Money Matters - Simplified


Ondrasik organizes CD to thank troops

Washington -- Musician John Ondrasik and 13 other artists are thanking U.S. military members for their service by offering their talents for a CD called "For the Troops IV.

Starting Wednesday, the album will be available for free download to active duty service members, veterans and their families worldwide with a valid military ID at

An additional 200,000 hard copies of the CD will be sent to military bases, USO centers and other locations across the nation and overseas, courtesy of TriWest Healthcare Alliance and Operation Homefront.

LAPD warns of lottery scam

Los Angeles -- Police in Los Angeles said con artists with bogus lottery tickets are targeting Spanish-speaking residents.

Investigators said the swindlers operate by approaching someone and showing a lottery ticket that's supposedly a winner, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

Police said the con artists tell a victim they can't cash the ticket because they are illegal immigrants and offer to share the money if the resident will turn it in for them. The victims are asked for valuable collateral, including money or jewelry, in exchange for the bogus lottery tickets.

Officers said the swindlers will often call an accomplice, who claims to be from the state lottery office, to verify a false ticket.

Israeli performers boycott settlements

Jerusalem -- Some of Israel's most prominent actors, artists and directors are refusing to perform in West Bank settlements.

More than 50 artists, actors, directors and playwrights signed a petition last week in response to a report in Haaretz that said some of Israel's leading theatrical groups planned to participate in the opening of a new cultural center in the West Bank city of Ariel in November.

In the petition, the artists said they oppose performing in Israeli settlements located in the West Bank.

At Sunday's cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said the last thing the country needs is a boycott from within Israel.

Jackson, Beatles make great artist list

New York -- Alicia Keys, Ozzy Osbourne, The Beatles and Michael Jackson are to be featured on a four-night special called "100 Greatest Artists of All Time," VH1 said.

The list was determined by a poll of well-known music artists and industry experts.

With Jim Shearer serving as host, the program is to have a two-hour premiere Sept. 6.

Google's homepage experiment ends amid public backlash

When Google mimicked the image background resemblance of Bing search engine Thursday, did it anticipate its 'art of the homepage' experiment to fail so miserably? Surely it didn't.