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  • 6 Unspoken Marriage Rules You Must Follow

    Every married person knows to be faithful, stay truthful and be there for her partner through good times and bad--they're in the wedding vows, after all. But most seasoned couples would admit that some unspoken rules are vital for getting past rough patches and growing stronger as a couple. Here, experts share 10 of the less apparent (but just as important) marriage rules to live by. Photo by Getty Images.

    1. Don't criticize your partner's parents or friends. You know how it is-your family can tick you off but no one else had dare speak ill of them. That's why you should tread carefully with your in-laws and your husband's dearest friends. "Even when he's venting to you, your contributions can put him on the defensive," explains LeslieBeth Wish, EdD, a Florida-based psychologist and licensed clinical social worker. "When you take position A, you prompt your partner to take position B." Instead, says Dr. Wish, put yourself in his position so that you can empathize with him.

    2. Tell your spouse about any ex encounters. Whether you get a Facebook friend request or run into an old flame at your kid's soccer game, keeping the news to yourself could backfire, despite having zero feelings for the ex. "If there's nothing to hide, why hide it?" says Deb Castaldo, PhD, a couples and family therapist and professor at Rutgers University School of Social Work in New Brunswick, NJ. "That leads to an air of secrecy and dishonesty," she says. Just clue in your hubby matter-of-factly: Try, "I knew it was only a matter of time before old boyfriends came out of the woodwork on Facebook. I got a friend request from one and ignored it." Or, "I saw my ex in the mall today. His kids are cute. Glad to see his life turned out nicely."

    3. Keep unsolicited advice to yourself. Offer your support, lend your ear, but avoid speaking in an "I know what's best" tone. "We give advice because we're trying to be helpful, but it's seen as criticism when we offer too many corrections," says Harriet Lerner, PhD, clinical psychologist and author of Marriage Rules: A Manual for the Married and the Coupled Up. This goes for everything from your husband's outfit choices to how he deals with a work issue. Give your spouse space to make decisions and gain confidence through trial and error-and ask that he do the same for you, says Dr. Lerner. "What matters in a relationship is not that things get done 'right,' but that two people are dedicated to contributing to each other's happiness."

    Related: Discover the 10 things men wish women knew about sex.

    4. Don't take charge all the time. Whether you fold all the laundry because you don't like how your husband does it or you manage the finances because you don't think he's as careful, you may feel more at ease doing all the work. But stop! "The spouse who does the rescuing can become tired of that role," says Dr. Wish--and resentful that everything is on her shoulders, even if she volunteered for that burden. Get in the habit of asking your partner, "What do you think works best here?" or telling him, "I could use a hand cleaning out the pantry." These requests will foster the idea that you're teammates.

    5. Don't bring up past arguments. Or at least put a statute of limitations on them. "People repeat ancient disagreements because they haven't resolved the problem," says Dr. Castaldo. Letting things fester often causes marriages to break down, she says. It's important to address issues as they happen and come to some sort of resolution--agreeing to disagree counts. "Leave it there, and respect each other's opinion," she says.

    6. Choose your battles, but don't stifle your feelings. "There's going to be toothpaste globs here and Post-it notes there; that's human nature," says Dr. Wish. "You have to be able to say, 'this isn't important.'" Or if it is, speak up. "Tell your partner why it bothers you and that you'd like to work on a solution," suggests Dr. Wish. You'd be surprised what you could learn about each other. For instance, your husband may not leave dirty dishes in the sink anymore if you explain that your childhood home was piled high with plates and you were stuck washing them. It's also important to understand that he's not plotting to upset you every time he's sloppy or forgetful. A simple request like: "Honey, it'd be great if you could pick up the dry cleaning while you're out" beats getting mad that he didn't offer to help with errands.

    Movies Of Books 11 Films That Are Better Than The Texts They Are Based On

    After months of anticipation, Ang Lee's film adaptation of "Life of Pi" opened this November. The critically acclaimed novel of the same name by Yann Martel left Lee with big shoes to fill -- many questioned whether the dreamy adventure novel could be properly adapted for film. Lucky for Lee, "Life of Pi" was released to both positive critical reception and strong box office numbers.

    Next May, after multiple delays, Leonardo DiCaprio will star in Baz Luhrmann's film adaptation of "The Great Gatsby." The film, which has already benefitted from some stunning trailers, hits theaters May 10, 2013.

    Adaptations of books have long been a box office staple. Some, such as 1939's "Gone with the Wind," live up to the celebrated original, while others, such as 1995's "The Scarlet Letter," fail to do the books justice.

    On the rare occasion however, the movie manages to outshine the book. Click through below to vote on your favorites and let us know your top film adaptations in the comments.

    15-year-old Living Doll is YouTube's Controversial New Star

    At 15, Venus Palermo has grown into her doll obsession rather than out of it. Under the screen name Venus Angelic, the London based teenager posts beauty tutorials on YouTube for fans who want to look like her. But that's not why she's the latest viral video star. It's because she looks like a living doll.

    According to Palermo, you too could be a ball-jointed doll (or BJD as she calls it) with the right over-sized pupil contacts, plastic-sheen-effect powder and pure white eye shadow. Based on her 5 million viewers and the legions of lookalike fans on her Facebook page, people are taking her advice.

    The modern ball-jointed doll is widely popular in Japan, a country both she and her mother are obsessed with. "Mommy cooks Japanese, thinks Japanese, goes to Japan with me," writes Palermo on her blog. "Because we like it. Liking something, is soooooo GREAT!" Palermo is actually Austrian, Swiss and Hungarian but she's been studying Japanese along with several other languages. Her multilingual background is how she explains her accent, which sounds close to the Midwestern Harajuku-obsessed college kids satirized on Saturday Night Live.

    Palermo's obsession, however, isn't taken as lightly. Her videos have been labeled "bizarre" and "disturbing" in the media. Her uncanny appearance is sounding off alarm bells for concerned critics. Modern Asian ball joint dolls have become increasingly more life-like, with a line of human-sized, physically mature dolls recently released for the kind of consumer you don't want anywhere near your teenager.

    The perverse comments on the 15-year-old's videos is proof she's attracting some unsavory fans. So is the occasional grown man dappling the list of Palermo's Facebook fans. But the teenager's mom doesn't appear to be intervening in her daughter's risky hobby. Mom serves as host of Q&A chats between teenager and fans. In one video posted last year, she sat by while the teenager had an uncomfortable conversation with a 24-year-old male caller who professed his love and then proceeded to belittle her.

    In text under that video, posted to VenusAngelic's channel, Palermo refers to her fans as "lovers." The title of the video is "Insane Guy in Love."

    "The case of Venus Angelic is uncomfortably exploitative, as there is clearly a sexual undertone to what she is doing," says Hilary Levey Friedman, PhD, a Harvard sociologist who has written extensively about child exploitation in media.

    "In general, young girls on YouTube is a disturbing, growing trend," she says noting the recent trend of pre-teen girls asking viewers if they're pretty.

    In many cases, parents are unaware of their child's webcam usage, until their uploads go viral. But in other instances, the parents are facilitators.

    "Remember, Justin Bieber got his start on YouTube with the help of his mother," says Levey Friedman.

    Levey Friedman wonders whether Palermo's mom has similar aspirations for her daughter. The YouTube stage parent is relatively new concept. Most kids have risen to viral fame for just being kids, and if a parent profits off of that they're immediately criticized. The rare performing prodigy, like Bieber, is an exception. But Palermo doesn't fall into either category. She may be bringing a Japanese trend to Western teenagers, but she's also attracting a largely unwanted fan-base.

    Obama Orders Pay Raise For Congress, Federal Workers, Joe Biden

    President Barack Obama gave a New Year's gift to returning members of Congress, federal workers and Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday, signing an executive order calling for an end to a years-long pay freeze.

    As of March 27, 2013, federal employees will see a half-percent to one percent pay increase, marking the end of a pay freeze that has been in place since late 2010. Congress hasn't seen a pay raise since 2009.

    According to the order, Biden's pay will increase from $225,521 to $231,900 a year, before taxes. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) will see his salary increased to $224,500 and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will take home an annual pay of $194,400 after his raise.

    While Obama's order made no mention of merit for such a raise, HuffPost's Amanda Terkel reported on Friday that the 112th Congress is set to end the session as the most unproductive since the 1940s, with only 219 bills passed by the body becoming law. The raise won't take place until the 113th Congress, meaning that outgoing members will see no effect from the order.

    Obama ordered the raise as he continues to negotiate unsuccessfully with congressional leaders to find a deal in order to avoid the fiscal cliff at the end of the year. If no agreement is met, over $500 billion in planned tax increases and spending cuts will be implemented.

    Sofia Vergara's Swimsuit Leaves Little To The Imagination

    Sofia Vergara is going to have some very strange tan lines.

    The 40-year-old "Modern Family" actress is causing quite a buzz with a photo she posted to her WhoSay account on Dec. 27.

    Like many other stars, Vergara has been soaking up the sun this holiday season, and some of the lucky people in Miami might have gotten an actual look at the actress, who was strutting her stuff in a daring black-and-white cut-out bathing suit.

    Vergara posted the photo of herself in the bondage-inspired bathing suit, and wrote, "Holyday!"

    Lindsay Lohan's 'Million Dollar Decorators' Appearance A Sneak Peek

    There have been many reports about what transpired when Lindsay Lohan filmed an episode of Bravo’s "Million Dollar Decorators." But now, we've been given a glimpse into the ill-fated taping that left Bravo with a $200,000 makeover and no star to reveal it to. In the above clip, Lohan invites us into her bedroom, which she has already begun to decorate -- with her many Chanel bags.

    “Lindsay Lohan is a legitimate client of Kathryn Ireland and as part of our show, we follow the redecorating process. Lindsay was not available for the reveal shoot, but we were still able to capture the outcome, just like we do for many of the reveal episodes. The final reveal will be featured in the last episode of the season on January 8,” a Bravo representative tells The Huffington Post.

    However, there was more drama behind the scenes when it became clear Lindsay would not be able to finish taping the show due to hospitalization after an accident.

    The first installment of Lohan’s "Million Dollar Decorators" appearance will air on January 1 on Bravo.

    Marilyn Monroe's FBI File Redactions Regarding Communist Ties Removed

    FBI files on Marilyn Monroe that could not be located earlier this year have been found and re-issued, revealing the names of some of the movie star's communist-leaning friends who drew concern from government officials and her own entourage.

    But the records, which previously had been heavily redacted, do not contain any new information about Monroe's death 50 years ago. Letters and news clippings included in the files show the bureau was aware of theories the actress had been killed, but they do not show that any effort was undertaken to investigate the claims. Los Angeles authorities concluded Monroe's death was a probable suicide.

    Recently obtained by The Associated Press through the Freedom of Information Act, the updated FBI files do show the extent the agency was monitoring Monroe for ties to communism in the years before her death in August 1962.

    The records reveal that some in Monroe's inner circle were concerned about her association with Frederick Vanderbilt Field, who was disinherited from his wealthy family over his leftist views.

    A trip to Mexico earlier that year to shop for furniture brought Monroe in contact with Field, who was living in the country with his wife in self-imposed exile. Informants reported to the FBI that a "mutual infatuation" had developed between Field and Monroe, which caused concern among some in her inner circle, including her therapist, the files state.

    "This situation caused considerable dismay among Miss Monroe's entourage and also among the (American Communist Group in Mexico)," the file states. It includes references to an interior decorator who worked with Monroe's analyst reporting her connection to Field to the doctor.

    Field's autobiography devotes an entire chapter to Monroe's Mexico trip, "An Indian Summer Interlude." He mentions that he and his wife accompanied Monroe on shopping trips and meals and he only mentions politics once in a passage on their dinnertime conversations.

    "She talked mostly about herself and some of the people who had been or still were important to her," Field wrote in "From Right to Left." "She told us about her strong feelings for civil rights, for black equality, as well as her admiration for what was being done in China, her anger at red-baiting and McCarthyism and her hatred of (FBI director) J. Edgar Hoover."

    Under Hoover's watch, the FBI kept tabs on the political and social lives of many celebrities, including Frank Sinatra, Charlie Chaplin and Monroe's ex-husband Arthur Miller. The bureau has also been involved in numerous investigations about crimes against celebrities, including threats against Elizabeth Taylor, an extortion case involving Clark Gable and more recently, trying to solve who killed rapper Notorious B.I.G.

    The AP had sought the removal of redactions from Monroe's FBI files earlier this year as part of a series of stories on the 50th anniversary of Monroe's death. The FBI had reported that it had transferred the files to a National Archives facility in Maryland, but archivists said the documents had not been received. A few months after requesting details on the transfer, the FBI released an updated version of the files that eliminate dozens of redactions.

    For years, the files have intrigued investigators, biographers and those who don't believe Monroe's death at her Los Angeles area home was a suicide.

    Best Kisses Of 2012 Supercut Featuring 'Castle,' 'The Vampire Diaries'

    New Year's Eve has long been a celebration of kissing, so in honor of the annual event, HuffPost TV rounded up the best TV kisses from 2012.

    From Damon and Elena's very long-awaited hookup on "The Vampire Diaries" to Leslie and Ben's sweet post-engagement embrace on "Parks and Rec" to Ryan and Amber's passionate ocean makeout session on "Parenthood," we've assembled a supercut of those smooches we can't forget.

    Watch the video above to see the best kisses from 2012 on TV, from the sweet to the scandalous to the sexy.

    Here's to 2013 and the many more TV lip-locks to come!

    French court rejects 75 percent millionaires' tax

    France's Constitutional Council on Saturday rejected a 75 percent upper income tax rate to be introduced in 2013 in a setback to Socialist President Francois Hollande's push to make the rich contribute more to cutting the public deficit.

    The Council ruled that the planned 75 percent tax on annual income above 1 million euros ($1.32 million) - a flagship measure of Hollande's election campaign - was unfair in the way it would be applied to different households.

    Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said the government would redraft the upper tax rate proposal to answer the Council's concerns and resubmit it in a new budget law, meaning Saturday's decision could only amount to a temporary political blow.

    While the tax plan was largely symbolic and would only have affected a few thousand people, it has infuriated high earners in France, prompting some such as actor Gerard Depardieu to flee abroad. The message it sent also shocked entrepreneurs and foreign investors, who accuse Hollande of being anti-business.

    Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said the rejection of the 75 percent tax and other minor measures could cut up to 500 million euros in forecast tax revenues but would not hurt efforts to slash the public deficit to below a European Union ceiling of 3 percent of economic output next year.

    "The rejected measures represent 300 to 500 million euros. Our deficit-cutting path will not be affected," Moscovici told BFM television. He too said the government would resubmit a proposal to raise taxes on high incomes in 2013 and 2014.

    The Council, made up of nine judges and three former presidents, is concerned the tax would hit a married couple where one partner earned above a million euros but it would not affect a couple where each earned just under a million euros.
    UMP member Gilles Carrez, chairman of the National Assembly's finance commission, told BFM television, however, that the Council's so-called wise men also felt the 75 percent tax was excessive and too much based on ideology.


    Hollande shocked many by announcing his 75 percent tax proposal out of the blue several weeks into a campaign that some felt was flagging. Left-wing voters were cheered by it but business leaders warned that talent would flee the country.

    Set to be a temporary measure until France is out of economic crisis, the few hundred million euros a year the tax was set to raise is a not insignificant sum as the government strives to boost public finances in the face of stalled growth.

    Hollande's 2013 budget calls for the biggest belt-tightening effort France has seen in decades and is based on a growth target of 0.8 percent, a level analysts view as over-optimistic.

    Fitch Ratings this month affirmed its triple-A rating on France but said there was no room for slippage. Standard & Poor's and Moody's have both stripped Europe's No. 2 economy of its AAA badge due to concern over strained public finances and stalled growth.

    The International Monetary Fund recently forecast that France will miss its 3 percent deficit target next year and signs are growing that Paris could negotiate some leeway on the timing of that goal with its EU partners.

    The INSEE national statistics institute this week scaled back its reading of a return to growth in the third quarter to 0.1 percent from 0.2 percent, and the government said it could review its 2013 outlook in the next few months.

    Saturday's decision was in response to a motion by the opposition conservative UMP party, whose weight in fighting Hollande's policies has been reduced by a leadership crisis that has split it in two seven months after it lost power.

    DC police investigating 'Meet the Press' incident

    District of Columbia police say they are investigating an incident in which NBC News reporter David Gregory displayed what he described as a high-capacity ammunition magazine on "Meet the Press."

    Gun laws in the nation's capital generally restrict the possession of high-capacity magazines, regardless of whether the device is attached to a firearm.

    "NBC contacted [the Metropolitan Police Department] inquiring if they could utilize a high capacity magazine for their segment. NBC was informed that possession of a high capacity magazine is not permissible and their request was denied. This matter is currently being investigated," police spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump said in a written statement. She declined to comment further on the investigation.

    While interviewing National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre for Sunday's program, Gregory held an object, apparently as a prop to make a point, and said it was a magazine that could hold 30 rounds.

    "Here is a magazine for ammunition that carries 30 bullets. Now, isn't it possible if we got rid of these, if we replaced them and said, 'Well, you can only have a magazine that carries five bullets or ten bullets,' isn't it just possible that we could reduce the carnage in a situation like Newtown?'" Gregory asked, referring to the Dec. 14 mass shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut.

    LaPierre replied, "I don't believe that's going to make one difference. There are so many different ways to evade that even if you had that" ban.

    Don't release the hounds Raft of unusual state laws to take effect 2013

     If you want to stay out of trouble in California, don’t let your dog chase a bear. And don’t get caught releasing feral hogs in Kentucky. New laws prohibiting both of those activities are among the dozens of regulations and changes taking effect in 2013. The new laws cover everything from prohibiting law enforcement officers from having sex with inmates on their way to prison to revising the term “motor vehicle” to exclude swamp buggies.

    More than 200 new laws will be on the books Jan. 1 and while some may seem silly or outdated others like the approval of same-sex marriage in Maryland have garnered national attention over the past year.

    Here’s a glance at some of the new state laws taking effect in 2013:

    --- New York:  Starting next week, selling electronic cigarettes to minors in New York will be illegal. State law already prohibits selling cigars, cigarettes and chewing tobacco to those under 18 and retailers can be slapped with a $1,000 fine if they are caught. Sen. Owen Johnson, R-Babylon, sponsored the measure and says E-cigarettes “have not been proven to be safe for use at any age.” The battery-powered devices are used to inhale vaporized liquid nicotine instead of tobacco smoke. They were initially marketed as a safe alternative to cigarettes but some say their candy flavors appeal to minors.

    --- Illinois: Lawmakers in Illinois stayed busy this year. For one, they passed a law that gives motorcyclists the go-ahead to run red lights. Motorcycles and bicycles aren’t usually heavy enough to trigger ground sensors that switch traffic lights from red to green so many two-wheeled motorists stay stuck at intersections and have to wait for a larger vehicle to come. Under the new measure, when a motorcycle comes up to a red light or a left-turn arrow and waits for two minutes or more for the light to change, they will be able to legally proceed if the coast is clear.

    Lawmakers in Illinois also sent a message to snoopy bosses this year after passing a measure that makes it illegal for employers to ask job applicants for passwords to their online profiles on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. The law was pushed through after civil liberties groups criticized the practice as an invasion of privacy.

    Former Texas Rangers owner Brad Corbett dies once had 4 managers in 8 days

    Items like this can be found on our Rangers blog.

    Brad Corbett’s tumultuous six-year run as Rangers owner can be defined by one game.

    On July 4, 1977, the Rangers lost, 1-0, to Kansas City at Arlington Stadium. After the game, a tearful Corbett stormed into the Rangers’ clubhouse and loudly proclaimed, “I’m selling this team because it’s killing me. They’re dogs on the field, and they’re dogs off the field.”

    Corbett kept the team for nearly three more years. The mercurial owner never changed.

    The impulsive Corbett constantly made moves, trading away young talent such as left-hander Dave Righetti and third baseman Bill Madlock for fading veterans. Corbett spent wildly on free-agent busts such as shortstop Bert Campaneris and outfielder Richie Zisk.

    The approach never brought Corbett a champion. The Rangers had their first brush with legitimacy during the Corbett era (1974-80) by finishing second three times in the American League West but never reached the postseason.

    Corbett, 75, died in his sleep Monday, his daughter Pamela Corbett Murrin told The Associated Press.

    Corbett moved from Long Island, N.Y., to Fort Worth in 1968. He quickly parlayed a $300,000 loan from the Small Business Administration into a fortune in the plastic-piping and chemical-tubing businesses.

    Corbett realized his dream of owning a major league team by putting together a collection of local investors that purchased the Rangers from Bob Short two days before the 1974 season. The group paid $9.6 million and assumed $1 million in debt.

    The brash Corbett took the spotlight. Others held the title, but Corbett served as his own general manager. He reveled in making trades on a whim.

    Corbett once famously pulled off a trade during a men’s room conversation with Cleveland executive Gabe Paul. The Rangers in 1978 sent outfielder Bobby Bonds and young right-hander Len Barker to the Indians for infielder Larvell “Sugar Bear” Blanks and right-hander Jim Kern.

    The club took on the air of a circus. In 1977, the Rangers employed four managers in a span of eight games. In 1978, Sports Illustrated revealed Corbett consulted his son, Brad Jr., on trades

    The Queen's Christmas Speech To Be Broadcast In 3D

    Settling down to watch the Queen's speech after Christmas dinner, viewers could be transported to Buckingham Palace, almost able to feel the pine needles of the Royal Christmas tree as the speech is broadcast in 3D for the first time.

    Behind the scenes footage of the broadcast, recorded on December 7, has been released, revealing the monarch in snazzy 3D glasses.

    Not your average plastic iMax frames, the Queen's 3D specs are decorated on each side with the letter Q made from Swarovski crystals. They were first worn by the Queen during a visit to a movie training centre in Toronto in 2010.

    The Queen, who has watched her 3D Christmas message, said she enjoyed the experience.

    A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said the monarch thought the broadcast was "absolutely lovely".

    She added: "We wanted to do something a bit different and special in this Jubilee year, so doing it for the first time in 3D seemed a good thing, technology-wise, to do.
    The Queen recording her Christmas broadcast

    "The Queen absolutely agreed straight away there was no need for convincing at all, she was absolutely ready to embrace something new in this year."

    The Queen will pay tribute in her Christmas broadcast to the nation's Olympic and Paralympic athletes for inspiring all those who watched their achievements.

    The monarch will hail the "splendid summer of sport" and highlight how the sportsmen and women gave the spectators the chance to feel part of the "excitement and drama".

    A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman outlined the themes of the message: "The Queen's broadcast this year focuses on service, achievement and the spirit of togetherness."

    During the address, which will be broadcast in full on Christmas Day, the Queen will say: "As London hosted a splendid summer of sport, all those who saw the achievement and courage at the Olympic and Paralympic Games were further inspired by the skill, dedication, training and teamwork of our athletes.

    Prank Call Nurse 'Had Made Two Earlier Suicide Attempts'

    A nurse who was found dead days after transferring a prank call made to the hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge was being treated for morning sickness, had made two previous suicide attempts, it has been claimed.

    Jacintha Saldanha, 46, was found dead days after she transferred the call from two Australian DJs to a colleague who then described Kate's condition in detail.

    It has now emerged she was being treated with anti-depressants and had made two attempts to take her own life during a family holiday in India, last December.

    Jacintha Saldanha had made two suicide attempts previously, it is claimed

    According to the Daily Mail, she was rushed to hospital after an overdose of pills, but tried to commit suicide again just nine days later by jumping from a building.

    She was treated for depression and admitted to a psychiatric ward at Father Muller Medical College Hospital in
    Mangalore, India, The Sun said.

    Her brother Naveen Saldanha, 42, told the newspaper: “We didn’t know about the first incident, but we knew about the second.”

    The news comes as it emerged Scotland Yard has submitted a file to the Crown Prosecution Service relating to the prank call.

    The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will now consider whether any potential offences may have been committed, Scotland Yard said.

    Ms Saldanha, a mother-of-two, was found dead in her nurses' quarters at London's King Edward VII's Hospital by a colleague and a security guard on 7 December.

    king edward hospital
    Saldanha worked at the King Edward VII hospital, where the Duchess was staying

    Three days earlier she put through a call from DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian, believing they were the Queen and the Prince of Wales.

    Ms Saldanha left two notes in her room and was found with marks on her wrist when her body was discovered, Westminster Coroner's Court in London heard as an inquest was opened and adjourned.

    Greig and Christian spoke of their grief on Australian television soon after the nurse's death.

    They said their prank had prompted "a tragic turn of events no-one could have predicted or expected".

    A Scotland Yard spokesman told the Press Association: "Following the death of Jacintha Saldanha, officers have liaised with the CPS as to whether any criminal offences had been committed in relation to the hoax call made to King Edward VII Hospital in the early hours of Tuesday 4 December.

    Rihanna: Police Called To Singer’s Barbados Villa Over Male Trespasser

    Police were reportedly called to the Barbados villa where Rihanna is currently vacationing after a man allegedly trespassed onto the property.

    It’s alleged that police received a telephone call from the villa after the man, who is believed to be a German national, entered the private residence.

    TMZ reports that by the time the police arrived on the scene the stranger had already left.

    It’s believed officers are still investigating the incident and want to question the man.

    According to the Daily Mail, the unknown man — who was wearing a pair of swimming trunks — was removed by Rihanna’s security team before any serious disturbance occurred.

    Rihanna was later seen looking through a pair of binoculars as she walked outside on the villa’s terrace.

    Rihanna Pictured In Her Barbados Villa On Holiday

    As previously reported by TheInquisitr, the “Diamonds” singer recently donated $3.5 Barbados dollars (US $ 1.75 million) to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown, Barbados in honor of her late grandmother, Clara “Dolly” Braithwaite.
    At the donation ceremony on Saturday, the 24-year-old said:

        “This was my way of giving back to Barbados in a form of philanthropy, by assisting the QEH in its continued modernization programme.”

        “I believe that this will have a huge impact on the people of Barbados this was all done to save lives or at least extend it. I thank you all for being a part of it. Thank you. I’m really excited about it.”

    After a hectic year of record breaking success, a rumored reconciliation — and breakup — with singer Chris Brown, the songstress is holidaying with girlfriends in her native Barbados to see in the season.

    Ashton Kutcher Spotted With Mila Kunis In Iowa

    Ashton Kutcher was spotted with Mila Kunis in Iowa just days after he officially filed for divorce from his estranged wife, actress Demi Moore.

    Kutcher’s lawyers filed the divorce papers on Friday, citing irreconcilable differences as the reason for the termination of their marriage, reports Sky News.

    Meanwhile, the two former That 70s Show actors were spotted in Kutcher’s hometown of Cedar Rapids shopping and eating frozen yogurt.

    An inside source close to Kutcher revealed:

        “Ashton was really excited about bringing Mila home to hang out with his family. He couldn’t wait to get back to Iowa because people don’t bother him there and said he was looking forward to chilling out.”

    Mila Kunis is reportedly already close to Kutcher’s family. They have known each other for 14 years since the pair met on the set of the comedy series. Kutcher and Kunis were spotted together picking up some last minute gifts for friends and family at Bed, Bath & Beyond. A member of the store’s staff stated:

        “They were picking out gifts for his family. They bought robes, slippers and candles. It’s really cold in Iowa right now, so I’m sure it will come in handy.”

    Yahoo! News adds that the pair were also spotted at Fruitzen Frozen Yogurt in Cedar Rapids on Saturday night and they appeared to be enjoying themselves. A source revealed that Ashton ordered peach yogurt, while Mila had orange sorbet.

    Kutcher and Kunis have been dating for around nine months, though they only officially announced they were dating this fall. It is not clear how long Kutcher’s divorce with Demi Moore will take.

    Pearl Pendants Most Desired by Women

    Pendants are connected with a chain and are worn around the neck; they happen to be the closest jewel to the heart. Now, a jewel that's closest to your heart ought to be as beautiful as your heart; hence without a shadow of a doubt it has to be pearl pendants.The pearl is said to be the most craved stone of all by a woman. So if it's a pendant with a pearl, need one ask the beauty and elegance it would bring in to the one who wears it?

    It also make a perfect gift for the one you love, it's an easy way of letting her know that you care for her and that you understand her and know what her inner most desires are. Diamond pendants have a unique style and beauty of their own. It falls into an entirely different class. The best thing about these pendants is that, they have the diamonds that display style and elegance and a beautiful pearl whose beauty is beyond limits. It's a deadly combination that would exponentially enhance the beauty and style of the one who wear it. They suit all attires and the best part being that they can be worn on any occasion, be it a Hip Hop party or a family dinner party.

    The different varieties of pendants that are available include aquamarine, topaz, champagne diamond, pink kunzite, zircon, tanzanite, citrine and emerald pendants. White gold pearl pendant is immensely popular among women, especially among young women. It would leave no chance for you to escape from being envied and notice by one and all. It would spotlight you wherever you go and would unquestionably make you the inspirer to all. So now when you go out to buy something special for your sweet heart, and want it to be cherished by her at all times, then look no further, pearl pendants is exactly what you need.

    Pregnant Jenna Dewan-Tatum Shows Off Her Baby Bump!

    Tis the season for baby bumpin' (at least for Jenna Dewan-Tatum).

    The 32-year-old mom-to-be was glowing as she showed off her bump while heading to Plush Beauty Bar in West Hollywood Friday.

    Pregnant Jenna Dewan-Tatum stays mum in interview just hours before revealing baby news

    Sporting over-the-knee boots and a black and white dress that bared her cleavage, Channing Tatum's wife couldn't keep the smile off her face on her way to a day of pampering.

    The gorgeous couple announced that they were expecting their first child earlier this week.

    "We are absolutely over the moon," the duo told us in an exclusive statement.  "As you can imagine, we couldn't feel more blessed!"

    Check out other baby-bumpin' stars in our gallery!

    Walmart Sells Assault Weapons But Bans Music With Swear Words

    Walmart sells assault weapons but bans music that contains swear words.

    That policy tells you a lot about this country.

    We can guess why Walmart sells assault weapons: Its customers want them, and the company can make a lot of money selling them.

    But Walmart's customers probably also want music that contains swear words, and Walmart could probably make money selling that, too.

    And music with curse words is legal (First Amendment and all that), so this isn't about legality.

    So why the no-cursing policy?

    Based on a description on Walmart's web site, it seems that the retailer worries that some customers might find music with swear words "objectionable":

    Wal-Mart does not display album or song titles that contain profanity...Wal-Mart selects 30-second sample clips such that only clips that do not contain profanity are made available to customers. However, other portions of the recordings may contain profanity, and the 30-second sample clips or the recording as a whole may be deemed by some customers to be offensive, indecent or objectionable. Occasionally, Wal-Mart may refuse to stock music merchandise that may not seem appropriate. However, Wal-Mart may carry some recordings that some customers might find offensive, indecent or objectionable.

    So Walmart bans profanity on the grounds that some people might find it objectionable, but proudly sells assault weapons that can be used to slaughter people.

    Isn't Walmart worried that some people might find that objectionable?  Like the parents of children who were just murdered with an assault weapon, for example? Or the parents who worry that their children might be murdered with an assault weapon? Or anyone worried that anyone might be murdered with an assault weapon?

    People Who Pay Higher Taxes Are Happier

    They say money can't buy you happiness, but what about forking over some of it to the government?

    Higher taxes are correlated with higher life satisfaction, according to a November study by six economists affiliated with the Institute for the Study of Labor in Bonn, Germany. The economists analyzed data about 25,000 Germans between 1985 to 2010, where respondents answered the question, "How satisfied ed are you with your life, all things considered?" on a scale of 0 to 10.

    If only lawmakers understood as much. With the Bush tax cuts scheduled to expire at the end of the year, the Obama administration and Congressional Republicans continue to wrangle over which income groups should take the hit.

    It is unclear why people who pay higher taxes are happier. But the study suggests a few reasons: People enjoy the public services higher taxes pay for, some view taxes as a social obligation and lower-income people value the protection that government can provide against poverty.

    Other research also indicates public goods can make people happier. A recent study by Skandia International found that people in European countries with strong safety nets need less money to be happy.

    Sachin Tendulkar retires from ODIs Photo

    Sachin Tendulkar has retired from ODI cricket. Tendulkar finishes an illustrious career in the 50-over format, having played 463 ODIs, scored 18,426 runs and made 49 centuries, each of them a world record. His last ODI was against Pakistan in Dhaka during the Asia Cup, where he made a half-century in India's victory.

    "I have decided to retire from the One Day format of the game," he said in a statement. "I feel blessed to have fulfilled the dream of being part of a World Cup winning Indian team. The preparatory process to defend the World Cup in 2015 should begin early and in right earnest. I would like to wish the team all the very best for the future. I am eternally grateful to all my well wishers for their unconditional support and love over the years."

    Tendulkar made his ODI debut on his first international tour, in 1989, against Pakistan in Gujranwala, where he got a duck. He scored his first half-century in his ninth ODI and made an immediate impact when promoted to open the batting in 1994, in an ODI against New Zealand in Auckland, where he smashed 82 in 49 balls. His first century took 79 ODIs to arrive but he kept piling them on with remarkable consistency.

    Some of the batting highlights in his ODI career include back-to-back hundreds against Australia in 1998 in a triangular tournament in Sharjah, finishing as the highest run-getter in the 2003 World Cup in South Africa, and becoming the first batsman to score a double-century in the ODI format, against South Africa in February 2010.

    He was part of one of India's greatest ODI achievements over the last three decades, when they won the World Cup in 2011, beating Sri Lanka in the final on his home ground in Mumbai - it was his last ODI in India. In preparation for that World Cup, Tendulkar had curtailed the amount of ODI cricket in the year playing only four ODIs in the 12 months before the tournament. Since the end of the World Cup, Tendulkar has played 10 ODIs, seven in the CB Series against Australia and the last three of his career being played at the Asia Cup in Dhaka. His innings of 114 against Bangladesh on March 16 was his 100th international hundred in what turned out to be Tendulkar's penultimate ODI match for India.

    Tendulkar's announcement of his ODI retirement came through a statement from the BCCI which stated that he had spoken to BCCI president N Srinivasan. His retirement was announced on the day the Indian selectors picked the teams to play in the five-match T20 and ODI series against Pakistan.

    Low-water rivers offering up glimpse of history

     From sunken steamboats to a millennium-old map engraved in rock, the drought-drained rivers of the nation's midsection are offering a rare and fleeting glimpse into years gone by.

    Lack of rain has left many rivers at low levels unseen for decades, creating problems for river commerce and recreation and raising concerns about water supplies and hydropower if the drought persists into next year, as many fear.

    But for the curious, the receding water is offering an occasional treasure trove of history.

    An old steamboat is now visible on the Missouri River near St. Charles, Mo., and other old boats nestled on river bottoms are showing up elsewhere. A World War II minesweeper, once moored along the Mississippi River as a museum at St. Louis before it was torn away by floodwaters two decades ago, has become visible — rusted but intact.

    Perhaps most interesting, a rock containing what is believed to be an ancient map has emerged in the Mississippi River in southeast Missouri.

    The rock contains etchings believed to be up to 1,200 years old. It was not in the river a millennium ago, but the changing course of the waterway now normally puts it under water — exposed only in periods of extreme drought. Experts are wary of giving a specific location out of fear that looters will take a chunk of the rock or scribble graffiti on it.

    "It appears to be a map of prehistoric Indian villages," said Steve Dasovich, an anthropology professor at Lindenwood University in St. Charles. "What's really fascinating is that it shows village sites we don't yet know about."

    Old boats are turning up in several locations, including sunken steamboats dating to the 19th century.

    That's not surprising considering the volume of steamboat traffic that once traversed the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. Dasovich said it wasn't uncommon in the 1800s to have hundreds of steamboats pass by St. Louis each day, given the fact that St. Louis was once among the world's busiest inland ports. The boats, sometimes lined up two miles deep and four boats wide in both directions, carried not only people from town to town but goods and supplies up and down the rivers.

    Sinkings were common among the wooden vessels, which often were poorly constructed.

    "The average lifespan of a steamboat on the Missouri River was five years," Dasovich said. "They were made quickly. If you could make one run from St. Louis to Fort Benton, Mont., and back, you've paid for your boat and probably made a profit. After that, it's almost like they didn't care what happened."

    What often happened, at least on the Missouri River, was the boat would strike an underwater tree that had been uprooted and become lodged in the river bottom, tearing a hole that would sink the ship. Dasovich estimated that the remains of 500 to 700 steamboats sit at the bottom of the Missouri River, scattered from its mouth in Montana to its convergence with the Mississippi near St. Louis.

    The number of sunken steamboats on the Mississippi River is likely about the same, Dasovich said. Steamboat traffic was far heavier on the Mississippi, but traffic there was and is less susceptible to river debris.

    Boiler explosions, lightning strikes and accidents also sunk many a steamboat. One of the grander ones, the Montana, turned up this fall on the Missouri River near St. Charles. The elaborate steamer was as long as a football field with lavish touches aimed at pleasing its mostly wealthy clientele. It went to its watery grave after striking a tree below the surface in 1884.

    The U.S. Coast Guard and Army Corps of Engineers urge sightseers to stay away from any shipwreck sites. Sandbars leading to them can be unstable and dangerous, and the rusted hulks can pose dangers for those sifting through them.

    Plus, taking anything from them is illegal. By law, sunken ships and their goods belong to the state where they went down.

    Bosses Can Fire Hot Workers For Being 'Irresistible': All-Male Court

     A dentist acted legally when he fired an assistant that he found attractive simply because he and his wife viewed the woman as a threat to their marriage, the all-male Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday.

    The court ruled 7-0 that bosses can fire employees they see as an "irresistible attraction," even if the employees have not engaged in flirtatious behavior or otherwise done anything wrong. Such firings may be unfair, but they are not unlawful discrimination under the Iowa Civil Rights Act because they are motivated by feelings and emotions, not gender, Justice Edward Mansfield wrote.

    An attorney for Fort Dodge dentist James Knight said the decision, the first of its kind in Iowa, is a victory for family values because Knight fired Melissa Nelson in the interest of saving his marriage, not because she was a woman.

    But Nelson's attorney said Iowa's all-male high court, one of only a handful in the nation, failed to recognize the discrimination that women see routinely in the workplace.

    "These judges sent a message to Iowa women that they don't think men can be held responsible for their sexual desires and that Iowa women are the ones who have to monitor and control their bosses' sexual desires," said attorney Paige Fiedler. "If they get out of hand, then the women can be legally fired for it."

    Nelson, 32, worked for Knight for 10 years, and he considered her a stellar worker. But in the final months of her employment, he complained that her tight clothing was distracting, once telling her that if his pants were bulging that was a sign her clothes were too revealing, according to the opinion.

    He also once allegedly remarked about her infrequent sex life by saying, "that's like having a Lamborghini in the garage and never driving it."

    Knight and Nelson – both married with children – started exchanging text messages, mostly about personal matters, such as their families. Knight's wife, who also worked in the dental office, found out about the messages and demanded Nelson be fired. The Knights consulted with their pastor, who agreed that terminating Nelson was appropriate.

    Knight fired Nelson and gave her one month's severance. He later told Nelson's husband that he worried he was getting too personally attached and feared he would eventually try to start an affair with her.

    Jesse James Supports NRA: 'I Have Seen More Dead Bodies Than I Can Count'

    In the aftermath of the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, countless celebrities have joined millions of Americans in a plea for gun control -- Jesse James is not one of those celebrities.

    The former reality show host took to his Facebook page to express support for the National Riffle Association, the day after it finally broke its silence on last week's shooting in Newtown, Conn -- and called for armed officers in every school.

    On his Facebook page, the 43-year-old, who used to run West Coast Choppers out of Long Beach, Calif, writes that he witnessed so many shootings that having a gun was the only thing that made him feel safe.

    "Since the 1980's California has led the nation with the strictest gun control laws. In the middle of this state I have seen more dead bodies than I can count," he wrote, going on to describe weekly sightings of streets closed off with yellow police tape because someone had been shot dead.

    "On a weekly basis Cop friends would always check in to make sure I was carying (sic) a gun at all times. They would want to see it to make sure. They would tell me "You better be packing." For the last 20 years living in California I could never let my guard down, not even for a minute," James wrote in the lengthy message which was accompanied by a photo of himself with a large gun. "This is what living in a state with strict gun control was like."

    James went on to state that he doesn't think the country needs fewer guns, and he believes America could do with few gun laws as well. According to his logic, he claims that it's because of California's strict gun control legislation that so many people have been shot and killed. He writes that since moving to Texas, where there are fewer gun laws, he feels much safer:

    "I have not seen one dead body, have not experienced any drive-by shootings," he writes. "I can now relax, and live life in this free country."

    He argues that enacting stricter laws nationwide will only "keep the honest people, honest," and "people that should not have guns, will still find a way to get them." He also urged others to join the NRA.

    Coldest case Search for New Jersey boy continues 50 years after he vanished

    Fifty years ago, William “Billy” Jones, clad in a snowsuit as he played with his younger sister Jill outside his family’s New Jersey home, vanished in an instant, setting off a half-century search that remains alive to this day.

    Federal and local authorities are now seeking the public’s help for new leads in the cold case that has spanned three generations of investigators from the Vineland Police Department and has garnered FBI interest since Jones — who would now be 53 years old — could theoretically be anywhere in the country, if not the world. Because no body was ever found, Jill Jones, who has spent a lifetime wondering what became of her big brother, believes he may have been snatched by adults who raised him as their own.

        “It’s a gut feeling for me, I know he’s still alive."
    - Jill Jones, sister

    “We’re just trying to find out if anyone has any information regarding his whereabouts or if anyone might know who may have been involved in his disappearance,” FBI Special Agent John Mesisca told FoxNews.com. “Back then, he was last seen wearing a snowsuit … What we’re trying to do is get the word out and develop any new leads and resolve the case in any way we can.”

    At the time of his disappearance on Dec. 17, 1962, William Ebeneezer Jones Jr. was 3 feet 6 inches tall and weighed 35 pounds. He had a vaccination scar on the back of his left arm that resembled a giraffe and was last seen wearing a light blue-gray snowsuit with a navy collar and silver buttons. He also reportedly had a dime in his pocket that was given to him by his mother Evelyn, who, like Billy’s father, has since died.

    “There’s not a lot of the family left,” Mesisca said. “That has also impacted the investigation. Only his sister remains.”

    Jill Jones, who was with her older brother in the front yard at the time of his disappearance, said she remains hopeful her big brother will one day be found alive.

    “It’s a gut feeling for me, I know he’s still alive,” she told FoxNews.com. “There’s never been a body found, never been anything found. I don’t believe he’s dead.”

    Jones, 52, surmises her brother was snatched by someone looking to replace a lost or deceased child.

    “I really believe that,” she continued. “I don’t think he was murdered. I really believe someone lost a child and they took Billy to replace him.”

    Three decades ago, a distraught and dejected Jones sought the help of a hypnotist in an attempt to unlock memories of that fateful afternoon.

    “It brought back feelings and a little bit of memories,” said Jones, adding that her brother had a special bond with their dog, Babycakes.

    “That was his pup,” she said. “He loved that dog.”

    Jones’ disappearance reportedly led to hundreds of volunteers scouring the family’s Vineland neighborhood and included units from the New Jersey National Guard. Investigators also excavated grounds near an abandoned automobile dump, but that search was also fruitless.

    In 2009, Vineland Police Department Det. Kristian Kirchner, who was not yet born when Jones disappeared, reportedly reopened the case, which is believed to be the longest unsolved case of a missing child under 5 years old in the state. Kirchner could not be reached for comment.

    Jones, meanwhile, remains hopeful that this holiday season is the last one she’ll endure without her big brother.

    New tax increases in California stir debate about adding to exodus

    A vote last month that makes Californians among the highest-taxed residents in the country is sparking debate about whether the Democrat-back initiative will backfire, by forcing high-earners to join a long exodus from the cash-strapped state.

    Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown successfully pushed the tax increase by suggesting that high-earners must shoulder the largest burden in bailing out the state, particularly its debt-ridden public school system.

    However, high unemployment and government debt have already sent residents fleeing in large numbers – an estimated 225,000 annually for the past 10 years.

    And the recently passed tax increase for families making more than $250,000 each year could further shrink the tax base for California, whose 2012 budget deficit is projected to hit $28 billion.

    Much of the debate has raged among California advocacy groups and in the editorial pages of the state’s biggest and most influential newspapers.

    “More is never enough for these people,” Kris Vosburgh, executive director of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assoc., said about the Democrat-backed increase. “It’s hard to believe people will not leave.”

    Vosburgh said his group is not an advocate for the wealthy and argued the tax increase atop other bad economic factors – including high gas and sales taxes – also have small and large businesses packing. 

    “With high taxes and heavy regulations, it’s just difficult to produce those widgets at a lower price than somebody in, say, Texas,” he told FoxNews.com on Tuesday.

    Syndicated columnist Walter E. Williams wrote in The Orange County Register: “California politicians can fleece people in 2012, but there’s no guarantee they can do the same in 2013 and later years. People can leave.”

    Kristen Stewart Confirmed For 'Snow White And The Huntsman' Sequel 'I'm So Excited'

    Starring in "Snow White and the Huntsman" might have negatively impacted Kristen Stewart's personal life, but that won't stop the actress from reprising her role for the sequel.

    Stewart confirmed she's on board for the "Snow White and the Huntsman" sequel during an interview with Indiewire.

    "Oh, it’s gonna be f**kin’ amazing," Stewart said. "No, I'm so excited about it, it’s crazy ... I'm not allowed [to talk about it]. The other day I said that there was a strong possibility that we’re going to make a sequel, and that’s very true, but everyone was like, 'Whoa, stop talking about it.' So no, I’m totally not allowed to talk about it."

    When asked to clarify whether or not ideas have already been tossed around, the 22-year-old actress replied, "Oh my God. F**k, yeah. Absolutely. And we’ve got a really amazing… [smiles] So, yeah. It’s all good. [laughs]."

    Although Stewart will reprise her "Snow White" role, director Rupert Sanders will not be returning for the sequel, according to ComingSoon.net.

    Stewart and Sanders, the husband of model Liberty Ross and a father of two, began an intimate relationship while on the set of the first film. Rumors previously circulated that Stewart's role in the sequel had been jeopardized, but Universal denied reports that she had been dropped.

    RadarOnline.com claims it boiled down to a choice between Stewart or Sanders for the sequel. "The script has already been written and production will begin late next year," a source told Radar. "However, Rupert Sanders definitely won't be a part of the project. Rupert didn't want to be a part of it to begin with because he is desperately still trying to save his marriage. The search is still on for a new director."

    "Snow White and the Huntsman" grossed over $396 million worldwide.

    Stewart, whose role as Bella Swan finished with the final "Twilight" installment in November, also appears in Walter Salles' "On the Road," out Friday.

    Kristen Stewart Sex Scenes Are 'Fairly Ridiculous'

    Kristen Stewart's sex scenes in "On the Road" are "fairly ridiculous" to watch as isolated moments, according to the actress.

    In a new interview with Indiewire, Stewart said that though those sex scenes are difficult to watch, they fit in with the film as a whole.

    "To be honest, I think if you were to isolate the scenes, it’s fairly ridiculous watching yourself fake have sex," she said. "But within the movie, watching the movie, I do get so caught up in this one. I’ve seen it three times, and that’s not typical for me. I have to complete the process, I need to watch the movie at the end of it."

    In the new adaptation of Jack Kerouac's "On the Road," Stewart plays Marylou, a young woman who marries Dean Moriarty (played by Garrett Hedlund), and has sex with both Dean and Sal Paradise (Sam Riley). As Stewart told HuffPost Entertainment, it was imperative to keep the nudity and sex scenes in the film.

    "Actresses love to stand up and say, after they've shown their t*ts in a movie, that it was done tastefully and that it was, you know, far from gratuitous," she told HuffPost Entertainment. "I mean, projects that really require it are really few and far between. And I think that in this case, it needed to be. This book celebrates being alive and it celebrates being human, and if you want to cover up and deny any aspect of that, you are denying the spirit of the book. I think that it would have been so wrong to shy away from anything in this movie. I think that I would have gotten flak for that. I think that it would have been that I was scared to disappoint my 'Twilight' fans or something."

    Stewart said the experience of making "On the Road" was one that she wouldn't soon forget.

    Teen Arrested For Threats Involving Ponoka Composite High School, Firearms Allegedly Found At Home

    A teen has been arrested at his residence for unspecified threats involving a Ponoka high school, after RCMP allege firearms and ammunition were found in his possession at home.

    RCMP say schools in Ponoka, Alberta activated their lock down procedures while RCMP were dispatched to area schools as a precaution.

    Officers found a 17-year-old boy at his home in Ponoka and arrested him.

    They say ammunition and firearms — including a .22-calibre rifle and a high-powered rifle — were found.

    Charges are pending against the youth for uttering threats, unsafe storage of firearms and possession of weapons dangerous to public peace.

    Jake Tapper To CNN ABC News Correspondent Leaves For New Role

    ABC News' White House correspondent is leaving the network for a new role at CNN.

    He will host a new weekday program on CNN and serve as chief White House correspondent for the network beginning in 2013, CNN said in a statement on Thursday.

    "We are thrilled to have Jake join CNN and take the helm of a brand new weekday program," said CNN executive vice-president Ken Jautz. "Jake is an exceptional reporter and communicator, and we look forward to developing a program that takes advantage of all of his strengths, his passion and his knowledge of national issues and events."

    Tapper was reportedly in talks with the network before the appointment of incoming president Jeff Zucker in November, though sources said Zucker helped close the deal. TV Newser reported that he will host the 4 p.m. hour on CNN.

    There were also reports that CNN was trying court Tapper earlier this year. The correspondent denied the reports at the time.

    His departure now comes as ABC News shows no indication that it will appoint a new host for "This Week" anytime soon. When George Stepanopoulos stepped down as host in 2010, many thought that Tapper would replace him. Tapper was the interim host, but Christiane Amanpour was chosen to host the show instead. When she stepped down in 2011, Tapper was passed over again.

    ABC News announced Tapper's departure in a statement Thursday. Jon Karl, formerly senior political correspondent, will become the network's new chief White House correspondent.

    Martha Raddatz will also have an expanded role as chief global affairs correspondent at ABC News, and will serve as the primary substitute host of "This Week."

    Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton reveals she worked as a Las Vegas escort

    Suzy Favor Hamilton, a three-time U.S. Olympian, has revealed that she has spent much of the past year working as a $600-an-hour escort. It's a stunning admission, and a decision that Hamilton now calls a "huge mistake," according to The Smoking Gun.

    Since last December, Hamilton has, according to TSG, worked with Haley Heston's Private Collection in Las Vegas, and has gone on engagements in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston. The 44-year-old married mother of one worked under the name "Kelly Lundy," but apparently revealed her true identity to several male clients.

    Hamilton responded to Thursday's story with a lengthy response and apology on Twitter:

        I realize I have made highly irrational choices and I take full responsibility for them. I am not a victim here and knew what I was doing. I was drawn to escorting in large part because it provided many coping mechanisms for me when I was going through a very challenging time with my marriage and my life. It provided an escape from a life that I was struggling in. It was a double life.

        I do not expect people to understand, but the reasons for doing this made sense to me at the time and were very much related to depression. As crazy as I know it seems, I never thought I would be exposed, therefore never hurting anybody. I have been seeking the help of a psychologist for the past few weeks and will continue to do so after I have put things together. I cannot emphasize enough how sorry I am to anyone I have hurt as a result of my actions and greatly appreciate the support from family and those closest to me. I fully intend to make amends and get back to being a good mother, wife, daughter, and friend.

    'Jack Reacher' Screening Postponed After Newtown Shooting

    A special screening of Tom Cruise's new film "Jack Reacher" has been postponed in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. shooting that left 20 children dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

    "Out of respect for the families who lost loved ones in Newtown, CT, we are postponing tonight's fundraising event with Tom Cruise to benefit the 50th anniversary fund, which supports K-12 education and new artist programs," Rose Kuo, executive director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, said in a statement. "We extend our love and condolences to our neighbors. Our community grieves with yours."

    The event was going to be held at the Rose Theater in New York's Lincoln Center. Cruise was expected to attend.

    Of all the movies coming out before the end of the year, "Jack Reacher" is the one that has been affected most by the massacre in Newtown. On Saturday, the film had its U.S. premiere in Pittsburgh canceled out of respect for the victims and their families.

    Based on the novel series by author Lee Child, "Jack Reacher" focuses on an ex-military police officier who tries to solve the murder of five people at the hands of a sniper.

    Ancient Bones That Tell a Story of Compassion

    While it is a painful truism that brutality and violence are at least as old as humanity, so, it seems, is caring for the sick and disabled.

    And some archaeologists are suggesting a closer, more systematic look at how prehistoric people — who may have left only their bones — treated illness, injury and incapacitation. Call it the archaeology of health care.

    The case that led Lorna Tilley and Marc Oxenham of Australian National University in Canberra to this idea is that of a profoundly ill young man who lived 4,000 years ago in what is now northern Vietnam and was buried, as were others in his culture, at a site known as Man Bac.

    Almost all the other skeletons at the site, south of Hanoi and about 15 miles from the coast, lie straight. Burial 9, as both the remains and the once living person are known, was laid to rest curled in the fetal position. When Ms. Tilley, a graduate student in archaeology, and Dr. Oxenham, a professor, excavated and examined the skeleton in 2007 it became clear why. His fused vertebrae, weak bones and other evidence suggested that he lies in death as he did in life, bent and crippled by disease.

    They gathered that he became paralyzed from the waist down before adolescence, the result of a congenital disease known as Klippel-Feil syndrome. He had little, if any, use of his arms and could not have fed himself or kept himself clean. But he lived another 10 years or so.

    They concluded that the people around him who had no metal and lived by fishing, hunting and raising barely domesticated pigs, took the time and care to tend to his every need.

    “There’s an emotional experience in excavating any human being, a feeling of awe,” Ms. Tilley said, and a responsibility “to tell the story with as much accuracy and humanity as we can.”

    This case, and other similar, if less extreme examples of illness and disability, have prompted Ms. Tilley and Dr. Oxenham to ask what the dimensions of such a story are, what care for the sick and injured says about the culture that provided it.

    The archaeologists described the extent of Burial 9’s disability in a paper in Anthropological Science in 2009. Two years later, they returned to the case to address the issue of health care head on. “The provision and receipt of health care may therefore reflect some of the most fundamental aspects of a culture,” the two archaeologists wrote in The International Journal of Paleopathology.

    And earlier this year, in proposing what she calls a “bioarchaeology of care,” Ms. Tilley wrote that this field of study “has the potential to provide important — and possibly unique — insights into the lives of those under study.” In the case of Burial 9, she says, not only does his care indicate tolerance and cooperation in his culture, but suggests that he himself had a sense of his own worth and a strong will to live. Without that, she says, he could not have stayed alive.

    “I’m obviously not the first archaeologist” to notice evidence of people who needed help to survive in stone age or other early cultures, she said. Nor does her method “come out of the blue.” It is based on and extends previous work.

    Among archaeological finds, she said, she knows “about 30 cases in which the disease or pathology was so severe, they must have had care in order to survive.” And she said there are certainly more such cases to be described. “I am totally confident that there are almost any number of case studies where direct support or accommodation was necessary.”

    Such cases include at least one Neanderthal, Shanidar 1, from a site in Iraq, dating to 45,000 years ago, who died around age 50 with one arm amputated, loss of vision in one eye and other injuries. Another is Windover boy from about 7,500 years ago, found in Florida, who had a severe congenital spinal malformation known as spina bifida, and lived to around age 15. D. N. Dickel and G. H. Doran, from Florida State University wrote the original paper on the case in 1989, and they concluded that contrary to popular stereotypes of prehistoric people, “under some conditions life 7,500 years ago included an ability and willingness to help and sustain the chronically ill and handicapped.”

    The Bribery Aisle How Wal-Mart Used Payoffs to Get Its Way in Mexico

     Wal-Mart longed to build in Elda Pineda’s alfalfa field. It was an ideal location, just off this town’s bustling main entrance and barely a mile from its ancient pyramids, which draw tourists from around the world. With its usual precision, Wal-Mart calculated it would attract 250 customers an hour if only it could put a store in Mrs. Pineda’s field.

    After years of study, the town’s elected leaders had just approved a new zoning map. The leaders wanted to limit growth near the pyramids, and they considered the town’s main entrance too congested already. As a result, the 2003 zoning map prohibited commercial development on Mrs. Pineda’s field, seemingly dooming Wal-Mart’s hopes.

    But 30 miles away in Mexico City, at the headquarters of Wal-Mart de Mexico, executives were not about to be thwarted by an unfavorable zoning decision. Instead, records and interviews show, they decided to undo the damage with one well-placed $52,000 bribe.

    The plan was simple. The zoning map would not become law until it was published in a government newspaper. So Wal-Mart de Mexico arranged to bribe an official to change the map before it was sent to the newspaper, records and interviews show. Sure enough, when the map was published, the zoning for Mrs. Pineda’s field was redrawn to allow Wal-Mart’s store.

    Wal-Mart de Mexico broke ground months later, provoking fierce opposition. Protesters decried the very idea of a Wal-Mart so close to a cultural treasure. They contended the town’s traditional public markets would be decimated, its traffic mess made worse. Months of hunger strikes and sit-ins consumed Mexico’s news media. Yet for all the scrutiny, the story of the altered map remained a secret. The store opened for Christmas 2004, affirming Wal-Mart’s emerging dominance in Mexico.

    The secret held even after a former Wal-Mart de Mexico lawyer contacted Wal-Mart executives in Bentonville, Ark., and told them how Wal-Mart de Mexico routinely resorted to bribery, citing the altered map as but one example. His detailed account — he had been in charge of getting building permits throughout Mexico — raised alarms at the highest levels of Wal-Mart and prompted an internal investigation.

    But as The New York Times revealed in April, Wal-Mart’s leaders shut down the investigation in 2006. They did so even though their investigators had found a wealth of evidence supporting the lawyer’s allegations. The decision meant authorities were not notified. It also meant basic questions about the nature, extent and impact of Wal-Mart de Mexico’s conduct were never asked, much less answered.

    The Times has now picked up where Wal-Mart’s internal investigation was cut off, traveling to dozens of towns and cities in Mexico, gathering tens of thousands of documents related to Wal-Mart de Mexico permits, and interviewing scores of government officials and Wal-Mart employees, including 15 hours of interviews with the former lawyer, Sergio Cicero Zapata.

    American Idol alumna Kelly Clarkson Engaged Photo

    American Idol alumna Kelly Clarkson and her boyfriend of 1-year Brandon Blackstock (a.k.a. Reba McEntire’s stepson) are gettin’ hitched!

    The 30-year-old singer made the announcement via her Twitter account yesterday saying,

        I’M ENGAGED!!!!!  I wanted y’all to know!! Happiest night of my life last night! I am so lucky and am with the greatest man ever.

    Awww.  We could not be happier for the “Catch My Breath” singer, who totally stole our hearts during the very first season of Idol, back in 2002.

    The singer also posted a pic of the giant rock she’s now sporting on her left ring finger, along with the caption:

        Everyone has been asking about my engagement ring, so here it is :) … It’s a yellow canary diamond with diamonds around.

    During an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show last month, Clarkson revealed that while Blackstock hadn’t proposed just yet, she knew it was coming.

        … We are totally going to get married. We love each other. We are totally going to get married one day…

    Well Kel, that day is finally here!  Congrats to the happy couple!

    Post-poll survey Keshubhai, the X factor in Gujarat, comes a cropper

    In Gujarat assembly elections the question was hardly about whether Narendra Modi would win a third term in office, it was always about the margin. And, it was about the X factor in the elections this time: Keshubhai Patel of the Gujarat Parivartan Party.

    If Modi manages an emphatic victory here —

    seats in the region of 130 or beyond — the intra-party challenge to his ascendance in national politics withers away. If the tally falls behind 117 seats, which the BJP won in 2007, it won’t hurt his prospects at the national level but it would certainly leave him a bit insecure. This way, it was always a Modi vs Modi battle in Gujarat in 2007.

    The Congress going to the polls with a 11 per cent vote share deficit did not stand much of a chance. It could only have hoped to increase its tally of 2007 — in the sub-60 territory — by a few more seats and wait for the GPP to cause the damage to Modi, bringing down his strike rate. The large voter turnout in a situation where the electorate has no anti-incumbency axe to grind could only have made the writing on the wall clearer for it. As the post-poll surveys of the first phase of polls indicate the party’s electoral standing has not changed a bit.

    The biggest challenge for Modi, at least in the Saurashtra region, was Keshubhai, the old BJP hand-turned principal Modi baitor and a former chief minister. The leader of politically influential Leuva Patels, Keshubhai threatened to bring down the seat tally of the BJP in the Saurashtra region by at least 12 seats. However, as the post-poll survey conducted by Delhi-based conducted by Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), he has failed to cause any damage to the BJP. In fact, he might have worked to the disadvantage of the Congress.

    Polls for the Saurashtra region were held in the first phase. As many as 87 seats — including 48 in Saurashtra — went to polls in that phase and as the survey suggests the BJP is likely to win anywhere between 53 and 63 seats with 45 percent vote share. The Congress is likely to have a vote share of 33 per cent and win anywhere between 19 and 27 seats. Others, including the GPP, would manage 22 percent of vote share but would end up with 3-9 seats. Keshubhai’s party would manage a vote share of 12 percent.

    The survey, conducted between 13-14 December at 120 polling booths across 29 assembly seats, had a sample size of 1,805 voters. An overwhelming 41 percent of respondents felt Modi was the best choice for chief minister while eight percent felt Keshubhai was a better bet. The same number of contestants rooted for Congress’s Shankersinh Vaghela.

    Remove Dhoni as Test captain, says Kris Srikkanth

    After India's crushing series defeat against England on Monday, former chief selector Krishnamachari Srikkanth called for MS Dhoni's removal as Test captain, stating that he is no more effective as the leader of the team.

    "Dhoni's become stale and doesn't know what to do when things go out of the way. He shouldn't be the Test captain anymore. Had I been the chairman of selectors, I would have picked Dhoni as a wicketkeeper batsman but it is time to look beyond him as a Test captain," Srikkanth said while speaking to CNN-IBN.

     "I will pick Dhoni as a keeper/batsman because his contribution has to be considered. I think he will be better off without captaincy and add more value to the Test team," he added.

    Srikkanth also believed the time has come when seletors should analyse the future of Sachin Tendulkar, who failed miserably against England. "Sachin needs to take an honest call about what he wants to do. If he thinks he can play against the Australians then he should be given another series. The best way forward will be to have a conversation with Sachin and I guess the selectors will be talking to him and making him feel comfortable," he said.

    Hollywood Hacker Christopher Chaney Honed His Skills For Years

     Long before Christopher Chaney made headlines by hacking into the email accounts of such stars as Scarlett Johansson and Christina Aguilera, two other women say he harassed and stalked them online.

    The women, who both knew Chaney, say their lives have been irreparably damaged by his actions. One has anxiety and panic attacks; the other is depressed and paranoid. Both say Chaney was calculated, cruel and creepy: he sent nude photos they had taken of themselves to their family members.

    Their accounts as cybervictims serve as a cautionary tale for those, even major celebrities, who snap personal, and sometimes revealing photos.

    Chaney, 35, of Jacksonville, Fla., is set to be sentenced Monday and could face up to 60 years in prison after pleading guilty to nine felony counts, including wiretapping and unauthorized access to a computer, for hacking into email accounts of Aguilera, Johansson and Mila Kunis.

    Aguilera said in a statement that although she knows that she's often in the limelight, Chaney took from her some of the private moments she shares with friends.

    "That feeling of security can never be given back and there is no compensation that can restore the feeling one has from such a large invasion of privacy," Aguilera said.

    Prosecutors said Chaney illegally accessed the email accounts of more than 50 people in the entertainment industry between November 2010 and October 2011. Aguilera, Kunis and Johansson agreed to have their identities made public with the hopes that the exposure about the case would provide awareness about online intrusion.

    The biggest spectacle in the case was the revelation that nude photos taken by Johansson herself and meant for her then-husband Ryan Reynolds were taken by Chaney and put on the Internet. The "Avengers" actress is not expected to attend the hearing, but she has videotaped a statement that may be shown in court.

    Some of Aguilera's photos appeared online after Chaney sent an email from the account of her stylist, Simone Harouche, to Aguilera asking the singer for scantily clad photographs, prosecutors said.

    Chaney forwarded many of the photographs to two gossip websites and another hacker, but there wasn't evidence he profited from his scheme, authorities said.

    For the two women, who were only identified in court papers by their initials, their encounters with Chaney went from friendly to frightening.

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