News

'12 Years a Slave' star Lupita Nyong'o adds her social media clout vs. US slave-trade park

New Europe News - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 17:45
by  Associated Press Lupita Nyong'o seeks US slave-trade preservation by STEVE SZKOTAK, Associated Press - 24 October 2014 12:45-04:00

RICHMOND, Virginia (AP) — "Twelve Years a Slave" actress Lupita Nyong'o is lending her star power to the opposition to a minor league baseball stadium in what was once the center of Richmond, Virginia's thriving slave-trading center.

Nyong'o has been posting anti-stadium opinions on social media to her millions of followers. She also has personally appealed to Mayor Dwight C. Jones to withdraw support for the stadium that is the centerpiece of an economic development project.

Jones responded by inviting the actress to visit the former capital of the Confederacy to see plans to preserve Shockoe Bottom's slave-trading past.

By some estimates, more 300,000 men, women and children were jailed, bought and sold in the Bottom and shipped throughout the Southern states in the decades leading to the Civil War.

News Topics: Arts and entertainment, General news, Celebrity, Entertainment, International trade, Social media, Economy, Business, Online media, Media

People, Places and Companies: Lupita Nyong'o, Richmond, Virginia, United States, North America

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Sandard & Poor's upgrades Cyprus 1 notch to B+ on commitment to rescue deal, resilient economy

New Europe News - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 17:36
by  Associated Press S&P upgrades Cyprus on commitment to bailout deal Associated Press - 24 October 2014 12:36-04:00

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Rating agency Standard & Poor's gave Cyprus a pat on the back with a one notch upgrade to its credit grade, to B+, citing its commitment to the terms of its bailout program and better-than-expected economic growth.

The agency also said the country's outlook is stable, with good economic progress offset by lingering challenges to its banking system, which is still burdened with a huge amount of bad loans.

It hailed Cyprus' strong budgetary performance and projected a shallower recession this year. It expects an economic contraction of around 3 percent, 0.8 percent less than a previous forecast.

The agency said Friday that it expected heightened overseas investment interest, but warned that more EU sanctions against Russia could hurt tourism.

News Topics: Business, Economic outlook, Economy

People, Places and Companies: Cyprus, Western Europe, Europe

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Brazil's Rousseff slams magazine allegations as 'electoral terrorism' days before vote

New Europe News - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 17:30
by  Associated Press Brazil's Rousseff slams magazine's allegations Associated Press - 24 October 2014 12:30-04:00

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is denouncing a report in a weekly newsmagazine suggesting she and her predecessor were aware of a corruption scheme within state-run oil giant Petrobras.

The report published Friday in the Veja newsweekly comes just before Sunday's presidential elections. Rousseff's leftist Workers' Party has governed Brazil for the past 12 years, but she is locked in a brutal battle against her centrist rival Aecio Neves.

In a series of outraged tweets, Rousseff called the report an "act of electoral terrorism" and threatened to take legal action against the magazine.

She says "Veja's malevolent intention of interfering dishonestly and unfairly with the result of the elections is more than clear."

News Topics: General news, Government and politics

People, Places and Companies: Dilma Rousseff, Aecio Neves, Brazil, South America, Latin America and Caribbean

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Former Puerto Rico mayor pleads guilty to taking bribes

New Europe News - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 17:03
by  Associated Press Puerto Rico ex-mayor pleads guilty to bribery Associated Press - 24 October 2014 12:03-04:00

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — A former mayor in Puerto Rico has pleaded guilty to soliciting and accepting some $39,000 in cash bribes from a contractor.

Federal prosecutors accused Eduard Rivera Correa of receiving the bribes in 2010 from a man seeking to obtain three construction inspection contracts with the coastal municipality of Rio Grande. The man obtained $329,000 worth of contracts.

The 61-year-old Rivera was arrested in July.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said Friday that he will be sentenced at a later date.

News Topics: General news, Bribery, graft and conflicts of interest, Political corruption, Legal proceedings, Crime, Municipal governments, Political issues, Government and politics, Law and order, Local governments

People, Places and Companies: Puerto Rico, Caribbean, Latin America and Caribbean

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

US stocks move higher as more companies report earnings gains; Microsoft, UPS rise

New Europe News - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 17:01
by  Associated Press More earnings gains send US stocks higher Associated Press - 24 October 2014 12:01-04:00

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are rising in midday trading as U.S. companies report more earnings gains.

UPS and Microsoft rose after reporting earnings that were higher than analysts were expecting. Procter & Gamble rose after saying it would make its Duracell battery business a stand-alone company.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 84 points, or 0.5 percent, to 16,762 as of 11:55 a.m. Eastern time Friday. The Dow jumped 216 points the day before.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose eight points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,959. The Nasdaq composite rose 17 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,470.

Crude oil fell 99 cents to $81.12 a barrel in New York.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.26 percent.

News Topics: Business, General news, Stock prices, Stock indices and averages, Earnings reports, Leading economic indicators, Economy, Stock markets, Financial markets, Earnings, Financial performance, Corporate news

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

QPR defender, ex-England captain Rio Ferdinand plans to retire from playing at end of season

New Europe News - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 16:58
by  Associated Press Rio Ferdinand plans to retire at end of season Associated Press - 24 October 2014 11:58-04:00

LONDON (AP) — Former England captain Rio Ferdinand plans to retire from football at the end of the season.

After being released by Manchester United at the end of last season, the 35-year-old defender has struggled to make an impact at Queens Park Rangers. He was an unused substitute in Sunday's loss to Liverpool and could be confined to the bench again for Monday's match at home to Aston Villa.

Asked by Britain's ITV channel about retirement, Ferdinand replied: "I probably think the end of this season. I'm not fearful of retirement. I'm looking forward to it."

Ferdinand is already working as a TV pundit and earning his coaching qualifications.

News Topics: Sports, Athlete retirement, Men's soccer, Soccer, Men's sports, Professional soccer

People, Places and Companies: Rio Ferdinand, England, United Kingdom, Western Europe, Europe

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

In new film, Juliette Binoche explores the timely issue of danger facing war photojournalists

New Europe News - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 16:40
by  Associated Press Binoche explores risks, passion of war photography by JOCELYN NOVECK, Associated Press - 24 October 2014 11:40-04:00

NEW YORK (AP) — Actress Juliette Binoche has long been fascinated by war photography, she says, and often wonders about the people who risk their lives to capture such photos. Who are they, and what are they like?

She got a crash course when preparing for her new movie, "1,000 Times Good Night," in which she plays a photojournalist and mother whose personal risks wreak havoc on her family.

Known for her intensive preparation for films — for "The Lovers on the Bridge," for example, she slept in the streets of Paris to experience life as a homeless person, angering her own mother — Binoche interviewed war photojournalists to get a sense of what drives them. "The passion they have for their work can become an obsession," she says. "You want to have a family, and yet you can't live without your passion. How is it possible to live with both?"

Norwegian director Erik Poppe says he based the film on his own experiences as a photojournalist. But he decided to make the central character a woman, he says, because he felt it would intensify the sense of conflict between one's profession and one's family. Binoche's character, Rebecca, has a husband and two daughters, all of whom suffer in various ways from what she puts them through.

It's not lost on either the director or his leading lady that this is a particularly apt time to focus on the dangers of being a war journalist, with the recent beheadings of journalists in Syria at the hands of Islamic State militants — and other deaths in the past few years. "It's going to be harder and harder for people to do this work," Poppe notes.

The film begins in Afghanistan, where Rebecca is documenting the last hours of a Taliban suicide bomber — in this case, a woman. No male photographer would be allowed to see such intimate preparations as the dressing of the bomber, ending with the fitting of her suicide vest.

But Rebecca wants even better photos, so she asks to ride in the bomber's car into Kabul. Exiting the car, she snaps yet a few more, and in doing so, inadvertently attracts the attention of the police. The ensuing struggle results in the premature detonation of the bomb. Rebecca is seriously wounded, but is luckier than the civilians nearby who are killed.

"We talked about that scene a lot," Binoche says. "Rebecca tries to warn people nearby — but yet, she pushes it. It's always this question of how far can you go as a human being. Why didn't she say to the police, 'It's a suicide bomber.' It's hard. You're working with your instinct, trying to cause as little harm as possible and yet getting information to the world."

Poppe notes that the film tries not to judge Rebecca. "It's not black and white," he says. "She's trying to tell a story. The fact is they were going out to kill people, maybe many more. But a situation like this can break you apart. "

Indeed, when Rebecca arrives home to recuperate, she is broken and wracked with guilt. She promises that she'll stop. But when an opportunity arises again, this time in Africa, her photographer's instincts kick in yet again, with still more harrowing results for her family.

The ending, which brings her back to Afghanistan where she began, isn't totally clear. "It's not really about the answer, it's about the questioning," Binoche says. "Definitely she cannot carry on the way she did, because it went really too far. But what I love about art is that it's not for answering, it's for raising questions."

It's a busy time for Binoche, a 1996 Oscar winner for "The English Patient," who at 50 is still one of France's most glamorous actresses. She's also getting attention for "Clouds of Sils Maria," in which she appears with Kristen Stewart, playing an older actress reviving a play that made her famous 20 years earlier.

Binoche is known for working outside the studio system — both the Hollywood system and in her own country, she points out. "Very quickly I felt the need to be an outsider of ANY system," she says. "I knew that speaking English was the medium I had to travel with — I got that very early on."

"To do a few commercial films so that then I can then do this many independent films — for me it doesn't work that way," she adds. "I only go for what I really love. I'm not against commercial if it interests me. But the choice has to come not from fear. That's the key. Choosing from fear, you are not connected to your root. Who doesn't want to have success? But the real success at the end of the day is (doing something) I care for, and learning something while doing it."

____

Online:

http://1000timesgoodnight.com/

News Topics: Arts and entertainment, Movies, Entertainment, War movies, News media, Media

People, Places and Companies: Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart, Afghanistan, Central Asia, Asia

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Falcons bring banged-up team to Sunday's London game vs. Lions

New Europe News - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 16:39
by  Associated Press Banged-up Falcons face tough Lions test in London by SHAWN POGATCHNIK, Associated Press - 24 October 2014 11:39-04:00

LONDON (AP) — They're on a four-game losing streak and banged-up on both sides of the line. Frankly, the Falcons as a team are looking questionable for Sunday's London showpiece game against the Detroit Lions.

To score an upset and jump back into the thick of the NFC South race, Falcons players say they'll need to run the ball with authority — something they've rarely managed in a 2-5 season. And they must provide quarterback Matt Ryan a mix of short-range, quick targets designed to keep "Matty Ice" from becoming "Crushed Ice."

"We've got to get the ball out a little quicker because of our offensive line situation," said receiver Roddy White, referring to a unit that has lost four starters to season-ending injuries. This year's top-draft-pick, left tackle Jake Matthews, is nursing a sprained ankle, and Atlanta is starting an undrafted rookie at center Sunday.

"The last three weeks, our third-down percentage has been horrible," said White, who is struggling through a subpar season with five drops to go with his 28 catches for 353 yards and three touchdowns. "We've got to get ahead of the chains and execute. It's unacceptable for us to go three-and-out, three-and-out. It puts a lot of pressure on our defense."

That defense is likely to be without starting tackle Jonathan Babineaux, who normally provides much of the pocket-collapsing push up the middle. He has not practiced this week in London and is listed as questionable. Rookie lineman Ra'Shede Hageman has looked unimpressive in relief.

One bright spot on the injury front could be slot receiver Harry Douglas, who has missed the past four games with an injured foot. He resumed limited practice Thursday and coach Mike Smith said he could be a game-time decision. His return would give Ryan his full complement of perimeter targets, including Julio Jones and Devin Hester, since the Falcons' last win: a 56-14 home thrashing of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sept. 18.

During daily drills since Wednesday at the suburban training grounds of London's Arsenal soccer club, the Falcons have spent extra time working on special-teams blocking. The hope is that Hester, the team's primary punt and kickoff returner, can take one to the end zone for the first time since the demolition of the Bucs. Anticipated windy, damp conditions Sunday make short kickoffs inside London's soft-turf Wembley Stadium a possibility.

"We've been working on our returns this week to try to get Devin loose," White said. "We know if we can get him a little crease out there, then he can make things happen for us."

Smith did something unusual to get his whole squad loose at the end of Friday's practice: trying their hand at Arsenal-style football.

As Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger watched from behind the goal, London-born defensive end Osi Umenyiora, 6-foot-8 tight end Levine Toilolo, punter Matt Bosher, and White took turns making soccer strikes in a penalty shootout. Falcons assistant equipment manager Kenny Osuwah proved too much for them in goal, saving several shots; Umenyiora's bounced off the right post.

Then a teenager from Arsenal's youth academy, who had been practicing on a nearby field, stepped forward and effortlessly side-footed the ball into the net past a diving Osuwah. The rest of the Falcons roared in laughter.

"We felt like we wanted to do some English football," Smith said with a smile. "We found out our guys aren't really good at it."

___

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

News Topics: Sports, Athlete injuries, NFL football, Soccer, Athlete health, Professional football, Football, Professional soccer, Men's soccer, Men's sports

People, Places and Companies: Matt Ryan, Roddy White, Jake Matthews, Jonathan Babineaux, Ra'Shede Hageman, Harry Douglas, Mike Smith, Julio Jones, Devin Hester, Osi Umenyiora, Levine Toilolo, Matt Bosher, United Kingdom, London, Western Europe, Europe, England

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Among pigs and cows, Miss Uganda contestants get lessons in farming

New Europe News - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 16:37
by  Associated Press Miss Uganda contestants compete in farming by RODNEY MUHUMUZA, Associated Press - 24 October 2014 11:37-04:00

WOBULENZI, Uganda (AP) — When the Miss Uganda contestants arrived at this sprawling farm outside Kampala, they quickly realized their high-heels would not be useful. So they put on gumboots and strutted awkwardly as they took turns learning how to milk a cow.

The scene is just what the organizers of Uganda's annual beauty pageant wanted: Beautiful women getting their hands dirty to promote farming.

This was not always the case. In part to give the pageant an extra edge after years of flagging popularity, the Miss Uganda Foundation sought a partnership with the military, which earlier this year was ordered by Uganda's long-serving president to promote agriculture.

The Miss Uganda contest, both parties agreed, would be a good platform to market agriculture among thousands of young Ugandans who abandon often-fertile farmland in their villages in order to try their luck in Kampala, the Ugandan capital, where jobs are increasingly few.

The beauty contest is to be held Saturday.

"Miss Uganda is a role model, especially to the young people. If Miss Uganda is rallying around agriculture, we expect a number of people to run and chase the dream," said Janet Nalugya, who coordinates projects for the Miss Uganda Foundation. "We also thought it was a way of helping to solve the problem of unemployment, and we thought agriculture would be a good way to start."

Many among the 20 Miss Uganda finalists — who range in age from 18 to 24 and include an orthopedist as well as a journalism student — grew up in Kampala and had never before been on a farm. Some said the experience has been fun, especially learning how to milk a cow.

"It felt so good. I was like, 'Oh my God! This is the milk I take every day," said 23-year-old Flavia Constance Ibyara, who recently graduated from law school.

Although there will be a catwalk on Oct. 25, when the winner will be announced, the contestants are being judged for the enthusiasm and creativity they showed on the government-owned farm. Each was tasked with producing a business plan that they might implement when the competition is over. One young woman said she wanted to use her brother's idle land near Kampala to grow corn. Another said she wanted to go into piggery.

"There is a lot of money in agriculture. This also was to say to the youth, 'Look, instead of having salons or boutiques, why not get involved in agriculture because agriculture also pays,'" said Kihura Nkuba, a Ugandan businessman who acts as chief strategist for a military program dubbed Operation Wealth Creation.

Despite the enthusiasm among many Ugandans over the new purpose for the Miss Uganda contest, the involvement of the military has rankled some who question if the military should be involved in such matters in this East African country of 36 million people.

News Topics: General news, Beauty pageants, Entertainment, Arts and entertainment

People, Places and Companies: Uganda, Kampala, East Africa, Africa

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Q&A: Actress Anna Kendrick talks about modeling, movies and music

New Europe News - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 16:31
by  Associated Press Q&A: Anna Kendrick on modeling, movies and music by NICOLE EVATT, Associated Press - 24 October 2014 11:31-04:00

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Anna Kendrick is in the holiday spirit.

"I want it to be Christmas already! I just want to throw a soiree," the bubbly actress said during a recent interview.

Kendrick certainly looked the part, wearing a red, sleeveless party dress with a big, silk bow on the back.

The outfit from Kate Spade New York's holiday collection is featured in the company's upcoming advertising campaign starring Kendrick.

But don't call the 29-year-old a model.

"If I had for one moment considered it modeling, I probably would've had a freakout," she said.

Instead, Kendrick approached the photo shoot like a film role and got into character by discussing back stories with older male models on the set.

"Weirdly it felt a lot more like my day job than it did like modeling," she said, adding "eww!" with a grimace as she spit out the M-word.

Along with the ads, Kendrick teamed with the brand for its 2015 "The Year of Adventure" campaign where she will collaborate on film and social media projects.

In a recent interview, Kendrick discussed her foray into fashion, having a Cinderella moment in "Into the Woods" (due out at Christmas) and her next big adventure.

_____

AP: What's it like being a spokesmodel?

Kendrick: Kate Spade has really embraced me being me, which is great because it would be a lot harder to not be. So you know I'm glad that they don't mind a little quirk and a little sass.

AP: Did you have a favorite look from the holiday campaign?

Kendrick: I think my favorite was this white swing dress that shows off your shoulders and has this beautiful embellished collar. That was just really fun to be in and that was the first shot that we did that day. And just playing with my male models for the day was so much fun, just sort of twirling around in this white dress.

AP: Where do you get your sense of style?

Kendrick: (My mom) was always a fan of just really elegant, sophisticated pieces. I mean we grew up in Maine, so we didn't have a lot of call for black tie or anything, but I think I definitely got that sensibility from her.

AP: You starting working with Kate Spade while playing Cinderella in Disney's "Into the Woods." What was it like balancing those worlds?

Kendrick: Well, these clothes are a lot more comfortable because (costume designer) Colleen Atwood is a genius, but she does not care if you can't breathe. ... The costumes in that movie are so exquisite and they're completely authentic. ... It's lots of layers and somebody had to help me get dressed every morning because you can't do up a corset yourself. So I felt like I was actually in 'Downton Abbey.'

AP: You have three upcoming musicals: "Into the Woods," ''The Last 5 Years" and "Pitch Perfect 2." Coming from a musical theater background, is this your dream come true?

Kendrick: I was so excited when it started to feel like people are going to make movie musicals again. So I mean it wasn't my master plan, but I'm really happy that that is a trend that is happening and I hope it stays.

AP: Your hit single "Cups" from the first "Pitch Perfect" film sold nearly 3 million tracks. Would you like to record an album?

Kendrick: Hell no. The music industry seems scary to me. I mean the film industry is crazy enough so the music industry to me seems like the wild, wild West. Like I would just never dare.

AP: The campaign is called "The Year of Adventure." Are you the adventurous type?

Kendrick: I feel like I have some adventuring to catch up on because I've been leading this incredible, busy, beautiful life through my work. So I'm hoping to actually be with friends and family this year and maybe go someplace where I don't have to make a movie for 14 hours a day.

___

Online:

http://www.katespade.com

___

Follow Nicole Evatt at http://twitter.com/NicoleEvatt

News Topics: Arts and entertainment, Lifestyle, Movies, Fashion, Entertainment, Beauty and fashion, Musical theater, Music, Theater, Performing arts, Celebrity fashion, Celebrity, Fashion design

People, Places and Companies: Anna Kendrick, Kate Spade, Colleen Atwood

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Kerry urges NKorea to free remaining Americans but rules out an apology

New Europe News - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 16:28
by  Associated Press Kerry says no apology to NKorea to free Americans Associated Press - 24 October 2014 11:28-04:00

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry is ruling out a U.S. apology to North Korea to secure the release of two detained Americans.

Kerry said Friday North Korea should free Matthew Miller and Kenneth Bae because they are being held "inappropriately."

North Korea on Tuesday released another American, Jeffrey Fowle, who had been held for six months after he was arrested for leaving a Bible in a nightclub

Kerry said the U.S. is delighted that Fowle is back home, and hopes North Korea will recognize that it could build goodwill and "open up a diplomatic track" in tense relations between Washington and Pyongyang by releasing the other two.

He was speaking at after a joint meeting of the top diplomats and defense officials of close U.S. ally, South Korea.

News Topics: General news

People, Places and Companies: John Kerry, North Korea, United States, East Asia, Asia, North America

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Chad Mendes out for redemption against home-crowd favorite Jose Aldo in UFC 179 in Brazil

New Europe News - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 16:28
by  Associated Press Mendes out for redemption against Aldo in UFC 179 by TALES AZZONI, Associated Press - 24 October 2014 11:28-04:00

SAO PAULO (AP) — Chad Mendes is finally getting his chance for payback against his UFC rival Jose Aldo.

In a highly anticipated championship fight in the featherweight division, Mendes is back in Rio de Janeiro to face the home-crowd favorite in UFC 179 on Saturday.

Aldo, the only champion the division has known, defeated the American with a first-round knockout in Rio in 2012. The rematch at the Maracanazinho arena brings together the top two featherweight fighters in mixed martial arts.

In another fight Saturday, Brazilian Glover Teixeira (22-3), who fell short in his challenge to light heavyweight champion Jon Jones in his previous fight, will face American Phil Davis (12-2), the former NCAA wrestling national champion.

Mendes has been dominant since his lone career defeat two years ago, winning four of his next five fights by knockout.

"This is a huge fight for me, all about redemption, payback," Mendes told UFC.com. "This is something I've been waiting for for a couple of years now. I had the opportunity once in Brazil against him and it just didn't go my way."

Mendes lost with one second left in the opening round in 2012, falling flat on his back after Aldo's powerful knee strike to his face, a knockout that ignited a raucous celebration by the Brazilian crowd.

"I trained so hard and I was so ready, and I didn't get to use any of it," Mendes said. "I didn't get to push through anything."

He said things will be different this time.

"(Aldo) hasn't had a reason to change things up because he's been beating everybody, but I've changed my game," Mendes said. "I've grown up and matured a lot, and I truly believe this will be a different fight. I'm gonna be the guy to get in there and test his heart. I'm going to get him out of his comfort zone."

Mendes (16-1) guarantees he has learned from his mistakes and has "changed dramatically" since his first fight against the Brazilian.

"I'm ready to get back in there and prove to the world I am the best featherweight. Now is the time," he said. "I'm in his head. In the back of his mind he knows his time is up and that I'm going to take his belt."

Aldo (24-1) will be fighting to keep his belt and extend a 14-fight winning streak, the second longest behind Anderson Silva's 16 victories from 2006 to 2012.

"(Mendes) is a dangerous guy, but he (hasn't) fought a striker (like me) after our fight," Aldo said. "He is of course more experienced. This could change a few things."

Aldo also will be fighting for national pride, currently the only Brazilian UFC champion among all weight divisions.

"I did everything I could in terms of preparation," he said. "Now it's time to go fight and to win again."

___

Follow Tales Azzoni at http://www.twitter.com/tazzoni

News Topics: Sports, Mixed martial arts, Men's martial arts, Martial arts, Men's sports

People, Places and Companies: Jon Jones, Anderson Silva, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, South America, Latin America and Caribbean

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Architect Frank Gehry shocks with obscene gesture, biting comments about modern architecture

New Europe News - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 16:27
by  Associated Press Architect Frank Gehry shocks with obscene gesture Associated Press - 24 October 2014 11:27-04:00

MADRID (AP) — Architect Frank Gehry traveled to Spain to receive a prestigious award but shocked his hosts by responding to a reporter's question with an obscene gesture and making contemptuous comments about most modern architecture.

The American-Canadian was in the northern city of Oviedo to accept one of Spain's Prince of Asturias prizes Friday.

Local media reported that on the eve of the ceremony, Gehry reacted with a rude gesture at a news conference when asked if his work was based on spectacle.

Gehry said 98 percent of buildings today lack sensitivity and respect for humanity, according to El Pais.

He has created the Guggenheim Museum in Spain, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris, an arts center sponsored by the LVMH Fashion Group.

News Topics: Arts and entertainment, General news, Celebrity, Entertainment, Architecture

People, Places and Companies: Frank Gehry, Louis Vuitton, Spain, Western Europe, Europe

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Aging while raging: Punk pioneer Joan Jett relishes rockin' role-model gig

New Europe News - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 15:34
by  Associated Press Punk icon Joan Jett savors rockin' role-model gig by KILEY ARMSTRONG, Associated Press - 24 October 2014 10:34-04:00

NEW YORK (AP) — "Can't stay at home, can't stay at school! Old folks say: 'Ya poor little fool!'"

Punk pioneer Joan Jett doesn't give a spit if you lump her in with old folks. The "wild girl" in the incendiary anthem "Cherry Bomb" embraces aging while raging — and, at 56, relishes her gig as a rockin' role model.

On Thursday night, the snarlingly sensuous singer-guitarist, flanked by famous friends and fresh-faced acolytes, provided the three-chord thrash as she was named Rocker of the Year at the jubilant Little Kids Rock educational fundraiser. Alice Cooper presented the award. Other performers included Billie Joe Armstrong and Tommy James, who sang "Crimson and Clover" with Jett.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2015 nominee, who co-founded the seminal group the Runaways at age 16, spent decades fending off music industry males who snubbed and humiliated female rockers. While the glass ceiling is still not entirely shattered, "there are girls playing rock 'n' roll in every city I go to," Jett said in an interview with The Associated Press.

These days, Jett's ferocious philosophy is tempered: count your blessings; welcome challenges; find your passion; honor your parents; "be kind but don't take any crap."

"Aspects of me are very confident. I'm also very shy," confesses the woman who struts around the stage with flaring nostrils and arched brow, tenderized by a wink or wry smile.

Post 1980s inflation and technology have recalculated "I Love Rock and Roll's" route to the dance floor ("so put another dime in the jukebox, baby"). But Jett's take-no-prisoners pathos roars on in Generation L.K.R.

"She is the queen of rock; I've been listening to her all my life," singer-songwriter Tsi Shaffer, 17, of Jersey City, New Jersey, said before performing. "She's iconic because she's such a strong woman."

Little Kids Rock, which provides instruments and lessons for budget-strapped schools, makes young rockers want to cruise in the education lane.

Who wouldn't when you're surrounded — even for a single, shooting-star night — by old-school cool like Jett and Rock Hall denizens Cooper, Darlene Love and Steven Van Zandt?

Instrumentalist-vocalist Jake Clemons, doing his own thing after globe-trotting with Bruce Springsteen, received the Big Man of the Year award named for his uncle, the late E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons.

Performers from Franklin L. Williams Middle School in Jersey City, New Jersey, and Manhattan's Lower Community Middle School and Public School 98 held their own amid the masters at the Hammerstein Ballroom.

Jett's parents bought her a $30 guitar when she was 13. Her teacher looked at her strangely when she wanted to rock. She soon figured it out herself.

"When you're a kid," she says, "you're naive" and "figure you can conquer the world. You don't think about obstacles."

Still, she acknowledges it was "life and death ... scary" when 23 record companies rebuffed her first solo album.

The rejection was actually a "blessing" — prompting producer Kenny Laguna and his wife to sink their meager life savings into Blackheart Records.

Jett peddled her vinyl "out of the trunk of the car."

This year, the doting aunt and cat-mom dominated "Smells Like Teen Spirit" with Nirvana at the Rock Hall show in Brooklyn and appeared in a Stephen King-based Lifetime movie.

Riper themes inform her art: the "devastating" loss of parents and friends; midlife "freakouts."

Rock keeps you mentally young, but maturity has its advantages.

"Some aspects of being young were difficult," says Jett. "Being too much in your mind." Even a rebel can "worry about what people think about you, say about you."

The grown Joan knows how to "take a step back and breathe."

___

Online:

http://www.littlekidsrock.org/

https://rockhall.com/inductees/nominees/joan-jett-and-the-blackhearts/

http://www.joanjett.com/

News Topics: Arts and entertainment, Music, Entertainment, Rock music, Celebrity

People, Places and Companies: Joan Jett, Alice Cooper, Billie Joe Armstrong, Tommy James, Darlene Love, Steven Van Zandt, Bruce Springsteen, Clarence Clemons, Jersey City, New York City, New Jersey, United States, North America, New York

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Categories: News

FIS postpones introduction of air bag system aimed at protecting skier during crash

New Europe News - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 15:29
by  Associated Press FIS postpones introduction of air bags in skiing Associated Press - 24 October 2014 10:29-04:00

SOELDEN, Austria (AP) — Alpine skiing's governing body is postponing the introduction of an air bag system aimed at improving safety in speed racing.

FIS says the back protectors cannot be approved yet as their shape doesn't comply with existing equipment rules. The protector is worn under the suit and activates a built-in air bag as soon as a skier crashes.

FIS has been working on the development of the system for four years with Italian manufacturer Dainese. Prototypes were tested last season and FIS planned to start using them at the World Cup in Val Gardena, Italy, on Dec. 19-20.

Men's race director, Markus Waldner, says the protectors "are not ready to be approved and they cannot be used in the races. So we continue working on it."

News Topics: Sports, Men's skiing, Skiing, Men's sports

People, Places and Companies: Austria, Western Europe, Europe

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Image of Asia: Taking in the 'Wind Stone' and the sea

New Europe News - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 15:25
by  Associated Press Image of Asia: The 'Wind Stone' and the sea by The Associated Press, Associated Press - 24 October 2014 10:25-04:00

In this photo by Rob Griffith, a couple sit on rocks at a Sydney beach near a sculpture titled "Wind Stone - The Threshold of Consciousness," created by Japanese-Australian artist Koichi Ishino. It's part of the Sculpture By The Sea exhibition on display until Nov. 9 around Sydney. The popular exhibition in its 18th year also features a giant frying pan, a breaching whale, a rhinoceros and other sculptures. This year's main prize winner, American Peter Lundberg, whose "ring" looks like a misshapen bronze circle, said the exhibition is one of the best around because of the view of the surrounding landscape.

News Topics: Arts and entertainment, General news, Sculpture, Visual arts

People, Places and Companies: Australia, Sydney, Oceania

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Categories: News

Andy Murray fights back to beat Kevin Anderson and reach Valencia Open semifinals

New Europe News - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 15:24
by  Associated Press Murray rallies past Anderson at Valencia Open Associated Press - 24 October 2014 10:24-04:00

VALENCIA, Spain (AP) — Andy Murray fought back to beat Kevin Anderson of South Africa 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-4 to reach the semifinals of the Valencia Open on Friday.

The third-seeded Murray will face either top-seeded David Ferrer or Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci.

Anderson, the seventh seed, edged Murray in a first set that featured several attractive long rallies on the indoor hard court.

But after both traded breaks in the second set, Murray took control when he broke Anderson with another backhand winner before he then served out with an ace to level at 1-1.

The Scot's momentum carried over into the third set where he broke Anderson's first service game before closing out the match in two hours, 43 minutes.

News Topics: Sports, Men's tennis, Tennis, Men's sports

People, Places and Companies: Andy Murray, Kevin Anderson, David Ferrer, Thomaz Bellucci, Spain, Valencia, Western Europe, Europe

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Latvian police arrest 8 people suspected of match fixing, including a Champions League game

New Europe News - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 15:13
by  Associated Press 8 people arrested in Latvia in match-fixing probe Associated Press - 24 October 2014 10:13-04:00

RIGA, Latvia (AP) — Latvian police say eight people have been arrested on suspicion of fixing a Champions League qualifying-round game last year.

Police spokesman Dairis Anucins says Friday that two players from Latvian champions Daugavpils were among those arrested.

Two club officials and four people with "ties" to the club were also arrested.

Anucins says police also are investigating "about five or six" Latvian league games played this year and last.

Anucins says one suspect remains in custody while the others have been released but remain "under police control." All were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of match-fixing, money laundering and tax fraud.

UEFA alleges that a Champions League second qualifying round game on July 17, 2013, between Daugavpils and Swedish club Elfsborg was fixed. The Swedish side won 7-1 with six second-half goals.

News Topics: Sports, Arrests, Corruption in sports, UEFA Champions League, Men's soccer, Professional soccer, Soccer, Law and order, General news, Crime, Events, Men's sports

People, Places and Companies: Latvia, Eastern Europe, Europe

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Categories: News

Sales of new US homes tick up 0.2 pct in September; revisions wipe away much of August surge

New Europe News - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 15:03
by  Associated Press US new-home sales close to flat in September by JOSH BOAK, Associated Press - 24 October 2014 10:03-04:00

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. sales of new homes were essentially flat in September, after the government sharply revised downward what was initially an August surge in buying.

The Commerce Department says new-home sales edged up 0.2 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 467,000. The report also revised down the August sales rate to 466,000 from 504,000.

The pace of sales for newly built homes has improved a mere 1.7 percent so far this year compared to 2013. Only the South has experienced gains in buying year-to-date.

Housing has struggled to fully rebound since the recession ended more than five years ago. Many potential buyers lack the savings and strong credit history needed to afford a home, causing them to rent or remain in their existing houses instead of upgrading.

News Topics: Business, General news, Home sales, New residential sales, Home buying, Economy, Real estate, Construction put in place, Construction sector performance, Residential real estate, Lifestyle

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News

Macedonia: 2 gay rights activists are hurt in attack by 30 people throwing rocks, bottles

New Europe News - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 15:02
by  Associated Press Macedonia: Gay activists hurt in cafe attack Associated Press - 24 October 2014 10:02-04:00

SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — Police say about 30 people wearing masks and throwing rocks and bottles have attacked members of a gay rights activist group in Macedonia, wounding two of them.

Friday's assault occurred at a coffee shop in the Old Bazaar section of Skopje, the capital, as the LGBT Association of Macedonia was celebrating its second anniversary there.

Uranija Pirovska, leader of the local office of the rights group Helsinki Committee, said it was the sixth organized attack against gays in Macedonia in two years.

He urged the country's conservative government to issue a strong public condemnation.

The government has promised to create a constitutional amendment that would effectively outlaw gay marriage in Macedonia.

News Topics: General news, Gays and lesbians, Gay rights, Political activism, Human rights and civil liberties, Social issues, Social affairs, Political issues, Government and politics

People, Places and Companies: Macedonia, Skopje, Eastern Europe, Europe

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Categories: News