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Sports: All the scandals who’s fit to print

While 2010 saw plenty of sporting success on the field, once again there was no shortage of stars making headlines off field for all the wrong reasons. Players from a diverse range of sports including football, AFL, NRL, American football – not to mention golf – got into a variety of sticky situations this year, with some having past exploits in their personal lives aired for the very first time. Once these dodgy dalliances bubbled to the surface, it became messy, very messy. Marriages were shattered, lucrative endorsement deals were flushed down the toilet and clubs could no longer hold
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Zsa Zsa’s husband glues his eye shut

The husband of ailing Hollywood socialite and actress Zsa Zsa Gabor was hospitalized after accidentally gluing one of his own eyes shut. Gabor, 93, has been in and out of hospital in recent months. But this time, it was self-proclaimed Prince Frederic Von Anhalt who was rushed to hospital after he mistakenly picked up a bottle of nail glue he mistook for eye drops and sealed his eye shut, according to celebrity website TMZ.com. The colorful 66-year-old German socialite underwent a procedure at a Beverly Hills clinic to unstick his eye. One of his representatives told TMZ he was in
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Obama gets the votes he needs for new arms treaty

President Barack Obama locked up enough Senate Republican votes Tuesday to ratify a new arms control treaty with Russia that would cap nuclear warheads for both former Cold War foes and restart on-site weapons inspections. Eleven Republicans joined Democrats in a 67-28 proxy vote to wind up the debate and hold a final tally on Wednesday. They broke ranks with the Senate’s top two Republicans and were poised to give Obama a win on his top foreign policy priority. “We know when we’ve been beaten,” Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah told reporters hours before the vote. Ratification requires two-thirds
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Lunar gazers get a real show

Skygazers with a clear view in North America and Europe were greeted with a celestial treat in the early morning hours Tuesday, as a unique total lunar eclipse transformed the Moon pink, coppery or even a blood red. Coinciding eerily with the northern hemisphere’s mid-winter solstice — for the first time in almost four centuries — the eclipse showed the Sun, the Earth and its satellite as they directly aligned, with the Moon swinging into the cone of shadow cast by its mother planet. Despite being in shadow, the Moon did not become invisible, as there was still residual light
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Repeal of ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell:’ A civil rights milestone?

Allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the U.S. military is a step toward equality, advocates say, but a fight for other social changes such as gay marriage still lies ahead. The Senate voted Saturday to end the 17-year ban on openly gay troops, overturning the Clinton-era policy known as “don’t ask, don’t tell.” “It’s one step in a very long process of becoming an equal rights citizen,” said Warren Arbury of Savannah, Ga., who served in the Army for seven years, including three combat tours, before being kicked out two years ago under the policy. He said he
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Bank of America sued over mortgage abuses

The states of Arizona and Nevada sued Bank of America Corp on Friday, accusing the largest U.S. bank of routinely misleading consumers about home loan modifications. The two lawsuits, filed by each state attorney general in Arizona and Nevada state courts, seek potentially massive fines against the bank and compensation for customers. Arizona accuses Bank of America of violating a 2009 consent judgment in which it committed to widespread home loan modifications. The bank failed to follow through, leaving borrowers in limbo, according to the suit. The bank is also accused of violating the state’s consumer fraud act. Arizona is
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Blackwater founder worms his way back into mercenary company

An investment group with ties to the founder of the company formerly known as Blackwater announced Friday that it has bought the security firm, which was heavily criticized for its contractors’ actions in Iraq. USTC Holdings said in a statement that the acquisition of the company now called Xe Services includes its training facility in North Carolina. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. But the statement said owner and founder Erik Prince will no longer have an equity stake and no longer be involved in Xe’s management or operations. The company will be managed by a board appointed by
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Post office gets ready for busiest day of the year

The post office is bracing for its busiest day of the year on Monday. The agency’s busiest day is traditionally the Monday before Christmas as people mail cards and packages they prepared over the weekend. Postal officials expect 800 million pieces of mail to be handled on Monday, 40 percent more than the average daily volume. “There’s still time to mail greeting cards and ship presents,” Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe said in a statement. “If customers get their cards and packages to us by Tuesday, Dec. 21, we’ll get them delivered by Christmas.” Online: http://www.usps.com
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Investigators recover billions for Madoff victims

Many of Bernard Madoff’s victims who thought they lost everything could get at least half their money back after the widow of a Florida philanthropist agreed Friday to return a staggering $7.2 billion that her husband reaped from the giant Ponzi scheme. Federal prosecutors reached the settlement with the estate of Jeffry Picower, a businessman who drowned after suffering a heart attack in the swimming pool of his Palm Beach, Fla., mansion in October 2009. Picower was the single biggest beneficiary of Madoff’s fraud. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara called the forfeiture the largest in Justice Department history and a “game
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Searchers may have found Amelia Earhart’s bones

The three bone fragments turned up on a deserted South Pacific island that lay along the course Amelia Earhart was following when she vanished. Nearby were several tantalizing artifacts: some old makeup, some glass bottles and shells that had been cut open. Now scientists at the University of Oklahoma hope to extract DNA from the tiny bone chips in tests that could prove Earhart died as a castaway after failing in her 1937 quest to become the first woman to fly around the world. “There’s no guarantee,” said Ric Gillespie, director of the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, a
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