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Kanye West Apologizes To Taylor Swift, Again

LOS ANGELES, Calif. --
A little over a week ahead of his return to the stage at MTV’s Video Music Awards, Kanye West has issued a new apology to Taylor Swift.
The controversial rapper took to his Twitter account on Saturday morning for an early morning mea culpa of sorts, posting dozens of messages in under one hour – including a new apology for jumping on stage during Taylor’s Best Female Video award acceptance speech, where he stole the mic and suggested Beyonce should have picked up the moonman.
“I’m sorry Taylor,” Kanye Tweeted, following a lengthy Twitter rant about the career misfortune and media scrutiny he claimed to have suffered following the 2009 incident.
After starting out his Saturday Tweets about his upcoming new tunes, Kanye posted a series of messages he referred to as a “stream of consciousness,” where he took up what happened at the VMAs.
“I’ve been straying from this subject on twitter but I have to give it to you guys raw now,” Kanye Tweeted.
The “Heartless” rapper then claimed that he has suffered major repercussions from the incident, both emotionally and financially.
“How deep is the scar… I bled hard.. cancelled tour with the number one pop star in the world [Lady Gaga] … closed the doors of my clothing office,” he wrote. “Had to let employees go… for the first time I felt the impact of my brash actions … I felt the recession from an ownership side.”
The rapper wrote that he felt like a worse version of Will Ferrell’s “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” character, following the fictional newscaster’s fall from grace.
“People booed when I would go to concerts,” he wrote, adding, “Remember in Anchor Man when Ron Burg[u]ndy cursed on air and the entire city turned on him? But this wasn’t a joke. This was & is my real life.”
The tone of Kanye’s rant was mainly apologetic, with a few ego-driven Kanye-isms thrown in. While the star insinuated that he may not have handled the situation tactfully, he suggested some viewers probably agreed with his praise for Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” which lost out to Taylor’s “You Belong with Me.”
“There’s a layer of… hey Kanye said what I was thinking,” he Tweeted.
Kanye went on to Tweet that if he had been at the Grammy Awards when Justin Timberlake was up for a host of nods for his 2006 album, “FutureSex/LoveSounds,” he would have stormed the stage out of principle.
“I watched Justin Timberlake at the Gramm[ys] loose every televised award including album of the year which the Dixie Chicks won,” he wrote. “I would have ran on stage for Justin that night because Sexy Back (in my mind) was that important… that impactful to our culture.
“It’s not about race America. No one in our position ever stands up and says anything anymore,” he added.
As for Taylor, Kanye claimed he penned song for the country cutie, and would like her to perform it.
“I wrote a song for Taylor Swift that’s so beautiful and I want her to have it. If she won’t take it then I’ll perform it for her,” the star wrote.
The rapper finished his rant by Tweeting that he plans to win people back.
“I want to win there [sic] hearts back so I can continue to bring my take on culture to the masses with a clean opinion,” he Tweeted, before finally dropping the apology. “It starts with this…”
“I’m sorry Taylor,” he concluded.
As previously reported on AccessHollywood.com, Kanye West will be performing at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards, which air live from Los Angeles on September 12 at 9 PM.

Kanye West InterruptsTaylor Swift's Speech at 2009 MTV VMAs

CRYING Kanye West Apologizes To Taylor Swift during Interview

Victoria Beckham storms Twitter for fashion - International Business Times

Vitoria Beckham in LG Fashion show
Victoria Beckham's recent venture to Twitter is deemed a success, with more 100, 000 followers within a matter of days.

Beckham received some lift from Hollywood actress Eva Longoria tweeting "Hey everyone, my dear friend Victoria Beckham is finally on twitter! Give her a warm welcome!"
The two were seen out in London for dinner last Saturday with Longoria wearing one of Victoria's designs. Reportedly, Mrs. Beckham is on an all out PR campaign for her designs in preparation for New York Fashion Week.
Longoria and Victoria Beckham are also featured together in a new U.S. ad for LG Electronics-sponsored LG Fashion Touch phones, with Victoria playing a "serious fashionista" with Eva as the model she styles.
Eva Longoria is currently in the United Kingdomto promote her new fragrance. Beckham said in her Twitter account that Longoria looks stunning in a dress from her the fall collection that she is wearing at the launch of fragrance today in London.
victoria's twitter
But Beckham's Twitter presence did not go all smooth. Victoria was criticize for posting a photograph of her pet Coco Beckham wearing red nail polish.
"Introducing Coco Beckham! check out the red nails!" wrote Victoria in her Twitter.
The stunt was not received well with Beckham's new followers with some blasting the former Spice Girl for being "cruel."
But that did not stop "VB" as she signs her tweets, from amassing 103, 304 followers at her Twitter account @vbfashionweek. Victoria even got praises via Twitter from reality star Kim Kardashian who professed that Beckham is one of her favourite fashion icon.
This article is copyrighted by IBTimes.com.au, the business news leader

Justin Bieber "heads" visit Maryland State Fair - baltimoresun.com

"Bieber heads" at Maryland State Fair

( Baltimore Sun photo by Algerina Perna / September 5, 2010 )

Justin "Bieber Heads" Renee Riva, 21,from Boston, and Julie Kirkpatrick, 21, from Pittsburgh, who are both seniors at Loyola college, came dressed to the Maryland State Fair in Bieber heads in the spirit of the Justin Bieber concert this evening. All their friends know they're big Bieber fans, and text and twitter them anytime they hear anything about him. One of the things Kirkpatrick likes best about him is that "he always stays connected with his fans through twitter and we love tweeting to him."

Critic praises Craigslist move to censor ads, calls for more info - CNN.com

(CNN) -- Online classified service Craigslist's decision to censor its adult services section is a "good step but a continuing battle has to be fought," a leader in the fight against prostitution ads said on Sunday."I'm very pleased by this very solid and significant apparent step in the right direction," said Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who spearheaded a recent letter from 17 attorneys general urging Craigslist to discontinue its adult services section."I say apparent because we have received no definite or definitive word from Craigslist that the shutdown is permanent or complete," Blumenthal told CNN's Tom Foreman.

Blumenthal said he wants to broaden his fight against online prostitution ads but that "right now our focus is really on Craigslist."

"We're taking it one step at a time," he said. "We want to verify and confirm that Craigslist is in fact shutting down (its adult services section)."

The embattled website has been under fire for allegations that it promotes prostitution."These prostitution ads enable human trafficking and assaults on women," Blumenthal said Saturday. "They are flagrant and rampant. Craigslist has lacked the wherewithal or will to effectively screen them out."The section that usually reads "adult services" on Craigslist was replaced Saturday by the word "censored."It was not clear whether Craigslist removed the adult services and replaced them with the "censored" section, which had a link that was not active. But for users who accessed the account outside the United States, the adult services link was still active.

Craigslist representatives said on Saturday that they will release a statement at a later time."If it remains shut down it will be a model for other sites, we hope, because Craigslist is by far the biggest," said Blumenthal, who is running for the U.S. Senate in Connecticut as a Democrat.

He said that he would try to change federal laws to make it easier to prosecute sites like Craigslist."Craigslist says it cannot be held legally responsible for anything on its site," he said. "My belief is strongly ... that we need to change that."

In the August 24 letter to Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster and founder Craig Newmark, the attorneys general wrote: "The increasingly sharp public criticism of Craigslist's Adult Services section reflects a growing recognition that ads for prostitution -- including ads trafficking children -- are rampant on it."

Blumenthal said on Sunday that attorneys general from three more states have joined his campaign against Craigslist's adult services ads. Blumenthal didn't say which attorneys general joined the initial list of 17.

A Craigslist spokeswoman said at the time that the site agreed with at least some of the letter.

"We strongly support the attorneys general desire to end trafficking in children and women, through the internet or by any other means," said Susan MacTavish Best, who handles press inquiries for Craigslist.

"We hope to work closely with them, as we are with experts at nonprofits and in law enforcement, to prevent misuse of our site in facilitation of trafficking, and to combat such crimes wherever they appear, online or offline."

In their letter, the attorneys general highlighted an open letter, which appeared as a Washington Post ad, in which two girls said they were sold for sex on Craigslist.

When the ad came out, Buckmaster wrote a blog post in response that said, "Craigslist is anxious to know that the perpetrators in these girls' cases are behind bars."

The letter also highlighted a report in May by CNN's Amber Lyon, who posted a fake ad for a girl's services in the adult section. She received 15 calls soliciting sex in three hours.

Earlier this month, Lyon interviewed a woman named "Jessica" who sells sex on Craigslist. The woman said a Craigslist ad was "the fastest, quickest way you're for sure going to see somebody that day."

In a later blog post, Buckmaster said Craigslist implemented manual screening of adult services ads in May 2009. "Since that time, before being posted each individual ad is reviewed by an attorney," the post said.

He said the attorneys are trained to enforce Craigslist's posting guidelines, "which are stricter than those typically used by yellow pages, newspapers, or any other company that we are aware of."

Attorneys general from Arkansas, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia made the request a week after accused "Craigslist killer" Philip Markoff committed suicide in jail.

Markoff was charged with the April 2009 killing of Julissa Brisman. Boston Police said that Brisman, a model, advertised as a masseuse on Craigslist, and Markoff might have met her through the website.

In 2008, under pressure from state prosecutors, the website raised the fees for posting adult services ads. In 2009, it started donating portions of the money generated by adult ads to charity.

A CNN investigation of Craigslist's adult services section, which replaced "erotic services ads" two years ago, counted more than 7,000 ads in a single day. Many offered thinly veiled "services" for anything from $50 for a half-hour to $400 an hour.

FOREX-Dollar on defensive after solid U.S. payrolls

By Hideyuki Sano
TOKYO, Sept 6 (Reuters) - The dollar was on the defensive onMonday after firm U.S. payrolls data last week eased marketanxiety over chances of a global slowdown and boosted demand forthe euro and growth-leveraged currencies.
The dollar looked vulnerable against the yen after failing tomaintain its gains following Friday's payrolls data, thoughcaution about Japanese intervention deterred further yen buying.
"When risk appetite comes back, both the dollar and the yenare weak. But because the dollar has low interest rates despiteU.S. twin deficits, its weakness tends to stand out even againstthe yen," said Tohru Sasaki, chief FX strategist at J.P. MorganChase Bank.
"This shows the dollar/yen is unlikely to rise whether globalmarkets are leaning towards risk taking or not," he said.
U.S. non-farm payrolls fell 54,000, a much smaller drop thanthe predicted 100,000. Private employment, considered a bettergauge of labour market health, increased 67,000.
In currency markets, rising risk appetite has tended to helpthe euro and higher-yielding currencies in recent months, asinvestors increasingly see the greenback as a fundingcurrencyfor investments on expectations of a prolonged period of nearzero rates in the U.S.
The euro changed hands at $1.2887, having risen to $1.2898after the payrolls data on Friday, its highest in two weeks.
It faces resistance at around $1.2897, a Fibonacciretracement from early July to August. More resistance is seenaround $1.2920-35, which capped the currency in mid-August.
The Australian dollar fetched $0.9150, down about 0.3 percentfrom late U.S. levels last week but still near a four-week higharound $0.9176 hit after the U.S. payrolls figures.
The Aussie needs to tackle resistance around $0.9180, itstrendline from highs in April and August, and the $0.9220-25area, its peak in early August.
Dollar/yen stood at 84.40 yen per dollar, not far from a15-year low of 83.58 marked late last month. It rose briefly to85.23 after the payroll data, but quickly erased the gains.
The yen has been bought in the past few months as investorstend to favour currencies from countries with a current accountsurplus when they want to avoid risky assets.
Japan's positive balance of payments figures mean dollarselling by Japanese exporters constantly outweighs dollar buyingby Japanese importers, capping the greenback versus the yen.
Indeed, many dealers suspect Japanese exporters still havedollars to offload ahead of their half-year finish at the end ofSeptember. Their offers are expected to be lined up above 85.00and onwards.
Dollar/yen has had a very high correlation with U.S. yieldlevels in recent months. The lower U.S. yields are, the cheaperthe dollar is against the yen, as lower yields tend to discourageinvestment in the dollar from Japan.
On Friday, however, the dollar did not make much headwayagainst the yen even as the payrolls data pushed U.S. yieldssharply higher.
Partly offseting the effect of rises in U.S. yields arerecent spikes in Japanese bond yields. The 10-year Japanesegovernment bond yields have risen 25 basis points in less thantwo weeks, which was almost as big as the rise in 10-year U.S.yields during the same period.
Data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commissionshowed on Friday that currency speculators trimmed their longpositions on the yen last week but they still have big yen longpositions.
Their long positions were cut to 49,904 from 51,069 contractsthe week before.
Some analysts say the dollar could eventually gain, however,particularly if Japanese government bond yields stop rising.
"The U.S. dollar appears to be rebounding, which could makefor a rise in dollar/yen to 85-86 yen," said Masafumi Yamamoto,chief FX strategist at Barclays.
The New Zealand dollar erased slim losses earlier to standflat at $0.7210, after a magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck thecountry's second-largest city, Christchurch, causing widespreaddamage to infrastructure. (Additional contribution from Reuters analyst Rick Lloyd inSingapore, Editing by Michael Watson and Joseph Radford)

Pakistan 'suicide bomber' targets police station

A suspected suicide car bombing in north-west Pakistan has killed at least 14 people, police say.
The explosion took place at a police station in the town of Lakki Marwat in the Khyber region south of Peshawar.
There are reports that police officers are among the casualties.
Nearly 100 people were killed in suicide bomb attacks on Shia Muslim processions in the cities of Lahore and Quetta last week. The attacks ended a lull in violence during severe floods.
A police official in Lakki Marwat said a car bomb was driven into the police station.
"A suicide attacker drove his bomb-laden vehicle into the back of the police post," Gul Wali Khan told the AFP news agency.
Rescue workers and police officials are digging through the rubble left by the bombing, another officer told the Associated Press.
Pakistan's security forces have been fighting Taliban and al-Qaeda militants based in the north-west of the country.
Members of the Afghan Taliban are also based in the region.

Labor Day news grim, but gloom may lift soon

It's been more than a century since President Grover Cleveland signed the law that made the first Monday in September a federal holiday for working stiffs, but this Labor Day finds Americans in an economic squeeze that leaves little to celebrate.
About 15 million Americans are out of work. Jobs are so scarce that 42 percent of the unemployed have been jobless for more than six months. Even the fortunate 90 percent of Americans who still head to the office every day are finding the work piled on higher, even as their wages stagnate.
Meanwhile, union membership is in retreat as the fiscal woes of state and local governments undermine the public sector employees who are one of organized labor's last bastions.

A woman waits outside a beauty salon with a "Help Wanted" sign in 
East Los Angeles. A better-than-expected report on employment Friday 
was the latest piece of improving news on the economy. The Labor Department 
said companies added 67,000 jobs in August, more than analysts expected
With so many forces pressing down, it takes an effort of will to see some of the trends pushing the economy back up, especially in the Bay Area, where new and emerging industries like biotechnology, medical devices, green technology and cloud computing are attracting the venture capital and entrepreneurial base for a new prosperity.
But today it's likely that hot dogs will outnumber tri-tips on Bay Area barbecues, as the uncertainty that causes bosses to delay hiring and the fear of a double dip recession also makes consumers save pennies for a rainy day.

Wage slump

Perhaps of greatest interest to the 130 million Americans who are enjoying a day off before they head back to work Tuesday, an analysis by the Economic Policy Institute highlights the wage slump that darkens this Labor Day.
The institute, a liberal think tank in Washington, calculates that the average annual private sector wage rose 3.4 percent from 2006 to 2007, before adjusting for inflation. But last year that wage growth was cut in half to 1.6 percent.
Wage growth stalled even as Americans worked harder. The institute says output per hour rose 0.9 percent in 2006, the year before the recession started. Workers cranked out 3.9 percent more goods and services every 60 minutes last year than they did in 2008.
Productivity rose even though many people confessed to wasting time on the Internet in a random survey of full- and part-time workers conducted by StrategyOne, a research-based consulting group.
About 40 percent of respondents told the New York firm that they spent as much as an hour a day doing things like gawking at online videos or keeping up with friends on social networking sites.
Meanwhile, the 9.6 percent of Americans officially counted as unemployed scramble for work in a job market that is creating few new jobs and mainly lower-wage positions at that, according to the National Employment Law Project, an advocacy group in New York.
By combining two federal reports - one on employment growth and the other on wages by occupation - the project reckons that three-quarters of the new jobs created so far this year had wages between $8.92 and $15 per hour.

Income plummets

The California Budget Project, a liberal study group in Sacramento, brought the income squeeze down to the state level in its Labor Day analysis.
Using state tax data, the project said that the average adjusted gross income of all California taxpayers - whether filing individually or jointly - fell from $82,268 in 2000 to $68,434 in 2008, after adjusting for inflation.
Even if workers feel the pressure, where can they turn? Long-suffering organized labor saw its membership slip three-tenths of a percent to 12.1 percent of the workforce as of June compared with last year, according to the UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment.
UCLA researchers said that in California, which is more heavily unionized than the nation, membership decreased even more sharply, from 18.3 percent last June to 17.6 percent this year.
The UCLA figures show the divide between public and private sector unionization.
In California, just 9.7 percent of private workers carry union cards (7 percent for the United States) while 56.1 percent of civil servants are represented (36.5 percent nationwide).
Scandals over excessive public employee pensions don't help labor's reputation in the government realm, and undercuts the diminishing moral clout of the smaller private sector union movement.
One local example of organized labor's weakness is the 6-month-old lockout of 61 food service and janitorial workers by the Castlewood Country Club near Pleasanton in a dispute over health benefits.
The club's union workers fumed when Republican challenger David Harmer, who hopes to unseat Democrat Jerry McNerney in California's 11th Congressional District, crossed their picket line to attend an Aug. 5 fundraiser at the club. A Harmer spokesman said the candidate was unaware of the lockout and was not taking sides.

Cause for optimism

Amid a plethora of discouraging news, it's tough to find cause for optimism. But a recent economic summit in San Francisco highlighted the city's strengths, from the growing biotech cluster around UCSF's Mission Bay campus to the phenomenal growth of Web-based software companies such as Salesforce.com, Zynga and Twitter.
Though job gains from these growth sectors have not yet lifted San Francisco's entire workforce, city leaders see the foundations for a stronger economy as the recovery continues.
And while many in the Bay Area continue to experience joblessness and wage stagnation, the region remains better off than most in the state.
That sentiment was reflected in a telephone survey conducted recently by Everest College, a for-profit institution in Los Angeles.
The survey found that more Southern Californians than Northern Californians felt they were working harder (63 versus 43 percent) and were also more fearful of losing some or all benefits (43 versus 29 percent).
National outplacement specialist John Challenger urged job-holders, and especially job-seekers, to remember that it's always darkest just before the dawn.
"Consumers, business owners, hiring managers and even politicians tend to be ... overly pessimistic at the beginning of a recovery," he wrote in his holiday forecast, urging job-seekers to view this Labor Day "as a chance to regroup and renew their resolve."

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/09/05/BUQ31F8GEL.DTL&tsp=1#ixzz1X96tc48B

Heavy rains, landslides kill at least 37 in Guatemala - CNN.com

Guatemala City, Guatemala (CNN) -- Torrential rains and landslides in Guatemala have killed at least 37 people, and could claim as many as 100 lives, the country's emergency services agency said Sunday.
In addition, it reported 30 people were injured and 23 were missing after heavy weekend rains caused hillsides to collapse.
President Alvaro Colom declared a national emergency Saturday.
He told reporters that authorities closed parts of the Inter-American Highway after rains washed out entire sections of the road and caused at least two accidents over the weekend.
The first, near kilometer marker 82, claimed 12 lives when a bus was buried, according to Colom's office.Landslides also fell at kilometer marker 171, knocking a number of vehicles and a bus off the road. When nearby residents rushed to the scene to help, a second mudslide crashed down on the exact same spot, said the emergency agency.

Throughout the country, authorities have recovered 37 bodies but more are expected, officials have said.
Thousands of homes, in addition to infrastructure and fields of crops, also were damaged by the heavy rains.
Nearly 42,000 people have been affected and more than 10,000 have been evacuated from the area, said emergency spokesman David De Leon Villeda. Nearly 7,000 people are housed in shelters.
The torrential downpours come several months after more than 150 people died when Tropical Storm Agatha hit Guatemala in May.
Destruction from that storm was widespread throughout the nation, with mudslides destroying homes and buildings and burying some victims. At least nine rivers had dramatically higher levels and 13 bridges collapsed, Guatemala's emergency services agency said.
The May downpours created a sinkhole the size of a street intersection in northern Guatemala City. Residents told CNN that a three-story building and a house fell into the hole.