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Sara Hall

Likes: Good (read: bad) puns, puppies, embarrassing pop music, burritos, idolizing Beyoncé and Tina Fey Dislikes: Squirrels, typos, socks with sandals (and other unforgivable fashion mistakes) Sara hasn't always been a journalist -- unless you count that time she put out a newspaper in the third grade about her dog. Still, she's been making up for lost time ever since she began attending Eastern Illinois University and started writing for The Daily Eastern News. When people ask her why she wants to be a writer, she tells them it's because she genuinely enjoys journalism and everything that goes with it (which is true, but let's be real, she not-so-secretly wouldn't mind just being Carrie Bradshaw for the rest of her life). In the fall, you'll find her where she really belongs: as online editor, blogging and tweeting like it's her job -- because hey, it actually is (thank God).

Emails suggest Joe Paterno was involved in cover-up scandal

Emails said to not contact the authorities

As emails from Joe Paterno are coming forward in response to the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal, many are questioning whether he was honest in the trials before his death.

Even without trying to speak ill of the dead, many analysts of the case are saying Joe Paterno is perhaps fortunate to have escaped his case.

“Paterno is lucky to have died,” Daily Beast writer Buzz Bissinger said, also adding if the coach were still alive, he’d be “facing possible indictment for perjury.”

Bissinger said that during his grand jury testimony, Joe Paterno said after learning of Sandusky’s shower incident, he told athletic director Tim Curley, assuming Curley would take care of the situation.

 “I figured that Tim would handle it appropriately. I have a tremendous amount of confidence in Mr. Curley, and I thought he would look into it and handle it appropriately,” Paterno said in his testament.

However, Paterno’s claims are not adhering to emails he sent to Curley, in which Curley said, “After giving it more thought and talking it over with Joe … I am uncomfortable with what we agreed were the next steps.”

The emails passed along to CNN raise concerns over whether Joe Paterno was truthful during his trial.

Emails from February 26 to 28, 2001 between Paterno, Curley and former vice president Gary Shultz suggest they were trying to cover up the abuses.

Schultz suggests in the email to handle the situation in a “humane” way, which was to not contact the authorities. The emails never said Sandusky’s name specifically, but still referred to him as “the subject” or “the person,” while the victims were referred to as “guests.”

The first email was sent 16 days after Mike McQueary reported being upset from seeing Sandusky “doing something with a youngster” of “sexual nature.”

Nastia Liukin takes tumble, still finds peace

Former Olympic medal winner is out for this summer’s games

Nastia Liukin had her dreams shattered with one simple fall.

As she fell face-first into the mat following a bar routine, her chance at this summer’s London Olympics was over.

At first, Liukin remained on the ground, not moving, but after a few seconds, she picked herself off the ground.

Even after falling, Liukin still finished her routine. She received a score of 13.950, which was much below the standard she set when winning silver for the event in Beijing four years ago. She received a lower score of 14.950 for her beam routine.

Still, even though she knew the fall had killed her chances to continue to the Olympics, Nastia Liukin did not let her fall get her down.

“Seeing all of the thousands of people on their feet, you couldn’t have planned out a better way to end a career,” Liukin said.

Nastia Liukin was the first Olympic champion to announce her return to the games since Nadia Comaneci in 1980.

Despite her fall, Nastia Liukin did not lose her game face.

“Getting up after a fall is never easy,” she said. “It’s always very tough. It shows your true character if you are able to get up and that’s something I’ve been taught since I was 8 years old.”

Nastia Liukin will head to New York University in January.

Anderson Cooper: Yes, he's gay

Cooper comes out in attempt to raise awareness towards gay bullying

Anderson Cooper has confirmed one of the media’s worst kept secrets: He is gay.

Cooper has long been suspected to be gay, but he had never confirmed or denied allegations.

“The fact is, I’m gay,” Cooper said in an email to Andrew Sullivan, a Daily Beast blogger. “Always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.”

Anderson Cooper has been a longtime friend of Sullivan, and when asked his thoughts on Entertainment Weekly’s story “The New Art of Coming Out,” which detailed the prominence and responsibilities of gay celebrities coming out of the closet to fight against America’s increase in gay bullying, he told Sullivan he is dedicated towards raising awareness, even if that means revealing his own sexual orientation.

“Andrew, as you know, the issue you raise is one that I’ve thought about for years,” Anderson Cooper said. “Even though my job puts me in the public eye, I have tried to maintain some level of privacy in my life. Part of that has been for purely personal reasons. I think most people want some privacy for themselves and the people they are close to.”

Anderson Cooper said a large reason for him not revealing his sexual orientation was because he wanted to remain removed from public scrutiny that could affect his job.

“But I’ve also wanted to retain some privacy for professional reasons,” Anderson Cooper said. “Since I started as a reporter in war zones 20 years ago, I’ve often found myself in some very dangerous places. For my safety and the safety of those I work with, I try to blend in as much as possible, and prefer to stick to my job of telling other people’s stories, and not my own. I have found that sometimes the less an interview subject knows about me, the better I can safely and effectively do my job as a journalist. I’ve always believed that who a reporter votes for, what religion they are, who they love, should not be something they have to discuss publicly.”

Cooper’s revelation is not exactly shocking, as it has been publicly suspected for years that he was gay.

In 2007, Out magazine named Anderson Cooper as one of the 50 most powerful gays.

He was also featured in stories by The Onion and The New York Observer. 

Ted wins box office ticket sales

Magic Mike comes in second with respectable ticket sales

A stuffed bear may not seem like the secret to box office success, but this weekend’s ticket sales proved otherwise.

Ted, a film directed by Seth MacFarlanein, revolves around a character played by Mark Wahlberg and his vulgar teddy bear. The film brought in $54.1 million, according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations.

Following on the tails of the box office success of Ted was Magic Mike, a movie starring Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey as male strippers. The movie brought in $39.2 million.Magic Mike only cost $7 million to make.

Ted is already being compared to The Hangover for its similarities in raunchy humor, revolving around drinking and drug use. To compare, the first Hangover movie took in $48 million in its first week in 2009, adjusted for inflation.

With not many other comedic releases scheduled for the rest of the month, Ted is said to continue being a success for a while.

“Given that long runway, and the fact that there hasn’t been a strong comedy yet this summer — both The Dictator and That’s My Boy disappointed — Ted should be a strong performer for weeks to come,” Benjamin Carlson, president of Fizziology, a company that monitors social media to advise movie studios, told The New York Times.

Ted will not open in foreign markets until August or later. 

Overall ticket sales in North America rounded out at $202 million for the weekend, which was a 3 percent increase from this time last year.

Up next for the box office is this week’s release of The Amazing Spider-Man on Tuesday, as well as the final film in the Batman triology, The Dark Knight Rises, due out July 20. 

BET Awards bring out stars

Swear words at award show fail to make censor cut

The biggest names in hip-hop, soul, R&B and rap came out for this year’s BET Awards.

Some of the most influential stars in the business, including Kanye West, Jay-Z, Beyonce and Nicki Minaj, were among the attendees.

However, one of the defining moments of the award show was a tribute paid by a mother of a deceased star.

During the BET Awards tribute to Whitney Houston, who passed away in 2011, Cissy Houston sang “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” leaving attendees like Soulja Boy and Beyonce in tears. Gary Houston, Whitney’s brother, Mariah Carey and Chaka Khan also performed in honor of Whitney Houston.

Mariah Carey also struggled to maintain her composure when discussing Houston.

“I miss my friend,” Carey said during the BET Awards. “I miss hearing her voice and laughter.”

The show was marked by its guests dropping curse words and obscenities that failed to make the censoring cut, making their way to be aired at the BET Awards.

Nicki Minaj and Rick Ross were among the offenders at this year’s BET Awards. They were muted out, but much of their cursing did not make the censorship cut.

Many of the stars at the event performed. Kanye West’s music group, G.O.O.D., made up of Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chainz, performed their song “Mercy.”

Kanye West, who was nominated with seven BET Awards, and Jay-Z took the award for video of the year for “Otis,” as well as the award for best group.

Beyonce won video director of the year and best female R&B artist. She was up against her husband, Jay-Z, for video of the year.

Chris Brown won for best R&B artist while Drake won for best hip-hop artist. 

Low glycemic diets are best bet for weight loss

Foods like oatmeal, vegetables best for long-term weight loss

A low glycemic diet may be the best bet for weight loss, a recent study is saying.

The Harvard study found that a low glycemic diet was the best of the three most popular diets for maintaining metabolism during weight loss and maintaining cardiovascular health.

A low glycemic diet, often referred to as the GI diet, focuses on consuming unprocessed foods, complex carbs and food combining.

The diet, originally developed for diabetes patients to help regulate blood sugar, is commonly incorporated into popular diets, such as Nutrisystem, the Zone diet, South Beach and Sugar Busters.

A low glycemic diet consists of a specific calorie breakdown. Forty percent of total calories should ideally come from carbohydrates, 40 percent from fats and 20 percent from protein.

The way the low glycemic diet works is quite simple – it focuses on the way certain calories can affect blood sugar. Carbohydrates affect blood sugar in a different way than fats or protein, and not all carbohydrates are similar.

Carbohydrates are rated on the glycemic index, which measures them based on how they break down in the digestive system to form glucose, which enters every cell of the body.

The index scale is scored on a scale of 100; 100 represents pure glucose. Foods that break down more quickly get a higher score, while foods that break down slowly get a lower score.

Fruit juices, breads, starchy foods and baked goods rank as high glycemic foods.

Foods that are approved for a low glycemic diet include beans, vegetables and oatmeal, which have fat, fiber and protein and aid in steady digestion and longer periods of satiety.

Still, not everyone approves of the low glycemic diet, especially the USDA.

Their Dietary Guidelines For Americans stated that glycemic index diets “are not associated with body weight and do not lead to greater weight loss or better weight maintenance.”

Still, the main concepts are still applicable, dieticians are saying.

“I think a message of eating more whole grains, fruits, vegetables and high-fiber foods is a much better and easier measure to give people,” Dr. Xavier Pi-sunyer, director of the New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center told ABC News.

Stephanie Rice gets scandalous

Rice posts photo of herself in barely-there bikini

Stephanie Rice is causing controversy on Twitter again.

After stirring up talk over a 2008 photo of her in a police costume and a 2010 tweet containing a homophobic slur, Stephanie Rice is generating controversy again, this time over a risqué swimsuit picture. Many are criticizing the photo for being too sexy and revealing.
Stephanie Rice, 24, posted a photo on Twitter of herself wearing a bikini she received as a birthday gift from designer Ellie Gonsalves.

In the tweet, she wrote, “Thank you to the Gorgeous @elliegonsalves for my birthday @veveswimwear bikini.”

A manager for Stephanie Rice assured that the photo was not an endorsement for Ellie Gonsalves, but instead just a photo taken for fun.

“No, Stephanie isn’t an ambassador for Ellie Gonsalves, she just loves their stuff,” her manager told The Herald Sun.  “She doesn’t have any relationship with Speedo anymore, so there are no restrictions there.”

Stephanie Rice, who has previously won three gold medals in past Olympics, will compete in this year’s London Olympics in the 200m and 400m individual medleys.

Legendary writer Nora Ephron dies of leukemia at age 71

Ephron wrote romantic comedies “Sleepless in Seattle,” “When Harry Met Sally”

Nora Ephron, writer, producer and director of such well-known romantic comedies such as When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail, died Tuesday night from acute myeloid leukemia.

Ephron, who was a three-time Oscar nominee, was a prominent figure in the movie industry and was often thought to be synonymous with the romantic comedy genre. Many of her movies revolved around modern women looking for old-fashioned charm.

Nora Ephron movies were largely profitable and left audiences with memorable scenes that defined the cinema industry.

Nora Ephron’s films also gave rising stars credibility that skyrocketed them to successful careers.

When Harry Met Sally helped make Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan into A-listers, while Sleepless in Seattle helped Tom Hanks’ career.

Nora Ephron was not exclusively a writer for films; she also wrote a novel in 1986, Heartburns,  which ultimately turned into a movie.

The plot of the novel and movie focused around her famously rocky marriage to Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein. The two divorced in 1980.

Her presence touched many, causing prominent figures to speak on her passing.

“The loss of Nora Ephron is a devastating one for New York City’s arts and cultural community,” New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement. “From her earliest days at New York City’s newspapers to her biggest Hollywood successes, Nora always loved a good New York story, and she could tell them like no one else.”

Nora Ephron also wrote stage plays and essays, including Love, Loss and What I Wore and I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman. Ephron also regularly blogged for The Huffington Post.

Man eats family dog after bad trip on K2

Man was reportedly “going crazy”

K2 can make people do some crazy things – like eating your own dog. After reportedly having been high on synthetic drug K2, Michael Terron Daniel, 22, was said to have torn flesh from his family dog with his teeth before he beat and strangled it to death. Witnesses of Daniel, of Waco, Texas, said after he was found eating the family dog following his bad K2 trip. He was “going crazy” as they saw him  “on his hands and knees” chasing the animal while “barking and growling like a dog”.

Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said officers found Daniel on the porch covered in blood.  Daniel was taken to a hospital following the K2 trip. The dog died at the scene.

Daniel was charged with felony cruelty to a non-livestock animal. He is currently in McLennan County Jail.

The drug K2 is created by using herbs, which are sprayed with chemicals that produce a similar high as cannabis. K2 is highly controversial because of its side effects, such as hallucinations, extreme paranoia and violent behavior.

The Senate recently gave their final approval of the measure to ban K2 as part of a Food and Drug Administration bill. The measure is now sent to the President for approval, and it is rumored he is expected to sign the law.

The federal ban on K2 will prevent foreign manufacturers from getting their products in the United States.

Tropical storm Debby brings rainfall

Debby has caused power outages, destroyed buildings and homes

Tropical Storm Debby has brought Florida heavy rains, causing flooding and power outages to thousands of businesses and homes as it made its way through the state on Monday. Now, the state is trying to make sense of the destruction.

The governor declared a statewide emergency in response to Tropical Storm Debby, and a tropical storm warning was in effect for most of Florida’s Gulf coast.

At least one person was reportedly killed by a tornado in Florida, and one woman was also reportedly dead.

Crews in Alabama are also searching for a man who disappeared during a rough surf on Sunday.

Now, residents of the state are trying to cope with the effects of Debby. Shelters were opened in some areas, providing those with destroyed homes an opportunity for safety.

Forecasters at one point thought Debby would head west towards Texas, but due to the unpredictability of tropical storms, their original assumptions were incorrect.

“There are always going to be errors in making predictions. There is never going to be a perfect forecast,” Chris Landsea, a meteorologist at the National Hurricane Center, said in regards to Tropical Storm Debby.