18 Stories

Kremlin: Poland Dissed Putin With No Auschwitz Invite

Organizers say no one was specifically invited

(Newser) - Vladimir Putin will not travel to a ceremony in Poland marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazis' Auschwitz death camp because he hasn't been invited by the hosts, the Kremlin said today. Putin's spokesman was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying that the... More »

Olympics Close With Rollicking Ceremony

The Who, Spice Girls, Kate Middleton wow; US leaves with 46 golds

(Newser) - The Olympics wrapped up tonight with a light-blazing, rocking ceremony featuring the reunited Spice Girls , The Who, Annie Lennox (among many other headliners), an exploding car, and a mosh pit filled with thousands of athletes, AP reports. The show kicked off in London with a surprise appearance by actor Timothy... More »

Weird 11/11/11 Ritual Forces Pyramids' Closure

Numerologists planned to fight 'cosmic forces'

(Newser) - Egyptian officials have decided to close the pyramids today following complaints over a planned 11/11/11 ceremony that was to happen there. Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities had apparently planned to allow Polish numerologists to gather onsite and battle the “cosmic forces” set to destroy the world next year,... More »

Guru at Sweat Lodge That Killed 2: 'I'm Being Tested'

James Arthur Ray says he has hired investigators to probe incident

(Newser) - The self-help guru who ran a spiritual retreat where two people died during a sweat lodge ceremony last week says he is "being tested" by the tragedy. James Arthur Ray told a seminar audience that he is "frustrated and confused" and has hired his own investigators to find... More »

2 Dead After Arizona Sweat Lodge Ceremony

19 hospitalized after cleansing ritual goes wrong at new-age retreat

(Newser) - Two people died and 19 others were taken to hospital after a "sweat lodge" ceremony at a new-age Arizona retreat last night. Some 68 people were packed into a tarpaulin-covered dome for the 2-hour ceremony, which involved pouring water over hot rocks to produce steam in an effort to... More »

Sharpton Tweets During Jackson Burial

Reverend's thumbs stay busy during historic ceremony

(Newser) - The burial of Michael Jackson was a somber, private moment—and Rev. Al Sharpton made sure all 10,286 of his Twitter follows knew it, E! Online reports. During the ceremony, Sharpton chatted with MJ's friends and tweeted: "We are all discussing his battles. This is a real... More »

Wash. Mayor Under Fire for 'Glenn Beck Day'

Critics slam decision to offer controversial pundit key to the city

(Newser) - The mayor of Mount Vernon, Wash., has taken a stand on the controversy over Glenn Beck calling President Obama a “racist.” He plans to give the Fox News lightning rod a key to the city and proclaim Sept. 26 “Glenn Beck Day,” the Seattle Times reports.... More »

Goody Christened in 'Final Goodbye'

Cancer patient Jade Goody in 'emotional service' with sons

(Newser) - Terminally ill British reality star Jade Goody was christened today along with her sons in a ceremony at a London hospital chapel, the BBC reports. The “very pale and fragile” Goody had a “smile and a kiss for everyone” at the “very short and emotional service,”... More »

Party's About to Start for Obamas' Social Secretary

Desirée Rogers brings tradition and inclusiveness to the party

(Newser) - As White House social secretary, Desirée Rogers will not only organize all social events and ceremonies, she'll help people imagine what Barack Obama’s presidency represents. Catching up with the “the most eligible woman in Washington" for Vogue, William Norwich finds the former Chicago businesswoman and Obama... More »

Bush and Condi Find Something to Celebrate

Crisis, what crisis? It's all backslapping at Foggy Bottom

(Newser) - India and Pakistan are at loggerheads, Afghanistan is a narco-state, and the Middle East is almost unspeakably troubled—so how did George W. Bush's diplomatic team see off their president? With yesterday's "Ceremony to Commemorate Foreign Policy Achievements," a State Department lovefest complete with billowing flags and commemorative... More »

Obama Will Take Oath on Lincoln Bible

President-elect the first to use volume since Abe himself

(Newser) - On January 20, Barack Obama will place his hand on the same Bible Abraham Lincoln used during his 1861 swearing-in, Politico reports. Obama will be the first president to use the tome since Lincoln. Though it’s not constitutionally required, “Presidents have traditionally used Bibles for the ceremony, choosing... More »

Obamas' Chicago Pal to be Social Secretary

Desirée Rogers will run White House functions

(Newser) - A Chicago businesswoman and close friend of the Obamas will be White House social secretary, the Tribune reports. Desirée Rogers, 49, will be the first African American to run functions and ceremonies at the president’s residence, working with the first lady. A Harvard MBA, Rogers has been a... More »

NYC Bridge Renamed After RFK

Bill Clinton, Gov. Paterson attend ceremony at former Triborough to honor slain senator

(Newser) - It’s official: The bridge formerly known as the Triborough was renamed the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge today, NY1 reports. Michael Bloomberg, Bill Clinton, David Paterson and members of the Kennedy family attended the ceremony in Astoria, Queens, to honor the late senator from New York, who would have been... More »

Metallica Tops List of Rock Hall Nominees

Run-DMC, Stooges, Bobby Womack, War also in the running

(Newser) - The nominees for next year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction were announced today, with rockers Metallica and rappers Run-DMC nominated for the first time, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. Artists are eligible for induction 25 years after their first recording is released; just five acts are admitted... More »

China Wraps Up Olympic Idyll

A look back at a successful 2 weeks

(Newser) - The 2008 Beijing Olympic Games wrapped up today with a star-studded fireworks-filled extravaganza worthy of its opening, Reuters reports. With 51 golds, China easily topped the medal rankings, capping a near-flawlessly-executed couple of weeks that saw smog lifting, transport worries evaporating, and Tibet protests dwindling. Still, arrests and suppression of... More »

Stonehenge Riddle Solved?

Bluestones may prove site was a healing temple

(Newser) - A British team has excavated Stonehenge in hope of showing it was once a temple used for healing, the Los Angeles Times reports. Archaeologists focused on the site's 4,000-year-old bluestones, a twin circle of huge rocks, for proof of their origins and purpose. Shamans and witch doctors once likely... More »

Olympic Torch Lit in Beijing

Security is tight as flame begins global journey

(Newser) - The Olympic torch was re-lighted today in Beijing’s Tienanmen Square in an elaborate ceremony marked by tight security, the AP reports. President Hu Jintao passed the flame to a champion Chinese hurdler in a televised event attended by some 5,000 people. Confetti floated over bright red seats and... More »

No White House Nups for Jenna

Bushes' Texas ranch to stage May 10 wedding to Henry Hager

(Newser) - It turns out May 10 isn't a nice day for a White House wedding: Jenna Bush and fiancé Henry Hager will marry that day in Crawford, Texas, at the family's 1,600-acre ranch, quashing speculation the ceremony would be an in-the-spotlight DC affair. "It's going to be a small... More »

18 Stories