August 02, 2012

By MESFIN FEKADU Associated Press

 

Snoop Dogg says he was “born again” during a visit to Jamaica in January, is changing his name to Snoop Lion and is ready to make music that his “kids and grandparents can listen to.”

The artist known for gangster rap is releasing a reggae album called “Reincarnated” in the fall.

The West Coast rapper held a news conference in New York on earlier this week. Later he played five songs for a small crowd, including one called “No Guns Allowed.” It features his daughter.

The album will be followed with a documentary of the same name. It features him making music and will include some personal elements of his life, a producer of the film said. It will debut at the Toronto Inter­national Film Festival in September.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

August 02, 2012

 

ARIES

 

It’s easy to take it easy! Just slow down and let each moment arrive at its own speed. You’ll get a lot done this week if you get in tune with the rhythm of the week. Each moment has its own beat.  Stay with it.  Soul Affirmation: The wisdom of the ages is revealed as my spirit.

 

 

 

TAURUS

 

Change is near, and it’s going to be good. Clear your desk of pesky tasks this week and get your mind free to receive what life brings. Positive results help you feel even more positive. Soul Affirmation: Someone wonderful is looking to find me.

 

 

GEMINI

 

You are the boss of your week this week, so act like the leader you are and let the week follow you around. Your creativity is soaring; schedule enough time to get some of your brilliant ideas on paper. Soul Affirmation: Trust gives me a deep sense of peace and joy.

 

 

CANCER

 

A steady stream of opportunities is beaming your way, lucky you and they contain endless variations of possibilities. Wear your instincts like a rainbow colored coat this week and gather the good resources that you need. Soul Affirmation: Hope is future’s way of shining on me this week.

 

 

LEO

 

Some down time will work wonders for you this week. You’ve been running fast with your projects, and now it’s time to slow it down. Try to spend time outdoors and with nature. Enjoy! Soul Affirmation: Hope is a beautify jewel. I enjoy owning it.

 

 

VIRGO

 

Center yourself at every opportunity during this busy week and keep your quest for emotional and spiritual balance in the forefront. Make an effort to take your time; that way you’ll recognize opportunity from impulse-control problems immediately. Soul Affirmation: My spirit gives me limitless possibilities.

 

 

 

LIBRA

 

Happiness arrives and sits on your shoulder like a bright butterfly this week. A relationship can make significant progress if you stay open to love. Keep your evening free for romance in a social setting. Soul Affirmation: I give thanks for who I am this week.

 

 

SCORPIO

 

Take charge of a project at work and get it finished up. It’s been languishing on someone else’s shoulders and desk for way too long. A sensible outlook will get you far this week. Forget about all grudges and move forward in love. Soul Affirmation: My hunches work well for me this week.

 

 

SAGITTARIUS

 

You may find yourself faced with many distractions this week but you’ll sail through and accomplish much if you stay focused on each task and take them one at a time. You know you can do it this evening. Soul Affirmation: Money opens doors for friendship to enter.

 

 

CAPRICORN

 

Creativity is favored and yours is especially favored with some project that you’ve been working especially hard on. For the next few days watch for a romance that will bring special gifts. Soul Affirmation: I care deeply about the feelings of others.

 

 

AQUARIUS

 

Your new ideas combine well with your will and skill. You get a lot done at work this week. Be soft and forceful. Make time for family life this week. Your rewards come from those who are related to you by blood. Soul Affirmation: I let positive emotions carry me through the week.

 

 

PISCES

 

Before you spend your money check the quality of the goods. This rule applies to intangible goods as well. Make the first move with your honey this week. Be sweetly aggressive. Soul Affirmation: The enjoyment of good food is high on my agenda this week.

 

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

July 26, 2012

 

ARIES

Hidden resentments could surface and you’ll want to be able to gracefully back away from arguments this week. Appreciate the good vibrations and ignore the negative. You’ll be doing the universe’s work! Soul Affirmation: What I’ve been waiting for has been here all along.

 

TAURUS

Charming, simply charming is what you are this week!  Use your sparkle to set a few dreams in motion by meeting with those who can help you move forward. Wow! Have you got it going on!   Keep your spontaneous side in check this week. Soul Affirmation: I know that enjoyment is a state of mind this week.

 

GEMINI

Think things through before you act. Concentrate on small details. They will make the difference between success and failure in your endeavors this week.  Don’t go for the gusto just yet, your ideas need to be massaged a bit more before you present them openly. Call that special someone that has been on your mind. Soul Affirmation: True friendship is a mirror into which I look to see the beauty of my inner self.

 

CANCER

Your financial constraints will soon come to an end. Meanwhile, make a game of spending less. See how long you can go without letting loose a dime and you will be in a better position to make decisions about bigger ticket items soon. Start thinking about where you would like to take a short excursion. Soul Affirmation: I paint my world in colors of the rainbow.

 

LEO

For the past two weeks you have been playing it safe. Now you can live on the edge a little. Luck is back with you again. You’ll be aware of love prospects lingering around you. You’ll see that your career is full of bright possibilities. Now is a good time to take a chance. Soul Affirmation: Self-confidence is the key to my success this week.

 

VIRGO

Flexibility is the word for this week. Don’t insist on being right, even if you think you are. You will gain more this week if you allow others the freedom to have their way rather than insisting that people do things your way. Soul Affirmation: He who doesn’t ask will remain a fool forever.

 

LIBRA

You don’t have to worry about being alone in the journey that you have undertaken. You are on this path because someone guided you. Take the memory of their guidance as comfort and keep on trucking. Soul Affirmation: Things are as I know them to be.

 

SCORPIO

Commit to a way this week, lucky archers! You are developing your craft by practice and more practice. Accept recognition gracefully, and keep on task. You are investing in your art this week. Soul Affirmation: Goodness is its own reward.

 

SAGITTARIUS

Your word this week is “Persistence.” Keep at the task of persuading others that your idea or vision is as remarkable as you know it is. You just need to get the word out, and you need to be persistent in your efforts. Make a game out of it and have fun! Soul Affirmation: Often it’s not what I say but the way I say it that gets the message across

 

CAPRICORN

 Results that seemed like they would never show up may arrive this week, and it will make you very happy. Keep the feeling this week in mind so that you’ll remember and benefit from it next time you are impatiently waiting for an outcome. Everything is working to your good. Soul Affirmation: I give thanks for the chance to give.

 

AQUARIUS

Your exciting and adventurous self will want to come out and play. You’ll be happiest if you are exploring something, and then topping it off with a visit to a restaurant that serves something you’ve never tried before. Live it up at the banquet of life this week! Soul Affirmation: When I am clear about who I am, the world becomes clearer.

 

PISCES

Watch for that item you’ve been wanting to be on sale at a good price this week. While you are feeling pretty confident with money, you don’t want to splurge or overspend just yet. Keep your eye out for bargains for a little while longer! Soul Affirmation: This week I find joy in the gifts that life has already given me.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

July 26, 2012

By DON BABWIN,

Associated Press

 

Struggling to contain his anger, a Chicago judge on Tuesday July 24, sentenced Oscar-winner Jennifer Hud­son’s former brother-in-law to life in prison for killing her mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew in what prosecutors say was a fit of jealous rage.

In blistering comments, Cook County Circuit Judge Charles Burns rejected William Balfour's claims that he was innocent of the crimes.

“You have the heart of an arctic night,” Burns told Balfour. “Your soul is as barren as dark space.”

Balfour was convicted in May of first-degree murder in the 2008 shooting deaths of Hudson’s 57-year-old mother, Darnell Donerson; her 29-year-old brother, Jason Hudson; and her 7-year-old nephew, Julian King.

During the trial, prosecutors portrayed Balfour, who was married to Hudson’s sister, Julia Hudson, as a jealous estranged husband who often stalked the Hudson family home after he moved out in early 2008. Balfour’s attorneys suggested someone else committed a crime in the family’s three-story house in the Englewood neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side.

Burns’ harshest comments came in regards to Julian’s death. The judge’s voice cracked as he recounted how terrified the child must have been in the second before he was shot twice in the head.

“I have no doubt in my mind he looked to you when you put bullets in his head,” the judge said.

Hudson, who attended every day of Balfour’s trial earlier this year, sat next to her sister and dabbed her eyes with a tissue a couple of times during the hearing, including the 10 minutes in which Burns put his own anger into words. She did not make a statement to the judge and left the courtroom without commenting.

Balfour offered his condolences to the Hudson family while maintaining that he didn’t kill their relatives.

“My deepest prayers goes out to Julian King. I loved him. I still love him,” he said. “I’m innocent, your honor.”

Burns, however, said he had no doubt “whatsoever” that Balfour committed the crimes, including the shooting of a little boy “just because he was there.”

“I don’t think you have one ounce of remorse in your soul; I really don’t,” Burns said.

Illinois does not have the death penalty, and Balfour faced a mandatory life sentence. The judge sentenced Balfour to three terms of life in prison plus 120 years on other charges, a largely symbolic move but one that underlined the judge’s feelings.

The killings occurred the morning after Julia Hudson’s birthday, and prosecutors said he became enraged when he stopped by the home and saw a gift of balloons in the house from her new boyfriend.

After his estranged wife left for work on the morning of Oct. 24, 2008, prosecutors said Balfour went back inside the home with a .45-caliber handgun and shot Hudson’s mother. He then allegedly shot Hudson’s brother twice in the head as he lay in bed.

Prosecutors said Balfour then drove off in Jason Hudson’s SUV with Julian, Julia’s son, and shot the boy several times in the head as he lay behind a front seat. His body was found in the abandoned vehicle miles away after a three-day search.

“Three days under a tarp,” Burns said of the time the boy’s body lay in the backseat of the SUV. “Just as if you threw out the trash and left it to rot.”

Although the sentence means Balfour will likely die in prison, the judge made a point of telling Balfour the sentences would run one after another, followed by an additional 120 years for his other convictions, including home invasion, aggravated kidnapping and possession of a stolen vehicle.

The only family member to speak was Julian’s father, Gregory King, who told of the three days of hoping that his son might be alive only to find out he was dead. He also spoke about what had been taken from him by his son’s death, of the everyday moments that make up a relationship between a father and a son.

“I miss picking Julian up from the school bus,” King said. “I miss going on field trips with him. ... I even miss his bugging me about Sponge Bob Square Pants, a cartoon character he was kind of afraid of.”

Jennifer Hudson chose not to make a statement. During the trial, the Academy Award-winning actress for her role in the 2007 film “Dreamgirls” testified that she had known Balfour since the eighth grade and always disliked him.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

July 26, 2012

By ANTHONY McCARTNEY, Associated Press

 

The turmoil in Michael Jackson’s family landed in court recently, after a request was filed for temporary guardianship of the singer’s three young children.

 

Margaret Lodise, the guardian ad litem for the children, said the petition seeks to appoint Tito Jackson’s son TJ as a temporary guardian.

 

The ongoing hearing came after days of bickering between factions of Jackson’s family that included a driveway confrontation that remains under investigation and lingering questions about the well-being of Jackson family matriarch Katherine.

 

She was found safe over the weekend with daughter Rebbie and other relatives in Arizona, after going more than a week without talking to her grandchildren — Prince, Paris and Blanket.

 

Katherine Jackson’s attorney, Perry Sanders Jr., said his client later spoke with her grandchildren but only after Sanders met with Janet and Jermaine Jackson about their mother in Tucson, Ariz.

 

Sanders and Lodise were among several attorneys in court Wednesday July 25 to try to bring order to the situation. Also present was TJ Jackson, who is being asked to step in as a temporary guardian for times when Katherine Jackson is unavailable.

 

A court appointed Katherine Jackson as guardian of her son Michael’s children within days of the pop superstar's unexpected death in June 2009 at age 50.

 

In recent days, they have remained at the home they share with their grandmother in Calabasas.

 

The house was the scene of a family disturbance Monday July 23 that sheriff's deputies continue to investigate. Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore has said two men were involved in an altercation at the home and that there is an active battery investigation.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

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