Saturday, September 1, 2012

London, England — With the table tennis event taking place in the ExCeL North Arena 1, Poland’s Piotr Grudzien beat Slovakia’s Richard Csejtey in Group A of the men’s singles Paralympics competition early yesterday by three sets to one. The first set lasted 28 minutes, ending in a win for Csejtey at 9–11; Grudzien came back to win the next three sets with scores of 12–10, 12–10, and 11–8. None of the four sets took over six minutes.

Grudzien was on his toes most of the match, moving around the table, touching the left-hand corner on his side of the net after every point. The pair had contrasting experiences in their first round matches; Grudzien lost in straight sets to Iraq’s Saeed Ali whereas Csejtey won all his sets against Ali.

Twenty-year old Grudzien came into the Games as the defending silver medalist aiming to take home another medal. Playing for ZSR Start Zielona Gora, Zielona Gora, his left arm is shorter than his right and his right leg shorter than his left.

Grudzien’s next scheduled match is the Men’s Team Class 6–8 First Round on Wednesday when Poland faces Ukraine.

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Honda Civic tops Canada’s list of most stolen cars

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Honda Civic tops Canada’s list of most stolen cars
Author: U5M4mh Posted under: Uncategorized

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The 1999 and 2000 year model Honda Civic SiR tops the list of Canada’s most stolen cars.

Consumer popularity also assures the cars will be popular with thieves. Its the second year in a row the Honda SiR has topped the list.

Rick Dubin Vice President of Investigations for the Insurance Bureau of Canada said “The Civics are easy targets.”

Dubin said that once stolen, the cars are most often sold to “chop shops” where thieves completely dismantle the vehicles. The automobile’s individual parts are worth more than the entire car.

The sheer numbers of the cars and their lack of theft deterrent systems make them thieves’ preferred choices.

1999 and 2000 Honda Civics do not come with an electronic immobilizer, however all Hondas from 2001 and onward are equipped with an immobilizer. Immobilizers will be mandatory on all new cars sold beginning September 2007. The devices enable an engine computer to recognize an electronic code in the key. If the code in the key and the engine don’t match exactly, the vehicle can’t be started.

In third place was the 2004 Subaru Impreza, while the 1999 Acura Integra came in fourth, with the 1994 Honda Civic rounding out the top five.

In sixth place, the 1998 Acura Integra, and the 1993 Dodge Shadow completed seventh.

When asked why early model vehicles are selected, he said that, “auto thieves continue to find it easier to steal older vehicles lacking an IBC-approved immobilizer. We’ve seen this trend developing for several years, and these results confirm it.”

Another Honda automobile, the 1996 year model Civic filled eighth place, with the 2000 German Audi TT Quattro in ninth.

The American 1996 Chevrolet/GMC Blazer rounded out the top ten.

None of the above cars had an electronic immobilizer.

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Microsoft extends warranty for all Xbox 360s

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Microsoft extends warranty for all Xbox 360s
Author: U5M4mh Posted under: Uncategorized

Saturday, December 23, 2006

On December 22, 2006 Microsoft has announced that it has extended its warranty for all Xbox 360 video game consoles to one year in the United States. While this one year warranty applies to all Xbox 360 software as well, Xbox 360 accessories will still carry their original 90 day warranty.

According to a statement by Microsoft:

“Customers that experience hardware issues with their Xbox 360 within one year of purchase will have their consoles repaired at no cost. Moreover, the new warranty policy is retroactive, so consumers that may have already paid for out-of-warranty Xbox 360 repair within one year of the console’s purchase will be eligible for reimbursement of their console repair charges.”

This extension should help ease customers’ minds who have been concerned with the Xbox 360’s reputation for hardware failures. A partial list of hardware issues can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xbox_360_technical_problems

People who have paid for Xbox 360 repair will be automatically distributed a reimbursement check in about 10 weeks from the present date.

Previously in September, 2006, Microsoft had waived the cost for repairs on all Xbox 360 consoles made before January 1, 2006, and refunded any fees already paid.

A full description of the updated warranty can be found here: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/support/systemsetup/xbox360/resources/warranty.htm

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Syrian citizen journalists risk death, targeted; city of Homs facing starvation

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Syrian citizen journalists risk death, targeted; city of Homs facing starvation
Author: U5M4mh Posted under: Uncategorized

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Syrian forces have been shelling the Baba Amr district of Homs, Syria for almost a month. Civilians and journalists are amongst the dead, and Wikinews spoke to a local citizen journalist, attracting attention both from the world’s media and from the Syrian Armed Forces. According to Wikinews’ source, much of Homs is without water, and a city facing starvation.

Syrian forces began a ground assault on Homs February 4, using troops, and bombarding the city with tanks and artillery. To this day, the bombardment continues. Soldiers frequently clash with anti-government protesters, and ‘freedom fighters’ of the Free Syrian Army in violent, often deadly encounters. In the Baba Amr district of the city, “Omar” [for his safety, we only use his first name, Ed.], a citizen journalist with the Homs Media Center, created an account on the Bambuser website where users can stream live footage from PCs or mobile phones. He then pointed a camera out of his home, overlooking the city, and began broadcasting footage live on the Internet.

The violent, often deadly, events following may have, indirectly, resulted from this action. Journalists discussed in this article put their lives in jeopardy to give the world a record of events; in some cases, dying doing so. But, their deaths may not have been accidental; evidence suggests possible intentional targeting by Syrian government forces.

Omar usually began broadcasting just before sunrise. At 5:18 a.m. (EET) in Homs on February 9, Omar started his live broadcast; the sky still dark, with only a few lights flickering around the area. Sporadic gun and rocket fire between Syrian forces and the Free Syrian Army audible on the live feed. By sunrise, gun battles had ceased, the city silent except for the occasional rooster welcoming the morning sun. As daylight broke tanks inside the city, and artillery on its outskirts, began shelling buildings and other targets. Throughout the morning, rocket fire and tank shelling could be heard getting closer and closer to Omar’s position.

At approximately 07:40 EET, nearly two-and-a-half hours into the broadcast, the camera’s microphone records the audio of the brief, but distinct, ‘whistle’ of a rocket or shell as it sails through the air. It strikes close to the camera’s position, causing it to wobble an shake, nearly tipping over; smoke obscures the camera’s view, debris falling onto it whilst sounds of parts of nearby buildings collapsing are heard.

The camera continues to film, apparently undamaged. Omar’s house isn’t so lucky, suffering a direct hit from a rocket. Out of the camera’s view, people inside the house begin to scream. Less than two minutes later, a second rocket strikes the house just above and behind the camera’s position; again, causing it to shake. The sun casts the rising smoke’s shadow on the house next door as more debris hits the camera. Further screams are heard as rubble collapses around people inside. Those inside, running and shouting, now make up most of the broadcast audio; some begin to pray, whilst others bring round a car to carry out the injured or dead. Moments later another rocket is fired, residents screaming warnings to each other of another possible incoming strike. An explosion is heard, and smoke can be seen rising, center-right of the camera shot, from the rocket striking nearby.

A few minutes later, two men are seen coming out onto their balcony and looking in the direction of the house that was just hit. They talk, looking and pointing in the direction of Omar’s house, with the sound of gunfire in the area. At 07:50, they go back inside and out of sight.

Three minutes later a rocket is fired, striking that house, exactly where the two men were standing. It is unknown if they were killed or injured in the attack, but according to Omar the attacks around his home left five dead, three women and two men; Omar himself survives unscathed.

Despite the deaths in the February 9 attack, Omar kept his camera rolling whenever awake; but, that was about to change.

February 15 was a relatively quiet morning but, as sunrise gave way to the daylight, rockets began hitting targets in the city for the eleventh consecutive day. Shortly before 08:00 EET, a small plume of black smoke appears, left side of the live broadcast, an oil pipeline having sustained its first direct hit. Moments later, a second strike on the pipeline is in-shot, also to the left of the camera’s view. The acrid smoke from this strike quickly begins to grow.

Shortly after the second hit on the pipeline Omar enters the room, moving the camera to show both strikes. Twin plumes of thick black smoke are now visible rising in the distance. Omar states the oil pipeline sustained damage from an attack by Syrian military aircraft. From a United States Department of State satellite photo taken after the bombing, the pipeline is seen near a densely populated area of the city, with farmland lying to the west. The smoke from the pipeline fire blankets nearly all of the populated area, to the east, in range of the photo.

After repositioning the camera, Omar decided to leave his house to undertake some field work; a fortuitous move as Omar stated on his Twitter stream, “after we left the house” a rocket made a direct hit on it, leaving a hole in one of the sides. There were no injuries in the attack, the building being unoccupied at the time.

With sunset closing in and the pipeline still ablaze, Omar turned off his camera, not just for the night — indefinitely. Omar now believes he is in too much danger to broadcast further, tweeting: “[I] really am confused […] am worried to turn the live camera on. It’s become very dangerous.” Omar has since left his home.

Crucial as some of the live footage may be at getting pictures of bloodshed inside Syria out; for now, much of the output which ended up hosted on Bambuser has dried up. On February 17, the Syrian government blocked access to the website and its mobile phone application. Despite government action, some isolated examples of live footage continue making their way out of Syria, mainly from mobile phones.

Bambuser speculate that Syrian authorities’ move to block access may be a result of Omar’s live footage showing the oil pipeline fire on Feburary 15. That footage was rebroadcast on several major news networks, including CNN, BBC News, Al Jazeera and Sky News.

“We believe this footage was the trigger for the Syrian government to block access to bambuser.com and disable the possibility to broadcast live video with mobile phones on Syrian 3G,” said a Bambuser statement on their website. Bambuser has been blocked previously in other countries. Access to the site was blocked by Egypt in January 2011, during their revolution. Bahrain blocked the site six months ago, and it remains blocked to this day.

Bambuser’s statement continues: “Not only have we helped them get their message out, but they also say it means much in terms of morale for everyone in this situation. They [The Syrian people] know the world is watching, sharing and it gives them hope. No matter where in the world there is unrest, we at Bambuser always do our best to support and help observers”.

Omar is not alone in being at-risk; on February 18 a funeral for three men, shot and killed by Syrian forces during an anti-government protest the prior day, was being held in the central Mezzeh district of Damascus.

Over fifteen thousand people, including women and children, filled the streets paying their respects. After a prayer, during which mourners remained completely silent, the procession turned into a mass-protest. With mourners-turned-protesters marching down the streets, the sky over Damascus darkened and snow began falling. With the change of weather appearing to embolden the protesters, their chants grew louder.

Shortly thereafter, Syrian forces surrounded the front of the march, and opening fire with live rounds and tear gas. Panicked people quickly scattered, turning the once-peaceful march into a stampede. At least one was shot and killed. Dozens of others sustained injuries. This was the first time Syrian forces opened fire on protesters in central Mezzeh.Those people are just a small fraction of those who have been killed or injured since the uprisings began. It is estimated that from five thousand to upwards of seven thousand people have been killed since January of last year. As a result, on February 20, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) announced it was attempting to negotiate a cease fire by all parties “to facilitate swift Syrian Arab Red Crescent and ICRC access to the people in need.”

The ICRC wants troops to halt their attacks in cities that have seen the most fighting in order to deliver care packages. Bijan Farnoudi, a spokesman for the Red Cross, said discussions include “several possibilities” in which the packages can be delivered. Though the organization has been delivering food and supplies to as many cities and citizens as possible, heavy fighting in areas such as the Baba Amr district of Homs has made it increasingly difficult for aid to be delivered. Even while the Red Cross worked to negotiate a cease fire, reports out of Homs on February 20 said Syrian forces were amassing troops and tanks outside the city in preparation for an all-out ground invasion. According to Omar, the shellings continued, but on February 24, the Red Cross announced it was allowed to begin evacuating injured women and children from the city.

On February 21, a member of the Homs Media Center was killed by a rocket as Syrian forces continued their bombardment of the city for an eighteenth straight day. Rami al-Sayed was reported to have been severely injured by a rocket while attempting to evacuate individuals to a makeshift hospital, during what activists call the worst day of bombardment since Syrian forces began their attack on the city on February 4. According to Bambuser, he and three others were inside a car when it was hit by a mortar, immediately killing the others. Sayed bled to death at the hospital.

Sayed was a videographer “crucial in getting the truth out through his videos posted on the Internet. We will really miss him, especially the medical team who relied on him to document all the civilian injuries and deaths on video,” said Omar in an interview with CNN. Sayed also was one of the men affiliated with the account ‘syriapioneer’ on Bambuser. Like Omar, he would broadcast live footage of the events on the ground in Homs. Bambuser published the last known message sent out to friends and family: “Babaamr is facing a genocide right now. I will never forgive you for your silence. You all have just give us your words but we need actions. However our hearts will always be with those who risk their life for our freedom. … In a few hours there will be NO place called BabaAmr and I expect this will be my last message and no one will forgive you who talked but didn’t act.” Sayed, 26, had a daughter of 18 months. In December, a citizen-journalist cousin of Sayed’s, Basil al-Sayed, was also killed. In a statement to Wikinews Omar described Sayed as “my best friend” and they both have worked as citizen journalists for about “10 months”, around the beginning of the uprisings.

The killings didn’t end there. Another two journalists were killed February 22, whilst at the Homs Media Center. Marie Colvin, a Sunday Times journalist, and award winning French photographer Rémi Ochlik, were killed when rockets hit the center. At least two others were injured in the attack, French journalist Edith Bouvier and British photographer Paul Conroy.

The Syrian government denies involvement, saying their deaths were “absolutely not” caused “by Syrian armies.” The following day Bouvier made a video plea to Syrian forces that she be allowed to leave Homs to seek medical attention. Conroy stated, despite leg wounds, he was “OK.”

Omar was in a Skype conversation with a friend at the media center when the attack took place. He recorded the call’s audio using a web camera and posted the video on YouTube; sounds of explosions and possible gunfire can be heard throughout. Reports strongly suggest the media center attack was deliberate; radio communications between Syrian government forces indicate orders to attack the building — whilst making it appear individuals died caught in a gun battle with terrorists.

HAVE YOUR SAY
What are your thoughts on the situation in Syria?Is the report from the Arab League credible in light of our video footage?How do you believe the international community should respond?
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It is because of situations such as that on February 16, the United Nations General Assembly (UN GA) voted, “[…] overwhelmingly to call on both the government and allied forces and armed groups to stop all violence or reprisals immediately.” The UN GA press release expressed grave concern at the Syria’s deteriorating situation and, “[…] condemned a raft of violations carried out by the authorities, such as the use of force against civilians, the killing and persecution of protesters and journalists, and sexual violence and ill-treatment, including against children.”

Calling on Syria to abide obligations under international law, the UN GA “[…] demanded that the Government, in line with the 2 November 2011 Action Plan of the League of Arab States, and its decisions of 22 January and 12 February 2012, without delay, stop all violence and protect its people, release all those detained during the unrest, withdraw all armed forces from cities and towns, guarantee peaceful demonstrations and allow unhindered access for Arab League monitors and international media.”

137 nations voted for the General Assembly’s resolution, twelve opposed and 17 abstained. As with many UN GA resolutions, the findings and conclusions are non-binding.

Earlier, on February 4, the United Nations Security Council failed to pass resolution S/2012/77, supporting Arab League actions pursuing peace in Syria. This resolution was vetoed by Security Council members China and Russia.

The Arab League’s goal, according to their report on Syria, “is to protect Syrian citizens through the commitment of the Syrian government to stop acts of violence, release detainees and withdraw all military presence from cities like Homs, and an end to violence in Syria.” The League noted Homs, Dera‘a, Idlib, and Hama as the cities primarily affected by such incidents. The report claims all such incidents were caused by “armed groups” or “entities not mentioned in the protocol [report].”

Despite the League’s claim, live footage broadcast more than a month after the report was filed suggests the opposite as tanks continued to bombard cities like Homs. The League, in their report, go on to say Syrians “believe the crisis should be resolved peacefully through Arab mediation alone, without international intervention. Doing so would allow them to live in peace and complete the reform process and bring about the change they desire.”

Omar disagrees with the League’s conclusion that Syrians do not want international intervention. He believes if “the world” doesn’t act soon, many more will die from starvation. Medical supplies have not been making their way to makeshift hospitals and food is scarce. Much of the city is without water and Syrian forces continue their assault on the city. In a statement to Wikinews on Wednesday, Omar said “if they stay like this [the world] just watching us, people will die not because of the shelling, they will die because of starvation. We are surrounded. There is no food, no water and no medical supplies. If the world doesn’t do anything we will die from starvation. In the coming days I can see a massacre from starving.”

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New York governor Spitzer tied to prostitution ring

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New York governor Spitzer tied to prostitution ring
Author: U5M4mh Posted under: Uncategorized

Monday, March 10, 2008

According to a report by The New York Times (The Times), New York Governor Eliot Spitzer informed his senior administration officials on Monday that he was being investigated for using a “high-class” prostitution ring. The Times report cites anonymous officials who work for Spitzer. A law enforcement official who spoke to Associated Press on condition of anonymity stated that a federal wiretap related to a recent investigation revealed that Spitzer paid for prostitutes from an online service under investigation.

ABC News reported that, according to federal officials, the federal investigation into the prostitution ring was initially motivated by money transfers which led agents to believe Governor Spitzer was hiding bribes. Sources familiar with the case spoke to The Washington Post and CNN, and said that Spitzer is identified as “Client 9” in court documents and on a federal wiretap.

In a brief press conference held Monday afternoon, Spitzer apologized to his family and to the public, but did not directly admit or deny involvement in the prostitution ring. “I apologize first and most importantly to my family. I apologize to the public, to whom I promised better. I must now dedicate some time to rededicate my trust to my family,” he said, adding that he “acted in a way that violates his obligation to his family.”

Spitzer did not answer questions from reporters, indicating he would have more to say “in short order.” He did not admit or deny any allegations.

The Times’ report alleges that Gov. Spitzer was a client of the Emperors Club VIP, a high-priced international prostitution ring. Last week, federal investigators arrested four people involved with the operation in and around New York. The investigation utilized undercover work and wiretap recordings at various club locations, including New York and Washington, with the latter allegedly containing Spitzer’s voice.

Reports indicate the governor learned on Friday, March 7, of federal investigators’ discovery of his alleged involvement in the prostitution ring. He informed his top aides on Sunday night before meeting with the rest of his staff Monday, according to The Times. Sources for the Fox News Channel and WCBS-TV in New York report Spitzer could resign and be indicted, in which case the Lieutenant Governor of New York, David Paterson, would become governor.

James Tedisco, the New York State Assembly Republican Minority Leader, says Spitzer should resign and state Republican leadership will initiate impeachment proceedings if the governor fails to step down. “Today’s news that Eliot Spitzer was likely involved with a prostitution ring and his refusal to deny it leads to one inescapable conclusion: he has disgraced his office and the entire state of New York. He should resign his office immediately,” stated Tedisco.

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Moon water possibly originated from comets, data shows

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Moon water possibly originated from comets, data shows
Author: U5M4mh Posted under: Uncategorized

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Data from recent detailed analyses of samples collected on NASA Apollo moon missions, released Sunday, show that Lunar water may originate from comets that collided with the moon early in its geologic history.

A team of astrophysicists led by James Greenwood of Wesleyan University in Connecticut analyzed samples collected on the Apollo 11, 12, 14, and 17 missions and found that the chemical properties of traces of lunar water in these samples differ from water typical of Earth.

“The values of deuterium/hydrogen (D/H) that we measure in apatite in the Apollo rock samples”, Greenwood told Space.com, “is clearly distinguishable from water from the Earth, mitigating against this being some sort of contamination on Earth.” Greenwood and his team of researchers studied in particular the variations of hydrogen in the mineral apatite.

The newfound data show that the chemical properties of water in the apatite samples resemble data from the comets Hale-Bopp, Halley, and Hyakutake, suggesting that the water present on the moon could have originated from these comets or others.

According to Greenwood, the results of this study could also provide evidence as to the origin of water on Earth.

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Millions of old New Zealand coins still to be handed in

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Millions of old New Zealand coins still to be handed in
Author: U5M4mh Posted under: Uncategorized

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

On November 1, 2006 the old five, ten, twenty and fifty cent coins will be illegal tender, but the Reserve Bank of New Zealand says there are still at least 100 million still to be returned.

According to the Reserve Bank, most of the old coins have been lost in drains or buried in rubbish. “We think there is still another 100 million sitting around in people’s homes,” Brian Lang, currency manger for the Reserve Bank, said.

Lang said: “So far, just over 280 million coins have been returned, but there are more out there. Since 1967 the Reserve Bank has issued more than a billion of the old ‘silver’ coins. So if you don’t want to be stuck with loads of old coin – there’s never been a better time to empty your coin jars, sweep the car glove box and rummage behind the couch cushions.”

The coins still awaiting to be handed in, by either spending them, taking them to a bank or donating them to charity, are estimated to be worth between NZ$5 million and $50 million.

“A last-minute burst of publicity may convince people to bring the coins in. It’s a bit of a hassle though. Human nature being what it is, people just don’t care,” Lang said.The Karori Wildlife Sanctuary located in Wellington say that they have collected over $9,000 in old coins. Sanctuary spokesman, Alan Dicks said: “The campaign was particularly fitting because the old coins depicted tuataras and kiwis, both of which can be found living at the sanctuary. The money will go towards supporting general ecological restoration of the sanctuary. We want to get over ten grand, but the more the better.”

Lang said: “Though the coins will no longer be legal tender, banks will continue to exchange them until at least the end of the year,” and the Reserve Bank will always exchange them. “We are still getting people coming in with two-dollar notes,” Lang added.

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Business Brief for December 15, 2005

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Business Brief for December 15, 2005
Author: U5M4mh Posted under: Uncategorized

Thursday, December 15, 2005

These are short blurbs about current events in the business world.

Contents

  • 1 US trade deficit grows to record levels in October
    • 1.1 Sources
  • 2 Wal-Mart adds 140 outlets in Brazil
    • 2.1 Sources
  • 3 Canadian trade surplus stable through October
    • 3.1 Source
  • 4 Amgen buys Abgenix, retains full rights to profits
    • 4.1 Source
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More allegations filed against Oral Roberts University

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More allegations filed against Oral Roberts University
Author: U5M4mh Posted under: Uncategorized

Sunday, October 14, 2007

On Friday three fired professors filed more charges in their lawsuit against Oral Roberts University, University president Richard Roberts, and his wife, Lindsay Roberts. In addition to previous allegations of illegal political contributions, financial wrong-doing, and wrongful firings, the plaintiffs also added the ORU Board of Regents (Lindsay and Richard are both members of the board) to the lawsuit claiming regents did not oversee the university and its president Richard Roberts. One example cited in the lawsuit was that ORU allowed a man with three convictions of sexual abuse, including “exposing himself to a 15-year-old boy in a school locker room,” to mentor ORU college students.

Also cited was that three days after the original lawsuit, Richard Roberts fired the ORU financial comptroller who had been with the school for 26 years and then proceeded to shred and destroy “voluminous materials and documents … constituting spoilation of evidence.”

In addition, the report attached to the lawsuit contained fresh allegations that Lindsay Roberts, 51, stayed overnight nine times with an “underage male” at a ORU “guest home”. This “underage male” moved in with Lindsay and prompted her daughters to have locks added to the doors on the home. The filing also said she was photographed alone with that boy after Tulsa curfew 29 times, and this includes a picture of her and the boy smoking at the ORU guest house.

Friday’s updated lawsuit also had an attachment of the document Stephanie Cantees, Lindsay’s sister, wrote which contained the original document that the plaintiffs claim spawned their dismissals. This contains more details about the Roberts family than the previous document. Among other charges, Cantees’ document says that Mrs. Roberts invites ORU athletes on her Make Your Day Count television show and gives them gifts, which is listed on the document as an “NCAA violation.”

Previously on October 9th, Roberts and his wife appeared on Larry King Live, and denied all the accusations. On Friday ORU released a two sentence statement denying all allegations, and Lindsay released an email that said, “I live my life in a morally upright manner and throughout my marriage have never, ever engaged in any sexual behavior with any man outside of my marriage as the accusations imply.” She continued: “Allegations against me in a lawsuit yesterday are not true. They sicken me to my soul.”

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