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Monday, April 4, 2011

Charlie Sheen Tweaks Show Turns Detroit Disaster into Chicago Comeback VIDEO UPDATE: Charlie Sheen LOSING!!! Detroit Disaster - Excitement Turns To Boos, Walk-outs for 'Torpedo of Truth'UPDATE: Charlie Sheen Comedy Tour Starts in Detroit Tonight 'My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat is Not An Option Show'

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Charlie Sheen's Detroit disaster: Boos, walk-outs for 'Torpedo of Truth'

Apr 2 2011

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First the U.S. automaker recession, and now this. Charlie Sheen unleashed his Violent Torpedo of Truth Tour on the Motor City on Saturday night before a crowd that greeted the actor with an adoring standing ovation and concluded with booing and walk-outs. The padded and disjointed show was a hodgepodge of video clips and Sheen-isms that felt hastily assembled and misjudged the patience of even the hardest of hardcore fans. Below is our on-the-scene progressive timeline of disaster from Detroit:
7:50 p.m. ET — Lovefest: Outside Fox Theater, Melissa Shovlin and Haley Clark — two young women wearing homemade “Winning!” T-shirts (see picture below) — are asked what they expected from the show. “We have no idea,” says Shovlin, “that’s part of the excitement.” Is she concerned about Sheen’s mental state, given his recent tendency towards multimedia outbursts? “Everybody is a little crazy,” she shrugs off. She also notes, “I think in this environment, he’ll be a little more free to jump around like a snake in a chair.”
Geoff Resek, an attendee from Connecticut, declares that Sheen will use his theatrical performance “to prove he’s completely sober, because he wants to win.” In general, the atmosphere outside is irony-free: People are here because they find Sheen hilarious, because they have always found Sheen hilarious, and because they are officially in support of his “winning” transformation. They are more devoted to Sheen than the media, but they simultaneously are taking him less seriously.
Inside the theater, the program for the evening (which cost $20) features a collection of Sheen’s radio quips — “I’m on a drug. It’s called Charlie Sheen.” — and pictures of the actor. The T-shirts are selling briskly. A popular one for $30 declares “F—ing Brilliant!”
7:59 — You cannot walk through the crowd without hearing someone say “Winning.” There are girls wearing tiger-striped pants, and assorted custom Sheen quips T-shirts. The Midwestern crowd has come from all over, devout followers of the Vatican’s most famous assassin.
8:13 — The show is supposed to start at 8 p.m. A geeky comedian who is decisively not Charlie Sheen comes onstage and begins a set. There is some booing from the audience, followed by chanting: “Charlie! Charlie!” The booing gets louder.
8:17 — The comedian starts a joke: “I found out exactly how I’m going to die–” Someone in the audience yells, “Yeah, onstage!” Note to comedians: If Charlie Sheen asks you to open for him, say “No.”
8:19 — Here is just a sample of this painful opening act: “Shouldn’t they call the defibrillator a difibra-now?” Sheen himself comes out to defend the comic, telling the audience to give him a chance. The actor receives a standing ovation. Sheen says that he’ll be right back out, and exits. The comedian continues his set. Problem: This is a rock concert atmosphere, and nobody wants a stand-up act. They’re here for the warlock.
8:30 – The comedian has been literally booed off the stage.

8:32 — That’s weird. The lights have come back up, and the audience is waiting again. Everyone is confused — it’s not clear why the show started and then stopped again. So far, this has the makings of a disaster, the Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark of celebrity stage acts.
8:53 — The show officially begins with a mock iPhone ad, advertising the “MaSheen.” This app will be used throughout the show to introduce each segment. Two attractive scantily clad women — contest winners Kelly Jean and Lisa Jaques — come onstage to sing the national anthem before a waving flag. They’re not exactly great singers. “Do it topless!” one audience member shouts.
8:58 — Film clips are playing onscreen. Die Hard, Midnight Express, Taxi Driver, Animal House, Sheen’s own Platoon, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and (of course) Apocalypse Now. There’s no context, just the violent clips. One imagines it’s like being inside Sheen’s fever dream and the experience is taking on a Clockwork Orange quality.
9:00 — Two goddesses are now making out onstage. And finally, Charlie Sheen returns. He holds up a sports shirt of the style that’s worn by his Two and a Half Men character and puts it on. The audience gamely boos. The Two and a Half Men theme song plays and is intercut with a scene from a classic film of a man screaming “Turn it off!” Then, Sheen grabs a Detroit Tigers shirt instead. The crowd roars and gives him a standing ovation. Regarding the Men shirt, Sheen says, “Take that out and burn it.” On video, the girls burn the shirt backstage.
9:07 — Sheen steps behind a presidential-style podium that proclaims “Warlock States of Sheen.” Guitarist Robert Pattinson is playing onstage. Sheen begins a lengthy speech in his newfound semi-coherent metaphor-stuffed neo-Hunter S. Thompson style, talking about his “napalm dripping brain.” “I’m here to solve a portion of this grand mystery,” he says.
9:08 — Sheen: “I am finally here to identify and train the Vatican assassin locked inside each and every one of you.”
9:10 — Sheen’s promises are largely incomprehensible, though at least seem intentionally so: “Freedom from monkey eyed…sweat-eating whores. Freedom from the dour and sour taste of malignant reproach… I’m a giant and leaky bag of mayhem.”
9:13 – Sheen: “They took my awesome children… They took my sometimes bitchin job… And when they thought there was nothing left, they tried to take my titanium heart and brain and spine. But they could not.” Audience growing restless. This show is all pump-up, no narrative.
9:15 — OK, nobody understands a word Sheen is saying. “”Is anybody else as confused by this s— as I am?” he finally asks. There are roars from the crowd. “I wrote every word!” Later, a cab driver tells me that it’s about this time that angry fans began walking out of the theatre. 
9:18 – “Nothing terrifies a troll more than its own reflection,” Sheen continues, before shifting gears into politics. “In a recent poll, they told me I’d bring down that whore [Sarah] Palin. I don’t have time for that nonsense.” [Read about the poll he's referring to here.]
9:20 — People start booing Sheen. Not playing around, but actually booing him. Sheen yells, “I already got your money, dude!”
9:23 — We are watching video of Charlie Sheen playing Call of Duty.
9:35 — The show has become a padded and disjointed mess. Sheen plays an old movie he says is called RPG but the audience gets frustrated and starts booing. Sheen stops the video and says, “Okay, so RPG was a bomb. Tonight is an experiment.” 

9:40 — Sheen says he’s going to “Tell some stories about crack. I figured Detroit was a good place to tell some crack stories.” This comment, not surprisingly, does not go over well. “Show of hands who here has tried crack?” Very few people raise their hand. “I don’t do crack anymore, but this is a good f—ing night to do some crack.” The audience boos.
9:43 — Sheen tells the audience, “You paid your hard-earned money without knowing what this show was about.” He asks if people have any questions. A girl from the audience asks for his best pornstar story. Sheen doesn’t want to tell that one. He’s starts telling a story about getting his car stolen — he says the story involves crack — but nobody wants to hear it.
9:50 — The show appears to be almost over. More padding. He plays a video that intercuts his 20/20 interview with new footage. It’s amusing at first, but drags on too long.
10:03 — The show is now an unmitigated disaster. People are leaving early. Attendee Chris Acchione, a self-described Sheen fan who traveled all the way from Toronto for the show, says his entire row walked out early. “He’s making a fool of himself,” he says. “Is there a bigger loser in the world? He’ll be [begging] Chuck Lorre for his job back by the end of the week.”
10:05 — Sheen is composing a live tweet. More comments from people leaving early: “I was expecting a comedy show.” “It’s just like hanging out at his house,” says a man wearing an “I Believe in Tiger Blood” T-shirt.
10:20 — Sheen plays the track he recorded with Snopp Dogg. But Snoop, despite promises, is a no-show (he was actually back in Los Angeles, performing live on stage at Nickelodeon’s Kids Choice Awards). Lights come on. That’s it? Fans angry.


PREVIOUS: Charlie Sheen’s live tour: Our top 5 predictions



UPDATE: 5 ways to fix Charlie Sheen’s live tour
PRE-SHOW THOUGHTS: There’s a scene in a Simpsons episode where Homer breaks an ant farm on the space shuttle. As the ants float from the confines of their plastic display, they cry “Freedom! Horrible, horrible freedom!”
That may not be the sharpest literary metaphor in the shed, but that phrase keeps coming to mind when covering Charlie Sheen. He’s finally escaped the trappings of his hit primetime sitcom and can now say and do whatever he wants. It’s been a bit like watching an overgrown kid while his parents are out of town. But as anybody who has been laid off can attest, there’s always an undercurrent of dread from being abruptly untethered from your longtime workplace home — no matter how sunny your future prospects. And you combine that “horrible, horrible freedom” with fame and money and addiction issues, and now you have the formula of countless American celebrity excess biopics.
So far we’ve seen Sheen indulge his newfound freedom to pontificate using all the latest communication toys — Twitter! Web cams! But tonight the actor embraces one of the oldest forms of communication: The hastily produced reputation-boosting stage show.
Sheen’s Violent Torpedo of Truth Tour (VTOTT?) seems to borrow a page from the Conan O’Brien post-employment playbook — keep working, connect with fans, generate headlines (and, if possible, earn some sympathy in your PR struggle against Evil Former Bosses). Nobody is sure what to expect, exactly, but word has it that the show will be “music heavy” with guitarist Rob Patterson and Snoop Dogg making an appearance.
Sheen claimed his opening show here at Detroit’s 5000-seat Fox Theatre sold out in just 18 minutes (and one couldn’t help but wonder how many of those tickets were snatched up by entertainment reporters). But then came the follow-up stories that revealed there were plenty of seats still available (indeed, we bought our seat about a week ago). There is some societal benefit to ponying up $35-65 for a ticket — $1 from every seat goes to the Red Cross for Japan relief (and how you react to that detail is as effective of a cynicism litmus test as you’re likely to find).
Throughout the ramp up to the tour, some have wondered: Why launch this party in Detroit in the first place?
There’s actually a certain symmetry to a fired actor starting his tour in a city that’s become better known for its unemployment level than its automobiles. A couple years ago Detroit unemployment hit an astounding 28.9 percent, three times the national average. Of course, we all know Sheen has pretty much nothing in common with the average laid-off autoworker, and since Sheen himself has been so quick to point out his status compared to the common folk (“I don’t understand what I did wrong except live a life everyone is jealous of”), the surge of interest to see his show a bit mystifying to some. Perhaps Sheen has managed to pull off the livin’ large braggart style of hip hop as a Hollywood actor and, if so, Detroit, once again, isn’t such a bad launch pad (in case you’re wondering, Two and a Half Men is slightly more popular in Detroit than in most major markets, according to Nielsen, but not inordinately so). Or … perhaps Sheen just picked Detroit by firing an arrow at a wall map using his giant chicken bow from Hot Shots Part Deux! — you gotta be careful about reading too much into these things.
The show starts at 8 p.m. ET. Will update throughout the night.



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Charlie Sheen in Detroit for 'Violent Torpedo of Truth' Tour

Saturday, 02 Apr 2011

DETROIT (AP) -- Charlie Sheen has been pretty well everywhere the past few months, popping up all over national TV, the Internet and in other forms of mass media, blathering on about the "tiger blood" coursing through his veins and decrying the "trolls" who derailed his lucrative acting career.

So much has been said by and about the unemployed actor, it's almost as if there's nothing left to learn about him.

Sheen's banking on the "almost" part.

Promising "the REAL story," the 45-year-old ex-"Two and a Half Men" star is hitting the road for a month-long, 20-city tour that gets its start Saturday night in Detroit.
Fox 2 has mutiple crews at the Fox Theatre to get behind the scenes video and interviews.  Tune in tonight at 10:00 p.m. for a live report.  Log onto this web site for more video coverage.
Why Detroit?

"Why not," asked publicist Larry Solters, who, like his boss, hasn't said a lot about the show, other than it will last an hour and a half and feature guests, music and a multimedia presentation. Rapper Snoop Dogg will be there as will guitarist Rob Patterson.

What remains to be seen is whether Sheen -- a talented comic actor, but not a stand-up comedian -- can sufficiently entertain a live audience for that length of time.

Sheen appeared in a string of memorable 1980s films ranging from the Oliver Stone-directed dramas "Wall Street" and "Platoon" to the timeless comedies "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and "Major League." Later in his career, he found small-screen success as the star of the hit sitcoms "Spin City" and "Two and a Half Men."

But in recent years, the actor has increasingly made headlines for his drug use, failed marriages, custody disputes and run-ins with the police.

The wayward star's behavior finally became too much for Warner Bros. Television, which booted him from "Two and a Half Men" on March 7.

Sheen fired back with a $100 million lawsuit and all-out media assault in which he informed the world about his standing as a "rock star from Mars" and a "warlock" with "Adonis DNA" who lives with two "goddesses" -- both of whom he said would be at the Detroit show.

His unique banter and catchphrases -- think "winning" -- have spread over the Internet and onto T-shirts, more than a few of which are expected to be sold on the tour, which wraps up May 3 in Seattle after stops in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, New York, San Francisco and others. Sheen has said the Detroit show, where tickets cost $45 to $80, sold out.

"I am bringing `My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat is Not an Option' show out to you in the battlefield," Sheen said in a video announcing the tour. "If you're winning, I'll see you there. Trolls need not apply. . . . Buy your ticket. Take the ride. And the ride will take you."

The ride begins in the Motor City where the star of the show will grace the stage of the historic, 5,100-seat Fox Theatre, which sits across Woodward Avenue from Detroit's baseball destination, Comerica Park.

It's probably fitting that Sheen is opening his show within sight of the home of the Tigers.

http://www.ticketmaster.com/Charlie-Sheen-tickets/artist/1568566
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Privately Made Silver 'Liberty Dollars' Targeted By Federal Prosecutors


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Feds seek $7M in privately made 'Liberty Dollars'

Feds seek $7M in 'Liberty Dollars' that were invented by man to compete with US dollar

 
April 4, 2011
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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Federal prosecutors on Monday tried to take a hoard of silver "Liberty Dollars" worth about $7 million that authorities say was invented by an Indiana man to compete with U.S. currency.
Bernard von NotHaus, 67, was convicted last month in federal court in Statesville on conspiracy and counterfeiting charges for making and selling the currency, which he promoted as inflation-proof competition for the U.S. dollar.
His Charlotte-based lawyer, Aaron Michel, is appealing that verdict. He wrote in a motion filed Thursday that von NotHaus did nothing wrong because he didn't try to pass the Liberty Dollars off as U.S. dollars.
"The prosecutors successfully painted Mr. von NotHaus in a false light and now the U.S. Attorney responsible for the prosecution is painting the case in a false light, saying that it establishes that private voluntary barter currency is illegal," Michel wrote.
The trial was scheduled to resume Monday in Statesville. The case involves more than five tons of Liberty Dollars and precious metals seized from a warehouse, which the government wants to take by forfeiture, according to federal prosecutors and Michel.
Von NotHaus began issuing Liberty Dollars in 1998, as head of the Evansville, Ind.-based National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve and Internal Revenue Code. In 2007, the group's headquarters were raided along with the Sunshine Mint in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho, where the coins were made. The case is being tried in Statesville because one of the organization's top officers is based in Asheville, and because an undercover investigator made contact with the group in North Carolina.
Federal prosecutors successfully argued that von NotHaus was, in fact, trying to pass off the silver coins as U.S. currency. Coming in denominations of 5, 10, 20, and 50, the Liberty Dollars also featured a dollar sign, the word "dollar" and the motto "Trust in God," similar to the "In God We Trust" that appears on U.S. coins.
"Attempts to undermine the legitimate currency of this country are simply a unique form of domestic terrorism," U.S. Attorney Anne Tompkins said in a statement after von NotHaus was convicted.
Von NotHaus has argued it's not illegal to create currency to privately trade goods and services. He also has said his organization took pains to say the Liberty Dollars shouldn't be called "coins" and shouldn't be presented as government-minted cash. Among other benefits, Michel's motion argues, the Liberty Dollars were a means to help keep currency in local communities by creating networks of merchants and consumers who used the money.
Numerous cities and regions around the country have experimented with local currency, but laws restrict them from resembling U.S. bills or from being passed off as money printed by the federal government.
The concerns raised by von NotHaus and his group are finding resonance among some state lawmakers, too. About a dozen states have legislation that would allow them to produce their own currency backed by gold or silver in the event of hyperinflation striking the U.S. dollar. North and South Carolina are among those states.
That's partly why von NotHaus' group has been followed for years by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a group that tracks political extremism. Long before the government began its investigation into von NotHaus, the group was raising concerns about the popularity of Liberty Dollars among fringe groups on the far right.
"He's playing on a core idea of the radical right, that evil bankers in the Federal Reserve are ripping you off by controlling the money supply," said Mark Potok, spokesman for the group. "He very much exists in the world of the anti-government patriot movement, whatever he may say. That's who his customers are."
Von NotHaus is currently free on bond. If the conviction against him is upheld, he faces up to 25 years in prison and a fine of $750,000. A sentencing date has not been set yet.
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Creator of "Liberty Dollar" Guilty! Facing 20+ Years in Jail: Interview With Heather Lewis
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http://www.liberty4free.com/

LIBERTY DOLLAR TRIAL NEWS

United States v. Bernard von NotHaus (BvNH) Case # 5:09-CR-00027

LAST UPDATE: March 22, 2011 11:00 am PST

RCO'S PLEASE WATCH THIS PAGE FOR FORFEITURE INFORMATION AND INSTRUCTIONS

Thank you all for your patience. Day 5 is complete and Day 6 will follow soon.

By: Heather Lewis

Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that these notes are the best of my recollection at the time they were taken. It is very hard to hear in the court room sometimes. Take them as you will, no guarantee is made of their accuracy because I am not a human typewriter or tape recorder and no recording devices are being allowed in the courtroom.

I consider myself to be a friend of Bernard von NotHaus and I also am a Liberty Dollar Associate, so I am by no means a partial reporter in this case. In my opinion, Liberty Dollar is one of the doors to changing our broken financial system. Liberty Dollar became a threat to the Federal Reserve by competing with them, and the Fed had them taken out of business. That is my opinion. However, I have made every effort to report accurately the proceedings that are going on in the Federal District Court here in Statesville, North Carolina.

For those of you who are completely in the dark about the Liberty Dollar Organization you will have to do your own research, my apologies, but I am flat out just keeping up. Maybe someday when there are no more earthquakes, tidal waves, or nuclear meltdowns, I will have time to organize an article to fill you in on the details but for now this testimony gives a fairly accurate picture of the Liberty Dollar Story.

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Warren Buffett to Buy Ameren ?

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Analysts say Ameren could be a target for Buffett

BY DAVID NICKLAUS
post-dispatch.com 
Monday, April 4, 2011
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In the financial-analysis world, figuring out Warren Buffett's next move has become an industry of its own. According to Bloomberg, The latest bit of speculation has his Berkshire Hathaway looking to expand in the utility industry, with St. Louis' Ameren named as one of the possible targets.
The speculation comes from CreditSights, a debt analysis firm. In a research note, CreditSights mentions several utilities as  candidates for acquisition by MidAmerican Energy Holdings, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. Besides Ameren, the potential targets are Pinnacle West Capital, NV Energy and Center Point Energy.
MidAmerican's chairman, David Sokol, resigned last week amid revelations that he had made a personal investment in Lubrizol, a company that Berkshire is buying. CreditSights analysts Dot Matthews and Scott Greenstein say, however, that the resignation shouldn't dull Buffett's appetite for acquisitions:
As long as the Sokol situation does not spiral out of control, we believe MidAmerican will bid on a U.S. utility.
Bloomberg also cites a statement in Berkshire's annual report as bolstering the analysts' thesis:
MidAmerican is positioned to increase investments because the unit "retains all of its earnings, unlike other utilities that generally pay out most of what they earn," Buffett said in February in his annual letter.
Off the top of my head, I can think of one big reason why Ameren might be attractive to Buffett: It's cheap. The shares trade for just 10 times last year's earnings, and 12 times this year's estimated profit, according to Bloomberg.
On the other hand, Ameren operates in a tough regulatory environment -- the Missouri Public Service Commission has been fairly stingy with rate increases -- and isn't seeing much growth in electricity demand.

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Missouri Surprise Hiring Miami's Frank Haith Basketball Coach

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Mizzou pulls surprise by hiring Miami's Frank Haith


BY VAHE GREGORIAN 
post-dispatch.com 
Monday, April 4, 2011
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Mizzou's search to replace men's basketball coach Mike Anderson began with Purdue coach Matt Painter, who teased, then turned down MU last week.
Failed attempt or not, it suggested a reach for star power and made the college basketball world sit up and take notice.
The search took a zig and a zag over the weekend, when MU reached out to Tubby Smith, according to a source close to Smith, as it appeared to be waiting for a chance to take a swat at a name in the national spotlight: Shaka Smart of Virginia Commonwealth.
But by the time all was said and done late Sunday night, MU had set its aim so off the radar that the college basketball world could only say... huh?
MU hired Miami coach Frank Haith, 129-101 with one NCAA Tournament appearance in seven seasons and a 43-69 record in Atlantic Coast Conference play - including 10-22 the last two seasons.
At a time when nearly every conceivable name had been bandied about in one publication or Internet posting or another, MU managed to find one who had seldom if ever been associated with the job and at least on the surface seemed anonymous for a reason.
Haith's numbers pale in comparison to Painter, who has taken six of his seven teams to the tournament and was stopped a game short of a third straight Sweet 16 this season ... by Smart's VCU team, which along with Butler captured the imagination of the nation's basketball fans with its run to the Final Four.
Many believed Mizzou would at least consider going after Smart, who despite his current high profile might have been a questionable candidate because he was only in his second year as a head coach.
Still, VCU's five NCAA wins this season were four more than Haith, 45, has had in his career at Miami, leading to an outburst of media and fan criticism of the hire on the Internet late Sunday.
"Wow. Awfully Disappointed in the response that some Mizzou fans are giving," Mizzou guard Kim English posted on Twitter late Sunday.
Haith's key selling point is his past as a recruiter, much of it in the Big 12. In his Miami bio, he is credited with recruiting six McDonald's All-Americans during his days as an assistant coach at Wake Forest, Texas A&M and Texas, though none since becoming a head coach.
At Miami, a source close to the committee noted, Haith graduated 21 of 22 seniors.
MU's board of curators scheduled a special meeting at 7:45 p.m. Monday  by telephone for an unspecified matter that now appears likely to be related to Haith's hiring. The curators must approve a contract for Haith before the deal can be finalized.
According to the Associated Press in Miami, Haith is expected to return to the school Monday to tell the Miami players of his decision personally, then be introduced in Missouri as early as Tuesday. Haith had been in Houston at the Final Four.
Anderson left Mizzou after five seasons on March 16 for Arkansas, where he had been an assistant for 17 years. Alden said at a news conference that night that it was more important that MU get the new coach right than get him hastily.
Mizzou, though, seemed to zoom in rapidly on Painter, with whom Mizzou met before he ultimately rejected Missouri and sent the search from an open secret into a mystery that ended late Sunday.

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Cracks Found in 3 More Southwest Jets UPDATE: Cracks Found in Southwest Airlines Planes


Cracks found in 3 more Southwest jets

Ongoing checks to keep many planes grounded for time being after 5-foot hole in fuselage forces emergency landing

(CBS/AP) 
YUMA, Ariz. - Three more Southwest Airlines jetliners have small, subsurface cracks that are similar to the cracks suspected of playing a role in the fuselage tear of a Boeing 737-300, causing the aircraft to lose pressure and forcing a frightening emergency landing, officials say.
The 5-foot-long hole tore open in the passenger cabin roof area shortly after the plane left Phoenix for Sacramento, Calif., Friday afternoon. None of the 118 people aboard was seriously hurt as the plane descended from 34,400 feet to a military base in Yuma, 150 miles southwest of Phoenix.
Since then Southwest grounded its 79 other Boeing 737-300s and began inspecting them.
Burning smell diverts Southwest flight in Calif.
Sunday night, another Southwest Boeing jet was diverted, this time because of a burning electrical smell in the passenger cabin, Southwest and Los Angeles International Airport officials said.
The plane carrying 142 people was en route from Oakland, Calif., to San Diego, when it made an unscheduled landing about 8 p.m. PDT in Los Angeles, where passengers changed planes and continued on their journey, Southwest spokeswoman Whitney Eichinger said. No one was hurt.
Grounded Southwest jet had pre-existing damage
She said the cause of electrical smell is being investigated, but it "was completely unrelated to the issue in Arizona." She said Sunday's aircraft was also a Boeing 737 but she didn't know if it was the 737-300.
In its statement on the inspections, Southwest said Sunday that two planes have been found to cracks similar to those in the stricken aircraft and will be evaluated and repaired before they are returned to service. A National Transportation Safety Board member told The Associated Press later that a third plane had been found with cracks developing.
The other 19 aircraft inspected so far showed no problems and will be returned to service.
Plane passenger: "Is this how it's like to die?"
Checks on the remaining jets are expected to be completed by late Tuesday, the airline said. That means flight cancellations will likely continue until the planes are back in the air. About 600 flights in all were canceled over the weekend after Southwest grounded 79 of its planes.
"The FAA is going to be looking very carefully at how they're going to be able to do oversight and making sure the maintenance and inspection [are] being done in the proper way. This may turn out to be what we need to step up our inspection process to guarantee that we have the safest aircraft that we can possibly be flying," CBS News aviation safety expert Mark Rosenker, a former chairman of the NTSB, said on "The Early Show" Monday.
The cracks found in the three planes developed in two lines of riveted joints that run the length of the aircraft. The agency is focusing its probe on the area of the cracks but has not determined that the cracks caused the rupture.
NTSB board member Robert Sumwalt said Boeing was developing a "service bulletin" for all 737-300 models with comparable flight cycle time as the Arizona jet, which was 15 years old and had about 39,000 takeoff and landing cycles.
There are 931 such models in service worldwide, 288 of which in the U.S. fleet.
Rosenker said that even at nearly 40,000 cycles, the plane was "still what one could call in its mid-life."
READ MORE

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Southwest Airlines: Cracks found in 2 more planes

Associated Press
 Sunday, April 3, 2011

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Inspectors have found small, subsurface cracks in two more Southwest Airlines planes that are similar to the cracks that caused a jetliner to lose pressure and make a harrowing emergency landing in Arizona, the airline said Sunday.
The two planes will be evaluated further and more repairs will be undertaken before they are returned to service, Southwest said in a statement.
Friday's flight carrying 118 people rapidly lost cabin pressure after the Boeing 737-300's fuselage ruptured _ causing a 5-foot-long tear _ just after takeoff from Phoenix.
Passengers recalled tense minutes after the hole ruptured overhead with a blast and they fumbled frantically for oxygen masks. Pilots made a controlled descent from 34,400 feet into a southwestern Arizona military base. No one was seriously injured.
The tear along a riveted "lap joint" shows evidence of extensive cracking that hadn't been discovered during routine maintenance before Friday's flight _ and probably wouldn't have been unless mechanics had specifically looked for it, officials said.
National Transportation Safety Board investigators on Sunday were in Yuma to oversee the removal of the top section of the jetliner's roof around the tear. The structure will be sent to Washington, D.C., for analysis.
Southwest said it cancelled about 300 flights for the second day in a row Sunday as it inspected 79 planes in its fleet similar to the one in Friday's incident. By Sunday afternoon, 19 planes had undergone the intense inspection with no findings and had been returned to service, the airline said.
NTSB board member Robert Sumwalt said that the rip was a foot wide, and that it started along a joint where two sections of the 737's skin are riveted together. An examination showed extensive pre-existing damage along the entire tear.
But Sumwalt noted that the extensive cracking, known in the industry as "multi-site damage," could not have been spotted during routine maintenance.
The NTSB could issue urgent recommendations for inspections on other 737s if investigators decide there is a problem that has been overlooked. The type of riveted joint involved is not normally subjected to extensive checks for wear or fatigue.
Federal records show cracks were found and repaired a year ago in the frame of the same Southwest plane.
An Associated Press review of Federal Aviation Administration records of maintenance problems for the 15-year-old plane showed that a March 2010 inspection found 10 instances of cracking in the aircraft frame, which is part of the fuselage, and another 11 instances of cracked stringer clips, which help hold the plane's skin on.
The records show the cracking was either repaired or the damaged parts replaced. Cracking accounted for a majority of the 28 problem reports filed as a result of that inspection.
It's common for fuselage cracks to be found during inspections of aging planes, especially during scheduled heavy-maintenance checks in which planes are taken apart so that inspectors can see into areas not normally visible.
The jetliner had gone through about 39,000 cycles of pressurizing, generally done for takeoffs and landings. Cracks can develop from the constant cycle of pressurizing for flight, then releasing the pressure.
Southwest officials said the Arizona plane had undergone all inspections required by the FAA. They said the plane was given a routine inspection Tuesday and underwent its last so-called heavy check, a more costly and extensive overhaul, in March 2010.
The decompression happened about 18 1/2 minutes after takeoff from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport after the pilots reached their cruising altitude. They immediately donned their oxygen masks, declared an emergency and briefly considered returning to Phoenix before the cabin crew told them of the extent of the damage, Sumwalt said.
"They discussed landing in Phoenix, but quickly upon getting the assessment decided to divert to Yuma because it was the closest suitable airport," he said.
The plane's voice and data recorders were being examined in Washington, and Sumwalt said they worked well and showed no sign of a problem before the incident.
Southwest operates about 170 of the 737-300s in its fleet of about 540 planes, but it replaced the aluminum skin on many of the 300s in recent years, a spokeswoman said. The planes that were grounded Saturday have not had their skin replaced.
A total of 288 Boeing 737-300s currently operate in the U.S. fleet, and 931 operate worldwide, according to the FAA. It declined to say Sunday if it was requiring other operators to check their aircraft for similar flaws.
A similar incident happened in July 2009 when a football-sized hole opened up in-flight in the fuselage of another of Southwest's Boeing 737s, depressurizing the cabin. Sumwalt said the two incidents appeared to be unrelated.

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Obama CIA Secret Actions in Libya Exposed on CNN

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Former CIA officer blows lid off libya fraud live on CNN

The American Dream
April 4, 2011

Every once in a while, establishment control of the mainstream media cracks for a moment.  In an effort to achieve higher ratings, mainstream news programs will invite guests on that promise to be “interesting”, but then they will say something that is not part of the script and the entire system will go into a state of chaos for a moment. One example of this happened recently when two CNN “infobabes” interviewed former CIA officer Michael Scheuer about the situation on the ground in Libya. They asked Scheuer some questions regarding the role of the CIA in Libya, but the interview rapidly moved in some directions that the “infobabes” were not anticipating.  Instead of sticking to the “Republican” or the “Democrat” script, Scheuer ripped both parties and he detailed many of the reasons why we should have never gone into Libya at all.
The “infobabes” grew increasingly uncomfortable as Scheuer described how large numbers of the resistance fighters in Libya have fought against U.S. troops in the Balkans, in Afghanistan and in Iraq.  They did not seem pleased at all when Scheuer declared that the civil war in Libya is “none of our business” and that to the rest of the world this conflict looks like “Americans killing Muslims for oil” all over again.
The funniest part of the interview was when Scheuer accused one of the “infobabes” of “carrying the water for Mr. Obama”.  After that statement, the female anchor that Scheuer was addressing was visibly flustered and quickly went to a commercial.
Video of this CNN interview with Michael Scheuer is posted below.  This is a video that should be shared with everyone you know….

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Obama Announces Reelection Bid 'YouTube VIDEO' UPDATE: Obama to Announce Reelection Electronically Early Next Week

President Obama opens his reelection campaign on Monday with a familiar cast of consultants; an economy that's improving, sluggishly; wars that he is struggling to extract himself from; and an implacable partisan fight in Congress that might shut down the government by week's end.
The Obama campaign made the announcement in an e-mail to supporters, accompanied by a video. Obama will hold several conference calls on Monday with donors and supporters and will begin to raise money for his campaign late next week.
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Obama '12 launch likely next week

By GLENN THRUSH & MIKE ALLEN
4/2/11

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President Barack Obama plans to announce his reelection campaign early next week in an electronic message to grass-roots supporters, Democratic sources tell POLITICO.
Obama launches with a recovering economy and a weak, fractured Republican field, but with chaos in the Middle East that adds unpredictability to an environment that points to likely reelection. Obama’s campaign, which could raise $1 billion or more, will be based in Chicago, just a few blocks from the headquarters of his historic 2008 race.
The most likely day for the campaign to file registration papers with the Federal Election Commission is Monday, but officials are not committing to a specific date in case some transcendent event in the world would overshadow the kickoff. Obama aides want to tell their supporters first, and so are not encouraging preview stories by the press.
The president’s announcement will be transmitted directly to supporters through text messages, email and social media, not with an appearance by Obama, the sources said.
The launch could come any time, according to the sources. The website is ready, the donation button has been tested, and call sheets to key political supporters are set.
David Axelrod, who returned to Chicago after serving as a White House senior adviser for the first two years, will once again be Obama’s strategic guru.
Obama campaign organizers have long planned to launch at the beginning of the second quarter so they can show a fundraising juggernaut in their first report to FEC. But they couldn’t pull the trigger on the first day of the quarter, April Fool’s Day, and then the next two days were weekend days. Obama is scheduled to raise money for the campaign in Chicago on April 14, and the campaign had to formally organize before that date.
Former West Wing staffer Jim Messina, Obama’s likely campaign manager, has been holding donor meetings around the country, and the president is scheduled to hold a series of fundraisers in New York and California over the next few weeks. The campaign expected to raise $750 million to $1 billion.
On Friday, White House press secretary Jay Carney teased reporters about the FEC filing, one of the worst kept secrets in Washington, inserting a breathless, dramatic pause into a typically monotone readout of Obama’s schedule for the next week.
“On Monday, the president will …” Carney said.
“File?” suggested Chip Reid, a CBS reporter.
“Wait for it, Chip,” added Carney, with a chuckle. “On Monday, the president will attend meetings at the White House.”


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2,000 Year Old Portrait of Jesus Christ ? Found in Cave Overlooking Sea of Galilee


Discovery: The impression on this booklet cover shows what could be the earliest image of Christ
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Is this the first ever portrait of Jesus? The incredible story of 70 ancient books hidden in a cave for nearly 2,000 years

By Nick Pryer
3rd April 2011
www.dailymail.co.uk
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The image is eerily familiar: a bearded young man with flowing curly hair. After lying for nearly 2,000 years hidden in a cave in the Holy Land, the fine detail is difficult to determine. But in a certain light it is not difficult to interpret the marks around the figure’s brow as a crown of thorns.
The extraordinary picture of one of the recently discovered hoard of up to 70 lead codices – booklets – found in a cave in the hills overlooking the Sea of Galilee is one reason Bible historians are clamouring to get their hands on the ancient artefacts.
If genuine, this could be the first-ever portrait of Jesus Christ, possibly even created in the lifetime of those who knew him.
The tiny booklet, a little smaller than a modern credit card, is sealed on all sides and has a three-dimensional representation of a human head on both the front and the back. One appears to have a beard and the other is without. Even the maker’s fingerprint can be seen in the lead impression. Beneath both figures is a line of as-yet undeciphered text in an ancient Hebrew script.
Astonishingly, one of the booklets appears to bear the words ‘Saviour of Israel’ – one of the few phrases so far translated.
The owner of the cache is Bedouin trucker Hassan Saida who lives in the Arab village of Umm al-Ghanim, Shibli. He has refused to sell the booklets but two samples were sent to England and Switzerland for testing.
A Mail on Sunday investigation has revealed that the artefacts were originally found in a cave in the village of Saham in Jordan, close to where Israel, Jordan and Syria’s Golan Heights converge – and within three miles of the Israeli spa and hot springs of Hamat Gader, a religious site for thousands of years.
Precious: This booklet shows what scholars believe to be the map of Christian Jerusalem
Precious: This booklet shows what scholars believe to be the map of Christian Jerusalem
According to sources in Saham, they were discovered five years ago after a flash flood scoured away the dusty mountain soil to reveal what looked like a large capstone. When this was levered aside, a cave was discovered with a large number of small niches set into the walls. Each of these niches contained a booklet. There were also other objects, including some metal plates and rolled lead scrolls.
The area is renowned as an age-old refuge for ancient Jews fleeing the bloody aftermath of a series of revolts against the Roman empire in the First and early Second Century AD.
The cave is less than 100 miles from Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, and around 60 miles from Masada, scene of the last stand and mass suicide of an extremist Zealot sect in the face of a Roman Army siege in 72AD – two years after the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.
It is also close to caves that have been used as sanctuaries by refugees from the Bar Kokhba revolt, the third and final Jewish revolt against the Roman Empire in 132AD.
The era is of critical importance to Biblical scholars because it encompasses the political, social and religious upheavals that led to the split between Judaism and Christianity.
It ended with the triumph of Christianity over its rivals as the dominant new religion first for dissident Jews and then for Gentiles.
In this context, it is important that while the Dead Sea Scrolls are rolled pieces of parchment or papyrus containing the earliest-known versions of books of the Hebrew Bible and other texts – the traditional Jewish format for written work – these lead discoveries are in book, or codex, form which has long been associated with the rise of Christianity.
The codices seen by The Mail on Sunday range in size from smaller than 3in x 2in to around 10in x 8in. They each contain an average of eight or nine pages and appear to be cast, rather than inscribed, with images on both sides and bound with lead-ring bindings. Many of them were severely corroded when they were first discovered, although it has been possible to open them with care.
The codex showing what may be the face of Christ is not thought to have been opened yet. Some codices show signs of having been buried – although this could simply be the detritus resulting from lying in a cave for hundreds of years.
Unlike the Dead Sea Scrolls, the lead codices appear to consist of stylised pictures, rather than text, with a relatively small amount of script that appears to be in a Phoenician language, although the exact dialect is yet to be identified. At the time these codices were created, the Holy Land was populated by different sects, including Essenes, Samaritans, Pharisees, Sadducees, Dositheans and Nazoreans.

If genuine, it seems clear that these books were, in fact, created by an early Messianic Jewish sect, perhaps closely allied to the early Christian church and that these images represent Christ himself.



Wonder: The cave in Jordan where the metal books were discovered


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Verizon, Walgreen, Citigroup, TiVo, Capital One, HSN, Customers Exposed as Big Data Breach Grows

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More customers exposed as big data breach grows

By Jonathan Spicer and Maria Aspan
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NEW YORK (Reuters) – The names and e-mails of customers of Citigroup Inc and other large U.S. companies, as well as College Board students, were exposed in a massive and growing data breach after a computer hacker penetrated online marketer Epsilon.
In what could be one of the biggest such breaches in U.S. history, a diverse swath of companies that did business with Epsilon stepped forward over the weekend to warn customers some of their electronic information could have been exposed.
Drugstore Walgreen, Video recorder TiVo Inc, credit card lender Capital One Financial Corp and teleshopping company HSN Inc all added their names to a list of targets that also includes some of the nation's largest banks.
The names and electronic contacts of some students affiliated with the U.S.-based College Board -- which represents some 5,900 colleges, universities and schools -- were also potentially compromised.
No personal financial information such as credit cards or social security numbers appeared to be exposed, according to the company statements and e-mails to customers.
Epsilon, an online marketing unit of Alliance Data Systems Corp, said on Friday that a person outside the company hacked into some of its clients' customer files. The vendor sends more than 40 billion e-mail ads and offers annually, usually to people who register for a company's website or who give their e-mail addresses while shopping.
"We learned from our e-mail provider, Epsilon, that limited information about you was accessed by an unauthorized individual or individuals," HSN, also an e-commerce operator, said in an e-mail to customers on Sunday.
"This information included your name and e-mail address and did not include any financial or other sensitive information. We felt it was important to notify you of this incident as soon as possible."
Citigroup customer names and some credit card customers' e-mail addresses -- but no account information -- were part of the data breach, the third-largest U.S. bank said on Saturday.
The College Board, which administers the SAT admissions tests, on Saturday warned students about the breach and asked them to be cautious about receiving "links or attachments from unknown third parties," according to two e-mails reviewed by Reuters.
The not-for-profit organization is in contact with more than 7 million students, according to its website. It did not immediately return calls for comment.
PROBING FOR ANSWERS
Law enforcement authorities are investigating the breach, though it was unclear on Sunday how many customers or students had been exposed. Epsilon is also looking into what went wrong.
"While we are cooperating with authorities and doing a thorough investigation, we cannot say anything else," said Epsilon spokeswoman Jessica Simon. "We can't confirm any impacted or non-impacted clients, or provide a list (of companies) at this point in time."
Capital One, which also runs a bank, and Walgreens, the largest U.S. drugstore, said the Epsilon hacker accessed its customer e-mail addresses, but no personally identifiable information.
TiVo, a maker of digital video recorders, said the information that was obtained was limited to e-mail addresses and clients' first names.
The incident comes three years after hackers penetrated Heartland Payment Systems, a credit and debit card processor, in one of the biggest identity-theft cases in U.S. history.
In that case, notorious hacker Albert Gonzalez led a ring that stole more than 40 million payment card numbers, and was later sentenced to 20 years in prison.
On Friday, JPMorgan Chase & Co, the second-largest U.S. bank, and Kroger Co, the biggest U.S. supermarket operator, said that some customers were exposed as part of the Epsilon data breach.
Citigroup announced that it had been affected on Saturday evening. Spokesman Sean Kevelighan said the bank started informing its customers of the breach on Friday through a link on its website.
Some of Epsilon's other clients include Verizon Communications Inc, Blackstone Group LP's Hilton Hotels, Kraft Foods Inc, and AstraZeneca.

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