Heather Morris of ‘Glee’ expecting a baby



Heather Morris of ‘Glee’ expecting a baby - How exciting! BeyoncĂ©’s former backup dancer-turned-actress is expecting her very first baby, according to a new report! Looks like she may be taking a break from ‘Glee’ – are YOU shocked by the news?

Heather Morris, 26, best known for playing the ditzy cheerleader Brittany on Glee, is reportedly pregnant with her first child! The actress’ longtime boyfriend Taylor Hubbell is the baby’s father.

The couple met when they were both back in high school, and are awaiting the arrival of their new bundle of joy in a few months.

“She’s a little more than three months along and starting to show,” a source told to Us Weekly.
Heather Morris’ Unplanned Pregnancy

“It was totally unexpected, but they are incredibly happy and excited,” the source added.

Heather, who gained fame as the ditzy cheerleader on the FOX hit show Glee, has talked about her eager desire to start a family with longtime boyfriend Taylor in the past. The star is even willing to quit showbiz if it came down to it.

“I want to marry Taylor and have kids with him,” the star revealed to Fitness magazine in 2011. “I love acting, but if it affects my relationship, then I wont continue.”

Heather’s character Brittany is a senior at McKinley High School on Glee, so it’s likely this would be her last season anyway.

Heather Morris & Taylor Hubbell’s Holding Off On Wedding

Although a friend of the couple said the two were not planning to get married just yet, that surely may change! The dynamic duo may be tying the knot sometime soon. “I see it in their future,” said the source.

We are sure that Heather will make a great mom, and it’s so exciting that she is having her first kid! But we want to know what YOU think HollyMoms, are you shocked to hear that Heather is expecting a baby?

Tom Hanks Tears: Lucky Guy in Tears

Tom Hanks Tears, Tom Hanks says his Broadway debut, the opening night of “Lucky Guy,” was a bittersweet moment tinged with sadness at the loss of his longtime close friend, writer Nora Ephron.

Hanks struggled to hold back tears as he got a standing ovation for playing the late New York Post and Daily News columnist Mike McAlary at the Broadhurst Theatre on Monday night...reporter...nypost.

Of the emotional curtain call, Hanks told us, “That was a tough moment. We were going to do this, and Nora and [show director] George C. Wolfe were going to walk out onstage. I miss her. What more can you say?”

Ephron died in Manhattan last year at 71 after a battle with leukemia. Hanks continued, “Nora was just a magnificent hang . . . You could be working, and you could be talking about personal things, you could be on vacation and talking about cultural history, you could be having a very lazy breakfast and you would be talking about Saddam Hussein. Nora was . . . fascinated by everything. She was always doing things that were so interesting. She told me, ‘Never turn down a front-row seat for human folly.’ ”

Hanks said playing mustachioed McAlary helped him appreciate the newspaper business: “I kinda get it now . . . There was a time when if you were on Page Six, your life was hell for an easy week and a half, but now if you are on Page Six, it might embarrass you a little bit . . . but I am not one of the Kardashians, so I am not getting in your way . . . Now I get it as an art form. I get it as a job that really does somehow serve the pulse in the city.”

Hanks performed to an audience that included Barbara Walters, Brian Williams, Barry Diller, Sting and Trudie Styler, Lorne Michaels and Meg Ryan, who told us, “I feel like there is a wonderful spirit in this room tonight.”

Hanks’ wife, Rita Wilson, said, “I think Nora would be happy to know this was actually happening. I have this strange sort of excitement seeing my husband onstage. Nothing weird, but something about that mustache reminds me of Tom Selleck.”

WWE lawsuit: WWE vs. Hart Fight over



WWE lawsuit - A lawsuit fight between Martha Hart and the WWE over Owen Hart’s image has been settled.

Martha Hart filed a lawsuit against the WWE back in June of 2010 saying that World Wrestling Entertainment wasn’t paying out any royalties to Owen Hart’s estate. Hart also accused the WWE of violating a contract restricting the use of the late wrestler’s image.

According to TWNPNews, the lawsuit centered around the Hart & Soul DVD released by the WWE.

It was announced today that WWE chief executive Vince McMahon and his wife and former CEO Linda McMahon had reached a settlement with Martha Hart. The details of the settlement were not disclosed.

This isn’t the first time that the Hart family has sued the WWE.

Owen Hart died in the ring in 1999 during a stunt. Hart was making an unusual entrance at Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri. The wrestler was being lowered into the ring when he fell nearly 80 feet to his death.

The Hart family sued the WWE (then the WWF) over Owen’s death and was eventually granted $18 million. Martha used the money to establish the Owen Hart Foundation.

Tom Hanks tears up during Nora Ephron play

Tom Hanks is seen backstage during the 84th Academy Awards in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles on February 26, 2012. UPI/Phil McCarten
Tom Hanks tears - Famed writer-director Nora Ephron died last June of leukemia complications, but her work still lives on in the hands of her friends and colleagues. Actor Tom Hanks, Ephron's friend and frequent collaborator, paid tribute to the late auteur during the curtain call of her stage play, "Lucky Guy," on Monday night in Manhattan.

According to the Daily Express, the cast took their bows with a photograph of Ephron onstage.
"That was a tough moment," Hanks said of the tribute. "We were going to do this, and Nora and [show director] George C. Wolfe were going to walk out onstage. I miss her. What more can you say?”

Hanks called Ephron a "magnificent hang" who was "fascinated by everything."
"You could be working, and you could be talking about personal things, you could be on vacation and talking about cultural history, you could be having a very lazy breakfast and you would be talking about Saddam Hussein.

Nora Ephron in 2009. (UPI Photo/Jim Ruymen)
She was always doing things that were so interesting. She told me, ‘Never turn down a front-row seat for human folly.'"

Meg Ryan, Hanks' co-star in two Ephron classics, "You've Got Mail" and "Sleepless in Seattle," attended the play opening night.

“I feel like there is a wonderful spirit in this room," she told the Post.

Barbara Walters, Sting and Lorne Michaels were also in the audience.

"Her death was a terrible shock to us, so tonight is bittersweet," Walters told Inside Edition.

Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, attended Ephron's memorial service last year, where they pretended to be Ephron and her husband in a "he-said, she-said" imitation of the couple.

Kendra Wilkinson quits

"I'm so sorry," she said, tears in her eyes.
Kendra Wilkinson quits - She walked all the way up. She looked cute in her suit. And then she freaked. When it came time to dive, Kendra Wilkinson couldn't do it.

On Tuesday's Splash, the reality show star helped out her teammates by walking back down from the 23-foot platform, tears in her eyes. That was the only water she was touching.

"I'm so sorry, everybody," Kendra said. "It's bittersweet. One thing I don't do is quit. This is the first time in my life I've quit something. This will haunt me for the rest of my life."

Kendra was paired with extreme skier Rory Bushfield, who had been advised by doctors not to compete after he ruptured an eardrum in practice. She has been open about having a serious fear of heights. "I start spinning, I start wanting to throw up, I'm shaking, my fingers wiggle," she told E!.
For the new ABC reality show 'Splash,' premiering March 19 at 8 ET/PT, 10 celebrities will train and compete in regulation platform and springboard diving. Comedian and contender Louie Anderson handicaps the group for us. Craig Sjodin, ABC

On Twitter after the show, Kendra wrote: "Damn I got a lot of hate tonight but ill take it. Big mistake signing up for the show. Sorry I let you all down."

Fort Knox Shooting: 1 Civilian Dead

File photo of the Lt. Gen. Timothy J. Maude Complex at Fort Knox near Louisville, Ky. A shooting took place in a parking lot located outside the builing April 3, 2013. (Fort Knox PAO)
An Army civilian employee was killed Wednesday in a shooting incident at Fort Knox near Louisville, Ky. which prompted a temporary lockdown of the facility.

The shooting took place in a parking lot located outside the headquarters for U.S. Army Human Resources Command which is located at the base, according to a statement from the Fort Knox Public Affairs Office.

The victim was a civilian employee of Army Human Resources Command.

The victim was transported by ambulance to the Ireland Army Community Hospital hospital on the base, where he was pronounced dead.

The name of the deceased is being withheld until 24 hours after his family has been notified.

A 911 call was received by the Fort Knox Police at 5:40 p.m. and they responded to the scene within minutes.

The base was placed on a lockdown 10 minutes later that prevented the entry and exit of vehicles onto the base.

The lockdown was lifted an hour later though the base remained on an enhanced security status.

The incident is being investigated by Army Criminal Investigation Command.

"Special Agents from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command are investigating a personal incident and not a random act of violence," said CID spokesman Chris Grey said in the statement.

Authorities are seeking to speak with a person of interest who may be using a black Yamaha motorcycle for transportation.

Located about 35 miles outside Louisville, the large base is home to 40,000 soldiers and their families.

It houses several large commands like Army Human Resources Command and Army Recruiting Command.

The Army base is separate from the U.S. Bullion Depository which is located nearby that holds much of the nation's official gold reserves. That facility is also commonly referred to as "Fort Knox."

Miley Cyrus Lights Up On Snoop Lion's 'Ashtrays and Heartbreaks'

Snoop Lion and Miley Cyrus
Snoop Lion is pining about the past on his latest Reincarnated track, and he brought Miley Cyrus along for the ride. Their duet, off the rapper's April 23 album, made it to the Internet on Wednesday (April 3).

On "Ashtrays and Heartbreaks," Snoop combines his newfound Rasta style with Cyrus' pop sound but the actress shows she can get in on the reggae vibe of the jam, too, especially on lines like "fill up all those ashtrays."

Produced by Major Lazer, Ariel Rechtshaid and Dre Skull, the track features additional vocals from Angela Hunte. The legendary drummer for the Police, Stewart Copeland, provides the island-tinged percussion on the tune.

"[Snoop] was really studying Bob Marley," Major Lazer's Diplo explained to MTV News last year. "He likes to have the female backing vocals, and it's a real Marley-esque vibe. We [also] have some West Coast attitude with the production, and I'm really excited about it. It sounds amazing."

But "Ashtrays and Heartbreaks" is hardly the only Snoop/Miley collab the world will get to hear this year. Miley has confirmed that Snoop will also appear on the lead single off her 2013 album release.

"I did a song with Snoop, and it's coming out very, very soon," Miley told Ryan Seacrest last month. "I can finally say I'm going to have a song with Snoop Dogg coming very soon. It's recorded, done. I'm so excited!" While she didn't offer up many details about the song, she did reveal that she was making plans to hang out with him at the time. "He was in Europe when he was recording, but he's here this weekend, so I'm pretty excited. I'm think I'm going to take a bunch of my friends and go hang out."

South Korea says it's ready after reports North has moved missile to coast



North Korean Musudan-class missiles being displayed during a military parade in Pyongyang last year. Picture: AFP Source: AFP

NORTH Korea appears to have moved a missile capable of hitting targets in South Korea and Japan to its east coast, while also demanding the withdrawal of South Korean workers from a joint industrial estate.

The movement of the mid-range missile was detected by both South Korean and US intelligence, the South's Yonhap news agency reported, citing military and government sources.

“It appeared that the object was a Musudan mid-range missile,” it quoted one South Korean official as saying.

“We are closely monitoring whether the North moved it with a view to actual launch or just as a show of force against the US.”

The Musudan missile was first unveiled at a military parade in October 2010 and is believed to have an intended range of around 3000km. However, it is not known to have been tested.

Yonhap cited intelligence sources as saying the North might launch the missile on April 15, the birth anniversary of founding leader Kim Il-sung.

The South Korean Defence Ministry declined to confirm the report, but stressed that it kept a “24-hour watch” for any potential North Korean missile launches.

“We believe there is always an open possibility for a missile launch and related measures have been prepared,” ministry spokesman Wi Yong-Seop told reporters without elaborating.

The United States has said it is sending ground-based missile interceptors to Guam in response to North Korean threats to strike the Pacific island and other US targets, which Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel described as a “real and clear danger”.

Tensions between the two Koreas over a joint industrial park also escalated, with the North setting a deadline of next week for the withdrawal of all South Korean managers and staff from the Kaesong zone by next week, Yonhap reported.

The personnel should leave the complex, which lies 10 kilometres inside North Korea, by April 10, Yonhap said without quoting any sources.

South Korea's Unification Ministry said earlier today that North Korean authorities had for a second day refused permission for South Korean workers to cross into the giant factory complex on the northern side of the heavily fortified border.

Pyongyang is, however, allowing South Korean workers to leave, alleviating fears of a hostage situation at the complex, which is seen as a bellwether for the relations on the peninsula..

Tensions are running high after the North's latest threat and its move to restart operations at its main Yongbyon nuclear complex to produce more weapons.

Early this morning, in a move apparently timed to hit evening news bulletins in the US, the rogue state issued a statement saying its military had ratified plans for a nuclear strike on the US.

The statement, while provocative, repeats its earlier threats and contains the usual smattering of conditional clauses and bombast. However, it was issued in the name of the Korean People's Army's general staff, giving it added weight in the eyes of observers.

“We formally inform the White House and Pentagon that the ever-escalating US hostile policy toward the DPRK and its reckless nuclear threat will be smashed by the strong will of all the united service personnel and people and cutting-edge smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear strike means of the DPRK and that the merciless operation of its revolutionary armed forces in this regard has been finally examined and ratified,” the statement said.

Overnight, the Pentagon said it would deploy its Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system to Guam in the coming weeks. The THAAD system includes a truck-mounted launcher, interceptor missiles, an AN/TPY-2 tracking radar and an integrated fire control system.

“The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and stands ready to defend US territory, our allies, and our national interests,” a Pentagon spokeswoman said.

While Pyongyang has successfully carried out test nuclear detonations and a long-range missile test, most experts think it is not yet capable of mounting a device on a ballistic missile capable of striking US bases or territory.

The US, though, has responded to the rhetoric by first deploying two missile-defence capable destroyers to the Korean peninsula, then a mobile X-band radar installation and now the THAAD system to Guam.

US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said overnight that Pyongyang represented a “real and clear danger” to the United States and to its allies South Korea and Japan.

“They have nuclear capacity now, they have missile delivery capacity now,” Hagel said after a strategy speech at the National Defence University. “We take those threats seriously, we have to take those threats seriously.”

“We are doing everything we can, working with the Chinese and others, to defuse that situation on the peninsula. I hope the North will ratchet its very dangerous rhetoric down,” he said.

Carnival ship overboard: Carnival Triumph

Carnival ship overboard - The Carnival Triumph can't catch a break. It would be shocking if anyone wants to go on this ship again after all of the problems lately. On April 3, news came out that the ship had broken free from the port in Mobile after winds up to 80 mph came through the area. Now it is even worse as they are stating someone is overboard and they are still looking for them. It is now being reported from CNN that one man is still being searched for at this time.

An official with the local fire dept. is saying that two men fell into the water when the Carnival Triumph broke free due to high winds. One report says it was someone from the ship that fell in and another says they were working on a guard tower nearby. The reports coming in are conflicting, but of course Carnival doesn't want to look worse than they already do. Huffington Post reported that it was two shipyard workers who fell into the water. They said the missing man works for BAE Systems that runs a ship-repair operation on the Mobile River.

One man was recovered from the water, but another man is still missing in the water at this time. It sounds like they are doing all that they can to find him. At this time there are no updates on his recovery. The one man who fell into the water and was saved is at the hospital being treated for hypothermia.

Are you shocked to hear that the Carnival Triumph is having problems again? Sound off in the comments below.

Widow, WWE settle Conn. lawsuit over use of late husband’s name, likeness

Owen Hart
WWE lawsuit - The widow of World Wrestling Entertainment performer Owen Hart has settled her lawsuit against the WWE over royalties and the use of her late husband’s image.

The settlement was announced Wednesday by Martha Hart and confirmed by the WWE. Hart hasn’t disclosed any details. A spokesman for the WWE says he has no comment.

Owen Hart died in 1999 while being lowered into the wrestling ring at Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Mo. He was 34.

Martha Hart sued in June 2010, alleging the WWE didn’t pay royalty payments owed to Owen Hart’s estate and violated a contract restricting the use of his name and likeness.

Former WWE executive Linda McMahon ran unsuccessfully as a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Connecticut in 2010 and 2012.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Heidi Klum calls heroic ocean rescue 'what any mother would do'

Superhero Heidi Klum? The supermodel was reluctant on Wednesday to make a big deal out of her recent exploits in Hawaii, where she helped save her 7-year-old son and two nannies from a ferocious riptide.

"These photos taken recently look much worse than it really was that day," Klum told People. "I did what any mother would do."

The photos, some of which can be seen in the video above, show Klum plunging into the roiling surf, leading her son away from the waves and pulling one of the nannies out of the water.

"Henry swam out of it," the "Project Runway" host told the mag. "I grabbed him at the shore. The nannies were the ones in much deeper trouble."

She said previously to Us Weekly that her son was a strong swimmer who was able to get back to shore by himself.

"We got pulled into the ocean by a big wave, she told Us in a statement. "Of course, as a mother, I was very scared for my child and everyone else in the water."

Still, as Klum and her bodyguard boyfriend Martin Kristen struggled with the rescue, she was struck by one thing, telling People: "The family was surprised that we were being photographed and no one would come help us."

Klum and her family returned safely to the mainland Monday, flying in to LAX. Wednesday found her enjoying California Adventure, according to a picture on her Twitter feed.

Angelfire site may be Mark Zuckerberg’s first website

A link to a very 90s-looking Angelfire website surfaced over at Hacker News, with the poster claiming that it belongs to Mark Zuckerberg, who would have created it when he was just 15-years-old. The website is full of all sorts of interesting things, ranging from a GPA calculator for “all you psychos, myself included, who obsess over grades,” to a blinking yellow eyeball welcoming visitors to “the only site where a yellow eye blinks at you.”



The webpage is both comical and a very interesting look into the mind of a teenage Mark Zuckerberg, who was at the time promoting his Vader Fader tool and introduced himself as Slim Shady: “Hi, my name is…Slim Shady. No, really, my name is Slim Shady. Just kidding, my name is Mark.” On the Angelfire page, he invited comments via the AOL email address “Themarke51@aol.com”.

The Angelfire site is full of Java applets, and contains several pages, including one dedicated to Vader Fader, a pong game, Magnetic Poetry, a base converter, something he calls the CyberMonkey, inviting users to test the “famous monkey problem” and email him asap if they “spot a soliloquy of Hamlet”. While all of this, presented in a fairly clean manner above a solid gray background, is interesting, it is his page on “The Web” that catches the most attention.

Says young Zuckerberg on his page “The Web,”: “As of now, the web is pretty small. Hopefully, it will grow into a larger web.” And speaking of the applet, “If your name is already on The Web because someone else has chosen to be linked to you, then you may choose two additional people to be linked with.” He has certainly come a long way since that small applet, and has connected far, far more people.

Of course, there’s no guarantee this is Zuckerberg’s Angelfire site, but all signs point to the affirmative.

Android laptop? No! Give us Android apps on Chromebooks instead

Android laptop?
An Asian source that often shares rumors that have no basis in fact recently put one out there about upcoming Android laptops. I'm not linking to it as it's not a news report, it's pure conjecture on their part. It's also a very silly idea on all fronts.

A laptop running Android would offer nothing of benefit to consumers or the enterprise. The OS is designed for phones with small screens and tablets with slightly larger ones that are totally operated by touch. As good as Android is on those devices it would not be of much use on a laptop as the primary OS.

See also: ASUS Transformer Prime review

We already have Android tablets with laptop docks like the Transformer line from ASUS. These tablets are quite nice for occasional use in the dock as a laptop stand-in, but not as full-time laptops. While a few Android apps work fine on these hybrids in laptop mode, most really need a tablet form to be useful. That's lost on a pure laptop form.

An Android laptop would certainly need a touch screen to even use most apps. The only apps that would be feasible to use on a laptop are those that scale up to a larger screen; there are quite a few that do that but far more that don't. There would need to be a way to find "laptop" apps in the Play Store and even that would be hit and miss.

No, Android laptops won't serve any users that aren't already covered well by existing products. What I'd rather see Google make happen is bring Android apps to the Chromebook.

With the first touch Chromebook already on the market it makes far more sense to bring Android apps to Chrome OS. These apps would extend the already useful OS by opening it up to the thousands of apps already out there. While many of the apps wouldn't be a good fit for the laptop form, quite a few others would work just fine.

There are some good office suite apps on Android that would open the Chromebook up to the enterprise market. While not real Office, these apps go a long way to replacing Microsoft's suite for many. Chromebooks could waltz right into the enterprise with ease if they could run Android apps.

The enterprise angle aside, Chromebooks with Android apps would have outstanding entertainment options. There are lots of good games and media apps on Android that would be right at home on the Chromebook touch screen.

Chromebooks are solid devices without Android and I'm not suggesting they need the apps to be useful. But if you have a choice to run the apps, then why not?

I'm happy with the Chromebook Pixel I am using as it is a fine laptop. But when I think of it adding Android apps to the mix it would be outstanding.

This would be the case of adding utility to an existing group of products, and that's always a good thing. Making an Android laptop that doesn't provide any utility not already possible with existing products serves no purpose. So please Google, we don't need Android laptops. Give us Chromebooks with Android, instead.

Twitter rolls out mobile app updates

The newest version of Twitter's Android app was designed to better reflect the native Android experience, Twitter said. (Credit: Twitter)
Twitter has rolled out the latest in a series of updates to its mobile apps designed to give users easier navigation tools, as well as to make it easier to find relevant usernames and hashtags.

In a blog post today, Twitter also said it has redesigned its Android app to reflect "a native Android experience: wider and taller timelines that fill the screen, a flat navigation bar, tap and hold for quick actions, and more."

At the same time, Android users will also now be able to navigate quickly between tabs by swiping their fingers across the screen, and as they enter tweets or do searches, they'll get automatic user and hashtag suggestions.

Those on iOS devices and using mobile.twitter.com will now see photo galleries, apps, and product listings in expanded tweets.

Finally, the new version will show a link below content that will let users download apps like Foursquare or Path if they were used to share the information via Twitter.

2 Deterrents to Robocalls Win Contest by F.T.C.

WASHINGTON — Caller ID, Do Not Call registries, telephone number blocking — all entered the arsenal of consumer weapons against telemarketers to great acclaim, only to fall from favor as growing numbers of cold-calling solicitors found ways around them.

Now, the Federal Trade Commission again says it might have found a better solution. On Tuesday, it named the winners of its first Robocall Challenge, a public contest to design a system to stop unsolicited marketing calls from reaching an individual’s phone.

The winners, who split a $50,000 prize, are Aaron Foss, a software developer from Long Island, and Serdar Danis, a computer engineer who declined to reveal his hometown.

Mr. Foss conceived Nomorobo, a way to use a phone system’s talents against itself to build a blacklist of threatening numbers. Mr. Danis came up with the less creatively named Robocall Filtering System and Device with Autonomous Blacklisting, Whitelisting, Graylisting and Caller ID Spoof Detection.

A separate Technology Achievement Award, with no monetary prize, went to Daniel Klein and Dean Jackson, Google engineers in Pittsburgh, for a sort of crowdsourced database of annoying telemarketers’ phone numbers.

“The solutions that our winners came up with have the potential to turn the tide on illegal robocalls,” Charles Harwood, acting director of the F.T.C.’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. “We’re hoping these winning proposals find their way to the marketplace soon, and will provide relief to millions of American consumers harassed by these calls.”

They might, but it will take months. Mr. Harwood said the F.T.C. was not endorsing any commercial products, and the inventors will have to deal with intellectual property issues and concerns about privacy and data security.

Mr. Foss expressed optimism about attracting an investor to help him commercialize his concept. “It still needs to be fleshed out a little bit,” he said in an interview. “We’ll need to see how it works with real data and real people.”

Nomorobo uses the simultaneous ringing feature that is available on most phone systems and allows a user to have an incoming call ring at several numbers at once. Mr. Foss’s system, he said, splits the call and routes it to a server, which analyzes the incoming data and uses “machine learning” to build a database of acceptable and prohibited numbers and calling patterns.

The system answers a rejected call, and then hangs up. Incorrectly categorized or unrecognized calls are screened before ringing through to the user.

The other winners similarly use algorithms to build a database of blacklisted numbers with which to screen incoming calls. The systems have the potential to be used on home or cellphones.

The F.T.C. and the Federal Communications Commission already enforce regulations against sending prerecorded sales calls to households without the written consent of the recipient.

Nevertheless, the F.T.C. says robocalls are its most persistent problem, generating roughly 200,000 consumer complaints each month, even though the agency says it has stopped many of the businesses responsible for the billions of robocalls made each year.

In recent years, “the technology has developed so that it’s extremely cheap and easy to send out millions of calls instantly,” said Kati Daffan, who oversaw the robocall project for the F.T.C.

With millions of calls and hundreds of thousands of customers complaining, do phone companies have a stake in trying to solve the problem?

“I have to wonder if it’s just not a priority of theirs,” Mr. Foss said. “Maybe this will shine a light on it, and the phone companies will take it seriously.”

Today’s Browser News: A Second Act for Firefox?

I usually don't spend much time fixated on the technologies that power web browsers. But today brought two pieces of news which could — just maybe — add up to the beginnings of a sea change for the whole web, especially on mobile devices.

News item #1: Google, which currently uses the same WebKit rendering engine which Apple originally devised for its Safari browsers, has decided to use Webkit as the basis for a new engine for its Chrome browsers:

WebKit is a lightweight yet powerful rendering engine that emerged out of KHTML in 2001. Its flexibility, performance and thoughtful design made it the obvious choice for Chromium's rendering engine back when we started. Thanks to the hard work by all in the community, WebKit has thrived and kept pace with the web platform’s growing capabilities since then.

However, Chromium uses a different multi-process architecture than other WebKit-based browsers, and supporting multiple architectures over the years has led to increasing complexity for both the WebKit and Chromium projects. This has slowed down the collective pace of innovation – so today, we are introducing Blink, a new open source rendering engine based on WebKit.

News item #2: Firefox creator Mozilla has announced that it's working with Samsung on Servo, a new rendering engine which is written in a programming language called Rust:

We are now pleased to announce with Samsung that together we are bringing both the Rust programming language and Servo, the experimental web browser engine, to Android and ARM. This is an exciting step in the evolution of both projects that will allow us to start deeper research with Servo on mobile. Samsung has already contributed an ARM backend to Rust and the build infrastructure necessary to cross-compile to Android, along with many other improvements.

Now, Google's decision to carve off a variant of WebKit which it can call its own is interesting, but it's not shocking. As a leading desktop browser, the default Android browser and a whole operating system, Chrome is exceptionally important to the company, and Chrome's rendering engine is its single most important compenent. By taking control of Blink, Google can integrate the engine more tightly into Chrome, making decisions on its own without having to convince any of the other organizations which are involved with WebKit. And odds are that the results won't be anything that a typical Chrome user will need to worry about.

But if you're not Google — which, last time I checked, Mozilla isn't — devoting a lot of energy to building fundamental browser technologies for Android might seem like an idiosyncratic effort. There simply isn't any evidence so far that teeming masses of Android users are unhappy enough with Google's default browser (which became Chrome as of Android 4.1 Jellybean) to jump ship. Which, in theory, might doom every alternative browser to being a niche product at best.

Except: Mozilla's partner is Samsung, by far the largest manufacturer of Android smartphones, and a company which increasingly seems to regard Android as a raw ingredient rather than a selling point. If Samsung were to decide to yank out Chrome and swap in a future version of Firefox built on Servo, the new browser would instantly have an enormous user base. It's premature to think that Samsung is even contemplating such an option, but it's fun to think about. And Google’s WebKit-splintering decision might make it at least a little easier for Servo, which isn’t WebKit at all, to gain a toehold.

When the first version of Firefox came along almost a decade ago, it was a transformative moment for beleagured PC users, who were stuck at the time with a miserably bad version of Microsoft's Internet Explorer and no viable alternatives. (Here I am at the time telling people to ditch IE and use Firefox, as quoted in an old Fortune article.)

2013 is a very different era, in part because of Firefox’s breakup of IE’s monopoly: every default browser is an entirely respectable product, including the current version of IE. Which is good, because on iOS and Windows 8, a third-party developer like Mozilla doesn't have the free reign it needs to build its own browser from scratch. Bottom line: if Mozilla figures out a way to make Firefox into a big deal on mobile devices, it won’t be by repeating Firefox’s early history.

Today, I'm an occasional Firefox user rather than a Firefox fanatic, but it would still warm my heart to see the browser matter as much on mobile devices as it has on conventional PCs. And this deal with Samsung provides the first glimmer of hope I've seen that such an outcome is even theoretically possible.

2 white supremacist gang members sought in Colorado prisons chief death

Authorities investigating the death of Colorado's prisons chief have issued an alert seeking two members of a white supremacist prison gang.

El Paso County sheriff's Lt. Jeff Kramer said Wednesday that deputies are seeking 47-year-old James Lohr and 31-year-old Thomas Guolee in connection with the death of Tom Clements. He says their names surfaced during the investigation and the men could be headed to Nevada or Texas.

The Denver Post reports both men are members of the white supremacist prison gang 211 Crew. That's the same gang whose members included Evan Ebel, who is suspected in the fatal shootings of Clements on March 19 and of a pizza delivery driver two days earlier.

Ebel was killed in a shootout with Texas authorities after their deaths.

Carnival Triumph breaks free of moorings; shipyard worker missing

Carnival's cursed cruise ship Triumph broke loose from its moorings Wednesday when strong winds hit Mobile, Ala., and two shipyard workers fell into the Mobile River. One was still missing by evening.

Helicopters and search teams scoured the river for the employee of BAE Systems shipyard. The other one was rescued and hospitalized with mild hypothermia.

The Triumph was at the shipyard undergoing repairs after a disastrous February cruise, when an engine fire knocked out power. The 3,143 passengers and 1,086 crew members endured miserable conditions for five days: urine and feces in hallways, spoiled food, long lines for the few working toilets and rooms that were too hot or too cold. When tugboats finally coaxed the ship into port at Mobile, passengers lined the decks, smiling and waving, with some of them singing, "Sweet Home Alabama."

On Wednesday, the Triumph spent just a few hours adrift; Carnival said it had been secured by early Wednesday evening. About 800 people were aboard -- 600 crew members and 200 contractors -- but none of them were hurt, Carnival said.

Carnival blamed the winds for the Triumph's breaking loose.

The National Weather Service reported a 66-mph wind gust at Mobile's Brookley Aeroplex airport about five minutes before the Coast Guard received a report that the Triumph had broken free.

Carnival said the ship suffered "limited" damage and would be moved soon to the Mobile Cruise Terminal across the 700-foot-wide Mobile River from the shipyard, near the mouth of Mobile Bay. Tugboats would remain alongside as a precaution while the ship was tied up, Carnival said.

Officials gave conflicting reports as to how the two workers fell into the river. The Mobile Fire-Rescue Department said they were in a guard shack that was blown into the water by the strong winds. But a shipyard spokesman called that account inaccurate, saying the Triumph crashed into a pier and knocked them in.

"When the Carnival cruise ship broke loose from its mooring, the stern swung and hit what is referred to as a stub pier," BAE's John Measell told The Times. "These two employees were on this short pier, and they went into the water when the ship hit the pier, and the pier crumpled.”

Measell said he didn't know how the ship could have blown loose.

When asked about Measell's description of events, fire department spokesman Steve Huffman said his personnel at the scene said the winds were to blame.

"That was the information reported to my personnel at the scene at the time," Huffman said.

Measell said Triumph did not appear to hit anything other than the stub pier.

The Coast Guard and the Mobile Police Department were searching for the missing employee, Coast Guard spokeswoman Lily Zepeda told The Times. Zepeda didn't have further information about whether the ship struck anything after becoming unmoored.

Wednesday's incident became just the latest in a series of mishaps both large and small for Carnival ships in recent months.

After the Triumph's infamous cruise in February, several more Carnival cruise ships suffered power and mechanical problems in March. The Legend and the Dream had to cut their trips short, and the Elation had to be escorted to port by a tugboat.

World War II Bomb Found Unexploded In Berlin

An unexploded World War II bomb was found near Berlin's main railway station Tuesday night, forcing trains to divert from the station and making traffic pile up within the city.

CNN reports that an aerial bomb weighing approximately 220 pounds was found at a construction site that neighbored railway tracks north of the station.

The finding caused police to evacuate over 800 people from nearby apartment buildings and homes Wednesday morning as bomb experts tried to defuse the bomb.

The defusing of the bomb took approximately 25 minutes, and according to a member of the bomb disposal team, had it exploded, the bomb could have blown a crater 3 to 4 meters wide and 3 meters (10 feet) deep.

"They do risk a lot, but they have a lot of experience," said Berlin police spokesman Jens Berger, speaking of the bomb disposal team. "Here in Berlin it is a fact of daily life to defuse bombs, but without question they are risking a lot."

Taliban Strike as Spy Chief Returns



A video image shows an Afghan soldier carried to a hospital in Farah after a Taliban attack Wednesday.

KABUL—Afghanistan's intelligence chief returned to a hero's reception in Kabul after healing from a December assassination attempt, cementing his national status as a leading anti-Taliban figure on a day in which insurgents killed dozens of people.

Asadullah Khalid, director of the National Directorate of Security, met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the presidential palace and resumed his duties after his return on Wednesday. He now faces the difficult job of keeping the Taliban at bay as U.S. forces leave Afghanistan, which is facing presidential elections next year.

In the deadliest assault on Wednesday, Taliban insurgents disguised as Afghan soldiers killed more than 50 people at a courthouse in western Farah province, officials said.

The attack began when insurgents set off an explosives-packed Ford Ranger pickup truck outside the building, according to provincial Gov. Akram Khpalwak. Eight suicide attackers wearing Afghan National Army uniforms then stormed the courthouse, he said. A battle continued into the early afternoon until all of the attackers were killed.

The assault killed a dozen members of Afghan security forces and injured more than 100 people, Gov. Khpalwak said, while more than 42 "innocent citizens," were killed, the presidential palace said.


Asadullah Khalid, shown here in 2008, returned to Kabul on Wednesday after months recovering from an assassination attempt at hospitals in the U.S.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which was one of the deadliest in recent years.

President Karzai condemned the attack in the strongest terms, saying Afghans "would not leave this genocide and massacre of Muslims unanswered."

Responsibility for security in most of Farah was handed to Afghan forces in December.

Afghanistan's western and northern provinces have seen less fighting than the country's south and east.

Separately, seven Afghan National Army troops died in insurgent attacks in Faryab, Kandahar, Kunar and Helmand provinces, the Afghan defense ministry said.

Mr. Khalid, the intelligence chief, was injured by a suicide bomber pretending to be a Taliban peace emissary at a National Directorate of Security guesthouse in downtown Kabul, an attack that appeared aimed to derail fragile efforts to broker peace with the insurgents.

He returns to Afghanistan as a political celebrity. Billboards and banners have sprung up in Kabul welcoming him home. "Your recovery is good news for the Afghan nation, and bad news for the enemies of Afghanistan," said one sign on the Kabul airport road.

Following the assassination attempt, Mr. Khalid underwent multiple surgeries and skin grafts in the U.S. While in a U.S. military hospital, he received visits from President Barack Obama, and then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. Mr. Karzai called on Mr. Khalid during an official visit to the U.S. in January.

A former governor of Ghazni and Kandahar provinces and minister of tribal affairs, Mr. Khalid is known in Afghanistan as a staunch opponent of the Taliban, and as one of the young Afghan leaders closest to Mr. Karzai.

During his term in Kandahar, he was accused by human-rights groups of running torture facilities—allegations he has denied.

He has said he provided covert aid last year to anti-Taliban rebels in the Andar district of Ghazni province, once a stronghold of the insurgency. The Andar anti-Taliban uprising—once billed as a spontaneous movement—has run into trouble without Mr. Khalid's support, and has largely become a government-backed force.

During his stay in the U.S., Mr. Khalid emerged as a social-media phenomenon. A Facebook FB +3.27% page run by admirers featured photos and videos that documented his recovery.

While the Internet is available to only a small percentage of the population in Afghanistan, the posts routinely drew hundreds of comments.

Majeed Qarar, who hosts one of the most-popular Afghan Facebook pages, said the support for Mr. Khalid appeared to be genuine.

"There are a big number of people who are against the Taliban," he said. "They see hope in Asadullah Khalid." —Habib Khan Totakhil and Ziaulhaq Sultani contributed to this article

WWE lawsuit finally settled 14 years after Owen Hart's death

WWE lawsuit - A lawsuit with the WWE and the estate of Owen Hart settled Wednesday, 14 years after the death of the wrestler known as The Blue Blazer. His spouse Mary Hart, World Wrestling Entertainment boss, Vince McMahon, and Linda McMahon announced resolution of the lawsuit over Owen Hart's name use and likeness, according to an April 3 Lalate.

Hart's spouse sued the WWE and the McMahons, who were accused of using the name and images of the late wrestler without their expressed permission, even when asked to cease and desist.

According to court documents, the McMahons used images of Hart in numerous commercials and publicity projects for the WWE.

The case turned bitter when allegations surfaced that Mary Hart sued because she disagreed with the campaign of Linda McMahon, then a candidate for the Senate.

"Martha Hart does not have some exclusive right to the story of her husband; it's just that simple," the defendants said in response to the civil action.

A portion of the WWE lawsuit read: "Since Owen’s death, the WWE and McMahons have sought every available opportunity to further exploit Owen’s personality for their own commercial benefit. Their use of Owen’s name and likeness draws attention to the WWE's ongoing violent and highly questionable theatrical activities that caused Owen’s death."

Owen Hart, 33 at the time of the accident, is the younger brother of wrestling legend, Bret Hart. Allegedly, he and Vince McMahon had a bitter falling out, which made the lawsuit very bitter.

In 1999, the younger Hart was repelling from the rafters at Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Mo. when the bungee apparatus malfunctioned, sending him crashing down 50-feet onto the turnbuckle. He landed hard, broke his neck and was pronounced dead a short time later.

Following his death, a large number of fellow wrestlers paid a tearful tribute to the late Hart.

While the terms of the WWE lawsuit settlement are confidential, some sites are reporting part of the agreement involves use of Owen's name and likeness with royalties to his estate.

Haunted by memories, Jersey man confesses to murder after 23 years

A New Jersey man who admitted to murdering a teenager 23 years ago said he turned himself over to police because the guilt has haunted him and made his life "a living hell."

Steven Goff on Monday confessed to police that he stabbed 15-year-old Frederick Hart on May 7, 1990 in Galloway, N. J., according to the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office.

The boy's body was not found until December of 1991, and was so badly decomposed that it was unclear what the cause of death was.

In a phone interview from jail with Atlantic City' NBC40.net, Goff said he made the admission because the memory made life "a living hell."

"I wasn't worried about getting caught. I had no chance of getting caught from this crime, whatsoever. I was away scot–free but you know, that doesn't mean that it was away in my mind," he said.

But it may have been more than just guilt.

Alan Rickel, a friend close to Goff, told the Associated Press that the confessed killer would be haunted by a vision of the dead boy's mother.

"He couldn't bear it anymore," Rickel told The Associated Press. "He told me he had nightmares. He'd go to sleep and see the kid's mother staring in his face."

Rickel said he knew his friend had psychological problems and thought he was in need of medication. He helped Goff return to New Jersey from northern Michigan, where the troubled man had been contemplating a run for the Canadian border. But soon after Goff returned to the Garden State, Rickel got a call from Galloway Township police saying his friend had admitted to the killing.

In a court appearance on Monday to be presented with charged against him, Goff told the judge, "I did the crime" and said he wanted to expedite the judicial process.

But Judge Michael A. Donio cut Goff off during the unprovoked confession, warning "anything you say here today can be used against you."

As the judge read back the details of the crime, Goff wept.

Goff, who was 18 at the time of the killing, is charged with murder and unlawful possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. He is being held on $1 million bail.

Can you hear me now? Cellphone turns 40

Can you hear me now? Cellphone turns 40 - Forty years ago, Martin Cooper, a VP at Motorola, made history by placing the very first cellphone call. Appropriately enough, he called his rival at AT&T's Bell Labs.

Thirty-three years later, a slightly more theatrical Steve Jobs dialed a Starbucks cafe in San Francisco to order 4,000 lattes, making the first public phone call from the very first iPhone while a hushed auditorium filled with journalists watched.

In between those prank calls, the cellphone morphed from a chunky plastic giant to a slender glass slab that doubles up as a computer and camera.

SLIDESHOW: See the cellphone's evolution over the years.

The granddaddy of all cellphones was the DynaTac 8000X — the phone Motorola's Cooper used to rib his rival. It went on sale in 1984 and cost almost $4,000. The DynaTak, short for Dynamic Total Area Coverage," had an LED display and took 10 hours to charge. You can still buy one on eBay.
"Zack" (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) shows off his rockin' portable phone to "Screech" on "Saved by the Bell."
The first flip phone was also Motorola's, called the MicroTac. When the company announced it in 1989, the AP described it as "about as thick as a fat wallet at the earpiece while tapering down to half the thickness of a deck of cards at the mouthpiece."

That famously annoying Nokia ringtone? The Nokia 2110 was the first to trill a digitized version of the Grand Vals tune, originally composed for a guitar in 1902.

Motorola's StarTac was the first clamshell phone and quickly became popular following it's 1996 launch. It was also the earliest camera phone, though it wasn't sold that way. Philippe Kahn hacked his StarTac, rigged it up to a Casio digital camera and his computer. When his daughter was born on June 11, 1997, he snapped a photo in the maternity ward, uploaded it to a website and emailed his friends the link.

The first commercial camera phones weren't sold until 2000, by J-phone (now SoftBank) in Japan. In the US, around 2002, Sony Ericsson's T68i with its clip-on camera and the Sanyo 5300 were among the earliest photo phones to go on sale.

Somewhere along the line, personal phones hit a weird patch. Nokia sold a "lipstick phone" that you had to pull apart to make calls. Motorola's early swivel phone, the V70, looked like a magnifying glass. The top slab rotated 180 degrees outward to show off a keyboard. And then there was Nokia's 7600, a square phone with tapered ends and buttons arranged around the edges of a central screen.

Which may have been why Motorola's slender, square Razr series, first launched in 2004, was such a runaway hit and sold 50 million phones in the first two years since its launch.

As personal smartphones grew through awkward adolescence, the chunkier but more powerful PDAs were being let loose into the wild. BlackBerry's 5810, which went on sale in 2002, was the very first BlackBerry device to get a cellular connection. The Palm TreoW, also a pocket assistant, was the first phone to run a Windows mobile operating system. Together with Nokia's brick-y 9000 series, these phones started to smudge the line between computer and phone.

And then in 2007, the iPhone took everyone by surprise. "...an iPod, a phone, and an internet communicator. Are you getting it?" a smug Steve Jobs asked the assembled crowd at Moscone Theater in San Francisco. "These are not three separate devices. This is one device. And we are calling it, iPhone. Today, Apple is going to reinvent the phone… and here it is."

Since then, flat, skinny smartphones from Nokia and Samsung and HTC (which launched the first 4G phone, along with Sprint) have reconfigured our expectations of a smartphone, and of tablets and phablets. Today's smartphones are barely the same species as the first cordless DynaTak. But even more exciting innovations, like phones that maybe wrap around our wrist and read our feelings from our voice are right around the corner.

Bon Jovi guitarist Sambora leaves tour due to "personal issues"

Bon Jovi guitarist Sambora leaves tour due to "personal issues" - Bon Jovi's Richie Sambora has dropped out of the current leg of the rock band's tour because of "personal issues," but the guitarist, who has done stints in rehab for problems with alcohol, tweeted fans on Wednesday that he was "well."

"Thank you everyone for your concern," Sambora said on Twitter. "I'm well, but had to stay in LA to take care of a personal matter. Love you all and see you very soon."

Sambora, 53, who spent time in rehab in 2007 and 2011 for alcohol and prescription drug abuse, was not included at Bon Jovi's performance in Calgary, Alberta, on Tuesday and the band said he would miss a run of North America concerts.

"Due to personal issues, Richie Sambora will not be performing on this upcoming leg. All shows will go on as scheduled," said a statement on the band's website on Wednesday, offering no other details or when Sambora might resume performing.

Sambora also missed Bon Jovi's 2011 North American and European tours.

Celebrity website TMZ.com, citing unnamed sources connected to the band, said Sambora's absence was due to long-running tension between the guitarist and singer Jon Bon Jovi.

Bon Jovi is scheduled to perform this week in Edmonton, Alberta, and Winnipeg, Manitoba, and St. Paul, Minnesota, on Sunday.

The "Because We Can" tour's April dates include Los Angeles, Denver, Las Vegas and other cities before international appearances kick off on May 7 in Capetown, South Africa.

The band is set to play in Sweden, Germany, Britain, Spain, Poland and Italy before returning to the United States in July.

Why is former Rutgers coach Rice reviled and Bob Knight respected?

Why is former Rutgers coach Rice reviled and Bob Knight respected? - These days Bob Knight is a high-profile analyst, endorses products and has even rented the front of his sweater to the highest-paying sponsor like it was a pot-bellied billboard.

On Wednesday, Mike Rice was fired in shame.

One is, on some level, celebrated as a knowledgeable elder statesman.

The other's reputation is dirt.

Both have been fired.

So why do we accept -- even respect -- one and cluck our tongues at the other? Both have laid hands on their players, bullied them and berated them. One thrives because of basketball. The other may never coach on the Division I level again.

The difference?

Bob Knight has won 785 more games in his career than Mike Rice.

Yes, what Rice, the former Rutgers coach did was bad, horrific. He shouldn't be allowed near college athletes. But Knight not only got a second chance at Texas Tech, but also a nice, cushy post-coaching career. That came after former Indiana president Myles Brand -- who would go on to head the NCAA -- finally stood up to the ultimate bully and his enablers.

Knight's reward? A lucrative coaching afterlife based on those 902 career victories. This isn't an ESPN rant. If not at the Worldwide Leader, Knight would be working somewhere. He is entitled to that right. But it does bring the discussion into sharper focus when the same network that brought Rice down also employs Knight.

Their firings dominated news cycles 13 years apart. What should be the difference in our level of disgust? Age? Time? Q rating?

We can argue about the volume of abuse, but what's the point? There seems to be more tape of Rice today than Knight back in the day. Video captured both coaches at least laying hands on players. Isn't that enough?

Knight's saving grace is that as a former coach somehow he -- perhaps we -- separated his coaching talent from his obvious character flaws. All it took was 900 wins and a slightly less irascible stance off the court to keep from making Jeremy Schaap the next Neil Reed.

Time heals all wounds, especially in America when you can coach. That's why Rice is most likely relegated to the sport's dust bin -- at least for the near future. He couldn't coach well enough to have the victories to cushion his fall from grace.

Knight? Time has made him a caricature of himself. Bullying in his coaching afterlife has, in some way, paid the bills. All Bob Knight has to do is play Bob Knight to get commercials and speaking engagements. According to this website, you can rent him for a "celebrity appearance" at $30,000-$50,000 a pop.

For Knight, motivational speaking seemingly has been redefined.

Not to say he should, but Rice will get none of that celebrity. Would things be different right now if Rutgers were, say, this year's Elite Eight darlings, Big East Cinderellas? The possibility of those things is why AD Tim Pernetti hired him. Rice won at Robert Morris. That was no doubt still dominating Pernetti's thoughts when he initially suspended his coach for three games and fined him $50,000.

But even when the road to victory makes us uncomfortable, the decades just seem to smooth things over. For some of us not named Neil Reed, who never had our coach's hand at our throats, Knight is the disciplined coach. Old school. The way things used to be.

It is both sad and uplifting, then, that Knight helped redefine the way things used to be. He was tolerated for 29 years at Indiana, until he wasn't.

Maybe Brand's firing itself ushered in a new era of awareness. It's not OK to berate defenseless players who may be more worried about scholarships than their dignity. Somehow in this age perhaps it was easier for the New Jersey governor to pile on. Would Chris Christie, as Indiana's governor in 1981, have taken on Knight at the height of his powers?

If you believe in Knight, then he won in part because of his coaching "tactics." If you don't believe in Rice, he lost because of some desperate need ... to become the next Bob Knight. To shoot for his accomplishments, to chase Final Fours.

Hey, it worked before.

Let's be clear: Rice lost his job Wednesday because he abused players. Knight won and abused players. Separate one from the other. One is coaching knowledge, the other is a personality defect. John Wooden saw it.

"I wouldn't want anyone I love," the great coach once said, "to play for Bob Knight."

For $30,000-$50,000 a pop, Knight might even give you a reaction to that statement.

President Obama to return $20,000 of salary to Treasury

A 5% cut from the president's salary of $400,000 per year amounts to $20,000. (JEWEL SAMAD, AFP/Getty Images / April 3, 2013)
President Obama to return $20,000 of salary to Treasury - Sharing a bit of budget pain, President Barack Obama will return 5% of his salary to the Treasury in a show of solidarity with federal workers smarting from government-wide spending cuts.

Obama's decision grew out of a desire to share in the sacrifice that government employees are making, a White House official said Wednesday. Hundreds of thousands of workers could be forced to take unpaid leave — known as furloughs — if Congress does not reach an agreement soon to undo the cuts.

The president is demonstrating that he will be paying a price, too, as the White House warns of dire economic consequences from the $85 billion in cuts — called a sequester — that started to hit federal programs last month after Congress failed to stop them. In the weeks since, the administration has faced repeated questions about how the White House itself will be affected. The cancellation of White House tours in particular has drawn mixed reactions.

A 5% cut from the president's salary of $400,000 per year amounts to $20,000.

Obama will return a full $20,000 to the Treasury even though only a few months remain in the fiscal year, which ends in September. He will cut his first check this month, said the White House official, who was not authorized to discuss the decision publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The president and first lady Michelle Obama reported almost $790,000 in adjusted gross income in 2011, the most recent year for which their tax returns have been made public. That figure was down from the $1.7 million they brought in the year before and the $5.5 million they reported in 2009. About half of the family's income in 2011 came from Obama's salary, with the rest coming from book sales. The Obamas reported more than $172,000 in charitable donations.

“The salary for the president, as with members of Congress, is set by law and cannot be changed,” Obama spokesman Jay Carney said late Wednesday. “However, the president has decided that to share in the sacrifice being made by public servants across the federal government that are affected by the sequester, he will contribute a portion of his salary back to the Treasury.”

Wednesday's notice followed a similar move a day earlier by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who committed to taking a salary cut equal to 14 days' pay — the same level of cut that other Defense Department civilians are being forced to take. As many as 700,000 civilians will have to take one unpaid day off each week for up to 14 weeks in the coming months.

Obama isn't the first president to give up part of his paycheck. Herbert Hoover put his salary in a separate account, then divvied it up, giving part to charity and part to employees he felt were underpaid, according to an interview he gave in 1937. John F. Kennedy donated his presidential salary to various charities, according to Stacey Chandler, an archivist at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.

George Washington refused pay during the latter part of his military career, according to researchers at Mount Vernon. He tried to refuse a presidential salary, but Congress required that the position pay $25,000.

Among lawmakers, Sen. Mark Begich, an Alaska Democrat, said Wednesday that he, too, would return part of his income to the Treasury, although he did not specify how much of his $174,000 salary he would give up. Begich said his office started furloughing staffers in mid-March and more than half of his staff will have their pay cut this year.

“This won't solve our spending problem on its own, but I hope it is a reminder to Alaskans that I am willing to make the tough cuts, wherever they may be, to get our spending under control,” Begich said.

A number of lawmakers have from time to time taken steps to show they're not immune as the federal government looks to tighten its belt. An aide to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said McConnell returns a substantial part of his salary to the Treasury every year. The Senate this month adopted by voice vote a symbolic amendment permitting — but not requiring — senators to give 20% of their salaries to the Treasury as part of the Democrats' budget resolution. Also in March, as the spending cuts started bearing down, the GOP-controlled House imposed an 8.2% reduction on lawmakers' personal office budgets.

The White House, after declining for weeks to provide specifics for how the president's own staff had been affected, said Monday that 480 workers on the budget staff had been notified they may have to take days off without pay.

Carney wouldn't say whether notices have gone out to Obama aides outside the Office of Management and Budget, including senior staff in the West Wing. But he said pay cuts remained a possibility for additional White House employees if a budget deal to undo the cuts isn't reached.

“Everybody at the White House and the broader (executive office) is dealing with the consequences — both, in many cases, in their own personal lives, but in how we work here at the White House,” Carney said. He added that the White House also has been trying to cut costs by slowing down hiring, scaling back supply purchases, curtailing staff travel, reducing the use of air cards for mobile Internet access and reviewing contracts to look for savings.

Like lawmakers' pay, Obama's salary is set by law, so he must accept the funds and then write a check to the Treasury each month for the portion he plans to relinquish. Obama's decision, first reported by The New York Times, won't affect the other perquisites afforded the president, from a mansion staffed with servants to the limousines, helicopters and Boeing 747 jumbo jet at every U.S. president's beck and call. The White House did not say whether Vice President Joe Biden would make a similar gesture.

The 5 percent that Obama will hand back mirrors the 5% cut that domestic agencies took when the reductions went into effect. The Pentagon's budget took an 8% hit. Every federal agency is grappling with spending cuts, which the White House has warned could affect everything from commercial airline flights to classrooms and meat inspections.

The cuts were written into a 2011 deficit-reduction measure as a trigger to force future action. The idea was that lawmakers, eager to avert the consequences of bluntly slashing $1 trillion over a decade, would have no choice but to come together to find smarter ways to reduce federal spending.

But the two parties were at odds over whether more tax revenues were needed as part of the solution, and an intense campaign by Obama and his Cabinet to illustrate how the cuts could affect critical programs failed to spur an agreement by the March 1 deadline. As the cuts started taking effect, lawmakers turned to other issues, including an increase in the national debt ceiling, and there are no signs that a deal to undo the cuts retroactively will come anytime soon.

Police searching for motive in West Virginia sheriff's slaying

Police searching for motive in West Virginia sheriff's slaying - Investigators arrested a suspect but were still searching for a motive Wednesday after a West Virginia sheriff known for his tough stance on drug dealers was shot dead in his patrol vehicle.

Mingo County Sheriff Walter E. "Eugene" Crum was eating lunch just blocks away from a courthouse when he was gunned down, officials said.

Tennis Melvin Maynard, 37, is accused in the killing, West Virginia State Police First Sgt. Michael Baylous said.

The suspect parked his car close to the sheriff's SUV and shot through the window twice, hitting the sheriff twice in the head, according to a state official who was briefed on the investigation.

After a brief chase, Maynard was shot by a sheriff's deputy in Delbarton, West Virginia, after he wrecked the vehicle he was driving and raised his weapon, West Virginia State Police Capt. Dave Nelson told reporters.

Maynard remained hospitalized Wednesday night after undergoing surgery to treat multiple gunshot wounds, Baylous said.

Investigators were still trying to identify a possible motive. On the way to the hospital, Maynard spoke with police, but Baylous didn't specify what he said. Authorities were hoping to speak more with Maynard now that he's out of surgery.

"He said some things to us, and we're still trying to make sense of it," Baylous said. "It could be interpreted in different ways."

At a news conference Wednesday, officials said Crum had taken office as sheriff in January and quickly earned respect from many in the community.

"He and his deputies and other law enforcement agencies have worked tirelessly to wipe out crime in our county, especially targeting the drug dealers who spread the disease of addiction among our residents," said John Mark Hubbard, president of the Mingo County Commission.

"Pray for the residents of Mingo County as we struggle to understand why someone who fought so freely and selflessly on behalf of all of us was taken so tragically," he said.

Crum also served as a county magistrate and a special investigator for the prosecutor's office, Hubbard said.

The sheriff's slaying shook the rural county, which normally sees only one or two slayings per year, said Lt. Randy Hatfield of the Mingo County Sheriff's Office.

"It's devastating," Hatfield said. "It's a big blow to the community."

The Williamson Daily News reported that Crum was in his vehicle in downtown Williamson when a man drove into the parking lot, approached Crum's sport-utility vehicle and shot him point-blank.

A witness saw the shooting, called 911, and gave police a vehicle tag number that led them to the suspect, Hatfield said.

Investigators believe a handgun was used.

Asked whether officials thought there was any connection between Crum's slaying and the recent killings of a Colorado prison official or the slayings of two Texas prosecutors, Hatfield said, "I hope not," but declined to elaborate further.

Crum was married and had children and grandchildren.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin issued a statement, saying in part, "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Crum family."

At least one wounded in shooting at Army post at Fort Knox

At least one person was wounded in a shooting on Wednesday at the Army base at Fort Knox, Kentucky in an incident that prompted a security lockdown at the post, according news reports.

A switchboard operator at the base confirmed to Reuters that a lockdown was in effect, but gave no details. A base spokesman said he could not immediately confirm there had been a shooting.

NBC News, citing unnamed military officials, reported on its website that a wounded civilian was flown to a hospital. There was no immediate word on that person's condition.

But Fox News Channel, citing an unnamed base spokesman, said it was not immediately known if there were any casualties.

Mary Trotman, an FBI spokeswoman in Louisville, said two agents were sent to Fort Knox to assist with the investigation. She said the shooter or shooters had not been apprehended to her knowledge, but had no further details on the incident.

Police in surrounding jurisdictions have been asked by Fort Knox officials to be on the lookout for a tall black man driving a medium-sized, four-door brown car with tinted windows who may have driven off the base, said Bryce Shumate, spokesman for the police department in nearby Radcliff.

Shumate said he had no other information related to the incident.

Fort Knox, near Louisville, is home to more than 40,000 U.S. military personnel, family members and civilian employees.

In February, local media reported that a soldier and his wife died of gunshot wounds at their home on the base in what the Army said appeared to be the result of a domestic dispute.

The latest incident came less than two weeks after a U.S. Marine shot two colleagues to death at the Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia, before killing himself.

N. Korea 'Ratifies' Nuking US; Guam Defense Boosted

North Koreans attend a rally against the U.S. and South Korea in Nampo, North Korea, April 3, 2013.
N. Korea 'Ratifies' Nuking US; Guam Defense Boosted - [5:30 p.m. EDT] White House Press Secretary Jay Carney played down the blood-curdling declaration from North Korea.

"The behavior of the regime in Pyongyang that we are seeing now represents a familiar pattern," Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One, The Hill reported. "So we are taking the necessary precautionary measures, but it is important to view this within the context of the kind of behavior that we’ve seen out of North Korea in the past."

[5 p.m. EDT] North Korea says it had "ratified" a merciless attack against the United States, potentially involving a "diversified nuclear strike."

"We formally inform the White House and Pentagon that the ever-escalating U.S. hostile policy toward the DPRK (North Korea) and its reckless nuclear threat will be smashed by the strong will of all the united service personnel and people and cutting-edge smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear strike means of the DPRK and that the merciless operation of its revolutionary armed forces in this regard has been finally examined and ratified," a spokesman for the General Staff of the Korean People's Army said in a statement carried by the English language service of the state news agency KCNA.

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The Pentagon said Wednesday it was sending an advanced ballistic missile defense system to Guam in the coming weeks, as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel cited a "real and clear" danger from North Korea.

North Korea has singled out bases in Guam, a U.S. territory in the Pacific, and Hawaii among its potential targets in escalating threats that have put all of East Asia on edge and triggered a change in the U.S. defense posture and missile defense planning.

"Some of the actions they've taken over the last few weeks present a real and clear danger," Hagel told an audience at the National Defense University in Washington.

He said those actions had threatened the interests of South Korea and Japan, but he also cited their direct threats against Guam, Hawaii and West Coast of the United States – which Pyongyang claims the capacity to hit.

Shortly after Hagel spoke, the Pentagon said it was deploying a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD), which includes a truck-mounted launcher, interceptor missiles, an AN/TPY-2 tracking radar and an integrated fire control system.

The department said the missile system would be moved to Guam as a "precautionary move to strengthen our regional defense posture against the North Korean regional ballistic missile threat."

"The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and stands ready to defend U.S. territory, our allies, and our national interests," a Pentagon spokeswoman said.

The prime contractor for the THAAD system is Lockheed Martin Corp.(NYSE:LMT), the Wall Street Journal reports. Defense officials said a high-profile deployment of the system might help push U.S. allies to speed the purchase of their own THAAD systems.

A senior administration official said that when THAAD is deployed in Guam, its protection won't reach South Korea. The deployment is aimed at protecting American interests in the region.

Guam is about 2,000 miles from North Korea. Most observers say North Korea is still years away from having the technology to deliver a nuclear warhead on a missile, but it does have plenty of conventional military firepower, including medium-range ballistic missiles that can carry high explosives for hundreds of miles.

Disney Closes LucasArts, Video Game Arm Of LucasFilm, Cancels 'Star Wars' Games

Disney Closes LucasArts, Video Game Arm Of LucasFilm - LucasArts, the popular videogame arm of LucasFilm, was officially shut down on Wednesday by Disney. According to Kotaku, about 150 employees have been laid off and all current projects have been canceled.

“After evaluating our position in the games market, we’ve decided to shift LucasArts from an internal development to a licensing model, minimizing the company’s risk while achieving a broader portfolio of quality 'Star Wars' games,” Disney said in an official statement.

The move is sure to disappoint “Star Wars” fans, who have remained cautiously optimistic about the beloved franchise since Disney acquired LucasFilm in October. The studio rose to prominence in the 1990s with several successful “Star Wars” games like “Rebel Assault,” “X-Wing” and “Dark Forces,” as well as non-“Star Wars” hits like “Grim Fandango” and the “Sam & Max” series.

The closure is no surprise, however, for those in the video game community. Recent titles have been canceled in mid-development, and LucasArts announced a freeze on all hiring and product announcements in September. The last game it published, “Kinect Star Wars,” was unsuccessful, while hit “Star Wars” games were developed externally.

The company will retain a small team to handle licensed products like the Lego “Star Wars” series. Disney could license LucasArts’ two remaining projects – “Star Wars: First Assault” and “Star Wars: 1313” – but they would become brand new games.

To remember this once-great game studio, The Next Web has a list of every game LucasArts ever published.

WWE lawsuit: Settled Wrestler's Widow said

WWE Vs Hart lawsuit Setted

WWE lawsuit - Word Wrestling Entertainment has announced that it has settled a years-long lawsuit with Martha Hart, widow of former WWE wrestler Owen Hart. The lawsuit concerned royalties regarding the use of Hart’s image in DVDs and merchandise.

According to the Washington Post, the WWE and Martha Hart announced the settlement quietly on Wednesday evening. Details of the settlement were not released to the public.

Owen Hart, Martha Hart’s former spouse and superstar of the 1990s wrestling scene, died on camera in 1999 while being lowered into the wrestling ring as a part of the WWE’s “Over the Edge” pay-per-view wrestling event at Kansas City’s Kemper Arena. Hart’s harness malfunctioned during the stunt and he fell 80 feet to his death. He was 34.

In June 2010, Martha Hart launched her lawsuit against the WWE, stating that the wrestling organization refused to pay royalties on merchandise and products using Hart’s image. A WWE fan site specifically mentions the WWE retrospective DVDs “Hart & Soul” and “The True Story of Wrestlemania” as key part of the lawsuit.

Included in Hart’s suit was former WWE executive Linda McMahon, who made two unsuccessful attempts to run for Senate as a Republican in 2010 and 2012.

This is not the first time Martha Hart has sued the WWE. In 1999, only weeks after Owen Hart died, she sued the WWE (then known as the WWF, the World Wrestling Federation) in a wrongful death suit. Hart was ultimately awarded $18 million, which she used to establish the Owen Hart Foundation. The charity provides educational funding and housing for students and families in need.

Jillian Barberie seeks custody of two children as she files for divorce from Grant Reynolds



Jillian Barberie has filed for divorce from her husband Grant Reynolds.


The former Good Day LA host, 46, is seeking sole physical custody of their daughter Ruby, 5, and son, Rocco, 3.

She is requesting that Reynolds to be granted visitation and for legal custody rights to be shared.



Over: Jillian Barberie has split from her husband Grant Reynolds, pictured here in 2009

She cites irreconcilable differences for the split and wants the pair to share in attorney fees, according to the Los Angeles Superior Court petition.


Barberie filed the papers on March 15 - the same day she publicly announced the end of their six year marriage.


She said in a statement at the time: 'It is with great regret that my marriage to Grant is ending after more than six years.

'He is a special man and we have two amazing children together.




'Committed to our children': The couple have a son Rocco and daughter Ruby



'This was a mutual decision that was not taken lightly and we are committed to our children and will work together to ensure their happy and healthy upbringing.'

She later posted a message to fans on Twitter, saying: 'Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. I'm devastated. Going to take some time out. Xx'

The pair wed in 2006 in an intimate backyard ceremony and at the time she described him as 'the love of my life'.

The two appeared in reality show Househusbands of Hollywood, which ran for one season in 2009.

In September Jillian was axed from Good Day LA after almost 20 years on the show.


Dorothy Lucey was also sacked last year but Steve Edwards remains as anchor.

Princess Margaret's jewellery, including £100 secondhand watch Queen Mother once bought her, to fetch millions at public auction



A rare collection of personal items that once belonged to Princess Margaret is to go under the hammer for the first time at a public auction.


The Princess Margaret Collection, which comprises belongings from her apartment in Kensington Palace, will be sold at the 'Antiques for Everyone' auction in Birmingham this month.


Items going under the hammer include a flawless 5.16 carat diamond ring, made for the Princess in 1970, that is expected to fetch £750,000.



Going under the hammer: The Princess Margaret Collection will be sold at the Antiques for Everyone auction in Birmingham



Rare gem: This flawless 5.16 carat diamond ring, made for the Princess in 1970, is expected to fetch £750,000








Birthday gift: Bought for £100, the gold watch the Princess is seen wearing, left, is now worth £150,000





The Queen Mother purchased the art deco watch secondhand from Cartier in 1940



The ring is one of the most expensive single items ever to go on sale in the 28-year history of the fair.




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A Cartier watch bought for Princess Margaret by the Queen Mother for her 20th birthday will also feature in the sale. The Queen Mother purchased the art deco watch second hand from the famous jewellers in 1940 for just £100. It is now worth £150,000.





A solid gold clock with the princess' initial with a crown over, left, is expected to fetch up to £140,000, while the ring is is one of the most expensive single items ever to go on sale in the 28 year history of the fair












Seal of approval: All of the items on sale have been authenticated by Princess Margaret's son Lord Linley





Royal treasures: The items have all come from the Princess' apartment in Kensington Palace



Meanwhile, a solid gold clock with the princess' initial with a crown over it is expected to fetch up to £140,000.

Other items for sale include trinkets, paintings and photos of the Princess, the Queen's sister, with prices beginning at £2,000.

A spokesman for Riverside Antiques said: 'All of the items on sale have been authenticated by Princess Margaret’s son Lord Linley.


'What is so compelling about the collection is that it is part of the fascinating and sometimes turbulent life of the Princess and many of these items were personally used or worn by her.'


Also for sale, but not at the fair because of its size, is a four poster bed which was made for the royal Princesses’ grandparents. It resided mainly at Glamis Castle where Princess Margaret was born and is widely believed to be the bed she was born in.

Antiques For Everyone runs at Birmingham's NEC from 4 to 7 April

Two dates in as many days! Rob Kardashian continues to woo brunette model Naza Jafarian... and he leaves Kris at the hotel



Rob Kardashian treated his new love squeeze Naza Jafarian to a second date in two days and the pair headed to The Wellington Club in Knightsbridge on Wednesday night.


The 26-year-old reality star took the model out for the evening and this time he managed to leave his momanager Kris Jenner back at the hotel.


It's clear that Rob and Naza get on a treat and were seen laughing and joking in the back of a taxi together.






He's keen: Rob Kardashian took Naza Jafarian on a second date in two days and the pair went to The Wellington Club in Knightsbridge on Wednesday night



The pair are said to have seen each other a lot in the past couple of weeks after Rob's best friend introduced them, In Touch reports.


And it seems that the pair have more than common than at first glance - Naza reportedly dated Sean Phillips, who Rob's sister Khloe Kardashian was linked to when she appeared on The Apprentice in 2009.

But her past doesn't seem to have put Rob off and the pair seemed to be getting on great.




Having a great time: The pair were seen in the back of a cab together laughing







Trying to keep a low profile: Rob and the model went to The Wellington Club and wasted no time ordering expensive champagne


It seemed that the pair were in the mood to celebrate and Rob posted a picture of a pricey bottle of Ace of Spades champagne to his Instagram page.


Along with the snap Rob wrote: 'No sleep.'


Earlier in the day Rob's new squeeze was seen wearing nothing but a sheet wrapped around her having a cigarette on a balcony in Belgravia.




Head down: Rob hid his face under his baseball cap as sat in the back of the taxi with the Manchester-based model





Having a giggle: The group were seen having a nice joke together and the couple were introduced by Rob's best friend, according to reports

Naza was pictured smoking a cigarette with an unidentified blonde male friend.

The date to the swanky London nightclub comes just a day after the pair enjoyed dinner at Nobu - with Rob's mother Kris tagging along too.

Rob was seen leaving the upmarket eatery with the glamorous model, who bared her legs despite the chilly temperatures in a little black dress, paired with two-tone slingbacks and a neon yellow quilted handbag.



Having a cigarette break: Naza was seen having a cigarette on a balcony with a blonde male friend wearing nothing but a throw



Out for dinner: On Tuesday Rob and Naza enjoyed dinner at Nobu in Mayfair

Manchester-based Naz did not look dissimilar to Rob's sister Kim Kardashian, with her figure-hugging outfit and long dark curls.

She has previously featured in a campaign for Monkee Jeans, an organic denim brand.


Rob meanwhile smartened up in a white shirt, which he wore with a black blazer and matching trousers, along with white high top trainers and plenty of hair gel.



She'd fit right in the family!: The model does not look dissimilar to Rob's sister Kim with her figure-hugging dress and long dark curls






I'll come too: The only boy of the family even had a chaperone on hand in the form of his mother Kris Jenner




And it seems he has a penchant for dark haired ladies as it was only a few weeks ago that he was rumoured to be dating another mystery brunette after they were spotted giggling while hiking together.

While the 26-year-old may have been hoping for an intimate setting, he didn't quite achieve that as he had a chaperone on his date in the form of his mother and manager Kris Jenner.


Kris, who appeared to be carving out some time to spend with her only son, donned leather trousers for the evening.

Kris defied her 57 years as she topped off her look black boots and a silk military-style jacket that sported giant gold buttons.







Lady in leather: The 57-year-old defied her years in skintight leather trousers and a silky military-style jacket as she made walked arm-in-arm with a male companion




High spirits: The reality star smiled broadly as she made her way to the posh eatery


The Keeping Up With The Kardashians star added a further racy touch with fingerless leather gloves and neon pink nail polish.


She wore her signature short jet-black hair straight with her bangs framing her face, and highlighted her brown eyes with lashings of black eyeliner and her lips with a nude gloss.

The famous 'momager' walked arm-in-arm with a male companion as she and her son strolled over to the restaurant.





Stylish guy: Rob looked smart in black trousers and a loose white shirt as he smiled while walking to the restaurant


She appeared to be in high spirits, laughing and smiling as she confidently sauntered along the street in her daring outfit.


Rob told Us Weekly that he's starting to see results after vowing to get back in shape several weeks ago.


'I lost 5 to 7 [pounds] last week. I'm trying to lose 40,' he said during his birthday party at 1OAK in Las Vegas in March. It's a little journey, but it's good... I'm like 240lbs right now, probably 235lbs.'


The reality star admitted that he put on the pounds by eating 'a lot of great food' but has finally cracked down, motivated by 'beautiful women!'

Naz's modelling agency declined to comment on the photographs.