Police investigating ‘suspicious’ death of elderly woman in Miami home

Police are investigating details surrounding the death of an elderly woman found inside her home near midtown Miami.

Shortly after 4 p.m. Friday, Miami Police officers went to the home of Carmen Diaz, 78, whose adult son decided to visit her after not hearing from her in a few days, according to a news release. When he arrived, he found Diaz dead inside her home of 50 years at 120 NW 34 St.

Miami Police spokeswoman Kenia Reyes said although the death appeared “somewhat suspicious,” the department isn’t releasing details until the county medical examiner determines the cause of death.

WSVN-Channel 7 reported that the adult son found Diaz’s house ransacked and her body wrapped in a blanket in her bathroom.

Police confirmed the house was in disarray, but wouldn’t say if there had been a burglary.

The Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner is currently investigating the scene.

This article will be updated as more information becomes available.

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The Next PlayStation: 5 Lessons I Hope Sony’s Learned

From wishful thinking to shockingly sudden all-but-certainty, Sony‘s next game system may be here at last (I’ll try to avoid calling it things Sony hasn’t, like “PlayStation 4″ or “Orbis”), apparently head-faking Microsoft to debut earlier than expected at what’ll no doubt be a media circus in New York (and online) come Feb. 20.

The event invite cleared my inbox last night accompanied by, well, see for yourself in Sony’s slick dubstep tease above. Sony labeled the event “PlayStation Meeting,” which is sort of like calling E3 “L.A. Occurrence,” but, well, marketing.

(MORE: How to Watch the Super Bowl Live Online)

At this point, your guess would have been as good as mine: probably the next PlayThing, because what else is Sony going to hype for three weeks and drag folks to from all corners of the earth? Still, I could have flown around the room on a broomstick: a PlayStation VitaPad, a PlayStation Phone (pPhone!), or heck, even Sony’s answer to Google‘s Project Glass (Sony GlassStation!).

But no, the Wall Street Journal went and spoiled the fun by claiming that, yes indeed, Sony’s going to give us a peek at its next games console and ship the thing later this year, probably around the holidays. I consider that slightly more plausible than hearsay since it’s the Journal, but bear in mind it’s still a claim based on unidentified sources (the Journal pulls the phrase “people familiar with the matter” off the shelf at least four times).

No surprise, the story’s taken off like a guy air-riding a horse, prompting a bunch of people to throw odd notions at the wall based on even sketchier sourcing. Instead of regaling you with tales of mystical multi-core processors pulling contextually meaningless speeds, why don’t we look back at some of the things I suspect we’d all agree Sony needs to do better the next time around.

Don’t launch at $ 500-$ 600. I still can’t imagine what Sony was thinking in 2006 (well, beyond “we can barely afford to build this franken-thing!”). Yes, everyone loved the PlayStation 2, and no, not enough to spend that kind of money on the PlayStation 3. No, I don’t know what the company ought to sell a new game console for, but I’ll refer you down the aisle to the Wii U: currently struggling at $ 300-$ 350. If Sony launches higher (and doesn’t include something like a free iPad), especially in a weak economy, it may find it’s looking for dance partners all over again.

(MORE: Are Weak Wii U Sales a Bellwether of Shifting Game Demographics?)

The new PlayStation Network (or whatever Sony rebrands it) needs to be seamless. None of this irritating “synchronizing trophies” business, waiting ages for features like background downloads or “cross-voice game chat is really coming!” except it’s really not. Also, while my lizard brain still sort of responds to the nerdy elegance of the PlayStation 3′s XrossMediaBar, after all these years there’s just something warmer and friendlier about Xbox LIVE. I have a roughly equal number of friends in both ecosystems, so it’s not that; I’ve just come to prefer navigating TV environments that feel a little less clinical. (The Journal says Sony’s new system is more social media-driven, so unless Sony’s launching a standalone answer to Facebook, I expect we’ll see the interface sporting newfangled riffs on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/Google+/etc. integration.)

Resist the urge to go all three-ring-circus on us. Sitting through Sony/Microsoft pressers sometimes feels like watching Tim Robinson and Will Ferrell squeeze bottles of Cookie Dough Sport over their heads. Spare us the strobe lights and sizzle reels and maybe just level with us like we’re adults and not a bunch of Red Bull-amped teenage boys at a Lady Gaga concert.

Don’t make it all about the graphics. I mean sure, we all like pretty games, but 5x, 10x, 100x the PS3′s oomph…it’s now all kind of abstract and pointless given how sophisticated games already look today. I want to know what those extra cycles are going to do for me gameplay-wise, and I don’t mean visually, e.g. better “god-rays” or “subsurface scattering” or a gazillion bendable blades of grass. Can this thing sustain an artificially intelligent being that’d pass a Turing Test? And can you work that into a game that’s actually fun to play?

Don’t be the last kid to the party. Hello, stuff like Grand Theft Auto IV and Skyrim DLC. Microsoft scored coup after coup this round in terms of timed exclusive or outright exclusive content. And yes, I’m sure it cost the company a pretty penny, but gamers are going to go where the games they want to play live. If their sense is that’s not Sony, well, it’s not rocket science. And some of the dropped balls this round were doozies: Skyrim‘s one of the bestselling games of all time and it’s been out since November 2011. Bethesda just announced today that PS3 users can finally get their hands on the downloadable content in a few weeks, whereas Xbox 360 users have had at it for months.

MORE: 3 Things That Still Worry Me About BlackBerry

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Buzzmakers: SAG Winners Pics and Nicole Kidman Explains Jimmy Kimmel Lap Dance

What had ET readers buzzing this week?

1. PICS: SAG Winners with their Statues!

Some of Hollywood's biggest stars gathered Sunday night to honor acting achievements at the 2013 Screen Actors Guild Awards. Anne Hathaway -- winner of the award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role for Les Misérables -- kicks off our gallery of the stars accepting their handsome statuettes!

Click here for all the pics!

2. Nicole Kidman on Her Lap Dance for Jimmy Kimmel

Nicole Kidman raised eyebrows during Matt Damon's Jimmy Kimmel Live! takeover when she greeted Kimmel -- who was strapped to a chair -- with a lap dance. On the SAG Awards red carpet, the Oscar winner explained the move to Nancy O'Dell.

Kidman described the dance as "impromptu," saying that she was just following the lead of another one of the night's guests.

"Robin Williams had done it before, so I thought, 'Well, why not?'" Kidman explained.

For years Kimmel has had a running joke where he ends every episode by apologizing to Matt Damon for running out of time for him. On last week's special episode of the late-night show -- nine years in the making -- Damon recruited some friends (which included Andy Garcia, Sheryl Crow, Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez, Robert DeNiro, Sarah Silverman, Demi Moore and Oprah Winfrey.

3. Top-Earning 'American Idol' Alums

American Idol is in the business of making music stars, and in turn, has made lots of money for some of their contestants. Forbes released their list of the top-earning Idol alums of 2012 a few names on this list are sure to surprise you.

Click here for the entire list!

4. Jennifer Lawrence Suffers Wardrobe Malfunction

It seemed like disaster for Jennifer Lawrence when her dress came apart just as she was called up to accept the award for Best Actress during the 2013 SAG Awards.

The Silver Linings Playbook star's apparent wardrobe malfunction caught the eye of both Marion Cotillard and Nicole Kidman, whose reaction to the getup coming apart at the seams was caught on camera. No disaster, here, though -- it turns out the dress was designed that way! A source close to designer Dior told ET that the dress did not rip -- that it was made with different layers of tulle and satin.

This minor outfit hitch comes after it was announced that Lawrence, 22, has walking pneumonia, making this one of the best and worst weeks for the award-winning actress.

5. Kris Jenner Lands Talk Show

Are you ready for a daily dose of Kris Jenner?

The TV personality will test the talk show waters this summer when Fox premieres a preview episode of Kris, a one-hour entertainment talk show. "This is something I have wanted to do all my life so it's definitely a dream come true," Jenner said in a statement! "I can't wait for this new adventure to begin and look forward to working alongside Twentieth Television and the Fox Television Stations."

Kris will be rolled out in a similar fashion to how Bethenny Frankel's talk show was last summer, with the network testing the waters to see if there's an audience appetite for more of this famous family. According to a press release, the show will "offer daytime viewers a daily jolt of celebrity guests, fashion & beauty trends; plus a mix of lifestyle topics -- all through the distinctive and unpredictable perspective of Kris Jenner. Filmed in Los Angeles, CA, the pop culture driven talk show will bring a cool blast of fun and high energy to summer television."

The trial run of Kris will launch this summer, with the program available on select Fox-owned stations in markets, including New York and Los Angeles.

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Video of police beating naked man stokes anger in Egypt

CAIRO — Egypt's Interior Minister vowed Saturday to investigate the beating of a naked man by riot police that threatened to further inflame popular anger against security forces, but suggested that initial results absolve the police of direct abuse.

The beating was caught on camera and broadcast live on television late Friday as protests raged in the streets outside the presidential palace. Video showed police trying to bundle the naked man into a police van after beating him.

Less than 24 hours after the incident, several thousand anti-government demonstrators marched again on the palace Saturday denouncing the police and Islamist President Mohammed Morsi after a week of violent protests that claimed more than 60 lives nationwide.

Speaking to reporters after Friday's assault, Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim said that initial results from the public prosecutor's investigation show that 48-year-old Hamada Saber was undressed by "rioters" during skirmishes between police and protesters. He was then hit in the foot by a bird shot, the interior minister said, stopping short of saying if the injury was a result of police firing into the crowds.

"The central security forces then found him lying on the ground and tried to put him in an armored vehicle, though the way in which they did that was excessive," said Ibrahim.

In the footage from Friday, at least seven black-clad riot police beat Saber, whose pants are down around his ankles, with sticks before dragging him along the muddy pavement and tossing him into a police van.

The beating happened as thousands of protesters chanted against Morsi, throwing firebombs and firing flares at the presidential palace as police pumped volleys of tear gas and bird shot into the crowd, killing one protester and wounding more than 90.

The Interior Ministry said in a rare statement that it "regrets" the beating, and that it too is investigating the incident. But it also sought to distance itself — and the police in general — from the abuse, saying that "what took place was carried out by individuals that do not represent in any way the doctrine of all policemen who direct their efforts to protecting the security and stability of the nation and sacrifice their lives to protect civilians."

A statement by Morsi's office called the incident "shocking", but stressed that violence and vandalism of government property is unacceptable.

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Miami Beach hotels seek more political clout

When Miami Beach wanted local hotels to scale-back their popular rooftop parties and bars, Alexander Tachmes fought back.

An attorney who has represented Beach hotels on a myriad of issues, he “cobbled” together a group of his hotelier clients and went before the city commission to ask them to curb the proposed rules.

The hotels won.

It was a learning experience, said Tachmes, who came to believe that the Beach needed a permanent group of industry heavyweights to take political action in the face of restrictive city policies.

With that in mind, Miami Beach’s hotel industry is taking on a decidedly political tone by reviving a previously-formed electioneering organization, just in time for election season on the sandbar.

The group is called Hospitality for a Better Miami Beach, and as an Electioneering Communication Organization (ECO), it can raise unlimited money to run ads, send fliers and make telephone calls about political issues. They’ve also created Miami Beach Hospitality Coalition, which Tachmes said will soon be registered as a non-profit.

Behind the organizations are Tachmes and big-name hoteliers Mike Palma, Executive Vice President of Hospitality for Brio Investment Group (which owns the Clevelander) and the Perry South Beach Hotel General Manager Tim Nardi.

“Political clout is something that will help to further the goals of the industry,” Tachmes said.

Hotels already have their interests represented by the Greater Miami and the Beaches Hotel Association and the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau. But the association is tax-funded and the visitor’s bureau is tax-exempt, so neither can raise or spend money for political purposes.

Stuart Blumberg, who headed the hotel association for 15 years, thinks the industry has enough clout without having to wade into politics.

“You’re getting a group of hoteliers who’ve decided they want a voice in government. And that’s dangerous,” he said of the ECO.

An outspoken leader, Blumberg often took political stances and faced elected officials — and he often found success.

Blumberg led the charge to exempt pool decks and outdoor patios from a constitutional amendment banning smoking, and pushed to delay the start of the school year so that Florida teens could continue working at local hotels. At a farewell gathering after Blumberg announced his retirement, he didn’t hesitate to take a shot at then-Gov. Charlie Crist, calling him out on a proposed tax increase on car rentals.

“We were able to accomplish a lot of things because we weren’t tarnished by, ‘Yeah, I supported that guy or that guy,’” Blumberg said. “You stand and fall on the merits of an issue.”

Citing the huge impact the tourism industry has on Florida, he added: “We don’t need to spend money to win influence.”

According to state figures, the tourism industry has a $67.3 billion economic impact on Florida.

In Miami-Dade, the accommodation industry accounts for 3 percent of the county’s 1 million non-farm jobs, or about 27,000 positions. The industry also contributes about $1 billion in income a year in Miami-Dade, or about 2 percent of total wages.

With a November election in Miami Beach — in which a majority of the city’s commission seats up for grabs — now is the time to translate economic importance into political prominence, said Palma.

In a city where resident-activists are vocal and plentiful, and where residents are often at odds with party-seeking tourists, Palma said city leaders lately have tilted more in favor of residents rather than businesses

Added Tachmes: “The residents of the city benefit by having a thriving hotel industry...all we want is a seat at the table.”

The electioneering committee was registered last year and is currently not active, according to state records.

Tachmes said the group is in the process of recruiting members — whom he would not name — and creating a board, at which time the group will be re-opened. Members are planning to interview candidates to decide who to support in the upcoming elections.

Wendy Kallergis, president and CEO of the hotel association, pointed out that many of the ECO members are also members of her organization. She doesn’t think the new group will be a competitor.

“We’re not able to do some of the things they can do,” she said. “I think it’s going to strengthen the voice on the Beach.”

Miami Herald staff writer Douglas Hanks contributed to this report.

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Two men found shot to death, dog fatally wounded inside car on Miami street

An early morning shooting in Model City left two men dead and a puppy fatally wounded.

The shooting happened about 1:15 a.m. Friday at Northwest 41st Street and 13th Avenue, Miami police spokeswoman Kenia Reyes said.

After responding to a 911 call about shots heard in the area, officers found a Buick Lacrosse "completely riddled with bullet holes" and two men in their 20s shot to death inside, Reyes said.

Friday afternoon, police identified the men as Joshua Whack, 26, and Eric Fussell, 23.

Also inside the car: a 4-month-old pitbull puppy who was shot in the head.

The wounded dog was taken to Miami-Dade Animal Services for treatment, where it was euthanized due to the severity of the injury.

“Unfortunately, the trauma was severe,” said Animal Services spokeswoman Xiomara Mordcovich.

Police are still investigating the shooting. Reyes said it’s too early to tell if the incident was gang-related.

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Apple edges out Samsung for mobile phone sales lead in fourth quarter

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Apple Inc became the top mobile phone seller for the first time in the lucrative U.S. market during the fourth quarter of 2012, outshining arch rival Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, a report by Strategy Analytics showed.

Apple‘s share of the U.S. mobile phone market, including feature phones and smartphones, jumped to 34 percent from 26 percent, while Samsung’s share grew to 32.3 percent from 31.8 percent, the research firm said.

Samsung had been the top mobile phone vendor in the US since 2008, the firm said. Indeed, for the full year, Samsung still held the crown for mobile phone sales; it had a 31.8 percent share of the U.S. market in 2012, against Apple’s 26.2 percent.

Apple investors have recently been anxious about the future growth prospects for the company amid intense competition from Samsung’s cheaper phones, powered by Google’s Android software, and signs the premium smartphone market may be close to saturation in developed markets.

Overall, mobile phone shipments rose 4 percent to 52 million units in the U.S. during the fourth quarter of 2012, driven by strong demand for 4G smartphones and 3G feature phones.

But in all of 2012, U.S. mobile phone shipments fell 11 percent to 166.9 million, Strategy Analytics said.

Apple sold 17.7 million iPhones in the U.S. in the fourth quarter, up 38 percent from the previous year, driven by aggressive marketing of its new iPhone 5 and steep carrier subsidies, the firm said. Samsung shipped 16.8 million phones during the same period.

In the international arena, Samsung Electronics, with a range of handsets, has overtaken Apple as the world’s top smartphone seller.

(Reporting by Poornima Gupta; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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Side Effects NY Premiere 2013

Sorry Niners fans, come Sunday, you won't have People's Sexiest Man Alive in your corner.

At the New York premiere of his new movie Side Effects, the 32-year-old actor, donning a Dolce & Gabbana suit, revealed to ET that while he loves the 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, and thinks they have a "sick offense, and they're on fire right now... they're probably favored to win a little bit," he admits ultimately, "I kinda want the [Baltimore Ravens] to win."

As far as Super Bowl plans go, Tatum will actually be in the Big Easy on Sunday, in the middle of the madness.

PICS: Stars Predict the Super Bowl Winner

"I'm gonna be there in [New Orleans]. I'll be at Saints & Sinners, my bar down on Bourbon Street." Saints & Sinners opened in November 2012.

Side Effects
is a thriller surrounding the pharmaceutical industry, that pairs Channing for a third and final time with director Steven Soderbergh, who announced his retirement from directing after this film.

"I wish there could be a fourth [film together], but he's apparently done.... This movie is special, and it's kind of one that he's always wanted to make."

See Also: Beyonce Shows Off All-Girl Bowl Band

Soderbergh previously worked with Channing in filming Haywire, and Magic Mike.

Watch the video above for more on the movie, in theaters February 8, and Channing on his co-star Jude Law's disarming accent.

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'He threatened to chop her up': Wife of alleged murderer says suspect vowed to kill her just days before crime

He said he'd kill me, too, the wife of an accused quarter-million-dollar insurance murderer testified today.

"He threatened to kill me," Christina Moreno, 37, told a Manhattan jury today, testifying against estranged husband Edward Demirdjian.

The wife's testimony did little to help Demirdjian, 57, a former limo owner from Orlando, Fla. who is on trial for killing young, pretty Sherra Morgenstern as she slept in her bed at the Jefferson Houses project on Second Avenue in 2009.

Lead prosecutor Shanda Strain, in arguing with Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Charles Solomon, revealed outside the jury's hearing that Demirdjian was quite vivid in his threats to the wife — made as they honeymooned in the Dominican Republic just days before the murder.

"He threatened to chop her up," the prosecutor told the judge.

Demirdjian allegedly killed Morgenstern in an attempt to keep custody of their three year old daughter and collect on a $250,000 insurance policy. Trial testimony is expected to continue through next week.

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Frontier Airlines adds new Fort Lauderdale route

Starting Saturday, Frontier Airlines is adding nonstop service between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Trenton-Mercer Airport in New Jersey.

Flights between South Florida and Princeton/Trenton are scheduled for Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Frontier already offered service between Fort Lauderdale and its hub at Denver International Airport. The company is offering introductory fares on its new route for as little as $99 each way.

The airline also launched flights between Trenton-Mercer and Fort Myers, New Orleans and Tampa this week.

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Driver falls asleep at wheel, crashes into patrol car in Broward

A woman who fell asleep while driving after midnight Thursday plowed into a highway trooper’s patrol car that had its lights flashing at an Interstate 95 exit ramp, police said.

Laura Cohen, 23, was driving north toward the I-95 ramp to Davie Boulevard in Broward at 12:25 a.m., according to an Florida Highway Patrol report.

A trooper was sitting in his car, parked at the exit ramp to signal warn drivers that the road was closed for construction. The construction area was marked with traffic cones, reduce speed signs and flashing arrow boards.

Cohen, who had apparently fallen asleep, drove her 2010 Toyota Yaris through the traffic cones and crashed into the back of Trooper Byron Johnson’s car.

Cohen and Johnson were treated for “very minor injuries” on the road, FHP spokesman Sgt. Mark Wysocky said Thursday.

Cohen was ticketed for careless driving.

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OpenStack at Linux.conf.au 2013

I’m writing this blog post from Canberra Australia, while attending the Linux.conf.au (LCA) open source conference. Among the people who do these sorts of things, LCA has a well deserved reputation as one of the very best open source conferences in the world.

Geeks from across Australia and New Zealand, and from across the rest of the world, come together for a week in January (summer in this part of the world) to talk about everything from the intricate technical details of Linux kernel design to pushing the state of the art in file systems and issues deploying practical wireless cryptography. Softer but equally important topics such as Open Government, gender balance in technology, and international legal issues are also discussed. Read more about OpenStack at Linux.conf.au 2013 »

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Jessica Simpson Talks Weight Watchers Weight Loss

The always candid Jessica Simpson is getting personal about her own weight loss journey for Weight Watchers' "I'm Only Human And I Did It" project, in which real women share how they were able to finally achieve their weight loss goals.

"I was happy to be pregnant. I was happy to be gaining weight and eating whatever I wanted," she admits in her own video for the inspiring project. "I was the girl that never asked the doctor how much she weighed. I stepped on the scale backwards because I was just gonna enjoy my pregnancy and have fun."

Pics: Adorable Tots -- Celebs and Their Cute Kids!

But about one month after her daughter Maxwell was born, Jessica was faced with the startling realization of just how much weight she gained during her pregnancy at her first meeting with Weight Watchers.

"It was the first time I had to come face-to-face with the scale, and I looked at the scale, and I thought my life was completely over," she recalls about the first meeting, which was held at her house where she was surrounded by friends. "I was not expecting to see the number that I saw, because it's just never a number that I could fathom weighing -- but I did. ... I had a moment there where I was standing on the scale, and faced with a severe truth -- and I didn't know if I could do it. I really didn't know if it was gonna happen for me."

But Jessica ended up having nothing to worry about -- she lost over 50 pounds following the program.

"I'm seriously only human, just like you guys," she stresses "It is hard to lose weight but when I teamed up with Weight Watchers it actually wasn't as hard as I thought. It was just something that became a lifestyle."

Video: Jessica Simpson on Surpassing 50 Pound Weight Loss

Though she does share that with her second pregnancy, she's definitely doing things a lot differently.

"Now I'm pregnant again, and I'm looking at the scale, and I'm making the right decisions with what I'm eating," she says, clearly overjoyed. "I still have my desserts -- just not four of them."

Check out the video to hear some of the frustrations Jessica initially had losing the baby weight, and click here to watch and get inspired by other people's weight loss stories.

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Man convicted in murder of pregnant ex-girlfriend

A Queens man was convicted today for the murder of his pregnant ex-girlfriend and her toddler.

Jimmy Humphrey was found guilty of strangling Linda Anderson to death and setting her lifeless body on fire. The fire ultimately killed her 2-year-old son, Aiden Hayes, as he searched for his mother through the smoke in their St. Albans apartment.

"I'm not happy about the verdict, I really don't know how to feel. My little sister, Aiden and Gabriel are all gone," said Anderson's heartbroken older brother Rob, 40, outside of Queens Supreme Court.

The 6-foot 2, muscular Humphrey, 25, choked back tears as the forewoman read eight "guilty" verdicts to the court.

Humphrey will be sentenced on March 6.

Anderson, 25, was seven months pregnant with Humphrey's son -- to be named Gabriel -- when their complicated relationship escalated to a crime of passion on July 13, 2010.

Humphrey testified that after their altercation he went home to for a few hours to call his girlfriend and called 911 to report the fire from a pay phone three blocks away.

"I'll be alright, I love ya'll," said Humphrey, who faces up to 50 years in prison, to his family.

Both of Anderson's brothers are expected to give impact statements.

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Mompreneur jumps into the ‘Shark Tank’

It all started with a 4 a.m. email nearly a year ago: “Do you think a baby bib could change the world? I do...”

Then Susie Taylor included a link to her website, bibbitec.com, and off it went to Shark Tank, the popular ABC television show where entrepreneurs pitch their companies to investors on the show — and by extension, 7 million viewers.

Four months later, as the “mompreneur” was leaving her Biscayne Park home to pick up her kids from school, she got a call from the show asking her to pitch on the spot. Driving with her phone on her shoulder, she told the Bibbitec story.

Shark Tank bit. After a few more back and forths, her segment was filmed last summer.

Friday night, Taylor is scheduled to be on the show pitching Bibbitec’s main product, “The Ultimate Bib,” a patented generously sized, stain-resistant and fast-drying child’s bib made in the USA — Hialeah, to be exact. Bibbitec’s $30 bib can be a burp cloth, changing pad, breast feeding shield, full body bib, place mat, art smock and more, Taylor says.

We won’t be getting any details on what happens Friday night when she and her husband, Stephen Taylor, get into the tank with Daymond John, Mark Cuban and the other celebrity sharks; Taylor has been contractually sworn to secrecy. But whatever the outcome, she believes it will be worth it for the marketing pop.

Taylor was inspired to create her bib after a long and very messy plane ride with her two young sons and started Bibbitec in 2008. She and her team — her husband is CFO, her sister, Heather McCabe, handles sales and marketing, her uncle, Richard Page, is in charge of production, and her aunt, Marcia Kreitman, advises on design — have expanded the line to include The Ultimate Smock for older children and the Ultimate Mini for babies. Coming soon: a smock for adults.

Taylor already got a taste of what a national TV show appearance can do for sales. In September, Bibbitec’s sales jumped 40 percent after she was on an ABC World News "Made in America" segment. “Within 30 seconds, we started getting sales from all over the country and they didn’t even mention our name on the air,” Taylor says. She said that confirmed her belief that a Shark Tank appearance would be worth it.

Plus, Taylor has been hooked on Shark Tank since the first time she watched it in 2008 as she was developing her product. Trained in theater, she admits she didn’t know much about business and learned from the show. She would practice how she would answer the questions.

“I’m all about empowering women who are sitting on the couch watching, because that’s what I was four years ago,” says Taylor. “All I wanted to do was to be on Shark Tank because I believed if I got on Shark Tank the world will see what I am trying to do and that’s all I need. I know it’s a great product.”

Will that theater training come in handy Friday night? Stay tuned. Shark Tank airs at 9 p.m. on ABC and Taylor hopes viewers will join in on Twitter using the hashtag #sharkbib.

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Miami police officer charged with sexual battery and kidnapping

On the same day it announced the firing of an officer for shooting an unarmed motorist, Miami police said on Wednesday a second officer has been arrested and charged with armed kidnapping and sexual battery.

Police said detectives from the Internal Affairs Section culminated an investigation by arresting Officer Luis Hernandez, 27, a seven-year member of the department, on a warrant issued by a Miami-Dade judge.

According to the warrant, Hernandez is being charged with one count of armed kidnapping and one count of armed sexual battery by a law enforcement officer.

No details were released on the attack.

But Miami Herald newspartner CBS4 has learned the incident occurred in 2010 when Hernandez was transporting a woman who had been arrested after getting into a bar fight with a co-worker. The woman is undocumented. After being processed, Hernandez was transporting the woman to jail. Enroute, Hernandez is accused of stopping his cruiser and sexually assaulting the woman, who reported the attack.

Hernandez is being held without bond.

Earlier Wednesday, the department fired Officer Reynaldo Goyos for the shooting to death of unarmed motorist Travis McNeil two years ago.

This story will be updated as more details become available.

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TSX closes lower as RIM, Fed decision weigh

TORONTO (Reuters) – Canada’s main stock index closed lower on Wednesday, hurt by a fall in Research In Motion Ltd after it released its long-awaited BlackBerry 10 devices, and broad market weakness after the U.S. Federal Reserve decided to leave its stimulus program intact.

The Toronto Stock Exchange‘s S&P/TSX composite index <.gsptse> closed 36.12 points, or 0.28 percent, lower at 12,794.44. Nine of the 10 main sectors on the index declined.</.gsptse>

(Reporting by John Tilak; Editing by Peter Galloway)

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After the crash, Manhattan home prices still sky high

Even after the economic crash, you still can’t afford to buy a home in Manhattan.

The average sale price of apartments of all types soared 66 percent in the past decade, from $850,340 in 2003 to $1,417,080 last year, a new Douglas Elliman study found.

It was actually worse back in 2008 when the economy was tanking — and the average sales price was just under $1.6 million.

The average rose a paltry 0.7 percent last year but get ready for a jump because there’s so little housing on the market.

“Inventory is at or near record lows in most neighborhoods,” said analyst Jonathan Miller, who prepared the report. “It’s a national phenomenon as tight credit continues to keep sellers, who don’t qualify as buyers, from listing their properties.”

Lois Weiss

Condos in Battery Park City went up 10.7 percent per square foot last year.

As a result, the listing inventory plunged 34.2 percent to the lowest level in 12 years.

“The upward pressure on housing prices starts now,” Miller said.

Average prices for condos and co-ops are 12 percent from the 2008 peak. And townhouses are down a stunning 25 percent.

Bust since 2009 the Manjattan real estate market has become much less volatile.

The number of sales increased by a modest 3.4 percent to 10,508 last year, compared with 10,161 in 2011, 10,060 in 2010 — and only 7,430 in 2009.

“For the past three years Manhattan has shown remarkable stability in terms of sales and prices, making it one of the best performing housing markets in the US,” Miller, of Miller Samuel Inc., said/

But there’s a lot of fluctuation from neighborhood to neighborhood in sales prices, the study found.

For example, condos in Battery Park City went up 10.7 percent per square foot last year and co-cops in Greenwich Village soared 9.8 percent.

But co-ops in Lincoln Center fell 10.1 percent per square foot, thanks to an addition of new units. Co-ops on East End Avenue dropped 18 percent.

“We often think of Manhattan as a single market when in fact it is a collection of different neighborhoods and price points that have behaved differently over the decade,” Miller said.

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Cruise industry group announces additional expansion, marketing initiatives

The newly expanded Cruise Lines International Association on Wednesday announced even more global growth as well as fresh promotional tools.

At a press conference in New York City, Christine Duffy, the trade group’s president and CEO, said the number of people who cruised globally last year is estimated at 20.3 million. That number is expected to reach almost 21 million in 2013.

Duffy said CLIA has launched a new YouTube channel called Cruise Industry TV, which focuses on new destinations, ships, tips about cruising and other information about the industry. It is not open for consumers to post videos.

The association has also started a public relations campaign called Cruise Forward, which has a presence on Facebook. The goal is to highlight positive cruise line initiatives, including innovations to help protect the environment, investment in port infrastructures and destinations, charitable activities and the economic impact of cruising.

“We think that this is a very important and exciting way to tell the story of this global industry and its commitment and the work it does in communities that we serve,” Duffy said.

In a separate announcement on Wednesday, CLIA announced the addition of a new cruise group in Europe. In mid-December, the association said it would merge with other industry groups around the world to become one giant organization. The Dutch Cruise Council, with 16 member lines, recently agreed to join and will be called CLIA Netherlands. The association is also developing a German cruise council to be called CLIA Germany and councils in Italy and Spain.

The expanded CLIA now has 55 member cruise lines, more than twice as many as the 26 it represented in 2012. The latest, European operator Tauck River Cruises, joined earlier this month.

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After a testy discussion, the board of the Jackson Health System approved by a vote of 4-2 a global agreement intended to resolve several major tensions between management and SEIU Local 1991.

The deal now goes to the Miami-Dade Board of County of Commissioners for final approval.

The agreement, reached earlier this month, means management will stop exploring outsourcing physician and some other services in the Jackson Memorial adult ER., but might still explore getting outsiders to provide pediatric services at Jackson Memorial as well as all ER services at Jackson North and South.

Other parts of the agreement involved Jackson nurses’ shift schedules and leave time. Some nurses who had been reduced to part-time will get their full-time status back.

At its Monday board meeting, Chair Marcos Lapciuc called the deal “fair and balanced” that resolved many problems, including formal union grievances and a federal lawsuit filed by SEIU.

“I’m really troubled,” said board member Michael Bileca, a healthcare executive and a Republican legislator. He said he wished that concessions to the union were based on Jackson’s performance. He’s troubled that the system still has only 12 days of cash on hand and “pent-up capital demands.”

Bileca feared that a feeling is “starting to creep in ... [that] we have arrived, we can revisit things, we can take our foot off the gas.”

Stephen Nuell, a board member and attorney, said he was concerned about some legal aspects of the settlement. He and Bileca voted no.

Lapciuc, Joaquin del Cueto, Darryl Sharpton and Mojdeh L. Khaghan voted yes.

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Survey shows strong consumer interest in BlackBerry 10, but few are willing to buy just yet

The good news for RIM (RIMM): Lots of people are interested in checking out its upcoming BlackBerry 10 platform. The bad news: Few are willing to commit to buying a BlackBerry 10 device at the moment. According to a new online survey of more than 1,100 Americans commissioned by mobile application specialist BiTE interactive and conducted by reputable pollster YouGov, 47% of Americans find “at least one of BlackBerry’s new features appealing,” although only around 13% say they’ll consider buying a BlackBerry 10 device.

[More from BGR: Apple’s 128GB iPad shows the world exactly what Apple does best]

[More from BGR: Apple unveils new 128GB iPad]

The survey found that the new Time Shift Camera, which lets users rapid-shoot multiple pictures of the same subject and then choose the best one from the bunch, was the most popular new BlackBerry feature, followed by BlackBerry 10′s new predictive keyboard. But as BiTE operations executive vice president Joseph Farrell notes, there’s a big difference between interest in new features and a commitment to spend money acquiring them. Farrell also thinks that RIM will still struggle to be relevant as long as app developers neglect BlackBerry in favor of iOS and Android.

RIM’s much anticipated BB10 launch is a major, and much needed overhaul for the one-time smartphone leader and all indications are that it has, at very least succeeded in convincing Americans to give BlackBerry a second look,” he says. “However, it is clear that while all the new features can catch the interest of Android and iOS owners, the key chink in RIM’s armor remains its apps ecosystem. RIM has made great efforts to catch up with iOS and Android in this regard, but it, like Microsoft, is likely to find this far easier said than done.”

BiTE’s full press release is posted below.

BlackBerry 10 Captures Attention of One in Two Americans

But only one in eight will actually consider buying a BB10 device

Los Angeles, January 29, 2013 – Ahead of the launch of Research in Motion’s long-anticipated BlackBerry 10 operating system and two new smartphones this week, nearly one in two Americans online (47 percent) finds at least one of BlackBerry’s new features appealing.

Despite interest in the new features only one in eight Americans (13 percent) will consider buying a BB10 device, and only one in 100 plans to get one immediately. The findings are according to a report from BiTE interactive, the native mobile application specialist for Fortune 1000 brands, which commissioned YouGov to poll the views of a representative sample of 1,127 American adults online.

Time Shift Camera wins most American hearts, especially with Android owners

RIM’s Time Shift Camera is the most compelling new BB10 feature for 16 percent of Americans. The Time Shift Camera takes multiple shots of a subject in a single picture and lets you choose the best composite image. 46 percent more women than men identify it as the most attractive new feature of BB10, while it is most appealing for one in five (21 percent) 18-34 year olds. The same age group is also the most likely to find one of the BlackBerry 10’s features appealing (66 percent). RIM’s new predictive keyboard feature is the most compelling new feature for only six percent of Americans while only one in 100 picked the new ‘flow’ interface.

The new BB10 features appeal to more Android (65 percent) than iPhone owners (56 percent).

“RIM’s much anticipated BB10 launch is a major, and much needed overhaul for the one-time smartphone leader and all indications are that it has, at very least succeeded in convincing Americans to give BlackBerry a second look,” said Joseph Farrell, EVP Operations, BiTE interactive. “However, it is clear that while all the new features can catch the interest of Android and iOS owners, the key chink in RIM’s armor remains its apps ecosystem. RIM has made great efforts to catch up with iOS and Android in this regard, but it, like Microsoft, is likely to find this far easier said than done. A lot of eyes will be on the new BlackBerry World from day one, as its success is pivotal to that of the BB10 devices as viable mainstream consumer handsets.”

iPhone owners least likely to jump to BlackBerry

According to BiTE interactive’s report, iPhone owners are the least likely to buy into BB10. Only around one in 10 (11 percent) have any interest in owning one of RIM’s new phones compared with around one in five (21 percent) Android owners. Overall, almost one in two (44 percent) Americans definitely will not get a BB10 device while a further one in four (27 percent) say they will likely not get one.

Joseph Farrell added, “RIM’s challenge is compounded by the fact that Google and Apple have already built up huge mobile user bases who, for the most part, have invested lots of time and money learning and using their platform of choice. To switch to any new platform, even between the two, means a new investment of time and resources that many do not wish to spend, let alone taking a perceived risk on the new BB10 platform, no matter how impressive some of the new technology is.”

Research methodology

BiTE interactive commissioned YouGov to poll the views of a representative sample of 1,127 US adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between January 23-25, 2013. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+).

This article was originally published on BGR.com

Gadgets News Headlines – Yahoo! News

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Melissa Gilbert Timothy Busfield Engaged

Fredrick M. Brown/ Astrid Stawiarz/ Getty Images

Actress Melissa Gilbert is officially off the market.

PICS: Most Memorable Celebrity Weddings of All Time

A rep tells People that the former Dancing with the Stars contestant, 48, is engaged to former thirtysomething star Timothy Busfield, 55.

"They are engaged and both are incredibly happy," says the rep.

The couple's nuptials will mark the third "I do's" for each of them. Gilbert was previously married to Bo Brinkman and Bruce Boxleitner, while Busfield was married to Jenny Merwin and actress Radha Delamarter.

A source told People that the engagement took place over the holidays.

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B'klyn school janitor convicted of rape & sex assault for attack on eighth-grade girl

He’s going from the schoolhouse to the jailhouse.

Brooklyn janitor Ambiorix Rodriguez, 34, was convicted on multiple counts of rape and sex assault in Brooklyn Supreme Court today for having sex with an eighth-grade girl who attended the East Flatbush middle school where he worked.

The hulking Rodriguez had sex with the girl when she was 12 and 13-years-old in the basement and stairwell of the Middle School for Marketing and Legal Studies. The abuse took place between September 2010 and January 2011, according to Brooklyn prosecutors.

He was caught in 2011 after the girl reported the abuse to school officials, who called the cops.

Rodriguez faces up to life in prison when sentenced, according to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office.


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Turnberry Isle Miami has new managing director

Hotel industry veteran Paige Koerbel is now managing director of Turnberry Isle Miami in Aventura.

A longtime employee of Marriott, Koerbel was previously general manager of Doral Golf Resort & Spa, which was a Marriott property before Donald Trump bought it last year.

Earlier jobs in his 33 years with Marriott included regional vice president of Renaissance Hotels North America and Midwest general manager for Renaissance Hotels. He started the new job Jan. 2, replacing Douglas Hustad, who left in late 2012.

Turnberry Isle Miami is part of Marriott International's Autograph Collection, a portfolio of independently owned and operated hotels.

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Driver in tow-truck fatality sued

The widow of the college dean killed when his car, being towed form his Lauderhill driveway, ran him over, has amended the wrongful death lawsuit she filed on Thursday against the towing company and a “John Doe’’ driver, to name the driver.

He is Kenneth Jay Schraff, according to papers filed Monday in Broward Circuit Court. Public records identify him as a 48-year-old Lauderdale Lakes resident.

Schraff was at the wheel of a wrecker Jan. 16 when Elias Konwufine of Lauderhill, an associate dean at Keiser University, fell under his own Mercedes-Benz. The 38-year-old father of three, a native of Cameroon, died later at a hospital.

The suit, on behalf of Francisca Konwufine and her children, also names Superior Lock & Roadside Assistance, Sure Fire Auto, and Capitol Towing, interrelated companies, as co-defendants.

It alleges that Schraff was negligent when he drove away from Konwufine, as Konwufine tried to negotiate the return of his car, which had been parked partly on a swale in violation of a homeowners association rule.

State law requires a wrecker driver to allow a vehicle’s owner to make a reasonable offer to settle the matter before towing. The lawsuit said that Schraff never gave Konwufine the chance, and drove away so recklessly that he endangered Konwufine.

Public records show that Schraff has an extensive felony arrest record in Florida. He plead no contest to third-degree felonies in 2003 including burglary, larceny and grand theft. A woman identifying herself as his mother answered his home phone, said he wasn’t there but had been told by his attorney “not to talk to anyone.’’

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TSX little changed, RIM positioning offsets banks

TORONTO (Reuters) – Canada‘s main stock index finished little changed on Monday, as gains in the financial group were partially offset by Research In Motion Ltd shares, which sagged ahead of its critical BlackBerry 10 launch this week.

The Toronto Stock Exchange‘s S&P/TSX composite index <.gsptse> was down 0.72 of a point at 12,815.91. Half of the index’s 10 key sectors climbed higher.</.gsptse>

(Reporting by Solarina Ho)

Wireless News Headlines – Yahoo! News

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Diablo Cody Sweet Valley High Interview Athena Film Festival

Since bursting onto the scene with 2007's Oscar-winning Juno, writer Diablo Cody has dabbled in a wide array of genres, but every film she's written has given voice to one uniquely engaging woman after another, cementing her as a writer steadfastly dedicated to capturing the female experience on-screen.

That's why she's the perfect person to serve as co-chair for the Athena Film Festival, a four-day festival that includes conversations with female directors and Hollywood stars, workshops for filmmakers and celebrates women in leadership positions.

ETonline caught up with Cody this morning to find out how she came to partner with the Athena Film Festival, why the ultimate sign of the festival's success would be its evaporation and what you can expect from her next project: a big screen adaptation of Sweet Valley High!

ETonline: How did you get involved with the Athena Film Festival?

Diablo Cody: They contacted me after their first year, and I was intrigued. Obviously I'm very interested in women in film, and had noticed that women are not placed in leadership positions as often as they should be. I liked that there was a festival that recognized and celebrated women in leadership positions, and the films they are making. There's opportunities for education, there's a directors workshop that AFI is sponsoring -- it's really a three-dimensional experience. Last year was a success, so I wanted to get involved again. I think it's super necessary.

RELATED - 13 Must-See Movies of 2013

ETonline: Much ado has been made over Kathryn Bigelow's Best Director omission this year -- what's your take?

Cody: Honestly, I don't want to sound like the world's biggest whiner, but it's so sad to look at the Oscar nominations and not see a single woman nominated for Best Director. And, out of 12 people nominated for Best Screenwriter, only one is female. It's pretty obvious to me that there's a major disparity.

ETonline: Would the ultimate success of the Athena Film Festival's success be its disbanding on the day Hollywood's so inclusive, it's no longer necessary?

Cody: [laughs] You know, I've thought about that -- maybe it is the goal, but the Athena is so cool, I'd hate to see it eliminated. But I know what you’re saying. The festival is necessary because women are not being given the opportunity or accolades in the mainstream space.

ETonline: I'm not surprised to see the festival turn to you for participation -- you've not only been an artist women of all ages can aspire to be like, but you seem singularly dedicated to bringing unique female experiences to the screen.

Cody: Thank you so much. That's what I’m trying to do. I'm trying to tell women's stories -- especially the unconventional ones. It's not always the easiest sell. It's a lot easier to go into a pitch meeting with something that's mainstream and will appeal to a mass audience. For me, I'm always coming in with stories that are like, "OK, so there's this girl, and she's a burn victim..." It's a harder sell, it's harder to get the money for those films, but it's important to me.

RELATED - Role Call: Who Got Hired in Hollywood?

ETonline: What excited you about the stories you could tell with Sweet Valley High?

Cody: It's about the polarity of the good girl versus the bad girl, which is something I played with a bit in Jennifer's Body. I'm just fascinated by the way women are put into boxes in our culture. The Sweet Valley High books are about Jessica and Elizabeth, these identical twins; one is the perfect straight-A, ambitious good-goody and the other is this really selfish bitch who tends to have a lot more fun. In the books, they frequently switch places and adopt the other's identity. I thought that was a fun idea -- especially, like, in a big, fun, pop-y movie with songs that people can enjoy as hilarious eye candy on a superficial level or on a deeper level exploring some more of those themes.

ETonline: The books were published over the span of 20 years; did you have a hard time deciding which time period to set your movie in?

Cody: No, I knew it had to be 80's because, hello, I love the 80's. Also, I had read all of the books, but one stuck with me. There was a book [Dear Sister, published in 1984] I loved and read the most that involved Elizabeth going into a coma and waking up from her coma and acting like Jessica. I thought we could have a lot of fun with that. Cuz, what happens when you establish which twin you are and then your twin decides, "No I'm going to be that twin." It made for a great screenwriting experience.

ETonline: In terms of casting, are you looking for twins or are you going to pull a Social Network with one actor and face replacement surgery?

Cody: It’s funny, we bring up Armie Hammer all the time. In a way, it would be easier to find the one perfect girl and pull the Winklevoss technique on her. On the other hand, there's something really fun about searching for the perfect twins. The decision hasn't been made yet.

ETonline: You recently directed your first film, given the filmmakers you've worked with and spoken to at the Athena Film Festival, was the experience of actually helming a film different than you imagined?

Cody: It was very shocking. There's a reason why I procrastinated for so long and didn't direct. After Juno happened, when you win an award like that, everyone says, "What do you want to do next?" And I said I didn't want to direct because I wasn't ready at that time. I waited four years to be ready. I finished this script and was getting ready to send it out to directors, but I didn't want to. I wanted to take this script and shoot it [myself] and I got the opportunity. It was one of the coolest, craziest things I've ever done in my life and I'm so glad I did it.

For more information on The Athena Film Festival, running February 7 through 10 in NYC, click here!

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Challengers line up against Grimm

He was re-elected just two months, but significant challengers are already lining up to take on Republican Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm again in 2014.

The latest is Brooklyn City Councilman Dominic Recchia, who is dropping his bid for Brooklyn Borough President, to explore a run against Grimm, sources said.

"He is still exploring his options," said a Recchia spokeswoman.

Michael McMahon, who lost to Grimm in 2010, is also looking at the possibility of staging a comeback.

Grimm, whose fundraising practices in 2010 became the subject of an FBI investigation, beat Democratic opponent Mark Murphy last year 53-46 percent.

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Investment firm announces loan for purchase of Sofitel Miami

New York-based Torchlight Investors provided the buyer of the Sofitel Miami hotel with a $25 million in debt financing, the investment advisor said Monday.

The firm provided the loan to real estate investment company Laurus Corporation for the hotel purchase, which was originally announced in December. Part of the money will be used for an improvement plan for the 10-acre property at 5800 Blue Lagoon Dr.

Torchlight Investors said the loans will be held in a fund targeting commercial real estate debt investments.

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Brush fire threatens homes in Southwest Miami-Dade

Firefighters are battling a brush fire in Southwest Miami-Dade as crews continue to keep the flames from spreading to nearby homes.

The fire broke out at 1:07 p.m. Sunday in the area of 112th Avenue and 224th Street. As of 5:09 p.m., no homes are being threatened, said fire department officials.

Streets in the area have been blocked off, according to CBS4.

While the fire department has not called for mandatory evacuations of nearby homes, several homeowners are voluntarily leaving the area. The Florida Department of Forestry said the cause of the fire is still unknown.

This story will be updated as more details become available

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Exclusive: JJ Abrams Confirms Bradley Cooper in Talks For Lance Armstrong Biopic

Shortly after Bradley Cooper expressed interest (publicly) in portraying disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong in J.J. Abrams'upcoming biopic about the athlete, the producer/director confirmed to ET exclusively that he is indeed in talks with Cooper for the role.

Pics: Stars Take On Real-Life Roles

When asked about Cooper's interest in tackling the part backstage at the Producers Guild Awards in Los Angeles, Abrams told ET's Christina McLarty "[Cooper] sent me an email and we've been talking."

Said Cooper to BBC News on January 22, "I would be interested in [playing Armstrong]. I think he's fascinating. What a fascinating character."

Paramount Pictures & Bad Robot (J.J. Abram's production company) secured the rights to Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong, a book proposal penned by Juliet Macur, in mid-January just after Armstrong admitted publicly to doping during all seven Tour de France wins. The author, a sports reporter from The New York Times, has covered the athlete over the span of a decade throughout Armstrong's struggle with cancer, years of doping allegations and ensuing lawsuits.

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Weekend death toll in Egyptian riots rises to 40


Egyptians pray during a mass funeral in Port Said today.

PORT SAID, Egypt — Clashes flared anew in the turbulent Egyptian city of Port Said on Sunday, killing at least three more people as a mass funeral was held for most of the 37 people who died during intense riots in the city a day earlier.

The three were killed when police exchanged fire with gunmen trying to storm two police stations and the local prison, according to the city's director of hospitals, Abdel-Rahman Farah. A total of 418 people were injured, some of them with gunshot wounds, he said.

Tens of thousands of mourners poured into the streets for the mass funeral of those killed a day earlier, chanting slogans against Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

"We are now dead against Morsi," said Port Said activist Amira Alfy. "We will not rest now until he goes and we will not take part in the next parliamentary elections. Port Said has risen and will not allow even a semblance of normalcy to come back," she said.

Violence in the city, about 140 miles northeast of Cairo, erupted on Saturday after a court convicted and sentenced 21 defendants to death for their roles in a mass soccer riot in a Port Said stadium on Feb. 1, 2012 that left 74 dead. Most of those sentenced to death were local soccer fans from Port Said.

The clashes in Port Said were the latest in a bout of unrest across the country that has left more than 50 people dead since Friday. That death toll includes 40 dead in Port Said and 11 killed in clashes in other cities between police and protesters marking the second anniversary of the uprising that overthrew Mubarak after nearly 30 years of authoritarian rule.

The riots stemmed mostly from animosity between police and die-hard Egyptian soccer fans, known as Ultras, who have become highly politicized. The Ultras frequently confront police and were also part of the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak's regime two years ago.

They were also at the forefront of protests against the military rulers who took over from Mubarak and are now again on the front lines of protests against the Morsi, the country's first freely elected leader.

A prominent Islamist leader delivered a thinly veiled warning that Islamist groups would set up militia-like vigilante groups to protect public and state property against attacks.

Addressing a news conference, Tareq el-Zomr of the once-jihadist Gamaa Islamiya, said:

"If Security forces don't achieve security, it will be the right of the Egyptian people and we at the forefront to set up popular committees to protect private and public property and counter the aggression on innocent citizens."

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Miami Lakes company growing its brand of skin care products

For decades, Vivant Skin Care has formulated creams, serums, cleansers and tonics to treat such dermatological conditions as acne, aging and hyperpigmentation.

Family owned and linked to Dr. James E. Fulton, who co-developed the anti-aging formula Retin-A, the company built its reputation with medically tested therapies aimed at improving skin.

Now, like a complexion that has undergone the metamorphosis of time, Vivant is altering its manufacturing and sales structure and adding products, emerging from the economic downturn with a new plan for the future.

“Now we’re stabilized and looking forward to growth,” said Fulton’s daughter, Chief Executive, Kelly Fulton-Kendrick.

Founded in 1990, Vivant produces a line of 30 skin care products, all formulated in-house, and priced from $15 to $100. The products target both females and males, ages 13 and up.

“Our target market is people who have serious skin care problems and need solutions,” Fulton-Kendrick said. “Vitamin A is the best for affecting change in the skin.”

The clinical skin care products, packaged simply in white bottles and amber glass containers, have remained the company’s mainstay, as the business has transformed.

In mid-2011, Vivant decided to adjust its sales structure, to sell, for the first time, to online retailers like DermStore.com, SkinCareRX.com and amazon.com, as well as to make its products available on its own website, vivantskincare.com. It was a major change in course after more than 20 years of having its products sold only at spas and doctors’ offices.

“So now, we’re a mix of wholesale to skin care professionals and Internet retailers, and we’re selling directly to consumers through our own website,” Fulton-Kendrick said.

Mike Nelson, marketing manager at SkinCareRx.com, said Vivant, which it has sold since November, has “done very well for a new brand to our site,” surpassing some brands that have been on its site for over a year. He declined to provide figures.

SkinCareRX took on only 5 percent of the brands that approached it last year, he said, and had undertaken a rigorous review of Vivant.

“They have a good loyalty base and get great reviews,” Nelson said.

Along with changes in its sales system, in January 2012, Vivant moved from Medley to Miami Lakes, doubling its space to 11,000 square feet to accommodate manufacturing, which it brought in house to reduce costs. It had outsourced manufacturing to a lab in Costa Mesa, Calif., that it had previously owned and later sold.

Inside its warehouse space in a commercial business complex, a small staff handles manufacturing, shipping and packaging. All orders are taken by customer service and fulfilled onsite. A room used as an educational center allows vendors and aestheticians to learn about the products.

Martina Echeveria, international trade specialist at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Miami U.S. Export Assistance Center, who is helping Vivant get a distributor in the Dominican Republic, said she recently nominated the company for a South Florida Manufacturer of the Year award. The awards are given by the South Florida Manufacturers Association.

“Their products are good and 100 percent U.S. made,” she said.

At Vivant’s offices, a lab area is used by Dr. Fulton for research and development. He also maintains a practice at Flores Dermatology in South Miami.

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