New details as FBI probes death on cruise ship from Baltimore


Enchantment of the Seas, a 2,252 guest Royal Caribbean cruise ship, is shown in a Baltimore Sun file photo. (Kim Hairston / Baltimore Sun / June 18, 2010)

he woman who died onboard a cruise ship that originated out of Baltimore was 64 years old and from central Virginia, the FBI said Tuesday as the agency continued to investigate her death as suspicious.

The passenger from Midlothian, Va., outside of Richmond, was found dead in her cabin onboard the Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the Seas on Sunday. She was on a six-night, seven-day Bahamas cruise that left Baltimore March 18, the FBI said.

"It's a death of undetermined causes," FBI spokesman and Special Agent Rich Wolf said.


The woman's husband discovered her unresponsive Sunday, and FBI officials suspect the death occurred somewhere off the coast of North Carolina, Wolf said.

Cruise security and medical personnel notified the FBI immediately after the death was reported, and the ship continued its regular schedule, returning early Monday.

"The ship was working with us the whole way," Wolf said. "We met the ship Monday at 7 a.m. in Baltimore."

Wolf said agents conducted interviews onboard before passengers disembarked. The FBI did not release the name of the woman or her husband Tuesday, citing the investigation. They were the only family members onboard, he said. The cause and manner of death remains under investigation.

The body was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore, where an autopsy will be performed, a spokesman confirmed. Maryland Transportation Authority police, which have jurisdiction over the port, is also assisting in the investigation.

Royal Caribbean representatives said a member of its "Care Team" was providing support and assistance to the victim's family.

"We extend our most sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the 64-year-old female guest from the United States who died while onboard Enchantment of the Seas," a company statement said.

The Enchantment of the Seas has been based out of Baltimore since 2010 and offers year-round cruises to the Bahamas, Bermuda and the Caribbean, Maryland Port Administration spokesman Richard Scher said.

The ship left Baltimore with 2,409 passengers on March 18, he said. The sailing included port calls to Port Canaveral, Fla.; Nassau and CocoCay, Bahamas.

After passengers disembarked in Baltimore, and the FBI completed its interviews, Scher said, the ship left again for another voyage Monday evening with 2,719 passengers.

It's not known how many annual deaths occur on cruise ships but the tourist-advocacy group, International Cruise Victims, reported that 198 people have been reported overboard or missing on cruise ships or ferries since 1995.

"About every two weeks in the last two years," said organization president Kendall Carver, whose group advocates for better cruise industry crime reporting, security and accountability.

Completed in 1997, the Enchantment of the Seas is registered to the Bahamas and has a capacity of 2,730 passengers. The 989-foot ship includes 11 passenger decks; a vitality spa and fitness center, eight pools and whirlpools, eight bars and lounges, a library and a rock-climbing wall, according to Royal Caribbean.

In 2005, a 73-foot midsection was added to the ship in a complex, $60-million lengthening project. The ship was refurbished again last December.

In May 2012, a Coast Guard helicopter crew medically evacuated a 67-year-old suffering from stroke-like symptoms from the ship 414 miles southeast of Cape Cod, Mass. In June 2012, Enchantment of the Seas was diverted to rescue a dehydrated sailor on a 46-foot sloop in rough seas during the 2012 Newport Bermuda race.

Actor ear bitten


Clive Mantle, the Game of Thrones actor who also had a longstanding role in Casualty. Photograph: Nils Jorgensen/Rex Features

An actor from the hit TV series Game of Thrones has had part of his ear bitten off, it has emerged.

Clive Mantle, who was also a longstanding cast member on the BBC medical drama Casualty, was attacked at the Travelodge in Foster Street in Newcastle after a dispute over noise, according to his agent. Following the attack, which happened in the early hours of Sunday morning, Mantle underwent emergency surgery to have his ear sewn back on.

The 55-year-old actor had finished a run in The Ladykillers at the Theatre Royal in Newcastle when the attack occurred. It is believed that Mantle asked a group of men to keep the noise down outside his hotel room before he was attacked.

A 32-year-old man from Hamilton in South Lanarkshire has been charged with wounding with intent and will appear before magistrates next month.

Mantle's agents, the London-based Sarahband Associates, said surgeons at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary had managed to sew the top part of the actor's right ear back on. A spokesman said he believed the actor was attacked in the hotel after asking other guests to keep the noise down.

"He is very shaken and shocked by what has happened. You don't expect this kind of thing to happen in a hotel," said the spokesman. "The part of the ear that was bitten off was found and sewn back on. Mr Mantle said the police, ambulance and hospital staff were amazing."

Another man has been released on bail in connection with the attack and a third man released without charge.

Mantle had finished the Newcastle run of The Ladykillers on Saturday evening. The show's tour began in September last year and has a further three weeks left to run. Mantle has now left the production on medical advice.

Jon Bath, head of production for the show's producer Fiery Angel, told The Stage that the attack was "horrifying and disgusting and has shaken everyone up". He added: "We'll be keeping in close touch with Clive while he recovers and wish him a speedy recovery."

Mantle, who is over 1.95 metres (6ft 5in) tall, played Greatjon Umber, a Northern lord, in the first series of Game of Thrones. In Casualty he played the surgeon Mike Barrett.

Duggars adoption

Duggars adoption, Michelle Duggar of TLC's "19 Kids and Counting" says she and husband Jim Bob are "open to the idea of adoption," more than a year after she suffered a miscarriage after becoming pregnant with their 20th baby.

The 45-year-old reality show matriarch made her comments to People magazine in an interview published on Tuesday, March 26, ahead of the finale of the cable channel's three-part special "19 Kids & Counting: Duggars Do Asia."

"We are open to the idea of adoption," Michelle told the outlet. "We are praying about it, and we will see what God has in store. Love for children has been placed on our hearts."

On Tuesday's episode of 19 Kids & Counting: Duggars Do Asia," the Arkansas-based pair and most of their children visit an orphanage in China. The show airs at 9 p.m. ET.

The Duggars are parents to 19 children -- Josh, 25; fraternal twins Jana Marie and John-David, 23; Jill Michelle, 21; Jessa Lauren, 20; Jinger Nicole, 19; Joseph Garrett, 18; Josiah Matthew, 16; Joy-Anna, 15; fraternal twins Jedidiah Robert and Jeremiah Robert, 14; Jason Michael, 11; James Andrew, 11; Justin Samuel, 10; Jackson Levi, 8; Johannah Faith, 7; Jennifer Danielle, 5; Jordyn-Grace Makiya, 4 and Josie Brooklyn, 3.

The Duggars are also grandparents. Their eldest child, Josh, and wife Anna, 24, are currently expecting their third child, who is due in June, People said.

Duggar had gotten pregnant with her 20th baby in 2011 and said the family planned on renaming their reality show accordingly. Michelle suffered a miscarriage that December.

Michelle Duggar also suffered a miscarriage during her second pregnancy more than 21 years ago, despite being on birth control pills. After the tragedy, the Duggars decided to "let God decide how many children we would have," according to a message on their website.

Kellie Pickler DWTS

Kellie Pickler DWTS, Kellie Dawn Pickler is an American country music artist and television personality. She gained fame as a contestant on the fifth season of the Fox reality show American Idol.

Kellie Pickler is currently competing on 'DWTS' with partner Derek Hough

On the newest “Dancing with the Stars” episode, contestant Kellie Pickler and her partner Derek Hough performed a jazz routine that seemed to win over the judges and put Pickler and Hough in second place among the contestants.

The dance was set to the song “Lights” by Ellie Goulding and the set included thin green lights that glowed behind the couple as they performed the routine.


Because there wasn’t an elimination round during the first week of competition, contestants currently hold a score out of 60 rather than the usual 30, combining the scores of the first two weeks. Pickler and Hough currently stand at 47 out of 60, behind Disney Channel star Zendaya and her partner Valentin Chmerkovskiy, who hold a score of 50 out of 60. However, the two couples earned the same score for the second night with 26 out of 30.

“For week two, last week was a spark,” judge Len Goodman said to Pickler and Hough. “This is a fire. Well done.”

Reviewers of the TV show seemed impressed with Pickler’s performance as well.“Former 'American Idol' contender-turned-country star Kellie Pickler wowed with a thrilling, futuristic jazz

Justin Bieber Investigated for Battery Against Neighbor



UPDATE 1:34 PM PT -- One of Justin's neighbors tells TMZ ... the argument between Bieber and the accuser was NOT over a party ... it had to do with a Ferrari.

We're told Bieber had the car delivered to his home last night on a flatbed truck ... and this morning, he was racing the vehicle up and down the streets.

Neighborhood sources tell us ... the neighbor was furious about the deafening noise AND felt Justin was endangering the community by tearing through the streets at breakneck speeds.

We're told the neighbor went over to confront Justin about the situation ... and that's when the two sides got into a screaming match.


Justin Bieber has been accused of battery by a neighbor ... and cops are at the singer's home in Calabasas, CA investigating ... TMZ has learned.

Sources tell TMZ .... Justin and one of his male neighbors got into a verbal altercation just after 9 AM. We're told the argument was intense.

We've confirmed Justin has returned from his overseas concerts and was back home this morning.


L.A. County Sheriff's spokesperson Steve Whitmore tells TMZ ... the accuser told deputies Justin made physical contact with him and he has filed a battery report. He also claims Justin threatened him.

Sources connected with Justin's security tell TMZ ... the neighbor came on to Justin's property and began screaming that while Justin was away (overseas) there were people at the house throwing loud parties.

Our sources tell us Justin told the man to get off his property ... but they insist Justin did not have any physical contact with him.

Sources connected with JB's security tell us the singer went inside his house and security escorted the neighbor off the property.

The Sheriff's Dept. is investigating.

Kordell Stewart divorce

Kordell Stewart divorce, Real Housewives of Atlanta star Porsha Stewart and former NFL star Kordell Stewart are reportedly headed for divorce.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says Kordell filed for divorce from Porsha on March 22 after less than two years of marriage. The petition reads, "Petitioner, after marrying respondent, a cast member on the 'Real Housewives of Atlanta,' on May 21, 2011, is seeking divorce as the marriage is irretrievably broken."

TMZ claims to have obtained the legal documents, in which Kordell states he and Porsha are separated. He also insists he shouldn't have to pay spousal support because "[she's] an able-bodied person, earning income and is capable of supporting herself."


The 41-year-old former Pittsburgh Steelers player, nicknamed "Slash," met Porsha, granddaughter of Civil Rights leader and philanthropist Rev. Hosea Williams, in 2009. The two married in 2011. She joined the "RHOA" cast in Season 5, and the show focused on their marital issues. Castmate NeNe Leakes felt their relationship was questionable because of Kordell's control issues.

"[I]t appears that Kordell is talking to his daughter and not his wife. Porsha can't seem to do much without getting permission from Kordell," Leakes recently wrote on her Bravo blog, adding that, in her opinion, marriage should be an equal and supportive partnership.

Kordell reportedly did not show up for the taping of the "RHOA" reunion, even though all the ladies' significant others did, according to Wetpaint Entertainment. An insider claims he had been hinting at a split during the season.

“The show highlighted their marriage in a big way,” a source told Wetpaint. “And with their first season now over, a lot of people were asking him how he and Porsha were doing. The phrase he kept using was, ‘It’s a wrap!’ I thought he had meant it in terms of them being wrapped up with filming – but I now realize he was actually talking about their marriage.”

“Porsha’s got to be devastated,” the insider added. “Her whole identity is about being Kordell’s partner, and I know she really wanted to start a family with him. They were actively trying. This is going to be a huge blow.”

Porsha and Kordell have no children together, but she has helped raise his son, Syre.

Stabbings at Target, 4 Person stabbed

Stabbings at Target, The shopping trip of people to Target turned into a nightmare for East Liberty, Pa., residents on Monday afternoon when a man holding a knife was chased into the superstore, stabbing three men and a teenage customer in the process.

The suspect, whose identity is unknown, ran into the store after fighting with several men down the street in an effort to lose his attackers, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday.

Police spokeswoman Diane Richard said upon entering the store the man ran to checkout lanes were he grabbed a 16-year-old customer standing with her family, using her as a human shield against his attackers.




The teen suffered a cut on her back and arm. She was listed in critical condition at Children’s Hospital, but has since been upgraded to serious condition. Pittsburgh Police Sgt. Thomas Huerbin said the teen underwent surgery for stab wounds.

Dominique Gomez, 21, of Wilkinsburg, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the man was yelling that he had been robbed while wielding what she described as a “big kitchen knife.”

“After he grabbed the [girl] he was screaming ‘They tried to rob me. They have my wallet.’ It looked like he was holding her hostage. He had seen the men coming after him with a bat and he grabbed the woman. They were trying to get to him,” Gomez said.

Police said that two other in-store victims were injured by the man; one had chased him. A man was cut on the lip, and the other was treated for deep cuts on his fingers. Another customer was treated after suffering chest pains following the stabbings.

A fourth victim was also stabbed outside the store on Penn Avenue, TribLive reported on Tuesday.

“This guy obviously had no regard for anybody," said Chris Jones, 44. "By the time I got in the store the guy with a knife was getting his butt beat with a bat and fists.

“It was pretty scary hearing girls screaming … Everybody was freaking out, hiding behind shelves, trying to stay out of the way.”

Police brought the man into custody Monday night after using pepper spray and tasers to subdue him.

Police confirmed that the man was assaulted before the Target stabbings, reports said.

Judge Judy's son

Judge Judy's son, The former live-in trainer for Judge Judy's district attorney son has been accused of raping a 12-year-old girl and bragging about his connections to the family.

Arrest: Alexandru Hossu, an illegal immigrant, has been accused of raping a 12-year-old girl

It has also emerged that Alexandru Hossu, who is originally from Romania, is allegedly an illegal immigrant after outstaying his visa - despite working for one of New York's top lawyers.

Adam Levy, the son of television personality 'Judge Judy' Scheindlin, has come under fire for employing Hossu, 35, and giving him accommodation at his million-dollar house in Putnam, New York.

He has vehemently denied knowing about Hossu's immigration status and has become embroiled in a public scrap over the accusations with the sheriff of the county.



Hossu was charged last week with two counts of first-degree rape after the 15-year-old daughter of a friend told a school counselor she had been sexually abused by him when she was 12.

The News Journal spoke to a relative of the girl, who said 'everybody knew' that Hossu was an illegal immigrant. They added that he told everybody he was working for the district attorney.

The relative, who has not been identified to protect the victim, said that Hossu met the girl's mother at a local gym a few years ago, and they struck up a serious relationship.



Family: Hossu worked for Putnam District Attorney Adam Levy (center). He is pictured with his mother Judge Judy, her husband Jerry Sheindlin and children Nicole, Jonathan, Jamie and Gregory

He is accused of 'forcibly and violently' raping the 12-year-old girl twice in October 2010. It did not occur at Levy's home.

While the relative asked the girl about the rape after she revealed the alleged attacks to her counselor, she simply said: 'I was told not to say anything about it.'

'I don't care if this takes down the D.A.,' the relative told the News Journal. 'It's heartbreaking that (the girl) carried this all by herself and didn’t tell us.'

The revelations have also sparked a feud between Levy and Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith, who has accused the D.A. of using his position to mislead the public.

TV favourite: She is pictured speaking on her reality television courtroom series 'Judge Judy'

'In my view, Mr. Levy’s comments and actions would seem to suggest that, if he could have his own way, Mr. Hossu would never have been brought to justice for his crime and Mr. Levy’s relationship with him would have never been brought to the light of public scrutiny,' Smith said in a statement.

Levy in turn has lambasted the sheriff for claiming Hossu lived at his home. The sheriff has countered that the address on Hossu's driving license is the same as Levy's home.

Levy offered two further addresses as Hossu’s residence, which are both in Clocktower Commons, which is used for office space. One address was also used for a senator's political campaign.

Levy has argued that he had 'absolutely no idea whatsoever' of Hossu's immigration status, and that an investigation with show that Hossu had a valid driver's license and Social Security number.

Home: Hossu reportedly lived at Levy's million-dollar home, pictured, in Brewster. But Levy has denied knowing he was an illegal immigrant even though others said it was well known

He has asked a neighbouring county to handle the rape case because he knows the suspect.

Hossu is being held in Putnam County jail in Carmel on $50,000 cash or $100,000 bond, and he is due in court on April 2.

The charges will no doubt come as an embarrassment for Levy's family, including his television personality mother, Judge Judy Sheindlin.

Sheindlin, 70, makes $123,000 per day for a $45 million annual salary, SFGate reported. Forbes listed her net worth at $110 million in 2012.

Cruise ship death FBI

Cruise ship death FBI, The FBI spokeperson said a death aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship has been classified as suspicious.

The FBI is investigating the death of a 62-year-old Virginia woman who traveled on the Enchantment of the Seas. Royal Caribbean says the woman's husband found her body Sunday inside her cabin.



FBI Baltimore field office spokesman Rich Wolf says agents boarded the ship Monday after it returned to Baltimore as scheduled. He says an autopsy is being conducted to determine the cause and manner of death, and agents are interviewing the unidentified woman's husband. Wolf declined to say whether the woman suffered any trauma.

The Enchantment of the Seas sailed to Florida and the Bahamas on a seven-night trip.

Tiger Woods had some interesting advice for Rory McIlroy for this week’s Shell Houston Open

Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy — Getty ImagesIf you've ever read stories, or books, about Tiger Woods you've heard that the guy has a pretty crude sense of humor. He comes off like a locker room guy that likes messing with his buddies on tour just like we do with our friends during a round of 18 holes on a random Saturday.

So it shouldn't surprise you that Woods texted his new best buddy, Rory McIlroy, after the Arnold Palmer Invitational. McIlroy, who spent the weekend at a municipal golf course in Miami instead of playing at Bay Hill, is in the field this week at the Shell Houston Open and mentioned that he got an interesting text from Woods.

How interesting? It's NSFW-y interesting. The quote is below, courtesy of the Houston Chronicle's Jerome Solomon.

Yep, that's Tiger's advice this week to the now world No. 2. The best part about his push for Rory to get it together and win the week after Tiger took back world No. 1? If Rory actually took the advice, he would leapfrog Tiger again in the world rankings to take back the top spot.

Manti Te'o turns down invites to attend 2013 NFL Draft


Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o has declined to attend the 2013 NFL Draft, instead opting to not be the center of attention.

Manti Te'o has turned down two invitations to attend the 2013 NFL Draft according to Ian Rapoport. Te'o has been the center of attention in the 2013 draft class ever since the Lennay Kekua scandal surfaced, but he has opted not to attend the draft at Radio City Music Hall with the top prospects.
More: Mocking the Draft

His draft stock has gone up and down since the end of the college football season, but Te'o is still expected to fall somewhere in the latter half of the first round. His performance in the BCS Championship and at the NFL Combine hurt his stock and Mocking the Draft does not have Te'o in their latest first round mock, but many NFL experts still believe he won't slip down to the second.

Every step Te'o has made has become headline material, especially since the fake girlfriend story, and he has been at the center of draft coverage for the last two months. If he was at the 2013 draft, it is likely he would get the most camera time, but it appears he will shy away from the public eye for one day.

Last year 26 players attended the NFL Draft and all 26 attendees were selected in the first two rounds. The 2013 NFL Draft kicks off at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 25.

Nike's Tiger Woods Ad Draws Critics

Maybe winning doesn't take care of everything.

Nike is causing a social media storm with its latest online ad showing a picture of Tiger Woods overlaid with a quote from him, "Winning takes care of everything."

The ad, posted on Facebook and Twitter, is supposed to allude to the fact that the golfer recovered from career stumbles to regain his world No. 1 ranking on Monday, which he lost in October 2010. But some say it's inappropriate in light of Woods' past marital woes. It's the latest controversy from the athletic giant who has recently had to cut ties with biker Lance Armstrong and runner Oscar Pistorius due to separate scandals.

Woods has long used the phrase — at least since 2009 — whenever reporters ask him about his or other golfers' rankings.

The ad has garnered more than 8,000 likes and 2,000 shares on Facebook, as well as hundreds of comments, many congratulating Woods on the ranking, but others commenting that the ad sends the wrong message out in light of Woods' past problems. His 5-year marriage to Elin Nordegren collapsed in 2010 after multiple affairs came to light.

Others responded on Twitter. Annie Kessler, 25, in Columbus, Ohio, tweeted that the ad was a "poor choice" for Nike. She said in an interview that she felt compelled to tweet because even though she understands why Nike would want to promote Woods, the phrase itself is inappropriate because of Woods' past infidelity.

Nike spokeswoman Beth Gast said that the ad references Wood's refrain that he competes to win.

"When asked about his goals such as getting back to number one, he has said consistently winning is the way to get there," she said in an email response to a query. "The statement references that sentiment and is a salute to his athletic performance."

Allen Adamson, managing director of branding firm Landor Associates in New York, said the ad signals that Nike believes it is time Woods — who in addition to his new No. 1 ranking is now in a much-touted relationship with Olympic ski champion Lindsey Vonn — is back in the spotlight.

"They're looking at this and saying, 'Time has passed, he's winning again, it's time to turn up the volume on our association,' " he said. "But it's risky when you associate with a celebrity only based on winning or losing. Consumers care about how you play the game: both the actual game and the game of life."

Marketing consultant Laura Ries was more positive on the move.

"The reality is what he said is true," Ries said. "Whether or not they should have said it in an ad is another story."

The ad comes after Nike has had to sever ties with two other high-profile athletes. It dropped Armstrong in October, before Armstrong himself came clean in January, citing insurmountable evidence that he participated in doping and misled the company about those activities for more than a decade. And in February it suspended its contract with Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee runner from South Africa charged with premeditated murder in the Valentine's Day killing of his girlfriend.

Nike never cut ties with Woods when his scandal broke in 2010, and even tried to help resuscitate his image with a black-and-white ad four months later featuring a voice-over by his late father.

'Spring Breakers' Director Harmony Korine: 10 Things to Know


Eric Charbonneau/Invision/AP

After a decade and a half of working in obscurity and occasionally popping up to bemuse the public and impress critics, Harmony Korine, dedicated anti-commercial artist, has found himself in the international spotlight.

The 40-year-old writer-director is a new name to many who are just discovering the man responsible for corrupting half a generation of Disney Channel stars in the new neon-nihilism film Spring Breakers. There are quite a few things to discover about this mysterio, and so, here is a guide:

1. He wrote the film Kids at 18: Korine was not much older than the characters he created for his big-screen debut. He wrote the controversial 1995 movie about the sex lives of teenagers for Larry Clark, who discovered him skating in New York City. It gave Chloe Sevigny and Rosario Dawson their starts, as well.

2. His next film, Gummo, won the FIPRESCI prize at the Venice Film Festival. Sure, no one really understood it -- it had no real script and was a series of rough and disconnected vignettes -- but some people seemed to like it.

PHOTOS: 'Spring Breakers' L.A. Premiere: Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens Celebrate in Hollywood

3. He was banned from Late Show With David Letterman for 15 years -- until this week. Korine made three now-legendary appearances on the late-night program in 1997-98, where he gave disoriented and giggly answers to a wry host. He was banned, Letterman revealed Monday to Spring Breakers star James Franco, because the host caught Korine going through Meryl Streep's purse. Letterman lifted the ban on Monday night.

4. His 2009 film Trash Humpers is about, well, old men who hump trash, and it was shot on VHS. Again, there was no script. He also starred in that one.

5. Werner Herzog is an admirer and called him a "warrior of cinema." The German actor-filmmaker also starred in Korine's 1999 film Julien Donkey Boy.

6. He hates film school (which he didn't attend). "I hate that shit. It's eating the soul of cinema," Korine said in a 1999 interview. Filmmaking has become like a process, and it's all garbage. All these rich kids who were going to be doctors now want to be filmmakers, but they have very little life experience and they're just writing really shitty wit for each other."

7. He has some interesting casting methods. For Trash Humpers, "I was watching an episode of Sally Jesse Raphael called 'My Child Died From Sniffing Paint,' and I saw this kid on it named Nick [Sutton] who's a paint-sniffing survivor. They asked him, 'Where are you going to be in a few years?' and he said, 'I'll probably be dead.' I loved him and wanted him to star in the film, so we tracked him down. He told me he'd been on acid on the show."

8. He almost gave up filmmaking to live in Panama. "I went through this really horrible phase where I didn't know what I was doing and I wasn't sure if I wanted to make movies anymore," Korine said. "For a few months, I spent time with this small cult of fishermen known as the Malingerers. It was a group I met in Panama who were searching for this fish called the Malingerer fish, which was supposed to be a golden fish that had these three dots on the side. The story goes that if you press the three dots in a certain way, it sounds like a toy piano. I became disenchanted by the whole thing, and one day I got into an argument with one of the leaders, and his wife said: 'You don't believe anymore. It's time for you to go.' And I said, 'You're right,' and that's kind of when I started feeling like maybe I could make movies again."

9. He is a terrible typist. See: his Reddit AMA.

10. He equates candy with film. "[Spring Breakers] with a culture of surfaces. In that way, I wanted to represent that and make a film that looked like it was lit with candies, like we were lighting it with Skittles or we were using Starburst Fruit Chews. I wanted all that kind of pop gloss and tone, and I wanted all the mythology and the meaning to be the residue from the surface, to kind of bleed from it."

Review: 'Game of Thrones' gets even more brutal in Season 3

Anyone who has followed "Game of Thrones" over its first two seasons knows all too well that HBO's awesome medieval epic can often resemble a human demolition derby.

This is a show, after all, that infamously beheaded beloved warrior Ned Stark and jacked up the body count to an extreme level during the bloody Battle of Blackwater Bay.

But those events apparently were just some appetizers leading up to a season that has been widely touted as the show's most brutal and vicious yet.

Season 3 covers roughly half of the third book in George R.R. Martin's fantasy series -- a fan favorite that features some major shockers and stunning casualties. It's a key chunk of an ultra-complex, sprawling saga about

Peter Dinklage in a scene from "Game of Thrones." (Helen Sloan) power-hungry families vying to control the seven kingdoms of Westeros.

But don't expect your jaw to hit the floor right away. The first two episodes, of the four made available for preview, are largely spent taking stock of the post-Blackwater climate and moving the many chess pieces into place. It's not until later that some big bombshells start to come our way.

That doesn't mean the early hours are devoid of high-stakes drama. To see the ruling Lannisters turn on one another is compelling in and of itself. Sure, they may have absolute dominion over King's Landing after repelling Stannis Baratheon's forces, but they're not exactly one big, happy, trouble-free family.

No, far from it. Poor Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) is nursing his war wounds and moping over being stripped of his Hand of the King title. Meanwhile, the whereabouts of brother Jamie (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) are still unknown, and the devious Cersei (Lena Headey) seems to be losing her grip on her son, the bratty little King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson), who has fallen under the spell of his future bride, Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer).

As always, so much of "Thrones" is about power -- who has it, who craves it, and who is shut out from it. That said, it's fascinating to watch Tyrion and Cersei compete, like little children, for their father's attention. Though they have the status and wealth that their family affiliation brings, they are outsiders when it comes to strategic planning only because she's a woman and he's a dwarf.

Dinklage, who so often lends a lighthearted vibe to the series with his wit and snark, is involved in a poignant scene early on that has his Tyrion practically pleading with Dad (Charles Dance) for love and respect, only to be viciously admonished. On "Thrones," some of the verbal rebukes can be just as brutal as a sword to the gut.

Of course, we're just scratching the surface of this crazy multitude of characters who have us trekking over such a vast stretch of Westeros terrain that we often find ourselves yearning for a GPS tracker. There's Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) braving the frigid environs with the Wildlings, Robb Stark (Richard Madden) ramping up his efforts to conquer the Lannisters, dragon queen Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) striving to raise her own army, and on and on it goes.

The abundance of characters -- and story lines -- on "Thrones" can be both a blessing and a curse. All the actors, including notable Season 3 newcomers Ciaran Hinds and Diana Rigg, are marvelous. But the show can, at times, feel frustratingly overstuffed and disjointed.

Just when you find yourself becoming riveted to one plot thread, a switch is made and a connection is lost. "Thrones" is like a dozen shows in one, and it's about the farthest thing you can get from veg-out TV. You have to fully immerse yourself in the blood, the muck and the duplicity of it all.

But those who make the investment are richly rewarded. There's enough tension, betrayal, treachery, greed and sex, after all, to fill eight seasons of "Scandal." And no show on TV contains the visual majesty of this production, which is shot in five countries for a reported $50 million to $60 million.

And to top it off, the show has dragons! Really cool, fire-breathing dragons who are growing bigger and badder with each season. That can only mean they'll soon be active participants in the demolition derby that is "Thrones."

MORE HOOPS: A reminder that regularly scheduled CBS programming on Thursday and Friday will be pre-empted again by the NCAA men's basketball tournament with Week 2 action.

By the way, the tourney, which is telecast by CBS and Turner sports, has thus far attracted its highest ratings in 23 years. Clearly, a lot of viewers have been drawn into the madness and the Cinderella exploits of teams like Florida Gulf Coast University, which became the first No. 15 seed to make it to the round of Sweet 16. Ratings for Week 1 were up a hefty 19 percent over last year.

The NCAA tourney wraps up with the championship game on April 8.

SCHEDULE CHANGE: What happens in "Vegas" now apparently happens on Friday nights.

We've gotten a lot of inquiries about what's going on with the CBS freshman drama starring Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis. Is it dead, or what? Well, not completely, but it could be getting there.

Beginning April 5, the show will air at 9 p.m. Fridays. CBS swapped it with the cop drama, "Golden Boy," which now airs on Tuesdays. The shift certainly isn't a vote of confidence in "Vegas," which has seen its ratings decline after a solid start.

Real Housewives of Atlanta Star Kenya Moore Reacts to Porsha Williams

There's a drama-fueled wind hitting the Real Housewives of Atlanta today, but Kenya Moore isn't twirling away.

After the former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kordell Stewart filed for divorce from his reality star wife Porsha Williams, the former Miss USA has spoken out in support of the troubled couple.

No, seriously.

Fans of the hit Bravo show have seen Porsha and Kenya feud throughout the entire season (Moore even made a viral music video mocking their battle), but the outspoken 42-year-old has decided to take the high road when it comes to discussing her costar's impending divorce.

"It's no secret that Porsha and I have had our differences," Kenya said in a statement to E! News. "However, I would never want to see anyone go through pain or suffering such as in a divorce. I'm a hopeless romantic and believe in love and hope they can get past their differences. I do wish Porsha well and know she will do what is best for her."

Stewart and Williams wed in May 2011 and have no children together. Neither party has commented on the divorce, but Porsha has remained active on Twitter:

"Morning Dolls Today is the 1st Day of the rest of your Life! Make It GREAT!" she posted this morning on her micro-blogging page.

Kenya's sympathetic statement is somewhat surprising for the feisty reality star, as she often expresses her distaste for Porsha as well as her own desire to wed on the show.

Glad to see Moore show off a bit of her softer side.

Maybe she's more gone with the wind fabulous than we first thought.

Dionne Warwick owes nearly $10 million in back taxes

Dionne Warwick performs during the Jamaica Jazz and Blues festival in Trelawny, January 26, 2013. (Reuters)

Singer Dionne Warwick owes nearly $10 million in back taxes and has filed for bankruptcy.

In a Chapter 7 petition filed this month in New Jersey, Warwick lists liabilities that include nearly $7 million owed to the Internal Revenue Service for the years 1991 to 1999 and more than $3 million in business taxes owed to the state of California. Warwick lists her current address in South Orange.

The singer of classics such as "Walk On By," ''I Say a Little Prayer" and "Do You Know the Way to San Jose" also lists about $21,000 in monthly income and about the same amount in monthly expenses.

Warwick's publicist says the singer has paid back the actual amount of the taxes but that penalties and interest have accumulated over the years.

N.Y. Auto Show: Buick unveils pair of updated sedans

Looking to capitalize on a wave of strong sales in the last year, Buick on Tuesday unveiled a pair of updated sedans at the N.Y. Auto Show.

The refreshed midsize Regal and the larger LaCrosse each are hoped to increase the automaker's momentum. Buick has been on a bit of tear lately, with 10 consecutive months of increasing sales and 2012 ranking as the best sales year since 2006.

The changes to each front-wheel-drive car are moderate, but important. The 2014 Regal, which is sold in Europe as the Opel Insignia, gets minor exterior updates including LED daytime lamps and LED taillights.

Photos: Buick at the 2013 N.Y. Auto Show

The interior gets a more thorough change, the highlight of which is a new 4.2-inch color display in the instrument panel, and a revised center console with fewer buttons and less clutter, Buick says.

Photos: Highlights of the 2013 N.Y. Auto Show

The Regal's base drivetrain remains Regal eAssist, a mild hybrid system. It uses a direct-injected 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and a small electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery. Total horsepower is 182, with 172 pound-feet of torque.

While the more upmarket Regal Turbo and Regal GS previously had different power outputs, the two will now share engine capabilities. This means they'll use a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that's essentially the same unit found in Cadillac's compact ATS sedan. In both of these new Regals, it makes 259 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.

The more performance-oriented GS will now differentiate itself with features like an optional six-speed manual transmission, Brembo front brakes, larger wheels and tires, several driver-selectable handling modes, and additional interior and exterior amenities.

While all Regals are front-wheel drive, the Turbo and GS models will now be available with an optional all-wheel-drive system. Buick says the system is completely automatic and pushes as much as 90% of the car's torque to the rear wheels if necessary.

Buick also introduced a refreshed version of the large LaCrosse on Tuesday, a front-wheel-drive sedan that shares a platform with the all-new 2014 Chevy Impala and the Cadillac XTS. It, too, gets a mild upgrade to the exterior, but a thorough makeover inside aims to keep up with rivals like the Lexus ES 350 and even the Lincoln MKZ.

The powertrain options remain largely unchanged and both will continue to be available for the same money. The LaCrosse eAssist uses the same mild hybrid system that's in the Regal, while a 3.6-liter V-6 engine makes 304 horsepower and 264 pound-feet of torque. Both cars will come with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Buick's contribution to the N.Y. auto show is just part of a strong showing from parent company General Motors. Cadillac on Tuesday night will unveil the all-new midsize CTS sedan, while Chevrolet will use a Wednesday press conference to debut a refreshed Camaro, as well as the SS performance sedan, and 2014 Corvette Stingray Coupe and Convertible. Stay tuned to Highway 1 for complete coverage of the auto show.

Google Objects To 'Ungoogleable'

Speakers of Swedish who want to say that a search term cannot be found using a search engine will have to think twice about how they express that thought: The Swedish word used to describe searches that return no results -- "ungoogleable," or ogooglebar in Swedish -- has been removed from a list of newly recognized Swedish words following Google's objection to the term.

Ogooglebar entered common parlance in Sweden last year, according to the Swedish Language Council, a regulatory body that attempts to define the scope of the Swedish language. As a result, the Council added "ungoogleable" to its annual list of new Swedish words in December.

But in a statement published on its website on Tuesday, the Council said Google had asked the organization to refine its definition of "ungoogleable" and to include a disclaimer.

Instead of doing that, the Council said it has deleted the word from its list of neologisms as a way to express its "displeasure with Google's attempt to control the language" (as Google Translate renders the Swedish).

[ Many users feel betrayed by Google's plans to discontinue Reader and other apps. Are they being naïve? Read Google Backlash: For Real This Time? ]

Google's objection to the word is based in U.S. trademark law, which requires trademark owners to police their trademarks to prevent the trademark from becoming diluted. Google's legal team has in the past pushed back against the use of "google" in English as a synonym for "search," more as a required bit of legal gymnastics than as an effective campaign for linguistic change.

The Council's statement suggests that Google threatened to litigate the matter and that the council removed the word from its list rather than engage in a costly court battle.

Google did not immediately respond to a request to clarify whether legal threats were made. However, the company did acknowledge that it looks after its trademarks. "While Google, like many business, takes routine steps to protect our trademark, we are pleased that users connect the Google name with great search results," a company spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.

The Council, in its statement, sounds far from pleased. It more or less accuses Google of cultural imperialism. Google Translate renders the group's sentiment thus: "Google has namely forgot one thing: language development [does] not care about brand protection. No individual can decide about the language."

The Council says that ogooglebar will remain online despite its removal from the list of neologisms and suggests that the controversy will enhance its survival as a term.

That may be, but Google Translate does not recognize the term.

Microsoft Acknowledges Windows Blue Ahead of Build 2013

Microsoft has thus far stayed mum on Windows Blue, the rumored update to Windows 8 that leaked online this weekend. But that changed today, with a blog post that discussed how Redmond plans to "advance" its products in the coming months.

Frank X. Shaw, Microsoft's corporate vice president of corporate communications, acknowledged that Microsoft employees are "working together on plans to advance our devices and services, a set of plans referred to internally as 'Blue,'" though he stressed that the chances of the final product having that moniker are "slim to none."

Shaw said Microsoft is embracing a "continuous development cycle," pointing to this week's Windows 8 apps update, new gadgets, and performance improvements. This, he said, "is the new normal across Microsoft."

"Our product groups are also taking a unified planning approach so people get what they want – all of their devices, apps and services working together wherever they are and for whatever they are doing," Shaw said.

That is part of Microsoft's fundamental shift from a software company to a devices and services firm, as outlined by Steve Ballmer in October.

The Windows Blue leak offered some hints about what we can expect from the next incremental update to Windows. That includes expanding the allowable size of tiles that one can place on Windows 8's Start Screen, and additional customization options, among other things. Microsoft is also reportedly readying a Windows RT version of Windows Blue.

Shaw promised more updates on what's next for Windows, Windows Server, Windows Azure, Visual Studio, and more at its Build 2013 conference, set for June 26-28 in San Francisco.

"Build is the path to creating and implementing your great ideas, and then differentiating them in the market," Steve Guggenheimer, Microsoft's corporate vice president and chief evangelist, wrote in a separate blog post.

Area home prices post biggest gain in nearly six years

Seattle-area home prices rose 8.7 percent in January from a year earlier -- the biggest gain in nearly six years, according to a new report.

The price of a typical home in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties rose 8.7 percent from January 2012, up from an 8.2 percent increase in December, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. The price rose 1.1 percent from December to January, accounting for typical seasonal variation.

Median sales prices have been posting larger increases, but some of this was due to a changing mix in the homes that happen to sell. The S&P report looks at repeat sales of the same homes.

S&P's 20-city index rose 8.1 percent from a year earlier -- the biggest increase since the housing bubble burst.

"Economic data continue to support the housing recovery," David Blitzer, chairman of S&P Dow Jones Indices' Index Committee, said in the report. "Single-family home building permits and housing starts posted double-digit year-over-year increases in February 2013. Despite a slight uptick in foreclosure filings, numbers are still down 25 percent year-over-year. Steady employment and low borrowing rates pushed inventories down to their lowest post-recession levels."

The S&P report does not give actual prices. The median King County house sales price was $350,000, up 11 percent from a year earlier, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Cyprus Fallout: Eurozone Still Making Up Rules on the Fly

Global financial markets were spooked on Thursday by comments from the leader of the Eurogroup that suggested the chaotic and controversial bailout of Cyprus could serve as a prototype for future rescues in the eurozone.

While the comments were later walked back, the violent market reaction underscores how nearly four years after the eurozone sovereign debt crisis first began in Greece, European policymakers are still making up the rules as they go, much to the dismay of investors.

“They’re trying to make the reform little bit by little bit. The risk there is that these incremental changes get overtaken by events,” said Jack Goldstone, senior fellow at George Mason University. “There’s always something that creeps up in the absence of a comprehensive agreement.”

The tiny country of Cyprus seemed to creep up on Europe, going from a little-known banking center to a front-page story that captivated investors around the world almost overnight.

"When someone screams fire, you don’t want to shut the exit.”

- Axel Merk of Merk Investments

Cyprus created an uproar by initially giving in to pressure from creditors to raise 5.8 billion euros by tapping insured and uninsured deposits alike. Eventually Cypriot lawmakers rejected the measure and leaders in Europe insisted such a deposit levy wouldn’t be imposed elsewhere because Cyprus is a special case.

Template or Not?

After Cyprus secured a 10 billion euro bailout over the weekend, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the head of the region’s finance ministers, seemed to suggest to Reuters on Monday that the island country’s rescue could serve as a template for future deals, even by taxing depositors.

“If there is a risk in a bank, our first question should be 'Okay, what are you in the bank going to do about that? What can you do to recapitalize yourself?'” he told Reuters. “If the bank can't do it, then we'll talk to the shareholders and the bondholders, we'll ask them to contribute in recapitalizing the bank, and if necessary the uninsured deposit holders.”

Global markets tumbled on the headlines, highlighted by a 1% decline for the euro against the U.S. dollar and a 2.50% selloff for the Italian benchmark index.

Italian banks took the brunt of the damage, with shares of UBI Banca and UniCredit being halted. Rome-based UniCredit closed down 5.81%, while Intesa Sanpaolo tumbled 6.21%.

“You don’t say we just had this wonderfully botched experience but we should use that as a template for the rest of Europe. I think that’s rather irresponsible,” Axel Merk, president and CIO of Merk Investments, told FOX Business. “When someone screams fire, you don’t want to shut the exit.”

Marc Chandler, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman, said the comments “took away any solid ground to stand on,” but warned the markets may be reading too much into the comments.

Dijsselbloem later walked back the comments, saying bailouts are “tailor-made” to individual countries and no “models or templates are used.” He said Cyprus is a “specific case with exceptional challenges which required the bail-in measures.”



Writing the Rules Mid-Crisis

All of this highlights how, unlike in the U.S., which just went through its worst banking crisis since the Great Depression, the playbook on resolving and recapitalizing eurozone banks remains largely unwritten and subject to change. The currency bloc still lacks a formal banking union.

“They’re having to make the rules as the crises develop,” said Jan Randolph, director of sovereign risk at IHS Global Insight. “In America you’ve got well tested and clear bankruptcy legislation. It’s all been well documented. Everyone knows who’s in the queue. That’s less defined in European banking.”

New rules on winding down banks were enacted by the 2010 Dodd-Frank reform law, parts of which are still being implemented by regulators.

“Whenever you have a banking crisis, the banking rules get rewritten. It’s pretty normal that a crisis leads to changes,” said Goldstone.

However, he noted that what is striking in Europe is how policymakers are not trying to revise their rules all at once, choosing instead to make reforms step by step.

Protecting Creditor Taxpayers

So what lessons can investors take away from the Cyprus bailout and confusing fallout?

“I think Europe’s institutional arrangement has evolved,” said Chandler. “In future bank bailouts, there will be a broader involvement of stakeholders.”

Randolph said it now appears that money from the ESM bailout fund can only be accessed after the following groups take hits: bank shareholders, junior and senior unsecured bondholders, senior secured bondholders and depositors over 100,000 euros.

The last two groups mark a departure for the eurozone and are “now placed clearly ahead of the sovereign,” said Randolph. “What they’re doing is building layers of protection to the Dutch and German taxpayers. The ESM is being kept well back.”

It’s important to note that at this stage of the crisis there aren’t many other countries which haven’t already been bailed out that would even fit within the Cyprus template. That’s because few countries other than perhaps Luxembourg have a banking system relative to gross domestic product that is on par with the oversized Cypriot system.

Still, the latest bailout playbook seems to put private capital firmly ahead government funds in the event of a solvency issue, meaning investors and depositors may pay closer attention to banks’ health.

“While this is good for moral hazard, it may mean ultimately that [eurozone] banks will have to more clearly demonstrate than before” that they “have more than enough capital,” said Randolph.

As this process runs its course, Goldstone said he’s worried about “a run as large depositors start to pull money out of banks that look a little shaky.”

School vouchers: Still a bad idea despite Indiana court ruling

So the Indiana Supreme Court has ruled that the state’s school voucher program is constitutional. It isn’t the first time a supreme court has made a questionable call but, apart from the legal argument, the decision doesn’t mean that vouchers are a good educational or civic idea.

They aren’t.

Indiana is one of a growing number of states with school voucher programs. These allow public dollars to be used at private schools, including religious schools, including those religious schools that use creationist materials that teach anti-scientific notions such as the idea that the universe is no more than 10,000 years old, and that humans lived at the very same time as dinosaurs.

With Tuesday’s decision by the Indiana Supreme Court, Indiana can now expand its program, in which more than 9,300 low-income students already are enrolled. Under the program, students in grades 1-8 can receive up to $4,500 annually for private school tuition, and high schoolers can get a little bit more. The court ruled that the money is going to families, who use it as they wish, rather than the schools themselves, which the justices believe is an argument that gets around the separation between church and state.

Voucher programs have been growing over the last decade, with quiet advocacy by right-wing Republicans, some of whom don’t believe in public education. A 2011 report that reviewed studies on vouchers noted that most of the early programs were aimed at low-income families in large cities or at students attending the lowest-performing public schools in a state, but the newer programs include middle-income families. When Indiana passed its voucher program in 2011, it was then the broadest in the country, including low-income as well as middle-income students. Louisiana’s voucher program surpassed that in size, and it was also challenged, and is now awaiting a decision on its constitutionality by the state Supreme Court.

The notion is that families deserve to have a “choice” of schools for their children. The reality is that the amount of money provided in each voucher isn’t enough to cover tuition at a great many private schools, especially the elite ones that get most of the media’s attention, such as Sidwell Friends, which the Obama daughters attend.

Take a look at the voucher program in Washington D.C., which is the only federally funded voucher program in the country at the moment (though Sen. Rand Paul would like to change that). It was designed to give poor children a chance to attend private schools and, presumably, get a better education than students stuck in failing public schools. Well, a review of the voucher program by my colleagues Lyndsey Layton and Emma Brown found this last year:

Giffords' husband pulls dog off sea lion in Calif.

The daughter of former astronaut Mark Kelly was walking her dog Shiner on Goff Island Beach when the dog bolted, ripping the leash from her hand and fatally attacking a beached baby sea lion.

Video showed the owner and two other women struggling several minutes in vain to pull the dog off the sea lion. As his daughter screamed and cried, Kelly arrived and grabbed the collar. He shook the dog's head until it released the bloodied mammal, which later died.

Kelly is married to former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was wounded in a shooting in Tucson, Ariz., in 2011.

Laguna police said they wouldn't press charges because the attack Saturday was unintentional and the bulldog mix was leashed and legally on the beach below the exclusive Montage Resort, Capt. Jason Kravetz said Tuesday.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also does not expect to take legal action, spokesman Jim Milbury said.

"We will have to wait for all the facts to come it, but it appears to be an unfortunate accident," he said.

Federal law protects marine animals. The state has no jurisdiction, a spokeswoman said.

The Pacific Marine Mammal Center will determine the sea lion's cause of death. Officers had removed the same sea lion from a storm drain earlier in the day, Kravetz said.

Because the dog is from out of state, investigators were checking with animal control in its hometown to see if it has a history of attacks.

"This is a regrettable and traumatic incident for the animals and the people involved, said Madeline Bernstein, President Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. "Perhaps this will lead to more research and recommendations for peaceful coexistence between domestic animals and local wildlife."

Giffords was not present during the attack, according to a spokeswoman for the gun control advocacy group the couple recently started.

"Mark was alerted to the situation and came to the beach himself," said Jen Bluestein of Americans for Responsible Solutions.

Gun advocates seized on the incident to criticize Kelly, who has called for background checks for gun buyers.

Several people suggested on his Facebook page Tuesday that background checks might also be considered for dogs whose owners can't control them or those that are a threat to the public.

S. Calif. girl who survived crash describes ordeal

9-year-old girl who survived a rollover crash is out of a Southern California hospital and has described on video how she hiked more than a mile to find help for her father, who was later found dead.

Celia Renteria spoke from a hospital bed about how she hiked to a nearby house after crawling out of the mangled SUV at the bottom of a rugged canyon.

"I climbed out the window, and I went to look at the farmer's house to see if someone was there," she said in footage shot by the family and broadcast on KABC-TV.

No one answered the door. With temperatures dipping into the 40s, she hiked in darkness up the rocky embankment and along the remote highway to a commuter rail station where she flagged down a passing motorist early Sunday.

"I climbed on top of the other mountain, and then I was waving my hands," Celia said.

When officers responded, they found Celia's father, Alejandro Renteria, 35, dead. He was pinned in the driver's seat.

In all, she trekked 1 1/2 to 2 miles.

Law enforcement officials praised Celia's courage and determination to find help for her father.

"Had she just waited there, we probably would not have found her until the next day," California Highway Patrol Officer Gil Hernandez said.

The Renterias' 2010 Ford Escape was launched about 200 feet down into the canyon along an isolated stretch of the Sierra Highway in the high desert of northern Los Angeles County at about 1 a.m. Sunday, the CHP said. The vehicle flipped several times.

The girl's caregiver Consuelo Amador told KCBS-TV the child didn't panic, and turned off the car's engine after she smelled gasoline.

A helicopter airlifted Celia to Children's Hospital Los Angeles. She was treated for minor injuries including bumps and bruises and a cut on her face.

The girl was released late Monday, hospital spokeswoman Lyndsay Hutchison said.

A coroner's spokesman said Alejandro Renteria was a resident of the North Hollywood section of Los Angeles. No one answered Monday at two addresses in the area listed in his name.

The CHP was investigating whether alcohol played a role in the crash. Toxicology tests are pending from the coroner.

As China's Xi Jinping visits, Africa asks: What are we getting out of this

Chinese President Xi Jinping is touring parts of Africa this week, celebrating ever-closer economic ties that have made Beijing the continent’s biggest trading partner. But the bloom is off their initial romance, as each side finds previously unseen flaws in its partner.

“The honeymoon is over,” says Deborah Brautigam, an expert on China and Africa at Johns Hopkins University. “Now they are working on their relationship. It is not purely harmonious by any means.”

Indeed, China and Africa may be going through something of a “seven-year itch,” say some observers. It has been that long since 48 African leaders gathered at an unprecedented summit in Beijing to embrace China, and now some influential African voices are grumbling about whether their continent has benefited sufficiently from that embrace.

The figures are startling: Chinese trade with African countries has leapt fourfold in six years to reach nearly $200 billion in 2012. There are now between 1 million and 2 million Chinese businessmen and women in Africa, according to the government here (which does not keep accurate count). Chinese investments in Africa are worth more than $20 billion.

“Generally speaking, China has fulfilled the expectations it had seven years ago for its relations with Africa,” says Niu Xinchun, a researcher at the Chinese Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, a government-linked think tank in Beijing.

But in recent weeks, two prominent Africans have wondered aloud about their own expectations. “We have had some bad experiences with Chinese companies in this country,” Botswana’s president Ian Khama said in a recent interview with the Johannesburg-based Business Day newspaper.

In the future, “we are going to be looking very carefully at any company that originates from China in providing construction services of any nature,” he added, saying other African leaders shared his views.
'Essence of colonialism'

Mr. Khama blames the electricity cuts in his country on a Chinese firm’s slow work to build a power plant. The governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank, Lamido Sanusi, has a broader worry.

“China takes our primary goods,” such as oil and minerals, to fuel its economic boom “and sells us manufactured ones. This was also the essence of colonialism,” Mr. Sanusi wrote in a recent opinion article published in the Financial Times. “Africa is now willingly opening itself up to a new form of imperialism.”

Even some Chinese scholars are nervous that the behavior of Chinese companies in Africa – often accused of poor environmental and labor relations standards – will sour China’s relationships.

“China’s main challenge is to demonstrate that it is not repeating the old practices of the European powers,” warns Pang Zhongying, an Africa specialist at Renmin University in Beijing. “China has to match its deeds to its words … or Sino-African relations may have no future.”

Oil and coal accounted for 50 percent of Chinese imports from Africa last year. Minerals and other raw materials made up the bulk of the balance. In return, China exported mainly electronics, machinery, spare parts, and consumer goods.

Though the pattern of China’s trade with Africa does indeed replicate colonial patterns, says Professor Brautigam, “China is just reacting like everyone else to what they find in Africa – raw material exporters,” because African countries themselves have failed to industrialize.
Moving factories from China to Africa

In fact, she argues, China is helping its African partners to industrialize both by building infrastructure such as roads, telecommunications, and power stations that cut the cost of doing business, and by investing in manufacturing.

An increasing number of Chinese firms are moving their factories from China, where labor costs are rising, to Africa, where they are close to raw materials and able to export goods such as shoes or clothing to Europe and the US under the favorable trade deals that African countries enjoy.

In the meantime, however, the hundreds of thousands of Chinese traders who have flooded into Africa to sell cheap consumer goods are causing resentment up and down the continent, says Chris Alden, who monitors Sino-African relations at the London School of Economics.

In many countries they have forced local shopkeepers out of business. “The way opposition politicians often use the China card to score political points suggests that African communities feel at best ambivalent about the Chinese presence,” Dr. Alden says.
How to reduce friction?

The Chinese firms who sign giant contracts to dig mines, build ports, or lay highways – often state-owned enterprises – could help reduce frictions, says Alden, by “ensuring that there is sufficient local content and that local labor will be hired and trained, so that Africans benefit more” from the projects.

China, too, has found “areas of discomfort” in its relations with Africa, says Mr. Niu, notably “unsatisfactory investment environments due to political insecurity.”

Nowhere have Chinese firms suffered more from such insecurity than in Libya, where more than 40,000 Chinese workers were building houses, roads, and other infrastructure projects under deals, worth $18 billion, signed with Col. Muammar Qaddafi’s government. The men were all evacuated when the civil war broke out, and the projects remain abandoned.

That experience, suggests Brautigam, points to another area in which China will have to raise its game in Africa – political risk assessment.

“They did not see that coming,” she says of the Libyan civil war. “They will have to develop more diplomatic capacity to give better advice to their companies.”

For Catholics, a new kind of pro-creation

Strap on your sandals, Catholics, during this Holy Week journey into Jerusalem. Pope Francis is guiding the global church towards two major right-to-life issues: poverty and the environment. Take heed: it’s not just about prophylaxis.

First, poverty. Francis has called for a “poor church, a church for the poor.” Certainly, the Bible is rife with injunctions to care for the poor, and Catholic social teaching insists on the theological and ethical imperative known as the “preferential option for the poor.” But has any pope ever talked the talk while walking the walk? Enter Francis, who has decided to not live in the papal apartment (he will live in the Vatican guesthouse), who has eschewed highly filigreed garments, and who has constantly spoken of humility and poverty. Might this papacy be less about pontifical pomp and theological rhetoric than about attention to concrete circumstance? That would be theology as praxis: where the word of God hits the ground, and keeps walking.

Second, the environment (or, in theological terms, “creation”). During his installation homily, Pope Francis invoked those words ten times. Granted, his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi, was—in the parlance of our times—something of a tree-hugger who chatted with birds and wolves, and a popular prayer about God’s ebullient creation (the “Canticle of Brother Sun and Sister Moon”) is attributed to him. Furthermore, in 1979 St. Francis was named the patron saint of ecologists. So it’s not enormously surprising that at his first press conference, Pope Francis mused, “These days we do not have a very good relationship with creation, do we?”

No, we don’t—neither as an economically-driven global society, nor as a Catholic institution. Sure, Vatican City pledged to become the first carbon-neutral country; but first-world folks in pews, especially in the United States, are unused to heeding this message.

Yet Francis inherits a legacy of Catholic social teaching that links economic globalization, environmental degradation, and poverty. Even the recondite Benedict XVI wrote about environmental degradation and its deleterious impacts on the lives of the poor. Along with the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, he considered access to clean air and fresh water as “right-to-life issues.” Moreover, he insisted that commodification of such essential “goods of creation” is unjust. Here’s the upshot: In the 21st century, papal pro-creation involves the preferential option for the poor and a critique of excessive pursuit of profit. There is a strong set of Catholic teaching in which the rhetoric of pro-creation is not reducible to the prohibition of prophylaxis.

As it turns out, these social and economic teachings have existed since the 1960s, though they are often minimized or referred to as the church’s best-kept secrets—especially in the United States. Think about it: When was the last time you heard a Catholic invoke the “right to life”—and proceed to expound on the importance of clean, fresh water? (Well, never.)

Hopefully, that’s about to change. In his Palm Sunday homily, Francis lamented the preponderance of “Greed for money, power, corruption, divisions, crimes against human life and against creation!” These exclamations nestle theology squarely into the thorny nexus of economic globalization, environmental degradation, and global poverty.

To be sure, the new pontiff is no Marxist radical. But neither is he a pawn in the pursuit of corporate profit; indeed, he would have harsh words for the likes of Milton Friedman, who thought that the only social responsibility of business was to increase its profits. As the new pope remarked in his installation homily: “I would like to ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill: let us be ‘protectors’ of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment.”

In sum: The Franciscan rhetoric of the past two weeks pivots on concern for the poor and for the environment. Pro-creation, for this pope, goes far beyond prophylaxis. If this right-to-life trend continues, it could be more than quirky, or radical, or humble, or even profound. It would be both practical and revolutionary.

Egyptian Blogger Accused of Violence Released

Egyptian authorities released a prominent Egyptian blogger Tuesday after he refused to cooperate with prosecutors over allegations of instigating violence against the country's most powerful Islamist group in comments posted on social media.

The blogger, Alaa Abdel-Fattah, was freed following his demand that an investigative judge take over his case, according to one of his lawyers, Malek Adly. His attorneys are now awaiting a decision on the request, which amounts to a snub to the prosecutor's office by questioning its independence.

Abdel-Fattah handed himself in to authorities earlier Tuesday, a day after the country's prosecutor general ordered his arrest along with four other activists also accused of inciting violence. The arrest warrants stoked concerns among Egypt's opposition that Islamist President Mohammed Morsi was using the prosecutor's office to go after political opponents.

The allegations against the activists are rooted in clashes between supporters and opponents of Morsi outside the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood in east Cairo last week that left 200 people injured in the worst bout of political violence here in months.

Activists say the arrest warrants, which closely followed a televised address by Morsi in which he warned that he would soon take exceptional measures in the face of violence, could herald a wave of arrests of opposition leaders.

Abdel-Fattah and the other activists questioned the independence of the prosecutor general, saying he is beholden to Morsi. The president appointed the prosecutor late last year despite an uproar from the judiciary.

Dressed in a prison jumpsuit to show his readiness to face jail, Abdel-Fattah arrived at the Cairo office of Prosecutor General Talaat Abdullah on Tuesday surrounded by several dozen protesters chanting slogans denouncing Morsi and his group, the Muslim Brotherhood.

From inside the prosecutor's office, the blogger posted messages on Twitter saying that most of the accusations against him were based on comments sent to his account by others, rather than anything he posted himself. He also said on Twitter that he refused to respond to the authorities' questions "because of partiality of the prosecutor general."

However, the prosecutor's office offered a different account. The prosecutor's spokesman posted a message on the office's official Facebook page that said Abdel-Fattah cooperated with officials during the questioning. It said he denied the accusations against him, and that the Twitter or Facebook accounts were his.

Abdel-Fattah and his lawyer dismissed the prosecutor's version of events, and said they will file complaints against them for allegedly forging official documents.

"I said only that I stick to my right to be silent," Abdel-Fattah told The Associated Press. He said his lawyers refused to admit the evidence to the case because they were photocopies of social media websites. "They did no investigative efforts at all."

In Washington, State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said the U.S. was seeking information about the charges against the Egyptian political activists.

"We need to get more information, but absolutely anything that squelched the freedom of information would be a deep concern for the United States," he said.

This is not the first time Abdel-Fattah has butted heads with Egypt's authorities since the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak more than two years ago. He was detained for two months in late 2011 by the then-ruling military over allegations he attacked soldiers carrying out a bloody crackdown on protesters. He was later released without charge.

The Friday clashes outside the Brotherhood's Cairo headquarters were the worst violence between the Brotherhood and its opponents in three months.

The protest was called in response to earlier violence outside the building, in which Brotherhood supporters beat up several activists and attacked reporters. Both sides brought hundreds of supporters to the new demonstration, which devolved into street fighting with knives, fists, stones, sticks, and birdshot. Both sides beat the others' followers. Police fired tear gas but did not try to separate the two sides.

Brotherhood officials accuse the protesters of attacking its offices and say its members were defending the building. Protesters, in turn, blame Brotherhood members for sparking the violence, saying they tried to encircle the rally from behind.

At least six anti-Morsi protesters were detained during the violence, and the prosecutors ordered them to be held for 15 days pending investigation.

Brotherhood offices have frequently been ransacked and torched in Egypt's recent turmoil, including also outside of Cairo on Friday.

Later Tuesday, the state news agency quoted a judicial official as saying that prominent anti-Brotherhood lawyer, Hamdi el-Fakharani, was arrested on his way to his hometown in the Delta province of Gharbiya, over allegations he instigated violence against Brotherhood offices there.

The prosecutor's office says it is examining statements and video clips posted on activists' Facebook and Twitter accounts, which allegedly include calls to burn the offices of the Brotherhood and kill Brotherhood members. A wider inquiry will examine the contents of social networking sites in the run-up to Friday's clashes.

Abdel-Fattah and the other activists ordered detained were key figures in the 2011 anti-Mubarak uprising who later led demonstrations against the military generals who took power after Mubarak. Since Morsi took office in June as the country's first democratically elected president, they have protested what they see as the new leader's dictatorial style of rule.

The opposition accuses Morsi of acting like his predecessor, of not living up to his promises to have an inclusive political process and of acting in the Brotherhood's interests rather than in Egypt's national interest.

The Brotherhood, meanwhile, accuses the opposition of having no grassroots support, and says the president should be challenged through the ballot box, not street protests.

Meanwhile, Egypt's interim parliament, the Shura Council, said it is working on drafting a law to regulate protests. The law would give the authorities the right to deny permission to demonstrations that harm "citizens' interests," including by blocking traffic.

Arab League grants seat to Syrian opposition

The summit of Arab League on Tuesday granted Damascus' seat to the Syrian opposition and acknowledged the right of the member countries to provide all means of self- defense to the Syrian opposition.

Earlier on Tuesday, Moaz al-Khatib, resigned head of exiled Syrian opposition coalition, took up Damascus' seat at the summit, calling for more political and financial support to the Syrian opposition.

The Arab League suspended Syria's membership in November 2011. Earlier this month, some countries, mainly oil-rich Qatar and Saudi Arabia, led a push to invite the Syrian opposition to occupy the seat of Damascus at the pan-Arab body.

The Arab leaders rushed through the summit Tuesday, one day earlier than scheduled.

A total of 15 heads of state of Arab countries attended the summit, including Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, while Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Algeria, Oman, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates are represented by high-level delegations.

Yankees complete trade for Vernon Wells


Vernon Wells won’t be wearing No. 10 in the Bronx, and he’s starting his Yankees career with No. 56. ‘I’m going to wear Lawrence Taylor for a little bit,’ he joked after his trade to the Yankees was made official.

TAMPA — The trade took two days to complete, but Vernon Wells is officially a Yankee.

Having passed his physical earlier in the day, Wells arrived at Steinbrenner Field Tuesday afternoon and settled into his new locker.

"Just the history and the names that are in this clubhouse, and the guys that are in this clubhouse, this is special," Wells said. "It's obviously a huge commitment to put the pinstripes on, but this is baseball. This is the center of it all and this is a fun way for things to go toward the end of my career."

Wells was assigned No. 56 — "I'm going to wear Lawrence Taylor for a little bit," he joked — though he figures to be assigned a lower number once more cuts are made this week.

The Yankees sent minor league outfielder Exircado Cayones and minor league left-handed pitcher Kramer Sneed to the Angels for Wells. The Angels will pick up roughly $29 million of the $42 million Wells is owed over the next two years.

The 34-year-old was excited by the trade, wasting no time when the Angels asked him to waive his no-trade clause to approve the deal.

RELATED: WEIGHT OF WELLS CONTRACT MAY NOT CRUSH YANKS

"It just came as a shock, I think," Wells said. "Once you get toward the end of spring training, you think, all right, this is how it's going to be. They called in the office and said, 'We have a deal in place. It's just a matter of your approval.' Then they told me the team, and I tried not to smile too big in the office. Went and called the wife — obviously we have to clear everything with them first — and she was excited. And I'm here."

Wells said he has always admired the Yankees from afar, going all the way back to his days in Triple-A.

"I remember the first time I played the Triple-A Yankees when I was 20 years old and (Darryl) Strawberry was on that team," Wells recalled. "It was the first time that I actually got goose bumps playing against another team. From that day, I've quietly been a Yankees fan. Obviously not when we played against the Yankees, but every time or any time the Yankees were in the playoffs and I was sitting at home, I was cheering for the Yankees. This is somewhat of a dream come true."

Wells was in the lineup for Tuesday night's game against the Astros, hitting sixth and playing left field. He's expected to be the everyday left fielder until Curtis Granderson returns from the DL in early May, a task Wells is excited about after retooling his swing during the offseason.

"Coming into spring training and throughout the offseason, my goal was just to get back to the basics and just put the barrel on the ball as many times as I can, shorten my swing and use the other field," Wells said. "I forgot what right field was like for a couple of years. You get caught up in hitting home runs and seeing how far you can hit them, and your swing changes.

"I was able to take some time this offseason, look at a lot of video from when I was younger and just spraying the ball all over the field. Once we got into spring training, that was my goal. And so far, so good. Getting back to just being short and quick, and balls are still jumping off my bat and my hands are still as quick as they were when I was younger."
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/officially-yankee-wells-smile-told-trade-article-1.1299565#ixzz2OgLBwmyW

T-Mobile's iPhone 5 By The Numbers

With much fanfare and hullaballoo, T-Mobile USA CEO John Legere announced that the company will finally offer Apple's smartphone. The iPhone 5 goes on sale from T-Mobile April 12, but customers can sign up starting April 5. T-Mobile is advertising the iPhone 5 for $99, but that's not necessarily what you'll pay.

The $99 is actually a down payment on the iPhone 5. Thereafter, T-Mobile's iPhone 5 customers will make monthly payments of $20 for 24 months until the device is paid off. Between the down payment and the monthly installments, the total amounts to $580 -- that's about $70 less than the iPhone 5's raw $649 selling price.

As soon as the iPhone 5 is paid off, you'll own the device, whether or not you stick with T-Mobile USA. Even better, once you own the device, T-Mobile USA will unlock it so it can be used on competing networks. (Yes, new phones will be locked to T-Mobile's network.)

The beauty of T-Mobile's new model is that there are no contracts. Customers can leave at any time. Legere even said, "If we suck for a month, leave! Go somewhere else!" Of course, he also said T-Mobile hopes that customers will love its new service enough that they will stay.

[ For more on T-Mobile's bold new plans, see T-Mobile Looks To Shake Up Industry. ]

Asked what happens if a customer leaves T-Mobile after having made only a few payments, T-Mobile didn't really have a good answer. Instead, Legere said the payoff amount will be based on what's left of the remaining payments and the fair market value for the iPhone 5 (if the customer wants to turn the device in). T-Mobile's wishy-washy answer is somewhat concerning.

There are no penalties, said T-Mobile, for accelerating payments or paying off the device in full instead of making the $20 monthly payments. T-Mobile claimed it is offering this financing option with no interest. In fact, its $580 total price actually saves consumers money compared to buying the phone outright from Apple.

Beyond the down payment and the monthly $20 fee, customers will of course need a service plan for their iPhone 5. The cheapest plan costs $50 per month and includes unlimited voice, unlimited messaging and 500MB of data. Want more data? Pay more.

That means an iPhone 5 and T-Mobile's cheapest plan amount to $70 per month together. Is that a good deal? It really depends on how you think about it.

For starters, T-Mobile's iPhone 5 is (thankfully) optimized for its network. That means you'll get LTE 4G support in the 1700MHz band, as well as HSPA+ 3G in the 1700 and 1900MHz bands. T-Mobile's iPhone will be the only one that offers HD Voice (higher-quality phone calls). Beyond these customizations, T-Mobile's iPhone 5 is the same as every other iPhone 5. The other carriers charge from $199 to $399 for the iPhone 5, depending on storage, at contract inception.

The key benefit for T-Mobile customers here is the lack of a contract. Unhappy T-Mo customers can walk away at any time. That's a powerful motivator for T-Mobile, which needs to earn its customers' business each and every day. Other carriers lock customers into two-year contracts, which prevents them from leaving. The no-contract option is certainly appealing. Whether or not T-Mobile's services can live up to the demands from iPhone 5 customers is another matter entirely.

Obama chooses first woman Secret Service director: officials


WASHINGTON | Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:48pm EDT
President Barack Obama has chosen veteran Secret Service agent Julia Pierson as the first woman to become director of the agency that protects the president, two officials told Reuters on Tuesday.

Pierson has been chief of staff at the Secret Service, which last year became embroiled in a scandal involving agents taking prostitutes to their hotel rooms in Colombia before Obama visited the country.

Pierson is a native of Florida and began her career with the Secret Service as a special agent with the Miami Field Office in 1983. Starting in 1988, she served four years with the Presidential Protective Division.

She will replace Mark Sullivan who retired as Secret Service director in February. The position does not require confirmation by the Senate.

Dominican immigrant feels "pure joy" from Powerball win



Pedro Quezada holds up his $338 million Powerball jackpot check on Tuesday, March 26. / CBS News

The Dominican immigrant who won the $338 million Powerball jackpot said Tuesday his head wasn't clear enough to decide what to do with his winnings, but knew he was going to help his "humble" family.

Pedro Quezada appeared at New Jersey lottery headquarters to officially claim the $338 million Powerball prize, his wife and brothers also in the room. The former shop owner from a working-class suburb of New York City has been in the U.S. for 26 years.

"I felt pure joy, just happiness," he said in Spanish, a translator by his side.

The numbers drawn Saturday were 17, 29, 31, 52, 53 and Powerball 31. If Quezada takes a lump-sum payment, it would be worth $221 million, or about $152 million after taxes. It's the fourth-largest jackpot in Powerball history.

Casiano, one of Quezada's five children, said his family plans to keep open the Passaic bodega they have run for years.

"I know he's going to do something good with the money," he said from behind the counter of the family bodega, the Apple Deli Grocery - maybe open another store.

"It's a blessing," he said. "It's something that happened and you just have to take it as it is."Quezada's neighbors see a lot of themselves in the winner: hardworking, a family man, an immigrant, and someone who has known hard times.

That's why they were so thrilled that one of their own has won the lottery.

"This is super for all of us on this block," said Eladia Vazquez, who has lived across the street from Quezada's building for the past 25 years. Quezada and his family "deserve it because they are hardworking people."

The Quezada family's apartment sits at the end of a short dead end block that abuts a highway in Passaic, northwest of New York City.

The block has a half-dozen three-story brick apartment buildings on each side, and Vazquez said it's a neighborhood where everyone knows everyone, including what car they drive and what parking space they use.

Fellow Dominican immigrant Jose Gonzalez said he barbecues and plays dominoes with Quezada in the summers in a backyard on their street.

"He sometimes would work from six in the morning to 11 at night, so I did not see him much," Gonzalez said in Spanish Monday night. "I am happy for him. ... I don't know where he is now but I imagine he will drop by to say hi to his friends."

Neighbors told The Record newspaper that the Quezada family has suffered bad luck in recent years. Two years ago, thieves broke into their apartment and stole everything from clothing to jewelry. The year before, a fire destroyed much of their bodega, they said. At the Tuesday press conference, Quezada said he didn't want to disucss it.

He also said he wasn't sure if he'd return to the Dominican Republic, stay in New Jersey or move elsewhere.

The largest Powerball jackpot ever came in at $587.5 million in November. The winning numbers were picked on two different tickets - one by a couple in Missouri and the other by an Arizona man - and the jackpot was split.

Nebraska still holds the record for the largest Powerball jackpot won on a single ticket - $365 million - by eight workers at a Lincoln meatpacking plant in February 2006.

Powerball is played in 42 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The chance of matching all five numbers and the Powerball number is about 1 in 175 million.

Supreme court indicates cautious approach to gay marriage rights



The polarisation of the supreme court was laid bare on Tuesday, the first of two days of hearings on gay marriage. Photograph: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images


US supreme court justices tore into a central argument of opponents of same-sex marriage on Tuesday as the court heard for the first time arguments over whether gay couples have a constitutional right to wed.

The deep polarisation of the court on social issues was laid bare on the first of two days of hearings on gay marriage, which saw liberal justices shoot down claims that same sex-couples should not be allowed to wed because they cannot procreate, while the conservatives attacked rapid change as undermining centuries of tradition.

But none of the parties in the cases under consideration on Tuesday, involving a 2008 California referendum barring gay marriage, may get the definitive rulings they are seeking. One persistent line of questioning raised the prospect that the court will sidestep a decision on the basis that the plaintiffs – the proponents of the gay-marriage ban – do not have legal standing to bring the case after the state of California declined to do so when the referendum result was overturned by a federal court.

Neither Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is regarded as the potential swing vote on this issue, nor the liberal justices appeared eager for the court to make a sweeping ruling.

Kennedy, who said the court may be entering "uncharted waters" by deciding on who has the right to marry, also wondered aloud why the justices had agreed to hear the case. "I wonder if this case was properly granted," he said.

A second case, over a federal law preventing the government from recognising same-sex unions, is to be heard on Wednesday.

Kanye West 'I Am God'

Kanye West 'I Am God', He will not name his new album 'i am god'

Kanye is a deity of sorts in the rap game, but not quite the creator of the universe.

Although BBC News reported that Kim Kardashian's boyfriend was considering calling his upcoming album I Am God, a source tells E! News this is not true.

Mr. West has drawn a parallel between himself and Jesus' dad before, though. In 2005, he released the single "Jesus Walks," which openly embraces his faith, and also recreated the prophet's crucifixion on the Jan. 2006 cover of Rolling Stone.

Kim strikes a holy pose in Brazil

But come on, y'all. 'Ye's ego isn't big enough to claim he is God.

Still, should ever decide to make a comparison between himself and the (wo)man upstairs? That's called artistic freedom! Judge not lest ye be judged.

Stabbings at Target

Stabbings at Target, 16-year-old girl and two men were stabbed by a man wielding a knife at a Target in East Liberty, Pittsburgh late Monday afternoon.

WTAE reports the attacker, who has not yet been identified, entered the store at around 5:30 p.m. and headed towards the lavatory. The man was followed into the restroom by two others, but he chased them back out with a knife.
"I took a peek at the top of the steps, and the guy was chasing the dude around with a long, long knife," a witness told Channel 4 Action News. "It was a long, long knife. He was chasing him around through the aisles."

The suspect then ran towards the cash register, grabbed 16-year-old Allison Meadows, and began to stab her.
"He had this girl by the top of her hair. He just kept screaming, 'I'll stab her again.' He kept stabbing her," the witness said.

According to the witness, he and four other men ran toward the stabber and tackled him. He used a baseball bat to keep the assailant subdued until police arrived.
"That little girl, he just kept stabbing her. I just couldn't stand there and watch that," he said. "It was crazy in there. That was horrible. That was something you don't want to see again, ever."

When police arrived, they took the man to UPMC Mercy Hospital to be treated for pepper spray exposure. The teenager was taken to the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh wits cuts in her back and arm. The two men who where stabbed -- one in the lip and another in the fingers-- were taken to UPMC Presbyterian.

None of the injuries appear to be life threatening, according to police.

Investigators seem to think the incident arose from an assault at a construction site in a near-by neighborhood, after the two injured men followed the suspect into Target. Formal charges are pending.