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Clinton staying as far away from Charlotte as physically possible


Posted By Josh Rogin
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as a sitting administration official, does not have any role at the Democratic National Convention next week in Charlotte. But she seems to gone out of her way to avoid the festivities, as she is traveling this week and next to the Cook Islands, Indonesia, China, Timor-Leste, Brunei, and Russia.

"The Cook Islands this year are the hosts of one of the most important institutions of the Pacific called the Pacific Island Forum," a senior State Department official said Thursday. "It's a group that meets yearly with a number of working groups. It's been in existence almost half a century; it's very significant."
It's not Charlotte, but it is a big gathering. Last year, the administration sent 50 officials to the forum, representing 17 different federal agencies. Deputy Secretary of State Tom Nides led the delegation in 2011. The official said this trip was part of the administration's rebalancing toward Asia, with a special focus on the smaller countries around the region's periphery.
"Sometimes when we talk about the Asia Pacific, the A is the capital and P is small. And our attempt here is to underscore that we have very strong, enduring, strategic, moral, political, humanitarian interests across the region. It's an area in which we invested substantially historically -- blood and treasure," the official said.
"I just returned about two weeks ago from my own trip around the Pacific," the State Department official said. (Your humble Cable guy did did not attend the briefing, so we have no direct knowledge of the identity of the briefer, but the State Department publicly announced the foreign travel of Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell earlier this month.)
Clinton will meet in the Cook Islands with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and will be joined by Pacific Command head Adm. Sam Locklear, the anonymous State Department official said.
In Indonesia, Clinton will meet President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa. Expect her to press Indonesia to work better with other ASEAN countries to come to a consensus position on how to confront China over the South China Sea. ASEAN failed to come to a consensus position at the ASEAN Regional Forum in July, despite Washington's urgings.
Next, Clinton is off to Beijing to meet with President Hu Jintao, Vice President Xi Jinping, and State Councilor Dai Bingguo. She will also have "intense meetings" with Foreign Minister Yang Jiachi, the official said. Topics on the agenda include the South China Sea, North Korea, Iran, Syria, and Afghanistan.
"I think the secretary intends very clearly to underscore our continuing interest in maintaining a strong, positive relationship between our two countries," the official said. "We recognize how critically important that is, and one of the challenges before us is to demonstrate how we deal with areas in which we have differing perceptions and where we face challenging issues on the ground, or in this case in the water."
After Beijing, Clinton will go to Timor-Leste and visit a coffee plantation. Next is Brunei, which will host the East Asia Summit in 2013, probably after Clinton leaves office. Then, she will go to an island off the shore of Vladivostok for the APEC summit, where she'll lead a large U.S. delegation and will likely hold a series of high-level bilateral meetings.
Pressed to explain exactly how the administration plans to advance U.S. and allied interests related to the South China Sea dispute on the trip, the official offered few specifics.
"I would say that the United States has sought to articulate a very clear set of principles that animate our strategic approach to the Asia Pacific region, and particularly to the South China Sea. Those will continue," the official said.
"We have had very intense consultations with every key player in the Asia Pacific region. I think one of the messages that we seek to carry on this trip is that it is absolutely essential that cooler heads prevail in every capital, and that great care be taken on these issues, and that, in fact, all of  these complex territorial matters have existed for decades. They have been managed generally effectively for decades, and during this period we've seen some of the most manifest Asian prosperity. We need that to continue. This is the cockpit of the global economy, and so care must be taken across the board."

Clint Eastwood To Speak At Republican Convention on Thursday


by The Deadline Team


Clint Eastwood will be speaking at the Republican Convention in Tampa on Thursday according to Fox News. The network’s website is reporting that a GOP source confirmed “that Eastwood is indeed the mystery speaker”. Thursday night’s line-up has a “To Be Announced” speaker scheduled ahead of Senator Marco Rubio and GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney himself. Eastwood’s name was floated earlier this week as the speaker along with former VP nominee Sarah Palin, Donald Trump and even a hologram of former President Ronald Reagan. No stranger to politics, Eastwood served as the Mayor of Carmel, California from 1986 to 1988. He supported John McCain in 2008 and endorsed Mitt Romney earlier this month at a Sun Valley fundraiser. “Now more than ever do we need Mitt Romney, I’m going to be voting for him,” the Oscar winner said as the GOP nominee stood next to him on August 4. If Eastwood is really heading to Tampa to speak Thursday evening, he’s going to have to get going soon. Deadline has learned that as of Wednesday afternoon, the actor/director was still at his home in Carmel. Eastwood’s latest film, Trouble With The Curve comes out on September 21, 2012.

MICHAEL JACKSON'S BIRTHDAY MJ's Kids Celebrate at Singer's Childhood Home


La Toya concert photo by Ray Tharaldson
all rights reserved 2012
Today is Michael Jackson's birthday ... he would have been 54 years old ... and his kids are honoring his memory with a family trip to MJ's boyhood home in Indiana. 

Prince, Paris and Blanket were spotted in Gary, IN yesterday ... along with their co-guardian Katherine Jackson and their aunt La Toya. TJ Jackson -- the OTHER co-guardian -- also made the trip.

Michael will be honored at the annual "Goin Back to Indiana" celebration in Gary ... which kicks off tonight with a candlelight vigil in front of MJ's childhood home. 

The kids are also expected to throw out the first pitch at a Gary SouthShore RailCats baseball game this week. 

Michael died on June 25, 2009. He was 50.

Katy Perry says no to ‘American Idol’ $20 million offer


The ‘Teenage Dream’ singer was being ‘hotly pursued.’ Mariah Carey remains only confirmed judge for now.
BY JOYCE CHEN / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Looks like Mariah Carey is still sitting solo at the "American Idol" judges' table.
Katy Perry is the latest name to be linked to the hit singing competition show, but recent reports reveal that the singer has turned down the judging gig despite being presented with a record-setting $20 million offer.
According to TMZ, the "Wide Awake" singer isn't looking to budge anytime soon and has made it clear to producers that she's not playing hardball - she simply doesn't know if "Idol" is the right career move for her.
"She was being hotly pursued," a source told Us Weekly of the eye-popping figure. "They really wanted her."
In July, Perry spoke out about why she wasn't throwing her hat into the ring for a spot at the judges' table.
"People have reached out to me about the possibility of being involved, and it's not right for me yet," she told The Hollywood Reporter at the time.
So far Carey, 42, is the only confirmed judge for the upcoming season, and will reportedly rake in $18 million for the job - an unprecedented paycheck for a judge on any music competition show.
Previous judge Jennifer Lopez pulled in a handsome $12 million for each season that she appeared on, and Britney Spears, who will sit at the judges' table for Simon Cowell's "The X Factor," will bring in an impressive $16 million.
Other names that have been floated by "Idol" recently include Nicki Minaj, Pharell Williams, Nick Jonas, Keith Urban and Kanye West.

BREAKING: Isaac strengthens to Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 75mph.


California earthquake swarms leave residents on edge


Residents in the Imperial County town of Brawley were continuing to assess damage caused by an "earthquake storm" still rumbling underneath the region that has forced school closures and displaced several residents.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, after a series of milder quakes, a magnitude 3.8 temblor hit at 10:02 a.m. Sunday about three miles northwest of Brawley, a 25,000-person city nestled between the San Andreas and Imperial faults. More than 400 quakes have followed, stretching into Monday morning.
Join Times reporter Ron Lin and city editor Shelby Grad at 2 p.m. for a live video discussion about the earthquake swarm. We invite you to join in on the conversation by posting comments below or onto The Times’ Facebook and Google Plus pages or on Twitter using the #asklatimes hashtag.
The vast majority of the quakes measured under 3.0, but two topped 5.0, according to USGS data. A 5.3-magnitude temblor hit about 12:30 p.m. Sunday; a 5.5 quake followed about 90 minutes later.
Brawley schools were closed Monday -- what was supposed to be the first day of the school year -- as inspectors surveyed the sites for damage. Imperial Valley College, located about 10 miles south of Brawley, was open after an inspection Sunday showed no damage, according to the school's website.
Crews would have a better idea of the total damage caused by the quakes in the coming days, said Maria Peinado, a spokeswoman for the Imperial County Public Health Department, but so far the list of affected structures includes about 20 mobile homes shifted from their foundations.
The earthquakes also caused "cosmetic" damage to at least three buildings dating to the 1930s in downtown Brawley, said Capt. Jesse Zendejas of the Brawley Fire Department.
A few displaced residents spent Sunday night at an American Red Cross shelter at the Imperial Valley College gymnasium, Peinado said. The shelter remained open Monday.
No major injuries have been reported, Peinado said, but officials were concerned that hot weather -- the National Weather Service predicted a high of 108 degrees Monday -- could cause problems for those cleaning up from the quakes.
Peinado said although earthquakes weren't uncommon for the area -- aftershocks from a 7.2-magnitude Mexicali quake in 2010 rattled the region for days -- this swarm has been unsettling.
"It is a little disconcerting to have so many, even though they're little," she said.
The reason for the recurring swarms in the Brawley seismic zone is not fully understood. The most recent swarm was in 2005, when the area was shaken by hundreds of quakes, with the largest measuring magnitude 5.1, said USGS seismologist Rob Graves.
A previous swarm in 1981 reached a magnitude of 5.8, the highest on record in the area. Graves said the swarms can last for days, but do not typically foreshadow a bigger quake in the Los Angeles area.
The succession of quakes rattled Brawley resident Alfonso Alvarez, who has a business renting bounce houses and other party supplies. Alvarez, 28, said he and his family had felt 15 quakes over 2 1/2 hours and, after the biggest one, had relocated to the front yard.
“It’s been pretty bad. Some of them are slow and then they get intense,” he said. “We’re so anxious right now we can’t sit still.”

Penn State: 'Sweet Caroline' BANNED from Football Sing-a-longs


Neil Diamond's classic "Sweet Caroline" will no longer be played at Penn State football games because the lyrics have been deemed inappropriate ... in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

The song ...with the lyrics, "touching me, touching you" ... has been a traditional fan sing-a-long at Penn State football home games, but school officials have decided to cut it from the playlist -- for obvious reasons.

But here's the thing, tons of pro and college teams -- most famously the Boston Red Sox -- use the song ... which Diamond has said was inspired by a photo of a then 11-year old Caroline Kennedy with her pony.

So we gotta ask -- if the song's inappropriate at PSU's Beaver Stadium, is it inappropriate for all sporting events?

Penn State riot ends aspiring Army officer's dream


Associated Press- Stints in jail. Hefty fines and restitution. Clouded futures. The consequences of their bad behavior have been steep for the Penn State students who took to the streets and rioted in the chaotic aftermath of Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno's firing last November.
Perhaps none have learned a harder lesson than Justin Strine, a young man from central Pennsylvania whose planned career as an Army officer is over before it began — the casualty of his own split-second decision to put his hands on a news van, and a judicial system that considered him as guilty as classmates who did far worse that dark night in State College.
As the fall semester gets under way Monday, Strine has returned to campus, along with 15 other students found to have taken part in a nationally televised riot that caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage and embarrassed Penn State.
As he resumes his studies, nothing's the same for the 21-year-old from Hummelstown. He spent part of his summer in jail. Far worse: He's been kicked out of ROTC, his dream of carrying on his family's proud military tradition now out of reach.
"I'm losing everything I worked my entire life for," Strine said.
Strine's father, a career soldier, questions whether that's a just result.
"I had to stand by and watch my son plead guilty to something he didn't do," said Jim Strine.
Penn State sanctioned 32 students for their involvement in the riot, suspending 10 of them from one to three semesters and giving probation to the rest, university spokeswoman Lisa Powers said. Dozens of students were criminally charged, as well, and the guilty pleas have piled up over the last several months.
Joe Paterno photo by Ray Tharaldson
An estimated 4,000 to 5,000 people poured into downtown State College on Nov. 9 after the Penn State board of trustees abruptly and unexpectedly fired Paterno — the beloved football coach who led Penn State for nearly 46 seasons — and removed President Graham Spanier over the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal.
What began as a peaceful protest of Paterno's unceremonious dismissal quickly turned ugly as a "riotous mob," as State College police would later call it, threw bottles and rocks, damaged cars, and tore down light posts and street signs.
Strine was in his off-campus apartment when he learned of Paterno's firing. He and a few friends decided to head downtown.
It was a rare misstep in what had been a slow, steady climb toward the officer ranks.
Strine's father is a helicopter pilot and instructor whose 28-year career has taken him to Iraq and Afghanistan. His grandfather is a retired Air Force flight surgeon. His brother and sister, aunt and uncle, cousins — all serve or have served. So it wasn't a surprise when Strine began plotting his own military career as an adolescent, reading the autobiographies of famed Army officers like Norman Schwarzkopf and Colin Powell.
At Penn State, Strine threw himself into ROTC as well as his studies, making the dean's list and spending the summer at Fort Benning, Ga., learning to jump out of airplanes. His goal: to be a pilot like his father.
"He was a good cadet," Jim Strine said.
A good cadet who made a bad decision the night of Nov. 9.
Strine had driven himself and a couple friends to the State College commercial district, where they joined thousands of other protesters. At one point Strine and his friend, Christina Assainte, found themselves in a large crowd moving toward a WTAJ-TV news van, where vandals were pelting it with rocks.
To the rippling chants of "Flip it! Flip it!" two young men approached the side of the van, motioning others to join them, a video recording shows. That set off a frenzied rush toward the van, and within seconds a large group started to push.
A second wave of spectators then pressed toward the front of the van, perhaps to get a better view. Strine and Assainte were in the front of that group.
With the vehicle already on two wheels and going over, Strine placed his palms on the hood. Four seconds later, the van was on its side. But that's all it took for police and prosecutors to charge him with felony counts of riot and criminal mischief — the same charges filed against students who did the actual pushing.
"I always felt I was on a good path, and all the sudden I'm being made into a criminal. It was shocking to me they wouldn't even hear me out and let me explain that yes, I was there and shouldn't have been, but I wasn't this person they are making me out to be," Strine said. "No one ever looked at me as an individual. They looked at me as 5,000 Penn State rioters."
Terrified of being branded a felon, Strine agreed to plead guilty to reduced misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and criminal mischief. He served 30 days in jail — getting out Aug. 4 — and will either be on parole or probation until 2015.
The consequences didn't end there. Penn State suspended Strine for a semester, and he was booted from ROTC and will have to repay every dime of his scholarship money, a total of $34,000. He also owes $8,500 in court costs, fines and restitution.
Strine said he knows he never should have left his apartment that night, never should have been in the vicinity of the van, never should have laid a finger on its hood.
"The van was already going over. It was so crazy, it was mayhem, and in that moment you stop thinking," Strine said. "I know I wasn't completely blameless. I was there, I touched the van and that was wrong. That's why I was happy to do community service for Penn State. But the criminal justice system went overboard."
His father said he's not seeking to minimize or excuse Justin's involvement, but contended the district attorney's office was far too aggressive — and his son's punishment far too severe.
"He owns something in this," Jim Strine said. "He just doesn't own what he's got."
Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller did not return multiple calls and emails seeking information about her office's handling of Strine's case or the other riot cases.
Messages left with State College police Chief Tom King were not returned.
Lt. Col. Ken Weiland, commander of Penn State's Army ROTC program, declined to comment Monday on Strine's removal from the program, but cited military regulations that list a multitude of reasons why a cadet could be kicked out.
Powers, the Penn State spokeswoman, said any student who goes through the university disciplinary process can contest the charges or sanctions.
"Justin accepted responsibility and the sanctions in the disciplinary conference, and did not contest them through either avenue that was afforded to him," she said, adding that Penn State carefully assessed each student's culpability, the impact of the crime on the community, and other factors before imposing punishment.
Strine said he didn't contest the charges because he wouldn't have been permitted an attorney, and his testimony before the school could have been used against him in the criminal courts. He didn't challenge the sanctions because Penn State warned him that if he did, he could wind up being penalized more severely. And he said he was never told that a suspension would cost him his spot in ROTC.
Assainte, who was with Strine during the riot, said he had no criminal intent that night. She said he got a raw deal.
"I remember him saying, 'All I wanted to do was serve my country, and now I can't because of one little mistake that was caught on tape.' One lapse of judgment and he gets all this thrown at him? I felt so awful," she said. "I just think what happened was really, really unfair."

Hurricane Isaac UPDATE

Tropical Storm Isaac will continue to affect southern Florida with heavy rain, gusty winds and a tornado threat as it moves through the Florida Keys Sunday night. Isaac poses a potential serious threat to portions of the northern Gulf Coast Tuesday into Wednesday. All interests from Louisiana to Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle should watch the progress of Isaac closely and begin to make preparations.
You can find a detailed look at the potential U.S. threats by clicking on this link and you can ensure you know which friends may be in harms way through our My Friends Weather tool.
Hurricane warnings continue for the Florida Keys and parts of south and southwest Florida. Hurricane watches are now posted from just east of Morgan City, La to Indian Pass, Fla.  This includes New Orleans, Biloxi, Gulf Shores, Pensacola Beach, Destin/Ft. Walton Beach, and Apalachicola.
According to the National Hurricane Center, if peak storm surge occurs at high tide, peak water levels above ground could reach the following depths as Isaac moves by:
- Crystal River through Big Bend of Florida: 4-7 feet
- Southwest Fla. coast (in hurr. warning area):  4-6 feet
- Fla. west coast, including Tampa Bay:  3-5 feet
- Southeast Fla. coast, Fla. Keys:  1-3 feet
- Central, eastern Cuba:  1-3 feet
- Bahamas:  1-3 feet

Even as Isaac's center of circulation moves by, locally heavy rainbands can be expected.  Up to 12 inches of total rainfall is possible across the Florida Keys, South Florida, as well as central and eastern Cuba.  Parts of the Bahamas may also see rainfall in the 3 to 6 inch range.  
Hurricane threat index, current information, satellite imagery, watches/warnings and computer model track graphics are below.

Neil Armstrong, first person to walk on moon, dies at 82



Neil Armstrong's 'giant leap for mankind' as he set foot on the lunar surface in 1969 climaxed a monumental achievement in human history. Despite his fame, the former fighter pilot shrank from the spotlight and called himself a 'nerdy engineer.'
By Valerie J. Nelson and Eric Malnic
When Neil Armstrong became the first person to set foot on the moon, on July 20, 1969, he uttered a phrase that has been carved in stone and quoted across the planet: "That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind."

The grainy black-and-white television images of him taking his first lunar stroll were watched by an estimated 600 million people worldwide — and firmly established him as one of the great heroes of the 20th century.

Armstrong, who had heart surgery in early August, died Saturday in Cincinnati at 82, said NASA spokesman Bob Jacobs. The cause was complications from cardiovascular procedures, his family announced.

For the usually taciturn Armstrong, the poetic statement was a rare burst of eloquence, a sound bite for the ages that only increased his fame. He was never comfortable with celebrity he saw as an accident of fate, for stepping on the moon ahead of fellow astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin. The reticent, self-effacing Armstrong would shun the spotlight for much of the rest of his life.

In a rare public appearance, in 2000, Armstrong cast himself in another light: "I am, and ever will be, a white-sock, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer."

History would beg to disagree.

In a statement, President Obama said that when Armstrong stepped on the moon, "he delivered a moment of human achievement that will never be forgotten."

And when Armstrong and his two fellow crew members lifted off from Earth in Apollo 11, "they carried with them the aspirations of an entire nation," Obama said. "They set out to show the world that American spirit can see beyond what seems unimaginable — that with enough drive and ingenuity, anything is possible."

NASA administrator Charles Bolden spoke for many when he said, "As long as there are history books, Neil Armstrong will be included in them."

"Besides being one of America's greatest explorers, Neil carried himself with grace and humility that was an example to us all," Bolden said in a statement.


In the years that followed the flight of Apollo 11, Armstrong was asked again and again what it felt like to be the first man on the moon. In answering, he always shared the glory: "I was certainly aware that this was the culmination of the work of 300,000 to 400,000 people over a decade."

Yet how many other self-proclaimed nerdy engineers flew 78 combat missions as a Navy fighter pilot during the Korean War? Logged more than 1,000 hours as a test pilot in some of the world's fastest and most dangerous aircraft? Or became one of the first civilian astronauts and commanded Apollo 11, the first manned flight to land on the moon?

His biographer, James R. Hansen, called Armstrong "one of the best-known and least-understood people on the planet."

When asked to describe the astronaut in just a few words, Hansen told Ohio's Columbus Dispatch in 2005 that Armstrong was "stoic, self-controlled, dedicated, earnest, hardworking and honest."

Neil Alden Armstrong was born Aug. 5, 1930, on his grandfather's farm near Wapakoneta, Ohio, and had a happy and conventional upbringing.

His civil servant father, Stephen Armstrong, audited county records in Ohio and later served as assistant director of the Ohio Mental Hygiene and Corrections Department. The family of his mother, Viola, owned the farm.

For more than a decade, his family moved around Ohio to accommodate his father's job before settling down in Wapakoneta.

The Deb and Tam Show with guest Dr. Jill Vecchio

Dear Friends, 

Healthcare is definitely a hot topic right now, but one of the most startling aspects affecting women is being completely ignored.  Join us tomorrow, as we talk with Dr. Jill Vecchio, an expert in Women's Health, who will explain what is really going on and what we can do about it.  This is a show that every women should hear!   Most of all we will inspire one another as we learn how we can make a difference for ourselves, our health, our families, our communities and our country!

We invite you to join the conversation! We want to hear from you so call in at: 877-243-7776.  The show is called "Your Voice" because it is all about you!

You can catch the show every Saturday from 8 am to 10 am MT (that's 7 am to 9 am PT) on KRKS 94.7 FM in Denver or streaming live on:
  
Blessings,
    
Deborah Flora and Tamara Colbert


Elisabeth Murdoch takes aim at brother on media morality


By Paul Sandle
(Reuters) - Elisabeth Murdoch urged the media industry on Thursday to embrace morality and reject her brother James's mantra of profit at all costs, in a speech seen as an attempt to distance herself from the scandal that has tarnished the family name.

Addressing television executives, she said profit without purpose was a recipe for disaster and the phone hacking scandal at the News of the World tabloid - which has badly hurt her father Rupert Murdoch's News Corp empire - showed the need for a rigorous set of values.
The comments from a woman who has powerful friends in the British establishment and the support of her PR husband Matthew Freud, are likely to be examined for whether she could one day run News Corp instead of her brothers whose chances have faded.
"News (Corp) is a company that is currently asking itself some very significant and difficult questions about how some behaviors fell so far short of its values," she said in the annual television industry MacTaggart lecture.
"Personally I believe one of the biggest lessons of the past year has been the need for any organization to discuss, affirm and institutionalize a rigorous set of values based on an explicit statement of purpose," she said in remarks which drew applause.
Elisabeth Murdoch - a successful television producer who was overlooked for senior jobs at News Corp that went first to her brother Lachlan and then James - said a lack of morality could become a dangerous own goal for capitalism.
Rupert Murdoch last year closed the News of the World, which was owned by a News Corp unit, amid public anger that its journalists had hacked into the voicemails of people from celebrities to victims of crime. A number of former executives have appeared in court over the case and the government set up a judicial inquiry into press standards.
"There's only one way to look at this," Murdoch biographer Michael Wolff told Reuters. "This is part of a strategic repositioning of Liz Murdoch within the media world, with the business world and within the family."
The often humorous lecture delivered at the annual Edinburgh Television Festival came three years after James Murdoch used the same platform to confront a largely hostile audience with his vision for the industry.
Elisabeth, 44, and 39-year-old James had been very close, according to sources close to the family, but their relationship became strained by the hacking affair.
"Writing a MacTaggart (lecture) has been quite a welcome distraction from some of the other nightmares much closer to home. Yes, you have met some of my family before," she said to laughter, in a rare speech for the founder of the successful television production company Shine.
Stewart Purvis, the former head of broadcast news provider ITN, said on Twitter that the speech should be called "Why I am not my father or my brother".
Her highly personal speech appeared designed to win over any doubters, with references to childhood conversations at the breakfast table with dad to her continuing affection for the much-loved British playwright Alan Bennett.
She even lavished praise on the state-owned BBC, previously the butt of jokes by her brother but which also regularly airs programs made by her Shine company.
RECIPE FOR DISASTER
Referring to her younger brother James's 2009 speech, Elisabeth said his assertion that the only reliable, durable and perpetual guarantor of media independence was profit had fallen short of the mark.
"The reason his statement sat so uncomfortably is that profit without purpose is a recipe for disaster," she said.
"Profit must be our servant, not our master," she added. "It's increasingly apparent that the absence of purpose - or of a moral language — within government, media or business, could become one of the most dangerous own goals for capitalism and for freedom."
British tabloids have been accused of producing ever-more salacious stories before the scandal broke in an effort to maintain circulation. Rupert Murdoch admitted that the scandal had left a serious blot on his reputation.
The sharp change in tone, with its emphasis on personal responsibility, underlined how much had changed since James Murdoch used his own MacTaggart lecture to accuse the BBC of having "chilling" ambitions.
That speech, delivered in his role as chairman of the pay-TV group BSkyB and head of News Corp in Europe and Asia, consolidated James's position as heir apparent to his father's role. It also echoed Rupert Murdoch's own 1989 speech that broadcasting was a business that needed competition.
Since then, both men have been chastened by the fallout of the phone hacking affair.
At the height of the scandal News Corp had to halt a $12 billion bid to buy the rest of BSkyB it did not already own, angering investors and sowing doubts as to whether James had what it took to run the $55 billion empire.
News Corp announced in June that it was splitting off its newspaper business.
While brother Lachlan was often pictured with the family last year, Elisabeth stayed in the background. Lachlan stood down from his role as News Corp deputy chief operating officer in 2005 after clashing with senior executives.
Now James Murdoch's fall from grace has turned the spotlight onto Elisabeth in the long-running debate over who will one day replace their 81-year-old father at the head of the company.
"I think she was trying to put her mark on where she had come from and where she fits in," Enders analyst Toby Syfret told Reuters after emerging from the speech. "She made it clear where she didn't agree with James, and she made clear the things about her father that she admired.
"From a political level it was quite interesting."
Stressing her links to her father and the vision he espoused when he built his company over 60 years ago, she spoke in glowing terms of his 1989 speech.
"A quarter of a century later, I am still wholly inspired by those words and they are still deeply relevant today," she said. "I understood that we were in pursuit of a greater good - a belief in better."
(Writing by Kate Holton; editing by David Stamp)

LANCE ARMSTRONG Stripped of ALL Tour De France Wins


Lance Armstrong is no longer a Tour de France champion ... the cyclist has been STRIPPED of his seven titles in the wake of allegations that he used banned performance-enhancers. 

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency made the announcement this morning ... Armstrong will not only lose his victories, he has also been banned from the sport of cycling for life. 

Armstrong has adamantly denied the allegations ... claiming the testing process is "one-sided and unfair." 

Lance released a statement responding to a USADA official yesterday saying, "There is zero physical evidence to support his outlandish and heinous claims."

Neil Perry of The Band Perry: Behind the Lens

Concert photo's by Ray Tharaldson all rights reserved 2012

Story by Jessica Nicholson
“My nickname growing up was ‘Point and Shoot,’” The Band Perry’s Neil Perry recalls of his lifelong love of photography. When he and his siblings (and fellow Band Perry members) Kimberly and Reid Perry weren’t practicing music, writing songs and performing on the road as kids, Neil was often behind a camera lens.

“I would line up my family and before they were even ready, I would have already taken the shot, so all the photos I have from when I was younger are of my family lined up and none of them are looking at the camera,” he says.

These days, Neil still takes photos of his family, though his skill for photography is markedly developed. “I will run photos by [Kimberly and Reid] if they are in them. Especially with Kimberly, she’s the girl, so she wants to look her best. It’s great because I have that access to them, but I might like a certain photo and she may not like it,” he says. “So I definitely run everything by them. I was an aggravator growing up, so I think that channels a little bit into why I do it now.”

This multitalented singer, songwriter, mandolin player and drummer finds as much inspiration from the visual realm as he does from the music he crafts as part of The Band Perry. “I really think what got me into photography was wanting to shoot things that were interesting, whether that had an interesting color or pattern. I wanted to take photos that made people think,” says Neil.

Much like crafting an album of songs, a solid theme oftentimes runs through Neil’s photography efforts. “Yesterday I took a photo of a Coca-Cola cap from a bottle and I was holding a baseball at the same time. I thought, ‘These are two very American themes. Baseball is the American pastime and Coca-Cola is the classic American drink in a way, so I took photos of both of those and started this all-American theme.”

Kimberly Perry by Neil Perry

In a world where many 20-somethings barely remember nondigital cameras, Neil favors his retro film cameras. “I’ve got a LOMO LC-A+. It’s a 35-millimeter camera. It’s kind of their common camera—it’s good for a little bit of everything. The interesting thing is that everything is manual; nothing is automatic. With digital, everything is automatic and it’s convenient, but I think there is an art to taking real film camera photos. If I’m taking a picture at about four feet, I’ve got to change the setting. If I’m taking a picture at 10 feet, I’ve got to change the setting.”

For digital photos, he prefers the Canon 5D. “A lot of our music videos were shot on a 5D. It’s really good for portrait shots, but also good at landscape shots, and it has 12.8 million pixels [PPI], so the clarity in each of the shots is unbelievable. Of course, you can’t leave out the iPhone, either. If you’re in your car, you’re not lugging around a big camera. The iPhone actually takes really great pictures. If you see something and don’t want to miss it, you can just bring it out and take the shot and you won’t be disappointed.”

Neil depends more on his iPhone and the Canon 5D these days as he, Kimberly and Reid crisscross the country for various performances. The trio recently finished opening for Brad Paisley on his Virtual Reality Tour.

Neil says traveling across the nation is both a help and a hindrance to his photography. “One of the things that has helped the photography is that I’m getting to see a lot of new landscapes and odd buildings. We just played [famed Chicago baseball field] Wrigley Field and they’ve got that famous classic American ivy wall. I want my pictures to convey an interesting color or pattern and the ivy had such an interesting pattern. I think being able to travel has opened up a world of new themes, colors and patterns.”

Unfortunately, it also means he has to leave behind his LOMO LC-A+ when he’s on the road. “Now I mainly use the LOMO LC-A+ when I’m home or in Nashville. Usually when I take a photo on that camera of somebody, I’ll say, ‘Great, I’ll show you that in a month,’ just because it takes so long for them to develop the film,” says Neil. “These days it’s even harder because there are fewer places that develop film. They send it off to a lab in another state. That’s the hard part about doing film photography. I keep trying to convince Reid and Kimberly to let me create a darkroom on the bus, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. Maybe we can convert the bathroom into a darkroom—who needs a bathroom, right?” he says with a laugh.

“Flower Pots” by Neil Perry

A true creative artist, Neil has big plans to combine his love of visuals with his love of music, much like his tourmate, Brad. “We’re out with Brad Paisley and he’s another guy who has combined music with his visuals. Right now he’s got these great Star Wars battles on the LED screens behind him and he did all the artwork for that. Right now we’re playing a 45-minute set, but I think when we start headlining our own shows and we’ve got big LED screen walls, I think that’s when I’ll be able to have the freedom to do all the visual things I’d like to do.”

For now, he’s focusing on how to make the trio’s merchandise more visually exciting, and when The Band Perry performs hits such as “All Your Life,” the accompanying music video plays behind them on the screens. “I think that kind of, in a way, takes the crowd into the setting of the music video. I like taking people away from where they are in life, taking them to a place where they forget all their troubles, and I think visuals are a big part of that.”

Oftentimes, the visual aspects don’t just enhance the trio’s music—they inspire it. “We try to make our music have a visual aspect, too. When we were creating our debut album [2010’s The Band Perry], there was this one image that was in our mind as we were writing the first album. It was a picture of a county fair from a movie called Paper Moon [released in 1973]. It was this image that was in our head—it was kind of the theme of the album—this romantic Southern county fair, and it was this visual aspect that ran through it.”

A website dedicated to Neil’s photography will be announced later this year at thefansperry.com and thebandperry.com.

He admires the work of director David McClister, who directed four videos for The Band Perry, including the trio’s latest two clips, “All My Life” and “Postcard From Paris.” “He’s got a great visual eye,” says Neil. “The ‘All My Life’ video is one of my favorite videos so far because it has this kind of O Brother, Where Art Thou? look. It had a little dirty look to it, which is what we always wanted. Then, the ‘Postcard From Paris’ video had this French New Wave look to it—very classic, a cool black-and-white look.”

Another muse is famed photographer Annie Leibovitz—who has taken photos of John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, Johnny and June Carter Cash, Emmylou Harris and Willie Nelson, among others. 

“She’s diverse as far as subject matter [goes]. She can do landscapes, people and ads,” says Neil. “She can work in color or in black and white. One of the things that Annie does best is capturing the personality of the people she’s photographing. She captures the essence of who a person is. I take example from that.”
“I want to do a lot of things well. I don’t want to be lumped into doing one thing and nothing else,” he says. “I think as long as I get a reaction from people to either the photos or the music, I’ve done my job.”

DreamWorks Animation Enters Into New Five-Year Distribution Agreement With Twentieth Century Fox

GLENDALE, Calif., Aug. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. (Nasdaq: DWA) today announced that the Company has entered into a new five-year distribution agreement with Twentieth Century Fox. 

Under the terms of the agreement, Fox will assume certain marketing and distribution responsibilities in both domestic and international markets for all animated feature films produced by DreamWorks Animation for release in 2013 through 2017.

"Fox has long been an industry leader in both theatrical and home video thanks in large part to its well-integrated approach to distribution across a wide range of platforms around the globe," said Jeffrey Katzenberg, Chief Executive Officer of DreamWorks Animation. "Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman have built a world-class distribution team and we are excited to apply their expertise, robust infrastructure and global resources so that DreamWorks Animation's films can reach their fullest possible potential over the next five years."

"DreamWorks Animation is a great company that makes terrific films and everyone here feels privileged and honored to have been chosen to distribute their marvelous work throughout the world," stated Fox Filmed Entertainment CEOs and Chairmen, Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman. "We are particularly excited to add DreamWorks Animation's films to the strong and growing slate of movies from our outstanding Blue Sky Studios division, which is coming off another global blockbuster with Ice Age: Continental Drift, and has EPIC and RIO 2 in advanced production. Together we will be a dominant force in animated entertainment for years to come."

"Starting in 2013, DreamWorks Animation content will be distributed in the more traditional markets under a fee structure that is similar to our existing arrangement with our current distributor," continued Katzenberg. "However, our new agreement with Fox presents more favorable economics overall for DreamWorks Animation because we are taking advantage of lower costs associated with the emerging digital distribution landscape and managing domestic television distribution in-house."

Under the terms of the agreement, Fox will receive a distribution fee on worldwide theatrical and home video gross receipts as well as on international television, and on certain digital businesses, including rentals, SVOD and EST. DreamWorks Animation will retain the rights to distribute its product in the domestic television windows without paying a fee to Fox.
For more information visit:  http://www.dreamworksanimation.com

NATHAN OSMOND 08/22 by Jammin Jukebox Radio Show | Blog Talk Radio

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NATHAN OSMOND 08/22 by Jammin Jukebox Radio Show | Blog Talk Radio

Kenny Rogers knows when to walk away


Adam Fulton Arts Writer
concert photos by Ray Tharaldson all rights reserved 2012
KENNY Rogers has been remembering things he had long forgotten. The country music giant is putting the final touches on his autobiography, due out in October, and there's a lot to get through when you've chalked up more than 50 years of performing and 120 million album sales, not to mention five marriages.
But the singer isn't expecting the book to ruffle any feathers.
"No - I said going into it that I'm not going to write anything anyone can challenge. That's not what I'm about," he says. The memoir charts his musical journey from his beginnings as the fourth of seven children in a poor Texas family to today.
''It stirs up certain emotions that you'd forgotten about. Particularly when your life has been as busy as mine - it's kind of hard to keep up with things," Rogers says brightly in a southern drawl.
"I must admit I enjoyed writing it. I enjoyed that process. I don't know that I'd want to do it again."
There's more than a little of that pleasure and pain in Rogers' experiences in a solo career that reached the heights of fame in the late 1970s and '80s through hits such as The Gambler, Lucille, Coward of the County and, with Dolly Parton, Islands In the Stream. He has had 24 No.1s.
"Once I started with Lucille [in 1977], it was like an indescribable career for anybody, so you have a look at that and say: how can you not have enjoyed that?" Rogers says. "But I have to tell ya: too much success is not good either. I'm at a great place right now where I sign enough autographs to satisfy my ego, but not so many that it invades my privacy."
In 2009, Rogers launched extensive touring under the anniversary banner: The First 50 Years. He still performs or records about 100 days annually. But turning 74 next week, with a much younger wife and twin eight-year-old boys at home in Atlanta, he expects his Australian concerts will be his last here.
"This is probably gonna be my last international tour,'' he says. It's because his family can't be with him. ''So I think when I come back … that's gonna be it. I'm gonna stay home then.
''I'll continue to tour the [United] States. I'd just like to be able to get home [more] so I can spend what I think is quality time with the boys … I really wanna be there for 'em instead of being gone all the time."
Rogers has said his one regret is the toll his pursuit of success had on his relationships.
But, ''I don't want to go back and rehash things that I was honest about and paid the price for. I don't want to pay it again.''
Glen Campbell was to appear on a double bill with Rogers in Australia but cancelled because of health issues. For Rogers, ''All I want to say is that the sooner we find a cure for Alzheimer's, the sooner we will end a lot of disappointment and suffering.''
The evolution of country since both performers' early days sits easily with Rogers, who believes "there's not one right or one wrong country music - it's what country people will buy''.
Of its influence on young acts today, he says: ''Now it's about youth, about growing up, the problems you have as a kid. … It's just a new place for country music to grow.''

But for him the era of Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard and George Jones captured country's essence.

''That's the era where you felt the pain. Now the pain has become so intellectual. It's not bad, it's not wrong, it's just where music is."
From his own canon, Rogers' favourites include The Gambler - "really a philosophy about life", says a man who doesn't consider himself a gambler, and doesn't drink - and the duet Islands In The Stream.
"With Dolly it's always wonderful. I don't see her. Everybody thinks we hang out, but she lives in Nashville and I live in Atlanta. So we talk when it's necessary but we don't talk on a regular basis, not because we don't want to, but we both have our own pyramids … But I love her with all my heart and she knows it.''
Kenny Rogers, with guest Troy Cassar-Daley, performs at the Palais Theatre on Thursday.