Archive for January, 2009

SHOCKING:Michael Phelps inhales from bong PHOTO

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 31, 2009 by ifly2lv

phelps_516_0102_25518a

Michael Phelps caught smoking a cannabis pipe
Scroll below to see a large version of this photo

14-times Olympic gold medal winner Michael Phelps caught with cannabis pipe

THIS is the astonishing picture which could destroy the career of the greatest competitor in Olympic history.

 

In our exclusive photo Michael Phelps, who won a record EIGHT gold medals for swimming at the Beijing games last summer, draws from a bong.

 

The glass pipes are generally used to smoke cannabis.

 

And after sporting chiefs announced laws which mean four-year bans for drug-taking, Phelps’ dreams of adding to his overall 14 gold medal tally at the 2012 games in London could already be OVER.

 

Phelps at Beijing
GOLDEN BOY: Phelps at Beijing

 

Those dreams seemed the last thing on his mind when he puffed from the bong during two days of partying with students last November, a quiet time in the swimming calendar when athletes would not expect to get tested for drugs.

 

One party-goer who witnessed the star’s behaviour told the News of the World: “He was out of control from the moment he got there.

 

“If he continues to party like that I’d be amazed if he ever won any more medals again.”

 

Phelps’ aides went into a panic over our story and offered us a raft of extraordinary incentives not to run the bong picture.

 

It was on November 6, weeks after his Beijing triumph, that 23-year-old Phelps surprised students at the University Of South Carolina in Columbia by showing up unannounced at a house party.

 

He was visiting Jordan Matthews, a girl he was secretly seeing who was a student there.

 

Our source revealed: “Michael came to visit Jordan but ended up just getting wasted every night.

 

Swimming giant Phelps on cover of Sports Illustrated mag
LEGEND: Swimming giant Phelps on cover of Sports Illustrated mag

 

“He arrived with a group of girls hanging all over him. Jaws hit the floor when he walked in. You don’t get many celebrities in Columbia, so when Phelps comes to your party it’s a very big deal.

Obnoxious

“He didn’t know many people so you’d think he’d be a little shy. But he was loud, obnoxious and slamming beers from the get-go.

 

“Every girl wanted a piece of him and every guy wanted to be his best buddy. He couldn’t get enough of all the attention.”

 

As he basked in his hero status, Phelps knocked back beers and shots of spirits. And when a student offered him the glass bong engraved with red writing, he did not hesitate, says our source.

 

The 6ft 4ins athlete, in a white T-shirt and navy cap worn back to front, clasped the device in his huge hands and inhaled deeply.

 

Our source said: “You could tell Michael had smoked before. He grabbed the bong and a lighter and knew exactly what to do.

 

“He looked just as natural with a bong in his hands as he does swimming in the pool. He was the gold medal winner of bong hits. Michael ended up getting a little paranoid, though, because before too long he looked like he was nervous and ran out of the place.”

 

Olympic ace Michael Phelps inhales from bong
BIT OF A SUCKER: Olympic ace Michael Phelps inhales from bong

 

Click here for a larger image of Michael Phelps smoking a cannabis pipe

But the next night, Phelps was out partying again. The source added: “He was right back at it at Pavlov’s bar.

 

“Like the night before he was holding court, throwing back shots two at a time and pouring drinks to every cute girl.”

 

Drink has got Phelps into trouble before. In 2004, aged 19, he got 18 months probation for driving while under the influence.

 

His wild behaviour is in stark contrast to the grim regime which took him to the top of his sport.

 

He once described his life, saying: “All you do is eat, sleep, swim; eat, sleep, swim; eat, sleep, swim.”

 

Last night Phelps’ management team and the sporting world closed ranks over the scandal.

Taint

The US Olympics Committee, who have pledged to clamp down on drug use, refused to comment, as did USA Swimming and Phelps’ coach Bob Bowman.

 

More surprising still was the World Anti-Doping Agency’s refusal to comment, given that they introduced the four-year ban on sport’s drug users.

 

Phelps, who earned £4million last year in endorsements, has resumed training for the 2012 games.

 

But there were fears about his commitment when, weeks after the bong incident, he began dating former stripper Caroline Pal.

 

Phelps is represented by marketing giant Octagon, which works with huge brands such as Mastercard and HSBC. They admitted proven cannabis use would be “a major taint” on Phelps’ character.

 

Spokesman Clifford Bloxham offered us an extraordinary deal not to publish our story, saying Phelps would become our columnist for three years, host events and get his sponsors to advertise with us.

 

In return, he asked that we kill Phelps’ bong picture. Bloxham said: “It’s seeing if something potentially very negative for Michael could turn into something very positive for the News of the World.”

 

He stressed that the swimmer had taken 1,500 drug tests and never failed one.

 

Until now?

Wrestlemania 25 Houston – Mickey Rourke In?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 26, 2009 by ifly2lv

Mickey Rourke just made a comment about having talked to Vince about being in Houston Wrestlemania. He said he may be there and look out Chris Jericho…said live on red carpet tonight on E 1/25

 

LOS ANGELES, Calif. —

Mickey Rourke has received critical acclaim for his comeback role in “The Wrestler,” where he plays a former pro wrestling legend who falls on hard times.

And on the red carpet at the 15th Annual SAG Awards on Sunday night in Hollywood, the actor revealed he’s about to get in the ring in real life.

Rourke will be participating in WWE’s “Wrestlemania 25” in Houston on April 5.

“The boys from the WWE called me and asked me to do it,” Rourke told Access Hollywood. “I said, ‘I want to.’ I’m talking with [WWE legend] Rowdy Roddy Piper about it.”

In fact, Rourke, whose role in “The Wrestler” earned him a SAG nomination for Best Actor (as well as an Academy Award nomination and a win at the Golden Globes earlier this month), said the professional wrestling industry has been extremely supportive of his portrayal of the sport.

“The nicest thing has been the whole wrestling community embracing us,” Rourke said on the red carpet. “The movie was about their world.”

And when he does jump into the ring with WWE, it appears the actor may already have his sights set on an opponent.

“Chris Jericho, you better get in shape,” Rourke added. “Because I’m coming after your a**.”

56428833

Wife murdered for Facebook single status

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2009 by ifly2lv
Wife murdered for Facebook status

Edward Richardson
Edward Richardson had sent text messages to his estranged wife

A man murdered his estranged wife after becoming “enraged” when she changed her marital status on Facebook to “single”.

Edward Richardson, 41, of Mayfield Road, Biddulph, was found guilty of stabbing Sarah Richardson to death.

He killed the 26-year-old hairdresser at her parents’ home in Brown Lees, Staffordshire, on 12 May, 2008, Stafford Crown Court heard.

Richardson tried to kill himself after the attack and was sentenced to life with a minimum of 17 years in prison.

Fiona Cortese, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Richardson became enraged when Sarah changed her marital status on Facebook to single and decided to go and see her as she was not responding to his messages.

“He gained entry by breaking the front door window and made his way into the property.

Sarah Richardson
Sarah Richardson had worked as a hairdresser in Sandbach

“Once inside he found Sarah in her bedroom and subjected her to a frenzied and brutal attack with a knife and then attempted to take his own life.

“We hope that today’s guilty verdict will go some way to easing the pain of Sarah’s family and friends after losing her in such a violent and abrupt way.”

In a statement, Mrs Richardson’s parents, Beryl and Alan Boote, said: “There simply aren’t the words to describe how Sarah’s death, and the awful way in which she died, has affected us. We all miss her so much.

“Sarah was the loveliest daughter anyone could wish for. She was honest, loyal and sweet, and everyone loved her.”

Will Las Vegas finally legalize prostitution?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on January 23, 2009 by ifly2lv

Will Las Vegas finally legalize prostitution?

08:42 AM PT, Jan 22 2009

Brothel1

Perhaps the most widely ignored legal reality in Las Vegas (except for the open container law) are the laws against prostitution. From brothel prostitution to escorts, there is no form of legal prostitution in Clark County, which includes Vegas. The confusion is caused by the fact that Nevada is the only state in the nation with legal brothel prostitution, just not in Vegas. The closest legal brothel to Vegas is the Chicken Ranch, which is just minutes from the county line by car.

Whenever Vegas has hit an economic road bump in the last decade, the idea of legalizing prostitution has been floated as a solution, and then gone nowhere. There are a few reasons for this. The state Legislature would have to pass a law allowing prostitution in Clark County and that would severely hurt the tax base of the smaller counties that depend on the money that comes from brothels. The state of Nevada — despite the willingness, indeed, occasional eagerness of the brothel industry to be taxed — has been reluctant to craft any integral role for the brothels in the state tax base. The view was based not only on resisting the temptation for expansion but on a general belief that as the state left behind its Western libertarian roots, rural Nevada would eventually grow out of the need for brothel taxes as suburbs blossomed, replacing the empty ghost towns and desert nothing between Reno (where prostitution is illegal) and Vegas. Also, the casino industry (especially Steve Wynn) has in the past opposed any attempt to legalize prostitution in Vegas. Finally, no previous economic crisis Vegas has faced has lasted long enough to begin a dialogue about opening up Vegas to legalized prostitution. Once the crisis fades, interest vanishes.

Of course, the biggest sponsor for considering legalized prostitution in Vegas is Mayor Oscar Goodman. But because prostitution is an issue to be decided on the state level, his support for exploring the use of the oldest profession for downtown redevelopment has never received any serious attention.

Now, state Sen. Bob Coffin has given fresh life to this old idea by simply bringing it up as a serious proposal. According to the Sun, “This is the first time in recent memory that a legislator has taken up this issue.” Unsurprisingly, Coffin need not care about political fallout as he has reached his term limit for service and will not have to run again. Just as interesting, the article’s one clear opponent to expanding Nevada’s legalized prostitution system to Vegas is identified only as a “ranking Assembly Democrat.” What does it say about changing times and attitudes when the opponents of expanded legalized prostitution do not want their names in a story connected to that position? Obviously, behind this push for expanding legalized prostitution is Nevada’s budget mess. To give one example, the governor’s proposed budget may require cutting close to half of UNLV’s state funding. Therefore, no one is leaping to oppose ideas that can add money to help fix this mess.

So, here we are in 2009, and Nevada does not have enough money and everyone knows it. And everyone accepts that an awful lot of prostitution is going on unregulated and untaxed in Las Vegas. There are no new arguments about this issue, just changing times. And, unlike a recent proposal to lower the gambling age to 18, expanding legal prostitution does not seem as offensive to the general populace of Sin City, many of whom probably never knew it was illegal in the first place. After all, why should Nye County (where the Chicken Ranch is located) get the tax benefit from Vegas tourists?

Still, as much as downtown Las Vegas might support this idea, I doubt the casinos have changed their position. Resorts are opposed to most things that take their customers off the property to spend money. And without the support of the gambling industry, legalized prostitution in Las Vegas would be almost politically impossible.

But these are economic times like Vegas has never seen before. And I suspect this idea will get more attention than anyone imagines this go-around. The time to discuss legalized prostitution for Las Vegas has arrived. 

I certainly have mixed views on whether this would be good for Vegas tourism, the community and the customers and workers who frequent this sort of entertainment. Many of my opinions were formed when I was working on a story and spent a week living at the Chicken Ranch and observing the business up close. And as this moves along, I will share those thoughts and memories with you.

But for now, I am curious about what you think. Would legal prostitution be another way to make Vegas a fantastic fantasy spot for you, or would it make Vegas a hopelessly seedy neighborhood stacked with many of the world’s most expensive and luxurious resorts? Would you be more or less likely to visit Vegas if there was legal prostitution available in some form?

These are questions getting a new look in 2009 as Vegas continues to lose residents and visitors, faces an unprecedented drop in gambling and remains the foreclosure capital of the country. Is it time to bring on the hookers to help save Las Vegas?

http://vegasblog.latimes.com/vegas/2009/01/vegas-hooker-to.html

Under consideration: Tax brothels, consider legalizing prostitution in Las Vegas

— In these tough budgetary times, the chairman of a key state Senate committee is willing to consider the world’s oldest profession as a potential source of new tax revenue.

State Sen. Bob Coffin said Tuesday he would be willing to grant a hearing on proposals to legalize and regulate prostitution in Las Vegas and other urban areas of the state where it’s illegal.

The Las Vegas Democrat, who heads the Senate Taxation Committee, said he also wants to look at taxing the state’s legal brothels in rural counties.

Only “the most naive person on the planet would believe there’s no prostitution going on in the urban areas,” Coffin said. “It’s going on now unregulated and unsafe.

“I have not decided about whether or not I’d support the legalization and control of it in urban areas. But I think it’s an idea worth entertaining.”

Prostitution is legal in most of Nevada’s rural counties, but state law prohibits it in counties with populations in excess of 400,000. That means there are no legal brothels in Las Vegas or Reno.

Previous suggestions that Nevada consider legalizing prostitution throughout the state have gone nowhere. This is the first time in recent memory that a legislator has taken up this issue, but such a proposal would face long odds.

Coffin, who is serving his final term in the Senate because of term limits, said he will focus primarily on getting additional money from legal rural brothels, strip clubs and escort services.

“I’d be happy to listen to arguments for legalization anytime,” Coffin said. “In the meantime, I know we have to get some money from the world’s oldest profession.”

Nevada is the only state to legalize prostitution. But it has an uneasy relationship with the industry. Though rural counties sometimes collect large fees from the businesses, the state has resisted taxing brothels because of the stigma attached to prostitution.

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, who has floated the idea of legalizing prostitution as a way to redevelop downtown Las Vegas, said in an interview Wednesday that he thinks there should be an open debate on legalizing it in Nevada’s cities.

Goodman said he recently met with a legislator, whom he declined to name, and “people in the industry” to discuss legalizing prostitution in Las Vegas.

“I’ve always said there should be a serious discussion,” Goodman said. “People assume it’s legal anyhow.”

The mayor said legalizing it would provide a good source of revenue for education and social services, would create a safer environment for all parties involved and reduce sexually transmitted diseases.

“Smart people can have serious discussions without fear of reprisal,” Goodman said. “Right now, there’s no benefit coming out of it for anybody and it’s rampant.”

Asked if he would initiate the conversations, Goodman said no. “But I’ll certainly join into the discussion.”

Coffin said he would consider the idea not only because of the state’s dire financial situation, but also to make the industry safer.

Las Vegas’ red-light district was shut down in the 1940s, when the Army, which operated the military base that would become Nellis Air Force Base, demanded the city close its brothels.

City leaders did and were satisfied when the servicemen spent money in casinos, according to the book “Las Vegas: A Centennial History.”

In 2004, Goodman suggested building a “little Amsterdam” red-light district downtown, but the resulting furor seemed to stall the idea.

County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani, then a member of the Assembly, said the idea was worth a debate. Casino executives opposed it.

Any change in the law would require the approval of the Legislature, which is unlikely.

As one ranking Assembly Democrat said Wednesday: “There’s no chance in hell this passes.”

Correction: The original headline on this story about legalizing prostitution mischaracterized state Sen. Bob Coffin’s stance. As chairman of the Senate Taxation Committee, Coffin said he was willing to grant a hearing on proposals to legalize prostitution in the state’s urban areas, not that he supported doing so.

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2009/jan/22/senators-ideas-impose-tax-brothels-make-prostituti/

Barack and Michelle Obama Fisting?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2009 by ifly2lv

Amanda Knox flirts with Raffaele Sollecito at Meredith Kercher murder trial

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 18, 2009 by ifly2lv
knox_385x185_468587a

 

 

 

Amanda Knox sought to patch up relations with her estranged former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, behind the scenes, at the opening of their trial for the murder of Meredith Kercher, Ms Knox’s British flatmate, it emerged today.

During the seven-hour opening hearing on Friday, Ms Knox, 21 smiled and laughed repeatedly, joking with her lawyers and interpreter. Although sitting only a few feet from the bespectacled Mr Sollecito, 24, she barely acknowledged his glances along the row.

As far as is known the two, who have been held in separate prisons, have not spoken since they were arrested after the murder of Ms Kercher in November 2007. But during a recess on Friday, Ms Knox approached Mr Sollecito and broke the ice by asking: “Ciao, come stai?” (“Hi, how are you?”). She smiled at him and said: “You look good with your hair cut short.”

Mr Sollecito, who had grown his hair long in prison, blushed at the compliment, according to Italian reports from legal sources who witnessed the exchange.

Ms Knox told him that she had not slept well because one of her cellmates snored loudly, but added that she felt optimistic and was “not afraid” because the trial would “end well” for them both.

Mr Sollecito, who appeared “much more tense and uncertain”, told his former girlfriend that the trial would take “a long time”, but he too “hoped for the best”. He told Ms Knox he was being transferred from prison at Terni to the Perugia prison where she is being held, in order to be closer to the courtroom, but said he was “not happy about it.” He said that at Terni he had been allowed to mix with other prisoners, whereas at Perugia he would be held in isolation.

In her prison diaries, which are part of the prosecution evidence, Ms Knox accused Mr Sollecito of having lied when he told investigators that Ms Knox had not been at his flat for the entire evening and night of the murder, as she claimed. He later said that he could not remember whether she had been present throughout or not because they had been smoking cannabis and his memory was hazy.

After the pair were sent for trial last October Mr Sollecito remarked that “our love affair is over”.

Luca Maori, one of Mr Sollecito’s lawyers, said the defence was confident that Ms Knox and Mr Sollecito would be acquitted, since “the murderer has already been identified and sentenced”, a reference to Rudy Guede, the Ivory Coast immigrant sentenced to 30 years in jail last October for his part in the crime.

Walter Biscotti, one of Mr Guede’s lawyers, told The Times: “We will not allow the blame to be pinned on Rudy Guede. That strategy will not work.”

Mr Guede is expected to be among the 200 witnesses called during the trial.

The prosecution says it has proof that all three took part in the murder during a “sex game” in which Ms Kercher was forced to her knees as an unwilling participant, a view endorsed by Paolo Micheli, the pre-trial judge, who decided there was enough evidence against Ms Knox and Mr Sollecito for them to be put on trial.

Manuela Comodi, the deputy prosecutor, said that the prosecution had not called either Ms Knox or Mr Sollecito as witnesses “because there is no point. Every time they were questioned during the pre-trial investigation they lied or tried to derail the inquiry.

“ If they have nothing to add and just repeat the same version of events, questioning them in court would be a waste of time. The facts will come from others.”

Ms Knox returned to prison from the opening hearing saying that she was more convinced than ever that she would be freed, according to legal sources, “because I am sure this judge will believe what I say, not what others say — starting with Rudy”.

At the next hearing, on February 6, the judge and jury will hear evidence from officers of the postal police who found Ms Kercher’s body on the morning of November 2, 2007, when they arrived at the hillside cottage that Ms Knox shared with Ms Kercher, to trace the owners of two mobile phones abandoned near by. They found Ms Knox and Mr Sollecito already there. They allege that Ms Knox said that she had taken a shower, despite noticing blood in the bathroom basin.

Ms Knox, described by Il Messaggero as a “strange but fascinating mixture of femme fatale and fresh-faced innocent”, claims she and Mr Sollecito arrived at the cottage only in the late morning. However the prosecution is expected to call a witness who says that he saw Ms Knox at a shop near the cottage some three hours earlier, buying cleaning fluids.

The prosecution also claims that Ms Knox’s DNA is on the handle of the presumed murder weapon, a kitchen knife from Mr Sollecito’s flat, with Ms Kercher’s DNA on the tip of the blade. She and Mr Sollecito said that there had been a break in, but the prosecution alleges that they faked this by breaking a window themselves.

According to Ms Kercher’s student friends, who will testify at the trial, Ms Knox showed “indifference” to the murder in the days after the crime. She was photographed kissing and cuddling Mr Sollecito as if nothing had happened, and gave contradictory versions of her behaviour on the night of the killing.

Giancarlo Massei, the presiding judge, will decide at the next hearing whether a “confession” made by Ms Knox before she was imprisoned admitting that she was at the scene of the crime and “covered her ears” so as not to hear Ms Kercher’s screams is admissable evidence.

The defence argues that it is not, since Italy’s highest court of appeal has ruled it that was made late at night with no lawyer present.

1601knowsmilelawyer_467174a

1601knoxlookrafa_467175a

1601knoxmain_467184a

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article5540939.ece?token=null&offset=0&page=1

Tropicana’s 49-year-old topless show in Las Vegas to close after sighting sagging returns from a limp economy

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on January 17, 2009 by ifly2lv

Vegas topless show to close after 49-year run at Tropicana

folies1

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The topless revue “Les Folies Bergere” is hanging up its feathers after 49 years at the Tropicana hotel-casino.

Casino executives announced Thursday that the show will close March 28 to make room for an undisclosed new production.

The closing will leave Bally’s “Jubilee!” as the last full-scale showgirl revue left on the Las Vegas Strip.

Showgirl productions have fallen out of favor with Cirque du Soleil dominating entertainment on the Strip in recent years.

“Folies” came from Paris in 1959 and opened under then-Tropicana entertainment director Lou Walters, the father of newswoman Barbara Walters.

Tropicana President Ron Thacker doesn’t explain the decision in a statement. He says the casino is “extremely proud to have been part of such an iconic Las Vegas production.”

http://www.usatoday.com/travel/destinations/2009-01-15-folies-bergeres-closing_N.htm