The Wire: December 13, 2010

  • 7:15 p.m.

    Ex-TV chef gets 9 years in plot to kill wife

    With a wink and smile at his wife, former “Calorie Commando” TV chef Juan-Carlos Cruz was sentenced to nine years in prison Monday for trying to hire two homeless men to murder her.

  • 7:00 p.m.

    Rapper Ja Rule pleads guilty in '07 NY weapon case

    Ja Rule agreed Monday to go to prison for two years in a gun case, becoming the second platinum-selling rapper set to do time after arrests in the aftermath of a star-studded hip-hop concert in July 2007.

  • 7:00 p.m.

    James has surgery on right foot, out 6-to-8 weeks

    New Jersey Nets rookie forward Damion James is expected to be sidelined up to two months after having surgery to repair a broken right foot.

  • 6:40 p.m.

    Political Scene

    Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan says she is facing a “steep learning curve” in her first months on the bench as she drafts her first opinions and tries to acclimate to life as a judge.

  • 6:30 p.m.

    NASA: Voyager 1 nearing edge of solar system

    NASA’s long-running Voyager 1 spacecraft is barreling its way toward the edge of the solar system.

  • 6:30 p.m.

    NBC introducing new singing competition format

    NBC is banking on some reality show royalty to create a new singing competition to challenge “American Idol.”

  • 6:30 p.m.

    Eli Lilly suspends cancer study on safety concerns

    Eli Lilly and co. said Monday that it suspended a late-stage study of tasisulam as a potential skin cancer treatment because of safety concerns, but the company will continue ongoing studies in other types of cancer.

  • 6:26 p.m.

    Ryan Johnson, center, of Windsor, Ontario, Canada and unidentified fans, cheer after getting their free tickets for the Minnesota Vikings' Monday night football game against the New York Giants at Ford Field in Detroit on Monday Dec. 13, 2010. The Minnesota Vikings' home game against the New York Giants was moved to Monday at Ford Field in Detroit after the Metrodome's inflated roof collapsed under the weight of heavy snow a day earlier. By 8 a.m. local time, the line had snaked around the side of the NFL stadium. (AP Photo/The Detroit News, David Coates) NO SALES

    Free tickets resold for Giants-Vikings game

    When Brent Stanton heard free tickets were going to be given away for the New York Giants-Minnesota Vikings game, he drove 10 hours on “awful roads” from Milwaukee to Detroit to get some.

  • 6:24 p.m.

    Redskins' flaws go beyond failed PAT

    It would be all too easy to cut the kicker who missed the two short field goals. Or the holder who had the snap go through his hands on an extra point in the final seconds of a one-point loss.

  • 6:22 p.m.

    Arrests made in Afghan attack that killed 6 U.S. troops

    Several suspects have been arrested in a suicide attack that killed six U.S. troops when an explosives-packed minibus blew up at the entrance of a joint NATO-Afghan base in southern Afghanistan, officials said Monday.

  • 6:21 p.m.

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    RAHN: Tax facts and fantasies

    Never has the expression “What planet are these people from?” seemed more appropriate than when it refers to the actions of the majority of Democrats in the House of Representatives this week on the proposed tax bill compromise. In the real world, their choice is that they either vote for the compromise, which means no one will suffer a tax increase as of Jan. 1, or that everyone will have a huge tax increase. Also, the lowest wage earners will see a 50 percent jump in their tax rates, from 10 percent to 15 percent.

  • 6:17 p.m.

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    BLANKLEY: A moment for leadership

    In the spirit of the Christmas season, let me highlight from last week’s confusing Washington rhetoric a statement by President Obama that was shrewd - even wise. In the spirit of compromise, he pointed out that even though under the Constitution’s original compromise, he (implicitly, as a black man) “could not have walked through the front door” - the compromise was worth it because otherwise, we would not have gained a union.

  • 6:15 p.m.

    Auburn says Gus Malzahn not leaving Tigers

    Auburn coach Gene Chizik said offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn has received a raise and contract extension, apparently ending fears that Malzahn would leave to take the Vanderbilt head coaching job.

  • 6:15 p.m.

    Inmate seeking kosher meals cites Festivus belief

    A Festivus for the rest of us? A convicted drug dealer in California thinks so. He cited his adherence to the holiday celebrated on a famous episode of “Seinfeld” to get better meals at the Orange County jail.

  • 6:14 p.m.

    Arturo Martinez speaks at a meeting with labor union and Communist Party leaders on Cuba's economic problems at the steel mill Antillana de Acero in Havana. Major free-market reforms are in the works on the island nation. (Associated Press)

    At assemblies across Cuba, workers vent on economy

    Cuban workers laid bare their concerns about the state of their country in a meeting at a dimly lit auditorium on the outskirts of the capital, one of thousands of such gatherings taking place across the country ahead of a landmark economic summit scheduled for April.

  • 6:12 p.m.

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    PRUDEN: The second banana at the White House

    What can you do with a good ol’ boy like Bubba? He only does what Bubba does. You probably shouldn’t blame a distracted and overwhelmed Barack Obama, either. But that was a remarkable show the two presidents put on at the White House the other day.

  • 6:12 p.m.

    Hunting traditions sag as land, desire disappear

    Hunting’s popularity has waned across much of the country as housing tracts replace forests, aging hunters hang up their guns and youngsters plop down in front of Facebook rather than venture outside.

  • 6:11 p.m.

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    WETZSTEIN: 'Marshall Plan' for marriage gap

    For at least a generation, marriage and family cohesion have been unraveling in America’s low-income families. Now this rending of family ties is spreading into America’s middle class, the home of hard-working, blue-collar, service-industry people who graduated from high school but didn’t quite land that college degree.

  • 6:11 p.m.

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    FEULNER: A misdeal on tax cuts

    As tax-cut deals go, the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 was never a winner.

  • 6:11 p.m.

    Culture Briefs

    “Mark this down as another win for capitalism — and Israel, too. Recently, on the Princeton University campus, a student-led referendum sought to urge ‘Dining Services to provide an alternative brand to Sabra hummus in retail locations on campus,’ according to the Daily Princetonian. The measure failed by a vote of 1,014 to 699,” writes Daniel Halper at the Weekly Standard blog.

  • 6:09 p.m.

    World Scene

    North Korea’s foreign minister held rare talks in Russia on Monday amid a flurry of diplomatic attempts to ease tensions after Pyongyang’s deadly attack on a South Korean island last month.

  • 6:09 p.m.

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    AP: Concussions report up around NFL

    With a late-season game on the line, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers exits with a concussion and doesn’t return. Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Heath Miller and Arizona Cardinals quarterback Derek Anderson sit out games altogether because of head injuries.

  • 6:08 p.m.

    Briefly

    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and the foreign ministers of Canada and Mexico met Monday for talks focused on trade, regional security and fighting transnational crime.

  • 6:08 p.m.

    American Scene

    Three military veterans who were discharged under the law that prohibits gays from serving openly in uniform sued the government Monday to be reinstated and to pressure lawmakers to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law before a new Congress is sworn in.

  • 6:00 p.m.

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    ELLIS: Legislation despite repudiation

    The letter sent by all 42 Republican senators to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid informing him that they would not allow any other legislation to proceed until both the George W. Bush tax cuts and continued funding of the government have been taken care of was a welcome moment of focus and firmness on the part of a Republican leadership that has not always displayed those qualities.

  • 6:00 p.m.

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    Her, fat? Ballerina tells critic she's just fine

    Christmas is upon us, and for a top ballerina at New York City Ballet, that means one sure thing: suiting up in tulle and sequins as the Sugarplum Fairy in the annual classic, “The Nutcracker.” What Jenifer Ringer surely didn’t expect was to be accused of having “eaten one sugarplum too many.”

  • 6:00 p.m.

    Freshman Selby set to make debut with No. 3 Kansas

    The waiting is finally over for Josh Selby and all those Kansas fans who’ve been chanting “Free Selby” while the super recruit impatiently sat out the season’s first nine games.

  • 6:00 p.m.

    Northern Illinois hires Wisconsin coordinator

    Northern Illinois reached into the Big Ten as it completed a whirlwind search on Monday for its new head football coach.

  • 6:00 p.m.

    Pfizer names George Lorch chairman

    Drug developer Pfizer Inc. said Monday that it named George A. Lorch as its new chairman of the board of directors, one week following the abrupt resignation of CEO Jeffrey B. Kindler.

  • 5:52 p.m.

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    DAGOSTINO: Unprecedented commitment to modernize

    The debate over New START has ushered in a new consensus on the need to modernize our nuclear deterrent and the resources required to get the job done. All that is left is for Congress to vote this month to finish the job by approving New START and the president’s investment in our nuclear security. In doing so, it will have reversed years of neglect and decline in our nuclear establishment, and made the American people safer in the process.

  • 5:45 p.m.

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    BUGAJSKI: U.S. acquiesces to Russian blackmail

    Since President Obama launched his detente with Moscow, Washington has bent over backward to accommodate Russia and gain its support in pressing security challenges. The Kremlin now views itself as indispensable and is intent on extracting maximum advantage from its hallowed position. Above all, Russia seeks to neutralize NATO and minimize the U.S. global reach.

  • 5:45 p.m.

    Next up on Tennesee's Texas two-step: No. 2 Baylor

    Now comes the second part of Tennessee’s two-step through Texas, and likely the more challenging one.

  • 5:30 p.m.

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    Elizabeth Hurley announces split from husband

    British actress and model Elizabeth Hurley says she has separated from her Indian husband of three years, Arun Nayar. Hurley’s announcement on her Twitter account comes amid reports in British tabloids linking her romantically to Australian cricket star Shane Warne. Warne on Monday confirmed he has also split from his wife.

  • 5:30 p.m.

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    No. 7 Vols still feel like underdogs, despite wins

    Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl insists that if and when his Volunteers lose, it’s going to be because they’re outplayed and not because they don’t have the right attitude.

  • 5:30 p.m.

    Edsall says after building UConn, he wants to stay

    Connecticut football coach Randy Edsall said Monday that he is not looking for any other job.

  • 5:30 p.m.

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    Rapper Ja Rule pleads guilty in NY weapon case

    Ja Rule agreed Monday to go to prison for two years in a gun case, becoming the second platinum-selling rapper set to do time after arrests in the aftermath of a star-studded hip-hop concert in July 2007.

  • 5:15 p.m.

    Blatter defends Russia, Qatar World Cup selections

    FIFA President Sepp Blatter insisted Monday that the votes to award World Cups to Russia and Qatar were based on developing soccer and had nothing to do with money.

  • 5:15 p.m.

    Spam attack hits Twitter, tied to Gawker breach

    A spam attack on Twitter shows why it’s wise to use different passwords for Internet accounts.

  • 5:15 p.m.

    Evans' injury further depletes Bills WR corps

    The Buffalo Bills’ no-name group of receivers will look even more unrecognizable with starter Lee Evans out indefinitely with a sprained ankle.

  • 5:00 p.m.

    WikiLeaks cyberbrawl is battle of amateurs

    The Internet drama precipitated by WikiLeaks’ release of classified U.S. diplomatic cables has been called the first “global cyberwar.” But at closer look it’s really more of an amateur brawl.

  • 5:00 p.m.

    Mangini in waiting game with QBs

    Browns coach Eric Mangini will wait until later this week before deciding whether Jake Delhomme or rookie Colt McCoy will start at quarterback Sunday in Cincinnati (2-11).

  • 5:00 p.m.

    NYC ballerina responds to critic's weight jab

    A New York City Ballet dancer says a newspaper critic needn’t apologize for calling her plump in a performance of “The Nutcracker.”

  • 4:45 p.m.

    Misplaced marker makes Redskins 5th down confusion

    For those watching on television, it appeared the Washington Redskins scored their final touchdown on fifth down.

  • 4:45 p.m.

    Connecticut AG wants Giants game on television

    Connecticut’s attorney general wants football fans in his state to be able to watch the game between the Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants.

  • 4:45 p.m.

    First-place Eagles get a break from weather gods

    With an eye toward a first-place showdown against the Giants, the Philadelphia Eagles took care of business in Dallas.

  • 4:45 p.m.

    OU's Heupel, Norvell now co-offensive coordinators

    Oklahoma assistants Josh Heupel and Jay Norvell are now co-offensive coordinators for the Sooners.

  • 4:43 p.m.

    Chain gang error causes confusion at end of Redskins game

    For those watching on television, it appeared the Washington Redskins scored their final touchdown on fifth down.

  • 4:33 p.m.

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    Judge in Va. strikes down federal health care law

    A federal judge rejected a key provision of the Obama administration’s health care law as unconstitutional Monday, ruling the government cannot require people to buy insurance, in a dispute that both sides agree will ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • 4:30 p.m.

    NJ man pleads guilty in Internet domain name theft

    A New Jersey man has pleaded guilty to stealing a valuable Internet domain name and selling it on eBay for more than $111,000.

  • 4:30 p.m.

    Jets trainer 'wasn't thinking' during tripping

    The New York Jets trainer who tripped a Miami Dolphins player on the sideline during a game Sunday appeared to hold back tears as he apologized for his “inexcusable and irresponsible” actions.

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