Saturday, July 20, 2013

'Let them Wear Towels': Pioneering female sportswriters with lessons for all of us (Washington Post)

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United States Vice President to press India on more economic reforms

Pressing India for more economic reforms, US Vice President Joe Biden will raise a host of issues ranging from further opening up the retail sector to a stable tax regime during his first India trip next week. While the US welcomed India's raising of foreign direct investment limits in certain sectors last week, "we look forward to continuing to work together to further increase American investment", a senior administration official said on Friday.

Biden's trip "would also afford a chance to point that international firms can play a very constructive role in developing India's retail sector to meet the needs of India's growing population in a way that benefit Indian farmers and consumers as well as American business," he said in a White House teleconference call.

"You can expect that this will be a very important agenda," the official said ahead of Biden's four day trip which starts on Monday. The visit would be the first by a US vice president in 30 years since then incumbent George HW Bush came in the eighties.

United States Vice President to press India on more economic reforms

United States Vice President to press India on more economic reforms

"We will raise the concerns that we have just as we will advise the Indian government to raise the concerns that they have and its views on how we can facilitate economic opportunity for Indian companies in the US."

Among the key issues the official listed were "India's need to provide automatic protection of intellectual property and the importance of a stable predictable tax regime."

Biden, he said, "will describe how reforms in these areas can help strengthen trade and investment ties and will help further India's incredible growth story".

The vice president's trip, "will be a chance to build upon all of the commercial and economic dialogue that we have going with India right now", the official said, referring to the visits of three Indian ministers here last week and US Secretary of State John Kerry's visit to India last month for the India-US strategic dialogue.

Asked about the landmark India-US civil nuclear deal, which has been a limbo over India's nuclear liability laws, the official said, "both of us regard this as a signature achievement and are keen to maximise it".

"We also recognise there are issues associated with it and we need to be engaged on it," he said. As Biden himself told a Washington think tank on Thursday, "we still have a lot of work to do on a wide range of issues".

"There is a lot of work to do," he said listing civil nuclear cooperation, bilateral investment treaty and policies promoting innovation. "There's a lot of work to do. But we believe doing -- going with an open mind and listening, as well as making our case, we believe it can be done.

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NBA says Hornets name will return to Charlotte

The Charlotte Hornets are back.

The NBA Board of Governors unanimously approved changing the Charlotte Bobcats name back to the Hornets beginning for the 2014-15 season during its summer meeting Thursday in Las Vegas.

The Hornets brand became available when the New Orleans Pelicans officially gave it up earlier this year as part of their own name change. The Charlotte Hornets moved to New Orleans in 2002, and the Bobcats joined the league as an expansion team in '04. Commissioner David Stern said Bobcats owner Michael Jordan has been in discussions to get the Hornets name back since he bought the team in 2010.

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Brewing with optimism, commissioner David Stern laid out an NFL-like trajectory for his league at the NBA Board of Governors meeting Thursday, writes Ethan Sherwood Strauss. Blog

"We're thrilled to bring back the Hornets to Charlotte and the Carolinas," Jordan said in a statement. "The passion and enthusiasm around this name change by fans in this market has been unmatched. They overwhelmingly told us what they wanted, we listened and we couldn't be happier with the Board of Governors' approval of the name change. With the young team we are developing on the court, the direction of our business and the return of the Hornets name, we are extremely excited about our future. The buzz is back!"

The Hornets led the NBA in attendance for seven consecutive seasons in Charlotte, but the Bobcats have not been as successful in the market, which spurred the movement to return to the name.

"It is so true that it was a subject of conversation for the last couple of years," Stern said. "Fans of the old Hornets would say, 'Please give us back our Hornet name.' I laughed at it initially. But it stayed there bubbling below the surface, and there's something to it."

The Bobcats' website hailed the return of "Buzz City," and team officials said 2,000 season-ticket holders turned out at a downtown party that turned into a celebration of the name change. Fan favorite Muggsy Bogues and other former Hornets including Rex Chapman, Kelly Tripucka, Dell Curry and Kendall Gill attended as well.

The Name Game

One good reason for Charlotte to ditch the Bobcats -- it ranks second-worst all time in terms of win percentage by team nicknames. Here's a look:

Team Pct. Record
Steamrollers .274
Bobcats .346 (250-472)
Clippers .370 (1,044-1,778)
Grizzlies .383 (547-881)
Wizards .392 (495-769)
-- Minimum 100 games
-- Elias Sports Bureau

"We want to reach back and grab some of that equity that the Hornets earned in our community," Charlotte COO Fred Whitfield said. "They did a lot of great things off the court. They were involved in the community. They became very accessible to the Charlotte fans and citizens of Charlotte. We want to reach back and grab some heritage and use it as we move forward to build a brand with our young team that continues to improve."

The NBA owners handled several other pieces of business at the meeting, including:

? They voted to expand the use of instant replay to include reviews on block/charge calls in the restricted area, better known as the "no-charge zone." Officials now can stop the game to check whether a defender was in the restricted area on such a call.

"You always try to level the playing field and basically get it right," said Kiki Vandeweghe, the league's new vice president of basketball operations. "That's the main focus is getting calls right."

Stern said the move could add time to games, and the league was continuing to look at creating a centralized replay system in which offsite officials would judge replays to speed up the game. He said the league might add a fourth referee to the playoffs next season to act as replay official on the sideline.

? Officials also will be able to use instant replay to review whether a player had started his shooting motion on shooting fouls and whether a foul was committed before a ball was inbounded.

? The controversial flopping policy the league instituted last season will be left alone for the 2013-14 season. Stern hinted during the NBA Finals that flop warnings followed by $5,000 fines for second offenses were not enough of a deterrent. No player was given a fine for a third offense last season. The league's competition committee recommended no changes.

? It will now be a violation and an automatic turnover if an offensive player stands out of bounds and doesn't immediately return to the floor. This addresses a recent trend in the league of players standing out of bounds under the basket in an attempt to pull defenders out of position or hide from the defense. There will be no penalty for extenuating circumstances such as injuries or saving a loose ball.

? The league had hoped to have an agreement on human growth hormone testing before next season. Stern, however, said the process has been delayed because the players' association is without an executive director after Billy Hunter was forced out earlier this year. The owners haven't given up on getting a plan in place, but it seems highly unlikely it could be agreed on before next season.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.


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Friday, July 19, 2013

Stocks up on reassurance from Bernanke

Stocks edged up Wednesday after Federal Reserve?Chairman Ben Bernanke?said that the U.S. central bank had no firm timetable for cutting back on its bond purchases. Higher earnings for several major companies also helped stocks.

By Steve Rothwell,?AP Markets Writer / July 17, 2013

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday. Stocks rose on soothing words from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

Brendan McDermid/Reuters


Some soothing words from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke pushed the stock market to slender gains on Wednesday. Higher earnings for several major companies also helped.

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Bernanke said that the U.S. central bank had no firm timetable for cutting back on its bond purchases. The Fed would consider reducing its stimulus program if the economy improves, but Bernanke emphasized in his testimony to Congress that the reductions were "by no means on a preset course."

The central bank is currently buying $85 billion of bonds a month to keep interest rates low and encourage borrowing. Concerns that the Fed was poised to start easing back on that stimulus before the economy had recovered sufficiently caused the stock market to pull back in June.

The concern has been that "the Fed was going to dial the (stimulus) down to zero regardless how the economy was doing," said Phil Orlando, chief market strategist at Federated Investors. "I don't think that's the case at all...the Fed is going to evaluate the economic landscape," before it cuts its stimulus, Orlando said.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index climbed 4.65 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,680.91. The Nasdaq composite rose 11.50 points, or 0.3 percent, to 3,610.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 18.67 points, or 0.1 percent, to 15,470.52.

The Dow was held back by American Express and Caterpillar. The credit card company's stock slumped $1.47, or 1.9 percent, to $76.80 after European regulators proposed to cap the lucrative processing fees the card company imposes.

Caterpillar fell $1.50, or 1.7 percent, to $86.67 after prominent short-seller Jim Chanos said he was shorting the stock because it was exposed to a slump in the mining industry. In a presentation at the 'Delivering Alpha' conference, broadcast by CNBC, Chanos said Caterpillar was "tied to the wrong products, at the wrong time."

Bernanke's comments had a stronger impact on the Treasury market than on the stock market.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.49 percent from 2.53 percent late Tuesday as investors bought U.S. government bonds. The yield has been declining since July 5, when it surged to 2.74 percent after the government reported that hiring was strong in June.

If Treasury yields climb too fast, it worries stock investors because of the impact that rising interest rates have on the wider economy. For example, higher mortgage rates, which are linked to Treasury yields, would slow demand for homes.


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93% The Hunt

All Critics (68) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (63) | Rotten (5)

It is a devastating film to watch, a heedful one, and a tragic reminder that no matter how well a life has been conducted, the mere whiff of such scandalous behavior is condemnation enough.

[A] quietly devastating drama about a soft-spoken, bespectacled and devoted kindergarten teacher whose life is upended by a false accusation from one of his students.

This is filmmaking of a high order, even though the production's scale is modest and the climax is not without its facile contrivances.

Unsettling, forthright and thought-provoking, The Hunt is also brilliantly titled.

This story is about a witch hunt, an accusation of impropriety that takes on a life of its own, shattering bonds of trust in a close-knit community.

"The Hunt" is a merciless examination of the fear and savagery roiling just below the surface of bourgeois life.

...incredible acting by Mikkelsson, (but) what is unforgettable is the acting of the young girl who makes the allegation, Annika Wedderkopp. It's remarkable that someone so young could give such a performance.

The characters... are not symbolic. They're real people, leading imperfect lives... but we can relate to their feelings, and their actions at every turn of this searing drama.

Vinterberg's best filmmaking since his Dogme '95 entry "The Celebration."

Mikkelsen, one of his country's finest actors, in collaboration with Thomas Vinterberg, one of its finest directors, delivers what may be his strongest performance yet.

A nuanced portrait of a fundamentally decent man grappling with a world that has decided to treat him indecently.

The innocent man wrongly accused is something that everyone can identify with - what if it happened to me?

Mikkelsen's an actor of restraint, and ...Vinterberg's modern day witch hunt tale gives the actor a whole range of restraint to work with in a film whose title begins literally, turns figurative, then, in a chilling coda, suggests a merging of the two.

The Hunt works as simplistic, cathartic melodrama. It's about ambiguity, but there's nothing ambiguous about the film itself.

The Hunt is beautifully shot and performed. But gritty, immersive Dogme it is not.

The Hunt may prove stressful, frustrating, even enraging, but it's also an unbelievably effective watch, that, if nothing else signals an undeniable return to form for Vinterberg, and yet another blistering performance from Mikkelsen.

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The Female Marathoner You Didn?t Know That Changed Sports Forever

Katherine Switzer was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon, a decision that changed the sport from then on.

by Sam Ferrigno on Jul 18th, 2013

Source: UpWorthy

Original: Makers: Women Who Make America


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