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I can hear the fireworks... and the Feelies!   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, July 04, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE FOURTH of JULY STARTS HERE:

...with THE BEACH BOYS!  Because folks my age will always remember their mammoth July 4th concerts at the Washington Monument -- as with these 1980 takes o­n "Good Vibrations""Catch A Wave" and "Do It Again." Given the time of year, I have to include this 1964 clip of "Surfin' U.S.A." which I think is from the same gig that produced these takes on "Little Deuce Coupe," "In My Room" and "Fun, Fun Fun." Their take on "Dance, Dance, Dance" from Shindig! later that year is like a slice of Christmas in July.  There's also a nifty twofer of "I Get Around" and "'When I Grow Up (To Be A Man)" from their first UK TV appearance o­n Ready Steady Go! The Jack Benny Hour produced these quick takes o­n "Barbara Ann" and "California Girls."  There's a primitive video for "Wouldn't It Be Nice" that starts with a cameo from Brian Wilson's dogs (Banana and Louie), who appear at the end of the Pet Sounds LP.  And I'll finish with a live version of "God Only Knows" from the 1967 European tour -- one of the last Brian would do for a decade or so.

RAY CHARLES performs "America The Beautiful" like no one else.

21 HYPERBOLIC PRO-AMERICA SONGS, starting with Lee Greenwood (Sylvia's favorite) and ending with the theme from Team America: World Police, with embedded video courtesy of The A.V. Club.

THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER: Hidden Track serves up 12 video versions.

TWENTY QUESTIONS from US citizenship tests, as asked on the official United States Immigration and Naturalization Services Web site.  I had a perfect score (because I am a geek), but had to guess on one of them.

THE FEELIES got back together this week, with a gig in NYC today.  But they got things rolling at the legendary Maxwell's in Hoboken NJ.  The NYT's Jon Pareles has not one, but two articles on their return. Video has surfaced from the private warm-up gig of "Let's Go," "Slipping (into something)," "Raised Eyebrows" and "Away."  A little further back in the crowd come clips of "Doin' It Again," the new song "Time is Right" (w/ cowbell!) and the Stones' "Paint It Black." Not as physically hyper as their heyday, but still with chemistry to burn.

THE UNITED STATES celebrates the 232nd anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. As the Wikipedia notes, this is a little arbitrary: New Englanders had been fighting Britain since April 1775; the first motion in the Continental Congress for independence was made o­n June 8th; and the Congress voted 12-0 for independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain o­n July 2nd. Even so, the publication of the Declaration was momentous .  If you're not in DC, the best way to see and learn about the Declaration may be through the Charters of Freedom website. But you can watch Mel Gibson, Michael Douglas, Renee Zelleweger, Kevin Spacey, Wynona Ryder and other Hollywood folk read the Declaration, after a short introduction by Morgan Freeman.

Of course, the holiday more broadly celebrates the American Revolutionary War, and the Founders' unlikely victory. People with the highest standard of living and the lowest taxes in the Western World fought a sometimes unpopular war for our freedom. Early o­n, the Revolutionaries (also known as "Americans" or "Patriots") had the active support of about 40 to 45 percent of the colonial population. By 1779, there were more Americans fighting with the British than with Washington, which is why Washington needed help from the French, the Spanish and freed Blacks. You can separate fact from fiction regarding the sacrifices and fates of the Founders at Snopes. You can hear two-time Pulitzer Prize winner David McCullough read from the first chapter of his 1776 via NPR.

CUTOUT BIN:  Joan Jett leads this Friday's fortuitous finds for the Fourth, which include Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Lou Reed, Funkadelic, Smoking Popes, the Modern Lovers, the Lovin' Spoonful, Devo and more -- all of which can be jukeboxed or streamed separately via the Pate page at the ol' HM.

SHOWBIZ in BRIEF: Christina Applegate's on-again, off-again boyfriend Lee Grivas was found dead in his Hollywood apartment Tuesday. Lindsay Lohan turned 22 Wednesday night with an intimate prom-themed birthday bash - and a sweet smooch from Samantha Ronson; Lohan's b-day wish was for paparazzi to go away and to be with the person she cares about. Christie Brinkley used one word in her sob-wracked testimony today to describe her life after her husband's philandering and porn obsession was exposed: - "Nightmare."  Hubby Peter Cook thought "Shrek was more believable." Lenny Kravitz is denying reports of an affair with Alex Rodriguez's wife, Cynthia, who has strong suspicions about her estranged husband's friendship with MadonnaAmy Winehouse has been put under "house arrest" after admitting taking drugs in rehab. Britney Spears is said to have reconciled with ex-boyfriend Adnan Ghalib because she fears him releasing a secret sex tape.

TWIGGY: For the Fourth of July, why not another look at the water-skiing squirrel? Great story. Compelling and rich.

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Duffy, Minus the Bear, Jamie Lidell, Cat boxing   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, July 03, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE GO! TEAM is always Summery, so it's a good time to revisit the video for "Ladyflash."

DUFFY stopped by WFUV for a chat and mini-set now streaming on demand via NPR.

ADELE, otoh, is the one getting the love from the Associated Press. She's pretty magnanimous, though: "There are a million other black women and other white girls who could do it better than me and Duffy, but the point is, we're doing it at the moment. So support it, love it, (rather) than be bitter."

MINUS THE BEAR does the four free songs thing for Daytrotter.

FRIGHTENED RABBIT frontman Scott Hutchinson talks to Reveille, with plenty of A/V linkage for the Scottish quartet.

JAMIE LIDELL opened his set at last year's Pitchfork fest with "Game For Fools" and was (imho) one of the surprising highlights of the weekend.

JOY DIVISION frontman Ian Curtis's headstone has been stolen from a Cheshire cemetery. Can this really be the first time that's happened?

ROAD MUSIC spans genres when WNYC's John Schaefer is serving the mix.  But there is always Deep Purple, isn't there?

INDIE on TV: TimeOut New York notes that in the past few years, indie rock's stock has swelled, mainstream radio has collapsed and the sight of low-profile acts on network programs has become increasingly commonplace. (Thx, LHB.)

TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN: At the Guardian Music Blog, Ben Myers argues that bands should split after one album.  I think that's more like take the legend and run; the money comes later.

CHRISTIE BRINKLEY's divorce trial started with a salacious bang -- including hubby Peter Cook's 300 grand payoff to teenage mistress Diana Bianchi, his extreme fondness for online porn and the ime he shoved Alexa Ray Joel's head into a bucket of water. Brinkley says she "heard a lot of new things (she) didn't know" and "need(s) some time to let it all absorb." Also, Cook could be in hot hot water with the Internal Revenue Service.

A-ROD may have been making all sorts of visits to see Madonna in NYC, but his wife has been spending cozy time with Lenny Kravitz in Paris, according to the NY Post.

BRADGELINA had Dr. Michel Sussmann assure the press at a news conference in the South of France Wednesday that all is well with the expectant mom. The babies, he said, will arrive "in the weeks to come."

NAOMI WATTS is pregnant with her second baby.

ROSE McGOWAN and ROBERT RODRIGUEZ are dunzo -- leaving all sorts of openings for lead roes in his upcoming projects.  Will Jessica Alba play Barbarella now? UPDATE: The two are still together, claims her rep.

THE DARK KNIGHT: Someone has posted a pretty high-quality bootleg of the first five minurtes of the movie I saw in IMAX a while back.  Get there before the WB! 

MANDY MOORE & RYAN ADAMS are no longer making beautiful music together. Adams blames the media spotlight for the break-up.

MEGAN FOX has reportedly called off her engagement to ex-90210er Brian Austin Green.  Not my fault, really.

SHANNON DOHERTY, meanwhile, seems to be headed back to her old zip code.

FRIENDS may be following Sex and the City to the big screen within the next 18 months.

CLONE WARS has a new trailer online. It's legit so it should be there even if Batman goes away...

IRAN: An Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear facilities would be a high-risk move that could destabilize the Middle East, the Pentagon's top military officer said yeesterday.  Meanwhile, Iran's parliament is set to debate a draft bill which could see the death penalty used for those deemed to promote corruption, prostitution and apostasy on the Internet.

AFGHANISTAN: The Arabs who vanquished Al Qaeda in Iraq's Anbar province are counseling America to allow Afghans to form irregular militias and be mindful of their devout adherence to Islam, according to a memo from the Anbar Awakening to the American Embassy in Kabul.

IRAQ: The main Sunni Muslim political bloc is on the verge of rejoining the Shiite-led government after a nearly year-long boycott, a step widely seen as vital to reconciliation after years of sectarian conflict. Caught off guard by recent Iraqi military operations, the US is using spy satellites ordinarily trained on adversaries to monitor the movements of the Iraqi army.  Der Spiegel surveys pessimistic and optimistic assessments of progress in Iraq.  Iraqi expats in Egypt seem more optimistic.

FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY, sting like a kitty.

THE SWARM: Anyone with a bee allergy in St. Leonard, New Brunswick, was encouraged to stay in and keep the windows shut Monday after a truck carrying an estimated 20 million honey bees flipped onto a median of the Trans-Canada Highway.

A MONSTER CRAB which lurked in the wreck of an old battleship 160ft below the surface may be the biggest edible crab ever landed. It weighed 17lb and had a shell width of 12in while each of its massive claws was as big as a man's hand. Pics at the link.

A PYTHON was tazed into submission in Huron Ohio, after the snake escaped from its cage and then slithered into a hole in an apartment wall.

CATNAPPING, with a twist.

2331 Reads

Neil Young, Beatles, Earlimart, Otter rampage   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, July 02, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

NEIL YOUNG encores at the Malahide Castle in Dublin with a cover of "A Day In The Life"

ALBERT HAMMOND, JR.: The Stroke's new solo LP, ¿Cómo Te Llama?, to be released on July 7, is streaming in full at HammondSpace.

FIERY FURNACES talk about the Chicago White Sox at the team's website, with Matthew Friedberger claiming his biggest influence as a keyboard player is Sox organist Nancy Faust. (Thx, LHB.)

A LOST BEATLES INTERVIEW featuring John Lennon and Paul McCartney talking about the day they met and their songwriting partnership -- on film that sat forgotten for 44 years in a garage in south London -- can be heard on the BBC, in a segment hosted by Helen Shapiro, who was on their first national tour.

SILVER JEWS mastermind David Berman talks to The A.V. Club and has a two-parter with Aquarium Drunkard.

EARLIMART have just dropped the video for the wistful "Face Down In The Right Town" from their new album.

BUILT TO SPILL frontman Doug Martsch talks to Paste about recording and the flood of music today.

SAM PHILLIPS plays a Tiny Desk Concert for Bob Boilen at NPR.

THE HOLD STEADY's Craig Finn talks to Metro about his (slightly) more succinct style on the upcoming Stay Positive LP: "Being concise is one of the biggest challenges you can have," explains Finn. "You talk about ageing gracefully; going overboard and overblown is one of the finest examples of how people don't."

PETER HOOK talks to SF Weekly about blogging, DJing and the new New Order DVD.

MADONNA & GUY RITCHIE have no plans to divorce, according to Madge's rep. US Weekly claims that Madge has been hosting late-night visits from New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez at her Central Park West apartment in New York City, including shortly after his wife gave birth to their second daughter.

BRADGELINA: Jolie is "doing great" following reports that she has checked into a hospital in Nice, France, ahead of the birth of twins. Meanwhile Jolie & Pitt have called a truce with their neighbors over a boar hunting row that threatened to spoil the peace at their new chateau in the south of France.

NOW SHOWING: The holiday weekend's wide releases are Will Smith's Hancock is currnetly scoring 35 percent on the ol' Tomatometer, and Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, which is scoring 81 percent, though it apparently has to do more with the popular line of dolls than the Tom Petty classic.

ASHLEE SIMPSON & PETE WENTZ are expecting a baby boy, a rep from the baby boutique Petit Tresor tells CelebTV.com.

JESSICA BIEL has started blogging at BielSpace.

LINDSAY LOHAN: OK! magazine has some backstory on Li-Lo's maybe half-sister, while the NYDN has a more recent picture. Gawker has some lying voicemail Li-Lo got from her creepy ex-con Dad.

CHRISTIE BRINKLEY'S lawyers may have one more weapon in their attempt to paint her wayward hubby as a callous cad - a married, 31-year-old fitness model with whom he had a relationship and then dumped, leaving her marriage in tatters, sources told The NY Post. The divorce trial starts today.

WILLIAM SHATNER talks to the National Post about his autobiography and much more, including recording Has Been with Ben Folds in Nashville: "I did a rock and roll number. and I understood for the first time what rock and roll is..."

JON FAVREAU has signed on to direct the Iron Man sequel and dishes potential spoliers about The Avengers to USA Today.

IRAN: A top advisor to Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned against "provocative" remarks on Tehran's nuclear crisis which tend to be associated with Pres, Ahmadinejad.  Hezbollah instructors trained Shiite militiamen at remote camps in southern Iraq until three months ago when they slipped across the border to Iran - presumably to continue instruction on Iranian soil, according to two Shiite lawmakers and a top army officer.

IRAQ: A new White House report to Congress claims that Iraq's efforts on 15 of 18 benchmarks are "satisfactory" - almost twice of what it determined to be the case a year ago.  But getting all the way there is taking time. MPs from Iraq's parliament went into a closed session with the country's foreign minister on Tuesday to discuss the controversial long-term security pact with Washington. US officers say many of the militia leaders who used the Shula neighborhood of Baghdad as a base have either fled or gone into hiding and are tough to find. About 325 million worth dollars' of projects are under way to address critical needs in Anbar province, which include the "huge problem" of providing sufficient electrical power. The US military has begun withdrawing from Iraq the last of the five additional combat brigades that were deployed to the country in 2007.

A CROCODILE is welcomed into a bar in the Aussie Outback.

TWO RIVER OTTERS went on a weekend tear in Petaluma, stopping at Mario & John's Tavern and an auto parts store.

TRAKR, a German shepherd who sniffed out survivors from under the rubble of New York's World Trade Center after the 2001 terror strikes is to be cloned. He was picked by BioArts International as the most "clone-worthy" canine in a competition offering an owner a free chance to replicate their pet.

RHESUS MACAQUES can simultaneously count audible beeps and dots on a computer screen. ALSO: A 42-year-old chimpanzee who is toilet-trained and can eat with a knife and fork is believed to be at large in a Southern California forest after escaping his cage.

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT: A man with two a$$es baffled customs officials in Denmark.

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New Releases, Dance Music, No Age, Stingrays   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Tuesday, July 01, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

JAY-Z: Noel Gallagher of Oasis said that he did not think the rapper was a good fit for the Glastonbury festival, so Jay-Z opened his set there with an off-key, kareoke take on "Wonderwall," followed by "99 Problems."  Noel ain't one of them.  That's a twofer Tuesday, with extra profanity.

NEW RELEASES: Alkaline Trio gets added to the albums streaming in full via Spinner, but Earlimart is this week's pick to click. There are also plenty of reissues, from Van Morrison to the White Stripes to Willie Nelson.

DANCE MUSIC: The Telegraph's music critics pick their top 50 tunes to get you onto the dancefloor, with plenty of Tube linkage.

MORNING BECOMES ECLECTIC:  I haven mentioned the venerable radio show recently, but June featured performances from artists including Billy Bragg, Los Campesinos, Martha Wainwright, Death Cab for Cutie and neo-soul outfit Little Jackie, to name a few.

LIVE ALBUMS are dead, man. The Independent misses them, misses them.

DAVID BOWIE talks up the 12 tracks he compiled for a Daily Mail giveaway.

NO AGE debuted their lo-fi, noisy, trippy, kinda folky "Eraser" on the MTV.

THE HOLD STEADY frontman Craig Finn does a two-part interview with Aquarium Drunkard.  Finn mentions some of the cameos, including Dinosaur Jr.'s J Mascis... on banjo!

BEST OF 2008 SO FAR: Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis unveil their lists in the latest edition of Sound Opinions.

DOWN ON THE FARM: The Guardian interviewed Glastonbury festival performers about the country life.

THE NATIONAL answer five questions for Metro.

STEVEN TYLER comes clean about getting clean.

BRIGHT YOUNG HOLLYWOOD is the subject of a story and photo portfolio at Vanity Fair.

BLONDE ON BLONDE: Pamela Anderson called Jessica Simpson a "b^tch" and a "wh*re" after learning about Simpson's "Real Girls Eat Meat" t-shirt.  It appears Anderson was cracking wise, though if she thought the shirt referred to men, I don't see how it's a joke.

AMY WINEHOUSE, otoh, called Kanye West a "c^nt" during her set at the Glastonbury Festival and does not seem to have been joking. West, surprisingly for him, is amused.

JEN & JOHN: Aniston & Mayer were... wait for it... caught canoodling on camera after his performance at the Brixton Academy over the weekend. Pics at the link.

NAKED WOMEN'S WRESTLING LEAGUE BESTS CARMEN ELECTRA: Don't click; it's sure to disappoint.

THE DARK KNIGHT gets more early rave reviews at Rope of Silicon and IGN.

QUANTUM OF SOLACE: Bond is back in November; the trailer is at Moviefone now.

AFGHANISTAN: More US and NATO troops have been killed in Afghanistan than in Iraq for the second straight month.

PAKISTAN: An in-depth piece in the New York Times details how the US is returning to a bureaucratic, pre-9/11 mindset regarding terrorirm, with the result that Al Qaeda now has a new band of terrorist camps from which to plan and train for attacks against Western targets, including the United States.

IRAQ: Former insurgents continue to turn themselves in by the hundreds - including some who had been the most virulently anti-American leaders.  Iraq will spend 100 million dollars to rebuild Sadr City and create jobs for many of its two million residents after years of violence and neglect. The US military has transfered 1000 od 8000 Humvees to Iraqi security forces. Iraqi guards opened fire on a female suicide bomber on Sunday and triggered her explosives belt before she reached their headquarters, foiling the latest of more than 20 suicide missions by women this year.

THE GREAT STINGRAY MIGRATION... and one clownfish looking for his son. More pics at the link.

A GIRAFFE led a circus breakout involving 15 camels, two zebras and an undetermined number of llamas and potbellied pigs.

HUNDREDS of SCORPIONS and SNAKES, plus turtles, lizards, tarantulas, frogs, and salamanders were stranded at the Mexico City airport for more than a week.  They should have joined one of those VIP clubs.

A DROWNING 375-LB BEAR was rescued... from the Gulf of Mexico? Pics and video at the link.

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Primal Scream, Aviette, Vampire Weekend, Lion Cub   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Monday, June 30, 2008 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

PRIMAL SCREAM pays more than a bit of homage to Daria Argento's classic Suspiria in the clip for "Can't Go Back."

DAN WILSON (Trip Shakespeare, Semisconic) tells LAist he does not get musicians who have love-hate relationships with their hits.

AVIETTE brought their noise-pop to The Current for a chat and mini-set you can stream on demand via MPR.

THE TING TINGS' Katie White talks to the Guardian about the glamour of pop stardom, in which getting one's clothes washed is more stressful than playing a gig.

DOVEMAN has covered the entire Footloose soundtrack for your downloading (guilty) pleasure.

VAMPIRE WEEKEND goes a little Wes Anderson in the new video for "Oxford Comma."

DAVENDRA BANHART & GILBERTO GIL are jointly interviewed by the L.A. Times (no pun intended).

THE WILDERS, a nifty blugrass combo Sylvia and I saw open for Del McCoury a while ago, snagged a segment on NPR's Weekend Edition.

NEIL YOUNG talks to Billboard about the forthcoming documentary "CSNY: Deja Vu" and alt-fuels.

BLACK ANGELS singer Alex Maas talks to the Boston Globe about the band's influences.

MADONNA & GUY RITCHIE: Madge has reportedly told Ritchie she wants a divorce, and has been seen out without her wedding ring.  Without a pre-nuptial agreement, Guy could be looking at up to £50million of Madge's £300million fortune.  Ritchie ditching Kabbalah may be a factor or result, but he reproted ly flew  to New York this past weekend in a last-ditch bid to save the marriage.

SUPERMODEL SUICIDE: Ruslana Korshunova, 20, whose face graced the cover of French Elle and Russian Vogue, fell from her swank downtown NYC apartment to her death yesterday in an apparent suicide, officials said.

AMY WINEHOUSE punched a fan, spat chewing gum into the crowd and called Kanye West a c*** on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury. Video at the link.

SIENNA MILLER has been enjoying secret romantic nights with tycoon actor and dad-of-four Balthazar Getty after dumping heartbroken Notting Hill star Rhys Ifans, according to the uber-reliable News of the World.

ANNE HATHAWAY talked to the FBI shortly before they arrested her ex boyfriend Raffaello Follieri for an alleged $6 million con job?  That's what a friend of his thinks, based on the language of the indictment.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: WALL-E takes the top slot with an estimated 62.5 million. That beats most expectations and ties Monsters, Inc. for third best Pixar opening.  Wanted also beat tracking numbers with 51.1 million -- the best rated R-rated June opener ever and huge for Jolie, edging out the PG-13 Mr. & Mrs. Smith.  It also appears to be the first weekend with two 50+ million openers ever. Get Smart dropped about 48 percent to make 20 mil in the third slot, which probably isn't too bad, considering the competition.  Kung Fu Panda took its licks from WALL-E, dropping 46 percent to the fourth slot with 11.7 mill.  The Incredible Hulk continued to downsize, dropping another 58 percent to round out the Top Five.  Flops like the Love Guru and The Happening flopped even bigger, dropping over 60 percent each to sixth and eighth, respectively.

WALL-E & WANTED: I saw and enjoyed both of them  WALL-E might have had a little too much rote dystopianism than one might expect from a family film, but the animation was spectacular and the characterizations well-done, despite the near total absence of dialog for the first half of the movie.  That lack of dialog should bnoost the flick globally, btw.  Wanted plays as extensively with time -- or moreso -- than the Matrix movies, without the deep pholosophy.  There were some exceedingly clever bits (taken from the graphic novel) and some illogic in some of the action scenes (not), but overall a satisfying summer thrill attraction.

LINDSAY LOHAN may have a secret half-sister, according to her ex-con Dad.

ROB LOWE: A former nanny who is accusing the actor of sexual harassment allegedly offered sex to the family's tennis instructor, according to court documents released Friday.

MAD MEN:  There's some love for the women of Mad Men at AfterEllen.  NTTAWWT, though there's big spoiler if you missed the first season and are waiting for the DVDs this week.

STAR TREK: Harry Knowles incredibly got a look at some early footage from next summer's JJ Abrams reboot.  Light spoilers; nothing that hasn't already leaked, plotwise (afaik).

BRITNEY SPEARS could make a return appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards.  After all, last year's train wreck piled up ratings.  Mel Gibson reportedly tried to set the pop wreck up with one of his twin sons, who both have stints in rehab.

ALT-ENERGY: The US government is putting a hold on new solar energy projects on public land for two years so it can study the environmental impact of sun-driven plants. The Bureau of Land Management, which looks after 258 million acres of federal land, much of it flat, sun-baked terrain in the western US considered ideal for solar energy development, says the study is required by law and backed by environmental groups.

ISLAMISM in the UK:  The Jamestown Foundation looks at the next generation of radical Islamist preachers in the UK. Terrorists linked to Al-Qaeda may be planning to buy former NHS ambulances and police cars to mount suicide bomb attacks in Britain, MI5 has warned.

IRAN has moved ballistic missiles into launch positions, with Israel's Dimona nuclear plant among the possible targets, defense sources said last week. The movement of Shahab-3B missiles, followed a large-scale exercise earlier this month in which the Israeli air force flew en masse over the Mediterranean in an apparent rehearsal for a threatened attack on Iran's nuclear installations.

IRAQ: The Mahdi Army is evolving into a clandestine movement following Iraqi military operations targeting the group, intelligence suggests.  The restive peace in Baghdad remains fragile. Iraqi security forces detained the leader of the Basra Sadrist office in Amarah and 12 "terrorists" in Basra. Iraq forces detained 43 insurgents in Baghdad and ten in Kirkuk. Five al Qaeda operatives were detained in Mosul and two leaders in Diyala.

ZARA, a 6-week-old lion cub from Linton is destined to spend her future in Africa, after she was abandoned by her parents. Video and pics at the link.

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT: A cat without a face.  Call your agent, Billy Idol.

PIGEONS are smuggling drugs and other contraband into a Brazilian prison.

A PIG that survived 36 days in the rubble of the Chinese earthquake has been adopted by a museum.

MUSKRATS are getting no love on the flood plains of Mississippi.

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