Boston Bomber Receives The Death Penalty

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The 12 jurors in the Boston Marathon bombing case sentenced Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death by lethal injection.They deliberated for more than 16 hours and over three days to reach the verdict.

Tsarnaev is the first terrorist to be sentenced to death in the post-9/11 era, according to the New York Times.

The case will “automatically be appealed to a higher federal court. Which will begin a series of appeals that could take years to resolve,” according to Eric Levenson of boston.com.

US Attorney General Loretta Lynch stated, “the ultimate penalty is a fitting punishment.”

There have only been three federal executions since the death penalty was reinstated in 1988.

Tsarnaev was found guilty on all 30 counts he was charged with from the April 15, 2013, Boston Marathon bombing. Seventeen of those counts made him eligible for the death penalty.

Reuters/Dan Lampariello
Reuters/Dan Lampariello

Tsarnaev, who is now 21, pleaded not guilty two years ago when he was charged with planting a homemade “improvised explosive device” — a pressure cooker filled with gunpowder, ball bearings, and nails — near the race’s finish line.

Hoping to take the death penalty off the table, Judy Clarke, Tsarnaev’s defense attorney, sought to cast Tsarnaev as a naive teenager who was radicalized by his older brother, Tamerlan.

“We don’t deny that Jahar fully participated in the events,” Judy Clarke told the jury in her closing arguments. “But if not for Tamerlan, it would not have happened.”

Prosecutors argued that Dzhokhar was his brother’s full and equal partner, as evidenced by the jihadist note Dzhokhar scrawled on the side of a boat in the hours he spent hiding from police.

The note read, in part, “We Muslims are one body. You hurt one, you hurt us all.”

Prosecutors also argued that Tsarnaev showed little remorse for his actions — an argument made stronger by a photo of Tsarnaev giving the middle finger to a surveillance camera in his prison cell.

“This is Dzhokhar Tsarnaev — unconcerned, unrepentant, and unchanged,” the defense attorney told the jury late last month.

NYPD Cop Indicted In Shooting Death Of Akai Gurley

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Peter Liang, the rookie cop who shot and killed unarmed Brooklyn man Akai Gurley in an unlit housing project staircase was indicted for manslaughter today. The grand jury decided that Liang will face criminal charges that could put him in prison for up to 15 years. Liang shot and killed Gurley on November 20th of last year.

Sources said Liang, 27, was indicted for a top count second-degree manslaughter, which means he acted recklessly. He was also charged with reckless endangerment, second-degree assault and official misconduct.

“I’m glad the grand jury looked at the evidence and returned an indictment,” Kimberly Ballinger, the victim’s domestic partner and mother of his 2-year-old daughter, told The New York Daily News.

“I am happy, I have faith in the Brooklyn District Attorney and I thank him.”

Liang discharged one bullet when patrolling the stairways of the Pink Houses in East New York, striking the 28-year-old Gurley in the chest as the man stood in the landing a floor below next to his girlfriend.

The probationary officer, who has been a member of the NYPD for only 18 months, was allegedly holding a flashlight in one hand and clutched a 9-mm Glock in his left hand, which he also used to open a door when the gun fired.

It was said that Liang and his partner did not answer the radio in the six-plus minutes right after the shooting and instead texted their union delegates.

Liang is expected to turn himself in Wednesday morning ahead of his arraignment in Brooklyn Supreme Court. He will appear in front of Justice Danny Chun.

NY Mayor de Blasio said: “No matter the specific charges, this case is an unspeakable tragedy for the Gurley family. We urge everyone to respect the judicial process as it unfolds.”

The closely watched case came after grand juries in Missouri and Staten Island declined in recent months to file charges against police officers accused of killing unarmed black men. The deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner sparked a national protest movement and calls for reform and may have had some weight in the delicate handling of this case by the Grand Jury.

We will continue to keep you updated on this story as it develops.

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.

New Adele Album On The Way?

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Adele has dropped her biggest hint yet on Twitter that her forthcoming third album will be called ‘25’.

The Grammy award winner, who celebrates her 26th birthday on Monday (May 5), has previously named her albums ‘19’ and ‘21’ because of the age she was when she wrote them.

It was confirmed by her publicist back in January that Adele’s third album will be released in 2014, and she’s now suggested she’ll be continuing her trend of giving her album an age-based title and calling it ‘25’.

On Sunday night, her last night as a 25-year-old, she tweeted a photo, seemingly from her bed, writing the caption: “Bye bye 25… See you again later in the year.”

However, although she wrote her last album ‘21’ gained critical acclaim for its honest and raw songwriting about the breakdown of a relationship – as heard in singles ‘Rolling In The Deep’ and ‘Someone Like You’ – we expect ‘25’ might be a more uplifting affair, given how things have taken such a happier turn in the star’s personal life.

Since writing ‘21’, the album has topped the charts in more than 26 countries, while Adele has won an incredible eight Grammys and an Academy Award, as well as being honoured with an MBE by Prince Charles.

She’s also become a mother for the first time, giving birth to her son Angelo back in October 2012 to her partner Simon Konecki, who she’s now been with for over two years.

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Lauryn Hill Checks Into Prison

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After one last weekend of freedom, Lauryn Hill has checked herself into prison to begin her three-month sentence for tax evasion. Hill will serve her sentence out at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Conn. The federal prison is reportedly a “minimum security type facility” and inmates live in “barracks type” housing.

Kim Kardashian And Kris Humphries’ Divorce Finalized

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A very pregnant Kim Kardashian looked triumphant as she left a Los Angeles courthouse on Friday, April 19, after the judge officially announced that her year-and-a-half divorce battle with ex Kris Humphries had come to an end.

“Yes, it’s done,” a source says. “They realized there was no fraud and the judge urged Kris to settle. Finally it’s over!”

Kardashian, 32, and Humphries officially announced their split after just 72 days of marriage in October 2011, and have been in a bitter court battle ever since. While Kardashian sought a clean divorce from the NBA player, Humphries instead filed for an annulment, claiming that Kardashian had committed fraud when she said “I do.”

Humphries, 28, dropped his demand for an annulment, and will not get a single penny from Kardashian, despite his previous request for $7 million from his estranged wife. Both parties will also pay for their own attorney’s fees, squashing reports that Kardashian might require Humphries to pony up for hers.

The Kourtney & Kim Take Miami star showed up on time for the proceedings Friday morning, and answered a few short questions from the judge, an eyewitness said.

When asked if irreconcilable differences led to the breakdown of the marriage, Kardashian responded yes. She denied that counseling would have helped the marriage.

Save for the court’s final sign-off on the judgment — which will need to happen before June 19 — Kardashian and Humphries are now officially divorced, just in time for the July arrival of Kardashian’s baby with boyfriend Kanye West.

Humphries was not present for Friday’s hearing, despite court orders. He was also absent from an Apr. 12 settlement hearing that was meant to keep the case from going to trial.

“[Kris is] just wasting everyone’s time at this point … The judge is furious. So disrespectful,” a source said of Humphries’ previous absence. “Kim showed up pregnant!”

And there are other things that haven’t quite worked out in Humphries’ favor either. Earlier this month, the Brooklyn Nets player demanded that he have access to several emails his estranged wife had sent him from closed accounts. The judge denied his request on Apr. 15, just days after he was a no-show in court.

Luckily for Humphries, however, the judge has ruled his failure to appear in court “irrelevant” now that the case is settled. The athlete was previously set to be hit with fines for failing to show up to several court-ordered appearances.

Lil’ Kim and Wendy Williams Feud: Rapper Blasts Host for Comments About Her “Filled” Face

The rapper took to Twitter yesterday to blast Wendy Williams after the talk-show host made comments about Kim’s seemingly ever-changing appearance.

“Do you want to talk about Lil’ Kim and that face of hers?” Williams cracked during the Hot Topics segment of yesterday’s Wendy Williams Show. “It’s filled so tight now, Kim, it looks like a pin would just pop you.”

“Kim, in my mind, I know your goal was always to look like La Toya Jackson,” she continued. “You’ve out-La Toya’d La Toya in your new look, and don’t blame Photoshopping. Blame your plastic surgeon, girl.”

Kim later unleashed (then deleted) on Williams via Twitter for the plastic surgery jokes.

“@WendyWilliams Bitch Y didn’t u show the side by side pic,” the Grammy-winner posted. “This pic is photoshopped & U know it. U hating Bitch.”

“@WendyWilliams A bad angle will never make me look like that.”

The feuding didn’t stop there.

“@WendyWilliams Stop hating on me because U sucked Big’s d–k & he didn’t want nothing to do with yo ass after that.”

And finally, “@WendyWilliams it’s time for the world to know the real. I’m not playing with yo ass no more. Let’s get it!!!!!”

Maybe Williams will think twice next time she wants to trash talk Lil’ Kim!

Tourists Watch In Horror As Filmmaker Adam Strange Is Dragged Under By Great White Shark (Video)

A beautiful summer day at the beach turned into a Hollywood style horror story when a New Zealand man was ripped apart by a Great White shark as hundreds of terrified tourists looked on helplessly.

Documentary filmmaker Adam Strange was repeatedly pulled under the water by the 14-foot predator as he struggled to get to the safety of a nearby rock while the water was dyed crimson with his blood, reported Stuff.co.nz.

“All of a sudden, we saw the shark fin and next minute, boom, attack him and then blood every where on the water,” said witness Pio Mose, who was fishing at Muriwai Beach near Auckland, around 1.30 pm local time on Wednesday.

Mose attempted to save the stricken swimmer as his friend ran to get help from the coastguards. “He was still alive, he put his head up, we called him to swim over [to] the rock to where we were. He raised his hand up, and then while he was rising his hand up we saw another attack pull him in the water,” he revealed.

The 46-year-old father-of-one bobbed above the surface one more time but onlookers soon realized that he was dead.

Attracted by the scent of blood spreading through the water, four other sharks swooped in to feed on the remains before armed police in a helicopter and an inflatable lifesaving boat arrived and began firing into the water to drive them off.

A regular at the popular beach who was familiar with the dangerous waters, Strange was training for an upcoming Ocean Swim event. “He surfs the beach every day, he loves the ocean” revealed a friend.

“The family are grieving the loss of a glorious and great father, husband and friend,” Strange’s family said in a statement.

Strange was an award-winning director with a background in painting, photography and graphic design. He won a Crystal Bear award with his first short film Aphrodite’s Farm at the Berlin Film Festival in 2009.

Muriwai and nearby beaches have all been closed following the fatal attack and police continue to patrol the area in helicopters.

Shark attacks are extremely rare in New Zealand, with an estimated 12 to 14 people being killed in the Southern hemisphere country since the 1830s.

“There are much lower levels of shark attacks here than in Australia,” explained Clinton Duffy, a shark expert with the Department of Conservation, according to FoxNews.com . “It’s possibly a function of how many people are in the water [in New Zealand’s cooler climate].”

Rachel McAdams & Michael Sheen Split

Rachel McAdams is back on the market. The actress has ended her real-life romance with Midnight in Paris co-star Michael Sheen, a source confirms to Us Weekly.

McAdams, 34, and Sheen, 44, took their romance public in October 2010 after meeting on the naturally romantic set of Woody Allen’s film.

“Michael and I didn’t get together while we were filming Midnight in Paris, which I feel strongly about not doing when I’m working. We became quite good friends, which I think is a great way to start,” McAdams told The Sunday Telegraph’s Stella magazine in January 2012. “I felt very blessed to have made a Woody Allen film in Paris together.”

The Vow actress also shared that her most important quality in a relationship is good communication. “You need to trust each other and be able to talk to each other and be best friends.”

During her relationship with the British actor, the pair remained steadfastly devoted to making it work. “Michael and I never spend more than three weeks apart — we rack up a lot of air miles — but you have to be quite adaptable in this business whether you are in a relationship or not,” she told Stella.

The Canadian star’s last serious relationship before Sheen was with her Notebook co-star Ryan Gosling. The two began dating in 2005 and were briefly engaged, but called it off in 2007. Sheen had an eight-year relationship with actress Kate Beckinsale from 1995 until 2003; the two share daughter Lily, 14.