Sunday, 31 July 2016

Gigi Hadid Wears a Butt-Baring Bathing Suit for Her Latest Fashion Photo Shoot

Gigi Hadid and her fashion father Tommy Hilfiger have been very busy lately. Hot on the heels of her campaign for Hilfiger’s brand new fragrance, The Girl, the 21-year-old model was seen shooting a new project with the brand in L.A.

Hadid was snapped on set sporting a cheeky, red-and-white-striped suit a cutout neckline, which was paired with a denim, patch-covered bomber jacket from Hilfiger’s resort 2017 line and patriotic lace-up wedges. The model also wore a white t-shirt with a large “H” in the center, blue high-waisted patchwork jeans, and a red bomber, followed by a white-on-white outfit during the shoot.

RELATED PHOTOS: Unforgettable! 13 Times Gigi Hadid Wore Her Name on Her Clothes

Hadid, who announced her role as the Global Brand Ambassador for Tommy Hilfiger late last year, will be launching a capsule collection called Gigi by Tommy Hilfiger this fall. The line will include clothing, footwear, and accessories.

RELATED VIDEO: Gigi Hadid Reveals Which Sports Illustrated Bikini Shot Zayn Loves Most!

“I never thought I would be asked to design a capsule collection, so it still feels like a dream that Tommy approached me to collaborate … There are styles that are really hippie-chic, styles that are sporty streetwear, and styles that are tomboy but girly; everyone’s is going to love a different part of it,” she said about the line.

And it’s no surprise that Hilfiger chose to collaborate with model of the moment. He recently told PeopleStyle, “[Gigi’s] relaxed, chic and she’s beyond a supermodel. She’s a super person. She’s an Instagram star. She’s the woman of today.”

At least 16 dead in hot air balloon crash in Texas

At least 16 people aboard a hot air balloon died Saturday when it apparently caught fire and crashed in a corn field in central Texas, in the deadliest such accident in the USA in decades.

Caldwell County sheriff's deputies responding to a 911 call about an apparent vehicle accident instead found the burned basket portion of a hot air balloon, the sheriff's office said in a statement.

The balloon crashed into farmland under a stretch of high-power electrical transmission lines in a field outside the town of Maxwell, about 30 miles south of Austin. Authorities did not immediately say what caused the crash.

The accident occurred shortly after 7:40 a.m. local time, Lynn Lunsford with theFederal Aviation Administration said in a statement. Investigators with the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board were en route to the scene. The FBI office in San Antonio said Saturday afternoon that it would assist the NTSB in the investigation.

Erik Grosof of the NTSB said at a news conference Saturday that a "significant" investigation will be conducted. He would not provide an exact number of dead, only saying there were a "number of fatalities" and a "significant loss of life."

Earlier, the Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed 16 people were killed. The sheriff's office said at least 16 people were on board the balloon and it appeared there were no survivors.

More federal officials will arrive to the scene Sunday, Grosof added. Local officials will release the names of the pilots and passengers in Saturday's crash in Texas after notifying relatives. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statement to ask "all of Texas to join us in praying for those lost."

Heart of Texas Hot Air Balloon Rides owned and operated the balloon, according to the Austin American-Statesman. The company's website says it services the Austin, San Antonio and Houston areas with up to 24 people allowed on a flight.

Margaret Wylie, who lives about a quarter-mile from the crash site, told The Associated Press she was letting her dog out early Saturday when she heard a “pop, pop, pop.” She said she called 911.

“I looked around and it was like a fireball going up,” she said, noting the fireball was located under large power lines.

Fatal accidents like this are "very rare," said Dean Carlton, president of the 2,100 member Balloon Federation of America. “It’s been a pretty tough day for our community,” he said, adding hot air ballooning is “safe, fun entertainment."

Between 1964 and 2013, the NTSB investigated 760 hot air balloon accidents in the U.S., of which 67 were fatal. Carlton said accidents typically occur due to a variety of factors, including wind, weather and crashing into power lines.

The FAA regulates hot air balloons, which use propane gas to heat the air that rises into the balloon and lifts it, as it regulates any other aircraft. Hot air balloon pilots must be certified and the balloons must have an air worthiness certificate. The FAA inspects the balloons used for commercial ventures after 100 hours of flight time or at least once a year.

Before Saturday, the deadliest air balloon accident in recent decades in the U.S. occurred in Aspen, Colo., in August 1993, when six people were killed when a balloon hit a power line, tearing off the basket and sending it plunging 100 feet to the ground.

One of the deadliest air balloon disasters on record occurred in Luxor, Egypt, in February 2013 when a ballon caught fire and plunged 1,000 feet to the ground, crashing into a field and killing at least 19 foreign tourists.

Fatalities have been rare in the U.S. in the past five years. In May 2014, three people died when the balloon they were on struck a power line and burst into flames during a landing attempt at a Caroline County, Va., festival. In March 2012, a balloon pilot died after his balloon was unable to climb over a fast-developing hail storm and crashed into the woods in Fitzgerald, Ga.

The hot air balloon capital of the USA is Albuquerque, N.M., Carlton said, because it has the largest collection of pilots and a unique micro climate that’s dry most of the year, making it easy to fly in the morning.

Contributing: Jefferson Graham

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Book Comes Out Tonight And Everyone's Freaking Out

You wouldn’t think a play in book form would be the most-anticipated novel of the year, and yet here we are. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts 1 & 2, the printed script of the West End play, debuts at midnight Sunday and the world is going nuts.

Barnes & Noble said the eighth book in the story of Harry Potter is already the book retailer’s most pre-ordered book since, well, the seventh book, which originally sold over 8-million copies in 24 hours in the US. It’s also on the top bestseller list on Amazon. The upcoming release is being celebrated at more than five-thousand bookstores and libraries Saturday night, with midnight release parties featuring costume contests, wizard rock bands, magic shows, and lots of butterbeer.

The Cursed Child novel is a direct script-to-book adaptation of the two-part stage drama, which picks up 19 years after the original books ended. The play had its gala opening Saturday at London’s Palace Theatre. Producers aren’t releasing ticket sales figures yet, but it likely doesn’t matter. According to CBS, the play is already a hit. The show is sold out through December 2017 and another 250,000 tickets go on sale next month.

Cursed Child isn’t the only reason Potter fans are going nuts this weekend. They’re getting ready for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the first spinoff film in the Potterverse saga, as well as a year of equally fantastic content in 2017 to celebrate the series’ 20th anniversary in the US.

It also happens to be Harry Potter’s birthday. When Potter was 11 years old on July 31, he got the invitation to join Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He also shares his special day with his creator, Rowling. Freeform is celebrating with a weekend-long marathon of all seven Harry Potter films (because of course they are).

How are you celebrating Potter Weekend? Let us know in the comments!

Winning ticket for $478 million Powerball jackpot sold in New Hampshire

A ticket sold in New Hampshire matched the winning numbers for Saturday's $478 million Powerball draw, a lottery official told Reuters.

The winning numbers - 11, 17, 21, 23, 32, and Powerball number 5 - were draw at 11 p.m. EDT on Saturday. There was no immediate announcement of other winning tickets.

In some past drawings, the jackpot has been split between multiple tickets with matching numbers.

It was the fifth largest jackpot in the game's history and the eighth-biggest lottery prize ever in the United States.

The California Lottery tweeted that three tickets sold in the state had matched five numbers but were missing the Powerball number. Those tickets were sold in Long Beach, Capitola and Sunnyvale.

It was 24th drawing since a ticket last won the jackpot on May 7 with all six matching numbers.

The Powerball game is based on lottery tickets sold for $2 apiece. It is played in 44 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

If a single ticket wins, it will be worth the winner's choice of $478 million spread over 30 years or $330.6 million in a lump-sum payment, before federal taxes.

A $429.6 million winning Powerball ticket was sold in New Jersey, and two weeks after a $540 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot was clinched in Indiana.

The largest lottery prize offered in North America was a Powerball jackpot worth nearly $1.6 billion for winning tickets sold in California, Tennessee and Florida in January.

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Thursday, 28 July 2016

The controversy over Donald Trump's ties to Russia, explained

On Wednesday, Donald Trump did something extraordinary even for him: He called on a foreign power to launch an espionage operation against his chief political opponent, hacking into Hillary Clinton’s email server to find 30,000 emails she allegedly deleted.

"Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,"Trump said. "I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press."

When Trump said it, it didn’t sound like a joke — especially in light of recent events. Over the weekend, WikiLeaks released about 19,000 emails that were stolen from the DNC servers by hackers who were almost certainly linked to the Russian state. These emails included talk of a (never-realized) plot to attack Bernie Sanders on his religion, a revelation that exacerbated divisions inside the Democratic Party and thus seemingly helped Trump’s political chances.

All of this has raised one big question: What the hell is going on with Trump and Russia?

The answer appears to be twofold. First, the Kremlin appears to be interfering in the US election in a way likely to help Trump become president. Whether or not that’s the intent of the meddling, that is the result.

Second, Trump is deeply, weirdly pro-Russian.

Trump’s proposed foreign policy would, intentionally or no, aid Vladimir Putin in ways the Russian dictator could only dream about before Trump. Trump has repeatedly expressed wild admiration for Putin personally; his campaign staff and businesses have extensive ties to Russian interests.

These facts have led to wilder theories about the Kremlin plotting to elect Trump, or even that Trump might be doing Russia’s bidding. This speculation is just that: speculation. It’s less important than the hard facts about Trump and Russia.

And the hard facts are these: Trump's policy instincts are objectively pro-Kremlin and the sources of information that shape his policy ideas (his advisers and business interests) serve to reinforce rather than challenge these instincts. If the Kremlin is helping Trump win the election, it would be a perfectly rational thing for them to do.

What follows is a guide to all the big issues surrounding Trump and Russia: Putin’s role in the campaign, Trump’s policies on Russia, and Trump’s personal connections to the Russian state.

Warning: It gets pretty weird, and pretty deep, fast.
Russia appears to be helping Trump win

To understand Trump’s comments about hacking Clinton, and why they are so controversial, you need to understand a little bit about the DNC hack that came before it.

The DNC hack was detected in April 2016 and made public on June 14. By that point, hackers had access to DNC servers for about a year — and had stolen huge amounts of information, including thousands of emails, chatlogs, and documents.

CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity contractor employed by the DNC, initially traced the hack to two hacking groups — called Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear — widely believed to be sponsored by the Russian government. "We’ve had lots of experience with both of these actors attempting to target our customers in the past and know them well," CrowdStrike CTO Dmitri Alperovitch wrote in a blog post about the hack.

But on June 15, a hacker named Guccifer 2.0 claimed responsibility for the hack. His name is a reference to Marcel Lazăr Lehel, — a now-jailed Romanian hacker who famously claimed to have hacked Hillary Clinton’s private email server. Lehel’s nome-deplume was, you guessed it, Guccifer.

Guccifer 2.0 claimed to be a Romanian lone wolf, with no ties to Russian intelligence or any other organization. But shortly after Guccifer 2.0, evidence emerged that it was a false identity — that the hack was, as originally reported, Russian intelligence.

For one thing, Guccifer 2.0 doesn’t appear to speak Romanian. Vice’s Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai interviewed him, mostly in English but with a few Romanian questions peppered in. Guccifer tried to dodge chatting in his allegedly native language, and, per Franceschi-Bicchierai, "the few short sentences he sent in Romanian were filled with mistakes."

For another, two other cybersecurity firms investigated the hack, and found direct evidence supporting CrowdStrike’s conclusions. Perhaps most compellingly, they found that the malware infecting the DNC used an IP address that had previously been used in a hack targeting the German parliament. The German hack was — you guessed it — linked to Russian intelligence. It’s very unlikely that some other hacking group would use such similar code.

"The forensic evidence linking the DNC breach to known Russian operations is very strong," Thomas Rid, a professor at King’s College who studies cybersecurity, wrote inVice. "The forensic evidence that links network breaches to known groups is solid: used and reused tools, methods, infrastructure, even unique encryption keys."

Then, between the Republican and Democratic national conventions, WikiLeaks released a trove of 19,000 documents from a DNC hack. Suspicion immediately fell on Russian intelligence: After all, they were the only group widely believed to have penetrated DNC servers and extracted documents.

Close examination of the documents’ metadata found tell-tale traces of Russian work.

A security researcher, known on Twitter as @PwnAllTheThings, found that a user named Felix Dzerzhinsky modified the documents before release. The name Dzerzhinsky references the founder of the Soviet secret police; the kind of hacker who would go by that nome de guerre is probably at least sympathetic to Putin. @PwnAllTheThings also found error messages written in Russian, further suggesting a Russian user had control of the documents before WikiLeaks received them.
The hack fits squarely within Russian strategic doctrine

The bigger picture here is that Russia under Putin has something of a habit of using information as a weapon in foreign countries.

This is born, as the New York Times’ Max Fisher explains, from a traumatic experience Russia had in the mid-2000s. A series of pro-Kremlin strongmen in former Eastern Bloc states were toppled by the so-called "Color Revolutions." In 2011, protests in Moscow threatened the very stability of the Putin regime itself. These were seen, in the paranoid climate of Moscow, as American intelligence operations.

As a result, Russian strategic leaders came to see the internal politics of other countries as a key battlefield.

Fisher points to a 2013 article, by Gen. Valery V. Gerasimov, as key evidence of this new Russian thinking. Gerasimov argued that "non-military means" had eclipsed weapons in their strategic importance. Controlling the information and propaganda environment can inflict serious blows on one’s enemies.

"The role of nonmilitary means of achieving political and strategic goals has grown, and, in many cases, they have exceeded the power of force of weapons in their effectiveness," Gerasimov writes. He advocates using "military means of a concealed character," including "actions of informational conflict" in order to accomplish Russian strategic objectives.

Gerasimov’s article uses the Arab Spring as a key example, which is telling. The Arab Spring wasn’t about wars between countries, but rather upheaval inside countries. Gerasimov’s ideas, then, are explicitly designed to be used in attempts to influence other countries’ internal politics and conflicts.

So it’s not just that the hack looks traceable back to Russian hackers. It’s that the strategic effect of the leak — exacerbating existing divisions inside America’s ruling Democratic party — fits squarely within Russian strategic doctrine.

The fact that Trump is seemingly inviting more Russian intervention into US politics, then, is very, very disturbing. He’s basically encouraging Russia to try out Gerasimov’s playbook in the United States.
Trump’s policies are objectively pro-Russia

As the evidence suggesting Russia is behind the leak and the hack mounted, a number of theories have cropped up as to why, exactly, Putin would do this. What’s the ultimate endgame of intensifying the fight between Bernie and Hillary supporters?

Well, here’s the Occam’s Razor explanation: Nothing Russia could do, on its own, would help its foreign policy more than what Trump is proposing. He is literally suggesting the United States transform global politics to make it more favorable to Russian interests.

Trump’s approach to American allies, specifically the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) alliance, is the biggest reason why. Traditionally, American parties have seen its alliance commitments, NATO in particular, as ironclad guarantees — the core part of America’s global strategy.

Trump doesn’t agree. He thinks that alliances are only useful as tools for extracting money. The US is the strongest power in the world, Trump reasons — why protect tiny NATO allies like Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania if they don’t pay up? At the very least,Trump has said, they should spend more on their own defense if they want to expect American protection.

If Trump put his ideas into practice and actually renounced commitments that didn’t do what he wanted, it would destroy NATO. The alliance depends entirely on an ironclad guarantee on behalf of all allies to defend any one of them — that is literally what it does. If the US won’t do that, then NATO is effectively dead letter.

This is music to Putin’s ears. He sees the NATO alliance (correctly!) as a major bulwark against Russian expansionism in eastern Europe, and would be thrilled if it fractured. That would make it far easier to install friendly dictators in small nearby countries, like Estonia, or even annex them entirely.

A Trump victory, then, seems like it might allow Putin to fulfill his fundamental foreign policy goal — reviving Russia’s Soviet-era influence over its region — to a degree previously thought impossible.

Trump seems totally oblivious the fact that he would be throwing US allies under the bus — and, in fact, to Putin’s hostility toward the United States entirely.

For example, he has effusively praised Russia’s bombing campaign in Syria: "What’s wrong with Russia bombing the hell out of ISIS and these other crazies so we don’t have to spend a million dollars a bomb?" Never mind that Russian bombs have targeted the relatively moderate opposition more than ISIS, and that the point is to prop up Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad rather than defeat ISIS.

Trump, alone among American political figures, sees Russia as more of a partner than an adversary — mostly because he doesn’t seem to care about the independence of eastern Europe or Syria’s freedom from dictatorship.

All Trump cares about, instead, is getting more money for the United States, as he’s said: "my whole life I’ve been greedy, greedy, greedy … But now I want to be greedy for the United States. I want to grab all that money." His theories for how to do that — like spending less on alliances and other foreign commitments — line up exactly with a series of Russian foreign policy objectives.

Moreover, Trump seems to admire Putin personally. "I will tell you that, in terms of leadership, he's getting an 'A' and our president is not doing so well," Trump said in a September interview.

He even, weirdly, invented a story about the two of them becoming best buds in the green room before a 60 Minutes episode.

"I got to know him very well because we were both on 60 Minutes, we were stablemates, we did well that night," Trump said in a November GOP debate. This never happened: The two men were interviewed by different journalists on different continents. But it must comfort Putin to know that Trump’s ideas align with Russia’s interest, and Trump himself is deeply impressed by Putin as a leader.

"That Russia is pulling for Trump is at this point beyond any dispute," New Yorkmagazine’s Jonathan Chait writes. "Putin’s Russia has been proven or credibly allegedto have boosted friendly candidates in France, Germany, Austria, and, most successfully, in the election of a pro-Russian government in Ukraine. Something like this seems to be happening in the American presidential election now."

Chait’s "beyond any dispute" is kind of an overstatement. Figuring out what Putin’s exact thoughts on the American election are — well, it’s literal Kremlinology. It’s important to be cautious about what we actually know, as alleging Russian interference in an American election is pretty serious.

But it would make a certain kind of sense. There’s never been a major party candidate in the modern era more friendly to a Russian dictator’s interests.
Trump and his top advisers have taken a lot of money from Russian interests

The speculation on Russia’s motivations has gone well beyond merely alignment.

In its most outlandish form, the theory is that Trump is an actual Russian agent — that he is willfully doing the Kremlin’s bidding in exchange for favors for his Russian business interests.

"If elected, would Donald Trump be Vladimir Putin’s man in the White House? This should be a ludicrous, outrageous question … But we’re talking about a ludicrous, outrageous candidate," Paul Krugman writes. The title of Krugman’s column?

"The Siberian Candidate."

Krugman’s insinuation is … a little hard to believe, even in light of Trump’s suggestion that Russia should hack Clinton’s server. There is no evidence that Trump has personal contact with FSB agents, that he has received payments from Russia, that he makes furtive calls to the Kremlin, or really anything else that we’d associate with secret agent behavior. Until some kind of evidence like this emerges, it’s best to think of "Agent Trump" as nothing more than wild conspiracy theorizing.

And yet, you can see where the conspiracy theorists are coming from.

Trump’s campaign staff and businesses have a disturbing number of connections to Russia and Russian interests. This isn’t exactly evidence of Trump being a secret agent, but it does raise serious questions about the kind of advice that Trump would get in the White House.

Let’s start with Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign manager. Manafort has a long history of working as a lobbyist for unsavory foreign leaders, including Zaire’s Mobutu Sese Seko and the Philippines’ Ferdinand Marcos. Most notably, Manafort worked as a political adviser for deposed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych for years, masterminding his electoral victory in 2010. Yanukovych was a Kremlin stooge, and Manafort appeared to have links to Russian energy sector interests in the mid-2000s.

Trump’s foreign policy team, too, appears to have ties to Russia or a pro-Russian slant. Michael Flynn, a Trump adviser and former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, was rumored to be on Trump’s VP shortlist. Flynn is currently a regular guest on RT, Russia’s English-language propaganda outlet. When he attended RT’s 10th anniversary party, he sat at the head table with Putin himself.

Carter Page, another Trump foreign policy adviser, has served as an adviser for Gazprom, Russia’s state-run energy corporation. As recently as March 2016, he said he owned shares in the company. "Page has defended Russia with relish," Slate’s Franklin Foer writes. "He wrote a column explicitly comparing the Obama administration’s Russia policy to chattel slavery in the American South."

You can see where people get the impression that the Kremlin might wield some direct influence over Trump: Many of his key advisers have business interests that tie back to the Russian state.

Interestingly, so does Trump himself. We can’t be sure exactly how much, as Trump refuses to release his tax returns. But Trump’s own son, Donald Trump Jr., said in 2008 that "Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets."

The Washington Post has a great investigation into Trump’s "30 year" history of trying to build in Russia. I’d encourage you to read the whole thing, but here’s the most relevant bit:

Trump’s partners on a Panama project traveled to Moscow in 2006 to sell condos to Russian investors, according to litigation filed in Florida. Trump also sold a mansion in Palm Beach in 2008 for $95 million to Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev, according to property records. Trump had purchased the mansion at a bankruptcy auction less than four years earlier for $41.4 million, records show.

In 2013, Trump found a new Russian partner for a Moscow real estate project, Aras Agalarov, an Azeri-born real estate developer who is sometimes called the "Trump of Russia" for his tendency to emblazon his name on his development projects.

The Agalarovs are wealthy developers who have received several contracts for state-funded construction projects, a sign of their closeness to the Putin government. Shortly after the pageant, Putin awarded the elder Agalarov the "Order of Honor of the Russian Federation," a prestigious designation.

So Trump not only has a long history of investing in Russia, but he has a recent history of working with pro-Kremlin oligarchs.

As extensive as these ties to Russia are, they still don’t vindicate the secret agent theory. You’d have to be a pretty stupid secret agent to put your admiration for your paymaster out there so publicly.

No, the issue instead is that everything about Trump — his advisers, his personal feelings on Putin, his own business interests — incline him towards seeing things from the Kremlin’s point of view.

It’s easy to see Trump’s pro-Russian policies as a kind of novice mistake. Trump doesn’t know much about foreign policy, the reasoning goes, and so his policy preferences are the result of pure ignorance.

But that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Instead of picking advisers from the anti-Russia neoconservative camp, who dominated GOP foreign policy before Trump, he has drawn some of the most pro-Russia people around. Trump sees Russia as a hot market, and has chosen to get into bed with suspiciously pro-Kremlin figures. He sees Putin as a model leader, not a disturbing authoritarian.

All of this suggests that Trump has thought a fair amount about Russia-related stuff, and come down on the Russian side. Trump’s skepticism about NATO and support for Russia’s intervention in Syria, then, are not incidental parts of his platform. They reflect the candidate’s actual worldview, and likely predict how he would act in office.
How to think about Trump and the Kremlin

So we come back to a basic question: How should we see the Kremlin’s role in the 2016 race?

The right approach, I think, is to avoid focusing too heavily on the question of whether Russia is actively supporting Donald Trump’s candidacy. That’s obviously incendiary, and makes for great headlines. But it’s more-or-less unknowable.

It’s also irrelevant. The key question about any politician isn’t their "real" motivation for doing something; it’s what they actually do when entrusted with power.

On that count, we now know two important facts about Putin and Trump, respectively.

The first is that Russian state interests are likely intervening in an American election, in a way that divides the Democratic party and thus furthers Donald Trump’s electoral ambitions. The Kremlin, wittingly or not, serving as a kind of pro-Trump Super PAC, albeit one with access to hackers.

The second is that Trump is deeply committed to reorienting American foreign policy in a pro-Russian direction. He’s said that he’ll do that, repeatedly, and both his campaign and personal life give us every reason to believe that he’s absolutely serious.

Given the power of the US presidency, Trump could go beyond merely altering American foreign policy: If he’s really serious about it, he could alter the very fundamental fabric of global politics, weakening core institutions like NATO that Russia hates. Hillary Clinton, a solid establishmentarian who’s hated by Russia, would do nothing of the kind.

Those are some pretty high stakes.
Vladimir Putin's odd photo-ops explained

Joe Biden just delivered the Donald Trump takedown nobody else could

Joe Biden started his speech Wednesday at the Democratic National Convention by hailing Michelle Obama's Monday speech as a lock to be the best of this week's Democratic National Convention.

And then he may very well have matched it.

Biden used the distinctly Biden tools at his disposal to assemble a succinct takedown of Donald Trump's vision of America. He navigated the challenge of a crowd that had been unruly at times this week by telling them to quiet down and let him make his points; they did. As he often does, he assured us that he was being serious, honest, and that this was important. He called himself "middle-class Joe." He even got "malarkey" involved.

"He is trying to tell us he cares about the middle class," Biden said of Trump. "Give me a break. That's a bunch of malarkey."

Biden started out by talking about his family and his son, Beau, who died last year. He delivered a tribute to working-class Americans who don't have the kind of support system he does to deal with hard times. He talked about how important Hillary Clinton's presidency would be to his daughters and granddaughters.

And then he turned to Trump and painted the picture of a populist fraud. Trump, he said, was no populist.

"Ladies and gentlemen, to state the obvious -- and I'm not trying to be a wiseguy here, I really mean it -- that's not Donald Trump's story," Biden said.

It would be the first of many asides Biden would use to get the crowd focused. As the crowd began to applaud, Biden shushed them: "Just listen to me for a sec without booing or cheering. I mean this sincerely. We should really think about this."

Political conventions are about applauding and getting riled up, and Biden was asking for the opposite. And the crowd was with him.

"His cynicism is unbounded," Biden said of Trump. "His lack of empathy and compassion can be summed up in a phrase I suspect he's most proud of having made famous: 'You're fired.' I'm not joking; think about that."

This isn't a particularly novel attack on Trump -- that he's a rich guy who likes to fire people. A speechwriter on his or her first day could come up with that. But Biden made it work.

He used humility: "I know I'm called middle-class Joe, and in Washington that's not meant as a compliment. It means you're not sophisticated. But I know why we're strong. I know why we have held together. I know why we are united. It's because we've always had a growing middle class. This guy doesn't have a clue about the middle class -- not a clue."

Biden was uniquely situated to make this case. Trump has used his populist appeal and unique political style to appeal to working-class white voters in a way Republicans haven't before. These are Biden's people, too. In fact, Biden was born and raised in the same hardscrabble Scranton, Pa., that Trump visited just hours before Biden's speech at the Democratic convention.

"He has no clue about what makes America great," Biden said referring to Trump's slogan. "Actually, he has no clue."

And then: "No major-party nominee in the history of this nation has ever known less or has been less prepared to deal with our national security."

He said Trump has "no plan whatsoever" to defeat terrorism and "embraces the tactics of our enemies," such as torture.

These were all harsh attacks -- the kind of red meat that conventions are made for. And Biden delivered the red meat better than anyone at this week's convention.

There was some talk -- mostly Democratic fantasies -- about Biden potentially staying on as vice president, becoming Hillary Clinton's running mate. He would have been very good at it -- especially in the Year of Trump.

Michael Bloomberg endorses Clinton, calls Trump a 'dangerous demagogue'

Philadelphia (CNN)Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg offered Hillary Clinton his resounding endorsement Wednesday night, emerging as her most prominent independent surrogate as he tore into fellow billionaire businessman Donald Trump.
Speaking on the third night of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Bloomberg slammed Trump's business record and called the Republican nominee a "dangerous demagogue" who must be stopped in an explicit appeal to independent voters across the country.
"When I enter the voting booth each time, I look at the candidate, not the party label," Bloomberg, who has had various political affiliations, said in his prime-time speech. "There are times when I disagree with Hillary Clinton. But let me tell you, whatever our disagreements may be, I've come here to say: We must put them aside for the good of our country. And we must unite around the candidate who can defeat a dangerous demagogue."
Bloomberg used his perspective as a businessman, New Yorker and former mayor to hit Trump from multiple angles.
"I'm a New Yorker, and New Yorkers know a con when we see one," he said to cheers from the audience.
"We've heard a lot of talk in this campaign about needing a leader who understands business. I couldn't agree more. I've built a business, and I didn't start it with a million-dollar check from my father," he said in a slam to the real estate mogul's background.
"Throughout his career, Trump has left behind a well-documented record of bankruptcies, thousands of lawsuits, angry shareholders and contractors who feel cheated, and disillusioned customers who feel ripped off," Bloomberg said. "Trump says he wants to run the nation like he's run his business. God help us."
Bloomberg, who became New York's mayor just months after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, said he personally witnessed Clinton's work in public office.
"I saw how Hillary Clinton worked with Republicans in Washington to ensure that New York got the help it needed to recover and rebuild," he said. "Throughout her time in the Senate, we didn't always agree -- but Hillary Clinton always listened. And that's the kind of approach we need in Washington today, and it just has to start in the White House."
RELATED: Michael Bloomberg decides against run for president
Bloomberg joins a long list of Democratic leaders and liberal activists making the case that Clinton is the most experienced candidate for the White House.
But Bloomberg's assault on Trump from the Democratic stage marks a somewhat novel approach from the Clinton campaign as it looks to expand the week's narrative that includes deep-blue pitches from Democratic giants like first lady Michelle Obama and former President Bill Clinton.
As he prepared to speak Wednesday night, advisers to Bloomberg said his goal was to reach independents, moderates and swing voters.
"As one of America's business leaders, Bloomberg has become increasingly concerned about what a Trump presidency would mean for our economy. He will lay out why voters cannot trust Trump to ensure our economic future," an adviser said.
Speeches throughout the week have been a mix of deeply emotional discussions highlighting the history of Clinton's nomination to a lengthy, personal talk from Bill Clinton that sought to soften her image.
Bloomberg's pitch is unusual because he is not a party stalwart -- he used to be a Democrat before becoming a Republican and then an independent.
Bloomberg first won the mayor's office as a Republican but has often stood with Democrats, focusing much of his efforts since leaving office on gun control and fighting climate change.
He considered an independent bid for the White House himself, calling the national debate in February "banal." Bloomberg, who is worth much more than Trump by his own company's estimates, would have likely self-funded a bid but ultimately decided against it.
On Wednesday, Bloomberg said the choice for him in this election has become crystal clear.
"Let's elect a sane, competent person with international experience," he said to the crowd in the arena as well as Americans around the country.
"The bottom line is: Trump is a risky, reckless and radical choice and we can't afford to make that choice," Bloomberg said. "Now, I know Hillary Clinton is not flawless. No candidate is. But she is the right choice and the responsible choice in this election."

CNN's Kevin Bohn contributed to this report.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Nabilla reveals her tattoos in a mini (mini) Bikini (PHOTOS)

sexy nabilla benattia made ​​double blow on social networks. 

It has firstly introduced its temporary tattoos, and secondly, by posing in a mini mini bikini, she has delighted his fans by not hesitating to highlight its generous curves.

Youth (Canal +): Madalina Ghenea is the bomb of the poster?

Her perfect curves haywire Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel on the post of Youth , Paolo Sorrentino film broadcast on Tuesday evening from 8:55 p.m. on Canal +. Madalina Ghenea is the bomb of the poster?

With Youth , Paolo Sorrentino holds a masterpiece. Better dazzling visual symphony and truculent that addresses themes of old age, of time passing, of desire and of creation. The film tells the story of two longtime friends: Fred, a retired conductor, and Mick, filmmaker late in the race. Approaching 80, they enjoy a few days holiday in a nice hotel, lost in the heart of the Alps. If time seems suspended in the mountains, the two buddies are aware that the clock is ticking. Become more active participants in their lives observers, they try to cope with their future ...

>>> SLIDESHOW: Madalina Ghenea, the natural anatomic bomb on Instagram

If the film has met with good reviews when it was presented at Cannes in 2015, he also made ​​about him for his poster. The two main players and within sight indeed, Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel in a pool in the background, in full contemplation of a silhouette, back and naked in the foreground. And sculptural body is none other than Madalina Ghenea , who plays Miss Universe in the feature film. And one can understand it!

>>> Our review of the movie Youth, with Harvey Keitel and Michael Caine

Anatomic bomb 27 years, this pretty actress and Romanian supermodel began her modeling career at age 14, after being spotted by Italian designer Gattinoni. Egeria major brands, walking the catwalks of the world or performing in commercials, she truly began his career as an actress in 2013 when she starred oppositeJude Law in Dom Hemingway . After passing through the small screen in the series Borgia (she plays Dorotea Malatesta), she returned to film in Youth Paolo Sorrentino before making an appearance in Zoolander 2 .

Beautiful as a heart, Madalina Ghenea is not least a young woman engaged, particularly in favor of the Association of Artists for Peace and Justice to help Haiti. She also worked for the renovation of a maternity hospital in Romania.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

There's a part of Obama's trade deal that could become a big problem for Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton and many of her fellow Democrats meeting in Philadelphia hope to show the party unity arguably lacking when the Republicans gathered in Cleveland.

A sticking point to a unified Democratic Party, however, has been the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), one of the most contentious topics of debate between supporters of Clinton and erstwhile rival Bernie Sanders.

Despite significant lobbying, Sanders failed to secure opposition to the TPP in a draft of the Democratic Party platform.

As a result, the TPP could become a key issue in the election this fall. Donald Trump’s antipathy to the deal is well-known, and he managed to convince “the party of free trade” to drop any mention of the TPP in its party platform, whether in support or opposition. And exit polls from the primaries showed that antitrade sentiment was a key driver of support for Sanders over Clinton.

But, as my research on the history of environmental science and diplomacy highlights, there’s one significant drawback of the TPP that neither side has talked about: how it departs from a half-century of diplomatic progress on the environment and human rights.
The TPP’s other flaws

The TPP, a trade accord among a dozen Asia-Pacific countries, has received significant criticism from both sides of the political spectrum. The main concern has been the potential impact on American workers and the U.S. economy.

However, the TPP has other glaring deficiencies that also deserve attention by Congress and the presidential candidates: the poor protection given to the environment, food safety and human rights. There is not a single mention of climate change or human rights in the treaty text. Conservation protections for wildlife are minimal at best.

Foreign companies are granted the ability, for example, to challenge environmental laws of other countries through a controversial clause known as the investor-state dispute settlement system. And the TPP’s environment chapter is weaker than those in previous free trade agreements.

Because of these flaws, more than 1,500 organizations, including major U.S. environmental and humanitarian groups, have come out against the TPP.

While leaked documents from the TPP negotiations suggest the U.S. acquiesced to other countries attempts to weaken the agreement, history shows that tying environmental and human rights issues into larger strategic agreements actually strengthens these treaties.

A number of diplomatic agreements on the most important strategic issues of the last 50 years – namely, nuclear weapons and Soviet influence during the Cold War – have simultaneously advanced environmental protections and humans rights. Examples include the United Nations Convention on Environmental Modification, the Biological Weapons Convention and the Helsinki Accords.

These treaties were arguably so successful precisely because they dealt with problems of security and the protection of basic rights together.

Importantly, they also included both the U.S. and the Soviet Union, the major powers of the period, which underscores another weakness of the TPP. The absence of China from the agreement represents a lost opportunity to press the country for environmental and human rights improvements as the U.S. seeks more favorable economic opportunities in the Pacific.
Security and the environment

Of these diplomatic achievements, the 1975 Helsinki Accords is the most notable historical example of how to combine diplomacy on security and trade with those on the environment and human rights.

Negotiated among 35 countries in Europe and North America, the agreement was intended to provide a foundation for pursing détente with the Soviet Union, lowering the nuclear stockpile and limiting communist influence in Europe. It has many parallels to the situation we are in today with China and the Pacific nations in the TPP.

We are facing the rise of another political and economic power with strikingly different values than our own, including support for democracy, the free market and environmental protections. The possibility that other countries could follow China’s example would hinder U.S. attempts to promote basic rights around the world, similar to the issue of containing Soviet communism at the outset of the Cold War.

The Helsinki agreement was unique at the time for tying scientific and technological cooperation, environmental protection and human rights to any deal on issues that were important to the Soviets, namely territorial borders in Europe and nuclear armaments. By approaching these issues jointly and in cooperation with the other major power of the day, American diplomats were able to achieve significant concessions from Soviet officials on monitoring pollution and human rights abuses. While acknowledging Soviet influence in Europe was highly unpopular with Americans at the time, eventually these provisions led to stricter pollution controls across the continent and greater reporting of humanitarian violations.

For example, by stipulating that countries should cooperate on pollution problems under the environmental section of the treaty, the Helsinki agreement enabled Scandinavian governments to advocate for monitoring and regulating power plant emissions in follow-up negotiations. Their proposal eventually led to talks between the U.S., Soviet Union, Sweden and Norway on sharing emissions and air quality data and the negotiation of the 1979 U.N. Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution, the first international agreement on atmospheric pollution.

These steps were monumental, as Soviet Union officials had previously feared sharing emissions data would pose a national security risk. In contrast, the TPP does not include any provisions on advancing pollution controls nor reducing climate change. This is despite the fact that concern about significant cross-border air pollution was a relatively recent phenomenon during the Helsinki negotiations, while climate change has been on the international agenda for decades.

And, again, as the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, China’s absence from the TPP is a glaring omission if we hope to foster sustainable development in the years ahead.

Security and human rights

Helsinki has also been lauded as the most important step in bringing about the demise of Soviet rule through its provisions on human rights by foreign service officers who worked on the agreement as well as scholars of foreign affairs.

Similar to the environmental move pushed by Scandinavia, action on human rights took shape as a result of pressure from the European Communities (the E.U.’s predecessor). As Leiden University international relations expert Daniel Thomas has argued in a pioneering work on Helsinki and human rights, the European Communities tied trade negotiations with the Soviets to progress on human rights abuses.

Public pressure from Western governments on Soviet human rights abuses following the treaty, in combination with ongoing economic domestic stagnation, convinced Soviet officials like Mikhail Gorbachev that it was crucial to enact political reforms if they hoped to bolster their economy through improved ties with governments across the Iron Curtain.

Conversely, groups like Human Rights Watch have argued the TPP does little to protect labor rights or tackle broader human rights violations in health and environmental degradation. And given China’s record on human rights abuses, the decision to negotiate the TPP without the Chinese government is an additional diplomatic failure of the agreement.
Larger lessons from Helsinki

There are certainly important differences between negotiations on trade and those on nuclear weapons and Cold War boundaries. But the larger lesson from Helsinki and other 20th-century agreements – that the best strategic diplomacy also pursues social, economic and environmental justice – is absolutely applicable to the TPP today.

It would obviously be difficult for Clinton to oppose a major foreign policy initiative of a sitting president from her party. But should the Democrats fail to come out strongly against the TPP, it could provide an opening for Trump to argue that he alone is standing up for U.S. interests, despite having displayed shocking ignorance of the TPP.

Congress should not, in my view, pass such a deeply flawed agreement. The next administration would do well to take a different approach to trade negotiations in the Pacific region. In the long run, pressing other countries to adopt our labor standards and preserve our planet for generations to come will help our economy and security, not hurt it.

America does not need to sacrifice its progress toward worker protections and environmental safeguards to compete for influence with China. We didn’t do this with the Soviet Union, and we shouldn’t do it now.

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Morrison flags opposition to nominating Rudd for UN post

Shooting at Nightclub in Fort Myers, Florida, Leaves 2 Teenagers Dead

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Two teenagers were killed and at least 18 people were wounded early Monday when attackers raked a crowd with gunfire outside a nightclub here that had been hosting a party for young people, the authorities said.

Witnesses said multiple gunmen opened fire at about 12:30 a.m. outside the nightclub, Club Blu, in a palm-tree-lined strip mall in this southwestern Florida city.

Officials refused to discuss a possible motive, but “this was not a terrorist act,” Dennis Eads, the interim Fort Myers police chief, said at an afternoon news conference. “We have three persons of interest in custody — I’m not going to go into who they are — and we are still looking for others.”

The club had advertised a beach-themed “swimsuit glow party,” meant primarily for teenagers, with live music, a $5 cover charge and no proof of age required. In a statement, the club’s owner said that the event had ended and that people were leaving when the shooting occurred.

Residents of the neighborhood around the club said the area had been troubled by drug dealing and violence.

A Facebook user calling herself Juss Olivia posted a video shortly after the shooting, saying she had been sitting in a car across the street, near her apartment, when she heard gunfire and saw about five people “spraying nonstop, running and shooting.” She and her friends said they had joined a crowd fleeing on foot and ducking behind cars.

The authorities identified the two victims who were killed as Sean Archilles, 14, and Stef’An Strawder, 18, both budding basketball stars who had just left the club.

Sean, a student at Royal Palm Exceptional School, was shot in the parking lot, and a girl with him was shot in a leg, said his brothers, John and Verly Francois. They stood outside their mother’s house, where family and friends had gathered to comfort her, and said it was hard to believe that an innocent outing with friends had ended in the death of their youngest brother.

“They were just walking to a friend’s house about a block away,” said John Francois, 19.

Sean, the youngest of four brothers, stood just 5-foot-6, but he was a basketball fanatic whose brothers called him “Baby Kevin Durant” because he looked so much like the N.B.A. star and always had a basketball in his hand.

“He really was like Kevin Durant; he could have been his son,” Mr. Francois said. “He loved to play basketball. He was always down for that. That, or chilling at home.”

Mr. Strawder, who went by the nickname Dee, was a star player at Lehigh Senior High School who would have been a senior in the fall and aspired to play college ball.

“My heart hurts, I’m furious, and I can’t stop shedding tears,” his cousin Napoleon Rayner wrote on Facebook.

Gov. Rick Scott, who traveled to Fort Myers to meet with local officials, said, “Not one of us can imagine losing a young person like this.”

The wounded ranged in age from 12 to 27, said Lisa Sgarlata, the chief administrative officer of Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers. One person died at the scene, one was pronounced dead at the hospital, and Lee Memorial treated 16 survivors, Ms. Sgarlata said.

One of those still being treated, Timothy Settles, posted to Facebook a brief video of himself lying in a hospital bed early Monday, after writing, “I don’t wanna die.”

Jermaine Wilson, a witness to the aftermath of the shooting, said the parking lot had been filled with cars and loud music as the teenagers were departing the club.

“I saw everybody running,” said Mr. Wilson, 32. “A bunch of people were screaming names.”

Syreeta Gary said that her daughter, Anastasia, a 10th grader at Dunbar High School, had run from the scene holding hands with another girl but that they had been separated. Anastasia ducked between parked cars and curled up on the ground until the shooting stopped, the mother said.

“She said she felt the pressure of three bullets flying past her before she dove between the cars,’’ Ms. Gary, 35, said. “People were running everywhere.”

Fort Myers police officers and Lee County sheriff’s deputies arrived within minutes and started tending to the injured, Chief Eads said. “It was very chaotic,” he said. “It was still very active. No one really knew what was going on.”

That confusion was evident as the number of wounded climbed throughout the day. Some people took themselves to hospitals, unknown to emergency workers — some right away, some hours later. Joining Chief Eads and other officials at the news conference, the governor put the count at 18 injured and two dead.

Fort Myers, with about 68,000 residents, is a fast-growing city with big-city problems, including gang violence and a high rate of poverty. Its rates of homicide and overall violent crime, according to F.B.I. reports, are about triple the national average.

“We do have our own little knife-and-gun club that are responsible for anywhere from 8 to 15 percent of the traumas that we see,” said Dr. Drew Mikulaschek, a trauma surgeon at Lee Memorial. But he said he had never seen so many people hurt in a shooting.

A statement early Monday on the club’s Facebook page said: “We are deeply sorry for all involved. We tried to give the teens what we thought was a safe place to have a good time.”

It added, “It was not kids at the party that did this despicable act.”

It was at least the second time in 14 months that shootings were reported just outside Club Blu. In May 2015, two nonfatal shootings took place within 35 minutes directly outside the club, a state regulator’s investigative report said.

Club Blu cultivated an image that often veered from homespun to risqué. It advertises “New Orleans-style soul food” and $6.99 lunch specials, but other ads depict the club as a racy hot spot with blaring music and flowing liquor.

The club staged a “grand reopening” in May to debut what it described as an improved building. In a corner of an ad for the event, the club made a promise: “TIGHT SECURITY ALL NIGHT.” This year, however, the club’s liquor license was revoked.

The attack occurred just 43 days after a gunman killed 49 people and wounded more than 50 others at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla. The attacker, Omar Mateen, who took hostages at the nightclub and was killed in a police shootout, had sworn allegiance to the Islamic State.

Follow Lizette Alvarez @LizetteNYT on Twitter.

For the latest national news updates, follow @NYTNational on Twitter.

Lizette Alvarez reported from Fort Myers, and Richard Pérez-Peña from New York. Les Neuhaus contributed reporting from Fort Myers, Mike McPhate from New York, and Alan Blinder from Atlanta.

Monday, 25 July 2016

New photos of Antonella Roccuzzo in bikini in Ibiza

Lionel Messi deserved holiday was made ​​after an intense season with Barcelona and participation in the Copa America with Argentina Centenario.However, the star of world football was not the most required by the paparazzi, whose flashes pointed directly to his wife, Antonella Roccuzzo.

Rosario dazzled with his statuesque figure, first in the Bahamas and, days later, on the beaches of Ibiza. The images of their days together relaxing next to "La Pulga" and their two young sons, Thiago and Matthew, were published by numerous media around the globe.

Although he first saw wandering around a yacht and enjoying an outlet on jet skis in a green bikini, then Antonella chose to combine a fucisa bodice with a white bottom. Now, he chose a totally pink garment for a day of family beach.

Messi was due on Monday to start training in Barcelona, ​​but the Catalan club decided to extend for another two week break. In this way, the front can enjoy two weeks with his wife and children.

New photos of Antonella Roccuzzo on the beach:

Sabrina Garciarena and qualities of Luciano Castro

Sbrina Garciarena referred to the hot scene starred with Luciano Castro in "The rich do not ask permission".

Anita (Garciarena) finally had their meeting in private with Rafa (Castro) and actress highlighted the physical qualities of the actor.

"Luciano is a professional, trains every day, has an enviable discipline, likes healthy lifestyle, take care, eat very healthy, he is a very charismatic person and is very cute and athlete, so girls, what they see is truth, "he said.

In dialogue with the Ten / Radio Eleven City, interviewed by Moskita Dead and Nilda Sarli's girlfriend Germán Paoloski added: "With Luciano we are friends, we we're good and we laughed a lot, so you have confidence to play in the scenes of drama, comedy and also in such scenes. "

"For this scene we take the time to make it pretty. The scene we split, is very careful. When we set the scene said we do not have to be a romantic scene itself because the characters are sent, both him which is more rustic like Ana, that is sent and always says what he thinks, "he argued on that point.

And closed on how took her boyfriend that scene: "I do not think he likes to see his wife kissing other, but really understand it because I knew well and laughs with that for an actor is very difficult to have a jealous partner." .

WWE Battleground 2016: Winners, Grades and Top Performances

The WWE title goes to Smackdown Live as Dean Ambrose won the battle of The Shield in the main event at WWE Battleground on Sunday night in Washington D.C.

As a matter of fact, none of the three titles on the line changed hands. Here’s a breakdown of the action and the grades for the performances.

In an entertaining pre-show match, Tyler Breeze and Fandango defeated the uncrowned kings of the pay-per-view precursor. The two teams worked together nicely and the finish was sweet.

Jimmy Uso went for the Uso Splash on Breeze, but after being partially impeded by Fandango, the finisher was reversed.

Breeze got his knees up and rolled the maneuver into a pin that resulted in the three count. Is it me or is this tag team starting to look like a poor man’s Midnight Express EXPR -0.84%? Too soon?

We’re still early in the push, but I like what I’m seeing.

Match Grade: B-

It’s Bayley and a “W”

To no one’s surprise, Bayley was tabbed as Sasha Banks’ partner for her tag-team match against WWE Women’s champion Charlotte and Dana Brooke. It should have been Nia Jax, but I digress.

The match was a fairly short program, but it featured some nice action. Bayley looked a little tentative, but Sasha worked one of her best matches since being called up from NXT.

After a scramble, Sasha got the victory when she forced Charlotte to submit to the Bank Statement:

After the match, the two enemies turned partners hugged it out to celebrate the win

Bayley wasn’t drafted, so it would appear she’s not going to come up to either Raw or Smackdown just yet.

Match Grade: C+

Xavier Was Weird, Then He Wasn’t, Then He Got Smashed

The New Day came to the ring with some relatively weak mic work, but it was fine considering they were headed for a match with the Wyatt Family.

Kofi Kingston was taking a beatdown from all three members of the Wyatt Family, but the ultimate confrontation in the match was between Xavier Woods and Bray Wyatt.

Woods did the whole, I’m-scared-of-Bray thing before snapping out of it and going on a rampage.

Woods had it going for about 45 seconds before Braun Strowman halted him with a throat grab.

Big E would hit his ring-to-apron tackle to break the hold, but as Woods turned around, Wyatt went all spider on him.

Woods ran right into a Sister Abigail and was pinned. This win was bitter sweet since the brand draft has effectively split up the Wyatt Family.

It was an awesome, but poorly utilized gimmick. Let’s see what’s next for each man.

Match Grade: B-

Rusev Bends Ryder Walks Away From Mojo

Zack Ryder worked a decent, but slow match. We knew there was no way he’d take the U.S. title from Rusev. Ryder hit the Broski Boot and the Rough Ryder, but it wasn’t enough.

Rusev reversed an elbow from the top rope, landed a kick to the back of the neck and cinched in the Accolade . Ryder tried to push through the move, but Rusev sat back deep into it and Ryder had to tap.

Ryder’s tag-team partner and recent Smackdown draft pick Mojo Rawley came to his partner’s rescue as the Bulgarian Brute was set to do more damage:

Rusev walked away from the confrontation, but Rawley has had his very energetic introduction to the primetime.

Match Grade: C-

Seth Talking Trash

“I’m the best. I’m so good.” Blah, blah, blah.

that pretty much sums up Seth Rollins’ mic work in his segment with Mick Foley and Stephanie McMahon. If he weren’t telling the truth, it might have been annoying.

He did predict that people would begin naming babies after him. A kid name Rollins Mazique would be pretty odd. I’ll pass.

Segment Grade: C

Zayn vs. Owens: The Final Chapter

I’ll be honest, I was getting a little bored with the Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens rivalry, but this match was great.

If you saw both of these men wrestle before they got to WWE, you know they have a plethora of moves at their disposal. In this match, they used a good number of them.

Multiple exploder suplexes, brain busters on the apron and more were deployed. We also saw the drama, dialog and posturing necessary to tell a story with a match:

In the end, Zayn won after landing his second Heluva kick. Great stuff.

Match Grade: A-

If Natty Defeats Becky And No One Cares, Does it Make a Sound?

While watching this match with my son, he said: “it’s so quiet in that arena, it sounds like they’re in a business meeting.” That’s not good.

The match wasn’t really that bad. Becky was her normal stiff self, but Natalya has continued to thrive in her new heel persona.

I applaud the WWE bookers for tabbing her to win this match clean.

Natalya worked Becky’s legs and wound up winning by submission via Sharpshooter.

Match Grade: C+

Daniel Bryan Fires Up Dean Ambrose

Ahead of Dean Ambrose’s match with Rollins and Reigns, Smackdown commissioner Shane McMahon and general manager Daniel Bryan came to give the champion a pep talk.

Ambrose dropped this jewel of a line:

This was pretty solid.

Segment Grade: B-

Darren Young Is Good, but We’re Still Waiting on Great

The match between Darren Young and The Miz was basic, but I liked the direction Young’s character seems to be headed. The match ended in a double count out after Young slapped the crosssface chicken wing on The Miz outside the ring.

Young was coming to his mentor Bob Backlund’s rescue after he’d been smacked by Maryse and pushed down by The Miz.

After Young did his damage with the submission hold, he stared at his hands in apparent disbelief of what he was capable of doing.

Hopefully, this is leading up to a split-personality angle for Young.

He’s kind of bland in nature, so a maniacal side would work well for him.

Match Grade: C+

Enzo and Cass Blaze the Mic and Cena Gets the Pin to Beat The Club

In one of the longest pre-match mic sequences you’ll see, Enzo and Cass showed why they have such a bright future in the WWE. Trying to remember every cool one-liner Enzo dropped is like trying to recall all of our Shaquille O’Neal’s dunks in a game.

Here’s a good segment that illustrates how good Enzo was:

Big Cass was no slouch when he took the apparatus. He said AJ Styles had a soccer mom hair cut.

John Cena could do nothing but applaud:

All of that happened before the match got underway. The in-ring action wasn’t the best we’ve seen in a six-man tag match, but it was still entertaining. Here’s some of the better moments:

Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows nailed a nicely executed Magic Killer on Big Cass, but it was John Cena hitting an Attitude Adjustment from the top rope on Styles to get the pin:

Match and Segment Grade: B+

The Viper is Back and He Brought His Mic Skills With Him

Randy Orton made his long-awaited return on a special episode of The Highlight Reel with Chris Jericho and it was really good.

Jericho set the tone his with his tone and demeanor; If only he was still this good in the ring:

Orton was at first a milder and gentler version of himself, but he grew more nasty as the segment progressed. Jericho told him he was going to get destroyed in his battle with Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam.

In response, Orton dropped the line of the night when he said: “it takes 20 suplexes to get to Suplex City, but only one RKO to make it to Viper Ville…no enhancements needed.”

A collective “ohhhhhhhh” echoed through my family room and the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. Orton’s shot at Brock Lesnar’s recent PED violation in UFC competition was daring and well executed.

It almost seemed to catch Jericho off guard.

Not to be outdone, Jericho delivered a few messages/insults from Lesnar and he kept accenting each one with “Brock’s words, not mine.” When he called Orton a “stupid idiot,” you knew there would be an RKO in his future:

After a few funny dekes, Orton gave the crowd the RKO they craved and an excellent segment was done.

Segment Grade: A+

Ambrose Wins Battle of The Shield

The main event was almost as advertised. The three Shield members gave a great effort and there were tons of twists and turns. Roman Reigns worked a great match as usual, Rollins was his normal spectacular self and Ambrose was at his best.

Still, there was an intangible missing from the match that prevented it from being more memorable.

Here’s a few of the best moves:

He retained his title after breaking up Reigns’ pin attempt on Rollins following a spear.

Ambrose would hit Dirty Deeds on Reigns to secure the victory and the crowd went nuts.

The heads of the respective shows were ringside and Shane did an energetic victory lap to celebrate.

This was a fairly predictable finish as the WWE felt the need to legitimize Smackdown in its early stages, so keeping the title on the Blue brand makes sense.

That should open the door for Raw to get its own belt as early as tomorrow night’s episode of Raw. All in all, it was a fun show, but not a classic.

Match Grade: B+

Follow Brian "FranchisePlay" Mazique on Twitter @UniqueMazique and subscribe to his gaming YouTube channel: FranchisePlay Sports

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Sunday, 24 July 2016

Nebraska Punter Sam Foltz Killed In Automobile Wreck Sunday Morning

Sam Foltz, the punter for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, was killed in an automobile accident on Sunday morning.

Brian Christopherson, who runs the Nebraska Football beat for the Lincoln Journal-Star, tweeted out the news that had been building around social media Sunday morning and early afternoon.

We've been told that the accident happened in or around Waukesha, Wisconsin. We are also being told that former Michigan State punter Mike Sadler was in the accident with Foltz as well, and it appears that he has died in the wreck as well.

Obviously, there has been no confirmation of the accident, and when we have anything, we will pass it to you.

Sam was the Edelman-Fields Big Ten Punter of the Year last season. He was also named first-team Big Ten Punter by the media, coaches, Associated Press, and ESPN last season as well.

Foltz started all 38 games he appeared in for the Huskers, amassing 190 total times he punted the ball. His 44.23 average last season was just out of the top 20 punters in FBS last season.

Foltz came to Nebraska out of Greeley, Nebraska, by way of Grand Island High School. Foltz was the son of Gerald and Jill Foltz, and was a two-sport star for GI as he was a great Wide Reciever and Safety as well as punting for the team. His punting is what got him on the Lincoln Journal-Star Super State team.

Not only was Foltz a great football player, but he excelled at track as well, finishing 3rd in the 400 meter dash at the 2012 Nebraska State Track & Field meet.

Foltz chose to walk on at Nebraska, turning away full rides from Nebraska-Kearney, South Dakota, NW Missouri State and South Dakota State.

Joan Balaguer called 'busted' bikini clicked by her husband: 'For him'

Actress, who lives in Portugal, told the EGO that has healthy eating and once a month is a day of detox when taking only juices.
Joan Balaguer has its "personal paparazzo" in Europe. The actress, 31, who is living in Portugal, shared a "busted" your bikini made ​​by her husband, the entrepreneur Miguel Paulo Souza Straw, on Thursday, 21 on Instagram. On click, Joanna, who is Martin's mother, 2 years, shows his great physical shape.

"For him," she wrote in the photo caption also usand wants the hashtags "husband who took", "busted" and "attempted selfie." At EGO, Joan said that usually perform aerobic exercise and having a healthy diet. "I avoid bread and products with refined flour. Generally agreement and, still fasting, I take a glass of water with lemon. Then, a beet juice with apple and ginger. At lunch is always a fish with salad or so a Japanese food . in the afternoon as a fruit and in the evening, do snack, like a cenura with hummus or roasted rice with tuna paste. also how much the rest of Martin and my husband. I love eating the food dregs of them (laughs) "said the actress, who now and then still does a detox.

"Once a month make a day of detox. Four supersucos 500ml rich in vitamins and nutrients," he said."And take care of much of Martin, which requires a lot of me. I do not stop. I wake up at 6:30 AM and I lie only at 11 pm. It is all day tidying the house, going to the supermarket, making the bed, sweeping, crazy! ".

Living abroad five years ago, the actress, who lived one of the villains of the teen soap opera "Workout," usually share moments of intimacy with fans on social networks. Recently, Jane was on holiday in Brazil. At the time, she took advantage of his trip to Rio de Janeiro to advance tocelebrate Mother's Day in 2016 with his family.

Leticia Borghetti Kuhn is elected Miss Rio Grande do Sul in 2016

t happened on Saturday night, 23, the Miss Rio Grande do Sul in 2016, on a regional stage of the Miss Brazil. The event took place in Porto Alegre and was presented by Mariana Rios and Cassio Reis .

Among the candidates, Leticia Borghetti Kuhn, who represented the municipality of Tapera, ranked first. The new Miss Rio Grande do Sul is 20 years old and had been in fourth place in the 2014 contest.

Tapera Natural and administration student in Passo Fundo, the model takes part in beauty contests since 2014 and was ahead of competitors Patricia Padilha, Miss Capão da Canoa, which ranked second and Katiane Rosa, Miss San Antonio Patrol.

Irina Shayk revolutionized social networks with a photo "taking a little sun"

To avoid violating the rules of Instagram, the model covered her chest with her hands.However, almost everything is in sight.
Irina Shayk undressed in Instagram and revolutionized social networks. "Taking a little sun," he wrote the former partner of Cristiano Ronaldo, in a post with an image in which showed her in a bikini and topless, covering her chest with her hands.

The model now has a relationship with actor Bradley Cooper, both published photos together.

XXX Mia Khalifa leaves and hockey and basketball fan becomes

Porn star announced that cameras should wait, as will now use its enormous influence on the internet to give their teams more popularity. View your best photos.
Mia Khalifa is one of the most sought after actresses of internet porn and since its inception in 2014, his career was ascending year to year. However, now he decided to turn his life. Driven by the huge following it holds in social networks, young Lebanese 23 years will be dedicated to support the Capitals (ice hockey) and Wizards (basketball) both teams Washington. "I want to encourage teams to DC and tell how wonderful this city , " said in an interview with the Washington Post. Khalifa holds that every time you take a "Like" on Instagram or some in Twitter retweet, that publication has an unimagined extent, thanks to her. So now will be devoted to promoting their teams. "Hopefully I can help , " said the popular actress, who said that there is no culture of sport and passion as in other US cities in Washington.

Secret 'Blair Witch' sequel revealed at Comic-Con

San Diego (CNN)It's not easy to stand out during the hype machine that is San Diego Comic-Con. But Lionsgate found a way: The studio announced a surprise sequel to 1999's "The Blair Witch Project."
Returning to its found-footage format, "Blair Witch" will pick up where the first movie's mythology left off. The story follows the brother of one of the characters in the first film who embarks on a quest to find out what happened to his sister.
The movie was screened publicly for the first time during the annual Comic-Con convention on Friday, with guests believing they'd showed up to screen a movie titled "The Woods."
Prior to the screening, none of the marketing for "The Woods" alluded to any connection with "The Blair Witch Project" world.
This is not the first attempt to follow up on the massively successful horror film.
In 2000, "Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2" tried to build on the original's success, but failed to make a splash. It was panned by critics, in part because it abandoned the stylistic choices of the first, particularly the found-footage approach.
"Blair Witch" is not this year's first secret sequel announcement.
In January, producer J.J. Abrams surprised fans of 2008's "Cloverfield" by sneaking trailers for a hush-hush followup -- "10 Cloverfield Lane" -- into theaters. The movie made over $25 million on its opening weekend.
"Blair Witch" arrives in theaters on September 16.

Chris Sale sent home after unexplained, bizarre 'clubhouse incident'

the White Sox traded a Chris Sale start for one from Matt Albers on what morphed into a strange Saturday on the South Side.

The team sent Sale home from U.S. Cellular Field before their game against the Tigers for what general manager Rick Hahn deemed a "clubhouse incident." The team elected to start right-handed reliever Albers in his place.

"Chris Sale has been scratched from tonight's schedule start and sent home from the ballpark," Hahn said in a statement released just before the scheduled 6:10 p.m. start of the game. "The incident, which was non-physical in nature, currently is under further investigation by the club."

Ken Rosenthal, an MLB reporter for FOX and an MLB Network insider, tweeted that Sale was unhappy with the 1976 throwback uniforms the team was supposed to wear, saying they were uncomfortable. As a result, Rosenthal reported, Sale cut up the jerseys during batting practice and was "upset that, in his view, PR and jersey sales were more important than winning."

However, 1983 jerseys were hanging in front of players' lockers at roughly 2:30 p.m., 31/2 hours before the game, as is customary procedure. The team didn't take batting practice until after 4 p.m. so it's unclear as to just when Sale would have cut up the '76 jerseys.

In lieu of the '76 collared jerseys, replicas of which were given to the first 20,000 fans in attendance Saturday, the White Sox wore the '83 throwbacks. Those usually are worn during Sunday home games.

Two hours later, the White Sox announced Sale had been sent home.

The White Sox used a relievers strategy with Albers pitching the first two innings of a game that was suspended after eight innings tied 3-3. The game's start was delayed 10 minutes because of rain and for 1 hour, 14 minutes after the second inning and then again after the eighth. It will be resumed at 1:10 p.m. before Sunday's regularly-scheduled game.

With the Aug. 1 trade deadline looming and rumors aplenty, speculation surrounding Sale's absence began circulating on social media late in the afternoon, about 90 minutes before he was scheduled to throw the first pitch.

Some wondered whether the Sox were in the midst of trading Sale, whose name, along with a lot of others, has been mentioned, and opted to hold him out while they tried to complete a deal. But the only bags the left-hander packed this day were for home.

White Sox manager Robin Ventura said before Saturday's game that he was looking forward to Sale's start. He allowed just one hit in eight innings in his previous start and is 14-3 with a 3.18 ERA this season.

He was going to try to become the first 15-game winner in baseball, but instead missed a start for the first time this season.

"Any time he goes out there you have a good chance to win, especially the way it has been going," Ventura said.

The way it has been going hasn't been good for the Sox, losers of eight of nine going into Saturday. The Sox also were a season-high four games below .500 and seven games and seven teams behind a wild-card spot. All of that has further fueled speculation that the team might be sellers at the trade deadline.

General manager Rick Hahn said Thursday he was "extremely disappointed" with how the Sox have been playing and said the club was "mired in mediocrity."

He didn't rule out trading anyone and said the Sox were open to "any and all ideas."

Sale and Ventura have talked a lot this season about how much Sale has matured.

Sale, who started the All-Star Game for the American League this year, called himself an "idiot" after he hit himself in the head twice with a baseball during a May 7 game against the Twins after putting his team at a 2-0 disadvantage by hitting Jorge Polanco to force in a run.

"When I get mad I feel like hurting myself," Sale said that night. "I don't get it. That's the immaturity part coming out. I have to get over some things."

Sale was outspoken in blasting team executive vice president Ken Williams during spring training after Williams said Adam LaRoche's son, Drake LaRoche, should be limited in his access to the clubhouse after having a locker and being around for the entire 2015 season.

Sale made headlines last year when, after an April 23 game, he reportedly approached the Royals clubhouse at U.S. Cellular Field following his ejection for his role in a brawl between the teams.

"There's really nothing to talk about; it is what it is," Sale said later. "What's done is done. It's all in the past."

Saturday wasn't the first time Sale has exited before a game. The five-time All-Star left before a game near the end of the 2014 season after sharing some heated words with Ventura.