Archive for January, 2012

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My regrets with women –Uti By SAMUEL OLATUNJI Sunday, January 08, 2012 • Uti Photo: Sun News Publishing

You think second chance is an illusion? Winner of the big Brother Africa all Stars, Uti Nwachukwu, does not agree. After participating in the reality show in 2008, Uti got a second opportunity in 2010 where he emerged winner. From then he has not looked back. Uti now presents the popular programme JARA, acts, sings and does modelling. In this interview with SAMUEL OLATUNJI at the venue of his charity concert for less privileged kids, Uti bares it all.

Everyone does charity these days. what is the idea behind this move? For me, I have had a very successful year. I have won four awards – Leadership Young Person of the Year Award, Naija Music Video Award, Naija Modern Achieving Award, and the FAB Award. I have about five movies this year (2011). For me, it’s been a financially wonderful year. so, I thought instead of wasting money, why not help those persons in the community we tend to forget. I thought of my mother’s love and wondered how she would have ended up if all her children were not successful, considering that she is a widow. I decided to take care of these people the way I would have taken care of my mother. I was about to have an end-of-the-year party, go to the club with different people, spend money and everybody would have gone home drunk. but it would just have been another huge waste. I saw an opportunity to give back, not just to widows but also to orphans, the blind, the deaf, and the less privileged in general. I want to urge my celebrity friends to do the same. Also, people that are capable should try and donate something to impact the lives of those who need a helping hand. Where did you get these disadvantaged people? They are from different places. From different less privileged homes in Lagos and some widows’ homes such as God’s Wives Widows’ Home. Ify, the president of my fan club, was the one responsible for reaching the various homes. our plan is to entertain them and make them feel loved and happy by entertaining them and also giving them what we have put together for them. what did you donate, items or cash? Mostly items. a lot of people don’t like to give cash because of embezzlement or fraud and I don’t even like collecting money because I don’t want a situation whereby they will go out and start saying stuffs like they collect money, now see this one e don go buy this, buy that. so I even encourage people to give more of material and food items that will cater for essential needs. And my fans have all contributed, so we have a good show. Is this a sort of brand extension for you? I’m not doing it for anything else. I’m doing it for God and these people. because what I’ve achieved is not by my own power. a lot of Nigerians both at home and in the Diaspora voted me as the winner of big Brother Africa. so, it will be foolish and selfish of me not to at one point or the other give back. Hopefully this is going to be an annual event and if it turns out well it will be bi-annual, depending on the support we keep getting. I am a brand ambassador of Martini Rose and they have supported me in so many ways. They are also bringing drinks and even in cash. Alexander Kutor, who runs the brand, was also very supportive. After big Brother, you’ve been a presenter, red carpet host, actor and musician. are you trying to see where you fit? by the grace of God there is none of these things that I can’t do. all these talents are in me. I didn’t go to school to learn them but found myself doing them well. I don’t know about you but I have been receiving a lot of compliment. People really love and watch JARA. We have a cult-like following; people rush home every Saturday, Monday and Wednesday just to watch JARA. That means I’m doing something good. For movie, producers keep calling. In fact, I’m supposed to be on set right now but I had to cancel the two sets and I have already been booked for January. That means I am doing something good. how many movies have you done now? I have done about five movies. The old movies are Bursting Out and Do or Die. The new movies are In the cupboard, Weekend Getaway, and True Citizen Speechless. there is a new movie I have done with Jim Iyke, which is about a campaign against fake drugs. what about modelling? Modelling is my best career. I was a model before I went into BBA 3. I was a photo model. I was not doing runway then because it was so cheap. but with the platform I have now, I won’t be paid cheap. And don’t forget the first reality show I ever went for was for movie, and I had always being a model. It’s only TV presenting that came later on, and that also came naturally. The JARA show, I was auditioned with the best TV presenters out there. it wasn’t automatic, but I came out tops because of the natural flow that occurred between me and Helen Paul. I guess that’s what they liked; the way I connected with Helen Paul. Which of these talents are you most comfortable with? I’m comfortable doing all. That is why I’m still doing all. Like I said, I love singing. I can see a lot of drama happening in the music industry. it is so complicated. I know a lot of models that are not given jobs. They come to me and say, please, hook me up. Definitely I’m going to have an agency some day. by the time I retire I’m going to run an agency because models are not respected at all in this country. so, I need to change that focus. but I’m going to keep acting and also start producing. If God shows me that I can direct, then I will direct too. how long have you been around? I have been around but not too long. Out of the many winners of reality shows you seem to have found a way to be relevant. how did you do it? well, I won’t say I did any thing but it is just God that did it the way it is. Don’t forget I had the opportunity to get back to the house. The first time I went I didn’t win but I did a lot. what I realized is that a lot of people loved me from the first time. then I was still in school. but when I went back the second time, thank God I was declared the winner. I didn’t rest at all. I just started pursuing my talent. I went for numerous auditions. I let people know that I was available to act, to model. it is only God that can tell how I’m doing it all. what I can say is I’m just grateful to God. God has been so merciful to give me his grace and his favour. what are your other aspirations? all those things I plan for the future, they all went away because you know man proposes and God disposes. so I really don’t like to dish out what I want to do. but something I will let you know is that I’m not going anywhere. We are going to explode the entertainment industry. I’m not saying we are going to riot oh; revolution in terms of respect for entertainers and quality production. there is a lot to come out with entertainment-wise and even goodwill-wise. I wish God would put me in the position to help people. are you still with the girlfriend you had before you went to the house? No! We actually broke up before I was even called back to the house. I was really going through a very terrible time before I was called back into the house. a lot of disrespect, betrayal has been going on all because I had fame. but I didn’t have money. a lot of people just thought it was the end of the road for me. so they abandoned me. most of them started having faith when I was inside the house the second time. She was one of those that took things up with me. Seriously, we always had problems. I think I can’t handle drama. her drama alone is enough. I think I need someone who is peaceful and supportive. When I came out of the house, I heard that she was going around telling people how I’m a good person contrary to what she told people before of how wicked I was. you know all these normal rubbish talk. I just laughed to myself. Now I heard she has started talking rubbish. you know those things shouldn’t bother you when you can see where God is taking you. so you did not give her any of that money? why would I give her money. When I didn’t have anything where was she? If she did not do anything, at least you kissed her? well, let’s say maybe. even for the kiss, you should have given her something No, she should go and find somebody so next time she will be patient, because she should know that at anytime anybody’s level can change. That is why you like someone for who he is and not because of what you can get from that person. Has the big Brother money finished? That’s confidential information. but I will be so foolish to have squandered or finished the money by now because I am even making more money now. it will even be an insult to God not to use the money he gave me judiciously. Let’s just say I am at a stage where I don’t have to beg and I thank God for that. what kind of investment decision do you make? When it is time to unveil it you will all hear. just chill. We have plans and God is on our side. are you still with Sheila, your friend in the house? We were never together. We were just friends in the house. but we are still the closest among friends. We talk every time on phone and when we have an opportunity we see each other. We are still very good friends. Relationship complicates everything. so we decided to leave it as it is now. Can you raise a finger to the sky and say you guys never had anything together? Na you know that one oh! but why will I raise a finger to the sky. That one na swear. I don’t swear but I can tell you that we don’t have anything together. We had a lot of support for each other. are you sure the support did not extend behind closed doors? Laughs…Go and ask Sheila, she will tell you the truth. there was this lady I wanted to toast in Ghana. When I got there, I learnt you were the person in charge. Since you have more money than I do, I told her sister that I came to marry her but I don’t have money. so what’s going on between you and Lydia? That is my baby girl. When I mean my baby, I mean it in a good way, not girlfriend way. Lydia is someone who gets me… she understands me; oh my God! We met when I was in next Movie Star and we were like forbidden fruit then. We were like the ones they said these ones, they will never matter, they will never be anything. We were like rebels. but we just don’t want to settle for anything less than who we were because we believe in ourselves and we believe in God. so that common belief brought us together and we were so close. From that our set, we are the two that have gone beyond the show to make our country proud, to be successful in our professions. so that alone always keeps us together. She has my back. Anytime I’m in need, Lydia is always there for me. any time she is in need, I’m always there for her. I can never betray Lydia and I pray she will never betray me too. Libya is a special friend, very generous. She is very, very special, a special female friend. Capital letter Special. Is Lydia the lady? No oh! Before they go and kill her with threat, gossip, rumour and all that. They won’t let her be; they would disturb her. People think you are gay because you associate with a lot of male friends Once you are good looking and you are successful, people will call you different names. there is a rumour about me sleeping with a society woman, who people called my sugar mummy. Coming from my kind of family, I will not be moving publicly with the people they say I am sleeping with. I will never defend my sexuality. let people say what they want to say about me, but as long as I am getting paid and moving forward, I just don’t care. I will not defend myself but I will like to say all my male friends are 100% straight guys. what about you and Ita Giwa? nothing happened between me and Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, She is my mummy in the industry. She had my back since BBA 3 and she invited me to join her band. all these rumours came out since I won BBA 5. God is my witness I don’t have anything to do with these women. I come from a respectable family and I am a Christian. all these are false stories. When people asked if it is true I sleep with older women, I tell them to ask their mothers if I have slept with them. Also, when they ask if I am gay, I tell them to ask their fathers and brothers if I have slept with them. these rumours keep me relevant. When people don’t talk about you, it means you are nobody. Abeg, make them go boil stone. I’m not interested in their rumours. I’m interested in what God has sent me to do. Where will we see you in another five years? most likely I will be in Hollywood. by God’s grace, if everything goes according to what I want from God. Money comes with the fame, and the fame comes with women. how do you handle that? I give them the word of God to read when they start talking to me. I say sister, your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, please do not defile it. They will say, are you not a man? I tell them I’m not God, so I cannot defile your temple. have you ever had a woman come to you directly? it happens to me every single week. In fact, yesterday. If I show you my Facebook mail, you will laugh. what has been the weirdest approach from a woman? The weirdest was in the club. I went to pee and this woman just came into the men’s room and closed the door and said, if you don’t give me your ****, I will kill you here, and I was just laughing. thank God I was stronger than the woman. I asked her are you serious? She said Uti, there is no how you are going to leave me here like this. Omo, this woman locked the door o. She said you think you are sleeping. it took me a while. I just told her not in the toilet, that I am not a dirty boy and that she should allow me go and book a hotel. She said no. I told her to hold my hand but immediately I left the toilet, you need to see the way I snapped her around. If I wanted to play hanky panky, it will not be that kind of woman. I’m looking at your face to be sure you didn’t do anything I didn’t do anything oh. See there is something we called destiny killer. I have been a victim of it before. When I was younger I followed women to the point they will like me. some people from my younger days, if you tell them directly that this is me now, they will never believe. They will tell you it’s a lie. If you meet my friends from the past, I’m talking about my friend from early 2000 or late 90s, they will tell you, I used to be a coordinator of women in those days. but the effect was there. nothing I do was going right. I had a lot of disappointments. Spiritually, you know, I had to clean myself and that was when it was revealed to me that all this sleeping around with people was really affecting you adversely and if you need something to go on well for you, you need to rethink. Is it only one woman you sleep with now? I’m not saying anything. all I’m just saying is that I’m disciplined; a disciplined young man with the fear of the Lord in my heart. please leave me alone. your sins are forgiven thank you.

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    Post Up: The Blake Show

    by Abe Schwadron | @abe_squad

    You’ll never hear me complain about staying up late to watch and write about basketball. But I’d be lying if I told you it wasn’t a grind sometimes. And then, just when my wrists start to hurt, my eyes start to fade and my exhaustion level spikes, I get a shot of adrenaline like last night, in the form of Mr. Blake Griffin and his ridiculous aerial exploits. Hope you were parked in front of an HD screen to enjoy his awesomeness, and the rest of last night’s games.

    Sixers 74, Magic 69

    Woof. to call this game ugly would be an understatement. Orlando shot 33 percent from the field and 32 percent from three-point land, while Philadelphia shot 38 percent from the field and 27 percent from deep. A total of 14 fast break points were scored in the game. how bad was it? these two teams couldn’t even hit from the free throw line—the Magic were 10-of-22 (46 percent) and the Sixers shot 10-of-19 (53 percent). put it this way, there were so many missed shots in this game that Ryan Anderson ended up with 20 rebounds, to go with his 14 points. In the third quarter, the Magic scored 9 points, and heading into the fourth, they had 42 points. for reference sake, the Timberwolves scored 42 points in the third quarter alone of their game against the Rockets last night. Crummy as the offense was, at least Big Baby was hustling! Dwight Howard made 6 of 17 shots from the field, and was 5-for-13 from the charity stripe, struggling his way to 17 points and 11 boards, while Andre Iguodala led the Sixers with 14 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists.

    Bulls 98, Wizards 88

    Derrick Rose scored 13 points in his first 12 minutes (he finished with a season-high 35), helping Chicago jump out to a 26-16 lead after one quarter—and the Bulls won by that margin of 10. think DRose was motivated by the way he finished the previous game against Miami? Chicago played great defense while improving to an Eastern Conference-best 18-5. In the first half, John Wall and Javale McGee shot 9-of-16, while their teammates were 6-of-31. And yet, somehow the Wizards trailed by only 11 at the break. But even when Washington was able to cut the lead to single digits in the fourth quarter, the Bulls just had too much firepower. Kyle Korver hit 5 threes (17 points) and Carlos Boozer (18 points, 8 rebounds) and Joakim  Noah (14 points, 13 boards, 7 assists!) were too much up front for the Wiz, who went to a full-court press defense late in the game, which turned the game into a bit of a scrum. Wall finished with 20 points on 7-16 shooting and McGee had 16 and 9 for DC, which never led despite having a 16-5 advantage in fast break points.

    Heat 109, Hornets 95

    For a quarter, it looked like Miami might be suffering a post-big win hangover after escaping the Bulls on Sunday, as the Hornets took a 29-27 lead after the first 12 minutes. But then the Heat turned up the…heat (I’m hilarious). Over the second and third quarters, they outscored new Orleans 60-39. LeBron James scored 22 points (3 the hard way here) plus 11 rebounds and 8 assists and Dwyane Wade had 22 (3 even harder) to lead Miami, which got to 16-5 on the year with the win. The Heat shot 55 percent, scored 25 points in transition, and led by as many as 27 in a game that wasn’t nearly as close as the score suggests once Miami got rolling in the second half. The Hornets shot 53 percent and got 14 apiece from Carl Landry and Jarrett Jack, but were outrebounded 39-25 and just couldn’t keep up with the Heatles after halftime. NOLA has now lost 11 of 12 games.

    Bucks 103, Pistons 82

    Brandon Jennings scored 21 points and Mike Dunleavy notched a season-high with 21 off the bench as the Bucks laid the beatdown on the Pistons from the jump to get to 9-11 on the year. Milwaukee shot 51 percent from the field, including 10 of 17 from beyond the arc, while holding the Pistons to 39 percent shooting and just 1 three-pointer on the night. after a three-game losing streak, the Bucks have now won four of their last six games. Drew Gooden scored 10 straight points during a 12-2 Milwaukee run to open the second half, and finished with 16. Oddly enough, the Pistons scored 40 points in the paint, to just 18 for the Bucks, but Detroit was never really in the game and fell to 4-18 (1-10 on the road). Greg Monroe chipped in his nightly double-double contribution with 16 and 10, and Rodney Stuckey scored 19 points to pace the Pistons.

    Spurs 83, Grizzlies 73

    San Antonio stopped a two-game skid thanks to 5 three-pointers from Matt Bonner (15 points) and great defense, holding the Grizzlies to 37 percent field goal shooting and Memphis’ leading scorer, Rudy Gay, to just 1 point (0-7 FGs). Marc Gasol, the second-leading scorer for the Grizz, didn’t do much on the offensive end either, finishing with 7 points, though he did grab 12 boards. for the Spurs, Tim Duncan scored 14 points, Tony Parker dished out 12 assists and rookie Kawhi Leonard had 12 points and 10 rebounds. San Antonio got in front by 17 in the first half, and Memphis was never able to get to within single digits at any point after halftime, despite being at home for the first time in 10 days. The Spurs are now 13-9 and play the Rockets and Hornets before a brutal three-game stretch that pits them against Oklahoma City, Philadelphia and Memphis again.

    Timberwolves 120, Rockets 108

    Beeeaaaaazzzz. He’s back! Michael Beasley tied a Timberwolves franchise record for points off the bench with 34 (the others: Rashad McCants, Wally Szczerbiak), Kevin love had 29 points, Ricky Rubio continued his 3×2 flirtation and Minnesota scored a franchise record 42 points in the third quarter to beat the Rockets and improve to 10-11. Rubio finished with 18 points, 11 assists and 8 rebounds (and, for what it’s worth, a +22 plus/minus while he was on the floor) while playing a team-high 38 minutes. Indeed, he’s unique. The game was close until that third quarter, and the Wolves shot a ridiculous 58 percent from the field for the game. Minnesota’s five road wins this season equals their total number of wins away from home from last year—and the year before, too. Kevin Martin scored 29 points, but the Wolves held Luis Scola to 2-of-8 shooting. The only thing Scola could hit was, well, KLove’s man-area when he tried to save a ball from going out of bounds.

    Jazz 93, Trail Blazers 89

    Utah rallied from 11 down to grind out a win and get to 12-7 on the year behind 19 points, 15 rebounds and 2 blocked shots from Paul Millsap and an 11-7-4 line from Josh Howard in his first start as a member of the Jazz. The Salt Lake City squad shot just 38 percent from the field, but grabbed 18 offensive rebounds and scored 20 fast break points. The Blazers held a one-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, thanks mostly to LaMarcus Aldridge (who finished with 25 points), but couldn’t fend off the Jazz. Portland had possession down by two with under a minute left, but Nicolas Batum (15 points) appeared to injure his knee on a drive to the basket and fumbled the ball back to Utah. Gordon Hayward (12 points on 3-12 shooting) made 1 of 2 free throws with 13.3 seconds left to extend the Jazz lead to three, then grabbed a critical offensive rebound on a CJ Miles’ miss from the foul line, effectively icing the game in favor of Utah. But the highlight of the game, even in defeat, goes to Gerald Wallace, who slammed a Hayward dunk attempt against the glass with authority.

    Mavericks 122, Suns 99

    One night after surviving the Spurs in epic fashion, the Mavs faced another familiar foe in Phoenix, but without the most recognizable face on the Suns, since Steve Nash sat out to nurse a bruised thigh. without Nash, the Suns limped to 7-13 on the year, allowing Dallas to shoot 55 percent from the field (not Nash-related) and getting out-assisted 31-21 (Nash-related). The Mavs got a season-high 25 points off the bench from Delonte West, 21 from Vince Carter and 20 from Shawn Marion—allowing Dirk Nowitzki to get some rest, as he played only 28 minutes (10 points). The 122 points were the most for Dallas this season, and they never let the Suns get within closer than 16 in the second half, leading at one point by 28. Marcin Gortat’s 17-10 double-double requires that I once again propose naming him “The Machine,” or whatever similar version of that nickname is currently available.

    Clippers 112, Thunder 100

    This was supposed to be a great game. And it was. But not because it was close. In fact, it was the exact opposite—the Clippers came out in the first half and looked flat-out amazing, taking a 64-46 lead into the break. In the second half, we got the Dunk O’ the Year and a classic closer job from Chris Paul. Lob Angeles was so good, it was hard to even notice that the NBA’s best team (by record) was even on the court, or that Kevin Durant was sharing the hardwood. Over the first two quarters, LAC made 25 of 44 field goals (57 percent), including 10 three-pointers (in 1 half!) and they had 19 assists. Just before the half, the Clippers hit four threes in a minute, erupting the home crowd. OKC (16-4) made a push in the second half, behind 36 and 31 from Durant and Russell Westbrook, respectively, but Blake Griffin stole the show with his insane dunk over Kendrick Perkins (see below, over and over) that impressed Larry Fitzgerald among others and had Brandon Jennings tweeting up a storm. Then, CP3 took over the reins down the stretch, proving why he was so sought after in the offseason. Is there a more fun guy to watch in beastmode than Paul? He broke down defender after defender and finished in a variety of ways—pull-up jumper, blow-by layup, take your pick. He ended his night with 26 points and 14 assists, while Griffin and Caron Butler added 22 points each for the Clips, now 12-6.

    Line of the Night: Michael Beasley — 34 points (10-14 FG, 12-12 FT, 2-3 3PT), only 2 turnovers in 33 minutes.

    Dunk of the Night Year: Blake Griffin. OH MY GOD. OH MY F#$%^&*ING GOD.

    Other Moment of the Night: More Clippers, as LAC blows the roof off the building at Staples Center, making it rain from three and all but running the Thunder off the court late in the first half. And jeez, this was pre-Blake ending the game.

    Interview of the Night: Priceless B-Easy material. “Michael, what kind of groove did you get into in that first half?” … “my regular groove.”

    Tonight: Tuesday brings us 7 games, including a Cavs-Celtics rematch, a big-time Western Conference heavyweight tilt between the Grizzlies and Nuggets, and the one I’ll be in the building for—Knicks-Pistons at MSG. because I don’t limit my torture to the Wizards. any ragged sub-.500 Eastern Conference teams will do! see y’all tomorrow.

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      Today in History: Jan. 23

      Today is Monday, Jan. 23, the 23rd day of 2012. There are 343 days left in the year.

      Today's Highlights in History: on Jan. 23, 1962, Jackie Robinson was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. Tony Bennett recorded "I Left my Heart in San Francisco," by George Cory and Douglass Cross, in new York for Columbia Records.

      on this date: In 1789, Georgetown University was established in present-day Washington, D.C. In 1812, the second new Madrid (MAD'-rihd) Earthquake struck, with an estimated magnitude of 7.5, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. In 1845, Congress decided all national elections would be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. In 1932, new York Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. In 1937, 17 people went on trial in Moscow during Josef Stalin's "great Purge." (All were convicted; all but four were executed.) In 1943, critic Alexander Woollcott suffered a fatal heart attack during a live broadcast of the CBS radio program "People's Platform." In 1950, the Israeli Knesset approved a resolution affirming Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. In 1960, the U.S. Navy-operated bathyscaphe (BATH'-ih-skahf) Trieste carried two men to the deepest known point in the Pacific Ocean, reaching a depth of more than 35,000 feet. In 1964, the 24th amendment to the Constitution, eliminating the poll tax in federal elections, was ratified. In 1968, North Korea seized the Navy intelligence ship USS Pueblo, charging its crew with being on a spying mission. (The crew was released 11 months later.) In 1973, President Richard Nixon announced an accord had been reached to end the Vietnam War. In 1981, American composer Samuel Barber died in new York at age 70.

      Ten years ago: Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was abducted in Karachi, Pakistan, by a group demanding the return of prisoners from the Afghan campaign; he was later murdered. John Walker Lindh, a U.S.-born Taliban fighter, was returned to the United States to face criminal charges that he'd conspired to kill fellow Americans. Kenneth Lay stepped down as chairman and chief executive of Enron Corp.

      Five years ago: In his State of the Union address, President George W. Bush implored Congress to give his plan to send more U.S. troops to Iraq a chance to work. A new rule requiring U.S. airline passengers to show a passport upon their return from Mexico, Canada or the Caribbean took effect. E. Howard Hunt, who'd helped organize the Watergate break-in, leading to the downfall of Richard Nixon's presidency, died in Miami, Fla., at age 88.

      Today is Monday, Jan. 23, the 23rd day of 2012. There are 343 days left in the year. Today's Highlights in History: on Jan. 23, 1962, Jackie Robinson was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. Tony Bennett recorded "I Left my Heart in San Francisco," by George Cory and Douglass Cross, in new York for Columbia Records. on this date: In 1789, Georgetown University was established in present-day Washington, D.C. In 1812, the second new Madrid (MAD'-rihd) Earthquake struck, with an estimated magnitude of 7.5, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. In 1845, Congress decided all national elections would be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. In 1932, new York Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. In 1937, 17 people went on trial in Moscow during Josef Stalin's "great Purge." (All were convicted; all but four were executed.) In 1943, critic Alexander Woollcott suffered a fatal heart attack during a live broadcast of the CBS radio program "People's Platform." In 1950, the Israeli Knesset approved a resolution affirming Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. In 1960, the U.S. Navy-operated bathyscaphe (BATH'-ih-skahf) Trieste carried two men to the deepest known point in the Pacific Ocean, reaching a depth of more than 35,000 feet. In 1964, the 24th amendment to the Constitution, eliminating the poll tax in federal elections, was ratified. In 1968, North Korea seized the Navy intelligence ship USS Pueblo, charging its crew with being on a spying mission. (The crew was released 11 months later.) In 1973, President Richard Nixon announced an accord had been reached to end the Vietnam War. In 1981, American composer Samuel Barber died in new York at age 70. Ten years ago: Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was abducted in Karachi, Pakistan, by a group demanding the return of prisoners from the Afghan campaign; he was later murdered. John Walker Lindh, a U.S.-born Taliban fighter, was returned to the United States to face criminal charges that he'd conspired to kill fellow Americans. Kenneth Lay stepped down as chairman and chief executive of Enron Corp. Five years ago: In his State of the Union address, President George W. Bush implored Congress to give his plan to send more U.S. troops to Iraq a chance to work. A new rule requiring U.S. airline passengers to show a passport upon their return from Mexico, Canada or the Caribbean took effect. E. Howard Hunt, who'd helped organize the Watergate break-in, leading to the downfall of Richard Nixon's presidency, died in Miami, Fla., at age 88. one year ago: Allies and adversaries of President Hugo Chavez took to the streets of Caracas by the thousands, staging rival demonstrations to commemorate the 53rd anniversary of Venezuela's democracy. Fitness guru Jack LaLanne died in Morro Bay, Calif., at age 96. the Pittsburgh Steelers advanced to their third Super Bowl in six years with a 24-19 victory over the new York Jets to win the AFC championship. the Green Bay Packers defeated the Chicago Bears, 21-14, in the NFC championship game. Today's Birthdays: Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J., is 88. Actress Jeanne Moreau is 84. Actress Chita Rivera is 79. Actor-director Lou Antonio is 78. Actor Gil Gerard is 69. Actor Rutger Hauer is 68. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jerry Lawson (The Persuasions) is 68. Sen. Thomas R. Carper, D-Del., is 65. Singer Anita Pointer is 64. Actor Richard Dean Anderson is 62. Rock musician Bill Cunningham is 62. Rock singer Robin Zander (Cheap Trick) is 59. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (vee-yah-ry-GOH'-sah) is 59. Princess Caroline of Monaco is 55. Singer Anita Baker is 54. Reggae musician Earl Falconer (UB40) is 53. Actress Gail O'Grady is 49. Actress Mariska Hargitay is 48. Rhythm-and-blues singer Marc Nelson is 41. Actress Tiffani Thiessen is 38. Rock musician Nick Harmer (Death Cab for Cutie) is 37. Christian rock musician Nick DePartee (Kutless) is 27. Thought for Today: "It's not what you are, it's what you don't become that hurts." — Oscar Levant, pianist-composer-actor (1906-1972).

      Today in History: Jan. 23


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        Welcome to the Garden -Celtics blog – Boston Globe basketball news

        Welcome to TD Garden, where the Celtics (4-4) will face the defending champion Mavericks (5-5) at 8 p.m. Note the late start time for national television.

        Should be a lovefest in here for Delonte West tonight, and the former Celtics guard should start at the point for Dallas with Jason Kidd injured. Just had a discussion with CSNNE’s Jessica Camerato on the level of the ovations for West, Kendrick Perkins, and Glen Davis in their respective returns, and we both agreed that the order — from loudest to softest — would be Perkins, West, Davis. Delonte was well-liked here for playing hard much in the same way Perkins was.

        The big issue the Celtics will obviously need to contend with tonight is Dirk Nowitzki. The Celtics don’t start anyone who can guard him, and Brandon Bass would appear to get the assignment off the bench. Will be interesting to see if Dallas goes right to Dirk with Kevin Garnett on him early in the game.

        This should be a tough test for the Celtics, but it might also be the easiest of their next four games. No pressure or anything.

        Welcome to the Garden -Celtics blog – Boston Globe basketball news


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          Warner Home Video releases latest clip from “Justice League: Doom,” coming to Blu-ray & DVD on 2/28/12

          Below is a clip, which features the arrival of the Justice League … just in time to confront a band of villains.

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          Earth’s greatest super heroes face foes on all fronts – using a plan initiated from within – in the all-new Justice League: Doom, the next entry in the popular, ongoing series of DC Universe Animated Original Movies. Produced by Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation, the all-new, PG-13 rated film arrives February 28, 2012 from Warner Home Video as a Blu-Ray™ Combo Pack ($24.98 SRP) and DVD ($19.98 SRP), On Demand and for Download. Both the Blu-Ray™ Combo Pack and DVD will include an UltraViiolet™ Digital Copy,

          Justice League: Doom finds Superman, wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Cyborg and Batman on their heels when a team of super villains discover and implement the dark Knight’s “contingency plans” for stopping any rogue Justice League member. The story is inspired by mark Waid’s much-heralded “JLA: Tower of Babel.”

          Primetime television stars Nathan Fillion (Castle) and Tim Daly (Private Practice), the reigning voices of Green Lantern and Superman, respectively, join a group of eight actors reprising their famed Justice League cartoon roles. Fillion made his debut as Green Lantern/Hal Jordan in the recent Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, and took his initial DC Universe movie bow as the voice of Steve Trevor in the 2008 hit wonder Woman. Daly originated his role as Superman’s voice in the landmark cartoon, Superman: The Animated Series. He has reprised the role in two DC Universe films: the 2009 extravaganza Superman/Batman: Public Enemies and the 2010 thriller Superman/Batman: Apocalypse.

          The grand reunion of actors who provided the voices of the Justice League for the cartoon of the same name and its follow-up, Justice League Unlimited, includes Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Animated Series) as Batman, Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville, Breaking In) as Flash, Susan Eisenberg (Superman/Batman: Apocalypse) as wonder Woman and Carl Lumbly (Alias) as J’onn J’onzz/Martian Manhunter. Bumper Robinson (A Different World, Transformers: Animated) joins the cast as Cyborg.

          The Justice League faces two sets of villainous teams in the film – The Royal Flush Gang and a sextet of notable evildoers. The latter group includes three voice acting alumni of the Justice League animated series: Phil Morris (Smallville, Seinfeld) as Vandal Savage, Olivia d’Abo (The wonder Years) as Star Sapphire, and Alexis Denisof (Angel) as Mirror Master. Also opposing our heroes are Carlos Alazraqui (Reno 911) as Bane, Paul Blackthorne (The Dresden Files) as Metallo, and Claudia Black (Farscape, Stargate SG-1) as Cheetah.

          David Kaufman (Danny Phantom) also reprises his Justice League role of Jimmy Olsen.

          The film is executive produced by Bruce Timm (Batman: Year One), and directed by Lauren Montgomery (Batman: Year One), who is also credited as producer alongside Alan Burnett (Batman: The Animated Series). Justice League: Doom is the final DC Universe film script from the late Dwayne McDuffie (All-Star Superman, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths), who passed away in February 2011. Casting and dialogue direction is once again in the capable hands of Andrea Romano (Batman: Year One, Justice League).

          “Justice League: Doom has all the classic ingredients of a great super hero film – a cavalcade of dynamic villains, internal strife amongst our heroes, treacherous twists and turns, and a cast that brings together some of today’s popular primetime television actors with many of the fans’ favorite voices from the original series,” said Hersin Magante, Warner Home Video Marketing Director, Family & Animation. “I think fans will embrace Dwayne’s McDuffie’s final DCU script, particularly as it has been nuanced by Bruce Timm and the Warner Bros. Animation team. Warner Home Video is proud to distribute Justice League: Doom as the next DC Universe Animated Original Movie.”

          Justice League: Doom Blu-Ray™ Combo Pack has 3 hours of exciting content, including:• Standard and high definition versions of the feature film• UltraViiolet™ Digital Copy,• Sneak Peak at Superman vs. The Elite, the next DC Universe Animated Original Movie• Featurette – “A Legion of One: The Dwayne McDuffie Story” – The skilled writer penned some of the best stories which consistently entertained fans. from his early writing career to adapting the popular work of All-Star Superman, this is the story of Dwayne McDuffie, as told by his family and friends.• Featurette – “Guarding the Balance: Batman and the JLA” – Everyone has a weakness and so do superheroes, yet when they go rogue, their power can topple more than a few egos, they can shatter worlds. The Justice League is the most powerful organization of superheroes on the planet, but what if the Justice League went rogue, and decided to use their power for harm?• Mini-featurette – “Their Time Has come: Cyborg and the DC Universe’s new Diversity” – 2011 will go down in DC Comics storied history as a year when a rich diversity of characters were re-introduced into the spotlight alongside Superman, Batman and wonder Woman. One of the most celebrated of the re-imagined characters is Cyborg, who became the new Man of Steel in Geoff Johns’ altered universe storyline, Flashpoint.• Creative team commentary• Two bonus episodes from the Justice League animated series handpicked by Bruce Timm: Wild Cards, part 1 and 2, written by Stan Berkowitz and Dwayne McDuffie• Digital Comic

          Warner Home Video releases latest clip from “Justice League: Doom,” coming to Blu-ray & DVD on 2/28/12


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