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Ted Ballantine

Justin Bieber's tour bus raided–police find weed and stun gun

Justin Bieber nowhere to be found

Justin Bieber is going through the same growing pains as any teenager…unfortunately for him, the entire world is watching him.

Which means the entire world now knows that Swedish police found a bag of weed on Justin Bieber’s tour bus this week . Uh-oh.

Justin Bieber was in Stockholm, Sweden, for a concert on Wednesday when local police detected the smell of marijuana coming from his tour bus, according to TMZ. At the time, the bus was parked outside of the hotel Bieber was staying at; neither Beiber nor anyone else was inside the bus at the time, police said.

Eventually, though, Bieber had to get to his concert. So he got in the bus and drove to the venue (the Globe Arena); little did he know, the narcotics unit of the Stockholm Police were following him with a warrant to search the vehicle. 

The bus pulled into a parking garage and by the time police could search it, Justin Bieber and everyone else had already entered the arena and left the bus behind.

According to local reports, police found a bag of marijuana on the floor of the tour bus. But since neither Justin Bieber nor his crew were in the bus, and the police couldn’t prove ownership, no one was charged with possession of the drug.

Police also found a stun gun without a permit, which is illegal in Sweden.

Accoding to police, no one will be charged and no arrests will be made.

2013 NFL Draft–Who will go #1? It might not be who you think

2013 NFL Draft class is deep on talent, thin on superstars

The 2013 NFL Draft kicks off Thursday night, and the football world is abuzz as uncertainty still clouds the top of the draft. The Kansas City Chiefs hold the #1 pick, but the outcome remains an enigma. This is a draft deep with talent but short on superstars, and any number of players could become the coveted first overall pick. Here is a rundown of likely candidates:

Luke Joeckel, Offensive Tackle, Texas A&M

Joeckel is considered the best offensive tackle available and possibly the best prospect in the entire draft. For this reason alone, it wouldn’t be surprising if he ended up being drafted first overall. Scouts say Joeckel is athletic, almost never makes technical errors and recovers nicely when he does. He is a great pass protector and has the mentality to be a tough run blocker as well.

When you factor in the Chiefs holding the first pick, Joeckel going first makes even more sense. He will play left tackle in the NFL, considered the most important position on the offensive line. The Chiefs spent the offseason picking up a new quarterback (Alex Smith), and they’ll want to protect him. Joeckel seems to be the man for that job.

Dion Jordan, Defensive End, Oregon

Jordan is described as a hard-nosed player who can rush the passer or cover receivers and isn’t afraid of facing the nasty blockers he’ll find in the NFL. He is long and quick but also small, and he’ll have to bulk up to make a bigger impact against offensive lineman.

Depending on the defensive scheme he’s placed in, he could be a linebacker or a defensive end; this versatility is highly valued by teams as many switch to a 3-4 look.

Eric Fisher, Offensive Tackle, Central Michigan

Fisher was part of one of the best offensive lines in college football in 2012, and may be just the kind of talent that warrants a number one pick. He is long and huge but also shockingly agile; this unique trait will make him a formidable run blocker downfield as he has the speed to get to the second and third levels and the agility to block moving targets.

Again, the Chiefs hold the number one pick, and Fisher would be a prime candidate to shore up the offensive line and protect Alex Smith’s blindside.

Ziggy Ansah, Defensive End, Brigham Young University

Ansah is a work in progress, which makes him an unlikely number on pick. But it could still happen, and here’s why: Ansah has improved his game by leaps and bounds since entering college, and he is still on the upswing. If he lands on the right team, with the right set of coaches, the upside is nearly limitless.

Ansah has the size and length required of a defensive lineman but his speed is what sets him apart; when he sets his eye on a player in the backfield, he nearly bursts out of his shoes to bring them down. His technique needs work and he needs to build stamina, but he could help a lot of teams in 2013. Will it be the Chiefs?

Apple frustrates investors as income, innovation shrink

Efforts by the company to appease investors are in the pipeline

Apple (AAPL) failed to appease both stockholders and analysts Wednesday, as a plan to distribute $100 billion in capital to shareholders didn’t stop the stock from plummeting Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning after the company’s first profit decline in ten years.

According to Reuters, at least 17 brokerage firms downgraded their price targets for Apple (AAPL) shares, with some firms slashing their future price estimates by as much as $180.

The company’s quarterly numbers, released this week, didn’t make Wall Street happy. Apple’s revenue forecast was between $33 and $35 billion, which fell short of Wall Street’s expected revenue forecast of $38 billion.

Net income was down 18 percent since last year, from $11.6 billion to $9.5 billion.

Apple is doing everything it can to reverse investor sentiment. The company said Tuesday it intends to buyback $60 billion worth of shares—the largest buyback program in history. Apple will also raise its dividend 15 percent—from $2.65 to $3.05 a share.

The company even plans to take $100 billion from its cash reserves and give it to investors; Apple previously had a record amount of cash reserves ($145 billion) and investors were eager to get their hands on part of the cash.

Apple shares peaked at $705.07 on Sep. 21, 2012, when the iPhone 5 went on sale. Since then, shares have fallen 40 percent.

“The decline in Apple’s stock price over the last couple of quarters has been very frustrating for all of us … but we’ll continue to do what we do best,” CEO Tim Cook said on a conference call with analysts after the release of the company’s quarterly revenue numbers.

Investors are bear-ish on Apple because of a perceived failure to launch new products and innovations. Instead, the company has been releasing updates and add-ons to existing products.

“The market is tired of the same old thing at Apple,” Balter said. “Investors are looking for innovation. The reality is that people are looking at other products now and they are looking at other cool features from competitors.”

Allan Arbus, MASH actor, dead at 95

The actor left a successful photography business to pursue acting

Allan Arbus, the actor best known for portraying psychiatrist Maj. Sidney Freedman on the TV show “M.A.S.H”, died on Friday at age 95.

A representative for his daughter, Amy Arbus, confirmed the death.

Mariclare Costello, Allan Arbus’ second wife, said Arbus died of congestive heart failure at his Los Angeles home.

“At 95, doctors didn’t want to do surgery and Allan didn’t want it at all,” said Costello Arbus, an actress who married Arbus in 1976. “He just slowed down…just got weaker and weaker and was at home with his daughter and me.”

Arbus appeared on numerous TV shows in the 70’s and 80’s, including “Starsky and Hutch” and “Matlock.” But his most famous role was the zinger-flinging psychiatrist that treated soldiers’ wounds on “M.A.S.H.”

He played his role so well, some of his colleagues thought he actually had medical experience.

“I was so convinced that he was a psychiatrist I used to sit and talk with him between scenes,” Allan Alda, who played Hawkeye in the show, said in an interview with the Archive of American Television. “After a couple months of that I noticed he was giving me these strange looks, like ‘How would I know the answer to that?’”

“He was so authentic in the role it was hard to believe that he wasn’t that person,” Alda said.

Allan Arbus was born on Feb. 15, 1918 in New York City. He was the youngest of two children and the son of a mutual fund trader (his father) and an English teacher (his mother).

He graduated high school at age 15 and enrolled at the City College of New York. He left college and started working at Russek’s, where he met his future wife Diane Nemerov. They married in 1941 and later opened their own successful photography studio. He later left the studio to pursue acting.

Allan Arbus last appeared in the HBO show “Curb Your Enthusiasm” in 2000.

He is survived by wife Mariclare Costello and his three daughters: Arin, Amy and Doon.

Westboro Baptist Church threatens to picket Boston marathon funeral, get scared off by Boston Teams

500 people show up to turn away picketers

The days immediately following the Boston bombings offered a rare period where politicization and sharp rhetoric were almost non-existent; personal attacks and petty debates were put on hold as pundits shut their mouths and let the tragedy speak for itself.

Well, not every pundit stopped talking. One organization used the tragedy-induced silence to make their voice as loud as ever.

The Westboro Baptist Church announced earlier this week that they planned on picketing the funeral of Krystle Campbell, the 29-year-old victim of the explosions at the Boston marathon.

“BREAKING: Westboro Baptist Church to picket funerals of those dead by Boston Bombs! GOD SENT THE BOMBS IN FURY OVER FAG MARRIAGE! #PraiseGod,” read a tweet written by the Church.

“God sent the Boston Marathon Bombs for the sin of Massachusetts passing same-sex marriage!” read another tweet by the group.

Fortunately, the Church never got the chance to picket the funeral. You can thank the Boston chapter of the Teamsters (Local 25) for that: they decided to make a human chain to prevent the picketers from entering the area.

Originally, the Teamsters were hoping for around 300 members. But word spread around, and the Teamsters alone gathered 500 members to form the chain.

Combine that with hundreds of people lining the streets, and the Westboro protestors were no where to be seen. According to the Teamsters, they never even showed up.

One thousand mourners attended the funeral, and some waited in line for an hour-and-a-half to see pictures of Campbell’s life.

What does this no-show mean for the Church? Has God sent a message to Westboro, telling them to lay off?

Maybe not, but Boston surely has.

Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, wife of Boston bomber, refuses to talk to FBI; how much does she know?

From suburban teen to bomber’s wife…but how much did she know?

Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, the widowed wife of now-dead Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, still hasn’t talked to police or the FBI about her husband—because she has refused.

Katherine Russell has been staying at her parents’ home in Rhode Island since last week. The FBI showed up at the house on April 21, but she didn’t want to talk to them and didn’t leave the house.

Her lawyer, Amato DeLuca, did most of the public speaking.

“I spoke to them, that’s all I can say right now,” DeLuca told the Associated Press, in reference to the police visit. “We’re deciding what we want to do and how we want to approach this.”

Katherine Russell Tsarnaev is maintaining that she knows nothing about the bombings, however.

“When this was going on, she was working and had been working all week to support her family,” DeLuca told the AP.

Information about Russell’s life is coming out by the boatload, and it appears several areas of her life were heavily influenced by her late-husband Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Here is what we know:

She grew up in rural Massachusetts with her picture-esque family with her two sisters and father (doctor and Yale graduate) and her mother (social services worker, according to Facebook).

According to former teachers and friends, Katherine Russell did well in school and was a talented artist.

“The reason why I remember her is she was very nice and very smart,” said Amos Paine, her art teacher for all four years of high school. “She was ready to learn.”

Interestingly, Katherine didn’t seem to be interested in religion at the time.

“There was none of that with her,” Paine said. “She was neutral.”

Russell attended Suffolk University and majored in communications. It was during her time at the college that she met Tamerlan Tsarnaev at a nightclub, according to her lawyer.

The couple got married in 2010, according to the Huffington Post, but not before Russell converted to Islam.

Now, questions are being raised as to how much Russell knew about the illegal activities of her husband. Their apartment was reportedly small and cramped, and it would have been hard for Tsarnaev to hide anything from her.

Reese Witherspoon apologizes for drunkenly threatening cop, getting arrested

“Do you know who I am?” she asked the arresting officer

The Reese Witherspoon camp is playing damage control Tuesday in the wake of an “embarrassing” DUI incident involving Witherspoon and her husband.

In case you missed the events last week, here is a recap: an intoxicated Reese Witherspoon was being driven home by also intoxicated husband Jim Toth, who was reportedly driving in the wrong lane when a cop pulled him over.

He blew a 0.139 on the breathalyzer test (well above the legal limit) and was promptly arrested. But Reese Witherspoon, frustrated by the situation, pulled the celebrity card.

Witherspoon allegedly told the police officer, “do you know who I am?”

The officer responded with indifference and told her to stay in the car.

Ignoring the policeman’s orders, Witherspoon got out of her car and told the officer, “you are about to find out who I am…you’re going to be on national news.”

And he was, just not the way Witherspoon imagined. The cop arrested Witherspoon for disorderly conduct and Witherspoon’s PR nightmare began.

“He made a bad decision and it certainly made things worse that he dragged her into it,” a source close to Jim Toth told People Magazine.

“No one would be surprised if Jim goes to rehab,” another source told People.

And Witherspoon did some apologizing of her own.

“I do want to say I clearly had one drink too many and I am deeply embarrassed about the things I said,” Witherspoon said in a statement. “It was definitely a scary situation and I was frightened for my husband, but that was no excuse. I was disrespectful to the officer who was just doing his job. The words I used that night definitely do not reflect who I am. I have nothing but respect for the police and I am very sorry for my behavior.”

Witherspoon was scheduled to appear on Good Morning America and Jimmy Fallon’s late night show this week, but she cancelled her appearances.

Gunshots reported at MIT; campus officer shot

Gunshots were heard on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology late Thursday night in what the University called an “active shooter incident”, according to the MIT website and Twitter account.

A campus officer was shot and was transported to a nearby hospital, said state police spokesman Lt. Mark Kiley.

The gunshots were reported outside Building 32, according to MIT, and police and FBI swarmed the location.

MIT encouraged students through its Twitter account to “stay indoors and away from the area.”

Casualties continue to mount in wake of fertilizer plant explosion

Ammonia damage remains looming threat

A fertilizer plant exploded Wednesday night in a small town 18 miles North of Waco, Texas, causing an estimated 179 injured and up to 15 fatalities and leveling homes as far as five blocks away.

The blast occurred around 7:50 p.m. CST in the town of West, Texas, which has a population of about 2,800. The source of the explosion is believed to be a tank holding fertilizer, according to CNN.

As of Thursday morning, officials were citing a “rough” death toll of between 5 and 15, although officials fear it could rise higher, according to ABC. Three to four firefighters are currently missing. 

The blast caused a 2.1 magnitude earthquake which was felt as far as 30 miles away, according to ABC. 

The damage to the community has been severe. Sergeant William Patrick Swanson, spokesman for the Waco police department, said homes as far as five blocks away from the plant had been destroyed. Sixty homes have been damaged in total, according to Swanson, and the town has been evacuated.

“What we are hearing is that there is one fertilizer tank that is still intact at the plant, and there are evacuations in place to make sure everyone gets away from the area safely in case of another explosion,” said Ben Stratmann, a spokesman for Texas State Sen. Brian Birdwell.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry released a statement Wednesday night addressing the explosion.

“We are monitoring developments and gathering information as details continue to emerge about this incident. We have also mobilized state resources to help local authorities. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of West, and the first responders on the scene.”

Dr. Richard Besser, ABC’s Chief Medical and Health Editor, said the biggest threat going forward is ammonia, released in the explosion, hanging in the air.

“What you see with high level ammonia exposure is damage to your eyes, to your throat, to your nose, to your esophagus when you swallow,” Besser said on ABC radio. “A blast that’s going in one direction, if you get a change in the wind, it can come to another neighborhood and be affected.”

Pulitzer Prizes awarded; New York Times takes home four

Denver Post wins for Aurora coverage

The 2013 Pulitzer Prizes were handed out on Monday, April 15, and though there were many winners, The New York Times seemed to be the real champion as the newspaper took home four of the awards.

The New York Times won the Pulitzer for best investigative reporting, explanatory reporting, international reporting and feature writing.

The Times’ winning investigative story was on WalMart officials in Mexico bribing authorities to obtain permits designed to give the store a competitive advantage in the country. The story was a culmination of over a year’s worth of reporting and led to a Department of Justice investigation.

The runner up in that category was the Chicago Tribune’s piece on the dangers of flame retardants.

The explanatory reporting prize was won by the Time’s series of articles titled “The iEconomy,” which explored Apple’s business practices and in particular the outsourcing of iPhone manufacturing to China.

The prize for local reporting went to the Star Tribune in Minneapolis. That paper ran a series called “The Daycare Threat”, which detailed the spike in infant deaths at local day care facilities. The Pulitzer judges said part of their decision was based on the fact that the story spurred legislative action in Minnesota.

The editorial cartoonist for the paper, Steve Sack, also received a Pulitzer for a separate category.

The Denver Post won in the category of breaking news reporting for their coverage of the Aurora theater shooting. The judges cited the paper’s use of social media to gain insight into the events and track information.

The biggest surprise of the voting was the award for national reporting, which was received by the small outlet InsideClimate News. The outlet is less than six years old and is funded entirely by charitable donations and reader support. The outlet won for its story examining the dangers of a substance called dilbit, which is used in drilling by oil companies.

For a complete list of 2013 Pulitzer Price winners, go here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/a-list-of-the-2013-pulitzer-prize-winners-in-journalism-and-the-arts/2013/04/15/d23942c2-a600-11e2-9e1c-bb0fb0c2edd9_story.html