- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
- John Boehner says GOP should support gay candidates: ‘I do’
- Grass-Whopper: Pan-fried cricket burgers go over big in New York City
- CDC sees measles spike and ‘failure to vaccinate’
- Ex-Secret Service agent seeking Md. seat: Everyone’s a ‘de facto criminal’ now
- New prosthetic hand technology lets amputees feel again
- Child killed, 4 injured in Idaho elementary school bus crash
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Singer-songwriter Bruno Mars has had his Las Vegas court appearance for a cocaine charge postponed. Attorney David Chesnoff told The Associated Press the 25-year-old “Just the Way You Are” singer did not have to appear in person Thursday in a Las Vegas courtroom.
Royal wedding challenge: Make it grand, yet cheap
LONDON (AP) _ It’s a wedding planner’s nightmare. The nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton have to satisfy the bride’s family and the groom’s royal relatives _ but also a supportive but recession-weary British public. It must be grand, but not ostentatious; regal, but with a common touch; expensive but not a drain on taxpayers worried about their jobs and the nation’s fragile economy.
LONDON (AP) _ Emma Watson may be leaving Hermione Granger behind on the film set, but not in her heart _ the two share a similiar passion for learning. Watson, whose character in the Harry Potter movies made it cool to be a studious teacher’s pet, says she’s “addicted to knowledge” and motivated to keep learning while doing other film projects.
LONDON (AP) _ Singing sensation Susan Boyle has a No. 1 album in the United States and the U.K. simultaneously for the second time in a year _ a feat not achieved for more than 40 years. Her record label, Sony, says she is the first woman to reach the milestone achieved previously by the Beatles in 1969 and The Monkees in 1967.
Smith’s `Just Kids’ is award winner for nonfiction
NEW YORK (AP) _ The winners seemed stumped at the National Book Awards. There were few prepared speeches on Wednesday night as most recipients managed few words beyond thanking the usual suspects. Patti Smith, who has some experience before audiences, became tearful as she accepted the nonfiction prize for “Just Kids,” a bittersweet look back to New York City in the 1960s, when anything really could happen and Smith and photographer Robert Mapplethorpe were just a couple of young artists out to break the rules.
NEW YORK (AP) _ Sarah Palin isn’t done with Levi Johnston. And she isn’t crazy about “American Idol,” either. The former Alaska governor and GOP vice presidential candidate writes in her new book that it was “disgusting” to watch Johnston, the estranged father of her grandson, exploit his sudden fame after she was chosen as U.S. Sen. John McCain’s running mate in the 2008 election. She alleges that he was absent when her daughter Bristol Palin gave birth to Tripp and that he disgraced himself by repeatedly criticizing the Palins.
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Less than four years after a storybook wedding in Paris, Eva Longoria filed court papers Wednesday to divorce basketball star Tony Parker, citing irreconcilable differences. Parker, a three-time NBA All-Star with the San Antonio Spurs, made no hint as to what caused the split between him and the star of TV’s “Desperate Housewives” during a brief meeting with a throng of reporters outside his team’s locker room about an hour before a game.
Hollywood community puts up reward after slaying
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) _ The slaying of one of their own has united the competitive community of behind-the-scenes Hollywood publicists, prompting them to contribute big bucks for reward money to find the killer. Ronni Chasen, well-known for working tirelessly to promote her celebrity clients, was shot to death in her car as she drove home from a party after attending Tuesday’s premiere of the new Cher and Christina Aguilera movie, “Burlesque.”
Singer Wayne Newton wants to open house to world
LAS VEGAS (AP) _ Wayne Newton’s Las Vegas estate is a lavish wonderland complete with South African penguins, sweeping crystal staircases and a memorabilia collection to make a celebrity junkie salivate: a Frank Sinatra champagne glass, Nat King Cole’s watch, Steve McQueen’s Rolls-Royce and a Johnny Cash guitar. The estate is so resplendent, Newton said, that he plans to open his gated home to the public and turn it into a tourist attraction. The project some have dubbed “Graceland West” won initial approval from a local government board Wednesday, paving the way for Newton to open his tours in late 2011 as planned.
Striking, private, and almost royal: Kate’s Story
LONDON (AP) _ She’s a country girl who loves the late-night club scene. A reluctant fashion icon who says she doesn’t fuss over her clothes _ but looks stunning in just about anything. Kate Middleton has kept her thoughts to herself and a circle of trusted friends during her long romance with Prince William.
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Budget negotiators look to federal workers for benefit concessions
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- New battlefront emerges in war between Republicans, tea party
- EDITORIAL: Our ideological president
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality
- Blast of winter weather heads to D.C. area
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Happiness is attainable. Morning to night. I love to teach, deal with folks that have an issue and really wish to tackle it and write.
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
A collection of reader guest articles, thoughts and opinions by Communities writers and breaking news and information.
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
White House pets gone wild!