Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Cop: Shahid commandeers home for campaign headquarters

Staff Writer The Trentonian

TRENTON — Not only did Shahid Emmanuel Avraham Watson not win the city’s mayoral election last night, but he also may soon face criminal charges after allegedly setting up shop for his campaign headquarters inside a stranger’s home that was currently vacant and up for sale.

A police source said last night that a report against Watson had been filed and that it was only awaiting the victim’s signature to press charges of criminal trespass against him.

The source said the victim, whose name is being withheld, drove past her home on Melrose Avenue at about 6 p.m. and saw several people sitting on her porch.

The source said the victim stopped to investigate because she has the house up for sale and no one is living inside.

The people on the porch told her they were there with Shahid Watson, the source said, and she saw what appeared to be an operational campaign headquarters set up in her home. There were Watson election signs all over and people were using her stove to cook food.

A neighbor told police she first saw activity at the house at about 7 a.m., the source said, when about 30 to 50 people were seen bringing in campaign literature and food.

As she walked into her home, the victim, the source said, was greeted by Kevin Taylor, of East Orange, who told her he was Watson’s campaign manager and that they were interested in buying her home.

Watson, the source said, also told the victim he was interested in purchasing the house.

The victim learned the group gained access to the house by contacting her realtor, the source said. The source said the victim was told the group toured her house on Monday, then went back to ask for a key to look at it again yesterday.

The victim’s realtor, Fareeda Stokes told police Watson’s people were given permission to see the house on Monday but not on Tuesday.

Stokes, the source said, met her client at the home while Watson was still there. The source said Watson told the two women he had family coming up from Atlanta and that he was interested in buying the house.

Stokes, the source said, told the victim that she was familiar with Watson and knew he had poor credit and couldn’t afford to buy the house, but the candidate allegedly told them he would sign a contract to purchase the home.

Stokes then went out to her car and retrieved a contract, the source said, but Watson refused to sign.

Watson, the source said, cleaned up the house and left, and the victim called police.

Watson, who received only about 200 votes in his bid to be Trenton’s mayor will now likely face the charges as issued by subpoena. He did not return a call seeking comment last night.

Copyright 2010 The Trentonian, a Journal Register Property. All rights reserved

Model Noemie Lenoir Found Unconscious After Suicide Attempt

By Clutch

French Model Noemie Lenoir, 30 was found unconscious outside of Paris Sunday afternoon after roaming in a nearby woods according to The Daily Mail. Lenoir reportedly swallowed a fatal combination of alcohol and drugs at the home of former boyfriend and the father of her five-year-old son.

A source close to Lenoir spoke exclusively to The Daily Mail: “After coming to, Noemie was in a state of great distress and clearly very ill. She had clearly attempted to harm herself and had fallen unconscious. She was rushed to a nearby hospital and treated for the effects of poisoning. It seems that she may have tried to commit suicide as a cry for help. She’s now in a far better condition and recovering.”

According to reports Lenoir has been suffering “extreme angst” because of her relationship with Swiss millionaire Carl Hirschmann. Hirschmann is involved in a sex and extortion scandal in his home country.

Lenoir, signed to Elite agency has been modeling for over a decade. She appeared in ads by Gap, L’Oreal and Tommy Hilfiger. Lenoir also appeared in the films “Rush Hour 3″ and “After the Sunset.” The successful model recently walked the Fall 2010 Louis Vuitton show.

Suicide is never worth it. If your considering suicide please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255.

Lil Wayne Caught With Contraband in Prison Cell

According to the Village Voice, Rikers Island corrections officers conducted a surprise inspection of rapper Lil Wayne’s prison cell and found earphones and a charger.

No audio device was found in his cell, so officers searched the cells of the other inmates until they came up with the missing mp3 player.

Before turning himself in to begin serving a 12-month prison sentence on weapons charges, Wayne told Rolling Stone magazine that he planned to keep working while in prison: “I’ll have an iPod, and I’ll make sure they keep sending me beats.”

The only problem with that is, inmates aren’t allowed to have electronics such as iPods or cell phones in their possession.

The MP3 player was discovered in the cell of another inmate in the unit. And, in a kind of tragic detail, it turns out Lil Wayne had hidden the original contraband–the charger and headphones–in a snack bag in the garbage can of his cell.) He’s being charged with an infraction–possession of contraband, says our source. Inmates are allowed to purchase an AM/FM player and earphones from the commissary, but what Wayne had wasn’t authorized. Before you yawn, realize that everyone in Rikers–even the celebrities–is forbidden to possess any form of non-sanctioned mobile electronics, whether cell phones, videogames, or otherwise, and the fact that Lil Wayne was found with an iPod in his cell means that someone had to smuggle it into him.

Weezy’s minor infraction will probably mean additional time tacked onto the end of his sentence. Last month prison officials fired an overeager female prison guard who entered an unauthorized area to peek in on Wayne. The former guard is filing a wrongful termination suit against the city.

Is teenage accuser lying about having sex with Lawrence Taylor?

By Ronald Monestime
Over the past several days, the story dominating sports headlines was the arrest and arraignment of New York Giants Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor on charges of third-degree rape and patronizing a prostitute.

The sordid details of the events leading to his public humiliation include Taylor arranging a $300 sexual rendezvous through an ex-convict named Rasheed Davis; who fulfilled Taylor’s request by bringing a 16-year-old Bronx girl to his hotel room at the Holiday Inn in Montebello, NY.

The 51-year-old former gridiron great admitted to paying a teenage hooker $300 for sex but claims he was told the girl was 19 and that he did not have sex with her, despite the discovery of a used condom in the room.

The baby-faced hooker, as described by, speaking outside of her uncle’s apartment building on Westchester Avenue in the Bronx, stated she was brutally beaten by Davis and forced to have sex with Taylor. Davis has been charged with sex trafficking.


CBO Adds $115 Billion to ObamaCare's Price Tag

By Peter Suderman

Remember when health care reform was supposed to cost "around $900 billion?" That's what Obama promised, anyway. And sure, the final cost estimate for the law came in at about $950 billion—close enough for government work, I suppose—but a new report from the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the law will actually require about $115 billion in additional discretionary spending, putting the official price tag well over $1 trillion. Here's Politico's summary:

Congressional Budget Office estimates released Tuesday predict the health care overhaul will likely cost about $115 billion more in discretionary spending over ten years than the original cost projections.

The additional spending — if approved over the years by Congress — would bring the total estimated cost of the overhaul to over $1 trillion.

...The Congressional Budget Office expects the federal agencies to spend $10 billion to $20 billion over 10 years on administrative costs to implement the overhaul. The CBO expects Congress to spend an additional $105 billion over 10 years to fund discretionary programs in the overhaul.
And remember: That original $950 billion sticker, which theoretically tallies up the first decade of costs, only counted 6 years of full-swing spending. And it ignored the cost of the insurance mandate, which, if counted, probably would have added an additional trillion dollars or more to the total cost. But as they say at The Onion, "If you love America, you throw money in its hole!"

Anyone still willing to call this overhaul "fiscally responsible?"

Video: Miley Cyrus' Dirty Dances with 44-Year-Old Man

The video shows Shankman, an openly gay man, with a drink in his hand as he grinds up against Cyrus' backside on the dance floor. TMZ claims Cyrus' parents, Tish and Billy Ray Cyrus, were not at the wrap party. Her reps had no comment when the Web site called.

"The video was taken about seven months ago at a wrap party for 'The Last Song,'" a source told NY Daily News. "The worst part is that there were little kids at the party and the dancing between Miley and Adam was so dirty that some of the parents actually left the party and took their kids home."

This isn't the first time Cyrus and Shankman have been caught getting too close for comfort. Last June, the producer posted a photo of Cyrus on Twitter, showing the actress provocatively posing in a make-up chair.

"Miley is a sweet angel who works tirelessly and endlessly, and is allowed to have fun in the make up room!" Shankman later said in defense of the photos. "Lighten up or no more behind the scenes pics! She's my little angel sister."

Rose garden was like the 'Dave and Nick Show'

The chilly rapport between Obama and David Cameron’s predecessor, Gordon Brown, is a thing of the past. The weeks ahead will tell if the 'special relationship' between the US and UK still has life.

MANILA, Philippines—Manny Pacquiao’s next fight will be on Nov. 13, and hopefully it will be against Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Renowned promoter Bob Arum made the disclosure before he flew back to the United States Tuesday night after supporting Pacquiao’s successful bid for Sarangani’s lone congressional seat.

According to Arum, both the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, are available to host what could be boxing’s biggest bout ever on that date.

Arum said he’d resume negotiations with Golden Boy Promotions, which co-promotes Mayweather, upon his arrival in Las Vegas.

Though Mayweather is his first priority, Arum said he is also ready to pit the seven-division champion against any other suitable fighter if the unbeaten American remains steadfast on his demand for Olympic-style drug testing.

Apart from the drug testing protocol, another possible hindrance for the Pacquiao-Mayweather tussle is the terms in the splitting of purses.

Based on latest wire and Internet reports, Team Mayweather seemed poised to ask for a bigger share of the purse that is estimated to bring in $40 million each to both fighters.

Before negotiations fell though for the fight originally set March 13, a 50-50 sharing was agreed upon. The Mayweather camp, however, may use the 1.4 million pay-per-view buys the Mayweather-Shane Mosley showdown on May 1 generated as a leverage tool.

Pacquiao, who stands to be proclaimed as congressional winner on Thursday, has repeatedly said that he’s ready to do battle with Mayweather as soon as the five-division champion drops his demand for random drug testing.

Another possible snag facing Pacquiao-Mayweather is where to stage the bout.

Billionaire Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys
and the opulent Cowboys Stadium, is keen on having another fight after Pacquiao’s 12-round demolition of Ghanaian Joshua Clottey on March 13 drew a huge crowd of 50,996 fans.

Body Scanners Violate Privacy Once Again, While 23rd US Airport Installs Them

By David Parker Brown,

Fort Wayne International Airport is the latest airport to get the full-body scanners, which brings the total US airports to 23. I have not hidden my opinion that full-body scanners are a bad choice due to the fact that they violate a passenger’s privacy and can be easily avoided.

Last week a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) worker at Miami International Airport ended up being arrested, after a co-worker teased him about his genitals.

Rolando Negrin was being scanned as a training exercise when a co-worker started to repeatedly harass him for the size of his “manhood.” Witnesses say Negrin lost it and started to hit his co-worker with a police baton. Negrin could be heard saying in Spanish, “get on your knees or I will kill you and you better apoligise [sic].”

The TSA has a zero-violence policy and stated, “we are investigating to determine whether other officers may have violated procedures in a training session with coworkers and committed professional misconduct.”

The TSA likes to note that this incident was internal and did not involve the general public. However, we have already seen the body scanners abused in public once and as they are used more, I am sure we will see them abused again.

When scanning passengers, the TSA says that a screener views the live image in a remote location and the images will be permanently deleted, never being stored. However, in a letter to the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), the TSA states they have 2,000 test images stored, using TSA personal, at its test facility. This means that the system has the capability to store images, not to mention workers could sneak in cameras or phones.

EPIC has tried to gain access to the test images to see how privacy might be violated, but the TSA has refused to release them. EPIC has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security under the Freedom of Information Act seeking details about the government’s use of advanced imaging technology. Many fear if the scans are publicly released, it will allow people to learn how to beat the system. Right now the system is really easy to beat, just refuse to be scanned and ask for a pat-down.

How much is all this wonderful security costing you, the tax payers? Only $6Billion per year. According to Stanford Daily, when the TSA was private in 2001, it only cost $700Million. Even in comparing with 2001 prices, that is $700million versus $4.6Billion.

It is frustrating to see stories like this continue to pop-up. I am sure this will not be the last story of a passenger’s rights being violated. Stay tuned…

Kagan Hired No Black Professors While Dean Of Harvard Law

Like everyone in the legal academy over the last decade, we have watched with admiration the amazing changes that Elena Kagan brought to Harvard Law School. A fractured faculty, divided among ideological lines, seemed finally content, if not united. A boisterous student body was finally pacified. The logjam that had stopped faculty hiring had burst. Indeed, she hired so many new faculty the Harvard Law School’s newspaper’s 2008 April Fool’s issue declared, “Dean Kagan Hires Every Law Professor in the Country.”

The first woman Dean of Harvard Law School had presided over an unprecedented expansion of the faculty — growing it by almost a half. She had hired 32 tenured and tenure-track academic faculty members (non-clinical, non-practice). But when we sat down to review the actual record, we were frankly shocked. Not only were there shockingly few people of color, there were very few women. Where were the people of color? Where were the women? Of these 32 tenured and tenure-track academic hires, only one was a minority. Of these 32, only seven were women. All this in the 21st Century.

One of us aired some of these concerns, which we expressed in a joint letter to the White House, on a blog. The White House never responded directly to us, but it did provide a defense of the Solicitor General’s record to concerned civil rights groups, who then made the document public. (Salon obtained a copy, which can be found here.) We are glad that the White House has responded to some of the questions that we have raised.
Unfortunately, the White House’s defense of the solicitor general’s hiring record while she was Dean at Harvard is surprisingly weak.

To begin, and most notably, the White House does not dispute our basic facts. When Kagan was dean of Harvard Law School, four-out-of-every five hires to its faculty were white men. She did not hire a single African American, Latino, or Native American tenured or tenure track academic law professor. She hired 25 men, all of whom were white, and seven women, six of whom were white and one Asian American. Just 3 percent of her hires were non-white — a statistic that should raise eyebrows in the 21st Century.

Police: Philly sergeant lied about being shot

A white city police sergeant made up a story about being shot by a black man while on patrol last month and actually intentionally shot himself for unknown reasons, the city’s police commissioner said Tuesday.

Sgt. Robert Ralston, 46, confessed to making up the story and will have to pay the costs of the massive manhunt that followed, Commissioner Charles Ramsey said. Ralston has been suspended with intent to dismiss, but will not face criminal charges because granting immunity was the only way to obtain his confession, Ramsey said at a news conference.
The case was especially troubling, Ramsey said, because Ralston identified his supposed attacker as black. When Ralston confessed Tuesday, he said he made the claim so his story would be more believable, Ramsey said.
“He wanted the story to be consistent with the environment he was in,” a largely African-American neighborhood, Ramsey said. “I am troubled by this whole situation. … He violated the trust the people have given him.”
The commissioner said investigators aren’t really sure why Ralston intentionally shot himself.
“He did not give a reason for doing that … he denied that he was trying to get attention,” Ramsey said. “He said he first considered shooting himself in the chest, but he thought better of it.”
A telephone listing for Ralston had been disconnected and he could not immediately be reached for comment by The Associated Press.
Ralston, a 21-year veteran, told police he was on patrol in the city’s Overbrook section early on April 5 when he stopped two black men for questioning along some railroad tracks.

He told investigators that one of the men put a gun to his head, but that he knocked the weapon away and suffered a graze wound to the shoulder when it fired, investigators said. Both men fled, he said.
Police combed the neighborhood for hours looking for the men. Officers never stopped or arrested anyone matching Ralston’s description of the gunman, Ramsey said.

Investigators quickly found inconsistencies in his story. Forensic evidence didn’t match Ralston’s story, and gunpowder on Ralston’s shirt matched the kind of powder used by the department, Ramsey said.
The Fraternal Order of Police had put out a $10,000 reward for information leading to the alleged suspect.
On Tuesday, FOP President John McNesby condemned the sergeant’s actions, saying they took away from the good work of police officers.
“Nobody knows what he was thinking to do something like that,” McNesby said. “He wasted a lot of time, a lot of manpower. It could really stir up a lot of stuff in the city when you don’t really need it.”
District Attorney Seth Williams commended Ramsey’s decision to suspend Ralston and said the goal was getting to the truth.

“Unfortunately, we could only arrive at the truth through his statement given to the police and that statement cannot be used against him,” Williams said. “We took a badge and a gun from a person whose actions proved him unfit for either.”


Video: VP Joe Biden's Son Had Mild Stroke

Vice President Joe Biden's older son, the Delaware attorney general, had a mild stroke Tuesday and was transferred to a Philadelphia hospital, where he was alert and talking with family.

Pope: Church's Own Sins to Blame in Sex Scandal

These days, anyone wanting to become a Roman Catholic priest must be someone with a very thick skin and an unflinching faith. Catholic priests have been at the centre of the child sex abuse scandal that has so damaged the Church.

Video: Aquino takes commanding lead in Philippine election vote

Benigno Aquino III has won the presidential election partly on the strength of his parents' reputation. But the vote has also meant a political comeback for the Marcos family.

Plane Crash in Libya Kills 103

A Libyan passenger plane has crashed in the Libyan capital, Tripoli killing 103 people and leaving one survivor.

Libyan security officials say the Afriqiyah Airways plane crashed Wednesday morning as it was attempting to land at the Tripoli airport after a flight from Johannesburg, South Africa.

There were 93 passengers and 11 flight crew on board the Airbus 330 flight.

Security officials say a child passenger survived the accident. News reports say that he is an eight-year old Dutch boy.

Video: Oil executives grilled over US spill

A drilling rig explosion on April 20 left 11 workers missing and presumed dead, and the rig's subsequent collapse unleashed a major oil spill that threatens the ecosystems and economy of the US Gulf of Mexico.

Booker wins 2nd term as mayor of high-crime Newark

NEWARK, N.J. — Cory Booker has handily won a second term as mayor of Newark, a New Jersey city that has struggled with gun violence.

The 41-year-old Booker defeated three challengers Tuesday night. Former county prosecutor Clifford Minor ran a distant second.

With 98 percent of precincts reporting, the city clerk's tally had Booker with more than 21,000 votes compared to about 12,500 for Minor.

Four years ago, Booker won by a bigger margin, receiving 72 percent of the vote to defeat state Sen. Ronald L. Rice.

Booker calls his victory "a pretty profound statement in an economy and a nation that seems to be throwing out incumbents left and right."

Newark has succeeded in lowering its violent crime rate, but the city still struggles with gun violence. Booker has vowed to continue his anti-crime initiatives.