In the News
Betty On the News: Top Stories
Whitney Houston is back in business, the world’s oldest new mom dies, sports star dumps fiancée via e-mail and more
-Kathy Campbell and Carolyn French
1. Whitney Houston has returned to the spotlight after several years spent battling her personal demons. Looking fabulous, and almost erasing the memories of when she appeared to be a drug-addled train wreck, the singer was in Britain this week to promote her new album, I Look To You, her first studio CD in seven years.
A number of tracks have been leaked on the internet and some who have heard them claim the diva’s voice isn’t what it used to be, but music mogul Clive Davis, who discovered Whitney 25 years ago, says don’t believe what you read.
“You won’t forget it after you hear it,” he said. “There is a song on this album which is called ‘I Didn’t Know My Own Strength’ and it really speaks for Whitney. She tumbled but she didn’t crumble.” (Daily Mail)
2. A Spanish woman who was believed to be the world’s oldest new mom when she gave birth at the age of 66 has died, leaving behind three-year-old toddlers.
Maria del Carmen Bousada gave birth in December 2006 as a single mother after getting in vitro fertilization treatment at a clinic in L.A. The births prompted questions about how old is too old for a new mother.
Bousada told an interviewer she lied to the fertility clinic about her age, and maintained that because her mother had lived to be 101, she had a good chance of living long enough to raise a child.
Sadly, she was wrong and now two toddlers are motherless. There was no word on who would raise the children, named Pau and Christian. (Yahoo)
3. A kids TV show on Hamas-run TV has glorified a Gaza mom preparing for a suicide bombing. In the video, which is based on the actions of a real-life mom who killed four Israelis in 2004, an actress is seen preparing explosives for her mission, ignoring her kids’ questions about what she’s doing. “Mummy, what are you holding in your arms,” her daughter asks. “A toy or a present for me?” When her daughter later sees a news report about the suicide bombing, she sings, “Only now I understand what was more important than us.”
It’s chilling and horrific, but a Palestinian psychiatrist says children in the area have been so traumatized by Israeli-Palestinian violence, they have a twisted perception of life and death.
“Three years ago we did a study on children in Gaza between ages of 12 and 14 and we asked them what would you like to be when you are 18,” Dr. Sarraj said. “At that time 36 percent of boys said I would like to be a martyr and 17 percent of the girls said the same.” (CNN)
4. The Pentagon says it won’t ban smoking by troops in war zones, despite a study that recommended the military be tobacco-free.
Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell says troops are already under enough stress and making enough sacrifices in fighting the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Brian Wise, executive director of Military Families United agreed, saying, “With all the issues facing our military today and the risks our troops take to protect our freedom, banning smoking should not even be on the radar screen.”
“Nobody doubts the effects of smoking, but it is not an illegal substance and should not be banned,” he continued. “Our troops make enough sacrifices to serve our nation. They give up many of the freedoms civilians enjoy already without being told they cannot partake in yet another otherwise legal activity. Perhaps more than anything, smoking in the field is more about comfort and coping with an often hostile environment.” (Fox News)
5. A spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Agency has confirmed that his agency is assisting Florida police in the investigation of the shooting deaths of a couple known for adopting special-needs children. The spokesman added that Escambia County officials have also sought help from other federal agencies including the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
An eighth arrest was made yesterday over the deaths of Byrd and Melanie Billings, who were killed in a cold-blooded military-style home invasion. Nine of the couple’s 13 adopted children were home during the break-in during which masked intruders took a safe from the Billings‘ home.
Authorities are seeking at least one more accomplice who they believe failed his assignment to disable the house’s surveillance system, which had been used to monitor the children but captured the invasion on tape. Authorities have said the main motive was robbery, though there may have been others. (Fox News)
6. Ooooh, this is harsh. Onetime Net champion Richard Jefferson confessed yesterday to telling his would-be wife, Kesha Ni’Cole Nichols, that their July 11 wedding was off … via e-mail, and less than a week before they were set to walk down the aisle. Jefferson told the Post that everything began to fall apart while celebrating the 4th of July in Los Angeles. The following day, Nichols hopped on a plane bound for New York, which is when she received the overwhelming news.
So why did Jefferson choose to end things over the ‘net? “Sometimes you might write an e-mail to get your thoughts down right,” was his response to the Post‘s query. After Nichols received the e-mail, the former couple spoke for two hours over the phone, and each told their families a day or two later. They haven’t spoken to each other since that conversation. Rumors concerning Jefferson’s sexuality are currently making the rounds, though he insists that they are completely unfounded. Whether he’s gay or straight, who’s going to want to date a love rat like him? (New York Post)