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Mexican-American star singer Jenni Rivera killed in plane crash

A small plane carrying Mexican-American star singer Jenni Rivera crashed in northern Mexico on Sunday, leaving no survivors and sparking an outpouring of grief among fans and fellow celebrities. The wreckage of the Lear Jet, which was carrying six other people, was found by farmers in the state of Nuevo…

Mormon church launches website about ‘same-sex attraction’

The Mormon church has created a website asking followers to have compassion for people with “same-sex attraction,” reported AZCentral. The website features videos of church leaders, Mormons who “are attracted to people of the same sex,” and family members and friends of those individuals. “Family members with same-sex attraction need…

Nurse suicide ‘unforeseeable’ says station after British royal prank call

The owners of an Australian radio station at the centre of the British royal prank call scandal Sunday said the tragic death of a nurse was “unforeseeable” and vowed to review its broadcasting processes. Executives at Southern Cross Austereo, owners of 2Day FM, held an emergency meeting to consider a…

Is Japan losing its cool?

Is Japan losing its cool? It’s been 50 years since Kyu Sakamoto’s “Sukiyaki Song” became a worldwide smash. The only other Asian artist to replicate the feat? Psy, from rival South Korea, with his viral hit “Gangnam Style.”  Even as Korean tech giant Samsung turns Sony into a has-been, Japan’s…

Julian Assange: the fugitive

Julian Assange has been in the Ecuadorian embassy for six months. In a rare interview, Decca Aitkenhead asks the WikiLeaks founder about reports of illness, paranoia – and whether he’ll ever come out The Ecuadorian embassy in Knightsbridge looks rather lavish from the street, but inside it’s not much bigger…

Psy apologizes for anti-U.S. rap: ‘Kill their daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law, and fathers. Kill them all slowly and painfully’

South Korean megastar singer Psy, famed for his runaway hit “Gangnam Style”, apologised for anti-American performances a decade ago, ahead of a planned show before US President Barack Obama. In 2002 the singer smashed a model US tank at a protest over the American military presence in South Korea and…

Notorious B.I.G.’s autopsy report released after 15 years

The autopsy report into the death of rapper Notorious B.I.G. was released on Friday, 15 years after he was killed in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles that remains controversially unsolved. The 24-year-old — killed months after the death of rival rapper Tupac Shakur — was hit by four bullets,…

Bill Maher: Carbon tax fixes fiscal crisis, serves ‘just desserts’ to oil industry and Kochs

In a Friday blog post, Bill Maher suggested that President Obama should use the looming fiscal cliff to raise revenue in the form of a carbon tax, which would issue a “fuck you” to the Koch brothers and “just desserts” to the oil industry for spending millions in support of…

Belize archeologist sues over Indiana Jones ‘Crystal Skull’

A Belize archeologist is suing the makers of a blockbuster “Indiana Jones” film for using a likeness of a so-called Crystal Skull, which he says is a stolen national treasure. Dr. Jaime Awe claims the skull was stolen from Belize 88 years ago, and that filmmakers had no right to…

Where does the word ‘blackmail’ come from, anyway?

Etymology notes on a scandal (via The Christian Science Monitor) Inquiring minds want to know, perhaps because they’ve been reading about the Petraeus scandal: What’s the origin of the word “blackmail”? The idea of a public official having to resign because moral missteps may have left him vulnerable to blackmail…

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