Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bank's CEO Search Skids Amid Toilet-Paper Flap

by Anil Whipple, TYDN Bailout Affairs Writer
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- (TYDN) Bank of America Corp. suffered a setback in its 10-week search for a chief executive after talks with the leading outside candidate ended over a dispute concerning toilet-paper thickness, forcing the board to reconsider two internal contenders, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

Robert Kelly, the CEO of Bank of New York Mellon Corp., had jumped ahead of two top BofA executives to become the leading candidate to succeed Kenneth Lewis, who is set to retire at year's end, people familiar with the matter told TheYellowDailyNews on condition of anonymity.

But even after BofA paid back the government's $45 billion bailout, in part to free it from pay limits so it could attract a top-notch CEO, the bank's board and Mr. Kelly couldn't reach a deal on how thick the toilet paper should be in the bank's Charlotte, North Carolina executive suite. Mr. Kelly had asked for a paltry pay package of about $20 million annually, but also demanded hefty 6-ply toilet paper, people with direct knowledge of the negotiations told TheYellowDailyNews on condition of anonymity.

"The board was OK with the $20 million a year but decided 5-ply toilet paper was the limit so discussions with Mr. Kelly have ended," at least three sources with direct knowledge of the deal told TheYellowDailyNews on condition of anonymity. "A gold-plated toilet was one thing. But 6-ply, that shocks the conscience."

Economists said it was the first time in recent memory a major U.S. company exercised outstanding corporate governance practices to curtail waste and protect its assets.

Shares of BofA soared in extended trading on the New York Stock Exchange. President Obama immediately praised the banking concern.

"I've been bashing bankers for months and this act of corporate responsibility wipes the slate clean," Obama said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews.

A White House spokesman declined to confirm or deny reports that the Oval Office is stocked with 7-ply.

Meanwhile, following Mr. Kelly's decision to withdraw from consideration, BofA directors may tap either Chief Risk Officer Gregory Curl or Brian Moynihan, president of consumer and small business banking, people familiar with the matter told TheYellowDailyNews.

Sources said these candidates were willing to accept a board-mandated 5-ply tissue limit so long as their compensation package included a "personal hygienic" bathroom assistant. The $20 million annually salary deal would also provide an exit package of $25 million no matter how well BofA or its stock performs.

Environmentalists hailed the proposal, saying 5-ply toilet tissue "is the greener route to go."

PhotoThe Consumerist

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sales of Golf Club Woods' Wife Used Soar

by Duff Green, TYDN Golf Affairs Writer
BEAVERTON, Ore. – (TYDN) Sales of Nike golf clubs like the one Tiger Woods' wife used to beat him silly are soaring just in time for the holiday season, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

The sales boost came days after Woods' wife, model Elin Nordegren, pounded him and his vehicle with a Nike Victory series iron after a tabloid reported the golfing sensation may have been cheating on his trophy wife, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

Florida sources close to the investigation, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was a 5-iron, the club for "long and low line drives of about 180 yards."

The New York Times reported a 6-iron while USA Today, citing "sources familiar with the investigation," said the club was a putter. The Associated Press, meanwhile, quoting at least four sources "with direct knowledge of the incident," said Nordegren wielded a Callaway Golf Co. iron, sending Nike into a public-relations frenzy.

Phil Knight, Nike's chairman, responded in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews that a Nike iron was indeed the culprit.

"Yes, Nordegren smacked Woods upside the head with one of our clubs," Knight said. "Any other brand of club would have killed him. Our clubs would never do that. They're unique."

Knight's confirmation lifted Nike's shares higher on the New York Stock Exchange.

A Florida Highway Patrol source said the agency is declining to file charges against the model.

"That's a privilege to get beaten by someone who looks like that," the source told TheYellowDailyNews on condition of anonymity and was granted anonymity by TheYellowDailyNews. "Christ sakes, she's not Elena Bobbit."

Meanwhile, Nike said the entire Woods Victory line has been selling like hotcakes since the Friday melee as wives stock up on the clubs for their husbands' Christmas gifts.

At least three Nike sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told TheYellowDailyNews that many of the wives buying the clubs have nicknamed them "reminder clubs."

"These woman," the Nike source said, "say the clubs are about their love for their mate and a 'reminder' of sorts for their husbands of what they've got coming if they stray."

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pilots Strike to Win Cockpit Napping Rights

Jennefier Duermas, TYDN Airline Affairs Writer
The nation's commercial airline pilots walked off the job late Thursday protesting the Federal Aviation Administration's ban on napping in the cockpit, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

Pilot unions asserted there is reputable research supporting the theory that so-called controlled napping during flights can enhance safety by making crews more alert during descents and landings.

The proposed sleeping plan would allow one of a flight's two pilots to doze off in the cockpit for about an hour. The plan requires them to wake up before that allotted hour to avert a mid-air collision or free fall.

What's more, some pilot unions are also requesting conjugal visitation rights in the cockpit, and pilots have promised to perform cockpit sex as safely as they would fly the plane.

"It's not called the cockpit for nothing," said Dred Scottarski, a spokesman for the Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association, in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews.

Scottarski said the pilots' demands amounted to fairness. "Millions of bored Americans are asleep at their jobs everyday and it's now time pilots catch up to their peers," Scottarski said. "Hell, planes pretty much fly themselves nowadays."

Aviation historians said it was the first time since February, 2008 pilots have walked off the job to protest the FAA's anti-sleeping policy. That is when both pilots of a regional jet flying to Hilo, Hawaii from Honolulu fell asleep at 21,000 feet for about 20 minutes as air-traffic controllers on the ground frantically tried to awaken them.

What's more, United Airlines Pilots' Association is fighting the reprimand of pilot Hiemrich Smendricks, who was suspended two weeks without pay for co-mingling work and union activity, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

The union is challenging UAL's decision to bill Smendricks $100,000 to pay for hundreds of barf bags and to re-upholster dozens of passenger seats after he handed out fliers to Los Angeles-to-New York-bound travelers urging them to support the "Pilot's Sleeping Bill of Rights."

An FAA spokesman, meanwhile, said the agency is reviewing the pilot unions' petition for napping and conjugal visitation rights. "The administration's commissioners are going to sleep on the request for a day or two," said Avery Plano, an FAA spokeswoman, in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews.

Avery said bowing to the pilots' demands would likely require the FAA to extend the same benefits to truckers, railroad engineers and subway operators.

Photo: Individuo

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

'Ambitious Story Ideas' Win TYDN Pulitzer

by Julie Pretzel, TYDN Media Affairs Critic
NEW YORK -- (TYDN) TheYellowDailyNews was awarded the Pulitzer Prize on Tuesday in a new journalism category focusing on newsrooms with "ambitious story ideas" even though those plans never make it to print, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

The New York-based Pulitzer board, taking its direction from the Oslo-based Nobel Peace Price committee that awarded President Barack Obama the top peace prize on Friday, said in a statement obtained by TheYellowDailyNews that TheYellowDailyNews' drive to "uncover graft in every corner of government in every city, county, state and federal building across the United States was a goal of laudable, and monstrous proportions."

The Pulitzer board said that, even though TheYellowDailyNews never embarked on those goals, having those goals nevertheless equated to deserving journalism's top prize.

"Wanting to expose government graft is the Holy Grail of journalism, regardless of whether you expose graft," Richard A. Oppel, the board's chairman, said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews. "These are, by definition, ambitious story ideas."

Finishing a close second were several news outlets, including The Los Angeles Times, which earned an honorable mention for its ambition to be the first to report that Michael Jackson was still dead, weeks after his June 25th death.

The announcement that TheYellowDailyNews had won, which was first reported on TheYellowDailyNews' website, came the same day the Nobel committee defended its days-old and much-criticized decision to award Obama the Nobel Peace Prize.

The Nobel committee granted him the Nobel in light of his calls for peace and cooperation, to reduce the world stock of nuclear arms, to ease U.S. conflicts with Muslim nations, to strengthen the U.S. role in combating climate change, to knock down the Berlin Wall again, and to invite women to his White House pickup basketball games.

"We simply disagree that he has done nothing," Nobel committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews. "On the same day we awarded him this prize of peace, for example, his administration was mulling sending 40,000 more 'peacekeepers' to Afghanistan."

Thonrhille Broome, an editor at large for TheYellowDailyNews, said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews that the news outlet was pleased with the Pulitzer board's decision.

"Although we know we have our critics, we were going to pursue the story once we got done researching the addresses of every city, county, state and federal building in America," Broome said. "Our researchers are combing through a football-field size pile of phone books right now to get those locations."

Broome said TheYellowDailyNews, a wholly owned subsidiary of TheYellowDailyNews LLC, was hoping to get an Internet connection perhaps as early as next year.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Americans Say Healthcare for All is Communism

By Victor Kremlinski, TYDN Health Affairs Writer
BEND, Ore. -- (TYDN) Everywhere President Barack Obama goes to tout his healthcare reform bill, he's greeted with the awe and fascination associated with the U.S. presidency. But he's also being met by fierce opposition from ordinary Americans who say they'd rather become infected by an outbreak of the bubonic plague than see their loved ones or neighbors get subsidized medical treatment, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

Nowhere was that sentiment more felt than here at the foot of the Cascades in this Southern Oregon skiing enclave, where most agree that Obama's plan amounts to communism. According to dozens of interviews conducted by TheYellowDailyNews, the majority of God-fearing Americans expressed alarm that Obama was going too far, that healthcare for all was simply unacceptable and goes against the grain of the American fabric.

"I'd just as soon as see my son catch the black plague from his schoolmates and die a horrific death than allow the government to become a Marxist regime and provide medical treatment that would have prevented the plague's outbreak in the first place," said David Applebee, an unemployed electrician who is receiving federal disability payments and food stamps after he was injured on the job. "I'd rather see every American lose an arm or become blind or come down with some God awful fever and die before caving into Sir Obama the Marxist."

That same mindset appears imbedded in all walks of life -- the rich and poor alike, according to TheYellowDailyNews' survey, the most exhaustive in the "I Hate Obama" space.

Consider, for a moment, Jackson Green, the president of Bend Savings, the local bank here that survived the economic meltdown with $775 million in federal bailout funds authorized under the George W. Bush administration. Green, who just received his annual $1.25 million bonus, said it was bad enough the government subsidizes school lunches.

"Now Obama wants to pay for American mooching bastards to have healthcare," he said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews. "Let the free market prevail and if they get sick and die and infect everybody along the way, so be it. There's a serious principle at stake. We're not Russia."

Still, others supported the plan but said it didn't go far enough.

Local striptease artist Candie Azucars, in an exclusive interview at the Double Trouble cabaret here, said it was outrageous, sexist and unfair that the plan would only subsidize a single-breast augmentation. She would be required to pay all out-of-pocket expenses for the other breast.

"This just shocks the conscience," she said as she fastened her 34D brassiere as she left the wooden stage. "I gotta pay for one of my breasts to be augmented and yet the boys at the Banana Sling House across the street are fully covered for their penis enlargement. This is just wrong and smacks of female discrimination."

Photo: purpleslog

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Condé Nast Spares Dozens of Bridal Mags

by Eric Magnakowskivitch, TYDN Bridal Affairs Writer
NEW YORK – (TYDN) The Condé Nast publishing house, falling victim to the recession, is shuttering two bride-related magazines but retaining dozens of others in the coveted bridal space, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

Chuck Townsend, Condé Nast president, said in an exclusive interview late Tuesday with TheYellowDailyNews that the unit of Advance Publications was killing its Modern Bride and Elegant Bride titles so it could focus on its other niche, bride-related titles.

Amid a working lunch of lobster, crab, caviar, Dom Perignon and French fries in his private hot tub inside the lavish Condé Naste headquarters here, Townsend said the magazine concern would continue publishing its celebrated Condé Naste bride titles, including: Quaker Bride, Trophy Bride, Transgender Bride, Bowling Bride, LeftHanded Bride, RightHanded Bride, Architectural Bride, Pregnant Bride, Knocked Up Bride, Cheating Bride, Conniving Bride, Divorced Bride, Divorced Twice Bride, Divorced Three Times Bride, Soon-to-be Divorced Bride, Married Bride, Milf Bride, Cigar Bride, Menopausal Bride, Psycho Bride, Teen Bride, Child Bride, Girl Bride, Mom Bride, Grandma Bride, Hot Bride, Hottie Bride, Sizzling Bride, Smoking Bride, Porn Star Bride, Tattoo Bride, Woman Bride, Virgin Bride, NonVirgin Bride, Sixteen Bride, Seventeen Bride, Perfect Bride, Pert Bride, Fat Bride, Obese Bride, Soon-to-be Obese Bride, Two-Bag Bride, Ginormous Bride, Skinny Bride, Thin Bride, Waif Bride, Bulimic Bride, Drunk Bride, Meth Bride, Heroin Bride, Crack Bride, Alcoholic Bride, Lithium Bride, Sober Bride, Recovering Bride, Golf Bride, Vogue Bride, New York Bride, World Bride, Christian Bride, Jewish Bride, Catholic Bride, Atheist Bride, Ultra-Rich Bride, Rich Bride, Poor Bride, Destitute Bride, Homeless Bride, Cheap Bride, TechSavvy Bride, Luddite Bride, Conservative Bride, Liberal Bride, Republican Bride, Democratic Bride, Proletariat Bride, Socialist Bride, Bourgeois Bride, Happy Bride, Super Happy Bride, Ecstatic Bride, Melancholy Bride, I Hate My Parents Bride, Gay Bride, Lesbian Bride, Boy Bride and, among others, Man Bride.

"Condé Nast's success comes from the ability of our publications to attract readers with a wide range of interests, as well as advertisers who value them," Townsend said in the exclusive interview. "But in this economic climate it is important to narrow our focus to titles with the greatest prospects for long-term growth."

Analysts, however, expressed alarm over the elimination of Modern Bride and Elegant Bride. They said advertisers are likely to look to other publishers with a more clear focus on the bridal industry.

Townsend countered, saying the company was still focused on and committed to the bridal space. White Bride, Black Bride, Yellow Bride, Brown Bride, Ebony Bride, Hispanic Bride, Chinese Bride, Japanese Bride, Asian Bride, African Bride, African-American Bride and Irish Bride would increase in frequency from monthly to weekly, he said. "This should solidify us," he said, "as the most important brand when it comes to the all-important bridal genre, especially in the cutting edge, race-related bridal sector."

Photo: kattekrab

Thursday, October 1, 2009

States Embrace 'Reanimation' to Boost Execution Stats

By Thomas Cryonetic, TYDN Execution Affairs Writer
States are boosting their lethal execution numbers with the help of scientists reanimating condemned inmates moments after they have paid the ultimate price for their crimes, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

After being declared dead, the inmates are brought back to life before being lethally injected again – a two-pronged process sometimes undertaken several times, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

The reanimations -- in which dozens of condemned men and women from California to Virginia have been executed more than once each -- is intended to show the public that the states are tough on crime, sources told TheYellowDailyNews on condition of anonymity. Reanimation also gives surviving victims a chance to relish in the moment and witness the perpetrator of heinous acts die twice or more.

Penal historians said it was the first time the authorities have resorted to reanimation in an apparent bid to increase their execution numbers. Normally, the authorities plant and tamper with evidence or provide ineffective assistance of counsel.

The reanimations are also likely to give the U.S. Supreme Court another crack at capital punishment. The high court has ruled executing inmates is not a violation of the Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment. But the court has never addressed the constitutionality of repeated executions on the same inmate.

Crime victims groups, meanwhile, are urging the states to adopt a two-execution minimum for each condemned inmate to deter crime. Doctors groups, including the American Medical Association, expressed alarm over reports that some of its members on execution teams were using needles twice in one evening "without swabbing with rubbing alcohol," said Nancy Nielsen, AMA president."Such unsanitary executions violate the Hippocratic oath."

The American Civil Liberties Union, meanwhile, said the whole procedure was flawed and inhumane. "You cannot execute a man without giving him his last meal," Anthony Romero, the ACLU's executive director, said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews.

What's more, the reanimation revelations, first reported by TheYellowDailyNews on its website, have left many ethicists scratching their heads, wondering whether states, including leading death-penalty state Texas, were fudging their huge execution numbers to look tough on crime.

"We were always wondering how Texas could have logged 441 executions in the last three decades alone," death penalty Chicago University ethicist Richard Lethalio told TheYellowDailyNews in an exclusive interview. "Planting evidence and appointing boneheaded public defenders is one thing, reanimating is another."

Still, Lethalio and other ethicists' initial concerns that the reanimation technique would be used to awaken the dead outside the execution chamber have subsided. The secret technique has been patented for use only in state-sanctioned executions.

Photo: Zaldylmg

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cross Burnings Ignite 'Family Values' Debate

By Chester Molenestar, TYDN Family Affairs Writer
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- (TYDN) Federal authorities are investigating a spate of lynching and cross burning nationwide: The frightening scenes, once of the civil rights era, are being perpetuated by a growing coalition of "concerned and wholesome parents" worried about children and family values, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

At least eight Federal Bureau of Investigation sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told TheYellowDailyNews early Tuesday that the animosity stems from these parents' disdain that their parental counterparts allow their children to walk to school or play outside without adult supervision – sometimes for minutes at a time, the FBI sources said. These sources said race was not the motive.

The federal officials expressed alarm over the Ku Klux Klan-style methods of terror, including the kidnapping and torture of some elementary school-aged kids "to teach these parents how wrong it is to let their children out of their eyesight," an FBI source told TheYellowDailyNews.

At least one U.S. historian, in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews, acknowledged it was the first time in American history that neighborhood strife was born absent prejudices in color, religion and social-economic status.

"This is the first time in American history that neighborhood strife was born absent prejudices in color, religion and social-economic status," said Harry Jeffers, a Cal State Fullerton historian  and former Nixon administration official, in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews. "We've never seen anything like this. Usually, everybody just surfs the Internet or watches TV in their free time."

The authorities said the marauding group of parents calls itself, "The Wholesome Family Against Children Walking and Playing Absent Adult Supervision," or TWFACWAPAAS for short.

Many members are sporting tattoos emblazoned with TWFACWAPAAS, the authorities said. Several motor vehicle departments across the nation have denied vanity license plates displaying TWFACWAPAAS, prompting First Amendment challenges.

"Apparently, the atrocities plaguing American neighborhoods are the alarming work of a growing group of concerned and wholesome parents called TWFACWAPAAS worried about the children and family values," an FBI source, requesting anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic, told TheYellowDailyNews after being granted anonymity by TheYellowDailyNews.

"In many instances," the source added, "TWFACWAPAAS members would kidnap children on their way to school, while waiting at the bus stop or playing in the park, just to teach their loser parents of the dangers of allowing their children out of their eyesight. The unspeakable perpetrated by the TWFACWAPAAS goes without saying, and many local police departments would look the other way."

TheYellowDailyNews could neither immediately nor independently verify the FBI's claims.

PhotoImage Editor

Thursday, September 24, 2009

'Holy Grail' Twitter Coverage Wins NY Times Pulitzer

by Linus Blanketship, TYDN Media Affairs Writer
NEW YORK -- (TYDN) The New York Times won the media battle Thursday in social-networking coverage, taking home the Pulitzer Prize for being the first to report someone engaging in sex acts while using the popular microblogging site Twitter, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

The Pulitzer Prize Board said The Times' coverage exemplified "the Holy Grail of quality journalism, and Twitter coverage in particular." The committee added that the paper's 80-member Twitter reporting team "faced stiff competition from dozens of media outlets, both online and print, that had been scouring Twitter in what best can be described as one of the greatest public-service endeavors since Woodward and Bernstein."

Honorable mentions included Wired's report of the first person defecating while on Twitter. The Associated Press was mentioned as another runner up for its recent coverage of Iranian dissidents using the 140-character Twitter service to plot protests amid a government crackdown.

Media historians said it was the first time in Pulitzer history that the prize went to a 10,000-word article – Sex Acts Meet Twitter -- that had meaning and engaged the general public.

"Usually, the prizes are given to reporters who uncover graft, corruption, pollution and government waste," Tim Histo, a Harvard University historian, said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews. "Many people find such topics boring. This Twitter story was the convergence of a perfect storm of sorts: Twitter and sex."

The New York Times, in an exclusive statement to TheYellowDailyNews, said its investigative reporters recently received an anonymous tip that somebody had registered the username SexOnTwitr. Reporters scrambled to that Twitter page and found this garbled message: "Dude, I'm having sex while tweeting. Schwing!"

The investigation concluded that it was the twitterer's first tweet. For privacy reasons, The New York Times did not publish the SexOnTwitr's account holder.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Stock Market Shuttered, Declared Ponzi Scheme

by Jonathan Montoblan, TYDN Financial Affairs Writer
NEW YORK – (TYDN) Culminating a swift and nearly 80-year investigation, federal regulators shuttered U.S. stock markets early Tuesday after declaring them a "classic Ponzi scheme," TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

Sources close to what insiders described as "the longest-running investigation in U.S. history" – second in length to the hunt for Osama bin Laden -- said chief executives at the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ Stock Exchange were being rounded up and arrested in connection with a record-setting financial fraud totaling trillions of dollars. Thousands of brokers, bankers and others assisting in the massive scam were also being arrested nationwide.

Stunned onlookers watched along Wall Street here as regulators tossed Wall Street Journal executives into the paddy wagon, accusing them of creating a leading stock-tracking index -- the Dow Jones Industrials -- enticing tens of thousands of victims along the way. Hundreds of suit-and-tied executives were seen jumping from their penthouse windows or corner offices.

"The whole financial system appears to be founded on a classic Ponzi scheme, just like the Social Security retirement system," a well-placed Securities and Exchange Commission official told TheYellowDailyNews on condition of anonymity. "New investors were enticed to get in because they saw the early adopters making money. Eventually, the system implodes on itself, a phenomena we just learned about that has secretly been called a 'correction' or a 'crash.'"

Historians said it was the first time in U.S. history regulators have raided and shuttered leading equities exchanges since the New York Stock Exchange was founded in 1817.

Meanwhile, defense attorneys decried the allegations, saying the markets were not a Ponzi scheme but instead symbolized "the fabric of the American Way."

"This just shocks the conscience that the government would declare the fabric of the American Way a scam," defense attorney Cash Shyzsteeshia said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews. "What are they going to target next: lawyers and pay-to-play lobbying?"

Entrepreneurs seized on the shakeout, immediately hawking specially crafted mattresses advertised as "replete with hidden storage compartments to securely store your life savings." Warranties lasted up to five years, but were null and void for smokers.

The authorities discovered the latest Ponzi scheme about a month ago as they were readying indictments stemming from the Great Depression "crash" eight decades ago in which equities lost about 90 percent of their value, sources familiar with the probe told TheYellowDailyNews on condition of anonymity.

The term Ponzi stems from Charles Ponzi, an Italian immigrant who stole about $1 million from U.S. investors in a 1920 postage stamp scam resembling the now-defunct U.S. equities market.

Photo: onohoku

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Every Member of Congress Being Indicted

by Thornhille Broome, TYDN Editor at Large
CHICAGO -- (TYDN) Prosecutors here are readying a federal indictment against all members of Congress on allegations of "honest services fraud," the same law being invoked to prosecute high-profile defendants including former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich for allegedly trying to sell the Senate seat Barack Obama was vacating after winning the presidency, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

At least six sources with direct knowledge of the probe, speaking on condition of anonymity, told TheYellowDailyNews early Thursday that the Chicago indictments and arrests could come down perhaps as early as Monday. Legal experts said it was the first time in U.S history that prosecutors have moved to indict all of Congress.

The federal sources said Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the U.S. attorney for northern Illinois, has convened a federal grand jury here in a bid to indict the 100 Senate members and the 435 House representatives "for committing honest services fraud against the people of the United States of America."

Defense attorneys decried the allegations, saying the law in question was so vague it could lead to the indictment of a ham sandwich. The 28-word statute includes language making it illegal to perform "a scheme or artifice to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services."

The anticipated indictments come as the U.S. Supreme Court is weighing the constitutionality of the 21-year-old statute that recently ensnared the likes of media mogul Conrad Black, Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling and lobbyist Jack Abramoff. In February, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote that the corruption law (.pdf) was so poorly crafted that it could cover "a mayor for using the prestige of his office to get a table at a restaurant without a reservation."

Local and state lawmakers, meanwhile, started worrying that they, too, would fall under Fitzgerald's sword.

Details of the charges being levied against Congress were not immediately available. But sources suggested the allegations relate to lawmakers having already generated a combined $219.5 million campaign war chest a year before the 2010 elections.

That means each legislator has, on average, received $410,280 from special interests for a job paying annual wages of $165,200 – and not all lawmakers are up for renewal.

"If this doesn't fit the definition of honest services fraud, then I don't know what does," a federal prosecutor familiar with the pending indictments told TheYellowDailyNews on condition of anonymity and was granted anonymity by TheYellowDailyNews because of the sensitivity of the topic.

"This just doesn't pass the smell test," the source continued, "and doesn't even begin to scratch the surface."

Photo: OpenCongress.org

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

SEC Vindicated in Madoff Ponzi Scandal

by Jonathan Montoblan, TYDN Financial Affairs Writer
NEW YORK -- (TYDN) The Securities and Exchange Commission announced Wednesday it was vindicated from "any and all" scrutiny after it was revealed accused swindler Bernard Madoff had never made a single stock trade the past 13 years, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

When Madoff was arrested in December, defrauded investors took out their anger at the SEC, wondering aloud how the stock market watchdog agency could have let the $50 billion swindle happen even after it received tips from whistle blowers about Madoff's fraud years ago. But on Wednesday, the agency declared victory and said it never took action against Madoff because he never made any stock trades.

"This goes to show that the SEC was doing its job and only investigating real stock fraud, not made up stock fraud," said Christopher Cox, the SEC chairman who stepped down after President Barack Obama assumed the presidency. "Alleged stock fraud does not come under our purview. Had he made actual trades, we would have been all over that. Any and all scrutiny of the SEC under my tenure must be set aside."

Revisionist economics historians said it was the first time in U.S. history the SEC was falsely accused of looking the other way as thousands of investors were defrauded.

All the while, federal lawmakers began arguing that the Obama administration is over-regulating the economy even as the government injects trillions of dollars into the economy to ensure executives enrich themselves at the expense of taxpayers and their failures.

In the Madoff affair, meanwhile, the SEC announced its vindication five days after Irving Picard, the court-appointed trustee supervising Madoff's assets, told investors that there was no trace of Madoff ever making any stock trades despite his thousands of customers having received receipts purporting to document his trades on their behalf.

"We have no evidence to indicate securities were purchased for customer accounts," Picard told Madoff investors Friday. "This is a case where weâ..re going to be looking at cash in and cash out."

The SEC announced Wednesday that defrauded investors must first apologize to the SEC before receiving a bailout of as much as $500,000 each.

Madoff, the former NASDAQ chairman, is accused of bilking investors out of $50 billion. Pending a 2012 trial date, Madoff is being confined under house arrest at his Manhattan penthouse because the jails are too filled with drug offenders and shoplifters considered a danger to society.

His attorneys said they intend to seek dismissal of the charges based on the fact that no stock fraud was committed.

"The trustee's report confirms my client's innocence," said Ira Lee Sorkin, a Madoff attorney. "These charges shock the conscience."

Photo: Bearman2007

Thursday, February 19, 2009

New 'Google It' Definition: 'Screw You Lazy Bastard'

by Charles Lingualia, TYDN Staff Writer
NEW YORK -- (TYDN) Merriam-Webster linguists are tweaking the definition of the popular term -- Google It -- in a bid to keep up with a growing population too stupid to think for itself or too lazy to engage coworkers, friends and family members, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

The phrase Google It originally entered the 11th edition of the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary in 2006 to define using the Google online search engine "to obtain information." Several Merriam-Webster sources, speaking to TheYellowDailyNews on condition of anonymity, said the dictionary publisher is expected to expand on that term in its newest addition set for release next month.

According to the text of the phrase's forthcoming second definition, which was obtained by TheYellowDailyNews, linguists have settled upon: "Screw you lazy bastard leave me alone I don't have time for you."

Language critics immediately blasted the timing of the changeover, saying the Google It second definition should have been updated at least a year ago.

"Everybody knows that that is what the term Google It means, and yet it took Merriam-Webster this long to actually put it in the dictionary," said Harvard University linguist John Salisbury. "This shocks the conscience."

Merriam-Webster spokeswoman Joannes de Garlandia said internal company discord was, in part, cause for the delay. "There was a big disagreement on whether the new definition should finish with the word jackass or dickwad," de Garlandia said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews. "After months of discussion, we decided the definition we came up with was more than adequate "

PhotoMykl Roventine

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bonds’ Penis ‘Shrinkage’ Subject of Steroid Trial

by Charles Duffymeister, TYDN Staff Writer
SAN FRANCISCO -- (TYDN) Barry Bonds' penis and testicle size is likely to have a deep impact on whether the homerun king is convicted at his upcoming trial on accusations he lied to a 2003 federal grand jury when he testified he never knowingly used steroids, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

Federal prosecutors here are expected to call Kimberly Bell, the San Francisco Giants slugger's former girlfriend, who is to testify that Bonds' ballsack and penis shrank "noticeably" when he began using what authorities allege was steroids sometime around the year 2002.

Medical experts are expected to testify in the long-running investigation that shrinkage and reduced staying power are common side effects of steroid use in athletes, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

"He used to f#%k on me pretty hard and his balls would slap me," Bell said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews. "But when he started injecting steroids, there was noticeably some major shrinkage and flacidness, and his balls stopped slapping me. Obviously, I grew disappointed and we eventually split up."

Legal experts said it was not the first time a penis would be used against its owner.

In her exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews, Bell said she would testify that the Major League Baseball homerun leader's penis shrank in firmness from the size of a cucumber to "a jarred grocery store pickle." His testicles, she said, "once resembled hard-boiled eggs and shriveled to Hershey Kiss sizes."

People familiar with Bonds' ballsack and penis said Bond's defense team is expected to grill Bell when she takes the stand at next month's trial here.

They suggested that Bonds' penis and balls only seemed bigger when the homerun king had shaved his pubic hair. He stopped shaving shortly after the couple became intimate, sources with firsthand knowledge of Bonds' penis and ballsack told TheYellowDailyNews.

"As you know, a man's penis and balls might seem bigger when they're not encased by a ton of pubic hair," defense attorney John Keker told TheYellowDailyNews in an exclusive interview. "The evidence is uncontroverted that Barry has a ton of pubic hair. Everybody knows that."

Bonds, 44, is charged with 10 counts of lying to a federal grand jury here investigating the BACLO steroid ring. He testified he was never injected with steroids and said he thought he was ingesting flaxseed oil.

The former San Francisco Giants slugger and seven-time most valuable player hit his 762nd home run in 2007, the last year he played professional baseball.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Limiting Executive Pay Unfair to CEOs, America

by Jonathan Montoblan, TYDN Financial Affairs Writer
WASHINGTON -- (TYDN) President Barack Obama's plan to cap annual pay at $500,000 for top executives whose companies accept federal bailout funds is not good for America, executives and children, according to an analysis by TheYellowDailyNews.

The analysis, the most exhaustive in the bailout sphere, concluded that the CEO pay ratio of 360 times the average worker is the only way to keep America's free enterprise humming. If the ratio were tightened, as Obama has proposed, wannabe executives would decline to emulate their superiors and hence not rise to their level of incompetence.

"This would leave American enterprise leaderless," according to TheYellowDailyNews' analysis. "And as it pertains to lower-level workers, they would not be able to respect executives or feel it necessary to empty executives' $50,000 trash cans or clean their $100,000 shower curtains."

Capping executive pay could create what the analysis concluded would amount to a "brain drain of epic proportions in which executives who have run their companies into the ground would defect to higher paying companies so they can run those businesses into the ground as well."

"It shocks the conscience that Barack Obama wants to turn a $1 trillion bailout into a socialist program by actually telling free enterprise how much it should pay its executives," Thomas J. Donahue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, told TheYellowDailyNews in an exclusive interview. "Millions of single mothers get $500 per month of welfare benefits, but yet the government isn't demanding a reduction for this handout. This is patently unfair."

Meanwhile, the study found that suicide rates of financially broken executives are likely to skyrocket, leading to broken homes as well.

"Executives whose pay was capped at $500,000 annually would be embarrassed to come home where they cheat on their wives with their nannies," the study said. "Gold-digging wives probably would leave their husbands for higher paying executives, forcing executive family children to get by on a paltry $20,000 a month in child support."

The study also concluded that lowering executive pay was a safety issue. The executives' limousine drivers and jet pilots, according to the study, "might purposely crash their vehicles out of disdain that their bosses earn only $500,000 per year."

The study also said a reduction in executive pay would hurt those in poverty by reducing the amount of taxes executives avoid paying.

According to U.S. Census figures, about 8 million U.S. families live in poverty, which the bureau defines as about $21,000 in annual income for a family of four.

Photo: AMagill

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Bongmaker Ending Phelps Sponsorhip

by Charlenne Mota, TYDN Olympics Affairs Writer
EUREKA, Calif. -- (TYDN) Bongmaker Tokem Enterprises Ltd. is set to discontinue its lucrative sponsorship of Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps following a British tabloid's publication of a photo of the gold medalist puffing from a rival company's marijuana pipe, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

Tokem Enterprises, of Eureka, Calif., is expected to sever its ties with Phelps as early as Wednesday, two Tokem Enterprises officials told TheYellowDailyNews on condition of anonymity. The sources said Phelps breached a non-compete clause in the $25 million contract.

On Sunday, British tabloid News of the World published a photo showing Phelps -- who won eight Olympic gold medals in Beijing last summer -- inhaling deeply from a marijuana pipe produced by UK-based Roor Bongs. "Bong toking is no laughing matter," a well-placed Tokem Enterprises official told TheYellowDailyNews on condition of anonymity. "The online bongosphere is questioning the integrity of our products because of this unfortunate breach of contract."

Phelps apologized for letting down a sponsor.

"I engaged in behavior which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgment," Phelps said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews. "I'm 23 years old and despite the successes I've had in the pool, I acted in a youthful and inappropriate way, not in a manner people have come to expect from me. For this, I am sorry. I promise my sponsors, fans and the public it will not happen again."

United States Olympic Committee spokesman Darryl Seibel said the committee was outraged by Phelps' conduct, and was concerned that Tokem Enterprises may drop its sponsorship of the U.S. Olympic snowboarding team. "Phelps' behavior shocks the conscience," Seibel said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews. "The committee has been in touch with Tokem Enterprises and we let them know that we're disappointed with Phelps and, going forward, we expect different and better conduct."

A high-ranking Roor Bongs official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said the bongmaker was in official discussions with Phelps' agent, Peter Carlisle, to offer Phelps perhaps $50 million over 10 years to be the brand's pitchman.

Sources said the Roor Bongs deal likely would include a joint ad campaign with Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.

Photo: Caveman 92223 -- On the Road Again!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Internet Before Computers, Schools and Hospitals

by Mosufufu James, TYDN African Affairs Writer
ENTASOPIA, Kenya -- (TYDN) The road here from bustling Nairobi winds 100 miles, giving way from asphalt to sand to a maze of cracked desert flats, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

In this meager outpost of agricultural subsistence, there is no electricity, running water, hospitals, banks, schools, cars, newspapers or computers. But Google Inc., in a bid to bring this kerosene-lighted town to the modern age, is installing free, satellite-based Internet access to be delivered at the local internet cafe that does not exist in this town of 4,000.

It's part of Mountain View, Calif.-based Google's plans to retain its online dominance while spreading the Internet to the world's fringes. The United Nations applauded the move, saying the promise of Internet access and steaming pornography -- might be the flame that ignites Entasopia and other small outposts across the globe to begin feeding and educating their young.

"This carrot-and-stick approach, of the promise of Internet porn, is a brilliant idea to get countries to progress," U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki-moon said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews. "If we gave them food. They would just eat it. If we gave them seed, they'd just plant it and eat the fruits of their labor."

Jared Chenyani is a typical Entasopia resident, and is excited about the Internet's arrival. He speculated that he would sell his wife and family into slavery and prostitution so he could buy a computer.

He just finished scavenging firewood the 31-year-old plans to heat his tiny mud hut where he and his wife and five children reside. Often, the family boils and eats the weeds surrounding their domicile while wife, Dorothy, breastfeeds all the children ranging in ages from 10 to six months.

"Perhaps I can use Google Earth to help me locate more firewood and more weeds to boil," Chenyani said in exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews.

He said he was not sure where he would plug in the computer.

Photo: Honza Soukup

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Stocks Soar Amid ‘Very Heinous’ Outlook

by Elisa Torro, TYDN Financial Affairs Writer
NEW YORK -- (TYDN) Stocks soared Friday as investors reacted to "very heinous" quarterly earnings reports by dozens of companies in every leading sector, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

Investors bid up Yahoo, Bank of America, Wal-Mart, Genentech and other major financial indicators in a scene reminiscent of a U.N. food camp in war-ravaged Somalia. Analysts had expected "extremely heinous" earnings, not the "very heinous" results that came in Friday showing losses were only in the high double digits for the quarter -- not the low triple digits as projected year over year.

In response, the Dow Jones Industrials, the S & P 500 Index and the Nasdaq Composite Index skyrocketed roughly 5 percent in afterhours trading as companies announced they would have posted huge earnings if their companies had competent management, or actually sold or produced something in the fourth quarter. Wall Street reacted positively as the companies also announced they would have generated huge returns had they not paid their executives tens of millions of dollars each, and had they not had to pay for supplies, employees, taxes, rent or other financial obligations.

Analysts surveyed by Thompson Reuters had anticipated fourth quarter results would amount to the worst since the Great Depression. But the results posted Friday showed that the economy was a fraction away from being the worst since the Great Depression, sparking a "buy" climate on all the major exchanges.

"We were predicting about 650,000 Americans would lose their jobs during the fourth quarter, not just a mere 600,000 as the recent data indicate," Lehman Bros. analyst Rebuya Nowa said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews. "This is better than expected. We upgraded the entire market from "dump" to "buy."

In response to the earnings data, the Obama administration and Congress agreed to provide the companies $819 billion in "stimulus" money, with a safeguard that only 50 percent of it be earmarked for the nation's top executives. The other 50 percent was conditioned to be used solely for lobbying purposes -- "so the bailout money finds its way back to Washington where it belongs," Obama said.

Photo: thenails

Monday, January 26, 2009

Devil Hacks Pope’s YouTube Channel

by Viktor Romanov, TYDN Religion Affairs Writer
VATICAN CITY -- (TYDN) Millions of Catholics worldwide panicked Monday when Pope Benedict XVI's new channel on YouTube was hacked by alleged devil worshippers or perhaps by Satan himself, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

The hackers, believed to be from the actual underworld or the hacking underworld, allegedly altered the Vatican's videos and displayed what appeared to be the pontiff transforming into Satan, according to an investigation by TheYellowDailyNews, the most exhaustive investigation into what insiders privately have dubbed "Operation Pope-Satan-YouTubeGate."

It was the first time in recent memory that the Holly See's YouTube channel was hacked. The Vatican's first YouTube broadcast appeared Friday.

In response to watching the papacy mutate into what experts suggested was the devil, an untold number of the pontiff's flock began jumping from buildings, pulling out their eyes and, in some instances, binge drinking blood, according to reports. The Church immediately excommunicated those members of the flock as punishment for their sins.

"Right before God's eyes and all, the pope started to grow horns," one Vatican official told TheYellowDailyNews on condition of anonymity. "It was the worst sudden loss of faith in the Church since the sexual molestation scandal that everybody but the abused altar boys has forgotten about."

YouTube, a unit of Google, immediately pulled the Vatican's channel in a bid to quell the hysteria.

The Pope has been sequestered here amid rumors of an ongoing exorcism, sources close to the alleged exorcism said.

Still, other rumors suggest the papacy was having heavenly discussions with Apple CEO Steve Jobs on hopes of building a Vatican "app" for the iPhone. But the negotiations appeared deadlocked as each claimed he was closer to God, sources close to the alleged meeting told TheYellowDailyNews on condition of anonymity.

On Monday, in one of the pope's first foray's on YouTube, the pontiff's alleged mutation into Satan began as Benedict was welcoming viewers to this "great family that knows no borders" and said he hoped they would "feel involved in this great dialogue of truth."

The pope was trying to broaden his audience by joining the wannabe musicians, college pranksters and water-skiing squirrels on YouTube, the popular video-sharing website. A YouTube source said it was reviewing its security apparatus.

While the YouTube initiative was novel, it was in keeping with the 2,000-year-old Church's history of using whatever means available to communicate: parchment, printing press, radio, television and now the Internet.

Insiders suggested that, until Monday's hack, the pope's homilies were anticipated to reach millions of viewers -- the converted and the non-converted alike -- while giving the Holy See better control over the pope's Internet image. That hope, however, apparently backfired.

Law enforcement agencies from across the globe were engaged in an intense manhunt for the hackers, who finished their hack by broadcasting this garbled message: "We have to go. Our parents say it's time to eat dinner."


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

First Lady: Obama Honeymoon ‘Didn’t Last Long’

by Gomer Pilon, TYDN Politcal Affairs Writer
WASHINGTON -- (TYDN) President Barack Obama's presidential honeymoon was short and did not last but "a few minutes," TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

First Lady Michelle Obama, in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews early Wednesday, said the United States' new president "didn't last long" during Tuesday night's presidential honeymoon, which she suggested the pundits had "greatly exaggerated in size and scope."

"Everybody was suggesting that it would last at least 16 months, the time he promised to pull troops out of Iraq," the first lady told TheYellowDailyNews. "Let me tell you. It fell apart within a few minutes. He pulled out quickly."

The first lady's revelation marks the first time in U.S. presidential history an electoral honeymoon fizzled moments after its inauguration, historians said. Presidential honeymoons usually last 100 days or more -- depending on circumstances -- a proposition the nation's first lady suggested was an exaggeration of "mythical proportions."

"Not even Viagra," the first lady said, "could awaken from the dead a honeymoon that the pundits were saying would last until the economy springs back to life, the troops were home from Iraq and there was health coverage for all."

Still, presidential advisors said the president has managed to remain unscathed by any missteps he has made. His ability to ask for patience depends in no small part on the first lady and public's confidence in his competence and motives.

"What's remarkable about the polls is that people are at once optimistic and realistic," David Axelrod, a President Obama senior advisor, said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews. "They have high hopes for his presidency. They understand how deep the morass is. And that's a good position to be in."

But despite the president's crispness and certitude to remain vibrant in the aftermath of his assumption of office, aides said the first lady is growing impatient, sources told TheYellowDailyNews on condition of anonymity.

The president's ability to slow-walk some campaign promises, these aides told TheYellowDailyNews, would also be affected by how well he maintains his standing and continues to project an air of command.

"So far," Cal State Fullerton revisionist historian Harry Jeffers said, "President Obama has managed to remain unscathed by any missteps he has made, but his ability to ask for the first lady's patience depends in no small part on the public's confidence in his competence and motives, including his push to close Guantanamo Bay."

Photo: nmfbihop

Monday, January 19, 2009

Obama Oath Cancelled: Bush Retains Presidency

by Jack Derrieringer, TYDN Political Affairs Writer
WASHINGTON -- (TYDN) President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration here was cancelled one day before he was to assume office after President Bush said he was staying on a third term "for the good of the nation, and the world at large," TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

"During my third and perhaps fourth term, I will do whatever I need to bring Osama bin Laden to justice," Bush told TheYellowDailyNews in an exclusive interview here in the Oval Office on Monday. "America is fortunate that America still exists after eight years of my presidency. And peace will continue in the Middle East for as long as I am in office."

Bush's highly anticipated move would mark the first time a sitting U.S. president used his popularity to keep himself in power after being termed out with eight years of power under his belt. Sources close to Obama said the former Illinois senator, who won election in November, was unlikely to challenge Bush's decision and instead was seeking to become the president's press secretary.

Presidential historians and legal scholars said Bush was so popular that an Obama court challenge, which was unlikely to succeed, could undermine his public credibility and hurt his chances in the 2012 election -- that is, if Bush decides to step down at that time.

"You've got to remember that President Bush has the public and a lot of firsts behind him. He was the first chief executive to invade Iraq on a pretense, he was the first president since the Great Depression to add millions to the unemployment lines and he was the first president to lead the world into a global recession," said Harry Jeffers, a Cal State Fullerton revisionist historian, in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews.

Laurence Tribe, the Harvard constitutional scholar, said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews that the U.S. Supreme Court, mirroring its Gore v. Bush decision of eight years ago, would again side with Bush in a legal challenge to the presidency. He also said Congress, which approved Bush's once-secret, warrantless electronic eavesdropping program on Americans, would likely impeach Obama immediately after he took office on Tuesday so Bush could retain the White House.

"The only constitutional crisis here is an America without Bush," Tribe said. "People just forget how popular he is."

Photo: DPMS

Friday, January 16, 2009

Iran Trained Birds that Crashed Jet Into Hudson River

by Artis Puntintuccas, TYDN Senior Intelligence Affairs Writer
WASHINGTON -- (TYDN) Intelligence agencies for the Bush administration have concluded that Iran had trained the birds that flew into the engines of a U.S. jetliner Thursday, prompting it to plunge into the frigid Hudson River shortly after takeoff, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

At least three administration officials, speaking early Friday to TheYellowDailyNews on condition of anonymity, said Iranian-backed terror groups had been releasing the highly trained Kamikaze birds into U.S. air space for years. Because of the highly sensitive nature of the classified intelligence, the officials declined to name the type of birds used in the attacks, which were said to have crashed or thwarted dozens of U.S. passenger flights since 1990 in what sources have dubbed the "Rein of Bird Terror."

And as a result of Thursday's crash of the Airbus A320, in which all 155 passengers survived, President Bush is expected to demand the United Nations sanction a U.S.-led invasion of Iran, which is believed to be hiding these so-called "winged weapons of mass destruction."

"Birds just don't fly into jet engines by shear happenstance," one administration official said on condition of anonymity and was granted anonymity by TheYellowDailyNews. "We have concluded that Iran has been releasing these weapons of mass destruction into U.S. air space for years. We also have evidence of an underground program that Iran is secretly training deer to disrupt U.S. street traffic. That's unacceptable."

The administration was preparing an attack on Iran even without backing of "the derelict international community," the source said. The U.N. Security Council is expected to debate the planned invasion late Friday.

Revisionist historians immediately applauded the imminent invasion of Iran, and suggested Bush's Middle East legacy will linger long after he steps down from office Tuesday.

"That the administration discovered this last-minute piece of critical intelligence underscores how underestimated the president's ability to lead is," said Cal State Fullerton revisionist historian Harry Jeffrey.

President Bush, with just days left in his administration, has quietly shuttered U.S. aviaries and has confined aviary workers at zoos and other animal parks, where they are expected to undergo intense interrogation tactics to determine whether they were complicit with the feathered attacks.

The latest Iranian-backed bird attack in U.S. airspace played itself out Thursday afternoon in New York when a US Airways Airbus 320 made a safe crash landing in water shortly after taking off from LaGuardia International Airport.

Flight 1549's pilot reported a "double bird strike" to air traffic controllers moments after taking off, and said he had lost thrust in both engines.

Kevin Poormon, a research engineer at the University of Dayton Research Institute in Dayton, Ohio, tests the ability of airplanes and engines to withstand bird strikes by firing 4 pound to 8 pound birds at strategic points along aircraft from compressed gas guns at hundreds of miles per hour. He said he uses "freshly killed" birds or a gelatin substitute "that has similar impact properties."

If necessary, researchers can launch the birds at up to 900 mph, Poormon said. FAA requires airliners to withstand strikes from birds weighing as much as 8 pounds at particularly vulnerable points along the aircraft, he said.

"It's a pretty significant problem," Poormon said. "There have been over 200 fatalities in the last 20 years due to bird strikes worldwide and there are 5,000 impacts that are reported every year. I just never realized Iran put these birds up to it."

Photo: USACEpublicaffairs

Sunday, January 11, 2009

EPA Might Limit Rocket Fuel in Drinking Water

by Virginia Limpiarolo, TYDN Environmental Affairs Writer
WASHINGTON -- (TYDN) The Environmental Protection Agency is taking a second look at its decision not to limit the amount of a toxic rocket fuel ingredient allowed in U.S. drinking water, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

Late last year, the agency proposed not setting a drinking water standard for perchlorate, which has been found in at least 395 sites in 35 states at levels high enough to interfere with thyroid function and pose developmental problems in humans, especially children, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

At the time, the EPA said setting a standard would do little to reduce risks to public health.

But the agency decided to take a second look after widespread reports of children in the affected areas began sprinting at Olympic speeds. And grabbing scientists' attention was the less talked about and phenomena of people of all ages spontaneously combusting upon the unexplained ignition of their flatulence.

The EPA announced late Sunday it would postpone making a final decision until the National Academy of Sciences studies the matter. But sources familiar with the situation told TheYellowDailyNews on condition of anonymity that the nation's oil companies have complained that the tainted drinking water is eroding fuel sales.

"People are urinating in their gas tanks and are getting better gas mileage than with fossil fuels," one government official said on condition of anonymity, and was granted anonymity by TheYellowDailyNews. "The oil companies want rocket fuel removed from groundwater now. They care about peoples' health."

As of press time, TheYellowDailyNews could not independently verify the statement.

Environmentalists were at odds with the oil companies and urged the government to delay any decision about regulating the amount of rocket fuel in drinking water. They hoped a delay would lead to the United States becoming less reliant on fossil fuels.

"We applaud the government's inaction on removing this dangerous carcinogen from our nation's drinking water," said Lenny Siegel, director of the Center for Public Environmental Oversight in Mountain View, Calif. "Now we see that humans can easily convert this contaminate to fuel their cars."

The EPA's own advisers had urged the agency to keep perchlorate on the list of water contaminants that may require future regulation and hundreds of billions of dollars to remove. An inspector general's report last year also faulted the agency for how it evaluated the risk the chemical poses to human health when it proposed in October not to set a limit for drinking water.

The U.S. Defense Department used perchlorate for decades in testing missiles and rockets, and most perchlorate contamination stems from defense and aerospace activities.

The Pentagon could face financial liability if EPA sets a national drinking water standard that forces water agencies around the country to undertake costly cleanup efforts. Defense officials have spent years questioning EPA's conclusions about the risks posed by perchlorate, but they have denied trying to influence EPA's decision.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Fearing Unrest, Obama Delays Digital TV Transition

by Thialia Vizor, TYDN Entertainment Affairs Writer
WASHINGTON -- (TYDN) Fearing pandemonium if Americans lose television signals, President-elect Barack Obama urged Congress on Thursday to postpone the Feb. 17 switch from analog to digital television broadcasting, arguing that too many Americans who rely on analog TV sets to pick up over-the-air channels won't be able to watch television.

Obama said the digital transition needs to be delayed largely because the Commerce Department has run out of money for coupons to subsidize digital TV converter boxes for consumers. The millions of households that do not have cable or satellite service, or a new TV with a digital tuner, will need the converter boxes to keep their older analog sets working.

Fearing a "domestic crisis" if millions are left without the ability to watch television, Obama said such a scenario "threatens the American Way more profoundly than World War I, World War II, the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the Great Depression and the current economic meltdown combined."

"The government is not doing enough to prevent this Armageddon of sorts -- that is: Americans without television signals," Obama said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews. "I have urged my policy advisors to stop working on solving the economic crisis and to abandon the Middle East peace process so that we can ensure that no American goes without television, particularly those in rural, poor or minority communities "

Meanwhile, federal law enforcement sources, speaking to TheYellowDailyNews on condition of anonymity, said the government was considering imposing martial law to keep the peace ahead of the Feb. 17 deadline. "Our operatives in the field are sensing unrest akin to the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago but on a nationwide level," the source said. "We don't have the resources to wantonly club everybody in every major American city at one time."

In 2005, Congress required that broadcasters -- by Feb. 17 --switch from analog to digital broadcasts, which are more efficient, to free up valuable chunks of wireless spectrum. The newly available room in the airwaves can be used for commercial wireless services and for emergency-response networks.

Analysts applauded Obama's leadership. They said it was the first time in U.S. history that a president, or president-elect, responded so quickly to a pending national crisis.

"About 670,000 Americans were just added to the unemployment role, and Obama is seeing fit that these downtrodden people will at least have the ability to watch television. That is, if their homes were not foreclosed upon," said Harry Jeffers, a Cal State Fullerton revisionist historian. "Obama has great vision to see this enormous crisis coming down the pipeline."

Republican leaders immediately decried Obama's plea to subsidize more converter boxes and possibly delay the digital transition. They said it was unfair that banking and auto executives who just received billions in federal bailout money should have to pay for the poor's television signals. "This again shows that Obama is a socialist," said Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

The Obama team decided to push for a delay after the Commerce Department said it had hit a $1.34 billion funding limit set by Congress to pay for converter box coupons.

The coupon program allows consumers to request up to two $40 vouchers per household to help pay for the boxes, which generally cost between $40 and $80 each and can be purchased without a coupon.

The Commerce Department said it had no choice but to start a waiting list for coupon requests. As of press time, the waiting list had requests for 1.1 million coupons.

Photo: Mykl Roventine

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Pope Seeks Bailout During Emergency Homily

by Viktor Romanov, TYDN Religion Affairs Writer
VATICAN CITY -- (TYDN) Pope Benedict XVI urged a world confronting financial crisis, conflict, and increasing poverty not to lose hope, and prayed during an emergency homily here Wednesday the U.S. Treasury would bail out the cash-stricken Vatican, TheYellowDailyNews has learned.

The pontiff's message of salvation, a pleading for "authentic solidarity to prevent global ruin," marked the first time the Church has sought a U.S. government stimulus package.

The pontiff's plea for a bailout came as financial ratings service likes Standard & Poor's have downgraded the Church's stock, from a rating of "buy" to "sell." Church shares plunged in after-hours trading before rebounding.

Following tradition, the pope recited his bailout message in 64 languages, including Latin, the Church's official tongue. The pontiff said it would be sacrilegious if the U.S. -- having bailed out insurers, mortgagers, bankers and automakers left the Church behind.

"May the light of a bailout shine forth and encourage all people to do their part in a spirit of authentic solidarity," he said. "If people look only to their own interests, our world will certainly fall apart."

Speaking from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica to tens of thousands of hastily assembled pilgrims, tourists and Romans in the square below, the pope decreed that it was the U.S. taxpayers' duty not to leave the church behind. As the global economy continues to spiral downward, Benedict said it was urgent the church receives a huge cash infusion as "an increasingly uncertain future is regarded with apprehension, even in affluent nations like the United States."

Wearing a crimson mantle against a damp chill, Benedict expressed hope that dialogue and negotiation would prevail to find "just and lasting solutions" to the Church's financial predicament and to conflicts in the Holy Land and elsewhere in the Middle East.

He decried suffering in Africa, terrorism, and called for an end to "internecine conflict" dividing ethnic and social groups.

The pope singled out the plight of those in war-torn eastern Congo, in Sudan's Darfur region, in Somalia where he said "interminable" suffering is the tragic consequence of "the lack of stability and peace" -- and in Zimbabwe where people have been "trapped for all too long in a political and social crisis which, sadly, keeps worsening."

Benedict condemned the "twisted logic of conflict and violence" in the Middle East. He lamented "the horizon seems once again bleak for Israelis and Palestinians."

"May the divine light of Bethlehem radiate throughout the Holy Land," he said. "May it spread throughout Lebanon, Iraq, the whole Middle East and to the church's coffers."

Photo: rohan_chennai

Sunday, January 4, 2009

McCain Gets Online, Realizes Election Lost

by Felix Frankfurtor, TYDN Internet Affairs Writer
PHOENIX -- (TYDN) Sen. John McCain was readying to concede the presidential election after finally accessing the Internet and learning rival Sen. Barack Obama had narrowly defeated him two months before, TheYellowDailyNews learned late Sunday.

McCain said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews that he had been sitting by his computer since the Nov. 4 election anxiously awaiting election returns, but he had trouble connecting to the Internet and powering his computer. McCain was criticized during the hard-fought campaign about his lack of Internet prowess, that he never had used a computer -- a reality he promised to change during the election.

"The screen was just dark for so long that I began to get suspicious whether the Internets were broken," McCain said in an exclusive interview here in one of his several residences. "My wife Cindy began to get even more suspicious, thinking I had locked myself away to stare at porn all day. But nobody told me how to turn this damn thing on."

Microsoft Corp. immediately began airing commercials blasting the iMac, the Apple Inc. desktop McCain was unable to function. Apple CEO Steve Jobs declined comment, but was said to have immediately fired the iMac engineer who designed the power switch to be hidden in the back out of sight.

Shares of both Apple and Microsoft tumbled in after-hours trading.

Historians said it was the first time since the demise of the Pony Express that a presidential candidate had waited two months to concede an election. Many analysts assumed McCain went into seclusion and was embarrassed after his stunning defeat with running mate Sarah Palin.

"There was no truth to that. A lot of editorial writers out there who owe me an apology," McCain said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews.

McCain aides said the Arizona senator was flabbergasted after he finally figured out he had lost.

"When it dawned on him to turn on the computer and that he needed to physically connect to the Internet, he was amazed and dumbfounded over Internet news reports that Obama was selling inauguration festivity tickets for just $50,000, instead of the normal $250,000," said one McCain aide, who spoke to TheYellowDailyNews on condition of anonymity. "He just couldn't believe that Obama would belittle the presidency like that and open up the presidency to the common man."

McCain said he would distribute e-mails to the media on where and when he would deliver his concession speech. As of press time, news outlets had not received notification.

Photo: Mike Licht NotionsCapital.com

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Rights Groups Decry Madoff Confinement as ‘Barbaric’

by Dorcus Regulsorex, TYDN Staff Writer
NEW YORK -- (TYDN) The American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International and other rights groups decried as "barbaric" a magistrate judge's order confining disgraced financier Bernard Madoff to his $7 million luxury Manhattan apartment as he awaits trial on financial fraud charges.

Madoff, 70, a former Nasdaq stock market chairman, has become one of the most vilified people in America since his arrest weeks ago on allegations he allegedly plundered $50 billion from investors.

A federal magistrate judge had allowed Madoff to leave his 10,000-square-foot apartment during the day as a condition of his $10 million bail. But U.S. Magistrate Judge Theodore H. Katz, who legal experts said was a tough but fair jurist, eliminated the curfew and instead confined Madoff to his apartment as prosecutors ready their fraud case against him.

Legal experts said the increased bail measure was Draconian and underscored that, for the first time, the government was getting serious about punishing white-collar criminals.

Rights groups, however, said the government was going too far.

"This Guantanamo Bay-style incarceration of Mr. Madoff is barbaric and shocks the conscience," ACLU executive director Anthony Romero said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews. "What's next? Are they going to cattle prod him?"

Madoff's lawyer, Ira Lee Sorkin, said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews that he would appeal the confinement order all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"That my client is not free to travel to his dozens of homes across the globe is an injustice of the highest order," Sorkin said. "Christ, Mr. Madoff ran out of caviar on New Year's Eve and couldn't even leave to get more. This is outrageous."

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch concurred. In a joint statement, the groups asked: "When will these Gestapo tactics end?"

Rights groups expressed alarm that Madoff's bail conditions have been gradually increased as angry investors who lost billions seek information about what happened to money they thought was safely invested with someone who was widely respected on Wall Street. Just weeks ago, Madoff was released on $10 million bail only on the signature of he and his wife.

Authorities say Madoff confessed to family members that he had for years been paying returns to certain investors out of the principal received from others until he had only $200 million to $300 million remaining.

The charge against Madoff carries a potential penalty of up to 20 years in prison, but judges are not bound by federal sentencing guidelines. Other charges could be added as the case is presented to a grand jury.

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