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Luke Bryan breaks no touching rule for terminally ill fan

Country singer Luke Bryan broke his famous “no touching” rule at meet and greets for one special fan.

People reported that the rule gained attention when Bryan appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2016.

>> Read more trending news

At the time, Bryan said fans got a little too handsy with his back end at shows and meet and greets before the show.

KSHB reported that before the singer’s show Friday at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri, Francis Stanaway, 88, was able to break the rule.

Stanaway, who is under hospice care at Crossroads Hospice, was able to coordinate a meet-and-greet with her family and event organizers before the show. 

“We’re excited for her because she used to love country so much before she went to the nursing home,” daughter-in-law Linda Sokolaski said. “She doesn't get to experience it much more.”

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

Stanaway was able to meet and pose with the 41-year-old singer and give him a pat on the behind in the photo.

Crossroads Hospice was able to make the encounter happen through its Gift of a Day program, according to KHSB.

June Foray, voice of Rocky the Flying Squirrel, dead at 99

Foray died Wednesday at West Hills Hospital in Los Angeles of cardiac arrest, but she had been in fragile health since a car accident two years ago, niece Robin Thaler said Thursday.

Foray was the best-known woman among the voice performers who contributed so much to the classic cartoons of Warner Bros., Disney, Hanna-Barbera and other studios. She had a galaxy of ways to create funny but believable characters, but could also be warm and wise in Disney's "Mulan" or, in a memorable "Twilight Zone" episode, chilling.

She had over 300 credits as a voice actress, most recently doing one last turn as Rocky in a 2014 short.

Born in Springfield, Massachusetts, Foray was a teenager when she moved with her parents to Los Angeles. She had begun performing in radio as a child in Massachusetts and, once in Hollywood, became active in major radio programs such as "The Jimmy Durante Show." She later called old-time radio a great training ground, forcing her to learn to be versatile and quick-thinking.

Among the legends she worked with were Chuck Jones and the other famed Warner's animators; Jay Ward, creator of "Rocky and Bullwinkle"; Rod Serling, creator of "The Twilight Zone"; radio and recording satirist Stan Freberg; and such cartoon voice talents as Daws Butler (Huckleberry Hound) and Blanc (Bugs Bunny, Sylvester).

In his 1989 memoir, "Chuck Amuck," Jones noted "the highly talented and versatile Mel Blanc" did voices for Bugs, Daffy, Porky, Tweety, Yosemite Sam and others, "except female voices, which were done by the equally talented June Foray."

Perhaps inevitably, Rocky — with his trademark exclamation "Hokey Smoke!" — was Foray's favorite.

"Everybody asks me that," she said in a 2000 Associated Press interview. "I think the fans kind of answer that for me. Everybody loves Rocky. I get letters from Belgium, Germany, all over. People don't think of him as a squirrel. They think of him as a person. And he's a good little person."

The diminutive Foray wore a gold Rocky pendent around her neck that she delighted in pointing out to people.

She was also fond of Rocky's pal, voiced by Bill Scott, as well. "Bullwinkle was a very sweet creature," Foray said. "He was not a stupid person. He was extremely ingenious. He was very faithful."

The original "Rocky and Bullwinkle" aired in 326 short installments as part of a series featuring other cartoon creations by Ward. The Cold War conflict pitted the moose and squirrel against the bumbling spies Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale, to whom Foray also gave a voice.

"Rocky and His Friends" ran on ABC weekday afternoons from 1959 through 1961, and then "The Bullwinkle Show" was on NBC from 1961 to 1964, first in prime-time and later in daytime.

Besides Bullwinkle J. Moose and Rocket J. Squirrel, the show featured such sequences as "Fractured Fairy Tales"; "Peabody's Improbable History"; "Aesop and Son"; and "Adventures of Dudley Do- Right."

"The shows were on two plateaus," Foray once said. "The children enjoyed it because of the humorous look of the characters and the sounds of the voices. The adults find it so inventive because of the puns, the satire. ... It was a show that was different from everything that came before it or after it."

In 1966, Foray was the voice of Cindy Lou Who in the much-revived TV holiday special "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," based on the Dr. Seuss book, directed by Jones and narrated by Boris Karloff. She worked with Jones on another classic children's story in 1973, voicing the mother in "The Cricket in Times Square."

Earlier, she worked with Freberg on his 1953 hit record, "St. George and the Dragonet," a parody of the "Dragnet" series, and teamed with Freberg again for his acclaimed historical comedy records "Stan Freberg Presents The United States of America. Vol. 1" in 1961 and "Vol. 2" in 1996, portraying a host of historical characters. She also contributed her voice talents to one of the best-known "Twilight Zone" episodes, a 1963 chiller about a talking doll that turns murderous.

"I'm Talky Tina ... and I'm going to kill you," the doll says to the hapless victim (played by Telly Savalas, later famous as "Kojak.")

For Walt Disney, her contributions included the voice of Lucifer the cat on his 1950 "Cinderella." At Warner Bros., she was the voice of Witch Hazel in several Jones films and Granny, the owner of Tweety Bird and Sylvester, in many cartoons, though Bea Benadaret (the voice of Betty Rubble on "The Flintstones") also voiced Granny in some early cartoons. For Walter Lantz she was Woody Woodpecker's nephew and niece, Knothead and Splinter.

Later generations might know her voice best as Grandmother Fa in Disney's "Mulan" from 1998.

As cartoon characters were recycled by Hollywood, Foray remained active into her 80s. She did Granny on "Tiny Toon Adventures" and reprised her Rocky role in the 2000 big-screen adaptation, "The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle," a mixture of cartoon and live action starring Rene Russo and Jason Alexander. The film was poorly received, but she thought it had a good story line and "all the charm of Rocky and Bullwinkle."


Wallace reported from Dallas. Associated Press Writer Andrew Dalton and former Associated Press writer Polly Anderson contributed to this story.

Showtime sets a Donald Trump cartoon from Stephen Colbert

Showtime has elected to air a cartoon series about the Donald Trump White House.

The 10 half-hours of what Showtime calls a workplace comedy will be executive produced by Stephen Colbert for premiere this fall. No date was specified.

Showtime says the series, so far untitled, will satirically deconstruct life in the White House-hold with family members, insiders, world leaders and even rival Democrats taking part.

This animated portrayal of Trump is a popular recurring feature on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert." The Showtime series will team Colbert with his "Late Show" executive producer Chris Licht. Production turnaround time will be swift, enabling current events to play a role in the show.

Rx for Dr. McDreamy: Boxing lessons this summer in Maine

Actor Patrick Dempsey is working on his boxing skills this summer in his native Maine.

Dempsey played the role of Dr. McDreamy on the ABC drama "Grey's Anatomy." He has been training in the ring since June with firefighter Jason Quirk, who's also a professional boxer.

Quirk tells the Portland Press Herald that Dempsey approached his coach at the Portland Boxing Club.

Fellow firefighters posted a picture of Quirk and Dempsey on the Munjoy Hill Fire Station Facebook page on Thursday.

Quirk won't say where they're working out or why Dempsey wants boxing lessons.

Dempsey is the creator of the Dempsey Challenge bike-run-walk fundraiser to raise money to help families affected by cancer. His most recent film was the romantic comedy "Bridget Jones's Baby."

Tracy Morgan relishes post-crash chance to be 'better man'

Tracy Morgan has a ready answer when asked about getting a second chance after his near-fatal crash three years ago.

"Thank God. That's all I've gotta say," Morgan told a TV critics' meeting Thursday, where he was promoting his new TBS comedy "The Last O.G."

In 2014, the former "30 Rock" and "Saturday Night Live" star suffered severe head trauma when a truck slammed into the back of the limo van he was riding in. Comedian James McNair, his friend and collaborator, was killed.

Morgan said his brush with death had a profound effect on him. That includes the kind of sitcom he's doing. In "The Last O.G.," Morgan plays an ex-con, Tray, who finds the life and the Brooklyn, New York, neighborhood he left behind is gone.

Morgan has surrounded himself with a strong cast, including "Girls Trip" breakout star Tiffany Haddish and Cedric the Entertainer. Why didn't he just go with a "Tracy Morgan Show" that gave him all the laughs?

"Maybe I'm just a better man since the accident. Maybe I'm just a better man," he said. "It ain't about me. It's bigger than me."

He indicated the physical effects of the crash may not be entirely in the past, saying people around him on set makes sure he takes regular breaks during the workday.

"The Last O.G." co-stars Haddish as Tray's ex-girlfriend, Shay, the mother of twins he didn't know he had. In the 15 years he was imprisoned, Shay moved on, marrying a successful man (Ryan Gaul) who is helping raise the children.

Gaul's character is white, and Morgan said the sitcom is deliberately inclusive.

New York is home to more than black people, and all lives matter, he said.

Meg Ryan, John Mellencamp reportedly dating again

John Mellencamp and Meg Ryan are reportedly back together since breaking up over two years ago, according to a published report.

Entertainment Tonight reported that the couple started dating in 2010 and broke up five years later. In a March interview with Howard Stern, Mellencamp said Ryan isn’t fond of him.

>> Read more trending news

“Oh, women hate me. I loved Meg Ryan,” he told Stern. “She hates me to death. I think it’s because I’m a child. I throw fits -- I gripe. I complain. I’m moody. Every bad thing that a fellow can be, that’s me.”

Apparently, he was a little off the mark.

Mellencamp was most recently romantically linked to model Christie Brinkley, but the two called it quits after nearly a year together.

A source close to the former couple revealed to Page Six that Brinkley and Mellencamp’s differences in lifestyle was the reason behind the split.

“If you know John, you know he doesn’t do well at social gatherings and at tables filled with nice folks, particularly the Hamptons set,” the source said at the time of their break up. “He shoots straight from the hip. She may have liked that he’s a cowboy, but in the end that’s what drove her away.”

Fox News spends bucks to poke fun at The New York Times

Fox News Channel gave The New York Times more than $100,000 to poke fun at the newspaper.

Fox ran a full-page advertisement in the Times on Thursday, blurbing a recent review in the newspaper that called the "Fox & Friends" morning show "the most powerful TV show in America."

Television critic James Poniewozik's review wasn't exactly complimentary, as it traced the show's close relationship with the nation's tweeter-in-chief, President Donald Trump.

In addition to the Times, Fox News ran the same full-page ad in the Washington Post and New York Post. The network wouldn't say how much it spent. The Times' ad rates say a full-page ad with color generally runs around $130,000.

"They've decided to move upmarket and support our journalism with their money," said Mark Thompson, the Times' CEO, president and director. "So we're very pleased to have them."

Trump, and by extension many Fox News viewers, generally don't look kindly at the Times. The three hosts of "Fox & Friends" held up newspapers with the ad clearly visible at the top of their show on Thursday.

"For The New York Times to say that, it must have been tough," said Brian Kilmeade, one of the show's hosts.

In his review, Poniewozik called the show an "interactive magic mirror" for Trump.

"For years, it was a nontaxing mix of news, lifestyle and conservative couch gab, a warm-up before Fox's day of politics and commentary," Poniewozik wrote. "Suddenly, for no other reason than its No. 1 fan, it is the most powerful TV show in America."

Poniewozik outlined how Trump has frequently tweeted out material from "Fox & Friends," illustrating that he's watching in the morning, and the show reports on his tweets.

"Diagraming the feedback loop between 'Fox & Friends' and the president requires a very small bulletin board and maybe six inches of yarn," he wrote.

As if to prove his point, the president tweeted at 6:48 a.m. on Thursday: "Wow, the failing @NYTimes said about @foxandfriends '...the most powerful TV show in America.'"

Country music mourning the passing of legendary Nashville producer Billy Joe Walker 

The country music community is mourning the passing of legendary producer, musician and songwriter Joe Walker Jr., who passed away earlier this week at the age of 64.

>> Read more trending news

According to CMT, Walker had been in poor health for some time. The native Texan was in Kerrville at the time of his passing in the early morning hours of July 25..

As a producer, Walker worked on projects for artists from the early 2000s, including Travis Tritt, Billy Ray Cyrus, Bryan White, Pam Tillis and the late Mindy McCready.

His songwriting earned him cuts with popular stars like Trisha Yearwood, Jerrod Niemann, Tanya Tucker and Billy Currington.

He was also a gifted guitar picker who played with some of country’s icons, including Randy Travis, Glen Campbell, Merle Haggard and Crystal Gayle.

>> Related: Travis Tritt recalls a moment of kindness, humanity from true country hero

A devastated Travis Tritt shared his heartbreak on social media.

Bryan White, who credits Billy Joe with helping launch his career, also expressed his grief on Twitter.

Fulfilling a 'Teenage Dream': Katy Perry to host MTV VMAs

Get ready to roar with Katy Perry at the MTV Video Music Awards: The pop star is hosting the show next month.

MTV announced Thursday that Perry will host the Aug. 27 event at the Forum in Inglewood, California. Perry is nominated for five Moonmen, including best pop video for "Chained to the Rhythm."

Perry, whose hits include "Teenage Dream" and "Roar," won video of the year in 2011 for "Firework."

The 32-year-old singer released a new album, "Witness," last month. So far, it's had mild success and hasn't matched the triumph of her previous albums.

Kendrick Lamar is the top VMA contender with eight nominations. His hit, "Humble," will compete for video of the year against videos by Bruno Mars, the Weeknd, Alessia Cara and DJ Khaled.

Bag it, tag it: How fans get Phish 'Baker's Dozen' doughnuts

Phish's 13-show "Baker's Dozen" residency at New York's Madison Square Garden is all about the doughnuts.

The video the band released in January to announce the shows included skyscraper-sized doughnuts rolling through the streets of New York. Fans who purchased a 13-night package got doughnut-shaped tickets.

And the band has partnered with Philadelphia doughnut and fried chicken shop Federal Donuts to make a specialty flavor each night that they're both giving out to fans and building some of their songs around.

Here's a look at how the doughnuts go from fryers in Philly to fans in New York.



Federal Donuts chef Matt Fein's crew is working overnight shifts to get the thousands of doughnuts made at the company's commissary kitchen just outside of downtown Philadelphia.

A machine called a Donut Robot fries them up and then each doughnut is hand-dipped into that night's flavor.

Flavors so far have included coconut, strawberry, red velvet, jam-filled and powdered. The custom flavors for the remaining eight shows are a secret, to be announced by the band before that day's show.



The doughnuts are finished early before Federal Donuts begins its daily breakfast rush. They're then packed up into a truck to be shipped to New York in crates of 24 each.

While fans are lining up outside of the arena early to try to get a taste, a group of volunteers works inside to get each doughnut into a bag with Phish's logo on it.

The volunteers come from the various groups that staff the band's shows around the country, including Phish's WaterWheel Foundation.



Once the doors open each night around 6:30 p.m., fans come streaming through the towers at Madison Square Garden, where the volunteers hand the doughnuts out.

After about a half hour, the doughnuts are gone, the remaining sad fans forced to ride up the escalators without a doughnut.



With more than an hour before the show starts, fans that get inside the arena in time for a doughnut also have plenty of time to enjoy it.

The band has also taken each night's flavor and worked it into their set lists.

The first show's coconut flavor, for instance, saw the band open the show with an obscure Danish pop song, Junior Senior's "Shake your Coconuts."


Contact Cornfield at

Ben Affleck, Matt Damon producing Showtime drama pilot

Showtime says Oscar-winning filmmakers Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are re-teaming off-screen for a new one-hour drama pilot.

The prospective new series, "City on a Hill," is based on an idea by Affleck and Damon, and focuses on Boston in the early 1990s. The city was then rife with violent criminals emboldened by local law enforcement agencies where corruption and racism was the norm. Then it all suddenly changed. The series is a fictional account of what was called "the Boston Miracle."

No cast members were announced by Showtime.

Affleck and Damon will be among the project's executive producers. They shared a best screenplay Oscar for their 1998 breakout film, "Good Will Hunting," in which they also co-starred.

Comedian in Car Getting Cash: Seinfeld is Forbes' top paid

Forbes has crowned Jerry Seinfeld as the king of the club when it comes to the highest-paid, stand-up comedians.

The magazine estimates Seinfeld brought in $69 million over the past year partly due to his Netflix show "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee." Seinfeld also has sizable income from syndication royalties on reruns of his NBC series, which ended nearly two decades ago.

Netflix's spending spree on stand-up comedy specials has had a big impact on the Forbes list. Chris Rock, Louis C.K., Dave Chappelle and Amy Schumer round out the top five. All of them have Netflix deals.

Last year's highest-paid comic, Kevin Hart, fell to sixth place with earnings of more than $32 million.

June Foray, voice of Cindy Lou Who, Rocky the Flying Squirrel dies at 99

American voice actress June Foray died Wednesday.

>> Read more trending news 

Best known for voicing Rocky the Flying Squirrel and Natasha Fatale of “The Bullwinkle Show,” Foray died at the age of 99.

Her good friend, Dave Nimitz, confirmed the news of Facebook shortly after her death.

“With a heavy heart again I want to let you all know that we lost our little June today at 99 years old she is resting peacefully now with her beloved sister Geri and Sam her brother-in-law. I’m going out of my mind with the loss and losing all three of them within the last month-and-a-half but they’re in a better place now truly cherish my time with June and in the family for the last 14 years she is now in heaven with her family and my mother if I don’t respond right away please forgive me I need to disappear from Facebook for a while Saturday we are having a private family only memorial for Sam So it’s very bittersweet for me.

Foray won a Daytime Emmy Award for her work “The Garfield Show” in 2012, in which she played Mrs. Cauldron, and won Grammy Award for her voice work as Cindy Lou Who in the 1968 film “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

She also lent her voice to several other animated projects, playing Witch Hazel in “Looney Tunes,” Nell in “Dudley Do-Right,” Granny in “Tweety and Sylvester” and Lucifer the Cat in Disney’s 1950 “Cinderella.”

Financial personality Ramsey eyes new Tennessee headquarters

Financial personality Dave Ramsey has broken ground on a new corporate headquarters in Tennessee.

Ramsey Solutions celebrated the groundbreaking Thursday at the Franklin site where its more than 223,000 square-foot (20,717 sq. meter) building will stand. The estimated move-in date is August 2019.

The personal financial advice company known for a radio show, live events and other offerings expects to add 175 employees in the next year. Currently, more than 600 people work for the company.

Ramsey Solutions says the city of Franklin and Williamson County are offering tax breaks dependent on hiring about 400 people by 2023 and another 400 employees by 2028.

Gov. Bill Haslam attended the event and helped break ground on the project.

Mick Jagger releases 2 tracks in new audio-visual project

Mick Jagger has released two songs which he says are urgent responses to the "confusion and frustration with the times we live in."

The Rolling Stones leader released the songs and music videos Thursday. He's calling "Gotta Get a Grip " and "England Lost " an audio-visual project.

Jagger said the songs were a result of the "anxiety (and) unknowability of the changing political situation." In a quote via email, the 74-year-old says of the world's current political climate: "We obviously have a lot of problems. So am I politically optimistic? .No."

Jagger said he started writing the songs in April and that he wanted to release them immediately.

"Doing a whole album often takes a long time even after finishing it with all the record company preparations and global release set up. It's always refreshing to get creative in a different fashion and I feel a slight throwback to a time when you could be a bit more free and easy by recording on the hoof and putting it out there immediately," he said. "I didn't want to wait until next year when these two tracks might lose any impact and mean nothing."

British rapper Skepta is featured on "England Lost." Jagger said when he was writing it, he knew he wanted a rap act on the track.

"It's about a feeling that we are in a difficult moment in our history. It's about the unknowability about where you are and the feeling of insecurity," he said of the song. "That's how I was feeling when I was writing."

Of "Gotta Get a Grip," Jagger said: "The message I suppose is — despite all those things that are happening, you gotta get on with your own life, be yourself and attempt to create your own destiny."

The Rolling Stones' most recent album was the blues effort, "Blue & Lonesome," released in December. The band is also working on an album of new material.

Jagger also commented on the most recent artists he's been listening to, which includes Skepta, Mozart, Howlin' Wolf, Tame Impala, "obscure Prince tracks and classic soul stuff from The Valentine Brothers."

"I really like Kendrick Lamar — he's also talking about discontent and he really nailed it," Jagger added.



"England Lost" video:

"Gotta Get a Grip" video:

Ed Sheeran, Stormzy in running for Britain's Mercury Prize

Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, poet Kate Tempest and grime artist Stormzy are among a dozen finalists for the prestigious Mercury Prize , recognizing the British or Irish album of the year.

Sheeran's global hit "Divide," Tempest's witty and hard-hitting "Let Them Eat Chaos" and Stormzy's "Gang Signs and Prayers" are among front-runners for the 25,000 pound ($33,000) prize, which includes entries across a wide range of genres.

Other contenders include "Relaxer" by rockers Alt-J, "I See You" by indie band The xx, "Common Sense" by rapper J Hus and "Together, As One" by jazz ensemble Dinosaur.

Established in 1992 and open to acts from Britain and Ireland, the Mercury Prize often favors the eclectic and the obscure over better-known performers.

The winner will be announced Sept. 14.

Kerry Washington to receive 2017 GLSEN Inspiration Award

Kerry Washington is being recognized by a national education organization for integrating LGBT activism into her film and television career.

GLSEN announced Thursday that it will honor Washington with the Inspiration Award at the 2017 GLSEN Respect Awards on Oct. 20 in Beverly Hills, California.

GLSEN praised Washington for her work with President Barack Obama's Committee on the Arts and Humanities, advocating for marriage equality and championing anti-domestic violence campaigns.

The Emmy-nominated actress previously served as an honorary co-chair for the 2013 GLSEN Respect Awards. Washington said she's excited to celebrate the organization's high school student leaders.

GLSEN was founded in 1990 to address LGBT issues in K-12 education.

Shonda Rhimes, creator of ABC's "Scandal" which stars Washington, received the Inspiration Award in 2009.

Mail Rail lets tourists visit London's secret postal railway

London's newest tourist attraction is perfect for underground explorers. It's not ideal for the claustrophobic.

A visit to Mail Rail , a subterranean train network that once carried millions of letters a day across the city, involves a cramped journey on a very small train through dark tunnels 70 feet (21 meters) belowground. It's atmospheric, but confined.

"If you're really tall, you may want to think twice before you buy a ticket," Harry Huskisson, head of communications for Mail Rail and the related Postal Museum , said during a press preview this week.

For 75 years, Mail Rail was the subterranean circulatory system of Britain's postal system. Trains transported letters, telegrams and packages between rail stations and sorting depots at speeds impossible on London's traffic-clogged streets.

Its driverless electric trains — cutting-edge when the system opened in 1927 — whisked mail across a 6.5-mile (10 kilometer) stretch of the city, from Paddington in the west to Whitechapel in the east, at up to 35 miles an hour (56 kph.)

After decades when it was seen only by the engineers and letter sorters who worked on it, Mail Rail closed in 2003 as the rise of email sent the volume of paper letters — dismissively branded "snail mail" — plummeting.

Postal chiefs considered using the tunnels for parcel deliveries or to grow mushrooms. In the end, it was decided to preserve a section as a companion to the renovated Postal Museum. Mail Rail is scheduled to reopen Sept. 4 as a tourist attraction aimed at train buffs, postal fans and people who simply like to nose around formerly secret underground spaces.

Visits involve a 20-minute journey in a compact, glass-roofed train that passes through grime-encrusted tunnels and offers glimpses of disused platforms and a graveyard of dusty old wagons.

The ambiance is lively, rather than eerie. There's informative audio narration, and several stops for films to be projected on the walls.

Sightseers who prefer to skip the close quarters on the trains can stay on the platform and watch a film of the journey. An adjacent display explains the history of the network and the people who worked there.

Like much of London, a city layered with history, the mail tunnels have undergone myriad uses. During World War I, when the tunnels had been dug but the trains were not yet running, the Rosetta Stone was brought from the British Museum for safe keeping in the hidden passage. Part of the site was turned into a replica Vatican for the 1991 Bruce Willis caper film "Hudson Hawk."

Set underneath the Mount Pleasant sorting station in central London, Mail Rail sits across the street from the renovated Postal Museum, which charts the history of what curators eye-catchingly call "the first social network." A single ticket — 16 pounds ($21) for adults — gains admission to both.

Tim Ellison, the museum's deputy director, acknowledged that the name does not convey huge amounts of excitement.

"We quite like the challenge of the name Postal Museum," Ellison said. "We want to change people's perceptions.

"This is far more than post. It tells a story about human communication," he said.

Opening to the public Friday, the museum takes a bright, interactive journey through the long — 500 years — and interesting story of Britain's Royal Mail. Philatelists may be thrilled to see one of the only full sheets of the first-ever postage stamp, the Penny Black.

Even visitors with no special interest in stamps or postal services are likely to be intrigued when they learn how mail is woven into the fabric of history. It's fascinating to be reminded, for instance, that the doomed RMS Titanic was an official mail-carrying vessel — the initials stand for "Royal Mail Ship." When it struck an iceberg, it went down with 3,000 sacks of post as well as 1,500 passengers and crew.

The story the museum tells is laced with human connections and studded with violence, from wartime bombs to pirate attacks on postal ships to highwaymen's raids on mail coaches.

Those for whom a short visit is not enough can rent out a brick-vaulted underground chamber at Mail Rail for parties or even weddings. There's not much of a view, but the acoustics are fabulous.

"I think you probably have to be of a certain ilk to have your wedding in here," Huskisson said. "And know your guests well."


Follow Jill Lawless on Twitter at

German plane hijacked to Somalia in 1977 being brought home

A Lufthansa Boeing 737 hijacked to Somalia 40 years ago at the height of the leftist Red Army Faction's campaign against West German authorities is coming home to a German museum.

The Dornier Museum in Friedrichshafen in southern Germany said Thursday the plane is expected in September, the news agency dpa reported. The aircraft, which has been at Brazil's Fortaleza Airport for years, will be dismantled for transport.

The October 1977 hijacking of the Mallorca-Frankfurt flight by a Palestinian group demanding the release of RAF members marked the peak of the "German Autumn" of leftist violence. German commandos stormed the plane in Mogadishu, Somalia.

Germany's foreign ministry bought the plane from Brazilian airport operator Infraero. Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel told daily Bild the aircraft symbolizes that "we won't bow to terrorism."

Angelina Jolie, Justin Bieber, Quincy Jones & Michael Jackson

In an interview with Vanity FairAngelina Jolie revealed that she has been diagnosed with Bell's Palsy as a result of damaged facial nerves, which causes one side of her face to droop. She said:

“Sometimes women in families put themselves last, until it manifests itself in their own health,” 

When talking about her family and her high profile split from Brad Pitt, she said:

“It’s just been the hardest time, and we’re just kind of coming up for air... We’re all trying to do our best to heal our family.” MORE HERE

Justin Bieber accidentally struck a photographer with his truck last night. Bieber was trying to leave while swarmed by paparazzi and ended up hitting someone. Footage of the event spread pretty quickly on social media. Justin Bieber was cooperative with authorities and police believe the incident was an accident. He was released without a citation. MORE HERE 

Quincy Jones just won his royalty court case against The Michael Jackson Estate and is owed $9.42 million. Quincy believed he was owed about $30 million in royalties for projects that were produced after Michael Jackson's death, using music that Quincy had collaborated on. These projects included Cirque du Soleil shows and the This Is It concert film. After the case, Quincy said:

"This lawsuit was never about Michael, it was about protecting the integrity of the work we all did in the recording studio and the legacy of what we created," 

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