Sunday, September 29, 2013

September 26, 2013: Barneys and Jay Z Announce Holiday Partnership, Japan Creates Inflatable Concert Hall, Iconic Comedy Festival Gets Own SiriusXM Channel | BizBash

1. BARNEYS AND JAY Z ANNOUNCE HOLIDAY PARTNERSHIP: Jay Z will create a holiday collection for the department store Barneys, which debuts November 20 in Manhattan, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Boston, and Chicago stores. Rolling Stone: "The collection, called "BNY SCC Gallery" (standing for Barney New York Shawn Corey Carter), will include themed window halloween lawn decorations inflatable, ads, and a massive party, all of which will feature special-edition merchandise from brands such as Lanvin, Balenciaga, and Proenza Schouler."

2. ICONIC COMEDY FESTIVAL GETS OWN SIRIUSXM CHANNEL: Mediabistro: "Coinciding with the 30th anniversary year of Montreal's annual Just for Laughs comedy festival, SiriusXM is tomorrow launching a new channel that will tap archived and future material from the now international year-round event."

3. SEE THIS: INFLATABLE CONCERT HALL CREATED IN JAPAN: An inflatable concert hall, developed to tour areas of Japan devastated by earthquakes and tsunamis, is nearly finished. The hall, which looks like a massive purple doughnut, has scheduled a performance for October 12. Spoon & Tamago: "Arc Nova takes about 2 hours to inflate and holds roughly 500 people. The wooden benches were completed during a workshop in August, in which volunteers showed up and used wood from tsunami-damaged cedar trees at Zuiganji Temple in Matsushima."


Eventbrite, the self-service, online ticketing platform, announced it has processed $2 billion in gross ticket sales for organizers worldwide since the company was founded in 2006. The company attributes its growth to international expansion and growth into new categories such as music, festivals, and endurance sports.


BOSTON: United Way Emerging Leaders will host its season kickoff mixer at the Liberty Hotel next Thursday. Geared toward philanthropic young professionals, the event will donate ticket proceeds to Youth Venture.

SkyBokx 109 GastroSports has a new menu for sports-viewing parties. With a focus on family-friendly comfort foods, items include warm baked brie, St. Louis-style barbecue ribs, and bourbon-glaze wings.

Finch, the restaurant and bar in the Boxer, has a new list of 20 craft beer selections. Finch hosts meetings and events and can hold 70 guests.

CHICAGO: Nouveau Tavern will open soon in River North. Inspired by New Orleans, the restaurant will offer contemporary takes on dishes such as jambalaya and shrimp and grits. The chef is Norman Hargrove, formerly of the Peninsula's Pierrot Gourmet.

Bonefish Grill Orland Park is now open. The venue does not have a private dining room, but it can be bought out to host events for as many as 196 guests.

LAS VEGAS: Las Vegas Review-Journal: "In many folks' eyes, it was quite a gamble. But Jordan Butler never saw it that way. He had a women's tennis tournament that was flat-lining in terms of interest, so he figured if he thought outside the box and it didn't work, he wasn't any worse off than when he started. By bringing in musician Redfoo as an investor and using his 'Party Rock' brand to spice things up, Las Vegas' only pro tennis event saw a spike in overall attendance by nearly 15 percent in 2012 while creating a fun vibe throughout the Darling Tennis Center."

Epicurean Charitable Foundation of Las Vegas has named Melissa Arias as the new executive director.

LONDON: The Barbican Centre will host Wikimania, the annual conference for Wikimedia, August 6-10. Around 8,000 attendees are expected for the 10th anniversary of the event, which kicks off with a hackathon.

LOS ANGELES: New York University's Tisch School of the Arts is hosting a Los Angeles Benefit Gala October 28 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Alumni including filmmaker Oliver Stone and producer Liza Chasin are expected to attend.

Virgin Galactic, the commercial spaceline, hosted its annual private customer event Wednesday at Mojave Air and Space Port. Deemed "Your Flight DNA," the event brought together 400 future astronauts who attended presentations on medical evaluations, overall operations, and the progress being made at Spaceport America in New Mexico. Tonight they will attend a private Virgin Galactic party at the California Science Center.

The Spare Room at the Roosevelt is launching an off-site cocktail catering service that offers customized bar packages and services with signature craft cocktails, house-made elixirs, and small-batch premium spirits.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA: The third annual Gables Bike Day is October 20 on Miracle Mile. The event, from the nonprofit Bike Walk Coral Gables, includes BMX demos, skateboard contests, guided bike tours, and music from DJ Nil Lara.

Holi One Color Festival comes to Miami November 30 at the Production Village at Mana Wynwood. Partygoers are encouraged to dress in all white, and ticket packages include packets of colored powder and a commemorative wristband.

NEW YORK: Crains New York: "The controversy that erupted when Gov. Andrew Cuomo changed the dates of the New York Boat Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center may have been resolved. Major stakeholders involved in the uproar have reached a tentative deal that will involve a slight adjustment to the schedule, but will not be the plan announced by Mr. Cuomo in August."

The Teak Fellowship, dedicated to the academic success of talented New York City students, will host its 15th anniversary Benefit Celebration October 23 at Cipriani 42nd Street.

Tao New York Downtown will host its opening party on Saturday inside the Maritime Hotel.

Ravel Hotel in Long Island City, Queens, announced a $10 million expansion including an ice skating rink, 54 additional guest rooms, increased special event spaces, and an outdoor park area. It is slated to open in May.

NYC & Company announced that will become the exclusive hotel booking engine powering the city's official tourism Web site,

World Yacht is hosting a special "Harvest on the Hudson" dinner cruise highlighting new seasonal menus consisting only of Hudson Valley-grown fresh produce and vegetables, as well as locally sourced wine and spirits. Available to the public through October 19, tickets will be $65 to $75 a person.

Cafe Boulud and DeBragga New York's Butcher are hosting a $270-per-person dinner October 16 featuring Miyazaki-gyu Japanese wagyu. Chefs Gavin Kaysen and Hiroki Ave will create their own wagyu dishes.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

ORLANDO: Hyatt has announced three executive appointments for the Hyatt Regency Orlando, which will be the new name of the Peabody Orlando as of October 1. Tom Smith will become area vice president and general manager; Brian Comes will be hotel manager; and Nate Hardesty will be director of sales and marketing.

Florida Hospital Celebration Health will launch "Pink on Parade," a 5K fund-raising walk for breast cancer in Celebration Sunday. Glickman Productions will produce the event, with details such as pink restrooms, pink beach balls, and pink pyrotechnics.

PHOENIX: The Devoured Food & Wine Classic, now in its fifth year at the Phoenix Art Museum, is March 1-2. The festival is adding a V.I.P. component that will allow 300 ticket holders into the festival an hour before general admission and access to a lounge for exclusive wine tastings, meetings with chefs, and cooking demonstrations.

TORONTO: IIDEX Canada, Canada's National Design and Architecture Exposition & Conference, runs today and Friday at the Direct Energy Centre. The event features 350 exhibitors.

WASHINGTON: Air & Scare, the annual Halloween event at the National Air and Space Museum, is October 26 at the Udvar-Hazy Center. Children are invited to wear costumes, and activities include indoor trick-or-treating, creepy crafts, and science experiments. Mars Chocolate North America is a sponsor.

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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Lauren Matthews, and Anna Sekula in New York.

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Source: Bizbash

Heidi Klum Halloween Party 2013: Scary Dollhouse Is This Year's Theme

<halloween party supplies packagep>Heidi Klum's Halloween party in 2013 will have a scary dollhouse theme.

The internationally known model is not only sporting some fantastic fashions lately, but this Halloween, she's once again going all-out as a whole different kind of doll.

Halloween costumes and parties usually incorporate the classic horror villains such as Dracula, zombies, and witches, while some women go for more sexy outfits like Catwoman, a just plain cat, or something a tad naughty. Heidi Klum takes her Halloween ideas and goes the extra mile, which makes it probably a good thing she doesn't go with the usual horror route as much. Anything too scary might result in party guests fainting.

Last year, Heidi Klum's Halloween outfit was Cleopatra, incorporating an extravagant headdress. Unfortunately, Hurricane Sandy forced the party to get postponed. Hopefully no natural disasters strike Heidi Klum's Halloween party in 2013, or anywhere else for that matter.

Heidi Klum certainly knows how to throw a party even at the age of 40, and still look good doing it. The scary dollhouse-themed Halloween party will be held at nightclub Marquee New York, marking the 14th annual event of these extravagant endeavors. Music at the Halloween party will be provided by DJ Questlove, with the decorations coming via Shutterfly, according to the newspaper The New York Post.

The ageless beauty has already begun preparations on her costume this year, as early as July, meaning that once again Heidi Klum is planning to wow everyone with it. - Halloween 2013 - Heidi Klum Party Plans This Year Include Scary Dollhouse Theme

- Pop Journal (@PopJournal) September 29, 2013

Other previous outfits Heidi Klum has worn for Halloween parties included a robot with her face painted purple, a crow, and a gorilla. The party where she showed up as a gorilla, she appeared late because of problems applying the hair. The model is dedicated to making each year's party and outfit as amazing as she can.

Heidi Klum's Halloween party in 2013 promises to be a massive and ambitious ball, as the model has been known as the "queen of Halloween" and most likely won't stop now. We can't wait to see the new scary dollhouse theme.

[image via Debby Wong /]

Source: Inquisitr

PHOTOS: This Is What You Need To Be For Halloween

<halloween costumes newbornp>Our favorite holiday will be here before we know it. And in order to be able to enjoy all of the pumpkin carving, trick or treating, candy eating, and spooking that comes with Halloween, we need to get one very important decision out of the way -- and that's choosing what we're dressing up as, of course.

To make it a little easier, our friends at HGTV featured the most adorable DIY Halloween costumes for the whole family that you can get started on this weekend. You'll be surprised at how easy they are to make. For example, that plain grey sweatsuit you wear as pajamas can be whipped into a pretty scary looking shark-inspired outfit by sewing on a little pointed-tooth trim and some eyes. Need some inspiration to get you started? Click through the slideshow of ideas below and head back to HGTV for even more.

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Source: Huffingtonpost

Essay: First frost 'like dental floss in a Halloween bag'

Editor's note: This is an essay by Tim Torkildson of Provo, who was raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota and has settled in Provo to be closer to his children and grandchildren.

Growing up in Minnesota, I know all about the First Frost.

It came like a funeral wreath to a birthday party; like floaties in Kool Aid; like dental floss in a halloween dvds for kids bag. The weather was always perfect prior to the First Frost. The Killing Frost, my grandparents called it glumly. The blue in the sky was brighter than a bottle of Windex, and the clouds rolled about as ponderous as performing cotton elephants. Crisp leaves square danced around the curb and gutters. I could wear my Twins windbreaker or not -- the temperature hardly registered on me at all. The sun had lost all viciousness and fell on me as a purring cat curling up on my arms. The evenings were once again full of new episodes of Red Skelton and Dick Van Dyke. I secretly had a crush on Cathy from the Patty Duke Show -- and a new fall season would reawaken my budding libido.

And then our avuncular TV weatherman, Bud Kraehling, would apologetically announce the First Frost. Indian summer was over. Everything would die back and turn black, and there would be no snow to cover the massacre for several more weeks. Just a bleak, withered landscape. "The harvest is past, the summer is over, and we are not saved." Perhaps I was overly sensitive to atmospheric conditions, but I always reverted to wetting the bed for a few days after the First Frost.

Somehow, I survived the First Frosts of childhood to grow up and bring forth a quiver full of children myself. I endeavored to shield them from the devastating effects of the First Frost. As soon as I heard the ingratiating voice of Mike Lynch forecast the First Frost, I would bound into the living room, where the kids were sprawled on the floor and couch, hobbling large parts of their brains with Nintendo games.

"Guess what, my little poppets!" I would gush at them.

They would just gaze at me, without speaking -- silently asking "What now, old man?"

"Jack Frost is coming to visit us tonight! Isn't that nifty? We'd better get ready for him, don't you think?"

They did not even try to humor me. At some silent, intuitive command they turned their backs to me in unison and went back to Nintendo Land.

All right. If I couldn't catch them with honey, I'd give 'em a little vinegar.

"Hey! You lazy bums, get off your duffs! We gotta put some bed sheets over the tomatoes so they don't freeze tonight. Move it, you couch potatoes!"

The box holding the ancient and yellowed linen sheets was in the garage -- somewhere. I made sure to put it someplace where I could lay my hands on it easily each year after pulling them off the plants, but each year it seemed like my idea of where I could lay my hands on them easily would change radically. By the time I would discover the box, thoughtfully tucked under the storm windows (oh-oh, weren't they up yet?) the kids would be gamboling through the family vegetable patch, bombarding each other with overripe tomatoes and smashing the zucchini with their insolent feet.

"Get over here!" I snarled, handing each one a sheet and pointing to the weedy tomato plant they should cover. Some of the plants were taller than the kids, and besides, these old sheets were exactly what a ghost would wear to haunt a garden, so I had to snatch the sheets from them and put them on the tomato plants myself. Inevitably, I would trip on an overlooked zucchini that had grown to the size of a watermelon and fall flat on my face. This resulted in general hilarity on the part of those lazy cretins I was trying to protect from the devastation of the First Frost. Now I felt like murdering them.

But I did not give up. The night of the First Frost I made it a habit to have plenty of caramels and apples on hand, so we could make caramel apples around the kitchen table after dinner. Unfortunately, at least one of the children would cram as many caramels in his or her mouth as possible and then begin to choke. The resulting Heimlich maneuver would shoot a gob of caramel right through a window pane. The apples were bound to be wormy anyways.

Today, when I heard the First Frost was coming, I made sure the hot chocolate stash is full, got a blanket out of the hall closet, and laid in a stock of The Patty Duke Show DVDs. Leave the tomatoes on the vine SEmD I'm going to enjoy myself.

* Tim Torkildson works as a consultant, providing content for websites such as His work also appears regularly in the St. Paul Pioneer Press newspaper.

Source: Heraldextra

New Census Data Undermine House GOP's Reasons For Cutting Social Safety Net


On Friday, the House of Representatives passed a continuing resolution bill that would keep the government funded until Dec. 15. The bill calls for the defunding of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which would offer government-subsidized health insurance to the nation's uninsured. As this 41st attempt by the House Republicans to shut down the president's signature piece of legislation is almost assured to fail in the Senate, the solvency and future economic stability of the federal government is being called into question in a marked show of extreme partisanship and brinksmanship.

For many, this current pattern of Republican legislation against social programs suggests a mentality more based on personal ideology than the tangible needs of the people. This is creating a sense that the House Republicans are acting blind to the needs of their own constituencies.

"Our message to the United States Senate is very simple: the American people don't want the government shut down, and they don't want Obamacare," House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told colleagues after the vote. The Senate Democrats have promised to block this bill and President Obama has indicated he would veto it.

"The last thing we can afford right now is a decision by a minority of Republicans in Congress to throw our economy back into crisis by refusing to pay our country's bills or shutting down the government," said a White House official on Friday morning. "Instead of playing politics with the economy, Republicans in Congress should join the president to focus on creating a better bargain for the middle class."

As the House continues to move toward significantly undermining the safety net for the poorest Americans, newly-released data from the Census Bureau reveals that the middle and lower classes have yet to emerge from the Great Recession. As reported in the Census Bureau's current population report, " Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2012," while statistically there has been no change in income levels from 2011 to 2012, the 2012 levels are still significantly lower than 2007 levels, showing an 8.3 percent decline in real household income. 2007 was the last year of normal economic growth before the housing bubble burst.

The report indicated that women in particular are still being hit by the effects of the Great Recession. While real incomes have not changed statistically from 2011 to 2012, the median full-time income for women is at 77 percent of the median full-time income for men. In addition, one million more men are working full-time in 2012 than were in 2011. There has been no significant change in the number of women working full-time.

Per the Census Bureau, 9.5 million families now live in poverty, representing 46.5 million people living under the federal poverty line. Of all families that have a female head of household, 30.9 percent are impoverished, as are 21.8 percent of all American children under 18. The current uninsured rate for children in poverty (12.9 percent) is significantly higher than the rate for children not in poverty (7.7 percent).

SNAP and the Republicans

Health insurance is not the only cut the Republican-controlled House has proposed. On Thursday, the House passed on party lines, 217 to 200, a bill that would cut $40 billion over ten years to the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) - which offers poor individuals and families vouched funds to buy groceries. While the Republicans cited fraud as their reason, the cuts - which would remove exemptions for able-bodied individuals to stay on the program after three months' unemployment - is estimated to deprive four million Americans of SNAP benefits in 2014.

"[SNAP] has ballooned since President Obama took office with one in seven Americans now receiving food stamps," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) wrote to his fellow House Republicans. "As SNAP has grown, working middle class families are footing the $80 billion bill for a safety net gone well beyond assistance to children, seniors, and the disabled. That is why ... a working group of our conference came together to address the major problems to reform SNAP while still preserving the safety net for those who truly need it."

This would be on top of an preexisting $5 billion-per-year cut to SNAP benefits, due to the twilighting of the Recovery Act in November. As one in seven American are receiving SNAP benefits, and, as NPR's Tamara Keith points out, "the vast majority of SNAP recipients either work or are children, disabled or elderly," the total reduction in yearly SNAP benefits - which amounts to 12 percent of the 2012 SNAP allocation - threatens to exaggerate an already precarious situation of poverty and wealth inequality in this country.

The myth of the "welfare queen"

In the recent narrative the Republicans are trying to push toward justifying their attacks on social programs, they point to cases such as Jason Greenslate, who was profiled on Fox News as the modern equivalent of a so-called "welfare queen." A 29-year-old unemployed surfer from California, Greenslate argues that he is living the self-described "rat life." A trained recording engineer, Greenslate chose to be unemployed because he felt that holding a steady job wasn't for him.

"This is the way I want to live and I don't really see anything changing," Greenslate told Fox News. "It's free food; it's awesome." Greenslate was recorded using his $200 per month SNAP benefits to buy sushi and lobster from the grocery store, despite SNAP prohibitions on pre-prepared foods. "Two hundred dollars a month, and you just go like, boom," Greenslate said on camera. "Just like that, all paid for by our wonderful tax dollars."

Greenslate has been used to bolster the Reagan-era idea that "welfare queens" are exploiting the system in record numbers. The concept was introduced during Ronald Reagan's 1980 New Hampshire primary speech, when the then-presidential candidate said, "There's a woman in Chicago. She has 80 names, 30 addresses, 12 Social Security cards and is collecting veterans benefits on four nonexisting deceased husbands. And she's collecting Social Security on her cards. She's got Medicaid, getting food stamps and is collecting welfare under each of her names. Het tax-free cash income alone is over $150,000."

While Reagan never mentioned the woman by name, it was clear he was talking about Linda Taylor, a then-47-year-old welfare recipient. The problem was that nothing Reagan said about Taylor was correct. Reagan based his anecdote on the sensational exaggeration from Illinois Sen. Don Moore that was picked up by newspapers. Moore made a "guess" on the nature of Taylor's fraud, as he claimed the state's Welfare Department refused to turn over Moore's case file to him. While Taylor was indeed charged with welfare fraud, it was for using four aliases, not 80, and for collecting $8,000, not $150,000.

But this mattered little. Reagan was able to tap into the "Old Right" sentimentality that the government's "forcing" of the taxpayers - outside of the taxpayers' volition - to help out someone else is immoral. While charity is considered a good thing, neo-classical liberals hold that the government's forcing of charitable action is an unacceptable overreach of the government's responsibilities and authorities. Reagan's "little white lies" helped to stir up the resentment against the perceived "welfare state" and ushered in twelve years of Republican control of the White House.

This "focusing on the negative," however, proves illogical. In any demographic, there will be outliers - individuals who are different from the defining characteristics of the rest of the group. Say, for example, a group of friends decide to go out for pizza. One person in the group wants Chinese. That person is the outlier. If attention is given to that outlier and the group goes and get Chinese, the group as a whole goes unserved, because action was taken in consideration of the minority and not the majority. Most people using SNAP honestly need the assistance.

Thad Smith is such a person. Since being released from prison, Smith, 47, continues to make the Illinois state minimum wage of $8.25 per hour. Living in the Chicagoland area, Smith relies on his $200 per month food allowance from SNAP to survive. This works out to $5 per day. "There's no way you can make the card last a whole month like that," he said. "Just like jail, some days you eat, some days you don't."

Smith, as an able-bodied adult, may lose his only nutritional lifeline if the Republicans' plan passes.

Misguided actions

Beyond the morality of SNAP cuts, the fact that Republicans are introducing such deep cuts reflects a basic lack of understanding or appreciation of the economics of food stamps. The reason SNAP allocation was always a part of the Farm Bill is because SNAP is a backdoor payment system to farmers. SNAP recipients are encouraged to buy fresh fruits and vegetables with their benefits (whereas other assistance programs, such as WIC - which offers assistance to the 72 percent of SNAP recipients who are in families with children - provide recipients with processed and packaged foods). This directly finances local farmers and grocery vendors. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that every $5 of food assistance yields $9.20 in local and state economic activity.

The illogical nature of the House's SNAP cuts reflects the continuing mission-creep toward getting rid of the PPACA - which, at this point means the Republicans are willing to potentially shut down the government or default on the nation's debts to force the Democrats to consent to their wishes. Both show propsals a party dangerously out of control. While the Republicans' agenda has always been clear - pro-military, pro-business, pro-family - the party's new willingness to accept "sacrifices" toward getting what they want - like the nation's financial stability, health coverage for the uninsured, food stability for the most vulnerable members of the population - amounts to a kind of political malpractice.

Basically, the Congressional Republicans' recent actions speak against the promotion of the general welfare - a constitutional mandate. The use of the debt ceiling and the continuing resolution as bargaining chips violates the Congress's mandate to pay the debts of the nation. The proposals of the House neither reflect modern-day realities or the promotion of the national health.

"What it's clearly boiled down to is that Republicans are possessed by an overpowering psychological compulsion to repeal Obamacare even at great cost and harm to America and the GOP despite forty-one previously failed legislative attempts to do so, wrote Andy Ostroy for the Huffington Post of Friday's House vote. "And now they can't stop. It's about raging, venomous, unprecedented partisan ego and out-of-control anger. The hope for logical, rational, country-first thinking has been decidedly killed off by a macro dose of hostility, resentment and fear; fear that Americans will ultimately grow to love Obamacare once they get a taste... and that there'll be no turning back."

Regardless, the House's cuts seem to already be dead. The White House, in a statement, wrote, "These cuts would affect a broad array of Americans who are struggling to make ends meet, including working families with children, senior citizens, veterans, and adults who are still looking for work." Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said the House's SNAP bill "will never see the light of day in the Senate."

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Source: Mintpressnews

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Member associations

German Cup
Borussia Dortmund survived a scare to win 2-0 at TSV 1860 München and reach the last 16 along with fellow UEFA Champions League hopefuls Bayer 04 Leverkusen. It was goalless after 90 minutes but at the end of the first period of extra time, Marco Reus was fouled by 1860 midfielder Dominik Stahl, who was sent off, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang converted the resultant penalty. Henrikh Mkhitaryan sealed victory on 107 minutes.

Leverkusen saw off DSC Arminia Bielefeld 2-0 thanks to Son Heung-Min and Sidney Sam, and Hamburger SV, who today appointed Bert van Marwijk as coach, won 1-0 against SpVgg Greuther Fürth. Top-flight 1. FSV Mainz 05 fell 1-0 at home to second division 1. FC Köln but there was progress for TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, FC Augsburg, VfL Wolfsburg and 2. Bundesliga team SV 1916 Sandhausen.

The remaining eight ties are on Wednesday, with holders FC Bayern München at home to Hannover 96.

English League Cup
Manchester City FC gained revenge for their FA Cup final defeat by relegated Wigan Athletic FC last May with a 5-0 win as England's European competitors entered the competition in the last 32 stage. Edin Džeko made it 1-0 at half-time for City and after the break there were two goals from Stevan Jovetić and one each by Yaya Touré and Jesús Navas. The other UEFA Champions League hopefuls in action, Chelsea FC, won 2-0 at Swindon Town FC with Fernando Torres and Ramires on target.

Elsewhere, Gianfranco Zola's second-tier Watford FC were two up against Norwich City FC only to lose 3-2 in extra time, while in the all-Premier League ties, Tottenham Hotspur FC triumphed 4-0 at Aston Villa FC, West Ham United FC edged Cardiff City FC 3-2, and Fulham FC defeated the division's only unbeaten team, Everton FC, 2-1. Sunderland AFC, who sacked manager Paolo Di Canio on Sunday, overcame Peterborough United FC 2-0, and Southampton FC and Hull City AFC also won.

Holders Swansea City AFC visit 2011 winners Birmingham City FC and the only other two victors in the last five years meet as Manchester United FC host Liverpool FC in the pick of the remaining five ties on Wednesday.

Source: Uefa

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Richer Sounds To Host Sonos Playbar + F9000 4K TV Demo Event

Buoyed by the success of its previous "Battle Of The Big Brand TVs" showcase event where a bunch of calibrated HDTVs were lined up side by side for viewers to compare, next weekend British audio-visual retailer Richer Sounds is holding the latest installation in a series of similar demo events to take place in Leicester.

Given a theme of "Top Tech Showcase" this time around, the free-to-attend event aims to answer common AV dilemmas faced by potential buyers such as whether to go with a wireless or wired speaker solution, or to choose a projector over a more versatile HDTV for big-screen thrills. Aware of the buzz surrounding 4K Ultra HD at the moment, the company will also be exhibiting a cutting-edge 4K TV complete with native 4K content for attendees to experience ultra high-definition for themselves.

Two rooms will be set up: one with a largely wireless solution; the other with wires but expertly hidden out of view by Richer Sounds' pro installation team. The "Wireless" room will feature a pre-calibrated Epson EH-TW9100W ( here's our review), and a Sonos wireless 5.1 surround sound system consisting of a Playbar, a subwoofer and a pair of Play:3 speakers. The "Wired" room will be kitted with a JVC DLA-X55 projector (which we really liked) and a Yamaha/ Monitor Audio 5.1 home cinema package.

Both rooms will be playing Star Trek Into Darkness on Blu-ray simultaneously, giving attendees the rare opportunity of easily walking between the rooms to compare the different home theatre technologies on show. A Samsung UE55F9000 4K Ultra HD television will also be present with true 4K video playbacked on loop, which will be up against a formidable opponent in the form of the Panasonic TX-P60ZT65, our current reference screen.

Just like the last event, the Richer Sounds "Top Tech Showcase" will take place at The City Rooms listed building in Leicester, only on this occasion it's on Saturday the 28th of September from 12:00pm to 5:00pm. Representatives from Richer Sounds, Panasonic and Yamaha will be available to answer questions. There's no entrance fee, and free tea and coffee will be provided.

Contact: For questions about the event, please call Richer Sounds Leicester on 0333 900 0043, and ask for Ben.

Source: Hdtvtest

Monday, September 23, 2013

Wis. GOP lawmaker pushing for 'Choose Life' plates

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Republican lawmaker is again pushing a bill to create anti-abortion license plates to generate money for crisis pregnancy centers, drawing the ire of abortion rights supporters still smarting from new GOP restrictions on providers.

Rep. Andre Jacque's proposal would create plates that read "Choose Life" and feature an image of an infant's footprint. Purchasers would have to pay both the annual $75 vehicle registration fee and a $15 special plate fee. On top of that, they'd have to pay another $25 that would go to Choose Life Wisconsin Inc., a corporation that anti-abortion groups Wisconsin Family Action and Pro-Life Wisconsin have set up to funnel money to crisis pregnancy centers' adoption programs.

Jacque, R-De Pere, said 29 other states offer similar anti-abortion license plates.

"This is certainly a cause that is worthy of support," Jacque said. "It's supporting women and children."

Jacque introduced a similar bill at the end of the last session but it went nowhere. The new measure's prospects look murky as well.

The Assembly transportation committee has scheduled a public hearing on the proposal for Tuesday afternoon but a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said Senate Republicans haven't discussed the measure and it's not on what he called "the fast track." A spokesman for Republican Gov. Scott Walker was noncommittal, saying the governor would evaluate the bill if it reached his desk.

Republicans went through a bruising fight this summer to pass a sweeping measure requiring women seeking abortions to get ultrasounds and abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. Senate President Mike Ellis, R-Neenah, became so enraged at minority Democrats during debate that he banged his gavel hard enough to break the base.

Planned Parenthood and Affiliated Medical Services have challenged the admitting privileges provision in federal court, alleging it would force two abortion clinics in Appleton and Milwaukee to close because providers at the facilities lack such privileges. U.S. District Judge William Conley issued a preliminary injunction blocking the mandate; state attorneys have appealed.

Democrats and abortion rights organizations said Republicans have spent too much time on extreme proposals that trample women's privacy and health. They contend pregnancy crisis centers don't give women accurate information about abortion and birth control and the bill is really about funding Republican lawmakers' key supporters.

"It is beyond inappropriate for the state to officially partner with organizations like Wisconsin Family Action and Pro-Life Wisconsin, whose extreme agendas are out of touch with Wisconsinites and undermine women's access to comprehensive reproductive health care," Jenni Dye, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin, said in a statement Monday.

Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action, denied pregnancy centers supply any misinformation, dismissing the allegations as "hype." The plates are a legitimate way to raise money for the centers, she said. People who choose to purchase the license plates would know exactly where the money is going and how it will be used, she said.

Jacque pointed out Assembly Democrats introduced a bill at the end of the last session that would have created special license plates for Planned Parenthood. The proposal never got a vote.

"If there's any controversy attached to this," Jacque said, "they're the ones injecting it."

Source: Tbo

Sunday, September 22, 2013

San Francisco - Sailing on the Bay has always been adventurous. The Natives, Ohlone Costanoans and Coast Miwok nations, sailed the Bay Area waters long before Sir Francis Drake entered them.

For over a year the foremost yacht-racing event, america's Cup, has been competing in our Bay Area waters. Teams include Italy's Luna Rossa Piranha and Luna Rossa Swordfish, Team Korea, China Team, England's J.P. Morgan BAR, France's Energy Team, Sweden's Artemis Racing Red and Artemis Racing White, New Zealand's Emirates Team and our own Bay Area team representing the U.S., Oracle Team, financed by billionaire Larry Ellison.

One team from North Carolina, African Diaspora Maritime (ADM), will not be competing after appealing for entry in the regatta and their application being denied.

Talking with Captain Charles Kithcart last year, he explained the North Carolina African Diaspora Maritime has the right to compete at the highest level of competition like Oracle and the others.

Kithcart, who is an engineer and comes from a sailing family, has a rich background in the sport and is a bona fide historian as well as an excellent sailor.

A few weeks ago, ADM's suit against the San Francisco Golden Gate Yacht Club to compete in the America's Cup was dismissed and with it a chance for the super African American sailors to shine. Read the Golden Gate Yacht Club statement here.

This sobering news also stagnates opportunity for an ADM pavilion, which would have anchored a place for American Africans to generate money during the Cup competition.

All of the other teams have pavilions where they promote events, sell caps, jackets, T-shirts, memorabilia. You get the picture.

Live Nation, one of the leading concert promotion companies, has very little to do with sailing; however, they just built a concert hall on the Embarcadero and are cashing in on America's Cup's tourism spillover. Sting was the opening act; need I say more.

ADM's suit against the San Francisco Golden Gate Yacht Club to compete in the America's Cup was dismissed and with it a chance for the super African American sailors to shine.

Just think how Jackie Robinson, MLB, George Taliaferro, NFL, Charles Henry "Chuck" Cooper, NBA, Williams sisters and Althea Gibson, USTA, Gabby Douglas, USGA, have enhanced and broadened sports. Over $1 billion is coming to the Bay Area during the America's Cup and it is hard to see where American Africans will be able to profit.

Related stories

" America's Cup Overflows $1 Billion or More "

" Was Jackie Robinson First? #30 Orlando Cepeda Speaks about #42! "

"#10 DeSean Jackson: The Making of a Father's Dream "

Jacquie Taliaferro, San Francisco filmmaker and director of LaHitz Media, can be reached at or (415) 821-1111.

Source: Sfbayview

By Shivani Wawat and Katy Daigle
Associated Press

NEW DELHI (AP) - An Indian court Sept. 13 sentenced to death four men for the December gang rape and murder of a young New Delhi woman, ordering them to the gallows for a brutal attack that riveted India, where it became a symbol of the rampant mistreatment of women and the government's inability to deal with crime.

Issuing his decision, Judge Yogesh Khanna said the attack "shocked the collective conscience" of India. "In these times, when crime against women is on the rise, the courts cannot turn a blind eye toward such gruesome crimes."

After the death sentence, the wail of one of the four men, 20-year-old Vinay Sharma, filled the tiny courtroom. Sharma, an assistant at a gym, then broke down in sobs.

As Khanna walked from his bench, defense lawyer A.P. Singh, who has defended all four men at various times, began to shout at him: "This is not the victory of truth. But it is the defeat of justice."

Like all death sentences, Khanna's order must be confirmed by India's High Court. The men can appeal their case to the High Court, as well as to the Supreme Court, and ask the president for clemency.

The victim's family, along with numerous politicians and government officials, had long called for the men to be executed. The family was in the courtroom as the sentence was announced, and were relieved at the results. "I am very happy our girl has got justice," said the victim's father, who cannot be named under Indian laws guarding his daughter's identity as a rape victim.

The 23-year-old victim and a male friend - by all accounts they were not romantically involved - were coming home from an evening showing of the movie "Life of Pi" when the men lured them into boarding a bus they were joy-riding through the city. They quickly beat the friend, held the woman down and took turns raping her. They also penetrated her with a metal rod, causing the injuries that led to her death in a singapore hospital.

India's Supreme Court has ruled that the death penalty should be used only in "the rarest of rare cases," though what defines those cases remains highly debated. Only two people - both terrorists - have been executed in India since 2004.

Under intense pressure, the Congress party-led national government worked hard to project a tough-on-crime image after the attack, reforming a series of laws on sexual violence. Many in the Congress, which faces dwindling support and national elections next year, had made clear they wanted the men to be executed.

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who earlier in the week had said death sentences were assured in the case, welcomed the sentence. "The victim and her family have got justice.," he told reporters in New Delhi. "The judge has set an example for anti-social elements that they would meet a similar fate if they committed such crimes."

If India's chaotic judicial system is supposed to be independent of politics, Singh, the defense lawyer, saw a political hand in the judge's decision.

"The judge has given the death sentence under political pressure," he said. "The punishment has been given at the government's insistence. `'

An estimated 100 and 150 people are sentenced to death in India in most years, but the vast majority of those cases are eventually commuted to life in prison.

The defendants, like the rape victim, lived on the bottom rungs of India's booming economy. Nearly all came from families that had moved to New Delhi in recent years from desperately poor rural villages, hoping to find well-paying jobs in the capital. Few had such luck.

One, Mukesh Singh, occasionally drove the bus where the crime occurred and cleaned it. Sharma, the gym assistant, was the only one of the attackers to graduate from high school. Akshay Thakur, 28, occasionally worked as a driver's helper on the bus. Pawan Gupta, 19, worked in a streetside fruit stall.

With them on the bus were two other men. Police say Ram Singh, 33, hanged himself in prison, though his family insists he was killed. Another man - an 18-year-old who was a juvenile at the time of the attack and cannot be identified under Indian law - was convicted in August and will serve the maximum sentence he faced, three years in a reform home.

The young woman, though, was trying to escape the economic mire she had been born into. Her father supported five people - his wife, the woman and two younger sons - on a little over $200 a month working as an airport baggage handler.

But while women remain second-class citizens in most Indian families, expected to stay home and care for their parents and then their husbands, her parents and brothers had supported her as she worked for an education, even breaking with tradition by helping her leave her home for a time to study physiotherapy.

At the time of the attack, she was awaiting exam results for a physiotherapy degree. The results came after her death. She had passed. (end)

AP Writer Tim Sullivan contributed to this report.

Source: Nwasianweekly

* New Zealand one win away from taking Cup from Oracle

By Noel Randewich

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Emirates Team New Zealand's america's Cup campaign that a week ago looked all but won has turned into a bitter battle against Oracle Team USA, which has repeatedly denied the Kiwis the final point they need.

After struggling for much of the regatta's final series in San Francisco, the team owned by Oracle Corp. co-founder Larry Ellison has gained momentum against Emirates Team New Zealand, refusing since Thursday to let the Kiwis win the one race that would give them the trophy.

Fluky weather conditions on San Francisco Bay have wreaked havoc on the race schedule all week. On Saturday, a southerly wind direction made it likely that one or possibly both scheduled matches would be called off. The race course is set up for the Bay's dependable westerly sea breeze.

"It's raining, light and variable wind, and the little wind that we have is out of the south," said regatta director Iain Murray. "We may not get a race in today or we may get one race, but we probably won't get two races in."

Oracle staved off elimination on Friday, catching a huge break when the day's first race suffered from a lack of wind and was abandoned for exceeding the time limit, with New Zealand far ahead. Oracle then came back to win a second race in stronger breezes.

"Luck is a great thing. Luck beats skill every time," New Zealand's frustrated tactician Ray Davies later told reporters.

That victory trimmed New Zealand's advantage in the best-of-17 series to 8-3. Two more races are scheduled for Sunday, if needed.

Until Friday the regatta had been dogged by winds that often exceeded the limits set by the organizers, which were lowered for safety reasons after a sailor died when one of the 72-foot America's Cup catamarans capsized during practice in May.

The wind limit rule forced five race cancellations since the America's Cup finals began two weeks ago, and the two teams have bickered about raising the threshold.

The Kiwis dominated the early matches of the final series and appeared poised to easily reclaim the trophy they lost in 2003. But Oracle has succeeded in shifting the momentum with boat changes and improved tacking, and the two teams now appear remarkably even.

"We're in a battle now. Honestly, we both want to kill each other, but that's sport," Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill said of rival skipper Dean Barker, the two sitting beside each other at a post-race press conference.

"At match point, it's almost like we get the best out of our boys when they're under pressure," Spithill said.

Following alterations it made to its AC72 catamaran, Oracle is now seen as having a slight advantage over the Kiwi boat in strong winds.

Oracle sent a letter this week to the New Zealand team suggesting the wind limits be increased in order to avoid more delays, a proposal the Kiwis flatly rejected.

Ellison's team won the America's Cup in Valencia, Spain in 2010 and with it the right to set the rules for this year's competition, including choosing to race on the AC72s and to hold the regatta on windy San Francisco Bay.

The Kiwis first won the America's Cup in 1995 and successfully defended it in 2000 before losing the trophy three years later to Swiss biotechnology billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli's Alinghi in a disastrous campaign that left the team in shambles.

Source: Reuters

Clayton Kershaw struck out 10 in seven dominant innings, Yasiel Puig and A.J. Ellis hit two-run homers and the NL West champion Los Angeles dodgers defeated the San Diego Padres 4-0 Saturday night.

Kershaw (15-9) lowered his major league-leading ERA to 1.88. He leads the NL with 224 strikeouts.

Kershaw held San Diego in check on three hits after losing to the Padres in three other starts this season.

The left-hander is trying to become the first pitcher to lead the majors in ERA in three consecutive seasons since Atlanta's Greg Maddux from 1993-95.

Ellis homered in the fourth off rookie Burch Smith (1-2).

Puig then connected on a shot to center field off Tim Stauffer in the seventh that was estimated at 457 feet. Kershaw reached on a bunt single to lead off the inning.

Kershaw retired 14 of his last 15 batters. He was 0-3 with a 4.67 ERA in his first three starts against the Padres, while going 14-6 with a 1.71 ERA in his other starts.

Kershaw skipped his last scheduled start on Wednesday as the Dodgers attempt to give him rest heading into the postseason.

Relievers Ronald Belisario and Brian Wilson each pitched a perfect inning for the Dodgers.

Los Angeles played all of its starters, except shortstop Hanley Ramirez. The Dodgers held out all of their regulars in a 2-0 loss to the Padres on Friday night, one day after clinching their first division title since 2009.

Smith gave up two runs on three hits in six innings. The rookie struck out six and walked a career-high five.

NOTES: Dodgers manager Don Mattingly is resting Ramirez to help him recover from back and hamstring injuries that have plagued him throughout the season. Ramirez is expected to see limited playing time before the postseason. ... Dodgers OF Andre Ethier (sprained left ankle) missed his eighth straight game. Ethier, who took batting practice and did running drills before the game, could return when the Dodgers start a three-game series at San Francisco on Tuesday. ... Smith's third-inning single was his first major league hit. ... Dodgers RHP Zack Greinke (15-3, 2.75 ERA) will pitch at Petco Park for the first time since he sustained a broken left collarbone on April 11 during a brawl with Carlos Quentin, who was hit with a pitch and charged the mound. Quentin, who recently had knee surgery, is out of the season. ... RHP Andrew Cashner (10-8, 3.21) pitches for San Diego on Sunday.

Source: Go

This is my favorite time of the year to pick out "Best Bets" in TV Weekly, which runs in the Sunday News.

The Sept. 22 book is packed with new episodes from many of the top shows, as well as several new programs.

Local TV officials weighed in on what shows they believe will do well this year and any changes to their stations' syndicated lineup.

John Humphries, president and general manager at WGAL-TV 8, says there are no changes to the Lancaster station's syndicated lineup.

He saw the first episode of "The Blacklist" and said it is strong and compelling. The show, which airs at 10 p.m. Monday, stars James Spader, who plays a Hannibal Lecter-type character.

He is also looking forward to the "Michael J. Fox Show" (9 p.m. Thursday).

"I'm glad to see him back in comedy," Humphries says of Fox, who has Parkinson's disease. "It will be interesting to see how they look at his disability."

"Dracula" (10 p.m. Friday) is supposed to complement the fantasy drama "Grimm" (9 p.m. Friday).

Humphries also likes "Ironside" (10 p.m. Wednesday), which stars Blair Underwood in a remake of Raymond Burr's hit series from 1967-75.

He is hopeful for a successful season.

"In this business you have to be an optimist," Humphries says. "Every fall you start off with hope of finding a few shows that catch gold."

Arthur Hasson, vice president and general manager at WHP-TV CBS 21, says success breeds success. The nation's No.1 network has added several strong shows.

Of note are four new comedies: "The Crazy Ones," with Robin Williams (9 p.m. Thursday); "The Millers," with Will Arnett and Beau Bridges (8 p.m. Thursday); "We Are Men," with Jerry O'Connell and Tony Shalhoub (8 p.m. Monday); and "The Mom," starring Anna Faris and produced by Chuck Lorre of "Two and a Half Men" (9:30 p.m. Monday).

"This is perfect for TV," Hasson says of "The Mom." "A lot of women watch TV. The producer helps make the show. Generally, that's a big key."

He also says "Hostages" (10 p.m. Monday), produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, is a high-octane thriller.

Like the CBS summer hit "Under the Dome," "Hostages" is shot in a short period of time and holds the viewer's interest, he says.

In syndication, WHP will air "The Queen Latifah Show" at 3 p.m. weekdays. Will Smith is one of the producers of the talk show, which premiered Monday.

The stars the first week included Smith, Sharon Stone and Jamie Foxx.

Hasson, who runs MyTwentyOne 21.2, says the station will have sports Saturday this fall, focusing on ACC football and professional wrestling.

On WLYH-TV CW 15, Hasson says "The Originals," a vampire show set in New Orleans (8 p.m. Tuesday), and "Reign" (9 p.m. Thursday), which follows Mary, Queen of Scots during her teen years, are drawing positive reviews.

In syndication, "Community" will air at midnight on CW 15.

Joe Lewin, president and general manager at WHTM-TV ABC 27, says new in syndication at 10 a.m. is "bethenny" with host Bethenny Frankel from "The Real Housewives of New York City." It replaces Anderson Cooper's daytime talk show.

Local show "Good Day PA," featuring a variety of topics and guests, debuted Sept. 9 at 12:30 p.m.

Nationally, Lewin says he's glad Marvel's "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." is on at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

"If it is as successful as everyone says it should be, it gets the night started on a positive note," he says.

Bob Furlong, vice president and general manager at WPMT-TV Fox 43, says news at 4 p.m. is new. He saw an opening to gain viewers with the departure of Oprah Winfrey.

In syndication, Furlong notes that Arsenio Hall won his time period at 11 p.m. during the first week of his new show.

Furlong says "Modern Family" began airing in syndication on Fox 43 on Monday.

Nationally, he says Fox is going back to more edgy, risky shows.

Local connection: The U.S. version of sports car show "Top Gear," which airs on History, will rebroadcast an episode that focused on Lancaster County at 2 p.m. today and 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Staff writer Eric Stark discusses trends and tidbits in broadcast media each week in the Sunday News. He can be reached at

Source: Lancasteronline

Amanda Knox already served four years of a 26 year sentence in Italy for the murder of her roommate Meredith Kercher in 2007. Following an appeal by Knox and her then boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito the two were acquitted in 2011 by the Italian legal system.

In the meantime the Italian high courts have now overturned that acquittal and a retrial is due on September 30. Knox spoke to the 's Matt Lauer in her first interview television interview since her acquittal:

"I was already imprisoned as an innocent person in Italy, and I can't reconcile the choice to go back with that experience. It's not a possibility, as I was imprisoned as an innocent person and I just can't relive that. She continued: "I don't think I'm going to be put back in prison. I think that we're going to win. That's why I'm fighting this fight, that's why I continue to put forth the defensive argument in court."

When Amanda Knox was asked by Lauer why she wouldn't return to Italy for the retrial she said: "There are so many factors that are not allowing me to go back - financial ones, ones where I'm going to school, ones where I want the court to proceed without distraction. I was imprisoned as an innocent person. It's common sense not to go back."

Knox who is now 26 said that she is allowed to be represented by her lawyers and that if re-convicted can appeal to the Italian Supreme Court once again but that she could be extradited if found guilty again: "That's not the primary concern of my lawyers right now," she said. "I don't believe that they have, precisely because they're still confident that we can win this."

She spoke in the interview about the her belief that the evidence in her favor will prevail: "There's always the fear that's lingering and the experience of having been convicted when I shouldn't have, but things have changed," she said. "It's not just the prosecution's voice that's out there, and while it is the legal process in Italy where one can be convicted of a crime if there is no motive to be found and if there's only circumstantial evidence, you can't be convicted if there is proof to the contrary."

Amanda Knox spoke towards the end of the interview about the effects four years jail time had on her. She said she had suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and that the upcoming retrial was causing her condition to get worse.

Source: Inquisitr