Names in the news

Bieber stumbles, the NFL gets a female ref, and a rare, royal hug for Britain’s biggest cheerleaders

by Aaron Wherry, Kate Lunau, and Nicholas Köhler

Names in the news

Alexander Otarola/Reuters

Britain’s lucky charms

Prince William and Kate, in matching team Great Britain T-shirts, took a gold for enthusiasm with this rare PDA while cheering another U.K. gold medal at the Velodrome. The royal couple and Prince Harry, Britain’s biggest ambassadors throughout the Games, have been taking in as many as four events a day.

Farewell, Snoop Dogg

Snoop Dogg’s new reggae album is entitled Reincarnated, and apparently the legendary rapper has been reborn as something else entirely: the MC born Calvin Broadus, Jr. is now Snoop Lion. While in Jamaica to record his new record, Snoop turned toward Rastafarianism. “I wanted to bury Snoop Dogg and become Snoop Lion, but I didn’t know that until I went to the temple and received the name Snoop Lion from the Nyabinghi priest,” he explained. “From that moment on, I started to understand why I was there and was able to create something magical in this project.” He is now interested in making music that “kids and grandparents” can listen to. A documentary about his time in the West Indies will debut at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.

Long may she run

Top U.S. researchers are on the hunt for a 113-year-old Regina woman. If the unnamed woman is indeed still alive—as Saskatchewan government records show—she will be one of the world’s oldest living people. And California researchers want to interview her, looking into her lifestyle and genetic history—for clues to the “secret” of her long life, says Stephen Coles, of the Los Angeles Gerontology Research Group. Saskatchewan has an uncommonly high number of centenarians, twice the national average, a rate much closer to Japan’s.

Too candid on camera

In the 56-second video, uploaded to the Internet over the weekend, 39-year-old Karina Bolanos, until recently Costa Rica’s deputy minister for youth, can be seen on a bed in her underwear. Addressing a man she calls “little one,” she speaks into the camera: “I miss you. I love you with all my soul. And everything that you see here is yours.” The clip’s appearance led to her dismissal. Bolanos says the video was made years ago, while she was separated from her husband, a Costa Rican congressman, but uploaded recently by a computer technician after a failed attempt to blackmail her.

Sir Elton vs. Madge

Singer Elton John’s feud with Madonna has taken a nasty turn. He recently called her a “nightmare” and claimed her career is “over” (he also used a certain other four-letter word) during an interview with an Australian TV station. Though praising her pop music acumen, he denounced her onstage and offstage antics and compared her appearance to that of a “fairground stripper.” The vitriol appears to have been sparked by Madonna’s recent jabs at Lady Gaga for alleged similarities between Gaga’s hit song Born This Way and Madonna’s 1989 single Express Yourself. (Gaga is a godmother to Zachary, the 19-month-old son of John and partner David Furnish.) Madonna, for her part, has so far let her music do the talking, beating out John for a Golden Globe award earlier this year.

Wireless warning

Dennis Kucinich wants warning labels stamped on cellphone packaging, the same kind seen on cigarettes. The Ohio Democrat introduced a bill calling on the U.S. government to require labels warning of the radiation levels emitted by mobile phones. It comes ahead of a government report on cellphones and human health that is expected this week. The report, according to the Washington Post, is expected to say cellphone safety standards are out of date.

A sad, mad genius

During filming of his 1963 classic The Birds, Alfred Hitchcock, a devotee of cool blonds, preyed upon his young starlet, Tippi Hedren. The now 82-year-old actor revealed that he groped her in a car and pleaded that she “make yourself available to me sexually.” Hedren’s difficult relationship with the director is the subject of an HBO film, The Girl, to be aired later this year. “I think he was an extremely sad character,” Hedren said after a recent screening of the film. “An unusual genius, and evil, and deviant, almost to the point of dangerous.” Last week, Hitchcock’s film Vertigo, starring another cool blond, Kim Novak, overtook Citizen Kane as No. 1 in a British Film Institute list of the 10 greatest films ever made; Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane had presided over the list for 50 years.

Flat-footed cruisers

On Facebook he lists his philosophy as “Livin n love having fun”—which for Roger Pion, a 34-year-old Vermont man, apparently doesn’t exclude monster-trucking cop cars, which he’s alleged to have done after becoming enraged over a recent arrest for marijuana possession and resisting arrest. While officers with the sheriff’s department in Orleans County, just south of the Quebec border, remained oblivious due to the hum of the air conditioning in their building, Pion, a farmer, is said to have used a tractor to roll over seven of their vehicles. Alerted when someone called 911, police could not pursue Pion because their cars were crushed.

Pretty crude politics

Sensing an opportunity, Bob McLeod, the premier of the Northwest Territories, has waded into the dispute over the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline project, needed to deliver oil sands crude to the B.C. coast and then onward to Asian markets. With B.C. Premier Christy Clark threatening not to support the controversial pipeline unless B.C. gets its “fair share,” and former Newfoundland and Labrador premier Danny Williams offering support for her position, McLeod said on a recent radio show that his government would be a willing partner in a similar pipeline that pumped crude from northern Alberta to a port on the Beaufort Sea. However, he may have glossed over a few key details—namely the heightened risks of tankers navigating the ice-filled Arctic Ocean.

Someone take his mic away

Speaking recently with Rolling Stone magazine, Justin Bieber decided to dabble in a little genealogy. “I’m actually part Indian. I think Inuit or something,” he revealed. “I’m enough per cent that in Canada I can get free gas.” Whatever the pop star’s heritage, he seems to misunderstand its significance. “Mr. Bieber’s comment that Aboriginal people are entitled to free gas is simply not true,” explained Betty Ann Lavallée, Congress of Aboriginal Peoples National Chief, in a statement released last week. “These kinds of remarks are another example of what Aboriginal peoples in Canada struggle with every day. It promotes the misconception that we are somehow getting a free ride.” The Congress is offering to help Bieber trace his ancestry. If only it could also help him understand the value of discretion for, in a separate interview, Bieber also apparently poked fun at this country’s future king—and bald people. “I mean, there are things to prevent that nowadays, like Propecia,” Bieber said of Prince William’s thinning hair in an interview with the U.K.’s Rollercoaster magazine. “I don’t know why he doesn’t just get those products. You just take Propecia and your hair grows back. Have you not got it over here?” Having turned 18 a few months ago, Bieber would appear to have reached his awkward stage.




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