Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ sweeps MTV Movie Awards

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“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” was voted ‘movie of the year’ and scooped top acting honors at the MTV Movie Awards on Sunday, reflecting the irreverent ceremony’s appeal to young fans.

The second installment of the hugely popular “Hunger Games” books beat out this year’s Oscar best picture winner “12 Years a Slave” in online voting that continued through much of the show.

Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson won best female and male performances for their roles as Katniss and Peeta, the two youths fighting to give hope to an oppressed society.

At the unbuttoned awards ceremony in downtown Los Angeles hosted by comedian Conan O’Brien, awards also went to the best shirtless performance for Zac Efron and best kiss, a three-way smooch between Will Poulter, Jennifer Aniston and Emma Roberts in the comedy “We’re the Millers”.

But there were also serious moments in the show. Hutcherson remembered his “Hunger Games” cast mate Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died of a drug overdose earlier this year.

“I know that if Philip were here, he would think this is really cool,” said Hutcherson.

“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” has earned more than $850 million at the worldwide box office and two more films, Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2, will complete the franchise from Lionsgate.

In one of the night’s upsets, Tris, played by Shailene Woodley in “Divergent, won favorite character of the year, coming from behind in last-minute voting to surpass Lawrence’s Katniss. They each received more than 9 million votes.

O’Brien, 50 years old and noticeably older than most award winners and audience members, kicked off the show by trying to break the record for the most celebrity cameos in his intro, notching up 50. Among them were Taylor Swift, who gave him a manicure, and Internet sensation Grumpy Cat, who slept in the front row of the audience.

BEST SHIRTLESS ACCEPTANCE

Among the most buzz-worthy moments of the night were Efron’s shirtless acceptance of his award, thanks to help from singer Rita Ora, and actor Seth Rogen giving his mother a prolonged kiss on stage.

The night’s musical performances included a duet by Rihanna and Eminem singing “The Monster” before they head out on tour together this summer. There was also a tribute to Paul Walker, a fixture in the street car racing franchise “Fast and Furious,” who died in a car crash last year.

The awards are an opportunity for film fans to pick their favorites, in contrast to most of the film industry awards, like the Oscars, which are voted by elite industry groups.

“The Wolf of Wall Street” and “American Hustle” got a chance to redeem themselves after walking away empty-handed from the Oscars on March 2. They each landed eight nods for the MTV awards, but also won little on Sunday.

Jonah Hill won best comedic performance for his role as the drug-addled swindling stockbroker in director Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street,” a role for which he was nominated for the Oscar for best supporting actor.

And Jared Leto, who won the best supporting actor Oscar for his role as a transgender woman in “Dallas Buyers Club,” earned the MTV award for best on-screen transformation

The MTV Trailblazer Award went to actor Channing Tatum for his versatility in playing everything from a dancer from the wrong side of the tracks to a hero trying to save the world from danger.

Mark Wahlberg, who most recently starred in the Afghanistan war drama “Lone Survivor, received this year’s MTV Generation Award, an honor given to those who engage with the MTV audience throughout their careers.

Wahlberg, 42, joked with the much younger audience that the award probably signaled that his career was over.

“This is ‘You’re (expletive) done’,” said Wahlberg. “But you know what? It was a great run.”

Utah woman arrested after 7 dead babies found

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A Utah woman accused of killing several babies she gave birth to over 10 years was arrested Sunday after police discovered seven tiny bodies stuffed in separate cardboard boxes in the garage of her former home.

Megan Huntsman, 39, who lived in the Pleasant Grove home until three years ago, had the infants between 1996 and 2006, investigators said.

Neighbors in the middle-class neighborhood of mostly older homes 35 miles south of Salt Lake City say they were shocked by the accusations and perplexed that the woman’s older children still living in the home didn’t know their mother was pregnant or notice anything suspicious.

Officers responded to a call Saturday from Huntsman’s estranged husband about a dead infant at the home, police Capt. Michael Roberts said. Officers then discovered the six other bodies.

Roberts declined to comment on a motive and what Huntsman said during an interview with investigators. He said it wasn’t clear if she has an attorney. Huntsman was booked Sunday into the Utah County Jail on six counts of murder. It wasn’t immediately clear why there were six counts and not seven.

Family and neighbors identified the estranged husband as Darren West, who has been in prison on drug-related charges.

The spokesman said police believe West and Huntsman were together when the babies were born, but West isn’t a person of interest at this time.

“We don’t believe he had any knowledge of the situation,” Roberts told The Associated Press.

Asked how the husband could not have known, Roberts replied, “That’s the million-dollar question. Amazing.”

The babies’ bodies were sent to the Utah medical examiner’s office for tests, including one to determine the cause of death. DNA samples taken from the suspect and her husband will determine definitively whether the two are the parents, as investigators believe.

Police say West was cleaning out the garage when he made the grisly discovery at the house owned by his parents in a city of about 35,000 people at the foot of snow-capped mountains. It’s a nondescript, newer home with a brick facade and a star ornament hanging by the door. Several police cars blocked the entrance to the house Sunday evening as officers milled about with the belongings from the garage strewn across the front lawn.

Late Sunday, West’s family issued a statement saying they were in a “state of shock and confusion.”

“We are mourning this tragic loss of life and we are trying to stay strong and help each other through this awful event,” the statement said before asking for privacy.

West pleaded guilty in federal court in 2005 to two counts of possessing chemicals intended to be used in manufacturing methamphetamine, court records show. In August 2006, he was sentenced to nine years in prison, but appealed the term three times. He maintained his innocence and said he never had any intention to manufacture meth. It’s unclear when he was released.

Neighbors told the AP they were shocked and horrified by the accusations of what went on inside the home. None of them even knew Huntsman was pregnant in recent years.

The family members seemed like nice people and good neighbors, said Aaron and Kathie Hawker, who live next door.

Huntsman moved out several years ago, leaving her three daughters, one teenager and two young adults, to live alone, the Hawkers said. They weren’t sure where Huntsman has since been living.

Years ago, Huntsman baby-sat the Hawker grandchildren and they were friendly with each other.

“It makes us so sad, we want to cry,” Kathie Hawker said. “We enjoyed having them as a neighbor. This has just blown us away.”

Aaron Hawker said he talked with West on Saturday morning. He told Hawker he was cleaning out the mess in the garage.

“Two hours later, suddenly we had all these policemen here,” Aaron Hawker said.

Fred Newman, a neighbor whose cousin is the husband’s mother, said he’s perplexed how the three oldest daughters living there didn’t know about what police say was going on. He said the girls didn’t always park their cars in the garage, but did sometimes in the cold winter months.

“What’s shocking is the three older ones living there and not noticing that their mother was pregnant,” Newman said.

He said he has used his snow-blower to clean off the driveway of the home and the young women would thank him.

The girls were normal youngsters, coming and going often, neighbor Vickie Nelson said.

“It’s shocking and kind of morbid and strange,” Nelson said as he looked across the street at the garage from her from lawn.

Roberts said the case has been “emotionally draining” and upsetting to investigators. He was at the home when the bodies were discovered.

“My personal reaction? Just shocked. Couldn’t believe it. The other officers felt the same,” the 19-year police veteran said.

“They got more and more shocked each box they opened,” Roberts said.

Black Bear Mauls Florida Woman, Drags Her Out of Garage

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The hunt is on today for a black bear who mauled a woman at her home in an upscale central Florida neighborhood, leaving her with injuries to her face, legs and torso and requiring her to get 40 stitches to the head.
Terri Frana of Lake Mary, Fla., went to her garage Saturday evening to grab bicycles for her children to ride down to their neighbor’s house when the attack happened, according to her husband, Frank Frana.
As soon as the children left, Frana, 45, saw two bears in the driveway. She walked to the patio area where there were five bears eating trash that they had pulled out of the garage, her husband said.
“The bear got up on [its] hind legs and started to maul her, opened its jaws and put her head in the mouth and dragged her towards the woods,” Frank Frana said. “Somehow she was able to pull herself out.”
“The bears were various sizes so we think it’s probably cubs of different maturity and perhaps a mama bear,” the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office told ABC News.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said there was at least one bear involved in the attack but couldn’t corroborate the report that there had been five bears.
Frana managed to get inside the house, said her husband. Her son found her collapsed in the living room and called 911. She was then taken to a local hospital where she was treated for at least three bear bites and several cuts all over her body.
Frana was released from the hospital Sunday morning and is recovering at home, her husband said.
Wildlife officials are concentrating on finding the bears, and put out traps and searched for them throughout the night.
The attack happened in an area 10 miles from where another woman, 54-year-old Susan Chalfant, was mauled by a black bear while walking her dogs last December.
Although there has been an increase in bear sightings in the area, in general, black bear attacks on humans are highly unusual and occur mainly when a bear feels her cubs are threatened, according to the Department of Natural Resources.
People who are attacked by black bears are encouraged to stand their ground and not back away or play dead.

kim and Kanye at it again

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Kimye strikes again, folks. Just when you thought their wedding couldn’t be more elaborate – or more expensive – the Vogue cover stars have even more tricks up their sleeves.

Reportedly, the high-profile couple will spend approximately $125,000 on each of their 200 guests according to a source that told Grazia UK reports StyleCaster. In case you didn’t want to do the math yourself, that comes out to a total of 25 million (yeah, we gasped, too) on the guests alone. Nevermind the lavish, hand-delivered wedding invitations, which reportedly cost $1,000. “Kim and Kanye wanted the invites to be as lavish as possible, and commissioned a couture designer to create gold silk boxes containing a photo album of their fairytale romance and a silk invite etched in real gold leaf with a clasp of natural pearls,” the source says.

As for the 125K goodies? This is what it will reportedly get guests: $500 bottles of Bollinger champagne, $200 Creme de la Mer products, handmade souvenir trinkets with Kim and Kanye’s initials etched in Swarovski crystals, bottles of scents from local perfumeries, and $250 vouchers for treatments at the hotel’s spa. Talk about a wedding favor!

This only adds to the list of crazy Kimye rumors that have surfaced lately. Here are a few of our other favorites:

There will be a ton of no shows: Star magazine reports that celebs such as Robin Thicke, Jared Leto, Jonah Hill, Anna Wintour, Oprah Winfrey, Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, Prince, Karl Lagerfeld, Barack and Michelle Obama, and Beyoncé and Jay Z have declined the couple’s invitation to their Parisian nuptials. Ouch.

Kris Jenner is being too much of a mom-ager: While there’s no surprise here, sources close to the couple tell Us Weekly that Kim and Kris had a mother-daughter standoff recently. “Kim doesn’t want Kris making all the decisions for the wedding,” says an insider close to Kimmie. “Kim put her foot down, and things got heated.” It was apparently so bad that the two didn’t speak for a few days!

Guests will “have it [their] way” when it comes to the food: The most absurd of all absurd Kimye rumors, according to British tabloid Daily Star, West bought Kim 10 Burger King locations so that she can expand her business portfolio. In return the fast food chain offered to cater the wedding. Whoppers for everyone!

We can’t wait to see what turns out to be true once the pair says “I do” at their Parisian nuptials in May.

Gerard scores twice from the spot to send Liverpool top.

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Steven Gerrard twice held his nerve from the penalty spot to keep Liverpool’s title bid on course with a battling 2-1 win at West Ham.

Referee Anthony Taylor found himself at the centre of the action at Upton Park from the moment he penalised James Tomkins for handball late in the first half, allowing Gerrard to notch his first goal two minutes before the break.

But West Ham went in level through Guy Demel’s first goal for the club, which came after Simon Mignolet had dropped a corner under pressure of highly questionable legality from ex-Liverpool striker Andy Carroll.

Carroll headed against the crossbar after the hour before West Ham’s Adrian became the second goalkeeper to fall foul of Taylor, who adjudged him to have impeded Jon Flanagan for Gerrard’s second penalty in the 71st minute.

Luis Suarez curled a first-time effort against the frame of the goal late on, but Liverpool had already done enough to maintain their quest for the Premier League crown.

Brendan Rodgers’ side return to the top of the table, two points above Chelsea and four ahead of Manchester City – who have played two games less and head to Anfield for what looks set to be a season-defining encounter in seven days’ time.

Napoli loanee Pablo Armero made his full debut for West Ham after left-back George McCartney suffered a hamstring strain in Monday’s 2-1 win at Sunderland.
 
A knee injury suffered in training by Daniel Agger meant a change for Liverpool at centre-back – Mamadou Sakho starting for the first time since they last lost in the league, at Chelsea on December 29.
 
Suarez had been the central figure in the subsequent 11 wins and two league draws, and the forward glanced the top of the netting with an early free kick.
 
Largely well shackled by Tomkins during the opening stages, Suarez engineered room to arch a delicate 20th-minute attempt against the far post.
 
Daniel Sturridge then twice blasted over but the contest remained disjointed until an explosive end to the half
 
In the 43rd minute, Gerrard, whose raking ball was collected by Suarez to draw a handball from Tomkins, coolly converted from the spot.
 
But West Ham found an instant response in controversial circumstances as Liverpool goalkeeper Mignolet – struck by a flailing arm under pressure from Carroll – dropped Mark Noble’s corner for Demel to prod home.

Amid understandable protests from the visitors, referee Taylor signalled for the goal, and he did so again following lengthy consultation with his assistant.

Carroll again made a nuisance of himself on set-pieces early in the second period as Liverpool, who began the half with Lucas Leiva on in place of playmaker Philippe Coutinho, found clear chances at a premium.

There were no question marks when Carroll got the better of Mignolet in the 62nd minute, only to see his powerful header from Mohamed Diame’s cross cannon back of the crossbar.

But Taylor once again placed himself at the centre of the action soon afterwards, awarding Liverpool a second penalty despite Adrian appearing to get a touch on the ball before bringing down rampaging full-back Flanagan.

Gerrard made no mistake from the spot again before Suarez was denied by both the crossbar and Adrian, as Liverpool closed out the kind of gritty win upon which title triumphs are often built.

Tinubu donates 20,000 US dollars to Nigerian students in UK

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Sen. Remi Tinubu has donated 20,000 US dollars (N3.2 million) as take-off fund to assist Nigerian students studying in various universities in the United Kingdom.
Tinubu made the donation on Saturday in London at an award ceremony by the Association of Nigerian Academics UK (ANAUK).
The lawmaker, who was recognised for her “Outstanding Contribution to Education in Nigeria,” stressed the need for the association to set up a fund to assist students with tuition and other challenges.
She said her donation was a take-off fund, and appealed for more support for the association and other bodies.
“This award being bestowed on me today will help renew my commitment in youth empowerment, and will inspire others to do more for the improvement of the society.
“I have no doubt that members of ANAUK, and other Nigerians in Diaspora, are in a vantage position to realise the nature of challenges that we need to surmount in order to catch up with the best global practice of development,” Tinubu said.
Mr Adedamola Aminu, President ANAUK said that Tinubu, who was a former first lady of Lagos state, embarked on various youth development programmes which had impacted on the lives of many.
Aminu listed the girl-child education project, scholarship scheme and the “One Day a Governor” programme, among her legacies.
He also noted her various interventions through the Senate Committee on Education.
Aminu called on the Federal Government to engage Nigerian experts abroad in the education sector.
“A lot of us benefited from home and we are committed to give back to the society”.
According to him, such engagement will further strengthen the country’s education system.
The event was attended by members of the Central Association of Nigerians in the UK and associates of the awardee. (NAN)
 

Eggs Glut: Plateau poultry farmers appeal for govt intervention

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The Poultry Association of Nigeria, Plateau chapter, on Sunday, appealed to the Plateau State Government and other stakeholders to help to mop up excess eggs caused by an egg glut in the state.

The Vice Chairman of association, Mr Hyacienth Na’anmiap, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Jos.

Na’anmiap said the glut was affecting their business in the state.

NAN recalls that there was serious glut in 2012, which led the state government to intervene by releasing N30m for a mop up.

NAN also recalls that the eggs, which the Plateau government bought through its ministries of agriculture, women affairs and education, were distributed to primary school pupils and pregnant women.

Na’anmiap noted that the glut was almost becoming a yearly occurrence in the state because of the weather condition which made the birds to thrive and produce more eggs.

“As a result, there are so many large and small scale poultry farms all over the state.

“In every 10 houses in Jos for instance, seven of the houses have poultry farms.”

The vice chairman added that a crate of eggs, which was being sold for between N680 and N700 in February this year, crashed to about N400 because of excess production.

He lamented that in spite of the radical drop in the price, there were still no buyers and being perishable, most eggs do go bad before they were bought.

“In spite of the drop in price, the cost of feeding the birds is still very high because a bag of poultry feed, depending on the brand, still goes for between N1,950 to N2,250.

“The situation is making some farmers to sell off the birds to ease the challenge of feeding them at no particular gain.

“We are calling on the state government to step in as it did in 2012 to save the industry, which is a mainstay of the Plateau economy, from collapse.

“We are also calling on other stakeholders; feed millers, hatcheries, NGOs and other organisations to also come in and assist in salvaging the situation,” he appealed.

While commending government for previous interventions, the vice chairman, however, suggested the introduction of a revolving fund through the Poultry Cooperative Society to address the situation.

He said “we were happy that the state government released N30 million to save the situation in 2012, but if it was made a revolving fund, it would have taken care of this year’s glut.”

He added that trustees for the fund could be selected by government in collaboration with the association from experienced and responsible persons in the industry as public servants or private individuals.