September 27, 2012

Two people charged with trying to extort millions of dollars from Stevie Wonder pleaded no contest on Monday September 24 and were released after being sentenced to time-served in jail.

Alpha Lorenzo Walker and Tamara Diaz were sentenced to serve 292 days in jail and three years of probation for attempting to sell a video that purportedly portrayed Wonder in a negative light. Jail credits made the pair eligible for release Monday.

The pair was arrested in May after the Grammy-winner’s attorney arranged a sting and claimed Walker had sought up to $5 million for the video.

Walker’s attorney, Ian Wallach, said the deal was reached after prosecutors encountered trouble proving the extortion case and that the charges were eligible to be reduced to misdemeanors and expunged later if the pair comply with the terms of their release.

A judge ordered the pair to stand trial in July after a preliminary hearing in which a police detective described the video as an 80-minute rant against Wonder. Portions of it were filmed in the former home of the singer’s late mother, which is now dilapidated, and it also shows Wonder's son, whom the musician is protective of.

Wallach had maintained his client was innocent and that he had a constitutional right to make and market the video. Diaz is Walker’s girlfriend and was present during a police sting that involved Wonder’s attorney and led to the pair’s arrest.

The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office said both were ordered to stay away from Wonder and his associates while on probation.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

September 27, 2012

 

 

ARIES

 

Stay focused on the tasks before you this week and find a way to do your work with love. The pace will pick up soon enough, and the vibrations will be more to your liking. Enjoy a sociable week. Soul Affirmation: I let imagination light up my work.

 

 

 

TAURUS

 

After last week’s energy, you might want to play things a bit more low-key this week. You’ll do yourself a favor if you stick close to home and relax. Your energy could use a little refreshment. Meditation, listening to music, even doing some household chores, will recharge your batteries. Soul Affirmation: Before goodness can come I must expect goodness.

 

 

 

GEMINI

 

Change your routine this week. Even a minor change in the way you approach your week will enable you to feel happier and more adventurous. Try something new, and you’ll be happy with the outcome. Soul Affirmation: I know that my life is full of good things. I enjoy!

 

 

 

CANCER

 

Create a map in your mind to chart a course through unfamiliar waters. You’ll be as happy as you make up your mind to be. Because you are so wise, you’ll be at peace with all outcomes. Soul Affirmation: I give thanks for who I am this week.

 

 

 

LEO

 

It’s a good week to reflect on your personal network of friends and co-workers. You are surrounded by supportive vibrations, and you’ll be counting your blessings by the end of this busy week! Soul Affirmation: It’s bad only if I see it that way.

 

 

 

VIRGO

 

Find a way to love the work you do this week. Use your creativity and wonderful sense of humor and you’ll be finished with chores early enough to relax. Use your energy wisely.

 

 

 

Soul Affirmation: I let worry fly away.

 

Lucky Numbers: 3, 12, 21

 

 

 

LIBRA

 

A romantic partner returns and wants to pick up the past and start over. Friends are good to have, but this particular friend will be best kept as just that . . . a friend! Enjoy your ability to choose what’s best for you. Soul Affirmation: My spirit gives me limitless possibilities.

 

 

 

SCORPIO

 

Some quiet time could fill the bill nicely for you this afternoon. You need some space to let your creativity spread out, so keep enjoy the moments of solitude and make your necessary phone calls later. Relax! Soul Affirmation: I let myself be the cheerful me.

 

 

 

SAGITTARIUS

 

Take a positive and sensible stance this week where co-workers are involved. Situations could be tricky, but you’ll do fine if you don’t commit yourself to anything that you really don’t want to do. Soul Affirmation: The earthiness of my being reflects the sunshine of my soul.

 

 

 

CAPRICORN

 

A positive, alert attitude will draw opportunities to you this week. You’ll see more of the big picture if you take a mental step backward. You’ll hear exactly what you need to hear if you take the time to listen. Soul Affirmation: Jewelry reflects the beauty of my feelings about myself.

 

 

 

AQUARIUS

 

Guard your words this week, and let peace and harmony rule where they may. It’s not the time to point out the character flaws of a higher-up. You can make this a very productive week if you apply your industrious spirit to your work. Soul Affirmation: Facing down challenges makes me feel good about myself.

 

 

 

PISCES

 

You can help out a friend this week if you plan your schedule so that you’ve got time for kindness built in! Embrace your generous side while getting your own work finished. You are excellent at multi-tasking! Soul Affirmation: Old love? New love? The most important thing is true love!

 

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

September 27, 2012

By JONATHAN LANDRUM Jr. Associated Press

 

Even though T.I. hasn’t produced any major hits lately, the Grammy-winning rapper believes he can still sell a considerable amount of albums based on his track record.

T.I.’s credentials include 10 Top 10 Billboard Hot 100 hits and five platinum albums. But he has yet to make a big splash musically since he was released from jail following an 11-month term at an Arkansas prison on a probation violation. His last album, 2010’s “No Mercy,” reached gold status, but it didn’t produce any No. 1 hits.

But he says that hasn’t affected him and his future success.

“I’m going to always rise above the doubt that may exist about me,” he said in a recent interview. “I have a core audience of fans that are going to buy (my albums) whether I have a single out. I ain’t got to have a video out. ... When you hear my name and an album, it’s going to be the complete body of work. It’s going to be above standard.”

T.I. said he sets himself apart from most of the current “it” rappers because of his success as an entrepreneur. He’s in the Starz drama series “Boss” and the upcoming comedy “Identity Theft” alongside Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy; he’s got his own Vh1 reality show “T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle”; he has the clothing line Akoo; and recently, he released his second novel with author David Ritz called “Trouble & Triumph: A Novel of Power & Beauty.”

“There’s a difference between being hot for the moment, and being huge,” he said. “Whether I’m hot or not, I’m still huge in a lot of different areas. ... It’s certain things I’ll do that (other rappers) will never be able to do. I’m aware of that, and I believe they are, too. It’s just sometimes people get caught up with what’s hot.”

T.I. might have made strides outside of rap, but the 31-year-old said he is still passionate about recording music. His eighth album, “Trouble Man,” will “tentatively” be out in December. His new single, “Ball,” features Lil Wayne.

“I have to give them the new me,” he said. “I just have to show that I remember the methods, the practices of the old me. It’s like a guy who you know that has lived a certain lifestyle and you know he’s validated to speak on it.”

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

September 27, 2012

By ANTHONY McCARTNEY Associated Press

 

A judge has ordered a further review of Chris Brown’s community service and travel to determine whether the R&B singer has violated the terms of his probation for the 2009 beating of then-girlfriend Rihanna.

Brown appeared in court Monday September 24 for the first time in more than a year, and Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg tried to sort through Brown’s probation record and the impact of a positive marijuana result during a random drug screening. Schnegg said community service logs from Brown’s home state of Virginia were “somewhat cryptic” and additional review was needed to determine whether he had complied with his probation.

A spreadsheet sent by the Richmond, Va., police chief indicated Brown had completed 1,402 hours of community service, ranging from trash pickup, to washing cars, painting and tending to stables.

Brown spoke briefly during the hearing, telling Schnegg that he wasn’t required to sign in when performing his service. His lawyer, Mark Geragos, welcomed the inquiry and said he expected to show that Brown had complied with all his probation terms.

The judge said Brown produced a medicinal marijuana prescription from California and that she had never ordered him not to use drugs, so the positive drug test may not have a major impact on his probation.

She warned Brown that while his marijuana use may have been legal, he needed to be mindful of his public image and his sway with young fans.

“You are not an average person who can sit in their living room and do what you want to do,” Schnegg said, noting that Brown’s mother was sitting in the audience of the courtroom. “You are not only in the public eye, but you are on probation.”

Brown has had several high-profile incidents that have drawn negative attention, including a bottle-throwing New York City nightclub brawl involving his entourage and a group accompanying Drake. Brown received a cut on his chin, and neither entertainer was ever charged. A woman in Miami has also accused Brown of taking her cell phone away after she tried to take pictures of him outside a South Beach nightclub, but the singer has not been charged in that incident.

Schnegg urged him to be careful going forward.

“You should be mindful of obeying all rules of the courts,” Schnegg said. “A lot of people look up to you — a lot of kids. What you do and what you say impacts other people.”

Brown was sentenced to five years of supervised probation after pleading guilty to felony assault for his February 2009 attack on Rihanna. Before Monday, he had received positive reports from probation officials and praise from Schnegg. The judge ordered Brown to return to court Nov. 1 for another update.

Virginia officials also reported that Brown may have traveled to Paris without permission, but Schnegg said she has approved most of the singer’s travel and would have to review that claim further.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

September 20, 2012

 

ARIES

You seem preoccupied this week and it’s because your mind is filled with a vision of love for the entire planet. Use your gifts to assist others in seeing the world as you do, in glorious color. Check the details on paperwork that you have to do, dreamer.  Soul Affirmation: I release internal pressure by enjoying the beauties of the world around me.

 

TAURUS

Everybody’s in a good mood this week, and you’ll want to join friends or family in sharing good food and feelings. You may be asked to grow, or move. Think seriously about it, because it could enhance your spiritual growth. Soul Affirmation: In order for money to come I must think about money as my friend.

 

GEMINI

At work, some matters have been on hold but now you will get the green light. Continue to work as diligently as you have been in the pass to ensure success. Have faith that your plans are on target. Soul Affirmation: Anticipation of a beautiful immediate future lights up my week.

 

CANCER

Remember that you are in control of your emotions this week. Things will look brighter as soon as you let yourself feel like the glowing spirit that you are. Co-create your reality this week by using positive emotions to remind yourself of how wonderful you are. Soul Affirmation: I will ask joy to marry me.

 

LEO

You are in the middle of a dream coming true. Watch for signs that your wish is about to be granted. You’ll be very happy with what you’ve achieved. Soul Affirmation: Love is easier than breathing.

 

VIRGO

Overall, the vibrations surrounding you this week are very good, very good indeed. Go with the best, and refuse to allow any minor inconvenience to spoil your sunny mood. You are going to have a lovely week. Soul Affirmation: He who doesn’t ask will remain a fool forever.

 

LIBRA

Remember that you look marvelous! Be prepared for lots of compliments this week, and plan to accept them gracefully. You may be planning a time period trip; it’s going to be a nice getaway. Soul Affirmation: Communication is a skeleton key that opens many doors.

 

SCORPIO

A party or gathering with friends from the past gives you the opportunity to strut your stuff a bit. You’ve made tremendous strides and accomplished much in your life, so be pleased with yourself this week. Pass some of your wisdom along to others. Soul Affirmation: All that I need is within me.

 

SAGITTARIUS

You should know by now that trying to be in two places at once is very taxing to your nerves! Slow down a bit and trust that you’ll get what needs to be done accomplished. Give yourself a head start on all road trips so that you have time to enjoy the view. Soul Affirmation: Seeing my past clearly this week gives me a clear vision of my future.

 

CAPRICORN

An afterglow surrounds you during the week, and you may not feel like getting immediately into work-mode this week. It’s okay to go with your feelings; the world will wait for a little while. Treasure happy moments. Soul Affirmation: Facing down challenges makes me feel good about myself.

 

AQUARIUS

Your mind is busy this week with thoughts of new projects and the things you want to get done. Best course of action is to clear up pending and overdue items. You’ll have a clean desk in no time and will feel genuinely content and relaxed for the week. Soul Affirmation: I will actually write a love letter to the universe this week.

 

PISCES

Lots of opportunities are swirling around you, and it will require some diligence on your part to make the most of some of them. You’ll be happy you put in some extra effort this week!  Soul Affirmation: I open up to the universe. The universe opens up to me.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

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