Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Bullock returns to Extremely Loud

NEW YORK (AP) — Sandra Bullock wasn’t looking to return to acting when Stephen Daldry called about Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.
Bullock’s last film, 2009’s The Blind Side, was the kind of career apogee of which most actresses dream, winning her a best actress Academy Award in what essentially amounted to a coronation of Bullock as America’s most beloved female movie star.

But the accomplishment — which would normally be followed by a wave of projects to capitalise on the momentum — was soon marred by public scandal. Bullock’s husband, Monster Garage host Jesse James, was revealed to have been unfaithful. The fallout, which led to divorce, was covered relentlessly by the tabloids. Bullock went ahead and adopted a baby boy.
When Daldry, the director of The Hours and The Reader, approached her about Extremely Loud, Bullock wasn’t sure she would return to acting at all.
“I was perfectly content to be permanently broken,” she says. Recognising how that might sound in print, she smiles at the unintended hint of her personal turmoil, and adds “time-wise” to clarify the break as one from moviemaking.
“I honestly didn’t think I was in a place where I wanted to work or wanted to step out of where I was,” she says. “I wasn’t prepared. But the opportunity was louder than my head.”
The chance was to play a supporting but key role in Daldry’s adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel. In it, Bullock plays the mother of an uncommonly bright, precocious child (Thomas Horn), whose father (Tom Hanks) dies on Sept 11. It’s a particularly wrenching story about grief and reconciliation.
“What a great way to get back on the horse,” says Bullock, who was staying at a hotel 20 blocks from the World Trade Center on 9/11. “It was hard, but it was what it’s supposed to be.”
It took some courting. Daldry visited Bullock at her house, and when he asked her what she might bring to the role, the actress was frank.
“I said, ‘I haven’t the slightest idea’,” she says. “I was like, ‘The well is deep. It’s your job to stop it or get it’.”
Bullock and Daldry have a charming, easy manner with each other, showering one another with compliments. Asked why he pursued her for the part, the British director quips, “She’s cheap as chips.”
“I have watched just about everything you’ve ever made,” says Daldry. Bullock, whose self-deprecating humour is undimmed, doesn’t miss a beat: “I’m so sorry.”

Rapper against the ropes

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) — Rapper Young Buck could lose his name and other assets in a bankruptcy case that the rapper says is frustrating his attempts to sign with a new record label.
Davidson County Bankruptcy Judge George Paine converted the artiste's bankruptcy from Chapter 11 reorganisation to Chapter 7 liquidation this week.
YOUNG BUCK... could lose name and assets

The trustee administering his estate has said she plans to sell the trademarked 'Young Buck' name along with other assets. The platinum artiste, whose real name is David Darnell Brown, told The Tennessean he was close to signing a recording deal with New Orleans-based Cash Money Records 
To date, creditors have submitted 22 claims totaling US$11.5 million in Young Buck's bankruptcy case, including US$10 million that the record label G-Unit Records says Young Buck owes them over a contract dispute

Popcaan, Tony Matterhorn, Kiprich shine at Sting

GAZA-based Deejay Popcaan emerged as the the top artiste at last night's Sting dancehall stage show at the Jamworld Entertainment Centre in Portmore, St Catherine.
Blazing through his hits Only Man She Want, Party Shot and Ravin to deafening screams the deejay was in fine fettle as thousands of patrons ignited aerosol spray torches.
Tony Matterhorn (R) on his way to slaughtering Twins of Twins on the Jamworld stage

Tony Matterhorn, Kiprich, Iyara, Specialist each emerged victorious in their lyrical battles with their musical enemies Twin of Twins, Merciless, Deva Brat and Hurricane respectively.
Read tomorrow's Observer for a full Sting report.

Buggery law backlash - Blair: The church has been sleeping

BISHOP Herro Blair has warned that Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller's pledge to review the buggery law if her party is elected to office on Thursday could lead to the legalisation of same-sex marriages in Jamaica.
At the same time, Blair, the political ombudsman and founder of the Deliverance Evangelistic Association Inc, advised his congregation on Sunday to get their candidates' views on moral issues before voting in the general election.
BLAIR... we have to stop it in its bud

"My concern is not with reviewing a law, my concern is that next year this time, if you as Christians don't go out and listen to the voice of God — not Herro Blair now — to direct you, because we don't know who is who... my concern is that next year this time, the next thing that is going to happen in this country is an approach to same-sex marriage," Blair said during his Christmas Day message to about 2,000 members at his church on Waltham Park Road in Kingston.
"Unnu build a prison for me, because I'm not doing it," the bishop said, echoing the sentiments of some pastors who told the Observer last week that they would never accept the lifestyle of the gay, transgendered and lesbian community.
Last Tuesday night during the national leadership debate between Simpson Miller and Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Simpson Miller said her People's National Party (PNP), if elected to form the Government, would review the buggery law and ask for a conscience vote on the issue in Parliament.
Her pledge has reignited what has traditionally been a hot-button issue in Jamaica where homosexuality is frowned upon by the majority of the population.
For years, local and international gay lobbyists have been trying to get Jamaica to repeal the buggery law, but have so far been unsuccessful in their bid.
Recently, the United Kingdom said it would cut aid to countries that uphold laws against homosexuality, while the United States indicated that it would ensure that US diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered persons.
Bishop Blair, in his message on Sunday, pointed to that kind of international pressure, saying: "God not dead, God not asleep, God will look out for his own and Jamaica don't want no English man, and we don't want no Spanish man, and we don't want nobody from Europe or China to tell us how to live; and what they are doing is that they are putting pressure on our politicians to yield."
He urged his congregants to call the candidates seeking their votes and ascertain their individual views on homosexuality, ahead of Thursday's general election.
"You are going to vote on Thursday [but] before you vote, don't call Portia and don't call Andrew, call your candidate and ask your candidate what are their moral beliefs, what they defend," he cautioned during the service, which was attended by the PNP candidate for St Andrew East Central Dr Peter Phillips and his JLP contender Beverly Prince.
"My problem is not with reviewing the law, I am going to review it tomorrow (Monday), I have it in my office. I am going to look at it, that's a review," Blair said. "But when you get a government — any government out of the two elected — and one have three here and the other may have six or seven over there, that is 10 out of 63. We have to stop it in its bud, you are going to have to kill it in its bud," he said.
"I will go back to country and I will plant yellow yam and cocoa and dasheen and I will start a dasheen factory or a cocoa factory; I will sell tamarind ball, but this country is God's country," he said.
The pastor, who reminded the churchgoers that God had destroyed two cities before because of immorality, was equally vocal about what he believes was the silence of the church community on the issue.
"The church has been sleeping in this nation. The whole church has been sleeping in this nation because the church of the living God has given up its responsibility and that's why they cuss us off whenever they want to," said the pastor.
In an obvious attempt to demonstrate his point that the church has a responsibility to preach the word of God, Blair asked for a lighter or a match to burn his Bible. The request was met with silence.
"Then if I can't burn it, why I can't preach what in it?" he asked.
Last week, several pastors made it clear that they could not endorse the homosexual lifestyle as it goes against the teachings of the Bible.

Man in Santa suit kills 6 relatives

GRAPEVINE, Texas (AP) — Investigators in suburban Fort Worth are trying to piece together the history of a family targeted in a Christmas Day shooting that police believe was carried out by a relative dressed in a Santa Claus suit.
The names of the seven people found dead inside the Grapevine apartment, including the alleged gunman, were expected to be released today, police said.
Grapevine police spokesman Sergeant Robert Eberling, said the shooter showed up in the costume shortly before gunfire erupted, and the family appeared to have been opening Christmas presents. Police responding to a 911 call found four females and three males dead. They also found two handguns.
"We think he was just inside there celebrating Christmas with the rest of them and decided for whatever reason that's how he's going to end things," Eberling told The Associated Press.
Investigators worked through Sunday night and into Monday morning, meticulously searching the apartment where the bodies were found, along with vehicles parked outside. Police said they believe the victims were related, though some were visiting and didn't live in the apartment.
Eberling said investigators were assembling a "family history," and that the apartment was leased to a woman and her two children, one age 15 and the other either 19 or 20. He would not give other specifics.
"We're getting a clearer picture, but we're not ready to go on the record with anything until we find out from the medical examiner absolute confirmation of identities and the manner of death," Eberling said.
Autopsies of the shooter and the victims were being done Monday by the Tarrant County medical examiner.
Roger Metcalf, a spokesman for the medical examiner's office, said the victims have been tentatively identified, but the office couldn't confirm the names because the state driver's license fingerprint database wasn't available on the holiday.
"In addition, we need to locate next of kin before information can be released, and our investigators are working on that as well," Metcalf wrote in an email to the AP.
Late Sunday evening, police intently searched a sport utility vehicle parked outside the apartment. The vehicle is registered to a man who listed his residence as a home two miles away in the neighboring suburb of Colleyville.
Thomas Ehrlich, who lives near the home in Colleyville, told the AP he heard from neighbors that police went to the house Sunday. He said he believed the man and woman who once lived there were estranged.
Records show the couple had financial problems and that their home, most recently valued on the county tax rolls at $336,200, had been sold in 2010 at a foreclosure auction — although it appeared the man was still living there.
"I actually saw him out doing yard work just last weekend," Ehrlich said.
Spa manager Leah Langford, said she became concerned when the man's wife didn't show up for work Monday at the business where she had been employed for four years. Langford said she got no response when she called the woman's cell phone, nor could she learn anything when she went to the Colleyville home and the Grapevine apartment.
"For somebody who's always early to work and who never misses a day of work, we expected the worst," Langford said.
The shootings Sunday were the first homicides in Grapevine in more than a year and a half.
Police and firefighters rushed to the Lincoln Vineyards complex about 11:30 a.m. after receiving a 911 call in which no one was on the other end of the line. Because no one responded on the phone, police went into the apartment, located at the back of the complex. They found the seven, aged 15 to 60, dead.
Many of the nearby apartments are vacant, and police said no neighbors reported hearing anything on a quiet Christmas morning when many people were not around.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Bob's grandchild fined for weed

DONISHA Prendergast, the granddaughter of reggae legend Bob Marley, was on Thursday fined $100 after pleading guilty in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court to possession of a small quantity of marijuana.
The 26-year-old Prendergast paid the fine and avoided being sent to jail for 10 days.
PRENDERGAST... cops found three bags containing the ganja

Prendergast was arrested on November 21 after police officers, who were doing spot-checks along Water Lane in downtown Kingston, searched her car and found three clear plastic bags containing the ganja.
Prendergast had missed her court date on Wednesday and was accompanied to court by her lawyer Diane Jobson.
Based on a request by Jobson, the conviction was not recorded against Prendergast's name.

Muslim sect claims Nigeria church attacks; 25 dead

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — An explosion ripped through a Catholic church during Christmas Mass near Nigeria's capital today, killing at least 25 people, officials said. A radical Muslim sect waging an increasingly sophisticated sectarian fight claimed the attack and another bombing in the restive city of Jos, as explosions also struck the nation's north-east.
The Christmas Day attacks show the growing national ambition of the sect known as Boko Haram, which is responsible for at least 491 killings this year alone, according to an Associated Press count. The assaults come a year after a series of Christmas Eve bombings in Jos claimed by the militants left at least 32 dead and 74 wounded.
The first explosion on Sunday struck St Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla, a town in Niger state close to the capital, Abuja, authorities said. Rescue workers recovered at least 25 bodies from the church and officials continued to tally those wounded in various hospitals, said Slaku Luguard, a coordinator with Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency.
His agency already has acknowledged it didn't have enough ambulances immediately on hand to help the wounded. Luguard also said an angry crowd that gathered at the blast site hampered rescue efforts as they refused to allow workers inside.
"We're trying to calm the situation," Luguard said. "There are some angry people around trying to cause problems."
In Jos, a second explosion struck near a Mountain of Fire and Miracles Church, government spokesman Pam Ayuba said. Ayuba said gunmen later opened fire on police guarding the area, killing one police officer. Two other locally made explosives were found in a nearby building and disarmed, he said.
"The military are here on ground and have taken control over the entire place," Ayuba said.
The city of Jos is located on the dividing line between Nigeria's predominantly Christian south and Muslim north. Thousands have died in communal clashes there over the last decade.
After the bombings, a Boko Haram spokesman using the nom de guerre Abul-Qaqa claimed responsibility for the attacks in an interview with The Daily Trust, the newspaper of record across Nigeria's Muslim north. The sect has used the newspaper in the past to communicate with public.
The US Embassy in Nigeria's capital of Abuja had issued a warning Friday to citizens to be "particularly vigilant" around churches, large crowds and areas where foreigners congregate.
Several days of fighting in and around the north-eastern city of Damaturu between the sect and security forces already had killed at least 61 people, authorities said. On Sunday, local police commissioner Tanko Lawan said two explosions struck Damaturu, including a blast near government offices. He declined to comment further, saying police had begun an operation to attack suspected Boko Haram sect members.
In the last year, Boko Haram has carried out increasingly bloody attacks in its campaign to implement strict Shariah law across Nigeria, a nation of more than 160 million people.
Boko Haram has splintered into three factions, with one wing increasingly willing to kill as it maintains contact with terror groups in North Africa and Somalia, diplomats and security sources say.
Sect members are scattered throughout northern Nigeria and nearby Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Vybz Kartel, cronies to be tried in Supreme Court


Vybz Kartel, cronies to be tried in Supreme Court

THE murder trial involving caged deejay Vybz Kartel and three of his alleged cronies has been transferred to the Home Circuit Court.
A voluntary bill of indictment was served for the case against the four to be transferred to the higher court today. The case, which involves the murder of Clive 'Lizard Williams' will be heard in the Home Circuit Court this afternoon.
However, two more co-accused Andre St John and Sean Williams, will be heard in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court on Wednesday as their names were not included in the list of those be transferred.
The deejay who is charged for murder, conspiracy to murder, illegal possession of a firearm and possession of ganja will get a chance to defend himself against the ganja charge on February 13.
Meanwhile, lawyers representing female deejay Vanessa 'Gaza Slim' Saddler, are making a bail application on her behalf in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court. Saddler is charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice after she made a report to the police that Williams had robbed her. Police say they have telephone evidence that she was instructed to make the report.
Williams' body has not yet been found.

Bon Jovi laughs at death claim

RED BANK, New Jersey (AP) — Jon Bon Jovi wants fans to know he's not dead, and he has posted a photo proving it.
False reports of the New Jersey-born musician's death spread online after a fake news release surfaced on social media sites.
BON JOVI... fake news release surfaced on social media

Bon Jovi is shown in a picture on his Facebook page holding a sign that reads, "Heaven looks a lot like New Jersey." Below that is scrawled Monday's date.
Bon Jovi was performing at a charity concert that night. His publicist confirmed Bon Jovi was alive and well and playing the show.

Ms Venezuela 2000 is dead

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Former Miss Venezuela Eva Ekvall, whose struggle with breast cancer was closely followed by Venezuelans, has died at age 28.
Her family said Ekvall died Saturday at a hospital in Houston.
CARACAS, Venezuela — In this photo taken on September 9, 2000, Eva Ekvall reacts after winning the Miss Venezuela 2000 beauty pageant. (Photo: AP)

Ekvall was born to a Jamaican mother, Dawn Johnson, and an American of Sewdish-Hungarian descent Eric Ekvall.
She was crowned Miss Venezuela at age 17 in 2000, and the following year she was third runner-up in the Miss Universe pageant in Puerto Rico. She went on to work as a model, actress and television news anchor. She also authored a book, Fuera de Foco (Out of Focus), about her struggle with cancer, which included images by Venezuelan photographer Roberto Mata.
She told the newspaper El Nacional in an interview last year after the book was published that "I needed to send the message of the need for cancer prevention".
On the cover was a portrait in which she appeared with makeup and her head shaved. The book also included images of her while going through chemotherapy.
"I hate to see photos in which I come out ugly," Ekvall told El Nacional. "But you know what? Nobody ever said cancer is pretty or that I should look like Miss Venezuela when I have cancer."
At the time, she was hopeful of overcoming cancer and wanted to write more.
Ekvall's family said in a statement Sunday that her remains were being cremated in Houston on Monday and that a service is to be held in Venezuela once her remains are returned to the country.
Ekvall said in a 2007 interview published in Venezuelan news media that although her mother is Jamaican and her father is American of Swedish and Hungarian descent, "I feel more Venezuelan than anybody."
She was married to radio producer John Fabio Bermudez and had a 2-year-old daughter.
In her book, Ekvall had described her joy at the birth of her daughter saying "that happiness, although (the daughter) may not know it or understand it, keeps me alive today."
The book included emails that she wrote to friends providing updates on her treatment and thanking them for their support, as well as short essays by relatives and friends reflecting on her ordeal.
Her father, Eric Ekvall, recalled in the book that his mother, also named Eva, had died of the same type of cancer at age 39.
"Those who know Eva know she doesn't give up," he said of his daughter. "She fights for what she wants."
Her death brought an outpouring of condolences from Venezuelans, including from some prominent artists and politicians who praised her in messages on Twitter.
One drawing posted online depicted her as an angel with white wings and a pink ribbon on her chest.
Ekvall's husband posted a photo on Twitter Sunday showing a close-up of his hand holding hers, resting on a bed, with the words "Always together ... I love you wife."

'Reggae treated unfairly'

LACK of commitment by the government was a sore point brought out at the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association's (JARIA) press conference at the Bob Marley Museum in St Andrew yesterday.
"If reggae is seen as a bright vibrant music, why is it being treated like this? This is our country," said Freddie McGregor at the function.
Michael ‘Ibo’ Cooper (left), chairman of the JARIA board, makes a point at a press conference at Bob Marley Museum, St Andrew yesterday. Looking on are: Charles Campbell (second left), JARIA director; Fred Lachaize, managing director of Reggae Sun Ska; and his business partner, Arnaud Bengochea. (Photos: Joseph Wellington)

McGregor was speaking against the background that the upcoming Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival had attracted $60 million in sponsorship from the Tourism Ministry/Jamaica Tourist Board while JARIA had got a paltry $1.2 million in support for the Reggae Month activities.
"How can $1.2 million stage Reggae Month, is that possible?" asked McGregor. "That definitely cannot do it, so we are in big trouble here. The big question is whether we can actually keep Reggae Month."
Michael 'Ibo' Cooper, chairman of the JARIA board, stressed that he was not "fighting against the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival" as he supported all festivals but pointed to the serious disparity in support.
"It's unbalanced," he said.
According to Cooper he is disappointed in light of the fact that "a large amount of the money given to the jazz festival will be exported by those who pay taxes overseas."
The press conference not only saw the airing of issues. There was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between JARIA and the directors of Reggae Sun Ska Festival a company out of France. A move intended to build a better corporation between the Jamaica music industry and festivals in Europe.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

3 priests sentenced in sex abuse of minors

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) — A juvenile court judge in Brazil's north-eastern state of Alagoas has sentenced three priests for sexually abusing minors for years.
Monsignor Luiz Marques Barbosa was sentenced to 21 years in prison yesterday, while Monsignor Raimundo Gomes and priest Edilson Duarte were given 16 years and four months in prison.
Three former altar boys said they were between 12 and 16 when they began to be assaulted. Prosecutors said the priests kept the boys quiet with money and then with threats.
One of the victims videotaped a sexual act between Barbosa and an altar boy. The video was posted online and sold in street fairs, shocking Arapiraca, the second largest city in the state.
The priests pleaded not guilty.

Kartel to spend Christmas in jail

Dancehall deejay Adijah Palmer, more popularly known as Vybz Kartel, and his five co-accused will spend the remainder of the year behind bars after they were all ordered remanded when they faced the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court and the Home Circuit Court, respectively, yesterday.
Palmer, Cairo Jones, Calvin 'Moonie' Haye, and Sean 'Sean Storm' Campbell were all remanded in the Home Circuit Court until January 13 in relation to the murder of Clive 'Lizard' Williams after the matter was transferred from the Corporate Area court to the High Court at the request of the director of public prosecutions.
On the other hand, the two other men charged with the killing, Shane Williams and André St John, were remanded until December 21 in the lower court.
Senior Resident Magistrate Judith Pusey revealed that she was unable to transfer the matter concerning the two to the higher court as she had no jurisdiction to do so.
At the same time, Palmer is to face trial on February 13 at the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court in relation to the possession of a ganja charge brought against him.
Palmer and Vanessa 'Gaza Slim' Saddler were ordered to return to court on January 9 to answer to the charge of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
According to police reports, Saddler had reported that Clive 'Lizard' Williams, the man Palmer is accused of killing on August 16, assaulted her during a robbery in Havendale, St Andrew.
Her report made to the St Andrew North police claimed that the incident occurred on October 29, five days after Kartel had been charged with Lizard's murder.
According to police sources, they have evidence, including phone records, showing that Saddler and Palmer planned to "stage a robbery that did not occur".

Monday, 19 December 2011

Vybz Kartel, cronies to be tried in Supreme Court


Vybz Kartel, cronies to be tried in Supreme Court

THE murder trial involving caged deejay Vybz Kartel and three of his alleged cronies has been transferred to the Home Circuit Court.
A voluntary bill of indictment was served for the case against the four to be transferred to the higher court today. The case, which involves the murder of Clive 'Lizard Williams' will be heard in the Home Circuit Court this afternoon.
However, two more co-accused Andre St John and Sean Williams, will be heard in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court on Wednesday as their names were not included in the list of those be transferred.
The deejay who is charged for murder, conspiracy to murder, illegal possession of a firearm and possession of ganja will get a chance to defend himself against the ganja charge on February 13.
Meanwhile, lawyers representing female deejay Vanessa 'Gaza Slim' Saddler, are making a bail application on her behalf in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court. Saddler is charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice after she made a report to the police that Williams had robbed her. Police say they have telephone evidence that she was instructed to make the report.
Williams' body has not yet been found.

Justin Bieber: My Mom Never Let Me Believe in Santa Claus!

Justin Bieber: My Mom Never Let Me Believe in Santa Claus

Justin Bieber
Bah humbug!
With Christmas just one week away, Justin Bieber isn't planning to head to bed early Dec. 24 to await the arrival of Santa Claus. In fact, the teen pop phenom says he's never believed in the man in the big red suit!
Watch Justin Bieber's Christmas music video
"My mom always told me there wasn't a Santa," Bieber says in a new interview with AOL Music. "This was her logic: She thought if I grew up knowing about Santa then finding out he wasn't real, that it would be like she was lying to me. And then when she told me about God, I maybe wouldn't believe her."

Applauding his mom, Pattie Mallette, and her decision to be "straight-up and honest with me all the time," Bieber insists he kept the holiday spirit alive for his childhood pals. "I didn't tell my friends or ruin it for anyone -- I was a good kid!" he tells AOL.

Instead of opening presents from Santa under the tree, Bieber and his family opted for a unique gift exchange.

"We played a game on Christmas Day where everyone brought a girl gift and a boy gift. You roll the dice and if you get doubles, you get to pick a present and if you don't, it's the next person's turn. Then, the next time you roll doubles you get to choose someone else's present and switch," he explains. "One time I really wanted a Game Boy but I ended up with pots and pans, which was disappointing. I think I gave them to my mom."

This year, Bieber will return to his native Canada to enjoy Christmas Eve dinner with his mother's relatives, and then head to his dad's house on Christmas Day to spend time with his younger brother and sister.
Asked about his Christmas wish list, Bieber -- who dates Selena Gomez -- isn't picky.

"To be honest, I really don't have any Christmas wishes this year... I just wish to be happy and that everyone be healthy in my family," he says. "And I wish that everybody gets to hear my Christmas album -- and hopefully like it!"