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Fox Sued for $250 Million over Mobster Character in “The Simpsons”

Fox Sued for $250 Million over Mobster Character in “The Simpsons”

FOX(NEW YORK) -- Fox has been slapped with a $250 million lawsuit by an actor who claims a character on The Simpsons is based on him, in violation of his publicity rights.The character in question is Louie, who occasionally has been seen on the long-running animated series over the years as a crony of the mobster Fat Tony. The plaintiff, The Godfather Part II and Goodfellas actor Frank Sivero, claims "Louie's appearance and mannerisms are strongly evocative" of him, according to The Hollywood Reporter.Sivero alleges that back in 1989, the year The Simpsons premiered, he was living in the same apartment complex as Simpsons writers. He claims the writers were aware he was creating a gangster character for Goodfellas named Frankie Carbone, which was based on his personality. He says the Louie character debuted on The Simpsons a few years later.Furthermore, Sivero argues that actor Dan Castellaneta, who voices Louie as well as other Simpsons characters, most notably Homer Simpson, has said he "modeled his voice after Italian American actor, Joe Pesci, who also had a role in Goodfellas."Among other allegations, Sivero says Simpsons producer Gracie Films had expressed interest in collaborating with him, but he now feels they were "simply studying him further for the character Louie."Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

‘Duke Porn Star’ Belle Knox’s Life Mirrors Wednesday’s “Law and Order: SVU”

‘Duke Porn Star’ Belle Knox’s Life Mirrors Wednesday’s “Law and Order: SVU”

Michael Parmelee/NBC(NEW YORK) -- Every Law & Order "ripped from the headlines" episode runs a coda stating that any similarities to any person is "purely coincidental," but for a Duke University student who became a household name when she was "outed" last year as porn star Belle Knox, Wednesday's episode of Special Victims Unit hits extremely close to home. Belle Knox, which is not her birth name, is currently a sophomore at Duke.  She began making movies under a stage name to pay her hefty tuition, and freely admits her side-job makes her feel empowered about her body and her sexuality.In Wednesday's episode of NBC's crime-drama, a college student is sexually assaulted by men who discover she's been shooting porn to cover tuition.The so-called "slut shaming" Knox felt after her cover was blown -- including death threats from some on campus -- figures prominently with the victim in the episode.A longtime L&O fan, Knox told ABC News Radio she can't wait to see art imitate life. "I think that this will be a really good episode in terms of raising awareness about...sexual assault on college campuses, and -- I haven't seen it, but the central theme I think they're trying to get at is that just because a woman is sexual or promiscuous, doesn't give anybody the right to sexually assault her or violate her." Knox tells us that slut-shaming isn't limited to those in the adult industry. "I think the celebrity nude hacking scandal is a good example of how we slut-shame women," the performer said, before allowing, "I think that the people involved in it, like Jennifer Lawrence, they handled it really well. And I hope we reach the point where a woman's body isn't used against her, like Emma Watson was saying."In June, Knox penned a Time magazine article about the spiraling costs of higher education in which she cheekily admitted, "Faced with either a degree from a less prestigious school or decades of crushing debt, a few hours of work on a porn set revealed itself to be the best way to avoid getting screwed."With her tuition getting paid, and her star in the adult world white-hot, Knox says she's looking towards the future. "My goal is to be a lawyer. Actually, SVU is like part of why I was...really inspired to be an advocate for women," she says, before laughing, "I learned a lot of...courtroom procedure just from...watching SVU." Fighting for victims of sexual assault in real life, like special victims cops and prosecutors do, "would be amazing," the 19-year-old maintains. Law & Order: SVU, "Pornstar's Requiem," airs Wednesday night at 9 p.m. Eastern time on NBC. A documentary about the adult industry star, Becoming Belle Knox, recently debuted online.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Many Rush Through New Health Insurance Selection

Many Rush Through New Health Insurance Selection

Daniel Aguilar/Getty Images(MANHATTAN, Kan.) -- It might only take 15 minutes to save money on car insurance, as one commercial states, but people ought to spend more time than that selecting health insurance.However, Kansas State University community health specialist Roberta Riportella says the sad truth is that people actually do only spend about 15 minutes picking a plan when open enrollment comes around at their place of work.Riportella muses that Americans will expend a lot more energy picking out a new TV.One trap that many people often fall into, according to Riportella, is just going with the same health insurance plan year after year without taking into consideration changes in network providers, cost-sharing and deductibles.That’s why it’s important to sit down and read everything and have a worksheet handy to help you pick out the most cost-effective plan.One rule of thumb: always know your average annual health care costs before plunging head-first into something that might result in needless expense.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

People with Kids Laugh, Smile and Are Stressed

People with Kids Laugh, Smile and Are Stressed

Goodshoot/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- What’s the matter with kids today? Not a lot, according to most adults who have youngsters running around the house although they'll admit that the responsibility of being a parent is also a strain.A survey of more than 131,000 adults by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index found that 84.1 percent of parents with children under 18 -- about 36,000 of those interviewed -- said they smiled or laughed a lot on a daily basis.Meanwhile, 79.6 percent of survey respondents with no kids in the house reported the same thing.However, having kids isn’t all fun and games as just about any parent will attest. The poll also reveals that just over 45 percent of people with kids who aren’t adults yet experience greater stress. That’s compared with just under 37 percent of people who don’t live with children. Interestingly, more women than men feel stress in both groups while they’re both on the same level when it comes to laughing and smiling.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

People with Kids Laugh, Smile and Are Stressed

People with Kids Laugh, Smile and Are Stressed

Goodshoot/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- What’s the matter with kids today? Not a lot, according to most adults who have youngsters running around the house although they'll admit that the responsibility of being a parent is also a strain.A survey of more than 131,000 adults by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index found that 84.1 percent of parents with children under 18 -- about 36,000 of those interviewed -- said they smiled or laughed a lot on a daily basis.Meanwhile, 79.6 percent of survey respondents with no kids in the house reported the same thing.However, having kids isn’t all fun and games as just about any parent will attest. The poll also reveals that just over 45 percent of people with kids who aren’t adults yet experience greater stress. That’s compared with just under 37 percent of people who don’t live with children. Interestingly, more women than men feel stress in both groups while they’re both on the same level when it comes to laughing and smiling.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

New Sex Education Program Reduces Middle School Sex

New Sex Education Program Reduces Middle School Sex

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Get Real is an experimental sex education program used in a limited number of U.S. middle schools that seems to have been effective in getting some youngsters to put off having sex by the time they graduate the eighth grade.Planned Parenthood, in partnership with the Wellesley Centers for Women, says that Get Real involves regular sex education in conjunction with students discussing classroom work with their parents after school.After evaluating 24 schools in the Boston area over three years, it turned out that 16 percent fewer boys and 15 percent fewer girls had sex in the 12 schools where Get Real was taught.The way that Get Real works is that in addition to educating youngsters about sex, it also sharpens their relationship skills, according to Planned Parenthood.Although the program has been expanded to 150 schools in Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and Texas, the plan is to roll out Great Real on a national scale.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Coffee and Beer May Affect Some Couples’ Ability to Conceive

Coffee and Beer May Affect Some Couples’ Ability to Conceive

FogStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- Coffee and beer are a couple of America’s favorite beverages but one may possibly be better than the other when it comes to couples who are having problems conceiving.According to a surprising study out of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, coffee consumption by men seems to impair infertility treatments. However, a man’s beer drinking might increase the odds of pregnancy, although researchers are not suggesting they imbibe in great quantities of suds.In a study of 105 men involved in vitro fertilization treatments over seven years, couples in which men drank at least 24 ounces of coffee daily were half as likely to conceive than those in which males drank less than an eight-ounce cup daily.Meanwhile, couples enrolled in IVF had more luck with live births when the man had the equivalent of two 12-ounce beers daily compared to other couples with limited alcohol consumption among men.Why do beer and coffee have these effects? Scientists admit they’re stumped and with a small sample size, they’re not about to make any recommendations until further studies are conducted.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Frequent Restaurant Dining May Cause Health Problems

Frequent Restaurant Dining May Cause Health Problems

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- If you can afford to do it, why not dine out as much as possible?Well, researchers at Queens College, City University of New York are advising against it and not purely for financial reasons.According to lead author Ashima Kant, when people dine frequently at restaurants, they run a higher risk of putting on the pounds and boosting bad cholesterol as compared to those who mainly enjoy their meals at home.In an analysis of 8,300 adults in the U.S. between 2005 and 2010, people who ate at least six meals in restaurants on a weekly basis had a higher body mass index, lower levels of good cholesterol and a deficiency in Vitamins C and E.Who are the worst offenders? Generally, college-educated men in their 20s and 30s who earn good salaries.As for why restaurant fare isn’t a great choice on a daily basis, the obvious answers are too much salt, too much fat, large portions and not enough fruits and vegetables offered.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wireless Store Robbed of $100K Worth of Phones and Computers

Wireless Store Robbed of $100K Worth of Phones and Computers

Apple(GARDEN GROVE, Calif.) -- In what could be described as the modern day equivalent of a jewelry store heist, thieves in Garden Grove, California, broke into a wireless store early Tuesday morning and made off with what cops say was about a $100,000 worth of phones and computers.The robbers apparently knew what they were looking for because Oztec Wireless said that around 100 Apple iPhone6s were taken along with 20 iPads and a bunch of laptops.A surveillance video spotted three hooded men, assumed to be in their 20s, breaking into the store and then using bolt cutters to shatter glass cases containing their ill-gotten gain.Store owner Vu Bui first learned what happened when he was awakened by security company ADT and then viewed the video of the heist on his phone.By the time he arrived, the crooks were long gone but left a trail of electronics around the back of the store that led to their escape route.

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Christie Fed Up with Talk About Raising Minimum Wage

Christie Fed Up with Talk About Raising Minimum Wage

ABC/ LOU ROCCO(WASHINGTON) -- New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is no fan of raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour as urged by President Obama.Christie, who many expect will run for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. Tuesday, "I’m tired of hearing about the minimum wage. I really am."The governor went on to say that parents in U.S. want more for their children than aspiring to make the minimum wage.He then went on to mock Obama and his constituency, saying, "The president [is] playing to the lowest common denominator on a higher minimum wage."Christie also went on to attack the Affordable Care Act, calling the health care law "fiction. It doesn’t work, and it should be repealed."And while he was on a roll, the Republican governor picked on one of his favorite enemies, teachers unions, saying "It's time to start offending them."In response to Christie's remarks on minimum wage, Democratic National Committee spokesman Michael Czin said, "Raising the minimum wage to just $10.10 could help lift nearly 5 million Americans out of poverty. A raise could also add billions to the GDP and add 85,000 jobs to the economy."

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Employers Need to Prepare for Flu Outbreak Now

Employers Need to Prepare for Flu Outbreak Now

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- No one's telling Americans not to take Ebola seriously. However, millions can start preparing now for another contagious disease: the flu.John Challenger, CEO of the outplacement company Challenger, Gray & Christmas, says that if this year's flu season is anything like last year's, it will be tremendous drain on the economy.Overall, a seasonal flu outbreak costs the nation's economy $10.4 billion in direct costs for hospitalization and outpatient visits, not to mention another $7 billion dollars annually in lost productivity at work.Obviously, Americans at risk of catching the flu, such as the young and those over 50, can reduce the risk of contracting the flu by getting vaccinated.Challenger also advises employers to start taking steps to stop the flu from spreading.For instance, he recommends "encouraging employees to wash their hands, offering free or low-cost flu vaccination shots, and routinely washing and disinfecting work surfaces."Perhaps even more important than all that, managers and supervisors should make it a point to tell workers early on that if they're sick, stay home.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Report: Pats Lose Chandler Jones for About a Month

Report: Pats Lose Chandler Jones for About a Month

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- New England Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones has a hip injury that will sideline him for about a month, according to the Boston Globe.Jones is a tough loss for a Patriots defense that's already playing without defensive tackle Sealver Siliga and linebacker Jerod Mayo.The 24-year-old Jones has done well this season, leading the Patriots with 4.5 sacks. Jones also has 26 tackles, two passes defended, one forced fumble, and a blocked field goal that he recovered and returned for a touchdown.The Boston Globe also reports that due to Jones' injury, the Patriots traded for linebacker Akeem Ayers from the Tennessee Titans and will sign defensive lineman Alan Branch.The Patriots have a tough schedule coming up. This weekend they play the Chicago Bears, followed next week by the Denver Broncos -- both at home -- before getting a bye week and then going to Indianapolis to take on the Colts.

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Bumgarner Pitches Giants to World Series Game 1 Win Over Royals

Bumgarner Pitches Giants to World Series Game 1 Win Over Royals

Brad Mangin/MLB Photos via Getty Images(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- Madison Bumgarner continued his postseason excellence Tuesday night.Bumgarner pitched seven innings of one-run ball to lead the San Francisco Giants to a 7-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals in Game 1 of the World Series in Kansas City.Bumgarner allowed three hits and one walk, and struck out five to earn his third win of the 2014 playoffs.Royals starter James Shields didn't fair quite as well as Bumgarner. Shields lasted only three innings, allowing seven hits, five runs and one walk, and striking out one.Shields' bad day started right away. He opened up the top of the first by allowing singles to Gregor Blanco and Buster Posey, before allowing an RBI double to Pablo Sandoval and a two-run home run to Hunter Pence.Shields pitched perfect second and third innings before coming out in the fourth and letting three straight batters on base, which led to his early exit.Already up 5-0 in the seventh, the Giants scored two more times, once on a Joe Panik triple and the other on a Sandoval single.Game 2 of the World Series is Wednesday in Kansas City. The Giants send Jake Peavy to the mound. He will be opposed by Yordano Ventura.

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NHTSA Expands Faulty Air Bag Warning to 6.1 Million Vehicles

NHTSA Expands Faulty Air Bag Warning to 6.1 Million Vehicles

bizoo_n/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration updated its list of vehicles being recalled due to defective air bags on Tuesday.The agency had announced the recall of about 4.7 million vehicles on Monday, a figure that was expanded to about 6.1 million in a Tuesday release. The recall impacts vehicles made by BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota, all of which used air bags manufactured by Takata Corporation.As with Monday's announcement, the NHTSA urges particular caution for those drivers who own impacted cars in warm and/or humid environments.A full list of impacted makes and models can be found on the NHTSA's Safercar.gov website.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 10/21/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 10/21/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NHL: Boston Bruins 5 (4-4-0; 8pts) – San Jose Sharks 3 (4-2-1; 9pts)

Toronto Maple Leafs 5 (3-3-1; 7pts) – New York Islanders 2 (4-2-0; 8pts)

New York Rangers 4 (4-3-0; 8pts) – New Jersey Devils 3 (3-2-1; 7pts) OT

Montreal Canadiens 2 (5-1-0; 10pts) – Detroit Red Wings 1 (3-1-1; 7pts) OT

Winnipeg Jets 3 (2-4-0; 4pts) – Carolina Hurricanes 1 (0-3-2; 2pts) 

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Some Russian Troops Move Away from Ukraine Border, ‘Doesn’t Change’ Role in Conflict, Pentagon Says

Some Russian Troops Move Away from Ukraine Border, ‘Doesn’t Change’ Role in Conflict, Pentagon Says

berean/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(KIEV, Ukraine) -- The Pentagon says it has seen some Russian troops moving away from the Russia-Ukraine border, a change that Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby called "welcome.""We have seen movement of some forces away from the border," Kirby said during a Tuesday briefing. "Movement of that kind is, of course, welcome," the spokesperson said, "but it doesn't change the outcome, and that is that there are still large numbers...that continue to threaten the security and the territorial integrity of Ukraine."The Kremlin announced last week that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered over 17,000 troops home from the border."Nothing has changed about the fact that Russia continues to foment instability inside Ukraine," Kirby noted.

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“The Bridge” Cancelled After Two Seasons

“The Bridge” Cancelled After Two Seasons

Credit: Byron Cohen/FX Network(NEW YORK) -- FX has cancelled its critically popular but underwatched show The Bridge after two seasons, the network said on Tuesday.The crime thriller starred Diane Kruger and Demian Bichir as detectives working along the U.S./Mexico border.Entertainment Weekly reports that the show had only been generating about 1.2 million viewers per episode.

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Dallas Ebola Nurse Nina Pham Upgraded to Good Condition

Dallas Ebola Nurse Nina Pham Upgraded to Good Condition

The Pham Family(BETHESDA, Md.) -- Nina Pham, the first nurse who contracted Ebola while treating Thomas Eric Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, was upgraded from fair condition to good condition on Tuesday.Pham was transferred to the National Institute of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda on Oct. 16. Prior to departing the Dallas hosital, Pham had been listed in good condition, but was downgraded upon arrival in Maryland. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the NIH's Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, declined to say why she was listed in fair condition following the trip, but said she had endured a long trip from Dallas.According to an NIH statement, Pham "has expressed her gratitude for everyone's concerns and well wishes."

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Cobie Smulders and Taran Killam, Donald Faison and CaCee Cobb Expecting Children

Cobie Smulders and Taran Killam, Donald Faison and CaCee Cobb Expecting Children

Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage // Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Cobie Smulders and Taran Killam are expanding their family.The How I Met Your Mother star and her Saturday Night Live comedian-husband are expecting their second child, her rep confirmed to People magazine.The actors, both 32, welcomed their daughter Shaelyn Cado in 2009. They wed three years later, before family and friends, including Smulders' How I Met Your Mother castmates, including Neil Patrick Harris and Alyson Hannigan. Turns out, all their kids have bonded on-set.There are "a lot of play dates and time on set in the nursery," the actress said on The Bonnie Hunt Show in 2010.

CaCee Cobb and Donald Faison also announced big news Tuesday, posting on Instagram that they're expecting another child.Rather than post a message, the stars each posted the same photo of their 1-year-old son Rocco with the message "I'm a big brother" emblazoned across his shirt.

 

A photo posted by Donald Faison (@donald_aison) on Oct 10, 2014 at 1:21pm PDT

This will be the second child for the couple. Faison has one son from a previous relationship and three children from a previous marriage.The former Scrubs star, 40, and his wife of nearly two years welcomed welcomed Rocco last August. Since then, the little boy has enjoyed plenty of playdates with Ace Knute Johnson, the son of Cobb's best friend, Jessica Simpson."BFF's in the making! @caceecobb #ACEANDROCCO," Simpson wrote next to a sweet shot of the boys playing this past February.

 

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Coach Suspensions Continued in NJ High School Football Hazing Scandal

Coach Suspensions Continued in NJ High School Football Hazing Scandal

ABC News(SAYREVILLE, N.J.) -- The Board of Education at the New Jersey high school embroiled in a football hazing scandal continued the suspension of the team's coaches with pay during an emotional meeting Tuesday night.Among the teachers suspended at Sayreville War Memorial High School were five with tenure, including head football coach George Najjar. The board said it would continue its investigation of the incidents, which allegedly involved older members of the team brutalizing freshmen players.Seven football players at the school accused in the hazing scandal face a variety of criminal charges as investigators try to determine the depths of the alleged abuse. Three students face sex-crime charges, and others face charges including aggravated sexual assault to conspiracy and criminal restraint.The players were charged after four victims were allegedly held against their will in four separate incidents, while the defendants improperly touched them in a sexual manner, police said.The seven suspects have all been suspended from school, with the football season canceled indefinitely amid the hazing investigation. There have been no official statements on any involvement by the coaches in the hazing.Authorities with the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office have not announced whether they intend to charge any of them as adults.

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