June 14, 2010

LKL Web Exclusive!

Posted: 05:33 PM ET

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach is founder of This World: The Values Network. He has just published “Renewal: A Guide to the Values-Filled Life."  The opinions expressed below are his own, and we welcome your comments.

If I hear one more public fight about gay marriage or abortion I’m going to eat my yarmulke. Why does it irk me? Because it distracts us from the real conversation this country has to have on values. We need to start talking about materialism and greed. It’s not enough to survive a potentially catastrophic economic meltdown by the skin of our teeth. We need to focus on how we became so materially insatiable in the first place that we borrowed money up the wazoo until there was almost nothing left.

Americans are rightly terrified of a national deficit that is expected to hit $20 trillion within a decade. But can we really fix the problem without first addressing our addiction to public and personal spending and how enough is never enough? This isn’t politics. It’s primarily about values. The more purposeful people feel on the inside about a life that has meaning and spiritual import, the less they rely on buying junk on the outside to fill them up. That’s why I advocate, in my new book Renewal, that Americans replace their chosen value of ‘sacred space,’ meaning a love for property and objects, with ‘sacred time,’ an appreciation for human relationships and intimate moments.

And just look at how dumb we’re all becoming. How can a generation of Americans, sixty percent of whom have College degrees, ruminate endlessly over such earth-shattering issues like Lindsay Lohan wearing an ankle bracelet while we pay almost no attention to brave soldiers dying in Afghanistan? Simple. We value an education over enlightenment. The former is about getting a degree and then you’re done. The latter is a lifelong thirst for knowledge.  Unless we rediscover the value of Enlightenment, as I discuss in ‘Renewal,’ we risk leading lives characterized by endless boredom because we lack true intellectual inquisitiveness. We also risk having stultifying relationships because, unable to penetrate the deeper layers of the people we love; we quickly tire of them as well.

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Filed under: LKL Web Exclusive

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20th body found in aftermath of Arkansas floods

Posted: 04:53 PM ET

Langley, Arkansas (CNN) - A 20th body was found Monday from last week's flash flood that inundated an Arkansas campground, and a search for more possible victims was continuing, officials said.

The body, which was found in a river near the Albert Pike Recreation Area, had not been identified, said Michael Fletcher of the Arkansas State Police.

"We're still in the process of making a recovery and getting it out of there," he said.

The find came as authorities announced that they had increased to 12 the number of canine units searching piles of debris for more victims, said Mike Quesinberry, the head of the rescue effort for the U.S. Forest Service. "Hopefully, there's no one else left," he said.A wall of water swept through the Albert Pike Recreation Area before dawn Friday, when most of the campers in the remote area were sleeping. The park is located along the Caddo and Little Missouri rivers, and the flood struck so quickly that many of the campers had little chance to escape, officials said.


Filed under: Larry King Live

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Michael Jackson's father blames Katherine Jackson for his death

Posted: 08:07 AM ET

Michael Jackson's father blames the King of Pop's mom for the singer's death.

Joe Jackson admitted to News of the World that he lit into his estranged wife, Katherine, when the two were standing over the pop icon's body on a mortuary table.

"Katherine was weeping uncontrollably and highly upset. But I didn't give her a hug because I was mad at her crying," Joe Jackson told the British paper yesterday.

"I said, 'If you had listened to me, Michael would be living now!' I kept thinking about the times I had stood in front of her saying something was wrong."

The King of Pop, who died on June 25, 2009, had long blamed his adult woes on the miserable childhood crafted by his abusive, money-grubbing dad.

Filed under: Michael Jackson

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Police release Joran van der Sloot's confession in murder case

Posted: 07:39 AM ET

Joran van der Sloot said he elbowed murder victim Stephany Flores Ramirez in the face before strangling her and then suffocating her with his own shirt, according to transcripts of his confession released by Peruvian authorities.

The transcripts give shocking details of the murder van der Sloot is accused of and also gives the public its first glimpse of why van der Sloot says the alleged murder took place.

"There was blood everywhere," van der Sloot said in the transcripts. "What am I going to do now. I had blood on my shirt. there was also blood on the bed, so, I took my shirt and put it on her face, pressing hard, until I killed Stephany."

Peruvian authorities charged van der Sloot with murder last week in the death of Flores, a 21-year-old student. Van der Sloot, a 22-year-old Dutch citizen has also been considered the main suspect in the well-publicized 2005 disappearance of Alabama teen Natalee Holloway in Aruba.


Meanwhile, van der Sloot's attorney is contesting the confession – here's the latest on that part of the story:

Filed under: International • Justice

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June 13, 2010

Kathie Griffin on LKL: "Oprah hates me"

Posted: 09:44 AM ET
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'Karate Kid' kung-fu chops 'A-Team' at Saturday's box office report

Posted: 09:28 AM ET

1. "The Karate Kid" ($18.8 million)
2. "The A-Team" ($9.7 million)
3. "Shrek Forever After" ($4.4 million)
4. "Get Him to the Greek" ($3.3 million)
5. "Killers" ($2.8 million)

Hannibal Smith, Faceman Peck, B.A. Baracus and Howling Mad Murdock entered the box office arena this weekend without a Plan B — and it could prove to be their undoing, as Sony's reboot of the "Karate Kid" franchise ended up winning out on Friday evening with an impressive $18.8 million haul.


Did you see either of these movies? Curious what you thought about them – leave us a comment on whether we should go see these or not!

Filed under: Box Office

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June 12, 2010

Report: Joran van der Sloot may be charged with 'cover-up'

Posted: 09:30 AM ET

(via Living in Peru)

Edward Alvarez, the lawyer representing the Flores family, considered that the legal process against Dutch citizen Joran van der Sloot should include another charge, since he tried to take Stephany Flores' truck.

“He took the truck away. The truck may have contained more evidence that we could be using now. He obviously tried to make them disappear. That is cover-up, a third charge,” said Alvarez.

READ MORE from Living in Peru

Filed under: International • Justice

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June 11, 2010

Tonight on Larry King Live!

Posted: 07:00 PM ET

Kathy Griffin & Her Mother Maggie!

Comedian Kathy Griffin’s back, and
she’s bringing her mom, Maggie, with her!

See what the outrageous
Griffin girls are up to now.

Do you think Kathy Griffin is still on the D-List?

Weigh in below!

Filed under: Kathy Griffin

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Politics is King: Biggest thing to happen to Washington DC since...

Posted: 02:53 PM ET

There was big news in Washington this week.

Sure, there were a bunch of primaries on Tuesday, and the Palestinian President met with President Obama at the White House to talk about Middle East peace, but that's not it.

Stephen Strasburg made his debut for the Washington Nationals.

With that, here are some other stories you may have missed this week:

1. Former IL Governor Rod Blagojevich was ordered to stop tweeting during his corruption trial.... you can see Blago's last tweet HERE (TIME)

2. Disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff was transferred Tuesday from prison to a Maryland halfway house to serve out the remainder of his sentence (CNN)

3. On his 40th birthday, former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick moved in to a new home... a level-four state prison in Michigan (Detroit News)

4. AZ Senator John McCain and "Snooki" from the 'Jersey Shore' discussed a very important health issue over twitter this week. (Vanity Fair)

5. What do some White House staffers do in their down-time away from work?  You'll have to click HERE to find out. (Famous DC)

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Filed under: John McCain • Politics is King • Rod Blagojevich

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Joran van der Sloot to face 'worst of the worst' prison if convicted

Posted: 08:35 AM ET

If Joran van der Sloot is found guilty of murder in Peru, he certainly won't be living the life of luxury he's accustomed to.

"He'll be put in Lurigancho Prison, which is the worst of the worst," Michael Griffith, senior partner at the International Legal Defense Counsel, tells AOL News. "They should have a sign above the door there saying, 'All those who pass this way leave all hope behind.' "

Griffith has counseled and represented clients in more than 40 countries on a variety of charges. His most renowned case, involving an American incarcerated in a Turkish prison, was the basis for the film and book "Midnight Express."

Having visited more than two dozen foreign prisons, Griffith says Lurigancho is in a world of its own.

"There are 35 guys in a room there," he says. "They don't have beds, they go to the bathroom on the floor and the showers run once a week for 15 minutes. Fifty percent of the inmates have AIDS or tuberculosis, and you can die from eating the food."


National Geographic's 'Inside the World's Toughest Prisons' featured Lurigacho in an episode – click HERE to see pictures and videos of this notorious place.

Filed under: International • Justice

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