Miss Philippines wins Miss Universe, but mistakenly crowned first to another
Miss Philippines won this year’s Miss Universe competition Sunday in Las Vegas, but Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach’s crowning was delayed when host Steve Harvey mistakenly announced the first runner-up, Miss Colombia, as the winner.
Ariadna Gutierrez Arevalo initially was crowned and blew kisses to the audience for a few minutes on live television before Harvey returned to the stage with an apology. He said he took full responsibility for wrongly reading the card announcing the winner and the runners-up.
Wurtzbach, Miss Philippines, appeared stunned at the announcement as she walked up to Arevalo, who was still wearing the Miss Universe crown. Eventually, the crown was transferred to Wurtzbach.
Adding insult to injury, Harvey tweeted an apology in which he misspelled both Colombia and Philippines. The mistakes were corrected later. VOA
FIFA bans Sepp Blatter, Michel Platini for 8 years
On Monday, a FIFA ethics committee in Switzerland banned outgoing president of the world soccer governing body, Sepp Blatter, plus his presumptive heir, Michel Platini, for eight years after finding them guilty of ethics violations.
The ban, which prohibits two of the most powerful men in soccer from engaging in any soccer-related activities, probably ends Platini’s bid to replace Blatter when FIFA holds a special vote on his replacement in February and derails Blatter’s plans to helm that FIFA congress. Both men are expected to appeal the ban. Blatter and Platini were judged guilty of violating FIFA rules on conflicts of interest, bribery, and breach of loyalty, particularly regarding a $2 million payment Blatter had authorized for Platini in 2011. The Associated Press via The Week
Obama against Islamic state
Barack Obama expressed confidence those opposing the Islamic State group will “prevail,” and said he thinks there will be “significant progress” in that effort by the time he leaves office.
In an interview with NPR News released Monday, Obama called Islamic State a “virulent, nasty organization,” but stressed that the worst damage the militants could do to the United States is if people change their way of life and values.
More than a year ago the president authorized the beginning of a U.S.-led air campaign in Iraq and Syria to go after the militants. Since then, coalition planes have conducted about 9,000 airstrikes, and Obama said Islamic State has lost 40 percent of the populated territory it once controlled.
But the militants still hold large areas, including major cities in both Syria and Iraq, bringing criticism of the U.S. response and calls for Obama to send in American ground troops. VOA
Murray wins BBC sports personality of the year award
Andy Murray has been voted the BBC Sports Personality of the Year for the second time in three years. The 2013 winner inspired Great Britain’s tennis team to a first Davis Cup victory for 79 years. Rugby league star Kevin Sinfield was runner-up, with heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill third.
Scot Murray, 28, won 361,446 of the 1,009,498 votes cast (35%), with Sinfield getting 278,353 (28%) and Ennis-Hill 78,898 (8%). Murray was presented the award by Irish boxing legend Barry McGuigan, in front of a sell-out 7,500 crowd at the SSE Arena in Belfast.
A two-time Grand Slam winner, this year he reached the final of the Australian Open and the semi-finals of both Wimbledon and the French Open. He finished the year second in the world rankings and won all 11 of his Davis Cup rubbers, including three in the final against Belgium.
He was also named Young Sports Personality of the Year in 2004. BBC
Rubio calls out Trump on Putin
“He’s jailed and murdered journalists, political opponents,” Rubio said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” Rubio said that while the U.S. has to “deal with (Putin)” from a “geopolitical, realistic level,” the Russian president “is not someone who is going to go down in history as a great leader.”
Last week, many Republican candidates spoke out against Trump after he embraced Putin as a world leader he would get along with and respected. Putin praised Trump during his annual address calling him “bright and talented.”
“He’s running his country and at least he’s a leader, unlike what we have in this country,” Trump said during a telephone interview Friday on MSNBC. Fox news
- Sepp Blatter demands termination of his Fifa ban (telegraph.co.uk)
- The Best Moments of Putin’s Annual Press Conference (abc7chicago.com)