Sunday, June 26, 2011

Chris Brown to Haters: Just Leave Me Alone!

Chris Brown has been under considerable fire this week, and really since he assaulted then-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009. People will not give the dude a break.

Given his frequent blowups - most recently a gay slur against some photographers he thought told the police about his illegally parked car - you can see why.

Chris did apologize, sort of, for that incident, but it's clear he's just as upset that he's being criticized for it as he is at himself for uttering it to start with.


In a string of Tweets last night, he wrote: "This will make things a whole lot easier. If you don't like/support me then don't listen to my music (sic).

"Latching on to my every word and criticizing makes you look thirsty. I can't even piss without somebody complaining. Imagine how I feel (sic).

"A person should not have to apologize every second for living life (sic)!"

Perhaps some are too quick to jump all over him, but at the same time, he brings a lot of this upon himself by calling people gay, throwing chairs through windows and the like. Work on the anger, Chris. Then people will chill.

Dr. Conrad Murray: No Plea Deal in Michael Jackson Case

Dr. Conrad Murray is reportedly adamant that he will not accept a plea bargain of any sort in the Michael Jackson involuntary manslaughter case.

Sources say Dr. Murray feels so strongly about his innocence that even a plea offering zero jail time would be out of the question on principle.

Not that the L.A. County District Attorney is bending over backwards to offer such a thing. Prosecutors believe they can and will win the case.

Dr. Murray PhotoMike Jack

Dr. Murray's defense revolves around the fact that only two people were in the room around the time Michael died, those being Murray and Jackson.

The doctor insists he did not administer the fatal dose of Propofol.

His lawyers' theory: Murray left to go to the bathroom, a frustrated MJ woke up, administered Propofol on his own, overdosed and killed himself.

As for why he was providing Propofol to start with, Murray hopes MJ's last rehearsal footage will show "warning signs" that he was a lost cause.

Michael Jackson passed away two years ago today.

FIFA eyes 2014 preparations in Brazil

MOSCOW -- FIFA remains concerned at the slow pace of Brazil's preparations for the 2014 World Cup, saying soccer officials in South America appear to have invested more energy in winning the tournament than organizing it.

"We don't have stadiums, we don't have airports," secretary general Jerome Valcke said on Friday at the Inside World Football forum in Moscow.

He added it looked increasingly likely that some facilities, including Rio de Janeiro's iconic Maracana, would be ready with only a few weeks to spare.

"The Maracana is not a World Cup stadium" yet, Valcke said, adding that in Brazil "the main issue is not to organize the World Cup but to win the World Cup."

Brazil, which won hosting rights by default after other South American nations withdrew, has been mired in organizational and bureaucratic problems since it was announced as host in 2007.

Builders working on one of the stadiums only this week returned to work after going on strike over pay and conditions. About 160 of the nearly 400 workers helping to upgrade Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte stopped working this month. The agreement includes a 4 percent wage hike, a health plan and more overtime pay.

Belo Horizonte is one of the cities vying to host the opening match. Others include the capital, Brasilia, and Sao Paulo, South America's biggest city.

Brazilian lawmakers this month were forced to approve a raft of measures aimed at reducing the paperwork needed to clear various infrastructure projects. The changes reduce the time to conclude the bidding processes on tenders, eliminating some stages and need for approval.

Saint-Clair Milesi, a spokesman for the local World Cup organizing committee, said from Brazil that with the exception of Sao Paulo, the construction of new stadiums and renovation of existing ones is "continuing according to schedule."

He declined to comment further.

Ricardo Leyser, a top official with Brazil's Sports Ministry, told the Estado de S. Paulo newspaper Friday that "it is obvious that Brazil will be ready on time to host the World Cup."

"We have no doubt that all the work being done to prepare the country to host the games will be concluded on time," Leyser said.

Valcke urged Russia, which is hosting the event for the first time in 2018, to have the required 12 stadiums ready two years in advance to allow time for test events.

Russia is building most of the facilities from scratch in a $10 billion project, a budget that doesn't include the massive infrastructure improvements needed such as rail networks, new roads and airport upgrades.

It was Valcke's first public appearance since FIFA exonerated him of wrongdoing for saying Qatar had "bought" the 2022 World Cup hosting rights.

Valcke alluded to the maelstrom of corruption allegations surrounding FIFA in recent months, beginning his keynote speech by saying, "It's good to talk about football. I mean, we need it at FIFA sometimes."

Jennifer Aniston brings Justin Theroux 'Inside the Actors Studio'

During her interview, Jennifer Aniston said if she attempted a profession other than acting, it would be interior design.

Now, Jennifer Aniston is mixing business with pleasure by bringing new beau Justin Theroux to her interview with James Lipton for "Inside the Actors Studio."

Theroux, 39, "was sitting in the front row, and she made eye contact with him," second-year Actors Studio MFA student Christina Schudel told PEOPLE at Thursday's New York taping with Aniston, 42. The interview will air next month on Bravo.

"Whenever there would be a lull, she would just look at him and give him a wink and go back to what she was doing," Schudel says.

Aniston was also clearly a hit with the crowd -- which roared with laughter after Lipton asked what drew the actress to the 2006 movie "The Break-Up."

Aniston replied, "Well, you know it's something I have a lot of experience with."

"She was just so relaxed and so open," Schudel observed. "So lovable from beginning to end. Such a sweetheart."

Lipton, who chatted with the "Horrible Bosses" star for nearly three hours, says he was completely captivated by Aniston's warm personality.

"She's as quick and witty and charming as she is on screen," Lipton told PEOPLE immediately after the interview.

Authorities: 6 die in truck-train crash in Nevada

Authorities say a tractor-trailer slammed into an Amtrak passenger train in Nevada on June 24.

(CNN) -- Six people were killed when a tractor-trailer truck slammed into a Chicago-to-California Amtrak passenger train at a railroad crossing east of Reno, Nevada, authorities said late Saturday.

The death toll was released just as federal authorities said they were trying to account for passengers missing from the passenger train that was struck Friday at a railroad crossing near Lovelock, Nevada.

"No names are being released pending positive identification and notification of families," the Churchill County, Nevada, sheriff's department said in a written statement.

The National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating, is trying to account for passengers listed on the manifest but not located after the crash, Earl Weener of the NTSB told reporters during a news conference late Saturday night in Sparks, Nevada.

In some cases, it is believed people got off the train earlier or bought a ticket but did not take the train, he said.

"There are a number of reasons that the manifest and that number don't jibe," Weener said.

The 10-car train, which was on its way to Emeryville, California, was carrying 204 passengers and 14 crew members, Amtrak said in a statement released Friday.

It was not immediately clear how many people were injured. Amtrak said that numerous people aboard the train had been taken to area hospitals for treatment.

Amateur video taken after the crash showed huge plumes of black smoke billowing from the train as a fire burned. Passengers and crew members stood outside.

One voice on the video can be heard telling people to get away from the smoke. Another tells a woman, out of view, to "hang and jump." A third voice asks someone, "Are you OK?"

"Next thing I know, we get hit by something. A big ball of fire comes in. I jumped out the window," passenger Justin Rhine told CNN affiliate KOLO-TV in Reno. "I saw people flying on the other side of the train."

Skid marks show the driver of the truck slammed on his brakes, sliding more than 300 feet before hitting the train, sparking a fire, Weener said. The fire burned the truck and two train cars, he said.

The initial investigation found the signal light and crossing guard arms were working, and that there was good visibility of the train tracks from the road, he said.

The truck was the lead in a three-truck convoy as it approached the train tracks, Weener said.

The two following saw the train signal and slowed to stop, "waiting for him to come to stop," he said.

Though the driver of the truck has not been identified, Weener said the truck belonged to John Davies Trucking of Battle Mountain, Nevada.

The trucking company, which advertises itself as family-owned business that hauls concrete, did not immediately respond to a CNN request for comment.

Mexico rallies to top U.S. and win high-scoring Gold Cup final

Andres Guardado, #18 of Mexico, celebrates his goal against the United States with Javier Hernandez, #14.

Los Angeles (CNN) -- In one of soccer's biggest showdowns, Mexico rallied from an early deficit with four straight goals to defeat the United States 4-2 and win the 2011 Gold Cup on Saturday.

The American team jumped out to an earlier lead when Michael Bradley, a center midfielder and the son of coach Bob Bradley, scored the first goal just nine minutes into the game. Landon Donovan, the leading goal-scorer in U.S. history, netted a second goal roughly 20 minutes later.

But Mexico answered back, with Pablo Barrera and then Andres Guardado scoring two goals within 10 minutes of each other to tie the score.

A few minutes into the second half, Barrera scored another goal to give Mexico its first lead of the game. Giovani dos Santos gave Mexico a 4-2 advantage with a score with about 13 minutes remaining, effectively cinching his team's victory.

Fox Soccer reported that 93,420 spectators watched the game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, above its capacity of 92,542 according to the stadium's website.

Mexico's win gives in bragging rights in the rivalry, the third consecutive time both teams have met in the tournament's final.

As it is every year, the game was organized by the soccer confederation for North America, Central America and the Caribbean.

Besides boasting privileges, Mexico earns a ticket to the Confederations Cup in Brazil in 2013, a year before the World Cup.

Mexico and the United States had split the last two Gold Cups, with the Mexicans embarrassing the Americans with a 5-0 thrashing in 2009.

In 2007, the Americans took the contest, sending the team to the 2009 Confederations Cup where it finished second behind Brazil.

Until Saturday night, the United States had not lost to Mexico on American soil when at full strength in 12 matches dating back to the year 2000.

Still, the American players know that soccer draws many fans to Mexico's team, as was evident at this weekend's game. Hispanics are now the nation's second-largest group under the latest census.

"You come into your country and you know they are going to have more fans than you are," U.S. defender Jonathan Bornstein said in remarks on the confederation website, "but nonetheless, we're going to have enough fans out there supporting us. We're on our home turf, and so we need to be considered the home team even though we might not have all the fans."

Added U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard about the rivalry: "It's been the same since I was a kid watching it. It's the same today. It's passion. There's a ton of respect, but yet again it borders on hatred."

"But it's passion. It's good. I think we have very healthy respect for them and whether they want to say it or not, they have healthy respect for us and they should," Howard said on the confederation website.

Mexico's team manager Jose Manuel de la Torre said before the contest that the game "has transformed into something very important to the Mexican people that live in the United States."

"It is a clasico," de la Torre told the confederation, before Saturday's match. "That makes for a heated atmosphere. But the final is still a soccer game featuring two strong, well-coached teams that have worked hard to reach a final we will enjoy."

For the United States, it marks its fourth consecutive appearance in the final -- a confederation record, according to the U.S. Soccer Federation. The Gold Cup is being held in Southern California for the first time in nine years, the federation said.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Nani to stay at United

Nani is willing to stay at Manchester United to fight for his position

Manchester United winger Nani will not be forced out of the club by the arrival of £17 million Ashley Young, contrary to reports.
Nani topped the assists chart in the Premier League last season, and he was voted United's Players' Player of the Year. However, as the season neared a climax, the Portugal international increasingly found himself on the bench for big games, culminating in the Champions League final loss to Barcelona.

With Antonio Valencia producing the best form of his career upon return from serious injury, there is a feeling of three not fitting into two following the signing of Young from Aston Villa.

Park Ji-sung, the man who took Nani's place against Barcelona at Wembley, also declared on Friday that he has no intention of leaving Old Trafford, so Sir Alex Ferguson finds himself with a plethora of options for his wide positions.

Nani has been linked in the media with a move away from United, with Real Madrid a mooted destination. The player fanned flames over a possible move when stating recently: "I am fine at Manchester United, but it is good to hear there are other clubs interested. Would I like to work under [Jose] Mourinho? Yes, but at this moment I am fine at Manchester United."

However, sources close to Old Trafford are now stating that the 24-year-old will fight for his place, having just enjoyed his best season at the club, yielding 10 goals.

Ferguson is expected to seek a meeting with Nani in the near future to assure the winger of his place in the United squad, as the Red Devils attempt to win a 20th Premier League crown.

Money will need to be generated from somewhere though, with United expected to take their spending past £50 million with the purchase of David De Gea, but it is believed Wes Brown and Darron Gibson are closest to the exit door.