- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 13, 2010


O’Brien rejects moving ‘Tonight’

LOS ANGELES | Conan O’Brien said he is rejecting NBC’s attempt to move “The Tonight Show” to a post-midnight slot to accommodate Jay Leno’s return to the late-night slot.

In a statement Tuesday, Mr. O’Brien said that NBC has given him a scant seven months to try to establish himself as host of “Tonight.”

NBC wants to move “The Jay Leno Show” out of prime-time and to the 11:35 p.m. daily slot, bumping “Tonight” to 12:05 a.m.

Mr. O’Brien said he wanted to resolve the NBC issue quickly so he could do a show that he and his crew could be proud of — “for a company that values our work” — raising the possibility he might go to another network. But he denied having any such offer.


‘Cougars’ unwelcome on Carnival cruises

MIAMI | Carnival Cruise Lines won’t be sailing anymore with a boatload of “cougars” and their willing prey.

The Miami-based company has turned down a request from a singles travel group to book another cruise with the “cougar” theme. The term refers to older women who pursue younger men.

The singles group said the ban is unfounded. They point to their first cruise on Carnival’s Elation in December that drew about 300 women and the men they call “cubs.”

Carnival said there was no problem on last month’s trip. The cruise line just has no room for groups with the “cougar” theme. Analysts saw it as a business decision to protect Carnival’s focus on family fun.


Two killed in shooting

KENNESAW | Dressed in camouflage and armed with a handgun, a disgruntled former employee opened fire Tuesday at a truck-rental business in suburban Atlanta, killing two people and injuring three others, police said.

The lone gunman drove off in a pickup truck and was arrested after police stopped him about a mile from the Penske Truck Rental facility, Cobb County police spokesman Joe Hernandez said.

Penske spokesman Randy Ryerson said four of the victims were employees and the other was a customer. Neither police or Mr. Ryerson identified the suspect or released the conditions of those wounded.

The suspect worked at the business for several years, Mr. Hernandez said, but it was not clear when and why he left. The gunman confronted someone in the parking lot and then went to a truck bay area to shoot victims, Mr. Hernandez said.


GM introduces plug-in luxury car

DETROIT | General Motors Co. on Tuesday unveiled the Cadillac XTS Platinum concept car at the Detroit auto show.

The XTS, which can run on a rechargeable battery-powered electric motor or a 350-horsepower V-6 engine, has touch-screen entertainment, and navigation and information systems, GM said.

Concept cars are displayed at shows to gauge consumer interest, and they often are the basis for future products.

The XTS luxury car also has magnetic ride control with sensors on all four wheels to read the road and adjust the suspension to movements of the car’s body, GM said. The XTS has two electric motors and a gas engine controlled by a computer that decides the most efficient combination.


Health facilities, state settle over flushing

NEW YORK | New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has announced a settlement with five health care facilities accused of flushing pharmaceutical waste.

Mr. Cuomo announced the settlement with the two hospitals and three nursing homes Tuesday. The facilities were accused of flushing away painkillers, antibiotics, antidepressants, hormones and other pharmaceuticals, putting about 9 million people’s drinking water at risk.

The facilities are located north of the New York City and within its watershed.

The Associated Press reported in 2008 that the drinking water of at least 51 million Americans contains minute concentrations of a multitude of drugs.


‘Punxsutawney Phil’ to text prediction

PITTSBURGH | Punxsutawney Phil will text his weather prediction this year.

Mickey Rowley, Pennsylvania’s deputy tourism secretary, said he realizes that not everyone can come to Punxsutawney for Groundhog Day, so texting is a good way to get the word out.

Those who want to find out whether the famous groundhog predicts an early spring or six more weeks of winter can text “Groundhog” to 247365. They will get a text message in English with the prediction Feb. 2.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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