Britney Spears Rids Herself of Sidekick Without Restraining Order

August 1, 2008

An attorney for Britney Spears said Wednesday that he will not seek an extension for a restraining order against Osama “Sam” Lutfi, but that doesn’t mean the pop star wants her former sidekick back in her life.

“Britney has made clear to everyone that she does not want to be further harassed or contacted in any way by Osama ‘Sam’ Lutfi, now or at anytime in the future,” Spears’ attorney Samuel D. Ingham III said in a statement to The Associated Press.

Lutfi, for the time being, seems willing to go along with those wishes.

He called the AP late Wednesday and released the following statement: “Mr. Lutfi and Mr. Spears have mutually agreed in private that no hearing or order is necessary at this time.”

He declined further comment.

Attorneys for Spears and her father, James, are expected to appear in a Los Angeles courtroom Thursday morning to give an update on the conservatorship. A hearing on a temporary restraining order barring Lutfi from having contact with the pop singer was also scheduled for Thursday. The order issued earlier this year required Lutfi to stay 250 yards away from Spears or her homes.

Lutfi represented one of the strangest twists in Spears’ downward spiral earlier this year. The singer’s mother accused Lutfi – who described himself as a friend and sometime manager – in court papers of keeping Spears a hostage in her own home, drugging her and taking over her finances.

He was a fixture in Spears’ life during a period when the star exhibited erratic behavior, including being photographed without underwear, and occasionally looking dazed in public and had to twice be hospitalized.

Spears’ father has control over his 26-year-old daughter’s personal life and finances.

That power negates the need for a restraining order against Lutfi since James Spears’ role as conservator allows him to decide who sees his daughter, according to Ingham’s statement.

He serves as a court-appointed counsel representing Spears’ interest in the ongoing conservatorship case.

“During the temporary conservatorship, the conservators have the power to insure that Lutfi will not harm Britney anymore,” Ingham wrote.

Thursday’s hearing had originally been scheduled to decide whether the conservatorship should be made permanent, but Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Reva Goetz decided weeks ago that she would instead consider other issues.

It is unclear how long Spears’ affairs will remain under her father’s control, but Ingham wrote that he does not expect her feelings about Lutfi to change.

“If Mr. Lutfi makes any future attempt to contact Britney after the temporary conservatorship has concluded, Britney has made clear she will take all appropriate legal action,” Ingham wrote.

Article by Anthony McCartney

Andre Jetmir for iNPLACENEWS

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Obama Rejects Ludacris Lyrics

August 1, 2008

Barack Obama’s presidential campaign says a new rhyme by supporter and rapper Ludacris is “outrageously offensive” to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Republican Sen. John McCain and President Bush.
The song brags about an Obama presidency being destiny. It uses an expletive to describe Clinton, calls Bush “mentally handicapped” and says McCain doesn’t belong in “any chair unless he’s paralyzed.”

The lyrics don’t spare the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who recently apologized for making crude comments about Obama. “If you said it then you meant it,” intones the rapper.

Obama’s campaign blasted “Politics as Usual,” which is on the “Gangsta Grillz: The Preview” mixtape with Atlanta spinner DJ Drama.

“As Barack Obama has said many, many times in the past, rap lyrics today too often perpetuate misogyny, materialism, and degrading images that he doesn’t want his daughters or any children exposed to,” campaign spokesman Bill Burton said in an e-mail statement Wednesday. “This song is not only outrageously offensive to Sen. Clinton, Rev. Jackson, Sen. McCain and President Bush, it is offensive to all of us who are trying to raise our children with the values we hold dear. While Ludacris is a talented individual he should be ashamed of these lyrics.”

Ludacris’ publicist and manager did not immediately return calls Wednesday for comment.

Article from Associated Press Staff

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Man Charged For Stabbing and Beheading Fellow Bus Passenger

August 1, 2008

A 40-year-old man who witnesses said stabbed and beheaded the man sitting next to him on a Greyhound bus in Canada has been charged with second-degree murder, police said Friday.

Vince Weiguang Li, of Edmonton, Alberta, was due to appear in court later Friday, said Sgt. Brian Edmonds.

Authorities have not released the victim’s name but The Canadian Press said friends had identified him as Tim McLean, a 22-year-old carnival worker.

William Caron, 23, said McLean was quiet, though he liked to socialize with friends. He was small – about 5-foot-4 and 130 pounds – and tended stayed away from a fight, Caron said.

“From what I hear, this other guy is three times his size,” Caron said. “All the time I’ve known Tim, he’s never been the type of guy to get into a fight with. He always kept to himself when there’s strangers around.”

Witnesses said the victim was stabbed dozens of times in the Wednesday night attack aboard the bus as it traveled a desolate stretch of the TransCanada Highway about 12 miles from Portage La Prairie, Manitoba.

They said the attacker then severed his seat mate’s head, displayed it and then began cutting up the body.

Garnet Caton, who was sitting just one seat in front of them, said the suspect had been on the bus about an hour. He initially did not sit near the victim but changed seats after a rest stop. Caton said he did not hear the two speak to each other before the attack.

“We heard this bloodcurdling scream and turned around, and the guy was standing up, stabbing this guy repeatedly,” Caton said.

Caton said the driver stopped the bus when he became aware of the attack and passengers raced off. A short while later, Caton said he re-boarded along with the bus driver and a trucker who had stopped to see what was happening.

He said the suspect had the victim on the floor of the bus and “was cutting his head off” with a large hunting knife.

“When he was attacking him, he was calm,” said Caton. “There was no rage or anything. He was just like a robot stabbing the guy.”

The attacker turned toward them and the three men quickly left the bus, blocking the door as the attacker slashed at them through an opening. Caton said the driver disabled the vehicle after the attacker tried to drive it away.

As the three guarded the door with a crow bar and a hammer, the attacker went back to the body and calmly came to the front of the bus to show off the head, Caton said.

Greyhound spokeswoman Abby Wambaugh said there had been 37 passengers aboard, many watching a movie when the violence erupted. She called the attack tragic but isolated.

* Thanks to YouTube for providing witness video.

The follow-up story can be read here

Article by Rob Gillies
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Brazilian Confesses To Killing and Dismembering Girlfriend

August 1, 2008

Police on Thursday accused a Brazilian man of killing and dismembering his 17-year-old British girlfriend, taking pictures of her body parts with his cell phone and stuffing her torso in a suitcase.

Officers found the suitcase with the torso of Cara Marie Burke at the edge of a river Monday in this central Brazilian city, Goias state police inspector Jorge Moreira da Silva said.

Burke’s boyfriend, Mohamed D’Ali Carvalho Santos, 20, was arrested and charged with homicide Thursday after “he confessed he cut her up and even photographed the body on his cellular phone,” Silva said.

One photo appeared to have been taken in a bathroom shower stall, showing Burke’s severed head placed on the chest of her torso along with a bloody butcher knife.

Silva said Santos confessed he killed Burke because she threatened to tell his parents he was a drug dealer addicted to cocaine, and she was considering turning him in to police.

After fatally stabbing Burke on Saturday, Santos left her body in the bathroom and went to a party, returning to dismember her the next day, the police inspector said.

Burke’s family in England identified her from a tattoo that said “Mum” after images of the body were broadcast on TV, Silva said.

Burke met Santos in London, where his mother lives, Silva said. She had been in Brazil for about three months.

Police were still searching Thursday for Burke’s head and limbs, which Santos said he hid in a rural area outside town. Taken out of his cell in handcuffs to be filmed by television crews, he held his head down and said nothing.

Karine Neves, a spokeswoman for the British Embassy in Brasilia, said a British vice consul is in Goiania tracking the case and the police investigation.

Burke’s online acquaintances demanded justice in messages they posted on her Web page on Orkut, an online social networking community hugely popular in Brazil.

The page also featured pictures of the blond teenager posing with friends in London and Brazil and holding a baby in her arms.

Article by Marco Sibaja

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