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Meredith Dobes

Coachella 2013 linup announced

Talk begins over which acts to see and how they will be

The Coachella 2013 lineup was announced yesterday, offering up names like Blur, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Lou Reed, Phoenix, the Stone Roses, the Postal Service, Bassnectar, the Descendents, the Violent Femmes, New Order, Social Distortion and Franz Ferdinand.

Coachella expanded to two weekends last year, and the majority of available tickets sold last May, long before the lineup was even announced. In May, tickets for the first weekend and a shuttle pass sold for $399. Tickets for the second weekend will start at $349. The last three years, tickets for the festival have sold out.

Last year, the festival collected over $47 million, according to Billboard Boxscore, which makes Coachella the highest earning festival ever. Over 150,000 passes were sold for the festival last year.

Since its origination in 1999, Coachella has been held at the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio, California. As a destination festival, many people travel across the country to attend.

Before the lineup was announced, it was rumored that the Rolling Stones would play Coachella. A screenshot of the Rolling Stones smartphone app supposedly included Indio on the band’s tour dates. The Coachella Facebook page also supposedly posted a stone on the festival grounds. However, the Rolling Stones confirmed that they would not be ready in time to play the festival.

There was also buzz surrounding rumors of Daft Punk playing the festival, but the group confirmed that they would not be playing any shows this year.

Last year, the festival featured a hologram of Tupac Shakur performing for the masses. The Coachella 2013 lineup is already appearing to wow the crowds, with much buzz particularly around the comeback of the Postal Service, 10 years after they released their first album.

Remaining tickets go on sale Tuesday.

Shakira gives birth to healthy baby boy

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Shakira, Colombian pop star and singer, gave birth to her first child, a boy, on Tuesday night in Barcelona, Spain alongside her boyfriend, soccer player Gerard Pique.

Shakira and Pique named the boy Milan, according to a statement released on Shakira’s website.

“The name Milan means dear, loving and gracious in Slavic; in Ancient Roman, eager and laborious; and in Sanskrit, unification,” the statement said.

The statement also noted that the boy was six pounds, six ounces, and Shakira and the baby were both in good health.

Shakira announced her relationship with Pique in March 2011.

Before the baby’s birth, a virtual baby shower was launched by Shakira and Pique to encourage people to donate money to needy children. According to Today Entertainment, Shakira is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

A source claiming to be close to the couple told the Huffington Post that Shakira requested a team of only women to assist her gynecologist, and the members of that team were required to sign a confidentiality agreement to ensure that no photos or information would be leaked to the publi

“Though Shakira has always asked to have a natural childbirth, it is quite possible that, because of the enormous size of the baby, it could be a C-section,” the source said. “That is why within the medical team they also have a plastic surgeon to assist her.”

In a statement on her Twitter account Tuesday morning, Shakira said, “I’d like to ask you all to accompany me in your prayers on this very important day of my life.”

JaMarcus Russell, former Raiders quarterback, determined to make a comeback

JaMarcus Russell, former Oakland Raiders quarterback, announced that he is attempting a comeback, determined to make people remember him as more than a “bust.”

Russell played with the Raiders from 2007-09, winning seven of 25 starts and completing 52.1 percent of his passes, according to ESPN. The raiders released him after the 2009 season. In July 2010, Russell was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance, a drink containing codeine, but was indicted the same year.

According to Yahoo! Sports, Russell is now training with former NFL receiver Michael Clayton and will work with former NFL quarterback Jeff Garcia on technique, Olympian Ato Boldon on speed training and analysis, Dr. Robert Price on mental and psychological analysis, former NFL wide receiver Quinn Early on disciplinary work and focus, former New York Giants quarterback Scott Brunner on reading defenses and classroom sessions and Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk on reading defenses. Russell will work out at the TEST Football Academy in preparation for the NFL draft.

Russell is 6-foot-6 and weighs 308 pounds, according to Yahoo! Sports.

To make amends for his past mistakes, he said he has been spending time with youth groups, speaking about his arrest.

“I’m not looking for a pat on the shoulder from people who haven’t been there for me,” he said to Yahoo! Sports. “It feels funny not to go through a training camp. That’s just what I’m used to. It’s going to feel good to go back out there again. I will make this happen.”

According to ESPN, Russell was paid $39 million for his time with the Raiders.

He also attempted a comeback in Nov. 2010 with the Dolphins, but nothing came of their interest in the quarterback.

Russell told Yahoo! Sports, “People don’t know the real you, but I want people to know the real me and see what I can do. People are always saying that I’m a bust. I want to show them I’m not. I’m committed to this now.”

Sloane Stephens defeats Serena Williams, gains popularity overnight

Sloane Stephens, 19-year-old American tennis player, won a match against Serena Williams at the Australian Open 3-6, 7-5, 6-4. Williams, 31, lost four matches in 2012, making her close to regaining the number one ranking.

This match was the first Williams lost since Aug. 17 and her first Grand Slam tournament defeat since last year’s French Open, all a result of Sloan Stephens’s determination.

”When I got up, I was like, ‘Look, dude, like, you can do this.’ Like, ‘Go out and play and do your best,’” Stephens told CBS News.

According to Stephens, she had a picture of Williams in her room when she was growing up and had long admired the work and success of the Williams sisters.

During the match, Williams went from dominating the first set to having difficulty with the next two, having to leave the court because of a back injury during the second set and breaking a racket out of frustration during the third set.

She told reporters, “A few days ago [my back] got really tight and I had no rotation on it and I went for this drop shot in the second set and it locked up on it, and I couldn’t really rotate after that.”

Stephens took the win professionally, getting emotional about her success during a television interview after the match, and said of advancing to the semifinals, “It’s a new thing, but it’s fun.” She also commented on hoping to have more Twitter followers as a result of her success.

According to the Boston Globe, Stephens’s mother Sybil Smith remains on the Boston University Hall of Fame for her accomplishments as a swimmer while attending the school. Stephens’s late father is John Stephens, Patriots running back from 1988-93, killed in a car accident in 2009 at age 43.

Stephens’s Twitter followers did increase from about 17,000 to 35,000, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Stephens continues her competition in the Australian Open this Saturday.

Beyonce accused of lip-syncing the national anthem

Beyonce’s lip-synced performance of the “The Star Spangled Banner” at President Barack Obama’s inauguration caused much controversy, with a plethora of backlash and support coming in from fans and other stars, alike.

According to the U.S. Marine Band, Beyonce did lip-sync to a pre-recorded version of the national anthem at the inauguration.

However, according to fellow singer Aretha Franklin, lip-syncing is fairly commonplace for singers to do and should not come as a surprise, given the conditions.

“I thought it was funny because the weather down there was about 46 or 44 degrees, and for most singers, that is just not good singing weather,” she told ABC News.

Singer Myleene Klass agreed, tweeting, “I don’t get what’s outrageous about lip-syncing to your OWN vocals?”

Singer LeAnn Rimes told late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel that the decision to lip-sync might have been imposed on Beyonce.

“There are times when people will ask you to do it, and they will not let you [perform] unless you do it because they want control over what happens,” Rimes said.

Master Sgt of the Marine Band Kristin duBois told ABC News that the band’s music was also pre-recorded for the national anthem, but the band did play live for the rest of the inauguration’s music.

Representatives for Beyonce have yet to comment on the lip-syncing incident.

Vocal coach Jan Smith elaborated on the difficulty of singing “The Star Spangled Banner” and the difficulty of performing in cold weather to ABC News Radio.

“[Cold air] restricts the cartilage and can sometimes create variances that way, or difficulties for singers to be able to perform well outside,” Smith said. “[‘The Star Spangled Banner’ is] a song that spans about 1.5 octaves, and it kind of scares most singers to death just because of where it hits them in their voice.”

Lone Star College shooting leaves three injured, two in custody

The Lone Star College shooting incident that occurred around 1 p.m. Tuesday left three people injured, including the two people involved in the altercation that generated the shooting.

A Lone Star College maintenance worker was caught in the crossfire of the shooting. All three were hospitalized after the shooting. A fourth person was also taken to the hospital due to a medical condition.

Carlton Berry, 22, has been charged with aggravated assault. He remains hospitalized for his injuries. Both people involved in the altercation remain in police custody. The identities of the Lone Star College maintenance worker and the other person involved in the altercation remain unreleased by police officials, along with their current medical conditions.

Harris County sheriff’s Maj. Armando Tello said that one of the people involved in the shooting had a Lone Star College student ID. However, no information regarding what caused the altercation has been released.

Richard Carpenter, chancellor of the Lone Star College System, told ABC News that the shooting occurred in the center courtyard of the campus.

Carpenter told CBS News that Lone Star College is gun-free and has been safe for the 40 years it has been in operation. He also said he still believes it is safe.

Lone Star College reopened about 90 minutes after the shooting occurred. College officials told ABC News that they implemented three practice drills on campus within the past seven days to prepare students, faculty and staff for emergency situations similar to the shooting.

Some school districts in Texas have allowed staff members to carry guns while on campus. However, state law still mandates that guns are not allowed on university campuses. As a result of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School and other copycat shootings, Texas legislature may consider a bill to allow guns to be carried on campuses this year.

Manti Te'o under scrutiny over discovery his girlfriend never existed

Was the Notre Dame linebacker the victim of a scam or the seeker of publicity?

Manti Te’o, famed Notre Dame linebacker, received a plethora of media attention recently for his tragic plight involving girlfriend Lennay Kekua. Kekua was diagnosed with leukemia after surviving a life-threatening car crash in early 2012 and eventually died in the hospital last September, according to Te’o and most major news outlets. However, as Te’o and the nation found out Wednesday, Kekua was never in a car accident, never had leukemia, never died and never even existed.

The story of Te’o and Kekua’s relationship was covered heavily by the South Bend Tribune, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, the New York Times, the New York Post, CBS, the Los Angeles Times, etc. It took the investigation of reporters Timothy Burke and Jack Dickey at deadspin.com to discover the hoax and break the story. They attempted to find records of Kekua’s time at Standford, the school she supposedly attended, her car crash, her death and her birth. No concrete records of her existence were found.

So what really happened?

As deadspin.com reported, Te’o and Kekua never actually met in real life, and their entire relationship was based on social media conversations, texts and phone calls. Te’o’s family knew about the relationship and believed Kekua would be the one to marry Te’o. According to deadspin.com, the two originally met on Twitter, and the pictures used representing Kekua were actually of another girl, who spoke with deadspin.com reporters but who requested to remain anonymous.

The anonymous girl’s suspicions lead her to believe a former classmate named Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, who maintained a friendship with Te’o, was behind the hoax, considering he supposedly previously contacted her requesting her, in a convoluted way, to take a picture with a sign depicting “MSMK,” the latter part of Kekua’s Twitter account, @LoveMSMK.

The anonymous girl took the picture and sent it to Tuiasosopo, and it later appeared in the background of @LoveMSMK’s Twitter page.

So, was Te’o in on the hoax, looking to use the fictitious tragedy as a publicity stunt, or was he simply the victim of a scam? Answers remain unclear to sports journalists and Notre Dame alike, at the moment, as more statements are given to journalists by former teammates, friends and family members either defending Te’o or condemning him.

Reporters continue to investigate evidence of Te’o speaking about his girlfriend to news outlets after Dec. 6, the date Te’o and Notre Dame officials report they originally found out about the hoax. In a Dec. 8 interview with ESPN, Te’o speaks about how his coaches offered him moral support after he learned of Kekua’s death.

Conrad Bain, famed 'Diff'rent Strokes' father, dies at age 89

Conrad Bain, 89, actor known for playing Phillip Drummond in the sitcom “Diff’rent Strokes” (1978-89), passed away Monday from natural causes at his home in Livermore, California, according to his daughter, Jennifer Bain.

Bain was born in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada on Feb. 4, 1923 to Jean Agnes Young and Stafford Harrison Bain. He studied at the Banff School of Fine Arts, served in the Canadian Army during World War II, became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1946 and graduated in 1948 from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

Bain found success as a Broadway actor in the late 1950s and had his first television appearance on “Dark Shadows” as town innkeeper Mr. Wells. He organized and served as the first president of the Actors Federal Credit Union in the early 1960s. Bain’s most well-known roles are as Dr. Arthur Harmon in “Maude” from 1972-78 and as Mr. Drummond.

Bain’s costar from “Diff’rent Strokes,” Todd Bridges, told E! News that he was very saddened by Bain’s death, as Bain was like a father to him.

“…Conrad was well-loved and made going to work each day enjoyable for all of us,” he said. “He will be missed, but never forgotten.”

“Diff’rent Strokes” focused on widower Mr. Drummond and his family: his teenage birth daughter Kimberly (Dana Plato) and two black adopted sons Arnold (Gary Coleman) and Willis (Bridges) Jackson. The sitcom included issues of race and class relations and brought Coleman and Bridges to fame.

In earlier interviews, Bain said he was disappointed in the lack of meaningfulness in newer sitcoms.

“I think they got off the track when they first hired a standup comic to do the lead,” he said. “Instead of people creating real situations, you get people trying to act funny.”

Bain was married to actress Monica Sloan from 1945 until her death in 2009. He is survived by his three children: Jennifer, Kent and Mark.

Sandy Hook Hoax breeds conflict between truthers and sympathizers

Did the Dec. 14 shooting really happen the way it was reported?

The Sandy Hook Hoax is becoming something more and more people are subscribing to. It is the belief that the Dec. 14 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut never really occurred the way law enforcement officials and media outlets reported it. Believers of the conspiracy theory are calling themselves “truthers.”

These truthers are promoting the Sandy Hook Hoax primarily by using photographic “proof:” an image of a girl they insist is deceased Emilie Parker, one of the victims of the shooting, sitting next to President Barack Obama after the shooting occurred. According to the girl’s parents, the girl in the photograph is Parker’s little sister.

The truthers also believe that 69-year-old Newtown resident Gene Rosen, who took in six children after they fled the elementary school, fabricated the story. Rosen told Salon.com he is receiving phone calls and emails about the incident from truthers and that he and his wife fear for their safety. Sandy Hook Hoax truthers are referring to Rosen and others involved in the tragedy and its aftermath as “crisis actors.”

Fox News correspondent Ben Swann said he believes Adam Lanza was not the only shooter involved in the incident. He is joined in this belief by Florida Atlantic University college professor James Tracy, who blogged about his ideas that the media is missing the facts on the shooting and that some of the facts were made up entirely.

Some of the truthers believe the Sandy Hook Hoax was put on by the government and involved four Israeli Special Forces members as shooters.

“There must be some way to morally shame these people, because there were 20 dead children lying an eighth of a mile from my window all night long,” Rosen said to the National Post.

Gather.com writer Linda Shaw said that she agrees the truthers need to be shamed for their accusations.

“It’s really sad that people are going to such lengths to disprove the shooting, even dubbing it the Sandy Hook Hoax,” she said. “They should just stop for a moment and think: If this is real and it really did happen, how am I making these families feel? Am I increasing their pain and suffering ten-fold? The answer is yes, and those who are doing so should be ashamed of themselves.”

In the mean time, the debate over gun control the Sandy Hook shooting contributed to continues. New Jersey City University professor James Broderick said the truthers are exploiting the tragedy for political purposes.

The truthers of the Sandy Hook Hoax continue to support their beliefs, claiming that to accept answers provided by the government and the media is irresponsible and that people should be looking deeper for their own answers.

Chief Keef violates parole, scheduled for sentencing

Chief Keef, 17-year-old Chicago rapper, was taken into custody Tuesday for a probation violation. The young Chicago musician was convicted of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon last January for pointing a gun at Chicago police officers and was consequently sentenced to 18 months of probation.

Keith Cozart, a.k.a. Chief Keef, made a promotional video for his work in June, featuring footage of himself shooting a gun at a New York gun range, a task that was supposedly asked of Cozart from his record company, Interscope Records. However, this display violated the conditions of his probation: to stay away from guns, gangs and drugs.

Cozart’s attorney, Dennis Berkson, reportedly told Cook County Juvenile Court Judge Carl Anthony Walker that Cozart’s actions did not violate the spirit of his probation, considering the gun was fired inside of a range, under the supervision of a trainer.

This is not the first time that Chief Keef’s name has been associated with firearms. In September, Chicago rapper Lil JoJo, a.k.a. Joseph Coleman, was gunned down. Prior to the shooting, Cozart and Coleman were in an ongoing Twitter fight, and according to the Chicago Sun-Times, after Coleman’s death, Cozart tweeted, “Its Sad Cuz Dat N—- Jojo Wanted To Be Jus Like Us #LMAO.”

Chief Keef’s publicized amusement at his fellow musician’s murder was responded to poorly by his Twitter followers, to which he claimed that his account had been hacked into and that he had not written the message. The animosity between the rappers also raised suspicions on whether Cozart had ordered Coleman’s death, but Cozart remains to be accused of any involvement in the murder.

Presently, Cozart is scheduled for a sentencing hearing Thursday, and according to the Chicago Sun-Times, after Tuesday’s hearing, his manager told reporters, “You can kiss my ass.” Judge Walker maintains that Chief Keef has a “clear record of a disregard for the court’s authority.”