Jury selection at the US trial for Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was completed Wednesday with Guzman waiting for word on whether he can hug his wife for the first time in nearly two years. A jury of seven women and five men are to hear opening statements Tuesday in the drug-conspiracy case against Guzman in federal court in Brooklyn. Not everyone is happy. One selected juror openly wept while privately telling the judge she was afraid of the unwanted attention she would get if it was found out she was on the panel, but she was kept on. Guzman has pleaded not guilty to charges accusing him of overseeing a drug cartel known for violence and for breaking him out of Mexican jails. The notoriety has prompted security measures that include keeping the jurors anonymous. Guzman also has been held in solitary confinement and barred from seeing his wife out of concerns he could pass messages to his cohorts. Earlier this week, a defense lawyer asked US District Judge Brian Cogan to grant a "humanitarian gesture" of letting Guzman greet his wife in the courtroom before the jury enters. Allowing "an embrace with the railing between them would not pose a threat to security," the letter read. The judge didn't immediately rule on the request. (Newser)
Don't Mess with Harry Potter's Mother
Amanda Donaldson worked as JK Rowling's personal assistant for more than three years but now she finds herself on the business end of a Rowling lawsuit which accuses Donaldson of using a business credit card to rack up $31,000 worth of personal stuff including nearly $2,000 at a luxury candle company, nearly $5,000 at a cosmetics store, and more than $2,000 at Starbucks-plus helping herself to Harry Potter merchandise. Donaldson was fired in April 2017 after the spending discrepancies were uncovered. Rowling says Donaldson was also in charge of handling memorabilia requests from fans-and that she used that role to snag items including a "Harry Potter Wizard Collection" worth nearly $3,000 without Rowling's "knowledge or consent." Perhaps the oddest expense of all: Donaldson allegedly spent more than $1,500 on two cats. She's also alleged to have taken more than $10,000 in cash, most of it from a safe she had access to. Donaldson, 35, has denied the allegations and has claimed Rowling has "not suffered any loss and is not entitled to damages." (Newser)
Wait - What About Meg and Mellencamp?
Congratulations are apparently in order for Meg Ryan and John Mellencamp. After getting together in 2011 and breaking up in 2014, the pair got back together in 2017 and now they're getting married. We have to assume the reunion happened sometime after Mellencamp said that Ryan hated him "to death!" The couple started putting together a "wedding-like celebration" earlier this year, and on Wednesday, Ryan was spotted wearing an engagement ring. Ryan, 56, has a 26-year-old son with her first husband, Dennis Quaid, and a daughter she adopted in 2006. Mellencamp, 67, has been married three times before and has five kids. Of course we have no reason to believe this blessed union won't last forever. I really hope- and I mean REALLY hope- they go live in a little pink house. That would be the bomb! (Page Six)
You're As Old As You Feel!
They say you're only as old as you feel and it seems 69-year-old Emile Ratelband doesn't feel a day over 49. So it only makes sense that he wants to legally change his birth date from March 11, 1949, to March 11, 1969! There is some weird Tinder logic at work here. Ratelband says, "When I'm on Tinder and say I'm 69, I don't get an answer. When I'm 49, with the face I have, I will be in a luxurious position." Ratelband, described as an "entrepreneur and self-help guru," also says that being 20 years younger will help him get more work as a consultant, among other benefits. His argument hinges on transgender people's ability to now change their genders on their birth certificates. Calling himself a "young god," he says, "You can change your name. You can change your gender. Why not your age," The Australian court is expected to make a decision within a month. But a judge did note that changing one's age would result in some problems-specifically, what to make of Ratelband's years between 1949 and 1969. "For whom did your parents care in those years," the judge asked. "Who was that little boy back then?" (Telegraph)
Kentucky Shows Kim Davis the Door
Remember Kim Davis? She's the infamous Kentuckian from Rowan County who made national headlines when she was jailed after defying a court order to issue a legal marriage license to straight and gay couples alike. Well her home state of Kentucky has thanked her for her service by taking away her cushy government job. In an interesting side note to last Tuesday's election, Davis lost by 700 votes - to Elwood Caudill, Jr. - ironically the same person she defeated by 23 votes back in 2014. (Newser)
What the What?
In an extremely bizarre but also hilarious post on the Nextdoor message board, comedian Hannah Solow discovered this little gem - a complaint from someone who is apparently tired of being soup bullied! The message reads: "Someone keeps delivering soup to my house with a note that says 'soup for my perfect little soup boy.' I appreciate the free food but I don't like soup. Please stop." If or why this person deserves soup torture is a mystery, one we may never know the answer to. Hopefully this will come to an end after their victim went public with his grievances. (Mashable)