Top News America

Friday, February 26, 2010

'American Idol' Top 24 results: Did the right people go home tonight?
Somewhere in Castle Abdul, Queen Paula is sipping from a giant Pepsi cup and patting her chihuahuas on the head. “We did it! We did it!” she cackles, as she rests her tired, speed-dialing hands in a vat of Epsom salts. Okay, maybe not. But sugar, American Idol appears to be going down, if the Paula-free first week of the show’s season 9 semifinals — particularly tonight’s baffling results show — is any indicator. [SPOILERS AHEAD, West coasters, so bow out now if you don't want to know who got booted.] Seriously, America, Tim ”I can’t do falsetto so I chose ‘Apologize’” Urban over Joe “Hey, I hit 88% of my notes and this is what I get?”Muñoz? And Jermayyyy-ayyy-eee-aaay-ayyy-ee-ayy-ehhh-oh-ah-aaayyy-nnnuh Sellers over Tyler “sex on a stick” Grady? Computer says “no.”
And on the women’s side, while the results were slightly less shocking and offensive, I’d still have preferred to give Janell “trembling hands” Wheeler a second shot over Lacey “Stevie Nicks is having a hit put out on me right this second” Brown or Paige “quite possibly holding her singing doppelganger hostage as part of a deranged prank” Miles. ARGH! Only the sensible ouster of Ashley “America suddenly hates pretty girls” Rodriguez is stopping me from giving the nation a quadruple side-eye.
What did you think of tonight’s Idol results show? Did the wrong people go home? Did you notice that dropped audio toward the end of the show? (Click here to get EW’s exclusive on-the-scene explanation of which Idol got bleeped.) Who got luckiest out of the surviving 20 singers? Which cuts were totally deserved? And finally, were the fan-freaking-tastic cameo appearances by Allison “‘Scars‘ had better go Billboard Top 10″ Iraheta and Kris “he’s even cuter when he’s holding a babeh” Allen enough to soothe the savage beast within? Sound off in the comments below, then come back to early tomorrow morning for my full TV Watch recap.

Star Trek actor’s son found dead Full Video

Walter Koenig

Andrew is the son of Walter Koenig – better known as Star Trek’s Chekov
The actor son of Star Trek veteran Walter Koenig has been found dead in a wood in Vancouver, police have said.
Koenig said his 41-year-old son Andrew, who suffered from depression, “took his own life”.
Police spokeswoman Jana McGuinness said she did not believe anyone else had been involved, adding that a coroner had now taken over the investigation.
Andrew was best known for his recurring role as ‘Boner’ on US sitcom Growing Pains, between 1985-1989.

‘Talk to somebody’
On Thursday, his body was discovered in Vancouver’s 1,000-acre Stanley Park, where Koenig liked to walk and was last seen.
Walter, who played Lieutenant Pavel Chekov in the original Star Trek series, said his son was “obviously in a lot of pain” to have taken his own life.
In a statement he said that Andrew had given away his belongings and had not been taking his medication. He urged others suffering from depression to seek help.
“If you are one of those people who can’t handle it any more, know people are out there who really care before you make that final decision,” Koenig, 71, said. “Talk to somebody.”

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

New York City Public Schools Will Be Closed Tomorrow, Klein Says FULL VIDEO

New York City Department of Education Chancellor Joel Klein told lawmakers last week that if the 2010-2011 Executive Budget is not amended, the city would be forced to cut teachers from public schools, compromising the education of the city's schoolchildren.

Klein said the governor's proposed plan would cut $600 million from the city's education budget, which could potentially result in the loss of 8,500 city teaching positions come September.

"If the budget is implemented as proposed, you can be sure that city students will feel the pain of these cuts in the high-quality teachers from their classrooms," warned Klein.

The chancellor introduced several proposals he said would ease the financial burden on schools. His plan called for "smart savings, ensuring access to every dollar and flexibility over available funding."

One of Klein's proposed reforms is to the "last in, first out" policy, a rule that says the last teachers to be hired in a district, must be the ones laid off first. He said the seniority policy can result in the loss of effective teachers saying, "Clearly the only thing worse than having to lay off teachers would be laying off great teachers instead of failing one."

Another of Klein's suggestions is a change to the Absent Teacher Reserve Pool, a process allowing tenured teachers to continue to be paid even when not teaching due to too many teachers in a district.

Klein said a change in the process of firing teachers is also necessary to get rid of temporary reassignment centers or "rubber rooms." Temporary reassignment centers are used to place teachers who have been accused of misconduct such as molestation or abuse. Tenured teachers keep their full pay without needing to teach in such situations.

According to Klein, the "rubber room" process is supposed to last up to 60 days before it is decided if a teacher is guilty or innocent of any accusations or charges, but the process can last years. He also said many teachers within the Absent Teacher Reserve Pool find new jobs quickly, but some remain in the pool without looking for employment, so they can collect money without having to work at a cost of $110 million to taxpayers.

"These are taxpayer dollars that could otherwise pay the salaries of 370 additional teachers, directly benefiting our students and schools," said Klein.

New York State United Teachers Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta later disagreed with Klein, saying most teachers wait in a "rubber room" for about six months, either deciding to leave themselves or after reaching an agreement with school officials.

Klein also urged lawmakers to lift the state's cap on charter schools, saying it is needed to ensure the state, if it does not get awarded funds in the first round of federal Race to the Top education funding, will have a successful application for the second round. He said demand for seats in the city's existing charter schools far outpaces available supply, with more than 35,000 children on charter school waitlists.

The chancellor also said he wanted to stop the practice of reimbursing the parents of special needs students who drive their children to school when they could be riding the bus. He said it is possible to add two or three additional students to special education classrooms to save money, as well as place a cap on the amount of special education students taken on by a school and the amount of services, such as speech and physical therapy, that schools provide.

"I want to be clear, I am not talking about diminishing the quality of services that our students need. Rather, I'm calling for enhanced flexibility to make decisions that impact our classrooms," said Klein.

Senate Education Committee Chairwoman Suzi Oppenheimer, D-Mamaroneck, questioned Klein, asking "if there are so many students waitlisted for charter schools, why have more public schools not been converted into charters?"

Although the charter school cap is now at 200, any public school can be converted into a charter without counting toward the cap.

The chancellor said 16 schools have been converted so far and he is hoping 120 will be converted by 2011. He said due to economic issues, traditional schools are converted more slowly than they would like, but they are opening fast considering the high level of quality they are trying to ensure the schools have.

"It's easy to open a charter school," said Klein, "but hard to open a quality charter school."

Assembly Education Committee Chairwoman Catherine Nolan, D-Queens, and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Carl Kruger, D-Brooklyn, both criticized Klein and the job he is doing.

Kruger said the chancellor treats parents and lawmakers as annoyances and continues to ignore their concerns.

"You come to use for money, but you don't come to use for direction," said Kruger. The senator also expressed frustration that he and other lawmakers are unable to answer constituents' questions about their children's education because they are not kept in the loop.

Nolan asked why there are still close to 400 trailers in the city being used as temporary classrooms when the city has been given money to build or find more rooms. "Where is the taskforce and initiative? We are not feeling any progress," said Nolan.

Kruger called Klein's term "nine years of torture, nine years of acrimony, nine years of nail biting and hand twisting," with Nolan's agreement.

Klein said he knows the city needs to create more classrooms but that it "doesn't come by magic."

Klein told lawmakers the governor's budget would lead to a $600 million cut to city schools along with another $600 million lost due to required unfunded mandates, putting the city in debt by $1.2 billion in the coming school year.

Sen. Craig Johnson, D-Port Washington, told state Education Commissioner David Steiner earlier in the hearing that the number of state mandates imposed on schools represents a failure of the state Education Department. Steiner said he would post the full list of state and federal education mandates on his department's Web site with a ballpark number of what each costs.

So that lawmakers can make an informed decision on whether the Executive Budget should be amended to provide more support for New York City schools, Kruger asked Klein to release documentation showing where city school funding has been going and how the system runs.

United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew also spoke out against the education budget cuts but said, like last year, they would continue to work with lawmakers to protect education. "We owe it to the city's children," the union leader said.

SI Swimsuit Cover: Brooklyn Decker SI Swimsuit Issue Cover PHOTO REVEALED (PICTURES, VIDEO)

Brooklyn Decker has made the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.

The 22-year-old model and wife of tennis star Andy Roddick was revealed as the 2010 cover girl on Monday's Late Show with David Letterman when a sheet was removed to unveil a billboard version of the cover in Times Square.

Posing in yellow bikini bottoms with her arms crossed over her chest and a bikini top hanging over her shoulder, Decker, who's scheduled to appear on Letterman's show Tuesday, is touted on the magazine cover as "a perfect '10" who "sizzles in the Maldives."

Watch videos of Brooklyn Decker

"THANK YOU EVERYONE!!!" she tweeted. "I wish I could respond to every single one of you but thank you so much for your AMAZINGLY sweet tweets!"

A five-time SI model, Decker made her swimsuit debut at 18 in 2006. Her 2007 spread caught Roddick's attention, and he had his agent to contact her. Decker and Roddick, 27, have been married since April.

Other notables in this year's swimsuit issue: Olympians Lindsey Vonn and Hannah Teter strip down, as do four former Dancing with the Stars pairs. Cheryl Burke and Maurice Greene; Chelsie Hightower and Ty Murray; Edyta Sliwinska and Lawrence Taylor; and Anna Trebunskaya and Chuck Liddell are all featured in the magazine.

Chelsea v Arsenal FULL LIVE VIDEO

Leeds United, Jermaine Beckford

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Shuttle Endeavour Launch Time Scrubbed Video

Watch the Space Shuttle Endeavour launch from the Kennedy Space Center. live online on Nasa TV. Watch Live Streaming.
In a thirteen day mission Space shuttle  Endeavour will Tranquility, which in turn will give astronauts enough  space to move about aboard the ISS.
The STS-130 staff members are  commander George Zamka pilots Terry Virts and Kathryn Hire, flight engineer Stephen Robinson and spacewalkers Robert Behnken and Nicholas Patrick.
The  Space shuttle Endeavour’s next launch attempt is officially been scheduled  for Monday, Feb. 8 at 4:14 a.m. EST.
Watch Live

The Mission Management Team will meet at 6:15 p.m. Sunday . Tank loading would begin at 6:45 p.m.
Space Shuttle Endeavour STS-130 launch attempt 1 Video

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Did the Groundhog See his Shadow in 2010

Ground Hog
Ground Hog
So guys, we have a Cold News for you as today on Groundhog day, two groundhogs have predicted that we’ll have to wait 6 more weeks to enjoy spring. Milltown Mel is the groundhog of New Jersey who predicted a cold weather in front of 200 spectators. Similar prediction is made from his brother Punxsutawney, Pa from South. Punxsutawney told in the ear of his master that you people will have to face winter season for 6 weeks more. However, Staten Island Chuck did not see his shadow and his predictions are showing that spring will come in next two weeks. So, on which groundhog you believe?
There in Canada, there groundhog is also predicting about a cold weather. 2 years old Mel is the pet of Jerry and his wife Cathy who started that tradition in New Jersey in 1994 when a film with the same title was released. Historically, the tradition belongs to Germans who first started predicting using hedgehogs and legions of Roman Soldiers spread it.