quarta-feira, 4 de setembro de 2013

Ex-heavyweight champion Tommy Morrison dies at 44

Tommy Morrison's career reached its pinnacle on a hot June night in Las Vegas, when he stepped into the ring and beat George Foreman to become heavyweight champion. It reached its nadir when he tested positive for HIV three years later. The last 20 years of the brash boxer's life would be defined by extensive legal troubles, erratic behavior and mounting health problems. Morrison would later claim that he never tested positive for the virus that causes AIDs, even as he was hospitalized during the last days of his life. Morrison died Sunday night at a Nebraska hospital. He was 44. His longtime promoter and close friend, Tony Holden, confirmed that "the Duke" had died, but his family would not disclose the cause of death. Morrison and his wife, Trisha, continued to deny that the former champion ever had HIV during the final years of his life. "Tommy's a very stubborn person and he views things the way he wants to view things. That's his right and privilege," Holden said. "All through his career, him and I would come not to physical blows but disagreements on certain things. We always ended up friends. That was Tommy. "That's the way Tommy took off after he was told he was HIV-positive," Holden added. "When he first was told, I was taking him to seek treatment and to different doctors around the country. And then he started research on the Internet and started saying it was a conspiracy. He went in that direction and never looked back." The controversy, along with Morrison's rapid decline, overshadowed a stellar career. Morrison was a prodigious puncher whose bid to fight in the 1988 Seoul Olympics ended at the hands of Ray Mercer, who later dealt him his first professional loss. Along the way, Morrison became such a recognizable face that he was cast in Rocky V alongside Sylvester Stallone. Morrison won his first 28 professional fights, beating faded champions such as Pinklon Thomas along the way. He hit it big at the Thomas & Mack Center in the summer of 1993 — a unanimous decision over Foreman, then in the midst of his comeback — to claim a vacant world title. As with so many things in Morrison's life, the good was quickly followed by the bad. Morrison was in line for a high-profile bout with Lennox Lewis when he was upset by unheralded fighter Michael Bentt in Tulsa, Okla., not far from where Morrison was raised. He was knocked down three times and the fight was called before the first round ended. The loss meant a potential $7.5 million payday for a title unification fight simply vanished. "I zigged when I should have zagged," Morrison said afterward. "It's one of those situations you have to live with and learn from it. I'll be back." Morrison indeed came back, but he was never the same feared fighter. He beat a bunch of long shots and faded stars over the next couple of years before getting knocked out by Lewis in the sixth round. That fight happened in October 1995. By February, Morrison had tested positive for HIV. He'd been preparing for another fight that winter when his blood test came back positive for the virus that causes AIDs. Morrison's license was quickly suspended by Nevada, and the ban was, in effect, upheld by every other sanctioning body. Morrison said at a news conference in 1996 that he'd never fight again, blaming his plight on a "permissive, fast and reckless lifestyle." His lifestyle never changed, though, even when he stepped away from the ring. He had already run afoul of the law in 1993, when he pleaded guilty to assaulting a college student. He also dealt with weapons charges and multiple DUI incidents over the years. Morrison was finally sentenced to two years in prison in 2000, and another year was added to his sentence in 2002 for violating parole. When he was released, Morrison said his HIV tests were in fact false positives, and he wanted to resume his career. He passed medical tests in Arizona — even as Nevada stood by its decision to suspend his license — and returned to the ring. Morrison fought twice more in his career, winning once in West Virginia and for the final time in Mexico. He finished with a record of 48-3-1 with 42 knockouts. Morrison started to fade from the public eye in the final years of his life. He tried to stay connected to the sport by opening a gym in Wichita, Kan., but the enterprise was short-lived. "If Tommy was fighting today, he no doubt would be a world champion," Holden said. "You have to look at who he was fighting in the '90s, the guys in that division were Tyson, Lennox Lewis, Riddick Bowe, Ray Mercer, George Foreman. There's no one with that talent today. Tommy would absolutely dominate if he were in his prime boxing today." Credit: www.usatoday.com

Katie Couric Engaged to Boyfriend John Molner

NEW YORK — Katie Couric is getting married to her financier boyfriend John Molner. Couric’s spokesman Matthew Hiltzik confirmed the engagement Tuesday morning following a report by People magazine. Molner gave 56-year-old Couric, the former host of “Today,” a diamond ring over the weekend in East Hampton. Molner, 50, is a partner at investment firm Brown Brothers Harriman, who oversees mergers and acquisitions advisory work for the firm’s corporate clients. The couple has dated nearly two years. Couric’s late husband Jay Monahan died in 1998 from colon cancer. She is the mother of two daughters, now 21 and 17. Her talk show, “Katie,” starts its second season Sept. 9. Read more: http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/09/03/katie-couric-engaged-to-boyfriend-molner/#ixzz2dvENcJMf Credit: www.newsfeed.time.com

Cleveland Kidnapper Ariel Castro Found Dead In Prison Cell

The Ohio man who held three women captive and repeatedly raped them for nearly a decade was found hanged Tuesday night in his cell.
Ariel Castro is seen during his sentencing in Cleveland on Aug 1, 2013. Ariel Castro, the 53-year-old Cleveland man convicted of kidnapping and raping three women for nearly a decade, was found hanged in his prison cell on Tuesday night in an apparent suicide. An Ohio corrections spokeswoman said Castro was discovered dead in his cell at 9:20 p.m. He had been housed in protective custody by himself where officers were required to check on his well-being every 30 minutes at staggered intervals. Castro, a former school bus driver, was sentenced last month to life in prison plus 1,000 years for abducting and sexually assaulting Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus. “Upon finding inmate Castro, prison medical staff began performing life saving measures,” JoEllen Smith of the Ohio Department of Corrections said. “Shortly after he was transported to Ohio State University Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 10:52 p.m.” In June, Castro was indicted on 977 counts — including 139 counts of rape, 177 counts of kidnapping and two counts of aggravated murder. The Cleveland home where he held the women was later demolished, forfeited as part of a plea deal with prosecutors that took the death penalty off the table. The three women, who were kidnapped at 14, 16 and 20 years old, escaped from Castro’s Cleveland home on May 6, when Berry broke part of a door and yelled to neighbors for help. At Castro’s sentencing, Michelle Knight, one of his victims, addressed him directly. “You took 11 years of my life away, and I have got it back,” she said. “I spent 11 years in hell. Now your hell is just beginning.” An investigation into Castro’s death has been launched, the official said. Credit: www.buzzfeed.com

terça-feira, 3 de setembro de 2013

Who is Charlie Hunnam?

Charlie Hunnam has landed one of the most talked-about roles in Hollywood.
He'll play Christian Grey in the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey, set to hit theaters Aug. 1, 2014.
To play the character, he's got to be hot, sexy, dominant — and tortured.
Can he pull it off?
"I've been swaggering since I was 14 years old!" Hunnam told USA TODAY's Brian Truitt when touting the film Pacific Rim in July. In that movie, his character had to take a giant robot into war against futuristic monsters. He's also know for playing tough biker-club president Jackson "Jax" Teller on FX's Sons of Anarchy. He told GQ UK in July that Season 6 was being filmed and he's signed for Season 7.
Both were a good fit for Hunnam, 33, who learned to be tough in real life early on.

The actor is originally from Newcastle, England, a working-class town. As a kid, he moved to the Lake District, where fighting was common. He is one of two sons of what he has described as a "tough-guy" father and a "bohemian" mother. They split up when he was 2 years old.
Hunnam went on to get his degree in the performing arts from Cumbria College of Art and Design in Cumbria, England. His first big role came at age 18, when he was cast in the British TV series Queer As Folk. He appeared in 10 episodes, playing a gay teen, before moving to Los Angeles. He went on to land roles including the lead in 2002's Nicholas Nickleby, a part in Cold Mountain in 2003 and Sons of Anarchy in 2008.
So will he be ready to bare his bod for the film, which will have plenty of sexy scenes?
He has a chiseled physique that he maintains by boxing, swimming and weightlifting among other things, according to Australian Men's Fitness. In a 2011 feature for the magazine, he revealed that he owns 82 pairs of sneakers.
"I'm happier, more confident, and more positive when I work out. And I feel like I'm a better actor because of the clarity it gives me," he told the mag.
As for his personal life? He's not single.
He met Katherine Towne at an audition for Dawson's Creek in 1999 and the two got married a few weeks later in Las Vegas. They divorced in 2002.
For the past six years, according to E!, Hunnam has been dating jewelry designer Morgana McNelis. In an interview with Britain's 7 Nights magazine in July he said they had bought a ranch so they could escape the Hollywood scene. "We've got 30 chickens and a couple of donkeys, a couple of ducks and we've got a big, organic garden. We are going to try to live a bit more sustainably."

Credit: http://www.usatoday.com

Lake Forest College grad sets swim record from Cuba to Florida

American 64-year-old long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad on Monday became the first person to swim
across the Florida Straits from Cuba without a shark cage, succeeding on her fifth attempt at the feat.
Her face sunburned and lips swollen, with barely enough energy to speak, Nyad waded ashore at Key West after a 53-hour swim and delivered a simple message to onlookers: "We should never, ever give up .... You never are too old to chase your dreams."
In an inspiration to Baby Boomers everywhere, Nyad completed the estimated 110-mile journey after departing from Havana on Saturday morning. She set a record for the longest ocean swim without a shark cage or flippers, according to her crew.

She was met by crowds in Key West who surrounded her, snapping photos, as they enjoyed sunny beach weather on the annual Labor Day holiday.
Helpers were waiting to give her medical treatment and immediately placed her on a stretcher and hydrated her with an IV before she was taken to a hospital.
The iron-willed Nyad had been trying to achieve the crossing for 35 years, describing it on her website as her "Xtreme Dream," and seemed determined to prove The Beatles were right that there is plenty to live for "when I'm 64."
"Diana shows that at any age you can do whatever you want," said Nancy Jordan, 57, a volunteer pilot on one of Nyad's support vessels. "That's what she set out to show; don't ever give up your dream."
Dave Magmone, whose boat was used to prepare Nyad's meals, said, "She has a mental and physical strength like no one I have ever known. She is an example for all people, regardless of their age."
Women and men of a certain age have been inspired in recent years by a wave of older athletes breaking records and snagging headlines.
Last year, then Colorado Rockies player Jamie Moyer, now 50, became the oldest pitcher in Major League Baseball history to win a game. Canadian Ed Whitlock, now 82, shattered records when he ran the 2012 Toronto Marathon in 3 hours 30 minutes. And Dana Torres in 2008 at age 41 became the oldest-ever American female swimmer to win an Olympic medal.
"I think this is the prime. When one reaches this age, you still have a body that's strong but now you have a better mind," Nyad told CNN before a previous failed attempt to making the crossing in 2011.
Nyad's team said her fifth attempt at the Florida crossing benefited from several key factors, including calm seas, the surprising lack of jellyfish and favorable currents in the powerful Gulf Stream that flows eastwards through the Florida Straits.
"You can't do the swim unless you have three things - the determination, the weather and the cooperation of the Gulf Stream," said Ron Bartlett, her navigator.
Bartlett said the crew only encountered one minor squall during the crossing and only one deadly box jellyfish sighting.
The marathon swimmer had said this was her final attempt, this time equipped with a protective silicone mask as well as a body suit to better protect her from box jellyfish that forced her to end one of two attempted crossings last year.
A team of ocean kayakers and divers accompanied Nyad on her journey dragging an electronic device in the water that emitted a current to repel sharks.
Nyad has spent much of her life in the water. She described in a 2011 YouTube documentary how her father told her when she was a young girl she was destined to swim, noting that her last name is derived from the Greek word for water nymphs or female swimmers.
Born in New York, the multi-lingual Nyad was raised in south Florida by a French mother and Greek-Egyptian stepfather and swam six hours a day as a 12-year-old.
She retired after successfully completing a swim from Bimini in the Bahamas to Florida in 1979, ending a long-distance career that set several world records including one for circling Manhattan in less than eight hours in 1975.
She went on to a career in sports journalism and fitness and has expressed a lifelong fascination with Cuba.
The treacherous Florida Straits has been conquered only twice previously, both times with the aid of a protective cage. The last time was by Australian Susie Maroney, who used a protective cage at age 22 during a 1997 swim. The cage glided on ocean currents and enabled Maroney to make the journey in just 25 hours.
Nyad's fifth attempt to make the crossing comes 35 years after she made her first go at it aged 28 in 1978, when she gave up after covering 76 miles in 42 hours, with the aid that time of a shark cage.
With Key West in her sights on Monday Nyad halted briefly about 2 miles offshore to thank her support team.
"This is a lifelong dream of mine and I'm very, very glad to be with you," she said, according to her website. "So let's get going so we can have a whopping party."

Credit: Reuters/www.chicagotribune.com

Young Rabbis visit a detention center to lead Rosh Hashanah services

Their mothers must love this. Two intrepid young rabbis are going “up the river” for the High Holidays — to a federal lockup in Brooklyn, where they will lead Rosh Hashana services for Jewish convicts. Hasidic Rabbis Yoel Pesso and Chezky Weiss, both 23, are turning the chapel at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Sunset Park into a temporary shul this week so that some 30 inmates can atone for their sins. “Everyone deserves to have a connection with God,” said Pesso, who is a Crown Heights-based Lubavitch Hasid, along with Weiss. “Even if you commit a crime, it doesn’t sever the connection.”
The detention center houses about 1,000 inmates, about 60 of whom are Jewish, according to the Aleph Institute, a Miami-based organization that provides services to Jewish inmates at 30 prisons. Rituals will include the blowing of the shofar — a ram’s horn — and a reading of the Torah portion in which Abraham is ordered to sacrifice his son, Isaac. “God tested Abraham, which is analogous to what’s happening on Rosh Hashana; throughout the year, people are tested . . . and sometimes they’ll give in to [temptations],” Weiss said. Credit: www.nypost.com