Tom Cruise sues Life & Style for $50M

NEW YORK, Oct. 24 (UPI) — Tom Cruise‘s lawyer says the Hollywood actor is suing the publisher of Life Style magazine for $50 million for a story claiming Cruise abandoned his daughter.

Cruise and his wife Katie Holmes divorced this year. They are the parents of a 6-year-old girl, Suri. Holmes has primary custody of Suri and lives with her in New York.

Attorney Bert Fields said Cruise’s lawsuit against the magazine was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. It seeks damages from the publication for “claiming falsely that he has ‘abandoned’ Suri, his 6-year-old daughter.”

“Tom is a caring father who dearly loves Suri,” Fields said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

“She’s a vital part of his life and always will be. To say he has ‘abandoned’ her is a vicious lie. To say it in lurid headlines with a tearful picture of Suri is reprehensible,” Fields said. “Tom doesn’t go around suing people. He’s not a litigious guy. But when these sleaze peddlers try to make money with disgusting lies about his relationship with his child, you bet he’s going to sue. … These serial defamers are foreign-owned companies with their global headquarters in Hamburg. They take money from unsuspecting Americans by selling their malicious garbage. Having to pay a libel judgment may slow them down. Tom will undoubtedly give the money to charity. He always has.”

Rebel fighters, civilian protesters storm Libya’s parliament

Mohammed Dabbous / Reuters, file

Libya’s national assembly elected Ali Zeidan as prime minister on October 14. His transitional government would replace an interim administration appointed in November after Moammar Gadhafi’s death.

TRIPOLI, Libya — Protesters stormed Libya’s national assembly on Tuesday, forcing the cancellation of a vote on a proposed coalition government named by the country’s new prime minister just hours earlier.

Fewer than 100 people, made up of civilians and former rebel fighters, charged into the meeting hall of the General National Congress as it voted on Prime Minister Ali Zeidan’s cabinet line-up, which was drawn from liberal and Islamist parties.

In chaotic televised scenes, congress members negotiated with the protesters, who were unhappy with some of the nominations, to leave. Voting then briefly resumed before being interrupted a second time, leading congress president Mohammed Magarief to announce the session was postponed to Wednesday.

“Let it be known to all Libyans and to the whole world in what conditions we are working in,” Magarief said.

Libya’s new president, Mohammed Magarief, tells NBC’s Ann Curry that the recent trouble in Libya is the unfortunate price of creating a democracy after decades of dictator-rule. Magarief lived in exile for 20 years in Atlanta before returning to Libya and becoming president.

For Zeidan to take office, the congress has to approve his transitional government, which will focus on restoring security in the oil-producing country where many militias have yet to disarm since Moammar Gadhafi’s overthrow last year.

Zeidan’s transitional government would replace an interim administration appointed in November after Gadhafi’s death.

Some ministers come from the liberal National Forces Alliance or the Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing, the Justice and Construction Party, the two biggest parties in the 200-member congress. Others are independents.

Aware of Libya’s sharp regional tensions, Zeidan said he had tried to strike a geographic balance among his 27 ministers.

“No region has been favored over any other,” he told congress earlier on Tuesday. “We don’t want to repeat mistakes or provoke the street.”

Congress elected Zeidan as prime minister this month after his predecessor, Mustafa Abushagur, lost a confidence vote on his choice of ministers, criticized inside and outside the assembly.

Goran Tomasevic / REUTERS

An uprising in Libya ousts dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

Launch slideshow

A former career diplomat who defected in the 1980s to become an outspoken Gadhafi critic, Zeidan will govern the country while the congress, elected in July, passes laws and helps draft a new constitution to be put to a national referendum next year.

Security challenges
Outgoing Defense Minister Osama al-Juwali exposed the scale of the security challenge facing Libya’s new rulers when he said on Monday the government had no control over Bani Walid, a former Gadhafi stronghold captured by militia forces supposedly loyal to Tripoli on October 24.

Patrick Kovarik / AFP – Getty Images

A look at the life and times of Libya’s mercurial and flamboyant leader

Launch slideshow

Al-Juwali said he had tried to visit the town, but troops accompanying him had been denied access. This, he said, showed that “the chief of staff has no control over the town, and this might mean armed men won’t allow civilians to go back.”

More Libya coverage from NBC News

Five days earlier, the army chief of staff had announced the end of military operations in Bani Walid, one of the last towns to fall to rebels in last year’s war, but which some militias had accused of still sheltering Gadhafi supporters.

Last year’s fight that ended in Gadhafi’s ouster and death after 42 years in power was largely carried out by regional militias that amassed weapons. But long after the civil war ended, the militias continue to serve under their own leaders and wield significant power even though they have nominally come under the control of the state’s military and police forces.

The lack of control of the government over the militias it relies on was brought home in the starkest terms on Sept. 11, the day of the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, the eastern city where last year’s uprising against Gadhafi began. The Islamist group Ansar al-Shariah, one of the biggest militias in Benghazi, is suspected in the assault that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

Officials in Libya say they have arrested four suspects in connection to the deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi in which U.S. ambassador Stevens and three embassy staff were killed. NBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin reports from Tripoli.

The killings in Benghazi fueled popular anger against the militias. Just a week after the assault, tens of thousands of Benghazis attacked the headquarters of Ansar al-Shariah and another militia in Benghazi and drove them out.

The government took advantage of the public anger. In the days after the attack, authorities carried out high-profile weapon hand-ins in Tripoli and Benghazi and issued ultimatums for all militias to submit entirely to government control.

Friends and family members of the victims of the deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, recall loved ones’ bravery and courage. TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie reports.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Top 10 Presidential Pet Names

BREA, Calif., Oct. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — With the 2012 presidential campaign heating up, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI), the nation’s oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance, analyzed its database of more than 485,000 insured pets to determine which of the 44 U.S. president’s last names were most common among pets. All totaled, more than 3,400 pets in VPI’s database were given the same moniker as the last name of a U.S. president.

Below is a list of the 10 most common presidential pet names in VPI’s database of more than 485,000 insured pets (total number of pets sharing that name in parenthesis):

Most Common Presidential Pet Names

  1. Jackson (942)
  2. Madison (729)
  3. Wilson (269)
  4. Tyler (219)
  5. Taylor (206)
  6. Truman (167)
  7. Lincoln (143)
  8. Reagan (141)
  9. Arthur (99)
  10. Carter (82)

Other than Warren Harding and James Polk, all 44 U.S. presidents were represented with at least one pet name in VPI’s database. Additionally, there are five pets named “Obama” and 10 others named “Barack.” While there aren’t any pets named “Romney” or “Mitt,” the Republican nominee is represented by seven pets with the moniker “Willard,” his rarely mentioned first name.

Party Affiliations
The Democratic Party has the most pet names (1,585) in common with U.S. presidents, out-polling Republicans by a ratio of more than 2 ½ -to- 1. Surprisingly, the Democratic-Republican Party, which dissolved in 1821, had more pet names (788) in VPI’s database than the Republican Party (605). The Whig Party was represented by 486 pet names, while the Federalist Party came in with just one name (Adams). There are two pets named “Washington,” the only former U.S. president to have been elected without any official endorsement by a political party.

About Veterinary Pet Insurance
With more than 485,000 pets insured nationwide, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co./DVM Insurance Agency (VPI) is a member of the Nationwide Insurance family of companies and is the oldest and largest pet health insurance company in the United States. Since 1982, VPI has helped provide pet owners with peace of mind and is committed to being the trusted choice of America’s pet lovers.

VPI Pet Insurance plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. CareGuard® coverage for routine care is available for an additional premium. Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Additionally, one in three Fortune 500 companies offers VPI Pet Insurance as an employee benefit.  Policies are offered and administered by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company in California and DVM Insurance Agency in all other states. Underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (CA), Brea, CA, an A.M. Best A rated company (2012); National Casualty Company (all other states), Madison, WI, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2012). Pet owners can find VPI Pet Insurance on Facebook or follow @VPI on Twitter. For more information about VPI Pet Insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit petinsurance.com.

Small tsunami waves hit Hawaii after Canada earthquake

It may not have been a hurricane, but an earthquake and tsunami warning worried state agencies along the West Coast. NBC’s Miguel Almaguer reports.

Updated at 6:23 p.m. ET: Hawaii state officials on Sunday canceled a tsunami advisory prompted by a powerful earthquake off the Canadian coast that sent thousands of people fleeing to higher ground. No major damage was reported.

The advisory was canceled shortly before 4 a.m. local time after the anticipated waves rolled in lower than expected, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.   

Kevin Richards, earthquake and tsunami manager for Hawaii State Civil Defense, said water, gas and power lines were not damaged by the smaller-than-expected waves.    

Eugene Tanner / AP

Visitors and Oahu residents watch the water level in the Ala Wai Harbor in Hawaii for the arrival of a tsunami on Saturday.

“Everything is normal,” Richards said. “We’re in good shape with this one.”

Gov. Neil Abercrombie said the Aloha State was lucky to avoid more severe surges.

“We’re very, very grateful that we can go home tonight counting our blessings,” Abercrombie said.

The tsunami began shortly after 10:30 p.m. Hawaii time (4:30 a.m. ET), according to the  Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, as motorists clogged roadways in a mass exodus from low-lying areas. 

“The tsunami arrived about when we expected it should,” senior geophysicist Gerard Fryer told reporters at a news conference, saying: “I was expecting it to be a little bigger.” 

 Officials earlier warned locals to treat the threat as very serious.

“This is obviously a very, very dangerous situation,” Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle told Hawaii News Now earlier as officials were urging residents to move away from the coastline immediately. 

Fryer said the largest wave in the first 45 minutes of the tsunami was measured in Maui at more than 5 feet — about 2 feet higher than normal sea levels.   

Tsunami warning sirens in the islands were activated on short notice due to initial confusion among scientists about the quake’s undersea epicenter and the extent of the tsunami threat posted by the temblor.

Carlisle earlier announced that all police and emergency personnel were being pulled out from potential flood zones shortly before the first wave, leaving anyone defying evacuation orders to fend for themselves. He urged motorists who remained caught in harm’s way due to gridlocked roads to abandon their vehicles and proceed on foot. 

“If you are stuck in traffic, you might consider getting out of your car and consider walking to higher ground. You will have to assess your own situation, depending on where you are right now. Right now it is critical,” he said.

Scientists convicted for not predicting quake

Abercrombie issued an emergency proclamation for the state.

Canada quake
The warnings followed an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.7 that hit Canada’s Pacific coastal province of British Columbia late on Saturday. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was centered 123 miles south-southwest of Prince Rupert at a depth of 6.2 miles. 

Carsten Ginsburg, who lives in the small community of Bella Coola southeast of Prince Rupert, said the quake lasted about 40 seconds.

“It shook everything. The electricity went out, the power lines were swinging all over the place and stuff was falling off the shelves,” he said, Canadian Press reported.

No major damage was reported.

The Earthquakes Canada agency said the quake was followed by dozens of aftershocks, including a 6.4 magnitude tremor that struck Sunday afternoon. 

Click here for US news headlines

On Oahu, Hawaii’s most populous island, tsunami warning sirens blared across Honolulu, the state capital, prompting an immediate crush of traffic, with many motorists stopping at service stations to top up with gasoline. At movie theaters, films were halted in mid-screening as announcements were made urging patrons to return to their homes. 

The last time Oahu had a tsunami warning was after the devastating Japanese earthquake of March 2011. 

NBC News’ Wilson Rothman, who was staying on the island of Kauai, said that while there had been no noticeable rise in water levels, local officials and hotel staff had taken precautions. 

Click here for World news headlines

“Non-essential hotel functions were shut down fast, and restaurants across the island closed early,” he said.  “Our hotel asked all guests to evacuate ‘vertically’ to the 4th, 5th or 6th floor, and asked guests on those floors to ‘make new friends’.”

On Honolulu’s famed Waikiki Beach, residents of high-rise buildings were told to move to the third floor or higher for safety. 

Stephany Sofos, a resident of Diamond Head near Waikiki, said most people had either evacuated or relocated to a higher floor. 

“I moved my car up the hill, packed up my computer and have my animals all packed and with me,” Sofos said, saying that she had not yet seen any obvious receding of the surf, a telltale sign that a tsunami wave is imminent. 

External link: Tsunami messages issued in the past 7 days

“I’m pretty confident because we have a lot of reefs out there and that will prevent any major damage. Maybe it’s a false confidence, but I’m not really worried,” she said, adding, “It is nerve-wracking.” 

Meanwhile, the National Weather Service canceled tsunami advisories for Canada and Oregon.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Valencia Veterinarian Emphasizes Importance of Pet Dental Care for Pet Health

VALENCIA, Calif., Oct. 7, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Animal Medical Center is reaching out to pet owners about the importance of regular pet dental care. According to Valencia veterinarian Dr. Baljit Grewal, many pet owners fail to realize that regular dental cleanings are an important part of pet preventative care. Without regular dental cleanings, pets are at risk for periodontal disease. This serious health condition can lead to bacterial infections, tooth loss and gum problems. To combat periodontal disease, Dr. Grewal recommends annual dental cleanings as well as weekly at-home tooth brushing.

Valencia veterinarian Dr. Baljit Grewal is raising awareness about the dangers of periodontal disease in pets. Dr. Grewal says that periodontal disease affects the majority of pets over the age of three years. Untreated, the disease can lead to serious health problems.

“The best way to prevent periodontal disease in pets is through annual dental cleanings,” said Dr. Grewal. “Just as pet owners get their teeth cleaned regularly, so too should pets.”

The buildup of bacteria and plaque along the gum line causes periodontal disease. As this plaque hardens, it pushes away the gums, which creates pockets susceptible to bacterial infections. Pet suffering from periodontal disease have inflamed, swollen and puffy gums. It can be difficult and painful to chew food, drink water or even play a game like fetch.

“Warning signs include a change in a pet’s regular eating, drinking and play habits,” said Dr. Grewal. “Pet owners should look out for swollen or bloody gums. Additionally, pets with periodontal disease have very bad, foul breath.”

Pet preventative care, including annual pet dental cleanings and at-home brushing, is the best way to reduce the risk for periodontal disease.

“During an annual dental cleaning, we will scrape away plaque build-up from the gum line and polish the teeth,” said Dr. Grewal. “This creates a smooth, polished surface that helps resist future bacterial build up.”

The veterinarian recommends that pet owners opt for professional dental scaling, which uses anesthesia to help a pet relax while plaque is swept away from underneath the gum line. While non-anesthetic cleanings can give the appearance of cleaner teeth, anesthesia is necessary to effectively scrape plaque away from underneath the gum line.

Dr. Grewal is also warning pet owners about the dangers of tooth loss in pets. As plaque hardens into tartar, a condition called gingivitis occurs. Without preventative care, gingivitis can cause jawbone pain and tooth loss. The Valencia veterinarian also recommends that all pet owners regularly brush their pets’ teeth. Dr. Grewal says that with patience and practice, pets will become accustomed to having their teeth brushed.

“Regular brushing is essential pet preventative care,” said Dr. Grewal.

Valencia pet owners may learn more about oral hygiene for dogs and cats by visiting http://www.amcvalencia.com/.

ECHO Entertainment News: Paddy Shennan’s TV Review: Hebburn (BBC2)



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THANKFULLY it wasn’t a one-week wonder as it has continued on its enjoyable and entertaining way (Hebburn, BBC2, Thursday).

While young couple Jack (Chris Ramsey) and Sarah (Kimberley Nixon) are at the centre of things, it’s Gina McKee, as Jack’s mum, Pauline, who is fast becoming the main star of the show.

Meanwhile, the scenes in the care home, where Winnie and then Dot were sent to Coventry, were priceless.

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Tattle: TATTLE: Tom Cruise sues Life & Style magazine

A killer show

There’s going to be a new version of Alfred Hitchcock‘s “Rear Window,” and it’s not going to be a porn film.

A theatrical producing team has won the stage rights to the claustrophobic noir tale that starred Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly.

Producer Charlie Lyons, director Jay Russell and actor Tim Guinee announced Wednesday that their two-year hunt for the rights have been successful and that they’re hoping to mount the show on Broadway.

“Rear Window” is based on the Cornell Woolrich short story “It Had to Be Murder,” which was first published in February 1942 in Dime Detective magazine.

TATTBITS

Bobby Brown has been

arrested for the second time this year on suspicion of drunken driving.

Los Angeles police spokeswoman Venus Hall says that officers stopped the singer’s car in the Topanga area about 1 a.m. Wednesday.

Police say he was booked on suspicion of driving under the influence at the Van Nuys jail but was later released.

A rep for Brown could not immediately be contacted.

Brown pleaded no contest to DUI earlier this year following a March arrest in L.A. Under a plea agreement, Brown checked himself into a rehab center in August.

* Dolby Laboratories and

director Peter Jackson‘s Park Road Post Production announced Wednesday that “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” will be mixed and released in Dolby Atmos, the company’s immersive new sound system that features two extra arrays of overhead speakers and the ability to direct sounds to individual speakers inside movie theaters.