The Jets can talk all they want, but not to Michael Crabtree

The Jets can talk all they want, but not to Michael Crabtree

The major storyline in the NFL last week was all the talking that the New York Jets did before their game against the New England Patriots. As it turned out, all their smack-talking didn't get them into one bit of trouble, as they were able to back it up and slap around the Patriots on Sunday.

This week, though, we're talking about a whole new kind of talk from the Jets, and it might get them in a whole lot of trouble.

The San Francisco 49ers organization has filed tampering charges against the Jets, accusing them of some kind of improper contact with unsigned 49ers draftee, Michael Crabtree. Gary Myers and Rich Cimini of the New York Daily News provide some details.

Although the specifics aren't known, it's not hard to connect the dots. Crabtree, the 10th overall pick in the draft, is threatening to sit out the season and reenter the draft in 2010. The 49ers may believe the Jets contacted Crabtree's agent, Eugene Parker, to let him know they'd be interested in trading for his rights, or in drafting him in 2010 with a better salary than the 49ers are offering. The NFL's trade deadline is Oct. 20, while the 49ers must either sign Crabtree by Nov. 19, or surrender his rights, putting him back into the draft pool for 2010.

Jets head coach Rex Ryan has already said that any charges are untrue, and that no one with the Jets has had any contact with Crabtree. 49ers head coach Mike Singletary wouldn't comment on it, and said the league would handle it.

Now, if they wanted to, the 49ers could have called up the Jets and said, "Hello, would you be interested in trading for the rights to Michael Crabtree(notes)?" The Jets are absolutely not allowed to contact Crabtree on their own, though, without going through the 49ers.

Accusations like this actually aren't new to the Jets. A couple of weeks ago, there was some talk that they may have made improper contact with Denver Broncos receiver Brandon Marshall(notes), though the Broncos never filed a formal complaint against them. The 49ers, according to the Daily News' report, have.

If the league finds any truth in the allegations, the most likely result is a fine, though it would also have the right to take away draft picks.


Ford small car is called Figo!

Ford small car is called Figo!

Years of speculation, names and even the possibility of the entry being an international model, Ford have finally revealed their 'for India' designed small car at the hands of Alan Mullaly, Ford's Global head, here in New Delhi today.
Called the Figo, the new small car gets its name from the Italian word for "cool". Featuring Kinetic design elements, the car has a small front grille and a large air-dam, seen also on the current generation Fiesta hatchback sold in Europe. The large swept back headlamps, recessed fog lamps and the cleverly integrateed indicators are all hallmarks of a typical Kinetic design new generation Ford. The eye-catcher that runs from the indicator to the tail is angular, rather than a straight line, to reduce any visual heaviness that the car might have otherwise created.

The tail lamps may look pinched from the Fusion, yet the tail gate is all-new. The large wheel arches too hint at the Fusion. The reason why you also see elements from now what are previous generation models is because Ford has based this car on a previous generation Fiesta, that also underpins the Fusion and Fiesta saloon sold in India. It's one of the reasons why Ford, despite a US$ 500 million investment went for a tried and tested platform, and altered it to suit Indian conditions.

No detailed pictures of the interior are available yet, but we hazard that it will be based on the Fiesta saloon sold here. Engines are expected to be a 1.2-litre DOHC, aluminium alloy petrol engine called the Sigma, with about 70 bhp of peak power and around 10 kgm of peak torque. Based on the Duratec engine family that powers the Fiesta, this engine stays within the excise duty benefit range, just like the diesel engine.

This engine is the tried and tested 1.4 Duratorq found on the Fusion, Fiesta and Ikon with about 16 kgm of peak torque and 68 bhp of peak power. Both engines are said to be Euro-IV ready and have been homologated with the car for India. Which also brings us to its competition. Despite its dimensions that seem like a Volkswagen Polo, Ford wants to price it extremely competitively and take on the likes of Hyundai's i10, Suzuki Ritz and Swift.


Ex-NY Giant Burress gets 2 years in gun case

Ex-NY Giant Burress gets 2 years in gun case

NEW YORK (AP)—Former Super Bowl hero Plaxico Burress(notes) apologized to his family and tearfully kissed his pregnant wife and young son goodbye Tuesday before he was led away to prison to begin serving a two-year sentence on a weapons charge.

Burress, at the time a star receiver with the New York Giants, was at the Latin Quarter nightclub in Manhattan last November when a gun tucked into his waistband slipped down his leg and fired, wounding him in the thigh.

The accidental shooting enraged New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who publicly castigated Burress for carrying his .40-caliber weapon.

Burress arrived in the courtroom Tuesday wearing jeans and a long-sleeved T-shirt, a stark contrast to the dark blue suit he wore last month when he entered his guilty plea.


Julia Roberts' film-shoot launched with hawan

Julia Roberts' film-shoot launched with hawan

Hindus have applauded the makers of Hollywood movie Eat, Pray, Love and its star Julia Roberts [ Images ] for reportedly launching the India leg of the shooting with a hawan.

Before shooting started on Sunday at Ashram Harimandir hermitage in Pataudi, priests reportedly performed hawan for the success of the shooting and the film.

Oscar winner Roberts along with her twins Hazel and Phinnaeus (four and half) and Henry (two) joined for mass lunch, reports suggest.

She is said to have written the 182-verse Sanskrit chant in English, which she has to recite as part of the script, and is said to be rehearsing it.

The hotel, she is living in, has been furnished with a unique yoga center and on the first day's shooting,

Roberts wore Indian attire and ate Indian food with her bare hands and found Gulab Jamun her favorite. Roberts reportedly commented, "India is really amazing."


Yankees book post-season spot after Angels win

Yankees book post-season spot after Angels win

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The New York Yankees clinched a post-season berth with a tense 6-5 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday.

The Yankees made up for missing last year's playoffs after a tie-breaking sacrifice fly from Alex Rodriguez in the top of the ninth inning secured a hard-earned road win.

"A-Rod" also smacked a two-run home run in the third inning for the Yankees, who led 5-0 before the Angels rallied to tie the game in the eighth.

Los Angeles scored two runs apiece in the fifth and sixth innings, and New York committed two errors in the eighth leading to Maicer Izturis' game-tying RBI single.

Closer Mariano Rivera shut down the ninth for his 41st save of the year.

"We still haven't accomplished what our mission was," Yankees captain Derek Jeter told reporters. "We wanted to win the division and we haven't done that."

The Major League-best Yankees (96-56) have a six-game command of the American League East Division with just 10 games left to play.


China and U.S. try to jumpstart U.N. climate talks

China and U.S. try to jumpstart U.N. climate talks

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - China laid out a plan to curb carbon emissions by 2020 and U.S. President Barack Obama called on all nations to act now to tackle global warming, as world leaders tried to inject momentum into climate change talks.

With less than three months until a United Nation conference aimed at sealing the world's toughest pact to fight climate change, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called Tuesday's leaders' summit to give negotiations an extra shrove.

"While the summit is not the guarantee that we will get the global agreement, we are certainly one step closer to that global goal today," Ban said at the close of the meeting.

The one-day summit drew nearly 100 heads of state and government before official talks among 190 nations in Copenhagen in December to forge a replacement to the Kyoto Protocol, whose first phase runs out at the end of 2012.

Analysts and green groups gave cautious praise to China and Japan but said Obama's speech was long on rhetoric but short on specific pledges of U.S. action.

In his address, Chinese President Hu Jintao said China's new plan included vigorously developing renewable and nuclear energy and promised emissions would grow slower than economic growth in the future.

"We will endeavor to cut carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by a notable margin by 2020 from the 2005 level," Hu said.

The pledge, which marked the first time China has said it will accept measurable curbs on its emissions, was seen as an attempt to counter critics, especially in Washington, who say Beijing is doing too little to fight climate change.

Hu did not include specific figures, however. A Chinese official said those would be ready soon. But the step comes in addition to China's current aim to cut energy consumption per unit of GDP by about 20 percent by 2010 compared with 2005 levels.


New Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama won plaudits for pledging to offer more aid to help developing countries deal with climate change and repeated his goal of reducing Japanese greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels by 2020.

Hatoyama also proposed setting up a framework to coordinate climate change aid, but did not give details of how much cash or what kind of technological assistance Japan would provide.

Obama outlined his administration's work on climate since he took office in January and said the United States was committed to act.

But he offered no new proposals and did not urge quick U.S. Senate passage of a climate bill, which many observers see as crucial to reaching an international deal.


British R&B star conquers America

British R&B star conquers America

British R&B star Jay Sean has conquered the US chart - succeeding where many UK artists have failed by notching up six weeks in the Billboard top 10.

Sean's single Down, which features rapper Lil Wayne, has sold a million copies and been at number two for the past three weeks.
Sean, from Hounslow, west London, is now the most successful male UK urban artist in US chart history.
"If you have some good music, you can make it anywhere," he said.
The singer is currently enjoying greater success in the US than he has found at home.
The former medical student had two UK top 10 hits in 2004, but later split with his record label Virgin when, he says, they tried to make him sound like James Blunt.
He went on to form his own record label Jayded with his management company 2 Point 9, and the resulting music attracted the attention of US hip-hop label Cash Money, home of Lil Wayne.

The singer had already written and recorded the song Down when Cash Money paired him up with Lil Wayne, who had the best-selling US album of 2008.

Lil Wayne added a 30-second rap to the track and the collaboration was propelled toward the top of the charts.

"I'm very blessed that it got off to a flying start and it's been doing crazy things over the last couple of months," Sean told BBC News.

His quick success came as a surprise to many American fans, he said.

"All the journalists and radio people have been saying, dude, where did you come from?

"It's just different for them. I talk funny. They say, dude, we wouldn't expect you, a little Brit, to be signed to Cash Money. They love the fact that we're from two different worlds, and I love that as well."

As long as you work hard and strive to do you best and make good music, and of course with a bit of luck, it is possible

Jay Sean
Sean now hopes to topple the Black Eyed Peas from the number one spot, which they have occupied for the past six months.

"I know their sales are decreasing and their airplay is falling. It's probably going to be on its way down. Hopefully we can clinch that number one spot."

Sean has joined an exclusive club of UK urban artists who have enjoyed hits in the home of hip-hop and R&B.

Leona Lewis topped the US charts with her song Bleeding Love last year, while Soul II Soul, Mark Morrison, Craig David and Estelle have broken into the top 10 in the past.

"I want to do my best to represent the UK in America and let people really understand that it doesn't matter if we're from a little place called Hounslow.

"As long as you work hard and strive to do you best and make good music, and of course with a bit of luck, it is possible," he said.

His single is also shaping up to be a hit in the UK, where it is released on 26 October, after being added to the playlists of radio stations like BBC Radio 1, Capital and Galaxy.


Jackson's contribution to music

Jackson's contribution to music

Music journalist Paul Gambaccini looks at the impact Michael Jackson, who has died aged 50, had on the music world.
Michael Jackson had two music peaks: the first with The Jackson 5. Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown, ordered his producers and writers to come up with three number ones to launch the group and they actually had four number ones with their first four singles.

They were the template for the boy bands that followed - The Osmonds, who already existed as The Osmond Brothers, copied them.
Michael reached his second peak with Quincy Jones with the trilogy of albums of Off the Wall, Thriller and Bad.

Thriller, interestingly enough - since it is the best selling album in the world - is likely to remain so because people now get their music from the internet, so its unlikely that any album will even sell 50m again.

These were great achievements artistically as well as commercially, and Michael was the first of the great American male video stars in the US.

I Want You Back was the record that bowled over the US - for an unknown kid group to go to number one was pretty amazing and people were asking who was this 11-year-old guy who could dance so well and sing so vibrantly.

When it came to putting on a live show he paid attention to every detail and executed his ideas brilliantly. He is still to me the best showman ever
We subsequently learned that their father had been drilling them for years and so they weren't as new as we'd thought, but nonetheless everyone was impressed by Michael and he instantly became a world star.

Billie Jean was very important as it was the song that was the first great American video. There had been great British videos, particularly The Boomtown Rats' I Don't Like Mondays and Bohemian Rhapsody, but Billie Jean made it de rigueur for American artists to make videos as well and that changed everything.

Thriller also spawned that famous video which so many people have bought as well as seen.

When he did the Moonwalk with Billie Jean on the Motown 25 special on TV he won an Emmy award. It was something that looked impossible - he practiced it so much. He learned from Fred Astaire and James Brown and it was something that caught the fancy of people around the world.

I had a conversation with the late John Peel and he agreed that even though Michael Jackson's style of music wasn't his favourite, he was the greatest showman in pop history.

He was not necessarily the greatest record maker and not the best writer because he didn't write many of his hits, but when it came to putting on a live show he paid attention to every detail and executed his ideas brilliantly. He is still to me the best showman ever.

As the years and decades go by, people forget or disregard personal problems. To use the example of an earlier music legend who went his way - Judy Garland - we nowadays just think of the great songs and films and we don't think of her drug problems.

And within a few generations, Michael Jackson will be a great recording artist and that's it. There won't be more than a footnote about the scandals.


Global premieres for Jackson film

Global premieres for Jackson film

The Michael Jackson film This Is It is to have simultaneous premieres in more than 15 cities around the world.

Cities hosting the premieres on 27 and 28 October include Los Angeles, London, New York, Berlin, Seoul and Rio de Janeiro, Sony Pictures said.
The movie is based on more than 100 hours of footage from rehearsals for the 50 London shows he had planned to do. Jackson died in June aged 50.
Names of the other cities hosting the premiere have not yet been released.
Hollywood films often hold premieres at different locations around the world but rarely at the same time.
"Michael Jackson has an army of fans everywhere around the world... we are giving the audiences an incredible opportunity to join together in celebration of Michael Jackson's incredible career," said Jeff Blake, chairman of worldwide marketing and distribution for Sony Pictures.
The Los Angeles premiere will take place on the evening of 27 October, while the London event will happen after midnight local time on 28 October.
Limited release
In total, more than 25 cities will host premieres but not all will take place at the same time - they include Moscow, Tokyo, Sydney and Paris.
This Is It, directed by Kenny Ortega - the choreographer of Jackson's planned shows at London's O2 arena - offers a behind-the-scenes look at preparations.
The content is drawn from footage shot in Los Angeles between March and June.
The film will go on general release in cinemas on 28 October for just a two-week run.
The $60m (£36.4m) movie deal was made between Jackson's estate and concert promoter AEG Live and Sony Pictures.
Tickets for This Is It go on sale on 27 September.
The singer died after suffering a cardiac arrest on 25 June, weeks before he was to have started the concerts.


India launches seven satellites

India launches seven satellites

India has successfully launched seven satellites in a single mission, nearly a month after the country's inaugural Moon mission was aborted.

The rocket was carrying an Indian remote-sensing satellite and six smaller ones, all of them foreign.

The Indian satellite will help spot fishing zones in the sea by monitoring ocean temperatures.

Observers say India is emerging as a major player in the multi-billion dollar space market.

Wednesday's launch, from the Sriharikota space centre off India's east coast, is being described as another milestone for the country's 46-year-old space programme.

This is the 16th mission for India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) - a seven-storey-high, 230 tonne rocket.

A spokesman for state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) S Satish told the BBC that the Indian satellite Oceansat-2 is carrying a new instrument which can measure wind speed over the surface of the ocean. He said the device will help track monsoons and cyclones.

The rocket is also carrying six smaller satellites from Germany, Switzerland and Turkey.

Wednesday's launch came as a boost to India's space scientists after the country terminated its inaugural Moon mission last month.

Despite the termination of the mission, Isro chief G Madhavan Nair said that the project was a great success and 95% of its objectives had been completed.

Last year India successfully launched 10 satellites in a single mission, boosting its capabilities in space.

The country started its space programme in 1963, and has since designed, built and launched its own satellites into space.

In 2007, India put an Italian satellite into orbit for a fee of $11m. In January 2008, India successfully launched an Israeli spy satellite into orbit.

Correspondents say that the country is developing its rocket-launching capabilities to reduce its dependence on foreign space agencies, as well as to corner a share of the world's lucrative satellite-launching market.


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