The NewsFuror

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Britney to undergo drug testing

Singer Britney Spears has been ordered to undergo random drug and alcohol tests twice a week, according to court documents in her child custody dispute.

Los Angeles Superior Court judge Scott M Gordon said Ms Spears, 25, showed "a habitual, frequent and continuous use of controlled substances and alcohol".

He also ordered Ms Spears and her former husband Kevin Federline to complete a parenting class.

Mr Federline, 29, is seeking increased custody of their two young sons.

Ms Spears married Mr Federline in October 2004 and filed for divorce last November. The divorce was finalised on 30 July.

The two currently have equal custody of Sean Preston, two, and Jayden James, one.

'Derogatory remarks'

The order, which was given on Monday, requires both parents to refrain from drinking and using drugs around their two young children and 12 hours before either cares for them.

Only Ms Spears was told she must to submit to testing.

Both parents are also prohibited from "making derogatory remarks" about each other in their children's presence, and from "using corporal punishment" to discipline them.

Each must complete the court's Parenting Without Conflict class, while Ms Spears must also meet a "parenting coach" for eight hours a week, who will report back to the court.

Lawyers for Ms Spears and Mr Federline had not commented, Associated Press reported.

In February, Ms Spears was admitted to a rehabilitation clinic after being photographed shaving her head, following the collapse of her marriage to Mr Federline.

Double awards win for Winehouse

Winehouse lost out in Mobo races for best song, video and R&B act

Soul singer Amy Winehouse has been named female artist of the year at two music award ceremonies in London.

The star collected her trophy at the Mobo (Music of Black Origin) Awards at the O2 arena, where she performed two songs from her album Back to Black.

And she sent the landlord of her local pub to accept her prize at the Vodafone Live Music Awards at Earls Court.

Also at the Mobos, rapper Dizzee Rascal was named best male act, while Kanye West and Ne-Yo each won two awards.

West's video Stronger received the honour of best video of the past 12 months, and he was also best hip-hop act, although he was not at the show to collect his trophies.

Because of You by Ne-Yo was considered best song, and the American was named top R&B artist.

Rihanna, who was not at the show, was best international artist, and the DJ of the year award went to BBC Radio 1's Tim Westwood.

Winehouse, who sang Tears Dry On Their Own plus Me And Mr Jones, looked surprised when her name was announced as winner of top female artist.

Chewing gum, she said "thank you" twice before handing back the microphone and leaving the stage.

Awards for concerts

Over at the Vodafone Awards, Mika was named best male artist, while reunited group The Police took the prize for best live return.

Kylie Minogue's Showgirl tour was judged to have been the best production of the year, and The Gossip collected an award for having the most impact.

The winners of the Mercury Music Prize, Klaxons, were best breakthrough act.

BBC Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles oversaw the ceremony, which had The Killers as top live act, while Muse were judged to have had the tour of the year.

A lifetime achievement also went to rocker Iggy Pop.

But most of the big winners stayed away from the event. Accepting an award on behalf of Oasis, Moyles joked: "They're not here, they'll be at the Mobos."

Gun crime

The Mobos ceremony also saw UK hip-hop trio N Dubz named best newcomers.

Sean Kingston was best reggae act, with the gospel award going to G-Force.

The jazz category recognised saxophonist Soweto Kinch.

And the best African act were 2face Idibia from Nigeria, who dropped their award on the stage, looking on in horror as it smashed.

The only non-music prize at the event, the BeMOBO Award, went to the London-based From Boyhood to Manhood Foundation, which aims to provide black children with role-models.

Kanya King, the CEO of the Mobo Awards, read out the names of all of the children under the age of 16 who had been murdered in the UK this year.

"Guns and knives have killed too many of our young people, especially our boys," she told the hushed audience.

US troops' Iraq leave bid blocked

Senate Republicans have blocked a bid by Democrats to give US troops in Iraq more home leave - a plan strongly opposed by the Bush administration.

The Democrats wanted US troops to have time off between tours in Iraq equal to their 15-month deployments.

The measure needed 60 votes to pass in the Democratic controlled Senate but received only 56 votes with 44 against.

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates called it a backdoor attempt to pull troops off the battlefield.

He warned that he would have recommended US President George W Bush veto the measure had it passed.

The BBC's Rajesh Mirchandani in Washington said the bill had been the Democrats' best chance this year of changing the course of US strategy in the Iraq war.


Republican Senators who were dubious over the president's policy are now giving him more time after an upbeat assessment last week of progress in Iraq by the top US commander in Iraq, Gen David Petraeus, our correspondent says.

Supporters of the bill, which was also narrowly defeated in July, said opponents were ignoring the troops' interests.

"In blocking this bipartisan bill, Republicans have once again demonstrated that they are more committed to protecting the president than protecting our troops," Senate Majority leader Harry Reid said.

Senator Chuck Hagel, one of six Republicans who backed the bill, said: "We cannot continue to look at war and the people who fight and die in wars as abstractions, as pawns, as objects."

But critics said it would have interfered with Mr Bush's plans to reduce US troop levels in Iraq by around 30,000 to about 130,000 by mid-2008.

'Slow bleed'

US troops currently have about 12 months rest at home between deployments.

Republican Senator John McCain, a presidential candidate next year, branded the bill "dangerous".

And fellow Republican Jim Bunning said of the Democrats' motion: "I will not support this slow bleed strategy in Iraq. It ties the hands of our commanders."

It was the latest defeat over the conflict for Democrats, who grabbed control of Congress last year.

They have at least two more proposals on Iraq to come, including explicit calls for combat troop withdrawals, but analysts say these are also likely to fail.

Lawmaker, six others killed in Beirut blast

BEIRUT, Sept 19: A powerful bomb killed a pro-government lawmaker and six others on Wednesday in a Christian neighbourhood of Beirut, threatening to derail parliament’s already deeply divided effort to elect Lebanon’s next president in voting due to start in days.

Antoine Ghanem, a 64-year-old member of the right-wing Christian Phalange party, was the eighth anti-Syrian figure and fourth lawmaker from the majority assassinated since 2005, reducing the ruling coalition’s margin in parliament.Members of the coalition held Syria responsible for Ghanem’s death, which came only two days after he returned to Lebanon from abroad.

Damascus denied the accusations of involvement.Security officials said at least 22 people were wounded in Wednesday’s blast, which occurred at rush hour on a busy street in the Sin el-Fil district.

The explosion severely damaged nearby buildings, set several cars on fire and left the street littered with blood and debris. Bystanders watched in shock as ambulances and civil defence workers searched for victims.Explosive experts were seen sifting through the engine of Ghanem’s car, which was blown at least 50 meters (165 feet) by the force of the explosion.

A security official said the bomb was likely detonated by remote control near Ghanem’s car.

“I have never seen a more cowardly regime than that of Bashar Assad’s,’’ said lawmaker Saad Hariri, blaming the Syrian president for Ghanem’s death. Hariri heads the anti-Syrian majority in the parliament, a role he stepped into after his father, Rafik Hariri, was killed by car bomb in 2005.

Afghanistan hands over 11 prisoners

LANDI KOTAL (Khyber Agency), Sept 19: The Afghan authorities on Wednesday handed over 11 Pakistani prisoners to officials of the political administration at the Torkhum border, officials said.
The prisoners had been recently released from the Pul-i-Charkhi prison in Kabul.
They were immediately shifted to a Landi Kotal lock-up where they would be interrogated by a team of investigators after which they would be allowed to go home, the officials said.Two of them had lost their senses, they added.
Authorities said the prisoners were kept in different jails of Afghanistan and were recently shifted to Pul-i-Charkhi.
They were arrested on charges of espionage and entering Afghanistan without legal travel documents, the officials said.
They insisted that most of them were labourers and had gone to Afghanistan in search of employment.
The released men were identified as Siyar Khan, Murad Khan, Said Wali and Hidayat of Peshawar, Abdul Halim, Niaz Ali and Hazrat Ali of Nowshera, Jamal Khan of Mardan, Muhammad Nazim of Multan, Muhammad Amjad of Rawalpindi and Iqbal Khan of Bara, Khyber Agency.Arms recovered: The Khasadar force in Landi Kotal seized nine pistols of US-origin from a car at Enzari checkpost on Wednesday.
Driver of the car Awal Khan and his accomplices Rihmatullah, Umat Wali and Zar Ali were arrested.
Tanker blast: An empty oil tanker parked outside the customs offices on the Afghan side of the Torkhum border was slightly damaged in a bomb explosion on Wednesday.
The vehicle was immediately removed by the Afghan police from the site.

Explosion injures 4 FC men near Dera Bugti

QUETTA, Sept 19: Four Frontier Corps personnel were injured in a landmine explosion near Dera Bugti on Wednesday evening.
According to official sources, the Frontier Corps personnel were on their way to Dera Bugti in an official vehicle.
When they reached Pesh Bogi area, between Sui and Dera Bugti, their vehicle hit the landmine.
The security personnel deployed in the area rushed to the site and shifted the injured to a military hospital in Sui.
“Four FC soldiers were injured in the blast,” police sources confirmed, adding that it was a locally-made landmine planted along the road.
Security forces cordoned off the area and launched a search operation for the arrest of tribal militants.
An unknown caller, claiming to be a spokesman for the Baloch Republican Army, said his organisation was behind the explosion.
He also claimed heavy casualties in the blast.However, official sources denied heavy human loss, saying only four FC men were injured.According to another source, the walls of the Government Boys High School in Pasni were damaged by a powerful explosion.
A locally-made bomb was planted on the school premises that went off, rocking the entire coastal township.
No casualty was reported, however.In yet another incident, one person was killed and another injured in firing on Jinnah Road in Quetta on Wednesday night.
Police said deceased Ali Jan and his brother Nazir, who received bullet injuries, had tribal enmity.
The assailants managed to escape.
Police have registered a case, but no arrest was made.