Wednesday, 25 September 2013

NFL power rankings

NFL power rankings
NFL power rankings
NFL power rankings, Before the season began, few people this side of Rex Ryan would have believed that the Jets had a better outlook than the Giants. If anyone was told one team would be 2-1 and the other 0-3, it was pretty clear who was going to be whom.

But three weeks into the season, it's actually clear which is the better team and for the first time since the 2011 season, the Jets have moved ahead of the Giants in the Daily News power rankings. In beating the Bills while the Giants were being squashed by the Giants, the Jets looked strong where the Giants are weak – along the offensive and defensive lines. They climbed eight spots into the 19th spot while the Giants fell five spots to 27th.

Of course, the Giants aren't the only disappointing team. They're joined at 0-3 by the Steelers and Vikings, who both began the year with legitimate playoff hopes. Meanwhile, the 49ers, Packers and Vikings all lost to fall to 1-2 and tumble out of our top 10.

Meanwhile, the Broncos and Seahawks remained in the top two spots after convincing victories.
As usual, feel free to disagree (join the discussion in the comment section below):

1. (Last week - 1) Broncos (3-0): Who needs Von Miller? Not with that offense scoring points.
2. (2) Seahawks (3-0): They've got a two-game lead in the division, full steam ahead.

3. (5) Saints (3-0): Rob Ryan has done wonders with this defense.

4. (8) Bears (3-0): Jay Cutler still hasn't turned it over.

5. (9) Bengals (2-1): That's the kind of win that can make a season.

6. (10) Patriots (3-0): Always finding a way to get it done, aren't they?

7. (11) Chiefs (3-0): Love their defense. Andy Reid has everyone playing at high level.

8. (12) Dolphins (3-0): Ryan Tannehill comes of age.

9. (13) Ravens (2-1): Defense has turned it around since Denver.

10. (16) Cowboys (2-1): Most complete win in years.

11. (17) Colts (2-1): They're hoping their beatdown of Niners turns out to be a signature win.

12. (3) 49ers (1-2): Have defenses solved them? Colts followed Seahawks' blueprint.

13. (4) Texans (2-1): They finally built a hole they couldn't climb out of.

14. (6) Falcons (1-2): Injuries are one thing but the offense needs TDs, not FGs.

15. (7) Packers (1-2): Come up short in crunch time . . . again.

16. (18) Titans (2-1): Jake Locker finally gets it done.

17. (19) Lions (2-1): Finally broke D.C. curse. Bears, Packers next.

18. (23) Panthers (1-2): Biggest win ever, most sacks ever. Things got a whole lot better in one week.

19. (27) Jets (2-1): They've got a top 10 defense.

20. (14) Chargers (1-2): Back to blowing the close ones.

21. (15) Eagles (1-2): Michael Vick taking too many hits.

22. (20) Rams (1-2): Worst loss of Jeff Fisher's brief tenure. Niners next, an early must-win.

23. (31) Browns (1-2): Let the Hoyer Paranoia begin.

24. (21) Vikings (0-3): They've forced eight turnovers the last two weeks and lost both games.

25. (25) Bills (1-2): Step back for the Bills when they had a chance to step forward. Same old?

26. (26) Cardinals (1-2): Shooting it out with the Saints is never a good idea.

27. (22) Giants (0-3): How did they get this bad? And it may only get worse in KC.

28. (28) Steelers (0-3): Recipe for disaster: Nine giveaways. No takeaways.

29. (29) Raiders (1-2): Pryor concussion the last thing they needed Monday night.

30. (30) Bucs (0-3): They're a mess. Maybe their defense can salvage a few wins.

31. (24) Redskins (0-3): Defense has allowed most yards in history through first three games.

32. (32) Jaguars (0-3): Time to start considering the No. 1 pick.

Delhi gang-rape lawyers appeal against convictions

Delhi gang-rape lawyers appeal against convictions
Delhi gang-rape lawyers appeal against convictions
Delhi gang-rape lawyers appeal against convictions, Lawyers for four men sentenced to death for raping and murdering a young woman on a New Delhi bus have challenged the convictions and death sentences at a high court hearing.

The brutal attack in December sparked a public debate and protests over the chronic sexual violence faced by women in India.

"I am challenging this verdict," said AP Singh, who has defended all four men at various times.

The high court said it would begin hearing prosecution arguments on Wednesday, while defence lawyers file their appeals.

"We have to deal with this as expeditiously as possible because the sword of death is hanging over them," Judge Pratibha Rani said.

It could take weeks or months for the court to hear arguments, review evidence and consider the appeals before deciding whether to confirm the execution orders. A review is required for all death penalty cases in India, and the same court is hearing the men's appeals.

For Tuesday's hearing, the men walked under police escort from a bus into the high court complex. Three had their faces uncovered in public for the first time since the crime, while one wore a handkerchief tied over his nose and mouth.

In sentencing the four, trial court Judge Yogesh Khanna said the crime had "shocked the collective conscience" of India.

The four had been joyriding through New Delhi on a bus the night of 16 December when they lured the 23-year-old woman and her male friend into boarding. They then beat the friend, took turns raping the woman and violated her with an iron rod. She died from internal injuries two weeks later.

Another defendant hanged himself in prison, though his family insists he was murdered. An 18-year-old who was a juvenile at the time of the attack was sentenced in August to a maximum of three years in a reform home.

Could it be Lincoln? Gettysburg photo stirs up a debate

Could it be Lincoln? Gettysburg photo stirs up a debate
Could it be Lincoln? Gettysburg photo stirs up a debate
Could it be Lincoln? Gettysburg photo stirs up a debate, In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln stirred the soul of an embattled nation with the famous speech he delivered in Gettysburg, Pa. And now, 150 years later, Lincoln has again aroused passions by being spotted — possibly — in a stereoscopic photograph taken on the day of the Gettysburg Address.

But is Abe Lincoln really in the photo? And, if so, which of two images of a bearded man in a black stovepipe hat is Lincoln? These questions have set off a dust-up in the normally staid world of archival photography, according to Smithsonian magazine.

Six years ago, John Richter, an amateur historian and director of the Center for Civil War Photography, magnified a stereograph taken by photographer Alexander Gardner on the day of Lincoln's now-famous Gettysburg speech. Richter identified a tall figure on horseback, wearing a stovepipe hat and saluting the troops, as the 16th U.S. president. [ Lincoln to Reagan: Top 10 Ailing Presidents ]

Richter's finding was celebrated as a rare gem of a photo, since only one other image of Lincoln is known to exist from that fateful day. But ever since the finding was announced, skeptics questioned the veracity of the supposed Lincoln photo.

"For starters, the guy on the horse looks like a Cossack. His beard is longer and much fuller than the wispy, trimmed one the president wore in his studio session with Gardner 11 days before," William Frassanito, a historian and author of "Gettysburg: A Journey in Time" (Thomas Publications, 1996) told Smithsonian. "Lincoln had an unmistakable gap between his goatee and his sideburns. If you're going to spy him in a black speck in a distant background, at least get the beard right."

Earlier this year, Christopher Oakley — a former Disney animator and Civil War buff — was working on a 3-D animation of Honest Abe as part of his Virtual Lincoln Project, a student collaboration. (Oakley also teaches new media at the University of North Carolina-Asheville.)

While examining Gardner's stereograph, Oakley wondered if the Library of Congress (which owns the image) had ever created a high-resolution copy of the photo's left-sided negative. They hadn't, but would do so for $73. "It's the best $73 I ever spent," Oakley told USA Today. "As soon as I had that [negative] in my hands, I was able to look at it much more clearly."

Oakley's investigation found two critical images in the enhanced stereograph. First, the man Richter and others assumed to be Lincoln was wearing a coat with military-style epaulets on the shoulders. Lincoln is known to have been wearing a plain overcoat that day.

And perhaps even more important, Oakley identified a man with a trimmed beard and stovepipe hat standing precisely where Lincoln would have stood, near a man Oakley determined to be then-Secretary of State William Seward, who was on the speaker's platform. "All the landmarks — jawline, beard, hair, cheekbones, heavy brow, ears — line up perfectly," Oakley told Smithsonian.

But Oakley's findings don't sit well with all historians, namely Richter. "The man I found had to be Lincoln," Richter told Smithsonian. "Who else might have been returning a salute but the commander in chief?"

Actually, other experts have noted that it's unlikely Lincoln would have saluted the troops, since Ronald Reagan is acknowledged as the first U.S. president to have done so, in 1981 — a notable break with presidential protocol.

And the prominent figure on horseback wearing epaulets? Probably a uniformed member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, hundreds of whom were in attendance that day. "The fraternal order assigned its own marshals to the ceremony," Frassanito told Smithsonian. "No one knows what their uniforms looked like," but the mounted man was likely an Odd Fellows official or some other marshal in a military-style coat, he added.

See Christian Bale's 'Batman Begins' audition... opposite Amy Adams?

See Christian Bale's 'Batman Begins' audition... opposite Amy Adams?
See Christian Bale's 'Batman Begins' audition... opposite Amy Adams?
See Christian Bale's 'Batman Begins' audition... opposite Amy Adams?, There are a lot of bat-goodies contained within the 90 minutes of new special features on Warner Bros.’s new Dark Knight Trilogy Ultimate Collector’s Edition Blu-ray. (Try saying that three times fast.)

But this clip could very well be the collection’s coolest moment. It’s pre-Batman Christian Bale! Doing a screen test for Batman Begins! Wearing Val Kilmer’s old batsuit from Batman Forever. And acting opposite… Amy Adams! (Don’t get too glum thinking about what might have been, Katie Holmes haters — she was only there as a favor to the movie’s casting director.)

As the video proves, Bale’s rumbly batvoice was there from the very beginning — before the beginning, even. “He had decided that Batman had to have a different voice… that he had to put on a voice,” director/co-writer Christopher Nolan explains over footage of the screen test.

And evidently, that simple acting choice was a major factor in Bale’s ultimate casting. According to Nolan, playing Batman isn’t really just “about acting ability or chemistry or any of those things. It’s about being able to project this extraordinary iconography from the inside. It’s visual iconography.

Christian somehow, he’d figured this out before the screen test, that you could not give a normal performance. You could not give an ordinary performance. You had to project massive energy through this costume in order to not question the costume.”

See the Batman crew’s first taste of Bale’s superheroic energy in the clip below — and find a more extensive rundown of fun facts in the Blu-ray’s behind-the-scenes doc at Batman News.

Weight loss knee arthritis

Weight loss knee arthritis
Weight loss knee arthritis
Weight loss knee arthritis, Intensive weight loss together with regular exercise did more to ease knee arthritis than exercise alone for overweight and obese adults in a new U.S. study.

Knee inflammation, pain and functioning all improved more among people who cut back on calories in addition to working out, researchers found.

The greatest benefits were seen among those who lost the most weight, and they tended to be the ones who combined diet and exercise.

"While both the exercise and the diet interventions separately were beneficial, the combination of the two was superior in virtually every outcome," Stephen Messier, who led the study at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, said.

Extra weight is known to raise the risk of knee osteoarthritis, which happens when cartilage around the joint breaks down, causing inflammation, pain and stiffness.

One review found that being overweight doubles a person's risk of knee osteoarthritis, and being obese quadruples it (see Reuters Health story of April 15, 2011 here: reut.rs/dQl0ZZ).

For the new study, Messier and his colleagues wanted to see what effect losing weight through a strict diet program would have on arthritis symptoms.

They randomly assigned 454 overweight and obese adults with mild or moderate knee arthritis to 18 months of diet counseling, exercise or both.

For participants on the diet, the goal was to lose at least 10 percent of their starting weight. People replaced some meals with shakes and attended regular weight monitoring and nutrition sessions.

The exercise program involved one hour of physical activity three times per week, including aerobic walking and strength training.

By the end of the study, people assigned to both diet and exercise had lost an average of 23 pounds. That compared to almost 20 pounds in the diet-only group and four pounds among those who only exercised.

Compared to people in the exercise-only group, those who combined diet and exercise had less knee inflammation and pain and better functioning at 18 months.

For example, pain scores measured on a scale of 0 to 20, with higher scores indicating more pain, fell by 3.1 points in the diet plus exercise group and by 1.4 points in the exercise-alone group and about the same in the diet-alone group.

Likewise, on a 0-to-68 scale measuring knee function, people in the combined diet and exercise group improved by an average of 10.5 points, versus 4.7 points among those who only exercised.

People in the diet-alone and the diet plus exercise groups had about the same levels of knee inflammation - both lower than in the exercise-alone group.

"No one expects diet and exercise to have a huge impact" on osteoarthritis, Dr. Amanda Nelson, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Thurston Arthritis Research Center, said.

"The fact that most of the improvements were modest is what we would expect to see."

Regardless of their group, participants who lost 10 percent of their body weight or more saw greater improvements in inflammation and other arthritis measures than those who dropped less weight, the researchers write in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Messier told Reuters Health that exercise seems to have benefits for osteoarthritis independent of weight loss, so it should remain part of standard care.

Although not all patients may be able to find the same support provided in the study, many communities have YMCAs and other places people can go to get help with weight-loss and exercise goals, he noted.

Some people, Messier said, "just need help. If you have someone who is sedentary for most of their life … to just ask them, ‘Well, I think you need to lose a few pounds and exercise' and then walk out the door, it's not enough."

Nelson, who wasn't involved in the new research, told Reuters Health that people should also turn to family members and community groups for support, if possible.

Although a 10-percent weight loss continues to be the goal for overweight people with arthritis, even two pounds is better than nothing, she said.

"Patients should be encouraged that any weight loss is likely to be beneficial, and the more they can do the better," Nelson said.

NCIS spin-off 2013

NCIS spin-off 2013
NCIS spin-off 2013
NCIS spin-off 2013, CBS is planning another “NCIS” spinoff, Variety has confirmed. It will center around the Naval Criminal Investigative Service‘s New Orleans office.

The city, with its debauchery and party scene, is a magnet for military personnel on leave and the trouble that comes with all the off-duty fun.

The spinoff, to be planted in two “NCIS” episodes slated to air in the spring, will be exec produced by “NCIS” exec producers Mark Harmon and Gary Glasberg.

“NCIS,” itself a spinoff of CBS drama “JAG,” routinely cracks 20 million viewers in its primetime timeslot. Show already launched spinoff “NCIS: Los Angeles” in 2009.

“NCIS” begins its 11th season Tuesday night on the Eye.

Jada Pinkett Smith Reveals Past Struggles With Addiction

Jada Pinkett Smith Reveals Past Struggles With Addiction
Jada Pinkett Smith Reveals Past Struggles With Addiction
Jada Pinkett Smith Reveals Past Struggles With Addiction, With age, comes wisdom.Jada Pinkett Smith seems to be a prime example of the adage.

The actress and mother turned 42 last week and shared her thoughts about getting older on her Facebook account.
The generally candid star revealed that throughout the years she's had her fair share of struggles and has even suffered from "many addictions, of several kinds."

"What I learned about myself is this, when I was younger I was not a good problem solver, meaning I had a very difficult time with dealing with my problems in life," she explained.

"But today, at 42, I have my wisdom, my heart and my conscience as the only tools to overcome life's inevitable obstacles. I have become a good problem solver with those tools, and I am damn proud."

Will Smith's better half added, "What I hope is that we all continue to gain healthy understanding that life is really about, solving problems, and also about us learning to become masters at solving them."

Jada's poignant post comes after months of speculation that she and her famous hubby are splitting up.

However, in a recent interview with Redbook magazine, the actress said that she tries to keep her head out of the rumor mill and forge ahead.

 "I have been affected by gossip and I know people who have been too. I've seen marriages destroyed by gossip. It is cruel," she admitted. "At the end of the day, all that matters is: Do you love what you see when you look in the mirror? That is it, baby."

F-15 Silent Eagle Rejected by South Korea

F-15 Silent Eagle Rejected by South Korea, Reuters via the CS Monitor reported today that South Korea has voted down a bid from Boeing to sell the country 60 F-15 Silent Eagles in favor of starting the process again to get a better fighter.

Although the F-15 was the only plane to fit the south Korean budget initially, the ruling party’s lawmakers and former military officials have all criticized the plane’s mediocre stealth effectiveness. Specifically, the AFP noted that the F-15 was unable to evade radar like an EADS Eurofighter Typhoon or a Lockheed Martin F-35A Joint Strike Fighter.

South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok, speaking about the need for better jets, said “Our air force thinks that we need combat capabilities in response to the latest trend of aerospace technology development centered around the fifth generation fighter jets and to provocations from North Korea.”

Lockheed Martin’s F-35A Joint Strike Fighter is the next jet South Korea is considering buying, although its advanced stealth capabilities were initially considered out of Seoul’s budget range. The F-35A JSF has been ordered by seven countries: Japan, Israel, Britain, Australia, Italy, Norway, and Turkey.

South Korea may take up to a year to fashion a budget that would include room for new fighters, but South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration, or DAPA (the organization responsible for assessing the fighters), said that it “will swiftly pursue the program again in order to minimize the vacuum in combat capabilities.”

In the meantime, Lockheed Martin plans to try and lower the costs of the F-35A in the wake of increased production. “We will continue to support the U.S. government in its offer of the F-35A to Korea,” a Lockheed Martin representative to South Korea said.

Boeing seems to be the loser of the deal, as the company spent out-of-pocket to develop the Silent Eagle variant of the F-15. While it’s not yet known whether Boeing will file suit, a DAPA official commented that South Korea had followed the rules regarding the bidding process.

Kanye West Talks About Creative Aspirations & Classism in Pt. 2 of Interview with Zane Lowe

Kanye West Talks About Creative Aspirations & Classism in Pt. 2 of Interview with Zane Lowe, In part two of Kanye West's interview with Zane Lowe, he talks about his aspirations for expanding creatively and how he feels classism is a big issue today.

He recalls a conversation he had with talent agent Ari Emanuel, who wanted to constrict Kanye's ability to be creative. "'You are a celebrity. So basically what's going to happen is there's product here, and this is where you end up right here.

 If you can communicate this product, you can make money off the product,'" Kanye recounts. "Look at [Lady] Gaga. She's the creative director of Polaroid. I like some of the Gaga songs. What the fuck does she know about cameras?"

He also touched on classism, which shows up on his track "I Am a God." "When someone comes up and says, 'I am a God,' everybody says, 'Who does he think he is?' I just told you who I thought I was. A god," he states. "Would it have been better if I had a song that said, 'I'm a Gangster' or if I had a song that said, 'I'm a Pimp,' all those colors fit better on a person like me, right?"

Mary Pickford lost film

Mary Pickford lost film
Mary Pickford lost film
Mary Pickford lost film, A giant of the silent film era, Mary Pickford made more than 200 movies, but the 1911 film "Their First Misunderstanding" was thought to have been lost long ago.

"We have a list of all of Mary Pickford's films, but this was among the missing," says film historian Leonard Maltin.To Maltin, the film is an important discovery.

"It's like finding an early song by George Gershwin, or an unpublished short story by Mark Twain," Maltin says.

Found by a carpenter in an old New Hampshire barn, the film was donated to Keene State College, where Larry Benaquist realized he had a gem.

"Apparently it had been a boys' school -- a boys' camp, and during the summer, they'd set up this 35mm projector and show these ancient films to the boys," Benaquist says.

Pickford was just 18 when she made "Their First Misunderstanding," a 10-minute movie about a wife's fight with her husband.

And apparently this 1911 film was the first time she received screen billing as Mary Pickford," Maltin says. "Well in a very short time that name, Mary Pickford, became world famous."

She would form her own studio, United Artists, with Charlie Chaplin, D.W. Griffith and her husband, Douglas Fairbanks, and take home two Oscars. But in 1911, with this film, audiences first learned the name of the actress who became America's sweetheart.

Watch a clip from Mary Pickford's film "Their First Misunderstanding" from Keene State College's film archive here.

California mercy rule

California mercy rule
California mercy rule
California mercy rule, A youth football league’s new mercy rule is drawing outrage from parents in Northern California, but whereas most beefs over the implementation of mercy rules argue that they’re not tough enough, these parents contend that their league is stripping their children of opportunities in the name of a level playing field.

According to Sacramento NBC affiliate KCRA, the Northern California Federation Youth Football League instituted new rules this year that result in a $200 fine and a one-week suspension for the coach if a team wins a game by more than 35 points.

Teams must also sit their first-string players if they lead by 28 points or more at the half."We lose a lot of football players because their teams lose so badly," Robert Rochin, NCFYFL’s deputy commissioner, told KCRA. "If they are constantly getting beat, who wants to play anymore? We lose kids all season long because of that."

But that’s a good enough excuse according to some parents in the league — which includes kids ranging from 7 to 13 years old — who feel that the rule cheats their children out of a chance to develop and also poses a safety risk.

"Now they are afraid their coaches are going to get suspended and they are not going to have a coach to come out here and play football," said Kelly McHugh, whose 13-year-old son doesn't kick field goals in games for fear of running up the score.

Added another parent, Brent Moore: "The kids who are in the position of trying to protect their coach are backing off and are at a higher risk of being injured."

It’s really a no-win proposition for leagues that try to implement such a rule. If the mercy rule isn’t strict enough, parents will be upset that their kids are getting pummeled, and if it’s too strict, parents will moan that their kids are being cheated out of a chance to pummel.

I’m not sure I agree that there’s a long-term benefit to keeping the score in check, but in the case of the NCFYFL’s rule, there haven’t been any violations thus far this season, and parents shouldn’t expect much to change going forward.

"It’s not hurting the kids, it's teaching them compassion for the other team," Rochin told KCRA. "It’s teaching them sportsmanship."

Base jumper walden grindle in

Base jumper walden grindle in
Base jumper walden grindle in
Base jumper walden grindle in, As a BASE jumper dies in California, some people are wondering what happened to cause Walden Grindle’s fatal mistake.

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, BASE jumper Mario Richard died jumping from an Italian mountain.

The major difference between the two is how they were BASE jumping. The standard way to BASE jump is to simply leap off a cliff, bridge, or skyscraper and then deploy a parachute. In the case of Mario Richard, he was using a wingsuit, which allows BASE jumpers to glide like a flying squirrel for miles and attempt BASE jumps previously that were impossible.

Walden Grindle was speed paragliding where the idea is to use wind gusts to pull you up like a kite. Some people will combine this method with snowboards to glide down snowy mountains, hovering feet above the snow but also capable of flying over cliffs with drops hundreds of feet down.

Mario Richard miscalculated his BASE jump by only a couple meters. No one knows for sure what happened to Walden Grindle, but police speculate the BASE jumper died from a sudden downward wind gust that sent him crashing into the California mountainside.

This BASE jumper’s death was unusual in that Walden Grindle survived the initial crash after jumping off a six hundred foot cliff off of Mount St. Helena in Napa, California. His emergency beacon was deployed, and he even called his wife on the cell phone, saying he thought he’d broken his hip.

But even though California’s emergency response helicopters reached Walden Grindle within 30 minutes, they found the BASE jumper dead from his injuries. One responder to the BASE jumper accident said, “I felt kind of helpless. We couldn’t do anything for him. I felt bad it ended up that way.”

Nate Burleson breaks arm in car accident early Tuesday morning

Nate Burleson breaks arm in car accident early Tuesday morning
Nate Burleson breaks arm in car accident early Tuesday morning
Nate Burleson breaks arm in car accident early Tuesday morning, The Lions offense is really clicking this season but it keeps being derailed by injury. The latest nightmare news is that Nate Burleson, the Lions No. 2 wideout, is likely to miss the year after breaking his arm during a car accident.

Burleson, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, broke his arm in two places during the accident on early Tuesday morning and is prepared to go under the knife.

"We will provide appropriate updates when more information on Burleson's condition becomes available," the Lions said in a statement.

Police have confirmed that alcohol was not involved in Burleson's accident.

Burleson's game in Week 3's victory over the Redskins was his most productive since Detroit signed him, catching six passes for 116 yards.

With Burleson out, expect the Lions to turn to Ryan Broyles as their No. 2 weapon. Broyles has had multiple ACL injuries in the past few years.

Detroit is 2-1 early in the season and has looked good. But with Reggie Bush dealing with injury and now Burleson going down, it's fair to wonder just how many hits the Lions' offense can take. Having Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson always helps, but the Lions aren't necessarily at their best when they become one-dimensional.

Navy Yard Shooter Aaron Alexis Lied About Gun-Related Arrest During Background Check

Navy Yard Shooter Aaron Alexis Lied About Gun-Related Arrest During Background Check
Navy Yard Shooter Aaron Alexis Lied About Gun-Related Arrest During Background Check
Navy Yard Shooter Aaron Alexis Lied About Gun-Related Arrest During Background Check, Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis obtained a secret-level security clearance because he failed to mention a 2004 arrest involving a gun during his security screening.

Federal investigators said Alexis also failed to disclose multiple debts to the Navy when he applied for security clearance in 2007.

In 2004, Alexis was arrested for shooting out the tires of car parked in front of his homein Seattle. The vehicle belonged to local construction workers, with whom he had a parking dispute.

During his 2007 background check, Alexis indicated he did not have any prior arrests.

The report given to the Navy by the Office of Personnel Management didn’t even mention that a gun was involved in the incident. It simply said that Alexis had “deflated” the tires during a verbal altercation.

Officials don’t know who might have made those omissions fromt he report, whether the U.S. Investigative Services that investigated Alexis or the Office of Personnel Management is responsible.

Investigators said the Seattle police declined to give more information on the arrest, which left Navy officials to rely on court documents.

A senior official said Monday that there is "no way to know objectively" whether Alexis would have been given clearance if he had disclosed the gun-related arrest, the Washington Post reported.

The Navy learned of the arrest after the shooting, when Navy Secretary Ray Mabus ordered a review. Mabus will make recommendations to change security clearance approval to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel based on the review. Police records will now be disclosed in full.

Seattle police said they were planning to charge Alexis with a felony in the 2004 incident, but they were later reduced to a misdemeanor. The case was dropped, although Alexis confessed to the crime, because authorities lost the paperwork, according to the Post.

Emmy Awards 2013: ‘Breaking Bad’s’ Bryan Cranston

Emmy Awards 2013
Emmy Awards 2013
Emmy Awards 2013: ‘Breaking Bad’s’ Bryan Cranston, ‘Mad Men’s’ Jon Hamm and ‘Downton Abbey’ among biggest snubs, Hit & Meth: Emmy voters botched a big chance to reward Bryan Cranston for an incredible run on 'Breaking Bad.'

A Mad Man and a Mad Woman — that would be Jon Hamm and Elisabeth Moss — can justifiably feel jilted by Sunday night’s Emmy awards.

So can Bryan Cranston, who somehow didn’t get another statuette for “Breaking Bad.” So can everyone associated with “Downton Abbey.”

Mandy Patinkin of “Homeland” has a case for feeling snubbed and so does Kerry Washington from “Scandal.”

Jennifer Carpenter from “Dexter” can definitely feel snubbed and so can Katey Sagal from “Sons of Anarchy.”Neither Carpenter nor Sagal even got invited to the party. They weren’t nominated, a move as puzzling in both cases as the omission of, say, James Purefoy from “The Following.”

So the Emmys didn’t get everything right Sunday, though to be honest there were none of those totally inexplicable snubs that make viewers look up from their smartphones and say, “Huh?”

The drama categories, in particular, were so loaded with fine shows and performances that shows as good as “Boardwalk Empire” and “Justified” were shut out. None of the nominees was undeserving or even marginal.

Many predicted Kerry Washington would earn the Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series for 'Scandal.'

That also explains why “House of Cards” wasn’t snubbed even though it didn’t win best drama, best actor or best actress.

Besides the fact that the winners in all those categories were a little better, “House of Cards” was also the new kid at this dance.

As a TV show that didn’t air on traditional TV, “House” won just by getting invited. It wasn’t reallly expecting to become king or queen quite yet.

Downton Abbey’ was a victim of category, getting lumped in a crowded drama series field as opposed to being treated as a miniseries.

The missteps Sunday started with lead actress in a movie/miniseries, where Laura Linney won for “The Big C.
Linney was fine. But the breakout performance in that category this year was Moss in “Top of the Lake.”

She’s a great Peggy Olson and “Top of the Lake” proved she can be great other characters.Jennifer Carpenter provided plenty of dramatic ammunition to be worthy of an Emmy for her turn on ‘Dexter,' but wasn’t even nominated.

It was also a little puzzling that “The Big C” was even in that category. It was a regular series all its life until it decided to finish with just four episodes. Does that suddenly make it a miniseries?
As for Hamm, it’s a crime — at least a misdemeanor, maybe bordering on felony — that he has not yet been honored for playing Don Draper on “Mad Men.”

Maybe some Emmy voters have been figuring they’ll finally give it to him when “Mad Men” wraps up its run, which will now be in 2015 instead of 2014.

Biker Chic: Katey Sagal (with Ron Perlman) also wasn’t nominated, despite turning in a powerful performance in ‘Sons of Anarchy.’

And that thinking might make sense if “best actor in a drama” had gone again this year to Cranston, as it should have.

But if the voters were going to give it to someone other than Cranston, Hamm should have been well ahead of Jeff Daniels in the line.

That’s not a knock on Daniels, a terrific actor who deserves a special Emmy just for getting his mouth around all those Aaron Sorkin monologues in “The Newsroom.”.
It’s the TV drama version of gymnastics. (“That’s a 9.6 from the Russian judge.”) But sorry, Hamm needs to be honored before Daniels.

“Downton Abbey” was another victim of categories. Were it considered a miniseries, as it was in the past, it would have easily taken another statuette. But facing the likes of “Breaking Bad” in the drama category, it got racked up just like Matthew in his ill-fated roadster.

It’s a shame not only because of the quality of “Downton Abbey,” but because this year’s list of Emmy winners suggests the only dramas people watch on TV these days are tough, macho, testosterone-driven odes to darkness.
In fact, there’s a huge audience for softer, friendlier TV, and a couple of honors for “Downton Abbey” would have made that point.

Though Kevin Spacey’s ‘House of Cards’ didn’t fare well in the major categories, the Netflix upstart definitely fits under the heading, ‘it’s an honor just to be nominated.’

Lesser oversights Sunday included not rewarding Mandy Patinkin for his splendid work on “Homeland,” though at least he finally got nominated this year.

It’s understandable, given the quality of drama actress nominees, that Kerry Washington didn’t win. It still would have been nice, and reminded us that all the great characters aren’t on cable.

Looking ahead, the final episode of “Dexter” — which aired opposite the Emmys — reminded us that there will be no excuse next year for Jennifer Carpenter not to get at least a nomination for best actress.

NHL brawl penalties

NHL brawl penalties
NHL brawl penalties
NHL brawl penalties, NHL brawl penalties are on the way after a 10-player scrap between the Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs that even had a Vezina winner dropping the gloves.

The fight started with a scrap between Toronto’s Jamie Devane and the smaller Sabres forward Corey Tropp. Buffalo enforcer John Scott wasn’t happy about the outcome, so he decided to exact some revenge on the Leafs by trying to instigate a fight with Phil Kessel.

Kessel, who is 8 inches shorter than the 6-foot-8 Scott and not much of a fighter, turned down the opportunity to fight and instead swung his stick at Scott a few times.

“It was pretty stupid, right? He said he was going to jump me,” Kessel said. “What are you going to do? He’s a big boy, so if he’s coming after me, what are you going to do?”

This brought all the other players in, setting off a line brawl that even included Sabres goalie Ryan Miller fighting Leafs netminder Jonathan Bernier.

“I just asked him if he wanted to go, and obviously I don’t think he seemed that he actually wanted to go, but that’s the way it goes,” Bernier said. “It’s a hockey game, but you get hyper in energy and I wanted to defend my teammates.”

The brawl is now bringing penalties from the NHL. Toronto’s David Clarkson jumped onto the ice from the bench to protect Kessel, earning him an automatic 10-game suspension from the NHL.

Here is a look at the full NHL brawl penalties, which amounted to 211 total minutes.

Obama iran nuclear weapons

Obama iran nuclear weapons
Obama iran nuclear weapons
Obama iran nuclear weapons, US President Barack Obama has said recent moves by Iran should offer the basis for a "meaningful agreement" on its nuclear programme.

Speaking at the UN General Assembly's annual meeting, Mr Obama said words now had to be matched by actions.

The US leader recently exchanged letters with his newly-elected counterpart over the nuclear issue.

Later, President Hassan Rouhani insisted Iran posed "absolutely no threat to the world or region".

He said nuclear weapons had "no place in Iran's security and defence doctrine", and denounced international sanctions as "violent, pure and simple".

Earlier, Mr Obama also called for a strong UN resolution on Syria's chemical arms.

He said the purpose of such a resolution should be "to verify that the [Bashar al-Assad's] regime is keeping its commitments" to remove or destroy its chemical weapons.

Mr Obama referred to Iranian suffering from chemical weapons at the hands of Iraq when he said the ban on chemical weapons was "strengthened by the searing memories of soldiers suffocated in the trenches; Jews slaughtered in gas chambers; and Iranians poisoned in the many tens of thousands".

The deal for Syria to hand over its chemical weapons by mid-2014 was agreed earlier this month between the US and Russia, averting a possible Western military strike.

Differences have since emerged over whether the deal should be enforced by a UN Security Council resolution under Chapter VII of the organisation's charter, which would authorise sanctions and the use of force if Syria did not comply with its obligations.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has demanded the international community "bring to justice the perpetrators of the use of chemical weapons in Syria".

Peace 'within reach'

On Iran, Mr Obama said the US wanted to resolve the nuclear issue peacefully, but was determined to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

"We are not seeking regime change, and we respect the right of the Iranian people to access peaceful nuclear energy," he insisted - an acknowledgment of the assertion frequently made by Iranian authorities.

"Instead, we insist that the Iranian government meet its responsibilities under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and UN Security Council resolutions."

"The roadblocks may prove to be too great, but I firmly believe the diplomatic path must be tested" he added further into the speech, saying he had urged Secretary of State John Kerry to pursue a deal.

Iran insists it is a peaceful programme, but Western countries suspect it of seeking to develop a nuclear weapon.Mr Rouhani denounced "Iran-phobic discourses" and told the Assembly that Iran sought "constructive engagement", and did not "seek to increase tensions with the United States".

"Our national interests make it imperative that we remove any and all reasonable concerns about Iran's peaceful nuclear programme."

"Let me say loud and clear that peace is within reach," Mr Rouhani said.

Earlier Mr Rouhani shook hands with French President Francois Hollande, who said he expected "concrete gestures" from Iran to show it was not developing nuclear weapons.

But a much-touted informal encounter between Mr Rouhani and Mr Obama failed to materialise, with a senior US administration official saying such a gesture had turned out to be "too complicated for [the Iranians] to do that at this time given their own dynamic back home" - a clear reference, correspondents say, to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

Nonetheless, US-Iran contacts are on the rise. On Thursday, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will discuss its nuclear programme with Mr Kerry - a rare instance of a formal encounter between the counterparts, say correspondents.

The meeting will be attended by foreign ministers from the other four permanent UN Security Council members - the UK, China, France and Russia - and also Germany, which make up the so-called P5+1.

Mr Rouhani has said he is ready to restart stalled nuclear talks without preconditions - a pledge rubbished by Iranian foe Israel.

"Iran thinks that soothing words and token actions will enable it to continue on its path to the bomb," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement.

Western ministers will want to see an Iranian willingness to make concessions on its nuclear programme if there is to be any lifting or lightening of UN and Western sanctions, BBC diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus says.

Iran for its part will want a clear indication that the US is willing to treat Iran with the respect it believes it deserves as a significant regional player, he adds.

The EU's foreign policy chief, Baroness Catherine Ashton, met Mr Zarif on Monday and described their discussion as "good and constructive." She said her team would hold talks with Mr Zarif again in October in Geneva to assess progress.

Last week, Mr Rouhani said that his country would never "seek weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons", and that his goal was "constructive engagement" with the international community.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Cherokee Child: Baby Veronica Goes Back to SC

Cherokee Child: Baby Veronica Goes Back to SC
Cherokee Child: Baby Veronica Goes Back to SC
Cherokee Child: Baby Veronica Goes Back to SC, The years-long case involving the adoption of a Cherokee child finally seems to have an ending. Baby Veronica, as the 4-year-old child is commonly referred to, is back with her adoptive parents, Matt and Melanie Capobianco. The Capobiancos are thrilled to have their daughter back in their arms and are heading back to their home in Charleston, South Carolina. Baby Veronica lived with her biological father, Dusten Brown, since the end of 2011.

“She’s safely in her parents’ arms,” said Jessica Munday, a spokeswoman for the Capobiancos. “It was smooth. There wasn’t any danger. Hopefully everyone can focus on healing now,” said Munday. The Capobiancos have been waiting to get Baby Veronica back since July, when the United States Supreme Court said that the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) law used by Brown to get custody of his daughter didn’t apply.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court granted an emergency stay for the Cherokee child to remain with her father at the end of August, but the stay is now dissolved. According to Tulsa World, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office received the court order at 5 p.m. to transfer Veronica over to the Capobianocs, and Veronica was with them within two and a half hours.

“The court order was directed to us, so we served it,” undersheriff Jason Chennault said. “We gave the Browns time to say goodbye and pack some things for Veronica, some clothes and things.”

Cherokee Nation Attorney General Todd Hembree said that the transfer of Veronica was difficult on Brown, but that everything went peacefully. Hembree also said that the case, which has went on for years, isn’t over and that more appeals may be filed. “We will assess our legal options in the morning,” Hembree said. “Is this over? I would say not.”

This case has been particularly divisive, as most people are firmly pro-biological father or pro-adoptive parents.Baby Veronica was given up for adoption by her mother when she was born, and lived with the Capobiancos for more than two years. Veronica’s father, Dusten Brown, signed away his parental rights just as he was about to be shipped off for the Iraq War. Brown said that he didn’t know that his daughter was going to be given up for adoption when he signed the papers and fought to get her back for more than two years.

Veronica was turned over to him because of an issue with the ICWA. Brown is a member of Cherokee Nation, and according to the ICWA law, the Cherokee Nation must be notified of adoptions, which never happened. After Brown took custody of Veronica, the Capobiancos began fighting to get her back and eventually won after the U.S. Supreme Court said that the ICWA law didn’t apply since Veronica’s biological mother is Hispanic.

Game Of Thrones Season 4: Lena Heady And Peter Dinklage Chat About Hit Series

Game Of Thrones Season 4: Lena Heady And Peter Dinklage Chat About Hit Series
Game Of Thrones Season 4: Lena Heady And Peter Dinklage Chat About Hit Series
Game Of Thrones Season 4: Lena Heady And Peter Dinklage Chat About Hit Series, Game of Thrones will soon debut its fourth season and actress Lena Heady says the “stakes are higher than they have ever been.”

Talking to Access Hollywood the shows star revealed that the series is only getting “better and better” as it progresses.

During a post-Emmy discussion Peter Dinklage also revealed that his character, Tyrion Lannister, will continue their on-screen relationship with Sansa Stark. Peter says of that decision: “It’s respectful.” Dinklage also notes that the arranged marriage Tywin Lannister sprung on him in Season 3 with the noble lady is “not filled with passion.”

Dinklage says he has enjoyed working with Sophie Turner, 17, who plays his TV bride.

“The opportunity to work with Sophie Turner who plays Sansa, I’m working with her a great deal and I love every minute of that,” he said. “She’s incredible.”

While the entire crew of Game of Thrones have spoken seriously about the upcoming season, they are also refusing to take themselves too seriously in the off-season.

Dinklage recently appeared on an episode of Sesame Street where he sang about the popular children’s game Simon Says.

You may recall that before landing his role on Game of Thrones Dinklage appeared in a number of kid friendly movies including The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. He also voiced Captian Gutt on the popular movie Ice Age: Continental Drift.

With a little girl, Zelig, of his own we aren’t surprised Dinklage would appear on GoT and then follow it up with a Sesame Street appearance.

Fans of Game of Thrones are eagerly awaiting the new season, this writer included. For now plot lines and other details are being kept under wraps.

Gas prices drop after 2-month high

Gas prices drop after 2-month high
Gas prices drop after 2-month high
Gas prices drop after 2-month high, Gas prices have been slowly dropping at the pumps and are expected to be 20 to 25 cents lower by the end of October.

According to information gathered by GasBuddy.com, a company that conducts daily surveys of gas prices around the United States, the drop can be attributed to the fact that the summer driving season is over, thus lowering demand for crude oil.

"Kids are back in school, and people aren't taking vacations or doing as much discretionary spending," said Patrick DeHaan, a Chicago-based senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. "In Northwest Indiana, people aren't spending as much time on their boats in Lake Michigan. There's less vacation travel, and people aren't going to visit their lake cottages."
DeHaan added that the switch to a cheaper winter blend might also be related to the lower new prices.

Although gas prices traditionally drop in the fall, DeHaan noted that this year's drop will be even steeper because the hurricane season has passed without inflicting much damage to Gulf Coast oil refineries.

DeHaan pointed out that the high cost of oil might prompt a few refineries to cut back on production, thus restoring the old prices. He said the balance could switch daily.

Corbin Bleu & Karina Smirnoff: The Jive on 'DWTS' - Watch Now!

Corbin Bleu & Karina Smirnoff: The Jive on 'DWTS' - Watch Now!
Corbin Bleu & Karina Smirnoff: The Jive on 'DWTS' - Watch Now!
Corbin Bleu & Karina Smirnoff: The Jive on 'DWTS' - Watch Now!, Corbin Bleu and his partner Karina Smirnoff hit the floor on Monday night’s (September 23) episode of Dancing With The Stars in Los Angeles.

The duo danced The Jive to One Direction‘s “Kiss You” and dressed in High School Musical throwback gear! They received an awesome 26 points! His HSM co-stars Lucas Grabeel and Charles Klapow cheered him on from the audience. The couple was later deemed safe for the week too!

“For me, the dance on Monday wasn’t flawless,” Corbin wrote on his People blog about the first week. “I always think it could have been better than it was. I wanted our lift to be slightly more stable.

The big lift when I pull Karina over my head – we did it, but I wanted it to be a little more of a punch. I think with something like contemporary, it was very beautiful and very touching, but with something like [Amber Riley's dance] the cha cha, you get a chance to engage the audience a bit more, so you get people a little more excited and you get people’s heart rates going a bit more.”

Corbin added, “So I’m excited about the Latin dances coming up. With our contemporary, it was all about the storyline between Karina and I, and I didn’t even realize much of the audience that entire performance.”

Michael Jackson to be star of closing arguments in wrongful death case

Michael Jackson to be star of closing arguments in wrongful death case
Michael Jackson to be star of closing arguments in wrongful death case
Michael Jackson to be star of closing arguments in wrongful death case, Michael Jackson, immortalized by music videos, will be the star of closing arguments by his mother's lawyers in the civil negligence case against concert giant AEG Live LLC.

The videos have been shown frequently during testimony in the 21-week trial to remind jurors of Jackson's musical triumphs as well as the rehearsals for his ill-fated "This Is It" concert tour when some witnesses claim he was ailing.

The lawyers who brought the suit on behalf of Katherine Jackson and the superstar's children are scheduled to speak on Tuesday and have been allotted four hours for their initial presentation. Attorneys for AEG will speak on Wednesday, also for four hours. The plaintiffs, who have the burden of proof, get to speak a second time. In that grand finale, probably on Thursday, they are likely to tell jurors how much money the Jacksons are seeking for the loss of the world famous pop star.

They are expected to ask for more than $1 billion, citing testimony of experts who said Jackson had a long lucrative career ahead of him when he died at the age of 50.

Final arguments are likely to draw a crowd, leading the judge to move proceedings from her tiny courtroom to a larger courtroom that can accommodate media, spectators, lawyers and Jackson fans who line up daily for a lottery to win seats in the courtroom.

The fans huddle and discuss the case in the hallway and wait to see Katherine Jackson enter the courtroom. Some wear T-shirts emblazoned with her picture and messages of support.

AEG Live is accused of negligently hiring Dr. Conrad Murray, who was convicted in 2011 of giving Jackson an overdose of the anesthetic propofol as he tried to sleep during preparations for comeback shows in London.

The company claims it was Jackson who insisted that Murray treat him because the former cardiologist was giving him propofol as a sleep aid.

AEG Live drafted a contract for Murray's services, according to testimony, but it was never signed by anyone except Murray before Jackson died.

On Monday, members of the jury heard Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos gave them legal instructions. Everyone has biases, she said, but they must not be swayed by prejudice, sympathy or public opinion while deliberating. They also were told how to evaluate evidence and witnesses.

If the jury finds that damages should be assessed, the judge said they must not consider such issues as the grief endured by the Jackson family or the wealth of both sides in the bitterly fought case.

The instructions lasted about 30 minutes, a relatively short time because there is really just one central issue in the case: Who hired Dr. Conrad Murray? Was it AEG Live or Michael Jackson?

Depression in Cancer Patients May be Easy to Screen

Depression in Cancer Patients May be Easy to Screen
Depression in Cancer Patients May be Easy to Screen
Depression in Cancer Patients May be Easy to Screen, MedicineNet from HealthDay reports that According to a new study, a simple two-question survey can accurately screen cancer patients for depression. The survey asks patients whether they have experienced little interest or pleasure in doing things, or felt down, depressed or hopeless in the last two weeks. The patients are given a points score based on their answers to the questions.

The way the scoring process works is, for each question, a patient can answer: not at all (worth zero points), several days (1 point), more than half the days (2 points), or nearly every day (3 points). Patients who score a total of at least 3 points on both questions are considered to be at risk for having depression.

The researchers that authored the study, found that the two-question screening test was just as accurate in screening for depression as a longer nine-question screening test. The study and it’s findings are scheduled for presentation on Monday at the annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology.The test was assessed in a study that included 455 cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy at 37 centers in the United States. These patients were surveyed before or within two weeks of undergoing their first radiation treatment. Of the participants, 16 percent screened positive for depression.

“We found that a two-question survey can effectively screen for depression,” Dr. William Small Jr., chair of the department of radiation oncology of Loyola University Medical Center, said in a Loyola news release. “We hope this will prompt more centers to screen for depression, and to refer patients for treatment when necessary.”

Dr. Small and his colleagues also found that 78 percent of radiation therapy centers routinely screen patients for depression, with half screening at the initial visit. Sixty-eight percent of radiation therapy facilities offered mental health services. However, 67 percent of sites had only social workers available; 22 percent offered psychiatrists, and 17 percent offered psychologists. These results highlighted a need for a deeper look into how more can be done to help cancer patients with depression. However, this study was to be presented at a medical meeting, therefore, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

But Dr. Small is optimistic. “We think the results of this large, nationwide trial will have a major impact on how cancer patients are screened for depression,” Small said.

10 ways a government shutdown would affect your daily life

10 ways a government shutdown would affect your daily life
10 ways a government shutdown would affect your daily life
10 ways a government shutdown would affect your daily life, just over a week remains. If the Democrats and Republicans don't stop bickering and agree to how the U.S. should pay its bills, the federal government will shut down, come October 1.

And at a time when the economy's finally showing signs of life, that could be troubling. Shutdowns don't come cheap. Federal agencies have to use up time, energy and resources to plan for one. Shutting down and then reopening the government also costs money.

According to the Congressional Research Service, the two previous shutdowns -- in late 1995 and early 1996 -- cost the country $1.4 billion.

But what would a shutdown mean for you? Would your daily life be affected?
(The answer's yes, so keep reading.)
Shutdown showdown: How it plays out this week
Here are 10 ways a government shutdown would affect you.

10. Vacation all I ever wanted: Need to get away? Well, you can't. At least not to national parks. Or to national zoos. Or to national museums. They'd all be closed. That's 368 National Park Service sites closed, millions of visitors turned away.

Were you thinking more along the lines of a trip to France? If you don't already have a passport, you could bid that adieu. It's unlikely you'd get your blue book in time. The last time the government threw a hissy fit, 200,000 applications for passports went unprocessed. Tourism and airline revenues reeled.

9. Holiday. Celebrate: Don't come to work if you're a federal employee. You're on furlough. (Offer not valid for workers in "critical services," such as air traffic controllers, hazardous waste handlers and food inspectors.)
Do take some time to celebrate. In previous shutdowns, everyone who stayed home was paid retroactively after peace returned to Washington.

8. I won't back down: The good news (for you) is that the men and women in uniform would continue to keep you safe. The bad news (for them) is that they'd be paid in IOUs until the shutdown ended. In January, Sens. Mark Udall, D-Colorado, and Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, introduced legislation that would have protected pay for the troops during a shutdown, but it didn't get anywhere.

Rep. C.W. Young, chairman of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, told the Air Force Times, "All military personnel will continue to serve and accrue pay but will not actually be paid until appropriations are available.
"
Their mid-October paycheck would be the first affected. In addition, the congressman told the paper, changes of station would be delayed, medical offerings would be scaled back, facility and weapons maintenance would be suspended and most civilian employees would be furloughed until appropriations are available.
Scenarios of the shutdown

7. If you drive a car, I'll tax the street: You may be thinking, "No functioning government, no need to pay taxes." Think again. The Man would continue to collect taxes. U.S. bonds would still be issued. And other essential banking functions would go on.

6. Wait a minute, Mr. Postman: You know that whole "Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night" thing? Apparently, the U.S. Postal Service works through shutdowns as well. Sorry, you won't catch a break from the junk mail. But hey, you may already be a winner!

5. I want a new drug: Oh, the irony. The Republicans want to defund Obamacare in exchange for funding the government. But the health care act at the center of this storm would continue its implementation process during a shutdown. That's because its funds aren't dependent on the congressional budget process.

4. Pass the ammunition: Not so fast. A shutdown would affect the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Translation: That gun permit you wanted processed wouldn't happen anytime soon.

3. Money (that's what I want): Well, if you own a small business and needed a loan from the government, you'd have to wait. If you were planning to buy a house and needed a federal loan, you'd have to wait. If you're a veteran, you might have to make a few trips to the mailbox before that check arrived.

If you're on Social Security, however, don't worry -- probably. Social Security payments were sent during the last shutdown. President Obama's expected to keep workers on the payroll to process checks. But would there be enough employees to process new benefits for the newly retired?

2. Anything dirty or dingy or dusty: Oscar the Grouch is a company of one. No one loves trash. But if you live in Washington, expect it to pile up if there's a shutdown. There wouldn't be anyone to collect your garbage. Washington's budget has to be approved by Congress. No budget for the city = no trash collection. And, according to The Washington Post, D.C. produces about 500 tons of garbage each week.

1. I'm proud to be an American: Perhaps the biggest hit would be to the collective psyche. America is the largest economy in the world and a beacon for how democracy ought to work. To watch elected lawmakers engage in a high-stakes staring contest with no one willing to blink is no way to do business. A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll found that 51% will blame Republicans if the government closes its doors. The U.S. has operated without a budget since 2009 and has avoided a government shutdown with last-minute deals. It's been one stomach-turning sequel after another.

Not only does the government run out of money on October 1, the nation is set to hit the debt ceiling and go into default in mid-October. Together, they serve -- in the words of CNN senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta -- as a dysfunction double whammy.

Powerball winner claims $400M, chooses to remain anonymous

Powerball winner claims $400M, chooses to remain anonymous
Powerball winner claims $400M, chooses to remain anonymous
Powerball winner claims $400M, chooses to remain anonymous, The single winner of last week's $400 million Powerball ticket came forward in South Carolina to claim his prize, lottery officials have confirmed.

However, the new millionaire has decided to remain anonymous.

According to South Carolina lottery officials, the winner is from the Columbia, S.C. area and this was only the second time he's ever played the lottery.

The winner told officials he purchased the ticket after stopping for gas at the Murphy Express last Wednesday in Lexington, S.C. He explained that he only went inside the store because his wife wanted him to get hot dog buns.

Though the store didn't have buns, the trip wasn't exactly a waste of his time. The man said he decided to purchase $20 worth of lottery tickets after noticing the swelling Powerball jackpot.

The winning numbers were 7, 10, 22, 32, 35 and Powerball 19.

Officials wouldn't say if the man took the $223 million lump sum or the 29-year annuity.

Powerball ticket prices doubled from $1 to $2 in January 2012. The lottery game is played in 43 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. According to Powerball's website, the odds of matching all six numbers are about 1 in 175 million.

Miley Cyrus wears pasties, cries at Vegas festival

Miley Cyrus wears pasties, cries at Vegas festival
Miley Cyrus wears pasties, cries at Vegas festival
Miley Cyrus wears pasties, cries at Vegas festival, Miley Cyrus can't stop her wildness on stage. And she won't stop.

Cyrus followed her MTV Video Music Awards twerking and sledgehammer-licking "Wrecking Ball" with another equally wild performance.

The "We Can't Stop" star, introduced by Britney Spears, wore a white fishnet dress with black pasties and panties underneath, topped with a furry shrug and mock-turtleneck collar for a gig Saturday night in Las Vegas.

There, for the iHeartRadio performance, she twerked onstage alongside dwarves while singing into a banana-shaped microphone.

She then began to cry while singing "Wrecking Ball," as she does in the video. Her recent break with fiance Liam Hemsworth has sparked rumors that the song is about their relationship.

She defended her choices, though. Cyrus said that she knows "things I'm doing that's getting me into trouble and it's just me doing what my heart and soul is telling me what to do."

Donald Trump defended her, too, but said that the fishnet dress was not his favorite.

Chris Brown identifies with Trayvon Martin, calls out Jay Z for stabbing somebody

Chris Brown identifies with Trayvon Martin, calls out Jay Z for stabbing somebody
Chris Brown identifies with Trayvon Martin, calls out Jay Z for stabbing somebody
Chris Brown identifies with Trayvon Martin, calls out Jay Z for stabbing somebody, Chris Brown feels like he is being unfairly judged by the media.

In an interview for the October issue of Jet magazine, the 24-year-old singer said the public had been harder on him than on fellow rapper Jay Z when it comes to forgiving their past indiscretions.

"No disrespect, because I'm a fan, but nobody brings up the fact that he stabbed somebody and sold drugs," Brown said of the time in which the "Holy Grail" singer pleaded guilty to stabbing record producer Lance "Un" Rivera in 1999.

"He gets a pass," Brown continued.

The "Fine China" singer went on to say that he wanted to make amends for his past behavior including the time when he assaulted Rihanna.

"You have to go through the struggle before you can get to the good part," he said. "I don't try to lash out at people or be as mad or impulsive as I used to be. I got to the point where it's only so much you can take from the master, you feel me? I've taken my fair share of lashings."

Brown also told the magazine he identified 100 percent with Trayvon Martin when it came to "dealing with blatant racism."

"This generation is so used to racism that it’s normal; we don’t care. We aren’t on drugs or catching AIDS, but they still look at us as niggers.”

Duff Goldman Unveils World’s Largest Cheesecake

Duff Goldman Unveils World’s Largest Cheesecake
Duff Goldman Unveils World’s Largest Cheesecake
Duff Goldman Unveils World’s Largest Cheesecake, 1. There is an annual cream cheese festival in Lowville, NY that serves a 1,200-pound cheesecake. (That is heavier than your average cow.)

2. This was apparently not nearly big enough to break the record for world’s biggest cheesecake, which was 4,703 pounds. (Still counting? That’s about four cows.)

But don’t worry, because on Saturday Ace of Cakes star Duff Goldman trekked up to Lowville to unveil a 6,900-pound cake crafted by the folks at Philadelphia cream cheese, shattering both the Guinness record and any local resident’s chance at a decent cholesterol test anytime soon.

We will give props to Goldman and the festival because the whole thing was a fundraiser for Share Our Strength, an organization working to end childhood hunger. Festivalgoers gave donations in exchange for a slice of the cake, and all were encouraged to plan their own community bake sales for Share our Strength.

Because you will probably never slice into a 31-inch-deep cheesecake (unless you start planning your 2014 trip to upstate New York), Goldman shared a consolation prize with PEOPLE: a recipe for a regular-sized “Good Ass Old-School Classic” cheesecake.

Mental disorder can’t be sole reason for divorce, says SC

Mental disorder can’t be sole reason for divorce, says SC
Mental disorder can’t be sole reason for divorce, says SC
Mental disorder can’t be sole reason for divorce, says SC, A spouse suffering from mental disorder cannot be the sole ground for dissolution of marriage, the Supreme Court has held.

A bench headed by justice GS Singhvi said divorce can be granted only if the illness is of such nature that it is difficult to live together. Turning down the plea of a man seeking divorce on the ground his wife was suffering from schizophrenia, the bench said the existing Hindu Marriage Act (HMA) did not make existence of a mental disorder of any degree sufficient to grant divorce.

“This court cautioned that Section 13 (1) (iii) of HMA does not make a mere existence of a mental disorder of any degree sufficient in law to justify the dissolution of marriage,” said the bench, upholding the Andhra Pradesh HC’s verdict that had set aside the trial court order to grant divorce to the doctor couple.

Gov.: Help for Chicago Violence Won't Include Guard

Gov.: Help for Chicago Violence Won't Include Guard
Gov.: Help for Chicago Violence Won't Include Guard
Gov.: Help for Chicago Violence Won't Include Guard, A spokeswoman says Gov. Pat Quinn would be open to using Illinois State Police but not the Illinois National Guard if it comes to assisting Chicago police combat city violence.

Over the weekend Quinn was asked by reporters about the potential for deploying the Guard or state police to assist local authorities. The Chicago Democrat said state police help in East St. Louis, but that any state help would have to be through coordinated partnerships.

Spokeswoman Brooke Anderson said Monday that when it comes to Chicago's violence, state help would not include National Guard troops. The governor is only allowed to deploy the Guard in specific situations like a terrorist threat.

The idea has been raised previously by some state lawmakers and former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, but never implemented.

Britney Spears may lip-sync her way through two-year Las Vegas gig: Sources

Britney Spears may lip-sync her way through two-year Las Vegas gig: Sources
Britney Spears may lip-sync her way through two-year Las Vegas gig: Sources
Britney Spears may lip-sync her way through two-year Las Vegas gig: Sources, Britney Spears admits that she had to leave her comfort zone to shoot the video for "Work Bitch."

"My choreographer actually, when I was doing the rehearsals for this video, he was like, 'Britney, you are not a sweet mommy in this video. You are nasty bitch mommy in this video,'" the pop star said in an exclusive sit-down with E! News' Catt Sadler in her dressing room at the iHeartMusic Radio Festival in Las Vegas on Saturday.

"And I was like, 'OK...OK!" Britney gasped, her eyes growing wide as she imitated herself reacting to being told she had to get down and dirty.

When you start to feel the charcter, you start to feel silly, 'cause you're like, 'This isn't me, I'm not like all like this,'" Britney explained, "moving all sexually and stuff like that, so as 'mommy' you feel really awkward doing that."

But "once you get out there and the camera starts rolling, you just kind of feel it out and you do it. But when I watch playbacks sometimes, I'm like, 'Who do I think I am?! Who the hell do I think I am?!'"
You're Britney, bitch!

And now she's bringing her talents to Las Vegas, to start a two-year concert residency at Planet Hollywood in December.

"It seemed like the ideal job to me because I felt like when I was on tour, I'm in a different bed every night..."It felt kind of ideal to be set in one place," the mother of two told Catt, adding that Vegas will probably be a "second home," not her primary residence.

Asked what sort of theatrics she has planned, Britney said, "The shows here are so incredible, I really want to bring my goods to the table."

Speaking of her goods, the 32-year-old singer joked about heading into rehearsals, "I'm gonna shed 30 pounds next week!"

But there really is no big secret as to how Britney has been maintaining that slammin' bod of hers lately: Moderation.

"I ate six times today, so I'm not always diligent with the food because I love food," the singer said. "It's really hard [to cut down] but you know, you have to do it.

"I feel better though when I'm lighter, I do," she added. "My spirits are higher...but it 's just, you love pizza sometimes. It just sucks, man—it sucks."

Britney was at the iHeartRadio fest to introduce new pal Miley Cyrus, who she recently recorded a song with for Miley's upcoming new album, Bangerz.

"My manager [Larry Rudolph] is her manager and she's been working on her album lately and I've been working on an album, so we hit the studio together a lot, and she's a cool girl," Britney described her fellow star.

Shaquille o'neal kings

Shaquille o'neal kings
Shaquille o'neal kings
Shaquille o'neal kings, Former basketball star Shaquille O'Neal has become the newest minority owner of the Sacramento Kings, which California investors bought in May after a tug-of-war with a Seattle group, a team spokeswoman said on Monday.

O'Neal now holds a minority stake of the Kings and will be introduced as the newest of the basketball team's owners at a practice facility in California's capital on Tuesday, said Kings spokeswoman Donna Schwartze.

She declined to give further details ahead of Tuesday's event, including the size of the stake or what role O'Neal might play with the team.

A basketball player turned rapper and sports analyst, O'Neal joins an ownership group led by tech developer and philanthropist Vivek Ranadive, which bought a 65 percent stake in the Kings in a deal valuing the team at $535 million.

The group formed after the Kings' previous owners, the wealthy Maloof family, agreed in January to sell the team to a handful of Seattle investors, including hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer, who planned to relocate the team to their Pacific Northwest city.

In May, following months of bidding, the National Basketball Association denied Seattle's proposal and the Maloofs struck a deal with the local investor group to keep the Kings in place.

O'Neal, who played for the Los Angeles Lakers and a host of other teams including the Miami Heat, agreed in June to tutor Kings center DeMarcus Cousins and act as an informal adviser to the team.

The Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN) last week named the Kings as the worst franchise in professional sports based on the team's rankings. The 2013-14 NBA season tips off on October 29.

In response, the Kings posted a banner on its official website that said, "Hey ESPN… Nice Airball" with the tagline "New Era, New Swagger."

"We love ESPN, but think they could have given us the benefit of foresight in their rankings," said Kings President and Chief Operating Officer Chris Granger. "They know what we have going here."

USA Today quoted O'Neal as responding by saying the only direction the Kings have to go now is up.

"Worst is at the bottom, which means you can't get no worser," he said. "There's no such thing as worser, which means we can only get better. And we will get better. Once that new arena comes, once that new downtown is up, once we have a conversation with the players and get everybody to step up, they'll be knocking on the door."

Nick carter alcohol

Nick carter alcohol
Nick carter alcohol
Nick carter alcohol, For decades, Backstreet Boy Nick Carter was a little boy lost. A troubled childhood in a dysfunctional family, coupled with the pressures and temptations of fame created the perfect environment for his downward spiral into a life of drug and alcohol abuse. Now, clean and serene at last, Nick has written a new memoir that reveals the full extent of the dark and tragic struggles he hid from fans for years: starting with his first drink, at age 2.

In Facing the Music and Living to Talk About It, Nick writes that his first home was an apartment located above a bar and sometime strip club, The Yankee Rebel in Jamestown, New York. It was owned and operated by his parents and grandmother, and from Nick’s earliest days, the temptation of alcohol beckoned.

“Family legend has it that when I was two years old, I crawled into one of the Yankee Rebel’s liquor storage rooms where I was caught drinking for the first time,” he reveals. “My parents always laughed at that. I laughed too, for a while, and then I didn’t laugh at it any more.”

Indeed, alcohol was a constant presence in his home growing up. “My parents …always stressed about money, which is another reason they turned to alcohol so much,” he explains. “I’m shocked to see home movies taken when I was nine and ten; in them, I’m pretending to be drinking. Clearly, I’m mimicking my parents.”

In one home movie, my cousin and I are acting as if we were going out to a bar like two adults,” he writes. “We danced and feigned we were partying. Looking back at how alcohol was part of our playtime, I realize just how deeply my parents’ drinking affected me. It was as if I was programmed to drink.”

And before long, he did, with all of his energy, even as he found success with the Backstreet Boys at age 13.

“I began drinking heavily in my teens,” Nick writes, “and then moved on to drugs at eighteen or nineteen, starting with marijuana and moving up to cocaine, Ecstasy, and prescription painkillers among other substances.”

“Kevin [Richardson]and the other BSB members saw me drinking and getting into trouble and all they could do was shake their heads,” he says. “…They told me that I had the potential to be a better person and make more of my talents. They knew I had a good heart and soul and wasn’t using my head. The guys warned me many times that my partying was out of control and that I was headed for serious trouble.”

Sadly, they were right. Nick was arrested for the first time in 2002 at the Pop City bar in Tampa. “We hit it hard and then things got out of control around closing time,” he remembers. The rest of the night is hazy, but he ended up in the back of a cop car for resisting arrest without violence.

“Unfortunately, I didn’t learn from it,” Nick says. “I just kept compounding my problems by continuing the same unacceptable behavior and messing up. No internal alarms went off for me, despite what the other guys in Backstreet said. I rolled on, repeating the same self-destructive pattern for quite a while longer.”

In his early 20s, Nick says he moved from marijuana to Ecstasy and prescription painkillers.

“I did a lot of Ecstasy over one particular three or four month period,” he reveals, “and I probably regret taking that illegal and dangerous drug more than anything I’ve ever done. I’m afraid the amount I did caused changes in my brain that are responsible for bouts of depression that I now struggle to control.”

Indeed, alcohol was doing more than enough damage to Nick’s life on its own. After one night of downing shots of 151 rum, he remembers, “When I woke up, I was back in my apartment and scared as hell because I didn’t know how I got there or what had happened during the time in between. Blacking out like that was typical when I was drinking…”

On another night, “I was doing prescription painkillers on top of drinking alcohol,” he says, “and I remember going back to my condo, getting in bed alone, listening to my heart pound and feeling as if my body was falling apart from the inside out … But despite those fears, I never seemed to learn from my mistakes.”

And in 2005, he was arrested for DUI. The judge sentenced him to 13 AA meetings, and while Nick says a small part of him awakened to the truth about his problems, he still and a long way to go to sobriety.

“My life plummeted to an all-time low … ,’” he remembers of that period. “…We’d chug beers and pound down shot after shot until we reached the semi-comatose state where the alcohol made us sleepy and lethargic. Then we’d do a bump of cocaine for an energy boost.”

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