Day: July 9, 2017

Shia LaBeouf tried to dodge arrest by running to hotel


What a butthead.

Hollywood bad-boy Shia LaBeouf was arrested in Georgia Saturday morning for being drunk and disorderly after a stranger wouldn’t give him a cigarette, TMZ reported.

LaBeouf, 31, was cuffed and taken into custody in Savannah around 4 a.m. for public drunkenness, disorderly conduct and obstruction, after the stranger refused to spot him a cancer stick and the actor flew off the handle.

The former Disney star then attempted to avoid arrest by running to a nearby hotel, where he was nabbed.

“He became disorderly, using profanities and vulgar language in front of the women and children present,” police said in a statement.”He was told to leave the area and refused, becoming aggressive toward the officer.”

The sometimes troubled actor was released from jail after posting a $7,000 bond, police said.

The actor had recently been filming “The Peanut Butter Falcon” in the area.

Click here to read more in the New York Post.



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Whole country mad at Katy


Katy Perry came under fire for telling her dog to chase koalas in a promotional video for her Australian tour.

Perry is visiting the land down under to advertise her tour, which will take place next year. She filmed a series of advertisements for Myer, an Australian department store chain, which is giving away tickets to her show.

In a promotional video for the store, Perry appears with her pet and tells viewers how they can snag 8,000 free tickets to her concert in Australia. At the end of the video, Perry tells her dog: “Let’s go and chase some koalas, Nugget!”

The line sparked serious backlash and has since been edited — but not before animal rights activists reacted and slammed Perry for the statement.

LENA DUNHAM SLAMMED BY ANIMAL SHELTER OVER CLAIM HER ADOPTED DOG WAS ‘ABUSED’

Perry’s comment apparently hit a soft spot within the country. Each year, approximately 110 koalas are attacked and killed by dogs, according to Queensland’s Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.

Claire Madden, an Australian wildlife veterinarian, criticized Perry’s comment, in statements to the Courier-Mail newspaper.

“This is just absolute ignorance from Perry and Myer,” Madden told the news agency. “It’s inappropriate on so many levels.

“Perry is a role model to so many young people, and this just destroys all the good work we do to try to encourage people not to let their dogs come into contact with koalas,” Madden said.

The Australian Koala Foundation believes there are less than 100,000 koalas left in the environment, but some claim that number could be even lower at 43,000.

“Katy Perry I challenge you to come and spend a day with me (a wildlife vet) and learn first hand why your comment should not be streamed across the nation,” Madden said.

BEN AFFLECK REPORTEDLY DATING ‘SNL’ PRODUCER LINDSAY SHOOKUS

A spokesperson for Myer told the BBC: “We are aware of comments in relation to Katy Perry’s ‘Witness: The Tour’ advertisement and a particular reference made to koalas.

“We are currently removing the material which references koalas,” the spokesperson said.

The koala line has since been changed to: “OK Nugget, it’s time to get you a puppy passport.”



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'Seinfeld' surprising facts


One of the most popular TV shows of all time is celebrating its 28th birthday.

“Seinfeld” took a while to find its feet after premiering in 1989, but by the mid-’90s the show was a hit.

It ended in 1997 after nine glorious seasons with more than 75 million Americans tuning in to watch the finale.

FAVORITE TV REUNIONS

To celebrate the show’s birthday, news.com.au assembled some of the most interesting facts about the “show about nothing.”

THE ROLE OF GEORGE

Jason Alexander wasn’t the first choice to play George Costanza.

David Letterman’s former musical sidekick, Paul Shaffer, revealed in his autobiography that Jerry Seinfeld originally offered him the role before the show debuted in 1989.

“There’s no audition,” Seinfeld reportedly said in a message he left for Shaffer.

“You’ve got the part. Just call us back!”

Shaffer never called him back.

JASON ALEXANDER THREATENED TO QUIT

The actor revealed to Access Hollywood that he once told co-creator Larry David that he might walk away from the show.

“Very early on Larry wrote an episode where Elaine and Jerry go to Florida and Kramer and George are not in that episode,” Alexander said.

“And when ‘Seinfeld’ started I had a very successful career in the theatre in New York which is what I thought I was going to be doing all my life. So when I was written out of an episode I came back the next week and I said to Larry, ‘Look, I get it. But if you do that again, do it permanently. If you don’t need me to be here every week … I’d just as soon go back home and do what I was doing’.”

THEME SONG

“Seinfeld” composer Jonathan Wolff rewrote the theme song for every single episode.

“I knew each monologue was going to be different because [Jerry] tells different jokes, so it had to be adjustable,” he told Great Big Story.

“I noticed that Jerry has a lyrical delivery to his jokes, and I put a clock on it … and that became the tempo for the theme. The bassline is so simple it can start and stop for his jokes, hold for laughs, and that way I could architect each piece of music for each monologue, Lego-style.”

JERRY SEINFELD’S FAVOURITE EPISODE

There were 180 episodes in total, but Jerry Seinfeld has two favorites in particular.

“One was the ‘The Rye,’ because we got to shoot that at Paramount Studios in LA which was the first time that we thought, ‘wow this is almost like a real TV show’,” Seinfeld said during a Reddit AMA.

“We hadn’t felt like a real TV show, the early years of the TV show were not successful … We felt like we were a weird little orphan show. So that was a big deal for us.”

And the comedian’s other favorite episode is “The Pothole.”

“Newman drives his mail truck over a sewing machine and his mail truck burst into flames,” Seinfeld recalled.

“It was really fun to shoot, and it was fun to set Newman on fire. And he screamed, ‘oh the humanity’ like from the Hindenberg disaster.”

SEINFELD STORYLINES

Carol Leifer was a writer on “Seinfeld” and told news.com.au that friends would always pitch ideas to her for potential storylines.

“When you write on ‘Seinfeld,’ the bane of any writer’s existence was people coming up to you and saying, ‘Oh I’ve got the best idea for a ‘Seinfeld’ episode’,” Leifer said.

But every now and then they gave her some gold.

“I have a friend from high school who said she had a great ‘Seinfeld’ idea. She said, ‘We had a dinner party the other night and these people brought a bread to serve at the dinner and I forgot to put the bread out and I noticed at the end of the night they took the bread home’.

“I remember saying to my friend, ‘You know what? I’m going to pitch to Larry and Jerry because I think there’s something there’. And sure enough when I pitched it to them, Larry David was like, ‘That’s a show. We’re definitely doing something with that’, and that became the episode called ‘The Rye.’”

SCRAPPED EPISODE

As Seinfeld revealed during a Reddit AMA, they decided to scrap an episode in which Jerry was going to buy a handgun.

“We started making it and stopped in the middle and said ‘this doesn’t work’,” he said.

“We did the read-through and then cancelled it. A lot of other stuff happened, but trying to make that funny ended up being no fun.”

A SHOW ABOUT NOTHING

As Jennifer Keishin Armstrong revealed in her book “Seinfeldia”, the people who made the show hated the whole “show about nothing” thing.

Seinfeld writer Peter Mehlman told Armstrong, “It created a kind of misnomer about the show”.

“I mean, it was the only show on TV that wasn’t about nothing! Seinfeld was taking on issue after issue after issue, and not even consciously. Just because, you know, Elaine dating a guy who’s anti-abortion — it’s funny!”

JERRY’S FAVORITE SEINFELD QUOTE

The only line that Jerry Seinfeld likes to quote from the show is: “If you’re one of us, you’ll take a bite”.

“It’s a very obscure line,” Seinfeld said on Reddit, “but George was working at some company where they all had lunch together, and he wasn’t trying the apple pie, and the boss finally says, ‘If you’re one of us, you’ll take a bite.’

“A lot of times kids won’t want to try certain foods, and so I’ll use that line.”

KRAMER’S HECTIC ENTRY

Kramer, who was played by Michael Richards, would charge through Jerry’s apartment door with such force that the crew had extra hinges on standby in case he broke the door.

KILLING OFF SUSAN

Jason Alexander told Howard Stern that the show’s creators decided to kill off the character of Susan because the cast had a hard time working with actor Heidi Swedberg.

“They [Jerry Seinfeld and Julia Louis-Dreyfus] go, ‘You know what? It’s f—–g impossible. It’s impossible,’” Alexander said.

“And Julia actually said, ‘Don’t you want to just kill her?’ And Larry [David] went, ‘Ka-bang!’”

He later apologized for telling the story on radio.

HUGE OFFER

NBC’s former president of entertainment offered Jerry Seinfeld more than $100 million to make another season of the show.

“We offered him $5 million an episode,” Warren Littlefield told Fox News.

“We went in there with a staggering sum and there was tremendous confidence that no one could walk away from it. He came to me and said, ‘I don’t have a life, I’m not married, I don’t have kids.’ We gave it everything we had, he was tempted, but in the end it was a quality of life decision.”

PARTING GIFT

Patrick Warburton, who played Puddy, told news.com.au that Jerry Seinfeld gave all of the cast members a gift after taping the final episode.

“We all got a lovely Cartier watch that said Seinfeld underneath,” the actor revealed.

This article originally appeared in news.com.au.



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Kendall and Kylie Jenner sued over Tupac Shakur T-shirts


A commercial photographer has sued Kendall and Kylie Jenner over the use of two of his images of late rapper Tupac Shakur that were used on T-shirts the sisters briefly sold for $125 apiece.

Michael Miller sued the Jenner sisters in a Los Angeles federal court on Friday for copyright infringement over the “vintage” T-shirts that featured their likeness or designs superimposed over photos of famous musicians. Miller’s suit states the Jenners never sought permission to use his photos.

The sisters’ brand Kendall + Kylie stopped selling the shirts last month after Ozzy Osbourne’s wife and the mother of the late rapper Notorious B.I.G, criticized them.

Emails sent to the Jenners’ publicists were not immediately returned Friday.

Miller is seeking at least $150,000 apiece for the use of his photos.



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Syria cease-fire goes into effect in southern part of country


An open-ended cease-fire in southern Syria brokered by the United States, Russia, and Jordan went into effect Sunday.

The agreement, announced Thursday after a meeting between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, went into effect at noon, and is the first initiative by the Trump administration in collaboration with Russia to bring some stability to Syria.

Trump tweeted Sunday, “We negotiated a ceasefire in parts of Syria which will save lives. Now it is time to move forward in working constructively with Russia!”

The initiative followed weeks of talks in the Jordanian capital, Amman, to address the buildup of Iranian-backed forces, in support of the Syrian government, near the Jordanian and Israeli borders.

The three brokering nations did not specify mechanisms to monitor or enforce the truce.

A resident and local opposition activist in Daraa, near the Jordanian border, reported calm in the opening minutes of the truce.

A FRACTION OF MOSUL, SYRIA’S RAQQA NO LESS CHALLENGING

“There’s still a lot of anxiety,” said Ahmad al-Masalmeh. “We’ve entered the cease-fire but there are no mechanisms to enforce it. That’s what concerns people.”

Six years of fighting and siege have devastated Daraa, one of the first cities to see large protests against President Bashar Assad in 2011.

It remains contested by U.S.-backed rebels and Syrian government forces supported by Russia and Iran. Large swaths of the city have been reduced to rubble by government artillery and Russian air power.

The government maintains it is fighting against terrorist groups. The Al-Qaida-linked Levant Liberation Committee is one of the most potent factions fighting alongside rebels in Daraa.

UN SAYS TRUCE DEAL IN SOUTHERN SYRIA WILL HELP PEACE TALKS

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Israel would welcome a “genuine cease-fire” in southern Syria so long as it doesn’t enable Iran and its proxies to develop a military presence along the border.

The truce covers the Quneitra, Daraa, and Sweida provinces, where the government and the rebels are also fighting Islamic State militants, who are not included in the truce.

No cease-fire has lasted long in the six-year-old Syrian war.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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TODD STARNES: What kind of a nation would kill a baby in his mother's arms?


Charlie Gard is eleven months old. He has a rare brain disease.

There is a chance that his life could be saved — at a hospital in America — a hospital that could provide an experimental treatment.

Charlie’s mom and dad raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the journey.

But the British courts said no — a judge ruled that doctors could take the little boy off life support without parental consent. The doctors say the there is no hope – Charlie cannot breath on his own – and he has brain damage. And they say the boy’s parents have no right to determine his fate. 

Charlie’s mom and dad are devastated. 

The European Court of Human Rights declined to hear the case — in essence handing down a death sentence. It’s ironic that a court that oversees Human Rights – does not believe Charlie Gard has a human right to live.

They do not believe that Charlie’s mom and dad have a right to decide what is best for their child. The court believes the responsibility rests with the doctors in white coats. And the doctors believe that it would be in Charlie’s best interest if he simply died.

The pope has tried to intervene — so has President Trump — urging the British government to have mercy. But so far — their pleadings have fallen on deaf ears.

So as it now stands – Charlie Gard could very well be dead before his first birthday – sentenced to death by the British government — because doctor’s believe that’s what’s best.

Read more from ToddStarnes.com.

Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary. His latest book is “The Deplorables’ Guide to Making America Great Again.” Follow him on Twitter @ToddStarnes and find him on Facebook.



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Activists riot against G-20 summit for 3rd night in Hamburg


Anti-globalization activists rioted for a third consecutive night in Hamburg early Sunday even after Group of 20 leaders had already left the northern Germany city.

Police again used water cannon trucks against rioters attacking them with iron rods and pavement blocks. They arrested 186 protesters and temporarily detained another 225 people. Officials say 476 officers have been injured in the violence since Thursday. The number of injured protesters wasn’t clear.

ANTI-G20 ACTIVISTS IN EXTREMELY VIOLENT RIOT OVERNIGHT IN HAMBURG

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel condemned the violence, saying “Germany’s reputation is severely affected internationally by the events in Hamburg.”

Gabriel told Bild am Sonntag paper that a Europe-wide investigative team should search for suspects.

The overwhelming majority of the tens of thousands who took to the streets protested peacefully against the G-20 summit.



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Cease-fire in southern Syria goes into effect


An open-ended cease-fire in southern Syria brokered by the United States, Russia, and Jordan came into effect on Sunday at noon.

The agreement, announced Thursday after a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, is the first initiative by the Trump administration in collaboration with Russia to bring some stability to war-torn Syria.

It followed weeks of secretive talks in the Jordanian capital, Amman, to address the buildup of Iranian-backed forces, in support of the Syrian government, near the Jordanian and Israeli borders.

The three brokering nations did not specify mechanisms to monitor or enforce the truce.

A resident and local opposition activist in Daraa, near the Jordanian border, reported calm in the opening minutes of the truce.

“There’s still a lot of anxiety,” said Ahmad al-Masalmeh. “We’ve entered the cease-fire but there are no mechanisms to enforce it. That’s what concerns people.”

Six years of fighting and siege have devastated Daraa, one of the first cities to see large protests against President Bashar Assad in 2011.

It remains contested by U.S.-backed rebels and Syrian government forces supported by Russia and Iran. Large swaths of the city have been reduced to rubble by government artillery and Russian air power.

The government maintains it is fighting against terrorist groups. The Al-Qaida-linked Levant Liberation Committee is one of the most potent factions fighting alongside rebels in Daraa.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Israel would welcome a “genuine cease-fire” in southern Syria so long as it doesn’t enable Iran and its proxies to develop a military presence along the border.

The truce covers the Quneitra, Daraa, and Sweida provinces, where the government and the rebels are also fighting Islamic State militants, who are not included in the truce.

No cease-fire has lasted long in the six-year-old Syrian war.



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Religious leaders get high on magic mushrooms — for science…


A Catholic priest, a Rabbi and a Buddhist walk into a bar and order some magic mushrooms. It may sound like the first line of a bad joke, but this scenario is playing out in one of the first scientific investigations into the effects of psychedelic drugs on religious experience – albeit in a laboratory rather than a bar.

Scientists at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore have enlisted two dozen religious leaders from a wide range of denominations, to participate in a study in which they will be given two powerful doses of psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms.

Dr William Richards, a psychologist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland who is involved in the work, said: “With psilocybin these profound mystical experiences are quite common. It seemed like a no-brainer that they might be of interest, if not valuable, to clergy.”

The experiment, which is currently under way, aims to assess whether a transcendental experience makes the leaders more effective and confident in their work and how it alters their religious thinking.

Despite most organised religions frowning on the use of illicit substances, Catholic, Orthodox and Presbyterian priests, a Zen Buddhist and several rabbis were recruited. The team has yet to persuade a Muslim imam or Hindu priest to take part, but “just about all the other bases are covered,” according to Richards.

After preliminary screening, including medical and psychological tests, the participants have been given two powerful doses of psilocybin in two sessions, one month apart.

The sessions will be conducted in a living room-like setting at New York University and Johns Hopkins in Baltimore with two “guides” present. The participants will be given the drug and then spend time lying on a couch, wearing eyeshades and listening to religious music on headphones to augment their inward spiritual journey.

“Their instruction is to go within and collect experiences,” Richards said, after presenting his work at the Breaking Convention conference in London this month. “So far everyone incredibly values their experience. No one has been confused or upset or regrets doing it.”

A full analysis of the outcomes will take place after a one-year follow-up with the participants, whose identities are being kept anonymous. “It is too early to talk about results, but generally people seem to be getting a deeper appreciation of their own religious heritage,” he said. “The dead dogma comes alive for them in a meaningful way. They discover they really believe this stuff they’re talking about.”

There is also a suggestion that after their psychedelic journey, the leaders’ notions of religion shifted away from the sectarian towards something more universal. “They get a greater appreciation for other world religions. Other ways up the mountain, if you will,” said Richards.

“In these transcendental states of consciousness, people seem to get to levels of consciousness that seem universal,” he added. “So a good rabbi can encounter the Buddha within him.”

The notion that hallucinogenic drugs can bring about mystical experiences is not new and was previously studied in a famous Harvard study known as the “Good Friday experiment”. The study involved a group of seminary scholars being given psilocybin during the Easter-season service to see how it altered their experience of the liturgy. The latest work is thought to be the first involving religious leaders from different faiths.

Is this work really science, though? Richards argues that it is, saying that the team is using detailed psychology questionnaires and independent raters in their assessments.

The John Hopkins team are one of several research groups around the world making the case for using psychedelic drugs, such as psilocybin, LSD and MDMA, in psychiatry. Psilocybin has been shown to be remarkably effective at lifting acute anxiety in cancer patients at the end of life, while other current trials are looking at the use of psychoactive drugs in treating conditions ranging from post-traumatic stress disorder to severe depression and alcoholism.

As the use of mind-expanding drugs makes the transition from counter-culture to mainstream medicine, scientists take different views on how the field should be presented to the outside world.

Ben Sessa, a clinical psychiatrist and researcher at Imperial College London, has urged journalists to focus on the “rigorous science”. “Are you going to focus on the tie-dye and the dreads … or are you going to look at the cutting-edge neuroscience here?” he asked. “I can’t tell you how to do your job, but if I was you, I’d not look back to the past, I’d look to the future.”

Others are more openly enthusiastic about the broader, non-medical, uses of psychedelic drugs. “My wild fantasy is that, probably some time after I’m long dead, these drugs are used in seminary training, rabbinical training,” said Richards, who began research into psychedelics in the 1960s. “Why shouldn’t the opportunity be there to explore deeply spiritual states of consciousness in a legal way?”



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Iraq says forces are 'tens of meters' from retaking Mosul


Iraqi commanders said Saturday their forces are “tens of meters” away from defeating the Islamic State group in Mosul, a day after a major counterattack by the militants.

The Joint Operations Command “our units are still continuing to advance… Not much is left before our forces reach the river.”

Iraqi officials have made similar pronouncements over the past week as security forces have bottled the militants up in a sliver of the Old City along the Tigris River. But the troops’ progress has slowed in recent days.

The militants hold less than one square kilometer (mile) of territory, but are using civilians as human shields, making it nearly impossible for U.S.-led warplanes to flush them out.

On Saturday the militarized Federal Police announced that they had cleared their assigned sector, while the regular army and special forces continued to battle the extremists. Some units remain up to 150 meters (yards) from the river.

The operation to retake Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, began in October. The battle for the Old City, with its narrow alleyways and dense population, has been among the most brutal of the offensive.

IS seized Mosul in the summer of 2014 when it swept across northern and central Iraq. That summer the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, made his first and only public appearance at the al-Nuri mosque in Mosul’s Old City. The militants destroyed the mosque and its famed minaret as Iraqi forces closed in last month.



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