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Jill Treacy

McDonald's hangs upside-down flag

Upside-down and at half-mast, the flag causes post-election controversy


A McDonald’s upside-down flag caused controversy Wednesday morning when many speculated that it was meant to disgrace the re-election of President Obama. Local veterans in the Follansbee, W.Va. town were dismayed at the upside-down flag, saying it was disrespectful. Passersby noticed the upside-down flag hanging at half-mast, alerted staff and it was taken down around 11:30 a.m.

The McDonald’s upside-down flag is raising eyebrows and many in the town are puzzled why the fast-food restaurant would make such a bold statement. A flag flown upside-down is a distress signal and when Channel 11 News crew called the McDonald’s, they were told it was the “owner’s decision.” The McDonald’s owner has since released a statement saying the upside-down flag was a mistake.

“Unfortunately, a flag cable broke and during the process of trying to fix the flag, it was inadvertently turned upside down. It wasn’t noticed that the flag was upside down until a customer inquired about it. We are working on fixing the flag right now. It’s important to note that this was an accident, not intentional,” owner Karen Mezza said.

War veterans of the Follansbee, W. Va. area brought attention to the severity of the mistake and were puzzled why the McDonald’s would want to hang an upside-down flag. A manager of the restaurant posted on a news-station’s Facebook page, saying the flag was flown at half-mast per corporate request but that it was upside-down was “a complete and total accident. NO ONE at our store would PURPOSELY fly the flag upside down.”

The McDonald’s flagpole has been fixed and the upside-down flag is now hanging appropriately.

Robert Pattinson says he's a loud kisser

The Twilight saga star talks about his kissing and big shoes on Jimmy Kimmel Live!


Robert Pattinson, in his last promotional tour for the Twilight saga, sat down with Jimmy Kimmel and talked about his apparently loud kissing and large shoes. Out and about to promote the upcoming Breaking Dawn Part 2, the actor stayed true to his quirky, awkward ways when talking about scenes for the new movie.

“I have such extraordinarily loud little pecks,” Robert Pattinson said. “It sounds like I’m walking around in Wellies. … I don’t understand, my lip is like a vacuum.”

The Twilight actor also brought attention to his over-sized shoes and then, to distract the audience, proceeded to sit with his legs tucked underneath him and later cross-legged in his chair.

Robert Pattinson has been promoting with his on-again girlfriend Kristen Stewart; while he went over to Jimmy Kimmel’s studio, Kristen went to The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, but not before sneaking a peak at Pattinson at the Kimmel show. The two are reportedly more in love than ever despite Stewart’s little blip of a romance with director Rupert Sanders.

On the last installment of the Twilight saga and his life after, Robert Pattinson told Celebuzz, “I feel like my life is really speeding up. It’s the first time I feel like I am 26.”

California shooting kills three, injures two

Three dead and two injured in election day California shooting


A California shooting took place this morning at a meat plant in Fresno, Calif. The shooter, Lawrence Jones, 42, was a parolee with a criminal history dating back to the 1990’s. At 8:27 a.m., about three and a half hours into his shift, Jones pulled out a handgun and opened fire in the Apple Valley Farms plant. Three, including the shooter, are confirmed dead, and two are in critical condition.

Outside of the business, a 32-year-old woman was found shot in the back and is in serious condition, and two men were found shot inside on the California shooting scene. Of the latter two, one is in critical condition and the other has since been pronounced dead. A 32-year-old man with a gunshot wound to the head was pronounced dead at the scene and the shooter has since died after being rushed to the hospital with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. There were as many as 30 witnesses to the California shooting.

An employee told authorities that Jones “did not appear to be himself” when he arrived for his shift at the California meat plant the day of the shooting. Jones had been working at Apple Valley Farms, a meat processing company that also goes by the name Valley Proteins, for 14 months. A reason for the California meat plant shooting is unknown at this time.

“It is difficult to say at this point if in fact there was a specific target that Jones was looking for,” Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said about the California shooting. “There was something that must have provoked this incident, perhaps that occurred today, or maybe was building up to today.”

Election 2012 drawing to a close

It’s been a long campaign and now it’s time for the voters, swing states and Electoral College to shine


The election of 2012 has finally been brought into perspective as the next president of the United States rests in the hands of voters. What is being called the closest race in nearly seven decades, the 2012 election has been long, costly and, to be honest, somewhat taxing on Americans. But none the less important, as lines of convicted voters took their final say to the polls Tuesday for Election Day 2012.

Even after $2 billion in campaigning, exhausting television ads and the not-so-tame debates, the presidential election 2012 seems so innocent with just the voters and their ballots. This year has reportedly seen a record high voter turnout, with lines forming even before dawn. Many waited an hour or longer in line to vote in the 2012 election and officials worried that polling stations were going to run out of surveys. Polling stations in New York and New Jersey had been relocated due to Hurricane Sandy’s damage and some New Jersey voters are being given the option of mailing, faxing or emailing in their ballots.

Going into Election Day 2012, the polls had Obama leading the way to electoral votes, but there are definite options for Republican candidate Mitt Romney. The Electoral College has Obama for a second term after the election of 2012, but the “swing states” are inevitably going to determine who the next president will be. To win that second term, Obama will need the votes from Ohio, Wisconsin and Iowa. However, if Romney takes Ohio, he would have a chance at the next presidency. If Obama wins Virginia, another major swing state, then Romney would need Ohio to keep in the running.

Needless to say, the election for 2012 is a rough and intricate race without a clear outcome. Will you be watching the election polls tonight?

Remember, remember the 5th of November

Hacktivist group Anonymous was at it again on historically confusing day


“Remember, remember the 5th of November,” begins the old nursery rhyme that summarizes a group of conspirators’ plot to attack and blow up the House of Parliament in the seventeenth century. The men involved in the plot were caught and executed, and the government declared Nov. 5 a day of thanksgiving and remembrance. Then it turned into Guy Fawkes Night, Guy Fawkes being the most infamous of the conspirators. And then it turned into Fireworks Night somehow.

But now, the hacktivist group Anonymous celebrates by hacking the websites of major companies and organizations, hoping the public will remember, remember the 5th of November. The hacking celebration is a tribute to the upcoming Guy Fawkes Night and the anarchy beliefs Fawkes stood for. Anonymous attacked antivirus software company Symantec, NBC, a few Australian government websites and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, amongst others. The Jimmy Fallon show, Saturday Night Live and Lady Gaga were all messed with at some point in the night. Original reports stated that PayPal had been hacked as well, though a spokesperson has said that attacks were aimed at a company called ZPanel, not PayPayl.

Anonymous and hackers took to Twitter to announce their acts, all starting with the Anonymous “press arm” statement, “Preparing #OpVendetta Remember, remember 5th of November.” At 10:30 p.m. ET on Nov. 4, Anonymous Press tweeted, “The Twitterverse goes mad wondering what #Anonymous will do next on this 5th of November since we already started out with a bang!” Proud displays of hacking acts followed.

The hackers defaced major celebrities, large corporations, governments and federal agencies with “remember, remember the 5th of November,” but most sites were cleaned up relatively quickly and no lasting damage has been reported. Will we remember, remember the 5th of November?

Evan Rachel Wood and Jamie Bell tie the knot

After rekindling their romance, the two wed in California


Evan Rachel Wood and Jamie Bell tied the knot on Tuesday in a small ceremony with family and friends in California. A rep for the “True Blood” actress confirmed the news Tuesday to People after the newlyweds were seen at Los Angeles International Airport with rings on their left fingers. Wood’s rep also mentioned that Wood wore a custom dress by Carolina Herrera.

An upcoming wedding came into play a few weeks ago when Evan Rachel Wood and Jamie Bell had reportedly visited the Los Angeles County Recorders Office for a marriage license. The two originally met back in 2005 while shooting a video for Green Day, reports the Huffington Post. They dated for a short amount of time and got tattoos of each other’s first initials. They broke up and Evan Rachel Wood went on to date Marilyn Manson from 2006 to 2010. Wood and Manson were even engaged for a bit before they broke it off. Wood and Bell rekindled their romance soon after her split from Manson.

“Words cannot describe the happiness i am feeling Overwhelming,” Wood tweeted about the event. 

Pascual Perez killed

Ex-pitcher is killed during a robbery in his home


Pascual Perez has been killed in his Dominican Republic home during an apparent robbery. The ex-professional baseball player was apparently attacked by several people, and Dominican newspapers reported that Perez was struck in the head and stabbed in the neck multiple times. The exact cause of death has not been released. No suspects are in custody.

Police said that a possible motive behind Pascual Perez being killed is Perez’s recently received MLB pension payment, though this is not confirmed and local police are still investigating.

Pascual Perez, 55, played in the major leagues on and off from 1980 to 1991, pitching for the Pirates, the Braves, the Expos and finally the New York Yankees. In 1992 Perez was suspended for two positive test results indicating cocaine in his system and had kidney problems in recent years.

Pascual Perez had been living in his Bajos de Haina home, a town about 10 miles west of the Dominican Republic capitol, Santo Domingo, when he was attacked and killed.

NYC Marathon to take place

The city expects 47,000 runners not even a week after Hurricane Sandy comes through


The NYC Marathon is set to take place in New York City this Sunday amid speculation that the event will be too much for the city to handle in wake of the Hurricane Sandy destruction. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, however, says the marathon will be a positive for the city.

“It’s a great event for New York and for those who were lost, you have to believe they would want to economy and city to go forward for those left behind,” Bloomberg said of the upcoming NYC Marathon.

The New York Road Runners President, Mary Wittenberg, agrees with Mayor Bloomberg’s decision to hold the NYC Marathon. Wittenberg says runners from around the world intend to run in the race in New York City and that the event could be an opportunity to raise funds and gather volunteers to help with relief programs for the devastation from Hurricane Sandy.

On the other hand, many are criticizing the decision, saying the city is not ready yet and resources should be focused on aid efforts as opposed to the NYC Marathon. With widespread power outages, less than half of the city’s subway system up and running, and flooding in various parts of the city, specifically downtown garages and streets, many have dropped out, claiming the city can’t bounce back from a natural disaster in only a few days. A “Cancel the 2012 NYC Marathon” Facebook page was created Wednesday.

The city obviously has to adapt to current situations for the NYC Marathon. The opening ceremony that was set to take place on Friday and other events have been canceled and organizers are seeking transportation from private companies for the runners.

Mary Wittenberg says overall that the NYC Marathon is a symbol of the perseverance of the city and the people of New York.

“To us the marathon really epitomizes the spirit of New York City, the vitality, the tenacity, the determination of New Yorkers,” Wittenberg said of the NYC Marathon and its larger impact. “Now our every effort is to once again tell the world that New York City, as the mayor would say, is open for business, and we welcome the support of the world at this trying time.”

Ryan Gosling surprises kids at charity event

The famous celebrity showed up at a Texas School for the Deaf charity event Saturday night


Ryan Gosling surprises kids at the Texas School for the Deaf during a charity event held last Saturday. Both students and event organizers were completely surprised when Gosling, accompanied by Rooney Mara and Michael Fassbender, showed up at the event in Austin.

It’s safe to say that everyone at the event was thrilled Gosling came by and was the reason for so many surprises for the kids. Anne Adams, executive director of the school’s foundation said, “We knew that Ryan was in town, and he’s been on the streets around campus often so we were just pipe dreaming.” The Spooky Skedaddle 5K and Festival were certainly in for a treat.

“Ryan was extremely kind, allowing lots of photo ops with fans and when the director told him, ‘Enough,’ he said, ‘No, one more,’ and pulled a small child out of the line for a picture. Ryan is a wonderful person and we were delighted they came!” Adams said of Gosling and his surprises for the kids.

Gosling, Mara and Fassbender are reportedly in town to shoot a film with director Terrence Malick. The film remains untitled.

North Korea swirling with pregnancy rumors

The first lady of N. Korea steps out for the first time in two months to a world of speculation


North Korea pregnancy rumors are spreading fast after the first lady, Ri Sol Ju, wife of young leader Kim Jong Un, stepped out in public for the first time in two months in a large coat that could hide a baby bump. This is little to speculate on, but the world has jumped at the rumors surrounding the leaders of the world’s most reclusive nation. The lady in question is saying nothing.

The pregnancy rumors surrounding the North Korea first lady started when KCNA news agency of North Korea released a photo of Ri stepping out Monday for a football match and musical concert with her husband. Kim Jong Un and his wife have made frequent public appearances together, a stark contrast to the leader’s father Kim Jong Il, who rarely appeared in public with any of his wives.

This is the first time since the two married sometime earlier this year that Ri has been absent from the public eye for so long. A possible pregnancy for the leaders of North Korea was part of the rumors, but it has also been speculated that Ri was possibly held on house arrest after state elders chastised her for cheerful behavior in public.

The rumors surrounding the first lady’s pregnancy have been widely circulated throughout the world, much more so that in North Korea.

Kim Jong Un and Ri Sol Ju were confirmed married this past July after they were seen together in public multiple times.