ALTER BRIDGE GUITARIST SAYS SEVERAL THEMES RUN THROUGH NEW ALBUM: Alter Bridge will release its fourth studio album and first new disc in three years, Fortress, on October 8th. Guitarist Mark Tremonti told us that while there's no particular concept behind the title or album, there are several running themes throughout the record: "There's two songs about, like, fictional kind of apocalyptic themes. There's betrayal throughout the record. And then there's a few songs that just, that like we've had in the past where, you know, 'things are going tough but keep fighting through it' kind of a deal."

  • The arrival of the album will be accompanied by a single U.S. live date, on October 4th in Orlando, Florida, before the band jets off to Europe for a month of shows starting on October 16th.
  • Tremonti said recently about the CD, "We pushed ourselves harder and further than we ever have previously . . . We wanted this album to be our most unpredictable and exciting one yet."
  • Songs on the 13-track collection include "Bleed It Dry," "Farther From The Sun," "All Ends Well" and the tentative first single, "Addicted To Pain."

KORN ALBUM PUSHED BACK: According to Korn.com, Korn's 11th studio album, The Paradigm Shift, has had its release date pushed back to October 8th from the previously announced October 1st. The follow-up to 2011's The Path Of Totality features the return of guitarist Brian "Head" Welch to the lineup after more than eight years away. His last album with the band was 2003's Take A Look In The Mirror. "Never Never", the first single from The Paradigm Shift, is still scheduled to arrive online and at radio stations next Monday (August 12th). (Blabbermouth)

 

HONEY BOO BOO'S FATHER HOSPITALIZED: Mike "Sugar Bear" Thompson, father of Honey Boo Boo, has checked into a hospital in Jacksonville, Florida to treat an unidentified neurological disorder. The entire clan traveled from their hometown in Georgia to be with Sugar Bear while he undergoes tests so doctors could diagnose his condition.

 

ACTOR DUSTIN HOFFMAN UNDERGOES CANCER TREATMENT _ Actor Dustin Hoffman has undergone treatment for cancer. His publicist declined to say what kind of cancer or when the Oscar winner was diagnosed. She said the cancer had been "detected early and he has been surgically cured."

 

HUGE FIRE AT KENYA'S INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: A huge fire destroyed the arrivals hall at Kenya's main international airport early Wednesday (August 7th) before being contained, forcing the closure of East Africa's largest airport. No injuries were reported. The fire broke out at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on the 15th anniversary of the U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, but there were no immediate indications of terrorism.

AP: JUSTICE DEPT. HAS FILED CRIMINAL CHARGES IN BENGHAZI ATTACK: The U.S. Justice Department has filed the first criminal charges in the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, in which four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday (August 6th). AP cited two U.S. officials as saying that a sealed complaint was filed in U.S. District Court in Washington against an unspecified number of people in the attack last September. One official said those charged included Ahmed Abu Khattala, the head of a Libyan militia. In an interview with the New York Times in October, Khattala said he'd arrived at the U.S. compound as gunfire broke out, but played no role in the attack.

FORT HOOD MASSACRE COURT MARTIAL BEGINS: The court martial of Major Nidal Malik Hasan for the Fort Hood massacre finally got underway yesterday (August 6th) after repeated delays, with the Army psychiatrist telling a jury of 13 officers that he was the gunman who killed 13 people at the Texas base in the 2009 attack and wounded 32 others. The 42-year-old Hasan, who's acting as his own attorney, delivered an opening statement that lasted just over a minute, saying, "The evidence will clearly show that I am the shooter." He expressed regret only toward his religion for being among the, quote, "imperfect Muslims trying to establish the perfect religion," saying, "I apologize for any mistakes I made in this endeavor." If convicted, the American-born Hasan faces the death penalty.

BRADLEY MANNING'S POSSIBLE MAXIMUM SENTENCE CUT TO 90 YEARS: A U.S. military judge has reduced Private Bradley Manning's maximum possible sentence to 90 years from 136 years, the Army said yesterday (August 6th), after the 25-year-old was convicted last week of 20 charges of spying and disobeying orders. However, he was acquitted of aiding the enemy, the most serious charge against him for leaking secret military reports and U.S. diplomatic cables to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. Colonel Denise Lind, the presiding judge, ruled that four groups of charges against Manning could be combined for sentencing, reducing the potential maximum by one-third. Manning's sentencing hearing is set to last for more than two more weeks.

EX-PREZ GEORGE W. BUSH HAS STENT PROCEDURE: Former President George W. Bush underwent a heart procedure yesterday (August 6th) in Dallas to have a stent placed after a blockage was found in an artery a day earlier during his annual physical. Stents are mesh scaffoldings that prop open clogged arteries. The 67-year-old Bush is expected to be discharged today and be able to resume his normal schedule tomorrow.

DECLINE IN CHILD OBESITY AMONG LOW-INCOME CHILDREN: Researchers have for the first time found evidence of a decline in childhood obesity in the U.S., with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention saying that there were at least slight drops in obesity for low-income preschoolers in 18 states. At the same time, the CDC noted that the rates are still too high, with one-third of U.S. children and teens either overweight or obese. Most of the children studied who were ages 2 to 4 were enrolled in the federal Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and CDC officials said changes in WIC policies, including making it easier to buy fruits and vegetables, probably played a major role. Battling childhood obesity has been one of First Lady Michelle Obama's signature causes.

STUDY: COMBAT DOESN'T INCREASE SUICIDE RISK: Contrary to conventional belief, a new military study found that combat appears to have little or no influence on suicide rates among U.S. troops and veterans. Depression and other types of mental illness, alcohol problems and being male were all linked to suicide among current and former members of the military, just as they are risk factors among civilians. A recent increase in the military suicide rate has raised concerns about a possible link between suicide and combat, including long or repeated tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. But this study doesn't seem to indicate that.

THE BEST SHOPPING DEALS IN AUGUST (Yahoo):
1) Back-to-school basics: August is the best month for back to school discounts. Keep an eye out for cheap dorm furniture from retailers like Walmart, and Deals2buy.com says major retailers like Target and Office Max will run sales on everything from supplies to shoes to backpacks, offering a great opportunity to save on school necessities or even new purchases for the home office.
2) Back-to-school laptops: Classes start soon, so August is your last chance to score a laptop deal for school. "Look for deals on 15" Core i5 Ivy Bridge laptops with prices ranging from $299 (the all-time low we've seen) to $323, which was June's best laptop deal," says Dealnews.15" If you are able to hold-off to September, you'll see Intel prices drop to $299.
3) Summer fashions. Apparel retailers like American Eagle Outfitters and Abercrombie & Fitch slashed an extra 30% to 50% off sale items last year, and we anticipate seeing similar trends in 2013. That said, keep in mind that last year the best time to buy jeans was July through mid-August; after that, discounts from popular jeans brands dropped off. The same goes for swimwear.
4) Patio Furniture. If you truly want to pay the absolute least amount of money for a new set, wait until the end of the month. Retailers like Sears and Home Depot will be exceptionally eager to clear out any remaining stock at this time, and discounts can reach as high as a staggering 90% off come September.
5) Grills. Last year, we listed grill deals that slashed as much as $200 off entry and mid-tier models. Yet, this past July we saw no sales that came close. It follows then, that retailers will begin taking more widespread cuts this month. Look to vendors like Ace Hardware, Home Depot, Lowe's, and Sears for the best deals.
6) 55-inch 3D HDTVs. HDTVs just keep getting cheaper. July saw once prohibitively expensive 55" 3D TV hit an unprecedented low of $549. That's 23% cheaper than any deal this entire year. Chances are slim we'll see a repeat of that specific deal in August, but regardless, it's still a great time to jump on the 3D bandwagon.