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Whitney Houston's Daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, Found Unresponsive in Bathtub

NBC News
Bobbi Kristina Brown, the daughter of the late singer Whitney Houston, was found unresponsive in a bathtub in her Georgia home Saturday, police said. Brown's husband, Nick Gordon, and a friend found her in the tub in the morning and started CPR, the Roswell Police Department said in a statement. Police and rescue personnel arrived at the home, north of Atlanta, at 10:25 a.m. and performed "life-saving measures" before Brown, 21, was brought breathing to the nearby North Fulton Hospital.

The incident remains under investigation, police said. It comes less than two weeks before the third anniversary of Houston's death. The Grammy-winning singer was found submerged in a bathtub in a Beverly Hills, California, hotel on Feb. 11, 2012. She was later pronounced dead. Brown is also the daughter of R&B singer Bobby Brown.

Houston, 48, had struggled for years with cocaine, marijuana and pills, and her behavior had become erratic. Authorities examining Houston's death found a dozen prescription drug bottles in the hotel suite. They concluded that she accidentally drowned. Heart disease and cocaine use were also listed as contributing factors in her death.

Earlier this month, Lifetime released the biopic, "Whitney," which focused on the "I Will Always Love You" singer's drug use. Houston's sister-in-law, Pat Houston, released a statement blasting the film and said neither her mother, Cissy Houston, or Bobbi Kristina Brown, were consulted.

Budweiser commercial's just gets better with age!


Sharks Moving AHL Franchise to SAP Center


SAN JOSE – San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks
 Chief Operating Officer John Tortora announced today that the San Jose Sharks top development American Hockey League (AHL) hockey club, currently based in Worcester, Mass., will relocate to San Jose and play their home games at SAP Center at San Jose, beginning in Oct. 2015.


The move is part of a larger announcement made today by the AHL regarding the creation of a new, Pacific Division of the AHL for the 2015-16 season, comprised of five National Hockey League-affiliated teams that will be based in California.

The Pacific Division will consist of teams based in Bakersfield (Edmonton Oilers), Ontario (Los Angeles Kings), San Diego (Anaheim Ducks), San Jose (San Jose Sharks) and Stockton (Calgary Flames).


The name, logo, colors and schedule for the San Jose AHL team will be released at a later date.
 
“This is an exciting day for the San Jose Sharks organization and for hockey fans throughout the state of California,” said Tortora. “Having our AHL club playing in close proximity to our NHL club has innumerable benefits for the development for our young players and prospects. It also provides an opportunity for the Sharks organization to grow Sharks Territory and enhance our footprint into what is an already hockey-crazy market.”

The American Hockey League, comparable to Triple-A in Minor League Baseball, is the top developmental professional hockey league on the planet, where more than 88% of current National Hockey League players have developed their skills prior to earning a spot on an NHL roster.

The Sharks have a rich history of developing players through their AHL team. The list of Sharks and former Sharks who have spent time in the American Hockey League is nearly endless, but includes players such as Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, Brent Burns, Antti Niemi, Tommy Wingels, Justin Braun, Scott Hannan, Matt Nieto, Alex Stalock, Andrew Desjardins, Matt Tennyson and Matt Irwin, as well as former Sharks Ryane Clowe, Dan Boyle, Evgeni Nabokov, Jonathan Cheechoo, Marcel Goc, Christian Ehrhoff, Douglas Murray, Josh Gorges, Miikka Kiprusoff, Jason Demers…..and the list goes on.

Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan captured the Calder Cup, the AHL Championship, as head coach of the Houston Aeros, where he served for four seasons (2001-2005). Sharks Associate Coach Larry Robinson played parts of two seasons with Nova Scotia before beginning his Hall of Fame NHL career.

For a deposit of $50 per seat, fans can add their name to a season ticket list for the upcoming 2015-16 season, with first priority going to existing Sharks Season Ticket Holders. 

More information can be found at www.sanjoseahl.com.

 

  

Glen Campbell’s Legendary ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’ Album Celebrated with Expanded 40th Anniversary Edition


Campbell’s Chart-Topping Album Remastered and Expanded with Five Rare and Previously Unreleased Tracks

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Released in July 1975, Glen Campbell’s Rhinestone Cowboy was the music legend’s first No. 1 hit on Billboard’s Country Albums chart, vaulting the already quite famous master guitarist and singer to household name superstar status. On March 31, ahead of Campbell’s 79th birthday on April 22, Capitol Nashville/UMe will release an expanded 40th Anniversary Edition of the classic, adding five rare and previously unreleased recordings to the remastered original album. The new commemorative edition is available now for preorder on CD and digital audio; the remastered original album is also available for preorder on vinyl LP.

Many of Rhinestone Cowboy’s lyrical themes reflected Campbell’s own life at the time, both personally and professionally. The album’s centerpiece title track and its second single, “Country Boy (You Got Your Feet In L.A.)” spoke to and through Campbell with messages of sacrifice and concession required to maintain a career in entertainment’s fast lane, which had brought him from Arkansas to Los Angeles in the 1960s.

Written by Larry Weiss, “Rhinestone Cowboy” became Campbell’s best-known, signature single, hitting No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and Country charts and going Gold in the U.S. upon its release. Nominated for two GRAMMY® Awards, the song took the Single of the Year honors at the ACM Awards, while the single and album won the year’s People’s Choice Awards for Favorite Pop/Rock Single, Favorite Country Single and Favorite Country Album.


Rhinestone Cowboy (40th Anniversary Edition)’s five bonus tracks include a previously unreleased track, “Quits,” recorded by Campbell in March 1975 during the album’s studio sessions; the North American CD and digital release debut of “Record Collector’s Dream” (the “Rhinestone Cowboy” single’s B-side); the worldwide CD and digital debut of “Coming Home” (a studio version previously released only in Japan as a 1975 single); and remixes of “Country Boy (You Got Your Feet In LA)” and “Rhinestone Cowboy” (both previously released on Campbell’s Greatest Hits collection).

In a legendary music career spanning more than five decades, Glen Campbell has achieved chart-topping, platinum-selling pop and country success singing everyday tales of life, love, work, and heartache. Before his 2013 retirement from the studio and the stage, Campbell racked up 21 Top 40 hits, 27 Country Top 10 singles, six Top 20 albums, and nine No. 1 Country albums in the U.S.

Glen Campbell has been honored with six GRAMMY® Awards, including The Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and trophies for Male Vocalist Of The Year from both the Country Music Association (CMA) and the Academy Of Country Music (ACM). In addition to being inducted into the CMA’s Hall Of Fame, Campbell has been awarded its top Entertainer Of The Year honors, and the ACM has honored him with its prestigious Pioneer Award. This year, Campbell is nominated for two GRAMMY® Awards and an Academy Award® for Best Original Song.

www.glencampbellmusic.com

Glen Campbell: Rhinestone Cowboy (40th Anniversary Edition) [CD, digital]
1. Country Boy (You Got Your Feet in L.A.)
2. Comeback
3. Count on Me
4. I Miss You Tonight
5. My Girl
6. Rhinestone Cowboy
7. I’d Build a Bridge
8. Pencils For Sale
9. Marie
10. We’re Over
Bonus Tracks
11. Record Collector’s Dream [“Rhinestone Cowboy” single B-side; North American CD and digital debut]
12. Coming Home [studio version, previously released only in Japan as a 1975 single; CD and digital debut]
13. Quits [previously unreleased track from the ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’ album sessions]
14. Country Boy (You Got Your Feet In L.A.) (Remix) [previously released on ‘Greatest Hits’ collection]
15. Rhinestone Cowboy (Remix) [previously released on ‘Greatest Hits’ collection]

Universal Music Enterprises
Jennifer Ballantyne, 310-865-2350
jennifer.ballantyne@umusic.com

Source: Universal Music Enterprises

'Crushed With Snow': 'Historic' Blizzard to Bomb Northeast



The New York City area was placed under a 35-hour blizzard warning beginning Monday afternoon, with more than 2 feet of snow expected to create "paralyzing, crippling" conditions, forecasters said Sunday. It's part of a storm system that's expected to pummel the Northeast from Philadelphia all the way to northern New England with potentially "historic" snow accumulations well into Tuesday night.

The National Weather Service estimated that 29 million people will come under the blizzard warning, and more than 3,100 flights scheduled for Monday and Tuesday were canceled in advance. The worst of it will be late Monday through Tuesday night, with blizzard conditions, damaging wind gusts to possibly hurricane strength and coastal flooding, the National Weather Service said. The nation's largest city was put under an extraordinarily long blizzard warning stretching from 1 p.m. Monday to midnight Tuesday.

The forecast means New York City could smash its one-day snowfall record — 26.9 inches, recorded in Central Park in February 2006.

"Very highly populated areas of the Northeast are going to get crushed with snow," said Tom Moore, coordinating meteorologist for The Weather Channel. "Everywhere ... you're going to get hit very hard by this storm."

"This could be the biggest snowstorm in the history of this city," Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters Sunday. "My message for New Yorkers is prepare for something worse than we have ever seen before."

Confidence is increasing on a historic winter storm across parts of the Northeast Monday night thru Tuesday night, tapering off Wednesday morning. Blizzard warnings have been issued along the Eastern Seaboard from central New Jersey north through the New York City metro area and northeast across Connecticut, Rhode Island, eastern Massachusetts, and coastal New Hampshire and Maine. Snowfall rates of 2-4 inches per hour are expected, resulting with snowfall totals of 18 to 30 inches, with locally higher amounts. In addition very heavy snow, strong winds in the Blizzard Warning area are expected to gust to 35 to 50 mph, with gusts as high as 65 mph possible across eastern Long Island and Cape Cod. The heavy snow and blowing and drifting snow will reduce visibilities to near zero, making travel extremely dangerous. Snow drifts may exceed 3-4 feet across the blizzard warning area.

The strong northeast winds will create a storm surge along the coast. Moderate coastal flooding, especially during high tides is possible along the coast from Delaware Bay north all the way to the Maine coast. Major coastal flooding is possible along east facing sections of the Massachusetts coast. The strong winds will also create high waves that will likely result in significant beach erosion, as well as splash-over that could result in damage to waterfront structures and closures of shoreline roads.

Some uncertainty remains regarding how far west the heavy snowfall will get. That is why there is an area of Winter Storm Watches from Delmarva north across eastern Pennsylvania to the western Catskills and north into northern Vermont. Forecast confidence across this area is less than the area of Winter Storm Warnings further east.



Klay Thompson sets NBA record with 37 points in a quarter


Kelley L Cox
USA Today Sports

Welcome to the history books, Klay Thompson

There aren't really any superlatives that can do justice to what the Warriors shooting guard/human flamethrower did in the third quarter against the Sacramento Kings on Friday, so here are the basic facts: 

Thompson scored 37 points in the quarter. 37. Yes, that is an NBA record for points in a quarter. Only 23 players have even scored 37 points in a game this season. He hit 13-of-13 shots in the quarter. 

Nine of those shots were 3-balls. That is absolutely an NBA record for 3-pointers made in a quarter.

Here's what that looks like in short chart form

Sports Illustrated Lays Off Entire Photography Department



By
Sports Illustrated has laid off the last of its photography staff, the National Press Photographers Association reported Friday.

According to NPPA, the magazine fired its six remaining photographers, John W. McDonough, David E. Klutho, Simon Bruty, Bill Frakes, Al Tielemans and Robert Beck, on Thursday afternoon.

SI's director of photography Brad Smith confirmed the news in a statement to News Photographer magazine, adding that the decision was the result of a company-wide need to "restructure various departments.


"It's true," Smith said. "There was a decision made through the company to restructure various departments, including at Sports Illustrated. Unfortunately economic circumstances are such that it has cut the six staff photographers."

The magazine has undergone layoffs in the past, including hits to its photography staff in 2012.

The layoffs are reminiscent of events at the Chicago Sun-Times, which cut its entire photography staff due to an increasing demand for "multimedia"; some 20 to 30 photographers were dismissed in April 2013.

The timing of the overhaul may seem puzzling ahead of Super Bowl XLIX on Feb 1., but Smith assured that the magazine's dedication to photography will not waver.

"Our commitment to photography hasn't changed," Smith said. "We're still going to cover games, we're going to shoot portraits, we're going to cover Olympics, we'll be at the Final Four, we will be at championships, we'll be there."

The Huffington Post has requested additional comment from Sports Illustrated; this post will be updated if and when a response is received.

Cubs Hall of Famer Ernie Banks passes away at the age of 83


CHICAGO - The Chicago Cubs tonight are saddened to announce that Hall of Famer Ernie Banks, the greatest Cub in franchise history, has passed away at the age of 83.

"Words cannot express how important Ernie Banks will always be to the Chicago Cubs, the city of Chicago and Major League Baseball. He was one of the greatest players of all time," said Tom Ricketts, Chairman of the Cubs. "He was a pioneer in the major leagues. And more importantly, he was the warmest and most sincere person I've ever known.  

"Approachable, ever optimistic and kind hearted, Ernie Banks is and always will be Mr. Cub. My family and I grieve the loss of such a great and good-hearted man, but we look forward to celebrating Ernie's life in the days ahead."

Inducted into Baseball's Hall of Fame in 1977, Ernie played the game he loved as a lifelong Cub for 19 seasons from when he made his debut with the club in 1953 until his retirement in 1971. He was a 14-time All-Star and back-to-back National League Most Valuable Player in 1958 and 1959, when he hit 47 home runs with 129 RBI in 1958 and followed up with 45 home runs and 143 RBI in 1959.

Banks hit 512 home runs in his career, surpassing the 40-home run mark five times in his career, and his 277 home runs as a shortstop remain a National League record to this day.

Banks ranks first in games played (2,528), at-bats (9,421), extra-base hits (1,009) and total bases (4,706); second in home runs (512), RBI (1,636) and hits (2,583); third in doubles (407); fifth in runs scored (1,305); seventh in triples (90); and eighth in walks (763).

Starting while still as a player in 1967, Ernie turned his eye to coaching and served in that role through 1973, becoming the first African American to manage a major league team on May 8, 1973 when he took over for the ejected Whitey Lockman.

Banks became the first player in franchise history to have his number retired in 1982, as his flag flies from the left-field foul pole to this day. He was also voted to Major League Baseball's All-Century Team and honored on the field at the All-Star Game in Fenway Park in 1999.

Beyond his statistics on the field, Banks was famous for his endearing charm and his remarkable wit. He became the first player in franchise history to be honored with a statue at Wrigley Field when he helped with the unveiling at Clark and Addison on March 31, 2008. His statue is adorned with his famous line, "Let's Play Two".

In 2013, Banks was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, an award given to those who have made an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors. 

Kid Rock Releases Music Video For ‘First Kiss,’ Sounds Off On ‘American Sniper’ Controversy

photo via wyomingnews.com
UPDATE:
Kid Rock has released the official music video for his newest single, First Kiss, the lead single and title track of his upcoming album which is set to release on February 24th. It’s the tenth studio album for the Rock and Country music artist, and his first release with his new label Warner Bros. As the producer of the project, the singer said he was truly able to make the record his own, including some notable examples of his Country roots.

First Kiss takes us back to some of Kid Rock’s early beginnings, and from the opening bars of the song, we get the feeling that we’re connecting with him on a personal level. Of the additional singles on the album that highlight Rock’s Country music upbringing, he calls Drinking Beer With Dad “one of the best songs I’ve ever written,” while Jesus and Bocephus pays tribute to Hank Williams Jr., and Johnny Cash honors the marriage between the Country legend and June Carter Cash.

Kid Rock also recently joined the chorus of Country stars like Blake Shelton, Craig Morgan, and Charlie Daniels who fired back against the criticism of the Clint Eastwood blockbuster, American Sniper, which drew the ire of filmmaker Michael Moore and actor Seth Rogen, with Moore calling snipers “cowards” and not heroes, while Rogen compared the picture to a Nazi propaganda film. Needless to say, their comments didn’t make Kid Rock very happy.

Rolling Stone Article:

Filmmakers Michael Moore and Seth Rogen's negative comments regarding the movie American Sniper — a contender for Best Picture at the Oscars next month — have evoked a rather colorful response from self-proclaimed "American Bad Ass" Kid Rock. The musician took particular umbrage with the Bowling for Columbine director's statement that Moore's uncle was killed by a sniper in World War II and that he was raised to believe snipers were cowards.



"Fuck you Michael Moore, you’re a piece of shit and your uncle would be ashamed of you," Kid Rock wrote on his website. "Seth Rogen, your uncle probably molested you. I hope both of you catch a fist to the face soon."
 
He also paid his respects to the deceased Navy SEAL whose story was the basis of the movie. "God bless you Chris Kyle," he wrote. "Thank you for your service."
 
On the movie's opening weekend, Moore tweeted his comments and added, "Snipers aren't heroes, and invaders are worse." He later claimed that his tweet wasn't about American Sniper in particular and posted a lengthy Facebook missive to clarify his thoughts.
 
Regarding his own feelings about the movie, he offered, "Awesome performance from Bradley Cooper. One of the best of the year. Great editing. Costumes, hair, makeup superb!" He also praised the film's "anti-war sentiment" and its "touching" ending. Despite those compliments, he criticized the way the movie's characters call Iraqis "savages" and alleges that Clint confused Iraq for Vietnam with his movie.
 
Rogen sparked Kid Rock's ire by comparing the movie to the fictional Nazi propaganda film, Nation's Pride, screened within Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. He, too, backtracked on his original comments, saying American Sniper only "kinda reminded" him of the Tarantino satire and that he was not comparing them. He made no mention of an uncle.
 
Kid Rock is readying the release of his upcoming album, First Kiss, the title song of which has come out as a single. The LP is due out late next month.

Read more at http://countrymusicnation.com/kid-rock-releases-music-video-first-kiss-sounds-off-american-sniper-controversy-54503#S803WR06rb0rxQED.99

Barbra Streisand Goes Platinum for Historic 31st Time With 'Partners'

Barbra Streisand Goes Platinum for Historic 31st Time With 'Partners'
By

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images
Once again, Barbra Streisand is making history.

With her latest album Partners reaching Platinum certification, Streisand extends her record for the most Platinum album certifications for a woman in RIAA history. 

Incredibly, Partners is her 31st album to ship more than 1,000,000 copies in the U.S. The closest competition? Reba McEntire, who has 19 Platinum-certified albums.


Partners debuted at the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 in Sept. 2014. It was her 10th album to top that chart, making her the only act to notch a No. 1 album in each of the last six decades.

Her collaborative release ended up the seventh-biggest selling album of 2014 according to Nielsen Music, and her best-selling effort since 2001's Christmas Memories.

Of course for someone with two Oscars, five Emmys, 10 Golden Globes, eight competitive Grammys, two special Grammys and a special Tony, this is just another day in the life of Barbra. 
Still, having 31 albums to reach Platinum status is a nice way to start the week. 

Additional reporting by Keith Caulfield.
 

NBCU Will Use Super Bowl XLIX Free Live-Stream to Promote Pay-TV Online Services

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Peacock's 11-hour block of Internet-streaming video to include pregame and live game coverage, and new episode of 'The Blacklist'



Can the Super Bowl spur digital fans to get super-excited about paying for cable TV?

NBCUniversal will launch an 11-hour free digital video stream — centered around live coverage of this year’s Feb. 1 Super Bowl — in a bid to get users to log in to its “TV Everywhere” services across its broadcast and cable portfolio the rest of the year.

The Peacock’s “Super Stream Sunday” event will include NBC’s presentation of Super Bowl XLIX live from Arizona, pitting the Seattle Seahawks against the New England Patriots, as well as the halftime show toplined by Katy Perry. The live-stream will kick off at 12 p.m. ET on Feb. 1 with NBC’s pregame coverage and concludes with an airing of a new episode of primetime drama “The Blacklist” at approximately 10 p.m. ET.

Ordinarily, access to the NBC Sports Live Extra and NBC.com content requires users to log in using credentials from participating cable, satellite and telco TV providers. The free promo is aimed at driving usage of TVE, to ensure those subscribers keep paying for television service.

“We are leveraging the massive digital reach of the Super Bowl to help raise overall awareness of TV Everywhere by allowing consumers to explore our vast TVE offering with this special one-day-only access,” said Alison Moore, g.m. and exec VP of TV Everywhere for NBCU.

NBC does not have NFL live-streaming rights on smartphone devices, which the league has granted exclusively to Verizon Wireless. As such, the “Super Stream Sunday” content will be available on tablets and desktop computers.

Both NFL.com and SuperBowl.com will link to NBC’s live stream of Super Bowl XLIX for fans in the U.S.; that’s slated to include interactive online and social features created by the league complementing the NBC broadcast of the game. The NFL also will serve up a host of content on NFL 

Now, its digital-only network launched this season, surrounding the Super Bowl.

NBC was the first broadcaster to live-stream a Super Bowl, for Super Bowl XLVI in 2012, and the big game has been offered as a free stream the last two years by CBS and Fox, respectively.

This is the first time NBC will stream the Super Bowl halftime show, after the broadcaster was able to clear digital music rights to the performances, slated to include Katy Perry and Lenny Kravitz. The live-stream will feature ads sold specifically for digital (although some ads airing in the linear TV feed are expected to be in the mix); the Super Bowl spots will also be available online at NBC.com as well as Hulu and YouTube.

To deliver the Super Bowl live stream, NBC Sports will use the same infrastructure it did for its presentation of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games from Sochi, Russia. That includes products and services from Adobe Systems, Akamai Technologies and the Microsoft Azure cloud-computing platform. Rick Cordella, senior VP and g.m. of digital media, NBC Sports Group, said the live Super Bowl stream will be available at variable bit rates ranging between 500 kilobits per second up to 5 megabits per second, delivered as an HLS stream.

Meanwhile, the NFL said live video of the game will not be available to fans in the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Super Bowl Sunday. Instead, the league and Verizon Wireless are launching a Super Bowl Stadium App to provide exclusive in-stadium video content including commercials and replays from four different camera angles.

For users located overseas, the league sells NFL Game Pass, priced at $9.99, which will include the ability to watch Super Bowl XLIX live or on-demand online.


Filed Under:

League probing Patriots' possible use of deflated balls


(Reuters) - The National Football League is investigating whether the New England Patriots used deflated balls in their blowout win over the Indianapolis Colts during Sunday's rain-soaked American Football Conference championship.

NFL spokesman Michael Signora confirmed the investigation on Monday but could not offer further comment when asked by Reuters how many instances are in question and what possible punishment, if any, the Patriots could face.
 
Patriots head coach Bill Belichik said he did not know anything about the potential issue until Monday.
 
"We'll cooperate fully with whatever the league wants us to; whatever questions they have for us, 
whatever they want us to do," Belichik told reporters.
 
According to a report on the NFL's website, a ball was taken off the field and out of circulation during New England's 45-7 win over the visiting Colts that clinched a berth in the Feb. 1 Super Bowl.
 
Using a deflated ball is presumably done to help players increase their grip, which could have been an issue during Sunday's game that was played in rainy conditions.
 
According to the NFL report, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady dismissed the claims as "ridiculous" during his Monday morning appearance on Boston radio station WEEI-FM.


"I think I've heard it all at this point," said Brady, who threw three touchdowns in the win. "That's the last of my worries. I don't even respond to stuff like this."

The report also said that if the NFL confirms deflated footballs were used by New England to gain an advantage during the game, it could cost the team draft picks.
 
The Patriots are no stranger to controversy having been heavily fined by the NFL and docked a first-round draft pick in 2008 for videotaping an opposing team's defensive coaches' signals during a game.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Steve Keating)

Vegas Bookies: Patriots-Seahawks pick 'em for Super Bowl





LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Super Bowl looks like a tossup in this gambling city, where more than $100 million will likely be riding on the game by kickoff.

A flurry of early money on the New England Patriots moved the game to pick 'em at most major Las Vegas books Sunday night after the Seattle Seahawks opened by as much as 2.5-point favorites.

Oddsmakers say they don't expect the line to fluctuate much over the next few weeks, with heavy betting anticipated on both sides.

"You're not going to see this one bounce around like you did last year," said Jimmy Vaccaro of the South Point sports book. "Last year the whole world was in love with Denver early and there was a crush at the (betting) window. But this game is going to stay right around Seattle a 1-point favorite or pick 'em the entire way."

Some books opened Seattle a favorite while Tom Brady and the Patriots were still piling on points in the rain late in the third quarter of a blowout win over the Indianapolis Colts. The line quickly got knocked down, though, as money came in on New England, including a $10,000 bet at the South Point.

"All smart guys looking to take a position early," Vaccaro said of the early money. "The line really went down quick."

At the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook, the opening line favoring the Seahawks by 2.5 points moved quickly even before the Patriots-Colts game was over. Shortly after the game was over, the line was already at pick 'em.

"Everyone remembers what they saw last," oddsmaker Jeff Sherman said.

The movement wasn't quite as dramatic as it was last year, when the Seahawks were also favored by 2.5 points at most books in the opening lines only to see the betting public go so heavily on the Broncos that Denver was favored by 2.5 points at game time.

Seattle ended up winning the game 43-8 and bookmakers had a big day, winning nearly $20 million on record legal betting of $119.4 million.

The over/under for the game ranged from between 49 and 49.5 points at most books. Like point spread wagers, bettors can lay $110 to win $100 on whether the total number of points will exceed or be less than that number.

This has been a banner football betting season so far for sports books in Nevada, the only place where full legalized betting is allowed in the country.

Records have been set every month, and Sherman said he believes this year's Super Bowl will set another betting record because the line is narrow and the teams are popular.

"I definitely think it can be a record," he said. "You have the defending Super Bowl champs who are as public a team as anyone. And New England is the same thing, they've been there for years."

For Sherman, setting the lines in the games may have been the easiest part. He and his fellow oddsmakers at the Westgate plan to spend Tuesday and Wednesday putting together more than 300 so-called "prop" bets on everything from which team will win the coin flip to whether one of New England's offensive linemen will score a touchdown.

Wynn sports book director Johnny Avello said he plans to offer a wide variety of props, too, which could help drive a betting record.

"I don't see any reason why it can't be broken," Avello said. "The only thing that would slow it down is that people are tired of the Seahawks and I don't think that will be the case."

Tiger Woods: Is the former world No 1 having his tooth replaced?

 
by Tom Sheen 

While his girlfriend Lindsey Vonn was busy breaking records at the Skiing World Cup, Woods was pictured looking nothing like himself, the 39-year-old sported a crooked smile with one of his front teeth missing.

It is so far unclear how he lost the tooth, with some reports speculating that Woods (above, left, at the Skiing World Cup and in December, right)will have the missing incisor replaced as it had become discoloured in recent weeks.  

Lindsey Vonn on her way to a record-breaking 63rd World Cup victory.

Having suffered an injury hit 2014, Woods will return to the course for the first time in 2015 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in January.

Vonn, 30, recorded her 63rd World Cup victory in Austria to break Annemarie Moser-Proell's 35-year-old record.

Seahawks rally stuns Packers 28-22 in OT for NFC title



SEATTLE (AP) -- The loudest stadium in America was silent. A return trip to the Super Bowl was slipping away.

Time for the Seattle Seahawks to show why they are champions.

"You have the belief these guys have in one another, there is nothing you can't do," coach Pete Carroll said after an implausible comeback for a 28-22 victory over Green Bay in the NFC championship game Sunday.

Plagued by turnovers and outplayed much of the day, the Seahawks staged a stunning rally built on resilience. Russell Wilson, who struggled until the final minutes, hit Jermaine Kearse for a 35-yard touchdown 3:19 into the extra period to win it.

The Seahawks became the first defending champion to make the Super Bowl in 10 years, and will play the winner of the AFC title game between Indianapolis and New England. How they got there was stunning.

"The will and the drive of these men is unbelievable," Wilson said. "We always find a way to finish."
Seattle (14-4) trailed 19-7 with about four minutes remaining and had been ineffective on offense all game. Wilson finally put a drive together with passes to Doug Baldwin and Marshawn Lynch - initially ruled a touchdown but called back because he stepped out of bounds. Wilson finished with a 1-yard scoring run to cut the lead to 19-14 with 2:09 left.

The onside kick went high to Packers tight end Brandon Bostick, but he couldn't gather it, and Seattle's Chris Matthews recovered at the 50. The crowd, quiet since Seattle fell behind 16-0, came alive, and Lynch sped and powered his way to a 24-yard TD run. On the 2-point conversion, Wilson - about to be sacked - threw a desperate pass hauled in by Luke Willson to make it 22-19 with 1:25 remaining.

Aaron Rodgers, limping on an injured calf, calmly led the Packers (13-5) downfield to set up Mason Crosby's fifth field goal, a 48-yarder with 14 seconds to go to force overtime.

Then Wilson and Kearse struck, with Kearse - the target on all four of Wilson's interceptions - beating Tramon Williams on the winning pass. Kearse has also caught the winning score in last year's conference title win over San Francisco.

"Just making the plays at the end and keep believing," said Wilson, who was overwhelmed and sobbing after the game. "There was no doubt ... we had no doubt as a team."

Kearse, who has caught touchdown passes in four straight postseason games, and several other Seahawks leaped into the stands behind the end zone, saluting the stadium-record crowd of 68,538. Wilson ran through cameramen to jump on Kearse's back, and defensive end Michael Bennett borrowed a bicycle from a police officer and rode around the edge of the field saluting the "12s."

Until the final minutes, there seemed to be no doubt the Packers were headed to the big game Feb. 1 in Glendale, Arizona. Despite All-Pro Rodgers' injury, Green Bay and its overlooked defense was carrying the day.

"It's going to be a missed opportunity that I'll probably think about for the rest of my career," Rodgers said. "We were the better team today, we played well enough to win. We can't blame anybody but ourselves."

Special teams trickery lifted the Seahawks back into the game after falling behind 16-0. Their first touchdown came on a fake field goal when holder Jon Ryan threw 19 yards to tackle eligible Garry Gilliam in the third quarter. And Matthews' onside kick recovery kept the Seahawks alive.

Lynch rushed for 157 yards on 25 carries and was the one consistent offensive force Seattle had. He was crucial to both late scoring drives in regulation.

And after the Packers tied it, Seattle wouldn't be denied in overtime, winning the coin toss and going 87 yards in six plays.

The 16-point comeback was the largest ever in a conference title game. The Colts defeated the Patriots after trailing 21-6 in 2006.

"It takes everybody and everybody had to contribute to get that done," Carroll said. "It was so much heart, so much belief today. Somehow, somehow we pulled it out."

The matchup of Green Bay's top-ranked scoring offense against the league's stingiest defense instead was being controlled by the Packers' ability to stop - and turn over - the Seahawks. The five giveaways were the most in the Carroll era that began in 2010.

The silence of the fans was remarkable for much of the windy, intermittently rain day. Rookie safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix had two interceptions and Green Bay sacked Wilson five times.

Yet it wasn't enough.

"I felt our football team was a special group. They've been great all year," coach Mike McCarthy said. 

"This is a hard one to swallow."

Seahawks All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman played much of the final quarter holding his left arm at his chest. The center of conversation after last January's NFC championship win against the 49ers, he quietly left the field with his arm still pinned to his body, an NFC championship towel hanging off his right arm.

Sherman said after the game about the Super Bowl: "I will 100 percent be able to play."

Rodgers didn't shy away from throwing at Sherman, and in an early matchup of All-Pros, Rodgers' pass to rookie Davante Adams in the end zone was snagged by Sherman.

But the Pack was right back in scoring position moments later when Clinton-Dix grabbed a tipped pass and returned it 26 yards to the Seattle 4. Fullback John Kuhn, another All-Pro, had his TD dive reversed by a replay review and Seattle held. Crosby made it 3-0.

Doug Baldwin fumbled the ensuing kickoff at his 23, and Crosby made a 19-yarder.

It didn't get better in the first half for the hosts. Randall Cobb caught an 18-yard TD pass on the final play of the opening quarter to make it 13-0; Green Bay outgained Seattle 137-3 in the period.

The Seahawks' initial first down came nearly eight minutes into the second quarter.

Crosby nailed a 40-yarder to conclude Green Bay's dominant first half. Wilson was picked off three times, had a QB rating of 0.00, and Seattle was fortunate it didn't trail by more.

Even after the fake field goal TD made it 16-7, the Seahawks didn't seem likely to pull off the comeback. Yet they did, becoming the first team since New England a decade ago to return to the Super Bowl.

"I'm honored to be on this team, Wilson said. "I'm going to the Super Bowl again."
---
AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel lead Oscars race

BBC/ Entertainment
Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel lead the race for this year's Oscars with nine nominations each.
The Imitation Game, Boyhood and American Sniper also have multiple nominations.


There was good news for British actors as Benedict Cumberbatch, Eddie Redmayne, Rosamund Pike, Felicity Jones and Keira Knightley are all nominated.


Up against Cumberbatch and Redmayne for best actor are Steve Carell, Bradley Cooper and Michael Keaton.

Cumberbatch, who plays codebreaker Alan Turing in The Imitation Game, said he was "knocked for six" by the nomination.


"So excited and honoured to receive this recognition," he said.


"It's wonderful to be included by the Academy in this exceptional year of performances. To ring my parents, who are both actors, and tell them that their only son has been nominated for an Oscar is one of the proudest moments of my life."

 Fresh his Golden Globe win on Sunday, Eddie Redmayne, again nominated for his role as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, told the BBC how he heard the news in Los Angeles.


"It's the crack of dawn and I've gone from being in a deep dark sleep to hearing this news. I can't quite articulate what I'm feeling but I feel pretty good".


He played down any rivalry with his "old friend" Benedict Cumberbatch, calling him a "lovely, wondrous, human being".


"We've been texting this morning and there have been a lot of exclamation marks of euphoria so there's definitely no competition there," he said

Redmayne revealed he would stay up to watch the Oscars as a child but would "never ever dream I'd get to go. Frankly being invited to the party is an extraordinary thing".

It is Bradley Cooper's third consecutive Oscar nomination in the best actor shortlist, this year for his role in Clint Eastwood's military biopic American Sniper.


He is the first actor to achieve this feat since Russell Crowe was nominated for The Insider, Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind at the start of the century. He won for Gladiator in 2001.


Meryl Streep is nominated for her 19th acting Oscar, breaking her own Academy Awards record. She is up for best supporting actress for Into the Woods alongside Knightley, Patricia Arquette, Laura Dern and Emma Stone.



Nominated alongside Felicity Jones and Rosamund Pike in the best actress category are previous Oscar winners Reese Witherspoon and Marion Cotillard, alongside Julianne Moore, who recently won the Golden Globe for her role in Still Alice.


Those who missed out in the category included Jennifer Aniston, who was nominated for a Golden Globe for her role in Cake, and Amy Adams who won the Golden Globe for best actress in a musical or comedy for Big Eyes.



Films with most nominations

9 - Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel
8 - The Imitation Game
6 - American Sniper, Boyhood
5 - Foxcatcher, Interstellar, The Theory of Everything, Whiplash


Speaking immediately after the announcement, Felicity Jones, nominated for her role as Stephen Hawking's first wife Jane in The Theory of Everything, admitted she was too nervous to watch the nominations live.


"It's so nerve-wracking I couldn't watch it", she told BBC 5 live. "I was just waiting and I got a phone call from my brother. He was very sweet, he just said: "you've done it, you've got it.

"I was just so excited. It's one of those things you never quite expect. It's just fantastic news".
The nominees in the main categories are:

Best film:

Best director:

  • Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
  • Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
  • Alejandro G Inarritu (Birdman)
  • Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game)
  • Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher)
Best actor:

  • Steve Carell (Foxcatcher)
  • Bradley Cooper (American Sniper)
  • Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game)
  • Michael Keaton (Birdman)
  • Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)
Best actress

  • Marion Cotillard (Two Days, One Night)
  • Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything)
  • Julianne Moore (Still Alice)
  • Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl)
  • Reese Witherspoon (Wild)
Robert Duvall's nomination for best supporting actor in The Judge makes him the oldest Oscar nominee in this category. At 84, he is two years older than the previous oldest nominee, Hal Holbrook, who was up for Into the Wild in 2008. The oldest winner in this category is Christopher Plummer, who was 82 when he picked up the Oscar for Beginners in 2012.


The Lego Movie was a surprise omission in the best animated film category, although its catchy theme song Everything is Awesome, by Tegan & Sara, is up for best song.


Also up for best song is Grateful written by Diane Warren and performed by British singer Rita Ora in Beyond the Lights, alongside John Legend, who won the Golden Globe for his song Glory from the film Selma.
 
Pet chickens

Civil rights drama Selma's only other nomination comes in the best picture category.
 
The live action short category includes The Phone Call, by British director Mat Kirkby, in which Sally Hawkins plays a helpline call centre volunteer who counsels a mystery man.


The film was shot in 2013, a week after Hawkins finished filming Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine (for which she was nominated for the best supporting actress Oscar last year). Kirkby sold his car to pay for the film.


Also in the live action short category is Boogaloo and Graham, directed by Michael Lennox. Filmed entirely on location in Northern Ireland, the film is set in 1970s Belfast and follows two young boys who discover the facts of life, aided by the help of their pet chickens. The short also picked up a Bafta nomination last week.


The nominations were announced in Hollywood by Alfonso Cuaron, who won best director for Gravity last year, alongside actor Chris Pine, Star Wars director JJ Abrams and Oscars boss Cheryl Boone Isaacs.


Television and film actor Neil Patrick Harris will host the ceremony in Hollywood's Dolby Theatre on 22 February.


You can keep up to date with our live feed of the Oscar nominations and reactions as they happen.

Britain's winter storm: 100-mph winds, heavy snow, 149 flood alerts

(Peter Morrison / AP)
LONDON (AP) -- Britain and Ireland have been battered by 100 mph winds and heavy snow, stranding some motorists after a major road was closed.
The Environment Agency said Thursday that 149 flood alerts and 32 flood warnings had been issued in England and Wales, with more reported in Scotland.
Heavy weather and high seas also hit Northern Ireland.
Some of the most severe problems took place in Scotland where drivers on were stranded overnight on a highway by heavy snow.
Hundreds of homes were left without power.
In Dublin, airport officials said a number of incoming flights were diverted to other airports because of high winds. Travelers were advised to check their flight status before going to the airport.

New Charlie Hebdo reaches global audience, dismays Muslims

A man reads Cumhuriyet, the leading pro-secular Turkish …



LONDON (AP) — A week ago, Charlie Hebdo was a niche publication little known outside France, with a circulation of 60,000. On Wednesday the satirical newspaper's first issue since last week's deadly attack on its staff went on sale with an initial print run of 3 million copies and front-page coverage around the world.

Readers in France mobbed newsstands to buy a copy and European newspapers reprinted Charlie Hebdo's cartoons as a gesture of solidarity. But the decision to depict the Prophet Muhammad on the cover, holding a sign saying "Je suis Charlie" (I am Charlie), angered many Muslims, who called it a renewed insult to their religion.

Readers in France mobbed newsstands to buy a copy and European newspapers reprinted Charlie Hebdo's cartoons as a gesture of solidarity. But the decision to depict the Prophet Muhammad on the cover, holding a sign saying "Je suis Charlie" (I am Charlie), angered many Muslims, who called it a renewed insult to their religion.


MUSLIM ANGER
Many Muslims believe their faith forbids depictions of the prophet, and reacted with dismay — and occasionally anger — to the latest cover image. Some felt their expressions of solidarity with Charlie Hebdo after last week's attack had been rebuffed, while others feared the cartoon would trigger yet more violence.

A French bookshop, where staff expect to get copies …"You're putting the lives of others at risk when you're taunting bloodthirsty and mad terrorists," said Hamad Alfarhan, a 29-year old Kuwaiti doctor.
"I hope this doesn't trigger more attacks. The world is already mourning the losses of many lives under the name of religion."

Abbas Shumann, deputy to the Grand Sheik of Cairo's influential Al-Azhar mosque, said the new image was "a blatant challenge to the feelings of Muslims who had sympathized with this newspaper."

But he told The Associated Press that Muslims should ignore the cover and respond by "showing tolerance, forgiveness and shedding light on the story of the prophet." An angry reaction, he said, "will not solve the problem but will instead add to the tension and the offense to Islam."

In Lebanon, the Shiite Muslim militant group Hezbollah said the depiction was "a provocation of the feelings of more than 1.5 billion Muslims in the world ... and directly contributes to supporting terrorism, fanaticism and extremists."

A French bookshop, where staff expect to get copies …In Jordan, the Muslim Brotherhood said it would stage a protest after Friday prayers in Amman in response to the paper's Muhammad cartoon. Spokesman Murad Adaileh said the brotherhood strongly condemned both the killings and the "offensive" against the prophet.
That was a widely expressed sentiment. Ghassan Nhouli, a grocer in the Lebanese port city of Sidon, said the magazine and the killers "are both wrong."

"It is not permitted to kill and also it is not permitted to humiliate a billion Muslims," he said.

The Iranian government has strongly condemned the killings, but Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif said that in a world of widely differing cultures, "sanctities need to be respected."

"I think we would have a much safer, much more prudent world if we were to engage in serious dialogue, serious debate about our differences and then what we will find out that what binds us together is far greater than what divides us," he said.

People queue up to buy the new issue of Charlie Hebdo …Egyptian cartoonist Makhlouf appealed for peace with his own spin on the Charlie Hebdo cover, replacing Muhammad with an ordinary Middle Eastern man carrying a placard reading "I am an artist" in French.

"I am for art and against killing," he added in Arabic. "May God forgive everyone." The image was widely circulated on social media.

TURKISH TENSION
Turkey was rare among Muslim-majority nations to have publications running Charlie Hebdo images. But the decision has raised tensions in the officially secular country.

A police officer stands guard at the entrance of Cumhuriyet, …A Turkish ordered a ban on access to websites showing Charlie Hebdo's Muhammad cover, and police stopped trucks leaving the printing plant of newspaper Cumhuriyet after it said it would reprint some of the cartoons Wednesday. The vehicles were allowed to distribute the paper once officials had determined that the image of the Prophet Muhammad was not shown.

The paper printed a four-page selection of cartoons and articles — including caricatures of Pope Francis and French President Francois Hollande — but left out cartoons likely to offend Muslims. However, two Cumhuriyet columnists used small, black-and-white images of the new Charlie Hebdo cover as their column headers.
A small group of pro-Islamic students staged a protest outside the paper's office in Ankara, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported, and police intensified security outside Cumhuriyet's headquarter and printing center.

NO LUCK IN NEW YORK
The latest edition of Charlie Hebdo may well have been the hottest unavailable item in New York, as phones at magazine and newspaper vendors rang off the hook with thousands of inquiries.

"This is all I'm doing today!" said Ami Patel, owner of the Around the World magazine and book store near Times Square — one of the city's biggest purveyors of foreign publications.
"There's a phone call every minute, plus walk-ins," said Patel, who could barely finish a sentence before another call came in.

It was a similar story at other magazine sellers; even the New York-based cultural division of the French Embassy said it had not yet received any copies.


A police car stationed outside the headquarters of …
EAGER EUROPEANS
Across Europe, there was high demand for scarce copies of the latest edition, and several newspapers ran extracts from Charlie Hebdo.
Spain's El Pais published two pages of the cartoons with Spanish translation, though it did not include any images of the prophet.

A small Italian newspaper, Il Fatto Quotidiano (The Daily Fact), published Charlie Hebdo as a 16-page supplement, in French with Italian translations of the captions.

"Why are we doing it?" editor Antonio Padellaro wrote in a front-page column. "Because last Friday, when we called the surviving top editor of Charlie Hebdo, we heard him say, 'Thanks, you're the only Italian newspaper who asked us.'"

Physical copies of the paper were hard to find, though newsagents in several countries said they hoped to have some in stock by the end of the week.

A police car stationed outside the headquarters of …
In Sweden, the 320-strong Pressbyran chain of newsagents said it would sell the issue, but only online, not in stores. Spokesman Fredrik Klein said the decision was "as a security measure and out of concern for our staff."
There was brisk bidding for copies of Charlie Hebdo on Internet auction sites. On the Irish version of eBay, emailed electronic copies were selling at prices starting around 6.50 euros ($8), while hard copies attracted bids over 200 euros ($240). On British eBay, bidding on one copy went above 95,000 ($145,000), though it was unclear whether the bids were genuine or an attempt to make mischief.

Michael Collingwood of Sgel, Charlie Hebdo's Spanish distributor, said he normally received 40 copies but had been promised 1,000 this time by the paper's French distributor. He figured he could sell eight times that number.

"I don't know why they only printed 3 million," he said. "Everyone wants it."
___
Associated Press writers around the world contributed to this report.