Remember that scene in Goodfellas where a group of gangsters steal millions from a commercial airliner? That was based on a true story and, finally, we have a name to go with the heist: Vincent Asaro, a 78-year-old New Yorker, who is alleged to have been involved with the 1978 theft of $5 million in unmarked U.S. bills from a Lufthansa facility. Asaro, who is pleading not guilty, was charged, along with several others, including his son.
It was, in fairness, an arresting image—Stephen Harper standing before the Western Wall in Jerusalem during his visit to Israel—and the media had turned out to capture the moment. But it was there that Conservative MP Mark Adler was overheard pleading with one of the Prime Minister’s assistants to get in on the shot. “Jeremy, Jeremy: Can we get in?” Adler was caught saying on a microphone. “This, it’s the re-election. This is the million-dollar shot.” Adler didn’t get into the picture and, a day later, he told reporters he was joking. “You guys don’t get a joke, huh?” he said. “It’s all said tongue-in-cheek.”
In 1984, NBC was hopeless and the sitcom was all but dead—until Bill Cosby came along to save the network. NBC and sitcoms are equally hopeless now, so they’re trying it again: The peacock network has announced a deal with the 76-year-old comedian to develop a new family-oriented show. Skeptical observers have pointed out that NBC currently has a flailing sitcom with another ’80s star, Michael J. Fox, and that old comedians rarely attract young viewers. But at least Cosby knows television, something that can’t be said for NBC executives of late.
Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor responsible for a massive leak of classified information on the U.S. government’s intelligence gathering, says the best thing would be for him to return to the United States. Thing is, he’s not willing to leave Russia, because he doesn’t think he would receive a fair trial. “Returning to the U.S., I think, is the best resolution for the government, the public and myself—but it’s unfortunately not possible, in the face of current whistle-blower-protection laws, which, through a failure in law, did not cover national security contractors like myself,” he says. Short of a pardon, a plea deal or a change to the law, Snowden might be living in Russia for sometime yet.
Captain and Tennille
The pop power couple of the ’70s, Daryl “Captain” Dragon and Toni Tennille, are divorcing after 39 years of marriage, devastating fans and leading to countless jokes about the title of their signature song, Love Will Keep Us Together. The gossip website TMZ speculated that the duo’s split might have been caused by new health care laws in the U.S., which would give Dragon (who has Parkinson’s disease) more benefits as a single man. But other sites examined the divorce filing and found no mention of Obamacare.