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Elizabeth Smart No Contact Allowed for Kidnapper After Prison Release

9/19/2018 7:44 AM PDT
Exclusive Details

9/19 -- Wanda Barzee has been released from the Utah prison shortly after 7 AM PT Wednesday morning after more than 15 years behind bars.

Elizabeth Smart's kidnapper, Wanda Barzee -- who's set to be released from prison Wednesday after 15 years behind bars -- better stay away from her former captive ... or she'll be right back in prison.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... once Barzee's out of prison, she'll be placed on supervised release by the U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services System. One term of her release includes no contact, of any form, with Elizabeth.

We're told this requirement is for the full 5 years of her supervised release. Once that ends, Elizabeth can go to court and ask a judge for a protective order -- and based on how she feels about Barzee ... we're betting she will.

Our sources say Barzee's housing arrangement ensures she won't be anywhere near Smart or her family, and federal probation officials will keep an eye on her while she's at home, and also at work, if she finds a job.

The feds will also be in contact with Elizabeth to make sure Wanda hasn't tried to contact her by phone or on the Internet. If she violates the conditions of her probation, Barzee will be brought before a federal judge ... who will likely sentence her to more prison time.

As we reported, despite the Utah parole board deeming Barzee unfit for release ... there's nothing it can do to keep her off the streets because state law requires her release by the time her sentence is complete.

Barzee pled guilty to helping kidnap 14-year-old Smart in 2002, and Smart says Wanda stood idly by as her other abductor, Brian David Mitchell, repeatedly raped her. Mitchell is serving a life sentence in Arizona.

Smart hasn't specified, but says she's taking extreme measures to protect her family.

Originally published -- 9/18/18 4:09 PM PT

Elon Musk Here's Who I'm Sending To the Moon!!!

9/17/2018 7:22 PM PDT

Elon Musk introduced the first guy he'll be shooting off into space to orbit the moon -- and it's a VERY rich entrepreneur from Japan who's worth billions.

The SpaceX CEO held a press conference Monday where he announced Yusaku Maezawa as the first private citizen the company would be sending around the moon in their new BFR spacecraft. The guy has a lot of titles -- art curator, fashionista, founder of a juggernaut online retailer, and now ... casual astronaut!

He's worth a reported $3 billion, but Elon wouldn't disclose how much Yusaku threw down to get up. They say Yusaku should be in zero gravity by 2023, giving him plenty of time to get up to speed on how to survive in space. 

Before the presser, Elon shared some photos of what the Big Falcon Rocket would look like. SpaceX touted it as "the most powerful rocket in history, capable of carrying humans to the Moon, Mars, and beyond." 

See ya up there, Mr. Maezawa!

Meghan Markle Supports Fire Victims With Charity Cookbook

9/17/2018 7:20 AM PDT

Meghan Markle made secret visits to cook with victims of a horrifying fire as part of her first solo project as a member of the Royal Family, and she's helping release a charity cookbook with the women's recipes.  

The Duchess of Sussex was hands-on in a community kitchen in West London, located near the Grenfell Tower fire that killed 72 people -- Britain's deadliest fire since World War II.  

Meghan says she felt an immediate connection to the women at the Hubb Community Kitchen at the Al Manaar Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre, and newly released images make it clear her presence lifted everyone's spirits in the wake of tragedy.

Meghan wrote the foreword to the charity book, "Together: Our Community Cookbook." It features family recipes, with roots stretching across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean. 

Meghan helped spearhead the cookbook project as a way to raise money for the kitchen, which initially provided a place for fire victims to make fresh meals. It's since evolved into a support network, and profits from the book will help cover operation costs. 

The Duchess first visited the kitchen in January, and continued to make secret trips to meet the women and learn more about their work. Their cookbook hits stores Thursday. 

Elizabeth Smart Kidnapper Unfit For Release ... Parole Board Says

9/17/2018 12:50 AM PDT

Elizabeth Smart has good reason to be scared of the fact one of her kidnappers is being released from prison ... because the parole board tells TMZ the convict poses a danger to society.

The Utah Board of Pardons and Prisons believes ... Wanda Barzee is unfit for parole -- but the board's hands are tied because the 72-year-old will complete her sentence next week and be released Sept. 19. Just 3 months ago the Board said Barzee was unfit for early release. 

We're told there's simply nothing the board can do to keep Barzee off the streets, even though they don't consider release to be appropriate in her case.

Barzee pled guilty to helping kidnap Smart in 2002, and Wednesday marks the end of her 15-year sentence. In Utah, prisoners must be released by the time their sentence is complete. 

Elizabeth -- famously held captive by Barzee and Brian David Mitchell for 9 months when she was 14 -- is PISSED one of her captors is hitting the streets and she's taking extreme measures to protect her family.

FEMA Administrator on Puerto Rico Don't Blame Spousal Abuse On Hurricane Maria

9/16/2018 11:27 AM PDT

President Trump may not be too far off in his claim that the death toll numbers in Puerto Rico were inflated ... so says a FEMA administrator, who insists deaths linked to spousal abuse in the wake of the hurricane aren't actually the hurricane's fault at all.

Brock Long -- who's been heading up FEMA's disaster relief effort in P.R. and elsewhere -- went on 'Meet the Press' Sunday to defend Trump's tweet last week, in which he accused Democrats of jacking up the death count after Hurricane Maria to make him look bad.

The original deaths were reported to be in the tens -- but since then, a new study has found that nearly 3,000 people have died as a result of the Maria. Brock disputes those figures though, saying that study and others were all over the place and inconsistent. 

He also says you can't blame indirect deaths on the hurricane, explaining that people having heart attacks due to stress, getting into accidents, falling off their roof or suffering from spousal abuse after the hurricane can't be pinned on the natural disaster itself.

Sounds like he's splitting more hairs than 45 -- but he's clearly on Trump's side in this.

Denmark Dolphin Kill Shocking, Disgusting, Barbaric

9/16/2018 7:53 AM PDT

This is disgusting, disturbing, heartless, shameful and shockingly cruel.

The seas of Denmark are blood red for a reason ... the red is the blood of 200 dolphins that were slaughtered by locals in the Faroe Islands.  

It's part of an ancient Norse tradition ... plunging metal hooks into the blowholes of dolphins before severing their spines. In case you didn't know ... these are highly intelligent animals that express emotion and feel pain.

The tradition goes back to the 13th Century. There's really no reason to explain further. It's a barbaric practice that has no purpose other than to show human beings can sometimes be the cruelest living things on planet Earth.

Shark Attack Swimmer Killed in Cape Cod

9/15/2018 5:51 PM PDT

A 26-year old man was tragically killed by what experts believe is the first fatal shark attack in Massachusetts in more than 80 years.

The swimmer -- ID'd by authorities as Boston-area man Arthur Medici -- was reportedly in the water off of Cape Cod's Newcomb Hollow Beach when he was attacked around noon Saturday. He was given first aid and CPR, but died from his injuries at Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis.

Witnesses say Medici was boogie boarding with a friend when the shark aggressively attacked. His friend had to drag him to shore.

The attack was the second in the area this season. A 61-year-old man was severely injured on August 15 after fighting off a shark about 4 miles away from Saturday's attack. He's still recovering from his puncture wounds in a Boston hospital.

The last shark attack in the state to result in a death before this happened in 1936. However, shark sightings around the Cape have reportedly been more frequent this year, leading to several beach closings.

The Cape Cod beach was closed to swimming Saturday after the terrible incident.

Byron Allen Pouring Million$ into Weather Channel ... Look at the Results!!!

9/14/2018 2:09 PM PDT

Byron Allen is sparing no expense as he seeks to revamp The Weather Channel ... and his $100 MILLION investment is sparkling at the perfect time. 

Byron tells us loads of cash went into developing the channel's new Immersed Mixed Reality graphics ... and he believes the super cool tech will help save property and human life. Especially because it debuted just as Hurricane Florence was making landfall. 

The comedian-turned-TV-mogul purchased TWC earlier this year for about $300 MILLION. It's looking like a really smart deal now.

Based on the way Byron broke down the virtues of his new virtual reality in-studio toy ... it sounds like he was that kid who always killed it on show-and-tell day at school.

The cool part is ... this weather show-and-tell will undoubtedly save lives.

Weather Channel We Built a Virtual Hurricane ... Lifesaving Tech Debuts

9/14/2018 9:22 AM PDT

The Weather Channel is stepping up its game for Hurricane Florence with some amazing 'Star Wars'-like graphics that have the potential to save hundreds of lives.

The new virtual reality view of a hurricane's storm surge debuted Thursday and it's truly impressive. The meteorologist seems like Charlton Heston in "The Ten Commandments" -- surrounded by 9 feet of water, giving viewers a shocking look at the devastation it could cause.

On one hand, it's a super cool visual and, honestly, great TV -- but the more impressive thing is how it drives home how treacherous it is for anyone in the path of Florence.

Byron Allen purchased The Weather Channel earlier this year, and we gotta say ... kudos for the immersive technology, especially if it teaches people to get outta danger.

Atlanta Braves Free Tickets For Hurricane Florence Victims

9/13/2018 4:37 PM PDT
Breaking News

Forced to flee to Atlanta to escape Hurricane Florence? 

The Atlanta Braves know that must suck ... so they're offering free tix to anyone displaced by the storm. 

The club says they're happy to host anyone who had to flee from N. Carolina, S. Carolina or affected parts of Georgia as guests to their next 3 home games against the Nationals on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 

They will also offer certain foods at a discounted price. 

Braves CEO Derek Schiller says the club knows "how difficult it has been for those who have had to pack up and leave their homes as the storm approaches."

"The predicted areas that will be affected are in the heart of Braves Country so it hits particularly close to home for us."

"We hope we can take their mind off the storm for a few hours by coming to enjoy a game at SunTrust Park. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who are impacted."

Big props to ATL for the cool move ... and to follow the Braves' lead -- click here to donate.

Elizabeth Smart Kidnapper's Release Scares Me ... I Will Protect Myself

9/13/2018 3:30 PM PDT
Breaking News

Elizabeth Smart -- famously kidnapped and held captive for 9 months when she was 14 -- is speaking out about the pending release of one of her captors ... and she's taking extreme measures to protect her family. 

Elizabeth doesn't specifically say what she plans to do to keep her family safe because she's afraid of tipping her hand before next week's release of 72-year-old Wanda Barzee.

Barzee pled guilty to helping kidnap Smart in 2002, and she's expected to be set free September 19 after 15 years behind bars.

The Utah Board of Pardons and Parole set an initial release date for January 2024, but recently said there was a miscalculation and decided to set Barzee free next week.

The very thought of Barzee on the streets makes Elizabeth shudder. Smart, a mother of 2, claims Barzee stood idly by as Brian David Mitchell repeatedly raped her in captivity. 

Elizabeth is worried about Barzee's mental health, and she's asking authorities to take a second look at their decision to release the convict, claiming Barzee is a threat to the community.

Elizabeth was found while walking with Barzee and Mitchell in a Utah suburb, thanks to people who recognized the perps from news reports. Smart is now a child safety activist.

Fat Joe Trump Is 'Delusional' ... Prez Botched Hurricane Response in Puerto Rico

9/13/2018 12:25 AM PDT

Fat Joe tells us Donald Trump is 'delusional' and prays Hurricane Florence doesn't ravage the mainland like Hurricane Maria did to Puerto Rico ... 'cause he says the President already bungled the response to one devastating storm. 

We got Fat Joe Wednesday boarding a flight from Reagan National ... and the rapper tells our photog he's counting the minutes until Trump leaves The White House. 

Fat Joe goes full throttle ... calling out 45 for not knowing Puerto Ricans are American citizens and blaming Trump for the nearly 3,000 deaths on the island in the wake of last year's hurricane. 

Fat Joe is praying for those in the path of Hurricane Florence and hopes the U.S. government will do a better job with this relief effort ... if only because the storm will hit the mainland and not an island territory heavily populated with minorities. 

Racist Serena Cartoon Newspaper Doubles Down ... Attacks 'PC' Critics

9/12/2018 6:23 AM PDT
Breaking News

We're NOT racist, you're too sensitive -- that's how an Australian newspaper is handling criticism of their Serena Williams cartoon ... and now they've REPRINTED IT on their cover. 

The Herald Sun ran the headline, "Welcome To PC World" -- along with the caption, "If the self-appointed censors of Mark Knight get their way on his Serena Williams cartoon, our new politically correct life will be very dull indeed."

Along with reprinting Serena, the paper added other "controversial" cartoons from the artist including a chubby Kim Jong-un and a villainous Donald Trump

Under the Serena cartoon, they noted the public "vetoed" the image due to "large hair and lips, too angry."

They mockingly noted the paper would now be a "Satire Free Zone."

What the paper is failing to acknowledge is how racists used cartoons featuring exaggerated lips, hair, noses and other features to mock and dehumanize black people for centuries.

That exact point was raised by hundreds of critics on social media -- but the newspaper is refusing to back down.

In fact, the artist tried to defend his work, saying, "The world’s gone crazy. It’s a cartoon about poor behavior. It’s nothing to do with race."

He added, "I’m sorry it’s been taken by social media and distorted so much. I’ve tried to reply to these people but they don’t listen."

These people? C'mon, bruh ...

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