Eurovision Song Contest defends itself after Israeli band dropped out to avoid singing on the Sabbath

The Eurovision Song Contest is answering for itself after an Israeli band dropped out of the competition because it learned its members would be forced to work on the Jewish Sabbath.

The Shalva group says Wednesday it’s quitting Israel’s qualifying competition after the Eurovision organizers said it would make no exceptions for Israel’s ultimate winner. The competition is held on a Saturday night and the compulsory rehearsal falls on the Sabbath.

“All broadcasters commit to abide by the Contest’s rules when agreeing to participate. The rules state that each broadcaster will undertake to enter a national song and a Contestant that complies with the present rules. These rules include obligation of attendance across all rehearsals and live shows, for delegation members and contestants,” a spokesperson for Eurovision Singing Contest told Fox News in a statement.


The spokesperson explained that any application by a broadcaster to waive these rules under mitigating circumstances must be run through the contest’s governing body and changes would be made at its discretion based on its impact on the other contestants.

“In this instance a change to the rules to exempt a Contestant from performing in both the Jury Final and the Grand Final dress rehearsal would involve disruption to the production schedule and compromise the fairness of the competition. It would also deny audiences in Tel Aviv the chance to see the home country’s participant perform in both shows,” the statement read. “For these reasons, the Reference Group felt that it would not be possible to grant KAN’s request.”


Shalva, which has several members who are blind or have Down syndrome, has become a fan favorite and serious contender to sing Israel’s entry. Israeli critics say the Eurovision seems tolerant of all besides Orthodox Jews.


The Eurovision final is on May 18. Israel earned the right to host the competition thanks to Netta Barzilai’s win last year with “Toy.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Alberta homeowner announces contest for $1.7M home: $25 and an essay

Sharpen those pencils.

A woman in Alberta, Canada, announced a contest earlier this month that calls on potential homeowners to pen an essay and pay $ 25 dollars to get a chance to win her home that’s valued at $ 1.7 million.

One caveat: If she gets a matching offer, the contest will be canceled and the entry money will be returned, according to CTV News.

Alla Wagner has lived in the rural Millarville home since 2011. She loves it there. There are sweeping views of a nearby pond and mountain range. But Wagner has had some health issues that would require her to modify the house, and she does not want to compromise the 5,000-square-foot Georgian’s atheistic.

The homeowner does not want to modify the house after some recent health issues.

The homeowner does not want to modify the house after some recent health issues. (Facebook)

“I view this home as a work of art,” she told The Star.

She’s been trying to sell the home for a few months but said that she has not received a serious offer. If the home is sold, she said she will donate five percent of the net profit to a women’s shelter.


She hopes to receive about 68,000 entrants and will stick to a 350-word maximum.

“It would be a beautiful way for someone not giving up hope. I’m not going to give up hope. I believe that when this contest works, I know it’s going to be well worthwhile,” she said.

California woman who allegedly tried to drown her baby at McDonald’s pleads no contest

A California woman charged with trying to drown her own baby after giving birth in a McDonald’s restaurant pleaded no contest to child endangerment Monday.

Sarah Lockner, 26, of Redwood City, faces up to four years in prison, KPIX-TV reported.

Lockner was a cashier at a McDonald’s in Redwood City when she went to the bathroom and gave birth during her shift on Sept. 4, 2017, authorities said.


A co-worker who went to check on Lockner found a newborn baby boy face down in the toilet bowl with Lockner’s hands on his back, prosecutors said. The co-worker said they heard the toilet flush but Lockner asked them not to call the police.

Police were called and found the boy had no pulse and wasn’t breathing. He was taken to a hospital and “after a medically induced coma” he survived, KPIX-TV reported.


Lockner claimed she had no idea she was pregnant. She was charged with attempted murder but pleaded to the lesser charge. She is slated to return to court on May 3 for sentencing.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Rose McGowan pleads no contest to drug charge, avoids jail: report

Rose McGowan reportedly pleaded no contest on Monday to a misdemeanor drug charge which her team previously claimed was in retaliation for her role in the #MeToo movement.

McGowan, 45, was fined $ 2,500 and given a 12-month suspended sentence at a courthouse in Virginia two years after cocaine was found in a wallet she left behind at Dulles International Airport, WTOP-FM reported.


The actress, one of the first women to accuse disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault, told the news station she “just wanted it to be over, however it ended.”

McGowan was initially charged with a felony that could have carried jail time, but the plea deal reduced the charge to a misdemeanor.

Her lawyers last year suggested the drugs were planted in retaliation for her accusations against 66-year-old Weinstein. No evidence was presented to back up the claim.

The “Charmed” star’s lawyers instead argued that several hours elapsed between the time McGowan left the plane and the time the drugs were found by a cleaning crew in the first-class section of a United Airlines cabin. They said it was impossible to account for who may have handled the wallet during that time.


Paul Ebert, prosecutor for Prince William County, said McGowan was treated like anyone else in this type of situation.

“She had no record,” Ebert told WTOP. “She smuggled a small amount of cocaine. She’s treated like everyone else, irrespective of what she is or who she is.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Rose McGowan to plead no contest to drug charge

Rose McGowan responds to arrest warrant (2017)


    Rose McGowan responds to arrest warrant (2017)


Rose McGowan responds to arrest warrant (2017) 00:32

(CNN)Actress and activist Rose McGowan will enter a “no contest” plea to a reduced drug charge when she appears next week in a Virginia courtroom, her lawyer said.

State prosecutors have agreed to reduce the felony charge to a misdemeanor of possession of a controlled substance, attorney James Hundley said Tuesday.
Prosecutors will recommend that McGowan be sentenced to pay a fine, Hundley said.
“Ms. McGowan has accepted this agreement in order to spare her family, her friends, and her supporters the emotional strain of a criminal trial,” he said. “The agreement brings this ordeal to an end and allows her to focus all of her energy on what matters most to her — creating a better world. Ms. McGowan will comment on the day of the plea.”
    A grand jury in Loudoun County, Virginia, indicted McGowan in June on one felony count of cocaine possession.
      The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority had obtained an arrest warrant for McGowan in February 2017, after authorities allegedly found traces of narcotics in her personal belongings that were left behind on a United flight in to Washington.
      McGowan is one of more 80 women who have accused former producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment. When she learned of the warrant in October 2017, she accused authorities of trying to “silence” her.

      Rose McGowan to plead ‘no contest’ for drug possession, avoiding jail time: report

      Actress and activist Rose McGowan will plead “no contest” to a reduced drug charge in Loudoun County, Va., following her arrest for felony cocaine possession in 2017, reports said Tuesday.

      As part of her plea agreement, McGowan will avoid jail time and pay a fine, USA Today reported.

      “The commonwealth has agreed to reduce the current felony charge to a misdemeanor of possession of a controlled substance. Ms. McGowan will enter a plea of no contest to the reduced charge when she appears in court on January 15,” McGowan’s attorney Jim Hundley said, according to Washington, D.C.’s WTOP-FM.


      Without the plea agreement, McGowan could have faced up to 10 years behind bars if convicted, according to USA Today.

      “Ms. McGowan has accepted this agreement in order to spare her family, her friends and her supporters the emotional strain of a criminal trial,” Hundley said, according to the paper. “The agreement brings this ordeal to an end and allows her to focus all of her energy on what matters most to her – creating a better world.”

      Since her arrest, McGowan and her attorneys have claimed that embattled media executive Harvey Weinstein framed her, the radio station reported. She was one of the first women to accuse Weinstein of sexual assault.

      Dining with Doocy contest winner Pam Lang’s Cheese Pie

      Last month we began a contest to find America’s happiest recipes from viewers across the nation, this morning we met one of the winners, Pam Lang, and learned her happy recipe.


      For Graham Cracker Crust:
      2 c. graham cracker crumbs
      1/2 c. granulated sugar
      1/2 c. melted butter

      Combine graham cracker crumbs and sugar.  Add melted butter, stir until well blended.  Press onto bottom and up sides of a 10-inch pie pan.

      For Filling:
      2, 8-oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened
      2/3 c. granulated sugar
      2 eggs
      1 t. vanilla

      Beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth.  Add eggs and vanilla; mix well.  Pour into prepared crust. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes.  Set aside to cool for 15 minutes.  Increase oven temperature to 425°.

      For Topping:
      1 c. sour cream
      2 T. granulated sugar
      1 t. vanilla
      1/4 t. cinnamon for garnish

      While pie is cooling, mix topping ingredients, except cinnamon, in a small bowl.  After pie has cooled 15 minutes, gently spoon topping over baked pie, spreading to cover top completely.  Bake at 425° for 10 minutes.  Cool pie completely on wire rack.  Lightly sprinkle the top with cinnamon.  Refrigerate four hours or until thoroughly chilled before serving.  Serves 8.

      Dining with Doocy contest winner Cristina Montero’s Americana-style tres leches cake

      Last month we began a contest to find America’s happiest recipes from viewers across the nation. This morning we met one of the winners, Cristina Montero, and learned her happy recipe.


      1 boxed vanilla cake mix

      14 oz. can of evaporated milk

      14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk

      16 oz. carton of heavy whipping cream

      1 large tub of whipped topping

      1 cup fresh red berries (raspberries or strawberries)

      1 cup fresh blue berries (blackberries or blueberries)

      Optional flavor enhancements: vanilla extract or a preferred liqueur

      Use a stand mixer to mix and bake the cake in accordance with the instructions on the box. Check cake box for required ingredients, which are usually eggs, oil, and water. Once the cake comes out of the oven, take a fork and puncture the cake until it has completely crumbled. Pay particular attention to the corners and edges. In a pitcher, combine the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, heavy whipping cream, and flavor enhancement to taste (optional). Stir until the liquid is smooth. Once the cake has cooled, use the pitcher to pour your liquid mixture over the entire cake. Top the cake with the whipped topping. Use the red and blue berries to decorate your cake to resemble the stars and stripes of the American flag. Refrigerate the cake for 8-12 hours. The longer the cake sets, the more moisture gets absorbed. Count your blessings and happily savor each bite!