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Sheila "Shangi" Kapirig known to get testy on the court at times, was serving for the match but was broken and eventually lost the match against the mighty and powerful babe Ritche Palermo.

FUN GAMES WITH YOUR FRIENDS / Victoria Azarenka wins Australian Open 2012
« on: January 29, 2012, 02:25:15 am »
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP)—Maria Sharapova was once the young upstart, fearlessly upstaging Serena Williams in her first Grand Slam final. On Saturday at the Australian Open, she ran into the new noise in women’s tennis, Victoria Azarenka.

Azarenka claimed her first major title with a ruthless 6-3, 6-0 win over Sharapova. With the victory, the 22-year-old also took the No. 1 ranking, becoming the 21st woman and the first from Belarus to rise to the top.

Jan 29 (Reuters) - Australian Open mixed doubles final result from Melbourne on Sunday (prefix denotes seeding) 8-Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Horia Tecau (United States/Romania) beat 5-Elena Vesnina/Leander Paes (Russia/India) 6-3 5-7 10-3(third set decided by match tiebreak).

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP)—Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek denied Bob and Mike Bryan their record 12th Grand Slam doubles title, beating the American twins 7-6 (1), 6-2 in the final of the Australian Open. The Woodies could probably sleep a little easier Saturday night.

The 33-year-old Bryans were attempting to secure their place as the most decorated doubles team since the Open Era began in 1968. The brothers remain level on 11 major titles with the Australian duo of Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge, also known by their nickname the Woodies.

“Obviously, it’s disappointing,” Bob Bryan said. “But you know, I thought we have had a great Australian swing, and we’re playing, at least I’m playing a lot better than I did last year already. It bodes well for the rest of the year.”

FUN GAMES WITH YOUR FRIENDS / Three's A Charm For Novak Djokovic
« on: May 08, 2011, 01:19:33 pm »
Dethroned! Djokovic snaps Nadal’s clay court win streak in Madrid

By Chris Chase

One streak is over. Another continues onward.

Novak Djokovic snapped Rafael Nadal's 37-match clay court winning streak with a 7-5, 6-4 victory over the world No. 1 in the final of the Madrid Open. It was Nadal's first loss on the surface since he was upset by Robin Soderling in the 2009 French Open.

For Djokovic, the win continues his white-hot start to 2011. The Serb hasn't lost a match this year, a run of 32 straight matches. Counting the two matches he won for Serbia in the Davis Cup finals, Djokovic has won 34 straight since December.

The six-month run for Djokovic has included that Davis Cup, an Australian Open title, the difficult back-to-back at Indian Wells and Miami and seven wins over players in the top five of the ATP rankings. But it was Sunday's win over Nadal, on the Spaniard's favorite surface in front of a partisan Madrid crowd, that may be the most impressive feat yet. Nadal entered the match with a 186-6 record on clay since 2005. He once won 81 straight on the surface. Djokovic was 0-9 lifetime against him on the red stuff. To win, and to do so in such convincing fashion, was the biggest sign yet that for the first time in years, the world's best player may not reside in Mallorca.

Not that this changes who the favorite will be when the French Open begins two weeks from Monday. Given the altitude of the city and the surface of the court, Madrid plays like a hard court when compared to the slow, plodding surface at Roland Garros. On that clay, Nadal still has an edge. He may need to change up the gameplan after his tentative, baseline-heavy approach didn't work on Sunday, but he's still the man to beat in Paris.

No matter what happens this week in Rome, the Djokovic victory sets up one of the most-anticipated French Opens in recent memory. Can you imagine a final pitting Djokovic and his epic win streak against Nadal, in his pursuit of a record-tying sixth title?

BREAKING NEWS / Woman rescued in remote area of Nevada
« on: May 07, 2011, 02:18:00 pm »
Woman rescued after 7 weeks lost in remote area of Nevada

By Alex Dobuzinskis – 1 hr 25 mins ago

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A 56 year-old Canadian woman stranded in a van for seven weeks on a remote dirt road in northern Nevada survived on snow and some trail mix until hunters discovered her, authorities said on Saturday.

With Rita Chretien recovering in an Idaho hospital following her rescue on Friday afternoon, searchers are looking for her husband, who left the van seeking help, said Corporal Dan Moskaluk, spokesman for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Rita Chretien's family has spoken to her by phone.

"They related that they were very relieved to see how much she sounded like herself," Moskaluk told Reuters. "It's obviously very emotional and bittersweet, given that the husband is still outstanding."

Albert Chretien, 59, left the couple's Chevrolet Astro van to seek help, three days after they got stuck in the mud on March 19 on a forest service road 20 miles from the nearest highway, in Elko County in northern Nevada, Moskaluk said. The area is near the border with Idaho.

The Canadian couple had left their home in Penticton, British Columbia, to attend a Las Vegas trade fair for their construction excavation business.

They were last seen on March 19 buying gas in Baker City, Oregon, and Moskaluk said they got stranded on the dirt road in Elko County, at an elevation of 5,200 feet.

The area where the van was stranded has been blanketed with snow and rain in recent weeks. It was unclear if the couple was sight-seeing, or simply got lost.

"By the sounds of it, they essentially got turned around," Moskaluk said.

Rita Chretien, survived on snow, water and a small amount of trail mix, Moskaluk said. The area where she was discovered is so remote that the hunters had to backtrack for nine miles before they regained cell phone service to call for help.

Before her discovery, the woman's family believed both Rita Chretien and her husband were dead, he said.

Moskaluk added that he has never before dealt with a case where a stranded person survived that long without help. "We were just awestruck with it, just dumbfounded," he said.

Following her seven-week ordeal, Rita Chretien was airlifted to St. Luke's Magic Valley Medical Center in southern Idaho, where she is listed in fair condition, said hospital spokesman Ken Dey.

Her family was flying over to reunite with her, Dey said.

The Elko County Sheriff's Department and the nearby Owyhee County Sheriff's Department in Idaho were searching for Albert Chretien on Saturday.

A search by airplane was called off because of bad weather and poor visibility, and about a dozen rescue workers were conducting a ground search for the man, said Owyhee County sheriff's deputy CJ Stappler.

The Chretiens were first reported missing in late March by family when they failed to return home to Canada as planned. In the first two weeks of April, authorities conducted air and ground searches in eastern Oregon, Moskaluk said.

The family even hired a private plane to aid in the April search operation, but Moskaluk said that because of the vast geography it was "like finding a needle in a haystack."

FASHION and HOBBIES / Most popular baby names
« on: May 07, 2011, 02:12:47 pm »
The most popular baby names: Welcome back, Jacob. So long, Elvis.

by Jessica Ashley

What are the chances your baby will have several friends with the same name once they go to school? It's very likely, particularly if your child is named Isabella, Jacob, or even Maci. But if your little one is named after Elvis, for the first time in more than a half-century, he probably won't encounter another similarly named friend.

With its release of the most popular baby names of 2010, the Social Security Administration reveals that names that have topped the list consistently for several years are joined by some new and surprisingly trendy choices, such as reality TV star names. The administration also notes that some names we've been used to finding at the top dropped a few spots last year.

"The chances of meeting a baby named Sophia this year versus last year -- you'll see them everywhere," saysLaura Wattenberg, author of "The Baby Name Wizard: A Magical Method for Finding the Perfect Name for Your Baby".

Sophia jumped from number four to the second-place girls' spot. Joshua, however, didn't fare as well, sliding down the list from number six to 11.  Although Elvis' hits topped charts, the name never secured a top spot. The Social Security Administration says that even though the name peaked only at number 312 in 1957 and made a bit of a comeback 20 years later when the rock icon died, it has consistently held a place in the top 1,000. For the first time in 55 years, Elvis has left the building -- or at least birth certificates -- something the Social Security researchers were sad to see happen.

"I was all shook up," Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue told the San Francisco Chronicle. "It's been a tradition tracking his ups and downs, and to see him drop off the top 1,000, I have to be honest, we took that very hard at Social Security."

Although the draw to Ethans and Emmas is fascinating, a study that goes beyond the top 10 most-chosen monikers shows something Americans may or may not want to admit: We love to name our babies after reality show stars.

The top 1,000 names includes Maci, modeled after one of the stars of MTV's "16 and Pregnant" and "Teen Mother," Maci Bookout. Maci was the fastest-growing girl's name in the country in 2010.

And while Maci Bookout's son, Bentley, had a name that made it to the most-hated list, it was marked as the fastest-growing boy's name in America last year. (Nevaeh, "heaven" spelled backwards, also earned a place as both most popular and most hated.)

The teen-mom-and-toddler duo were not the only people to influence naming trends. Khloe (think Khloe Kardashian) has spent three years climbing the rungs. Wattenberg says that famous people's names often get the spotlight just as briefly as the reality stars'.

"The data suggests that this really is a 15 minutes of fame," Wattenberg said. "The longer trends that you see at the top of the chart require a more broad-based popularity."

One other trend that Americans seem to have embraced is rhyming. Wattenberg said that there are 41 names that rhyme with Aiden (currently holding the number nine spot) in the top 1,000, including many variations of Jayden and Brayden.

For now, Jacob's grip on the number one spot has lasted 12 years. Isabella reigns for the second year in a row. Will William push up on the list following the royal wedding? And will Catherine (or even Kate or Pippa) become what the naming experts call a "rising star"? Only time and lots and lots of babies will tell.

BREAKING NEWS / Osama bin Laden is dead
« on: May 01, 2011, 10:18:18 pm »
The mastermind behind the Sept. 11 attacks was killed in an operation led by the U.S., President Obama declares.

WASHINGTON – Osama bin Laden, the glowering mastermind behind the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks that murdered thousands of Americans, was killed in an operation led by the United States, President Barack Obama said Sunday.

"Justice has been done," said the president in a dramatic late-night announcement at the White House.

A small team of Americans killed bin Laden in a firefight Sunday at a compound in Pakistan, the president said, and took custody of his remains. Americaj officials said they were being handled in accordance with Islamic tradition.

A jubilant crowd gathered outside the White House as word spread of bin Laden's death after a global manhunt that lasted nearly a decade.

Former President George W. Bush, who was in office on the day of the attacks, issued a written statement hailing bin Laden's death as a momentous achievement. "The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done," he said.

Obama said he ordered the operation after receiving undisclosed intelligence information. Senior administration officials said the terrorist mastermind was found inside a custom-built compound with two security gates. They said it appeared to hvae been constructed to harbor one high-value target and that for undisclosed reasons, officials became clear the hideout was bin Laden's.

Officials also said they believe the death puts al-Qaida on a path of decline that will be difficult to reverse, but there was no word on the whereabouts of bin Laden's second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahri.

The stunning end to the world's most widely-watched manhunt came just months before the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Centers and Pentagon, orchestrated by bin Laden's al-Qaida organization, that killed more than 3,000 people.

The attacks a decade ago seemed to come out of nowhere, even though al-Qaida had previously damaged American targets overseas.

The terrorists hijacked planes, flew one of them into one of Manhattan's Twin Towers — and, moments later, into the other one. Both buildings collapsed, trapping thousands inside and claiming the lives of firefighters and others who had rushed to help them.

A third plane slammed into the Pentagon, defacing the symbol of America's military night. A fourth crashed in rural Pennsylvania after passengers overpowered the hijackers and forced the craft from the air — before it could hit its intended target in Washington.

The attacks set off a chain of events that led the United States into wars in Afghanistan, and then Iraq, and America's entire intelligence apparatus was overhauled to counter the threat of more terror attacks at home.

A senior administration official says Obama gave the final order for U.S. officials to go after bin Laden on Friday. The official added that a small team found their quarry hiding in a large home in an affluent suburb of Islamabad. The raid occurred in the early morning hours Sunday.

Administration officials offered some details of the operation.

Based on statements given by U.S. detainees, intelligence officials have known for years that bin Laden trusted one al-Qaida courier in particular and they believed he might be living with him in hiding. In November, intelligence officials found out where he was living, a huge fortified compound in an affluent suburb of Islamabad. It was surrounded by walls as high as 18 feet high, topped with barbed wire. There were two security gates and no phone or Internet running into the house.

Intelligence officials believed the $1 million home was custom-built to harbor a major terrorist. CIA experts analyzed whether it could be anyone else, but time and again, they decided it was almost certainly bin Laden.

Three adult males were also killed in Sunday's raid, including one of bin Laden's sons, whom officials did not name. One of bin Laden's sons, Hamza, is a senior member of al-Qaida.

Obama spoke with Bush and former President Bill Clinton Sunday night to inform them of the developments.

Obama struck a less than boastful tone in his brief announcement, although he said the death of bin Laden was "the most significant achievement to date in our nation's effort to defeat al-Qaida.

"His death does not mark the end of our effort. There's no doubt that al-Qaida will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must and we will remain vigilant," he added.

Moments after he spoke, American officials cautioned that the events could lead to heightened threats against the United States.

Officials said the U.S. would ensure that bin Laden's body was handled in accordance with Islamic tradition.

FUN GAMES WITH YOUR FRIENDS / Novak Djokovic wins Serbia Open title
« on: May 01, 2011, 12:57:57 pm »
BELGRADE, Serbia (AP)—Novak Djokovic defeated Feliciano Lopez 7-6 (4), 6-2 on Sunday to win the Serbia Open for his fifth title and 27th straight victory this season.

The Australian Open champion was not always at his best in a match often played in rain and had six double faults.

“You people make it worth it to come back to this city and play and hope for the victories,” said Djokovic, who led Serbia’s Davis Cup team to its first title last year.

Lopez failed to take advantage of seven break points during the match. He had the first two early in the first set at 2-2, sending the ball into the net then allowing Djokovic to win the game with an ace and a deep forehand into the corner.

Lopez had another chance to break in the first set at 4-4 before Djokovic comfortably won the tiebreaker.

“I had a dream last night that I will be a hero and the first to beat him this year, but I realized it was very hard,” Lopez said.

At 1-1 in the second set, Djokovic fell face down after chasing a forehand by Lopez but was not hurt. Lopez had a chance to break at 3-2 in the second but sent the ball into the net.

FASHION and HOBBIES / Sarah Palin Sued
« on: May 01, 2011, 12:34:21 pm »
Activist sues Sarah Palin for $100K over traffic


JUNEAU, Alaska – An activist is suing Sarah Palin for at least $100,000, claiming she undertook a campaign to "punish, embarrass, discredit and silence" him while she was Alaska's governor.

The lawsuit was filed in state court by Chip Thoma and first reported by

Palin's attorney, John Tiemessen, called the complaint frivolous and said it was filed "merely for the purpose of harassment."

"The governor's actions and statements regarding this matter are a matter of public record and governed by the long standing doctrine of executive immunity from tort claims," he said in an email late Friday. "Like all of the other harassing complaints against the governor, we anticipate that Mr. Thoma's will be quickly and summarily dismissed."

The matter dates to 2009, after Palin returned to Juneau and the governor's office from her failed vice presidential bid.

Thoma's attorney, James McGowan, said Thoma complained about tour bus traffic on the narrow, windy streets around the governor's mansion. McGowan said Thoma, whom he described as a "Palin fan" at the time, sent tour operators fliers to try to encourage them to change the routes. He said Thoma also helped neighbors create yard signs against what Thoma considered the noise, pollution and congestion caused by the buses.

McGowan said Palin twisted Thoma's actions to make it seem like he had engaged in "some unsavory and lunatic" campaign against the Palins.

The complaint is based in part on a leaked draft manuscript of an aide of Palin's at that time.

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