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Japan mourns slain hostage Goto as caring and courageous reporter
The story of the vulnerable, the children, and the poor drove the work of journalist Kenji Goto.

Storm crawls into Midwest, threatens Northeast
CHICAGO (AP) — A storm that gathered steam over the southern Rockies moved into the Midwest early Sunday and is expected to dump more than a foot of snow as it moves toward New England, which is still recovering from a winter walloping it received just a few days ago.

Measles continues to spread as scientists urge parents to vaccinate children
More than 100 people in the United States have been infected with the highly contagious airborne measles virus.

U.S. regulators recall 2.1 million vehicles in new air bag issue
The auto industrys air bag troubles deepened on Saturday as U.S. federal safety regulators said three big automakers will recall about 2.1 million older vehicles to fix defects that could cause air bags to deploy when they are not supposed to. The vehicles involved in the recall announced by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are made by Toyota Motor Corp, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Honda Motor Co. There have been about 400 reported cases of inadvertent air bag deployments in the recalled vehicles, NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said. The recall concerned a defective chip in air bag systems and the fix involved replacing the entire air bag module, including circuits manufactured by parts maker TRW Automotive Holdings, Rosekind said.

Deadline passes in U.S. refinery workers contract talks
By Erwin Seba HOUSTON (Reuters) - Union leaders and oil companies were unable to agree on a new labor accord on Saturday for workers at 63 U.S. refineries as a deadline passed that could lead to a strike. The United Steelworkers union (USW) said in a text message sent to members that the latest offer from companies was "insulting and fails to address issues that matter to members." Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the lead negotiator for U.S. refinery owners, has said it does not comment on details of labor negotiations. The USW talks have been occurring against a backdrop of falling oil prices. The expiring national contract covers about 30,000 hourly workers at plants that together have two-thirds of U.S. refining capacity.

Three climbers rescued after fall on Oregon's Mt. Hood
By Courtney Sherwood PORTLAND, Ore. (Reuters) - Two mountain climbers were rescued by helicopter on Saturday after they fell on Oregon's Mount Hood at an altitude of more than 10,000 feet (3,048 meters), and a third climber was helped down the mountain on foot, authorities said. The climbers, two men and one woman, were injured on the renowned peak when they fell in the Hog's Back region, the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office said in a statement. Authorities did not provide details on how far the climbers had fallen. Sheriff's deputies worked to reach the injured climbers in conjunction with Portland Mountain Rescue, who were in the area training at the time, and a team from the ambulance and helicopter rescue company AMR touched down to come to the climbers assistance within hours of their fall, officials said.

Charlie Hebdo delays publication of upcoming issue, citing grief, fatigue
The cartoonists and writers for Charlie Hebdo need a break to deal with their recent grief and fatigue, according to spokeswomen for the publication.

Scientist considered father of birth control pill dies
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Carl Djerassi, the chemist widely considered the father of the birth control pill, has died.

Japan outraged as video purportedly shows hostage beheaded
An online video purported to show the beheading of journalist Kenji Goto.

Whitney Houston's daughter found unresponsive in tub
ROSWELL, Ga. (AP) — The daughter of late singer and entertainer Whitney Houston was found unresponsive, face down in a bathtub Saturday and taken to a hospital in the north Atlanta suburbs, police said.

Ukraine peace talks collapse as fighting rages
Peace talks aimed at halting rising bloodshed in eastern Ukraine ended in failure Saturday, with Kievs envoy saying pro-Russian separatists wrecked a deal by refusing to discuss an immediate ceasefire. The delayed talks in Minsk were "thwarted" after top rebel leaders stayed away and their negotiators also refused to discuss withdrawing heavy weapons, former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma told Interfax Ukraine news agency. The negotiator for the rebel Donetsk Peoples Republic, Denis Pushilin, however, blamed Kiev for causing the collapse of the talks and said insurgent leaders would only agree a deal if Kievs forces halt fire first.

Serena Williams wins 6th Australian, 19th major title
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Serena Williams won her 19th Grand Slam title and continued her unbeaten run in six Australian Open finals by extending her decade-long domination of Maria Sharapova.

Germany's Merkel says she doesn't see another Greek debt cut
BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel has underlined the refusal of Greeces European creditors to consider forgiving part of the debt-ridden countrys rescue loans, though she stressed in an interview published Saturday that Berlins aim is to keep Greece in the eurozone.

washingtonpost.com

Researchers try to understand naked mole rats' resistance to cancer
With their pinkish, translucent and wrinkly skin, double-saber buck teeth and black-bead eyes, naked mole rats look like characters in a nightmare from hell. In fact, they do live underground in pitch-dark burrows where their air, from a human point of view, can contain chokingly little oxygen, t...

Doctors try new models to push health insurers aside
Just about everyone agrees that the way we pay for primary care needs fixing. Under the current insurance model, doctors get paid for procedures and tests rather than for time spent with patients, which displeases doctors and patients alike and increases costs. Now some medical practices are side...

Medigap supplemental coverage can be too pricey for younger Medicare beneficiaries
One night three years ago, Joe Hobson finished reading a book, went to sleep and woke up blind. The problem, caused by a rare hereditary disease, forced him to give up his 20-year communications job, along with its generous health insurance. Now 63, the Arlington man is covered by Medicare, the f...

Breathless, but not from asthma

Fish and seafood recipe recommendations
Jennifer LaRue Huget offers some suggestions

Fish and seafood recipes
How much fish and seafood should you eat each week? What are some good recipes?

Inside the new Dietary Guidelines: Fish and other seafood
Jennifer LaRue Huget explains how best to incorporate the new dietary guidelines on seafood into your diet.

Parenting an overweight child can be difficult
Should they intervene early and practice a form of benign neglect, hoping that the baby fat will melt away as a child grows?

Type 2 diabetes surges in people younger than 20
U.S. cases in those under 20 have grown from almost zero to tens of thousands in just over a decade.

Surgeon general says obesity crisis should be addressed together
Surgeon general says obesity crisis should be addressed together.

Wisconsin's health-care fight illustrates challenges as states change leadership
After President Obama signed the nation's health-care overhaul into law, Wisconsin made more headway than virtually anywhere else in the country at preparing to carry the statute out. Then a Republican governor came to power and changed all that.

Drums Alive: Feel the beat, feel the burn
Could Drums Alive be the next Zumba? Vicky Hallett explores Baltimore's latest exercise craze.

Top green vegetables for your health -- and St. Patrick's Day
Get in the spirit with these top five green vegetables.

Fear is potent risk of Japanese nuclear crisis
The psychological impact of Japanese nuclear crisis could turn out to be significant

An incomplete story was published to this webpage. We apologize for the confusion and inconvenience. Please find our latest coverage at washingtonpost.com

Radiation exposure poses range of potential health problems for Japanese
Among other things, radiation from nuclear power plants could increase cancer rates for decades.

Nurses' strike cost Washington Hospital Center $6 million
Washington Hospital Center spent about $6 million to hire 600 temporary nurses, beef up security and cover other costs during last week's nurses' strike and subsequent lockout at the region's largest hospital, hospital officials said.

Report reveals steep increase in war amputations last fall
The majority of American soldiers undergoing amputation for war wounds last fall lost more than one limb, according to data presented Tuesday to the Defense Health Board, a committee of experts that advises the Defense Department on medical matters.

More information about ranch dressing
The original, handmade batches of buttermilk dressing were made in the mid-1950s by Steve Henson at his Hidden Valley Ranch near Santa Barbara, Calif. Buttermilk is now the sixth ingredient in the Hidden Valley full-fat dressing, after soybean oil, water, egg yolk, sugar and salt; it's third on t...

March madness? A basketball league that doesn't keep score
I recently spent a couple of hours at the Jewish Community Center in Fairfax watching women in their 40s, 50s and 60s play two games of full-court basketball. These were rec-league ballplayers, but there was nothing casual about the games. They played organized zone defense. A ref in black and wh...

Ranch dressing: How good is it for you?
Is ranch dressing the best way to get kids to eat their vegetables?

Milestones in the eradication of smallpox
With officials debating whether to destroy the remaining specimens of the pathogen, here is a look at notable dates in smallpox history:

Should last remaining known smallpox virus die?
Intense debate rages over whether to destroy the remaining laboratory specimens of the smallpox virus.

Smart food choices can cut excess sugar and empty calories from your diet
The average U.S. adult consumes about a half-cup of added sugar a day, which amounts to roughly 355 nutritionally empty calories.

Paperbacks discuss antidepressants and technology's role in marriage
Irving Kirsch's describes "The Emperor's New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth." Spouses Edward M. Hallowell and Sue George Hallowell explain how technology leaves people "Married to Distraction."

Children seem to gain extra weight after having their tonsils removed
A study analyzes data from nine studies, involving 795 children who had a tonsillectomy, with or without adenoid removal, before they turned 18.

Vitamin D deficiency may be a factor in development of allergies
Young people low in Vitamin D may be more prone to allergies, according to a new study.

Doctor-owned centers spark criticism, scrutiny
When Kenneth Baker found out he had prostate cancer, his urologist detailed his options: The 84-year-old was too old for surgery, but he could pick from two forms of radiation or simply wait to see if he really needed treatment.

Health insurers offer patients the option of paying extra for higher-priced care
When consumers and employers pick health plans, some increasingly are being offered a trade-off these days: They can get a hefty break on their premiums if they agree to pay more out-of-pocket when they use certain high-cost providers in their network or if they cut those providers out of their n...

Hospital, union brace for nurses' strike
Managers at Washington Hospital Center and the nurses union are bracing for a planned strike Friday at the region's largest hospital, with managers flying in replacement nurses from all across the country and nurses seeking support from city officials.

Republicans shift focus to Medicaid complaints
A day after President Obama said he would support amending the health-care law so states can opt out of key provisions sooner, Republicans sought to shift the rhetorical battle back to an issue that would be largely unaffected by the president's proposal: the impact of the law's Medicaid requirem...

Can't judge an exercise book by its cover
Crack open a copy of "The Men's Health Big Book of Exercises: Four Weeks to a Leaner, Stronger, More Muscular You!" and you'll find a compilation of 619 moves designed to work every muscle in your body. If you thought you'd see anything all that different inside "The Women's Health Big Book of Ex...

How men and women exercise differently
No one wants to think she's a cliche. But it's time for me to recognize that when it comes to my gym behavior, that's exactly what I am: a cardio-loving woman who has to be forced to hoist a dumbbell.

The Checklist: Fitness and nutrition advice for March
March is my pudgiest month. Winter has made it challenging to get to the gym or outside for regular runs. But now spring is nigh (it officially starts March 20!), and shorts-wearing weather can't be far behind. So now's the time to start getting in shape for the warm months ahead. I will if you w...

Many Americans have poor health literacy
An elderly woman sent home from the hospital develops a life-threatening infection because she doesn't understand the warning signs listed in the discharge instructions. A man flummoxed by an intake form in a doctor's office reflexively writes "no" to every question because he doesn't understand ...

D.C. Health Department issues measles alert
A woman infected with measles, a contagious and potentially dangerous disease, traveled through the District and Maryland after flying into Dulles International Airport, it was disclosed Monday.

Obama says he will support letting states opt out of health-care law earlier
President Obama told a group of governors Monday that he would support moving up the timetable in which states can opt out of the federal health care law, making a major concession to critics of the law.

Patients find plenty of health information on line, but not all of it is reliable
The Internet has no equal as an information storehouse. The trick is to know how to get right to a source of useful information and not waste time on Web sites that are biased, trying to sell you something or just plain wrong.

Medical Mysteries: A Teen's Swollen Ankle
Shortly after Thanksgiving 2009, 14-year-old old Abby Picard began complaining that her right ankle hurt. Her parents brushed it off, believing her discomfort was the result of her fondness for fashionable thin-soled sneakers and an extremely heavy backpack. "We thought nothing of it," recalled h...

Mobile dental clinic brings care to poor children in Prince George's County
At last, dentist Belinda Carver-Taylor was sitting in the new mobile dental clinic with a child before her. She had hoped for this day so long that now she could only shake her head.

Governors differ on extent of flexibility for Medicaid
Democratic and Republican governors, burdened by crushing budget pressures from Medicaid, said Sunday that federal officials should allow them more freedom to change eligibility rules and other aspects of the public health insurance program for the poor. But they displayed sharp ideological diffe...

The Checkup: More questions about cell phone safety
Are cell phones safe? That question has gotten a lot of attention, but so far, as my colleague pointed out on Monday, there has been no convincing evidence that those ubiquitous devices actually cause health problems. However, a new federal study may stir things up further, even though the bottom...

Obama administration asks states to cut costs without dropping Medicaid coverage
The Obama administration is deploying squadrons of in-house experts to help budget-strapped states figure out how to save money on Medicaid, the health program for the poor that has been a source of rising tensions between state capitals and Washington.

Whole grain and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines
It's no secret that whole grains are good for us. They deliver way more nutrients per calorie than refined grains do, which just happens to fall in line with one of the major themes of the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 (published by the U.S. Agriculture and Health and Human Services d...

Hospitals aim to reduce the number of patients readmitted after discharge
"Welcome back" are two words you'd really rather not hear at a hospital, especially if you've just been discharged. Yet one in five Medicare patients found themselves back in the hospital within 30 days of leaving it in 2003 and 2004, according to a recent study in the New England Journal of Medi...

I cannot tell a lie: Racing Presidents tryout isn't easy
I had to be Teddy. Nothing else would make sense. This is, after all, a fitness column, and any high school history student can tell you which U.S. president is most closely linked with "the life of strenuous endeavor," as Roosevelt liked to put it himself.

Flu season heats up
Don't let the warmer, brighter days fool you. Flu season is not over.

Fiber seems to be linked to a reduced risk of disease in people older than 50
THE QUESTION: Diets high in fiber have been shown to aid weight loss and help with digestive problems. Might fiber also offer other health benefits?

'Policy Review' essay covers PTSD; veteran benefits
How could a Veterans Administration rule making it easier for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder to file disability claims be a bad thing? In a "Policy Review" essay called "PTSD's Diagnostic Trap," psychiatrist and Yale University School of Medicine lecturer Sally Satel argues that ful...

Bacteria's role in colon cancer, cystic fibrosis; burning paper to measure carbon
Here's a not-so-savory news flash: There are more bacterial cells living in our bodies than human cells. Researchers are learning how the balance of these bugs affects our health, but reaping the benefits of bacteria is not quite as simple as eating probiotic yogurt. That's the gist of "The Good,...

Google, Yahoo! BabelFish use math principles to translate documents online
Early one morning in 2007, Libby Casey was trying to do her laundry in a guesthouse in Reykjavik, Iceland. When she couldn't figure out how to use the washing machine, she opened up the instruction manual.

An insomniac learns to make the most of getting the least sleep
In the wee hours of the morning - or is it still night? - my eyes snap open and my mind races. What do I have to do today? What didn't I get done yesterday? Why did I get into that disagreement? Other nights, I am on a high wire, hovering between sleep and wakefulness and chewing over my next mov...

Can relaxation drinks put you to sleep?
Once, "relaxation beverages" consisted of alcohol, chamomile tea and warm milk. Now, the field includes a slew of new drinks promising a better night's sleep using such ingredients as melatonin, valerian root and - think turkey - tryptophan.

Women are more likely than men to give up sleep to care for children and others
Call it the real night shift - that noctural period when bleary-eyed adults leave warm beds to tend to the needs of sick kids, elderly parents, an ailing spouse or incontinent pet. So, who takes the night shift: Mom or Dad?

Free app adjusts color on monitors to prevent disruption of sleep cycle
I stare at screens almost every waking hour. Computer monitor. Laptop. TV. Tablet. Smartphone. So I've tested a few ways to ease the strain on my eyes - and, in the process, learned about something that might be helping me in non-waking hours, too. It's about the light that these screens emit. It...

Obama administration unlikely to block Arizona plan to cut 250,000 from Medicaid rolls
The administration will probably permit the plan despite a provision in the new health-care law barring states from tightening their eligibility standards for the program, federal officials said.

The sports bra: Your No. 1 supporter
Everyone has a pair of feet, but women have an additional pair of something to worry about while exercising. And they're every bit as tricky to fit, control and protect, which is why bras are beginning to rival shoes as the most technical of all sporting apparel.

Z drugs keep sleep-aid market awake
With almost a third of Americans reporting sleep problems, it's not surprising that sales of Ambien, Sonata and similar sleep aids are high: It's a $1.8 billion market.

Study of recalled medical devices faults lax FDA testing methods
A new analysis is raising questions about how good a job the Food and Drug Administration is doing at protecting Americans from faulty medical devices.

Meditation and mindfulness may give your brain a boost
They are the simplest instructions in the world: Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes, clear your mind and try to focus on the present moment. Yet I am confident that anyone who has tried meditation will agree with me that what seems so basic and easy on paper is often incredibly challe...

Humor, music and spirituality may offer physical benefits
Humor, music and spirituality can boost your mood, but growing evidence suggests that they also offer physical benefits.

Group tries to simplify drug labels to help people get the proper doses
"Take two tablets by mouth twice daily." This printed instruction, common on prescription pill bottles, might seem straightforward. Yet in a study, nearly half of patients misunderstood what it or other common label instructions meant.

Book explains allergies, asthma; magazine rates teen TV shows for safe-sex info
POZ, the lifestyle magazine for people with HIV/AIDS, evaluated a variety of teen TV shows for how often characters practiced safe sex.New book discusses allergies and asthma in children.

Apps and gadgets to track your sleep
A bunch of gadgets and apps are now on the market to help high-tech insomniacs (or just the sleep-curious) track their z's. These aren't meant to help you fall asleep, though there are plenty of other apps intended to do that. We're talking here about gizmos that claim to record your movements al...

Too little or too much sleep may take a toll on the heart
Quick Study: Too little or too much sleep may take a toll on the heart.

Tattooing outgrows its renegade image to thrive in the mainstream
It's 1945, and you want a tattoo. You drive to the part of town your mom warned you about, past scruffy bars and burlesque shows, and arrive at a tiny shop offering maybe 200 designs in three or four colors. An ex-sailor who just clocked out of his day job rinses off his tattoo machine. Five minu...

Insuring your health: Book argues against unnecessary medical intervention
In a new book, "Overdiagnosed: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health," Dartmouth researchers and physicians H. Gilbert Welch, Lisa Schwartz and Steven Woloshin argue that the medical establishment's embrace of early diagnosis and treatment as the key to keeping people healthy actually does ...

2010 was marked by a recall of eggs, drug warnings and progress on flu vaccines
Consumer Reports Insights: 2010 was marked by a recall of eggs, drug warnings and progress on flu vaccines.

Enrollment in high-risk insurance pools lagging behind predictions
More Americans have been signing up for special health plans designed for people with medical problems that caused them to be spurned by the insurance industry, according to new government figures. But enrollment continues to lag significantly behind original predictions.

FlyScreen Lands On iPhone But Not As We Know It
FlyScreen , the lock screen replacement for Android and Symbian phones from Israeli startup Cellogic, has landed on the iPhone . But not as we know it.That's because Apple's iOS is locked down as it were (see what I did there) and doesn't allow third-party apps to take over the lock screen. This...

D.C.'s leading provider of clean needles to drug addicts to close Feb. 25
The leading provider of clean needles to drug addicts in the District to help stem the spread of AIDS plans to shut its doors by the end of the month, officials said Wednesday, in the city that has the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the country.

Study: Surgery in womb helps babies with spina bifida
Performing surgery on babies with the most severe form of spina bifida when they are still in the womb doubles the chance that they will be able to walk, according to a federally funded study released Wednesday.

Breast-cancer study questions lymph node removal
Many women with early breast cancer do not appear to need removal of their lymph nodes, as is often recommended, according to a federally funded study released Tuesday.

Want to be one of the Nationals' racing presidents?
Applications are due Friday for those interested in becoming one of the Washington Nationals' racing presidents: Abe, George, Tom or Teddy, right. The mascots are starting their sixth year of entertaining home crowds with a race on the field during the fourth inning.

The February wellness checklist
February's long winter slog is brightened by Valentine's Day, a good reminder to take care of our hearts. Here are some ideas for being well during this shortest, and often snowiest, of months in Washington.


When injuries interrupt exercise: Readers weigh in
I got some great feedback on my Jan. 27 column about the sudden interruption to my running regimen, "Coping with an out-of-the-routine injury." Here are edited excerpts of what two readers had to say, followed by excerpts from an online Q&A nutritional biochemist Shawn Talbott and I did with ...

'Why We Get Fat' by Gary Taubes; teen smoking prevention online
Once more, with feeling "Why We Get Fat" (Knopf, $24.95)

Health benefits of falling and staying in love
Love may make the world go 'round, but is it powerful enough to lower one's blood pressure, reduce depression and speed the healing of an injury? With Valentine's Day just around the corner, we set out to find the answer and discovered that science says yes.

Getting a tattoo is largely safe, though experts advise using a reputable shop
Dermatologists' organizations, tattoo artists and the Food and Drug Administration agree that tattooing is largely safe, but any time you stick a needle into skin there are risks. Consumers need to do their homework.

Military personnel take extreme measures to meet body-fat and weight rules
Air Force Tech. Sgt. Heather Sommerdyke spent $12,000 on two liposuction surgeries last spring. She was running eight to 10 miles, six days a week. She even switched to a starvation diet. It was all part of a last-ditch effort to trim her waistline to the 35.5-inch maximum for female airmen. She ...

Mediation can bring justice with no need for a trial
When a health-care provider harms instead of heals, patients who seek answers and redress generally face the prospect of a long and costly lawsuit. But there's another option, one that can significantly reduce the toll of a court battle while providing many of the same benefits to patients and th...

New dietary guidelines: Eat less, eat better and lose the salt
Americans need to make big changes in their eating habits to fight the obesity epidemic and a host of ailments caused by poor diets, including consuming less sugar, fat and salt and more fish, fruits and vegetables, the Obama administration recommended Monday.

Report on global cardiac risks: World gets fatter, but blood pressure goes down
The whole world is getting fatter, except perhaps for the women of Italy and Singapore. Globally, blood pressure is slowly coming down. Cholesterol is falling in rich countries and rising in developing ones.

State officials divided on meaning of judge's health-care ruling
A day after a federal judge struck down the government's plan to overhaul the health-care system, Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen issued a stern statement: "This means that, for Wisconsin, the federal health care law is dead," and that his state "was relieved of any obligations or duti...

No chilling effect on donations at the Polar Bear Plunge
Much to the chagrin of the proudly purple people of Baltimore, the Ravens will not be playing in the Super Bowl on Sunday.

Super thin Super Bowl spread
Like other food-centered celebrations, Super Bowl gatherings can be both fun and fraught with apprehension for those concerned about their waistlines. Nobody wants to sit on the sidelines, skipping the traditional snacks. But who wants to deal with postgame regrets? You can work football-fan food...

Health information remains high on the list of popular uses for the Internet
Seeking health information is the third-most-prevalent activity among American Internet users, according to a report being issued Feb. 1 by the Pew Internet Project. The only things more universal were exchanging e-mail and using search engines. (Of course, if someone uses Google to look up "shin...

Liposuction can't salvage Navy career
KEY WEST, FLA. - Mick Kruger is not out of shape. The 38-year-old master-at-arms first class has never failed a physical readiness test. He routinely scores "excellent" on the mile-and-a-half run. He has run one marathon and finished three others on in-line skates. His performance evaluations du...

AnyBody: Parents are ignoring their children for their BlackBerry
Increasingly, it is adults' constant, obsessive use of these technologies that's coming under fire.

Judge strikes down entire new health-care law
A federal judge in Florida on Monday became the first to strike down the entire law to overhaul the nation's health-care system, potentially complicating implementation of the statute in the 26 states that brought the suit.

House Republicans sharpen attack on health-care reform in two Hill hearings
Republicans on Wednesday used their new majority in the House of Representatives to hold the first of what they promise will be a steady drumbeat of congressional hearings to denounce the new health-care law.

Nutritional information: Milk
Sales of whole milk in the United States made up about 70 percent of the market in the mid-1970s but have dropped dramatically since, while the sales of skim and 2 percent have risen. The most recent sales figures show:

Got milk? What kind?
After spending a day with her boyfriend's family recently, my daughter marveled, "They only drink whole milk!" That milk was delicious, she reported, even after the container had sat on the counter for a while.

U.S. recovers $4 billion from health-care fraud cases
The government recaptured a record $4 billion last year from pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, doctors, nursing homes and other providers of care that defrauded federal health-care programs, the Obama administration reported Monday.

CNN.com - Entertainment

Stories behind a tough hip-hop legend
How the co-founder of Death Row Records -- who is being held in connection with one's man death in an alleged purposeful hit-and-run -- came to be considered such a scary guy is equal parts legend and rap sheet.

Suge Knight arrested in fatal hit-and-run
Former rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight has been arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with a Thursday hit-and-run that killed a man in Compton, California, authorities said Friday.

Meet Elena of Avalor, Disney's first Latina princess

Best and worst Super Bowl halftime shows

Map goes wrong, weather forecaster keeps cool
Weather forecasters get lots of attention when they get it wrong, but at least one of them had some fun with it.

Eddie Murphy returns to SNL after 30 years
He's back!

'Fresh Off The Boat' sitcom draws backlash after tweet
ABC's "Fresh Off The Boat," the first sitcom to feature an Asian American family in two decades, has run into renewed controversy a week before its debut.

Sly Stone awarded $5 million in back royalties, damages

Sarah Koenig talks 'Serial' season two plans

Taylor Swift trademarks 'This sick beat'
If you were planning on using a Taylor Swift-penned phrase on, say, a locket or a jewelry box, think again. Because you could be trying to shake off a legal bill.

What to watch besides the Super Bowl
CNN's Lisa France gives you the rundown on what else is happening on Super Bowl Sunday, in case you are looking for a diversion from football.

Robert Redford: The legend behind Sundance
Sundance founder Robert Redford talks about his new movie, "A Walk In The Woods," and how the famed Sundance Film Festival has changed over time

Controversial Scientology film in Sundance spotlight
CNN's Stephanie Elam talks to director Alex Gibney and author Lawrence Wright about their investigative documentary "Going Clear."

Hollywood welcomes drones to the set
Until recently, drones couldn't be used in the U.S. to film movies or TV shows. A change in FAA regulations gave Hollywood freedom to use drones on set.

No! Don't share this stuff online!
CNN's Lisa France explains why you should stop believing everything you see online. From Facebook privacy fakes to Twitter death hoaxes, think before you share that link.

'The Hunting Ground' exposes rape on campus
A startling exposé of rape crimes on U.S. campuses, institutional cover-ups and the brutal social toll on victims and their families. In theaters March 20.

'Thorn Birds' author Colleen McCullough dead at 77

Anne Kirkbride of 'Coronation Street' dies

Fitness expert Greg Plitt dies after being struck by train
Fitness expert and reality TV personality Greg Plitt died on Saturday after being hit by a commuter train in Burbank, California.

Shakira, soccer star welcome second son

Joel Grey and other stars who've come out

SAG Awards: On the red carpet

New Supergirl, more badass women of sci-fi

Michael Sam gets engaged

'American Idol' stars: Where are they now?

'Bachelorette' couple splits

TV networks swing the ax

Kirstie Alley and more celeb transformations

50 celebs turning 50

Surprise! Guess who got married?

10 most powerful celebrity babies

Surprising celebrity BFFs

'Birdman' takes big prize, diversity in the spotlight at SAG Awards

Your complete guide to Awards Season 2015

Raunchy bear returns in 'Ted 2' trailer

'Fantastic Four' reboot: What do we think?

'Wet Hot American Summer' to become Netflix series

Emma Watson is the new Belle of the 'Beast'
"Harry Potter" star Emma Watson revealed that she's been cast as Belle in the live-action version of Disney's "Beauty and the Beast."

'We Are the World' turns 30

High school's 'Uptown Funk' made Bruno Mars cry
Which high school teacher would assign his students the Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars can't-stop-dancing-to-it hit "Uptown Funk"?

Kristen Wiig, Jack Black reveal soundtracks to live by
Who would be best at scoring the soundtrack to Jack Black's life? How about for Adam Scott's daily routine?

Michael Moore explains snipers are 'cowards' tweet

LZ Granderson: Oscar is much smaller than Selma

Larry Wilmore tickles funny bones, goes for throats

What 'Back to the Future' got right about 2015
CNN's Jake Tapper looks at what the blockbuster movie "Back to the Future II" got right and wrong about the year 2015.

Why 'American Sniper' is a smash hit
"American Sniper," Clint Eastwood's film about Navy SEAL marksman Chris Kyle, stunned just about everyone by earning $107 million over its first weekend in wide release -- an unprecedented haul for a downbeat, R-rated drama released in the middle of winter.

Pork Medallions with Blackberries

Seeing Red

The Best Berry Recipes

Summertime Gladness

Stir-Fried Shrimp and Broccoli

10 Ways to Use Low-Fat or Fat-Free Yogurt

Fluffy Blueberry Pancakes

Celebrating Mom

Let's Salsa

Orecchiette with Ricotta, Spinach, and Fava Beans

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Gamers prove their metal as rock stars
Jess Hu is a child care provider from Brooklyn, New York, but for 20 hours a week, she's a rock star. That's how much she estimates she plays the video game "Rock Band."

Comedian is living in an Ikea store
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Texas town hopes to become UFO landing spot

Governor's son sells 'Don't Drop the Soap'
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Cops snag lotto ticket from accused drug dealer
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Politician cuts the fat with photo fakery
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Puppy vs. polar cub for cuteness title

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Heres a look at some of the defining moments, exciting scenes, triumphs and defeats from the world of sports.

Seau headlines 2015 Hall of Fame class
Junior Seau was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a bittersweet reminder of the ebullient linebacker who took his own life in 2012 after battling brain disease. At the NFL Honors awards ceremony in Phoenix, on the eve of Super Bowl 49, Seau headlined a 2015 Hall of Fame class that also included running back Jerome Bettis, defensive end Charles Haley, wide reciever Tim Brown and guard Will Shields. He earned six All-Pro selections and 12 Pro Bowl appearances in his 20 year career.

Pats stand in way of Seahawks dynastic aims
Sundays Super Bowl 49 caps a National Football League season marred by scandal with a compelling clash between Seattle and New England that promises to clear away the clouds. Each team can cement a place in Super Bowl lore with a victory. Fans partied Saturday night around Phoenix and at the NFL Experience gridiron theme park near the University of Phoenix Stadium in suburban Glendale, Arizona where the game was scheduled to kick off at 4:30 pm (23:30 GMT). "Everything is done," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said.

Hawks thump 76ers and stretch win streak to 19
Al Horford scored 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to spark the Atlanta Hawks over Philadelphia 91-85 for the NBA overall leaders team-record 19th victory in a row. The Hawks stretched their leads to 21 points in the second quarter and as large as 15 points in the third quarter before the 76ers rallied to tighten the score late. In the end, the Hawks held off Philadelphia to complete an unbeaten January run of 17 games while the 76ers stumbled to 10-38, the third-worst mark in the league. Paul Millsap and reserve Dennis Schroder each scored 15 points while Kyle Korver added 14 more, connecting on 4-of-6 shots from 3-point range.

Cavs star Love makes triumphant Minnesota return
Kevin Love scored 14 points and grabbed a game-high 17 rebounds in his triumphant return to Minnesota as the Cleveland Cavaliers ripped the Timberwolves 106-90 for their 10th consecutive NBA victory. Star forward Love had made it clear he wanted to leave Minnesota and he was traded to Cleveland last August in a three-team deal that helped give the Cavaliers the support needed to become a contender after the signing of four-time NBA Most Valuable Player LeBron James.

New Jersey Governor heads to UK for trade, politics, soccer
By Megan Davies and Hilary Russ NEW YORK (Reuters) - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a likely 2016 Republican presidential contender, will be promoting his states life sciences industry in a trip to the United Kingdom starting Sunday, where he is also scheduled to meet the Prime Minister and catch an Arsenal match. The UK is the third largest trading partner for New Jersey after Canada and Mexico, and the trip will focus on pursuing new opportunities for growth between UK and New Jersey in the field of life sciences, Christie told reporters on Friday in embargoed remarks. "One of the main objectives for the trip is to focus on the opportunities that exist between the UK and New Jersey and our country as a whole," said Christie.

Packers' Rodgers captures second MVP award
By Frank Pingue PHOENIX (Reuters) - Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was named the National Football Leagues Most Valuable Player on Saturday, joining an impressive list of future Hall of Famers to have won the award multiple times. While Rodgerss statistics during the 2014 regular season were not of the record-setting variety he set in 2011, when he first won the MVP award, they were still impressive. "Id rather be at the hotel right now waiting to play tomorrow," Rodgers said after accepting the award at Phoenix Symphony Hall. Its hard not to get emotional up there." Rodgers had the Packers in position to earn a berth in the Super Bowl game but they squandered a 12-point lead with three minutes to play in regulation before falling in overtime to Seattle.

Arizona's Sheriff Joe picks Patriots; inmates to get popcorn
By Daniel Wallis PHOENIX (Reuters) - The Arizona lawman who bills himself as "America's toughest sheriff" predicts the New England Patriots will win the Super Bowl and says some inmates will be allowed popcorn as they watch Sunday's face-off with the Seattle Seahawks. Joe Arpaio, the 82-year-old sheriff of Maricopa County where the National Football League's championship game will be played, held an event on Saturday at which he popped the popcorn and forecast the Patriots will triumph 27-17. He also took a cheeky jab at his favored team over the "deflategate" scandal, in which the Patriots are accused of using under-inflated footballs during their AFC championship triumph against Indianapolis.

Panthers' Davis wins Man of the Year award for off-field work
Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis was named the 2014 Walter Payton Man of the Year on Saturday for his commitment to community service and excellence on the field. Davis won the award over San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Anquan Boldin and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. "This award means a great deal to me, as it symbolises the valued work that the NFL, its players, and its 32 teams do in the community," said Davis.

Golf-Teenager Ko becomes youngest world number one
(Reuters) - Seventeen-year-old Lydia Ko of New Zealand became the youngest golfer to hold top spot in the world rankings by tying for second place at the LPGA season-opening Coates Golf Championship in Ocala, Florida, on Saturday. American Tiger Woods was previously the youngest golfer to become world number one when he did it in 1997 at 21, while Shin Ji-yai held the womens record after reaching top spot in 2010 aged 22. The Korean-born Ko, led by as many as four strokes in the final round but slipped behind after a double-bogey six at the 17th hole as she finished one shot behind winner and good friend Choi Na-yeon of South Korea, who fired a 68.

Seau, Bettis among eight named to Hall of Fame's Class of 2015
By Frank Pingue PHOENIX (Reuters) - The late Junior Seau, who was the heart and soul of the San Diego Chargers' defense, and 12-time Pro Bowl guard Will Shields were elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2015 on Saturday. Joining Seau and Shields were former running back Jerome Bettis, wide receiver Tim Brown, and defensive end Charles Haley. The Class of 2015 will also include former Minnesota Vikings center Mick Tinglehoff, who was the seniors committee nominee, and general manger Bill Polian and longtime executive Ron Wolf as the two choices for the contributors category. ...

Laird leads Phoenix by three, Molinari lands ace
(Reuters) - Scotlands Martin Laird shot a three-under-par 68 to hold off some charging youngsters on Saturday and take a three-stroke lead into the final round of the Phoenix Open. Those shots helped keep him ahead of 22-year-old Japanese Hideki Matsuyama, who birdied the last four holes in a bogey-free 63, and 24-year-old American Brooks Koepka, who fired six birdies for 30 on the back nine in his 64. Former Masters champion Zach Johnson (67) joined them in a tie for second. "This course yields loads of birdies and low scores, like the guys behind me showed today, so if I go out tomorrow and keep firing and keep putting the way I did, hopefully I can get it done." Three players were tied at nine-under, including amateur Jon Rahm of Spain and Arizona State University.

Seau's Hall call puts concussions back in spotlight
By Steve Keating PHOENIX (Reuters) - Domestic violence and deflated footballs have hogged the off field headlines in the Super Bowl buildup but concussions were back in the spotlight on Saturday when Junior Seau was posthumously inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Seau stalked the NFL gridiron for 20 seasons earning 12 Pro Bowl selections and a reputation as a feared and ferocious tackler but on Saturday he entered the Canton, Ohio shrine as a tragic reminder of the price paid for playing a violent sport committing suicide almost three years ago by shooting himself in the chest. Seau is among a handful of current or former NFL players who committed suicide in recent years. "I would like to say there will never be concussions in the NFL but thats not practical given that it is a collision sport but the NFL has done more than any organization I know to manage the risk," Dr. Matthew Matava, president of the NFL Physicians Society told Reuters.

Super Bowl coaches have different styles, but lot in common
By Simon Evans PHOENIX (Reuters) - On the surface, the two head coaches who will face off in Sundays Super Bowl could not be more different. Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots appears a dour, grumpy figure, obsessed with his job and seemingly having little interest in the outside world. The Seattle Seahawks Pete Carroll bubbles with enthusiasm, enjoys a joke and looks comfortable in any company. On the sidelines, the 62-year-old Belichick often hides under a hooded sweatshirt, glowering at the game.

Teen Ko loses title but takes historic top ranking
New Zealand teen star Lydia Ko became golfs youngest-ever world number one Saturday even though she only settled for a share of second at the season-opening LPGA Coates Championship. "Its a big honor to be the world number one," Ko said. Ko eclipsed the age marks of South Korean Shin Ji-Yai, who was the youngest prior womens world number one at age 22 in 2010, and US star Tiger Woods, who was 21 when he ascended to number one for the first time in 1997. "Tiger Woods, hes amazing," Ko said.

Ownership not all Super Bowl fun and games
By Steve Keating PHOENIX (Reuters) - There will be one happy billionaire on Sunday when either Seattle Seahawks owner Paul Allen or New England Patriots counterpart Robert Kraft hoists the Vince Lombardi Trophy as the Super Bowl champion. It is not all fun and games for the 32 National Football League owners who often find themselves in the unwanted public spotlight, facing harsh criticism and personal attacks over their teams and the leagues failures. A string of domestic violence cases involving players has left a stain on several teams and the NFL while concussions remain a contentious issue, casting owners in an uncaring light. For the past 14 years, Dan Snyder, principal owner of the Washington Redskins franchise, has defied calls from activists and journalists to change his teams name and Indian logo to something less "offensive." Even U.S. President Barack Obama has waded into the debate, saying that if he owned the team he would consider changing the name, which American Indians and others have long pilloried as racist.

Scotland's Laird stretches lead at Phoenix Open
Scotsman Martin Laird fired a three-under par 68 and stretched his PGA Phoenix Open lead to three shots despite a charge from Japans Hideki Matsuyama in Saturdays third round. Laird, who began the day with a two-shot cushion, fired six birdies against three bogeys to stand on 13-under 200 after 54 holes with Matsuyama, who fired a bogey-free 63 sharing second on 203 with Americans Brooks Koepka and Zach Johnson. Spanish amateur Jon Rahm shared fifth on 204 with Americans Justin Thomas and Ryan Palmer.

Golf-U.S. PGA Tour Phoenix Open scores
Jan 31 (Infostrada Sports) - Scores from the U.S. PGA Tour Phoenix Open at the par-71 course on Saturday in Scottsdale, Arizona 200 Martin Laird (Britain) 66 66 68 203 Brooks Koepka (U.S.) 71 68 64 Hideki Matsuyama (Japan) 69 71 63 Zach Johnson (U.S.) 66 70 67 204 Justin Thomas (U.S.) 67 68 69 Jon Rahm (Spain) 70 68 66 Ryan Palmer (U.S.) 64 72 68 205 Bubba Watson (U.S.) 65 71 69 Daniel Berger (U.S.) 65 69 71 Kevin Chappell (U.S.) 75 65 65 Ryan Moore (U.S.) 69 67 69 Russell Henley (U.S. ...

Seahawks coach says Chancellor injury scare eased
Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Saturday he expects key defender Kam Chancellor to be ready to play against New England in Sundays Super Bowl despite a late injury scare. "He looked pretty good today," Carroll said after Chancellor took part in the teams "walk-through" practice. Chancellor and teammate Earl Thomas are perhaps the top safety duo in the league, and the versatile, hard-hitting Chancellor is coming off a regular season that saw him finish with 78 combined tackles, an interception, a forced fumble and six deflected passes. Chancellor was hurt on the penultimate play of the Seahawks final full practice on Friday.

Super Bowl is party time - for a hefty price
By Simon Evans PHOENIX (Reuters) - A last-minute ticket to the Super Bowl can set you back over $9,000 on the secondary market and if you want to party all weekend in Arizona, you might want to speak to your bank manager. A host of musicians and celebrities will be holding parties, mostly in Scottsdale, over Super Bowl weekend and not surprisingly organizers are putting a premium on the chance to mingle with the rich and famous. A front stage table at the Rolling Stone party, hosted by Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler was going for $47,900 on Saturday with a general admission ticket just over $1,100. Among the stars holding concerts or fronting parties this week are rappers Macklemore, Snoop Dogg, Pitbull and Lil Wayne, DJ Calvin Harris and actor Mark Wahlberg while a host of former NFL players will be making appearances.

Tight security for Super Bowl 49 footballs
The NFL will keep a tight rein on more than 100 footballs available for use by the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots in Super Bowl 49. The leagues championship spectacular will unfold on Sunday under the cloud of "Deflategate," a probe into whether the Patriots purposely used under-inflated footballs to gain an advantage in their playoff rout of Indianapolis. Dean Blandino, the NFLs head of officiating, said this week that the Super Bowl footballs would be tested before the big game for correct pressure -- as he believes was done properly in the Colts game at Foxborough.

Brady's legacy secure regardless of Super Bowl outcome
By Frank Pingue PHOENIX (Reuters) - Tom Brady will be remembered as one of the National Football Leagues greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game regardless of whether he captures a fourth Super Bowl title with the New England Patriots on Sunday. A win over the Seattle Seahawks would put Brady alongside Hall of Famers Terry Bradshaw and boyhood idol Joe Montana as the only quarterbacks with four Super Bowl rings. A loss would be his third consecutive defeat in the NFLs championship game.

McIlroy in a class of his own in the desert
By Bernie McGuire DUBAI, (Reuters) - Rory McIlroy was in a class of his own on Saturday, seizing a four-shot lead with a six-under-par 66 after the third round of the Dubai Desert Classic. Denmarks Morten Orum Madsen (66), chasing his second European Tour win, was in second place on 200, two ahead of Britains Lee Westwood (69). "I felt like today, for the first time this week, I struggled a little bit but felt like I kept it together nicely and didnt drop any shots on the way in," said the 2009 Dubai Desert Classic winner.

McIlroy leads by four in Dubai
Rory McIlroy gave the field a sliver of hope as he unexpectedly struggled on the back nine of his third round Saturday, but even then he will go into the final day of the Dubai Desert Classic leading by four shots. McIlroy took apart the front nine of the Majlis course with five birdies in his first eight holes, but could add just one more to the tally in his last 10 holes. His three-day total now stands at 20-under par 196, four better than 26-year-old Dane Morten Orum Madsen, who shot a similar bogey-free 66 in the third round. Scotlandâ s world number 34 and the defending champion, Stephen Gallacher will have his task cut out if he wants to join a select club of five players who have won the same tournament three successive times.

Golf-McIlroy in a class of his own in the desert
By Bernie McGuire DUBAI, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Rory McIlroy was in a class of his own on Saturday, seizing a four-shot lead with a six-under-par 66 after the third round of the Dubai Desert Classic. Denmark's Morten Orum Madsen (66), chasing his second European Tour win, was in second place on 200, two ahead of Britain's Lee Westwood (69). "I felt like today, for the first time this week, I struggled a little bit but felt like I kept it together nicely and didn't drop any shots on the way in," said the 2009 Dubai Desert Classic winner.

Major venues will bring back fond memories for Clarke
By Bernie McGuire DUBAI, (Reuters) - Darren Clarke is really looking forward to competing in the British Open and U.S. PGA Championship this year because both venues have a special place in his heart. The Northern Irishman, the favorite to be appointed captain of Europe's 2016 Ryder Cup team, told Reuters in an interview that he always enjoys playing at St Andrews and at Whistling Straits. "I led in the first round of the 2004 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits so I've got fond memories of that effort," said Clarke after missing the halfway cut at the Dubai Desert Classic. "A St Andrews Open is always special as the Home of Golf and this year will be my fifth British Open there so that is something I look forward to very much.

Golf-Major venues will bring back fond memories for Clarke
By Bernie McGuire DUBAI, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Darren Clarke is really looking forward to competing in the British Open and U.S. PGA Championship this year because both venues have a special place in his heart. The Northern Irishman, the favourite to be appointed captain of Europe's 2016 Ryder Cup team, told Reuters in an interview that he always enjoys playing at St Andrews and at Whistling Straits. "I led in the first round of the 2004 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits so I've got fond memories of that effort," said Clarke after missing the halfway cut at the Dubai Desert Classic. "A St Andrews Open is always special as the Home of Golf and this year will be my fifth British Open there so that is something I look forward to very much.

Struggling Woods will be fine in the end, says Clarke
By Bernie McGuire DUBAI (Reuters) - People should not read too much into Tiger Woods' disastrous performance at the Phoenix Open, according to his close friend and fellow former British Open champion Darren Clarke. Clarke himself has struggled since winning golf’s oldest Major in 2011 at Royal St. Georges. The 46-year old Northern Irishman, who is widely tipped to become Europe’s next Ryder Cup captain, has not had a top-10 in 55 events on the European Tour since lifting the Claret Jug.

Laird leads by two at Phoenix Open
Martin Laird posted his second straight six-under 66 to take the lead at the Phoenix Open which will be without both Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson after they missed the cut. It was also his first bogey of the event at the rain-soaked TPC Scottsdale course. Daniel Berger, who is playing on a sponsor exemption, posted a two-under 69 and he stands alone in second place at eight under. Justin Thomas carded a three-under 68 to move into third place at seven-under-par 135.

Teen star Ko seizes lead in Florida
Teen star Lydia Ko birdied five straight holes on the back nine to take a one-stroke lead after the third round of the season-opening LPGA Tours Coates Golf Championship. I just have to stay in that mood," Ko said. Ko, who finished 54 holes at 14-under 202, has five career LPGA Tour wins with three of those coming last year. Amy Yang equalled Kos 65 and jumped into a share of fifth at nine-under.

Hawks beat Blazers for 18th straight win
All-star forward Paul Millsap scored 21 points as the Atlanta Hawks won their 18th consecutive contest with a 105-99 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. Millsap had plenty of help from his fellow all-stars Al Horford and Jeff Teague who finished with 17 and 13 points respectively. The Eastern Conference-leading Hawks havent lost since December 26 in Milwaukee. Atlanta could post a perfect 17-0 month with a win Saturday against Philadelphia, which will end a seven-game home stretch.

Dark day for Woods raises prospect of the 'yips'
By Mark Lamport-Stokes LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Stunned golf fans at the Phoenix Open were left to ponder how the mighty have fallen after Tiger Woods plunged to new depths with the worst score of his professional career in Fridays second round. Looking more like a struggling amateur than the greatest player of his generation, and arguably of all time, Woods was out-of-sorts in every phase of his game as he laboured to a mind-boggling 11-over-par 82 at the TPC Scottsdale. His chipping, in particular, was poor and many pundits are now pointing to Woods, a 14-times major champion once renowned for his magical skills around the green, as being a sufferer of the yips when it comes to that component. Nerves not mechanics." Arron Oberholser, a PGA Tour player who also works as an analyst and commentator for Golf Channel, said: "I think the greatest player that Ive ever seen has the yips.

Laird two ahead at Phoenix Open, Woods shoots 82
(Reuters) - A bogey at the final hole left Scotlands Martin Laird with a two-stroke lead after the second round at a wet Phoenix Open on Friday. On a day that will be best remembered for the worst single round by Tiger Woods in his storied career, an error-riddled 82, Laird used a series of precise approach shots to card a second straight five-under-par 66 at TPC Scottsdale. American Daniel Berger (69) was alone in second place on eight-under, while another tour rookie Justin Thomas (68) was next on seven-under.

Golf-Laird two ahead at Phoenix Open, Woods shoots 82
A bogey at the final hole left Scotland's Martin Laird with a two-stroke lead after the second round at a wet Phoenix Open on Friday. On a day that will be best remembered for the worst single round by Tiger Woods in his storied career, an error-riddled 82, Laird used a series of precise approach shots to card a second straight five-under-par 66 at TPC Scottsdale. American Daniel Berger (69) was alone in second place on eight-under, while another tour rookie Justin Thomas (68) was next on seven-under.

Close encounter? No, it is Pepsi lighting up the Super Bowl sky
By Lisa Richwine LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Fans flocking to the Super Bowl in Arizona will see peculiar lights in the Friday night sky. No, it is not a UFO but part of Pepsi's invasion of host city Phoenix ahead of the big game. The soda maker is aiming to recreate a mysterious 1997 UFO sighting over the city as part of its advertising campaign leading up to Sunday's Super Bowl halftime show with pop singer Katy Perry, which Pepsi is sponsoring. Pepsi focused its Super Bowl promotions on the theme "strange things happen in the desert," an idea inspired by Arizona's long history of purported UFO sightings.

San Francisco 49ers buy stake in Sacramento soccer team
By Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) - The owners of the San Francisco 49ers football team have purchased a stake in Sacramento's minor league Republic soccer club, the second major team to do so this week in an effort to bolster the club's chances of winning major league status. Sacramento sports boosters, including Mayor Kevin Johnson, a former star player with the National Basketball Association's Phoenix Suns, are trying to persuade Major League Soccer to pick the Republic as an expansion team, part of a move to make the state capital into a regional professional sports center.

Boston plans heavy police presence to avoid post-Super Bowl chaos
By Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - Boston officials on Friday said they planned a heavy police presence and travel restrictions in some areas when the New England Patriots play in Sundays Super Bowl, hoping to avert the violence seen following championships a decade ago. "Were not going to allow celebrations to become an excuse for dangerous and illegal behavior in the city of Boston," Mayor Marty Walsh said at a news conference. "Were not going to tolerate public drinking, were not going to tolerate destruction of property." The Patriots face the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl in Phoenix on Sunday.

Woods in 'official' slump as experts express mild surprise
The worst round of Tiger Woods’ professional career was a mild surprise rather than a complete shock to most golf insiders. Woods shot an 11-over-par 82 in the second round at the Waste Management Phoenix Open on Friday, a score that might be stunning to casual observers of the game, but not necessarily to those who have closely observed him. Now for the first time in his career, I am guessing he is concerned in the back of his mind whether he is going to make solid contact, so he is distracted from the target and the execution of the shot." Former British Open champion Ian Baker-Finch said it was too early to write off Woods. Woods has particularly struggled with his chipping since switching instructors from Sean Foley to Chris Como in November.

'Dad-vertising' scores a Super Bowl touchdown
Commercials that cast dads in a positive light are standing out in this years crop of Super Bowl television ads -- alongside cute puppies and a burger-eating buxom blonde. "Youre reaching the last mass audience thats left on TV," said Keith Quesenberry, a professor of marketing and social media at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and an expert on Super Bowl advertising. In a bid to stimulate water-cooler chatter and whip up social media buzz, many ads -- or teasers -- have been posted online in the run-up to Sundays showdown between the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots.