking the same questions: How could someone do this? Why did they do this?" she said.


Associated Press writers Everton Bailey Jr. in Manchester; Michelle R. Smith, Susan Haigh and Dave Collins in Hartford, Conn.; John Christoffersen in Enfield, Conn.; Lynne Tuohy in Concord, N.H.; and Eric Tucker in Providence, R.I., contributed to this report

Mitzi Kapture

Mitzi Kapture
Born Mitzi Gaynor Donahue
May 2, 1962 (1962-05-02) (age 48)
Yorba Linda, California, U.S.
Other name(s) Mitzi Kapture Donahue
Occupation Actress
Years active 1987-present
Spouse(s) Bradley Kapture (1982-?) (divorced) 2 children

Mitzi Gaynor Donahue (born May 2, 1962 in Yorba Linda, Orange County, California) is an American actress, also credited and more popularly known as Mitzi Kapture. (Mitzi Gaynor was a popular stage and film actress in the 1950s).

Kapture began her career in films, most of which were not huge commercial successes. She went on to make a few television guest appearances (MacGyver, 1st & Ten, and as a contestant on The $100,000 Pyramid) before she gained international exposure with her first major television role as Sergeant Rita Lee Lance in the television series Silk Stalkings. Silk Stalkings premiered on CBS but later moved to USA Network. "Silk" aired for 8 seasons and became one of USA network's highest rated original series. Kapture's role as Rita, the other half of the two "Sams" for almost 5 years, cemented her popularity. Paired with Rob Estes (Melrose Place, I Do, They Don't) who played Sergeant Chris Lorenzo, Kapture gained global recognition along with her costar since the show was broadcast in several countries. They were nicknamed the "dynamic duo" by fans. Kapture garnered much praise for her strong portrayal of the character who was a role model for many young women. Sergeant Lance eventually became Lieutenant Lance by the time Kapture left the series in 1995 to have her first child Madison. Her departure from the series together with that of co-star Rob Estes left many fans protesting. During her time with the series, Kapture briefly sat in the director's chair, for two episodes. She was interviewed for the Silk Stalkings Season 1 DVD which was distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment and released in September 2004.

After a short hiatus from the screen following her exit from Silk Stalkings, Kapture returned in 1997 to the small screen and USA Network. She played lead roles in two USA Pictures Originals telemovies, Perfect Crime (based on a true story, also called Hide and Seek: The Joanne Jensen Story), which also starred Jasmine Guy and His Bodyguard. She later starred in a few other independent film projects and theatre productions and had several television guest appearances. Kapture also had a recurring role on Baywatch as Alexis Ryker, helping to boost the show's ratings from 2.8 to 4.2.

More recently she played Anita Hodges on The Young and the Restless from 2002 through 2004, where she was credited as Mitzi Kapture Donahue, and starred in the made-for-TV movie Night of Terror which premiered March 26, 2006 on Lifetime Network. Her latest is a supporting role in God's Ears, released in 2007.

Kapture is the official celebrity spokesperson for the Xeroderma Pigmentosum Society.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Lindsay Lohan released from jail(CNN) -- Actress Lindsay Lohan was released from the Lynwood Correctional Facility early Monday morning.

(CNN) -- Actress Lindsay Lohan was released from the Lynwood Correctional Facility early Monday morning after less than two weeks behind bars, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said.

Lohan was released at 1:35 a.m. (4:35 a.m. ET), Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Benjamin Grubb said. He said she was taken to a treatment facility.

After Lohan was taken to jail July 20, a sheriff's spokesman said her stay would likely last between 13 and 15 days.

Superior Court Judge Marsha Revel sentenced Lohan to 90 days in jail for missing alcohol counseling sessions in violation of her probation.

But the sheriff, who runs the jail, has the power to release prisoners early because of jail overcrowding.

Lohan was also sentenced to spend 90 days in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program after her jail term is completed. Revel ordered Lohan to enter a program within 24 hours of leaving jail.

"I would like the transition to be sooner rather than later," Revel said last month.

She said Lohan's next court date would come a week after her release from jail, although if she is in a rehab program her lawyer can appear without her.

Lohan was arrested twice in 2007 on charges of driving under the influence, and in the second incident she was charged with cocaine possession.

The first arrest came after Lohan lost control of her Mercedes-Benz convertible and struck a curb in Beverly Hills.

Just two weeks after checking out of a Malibu drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility, she was arrested again in July 2007 after a woman called Santa Monica police, saying Lohan was trying to run her down with a car.

Lohan's acting career, which started at age 10 on a soap opera, took off on the big screen a year later, when she played identical twins in Disney's remake of "The Parent Trap."

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Daniel Radcliffe celebrates his 21st birthday in Russia

We hope Harry Potter has a spell to cure a nasty hangover: actor Daniel Radcliffe celebrated his 21st birthday just like any other adolescent of legal drinking age - but with more money and adoring fans, of course.

Radcliffe was reportedly spotted downing a few drinks at Russian nightclub 48 Chairs while on vacation with two male friends in St. Petersburg last Saturday night. The wand-waving star was apparently enjoying himself and having a great time while sipping vodka on the rocks.

"He enjoyed himself so much. He was laughing like a hyena all night," a source told U.K. Sun.

The onlooker seemed to be shocked to see the young star. "We were stunned when we realized it was Harry Potter. He was just fab."

The Wizard even concocted some of his own potions behind the bar, pouring drinks for himself and his friends.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Muslim clerics star on TV reality show

(CNN) -- It may look like "American Idol" or "The X Factor", but the contestants aren't vying for money or a record deal.

This is "Imam Muda" or "Young Imam", Malaysia's TV talent show where contestants compete to become a Muslim Cleric.

The slick TV promotion promises: "The show that will change your life, the eternal quest of our very being."

But aside from the overblown claims, the producers are serious about ripping up the rule book of religious programming.

Channel Manager of Astro Oasis TV Izelan Basar says: "Our objective is just to attract the youngsters closer to Islam, that's the main objective. Then it becomes: how are we want to do it? The approach is how are we going to make it interesting for the young. For any religion how to attract the young is a huge challenge."

The winner will get a full-time job at a prestigious mosque, a scholarship to study in Saudi Arabia and an all expenses paid pilgrimage to Mecca.

But their journey to reach those prizes is more like reality TV, than po-faced religious quest. Each episode features the contestants completing different challenges.

So far they've had to counsel married couples going through relationship problems, prepared an HIV positive corpse for burial and deliver a sermon in front of hundreds of worshippers.

Each week, one or sometimes two, hopefuls are voted off by a panel of experts. Tension builds as the presenter reviews the young men's performance and then finally reveals who is being sent home.

There's no Simon Cowell, instead a former Grand Mufti -- equivalent of an Arch Bishop -- is one of those critiquing their every move.

As we filmed two contestants were voted off the show, including a distraught Nuri Ali Arbain.

"So far I am very sad with these results ...I did the best in my exam, my practical, I don't where mistake is actually," he said.

For ten weeks, contestants have been cut off from the outside world. They were unable to watch the football World Cup, instead having to play their own games.

More than a thousand applicants were whittled down to ten finalists, and millions of viewers across Malaysia are expected to tune into the dramatic conclusion this evening.

The producers hope the program will spark debate and inform people about the work of Imams. Its fans say it is a reflection of Malaysia's open, modern and tolerant form of Islam.

The show even has its own Facebook and Twitter accounts, part of a conscious effort to reach out to young viewers and make Islam relevant in the twenty first century.

Whoever wins, a second season seems a certainty. For a religion that is often portrayed as staid and conservative, this is nothing short of revolutionary.

Police filmed dragging women and babies during protest

London, England (CNN) -- A video has emerged showing French police evicting African immigrants with babies and children during a housing protest in a Paris suburb.

Police arrived in the north-east Parisian suburb of La Courneuve last Wednesday and asked a group of about 60 mostly women and children to move, said Michael Hajdenberg, a journalist with the French media organization Mediapart.

The group had been living in the street since being evicted from their council homes on July 8 to make way for a new housing project, he said.

When the group failed to respond to the request, Hajdenberg said police officers forcibly removed them.

Authorities had offered to accommodate them for a short period in hotels, but Hajdenberg said the immigrants wanted more of a long-term guarantee of places to live.

The video shows police dragging away women with babies and young children. In one scene a woman with a baby wrapped to her back is dragged along the pavement while screaming and shouting.

Another scene shows what appears to be a pregnant woman lying on her back on the street. Police can also be seen carrying women away while children and babies are screaming.

Because the experience was so traumatic they have ended up accepting the offer to go into the hotel

currently being examined to see if they can be re-housed depending on different criteria."--Michael Hoare, Right to Housing

Friday, July 30, 2010


Maradona: I was lied to and betrayed

Buenos Aires, Argentina (CNN) -- Argentina's top soccer officials lied to and betrayed coach Diego Maradona in deciding not to renew his contract, he told reporters.

"Grondona lied to me; Bilardo betrayed me," said the 49-year-old former star player for Argentina's national team, referring to Argentine Football Association President Julio Grondona and AFA General Manager Carlos Bilardo.

Argentina's 4-0 loss to Germany in a quarterfinal match put the team out of the World Cup competition.

After the team's elimination, according to Maradona, Grondona told him, "in the presence of witnesses and players, that he was very content with the work done and that he wanted it to continue."

But once the team returned to Argentina, "Grondona told me that he wanted me to continue as the coach, but that seven people from my coaching squad would have to go," Maradona said Wednesday. "That was impossible for me to agree to do."

He added, "I have different codes and morals than they do; my parents taught me that."

Maradona said that, "while we were in mourning, Bilardo was working in the shadows to throw me out."

After reading from a prepared speech for 12 minutes, he left without taking questions as many of the assembled journalists applauded.

After meeting with officials at AFA headquarters in Buenos Aires, Grondona told reporters that he had not lied to Maradona. Though the two men had talked about change, "it was not my intention to open the exit door for him," he said.

He said he did not understand how Maradona could believe he was betrayed. "We were looking for some change, not to get rid of Maradona," he said.

Bilardo said he would respond next week to Maradona's accusations.

Toy Story 3

Toy Story 3 Hidden Messages

“Toy Story 3” has a few hidden messages and references:
-Sid, the bully from the first movie who wears a skull T-shirt, appears as a garbage man in the new film wearing the same skull T-shirt.
-There’s a postcard on Andy’s dresser addressed from the featured characters from last year’s “Up,” Carl and Ellie Fredrickson.
-Lightning McQueen from “Cars” is referenced a few times throughout the film: A miniature toy car at the daycare center, on a child’s shirt at the center and on a fictional train that shares McQueen’s number, 95. That number refers to 1995, the year the first “Toy Story” was released. -A calendar from Pizza Planet is seen. Pizza Planet has appeared in every Pixar film except “The Incredibles.”
-Pixar has a history of hiding a character to be featured in a later movie somewhere in a current film. Nemo first appeared in “Monsters, Inc.” and “Toy Story 3″ newcomer, Lots-o-Huggins Bear first appeared alongside a bed in “Up.” According to, a poster on Andy’s wall shows a character from next year’s “Cars 2.” It shows Finn McMissile, a British sports car/secret agent who plays a major role in the sequel.
-Buzz Lightyear’s batteries are from “Buy ‘N’ Large,” the giant corporation responsible for ruining the planet in “WALL-E.”
-Much of the film takes place at a daycare center. At the daycare center, Mr. Ray the Scientific Stingray from “Finding Nemo” makes a cameo. Nemo himself appears as a sticker on Andy’s toy box.
-John Ratzenberger keeps his streak alive of appearing in every single Pixar film made to this point. For “Toy Story 3,” he reprises his role as Hamm.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Kodi Augustus

Latest News Update About Kodi Augustus

I haven’t kept tabs on a Real World season since The Miz went toe-to-toe with that uber-abrasive Coral chick back in 2001. The series seems to have lost its punch, and now that I am older than nearly all cast members it’s just plain weird to give a damn about these people’s lives. But while doing some channel surfing last week, I caught the tail end of the latest Real World: New Orleans episiode and learned that next week Mississippi State forward Kodi Augustus becomes part of a love triangle with two current cast members. Apparently Augustus has a history with Jemmye, but just four episodes in to the show the Baton Rouge belle has fallen for Knight, a likable dude from Wisconson recovering from an addiction to painkillers following a shoulder injury.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

anna fermanova

Another glamorous Russian arrested in U.S. spy investigation as she tries to 'smuggle weapons parts onto plane'

A young beautician has been charged with trying to smuggle weapons parts into Russia as U.S. authorities continue to investigate suspected foreign spies.

Anna Fermanova, who lives near Dallas, Texas, was apprehended while trying to take three hi-tech night-vision rifle sights aboard a flight to Mexico.

The 24-year-old was stopped in March by officials at JFK Airport in New York and the items were confiscated.

She was allowed to complete her journey and arrested when she returned to the U.S. earlier this month.

Fermanova is currently under arrest at her parents' home in Plano, Texas, on $50,000 bail.

She is expected to attend court in New York in the next few weeks where she faces a possible ten years in prison.

Under U.S. law, sophisticated military weapons cannot be exported without the approval of the U.S. State Department.

A customs officer claims Fermanova had covered the rifle sight's serial numbers with marker pen.

Fermanova told officials she covered the markings 'so they would be less noticeable' when she tried to take them overseas without a licence, it is alleged.

Her arrest comes just weeks after glamorous spy Anna Chapman was deported to Russia.

Like Chapman, Fermanova has a Facebook page that includes provocative photos of herself. Chapman lived in New York; there is no evidence to suggest the two knew each other.

But Fermanova's lawyer Scott Palmer said his client is not a spy.

He said Fermanova bought the rifle sights online for a friend of her husband, who lives in Moscow, and that they were to be used for hunting.

'There's no terrorism, no spying, nothing that remotely touches these recent concerns,' he said. 'She's one woman who bought something on the Internet, put it in her luggage and this apparently violates federal law.'

Mr Palmer said Fermanova is a U.S. citizen who was born in Latvia and raised in the Dallas area. She splits her time between Dallas and Russia, where her husband has a job in the country's financial industry, he said.

The federal affidavit states that Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel are investigating Fermanova and others for attempting to export U.S. military commodities to Russia without the proper licenses.

Mr Palmer said Fermanova has been studying to become a cosmetologist. She has a Texas cosmetologist's license that expires next year, according to the state's Department of Licensing and Regulation.

Jack Roush Plane Crash

NASCAR's Roush injured in Wisconsin plane crash
MILWAUKEE – NASCAR team owner Jack Roush was in serious but stable condition after walking away from a plane crash in Wisconsin on Tuesday night.

"There are injuries. Possible surgery," Roush Fenway Racing president Geoff Smith said in a text message to The Associated Press. "But he walked out of the plane."

Smith confirmed that the plane belonged to Roush, and he was flying it. Smith said Roush's injuries include facial lacerations.

Roush, an aviation buff, was attending the Experimental Aircraft Association's annual AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., this week.

In a statement on the EAA Web site, officials said a Beechcraft Premier business jet registered to Roush Fenway Racing, LLC was involved in a landing accident at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh.

The accident occurred at approximately 6:15 p.m. CDT, the statement said.

According to the EAA, the National Transportation Safety Board and Winnebago County Sheriff's Department confirmed that two occupants on board were Roush and Brenda Strickland of Plymouth, Mich. Strickland is a friend of Roush's.

"Each exited the aircraft following the accident," the statement said. "Both were transported to local hospitals, with Roush in serious but stable condition and Strickland with non-life threatening injuries. The NTSB is leading the investigation into the accident."

According to a statement from the team, Roush was landing his plane when the accident occurred.

"Dr. Kevin Wasco, the attending physician, says that Roush is in serious but stable condition," the team's statement said. "His injuries are not life threatening."

It is the second close call for Roush, who crashed a plane into a pond in Alabama in 2002 and nearly drowned before being rescued by an ex-Marine who lived nearby. Despite sustaining serious injuries, Roush continued flying.

Roush owns several aircraft, including a World War II-vintage P-51 Mustang.

After having success in dragsters and sports car racing, Roush — a former Ford engineer and college physics teacher — founded his NASCAR team in 1988. Known for his trademark Panama-style hat, academic speaking style and love for tinkering with anything mechanical, he won championships in NASCAR's top series with Matt Kenseth in 2003 and Kurt Busch in 2004.

Since 2007, Roush has partnered with the Fenway Sports Group, the sports marketing arm of the Boston Red Sox's parent company.

The team currently fields cars in the Cup series for Kenseth, Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle and David Ragan.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fancy a dream job?

LONDON: Fancy US$80,000 (RM288,160) a year on a stress-free job with flexible working hours and no need to wear a suit? Well, grab your black pointy hat, take out that rusty black drape and refresh your memory on how to turn your grumpy neighbour into a mouse.

Somerset tourist attraction Wookey Hole caves is advertising for a "witch" and has already received 100 applicants since the beginning of last week.

Legend has it that the caves, near Wells, were home to the Wookey Witch who was turned to stone by the medieval Abbott of Glastonbury to rid villagers of her curse.

The vacancy has arisen because the previous incumbent has retired. The successful candidate, who will be living in a "spacious" cave, has to cackle, not be allergic to cats and will be asked to perform "a range of tasks" including magic at an open audition scheduled for July 28.

Company converts onion juice to electricity

LOS ANGELES: Onions make you cry, add flavour to food and are touted for their medicinal benefits. Now the vegetable has another use – powering up green energy.

A new system is up and running at Gills Onions, the largest fresh onion processor in the United States, converting onion juice into electricity.

The Oxnard, California-based company expects its new onion-fuelled power to reduce its electric bill by US$700,000 (RM2.5 million) a year and cut its annual greenhouse gas emissions by up to 30,000 tonnes.

The happy ending to this green energy tale, however, started with another question: how to get rid of onion

“When we peel an onion, 35 to 40 per cent of the onion comes off before we have a usable onion. That’s the top, tail and skin around the onion before you get to the meat,” said Steven Gill, co-owner of the 25-year-old company.

They used to haul the waste to the fields for composting, but that became a problem. Ten years ago, Gill started looking at technology for a solution, including microturbines.

“We ended up shredding the skins as they come out of the plant and extracting all the juice, which is very high in sugars, and bacteria love that stuff,” Gill said.

In the new system, bacteria produce methane gas from the juice. The gas then goes to two 300 kilowatt fuel cells, creating enough power for 460 houses. The company expects to get 35 to 40 per cent of its electricity
from the on-site generator.

The company invested US$9.5 million in the project and will receive US$2.7 million from Southern California Gas Co, a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy, as part of a State programme to encourage self-contained generation by businesses. In addition to cutting its electric bill, the company will save US$400,000 in hauling costs and expects payback in six years.

The onion grower now has new goal: to be a zero-waste facility by 2011.

“We want to follow it all the way through and make the full circle,” Gill said.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Rick Warren hospitalized after eyes burned

Megachurch pastor Rick Warren is home recovering after his eyes were burned as he pruned a firestick plant in his yard, his spokesman told CNN Thursday.

Warren was hospitalized Monday after the incident and released Tuesday, said his spokesman, A. Larry Ross. Warren is expected to make a full recovery, Ross said.

"My eyes were severely burned by a toxic poison," Warren wrote in a Twitter message Thursday morning. "Hospitalized Mon. Excruciating pain. Now home. Pray my sight loss is restored."

Though the pain was initially so intense that Warren could not open his eyes on Monday, he was seeing well enough Thursday to send the Tweet himself, Ross said. "The pain was excruciating - 12 on a scale of 1 through 10," Ross said. "It's now down to an 8."

Warren was pruning shrubs in the yard of his Southern California home when he wiped his eyes after picking up leaves from a firestick plant, Ross said.

The sap of the firestick is toxic and can cause skin irritation and temporary blindness if it comes in contact with the skin or eyes, according to the website The firestick is a succulent with spiky orange branches.

Warren is currently on leave from his church, called Saddleback, to write a book, so the injury is not expected to affect his public schedule, Ross said.

"A doctor put protective contacts on my corneas as bandages during the healing," Warren said in another Tweet on Thursday. "I am NOT blind."

The firestick is found around the world, Ross said, and grows well in Southern California.

"Pastor Rick, an avid gardener, purchased it locally himself," Ross said.

Wyclef Jean considering running for president of Haiti

Wyclef Jean for president?

There are reports that the musician is mulling a run for the top office in Haiti. Reached by phone, Jean told CNN that talk of a campaign is a bit premature as he is still mulling it over.

“I can’t sing forever,” Jean said.

The Canadian publication Le Droit reported over the weekend that Jean would be throwing his hat into the political ring in his native homeland. But Jean told CNN that such reports reflect him being "drafted" but he hasn't decided for sure yet.

He added that he has filled out the necessary paperwork in case he does decide to move forward with a candidacy. Jean has been an outspoken proponent of Haiti through his Yele Haiti Foundation and was one of the first celebrities to offer aid after the devastating earthquake.

"Wyclef's commitment to his homeland and its youth is boundless, and he will remain its greatest supporter regardless of whether he is part of the government moving forward," said a statement released by his foundation. "At this time, Wyclef Jean has not announced his intent to run for Haitian president. If and when a decision is made, media will be alerted immediately. Please let us know if we can help with anything else."
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