Rihanna and Chris Brown’s previously unreleased single ‘Put It Up’ taps couple’s vintage connection: Review

Rihanna and Chris Brown are together again — at least on a song. A track titled “Put It Up” leaked to radio stations Sunday. But word has it the song was recorded a few years ago. The lyrics to the piece find the troubled, former lovers professing their irresistable attraction for each other. “I can’t turn my back on it,” Rihanna sings, enraptured. “I’m in love/I got to face it.” Brown serenades more low-down concerns. “I’m gonna write my name with my tongue on your back, baby,” he drools. “I’m gonna explore all of your body.” Later, Brown refers to their “late night, Skype sex.” The song’s lyrics acknowedlege the power games between the famous flames. “I see you like playing with my heart,” Rihanna sings, while he implores that she “treat me like I’m your property/do what you want.” Musically, the song mines rote R. Kelly-style R&B, both in terms of its routine melody and its horndog lyrics. Fans seem excited — despite, or maybe because of — the stars’ controversial backstory. “I hate how much I love this song,” tweeted @HarloHeaven. “Old song, but still catchy to enjoy,” wrote @prawija—angaa. Another tweeter joked that the gossip-mongering song could inspire a whole “new story line on Empire.” ON A MOBILE DEVICE? LISTEN TO THE SONG HERE. Continue Reading

SEE IT: Robert Downey Jr cuts cringe-worthy interview short after questioned about drug, prison past

He may be Iron Man but that doesn't mean he has an iron stomach. A British reporter's relentless pelting of personal drug and prison questions while interviewing Robert Downey Jr. about his new Avengers film saw the star cut the interview off short and walk off set. The 50-year-old actor, who was visiting the U.K. to promote "Avengers: Age of Ultron," was discussing his Iron Man character in the Marvel sequel when the questions suddenly took a dark turn. It was Channel 4 News reporter Krishnan Guru-Murthy's request for him to explain a quote he gave a reporter five years ago that first appeared to get the actor uncomfortably glancing around as if searching for an exit. "You can't go from a $2,000-a-night suite at La Mirage to a penitentiary and really understand it and come out a liberal," the quote, sourced to the New York Times, read. Though the request clearly left the Hollywood star baffled, he appeared to politely entertain it. "I could pick that apart for two hours and be no closer to the truth than giving you some half-arsed answer right now," Downey replied with a smile. "I couldn't even really tell you what a liberal is, so, therein lies the answer to your question." A determined Guru-Murthy then asked whether it means that when he left prison more than a decade ago for drug charges he came out a liberal. "Um, are we promoting a movie?" the married father of three, who has since famously turned his life around after his conviction and undergoing rehab, asked with a laugh before summarizing that quote as simply how he felt that particular day. It was Guru-Murthy's next question about his relationship with his father, however, that ended up being the straw that broke the camel's back. Before he could finish, Downey was up out of his seat and taking off his microphone — leaving Guru-Murthy sheepishly apologizing after him. "You seem OK, it was just Continue Reading

Sweeney tells it to them: Brooklyn judge champions the public’s right to the facts about government pensions

After five years of lawsuits and appeals, a Brooklyn judge has definitively upheld the right to know who’s drawing public pensions and how much they’re being paid. Acting Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Peter Sweeney made laudably quick work of an effort by the fire unions and the city to conceal the identities of FDNY pensioners and their retirement benefits. Although the law has long been clear that publicly funded pension payments are public record, some union-dominated pension boards balked at providing information to the Empire Center for Public Policy, a taxpayer watchdog that sought to post it on an online database called SeeThroughNY.net. A discouragingly high number of judges then misread the statutes in ruling pension payments fell outside the Freedom of Information Law. Finally, last May, the state’s highest court ruled unanimously for disclosure in a seven-page decision that left no doubt about the law. Regardless, the fire unions marched back to court and wound up in front of Sweeney. Such was their misfortune and the public’s good luck. Sweeney swatted away the nonsense. The unions, pension boards and city should comply forthwith. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

SEE IT: Texas trooper’s leaping karate kick knocks biker off motorcycle

Somebody watched a little too much “Walker, Texas Ranger.” A fleet-footed state trooper dropped a surrendering motorcyclist with a leaping karate kick at the end of a high-speed chase, a stunning dash cam video revealed. The hapless rider took off after running a stop sign, and he kept going even after the run-and-gun trooper pulled alongside his bike and opened fire, shooting him in the leg, the Austin American-Statesman reported. The paper unearthed the video of the action-packed 2012 encounter while reporting on the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Wild West approach to chasing down suspects who run. Trooper Abraham Martinez joined the motorcycle pursuit while it was in progress. The rider, 25-year-old Steven Gaydos, topped 130 mph on his Suzuki 750 as he fled through one Houston-area county to another. Martinez can be heard shouting over a loudspeaker for Gaydos to pull over. When the strip club bartender refused, the trooper fired four rounds out of his window as they turned into a residential neighborhood. Texas Trooper Abraham Martinez cuffs a motorcyclist after kicking him off his bike in 2012, a dash cam video show. One bullet hit Gaydos in the thigh. He finally slowed to a stop at an intersection and raised his hand as if in surrender. He had just begun to step off the bike when Martinez, wearing his cowboy hat and boots, burst into the frame like a Chuck Norris character and delivered a flying kick. The 10-year veteran was suspended for three days without pay for the stunt, the Statesman reported. He told supervisors he was just trying to keep people safe. ON A MOBILE DEVICE? SEE THE VIDEO HERE. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

It’s no secret the Knicks have eyes on Pistons forward Greg Monroe

ORLANDO — Maybe the worst kept secret in the NBA is that Phil Jackson plans to pursue Detroit Pistons forward Greg Monroe in free agency this summer. In fact, one league executive called it “about as close to a done deal as you can get.” A done deal is illegal of course and would open Jackson and the Knicks to tampering charges. A more likely scenario is that representatives from both parties have made their interest known and will proceed accordingly once the free-agent recruiting period begins on July 1st. It happens all the time. Still, the talk among scouts and executives who attended the Portsmouth Invitational is that Monroe is Jackson’s primary free-agent target. It’s easy to connect the dots; Monroe’s agent, David Falk, is one of the few agents that Jackson has a relationship with going back more than 20 years when Falk was representing Michael Jordan. Falk is looking for a max contract for Monroe and the Knicks, coming off the worst season in franchise history, are happy to oblige. And don’t think it is just a coincidence that Jackson’s long-time friend, Charley Rosen, was recently quoted saying that Monroe is the perfect triangle player. If the Knicks were to win one of the top picks in the NBA Draft Lottery they would be in position to select either Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns or Duke’s Jahlil Okafor. A frontline of Carmelo Anthony with Monroe and Towns or Okafor is, needless to say, a slight upgrade over what the team has been putting on the floor for most of the season. RELATED: KENTUCKY'S WONDER 'CATS COULD BE ANSWER FOR KNICKS Of course, Rosen also said that Towns, a terrific athlete, worker and thinker, doesn’t fit the triangle because he does not possess, how can we say this, Kim Kardashian-type assets. So when Jackson tells you not to make too much over the triangle just remember this; behind the scenes Jackson is always thinking about his beloved triangle. Continue Reading

SEE IT: London diamond district thieves drill through concrete wall, trash vault in Easter weekend heist

The savvy thieves behind London’s diamond district heist burrowed through a concrete wall to get to their loot and left behind a trashed vault littered with debris, newly released photos show. A team of burglars broke into Hatton Garden Safe Deposit over Easter weekend and emptied dozens of boxes after disarming the company’s high-tech security system, the Scotland Yard reported. Employees discovered the heist shop on April 7 when they returned to work after a long holiday weekend. New photos show the post-raid wreckage: The thieves left behind a mess of power tools and empty boxes. The wrecked vault was covered in a layer of dust after the raiders drilled through a thick concrete wall to get inside. Police said the thieves broke into the businesses through a lift after they disabled a security system, the Telegraph reported. The bunch then used an angle grinder and concrete drills to bore holes into the vault. Once inside, the thieves emptied 72 safety deposit boxes, which contained jewels and other valuables. It’s not clear how much their haul was worth. Police have not released any possible suspects and are still hunting for the diamond raiders. Hatton Garden is home to London's diamond trade and to other types of gem specialists. With News Wire Services Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Stunning photos of Super Typhoon Maysak captured from space on its way to Philippines

The Philippines is preparing for Super Typhoon Maysak, which is currently barreling towards the northern coast with the violent power of a Category 5 hurricane and up to 160 mph winds. The Super Typhoon is expected to weaken before it hits the northern Philippines early Sunday. However, flooding is still expected. Maysak has killed four people so far across Micronesia, according to The Associated Press. Astronaut Terry Virts, who is currently aboard the International Space Station, captured stunning photos of Super Typhoon Maysak from 250 miles above. Virst posted the photos on Twitter with the caption: "The eye of the #Maysak typhoon really stands out early in the morning with the shadow being cast deep into the vortex." WITH NEWS WIRE SERVICES Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

The Yankees’ biggest surprise isn’t Alex Rodriguez, it’s the early success of their starting rotation

You ask Brian Cashman what has surprised him about his baseball team in April, which has already seen the Yankees start 3-6 and then play the way they have since, and he says, “A-Rod would be the surprise.” He means A. Rodriguez, the designated hitter and occasionally fill-in infielder who has hit four home runs this month after spending last season in the penalty box for being the top star juicer of Biogenesis. Two of those home runs came last Friday night against the Rays, when the Yankees badly needed a win, not to turn a season around, just April. So Rodriguez, everybody’s All-America, is the biggest surprise to his general manager, at this time when the last nine games look so vastly different than the first nine, and when there is so much on the line, for Cashman and the Yankees and the people who own them. But there have been other surprises, as well, starting with Cashman’s starters. RELATED:MATT HARVEY GETS BEST OF A-ROD This isn’t about who “owns” the city in baseball or who rules it now that the Mets have started hot and look like they are going to be contenders, not just for this season but maybe for a long time. That is something for the stands and the media, unless you really think that Yankee players and Mets players feel they are engaged in some epic battle for the heavyweight baseball championship of New York City. The Yankees have won more and drawn more people to the old Yankee Stadium and the new one, for a long time, even if they’ve won only one World Series since the real Subway Series of 2000. The one title they continue to hold is as the most valuable property in sports, something that won’t change even if they miss the playoffs again and attendance and television ratings begin to drop. The Mets, with the team Sandy Alderson has assembled, building around pieces left behind by Omar Minaya, want everything the Yankees have had for a long time: They want the crowds, they Continue Reading

Scientists prove the Brontosaurus can be reinstated in its own genus

The long-neck herbivore Brontosaurus we all know from movies like "Jurassic Park" and "The Land Before Time" is finally being recognized as an actual dinosaur. A group of European Scientists recently published a study in the journal Peer J that seeks to restore the thunder lizard's name. The Brontosaurus was first classified in 1879 by a famed paleontologist named Othniel Charles Marsh, but in 1903 the species was reevaluated by Elmer Riggs, who suggested the Brontosaurus was just a younger specimen of the Apatosaurus. For over a century the dinosaur had no proper name. Now, European scientists are saying that Riggs was wrong. By cross-referencing the digitized bones of multiple dinosaurs in the Diplodocidae family — characterized by long necks, short legs and thin tails-scientists found enough anatomical characteristic differences that prove the Brontosaurus existed. The scientist even decided to put the Brontosaurus at the front of its own genus. "There will always be details that some people might not like (the research)," Emanuel Tschopp said in an interview with Peer J. "But others will be more than happy to hear that one of the most famous dinosaur genera of all time — Brontosaurus — is back." The study on Peer J focuses on all the discoveries that were made during the "Bone Wars," which was a period during the late 19th century where paleontologists went on a digging up bones frenzy across the U.S. "This resulted in a large amount of species being named, because that's one of the most prestigious things you can do in science," Tschopp said. "Since they were in such a rush to describe new species, many of them were based on fragmentary specimens." ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH VIDEO HERE.  Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Bratton: How the NYPD lost its way

As New York’s crime and justice conversation has been caught up in a national one, a critical, underappreciated fact is that as the city got safer over the past two decades, many fewer people were locked up here. Still, as crime kept falling, the impact of aggressive policing on the very communities that ask for protection has been magnified. Talking recently with the Daily News editorial board, Commissioner Bill Bratton laid out his view of where the NYPD went wrong after his first stint here in the mid-’90s, and his standard for what policing in a much safer city should look like. Lightly edited for clarity and flow, here’s the top cop’s view of his department’s past — specifically, how it lost focus on “the baddest of the bad guys” and began “over-policing” — and how he’s working to fix that: “There are others who would argue that police are not being as productive or active as they should be. I’m sorry. I don’t see it that way. This is something I talked about back in 1998 and predicted should happen, in a speech for the Manhattan Institute in which I first talked about the peace dividend. “And by that I meant that in ’94 and ’95 working with Giuliani, we would increase arrests and enforcement actions significantly in the city for a period of time. But like a bell curve, once the city became safer, the peace dividend would occur in that police would be making fewer arrests, issuing fewer summonses. And that has finally begun to happen, and we’re seeing the acceleration of it over this past year since I’ve been commissioner and de Blasio was elected mayor. “You would expect in a city that has 80% less crime than it had in the ’90s that there should be a lot fewer interactions — and that is in fact happening. The overall crime rate is down another 10% so far this year. There’s a level we’re going to Continue Reading