Paltrow breaks off attempt to live on food stamps

After four long days living like America’s poor, Gwyneth Paltrow broke her much-mocked attempt at shopping on a food stamp budget in search of some chicken and black licorice.

The multimillionaire mom was derided last week when she accepted the FoodBankNYCChallenge from celebrity chef Mario Batali. The idea is to experience how difficult it is for families to live on the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – better known as food stamps. So she set out with $29, the amount the average person on food stamps receives, and every intention of showing those strapped for cash how to do it.

Less than a week later, the famished “Iron Man” actress has given up.

“As I suspected, we only made it through about four days, when I personally broke and had some chicken and fresh vegetables (and in full transparency, half a bag of black licorice),” she wrote on her blog, GOOP. “My perspective has been forever altered by how difficult it was to eat wholesome, nutritious food on that budget, even for just a few days – a challenge that 47 million Americans face every day, week, and year.”


Family granted rights to coins worth $80 million

A family was awarded the rights to 10 rare gold coins possibly worth $80 million or more on Friday after a U.S. appeals court overturned a jury verdict.

U.S. Department of the Treasury officials insist the $20 Double Eagles were stolen from the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia before the 1933 series was melted down when the country went off the gold standard. They argued that Joan Langbord and her sons cannot lawfully own the coins, which she said she found in a family bank deposit box in 2003.

Langbord’s father, jeweler Israel Switt, had dealings with the Mint in the 1930s and was twice investigated over his coin holdings. A jury in 2012 sided with the government.

However, the appeals court returned the coins to the Langbords because U.S. officials had not responded within a 90-day limit to the family’s seized-property claim, filed in about 2004.

Family lawyer Barry Berke said: “Congress clearly intended for there to be limits on the government’s ability to seek forfeiture of citizens’ property, and today’s ruling reaffirms that those limits are real and won’t be excused when the government violates them.”

Langbord, who’s in her mid-80s, worked in her father’s store on Jeweler’s Row for most of her life. Her sons, entertainment lawyer Roy in New Langbord, of New York City, and David Langbord, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, joined her in the legal fight.

They do not plan to comment on the ruling and have not decided whether the coins will be sold, Berke said.


Gas pipeline explosion injures 11, closes highway

Eleven people were injured in a gas-pipeline explosion that shut down a major highway in the region, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims said.

Mims said three of the people injured were in critical condition and one was in serious condition. They were transported to a burn and trauma center in Fresno.

Officials initially said 15 people had been injured.

It was not clear what caused the explosion at the Fresno County Sheriff’s gun range that brought traffic in the area to a halt.

But authorities say it occurred while a county equipment operator was working with a jail inmate crew to expand a road on the range alongside heavily travelled Highway 99.


Man who scaled fence at White House pleads guilty

A Maryland man arrested after scaling a White House fence last year has pleaded guilty in connection with the case.

Dominic Adesanya of Bel Air, Maryland, pleaded guilty Friday in federal court to a charge of entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds.

The plea agreement calls for Adesanya, who was arrested Oct. 22, to complete one year of supervised release. Sentencing was set for July 2.

Adesanya’s attorney, Jonathan Jeffress, says his client was suffering from schizophrenia but is now doing well.

Adesanya is still being held in two other cases. He has a previous unlawful entry charge at the White House on July 27 and allegedly assaulted police officers while trying to enter the U.S. Treasury building July 30.

– From news service reports