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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Police: Theater Evacuated After ‘Popping Noises’

Police: Theater Evacuated After ‘Popping Noises’


Police: Theater Evacuated After ‘Popping Noises’

Posted: 18 May 2014 11:25 AM PDT

FAIRFAX, Va. — Authorities say someone set off two soda bottle chemical devices at a movie theater complex in northern Virginia, scaring patrons who fled after hearing what sounded like firecrackers or gunshots.

Fairfax County Police spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell says no one was hurt though the theater and food court were evacuated of about 2,000 people early Sunday while authorities investigated.

Fairfax County Police say moviegoers called 911 and reported suspicious “popping noises” around 12:15 a.m. Sunday at the AMC Tysons Corner 16 theaters.

Caldwell says the investigation continues and anyone with information can contact police in Fairfax County, a Virginia suburb of the nation’s capital.

World’s Slickest Kid Pulls Baseball Switcheroo on Nice Young Lady

Posted: 18 May 2014 10:18 AM PDT

A young boy at a recent Toronto Blue Jays-Texas Rangers game clearly knows how to win the ladies.

After the Jays’ Luis Rivera tossed the kid a foul ball, the youngster quickly turned around and offered it to a woman sitting behind him — at least that’s what it looked like to those sitting nearby.

As seen on the replay, the little dude actually kept the game ball in his glove the whole time, using an extra ball he had on hand for his supposedly chivalrous gift.

Watch out, girls — this guy is going to grow up and break some hearts.

This Might Be the Most Beautiful Buffalo in the World

Posted: 18 May 2014 09:46 AM PDT

Those large, brown, beastly masses known as buffalo are rarely described as pretty, but this weekend a lucky few of them became works of art that would make all the others jealous.

Competing in a buffalo body-painting competition in the Jiancheng county of China’s Yunnan province, artists from eight different countries decked out the animals in wild patterns as they competed Sunday for bragging rights and a 100,00 yuan ($16,042) prize.

The 5 Best Museum Heists in History

Posted: 18 May 2014 09:42 AM PDT

In honor of International Museum Day, we collected the five best museum heists in history. Just thank your lucky stars you weren’t a museum director during any of these thefts.

1) The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, The United States: On March 18, 1990, two thieves disguised as Boston Police officers demanded entrance to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. They told the guard on patrol that they were responding to a disturbance, then drew him away from the alarm button and asked him to call his partner. The thieves then handcuffed both of them and threw them in the basement, where they duct-taped their hands and feet to pipes.

The bandits then stole around $500 million worth of priceless art, the largest art heist in history. Priceless works like Vermeer’s The Concert, Rembrandt’s Storm on the Sea of Galilee, and Manet’s Chez Tortoni were taken, never to be found again. Empty frames currently hang in some rooms of the Gardner museum where the paintings originally hung, and tourists visit to see the scene of the crime.

2) The Stockholm Museum, Sweden: Armed burglars stole $30 million worth of art by Renoir and Rembrandt from the Stockholm Museum on December 22, 2000. They staged two car explosions nearby to distract police, then a gunman with a semiautomatic terrorized the museum while his accomplishes grabbed a Rembrandt self-portrait and two Renoirs. Then the thieves escaped in a small boat.

3) The Kunstahl Museum, The Netherlands: Romanian gang members stole seven paintings by Picasso, Matisse, Gaugin and Monet in under three minutes from the Kunhstahl Museum in Rotterdam on October 16, 2012. The thieves got away with the artworks, worth more than $24 million, even though they tripped the small museum’s alarm system — probably because the small museum had no guards.

Last year, the mother of one of the alleged thieves claimed to have burned the paintings, perhaps to protect her son from prosecution. Olga Dogaru’s son was the alleged ringleader of the heist, and his and his accomplices had already been arrested. Dogaru first buried the paintings in different locations, then burned them so the police could never find them. The two thieves have been sentenced to 6-8 years in prison.

4) National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico: Robbers stole 140 precious objects from Mexico’s National Museum of Anthropology on Christmas Eve, 1985, in the largest heist of pre-Colombian objects in history. The bandits picked a sleepy time when they knew the guards would be distracted by holiday cheer, and grabbed several gold, turquoise, and jade objects, as well as an obsidian monkey-shaped-vase worth over $20 million. Most of the stolen objects were very small and easy to transport, making them especially difficult to track down.

5) The Louvre, France: Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa is now the most famous painting in the Louvre, but it wasn’t always that way. In fact, getting stolen might have been the best thing that ever happened to this tiny Renaissance portrait. On August 21, 1911, three Italian handymen hid in a supply closet overnight in order to sneak into the museum and steal the Mona Lisa. One of them, Vincenzo Perugia, was the man who had installed the protective glass over the Mona Lisa in the first place. The theft was all over the French newspapers, since many people feared that German or American businessmen were buying up all the good art from their museums. The painting became so famous that he couldn’t sell it without getting caught. So he hid it in the false bottom of his trunk until over two years later, when he finally tried to sell the painting. Of course, the police showed up, Perugia was arrested, and the painting was returned, more famous than ever.

Senior Syrian Officer Killed in Clashes Near Damascus

Posted: 18 May 2014 09:38 AM PDT

A high-ranking Syrian military officer died near Damascus Sunday after clashes between government forces and rebel groups aligned against President Bashar Assad.

Lt. Gen. Hussein Ishaq, head of Syria's Air Defense, was one of the few senior military officers to be killed in more than three years of fighting. The loss has little strategic impact, as Syria’s air defenses have not played a large role in a war against ground-based rebels equipped with few anti-aircraft weapons and no air assets. Still, the fact that the armed opposition was able to penetrate a well-defended base was a potent reminder that the fighting continues just outside the capital’s security bubble, despite many Syrians’ assertion that the war is in its waning days.

Ishaq’s death comes just three weeks before Syria’s presidential elections are set to take place. Assad, who has already held two seven-year terms based on national referendums, will be running opposed for the first time. He has built his campaign on a promise of military victory and quick reconstruction. The raid, along with Ishaq's death, is unlikely to affect an election stacked in Assad's favor, but it does put in doubt the government's pledge to secure Damascus and its suburbs before the end of the year. The south and eastern suburbs of Damascus have been a source of regular mortar attacks on the capital for nearly two years; on Wednesday night a mortar round landed on a house near the center of the city, severely wounding two people.

For Damascus residents, the ongoing mortar barrage is justification for the government's continued shelling of the rebellious suburbs, even when civilians are caught in the crossfire. The death of a senior commander who had little to do with the fight against the armed opposition is likely to cement the perception among Assad loyalists that the rebels deserve no mercy, making a violent war even deadlier yet.

Godzilla Crushes Box Office With $93 Million Opening Weekend

Posted: 18 May 2014 09:32 AM PDT

A massive radioactive monster unleashed an equally massive box-office victory this weekend as Godzilla claimed the top spot with a $93.2 million haul, per data from Box Office Mojo.

The mega monster reboot, starring Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen, stomped all over the expectations of industry analysts, who predicted the film would only make about $70 million, USA Today reports.

Godzilla’s debut is the biggest opening weekend ever from a monster movie, according to Box Office Mojo, though The Wrap notes such a designation can be tricky to define.

There’s one foe Godzilla can’t seem to squash, however — Captain America: The Winter Solider barely held on to its title as 2014′s king of the opening weekends after making $95 million on release last month.

Mass. Gov Deval Patrick: ‘I Worry a Little Bit’ About Hillary Clinton

Posted: 18 May 2014 08:35 AM PDT

Democratic Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said the “inevitability” of Hillary Clinton’s possible presidential bid in 2016 could hurt her campaign if she decides to run.

“I guess I worry a little bit," Patrick said during a Sunday appearance on CNN’s State of the Union. "She’s an enormously capable candidate and leader. But I do worry about the inevitability thing, because I think it’s off-putting to the average [voter].”

Patrick, whose own name has come up as a possible Democratic candidate, said he did not know if the former secretary of state will decide to run.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, said she was similarly concerned about Clinton’s visibility and popularity during an appearance on the same show Sunday.

“I did talk with her and thought it would be better that she not get out there early, because her favorability was so high that all that could happen in this is go down — because somebody would do the stupid things that Karl Rove has just done," Feinstein said.

California Governor Jerry Brown, another Democrat, also expressed concerns Sunday about Clinton’s frontrunner status.

“Being a frontrunner is being on a perch that everyone else is going to try to knock you off of,” Brown said on ABC’s This Week. “So she’s there. She’s got the capacity. But like any frontrunner, she has to be cautious and wise in how she proceeds forward.”

Clinton lost to Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary.

[CNN]

Watch Beyoncé and Jay Z Make a Getaway in Star-Studded ‘On the Run’ Tour Video

Posted: 18 May 2014 08:06 AM PDT

Beyoncé and Jay Z seem to be taking advice from Mad Men‘s Don Draper and Peggy Olson: If you don’t like what they’re saying, change the conversation.

Just a few days after releasing a joint statement about the Solange-Jay Z elevator fight that had the Internet abuzz, the TIME 100 cover star and her husband released a short film Sunday to promote the duo’s upcoming On the Run Tour — a thematic nod to their first collaboration, 2002′s “’03 Bonnie & Clyde,” and its 2013 sequel “Part II (On the Run),” which plays in the background.

Melina Matsoukas, who directed Beyoncé’s video for “Pretty Hurts,” also helmed this near-four-minute clip, which plays like a movie trailer and “stars” Don Cheadle, Jake Gyllenhaal, Sean Penn, Blake Lively, Emmy Rossum, Guillermo Díaz and Rashida and Kidada Jones.

Though it (unfortunately) won’t be a real movie, the video does feature everything Beyoncé fans would want in a music video: She fires machine guns, runs from cops in fabulous outfits and puts other celebrities in her place. Bow down, indeed.

Rogue Libyan general’s troops attack parliament

Posted: 18 May 2014 08:05 AM PDT

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Forces loyal to a rogue Libyan general attacked the country’s parliament Sunday, forcing lawmakers to flee an assault his spokesman said targeted Islamists there who protect the extremist militias now plaguing the nation.

The attack was met with resistance from other troops, Mohammed al-Hegazi, a spokesman for Gen. Khalifa Hifter, told Libya’s al-Ahrar television station.

Gunfire near parliament could be heard for kilometers (miles) around.

A security official said the attackers also shelled a nearby military base controlled by an Islamist militia. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief journalists.

Hifter is carrying out an offensive against Islamist militias in Benghazi, the country’s second-largest city in the east. He says the central government and parliament have no mandate and vowed to press on with his operation after authorities called it a coup.

Al-Hegazi called the parliament the “heart of the crisis” in Libya.

“This parliament is what supports these extremist Islamist entities,” al-Hegazi told the station. “The aim was to arrest these Islamist bodies who wear the cloak of politics.”

Lawmakers say security officials evacuated them from the building out of fears it would be stormed.

Libya’s parliament is divided between Islamist and non-Islamist forces who have bickered over appointing a new government and holding new elections. Recently, Islamists forces backed the naming of a new prime minister, amid walkouts from the non-Islamist groups. The new interim prime minister has not yet named a Cabinet.

An Associated Press journalist saw militias armed with machine-gun mounted vehicles gather near the parliament. The security official told the AP that lawmakers received warnings ahead of the attack that the building would be assaulted. Al-Ahrar reported the same.

The bases of the al-Qaaqaa and Sawaaq militias are located near the parliament. They both operate under the government’s mandate but back non-Islamist political forces.

The fighting that broke out in Benghazi on Friday killed 70 people, Libya’s Health Ministry said Sunday.

Benghazi, the birthplace of the 2011 uprising that toppled Libya’s late dictator Moammar Gadhafi, was quiet Sunday, though its airport remained closed for a second day.

Libya’s weak central government describes the offensive by forces loyal to Hifter, which includes air support, as tantamount to a coup. The violence there and in the capital, Tripoli, shows how precarious government control remains three years after the 2011 civil war that toppled Gadhafi.

Libya’s military banned flights Saturday to Benghazi and said in a statement that it would target any military aircraft flying over the city.

California Chrome Might Not Race at Belmont for Triple Crown

Posted: 18 May 2014 07:36 AM PDT

After winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, California Chrome is set up perfectly for horse racing’s highest honor: the Triple Crown. But Chrome might skip the Belmont Stakes, the third and final race in the Crown, unless state officials let the colt wear a nasal strip during its run, trainer Art Sherman told USA Today.

California Chrome has worn a nasal strip, which help horses breathe, throughout his recent six-race winning streak. However, New York officials have a history of banning the strips: Back in 2012, horse I’ll Have Another wore nasal strips during its Kentucky and Preakness wins, but was going to be barred from doing so at Belmont. (The point became moot when Another was scratched after a leg injury.)

Sherman said Sunday he plans to talk to California Chrome’s owners and New York horse-racing authorities ahead of the June 7 Belmont, Long Island race.

“All over the country, they let you wear [nasal strips],” Sherman said. “Why would New York not?”

If California Chrome races and wins at Belmont, it would make him the first Triple Crown winner since 1978.

[USA TODAY]

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