Overnight Briefing & General Reality Check
March 1, 2011
Happy birthday to the Department of Homeland Security, founded on this date in 2002.
--1872: Yellowstone National Park was established. Back then, they called the park's top feature "Middle Aged Faithful."
Top talkables of the day:
Today is National Pancake Day and IHOP is marking the event by offering a free "short stack" of buttermilk pancakes to everybody from 7 am to 10 pm in return for a donation to support the hospitals in the Children's Miracle Network.
Men in Uniform:
Facebook sure has a way of bringing out the worst in people.
Military officials say con artists set up online profiles pretending to be members of the armed forces. The fraudsters post borrowed pictures and then strike up virtual romances with strangers. If things develop as planned, the women are asked to wire money to the scammers.
The scammers typically send their victims fake documents that say they need to register in order to speak to soldiers on the telephone (for $350, say) or ask for cash so they can go home on leave.
The scheme has hit hundreds of people. An army spokesman says one victim is out $25 grand,
It's not the first time Facebook has been used to pull a con. A story two years ago told of how crooks used Facebook profiles to call senior citizens while posing as their grandkids with a story about needing money because they're returning home from duty and want to surprise their parents.
Perps like this are hard to trace as they tend to operate from abroad. Even if they were caught, the only state where online impersonation has been made a crime is California.
Editor's note: How dumb do you have to be to pony up $25 grand? By the way, my uncle in Nigeria is being held by a warlord and... (Maiman)
One of the hottest bachelors on the soccer field may be settling down. The British tabloid the London Sun reports CRISTIANO RONALDO is planning a summer wedding to Victoria's Secret stunner IRINA SHAYK. Rumors are swirling they're not just engaged, but expecting what could be the world's most beautiful baby, too. (Lee)
In case you've been locked in a closet for the last 24 hours, the next season's cast for "Dancing With the Stars" is out. On the list,
--former "Cheers" co-star KIRSTIE ALLEY,
--former "Karate Kid" star RALPH MACCHIO,
--former boxer SUGAR RAY LEONARD,
--professional wrassler CHRIS JERICHO,
--Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver HINES WARD,
--reality star and former Playboy hutchmate KENDRA WILKENSON,
--talk show host WENDY WILLIAMS,
--swimsuit model PETRA NEMCOVA,
--ROMEO (formerly 'LIL ROMEO), who's the son of rapper and former "DWTS" contestant MASTER P,
--Disney star CHELSEA KANE, and
--“Psycho” MIKE CATHERWOOD from the "Loveline" radio show,
The show debuts with a two-hour premiere on Mon, Mar 21 on ABC.
NBC is trying to put together a competitor for "American Idol." Called "The Voice," it'll debut Apr 26 on Tuesday nights, and feature singer CEE LO GREEN (of "Forget You" fame) and MAROON 5 frontman ADAM LEVINE as judge, with a third yet to be announced. CARSON DALY will be hosting.
Annnnnd... JUSTIN BIEBER turns 17 today. He Tweeted yesterday that it would be great if all of his fans help him celebrate by making a donation to an organization called Charity: Water. They help people all over the world who do not have access to clean water. Justin's goal is to raise 17,000-dollars and he wants you to donate at least 17-dollars to the site...since he's now 17 years old. He's so clever...Click on over to mycharitywater.org. (Marino)
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