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Oscar's Eco-Friendly Fleet

James Hirsen By Tuesday, 19 February 2008 03:50 PM EST Current | Bio | Archive

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Paris Hilton Investigated by the L.A. Department of Animal Services
2. Justice Alito Takes On the Entertainment Media
3. Paul McCartney Pays Big to Hush Up Heather
4. Oscar's Eco-Friendly Fleet
5. Britney Spears' Civil Rights Lawsuit

1. Paris Hilton Investigated by the L.A. Department of Animal Services

Be careful what you say on national TV.

During a recent appearance on the "Ellen DeGeneres Show," Paris Hilton made mention of the number of dogs that she owns.

"I have 17 dogs — lots ... They all sleep in my bed - well, not all of them, but I let some of them," the heiress divulged.

Paris explained that she has so many dogs because "they keep having babies, and I feel bad about giving them away."

Officials from the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services apparently watch the "Ellen" show, because after the revelation they showed up at Hilton's home to inspect.

The city of L.A. has an ordinance that allows three pets per home unless the pet owner happens to be a commercial breeder.

Since Hilton wasn't at home at the time of the officials' visit, they left a "notice to comply" [with the law] form for her perusal.

While contending with her pet violations, Hilton has also had to deal with some stinky reviews of her new movie, "The Hottie and The Nottie."

Users of the Internet Movie Database voted the flick the worst movie ever made.

On a scale of 1-10, film fans gave it a 1.2 — not a hottie, but a really big nottie.

2. Justice Alito Takes On the Entertainment Media

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito Jr. is one of two Italian-American New Jersey-born High Court members.

During a recent speech at Rutgers University, which is located in — you guessed it — New Jersey, Justice Alito voiced his concern over the stereotypical portrayal of Italian-Americans in the entertainment media.

"The most prominent image of Italians in popular culture is the image of the Mafioso," Alito said. "There's an insidious connection popular culture often makes between being a gangster and being Italian."

The Supreme Court's most recent addition spoke of a "trifecta" of gangsters, Italian-Americans and the city of New Jersey that is "wedded in the popular American imagination."

Alito specifically mentioned a certain HBO series, a famed sequel of films and a couple of pizza chains.

The Justice explained that he once resided in the community where HBO's Tony Soprano character lived. He also talked about the "Godfather" films and took issue with the names of pizza restaurants Little Caesar's and Capone's, which are named after gangsters.

Justice Antonin Scalia has yet to write a concurring opinion.

3. Paul McCartney Pays Big to Hush Up Heather

Paul McCartney has set a lot of records in his musical career.

Now the former Beatle is setting a record of a much more undesirable kind — a British divorce settlement in which he'll have to shell out approximately $108 million.

Paul's ex, Heather Mills, was recently in London's High Court grinning from ear to ear.

Mills will receive a $40-million lump sum, with payments of about $5 million annually until the couple's four-year-old daughter, Beatrice, turns eighteen.

Still, there's a catch. The settlement agreement will purportedly contain a strict confidentiality clause, so Mills can no longer speak to the media about her marriage to McCartney.

Mills' countless media appearances most likely influenced negotiations of the issues.

Heather indicated that she wants to move to Poland because she believes that she is hated in the U.K.

Justice Bennett, the jurist in the case, was concerned about the fact that Mills had no legal representation in the weeks following the firing of her attorneys.

The judge, however, did take steps to make sure that Mills fully understood the settlement points.

4. Oscar's Eco-Friendly Fleet

The largest fleet of energy efficient cars ever assembled at a Hollywood ceremony will be bringing celebrity attendees to the long-awaited Academy Awards.

The 80th Annual Academy Awards show is expected to have loads of star participants.

Watch for host Jon Stewart, presenters George Clooney, Denzel Washington, Harrison Ford, Nicole Kidman, John Travolta, Tom Hanks, Miley Cyrus, Katherine Heigl, Seth Rogen, Queen Latifah, Helen Mirren, Forest Whitaker, Alan Arkin, Jennifer Hudson, Josh Brolin, Jennifer Garner, Patrick Dempsey, Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, Cameron Diaz, Colin Farrell, Jessica Alba, Martin Scorsese, Hilary Swank, Cate Blanchett, Renée Zellweger, Penélope Cruz and The Rock to arrive in one of the special green vehicles.

Over 75 GM vehicles with smaller carbon footprints are on standby to chauffeur celebrities to the event.

A larger fleet than seen at any prior major awards ceremony has been put together for the parade of stars, and it includes the Chevrolet Fuel Cell Equinox and GMC Yukon Hybrids.

In case you're wagering on the awards, your best Oscar bets are Best Animated Feature for "Ratatouille," Best Actor for Daniel Day-Lewis in "There Will Be Blood" and Best Director for Joel and Ethan Coen for "No County for Old Men."

5. Britney Spears' Civil Rights Lawsuit

Attorney Jon Eardley, who purports to represent Britney Spears, has filed documents in an L.A. U.S. District Court to move Britney's conservatorship case from the Los Angeles County Superior Court to federal court. Eardley maintains offices in Washington, D.C., Jericho, NewYork, and Whittier, California.

Eardley claims in court papers that, without due process, Spears "is being confined by the conservator to the private prison of her own home," and he contends that this is a violation of her civil rights.

After Britney twice spent time in a psychiatric ward, Superior Court Commissioner Reva Goetz placed her in a temporary conservatorship under her father Jamie and his attorney Andrew Wallet. The order will continue until a scheduled hearing on March 10.

"I see the case as a civil rights case," Eardley told People magazine. "These are issues of confinement. Very serious confinement. Not allowed to contact her friends. Not allowed to use the phone. Not allowed to come and go as you please. Bodyguards controlling you and so forth."

Under the terms of the conservatorship, Spears lacks the capacity to hire her own lawyer without the approval of her conservators.

Spears' civil rights case is unlikely to be heard by the federal court.

When an individual is determined by a court to be unable to handle his or her own affairs, a conservatorship is established. By definition, anyone who is placed in a conservatorship could claim that his or her civil rights have been violated.

This area of the law, though, is handled exclusively by state courts, and therefore a federal judge would be extremely reluctant to get involved.

Interestingly, a copy of Eardley's filing was delivered to the L.A. Superior Court by Spears' former manager Sam Lufti's publicist, Michael Sands.

Sands also handled publicity matters for Mark Vincent Kaplan, the lawyer who represents Spears' ex-husband Kevin Federline.

With this cast of characters the only question is: When will the "Six Degrees of Britney" game come out?

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Paris Hilton Investigated by the L.A. Department of Animal Services2. Justice Alito Takes On the Entertainment Media3. Paul McCartney Pays Big to Hush Up Heather4. Oscar's Eco-Friendly Fleet5. Britney Spears' Civil Rights...
Tuesday, 19 February 2008 03:50 PM
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