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Kara Menini

George Zimmerman: Most hated man in America this month

Millions around the country speak out for the arrest of neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed unarmed teen

George Zimmerman, the 28-year-old neighborhood watch of a gated community in Florida who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin “in self-defense”, is the focus of a recent online petition, urging authorities to file criminal charges against George Zimmerman.

George Zimmerman has moved from the gated community due to multiple death threats and has also been withdrawn from his college for the safety of other students as well as himself. President Barack Obama spoke about the incident, “I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this and that everybody pulls together, federal, state and local, to figure out exactly how this tragedy happened.”  President Obama feels particularly connected to this case because of his African-American heritage, “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon.”

The nation has taken this tragedy to heart and actions have been taken to make sure a criminal is put behind bars and to make sure something like this never happens again. An online petition to file criminal charges against George Zimmerman has been signed by more than 1.3 million people. Students and civil-rights leaders in Atlanta, Georgia have plans to march to protest the states “stand your ground” statute that has kept George Zimmerman out of jail. The organizers are asking those marching to wear hoodies and bring skittles as that is what Martin had with him when he was murdered.

The Sanford Police Chief announced that he will temporarily step down as head of the department, claiming his role “has become a distraction from the investigation,” though, the parents of Treyvon Martin are not pleased.  “The temporary step-down of Bill Lee is nothing,” said the boy’s father, Tracy Martin. “We want an arrest, we want a conviction, and we want a sentence for the murder of our son.”

George Zimmerman saw Martin, an African-American, walking in his neighborhood and called the cops thinking the teenager was up to no good. In reality, Martin was walking back from a convenient store where he had gone to buy Skittles.  George Zimmerman started to follow Martin, who was on the phone with his girlfriend and started to become worried why a man was following him, and after a short time shot and killed the teenager.  Many neighbors had called 911 when they heard a gunshot and reported they had not heard shuffling or any other indication that there was a fight, but that they heard Martin “whimpering” before the unarmed teen was shot.

George Zimmerman has not been arrested for the murder of Martin due to a Florida law that allows citizens to use “force with force” as opposed to walking away from a dangerous situation. If a person feels they are in danger of becoming seriously injured, they are allowed use force to stop it from happening. George Zimmerman claims that Martin had attacked him prior to the shooting.

The Hunger Games movie premier pleases followers of the book

Midnight release saw long lines of awaiting fans

The Hunger Games was greeted by thousands who waited in line to see a midnight showing of the much anticipated book adaptation.  Though fans of the book were a bit disappointed with the omission of some characters, reviews of The Hunger Games have been mostly positive.

The Hunger Games is about a 16-year-old girl, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) who is chosen for the annual Hunger Games event in a dystopian future.  The U.S is destroyed by catastrophes and all that remains is Panem, a 12-district federation, whose central city of Capitol is populated by the areas wealthiest.  The 12 districts are home to the impoverished majority.  The Hunger Games were created to remind the poverty-stricken majority what happened when their rebellion attacks were crushed 74 years prior.  The gladiatorial-like televised game that captivates Panem every year takes two teenagers, one boy and one girl, from each district, plops them in the middle of a wilderness, and the only way to win is to be the last one alive.  Katniss is picked from the poorest district, the coal-mining District 12, along with Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), for whom Katniss starts to have romantic feelings.

Roger Ebert gives a historical explanation to the plot of the film, the Hunger Games “result in a television production that apparently holds the nation spellbound and keeps citizens content,” wrote Ebert. “Mrs. Link, my high school Latin teacher, will be proud that I recall on of her Daily Phrases, ‘panem et circenses,’ which summarized the Roman formula for creating a docile population: Give them bread and circuses. A vision of present-day America is summoned up, its citizenry glutted with fast food and distracted by reality TV.” 

The Hunger Games runs about two-and-a-half hours long and some critics are saying that a lot of fat could have been trimmed to make the movie more compact.  However, the much anticipated movie is said to create a whole new following for The Hunger Games books, which are set to also be adapted into movies in the future. 

Hollywood is always searching for the next book series to put on screen and the Hunger Games’ main character Katniss is a breath of fresh air after a couple years too many of Bella.  Katniss is a strong and independent female character that is an acceptable role model for the young female audience that has become hooked on this series.

Whitney Houston cause of death released

Los Angeles coroner chief described toxicology report yesterday

The Whitney Houston cause of death has been released.  The toxicology report showed that Houston died of a heart attack that caused her to become unconscious and drown in her hotel tub.  The official cause of death was revealed as an accidental drowning on Thursday where the Los Angeles County Coroners chief, Craig Harvey, explained the findings of the toxicology report.

Whitney Houston cause of death was described by Harvey: “We had approximately a 60 percent occlusion in the arteries, in the narrowing of the arteries. So, that condition, complicated by the chronic cocaine use, all combined to result in her drowning. The final cause of death has been established as drowning due to atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use.” The toxicology report also adds that, “Cocaine and metabolites were identified and were contributory to the death. Marijuana, Alprazolam (Xanax), Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) and Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) were identified but did not contribute to the death.” 

To simplify the Whitney Houston cause of death, plaque build-up in her arteries caused the singer to suffer a heart attack. The plaque narrows the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart. Whitney Houston cause of death is suspected to have been caused by chronic use of cocaine, though it is not clear how long the singer suffered from atherosclerotic heart disease. 

According to several reports, no cocaine was found in Houston’s hotel room and there are even rumors that whoever had been supplying cocaine to the singer may have cleared out the room before authorities arrived. Harvey reported that cocaine metabolites were found in Houston’s system, leading them to believe that she was a chronic cocaine user.

Frozen Planet series premier intrigues and amazes

Discovery Channel series follows in the footsteps of previous wildlife documentary series

Frozen Planet will soon join the ranks of Discovery Channels thrilling wildlife series. Frozen Planet was filmed much like Planet Earth and Blue Planet; panoramic shots of beautiful wildlife, multi-angle shots of territory battles and, of course, a celebrity narrator. Alec Baldwin debuted his narrator skills in last night’s episodes, “The Ends of the Earth” and “Spring.” These two Frozen Planet episodes will be followed in subsequent weeks by “Summer” and “Winter”. The series finale, “On Thin Ice,” will be on April 15 and will examine how climate change can affect both the poles as well as the rest of the planet.

Frozen Planet will also debut a behind-the-scenes episode on April 8 that will show how equipment can work in frigid temperatures as well as conditions the crew had to work under. The filmmakers took a cinematic approach in making Frozen Planet; CS Monitor reported that they planned “multi-angle coverage of action they hoped would unfold.” Alastair Fothergill, a producer of Frozen Planet, said, “We were very keen to storyboard the sequences beforehand. Then, when we got on location, we would sit down and say, ‘Have we got all the angles? Let’s work it all out. Not surprisingly, in order for Frozen Planet to come into being, a load of hard work and sacrificing of comfort. CS Monitor gave staggering statistics: “four years in production, 39 camera persons, 2,356 days in the field, 1.5 years at sea and 840 hours trapped in blizzards.

Frozen Planet makers suffer through the horrible conditions out of love. They feel that filming these wildernesses will help in protecting them. Fothergill said, “The structure of our series is to show the places. Then we engage in the animals’ drama and lives. Then we show a bit of how we went about making the series. Then we let viewers learn about the environmental reality of it all in an objective, nonsensational, nonjudgmental way.” Another Frozen Planet producer, Vanessa Berlowitz added, “Our goal is to do films that make people fall in love with the animals and places. What we want is for people to love them.”

Gallagher has come out of a coma!

Watermelon smashing comedian is already telling jokes and moving around

Gallagher, the comedian most known for smashing watermelons with a sledgehammer on stage, has been woken up by doctors from his medically-induced coma a week after suffering a mild to serious heart attack. 

Leo Anthony Gallagher, simply known as Gallagher, has been cracking jokes since the moment he woke up. His promotional manager, Christine Scherrer, said he recognized his family immediately and started talking with them. She said he is breathing on his own and moving around.

Scherrer said of Gallagher, “We’re not sure how long the doctors will want him to stay yet.  So far so good, can’t wait to have him back!” 

Gallagher was rushed to a hospital last Wednesday after he started to experience severe chest pains before appearing live for a show in Texas. At the hospitals, it was confirmed that Gallagher had suffered a mild to serious heart attack where doctors felt it was necessary to put the comedian in a medically-induced coma.  Gallagher had two stents replaced after collapsing on Wednesday. 

Gallagher suffered a heart attack a year ago during a performance in Minnesota.

Meghan McCain poses for Playboy

McCain speaks about current presidential campaign and her own sex life

Meghan McCain kept her clothes on for this April’s edition of Playboy, but she wasn’t shy about her opinions on this years campaign, the hardships she faced during her fathers presidential campaign or her sex life.

Meghan McCain, who wore a red-sequined dress and blue heels, said the current presidential campaign has bored her. “It’s just so lame,” she said. “Granted, my father is not running, so I’m biased, and we have an incumbent president, which changes things. But where’s the electricity? You’d think someone would rise up and tap the frustration and energy of the Occupy movement or the Tea Party, but it just hasn’t happened yet.” Meghan McCain also defended her right to voice her opinions on politics, “I’ve been in politics literally my entire life. My mom was pregnant with me at the 1984 Republican convention. I was on my father’s campaign when I was 13. I’ve earned the right to be here and talk about it.”

Meghan McCain told Playboy about her experiences with her father’s most recent campaign run in 2008, “The day before Election Day, I almost overdosed on Xanax. I had gained a lot of weight. I went up four sizes thanks to Starbucks and Snickers.”

Meghan McCain told Playboy that she hates talking about politics on a first date. “Talk about a mood killer,” Meghan McCain said, “I’m obsessed with this stuff, but it doesn’t put me in the mood. When I’m dating, I want to hear what music a guy likes, what he does for fun, and I want him to make me laugh. If he can make me laugh, I don’t care if he looks like Zach Galifianakis; it’s an instant turn-on.”

Meghan McCain spoke with Playboy about her love of going out for a Jack and Coke every once in a while and her love of Hunter S. Thompson. Thompson, known for his love of whiskey and fire arms, may have gotten along with Meghan McCain. “I appreciate both those things. We would have understood each other,” she said.

Mauritania welcomes Gadhafi's ex-spy chief into a nice pair of cuffs

One of the worlds most wanted criminals has been detained in west Africa

Mauritania, a western country in Africa, was the last place that Abdullah al-Senussi will see as a free man. The former Libyan intelligence chief for assassinated Moammar Gadhafi flew into the country of Mauritania late Friday night. It has been reported that Senussi was carrying a fake Malian passport when he arrived in the Mauritania capitol of Nouakchott from Morocco. Mauritanian authorities detained Senussi, which ended the six-month long manhunt that began after the fall of Gadhafi’s regime.  

Mauritania is planning to hand over Senussi, but the question of where he will be tried is starting to become a sensitive issue. Libya wants to try him for ordering the execution of 1,200 prisoners in the Abu Salem prison in 1996. France convicted him in absentia in 1999 for the 1989 bombing of a French airliner over Niger that killed everyone on board, and the International Criminal Court (ICC) has indicted Senussi on multiple counts of crimes against humanity, mainly for, “the deliberate massacre of Libyan civilians during the popular uprising against the Gadhafi regime,” reported The Inquisitr. 

The decision, put on the shoulders of the West African country of Mauritania, is very much politically charged.  If Mauritania gives Senussi to Libya, both France and the ICC are afraid the country will not have the proper resources to try the former Gadhafi spy-chief; though, Libya feels differently.

Mauritania hasn’t made any responses to the competing claims of extraditions, but it is known that the former French colony has had spotty relations with Western nations and has had close ties with Gadhafi. Mauritania, “isn’t a signatory to the treaty that created the ICC, a court that is intended to try crimes against humanity or war crimes that national courts can’t or won’t prosecute,” reported The Wall Street Journal.

However, there have been speculations as to whether Senussi was actually detained or not since there has been a lack of photographic evidence. 

Lizzie Borden lawyer's hand written notes have been discovered

Borden case reveals new information

Lizzie Borden is famous for killing her father and stepmother, so famous; in fact, there is a nursery rhyme about her: Lizzie Borden took an ax, and gave her mother forty whacks; when she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one. She was eventually acquitted of the crime after spending 10 months in a Massachusetts, though most people believed she was a cold-hearted killer.

The Lizzie Borden lawyer case notes have re-surfaced, giving new insight not only into the case, but into the personal lives of Lizzie and her father.  It was widely believed that the father of Lizzie Borden was cold, evil and abusive and deserved the ax, but the notes indicate that he was very much a loving father of his two daughters.  While Lizzie was away in Europe, a source told the lawyer that Lizzie’s father was always pleased to receive her letters.  The Herald News reports, “One of the personal comments in the journal read: ‘Mr. Borden used to get letter from L(izzie) and always seemed pleased when he got one—used to talk about it afterwards.  I think one a week.’… There are interesting comments about Mr. Borden’s relationship with his daughters, which he often called ‘his girls.’” 

Lizzie Borden, in the case notes, is also shed in a different light.  The lawyer, Andrew Jackson Jennings, has notes that show Lizzie Borden as a more sensitive and grieving person; very much unlike the stoic and cold murderer that she was portrayed as by the public case. 

Also uncovered with Jennings’ notebooks is the infamous “handless hatchet” that Lizzie Borden supposedly used in the double homicide.  Other documents, newspaper clippings and other evidence were found along side the notebooks that contained interviews and observations of Lizzie Borden and other witnesses. 

It doesn’t seem the new findings will uncover any new evidence that could once and for all prove that Lizzie Borden killed her father and stepmother, but the notebooks will indeed provide a deeper insight to the case and Lizzie herself.

Pierre Garcon leaves the Colts for the Redskins

Wide receiver signs five-year deal with Washington Redskins

Pierre Garcon, who has been with the Indianapolis Colts all four of his NFL seasons, has just signed a contract with the Washington Redskins.  The $42.5 million deal was made just hours after the NFL free agency period started.  The deal includes a guaranteed $20.5 million and an $11 million signing bonus. 

Pierre Garcon, a wide receiver, has had his talents questioned for his 2010 season.  According to CSN, Pierre Garcon had the third-worst ratio among wide recievers with 13 drops on 119 targets. Garcon’s most famous drop happened during the 2010 Superbowl against the Saints that experts say was a turning point for the Colt’s loss. 
In his four seasons with the Colts, Pierre Garcon had 188 catches for 16 touchdowns and a 13.4 yard average. 

However, Pierre Garcon has definitely honed his skills, and his 2011 season was significantly better.  With five drops, Pierre Garcon finished the season with the 15th-best ratio among wide recievers.  Ben Standig said, “It should also be noted he posted career-high numbers (70/947) despite the non-Mannings throwing him passes.” 

Pierre Garcon will also be playing the 2012 season with Josh Morgan, who signed $12 million over the first two years of a five-year deal, and defensive end Adam Carriker, who re-signed with the Redskins for four years and $20 million, with $7 million guaranteed.

Jennie Garth and Peter Facinelli file for divorce

Couple decides to end 11 year marriage

Jennie Garth, known for her roles on 90210 and husband Peter Facinelli, who plays a Cullen in the Twilight series, have decided to end their marriage of 11 years.  Although the couple has not given a reason for the divorce, there have been various speculations and the most widely believed is that Facinelli has not stayed faithful. 

Jennie Garth apparently suspected that something was going on, as the couple had started to drift apart.  Perez Hilton quoted a source that said, “Peter had been seeing another woman for quite some time…they tried to make it work for the sake of their children and Jennie played housewife for as long as she could but finally had enough.”  It is rumored that Facinelli had met a woman while filming Breaking Dawn in Vancouver. 
The 39-year-old Jennie Garth has recently been filming a reality show, “Jennie Garth: Little Bit Country” which is about moving the Garth family to a farm in California, set to debut next month on CMT.  Reports assume that the show will feature their marital troubles.

Jennie Garth and Peter Facinelli have three daughters together, 14-year-old Luca Bella, 9-year-old Lola and 5-year-old Fiona.  The couple released a joint statement that said, “While we have decided to end our marriage, we both share the same deep love and devotion to our children.  We remain dedicated to raising our beautiful daughters together.  We ask for privacy and respect during this time.” 

Jennie Garth met Peter Facinelli the same year she divorced from her first husband, Daniel B. Clark, in 1996.  They met while filming a TV movie, “An Unfinished Affair,” and married in 2001 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Montecito, California.  Tori Spelling and Tiffani Thiessen, co-stars with Jennie Garth on 90210, were bridesmaids.