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Janelle Vreeland

Todd Palin endorses Newt Gingrich

Todd Palin: “He’s a snowmobile driver,” says voter

Todd Palin became a relatively hot topic Monday when word broke that he had endorsed presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich.

“I got a very nice phone call from Todd Palin,” said Gingrich. “Sarah’s husband, and he indicated that he was endorsing me today.”

Gingrich went on to tweet about the endorsement, saying, “Honored to be endorsed by Todd Palin. President Obama has failed. We need a Bold Reagan Conservative in the WH.”

Although Gingrich seems to view Palin’s endorsement as a positive, others don’t see the significance. Dave Weigel reported for Slate that, after hearing the announcement, one New Hampshire voter, Mike Duffy, commented, “I don’t know why it would matter to anybody. He’s a snowmobile driver. Is some candidate going to come up here and announce that an extreme snowboarder just endorsed him?”

Read more about Todd Palin here.

Tony Iommi diagnosed with lymphoma

Tony Iommi battles lymphoma as original Black Sabbath lineup reforms

Tony Iommi, the legendary guitarist of Black Sabbath, has been diagnosed with the early stages of lymphoma.

The band’s Facebook page made the announcement about Iommi on Monday. The statement reads,

With the news that Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi has been diagnosed with the early stages of lymphoma, his bandmates would like everyone to send positive vibes to the guitarist at this time. Iommi is currently working with his doctors to establish the best treatment plan–the “IRON MAN” of Rock & Roll remains upbeat and determined to make a full and successful recovery.

This comes as Black Sabbath–Ozzy Osbourne (vocals), Tony Iommi (guitar), Geezer Butler (bass) and Bill Ward (drums)–are writing and recording their first album in 33 years in Los Angeles (still set for release this fall) with producer Rick Rubin. They will now go to the UK to continue to work with Tony. Further information will be released as it becomes available.

As Rolling Stone reports, Black Sabbath is due to kick off a world tour on May 18 in Moscow. It is unclear whether or not Iommi’s health will affect these plans.

Read more about Toni Iommi here.


Jon Huntsman introduces new ad spot

Jon Huntsman borrows McCain’s “Country First” slogan

Presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman has introduced a new campaign slogan and it may sound familiar to you.

The Washington Post reports that Huntsman is borrowing Sen. John McCain’s 2008 campaign slogan, “Country First.” Not only that, it’s earned a prominent place in his new ad spot. Using a clip from the Sunday NBC News debate, it depicts Huntsman defending himself against attacks from Mitt Romney.

“[Romney] criticized me while he was out raising money for serving my country in China. I will always put my country first, and I think that’s important,” Huntsman says.

Huntsman’s campaign reportedly raised more than $100,000 in a fundraising drive to get the ad on the air in New Hampshire.

Many of Huntsman’s top advisers are McCain campaign veterans.

Read more about Jon Huntsman here. You can watch the ad below.

John 3:16 and Tim Tebow

John 3:16 evoked following Tebow’s 316 yards passing and 31.6 yards per completion

Tim Tebow’s performance on Sunday evoked John 3:16, his favorite biblical verse, without even requiring him to say a word.

As CBS News reports, Tebow’s stat line on Sunday night read 316 yards passing and 31.6 yards per completion. For Tebow and his fans, this was no coincidence — it was a clear sign and reference to John 3:16.

John 3:16 — “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” — was routinely written on Tebow’s eye black while he was at Florida.

One fan tweeted, “It’s a little crazy that Tebows’ favorite verse is John 3:16 and he threw for 316 yards & a couple of his bosses are named John. #faith.”

Read more about John 3:16 and it’s significance to Tebow here.

Blue Ivy Carter born to Beyonce, Jay Z

Blue Ivy named for Jay Z’s album, Beyonce’s favorite number

Beyonce and Jay Z fans rejoice, Blue Ivy Carter has arrived.

People reports that Blue Ivy was born on Saturday. Although it was a joyous event for her parents and family, Blue Ivy’s birth has already caused some inconveniences for other new parents.

The New York Post reports that Beyonce and Jay Z rented out the entire fourth floor of Lenox Hill Hospital in anticipation of Blue Ivy’s birth. Although the move was an attempt to keep their privacy, it also put new and expecting parents on “lockdown,” and even forced them out of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

“They locked us into the NICU and would say, ‘You can’t come out to the hallway for the next 20 minutes.’ When I finally was able to go back out, I went to the waiting room and they’d ushered my family downstairs!” new dad Neil Coulon said. Coulon’s premature, newborn twins were being kept in the ICU.

Also causing some buzz is Blue Ivy’s name. Sources report that the name holds personal meaning for the couple. ‘Blue’ reportedly refers to Jay Z’s albums entitled “Blueprint,” while ‘Ivy’ is a play on the Roman numeral IV, or four. The number four is reportedly significant to the couple. It’s Beyonce’s favorite number, they were each born on the fourth day of the month and married on the fourth of April. They even have matching IV tattoos.

Since news of Blue Ivy’s birth broke, fans and celebs alike have been sending their well wishes. Rihanna even tweeted, “Welcome to the world princess Carter! Love Aunty Rih.”

Read more about Blue Ivy Carter here and here.

Joran van der Sloot considering plea deal

Joran van der Sloot’s lawyer says there is a 70 percent chance he’ll plead guilty

Joran van der Sloot is reportedly considering a plea deal that could get him out of jail relatively soon.

ABC News reports that van der Sloot is currently on trial in Peru, charged with the murder of Stephany Flores on May 30, 2010. If convicted, van der Sloot could face 30 years behind bars. Van der Sloot’s lawyer has commented that there is a 70 percent chance that he will plead guilty.

If van der Sloot pleads guilty by reason of temporary insanity, he would face three to five years in jail. Because of the amount of time van der Sloot has spent in jail awaiting trial, if given the minimum sentence of three years, he could be set free. The Peruvian court system states that the amount of time a suspect spends in jail awaiting trial counts doubly towards their ultimate sentence.

Van der Sloot, 24, is the prime suspect in the May 2005 disappearance of Natalee Holloway. If van der Sloot is released from jail, he will likely be sought by the FBI.

Read more about Joran van der Sloot here.

Bill O'Brien to coach for Penn State

Bill O’Brien to fill Joe Paterno’s shoes

Bill O’Brien will be taking on the enormous task of filling Joe Paterno’s shoes.

ESPN reports O’Brien will become Penn State’s new head coach. O’Brien’s hiring is scheduled to be announced on Saturday. The terms of O’Brien’s contract are unknown.

O’Brien’s appointment is already causing some questionable buzz. Not only with this will be O’Brien’s first heach coaching position, he’s also neither been a coach nor a player for Penn State.

O’Brien will reportedly continue to to work as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator through the NFL playoffs.

“I’m sad to lose [O’Brien]. I told him that,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft told the Boston Herald on Friday. “We have a philosphy in our company, that if anyone has an opportunity and we can’t match it — we did have the ability to deny him under our contract — but this is one of the great college coaching positions. They have their challenges right now.”

Read more about Bill O’Brien here.

Rape redefined by Obama administration

Rape definition broadened to include male victims

The Obama administration has broadened the definition of the crime of rape. This new definition has now broadened to include more forms of sexual assault, including the rape of men.

NBC reports that the new definition of the crime of rape now includes any gender of victim and attacker. Rape also now includes victims who cannot give consent because they are incapacitated, under the age of consent or mentally/physically incapable of giving consent. What’s more, physical resistance on the part of the victim is not required to demonstrate lack of consent.

“This long-awaited change to the definition of rape is a victory for women and men across the country whose suffering has gone unaccounted for over 80 years,” Vice President Joe Biden said in a statement.

 “This new, more inclusive definition will provide us with a more accurate understanding of the scope and volume of these crimes,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement.

Read more about the broadened definition of rape here.

Joseph Kennedy III to run for Congress

Joseph Kennedy III seeks to succeed Rep. Barney Frank

Joseph Kennedy III has announced that he will step down from his position as an assistant district attorney to explore a run for Congress.

The Taunton Daily Gazette reports that Kennedy, 31, will be exploring the possibilty of running for the 4th District seat — currently held by Rep. Barney Frank who will be retiring. Frank announced in November that he will not seek reelection in 2012.

Kennedy, however, is not the only Democrat seeking Frank’s vacated seat. Marty Farren, Jules Levine and Herb Robinson have also announced their candidacies. 

Kennedy is the grandson of Robert Kennedy and son of former U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy.

Read more about Joseph Kennedy III here.

David Wilson turns pro

David Wilson to forego senior year at Virginia Tech

David Wilson announced on Friday that he will be going pro.

ESPN reports that Wilson has confirmed that he will be foregoing his senior year at Virginia Tech to enter the NFL draft. Most NFL experts have projected that Wilson will be a first or second-round pick. ESPN points out, though, that the departure of Wilson will be a huge loss for the Virginia Tech hokies.

Wilson’s announcment comes just days after teammate Jayron Hosley’s announcement that he will also be going pro.

The official Virginia Tech Football Twitter feed congratulated Hosley, saying, “Jayron Hosley has confirmed what he told the media after the game in that he is turning pro. Good luck Jay! #foreveraHokie” and confirmed Wilson’s decision, saying, “David Wilson has announced he’s forgoing his senior year at Virginia Tech and will turn pro. #Hokies.”

Read more about David Wilson here.