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February 8, 2006

The U.S. govt wants an Iraqi Court to prosecute an Iraqi Citizen who is being held in Iraq on suspicion that he is being a senior operative of insurgent leader Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi. Three people were killed this afternoon on Feb 8 when two planes collided above El Cajon near San Diego. No Injuries on the ground were reported, although they did crash in a residential area. New Information indicates that Gretzky knew about Janet Jones involvement in the gambling ring and that she may have placed bets for him.

Former Columbia High School teacher has been sentenced to six months in jail for a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old student who is now his wife. Robert Swalfweht, age 31, by Stevens County Superior Court Judge Allan Nielson not to have contact with any girls under the age of 18, with the exception of his now 16-year-old wife.

February 10, 2006

Story about an old woman, Edith, whose house was appraised by the city to be worth about $8000 but along came a developer who wanted to turn the entire dilapidated neighborhood into a sports complex. They offered her ¾ of a million dollars for the house along with an offer to build her a new house and to provide her with health insurance for the rest of her life. She declined. (Story by Denny Westneat, Seattle Times)

The kidnappers of Jill Caroll have set a new deadline, Feb 26 as a new execution deadline—if the Americans do not release all female Iraqi prisoners they say they will execute Jill Carroll.

A new tomb has been found in Egypt from the 18th dynasty, dating back more than 3300 years in the famed Valley of the Kings, near the Southern City of Luxor.It is the first of its kind since 1922 when King Tuts tomb was found. The new tomb is only a few meters away from King Tuts. The Valley of the Kings has been used as a burial ground for pharaohs, kings, and nobles since 1500 and 1000 B.C.

U.S. Adventurer Steve Fossett. Passed the point of no return , meaning he cannot turn back towards North America. He must cross over to Great Britain. He lost 750 pounds of extra spare fuel , meaning he has to have almost exact precise navigation to beat the record. He took off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 12:22 London Time on February 8. He has already flown around the world before setting off across the Atlantic again. The plane is able to glide for about 200 miles if it runs out of fuel.

The winter Olympics are in Turin Italy.

Since the first Oscar was awarded on May 16, 1929— a total of 2578 Oscar statuettes have been handed out. They are molded and polished by R.S. Owens Co. in Chicago. The statute depicts a knight, holding a sword, and standing on top of a film reel with five spokes symbolizing actors, directors, producers, technicians, writers. The annual “Flight of the Oscars” has become an annual tradition. The Academy Awards will be held at the Kodak Theatre this year. The Academy Awards are considered the highest honor of all the various screen awards.

February 15, 2006

Willie Nelson released a gay cowboy song—entitled “Cowboys are Frequently, Secretly Fond of Each Other” –“Inside Every Cowboy is a Lady who would Love to Slip Out”. He sings “He was a Friend of Mine” on the Brokeback Mountain soundtrack. Roy Romer, LAUSD Superintendent, plans to take an early retirement this year. California Teaching Commission says that providing only $4,400 more in pay increases the chances that an elementary school teacher will stay by 17%.

Mike McGibbon(?) director of the beginning teacher program says it makes an enormous difference to set up the first three years of teaching as a place to learn and grow rather than the way we used to do it as a rite of passage. He said nearly ¼ of new hires in California leave the profession in five years. There is going to be a teaching shortage of nearly 100,000 in the next decade.

February 17, 2006

On the island of Leyte, Philippines, major mudslide, 1800 missing. Guinsahugon Village in St. Bernard Town, Leyte Province. Rain caused a mudslide that made the whole mountain collapse. It buried an entire school. In November 1991 about 6000 were killed in mudslides. Another gold winner in the snowboardcross---Wescott won the Men’s Snowboard Cross, making it three golds in Snowboarding for the Americans, Shawn White, Hannah Tetter, and now Seth Wescott have all won golds in snowboarding. Wayne Gretzky and his wife Janet Jones will not face criminal charges for their alleged involvement in gambling ring (Story by Angela Santi, and Beth Alco).

Michelle Kwan, a native of Torrance, CA, has withdrawn from the skating competition in the winter Olympics. She turned down an offer by NBC to serve as a broadcaster but has accepted an offer by Disney to be a spokesperson . Debby Rowe, former wife of Michael Jackson, was in court to get a custody order granting Jackson custody of the two children she had with him. The court granted her custody, overturning a previous order in Jackson’s favor. Rowe was married to Jackson from 1997 to ’99 but never lived with him. She persuaded a Los Angeles Superior Court judge to overturn the child custody agreement in 2004 on the legal grounds of child molestation on the part of Jackson. Rowe was a medical assistant for a dermatologist when she met Jackson. They had two kids together, Michael Jr., and Paris. Rowe defended Jackson in his trial but now apparently changed her mind. Jackson has a third child, Prince Michael II, by an unknown mother. Jackson was also married to Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis Presley in the mid-1990’s but had no children together.

February 17, 2006

Gov Arnold has cut the California state deficit from 22 billion to less than 5 billion in the two years he has been in office.

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February 18, 2006

New gadget repels teenagers—the “Sonic Teenager Deterrent’ nicknamed the Mosquito—because the body’s natural ability to detect some frequency wavebands diminishes almost entirely after the age of 20 , adults are almost completely immune to it.

Jazmine Roberts, age 12, near Tampa Florida, conducted a test to see whether fast food restaurants ice contained more bacteria than the restaurants toilet water. She found that 70% of the time the ice contained more bacteria than the toilet water—at Benito Middle School.

Psychologist Galdino Pranzarone says that the heart symbol used to represent love is based on the shape of the female buttocks. Professor Pranzarone of Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia told Discovery News that he analyzed “essential literary and speculative evidence” , and that the Greeks associated beauty with the curves of the female behind. The Greek god of beauty Aphrodite was beautiful all over , but was unique in that her buttocks were especially beautiful, he said. Her shapely mountain hemispheres were so appreciated by the Greeks that they built a special temple, Aphrodite Kallipygos, which literally meant “Goddess with the Beautiful Buttocks” .

February 18, 2006.

USA lost to Sweden in Hockey. USA hasn’t lost to anybody but the Canadians in World Cup or Olympic competition since 1990. Lindsay Jacobe Ellis was winning the snowboard cross—had a good lead when she did some hotdogging and fell, costing her the gold. She ended up with the silver.

Shanni Davis became the first black person to win a gold medal in winter Olympic history capturing the Men’s 1000 Meter Speedskating race.

In Ohio, democrat Paul Hackett, an Iraq War Veteran, a major and an attorney, has dropped out of the Ohio Senate race. Bode Miller, the American skier, had the best time going in the slalom, looked sure to win the gold . But an official ruled that he hooked one of the flags and he was DQ’d.
February 19, 2006.

McDonalds announced that their French fries have wheat and milk remnants—used to flavor the fries, something they have not declared previously-. Now they are being sued by a few people who were allergic to dairy products. 27,000 poultry birds died in India due to what they are saying is, initially, bird flu. But further tests are pending. No human deaths have been reported in relation to this case.

USA lost again in hockey—this time to Sweden, 2-1 . First time that anybody can remember—Lake Erie has not frozen over. Erie is usually the first to freeze over—being the shallowest of the five Great Lakes. It has having an effect on some locals businesses—the charter fishermen, the charter planes, etc. Ice fishing is a popular sport around the area—and stores are feeling the effect as well.

East wins All Star game in Houston , 122-120. Lebron James, age 21, scored 29 points and pulled down six rebounds, and was named the MVP—the youngest MVP ever. Former president George Bush sr. was there.

February 20, 2006

(Presidents Day)—in the Philippines Guinsagun high-tech gear has detected sounds at the site of the massive mudslide that buried the school and village. Officials are not sure if the sound was made by survivors or whether the sand was still shifting and settling. (story by Oliver Teves, AP).

Now they say that 76 are confirmed dead and over 900 still missing (as opposed to 1800 which was the previous estimate).

The Rolling Stones gave a free concert at Coca cabaña Beach in Brazil. Over 1,000,000 attended. IT was followed by a U2 concert. This is the first time the Stones have played for free in Brazil. Mick Jagger has a Brazilian son. (story by Michael Astor, AP).

IN Goobato, Somalia there’s a drought—for the people who live in this little town—the woman who live there have to begin their daily trek at 2 a.m to walk ten miles to the nearest water source, and return 7 hours later each carrying five gallons of water. -(story by John Donnelly, Boston Globe, Feb 20, 2006)

Curt Gowdy, sportscaster, born and raised in Green River, Wyoming, died at age 86 at his home in Palm Beach, Florida—after a long bout with leukemia. He did seven superbowls between ’67 and ’79, ten consecutive World Series, many Rose Bowls, NBA championships, and Olympics. ABC wanted him to be the first play-by-play announcer for Monday Night Football, but NBC would not release him from his contract. He was also the announcer when Ted Williams hit a homerun at his last at-bat in Fenway Park. He owned five radio stations.

British historian David Irving on Monday pled guilty to denying the Holocaust and was sentenced to three years in prison. He conceded he was wrong when he said there were no gas chambers at the Nazi death camp, Auschwitz. He could have gotten ten years. At age 67, he’s been in custody since November 11—having been denied bail, deemed a flight risk (AP)

George Clooney originally came to Hollywood from Kentucky in the early 80’s to work as a chauffeur for his aunt, singer Rosemary Clooney. He was nominated for British Academy Awards but did not win. Now he’s been nominated for the American Academy’s—for best supporting actor and director.

IN Amsterdam, the Netherlands, outcry against prostitution and human trafficking in recent months—have prompted calls by local officials in Amsterdam for the red light district to be shut down. Therefore they are going on the defensive—holding an “open house” to make it seem less sinister.

The current CEO of Radio Shack is stepping down after questions about the truthfulness of his resume surfaced. He claimed to have graduated from the Pacific Coast Baptist College in California , which moved in 1998 to Oklahoma and re-named itself the Heartland Baptist Bible College. David Edmundson claimed to have graduated with a psychology degree, but college officials say they don’t offer psychology degrees, and say Edmundson only completed two semesters. Edmondson said that he received a theology diploma called a Th.g but not the four-year bachelor-of-science degree listed on his resume.

The scheduled execution of convicted murder-rapist Michael Morales was postponed after court-ordered anesthesiologists refused to participate. The prison warden abruptly changed plans and announced that the prisoner would be executed with a lethal dose of barbiturates, indicating they will use sodium penthothal rather than the standard three chemical potion. Morales was convicted of the slaying of Terry Winchell, a 17-year-old Lodi High School senior.

Austrian skiers are under investigation for potentially violating anti-doping rules in the Winter Olympics.

February 21, 2006

Gang of armed robbers impersonating police officers tied up employees at a Southern England Securities company and stole the equivalent of $43.5 million dollars, maybe more (AP News). They first kidnapped the manager of the bank –not a real bank—but a security company—with no indication from the exterior that they held large sums of money. They kidnapped the manager—another group of thieves went to the manager’s house and took his wife and young son.

February 23, 2006

Gospel pianist ____Burger, who had at least one Dove Award nomination, collapsed and died during a performance at the age of 44.

Whitey Bulger—2nd most wanted criminal, only after Osama Bin Laden . $1 million dollar bounty,---his brother led the Massachusetts Senate for several years. They say he is likely hiding in England surviving on millions of dollars stashed in safety deposit boxes. He’s been wanted since 1994. His brother resigned from politics and also he was president of the Univ. of Massachusetts , and resigned in 2003 under pressure from Gov. Mitt Romney, who said that his brother (the university president at the time) had not done enough to help the search for his fugitive brother. William (the former university president), however, denies knowing where Whitey is.

The ABQAIQ Oil complex in Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil processing facility, and prepares about 2/3 of its oil for export. Three suicide car bombers tried to penetrate the perimeter of the plant—one partially succeeded but did not significant damage. The suicide bombers and three security guards all died.

Gloria Arroyo , president of the Philippines, has declared the country to be in a state of emergency due to an uprising against her, the president—which was quashed by the military.

Julia _________wins the Gold in downhill skiing. Julia’s father was put in prison for smuggling marijuana when she was in kindergarten. And he went to prison again when she was in high school.

Prostitution in Spain apparently is a big problem—some call Spain “the brothel of Europe.” Voluntary prostitution is not a crime but pimping and coercion is unlawful.

Chad Hedrick came in 2nd in the 10,000 meters speed skating Winter Olympics , winning the silver. The USA wins the bronze in curling.

South Dakota banned abortion—making it unlawful for doctors to conduct abortion procedures—under penalty of $5000 fine and/or prison. This sets up the possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court might

overturn Roe v. Wade.

February 25, 2006

National Date Festival. U.S. Army has recommended the discharge of 7 U.S. Army paratroopers for allegations that they participated in a gay pornography movie which was posted on a website.

Don Knotts died—the actor from Archie Griffith show. He got five Emmys for the Griffith show, which ran from 1960 to 1968. He was also the landlord on “3’s Company” (Jeremiah Marquez and Vicky Smith, AP). Neo-nazis march in Orlando Florida, chanting that blacks cause more crime. Counter-demonstrators, 17 of them arrested (Kelly Kennedy, AP).

February 26, 2006

Shooting at church in Detroit—Zion Hope Missionary Baptist Church—man walked in shot a lady with a shotgun—killing her—injuring boy next to her, and then he critically shot at somebody outside the church who was trying to protect his wife from a carjacking attempt. Later Kevin Collins, age 24, he was seen by police a few miles from the church –at which point he killed himself. The worship service continued after the shooting.

Anthony Moore, from San Jose, CA, took a vacation on Maui with his wife and was free diving (without air tanks) on Thursday, when the 45 year old man was attacked by sharks. IT was not clear if he had passed out first due to oxygen deprivation and then attacked by sharks or whether the sharks were the sole cause of death. There were questions whether he experienced a “shallow water blackout” which can occur during free diving upon ascent after being underwater for a long time without air.

February 27, 2006

For the first time ever Mt. McKinley, officials in Denali national Park will restrict the number of climbers at 1500 per year due to overcrowding. Since 1903 30, 049 climbers have attempted to reach the top of the 20, 300 foot mountain, with just over half succeeding. 95 have died trying, including a record 11 in 1992. Two brothers from Ohio died last year. McKinley is popular because it is relatively easy to get to compared to some of the other highest peaks in the world—a 2 hour flight from Anchorage and a 45 minute flight to the base camp at 7200 feet is all it takes to begin. Climbers typically spend 14 to 18 days on the mountain.

1000’s of fish beached themselves in North Carolina and then swam away. Local officials are wondering if this was an incident of what they call “jubilee” –when environmental conditions cause the oxygen level in the water to be low causing the fish to come close to shore.

The—Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) is scheduled to enter orbit around Mars on March 10, but there are concerns about whether it will succeed or not. NASA has lost two spacecraft upon entry into the Mars orbit in the last fifteen years. IN 1993—NASA lost contact with the Mars Observer. Six years later the Mars Climate Orbiter failed upon arrival . If it successfully enters the Mars Orbit—it will stay in orbit around the Red Planet for two years taking photographs.

LAUSD has contracted with Hamilton, Rabinowitz, and Alschuler, Inc (HRA Inc) to assist the district in its search for a new superintendent.

February 28, 2006 (cont)

CBS Radio is suing Howard Stern saying he breached his contract with them before he moved to Satellite Radio.

Prosecutors in the Saddam Hussein case displayed an order signed by Hussein (they contend) authorizing the execution of 148 men and boys, some as young as 11. (by Robert Worth, NY Times).

February 28, 2006

US Supreme Court struck down a ruling by a District Court that said the actions of anti-abortion protestors amounted to racketeering. Since 1998 an injunction has been in place that has kept protestors away from abortion clinics. This opens the way for the opponents to be more vocal and closer to the vicinity of the abortion clinics.

UC Irvine: They showed those cartoons that caused so much turmoil in the Mideast about Mohammed—they showed them at the UC Irvine—and it led to heated exchanges between some campus Muslim groups and those who were showing the film. Muslim Student Union became upset with the College Republicans and the United Awareness Committee.

Barry Bonds dressed up as Paula Abdul, the singer, for a San Francisco 49er’s American Idol type contest. He wore a strapless dress and a wig.
March 1, 2006

Red Cross gets about 40 million per year in direct government grants—chartered by congress in 1905. They have 50 board members—thinking about cutting it to ten

March 2, 2006

Police chief Chester Kennedy of Troup Texas and his seargent were arrested on drug & evidence tampering charges—the entire police department was shut down.

12-year-old boy at the Detroit Institute of Art stuck a wad of gum on a 1.5. Million-dollar painting leaving a stain the size of a quarter .

The night before the Academy’s they have an award ceremony called the “Razzies” –i.e. rasberrys’—in which they vote on the worst acting, worst directing, etc. They invite the recipients—but none of them showed up yesterday. Last year Halle Barry showed up for “Catwoman” This year a film called “Dirty Love” got the reward for bad acting and directing. The ceremony was held at the Ivar Theatre—a converted old theatre near Sunset & Hollywood.

March 5, 2006

The main sweetener in soda is high fructose corn syrup and can increase fat in the blood called triglycerides, which raises the risk of heart problems, diabetes, and other health problems. The sweetener also does not spur the increase of insulin to help the body process the fat nor does it produce leptin a substance that tamps down appetite as other carbohydrates do, explained Dr. George Bray of the Pennington Research Institute in Baton Rouge, LA. (Marilyn Marchione, AP)

The movie “Crash” won Best Picture beating “Brokeback Mountain” Crash was shot with a 6.5 million dollar budget, but grossed $55 million domestic.. Reese Witherspoon won Best Actress for her portrayal of June Carter in “Walk the Line” . Philip Seymour Hoffman won Best Actor for his portrayal of Truman Capote in the movie “Capote.” George Clooney got Best Supporting Actor for “Syriana” but he did not win for Best Director or Best Original Screenplay for “Good Night, Good Luck” although he was nominated.

3.4 earthquake shook Ontario CA around 233 a.m On Sunday. Tiger Woods wins his second consecutive Doral Open, despite having bogied the last two holes. HE has won four of six tournaments this year already.
March 6, 2006.

Former Twins Hall of Famer, Kirby Puckett dies of a stroke, unexpectedly. He had been forced to retire early due to glaucoma. Samsung has come out with a new cell phone that has an 8 GB hard drive. Homeless man was doused with lighter fluid and lit on fire at a park in Boston. He managed to get the clothes off without being seriously burned. (Maria Kramer, Boston Globe)

There’s going to be a criminal investigation into the death of Pat Tillman, the American soldier killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan. One initial report said there was “gross negligence” involved. (Hope Yen & Pauline Jelinek, AP)

On July 31, cosmonaut Panel Vinogradov will play golf during a six hour space walk on the Intl Space Station –from off of a platform—with a tee like an ice cream cone—using a 6 iron he will hit a gold plated golf ball into orbit---expected to plunge 2. 1 billion miles before it burns up upon entry into earths orbit—expected to take a few years. Publicity for golf manufacturer Element 21 and timed to coincide with the first golf shot in space—when the USA landed a man on the moon.

March 7, 2006

Strong sunspot cycle forecast. Solar scientist Mausumi Dikpati of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder CO and his colleagues developed a computer program which measures the sub-surface plasma flows on the sun. The satellite observatory uses sound waves in the sun’s interior to reveal details of the structure, much as a doctor uses ultra sound to take images of internal organs. Dikpati found that the solar cycle is powered by massive rivers of electro-magnetic plasma flowing near the sun’s surface from its equator to the pole and back again. The flow is like a massive conveyor belt carrying large quantities of plasma, as well as isolated magnetic fields or eddies from the equator to the pole and back over a twenty-two year period. Sunspots first observed by Galileo in 1610 are dark areas on the sun’s surface that are about 2700 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than surrounding areas. They are known to be caused by the eruption of magnetic fields through the sun’s surface, disrupting plasma and creating cool spots. The magnetic eddies that break through the surface release enormous amounts of energy, sending sheets of ionized particles and ultraviolet radiation towards earth. Heat from the ultraviolet emissions causes the earth’s atmosphere to balloon slightly increasing the drag on satellites in low earth orbit including the international space station. The sunspots form about 25 to 30 degrees north of the equator.
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