- House members question $17 billion VA request
- N.Y. Gov. Cuomo launches statewide task force to collect LGBT data
- Obama’s motorcade prevents woman in labor from crossing street to hospital
- Grijalva: Anti-trafficking law ‘line in the sand for many of us’
- Joe Biden: ‘Businesses are hiring at historic rates’
- Jeb Bush to Congress: Don’t use border crisis as excuse to delay immigration reform
- U.N. Human Rights head accuses Israel of war crimes
- CBP Commissioner: Border is ‘more secure and more safe’
- Obama dispatches researchers to border to check on National Guard
- Dutch receiving Malaysia plane bodies irked at Putin’s daughter in Holland
Taking Names: Woman admits smashing window at Cowell’s house
Question of the Day
A judge on Friday banned a 30-year-old woman from going near Simon Cowell after she admitted smashing a window of the entertainment mogul’s house with a brick.
Prosecutors say Mr. Cowell was watching TV in his bedroom when he heard a loud bang coming from his bathroom and discovered the woman inside a wardrobe with a brick.
At a court hearing Friday, Zaloumis admitted possessing a brick with intent to damage or destroy property, but denied burglary.
Prosecutors accepted her plea, meaning she will not face trial.
Judge John Denniss said the 102 days Zaloumis has spent in jail were sufficient punishment, but warned she would go to prison if she breached her bail conditions, which forbid her from contacting Mr. Cowell or going within 300 yards of his home. She also has to wear an electronic tag and observe an overnight curfew.
Rihanna sues accountants for millions in losses
Rihanna sued her former accountants Thursday, blaming them for tens of millions of dollars in losses, shoddy bookkeeping, a failure to recommend she trim expenses when a 2009 tour was losing money and an ongoing audit by the Internal Revenue Service.
The lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan sought unspecified damages against New York-based Berdon LLP and two accountants. A Berdon spokeswoman said the company had no immediate comment.
The singer, suing under her real name, Robyn Fenty, alleged through her attorneys that the defendants drained tens of millions of dollars from revenues while she launched four national and international tours over a five-year period.
By the “Last Girl on Earth” tour in 2009, Rihanna learned that the tour had managed “significant net losses” despite robust revenues, though the defendants had pocketed 22 percent of the tour’s total revenues while paying Rihanna just 6 percent of revenues, the lawsuit said. It said Berdon’s unusual accounting practice of paying itself a percentage of gross tour income as commissions left it no incentive to “counsel” Rihanna to reduce expenses or put in place appropriate financial controls.
The lawsuit alleged the practice of paying itself commissions on revenues was not standard in the accounting and business management industry and created a clear conflict of interest.
Since firing the firm and its accountants in September 2010, Rihanna’s fortunes already have reversed, the lawsuit said. The “Loud” tour stretching from June 2011 to December 2011 produced a net profit equal to more than 40 percent of total tour revenues, it added.
Singer Susan Boyle awarded honorary doctorate in Scotland
Singing sensation Susan Boyle has been awarded an honorary doctorate from a Scottish university.
Ms. Boyle, who shot to fame on a TV talent show, wore blue-and-white academic robes as she accepted the degree Friday from Edinburgh’s Queen Margaret University in recognition of her “contribution to the creative industries.”
The singer once studied for a higher education certificate at the university.
A 40-something church volunteer from a small Scottish village, Ms. Boyle became a global sensation in 2009 after she performed the song “I Dreamed a Dream” from “Les Miserables” on the television program “Britain’s Got Talent.”
She has since sold 18 million records around the world and performed for audiences from the U.S. to China.
U2 bassist’s ex-aide sentenced to 7 years for embezzlement
A former household aide to U2 bassist Adam Clayton received a seven-year prison sentence Friday after an Irish jury unanimously found her guilty of embezzling more than $3.6 million from the musician.
Carol Hawkins, 48, offered no response to the sentence as prison guards led her out of Dublin Criminal Court. She had been free on bail after being found guilty last week of 181 counts of writing checks from Mr. Clayton’s bank account for her own use from 2004 to 2008. Records showed she used the money to buy designer clothing, 22 thoroughbred horses, a car, university education for her two children and first-class flights.
Judge Patrick McCartan said in his ruling that Hawkins deserved a severe sentence because she had demonstrated no remorse, falsely tried to pin blame for her grandiose spending on the often-absent Mr. Clayton and could attempt similar offenses again if not jailed.
“Nothing, frankly, could explain away the scale of this dishonesty other than the greed in pursuit of a lavish lifestyle that was no responsibility of Mr. Clayton’s,” the judge said.
Dismissing her claims that she hadn’t understood that what she was doing was wrong, the judge said, “These were crimes rooted in greed and nothing else. Whether she was a fool or clever person really matters very little.”
Diddy’s uninvited house guest sentenced to time served
A New York man who broke into Sean “Diddy” Combs East Hampton mansion said at his sentencing he drank the rap mogul’s liquor, smoked his cigars and slept in his bed.
The New York Post reported that Quamine Taylor was sentenced Thursday in Suffolk County court to time served after being unable to post $2,000 bail following his April arrest.
He also was ordered to stay away from Mr. Combs’ homes.
The Queens resident was arrested at the sprawling home on April 1 after spending nearly 24 hours there. He was charged on trespassing and petit larceny charges.
He had said he had hoped to stay at the house for several days. He previously had been arrested at the home in June 2001.
• Compiled from Web and wire reports
TWT Video Picks
The subsidies are a hit with patients who don't exist
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Obama's empty tough-talk: Gun prosecutions plummet on his watch
- Algerian plane diverted due to storms, second aircraft: 116 missing
- Obama dispatches researchers to border to check on National Guard
- Whistleblowers flood VA with lawsuits despite apology
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Conservative groups decry Democrats' 'war on women' tactic
- Obama says public not familiar enough with issues
- Astronaut shares 'saddest photo' from space: Bombs bursting over Israel, Gaza
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq