Dubious No. 1 for Rodman
Dennis Rodman is at the top of a list no one wants to be on at all. He’s been named GQ magazine’s No. 1 least influential celebrity of this year. The 52-year-old former basketball player who has visited North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was the top pick in the magazine’s third annual list of the least influential celebrities, which also includes pop star Miley Cyrus, President Barack Obama and celebrity chef Paula Deen. GQ called Rodman a “Q-list celebrity willing to commit borderline treason just to hang out with a dictator who himself aspires to be a Q-list celebrity.” Rodman last week said he is preparing to return to North Korea late next month for an exhibition basketball tour. Deen came in at No. 2, while former sexting congressman Anthony Weiner took the No. 3 spot. Cyrus won the No. 6 position and Obama came in at No. 17 because “nothing gets done.”
Police monitoring killer
Police are keeping a sadistic killer known as the “tracksuit madman” under close watch after his release from prison under a European human rights ruling, officials said on Saturday. Manuel Gonzalez Gonzalez was released on Friday from a penitentiary west of Barcelona where he had been serving a 169-year sentence delivered in 1997 for horrific sexual assaults on 16 women and the resulting death of one of the victims. “According to the experts, he is not cured of his urges,” a regional interior ministry official, Ramon Espadaler, told Catalunya Radio. Gonzalez was jailed for a string of violent attacks between 1991 and 1993 on girls and women he approached from behind and stabbed their genitalia. His release complied with an Oct. 21 European Court of Human Rights ruling that found Madrid had acted illegally by denying certain prisoners shortened sentences for good behavior.
Anti-austerity groups march
Anti-austerity groups and trade unions angry at the effects of the financial crisis held protest marches in 55 cities on Saturday, calling on the government to rethink its policy of cutbacks in public services, education and health care. Thousands marched to Madrid’s Puerta del Sol square — many wearing white medical scrubs — carrying banners reading “Health care is not for sale.” The peaceful protests coincided with anti-fascist gatherings, including one outside the giant mausoleum where the dictator general Francisco Franco is buried. Many protesters carried tri-color republican flags in commemoration of the democratically elected government that Franco overthrew.
Zombies crowd Mexico City
More than 7,000 “zombies” on Saturday crammed Mexico City’s streets for the popular Zombie Walk Mexico. Decked out in masks and costumes, participants brought out their best fake blood and makeup for a tongue-in-cheek walk with fear. The Day of the Dead in November is one of the country’s beloved holidays, with people bringing food and parties to relatives’ gravesides.
Jagger to be great-granddad
Mick Jagger may still be strutting about onstage giving his fans Satisfaction — but at 70 the Rolling Stones’ frontman is about to become a great-grandfather, his daughter confirmed yesterday. Jagger’s grand-daughter Assisi, 21, is due to give birth early next year, her 42-year-old mother, Jade Jagger, told the Sunday Times.