A cell tower in Kota Bharu could be the missing puzzle piece in the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 last weekend.
There's a theory ... the aircraft doubled back over Malaysia after it began to cross the South China Sea, and crashed off the opposite coast instead ... somewhere in the Malacca Strait.
Malaysian officials have rejected the theory -- but if it's true (as some still believe) the plane would have passed over the city of Kota Bharu, which contains a powerful Celcom cellular phone tower.
Credible mobile analysts tell TMZ, if the plane flew over the tower there's a high likelihood the tower would contain data transmitted by cell phones inside the aircraft ... if the phones were on.
Roughly 30% of passengers leave their phones ON during flights -- this according to published reports.
So ... the cellular tower could be the critical piece of evidence to either prove or disprove the U-turn theory.
We've reached out to Celcom about possible data transmitted to the Kota Bharu cell tower -- so far, no word back.
Divorce Didn't Ruin Me ...
I'm Dating a Rich African Dictator's Son
3/13/2014 5:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Porsha Williams isn't wanting for cash after her ex-husband screwed her over in their divorce -- sources tell TMZ, she's now knocking boots with the exorbitantly wealthy son of an African dictator ... notorious for human rights violations.
According to sources, Porsha has been seeing 42-year-old Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, son of Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of Equatorial Guinea ... since 1979.
Mbasogo (the father) is known as one of Africa's most brutal and corrupt rulers -- not only for having his predecessor executed and political opponents tortured, but for pillaging his own country's oil wealth ... while its people live in abject poverty.
And his son is reaping the benefits -- living like a king in Malibu and all around the world.
We're told Mangue (the son) has been showering Porsha with expensive gifts for the last month -- Louboutin shoes, Chanel ... even a Rolls Royce -- and Porsha has been posting photos of the gifts on Instagram.
Sources say the romance is pretty new ... but it's escalating fast -- we're told Mangue is currently looking to buy Porsha a multimillion-dollar house in ATL.
We reached out to Porsha's conscience for comment -- so far, no word back.
'Snakes in a Cab' Prankster
Taxi Commission Can Take My License
I'm Bigger Than a Cabbie Now
3/12/2014 10:15 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
A NYC cabbie who pranked passengers with a live snake -- and posted their reactions to YouTube -- doesn't give two craps if the Taxi and Limousine Commission yanks his license ... he tells TMZ, he's on to much bigger things now.
Check out Jimmy Failla's video above -- it's pretty funny -- but New York City's TLC isn't laughing ... calling the prank "monumentally poor judgement on the driver's part." A rep says the commission is now actively reviewing Jimmy's TLC license. It's up for renewal next week.
But Jimmy tells us, if TLC wants to take his license away ... they can have it.
He says he shot the YouTube video to promote his new book ... and he's also making a living as a stand-up comedian -- so he doesn't need to drive cabs anymore. He never really liked doing it anyway.
Fun fact: Jimmy says he HATES snakes.
Huge Props from Philly Politician
... He's No T.O.
3/11/2014 3:49 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Don't count out Michael Vick just yet -- the guy could still be a STARTER in the NFL, so says the former Governor of Pennsylvania ... who says he wishes Vick well after his stint in Philly.
FYI -- Vick is a free agent and there's rumors that he's accepted the fact he might have to resign himself to being a backup if he wants to keep playing in the league.
But ex-Gov. Ed Rendell is taking issue with that ... telling us the guy could still be the #1 for a handful of teams including the Jets, Raiders and Vikings.
His sports knowledge is actually pretty damn impressive for a politician (especially when he starts talking about the 76ers).
Terrell Owens should take note -- not every ex-Eagle gets run out of town.
Rakes in Millions in Pot Taxes
In One Month!
3/10/2014 3:10 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Marijuana could save the United States of America -- or at the very least Colorado -- because the State is $2 MILLION richer from its new marijuana tax -- and that's just for the month of January.
It's pretty staggering ... in the first month since the pot law became effective, more than $14 million worth of recreational weed was sold in the state. Taxes on gross sales reached $2.01 million.
Colorado has around 160 state-licensed pot stores and it's clear ... business is booming.
I'm Finally Taking Down Palin!
3/10/2014 12:25 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Call it the Thrilla in Wasilla -- Levi Johnston's new plot is to hit Sarah Palin where it really hurts ... by crushing her husband on Alaska's legendary Iron Dog snowmobile race course.
Johnston tells TMZ he's decided to enter the next running of the world's longest and toughest snowmobile competition ... with the sole intent of burying his ex father-in-law, Todd Palin.
FYI .. Todd's won the thing 4 times, so Levi's odds are slim to frozen.
Levi says it's been a lifelong dream of his to compete in the race, which sounds like a ton of fun: pairs of riders tag team their way over a 36-hour, 2000 mile race through the Alaskan wilderness.
Palin had to drop out this year after just 100 miles due to mechanical problems ... so maybe Levi sees an opening next year.
Of course, it's easy for Levi to talk smack since the race is still 350 days away.
We're guessing this will go about as well as his run for mayor.
Regrets N. Korea Trip ...
I'm Not the Devil!
3/9/2014 9:43 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Dennis Rodman now knows what we all figured out from the beginning ... his trips to North Korea were NOT a good idea.
Rodman appeared on ESPN today where he was brought to tears when talking about the negative reaction he received following his visits with Kim Jong-un ... particularly the time he sung the man "Happy Birthday."
But Rodman said he believes that one day he will be vindicated and that relations with North Korea will improve, and when they do, "Watch all these people kiss my ass."
Forgive us if we don't hold our breath.
Rappers Can't Rock Cowboy Hats
3/8/2014 12:37 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Dick Cheney is sure of many things, among them ... cowboy hats won't be the next rap trend anytime soon.
The ex-Vice Prez was out in Downtown D.C. sporting a pretty spiffy ten-gallon ... and when we asked why more rappers don't wear them -- Dick had a pretty good answer.
We also asked Cheney if he ever forgave Kanye West for saying George Bush didn't care about black people while they were in office.
Only problem, Cheney kinda pulled a "Kanye who?"
At least we know Mike Myers will never forget.
Amsterdam Coffee Shop Run
3/7/2014 3:28 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
... no, not that kind.
The one he went to on Friday actually sells coffee.
Sorry stoners, he's not one of you ... as far as we know.
Obama Has Nothing But R-S-P-E-C-T For Her
3/7/2014 6:31 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
President Obama blew one of the most iconic signature lines in the history of music Thursday night ... as he paid homage to Aretha Franklin at The White House.
Obama touted Aretha's iconic song "RESPECT" by calling it "a rallying cry for African-Americans, women, and then everyone who felt marginalized."
Problem is ... he spelled R-E-S-P-E-C-T wrong.
Whether you want to hear it or not, Obama got a pass that George W -- the Bush famous for malaprops -- would never have gotten.
By the way ... after the event -- which honored "women of soul" ... we asked Aretha if there will ever be another A-R-E-T-H-A.
Sued By Prison Inmates
You Poisoned Us With Valley Fever
3/7/2014 12:20 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Arnold Schwarzenegger is still being haunted by his political past ... the ex-Gov. is being sued by inmates who accuse him of sentencing them to a fate worse than prison -- a cruel, disfiguring and crippling disease.
According to the lawsuit filed by 22 current and former inmates ... Schwarzenegger and other officials knowingly kept them in a Central Cali prison where they claim Valley Fever killed 30 inmates, and left many more with horrible symptoms.
Valley Fever attacks the body's organs ... victims may suffer skin lesions, limb amputations and brain damage. The disease is spread by spores found in soil -- and the inmates say they were exposed to it.
The inmates are also suing current Gov. Jerry Brown ... claiming he continued Arnold's policy.
They want cash to cover medical care, and pain and suffering -- beyond the typical prison pain and suffering.
FUN FACT: The plaintiffs are incarcerated at ... Pleasant Valley Prison.
Crack Mayor Rob Ford
I'm Done Partying
I Got an Election to Win!!!
3/4/2014 9:38 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Crack-smoking enthusiast and Toronto mayor Rob Ford actually believes he stands a chance at re-election this fall -- in fact, he claims he's given up his partying ways ONCE AND FOR ALL ... to focus on politics.
Shortly before his train wreck "Jimmy Kimmel" interview Monday, Ford spoke to fans outside his Hollywood hotel -- saying his party days are done.
The man obviously has a death wish -- but we gotta ask ...