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Posts tagged ‘Premier League’

Duck Dynasty Merchandise Flying Off Shelves.


Image: Duck Dynasty Merchandise Flying Off Shelves

By Melissa Clyne

While there has been a widespread media backlash over anti-gay remarks made by “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson, it doesn’t look like demand for the hit A&E show’s merchandise is waning.

“Most people who are buying the brand, they are like-minded to Phil anyway,” Hans Wilz of Great Ideas LLC, told USA Today. Wilz’s company helped create Duck Dynasty-scented candles that are sold across the country. “That demographic is not offended by what he said.”

Cracker Barrel initially pulled the show’s products from shelves only to return them days later following a barrage of emails, tweets and phone calls from Duck Dynasty fans threatening to boycott the 625-store chain. Upon resuming sales, Cracker Barrel issuedthe following statement, Forbes reports.

“When we made the decision to remove and evaluate certain Duck Dynasty items, we offended many of our loyal customers. Our intent was to avoid offending, but that’s just what we’ve done.

“You told us we made a mistake. And, you weren’t shy about it. You wrote, you called and you took to social media to express your thoughts and feelings. You flat out told us we were wrong.

“We listened.

“Today, we are putting all our Duck Dynasty products back in our stores.
And, we apologize for offending you.

“We respect all individuals right to express their beliefs. We certainly did not mean to have anyone think different.”

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, has not commented on its future with the show, even as T-shirts bearing Robertson’s image, bobbleheads of the family and scads of other merchandise soar in sales.

Forbes reports that Duck Dynasty merchandise, which includes a Catnapper camouflage recliner for $899.95 and a 400-page book of devotional prose that goes for $16.99, will bring in some $400 million in 2013.

This despite Robertson’s inflammatory comments to GQ magazine that lumped homosexuality in as a sin tantamount to bestiality. The network suspended him but fans have voiced their support in droves, taking to Twitter to defend the show’s lead character.

“You can tell that they are Christians and they live it out. praise God,” tweeted one fan from Elverson, Pa.

Robertson, members of his West Monroe, La. family, and fans across the country are not backing down from his remarks.

“I love all men and women. I am a lover of humanity, not a hater. … I have been immoral, drunk, high,” Robertson said. “I ran with the wicked people for 28 years and I have run with the Jesus people since and the contrast is astounding.”

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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Mukasey on NSA Report: Changes Will Hurt Ability to Monitor Threats.


Image: Mukasey on NSA Report: Changes Will Hurt Ability to Monitor Threats

By Melissa Clyne

Former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey says the recommended changes to National Security Agency surveillance programs by a presidential commission are unnecessary and will only hinder the NSA’s ability to protect the nation.

The five-member panel made up of intelligence and legal experts appointed by President Barack Obama recommended last week that massive phone and internet records collected by the NSA should be held by a private consortium or with the companies from which the information was acquired. If the NSA felt compelled to access the data, it would be required to obtain a court order.

“In other words, if investigators want to check a telephone number they should be required to scurry around to each individual provider — AT&T, Verizon etc. — to run the check, possibly against data bases that are inconsistently arranged, with consequent loss of time and efficiency,” Mukasey writes in op-ed piece for The Wall Street Journal.

Calling it “an experiment,” that could seriously damage an important program designed to target terrorist communications and activities, he says there is simply no justification for it because the panel found no violations of privacy rights during its review.

“The panel’s investigation of the National Security Agency found — as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court found before them — that the occasional unintentional violations of guidelines were stopped once they were detected,” he writes.

Mukasey also mocks critics of the NSA’s collection of phone and Internet communications who contend the agency could use the information to profile individuals or  or gather sensitive personal information.

“No evidence suggests that any such thing has been proposed or done, and indeed the 22 people at NSA who have access to the data are forbidden to use metadata in any fashion other than to run it against suspect telephone numbers,” he says.

Mukasey also takes issue with the recommendation that U.S. intelligence operations should not target non-U.S. persons outside of the United States based solely on their political or religious views. He says that could in some cases prevent the targeting of groups and individuals who declare as a “religious obligation to kill Americans.”

The president has yet to sign off on any of the recommendations contained in the commission’s report.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Scott Brown Takes Heat in NH on Assault Weapon Ban.


Image: Scott Brown Takes Heat in NH on Assault Weapon Ban

By Melissa Clyne

Though he hasn’t announced any plans to run for the U.S. Senate from New Hampshire, Scott Brown is causing a stir in in the Granite State.

The moderate Republican and former senator from Massachusetts headlined a state GOP holiday party in Nashua that drew supporters and protesters, many of them gun-rights activists who take issue with Brown’s position favoring a federal ban on assault weapons,The Boston Globe reports.

“His coming here is calculated disrespect, just as if he went to Saudi Arabia with pork chops in his suitcase,” protester Jay Simkin told Politico. “If he wants gun control, he should stay in Massachusetts.”

Brown, who also is pro-choice, changed course on the gun control debate after last year’ deadly shootings in Newtown, Conn. His move angered Second Amendment purists.

“If it’s Brown, flush it down,” one protester’s sign read. Others featured scrawled slogans such as “Keep New Hampshire Scott Free” and “Brownbagger go home to Mass.”

Brown has a vacation home in the Granite State, where he is relocating full-time,  sparking speculation that he plans to run for office from his new state.

Republicans there are looking for someone to challenge incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, the former governor elected to the U.S. Senate in 2008.

Brown has been coy about his intentions, but polling data collected before the launch of troubled Obamacare showed him trailing Shaheen by four percentage points, according to USA Today. His chances are thought to have risen since national outrage over policy cancellations and skyrocketing premiums.

“I didn’t think she was all that vulnerable,” Cook Political Report Senior Editor Jennifer Duffy told USA Today. “I feel a little bit differently about that now. But having said that, Republicans need a candidate and they don’t have one right now.”

In Massachusetts, Sen. Elizabeth Warren unseated Brown in 2012. He won the seat in 2010 in a special election.

A popular governor, Shaheen supported the Affordable Care Act, a decision that is coming back to haunt her in the form of a vicious TV spot skewering her and the president for the failed initiative.

“Obamacare, as you know, is a mess, and it’s really dramatically affecting people’s everyday lives,” Brown said.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Gov. Walker’s ‘Third Way’ Medicaid Plan Criticized as 2016 Maneuver.


Image: Gov. Walker's 'Third Way' Medicaid Plan Criticized as 2016 Maneuver

By Melissa Clyne

 

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed “third way” Medicaid option to make sure his state’s residents have insurance coverage is a maneuver some political pundits claim is designed to lay the groundwork for a 2016 presidential bid by the Republican.

Walker’s plan to turn down federal dollars offered to expand Medicaid coverage in the Badger State would actually increase its rolls by more than 80,000 adults, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Currently, Wisconsin offers one of the most sweeping Medicaid programs in the country, covering adults making up to twice the federal poverty level. The proposed Walker plan would cover only those earning at or below the poverty level — $11,490 annually for a single person — freeing up money to open enrollments, which have been frozen since 2009, when spending caps forced the suspension of new enrollees.

The move, which could help raise his profile during a presidential run, allows Walker to tout the conservative position of opposing Obamacare while appealing to a broader base of voters concerned with getting healthcare coverage.

Walker’s political capital increased after surviving a 2012 recall election brought on by Democrats angry over Walker’s decision to limit the collective bargaining rights of state employees.

Medicaid expansion became optional under a 2012 Supreme Court ruling. The federal government has guaranteed financing states’ expansion costs through 2016 and at least 90 percent afterward.

But some GOP governors, including Rick Perry of Texas, don’t trust the promise. Perry rejected the expansion, arguing that states would ultimately get stuck footing the bill. Ohio’s John Kasich is taking the federal money while governors in Pennsylvania and Tennessee have tried to get the federal Medicaid money but use it to expand private coverage, the Journal reported Wednesday.

Though Walker’s plan reduces the number of Wisconsin residents who would qualify for Medicaid, the 77,000 people losing coverage would qualify for subsidies with monthly premiums less than $20, Kaiser Health News reports.

“You’re going to hear some detractors claim that moving people to the private market or to the exchanges isn’t affordable,” Walker says. “I think most people would find it hard to imagine that with the tax subsidies, that $19 a month is somehow not affordable. I think it is.”

Walker’s “third way” option “allows him to combat criticism either for accepting the federal money or blocking a Medicaid expansion,” according to the Journal.

“In our state, we didn’t take that false choice,” Walker said. “We picked a third option. For the first time in our state’s history, everyone in poverty will be covered.”

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Fabrice Muamba collapses on pitch during FA Cup match.


Tottenham’s FA Cup game against Bolton Wanderers has been abandoned after Trotters midfielder Fabrice Muamba collapsed and stopped breathing.

Medics spent 10 minutes trying to resuscitate the 23-year-old on the field before the players were taken off by referee Howard Webb.

The score was 1-1 when he collapsed with no players close-by on 41 minutes.

Medical staff gave Muamba mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and tried to revive him with a defibrillator. In total six medics were treating the player.

Both sets of supporters chanted Muamba’s name as he was taken off the pitch on a stretcher. ESPN reported that he was not breathing as he was taken down the tunnel.

The former Arsenal midfielder has been taken to hospital.

Referee Webb called the visibly shaken players off the field after consulting with managers Owen Coyle and Harry Redknapp.

Minutes later the match was abandoned.

Soon after the incident, messages of support flooded in for the former Arsenal man.

England international Jack Wilshere, who played with Muamba at Bolton, tweeted: “Hope Muamba is okay. Thoughts with him.”

Middlesbrough defender Justin Hoyte, who played in the Arsenal youth team with Muamba, said: “I seriously hope my best friend in football is OK. Stay strong bro [sic] please please stay strong. God is with you remember that.”

Muamba joined Wanderers from Birmingham City in 2008 and has made 130 league appearances for the club.

Chelsea sack coach Andre Villas-Boas.


Andre Villas-Boas
Chelsea on Sunday fired coach Andre Villas-Boas barely eight months after he took charge of the Premier League club.
This left owner Roman Abramovichsearching for his eighth manager in nine years, the Associated Press reports.The Russian oligarch lost patience with the inexperienced 34-year-old after Chelsea’s first loss to West Bromwich Albion since 1979 on Saturday left the club fifth in the league, in danger of missing out on a lucrative Champions League qualification place.

“Andre Villas-Boas has parted company with Chelsea,” the club said in a statement. “The board would like to record our gratitude for his work and express our disappointment that the relationship has ended so early.

“Unfortunately the results and performances of the team have not been good enough and were showing no signs of improving at a key time in the season.”

Assistant coach Roberto Di Matteo, a former Chelsea player and West Bromwich Albion manager, will take charge of the Blues until the end of the season. His first game in charge will be Tuesday’s FA Cup fifth-round replay at Birmingham.

“The club is still competing in the latter stages of the UEFA Champions League and the FA Cup, as well as challenging for a top-four spot in the Premier League, and we aim to remain as competitive as possible on all fronts,” Chelsea said. “With that in mind, we felt our only option was to make a change at this time.”

Villas-Boas has been under constant pressure since being hired in June on a three-year contract to replace Carlo Ancelotti, who was fired after failing to win a trophy last season despite a league and FA Cup double the previous year.

That change of managers cost Chelsea $45 million in compensation. Villas-Boas is likely to receive compensation after being fired with more than two years remaining on a contract reportedly worth $8 million annually.

Having repeatedly insisted he had the owner’s full backing, Villas-Boas appeared to acknowledge his job was under threat after the 1-0 loss to West Brom left Chelsea with three wins in the last 12 league matches.

Villas-Boas had two seasons of topflight managerial experience behind him when he was hired by Chelsea last June on a three-year deal.

Winning four trophies with Porto last season had established him as one of Europe’s most highly rated coaches. He was dubbed by many as the “Mini-Mourinho,” after the current Real Madrid coach who has been one of the most successful managers in Europe in recent years.

Villas-Boas was a scout at Chelsea between 2004-07 under Mourinho, who won five major domestic trophies in that time.

However, Mourinho and successors Avram Grant, Luiz Felipe Scolari, Guus Hiddink and Ancelotti always came up short in the Champions League.

Since Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003, the club has won three English titles, three FA Cups and two League Cups.

But the Champions League is the competition Abramovich is said to be obsessed with and the Blues face another season of failure unless they can overcome their 3-1 loss at Napoli in the first leg.

On Friday, Villas-Boas insisted he would “never” quit Chelsea.

“Am I the right man for the job? Yes,” he said. “I wouldn’t have taken it if I didn’t think that.”

Source: Punch Nigeria.

by Agency Reporter.

Missionary Escapes After Brutal Attack, But Brother-in-Law Missing.


Asia jungle missionaries
Thanglot and his brother-in-law, Prem, were walking through a thick jungle when they were attacked. One man barely escaped alive. The other is still missing. (Gospel for Asia)

Thanglot Chanu, a Gospel for Asia missionary, escaped from five men, but only after they brutally attacked him. His brother-in-law, Prem Rana, is still missing and feared to be dead.

The nightmare began at 5 p.m. Aug. 25 as the two men were walking home from a village where they had gone to visit a friend.

Two miles outside the village in the dense jungle terrain, five men jumped from behind a bush, lunging at them with knives.

They stabbed Thanglot and Prem multiple times during the frenzied attack.

It all came to an end when one of the attackers injured his hand.

As the men with him turned their attention from Thanglot and Prem to help their injured friend, Thanglot quietly ran away without looking back.

He assumed Prem was doing the same thing.

Thanglot was badly injured, and his neighbors had to take him to the hospital.

That’s when he learned Prem never made it home.

They still have not found him and fear he may have been killed in the attack.

Thanglot did not recognize his attackers, nor does he know their motive.

Violence and lawlessness are common in this area.

Thanglot is asking for prayers for Prem, that he would be found quickly.

Thanglot also needs prayer for healing.

His injuries are extensive and will require months of treatment.

Pray also for the situation in this area.

The violence is so bad many people are afraid to leave their homes.

Thanglot is praying the message of Christ will result in peace and harmony in the area.

By GOSPEL FOR ASIA.

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