18-Year Old Rutgers Freshman Tyler Clementi Took Own Life After Posting Facebook Message

Bullying at school can be fatal. Kids may not take this seriously but their lives and safety can be at risk due to an age old issue that can even happen in the workplace.

A Rutgers University student posted on his Facebook page a message that he was jumping off a bridge as a result of bullying on September 22. Tyler Clementi, considered a exceptional musical talent, took his own life after discovering that his roommate filmed him with another man in his room and posted it live on the net.

Authorities reported that items belonging to Clementi were found within the vicinity of the George Washington Bridge this past week. Local police found a male body along the Hudson River but has not confirmed if it belonged to the 18-year old freshman.

Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei were charged with invasion of privacy. They were accused of placing a camera in Clementi’s dorm room, recorded and live-streamed a video footage of Clementi with another man on the 19th of September. Clementi was so embarrassed he decided to take his own life by jumping off a bridge.

Family and friends grieve over the loss of a fine young man who was a victim of bullying. Paul Mainardi, legal counsel for the Clementi family released a statement.

“Tyler was a fine young man, and a distinguished musician. The family is heartbroken beyond words. They respectfully request that they be given time to grieve their great loss and that their privacy at this painful time be respected by all,” Mainardi said.

Toshiba Recalls 41,000 Notebook Computers

If you have purchased a Toshiba Satellite T135, Satellite T135D and Satellite ProT130 notebook computers, read up.

Toshiba has announced the voluntary recall of around 41,000 notebook computers worldwide due to the risk of overheating and burning users.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission listed the product recall to include the models I have listed above. So, if you are one of those who purchased the said models of Toshiba notebook computers you should immediately download the latest version of a software program called BIOS. This program will detect whether a Toshiba notebook is overheating. It will also disable the computer’s external power and alert the consumer to contact Toshiba for a free repair.

This BIOS software is available at http://laptops.toshiba.com/about/consumer-notices.

Customers without Internet access should contact the company for installation of the program.

According to the Product Safety Commission, Toshiba has received 129 reports of the computers overheating and causing deformation of the plastic casing around the AC adapter plug. There have also been two reports of minor burns and two reports of minor property damage.

The said Toshiba models were sold from August 2009 through August 2010 for $600 to $800.

You can get additional information direct from Toshiba at (800) 457-7777 or http://laptops.toshiba.com/about/consumer-notices.

Or, you may contact the Product Safety Commission to reports of problems at https://www.cpsc.gov/cgibin/incident.aspx.

Hostage-taker James Jay Lee Disliked Discovery Channel Programming

Should all network channels take note? This is what’s running in my mind after finding out that the latest hostage-taker, James Jay Lee, resorted to such a drastic move of taking on hostages and strapping explosives on his body apparently because he did not like Discovery Channel’s programming.

The gunman, who the police shot to death, said he hated the company’s shows such as “Kate Plus 8” (because the show promotes population growth) and its environmental programming (because it did little to save the planet).

The three hostages, two of them Discovery Communications employees and a security guard, escaped unhurt after the four-hour standoff on Wednesday in Silver Spring, Md.

Police said the gunman burst into the building about 1p.m. and took the hostages in the lobby on the first floor. Aside from a hand-gun, an explosive device was strapped on his body which detonated when police shot him.

Police are trying to determine whether two boxes and two backpacks the gunman had also contained explosives. The authorities later sent in a robot to disarm a device on the gunman’s body.

Tommy John Surgery For Peter Strasburg

The Washington Nationals has not stopped bleeding with injuries to their pitchers. In late July, rookie ace Peter Strasburg was put on the disabled list due to pain in his shoulder. This time around, he is suffering from pain in his forearm.

Initial MRI results showed a strained forearm but recent tests on Thursday revealed that it was much worse than a strain. Strasburg may need to undergo Tommy John Surgery to repair significant tear in his ulnar collateral ligament. The team is awaiting a second opinion from Lewis Yocum, who has done a similar procedure on fellow National Jordan Zimmerman last year.

Zimmerman has recovered from the injury so far, making Strasburg and the team optimistic on his recovery too. The chances of the 22-year old rookie sensation coming back is very likely next year.

It was disappointing for Strasburg in the beginning but he has gone to accept the fact, now focusing on rehabilitation and a comeback in a year.

Marcos Esparza Bofill: “Who’s the IRS?

When a concerned friend told him that the IRS had sent him a $172 million tax bill, Marcos Esparza Bofill’s first reaction was, “Who’s the IRS?”.

Bofill was a Spanish immigrant who was living in New York doing day trading. But, apparently he was not very good at it as he was barely making ends meet. Unable to sustain an “American” lifestyle, Bofill has since moved back to Spain to live with his parents.

When his friend (who had requested anonymity) told him about the tax bill notice that was sent to his old walkup apartment he thought it was a joke until his friend told him to google himself up where he was greeted by blogs and news reports about the enormous back taxes he owes.

What happened was Marcos Esparza Bofill didn’t keep very good track of his trading activities and did not bother to file anything with the IRS, especially when he was losing money. When the IRS saw over $550 million in stock gains, they apparently did not consider the losses that were likely close to that amount, if not more.

Miss Philippines 2010 Answer: A “Major, Major” Cause for Her To Lose The Crown?

Without a doubt, Miss Philippines’ Venus Raj had a very good chance of taking the Miss Universe 2010 crown. She was an early favorite and consistently ranked first in the online popularity poll.

The Miss Universe 2010 organizers even invited her to be in Las Vegas way ahead of the other candidates so she could join the media pre-pageant blitz.

From the looks of things, up to the announcement of the Top 5, she was really poised to win the crown – and then the dreaded question and answer portion happened.

Judge William Baldwin asked her, “What was the one big mistake that you did in your life? And what did you do to make it right?”

Venus’ reply was, “You know what, sir, in my 22 years of existence, I can say that there’s nothing major, major problem that I’ve done in my life because I’m very confident with my family, with the love that they are giving to me. So thank you so much that I’m here. Thank you, thank you so much!”

While it was not as much of a “disaster”, it was definitely not the impressive Miss Universe answer the judges were looking for.

Manila Hostage Death Toll Rises To 10

A hostage drama in Manila, Philippines took place on Monday as a tourist bus was hijacked by a former police officer. The 10-hour standoff ended with initial reports of an unconfirmed number of passengers killed, several injuries due to gunshot wounds and the hostage taker shot dead.

On Tuesday morning, more deaths have been reported as the death toll has risen to 10. The passengers, who were mostly tourists from Hong Kong, were taken to the San Juan de Dios Hospital, Ospital ng Maynila and Philippine General Hospital.

Former Senior Inspector Rolando Mendoza, the hostage taker who was dismissed from law enforcement service for conduct unbecoming of a police officer, was declared the tenth fatality.

Six more hostages are still in the hospital undergoing treatment.

Policemen in Manila may have taken the situation too lightly, thinking that Mendoza was a part of their law enforcement fraternity. What resulted was a bloody ending that has called the attention of the global community.

Elin Nordegren and Tiger Woods Divorce Settlement Now Official

Nine months after slamming his Cadillac into a fire hydrant that led to a series of scandalous revelations on his infidelities, Tiger Woods has finalized a divorce settlement with Elin Nordegren. They were married for close to six years.

The former couple will continue to share parental responsibilities for the children, three-year-old Sam Alexis and 19-month-old Charlie Axel. Terms of the settlement were undisclosed but the estimated value that Elin is set to receive is pegged at nine-digits. In return, Elin has signed on a non-disclosure agreement so as not to further damage Woods’ reputation and marketability as an endorser. This seems not a bad deal since Elin gets to benefit from Woods’ endorsements as well.

Now that their divorce is official, PGA world number one Tiger Woods can focus on getting back to the game where he was feared most. Woods has not won any majors since the scandal on his extramarital affairs broke out. A Tiger Woods comeback by way of another major title may be good for the game and good for the sporting world as a whole.

Chez Gabriela Studio Owner Maria Gabriela Perez Arrested for Fraud

Maria Gabriela Perez, owner of Chez Gabriela Salon in Beverly Hills, was arrested on Wednesday after being charged with running up fraudulent credit card charges using the credit card information of celebrities like Liv Tyler, Jennifer Aniston, Anne Hathaway, Melanie Griffith and Scott Speedman.

These celebrities are said to be regular clients of the salon, which prides itself with, of all things, “privacy”. I guess we all know now that their so-called privacy is not an assurance they won’t bilk you or use your credit card information for their own benefit. (This is another good reason why I go to a barber, and Scott, I think you should too.)

When asked to comment on being a victim of the salon scam Jennifer Aniston remarked that it was so not cool and that she has stopped going to Chez Gabriela Studio.   

Apparently, Chez Gabriela Salon, or its owner, obtains the credit card information of said Hollywood Celebrities who availed of and paid for “legitimate” salon’s services. Maria Gabriela Perez then manually inputs the said card information to run up unauthorized charges.

500,000 Jobless Claims – The Highest in the Last Nine Months

A government report released Thursday brought more bad news for the already struggling job-seekers in this equally struggling economy (I thought they said the recession is over?) – the number of unemployed Americans seeking financial lifeline and aid from the government has reached its highest level in nine months.

According to the report released by the Labor Department, the number of first-time filers for unemployment insurance rose for the third time in a row, reaching the 500,000 level.

In the previous week there were 488,000 claims filed.

Initial claims for unemployment benefits had been hovering in the mid- to upper-400,000s since November.

A Wells Fargo analyst summed it all up for those who are unable to gauge the full impact of these numbers by saying, “Everyone’s in this mode of wait and see for a sustainable recovery, but that concern will be a self-fulfilling prophecy if we don’t create jobs.”