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2014 Review

 

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Year 2014 – Music/Entertainment/Celebrity/Hollywood Info/Trends/Trivia/TV News 

Passing - Actor James Avery - "Fresh Prince"

New Dance Craze? - "Nae Nae"

Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman Dies

Jay Leno Leaves "Tonight Show" For Last Time 

Movie Legend Shirley Temple Dies At 85

Jimmy Fallon Debuts On Tonight Show

86th Academy Awards Winners

Unbelievable Moment On TV's "Wheel Of Furtune"

Legendary Movie Actor Mickey Rooney Dies At 93

Colbert Named To Replace David Letterman Next Year

Viral Video Of The Year (So Far) - Cat Saves Boy!

Barbara Walters Retires

Michael Jackson Performs Again (Hologram)

Kanye West & Kim Kardashian Marry

Goodbye Casey Kasem - Countdown King Who Started "American Top-40"

Actor James Garner Passes At 86

Sharknado 2 - Bigger Ratings Than Predecessor

Lady Gaga In Oxygen Mask Photo

New Music Radio Format Is Here - Shortening (editing) Hit Music?

Comedian/Actor Robin Williams Dead At 63

Trend Of The Year - Ice Water Bucket Challenge

"Wrecking Ball" Video Of The Year - VMA

Legendary Comedian Joan Rivers Dies

George Clooney Gets Married

Bill Cosby Shut Down

 

Year 2014 In News Headlines And Information

Colorado Begins Selling Pot Legally In Shops 

Falluja Falls To Al Qaeda Militants

California In Drought

Winter Storms Pounds Georgia - Then Northeast

Rioting In Ukraine

TV Pitchman Kevin Troudeau To Prison

Another Fort Hood Shooting Rampage

Providence Circus Accident

Turkey Mining Accident Kills Hundreds

Bounce House Tossed In Wind With Children

President Obama Dedicates 9/11 Museum

Militants Take Two More Cities In Iraq

ISIS Terrorists Much Bolder

California Town Not Happy With Illegal Immigrant Dumping

Malaysian Airliner Shot Down Over Ukraine

Israel Invades Gaza Over Militant Action

Ebola Outbreak Strengthens

Unarmed Black Teen Shot/Killed Near St. Louis

Two Police Officers Gunned Down In New York City

Another Asian Airliner Disaster

 

Year 2014  In Technology News And Information 

On Its 10th Anniversary - Facebook Offers All Subs "Lookback Videos" 

Facebook Buys "WhatsApp" For $16 Billion

Samsung Launches S5 Smartphone

Xbox Declared A Spy Tool By British Authorities

Electricity Without Wires Is Here

Google Glasses For Everyone

(Search) Right To Be Forgotten Ruled In Britain

Phone Kill Switch Now A Law In Minnesota

Flappy Bird Returns

Google Comes Out With "Right To Be Forgotten" Form

Amazon Launches Smartphone

Hilarius - Customer Wants To Drop Comcast 

Cell Phone Unlocking Is Here!

Internet Slows Down Due To Outdated Routers

Apple Launches iPhone 6

 

Year 2014 In Sports News And Other Fascinating Facts

Winter Olympics/Sochi Games Begin

Sochi Games End - Medal Count

Pitcher Gets Hit With Line Drive

Clippers Owner Don Sterling Banned From NBA

Openly Gay Michael Sams Gets Ram Draft

Football's Aaron Hernandez Charged With Murder

Steve Ballmer To Purchase Clippers For $2 Billion

Washington Redskins Name Can No Longer Be Trademarked

Dodgers Get Second "No Hitter" This Season

NASCAR Champ Tony Stewart Hits/Kills Driver During Race

LA Clippers Sold To Steve Ballmer

NFL Player Concerns - Off Field

Yankee Derek Jeter Retires

 

SPECIAL: 2014 In Review -  Videos - See What You Read Here!

 

Scroll The Year - Below

 

 

2014 Pop Culture: Music/Entertainment/Celebrity/Hollywood Info/Trends/Trivia/TV News 

 

Goodbye James Avery

January 1 - Passing - Actor James Avery (68) - best known as the Uncle in "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air"... The Waterford Ball mrpopculture miley cyrusdropped at midnight at New Year’s Rockin’ Eve to ring in 2014 with performances by Miley Cyrus, Macklemore,Robin Thicke and Debbie Harry and others. Miley Cyrus, wearing a huge fur and a gold sparkling outfit, hit and her dancers hit the stage to perform, while Ryan Seacrest hosted Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve 2014! Cyrus performed her song, "Get It Right" as well as her mega-hit single "Wrecking Ball"... Radio news - Passing - talkshow pioneer Bob Grant at 84... Passing - Saul Zaentz, who parlayed a successful career in the music business into a Oscar-winning second act as an independent movie producer at 92. He played an important role at tiny Fantasy Records and its one-and-only money-making act - Creedence Clearwater Revival...  Hip-hop superstar Rick Ross, along with Jermaine Jackson, have filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against LMFAO, the Los Angeles-based electronic pop duo of Stefan Kendal Gordy (Redfoo) and Skyler Austen Gordy (Sky Blu). At issue is LMFAO's chart-topping 2010 song, "Party Rock Anthem," which contains the phrase, "Everyday I'm shufflin'," in the chorus. Ross says he got there first on his own chart-topper, "Hustlin'," which contains the lyric, "Everyday I'm hustlin"'...

Top Pop Hit Singles - January 1, 2014

The Monster – Eminem fea. Rihanna’

Timber – Pitbull fea. Ke$hsa

Counting Stars – OneRepublic

Say Something – A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera

Royals – Lorde

Let Her Go – Passenger

Demons – Imagine Dragons

Story Of My Life  - One Direction

January 8 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards – Some Winners:

Best motion picture, drama -  "12 Years a Slave" 
Best actress in a motion picture, drama  - Cate Blanchett, "Blue Jasmine"  
Best actor in a motion picture, drama - Matthew McConaughey, "Dallas Buyers Club"

Best motion picture, comedy or musical - "American Hustle"
Best actress in a motion picture, musical or comedy - Amy Adams, "American Hustle" 
Best actor in a motion picture, musical or comedy  - Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Wolf of Wall Street"  

More January 8 Entertainment - New York State troopers arrested Public Enemy's Flavor Flav on Long Island for driving with a suspended license, but released the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member so he could attend his mother's funeral... Coachella - the California music festival has already sold out -- and in record time. Coachella ran out of general tickets in 2 hours and 37 minutes, toppling the previous record of 2 hours and 57 minutes set in 2012. For 2014, Coachella brought in Muse and Arcade Fire, as well as the newly-reunited Outkast, as headliners. Coachella 2014 will be held over two weekends -- April 11-13 and 18-20 -- in Indio, Calif... Herbie Hancock: Grammy winner, jazz icon -- and, soon, Harvard professor.The pianist and composer is Harvard University's 2014 Norton Professor of Poetry. He'll deliver six lectures next month as part of the title on a variety of topics -- including one, he says, titled "The Wisdom of Miles Davis"... U2 performed live last night (Jan. 11) for the first time in four years, surprising guests at Sean Penn's third annual Help Haiti benefit in Beverly Hills' Montage Hotel...A man hurled racial slurs and insults at Kim Kardashian while she was at a chiropractor’s office in Beverly Hills on Monday Her fiancé Kanye West then allegedly assaulted the offending man, and the reality starlet is mulling over how to handle the whole situation... One person was arrested in Justin Bieber's home after Los Angeles law enforcement executed a felony search warrant with 12 detectives in about eight patrol cars. Bieber’s longtime friend rapper Lil Za was arrested for narcotics possession. The Sheriff’s Dept. was investigating if Bieber was connected to an egg-throwing incident last week that caused damage to a neighbor’s home. They obtained a felony search warrant and entered the home at about 8 a.m. PST... (Video) On a media blitz to promote his latest album, "High Hopes" - Bruce Springsteen has fun with Jimmy Fallon on his show - with the Govenor Christie traffic (scandal)...

January 15 - Passing Dave Madden  -- who played "The Partridge Family's" aggravated band manager on the 1970s TV show -- has died after a long illness at age 82 ...Madden played Reuben Kincaid on the show ... Passing - Russell Johnson, who played Professor Roy Hinkley (The Professor) on Gilligan’s Island -  died of natural causes at his home in Washington. He was 89... Television news – American Idol Season Begins – and ratings are down 16% - the worst-ever for a season debut.  Harry jimmy kimmel show january 2014Connick Jr. seems to be a favorite with viewers. Let’s see!.. Jimmy Kimmel is taking his late-night show to Texas for the South by Southwest festival. ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" said Thursday it will air five shows in March from Austin. The Texas city hosts the international showcase for music, film and interactive projects that's in its 28th year. Kimmel's guests will include celebrities and musical performers from South by Southwest. Comedy segments shot at the festival and around Texas also will be part of the shows... Los Angeles Forum Is In Business Again -  The Eagles reopened the refurbished Forum Wednesday night with a concert that emphasized the care and precision that went into their records in the 1970s. Including Glenn Frey and Don Henley – the band did a 28-songs – arranged in chronological order... Country singer Trace Adkins has entered alcohol rehab after consuming alcohol during the Country Cruising cruise. The 52-year-old "Celebrity Apprentice" winner has canceled the remainder of his performances during the weeklong cruise that wraps up Sunday after stops in Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Mexico..., Robin Thicke and Kendrick Lamar will take center stage at the ESPN The Party. The Super Bowl pre-game bash will be held on Friday, Jan. 31... 

January 22 - Queen Latifah will perform, “American The Beautiful” at the Super Bowl pregame...

Trending - From Atlanta - Dig the new Hip-Hop Dance Craze – The Nae Nae.

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are reuniting for what is sure to be a memorable performance. However, despite rumors, it will not be at this weekend’s Grammys. The former Beatles bandmates will perform together at “The Night That Changed America: A Grammys Salute to The Beatles” on Monday, January 27, Ringo revealed to Access Hollywoodon Monday night. The special will air on CBS on February 9 — 50 years to the date of The Beatles’ historic performance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” ... Kelly Clarkson and Brandon Blackstock say - “We just found out we’re having a girl officially!” ...  Soulja Boy has surely seen better days. On Wednesday (January 22), the 23-year-old rapper was arrested in Los Angeles after police found him with a loaded gun. The rap star (born DeAndre Cortez Way) was a passenger in a vehicle that was pulled over after running a stop sign in San Fernando Valley. During the traffic stop, police arrested him after noticing that he was in possession of the gun... After 39 years of marriage, Captain and Tennille are calling it quits. Toni Tennille, 73, filed against Daryl Dragon 71 last week. The couple, who are best known for their hits "Muskrat Love" and "Love Will Keep Us Together," married in 1975, which is the same year they released their first album... Passing – Folk troubadour Pete Seeger (94)... After more than three decades together, rockers Motley Crue announced today their “Final Tour” and the band’s ultimate retirement. The announcement was solidified when the band signed a formal Cessation Of Touring Agreement, effective at the end of 2015, in front of global media in Los Angeles today. The band’s “Final Tour” will include stops Sunday, July 13 at Tulsa’s BOK Center and Friday, Oct. 10 at Oklahoma City’s Chesapeake Energy Arena... Justin Beiber Arrested For DUI -  Miami Beach Police said Bieber was pulled over for drag racing in a yellow Lamborghini and failed a field sobriety test, police said. Making Lite Of The Beib - 

More January 22 -  The late-night talk-show host read his roster of "Justin Bieber Headlines We're Likely to Read." It went as follows -- 10. Out of options, Bieber seeks asylum in Russia. 9Justin Bieber, sick of himself, kicks own ass. 8. Singer changes name to Bustin Jieber 7. Justin and wife welcome first biebie 6. Bieber loses modeling deal to 19-year-old from Seattle 5. Jury enters third day of belieberations 4. Bieber, Kardashian married 3. Bieber, Kardashian finalize divorce 2. Mayor Rob Ford names Bieber Chief of Police 1. Just tweets photo of his Bieber ... More Bieber - Justin Bieber was under the influence of alcohol, pot and Xanax when police stopped him for drag racing in Miami Beach, police documents allege. "Yeah, we were smoking all night at the studio," the singer told a police officer who told him he "reeked of marijuana," according to documents released Thursday.

56th Annual Grammy Awards – Some Winners:

Record of the year  - "Get Lucky" -- Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers 
Album of the year - "Random Access Memories" -- Daft Punk
Song of the year - ""Royals" -- Lorde

Best new artist - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Best pop solo performance

Best pop solo performance - Lorde -- "Royals"

Best pop vocal album - Bruno Mars -- "Unorthodox Jukebox"

Best country song - ""Merry Go 'Round" -- Kacey Musgraves

Best rock performance - Imagine Dragons -- "Radioactive”
Best metal performances - Black Sabbath -- "God is Dead?"

 Best rock song - ""Cut Me Some Slack" -- Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, Pat Smear

February 1 - Passing - Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman (46) - found with a needle in his arm. 

More February 1 - Barbara Walters is under fire for her vigorous defense of Woody Allen, whose adopted daughter Dylan Farrow recently renewed her 22-year-old accusations of sexually assault against the famed director. On "The View," Walters clashed with co-hostSherri Shepherd after the veteran newswoman said she's seen firsthand what a wonderful father he is: "I have rarely seen a father as sensitive, as loving and as caring as Woody is and Soon-Yi to these two girls [his adopted children with Soon-Yi]. I don't know about Dylan. I can only tell you what I have seen now"... Grease star Olivia Newton-John is headed to Las Vegas. The 65-year-old singer and actress announced a headlining residency this week. She will perform 45 shows at the Donny and Marie Showroom at The Flamingo, starting April 8. Dates are scheduled through the summer... After 22 years - Jay Leno conducts his final "Tonight" show as Jimmy Kimmel gets ready to step in after NBC-TV's Winter Olympics coverage...  Nielson says the Bruno Mars Super Bowl halftime show drew 115 million viewers. Despite how bad the game was, and turned out... Radio news - Scott Shannon - After 22 yeears -  morning DJ/Host on WPLJ-FM NY - says Friday is his last day (Feb 7). Shannon will continue in radio - programming the "True Oldies" channel for affilate stations. 

February 8 - New single by Mariah Carey is released - "You're Mine (Eternal)," a breathy, enjoyably straightforward love ballad that previews her endlessly delayed fourteenth studio album,  now due out on May 6... U2 will perform Oscar-nominated song "Ordinary Love" from "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" during the live Academy Awards telecast on Sunday, March 2... Singer-songwriter Sting's new musical "The Last Ship" has found a nice berth on Broadway.Producer Jeffrey Seller said that the show -- inspired by Sting's memories of growing up in a shipbuilding community in northeast England -- will start performances Sept. 30 at the Neil Simon Theatre. Opening night will be Oct. 26... Less than a day after Drake slammed Rolling Stone magazine, which replaced his cover story with the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, the rapper took to his old blogspot website to apologize.Drake says the magazine was "completely justifiable" in replacing his cover with Philip Seymour Hoffman, but disagrees with the decision to run his article now. "I would have waited until it was my time"... Robin Thicke is set to perform at the opening weekend extravaganza for the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 5, in the second game of a three-game series against the San Francisco Giants. As well as presenting a three-song pre-game concert at Dodger Stadium, the singer will throw out the first pitch before the 1.10 p.m. PST game begins, it was announced on Thursday... Passing - Shirley Temple - legendary child movie star of the 1930's. She was 85... Passing - Legendary television comedian Sid Ceasar (91)... Passing – Actor Ralph Waite(85) – best known for portraying the father on the long-running CBS-TV series, “The Waltons”...

Jimmy Fallon Debuts On Tonight Show

February 15 - Passing - Puppeteer John Henson, the son of the late Muppets creator Jim Henson, has died in New York. He was 48... Jimmy Fallon takes over as the fifth “Tonight Show” host (permanent host). Procued  out of New York City the deubt drew 11.3 million viewers... A judge said he will review police video made shortly after Justin Bieber's recent Miami Beach arrest to determine if some portions should be withheld from the public, particularly clips depicting the singer urinating into a cup as part of a drug test... In the wake of a new arrest, 3 Doors Down has clarified its position about founding member and bassist Todd Harrell, issuing a statement saying that he group "has extended Todd's suspension indefinitely" following an arrest for DUI in D'lberville, Miss... Bette Midler will perform for the first time on the Oscars. The Divine Miss M has received two Oscar nominations and won several Grammys... Passing - Devo Guitarist Bob Casale -- known for the hit 1980 song "Whip It."  He was 61... Two former members of the Russian protest punk rock group Pussy Riot were released from police custody after they were detained near Sochi in what they call a continuing pattern of harassment during the Winter Olympic: NadezhdaTolokonnikova and Masha Alekhina... Cee Lo Green says he will not be returning to "The Voice."... Passing - Garrick Utley, the veteran NBC News correspondent, anchor and host of "Meet the Press."  He was 74. 

Top Movies - February 15

The Lego Movie

About Last Night (2014)

RoboCop (2014)

The Monuments Men

Endless Love (2014)

February 22 - Seth Meyers debuts as host of NBC’s “Late Night.” First guests - Amy Poehler and Vice President Joe Biden...  American Idol, one of the most successful shows in the history of tv – a show that has made BILLIONS of dollars in profits will lose money this season due to high payouts/saleries...  A security guard and driver for pop singer Justin Bieber have been arrested near Atlanta and charged with stealing a photographer's camera. Bieber was at an entertainment complex north of the Georgia capital Tuesday evening when 32-year-old bodyguard Hugo Hesny got into a confrontation with a photographer who he said had gotten too close to the singer...Passing – acclaimed writer, director, actor and producer Harold Ramis - responsible for such comedies as MEATBALLS to ANIMAL HOUSE to GHOSTBUSTERS to STRIPES to CADDYSHACK to GROUNDHOG DAY. He was 69... Passing - Jim Lange (82), the first host of the popular game show "The Dating Game"... Top Social Music Stars In Order – Shakira,  Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Pharrell (first time top-10), Justin Timberlake...  Nielsen TV Ratings - The NBC-TV Winter Olympics coverage dominated TV ratings last week – garnering the top 8 out of 10 spots in the Nielsen ratings. Top Olympic draw was just over 23 million viewers.  “Criminal Minds” and “NCIS” were # 9 and # 10. 

March 1 - 86th annual Academy Awards – some winners:

BEST PICTURE - "12 Years a Slave"

BEST ACTOR - Matthew McConaughey, "Dallas Buyers Club"

BEST ACTRESS - Cate Blanchett, "Blue Jasmine"

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR - Jared Leto, "Dallas Buyers Club"

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS - Lupita Nyong'o, "12 Years a Slave"

BEST DIRECTOR -Alfonso Cuaron, "Gravity"

More From March 1 - The man found guilty of killing Usher's 11-year-old stepson has been sentenced to four years in prison. Last month, a Georgia jury found Jeffrey Simon Hubbard guilty of homicide by vessel as a result of the 2012 Jet Ski collision that took the life of the boy, Kile Glover, and injured a 15-year-old girl... After two months in rehab, Ke$ha has returned home. Ke$ha checked into rehab for an eating disorder in January. In early February, she postponed her tour so that she could finish her treatment....

March 8 - Passing – Actress Sheila Macrae (93) – best known for playing “the Honeymooners’” Alice Kramden on the 1960’s , “Jackie Gleason Show”... In video clips from a deposition taken last Thursday in Miami, Justin Bieber at 20 looks like little more than a petulant child — and attention to the clips might be getting under the singer's skin. "Love how some people love to twist and justify the horrible action of others. We all have a right to defend ourselves and feel harassed," he tweeted... Lady Gaga is the keynote and - performs at this year's South By Southwest in Austin...  

Top music albums – March 8, 2014

Mastermind – Rick Ross

Louder – Lea Michele

10,000 Towns – Eli Young Band

GIRL – Pharrell Williams

Frozen – Soundtrack

Morning Phase – Beck 

March 15 - DESIGNER L'Wren Scott is found dead in her New York apartment in an apparent suicide. The 49-year-old designer was found hanging from a scarf by her assistant this morning. She was the girlfriend of Mick Jagger - who is said to be terribly distraught... Sister Cristina Scuccia stunned the judges on Italy’s version of “The Voice” when she began skillfully belting out Alicia Key’s “No One.” The 25-year-old nun appeared on stage dressed in traditional clothes, with a large silver cross dangling from her neck. As the song began, the cameras focused on her black shoes tapping to the beat... An arrest warrant has been issued for the soulful singer Anita Baker. Baker's latest legal issue involves her sprawling Grosse Pointe estate. Ray Smith Painting and Decorating claims Baker never handed over more than $15,000 she owed the company for work done inside her home... Insane first guess on Wheel of Fortune - "Ne_ ____ _____" as Emil De Leon got it on the first try – winning $45,000.

"Wheel Of Fortune" Contestent - First Try - Gets It!

March 22 - Passing - James Rebhorn, whose acting resume includes a long list of character roles in major films and TV shows. He was 65... British actress Kate O'Mara, best remembered in the United States for her role in long-running 1980s TV soap "Dynasty", died in England at 74... Pharrell Williams is set to join the singing talent show 'The Voice' as a coach for season 7. Hel'll replace Cee Lo Green... In its 208th and final episode on Monday, the CBS comedy “How I Met Your Mother” finally revealed the mystery contained in its title... Pat Boone is a wanted man after missing a court appearance in connection to a cruise ship condo lawsuit. According to TMZ the 79 year old is caught up in a messy legal case after purchasing an apartment on a luxury passenger ship. The company behind the project was sued by its investors and ordered to pay £500,000 in legal costs. The payout was never fulfilled and now the lawyers involved are allegedly targeting the people who bought condos... Passing - Dave Brockie, who fronted the heavy metal band Gwar using the stage name Oderus Urungus, has been found dead in his Richmond, Va., home. He was 50... L’Wren Scott leaves her entire $9 million estate to boyfriend Mick Jagger. 

April 1 -   David Letterman says he's leaving "The Late Show" next year... Passing - Movie legend Mickey Rooney (93)... Passing - Frankie Knuckles, a record producer and disc jockey who helped develop the sound and culture of house music — a style of Chicago dance music that revolutionized club culture in the 1970s and '80s and resonates today. He was 59... Pharrell Williams guests on "Saturday Night Live" with a green hat - and sang his hit, "Happy." 

49th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards - Hosted by Blake Sheldon & Luke Bryan

 ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR - George Strait

MALE VOCALIST - Jason Aldean

FEMALE VOCALIST - Miranda Lambert

VOCAL DUO - Florida Georgia Line

April 8 - TV Ratings This Week - Click Here.... Coachella Valley Music Festival - as the first weekend concludes. On hand, Pharrell Williams,  Jay-Z, Beyonce, Lorde, Katy Perry, Muse, Slash,  Mary J.  Blige, Chance the Rapper, Beck and much more. Some 182 bands are on the Festival bill... Alexa Ray Joel became ill and fainted on stage during the final performance of a concert run in New York City over the weekend. colbert to letterman pop culture historyThe singer-songwriter, who is the daughter of music legend Billy Joel and model Christie Brinkley, was wrapping up a two-week engagement at Cafe Carlyle when she told audience members she felt sick and was having neck and back pain... Pharrell Williams with Oprah - On the OWN show "Oprah Prime," the host played Williams a montage of fan-created YouTube videos adapted to his No. 1 Hot 100 hit "Happy." Following a series of videos from London, the Philippines, Iceland and more, the singer found himself in tears. "I was just thinking of your grandmother," Winfrey says. "I bet she didn't even imagine that"... It's official - Stephen Colbert is replacing  David Letterman as the new ‘Late Show’ host. Of course he’ll drop the character and he’ll get the ratings. But will we let him leave the ‘Report’ behind?

2014 MTV Awards held this week - some winners:

Movie of the Year

"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" 

Favorite character

Beatrice "Tris" Prior - "Divergent" 

Best Male Performance

Josh Hutcherson - "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" 

Best Female Performance

Jennifer Lawrence - "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire"

April 15 -  Miley Cyrus has canceled her next concert in St. Louis a day after canceling her show at the Kansas City Sprint Center. The pop star, 21, has to stay in the hospital another day after suffering a severe allergic reaction to antibiotics — and she isn't too happy about it. She will resume the U.S. tour Aug. 1 in Uniondale, N.Y. The new dates will include seven rescheduled shows and two additional stops... Country singer Kevin Sharp has died from "complications due to cancer," his mother told CNN. He was 43. Sharp was diagnosed with cancer as a teenager. He was treated and the disease did not reoccur, but he had problems later in life because of the radiation and chemotherapy he underwent, Elaine Sharp said. Best known for the County hit, "Knowbody Knows"... Coachella Music Festival - Weekend #2 included Nas, Pharrall Williams, T.I., Usher. Beyonce and Jay Z make guest appearances... The first trailer for Clint Eastwood's highly anticipated film version of the hit Broadway musicalJersey Boys has debuted online. The clip begins with The Four Seasons singing under a street lamp and follows their rise to performing for cheering crowds.

Top movies – April 15, 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

 

Heaven Is For Real

Rio 2

Transcendence

April 22 -  Jodie Foster marries her girlfriend Alexandra Hedison ... Passing - Mark Shand (62), Prince Charles's brother-in-law and the brother of Camilla Parker Bowles, the Duchess of Cornwall, dies of head injuries suffered after slipping and falling outside a New York nightclub... Justin Bieber is detained at LAX airport after trying to return home from a recent trip to Japan... Passing – 1960’s soul singer Deon Jackson. Best known for “Love Makes The World Go Round.” He was 68... Paul Simon and wife Edie Brickell were both arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, after an apparent domestic dispute... Passing - Lee Marshall -  Legendary voice of "Tony the Tiger," but to wrestling fans, longtime important voice of Verne Gagne's AWA as well as key contributor to WCW for many years... Less than two weeks after it was announced that Stephen Colbert would replace David Letterman on The Late Show, Craig Ferguson will now leave The Late Late Show, the CBS talker he’s miley cyrus april 2014hosted for 10 years... Passing - Bob Hoskins, the British actor known for playing gangsters, tough guys and working-class gentlemen in such films as "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," "The Long Good Friday" and "Mermaids." He was 71...  The California Supreme Court refused to review the involuntary manslaughter conviction of Michael Jackson's doctor, rejecting his lawyer's petition without comment. The decision by the state's highest court was the latest stop on Dr. Conrad Murray's legal odyssey. A state appeals court upheld his conviction earlier this year and then refused to reconsider its decision... Passing - Chicago footwork mastermind DJ Rashad has dies of a drug overdose,.. Willie Nelson in the inaugural class of the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame on Saturday night. Nelson was the first to perform on Austin City Limits - back in 1974... Miley Cyrus has reportedly left the hospital after spending over a week in care due to an extreme allergic reaction to antibiotics. She's preparing to return to the road when her Bangerz tour resumes in Europe on May 2 in Amsterdam. 

May 1 - Ben Affleck gets  "banned from playing blackjack at the Hard Rock casino in Las Vegas." He was asked to leave after casino security told him: "You are too good at the game" ...Passing – Actor Efrem Zimbalist Jr. known for the 1960’s series, “The FBI.” He was 95... Radio news - BEN HOBERMAN, the former VP/GM who ushered in the talk format at KABC-A/LOS ANGELES in 1960, has passed away at the age of 92. Hoberman began the – what is now – the modern talk radio format on KABC back in 1960... Monica Lewinsky writes in Vanity Fair for the first time about her affair with President Clinton: “It’s time to burn the beret and bury the blue dress.” She also says: “I, myself, deeply regret what happened between me and President Clinton. Let me say it again: I. Myself. Deeply. Regret. What. Happened”..   The first annual iHeartRadio Music Awards hit Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium on Thursday, celebrating the year’s biggest pop stars and paying tribute to the musical culture of the City of Angels. Rihanna — one of the biggest stars actually on hand — took home four awards, more than any other artist. This included the night’s final prize, artist of the year. Elsewhere, “Pour It Up” won for hip-hop/R&B song of the year, “Stay” (featuring Mikky Ekko) won song of the year and her fan base, the Rihanna Navy, captured best fan army honors.

Top Pop Hit Music Singles - May 1, 2014

Happy – Pharrell Williams

All Of Me – John Legend

Talk Dirty – Jason Derulo fea.  2 Chaniz

Dark Horse – Katy Perry fea. Juicy J

Let It Go – Idina Menzel

Turn Down For What – DJ Snake & Lil Jon

Pompeii – Bastille

May 8 - A judge orders an investigation into the whereabouts of radio legend Casey Kasem after an attorney for the ailing radio personality’s wife said the former “Top 40″ host had been removed from Los Angeles without his children’s knowledge. The order seeks out where he’s being treated. Kasem, 82, suffers from advanced Parkinson’s disease, can no longer speak and has been in various medical facilities chosen by his wife, Jean Kasem. Later, Casey is found!.. Passing - Malik Bendjelloul (36), a Swedish filmmaker who won the 2013 Academy Award for best documentary with his debut feature, “Searching for Sugar Man,” about a forgotten American balladeer who, unwittingly, had achieved fame halfway around the world... Beleaguered singer-songwriter Justin Bieber has been accused in an attempted robbery in the Los Angeles area... The alleged victim reported the incident to police and that alleged victim was being interviewed by police late Tuesday evening... "American Idol" is coming back. The singing competition series has been renewed through season 14. After the January axing of "The X Factor," Fox was not about to lose that many hours of dependable programming...

Viral Video Of The Year So Far

May 15 - The 2014 Pop Culture Elevator Incident - Solange Knowles, Jay Z and his wife, Beyonce, have released a statement about surveillance video originally posted by TMZshowing Solange, the younger sister of Beyonce, hitting and kicking her brother-in-law. They both have apologized to each other and we have moved forward as a united family....

Goodbye Barbara Walters

More May 15 - After more than 50 years on air – beginning with the “Today” show - Barbara Walters said goodbye to ‘The View’ on Fridayin a star-studded farewell episode.  Working on the Today show and 20/20 in the 1960′s and ’70s, Barbara was named the show’s first female co-host in 1974... “Shield” actor Michael Jace, 51, was arrested and charged with suspicion of homicide, after his neighbors reported the sounds of gunshots coming from his home and Los Angeles police found his wife, April, dead inside the house... Usher gave "The Voice" more than a new champ Tuesday after his contestant, Josh Kaufman, won the singing competition, he ended Blake Shelton and Adam Levine's five-season winning streak... Check out Justin Timberlakeand Michael Jackson‘s collaboration, “Love Never Felt So Good.”  The feel-good song’s new video, directed by Rich Lee and Timberlake, takes the crew to the dance floor. As each competes for the best MJ moves, Jackson is shown on a video screen in the background with his classic choreography being mimicked by the dancers in the new video... As Led Zeppelin promote the extravagant reissues of their first three albums for an early June release, a lawyer representing deceased Spirit guitarist Randy California is claiming the hard-rock legends stole the intro for their 1971 single "Stairway to Heaven" from Spirit's 1968 song "Taurus." Attorney Francis Alexander Molofiy wants to prevent the release of the Led Zeppelin IV reissue when the time comes... Billboard Music Awards - Michael Jackson Performs via Hologram!(Click Here). It has been almost five years since Michael Jackson died, but the King of Pop was the star attraction at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday in a special event to celebrate his posthumous album. In a special show, a hologram image of the pop star performed "Slave to the Rhythm" from the blockbuster album... Jennifer Lopez is writing a book. Celebra, a division of Penguin Group (USA), said Monday that it is releasing her first book -- titled "True Love" -- on Tuesday, Oct. 28... Passing - Jerry Vale, the beloved crooner known for his high-tenor voice and romantic songs in the 1950s and early 1960s, has died. He was 83. Vale was one of the Copa singers in "Goodfellas" ...Paul McCartney is scrapping his entire Japan tour because of illness. The former Beatle got a virus last week and canceled several concerts, apologizing online to fans.

2014 Billboard Music Awards - Some Winners:

Top artist: 
Justin Timberlake

Top new artist: 
Lorde

Top male artist: 
Justin Timberlake

Top female artist: 
Katy Perry 

May 22 - Fox News anchor Gregg Jarrett was arrested and jailed overnight following an incident at the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport. Intoxicated - Jarrett refused to follow orders and was arrested for obstruction of the legal process... Season 13 -  Caleb Johnson gets crowned the winner of American Idol... "The Arsenio Hall Show" has been canceled because of low ratings, ending Hall's late-night comeback bid after a single season. Hall's bid to recreate the success he enjoyed 20 years ago failed to find a big enough audience in the ever-crowded TV market... Kim Kardashian is officially Mrs. West! The Hollywood couple tied the knot Saturday in a gorgeous sunset ceremony atop a hill at Fort di Beleverdre in Florence, Italy among family and friends... For the first time in 52 years, two spellers were declared co-champions of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Sriram Hathwar of Painted Post, New York, and Ansun Sujoe of Fort Worth, Texas, shared the title after a riveting final-round duel... A Washington state judge granted a daughter of ailing radio personality Casey Kasem regular visits after she raised concerns about his well-being... The first police officer at the scene of Tupac Shakur's 1996 drive-by murder has revealed the last words spoken by the late rap legend. "He looked at me, and he took a breath to get the words out, and he opened his mouth," says Chris Carroll, a retired sergeant with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, in a new feature with Vegas Seven. "And then the words came out: 'F**k you'" ... Wiz Khalifa is eager to release his new mixtape, “28 Grams,” but there’s one thing holding the rapper back: he’s been arrested for marijuana possession in Texas. On Sunday morning (May 25), Khalifa was arrested for marijuana possession while attempting to fly from El Paso to Dallas... Throws Bad Pitch - 50 Cent was on the mound, but not on the money. The rap star was comically off target when he threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Pittsburgh Pirates played the New York Mets at Citi Field... 

Top movies – May 22, 2014

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Godzilla (2014)

Blended

Neighbors

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

June 1 - Passing - Anne B. Davis - Everyone's favorite maid on TV's - "The Brady Bunch." She was 88... Miley Cyrus' North Hollywood home is hit by burglars... Passing - Actor and comedian George Lindsey -- Goober on TV's "Andy Griffith Show" -- died early Sunday morning after an extended illness. He was 76 years old... After 18 years of wedded unity, Melanie Griffith has filed for divorce from 53-year-old Antonio Banderas... Actor and comedian Tracy Morgan, best known for his roles on "Saturday Night Live" and "30 Rock," was badly injured early Saturday when the limo bus he was riding in overturned in a multi-vehicle crash in New Jersey that killed comic James McNair... After hinting that she’d dropped the dollar sign from her name, Ke$ha –now Kesha– has gone and made it official with the release of her brand new signature logo...  Jennifer Lopez is a single girl. The 44-year- old- singer and her 27-year-old beau Casper Smart has reportedly called it quits after two and a half years... Eminem is among the many in the music and recording worlds mourning the death of Steve King, the engineer who won a Grammy in 2003 for "The Eminem Show" and also mixed the rapper's award-winning "Lose Yourself" from the "8 Mile" film soundtrack.

Top Pop Hit Music SIngles - June 1 

Problem – Ariana Grande fea. Iggy Azalea

Turn Down For What – DJ Snake & Lil Jon

Fancy – Iggy Azalea fea. Charli XCX

All Of Me – John Legend

Am I Wrong? – Nico & Vinz

Happy – Pharrell Williams

June 8 - The suspect in a home-intruder case involving actress Sandra Bullock has been charged with felony counts of first-degree residential burglary, stalking and possession of a machine gun. Authorities said Joshua James Corbett, 39, was arrested Sunday morning after climbing a fence and breaking into the Oscar-winner's West Los Angeles home around 1 a.m. Bullock was home at the time... Passing - British comedian Rik Mayall suffered a fatal heart attack after his usual morning run ...  Mayall -- who starred in the cult 90s comedy "Drop Dead Fred" -- passed away at the age of 56... Passing – Actress Ruby Dee. She was 91... Drake and Lil Wayne are going on tour together, finally. The two Young Money rappers will embark on a co-headlining  U.S. tour on August 8 at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center in Darien Center, NY. The Drake Vs. Lil Wayne tour, which will stop through 31 cities, will run through September 27, ending in Woodlands, Texas at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion... Jennifer Lopez sambaed on the stage of the opening ceremony of the 2014World Cup in Sao Paulo, Brazil Thursday afternoon (June 12), accompanying Pitbull and Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte during a performance of the official song "We Are One" ... Reissues of Led Zeppelin's first three albums should re-enter the album charts within the top 15.

June 15 -  Passing - Casey Kasem, a disc jockey who never claimed to love rock 'n’ roll but who built a long and lucrative career from it, creating and hosting one of radio’s most popular syndicated pop music shows, “American Top 40,” died on Sunday in a hospital in Gig Harbor, Wash. He was 82... "Shield" actor Michael Jace, appearing in a Los Angeles court Wednesday, entered a not guilty plea in the slaying of his wife. Police found April Jace shot to death in her south Los Angeles home the evening of May 19, Detective Lyman Doster said... Passing - Songwriter Gerry Goffin, who alongside former wife Carole King wrote some of the most indelible songs of the ’60s, died of natural causes early Thursday morning at his home in Los Angeles. He was 75... Passing - Johnny Mann, the Hollywood composer who worked with the likes of Nat King Cole, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra, died late Wednesday night in Anderson, according to sources close to the family. He was 85.

Top Movies – June 15, 2014

22 Jump Street

How To Train Your Dragon 2

Maleficent

Edge of Tomorrow

The Fault In Our Stars

X-Men: Days Of Future Past

June 22 - Katie Couric marries New York financier John Molner... Fox announces that current "Idol" judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. will be returning for Season 14, as will host Ryan Seacrest... Passing - Eli Wallach, who was one of his generation’s most prominent and prolific character actors in film, onstage and on television for more than 60 years. He was 98... Passing - U.S. actor Meshach Taylor, best known for his role as the affable assistant on the hit television show "Designing Women" at 67... Robert Downey Jr.'s son was arrested for cocaine possession in West Hollywood Sunday afternoon... Passing -  Paul Mazursky, a five-time Oscar-nominee who wrote and directed admired movies from Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice to Down and Out in Beverly Hills, died Monday of pulmonary cardiac arrest. He was 84... katy perry riaa award 2014The Recording Industry Association of America names Katy Perry its highest-selling digital act in the history of Gold and Platinum awards.Perry currently boasts 72 million digital singles to her name, counting downloads and on-demand streams. She is the first artist to surpass 70 million and is currently 20 million ahead of any other artist. Her catalog contains 18 Gold, 16 Platinum and 56 multi-Platinum digital single awards... Legendary guitarist Eric Clapton has again said that he is thinking of quitting touring, attributing his decision to the road being “unbearable” in addition to “odd ailments” that may force him to put down his guitar permanently... Passing – Bobby Womack – who spanned the American soul music era, touring as a gospel singer in the 1950s, playing guitar in Sam Cooke’s backup band in the early ’60s, writing hit songs recorded by Wilson Pickett and the Rolling Stones and composing music that broke onto the pop charts. He was only 70... Miley Cyrus's "Bangerz" tour is coming to TV. The two-hour special on NBC that will air July 6... Justin Bieber is being sued for allegedly striking a pedestrian with his Ferrari as he left the Laugh Factory on Sunset Strip in West Hollywood a year ago. The lawsuit was filed at the Superior Court of Los Angeles on Wednesday by Walter Damon Lee, who claims he was injured when the 20-year-old singer struck him in the June 2013 incident near Laurel Avenue.

July 1 - Passing - Veteran Hollywood actor Bob Hastings, best-remembered as a bootlicking lieutenant in the 1960s television World War Two comedy "McHale's Navy," has died at the age of 89... Lindsay Lohan has made good on last year’s threatsagainst the makers of Grand Theft Auto Vfiling a lawsuit over its vain, vapid, scandal-ridden celebrity character Lacey Jonas—a character whose risible attributes, Lohan claims in a lawsuit filed on public record, are clearly joan rivers cnn 2014 pop news triviamodeled on her own... In a taped interview with CNN Newsroom host Fredericka Whitfield meant to promote Joan Rivers' new book "Diary of a Mad Diva," the "Fashion Police" host took offense to Whitfield pressing the issue of Rivers' comedy having a tendency to offend others. Specifically, Whitfield brought up Rivers' fashion critiques, calling them "mean." "It's not mean, it's not mean," Rivers interjected. "I tell the truth. I'm sure I say the same things that all your viewers say to their friends sitting next to them on the couch" ...19-year old YouTube superstar Troye Sivan -- who has more than 2 million subscribers to his YouTube channel -- has signed with EMI Australia and is prepping the release of his first EP for the label. The five-song set, "TRXYE," is due out worldwide on Aug. 15... Miley Cyrus is bringing a female pop star with an equally sharp tongue on tour next month, as Lily Allen will join the Bangerz trek for a select group of U.S. dates. The "Sheezus" singer will hop aboard the wrecking ball on Aug. 1, swinging into Uniondale, N.Y. and performing on a total of seven dates... Jessica Simpson and Eric Johnson: a couple of four years, 33 and 34 respectively, married earlier tonight in an outdoor ceremony in Santa Barbara County... 

Top Pop Hit Singles – July 1, 2014

Fancy – Iggy Azalea fea. Charli XCX

Rude – Magic

Am I Wrong – Nico & Vinz

Problem – Ariana Grande fea. Iggy Azalea

Wiggle – Jason Derulo fea. Snoop Dogg

Stay With Me – Sam Smith

July 8 - J.K. Rowling recently releases  a short story about the futures of such characters as Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger, while the new section of Universal Studios titled The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley just opened to the public... George Clooney  slams the Daily Mail for a "completely fabricated" story about fiancee Amal Alamuddin's mother being concerned about their marriage for religious reasons... Rosie O'Donnell will be returning as co-host of The View, ABC confirmed... Actor Tracy Morgan is suing Wal-Mart for negligence after a New Jersey Turnpike crash last month left him critically injured and killed his comedian friend, James “Jimmy Mack” McNair... Ariana Grande: Nickelodeon was canceling her show, “Sam & Cat,” following just one season... Stevie Nicks is joining "The Voice" as an adviser to Adam Levine's team for the upcoming season... Justin Bieber must pay $80,900 in damages and serve two years on probation after pleading no contest  to a misdemeanor vandalism charge for throwing eggs at a neighbor's home... Al Yankovic has a new song parody album out featuring “Tack” - Yankovic pokes fun at the tackiest among us -- the name-droppers, the over-Instagrammers, the suspenders-and-belt wearers, and those who can declare, "Got my new resume, it's printed in Comic Sans!" ... British singer and "X Factor UK" judge Cheryl Cole announces  she has  married her French boyfriend of three months. Cole and restaurant owner Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini were reportedly wed on the private Caribbean Island of Mustique.

Goodbye James Garner

July 15 - Passing - Elaine Stritch, the brassy, tart-tongued Broadway actress and singer. She was 89... People's Sexiest Man Alive is a married man! Adam Levine, 35, and Behati Prinsloo, 25, exchanged their vows at Flora Farms in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico on Saturday, July 20, and it was a Superbadceremony... Passing - Actor James Garner - one of the best from the late 1950's, 1960's and 1970's with "The Rockford Files" and many movies and other TV shows. He was 86... Passing – Johnny Winter (70) – rock and blues guitarist... A video has surfaced from a Tim McGraw concert from last weekend that shows the country crooner getting into an altercation with a female fan while he was on stage. During the Atlanta concert on Sunday, McGraw is seen walking out on a catwalk to interact with fans while he performs “Truck Yeah.” When he gets to one woman, he can be seen reaching out to her in the crowd. She is swiftly taken away by the show’s security guards...

July 22 - San Diego - Comic-Con begins and ends... Pre-Buzz - It’s here! The new trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey. The movie is set for release in February... Weird Al Yankovic Is Back - The 54-year-old's new album, "Mandatory Fun," comes out on this week, but if you can't wait for the big day, don't worry. After all, you've been anxiously awaiting this day since his last studio album was released three years ago, right? ... Monday morning, Yankovic started his #8videos8days project. As the name suggests, he'll be releasing a new music video eight days in a row, featuring songs off of his new album... Ray J has been charged with four misdemeanors, including sexual battery, stemming from his May 30 arrest at a Beverly Hills hotel. The singer (real name: William Ray Norwood Jr.) was also charged with battery on a police officer, resisting arrest, and vandalism, for smashing a police patrol car window... Sharknado Is Bigger This Year - Syfy channel's first "Sharknado" movie last July generated buzz through social media chatter. The second movie, appropriately titled "Sharknado 2: The Second One," used a different tactic -- getting attention through ample news coverage in the run-up to air. And it earned much higher ratings as a result - 3.9 million viewers...

Top Movies - July 27 - 2014

Lucy

Hercules (2014)

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The Purge: Anarchy

Planes: Fire & Rescue

Sex Tape

Transformers: Age of Extinction

lady gaga oxygen mask photoAugust 1 - Season seven American Idol finalist Michael Johns passed away on Friday, due to a blood clot in his ankle. Johns had been suffering from pain in his leg several days before his passing... It’s official - GEORGE Clooney will marry British fiancee Amal Alamuddin after they posted their wedding banns at a London ­register office... Ramona Singer, a "Real Housewives of New York City" cast member since the show's 2008 inception, is finally ditching her husband of more than two decades... Lady Gaga Instagrammed a photo of herself in the hospital.The ARTPOP singer apparently got altitude sickness after her show in Denver, Colo., sending her to the hospital. The pic -- showed Gaga donning an oxygen mask and full stage makeup... Eminem & Rihanna's The Monster Tour kicks off Thursday night at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA... AMP radio in Calgary (Canada) has become the world’s first to adopt a new format that offers listeners half of their favorite hits, so twice as many songs can be played every hour. AMP Radio’s new format, which was unveiled Friday, broadcasts professionally edited down versions of songs. (More Here)

Goodbye Robin Williams

August 8 - SuicideOscar-winning actor and groundbreaking comedian Robin Williams hanged himself with a belt in his Northern California home after he had sought treatment for depression, a coroner said on Tuesday based on preliminary findings. Williams, 63, was found dead by his personal assistant at midday on Monday in a bedroom. It was later revealed that Williams had the beginnings of Parkinson's Disease... Passing - Legenary actress Lauren Bacall at the age of 89... The 10-episode first season of "Better Call Saul" will premiere in February 2015. The highly anticipated spinoff of "Breaking Bad," follows the antics of smarmy lawyer Saul Goodman... Disney has revealed plans to sell all but one of its remaining Radio Disney radio stations as it moves the brand to digital delivery... Paul McCartney performs to a sold-out concert at Dodger Stadium... Celine Dion has decided to postpone all of her show business activities indefinitely, in order to focus 100% of her attention on her husband Rene, their family, and associated health issues, including his cancer recovery... Def-Jam Anniversary – as record label will celebrate three decades of trend-setting hip-hop with an Oct. 16 concert at Barclays Center. As you'd expect, the performers feting Def Jam make up an all-star roster: Rick Ross, 2 Chainz, DMX, Fabolous, Foxy Brown, Jhene Aiko, Ashanti, Ja Rule, Redman, Method Man, Onyx, Jeremih, Warren G and rap pioneers EPMD...  Rapper Beanie Sigel was released from jail Thursday following a two-year federal sentence for tax evasion on more than $700,000 over six years and a congruently served sentence on narcotics possession charges...

Trend Of The Year - Ice Water Bucket Challenge For ALS

August 15 -  Big trend of the year - Ice Water Bucket Challenge Charity/ALS with all kinds of celebrties participating via videos. KISS member Gene Simmons has apologized for insensitive comments towards those suffering from addiction and depression. In an interview posted on Songfacts in July, which was widely circulated following the death of Robin Williamsearlier this week, Simmons ranted about "drug addicts and alcoholics" who say, "the world is a harsh place... New Meet The Press Host – David Gregory was just replaced as host of "Meet the Press" on Thursday. Gregory, no longer with NBC - which named Chuck Todd his successor on the show... Passing – Don Pardo – announcer extraordinaire for NBC – best known for his work on Saturday Night Live. He was 96... The NFL has narrowed down its list of potential performers for the 2015 Super Bowl to three candidates, but the league is now asking the artists under consideration to pay to play, according to a new report. Rihanna, Katy Perry and Coldplay are the three candidates for the Super Bowl gig, The Wall Street Journal reported. And some of those artists' camps were asked if they would be willing to make a financial contribution to the league, perhaps part of their post-Super Bowl tour income, in exchange for performing, the Journal added... More trouble for Justin Bieber. Photographer Aja Oxman is suing Bieber and his bodyguard Dwayne Patterson for physically beating him and destroying his camera in Hawaii. In a lawsuit filed by attorney Sark Ohanian, Oxman seeks damages for assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligence... The Dominican Republic government commission that oversees public performances is banning a Sept. 13 concert by Miley Cyrus on morality grounds. The commission said in a statement that it took the action because Cyrus often "undertakes acts that go against morals and customs, which are punishable by Dominican law"...

Video Of The Year - "Wrecking Ball"

 

August 22 -  Miley Cyrus wins Best Video at this year's MTV Video Music Awards; accepting for her is a homeless man named Jesse. Other highlights included performances by Beyonce and Sam Smith... Passing: Director and actor Richard Attenborough, who directed "Gandhi" and starred in many films including "Jurassic Park" at age 90... Finally married – Brad Pitt to Angelia Joline... During rehearsals for Nicki Minaj's upcoming VMA performance of new single, "Anaconda," a backup dancer was bitten by a 6-foot snake after she startled the reptile on stage.

Emmy Awards - Some Winners

Drama series
WINNER: Breaking Bad, AMC

Comedy series
WINNER/Bianco Prediction: Modern Family, ABC

Actor, drama series
WINNER: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad (AMC)
ton

Actress, drama series
WINNER/Bianco prediction: Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife (CBS)

Actor, comedy series
WINNER: Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory (CBS) 

Actress, comedy series
WINNER: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep (HBO)

More August 22 - Britney Spears has split with David Lucado...  Chelsea Clinton is leaving NBC News. The pregnant Clinton, who is said to be due this fall, has been operating on a month-to-month contract with NBC... Comedian and Fashion Police host Joan Rivers was taken to a New York hospital in cardiac arrest Thursday.Rivers, 81, was rushed to Mt. Sinai hospital in critical condition after she stopped breathing while undergoing a throat procedure at the Yorkville Endoscopy clinic...

September 1 - Justin Bieber has had another run-in with the law. He was arrested on Aug. 29 in his native Canada. According to the Ontario Provincial Police, Bieber allegedly collided with a minivan while driving an all terrain vehicle. He was charged with dangerous driving and assault... Country star Carrie Underwood and NHL player Mike Fisher chose the Labor Day holiday to announce they are expecting their first child... pop culture 2014 joan riversPassing - Joan Rivers, the pioneering queen of comedy, who overcame tragedy and disappointment to transform herself in late life into a comic scourge of the red carpet, has died, according to her daughter, Melissa Rivers. She was 81... CeeLo Green has deleted his Twitter account after posting a series of tweets relating to a recent court case in which he pleaded no contest to supplying ecstasy to a woman. Green escaped jail time last month after pleading no contest to drugs charges... Simone Battle, who came to prominence via the US version of “X Factor” as a finalist and went on to become a member in the girl group G.R.L., has died, it was confirmed Saturday. Battle, 25, was found dead in her West Hollywood apartment on Friday morning... Sunday - Chicago Fire actress Molly Glynn dies after getting caught in a thunderstorm during a Friday afternoon bicycle ride in Chicago. Glynn, who was also a veteran stage actress, was on a bike ride with her husband, Joe Foust, when a fast-moving storm uprooted a tree near the path they were traveling...  Neil Patrick Harris gets married. The Tony winner, 41, and David Burtka, 39 tied the knot on Saturday in Italy. The couple, parents to twins Gideon and Harper, began dating for more than 10 years ago.

September 8 - CBS has selected its replacement for Craig Ferguson at The Late Late Show: British actor, writer, and comedian James Corden... Cher postpones the second leg of her Dressed to Kill tour due to an "acute viral infection," according to a representative for the singer... Passing – Richard Kiel (74) best known as “Jaws” in James Bond movies... Passing – Bob Crewe – Legendary record producer/hit maker -  who worked with Franki Valli & The Four Seasons, among many others. He was 82... Hollywood Bowl celebrates 25 years of "The Simpsons." Those characters are performed by three actors — Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith and Hank Azaria — who hosted the world premiere of "The Simpsons Take the Bowl" at the legendary concert venue... Rapper Kanye West created a stir this weekend after he demanded everyone at his show the night before stand up, but created an awkward moment for some handicap fans... She’s On The Cover Of Rolling Stone – But  : Taylor Swift says she's never been in love. TLooking back over her ex-boyfriends, Swift told the magazine, "Looking back? Not real love. Not the kind that lasts. I think that's still ahead of me -- which is really exciting"... Late singer Amy Winehouse has been honored on what would have been her 31st birthday with a life-size statue in her beloved Camden Town neighborhood of north London. Winehouse's many fans will have no problem recognizing the singer, who is portrayed sporting her distinctive beehive hairdo... Lady Gaga Back To Performing - Yet Gaga stood firm and brought out some 30,000 cheering monsters to Tel Aviv’s HaYarkon Park on Saturday night.

Top Music Albums – September 8, 2014

Seen It All: The Autobigraphy – Jeezy

V – Maroon 5

My Everything – Ariana Grande

Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1

Somewhere Under Wonderland – Counting Crows

Legend: The Best Of… Bob Marley And The Wailers

September 15 - Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" controversy has gotten cloudier. Thicke confessed he was high on drugs and alcohol when the hit song he insists is not a rip-off of Marvin Gaye's "Got to Give It Up" was written, court depositions now obtained by The Hollywood Reporter show... Joan Rivers personal doctor had reportedly clicked a selfie while the comedienne was under anesthesia. The picture was snapped in the procedure room right before the physician was about to perform an unauthorized biopsy on Rivers' vocal chords, which had lead to her cardiac arrest... World-class athlete Lolo Jones stumbled at the starting line on Dancing With The Stars and was the first contestant to be voted off the show. Lolo, lost her timing performing the cha-cha with partner Keo Motsepe... Saturday night's On The Run tour special on HBO had something for everyone. In the two-and-a-half-hour show, Beyonce and Jay Z powered through seemingly all of their hits -- from "Big Pimpin" to "Single Ladies" -- and left no doubt about their respective talents both separately and together... More Celebrity Photo Breeches – Kim Kardashian’s privacy was allegedly breached over weekend when apparent photos of her — along with those of other stars including Vanessa Hudgens, Hope Solo, Avril Lavigne, Lake Bell and Leelee Sobieskand — were uploaded then quickly removed. Nude pics stolen from her private online cache were allegedly posted Saturday on 4chan and Reddit, but they were quickly taken down... Passing - Emmy-winning actress and singer Polly Bergen, who in a long career played the terrorized wife in the original "Cape Fear" and the first woman president in "Kisses for My President," died Saturday, according to her publicist. She was 84... 

Top movies

The Maze Runner

A Walk Among The Tombstones

This Is Where I Leave You

No Good Deed (2014)

Dolphin Tale 2

clooney marriedSeptember 22 - Reality pioneers Kris Jenner and Bruce Jenner: After nearly a year of separation, the Kardashian clan’s mom and stepdad are making their split official. They had been married for 22 years – and have been separated 11 months... Reality TV star Kim Kardashian was attacked at Paris Fashion Week event by prankster Vitalii Sediuk. The Ukrainian media personality lunged at Kim Kardashian during one of the reality star's appearances for the Paris Fashion Week and tried to pull her to the ground as she stepped out of her car... Chelsea Clinton gave birth to a daughter late Friday, the former first daughter announced on her official Twitter feed and Facebook page... Nobody Beats The Wiz - Black and Yellow” rapper Wiz Khalifa is willing to pay Amber Rose some serious green but is challenging the bald-headed beauty for joint custody of their son. Khalifa, 27, agreed to pay spousal support and acknowledged the couple’s prenup in dueling divorce paperwork filed Friday and obtained by the Daily News... Jay Z is in a global state of mind: The rap star performed Saturday for thousands in New York’s Central Park and encouraged the crowd to help end world poverty. Jay Z headlined the Global Citizen Festival on the Great Lawn, where Beyonce surprised the audience by performing with her husband... George Clooney Married - George Clooney and human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin were married Saturday in a private ceremony in Venice, Italy, the actor's representative said...

October 1 - Teresa Giudice sentenced to 15 months in prison; her husband Joe Giudice gets 41 months. The Newark judge determined earlier Thursday that the ‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’ starlet would serve her term first so that Joe Giudice can take care of their four daughters in Towaco, N.J. The couple pleaded guilty to mail, wire and bankruptcy fraud. Joe Giudice also pleaded guilty to tax fraud... Charlie Sheen is being investigated following a bizarre incident in Los Angeles in which he allegedly pulled a knife on a dentist during treatment for an abscess. On Sept. 25, the actor, 49, suddenly became belligerent when a dental technician administered nitrous oxide to him before the procedure.. Sarah Silverman, actress and  "I'm F---ing Matt Damon" singer, hosts the second episode of Saturday Night Live's 40th season this weekend. Her musical guest accompaniment is Maroon 5, who visited the show for the fifth time in 10 years... Thirty-one years after Michael Jackson gifted us with the world's greatest music video, the zombies of "Thriller" are looking to rise from the dead again. John Landis -- who helmed the 14-minute clip back in 1983 -- recently announced that the "Thriller" music video will be getting the 3D treatment in 2015. "It is going to reappear in a highly polished and three-dimensional way that is very exciting on the big screen"... Stephen Collins -- who played the pastor/dad on "7th Heaven" -- confessed to his estranged wife he was a child molester, and it's all on tape. The New York Police Dept. is now conducting an active criminal investigation involving sexual contact with multiple children. Collins -- who is in the middle of a nasty, prolonged divorce with actress Faye Grant -- revealed to her in 2012 he had molested and/or exposed himself to several underage girls years before... Passing - Paul Revere, a keyboard player who formed a campy rock ‘n’ roll band that capitalized on his name, wore Revolutionary War-era costumes and cranked out a string of grungy hits in the mid-1960s, has died. The founder of Paul Revere and the Raiders was 76... Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga's jazzy new duets album, Cheek To Cheek, debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. It's the second No. 1 for Bennett and the third for Gaga.

Top pop hit music singles - 

All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor

Anaconda – Nicki Minaj

Shake It Off – Taylor Swift

Bang Bang – Jessie J, Ariana Grander & Nicki Minaj

Black Widow – Iggy Azalea fea. Rita Ora

October 8 -  Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame - Green Day, Nine Inch Nails, The Smiths and Bill Withers are among the first-time nominees for 2015 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame... Paula Patton has filed for divorce from estranged husband Robin Thicke, the Los Angeles Superior Court confirms to Us Weekly... Passing - Jan Hooks, who worked alongside some of the biggest "Saturday Night Live" stars ... died Thursday . She was 57. Jan was part of the 'SNL' cast from 1986-91 ... the same time as Chris Farley, Mike Myers, Phil Hartman, Dana Carvey and Dennis Miller... Katy Perry will perform at this year's Super Bowl halftime show... At New York Comic Con, Marvel unveiled its first footage of its Netflix series, Daredevil, ahead of its 2015 series premiere... Bill Hader returned to Saturday Night Live and made his hosting debut on Saturday, where he brought back one of his most popular characters, Stefon, and was also joined by another SNL alum... Adele's mega-selling second studio album, 21, has surpassed the 11 million sales mark in the U.S., according to Nielsen Soundscan. The set, released in 2011 on XL/Columbia Records, is only the 12th album to sell at least that many copies since SoundScan started tracking sales in 1991... Waka Flocka Flame was arrested Friday for bringing a handgun to Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport... Justin Bieber has been cleared of allegedly stealing a fan’s cell phone at Los Angeles’ Dave & Buster's in August, The fan claimed that Bieber lunged at him to snatch device.

Top Music Albums – October 8, 2014

747  - Lady Antebellum

Bringing Back The Sunshine – Blake Shelton

Cheek To Cheek  - Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga

Partners – Barbra Streisand

The Big Revival – Kenny Chesney

Art Official Age – Prince

October 15 - Passing – Actress Elizabeth Pena – 55... The latest sex crime report against "7th Heaven" actor Stephen Collins was made by a woman who said she was 13 when he allegedly exposed himself at a West Hollywood bono 2014apartment complex in 1983, Los Angeles County Sheriff's officials said Wednesday... A  body believed to be that of missing actress Misty Upham, who played a housekeeper in the movie adaption of "August: Osage County," has been found in the Seattle area, police said on Thursday... Bono, the U2 frontman, has revealed that he wears dark glasses all the time because he suffers from glaucoma. The star said he has had the condition - a build-up of pressure in the eyeball, which can damage the optic nerve and lead to blindness if not treated - for around two decades.

October 22 - TLC has given “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” the boot after a story surfaced on Thursday claiming June Shannon—aka Mama June—was dating a convicted child molester... Passing  - Jack Bruce – part of the rock trio “Cream” during the late 1960’s. He was 71... Passing - Legendary Boston radio DJ  Dale Doreman. He was 71... Passing - Marcia Strassman, who played Gabe Kaplan's wife, Julie, on the 1970s sitcom "Welcome Back, Kotter," has died. She was 66 - After battling breast cancer for seven years... Rapper Suge Knight and comedian Katt Williams were arrested on Wednesday, October 29 for alleged theft. Each of them was charged with one count of second degree robbery after a female celebrity photographer accused them of taking her camera in Beverly Hills, California on September 5. 

November 1 - Passing - Brittany Maynard, who became the public face of the controversial right-to-die movement over the last few weeks, ended her own life Saturday at her home in Portland, Oregon. She was 29... Even as Taylor Swift prepared to officially become the first act to have three albums sell a million copies in one week, the singer broke up with Spotify on Monday, erasing her music from the popular streaming service. Swift's 1989 album, released last week, had never streamed on Spotify, though the single Shake It Offwas the service's most-played track when it was pulled... Phil Rudd - the drummer for rock band AC/DC has been charged in New Zealand with attempting to procure murder. The 60-year-old has also been charged with threatening to kill and possession of methamphetamine and marijuana. Rihanna is back on Instagram. Her account was suspended in May after she posted racy pictures to her feed. 

48th Annual CMA Awards – Some Winners:

Entertainer of the Year: Luke Bryan

Album of the Year: Miranda Lambert — "Platinum"

Song of the Year: Kacey Musgraves, Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally — "Follow Your Arrow"

Single of the Year: Miranda Lambert —"Automatic"

Male Vocalist of the Year: Blake Shelton

Female Vocalist of the Year: Miranda Lambert

New Artist of the Year: Brett Eldredge

November 8 - First week sales of Taylor Swift’s “1989” album were amazing – at 1.287 million... Passing -  Henry "Big Bank Hank" Jackson - member of the Sugar Hill Gang – credited with one of the first pop rap songs with “Rapper’s Delight.” He was 57... Bono had quite the in-flight fright Wednesday when the back door of his private jet fell 15,000 feet to the ground!... Passing - Diem Brown dies of cancer at 32. Brown first appeared on the network's "Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Fresh Meat" in 2006 and went on to compete in six more challenges.

Top movies 

Big Hero 6

Interstellar

Gone Girl

Ouija

Fury (2014)

November 15 - At the 2014 Hollywood Film Awards, Johnny Depp delivered documentary award for Mike Myers'  "Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon." He was - a little drunk. On stage, Depp started out with a mic issue. He said, "That's the weirdest microphone I've ever seen in my life"... Passing - Jimmy Ruffin, the Motown singer whose hits include "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" and "Hold on to My Love," died Monday in a Las Vegas hospital. He was 78... In the latest fallout from the sexual assault accusations involving the comedian Bill Cosby, NBC and Netflix have set aside projects with Mr. Cosby, and a lawyer for him issued a denial of a new claim from a woman who said he raped her decades ago. NBC said on Wednesday that it had dropped plans to develop a new situation comedy starring Mr. Cosby. The decision followed a week of revelations about accusations of rape and sexual assault against him... Passing Glen A. Larson, the writer and producer behind a series of hit television shows in the 1970s and ’80s, including the original“Battlestar Galactica,” “Knight Rider,” “Magnum, P.I.” and “Quincy, M.E.,” died on Friday in Los Angeles. He was 77. Before TV – he was one of the members of   The Four Preps, which earned three gold records and appeared in “Gidget,” the 1959 movie with Sandra Dee about the California surfing scene. He helped write and compose some of the Preps’ hits, including “Twenty-Six Miles (Santa Catalina),” “Big Man” and “Down by the Station”...This week - country star Ty Herndon came out as gay, and now singer Billy Gilman is following suit! Gilman became the youngest person to land on the Top 40 country music charts when his 2000 hit "One Voice" charted when he was 12-years-old.

November 22 - After posting a shocking photo of herself swollen and bloody, Roseanne Barr says she was just joking about getting in a "tussle" with Bill Cosby.  Early on Wednesday, the comedian allegedly Tweeted a photo of herself looking beaten with the caption: "tussle w bill cosby." She followed up a minute later, Tweeting, "U should see that mfer." ... The NFL announces — that pop star Katy Perry will headline the Pepsi Super Bowl halftime show on Feb. 1. .. Dies – Ryan Knight - former star of MTV's "Real World" was found dead at friend's house on Thanksgiving morning. Knight, who appeared on the 2010 season set in New Orleans, reportedly choked on his vomit in his sleep sometime late Wednesday or early Thursday after a night out partying with pals.

December 1 - Bill Cosby's long relationship with his beloved Temple University has come to an end, (as he resigns) another effect of the scandal engulfing the once adored television star and comedian... Bruce Springsteen and Coldplay's Chris Martin will perform with U2 Minus 1 in a live World AIDS Day performance on Monday in New York's Time Square, filling in for the group's injured lead singer Bono who is recovering from a cycling accident. The two rock stars will join the other member of the Irish band, Adam Clayton, The Edge and Larry Mullen Jr., to perform U2 songs. Rapper Kanye West and Carrie Underwood will also perform at the concert on World AIDS Day... Passing - Saxophone player Bobby Keys has died at the age of 70... Lady Gaga told Howard Stern on his radio show  that she was raped by a record producer when she was 19... Three more women are speaking out to accuse Bill Cosby of sexual assault. At a press conference on Wednesday, L.A. attorney Gloria Allred, who is representing the accusers, demanded Cosby place $100 million in a fund for his alleged victims and allow a panel of retired judges to decide whether the women’s claims have merit or not... Too Late - Mariah Carey seemed to be the mother of all divas Tuesday as she kept her fans waiting in the freezing rain in front of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree — but sources told the New York Post the blame was on estranged hubby Nick Cannon’s legal team for keeping her tied up in custody talks... “State of the Union” Host Candy Crowley is out at CNN after 27 years... Peter Pan Live - Allison Williams as Peter Pan might  Williams’ Peter Pan Live! delivered a solid ratings performance Thursday night, yet do not come anywhere close to Underwood’s The Sound of Music Live! last year.NBC’s three-hour musical production delivered 9.1 million viewers and a 2.3 adults 18-49 rating, down 51 percent from Sound of Music... Bill Cosby’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame got an unwelcome facelift amid allegations he sexually assaulted more than a dozen women. An unidentified vandal wrote the word “Rapist” three times on the comedian’s five-pointed terrazzo and brass star located on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce confirmed Friday... The Backstreet Boys documentary, Backstreet Boys: Show 'Em What You're Made Of, will hit U.S. theaters and VOD on Jan. 30 before London's More2Screen rolls it out worldwide on Feb. 26, according to Deadline. The film will make its broadcast debut in spring 2015 on VH1... Eleven-year-old viral video star Taylor Hatala was already blowing fans away with her impressive moves to songs such as "Anaconda," and now her 8-year-old sister, Reese, is getting in on the fun. 11-Year-Old Dance Prodigy Does Meghan Trainor's 'All About That Bass'  ... Justin Bieber Goes Blonde - Not since the 20-year-old singer chopped off his famous bowl cut back in 2011, has he caused such a fashion frenzy online. This time - he has  bleached his hair platinum blond. On social media Friday (Dec. 5), Bieber unveiled his new look.

Top pop hit singles – December 1, 2014

All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor

Blank Space – Taylor Swift

Take Me To Church – Hozier

Shake It Off – Taylor Swift

Animals – Maroon 5

December 8 - Passing – 1959 Miss America beauty and actress Mary Ann Mobley. She was 77... Even mega star Angelina Jolie isn't immune to getting chicken pox! The actress, 39, recorded a video message that was posted on YouTube Friday explaining that she's come down with the itchy viral infection and will not be able to attend upcoming press events for Unbroken, which she directed.

Top Music Albums 

That’s Christmas To Me – Pentatoxix

1989 – Taylor Swift

Rock or Bust – AC/DC

FOUR – One Direction

In The Lonely Hour – Sam Smith

Holiday Wishes – Idina Menzel

Christmas – Michael Buble

December 15 - Passing - Norman Bridwell, the creator of Clifford the Big Red Dog, a figure who looms as large in toddler lit as the great white whale does in the American canon, died on Friday in Oak Bluffs, Mass., on Martha’s Vineyard. He was 86... After more than a decade as one of the top sponsors of “American Idol,” Coca-Cola is cutting ties to the program, the company said in a statement... The Colbert Report," ends its run on Thursday night on Comedy Central... Lou Reed, Green Day and the 1970s soul star Bill Withers are among the latest entrants to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They, along with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, and Stevie Ray Vaughan and his group Double Trouble, will be honored in Cleveland on April 18 at the hall’s 30th annual induction ceremony, the organization is to announce on Tuesday... Elton John on Sunday married his partner, David Furnish, converting their civil partnership after laws allowing gay marriage in Britain came into force this year. John, one of Britain's most prominent musicians and gay celebrities, announced the wedding by posting an invitation on Instagram.

December 22 - Passing - Joe Cocker, the gravelly British singer who became one of pop’s most recognizable interpreters in the late 1960s and ’70s with passionate, idiosyncratic takes on songs like the Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends.”  He was 70. The cause was lung cancer... George Clooney has called on Hollywood colleagues to push for the immediate online release of "The Interview" despite the Sony hack and other threats, saying movie audiences should not be dictated to by North Korean tyrant Kim Jong Un. Sony does release the movie – to mostly independent theaters and – online... Passing - Luise Rainer, the luminous 1930s actress who won two consecutive Oscars but whose Hollywood film career was shattered when she went toe-to-toe with Louis B. Mayer, and lost, has died. She was 104... Christina Aguilera  while ringing in her 34th b-day at Disney California Adventure, Christina and her crew tried to get a pic with Mickey, but he was going on a break ... so Christina was told she had to wait. Aguilera lost it, and called Mickey an "a**hole." ... Country singer and former child actress Jamie Lynn Spears reportedly sprung into action last weekend inside of a Louisiana fast-food restaurant, pulling a knife to defend a friend who was attacked by another woman. The incident is said to have unfolded at the Pita Pit in Hammond, Louisiana, after her friend was allegedly hit with a bottle... Passing - Voice actress Christine Cavanaugh, who brought to life characters including Babe and Chuckie on Nickelodeon cartoon Rugrats, has died aged 51... Passing - Edward Herrmann -- perhaps best known for playing Richard Gilmore on "Gilmore Girls."  He was 71.

Top Movies - Last Week Of 2014

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Unbroken

Into The Woods

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb

Annie (2014)

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

 

 

Year 2014 In News Headlines And Information

January 1 - At the stroke of 8 a.m. on Wednesday Colorado became the first state in the nation where small amounts of retail marijuana legally can be sold in specialty shops. The much anticipated first pot sales unfolded in a handful of stores across the state, ushering in a new era as many on both sides of the legalization debate watched the early transactions...  A gay Los Angeles couple exchanged wedding vows atop a flower-covered float trundling through Pasadena on Wednesday as part of the nationally televised Tournament of Roses Parade, capping a momentous year for same-sex marriage in the United States... The nuptials of Danny Leclair, 45, and Aubrey Loots, 42, who have been together for 12 years and own a local chain of hair salons, marked the first same-sex marriage on a Rose Parade float in the 125-year history of the annual event, organizers said... Bill de Blasio took office Wednesday as New York City's 109th mayor, returning City Hall to Democratic control for the first time in 20 years and ushering in a progressive agenda aimed at narrowing the gap between the wealthy and poor... Winter storm Hercules hits the Northeast on Thursday as travelers prepared for delays due to high winds, plummeting temperatures and about a foot of snow on the first workday of the new year...  After fighting in a bloody three-day war, Al Qaeda-affiliated militants captured the western city of Fallujah, and raised its flag over government buildings in the city previously secured by U.S. forces before withdrawing from the country two years later. Hadi Razeij, head of the Anbar province police force, said police had left the city center entirely and had positioned themselves on the edge of town... Record-low chilling temperatures blast parts of the Great Plains, extending to the Eastern seaboard, while a second winter storm is expected later Saturday through Monday. Factoring in wind chill, temperatures as low as 50 to 70 degrees below zero are forecasted in the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest by Sunday night.. A controversial jobless benefits bill narrowly cleared a key Senate hurdle on Tuesday, over the objections of Republicans who complain the $6 billion measure is not paid for and accuse Democrats of playing politics...  

January 8 - Former NBA star Dennis Rodman led a singalong of "Happy Birthday" to the leader of North Korea, a man he calls a friend and a "very good guy," but considered by many a brutal dictator who recently lauded the execution of his own uncle.Images released by The Associated Press also show Rodman appearing to bow to Kim Jong Un at Pyongyang Indoor Stadium, the site of a basketball exhibition Wednesday -- Kim's birthday -- between a North Korean team and Rodman's squad of former NBA players gov christie scandaland others. Later, Rodman apologized, said he had been drinking... Scandal - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie publicly apologized for controversial lane closures last year that were arranged by his associates as an apparent act of political revenge, and fired a top aide who was at the center of the scandal. "I come out here to apologize to the people of New Jersey," he said. "I am embarrassed and humiliated."  Christie maintained that, until this week, he did not know his staff was involved in the incident last September, when lanes at the George Washington Bridge from Fort Lee, N.J., were closed for four day... The Obama administration will confer federal marital benefits on more than 1,000 same-sex couples married in Utah before such unions were put on hold this week by the Supreme Court, the Justice Department announced today.“For the purposes of federal law, these marriages will be recognized as lawful and considered eligible for all relevant federal benefits on the same terms as other same-sex marriages,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a video posted on the Justice Department’s website... Passing - Ariel Sharon, a monumental figure in Israel’s modern history who epitomized the country’s warrior past even as he sought to become the architect of a peaceful future, died Jan. 11 of organ failure eight years after a massive stroke left him in a vegetative state at the height of his political power. He was 85... The holiday hack Target made public last month stole 40 million credit and debit cards. But it also broke into Target's massive database of information on 70 million customers, the store said. While hackers only stole credit and debit card data from shoppers at U.S. stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, they also grabbed details on people who shopped there before that. The company announced Thursday it's investing more than $1 billion to create the Watson Group, a 2,000-employee division that will be housed in IBM's own building in New York City's East Village. That includes $100 million Big Blue will use to fund startups that launch creative uses for Watson... The Obama administration has cut ties with CGI Federal for its work as the main contractor on the Obamacare website, a source familiar with the decision told CNN. The contract was up and not renewed, the source said... President Obama said Sunday that the clock starts ticking Jan. 20 on a six-month nuclear deal with Iran, calling it the best bet to deny Tehran the means to make nuclear weapons... Obama also vowed to veto any congressional legislation that slaps new sanctions on Iran, saying it would damage prospects for a long-term nuclear agreement... Road Rage Gone Wild - A “murderous” highway gunman chased a 28-year-old for about 15 miles before he forced him off a Pennsylvania interstate and shot him dead, authorities said. Investigators on a special task force now suspect the mysterious killer trailed Timothy Davison through the early morning of Jan. 4 from Maryland into Pennsylvania before the final, deadly showdown...Two former California police officers were acquitted Monday in the death of a homeless man after a violent struggle with officers that was captured on surveillance video. It was a rare case in which police officers were charged with a death involving actions on duty... House and Senate lawmakers agreed to a bipartisan compromise to fund the U.S. government through Sept. 30, unveiling the measure days before financing for federal agencies is scheduled to lapse. The $1.01 trillion measure would fund the troubled health care law and individual agencies, plus add separate war financing to bring the total to $1.1 trillion. 

January 15 -  Another School Shooting - Berrendo Middle School in Roswell, N.M., was closed Wednesday as a shaken town came to grips with America’s latest school shooting. A 12-year-old boy is accused of entering the school’s gymnasium Tuesday morning (January 14) and firing on fellow students with a sawed-off shotgun as they gathered to stay warm before the start of classes...

California In Drought 

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday declared a drought emergency for the state, saying it is facing "perhaps the worst drought that California has ever seen since records (began) about 100 years ago." The governor's announcement, made in San Francisco, came as a wildfire burned Friday with only 30% containment in 1,700 acres of foothills of Los Angeles County near Glendora. An illegal campfire apparently ignited the wildfire, and fire officials cited drought conditions as contributing to the blaze. In his declaration, the governor called for voluntary "20% conservation of our water use" statewide... Struggling department-store operator J.C. Penney announced it will cut 2,000 jobs and close 33 stores as it tries to get back on the path to profitability...President Obama, acknowledging that high-tech surveillance poses a threat to civil liberties, announced significant changes on Friday to the way the government collects and uses telephone records, but left in place many other pillars of the nation’s intelligence programs... A North Carolina law that made women who wanted an abortion get an ultrasound, and then have the image described to them, is unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled Friday. The law required abortion providers to perform an ultrasound and place the image in the woman's line of sight. The fetus would then be described in detail, even if the woman asked the provider not to... Dozens of passengers on a four-night cruise aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship became sick with a stomach illness. Sixty-six of the more than 2,500 passengers aboard experienced gastrointestinal issues, such as vomiting and diarrhea, Royal Caribbean International said... Omaha's fire chief said Monday that people have died in an explosion and partial building collapse at an animal feed processing plant, but he would not give a specific number of deaths. 38 people were in the building at the time... More New Jersey Troubles For The Christie Administration - New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno on Monday called allegations that she issued an ultimatum to Hoboken's mayor to support a redevelopment plan backed by Gov. Chris Christie or lose Superstorm Sandy recovery aid "false" and "illogical"... Federal authorities charged former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife on Tuesday with illegally accepting luxurious gifts, vacations, loans and the use of a private jet in exchange for promoting dietary supplement products. The 14-count indictment alleges that Mr. McDonnell, once a rising star within the Republican Party, used his office to promote the company, Virginia-based Star ScientificInc.,  by arranging meetings for its then chief executive with state officials and hosting events at the governor's mansion, designed in part to encourage state university researchers to study the company's products.

January 22 - More cold in the East as another snowstorm sweeps through the NY area – with frigid temperatures. Tuesday's storm stretched from Kentucky to New England, but the area between Philadelphia and Boston was hit the hardest,  Philadelphia got about 14 inches by Wednesday morning. New York saw similar totals... Target has become the latest high-profile retailer to cut healthbenefits for part-time workers, citing both low employee participation and “health care reform” in a letter posted on its website.The Minnesota-based discount chain joins Home Depot HD -0.06%, Trader Joe’s, Forever 21 and other large retailers in ending health insurance coverage for part-time staff as the Affordable Care Act, commonly dubbed Obamacare, comes into effect. ... The National Security Agency program that collects data on nearly every U.S. phone call isn't legal, a privacy review board said Thursday in a newly released report. Moreover, the five-member Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board said it's been largely useless in thwarting terrorism. "We have not identified a single instance involving a threat to the United States in which the program made a concrete difference in the outcome of a counterterrorism investigation," the board wrote in the report released Thursday... Trouble In Egypt - Thousands of Egyptians celebrated the third anniversary of their revolt against autocracy on Saturday by holding a giant rally for Gen. Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi, the military leader who ousted the country’s first democratically elected president last summer and now stands poised to succeed him... Another Mall Shooting - Police identified the gunman on Sunday in a deadly Maryland mall shooting as a 19-year-old from the nearby city of College Park, but had no word on his motive nor whether he had any ties to the two people he shot and killed in a skate shop. The gunman, identified as Darion Marcus Aguilar, opened fire with a shotgun in the shop at the mall in Columbia, Maryland, about 20 miles west of Baltimore, on Saturday before apparently killing himself, police said... President Obama raises the minimum wage to just over $10 an hour... Snow & Cold Causes Trouble In Atlanta - Iced highways in and around Atlanta remained gridlocked for miles Wednesday morning, with temperatures in the teens, after many commuters spent the night in their cars and others abandoned their vehicles in darkness. "People just got out of cars and started walking," said Brittany Sharp, a spokeswoman at Georgia Emergency Management Agency. That was making it almost impossible for salt trucks to clear major road arteries more than 18 hours after snow began falling in the metro area... An Italian appeals court convicted former exchange student Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito on murder charges Thursday night. Prosecutors said the couple had killed Meredith Kercher in November 2007. They were convicted two years later of murder, but those charges were overturned on appeal in 2011...

February 1 - President Barack Obama faced questions Sunday on Obamacare, Benghazi and the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups during a pre-Super Bowl interview with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly and dismissed much of the criticism of him as ginned up by the cable news channel. Asked whether the “biggest mistake” of his presidency is his claim that Americans who liked their health insurance plans would be able to keep that coverage, Obama nudged his interviewer. “Oh, Bill, you’ve got a long list of problems of my presidency,” he said... More snow in the mid-west and Northeast as three storms are scheduled to hit these areas this week... U.S. electronics chain RadioShack is planning to close about 500 stores within months, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter. The struggling retailer, which is due to report results for the fourth quarter later this month, said it could not comment on rumor or speculation... Police arrested four people on drug charges in connection with the death investigation of Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. Investigators received a tip that the four suspects – three men and one woman – were dealing heroin out of a New York City apartment. Police executed search warrants in three units of a Mott Street apartment and found more than 350 bags of heroin.Robert Vineberg, 57, and Thomas Cushman, 48, were both charged with felony criminal possession of a controlled substance. Vineberg was also charged with criminal use of drug paraphernalia... CVS Caremark is kicking the habit of selling tobacco products at its more than 7,600 drugstores nationwide as it focuses more on providing health care... The nation's second-largest drugstore chain said Wednesday that it will phase out cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco by October 1, a move that will cost about $2 billion in annual revenue but won't affect its 2014 earnings forecast... The Senate failed to move forward on a three-month extension of assistance for the long-term unemployed on Thursday, leaving it unlikely that Congress would approve the measure soon and dealing a setback to President Obama’s economic agenda. The vote was 55-to-42, falling short of the 60-vote threshold to break a Republican filibuster effort... Utility crews on Thursday worked to restore power to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses in the U.S. Northeast after a snow and ice storm slammed the region. But flights began returning to normal after thousands of delays or cancellations. The latest in a series of winter blasts dumped up to about a foot (30 cm) of snow on Wednesday and early Thursday on the Eastern Seaboard from Maryland to Maine. About 100 million people - or one-third of the U.S. population, lives in the region... A Ukrainian man tried to hijack a Turkey-bound flight to Sochi, Russia, as the Winter Olympics were kicking off Friday, but the pilot tricked him and landed in Istanbul instead, where he was stealthily detained after a four-hour stand-off on a plane full of passengers, an official said. The hijacking drama came as the Winter Olympics opened in the Russian resort city, with thousands of athletes from around the world pouring into the tightly secured stadium amid warnings the games could be a terrorism target... 

February 8 - Five people, including four fraternity brothers, died in a fiery, head-on collision on a southwest Florida highway early Sunday morning, according to Florida Highway Patrol officials... A wrong-way driver on a Southern California freeway was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving after causing a pre-dawn crash with multiple vehicles Sunday that left six people dead. Police arrested the 21-year-old female driver on suspicion of felony driving under the influence and felony manslaughter in connection with the 4:40 a.m. accident on the westbound Pomona freeway, or State Route 60, in Diamond Bar. .. The U.S. government will recognize same-sex marriages as equal to traditional marriages in all federal matters, including in U.S. courts, bankruptcies, prison visits and survivor benefits, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Saturday. The expansion of such federal recognition will include 34 states where same-sex marriage isn't legal, but the new federal benefits being extended to those states will apply only where the U.S. government has jurisdiction, Holder said... Celebrity boxing match between George Zimmerman and DMX canceled. Promoter Damon Feldman announced Saturday he plans to walk away from the scheduled bout due to outrage from the public. ‘I've made the choice to cancel the fight w [sic] George Zimmermann more to life then [sic] money,’ he tweeted Saturday... A deadly winter storm potentially more destructive than the one that paralyzed Atlanta just two weeks ago gripped the southern United States on Wednesday, crippling travel, knocking out power to more than 330,000 customers and encasing magnolia trees and palmetto fronds in ice. The weather was blamed for at least 10 deaths throughout the region, including three who were killed when an ambulance transporting a patient skidded off an icy road in Carlsbad, Texas, about 240 miles southwest of Dallas, the Texas Department of Public Safety said on Wednesday. The storm moved its way up the the New ray nagin nailedYork area and New England. ...Former New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin was found guilty by a federal jury of accepting bribes and trading on the public trust during the critical years of rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city in 2005. A jury of six men and six women convicted Nagin on 20 of 21 counts, including bribery, wire fraud, conspiracy, money laundering and tax evasion. It acquitted him on one bribery count... The son-in-law of a couple killed in a bombing at their rural Tennessee home has been charged with planting the deadly device, authorities announced Thursday.Investigators arrested 49-year-old Richard Parker on two counts of felony first-degree murder and two counts of felony premeditated murder in connection with a package bomb that exploded at the rural Tennessee home of Jon and and Marion Setzer...  A winter storm that froze the U.S. southeast in its tracks pushed north on Thursday, with driving winds and heavy snow snarling travel and closing many schools from Washington to Connecticut, creating havoc for winter-weary parents. More than 700,000 people, including residents of Georgia and South Carolina hit by a heavy blast of ice a day earlier, were without power as the storm made its way up the coast, closing much of Washington and threatening to drop up to 18 inches of snow in some areas.

February 15 - South African rescuers started bringing to the surface at least 30 illegal miners who had been trapped by debris in an abandoned gold shaft near Johannesburg, an emergency services spokesman said...  A jury convicted a Florida man on four charges related to his shooting into an SUV full of teenagers during an argument over loud music, but could not decide on the most serious charge -- murder. Michael Dunn was found guilty on four charges, including three of attempted second-degree murder, which could land him behind bars for decades. Yet there was no verdict on the first-degree murder charge tied to the death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis... Geneva: A co-pilot who hijacked an Ethiopian Airlines flight to seek asylum in Switzerland surrendered to police at Geneva airport after jumping out of a cockpit window and scrambling down an emergency rope. The airliner's second-in-command, named by Ethiopia as Hailemedhin Abera Tegegn, 31, took control of the plane when the pilot left the cockpit to use the toilet. He then sent a coded signal announcing he had hijacked his own aircraft... A new United Nations report accuses North Korea of  “unspeakable atrocities," many of which amount to crimes against humanity.  The U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea is calling for an international tribunal to investigate the alleged crimes and to bring those most responsible to justice...

Ukraine Violence

March 1 - Ukraine's new leaders accused neighbor Russia of declaring war, as Kiev mobilized troops and called up military reservists in a rapidly escalating crisis that has raised fears of a conflict... Another huge winter storm brings ice and snow across large parts of the nation Sunday, dumping up to eight inches on cities including New York and Philadelphia in time for the Monday morning commute... Ukraine says Russian forces controlling the disputed peninsula of Crimea are demanding that the crew of two Ukrainian warships must surrender – or face capture. Four Russian navy ships were blocking Ukraine's anti-submarine warship Ternopil and the command ship Slavutych in Sevastopol's harbor... Jury selection has begun in New York City in the terrorism trial of Osama bin Laden's son-in-law. He's charged with conspiring to kill Americans in his role as al-Qaida's spokesman after the Sept. 11 attacks... The Obama administration pledged $1 billion in loan guarantees to Ukraine and offered to provide technical support to the country’s central bank and finance ministry, senior U.S. officials said Tuesday. The financial assistance marked the first concrete American support offered to Ukraine since opposition forces overthrew pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych last month... RadioShack Corp.will close as many as 1,100 stores—a fifth of its total—after a sharp drop in sales over the holidays left it with a loss of $400 million last year... Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “tough guy with a thin skin” and said he is “squandering the potential” of Russia with his aggressive posture in Ukraine... The CEO of Bitcoin -  a virtual currency exchange was found dead near her home in Singapore. A police spokesman said Thursday that initial investigations indicated there was no suspicion of "foul play" in the Feb. 26 death, meaning officers do not suspect murder.The spokesman said police found 28-year-old Autumn Radtke, an American, lying motionless near the apartment tower where she lived... Crimea's parliament voted on Thursday to join Russia, and its Moscow-backed government set a referendum in 10 days, in a dramatic escalation of the crisis over the Ukrainian region that drew a sharp riposte from U.S. President Barack Obama.Obama ordered sanctions on those responsible for Moscow's military intervention in Ukraine, including bans on travel to the United States and freezing of their U.S. assets... Safeway, the nation's No. 2 supermarket chain, is being sold for $9 billion to an investment group led by private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management... Under terms of the long-rumored deal, Safeway will merge its brands with Albertsons. The Idaho-based grocer, the naton's fifth-largest, is controlled by Cerberus, which operates more than 1,100 stores under the Albertsons, Acme, Jewel-Osco and Shaw's brands... Office supplies retailer Staples plans to close 225 stores in the United States and Canada by 2015 as part of a $500 million cost-cutting program. Competition from online sales companies like Amazon has made the Massachusetts-based company rethink the business model they have had in place for years. It has led the largest U.S. office-supply retailer to decide to cut the cost of maintaining a physical footprint in favor of the increasingly popular route - online sales.

March 8 - Officials announce that the search area for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has expanded to a 100 nautical-mile radius after three days of scouring the waters of the Gulf of Thailand have failed to offer any clues. The widened search area includes waters over 100 miles away from the plane’s last known location between Malaysia and Vietnam. Officials now believe some sort of foul-play may have occurred... A suicide bomber driving a minibus packed with explosives killed at least 45 people and wounded 157 today in the southern Iraqi city of Hilla, police and medical sources said. The attacker approached a main checkpoint at a northern entrance to the largely Shia Muslim city and detonated the minibus, a police officer said on condition of anonymity... Russia accused far-right activists in Ukraine and the pro-Western Kyiv government of creating "chaos" in Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine, as pro-Russian forces continued seizing Ukrainian military bases in the Crimean peninsula... Colorado collected more than $3.5 million in taxes and fees from both recreational and medical marijuana sales in January, according to figures released today by the state's Department of Revenue. Of that amount, more than $2 million came from recreational pot. Colorado became the first state where recreational pot went on sale on Jan. 1. Washington is the only other state with legal recreational pot, which is expected to go on sale this summer... A bitter dispute between the CIA and the U.S. Senate committee that oversees it burst into the open on Tuesday when a top senator accused the agency of spying on Congress and possibly breaking the law... Two New York buildings collapsed on Wednesday in an explosion believed to be caused by a gas leak, killing eight people, injuring scores, and setting off a search for anyone trapped in the debris, officials said. A blast that scattered debris onto nearby rooftops brought down adjacent five-story structures shortly after 9 a.m. on the largely residential block at East 116th Street and Park Avenue in Upper Manhattan...With a referendum on secession looming in Crimea, Russia massed troops and armored vehicles in at least three regions along Ukraine’s eastern border on Thursday, alarming the interim Ukraine government about a possible invasion and significantly escalating tensions in the crisis between the Kremlin and the West... A Florida-bound plane's nose gear collapsed during an attempted takeoff at Philadelphia International Airport on Thursday, leaving the plane crippled on the runway and prompting the crew to deploy emergency slides for the passengers to get off. US Airways Flight 1702 was heading to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., when the pilot was forced to abort takeoff shortly after 6 p.m. when a tire on the plane's front landing gear blew out, airline officials said... The co-founder of frozen yogurt chain Pinkberry was sentenced Friday to a maximum seven years in prison for beating a panhandling homeless man with a tire iron. A jury found Young Lee, 49, guilty in the June 2011 attack on Donald Bolding. Bolding flashed a tattoo of a stick-figure couple having sex to the people in Lee's car, which included his fiancee. Lee drove away, then returned to the East Hollywood street with another man who'd been in the car. He then beat Bolding, who suffered a broken left forearm and several cuts to the head...

March 15 - A 4.4 earthquake rattle Los Angeles during early morning newscasts. L.A. TV anchors ducked for cover on live television – but, no damage was reported... A defiant Russian President Vladimir Putin answered President Obama's announced sanctions against a handful of officials in Putin's inner circle -- but not Putin, himself -- by signing a treaty Tuesday making Crimea a part of Russia... Seattle - Officials were searching for answers in the deadly crash of a TV/radio news KOMO helicopter that killed two on board and critically injured a man on the ground early Tuesday in the heavily traveled area around the city’s famed Space Needle... Bowing to the reality of the Russian military occupation of Crimea a day after Russia announced it was annexing the disputed peninsula, the Ukrainian government said on Wednesday that it had drawn up plans to evacuate all of its military personnel and their families and was prepared to relocate as many as 25,000 of them to mainland Ukraine... Chicago-based TV pitchman Kevin Trudeau was sentenced to 10 years in prison for repeatedly defying court orders to pay a whopping $37 million fine over his fraudulent infomercials. Trudeau, 51, smiled slightly as U.S. District Judge Ronald Guzman imposed the sentence. The judge called him "deceitful to the very core."... Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced that Toyota had reached a $1.2 billion deal with the Justice Department to settle a four-year criminal investigation.  Holder, talked in impassioned tones on Wednesday about Toyota’s behavior in hiding safety defects from the public, calling it “shameful” and a “blatant disregard” for the law....

Ubiquitous TV Pitchman Kevin Trudeau Going To Prison

More March 15 - The Russian government announced sanctions against top U.S. officials on Thursday, moments after President Obama imposed penalties on 20 Russians inside and outside the government -- as diplomatic efforts over Ukraine disintegrated into a high-stakes tit for tat. The newest sanctions would bar targeted American officials from entering Russia. The list reportedly includes House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.; and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz... A daredevil New Jersey teen sneaked up to the antenna atop 1 World Trade Center in the middle of the night to take pictures — passing a sleeping guard, officials said Thursday. Justin Casquejo was arrested on criminal trespassing charges. ... Passing – Fred Phelps -- the founding pastor of a Kansas church known for its virulently anti-gay protests at public events, including military funerals -- has died, the church said....

March 22 - The mudslide in rural northwestern Washington has claimed at least 24 lives so far, and officials were hustling to find dozens reported missing after the disaster... An Egyptian court sentenced to death on Monday 529 people accused of an attack on a police station that left one policeman dead, in a mass trial that lasted only two sessions and raised an outcry from rights activists... At O'Hare Airport - a crash of the Chicago Transit Authority Blue Line train injured 32 people, although none seriously. Later – it’s determined the driver/pilot was falling asleep... A Colorado child's act of compassion got her kicked out of school. But she was allowed back in Tuesday after stories about her dismissal appeared around the country. Kamryn Renfro, a 9-year-old whose dear friend is battling a rare childhood cancer, wanted to show support by shaving her own head to match her pal's bald pate. She was suspended due to dress code rules – but has been re-instated... Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, the most senior adviser to Osama bin Laden to be tried in a civilian United States court since the Sept. 11 attacks, was convicted on Wednesday of conspiring to kill Americans and providing material support to terrorists... President Barack Obama and Pope Francis hold their first meeting in Vatican City, discussing religious freedom, immigration and regional conflicts... A 5.1 earthquake rattles La Habra - near Los Angeles. Some damage was reported... Russia set out demands for a diplomatic resolution to the crisis in Ukraine, saying the former Soviet republic should be unified in a federation allowing wide autonomy to its various regions as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met in Paris in another bid to calm tensions... With the deadline clock ticking down (March 31), heavy website traffic on the federalHealthCare.gov website suggests that plenty of Americans are trying to enroll - or at least thinking about enrolling - in Obamacare.

April 1 - President Barack Obama, applauding the news that 7.1 million people signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, set the stage Tuesday for Democrats to move beyond the law's rocky rollout and go on the offense...  NATO suspended all practical cooperation with Russia on Tuesday in protest at its annexation of Crimea, and ordered military planners to draft measures to strengthen its defences and reassure nervous Eastern European countries... Major Earthquake Strikes Chile - Authorities lifted tsunami warnings for Chile's long coastline early Wednesday after a magnitude-8.2 earthquake struck the South American nation's northern coast. Six people were crushed to death or suffered fatal heart attacks, a remarkably low toll for such a powerful shift in the Earth's crust... The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a major campaign finance decision, striking down some limits on federal campaign contributions for the first time. The ruling, issued near the start of a campaign season, will change and most likely increase the already large role money plays in American politics...

Another Fort Hood Shooting

More April 1 - Four people, including the shooter, have been killed and 14 reported injured after a gunman opened fire Wednesday afternoon at Fort Hood, the large military post in Killeen, Texas. The shooter, identified as Puerto Rican - is 34-year-old soldier Ivan Lopez,  who was dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound... Convicted serial killer Tommy Lynn Sells, who was sent to prison in 1999 and claimed responsibility for dozens of murders across the country, was executed Thursday in Texas... Associated Press correspondent Kathy Gannon  is shot and wounded while covering preparations for elections in Afghanistan while AP photographer Anja Niedringhaus was killed. Gannon should be OK...  Gasoline prices are making their annual spring climb. Nationally, gasoline averages $3.55 a gallon, up from a 2013 low of about $3.18. But in California - now averaging $4.01 a gallon after a 35-cent jump in wholesale prices since mid-March - prices could hit up to $4.25 within days... Pro-Russian protesters who seized he regional government building in the Ukrainian city of Donetsk are reported to have declared a "people's republic"...

April 8 - At least 10 people were killed and dozens more were injured after a bus carrying high school students collided with a FedEx semi-truck on Interstate 5 in Northern California on Thursday evening, authorities said. The bus was carrying at least 40 students from the Los Angeles area who were visiting colleges in Northern California when it was hit by a FedEx truck north of Orland, Calif., in Glenn County, about 100 miles north of Sacramento... The suspect in the Passover Eve killings of three people at two Jewish facilities near Kansas City is a former Ku Klux Klan leader with a history of hatred for Jews. Frazier Glenn Cross, 73, faces local and federal prosecution on hate crime charges after his arrest on Sunday for a shooting spree that killed a teenager and his grandfather outside a Jewish community center, and a woman visiting her mother at a nearby Jewish retirement home... Authorities say a Utah woman accused of killing six babies that she gave birth to over 10 years told investigators that she either strangled or suffocated the children and then put them inside boxes in her garage.  Megan Huntsman, 39, said that between 1996 and 2006, she gave birth to at least seven babies at her home and that all but one of them were born alive. The statement said each baby was wrapped in either a towel or a shirt, and placed in a plastic bag...The moon turned copper red for just more than an hour overnight as part of a lunar eclipse. It was visible in most of North America and part of South America.

April 15 - A South Korean ferry was sailing along a different route to make up for lost time due to heavy fog when passengers heard a bang and the vessel fell to one side, trapping nearly 300 passengers, mostly students on their way to a tourist island... An astonishing case of small-city corruption ends as the longtime administrator of Bell, Calif., was sentenced to 12 years in state prison for paying elected officials lavish salaries and using the public coffers as a piggy bank for himself and other employees. "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely," Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy said in sentencing Robert Rizzo and ordering him to pay $8.8 million in restitution. "That is the theme of what happened in Bell. There were no checks and balances to control Mr. Rizzo and those that were in power in the city"... The death toll from the massive mudslide that hit the Washington town of Oso last month has risen to 39, officials said... Chelsea Clinton announced that she and her husband are expecting their first child this year — as her parents, the former and possibly future presidents, prepared to become grandparents... Passing - Rubin (Hurricane) Carter, a star prizefighter whose career was cut short by a murder conviction in New Jersey and who became an international cause célèbre while imprisoned for 19 years before the charges against him were dismissed, died on Sunday morning at his home in Toronto. He was 76... South Korean divers entere the sunken ferrySewol to recover more bodies, as the death toll reached 58 Sunday with 246 still unaccounted for... Aviation and security experts were at a loss Monday as to how a 16-year-old boy from Santa Clara managed to scale a fence at Mineta San Jose International Airport before surviving a five-hour flight to Maui in the wheel well of a Hawaiian Airlines jet. The boy, apparently unconscious for the duration of the flight, was spotted walking on the tarmac of Kahului Airport on Maui with no identification, authorities said... Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Ukraine on Monday for two days of talks as the U.S. prepares for efforts to address Ukraine's energy needs and weighs new sanctions against Russia over continued unrest in the wake of Moscow's agreement last week to tamp down tensions... car plowed into a churchfilled with 200 people celebrating Easter injuring 21 worshipers. Fort Myers police responded to the chaotic scene shortly before 8 p.m. at the Second Haitian Baptist Church, Lt. Victor Medico said. When officers arrived, church members were using car jacks to try to lift the vehicle off churchgoers who were trapped underneath...  To help celebrate the annual musical holiday, dozens of artists, music retailers, record labels and fans around the world took to Twitter today (April 19) to commemorate Record Store Day, which was founded in 2007 to help heighten the awareness of independent music stores around.

April 22 - The Supreme Court has upholds Michigan's ban on using race as a factor in college admissions... Rival Palestinian political factions Fatah and Hamas  announce a reconciliation deal that could lead to the formation of a unified government, raising significant new obstacles to further negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians... It's now legal for licensed gun owners in Georgia to pack heat in bars, schools, churches and some government buildings. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican,  signed the state's "Safe Carry Protection Act"... An Afghan security guard opened fire on a group of doctors at a Kabul, Afghanistan, hospital, killing three male American doctors and leaving two other people wounded. A father and son were among the victims... As electronic cigarettes soar in popularity, the U.S. government wants to ban their sale to minors and require warning labels as well as federal approval. Three years after saying it would regulate e-cigarettes, the Food and Drug Administration is moving to control not only these battery-powered devices but also cigars, pipe tobacco, hookahs (water pipes) and dissolvable tobacco products. Currently, the FDA regulates cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco and smokeless products such as snuff... Ice Ice Baby - Scientists are monitoring one of the largest icebergs in existence, after it broke off from an Antarctic glacier and began to head into the open ocean. The iceberg covers about 255 square miles, making it roughly six times the size of Manhattan – and is up to 500 meters thick... Goodbye Magazine - The monthly Ladies' Home Journal. After 131 years, the July issue will be its last. The website will continue on, and the magazine itself will become a quarterly special-interest publication available starting this fall on newsstands, vs. via subscription...  Maren Sanchez - the 16-year-old girl killed by a classmate at a Milford, Connecticut, high school was "a bright light full of hopes and dreams with her future at her fingertips" said her cousin Edward Kovack in a statement on behalf of the family Friday afternoon. She was attacked in a hallway at Jonathan Law High School around 7 a.m. Friday... Former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah garnered 44.9 percent of the vote, followed by ex-Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai with 31.5 percent, said election commission chairman Ahmad Yousuf Nouristan. The candidates are vying to replace President Hamid Karzai, the only president Afghans have known since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion to topple the Taliban’s hard-line Islamic regime... South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-won has resigned amid criticism don sterling timelineof the government's handling of the sinking of a passenger ferry... The racism controversy embroiling Don Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, has reached half way around the world to Malaysia, where President Obama is on a diplomatic mission to Asia Pacific nations. At a press conference with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak Sunday, Obama was asked about racist comments Sterling allegedly made about African-Americans. Sterling made the alleged discriminatory remarks during a 10-minute argument he had with girlfriend V. Stiviano on April 9. An audio tape was posted to a website this week (see more in sports)… Pope Francis made history on Sunday, elevating to sainthood John XXIII and John Paul II, two of his most famous papal predecessors, in a ceremony bearing themes of hope and reconciliation for the world’s one billion Roman Catholics... Rescue workers searched for survivors on Monday in the rubble left by a wave of tornadoes that ripped through the south-central United States a day earlier, killing at least 35 people in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Iowa. Arkansas was the hardest hit... A FedEx employee wearing ammunition draped across his chest "like Rambo" opened fire Tuesday at a package-sorting center outside Atlanta, wounding six people before committing suicide, police and witnesses said. The suspect, identified by police as 19-year-old Geddy Kramer of Acworth, was found dead inside. He worked as a package handler at the sprawling facility, Cobb County police Sgt. Dana Pierce said... Death penalty opponents and lawyers for condemned prisoners said the botched execution of a convicted in killer in Oklahoma could have a far-reaching impact on death penalty states, potentially putting the brakes at least temporarily on further use of lethal injections. Clayton Lockett, 38, struggled violently, groaned and writhed after lethal drugs were administered by Oklahoma officials Tuesday night, according to eyewitness accounts... Flooding - People were plucked off rooftops or climbed into their attics to get away from fast-rising waters when nearly 2 feet of rain fell on the Florida Panhandle and Alabama coast in the span of about 24 hours, the latest bout of severe weather that began with tornadoes in the Midwest....

May 1 - An apparent gas explosion rocked a jail in the Florida Panhandle, killing two inmates, injuring more than 100 people, and causing the building to partially collapse, according to county officials.The Pensacola jail is almost completely destroyed…Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has informed city staff he is taking a leave of absence. Ford, 44, who is running for re-election, gained global notoriety last year when he admitted he had smoked crack cocaine, but at the time he refused to resign, or even take time off. His change of heart about taking a leave of absence came as two Canadian newspapers published embarrassing reports... Armed clashes left scores of people dead in Ukraine on Friday, as President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed to impose stiffer economic sanctions on Russia if it disrupts Ukraine's upcoming election. Officials said 42 people died... A New York City subway train carrying 1,000 riders derailed on Friday morning while traveling through a tunnel in the borough of Queens, injuring 19 people, city fire officials said. Fifteen people escaped with minor injuries while four more were transported to a hospital with potentially serious injuries... Health officials confirmed the first case of an American infected with a mysterious virus that has sickened hundreds in the Middle East. The man fell ill after flying to the U.S. last week from Saudi Arabia. The deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, a virulent and relatively new condition was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012...

Circus Accident

As thousands of parents and children watched, eight performers dangling in the air at a Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus performance in Providence, R.I., fell to the ground on Sunday when an apparatus collapsed during an aerial act. The eight performers and a dancer on the stage below were seriously injured in the crash, city officials said... Oklahoma Brush Fire - As firefighters continue to battle a persistent wind- and heat-fueled wildfire in Oklahoma, residents were allowed back into their homes, with some returning to only charred remains. One person is confirmed dead... Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram has threatened to "sell" the hundreds of schoolgirls it abducted three weeks ago. Militant leader Abubakar Shekau sent a video obtained by the AFP news agency, in which he said for the first time that his group had taken the girls. About 230 girls are still believed to be missing, prompting widespread criticism of the Nigerian government.

May 8 -  The Secret Service says two people have been charged by police after allegedly throwing items over the White House fence. The agency says one man is accused of throwing what's believed to be a cassette tape over the fence on the north side. While police were questioning the man, he complained of a medical condition and was brought to a hospital, but will be transferred to a local police station. Another man allegedly threw papers over the fence on the south side... A magnitude-6.4 earthquake struck the coast of southern Mexico on Thursday about 60 miles northwest of Acapulco, according to the U.S. Geological Survey... Two members of the University of Richmond women's basketball staff were passengers on a hot air balloon that crashed  Friends of the balloon captain, Dan Kirk, called him a true ambassador to the sport of hot air ballooning. The balloon's basket caught fire after touching a power line near Doswell, Virginia, north of Richmond... Residents of two regions of eastern Ukraine cast ballots Sunday in a hastily organized referendum that secessionists hope will legitimize their pro-Russia uprising but that opponents believe will only deepen the divisions that are ripping the country apart... An explosion and fire in a coal mine in western Turkey killed at least 275 workers and left some 200 more trapped deep inside...Wildfires pushed by gusty winds chewed through canyons parched by California's drought, prompting evacuation orders for more than 5,000 homes on the outskirts of San Diego and another 1,200 homes and businesses in Santa Barbara County 250 miles to the north... Two young boys from upstate New York were recovering Wednesday after falling nearly two stories when a gust of wind swept up the inflatable bounce house they were playing in, police said. The boys, ages 5 and 6, were seriously injured Monday while playing in a yard near their apartment building in South Glens Falls, New York, police said. The bounce house was swept up in a "sudden and strong burst of wind," according to a police statement. The boys fell to the ground after the inflatable house was lifted 15 to 20 feet into the air, police said... Idaho became the 23rd state where gay marriage was deemed lawful when a federal judge there threw out a ban on same-sex unions... Passing - Flags will fly at half-staff across Navajo Nation this week in honor of Navajo Code Talker Tom Jones Jr. He was 89... 

Bounce House - Amazing Story

May 15President Barack Obama marked the dedication of the long-awaited September 11 Memorial Museum Thursday (Video Here) with families, survivors and rescuers at the site, saying the "sacred place of healing and hope" will ensure that "generations yet unborn will never forget" the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil... Indian shares surged to record highs while the rupee strengthened to an 11-month peak against the dollar on Friday as the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party led by Narendra Modi swept to a resounding majority in the world's largest election... One of the more destructive wildfires in San Diego County has been fully contained after burning more than 400 acres and destroying multiple homes and apartment buildings, officials said mid-morning Friday... General Motors Co was slapped with a $35 million U.S. fine for its delayed response to an ignition switch defect in millions of vehicles, as federal regulators accused a long line of company officials of concealing a problem that is linked to at least 13 deaths... The Justice Department announced the indictment of five Chinese military hackers for online spying against U.S. steel, nuclear power, and solar companies, marking the first charges of this kind by the U.S. against another state... The U.S. charges that the five conspired to break into the computers of major U.S. companies, including Alcoa, and steal trade secrets that provided competitive advantage to Chinese state-owned companies, according to an indictment unsealed today in the Western District of Pennsylvania... The boards of AT&T Inc. T -1.80% and DirecTV DTV -1.39% plan to meet on Sunday to approve a combination of the two companies, people familiar with the matter said, in a deal that will create a new pay television giant as its rivals in the cable industry bulk up... Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriage was struck down by a federal judge on Tuesday in the latest court decision in the United States confirming gay couples' rights to wed...  General Motors Co said on Tuesday it is recalling another 2.42 million vehicles in the United States, raising the number of vehicles it has recalled so far this year to more than 15 million... President Obama said Wednesday that he had ordered his top deputies to complete their review of what has gone wrong in the Veterans Affairs’ health system within a month, adding that if veterans are not receiving the care they deserve, “I will not stand for it.”

May 22 - Thailand’s Army imposed martial law, effectively establishing military control and raising questions of whether this will inflame or cool political conflict after six months of anti-government protests... President Vladimir Putin pledged that Russia will respect the results of Ukraine's presidential election, a strong indication the Kremlin wants to cool down the crisis. But new violence and rebel vows to block the balloting made prospects for peace appear distant... President Obama elevated a rising star in the Democratic Party to a national job by naming San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro to serve as head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development... Santa Barbara - A gunman sprayed bullets from a car, killing six people, in a drive-by shooting in a southern California college town before his car crashed and he was found dead inside. Seven people were also wounded... An attorney for a Hollywood director says the family believes his son is responsible for a shooting rampage near a Santa Barbara, California, university campus. Alan Shifman says that the family has not yet seen his body... Myrtle Beach Madness - The two victims, a man and a woman, were expected to survive after they were shot at the Wave Rider Resort in the South Carolina beach city. The violence erupted just one day after a shooting at a nearby hotel left three people dead and one person wounded... Ukrainian government warplanes carried out airstrikes against pro-Russian rebels who seized Donetsk international airport as both sides mounted an aggressive show of force following the election of a new president... President Obama made a surprise visit to Afghanistan this Memorial Day weekend, thanking troops for their fight to protect America and vowing to repay the sacrifice with lifetime commitments.  “We’re going to stay strong by taking care of your families,” the president told troops at Bagram Air Field... Passing - Poet, performer and political activist Maya Angelou has died after a long illness at her home in Winston-Salem, N.C. She was 86... President Obama announced that the U.S. plans to remove all troops from Afghanistan by 2016, starting with reducing the troop presence in the country to just 9,800 and an end to the U.S. combat mission at the close of 2014... The U.S. economy contracted in the first quarter of 2014, a stumble for a recovery that has struggled to find its footing since the recession ended almost five years ago. Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services produced across the economy, contracted at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1% in the first three months of the year... Embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki said he underestimated the depth of problems in the VA system and announced several fixes, including removal of senior leaders at the Phoenix VA hospital and elimination of performance awards for VA leaders in 2014... After more than three years as President Obama's top spokesman, White House press secretary Jay Carney is departing the administration.... The Taliban releases American soldier Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl -  held captive in Afghanistan in a controversial trade for five of its own lead to future kidnappings.The move draws the ire of some Republicans. 

June 1 - Park officials say it's currently too risky to send people in search of six climbers who likely fell thousands of feet to their deaths while attempting to scale 14,410-foot Mount Rainier. The climbers were last heard from at 6 p.m. last Wednesday when the guides checked in with their Seattle-based company, Alpine Ascents International, by satellite phone... The world's leading industrialized nations meet without Russia for the first time in 17 years on Wednesday, leaving President Vladimir Putin out of the talks in retaliation for his seizure of Crimea and Russia's part in destabilizing eastern Ukraine... General Motors has dismissed 15 employees and disciplined five others in the wake of an internal investigation into the company's handling of defective ignition switches, which lead to at least 13 fatalities... D-Day - U.S. President Barack Obama paid tribute Friday to the U.S. servicemembers who "defied every danger" to pour onto the beaches of Normandy 70 years ago in defense of liberty...  On fresh legs and a familiar track, Tonalist won the Belmont Stakes Saturday to spoil California Chrome's bid for the first Triple Crown in thoroughbred racing in 36 years. The outcome crushed the hopes of California Chrome fans clad in purple, green and nasal strips – and immediately fueled debate about whether the timetable of the Triple Crown series needs fixing. California Chrome had won six in a row, most recently the May 3 Kentucky Derby and the May 17 Preakness. In his third race in five weeks with jockey Victor Espinoza in the saddle, he finished the Belmont in a dead heat for fourth place... 

June 8 - An armed man and woman shouting about a "revolution" opened fire and killed two Las Vegas policemen who were eating lunch in a pizza parlor on Sunday, then fatally shot a civilian in a nearby Wal-Mart store before killing themselves, police said... In a ferocious terrorist attack  10 gunmen infiltrated Pakistan’s largest international airport in Karachi, waging an extended firefight against security forces and shaking the country’s already fragile sense of security. The attackers killed 13 people... The Iraqi government has lost control of its third-largest city to Al Qaeda-inspired insurgents, a crushing defeat for not only Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's security policies but for Iraqi politics as a whole... Five American service members were killed in southern Afghanistan when a coalition jet, called in to help ward off a Taliban attack, mistakenly bombed them... A gunman killed a student at an Oregon high school and later was "confirmed deceased," authorities said. SWAT teams descended on Reynolds High School after receiving a report of a shooting... United and eager to respond to a national uproar, the House overwhelmingly approved legislation Tuesday to allow patients enduring long waits for care at Veterans Affairs facilities to get VA-paid treatment from local doctors. The 421-0 vote was Congress' strongest response yet to the outcry over backlogs and falsified data at the beleaguered agency... Effective July 31 - U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader Eric Cantor plans to step down as the No. 2 House Republican after a shock election defeat to a Tea Party movement upstart that set off an unexpected scramble for new leadership... The al-Qaida-inspired group that led this week's charge in capturing two key Sunni-dominated cities in Iraq vowed Thursday to march on to Baghdad, raising fears about the Shiite-led government's ability to slow the assault following lightning gains... The Rockefeller family, after celebrating the 99th birthday of its billionaire patriarch David, is now planning a funeral for his doctor son after a morning plane wreck. Richard Rockefeller died at the controls of his private Piper Meridian PA-46 when the single-engine craft crashed Friday in miserable weather conditions minutes after takeoff at Westchester County Airport... Researchers have discovered our planet's largest water reservoir 640 km beneath our feet - bound up in rock deep in the earth's mantle.

June 15 Al-Qaeda offshoot the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) on Sunday published a series of gruesome photos to one of the group’s Twitter accounts that purported to show the jihadists executing dozens of men in Iraq’s Salahuddin province, north of Baghdad. The graphic photos showed men in civilian clothes lying face down, shoulder to shoulder, with their hands bound in a ditch surrounded by yellow fields, as a row of masked fighters fired into the ditch. Blood pooled from one man’s head... Iraq's government stepped up its defense of Baghdad on Tuesday, turning back a bid by Sunni militants to seize the heart of a strategic province north of the capital... The United States said it could launch air strikes and act jointly with its arch-enemy Iran to support the Iraqi government, after a rampage by Sunni Islamist insurgents acrossIraq that has torn up traditional alliances in the Middle East... Militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant have routed Baghdad's army and seized the north of the country in the past week, threatening to dismember Iraq and unleash all-out sectarian warfare with no regard for national borders... United States commandos have captured the suspected leader of the 2012 attack on the United States mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, White House and Pentagon officials said Tuesday. Apprehension of the suspect, Ahmed Abu Khattala, is a major breakthrough in the nearly two-year-old investigation into the attack, which also killed three other Americans, just two months before the presidential election in the United States... After years of pressure from gay rights groups, President Barack Obama plans to sign an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against employees on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity, the White House said Monday... Iraq has formally asked the US to launch air strikes against the Sunni insurgents who have taken control of large parts of the country. Since Mosul fell nine days ago, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has been targeting towns on the main highway to Baghdad, edging ever closer to the capital... Seeking a middle ground between calls for tough military action and none at allPresident Barack Obama said Thursday he was sending up to 300 military advisers to Iraq to help the embattled government hold off a lightning advance from the north by Sunni militants.

June 22 - The mass graves of suspected unidentified illegal immigrants buried haphazardly in a South Texas cemetery and uncovered this month by anthropologists should be secured by state police until a criminal investigation can be carried out... Frank Schaefer, a Pennsylvania Methodist minister who was defrocked six months ago after officiating at his son’s same-sex wedding, won his appeal to have his religious credentials restored by the church... Gay marriage advocates won a significant court victory when a federal appeals court upheld a lower court ruling in Utah that struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriages... The Supreme Court dealt a significant blow to executive power, cutting back on the president’s power to issue recess appointments during brief breaks in the Senate’s work. The court ruled unanimously that President Obama had violated the Constitution in 2012 by appointing officials to the National Labor Relations Board during a short break in the Senate’s work when the chamber was convening every three days in pro forma sessions. Those breaks were too short... Passing - Former senator Howard H. Baker Jr. of Tennessee, who framed the central question of the Watergate scandal when he asked “what did the president know and when did he know it?” and framed portraits of history with his ever-present camera while Senate majority leader and White House chief of staff, died June 26 at his home in Huntsville, Tenn. He was 88... Nine people have been injured during a shooting on celebrated Bourbon Street – New Orleans...  North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into seas east off its coast on Sunday, South Korea's military said, defying a U.N. ban on the isolated country testing such weapons... The Supreme Court ruled  that closely held companies cannot be required to pay to cover some types of contraceptives for their employees, ending its term with a narrow legal and political setback for a controversial part of President Barack Obama's health care reform law... The leaders of an Al Qaeda splinter group that has seized vast portions of northern and western Iraq have declared the establishment of an Islamic state and demanded allegiance from other Muslim groups... Bitcoin celebrated a big victory in the Golden State this weekend, as California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill legalizing digital currencies.

July 1 - A group of protesters shouting anti-immigration slogans blocked the arrival of two buses carrying undocumented (illegal) Central American families to a U.S. Border Patrol station in California on Tuesday after they were flown to San Diego from Texas. The illegal imigrants, a group of adults and their children numbering about 140 people, were en route to the facility in Murrieta, California, where U.S. immigration officials said they most likely would be released under limited supervision to await deportation proceedings...  A Georgia man charged with murder in the hot car death of his 22-month-old child will stand trial on the charges, a judge ruled, denying bond. During a probable cause hearing, a police detective testified that Justin Ross Harris was sexting with several women on the day of his son's death and there were two life insurance policies on his son, Cooper... Arthur weakened from hurricane force on Saturday and pelted parts of southeast Canada with heavy rain and strong winds, leaving 250,000 homes and businesses without power, as the storm swept away from New England... A Palestinian teenager whose abduction and murder set off violent protests was burned alive, according to initial autopsy reports, as clashes over the incident spread on Saturday from east Jerusalem to Arab Israeli towns... Mohammed Abu Khder, 16, was abducted from his Shuafat neighbourhood in occupied east Jerusalem early Wednesday and his charred body found not long after in a west Jerusalem forest...  

July 8 - President Barack Obama requests $3.7 billion in emergency funding from Congress to help cope with a surge of unaccompanied child immigrants from Central America... At least 20 people were killed across Gaza, Palestinian officials said, by a bombardment Israel said may be just the start of a lengthy offensive against Islamist militants whose rockets reached hit unprecedented depths of its interior... Severe thunderstorms rolled through central New York, killing four people, destroying or damaging numerous homes and knocking out power to more than 70,000 utility customers... The deaths occurred in the rural town of Smithfield, between Syracuse and Utica...  An entire tree fell onto a roller coaster's tracks at Six Flags park in Santa Clarita California, dislodging the front car and keeping nearly two dozen riders hanging 20 to 30 feet in the air for hours, according to the state agency that investigates workplace accidents... Former mayor Ray Nagin, the businessman-turned-politician who became the worldwide face of the city after Hurricane Katrina, was sentenced to 10 years in prison.. Six people died in a shooting when a father opened fire at a home in suburban Houston. Four of the gunman's children were among the dead... Germany took the dramatic step Thursday of asking the top U.S. intelligence official in Berlin to leave the country, following two suspected cases of American spying and the yearlong spat over eavesdropping by the National Security Agency... Massachusetts - Seven people were killed when a fire raced through an apartment building early this morning, while other residents made desperate leaps from windows or were rescued by firefighters from upper floors. More than 50 people were left homeless.. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Compassionate Care Act, making New York the 23rd state to legalize the medical use of marijuana... A 6.8-magnitude earthquake hit Japan's northern coast near the nuclear power plant crippled in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The earthquake early Saturday triggered a small tsunami... Israeli air strikes on Gaza and rocket fire on Israel have continued as Israel's operation against Palestinian militants entered its seventh day. Palestinian officials say 172 people in Gaza have been killed since the offensive began last Tuesday.

Airliner Shot Down Over Ukraine 

July 15 - Israel resumed its heavy bombardment of Gaza, warning Hamas "would pay the price" after the Islamic militant group rejected an Egyptian truce plan and instead unleashed more rocket barrages at the Jewish state. Late Tuesday, the military urged tens of thousands of residents of northern and eastern Gaza to leave their homes by Wednesday morning, presumable a prelude to air strikes there... A Malaysian airliner with 295 people on board has crashed in Ukraine on a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, amid allegations it was shot down. Malaysia Airlines said it lost contact with Flight MH17 from Amsterdam over Ukraine. Former ambassador to Russia Sir Tony Brenton told BBC News: "The assumption has to be Ukrainian rebels - who have shot down a number of Ukrainian military aircraft - may well have shot down this airliner, presumably by mistake" ... Pro-Russian rebels agree to hand over black boxes from MH17 which many Western experts believe was shot down by a Russian-made missile...rebels have been accused of removing bodies and placing them in refrigerated cars for an unknown destination and removing evidence as international outrage grows against Putin and Russia while Obama warns Putin not to interfere with crash investigation...  Israel intensified its land offensive in Gaza with artillery, tanks and gunboats and warned it could "significantly widen" an operation Palestinian officials said was killing ever greater numbers of civilians... RJ Reynolds pays out 23 Billion to widow of cancer victim... Central Washington Wildfires - As crews continue to battle the massive Carlton Complex Fire that has burned more than 215,000 acres and up to 100 homes, hope is sought in even the slightest hints of good news... The Palestinian death toll in an Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip rose above 600 as the army said it had killed 10 militants who tunnelled into Israel, while Gazan officials said an Israeli tank shelled a hospital, killing civilians.

July 22 - Major airlines are suspending flights to and from Israel after advice from US and European aviation authorities, as intense fighting continues on the Gaza Strip... Two people died aftertornado touched down Thursday in an Eastern Shore campground, Virginia State Police said. Around 10 a.m., rescue squads still were finding people injured and at least 20 people already were in a triage area, emergency officials responding to Cherrystone Family Camping & RV Resort said...  A plane has crashed in Taiwan while trying to make an emergency landing, killing 47 people. The TransAsia Airways flight crashed while trying to land on an island off typhoon-hit Taiwan... Another Plane Crash This Week - An Air Algerie jet carrying 116 people that vanished from radar shortly after takeoff late Wednesday night has crashed in Mali, and that two French fighter jets have located the wreckage.Air navigation services lost track of the Swiftair MD-83 roughly 50 minutes after takeoff from Ougadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso... An inmate's execution with lethal drugs in Arizona took almost two hours as witnesses reported the man gasped and snorted, prompting his lawyers to request an emergency halt to the procedure. "The execution of Joseph Wood commenced at 1:57 p.m. at the Arizona State Prison Complex (ASPC)-Florence and he was pronounced dead at 3:49 p.m,"... The United States shut down its embassy in Libya Saturday and evacuated its diplomats to neighboring Tunisia under U.S. military escort amid a significant deterioration in security in Tripoli as fighting intensified between rival militias, the State Department said.  "Due to the ongoing violence resulting from clashes between Libyan militias in the immediate vicinity of the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, we have temporarily relocated all of our personnel out of Libya," spokeswoman Marie Harf said... Gaza residents used a 12-hour humanitarian cease-fire on Saturday to stock up on supplies and survey the devastation from nearly three weeks of fighting, as they braced for a resumption of Israel's war on Hamas amid stalled efforts to secure a longer truce. Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Paris amid efforts to broker a more permanent cease-fire agreement... The hunt for two Philadelphia carjackers who rammed a stolen SUV into a family, killing three children, entered its third day Sunday as officials offered a $110,000 reward for information leading to their capture. Investigators said they are working hard to apprehend the suspects, who fled on foot after crashing the vehicle Friday at an intersection in North Philadelphia where Keisha Williams, 34, and her three children, aged 7 to 15, were selling fruit for a church fundraiser... Israel and Hamas went back and forth on Sunday over proposals for a humanitarian lull in the fighting in Gaza, underscoring the external and internal pressures on both sides and a reluctance by each to appear to be led or dictated by the other... A man in his 20s was killed after lightning struck 13 people Sunday at Venice Beach in Southern California... Israel's military said Thursday it was calling up 16,000 reserves for its campaign against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip, a day after some of the deadliest fighting of the 23-day conflict... Israeli officials said the military had yet to complete one of the operation's main goals—destroying cross-border tunnels Hamas uses to infiltrate fighters into Israel. The military said it has uncovered 32 tunnels so far.

Ebola Outbreak - American Doctor Infected

August 1 - President Barack Obama said Friday that "it's hard to reconcile Israel's legitimate need to defend itself with the legitimate concerns" for civilian casualties in Gaza. But he noted what he called the "incredibly irresponsible action by Hamas" in storing rockets in crowded neighborhoods... The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is spreading faster than efforts to control it, World Health Organization (WHO) head Margaret Chan has said. She told a summit of regional leaders that failure to contain Ebola could be "catastrophic" in terms of lives lost. But she said the virus, which has claimed 729 lives in four West African countries since February, could be stopped if well managed... An American doctor infected with the Ebola virus in Africa arrived in Atlanta for treatment Saturday, landing in a specially equipped plane at a military base, then being whisked away to one of the most sophisticated hospital isolation units in the country, officials say... Gov. Edmund "Jerry" Brown declared a state of emergency in California on Saturday caused by a number of wildfires that have burned thousands of acres, destroyed residences and damaged infrastructure... A toxin discovered in a Toledo, Ohio treatment plant left 500,000 people without drinkable tap water for a second day Sunday. Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins said the level of toxins in the water has decreased, but that more tests are needed to ensure that the city's water is safe to drink... Cease Fire - As a 72-hour cease-fire mediated by Egypt took hold Tuesday morning, Israel announced that it had withdrawn its forces from Gaza and Hamas said it would engage in talks on a lasting arrangement to keep the peace... The second American aid worker recently diagnosed with Ebola in West Africa is en route to Atlanta. She’s 59-year-old Nancy Writebol who remains in serious but stable condition... The New York Times featured its first ever advertisement for cannabis - featured in this week's Sunday paper. New York recently became the 23rd state to legalize medical marijuana—which will be used to treat patients suffering from a host of different conditions including cancer, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy... President Obama has approved a mission to drop humanitarian aid in Iraq for the 40,000 or so religious minorities stranded on a mountaintop in the country's north after Islamic militants forced them to flee, senior U.S. officials told Fox News Thursday night...

August 8 - U.S. jet fighters hit artillery being used by the militant group called the Islamic State in northern Iraq , the first of what is expected to be a series of American strikes meant to halt the Sunni extremist advance on the Kurdish capital of Erbil, the Pentagon said... The death of James Brady -- President Ronald Reagan's press secretary who was wounded in the attempt on Reagan's life in March 1981 -- was a homicide, a medical examiner ruled Friday. Brady died as a result of the grievous injuries he suffered 33 years ago, the Office of the Medical Examiner for the Northern District of Virginia said. That means gunman John Hinckley Jr. could be charged with Brady's murder... Laying the groundwork for an extended air-strike campaign against Sunni militants in Iraq, President Obama, on Saturday said that the strikes that began the day before could continue for months as the Iraqis build a new government... Hawaiians trooped out to vote Saturday despite flash floods and severe weather warnings after state officials decided to stare down Hurricanes Iselle and Julio and hold elections anyway. Voting began at 7 a.m. (1 p.m. ET) across the state even though two polling places on the Big Island had to be closed because of storm damage, NBC station KHNL of Honolulu reported... An unarmed black teenager named Michael Brown was shot and killed Saturday by a police officer in suburban St. Louis. People protested Saturday and Sunday, with large crowds of protesters and police facing off multiple times since the shooting. Some rioting and looting also broke out late Sunday night. Federal authorities are monitoring the shooting as groups and officials call for investigations... Another cease-fire - Israel and the Hamas militant group accepted an Egyptian cease-fire proposal Sunday, clearing the way for the resumption of talks on a long-term truce to end a month of heavy fighting in the Gaza Strip that has taken nearly 2,000 lives...Sunday night, the "Supermoon" craze had people looking up at the night sky. The full moon was at its closest point to the Earth in its orbit, making it appear bigger and brighter than usual, and people everywhere took notice of the lunar phenomenon... Extreme flooding in Detroit leaves two dead...  Hoping to bring “a softer front” to the law enforcement presence in Ferguson, Mo., after five nights of clashes between police and protesters, the Missouri State Highway Patrol will take over directing security in the city, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced..  

August 15 - The unarmed black teen whose fatal shooting by police in a St. Louis suburb sparked violent protests was a suspect in a robbery moments before, but the deadly encounter was not sparked by the robbery, the city's police chief said Friday. Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson earlier Friday released documents alleging 18-year-old Michael Brown had been suspected of stealing a $48.99 box of cigars from a convenience store in a "strong-arm" robbery shortly before he was killed. 31 have been injured so far... The Islamic State militant group has released a video online purporting to show the beheading of a US journalist. The victim was identified by the militants as James Foley, a freelancer who was seized in Syria in late 2012. The militants said it was in revenge for recent US air strikes against the Islamic State group in Iraq... The Obama administration sent a team of special forces to Syria this summer to rescue American hostages held captive by Islamic militants, but the operation failed... Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon ordered a curfew Saturday in the city of Ferguson and declared a state of emergency after fresh violence erupted overnight amid public anger over the shooting death of an unarmed young black man by a white police officer. The curfew will run from midnight to 5 a.m., starting Saturday night... MORE Than 300 Yazidi men were killed and 1,000 women and children were taken hostage after Islamist militants stormed their village in north-western Iraq, Kurdish officials have said. The massacre of members of the minority faith — denounced by the jihadists as “devil worshippers” — took place after members of the Sunni extremist group Isis, also known as Islamic State, laid siege to their village, Kocho, on Friday... Two Amish girls who were kidnapped this week were sexually assaulted during the 24 hours they were held captive... St. Lawrence County Dist. Atty. Mary Rain said the victims, a 12-year-old girl and her 6-year-old sister, suffered the assaults after they were abducted near their family's home in Huevelton, N.Y., on Wednesday... The police killing of a second black St Louis-area man in 11 days has threatened to further enflame tensions. On Tuesday, police officers shot dead a man who brandished a knife at them, St Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said. The 9 August police shooting of Michael Brown, 18, has sparked days of violent protests in the town of Ferguson, prompting a heavy police crackdown... Florida's gay marriage ban is latest one to be struck down by a federal judge. A Tallahassee-based judge ruled in favor of 10 same-sex couples seeking to have their out-of-state marriages formally recognized by Florida and on behalf of one same-sex couple who sued to obtain a marriage license.

August 22 - Burger King buys coffee and donut chain Tim Horton's. The deal reportedly be worth 18 billion dollars and will move BK's headquarters to Canada... Two suicide bombers in Iraq killed at least 17 people in apparent revenge attacks after a major assault on a Sunni mosque heightened sectarian tensions... California Quake - A long, rolling temblor pegged at 6.0 by the U.S. Geological Survey shook a wide swath North of the Bay Area awake early Sunday, causing damage to buildings and sending at least 70 people to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries... A small number of arrests were reported in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo. Saturday, though there were fewer confrontations between police and protesters as the community marked two weeks since an unarmed black 18-year-old was fatally shot by a white officer... Ukraine’s president on Monday dissolved parliament and called for early elections in October as his country continues to battle a pro-Russian insurgency in its eastern regions... A female soldier with a gun inside a key building turned the weapon on herself, causing an injury, but didn't wound any others as a heavily trafficked Virginia Army base temporarily went on lockdown Monday morning... NATO has called on Russia to cease its "illegal military operations" in eastern Ukraine, which it says are aimed at destabilizing the country. The comments by NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Friday followed an emergency meeting in Brussels to discuss the worsening crisis... Britain has raised its terrorism alert level in response to the rise of Islamic extremist groups in Iraq and Syria, and the belief that British citizens fighting with such groups could bring terror home... President Barack Obama has ignited fresh conservative criticism by saying "we don't have a strategy yet" for airstrikes against ISIS targets in Syria.Republicans immediately jumped on the President's comment during a news conference Thursday by saying it proved their longstanding complaint that his foreign policy failed to seriously respond to the terrorist threat from Sunni jihadists in the Syrian civil war... 

September 1 - President Obama on Monday renewed his call to raise the federal minimum wage and to protect the right to equal pay for women as the midterm elections come into sight... Three American citizens being held prisoners in North Korea have called on the United States to send a high-ranking representative to secure their release. The three – Kenneth Bae, Matthew Miller and Jeffrey Fowle – made the remarks in rare interviews set up by the North Korean government with visiting U.S. journalists... The Islamic militant group ISIS cut off the head of American journalist Steven Joel Sotloff in a video made public Tuesday — following through on a threat it made when it beheaded another American two weeks ago and vowed to keep killing unless the United States stopped airstrikes... Fans of Dunkin’ Donuts rejoiced Tuesday morning after the pastry chain opened its first Los Angeles-area store in Santa Monica... Not A Good Trend - Frustration among U.S. passengers is boiling into rage over nuisances as minor as a reclining seat-back taking some personal space. An on-board outburst that forced a Delta Air Lines jet to make an unscheduled landing on Sept. 1 marked the third such case in a span of nine days in the U.S... Russia's foreign minister warned that Ukraine's NATO ambitions are threatening to derail peace talks in eastern Ukraine. Undeterred, Ukraine's president began a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama and other top NATO leaders in Wales... The United Nations said $600 million in supplies would be needed to fight West Africa's Ebola outbreak, as the death toll from the worst ever epidemic of the virus topped 1,900 and Guinea warned it had penetrated a new part of the country. The pace of the infection has accelerated, and there were close to 400 deaths in the past week... President Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain have called on NATO to reject “isolationist” impulses and confront the rising terrorist threat posed by Sunni militants in the Middle East, saying the United States and Britain “will not be cowed by barbaric killers”... Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen were convicted Thursday on a range of corruption charges in connection with gifts and loans they accepted from a wealthy businessman, marking a stunning fall for the onetime rising Republican star. .. Immigration-reform advocates expressed their objections Saturday to President Obama’s delaying executive action to fix U.S. immigration policy, including cries of  bitter disappointment and accusations that the president has caved to election-year politics... At least 53 people died Saturday in airstrikes by the Bashar al-Assad regime against several targets in the northern city of al-Raqa, a stronghold in Syria of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, according to the Syrian Human Rights Observatory. At least 33 of the victims - 24 civilians and nine ISIL combatants - lost their lives in the bombing of a bakery in the city, the capital of the like-named province, the NGO said.

September 8 - Home Depot Inc confirmed its payment security systems have been breached, a data theft analysts warn could rival Target Corp's massive breach last year. Home Depot said the data theft could impact its customers in stores across the United States and Canada, but there was no evidence that online customers were affected or debit personal identification numbers (PINs) were compromised... President Obama is asking Congress for approval to further arm and support moderate Syrian rebels, as a potential prelude to ordering airstrikes inside the country against Islamic State militants... A South African judge’s verdict finding Olympic track star Oscar Pistorius guilty of culpable homicide – but clearing him of more serious murder charges – has quickly polarized South Africans. Pistorius said he mistook his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, for an intruder in the middle of the night and did not mean to kill her... Dies - The Rev. Ian Paisley, the divisive Protestant firebrand who devoted his life to thwarting compromise with Catholics in Northern Ireland only to become a pivotal peacemaker in his twilight years, died Friday in Belfast, his wife said. He was 88... A gunman or gunmen ambushed two state troopers outside a barracks in a rural area of northeastern Pennsylvania, killing one and wounding the other... Another ISIL Beheading - British Prime Minister David Cameron responded to the killing of British aid worker, David Haines. The militant group Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, released a video  purporting to show his beheading. Britain’s Foreign Office confirmed it appears to be authentic... North Korea's Supreme Court has sentenced Matthew Miller, a U.S. citizen, to six years with labor for entering the country illegally and trying to commit an act of espionage. The court said Sunday that the 24-year-old Miller, of Bakersfield, Calif., tore up his tourist visa at Pyongyang's airport when he entered the country on April 10 and intended to "experience prison life so that he could investigate the human rights situation"... A fourth doctor has died of Ebola in Sierra Leone after a failed bid to transfer her abroad for treatment.Chief Medical Officer Dr Brima Kargbo confirmed that Dr Olivet Buck has died.

September 15 - US Secretary of State John Kerry is among forty or so foreign ministers meeting in Paris at a specially convened conference to discuss battling the militant group Islamic State, or ISIL... The United States will send 3,000 troops to help tackle the Ebola outbreak as part of a ramped-up response including a major deployment in Liberia, the country where the epidemic is spiraling fastest out of control... Goodbye Trump Plaza Atlantic City - A Boardwalk stalwart for 30 years, Trump Plaza tumbled to oblivion in the wake of Atlantic Club, Showboat and Revel. About 1,000 employees lost their jobs at the Plaza... Clear Channel announces that it has become iHeartMedia, reflecting the company’s success in becoming a one-of-a-kind multi-platform media company with unparalleled reach and impact... The Islamic State (Isis) group has released a video appearing to warn the US that fighters are waiting in Iraq if President Barack Obama chooses to send troops in there. The 52-second film, entitled ‘Flames of War’ purports to be a trailer and shows tanks being hit, wounded US soldiers and men on their knees as they are about to be executed... Police carried out early morning raids in two major Australian cities, including Sydney, in a strike aimed at disrupting what they said were plans by local Islamic State supporters to behead members of the public... Scotland will remain part of the United Kingdom -- along with England, Wales and Northern Ireland -- following a historic referendum vote. By 55% to 45%, a majority of voters rejected the possibility of Scotland breaking away and becoming an independent nation... A 51-year-old man shot his daughter and six grandchildren to death before turning the gun on himself at a home in Bell, authorities said Thursday. The gunman was identified as Donald C. Spirit, who killed his 8-year-old son in a 2001 hunting accident in Osceola County... Forty-nine Turkish hostages who had been held for months in Iraq by Islamic State militants were returned to Turkey on Saturday after what Turkey said was a covert operation led by its intelligence agency. The hostages, including diplomats and their families, had been seized in June from the Turkish consulate in the Iraqi city of Mosul... Nine days after a gunman opened fire in a deadly ambush at a state police barracks, authorities have had no contact with the suspect they describe as a self-taught survivalist despite an intensive search that shut down the heavily wooded community where he lived with his parents... The intruder who sprinted across the White House lawn and was able to enter the North Portico doors had a knife, as the Secret Service pledged a review of Friday night’s security breach and increased patrols. Omar J. Gonzalez, 42, an Iraq war veteran, was arrested after he hopped over a fence at 7:20 p.m. and sprinted across the lawn before entering the North Portico doors.

September 22 - The U.S. military, along with Arab allies, launched the first airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria late Monday, as the war ordered by President Obama against the militant organization took on an urgent new phase... American forces took advantage of the airstrikes against the Islamic State extremist group in Syria to try to simultaneously wipe out the leadership of an unrelated cell of veterans of Al Qaeda that the White House said Tuesday was plotting an “imminent” attack against the United States or Europe... Anger spilled over after fire destroyed one of two memorials on the street where Michael Brown was killed, a site that has become sacred to many in Ferguson and others nationwide focused on interactions between minorities and police... A man charged with abducting a missing University of Virginiasophomore has been captured in Texas and is awaiting extradition — but there is still no sign of the student, authorities said. Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr. was arrested on a beach in the Texas community of Gilchrist... Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko on Thursday ordered a temporary closure of Ukraine’s porous border with Russia and voiced plans to apply for EU membership in 2020 as part of his ex-Soviet country’s Westward shift. Hundreds of flights have been grounded at Chicago's busy O'Hare and Midway airports following a fire at an air traffic control facility... The intruder who sprinted across the White House lawn and was able to enter the North Portico doors had a knife, officials said Saturday as the Secret Service pledged a review of Friday night’s security breach and increased patrols. Omar J. Gonzalez, 42, an Iraq war veteran, was arrested after he hopped over a fence at 7:20 p.m. and sprinted across the lawn before entering the North Portico doors... Four female college softball players were killed and a dozen others were injured when their bus was involved in a crash on an Oklahoma highway late on Friday. Three members of the "Lady Lions" North Central Texas College softball team were pronounced dead at the scene, and a fourth player died after being taken to a local hospital, Hampton said... Fourty Eight are confirmed dead  near the peak of a Japanese volcano that erupted unexpectedly a day earlier while it was packed with hikers out to admire autumn foliage, sending a huge cloud of ash and rock tumbling down its slopes... Five members of a family were found dead Saturday night in a home near Provo, authorities said. Springville police spokesman Lt. Dave Caron said that the cause of the deaths wasn't immediately apparent, but police don't believe that there is any danger to the community. Authorities said that the bodies are those of a couple and their three children... A U.S. official says U.S. troops will stay in Afghanistan beyond the end of the year, in a deal to be signed on Tuesday under the country's newly inaugurated president... --The body of missing Arkansas real estate agent Beverly Carter has been recovered in a shallow grave, investigators said early Tuesday — a grim discovery that has “devastated” her family. Carter, 49, went missing Thursday from a home she was showing near Little Rock... Police say Arron Lewis, 33, admitted to kidnapping Carter after 12 hours of questioning on Monday but would not divulge her whereabouts. 

October 1 - Secret Service Director Julia Pierson abruptly resigned Wednesday in the face of multiple revelations of security breaches, bumbling in her agency and rapidly eroding confidence that the president and his family were being kept safe. President Barack Obama ‘‘concluded new leadership of that agency was required,’’ said spokesman Josh Earnest... America’s first Ebola patient has been identified by Liberian officials as Thomas Duncan, a resident of Monrovia. Duncan, who is described as in his mid-40s, had helped carry a virus-infected woman to and from a hospital last month in Liberia's capital. More than 3,300 people have died from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, according to the World Health Organization, as the deadly virus continues to spread... Hong Kong's police superintendent warned demonstrators Friday to clear a busy intersection in the city's densely populated Mong Kok district, where pro-democracy protesters clashed with opponents earlier in the day... Islamic State militants fighting in Iraq and Syria posted a video on Friday that appeared to show the beheading of British aid worker Alan Henning, triggering condemnation by the British and U.S. governments...  Passing - Jean-Claude Duvalier, a former dictator of Haiti known as Baby Doc who ruled the country with a brutality that left thousands dead, disappeared and illegally detained and tortured, and then shocked the country anew with a sudden return from a 25-year exile in 2011, died on Saturday... President Obama paid tribute Sunday to disabled U.S. veterans, acknowledging that the country has at times failed to repay their service and vowing to never lead them into pointless battle... The Supreme Court on Monday let stand appeals court rulings allowing same-sex marriage in five states, a major surprise that could signal the inevitability of the right of same-sex marriage nationwide. The development cleared the way for same-sex marriages in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin. Gay and lesbian couples started getting married in those states within hours. Most immediately, the Supreme Court’s move increased the number of states allowing same-sex marriage to 24, along with the District of Columbia, up from 19... Ebola Concerns – In Dallas - local officials are working to ease public fears and concerns over the often deadly disease. And monitoring 48 people who had contact with the one known infected man — Thomas Eric Duncan, who remains in critical condition at a Dallas hospital. He is  receiving treatment through an experimental medication called brincidofovir... The Obama administration is talking about ramping up screening of travelers who come from Ebola-infected countries. Many Americans are concerned that the virus may spread now that a patient has been diagnosed in Dallas.

October 8 - President Barack Obama spoke with world leaders and was briefed by his public health and national security teams Monday on international and domestic efforts to confront the Ebola epidemic. U.S. public health officials are “rethinking” the way they address effective Ebola infection control following the first U.S. case of the deadly virus in Texas... North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Un has made his first public appearance for more than a month, with state media on Tuesday reporting a visit to a new housing complex in Pyongyang. It marked the first time Kim has been seen since September 3 -- an extended absence that fuelled intense speculation, including rumours of a serious illness or even a coup... Dies From Ebola -  in Dallas - Thomas Eric passed away from the disease... The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned  that the world must act to prevent the current Ebola outbreak from becoming “the world’s next AIDs.” CDC Director Tom Frieden made the remark while speaking at a conference at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. with representatives from around the world Thursday... A white off-duty policeman shot and killed a black teenager in St Louis on Wednesday, officers said, triggering a night of protests just miles from the site of another police shooting of another black youth in the suburb of Ferguson. Police said the 18-year-old was armed and fired three shots while he was being chased by the officer, and they had recovered a gun at the scene... President Obama travels to the San Gabriel Mountains outside of Los Angeles Friday to announce he's setting aside 346,177 acres of national forest land as a national monument. Using his authority under a 108-year-old law, Obama's executive action will permanently protect the forest from development and set it aside as an outdoor recreation destination... A health worker in Texas at the hospital treating the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States has tested positive for the deadly virus, raising fresh worries about the spread of the disease beyond West Africa. The worker at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital had been wearing protective gear during treatment of the patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who died last week... A powerful cyclone pounded a large swath of India's eastern seaboard with heavy rain and strong winds Sunday, killing at least two people and causing major damage to buildings and crops, one of two storms to lash Asia on the day. In Japan, at least 35 people were reported injured as Typhoon Vongfong, packing winds of up to 180 kilometers (110 miles) per hour and heavy rain, hit the southern island of Okinawa and was aiming at the island of Kyushu, where authorities told 150,000 people to evacuate...

October 15 - President Barack Obama vowed Wednesday that his administration would respond in a "much more aggressive way" to cases of Ebola in the United States and warned that in an age of frequent travel the disease could spread globally if the world doesn't respond to the "raging epidemic in West Africa"... President Obama tapped veteran government insider Ron Klain to coordinate his administration's efforts to contain the Ebola virus Friday... A Florida man convicted of first-degree murder for shooting a teenager to death over loud music was sentenced to life without parole Friday. Michael Dunn, 47, was convicted of killing Jordan Davis, 17, in November 2012 after he shot into a SUV of four teenagers 10 times when an argument broke out over loud music coming from the teens' vehicle... The Supreme Court said Saturday that Texas can use its controversial new voter identification law for the November election.A majority of the justices rejected an emergency request from the Justice Department and civil rights groups to prohibit the state from requiring voters to produce certain forms of photo identification in order to cast ballots. Three justices dissented... Seven Woman Murdered - Police in northwest Indiana have found three more bodies in Gary overnight after four murdered women were found over the weekend in the area. Suspect Darren Deon Vann, 43, helped authorities locate the bodies of six victims in Gary, Indiana, after he was arrested in the murder of 19-year-old Afrikka Hardy, whose body was found at a Motel 6 in Hammond... Passing - Oscar de la Renta, the Dominican-born fashion designer who reshaped the public image of first ladies, society muses and red-carpet regulars with grand evening wear that celebrated Latin sensuality, European refinement and American versatility, died Oct. 20 at his home in Kent, Conn. He was 82...

October 22 - The Canadian government determined to return to business as usual on Thursday after a reported convert to Islam shot dead a soldier at the National War Memorial and rampaged through Parliament before being killed himself... Passing – Ben Bradlee - Benjamin Crowninshield Bradlee, who led The Washington Post to national eminence through charm, drive, instinct and, most notably, an epic confrontation with the Nixon White House, died Tuesday. He was 93... Washington State high school "homecoming prince" opened fire in the cafeteria Friday, killing a girl and wounding four other people before fatally shooting himself, police and witnesses said. Police said the shooter, whom law enforcement sources identified as freshman Jaylen Ray Fryberg, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound... Health officials Friday said they were retracing the movements of New York’s first confirmed Ebola case for the two days before he reported a fever. Craig Spencer, a 33-year-old physician who had treated Ebola patients in Guinea, reported a mild fever Thursday morning and was admitted to Bellevue Hospital Center. In the two days before that, he rode the subway, visited a Manhattan restaurant and coffee stand, and went bowling in Brooklyn... Nearly 7 in 10 Americans are angry at the direction the country is headed and 53% of Americans disapprove of President Barack Obama’s job performance – according to a new CNN poll... The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended on Monday that people deemed to be at high risk of developing Ebola voluntarily isolate themselves from others for 21 days, but stopped short of recommending the mandatory quarantines that at least two states have ordered... An unmanned Antares rocket exploded seconds after liftoff from a commercial launch pad in Virginia on Tuesday, marking the first accident since NASA turned to private operators to deliver cargo to the International Space Station, but officials said no one was hurt. The 14-story rocket, built and launched by Orbital Sciences Corp, blasted off its seaside launch pad at the Wallops Flight Facility at 6:22 p.m. EDT carrying a Cygnus cargo ship bound for the space station. It exploded in a huge fireball moments later... A Dallas nurse whose Ebola diagnosis and airline trips elevated public concerns that the virus could spread in the United States was discharged from a hospital here on Tuesday. The nurse, Amber Joy Vinson, spent less than two weeks in a specialized ward at Emory University Hospital before doctors said she was free of the virus, which has infected more than 10,000 people, mostly in West Africa... A passenger spaceship being developed by Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic company crashed during a test flight on Friday near the Mojave Air and Space Port in California, killing one pilot and seriously injuring the other, officials said... Accused cop killer Eric Frein, one of the FBI's 10 Most Wanted Fugitives, was captured after a 48-day manhunt....

November 1 - A three-alarm fire swept through an apartment house in Portland, Me., early Saturday morning, killing five people and critically injuring one, in what the authorities said was the deadliest fire in the state in 30 years. The fire broke out in one of the apartments of a duplex near the commuter campus of the University of Southern Maine, said Stephen H. McCausland, a spokesman for the State Department of Public Safety... A joyful Marine reservist arrived in Florida Saturday after his unexpected release from a Mexican jail, where he had been imprisoned since March. Andrew Tahmooressi, 25, had been arrested in Tijuana for crossing the border with three loaded weapons and a cache of ammunition in his vehicle. He claimed he crossed into Mexico by mistake and always carried weapons with him... ISIS group extremists lined up and shot dead at least 50 tribesmen and women in Iraq's Anbar province, officials said Saturday, the latest mass killing committed by the group. The shooting happened late Friday in the village of Ras al-Maa, north of the provincial capital of Ramadi, Anbar councilman Faleh al-Issawi said. Militants accused the men and women of the Al Bu Nimr tribe of retaliating against them after being displaced from their homes when the group seized the Anbar town of Hit last month, al-Issawi said... Election Day – Republicans will now control the House and Senate... Residents of Oregon, Alaska, and the U.S. capital voted to legalize marijuana on Tuesday, in key victories that could fuel the legalization movement as cannabis usage is increasingly recognized by the American mainstream... Who Shot Osama Bin-Laden? It’s revealed that Rob O'Neill shot the al-Qaeda chief three times in the forehead at close range in the secret raid on his house in Pakistan in 2011. He was one of 23 SEALS who flew into the city of Abbottabad the night of May 2, but the last to see bin Laden alive... The woman who was kidnapped on Sunday off a desolate Philadelphia street -- a harrowing crime that was caught on surveillance camera -- was found alive Wednesday in Maryland, while her abductor was arrested, authorities said. Carlesha Freeland-Gaither, 22, was found by Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents inside a parked car in Jessup, Maryland, law enforcement sources said. Her alleged abductor, Delvin Barnes, 37, was arrested at the scene, authorities said... Unemployment drops to 5.8%... Radio news- Passing - Tom Magliozzi, one of public radio's most popular personalities, died on Monday of complications from Alzheimer's disease. He was 77 years old. Tom and his brother, Ray, became famous as "Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers" on the weekly NPR show Car Talk. They bantered, told jokes, laughed and sometimes even gave pretty good advice to listeners who called in with their car troubles.

November 8 - North Korea has released two American citizens, Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller. Bae and Miller were the last Americans held by North Korea following the release last month of Jeffrey Fowle... Former Navy SEAL Robert O’Neill who claimed heshot and killed Osama bin Laden was accused of breaking the Navy SEAL ethos as veteran SEALs express frustration over the disclosure of what supposed to be a covert mission. O’Neill, has been forced to surrender more than $US8 million ($9.3m) in book and film payments as the ­Pentagon seeks to clamp down on­ ­special forces troops who seek to profit from their exploits... German Chancellor Angela Merkel pays tribute to the people who lost their lives trying to escape East Berlin, as the city celebrates the 25 year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Merkel, who herself was born in East Germany, said the events gave people the confidence to break down barriers that still exist today... World leaders including President Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin are in China this week to meet Xi Jinping, in Beijing – and climate change is high on the agenda.. Dr. Craig Spencer is finally free of the Ebola virus, and on Tuesday, November 11, he left his hospital bed and walked out of the hospital to the applause and hugs including from the city mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife... The international news channel CNN says it will halt broadcasting in Russia due to recent changes in media legislation... Two window washers trapped on a dangling scaffold nearly 70 stories up the new 1 World Trade Center tower were rescued Wednesday by firefighters who sawed through a window to reach them... The first photo image taken from the surface of a comet by the tiny European Space Agency lander Philae shows one foot of the probe perched on bleak, rocky terrain. Distance is about 300 million miles... The Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives approved the Keystone XL pipeline on Friday, but a similar measure struggled to get enough support in the Senate and President Barack Obama indicated he might use his veto if the bill does get through Congress.

November 15 - A new video released by the Islamic State on Sunday claims to show the killing of American hostage Abdul-Rahman Kassig, who was known as Peter Kassig before converting to Islam... Jihadi John, the Briton who beheaded two British and two American hostages held by Islamic State terrorists, has been injured in a US-led air strike. The masked ‘executioner’ with a London accent is believed to have narrowly escaped death when he attended a summit of the group’s leaders in an Iraqi town close to the Syrian border last Saturday... Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard in advance of a grand jury decision about whether a white police officer will be charged in the fatal shooting of a black 18-year-old in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson... Dies of Ebola - Dr. Martin Salia, was in extremely critical condition. Dr. Salia, a legal permanent resident of the United States who had been working as a surgeon in Sierra Leone, died early Monday morning, barely into his second day of treatment, but almost two weeks into his illness... Two knife- and ax-wielding Palestinian men broke into a Jerusalem synagogue Tuesday morning and killed four Israeli worshipers, Israeli police said... Stories about acts of bravery and kindness were emerging after as much as 6 feet of snow covered Buffalo, New York, one of the hardest-hit areas in a week when snowstorms and record-low temperatures whacked much of the country. Eight deaths in the region have been blamed on the extreme storm, authorities said... President Barack Obama announces that he is shielding about 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation, circumventing Congress to provide the most sweeping changes to immigration policy in decades... Friday - House Republicans on Friday filed a long-awaited lawsuit accusing President Barack Obama of overstepping his executive authority when implementing his signature health care law.

November 22 - A magnitude-6.8 earthquake hit central Japan's Nagano prefecture and left at least 14 people with injuries of varying degrees of severity, after collapsing several homes and causing water cuts and power outages. The hardest hit town was Hakuba at 200 kilometers (124 miles) northeast of Tokyo... Passing - Marion Barry, the civil-rights leader who became a polarizing political figure during two spans as mayor of Washington, D.C., separated by a prison sentence for drug possession, has died. he was 78... Officer Darren Wilson Aquitted - Stirs Up TensionAuthorities have raised the arrest total from the second night of protests over the grand jury decision in the Michael Brown case to 58. St. Louis County police said early Wednesday that 45 people were arrested overnight in Ferguson, which was much calmer than during the first night of protests in which several businesses and vehicles were burned. Seven of those arrested face felony charges, including four for allegedly assaulting an officer and three for armed criminal action... The streets were quiet but fires continued to burn Tuesday following a night of violence triggered by a grand jury's decision not to indict white police officer Darren Wilson for the August shooting death of unarmed, black teen Michael Brown. Demonstrators taunted police, shattered windows and set fire to two St. Louis County police cars at the protest's furious peak. Scattered, intermittent gunfire was also reported... Bailiffs began clearing a major pro-democracy protest site in Hong Kong's bustling Mong Kok district Tuesday, triggering scuffles, arrests and a standoff with growing crowds of protesters. Pro-democracy activist and lawmaker Leung Kwok-hung, commonly known as "Long Hair," was among those arrested, his office confirmed... A sloppy mix of rain and snow rolled into the Northeast on Wednesday just as millions of Americans began the big Thanksgiving getaway, grounding hundreds of flights and turning highways hazardous along the congested Washington-to-Boston corridor... Fewer Americans are smoking, with the smoking rate at its lowest point in 50 years, federal health experts reported Wednesday. Just under 18 percent of Americans are smokers, down from 21 percent in 2005, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports...  A white, middle-aged gunman, in what appears to be a politically motivated anti-government attack linked to immigration, fired more than a hundred rounds at buildings in downtown Austin early Friday and tried to set fire to the Mexican consulate before he died of a gunshot wound... The National Retail Federation, which tracks customer visits to stores as well as sales, reported that 5.1 million fewer people were out shopping on Black Friday than last year. That was a decline of about 7%... Darren Wilson, the police officer who fatally shot an unarmed teenager in August, has resigned from the police department in Ferguson, Missouri, his attorney, Neil Bruntrager.

December 1 - The gunman in three shootings that killed four people in West Virginia  was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, State Police said. Jody Lee Hunt, 39, of Westover, was found Monday evening in the woods in the southern part of Monongalia County, located in the north-central part of the state. Two of the shootings happened in the Westover area and the other was in the Cheat Lake area, both in Monongalia County, authorities said... A massive outage on Tuesday cut power for as long as six hours to public buildings in Detroit ranging from city hall to a criminal courthouse, scores of public schools and more than three dozen buildings at Wayne State University... Two school buses collided on a Tennessee highway on Tuesday, killing two children and an adult and injuring 23. It was not immediately clear what caused the crash, which a police dispatcher toldFoxNews.com happened shortly before 3 p.m., though she declined to provide further details... Texas Gov.-elect Greg Abbott announced Wednesday that Texas is leading a 17-state coalition suing the Obama administration over the president's executive actions on immigration... Protesters vowed a new round of demonstrations in New York on Thursday after a grand jury decided not to charge a white police officer in the chokehold death of an unarmed black man on Staten Island. National civil rights leaders pledged to release a longer-term "2015 action plan" on Thursday morning to address excessive force by law enforcement and police accountability one day after the grand jury cleared New York Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Eric Garner during an arrest attempt in July... - Sears Holdings Corp reported a quarterly net loss of $548 million, slightly less than it had estimated last month, and the struggling retailer said it had nearly doubled its planned store closures to cut costs... An unmanned capsule NASA is designing to carry astronauts to an asteroid and eventually Mars splashed down in the Pacific Ocean Friday to conclude a successful first test flight... The American freelance photographer kidnapped by Al Qaeda militants in Yemen in 2013 was 'murdered' Friday during a U.S. special operations rescue mission inside the country after it was learned that his life was in imminent danger... The United States will keep up to 1,000 more soldiers than previously planned in Afghanistan into next year, outgoing U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Saturday, in a recognition of the still formidable challenge from Taliban insurgents.

December 8 - A small, private jet has crashed into a house in Maryland's Montgomery County on Monday, killing at least three people on board... Torture Report - The Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday released the highly anticipated 500-page summary of its report on the CIA’s post-9/11 torture program, providing a sobering glimpse into one of the darkest chapters in the U.S. government's history. The program involved capturing terrorism suspects and shipping them to secret overseas prisons, where they were subjected to techniques such as waterboarding... Prince William and Duchess Kate wrapped up their trip to the United States, arriving back in Great Britain. The royal couple on Tuesday crowned their whirlwind visit to New York City with a black tie dinner at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, raising money for their alma mater - the University of St. Andrews - where they met... Hundreds of protesters angered at the killing of unarmed black men by white police officers marched through downtown Berkeley streets for a fourth straight night, briefly blocking traffic on a highway and delaying metro and train services... Time Names Its Person Of The Year - Those who fight Ebola are Time magazine's Person of the Year for 2014... Thousands of protesters made their way down iconic Pennsylvania Avenue on Saturday, marching to the Capitol to call attention to the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police and call for legislative action. With signs reading "Black Lives Matter" and "Who do you protect? Who do you serve," the crowd gathered in Freedom Plaza before the march.

December 15 - Officials in a Philadelphia suburb have yet to capture an Iraq war veteran they say went on a shooting rampage early on Monday that left six of his estranged family members dead, including his ex-wife and her 14-year-old niece. He also apparently briefly abducted his two daughters from his ex-wife's home before dropping them off with a neighbour and vanishing... Heavily armed Australian police stormed a Sydney cafe early on Tuesday morning and freed terrified hostages being held there at gunpoint, in a dramatic end to a 16-hour siege in which two captives and the attacker were killed. A police source named him as Man Haron Monis, an Iranian refugee and self-styled sheikh known for sending hate mail to the families of Australian troops killed in Afghanistan... Two U.S. security officials cast doubt on a threat against theaters planning to show Sony Corp's controversial movie about an assassination of the leader of North Korea, but police across the country vowed on Tuesday to take extra precautions. U.S. security agencies are investigating a hacking group that published what appear to be more internal emails on Tuesday and promised a "bitter fate" for those who go to see the movie, "The Interview", following a cyber attack that severely damaged movie studio's network. Later, the studio says it will not release the movie - at least, not at this time... Better Cuba Relations - President Obama announced a major loosening of travel and economic restrictions on the country. And the two nations are set to re-open embassies, with preliminary discussions on that next step in normalizing diplomatic relations beginning in the coming weeks... A federal jury decided Tuesday that Apple didn't compete unfairly when it sold music players and songs with copy-protection software that was incompatible with rival devices and music from competing online stores... More Sony - The U.S. investigation into the recent hacking attack at Sony Pictures Entertainment has turned up evidence that does not point to North Korea as the "sole entity" in the case, but rather, raises the possibility that Iran, China or Russia may have been involved... President Barack Obama vowed on Friday to respond to a devastating cyber attack on Sony Pictures that he blamed onNorth Korea, and scolded the Hollywood studio for caving in to what he described as a foreign dictator imposing censorship in America. Obama said the cyber attack caused a lot of damage to Sony but that the company should not have let itself be intimidated into halting the public release of "The Interview," a lampoon portraying the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un... British drugmaker AstraZeneca PLC said that the US Food and Drug Administration has approved Lynparza capsules, 400mg twice daily, as the first monotherapy for patients with deleterious or suspected deleterious germline BRCA-mutatedadvanced ovarian cancer, who have been treated with three or more prior lines of chemotherapy... Two New York City police officers died Saturday afternoon after being shot "execution-style" while in a parked patrol car in Brooklyn. In a somber news conference Saturday evening, New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton said the two officers were deliberately targeted. He also acknowledged the danger officers face as part of the "thin blue line between us and anarchy." ... Four people, including two young boys, were killed in a shooting late Saturday at a home in the northern Illinois city of Rockford, authorities said. Police said a 24-year-old woman, her boyfriend and her two sons were found dead of gunshot wounds around 11:20 p.m.

December 22 - Procter & Gamble said it would sell soap brands Camay and Zest to Unilever for an undisclosed amount to focus on its faster-growing brands. The deal includes the global sale of the Camay brand and the sale of the Zest brand outside of North America and the Caribbean...  Keurig Green Mountain is recalling more than 6.6 million hot beverage-brewing machines in the United States that could overheat liquids and burn users. Keurig says its Mini Plus Brewing Systems, with model number K10, can overheat and spray water during brewing. Keurig says it had received about 200 reports of hot liquid escaping from the brewer, including 90 reports of burn-related injuries... President Vladimir Putin has signed a new military doctrine that describes NATO’s military buildup near the Russian borders as the top military threat amid Russia-West tensions over Ukraine. The document released by the Kremlin on Friday maintains the provisions of the previous, 2010 edition of the military doctrine regarding the use of nuclear weapons...

Officers Gunned Down In NYC

New York City - Slain Officer’s Honored - The flag-draped casket carrying slain New York City officer Rafael Ramos arrived for his wake at a Queens church Friday amid a sea of blue, as fellow officers in crisp uniforms lined the streets outside and served as pallbearers. Eight officers carried the casket inside as other cops saluted and stood at attention outside the entrance to Christ Tabernacle Church. The casket was covered with the NYPD's green and white striped flag with stars. The funeral will be held on Saturday, with Vice President Joe Biden in attendance... Southeast Asia was mourning its third airline catastrophe of the year Sunday after an AirAsia jet with 162 people aboard vanished in violent weather and was believed to be at the bottom of an Indonesian sea. The fate of Flight 8501 remained a mystery almost a full day after it vanished... NATO formally ended its war in Afghanistan on Sunday, holding a low-key ceremony in Kabul after 13 years of conflict that have left the country in the grip of worsening insurgent violence... Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) announced Monday night that he is resigning from Congress, effective Jan. 5. The news comes less than a week after Grimm pleaded guilty to one count of felony tax fraud. (The congressman was indicted on 20 counts in April.) His plea carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison...

Officials have confirmed that debris found in Indonesian waters is from AirAsia Flight 8501 that vanished on Sunday, the airline said. In a statement Tuesday, AirAsia Indonesia said the country's National Search and Rescue Agency confirmed the debris of the aircraft was found in the Karimata Strait between Sumatra, Java and Borneo, a large island shared among Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. The announcement came as bodies were being recovered from the area where the flight disappeared... A 29-year-old woman described as a loving mother was fatally shot by her 2-year-old son at a northern Idaho Wal-Mart in what authorities called a tragic accident. The toddler reached into Veronica J. Rutledge’s purse and her concealed gun fired... The worst mass killing in the Canadian province of Alberta in almost 50 years left nine people dead, police said... The assailant was found dead Tuesday morning at a restaurant in the Edmonton suburb of Fort Saskatchewan. Police said the gunman behind the murder-suicide had a criminal record dating back to September 1987. One victim, a 37-year-old woman, was found in a residence Monday night in Edmonton, Alberta's capital city. The seven others — three women and a man, all between the ages of 25 to 50, and two children under 10 — were found early Tuesday in a second Edmonton residence.

 

Year 2014  In Technology News And Information

January 1 - Just one week after being warned of its vulnerabilities by a group of white-hat hackers, Snapchat found itself the target of an attack. Late Tuesday, 4.6 million names and phone numbers of Snapchat users were posted to a website called SnapchatDB.info. The anonymous attack on Snapchat was followed closely by an attack on Microsoft-owned web calling service Skype. The Syrian Electronic Army claimed to be behind the Skype attack... CES Las Vegas - Sony says it will start an Internet-based TV service in the U.S. this year, offering a mix of live TV programming and video on demand...    

Top Video Games - January 1, 2014

Call Of Duty: Ghosts (X360) (PS3)

Grand Theft Auto V (X360)

NBA 2K14 (X360)

Grand Theft Auto V (PS3)

Pokemon X/Y (3DS)

Call of Duty: Ghosts 9 (XOne )

Minecraft (X360)

Just Dance 2014 (Wii)

Wii Fit U (WiiU)

January 8 - IBM has big plans for Watson, artificial intelligence that can understand questions and gets smarter by the minute. The company announced it's investing more than $1 billion to create the Watson Group, a 2,000-employee division that will be housed in IBM's own building in New York City's East Village. That includes $100 million Big Blue will use to fund startups that launch creative uses for Watson... A new feature from Google will let you e-mail just about anyone with a Google+ account, and, in turn, give them the ability to e-mail you. The feature, announced on the official Gmail blog, won't give your actual e-mail address to strangers. But when a Gmail user begins typing in the address box, it will provide suggestions including people in their Google+ network. The idea, Google says, is to make it easier to contact friends and other contacts when you've forgotten, or never had, their e-mail address. But some early reactions suggested the new change may make it too easy... Google Inc took its biggest step to go deeper into consumers' homes, announcing a $3.2 billion deal to buy smart thermostat and smoke alarm-maker Nest Labs Inc, scooping up a promising line of products and a prized design team led by the "godfather" of the iPod.

January 15 - Google is developing smart contact lenses that measure the glucose levels in diabetics' tears. If successful, Google's newest venture could help to eliminate one of the most painful and intrusive daily routines of diabetics... Google pulled two extensions that were available for its popular Chrome web browser after complaints about the software showing unwanted ads. The extensions, Add to Feedly and Tweet this Page, were updated to add new software that served ads in unusual places on web pages, upsetting users. This type of adware violated Google's policies and the company removed the extensions from its Chrome Web Store... Verizon said it will acquire Intel Corp.'s online television unit in a deal that signals the growing importance of harnessing the Internet to deliver movies and television shows into the home. The transaction, valued at less than $200 million, would marry Verizon's FiOS cable TV service with Intel Media's OnCue Cloud TV technology for streaming television shows online... 

 
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