|MLB TAKES CONTROL OF DODGERS|
Boston real estate developer Frank McCourt once tried to buy his hometown Red Sox, and Boston fans should rejoice today that the deal fell through. McCourt instead bought the Los Angeles Dodgers, and he's made such a mess of things that Major League Baseball today took over the finances of the reeling club, reports the Los Angeles Times. What's more, MLB chief Bud Selig may force the sale of the team by using the "best interests of baseball" clause, adds the New York Times. How bad is it? The club is more than $400 million in debt, and season tickets have fallen from 27,000 in 2007 to about 17,000 this year, says the LAT. McCourt needed a $30 million personal loan from the club's previous owner, Fox Entertainment, to make the first payroll of the seaon this year. And his ultra-nasty public divorce (still unresolved) hasn't helped things. "This has been like watching a soap opera unfold," says the president of LA's chamber of commerce.
|OSCAR-NOMINATED DIRECTOR KILLED IN LIBYA|
Acclaimed war photographer and Oscar-nominated director Tim Hetherington was killed today during shelling in Misrata, reports the New York Times. Hetherington is probably best known as co-director of the Aghan war documentary Restrepo. Two other photojournalists were seriously wounded: Getty's Chris Hondros and British citizen Guy Martin. Hetherington also produced pieces for ABC's Nightline about his Restrepo subject, the Korengal Valley. An executive producer for the show recounts a story: "During shooting for the Nightline specials, he very seriously broke his leg on a night march out of a very isolated forward operating base that was under attack. He had the strength and character to walk for four hours through the night on his shattered ankle without complaint and under fire, enabling that whole team to reach safety."
|IPHONE 5 COMING IN SEPTEMBER|
The next generation of the iPhone is coming, but not until September, sources tell Reuters. News recently surfaced that Apple probably won't announce its newest phone in June as it normally does; now it looks like production of the new iPhone will begin in July or August and the device will start shipping in September. It is expected to look similar to the iPhone 4, but include a faster processor. Mashable notes that other rumored upgrades to the iPhone 5—if in fact that's what Apple is calling it—include a better camera and bigger screen. Now that Verizon is selling the iPhone, AT&T's new contract-based subscribers have dropped off dramatically. New subscribers on contract-based plans bring in the most revenue each month, and there were only 62,000 in the first quarter—a record low, the AP notes. One year prior, the same period saw 512,000 new subscribers; several previous quarters saw more than a million. However, AT&T says the percentage of iPhone subscribers who canceled service was the same as last year, so Verizon hasn't been siphoning off current AT&T customers. And current customers are still buying iPhones: AT&T activated 3.6 million iPhones in that quarter, an increase from last year's figure of 2.7 million. The carrier also activated 322,000 tablet subscriptions, making the iPad a possible siphon.
|TYLER PERRY TO SPIKE LEE: 'GO TO HELL!'|
The long feud between directors Tyler Perry and Spike Lee is still raging. Perry recently fired back at Lee telling him to “go to hell” after Lee said Perry’s movies “harken to the Amos 'n Andy” days. While Perry’s website message was vague and resilient, defending his work as both spiritually uplifting and fun, his words for Lee were blunt and harsh in the press conference. “I’m so sick of hearing about damn Spike Lee,” Perry said during the press conference (via Box Office Magazine). “Spike can go straight to hell! You can print that. I am sick of him talking about me, I am sick of him saying, ‘this is a coon, this is a buffoon.’ I am sick of him talking about black people going to see movies. This is what he said: ‘you vote by what you see,’ as if black people don’t know what they want to see.”
|LADY GAGA AND WEIRD AL HAVE A WILD DAY|
Everywhere from The New York Times to TMZ, reports have surfaced that Lady Gaga had refused permission for "Weird Al" Yankovic to release a parody of "Born This Way" called "Perform This Way." Yankovic himself blogged about the apparent rejection — and posted the offending song on his YouTube account — writing that Gaga's people had given him the runaround, asking for the lyrics, then asking for the finished song, then flatly rejecting the final product after he'd gone to the expense of canceling a vacation, booking a studio, paying musicians and recording it. Thankfully for all involved it turns out that Gaga's people have reversed course and approved the parody after all. Her manager said: "Gaga didn't refuse permission of the record. In fact, she's never heard it and is a big Weird Al fan." Gaga has now heard the song and approved of its release. And, as Yankovic was promising all along, all proceeds from the song and its video will be donated to the Human Rights Campaign. As Yankovic himself writes, "I'm thrilled on many levels to hear this, because 1) I truly respect and admire Gaga as an artist and it pained me to think of her as having less than a great sense of humor, and 2) it means I GET TO PUT OUT MY ALBUM!"
|16 & PREGNANT STAR PUNCHES BABY-DADDY|
One of the newest 16 and Pregnant teen moms has been accused of punching her baby daddy in the face during an argument. This is the same couple who had another altercation late last year when Josh Smith was arrested for domestic violence against his girlfriend Jennifer Del Rio. Then again, earlier this month, he allegedly threatened to have her raped. This time around, Josh claims Jennifer attacked him when he tried to break things off with her, claiming she became "irate" and "punched him in the face and pulled on his shirt." Jennifer wasn't arrested, but a police report was taken.
|ITALIAN MAYOR WARNS JERSEY SHORE CAST TO BEHAVE|
In case you haven't heard, the Jersey Shore cast is going to Italy—but the mayor of Florence somehow expects the reality show not to "promote Florence as a drinking town." That's just one of the rules he's given to the cast. The New York Post, citing an Italian newspaper, notes that others include "The cast will not be filmed in bars and clubs that serve alcohol" and "The cast will not be filmed drinking in public." Which makes you wonder ... what exactly will they be doing there? Click for the rest of the rules.