'Jeopardy' host, Alex Trebek, 71, snaps Achilles tendon while chasing criminal

Gina DiFalco Alex Trebek at the 38th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards. (Hilton Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada) ***U.S. Syndication Only!***

Jeopardy host, Alex Trebek, 71, snapped his Achilles tendon while chasing a burglar through a San Francisco hotel.

TMZ reports that Trebek says he is feeling fine after the incident, and it’s unclear whether or not the criminal was ever caught.

According to My Fox NY, while at the Google headquarters in Mountainview, California and hosting the National Geographic World Championship, Trebek told the audience, “At 2:30 a.m., chasing a burglar down the hallway of my San Francisco hotel until achilles tendon ruptured and then fell on carpet, bruising other leg in process.”

Trebek, who hosted a geography quiz on crutches, also said that he will undergo surgery on Friday for his injuries.

MSNBC reports that Trebek was a recent recipient of a career achievement award at the Daytime Emmys.

Antonio Cromartie Jets: Why Return to New York Won’t Be a Flawed Sequel

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The New York Jets missed big on Nnamdi Asomugha, so much so, in fact, they have run the risk of losing out on their starting cornerback from last year, Antonio Cromartie.

The 27-year old defensive back is one of the best corners in the league and just happened to play last season alongside the league’s best, Darrelle Revis.

The Jets weren’t satisfied though, at least from the standpoint of not winning the Super Bowl, and Cromartie was the one player that got picked on from time-to-time.

Unfortunately that is a risk taken when you play with the league’s top cover man, but the Jets thought adding Asomugha would relieve them from this problem.

Now they have to clear the egg from their face, admit their fault and tell Cromartie that he is the guy they want for now and for the future.

Cromartie has no shortage of suitors, at least from the standpoint of cornerback-needy teams, and the 49ers, Cowboys, Lions and Buccaneers all still need a starting cornerback as well as the Jets.

But Cromartie, much like former teammate Braylon Edwards, is one of the guys who seem to relish the opportunity of playing in New York with Rex Ryan and the Jets.

Talk of a deal for Plaxico Burress could end the Cromartie run for the Jets, but Gang Green need a starting cornerback opposite Revis unless they truly think Kyle Wilson is ready to start (he’s not).

There is no cornerback on the market better suited for the job opposite Revis. Cromartie has done it before, he’s accustomed to the city, criticism and expectations and he’s also the best pure talent at the position.

It may take some sweet-talking, it may take a little extra of the “Rexy special”, but landing Cromartie back in New York is the best plan for both sides.

-You can follow Wes O’Donnell on Twitter 

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Groups: At least 71 dead in Syria as security forces, protesters clash

Smoke over Hama, Syria, Sunday: human rights activists say residents have taken to the streets after tanks entered the city. STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • NEW: A doctor in Hama says more than 100 people were killed in and around the city
  • "People here are not scared any more," one resident says
  • U.S. President Barack Obama calls the situation in Hama "horrifying"
  • State media reports that "armed groups" are terrorizing citizens

(CNN) — Syrian tanks stormed the flashpoint city of Hama Sunday in one of several clashes that rights groups said left more than 70 people dead and more than 100 injured nationwide.

The Local Coordination Committees of Syria reported that at least 71 people were killed across the country, with at least 50 killed in Hama. Other human rights organizations offered different assessments of the situation, with some reporting that more than 100 people died in the city of Hama alone.

A doctor in Hama said that more than 100 people were killed in the city and its surrounding areas.

"I feel terrible. I am exhausted, psychologically exhausted, the pain. I can’t imagine a brother is killing his brother. And what for? For the president? It’s terrible here. We see a lot of this blood and things — 115 dead — it’s too much for one day," he said.

CNN was unable to independently confirm the death tolls.

The state-run Syrian Arab News Agency said security forces were responding to "armed groups" in Hama who blocked streets with barricades and terrorized citizens by firing from the rooftops of buildings, while human rights groups described the arrival of tanks as a raid on the city.

Three members of security forces were killed in clashes in Hama and three members of the military were killed in Deir Ezzour, SANA said.

Video shows Syrian army tanks Violence, protests continue in Syria

The government-run agency said "armed terrorist groups" had taken to the streets in Deir Ezzour, attacking police headquarters and stealing weapons.

The Local Coordination Committees of Syria, an affiliation of groups that reports on protests in the nation, reported at least 11 people were killed in Deir Ezzour.

In Hama, throngs of residents took to the streets in an attempt to block the tanks, a local activist said. More than 100 were injured in the city, according to the Local Coordination Committees of Syria.

One Hama resident told CNN he was awakened at 4 a.m. by the sounds of bombs, machine guns and yelling. He said hospitals have begun calling people to come donate blood, but security forces have blocked the roads so people cannot reach the hospital.

"Security forces and army tanks, whenever they see a car moving, they start shooting at the car," he said.

"I’m talking to you from the streets. I have my knife," he said. The man said he and his neighbors are trying to protect the neighborhood, using only sticks, swords and knives.

"People are not scared here any more," he said. "What’s the worst? The army and security people are already killing people. We are not scared of death at all. We are willing to pay anything — our souls, anything — just to get our freedom."

Tanks rolling near the border met fierce resistance from residents, said Omar al Habbal, a member of the committees.

"Hama will be very harsh to them," said al Habbal, who lives in the city. "The whole city has decided to resist with stones, not weapons. The army will either join the demonstrators or leave our city."

Gunfire rang through the air for hours, and thick black smoke covered areas where residents reported shelling and civilian casualties, al Habbal said.

"Mosques have been broadcasting repeated chants of ‘Allah Akbar’ all morning, and everybody is in the street chanting, ‘The people and the army are one hand,’ " al Habbal said.

Local residents reported negotiating with the troops, with protesters standing up on the tanks and cheering, "Syria is united!"

CNN could not independently verify the accuracy of the reports.

The raid marks the latest violence as anti-government protesters in the nation have called for a new regime since mid-March. Activists blame the deaths of civilians in demonstrations on security forces, but the government has consistently attributed the violence to "armed groups."

President Bashar al-Assad has drawn criticism at home and abroad for his tough crackdown on the protesters calling for his ouster.

A spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Sunday the United Nations chief was "deeply concerned" about reports of hundreds of protesters killed and injured.

"He strongly condemns the use of force against the civilian population and calls on the government of Syria to halt this violent offensive at once," the spokesman said in a statement, referring to Ban.

U.S. President Barack Obama said he was "appalled" and pledged that U.S. officials will increase pressure on the Syrian regime, "isolate the Assad government and stand with the Syrian people."

"The reports out of Hama are horrifying and demonstrate the true character of the Syrian regime," Obama said in a statement.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague also condemned the reported attacks.

"The attack appears to be part of a coordinated effort across a number of towns in Syria to deter the Syrian people from protesting in advance of Ramadan. The attacks are all the more shocking on the eve of the Muslim holy month," he said in a statement. "President Bashar is mistaken if he believes that oppression and military force will end the crisis in his country. He should stop this assault on his own people now."

Earlier this month, Human Rights Watch said government forces targeted the city.

"Hama is the latest city to fall victim to President Bashar al-Assad’s security forces despite his promises that his government would tolerate peaceful protests," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "Security forces have responded to protests with the brutality that’s become familiar over the past several months."

The humanitarian watchdog said earlier this month that the forces raided homes, opened fire and set up checkpoints in and around the restive city, the site of a deadly military clampdown nearly 30 years ago.

CNN’s Arwa Damon, Rima Maktabi and Salma Abdelaziz contributed to this report.

Street Fighter X Tekken Roster Finalized – GotGame

Street Fighter X Tekken has finally confirmed its character roster! And it looks like both Anna and Dan will be out of the race for ultimate ass kicker. Sorry, fans. Why? Well, Yoshinori Ono, series producer, had this to say:

“[Dan] won’t be in Street Fighter X Tekken [because] he was killed by a Tekken character at Comic-Con last year.”

That makes sense. Since no character in a fighter has ever been resurrected, historically speaking.

As for Tekken stalwart, Anna, she has been cast off in favor of Nina to prevent a probably estrogen overload. Not really. As for the final death of Dan, that has yet to be completely confirmed, as Ono was content to merely leave him as “killed” and not truly gone. Mayhap a DLC pack in the future?

Rest Easy At The Beach With The Collar Strategy

  • Posted by Guest Post
  • on July 28th, 2011

This is a guest post by Philip Gocke, Managing Director for the Options Industry Council in Chicago, IL.

This summer’s fun has included the ongoing travails of financing the Greek debt, growing fears of downshifting economies in both the US and China, and political brinkmanship over the US debt limit. All of which have combined to keep investors from relaxing on the beach this summer. If you didn’t “sell in May and go away,” and would like to find a way to take a break in August and reduce market volatility caused by these and other contributing factors, then look for downside protection in the options market.

There are a variety of options strategies that can provide capital protection for equity based portfolios. The protective put and buy-write or covered call strategy are two of the most obvious choices for such option based approaches. However,  puts can be relatively expensive in periods of high volatility while covered call writing still leaves an investor exposed to large down moves.  So far the nervous sideward market movements have only modestly raised volatility risk levels, leaving them far below black swan proportions.  Thus investors are likely to be able to find some reasonably priced protection.

One strategy with downside protection features is the collar, in particular, a modified collar that was recently the subject of academic research at the University of Massachusetts.  Before we discuss how this strategy can be modified, here’s how the basic collar works.

A collar can be established by holding shares of an underlying security, purchasing a protective put and writing a covered call on that security. The underlying security may be a stock, an exchange-traded fund, a basket of stocks or an index.  Generally, the put and the call are both out-of-the-money when this combination is established, and have the same expiration month. Both the buy and the sell sides of this spread are opening transactions, and are normally (not always) the same number of contracts. In other words, one collar equals one long put and one written call along with owning 100 shares of the underlying stock. The primary concern in employing a collar is protection of profits accrued from underlying shares rather than increasing returns on the upside. (Source: Loosening Your Collar: Alternative Implementations of QQQ Collars). The collar strategy essentially adds a long protective put to a covered call strategy. This addition provides significant downside protection which the covered call lacks. The purchase of the long put is financed by the sale of the call. In essence, the collar trades upside participation for down-side protection.

Source: Loosening Your Collar: Alternative Implementations of QQQ Collars

A modified collar strategy has been researched by Edward Szado & Thomas Schneeweis of the University of Massachusetts in their paper, “Loosening your Collar: Alternative Implementations of QQQ Collars” (optionsEducation.org/institutional).  The modified collar strategy was back tested over a 138 month period ending in September 2010.   A standard collar commonly employs the same maturity for the put purchase and call write (as diagramed above).   However the authors found that a long protective collar using 6 month put purchases & consecutive one month call writes earned far superior returns compared to a simple buy-&-hold of the PowerShares QQQ ETF while reducing risk by 60%. By purchasing the downside protection only twice a year the negative impact of time decay is reduced.  Meanwhile the frequent call writes increase the benefit of time decay on the other half of the strategy.

We can all hope that a little protection from the summer’s heat is all that is needed and the only cost is being encumbered with a large umbrella to protect against those unexpected summer thunderstorms. If investors take advantage of risk management strategies, they may be more inclined to shake off their fears and put their zero yielding cash to work in the equity market.  They might also be positioned to participate in a possible relief rally as the sweat inducing economic and political issues gradually are resolved.

For more information on OIC or the collar strategy, or for a copy of the full study, contact The Options Industry Council at 1-888-OPTIONS or visit optionseducation.org/institutional/research/qqqq.jsp.

The information in this blog post represents my own opinions and does not contain a recommendation for any particular security or investment. I or my affiliates may hold positions or other interests in securities mentioned in the Blog, please see my Disclaimer page for my full disclaimer.

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Ten Childhood Icons That Should Be Made Into Movies

Every other weekend one studio or another announces yet another remake or reboot. Names never before associated with movie production–Marvel and Hasbro–now rule the summer marquees.Spiderman is being remade a scant four years after Tobey McGuire hung up the suit while two production houses vie for the Snow White enthusiasts and a feature length Captain Planet enters pre-production. Even beloved amusement park rides have been violated in Hollywood’s eternal quest for the instant hit. No comics, toys or books from our childhood are sacred. So before we are forced to live through the big screen adventure of “Row, row, row your boat,” we thought we’d put together a list of the ten childhood icons actually worthy of adaptation.

10. Rainbow Brite

Little orphan Wisp lives in a Colorless World. To bring back the colors and happiness, Wisp must find the Sphere of Light and defeat the King of Shadows and his twitchy fingers. Color Belts, Star Sprinkles, Color Crystals and Color Caves fit into the equation somewhere, but we’re not really clear on that. The important thing is that the last movie was released in 1985, and Rainbow Brite deserves her shot at fame and glory. Imagine this relentlessly positive Hallmark franchise with a dark undertone and sabres instead of sprinkles, and you’ve got a huge blockbuster.

9. The Rifleman

One of the first primetime series to focus on the drama of a widowed parent and his son, The Rifleman ran from 1958 to 1963 on ABC. Starring Chuck Conners as a homesteader in the American West, the show promoted all kinds of good ol family values, from equal rights to playing fair. But least you think manifest destiny was all fun and games, there were plenty of villains and opportunities for gunplay. With the success of True Grit and the upcoming release of Cowboys & Aliens, the public is ripe for another epic western.

8. Risk

If there ever was a board game that begged for adaptation, it’s Risk. Boring as hell to play, the goal of world domination while armed forces battle to the death over Australia should be enough spectacle for any studio. And since there’s no set plot to compete (or complete), the narrative possibilities are literally limitless.

7. She-Ra

The star of both a Mattel toy series and 1985 cartoon, She-Ra celebrated girl power—albeit in a racy outfit. When the kingdom needed her aid, Princess Adora (He-Man’s twin) turned into She-Ra, a warrior ready to defend good with her magic sword and winged steed. While the milieu may need updating (everything is named with an ear to the odd), a live-action version still capitalizes on the perils of saving the world while maintaining a secret identity.

6. The Mighty Heroes

You really can’t beat the sheer kitsch value of the single 1966 season of The Mighty Heroes. Who wouldn’t want to be rescued from box office humdrum by Diaper Man!

5. Dynomutt, Dog Wonder

Ever since Underdog made its terrifying live-action debut, we’ve been waiting for an appearance from Dynomutt and Blue Falcon. Sitting patiently at the intersection of Scooby Doo and Inspector Gadget, Dynomutt would be the perfect foil to how seriously the Batman franchise is taking itself. Whatever happened to fun action movies where the heroes aren’t unmasked and nobody dies in horrible explosions?

4. Johnny Quest

Originally released in the 1960s, then revived in the 90s with a virtual reality component (evidenced above), Johnny Quest is the next big thing for the Spy Kids market. More hard core, less bathroom humor and (gasp) possibly educational, the series followed teenage adventurers as the investigated the world’s exotic legends and mysteries. Though a remake would have to explain away the fact that a 40-year-old professor is hanging around with a 10-year-old Indian kid.

3. Jay J. Armes

When most people lose their arms at the age of 14 during a heist gone wrong, they wallow in self-pity. Not Jay J. Armes. He worked as an actor (most notably on the original Hawaii Five-O), started a private investigative agency, rescued Marlon Brando’s kidnapped son, and spawned his own action figure—complete with detachable prosthetics replacable with an arsenal of weapons. Why has this guy’s story not been made into a film again?

2. Wonder Woman

Stuck in negotiations since 2001, a Wonder Woman film may indeed be on the way. But then again, that tidbit comes from Fox News, and we all know how reliable they are. But wouldn’t it be great to see the Princess of the Amazons finally hit the silver screen?

1. ThunderCats

Already being revived as an TV series (and with an animated feature currently on hold), ThunderCats is certainly the next big childhood icon in line for adaptation. With an alternate universe and snappy character names, the 1985 series doesn’t need much to make it relevant today. There is so much fan demand for a ThunderCats movie that some have created trailers featuring their favorite stars to prove the franchise’s worth. Shoddy effects aside, we definitely see the possibility.

Thanks to all the HARO submitters who contributed ideas for this story.

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NASCAR Betting Odds: Jeff Gordon Brickyard 400 Preview – Bodog Beat

Indiana native Jeff Gordon can tie a track record for wins. (AP Images)

Arguably the second-biggest race on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series takes place this afternoon at America’s most history racetrack, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with the Brickyard 400.

No driver has had more success in this race than Indiana native Jeff Gordon, who opened at 12/1 to win this year on Bodog’s auto racing odds. He has won the Brickyard four times, including the much-hyped inaugural race in 1994. Many thought the Brickyard race might become the signature race in NASCAR, even more so than the season-opening Daytona 500. Not only has that not happened, but this is a critical year for the Brickyard with fan interest waning even if most drivers still consider this event No. 2 to the Daytona 500.

Gordon enters the race seventh in the points standings, 65 behind leader Carl Edwards. Perhaps more important, Gordon is only 17 points ahead of No. 11 Tony Stewart. This year, only the Top 10 in points are assured of getting into the Chase for the Championship. Gordon holds several most records for this race, including wins (1994, ’98, 2001, ’04), prize winnings (more than $6 million), most laps led career (440), most times led career (30), most races led career (10), most consecutive races led (6, from 1994-99), most laps led in a single race (124 in 2004) and lowest starting position for a winner (27th in 2001).

A win today also would be notable because it would be Gordon’s 85th, which would put him alone in third in NASCAR wins. And it would be his fifth at Indy, which would tie him for most victories at the track with former Formula One champion Michael Schumacher.

Bet on the Brickyard 400 now at Bodog!

NFL Free Agent Signings 2011: Braylon Edwards Must Find a Winning Home

Michael Heiman/Getty Images

The likelihood of Braylond Edwards returning to the New York Jets is very slim. The Jets signed Santonio Holmes to a five year deal worth $50 million, with $24 million guaranteed. 

New York is barely under the salary cap, and with the money they have remaining they’re going to use it all towards bringing in Nnamdi Asomugha. 

That means Edwards needs to find a new home. The only question is where will he land? 

Edwards has to sign with a winning team, or else it’s going to be a rough year for the wide out. 

The 28-year-old is no stranger to off the field problems, and if he isn’t on a successful team who knows what will happen.

Things are good when you’re winning. Nobody wants to lose, but when you’re on a losing team it creates a negative atmosphere. That is not something Edwards needs to be around.

Edwards began his career with a losing franchise, and he had only one good year. Granted, his quarterbacks were never all that great, but for a guy who was drafted No. 3 overall it’s not very good.

The Minnesota Vikings are the leading candidates to land Edwards, and it would be a great situation for the veteran wide receiver. They weren’t able to re-sign Sidney Rice, and they need to fill that void, which Edwards can do. 

Donovan McNabb will be his quarterback this year, and Edwards will easily be his go to guy. At 6’3″, Edwards will be a great target for the veteran quarterback. Not to mention the fact that the Vikings already have several key offensive weapons, which Edwards will enjoy playing with. 

If the Vikings choose not to sign Edwards, then whatever he and his agent work out, it has to be with a winning team, or else it will be a bad year for Edwards

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Consumer, not Georgia Power, would be on hook for potential Vogtle overruns

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A consumer watchdog group on Thursday continued to press for an agreement that would make Georgia Power — and not consumers — pay for any major cost overruns at its Plant Vogtle nuclear expansion project, but Georgia utility regulators remained resistant.

At an energy committee meeting in their downtown Atlanta chambers, Public Service Commission members said they would support only a July 18 deal reached between Georgia Power and the PSC’s advocacy staff, one that removed a recommendation calling for Georgia Power’s profits to be reduced should the costs to build two nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle exceed budget by $300 million. Additional costs, with PSC approval, would show up in customers’ monthly utility bills.

Georgia Power executives have argued that a cost-containment plan, originally considered and rejected by the PSC but still pursued by Georgia Watch, could drive up the project’s financing costs, potentially damaging the ability to raise capital. That, in turn, could increase customer bills.

Commissioner Tim Echols was more pointed, saying approval for such a plan would “chill the construction of nuclear plants in the United States.”

Attorney Clare McGuire for Georgia Watch argued that consumers would be left with no protection against bill increases should the project go beyond its budget.

“Georgia Power doesn’t want to be held to costs beyond its control,” McGuire said. “The ratepayers have no choice.”

However, PSC has a Georgia Power concession in its July 18 agreement that allows regulators to re-examine previously approved parts of the project should a mishap lead to a budget increase. If regulators determined that Georgia Power made a mistake, consumers would not have to pay the additional costs.

As part of the concession, the person or agency questioning those expenses must be armed with sufficient proof, however.

“I’m surprised we actually got this concession from the company because this has been an issue that has been debated since Day 1,” Commissioner Chuck Eaton said.

Georgia Power is responsible for $6.1 billion of the estimated $14 billion Plant Vogtle project. The utility has clashed with the PSC’s advocacy staff for months over who would pay for potential cost overruns at Vogtle. The advocacy staff dropped pursuit of the profit-cutting plan that Georgia Watch continues to seek.

The PSC is scheduled to vote on the stipulation on Aug. 2

“I think basically we send a message to the company and their stockholders that nuclear power is too risky for Georgia,” Echols said, referring to Georgia Watch’s demand. “That is frankly not a message that I want to send.”

Eaton said any plan that divides up cost overruns between Georgia Power’s shareholders and its customers could lead to unintended consequences.

“If the company does not manage the project prudently, their shareholders eat every dime,” Eaton said. “It’s almost like now some folks are saying, ‘Let’s share in that,’ and I don’t think we ought to share. I think they ought to have all of it, eat all of it.”

The PSC reviews and approves costs for Vogtle twice a year. Their information is based on reports from an independent construction monitor, hired to continually monitor the process at Vogtle and warn if the project goes off schedule or costs exceed projections.

PSC’s advocacy efforts are meant to prevent what happened when Vogtle’s first two reactors were built in the 1980s. The project exceeded its seven-year deadline by nine years and its $660 million budget by more than $8 billion.

The PSC told Georgia Power that $1 billion had to come out of the company’s profits; customers paid for the remaining $7 billion through a 12-percent increase in their monthly power bills.

Travel to Hawaii

For the best possible deals on travel to Hawaii, you need to check out the prices on Hawaii travel on this great website called Pandaonline.com (pandaonline.com).  Pandaonline is a website that is owned and operated by Panda Travel, which is Hawaii largest travel agency, in addition to also being Hawaii’s largest travel wholesaler.  And because it is Hawaii’s largest travel wholesaler, it is able to pass on the discounts it has negotiated with airlines, hoteliers and car rental companies in the form of fantastic savings to you, the travelling public.  In addition to great Hawaii travel packages, Pandaonline also has the widest selection of activities, events and tours that you can conveniently purchase online. 

The website offers detailed descriptions of hotel properties, including options on room types, amenities and overall features of hotels being sold on the site.  Additionally, Pandaonline features customer feedback from Trip Advisor, which is the industry standard for hotel ratings.  As a result, people who want to travel to Hawaii via Pandaonline have a wealth of information to make the best informed selection on  their hotel  choices. 

Last but not least, when you use Panda Travel for your Hawaii travel packages, you are assured of dealing with a rock solid and reputable company.  Besides being the largest travel wholesaler and travel agency in Hawaii, Panda Travel has been rated by  the Better Business Bureau as an A+ company.  Furthermore, Panda Travel has been consistently been recognized by the Honolulu Star Advertiser daily newspaper as “Hawaii’s Best Travel Agency” for a number of years, including during 2011. 

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