Overnight Briefing & General Reality Check - Mar 31, 2014
March 31, 2014
What's the Buzz:
POPE FRANCIS continued his rock star turn over the weekend by breaking with tradition and confessing his sins in public while leading a penitential liturgy in St. Peter's Basilica. There's even video of the moment.
Just last week, Pope Francis promised 10-year-old girl JERSEY VARGAS that he would mention immigration reform in his meeting with PRESIDENT OBAMA. Specifically, Vargas was appealing to Francis on behalf of her father, MARIO VARGAS, who is in the process of being deported.
The plea, at least in the short-term, worked. Around the same time that the Pope was confessing his sins, Vargas walked free and will reunite with his family for the first time in two years while they await the ruling of an immigration judge in the outcome of his deportation case. (Maiman)
Going Geek-dot-com /Caught in the Web:
Use of Instagram jumped 35 percent in the U.S. last year to nearly 35 million people on a monthly basis, according to new data from eMarketer. By the end of this year, the research firm projects that figure will grow another 25 percent to 40 million.
That would bring Instagram close to where U.S. Twitter users were at the end of last year, at just over 43 million. While the two services have clear differences, they share similar demographics and user counts. The micro-blogging service Twitter represented almost 18 percent of the total Internet user population compared to 16 percent for the photo- and video-sharing service Instagram. (Kaye)
Sucking the life out of the wire services:
Former "Partridge Family" star SHIRLEY JONES is turning 80 today and says she's going skydiving to celebrate the occasion. "That's something I wanted to do all my life," she said, claiming she got the idea from former President GEORGE H.W. BUSH, who did it on his 85th birthday back in 2009. "When I saw him do it I thought, 'Wow, if he can do this, I can,'" she said.
In case you're interested in the details, it'll be a tandem jump with an instructor, which is just fine with her husband, MARTY INGELS, although when she told her son, SHAUN CASSIDY, he reportedly asked, "Mom, what's the matter with you?"
DUCHESS KATE MIDDLETON isn't getting along so well with her sister PIPPA. Star magazine reports that the wife of PRINCE WILLIAM has been bonding with brother in law PRINCE HARRY's girlfriend CRESSIDA BONAS and not doing much of anything with her sister. (Myers)
The Reel Deal:
Following this weekend's take, Disney's "Frozen" is now the top-grossing animated film of all time, passing "Toy Story 3."
The film also moved into the top-10 spot of all-time best-selling movies worldwide, pulling in 1.07 billion-with-a-b dollars as of this past weekend.
As you probably remember, the film also won the Oscar for Best Animated Film this year at the Academy Awards.
Look what I found:
Real-life hoarder: A 67-year-old Dallas man is dead after being buried under a mountain of trash that had been piling up in his home for years.
It took police two weeks of digging to find the man. There was so much trash --what neighbors described as a 10-foot wall of trash-- police couldn't enter through the front door. Instead they had to cut their way in through the ceiling. Even after they made it into the house, the search took days because dogs couldn't smell the man through the scent of dead animals. Police found a dead raccoon and two dead dogs before they eventually uncovered the homeowner.
Hazard crews have been working at the property, pulling out junk along with --as one neighbor described it-- "jugs and jugs" of human waste. Neighbors have been advised to prepare for an infestation of rats once the house is demolished.
Miraculously, the man's beloved Chihuahua was found alive inside the house. He's been cleaned up and adopted by a friend. (Maiman)
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