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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Philadelphia Orchestra Emerges From Bankruptcy

Philadelphia Orchestra Emerges From Bankruptcy

(Credit: www.philorch.org)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia Orchestra is out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

A month after a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge approved its reorganization plan, The Philadelphia Orchestra Association announced Tuesday it has officially emerged from Chapter 11.

The POA addressed more than $100 million in claims, debts and liabilities with a settlement of $5.49 million, a statement from the association and its subsidiary, the Academy of Music, said.

For full story go to: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/

NY couple, 85, to remarry 48 years after divorce

NY couple, 85, to remarry 48 years after divorce

AP Photo
Roland Davis and Lena Henderson, both 85, kiss as they pose for a photo in West Seneca, N.Y., Tuesday, July 31, 2012. They got married while still in their teens, divorced 20 years later and are getting remarried on Saturday, August 4, after nearly a half-century apart.

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- They got hitched while still in their teens, divorced 20 years and four children later, and are getting remarried after nearly a half-century apart.

For Lena Henderson and Roland Davis, both 85 years old, the second time around is finally here. The couple plans to get married again on Saturday, with four generations on hand to see it happen.

"It's every child's dream, every child who has ever been in a family where divorce has occurred, that your parents would come back together," their youngest daughter, Renita Chadwick, said Tuesday as wedding preparations were in full swing.

"We are all so ridiculously excited. We're like little children again," said Chadwick, herself a grandmother.

Henderson and Davis met as teenagers in Chattanooga, Tenn., and were married by a justice of the peace. There was no reception or honeymoon.

"Oh no," Henderson recalled with a laugh. "He went to work and I went home." Davis was a hotel bellhop at the time, about to begin a career in the military.

This time around, a church wedding is planned, at Elim Christian Fellowship Church in Buffalo, followed by a reception at an Amherst restaurant.

Still no honeymoon trip, though.

"I'm just happy that we're here," said Davis, who recently moved to suburban Buffalo from Colorado, where he was living alone following the death of his second wife in January. Henderson also was widowed after re-marrying.

Davis proposed to Henderson over the phone around Easter and she accepted, even though they hadn't seen each other since a family funeral in 1996. Before that, the two hadn't been face-to-face since splitting up in 1964, though they had stayed in touch and kept up with each other's lives through the children.

Their oldest daughter, Johnnie Mae Funderbirk, had been urging her father to return to New York since his wife's death.

Davis was receptive, especially to the idea of reconnecting with Henderson.

"I had always kind of had that in mind, mostly because of the children," he said. "You never forget someone that you cared for at one time or another."

Henderson and Davis both said it was "nice" to see one another again, this time as an engaged couple.

The children are less reserved.

"I'm as excited as some 9-year-old whose parents are getting back together," Funderbirk said, "and I'm 65 years old."

Syria's Aleppo running low on food amid siege

Syria's Aleppo running low on food amid siege

AP Photo
This image made from amateur video released by the Ugarit News and accessed Tuesday, July 31, 2012, purports to show Syrian government forces in Damascus, Syria.

BEIRUT (AP) -- Food and cooking gas were in short supply and power cuts plunged homes into darkness as soldiers and rebels battled Tuesday to tip the scales in the fight for Aleppo, Syria's largest city and the current focus of its civil war.

Life for Aleppo's 3 million residents was becoming increasingly unbearable as a military siege entered its 11th day. While rebels seized two police stations, Syrian ground forces pummeled the opposition strongholds of Salaheddine and Seif al-Dawla in the city's southwest, activists said. Government helicopters also pounded those neighborhoods.

"The regime couldn't enter the neighborhoods so they were shelling from a distance with helicopters and artillery," said Mohammed Nabehan, who fled Aleppo for the Kilis refugee camp just across the Turkish border some 30 miles (50 kilometers) away.

Nabehan and others said it was a struggle to find food.

"The humanitarian situation here is very bad," Mohammed Saeed, an activist living in the city, told The Associated Press by Skype. "There is not enough food and people are trying to leave. We really need support from the outside. There is random shelling against civilians," he added. "The city has pretty much run out of cooking gas, so people are cooking on open flames or with electricity, which cuts out a lot."

Days of shelling have forced many civilians to flee to other neighborhoods or even escape the city altogether. The U.N. said Sunday that 200,000 had left Aleppo.

As the bloodshed mounted, the Arab League chief accused President Bashar Assad's regime of atrocities.

"The massacres that are happening in Aleppo and other places in Syria amount to war crimes that are punishable under international law," Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby said in Cairo.

In a new report on the Aleppo carnage released Tuesday night, Amnesty International said, "Scores of demonstrators and bystanders, most of them young men and boys but including several children and older men, have been shot dead and hundreds injured in the city by security forces and the notorious shabiha, the armed militias working alongside government forces. "

"Some of the victims were bystanders who were not taking part in the demonstrations," the London-based human rights group said. "Families of demonstrators and bystanders shot dead by security forces have been pressured to sign statements saying that their loved ones were killed by `armed terrorist gangs.'"

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Washington is "not contemplating any unilateral steps" in Syria. There are fears that military intervention could exacerbate the war. Syria's close ties to Iran and the Islamic militant group Hezbollah in Lebanon mean that the conflict has the potential to draw in the country's neighbors.

The battle for Aleppo is among the most significant of the 17-month-old Syrian uprising. If the regime loses its grip on Aleppo, that could be a tipping point in the civil war.

"It remains the case that for its own legitimacy and credibility, the Syrian government must regain control of Aleppo," said David Hartwell, senior Middle East analyst at the defense and intelligence group IHS Jane's. "It also remains the case that the opposition, not fixated yet on holding territory, intend to make the Syrian army pay a high price as they do this."

Although the rebels are outgunned by the regime's heavy weapons, they have captured a number of government tanks in operations against army positions outside the city, activists say. Saeed said they planned to use them in future operations.

Rami Abdul-Rahman, director of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said rebels seized the Salihin and Bab al-Neyrab police stations Tuesday in battles that lasted several hours. He said the fighting killed about 40 police officers and soldiers as well as a general.

Still, the regime appears to have regained the momentum in the days since a July 18 bombing that killed four top Assad lieutenants. Many observers expect government forces to drown out the rebel run on Aleppo as they did in Damascus last week.

The official Syrian news agency said government forces were pursuing the "remnants of armed terrorist groups" in Aleppo's Salaheddine neighborhood and inflicting heavy losses.

The government refers to its opponents as terrorists, saying the uprising is being driven by foreign extremists - not Syrians seeking reform. Although the conflict began with mostly peaceful protests, the spiral of violence has appeared to radicalize at least some of the opposition. There are signs of militant jihads joining the fray.

A high-ranking Western diplomat familiar with the intelligence assessments on Syria said there is a great deal of concern in the West over the flow of foreign militants into Syria to fight a jihad, or holy war, against Assad's regime.

Militants from Chechnya, Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan have been joining the rebels in significant number, he said. They are entering by way of Iraq and Lebanon and bringing along skills gleaned from battling the Americans and Russians, according to the diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss such matters.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar have both expressed a willingness to fund the revolt and are believed to be sending money to rebels to purchase weapons. On Tuesday, the official Saudi Press Agency said a weeklong national campaign to support "our brothers in Syria" had collected $117 million in cash donations to outfit relief convoys for Syrian refugees.

The violence has fueled a growing refugee crisis in neighboring countries.

According Turkish prime minister's office, some 44,000 Syrian refugees are being sheltered in tent cities and temporary housing in camps along the border. While Turkish authorities say they have yet to see a massive surge in refugees from Aleppo, they are prepared to house up to 100,000.

Jordan, which also has witnessed a steady influx of refugees, is building a tent camp along its border - something it was initially reluctant to do for fear of embarrassing Syria by calling attention to the refugee problem. But with 142,000 Syrians having already fled across the border, according to the Jordanians, new facilities were needed to house them all. Jordan said this week that up to 2,000 new refugees are arriving daily.

As the fighting rages, Syria's political opposition continued to splinter.

Haitham al-Maleh, an 81-year-old lawyer and veteran Syrian opposition figure, announced in Cairo that he was forming his own group, the Council of Syrian Revolutionary Trustees. The opposition's fragmentation has proved to be one of its most serious pitfalls, and there is little chance that his small council will change the calculus of the uprising.

The infighting has prevented the movement from gaining the traction it needs to present a credible alternative to Assad.

Indeed, many among the rebel ranks discount the political opposition entirely, saying it is out of touch with the people on the ground. In the past month, the rebels have demonstrated greater capabilities and have mounted the biggest challenges to the regime so far in the revolt, even though many of the rebel groups are also disparate and operate largely independently.

But the longer the civil war continues, the higher the likelihood of drawing in neighboring countries.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in a televised address Tuesday, signaled that Turkey would not remain indifferent to developments in Syria that could threaten its security.

Erdogan did not elaborate, but his government has said that ethnic Kurds have seized control of five towns in northern Syria. The Turks are concerned that Syrian Kurds may seek an autonomous region or an alliance with their ethnic brethren in northern Iraq and Turkey. Kurdish rebels have long been fighting for an autonomous region in Turkey.

EYES ON LONDON: Phelps makes history, lycra thief

EYES ON LONDON: Phelps makes history, lycra thief

AP Photo
United States' Conor Dwyer, left, Michael Phelps, center, Ryan Lochte, second right, and Ricky Berens, right, pose with their gold medals after their win in the men's 4 x 200-meter freestyle relay at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Tuesday, July 31, 2012.

LONDON (AP) -- Around the 2012 Olympics and its host city with journalists from The Associated Press bringing the flavor and details of the games to you:

---

THE GREATEST OLYMPIAN

So, Michael Phelps has become the most successful Olympian of all time. But moments earlier he'd confessed to teammates that he was feeling vulnerable.

Here's what he said shortly before the relay in which he was to swim the final leg.

"I told those guys I wanted a big lead. I was like, 'You better give me a big lead going into the last lap,' and they gave it to me. I just wanted to hold on. I thanked them for being able to allow me to have this moment."

And what a moment.

Earlier, he'd squandered a certain gold by easing up in the final second of the 200-meter butterfly - and he tossed off his cap in disgust.

But the silver medal - not a color normally associated with Phelps - at least put him level in the all-time list of Olympic medal winners.

The victory in the 4x200 freestyle relay smashed the overall record that had stood for decades, a staggering total of 19 medals. And there are still three more events for him to establish a mark that will be hard for anyone to touch.

- Paul Newberry - Twitter http://twitter.com/pnewberry1963

---

HUNGRY SHARAPOVA

Compared with Wimbledon, Maria Sharapova says she finds the Olympics more tasty.

Sharapova and the rest of the Russian tennis team have been eating dinner together at a house near Wimbledon, the southwest London venue that is hosting the Olympic tournament.

"We have a few cooks that have come from Ukraine, which has been the best part," Sharapova said. "I'm the first one in line for the food all the time."

Still hungry for a medal, Sharapova advanced Tuesday into the third round.

- Steven Wine

---

FROM OHIO TO TRINIDAD

Although Carlos Suarez lost his only bout in London, the light flyweight from Lima, Ohio, had the Olympic boxing crowd chanting his name.

Fighting for Trinidad and Tobago, his mother's homeland, Suarez dropped a 16-6 decision to Turkey's Ferhat Pehlivan in a horrendously sloppy bout. Pehlivan tripped and fell to the canvas easily a dozen times, annoying Suarez tremendously, yet still grinded out enough points to win.

The undersized Suarez shoved, shuffled and even taunted Pehlivan to fight him, but the bout never found a rhythm. The mostly British fans loved his efforts, giving him a huge ovation.

After what's likely the final bout in 11 years as an amateur boxer, Suarez vented his frustrations with this version of the sport.

"That's the problem with Olympic boxing," Suarez said. "It's not boxing. It's tag. Those aren't punches. I didn't feel none of his shots. I'm fed up, big-time."

- Greg Beacham - Twitter http://twitter.com/gregbeacham

---

IMPRESSIVE STREAK

Overlooked amid the U.S. women's rout Tuesday night was Romania winning the bronze medal in women's gymnastics, extending its remarkable streak of finishes. The Romanians now have won a medal at every Olympics dating back to 1976.

"How many gymnasts are there in the USA? China? Russia?" asked coach Octavian Belu. "We have a small group and try our best every day to make good things. We came into the competition with our hearts open."

Making the streak that much more impressive is the struggles the Romanians have had the last few years.

After winning gold in Sydney and Athens, the Romanians finished fourth at the 2006 world championships, the first time since 1981 they had failed to win a team medal. The Romanians got back on the podium at both the 2007 worlds and Beijing Olympics, but they were a distant third. They tumbled back off the podium in 2010 and 2011, but have made a great recovery this year. In addition to their Olympic bronze, they beat Russia for the European title in May.

- Nancy Armour - Twitter http://twitter.com/nrarmour

---

APPRECIATING DENG

This was a moment to appreciate the effort, not assign blame for the failure.

The British men's basketball team fell just short of an upset over Brazil, losing 67-62. If Luol Deng had played better, the hosts might have pulled it off.

The NBA All-Star shot only 3 of 13 from the field and missed two free throws in the closing minutes.

If he were playing with his Chicago Bulls, Deng would have been ripped apart in print and on radio talk shows.

But fans in Britain are grateful for his commitment. Deng grew up in London after his family fled conflict-torn Sudan and he's played for the national team since 2007. He helped the British perform well enough in last year's European championships to convince FIBA that they deserved the traditional automatic Olympic host slot.

So there he was, more than a half hour after the game, still posing for photos with fans.

- Brian Mahoney - Twitter http://twitter.com/briancmahoney

---

A BOXING BEEF

Carlos Suarez has a beef about Olympic boxing.

The light flyweight from Lima, Ohio, was fighting for Trinidad and Tobago, his mother's homeland, as he dropped a 16-6 decision Tuesday to Turkey's Ferhat Pehlivan.

It was a horrendously sloppy bout. Pehlivan fell to the canvas easily a dozen times, annoying Suarez, yet still grinded out enough points to win.

"That's the problem with Olympic boxing," Suarez said. "It's not boxing. It's tag. Those aren't punches. I didn't feel none of his shots. I'm fed up, big-time."

- Greg Beacham - Twitter http://twitter.com/gregbeacham

---

MEN IN TIGHTS

Someone is walking around with Bradley Wiggins' body-hugging Lycra.

Foxhills, the country spa hotel hosting the British cycling team, confirmed Tuesday that the Tour de France winner's training gear was stolen from a locker room while the athletes were having a steamy soak.

"Watch your kit at the Foxhills spa in Surrey, there is a tea leaf about," Wiggins tweeted. "Tea leaf" is Cockney slang for thief.

Many of the cyclist's 325,000 followers offered messages of sympathy. "Hope you did not have to sprint back to the room in the buff," tweeted one.

-Shawn Pogatchnik - Twitter http://twitter.com/ShawnPogatchnik

---

TWITTER AND NBC

Here's the latest on the saga of the journalist whose Twitter account was suspended after he asked followers to email the NBC Olympics president to complain about the network's coverage of the opening ceremony.

Twitter acknowledged Tuesday in a post on its blog that its team working with NBC for their Olympic partnership "proactively" identified the tweet that it said was in violation of its rules and encouraged the network to report it. The social media website's general counsel wrote the behavior was "not acceptable and undermines the trust our users have in us."

NBC Sports says in a statement it wanted to protect its executive, not get the user suspended from Twitter. "We didn't initially understand the repercussions of our complaint, but now that we do, we have rescinded it," the statement read.

- Jay Cohen - Twitter http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap

---

BEFORE PHELPS

So, Michael Phelps has now won more Olympics medals than any other athlete in history. But do you know who had held the record until Tuesday?

It was Larisa Latynina, a small, white-haired former gymnast who hasn't been in action for nearly 50 years.

She won nine gold medals as a gymnast for the Soviet Union, and her 18 total medals had stood since 1964.

The 77-year-old Latynina was in the crowd at North Greenwich Arena on Tuesday to watch the women's gymnastics team final, and she received a warm ovation when her face was shown on the scoreboard late in the competition. She stood up and waved, a big smile on her face as she was introduced by the arena announcer.

Latynina's Olympic career ended after she took home six medals - two of each - from the 1964 Tokyo games.

-Jon Krawczynski - Twitter http://www.twitter.com/APKrawczynski

---

SORRY MATE

Chuang Chih-Yuan of Taiwan is feeling terrible despite reaching the quarterfinals of men's table tennis. He pulverized Adrian Crisan of Romania 11-3, 11-4, 11-4, 11-5 on Tuesday. Trouble is, Chuang says Crisan is his best friend in the game.

"But this is sport and I was very sorry yesterday when I knew I would have to play against him. It was a very bad feeling. ... It was like you have to kill your brother."

- Stephen Wade - Twitter http://twitter.com/StephenWadeAP

---

PHELPS RECORD

The Americans have just won the 4x200 freestyle relay - and that's a 15th gold for Michael Phelps and a new Olympic-record 19th career medal.

---

PISTORIUS RELAY

Double-amputee Oscar Pistorius has been cleared to run any part of the Olympic 4x400-meter relay.

Pistorius was the leadoff runner in the semifinals at the world championships in South Korea last year but the IAAF had raised concerns that his carbon-fiber blades would endanger others in the race. South Africa won silver.

IAAF President Lamine Diack said Tuesday that it's up to the South African federation to decide

"If they want him to run the second leg, he can run the second leg," said Diack. "It is no problem for us."

- Raf Casert - Twitter http://www.twitter.com/rcasert

---

HEAVY FAVORITES

The U.S. men's basketball team went into Tuesday night's game as the enormous favorite over Tunisia, but that wasn't stopping the gamblers from betting on the Americans.

Kevin Bradley, manager of Bovada Sportsbook, says "65 percent of the money is still coming in on the USA and the pace has been steadily increasing all morning."

- Jenna Fryer - Twitter http://twitter.com/jennafryer

---

GUESS MY WEIGHT

How much do the table tennis tables weigh at the Olympic venue?

A. 200 kilos

B. 50 kilos

C. 20 kilos

---

"A" is the correct answer. Heavy duty stuff. Seemed to take a dozen men to move them around at the venue, which has been reduced to using only one table after opening with four for early round play.

-Steve Wade - Twitter http://twitter.com/StephenWadeAP

---

PHELPS SECOND

Agonizingly close for Michael Phelps. He misses a gold medal by a tiny fraction, slipping out of first place right at the end of the men's 200 butterfly. South Africa's Chad le Clos wins. Phelps has tied the record for the most Olympic medals. A small consolation for the American.

---

NORTH KOREA MEDALS

There is surely a celebratory air in Pyongyang right now - North Korea is fifth on the Olympic medals table.

They have four medals overall which puts them in joint ninth position in terms of the total number of medals earned. But it's gold that counts, and Kim Un Guk's success in the men's 62-kilogram weightlifting Monday night means they now have three of them.

The only thing that might dampen their excitement: South Korea is currently in fourth position on the medal standings. China is currently top of the table, followed by the U.S. and then France.

- Fergus Bell - Twitter http://twitter.com/fergb

---

STELLA!

London is the greatest city in the world - and not just when the Olympics are in town, says Stella McCartney, daughter of Beatles legend Paul McCartney.

The fashion designer who created Great Britain's team uniforms - which some say have a tad too much Scottish blue and not enough Welsh red - said the U.K.'s vibrant capital has "a bit of all the world" in it.

"I just love London, I think it has the best of every city I've ever been to ... even with the weather, I still love it," McCartney said Tuesday at a business summit seeking to win a U.K. trade boost from the Olympics.

- David Stringer

---

DON'T SHOOT ME NOW

Novak Djokovic made quick work of Andy Roddick, needing just 54 minutes to wrap up victory.

But Roddick says people shouldn't draw hasty conclusions.

"I won two out of the last three coming in here, so it's like night and day," Roddick said.

"I feel like if I win one, it's career appreciation day. If I don't, it's like `Take him out in the field and shoot him in the head.'"

Of the Serbian's performance, Roddick said: "He was in the zone."

Monday, July 30, 2012

Report: Phillies Willing To Trade Cliff Lee

Report: Phillies Willing To Trade Cliff Lee


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – There was a time, on a late December night, that all of Philadelphia celebrated as the Phillies became the “mystery team” in the Cliff Lee sweepstakes. It was just a year and a half ago, but it sure feels like forever.

Today, Danny Knobler of CBS Sports is reporting that the Phillies are willing to trade Lee.

The Phillies, pushed into sell mode after they were swept over the weekend in Atlanta, have indicated to teams that they’re willing to discuss Cliff Lee, sources say.

For full story go to: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/

Construction Workers Find Skeletal Remains In Greys Ferry Home

Construction Workers Find Skeletal Remains In Greys Ferry Home


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia police are investigating after construction workers made a gruesome discovery this morning in the Greys Ferry neighborhood of the city.

Police say they were called to the 1200 block of Harmony Street just before 8am after partial skeletal remains were found in a house that was being renovated.

For full story go to http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/


VIDEO: Wheelchair-Bound Man Beaten, Robbed In Upper Darby

VIDEO: Wheelchair-Bound Man Beaten, Robbed In Upper Darby


UPPER DARBY, Pa. (CBS) – Police in Delaware County are searching for one of two suspects who were caught on surveillance video assaulting and robbing a wheelchair-bound man inside his apartment.

The incident happened at about 5:30 a.m. on July 26th inside an apartment in Upper Darby.

According to investigators, the two suspects entered the victim’s apartment and pulled the victim, who suffers from muscular dystrophy, out of his wheelchair and began to beat him.

The suspects left the victim on the floor and actually stood on him at one point.

For full story go to: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/


Another hiccup? Romney's foreign trip not smooth

Another hiccup? Romney's foreign trip not smooth

AP Photo
Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is seen on board his charter plane in Tel Aviv, Israel as he travels to Poland, Monday, July 30, 2012.

GDANSK, Poland (AP) -- It wasn't supposed to be this way.

Mitt Romney outraged Palestinians on Monday, telling Jewish donors that their culture is part of what has allowed them to be more economically successful than the Palestinians. That fresh controversy on his visit to Israel came just days after insulting the British on what was intended as a feel-good visit to the Olympics in London.

Whether or not the trip changes votes back home, the effect hasn't seemed to be what Romney's presidential campaign had in mind.

His first steps onto the world stage as President Barack Obama's Republican challenger were carefully crafted to avoid political risk. He visited countries that are staunch U.S. allies, limited questions from the media and arranged made-for-TV appearances at symbolic venues in London and Jerusalem. It was all intended to demonstrate he was ready to handle foreign affairs smoothly and lead during dangerous times.

Instead, as he made his final stop of a three-nation tour in Poland late Monday, Republicans and Democrats alike were shaking their heads in the U.S. Though Republicans said they saw no lasting harm, Democrats raised questions about Romney's ability to handle delicate topics with sensitivity on foreign soil, even under the friendliest conditions.

Romney's latest trouble stemmed from a speech he gave to Jewish donors in which he suggested that their culture was part of what has allowed them to be more economically successful than the Palestinians. Kind words for Israel are standard for many American politicians, but Palestinian leaders suggested his specific comments were racist and out of touch with the realities of the Middle East.

"Because it's billed as a layup - it's billed as something that should be simple - perhaps he let his guard down," said Hogan Gidley, a senior aide under former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum. "You say, `Gosh, this guy is so scripted, the campaign is so disciplined, so smart, how could this happen?'" Still, he doubted that Romney would suffer any long-term effects among voters who are still undecided three months before the election.

Predictably, Obama's campaign was more critical, with senior strategist David Axelrod saying on Twitter: "Is there anything about Romney's Rolling Ruckus that would inspire confidence in his ability to lead US foreign policy?"

It's unclear whether voters in the U.S. are paying attention to Romney's stumbles, especially as concerns about the nation's economy dominate most Americans' concerns.

"I'd say it has the same impact as a stubbed toe," said Iowa Republican John Stineman, a marketing consultant in Des Moines. "People are still focused on the economy."

And Debra Hayes, a Republican-leaning independent from Denver, said Romney's overseas comments have no impact on how she'll vote.

"I'm interested only in the economy - jobs, and the prices of things," said Hayes, who is undecided. "We need to stand with Israel. And our president needs to show leadership overseas. But things are going downhill at home, and that's what matters."

And Romney drew his share of favorable media coverage back home. A speech on Israel policy, delivered at dusk against the scenic backdrop of Jerusalem's Old City, drew praise for its setting and delivery. He and his wife, Ann, appeared relaxed and engaged in an interview on CNN, where Ann Romney described her husband as loving and emotionally engaged.

Still, missteps in the past week have fueled opponents' contentions that the former businessman and Massachusetts governor is out of touch with the nation and the world he hopes to lead.

As the trip got under way, Romney caused a stir in Britain by questioning whether officials there were fully prepared to host the Olympic Games. The dispute overshadowed his efforts to highlight his personal experience leading the Salt Lake City Games a decade ago. Instead, Romney was widely assailed by the London media and criticized by British leaders.

Then on his first day in Israel, Romney distanced himself from an adviser's suggestion that he would "respect" a decision by Israel to launch military action to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons capability.

On Monday at a fundraiser, opened to the media after the campaign first said it would be closed, Romney shared a sentiment he sometimes talks about on the campaign trail in the United States and repeats in his book, "No Apology." But his decision to highlight cultural differences in a region where such differences have helped fuel violence for generations prompted new questions about his diplomatic skills - and enraged Palestinian leaders.

Comparing economic output per capita in Israel and "just across the areas managed by the Palestinian Authority," he declared that "you notice such a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality." He was speaking to about 40 wealthy donors at the King David Hotel, which is within sight of the Palestinian territory on the West Bank.

He said some economic histories have theorized that "culture makes all the difference."

"And as I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things," Romney said, citing an innovative business climate, the Jewish history of thriving in difficult circumstances and the "hand of providence." He said similar disparity exists between other neighboring countries, including Mexico and the United States.

Palestinian leaders quickly objected.

"It seems to me this man lacks information, knowledge, vision and understanding of this region and its people," said Saeb Erekat, a senior aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. "It is a racist statement, and this man doesn't realize that the Palestinian economy cannot reach its potential because there is an Israeli occupation."

"This will cause a lot of damage to American interests," he said.

Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said the comments "were grossly mischaracterized."

The campaign added that Romney's comparison of countries that are close to each other and have wide income disparities - the U.S. and Mexico, Chile and Ecuador - shows his comments were broader than just the comparison between Israel and the Palestinians.

At the White House, spokesman Josh Earnest said, "One of the challenges of being an actor on the international stage, particularly when you're traveling to such a sensitive part of the world, is that your comments are very closely scrutinized for meaning, for nuance, for motivation."

Earnest sidestepped questions about whether Obama agreed with Romney's comments about culture, saying only that Obama believed economic issues are among the matters that would need to be addressed by the Israelis and Palestinians during any peace talks.

Romney flew on to Poland for two days of visits with leaders.

He met with the Cold War-era Solidarity leader Lech Walesa in Gdansk, earning his endorsement: "I wish you to be successful because the success is needed to the United States, of course, but to Europe as well and to the rest of the world, too. So, Governor Romney, get your success, be successful," Walesa said through a translator.

Walesa suggested Romney's leadership was needed to restore America's position in the world.

Romney is to meet with Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski on Tuesday before delivering his final foreign policy speech of the trip.

The Romney campaign hopes Walesa's backing will influence Catholics and labor union members in the U.S. But Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, told reporters Monday that the Polish visit "is nothing more than a superficial diversion and a desperate attempt to pander to Polish Americans and Catholics across our country."

Romney's visit to Poland was not without controversy.

Campaign officials said the visit with Walesa came at his invitation, but the current leadership of Solidarity distanced itself from the event and issued a statement critical of Romney. Solidarity characterized Romney as being hostile to unions and against labor rights. It emphasized that it had no role in organizing Romney's visit and expressed support for American labor organizations.

Swiss Olympic team expels player for racist tweet

Swiss Olympic team expels player for racist tweet

AP Photo
South Korea's Kim Bok-yung, right, battles for the ball against Switzerland's Michel Morganella during their group B men's soccer match between South Korea and Switzerland at the London 2012 Summer Olympics, in Coventry, England, Sunday, July 29, 2012.

LONDON (AP) -- A Swiss soccer player was expelled from the Olympics on Monday for his threatening and racist message on Twitter about South Koreans. The comments by Michel Morganella came hours after Switzerland lost to South Korea.

Morganella "discriminated against, insulted and violated the dignity of the South Korea football team as well as the South Korean people," Swiss Olympic team chief Gian Gilli said through a translator at a news conference. He said the player was stripped of his Olympic accreditation.

Morganella is the second athlete kicked off a London Olympics team for offensive Twitter comments, following Greek triple jumper Voula Papachristou.

He posted the message after playing in the 2-1 loss against South Korea on Sunday. He said in the tweet that South Koreans "can go burn" and referred to them as a "bunch of mongoloids."

The 23-year-old player later released a contrite statement through Swiss Olympic.

"I am sincerely sorry for the people of South Korea, for the players, but equally for the Swiss delegation and Swiss football in general. It's clear that I'm accepting the consequences."

"After the disappointing result and the reaction from Korea that followed, I made a huge error," Morganella added.

Officials from the South Korea team declined to comment when asked about Morganella during a news conference Monday at Wembley Stadium that had been scheduled before the uproar.

Gilli said the player had been "provoked" by comments sent to his Twitter account after the match.

Still, the Swiss team leader acknowledged that Morganella had to be sent home under the terms of the International Olympic Committee's code of conduct, which requires athletes to show mutual respect.

"In this case, we felt we have no alternative," Gilli said.

Swiss media published images of a tweet from Morganella's account (at)morgastoss. The account has since been deleted. The tweet was written in a garbled form of French, appearing to combine a kind of French slang called verlan and text-messaging style.

Swiss officials with the team in Cardiff, Wales, said players were told Morganella was already on his way home.

Gilli said he had tried to contact the head of the South Korean team in London to offer a personal explanation.

"We would like to apologize, especially to the South Korea National Olympic Committee and the South Korea Football Association for the behavior of the player," he said.

The IOC has encouraged the 10,800 athletes at the London Games to communicate with fans through social media, but it issued guidelines on the standards of behavior it expected.

Morganella played the entire game in both of Switzerland's matches. He received a yellow card against South Korea in Coventry. The Swiss drew 1-1 with Gabon in Newcastle on Thursday. Switzerland plays its final group match against Mexico on Wednesday, needing to win by two goals to have a chance of advancing.

"We have to focus on the game," coach Pierluigi Tami said. "The other stuff we don't want to think about. Maybe we shouldn't read any newspapers for the next two days."

Morganella debuted with the senior national team in May and currently plays for the Italian club Palermo.

"We hope that he will draw the necessary lessons for his still young football career," Gilli said.

Last week, Greece Olympic officials tossed Papachristou off the team after she posted a comment mocking African immigrants and supporting a far-right political party.

EYES ON LONDON: Guilt, fencing drama, tweet insult

EYES ON LONDON: Guilt, fencing drama, tweet insult

AP Photo
U.S. gymnast John Orozco performs on the pommel horse during the Artistic Gymnastic men's team final at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Monday, July 30, 2012, in London.

LONDON (AP) -- Around the 2012 Olympics and its host city with journalists from The Associated Press bringing the flavor and details of the games to you:

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SHOULDERING THE BLAME

The U.S. men's gymnastics team faltered as a team in Monday's finals. But John Orozco thinks he's to blame.

"I feel personally responsible. I did five events and I botched two," he said after the fifth-place finish.

Orozco said he messed up on both the vault - "If you saw, I fell on my butt" - and the pommel horse, where "I did so poorly, it counted as if I fell twice."

Sam Mikulak says no one member of the American team was at fault for the performance.

"He's definitely being too hard on himself," Mikulak said, adding the team still showed it is young and improving and "will be a force in Rio."

- Jenna Fryer - Twitter http://twitter.com/jennafryer

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ANY MEDAL COUNTS

Kristian Thomas finished his floor routine confident he'd done enough to give Britain its first men's gymnastics team medal in 100 years.

But he was too nervous to look.

After his score was posted, and the arena erupted in cheers, he finally glanced over and saw his team had claimed the silver medal.

And then it was gone.

A protest by the Japanese pushed them from fourth to second, knocking Britain down to bronze.

Thomas didn't care.

"We didn't quite get it in our hands, so we never really had it," he said. "Bronze, in our home games, is still absolutely amazing. If someone had told me at the start of the day we'd win a medal, I would have taken that straight away."

- Jenna Fryer - Twitter http://twitter.com/jennafryer

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MORE ON THE FENCING DRAMA

Sports cliches are easy to come by, but nail-biting does not begin to sum up the drama at the Olympics women's epee.

During a semi-final match, South Korea's Shin A-lam lodged an appeal against a controversial decision by referees.

She and her opponent, Britta Heidemann of Germany, had played three times for the winning point, each time with just one second left on the clock. This itself left many spectators wondering: for just how long can you string out one second?

It was during the third "second" that Heidemann scored the winning point. The South Korean coach started an appeal process that lasted an hour, apparently arguing that the win was scored out of time. All the while, Shin refused to leave the piste as by doing so she would accept defeat.

Referees eventually called it in favor of the German.

The crowd, however, overwhelmingly showed support for Shin and many gave her a standing ovation as she left the arena. Shin returned just minutes later for the bronze-medal match but after an early lead fell to defeat. Each time she scored, though, she received much applause and some foot-stamping. The crowd gave her yet another standing ovation as she bowed out.

Previously during her hour-long appeal she had sobbed uncontrollably before the 8,000-strong auditorium.

- Derl McCrudden

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RAIN HAIKU

Cloud and rain. Rain continuing north, heavy in places. Unsettled and windy for most, rain or showers at times.

That, in order, is Britain's weather forecast for Monday night, Tuesday and the Wednesday-Thursday-Friday outlook.

A good comic could just read the daily report from the Met Office, the U.K.'s weather agency. Ten thousand ways to say rain. Then you move onto summer temperatures. Highest tomorrow in London is 18 Celsius - about 64 degrees Fahrenheit.

Get out the sweaters.

-Sheila Norman-Culp - Twitter http://twitter.com/snormanculp

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MULTIPLE EXPOSURE PHOTO

Check out this multiple exposure photo of Canadian weightlifter Annie Moniqui, shot Monday by AP's Hassan Ammar.

Working with the latest cameras allows for very sophisticated multiple exposure technology. Photographers can now do something that in the days of film was very difficult if not impossible.

It's the digital equivalent of not advancing the film and allowing a sequence of several exposures to appear in the same frame.

The multiple images are captured at split-second intervals, buffered and then saved in one file. The camera is able to recalculate what needs to happen for the image to come out making visual sense.

See the picture here, and also in the above gallery: http://apne.ws/MOWvcf

-James H. Collins - Twitter http://twitter.com/jimcollinsAP

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ZARA AND THE FAMILY

AP's Nicole Winfield is covering equestrian - and, by extension, Zara Phillips' competition. Here's an excerpt from her dispatch Monday night:

"Zara Phillips had a few things to celebrate Monday: Her first wedding anniversary - and a penalty-free ride through the treacherous cross-country portion of the Olympic equestrian eventing competition that counted toward Britain's second-place finish going into the final round. Her cousins, Princes William and Harry, donned `Team GB' polo shirts and joined an estimated 50,000 less-regal fans in Greenwich Park to root for Phillips as she negotiated her horse over 28 obstacles and a slippery course that claimed a dozen fallen riders. `The crowd was unbelievable!' Phillips said after she finished Day 2 of her Olympic equestrian debut."

- Nicole Winfield - Twitter http://twitter.com/nwinfield

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A LEGEND SHOWS UP

Even Kobe Bryant wanted a picture with him.

Brazilian basketball legend Oscar Schmidt visited the U.S. men's basketball practice on Monday and was somewhat surprised he was recognized by players too young to have seen him play. Schmidt scored nearly 50,000 points during his career. He never played in the NBA, however, he made his mark on American hoops by almost single-handedly beating the U.S. at the 1987 Pan American Games in Indianapolis.

Schmidt led Brazil to a win over an American team featuring David Robinson and Danny Manning.

There was some debate among U.S. reporters Monday about Schmidt's point total before he was asked.

"I scored 46," he said, "35 in the second half."

You hardly missed, he was told.

"That was always the case," he said laughing.

- Tom Withers - Twitter http://twitter.com/twithersAP

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OLYMPIC TRADE BOOST?

There's no gold medal for technology, but if there were, Jonny Ive would be a world champion.

The Apple vice president, the design guru behind the iPhone and iPod, attended a London summit Monday aimed at using the London Olympics to boost Britain's creative industries. The U.K. hopes to secure about 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) in deals.

"The creative industries are an integral part of the U.K'.s economic success and future growth," Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt says.

Hunt was also at a reception hailing British design along with the country's most glamorous royal, the Duchess of Cambridge, previously known as Kate Middleton.

- David Stringer - Twitterhttp://twitter.com/david-stringer

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FENCING DRAMA

Big drama at the women's epee semi finals in the fencing.

The South Korean team staged an official protest after Shin A-lam lost in the semifinals, claiming the match was already over when opponent Britta Heidemann of Germany scored the winning point.

Shin and Heidemann were tied at 5-5 when the German seemed to score in the final second.

A jury spokesman said it would "take a while to come to a decision in this delicate situation."

In the meantime, Shin was not allowed to leave the strip and sat, in tears, waiting for a decision.

Tense situation. Extraordinary!

- Derl McCrudden - Twitter http://twitter.com/derl and David Stringer - Twitter http://twitter.com/david-stringer

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STILL BIG IN WEYMOUTH, BY GEORGE

King George III is still a popular figure in Weymouth, the English Channel resort hosting Olympic sailing.

Seems that the monarch, best known in the United States for losing the American colonies, helped put Weymouth on the map with his summer visits from 1789 to 1805 for therapeutic saltwater dips.

There's a statue of the monarch on one end of the Esplanade, the walkway and road that run parallel to the beach. The inscription reads: "The grateful inhabitants to George The Third on his entering the 50th year of his reign."

A more interesting image of the king is called the Osmington White Horse. Carved into a chalk cliff outside of town, the giant image shows the king riding a horse. It can be seen for miles, including from the sailing courses on Weymouth Bay.

Legend has it that despite the carving being intended as a compliment, the king was offended because it showed him riding away from town, and he never returned.

- Bernie Wilson - Twitter http://twitter.com/berniewilson

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OLYMPIC DISTRACTIONS

Soldiers dancing in conga lines, bikini-clad cheerleaders, spectators stacking plastic beer cups in tottering towers - is anyone watching actual Olympic beach volleyball?

Even spectators taking in a match Monday between the men from Great Britain and Brazil were distracted by activity in the stands at central London's Horse Guards Parade.

As rival sections of the arena competed to build the largest beer cup tower, jumbo screens showed troops joining a conga line around the 15,000 seat venue.

Even those watching the sandy court faced distractions, including dancers in skimpy outfits who performed during each major break in play.

- David Stringer - Twitterhttp://twitter.com/david-stringer

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TWITTER INSULT

After his father died of brain cancer a year ago, teenage diver Tom Daley went into the Olympics determined to win a medal "for myself and my dad."

The 18-year-old Briton missed out in his first event on Monday, finishing fourth in the 10-meter synchronized platform with teammate Pete Waterfield.

What made it worse for Daley was the response from one Twitter user.

"You let your dad down i hope you know that," (at)Rileyy69 tweeted.

Daley retweeted the abuse and said: "After giving it my all...you get idiot's sending me this."

There was an immediate outcry, with users tweeting: (hash)GetRileyy-69Banned.

"how am i trending worldwide?" (at)Rileyy69 asked.

His account is currently locked.

Van Stone Productions Online Ministry School Program Helps To Create Ordained Ministers by Van Stone frontpagenews1@yahoo.com (267) 293-9201

Van Stone Productions Online Ministry School Program Helps To Create Ordained Ministers by Van Stone frontpagenews1@yahoo.com (267) 293-9201


Dr. Michael Anthony Morgan, D.D.

PHILADELPHIA, Pa.—Van Stone Productions Foundation Community School, otherwise known as VSP, the largest online school ministry to anyone who wants to become a licensed or ordained minister in the state of Pennsylvania, has reached an extraordinary milestone in its Ministry Training School program. Announced during the organization’s 17th anniversary last month, an astonishing 100,000 articles and training materials have been published online for around the world since the program began 17 years ago. This program, funded through charitable donations, has made a crucial difference in advancing the VSP Foundation Community School ministry in the United States.

In June 1995, training materials was launched to meet a pressing need: In many of these troubled neighborhoods in cities across America, thousands of ministers being trained as community counseling specialist by VSP Foundation School of Ministry and eager to evangelize and disciple adults locally in the VSP Foundation School of Training program had the funds to buy the curriculum to do so. Through hard work, VSP printed the curriculum at its headquarters in East Lansdowne, Pa., and then emailed pages of the curriculum for a minimum fee to the ministry’s workers abroad. The high-quality of scriptural lessons that make up the curriculum make the Ministry comes alive for adults.

The leader of VSP Foundation School of Ministry Dr. Michael A. Morgan, D.D. captured the effectiveness of this program when he said: "We are thankful to VSP for those who have a heart for providing the materials to enable our trainees to effectively take the Ministry to adults. The VSP Foundation Licensed and Ordained Minister program has enabled hundreds more to be reached with the How to become a Better Minister Training Manual and has greatly encouraged those trainees who, due to financial abilities, have been able to afford the materials."

The manual How to Become a Better Minister provided a written representation of the many tasks that must be accomplished to get the curriculum around the world, such as fundraising, writing, printing, binding and shipping, to name a few.

The number of training materials emailed has steadily increased each year. In 2010, 12,000 were sent out and in 2011, the total was 16,000. This year, the VSP ministry school expects to more than 18,000 emails in the U.S.A. As a result, the number of adults VSP School of Ministry Trainees has steadily increased through the years. Going back to 1999, the ministry was able to reach just 1 million adults. Last year, the organization reached more than 5 million adults worldwide in 180 cities and territories around the country.

"VSP Foundation School of Ministry has been a popular charitable cause," Dr. Michael A. Morgan, D.D., executive vice president of VSP Foundation Community School, said in a recent interview. "The program fills a concrete need, and as soon as those training materials are received, the community benefit greatly."

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Phillies Fall To Braves 6-2 To Cap Another Sweep

Phillies Fall To Braves 6-2 To Cap Another Sweep

(credit: Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

ATLANTA (AP) — The Phillies didn’t make a strong case on the field this weekend for keeping their team together.

Chipper Jones and Jason Heyward homered off Roy Halladay, and the Atlanta Braves completed a three-game sweep of last-place Philadelphia with a 6-2 victory Sunday.

The sweep could turn the Phillies into sellers before Tuesday’s deadline for trades without waivers.

For full story go to: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/

Saturday, July 28, 2012

PPA Mistake Gives Thousands Of Drivers Refund On Citations

PPA Mistake Gives Thousands Of Drivers Refund On Citations

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Philadelphia Parking Authority is refunding drivers who were caught on camera running red lights in southwest Philadelphia earlier this year.

“There were 13,459 citations issued. They’re $100 each,” PPA executive director Vince Fenerty said.

The drivers ran the light at the intersection of Island Avenue and Lindbergh Boulevard between February 11 and April 13.

For full story go to: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/

Lochte wins 400 IM in blowout; Phelps finishes 4th

Lochte wins 400 IM in blowout; Phelps finishes 4th

AP Photo
USA's Ryan Lochte competes in a men's 400-meter individual medley at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Saturday, July 28, 2012.

LONDON (AP) -- Ryan Lochte strolled the deck of the Olympic Aquatics Centre wearing diamonds in his mouth and lime-green sneakers on the feet that powered him through the water faster than anyone else. Beaming, he chomped playfully on his gold medal while Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA" blared throughout the massive arena.

Michael Phelps?

He was nowhere to be found.

Not during the race.

Not when it came time to hand out the medals.

On a stunner of an opening night at the pool in London, Phelps was routed by his American rival in the 400-meter individual medley, losing to Lochte by more than 4 seconds Saturday. That's not all: The winningest Olympian ever didn't win any medal at all, the first time that's happened in a race of this magnitude since he was a 15-year-old kid competing in just one event at the Sydney Games, a dozen years ago.

"It was horrible," Phelps told coach Bob Bowman when he climbed out.

Bowman's reply: "It was."

Lochte turned the much-anticipated duel with Phelps into a blowout, raising serious questions about whether the guy who has won 14 gold medals and 16 medals overall has anything left in the tank for his Olympic farewell.

Phelps is planning to retire as soon as he finishes the last of his seven races in London, but he looked ready to call it a career while struggling just to pull himself from the water when his first event was done.

He was totally spent.

He was thoroughly beaten, perhaps signaling a changing of the guard at the pool.

"This is my year," said Lochte, who popped in his grillz - diamond-studded mouth jewelry - for the victory ceremony. "I know it and I feel it, because I've put in hard work. I've trained my butt off for four years ... and there's no better way to start this Olympics off than getting gold."

For Phelps, the start of these games couldn't have been more out of character.

He barely qualified for the evening final, a performance that hinted at trouble ahead. Trouble indeed. Phelps struggled to a fourth-place finish, blown out by Lochte and beaten by Brazil's Thiago Pereira and Japan's Kosuke Hagino.

"It was just a crappy race," Phelps said. "I felt fine the first 200, then I don't know. They just swam a better race than me, a smarter race than me, and were better prepared than me. That's why they're on the medal stand."

Lochte took the gold with a time of 4 minutes, 5.18 seconds. Pereira (4:08.86) and Hagino (4:08.94) were well back but ahead of Phelps, who touched fourth in 4:09.28 - nearly 5 1-2 seconds off his world record from the Beijing Olympics and not nearly as fast as he went during the U.S. trials last month.

Since finishing fifth in his lone event at Sydney, the 200 butterfly, Phelps was 16-of-16 when it came to winning medals at the Olympics - 14 golds and two bronzes. That run is over.

Lochte climbed out of the pool with a big smile, waving to the crowd and looking about as fresh as he did at the start. He had predicted this would be his year and, for the first race of the Olympics at least, he was right on the mark.

"I think I'm kind of in shock right now," he said. As for Phelps, "I know he gave it everything he had. That's all you can ask for."

Phelps was trying to become the first male swimmer to win the same individual event at three straight Olympics. He'll have three more chances at a threepeat before he's done in London, having also won the 200 individual medley, plus the 100 and 200 butterfly, at Athens and Beijing.

But he'll need a major comeback. After one race, he looks nothing like the swimmer who won six gold medals in Athens, then a record eight in Beijing to break Mark Spitz's Olympic record.

"I'm surprised, and not pleasantly," Bowman said. "I expected he'd be in the 4:06 range."

With first lady Michelle Obama in the house waving a small U.S. flag, everyone expected a duel between the two American stars.

Only Lochte showed up.

Phelps fell behind right from the start in the butterfly, his trademark stroke. From there, it was all Lochte. He stretched his margin in the backstroke and breaststroke, then cruised to the gold in the freestyle, a good three body lengths ahead of the rest of the field.

"It's frustrating, that's all I can say. It's pretty upsetting," Phelps said. "The biggest thing now is to try to look forward. I have a bunch of other races, and hopefully we can finish a lot better than how we started."

China had a big night, claiming a couple of gold medals.

Sixteen-year-old Ye Shiwen set a world record in the women's 400 individual medley - only the third mark to fall since high-tech bodysuits were banned at the end of 2009. She won in 4:28.43, breaking the mark of 4:29.45 by Australia's Stephanie Rice at the 2008 Beijing Games. American Elizabeth Beisel took silver and China's Li Xuanxu grabbed the bronze.

Sun Yang flirted with a world record in the men's 400 freestyle. He took gold in 3:40.14, just off the mark of 3:40.07 by Germany's Paul Biedermann in a rubberized suit three years ago. When it was done, Sun propped himself on the lane rope, pumping his fist and splashing the water.

South Korea's Park Tae-hwan won silver in 3:42.06, fortunate even to take part after initially being disqualified for a false start in the prelims. The ruling was overturned by governing body FINA a couple of hours later on appeal. Peter Vanderkaay of the U.S. won the bronze.

Australia captured gold in the women's 400 freestyle relay with an Olympic record of 3:33.15, rallying to pass the Americans and hold off the fast-charging Netherlands.

The U.S. got off to a blistering start with Missy Franklin swimming leadoff under world-record pace, and the Americans were still ahead after Jessica Hardy went next. But the Australians rallied behind Brittany Elmslie on the third 100, and Melanie Schlanger held on at the end, with Ranomi Kromowidjojo closing fast to give the Netherlands a silver in 3:33.79.

The other members of the winning team were Alicia Coutts and Cate Campbell.

The Americans slipped to the bronze in 3:34.24, but that was still good enough to give Natalie Coughlin the 12th medal of her career, tying Dara Torres and Jenny Thompson as the most decorated U.S. female Olympians in any sport.

Coughlin swam in the morning prelims, then was reduced to the role of cheerleader in the evening as the Americans went with Franklin, Hardy, Lia Neal and Allison Schmitt. Everyone who swims on a relay gets a medal, though.

"I really have no idea what to think of it so far," Coughlin said. "I'll have to take it all in tonight. I'm very proud of it, but I've never been on a morning relay before."

There was no medal for Phelps.

His close call in the morning prelims put him in an already uncustomary position - swimming on the outside in the No. 8 lane. He only had one swimmer next to him and no idea what Lochte and the others in the middle of the pool were doing.

Not that it would have mattered.

"I don't think the lane had anything to do with it," Phelps said. "I just couldn't really put myself in a good spot for that race. It's frustrating for sure. ... It's just really frustrating to start off on a bad note like this."

Phelps still has six more events to swim in London, plenty of time to make up for his dismal start. He remains two behind the most medals won by any Olympian - Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina's mark of 18 - nine gold, five silver, four bronze.

Phelps put himself in position to swim another eight events with his performance at the U.S. trials, but he decided to drop the 200-meter freestyle, feeling one less race would give his body a better chance to recover and improve his performance in the other events.

Now, he may be regretting that decision.

The 400 IM was an event he has dominated, winning gold at the last two Olympics and holding the world record for a full decade. But, tired of putting his body through such a grind, he dropped it from his program after setting a world record in Beijing four years ago (4:03.84), vowing never to swim it again.

He should have stuck with that pledge. Clearly, Phelps didn't leave himself enough time to get back in the kind of shape he needed to win the brutal race, having only brought it back earlier this year.

"I was lucky to get in," he said, referring to his slow time in the morning. "I had a chance to put myself in a spot to start off on a good note and didn't do it."

Lochte gave the Americans their first gold medal of the London Games and put himself in position to fulfill the promise he showed at last year's world championships, where he won five golds and beat Phelps in their two head-to-head meetings.

The friendly rivals have one more showdown in London, in the 200 individual medley. Phelps edged Lochte in that race during the U.S. Olympics trials, but Lochte appears to be on top of his game when it really counts.

They might be working together on Sunday, when both are in the mix to compete for the U.S. in the 4x100 free relay.

There appear to be no hard feelings.

"Congrats to (at)RyanLochte," Phelps tweeted afterward. "Way to keep that title in the country where it belongs!!"

"Thanks," Lochte replied: "I couldn't do it without you."

Friday, July 27, 2012

Parishoners React To Arrest Of Former Pastor Accused Of Sex Abuse

Parishoners React To Arrest Of Former Pastor Accused Of Sex Abuse

SWEDESBURG, Pa. - The Sacred Heart Church is nestled in the small tight-knit town of Swedesburg.

Tonight everyone is buzzing about the Sacred Heart Polish Festival, but the arrest of its former pastor, Reverend Andrew McCormick, last night on child sex assault charges, has many surprised and upset. That includes the church’s Holy Names Society President, Bernard Gutkowski.

For full story go to: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/

With royalty and rock, Britain opens its Olympics

With royalty and rock, Britain opens its Olympics

AP Photo
The Olympic rings are illuminated with pyrotechnics as they are raised above the stadium during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 27, 2012, in London.

LONDON (AP) -- The queen and James Bond gave the London Olympics a royal entrance like no other Friday in an opening ceremony that rolled to the rock of the Beatles, the Stones and The Who.

And the creative genius of Danny Boyle spliced it all together.

Brilliant. Cheeky, too.

The highlight of the Oscar-winning director's $42 million show was pure movie magic, using trickery to make it seem that Britain's beloved 86-year-old Queen Elizabeth II had parachuted into the stadium with the nation's most famous spy.

A short film showed 007 driving up to Buckingham Palace in a black London cab and, pursued by her majesty's royal dogs - Monty, Willow and Holly, playing themselves - meeting the queen, who played herself.

"Good evening, Mr. Bond," she said.

They were shown flying in a helicopter over London landmarks and a waving statue of Winston Churchill - the queen in a salmon-colored gown, Bond dashing as ever in a black tuxedo - to the stadium and then leaping out into the inky night.

At the same moment, real skydivers appeared in the skies over the stadium throbbing to the James Bond soundtrack. And moments after that, the monarch appeared in person, accompanied by her husband Prince Philip.

Organizers said it was thought to be the first time the monarch has acted on film.

"The queen made herself more accessible than ever before," Boyle said.

In the stadium, Elizabeth stood solemnly while a children's choir serenaded her with "God Save the Queen," and members of the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force raised the Union Jack.

Boyle sprang a giant surprise and picked seven teenage athletes for the supreme honor of igniting the Olympic cauldron. Together, they touched flaming torches to trumpet-like tubes that spread into a ring of fire.

The flames rose skyward and joined elegantly together to form the cauldron. Fireworks erupted over the stadium to music from Pink Floyd. With a singalong of "Hey Jude," Beatle Paul McCartney closed a show that ran 45 minutes beyond its scheduled three hours.

Much of the opening ceremony was an encyclopedic review of British music history, from a 1918 Broadway standard adopted by the West Ham soccer team to the Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" to "Bohemian Rhapsody," by still another Queen.

The evening started with fighter jets streaming red, white and blue smoke and roaring over the stadium, packed with a buzzing crowd of 60,000 people, at 8:12 p.m. - or 20:12 in the 24-hour time observed by Britons.

Boyle, one of Britain's most successful filmmakers and director of "Slumdog Millionaire" and "Trainspotting," had a ball with his favored medium, mixing filmed passages with live action in the stadium to hypnotic effect, with 15,000 volunteers taking part in the show.

Actor Rowan Atkinson as "Mr. Bean" provided laughs, shown dreaming that he was appearing in "Chariots of Fire," the inspiring story of a Scotsman and an Englishman at the 1924 Paris Games.

There was a high-speed flyover of the Thames, the river that winds like a vein through London and was the gateway for the city's rise over the centuries as a great global hub of trade and industry.

Headlong rushes of movie images took spectators on wondrous, heart-racing voyages through everything British: a cricket match, the London Tube and the roaring, abundant seas that buffet and protect this island nation.

Boyle turned the stadium into a throbbing juke box, with a nonstop rock and pop homage to cool Britannia that ensured the show never caught its breath.

The throbbing soundtrack included the Sex Pistols' "Pretty Vacant" and a snippet of its version of "God Save the Queen" - an anti-establishment punk anthem once banned by the BBC. There were The Who's "My Generation" and other tracks too numerous to mention, but not to dance to.

Opening the ceremony, children popped balloons with each number from 10 to 1, leading a countdown that climaxed with Bradley Wiggins, the newly crowned Tour de France champion.

Wearing his race-winner's yellow jersey, Wiggins rang a 23-ton Olympic Bell from the same London foundry that made Big Ben and Philadelphia's Liberty Bell. Its thunderous chime was a nod to the British tradition of pealing bells to celebrate the end of war and the crowning of kings and queens, and now for the opening of a 17-day festival of sports.

The show then shifted to a portrayal of idyllic rural Britain - a place of meadows, farms, sport on village greens, picnics and Winnie-the-Pooh, A.A. Milne's bear who has delighted generations of British children tucked warmly in bed.

But the British ideal - to quote poet William Blake, of "England's green and pleasant land" - then took a darker, grittier turn.

The set was literally torn asunder, the hedgerows and farm fences carried away, as Boyle shifted to the industrial transformation that revolutionized Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries, the foundation for an empire that reshaped world history. Belching chimneys rose where only moments earlier sheep had trod.

The Industrial Revolution also produced terrifying weapons, and Boyle built a moment of hush into his show to honor those killed in war.

"This is not specific to a country. This is across all countries, and the fallen from all countries are celebrated and remembered," he explained to reporters ahead of the ceremony.

"Because, obviously, one of the penalties of this incredible force of change that happened in a hundred years was the industrialization of war, and the fallen," he said. "You know, millions fell."

Olympic organizers separately rejected calls for a moment of silence for 11 Israeli athletes and coaches slain by Palestinian gunmen at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Two of the Israelis' widows appealed to audience members to stand in silence when International Olympic Committee chief Jacques Rogge rose to speak later at Friday's ceremony. The Israeli culture and sport minister planned to do just that.

The parade of nations featured most of the roughly 10,500 athletes - some planned to stay away to save their strength for competition - marching behind the flags of the 204 nations taking part.

Greece had the lead, as the spiritual home of the games, and Team Great Britain was last, as host. Prince William and his wife, Kate, joined in the thunderous applause that greeted the British team, which marched to the David Bowie track "Heroes." A helicopter showered the athletes and stadium with 7 billion tiny pieces of paper - one for each person on Earth.

Both Bahrain and Brunei featured female flagbearers in what has been called the Olympics' Year of the Woman. For the first time at the games, each national delegation includes women, and a record 45 percent of the athletes are women. Three Saudi women marching behind the men in their delegation flashed victory signs with their fingers.

"This is a major boost for gender equality," said the International Olympic Committee president, Jacques Rogge. These are his last games as head of the IOC. He steps down in 2013 after completing the maximum two terms.

Rogge honored the "great, sports-loving country" of Britain as "the birthplace of modern sport," and he appealed to the thousands of athletes assembled before him for fair play.

"Character counts far more than medals. Reject doping. Respect your opponents. Remember that you are all role models. If you do that, you will inspire a generation," Rogge said.

The queen declared the games open. Last month, the nation put on a festive Diamond Jubilee - a small test run for the games - to mark her 60 years on the throne, a reign that began shortly after London's last Olympics, in 1948.

Former world heavyweight champion and 1960 Rome Olympic gold medalist Muhammad Ali was cheered when he appeared briefly with his wife, Lonnie, before the Olympic flag was unfurled.

Some 8,000 torchbearers, mostly unheralded Britons, had carried the flame on a 70-day, 8,000-mile journey from toe to tip of the British Isles, whipping up enthusiasm for a $14 billion Olympics taking place during a severe recession.

The final torchbearers were kept secret - remarkable given the scrunity on these, the first Summer Games of the Twitter era.

The show's lighter moments included puppets drawn from British children's literature - Captain Hook from "Peter Pan," Cruella de Vil from "101 Dalmations" and Lord Voldemort from J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" series, as well as Mary Poppins.

Their appearance had a serious message, too - the importance of literacy.

"If you can read and write, you're free, or you can fight for your freedom," Boyle said.

Boyle's challenge was daunting: To be as memorable as Beijing's incredible, money-no-object opening ceremony of 2008, the costliest in Olympic history.

"Beijing is something that, in a way, was great to follow," Boyle said. "You can't get bigger than Beijing, you know? So that, in a way, kind of liberated us. We thought, 'Great, OK, good, we'll try and do something different.'"

For the last time as president of the IOC, Rogge was to watch the Olympic flag being raised. He will step down in 2013 after completing the maximum two terms.

Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate for president, planned to attend the ceremony with his wife, Ann. Romney caused a stir in Britain by suggesting earlier this week that the country had "disconcerting" problems preparing for the games.

Other political leaders from around the world, U.S. first lady Michelle Obama and her daughters, and a sprinkling of European and celebrity royalty were also attending.

AP PHOTOS: A rockin' Olympics opening ceremony

AP PHOTOS: A rockin' Olympics opening ceremony

AP Photo
Fireworks ignite over the Olympic Stadium during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 28, 2012, in London.

Fighter jets trailing red, white and blue smoke, a pulsating soundtrack that included snippets from Beatles songs and giant puppets from "Harry Potter" all came together during opening ceremonies for the London Olympics on Friday.

Oscar winner Danny Boyle's $42 million show, with 15,000 volunteers, was a rich and textured journey through British history. Boyle drew from Shakespeare, British pop culture, literature and music, and other sources of inspiration that speak to not just Anglophiles but people across the globe.

From The News Desk

Van Stone Jr., a.k.a. Sammy Stone, swimming and hanging out in the Water Fountain across from the Phila. Art Museum.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Philadelphia’s Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites Now a Computer-and-TV Graveyard

Philadelphia’s Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites Now a Computer-and-TV Graveyard

(Computer system units and monitors are piled on shipping palettes.  Credit: Steve Tawa)

(Computer system units and monitors are piled on shipping palettes.

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Streets Department today was helping residents get rid of unwanted but hazardous waste that they had accumulated in their homes.

At a drop-off center on State Road in Northeast Philadelphia, there was quite a line of cars, pickup trucks, even city department vans as trained staff sorted each of the materials and bundles as they were unloaded.

For full story go to: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/


Medical Worker Tied To Hepatitis C Outbreak Briefly Worked At Temple Hospital

Medical Worker Tied To Hepatitis C Outbreak Briefly Worked At Temple Hospital





PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Two hospitals in Pennsylvania, including Temple Univesity Hospital, are working to notify patients who may have had contact with a technician who had hepatitis C.

Dr. Stephen Ostroff, acting physican general in Pennsylvania, says itinerant medical technician David Kwiatkowski was arrested in New Hampshire last week, acused of stealing syringes filled with Fentanyl — a powerful anesthesic — then returning the used, contaminated empties.

For full story go to: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/

A list of valuable endangered species

A list of valuable endangered species

AP Photo
FILE- in this Aug.1, 2010 file photo, a greater one horned rhino eats water plants from a river in Janakauli community forest bordering Chitwan National Park, about 70 kilometers (44 miles) southwest of Katmandu, Nepal. The 175-nation U.N. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, known as CITES, is based in Geneva and regulates nearly 35,000 species of animals and plants. Experts rank wildlife smuggling among the top aims of criminal networks, along with drugs and human trafficking. CITES says wildlife crime remains poorly studied but it says international estimates of the scale of illegal wildlife trade range from between $16 billion and $27 billion a year. Tiger parts, elephant ivory, rhino horn and exotic birds and reptiles are among the most trafficked items.

U.N. conservation delegates at a weeklong CITES meeting in Geneva approved sanctions against seven nations - Comoros, Guinea-Bissau, Paraguay, Nepal, Rwanda, Solomon Islands and Syria - if they do not either strengthen their laws or provide national reports that are required of them before October 1. Here are some of the more valuable species found in those countries that conservationists worry about:

Comoros Islands: Lemurs, a rare and exotic species.

Guinea-Bissau: Marine turtles, manatees and chimpanzees.

Paraguay: Jaguars, tamarins and forestland.

Nepal: Tigers, rhinos, elephants, snow leopards and red pandas.

Rwanda: Mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, black rhinos Solomon Islands: Parrots, cockatoos and other wild birds.

Syria: Lizards, snakes, parrots, ibis, flamingos and other birds.

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