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Former top Chinese official arrested in corruption probe

CNN World - Fri, 12/05/2014 - 19:52
China's former top domestic security official, Zhou Yongkang, has been arrested as part of a corruption probe, the country's state-run Xinhua news agency reports.
Categories: International News

Hackers threaten Sony employees' families

Business News - Fri, 12/05/2014 - 19:36
Read full story for latest details.

Cop thought pill bottle was gun

CNN - Fri, 12/05/2014 - 17:18
A man in Phoenix was killed by a police officer after the cop mistook a pill bottle for a gun. CNN's Ana Cabrera reports.
Categories: National News

Young horse guides Pierce to payday

Twisted Rodeo - Fri, 12/05/2014 - 16:59

LAS VEGAS – In just her fourth rodeo, a talented 6-year-old redhead shined quite brightly during the first round of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

Carlee Pierce

Carlee Pierce

Her name is Lolo, and she’s a young sorrel mare who carried her jockey, Carlee Pierce of Edmond, Okla., to a fourth-place finish Thursday night in Las Vegas. Pierce and Lolo rounded the cloverleaf pattern in 14.29 seconds to collect the $7,969 payday in the sport’s richest event.

“I think for this being her fourth rodeo every, she did awesome with room to improve,” said Pierce, a three-time NFR qualifier who grew up in Freedom, Okla. “I’m pretty stoked that we didn’t tip a barrel.”

More than 17,000 fans pack into the Thomas & Mack Center every night for the 10-round championship. The atmosphere is electric, and even the greatest animal athlete can struggle inside such an arena. Throw in the fact that Lolo is still a filly, and the biggest stage in the game can be overpowering.

Fortunately for Pierce, her young mount passed the test. In the process, she moved from 13th to eight in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association’s world standings.

“It’s exciting to be back in Las Vegas for the NFR,” she said. “It’s really exciting to be riding these awesome young horses here.”

In addition to Lolo, she has Tiny, a 5-year-old sorrel mare. The young animals are proof that Pierce has a strong stable of solid horses.

She also has a strong support system in the form of her family. In fact, Pierce missed the 2013 NFR when she opted to spend more time at home than on the rodeo trail. She was the No. 3 cowgirl in the world when she ventured home to spend more time with her family.

Now she’s focused in on getting her fair share of the $6.375 million purse that’s up for grabs in Las Vegas.

“When you rodeo for a living, you know how important it is to not only be at the NFR but do well here,” said Pierce, who did very well in her first two trips to Las Vegas in 2011-12. “I’m really excited to share this with my husband and my children.”

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Obama's economy - How it stacks up

Business News - Fri, 12/05/2014 - 16:37
The Obama recovery was looking a lot better on Friday after a particularly strong jobs report made 2014 the best year for hiring since 1999.

Scheer claims Round 1 win

Twisted Rodeo - Fri, 12/05/2014 - 16:00

LAS VEGAS – The mental game in rodeo is vital to any cowboy’s success.

Saddle bronc rider Cort Scheer changed his approach to the National Finals Rodeo, and it already has paid off. On Thursday, he rode Frontier Rodeo’s Short Stop for 87 points to win the opening go-round of ProRodeo’s championship event.

In the process, he pocketed $19,002 and moved from third to second in the world standings. It’s a much different feel for the Elsmere, Neb., cowboy, who last December placed in just three go-rounds but rode all 10 horses to finish second in the all-important NFR average race.

Cort Scheer

Cort Scheer

“I just had to loosen up,” he said. “Last year I came in kind of tense. I was just thinking about too much instead of one horse at a time. The Canadian Finals really helped me get my momentum started. I know I had a great horse, and I’d rather fall off instead of being 75 (points), so I really wanted to win one (round).”

Mission accomplished. Scheer posted the highest marked right of the night – the winning bareback and bull rides were 85 points each. He also bested second-place finisher Heith DeMoss by five points while watching some of the greatest bronc riders in the world buck off.

“It just shows the caliber of the bucking horses,” Scheer said. “Those are the best guys in the world. To see them come down doesn’t really affect you. In my mind, it’s me and my horse. I don’t really think about anybody else. If anything, I feel bad for them when they come down, because it makes me ride better when they win, too.”

A month ago, Scheer won the average title at the Canadian Finals Rodeo in Edmonton, Alberta. He placed in all six go-rounds, winning three. Both the Canadian Finals and the NFR feature the top animals in the sport.

“I didn’t know anything about the horse other than he was a bareback horse they moved to bronc riding,” he said. “I heard from a lot of people he’s stall out if you got into him.”

In bronc riding, cowboys are judged by how well the horse bucks and how well he spurs the horse through the bucking rhythm. By making sure the horse feels the sensation of the cowboy’s spurs, the rider actually helps the horse along.

“My rein was a touch too long, which made him feel a little buckier, but he was pretty nice.”

So was Scheer. He’s continuing to carry a season-long drive through rodeo’s grand championship.

“Momentum is tremendous,” Scheer said. “Now I’m going to forget about this. I’ve got (Pete Carr’s) Mike and Ike (Friday) and just go one horse at a time. That’s how you win titles, I guess, and I really don’t care about the average.”

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

VW Bus sells for a groovy $235,000

Business News - Fri, 12/05/2014 - 15:00
A 1955 Volkswagen bus was recently sold for $235,000 by a German auction company, the the highest price ever paid at auction for one the iconic minibuses.

2014 is best year for job gains since 1999

Business News - Fri, 12/05/2014 - 14:50
Hiring surged in November as employers added 321,000 jobs, crowning 2014 as the strongest year for job growth since 1999.

Rolling Stone apologizes for UVA gang rape story

CNN - Fri, 12/05/2014 - 14:45
Rolling Stone magazine apologized to readers Friday for a story it published chronicling one woman's account of a gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity house and the school's failure to respond to that alleged assault.
Categories: National News

Top 10 Instagrammed places

CNN World - Fri, 12/05/2014 - 14:39
Photo sharing website names the top 10 destinations for geo-tagged snapshots.
Categories: International News

Mariah Carey slammed over Xmas gig

CNN Entertainment - Fri, 12/05/2014 - 14:37
Mariah Carey is known for her five-octave voice, her slinky dresses and her many hits, including "All I Want for Christmas is You."
Categories: Entertainment News

British Museum lends Elgin Marble

CNN World - Fri, 12/05/2014 - 14:35
As the United Kingdom continues to enforce sanctions on Russia over its actions in Ukraine, the British Museum has announced it is lending one of the controversial Elgin Marbles to a St. Petersburg museum, describing it as "a marble ambassador of a European ideal."
Categories: International News

Irwin cashes in first NFR round

Twisted Rodeo - Fri, 12/05/2014 - 14:28

LAS VEGAS – Pinch Kyle Irwin all you want; he’s not waking up from this dream.

On Thursday during the opening night of the 2014 National Finals Rodeo, the Robertsdale, Ala., cowboy wrestled his steer to the dirt in 4.1 seconds to finish fifth place in the first round, pocketing $4,904 in the process.

It was a heck of a way to kick-start his inaugural NFR.

Kyle Irwin

Kyle Irwin

“I was real proud to get to represent the state of Alabama,” he said. “I was real proud to get to represent myself and everything that we’ve worked so hard for. I’ve put in the effort, time and dedication to back in the (timed-event) box and get ready to run one for all these fans and everybody watching at home.

“It was the greatest feeling I’ve felt in the rodeo industry.”

Irwin, who competed in collegiate rodeo at Western Oklahoma College and Northwestern Oklahoma University, pushed his 2014 season earnings to $64,640 and moved up one spot to ninth in the world standings – in rodeo, dollars equal points, and the contestant who finishes the full season with the most money won will be crowned world champion.

He remains more than $32,000 behind the leader, Nick Guy of Sparta, Wis., who utilized his $19,002 first round-winning check to move into the No. 1 spot. But with paydays like that, the standings can change in a hurry, especially in steer wrestling, which is the tightest overall race of all the events in Las Vegas.

The interesting aspect of rodeo is that all the competitors are also colleagues and assist one another often. That worked out to Irwin’s benefit Thursday.

“The guys told me if I didn’t hit things just right on that steer, he would wad up and cost me a lot of time,” he said. “I knew I needed to try and maybe do things a little different than I normally would. Lucky enough, I have been practicing the last two weeks at Luke Branquinho’s house, so I was prepared for it.”

Branquinho is a four-time world champion from Las Alamos, Calif., who hosted a number of NFR qualifiers for practice sessions leading up to the championship. This is the biggest stage in the sport, and all that work has seemed to pay off.

“There may have been a couple things I could have done differently, but I’m not going to pick the run apart,” Irwin said. “I was 4.1 on my first steer at the NFR, and we have nine more to run.

“I was more nervous today signing autographs for Southwest Truck and Trailer, my sponsors. I guess it was because I was just stuck inside. I enjoy doing it for them and getting out there, but when I got back to saddle my horses, it was different. I guess I had to get a little dirty to calm my nerves.”

And with that inaugural run down, he can bear down on business.

“That first round was awesome,” Irwin said. “This was it. In my eyes, this is the cat’s meow.”

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

15 feet from ISIS

CNN World - Fri, 12/05/2014 - 14:25
A 22-year-old Kurdish female fighter battles for the scorched earth of Kobani, Syria, and revenge for her friend, who died rather than be captured. "Girls are very prized by ISIS. She blew herself up. She killed a lot of them with her," she says.
Categories: International News

Cop who shot boy slammed in past job

CNN - Fri, 12/05/2014 - 14:23
Nearly two years before he shot and killed a 12-year-old who had an air gun, Cleveland Police Officer Timothy Loehmann resigned from another police job after a supervisor described him as "distracted and weepy" and "emotionally immature."
Categories: National News

Gas dips below $2 in Texas

Business News - Fri, 12/05/2014 - 14:03
Gas prices fell below $2 a gallon at a station in San Antonio on Friday, making Texas the second U.S. state where prices have dipped that low this week.

Nation being devoured by sea

CNN World - Fri, 12/05/2014 - 13:42
The Pacific Island nation of Kiribati may be the first country to disappear under the rising sea levels of climate change. Its people fear their homeland may become the world's next Atlantis.
Categories: International News

Inside the palace of a dictator

CNN World - Fri, 12/05/2014 - 13:40
In late 1989 the carefully constructed edifice of communism in Eastern Europe started crumbling in a wave of popular upheavals with a speed that took everyone by surprise.
Categories: International News
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