Tuesday, June 8, 2010

2010 FIFA World Cup: United States

We preview the 2010 FIFA World Cup, set for June 11-July 11 in South Africa.


Appearance: Ninth overall, sixth consecutive

Last time there: 2006, exited in first round

Best performance: Semifinals (1930)

There are not many more storylines in this event as volatile.

The United States has been feast or famine in recent World Cups. In 1994, as the hosts, the Americans staged a nice run, beating Colombia and falling dramatically to eventual champion Brazil in the second round.

With higher expectations in 1998, the Americans flopped badly, finishing last among the 32 qualifiers and costing coach Steve Sampson his job.

After Bruce Arena came aboard, things started looking up again. At the 2002 World Cup, Team USA upset Portugal, managed to make the second round, then shocked the world with a 2-0 win over Mexico. Only a controversial uncalled handball in a 1-0 loss to Germany kept the United States from a potential semifinal spot.

In 2002, Arena's job went the same way of Sampson's. The Americans were not nearly good enough, falling out after going 0-2-1 in the group stage.

A great run through the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup instilled hope that the United States was on the road back under coach Bob Bradley. But recent matches have shown a vulnerable defense and questionable depth.

That defense's key is Oguchi Onyewu, a big man who is coming off a major knee injury and looked shaky in a pre-tournament friendly loss to the Czech Republic. Jonathan Spector and Jay DeMerit are quality defenders, and Carlos Bocanegra has value on the wings as both a defender and attacker.

Two players make the offense go as much as anyone on the team. Midfielder Landon Donovan has played well as of late, and is looking to shake off a pretty dreadful performance in 2006. Forward Jozy Altidore can score as good as anyone, with six in qualifiers, and he's a dangerous offensive player.

Midfielders Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey will contribute offensively if they're in good form during the tournament. If they're not in good form, the Americans are in trouble, because they won't generate enough possession or creativity in the midfield to get by anyone of significance.

One thing to like about this team is their ability to have offensive balance. They're not all about Altidore, Donovan, Dempsey, or Bradley. The negative is that even one of these guys not playing well can throw the whole team for a loop. Coach Bradley needs them all to help keep the heat off his relatively shaky backline. That defense will sink this team at some point, but Bradley hopes it's later rather than sooner.

Video: Mandela to Attend World Cup Opening Ceremony

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Kyron Horman, 7, Disappeared From Elementary School

Portland, OR - Just before 8:00 Friday morning, 7-year-old Kyron Horman and his step-mother, Terri Horman, attended a science fair at Skyline Elementary School. Terri snapped a picture of Kyron standing in front of his red-eyed tree frog exhibit and the two wandered around for a bit looking at the other exhibits. At 8:45, Terri walked Kyron down the hall near his classroom. “I’m going back to the classroom, mom,” he told her. Terri waved good-bye and watched him walk down the hall. Kyron hasn’t been seen since. Nearly 8 hours passed before anyone even realized the child had vanished. Law enforcement was notified after Kyron failed to materialize at his bus stop at 3:30 that afternoon. That’s when they finally found out that Kyron hadn’t been in class all day long – members of the school staff said they never saw Kyron after the science fair, and he didn’t make it to his classroom. Portland Public Schools spokesman Matt Shelby says the Horman’s weren’t notified of the absence because Skyline doesn’t use an auto-dialer which calls parents to report the student is absent. Shelby said the school doesn’t use such a system because it doesn’t have problems with attendance.

Kyron is described as a timid little guy, very aware of stranger danger and not prone to being adventurous or wandering off. Searchers have been at it day and night since early Friday evening and have come up empty handed. As of Saturday night, there had been no Amber Alert issued because in this case, there are no known suspects or suspect vehicles. Authorities and school officials will be conducting interviews with school staff, parents and anyone else who was at the school on Friday – those interviews are expected to take place throughout the day today. Investigators say the child’s family is cooperating in the case and report that Kyron’s bio-mom arrived in Portland from Medford, Oregon, soon after learning of the boy’s disappearance.

He is 3′ 8″, 50 pounds, with blue eyes and brown hair. He was wearing black cargo pants, white socks, worn black Skecher tennis shoes with orange trim and a dark t-shirt with the “CSI” show logo. Anyone with information regarding Kyron’s whereabouts is asked to call a tip line at 503-261-2847.

Photos of Gary Coleman's last moments sold to tabloid

Coleman's dying moments sold to tabloid

His wife said they planned to re-marry

Coleman's parents allege foul play

Gallery: Hollywood's famous siblings

PHOTOS of actor Gary Coleman’s final moments have been sold to a tabloid and his ex-wife will get a cut of the profits, entertainment website TMZ reports.

TMZ said three of four photos being shopped around could hit newsstands as early as this week.

It did not identify the tabloid it said bought the pictures.

The picture that was not part of the deal showed Coleman after his death, TMZ said.

One of those that did sell showed his ex-wife, Shannon Price, standing next to a bedridden Coleman who was "riddled" with tubes, it reported.

TMZ also reported Monday that Coleman will be cremated.

Dion Mial, Coleman’s former manager and executor of his estate, said no decision had been made on where his remains would go.

Earlier Monday, ex-wife Price said on Good Morning America that she would take her own life before ever harming him and that the couple had actually been planning to renew their wedding vows until health issues intervened.

Price, who arrived for the interview in a wheelchair, also described the moments leading up to the fall that eventually resulted in Coleman’s death.

"I asked him if he could make me some food," she told the ABC show.

"He went down there (to the kitchen) and I heard this big smack. I went down there and found him in a pool of blood.

"People can say whatever they want. I know the truth," she said.

"I would never hurt my husband, ever."

Price and the former child star, who died May 26 of an intracranial hemorrhage, married in 2007 when she was 22 and he was 40.

They divorced in 2008 but she said they planned to re-marry.

"We decided that (divorce) wasn't what we wanted,” she told GMA.

“We just had a disagreement. After we filed and it went through we decided that wasn't the right choice."

Health issues delayed their vow renewals, she said, adding, "I have had a lot of health issues. I have seizures, I have anxiety. I miss my husband a lot. I can barely get around. It's been a trial."

Coleman had a lifelong history of health problems, including congenital kidney disease that resulted in two kidney transplants, and heart surgery complicated by pneumonia last fall.

"We discussed death a few times and he always said he would be very unfair if he left me and I really respect that," Price told GMA, "because I loved him and he loved me and we just can't live without each other."

Video: Apple unveils latest version of iPhone

Easy to use videoconferencing is the head-turning feature of the latest iPhone and the FaceTime application may pressure wireless carriers to provide more bandwidth.

. Video: World Cup: what's next for the workers?

Izzo-to-NBA drumbeat at its height

By Jeff Lutz

For a college coach, flirting with the NBA seems like the natural thing to consider at least once in a career. For coaches like Rick Pitino and John Calipari, the NBA becomes a place to start over from the experience of the college game. The NBA is no place for a tactician, with a list from here to East Lansing and back of names that just didn’t cut it in the professional game. Michigan State’s Tom Izzo has at least once flirted with the idea of the NBA, and it looks like a former alumni may take him to the very edge of NBA glory.

The LeBron James saga is a real horse vs. cart saga. Do you get the big name coach to bring in the big name players? Do you get the biggest player in the game to get the coach who seemingly would never leave one of the most solid jobs in the college game? What happens if instead of LeBron James in the starting lineup for the team, it’s Joe Johnson? For the countless number of Spartans fans that occupy this great state, the thought of having their demigod go to a professional team seems like the end of an era for Spartans basketball.

If I’m Tom Izzo, I give the “thanks, but no thanks” to Michigan’s Dan Gilbert and stay at MSU. Izzo is essentially assured a lifetime contract at State with a $3 million/year deal in his hands. Unless he has totally lost his passion on the recruiting trail, or has a great desire to coach an NBA superstar, then he must make the move. I would like to think that an annual salary like that, combined with the adoring fans in East Lansing, would be enough pull to keep the star coach in East Lansing along with the power of basketball in the Great Lakes State.

IATA says industry will post a $2.5 billion profit in 2010

Reversing its earlier forecast that the global airline industry would lose money in 2010, the International Air Transport Association says the industry will post a $2.5 billion profit this year.

"The global economy is recovering from the depths of the financial crisis much more quickly than could have been anticipated," said IATA chief executive Giovanni Bisignani. "Airlines are benefiting from a strong traffic rebound that is pushing the industry into the black."

Previously, IATA said the industry would lose $2.8 billion.

In its new forecast, IATA says passenger traffic is expected to grow by 7.1 percent and cargo traffic will increase by 18.5 percent. Revenues are forecast to be $545 billion.
North American carriers are anticipated to post a profit of $1.9 billion as demand is growing and capacity cuts are implemented. European airlines, however, will post a $2.8 billion loss partly due to the volcanic ash crisis and a series of labor strikes.

The full release is here.

INDIA!!!Eight convicted over Bhopal gas leak [Newlife]

NEW DELHI: A court in the Indian city of Bhopal has convicted eight people over the gas plant leak that killed thousands of people more than 25 years ago.The convictions are the first since the disaster at the Union Carbide plant, the world’s worst industrial accident.The eight convicted face up to two years in jail […]

This cup of tea was served by: Desi Blog For Desi Crowd

Corruption Trial Underway for Former IL Gov. Rod Blagojevich

By Kamika Dunlap

The corruption trial of former IL Governor Rod Blagojevich is underway in a federal courtroom in Chicago, Illinois.

The trial marks the beginning of what is expected to be an 18-month ordeal for Rod Blagojevich. Two senior members of President Barack Obama's administration have also been subpoenaed as witnesses in the trial, CNN reports.

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett have been subpoenaed, officials said.

As previously discussed, former Il Gov. Rod Blagojevich was removed from office after an alleged attempt to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama and other alleged efforts to leverage the powers of his office.

In addition, prosecutors re-indicted Blagojevich because the constitutionality of the law underpinning some of Blagojevich's original charges -- honest services fraud -- has been challenged and is currently the subject of U.S. Supreme Court review in another case.
Blagojevich's lawyers were hoping to get the trial pushed back five months until November. They had expected a decision might come from the U.S. Supreme Court on honest services fraud.

The Supreme Court may resolve the honest services issue sometime this month.
In general, the law against honest services fraud makes it a crime for public officials to deprive the public, or the government, of the right to have those public officials perform their duties honestly.

In April, in April, Blagojevich's lawyers filed a motion seeking to subpoena President Obama to testify in the case, as previously discussed.

However, President Obama has publicly said that he had no knowledge to allegations made in the indictment or about talks regarding filling his Senate seat.

In addition, there was no allegation in the court papers of any wrongdoing the President's part.
As previously discussed, Blagojevich is facing racketeering, attempted extortion, bribery, bribery conspiracy and extortion conspiracy charges.

Video: President Obama Wants To Know "Whose Ass To Kick"

Tomorrow morning on today, NBC News' Matt Lauer will talk to President Barack Obama about the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and the controversy over his administration's response to the crisis.

Here's 30 seconds from that interview which was recorded today.

"I was down there a month ago, before most of these talkin' heads were even paying attention to the gulf. A month ago...I was meeting with fishermen down there, standin' in the rain talking about what a potential crisis this could be. and I don't sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminare, we talk to these folks because they potentially...have the best answers, so I know whose ass to kick".Watch It:

By Dave Harding

Youngest Isley Brother dies at 56

Marvin Isley, the bass player who helped give RnB powerhouse the Isley Brothers their distinctive sound, has died at a Chicago hospital.

Isley, 56, died on Sunday morning at an in-patient hospice at Weiss Memorial Hospital, hospital spokeswoman Catherine Gianaro said. She could not confirm a cause of death.

Isley stopped performing in 1996 after suffering complications from diabetes that included a stroke, high blood pressure, the loss of both legs and use of his left hand.

He joined his brothers’ band in 1973. By that time, the Isley Brothers had established themselves with hits like 1959’s Shout, which sold more than a million records.

Isley splintered off to form Isley-Jasper-Isley in the 1980s and returned to the Isley Brothers in the 1990s. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, and their career has spanned six decades.

The group’s hits included Twist And Shout, later recorded by The Beatles, Love The One You’re With, and the Grammy-winning 1969 smash It’s Your Thing.

In a 2001 interview, Marvin Isley told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution he regretted spending decades ignoring his diabetes.

“If I would have listened, if I would have understood diabetes like I understood music, maybe these things wouldn’t have happened,” he said.

In 2000 he settled a lawsuit against his older siblings stemming from a dispute over money from the estate of his deceased older brother, O’Kelly Isley, and from a £4.8 million plagiarism award against Michael Bolton relating to the group’s 1966 song Love Is A Wonderful Thing.

LIMA, Peru - Joran van der Sloot confessed to the slaying of a 21-year-old woman in a Lima hotel room, a high-ranking Peruvian government official told NBC News on Monday.