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Michigan to host Manchester United-Real Madrid match

Changing Michigan Stadium to soccer field: Charlie Stillitano, CEO of Relevent Sports, talks about transforming the field at the Big House to host Manchester-United-Real Madrid soccer match in August Manchester United confirmed it will play Spanish giants Real Madrid at Michigan Stadium Aug. 2.

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Michigan to host Manchester United-Real Madrid match

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Zach Parise expecting boos in Thursday return to New Jersey

Posted March 20, 2014

Zach Parise signed a 13-year, $98 million deal with the Wild weeks before his 28th birthday in 2012. (Bruce Kluckhohn/Getty Images)

Minnesota Wild left wing Zach Parise said hes expecting boos from the crowd on Thursday for his return to New Jersey to face a Devils team he helped take to the Stanley Cup in 2012.

Parise told NorthJersey.com that boos are expected, but it would be another thing if the fans at the Devils Prudential Center simply didnt show any sign of emotion to their former captain:

Im expecting it. Its fine. Theyre passionate about their team and its understandable. I guess if they wouldnt even care to acknowledge that I was back, that would be a little different.

Parise, who turns 30 this summer, left the Devils after their loss to the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Finals two years ago, signing with the Wild for one of the biggest deals in league history a 13-year, $98 million contract, dwarfing the one-year, $6 million deal he signed in 2011 with the Devils team that had drafted him in 2003.

The Wild are currently fourth in the Central Division while the Devils are sixth in the Metropolitan Division.

SI WIRE:Blackhawks Patrick Kane out 3 weeks with lower-bodyinjury

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Zach Parise expecting boos in Thursday return to New Jersey

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2014 NBA Playoff Odds: Latest Team Predictions for Season's Stretch Run

Use your (arrow) keys to browse the slideshow Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images Anyone claiming the NBA season is too long should take a good, hard look at the standings for both the Eastern and Western Conferences. If, as some say, the 82-game slog is fraught with too many meaningless contests and ho-hum stretches of uninspired play, how is it that we’ve reached the season’s final month with so much still undecided? Other than a handful of teams that already know their official playoff fates (the Miami Heat are in; the Los Angeles Lakers are out), most clubs’ postseason positioning is still very much up in the air.

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2014 NBA Playoff Odds: Latest Team Predictions for Season's Stretch Run

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Adrian Daters spotlight on Canadiens left wing Thomas Vanek

Thomas Vanek (Christian Petersen, Getty Images)

Spotlight on Thomas Vanek, left wing, Canadiens

When: The Avalanche makes its only visit to the Bell Centre on Tuesday night to face the Montreal Canadiens in Patrick Roys first visit there as a coach.

Whats up: At the trade deadline, Montreal landed one of the bigger fish on the market by acquiring Vanek from the New York Islanders for a conditional second-round draft pick and prospect forward Sebastian Colberg. Many around the league were astonished Vanek came so cheap.

Background: A native of Austria, Vanek played at the University of Minnesota before going to Buffalo out of the draft, and he had several strong scoring seasons with the Sabres. He was dealt by the Sabres to the Islanders for Matt Moulson and more draft picks, but things never really clicked on Long Island and, being a potential unrestricted free agent, was shipped off for what Isles general manager Garth Snow could get which doesnt appear to be much.

Daters take: Entering Saturday, Montreal had lost its first three games with Vanek in the lineup, and he contributed one assist. He has obvious talent, but none of his teams the last few years seem to win much with him around. Rental players are always a risk but, really, the Canadiens didnt take much of a risk to get him. So it was worth a gamble, and assuming the Habs can get into the postseason, this trade might look very good yet for Habs GM Marc Bergevin.

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Adrian Daters spotlight on Canadiens left wing Thomas Vanek

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Its not just Rio catching the carnival spirit

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Posted: March 4, 2014

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Its not just Rio catching the carnival spirit

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ACLU plans to sue Missouri over gay marriage

Jonathan Shorman , The (Springfield, Mo.) News-Leader 11:10 a.m. EST February 11, 2014

Baylor examines their sexual misconduct policy.(Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. The ACLU, on behalf of gay couples throughout Missouri, plans to sue this week for recognition of same-sex marriage.

Stephanie Perkins, deputy director for PROMO, a Missouri gay and lesbian advocacy group, said the litigation seeks to overturn Missouri’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Couples from Kansas City, St. Louis, mid-Missouri and Springfield are included in the suit, which will be filed in state court in Kansas City.

Charles Abernathy, spokesman for the GLO Center in Springfield, said a news conference involving the ACLU litigation has been scheduled at the GLO Center for Wednesday.

Abernathy said that while GLO will be the venue, PROMO is taking the lead on the event.

The litigation comes less than a month after a federal judge struck down Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriage. The ban is similar to Missouri’s prohibition on same-sex marriage.

Missouri voters approved the ban in 2004 71 percent to 29 percent the same year Oklahoma approved its ban. The bans in both states are amendments to the state constitutions.

In his decision, U.S. District Judge Terrence Kern said Oklahoma’s ban violates the U.S. Constitution. Kern ruled the amendment violated the equal-protection clause of the U.S. Constitution, calling the ban “an arbitrary, irrational exclusion of just one class of Oklahoma citizens from a governmental benefit.”

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ACLU plans to sue Missouri over gay marriage

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Hamas launched 28 rocket attacks on Israel in January

Special to WorldTribune.com

TEL AVIV Israels military has assessed that the Hamas regime renewed missile and rocket strikes on Israel.

The Israeli military cited a sharp increase in missile and rocket attacks by Hamas and Palestinian militias from the Gaza Strip. The military said the renewal of strikes began last month.

Israel said its Iron Dome batteries intercepted five Hamas rockets launched from the Gaza Strip in January. /Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images

Since the beginning of 2014, over 28 rockets were launched from Gaza at Israel by Gaza terrorists, the Israeli military said.

In a statement on Jan. 31, the military said rocket attacks during the month were nearly triple those of December 2013. In December, the military cited 10 rocket strikes from the Gaza Strip.

Fourteen of the rockets landed in southern Israel, and five were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, as they were approaching Ashkelon built up areas, the military said. In retaliation to these rocket attacks, IAF aircraft targeted numerous terror sites across the Gaza strip. In addition, at the beginning of January, IAF aircrafts targeted a terror squad during final preparations to launch rockets at southern Israel.

Military sources said Hamas was not directly participating in most of the rocket launches. But they said Hamas was not arresting rocket squads from such militias as Islamic Jihad, Popular Resistance Committees and Al Qaida-aligned militias.

The statement did not explain the sharp rise in attacks. In January 2014, the military targeted two leading rocket commanders identified them as Ahmed Saad and Ahmed Zaanin.

On Jan. 31, Palestinian gunners fired rockets into Israel. The Israel Air Force responded by air strikes that targeted three unidentified men and Hamas training facilities in northern Gaza.

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Hamas launched 28 rocket attacks on Israel in January

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How one gay marriage ruling could rock the South

Jahi Chikendiu / The Washington Post / Getty Images

Mark Herring, pictured in the last weekend before elections in Fairfax, Va., recently changed his opinion of gay marriage and is now fighting his state’s ban on same-sex couples marrying.

By Elizabeth Chuck, Staff Writer, NBC News

He hasn’t even been attorney general for two weeks, and he is already picking a battle that could have repercussions for marriage equality throughout the South.

But Democrat Mark R. Herring, who started in his new post as Virginia’s attorney general on Jan. 11, is no stranger to challenges especially ones that change the political DNA of his state.

Even securing his seat as attorney general was trying: He won a razor-thin election against his Republican challenger in November, marking the first time Democrats swept the top positions on the ballot in the state since 1969.

His latest fight comes in the form of supporting gay rights something he had previously voted against.

On Thursday, Herring announced he had reviewed the state’s ban on same-sex unions, and concluded that the ban was unconstitutional. He said he would support gay couples who have filed lawsuits challenging the ban and if he wins his fight, he will make Virginia the first state in the old Confederacy to allow gay marriage.

Currently, only Washington, D.C., and 17 states allow gay marriage, most of which are in the Northeast.

“After a very careful and thorough analysis, I believe Virginia’s ban on marriage between same-sex couples violates the fourteenth amendment of the United States Constitution, and as attorney general, I cannot and will not defend laws that violate Virginian’s rights,” Herring told NPR’s “Morning Edition” in an interview that aired Thursday.

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How one gay marriage ruling could rock the South

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Jon Wertheim: The great Roger Federer debate; more mailbag

Roger Federer’s blend of skill and grace can still shine through, regardless of his advanced tennis age.

Scott Barbour/Getty Images

MELBOURNE — “Enough. Enough. Enough,” says The Head. “Just stop. You keep talking up Roger Federer, willfully blind to what should be obvious.”

“What are you talking about?” says The Heart, caught off guard.

“He’s 32 years old, barely able to see his prime in his rearview mirror,” says The Head. “He’s won one major in the last 47 months. In the last six months alone, he’s lost to players named Stakhovsky (who?), Delbonis (wha?), Brands (huh?) and Lleyton Hewitt, who’s even older. The thought of him beating Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic in a best-of-five-sets match? Come on. In sports, gods become mortals. You can’t wish it away.”

“You are cold, callous soul,” responds The Heart. “Check that: you are soulless. You are writing off the single greatest talent the sport has known. A great champion and popular –”

“Oh, stop with the honor and dignity and ‘great champion’ good guy talk. Look, Heart, we all like Federer as a figure and a figurehead. This isn’t a personal referendum. It’s about irreversible laws of nature.”

“Fine, Head. I’ll restrict this discussion to tennis. He can still play. The flame may flicker, but there’s still heat. He’s still Roger Federer, endowed with unholy amounts of ability. He still moves gracefully, especially when he’s fully healthy. Did you see his match today against James Duckworth? He hit a half dozen shots that no other player would even conceive of, much less execute. The squash shots, the half-volleys, the — ”

“Okay, okay.”

“Don’t interrupt me, Head. I’m not done. He won 6-4, 6-4, 6-2. Twice as many winners as errors. 89 percent first points won. You keep talking about age 32, like Federer is fit for the glue factory. It was 108 degrees on the court today and, as usual, he barely broke a sweat.”

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Jon Wertheim: The great Roger Federer debate; more mailbag

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Sharon’s Death Draws Israeli, Global Praise, Palestinian Scorn

Photographer: Baz Ratner/AFP via Getty Images

Ariel Sharon, Israeli prime minister from 2001 to 2006, died at 85 today from multiple… Read More

Ariel Sharon, Israeli prime minister from 2001 to 2006, died at 85 today from multiple organ failure after spending eight years in a coma following a stroke. Close

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Ariel Sharon, Israeli prime minister from 2001 to 2006, died at 85 today from multiple organ failure after spending eight years in a coma following a stroke.

Ariel Sharon drew praise from fellow Israelis for fighting to buttress the nations security, respect from world leaders for withdrawing Israeli settlements from the Gaza Strip, and scorn from Palestinians who regarded him as an often brutal antagonist.

Sharon, Israels prime minister from 2001 to 2006, died yesterday at age 85 from multiple organ failure after spending eight years in a coma following a stroke.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu focused on Sharons military career, lauding him as one of the Israeli armys outstanding commanders, who played a key role in the struggle for Israels security throughout the years. He didnt mention Sharons 2005 evacuation of Israeli troops and settlements from Gaza, a policy Netanyahu opposed and one that created a rift between the one-time allies in the Likud party.

President Shimon Peres, who joined the Kadima party after Sharon left Likud and founded it, praised him as a daring leader who knew how to take difficult decisions and implement them.

Palestinian reaction focused on Sharons actions as a military commander, the politician who built settlements in the West Bank and Gaza, and the defense minister that an Israeli government panel said bore indirect responsibility for the 1982 slaughter of hundreds of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.

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Sharon’s Death Draws Israeli, Global Praise, Palestinian Scorn

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