Monthly Archives: May 2012

Williams Sisters Ousted Early

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“I felt like I played.  That pretty much sums it up,” Where unenthusiastic words from Venus Williams as she fell on Wednesday to 22-year-old Agnieszka Radwanska.

No one likes to dwell on being defeated, but the loss may have been all the more bitter because of William’s early exit from the French Open coinciding with her sister Serena.

This Grand Slam tournament is the first in which one of the sisters has not reached the third round.  Although faced with what can only be seen as an upset, Venus seems to be content to rest on at least her sister’s laurels.

“I think if she could have gotten through that match, it would have been, this tournament, a lot different for her.” Venus Williams said.  “Thankfully, she has like twenty-something majors to keep her warm at night. I think she’ll be fine.”

For more on the French Open click here.

Condoleezza Rice Announces Romney Endorsement

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Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice officially announced her endorsement of Mitt Romney at a California fundraiser on May 30.

During her speech, Rice referred to Romney as an individual that “is not afraid to lead on the basis of…exceptionalism.” The issue of exceptionalism, which holds that a country or society is unique and worthy of emulation by the rest of the world, has often been at the forefront of discussion during Obama’s term.

Although Rice has stated that she is not looking into becoming Romney’s Vice President, there is still speculation about her possibly filling the presidential ticket. Specifically, some believe that she can support Romney in the foreign policy arena in addition to helping the GOP nominee attract black and female voters.

Romney secured the GOP nomination earlier this week after his primary win in Texas.

New Orleans Get “Luck” of the Draft

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On Wednesday March 30th the NBA draft lottery awarded the New Orleans Hornets the top pick in the NBA draft that will be held on June 28th.  Odds are the Hornets will pick Kentucky star center Anthony Davis.  At six-foot-ten and with a wingspan of seven-foot-four, Davis is a defensive force with emerging offensive talents.  After leading his team to a national championship, analysts believe Davis can become a literal centerpiece to change the fortunes of any NBA team he joins.  That task falls onto the Hornets.

The lottery win by the Hornets adds fuel to a fire of speculation that the league is in some way putting its fingers into what is meant to be a diplomatic process.  Much controversy has swirled around the franchise since last off season when a trade sending guard Chris Paul to the Lakers was stopped by the league.  Perhaps some compensation is the arrival of Davis.

The second pick was won by the Charlotte Bobcats.  The Bobcats finished the season with the worst winning percentage in league history.  The third pick went to the Wizards.

Top draft prospects include Connecticut center Andre Drummond, Kansas power forward Thomas Robinson and Harrison Barnes of North Carolina.

Beyond Anthony Davis the draft board seems thin on superstar talent.  All the teams in the top of the draft certainly can use any help they can get, but none of the players appear to be able to change the complexion of a team like Davis.

For more on this story click here.

Michael Jackson’s Letter Removed from Auction

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A personal letter that Michael Jackson sent to then-wife Lisa Marie Presley has been removed from Jackson’s memorial auction at Presley’s request. The letter was supposed to be auctioned off next month by Julien’s Auctions.

The letter, which is from sometime between 1993 and 1996, discusses Jackson’s stress in the spotlight, and his problems with sleeping and his health. Jackson also expresses his need to focus on his health and get away from the business for a little while.

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Even though the letter was expected to be auctioned off for nearly $1,200, Julien Auction’s owner, Darren Julien, chose to honor Presley’s request. Julien told the press, “I’m assuming it’s a personal nature, and we wanted to honor the request and continue our good relationship with Ms. Presley.”

To read more about the letter and other items up for auction, click here.

Homeless Man Attacked on Highway

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65-year-old Ronald Poppo (left) was attacked on Saturday alongside of a highway in Miami, Florida. The attacker, Rudy Eugene (right), stripped, hit, and bit the face of Poppo in the middle of the afternoon this past weekend, according to surveillance tapes and eyewitnesses.

Eugene apparently chewed at Poppo’s face with his teeth, and repeatedly hit the man with his fists. Poppo, who is homeless, was sitting in the shade on the side of the highway when Eugene suddenly attacked him and pulled him onto the road.

Police officers who responded to the attack urged Eugene to stop attacking Poppo, but Eugene did not respond. An officer then shot and killed Eugene at the scene.

Poppo has been hospitalized since the attack, and is currently in critical condition. According to doctors, the homeless man will have to go through months of treatments, facial reconstruction, and possible infections. Many of these infections could be a result of being attacked with Eugene’s mouth.

 

Memorial Day Weekend Attracts Thousands to Atlantic City Boardwalk

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Recent events such as the fatal stabbings of two Canadian tourists in Atlantic City did not discourage people from visiting its famed boardwalk over the Memorial Day weekend.

Thousands of people flocked to the boardwalk shops, although some say the recent violent events have indeed “scared off visitors.”

According to NBC 40 News, officers heightened security measures specifically for the holiday weekend. On the other hand, some individuals maintain that Atlantic City is already familiar with violent occurrences.

Unfazed, Baltimore resident Steve Jacobs stated, “There’s no violence that we’ve seen so come on down.”

FarmVille Rewards Credit Card Released by American Express

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American Express has just released a credit card that will allow users to earn virtual cash on FarmVille through their real-world purchases.

Starting on May 22, users of the hit social media game could sign up for the card.  This card is part of American Express’ Serve platform, which is a prepaid service.

The card itself is a game as well.  If a FarmVille player is interesting in the card, they must first visit a Serve farm within the game, then plant a Serve Money Tree.  When this is done, users can then register for their card and wait for it to arrive by mail.

The card, which can earn users up to 360 Farm Cash, rewards users when they first sign up, activate the card, when money is added to their account, for the first five purchases of more than $25, and when they harvest the tree.

This social game rewards program is just the first of many to come.  Other game-themed reward programs are expected to expand over time due to the demographic it reaches.

Romney Accepts Trump’s Support Despite Resurgence of ‘Birther’ Issue

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Now that Mitt Romney has officially secured the GOP nomination, many are questioning whether his association with the controversial Donald Trump may potentially hurt his chances in the upcoming presidential race.

Having endorsed Romney earlier this year, Trump collaborated with the GOP nominee for a fundraiser held yesterday at his International Hotel on the Strip. Amid such collective efforts, Trump has helped resurge the “birther issue” of Obama, as he continues to question whether the President was indeed born in the United States. In such light, some are saying this may serve to overshadow Romney’s campaign.

Specifically, even though Obama released his birth certificate a year ago, which confirms he was born on August 4, 1961 in Hawaii, Trump maintains that he is all but convinced that this is actually the case. Yesterday, Wolf Blitzer of the Situation Room clashed with the outspoken billionaire and told him his claims made him sound “a little ridiculous”.

Although Romney accepts the support he is receiving from the business tycoon, his senior adviser Eric Fehrnstrom stated in an interview with CNN, “I can’t speak for Donald Trump, but I can tell you that Mitt Romney accepts that President Obama was born in the United States.” Romney’s camp further supports that “ a candidate can’t be responsible for everything their supporters say” and that there are more “important challenges facing our country” that are worth discussing.

Making the Case For and Against Credit Cards

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Although credit cards are considered an absolute necessity nowadays, many are questioning whether having this system of payment is indeed an obligation.

Bethy Hardeman of CreditKarma.com and John Ulzheimer of SmartCredit.com have thus broken down the reasons for and against credit cards in a recent article by Jill Krasny published on Dailyfinance.com.

For arguments in favor of having a credit card, Ulzheimer referenced the ability to finance a home or car due to the credit report one acquires. Also, she cited the impracticality of carrying cash as well as the greater security against loss and identity theft credit cards offer as opposed to debit cards.

On the other hand, Hardeman advises against getting a credit card simply for the reason to have one. Moreover, he clarifies that if one does not have plans for purchasing a home or a car, credit cards would not be deemed essential. Finally, he does not recommend credit cards for individuals with a tendency to engage in “impulse shopping”.

Dharun Ravi to Turn Himself in Thursday for 30-Day Jail Term

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A sentence has been reached in regards to the highly publicized case of Dharun Ravi, as it continues to garner mixed reactions from the public.

Ravi was found guilty of 15 criminal counts “including invasion of privacy, bias intimidation, and obstructing justice after police began investigating.” This comes after he was found “spying” on his Rutgers roommate Tyler Clementi during his encounter with another man in their shared dorm. Ravi was said to have used a webcam to do so, as he later invited others to watch with him.

Judge Glenn Berman decided on a sentence that involves 30 days in jail, 300 hours of community service, and $10,000 in restitution to be paid “to assist bias-crime victims.” Although, his sentence could have been as severe as “10 years in prison and even deportation to his native India”, Berman maintained that Ravi’s actions, although shameful and blamesworthy, did not involve violence. Berman further added, “I do not believe [the legislature] envisioned this type of behavior when it passed the anti-bias statute at the heart of the case.”

In addition to the abovementioned orders, Berman recommended “counseling on alternative lifestyles and on cyberbullying” for Ravi.

On the other hand, others argue that the punishment was not commensurate with the crime. Steven Goldstein of Garden State Equality stated, “This was not merely a childhood prank gone awry. This was not a crime without bias.”

Ravi is set to turn himself at the Middlesex County Jail in New Brunswick, NJ, this Thursday, May 31 to begin serving his 30-day sentence. In an issued statement, he expressed that this is the “only way he can go on with his life”, as he assumed responsibility and apologized for his “insensitive and immature choices.”

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