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Kara Menini

Adam Yauch loses battle with cancer

Beastie Boys co-founder dies at age 47

Adam Yauch has died.

Adam Yauch, co-founder of the Beastie Boys, has passed away at the age of 47.  Yauch had been treated for cancerous growths in his parotid gland (salivary gland) and a lymph node back in 2009 with surgery and radiation. Even though Adam Yauch contributed to the Beastie Boy’s latest album, Hot Sauce Committee, his illness kept them from touring and it kept him from the groups’ induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame two weeks ago.

Adam Yauch co-founded the Beastie Boys in 1979 with Mike “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horowitz. Although they originally started out has a hardcore punk group, the Beastie Boys saw fame in the underground scene when they released a song called “Cookie Puss” that was based off of a recording of a prank phone call to Carvel. They gained notoriety for incorporating humor with hip hop.

Although Adam Yauch couldn’t make it to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, he did send a letter to be read during the ceremony. “I’d like to dedicate this to my brothers Adam and Mike. They walked the globe with me. It’s also for anyone who has ever been touched by our band. This induction is as much ours as it is yours.”

Adam Yauch is survived by his wife Dechen Wengdu and their daughter Losel.

Mariano Rivera injury forces Yankees to do some quick thinking

Replacement pitcher has big shoes to fill

Mariano Rivera injury causes the Yankees to make a painful change. It’s been said that Rivera is the single greatest closer in MLB history, but now that he has torn his ACL, someone needs to fill his shoes.

The Mariano Rivera injury happened during a pre-game routine that involves chasing fly balls during batting practice. A Wall Street Journal article written by Dan Barbarisi reported, “His foot caught in the space where the grass ended and the warning track began. His knee turned and buckled. The greatest reliever in baseball history crumpled to the ground, writing in pain.” Rivera commented on his injury, “I got myself between the grass and the dirt, and I couldn’t pull my leg up and twisted my knee. ACL. Torn. Broken. Meniscus, also.”

The Mariano Rivera injury may open up a door for someone who has been taken under Rivera’s wing the past four years. Though, he has been training with the MLB Hall of Famer in anticipation of 42-year-old Rivera’s eventual retirement; relief pitcher David Robertson could soon get his big break because of the Mariano Rivera injury. He has been one of several candidates to replace Rivera, and Yankees manager Joe Girardi believes Robertson has the ability to step into the role. Girardi commented “I do, I do. Because he seems to be able to turn the page well. He seems to be able to bounce back. A lot of times his stuff is better the next day. So I do think he has that ability.”

Robertson is excited to show off his capacity to perform under pressure. He has been coined ‘Houdini’ by his teammates because of his ability to get out of tough situations. Robertson is someone they know they can count on in a pinch, and that includes the recent Mariano Rivera injury. “The harder the situation is, the more my focus goes up,” said Robertson.

Bin Laden documents released to the public

Confidential documents released on one year anniversary of bin Laden’s death

Some bin Laden documents have been released, and even though they are small in number; it’s fascinating and terrifying to get a glimpse into the inner-workings of al-Qaeda.

The Bin Laden documents were released yesterday, one year after Special Forces killed leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. In the bin Laden documents, bin Laden was very much concerned with attacking America and did not want to waste time with other countries. In one of the letters, bin Laden wrote, “Even though we have the chance to attack the British, we should not waste our effort to do so but concentrate on defeating America, which will lead to defeating the others, God willing. We want to cut this tree at the root. The problem is that our strength is limited, so our best way to cut the tree is to concentrate on sawing the trunk of the tree.” According to the Washington Post, bin Laden was more focused on America than he was in trying to overthrow governments in the Muslim world.

The bin Laden documents also revealed that bin Laden and his advisors were keen on American media. Through correspondents, bin Laden wanted to find the most neutral channel to use to spread their message. “From the professional point of view, they are all on one level except (Fox News) channel, which falls into the abyss as you know and lacks neutrality too.” He continued, “ABC channel is all right; actually it could be one of the best channels, as far as we are concerned. It is interested in al-Qa-ida issues, particularly the journalist Brian Ross, who is specialized in terrorism.” Ultimately, the bin Laden documents came to the conclusion that there were no suitable channels. Gadahn wrote, “In conclusion, we can say that there is no single channel that we could rely on for our messages.”

The bin Laden documents also show that bin Laden was trying to better the image of al-Qaida, which had been tarnished by the attacks inside Muslim countries, in markets and mosques, which had killed Muslim civilians. Bin Laden didn’t want to continue seeing governments locking up supporters and hurting charities that funded the organization.

However scary it can be to see how serious the organization was about attacking America again, the bin Laden documents also reveal that the organization is just that, an organization. Brian Fishman from the New America Foundation spoke to the Associated Press who commented on the bin Laden documents that show “an aging bin Laden worrying about its [terrorist network] future.” Fisherman said, “When you actually pull back the curtain and look at how the sausage is made, Al Qaeda is a pretty banal, conflicted organization. A lot of what it does is not, sort of, big, flashy terrorist attacks, it’s just bureaucracy.”

Brandon Inge to leave the Tigers

Agrees to sign with the A’s as a result of poor season

Brandon Inge has agreed to sign with the Oakland Athletics, a move that has the Detroit Tigers in a bout of depression.

Brandon Inge and the rest of the team are taking the trade so hard because this is the first new team Brandon Inge will join in his 12th major league season. He was released on Thursday by the Tigers after batting 2 for 20, with one home run and only two RBIs in nine games this season. Experts say his poor performance has been a focal point for frustrated fans; he wasn’t adapting well to second base, and he definitely wasn’t hitting.

Brandon Inge will be missed by Detroit, not just his teammates. Brandon Inge had always been involved in the community, especially charities like the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor. Alex Avila of the Tigers said of Inge, “Ever since I came here when I was a fan, he’s always been kind of like the heart and soul of the Detroit Tigers. Always doing so much for the community, like a fixture for when the team was bad to kind of making the turnaround to being competitive year in and year out.” Avila continued, “He’s always been in the thick of things.”

Brandon Inge moving to the A’s wasn’t a real surprise; Fox Sports in Detroit said that Brandon Inge “was a fairly meaningless part of the 2012 Tigers.”

With the A’s, Brandon Inge will try and fill the void that third baseman Scott Sizemore left when he suffered a season-ending knee injury in spring training. According to reports, Oakland manager Bob Melvin has tried to replace Sizemore with players like Josh Donaldson, Eric Sogard and Luke Hughes but nothing has seemed to work. He doesn’t seem too optimistic about Brandon Inge, “We have who we have,” he said.

Patrick Dempsey rescues teen from car accident

Dempsey takes pointers from Grey’s Anatomy character

Patrick Dempsey helps in the rescue of a teenager from a car wreck!

Patrick Dempsey, Dr. McDreamy, took his years of acting like a doctor and acted like a doctor. In Malibu, 17-year-old Weston Massett crashed and flipped his Mustang right outside of the home of Patrick Dempsey. The actor came to the rescue with a crowbar in hand to pry the doors open.

Patrick Dempsey rescued Massett from the wreckage, and when the teen opened his eyes and saw the actor looking down on him, he asked, “Are you famous?” Dempsey jokingly replied, “I’m a doctor,” according to TMZ.

The Patrick Dempsey rescue doesn’t stop there. Apparently, the actor was the one who called the boy’s mother and told her about the accident and kept her calm while he did it. The teen was airlifted to a nearby hospital, and Patrick Dempsey reportedly followed him to make sure he was okay.

TMZ reports that the teen didn’t suffer any serious injuries, but he is recovering from a mild concussion and a “stretched” optic nerve.

Shawn Ryan, a show runner for The Shield took to Twitter to confirm the story, “True Story: Grey’s Anatomy actor Patrick Dempsey pulled my friend’s son out of overturned car after bad accident on Tuesday. #GoodDude”

Sunoco to be bought by Energy Transer

Sunoco also under investigation

Sunoco, a company that operates pipelines and storage facilities among other assets in the United States, has agreed to be sold to Energy Transfer Partners, a pipeline operator, for $5.3 billion.

Sunoco announced last year that it was exiting the oil refinery business. Energy Transfer, based in Dallas, will offer Sunoco shareholders $25 cash and .52 of an Energy Transfer share for each of their Sunoco shares. The New York Times reported, “The total value of the cash-and-share deal, which must be approved by regulators and Sunoco shareholders, is $50.12 a share, which is 29 percent about Suncoco closing price on Friday.”  Market Watch reported that “Sunoco shareholders can elect to receive, for each Sunoco common share they own, either $50.00 in cash, 1.0490 ETP common units or a combination of $25.00 in cash and .5245 common units.”

Sunoco Senior Management and the Board of Directors is under investigation by Tripp Levy PLLC, a leading national securities law firm, for “possible breaches of fiduciary duty and other violations of state law,” reported Market Watch. “The investigation concerns, among other things, whether the consideration to be paid to Sunoco shareholders is unfair, inadequate and substantially below the fair or inherent value of Sunoco, and whether the senior management of Sunoco are putting their own self-interests ahead of that of the Company’s shareholders,” continued Market Watch.

Energy Transfer hopes that the deal with Sunoco will “help expand its presence in the transportation, storage and logistics of crude oil, natural gas and refined petrochemical products,” reported the NYTimes.

“’This transaction represents the next step in Energy Transfer Partners’ transformation into a more diversified enterprise with an integrated and expanded footprint,’ the company’s chief executive, Kelcy L. Warren, said in a statement. ‘We will enhance the size and scale of the E.T.P. platform by creating new service capabilities and entering new geographic operating areas,’” reported the NYTimes.

One World Trade Center might be the tallest building this week

Debates as to whether the soon-to-be erected antennae should count towards its height

One World Trade Center will officially become the dominating building for the New York City skyline sometime today, if conditions allow.

One World Trade Center, built to replace the twin towers that were destroyed in the Sept. 11 attacks ten years ago, will be 1,776 feet tall with 104 floors, giving it 408 feet over the twin towers. However, this number is debated. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitats, a Chicago-based organization that takes authority on these issues claims, “height is complicated.” There have been disagreements for ages about when measurements for skyscrapers with antennas, spires and masts should stop. Many people think the antennas should count for the buildings, height but others make a solid rebuttal. Take the Empire State Building for example: it stands 1,454 feet from the sidewalk to the tip of its needle. This measurement would put One World Trade Center to shame. The needle, some say, is like furniture since it can be moved and is not a permanent structure on the building. The antenna of the Empire State Building was added about 30 years after its completion, and MSNBC reported, “The record books, as the argument goes, shouldn’t change every time someone installs a new satellite dish.”

So, some people, probably New Yorkers, will want to claim that the new One World Trade Center will be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, but without the 408 foot antenna, it will only stand at 1,368 feet, 83 feet shorter than the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) in Chicago, measured without its antennae.

However, One World Trade Center isn’t a record-holder quiet yet, since it’s still unfinished. One World Trade Center should be completed around the fourth quarter of 2013. According to reports, One World Trade Center is 55 percent leased and is expected to be a commercial success.

Titanic II building plans released

Australian billionaire wants to see maiden voyage by 2016

Titanic II is not referring to the horror sequel but to an announcement from Australian billionaire Clive Palmer. He has commissioned a shipyard to build the Titanic II. He plans for the Titanic II to make her maiden voyage in late 2016 from England to New York, just like the original.

The Titanic II “will be every bit as luxurious as the original Titanic, but … will have state-of-the-art 21st -century technology and the latest navigation and safety systems,” said Palmer. The project that he is calling “a tribute to the spirit of the men and women who worked on the original Titanic” was announced today, weeks after the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the original.

Palmer’s new shipping company, Blue Star Line Pty Ltd, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese state-owned company CSC Jinling Shipyard to build the Titanic II. The original was operated by the White Star Line.

According to Palmer, the Titanic II will have the original dimensions, 840 rooms and nine decks, though it will be considerably smaller than modern luxury cruise liners. “From a marketing point of view, many will embrace it and perhaps there’ll be some that wouldn’t,” said Brett Jardine, general manager for Australia and New Zealand in the industry group International Cruise Council. “If you’ve got a niche, it’s going to work. Why go out there and try to compete with the mass market products that are out there now?” he added.

The Titanic II will be diesel-powered but will still have the four iconic smoke stacks for decoration. There will also be slight changes to the production of the Titanic II, especially the design below the water line. It will include welding instead of rivets, a bulbous bow for better fuel efficiency and an enlarged rudder and bow thrusts for increased maneuverability.

Although Palmer did not provide a cost estimate, he told a news conference that previous attempts at replicating the Titanic failed because those behind the creating failed to raise enough money and to commission a shipyard. Palmer is reportedly worth over 5 billion Australian dollars ($5.2 billion).  As the fifth-richest Australian, Palmer built his fortune on real estate and coal mining. The Titanic II is the first of four luxury cruise ships he has commissioned the Chinese shipyard to build.

Bronx Zoo sees terrible tragedy

Seven deaths in fatal car accident

The Bronx Zoo saw a horrible tragedy yesterday when an SUV carrying three generations of the same family fell almost 60 feet onto the Bronx Zoo property. All seven family members were killed even though every person had been wearing a seatbelt. The medical examiner’s office is said to release the cause of death for each victim later today.

The Bronx Zoo property off of the Bronx River Parkway is littered with the personal effects of the family members. The victims include the driver, Maria Gonzalez, 45, her sister, Maria Nunez, 39, their parents, Jacob Nunez, 85, and Ana Julia Martinez, 81, her sister’s two daughters, Niely Rosario, 7, and Marly Rosario, 3, and Gonzalez’s daughter, Jocelyn, 10.

The police said that Gonzalez was driving a 2004 Honda Pilot going south on the Bronx River Parkway above the Bronx Zoo around noon when she lost control. Apparently, she hit the center median and then veered across three southbound lanes, then hit a curb that probably caused the car to bounce over the guardrail into the unpopulated grounds of the Bronx Zoo. FDNY deputy Chief Ronald Werner said, “Obviously, the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed. It hit something that caused it to become airborne.” Police estimate that the SUZ was traveling about 70 mph. No animals or zoo goers were involved.

According to reports, this fatal accident was the second of its kind this year. The problem lies in the guardrails above the Bronx Zoo because they are only about four feet high. The Bronx borough president Ruben Diaz Jr. said, “It really is not as tall as many of the [vehicle] doors here. So it’s time at least in this portion of the parkway where it’s elevated … to call for higher railings. If not, this going to happen again.” He continued, “My prayers, as well as those of my office and all Bronxites, go out to the families of the seven victims.”

The family had been on their way to a family party when they plunged onto the Bronx Zoo property; the driver’s parents had arrived from the Dominican Republic three days earlier. Juan Gonzalez, husband of the driver, said, “I don’t want to live any more. I want to die.”

This accident at the Bronx Zoo is the deadliest in New York since March of last year when the driver of a tour bus that was returning from a Connecticut casino “lost control and slammed into a pole that sheared the bus nearly end to end, killing 14 passengers,” reported the Lompoc Record.

Space Shuttle piggybacks over NYC

Enterprise’s last flight before becoming a piece of a museum

The Space Shuttle Enterprise flew over New York City this afternoon in its final flight before it becomes a piece in a museum at the Air and Space museum.

The pace huttle flew over NYC as people bundled up and gathered on rooftops to watch the low-flying aircraft fly over the Statue of Liberty and they cheered.  Ten years after 9/11, NCY police department were concerned about a flood of calls coming in about a low flying aircraft, but none were received.

Jennifer Patton was visiting from Ohio said, “It made me feel empowered. I’m going to start crying.” She continued, “I just feel like to have a plane fly that low over the Hudson, right past New York City, and to have everyone cheering and excited about it, shows that we don’t have fear, that we have a sense of ‘This is ours.’”

The space shuttle that flew over NYC eventually turned east and flew over Long Island and then proceeded at Kennedy Airport. A controller at the airport radioed, “Welcome to New York, and thanks for the show.” The space shuttle, after flying over NYC, was welcomed by a clan of cheering school kids who were dressed as astronauts.

The space shuttle over NYC never actually went into space, but was used as a full-scale test vehicle. Chron.com wrote, “It comes to New York as part of NASA’s decision to end the shuttle program after 30 years.”

Air Force Major General Joe Engle, who was in charge of the first flight crew that conducted the first test flight with the Enterprise in the 1970s said, “I am proud that the Enterprise is going to have a great home here. You’ve got a tremendous piece of machinery here.”