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Tampa, Florida – The nation continues to be shocked at the  death of a man who was shot by a retired police officer for texting inside a local movie theater. Reports say the man was texting to check on his young daughter.

Responding to the outrage over the unfortunate incident, AMC, the largest movie theater chain in the country, announced that beginning next month, it will impose a total ban on smart phones in screenings at all its theaters.

A spokesperson said that AMC is now in the process of installing mini-lockers at the entrances to its screening rooms and will require all movie patrons to deposit their smart phones under lock and key.  Anyone who refuses to deposit his or her smart phone will be denied entry into the theater.

As a result of this new policy, AMC will increase its movie ticket prices by a dollar to cover the cost of installing the lockers and employing additional security guards who will be frisking all movie patrons.

The spokesperson added that patrons who refuse to temporarily surrender their smart phones will not receive any refund for tickets purchased.  Rather, they will receive a $10 gift certificate from Netflix.

Reacting to the AMC announcement, an overjoyed movie patron exclaimed: “That’s great! Now there will be no need to show those annoying film clips during previews reminding the audience to silence their cell phones or refrain from texting during the movie.”


imageTel Aviv, Israel –  On Tuesday night, Rose Fostanes, a Filipina caregiver working in Tel Aviv, was named winner in the first-ever X Factor Israel, the local version of the popular reality TV singing competiton originated by Simon Cowell in Great Britain. She won the most number of viewer votes in the finals, besting three other contestants.  Fostanes was the only non Israeli.

But just minutes after the telecast, producers of the show stripped Fostanes of the winner’s title, citing widespread nationwide protests. Producers said their television network was deluged with angry calls insisting that a foreigner should not be declared winner of what was obviously a contest for Israeli nationals. “There is a reason the show is called X Factor Israel, ” the protesters complained, “in the same way as other shows are called American Idol or Britain’s Got Talent.”

While producers acknowledged that talent-wise, Fostanes truly deserved the title, they understood the sentiments of the complaining viewers. They said they wished her well and are confident that if she joined X Factor Philippines in her home country, she would handily win the title.

Fostanes’ winning song was Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.”


imageTel Aviv, Israel – All in Israel and the Philippines await the results of the finals of X Factor Israel, the syndicated reality TV singing competition originated by Simon Cowell in Great Britain. For one last time, the four finalists belted out their chosen song with all the passion and gusto they could muster.

For Filipina caregiver Rose Fostanes, a heavy favorite to win the competition, her chosen song could spell victory or doom, depending on how one feels about the classic ballad popularized by Frank Sinatra.

Unknown to many, “My Way” is closely identified with a strange phenomenon in the Philippines, dubbed “My Way Killings.” The Sinatra song has all but disappeared from the playlists of karaoke bars in the Philippines because of a series of  murders involving individuals singing or listening to the song.  At least half a dozen murders have been linked to the singing of “My Way” in various karaoke bars in the Philippines.

The big question now is: will “My Way” win the X Factor title for Fostanes or spell her doom?  If she wins the competition, will the song reappear in the playlists of Filipino karaoke bars?

All we can do is wait and see.

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