Monday, December 24, 2012

Australian market to rise - 24th December 2012

Australian market to rise - 24th December 2012


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The Australian share market looks set for a positive start today despite falls on Wall Street on Friday as the US economy edges toward the so-called fiscal cliff.

The ASX looks set for a positive start today despite falls on Wall Street on Friday as the the so-called fiscal cliff approaches.

At 7am this morning (AEDT) the March share price index futures contract was up 25 points at 4,617.

Trading volumes are set to be light on Christmas Eve, and the market will close early at 2.30pm this afternoon (AEDT).

Shares closed lower on Friday, with the benchmark SP/ASX200 index dropping 10.5 points, or 0.23 per cent, to 4,623.6, and the broader All Ordinaries index dropped 11.4 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 4,635.2.

World Directory Global Gaming Directory World Casino Directory digital entertainment deal with casino in Belgium... put a plug on any possible criminal charges in Belgium against its chief executive by doing a deal with a licensed land-based casino operator that permits it to continue taking bets from Belgian citizens.

Norbert Teufelberger was last month quizzed by Belgian police in Brussels after attending an online gambling conference. He had until Monday to answer further questions about the company’s operations in Belgium. has been on a blacklist of gambling operators taking bets in Belgium without a licence. Online gambling licences are only available to operators holding an offline gambling licence.

The company has now in effect achieved this by doing a deal with Belcasinos, a subsidiary of the land-based casino operator Groupe Partouche.

In a statement, advised Belcasinos was one of only four land-based casino operators eligible for an online gambling licence. Commercial terms of business were not disclosed. advised that it had received approval for its alliance from the Belgian Gambling Commission and that the commission would be removing the group from its blacklist.

“The group and the commission have also agreed to drop all pending legal disputes and the group has begun to adapt its systems in order to comply fully with the prevailing licensing regime,” said.

The detention of Mr Teufelberger prompted and other online gambling companies to accuse the Belgian authorities of intimidation, and to appeal to the European Commission to insist that Belgium comply with EU laws on market competition.

Mr Teufelberger and co-chief executive Jim Ryan said: “Following recent developments in Belgium and after further dialogue with the local regulator, we have put our differences of opinion behind us and are now focused on the immediate commercial opportunity.

“Together with our new partner we are now in the process of securing the necessary approvals to meet the requirements set by the BGC and do not expect any interruption to our service for customers in Belgium.”

Gambling operators are under massive pressure in the European region – faced with regulators determined either to impose stiff tax burdens on online gambling, or restrictions on the companies that can apply for licences.

New stringent gambling regimes in Germany and Greece have prompted Betfair to pull out of those markets. Betfair this week said the “challenging” climate in Europe meant it would focus solely on regulated markets.

William Hill has also pulled out of Greece, where regulators have threatened penalties or criminal sanction on operators without licences.

In the meantime, Digital Entertainment and a swag of other gambling companies continue to look for new opportunities and markets, with countries such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand all understood to be regions of great interest.

Bwin.Party operate popular gambling websites such as and

Stay turned to Media Man, Casino News Media and Global Gaming Directory for developments.

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Friday, November 23, 2012

Bob Hawke; Former Australian Prime Minister launches book in Sydney - 22nd November 2012

Bob Hawke, former Australian PM launches new book: For The True Believers Great Labor Speeches that Shaped History...


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Today former Australian Prime Minster Bob Hawke launched his new book: 'For The True Believers Great Labor Speeches that Shaped History'

'For The True Believers Great Labor Speeches that Shaped History'

Graham Freudenberg, Australia’s greatest speechwriter, says “the Australian Labor Party was built on speeches.” This book brings together great Labor speeches which give voice to the party’s enduring values and achievements, and place it and its principal figures at the centre of historic events.

There are speeches that stir the imagination and inspire, speeches that appeal to humanity, speeches of sorrow and redemption, speeches that urge moderation and caution, speeches that call for courage in the face of adversity, speeches that seek to mute the trumpet sound of war, speeches that attack the forces of conservatism, and speeches which celebrate and mourn the party’s fallen. Chris Watson articulates Labor’s purpose as “a light upon a mountain” – four decades before

Ben Chifley’s famed “light on the hill” speech John Curtin tells a hushed parliament that “a great naval battle is proceeding” Gough Whitlam declarares “It’s time” for a new Labor government Bob Hawke’s urges South Africa’s apartheid leaders to listen to “the spirit of men and women yearning to be free” Paul Keating’s belief in Labor as “the people who can dream the big dreams and do the big things” Kevin Rudd says “We are Sorry” to the stolen generations of Aboriginal Australians

Contents...*full listing at Federation Press website

Foreword – Graham Freudenberg Acknowledgements Preface – Troy Bramston Introduction – Troy Bramston


Former prime minister Bob Hawke has called on both major parties to allow MPs free votes on some issues, ending the "charade" of parliamentary debate and promoting a return to great political speeches.

He urged Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to tell voters at the next election: "Of course there are particular policies we are committed to. But on some issues there is room for doubt about what exactly is the right way to go. We will introduce draft legislation but there will be no caucusing and we expect members to vote according to what they individually think."


With eight years in office, Bob Hawke was Australia’s longest-serving Labor Prime Minister. He became Prime Minister after only two years in parliament, and only one month as Leader of the Opposition.

Building on his success as trade union president, Hawke established consensus with unions and business to stabilise wage growth, improve the ability of business to compete in global markets and to deregulate the Australian economy and promote growth.


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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Online gamer defends stance in Belgian licence row - 14th November 2012

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Online gamer defends stance in Belgian licence row...

Online gaming company digital entertainment PLC defended its actions today after Belgian authorities questioned its co-CEO for two hours in an escalating dispute over licences.

Co-CEO Norbert Teufelberger has now left Belgium, after the authorities took advantage of his presence at a conference to summon him for questioning on Tuesday.

"The request to attend the interview arose from the Belgium Gambling Commission's view that was in breach of the country's gambling legislation," the company said in a statement.

" maintains the position that it is acting and has always acted in compliance with applicable laws," it added, saying it planned further talks with the Belgian gambling authorities.

The case brings into sharp focus the risks faced by companies in the growing online gaming sector that operate in countries where regulations are either unclear or restrictive.

Bwin, the world's largest listed online gaming group, is in dispute with Belgium over licences, and access to three of its websites has been blocked this year.

The company says the ban is costing it 700,000 euro ($1 million) per month in revenues. says rules in Belgium do not comply with European law.

"We have been at the forefront of regulatory change in Europe for several years and we have licences in Gibraltar, Alderney, Denmark, France, Germany (Schleswig-Holstein), Italy and Spain," Teufelberger and co-CEO Jim Ryan said.

"We continue to strive for a regulatory framework in European Member States that is compliant with EU law."


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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Poker News Media: Three Companies Receive Nevada Interactive Gaming Licenses - 22nd October 2012

Three Companies Receive Nevada Interactive Gaming Licenses


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Three Las Vegas-based gaming firms – Boyd Gaming, Fertitta Interactive LLC, and Golden Nugget – were granted interactive gaming licenses by the Nevada Gaming Commission last week, allowing them to provide intrastate online poker in Nevada.

Boyd Gaming was the first of the three, receiving the thumbs-up on Thursday. The company owns 17 properties in the United States, including The Orleans, Gold Coast, and Suncoast casinos in Las Vegas, the IP Casino Resort Spa in Biloxi, Mississippi, and the Borgata in Atlantic City. In October 2011, Boyd partnered with online gambling giant and rival MGM Resorts International to create a new company to offer online poker. controls the bulk of the organization – 65 percent – while MGM owns 25 percent and Boyd Gaming owns 10 percent.

Boyd, as might be apparent, will use the online poker platform, but cannot launch its poker room until the operator of Party Poker also receives a license from the Nevada Gaming Commission. Both and MGM have applied for licenses, but have not met with regulators yet.

Though the license permits Boyd to offer online poker to customers within Nevada’s borders, Kevin Smith, CEO of Boyd, told Marketwatch last year that his company would prefer regulation on the federal level. “We believe that the right approach to offering legal online poker in the United States is through a federal regulatory structure that ensures the games are conducted with the greatest possible integrity and security,” he said.

Shortly after Boyd Gaming was knighted, the Nevada Gaming Commission granted a license to Fertitta Interactive LLC. Fertitta already operates Ultimate Poker, a free-to-play poker game on Facebook, and will now look to transition into the real money space. Ultimate Poker was developed last year after Fertitta acquired gaming company CyberArts Licensing LLC. Fertitta Interactive is a division of Fertitta Entertainment, which owns the Station Casinos and UFC.

Said Tom Breitling, chairman of Ultimate Gaming, “With our unique ability to leverage the overlapping demographics between online gaming, traditional gaming and the worldwide sports and entertainment brand of the UFC, Ultimate Gaming is ideally positioned to rapidly capture a significant following in the United States and throughout the globe.”

Also that same day, Golden Nugget received its license. Bally Technologies, which both received a license and partnered with Golden Nugget in June, will provide the software for the upcoming poker offering. The two already paired up earlier this year to launch a free poker room,

It remains to be seen which, if any, of the three new licensees will be the first to launch an intrastate online poker room in Nevada. South Point Poker LLC originally believed it was on track to be the vanguard by launching its poker room this month, but slower than expected independent testing has pushed back the go-live date to later this year. Because Fertitta and Golden Nugget already have free money poker rooms running, they could very well be ready to go soon for their real money offerings. Boyd still has to wait for’s license, though with the online gaming giant’s experience, the joint company could get something launched quickly once the license is granted. (Poker News Daily)

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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Media Man Entertainment News: Casino, War and Royal Edition - Royal Family, Las Vegas, WWE...

Media wars hit royal family; Las Vegas, Australia, France, Afghanistan...; WWE's Military support, Sgt Slaughter, Randy Orton or The Miz in Marine 3?


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Hey fans. Wrestling and gaming nuts, and patriots from Australia and the United States. Have we got a gun ho news report for you today. From WWE rings to the battle field in Afghanistan, to the south of France where royals were relaxing before being interrupted by paparazzi...Prince Harry runs amok on the Las Vegas strip - we've got it all for you today. Then there's the Andre The Giant slot game to check out at Virgin Games and plenty more scoops by the Media Man network at the official websites and blogs. What else to say but good hunting and good luck.

AFL player offered drugs before Las Vegas casino fatality - 12th September 2012...

AFL footballer John McCarthy was drinking heavily and offered drugs before probably jumping from the third storey of a Las Vegas casino to a palm tree and falling to an accidental death. Warning - drugs can make people do stupid things.

McCarthy died within minutes of telling a Port Adelaide teammate in Vegas he was okay and was on his way back to his hotel, about four kilometres from where his body was found.

McCarthy was with 10 other Port players on an end of season trip but became separated from his teammates at a nightclub where the sportsmen were offered drugs.

"A couple of the guys have said that the drugs were freely available in these casinos," Port Adelaide chief executive officer Keith Thomas told reporters in Adelaide on Wednesday.

" ... They said they were really mindful of it - they had been drinking - but they were surprised at the sort of stuff that was going on."

McCarthy's Port teammates returned to Adelaide earlier on Wednesday feeling guilty about what happened, Thomas said.

"I don't want the impression out there that these lads just left one of their mates to just roam around," he said.

"As soon as they became aware, they made contact with him. And unfortunately an accident happened."

Thomas declined to name the Port player telephoned by McCarthy's girlfriend in Adelaide, just moments after she'd spoken to the Victorian-born 22-year-old.

"Whilst she was concerned that he was on his own and he seemed a little bit disorientated and perhaps lost, he probably was (lost), she was comfortable with the call, she felt as if it went okay," Thomas said.

"She was, however, concerned enough because he was on his own to make contact with one of our other players to try and get him (McCarthy) back into the group.

"She did that. She made contact and that player made contact with John who suggested that he was on his way back to the hotel.

"And so at that point, the group felt as if he was okay and he's coming back."

Thomas believed McCarthy "shortly thereafter" fell nine metres to his death at the Flamingo casino and hotel complex, where his body was found about 5.40am on Sunday, Las Vegas time.

A group of Western Bulldogs AFL players were also in Las Vegas, chaperoned by club runner and Victorian policeman Stuart Bailey, believed to be the first Australian to view McCarthy's body.

"Everything is leading towards an accident at this point of time," Bailey told reporters in Las Vegas on Tuesday (Wednesday, Australian time).

Investigators believed McCarthy walked into the Flamingo casino and took a lift before arriving on a third-storey roof.

"He then walked to the edge," Bailey said.

"The evidence is suggesting that he has jumped off that wall to a palm tree, maybe been disorientated at how much the fall was, slipped and has fallen to the ground."

Port officials were awaiting clearance from the local coroner to repatriate McCarthy's body within two to three days, Thomas said.

An autopsy has been performed but toxicology results could take up to 12 weeks, after which McCarthy's family will decide whether or not to publicly release them.

Harry 'should stay in Afghanistan'...

Prince Harry should not be withdrawn from his military role in Afghanistan despite an attack on the Camp Bastion military compound, defence experts have said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for Friday night's attack, saying it was carried out because Harry was on the base, and also as revenge for an anti-Islamic film.

The Prince was unharmed, but two US Marines were killed and several more wounded.

Harry, an Army captain, is based at Camp Bastion for his second tour of duty, due to last four months. The Prince was about two kilometres away with other crew members of the Apache attack helicopters, of which he is a co-pilot gunner, when the attack took place, sources said.

US officials said the attack on Camp Bastion was by heavily-armed insurgents and involved a range of weaponry, including mortars, rockets or rocket-propelled grenades, as well as small arms fire.

Qari Yousef Ahmadi, a spokesman for the Taliban, told The Associated Press: "We attacked that base because Prince Harry was also on it and so they can know our anger." He added: "Thousands more suicide attackers are ready to give up their lives for the sake of the Prophet."

Tory MP Colonel Bob Stewart, a former commander of British troops in Bosnia, said he did not think the Prince should be pulled out of Afghanistan because of the attack by the Taliban. "To hell with them," he said. "Harry wants to go there and our soldiers want him there. He should stay." But Col Stewart added: "Capturing, killing or hurting Prince Harry would be a huge propaganda coup for the Taliban."

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "The threat to all our service personnel is continually assessed and all measures taken to mitigate it. As we stated last week, the deployment of Captain Wales has been long planned and the threat to him and others around him thoroughly assessed. We stated that any risk posed by his deployment, based on the capability, opportunity and intent of the insurgency, is continually reviewed."

Harry, who celebrated his 28th birthday on Saturday, arrived in Afghanistan on September 7. He has been undergoing training to fly operations in Apache attack helicopters and is expected to start flying missions this week as a co-pilot gunner.

Camp Bastion is a huge base in the middle of the desert and is shared with US, Estonian, Danish and Afghan troops. It is the logistics hub for operations in Helmand, with supply convoys and armoured patrols regularly leaving its heavily-defended gates, to support the military forward operating bases, patrol bases and checkpoints spread across the province.

Prince Harry unharmed in deadly Afghan attack - 14th September 2012...

Troops injured at Camp Bastion, Helmand

WASHINGTON — Heavily armed insurgents staged a deadly attack Friday on the British airbase in southern Afghanistan where Prince Harry is stationed.

Two U.S. Marines were killed, and several other troops were injured, U.S. officials said, adding that the attack at Camp Bastion in Helmand province involved a range of weaponry, possibly including mortars, rockets or rocket-propelled grenades, as well as small arms fire.

A spokesman for NATO-led forces in Afghanistan said Harry was on the base at the time of the attack but was unharmed.

“Prince Harry was never in any danger,” spokesman Martyn Crighton said, adding that the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) would investigate whether his presence on the base had motivated the attack.

Lt. Col. Stewart Upton, a spokesman at Camp Leatherneck, a U.S. Marine based adjacent to the airbase, confirmed the attack and said two coalition service members had been killed.

Upton said coalition forces were assessing the extent of the damage and would provide more details later.

Camp Bastion is a British airbase and is used by the Marines at Leatherneck.

Crighton said the attack took place between 9 p.m. and midnight on Friday and that NATO-led forces were still securing the area in and around Camp Bastion.

A number of aircraft at the base also were hit by insurgent fire, a U.S. official said.

Capt. Harry Wales, as the prince is known in the military, is serving a four-month combat deployment as a gunner on an Apache helicopter. Harry, who turns 28 on Saturday, is expected to start flying Apache missions this week. This is his second tour in Afghanistan.

It also was not clear Friday whether the attack was connected at all to the protests and violence across the Muslim world this week that has been linked to an anti-Islamic film. Afghanistan’s southern region has been a hotbed of the insurgency and frequent attacks.

Earlier this week, the Afghan Taliban said they were doing everything in their power to either kill or kidnap Queen Elizabeth’s grandson in what they dubbed their “Harry Operations.”

Crighton said ISAF would investigate whether his presence on the base had motivated the attack.

Prince Harry had been in the news recently after nude pictures of him at a private party in a Vegas hotel room were published.

Friend of Princess Diana fears 'history repeating itself' with Kate...

'I saw what it did to Diana and it’s absolutely horrendous,' Rosa Monckton says about press intrusion following the publication of topless photographs of the Duchess of Cambridge

Rosa Monckton, a friend of the late Princess Diana, has told the U.K.’s ITV News of her fear that the press will hound the Duchess of Cambridge in the same way following the publication of photographs showing her topless.

“I think it’s history repeating itself,” Monckton told ITV News, which is a partner of NBC News. “It’s very damaging if you as an individual feel that you can never properly relax wherever you are. It gets to you in the end.”

She said she had decided to speak out in an attempt to dissuade the press from treating Kate the same way as Diana.

Monckton was on a private vacation with Diana in Greece shortly before Diana died and told about how they were constantly hunted by an army of about 250 journalists using boats and helicopters.
“I do not want that to happen to the Duchess of Cambridge. I saw what it did to Diana and it’s absolutely horrendous,” Monckton added.

Many blamed paparazzi photographers for following Diana’s car on the night she died in a crash in Paris in August 1997.

Kate and William have filed a lawsuit against French magazine Closer for printing photos of what appears to be Kate, sunbathing topless.

The suit alleges that Closer breached the couple's right to privacy, though the magazine insists it did not.

St. James Palace confirmed Friday that "legal proceedings for breach of privacy have been commenced today in France," reports the Associated Press.

Blurry, long-lens shots of Kate, taken while she and William were on vacation in Provence, in the south of France last week, were printed in the gossip magazine on Friday.

A statement from the palace said the pair were "hugely saddened" by the publication, adding that William and Kate "had every expectation of privacy in the remote house" where they were sunbathing at the time the pictures were taken.

According to a report in Reuters, Closer's editor-in-chief Laurence Pieau defended the "beautiful series" of photos.

"There's been an over-reaction to these photos. What we see is a young couple, who just got married, who are very much in love, who are splendid," Pieau told French BFM television, adding that the magazine had more "intimate" shots from the same series that it chose not to publish.

The news comes as the couple makes an official tour of Southeast Asia. Kate has been basking in the glow of rave reviews for her performing during her second overseas tour as a duchess — and just 24 hours after her heralded first public speech on the international stage.

Taliban Uses Former WWE Diva's Photos To Lure Aussie Troops Into Giving Away Military Secrets...

Taliban insurgents are posing as "attractive women" on Facebook to befriend Australian soldiers and gather intelligence about operations. There is a wrestling tie as one of the accounts the militant group created features photos of former WWE Diva Maria Kanellis. has posted an article on the matter, which features a screenshot of a phony Facebook profile with an image of Kanellis displayed.

The tech-savvy Taliban are using these fake profiles to befriend Australian soldiers and gather information based on their Facebook updates. The social networking website features a geo-tagging function, which logs the location from which posts are made. If a soldier posts something while they're in the field, their location is revealed.

Three Australian soldiers were murdered inside their base month, allegedly by an Afghan Army trainee.

Many soldiers did not realize that people using fake profiles can capture information and movements, according to the Australian Government's review of social media and defense. The review found an "overt reliance" on privacy settings had led to "a false sense of security" among troops.

Australian soldiers are being given pre-deployment briefings on the matter and the Australian Department of Defence is currently working on new social media guidelines.

WWE Military Outreach profile via WWE official website...

WWE Superstars and Divas regularly visit military bases and hospitals, including Walter Reed Army Medical Center (prior to closing its doors in 2011) and Bethesda Naval Hospital, to bolster the morale of our troops. Since 2002, WWE has produced WWE’s Holiday “Tribute to the Troops” with WWE Superstars and Divas performing before troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and the United States. In addition, WWE offers all U.S. military personnel free tickets to all its live events in the United States.

WWE also is a proud supporter of the National Guard’s Youth ChalleNGe Program, which assists youths in obtaining their G.E.D. or becoming educated in technical trades. WWE Superstar Kofi Kingston serves as spokesperson for the program. (Credit: WWE)

WWE The USA Guy...

- WWE's official Twitter account continues to promote The USA Guy - a character made up by WWE Superstar Derrick Bateman.

WWE tweeted a new video promo for “USA Guy,” which shows Derrick Bateman re-packaged as a pro-American wrestler fighting foreign and domestic heels. The promo concludes: “Hold on to your flag poles … America is coming.

YouTube link:

Sgt Slaughter bio (credit: WWE)...


Boasting one of most recognizable names (and jaw lines) ever, Sgt. Slaughter is an instantly recognizable American icon to WWE fans and general pop culture enthusiasts alike. A former U.S. Marine who proudly served his country, “Sarge” burst onto the wrestling scene in 1974 using his real name, Robert Remus in the American Wrestling Association (AWA), working for and trained by WWE Hall of Famer Verne Gagne.

Four years later, Remus donned a mask as Super Destroyer Mark II, teaming with Super Destroyer Mark III managed by Lord Alfred Hayes. After a falling out with his partner, Super Destroyer Mark II took on WWE Hall of Famer, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan as his manager and began a series of ring wars with his former partner and Hayes.

It was not until six years after his professional debut that Remus decided to incorporate his status as a United States Marine Corps veteran and debut in WWE in 1980 as the brutal bullying drill instructor, Sgt. Slaughter who referred to his outmatched opponents as scum, slime and maggots. In less than one year with WWE, Slaughter was doing battle with legends like Bruno Sammartino, Pedro Morales, Pat Patterson and even Andre The Giant.

In 1981, Sgt Slaughter took his penchant for punishment to the NWA where he defeated Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat for the United States Championship. Sarge also proved he could still dominate tag team wrestling as well, teaming with Don Kernoodle to become NWA World Tag Team Champions.

Slaughter returned to WWE in 1983 and, still reviled by its fans, instantly main-evented against WWE Champion Bob Backlund but was unable to take the title from the All-American standard bearer. Almost a decade after his professional debut, Sgt. Slaughter had still not attained every competitor’s dream of being a World Champion.

In 1984, Sgt. Slaughter had heard enough of anti-America rhetoric from for WWE Champion, The Iron Sheik and decided to defend the honor of his country, instantly making him a fan favorite with the WWE Universe. For an entire year, Sgt. Slaughter battled The Iron Sheik in almost all of the 50 states in bloody Steel Cage Matches and Boot Camp Matches. Sgt. Slaughter finally silenced the Iranian aggressor and was second only to Hulk Hogan in terms of popularity with the WWE Universe. However, Slaughter was about to leave WWE right before the birth of WrestleMania in 1985 because of a dispute over action figures. Toy company Hasbro approached Sgt. Slaughter about becoming a character in their G.I. Joe franchise which included action figures. However, at the time, WWE had an exclusive agreement with rival toy company LJN, Sarge had to choose between WWE and G.I. Joe and chose to battle Cobra Commander and his evil forces as an action figure, a comic book hero and even on the G.I. Joe animated series.

In order to continue his wildly successful wrestling career while being G.I. Joe’s best selling action figure, Slaughter returned to the promotion where he began his career, Verne Gagne’s AWA where he defended America ideals against the Soviet Union’s Boris Zhukov and South Africa’s Colonel DeBeers and even The Iron Sheik who followed Sarge to the AWA looking for vengeance. While all of his opponents had the advantage of having Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissey in their corner, Slaughter delighted wrestling fans by besting his opponents in bloody Boot Camp Matches. Sarge earned AWA World Title matches against Stan Hansen and then against Larry Zbyszko on ESPN but was still unable to win his first World Title.

In 1990 the AWA’s demise was imminent and Sgt. Slaughter returned to WWE and was part of one of the most infamous chapters in WWE history. Slaughter claimed America had gone soft as a result of the end of the Cold War with the Soviet Union and did the unthinkable by becoming an Iraqi sympathizer during the Gulf War. Despite the distractions of death threats with enraged Americans, Slaughter finally won his first and only World Title when he defeated The Ultimate Warrior at Royal Rumble 1991 with the help of “Macho King” Randy Savage. At WrestleMania VII, Slaughter was defeated for The WWE Championship by the red, white and blue clad Hulk Hogan. Slaughter then found a way to sink even lower than he had by flanking himself with fellow Iraqi sympathizers General Adnan (formerly known as his nemesis, Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissey) and Colonel Mustafa (formerly known his most despised opponent, The Iron Sheik). At SummerSlam 1991, Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior defeated the trio now known as The Triangle of Terror, Sgt. Slaughter, General Adnan and Colonel Mustafa.

After The United States soundly defeated Iraq in the Gulf War and months of soul searching, Sgt. Slaughter pleaded with the WWE Universe to accept his apology and welcome him back as a champion for the American way pleading “I want my country back.” Cautiously, WWE fans gave Sarge a chance to prove himself and he did, teaming with the American flag waving “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan to take on all aggressors, foreign and domestic. Almost two decades after his professional debut, Sgt. Slaughter retired from full time competition in 1992 and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by former foe turned long time friend, Pat Patterson in 1994.

In 1997, Slaughter returned as WWE Commissioner and did his best to control the chaos created by newly formed D-Generation X, Triple H, Shawn Michaels and Chyna. After a stint as one of Mr. McMahon’s evil lackeys in his war against “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Slaughter largely disappeared from television and assumed a behind the scenes role with World Wrestling Entertainment. The beloved Sarge is now an Ambassador for WWE and busy as ever appearing at charity events all over America and as the only legend who is part The National Guard’s WWE “Big Guns” Team alongside the likes of John Cena, Beth Phoenix and others . Sgt. Slaughter remains one of the most recognizable WWE personalities of all time and recently appeared on Comedy Central’s top rated program Tosh.0, NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and most importantly, WWE’s annual Tribute to the Troops.

Looking as fit as he did when he first laced up his boots in 1974, Sgt. Slaughter always travels with his tights and boots and at a moment’s notice, will fight for truth, justice and the American way.

(Credit: WWE)

Sgt Slaughter VS The Iron Sheik - 23rd April 1984 - Multimedia...

One of the most famous matches ever at Madison Square Garden

The Iron Sheik bio...

Real Name: Hossein Khosrow Vaziri
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran
Current Home: Atlanta, GA
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 265lbs.
Birthday: March 15th
Pro Debut: 1973
Finishing Move: The Camel Clutch
Signature Moves: The master of the suplexe
Names Used: Great Ali Hussein Arab, Hussein Arab, Col. Mustafa and The Iron Sheik

Championships Held:

WWF World Heavyweight Champion
WWF World Tag Team Champion (with Nikolai Volkoff)
NWA Commonwealth Heavyweight Champion
NWA Canadian Tag Team Champion (with Texas Outlaw)
NWA PNW Tag Team Champion (with Bull Ramos)
NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Champion
NWA Canadian Heavyweight Champion
CWA Heavyweight Champion
NWA National Television Champion
NWA Southern Heavyweight Champion\
Twin Wrestling Entertainment Champion

In The Beginning

- Khosrow Vaziri started out as an amature wrestler and even won a medel at the 1968 Olympic Games, representing Iran..
- Years later, this was proven to be a complete "work" just to enhance his gimmick wrestling in America..
- 1972: Khosrow Vaziri defected to the United States and became an assistant wrestling coach for the United States..
- Khosrow Vaziri was a two-time AAU Champion and also a United States Olympic Greco Wrestling Coach..
- 1972: Khosrow Vaziri caught the eye of Minnesota legend Verne Gagne at the Olympic Training sessions..
- 1972: Khosrow Vaziri began training with Verne Gagne and debuted in the AWA at the end of that year..
- 1979: Khosrow Vaziri signed with the World Wide Wrestling Federation, wrestling as "Hussein Arab", managed by Fred Blassie..
- June 4, 1979 - MSG: Hussein Arab won a Battle Royal to earn a title shot at WWF Champion Bob Backlund, in the main event..
- Hussein Arab departed the WWWF and toured the Southern territories..

Mid-South Wrestling

- Kosraw Vaziri went to work for Bill Watts' Mid South Wrestling promotion and became known as The "Iron Sheik"..
- November 26, 1981--Superdome Extravaganza: The Iron Sheik defeated King Cobra..

World Wrestling Federation

- 1983: The Iron Sheik signed with the World Wrestling Federation when it was becoming a national promotion..
- The Iron Sheik gained a reputation of being the "master of the suplex" using many versions of the suplex..
- December 26, 1983 - MSG: The Iron Sheik beat Bob Backlund for the WWF World title when Arnold Skaaland threw in the towel..
- The Iron Sheik had title defenses against Chief Jay Strongbow, Pat Patterson, Bob Backlund, Salvatore Bellomo and Tito Santana..
- January 23, 1984 - MSG: Hulk Hogan defeated Iron Sheik for the WWF World title in one of the most famous matches of all time..
- Rumor has it, AWA promoter Verne Gagne offered Sheik $100,000 to break Hogans leg during the match..
- Luckily, Iron Sheik is a smart man, and did the job, and informed Hogan & McMahon of the offer after the match..
- July 23, 1984 - Brawl to End It All: The Iron Sheik defeated Tony Garea..
- 1984: The Iron Sheik & Sgt Slaughter engaged in a bloody and violent feud that spread throughout the entire country..
- June 16, 1984 - MSG: Sgt Slaughter defeated The Iron Sheik in a famous Boot Camp match..

World Wrestling Federation - The Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff

- 1984: The Iron Sheik formed a successful tag team with Nikolai Volkoff, managed by Fred Blassie..
- March 31, 1985 - WrestleMania: The Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff beat Mike Rotundo & Barry Windham for the Tag Team titles..
- May 11, 1985 - SNME: The US Express & Ricky Steamboat defeated Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff & George Steele..
- July 8, 1985 - King of the Ring: The Iron Sheik made it all the way to the finals where he lost to Don Muraco..
- Iron Sheik b Jim Brunzell | Iron Sheik b Ricky Steamboat | Iron Sheik b Tito Santana | Don Muraco b Iron Sheik..
- November 7, 1985 - Wrestling Classic: The Junk Yard Dog defeated The Iron Sheik in the 1st Round of the Tournament..
- April 2, 1986 - Wrestlemania 2: The Iron Sheik participated in the Invitational Battle Royal - won by Andre The Giant..
- May 3, 1986 - SNME: The British Bulldogs defeated The Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff in 2/3 Falls to retain the Tag Team titles..
- July 14, 1986 - King of the Ring: Billy Jack Haynes defeated The Iron Sheik in the 1st Round of the Tournament..
- March 14, 1987 - SNME: Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat defeated The Iron Sheik..
- March 27, 1987 - WrestleMania III: The Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff defeated the Killer Bees by DQ when Jim Duggan interfered..
- May 26, 1987: The Iron Sheik and Jim Duggan were arrested by New Jersey State Police..
- Duggan was charged with possession of marijuana and drinking alcohol while driving..
- Sheik was charged with possession of marijuana and cocaine..
- Duggan received a conditional discharge and Sheik received one year probation..
- What was so shocking about this was that they were feuding at the time, and the incident exposed the business..
- 1987: The Iron Sheik left the WWF soon after this incident..

World Class Championship Wrestling

- November 26, 1987 - Star Wars: Chris Adams & Matt Borne defeated The Iron Sheik & The Thing by DQ..
- December 25, 1987 - Star Wars: Matt Borne defeated The Iron Sheik to retain the Texas Heavyweight title..

American Wrestling Association

- Dec 13, 1988 - Superclash III: The Iron Sheik made a surprise appearance when he attacks Sgt Slaughter during a match vs Col. DeBeers..

National Wrestling Alliance

- May 7, 1989 - WrestleWar: Sting defeated The Iron Sheik to retain the NWA Television title..

World Wrestling Federation - Col Mustafa

- 1991: The Iron Sheik returned to the WWF, but this time wrestling as "Col Mustafa"..
- Col Mustafa aligned himself with Iraqi sympathizers Sgt Slaughter & General Adnan as the "Triangle of Terror"..
- SummerSlam 1991: Hulk Hogan & Ultimate Warrior defeated the Triangle of Terror in a handicap match..
- After the match, Adnan & Mustafa turned on Sgt Slaughter, who became a born again american patriot..

World Wrestling Federation - Manager

- February 1997: The Iron Sheik returned to the WWF, as the co-manager for "The Sultan". (Credit: Sheik Show official website)

Where Are They Now? Corporal Kirchner...(Credit: WWE)

He’s remembered as a patriot, an all-American good guy who defended his country’s honor against loathed Russian villain Nikolai Volkoff at WrestleMania 2. But there’s a dark side to the career of the man known as Corporal Kirchner that many WWE fans don’t know — a decade spent in the vicious world of Japanese hardcore wrestling under the name Leatherface, brawling his way through the most brutal matches ever witnessed.

From a truck stop in Tennessee, Mike Kirchner reflected on each of his personas as if they were long lost friends.

“I loved both of them,” Kirchner told during a lengthy phone conversation. “[Corporal Kirchner] was so much fun, because you’d learn from so many guys. But Leatherface was just hardcore joy.”

Different as they may be, Kirchner’s alter egos had one thing in common — toughness. It was a reputation he carried with him throughout his career and something that was ingrained in him since his schoolyard days. By his own account a rebellious kid, the Chicago native grew up a scrapper — the result of a childhood spent moving from town to town. His no-nonsense attitude could have sent him down a bad road, but at 17 he joined the military and learned discipline.

*Credit and full article at WWE official website

The Iron Sheik On WWE Hall Of Fame website...


WWE's Randy Orton to star in The Marine 3...

WWE are giving 'The Apex Preditor' another shot at the movie business, confirming Orton will star in 'The Marine 3'. This clearly shows commitment to sticking with the volatile pro wrestler.

Eve wins NBC's "Stars Earn Stripes"...

Congratulations are in order for former Divas Champion Eve, who won the season finale of NBC's "Stars Earn Stripes" and the USO a total of $150,000!

Eve joined four-time undefeated world boxing champion Laila Ali, actor Dean Cain (“Out of Time,” “Five Days of War”), actor and former National Football League player Terry Crews (“The Expendables 2,” “The Newsroom”), multi-platinum recording artist, actor, producer and television personality Nick Lachey (NBC's “The Sing-Off”), Alaska businessman Todd Palin, Olympic gold medalist Picabo Street and “The Biggest Loser” trainer Dolvett Quince in the competition.

Over the course of the show, Eve had already won the USO $50,000, utilizing the skillset from her WWE and MMA training and engineering degree from the University Southern California, USC. She impressed millions of fans across the world with her target shooting, physical prowess and dedication and respect for the men and women of our Armed Forces.

" 'Stars Earn Stripes' was one of the best experiences of my life," Eve told in an exclusive interview. "I went in assuming I was the underdog because I didn't have the military experience. The USO is a really important organization, and I know that this win is really important to the troops."

But Eve said there was something she didn't expect about the competition.

"It was much more mental than I had expected," Eve said about the dangerous military missions she took part in. "So while I was trained physically for it — jumping out of helicopters — I wasn't fully prepared for the emotional and mental part; that focus," Eve explained. "It just taught me so much about what our military men and women go through."

On "Stars Earn Stripes," eight competitors gathered at a remote training facility where they tackled complicated and difficult missions inspired by real military exercises. Each was paired with an “operative” who is a member or a former member of our Armed Forces or law enforcement agencies. The operative coached and guided their celebrity teammate on their training and each of their missions and competed alongside them. From helicopter drops to long range weapons fire — the competitors were tested physically and emotionally as they played to win and to earn a cash prize for military, veterans and first-responder based charities. Each week, one of the teams was eliminated.

The Diva also noted that WWE played a large role in getting ready for the competition. Even before "Stars Earned Stripes," she had a deep-rooted dedication and respect for the military from WWE's Tribute to the Troops.

"WWE is a huge supporter of our troops," she said. "Part of my love and admiration for our men and women in the military has come from the tours we have done. That really opened up my eyes to what they go through."

And how did being a WWE Diva in the ring help prepare her for her big "Stars Earn Stripes" win?

"I think being a WWE Diva is a tough job; there's lots we do that's not seen on television, constantly working and trying to better ourselves," Eve said. "And I really think that hard work and dedication from being a WWE Diva is probably what set me apart from the other competitors."

Congratulations, Eve! (Credit: WWE)

JBL to climb Mount Kilimanjaro next week...

UPDATE: Sept. 14, 2012

JBL is one week away from beginning his Mount Kilimanjaro climb in Africa!

"I really believe unless I get altitude sickness (which I didn't have any problem last time) or I have an accident where I fall and break an ankle or something, I should make this mountain at 19,334 feet," he wrote.

Read more on JBL's Facebook blog.


2012 Sydney Islamic Riots...

The 2012 Sydney Islamic protest occurred on 15 September 2012 in response to the video Innocence of Muslims. Protestors had objected to the video's portrayal of Muhammad as a man who encouraged violence, and who had people who ridiculed him killed. The protest started at about midday when about 100 people - including women and babies - gathered at Town Hall, marched through Hyde Park and along to Phillip Street, chanting, "Down, down USA" for almost three hours.

As the crowd swelled to over 300 they started to leave Hyde Park towards St James station, riot police armed with batons and shields were waiting for them at the park exit. The crowd soon became agitated and began attacking police as they tried to storm the US Consulate. Islamist protestors continued to throw sticks and bottles at the police. Riot and mounted police pursued protesters down William Street towards Kings Cross as one protester was seen throwing a milk crate at a police car. The already splintered crowd then broke up further, running through the back streets of Darlinghurst where smaller fights occurred.

Protesters, including children, held signs saying, "Behead all those who insult the prophet" and "Obama Obama, we love Osama", and threw objects from construction sites and water bottles at police officers. Police responded by spraying capsicum spray into the crowd.

Several CBD streets, including the intersection of Martin Place and Castlereagh Street, parts of George Street and Market Street were shut down while protestors moved through the city, causing damage and traffic chaos. (Credit: Wikipedia)

Topless Kate pix published in Ireland, Italy next...

ROME (AP) — The British royal family faced a multinational battle to contain the spread of topless photos of Prince William's wife Kate, as an Irish tabloid published them Saturday and an Italian gossip magazine planned to do the same despite the threat of legal action.

The royal couple's St. James's Palace office condemned the moves as unjustifiable and evidence of pure greed, and said it was considering "all proportionate responses."

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge sued French magazine Closer on Friday after it ran the photos, taken while Kate and William were on vacation at a relative's private estate in southern France last month.

The publication has been roundly condemned by British newspapers, which refrained from publishing them out of respect for the young couple's privacy, even though tabloids like The Sun run topless women every day on page 3 and ran pictures of Prince Harry naked in Las Vegas last month.

The British media, wary about an ongoing media ethics inquiry triggered by revelations of illegal phone hacking and other intrusive newspaper behavior, has generally respected palace guidelines stressing that William and Kate should not be photographed when they are not in public.

But across the Irish Sea, the Dublin-based Irish Daily Star ran a blurry reproduction of the pages from Closer over two inside pages Saturday.

Editor Mike O'Kane told the BBC the photos weren't included in the edition distributed in Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. And the newspaper's website came up as "temporarily unavailable" Saturday.

O'Kane defended his newspaper, saying that Ireland did not view the royal family the same way as the British.

"She's not our future queen," he told the BBC. "The duchess would be no different to any other celeb pics we would get in, for example Rihanna or Lady Gaga."

Northern and Shell, the British company that co-owns the Irish Daily Star — and publishes its British sister tabloid, the Daily Star — said it was "profoundly dismayed" the Dublin newspaper had run the pictures. It said it had had no control over the decision.

Northern and Shell's chairman, Richard Desmond, said he was "taking immediate steps to close down the joint venture" that runs the tabloid.

In Italy, gossip magazine Chi, which is owned by former Premier Silvio Berlusconi, said it planned to publish a 26-page spread with the photos on Monday, although it wasn't clear if the content was any different from what Closer ran.

Chi is part of Berlusconi's publishing empire Mondadori, which also owns Closer.

The Chi cover, featuring three pictures of a topless princess, was unveiled Saturday in Italian newspapers and television under the headline "Court Scandal: The Queen is Nude!"

In an interview Saturday with The Associated Press, Chi editor Alfonso Signorini said he didn't fear legal action since the photos were already in the public domain following Closer's publication.

"Closer's position is different, they were the first ones to publish," he said.

He defended the decision to publish them in Italy, saying the photos are tasteful and respect Kate's dignity.

"I don't see anything morbid or damaging in them," he said. "Chi pays attention to respecting people's dignity. I don't think they hurt Kate's image."

He added in a statement that the pictures actually were in line "with the modern concept of the monarchy."

"It shows in its total naturalness the daily life of a young, famous, modern couple in love," he said.

Citing that argument, Mondadori said Saturday it respected the editorial decisions of both Chi and Closer, Italian news agency ANSA reported.

A spokeswoman at St. James's Palace said royal officials were reviewing "all proportionate responses" to Chi's planned publication.

The spokeswoman, who spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with palace policy, said publication of the photos served no purpose "other than to cause further, entirely unjustifiable upset to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who were enjoying time alone together in the privacy of a relative's home."

The blurry photos, called a "grotesque" abuse of privacy by royal officials after they were published Friday by Closer, show Kate - the Duchess of Cambridge - wearing only a skimpy bikini bottom and sunglasses.

In one of the three on Chi's cover, she appears to be rubbing suntan lotion on William's shoulder.

Palace officials compared the intrusion on the young couple's privacy to the tragic paparazzi pursuit of William's mother Princess Diana, which many believe was a contributing factor to her early death in a car crash in Paris on Aug. 31, 1997.

That two magazines in Berlusconi's media empire were responsible for the distribution of the images of a topless Kate is remarkable, given the former premier's own problems with paparazzi and his privacy.

In 2009, he threatened legal action against the Spanish newspaper El Pais after it published photos of topless women and a naked man lounging at his Sardinian estate. Italian prosecutors seized the photos and placed the photographer under investigation for alleged violation of privacy.

The photos came to light at the start of Berlusconi's downfall: They were published amid a scandal involving Berlusconi and a Naples model, whose 18th birthday party the then-premier attended.

Berlusconi, who was forced from office in November after financial markets lost faith in his ability to steer Italy out of its debt crisis, is currently on trial in Milan on charges he paid for sex with an underage Moroccan girl and then used his office to try to cover it up. He denies wrongdoing, and both he and the girl say they didn't have sex.

Jill Lawless in London contributed to this report.

Crown raises $532m in notes offer...

James Packer's Crown Casino has raised $532 million through its subordinated notes offer.

The amount exceeded the $400 million Crown in August said it was seeking to raise.

Crown said it had issued 5.3 million notes at an issue price of $100 each.

The notes are expected to commence trading on a deferred-settlement basis on Monday.

Crown has been undertaking a range of capital expenditure projects at its Crown Melbourne and Burswood hotel and casino complexes.

Banned punters from Crown casino turn to illegal gambling in Melbourne...

Some punters banned from Crown casino are among gamblers involved in illegal high-stakes games in Melbourne.

The secret table games - some run in the Chinatown precinct - attract punters unwilling to visit Crown and other legal outlets.

Wrestling Fans Slot Games: Sumo slot at PartyCasino; Andre The Giant slot at Virgin Casino...

Wrestling fans - if you didn't check them out already, check out Sumo at PartyCasino and Andre The Giant at Virgin Casino. You can play for free or play for money. Read the reviews on the Media Man website network. Not into wrestling? Perhaps Army is your thing? Check out the 'Call of Duty' online slot at both PartyCasino and Virgin Games. As always, bet with your head - not over it. Bombs away champions.


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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Jury awards casino mogul $US20m for slander - 11th September 2012


Steve Wynn Las Vegas Gambling Celebrity Casino Legal Property Casinos

A jury has awarded US casino mogul Steve Wynn $US20 million ($19.3 million) in his slander case against Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis, who claimed the creator of some of Las Vegas's most upscale resorts threatened to kill him over a gambling debt.

Witnesses disputed Francis's claims during a four-day trial, including record producer Quincy Jones, who Francis said told him about Wynn's threats and showed him a stack of emails that contained them.

Wynn vehemently denied that.

In siding with Wynn, the jury determined that there was clear and convincing evidence that Francis slandered the casino mogul and knew his allegations were false when he made them.

Neither Wynn nor Francis was present in court when the verdict was read on Monday morning.

Wynn's lawyer on Friday had asked the panel to award the billionaire $US12 million plus punitive damages to send a message that false statements that travel far in the internet age will not be tolerated.

The CEO of Wynn resorts and designer of signature Las Vegas casinos such as The Mirage, Bellagio, Wynn and Encore attended the trial.

Francis, who testified, has built a business empire based on videos of young women flashing their breasts for video cameras. (AP)

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Wednesday, August 08, 2012

McMahon finds herself on familiar Connecticut turf: attacked, ahead

McMahon finds herself on familiar Connecticut turf: attacked, ahead - 28th July 2012...

Pro wrestling mogul Linda McMahon finds herself in a familiar position this summer -- attacked as a candidate depending more on her personal wealth than her political skills to win a U.S. Senate seat in Connecticut -- but once again the likely Republican primary winner.

The only real difference for the millionaire, former professional wrestling executive is the primary attacks this year have been exceptionally harsh, even compared to those against McMahon in her debut 2010 run.

One ad two years ago shows a wrestler pretending to smash a folding chair over the head of his opponent, then McMahon, a former World Wrestling Entertainment chief executive officer, standing in the ring hand-in-hand with husband and company founder Vince McMahon.

This year’s primary opponent, former GOP Rep. Christopher Shays, recently called McMahon “clueless” and said she is the political opponent for whom he has the least respect, after having served 32 years in elected office.

“I have never run against an opponent that I have respected less,” Shays told the New Haven Register after a July 18 debate, then characterized McMahon’s performance as “embarrassingly clueless.”

McMahon’s camp and political analysts have said the recent comments from the well-respect Shays suggest his frustration and realization that his political career might be coming to a close as McMahon holds a significant lead just weeks before the August primary.

“It has become increasingly clear that Shays has become unglued,” McMahon campaign manager Tim Murtaugh said. “It’s sad to see his career end this way.”

A recent Quinnipiac poll shows McMahon leading Shays by 29 points.

Shays, a moderate with support from such Washington Republicans as Karl Rove, appeared to suggest after the debate that he faces long odds in extending his political career, considering the campaign could not afford TV ads – crucial when trailing late and because he has under-whelming name recognition despite 21 years in the House.

His campaign said this week it had received an infusion of money for media buys and remains optimistic about winning.

Communications Director Amanda Bergen didn’t question the validity of the Quinnipiac poll, but said it might not reflect true voter sentiment because voters disconnect during the summer.

“People won’t start paying attention until early August,” she said.

Bergen said the campaign is also focusing on Republican primary voters and spending its advertising money in their specific markets.

“This election is too important to waste,” she said. “Chris votes on principle (and) he has the experience to hit the ground running.”

The Shays campaign also has repeatedly characterized McMahon as scripted and unprepared for Congress, much like she was criticized in the 2010 primary against former Rep. Rob Simmons and in the general election with Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who defeated her.

Regardless of who wins, either candidate will have a difficult time defeating the Democrat challenger in the race for the open seat of Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent, considering the blue state has a no Republicans in either the House or Senate.

Meanwhile, McMahon continues to poor millions of her own money into the race, as she did in 2010. And her campaign continues to stick to its message and look ahead to a match up with likely Democratic nominee Rep. Chris Murphy.

“Linda McMahon will be the Republican winner on the night of August 14,” Murtaugh told

He also said the campaign is sticking to its grass-roots campaign effort to contacts thousands of voters and tell people that McMahon is not a career Washington politician, but in fact a jobs creator whose wrestling business started as a kitchen table operation that once went bankrupt.

“She understands the plight of the small business person because she has lived through it,” Murtaugh said. (Fox News)


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Monday, August 06, 2012

Will Ferrell in Sydney for 'The Campaign' red carpet event at Fox Studios - 5th August 2012


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In order to gain influence over their North Carolina district, two CEOs seize an opportunity to oust long-term congressman Cam Brady by putting up a rival candidate. Their man: naive Marty Huggins, director of the local Tourism Center.

Tonight 'The Campaign' enjoyed it's Sydney, Australia premiere at Entertainment Quarter - Fox Studios, Moore Park, Sydney.

'The Campaign', about two rival politicians who will stop at nothing to get elected, is directed by Jay Roach, the man behind comedies Austin Powers and Borat, as well as more serious political efforts The Recount and last year's Sarah Palin biopic Game Change.

Even though Ferrell had become known for his impressions of George W. Bush on Saturday Night Live over the years, and his 2009 Broadway show You're Welcome America: A Final Night With George W. Bush - he says the former US president didn't influence his character in The Campaign, the venal, preening Cam Brady.

"We stole some things from actual political candidates and their behaviour but I don't know if that really informed this," he says. "The hair is really a tribute to John Edwards - he had the most beautiful hair in politics."

With 'The Campaign' campaign just about behind them, Ferrell and Galifianakis will go their separate ways. The Hangover Part III starts shooting in September, and although Galifianakis hasn't had a chance yet to look over the most recent iteration of the script, he thinks he and Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and company will be doing this one in Mexico. "Maybe. I think."

Meanwhile, Ferrell and his frequent writing and directing partner, Adam McKay, are readying their own sequel, Anchorman 2. Yes, after a long, long hiatus (the original was released in 2004), Ron Burgundy returns. They'll shoot early next year, when Steve Carell and Paul Rudd are available to reprise their roles.

"We're working on the script now," Ferrell reports. "Adam and I were philosophically just always resistant to the sequel thing. There are all these original ideas out there, but then you watch people make sequels and it seems like they're having a good time. So we caved."

"I'm looking forward to being in Anchorman 2," Galifianakis chimes in. "I got your text about being in it, thank you. . . . And I'm the lead?"

"That was a mistake," Ferrell says. "I was sending that to Zac Efron, and somehow it got sent to you."

"Is he nice?" says Galifianakis.

"He's great," Ferrell says.

The Campaign opens on August 9.

Director: Jay Roach
Writers: Chris Henchy (screenplay), Shawn Harwell (screenplay)
Stars: Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis and Jason Sudeikis


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Thursday, August 02, 2012

Crown wants world's best hotel for Sydney


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Billionaire casino mogul James Packer says he will build the world's best hotel in Sydney if he gets approval to include a gambling facility for high rollers in the development.

Mr Packer, the executive chairman of casinos operator Crown Ltd, said on Thursday that Crown wanted to build a hotel at Barangaroo South that would attract millions of tourists to Sydney and create thousands of new jobs.

Barangaroo is a residential, office and parkland development currently under construction on Sydney Harbour.

Crown and Lend Lease, the developer of Barangaroo, have signed a two-year exclusive dealing arrangement for the hotel development, but building approvals are still required from the NSW government.

"Sydney deserves one of the world's great hotels on its magnificent harbour," Mr Packer said in a statement.

"My desire is for Crown to build the best hotel in the world at Barangaroo."

Mr Packer said Crown wanted to incorporate a "VIP-only" gambling facility into the hotel, which would require approval from the NSW government and gaming authorities.

He said a facility for high rollers was "necessary to provide the commercial underpinning for any development and for the operation of a world-class six-star hotel resort".

Acting NSW Premier Andrew Stoner appeared to welcome Mr Packer's plan to build a world-leading hotel at Barangaroo, but stopped short of commenting on plans for a gambling room.

"The creation of a hotel of this stature would deliver new jobs in construction, off-site manufacturing and the tourism industry, along with hundreds of millions of dollars for the state economy each year," he said.

Crown chief financial officer Ken Barton told AAP that Crown said detailed costing of the project would be developed in the next two years.

He said if Crown was to operate a gaming facility in Sydney it would require the NSW government to issue a new licence, or it would have to be done as part of the existing licence which is held by Echo Entertainment Group, the operator of The Star casino in Sydney.

"I guess that's part of the two-year program as well: working through a licensing scenario," Mr Barton said.

"If the NSW government were to issue another licence between now and November 2019, it would be exposed to a requirement to pay compensation to Echo."

Asked if Crown had engaged with the NSW government to sound out its attitude towards a second licence, Mr Barton said: "Not in any conclusive way."

Crown operates casinos in Melbourne and Perth and is pushing for a presence in Sydney, where it holds a stake of around 10 per cent in Echo.

Crown has applied to regulators in NSW and Queensland for permission to lift its stake in Echo to up to 25 per cent.

Crown has been upgrading its casinos in Melbourne and Perth in a move to entice more high-rolling VIP gamblers from Asia.

It is planning to spend $568 million building a new six-star hotel at its Burswood complex in Perth.

Shares in Crown closed eight cents lower at $8.39 on Thursday. (AAP)


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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

NSW govt investigates 'floating casino'

NSW govt investigates 'floating casino'...

The NSW government is investigating whether cruise company P&O operated an illegal floating casino off the NSW coast.

Hospitality Minister George Souris on Wednesday said a government authority was investigating an allegation that passengers could play blackjack, pontoon, poker and roulette on a cruise that left Sydney on Friday night.

The cruise ship also had 40 poker machines onboard and let passengers charge $5000 on their credit cards for gambling, News Ltd reported.

"I've asked the Office of Liquor and Gaming to investigate whether a casino operation was under way in NSW territorial waters or whether gambling operations were under way in commonwealth waters," he told reporters in Sydney.

"It may be that NSW jurisdiction was breached, it may be that the commonwealth jurisdiction was breached. It may be even that both were breached."

He said NSW had no jurisdiction beyond 12 nautical miles from shore.

"Those are international waters," he said.

"In international shipping after the 12-nautical-mile limit it opens boats to gambling but also to duty-free liquor sales."

James Packer to speak at tourism conference in Canberra...

Billionare James Packer will be the drawcard for hoteliers, resort operators and owners attending a tourism conference in Canberra in late October. Mr Packer will open the Tourism & Transport Forum's annual "Leadership 2012" conference.

The gaming tycoon is a major tourism player given his Crown resorts in Perth and Melbourne attract 25 million visitors a year...

Jackman to Begin Filming ‘Wolverine’ in Australia...

Hollywood star Hugh Jackman will begin filming the next installment of his “X-Men” spin-off movies in Sydney next week, even though the female lead is yet to be confirmed.

Jackman, who admitted struggling to get into shape after packing on the pounds to play Jean Valjean in “Les Miserables,” said his role as Wolverine, which he first played 12 years ago, was “the backbone of my career.”

“I love the character. I still love the character,” he said. “I had no choice at the time, I was going to take anything that came along, but I happened to have walked into probably the most interesting and complex of the superhero characters.”

“I’ve always loved playing it and when I stop loving it I’ll stop doing it,” he added.

Melco Crown Project Gets Red Light on Casino...

Macau casino operator Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. MPEL +2.32% still doesn't have permission to build a casino at its latest project, according to a revised government contract published Wednesday.

The Macao Studio City project, in which Melco Crown has a 60% equity interest, is designated for a five-star hotel and film facilities, indicates the latest government contract detailing various revisions to the agreement. But the document doesn't mention any casino facilities despite the company's earlier statements they hope to open up to 400 gambling tables at the property. It's possible the government could give the green-light on a casino later, but the uncertainty could complicate the company's efforts to finance the project.

Melco Crown, backed by Lawrence Ho and James Packer—the sons of Macau gambling tycoon Stanley Ho and the late Australian casino-and-media magnate Kerry Packer—is one of six casino license holders in Macau, where it already runs two casino-resort properties in the world's largest gambling hub.

A representative for Melco Crown didn't respond to requests for comment.

In June 2011, Melco Crown signed a $360 million deal to gain control over the Macao Studio City project, resolving a bitter dispute between the project's earlier partners that had escalated to the Hong Kong courts, stalling development for years. New Cotai Holdings LLC, an arm of U.S. investment firms Oaktree Capital Management L.P. and Silver Point Capital L.P., retained its 40% stake in the project.

Earlier this month Melco Crown announced plans to enter the burgeoning Philippines market by teaming up with local property developer Belle Corp. BEL.PH -0.20% to partner on a casino resort that will cost at least $1 billion in an area the Philippines hopes will become Manila's version of the Las Vegas Strip. (The Wall Street Journal)

First Second unveils André the Giant comic...

First Second has confirmed its André the Giant biography.

Cartoonist Box Brown is working on the book charting the life of the professional wrestler and actor, reports ICv2.

André Roussimoff was a star and one-time champion of the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE).

He is also known for his role in cult classic movie The Princess Bride.

Roussimoff has the condition acromegaly, which saw him grow to 7'4" in height. He died of heart failure in 1993 at the age of 46.

Box is the author of Xeric grant-funded graphic novel Love Is a Peculiar Type of Thing.

The untitled André the Giant biography is scheduled for release in 2014. (Digital Spy)

The Expendables 2 slapped with R rating for extreme violence...

Action star-laden sequel The Expendables 2 has been given an R rating for its violent and sexual content in the US.

Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and co will even be throwing some bad language into the mix as they bat off hostile attackers in this follow-up to the 2010 action-packed extravaganza.

Lionsgate was rumoured to have been considering a PG-13 rating for the film, which is due for release in the States on August 17th.

Once again, Stallone assembles his hardened team of old-school mercenaries for a special mission - taking revenge after one of their squad is murdered on the job.

Director Simon West was never in any doubt that the film would receive such a high rating, given the 'very hard' violence and language perpetrated by the all-star cast throughout the film.

'I'm sure there were some financial people who wanted it to be PG-13 because they thought it would somehow make more money or have a broader audience, but there was no way,' he told

'When you get these guys on the set, they can't say a line without putting the F-bomb in it, and they can't pick up a gun without blowing several limbs off.' (Metro)


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Monday, July 09, 2012

Crown Limited puts 25pc limit on Echo Entertainment stake...


Casinos Casino Crown Limited Property Sydney Melbourne Australia

Crown Limited puts 25pc limit on Echo Entertainment stake...

The jockeying for position by various stakeholders in casinos operator Echo Entertainment is continuing, with James Packer's Crown Ltd seeking regulatory approval to lift its stake in Echo to 25 per cent.

Casinos operator Crown has added the 25 per cent limit to its application to the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority and the Queensland government for an increase of its Echo stake to above 10 per cent.

Crown already holds a stake in Echo of 10 per cent.

Echo's constitution restricts a person's voting power to a maximum of 10 per cent unless the written consent of the regulator in NSW and the relevant Queensland minister is obtained.

Crown said on Wednesday that the regulators had accepted the new condition to its application but were yet to decide on whether Crown could exceed the 10 per cent ownership level.

'If Crown is eventually granted approval to increase its ownership in Echo to up to 25 per cent, then Crown would not be able to acquire additional Echo shares such that Crown's ownership interest would increase above 25 per cent without first making another application which would then be subject to further investigation and ultimately a determination by the regulators,' Crown said in a statement.

The changes to Crown's application comes after investment firm Perpetual was granted approval by the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority and the Queensland government to increase its potential maximum voting power in Echo from 10 per cent to 15 per cent.

However, Perpetual had earlier notified the Australian Securities Exchange, on June 22, that it had ceased to be a substantial shareholder in Echo.

Malaysian gambling group Genting holds a stake of about 9.88 per cent in Echo and has also applied to regulators to lift its stake above 10 per cent.

Fat Prophets analyst Greg Fraser said the fact that Crown had asked to increase its holding up to the figure of 25 per cent was 'interesting'.

If Genting were to aim to acquire 25 per cent also, and both companies did in fact obtain 25 per cent each, Genting and Crown acting in unison would be enough to control Echo without making a takeover bid.

However, there was nothing to indicate yet that Crown and Genting were acting or would act in unison.

Mr Fraser said Crown may not necessarily move to a 25 per cent stake immediately. It could lift its stake to 19.9 per cent - the threshold for making a full takeover bid - and then increase its stake in Echo by three per cent every six months under the 'creep' provisions of the Corporations Act.

'I guess the next step is we wait for Genting to do the same. As the gambling parlance goes: to see your 25 and raise you something',' Mr Fraser said.

Echo operates The Star casino in Sydney, the Treasury casino in Brisbane, Jupiters Townsville and Jupiters Gold Coast.

Crown operates the Crown casino and Melbourne and the Burswood casino in Perth.

Shares in Echo were one cent lower at $4.29 at 1104 AEST on Tuesday.

Crown bouncer pleads not guilty - 6th July 2012...

A Crown Casino bouncer has pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter of a patron who was thrown to the ground 'like a bull'.

Matthew Lawson, 27, was on Friday committed to stand trial over the death of Anthony Dunning during an altercation at the Melbourne casino last July.

Mr Dunning, 40, died in hospital four days later.

After a three-week committal hearing Magistrate Peter Reardon ruled there was enough evidence for Lawson to stand trial.

The court heard during the hearing that casino patrons had warned security staff they were choking Mr Dunning and should let him go.

Two of Mr Dunning's friends were also taken to the ground by bouncers.

Lawson, of Hoppers Crossing, was bailed to appear in the Victorian Supreme Court on July 19 for a directions hearing.

Five other bouncers were also committed to stand trial on lesser charges over the incident involving Mr Dunning or his friends, with each pleading not guilty.

They have been bailed and will appear in the Supreme Court on the same day as Lawson.

Packer in strong position on Barangaroo - 8th July 2012...

Developer Lend Lease says billionaire James Packer would be in a strong position to build a casino at Barangaroo if the NSW government granted a second licence.

The comment by Lend Lease chief executive Steve McCann came as his company secured $2 billion of funding to build the first two commercial towers at the controversial site in Sydney's CBD.

Mr Packer and his Crown Ltd last week sought approval to up its stake in rival Echo Entertainment, which holds the city's sole casino licence.

Mr McCann said Lend Lease was in discussions with several hotel operators and it was talking to the state government about relocating a proposed luxury hotel.

'If you look at Crown's facilities elsewhere in Australia and overseas they're very high quality,' Mr McCann told ABC's Inside Business program on Sunday.

'We're looking for a very high quality hotel and if the opportunity to get a gaming licence puts them in a strong commercial position, which is what you'd expect, then I've no doubt they'd be a competitive proposition.'

Lend Lease had the right to build a hotel on the site but Crown wouldn't automatically win the hotel operation contract if it managed to obtain a casino licence.

'Clearly, if Crown's the best proposition we'll consider that, but we're talking to a number of players,' Mr McCann said.

Crown recently ramped up its move on fellow casinos operator Echo Entertainment, which runs The Star Casino, by seeking regulatory approval to lift its stake from 10 per cent to 25 per cent.

Last month Lend Lease signed agreements with Westpac and financial services firm KPMG to occupy the majority of the first two commercial buildings at Barangaroo from around mid-2015 to early 2016.

Mr McCann said his company had been working on the funding for some time with partners Canada Pension Plan, Australian Prime Property Commercial Fund, Telstra Super and First State Super.

'I'm not sure that of itself it indicates that the market's loosening up but it certainly indicates the quality of the product that we have brought to them,' he said.


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