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Archive for the month “June, 2012”

Stolen Salvador Dali painting returned from abroad

From Nina Ibarra 

Salvador Dali painted

Salvador Dali painted “Cartel de Don Juan Tenorio” in 1949. It was stolen earlier this month from a New York gallery

A Salvador Dali painting stolen from a Manhattan art gallery last week has been returned to the United States, New York police said.

The 1949 painting “Cartel de Don Juan Tenorio” was taken June 19 from the Venus Over Manhattan gallery by a man posing as a potential customer, according to a police statement. It is valued at $150,000.

On Friday, New York police picked up the painting at customs and returned the artwork to the gallery, Lt. John Grimpel said.

“The gallery believes it to be the original painting,” Grimpel said. He added that the piece appeared to be in good shape, though it was returned without its frame.

Adam Lindemann, owner of the artwork, confirmed receipt of the painting from overseas.

“We’ve received the work, sent to us from Greece,” Lindemann said. “We have not had our conservators examine it yet.”

Police do not have any suspects in the case, Grimpel said.

The thief is believed to have removed the painting from its mount before placing it in a shopping bag and leaving.

Surveillance video shows a thin, balding man walking out of the gallery with the bag in hand.

Stolen Salvador Dali painting returned from abroad


Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes divorce

One of Hollywood’s most talked about couples is divorcing after five years of marriage. Here’s a look back at their whirlwind romance.

Happier times

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes surprised the world with their unlikely relationship in April 2005, shortly after Holmes had called off her engagement to actor Chris Klein.
By Tiziana Fabi

Holmes, Cruise flying solo even before split

By Olivia Barker

Katie Holmes and Suri Cruise, that is.
Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise? They were all but absent from public view, save for the occasional tight-smiled red carpet appearance (their last was at the Oscars in February). Holmes, it seems, was flying solo in this made-for-Oprah marriage — so it comes as little surprise to relationship experts that she filed for divorce from her husband of five years, and for sole custody of 6-year-old Suri, on Thursday. (The official announcement came Friday).

  • Her possible thinking? “I’m doing this all by myself now (anyway), so I can just go ahead and make it official,” says Miami-based marriage therapist Jacqueline Del Rosario.Indeed, the second half of the statement from Holmes’ attorney, Jonathan Wolfe, is telling: “This is a personal and private matter for Katie and her family. Katie’s primary concern remains, as it always has been, her daughter’s best interest.” (Cruise’s rep says he is “deeply saddened” and is “concentrating on his three children.”)Recent history has shown that celebrity couples who make a spectacle of snuggling together don’t necessarily stay together (see: Heidi Klumand Seal, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher). Now, it appears the other extreme — pairs who lead seemingly separate lives — could be another kind of marital red flag. (The famously seldom seen together duo of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin have long been dogged by divorce rumors.)

    “Part of being in love and being in a strong, healthy relationship is growing together, and you can’t grow together if you’re not spending time together. Like a basketweave, the lives must intertwine,” Del Rosario says. “When we’re not evolving and changing together, our lives diverge and we tend to grow apart. We become solo individuals.”

    Except “a solo marriage is a front, and usually a child is put in the middle of it,” says New York psychotherapist Bonnie Eaker Weil, author of Make Up, Don’t Break Up.

    And indeed, there was always a third person in the Holmes-Cruise marriage: their daughter. For Holmes, “her love affair has been with Suri,” says Kathryn Smerling, a New York-based family therapist specializing in divorce (who has not treated Holmes). “You see that she’s so animated when she’s with her,” and not when she’s with her husband. In those shots, she is “always posed. … She looks just like a movie star, not a real person.”

    Theirs was a “child-centered marriage,” says Weil — a kind of union that can be doomed. “What kept them together this long was Suri.” Even before we saw her make her debut on the cover of Vanity Fair, Weil says, Suri was the star of this marriage.

    “All those pictures show the closeness between Suri and Katie,” Weil adds. “That is not a coincidence. Usually that indicates that Tom and Katie are no longer close,” that all they have in common is their child.

    “Solo marriage works for people that do not want that kind of closeness,” Weil continues. “I think Katie needed more closeness, and she got it from her daughter because she couldn’t get it from Tom.”

    Successful couplings “need a balance of distance and closeness,” Weils says. “I call it the porcupine theory.” Two porcupines in an igloo have to stand near each other enough to stay warm, but not so close that they prick each other. Holmes and Cruise “weren’t even in the igloo together! Katie and Suri were in there.”

    But the parent-child, vs. parent-parent, bond only works as a substitute for a little while. “Once a child grows up or leaves for school, whether kindergarten or college, that’s when a woman feels the emptiness and feels the loneliness” that her husband is unable to fill. That’s why talk of another baby — which Cruise swatted down earlier this month — was so significant. ( “I’m so happy with three,” Cruise told People magazine June 14.) With attention shifted to something new, a child “could have diluted this marriage even more and they could have lived together another five years,” on parallel planes.

    Throughout the Cruise-Holmes partnership, Suri became a kind of decoy, Weil and Del Rosario agree. Tracing the trajectory of the family, Del Rosario sees a tactic increasingly common in Hollywood: Give a child an unusual name so people know it’s your child — “they’re branded for life.” Keep the media busy talking about your child, vs. what the public really wants dirt on — your marriage.

    “It’s pretty smart,” says Del Rosario. “I don’t know how healthy it is, but I think it was a pretty good strategy that worked for them for a while.”

AMA Statement on Supreme Court Affordable Care Act Ruling

AMA Statement on Supreme Court Affordable Care Act Ruling

By Lori Morgan

The American Medical Association has long supported health insurance coverage for all, and they believe that this decisionPDF FIle means millions of Americans can look forward to the coverage they need to get healthy and stay healthy.

Jeremy A. Lazarus, MD – President, American Medical Association statement:

“The AMA remains committed to working on behalf of America’s physicians and patients to ensure the law continues to be implemented in ways that support and incentivize better health outcomes and improve the nation’s health care system.

“This decision protects important improvements, such as ending coverage denials due to pre-existing conditions and lifetime caps on insurance, and allowing the 2.5 million young adults up to age 26 who gained coverage under the law to stay on their parents’ health insurance policies. The expanded health care coverage upheld by the Supreme Court will allow patients to see their doctors earlier rather than waiting for treatment until they are sicker and care is more expensive. The decision upholds funding for important research on the effectiveness of drugs and treatments and protects expanded coverage for prevention and wellness care, which has already benefited about 54 million Americans. 

“The health reform law upheld by the Supreme Court simplifies administrative burdens, including streamlining insurance claims, so physicians and their staff can spend more time with patients and less time on paperwork. It protects those in the Medicare ‘donut hole,’ including the 5.1 million Medicare patients who saved significantly on prescription drugs in 2010 and 2011. These important changes have been made while maintaining our American system with both private and public insurers.”

Affordable Care Act Helps 5.2 Million Seniors Save $3.7 billion on Prescription Drugs

Study Suggest U.S. Will Need 5.6M More Healthcare Workers By 2020

U.S. Health Insurers Expect to Pay Over $1 Billion in Rebates by August

AMA Statement on Supreme Court Affordable Care Act Ruling

Your Insurance Journal – Get Daily Updates From The Insurance News Authority

Modern life halted as Netflix, Pinterest, Instagram down

An outage in Amazon’s cloud means that some of the world’s greatest and most frivolous entertainments are suddenly not available. Immediately, customers whine.


Some clouds can simply eliminate others.

At 11.21pm EST last night, as the deep and the desperate began to settle down for a weekend of streaming movies and retro photography, thunder and lightning decided to bring a natural end to their plans.

Forbes reported that such bastions of modern entertainment as Netflix, Pinterest and Instagram were eliminated from the firmament.

The cause was reportedly an outage at Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud in North Virginia, brought on by a thunder and lightning show. Yes, Amazon’s clouds are actually Earth-based.

Naturally, as panic ensued across so many smoke-filled living rooms, companies tried to placate the enraged.

Netflix sent out a tweet of apology, as did Instagram.

Pinterest, for its part, was very clear about the cause. In its apologetic tweet, it offered the phrase “server outages,” not the vague “technical difficulties” offered by Instagram.

Some may remember that Amazon’s EC2 server experienced something of an outage 2 weeks ago, which suggests that not all is perfect with the cloud’s celestial dream.

Currently, at 4.08am PST, all the sites seem to be back up. However, Pinterest declared on a further tweet that it might not be operating at its pinning fullest for a little while yet.

What some find fascinating, though, is the response of customers to this late night lapse.

Within minutes, Netflix, Pinterest and Instagram were anointed with the tweets of the annoyed.

“Hey,” wrote one Charl Lee-Pearce, “where did my left column go? I can’t see what people are pinning or following or new followers. =(”

What it is to suddenly be left bereft of one’s left column.

I am sure a lady called Rene spoke for a vast swathe of humanity when she tweeted to Instagram: “I’m bored hurry uppppp !!! ?#whine? @InstagramHelp.”

Another Instagramer, Quantreus Hayes, offered: “@InstagramHelp we can see that, y’all need to tweet wen y’all fix the problem, I knew y’all messed up wen Instagram 4 androids happened.”

As for Netflix, which has tried to rise from something of its own storms of late, criticism also bathed over it on Twitter.

A distressed Amar Chugg wrote: “@netflix I was watching my favorite show & you guys screwed up on a cliffhanger. Disappointed.”

At least these companies — only one of which actually takes money from its faithful — can blame Amazon and whoever it is who creates weather.

Whom, though, can the people claiming not to be able to live without picture-posting and product-pinning blame?

Modern life halted as Netflix, Pinterest, Instagram down

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New Gang Law Blows into the Windy City, Causing a Backlash in Illinois


A new Illinois anti-gang law has caused quite a stir in recent weeks, raising eyebrows among black policymakers and activists who suggest the law may have racial overtones. The legislation, signed by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn in early June, permits state prosecutors to apply investigation tactics similar to that of the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.

Many believe this new law unfairly targets people of color and will ultimately lead to a significant increase in the number of blacks who are incarcerated in Illinois. Some consider this yet another link in a long chain of legal decisions rendered to covertly obstruct the advancement of African Americans.

RICO, which was initially passed in the 1970’s to punish crimes committed by the mafia, now extends to street and prison gangs. More than 30 states are using RICO criteria to incarcerate gang members. In addition to being charged with individual felonies, like extortion and narcotics distribution, RICO statutes give investigators the right to indict gang members on racketeering charges -which carry a hefty sentence of 20 years per count.

Essentially, RICO permits racketeering charges to be brought upon anyone who participates in organized crime. This includes leaders who order the execution of crimes, but do not physically carry them out. Now, every offender involved in a gang’s illegal activity can be tried in one criminal procedure. This effectively puts an entire gang on trial, not just a few isolated individuals, as was previously the case. It also holds the top echelons of a gang’s hierarchy accountable, where these individuals were once untouchable from a legal standpoint.

“For the first time in the history of our state, this new law will give local prosecutors the tools to identify and address patterns in multiple gang-related offenses and join different offenses and offenders into a single court proceeding,” said Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez in a recent statement. “This new law will require fundamental changes in the way state prosecutors approach gang crimes because racketeering has not existed under Illinois law in any meaningful shape or form,” Alvarez reported.

While this may seem like a reasonable solution, the truth is this new law will only compound the obvious racial bias that pervades the U. S. the judicial system. According to the Chicago Crime Commission, there are as many as 100 rival gangs in the Chicago metropolitan area with a membership as large as 70,000.

It’s no secret the United States of America has the highest incarceration rate in the world with more than 1.6 million men and women currently behind bars. What many don’t know is there are more African American men currently incarcerated than the number who were enslaved in the U.S. in 1850. In 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that 3,074 black men per 100,000 were incarcerated, as opposed to 459 white men per 100,000. This means there are seven times more black men doing time in America than their white counterparts.

These shocking figures have become the basis for the argument against RICO laws. While blacks only account for 13 percent of the population, more than half of all prisons in America are populated by non-Hispanic people of color. Many of these inmates are affiliated with a gang.

Frank E. Watkins, press secretary for U.S. Rep Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois, is just one of many predominant black leaders who have been outspoken about the new anti-gang measure. He has told news sources that he disagrees with the fundamental philosophy behind the law and he is not alone. There is no simple solution to this problem, though it is one that continues to plague the nation.

Numerous black legislators, policy-makers and elected officials have dedicated extensive resources to ending gang affiliations and their subsequent violence. Black community leaders and prominent church figures have clocked countless hours in town hall meetings strategizing about how to encourage young people to stay away from gangs. Authors, activists and advocates have done their part to educate the public about this crucial avenue of the American landscape.

The irony is -gang activity is far more prevalent inside the walls of a penitentiary than it will ever be in the free world. If gang members are charged and convicted of racketeering only to go to a detention center where they will join fellow gang members and continue to commit egregious offenses… essence, hasn’t the system itself produced its own version of organized crime?

New Gang Law Blows into the Windy City, Causing a Backlash in Illinois

Education Is Key – Education Is A Key To Success

Is Google prepping a 10-inch tablet?

With its new 7-inch Google Nexus shipping next month, the company reportedly plans to launch a 10-inch version, claims DigiTimes.


Is a 10-inch version of the Nexus 7 in the works?

Is a 10-inch version of the Nexus 7 in the works?

Is Google eyeing a 10-inch version of its new Nexus tablet?

Citing the usual “industry sources,” the folks at DigiTimes say the search giant is reportedlyplanning a 10-inch Android tablet with display panels to be supplied by Wintek and AU Optronics. Wintek is the manufacturer behind the touch panels for the Nexus 7 and has already picked up orders for around 500,000 panels from Google for the 7-inch tablet, according to the company’s chairman.

No details were revealed as far as launch date, features, or possible pricing.

And of course, DigiTimes has a decidedly hit-and-miss record at forecasting future products. So this report should be taken with the usual grain of salt.

Comments made by Patrick Brady, Director ofAndroid Partner Engineering for Google, would seem to discount the possbility of a 10-inch tablet. In an interview with CNET’s Maggie Reardon, Brady said that Google specificallychose the 7-inch size for its portability.

“We thought a lot about how we’d design the software and hardware to fit a number of use cases,” Brady said. “For instance, I think 10-inch tablets are too big for gaming and reading books. We wanted it to be portable. And we wanted it to be great for reading books and magazines as well as playing games and watching movies.”

Of course, should the Nexus 7 take off in the marketplate, Google may decide that a 10-inch version could appeal to consumers as well. But for now, we’ll have to see if the 7-inch model makes as big a splash in the Android tablet arena as some are predicting.

Is Google prepping a 10-inch tablet?

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Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Leaked Online Already


During their first Google I/O 2012 keynote on Wednesday Google announced Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The latest version of Google’s mobile operating system comes packed with all kinds of good stuff, including a much smoother, faster interface, better notifications, and a very impressive Voice Search feature.

Android developers were, of course, able to get the developer preview of Jelly Bean on Wednesday following the keynote. The rest of the Android community, though, is just going to have to wait until Jelly Bean ships in mid-July (or however long after that it takes for their respective carriers and device manufacturers to roll out the update). Or so it seemed.

In what has to be some sort of record, the Jelly Bean developer preview was leaked to the public within 24 hours of Google’s keynote. Initially it was only available for the GSM Galaxy Nexus (the one you buy from Google Play). In almost no time at all, though, the kinks had been worked out to make Jelly Bean compatible with Verizon’s LTE version as well.

The leak was posted at RootzWiki, who included a link to the download, along with instructions for installing Jelly Bean on your Galaxy Nexus. The only drawback – if you can call it that – is that it requires you to root your phone. Of course, RootzWiki also posted the obligatory disclaimer: this isn’t an official release, in fact it’s still a beta. So while you’re free to install it on your phone, don’t be surprised if it turns out to be a little (or a lot) buggier than you’d hoped.

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Leaked Online Already

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Supreme Court Health Care Decision: Americans Split On Affordable Care Act Ruling (POLL)


Supreme Court Health Care Decision

The Supreme Court’s nearly split decision on the new health care law is mirrored by the American public, according to a new survey.

On Thursday (June 28) the high court upheld most of the Affordable Care Act, a massive health care overhaul often considered President Obama’s signal legislative achievement.

A poll taken days before the high court’s ruling found that 43 percent of Americans said the court should not overturn the law, and 35 percent hoped it would.

The Public Religion Research Institute poll also found that one in five Americans (21 percent) had no opinion on what the court should do.

This shows, said Robert Jones, PRRI’s CEO, “that many Americans simply may not know what it would mean for the law to be upheld or overturned.”

More than half of white evangelicals (52 percent) favored overturning the law. White mainline Protestants were more divided, with 44 percent favoring an overturn and 34 percent opposed.

Among Catholics, 46 percent hoped the law would be left in place and 36 percent wanted the Supreme Court to reject it. On the high court, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Sonia Sotomayor, both Catholics, voted to uphold the law, while the other Catholic justices — Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito — voted to overturn it.

Divisions were starker along racial and party lines. Among black Americans, 63 percent supported the law, as did 62 percent of Democrats. But 61 percent of Republicans and 71 percent of Tea Party members said they wanted the court to declare the law unconstitutional.

The poll has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

Watch Video Here!

Supreme Court Health Care Decision: Americans Split On Affordable Care Act Ruling (POLL)

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Your Questions Answered: Colorado’s 2012 wildfire season “unprecedented”


tree fire

It’s no exaggeration to say Colorado is burning. The state is going through one of the worst fire seasons on record, with some calling it unprecedented.

At least eight wildfires are burning across the state, with several major fires starting this past week.

The High Park Fire, burning around 15 miles west of Fort Collins, is finally showing signs of slowing down after quickly becoming Colorado’s second largest wildfire and one of the state’s most destructive. It has charred more than 87,000 acres since it was sparked by lightning on June 9.

Officials say one person was killed in the High Park Fire and more than 250 homes have been destroyed.

The Waldo Canyon Fire is burning west of Colorado Springs, and it has forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of people.

The fire started Saturday and exploded to 15,000 acres by Tuesday night when high winds pushed the flames into neighborhoods. Nearly 350 homes have been destroyed in the Waldo Canyon Fire, making it the state’s most destructive wildfire. It is only 15-percent contained.

Officials confirm one fire-related death and say at least one person is missing.

The FBI is investigating the possibility that an arsonist started the Waldo Canyon Fire.

Another wildfire that started on Saturday is the Woodland Heights Fire in Estes Park.

The fire consumed fewer than 30 acres, but destroyed 22 homes.

High winds are to blame for starting the Woodland Heights Fire after a power line rubbed against a pine tree. It`s now fully contained.

The Flagstaff Fire is burning in the foothills west of Boulder and has burned approximately 300 acres. Though the fire is still burning, evacuation orders have been lifted—for now.

Officials believe the Flagstaff Fire was sparked by lightning on Tuesday.

The 700 acre Pine Ridge Fire is burning in western Colorado near Grand Junction.

Lightning is being blamed for starting the Pine Ridge Fire last Wednesday. Fire crews say it`s an aggressive fire that`s still growing and it is threatening at least seven buildings.

One of the largest fires from this past week is the Last Chance Fire, which burned tens of thousands of acres. It destroyed two homes, along with nine other buildings.

This fire started Monday when a car blew a tire, sending sparks into dry brush. In all, the fire charred some 45,000 before being contained.

There are still a few other fires burning across the state, such as the Weber Fire near Durango and the Treasure Fire near Leadville. Neither is contained.

Your Questions Answered: Colorado’s 2012 wildfire season “unprecedented”

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Justin Bieber ‘Has Never Had His Heart Broken’

Justin Bieber

Despite being loved-up with Selena, JB admits there’s still time…

Justin Bieber has confessed that he hasn’t had his heart broken…yet!

During an appearance on US TV showBethenny, JB divulged details concerning his private life, stating he is yet to experience the heartache of a romance coming to an end.

The Boyfriend singer – who is currently loved-up with Selena Gomez – told host Bethenny Frankel: “I think to a small degree [I’ve had heartbreak]… [but] not really.

“I think I’m still young… I’m growing, you know? There is only time… Time will tell.”

The 18-year old recently confessed his love for Selena in an interview with The Sun’s Fabulous magazine, where he revealed: “What does love feel like? It feels good.

“If you’re really in love then you should get butterflies. Butterflies and happiness, that’s how I feel anyway. But I never like to throw it in my fans’ faces. I love my fans and I’d never want to do that to them. ”

He continued: “It’s my private life and I like to keep separate. I don’t have many things that I get to keep to myself but that’s one thing.

“I’m very happy. And I know my fans just want to be happy for me.”

The Biebster also hit the headlines this week after Gomez revealed that Justin has banned One Direction hunk Harry Styles from going near his mum Pattie Mallette, due to his track record with cougars.


Justin Bieber ‘Has Never Had His Heart Broken’

Dating For Love – Guide To The Best Dating Sites On The Internet, Cupid At Work

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