GUN RIGHTS GROUPS
WILL FAIL: Gun rights groups on Sunday (January 13th) contended that efforts to reinstate the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 and bar the sales of high-capacity ammunition
clips would fail in Congress. National Rifle Association President David Keene said on CNN, "What we put the brakes on is anything that simply takes away a person's Second Amendment right for no good reason." Some congressional Democrats agreed that such legislation would face a tough battle in Congress. The statements came as Vice President
Joe Biden readies to give President Obama his proposals this week to curb gun violence in the wake of the
FRANCE BOMBS ISLAMIST POSITIONS IN MALI: French fighter jets bombed Islamist rebel strongholds in the African nation of Mali on Sunday (January 13th) as France also sent more troops into the capital of Bamako, awaiting a West African force to remove al Qaida-linked militants from the country's north. The air attacks marked an intensification of the effort on the third day of the sudden French mission, hitting the large area seized by rebels in April.
BEIJING POLLUTION SO HIGH IT GOES OFF THE INDEX: The air pollution in China's capital of Beijing was so bad on Sunday (January 13th) that it went off the index, with the Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center saying on its website that the density of PM2.5 particulates -- a way of measuring air quality -- had topped 700 micrograms per
cubic meter in many parts of the city. The World Health Organization considers
a safe daily level to be 25 micrograms per cubic meter. The Center recommended
that children and the elderly stay indoors and that others avoid outdoor activities. The U.S. Embassy, which publishes PM2.5 data, said that it the 24-hour period leading up to on Sunday, 18 of the hourly readings were described as "beyond index." The high pollution level is expected to linger until Tuesday. Air pollution is a major problem in
disregard of environmental laws.
REDDIT CO-FOUNDER COMMITS SUICIDE AHEAD OF FEDERAL TRIAL: Aaron Swartz, the 26-year-old co-founder of social media site Reddit, hung himself in his New York apartment on Friday (January 11th), just weeks before he was to go on trial on federal
charges that he hacked into a computer archive at MIT and stole millions of scientific journals in an effort to make them freely available to the public. If convicted, he could have faced decades behind bars. In a statement released Saturday, Swartz's family expressed bitterness toward federal prosecutors pursuing the case against him, saying, "Aaron's death is not simply a personal tragedy. It is the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach. Decisions made by officials in the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney's Office and at MIT contributed to his death." Swartz, a strong advocate of public online access who campaigned against Internet censorship, apparently struggled at times with depression.
RFK JR. NOT CONVINCED OF LONE GUNMAN IN JFK'S DEATH: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. revealed on Friday (January 11th) that he's not convinced that a lone gunman was solely
responsible for the assassination of his uncle, President John F. Kennedy. Further, Kennedy said that his father, Robert Kennedy, who himself was assassinated in 1968, thought that the Warren Commission report, which concluded Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, was a, quote, "shoddy piece of craftsmanship" and he was, quote, "fairly convinced" that others
had been involved. Kennedy and his sister, Rory, spoke about their family while being interviewed by Charlie Rose in front of an audience at the Opera House in
didn't say what he believed may have happened. However, he did reveal that investigators working for his father had found that phone records of Oswald and nightclub owner Jack Ruby,
who killed Oswald two days after the president's assassination, quote, "were like an inventory" of mafia leaders the government had been investigating under Robert Kennedy's leadership.
NEW CORVETTE INTRODUCED AFTER NINE YEARS: The 2014 Corvette, the first new version of the sports car in nine years, was rolled out last night (January 13th) in
ARMSTRONG TO COME CLEAN IN TODAY'S INTERVIEW WITH OPRAH: In an interview with Oprah Winfrey to be taped today (January 14th) and aired Thursday (January 17th) on her OWN network, Lance Armstrong is expected to come clean about doping throughout his cycling career, something he has until now vehemently denied, and apologize. Armstrong told AP on Sunday ahead of the interview, "I'm calm, I'm at ease and ready to speak candidly."
Armstrong, who was stripped of all seven Tour de France titles last fall after a damning report from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said he masterminded a complex doping program, will give what AP described as a limited confession, with him not expected to give a detailed account.
AUSTRALIAN OPEN BEGINS: The Australian Open tennis tournament began on Monday (January 14th), with 2012 champion Novak Djokovic taking his opening match 6-2, 6-4, 7-5 over Paul-Henri Mathieu as he begins an effort to win the title for the third straight
year. Among others winning on Monday were Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams. Last year's women's Australian Open champion, Victoria Azarenka, and Serena Williams have their first matches on Tuesday.
DISTURBED SINGER REVELAS
band, Device, will feature an all-star lineup of guests and will tentatively arrive on April 9th. According to a post at the group's Facebook page, guest musicians on the disc will
include Avenged Sevenfold singer M. Shadows, System Of A Down vocalist Serj Tankian, Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello, Halestorm singer Lzzy Hale, Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler and ex-Deep Purple bassist/vocalist Glenn Hughes.
As previously reported, the touring lineup of the band will feature Evanescence drummer Will Hunt and Dope guitarist Virus, in addition to Draiman and guitarist Geno Lenardo, who is the group's only other permanent member besides the singer.
BLACK SABBATH REVEALS ALBUM TITLE, TENATIVE RELEASE, STUDIO DRUMMER: Black Sabbath has revealed that its new album will be titled 13 and will arrive this June, with the exact release date yet to be confirmed. The album is the first in 35 years to feature original members Ozzy Osbourne on vocals, Tony Iommi on guitar and Geezer Butler on bass, with Rage Against The Machine drummer Brad Wilk sitting behind the kit for the recording sessions, which were produced by Rick Rubin. Founding drummer Bill Ward sat out the sessions and the band's handful of live dates so far over a contract dispute.
The last Sabbath album to feature Osbourne, Iommi and
well, with Iommi presiding over a series of different lineups until the original foursome first reunited in 1998 for a world tour and live album titled
VAN HALEN TOUR ANNOUNCEMENT COMING SOON? Is Van Halen getting ready to announce that it's heading back out on the road? That seems to be the sense that HenneMusic is getting from a photo posted online by singer David Lee Roth. The picture merely shows Roth and his beloved sheepdog Russ sitting on the floor of what looks like it could be the backstage area of a sports arena, with a caption that reads, "Start spreadin' the . . . "
2013 GOLDEN GLOBES: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler kicked the night off by setting the playful but celebratory tone that made this year's show one of the best in recent years.
From Sacha Baron Cohen making fun of his fellow Les Miserables cast members to
Lena Dunham thanking Chad Lowe in her acceptance speech, the Golden Globes
proved to be the most fun awards show that doesn't slime its guests.
Homeland proved once again to be a favorite of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association
by taking home globes in all of the television drama categories. Claire Danes
acknowledged how much love she has gotten from the HFPA throughout her career
by flashing back to her 1995 win for My So Called Life when she was just 15.
Her co-star Damian Lewis took the statue for Television Actor in a Drama after
losing to Kelsey Grammer in 2012. Lena Dunham's Girls also got some HFPA love
in the comedy categories.
On the movie side, Les Miserables earned three statues in the motion picture comedy or
musical categories while Argo won globes for motion picture and director on the
Awards were also given to Maggie Smith for Downton Abbey and Ed Harris for Game Change
although neither star was in attendance.
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler scan the room and poke fun at their fellow actors. Most
notably, a harsh jab at James Cameron while commenting on the controversy
surrounding Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty.
President Bill Clinton introducing clips from
Clinton's husband by Amy and Tina.
Adele's cute and humble speech when Skyfall won for Original Song in a Motion Picture
which was made even better when the camera cut to the sourpuss look on Taylor
Jennifer Lawrence quoting The First Wives Club by proclaiming "I beat Meryl!"
Anne Hathaway singling out Sally Field as an inspiration for working her way up from
The Flying Nun to playing iconic roles like Mama Gump.
The teleprompter issues that caused Paul Rudd and Selma Hayek to flub their announcement of the nominees for TV Drama Series.
Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell botching the plots of every movie in the Lead Actress in
a Comedy or Musical category.
While accepting the Cecil B. DeMille award, Jodie Foster discussed her sexuality and
her desire to have some privacy in her life by declaring "I'm not Honey
Motion Picture, Drama - Argo
Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical - Les Misérables
Actor in Motion Picture, Drama - Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Actress in Motion Picture, Drama - Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Actor in Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical - Hugh Jackman, Les Misérables
Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy - Jennifer Lawrence, Silver
Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture - Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
Supporting Actress in Motion Picture - Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables
Director, Motion Picture - Ben Affleck, Argo
Screenplay, Motion Picture - Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
Foreign Language Film - Amour (Austria)
Animated Feature Film - Brave
Original Score, Motion Picture - Mychael Danna, Life of Pi
Original Song, Motion Picture - "Skyfall," Skyfall, Adele & Paul
TV Series, Drama - Homeland
TV Series, Comedy - Girls
TV Movie or Miniseries - Game Change
Actor in a TV Series, Drama - Damian Lewis, Homeland
Actress in a TV Series, Drama - Claire Danes, Homeland
Actor in TV Series, Comedy - Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Actress in a TV Series, Comedy - Lena Dunham, Girls
Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie - Kevin Costner, Hatfields & McCoys
Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie - Julianne Moore, Game Change
Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or TV Movie - Ed Harris, Game Change
Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries or TV Movie - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Cecil B. DeMille Award - Jodie Foster
FIVE SURPRISING WAYS TO PREVENT THE FLU (The Stir):
1) Practice "respiratory etiquette." It's the new catchphrase used by hospitals
and other professional healthcare facilities, and it's pretty much an updated
version of the old common sense rules: Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds
with warm soap and water, especially before eating, etc., plus interesting new
info about disinfecting surfaces (cold and flu germs can live for HOURS outside
the body) and be sure not to share ANYTHING, even towels, with someone who's
2) Gargle with warm salt water. I swear my grandmother is looking down
from Heaven and laughing at me right now, because this was her go-to advice
whenever I got sick as a kid (and I HATED it). But people who gargle with water
a few times a day are one-third less likely to catch colds; salt and warm water
once you're already sick helps clear the virus out of your throat.
3) Drink hot tea with honey and lemon. Again, old common sense wisdom
backed up by modern science -- hot drinks "stimulate digestion, ease cold
and flu symptoms, and give your immune system an extra kick," honey
(particularly darker varieties) has such strong antimicrobial properties it's
been shown to reduce risk of flu infection, and lemon adds Vitamin C and
4) Use a nasal spray or neti pot. These work the same way gargling does,
except personally I don't mind these as much (I seem to be in the minority with
this preference, however!).
5) Try brewer's yeast. This time, it's my mother who's laughing at me.
Apparently sprinkling a teaspoon of brewer's yeast on your food every day can
really boost the heck out of your immune system, which is why, I suppose, my
mother did exactly that to her food when I was a kid (personally, I hated the
smell and wouldn't touch the stuff). Sigh. You were right, Mom.
STANDING COULD HAVE GREAT HEALTH EFFECTS: A British exercise Scientist from
your feet for an extra three hours a day would burn off eight-pounds of fat
each year. Buckley says that switching from chairs to stand-up desks at work
would improve people's circulation and reduce obesity. Buckley claims that
standing for three hours will burn 144-calories. (Daily Mail)