Friday, May 4, 2012

First Look at Chris Meloni as Vampire in 'True Blood' Season 5 Photos

first-look-chris-meloni-as-vampire-true-blood-season-5-photos First pictures from "True Blood" season 5 have popped out online. One photo gives the first look at Christopher Meloni as the leader of Vampire Authority, while Lucy Griffiths, who will portray Eric's sister Nora, is featured in other two shots.

Other photos feature more fresh faces, including Peter Mensah, Jacob Hopkins, Valentina Cervi, Christopher Heyerdahl and Carolyn Hennesy, who all portray Vampire Authority chancellors. While Cervi's character is described as a world class seductress, Hopkins' is dubbed the youngest of the group.

The rest of the images see beloved characters, including Deborah Ann Woll's Jessica who sports a new look with a green streak on her red hair. Scott Foley, who turned up in season 4 finale as Terry's old war buddy, will also return in the next season since he has an unfinished business with Terry.

Dishing on what the two guys deal with, Foley recently said, "Something happened between the two of them in Iraq that needs to be dealt with. I can't say what it is. It has nothing to do with vampires or werewolves. But there is a mission that they need to complete."

"True Blood" season 5 will premiere Sunday, June 10 at 9/8c on HBO.


3 years after birth of octuplets, Octomom declares bankruptcy, stands on verge of losing home

Octomom-Nadya-Suleman LOS ANGELES (AP) -- From Miracle Mom to Octomom and now, perhaps soon, Homeless Mom, the bizarre life of Nadya Suleman and her 14 children has been a subject that rarely fails to hit a nerve among those who have followed her personal soap opera.

With Suleman on the verge of losing her home and declaring bankruptcy this week with total debts as high as $1 million to everyone from her parents to her baby sitters to the water company, the Octomom Odyssey seems headed for darker days.

Beyond the fascination with her public foibles, such as posing topless in an obscure British magazine and talk of a solo porn film, is the very real concern about the welfare of her octuplets and six older children - all borne from her zeal for in vitro fertilization.

Three of her six older children have disabilities for which she receives government financial support, Suleman has said. One is autistic, another has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and the third a speech impediment. The older children range in age from 5 to 10.

Soon, they could all be out of a home. The house where they have lived the past two years in the suburbs of Los Angeles is going on the auction block Monday

One thing that keeps driving interest in her is whether authorities should step in and take the children.

Not only is she broke, but it has come to light in recent weeks that the Southern California home where she and her children have lived the past two years is going on the auction block Monday.

Child welfare officials visited the La Habra home last week following a complaint that her children were living in squalor. They took no action, and Orange County Social Services spokeswoman Terry Lynn Fisher said Thursday the law prevents her from even confirming or denying the visit.

Speaking in general terms, however, Fisher said it's not illegal for families to be homeless, to live in dirty homes or even in their cars, as long as that doesn't place their children in danger.

University of Southern California sociologist Dorian Traube said that given Suleman's notoriety, it would be surprising if the welfare agency hasn't been monitoring her and her children for some time.

"Here you have 14 children whose mom is living on welfare, who has now declared bankruptcy, who is going in the media and posing topless and who most recently said she would be willing to do porn films if it meant that she could provide for her children," said Traube, who has studied and written extensively about parent-child relationships.

If the Suleman saga is wrapping up, it would mark a sad end to something that, if only briefly, once seemed to some like the feel-good story of the year.

That was on Jan. 26, 2009, when Suleman's octuplets were born at a Southern California hospital and made medical history when they all survived. In the days that followed, she was reportedly showered with offers for book and movie deals, reality TV shows and a mountain of free baby stuff.

Things changed quickly, however, after it was learned that Octomom was also Single Mom and Welfare Mom. And that she already had six children under the age of 8 and was living on a combination of welfare checks, food stamps, student loans and her parents' largesse.

The movie, book and TV deals faded, and Suleman, now 36, turned to increasingly bizarre means of making money.

She endorsed birth control, but only for dogs and cats. That earned her $5,000 and a month's supply of vegetarian hot dogs and burgers from the animal rights group People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

She once told Oprah Winfrey that she hated the term "Octomom" but then had it emblazoned on the back of the robe she wore into a boxing ring last year for a "celebrity" match against Amy Fisher, who gained fame in the 1990s as the "Long Island Lolita" when she shot the wife of her much older lover in the face.

Over the years numerous people tried to help and offer advice to Suleman, including such TV personalities as "Dr. Phil" and money guru Suze Orman.

Instead, she went through one publicist and attorney after another. At one point she even spurned six months of free child care by the group Angels in Waiting that had been arranged by celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred. The group's co-founder, Linda Conforti-West, said at the time that Suleman seemed more interested in lining up a reality TV show than caring for the kids.

"Clients have to be willing to accept advice from those who have the experience and expertise to provide for them," Joann Killeen, Suleman's first publicist, said Wednesday. "I think it's obvious why she's gone through so many managers and attorneys and professional staff in the three years she's been Octomom. Clients who don't listen don't make good clients."

Suleman declined to be interviewed for this story.

"She is not interested in having any filming or doing any interviews of any sort, especially entering her home and filming her kids for no compensation," said her current spokeswoman Gina Rodriguez, whose other clients have included Tiger Woods mistress Joslyn James, reality TV star Tila Tequila and Lindsay Lohan's mother, Dina.

Rodriguez didn't say where Suleman plans to move after the house is auctioned but said she is looking forward to the next chapter of her life.

"She is excited about moving. She has been preparing," she said in an email to The Associated Press.

Documents filed in court Monday for Suleman's bankruptcy case list assets of no more than $50,000 and debts of $500,000 to $1 million. Her creditors include her parents, her gardener, a babysitting company, private school, pest control company, mortgage holder and state Department of Motor Vehicles, among others.

Orange County businessman Amer Haddadin, who sold Suleman's father the four-bedroom home that's about to be auctioned, said he's owed $483,000, including 11 months of unpaid rent and a $450,000 note that Suleman never paid off. He says he has no sympathy for her, adding her actions led his mortgage holder to foreclose on him and destroyed his credit.

"She's not only using the system, she's abusing the system," Haddadin said.

Lately, Suleman has made money posing topless for the British magazine and has a possible porn deal in the works, although the latter comes with a catch. She had said she'll only do it if, to put it delicately, she is the only one being filmed. It would be what the industry calls a solo tape.

That led Vivid Entertainment Group co-founder Steven Hirsch, who once offered Suleman $1 million to do a porn film, to say he doubts his company would be interested in working with her in the future.

"I'm not sure that after that's released that it would make sense," he said.

Associated Press

Conrad Black released from prison

Conrad-Black-008 Former Daily Telegraph owner Conrad Black has been released from prison in the US after serving about three years for defrauding investors and obstruction of justice.

The 67-year-old Canadian-born British citizen and peer, who famously threw a $42,000 birthday for his wife and is said to have told investors, "I can have a 747 if I want", was released from a low-security federal prison in Miami on Friday.

Black, whose media empire once included the Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph, Chicago-Sun Times and Jersusalem Post, was immediately taken into custody by US immigration officials and now faces deportation.

He has stated his intention to return to Canada and regain the citizenship he renounced in 2001 when the government blocked him from accepting his peerage as Lord Black of Crossharbour. His criminal record, however, will mean he will have to wait at least five years to do so. Black has been granted a one-year temporary resident's permit by the Canadian government.

The former media tycoon was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison after a 2007 conviction by a US federal jury for conspiring with business partner David Radler – who was also the chief prosecution witness against him at the trial – and other executives to siphon off cash from the sale of newspapers as they unwound publicly listed Hollinger International.

Black was chief executive and Radler, with whom he entered the media business in 1969 by buying Canadian title the Sherbrooke Record, was chief operating officer. Radler pleaded guilty in exchange for a sentence of 20 months in prison.

Black was released on bail after serving two-and-a-half years while his case was under an appeal, which resulted in two of his three fraud convictions being quashed. His original 78-month sentence was reduced to three years.

He returned to jail last September to serve another 13 months and with time off for good behaviour he has completed his sentence.

At the height of his success Black had an estimated fortune of £136m, along with homes in Florida, Kensington and an apartment in New York's Park Avenue.

He was renowned for a lavish lifestyle, including refurbishing a Rolls Royce for $90,000 and turning up to a ball in Kensington Palace dressed as Cardinal Richelieu alongside his wife, Barbara Amiel, who was dressed as Marie Antoinette.

The Guardian

Iran dismisses Western demand to close nuclear bunker

Iran-dismisses-Western-demand-to-close-nuclear-bunker Iran said on Friday it will never suspend its uranium enrichment program and sees no reason to close the Fordow underground site, making clear Tehran's red lines in nuclear talks with world powers later this month.

Last month a senior U.S. official said the United States and its allies would demand that Iran halt higher-grade enrichment and immediately close the Fordow facility at talks over Tehran's nuclear standoff with the West.

The New York Times reported that negotiators for Western countries would press Iran to ultimately dismantle the site near the city of Qom, which has been used to expand the higher-grade enrichment the Islamic Republic began just over two years ago.

But Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, told Reuters he saw "no justification" for closing Fordow, which he said was under IAEA surveillance.

"When you have a safe place, secure place under IAEA control, then why do you tell me that I should close it?" he said, making clear Iran built the site to better protect its nuclear program against any Israeli or U.S. attacks.

"Fordow is a safe place. We have spent a lot of money and time to have a safe place," Soltanieh added.

Iran and major powers resumed talks in mid-April in Istanbul after a gap of more than a year - a chance to ease escalating tension and help to avert the threat of a new Middle East war. They are to meet again on May 23 in Baghdad.

The West says Iran's nuclear work is a cover for developing atomic bombs and wants verifiable assurances to the contrary from Tehran - for example, by accepting much more intrusive U.N. nuclear inspections and limiting its enrichment capacity.


Iran denies having a weapons agenda, saying it is enriching uranium solely for peaceful energy purposes. Refined uranium can be used to fuel nuclear power plants, which is Iran's stated aim, or provide the core for a bomb if processed more.

"One thing is clear: the enrichment in Iran will never be suspended," Soltanieh said.

He declined to comment however on Western demands that Iran halt the higher-grade enrichment, to a fissile concentration of 20 percent, it started in 2010 and has since sharply increased, shortening the time needed for any nuclear weapons breakout.

The U.N. Security Council has demanded in a series of resolutions since 2006 that Iran suspend all enrichment but Western diplomats have indicated the immediate priority is to get it to cease the more sensitive higher-grade work.

Many analysts say it will be possible to find a negotiated solution to the long-running row only if both sides compromise: Iran would be allowed to continue some lower-level enrichment if it accepts more far-ranging U.N. inspections.

Iranian officials say they are optimistic that the talks with United States, Russia, China, Germany, France and Britain will make progress and they underline their expectations that the negotiations will lead to an end of sanctions.

However, the United States and its allies have made clear Tehran must take action to allay their concerns about its nuclear ambitions before they can consider relaxing sanctions.

Western states have imposed expanded, more biting sanctions against Iran's energy and banking sectors since the beginning of this year. The European Union is preparing to slap a total embargo on the purchase of Iranian crude oil in July.

Soltanieh said the sanctions could not stop Iran's nuclear program: "Neither sanctions, nor military actions, nor terror against our scientists will stop the enrichment."


Deadly bomb hits Pakistan market

Documents-found-at-Osama--008 A bomb explosion in a Pakistani market close to the Afghan border has killed 16 people, according to officials, a day after the US released documents seized from Osama bin Laden's compound that criticised Pakistani militants over the killing of civilians.

Five of those killed in the blast in the Bajur region were members of the security forces, including one who had received an award for bravery in fighting Islamist militants, the government administrater Abdul Haseeb said. The others were passers-by. At least 40 people were wounded.

The Pakistani Taliban or allied groups will be suspected in the attack. The group, which is battling for control of the region, has killed and wounded thousands of people since 2009, many of them civilians in markets or mosques.

On Thursday, the US released 17 letters seized from the compound of Bin Laden by US special forces after they killed him a year ago.

Two senior al-Qaida leaders wrote a letter to the Pakistani Taliban chief, Hakimullah Mehsud. in December 2010, criticising the group for carrying out attacks in markets, mosques and other places, killing innocent Muslims. It accused the group of making "clear legal and religious mistakes which might result in a negative deviation from the set path of the jihadists' movement in Pakistan".

The group's actions "are contrary to the objectives of jihad and to the efforts exerted by us", said the letter, which was written by Abu Yahya al-Libi and a militant leader identified as Atiyatullah.

The Guardian

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