BartCop Entertainment Archives - Friday, 19 February, 2016


19 February, 2016

(Updated Daily)

[1604 days in a row]


Recommended Reading

from Bruce

Paul Krugman: What has the Wonks Worried (NY Times Blog)
The point is not that all of this is impossible, but it's very unlikely - and these are numbers we would describe as deep voodoo if they came from a tax-cutting Republican. Sanders needs to disassociate himself from this kind of fantasy economics right now. If his campaign responds instead by lashing out - well, a campaign that treats Alan Krueger, Christy Romer, and Laura Tyson as right-wing enemies is well on its way to making Donald Trump president.

Paul Krugman: Worried Wonks (NY Times Blog)
In Sanders's case, I don't think it's ideology as much as being not ready for prime time - and also of not being willing to face up to the reality that the kind of drastic changes he's proposing, no matter how desirable, would produce a lot of losers as well as winners. And if your response to these concerns is that they're all corrupt, all looking for jobs with Hillary, you are very much part of the problem.

NATE CHINEN, JOE COSCARELLI and BEN RATLIFF: The Best and Worst of the Grammys (NY Times)
Taylor Swift won album of the year (officially) and sharpest speech (unofficially), while Kendrick Lamar set the stage on fire. Here's a rundown of the Grammy moments that had our critics and reporters cheering and cringing.

JON CARAMANICA: A Farewell to Twang (NY Times; from 2014)
Review: Taylor Swift's '1989.'

Tom Danehy: Tom wrangles with the remote control and dreams up a modern version of Tombstone with a cast of loveable political characters (Tucson Weekly)
There are times late at night, when a man is flipping through the channels, contemplating his existence and occasionally cursing Philo Farnsworth for having invented the time-sucking television device in the first place.

JON PARELES: "Iggy Pop on David Bowie: 'He Resurrected Me'" (NY Times)
Mr. Bowie made a point of visiting Mr. Pop's parents in Detroit, where they were living in a trailer. "He came to my parents' trailer, and the neighbors were so frightened of the car and the bodyguard they called the police," Mr. Pop said. "My father's a very wonderful man, and he said, 'Thank you for what you're doing for my son.' I thought: Shut up, Dad. You're making me look uncool."

JOE COSCARELLI: Lemmy Kilmister, the Hard-Living, Jagged Voice of Motörhead, Dies at 70 (NY Times)
"I've always liked a good uniform," he said, "and throughout history it's always been the bad guy who dressed the best."

NATE CHINEN: "Review: Tony Bennett and Bill Charlap in 'The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern'" (NY Times)
Jerome Kern turns out to be the ideal touchstone for Mr. Bennett: He was a suave melodist who married classical form with jazz inflection, and many of his tunes have long been standards. "The Way You Look Tonight" and "All the Things You Are" are each rendered here as a duet, with Mr. Charlap in exquisite form.

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"Doug's Most Shared Facebook Post" Today


Trivia Question of the Day

Born Howard William Cohen, this journalist and broadcaster said he was "arrogant, pompous, obnoxious, vain, cruel, verbose and a showoff." By what name is he better known?


Send your answer to Marty

Throwback Thursday Trivia Question from Yesterday

What is the name of this cartoon character?

       Pepe Le Pew                                                      Source

Pepé Le Pew is a cartoon character in the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons, first introduced in 1945. A French striped skunk that always strolls around in Paris in the springtime, when everyone's thoughts are of "love", Pepé is constantly seeking "l'amour" of his own. However, he has two huge turnoffs to any prospective mates: his malodorous scent, and his refusal to take "no" for an answer, blissfully convinced that the girl is flirting with him, even when she rejects his advances to the point of physically assaulting him. Pepé is stereotypically French in the way Speedy Gonzales is stereotypically Mexican, speaking with an exaggerated accent.

Pepé Le Pew's cartoons were dubbed in French; in the French version (Pépé le putois), Pepé speaks with a heavy Italian accent. His voice is a parody of Yves Montand.        Source

Alan J was first and correct with:
   Pepe Le Pew.

mj answered:
   Persistent little bugger
  No matter how fast that poor kitty with the pain streak ran, his little lamb-like pronk kept pace with her. That's the odoriferous Maurice Chevalier, Pepe Le Pew.

Randall replied:

Stephen F wrote:
   Pepe Le Pew

Gene said:
   Le skunk! Le polecat! Le PEW!
  The one and only Pepe LePew, romancing skunk on the prowl!
  In the Termite Terrace days of the Warner cartoon studios, there were all manner of warning signs and the like written in LePew fractured not quite French. What a bunch of crazy guys!

DanD replied:
   Pepe Le'pew, raking French skunk.

Jim from CA, retired to ID, said:
   pepe le pew

Adam answered:
   Pepe Le Pew.

Marian wrote:
   Pepe Le Pew

Kevin K. in Washington, DC responded:
   That's Pepe Le Pew, the French skunk who always fell for a reluctant female cat who somehow managed to get a white stripe accidentally painted down her back to fool him into chasing her. Every time.

Deborah answered:
   That's Pepe Le Pew, the amorous skunk with a French accent.
  Blessed rain last night and this morning, with squalls blowing through. Just in time.

zorch replied:
   Pepe Le Pew

John I from Hawai`i says,
   "Pepe Le Pew."

Lois Of The Unloved responded:
   Poor Pepe Le Pew, poster child of the perpetually put-off, his putrid personal perfume preventing penetration of his pretty prey. Pepe had every thing a girl could want in a mate; intelligence, charm, looks, OH AND THE ROMANCE! If she could only hold her breath long enough! Some see him as a sexual predator. I see him as a lesson in tolerance for us all.

Daniel in The City said:
   Pepe Le Pew

Dale of Diamond Springs, Norcali answered:
   One Horny Fucking Skunk. Nice storm came through last night. The power was out for a couple of hours and our next door neighbor city Placerville clocked winds of 62 mph. It's still quite interesting to sit in a dark house and just listen to nature whip around in fury.

  Lois: If the Foo shits, wear it! Shaggy Dog rules!
    On a passenger flight, the pilot comes over the public address system as usual and to greet the passengers. He tells them at what altitude they'll be flying, the expected arrival time, and a bit about the weather, and advises them to relax and have a good flight.. Then, forgetting to turn off the microphone, he says to his co-pilot, "What would relax me right now is a cup of coffee and a blowjob." All the passengers hear it. As a stewardess immediately begins to run toward the cockpit to tell the pilot of his slip-up, one of the passengers stops her and says "Don't forget the coffee!"

DJ Useo responded:
   His nom de plume is Pepe Le Pew, although he was known by other names around the world. ;)

MAM   wrote:
   Pepé Le Pew ~ Introduced in 1945. A French striped skunk that always strolls around in Paris in the springtime, when everyone's thoughts are of "love", Pepé is constantly seeking "l'amour" of his own.

  Pepe Le Pew

Joe S     answered:
   That fellow is the Bill Cosby of the anthropomorphic cartoon animals, Pepe Le Pew.
  But what I really want to know, how is it that Two Broke Girls is still on TV?

Sally has retired, but still pays attention.

BttbBob   has returned to semi-retired status.

  February 19 Birthdays - Celebrities Born February 19 | Famous Birthdays


Turns out Marianne didn't take yesterday off.
She sent her reply early enough, but it didn't show up in my email until this morning.
It has been added to the archived page.


Middle Class Political Economist

Now a Blogger-Columnist at US News and World Reports "Economic Intelligence"



Reader Suggestion

Michelle in AZ

Glenn Beck Thinks God Killed Antonin Scalia To Help Ted Cruz Get Elected President

Canadian Police May Have Greatly Underestimated How Many Indigenous Women Are Missing Or Dead

It's Mary Lou! She believes Obama was a homosexual prostitute & she's running for TX Board of Ed

Cheers and Jeers: Thursday

Abortion ban linked to dangerous miscarriages at Catholic hospital, report claims | US news | The Guardian

"Top Chef México" Looks To Wow Americans With Its Chefs - NBC News

Oregon Occupier Countersues For $666 Billion, Citing 'Works Of The Devil' : The Two-Way : NPR

FCC Wants To Force Cable Companies, And Their Set-Top Boxes, To Adapt : All Tech Considered : NPR

The Sheats-Goldstein Residence: This House Is A Work Of Art, So The Owner Is Donating It To A Museum : NPR

'It's unraveling, every piece of it is unraveling, they're all in lockstep together'

How the fight to fill Scalia's seat could change American politics forever - The Washington Post

In defense of grave dancing: It's true that Scalia was a human being, but I still refuse to mourn a-holes like him politely -

Exxon's Never-Ending Big Dig
    fucking assholes...

Thanks, Michelle!



Reader Comment

Hot Air Balloon Flight


Sorry I missed the trivia question about the first live balloon passengers. The sheep stepped on the duck during flight, breaking it's neck and producing the first balloon fatality. Marie Antoinette asked to keep the sheep as a pet and would show visitors her 'flying sheep'. It took years before they realised the source of lift was not some invisible gas they labelled 'phlogiston' but because hot air is lighter than colder air. The Montgolfier brothers introduced practical manned flight about 120 years before the Wright brothers got out of the bicycle business.

Just some random recollections of a former commercial hot-air balloon pilot with over 700 hours of flight time.



Thanks, Stephen!
I remember when you had that job! Still have the postcards.
Stephen is a long-time pal who now lives in the 'land down under'.
But when he was piloting balloons, he flew tourists over the vineyards of France.



Reader Contribution


Thanks, bsmasher!



Reader Comment


These Are The Tech Companies Supporting Apple Against The FBI

I applaud Tim Cook for standing firm. I suspect, however, that the FBI can crack the encryption on that San Bernardino iPhone and resorted to legal recourse so that when they crack the code, Apple can't be held accountable.

If I wanted the Government to know my every breath, belch and fart I'd live in North Korea or China. I'm clinging to the privacy I have here in the U.S., which is minimized daily. I had to buy a new printer on Monday. HP ink cartridges disclosed that "anonymous" information would be sent to HP periodically. WTH? HP makes it seem as though the feedback will be on the functionality of the cartridges; my inner paranoiac extrapolates that the cartridges will send "anonymous" info on what I print, when I print it, how I print it, and what I'm wearing/drinking/doing when I'm printing a document. There's no opt-out. I offing hate that.

And I hate being in such a foul mood at 10:25 pm. Dammit.


Thanks, Deborah!

I agree with you.
What passes for our media is doing an abyssmal job of explaining the situation.
A quick trip to google pulls up headlines like Samsung's warning: Our Smart TVs record your living room chatter - CNET, Not in front of the telly: Warning over 'listening' TV - BBC News, Eavesdropping Technology: How Your TV, Barbie, and Facebook Can Hear You | Lavasoft , Google eavesdropping tool installed on computers without permission | Technology | The Guardian, Privacy advocates try to keep 'creepy,' 'eavesdropping' Hello Barbie from hitting shelves - The Washington Post , so it's not just the government that wants to snoop.
In history we learned FDR said "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself".
Now we're fed a constant diet of fear - gotta be afraid of everything and we gotta be alert - there are boogeymen hiding everywhere.
And since we have to be afraid, we need to kiss privacy good-bye.
Back in high school, I was expelled for something I didn't do.
I'd always managed to stay out of trouble - never had detention, never got hit (it was PA, and it was quite acceptable), never called to the the principal's office.
But I went to a dance, and instead of dancing, I sat and watched the band - had quite the crush on one of the guys.
At that time & place, one did not sit and watch the band.
The rumor went around that I must have been 'high'.
I wasn't. Had never smoked dope, had never seen any, didn't know anything about it, except what they told us in school.
Was called into the principal's office and grilled.
My parents were called in, my bedroom was ransacked looking for "dope".
Nobody believed me except my grandmother and my best friend's parents.
I experienced a total loss of privacy, my relationship with my parents was shitty for a long time, and 'friends' no longer associated with me. Teachers treated me differently.
It was pretty awful.
Years later I learned someone who was "high" that night threw me under the bus to cover her ass and get out of trouble.
It was one helluva demonstration of the power of fear and how it can be manipulated for any number of other agendas and ulterior motives.
So, yeah, what's going on scares the crap outta me, and more power to Tim Cook.



from Marc Perkel

Patriot Act

Patriot Act NSA Spying Unconstitutional Section 215 National Security Letters Must End

My name is Marc Perkel and I have decided to announce that I will not comply with the so called "Patriot Act" laws requiring me to disclose information about my customers. If I receive a national security letter I will immediately photograph it, post it online everywhere I can, and then make a video of me burning it. I will then await my arrest. If you want to put me in jail then come get me mother fucker.

Come Get Me Mother Fucker | Putting and end to NSA government Spying





Selected Readings

from that Mad Cat, JD










Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music


In The Chaos Household

Last Night

Sunny and seasonal.

Tonight, Friday:

CBS begins the night with a FRESH 'Amazing Race', followed by a FRESH 'Hawaii Five--0', then a FRESH 'Blue Bloods'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Stephen Colbert are Chelsea Handler, Zosia Mamet, and the Lumineers.
On a RERUN James Corden, OBE, (from 1/6/16) are Kurt Russell and Paul Dano.

NBC starts the night with a FRESH 'Caught On Camera With Nick Cannon', followed by a FRESH 'Grimm', then 'Dateline'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Jimmy Fallon are Bryan Cranston, Demi Lovato, and the Weeknd.
On a RERUN Seth Meyers (from 1/21/16) are Paul Giamatti, Aubrey Plaza, Frank Bruni, and Josh Freese.
On a RERUN Carson 'The Scab' Daly (from 2/11/16) are Mark McKinney, Houndmouth, and Rob Kazinsky.

ABC opens the night with a FRESH 'Last Man Standing', followed by a FRESH 'Dr. Ken', then a FRESH 'Shark Tank', followed by '20/20'.
On a RERUN Jimmy Kimmel (from 2/9/16) are Bill Maher, Alicia Vikander, and Nothing But Thieves.

The CW offers a FRESH 'The Vampire Diaries', followed by a FRESH 'The Originals'.

Faux has a FRESH 'Sleepy Hollow', followed by a FRESH 'Second Choice'.

MY has 'TMZ (Not So) Live', followed by 'Hollywood Today (Not So) Live'.

A&E has 3 hours of old 'Duck Dynasty', followed by an hour of old 'Jep & Jessica'.

AMC offers the movie 'The Green Mile', followed by the movie 'King Kong'.

BBC  -   
 [2:15AM]    LONDON SPY - SEASON 1 - Episode 5
 [5:00AM]    TOP GEAR - SEASON 21 - Episode 5
 [6:00AM]    TOP GEAR - SEASON 22 - Episode 3
 [7:00AM]    TOP GEAR - SEASON 22 - Episode 4
 [8:00AM]    RAMSAY'S KITCHEN NIGHTMARES US - SEASON 6 - EPISODE 7-Levanti's Italian Restaurant
 [9:00AM]    RAMSAY'S KITCHEN NIGHTMARES US - SEASON 7 - EPISODE 1-Return to Amy's Baking Company
 [10:00AM]    DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 3 - EPISODE 3-Gridlock
 [11:00AM]    DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 3 - EPISODE 4-Daleks In Manhattan-Part 1.
 [3:00PM]    STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 5 - EPISODE 7-Unification (Part 1)
 [4:00PM]    STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 5 - EPISODE 8-Unification (Part 2)
 [2:00AM]    STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 5 - EPISODE 7-Unification (Part 1)
 [3:00AM]    STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 5 - EPISODE 8-Unification (Part 2)

Bravo has the movie 'Men In Black', followed by the movie 'Men In Black', again, then a FRESH 'Real Housewives Of Atlanta', followed by a FRESH 'The People's Couch'.

Comedy Central has the movie 'Big Daddy', followed by the movie 'Billy Madison'.

FX has the movie 'Riddick', followed by the movie 'Fast & Furious 6'.

History has 2 hours of old 'Pawn Stars', followed by a FRESH 'American Restoration', then a FRESH 'Million Dollar Genius'.

IFC  -   
 [6:00AM]    THE MATRIX
 [3:00PM]    THE MATRIX
 [6:00PM]    TRANSPORTER 2
 [8:00PM]    WATCHMEN
 [1:30AM]    WATCHMEN
 [5:00AM]    PORTLANDIA-Shville
 [5:30AM]    PORTLANDIA-Weirdo Beach    (ALL TIMES EST)

Sundance  -   
 [6:45AM]    Say Anything
 [8:30AM]    Little Miss Sunshine
 [10:45AM]    National Lampoon's Vacation
 [12:45PM]    Thirteen
 [3:00PM]    Law & Order-Rebels
 [4:00PM]    Law & Order-Savages
 [5:00PM]    Law & Order-Jeopardy
 [6:00PM]    Law & Order-Hot Pursuit
 [7:00PM]    Law & Order-Paranoia
 [8:00PM]    Law & Order-Humiliation
 [9:00PM]    Law & Order-Angel
 [10:00PM]    Law & Order-Blood Libel
 [11:00PM]    Law & Order-Remand
 [12:00AM]    Law & Order-Corpus Delicti
 [1:00AM]    Law & Order-Trophy
 [2:00AM]    Rescue Dawn
 [5:00AM]    Tigerland    (ALL TIMES EST)

SyFy has the movie 'Silent Hill', followed by the movie 'The Box'.

 [6:00 AM]      The Narrow Margin (1952)
 [7:15 AM]      T-Men (1948)
 [9:00 AM]      Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
 [11:00 AM]      The Maltese Falcon (1941)
 [12:45 PM]      The Spanish Main (1945)
 [2:30 PM]      The Story of Louis Pasteur (1936)
 [4:00 PM]      Juarez (1939)
 [6:15 PM]      Captain Fury (1939)
 [8:00 PM]      A Day At The Races (1937)
 [10:00 PM]      The Thin Man (1934)
 [11:45 PM]      The Best Years Of Our Lives (1946)
 [2:45 AM]      The Flame and the Arrow (1950)
 [4:30 AM]      The Southerner (1945)     (ALL TIMES EST)

Saturday   -  02/20/16

 [6:15 AM]      Picnic (1956)
 [8:15 AM]      Bell, Book and Candle (1958)
 [10:00 AM]      The Naked Spur (1953)
 [11:45 AM]      Bye Bye Birdie (1963)
 [1:45 PM]      The Wonderful World Of The Brothers Grimm (1962)
 [4:15 PM]      Father Of The Bride (1950)
 [6:00 PM]      Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)
 [8:00 PM]      No Way Out (1950)
 [10:00 PM]      Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)
 [1:15 AM]      Seven Days in May (1964)
 [3:30 AM]      Anthony Adverse (1936)     (ALL TIMES EST)

Antenna TV - Johnny Carson (from 11/09/89) - Charles Grodin, Calvin Trillin, and JJ Wall.

Bounce TV

Comet TV

Cozi TV

Decades TV Network


Heroes and Icons

Find Justice - Justice Network

Get TV

Grit - Television With Backbone - Grit

Laff - You Know You Want To. - Laff


MOVIES! TV Network

RTV - The Retro Television Network

the works

This TV

Al Jazeera

Any opinions?   Marty

Or reviews?   Marty

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Director Don Cheadle, left, and actor Emayatzy Corinealdi pose for photographers during a photo call for the film 'Miles Ahead' at the 2016 Berlinale Film Festival in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016.
Photo by Axel Schmidt


The Sideshow - by Avedon Carol


Lock Of Hair To Auction

John Lennon

A lock of hair snipped from the head of John Lennon as the Beatle prepared for a film role is expected to sell for $10,000 at a Dallas auction later this month.

Heritage Auctions said in a news release Monday that the 4-inch lock was collected by a German hairdresser who trimmed Lennon's hair before he started shooting "How I Won the War."

The dark comedy, released in 1967, follows the World War II misadventures of British troops led by an inept commander.

The auction will be held Feb. 20 and Heritage says it will include other rare items linked to The Beatles, such as a signed photograph of all four members.

John Lennon


Lady Gaga models a piece during the Marc Jacobs Fall 2016 collection show during Fashion Week, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016, in New York.
Photo by Julie Jacobson


Sets 9th Straight Monthly Record


The January figures are in, and Earth's string of hottest-months-on-record has now reached nine in a row. But NASA said January stood out: The temperature was above normal by the highest margin of any month on record.

And January set another record: Arctic sea ice reached its lowest point for that ice-building winter month.

NASA said January 2016 was 2.03 degrees Fahrenheit (1.13 degrees Celsius) above normal. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which calculates temperatures differently, said last month was 1.87 degrees (1.04 degrees Celsius), which is the second biggest margin in history. NOAA said the greatest was this past December.

January's average global temperature was a record 55.5 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius), easily beating the old January record set in 2007, according to NOAA. Records go back to 1880.

There were colder-than-normal patches in parts of the United States, Europe and Asia in January, but they were overwhelmed by incredible "off our chart" warming in the Arctic region, according to NOAA climate scientist Jessica Blunden. Siberia, northwest Canada, and a lot of Alaska were at least 9 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than normal, she said.



Newhead News


Miami Police Union to Boycott Concert


The Miami Fraternal Order of Police announced that it will boycott Beyonce's concert in the city in April.

The police union voted to boycott her planned show at Marlins Stadium as a result of Beyonce's halftime performance at the Super Bowl on Feb. 7.

Beyonce's Black Panthers-inspired performance of her new song "Formation" at Super Bowl 50 sent shock waves through popular culture, with some praising her for a bold political statement, others questioning if her black-bereted dancers were too polarizing. Others attacked the show, calling it race-baiting.

Protesters had planned to voice their displeasure with Queen Bey's halftime performance at an event outside NFL headquarters in Manhattan on Feb. 16, but no one bothered to show up.



British actor, comedian and screen writer Sacha Baron Cohen poses for the media during a photo call at a movie theater to promote his latest movie Grimsby, released in the U.S. as The Grimsby Brothers, in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016.
Photo by Peter Dejong


Admits Hack, Ransom Payment

Hollywood Presbyterian

While it was not the first hacked organization to acquiesce to attackers' demands, the California hospital that paid $17,000 in ransom to hackers to regain control of its computer system was unusual in one notable way: It went public with the news.

Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center relented to the demands, President Allen Stefanek said, because he believed it was the "quickest and most efficient way" to free the Los Angeles hospital's network, which was paralyzed for about 10 days.

That announcement sparked fears Thursday among hospitals and security experts that it would embolden hackers to launch more "ransomware" attacks and calls in California for tougher laws.

Usually embarrassment and a desire to discourage hackers keep attacked companies quiet. Hollywood Presbyterian did not say why it made the disclosure, but its hand may have been forced by spreading rumors a week after the hack. Stefanek confirmed the cyber attack after at least one doctor appeared to have told local media.

In addition, he disputed media reports the 434-bed hospital had faced a ransom demand of $3.4 million, far more than the amount paid in the hard-to-trace cyber-currency bitcoin.

Hollywood Presbyterian


Wake-up Call


Blocks Funds From Reaching Planned Parenthood


Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker (R-Gynotician) signed two bills into law on Thursday that block federal funding from Planned Parenthood and could cost the local organization millions of dollars.

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin could lose about $7.5 million a year because of the measures, an organization spokeswoman said.

Texas, Louisiana other Republican-controlled states tried to halt funding for the reproductive health organization after an anti-abortion group released videos last summer purported to show Planned Parenthood officials trying to negotiate prices for aborted fetal tissue. Under federal law, donated human fetal tissue may be used for research, but profiting from its sale is prohibited.

One of the new Wisconsin rules requires the state to apply for federal "Title X" family planning grant money and to give those monies to "less controversial public entities" such as state, county and local health departments and clinics, a statement from Walker's office said.

Planned Parenthood is currently the only entity in Wisconsin receiving this federal money and the funds will not be sent to the organization, the statement said.



Inev May-Pittman, a Jackson, Miss., civil rights activist, sings a rallying song as she performs at a rally to remove the Confederate battle emblem from the Mississippi flag, at the state Capitol on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. A diverse group of about 200 people took part in the rally as lawmakers worked inside. The event attracted roughly the same number of people as a mostly white keep-the-flag rally that took place in the same spot in January.
Photo by Rogelio V. Solis


Paid Informer

Lech Walesa

Lech Walesa, the legendary anti-communist leader who played a historic role in bringing down communism in Poland and across Eastern Europe, had served as a paid informant in the 1970s for the same communist regime that he later fought, according to documents revealed publicly Thursday.

It is not yet clear how damaging the revelations will be to Walesa, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983 for his defiant opposition to the communists and who became Poland's first democratically-elected president after the 1989 fall of communism.

Walesa, now 72, has long admitted that he signed a document in the 1970s agreeing to provide information to the generally-hated communist secret police, although he insisted he never informed on anyone and never took any money. In 2000, he was cleared by a court, which said it found no evidence of collaboration.

The newly discovered evidence implicating Walesa was found among documents seized this week from the home of the last communist interior minister, the late Gen. Czeslaw Kiszczak, said Lukasz Kaminski, the head of the National Remembrance Institute, a state body that investigates Nazi and communist-era crimes.

Kaminski said they include a commitment to provide information that is signed with Walesa's name and codename "Bolek." There are also pages of reports and receipts for money, signed "Bolek," and dated from 1970-76.

Lech Walesa


Desserts are pictured on display during a preview of the food and decor for the 88th Academy Awards' Governors Ball at the Ray Dolby ballroom in Hollywood, California February 18, 2016. The Governors Ball is a gala hosted by the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and takes place immediately after the Academy Awards ceremony.
Photo by Mario Anzuoni


Facing 49 Hours of Pretrial Questions


A judge said Thursday that billionaire casino magnate and Las Vegas newspaper owner Sheldon Adelson (R-Sugar Daddy) can be questioned for up to 49 hours beginning next week by lawyers for a former Macau casino executive who claims he was wrongly fired in 2010.

A lawyer for former Sands China chief executive Steven Jacobs said in court that he expects an attempt by Adelson and his lawyers to disrupt the sworn deposition in an effort to scuttle plans to begin the long-awaited civil trial June 27. The questioning won't be in open court.

Jacobs contends he was fired by Adelson and Las Vegas Sands in an attempt to cover up improper activities by the company in the Chinese gambling enclave of Macau.

Attorneys for Adelson and the companies declined to comment outside court. A spokesman for Las Vegas Sands didn't immediately respond to Bice's claim about delaying tactics.

It would be the 12th pretrial issue taken to the state high court, and it also could delay trial if the justices order a halt to proceedings pending a decision.



Ethnic Miao men wearing traditional masks smear dust on a woman's face to wish her good luck during local celebration event for Lunar New Year in Liuzhou, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China, February 16, 2016.


Lawmaker Abruptly Resigns


A legislator from the St. Louis area abruptly resigned from the Missouri House on Wednesday, citing rumors about "some personal issues" as he became the third lawmaker to quit under pressure within the past year.

Republican Rep. Don Gosen of Chesterfield did not offer a specific explanation, either in an interview with The Associated Press or in his official resignation letter to Missouri House Speaker Todd Richardson. He did tell the AP that the issues did not involve a relationship with an intern or staff member - scenarios that led to the downfall of two lawmakers last year.

Richardson said in a written statement that he asked Gosen to resign Tuesday night. He suggested Gosen had been involved in something inappropriate, but he wasn't specific.

"At the beginning of this year, I said the actions of this body would not be defined by a few. I was serious then, and I am serious now," said Richardson, a Republican from Poplar Bluff. "That's why when I was made aware of the situation, I asked him to resign last night."

Richardson declined to elaborate on Gosen's "situation" when talking to reporters later Wednesday. He also declined to say whether a House ethics complaint had been filed against Gosen, noting that such complaints are confidential under House rules.



A flogging cane know as the "cat-o-six-tails" belonging to Louise Valtesse de la Bigne, is displayed together with her portrait, rear, painted by Henri Gervex in 1879 during a press preview of the Easy Virtue exhibition at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016. The Van Gogh Museum is dedicating a new exhibition to the world's oldest profession, examining the fascination for prostitution among artists like Van Gogh, Edgar Degas and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The exhibit can be viewed from from Feb. 19 till June 19, 2016.
Photo by Peter Dejong


U.S. Population Declines

Mexican Gray Wolf

The southwestern U.S. population of endangered Mexican gray wolves declined by 12 percent last year after five years of steady growth, leading wildlife advocates to suggest that illegal killings of the beleaguered predators may be to blame.

Wildlife managers said Thursday the drop - from 110 wolves in 2014 to 97 last year - was unexpected and disturbing but that federal and state governments should stick with their decades-long recovery efforts for the animal.

The U.S. population of the Mexican wolf, the rarest subspecies of gray wolves in North America, had been gradually expanding over the previous five years, averaging 11 percent annual growth in southern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona, said John Bradley, spokesman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Factors that led to last year's decline include the deaths of 13 wolves, nine of them females, and a sharp decrease in the number of wolf pups that survived through December, government wildlife managers said.

Mexican wolves were believed to be all but extinct in the United States and Mexico when the last five were caught alive in Mexico between 1977 and 1980 and used for a captive breeding program that saw 11 animals released to the wild in the two southwestern U.S. states in 1998.

Mexican Gray Wolf



A 6-month old female giant panda cub, an offspring of Xing Xing, formerly known as Fu Wa and Liang Liang, formerly known as Feng Yi, plays with a soft-toy panda at the Giant Panda Conservation Center at the National Zoo in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. Two giant pandas have been on loan to Malaysia from China for 10 years since May 21, 2014, to mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two nations.
Photo by Joshua Paul



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