12 People Dead In Paris Terrorist Shooting

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Twelve people were killed today in Paris when gunmen went into the offices of a popular French satirical magazine called Charlie Hebdo. The Magazine is know for publishing a series of cartoons about the famous Muslim Prophet Muhammad. Two gunmen ran into the Magazine’s office today wielding AK-47’s and shouting out “Allahu Akbar”, which is the Muslim term for “God Is The Greatest”. Among the victims were two police officers and the Magazine’s editor, Stephane Charbonnier.

Since the attack earlier today, authorities have released the names of three suspects: Said Kouachi and Cherif Kouachi, both in their 30s, and 18-year-old Hamyd Mourad.

France has declared this day a national day of mourning and have raised the terror threat level. Security for media organizations, large stores and places of worship have been increased, and a manhunt for the killers with the assistance of the FBI was launched.

“We will find the people who did this,” French President Francois Hollande vowed. He later called for national unity.

“Freedom is always bigger than barbarism,” he said. “Vive la France.”

What a terrible day for the country of France. Our prayers go out to the families of the victims.

Boston Marathon Bomber Trial Begins

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Everyone in America remembers April 15, 2013. That was the day that the world famous Boston Marathon was rocked by two bombs that exploded near the Marathon finish line killing 3 people and injuring 264. That tragic day ended when Law Enforcement tracked down and captured the suspect in the bombing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

A little over 18 months later the trial is set to begin for Tsarnaev this Monday. Going into the trial defense attorneys have suggested Tsarnaev was controlled by his older brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed in a confrontation with police three days after the bombing. The younger drove over the older brother and escaped.

Defense attorneys also have said the family’s history played a role in shaping Tsarnaev. They note that the family, of Chechen ethnicity, experienced difficulties dating to World War II, when Josef Stalin deported mass populations to central Asia.

With his older brother dying, Tsarnaev is left to face these charges alone. “Prosecutors appear to have virtually incontrovertible evidence supporting their claim that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan, planned and executed the Boston Marathon bombing,” said CNN legal analyst Paul Callan, a former prosecutor and defense attorney.

“The defense, on the other hand, will push for a more expansive ‘War and Peace’ type presentation to create a narrative that paints Dzhokhar as the innocent pawn of a domineering older brother,” Callan added. “A more expansive presentation of Dzhokhar’s family and psychological history is more likely to be seen during the sentencing phase if the jury returns a guilty verdict.”

This case will be tried as a Capital Case which means that if convicted, Tsarnaev will be tried separately to see if he will be executed. We’ll make sure to keep you updated as the trial progresses.

Air Asia Flight 8501 Has Been Found

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It’s a sad day for the families of the passengers and staff of Air Asia flight 8501. Debris and bodies were found in the water today about 6 miles from the planes last known location over the Java Sea, CNN reported this morning. Indonesian officials found the bodies of two women and one man. The bodies have not been identified and no names have been released as of yet.

“We are sorry to be here today under these tragic circumstances,” said Sunu Widyatmoko, head of AirAsia Indonesia. “We would like to extend our sincere sympathies to the family and friends of those on board QZ8501. Our sympathies also go out to the families of our dear colleagues.”

Hospitals in the Indonesian city of Surbaya are being prepped to receive any bodies that are recovered, so that they can be housed and identified.

Several nations are contributing resources to the effort, including the United States. The U.S. Navy destroyer USS Sampson arrived Tuesday.

Our condolences go out to all of the families that are affected by this tragedy.

Sofia Vergara Is Engaged (Reportedly)

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Sofia Vergara, the 42 yr old star of ABC’s Modern Family is reportedly engaged to her boyfriend of a few months Joe Manganiello, 38, star of the popular HBO series True Blood. The two have seemed to be inseparable since they met this past July. They recently spent Christmas together in Hawaii and just yesterday Vergara posted a picture of her and Manganiello snuggled together wishing him a happy birthday and referring to him as her “best friend”. A source told E! news the “True Blood” actor proposed on Christmas Day. This will be Vergara’s second marriage. Her first marriage was to her high school sweetheart Joe Gonzalez. Gonzalez and Vergara were married for a couple of years before the two divorced. She has her only child from that marriage. Although the couple hasn’t confirmed their engagement, we wish Sofia and Joe all of the best!

Russian Economy Heading For Disaster Fast

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The recent decline in oil prices has had a huge impact on the Russian economy over the past few weeks. This has put Russia on the path towards a deep recession and a double digit inflation in 2015, as reported by Russian Officials today. The Russian government has instituted a bail out similar to the U.S. bailout from years ago to help save the Rouble (Russia’s currency).

The economy is slowing even more as problems in the Ukraine are discouraging foreign investment and encouraging capital flight.

The Russian government is now taking what it feels are necessary steps to support financial institutions so that they can address the worsening currency crisis over the past weeks. This crisis has included interest rate hikes. Financial analysts are currently unsure and very pessimistic about the outcome for Russia’s economy and the outcome of the Rouble. It looks like this world power is in for a long hard fight to save their economy.

YouTube Threatened With A $1 Billion Lawsuit

New Performing Rights Organization, Global Music Rights has threatened to sue YouTube. The group which represents about 40 notable artists, including Pharrell Williams says that YouTube no longer has the license to perform the songs for a lot of different artists whose material is on YouTube. The artists/songwriters that make up Global Music Rights were former members of ASCAP and BMI. Now that they no longer are a part of the respective Organizations they have requested that over 20,000 songs be removed from YouTube. YouTube claims that they have the right to still perform these songs under the consent decree that they have with ASCAP & BMI. A lawyer from YouTube commented saying that if these artists want their material removed that they must go through the “notice & takedown” process that all YouTube users must go through. No formal lawsuit has been filed, as Global Music Rights is trying to negotiate with YouTube outside of court. We’ll see how long the negotiations last before the media giant is sued for over $1 Billion.

Columbus Short Comes “Clean” About Scandal

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Last April, ABC confirmed that Columbus Short would not return to “Scandal” for Season 4. He had been charged with misdemeanor spousal battery against his wife, Tuere Short, who filed for divorce soon after. Now, in a new interview with Access Hollywood, Short revealed that he had been abusing drugs — specifically cocaine — during that time.

“I had a lot on my plate, and you know, I was using unhealthy ways to kind of self-medicate and deal with a lot of heavy duty stuff in my life,” he said in the interview. “I was doing cocaine and drinking a lot.”

Short confirmed that his “Scandal” co-stars and showrunner Shonda Rhimes were aware of his activities. “If we’re going to be fully transparent, they protected me and they held me down. And that was one of the real reasons — they just wanted me to get my stuff together. Sometimes the bottom has to be dropped out for you to really get it.”

Since getting fired, Short has moved to Atlanta and has been working on an album, though he’s live tweeted the show — including the episode in which the Gladiators mourn his character’s death — and even held a season premiere party for its return in September. “I would love nothing more to go back to ‘Scandal,'” he said. “It’s my family.”

Watch the full interview:

Queen Latifah Show Cancelled: Daytime Talk Show Ending After Two Seasons

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The Queen has been dethroned. After two seasons, The Queen Latifah Show is not returning, Sony Pictures confirmed on Friday, Nov. 21.
The syndicated daytime talk show starring the actress and musician made its debut in September 2013, and kicked off its second season this past September. Born Dana Owens, the host is expected to finish out her current run of episodes through 2015.

“We want to thank Dana, the producers and the entire staff of The Queen Latifah Show for creating a program that we are all very proud of,” Sony said in a statement. “Thank you also to our terrific station partners and advertisers who supported the show.”
During its short run, The Queen Latifah Show won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Hairstyling, and was also nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Talk Series.

Latifah, 44, commented on the cancellation on Facebook. She penned a note to herself and reflected on her time on the show.
“Dear Dana,” she began, addressing herself. “Just a little note to say Thank You… Thank you for your strong work ethic and great effort in getting The Queen Latifah Show off the ground and running. Your dedication and sacrifice was crucial to the entire team, and in the face of intense challenges, you displayed ‘True Grit!’ Your Family, Partners, Staff and Crew showed up with you every step of the way. Be very proud of that! Not everyone can say the same.”

“You can also say you have been a blessing to and been blessed by amazing guests and incredible audiences for this show,” the Oscar nominee continued. “We truly changed people’s lives for the better. So… STAY POSITIVE, STAY STRONG, and most importantly, STAY OPEN… There is so much more God has in store! Lovingly, You!”

She went on to address her colleagues and collaborators, writing, “P.S. This letter is for me, my staff, my crew, and everyone who was by my side for this incredible journey. The most important thing in life is that you wake up every single day and take chances. No matter what the outcome… believe in yourself and continue to fly.”

Read more: http://www.usmagazine.com/entertainment/news/queen-latifah-show-cancelled-daytime-talk-show-ends-after-two-seasons-20142111#ixzz3JkCafuyz
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Fast & Furious Star Paul Walker Dies In Car Accident

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Actor Paul Walker, who shot to fame as star of the high-octane street racing franchise “Fast & Furious,” died Saturday in a car crash in Southern California. He was 40.

Walker’s publicist Ame van Iden confirmed his death, but said she could not elaborate beyond statements posted on Walker’s official Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Walker was a passenger in a friend’s car and both were attending a charity event for his organization, Reach Out Worldwide, in Santa Clarita, about 30 miles north of Hollywood.

The website for the charity said the Saturday event was intended to benefit victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

The crash took place about 3:30 p.m., about 300 yards from the office park where the event was held.

The Santa Clarita Valley Signal, citing a sheriff’s deputy at the scene, said a red Porsche appeared to have lost control.

Deputies arrived at the scene to find a vehicle on fire, the sheriff’s department said in a statement.

Once fire crews put the flames out, they found two occupants, both of whom were pronounced dead at the scene.

Saturday evening, all that remained was the burnt mangled metal of the car and a light pole that had been knocked down.

Along with Vin Diesel, the 40-year-old Walker has been one of the stalwarts of the “Fast & Furious” movie series, characterized by its racing scenes and attractive cast.

The box-office success of the first film in 2001 fueled sequels. The series’ sixth installment came out earlier this year, topping the Memorial Day weekend box office.

At the time of his death, Walker was working on the seventh film of the franchise, with a scheduled release date of 2014.

On his verified Twitter account, Walker described himself as “outdoorsman, ocean addict, adrenaline junkie … and I do some acting on the side.”

Walker also is the star of “Hours,” an independent film scheduled to be released December 13 about a father struggling to keep his newborn infant alive in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

Ciara & Future Engaged

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R&B singer Ciara just got some serious bling from her sweetie.

Rapper/producer Future (real name: Nayvadius Wilburn), 29, surprised the future Mrs. Future, 28, with an engagement ring this weekend in New York City, reports AP.

The Body Party songstress, who turned 28 on Friday, was celebrating her birthday in New York with her beau when he presented her with a 15-carat diamond.

“Today Has 2 Be Like One Of The Sweetest Days Of My Life! #TheBestBirthdayEver,” Ciara, who is pals with Kim Kardashians, tweeted on Sunday.

This will be the first marriage for both Ciara and Future, who began dating a year ago and got each other’s initials tattooed on their ring fingers, reports E! News.