Overnight Briefing & General Reality Check - May 19, 2014
May 19, 2014
A Utah lawmaker is trying to bring back firing squads.
Representative PAUL RAY is a Republican in Clearfield, Utah. He says old fashioned firing squads are more humane than current execution techniques, like lethal injection. Ray plans to introduce his firing squad proposal during his state's next legislative session.
Experts say Ray might get his wish since Utah already has a long tradition of executions by firing squad. The last execution-by-rifle took place in 2010 when police officers used Winchester rifles to end the life of convicted murderer RONNIE LEE GARDNER. (Still)
Sucking the life out of the wire services:
Congratulations to KENNEDY SUMMERS, who nabbed the title of Playboy magazine's 2014 Playmate of the Year. Us Weekly reports the honey blonde beauty is much more than another pretty face --she's got a degree in anthropology, master's in health administration, plans to become a plastic surgeon and speaks three languages! The 24-year-old says she "couldn't be more excited" about the honor and hopes to help the magazine thrive, "break boundaries and to carry us into the future." (Lee)
Broadcast, cable and video news:
Former "Saturday Night Live" star MAYA RUDOLPH is hosting a variety show on NBC tonight... with the bigwigs at the network using it to test out Maya as the host of an hour-long, weekly show.
On tonight's show, look for ANDY SAMBERG, KRISTEN BELL and FRED ARMISEN to put in guest appearances; JANELLE MONAE will be doing a song as well. And Variety reports there's even a bandleader --retro-soul artist RAPHAEL SAADIQ.
Billboard Music Awards:
JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE was the big winner last night at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards. He was on tour in Russia, but still took home 7 awards, including Top Artist. In his acceptance speech for the top honor, Justin said he wanted to thank everyone on Earth, except DONALD STIRLING. IMAGINE DRAGONS had five wins while Pharrell, Robin Thicke and T.I. each had four.
The winners are based on sales, airplay, streams, video plays and other real life factors, as opposed to the Grammys which are chosen by music industry types. That's how the winners who weren't actually at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas knew that they won and had time to record video acceptance speeches.
California Chrome might abandon his Triple Crown bid if New York officials do not allow the colt to wear a nasal strip in the Belmont Stakes.
The colt has worn a nasal strip, which is meant to assist breathing, during his current six-race winning streak. No formal request has been made for the Belmont, which cranks up on Jun 07, but a New York State Gaming Commission spokesman said "the decision on whether to permit them or not will be fully evaluated."
At one and a half miles, the Belmont is the longest and most grueling leg of the Triple Crown's three races. Trainers believe the strip opens up the thoroughbred's air passage and provides a little extra oomph, something that might come in particularly handy for the Belmont's mile-and-a-half track. (Maiman)
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