Amy Adams gives the real story behind the Today Show segment cancellation

Amy Adams spoke with USA Today about her Today show interview, which was abruptly canceled early Monday. The segment was intended to promote her newest film Big Eyes but was nixed after Adams did not want to discuss the Sony hack. Adam’s part in the hacking story broke on December 12th when an exchange between Sony co-chair Amy Pascal and other execs surfaced, appearing to show that she and Jennifer Lawrence were paid two percent less than their male co-stars, Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale and director David O’Russell. Today Show released a statement about the decision to yank the segment.

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“As a news program, the Today show doesn’t allow guests to dictate restrictions on interviews. In this case, after hours of discussion we felt uncomfortable with the demands being made and we determined the best course of action for all parties involved was to cancel the interview.”

Adams in her USA Today interview discussed the incident. “I expressed that I was uncomfortable. I said I would rather not add my voice to this conversation,” “But it was clear they were drawing a hard line. That this would be part of the conversation.” Adams noted that despite her misgivings, “I was prepared for that [line of questioning]; to whatever degree I was prepared.”

The five-time Oscar nominee hosted “Saturday Night Live” this past weekend and made no mention of the hack, choosing to make her monologue into an extended holiday-themed song and dance number. Instead, the show addressed the scandal with Mike Myers reprising his role as Dr. Evil to discuss the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who is believed to be behind the attacks, and with a bit during Weekend Update in which the dictator was played by Bobby Moynihan. Other stars linked to the scandal have also been ducking and weaving to avoid questions about the cyber-attack. Seth Rogen and James Franco, the stars of “The Interview,” had canceled all their media appearances surround the movie, partly because of concerns about their safety, well before the studio announced that it was halting distribution of the flick.

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‘American Sniper’ killer found guilty of 2 counts of capital murder

Eddie Ray Routh found guilty in the slaying of Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield

A Texas jury has ruled that Eddie Ray Routh is guilty of murdering “American Sniper” Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield. Despite everyone agreeing Routh killed the men, defense attorneys claimed Routh was insane. Prosecutors claimed Routh knew the difference between right and wrong. Routh’s trial comes in the wake of the release of the film about Kyle, a former Navy SEAL who claimed to be the deadliest sniper in U.S. history, with 160 confirmed kills in Iraq. Jurors returned the verdict Tuesday against Eddie Ray Routh, whose attorneys had mounted an insanity defense and said he suffered from psychosis. Since prosecutors didn’t seek the death penalty in the capital murder case, the 27-year-old receives an automatic life sentence without parole in the deaths of the two men.

Prosecutors said Routh was drinking and smoking marijuana, the morning he killed the Kyle and Littlefield. They argued he was paranoid because he was high and was angry about living with his parents, money, and his job. He then finally exploded after Kyle and Littlefield snubbed him. Kyle took his two friends to the range as a kind of therapy. The range is part of the 11,000 acre Rough Creek Lodge and the group was isolated from the rest of the Lodge. A hunting guide found Kyle, 38, and Littlefield, 35, who also was a veteran, motionless and called 911. The men were dead when officers arrived. 
For a more in-depth look, keep reading at Examiner.com

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School shooting must end and bullying must stop!

School shootings has been around for decades. When someone mentions school shootings, you probably think of Columbine. However, a shooting took place in the small town of Paducah, Kentucky. This shooting shocked the town. The type of town where you didn’t expect something like this to happen. What does America do in response to this, they argue over gun legislation. Who deserves the right to carry and who should not carry. Gun violence will never go away. Gun violence in schools can be prevented. Like the NYPD says “see something, say something.” Bullies are prevalent in every school across the nation. It is time for those bullied to realize that a gun will not solve the problem and it only gives you a minute of pleasure. That minute of pleasure turns into decades behind bars.

When you see someone being bullied, tell your instructor or a counselor. Gun violence brings pain not only to the victims but also to the families of those killed or seriously wounded. I know family members are not the targets, but they have to live with the memories of the tragic events as well as the loss of a member. With the loss of a family member, holidays and birthdays will no longer be normal. There will always be that void in their lives. Gun violence in American schools have gone on long enough. Sometimes those who respond with violence are those you consider the nice kid or the “class clown.” It will take a joint effort in stopping gun violence within the schools of America. After hearing stories of school shootings. If you’re the bully, don’t bully other classmates; you have no idea what kind of family that fellow student comes from, and you could be the one that sets him off.

I want to dedicate this opinion piece to a true hero of mine and a survivor of the Heath High School shooting in Kentucky, Missy-Jenkins Smith. She is a woman of courage, bravery and I hope to have as much courage and bravery that she has displayed in the stories she has told across the country. She had the courage to speak to the shooter and forgive him. I personally do not think I have the guts to do something even though people always say you gain nothing from keeping the anger inside of you. We all need to just get along. Politics does not solve everything; it’s up to everyone to do their part in stopping school violence.

Federal Court orders PLO to pay $200 million in damages

Late Monday, a New York jury in federal court ruled that the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority partially liable for six terrorist attacks in Israel. The families and survivors receive $218.5 million in damages. This decision filed in Manhattan federal court follows a lengthy battle stemming from a 2004 lawsuit filed under the U.S. Antiterrorism Act. The law, allows U.S. victims of international terrorism to seek justice in federal court.

The ruling comes as the Palestinian Authority problems continue to mount. They are closing in on an economic crisis started an Israeli decision to freeze millions in tax revenue it collects on behalf of the Authority. The sanction came in response to a move by the Authority to join the International Criminal Court in the Hague, where it wants to bring war-crimes trials against Israel over its occupation of the West Bank. Israel has argued the Palestinian Authority is guilty of war crimes itself, and the federal verdict could be used by Israel to bolster that argument.

After two days of deliberation, the jury decided both the PLO and PA knowingly aided in facilitating a wave of mass shootings and bombings in Israel, 13 years ago. The attacks killed 33 people and wounded more than 400 hundred others. The plaintiffs were families affected by a handful of attacks, including the 2002 bombing of a Hebrew University cafeteria and a 2004 suicide bombing on a Jerusalem public bus. The Palestinian Authority, continue to deny they had any involvement in the attacks. Read more at Examiner.com

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ISIS video shows children training to be next generation ISIS fighters

ISIS fighters released a new video on Monday, showing Kurdish fighters being paraded down Iraqi streets. The video shows a group of children, as young as 5 taking part in drills and reciting verses from the Koran. The video shows 70 kids clothed in camouflage uniforms and are reported as being the children of foreign fighters who has traveled to Iraq and Syria to join the extremist group. A man appeared on the video interviewing several of the captive Kurdish fighters who say they are from Kirkuk. The prisoners under stress have called on their fellow Peshmerga soldiers to give up the fight against ISIS. The heavily edited footage also includes flashing clips of the recent beheadings of Christian Egyptians in Libya. Peshmerga have been fighting ISIS, as the Islamic extremists tries to create a radical Islamic state across Iraq and Syria.

In the video, the children wear traditional ISIS black headbands and are seen answering religious questions and quoting the Koran. The clip provides a disturbing snapshot into how the extremist group is taking young innocent children and turning them into their own depraved version of Nazi Germany’s Hitler youth, experts said. The video was reportedly shot in Raqqa, Syria. Intelligence officials have yet to verify the authenticity. Read more at Examiner.com

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American Sniper Killer Psychiatrist: Eddie Ray Routh Wasn’t Insane

On Thursday, Texas psychiatrist Dr. Michael Dunn testified in the “American Sniper” murder trial speaking to jurors saying that Eddie Routh believed that Chris Kyle was part of a world takeover. Routh believed he was acting in self-defense and gained a sense of relief after he killed the two victims. Dunn spent nearly six hours interviewing Routh after he murdered Routh. Dunn believes that Routh was suffering from schizophrenia at the time of the crime. Routh also believed his police detective neighbor was part of the Mexican Mafia.

When Kyle picked up Routh on the day of the shootings, Routh said he was upset that Kyle didn’t introduce himself or shake his hand, Dunn said. Routh called the drive to the range a “one-way trip” according to Dunn. At the gun range, Routh wanted to neutralize what he perceived as a threat, Dunn testified, so he shot Littlefield first, and then when Kyle began to turn around, he shot him in the back. During the cross-examination of Dunn, he said it was his expert opinion that Routh suffered mental illness and not PTSD. Kyle, who was helping war veterans after he retired as a Navy SEAL sniper, had agreed to help Routh that day at the gun range in February 2013. Read more at Examiner.com

Obama ignores panel and appoints Joseph Clancy insider for Secret Service Director

President Obama ignored the recommendation of an independent panel suggesting that he look outside the agency for a new director. He instead on Wednesday, selected current interim director Joseph Clancy as the agency’s next director. Obama plans to name Joseph Clancy to the post, four months after Clancy assumed the role of interim director amid a sudden shakeup of the agency’s top leaders. The agency will now be controlled by the former chief of Obama’s security detail. Clancy served in the presidential security detail for President Obama and President Bill Clinton. He resigned from the Secret Service in 2011, becoming the head of Comcast’s corporate security until President Obama requested him to assume the role of director last October.

Since taking the role as interim director, he has been spotted all over the White House as well as on the road traveling with President Obama, including his recent trip to India. Clancy has been making rounds around the White House including near the White House gate, where the intruder from September scaled before running through the North Portico doors. . After that incident, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson appointed a four-member, bipartisan panel to study White House Security. Read More at Examiner.com

ISIS militants burn dozens of Iraqis alive

On Tuesday, ISIS militants burned 45 people alive in the western Iraqi town of al-Baghdadi. ISIS fighters captured Al-Baghdadi last week. The attack occurred only five miles away from military base housing 320 United States Marines. BBC News reports that the victims’ identities have not been confirmed but are believed to be part of the security forces that have been fighting with ISIS for control of the city. This latest act by ISIS extremists follows a video showing the beheadings of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya, creating an international outcry including Pope Francis calling the murders barbaric.

Al-Baghdadi had been besieged for months by Islamic State fighters before its fall. It had been one of the few towns to still be controlled by the Iraqi government in Anbar province, where IS and allied Sunni Arab tribesmen launched an offensive in January 2014. It remains unclear what the motive was behind ISIS’s killing of the 45 Iraqi individuals. Colonel Qasim al-Obeidi told the BBC that some may have been members of Iraq’s military. al-Obeidi also said that a building which provides housing for families of security forces is currently under attack. He asked for immediate intervention from the Iraqi government and international community, according to the report. Read more at Examiner.com

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