Joe Jackson, the patriarch of one of the most influential families ever in pop music, died early Wednesday after battling pancreatic cancer. He was 89. Jackson managed the early career of his most famous son, Michael Jackson, and Michael's brothers Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon, and Tito, as part of the Jackson 5. He also managed Janet Jackson and her sisters Rebbie and La Toya separately. Joe Jackson was known for his stern and sometimes abusive handling of his children. In 2002, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame named him Best Entertainment Manager of All Time. "Joe was a strong man who acknowledged his own imperfections and heroically delivered his sons and daughters from the steel mills of Gary, Indiana, to worldwide pop superstardom," the Michael Jackson estate said in a statement. "Mr. Jackson's contributions to the history of music are enormous."
Source: TMZ, Vulture
Former Air Force linguist Reality L. Winner pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a felony charge of leaking classified information. Winner was arrested last June on allegations that she gave members of the news media a classified report about Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election. Winner, the first person prosecuted by the Trump administration for leaking government secrets, accepted a deal with prosecutors calling for a 63-month prison sentence. A prosecutor said last year that Winner was trying to make facts public after being angered by information reported in the media. "All of my actions I did willfully, meaning I did so of my own free will," Ms. Winner told Chief Judge J. Randal Hall on Tuesday.
Source: The New York Times
Police in Long Beach, California, on Monday arrested a 77-year-old man, Thomas Kim, for allegedly starting a fire at a Southern California retirement home so he could shoot at firefighters when they arrived to put it out. A fire captain, Dave Rosa, was shot and killed. A resident of the retirement home was shot and hospitalized in critical condition. Another firefighter, Ernesto Torres, was treated at a hospital and released. Kim was arrested on suspicion of murder, attempted murder, and arson. Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna said two explosive devices were found inside Kim's apartment. Police also recovered a revolver. Kim is being held on $2 million bail.
Source: The Associated Press
Donald Hall, the 2006-2007 poet laureate, has died at age 89, his daughter, Philippa Smith, confirmed on Sunday. His poetry won him a National Book Critics Circle prize, membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a National Medal of Arts. He published more than 50 books, including everything from poetry to drama to memoirs. An avid baseball fan, he wrote odes to the Boston Red Sox and a book on pitcher Dock Ellis. He also contributed to Sports Illustrated, and wrote a prize-winning children's book, Ox-Cart Man. "He's really quite amazingly versatile," said Hall's long-time friend Mike Pride, editor emeritus of the Concord Monitor newspaper and a retired administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes.
Source: The Associated Press
Drummer Vinnie Paul, a founding member of the metal band Pantera, has died, the band's Facebook page announced late Friday. He was 54. "Paul is best known for his work as the drummer in the bands Pantera and Hellyeah," the brief statement said. "No further details are available at this time. The family requests you please respect their privacy during this time." Paul cofounded Pantera with his brother, known as Dimebag Darrell, and vocalist Terry Glaze in 1981, and their work proved widely influential for heavy music in the following decades. The Texas-based group split in 2003.
Source: Rolling Stone, CNN
The European Union on Friday imposed tariffs on $3.3 billion worth of U.S. imports in retaliation for President Trump's levies on steel and aluminum. The EU tariffs, most of them set at 25 percent, apply to such products as bourbon, orange juice, peanut butter, and motorcycles. The move was designed in part to "make noise" by targeting politically important states like Kentucky, Florida, and Wisconsin, EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said. The EU implemented the tariffs a week earlier than expected in what was widely interpreted as a show of strength. India and Turkey are also retaliating against Trump's tariffs, as is China. By July 6, $75 billion in U.S. products will be hit by new foreign tariffs, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates. [The Associated Press, The New York Times]
Some 1,768 immigrant families were separated by U.S. officials in the 17-month period from October 2016 to February 2018, Reuters reports, a span that includes time from both the Obama and Trump administrations. Since February, the pace of separations has increased thanks to the Trump administration's new "zero tolerance" policy, but Reuters' source, an unnamed government official, could not provide more recent statistics. Congressional testimony from a U.S. Customs and Border Protection official in May indicated 638 parents were separated from 658 children in a two-week span last month. Once separated, children are often moved to shelters hundreds of miles away from their families.
Source: Reuters, NPR
Editor's Note: Mainly caught my attention by the headline's use of "nearly 1800".
Actor Jerry Maren, the last surviving munchkin from the 1939 classic Wizard of Oz, died last month in San Diego, California, a family member confirmed Wednesday. He was 98. Maren, who stood 4 feet 3 inches, played one of the members of the Lollipop Guild in the film. In his big scene, he handed Judy Garland's Dorothy a giant lollipop and welcomed her to Munchkin Land. He appeared in scores of films, TV shows, and commercials over a seven-decade entertainment career, but told The Independent in 2009 that working on the movie as one of the 124 munchkins was "the greatest fun I ever had in my life." Garland, he said, was "an angel." In 2007, he and the other munchkins were honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Source: BBC News, Los Angeles Times
Fashion designer Kate Spade was found dead in her Manhattan apartment Tuesday, hanged with a scarf in her bedroom in an apparent suicide. She was 55. Police said Spade left a note but they would not discuss what it said. TMZ reported that the note was addressed to her 13-year-old daughter. Spade's handbags became a symbol of status and good taste when she emerged in the 1990s, and became the foundation of an accessories empire. "Kate Spade had an enviable gift for understanding exactly what women the world over wanted to carry," said Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue and artistic director of Condé Nast. "There was a moment when you couldn't walk a block in New York without seeing one of her bags, which were just like her; colorful and unpretentious."
Source: The New York Times, TMZ
About This Blog
Certain numerology has a strong connection with occultism. Various numbers from time-to-time appear in news articles, and one has to wonder if there isn't some occult significance behind this story.