LOS ANGELES — Charles Durning, the two-time Oscar nominee who was dubbed the king of the character actors for his skill in playing everything from a Nazi colonel to the pope, died Monday at his home in New York City. He was 89. Durning’s longtime agent and friend Judith Moss told The Associated Press that he died Monday of natural causes in his home in the borough of Manhattan. Although he portrayed everyone from blustery public officials to comic foils to put-upon everymen, Durning may be best remembered by movie audiences for his Oscar-nominated, over-the-top role
VATICAN CITY – Despite the tension and violence that shook the Holy Land this year, Christians from around the world flocked to Manger Square in Bethlehem on Monday to celebrate the birth of Jesus in the ancient West Bank town where he was born. Others traveled to Vatican City, where Pope Benedict XVI had lit a Christmas peace candle set on the windowsill of his private studio. Pilgrims, tourists and Romans gathered below in St. Peter´s Square for the inauguration Monday evening of a Nativity scene and cheered when the flame was lit.
The petition to deport CNN host Piers Morgan for his recent comments on gun control has reached over 49,000 signatures as of this posting, which will force the White House to respond. The petition, created Friday, needed 25,000 signatures within 30 days for the White House to take action and it’s reached far more than that in a mere three days. In case you missed it, the petition called for Morgan to be deported for his “hostile attack against the U.S. Constitution.” Gun advocates are angry about Morgan’s comments calling for increased gun legislation in America and are accusing him
When it comes to Christmas, it might be safe to assume children will ask Santa for an extensive list of toys, games and treats. But a survey of their typical lists for Father Christmas has shown many have more serious concerns, requesting "a dad" instead. A study of 2,000 British parents found most children will put a new baby brother or sister at the top of their Christmas list, closely followed by a request for a real-life reindeer. A "pet horse" was the third most popular choice, with a "car" making a bizarre entry at number four.
BEIRUT, Lebanon — President Bashar al-Assad of Syria sits in his mountaintop palace as the tide of war licks at the cliffs below. Explosions bloom over the Damascus suburbs. His country is plunging deeper into chaos. The United Nations’ top envoy for the Syrian crisis, Lakhdar Brahimi, met with Mr. Assad in the palace on Monday in an urgent effort to resolve the nearly two-year-old conflict. (Snip) From his hilltop, Mr. Assad can gaze toward several possible futures.
For all the children who should be loved always, but especially on this wondrous night, with our arms around them and a long good-night kiss on the temple, a kiss more precious than anything wrapped in a box. For all the parents who linger in the doorways of the bedrooms, watching the sleeping shapes. For all the babies who aren't loved and have been forgotten, and who may grow up with a hard crust around their hearts because someone didn't plant those kisses and give those hugs. For every couple who adopts a child to save a life. For every young woman who has given up her child for adoption to
Western officials and analysts say U.S. and U.N. pressure is failing to persuade Pakistan to cut its ties to a terrorist network whose attacks coalition forces fear could complicate the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. The Haqqani Network, based in Pakistan’s northwest region, receives financial and logistical support from Pakistan’s military and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, Western officials say. (Snip) “Although the relationship with ISI is not always smooth, it is also unlikely the Haqqanis would survive if the Pakistani state turned against them,” the report says.
Elizabeth DeMasellis´ family is like many in metro Detroit -- living paycheck to paycheck. There are bills to pay and diapers to buy. Sometimes, when money gets tight, food for the family´s furry friend Zoe, a boxer-beagle mix, is stretched a little, or she gets a hot dog. That is, until three months ago, when the 30-year-old Milford mother of three learned she could get dog food at Community Sharing Outreach Center in Highland Township, which she has visited for clothing and food for her family. Since then, DeMasellis has gotten free bags of dog food — keeping Zoe´s belly
West Milford — An atheist group’s billboard displayed in front of Town Hall was destroyed early Sunday morning, but police said it is impossible to know whether the cause was vandalism or mother nature. A township resident posted the sign last week in protest of the Township Council’s decision allowing all religious symbols to be displayed on public property. The billboard, featuring a Nativity Scene and the Three Wise Men in the background, read: "You KNOW it’s a myth; this season, celebrate REASON!" On Sunday, the resident, Gary Steele, said he found the 2-by-9-foot billboard ripped to
Ankara - Turkey has given approval for Israel to participate in non-military NATO activities in 2013, withdrawing an earlier objection driven by an ongoing dispute between the former regional allies, a Turkish official said on Monday. Relations between Israel and what was once its only Muslim ally crumbled after Israeli marines stormed the Mavi Marmara aid ship in May 2010 to enforce a naval blockade of the Palestinian-run Gaza Strip and killed nine Turks in clashes with activists on board. The rift has continued despite US efforts to encourage a rapprochement between the two regional powers
Caracas, Venezuela — Aides to President Hugo Chávez, who is recuperating from cancer surgery in Cuba, say they will postpone Mr. Chavez’s inauguration, now set for Jan. 10, if he is too ill to return to Venezuela to begin his new term. Opposition politicians and commentators have said that if Mr. Chávez is not in Venezuela to be sworn in on that date, a constitutional provision would kick in requiring that a new election be held within 30 days. But government officials loyal to Mr. Chávez have forcefully rejected that notion and said the swearing-in could take place
Gaza militants violated laws of war by launching hundreds of rockets at Israeli civilians during last month´s fighting, Human Rights Watch said in a release Monday. The Israeli military said 1,500 rockets were fired at Israel during the eight-day offensive against Gaza militants, including the first rockets from the Gaza Strip to strike the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem areas. (Snip) "Palestinian armed groups made clear in their statements that harming civilians was their aim," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at the New York-based rights group. "There is simply no legal justification for launching
The fiscal cliff is not really a “cliff”; the entire country won’t fall into the ocean if we hit it. Some automatic tax cuts will expire; the government will be forced to cut some expenditures. The cliff is really just a red herring. Likewise, any last-minute deal to avoid the spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 1 isn’t likely to save us from economic turmoil. It would merely let us continue the policy mistakes we’ve been making for years, allowing us only to temporarily stabilize the economy rather than address its deep, systemic failures. Stabilization, of course, has long been
Politics 2012: It hasn´t been two months since Barack Obama won re-election, but already we´re finding out things that were kept from us during the campaign. Expect to hear more in the coming months. lElections are clarifying events, we´re told. But sometimes what they clarify is merely the gap between what we were told during the campaign and the reality on the ground. Often, the two don´t match. That´s certainly true with Obama. How often in recent weeks have we learned that what we heard on the campaign trail from the Obama camp, and which were echoed by
That´s not to say it´s excusable, just that the appalling neglect of 38 patients at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch is the logical result of the NHS´s untenable management structure. Imagine if everything at Tesco´s was free but rationed, and subject to delivery delays of several months. Then throw in the fact that there are no other free alternatives. You would have a nightmare on your hands--huge queues, attracted by the free goods, then further stretched by the long delays. Imagine how the staff would then behave--harrassed by the limitless demand of customers, but also in a tyrannical position of
Los Banos, Calif. - The Morning Star Company’s three plants in California emit roughly 200,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year — about the same amount as the Pacific Island nation of Palau — as they turn tomatoes into ketchup, spaghetti sauce and juice used by millions of consumers around the world. Beginning Jan. 1, under the terms of a groundbreaking California environmental law known as AB 32, Morning Star and 350 other companies statewide will begin paying for those emissions, which trap heat and contribute to global warming. Companies are trying to
Los Angeles - Jack Klugman, the prolific, craggy-faced character actor and regular guy who was loved by millions as the messy one in TV´s "The Odd Couple" and the crime-fighting coroner in "Quincy, M.E.," died Monday, a son said. He was 90. Klugman, who lost his voice to throat cancer in the 1980s and trained himself to speak again, died with his wife at his side. "He had a great life and he enjoyed every moment of it and he would encourage others to do the same," son Adam Klugman said. (Snip) "His sons loved him very much," David Klugman said. "We'll carry on in his spirit."
Some interesting news has broken in the wake of the latest push for gun control by President Obama and Senate Democrats: Obama sends his kids to a school where armed guards are used as a matter of fact. The school, Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC, has 11 security officers and is seeking to hire a new police officer as we speak. If you dismiss this by saying, "Of course they have armed guards -- they get Secret Service protection," then you´ve missed the larger point. The larger point is that this is standard operating procedure
Shares of Herbalife Ltd. got pounded for a fourth straight trading day on Wall Street, as investors sent the stock diving an additional 5% on Monday. The Los Angeles-based marketer of nutrition powders, bars and vitamins has seen its stock price plummet since New York hedge fund manager Bill Ackman last week called the company´s business a pyramid scheme. Its shares have lost about 40% since Ackman lodged his allegations. (Snip) Ackman has said he will continue shorting, or betting against, Herbalife´s stock until it reaches zero. Ackman´s reputation on Wall Street could lead other investors to
A newspaper in New York has received a wave of criticism from its readers after publishing the names and addresses of all of the individuals with handgun or pistol permits in its coverage area. Hundreds of residents in New York’s Westchester and Rockland counties were surprised to find their names and addresses listed on a map posted by The Journal News on Sunday. Users can click any dot on the map to see which of their neighbors has a permit for a gun. The map sparked more than 500 comments from readers
India and Russia sewed up defence deals worth around $4 billion on Monday as Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in New Delhi for a brief visit. The first contract signed was for delivery of 71 Mi-17V 5 helicopters, while another dealt with delivery of 42 technological kits for SU-30 MKI aircraft licenced production. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called Russia a key partner in India’s efforts to enhance its defence preparedness. “A number of joint-design, development and production projects are underway. We expressed satisfaction that these projects are progressing well,” Singh
In Newsweek´s final print edition, Michael Isikoff writes about when the magazine decided to hold the story of Bill Clinton´s affair with Monica Lewinsky. "The decision was final: Newsweek would hold the story," Isikoff writes, saying that "the brass wanted more work" done on the story before going to print with it. A few days later, the story of the decade would be broken by the Drudge Report. "It didn’t take long, of course, for it to explode," writes the former Newsweek writer. "Early Sunday morning, Internet scribe Matt Drudge popped his screaming ´World Exclusive´:
Cairo - One of Egypt´s leading opposition figures pledges continued resistance to his country´s constitution even if it is declared to have passed, contending that the process was fundamentally illegitimate. Unofficial tallies say nearly two-thirds voted in favor of the Muslim-friendly constitution, but turnout was low. Hamdeen Sabahi, who placed third in the nation´s first free presidential race over the summer, said in an interview with The Associated Press that the majority of Egypt´s people are not Islamists. He argued that successive electoral triumphs by President Mohammed Morsi´s Muslim Brotherhood
Fallon: President Obama has given the entire federal government Christmas Eve day off. When he heard that, Joe Biden was like, "But not Santa, right?" Letterman: The fiscal cliff is coming. And we might lose our Triple-A credit rating. Really? $16 trillion in debts. And we´ve got a Triple-A rating? Fallon: Jackie Chan may join the movie ´Expendables 3.´ Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Chan. That´s why movie’s next title is: “The Can’t-Understandables.” Letterman: We had the Wright Bros 100th anniversary of flight the other day. There were actually three brothers,
It isn’t often in this business that you’re sitting at your desk and you get a phone call from a source that causes you to nearly fall off your chair. But that’s exactly what happened in my office at Newsweek’s Washington bureau early on the afternoon of Jan. 13, 1998. “There’s a little event going on at the Ritz-Carlton in Pentagon City right now you might want to know about,” my (very plugged-in) tipster told me. Linda Tripp was having lunch with her good friend Monica Lewinsky—and Ken Starr had the whole thing wired. Starr?! Yes, my source said: I know it sounds crazy, but Starr