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Cameron Douglas praises family for support

Posted: 11 Feb 2018 02:00 AM PST

Michael Douglas’ son credits his father and stepmother Catherine Zeta-Jones for helping him through his “darkest days” in prison.

Cameron Douglas – whose mother is the ‘Wall Street’ actor’s first wife Diandra – was jailed for drug possession in 2010 and released in 2016 and is thankful his family never gave up on him, even when he had his sentence almost doubled in 2011 after he was found trying to sell prescription pills to other inmates.

He said: “My family never gave up on me, not for one second.

“Catherine is a scrapper, she’s someone who came from Wales and clawed her way up to the very top through sheer talent and determination.

“She never gives up on anything and she didn’t quit on me. The love of my family got me through my darkest days..”

And the ‘Chicago’ actress also insisted her and Michael’s children, Dylan, 17, and 14-year-old Carys visited their 39-year-old half-brother on a regular basis so they could see the reality of his situation.

Cameron told the Mail on Sunday newspaper: “She didn’t want to sugar-coat what I was going through. I made mistakes and there were consequences.

“The kids barely could remember me outside a jail setting..”

Cameron’s beloved grandfather, Kirk Douglas, used to visit him at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York, but when the 101-year-old actor grew too frail to travel, he still sent his grandson “at least two letters a month” to remind him he was “not forgotten”.

Cameron said of Kirk: “Grandpa came and he wore shades the whole time, like a proper Hollywood star. He asked me, ‘How many fights have you be in – and are you winning?’ He’s from tough stock.”

But though he was thankful for his family’s support, Cameron admits his famous name didn’t help him behind bars.

He said: “If anything it put a target on my back. Celebrity means nothing inside. I found people I wanted to hang out with and they had my back and I had theirs.

“I have kept in touch with some of those guys. When you go through things in jail it bonds you in a way a war bonds men together.”

The ‘It Runs In the Family’ actor is now clean and sober and has a baby daughter, Lua Izzy, with his girlfriend Viviane Thibes.

And Cameron is determined to get his life well and truly back on track by throwing himself into his career.

He said: “It’s my passion. When I’m acting I feel free and honest. I want to show people what I can do.

“I just want to work. When I got out of jail, no agent or manager would touch me because of my reputation.

“Life stops in prison. People take freedom for granted. I don’t. I went through a very dark time but it didn’t break me.

“The one thing that got me off the rack every morning was to do one thing that day to prepare for being free. I will never take freedom for granted again.

“Now I want to be the best dad, man and actor I can be. I finally have my priorities in the right order. I want to make my family proud.”

Paloma Faith was bedridden for months

Posted: 11 Feb 2018 01:00 AM PST

Paloma Faith was bedridden for three months after giving birth.

The ‘Stone Cold Sober’ singer suffered a string of complications after welcoming her and partner Leyman Lahcine’s first child – whose name and gender she hasn’t disclosed – into the world 13 months ago and admitted she was “very disappointed” that her health problems means she couldn’t start parenthood in the way she would have liked.

She said: “Having a baby is the most difficult thing I’ve done.

“Everything that could go wrong did: I had an emergency caesarean section, then I developed an infection in my womb and was in bed for three months.

“I felt very disappointed – I’d wanted a baby for so long, but in those early weeks I felt as though I couldn’t be the mother I wanted to be.

“Not enough people talk about how hard childbirth can be because they worry it might undermine the love they have for their child.”

However, the 36-year-old star’s “living hell” hasn’t put her off wanting to have more children.

She added to You magazine: “I found it a living hell, yet it’s the best thing I’ve ever done and I’d love to do it again.”

Paloma admitted it was “really difficult” not to “resent” her artist partner after she gave birth because it was a difficult adjustment for them all.

She said: “After you’ve given birth, it’s really difficult not to resent your partner. They cannot do what you’ve just done and they cannot help you for ages because the baby just wants you. It’s been hard to adjust [to becoming a family of three] but I think we’re really strong and definitely soulmates.”

The ‘New York’ singer – who was briefly married to chef Rian Haynes in 2005 – insists tying the knot again isn’t at the top of her priority list.

She said: “I might get married when I’m 70 to spice things up because I’m stuck with him [Leyman] now – I’ve got his kid! With marriage I’d never say never again but it’s not on my to-do list.

” I got married very frivolously a long time ago, even though I knew he wasn’t the love of my life. I was trying to be a bit rock’n’roll, going, ‘What the hell, let’s do it!’

“Ten months later, I had that horrible sinking feeling and thought, ‘What have I done?’ “

Victoria Beckham wants reality show?

Posted: 11 Feb 2018 01:00 AM PST

Victoria Beckham is reportedly planning her own reality show.

The 43-year-old fashion designer is said to be in negotiations with E! for a fly-on-the-wall show that would open the doors on the life she has with husband David Beckham and their four children, Brooklyn, 18, Romeo, 15, Cruz, 12, and six-year-old Harper, and give the Spice Girls star a chance to show off her “silly side”.

A source said: “Victoria always wanted to be seen as royalty, but now she’d like to share more of her silly side.

“She’s telling the family they can make this a hit.”

Victoria previously ventured into reality TV with ‘Coming To America’ in 2007 but it didn’t fare well in the ratings, though executives are confident a new show – for which the family would earn a reported £10 million – would do much better.

An insider told the Daily Star Sunday newspaper: “‘Coming To America’ didn’t really work in the way we had hoped but a show featuring all the Beckhams, including the children, is a different ball game.”

Meanwhile, the ‘Stop’ singer will be busy with other TV ventures as it was recently claimed she and her Spice Girls bandmates will be working on a global talent show with their manager Simon Fuller in a bid to find a new international girlband.

A source said: “Simon has been formulating this girlband idea for over two years. He wants to create an international band.

“For example, one member will be selected from China, another from India and then someone will be from the UK.

“The plan is to bring people together and add some diversity to the charts.”

Though the Spice Girls will have input into the auditions, they won’t all be on the judging panel at the same time.

The insider explained: “Simon has formulated the idea of a TV talent show — based loosely on Take That’s ‘Let It Shine’ which featured Gary Barlow as a judge — which will have a panel that includes one or more of the girls.

“There will then be contributions from the other members depending on where it is being filmed.

“Geri has said she wouldn’t be able to commit to judging for six weeks in China but could appear in London or America.

“Meetings have taken place with Nickelodeon about the show.

“Geri, Mel B, Mel C and Emma have had experience of being on TV talent panels but this would be a first for Victoria.”

Helen Mirren used to be afraid of the dark

Posted: 11 Feb 2018 01:00 AM PST

Dame Helen Mirren used to be afraid of the dark.

The 72-year-old actress had some secret anxieties in the past, but has learned to overcome her terror in certain situations.

She said: “I used to be very scared of the dark.

“I’ve never really believed in ghosts, but I used to be very, very frightened of cemeteries at night.

“I don’t feel the same any more. I could walk through a cemetery at night now without any problem, which I could never have done.”

The ‘Winchester’ actress – who is married to director Taylor Hackford – admitted one of the best pieces of advice she’d ever been given was not to be “overcome” by her fears.

She told HELLO! magazine: “The greatest words of wisdom I ever had were from my headmistress when I was about 10 years old and going to an interview at the new big school I was moving to.

“She was a nun and in an enclosed oder, so she never really went out in the world.

“But I think she understood that I was very, very frightened of going into this big school.

“She said, ‘Be careful of fear. Fear is dangerous and don’t let it overcome you.’ I think that was a very, very wise thing to say.”

And among the ‘Queen’ actress’ best advice for young people is to “be brave” and strive for “great things”, as well as always being “proud” of themselves and their accomplishments.

Asked her advice for a younger generation, she said: “Be brave. Be proud of yourself, take yourself seriously, be proud of your accomplishments, always strive for great things but most of all, be really proud of yourself.”

Bitter child torn about confronting father

Posted: 11 Feb 2018 12:01 AM PST

Dear Amy: My mother died 10 years ago. My father, “Lucifer,” started dating “Rebecca” within a week of my mom’s funeral.

After two years, my father informed me that he was going to disinherit my brother and me in favor of “Rebecca” and her three spawn.

I begged my father not to do this, and told him he’d never see me or my kids again if he married her and disinherited us. He said he didn’t care, and went ahead.

Fast-forward to the present. Rebecca has died, and Lucifer is trying to “mend fences.” Meanwhile, he admitted to me that he has spent my mother’s entire trust on Rebecca and her three spawn, so I am out the money I was supposed to get from my deceased mother after my father died.

I want nothing to do with Lucifer. He has betrayed my trust by turning his back on his “real” family in favor of a bunch of strangers. He has dishonored my mother’s dying wish that he preserve the principal of her trust for me and my family.

I am so consumed by anger at the whole situation, I am finding it hard to get up in the morning and enjoy my day. I have a great life with a great husband and great kids, and we are not financially insecure by any means. How do I move past this?

— Fed Up in Florida

Dear Fed Up: Your own behavior has contributed to your rage.

For instance, you declared to your father that you would completely cut him off if he married “Rebecca,” and yet one of the things that makes you so angry is that your father aligned with “strangers.” Well, if you hadn’t cut off your relationship, these people would not be strangers.

You can hold onto your rage so that it continues to interfere with your ability to enjoy your own life, or you can explore ways to release it.

One reason to engage in fence-mending is to restore the relationship to the degree where you can (at least) express your own anger, with the hopes of receiving an apology — or at least an explanation. A therapist could help you to cope with your feelings, and might also offer a pathway to reconciliation.

Revenge is easier than reconciliation, but revenge might not be best for you.

Dear Amy: I am married to a kind, wonderful, intelligent man from another country. We go to his home country to visit family at least once a year.

They make me feel very welcome, but soon end up reverting to their native language, which I do not understand at all, for most conversations.

It makes me feel left out and ignored. I have voiced my feelings (many times) to my husband. While I understand that this can be habitual because it is, of course, their first language, it hurts my feelings to be sitting in a room full of people — ALL of whom speak English perfectly — and be purposely left out, even when sitting right next to my husband.

I have asked repeatedly that he speak English while I am present, but it doesn’t end up that way.

I find it to be extremely rude and hurtful. This is the only conflict we have.

As a result, I am now dreading another visit, and am actually thinking of having him travel alone this time. Do you have any suggestions on how to handle this?

— Left Out

Dear Left Out: It is understandable for people to speak their native language when they are in their home country and talking with other native speakers. You do this every single day. How did your husband cope with this alienation? He learned English!

The obvious solution is for you to make a concerted effort to learn your husband’s language. I assume your in-laws would be honored, and your comprehension would shoot up, even if your ability to speak lagged.

Until then, you should ask and then remind (in a good-natured way and in their language), “Oh please, can you speak English? I don’t want to miss anything!”

Dear Amy: Like “Brokenhearted Niece,” I had a volatile family member who had a tendency to drink and embarrass herself and others.

When I got married, I had a friend with experience who was willing to basically monitor this person and handle her if things got tough during the wedding and reception. We had no problems, but this relieved me of worrying about it.

— Happily Wed

Dear Wed: A great solution.

(You can contact Amy Dickinson via email: askamy@amydickinson.com. Readers may send postal mail to Amy Dickinson, c/o Tribune Content Agency, 16650 Westgrove Drive, Suite 175, Addison, Texas, 75001. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or “like” her on Facebook.)

OMARR’S DAILY ASTROLOGICAL FORECAST, For release 02/11/18 for 02/11/18

Posted: 11 Feb 2018 12:01 AM PST

BIRTHDAY GAL: Actress Jennifer Aniston was born in Sherman Oaks, Calif., on this date in 1969. This birthday gal won an Emmy along with four other nominations for her role as Rachel on “Friends.” She also earned an Emmy nomination for a guest appearance on “30 Rock” in 2009. On the big screen, Aniston’s film work includes “Cake,” “We’re the Millers,” and “He’s Just Not That Into You.”

ARIES (March 21-April 19): You might prefer to be a trail blazer and doer of daring deeds but in the week ahead you are more likely to earn disapproval for your efforts. Maintain a low profile and steer clear of disputes.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Speak calmly and clearly and then people will listen to what you say. During the week ahead you can improve your reputation and engender good will by encouraging teamwork.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Don’t hide the truth or obscure the facts. Overcome obstacles and objections by holding honest discussions. Emphasize the mutual benefits rather than pointing out the weaknesses this week.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): You might take pride in good heart-keeping rather than good housekeeping in the week ahead. Put your best efforts into mending fences and head off misunderstandings in advance.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Don’t fall prey to wishful thinking as this week unfolds. Don’t ignore the people who support and appreciate you even if you think you can do better elsewhere. Be romantic, not gullible.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Your artistic and creative side might begin to bloom during the week ahead. Your job might entail some handicrafts or using your imagination. Learn to do something that is inspiring.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Friends and co-workers can be a great resource for financial advice in the week ahead. Make purchases that require good taste in the next two days. Avoid disagreements later in the week.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): The upcoming week provides numerous opportunities to be creative or create lasting relationships. Make major purchases and sign agreements as early in the week as possible.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Use every opportunity to clear the air and put relationships on track in the first part of the week. By the end of the week people may easily misunderstand your motives or intentions.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Be honest with yourself as well as others in the week to come. Don’t beat around the bush or cover up financial expenditures. Make key decisions as soon as possible or next week.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Sweet dreams are made of this. You may become more romantic and preoccupied by your inner fantasies as this week unfolds. Use your imagination when purchasing tasteful household decor.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Embrace what is offered. Someone could offer you an incentive to begin a new study, to join a team sports program or to travel early this week. Every opportunity contains a hidden benefit.

IF FEBRUARY 11 IS YOUR BIRTHDAY: During the next eight to 10 weeks you may feel carefree and blessed by circumstances. Good fortune smiles on you when you make important decisions and changes. Don’t exaggerate your importance or abilities and you can sit back and enjoy the ride. Late May and early June is a poor time to begin any new investment or financial enterprise. Wait until late July or October, when your business sense is at its best, to tackle your financial affairs and address material security. Romance might be on your mind in August, but you are more likely to find a willing partner for a fling than for a permanent liaison.


Posted: 11 Feb 2018 12:01 AM PST



             By J. McCarthy  


Sacramento is 3-12 against the spread its last 15 games when facing an opponent that allowed 100 points or more the previous game. The Kings are 3-8 against the spread the last 11 games in this series. Minnesota is a solid 10-1 against the spread its last 11 home games. Take Minnesota -13 for another Best Bet winner.




 Favorite            Points    (O/U)      Underdog  


 Toronto               3       (215)     CHARLOTTE   BOSTON                4 1/2   (212.5)   Cleveland   Detroit               3 1/2   (211)       ATLANTA   INDIANA               12 1/2  (211.5)    New York   MINNESOTA             13      (212)    Sacramento   x-OKLAHOMA CITY     No Line   (XXX)       Memphis   HOUSTON               13 1/2  (216.5)      Dallas   PORTLAND              2 1/2   (209.5)        Utah  


x-Oklahoma City R. Westbrook is questionable.


               College Basketball  


 Favorite            Points               Underdog  


 SYRACUSE              7 1/2           Wake Forest   Michigan              3                 WISCONSIN   Louisville            11               PITTSBURGH   MEMPHIS               1 1/2       Central Florida   SOUTHERN ILLINOIS     4 1/2               Bradley   VALPARAISO            5               Illinois St   COLORADO              3                  Stanford   Cincinnati            6 1/2                   SMU   HOUSTON               14                   Tulane   Duke                  9 1/2          GEORGIA TECH   Penn St               2 1/2              ILLINOIS   OREGON                14 1/2        Washington St                     Extra Games   LAFAYETTE             5 1/2       Loyola Maryland   Wagner                6       FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON  




 Favorite             Goals    (O/U)      Underdog  


 WASHINGTON           1/2-1    (5.5)       Detroit   ST. LOUIS           Even-1/2  (5.5)    Pittsburgh   WINNIPEG            1-1 1/2   (6)      NY Rangers   DALLAS              1-1 1/2   (5.5)     Vancouver   BUFFALO             Even-1/2  (5.5)      Colorado   Boston              Even-1/2  (5.5)    NEW JERSEY   Calgary             Even-1/2  (6)    NY ISLANDERS   ANAHEIM              1/2-1    (5.5)      San Jose   VEGAS                1/2-1    (6)    Philadelphia  


               Home Team in CAPS  



Do graduation years on your resume date you?

Posted: 11 Feb 2018 12:01 AM PST

DEAR JOYCE: At 58, should my resume include the years I graduated from school, which is another way of stating my age? — J.M.

The classic choice is to make your resume age-neutral by omitting graduation dates. The contrarian answer is to stop kidding yourself and realize that a lack of dates is a clear clue to your age.

On balance, I’d go with the classic answer. When you want to split the difference, begin your cover note with a no-dates resume with this type of sentiment:

“Unless you prefer youth and inexperience over age and wisdom, my strong qualifications make me the perfect match for your (xyz) position.”

DEAR JOYCE: I have tried hard to stay abreast of the new technology that’s changing today’s jobs. I’ve also taken advantage of this hot job market to apply to several good companies. Not one job offer yet! What could be wrong here? — T.A.

I’m only guessing, but try to get a handle on your problem by evaluating your productivity on previous jobs. A CareerBuilder study suggests the five biggest workplace productivity killers are time you spend on the following:

1. Cellphones/texting

2. The internet

3. Gossip

4. Social media

5. Email

DEAR JOYCE: Over 40, I’m a high school grad who now feels driven to change careers. A neighbor is a pharmacist. She suggests I look into becoming a pharmacy technician. Good idea? — N.M.

Why not? Start with the federal government’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, which you can read free online at www.bls.gov/ooh. You’ll find sterling information to help you make a wise career choice for your interests and talents.

DEAR JOYCE: The woman at the next desk has been intermittently coughing on and off for several months. Can the company insist she go home until she recovers completely? — M.E.A.

Yes, your company can require Typhoid Mary to leave the building. Employers not only can send employees home if they show symptoms of pandemic illness, but they can also require them to take sick leave. Tip: Thoroughly research this topic or pay a lawyer for advice.

DEAR JOYCE: A month ago I had what appeared to be a successful interview with the controller of a small company. When I left, I didn’t have an offer in hand but she gave me the impression that I would be offered the job. After that — zero contact. Although I called and emailed, I never heard back. Today I learned through my network that someone else was hired. Can you guess what went south for me? — T.R.

My guess — and it’s only a guess — is that the controller encountered another candidate who outscored you in the selection process. She probably did like you but didn’t want to hurt your feelings by admitting that the job “probably wasn’t going to work out for you.” Alternatively, she may later have changed her mind after interviewing the candidate whom she did hire.

In this upbeat job market, don’t sweat one or two losses. Keep smiling and keep looking!

(E-mail your career questions for possible use in this column to Joyce Lain Kennedy at jlk@sunfeatures.com; use “Reader Question” for subject line.)

Family finances: Fighting back against robo calls

Posted: 11 Feb 2018 12:01 AM PST

Technology has made those annoying recorded calls ubiquitous, and technology can help you fight back.

Robo calls that use sales pitches or scare tactics to siphon your money are on the rise. Unwanted calls have topped the Federal Communications Commission’s list of consumer complaints over the past several years. Many are against the law: Most robo calls to your smartphone are illegal, and robo sales calls to your home phone are illegal except in specific circumstances.

And they are becoming trickier to spot. Robo callers are covering their tracks by “spoofing,” or falsifying their caller ID so it displays a fake number that appears to be local.

The FCC recently announced that phone companies may proactively block calls that appear to be spoofed — a good step forward, says Margot Saunders, senior counsel to the National Consumer Law Center. What you can do.

Start by checking to see if you inadvertently gave permission to some callers to disturb your dinner. For example, you may have checked a box on a loan application consenting to reminders by any means. You’ll need to contact the company to revoke your consent.

Adding your number to the Do Not Call registry (www.donotcall.gov) will deflect live sales calls from legitimate telemarketers. However, it won’t stop scammers or calls for debt collection, surveys and more. Check your home-phone provider about blocking individual numbers or enabling Anonymous Call Rejection. If you get your home-phone service from an internet provider, such as Comcast Xfinity or Verizon Fios, try Nomorobo (www.nomorobo.com).

To prevent individual callers from reaching your cell phone, look up instructions at www.ctia.org/consumer-tips/robocalls. To further cover your bases, enable a blocking app on your smartphone. Some carriers are rolling out services that warn customers or intercept suspicious calls outright, including AT&T’s free Call Protect, T-Mobile’s free Scam ID and Scam Block, and Verizon’s Caller Name ID ($3 per month).

Alternatively, a number of third-party apps will reveal caller ID; fend off known scammers automatically while allowing legal robo calls (such as appointment reminders) to get through; and let you customize your own blacklist. Some apps guard against spam texts, too, such as PrivacyStar and Truecaller for mobile phones. The YouMail app delivers an “out of service” message to discourage nefarious callers from contacting you in the future; RoboKiller ($3 per month or $25 per year, iOS only) plays a snarky prerecorded message of your choosing to flummox spam callers.

Review an app’s privacy policy before downloading. For example, the Hiya app may access your phone number as well as your phone’s call and text logs and contacts.

(Miriam Cross is a staff writer at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. Send your questions and comments to moneypower@kiplinger.com. And for more on this and similar money topics, visit Kiplinger.com.)

Investing: Smart ways to invest $1K, $10K and $100K

Posted: 11 Feb 2018 12:01 AM PST

From “Great Ideas for $1,000, $10,000 or $100,000” in February issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance:

Invest in India.

Move over China; it’s India’s turn. Thanks to tax and economic reforms, India is poised for a multiyear cycle of increasing business and consumer investment and higher productivity. A recent Harvard University study predicts 7.7 percent annualized growth in the country’s gross domestic product through 2025. (By contrast, the study forecasts 4.4 percent and 2.9 percent annualized growth in China and the U.S., respectively.) To get a piece of India’s expansion, stash $1,000 in iShares MSCI India ETF (symbol INDA), which invests in large and midsize firms, and hold for the long haul. The fund has $1 billion in assets and charges the lowest annual fee of its peers, 0.79 percent. INDA climbed 28.5 percent over the past 12 months.

Save for retirement, stress-free.

Target-date mutual funds are one-stop shops for retirement savers. Instead of managing your own portfolio of diversified assets, the pros do it for you. Year after year, a target-date fund’s managers will adjust the mix of stocks and bonds so the portfolio grows more conservative as it nears the year you expect to retire. The Vanguard Target Retirement and T. Rowe Price Target Date funds come with excellent long-term track records. Aiding performance in both cases are low expense ratios and a higher-than-average allocation to stocks over time. The Vanguard funds have a $1,000 minimum, and T. Rowe’s minimum is $2,500, or $1,000 if you purchase shares for an IRA.

Buy a ready-made portfolio.

Assembling a diversified collection of tech stocks is challenging, especially when some industry titans trade for more than $1,000 per share. But the Ready-to-Go Technology portfolio at brokerage Folio Investing (www.folioinvesting.com) gets you actual shares in 30 firms, including Alphabet (GOOGL), Apple (AAPL) and Facebook (FB), as well as Chinese internet firm Baidu (BIDU). Folio’s Technology portfolio returned 16.1 percent annualized over the past five years (through early December), compared with a 15.7 percent gain in Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index.

A $10,000 investment may not buy a full share of every stock in the portfolio, but Folio pools customers’ orders, allowing it to sell you fractional shares. You can also choose from more than 160 other ready-to-go portfolios, or build your own. For a one-year payment of $290 (or $29 monthly), you can trade any stock, exchange-traded fund or mutual fund, with no transaction fee. Folio executes trades twice a day; to place a market order that will be executed immediately, you pay $3 per trade.

Open an IRA, get a bonus.

Move your IRA or open a new one and get an instant return on your money. If you open an IRA at TD Ameritrade and fund it with $100,000 within 60 days, you’ll get a $300 cash bonus (the offer is valid through March). Merrill Edge is giving out a slightly smaller bonus of $250 for a $100,000 IRA funded within 45 days of opening the account; there is no expiration date on the offer.

(Send your questions and comments to moneypower@kiplinger.com. And for more on this and similar money topics, visit Kiplinger.com.)