A Few Things To Know About John McCain And Cindy McCain

Jennifer O'Shea & Bobbie L. Kyle

10 Things You Didn't Know About John McCain

1. John Sidney McCain III was born in the Panama Canal Zone on Aug. 29, 1936.

2. The McCains are a prominent military family. His father and grandfather were the first father-son admiral pair in U.S. naval history. John McCain Jr. commanded Pacific forces during the Vietnam War, while John McCain Sr. was commander of aircraft carriers during World War II. The guided missile destroyer John S. McCain is named in their honor. Today, two of McCain's sons are continuing the tradition—his youngest son, Jimmy, is a marine, while another son, Jack, is a midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy.

3. In high school, he was a wrestler. His nickname was "McNasty." Later in life, he was nicknamed "the white tornado" because of his prematurely white hair.

4. After high school, McCain was accepted to the United States Naval Academy, though he was not a strong student. He was often disciplined for misbehavior and ultimately graduated near the bottom–790th out of 795–of the class of 1958. In 2005, he returned to the school to speak to a political science class, saying he was pleased to be back at the "old school where [I] did so well."

5. In 1967, McCain volunteered to serve in Vietnam as a naval aviator. On his 23rd bombing mission, he ejected from his plane after it was hit by a missile. He was captured by the North Vietnamese, who would not treat his injuries until they learned who his father was. Later, the North Vietnamese offered to release him early as a strategic measure, but McCain declined since there were others due to be released first. McCain was tortured for this refusal and ultimately was held as a POW for 5 1/2 years.

6. His 1999 autobiography, Faith of My Fathers, tells about his early life and capture in Vietnam. The book was made into a television movie in 2005. Actor Shawn Hatosy played the young McCain, though the senator once joked that Danny DeVito should have been cast instead.

7. As a senator, McCain is a well-known foe of pork-barrel spending. To deter his colleagues from trying to add such government spending to bills, McCain once had a staff member, Mark "the Ferret" Buse, whose full-time job was to monitor any such attempts.

8. He hosted NBC's Saturday Night Live in 2002, poking fun at politics by appearing on a mock edition of Meet the Press and impersonating John Ashcroft.

9. McCain frequently has toys in his office–including a figure of Theodore Roosevelt holding a teddy bear. Roosevelt is one of his heroes for combining conservative politics with reform.

10. His favorite book is For Whom the Bell Tolls. He also enjoys chocolate ice cream and pizza with pepperoni and onions.

10 Things You Didn't Know About Cindy McCain

1. Cindy Hensley, a Phoenix native, is the only child of James and Marguerite Hensley.

2. She attended Central High School and went on to receive a master's degree in special education from the University of Southern California.

3. Cindy met John McCain in 1979, while she was on vacation with her parents in Hawaii.

4. There is an 18-year age difference between Cindy and John, but they both lied about their ages when they met. John said he was younger than 42, and Cindy said she was older than 24. They didn't realize this until they went to apply for a marriage license a year after they met.

5. Cindy and John were married in Phoenix in 1980.

6. She was very close to her parents, who at one time lived across the street from the McCains.

7. They have four children: two daughters and two sons. The McCains adopted their youngest child, Bridget, in 1991 from an orphanage in Bangladesh.

8. Cindy is chairwoman of a business her father started in 1955. Hensley & Co. is one of the largest Anheuser-Busch distributors in the United States.

9. She is involved in many charities, including Operation Smile and American Voluntary Medical Team, which she founded.

10. She is a big fan of NASCAR.

Jennifer O'Shea & Bobbie L. Kyle are staff of the U.S. News library

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Fidel Castro Officially Resigns as Cuban President

The ailing Cuban leader, Fidel Castro has announced he will not return to the presidency in a letter published by official Communist Party paper, Granma.

"I neither will aspire to nor will I accept - I repeat - I neither will aspire to nor will I accept, the position of president of the council of state and commander in chief," wrote Mr Castro, who had been in power for almost 50 years.

Mr Castro handed over power temporarily to his brother, Raul, in July 2006 when he underwent intestinal surgery, and has not been seen in public since.

The 81-year-old has ruled Cuba since leading a communist revolution in 1959.

In December, Mr Castro indicated that he could possibly step down in favour of a younger generation.

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CBS Broadcast Grammy Award 2008 Today

CBS will broadcast the 50th Grammy Awards live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 10. But what will be the outcome?

Here's a rundown of the top categories:

Album of the Year
Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace, Foo Fighters
These Days, Vince Gill
River: The Joni Letters, Herbie Hancock
Graduation, Kanye West
Back to Black, Amy Winehouse

Record of the Year
• "Irreplaceable," BeyoncĂ©
• "The Pretender," Foo Fighters
• "Umbrella," Rihanna (featuring Jay-Z)
• "What Goes Around . . . Comes Around," Justin Timberlake
• "Rehab," Amy Winehouse

Song of the Year
• "Before He Cheats," John Kear & Chris Tompkins, songwriters (Carrie Underwood)
• "Hey There Delilah," Tom Higgenson, songwriters (Plain White T's)
• "Like A Star," Corinne Bailey Rae, songwriter (Corinne Bailey Rae)
• "Rehab," Amy Winehouse
• "Umbrella," Shawn Carter, Kuk Harrell, Terius "Dream" Nash & Christopher Stewart, songwriters (Rihanna Featuring Jay-Z)

Best New Artist
• Feist
• Ledisi
• Paramore
• Taylor Swift
• Amy Winehouse

Pop Vocal Album
Lost Highway, Bon Jovi
The Reminder, Feist
It Won't Be Soon Before Long, Maroon 5
Memory Almost Full, Paul McCartney
Back To Black, Amy Winehouse

Rap Album
Finding Forever, Common
Kingdom Come, Jay-Z
Hip Hop Is Dead, Nas
T.I. vs T.I.P., T.I.
Graduation, Kanye West

Rock Album
Daughtry, Daughtry
Revival, John Fogerty
Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace, Foo Fighters
Magic, Bruce Springsteen
Sky Blue Sky, Wilco

Country Album
Long Trip Alone, Dierks Bentley
These Days, Vince Gill
Let It Go, Tim McGraw
5th Gear, Brad Paisley
It Just Comes Natural, George Strait

Contemporary R&B Album
Konvicted, Akon
Just Like You, Keyshia Cole
Fantasia, Fantasia
East Side Story, Emily King
Because Of You, Ne-Yo

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Authorities Crack Down On School Girls For Child Prostitution

Ryann Connell
Japanese authorities finally appear to be taking steps to crack down on the widespread proliferation of child cheesecake, according to Weekly Playboy.

Just a few years ago, pictures of scantily clad high school girls would have created outrage, but it has now become common to see magazines, billboards and all sorts of other media plastered with images of G-string-clad girls in their pre-teens.

But a series of police raids late last year on producers of a photo shoot DVD starring a schoolgirl appear to have changed the situation.

"The girl's swimsuit was deliberately made to be see-through, it was so tight-fitting you could make out the shape of her genitalia and she'd been posed in such risqu? positions that the Metropolitan Police Department decided to arrest the maker for breaking the law banning child pornography even though the girl hadn't actually exposed her bust or between her legs," a reporter from a sports newspaper tells Weekly Playboy.

The arrest was the first time somebody had been picked up for breaking the Child Pornography Law without proliferating images featuring nudity. Eventually, though, the charge had to be downgraded to a violation of the Child Welfare Law, but the effect of the arrest reached far.

"Ever since the arrest, makers of products featuring teens in erotic poses have been in a state of panic. If material is judged to be overly obscene, people can be arrested for breaking the Child Pornography Law, even if the model is dressed in a swimsuit," says an employee of a medium-sized DVD manufacturer producing material featuring models under 15 years old. "DVD shops and wholesalers are now on their guard and have stopped taking materials featuring models under 15, even if the product looks like being a surefire seller."

Furi Nakamura, a journalist who specializes in covering the under-15 market, says there is a definite mood of self-restraint spreading among purveyors of photo collections and DVDs using child cheesecake.

"Situations are going to become crucial," the under-15 expert tells Weekly Playboy. "By that, I mean the situations where models are presented. Say, for example, a young model is decked out in an extremely skimpy bikini, the maker won't get in trouble if the photos are taken in an appropriate situation, like a pool or the beach. It's when you get the young models lying around on a bed, making provocative poses and stuff, that you're going to have the real problems -- even if they're wearing standard school-issue swimsuits, which aren't revealing at all. The key is going to be how natural producers will be able to make their images appear."

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Japanese Authorities To Clampdown On Matchmaking Sites

Operators of online matchmaking sites will soon be legally obligated to register with public safety authorities and immediately remove any posts that could incite juvenile crime.

National Police Agency officials are drafting changes to the law regulating matchmaking sites that will allow them to keep tighter control over the sites for lonely hearts that have often been used as fronts for such illegal activities as prostitution.

Crimefighters hope to have their proposed revisions put before the Diet by March.

NPA officials say the existing law regulating matchmaking sites contains no way for them to be able to determine who is actually running them and they are dependent on cooperation from providers and server operators to try and obtain that information. Cops say there are many cases where they are unable to pinpoint site operators operating illegally and that allows them to go unpunished.

The NPA wants to counter that by requiring all online matchmaking sites to register with prefectural public safety commissions or be punished for not doing so. The NPA will draw up a list of requirements operators will be expected to meet and ban members of organized crime gangs or those with criminal records from involvement in the business.

To combat juvenile crime, site operators will be required to remove any posts that may lead to illegal activity. Under the current law, deletions are left in the hands of operators, but the NPA wants to make it mandatory for site operators to immediately wipe out any posts making references to children.

And law enforcers also want some way to improve age verification methods. Currently, most sites only ask users whether they are over 18 and allow them access if they say they are, making it easy for minors to use the sites if they lie. Police are hoping to make matchmaking sites a member's only business accessible through payment by credit card - which can't be issued to under 18s - or some other form of identification, such as a driver's license.

Crime connected to online matchmaking sites has declined since the law regulating the business came into effect in 2003, but there was an increase of 92 people to 1,153 cases in 2006 which prompted police to feel the existing regulations still aren't sufficient.

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Heath Ledger's Australian Doctors May Be Investigated

Heath Ledger's Australian doctors may be investigated if any of the prescription drugs that led to his death were prescribed in his homeland, it has emerged.

The news comes after a US newspaper columnist sparked controversy by describing Heath Ledger as "reckless and greedy" and "selfish".

The DEA has subpoenaed Ledger's autopsy results from the New York Medical Examiner's Office and is attempting to find out why the actor was in possession of five different types of powerful prescription drugs.

New York police, who are also assisting the DEA with its investigation, have said some of the prescription drugs were prescribed in Europe.

Ledger spent two weeks with his family in Perth just weeks before his January 22 death in Manhattan from an accidental overdose, which has been blamed on the mix of powerful drugs in his system.

Washington DC-based DEA spokesman Michael Sanders said if evidence led to Australia, DEA officers would follow it up.

"We have 86 offices in 62 countries," Sanders said.

"If it leads to a country, we can conduct an investigation there.

"It could be in Australia, England, Rome or wherever."

The DEA's Australian office is in Canberra.

The DEA is charged with enforcing drug laws in the US and is interested in why Ledger had prescribed drugs for two powerful pain killers and three anti-anxiety drugs.

A sixth drug, doxylamine, commonly found in over-the-counter cough medicines, was detected in Ledger's blood.

Drug experts say no "reasonable doctor" would ever prescribe such a combination of medications.
The DEA will determine if one doctor prescribed the five drugs or whether Ledger went "doctor shopping".

"The DEA tries to look into any suspicious death involving the overdose of any pharmaceutical medications," Sanders said.

"We investigate to find out if the drugs were obtained in some type of illegal fashion or distributed illegally or if the individual who died did what we call doctor shopping, where they would go from one doctor to the other and not tell the doctors they had prescriptions for other pills."

The DEA has conducted raids on doctors' offices in other investigations, including doctors linked to celebrity Anna Nicole Smith, who died in Florida a year ago from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs.

"Unfortunately with Anna Nicole Smith, it was the same thing as Mr Ledger," Sanders said.

"It was a combination of different types of pharmaceutical medications."

Prescription drug abuse has become a serious public issue in the US.

Last weekend's Super Bowl TV telecast, during which companies paid $US2.7 million for a 30 second ad, featured a commercial highlighting the dangers of teenagers stealing their parents' prescription medicine.

"Teens are getting the medications out of their parents' medicine cabinets and taking them to parties and mixing them up," said Sanders.

"What the public doesn't understand, and this is the message we are trying to get out, is because you may have an ailment and take a medication you can't mix it with another medication.

"As we have seen with Mr Ledger's case, if you start mixing several medications together, especially oxycodone, hydrocodone and sleeping aids, it becomes fatal."

The prescription drugs found in Ledger's body were: oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam.

Meanwhile, Andrea Peyser, in her column in today's New York Post, wrote she was disgusted the Australian actor chose to "self-destruct" with prescription drugs and paid little regard for his daughter, Matilda, ex-fiancee Michelle Williams and his parents.

"He threw it away, as gamely as if he had put a gun to his mouth and pulled the trigger.

"He was reckless and greedy.

"He was fundamentally selfish.

"Now his daughter will grow up never knowing the man she worshiped from birth; his parents must bury a son they cherished."

Just when Ledger will be buried remains a mystery.

His family is expected to hold a private funeral in Perth in the next few days, but has pleaded for privacy.

Ledger's former girlfriend Gemma Ward yesterday flew into Perth to join the actor's family and friends.

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