Chủ Nhật, ngày 19 tháng 8 năm 2007

Britney poses topless for magazine

14:54' 19/08/2007 (GMT+7)


The cover of the September issue of Allure magazine features Britney Spears posed provocatively in jeans and dark brown wig, her bare breasts covered by her arms. There are two similar shots inside the mag. She very cooperatively posed for the shots in April.

When it came to sitting for the interview she had also agreed to, that became a much different matter.

"Britney showed up for Allure's cover shoot on time and ready to work," editor-in-chief Linda Wells wrote in an a letter for the issue, on newsstands Tuesday.

"She was entirely unself-conscious: She took off her wig and then stripped down to the waist, for no apparent reason, before sitting for hair and makeup," Wells said. "She was agreeable and cooperative on the shoot and left at the end of the day, followed by a trail of paparazzi."

As for the interview that was to follow, the 25-year-old Spears missed four appointments with Allure interviewer Judith Newman, Wells said.

At one point, Spears put off the chat because she was "delayed by important work in the recording studio," Newman wrote. But, she added, "The paparazzi found her a few hours later at a salon, getting her nails done." .

What do you do when you have no profile to accompany some alluring photographs? Newman wrote a first-person essay about her experience trying to track down Spears.

"Britney has long lost her role-model status," Wells commented. "That dream of a comeback seems to occupy an ever-more-distant speck on the horizon."

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Two killed, one missing after typhoon Sepat lands in E China

14:47' 19/08/2007 (GMT+7)

Photo taken on August 18, 2007 shows the big wave at the Dongtou Island of Wenzhou, east China's Zhejiang Province.The Southeast China provinces are girding for the imminent Typhoon Sepat with cancellation of flights, evacuations of ships, boats and more than half a million people. Typhoon Sepat is expected to land with heavy winds and downpours in the coast between Lianjiang and Xiamen of Fujian Province around 7:00 p.m. Saturday.
Two people were killed and one was missing in a landslide triggered by typhoon Sepat which landed in east China's Fujian Province early Sunday morning, said flood control authorities with the province on Sunday.

The three victims were in central Fujian's Minhou County, where torrential rains unleashed by Sepat triggered the landslide and tore down houses. Detailed information is not yet available.

Downpour also hit the Minqing County to the west of Fuzhou, Fujian's capital, where the Daruo train station collapsed, causing derailment of six carriages of a cargo train.

Typhoon Sepat, the ninth for this year that landed in Chongwu town, Hui'an county of Quanzhou City early Sunday morning, lashed the central and northern parts of the province with gale and rainstorm. Rainfall from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Sunday reached 200 millimeters in 11 of Fujian's 95 counties, cities and districts and exceeded 300 millimeters in two regions.

The typhoon damaged 366 houses in Quanzhou, destroyed crops on 5,920 hectares of land, cut off power supply lines on 5.7 kilometers and harmed 139 water control projects, affecting 162,600 people and inflicting an economic loss of 72 million yuan (9.5 million U.S. dollars).

Neighboring Zhejiang Province also saw gales and heavy rains. By 6:a.m. Sunday, a total of 198 houses were toppled down in Wenzhou City with 475,912 people affected, causing an economic loss of 138.35 million yuan (18.2 million U.S. dollars) in the manufacturing city.

As it roars on, Sepat is expected to arrive at Jiangxi Province by Sunday but has weakened to strong tropical storm.

Air traffic has resumed in Fujian, according to sources with the Xiamen Airlines. A total of 179 flights shall be in service on Sunday.

VietNamNet/Xinhuanet

Thứ Bảy, ngày 21 tháng 7 năm 2007

Owen picks up minor thigh injury


Newcastle striker Michael Owen is out of Saturday's pre-season friendly at Carlisle after picking up a thigh injury in training.
The 27-year-old is also likely to miss Celtic's visit to Tyneside on Thursday evening, but boss Sam Allardyce expects Owen to return within 10 days.

He said: "Hopefully, it will be no more than 10 days and he should be back.

"It may be a little early for the Celtic match, but we hope he will be fit to face Juventus on the Sunday."


Interview: Newcastle striker Michael Owen

606: DEBATE
Owen injured again - Have you say

Meanwhile, Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce revealed that he will speak to midfielder Kieron Dyer following speculation that West Ham were going to make an offer the the 28-year-old.


He said: "I suppose I will have to have a chat and a conversation with Kieron to see if he thinks there is anything in it and if there is, we will discuss it privately from there.

"But at the moment, there is no bid from West Ham, so until Alan Curbishley rings me or the chief executive rings (chief operating officer) Russell Cushing, then there would be no discussion.

"It has been rumoured in the papers and sometimes there is no smoke without fire.

"But if there's a bid going to come in, I would probably expect a phone call either today or over the weekend because they have lost one of their new players."

BBC PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Heinze may fight for Anfield move By Phil McNulty


Gabriel Heinze will have to defy Sir Alex Ferguson to secure a £7m move from Manchester United to Liverpool
Liverpool have met the fee that would secure the 29-year-old Argentine defender's release - stated in a letter from United to Heinze's agent.

Ferguson, however, has insisted Heinze would not be sold to their arch-rivals.

But BBC Sport understands the letter does not preclude Liverpool from buying Heinze, and he could fight United to secure a switch to Anfield.


Interview: Liverpool chief exec Rick Parry

The fee, believed to be higher than the £6.8m mentioned, is not in Heinze's contract, it is contained in the letter to his agent.

Heinze is keen to leave Old Trafford, and Juventus and Real Madrid are also monitoring his situation.

Liverpool are not in dispute with United, having seen their offer turned down, but now the onus is on Heinze to push for the move and risk fierce antagonism from Ferguson and United's fans.

Ferguson said: "I can assure you Liverpool will not be getting Gabriel Heinze.

"We have had a couple of offers for him and we have turned them down."

Heinze has become a firm favourite with the fans at Old Trafford but told Ferguson earlier this month that he wanted a move.

He has been in action for Argentina in the Copa America, denying Ferguson the opportunity to speak to him face-to-face.

But Ferguson insists that if Heinze is to leave, it will be on United's terms.

He stated: "Heinze's agents are rolling the ball all the time but no matter what his agent thinks, we are in the driving seat.

"I don't exactly know what Gaby thinks because it is all coming from his agent but this has been going on for a year-and-a-half now."

The deadline for Heinze to invoke a buy-out clause is also reported to have expired, and Liverpool will have no further involvement in any deal unless it is revived by the defender's own desire to switch to Anfield.

Had the Argentine stated his intent to pay up the remainder of his two-year contract, Ferguson could not have stopped him moving to Liverpool.

Ferguson is unlikely to allow any of his top players to join Liverpool - one of United's fiercest rivals.

Only Phil Chisnall in 1962 has travelled the route in modern times

BBC PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Young set for £2.5m move to Boro


Middlesbrough have agreed a fee of £2.5m with Championship side Charlton for defender Luke Young.
The England right-back's move to the Riverside is subject to a medical while personal terms have yet to be agreed.

The 28-year-old has made over 200 appearances for the Addicks since signing from Spurs for £4m in 2001.

Last week, Charlton manager Alan Pardew said he would not prevent Young from leaving The Valley should a Premiership club come calling.

He said: "I've got a lot of time for Luke and I appreciate he wants to play in the Premier League.

"If a decent club comes in and I thought the fee was right I'd let him go.

"I've obviously brought in a replacement already in Yassin Moutaouakil, who I feel is going to give real competition to Luke if he stays."

Pardew added: "I know that if we don't get the right offer then he'll stay and be as professional as he is. There is no bad feeling and he's not being difficult."

The recognition of Cristiano Ronaldo as season's best player is an important milestone for English soccer


By Raphael Honigstein, Special to SI.com, World Soccer

Players cast their votes for the Professional Footballer's Association awards at the end of January, so they had to go on performances in the first half of the season and trust that more of the same would follow. In the case of Cristiano Ronaldo, who won both Player of the Year and Young Player accolades, their expectations were met, and then some.

The 22-year-old finally started fulfilling his enormous potential in the spring. Manchester United's 7-1 demolition of Roma in the Champions League quarterfinals marked a breakthrough: Ronaldo scored his first two goals in the competition and left Irish pundit Eamonn Dunphy, who had dismissed him as "a puffball, who has never performed at that level," with egg on his face.

The impact of the Portuguese has been phenomenal this season. His goals, breathtaking tricks and clever assists have transformed United, widely tipped to endure another season as also-rans, into awe-inspiring treble hunters.

But three other, less discussed aspects of this story warrant closer inspection. Firstly, it is now clear that replacing David Beckham with a then largely unheard of 18-year-old kid from Madeira was a marketing masterstroke.

Ronaldo has the pop-culture appeal Beckham used to have. He has brought back glamour and excitement to a United brand that has always been sold on the twin attractions of youth and attacking soccer. What's more, he can back up the hype on the pitch, something Beckham managed in one game only: England's laborious 2-2 World Cup qualifying draw with Greece in 2001.

Ronaldo's incredible marketability, which is only starting to be discovered by corporations, is a testament to the good work of United's scouting system. Alex Ferguson is fooling no one whenever he rolls out the old chestnut about his players urging him to sign the talented boy after coming up against him in a friendly with Sporting Lisbon; the club had obviously watched Ronaldo for a while.

Secondly, United's ability to hold on to the youngster, one of the world's most admired players, despite incredible offers from Real Madrid and Barcelona strikes a big blow for the Premier League's international standing. English soccer has had huge influxes of money for a while now, but even the biggest clubs have found it hard to attract top international players to British shores in the past.

The fact Ronaldo has extended his contract until 2012 could well alter the landscape. Only two England-based players have won the European Footballer of the Year award in the past 40 years -- George Best in 1968 and Michael Owen in 2001. You'd expect more to win it in future.
The third aspect is the least visible but probably most important. It's arguable that Ronaldo's success is the culmination of a process that began with Eric Cantona, Gianfranco Zola and Dennis Bergkamp: He has finally made English soccer very European. A technical, wily foreigner who sometimes overindulges on and off the pitch and who is not exactly a beacon of modesty is now the most revered player in the land.

His flaws are generously overlooked; beauty trumps idealism. Remember his early days in England? For every article praising his skill, there were 10 that decried his penchant for going to ground a tad too easily. Sir Alex's protestations -- "not even Atlas could withstand some of these tackles" -- were in vain.

To most people, Ronaldo, flash, showy, too much in love with the ball and himself, had the punishment on the pitch coming. When he played a very negligible role in the sending-off of United teammate Wayne Rooney at the World Cup, he even became the "Winker," public enemy No. 1.

But then something strange happened. Ronaldo just kept on playing better and better, and even though his game is still not free of the occasional unprovoked tumble, the English public became so besotted with his extraordinary skill that his lackadaisical attitude to fair play is no longer such a big deal.

Diving outrage
In Germany, we have always been fairly ambivalent about diving. After all, two of our three World Cups were won thanks to, let's say, debatable spot kicks. It's a little frowned on, but only if your team is the victim. In England, however, it has long been considered an outrage, a crime much worse than breaking an opponent's leg. Especially if foreigners are the perpetrators, of course.

When English clubs started playing in Europe after the war, the idea that good, honest soccer was being infected with the disease of gamesmanship slowly took root. To this day, Rooney's sometimes dubious tumbles are quickly glossed over on television. "Rooney would never dive," one of the commentators will say, and everybody is supposed to nod in agreement. But this blatant hypocrisy is becoming exposed.

Ian Wright unwittingly summed up the real attitude among soccer fans when he declared that "diving for England is all right" during the World Cup. If that's true, if it's really all a matter of perspective, then diving for United or Chelsea must be all right, too.

This new pragmatism, coupled with the increasing, unprecedented protection afforded to flair players by English referees, has created an environment in which players such as Ronaldo can now flourish. And his performances have richly rewarded English soccer for its new tolerance.

Middlesbrough midfielder George Boateng badly misjudged the prevalent mood when he warned that Ronaldo would "one day get injured" by an irate defender. These Neanderthal sentiments are being marginalized.

English soccer's distinct style and preoccupations are slowly vanishing, at least at the top of the table. Ronaldo shows us that this might not be a bad thing at all.

Raphael Honigstein is the English soccer correspondent of German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.