GM stung by scorpion: Doug Melvin sought medical attention

Brewers general manager Doug Melvin sought medical attention after he was bitten by a scorpion Wednesday night in Phoenix
Injuries to MLB general managers are piling up.

Days after Yankees GM Brian Cashman broke his leg and ankle skydiving, Milwaukee Brewers boss Doug Melvin was hospitalized after he was stung by a scorpion Wednesday.

The Chatham, Ont., native said he spent three hours in a emergency room in Scottsdale, Ariz., after trying to dispose of what he thought was a harmless bug in his condo.

“It stung me right through the Kleenex,” Melvin told reporters. “My arm started swelling and then the numbness started going up my arm, like when you hit your funny bone. I was wondering if it might go all the way up my arm and go to my heart. I got nervous when it got up to my shoulder, so I went to the emergency room.”

Despite having numbness in his left arm, Melvin was back at work Thursday.

FURCAL DONE FOR SEASON

Rafael Furcal’s season ended before it got started.

The St. Louis Cardinals announced Thursday the shortstop will have Tommy John surgery to repair a partially-torn ulnar collateral ligament, an injury he suffered in August.

“You know for me, especially myself and my family, it’s very disappointing,” Furcal said, according to the team’s website. “I worked so hard in the off-season to get everything straight, I was working hard with the doctors and the trainers and doing anything I could do to be ready for spring training and be ready for the season. It’s tough for me to say that I’m going to lose the whole year. For me, I feel like I don’t know where my mind is right now. I can’t describe it. It’s a tough situation for me.”

Pete Kozma is in line to replace the 35-year-old veteran at shortstop for the Cardinals.

WHITE SOX, SALE AGREE

The Chicago White Sox locked up young starter Chris Sale to a five-year, $32.5-milllion contract Thursday.

The backloaded deal will see Sale, who turns 24 on March 30, earn $850,000 in 2013, $3.5 million in ‘14, $6 million in ‘15, $9.15 million in ‘16 and $12 million in ‘17. The White Sox hold options for ‘18 at $12.5 million and for ‘19 at $13.5 million.

After thriving as a reliever in his first two MLB seasons from 2010-11, Sale joined Chicago’s starting rotation in 2012 and posted a 17-8 record with a 3.05 ERA. He also struck out 192 batters in 192 innings.

BRIEFLY

Boston Red Sox left-hander Craig Breslow will start the season on the disabled list as he recovers from shoulder weakness.

Miley takes off ring: Cyrus Spotted without ring

Media games: Miley Cyrus left a recording studio in Los Angeles on Wednesday, replacing her engagement ring with another item of jewellery, hours after denying her wedding to Liam Hemsworth was off






So after denying reports the wedding was off and bleating on Twitter about the 'lies', Miley Cyrus banged things to rights... by stepping out minus her engagement ring.

Not the most obvious response, but perhaps the kind reactionary tactics of a young starlet playing a game with the media.

Miley, 20, pointedly held up her left hand as she was snapped by photographers in Los Angeles on Wednesday, brandishing a replacement piece of bling on her wedding finger.

Spot the difference: Miley's ring on Wednesday, seen right the 3.5-carat diamond ring Liam gave to her
Spot the difference: Miley's ring on Wednesday, seen right the 3.5-carat diamond ring Liam gave to her
Spot the difference: Miley's ring on Wednesday, seen right the 3.5-carat diamond ring Liam gave to her
It was not the 3.5-carat diamond Neil Lane ring Hunger Games star Liam bestowed her with last summer.

Adding to her attention seeking display was a mean-looking studded leather jacket, short black dress and kinky knee high boots.

The singer was spotted leaving a recording studio in LA before jumping into a waiting car. Liam was nowhere in sight.


Miley furiously took to Twitter on Wednesday, insisting things are still rosy between her and Liam.

It comes amid claims he was caught getting cosy with January Jones at an Oscars party late last month.

Cyrus told her followers on Wednesday that she was taking a break from social meida, but hours later followed up with more tweets.

'Not discussing anything but my music from now on,' she wrote, alluding to her personal life hitting the headlines, before adding: 'My new music is gonna shut everyone up.'

Earlier she wrote: 'I am so sick of La. And sick of the lies that come with it. I didn't call off my wedding. Taking a break from social media. #draining.'

Her announcement comes after it was reported that Liam is reportedly not happy that the LOL actress - who recently joked she will have 30 wedding dresses - is focusing all her energy on recording her fourth album and doesn't have as much time for him recently.

A source told US Weekly: 'Liam and Miley are done.

'Miley put her career on hold to spend all her time on Liam. Now that she's back recording her fourth album, he's not happy. She says she's over it.'

The couple - who got engaged last summer - has been plagued by break-up rumours recently after Liam, 23, was spotted chatting closely with Emma Watson and leaving a bash with January Jones, 35, while enjoying nights out in Hollywood without his fiancee around the time of the Oscars.

Liam and January were apparently spotted getting 'hot and heavy' at a bash held at Chateau Marmont.

The pair were reportedly seen getting cosy when they thought others weren't looking.

'It looked like they had some hot chemistry. They were all over each other – and they even kissed!' a source said.

Miley previously said that while she is really in love with the Australian actor, they are in no rush to tie the knot and admitted she was eager to focus on her career before their wedding.

She explained: 'I already feel married. I know we are forever. I don't need the paper right now.

'I don't know when we will get married yet. We are still enjoying being engaged. I've got so much planning to do with the tours and getting my record out.

'First I have my movie, then my record - then I'll do my wedding planning.'

Blocked Bids to Fill Judgeships Stir Latest Fight on Filibuster

Caitlin J. Halligan's nomination to the District of Columbia federal appeals court was filibustered by Republicans.
WASHINGTON — A fresh feud over federal judgeships has again begun to agitate the Senate, with Republicans so far blocking President Obama from filling any of the four vacancies on the nation’s most prestigious and important appeals court.

After Republicans this week filibustered the nomination of Caitlin J. Halligan of New York to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Democrats quickly began discussions over how to respond. One possibility is for Mr. Obama to make several simultaneous nominations, in effect daring Republicans to find specific objections in multiple instances. Democrats say Republicans would be hard pressed to come up with legitimate reasons to disqualify all four.

“We need to design a strategy to counter the Republicans, and we are going to need the president,” said Senator Tom Udall, Democrat of New Mexico. “Rather than putting just one up, we should put before the Senate all four and expose what is happening here.”

If Republicans were to continue to steadfastly block a series of appeals court nominees, Democrats say they might then have justification to revisit Senate rules and claim new power to thwart filibusters.

The District of Columbia appeals court is considered a route to the Supreme Court. In fact, Ms. Halligan was nominated to fill the vacancy left by Judge John G. Roberts Jr. when he left to join the Supreme Court in September 2005. The court decides many politically charged cases involving federal law and regulations, with one of its recent decisions overturning Mr. Obama’s recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board.

The court currently consists of four judges appointed by Republican presidents and three appointed by President Bill Clinton, with four vacancies, the most ever on that court. Five of the six semiretired senior judges who share the workload were nominated by Republican presidents.

The filibuster of Ms. Halligan on Wednesday came just before the effort by Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, to block the nomination of John O. Brennan as director of the Central Intelligence Agency over drone policy. Mr. Paul’s old-school floor show was a media sensation. But the failure to end debate on Ms. Halligan’s nomination was arguably more consequential, given its potential to renew the fight over rules governing filibusters and how the Senate handles high-level judicial nominations.

Democrats believe Republicans are dead set against confirming qualified Obama administration nominees to federal circuit courts, especially the Washington appeals court, in order to preserve the current balance of power. They accuse Republicans of exaggerating their objections to Ms. Halligan to justify a filibuster under a 2005 agreement that averted the last partisan showdown over appointing judges.

That deal, crafted by what became the “Gang of 14,” a bipartisan group of senators, put its signatories on record as saying they would not block confirmation votes on appeals court judges without “extraordinary circumstances” as determined by each individual. While only members of the group signed it, the agreement became informal Senate policy and defused a crisis that had Republicans threatening to execute the “nuclear option” and bar filibusters against judicial nominees by a simple majority instead of the 67 votes historically needed to change Senate rules.

It also led to President George W. Bush winning three appointments to the District of Columbia court. All three appointees remain.

Over all, Mr. Obama has appointed roughly as many federal appellate judges as either Mr. Bush or Mr. Clinton did in each of their first terms. But Mr. Obama has appointed fewer federal judges to district courts, where trials are held, than Mr. Bush or Mr. Clinton in their first terms, partly because of Republican opposition and partly because of the administration’s own slowness to make nominations.

The appellate courts also have more vacancies today — 17 — than they did at the start of Mr. Bush’s second term, when 15 seats were open, according to Russell Wheeler, a Brookings Institution scholar who studies the federal courts.

In filibustering Ms. Halligan, several Republicans cited extraordinary circumstances arising from her work as the solicitor general for the State of New York, particularly on a case against gun manufacturers.

“Ms. Halligan advanced the novel legal theory that gun manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers contributed to a ‘public nuisance’ of illegal handguns in the state,” said Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, accusing her of judicial activism. “Therefore, she argued, gun manufacturers should be liable for the criminal conduct of third parties.”

Republicans also raised questions about the court’s caseload, saying the cost of adding another judge to the court was not justified by a backlog.

Democrats cried foul. Senator Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, called the claims on the workload disingenuous and said Republicans had resorted to smearing Ms. Halligan.

Democrats say that Ms. Halligan was acting in her official capacity representing the State of New York, not as a jurist, and that Republicans have abandoned the “extraordinary circumstances” test engineered by the Gang of 14.

“If you go back to that history of what occurred back then, there is a real question of whether they have broken the deal now,” Mr. Udall said. “This is a key circuit for the country. What they are doing is not allowing these consensus candidate judges to get votes.”

Mr. Udall has been among a group of relatively newer members of the Senate clamoring for significant changes in rules governing filibusters.

In January, working to avoid a divisive fight, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, and Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, struck a deal making modest changes in the rules.

But those changes have done little so far to curb filibusters, as evidenced by the vote on Ms. Halligan and the obstacles raised to confirmation votes on Mr. Brennan and Chuck Hagel. Mr. Hagel, a Republican former senator, found himself on the receiving end of a Republican filibuster before winning confirmation as secretary of defense.

Given the attention Mr. Paul received, the filibuster may even be enjoying resurgence as grand theater.

Democrats say that despite what they see as clear provocation, they are in no rush to change the new rules after just two months in place and while the parties are potentially making progress on other tough issues like immigration. They are more inclined to explore new ways to challenge Republicans over the vacancies.

The fight will take time. Democrats say they want to see how Republicans respond to future appeals court nominees, including another one to the District of Columbia circuit, Srikanth Srinivasan, Mr. Obama’s deputy solicitor general. But a series of filibusters against what they view as acceptable nominees could again bring to a head the push for a change in Senate rules.

Jim Carrey, Steve Carell bring Burt Wonderstone magic to SXSW

Comedian Jim Carrey speaks before presenting an award during the second annual 2012 Comedy Awards in New York City April 28, 2012.
Comedians Jim Carrey and Steve Carell brought a touch of magic to the opening day of the South by Southwest Conferences & Festivals in Austin, Texas on Friday, with the premiere of their new film "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone."

"Burt Wonderstone," out in U.S. theaters on March 15, tells the tale of childhood friends Burt (Carell) and Anton (Steve Buscemi) who bond over their love of magic, growing up to become a world-famous magician duo.

They soon find their skills and friendship tested in a constantly evolving world of magic and entertainment, as audiences demand something new with the arrival of edgy illusionist Steve Gray (Carrey).

Carrey, decked out in a red jacket and silver shoes on Friday's red carpet, said that despite playing a magician, he resented magic. "I've always had this weird relationship with magic. I think it's fascinating and yet it annoys me because I can't figure it out," Carrey said.

The funnyman was joined by co-stars Carell, who wore jeans, and Olivia Wilde, who wore a striped navy and white dress and signed autographs for fans.

Carell said he learned a bit of magic for the tricks that were shown up close in the film. "Some of those things you just can't fake," Carell said on the red carpet.

Inside the historic Paramount Theatre in downtown Austin, audience members laughed loudly throughout the film, and the stars answered their questions afterward.

Carell told the audience his character's orangey glow was achieved through weekly spray-tanning. He said it wasn't until the final days of shooting that he realized that only his face and chest showed in the film, meaning he had gotten repeatedly sprayed from head to toe for "no reason whatsoever."

The world premiere marked the opening of the film portion of South by Southwest, where creative types from all over the world converge in the Texas capital to swap ideas about film, music and technology.

SXSW, which began as a music event in 1987, runs for 10 days. The Interactive portion runs March 8-12, and the Music portion runs March 12-17. Film events run until March 16.

More than 60,000 people registered for SXSW conferences last year, and SXSW officials estimate the growth for 2013 to be in the 5-8 percent range.

Featured speakers at this year's SXSW include former Vice President Al Gore, actor Matthew McConaughey, retired basketball star Shaquille O'Neal and Dave Grohl, the former Nirvana drummer who founded the Foo Fighters.

Headliner films include the world premiere of "Evil Dead," starring Jane Levy and Shiloh Fernandez, while Green Day, Depeche Mode and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are among the musical performers slated.

Reported: Huge flood on Mars

This image provided by NASA and taken by a camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows the equatorial plains region known as Elysium Planitia on Mars. Using a radar instrument aboard the spacecraft, scientists made a 3-D map of flood channels below the surface of Mars, apparently created by past flooding. The findings were reported online, March 7, in the journal Science.
The face of Mars is dotted with a maze of channels, pointing to possible ancient megaflood episodes.

Now scientists peering below the surface have uncovered the first evidence of underground channels apparently created by flooding — a finding that's expected to further illuminate the role of water in Mars' history.

Using a ground-piercing radar sensor aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, a team of scientists created 3-D maps of an equatorial region known as Elysium Planitia and the channels that run underneath the plains.

Besides the contributions from rovers and landers, "our view of the red planet has largely been restricted to looking at the surface" from orbiting spacecraft, said lead researcher Gareth Morgan, a planetary scientist at the Smithsonian Institution.

The research, published online Thursday in the journal Science, offers a new perspective below the Martian surface and hints of past flooding at a time when the planet was mostly thought to be cold and desert-like. The channels remained hidden because the once volcanically active region had been filled in by lava flows hundreds of millions years ago.

Dry channels on the Martian surface were first spied by Mariner 9 in 1971. Later observations by the Viking spacecraft suggested the geologic features were likely carved by water. Mars missions since then have used sophisticated instruments to image these winding channels.

The latest 3-D maps, painstakingly pieced together from radar data collected by numerous spacecraft passes, have already changed scientists' notions: The channels are deeper than expected, a sign that flooding was more extensive than generally believed.

Morgan said the origin of the ancient floodwaters likely came from a deep reservoir and were possibly unleashed by a volcanic eruption.

Brown University Mars expert John Mustard called the new work "totally cool and significant."

"It shows a completely new dimension for considering the evolution of Mars," Mustard, who was not part of the study, said in an email.

Denny Hamlin: I won't pay NASCAR fine

Denny Hamlin at Daytona last month.
Denny Hamlin is good and angry about being fined $25,000 by NASCAR for making wht it said were “disparaging remarks” about the new Sprint Cup Gen-6 car on Sunday.

“Ultimately, I’m not okay with it,” Hamlin said of the punishment at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. “This is the most upset and angry I’ve been in a really, really long time about anything … anything that relates to NASCAR. The truth is what the truth is. I don’t believe in this. I’m never going to believe in it. As far as I’m concerned, I’m not going to pay the fine. If they suspend me, they suspend me. I don’t care at this point.”

NASCAR could do just that, which would hurt Hamlin, who drives for Joe Gibbs Racing, in the Sprint Cup standings. Or NASCAR could deduct the money from his next race weekend. Or it could just drop the whole matter and admit it made a mistake. (Not that sports organizations ever do that … ) In a statement on Twitter, Hamlin indicated he would appeal and added that the statement was crafted without public-relations assistance:

    “The short of the long of it is I believe I was severely disrespected by NASCAR by getting fined. I believe that the simple fact of us not even having a conversation about this issue before I was hit with a fine has something to say about our relationship. What I said was 1 sentence taken completely out of context. Most drivers will tell you that we constantly have our AND nascars best interest in mind when speaking.

    “On the other hand I am a person that worked very hard from the BOTTOM to get where I am today and someone telling me that I can give my 100 percent honest opinion really bothers me. Since being fined in 2010 I have been a lot more careful about what I say to media and I felt this past weekend felt completely in my rights to give a assessment of the question asked. I feel as if today NASCAR lost one of its biggest supporters vocally of where our sport is headed.

    “So in the end there are no winners. I said today I would not pay the fine. I stand by that and will go through the process of appealing. Trust me, this is not about the money.. It’s much deeper. I will now shift my focus on giving FedEx and my team what they deserve this weekend, a win.”

In announcing the fine, NASCAR said the remarks violated Section 12-1 of the rulebook that includes all actions detrimental to stock car racing. Just what did Hamlin say that was so “detrimental?”

“I don’t want to be the pessimist, but it did not race as good as our Gen-5 cars,” Hamlin said in Phoenix on Sunday. ”This is more like what the Generation 5 was at the beginning. The teams hadn’t figured out how to get the aero balance right. Right now, you just run single-file and you cannot get around the guy in front of you. You would have placed me in 20th place with 30 [laps] to go, I would have stayed there — I wouldn’t have moved up. It’s just one of those things where track position is everything.”

Shortly after the fine was announced, fans were tweeting support with #StandWithDenny.

Hamlin finished third at Phoenix and is fourth in points. He has never missed the Chase and was concerned about the impact that a suspension could have on his season.

“It’s an opinion,” Hamlin said in exasperation of his comment. “It’s not even a bad one. I have to be careful. I don’t want to make things worse than they already are. And this is something that was absolutely nothing, and it got blo

Hasselbeck leaving View: After Full NIne Years

Elisabeth Hasselbeck at The Heart Truth Red Dress Collection Fall 2010 during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Bryant Park on February 11, 2010 in New York City.
The people have spoken. Elisabeth Hasselbeck, one of the five cohorts of ABC's daytime talk show The View, will not be returning to the couch next season, following hot on the footsteps of fellow cohost Joy Behar, a source tells Us Weekly.

According to the source, the show's resident conservative voice is being ousted after market research revealed that she isn't popular with TV audiences.

"The viewers they polled all said she was too extreme and right wing," the insider tells Us. "People did not watch the show because of Elisabeth. So they told her yesterday her contract would not be renewed."

When reached for comment, a rep for the show told Us in a statement: "Elisabeth Hasselbeck is a valued member of The View and has a long term contract."

Hasselbeck, 35, joined the cast of the daytime talk show in November 2003 after guest-hosting the show following Lisa Ling's departure in 2002.

Throughout the course of her time on The View, she has gotten into numerous arguments with her cohosts, including a heated argument with Rosie O'Donnell in 2007 over the War in Afghanistan and with Barbara Walters over Mitt Romney in 2012.

Earlier this week, Behar, 70, announced her own departure from the show after 16 1/2 years.

"You can't stay forever on a show," she told Good Morning America. "I am graciously exiting stage left. I've put in 16 1/2 years and felt the time was right. I want to explore other opportunities."

Adds the source to Us: "Joy says it just felt ... tired and like work. She was over it."

Behar has been with the talk show since its inception in 1997, and currently hosts Joy Behar: Say Anything! on Current TV.

Rick Springfield Arrested for Missing Court Date

Rick Springfield Arrested for Missing Court Date
The arrest stemmed from a previous speeding offense where the ‘Jessie’s Girl’ singer received three years probation. A bench warrant was issued Wednesday after Springfield failed to show up for a February court date.

Rick Springfield's mug shot from his arrest nearly two years ago. The singer was arrested on Friday for failing to show up to a court appearance, but has since been released.

Rocker and TV doctor Rick Springfield got an unwanted house call Friday from cops serving an arrest warrant.

The “Jessie's Girl” crooner, 63, was hauled off to jail after missing a court date he apparently didn't know about related to a DUI probation.

“My home away from home. Lost hills sheriff station. Arrested this am on a bench warrant,” he wrote in a subsequent Facebook posting that included a photo of the sheriff's booking station just outside Malibu, Calif.

“I didn’t know that I was supposed appear in court a few weeks ago. It was to do with the old DUI charge and it’s been cleared up and i am free to go,” he explained to his faithful fans.

“Thought I might miss the gig tonite but I will be there and we will celebrate together,” he wrote. “Life is not boring. XOXO”

The shaggy-haired singer was arrested in May 2011 after cops spotted his 1963 Corvette speeding down the Pacific Coast Highway.

Springfield was originally arrested for speeding and driving under the influence.

He pleaded no contest last August to misdemeanor reckless driving with “driving under the influence conditions” and received three years of probation.

A bench warrant was issued Wednesday after Springfield failed to show up for a Feb. 11 court date to prove he’d completed some terms of his plea deal, court records show.

Springfield’s signature hit, “Jessie’s Girl,” topped the charts in 1981 and earned him a Grammy for best male rock vocal performance.

That same year he debuted on the popular ABC soap opera "General Hospital" as dashing doctor Noah Drake.

He returned to the show in 2005 after a 23-year absence and has continued as a guest star on a recurring basis.

He's expected to reprise his role yet again for several episodes starting in April, he told People magazine last month.

Capriati arrest warrant: Tennis player Jennifer Capriati charged?

A Jennifer Capriati arrest warrant is being pursued today by the Police Department of North Palm Beach, Gossip Extra reported this Friday, March 8. According to sources, former women’s tennis champ Jennifer Capriati has a warrant out for her arrest and may be charged with both stalking and battery following a Valentine’s Day “incident.”

Under the headline, “Arrest warrant sought for ex-tennis champ, Jennifer Capriati”, a police report revealed that the past winner of a French Open and two Australian Opens met up with an ex-boyfriend at the Oxygen Health and Fitness gym — and the meeting was not a good one.

Capriati and her former flame Ivan Brannan allegedly had a “serious argument” by the men’s locker room, and Capriati then reportedly punched Brannan several times in the chest. A yoga instructor on site added that following the Capriati arrest warrant headline this week, the tennis champ did in fact hit Brannan and tried to intervene before Brannan ran into the locker room to call 911.

Capriati left the gym that Valentine's Day, but was stopped by police officers several miles away. She was let go while the Palm Beach County Police Department determines whether a warrant for battery or other charges is forthcoming. Capriati has since been accused of calling Ivan Brannan “over 100 times a day”, while Capriati has found a lawyer.

The lawyer, concludes Gossip Cop, has not yet commented on the rumored reports.

Jennifer Capriati Arrest warrant denied by her laywers

Jennifer Capriati Arrest warrant denied by her laywers
New broke that there’s an arrest warrant for Jennifer Capriati, but the former Grand Slam champion’s legal team has issued a statement for allegedly attacking her ex-boyfriend Ivan Brannan.

”There is no arrest warrant for Jennifer Capriati. The case between Ms. Capriati and Mr. Ivan Brannan has not yet been assigned in Palm Beach County and has not been reviewed. The current facts being circulated by Mr. Brannan are an over exaggeration and the police report is one-sided in Mr. Brannan’s favor since they failed to get Ms. Capriati’s side of the story. We will make sure that Ms. Capriati’s side of the story is fully conveyed and when the truth comes out she will be vindicated from these charges.”

According to SI.com, the incident happened on Valentine’s Day at a gym in Florida, with Capriati striking Brannan’s chest several times before a yoga instructor broke it up.

Report: Jennifer Capriati arrest warrant sought

Jennifer Capriati
An arrest warrant is being sought for Tennis Hall of Famer Jennifer Capriati, according to Gossip Extra. It seems the North Palm Beach Police Department, in Palm Beach, Fla., may be seeking a warrant after a February 14 incident.

Capriati, a former women's tennis champion, allegedly ran into a former boyfriend, Ivan Brannan, at a gym, and the reunion didn't go well. The report says she struck him in the chest with her fist multiple times, before a yoga instructor intervened. At that time, Brannan reportedly took cover in the men's locker room and called 911.

Once 911 was called, Capriati supposedly left. She was stopped by cops, who verified her identity and let her go. A spokesman with the Palm Beach County State Attorney's office declined to comment on the possibility of any warrant.

US Man kills TV host

Wayne Bengston, left, shot and killed Gregory Rodriguez, right, host of the Sportsman Channel show "A Rifleman's Journal,' while the TV personality was visiting the Bengston's wife
A man in the US shot and killed the host of a TV program about shooting - while the host was visiting his wife.

Wayne Bengston, 41, then beat his wife, took his two-year-old son to a relative's house and drove to his home about 40 kilometres away, where he apparently killed himself, police say.

The victim was Gregory G. Rodriguez, 43, host of the Sportsman Channel show "A Rifleman's Journal".

Bengston's wife told police that Rodriguez was in town on business and visiting her at her mother's house when her husband showed up on Thursday night.

It wasn't clear how Rodriguez and the woman were acquainted.

After the shooting, sheriff's deputies found Bengston's truck parked in his driveway.

Efforts by a police SWAT team to contact Bengston inside the house were unsuccessful, and officers found the man's body with an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, police said.

Besides appearing on TV, Rodrigues was the founder and CEO of Global Adventure Outfitters. According to the outfitters' website, he was an editor at Shooting Times Magazine and a contributing editor at Petersen's Hunting, Guns & Ammo and Dangerous Game.

He was a mortgage banker before founding Global Adventure Outfitters, and he has hunted in 21 countries, the website says.

"A Rifleman's Journal" tracks Rodriguez's hunting travels to exotic locations, according to a Sportsman Channel description.

He has a wife and two children, it says.

A woman who answered the phone at Global Adventure Outfitters on Friday confirmed Rodriguez had been in Montana.

Miley Cyrus party with Mystery Man Identified

Miley with a mystery man went to a house party in North Hollywood in March 7, 2013.
Miley's wild night out -- without Liam Hemsworth. The "Can't Be Tamed" singer turned up at a house party in North Hollywood on Thursday, March 7 with an unidentified, dark-haired male companion. And, for the second night in a row, the 20-year-old former Hannah Montana star opted not to wear the 3.5 carat diamond engagement ring from fiance Hemsworth, 23.

After spending some time at the bash, Cyrus and her mystery man departed together in her car, with Cyrus' friend taking the wheel. (UPDATE: A source confirms to Us Weekly that Cyrus' mystery man is Hemsworth's friend Paul Khoury.)

The LOL actress' first ring-less appearance was on Wednesday, as she headed to a recording studio elsewhere in L.A. Hours earlier, she took to Twitter to deny that her 10-month engagement to Last Song costar Hemsworth was off. "I didn't call off my wedding," Cyrus tweeted. (See more photos Miley's night out.)



Miley Cyrus not wearing her ring in North Hollywood March 7, 2013.
Still, multiple insiders tell the new Us Weekly that there's been major trouble brewing for Cyrus and Hemsworth as they battle over their dueling careers, Cyrus' shocking image makeover and other issues. "He's not happy," one pal says of the Australian actor. "She says she's over it."

Bachelor Sean Lowe is Definitely Still Happy With His Final Decision, Says Host Chris Harrison

Sean Lowe and Chris Harrison on "The Bachelor" finale. Credit: ABC/Dave Hagerman
After weeks of wading through disastrous group dates, tense rose ceremonies and crazy cat fights in search of his wife, Bachelor star Sean Lowe is finally set to pop the question (or not) to one of his two finalists: Catherine Giudici, 26, and Lindsay Yenter, 24.

And, according to show host Chris Harrison, Lowe is "definitely still happy" with his decision even several months after the show finished taping in November.

"Oh yeah, he was happy with Lindsay and Catherine [as the final two]," Harrison told E! News of Lowe's decision-making process throughout the season. "I think he aspires and hopes and looks to have something like AshLee represents, I think that's what his parents have."

"But I also think that in the end he realized he's just not there yet, and she's a little more mature and a little further along than he is," he continued. "Catherine and Lindsay are a little younger at heart and more fancy-free, where he can think, 'OK, that's a little more me right now.'"

During the Fantasy Suite episode of ABC's hit reality show, Lowe, 29, sent second runner-up AshLee Frazier home in what the Houston native called a blindside during the Women Tell All episode on Monday, March 4.

"He'd been telling me, 'You're going to meet my family. You and my sister are going to be best friends,'" she explained at the time. "So this whole time, I'm thinking, 'Huh, I got this.' And then all of a sudden I didn't."

Harrison says that Lowe's choice going into the finale was a no-brainer in his eyes, though he admits he had "no idea" how the bachelor would choose his finalists going into the hometown dates.

Lowe himself recently admitted that the final decision was a heart-wrenching one that actually brought him to tears.

"You're going to see me, basically, have a mental breakdown," he told Mario Lopez in an interview for radio show On With Mario airing Friday, March 7. "I get to a point where I'm like, man, both of these girls are so wonderful and I could see my life heading in either direction. And I don't know what to do, and I'm torn."

Charlize Theron Planning to Launch Denim Jean Line: Report

Charlize Theron arrives at the Oscars at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 24, 2013 in Hollywood, California.
A woman of many talents! Charlize Theron always looks stunning in red carpet couture, but the Oscar-winning actress also knows how to rock a pair of jeans -- and she may be putting that skill to good use.

Theron, 37, and stylist Leslie Fremar are planning a Theron Jeans line with denim brands, The Hollywood Reporter reports.

And extra good news for her fans: the line would reportedly be sold for reasonable prices in mass-market stores. The Snow White and the Huntsman actress' rep, however, told The Hollywood Reporter that she couldn't confirm the project.

When it comes to style, Theron is all about keeping it simple these days. The single mother to son Jackson, 13 months, recently shaved her head for a role in the upcoming Mad Max film.

"It's great," she told E! News earlier in March. "It's so low maintenance, and having a kid, you need as much time as you can get."

Michelle Obama Slammed by Vivienne Westwood for Dreadful Clothes

Vivienne Westwood; Michelle Obama
Say how you really feel, Vivienne Westwood! After bashing Kate Middleton last month, the British fashion designer, 71, set her sights on American royalty: Michelle Obama. In a new interview with the New York Times, Westwood is asked to weigh in on First Lady's fashion -- and her habit of recycling outfits, a practice that Westwood generally supports.

"Don't talk about her," Westwood snipes of the President's wife, 49. "It's dreadful what she wears."

When asked to elaborate on Obama, who recently debuted talked-about new bangs, and wore a raved-about Jason Wu gang for an inaugural ball in January, the iconoclastic designer continues: "I don't want to talk about it. Really, I can't. She's a very nice looking lady, but it’s a nonstarter regarding clothes that suit her."

Westwood compares Mrs. Obama -- unfavorably -- to the most legendarily stylish First Lady ever. "Jackie Kennedy was a different matter altogether. It just has to suit her and be something that makes a human being more glamorous. That's what fashion is there for. It's there to help, not just to make you look more conservative."

In her jibes against pregnant Kate Middleton, Westwood told reporters during London Fashion Week in February that the Duchess of Cambridge, 31, does not recycle her clothes often enough. "If you're going to all that trouble to get an outfit that suits you, then you should keep on wearing it. I mean, you don't have to have a red outfit one day and then something almost the same in blue the next."

Westwood had previously complained about Middleton's eye makeup. "The sharp line around her eyes make her look hard," she said.

George Lucas Already Signed Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill for Star Wars

Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford speak onstage during the 33rd AFI Life Achievement Award tribute to George Lucas at the Kodak Theatre on June 9, 2005 in Hollywood,
Oops! George Lucas may have just stolen the thunder from his lead stars. The Star Wars creator accidentally revealed in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek that Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) and Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) have already signed on for Star Wars: Episode VII.

"We had already signed Mark and Carrie and Harrison -- or we were pretty much in final stages of negotiation. So I called them to say, 'Look, this is what's going on,'" Lucas, 68, said of Disney buying Lucasfilm, and planning to release Star Wars: Episode VII in 2015.

"Maybe I'm not supposed to say that," he added. "I think they want to announce that with some big whoop-de-do, but we were negotiating with them."

Lucas teased, "I won't say whether the negotiations were successful or not."

The casting has yet to be confirmed by Disney and director J.J. Abrams, but Fisher, 56, and Hamill, 61, have hinted they will return.

"They're talking to us," Hamill told Entertainment Tonight in February. "George [Lucas] wanted to know whether we'd be interested. He did say that if we didn't want to do it, they wouldn't cast another actor in our parts -– they would write us out . . . I can tell you right away that we haven't signed any contracts. We're in the stage where they want us to go in and meet with Michael Arndt, who is the writer, and Kathleen Kennedy, who is going to run Lucasfilm. Both have had meetings set that were postponed -- on their end, not mine. They're more busy than I am."

In an interview with Palm Beach Illustrated, Fisher was asked whether she would reprise her role as Princess Leia. "Yes," she stated. She joked that Princess Leia today is "elderly . . . in an intergalactic old folks' home."

Her rep told CNN this week that "she was joking. Nothing has been announced."

Oz the Great and Powerful Review: James Franco Is Withdrawn, Mila Kunis Languishes in Remake of Classic Tale

Mila Kunis and James Franco in "OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL"
Us Rating: ** 1/2

It's got brains. Heart. And yes, even courage. What this Wizard of Oz prequel needs is more imagination.

Smarter casting too: A withdrawn James Franco can't quite sell himself as Oscar "Oz" Diggs, a small-time magician and con man in 1905 Kansas who gets caught in a tornado and lands in the magical world of Oz.

He's not really a wizard, you see, but the locals believe in his powers and ask for his help in defeating the Wicked Witch of the West. The candy-colored fantasy is essentially a story of good versus evil, represented by witches both luminous (Michelle Williams) and deliciously saucy (Rachel Weisz).

Yet, sigh, Mila Kunis languishes in a pivotal role (too spoiler-rich to detail here). And even with a dazzling, CGI-amplified yellow brick road at his disposal, Oz's journey yields no big surprises. Still, the climax cleverly pays homage to the original -- complete with a wicked witch flying off on her broomstick. If only the film could soar as high.

Kristin Cavallari Wears a Lauren Conrad-Designed Dress

Kristin Cavallari
Will fashion bring Kristin Cavallari and Lauren Conrad together? The new mom recently wore a frock designed by her former frenemy Conrad for a photo shoot with the magazine Splash Chicago.

Looking slim and stunning, the 26-year-old Cavallari paired Chinese Laundry "Liberta" heels she designed for the brand with a black tulle strapless Paper Crown "Jasper" dress designed by Conrad, 27. (The shoes retail for $149.95 and the dress is currently on sale for $238.70.)

Cavallari, who also has a line of affordable jewelry, recently appeared on Watch What Happens Live on Dec. 3, where she revealed that while MTV's The Hills was "pretty fake," her dislike of Conrad was one of the few elements of the show that was real. When host Andy Cohen asked her if her "distaste" for the fashion designer was scripted, she laughed and shouted, "No!"

George Clooney, Stacy Keibler Headed for a Breakup: The End Is Near

George Clooney (L) and actress Stacy Keibler arrives at the Oscars at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 24, 2013 in Hollywood, California.
Clooney's friends are a factor, too. According to one insider, the Oscar winner's buddies aren't wild about Keibler's pals. Adds another source: "The end is near. It's a matter of time."

For more on the couple's doomed relationship -- and exclusive details on what Keibler really thinks of Clooney's famous Lake Como villa -- watch this week's Hot Stuff video, as explained by Us Weekly entertainment director Ian Drew and special guest Andrea Canning, correspondent for Dateline NBC.

Rick Springfield Arrested Today

Singer Rick Springfield
Singer Rick Springfield was arrested in Los Angeles on Friday after missing a court date relating to a 2011 DUI conviction.

The Jessie's Girl hitmaker was expected to appear before a judge last month to prove that he had completed a court-ordered alcohol education program as part of a plea deal he struck with prosecutors two years ago to avoid a stint behind bars.

He failed to show and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest on Wednesday. Police turned up at the singer's Los Angeles home on Friday to execute the warrant and he was taken into custody at Lost Hills Sheriff's Station.

However, Springfield's lawyer managed to have the warrant recalled by the time he was booked by cops and he was subsequently released.

The singer took to his Facebook.com page while at the station and explained the incident to fans, insisting it was a mix-up.

He writes, "I didn't know that I was supposed appear in court a few weeks ago. It was to do with the old DUI charge and it's been cleared up and I am free to go."

Springfield had also been required to pay $1,555 in fines, according to TMZ.com.

Nuclear Missiles 'On Standby' Claims North Korea

North Korea Claims Nuclear Missiles 'On Standby'
A leading general in North Korea claims the country has a long-range missile armed with nuclear warheads on standby. Pyongyang repeated its Thursday vow to ditch all nonaggression pacts with South Korea and again threatened a "preemptive nuclear attack" on the United States as well.

The regime also announced early Friday that it plans to cut off phone hotlines between North and South Korea. It was part of a defiant response to tough new sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council.

Colonel General Kang Pyo-yong was quoted in North Korea's party newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, as saying his soldiers are already positioned to launch a war of reunification -- taking over South Korea -- whenever the order is given by its leaders. "Our intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and other missiles are on standby position mounted with various nuclear warheads that have been developed lighter and smaller," he announced to tens of thousands gathered Thursday at a mass rally in Pyongyang.

North Korea had claimed success in making a lighter and smaller nuclear device after testing it last month, and in December successfully launched its Unha-3 long-range rocket with enough range to reach Alaska and, perhaps, the West Coast of the United States. But weapons experts in the region have said they believe it will still be several years before the North Koreans have a nuclear warhead small enough to be carried by one of their long-range missiles.

China, North Korea's staunchest ally, joined the U.S. and other members of the Security Council to make Thursday's vote at the U.N. unanimous. This is the third round of international sanctions against the North Korean regime.

The Security Council vote came hours after Pyongyang, which has made a series of belligerent statements in recent weeks, said that it would "exercise its right for pre-emptive nuclear strike to destroy the strongholds of the aggressors."

The tough talk from North Korea also comes as the U.S. and South Korea begin joint military maneuvers. The U.S. dismissed the North Korean warnings.

"North Korean threats of provocations will only further isolate North Korea and undermine international efforts to ensure peace and stability in Northeast Asia," Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. Cathy Wilkinson said.

In recent days, North Korea has vowed to turn Seoul and Washington into a "sea of fire," has imposed no-sail/no-fly zones along its coasts, and warned that it might end the armistice that halted the Korean War in 1953 without a peace treaty.

The targets of the latest round of sanctions included in the latest round of sanctions include top officials at a company that is the country's primary arms dealer and main exporter of ballistic missile-related equipment, and a national organization responsible for research and development of missiles and probably nuclear weapons.

Danica Patrick hit in head by rock badly on dirt track

Danica Patrick
Danica Patrick says she's fine after getting hit in the head by a rock on a dirt track.

Patrick got smacked by a stray rock while attending a race Thursday night, leaving her with a sore head. She had a brief conversation with medical staff Friday, but felt no problems.

Patrick says the rock hit her "straight in the head," and she's glad she had a hat on or "there would have been blood."

Patrick had one of the most significant crashes of her career last Sunday in Phoenix, slamming into a wall with about 100 laps left and leaving her with a stiff neck and a headache.

Patrick became the first woman to win a pole and lead green-flag laps at the Daytona 500 last month, finishing eighth.

Man Kills TV Host: Channel Host Killed While Visiting Man's Wife

Gregory G. Rodriguez was a popular TV host on the Sportman Channel.
A man has killed a TV host in Montana in an incident that has shocked fans of the victim, who had worked on the Sportsman Channel show "A Rifleman's Journal."

According to reports a northwestern Montana man shot and killed TV host Gregory G. Rodriguez, as the popular TV personality was visiting the shooter's wife.

The accused, Wayne Bengston, 41, then is said to have beaten his wife before taking his 2-year-old son to a relative's house. Police have said that the man then drove about 25 miles to West Glacier, where he apparently killed himself.

Bengston's wife has reported to police that Rodriguez was in the area for business and stopped by to visit her at her mother's house in Whitefish on Thursday night. However, her husband showed up, sparking a bloody confrontation.

Early reports did not confirm how 43 year old Rodriguez and the women knew one another.

The shootings sparked a manhunt for Bengston and Flathead County sheriff's deputies found his truck parked in his driveway. A SWAT team was then called and their attempts to contact the suspect inside were unsuccessful, leading to them entering the residence. There they found the man's dead body, and it appears as though he died due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, according to police.

Rodriguez was a mortgage banker before founding Global Adventure Outfitters and operating as its CEO. He was also the editor of Shooting Times Magazine.

According to The Associated Press, a representative of Global Adventure Outfitters confirmed on Friday that Rodriguez had been in Montana on business, but added that the organization would not be making a statement at this time.

Kelly Osbourne's Seizure: Doctors Still Trying to Figure Out Why

TV personality Kelly Osbourne arrives at the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 10, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.
Get well, Kelly! Kelly Osbourne had a major health scare filming E!'s Fashion Police in L.A. on Thursday, March 7 -- suffering a sudden, 30-second seizure. Costar Melissa Rivers, crew members and an EMT in the audience rushed to her aid before the 28-year-old was rushed to the hospital via ambulance.

Still laid up at the hospital, a recovering Osbourne shared a rather graphic TwitPic -- a closeup of an IV in her arm -- and assured fans that doctors are still investigating what led to the seizure. "Thank U all 4 UR beautiful well wishes yes I did have a seizure they are just trying to figure out why?" Osbourne wrote.

Osbourne's rep told Us earlier on Thursday that the star was "awake, alert and in stable condition. She will be staying overnight for observation as a precautionary measure. There are no further details at this time."

No word yet from Kelly's famous family members, including mom Sharon Osbourne; Osbourne's The Talk costar Julie Chen spoke with Us Weekly about the incident at The Alliance for Children's Rights gala in Beverly Hills Thursday evening.

"I was actually working so I wasn't with [Sharon] when she found out," Chen explained to Us. "But we're sending our love to the whole family and to Kelly. Kelly's strong, she's an Osbourne, she'll be okay."

Jessica Simpson Shows Off Massive Cleavage in Low-Cut LBD on Fashion Star Preview

Jessica Simpson in Black Dress
Jessica Simpson is bringing sexy back to NBC's Fashion Star! Returning to the network's reality hit for season 2, premiering March 8, the second-time mom-to-be is mentoring a new crop of wannabe fashion designers and encouraging them to sex up their styles.

"I came back to Fashion Star because I was really excited to work with the designers. We're mentors to help the designers make sure their choices are correct," Simpson, 32, explains in a behind-the-scenes preview clip as she advises one of her four contestants to make more provocative clothes.

As the contestants' designs make their way down the runway in the hopes of being purchased by buyers from Saks, Macy's and Express, Simpson puts on her own fashion show of sorts with her judging attire. Rocking a hot pink blazer in one scene, Eric Johnson's fiancee shows off her curves and massive cleavage during another catwalk critique.

Confirming her second pregnancy on Christmas Day 2012 -- one month after Us Weekly exclusively revealed she was expecting -- Simpson would often bring her mini fashionista-in-training, daughter Maxwell Drew, to Fashion Star's set. A source tells Us that Simpson would leave her little girl with Grandma Tina Simpson when the cameras rolled. "Maxwell is a total mommy's girl," the source explained. "She just wants to be held by Jessica."

Watch the video above for more on season 2 of Fashion Star -- featuring judges Nicole Richie, John Varvatos and new host Louise Roe -- before the show premieres March 8 at 8 p.m. (EST) on NBC.

American Idol Reveals Top 10 Contestants

Lazaro Arbos, Amber Holcomb, Paul Jolley, Curtis Finch, Jr., Janelle Arthur, Kree Harrison, Devin Velez, Burnell Taylor, Angie Miller and Candice Glover.
Season 12 of American Idol has found its top 10 contestants! Host Ryan Seacrest and judges Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban and Randy Jackson revealed the final five men and five women competing for the title on Thursday, March 7.

Following auditions, Hollywood week, sudden-death rounds and several shocking eliminations, America (via call-in, texting and online voting) chose the five men and five women with a reported 39 million votes, according to Seacrest. The Season 12 top 10 contestants are Lazaro Arbos, Janelle Arthur, Curtis Finch Jr., Candice Glover, Kree Harrison, Amber Holcomb, Paul Jolley, Angela Miller, Burnell Taylor and Devin Velez.

Did America get the top 10 right?

"I think America definitely did, yes," Jackson, 56, told reporters after the show.

And his fellow judge Urban agreed. "I feel really good about the top ten," he said. "I love how diverse it is and I love that they get guys like Devin and they get guys like Burnell and they get girls like Candice because it's not like they just choose star-power people or they just choose crazy-hot people. I mean, they chose singers that they connected with. I love that."

After earning a spot in the top 10, contestants took the stage to perform a few victory songs -- and Urban admits he got a little emotional during it.

"When Angie sang, she was welling up so it was somewhat contagious," the 45-year-old country singer explained of Miller's performance of Beyonce's "I Was Here." "It's emotional because I get it, it's only one song from us for them, but it's their whole life and career in that moment, so I really get it."

Justin Bieber Goes Shirtless, Recuperates from Fainting Incident at Hospital

Justin Bieber Goes Shirtless, Recuperates from Fainting Incident at Hospital
Bieber needs his bed rest! Justin Bieber kicked back at a London hospital following a scary fainting incident at a Thursday, March 7 concert. "Getting better," the "Boyfriend" singer, 19, tweeted. "Thanks for everyone pulling me thru tonight. best fans in the world. figuring out what happened. thanks for the love."

The pop superstar also shared an Instagram snapshot -- in which he reclines in a hospital bed, shirtless, smiling serenely for the camera. "Gettin better listening to Janice Joplin," he wrote in a nod to the late 60s soul/rock singer Janis Joplin.

Despite the scary fainting spell, Bieber continued with the performance after checking in with doctors backstage. "Justin fainted onstage tonight during his concert in London when he fell short of breath," his rep told Us. "He left the stage for 20 minutes, then came back and finished the show. He is now on his way to a doctor to get checked out and see what is wrong."

His manager Scooter Braun also explained to the crowd mid-concert what happened. "Justin got very light of breath. The whole show he's been complaining, and he's backstage with the EMTs and the doctor," Braun announced. "They're telling him that they want him to go see somebody and see what's going on with his lungs."

Kourtney Kardashian Reveals She Once Weighed 95 Pounds

Kourtney Kardashian during an appearance at Kardashian Khaos at The Mirage Hotel and Casino on January 19, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Kourtney Kardashian has no qualms about sharing her weight ups and downs with the world. In the March 10 episode of Kourtney & Kim Take Miami, the mother of two -- who welcomed daughter Penelope in July 2012 -- steps onto the bathroom scale while chatting with boyfriend Scott Disick and sister Kim Kardashian.

"Do you guys ever, like, pee and then weigh yourself?" Kourtney asks, to which Disick replies, "Yeah, of course. You always gotta go on an empty stomach." When the scale shows that Kourtney weighs 115 pounds, Kim shouts, "115! I am so jealous."

"Do you know what you're supposed to weigh for your average weight for your height?" Disick asks his 5-foot tall girlfriend. Kourtney -- who gained 45 pounds during her second pregnancy -- estimates she should weigh 105 pounds. "What were you when I first met you?" Disick asks.

"Like, 95," Kourtney replies. Disick then sighs and says, "I feel like 93 is the dream."

"Actually," Kourtney responds, "when I first met you I was probably more like 100 and then I got down." Disick then tells her, "Your body was banging when I first saw you on the beach with that little ass."

Uncomfortable with Disick discussing her sister's weight, 32-year-old Kim asks Kourtney, "How do you feel when he's like, 'I want you at 95 pounds?'"

Kourtney, who maintains her perpetually calm demeanor, doesn't mind Disick's candid confession. "It doesn't bother me because I have to do what's best for me," Mason's 33-year-old mom explains. "I can't compare myself to supermodels."

Kourtney & Kim Take Miami airs Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on the E! network.

Will Oz be great and powerful at the box office?

This film image released by Disney Enterprises shows James Franco, left, and Michelle Williams in a scene from "Oz the Great and Powerful."
WELL, the good news is, the new "Oz" put me in mind of the Tin Man, The Cowardly Lion and the Scarecrow.

The bad news - because it could use more heart, courage and brains.

"Oz, the Great and Powerful" comes in an opulent 3D package, but it's also a corporate product that confuses enchantment with investment, and seeks to compete with a beloved classic by being longer, louder, more technological and - in the biggest misstep - hipper.

You can almost hear the studio guys pursuing four-quadrant demographics: "Let's make the new wizard younger, more handsome. Let's make the witches (Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams) sexy. Let's have some kissing. Some leather pants and high-heeled boots."

Or, let's not.

Instead, let's remember when the Academy Awards tried to get hipper and chase a bigger audience by hiring James Franco as host.

How did that work out?

About as well as it does in the new "Oz," starring a miscast Franco as Oscar, the man who will be Oz, a shifty magician working a rural Kansas carnival in 1905, where the "Pineapple Express" star looks like an iPhone in the Atwater Kent museum.

The monochrome prologue establishes Oscar as a ladies man, an incorrigible scoundrel - Franco tries, but the script calls for an actor who's lively, larcenous, verbally agile. Director Sam Raimi wanted Robert Downey Jr., who'd be perfect, but ended up with Franco (who may have signed on because he thought that the poppy fields were real).

The plot whisks Oscar via balloon to Oz, where he's mistaken for a prophesied wizard who'll free the inhabitants from the rule of an evil witch.

The plot has callow Oscar finding his inner decency and leading the good people and munchkins of Oz in a revolt against evil rule - dropping hints (and steering clear of copyright laws) about how some of the new "Oz" characters will evolve into those we know from the 1939 musical.

Raimi, to his credit, has thrown most of the money on-screen - a great tornado, a colorful and a sometimes-spectacular land of Oz that amplifies old motifs and adds some imaginative new ones.

But you sense that the movie is afraid to be subtle, or merely beautiful. It converts the flying monkeys into shrieking baboons, with longer teeth and bigger lungs. The screeching, digitized wicked witch, when she finally emerges, in no way threatens what Margaret Hamilton achieved with a little makeup.

New characters include a CGI monkey bellhop sidekick, and a china doll - the latter an example of a good concept (nicely animated) made problematic by a script that loses track of its own outlines.

This is true of the witches of Oz (a better title), whose psychologies and rivalries take up so much time and yield so little drama.

For all its flaws, though, "Oz" conjures a finale that nearly rights the ship - Oscar using sleight of hand and pure showmanship to face down his enemies, a finale that also functions as a tribute by Raimi to the magical power of illusion, the kind that movies can provide, and that this one does in fits and starts.

Bieber Concert Is A Go For Friday After He Fainted

Justin Bieber's performance at the 02 arena was interrupted after he collapsed on stage, according to his spokeswoman
LONDON (AP) — Justin Bieber says he is "getting better," after fainting backstage at a concert in London, and the venue says Friday's show is scheduled to go ahead as planned.

A spokesman for the O2 Arena said the 19-year-old pop star was treated backstage during Thursday's concert after becoming short of breath, but recovered and finished his set.

"As far as we are concerned everything is on, on, on" for Friday's show, Jeremy King said.

"He was treated by our team of medics and after further examination they didn't find anything more serious or worrying."

A spokeswoman for Bieber said he was given oxygen and took a 20-minute reprieve after fainting backstage at the arena on Thursday.

Bieber later posted a shirtless photo of himself in a hospital bed with the caption: "Gettin better listening to Janis Joplin." Before that on Twitter he thanked "everyone pulling me thru tonight."

"Best fans in the world," he wrote. "Figuring out what happened. Thanks for the love."

Jazz Chappell, a 20-year-old concertgoer who brought her younger sister and her friend to the show, said Bieber announced he couldn't breathe and needed water. He resumed performing, but then had to be helped offstage by a backup dancer. In the nearly 30 minutes he was offstage, some fans started to leave. Once his manager announced what had happened, Chappell said many fans in the audience were gasping and crying, while others kept cheering for him to return.

"I thought, 'Give the guy a break. He just fainted. He's not a performing horse. Let him rest a second,'" said Chappell.

In a video of the concert posted online, Bieber's manager, Scooter Braun, appeared onstage and told the crowd that the singer was feeling "very low of breath" but would come back to finish the show.

Chappell said Bieber, who is in London to perform four concerts at the O2, later returned and performed low-energy renditions of his hits "Boyfriend" and "Baby."

Braun later tweeted "everyone please give him a little space and he will be ok. Im sure he appreciates the support ... Tough kid proud night once again he always finishes the show. Full out. True pro..."

The incident caps a difficult week for Bieber. He was forced to apologize to outraged fans who accused him of taking the stage almost two hours late for his first concert at the O2 on Monday. He insisted he was only 40 minutes late and blamed "technical issues." He took to Twitter to vent his frustrations with the media's portrayal of the incident.

Demi Moore: You Were Crappy Husband and You will pay

Demi Moore: You Were Crappy Husband and You will pay
Demi Moore may be rich and famous, but she's no different from millions of scorned wives seeking revenge -- and that's why she wants spousal support from Ashton Kutcher ... despite the fact that she's richer than him.

There is no way a judge would ever give Demi spousal support.  Short story ... she doesn't need it and she won't get it.   A source close to Demi tells us ... she was "really hurt" by Ashton, whom the source called a "bad husband."  The source would not use the word revenge, but the sentiment was clearly there.

That said ... multiple sources connected with the former couple tell us ... Demi and Ashton are in the midst of negotiating a financial settlement, and her lawyer knows the more Demi asks for, the better she'll do in the end.

NORAD evacuated Evacuation Lifted at Headquarters in Colo.

NORAD headquarters in Colorado
NORAD headquarters in Colorado were evacuated for about 4 1/2 hours Thursday after employees found five suspicious packages, but the command's control room team was working at a backup location about eight miles away at the time and no essential missions were disrupted, officials said.

Employees became suspicious because something about the packages looked "out of place," said Jeff Bohn, a spokesman at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, where the North American Aerospace Command is based.

Bohn declined to say what the packages looked like or what appeared to be amiss.

Tests performed on the packages ruled out chemical, biological and radiological agents, Bohn said. The packages were then removed and were undergoing other tests, he said.

Bohn said he did not know how the packages arrived or whether they had been screened before they were delivered. He said that would be part of the investigation.

NORAD is a joint U.S.-Canadian command that defends the skies over both nations and monitors sea approaches.

Bieber passes out: Justin Bieber fainted, has hard time breathing at concert

Bieber passes out: Justin Bieber fainted, has hard time breathing at concert
Justin Bieber passes out is topping celebrity news headlines this week, as the Christian Post reported this Thursday, March 7, that the Biebs fell unconscious during the end of his London concert this Thursday night at the 02 arena.

Under the headline, “Justin Bieber passes out: Suffers breathing difficulties at O2 concert”, sources report that the talented “Believe” singer was recently seen having “serious problems breathing” by the end of his London concert.

Numerous fans at the event added that he even fainted on stage.

    “Justin got oxygen from emergency personnel on hand. He insisted on finishing his show. He’s on the way to the hospital right now.”

The Justin Bieber passes out reports come only a day or so after Justin Bieber reportedly suffering a meltdown, noting that the popular star hasn’t been feeling well lately and acting “out of sorts.”

According E! News, Justin Bieber told fans he wasn’t feeling too hot and was later taken offstage, where medical experts on hand said he should not finish the show. However, following the ten or so minute delay, the Biebs did go back on stage to complete the concert for his fans.

Bieber was seen wearing a gas mask late on Wednesday night while leaving his hotel, and sources continue to contact Justin Bieber’s rep on the passing out reports and the young star’s health.