Countdown’s Top Five

  1. Operation Iraqi Garbage
  2. New information involving the family of Michael Jackson`s accuser.  After an incident at a department store, a psychiatrist noted that the mother appeared to be depressed.
  3. New insight into the secret working of the Supreme Court.
  4. The first political poll to include the newly declared independent candidate is out.  And it shows Nader not only with more initial support than analysts expected, but more than he got in the 2000 election. 
  5. A lawyer for the Bay Area fitness company alleged to be at the heart of baseball`s steroids scandal denies it gave any athlete anything illegal. 
  6. Steroids are hardly new in sports.  Four other high profile cases:
  7. The wrestler, Hulk Hogan.
  8. Lyle Alzado, football lineman, sometimes actor, died at age 42.  Before he did, he said he`d been taking steroids for 15 years and they had gaven him a brain cancer and heart condition.
  9. Ben Johnson, Canadian sprinter at the 1988 Olympics
  10. Ken Caminiti, onetime National League, most valuable player, who estimated that half of baseball players use steroids, himself included.
  11. The mother and daughter reunion, now set.
  12. In 1988, the name Kimberly Mays exploded into the headline.  She was the child of Ernest and Regina Twig, but she and another baby had been switched at birth, nine years earlier.  The Twiggs spent five years trying to gain legal custody to their biological daughter.  Kimberly resisted, she went to court to stay with the man she knew as her father. 
  13. Five more children who were reunited with their families:
  14. Elizabeth Smart, kidnapped from her bed, age 14, found alive nearly year ago, today. 
  15. Erica Pratt, the 7-year-old Philadelphia girl who escaped from her kidnappers by chewing through the duct tape that bound her and breaking a window to yell for help.
  16. Orey Steinmann, the now 17-year-old Canadian child who found out only last month on the internet that he was a missing child, and by the way, he`s now had a phone conversation with his long lost father. 
  17. Matthew Prop, who was 22 and living in New Mexico when he found out his parents had kidnapped him from an infant -- or, as an infant from New York City. 
  18. Subash Bag from West Bengal in Indiana.  When he was eight, his parents thought he died from a snake bite.  In keeping with local tradition, they put his body on a raft, sent it down river.  He was actually alive, although he did have amnesia.  Last month, 11 years later, Subash finally returned to his home village for a family reunion. 
  19. Well, is this new?  Did FDR run for re-election in `44 talking about Pearl Harbor?  Did Lincoln actually bring up Gettysburg when he ran for is second term?  Doug Brinkley's answer.
               

Today’s Top Three Newsmakers

  1. The Emergency Broadcast System, which accidentally issued a tsunami warning -- tidal wave warning for Eagle County, Colorado. 
  2. Feliphe Ramos, not much of a getaway.
  3. Scott Stiles.  A pornographic actor was revealed in today`s edition of a Houston newspaper as a former flight controller at NASA Mission Control.  [Warning: this is a link to a story about a porn actor.  Think about what might be on the other side of this link before you click it.]

Let's Play Oddball!

  1. Of course those buttons don't work.
  2. And your next bit of public facility mayhem:  The see-through toilet.

Keeping Tabs

  1. J.K. Rowling was besieged during a live Web chat this morning with 16,000 online questions. 
  2. Michael Eisner; 24 hours ago, it was, when, after a 43 percent no-confidence vote, Eisner gave up the chairman`s half of his twin duties with Disney. 
  3. William Hung, back on "American Idol" this week, available in record stores just about a month hence, and making his triumphal return to COUNTDOWN.
    We`re inviting to you e-mail us with the name of the song you want him to sing here on the show. 

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