Brazil Guarantee to FIFA World Cup 2014

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Brazil reassured FIFA on Friday it will fulfill its commitments related to preparations for the 2014 World Cup.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter said he had a "good meeting" with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and they agreed to work more closely together to help keep the country's preparations on track.

He added he will deal with the problem involving the Brazilian government and FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke, who was in charge of working with the government. The meeting came two weeks after Valcke made harsh remarks about Brazil's slow preparations for the tournament.

Pele and Ronaldo also joined Blatter and Rousseff in the nation's capital. Brazil Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo, who threatened to cut the country's ties with Valcke, also attended. Pele is a World Cup ambassador, while Ronaldo is a member of the local organizing committee.

"It was a good meeting because it gave me an opportunity, and (an opportunity) to the president, to exchange some points of views on this World Cup," Blatter said. "I'm happy with the outcome of this meeting. You will see a smiling FIFA president and we are looking forward to a very good organization here."

The FIFA president said he was happy to hear from the government that it remains committed to fulfilling the guarantees promised to FIFA.

"The president has said that there is no doubt that the government of Brazil will implement all guarantees that have been given to FIFA by the government before she entered into office," he said. "The government will fulfill the requirements and guarantees given, and I trust Brazil."

FIFA had been expressing concerns over delays by Brazil's Congress to approve a World Cup bill regulating the tournament and giving FIFA the financial and legal guarantees needed to organize the event.

The sticking point in the bill is the sale of alcohol inside stadiums, which is against the law in Brazil but is demanded by FIFA because Budweiser is a major World Cup sponsor. Despite Rousseff's assurances to Blatter on Friday, it remains up to Brazil's Congress to approve it.

The bill was one of the issues that prompted Valcke to make his remarks two weeks ago. Blatter asked for the meeting with Rousseff while apologizing for Valcke's comments, but he hinted the issue was not a main topic in Friday's meeting.

"We have not discussed any details with President Dilma. FIFA's secretary general is a theme for FIFA," Blatter said. "Jerome Valcke continues to work for FIFA. The problem between Jerome Valcke and Brazil is a problem for FIFA's president, which the president has to solve."

Blatter said he still hasn't made a decision on whether Valcke will remain FIFA's representative working with the Brazilian government. He asked for more time before deciding.

Pele said the meeting was important to help clear the air between the host country and FIFA.

"It was needed to solve all the misunderstandings ahead of the World Cup," he said. "From now on we will move forward with harmony, without any mishaps, and I'm confident that we will host the best World Cup of all time."

Blatter also dismissed problems with the exit of Ricardo Teixeira, the embattled former head of Brazilian soccer who resigned this week from the Brazilian federation after 23 years in charge. He also resigned as president of the 2014 World Cup local organizing committee and was replaced by 79-year-old former Sao Paulo state governor Jose Maria Marin.

Blatter said the change was "natural and normal."

Teixeira, who remains a FIFA executive committee member, was accused of taking kickbacks from former FIFA marketing partner ISL in the 1990s. Blatter said recently he will release documents concerning the ISL case, which could implicate the Brazilian official. Teixeira denies any wrongdoing.

The Brazilian government also said it was satisfied with the meeting with Blatter that lasted a little more than an hour.

"The meeting with Dilma was constructive," Rebelo said. "It reaffirmed the common goal of Brazil and FIFA to host a great World Cup, to work together with harmony and cooperation."

Former Brazil striker Ronaldo said it was an "excellent meeting" for the local organizing committee.

"Again we received guarantees that the federal government is focused on the preparations and I have no doubt that we will deliver the best World Cup of all time," the three-time FIFA player of the year said.

Tiger Woods injury withdraws World Golf Championship Photos

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One week after Tiger Woods showed some of his old magic, he hobbled off the golf course with an old injury.

And the Masters is only three weeks away.

Woods pounded a 321-yard tee shot on the 12th hole Sunday in the Cadillac Championship when he winced, slumping over against his driver, and the hobble became an unmistakable limp. Moments later, he shook hands with Webb Simpson and told him, "I've got to go in."

He was driven off in a cart to the parking lot at Doral, walked gingerly to a black sedan and drove away.

"I felt tightness in my left Achilles warming up this morning, and it continued to get progressively worse," Woods said in a statement. "After hitting my tee shot at 12, I decided it was necessary to withdraw. In the past, I may have tried to continue to play, but this time I decided to do what I thought was necessary."

It's the same Achilles that he injured last year at Augusta National, which eventually caused Woods to miss two majors last year.

The severity of this injury won't be known until Woods has it evaluated.

NBC Sports showed Woods behind the wheel as he drove away from Doral in the black sedan.

"I didn't really notice anything," Simpson said. "I wasn't paying much attention, but it looked like he made a swing on 12 that really hurt. But didn't say a whole lot. Class act. Shook my hand. Off he went.

"He just shook my hand and said, 'I've got to go in.' You could feel he was hurting. He didn't say a whole lot, but his expression was enough that he was in enough pain to end it."

Woods is scheduled to play in two weeks at Bay Hill, his last tournament before the Masters. Woods is a four-time champion at Augusta National, and with an ordinary game, he still has tied for fourth the last two years.

"It's a shame because he looked like he was coming out this year, swinging it really well, playing good, getting himself into contention," said Rory McIlroy, who held off Woods' charge last week at the Honda Classic. "It's probably just precautionary, but I really hope he's healthy for the Masters, because obviously it would be a great week with him there. He can spark an interest in golf that no one else can."

Doral was Woods' third straight tournament. He lost in the second round of the Match Play Championship, then shot 62 to tie for second in the Honda. When asked after the third round Saturday at Doral how is body was holding up through this stretch, he replied, "It feels great."

Steve Stricker played with him in the third round Saturday and said he didn't notice anything out of the ordinary.

"He always walks with a limp a little bit," Stricker said. "I noticed it a little bit again. I thought maybe that's something he always has, like a habit."

Woods changed shoes at the turn and was lifting his left leg, slightly flexing his ankle. His limp became more pronounced, especially after he pulled his second shot on the par-5 10th, leading to bogey. The limp grew worse, and moments later, Woods was gone.

"I think maybe his heel was bothering him, or something with his foot," Simpson said. "I don't think it's anything serious. Like I said, we didn't talk or anything, so I'm not sure exactly what it was."

It's the third time in three years that Woods has withdrawn from a tournament. The most recent was at The Players Championship last May, when he hobbled off the TPC Sawgrass after a 42 on the opening nine holes.

He then took three months off to let his left leg fully heal, returning at the Bridgestone Invitational. Woods said he wanted to make sure he didn't come back until he knew there would be no more issues with his leg. Since then, he has been able to practice more and adjust to swing changes, and from tee-to-green his golf has looked solid.

"That's not good news," Justin Rose said after his one-shot victory for his first World Golf Championship. "Hopefully, (he's) holding himself back for the Masters and doesn't want do any more damage."

Woods has had four surgeries on his left knee dating to when he was at Stanford. The most significant was in June 2008, when he had reconstructive surgery to repair ligaments just a week after winning the U.S. Open for his 14th major. Woods has not won a major since then, and he has missed four majors because of injuries.

Woods attracted the largest galleries of the week, even starting the final round eight shots out of the lead. When he left, so did most of the crowd.

"It was a bit weird," Simpson said. "It went from one extreme to the other, from playing with all the people to playing with no people. I wasn't playing too good, so I didn't really care."

Afghan Shooting U.S. Seeks Damage Videos Photos

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President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta both called Afghan President Hamid Karzai to express their condolences after an American soldier in Afghanistan wandered off base and allegedly gunned down 16 villagers. Panetta vowed to "bring those responsible to justice."

In a statement released Sunday by the White House, Obama said, "This incident is tragic and shocking, and does not represent the exceptional character of our military and the respect that the United States has for the people of Afghanistan."

Panetta said a full investigation was already under way.

A U.S. official said the suspect is a conventional soldier from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. He was assigned to support a special operations unit of either Green Berets or Navy SEALs engaged in a village stability operation.

Such operations are among NATO's best hopes for transitioning out of Afghanistan. They pair special operations troops with local villagers chosen by village elders to become essentially a sanctioned, armed neighborhood watch.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was still ongoing.

Afghans have expressed doubt that a single soldier could have carried out the shootings. And on Monday the militant Taliban vowed to avenge the shootings, saying on a website that "American savages" were responsible.

Gen. John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, issued a statement pledging a "rapid and thorough investigation" into the shooting spree, and said the soldier will remain in U.S. custody.

U.S. officials said the service member was being detained in Kandahar. One U.S. official said the soldier, an Army staff sergeant, was believed to have acted alone and said initial reports indicated he returned to the base after the shooting and turned himself in.

The shootings come at a particularly sensitive and critical time for the U.S., just as violence over the burning of Muslim holy books at a U.S. base was starting to calm down. Sunday's incident could further fuel calls for a more rapid withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

The destruction of Qurans in a fire pit used to burn garbage last month sparked violent protests that killed some 30 people. Six U.S. service members were killed in attacks by Afghan security forces since that incident, which U.S. officials have apologized for and said was accidenta

NCAA Tournament 2012 Top Seeds Kentucky, Syracuse, North Carolina

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Were they minor hiccups or something much bigger? Kentucky, Syracuse and North Carolina will sort that out over the next three weeks.

For now, though, they have "No. 1" by their names — top seeds and beneficiaries of a selection committee that all but ignored their weekend losses and put them in prime position for the NCAA tournament.

"The win streak? That's done now," Kentucky coach John Calipari said after his team lost only its second game of the season, a setback to Vanderbilt in the SEC tournament Sunday that ended a 24-game winning streak. "The fact that we were invincible? That's done now. We're going to be in a dog fight. That's how you have to approach this. Play each game like it's your last."

It's what the NCAA tournament is all about — a three-week free-for-all that gives little guys such as VCU, a Final Four team last year, and Iona, one of the last teams to squeak into the tournament this year, a chance against Kentucky, Carolina and the rest of the so-called power teams.

Michigan State earned the fourth and final No. 1 seed and was the only top-billed team to win its conference tournament. The Spartans defeated Ohio State 68-64 in the Big Ten title game Sunday and earned top seeding for the first time since 2001. Michigan State is seeking its first national title since 2000.

"We were playing for a No. 1 seed, which we knew was a possibility," Spartans forward Draymond Green said. "And we were playing to do something that hasn't been done here since 2000. That's all the motivation we needed."

While No. 2 seeds Kansas, Duke, Missouri and Ohio State wonder whether they could have been rated higher, teams such as Drexel, Seton Hall, Mississippi State and Pac-12 regular-season champion Washington curse what might have been. Those bubble teams were left out, and all will be wondering how Iona, California, North Carolina State and South Florida made it in.

The Big East led all conferences with nine teams, including defending national champion Connecticut, a dangerous No. 9 seed, conference tournament winner Louisville and, of course, Syracuse, which cruised through most of the season with only one loss.

"I think it's going to help us a little bit," coach Jim Boeheim said of the second defeat, Friday to Cincinnati in the Big East tournament. "I think players, when they're winning, they kind of excuse their mistakes. I think we finally got their attention. I think they'll be a better team going forward than they were last week."

There were 11 at-large teams from the so-called mid-major conferences, four more than last year and the most since 2004 when 12 made it.

Though the committee claims not to consider a team's conference when it picks the bracket, this was nonetheless a nod to how unpredictable this tournament can be. Last year, 4,000-student Butler finished as national runner-up for the second straight season, while VCU, of the Colonial Athletic Conference, went from one of the last teams in the draw, all the way to the Final Four.

Who might be this year's VCU?

It's the question being asked across the country, as those $10- and $20-a-pop brackets start getting filled out in office pools and Internet contests around America. The tournament starts Tuesday with first-round games and gets into full swing Thursday and Friday, with 64 teams in action.

"There were 112 teams with more than 20 wins," said Jeff Hathaway, chairman of the NCAA selection committee. "We talked a lot about parity at the high end of the field and about quality throughout the field. Bottom line, it was about who did you play, where'd you play them and how did you do?"

Some results, though, were less important than others, and apparently, losing in the conference tournament didn't cost Syracuse, Kentucky or North Carolina. Those losses could have created chaos in the bracket, but the committee had the teams more or less cemented into top spots.

"Seeding really doesn't matter too much," Tar Heels guard P.J. Hairston said after Carolina's loss to Florida State in the ACC title game Sunday, but before he knew his team would have a '1' by its name. "As long as you get in the dance, it's an equal opportunity to get to the Final Four."

The Tar Heels open their run in the Midwest regional against the winner of a first-round game between Lamar and Vermont.

Led by freshmen Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, either of whom could be one-and-done in Calipari's turnover-heavy program, Kentucky is the No. 1 overall seed. Kentucky was placed in the South region and potentially could play six games without having to leave the Southeast.

Kentucky will open its 52nd NCAA tournament appearance in Louisville against the winner of a first-round game between Mississippi Valley State and Western Kentucky, but it gets tougher from there. A possible second-round opponent is UConn, with No. 4 Indiana and No. 2 Duke possibly waiting beyond that. Indiana handed Kentucky its first loss this year and anyone who knows college hoops knows about Duke-Kentucky: This is the 20th anniversary of Duke forward Christian Laettner's last-second catch-and-shoot game-winner against the Wildcats.

In the West, Michigan State will begin its quest for its seventh Final Four since 1999 against No. 16 LIU. The bottom of the West draw features No. 2 Missouri, which won the Big 12 tournament but got penalized for a weak nonconference schedule.

"That hasn't changed at all over the years," Hathaway said when asked whether the committee rewards programs that beef up their schedules.

In the East region, Syracuse opens against UNC Asheville with a possible third-round matchup against Jared Sullinger and Ohio State. Other games include No. 3 Florida State, which went 4-1 against Duke and North Carolina this year, against No. 14 St. Bonaventure, which was a surprise winner of the A-10 conference tournament and took a bubble spot away.

Maybe Drexel's?

"There must be a lot of people on the basketball committee that don't know too much about basketball," said Dragons coach Bruiser Flint, whose team went 27-6.

Others left out included Miami, Northwestern, Nevada and Oral Roberts. All had flaws, as did Iona, though the Gaels' strength of schedule appeared to carry them through.

"We tried to play teams or conferences ranked above ours, and most of those games we really had to play on the road to get those games," Iona coach Tim Cluess said. "We spent seven, eight weeks in a row on the road this year, but those were the teams we had to play to give ourselves a chance."`

Student Stabs Teacher to Death Inside School Chennai, Photos

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 In Chennai,15-year-old, IX Standard student stabs a 39-year-old teacher to death,

Uma Maheswari, who taught Hindi and Science at St Mary's Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School in Chennai, died on the spot after being stabbed repeatedly in the neck, face and abdomen by a 15-year-old, standard IX student,

Reports suggest that the boy walked in to the classroom at around 11.00 am, when there were very few students in the class, and is believed to have launched a murderous assault on the hapless teacher.

Even as the teacher screamed out and before any other students or teachers could come to her rescue the boy had stabbed her multiple times.

The teacher reportedly fell on the floor, bleeding profusely and the attacker tried to get away. However, with the alarm being raised by the onlookers, the boy was finally caught by some teachers and students, and later handed over to the police.

The teacher was rushed to the hospital, but was declared dead on arrival by the doctors.

Shock and tension pervaded the school premises and parents rushed to the school upon hearing of the incident to take their wards home. Meanwhile, the school management declared a holiday for the remainder of the day.

Classmates of the attacker described him as aloof and said that he was probably angry as the teacher had scolded him.

BJP Ministers Karnataka Assembly Watching Porns Videos Photos

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Laxman Savadi the Karnataka Cooperation Minister caught for watching porn videos on his mobile in Karnataka assembly.

Kannada TV channels showed Savadi with Women and Child Welfare Minister C.C. Patil next to him watching the sex act on his cell when the assembly was discussing a pro-Hindu group allegedly hoisting a Pakistani flag in north Karnataka recently.

Savadi, Patil and Chief Minister D. V. Sadananda Gowda were not immediately available for comment.

Opposition Congress and Janata Dal-Secular blasted the ministers and the BJP, and sought the immediate dismissal of the two ministers. They should be expelled from the assembly, they said.

"This is the most shameful incident in the history of Karnataka assembly. Savadi should be sacked as minister and expelled from the assembly," Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah of the Congress told reporters.

State JD-S chief and former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy too sought immediate dismissal of Savadi and said his party will decide Wednesday action to be taken in the assembly and outside over the "shocking incident".

50 Year Old US Teachers Sent Love Letters to 11 Year Old Boy

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Authorities are investigating allegations that a teacher's aide in her 50s sent love letters to an 11-year-old boy attending the Los Angeles-area school where two teachers have been charged with molesting students.

The Los Angeles Times newspaper says the mother of a student came to officials at Miramonte Elementary School in 2009 to report that the female aide had written several letters, including one that said the boy gave her chills.

The mother told the Times that she met with school officials and the teacher's aide acknowledged writing the letters.

A school district spokeswoman says the woman no longer works for the school system.

Mark Berndt and Martin Springer are facing charges that they committed lewd acts on children in their Miramonte classrooms.