2013年10月31日星期四

Kardashian Fam -- Honey Boo Boo'd


Exclusive


1031_booboo_halloween_tmz_article

Just when you thought Halloween couldn't get any scarier -- Honey Boo Boo and her family decked themselves out like the Kardashian clan ... and the costumes were so convincing, we still can't tell them apart from the real thing.

The photo was snapped today outside the Thompson family house in Georgia, and here's the breakdown:


- Honey Boo Boo is Kris (nailed it)

- Sugar Bear is Bruce (nailed it)

- Pumpkin is Scott Disick (double nailed it)

- Anna & Jessica are Kourtney and Khloe (eh)


But the best costume? That honor goes to ... Mama June as Kim. Seriously. Dead ringer.


BTW ... Uncle Poodle ... also Kim.


Kanye isn't pictured for obvious reasons.








Mexican pleads guilty in $9 million meth import case


Breaking News


Updated: 2013-10-31T22:15:26Z






A Mexican citizen pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to conspiring to bring about $9 million worth of methamphetamine to Kansas City from 2007 to 2012.



Read more Breaking News


Porfirio Almeida-Perez, 35, was “heavily involved” with meth distribution in the Kansas City area. He was to have received a nine-pound meth shipment that Missouri Highway Patrol troopers recovered from a vehicle on Interstate 29 in October 2011, according to court records.


Authorities estimated that Almeida-Perez’s ring distributed almost 600 pounds of meth. He is to be sentenced Feb. 28.


Mark Morris, mmorris@kcstar.com









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Inspectors say they've destroyed Syria's ability to deploy chemical weapons


— Syria’s immediate ability to wage chemical warfare has been eliminated, the international body that oversees the world’s ban on chemical weapons announced Thursday.



Aug. 31, 2013 - Samples brought back by the U.N. chemical weapons inspection team are checked in upon arrival at The Hague, Netherlands.



The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said that while the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons components will continue until next year, that country’s equipment to mix deadly chemical agents and place them inside rockets and artillery shells had been destroyed.


“The Joint Mission is now satisfied that it has verified – and seen destroyed – all of Syria’s declared critical production and mixing/filling equipment,” the agency said. “Given the progress made in the Joint OPCW-UN Mission in meeting the requirements of the first phase of activities, no further inspection activities are currently planned.”


The announcement marked a stunningly quick end to Syria’s chemical weapons capability, coming barely two months after the United States and France appeared on the edge of a major military action to retaliate against the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad for the use of chemical weapons in Damascus suburbs Aug. 21.


Experts were unanimous is declaring the announcement good news, though some offered words of caution, noting that civil war still rages in the deeply divided country and that the possibility of chemical weapons use lingers.


“Chemicals are the tip of a very deep and very deadly iceberg,” Frederic Hof, a former Obama administration adviser on Syria who’s now at the Atlantic Council in Washington, told a U.S. Senate hearing where he urged greater efforts to find solutions to the broader war.


In an interview, Richard Guthrie, a former project leader of the Chemical and Biological Warfare Project at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, said “the threat from Syrian chemical weapons is now much reduced.” But he added, “There remains a threat until the last weapon and the last barrel of relevant chemicals have been destroyed.”


The United States and Russia agreed to a plan to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons stores on Sept. 14 in what everyone believed then would be a difficult-to-meet series of deadlines that foresaw the total destruction of weapons and the chemical components that go into them by the middle of next year. But neutralizing Syria’s ability to use the weapons proved easier than many at first had anticipated. The Syrian government provided its initial report on the disposition of its weapons within a week of the U.S.-Russia accord, then worked cooperatively with OPCW inspectors, who entered Syria Oct. 1 to verify the Syrian report and oversee the first phase of dismantling the program.


“The meaning is simple,” said Jean Pascal Zanders, who edits The Trench, a website dedicated to chemical weapons elimination efforts. “Essentially, Syria has no longer the means to wage chemical war. It is a big step.”


Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Washington-based Arms Control Association, said that the rapid progress was a good indication the American-led plans to launch a military attack on Syria after the Aug. 21 Damascus chemical attacks had been premature.


“The goal of a cruise missile attack would have been to degrade Syria’s ability to wage war with chemical weapons,” he said. “In one month, the OPCW far exceeded what could have been hoped for from such an effort.”


Thomas Countryman, assistant secretary of state for international security and nonproliferation, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the U.S. on Monday had received more than 700 pages on Syria’s chemical arsenal and said that U.S. experts were "assessing it now." Countryman said that the process so far was cooperative, adding that soon the U.S. would have a better understanding of where there were any "gaps" between what Syria has declared and what U.S. intelligence had believed about the stockpile.


But one discrepancy is already clear – the Syrians’ chemical weapons arsenal was far bigger than what the United States and its allies had estimated.


In a report on The Trench website, Zanders noted that while public estimates had said Syria had 1,000 metric tons of chemical weapons, the Syrian disclosure and the subsequent verification process put the arsenal at about 1,300 metric tons. Of that, 1,000 tons, Zanders said, consisted of nerve agents such as sarin and VX and the chemicals that go into them. Most of the remainder was unspecified, but Zanders said was likely to be primarily isopropyl alcohol, a common household item Americans know as rubbing alcohol but which is critical to the creation of sarin, the nerve agent that OPCW inspectors determined had been deployed Aug. 21.


Zanders said the Syrians declared “approximately 1,230 unfilled chemical munitions.”


Zanders said the OPCW inspection also provided an explanation for what had appeared to be a discrepancy between the number of chemical weapons sites Syria declared, 23, and the number that the United States had suggested, 45. Many of the sites contained more than one facility.


In the end, the OPCW reported that it had inspected “21 of the 23 sites declared by Syria, and 39 of the 41 facilities located at those sites.”


The report said that inspectors had not inspected two sites “due to safety and security concerns.” But the organization said that Syria had declared those sites as abandoned and had moved “the chemical weapons items” that had been there to other declared sites, which were inspected.


Ralf Trapp, an original member of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and a former secretary of the group’s scientific advisory board, said in an email that it was extremely important that “declared production equipment is no longer useful,” “binary weapons systems are also no longer operational,” and that “some of the unfilled weapons have also been rendered unusable.”


But, he noted, that means the job is still unfinished.


“There is, of course, a need to inspect the remaining 2 sites once the security situation allows (which at the moment it doesn’t) but in the meantime, most of the capability of the Syrian army to use its CW has been degraded,” he wrote. “Next step: destruction of the agents and weapons themselves.”


And Zanders noted that the next step will determine “destruction methods to be used, the various interim destruction deadlines, and the order of destruction. Also on the table will be whether it is technically, logistically and legally feasible to move the CW inventory in part or wholly outside of Syria.”


He added that if moving the arsenal is seen as a viable option, “countries that have made concrete offers – reported to be Albania, Belgium and France,” will be evaluated.


Hannah Allam contributed from Washington.



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De Soto body identified as missing Olathe man


A body found in De Soto Tuesday afternoon was identified Thursday as that of a missing Olathe man.




A passer-by discovered the body of 22-year-old Brad Cook about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday while walking in the 9500 block of Sunflower Road, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office said..


A sheriff’s office spokesman said it’s investigation “has not revealed any criminal activity.” He did not reveal the cause of death.


Hundreds of searchers had been looking for Cook since shortly after he left the Olathe home he shared with his sister Oct. 20.


He reportedly left without his wallet and cellphone. His motorcycle was found several hours later in a strip mall parking lot not far from where his body was found.


A spokesman for Cook’s family said that the area had been searched by law enforcement officers and civilian volunteers up to the north side of 95th Street. But the body was found on private property on the south side 95th Street, near Lexington Avenue.



Commenting disabled for this story.





KC Council approves streetcar vehicle purchase


Breaking News


Updated: 2013-10-31T21:42:26Z






The Kansas City Council on Thursday unanimously approved an agreement to spend about $18 million for four streetcar vehicles for the downtown streetcar project.



Read more Breaking News


The CAF Urbos 3 Low Floor vehicles will be manufactured in Elmira, N.Y. by CAF USA Inc. The city expects to take delivery in about 18 months. Each vehicle will hold about 145 passengers.


The exact colors for the vehicles have not been selected yet.




Lynn Horsley, lhorsley@kcstar.com









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Cats, dogs seized from Northland no-kill shelter


News


The Kansas City Star


Updated: 2013-10-31T21:40:26Z



By GLENN E. RICE


The Kansas City Star


Sixty-eight dogs and cats were seized Wednesday from a Kansas City, North animal shelter that allegedly kept the animals in unsanitary conditions.



Read more News


Authorities took them from Forever Friends Animal League in the 7800 block of North Oak Trafficway. A member of the Humane Society visited the no-kill shelter on Wednesday to investigate if it allowed persons to adopt sick animals and noticed the conditions, said Chris Hernandez, a city spokesman.


No one from Forever Friends could be reached for comment.


Police and workers with the city’s animal control department and the Missouri Department of Agriculture found the animals being kept in dirty kennels. The state agency oversees the business license for the facility.


The animals, 37 dogs and 31 cats, were taken to the KC Pet Project, the city’s shelter. Most appeared to be in fair condition but several had upper respiratory infections, said Teresa Johnson, the group’s executive director.


Authorities are continuing to investigate. The operators of Forever Friends previously have been cited for numerous animal control and municipal violations, Hernandez said.




To reach Glenn E. Rice, call 816-234-4341 or send email to grice@kcstar.com.










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Charles, Bowe and Fasano are limited in practice for Chiefs


Red Zone


The Kansas City Star


Updated: 2013-10-31T21:30:26Z



By RANDY COVITZ


The Kansas City Star


Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (knee), wide receiver Dwayne Bowe (groin) and tight end Anthony Fasano (knee/ankle) went through a limited practice on Thursday. Backup defensive end Mike Catapono (ankle) has already been ruled out for Sunday’s game at Buffalo.



Read more Red Zone


It’s not unusual for Charles, the AFC’s leading rusher, to miss a day of practice each week as he did on Wednesday, or be limited because of blisters or a knee contusion.


“Every team is going through the same thing,” Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson said. “Every team is beat up, players are banged up. We understand as coaches we need to give them a day, and not practice them, rest ’em; we’ve been able to do that. We just need them all for Sunday, and (Charles) he’ll be one of those guys ready to go.”


Besides Lewis missing practice, the Bills listed as limited: wide receiver Stevie Jackson (hip), quarterback E.J. Manuel (knee), running back C.J. Spiller (ankle), linebacker Manny Lawson (hamstring), and cornerback Brandon Smith (illness).




To reach Randy Covitz, call 816-234-4796 or send email to rcovitz@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/randycovitz.










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Flexible health care spending accounts getting more flexible


Americans who use flexible spending accounts for health care costs may now be able to carry up to $500 of expiring money into the next year, the U.S. Treasury said on Thursday.




For nearly 30 years, about 14 million families with FSAs faced a "use it or lose it" deadline of December 31 when the money in the account would expire.


Accountholders flush with cash at the end of the year would often scramble to spend their fund balance frivolously.


An FSA allows individuals to set aside as much as $2,500 a year in pretax income for health care costs. The money can be used for items like flu shots, dentistry, eyeglasses and orthodonture.


In 2005, the Internal Revenue Service began allowing companies to offer their workers a 2.5 month grace period through mid-March during which they could use up any money that was left over. Now, an employer that sponsors an FSA can choose, as an alternative to that grace period, to allow its employees to carry over up to $500 to use during the entire following year.


"Today's announcement is a step forward for hardworking Americans who wisely plan for health care expenses for the coming year," Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said in a statement.


The Treasury Department said that public comments it solicited overwhelmingly called for the rollover flexibility. The comments pointed to the difficulty for employees of predicting future needs for medical expenditures, Treasury said.



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Kansas tax revenues $18 million short in October


Breaking News


The Kansas City Star


Updated: 2013-10-31T20:41:02Z



The Associated Press




— The Kansas Department of Revenue says the state collected nearly $18 million less in taxes than anticipated in October.



Read more Breaking News


Figures released Thursday also show tax collections have been $27 million short of expectations since the fiscal year began in July.


The biggest reason is a shortfall in individual income tax collections.


For the month, Kansas collected $445 million in taxes, but officials had expected $463 million.


Kansas has collected $1.81 billion in revenue for the fiscal year to date, instead of the $1.84 billion expected.


The state anticipated $220 million in individual income collections in October but instead took in $187 million, missing the mark by 15 percent.


Kansas enacted massive income tax cuts in 2012 that have contributed to the revenue declines.










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Cattlemen: Missouri ag chief made threats


— Officials at the Missouri Cattlemen's Association say the state's recently replaced agriculture director had made threats against the group's leader, marking the second time in two weeks that someone has alleged intimidation by the director.



Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, right, addresses local farmers and others involved in the agricultural industry with Jon Hagler, director or the Missouri Dept. of Agriculture, left, during a town hall-style meeting at Sharpe's Seed Business in Ewing, Mo.



Jon Hagler was replaced on Oct. 11 as head of the Missouri Department of Agriculture with little explanation from Gov. Jay Nixon.


The move came a day after another high-ranking employee, Beth Ewers, resigned while distributing a letter saying Hagler had created a work environment of "hostility, disrespect, intimidation and fear."


Leaders at the cattlemen's group told the Associated Press this week that Hagler also acted with hostility toward its executive vice president, Mike Deering, after the publication of a critical magazine article earlier this year. They said Hagler became so incensed that he made phone calls to multiple members of the group threatening bodily harm against Deering.


"He was just cussing and yelling. He said, 'You're going to have to do something with that boy of yours.' He was just really irate," said Chuck Massengill, the cattlemen's association president. "He used the f-word several times. More than one time he said, 'I'm going to whip his ass.'"


Hagler did not return multiple telephone and text messages left Wednesday and Thursday by the AP seeking comment.


When Nixon announced Hagler's replacement, the governor's office said in a news release that Hagler was to remain on the payroll through Thursday to assist in the transition. Nixon described Hagler as "a trusted friend and advisor" who helped make the department "more efficient and effective."


Nixon was asked by reporters last week about allegations of a hostile workplace at the Agriculture Department and whether he had ordered Hagler to leave.


"There was no causal connection on any of that sort of stuff," the governor said at the time. "You certainly have agreements and disagreements with folks, but I think when you look at the breadth of accomplishments in the agricultural sector over the last four years, I appreciate Jon's service."


It's unclear whether Nixon was ever told of Hagler's apparent conflict with the Missouri Cattlemen's Association. The group, which has about 4,000 members, carries particular sway because Missouri ranks third nationally in the number of beef cattle.


Tensions mounted in April after the association's magazine included an article by Deering bemoaning "a complete and embarrassing failure by the Missouri Department of Agriculture" to provide guidance on implementing a federal rule aimed at tracing diseased animals. The article specifically called out Hagler for not communicating with cattle farmers and said that as a result, there was "mass chaos" in the industry.


Deering told the AP that Hagler subsequently confronted him, angrily, in the Missouri Capitol hallway, then called several association leaders making threats against Deering. Other association leaders confirmed the angry phone calls.


Deering said he shared his concerns about Hagler with Zach Pollock, who at the time was the Agriculture Department's legislative liaison and had served in a variety of roles in Nixon's administration.


"I recall the situation, but I'll be honest with you, I'm not going to comment on any of that. ... I'm not involved in that stuff anymore," Pollock told the AP. Online records show Pollock left the department in September and now is a lobbyist for the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives.


Massengill, the cattlemen's president, worked at the Missouri Department of Agriculture for more than 20 years before leaving in 2009 because of what he described as an "intimidating" atmosphere created by Hagler. His account of the workplace environment matches with what Ewers described in her email explaining her resignation.


But Hagler has sought to leave a positive impression about his tenure.


A couple of days after Nixon announced Hagler's replacement, Hagler sent an email to department employees describing them as "the best team in state government" and recounting numerous accomplishments during his nearly five years as director.


"Being the Director of Agriculture is one of the greatest and most important privileges in public service and it is a privilege that I have taken seriously each day," Hagler wrote in the email.



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Brother of Chiefs safety Abdullah blasts NFL about players' safety

The Kansas City Star



The brother of Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah railed against the NFL Thursday, accusing it of failing to protect players from head injuries and displaying an overall callousness about the general well-being of current and former players.




Hamza Abdullah, a former safety who played for three NFL teams from 2005 to 2011, unleashed an expletive-filled rant on Twitter in which he also called the NFL modern-day slavery and criticized the league for creating a system that encourages players to play through their injuries.


“The reason players cover their injuries up, is because the contracts aren’t guaranteed,” Abdullah tweeted.


But that was one of his tamer thoughts. In a series of tweets that began “F--- you NFL” ― which were actually preceded by a similarly angry rant against “fake” Muslims ― Abdullah said the NFL Scouting Combine strips players of their manhood. He also criticized the league for making it difficult for former players to get benefits once they leave the game.


Abdullah, who admitted to having suicidal thoughts recently, also blamed the NFL for the recent suicides of several former players, tweeting “they're pushing us to it” by long ignoring the effects concussions have on the brain.


In the same vein, Abdullah also attempted to demonstrate the league’s callousness by using the concessions his brother Husain, who has suffered multiple concussions during his career, had to make to continue playing.


The Chiefs reportedly signed Husain, 28, to a one-year deal for $715,000 this offseason that contained no guaranteed money and also included an injury waiver.


Husain, who has tallied 13 tackles and an interception, was not available for comment Thursday. A spokesperson for the Chiefs also offered no comment.



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Missouri and Kansas food stamp reductions scheduled for Friday


Roughly 933,000 Missourians will face a cut in their food stamp benefits Friday, Nov. 1.




In Kansas, 317,000 food stamp beneficiaries may have less to spend on food.


The cuts are the result of the expiration of benefits that were increased when the stimulus bill passed in 2009. (Read more here.)


For a family of four receiving food stamps, the maximum monthly benefit will fall $36, from $668 to $632.


About 15 percent of Missourians get food stamps; it’s 11 percent in Kansas. Nationwide, 47.6 million food stamps recipients will see their benefits cut.


“The upcoming cuts to SNAP (food stamp) benefits will be significant and will have far-reaching impacts on low-income individuals and families,” says the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal group.


The average food stamp benefits is about about $5 per day per person.



The Kansas City Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.


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Pamela Anderson Gets the Chop

1030_pam_anderson_splash

Say goodbye to Pamela Anderson's iconic long blonde hair -- the "Baywatch" legend has pulled a full-on Michelle Williams, chopping her beautiful flowing locks in order to more closely resemble a 12-year-old boy.




Pam's new hair


Total Votes: 1,320 *Poll Results


NOTE: Poll results are not scientific and reflect the opinions of only those users who chose to participate. Poll results are not reflected in real time.


Back to Poll Results






46-year-old Anderson debuted the new 'do in L.A. yesterday, wearing sunglasses and a striped skirt. Michelle Williams first experimented with the pixie cut in 2007.

But let's give credit where it's due. Macaulay Culkin has been rocking this noise since the 90s.


1030_michelle_williams_getty_sub








Physicist creates formula for the perfect ratio of rice to sauce when tucking into a curry



  • A University of Warwick physicist said a forkful of curry should conform to the golden ratio for satisfying taste and texture

  • The research found the circle of rice bedded on the plate needs to be 61 per cent wider than the spherical cap of curry sat on top

  • Dr Mark Hadley said recommended portion should include 100g of cooked rice, 200g of curry to balance it visually and 100g of meat or vegetables


By Sarah Griffiths


|


Takeaway curries might be tempting, but they may not contains the perfect ratio of ingredients.


A physicist has revealed a complicated formula for the most satisfying curry by examining the key ingredients in all types of the popular dish.


Dr Mark Hadley said the ideal curry must pass the 'fork test' so that every forkful and mouthful contains all the key ingredients in equal measure.


Curry formula

Dr Hadley said that based on a 27cm plate size, the perfect meal requires a 23cm diameter bed of rice just 5mm thick, which supports a low dome of curry that is 14cm in diameter and is 2.4cm high at the tallest point



Dr Hadley, from the Department of Physics at the University of Warwick said every forkful of curry should include meat or vegetable, sauce and rice in a ratio of 1:1:1.


The golden ratio, which dates back to Ancient Greece, is said to be the most aesthetically pleasing, while satisfying taste and texture when it comes to certain foods.


According to Dr Hadley, for the formula to work, the circle of rice bedded on the plate needs to be 61 per cent wider than the spherical cap of curry sat on top.


That way the formula, which was commissioned by Tilda rice, can be applied to any size meal.


For example, using a 27cm plate size, the perfect meal requires a 23cm diameter bed of rice just 5mm thick.


This supports a low dome of curry which is 14cm in diameter and is 2.4cm high at the tallest point.


perfect curry recipe

Dr Hadley said, with a recommended portion size of 100g of cooked rice per person, the perfect meal requires 200g of curry to balance it visually. The plate should also contain 100g of meat or vegetables




THE UK'S CURRY CONSUMPTION




  • 85 per cent of the UK population eat curry every month

  • Every week the UK consumes 3.5 million curries, 27 tonnes of pickles and chutney and one million poppadoms

  • 25 million portions of chicken tikka masala are eaten each year in the UK



  • Britain's favourite curries are:

  • 34.8% tikka masala

  • 30.4% rogan josh

  • 26.1% bhuna

  • 26.1% korma

  • 17.2% other

  • 13% balti

  • 8.7% jalfrezi


Statistics from Tilda




Dr Hadley, who spent 40 hours devising the formula, said: 'We assume that, with a 27cm standard dinner plate, we want a 2cm clear band of clean plate around the outside of the rice.


'This is for aesthetic purposes and to allow room on the plate for "breakage" of the circle of rice when eating.'


With a recommended portion size of 100g of cooked rice per person, or 60g uncooked, the perfect meal requires 200g of curry to balance it visually. The plate should also contain 100g of meat or vegetables.


'The fluffiness of the rice is key to the formula as, with the separate grains, there is as much air as rice when laid out on the plate,' Dr Hadley said.


'This affects the look of the rice and how it feels in the mouth. This changes the effective density of the rice and results in equal volumes of rice and curry having different weights,' he added.


Curry is one of Britain’s most popular dishes and the nation eats an estimated 3.5 million curries a week, with and one in seven being tikka masalas.


Anna Beheshi, senior brand manager at Tilda rice, said: 'The perfect curry really is about balancing each of the elements to ensure the best culinary experience possible.


'It is also important that the meal is visually appealing too, so the "hill" of curry sits perfectly on the wider base of rice.'