By Olivier Knox, Yahoo! News | The Ticket – 2 hrs 59 mins ago In his first public remarks about Paul Ryan’s pick to be the presumptive Republican vice presidential candidate, President Barack Obama called the lawmaker „a decent man” but painted him as a champion of „top down” economic policies that favor the rich.”Just yesterday morning, my opponent chose his running mate, the ideological leader of the Republicans in Congress, Mr. Paul Ryan,” Obama said at the second of five fundraising events in his hometown of Chicago. „I want to congratulate Congressman Ryan. I know him, I welcome him to the race.””Congressman Ryan is a decent man. He is a family man. He’s an articulate spokesman for Governor Romney’s vision. But it’s a vision that I fundamentally disagree with,” the president said, arguing that Romney and Ryan were standard-bearers for „top-down economics.”Obama’s main political vulnerability ahead of the election remains the economy, still sputtering and weighed down by high unemployment of 8.3 percent three and a half years after he took office. The president has argued he will stand up for the middle class, while Romney will help the rich at the expense of everyone else.At the fundraiser, Obama highlighted private-sector job growth — which has been painfully slow, but steady — and policies like his rescue of the auto industry, but admitted „we’ve got a long way to go.””All of us know friends, neighbors, family members who are still out of work or whose homes are still underwater,” he said. „Too many folks are still burdened by enormous college debt. Too many folks still don’t have a sense that tomorrow will be better than today.””So the question in this election is: Which way do we go?” Obama said. „Do we go forward towards a new vision of an America in which prosperity is shared, or do we go backward?”Obama’s remarks showed how his reelection campaign will respond to Ryan’s elevation: By doubling down on its message, not retooling it.Vice President Joe Biden welcomed Ryan to the race by telephone on Friday.And Obama campaign senior strategist David Axelrod and Republican leaders sparred about Ryan on the Sunday morning news shows.
Stephen Kiprotich beats Kenyans, long odds to win marathon and Uganda’s first gold in 40 years 10 hours agoLONDON – Stephen Kiprotich didn’t just overcome 26.2 miles and world-class Kenyan runners to win the Olympic men’s marathon on Sunday.The 23-year-old produced an upset on the streets of London to win Uganda‘s first Olympic gold medal in 40 years just days after being completely written off by his nation’s media.”To say that the Ugandan team will return from the Olympic Games with a medal is similar to believing that Uganda will qualify for the 2014 (soccer) World Cup,” Ugandan daily newspaper The Observer wrote. „See, both scenarios are realistically possible but executing them is anything but attainable. Kiprotich is not expected to mount any challenge in Sunday’s marathon.”Other Ugandan publications were just as dismissive about Kiprotich. But with a superb run that saw him go head-to-head with two members of the world’s most dominant marathon nation and then charge away with a devastating late burst, he carved out his own niche in Olympic history.Kenya, which remarkably had 278 runners with times good enough to qualify for this marathon but was only allowed to send three, had eventual silver medalist Abel Kirui and third-place finisher Wilson Kipsang surrounding the Ugandan in a leading group of three for much of the race.[ Related: Beijing marathon gold medalist’s death still a mystery ]It was a situation that Ugandan running chiefs have tried to avoid by developing more emerging talent and a stronger team, but nevertheless it happened. Kiprotich was isolated. He had become, to use African running parlance, the „rabbit.”Yet this rabbit was not going to be snared in the trap and won both the mental battle and physical strain that this tortuous event always brings. Out of 105 starters, 20 could not complete the course, but Kiprotich did it in a winning time of 2:08:01.
Kiprotich celebrates with his national flag after winning the men’s marathon (REUTERS)He made a critical break with four miles left and Kirui and Kipsang, who had made an ill-advised early burst before being reeled in, had nothing left to answer. Kiprotich was well clear as he surged down The Mall, the iconic avenue in central London that leads to the Queen’s residence at Buckingham Palace.He had time to grab a flag as he moved towards the finish line. Back home, where it was early on Sunday afternoon with most of the population having just left church, Ugandans celebrated wildly.It was Uganda’s first gold since John Akii-Bua set a world record in winning the 400-meter hurdles at the 1972 Munich Olympics. And the triumph was all the sweeter because it was so unexpected.”The press in Uganda thought he had no chance, so the public began to think the same,” said Faith Okee, a Uganda fan in London. „Even when we saw him move away with the Kenyan we assumed they would run him off. We hoped for a bronze.[ Related: Friends Rupp and Farah go 1-2 in men’s 10,000m ]”This is beyond our dreams and I have never been prouder to be Ugandan.”Perhaps it should not have been such a surprise after all. Kiprotich had pedigree to his name, having defeated running legend Haile Gebrselassie to finish third in the Tokyo Marathon earlier this year. Kiprotich is a quiet man of few words but his first comment after crossing the line was all that was needed.”This means a lot to Uganda,” he said.Indeed it does.
OVERALL MEDAL COUNT
|47||Trinidad and Tobago||1||0||3||4|
|86||Antigua and Barbuda||0||0||0||0|
|86||Bosnia and Herzegovina||0||0||0||0|
|86||Central African Republic||0||0||0||0|
|86||Democratic Republic of the Congo||0||0||0||0|
|86||Independent Olympic Athletes||0||0||0||0|
|86||Papua New Guinea||0||0||0||0|
|86||St. Kitts and Nevis||0||0||0||0|
|86||Sao Tome and Principe||0||0||0||0|
|86||St. Vincent and Grenadines||0||0||0||0|
|86||United Arab Emirates||0||0||0||0|
|86||British Virgin Islands||0||0||0||0|
|86||U.S. Virgin Islands||0||0||0||0|
London Games refreshed Olympic brand: IOC chief By Karolos Grohmann | Reuters – 14 hours ago LONDON (Reuters) – The 2012 London Games succeeded in refreshing the Olympic brand by injecting enthusiasm as organizers delivered on their promise to create an event tailor-made for athletes, Jacques Rogge said on Sunday.Hours before the flame is extinguished at the stadium’s cauldron during the Games closing ceremony, International Olympic Committee president Rogge said he was a happy man.”I am a happy and grateful man. On July 6, 2005 London promised athletes’ Games and that is exactly what we got,” said Rogge, who presided over his last Games, sitting next to London Games chief Sebastian Coe.”I will say history has been written by many athletes. The Games were absolutely fabulous. London has absolutely refreshed the Games,” he told reporters.Organizers, who struggled with some empty seats in officials’ seating areas in the opening days, saw the British public pour into the arenas, setting new spectator records.The host nation have won a record 28 gold medals going into the final day of competition – their best performance in more than a century as well as 15 silver and 19 bronze.Rogge said London would not be the same after hosting the Games and urged national sports bodies and politicians to harness the energy and momentum the Olympics had created across Britain with a long-term sports plan.”I think this is a challenge Britain faces, to continue on this wave. There is a great foundation that has been laid.”BALANCED BUDGET The outpouring of joy and enthusiasm, said Rogge, was vital for the success of the Olympics, prepared in the midst of a global economic downturn with an operational budget of two billion pounds and another 9.3 billion pounds in direct Olympic investment.”Everything indicates that the operational budget will be in balance,” Rogge said.London has had, until now, fewer doping cases than the Beijing Olympics four years ago with 11 athletes expelled by the IOC or their teams during the Olympic period starting in July 16.Another 117 were caught using banned substances in the two months leading up to the Games.There were 20 proven cases of doping at the Beijing Games four years ago, including six horses, down from 26 cases in Athens in 2004. Five of those positive tests emerged in re-testing of samples after the Games.”It is a sign that the system works,” Rogge said. „I am happy about the fact that we could catch athletes who cheated.”He said samples would again be kept for eight years and re-tested when newer methods of detection emerged or a yet unknown substance was revealed in the coming years.(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Justin Palmer)
USS Porter Collides With Oil Tanker in Persian Gulf By Martha Raddatz | ABC News – 10 hrs ago The U.S. Navy destroyer USS Porter suffered significant damage after colliding with an oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz on Sunday.The USS Porter was passing through the Strait of Hormuz into the Persian Gulf.The Japanese-owned, Panamanian flagged tanker M/V Otowasan was coming the other way, just entering the Strait of Hormuz, and the two crashed into one another.The shipping lanes are very narrow, about two miles wide in each lane. The crash left a hole in the side of the destroyer but no injuries were reported.The damage is all above the water-line, so there is no danger that the ship will sink, but likely sustained water damage because the fire control system would have activated.The USS Porter is headed to a port a called Jebel Ali in the UAE.
Obama opens his Chicago home to supporters By KEN THOMAS | Associated Press – 2 hrs 25 mins ago CHICAGO (AP) — The red-brick Georgian Revival home was gleaming: An American flag extended from the porch, the evergreen trees surrounding the yard were pruned and the red impatiens and begonias were blooming. Guests mingled at tables covered with stylish lime-colored tablecloths and listened to light jazz before their host said a few words.Just a nice summertime garden party on a Sunday — along with beefy Secret Service agents, the buzz of a motorcade waiting outside, and a black pole extending high over the corner of the property, dotted with surveillance equipment and cameras.”Welcome to my house!” said President Barack Obama, greeting donors at his South Side home. „I have to say, the lawn hasn’t looked this good in a while. But I figured, but at least Michelle figured, that if everyone was coming over we ought to neaten up a little bit.”Obama opened up his home in Chicago’s Kenwood neighborhood for a marquee fundraiser, welcoming about 75 of his top donors who wished the president a belated happy birthday — No. 51 — and gave big bucks to his re-election campaign. It was part of a full day of hometown fundraising for Obama, who was expected to haul in $3.5 million to $4 million to fuel his campaign against Republican Mitt Romney.The president was among friends, noting that many in the audience knew him „when I barely owned a suit,” a reference to his time as a community organizer during the mid-1980s. „This place is where I learned about the importance of bringing communities together to solve problems.”Michelle Obama wasn’t there, instead raising money for her husband’s campaign at events in Los Angeles. But the president reminded guests that she was born and raised in Chicago, where they met and started a family. „I think it’s fair to say I’m an adopted son of the South Side.”Obama’s weekend fundraising trip had all the trappings of a local homecoming, right down to the crowds gathered by the nearby Pancake House to cheer on his motorcade on Saturday night and a banner hanging on a fence a few blocks from his home that said, „Happy Birthday President Obama.”The weekend offered a rare two-night stay for Obama at his house. The president stayed at a hotel during NATO meetings in June because of security concerns. He arrived on Saturday afternoon and met advisers at his Chicago campaign headquarters, then grabbed dinner with friends at a local eatery called Piccolo Sogno Due, which means „Little Dream 2” in Italian.During his Chicago sojourn, his motorcade swept past Grant Park several times, letting him look at the park where throngs of supporters cheered his victory on election night in 2008. He could look out the window and see Soldier Field, home of his beloved Chicago Bears, and watch the final day of the Olympic Games on television.Making his own Olympic analogy, Obama told his donors — most of whom paid $40,000 per person to attend — that the 2012 election wasn’t going to turn out like a Usain Bolt race, referring to the dominant Jamaican sprinter who was so fast he could jog to the finish line. „We’re going to have to run through the tape. But we’re really well positioned to not just win but to keep America moving forward.”By dusk, with temperatures in the mid-70s, the president was ready for an evening stroll.His next fundraiser was at the home of Marty Nesbitt, one of his closest friends, followed by another at the home of Barbara Bowman, the mother of Valerie Jarrett, a longtime adviser and friend.Nesbitt’s home was so close that the president decided to walk, slinging his black blazer over his left shoulder while he was trailed by Secret Service agents and his entourage. He shook hands with cheering neighbors and gave a local TV crew a presidential shout-out for his favorite baseball team, the Chicago White Sox.”Nice to be home?” shouted a member of the press corps.”It’s always nice to be home,” Obama said. „A little cooler than Washington, isn’t it?”_Follow Ken Thomas on Twitter: http://twitter.com/AP_Ken_Thomas
Curtain falls on ‘glorious’ London Games By Talek Harris | AFP – 12 mins ago The London Olympics closed in a blaze of music and colour after a two-week sporting festival that electrified the host nation and was watched by billions around the world.Olympics President Jacques Rogge praised the Games as „happy and glorious” before the sporting spectacular was brought to a close in a three-hour ceremony rounded out with a performance from British rock band The Who.”Through your commitment to fair play, your respect for opponents, and your grace in defeat as well as in victory, you have earned the right to be called Olympians,” Rogge said. „These were happy and glorious Games.”The Spice Girls, George Michael, Brazilian football legend Pele and a cast of more than 4,000 entertained a packed crowd of 80,000 at Olympic Stadium, the focal point of a Games which has borne witness to an extraordinary fortnight.The ceremony also saw the handover of the Olympic flag to the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, a symbolic transfer which launches the four-year countdown to the 2016 Games to be held in the Brazilian city.Record-breaking sprinter Usain Bolt and swimmer Michael Phelps lit up Olympic Park, a former industrial site, and Jessica Ennis led an unexpectedly high number of British champions who kept fans’ excitement at fever-pitch.The United States topped the medals table with 46 golds, eight ahead of China, while Britain had 29 — their best since 1904. It was the first Games where every team had at least one female athlete.After 16 full days of competition, 302 Olympic titles were handed out and 46 world records were broken. More than seven million fans came out to watch Olympic events, and Bolt’s 200m win generated a record 80,000 tweets a minute.”Today was the closing of a wonderful Games in a wonderful city. We lit the flame and we lit up the world,” said Games chief Sebastian Coe.Prime Minister David Cameron received congratulations from US President Barack Obama, who called him to praise the organisation and the performance of the British team.”We reminded ourselves what we can do and, yes, we demonstrated that you should never ever count Team GB down and out,” Cameron said earlier.Cameron said the Games had reflected the best of Britain’s multicultural make-up, taking the example of Mo Farah, the winner of the men’s 10,000m title who went on to claim gold in the 5,000m on Saturday.Farah came to Britain as a refugee aged eight after spending his early years in Somalia and Djibouti.”It’s a Britain where a boy born in Somalia, Mo Farah, can come here, seize opportunities, and run his way into the nation’s heart,” Cameron said.”It’s a Britain where we cheer ourselves hoarse not just for Team GB but for Team Jamaica or, as people have just done on the Mall, Team Uganda,” he added, referring to the winner of Sunday’s men’s marathon Stephen Kiprotich.”Over the past couple of weeks, we have looked in the mirror and we like what we have seen as a country,” he said.Britain’s newspapers on Monday reflected the country’s new-found pride but also betrayed a tinge of sadness that the Games were over.”Thanks, it’s been a blast,” said the Daily Telegraph’s front page, while the Guardian bade „Goodbye to the Glorious Games”.”No one is as surprised as the hosts that this fraught and complex festival of striving should have gone so well,” said The Times, calling the Games a „great exhibition of competence, creativity, athleticism and sportsmanship.”The final day of sport saw 15 medals decided, with the United States’ Dream Team wrapping up victory over Spain in the basketball final as the Americans cemented their place on top of the medal table ahead of China.The last day started in traditional style with the men’s marathon, with Kiprotich delivering only Uganda’s second ever Olympic gold medal in a race that finished in the shadow of Buckingham Palace.Kiprotich timed 2hr 08min 01sec on the spectacular course around the streets of central London, with two-time defending world champion Abel Kirui claiming silver in 2:08.27.Anthony Joshua handed Britain the perfect end to the Olympic boxing tournament with his super heavyweight triumph to win Britain’s 29th gold.Teenager Robeisy Ramirez joined the long list of Cuban Olympic ring kings with a victory in the flyweight final over Mongolia’s Tugstsogt Nyambayar.”The moment I heard I won I fell on the floor because it was overwhelming. I am 18 years old and I am already an Olympic champion,” said the teenager.