Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Donald And Rosie

Donald Trump - just like the rest of us - appears to be losing interest in his tireless tirade against Rosie O’Donnell and Barbara Walters.

But before retreating from the battle with “The View” gals, he fired off a response yesterday after the gals called him - not by name - a “poor, pathetic man” during their morning chat fest.
“Barbara Walters has taken the low road for the sake of her show rather than the sake of her morality,” Trump spat in his one-page statement. “Barbara has become a sad figurehead dominated by a third-rate comedian.”
“They didn’t even have the courage to mention me by name,” he railed about yesterday’s show, adding that Walters acted like O’Donnell’s “pathetic puppet.”
On “The View,” Rosie began her daily Donald diatribe with: “Well, he’s at it again.”
She was, of course, referring to the vitriolic letter written to her from Trump, in which he said Walters compared working with her on the ABC talk show with “living in hell.”
After establishing that Ro and Baba were “OK” with one another, O’Donnell called “The View” boss a “sister-friend,” and sealed their bond with a high-five.
Before signing off on his uncharacteristic one-page missive, Trump took a moment to blast O’Donnell’s comment that the ratings for his Sunday “The Apprentice” premiere “tanked,” insisting that it was “#1 from 10:30 to 11:00 in all of television.”
Oh, just shut up.


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Dracula's Castle Is Up For Sale

The Habsburg family said Wednesday that it wanted to sell a Transylvanian castle famous for its connections to the 15th century medieval ruler who inspired "Dracula" for 60 million euros, or $78 million, to the local authorities, an attorney said.

The local council says it is interested in buying Bran Castle, but a government minister criticized the price tag, calling it too expensive.

Dominic Habsburg, the owner, insisted the family had honorable intentions.

"We are trying to find the best way to preserve the castle in the interest of the family and the people of Bran," Habsburg said in a statement made available exclusively to The Associated Press.

The castle was returned to Habsburg, a New York architect, on May 26, decades after it was confiscated by the communists from Habsburg's mother, Princess Ileana, in 1948, the year the royals were forced to leave the country.

After the restitution, concerns were raised that the family could sell castle to a hotel chain and that the site could end up being the centerpiece of a Dracula theme park that would blight the surrounding, pristine countryside.

The castle, perched high on a rock and surrounded by snowcapped mountains in southern Transylvania, is one of Romania's top tourist attractions and is visited by 400,000 people each year.

Faced with the enormous expense of the castle's upkeep, Habsburg said he wanted to place the property in the hands of the local council with an eye toward ensuring its historic character is preserved.

"The family has the country and the people in their heart. We are grateful for the restitution as a moral act to amend injustice," the statement from Habsburg said.

But he added, "The way of life cannot be returned and the restitution has come with financial sacrifice. ... We would like Castle Bran to remain a symbol of everything that is honorable and good in Romania."

The community of Bran, where the fortress was built in the 14th century to help stave off invasion, gave it to Ileana's mother, Queen Marie, in 1920 to thank her for her efforts in unifying the country. It was briefly associated with Prince "Vlad the Impaler," whose cruelty inspired novelist Bram Stoker's creation, the vampire Count Dracula. History says he spent one night there.

In 1938, Ileana inherited the castle, which is located some 105 miles north of Bucharest.

In recent years, the castle — complete with occasional glimpses of bats floating around its ramparts in the twilight — has attracted movie makers as a backdrop for films about Dracula and other spooky themes.

Lia Trandafir, an attorney for Habsburg, said the local authorities are interested in buying it. "They'd like to see it coming back to the community and they consider it a central pillar of tourism in Brasov county," she said.

Aristotel Cancescu, head of the local city council is due to travel to Vienna, Austria, on Monday to open discussions about a bank loan. If he manages to secure a loan, it will need to be approved by local councilors.

Culture Minister Adrian Iorgulescu has criticized the planned purchase of the castle, saying it is too expensive. "I have nothing against the castle being bought by the city council if they are stupid enough to pay this money," he said. He added he believed the castle was worth a fourth of Habsburg's asking price.

Copyright © 2007 The Associated Press.

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Teen Love Crash

(AP) A lovers' quarrel and a case of mistaken identity has landed a teenager behind bars after police say he repeatedly rammed a teenage girl's car, thinking it was his girlfriend.

State police told The Saginaw News that the victim _ a 17-year-old from Pinconning _ called 911 early Sunday when the suspect smashed his car into the rear of hers.

The 17-year-old suspect struck her car about 15 times and pushed it through stop signs at intersections, the victim told police.

Dispatchers advised her to lead the suspect toward police units who were en route to intercept them, police said.

State police troopers and Bay County sheriff's deputies caught up with the suspect and pursued the Bay City teen at speeds of up to 90 miles per hour, police said.

The teen told police he thought the driver was his girlfriend, who left a party after the couple quarreled. He said he wanted to talk to her and get his goodnight kiss, so he went searching for her, police said.

He told police he was talking to his girlfriend on his cell phone, telling her to stop her car. She told him she was stopped and didn't know what he was talking about, officers said.

The teen likely will face charges including assault with a vehicle, fleeing police and drunk driving.


Information from: The Saginaw News,

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