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Issac Hayes, Conor Oberst, Beat Strings, Prince Chunk   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, August 11, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


ISSAC HAYES, soul singer and arranger, member of the Songwriters' and Rock & Roll Halls of Fame, who won Grammy awards and an Oscar for the theme from the 1971 action film "Shaft," has died at 65, after relatives found him unconscious in his home next to a still-running treadmill on Sunday afternoon.  Here's your choice of the live Wattstock version, the slo-mo mersion, and the Conan O'Brien version.  Of course, Hayes was more than the theme.  He played on classic soul tracks like Otis Redding's "Try a Little Tenderness."  He wrote the Sam & Dave Classics "Soul Man," "You Don't Know Like I Know" and "Hold On, I'm Comin," as well as Carla Thomas' ''B-A-B-Y.''  He had his own hits with Burt Bacharach tunes like "Walk On By."  Decades later, he would be thrilling South Park as Chef with his "Chocolate Salty Balls." He left the show in 2006 after an episode mocked his Scientology religion. Hayes had just finished work on a movie called Soul Men, which also stars Bernie Mac, who passed away on Saturday (see below.).

BRIAN ENO talks to the Times of London about his reunion with David Byrne.

SUMMER PLAYLISTS from UK musicians and DJs, including Gruff Rhys and Norman Jay, appear at the Guardian.

THE BEAT STRINGS, which bring a strand of punky New Wave to their pop, do the four free songs thing at Daytrotter.  All are unreleased, though two are from the band's upcoming album.  Elements of bands like Split Enz and The Cure, I would say.  And just did.

THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING FRONTMAN: The Boston Globe reports that the preening rock star of the past is giving way to a decidedly unheroic new species of lead singer.

CONOR OBERST of Bright Eyes is interviewed at the Independent and Fredericksburg.com. NPR has a review plus audio tracks from his solo album.  And he just dropped the video for "Souled Out!!!"

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS' A.C. Newman talks to the Valley Advocate and the Hartford Courant about the band and his upcoming solo LP. (Thx, Chromewaves.)

DURAN DURAN APPRECIATION DAY was yesterday. Is that something I should know?  Plenty more video links at Entertainment Weekly. (Blame Lance.)

NOMO stopped by for a chat and mini-set of their funky Afrobeat-flavored music.  Saw them a couple of years ago at Pitchfork and enjoyed their update of the sounds of the 70s.

KIM DEAL talks about The Pixies with the Jerusalem Post.

BERNIE MAC, comedian and actor, died early Saturday morning of complications due to pneumonia. A few years ago, Mac disclosed that he suffered from sarcoidosis, a rare autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in tissue, most often in the lungs. He was 50.  His Ocean's Eleven co-stars are among those paying tribute.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: The Dark Knight reigns for a fourth weekend, making 26 million, for a US total of 441 million. The last movie to win four consecutive weekends was The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.  Will Tropic Thunder and Star Wars: The Clone Wars team up to dethrone TDK next weekend?  Stay tuned, bat-fans... Pineapple Express opened in second place with 22 million; it has made 40 million since opening Wednesday on a 27 million budget. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 came in fourth with 10.2 million; it has grossed 19.7 million on its 27 million budget since Wednesday. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor came in third, dropping 60 percent to take in 16.1 million.  Step Brothers rounds out the top five with 8.9 million.  Mamma Mia! continued to show legs, making another 8 million in sixth place and breaking the 100 million mark in the US.

JESSICA SIMPSON: According to the National Enquirer, the pneumatic blond took a home pregnancy test and thought it was positive, so she made an announcement to Tony Romo's family that they were expecting.  It turns out that if anyone could get confused between one or two lines on a stick, it's Jessica Simpson.

SIENNA MILLER is begging lover Balthazar Getty to save her Hollywood career by getting his estranged wife to clear her of marriage-wrecking, according to the uber-reliable News of the World. Despite reports Balthazar is desperate to reconcile with his wife, Miller and Getty still look pretty cozy in L.A.

PAUL NEWMAN has finished chemotherapy treatment for cancer and may have only weeks to live.

JENNIFER ANISTON visiting the trout pout shop?  She does look like a duck in this photo, but maybe it was snapped at the wrong moment.

SALMA HAYEK, newly separated new mother, was spotted shopping at erotic boutique Coco de mer, which stocks luxury bondage gear, designer sex aids and risqué underwear.

BERNIE BRILLSTEIN, a pioneering manager and producer who helped steer the careers of John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, Brad Pitt, Adam Sandler, Geena Davis, Martin Short, Jim Belushi, Dabney Coleman, John Larroquette, Dana Carvey, Dennis Miller, Nicolas Cage, Rob Lowe, Jay Tarses and Jim Henson, died Thursday night of chronic pulmonary disease. He was 77.

AN IRANIAN SWIMMER refused to compete alongside Israeli Tom Be'eri, apparently under the orders of the chiefs of the Iranian delegation.  The Iranian basketball team shook hands with Russia's coach, who previously coached for Maccabi Tel Aviv.  But Russia is helping Iran with its nuclear program.

AFGHANISTAN: US SecDef Robert M. Gates will endorse a 20 billion dollar plan to substantially increase the size of Afghanistan's army and will also restructure the military command of American and NATO forces in response to the growing Taliban threat, senior Pentagon and military officials said Thursday.

SYRIA blocked a follow-up visit by UN nuclear watchdogs investigating intelligence that Damascus built a secret nuclear program built with help from North Korea. Hey, Iran gets away with it, so why not?

IRAQ's foreign minister says negotiators are on the brink of reaching a long-term security pact with the US. A suspected leader of AQI in Anbar province has been arrested after a tip-off, police said on Friday.


ORPHAN DEER adopted by a pack of fox hounds.  Totally awww...some pics at the link.

PRINCE CHUNK, the 44-lb cat, has found a new home at an undisclosed location.  Perhaps VP Dick Cheney is stroking him even now. (Thanks, Dad.)

EAT KANGAROO, save the world. I am not sure how the cheerleader figures into this yet.

FUGITIVE VIPER remained at large as Houston's Moody Gardens reopened its rain forest pyramid Saturday.

RENEGADE COWS: The news is out in Bangor, Maine.

A BRITISH BESTIALITY INVESTIGATION has been hampered because their main suspect has a twin brother who could also be behind the attacks.

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Wilcopalooza, British Sea Power, Cutout Bin, Hector   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, August 08, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl



(via DarkroomDemons)

...with WILCO at LOLLAPALOOZA!  Last weekend's set has found its way online -- MisunderstoodI Am Trying To Break Your HeartYou Are My FaceImpossible GermanyIt's Just That SimpleHandshake DrugsPot Kettle BlackOne WingSpidersA Shot In The ArmJesus Etc.Hate It HereCan't Stand ItWalken, and Monday/ Outtasite (Outta Mind).  On the last four clips, Tweedy & Co. are backed by the Total Pros on horns.

SIR PAUL McCARTNEY and his new girlfriend, Nancy Shevell, are cruising historic Route 66, having been spotted in Clear Lake and Joliet, IL.

BRITISH SEA POWER stopped by the World Cafe for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via NPR.

THE TING TINGS talk to Metromix about their second chance at pop, which Jules De Martino describes this way: "The kind of people we are, we're just happy to be having a good evening and paying our rent. When we were getting emails from (Columbia Records president) Rick Rubin, we thought it was our friends making jokes. It just felt so surreal..."

BEN FOLDS & REGINA SPEKTOR duet on "You Don't Know Me," an original track from the upcomung Folds album, Way to Normal.

GHOSTY, from Lawrence KS, does the four free songs thing for Daytrotter, three previously unreleased.

AGAINST ME's video for "New Wave" pays obvious homage to The Replacements.

NME's 25 BANDS MAKING AMERICA COOL AGAIN, reprinted at Stereogum. Regular Pate visitors will recognize most, if not all of them.

THE HOLD STEADY: Craig Finn tells IGN about his voice coaching and tells The Quietus all about touring.

PORTISHEAD: Adrian Utley and Geoff Barrow have picked a number of their favorite Tube clips... which they discuss on the Tube.

CUTOUT BIN: From Chuck Berry to 10cc, from Sonic Youth to the Beach Boys, from Wire to the Cardigans, from Big Star to Travis to Pilot and more -- this Friday's fortuitous finds can be jukeboxed or streamed separately via the Pate page at the ol' HM.

NOW SHOWING: This weekend's wide releases are the stoner action comedy Pineapple Express, currently scoring 69 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, which is scoring 64 percent.  Both actually opened Wednesday, and I missed it.  My only excuse is that I had some cleanup to do after a big storm earlier this week.

BRITNEY SPEARS, contrary to recent reports, will not play a killer lesbian stripper in Quentin Tarantino's remake of the 1965 cult film Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!  The silver lining is that we got two days of talking about killer lesbian strippers out of it.

SHIA LeBEOUF, who sustained a seriously mangled mitt in a rollover accident, is not in danger of losing any of his digits, E! News has confirmed.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON says she's eager to become an honorary Canadian by marrying Canadian-born actor Ryan Reynolds - and hopefully pass through the border quickly from now on.

LINDSAY LOHAN & SAMANTHA RONSON got matching black heart tattoos. NTTAWWT.

NICOLE KIDMAN & KEITH URBAN talk about the joys of parenthood on TV down under.  Apparently, their dughter looks like Urban.

ROBERT DOWNEY, JR.: Rolling Stone excerpts its profile and interview of the actor who may have triumphed over his demons, yet still seems more than a bit wacky.

MORGAN FREEMAN was released from a Tennessee hospital - and says he is glad to be on the upswing.

SIENNA MILLER's pals say the gorggeous actress is no home wrecker - and she never would have gone near her new love, Balthazar Getty, if he was still with his wife, Rosetta.

ALEC BALDWIN: These days, just about everything -- music, politics, the Internet -- interests him. Except acting.  Maybe that's why he's been doing some of his best work recently.

JOSS STONE amazingly headbutted her brother as a family baptism descended into an ugly brawl.  She blew her chance to be godmother, but settled some family business.

BERNIE MAC hospitalized for pneumonia since the beginning of the month, continues to recover, a rep for the actor-comedian said Thursday.

WATCHMEN: Non-geeks may not know what a big deal the film adaptation coming in 2009 is; this ReelTalk clip from the big Comic-Con in San Diego, featuring interviews with the cast and crew, sorta explains why comicdom is equal parts joy and fear over the project.

LIL' KIM B-DAY PARTY SLAYING: The body of a 24-year-old woman who attended a birthday party for the rapper Lil' Kim on Sunday was found Wednesday on the roof of the Midtown karaoke club where the party was held, NYC police said.  A bar employee has been charged in the case.

ERIC "DIGGER" DOWLING, who forged passports, made maps and helped to dig the one tunnel that the Germans did not discover before the Great Escape from Stalag Luft III, has died, aged 92.


IRAN: Israel is building up its strike capabilities amid growing anxiety over Iran's nuclear ambitions and appears confident that a military attack would cripple Tehran's atomic program, even if it can't destroy it. The Kuwait Times reported on Thursday that two more US aircraft carriers are headed for the Persian Gulf. The paper did not say which two carriers they are and the US Navy refused to confirm or deny the report.

IRAQ and the US are reportedly nearing agreement on a security pact that -- conditions permitting -- would have most US combat troops out by 2010, with a residual force in place through 2013.  Those dates may be doable if current trends continue. More good news from Samarrah -- hundreds of Muslim worshippers on Wednesday visited a revered Shiite shrine in northern Iraq that is being rebuilt after a deadly bomb blast which triggered bitter sectarian bloodshed.

HECTOR, a Great Dane, may think twice before swallowing a two-foot long stick again.

A MASSIVE CATFIGHT leads to boob bite, tetanus shot, five arrests.

BOOGER the pitbull -- and source of the cloned puppies noted here this week -- heroically saved his owner, who reportedly fled England after being charged in a bizarre sex crime case. Bernann McKinney denied she is that woman in the Times of London.

THE SQUIRREL THREAT: They lure house dogs into chasing them, setting up attacks by hungry hawks.

A WOMAN ON A DONKEY beat off a lion with a machete.  Yes, she had the machete.

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Fleet Foxes, Los Campesinos!, Hold Steady, Sneaky Goats   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, August 07, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


FLEET FOXES made their network TV debut playing "Blue Ridge Mountains" for Dave.  And I think if he decides to hold up the album afterwards, that's a thumbs up.

LOS CAMPESINOS! played the World Cafe last week; you can stream the gig on demand via NPR.

THE NATIONAL: Scott Devendorf talks to ClickMusic about recording and which "classics" the band agrees on.

ALINA SIMONE talks to DC's Express about her sophomore album, devoted to covering the songs of Yanka Dyagileva.

THE TOP 20 ALBUMS OF ALL TIME, using an interesting formula that produces an unexpected No.1, courtesy of Yahoo! Music. Albums streamable at the link.

THE HOLD STEADY: Craig Finn talks about Led Zeppelin and The Replacements with Rolling Stone. The band plays a four song rooftop set for the latest edition of PitchforkTV's Don't Look Down series.

AIMEE MANN has plenty of interesting things to tell JamBase about songwriting and recording, like this: "Sometimes it reminds me of graphic art. You have to choose a couple of simple, arresting images and what words you have need to contain the essence of what you want to say. It's not a novel; it's only three-minutes that people are spending with you."

AMERICAN PRINCES do the four free songs thing for Daytrotter.

GOOGLE has launched a music search service in China that will give users access to free downloads of licensed songs, while capturing advertising revenue for music providers in a market rife with piracy.

PITCHFORK GIVES MUSIC 6.8, according to The Onion.

JENNIFER ANISTON's rep is denying reports that Ansiton is planning a low-key wedding with John Mayer this fall and is going to have Mayer's baby.  So what about her reported demand that Mayer move in with her?

BRITNEY SPEARS is being lined up to play a killer lesbian stripper in a Quentin Tarantino remake of the 1965 cult film Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!  The NYPost had previously tipped pr0n starlet Tera Patrick for the Role.

QUENTIN TARANTINO, meanwhile, seems to still be moving ahead with the WWII flick, Inglourious Basterds, castin director (and pal) Eli Roth as a baseball bat-swinging Nazi hunter.

MORGAN FREEMAN's attorney and business partner tells Access Hollywood that the actor and his wife of 24-years are getting a divorce.

HEATH LEDGER: Mary-Kate Olsen was to be compelled to testify in front of a grand jury in the Drug Enforcement Agency investigation into determine where Ledger obtained the prescription medications that led to a fatal drug interaction.  But the feds have now closed the case, letting the twin off the hook.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON is blaming "extreme sexism" for the hoopla made over her comments that she had an e-mail relationship with Barack Obama, claiming that people would not care if it was George Clooney. But Entertainment Tonight notices when George Clooney plans a fundraiser for Obama.  The difference is not that ScarJo is a woman, but that she is teh hawtness, something which also seems to have some upside for her, careerwise.

LISA MARIE PRESLEY is expecting twins.


OPRAH WINFREY: Her ratings and magazine circulation may be in decline, but she still made 385 million last year.

JOSS STONE is joining the cast of Showtime's drama "The Tudors" for its upcoming third season.

EVA MENDES is too sexy for US TV in her new ad for Calvin Klein.  Which only makes me want to watch it.

THE SHIRE goes into foreclosure: hobbits hardest hit.

WEINERMOBILES go bite-size to celebrate Oscar Mayer's 125th anniversary this year and to help introduce the company's new "snack-sized" hot dogs product; it wasn't created in response to high gas prices.

AFGHANISTAN: The Long War Journal maps the rising violence as the Taliban seeks to destabilize and de-legitimize the weak Afghan government and break NATO's will to fight a protracted counterinsurgency campaign.

IRAQ: The NYT interviews Iraqi soldiers. The army has made huge leaps forward, most of the soldiers agreed, and can hold its own in battles with the insurgency with little or no American support. But almost all said the time when the Iraqi Army can stand alone as a national defense force is still years away. Iraqi leaders postponed the ceremony marking the handover of Anbar province due to fear that Americans would pull out of the region too soon to focus elsewhere. TIME magazine covers reconciliation in Samarra, where the bombing of a holy shrine in February 2006 sparked a spiral of sectarian violence nationwide.

GOATS managed to do what terrorists wished they could: They sneaked under a fence onto a restricted area near the base of the Verrazano Bridge in NY without triggering alarms. The animals didn't get through a more formidable second line of defense about 10 feet away.  They are employed by the National Park Service to clear weeds from Ft. Wadsworth, for which there is video.


A POSSIBLY POISONED SEA LION made itself at home on a family sailboat - twice.

HENRY the TUATARA is to become a father at the age of 111.  His mate Mildred won't give her exact age, but is reportedly a spry 70-80 years old.

A RANDY BADGER sparked a police manhunt for a sex attacker when his howls of passion were mistaken for a woman screaming.

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Wilco, Conor Oberst, Ting Tings, Ben Folds, Booger   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, August 06, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


WILCO led the crowd at the Friendly Confines through "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" when the Pirates came to town August 3rd.  Also, Jeff Tweedy talks Lollapalooza when play resumes.

CONOR OBERST of Bright Eyes is streaming his new album at his website.  He gives a trak-by-track review to the MTV.

THE TING TINGS stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via MPR.

THE WALKMEN do the four free songs thing for Daytrotter -- all songs previously unreleased.

RANDY NEWMAN played an intimate gig at the Largo in Los Angeles on July 23, now streaming on demand via NPR.  He is also the Guest DJ on the latest installment of All Songs Considered.

BEN FOLDS employs primitive animation for "Hiroshima," the first clip from his upcoming Way to Normal album.

THE STOOGES wuz robbed! Outside a hotel in Quebec, as it turns out.

SHEARWATER frontman Jonathan Meiburg is interviewed by... Scientific American? (Thx, LHB.)

GEORGIE JAMES splits. Bummer.

THE GERMS: Salon reviews the upcoming punk biopic, What We Do Is Secret.

MORGAN FREEMAN is doing well after surgery to reconnect nerves and repair damage in his left arm and hand resulting from his one-car accident in Mississippi.  The Daily Mail has a photo of the crash scene.

LINDSAY LOHAN & SAMANTHA RONSON were very affectionate and touchy-feely in Chicago.  The couple then hung with the Ronson clan in Miami.  Lohan's ex-con dad wants her to be happy, but does not expect to be asked to walk her down the aisle.

THE McCARTNEYS:  Sir Paul has written a song about his relationship with Heather Mills. It's being spun as a tender love song, but that seems only partially correct.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY had a few before her audition to play Eliza Doolittle in the upcoming movie remake of My Fair Lady.

JESSICA SIMPSON uses a webcam to transmit red-hot strip routines to Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo to keep alive their romance while they are apart.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON & PENELOPE CRUZ say kissing each other in Woody Allen's new comedy Vicky Cristina Barcelona wasn't all that sexy.  Someone needs to learn a little about marketing.

AN ACCUSED AL QAEDA SLEEPER AGENT was flown to New York on Monday night to face charges of attempting to kill US military and FBI personnel in Afghanistan.

IRAN: A government-linked youth organisation says that 55 percent, or 12 million Iranian young people access hard or soft pr0n websites daily in Iran.

THE US ARMY, with help from Gen. David Petraeus, is finally promoting the right people as one-star generals, according to Slate's Fred Kaplan.  One of the new Generals, Sean MacFarland, was commander of the unit that brought order to Ramadi -- and you can download a report he co-authored about the Army's role in the Anbara Awakening and the "surge."

IRAQ: More than 375 insurgents and al Qaeda operatives have been captured during the first week of Operation Omens of Prosperity in Diyala province. Six senior al Qaeda in Iraqi leaders in the province have been captured during the province-wide operation. Gunmen killed a senior leader of the awakening council in Youssifiyah, south of Baghdad. Soaring oil prices will leave the Iraqi government with a cumulative budget surplus of as much as 79 billion dollars by year's end, according to an American federal oversight agency.

BOOGER, the heroic pitbull, lives on through five cloned puppies.

NAPOLEON, a two year old white English Bulldog, rescued a sack of kittens from a lake in Michigan. Awww...some.

ELLA, an abandoned sea lion, took her first swimming lessons at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom's Sea Lion Stadium pool Friday with the help of a trainer. Awww...some slideshow at the link.

THE SWARM: He had to torch the garage to save it.

GORILLA PARADISE DISCOVERED in the Congo. The findings, if confirmed, would more than double the world's estimated population of this great ape subspecies, which is classified as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature

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Duffy, New Releases, Byrne & Eno, Smith, Jarvis   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, August 05, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl


DUFFY has a brand new, evocative video for "Stepping Stone" from her brill Rockferry album.

NEW RELEASES: Elvis Presley, Randy Newman, Sarah McLachlan, Oxford Collapse and Marching Band are among the albums streaming in full via Spinner this week.

DAVID BYRNE & BRIAN ENO have posted "Strange Overtones," a song from their upcoming album at the website for Everything That Happens Will Happen Today.  Byrne is taking a word-of-web approach to letting people know.

KEANE is giving away a new song titled "Spiralling" via their website this week.

GARY GLITTER, put behind bars in March 2006 for molesting two underage girls, is set to be released from jail in Vietnam on August 19.

SMITH's soulful version of the Bacharach-Dixon-David classic, "Baby, It's You" should be well-known to those beyond fans of Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof, so I'm doing my part.  If I toss in April March's english version of "Chick Habit," I have Twofer Tuesday.  If I add in the France Gall original of "laisse tomber les filles," it's like Twofer Tuesday, but it's one more.

FLEET FOXES singer Robin Pecknold talks to Exclaim! about songwriting and the evolution of the band's vocal heavy style.

THE DUKE SPIRIT played the World Cafe on Friday; you can stream the gig on demand via NPR.

LYKKE LI is profiled in New York magazine.

THE LONG BLONDES guitarist Dorian Cox was hospitalized and all dating members of the band have officially called it quits, which doesn't shop Chart Attack from asking bassist Reenie Hollis how things are going.

MORGAN FREEMAN was hospitalized in serious condition Monday after the car he was driving left a rural road in the Mississippi Delta and flipped several times. The actor "has a broken arm, broken elbow and minor shoulder damage, but is in good spirits," according to a statement from Freeman's publicist.

HEATH LEDGER: Pint-size actress Mary-Kate Olsen has refused to be interviewed by federal investigators probing the accidental drug death of her close friend Heath Ledger unless she receives immunity from prosecution, according to the NY Post.

BRADGELINA baby pics are surfacing online, for you cheaters.

GYLLENSPOON is denying the marriage rumors reported by the Daily Mail (and noted here yesterday).

GILLIAN ANDERSON is blaming The Dark Knight juggernaut for the box office flop of the new X-Files movie.

ANNE HATHAWAY: Nude and otherwise risque photos of the actress may have been seized in an FBI raid of her boyfriend's hidden storage space, according to the ever-reliable National Enquirer.

THE NEW NEW FACE: What female celebs are trying to look like.

MAD MEN: The 1960s-era AMC series is causing a stir in the fashion world this fall, with designers citing it as their muse and retailers stocking their shelves accordingly.

IRAN announced Monday that it has tested a new weapon capable of sinking ships nearly 200 miles away, and reiterated threats to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf if attacked. The US says that Iran has left the UN Security Council no choice but to increase sanctions on the Islamic Republic for ignoring demands that it halt sensitive nuclear activities.

IRAQ: Lawmakers rescheduled for today a vote on a provincial election law, after reaching a tentative compromise on Monday that may resolve a stalemate over the fate of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk.  Muqtada al-Sadr intends to disarm his once-dominant Mahdi Army militia and remake it as a social-services organization. With violence subsiding throughout Baghdad, residents said that sectarianism is becoming less pervasive, including among the Iraqi Army. Stars & Stripes covers the military transition teams that are training the Iraqi army to stand on its own.  At the long War Journal, DJ Elliot looks at the Iraqi government's plans to purchase almost eleven billion dollars in weapons, equipment, and support services.

JARVIS the Jack Russell vanished after chasing a rabbit during a walk at Mount Edgcumbe on the Cornish side of Plymouth Sound but took the passenger ferry from Cremyll home.

DOGS disrupt last-minute Olympic training in Lithuania.

AN OX PENDANT is recommended for Olympians born in the Year of the Horse, because this is the Year of the Rat.  One can only imagine what would be recommended in the Year of the Cat.

COWS stare unamazed as Dutch dairy farmers pamper them with massages and comfy mattresses to produce better tasting milk.

THE WORLD'S UGLIEST DOLPHIN was revealed on Aussie TV.

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