Residents return home after being evacuated due to hazmat incident

Several residents in a neighborhood near Fort Lauderdale were allowed back into their homes Saturday afternoon being after evacuated earlier in the day due a Hazmat incident, according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office.

At about 10 a.m. the sheriff’s office received a call from a resident in the 250 block of Northwest 31 Avenue, who noticed chlorine inside a steel tank he had purchased.

There was minor leakage from the tank and some homes in the area were evacuated as a precaution due to the strong smell.

Traffic was diverted from the area.

By about 1:30 p.m. the Broward Sheriff’s Fire Rescue’s hazardous materials team had secured the scene with assistance from Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue, according to sheriff’s office officials.

No injuries have been reported as a result of this incident.

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Ohio sheriff confronts protesters in football rape case

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (Reuters) – A county sheriff under fire for how he has handled a high school rape investigation faced down a raucous crowd of protesters on Saturday and said no further suspects would be charged in a case that has rattled Ohio football country.

Ma’lik Richmond and Trenton Mays, both 16 and members of the Steubenville High School football team, are charged with raping a 16-year-old fellow student at a party last August, according to statements from their attorneys.

Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla, accused of shielding the popular football program from a more rigorous investigation, told reporters no one else would be charged in the case, just moments after he addressed about 1,000 protesters gathered in front of the Jefferson County Courthouse.

“I’m not going to stand here and try to convince you that I’m not the bad guy,” he said to a chorus of boos. “You’ve already made your minds up.”

The “Occupy Steubenville” rally was organized by the online activist group Anonymous.

Abdalla declined to take the investigation over from Steubenville police, sparking more public outrage. Anonymous and community leaders say police are avoiding charging more of those involved to protect the school’s beloved football program.

The two students will be tried as juveniles in February in Steubenville, a close-knit city of 19,000 about 40 miles west of Pittsburgh.

The case shot to national prominence this week when Anonymous made public a picture of the purported rape victim being carried by her wrists and ankles by two young men. Anonymous also released a video that showed several other young men joking about an assault.

Abdalla, who said he first saw the video three days ago, said on Saturday that it provided no new evidence of any crimes.

“It’s a disgusting video,” he said. “It’s stupidity. But you can’t arrest somebody for being stupid.”

The protest’s masked leader, standing atop a set of stairs outside the courthouse doors, invited up to the makeshift stage anyone who was a victim of sexual assault. Protesters immediately flooded the platform, which was slightly smaller than a boxing ring.

Victims passed around a microphone, taking turns telling their stories. Some called for Abdalla and other local officials to step down from office for not charging more of the people and for what they called a cover-up by athletes, coaches and local officials.

Abdalla then climbed the stairs himself and addressed the protest over a microphone.

Abdalla said he had dedicated his 28-year career to combating sexual assault, overseeing the arrest of more than 200 suspects.

Clad in a teal ribbon symbolizing support for sexual assault victims, Abdalla later told Reuters that he stood by his decision to leave the investigation with local police. He would have had to question all 59 people that the Steubenville Police Department had already interviewed in its original investigation, he said.

“People have got their minds made up,” he said. “A case like this, who would want to cover any of it up?”

(Editing by Daniel Trotta and Eric Walsh)

Internet News Headlines – Yahoo! News

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Josh Brolin Arrested

Academy Award-nominated actor Josh Brolin rang in the New Year with perhaps a bit too much gusto, as ET can confirm that he was arrested for alleged public intoxication on New Year’s Day.

Santa Monica, Calif. police tell ET that Brolin was arrested at 11:30 p.m. on January 1, 2013, but was released a few hours later with no further action being sought by the department.

PICS: Hollywood's Most Memorable Mug Shots

This isn’t Brolin’s first run-in with the law – he was arrested once on a misdemeanor charge of battery in 2004, and once after an alleged bar incident in 2008, but charges were dropped in both cases.

Brolin's next film, Gangster Squad, debuts in theaters on January 11.

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Leukemia patient, family return to renovated LI home after Sandy

The Heckman family sits for the first time together on the front enteranceway of their new restored home.

Wayne Carrington

The Heckman family sits for the first time together on the front enteranceway of their new restored home.

Home makeover, Sandy edition, came to Long Island yesterday.

Steven Heckman, a 6-year-old being treated for leukemia, returned from Disney World with his family to a home salvaged from the ravages of the late October superstorm.

“Wow — that’s nice!” Steven said when he saw his bedroom, redone with a mural of his favorite character, Indiana Jones.

His mom, 29-year-old Danielle Heckman, cried as she stepped out of a white stretch limousine and got her first look at their renovated house in Amityville.

Wayne Carrington

The Heckman family's restored home in Amityville.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a house this beautiful before,” she said.

The ranch-style home took on up to five feet of water that ruined clothes and toys, wrecked the floors and wiring, and destroyed the plumbing.

Volunteers from the local chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry repaired the $150,000 worth of damage and added on a new bedroom for the family’s two girls, Alexa, 9, and Juliana, 3.

“I’m still in shock,” Steven’s dad, also named Steven, said. “All of the words that can describe, ‘This is great,’ is all I can say. This is unbelievable.”

The Heckmans were struggling to keep their heads above water even before the storm hit.

Danielle Heckman had to quit her job to care for him her son, and Steven Heckman is unemployed. They were focused on getting chemotherapy for their son, who needs two years of treatment.

The family had moved into the house, which was once a summer place for Steven’s paternal grandmother, three years before the storm hit. The home was not insured.

The Heckmans thought $8,000 they’d raised for repairs would be enough. But then they discovered that fixing the heating system alone would cost $6,000.

“We were at our wit’s end,” Danielle Heckman said.

The remodeling association’s volunteers – 50 of whom began work the first week of December – worked on eight to 10 houses in the area last year.

“This house had a child in need,” said Art Donnelly, president-elect of the group’s New York City/Long Island chapter.

He learned of the family’s plight through the world’s largest bone marrow donor center, DKMS, or, which is looking for a match for Steven.

“It was one of the many horror stories after Sandy, but different because Steven has such a severe form of cancer,” said Jack Kirkland, a donor recruitment coordinator with the group.

“They needed help to build this house to safeguard their son.”

The volunteers delivered a bigger living room with a 42-inch flat-screen TV over an electric fireplace. They also built a new eat-in kitchen with a marble counter top and a Sub-Zero refrigerator, repaired the patio, and replanted grass.

A surprise extra was new furniture throughout the house.

“The family had no clue,” Kirkland said.

The family had visited Disney World courtesy of the Make a Wish Foundation of Suffolk County. While there, Steven was invited to begin the theme park’s Indiana Jones show with “Lights, camera, action!”

Back home, the family is still in shock by the generosity shown them.

“I’ll never know how to repay them,” Danielle Heckman said.

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Needle reaches the inner groove for Spec’s

In the end, even the almighty Adele and Taylor Swift could not hold back the inevitable.

Spec’s, one of the last great record stores, will close its flagship location in Coral Gables on U.S.1, thus joining once-favored chains like Virgin, Tower and Peaches, locally and abroad, that have withered from Internet shopping.

With the closing, sometime in January after the merchandise is liquidated, 64 years of history becomes memory for countless people who discovered a love of music in the home Martin “Mike” Spector built in 1948 when U.S.1 was but a two-lane road.

The original store, which sold cameras alongside 78-rpm records, was a few blocks south on the highway in South Miami and is now an Einstein’s bagel spot. The present location, opened in 1953 in Coral Gables, lived through the bobby sox era, Beatlemania, disco, punk, hip hop/rap, grunge, electronic dance music and all the format changes including 12-inch vinyl, 45-rpm, reel to reel, 8-track, cassette, compact disc and mp3.

After the first music industry recession in the late 1970s, Spec’s still managed to double in size by breaking through the walls of two restaurants in 1980 on its north side. The original room on the south side of the building would house, first, Spec’s’ VHS movie rentals and sales — Saturday Night at Spec’s! — and, later, one of the most expansive collections of classical music in town.

“It’s the soundtrack of our lives,” said store manager Lennie Rohrbacher, who spent 23 years of his life working at Spec’s, from Clearwater to Coral Gables

Music sales

At its peak, the Spec’s chain grew to some 80 stores in Florida and Puerto Rico. In 1993, annual sales exceeded $70 million. Spec’s went public in 1985 and, in 1998, the Spectors sold to Camelot Music Group, which was acquired by Trans World Entertainment Corp.

Trans World, which did not return several telephone messages, shrewdly kept the Spec’s name attached to the flagship store as goodwill even though, technically, it operated under the company’s retail subsidiary, F.Y.E. (For Your Entertainment).

But those are the cold, hard business facts.

Spec’s was “not like another Eckerd’s,” a drug store chain that also slipped into oblivion amid changing times, said Rohrbacher. “This was part of the community, part of my life. It’s not another store going under.”

Indeed, Spec’s was, first and foremost, a community gathering spot to share a love of music. In the ‘70s and ‘80s Spec’s resembled a makeshift camp site where people would sleep overnight in the parking lot to get the best shot at concert tickets in a pre-Internet world. Spec’s, a hop-skip from the University of Miami’s music school, served as its own music education outlet thanks to a knowledgeable sales staff.

Music education

“The proximity to the UM is prime real estate. Not to have it there will really be different. Even if they didn’t have what I was looking for, the staff was knowledgeable and you were sort of tapping into this knowledge base of people who could turn you on to new music. That’s what I’ll miss about it and the community around the store,” said Margot Winick, an employee at the Coral Gables Spec’s in the mid-1980s when she was a freshman at the UM.

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Beth Am kids learn about organic gardening

The students in Vicky Koller’s fourth grade class at Temple Beth Am Day School recently learned valuable lessons about plants, science and healthy eating at a visit to the 1,000-square-foot vegetable garden at Deering Bay Yacht & Country Club.

Another group of Beth Am fourth graders helped start the garden in 2010, and students at the school continue to visit regularly, contributing at plantings and harvests.

During the field trips they get hands-on experience in seed propagation, butterfly gardening and vegetable planting. Science lessons on insects, pollination, ecology and conservation all take place outdoors. And nature walks introduce the young learners to some of the indigenous wildlife at Deering Bay.

The students also interact with organic farmer and Deering Bay Chef Tim Rowan, Golf Course Groundskeeper Rob Wethy, and volunteers led by Club Member Ethan Shapiro to learn about gardening in South Florida and the Slow Food movement.

During the most recent visit, special guest WSVN-TV Chief Meteorologist Phil Ferro joined the children and their teacher to share his knowledge of the unique weather in South Florida.

At Deering Bay, the program is under the direction of Club Manager Karen Harmon. Among the crops are three types of cabbage, garlic chives, sorrel, cosmos, radicchio, golden beets, lettuce, basil, bok choy, and the newly popular vegetable tatsoi, also called spinach mustard.

To follow the garden’s progress visit the "A Garden on the Bay" blog at


The latest spring trends can be previewed alongside the flora and fauna at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden at 11 a.m. on Jan. 24 at the second annual “Splendor in the Garden” fashion show and luncheon.

Ken Downing, Neiman Marcus’ senior vice president and fashion director, will present “The Best of Spring 2013,” an exclusive runway show of the season’s newest styles. The partnership gathering is co-chaired by Swanee DiMare and Frances Sevilla-Sacasa and the 2013 Fairchild Philanthropy Honorees also will be recognized at the event. The honorees are Maria Alonso, Anne Baddour, Bunny Bastian, Paula Brockway, Terry Buoniconti, Martha Clinton and Jan Risi Field.

Tickets are $250 for preferred seating, $300 for runway seating, and include the champagne reception, seated luncheon, fashion show and awards presentation. Complimentary garden tours are available during the reception.

All proceeds benefit Fairchild’s conservation, science, education, and research programs. To purchase tickets, contact Susannah Shubin at or call 305-667-1651, ext. 3375. You can also visit to find out about the garden’s many classes and other events.


Congratulations to all the winners of the eighth “Quest for Peace” competition held at Miami Dade College/Kendall. Three art students were awarded first place awards of $350 and twelve were given $100 honorable mentions awards.

Presenting the honors at the ceremony were John Adkins, chair of the Arts and Philosophy Department; Ronald Leiberman, president of the Rotary Club of Miami Dadeland Pinecrest; and Ilajean Horwitz, whose ceramics fund the exhibition.

Awards were given in front of the painting "Quest for Peace," by Robert Horwitz in whose memory the event is held.

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“GameStick” Will Be the Size of a USB Memory Stick, Plug into Your TV

When the Ouya game console (scheduled to launch in April) made headlines last year, it was for three reasons. One, its size and price — the $ 99 box, which plugs into a TV, is the size of a Rubik’s cube. Two, its choice of operating system — it runs the same Android OS which powers smartphones and tablets. And three — its rise to fame on Kickstarter, where it shattered records and received millions of dollars in funding not from venture capitalists, but from gamers who wanted to see it made.

Now GameStick, “The Most Portable TV Games Console Ever Created,” is preparing to make a name for itself in exactly the same ways. Except that in some of them, it surpasses the Ouya.

Not even a set-top box

Up to this point, pretty much all home game consoles have been a box that sits on your shelf and plugs in to your TV. (Some PCs even do this these days.)

The GameStick, on the other hand, is about the size of a USB memory stick or a tube of lip balm. It plugs into a TV’s HDMI port, and connects to a wireless controller (or even a mouse and keyboard) via Bluetooth. It “works with any Bluetooth controller supporting HID,” and will come with its own small gamepad, which features twin analog sticks and a slot to put the GameStick itself inside when not in use.

Do we know if it works yet?

GameStick’s creators showed off pictures of a nonworking “Mark 1 Prototype Model,” and posted video of a “Reference Board” actually playing games while plugged into a television. This was a roughly USB-stick-sized circuit board, which lacked an outer case.

The reference unit had wires coming out of it, but the GameStick FAQ explains that on new, “MHL compliant TVs” it can draw power straight from the HDMI port, in much the same way that many USB devices are powered by a USB connection. A USB connector cable will be supplied with GameStick just in case, and “there will also be a power adapter.”

What about the games?

The GameStick reference unit was playing an Android game called Shadowgun, an over-the-shoulder third-person shooter which is considered technically demanding by Android device standards.

GameStick’s creators say “We have some great games lined up already,” and AFP Relax confirms that it has roughly the same internal specs as the Ouya, plus a lineup at launch of about a dozen games including several AAA Android titles.

How much will it cost, and when will it be out?

GameStick is available for preorder now from its Kickstarter page for $ 79. (The price includes the controller as well.) It has an estimated delivery date of April if the project is fully funded — and with 28 days to go, it had more than reached its $ 100,000 goal.

Jared Spurbeck is an open-source software enthusiast, who uses an Android phone and an Ubuntu laptop PC. He has been writing about technology and electronics since 2008.

Linux/Open Source News Headlines – Yahoo! News

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TLC's Best Funeral Ever Preview Clip

Dallas' famed Golden Gate Funeral Home intends to put the "fun" back in funeral.

Best Funeral Ever chronicles the spectacular services put on by the Golden Gate staff who, in keeping with the tradition of African American home-going celebrations, tailor over-the-top ceremonies to the deceased's passion (or profession) to send their clientele off with a bang.

Pics: Whitney Houston's Home-Going Ceremony

Check out an exclusive sneak peek at the incredible send-off for die-hard Christmas lover Greg in the player above!

You can catch Best Funeral Ever when it airs Sunday, Jan. 6 at 10 p.m. on TLC.

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Former parole officer cops to kiddie porn charges

A onetime-senior state parole officer – who oversaw parole officers who supervised sex offenders – pleaded guilty on kiddie porn charges in Brooklyn federal court today, authorities said.

James Leone, 50, was arrested at his Long Island home in September after federal law enforcement agents searched his computer and found graphic photos and videos of children being abused, according to court documents.

Leone pleaded guilty to accessing child pornography with intent to view, confirmed Robert Nardoza, a spokesman for the US Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn.

Before he became a parole officer, Leone worked as a New York City child abuse investigator, according to court documents.

The images Leone downloaded depicted girls ten or 12 years old being sexually abused by their parents and brother, according to court documents.

Leone remains in home detention on $500,000 bond, court documents and Nardoza said.

A woman who answered the phone at Leone’s home in Bethpage said he wasn’t there and said, “I don’t think he’s going to be talking to any reporters today.”

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Franchise show comes to Miami Beach

Entrepreneurs looking to start off a new business in 2013 might find some ideas at Franchise Expo South.

One of the largest franchise shows in the country kicks off Jan. 11 at the Miami Beach Convention Center and runs until Jan. 13. Hundreds of top brands from food to retail concepts will try to attract prospective franchisees for Florida, Latin America and the Caribbean. Businesses looking to expand in South Florida, include Burger 21, McAlister’s Deli, Kiddie Academy, Sign-A-Rama, Cinnabon, EmbroidMe, and Wireless Zone.

This year for the first time, the show will focus on the trend toward mobile franchise businesses. The “GoMobilePavilion” will highlight dozens of mobile franchise concepts, which typically come with lower initial investment and decreased labor costs. Educational sessions will also discuss how to convert a traditional business to a mobile one.

Registration fees vary, but start as low as $5 in advance or $10 on-site. For more information about the show, which is sponsored by the International Franchise Association, visit

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Mobile data says Miami stayed up latest of any city on New Year’s Eve

Go to bed and pull up the covers, New York: Miami is now officially the city that never sleeps.

According to Sense Networks, a company that specializes in mobile location and behavioral targeting data, Miami stayed up the latest of all big American cities on New Year’s Eve this year. Sleepy New York could muster only a fifth-place finish, also falling behind Jersey City and Newark, N.J., and Garland, Texas and. Even Newark managed to prop its eyelids open later than NYC.

The data, based on analysis of mobile location data of residents in the 100 most populated U.S. cities, will come as no surprise to locals who have seen clubbers staggering out into the daylight with all the grace of melting vampires. So what does Miami have that allowed us to snag the no. 1 spot?

“Great weather, great parties and people who love their smartphones,” says Heather Sears, vice president of marketing for Sense Networks (who laments the fact that she rang in 2013 in frigid Boston instead of on a South Florida beach). “People keep their smartphones within arm’s distance 24/7. They’re really, truly addicted. And on New Year’s Eve they’re wishing each other ‘Happy New Year’ and texting and sending photos.”

Other cities that made the Top 10 late night list: Laredo, Tex.; Atlanta; Chandler, Ariz.; Chicago; Houston.

Who crashed the earliest? Sears may have a point about the weather: Anchorage, Alaska, turned in earliest, followed by Riverside, Ga.; Chula Vista and Anaheim, Calif.; and Reno, Nev.

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Samsung and Apple are still the only winners in the mobile market

The duopoly of the U.S. mobile market intensified dramatically in 2012. Despite increased efforts from Motorola, LG (066570), HTC (2498), Nokia (NOK) and Microsoft (MSFT) to gain market share, Samsung (005930) and Apple (AAPL) continue to steal customers away from every other company. During a three-month period ending in November, comScore found that Samsung’s lead in the U.S. smartphone market increased 1.2 percentage points for a controlling 26.9% share. Apple’s smartphone market share grew from 17.1% to 18.5%, gaining 1.4 points following the launch of the iPhone 5. Rounding out the top-five were LG, Motorola and HTC, all of which saw their market shares decrease from August. LG fell 0.7 points to 17.5%, Motorola dropped 0.8 points to 10.4% and HTC’s market share decreased from 6.3% to 5.9%.

[More from BGR: Samsung confirms plan to begin inching away from Android]

[More from BGR: ‘iPhone 5S’ to reportedly launch by June with multiple color options and two different display sizes]

The research firm found that 123.3 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones during the period, an increase of 6% since August. A majority of devices, 53.7%, were powered by Google’s (GOOG) Android operating system, which saw growth of 1.1 percentage points. Apple’s iOS market share increased 0.7 percentage points to 35%.

2012 was a transitional year for Research in Motion (RIMM) and Microsoft. Both companies spent most of the year preparing new operating systems. RIM will unveil its BlackBerry 10 operating system later this month and devices powered by Windows Phone 8 launched this past November. As a result, both companies saw lost share toward the end of 2012; RIM’s BlackBerry platform ranked third with a 7.3% share, down from 8.3% in August, and Microsoft’s operating system dropped 0.6 percentage points to a 3% share of the market.

This article was originally published by BGR

Wireless News Headlines – Yahoo! News

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Connie Britton Emmys 2011 Flashback

Connie Britton had some fun with ET, who complimented her on her glowing appearance, and absolutely shimmering... clavicle?

"Yes, my clavicle always shimmers, and I wake up looking like this."

For those who haven't brushed up on human anatomy, the clavicle is the same thing as the collarbone. And Britton was absolutely rocking it in her sleeveless dress.

See Also: Stars React To Their Golden Globe Nominations

The actress and singer was nominated for her acclaimed role as Tami Taylor on the concluded NBC series Friday Night Lights, and also discussed her then upcoming miniseries, American Horror Story: Asylum.

"I don't sing [on the show], I do a lot of screaming. We have replaced singing for screaming on American Horror Story."

Her role on that mini-series would earn Britton another Emmy nomination the following year. Shamefully, neither of those nods resulted in wins for one of our favorite TV actresses.

See Also: Can Connie Britton Sing? Watch!

Even so, Britton is back to singing on the new ABC series Nashville, and that leading role has even earned her a Golden Globe nomination. You can find out if she wins when the Globes air on NBC, January 13.

To see Britton's entire playful red carpet interview, see the video above.

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City audit shows faulty receipts filed by education officials to Bronx pizzeria

Their story stretched more than the mozzarella.

Education bureaucrats submitted apparently faulty receipts to justify hundreds of dollars of expenses at a Bronx pizzeria and other food purchases made by public schools, an audit found.

City Comptroller John Liu asked city investigators to look into the potentially fraudulent proof submitted after the fact for more than $500 in pizza and Pepsi purchases from Arturro’s Pizzeria in Marble Hill.


Officials in his agency said it wasn’t clear that the receipts were completely fabricated — only that they appeared to be created after the fact to cover-up lousy record-keeping by Ellis Prep Academy and its Department of Education managers.

The allegedly bogus bills were among a host of questionable credit-card purchases uncovered in an audit of five schools and their oversight office.

The review found that a whopping 64 percent of the $133,173 purchases examined were not documented or bid out properly — or weren’t justifiable expenses — including:

• $775 for five Kindles from

• $194 purchase from labeled both as a refrigerator and as movie tickets

• $679 from for sofa beds.

• $1,292 for two dinner events at Calle Ocho Restaurant in The Bronx

The audit looked at only a small sample of the $17.2 million in credit card purchases by schools in fiscal 2011, and was the latest in a string of investigations that found poor oversight by the DOE.

“Greater care and discretion in the use of [credit]-cards is in order before outright waste and abuse ensues,” said Liu.

His office made 13 recommendations for how the DOE can boost its oversight of credit card purchases, 10 of which the agency backed.

A spokeswoman for the schools investigation office did not respond to an email and phone call asking whether it had opened a probe regarding the pizza pie receipts.

A DOE spokeswoman said the agency was told that a probe had already been closed with no positive findings.

“We implemented most of the Comptroller’s recommendations prior to the audit,” she said.

Additional reporting by Gillian Kleiman

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New York real estate investor expands Lincoln Road presence

A New York real estate investment fund continued to expand its presence on Lincoln Road last month, purchasing three storefronts on the prime retail street.

Thor Equities said Thursday that it closed last month on the purchase of 663, 665, and 667 Lincoln Road. The company declined to reveal the purchase price for the 5,000 square feet of retail space. Tenants include Pizza Rustica, So Good Collections and 16 Handles (665).

Thor sees opportunity to attract fashion retailers looking to enter the market. Lincoln has recently seen an influx of international retailers like H&M, Forever 21 and Lacoste.

Joe Sitt, chairman and chief executive of Thor Equities, was one of the first institutional investors to see Lincoln Road’s potential when he started buying property more than five years ago. At the time Sitt says other institutional investors “laughed” because they thought the market was too much of a party town. Sitt has been outbid by some of those same investors on other recent attempts to purchase property on Lincoln.

“Lincoln Road is the hottest retail street in all of Miami and is among the busiest corridors in the world,” Sitt said.

The new acquisitions give Thor Equities a total of 16,000 square feet of retail space in Miami Beach.

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Biker killed in crash on West Flagler Street

Miami police Wednesday afternoon were investigating a fatal motorcycle accident on West Flagler Street.

The accident occurred around 3:30 p.m. when a biker and a vehicle collided near 43th Avenue, just west of LeJeune Road.

The unidentified motorcyclist died on the scene. The driver of the car involved is being questioned by police.

Police are investigating the cause of the crash.

No charges have been filed.

This story will be updated when more details are available.

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Ubuntu se mete en los celulares con un sistema operativo propio

Al igual que otras plataformas que buscan una convergencia entre el mundo móvil y la PC, Canonical confirmó el arribo de su sistema operativo Ubuntu a los dispositivos móviles. Disponible en una primera instancia como una instalación no oficial para la línea de smartphones Nexus 3, la versión de Linux utilizada en más de 20 millones busca posicionarse como una alternativa ante un mercado dominado por compañías como Apple y Google, junto a las propuestas de Microsoft con Windows Phone y Research in Motion con sus teléfonos BlackBerry.

La compañía dio un primer paso en febrero de 2012 con Ubuntu for Android , una distribución para “mejorar” el Android convencional.

La versión actual es un sistema operativo que sólo comparte con Android el uso de sus drivers (ambos están basados en Linux), pero no usa una máquina virtual Java, por lo que los 700.000 programas con las que cuenta Android no estarán disponibles directamente. Ubuntu tendrá su propia suite de aplicaciones, y permitirá la suma de nuevas que estén programadas en HTML5 o sean nativas.

Canonical también planea lanzar un teléfono de diseño propio que llegaría al mercado en 2014, pero no brindó mayores detalles sobre el fabricante involucrado. Los recientes cambios en la interfaz de Ubuntu, denominada Unity, marcaron una tendencia en la distribución hacia la interacción en pantallas sensibles al tacto, y este lanzamiento representa un primer paso de la distribución para ingresar en el mundo móvil de los smartphones y las tabletas.

Las prestaciones de una PC, en un dispositivo de bolsillo

Según Mark Shuttleworth, CEO de Canonical, en un principio esta versión de Ubuntu apunta a los entusiastas de la plataforma, pero con una rápida expansión hacia el resto de los usuarios. “Por primera vez en la historia los usuarios de los teléfonos celulares pueden tener las prestaciones completas que tiene en una PC, y tenemos una ventaja en esto”, dijo el ejecutivo.

Así lo explica Mark Shuttleworth en video, mostrando los gestos que permiten controlar Ubuntu móvil:

El concepto se asemeja a la modalidad presentada por Motorola con su teléfono Atrix , que se convertía en una PC al ser conectado en una base que servía de conexión con un monitor. A su vez, el móvil también podía ser utilizado como una notebook mediante un dispositivo denominado lapdock.

Aún no disponible para su descarga, la presentación formal de Ubuntu para teléfonos ante el público será en la feria Consumer Electronic Show de Las Vegas, en donde LA NACION estará presente para la cobertura de los primeros lanzamientos del año que realizará la industria.

En busca del podio móvil

Con los dispositivos basados en iOS y Android, varias compañías disputan ser la alternativa a las plataformas dominantes. Microsoft busca de la mano de Nokia posicionar a Windows Phone junto a fabricantes como HTC y Samsung. La compañía de Redmond también desea aprovechar la integración con Windows 8 para sacar provecho de su dominio en el mundo de las PC, un segmento en lento retroceso frente a los teléfonos inteligentes y tabletas.

En este punto, la integración entre las PC y los dispositivos móviles también forman parte de los objetivos de Apple, que replicó el exitoso modelo App Store en su línea de computadoras con Mac OS X, utilizado en el iPhone y la tableta iPad, mientras que Google mantiene su apuesta en su plataforma basada en la nube con servicios como Gmail y Drive, entre otros.

Por su parte, Research in Motion presentará su nueva plataforma BB10 , un demorado lanzamiento que tendrá lugar a fines de este mes y con el que busca recuperar el terreno perdido en los últimos años con un renovado teléfono móvil tactil basado en el sistema operativo QNX, utilizado en su tableta Playbook.

Dentro de este pelotón de contendientes también se encuentra Firefox OS , un competidor que más se asemeja a la filosofía de la plataforma de Canonical y que ofrece un sistema operativo basado en el navegador web de la fundación Mozilla. Cuenta con el apoyo de las principales operadoras de telecomunicaciones y apunta a contar con un teléfono de costo accesible para mercados emergentes.

Por su parte, un grupo de desarrolladores responsables de Meego, la plataforma utilizada por Nokia para el N9, se reunieron para presentar a Sailfish OS , un sistema operativo basado en Linux que se encuentra en una incipiente etapa de desarrollo y que planea tener también, al igual que Firefox OS y Ubuntu, un teléfono para mediados de este año.

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Julianne Hough Reveals Horrific Childhood Abuse

Though Julianne Hough is known for her bubbly personality, it turns out not everything in her life has been so charmed.

Julianne covers Cosmopolitan's February issue, where she reveals she suffered mental and physical abuse while living in London as a young girl in order to pursue her dancing career. She attended the prestigious Italia Conti Academy of Arts on a five-year scholarship, along with her brother Derek.

Video: See Hough & Duhamel's Hot Romance in 'Safe Haven'

"While I was in London, I was abused, mentally, physically, everything," she reveals, and it didn't stop there -- she says it got worse when she "started hitting puberty, when I started becoming a woman and stopped being a little girl."

Though Julianne declines to go into the specific details, she does say that she was forced to push out an overly sexual image at a very young age.

"I was 10 years old looking like I was 28, being a very sensual dancer. I was a tormented little kid who had to put on this sexy facade because that was my job and my life. But my heart was the same, and I was this innocent little girl. I wanted so much love," she says. "I was told if I ever went back to the United States, three things were going to happen. One: I was going to amount to nothing. Two: I was going to work at Whataburger. And three: I was going to end up a slut. So, it was like, I can't go back. I have to be this person."

Related: Julianne Hough -- I'm 20 Pounds Heavier Since Dating Seacrest

Julianne of course did return to the United States, where she became a star thanks to her winning performances on Dancing with the Stars.

On a lighter note, Julianne also dishes to the magazine about her relationship with Ryan Seacrest.

"We love what we do. We take pride in giving it our all, but then when we're alone, we really focus in on going to dinners and being extra-romantic and affectionate and just being there for each other," she says.

And clearly, the two know how to keep the sparks alive -- Julianne recalls when the two were stranded and alone during Superstorm Sandy in New York, and took advantage of the rare time the two workaholics couldn't work.

"It was great," says Hough, smiling. "We put on some candles, had some sexy time....Ha!"

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Cop shoots man near Brooklyn Technical High School after he lunged at him with scissors

Police shot and seriously wounded a 40-year-old man who charged at him with scissors in a building across the street from Brooklyn Technical HS in Fort Greene, according to authorities and sources.

The gunfire broke out just before 3:22 p.m. inside the apartment building 48 Fort Greene Place, between Lafayette and DeKalb avenues, authorities said.

Law-enforcement sources said the cop, who was alone, had been on his way to traffic court when a frantic person approached him and asked for help, saying there was a man wielding a sharp object.

The cop then went to 48 Fort Greene Place, where he confronted that hulking, 260-pound man, identified as Keary Green, who was wielding a pair of scissors, sources said.

When Green allegedly unged at the cop, the officer fired a single round, hitting the man in the stomach, the source said.

Green was rushed to nearby Kings County Hospital.

"All I heard was a gunshot," said Thomas McCormick, who lives several doors away from 48 Fort Greene Place. "I looked out the window, and the whole block was locked down. They dragged someone into an ambulance, and they took off down the block."

Residents of the block described Green as violent, and said his girlfriend lived in the building where he was shot.

"He was crazy! She was afraid of him," said a long-time resident of the block about Green and his girlfriend.. "He looked crazy . . . like he shouldn't be on the streets.

"She always looked scared," said the resident about Green's girlfriend.

"He was physically, mentally, verbally abusive. She know him from living on Long Island," the resident said. "I think they went to high school together. She knew him for some time . . . I think he tried to reel her back or something. He was just an abusive guy. He just looked crazy!"

Students from Brooklyn Technical were being dismissed from the school at the exit a block away from the shooting scene.

The officer involved in the shooting was transported to Methodist Hospital, but it is not known if that officer was injured in the incident.

Additional reporting by Larry Celona, Amy Stretten, Amber Sutherland and C.J. Sutherland

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Portion of Macy’s Flagler Street property sold

In a deal that could have implications for the future of Downtown Miami’s anchor retail tenant, a New York real estate investment firm paid $15.5 million to acquire about 60 percent of the property that now houses Macy’s Flagler Street store.

The acquisition by Aetna Realty Group includes the 48,000-square-feet of land that was first leased to R.W. Burdine back in 1917 for the Burdines store. The property was currently owned by 23 heirs of Richard and Harriet Ashby, who signed the initial 99-year lease with Burdine.

The sale was motivated by the impending expiration of that lease in 2016, said Lewis R. Cohen, a shareholder at GrayRobinson, who represented the Ashby family in the transaction that closed on New Year’s Eve.

Over the years, Macy’s has grown the downtown store well beyond the Ashby portion. Aetna has also made a commitment to purchase the remaining portion of the building that is currently owned by Macys, Cohen said. But that deal hasn’t closed yet.

“That deal is a sure thing,” Cohen said. “They could not have closed with us without having an agreement with Macy’s completely nailed down.”

Macy’s spokesman Jim Sluzewski said this transaction doesn’t impact Macy’s lease and he declined to comment on any other pending transaction regarding the property the retailer owns in Downtown Miami.

“It’s business as usual,” said Sluzewski, who would not discuss Macy’s long-term plans for Downtown Miami beyond the expiration of its lease.

But Cohen said Macy’s is in the process of finalizing a short-term deal with the new owners.

“They intend to stay for at least the foreseeable future,” Cohen said. “For a minimum of five years they’ll be there and possibly longer.”

Macy’s long-term future on Flagler Street has been in doubt since 2007, when then Macy’s Florida chairman took city leaders to task for the deplorable conditions downtown and threatened that the retailer might leave.

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Possible future Israeli ambassador holds two countries in his heart

In Israel, he’s already known as “Bibi’s Brain:’’ Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu’s master strategist.

But Ron Dermer, 42-year-old Miami Beach native, now Israeli citizen — the son of one Miami Beach mayor and brother of another — could soon add an official title to his resume: Mr. Ambassador.

Dermer is reportedly Netanyahu’s choice for Israeli ambassador to the United States to replace Michael Oren, who plans to step down in the spring after four years.

A political conservative with close ties to powerful American Republicans, Dermer would become Israel’s top diplomat in the United States, a position requiring the ability to represent his country’s interests across U.S. party lines.

Netanyahu’s office hasn’t commented on the reports. A spokesman for the Israeli consulate in Miami could not confirm the possible appointment, nor could Dermer’s older brother, former Mayor David Dermer, who called any speculation “premature.’’ A spokesman for the Israeli embassy in Washington told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the rumor was “baseless.’’ In any case, the Netanyahu government would have to survive a Parliamentary election later this month.

An Oxford-educated scholar-athlete who holds degrees in finance and management from the University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious Wharton School, and who quarterbacked Israel’s flag football World Cup team three times, Dermer is known as smart, polished, and so competitive that “he wouldn’t let a 3-year-old beat him at Ping-Pong,” friend Tom Rose, former Jerusalem Post publisher, once said in an interview.

Dermer “cannot abide anybody being better at him than anything, particularly physically,” Rose said.

The mere speculation that Dermer might be named seemed to thrill South Florida politicians from both parties.

“It’s wonderful — one of our own being Israel’s ambassador to the U.S.,” said U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami, who knows Dermer. “It is just terrific. He is American as apple pie yet Israeli at heart as well. It is a good fit. He is very much a proud Miami Beach guy — very proud of his hometown.”

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic National Committee chairwoman, said she met Dermer as part of a Congressional delegation to Israel in 2010. Dermer was the staff person who sat next to Netanyahu as they discussed the peace process, she said.

“It was just neat to see someone reach the heights he has — he hails from South Florida and comes from a political family here,” she said. “It made the connection and conversations with the prime minister really just that much more warm and intimate.”

U.S. Rep. Ron Klein, D-Boca Raton, said that the job Dermer holds now — working behind the scenes and with the White House — is very different from being ambassador to the United States, which would require him to directly address Americans in speeches and through the media.

“Ambassador to the U.S. is the most high-profile diplomatic position in Israel,” Klein said. “It requires a tremendous amount of savvy and style that Americans can relate to.”

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Four Android productivity apps you should use in 2013

Happy New Year! Like most folks, I am working on some resolutions for 2013. One resolution I have is to be more productive. One way I am going to do this is by using my Android phone better. Now there are apps that I have, but really have not used to their fullest. As I work on this resolution, I might discover even better apps. For now I will focus on these impressive apps that can make anyone more productive.

I use Hootsuite on the computer, but rarely find myself engaging with it on my smartphone. With Hootsuite, you can manage Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Foursquare accounts. The free version allows for up to five accounts and one member of your team to access the account. There is a pro version with a monthly fee, in which you can have more accounts and team members and helpful analytics tools.

The design of the app is very good. If you sync the web version to mobile, you will have everything automatically downloaded to the phone. When viewing content, you swipe left or right to change columns or streams. If you are in the middle of a stream, simply tap the top menu bar to automatically return to the top. The app allows for multiple profiles and scheduled tweets. My goal is to keep up with my feeds and tweets in real-time rather than waiting until I get to a computer.

Another web service that I started to use, but find myself not using it to the fullest. Producteev is a web-based task management service. With Producteev you can work as an individual or in a team by setting up workspaces and then organize tasks by labels. For each task you can assign a priority, due date, and share with team members, if you have any. Overall, this is a great service, since I like making lists, even though I rarely remember having made them.

The Producteev app is available for all platforms. The app has a very clean interface and is easy to find tasks. Probably the best way to keep up with tasks is to use the different widget for the home screen. Seeing the widgets will help keep those key tasks in the forefront of your mind. The app will work offline and syncs in the background.

 Four Android productivity apps you should use in 2013I read blogs every single day, especially those related to new apps, Android, or mobile news. The only way I can do that is via my Google Reader. I find myself trying to catch up each day on the computer (just like with Twitter activity) when I would be better off reading a little bit over time during the day. NewsRob is a Google Reader that I have had for years. The interface is very clean and easy to use. The developer created a bunch of customizations options, which really make this reader stand out.

With NewsRob you can set up a notification of new articles, how you synchronize with Google and when, how many articles to keep in your cache, and more. If you set up folders within Google Reader, NewsRob will download the folders, too. This enables you to read the posts by blog or folder. The app provides a very clean blogpost display optimized for smaller screens. With each post you can zoom in or out, mark a post read or unread, view in the browser, and share the link to email or services such as Evernote. There is a free version of the app.

The last task I need to work on to be more productive is to keep up with the calendar. I find myself checking on the computer, after the fact, finding out that I am either late or forgot about a meeting or appointment. Using Google calendar is a good place to start, but I have not found the standard calendar app on my Droid was all that helpful.

Business Calendar is a very capable calendar app that has a ton of features. The app lets you view your calendar in a number of different views, and has search and favorite-calendar features, to name a few. The option of viewing different calendars, color coding and being able to easily add, delete, and edit events is helpful. The ability to use widgets for reminders is important. The pro version has over 10 different sizes and allows for the import or export of calendar files in the iCalendar format. Business Calendar also has a free version.

So my top goal or resolution for 2013 is to be more productive. I think using these apps more will help me accomplish that goal. Are there any apps you have but not using to their fullest? What resolutions do you have for 2013?

Download the Appolicious Android app

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Taylor Swift Harry Styles New Years Eve Kiss

Taylor Swift and Harry Styles had equally amazing 2012's, and they kissed good-bye to the preceding 365 days together in Times Square last night.

After singing on ABC's New Year's Rocking Eve, Swift and Styles braved the crowds to watch the ball drop. And to the hordes of fans who'd gathered to count down to midnight, "Haylor's" ensuing smooch ended up being more captivating than all the twinkling lights in the sky.

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Fiscal cliff deal, approved by Senate, runs into opposition in House

WASHINGTON – A Senate-passed bill to keep the country from going off the fiscal cliff ran into trouble in the House today, as Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor came out against the deal.

"I do not support the bill,” Cantor said as he left a closed closed-door meeting of Republicans about the deal negotiated between Vice President Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

The Senate passed the deal by a wide margin just after 2 AM today, two hours after the country technically went over the fiscal cliff, when tax hikes and billions of spending cuts took effect.

With just hours left to try to act on the deal before financial markets open Wednesday morning, the House had yet to even schedule a vote.

“The Speaker and Leader laid out options to the members and listened to feedback,” said Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck. “The lack of spending cuts in the Senate bill was a universal concern amongst members in today’s meeting.”

“Conversations with members will continue throughout the afternoon on the path forward,” Buck said.

Rank and file Republicans complained about the deal’s lack of spending cuts.

“I’d be very surprised if the House passed what the Senate passed in the middle of the night – very surprised,” said Rep Steve King (R-Iowa) told the Post.

“I would be shocked if the bill doesn’t go back to the Senate” with spending cuts, said Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.).

Any changes made by the House would have to be matched by the Senate, and could scuttle the deal. But Republicans also cautioned against putting “poison pills” into the deal.

House Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi tried to hold House Republicans’ feet to the fire.

“Our Speaker has said when the Senate acts, we will have a vote in the House," she said. "That is what he said, that is what we expect, that is what the American people deserve…a straight up-or-down vote."

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Housing, jobs key to lifting S&P toward record

With it appearing that Washington lawmakers are working their way past the “fiscal cliff,” many analysts say that the outlook for stocks in 2013 is good, as a recovering housing market and an improving jobs outlook helps the economy maintain a slow, but steady recovery.

Reasonable returns in 2013 would send the S&P 500 toward, and possibly past, its record close of 1,565 reached in October 2007.

A mid-year rally in 2012 pushed stocks to their highest in more than four years. Both the Standard & Poor’s 500 and the Dow Jones industrial average posted strong gains in 2012. Those advances came despite uncertainty about the outcome of the presidential election and bouts of turmoil from Europe, where policy makers finally appear to be getting a grip on the region’s debt crisis.

“As you remove little bits of uncertainty, investors can then once again return to focusing on the fundamentals,” says Joseph Tanious, a global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Funds. “Corporate America is actually doing quite well.”

Although earnings growth of S&P 500 listed companies dipped as low as 0.8 percent in the summer, analysts are predicting that it will rebound to average 9.5 percent for 2013, according to data from S&P Capital IQ. Companies have also been hoarding cash. The amount of cash and cash-equivalents being held by companies listed in the S&P 500 climbed to an all-time high $1 trillion at the end of September, 65 percent more than five years ago, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Assuming a budget deal is reached in a reasonable amount of time, investors will be more comfortable owning stocks in 2013, allowing valuations to rise, says Tanious.

Stocks in the S&P 500 index are currently trading on a price-to-earnings multiple of about 13.5, compared with the average of 17.9 since 1988, according to S&P Capital IQ data. The ratio rises when investors are willing to pay more for a stock’s future earnings potential.

The stock market will also likely face less drag from the European debt crisis this year, said Steven Bulko, the chief investment officer at Lombard Odier Investment Managers. While policy makers in Europe have yet to come up with a comprehensive solution to the region’s woes, they appear to have a better handle on the region’s problems than they have for quite some time.

Stocks fell in the second quarter of 2012 as investors fretted that the euro region’s government debt crisis was about to engulf Spain and possibly Italy, increasing the chances of a dramatic slowdown in global economic growth.

“There is still some heavy lifting that needs to be done in Europe,” said Bulko. Now, though, “we are dealing with much more manageable risk than we have had in the past few years.”

Next year may also see an increase in mergers and acquisitions as companies seeks to make use of the cash on their balance sheets, says Jarred Kessler, global head of equities at broker Cantor Fitzgerald.

While the number of M&A deals has gradually crept higher in the past four years, the dollar value of the deals remains well short of the total reached five years ago. U.S. targeted acquisitions totaled $964 billion through Dec. 27, according to data tracking firm Dealogic. That’s slightly down from last year’s total of $1 trillion and about 40 percent lower than in 2007, when deals worth $1.6 trillion were struck.

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Disbarred Miami lawyer charged with selling guns stolen from Iraq’s Hussein family

Federal prosecutors in New Jersey have charged a disbarred Miami-area lawyer and three other people with hatching a scheme to sell a cache of stolen guns that once belonged to the family of the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Prosecutors say David Ryan, 48, a one-time personal injury lawyer from Pinecrest, obtained at least seven guns that had been smuggled out of Iraq and then tried to sell them, with the help of others, through a New Jersey sporting goods store. Officials with Iraq’s embassy in Washington confirmed that the guns had been taken from Iraq, and that they are considered property of the Iraqi government, court records show.

Two of the pistols in the arsenal are stamped with the initials “Q.S,” believed to be the initials of Qusay Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti, the second son of Saddam Hussein and the one-time heir to Hussein’s seat. Qusay Hussein was killed by U.S. soldiers in a raid in Mosul, Iraq, in July 2003.

Also among the weapons: A Chinese-made pistol with the flag of Yemen on the grip, two German pistols with gold inlay and two Cosmi 12-gauge shotguns.

Ryan and three other men were arrested Dec. 19 on charges of conspiracy to transport stolen firearms and conspiracy to sell stolen property Ryan also was charged with unlawfully mailing firearms. He was released on $250,000 bail.

Ryan’s lawyer, Miami attorney Edward O’Donnell IV, said Ryan believed the guns had been obtained legally, and he believed his attempts to sell the guns were legitimate. O’Donnell said Ryan showed the guns to a licensed firearms dealer in Miami, and he shipped them to New Jersey through a licensed dealer.

“The people he got them from are not criminals,” O’Donnell said. O’Donnell would not say how Ryan obtained the guns, and the arrest report does not provide details about Ryan’s acquisition of the weapons.

Investigators with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms said Ryan first contacted a Pittsburgh man, Karlo Sauer, last spring seeking an appraisal of the guns and e-mailing Sauer photographs of the weapons, which were stored somewhere in Florida, court records show. Sauer then contacted two New Jersey men, Howard Blumenthal and Carlos Quirola, who in turn tried to find buyers for the weapons last summer.

ATF agents then learned of the scheme and used undercover informants to try to set up a deal to buy the guns for $160,000, court records show.

Ryan then shipped six of the guns by mail from Miami to the sporting goods store in Ridgefield., N.J., and flew to New York on July 17 to try to close the deal, investigators said. Ryan later told one of the informants that he was “100 percent, absolutely, completely and totally positive that these guns are from Iraq,” and Ryan said they had been appraised at more than $1 million, according to the arrest report.

According to the arrest report, Blumenthal and Quirola both acknowledged to ATF agents that they knew the guns had been stolen or taken out of Iraq without proper approval.

When ATF agents interviewed Ryan on Aug. 7, he gave them a seventh gun from the same weapons cache, which he retrieved from Security Arms International gun store, 13981 S. Dixie Hwy. in Palmetto Bay, according to the arrest report.

Ryan worked as an attorney for 13 years until 2010, when he was disbarred by the Florida Supreme Court after auditors found that he had misused money he held in a trust account for his clients, records show. Ryan also filed for bankruptcy protection in 2010, but his petition was dismissed after he failed to submit follow-up paperwork, court records show.

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Sony No Longer Shipping PlayStation 2 in Japan

You may have grown up with it. Your children may have, too.

Sony‘s PlayStation 2 home game console, released in 2000, was one of the most popular game consoles of all time, rivaled in sales only by the different kinds of Nintendo DS handheld console. It continued to be sold new on store shelves until just recently, even years after Sony launched its PlayStation 3 successor.

Now, however, Sony’s sent out its last shipment of new “PS2″ consoles for the Japanese market, according to Japanese gaming news site Famitsu (as reported by Polygon’s Emily Gera). Some other regions are continuing to receive shipments for now, but the heart of the PlayStation 2 phenomenon has finally stopped beating.

A gaming legend

Japanese PlayStation fans saw thousands more titles released in their language than English-speaking players. The PlayStation 2 was especially well-known for its role-playing games, such as the MMORPG Final Fantasy XI, which was designed so closely around the PS2′s capabilities that its Windows PC version uses almost entirely the same graphics and controller-based interface.

New PS2 games continue to ship; Final Fantasy XI is even getting a full-fledged, retail-boxed expansion pack this March. It’ll only support the PS2 in Japan, however, where dedicated players continue to use the original “fat” PS2 consoles with the hard drive expansion slot. Internationally, it will only support the PC and Xbox 360.

PS2 games in a post-PS2 world

The first PlayStation 3 consoles — infamous for the silence which ensued at the Sony event where their price at launch was announced to be “599 U.S. dollars” — were backwards-compatible with the vast majority of PlayStation 2 and original PSOne games. Sony achieved PS2 backwards compatibility, however, by including the PS2′s actual “Emotion Engine” and “Graphics Synthesizer” chips inside each PS3, essentially making it two game consoles in one (and helping to drive up that launch price).

A redesign bumped down the price some, but at the cost of removing the Emotion Engine chip, which caused the redesigned PS3 consoles to sometimes have bugs or fail to play certain games. Today’s PS3 consoles lack both chips, which means that while they play PSOne games just fine, they don’t support PS2 game discs at all and can’t be upgraded to do so.

The legend lives on?

Sony has made HD remakes of certain PS2 titles, and republished others for the PS3 under the “PlayStation 2 Classics” brand. Dozens of such titles have been re-released as digital downloads in the PlayStation Network store.

This method of playing a PS2 game on the PS3, however, involves essentially buying the game again (assuming that it’s even in the store), sort of like Sony’s method of playing PlayStation Portable games on the Vita. Even rebuying the games for the PS3 doesn’t ensure continued playability on modern Sony consoles; the upcoming “PlayStation 4″ (not its actual name) reportedly won’t be able to play games made for the PS3.

Jared Spurbeck is an open-source software enthusiast, who uses an Android phone and an Ubuntu laptop PC. He has been writing about technology and electronics since 2008.
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Somber farewell for man pushed to his death in subway

Friends of the hardworking, humble immigrant shoved to his death last week in front of the 7 train by a Muslim-hating madwoman today gathered for an emotional farewell in Queens at the Coppola-Migliore funeral home in Flushing.

Sunando Sen, 36, was remember as a man of “quiet strength” by Lorcan Otway, a lawyer and longtime friend, who noted that Sen years ago left Bangladesh to escape oppression, and was involved in human rights issues here, helping Hindus.

Sen’s mentally ill alleged killer, Erika Menendez, 31, has told cops she pushed Sen because she hates Muslims and Hindus.

Matthew McDermott

Farewell for subway push victim Sunando Sen.

“He didn’t have a hateful bone in his body,” Otway said of Sen. “He approached everything with a calmness. The remarkable man he was should teach us a lesson. I wish people could know the greater loss to the community.”

Sen’s body, wrapped in cloth and covered with flowers, lay in a blue-grey casket. Sarker and others recited traditional prayers, chanted and burned incense. They put bananas and rice in his casket, followed by yogurt and milk – a sendoff ritual meant to give Sen what he needs as he travels into the next world, friends said.

Sen had no family here, and his parents in India have died. But he fashioned a family from the friends he made in New York, said Bidyut Sarker Sen’s boss at the Manhattan print shop where he’d worked for 15 years.

"I feel like I lost a family member. The neighborhood, the shop, was his family,” said Sarker, who helped pay for Sen’s burial. “Customers are coming in and crying. "

Sen, whom friends said had recently opened his own printing shop on Amsterdam Avenue, was “a gentleman” and exceptionally smart. He got a scholarship to New York University and earned a master’s degree in economics, and was trying for a PhD at Columbia before dropping out because he couldn’t afford it, friends said.

Sen taught himself graphic design, Sarker said, and was “extraordinarily talented,” Otway noted.

“He was working well below his education,” Otway said.

Sen’s body was cremated at a cemetery after the ceremony.

Meanwhile yesterday, police said they were called by Erika Menendez’s family members at least five times prior to last Thursday’s train-shoving because Menendez had gone off her prescribed meds.

Menendez is being held without bail. She has replaced her court-appointed lawyer Queens lawyer Joseph DeFelice. He did not return calls.

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Florida colleges a bargain, says Kiplinger

Though Florida’s in-state tuition costs more than double what it did only a decade ago, many of the state’s public universities are still a good value, according to the latest annual “Best Values in Public Colleges” list compiled by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.

Florida schools have long fared well in the magazine’s rankings, with this year being no exception. Six of Florida’s 12 state schools made the top 100, with two — the University of Florida and New College of Florida in Sarasota — keeping their place in the top 10, though both schools slipped slightly from their spots a year ago.

UF landed at No. 3 in this year’s rankings, down from No. 2 last year. New College, meanwhile, slipped two spots from No. 5 to No. 7.

In the case of both schools, Kiplinger’s praised what it described as a combination of strong academics and relative affordability. Though Florida’s price of tuition keeps rising, it is still among the lowest in the country — 40th out of 50 states, according to the College Board.

Kiplinger’s also noted UF’s strong retention rate.

“Students stick around, with only 5 percent leaving after freshman year,” the magazine wrote. “And although Florida is a big school — with 16 colleges, more than 150 research centers and institutes, and the largest undergraduate enrollment in our top 10 — it’s still selective, with a 43 percent admittance rate.”

New College is the complete opposite of UF in terms of size (it enrolls less than 850 students) but Kiplinger’s found it also offers “solid academics” along with the lowest total cost of attendance — $16,181 — of any of the top 10 schools. That figure combines the $6,783 annual tuition and fees with other college expenses such as room and board.

Lower in the Kiplinger’s rankings, four other Florida schools were also recognized. Florida State University came in at No. 26, the University of Central Florida landed at No. 42, the University of South Florida was No. 57 and the University of North Florida was No. 64.

Braulio Colón, executive director of the Florida College Access Network, said Florida families looking for a tuition bargain shouldn’t limit their search to state universities. Florida’s community colleges, Colón said, are high-quality, cost about half as much as state universities, and boast a guaranteed-transfer agreement that is the envy of many other parts of the country. Students who earn an associate in arts degree from a Florida community college are guaranteed admission to a state university, though it may not be to the student’s preferred school.

Long term, Colón said, Florida must overhaul its student financial aid system if it wants to maintain college affordability. The state’s largest college aid program is Bright Futures scholarships — some of which are awarded to affluent families who could afford to pay for college on their own. Helping students with demonstrated need must become more of a priority, Colón said, or college costs could eventually spiral out of reach for some families.

“We are at a turning point, right now, as a state,” Colón said.

To see the Kiplinger list go to:

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Manhunt continues for Miami man suspected of killing ex-girlfriend

Miami police detectives on Sunday were still looking for the man suspected of killing his ex-girlfriend outside a Little Havana drugstore Friday afternoon.

Investigators said Ifrain Quintana is armed and extremely dangerous. Quintana is believed to be driving a 2001 Blue Ford Explorer with a Florida tag.

Quintana is wanted for questioning in the daylight shooting of Ariadna Gonzalez Campa, 42.

Police said Quintana confronted Gonzalez on Friday afternoon along Southwest Fifth Street and Eighth Avenue, taunted her then shot her multiple times in front of La Milagrosa drugstore.

Among those urging him to turn himself in is his mother, Katileydi Quintana, who on Saturday made an emotional plea on Miami Herald’s newspaper CBS4 for him to come forward.

“Turn yourself in,” she told him over the phone. “Call me.”

He said Quintana acted out of jealousy and Quintana’s mother agreed.

“You did it out for love. For love...” Katileydi Quintana said.

Quintana said her son needs psychiatric help.

Gonzalez’s 19-year-old son waited for word about his mother shortly after she was rushed to the Jackson Memorial Hospital. The young man broke down on the sidewalk when police told him his mom didn’t make it.

“I want justice for the man who did this,” he told CBS 4

Anyone who sees the suspect or has information about the shooting should call Crime Stoppers at 305- 471-8477.

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ET Flashback: Eddie Murphy Talks '48 HRS.'

"Roxaaaaanne!" After getting raves for his hilarious sketch comedy on Saturday Night Live in the early '80s, Eddie Murphy turned the spotlight on a movie career in 1982 with his first big-screen effort: 48 HRS. ET's Mary Hart sat down with the funnyman in the days before the movie broke big with a revealing interview in which he got candid about stepping out of his comfort zone and getting serious onscreen.

Video: Eddie Murphy's Funny Friends Honor Actor

"I'm looking forward to the movie coming out, and if my acting looks bad in the movie, which I don't think it will, I'm covered: It's like, 'Well, his forte is in comedy,'" he said with a laugh, adding faithfully, "If you're in a catatonic state, [director Walter Hill] can go in the editing room and make you win awards."

Released 30 years ago this month, the sidesplitting action-comedy finds Eddie in fine form as Reggie Hammond, a man doing time for a robbery who is plucked from behind bars to help hard-edged cop Jack Cates (played by Nick Nolte) nab a pair of vicious cop killers. The pair have 48 hours to get the bad guys -- if they don't kill each other first!

Comparing Nolte to a "big brother," Eddie complimented, "Nick's a great guy to work with and a real good actor, real intense actor -- he makes you act."

Video: Emmy Flashback: Eddie Murphy '83

Of course, Eddie's outdoor interview had its share of sidetracked comedic moments, not to mention his trademark laugh, and a few moments in which he poked fun at Mary. Distracted at one point, he observed, "You see those two butterflies just now, trying to get with it?" Watch and enjoy a slice of the veteran comedy star in his prime: humble and hilarious.

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MetroNorth train hits car, halting Connecticut service

REDDING, Conn. — Metro North train service has been suspended on the Danbury line following a train accident involving a car.

A Metro North spokesman said the train struck a car in Redding on Sunday afternoon. The train had no passengers and there was no information about whether there were injuries involving the car.

Bus service will ferry passengers between Danbury and South Norwalk.

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Week brings startup launches, social media advice for 2013

Jared Kleinert, a South Florida entrepreneur, plans to soon launch Synergist, a platform that allow social entrepreneurs to meet potential co-founders online, collaborate and crowdfund their new projects. He also just launched AliveNDead, a blog about risk-taking, and he interns for a Silicon Valley startup.

And when he’s not doing all that, he’s going to class — he’s a junior at Spanish River High School in Boca Raton.

Lester Mapp is CEO and founder of the new Miami-based startup called designed by m. His team has just designed a sleek, ultra-thin aluminum iPhone bumper and launched the project on Kickstarter. After just a few days, Mapp is already more than a third of the way to his $20,000 fund-raising goal.

Read about both these entrepreneurs on The Starting Gate blog, where there’s also a post on the most pressing issues facing small businesses in the coming year — taxes, healthcare, lending and a skilled worker shortage, for starters.

And as you are ringing in the New Year, you may be resolving to beef up your business’ social media strategy. Susan Linning's guest post offers five top tips for boosting your social media effectiveness. Among them: Go beyond retweets and make your posts original, fun and personal (but not too personal.) Use visuals, too. Find this and other news, views and tools for entrepreneurs on the blog, which is at the bottom of /business.

Follow me on Twitter @ndahlberg and Happy New Year to all.

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