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Wednesday, 31-Oct-2012 07:16 Email | Share | | Bookmark


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Thursday, 18-Oct-2012 02:29 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Against backdrop of island dispute with China Japan shows off n

<P>ABOARD THE JS YUDACHI : Japan's navy marked its 60th anniversary with a major exercise intended to show off its maritime strength. The display comes amid a tense territorial dispute with China.</P>
<P>About 40 ships — including state-of-the-art destroyers, hovercraft able to launch assaults on rough coastlines and new conventionally powered submarines — took part in Fleet Review 2012, the maritime equivalent of a military parade. About 30 naval aircraft, mostly helicopters, also participated Sunday.</P>
<P>Japan's navy was joined by warships from the United States, Singapore and Australia.<a href="">still life oil paintings for sale</a>. Representatives from more than 20 countries, including China, also attended the event staged in waters south of Tokyo.</P>
<P>Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, who watched aboard the destroyer JS Kurama, said Japan faces "severe" challenges to its security, though he did not specifically mention the dispute with Beijing over islands in the East China Sea.</P>
<P>Noda called on the sailors taking part in the exercise, which is held every three years but was expanded this year because of the 60th anniversary, to be prepared to face "new responsibilities" as the security situation around the country changes.</P>
<P>Japan's navy — formally called the Maritime Self-Defense Force — is among the best-equipped and best-trained in the world. As part of a post-World War II mutual defense pact, Japan also hosts the U.<a href="">seascape oil paintings for sale</a>.S. 7th Fleet, which includes the USS George Washington aircraft carrier battle group.</P>
<P>But Tokyo has been alarmed in recent years by the rise of neighboring China's naval forces, which some strategists say could upset the regional status quo and erode Japan's ability to credibly deter challenges to the freedom of key sea lanes.</P>
<P>Concerns over a growing assertiveness in China's foreign policy, meanwhile, have further fueled calls for Tokyo to beef up its military defenses.<a href="">portrait oil paintings for sale</a>.</P>
<P>Such fears have escalated this year amid the two countries' rival claims to the disputed islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. The islands are small and uninhabited, but are surrounded by rich fishing grounds and possibly lucrative reserves of natural gas.</P>
<P>Largely in response, Japan is strengthening its naval fleet by acquiring amphibious landing craft and is also mulling the purchase of unmanned drones to improve its offshore surveillance capabilities.</P>

Wednesday, 17-Oct-2012 02:26 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Park overtakes Choi to win in Malaysia

CONCORD, N.C. : One of these days, Clint Bowyer might have enough gas in his tank to do a celebratory burnout.
Until then, he's just fine walking to Victory Lane.
Bowyer and crew chief Brian Pattie stretched a final tank of fuel to the finish for a win at Charlotte Motor Speedway that pushed the Michael Waltrip Racing team back into the championship picture. It was its third win of the season, and Bowyer has run out of gas after taking the checkered flag all three times.
"It's fun to walk to Victory Lane, that's the best walk you could ever have," he said after Saturday night's win. "I think that's my new trademark. I'll walk home if it means Victory Lane."
Bowyer didn't expect to be in this position at this time last year, when talks on a contract extension broke down with Richard Childress Racing.
Neither did Pattie, who was stuck at home unable to work because he had been fired as Juan Pablo Montoya's crew chief but was still under contract to the race team.
And team owner Waltrip, he wanted them both because they'd be an upgrade to his organization and allow him to expand to a third team. But he wasn't sure either would even consider joining pet oil paintings for sale.
Somehow, it all came together and clicked faster than anyone expected. The cars were fast, the chemistry was good and they were in Victory Lane for the first time in June on the road course at Sonoma. They did it again on the short track at Richmond to end the regular season.
Saturday night's victory came on the 1.5-mile intermediate Charlotte track and marked that halfway point of the 10-race Chase. It pushed Bowyer up one spot in the Chase standings to fourth, just 28 points behind leader Brad Keselowski as the Sprint Cup Series shifts to Kansas — Bowyer's home track.
"That's probably the biggest thing, to come off this win, going into your hometown," Bowyer said. "It's just so important to be able to roll in on a positive note. And to be able to win there some day, we've gotten close, if we could possibly pull this off again in Kansas — it would be, that's my, do you dare say, Daytona 500? But it truly is. That's the biggest race you can possibly win, in front of your hometown."
It won't be easy for Bowyer to overcome this deficit and win the championship. Standing in front of him is Keselowski, a two-time winner in the Chase so far, five-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin, who nearly won the 2010 title but fumbled it away to Johnson in the nude oil paintings for sale.
In 2009, when Pattie led Montoya into the Chase, the crew chief played a game of math to make a run at the title. He chased points and finishes and played it safe, and while it worked for the best season in Montoya's NASCAR career, it wasn't enough to win the title.
With Bowyer, and with five races to go, Pattie has a different strategy for catching Keselowski, Johnson and Hamlin.
"We're going for trophies," he said. "That's the only way you're going to beat (them). That mid-pack, fourth, fifth, sixth in points, we're gapped a little bit from the leaders, so you had to do something special to get back into it. This definitely helps."
Maybe it will work for the first championship for driver, crew chief and owner. But if it doesn't, nobody at MWR should be disappointed.
This was, after all, an organization that nearly folded midway through its 2007 inaugural season. A cheating scandal involving Waltrip at the season-opening Daytona 500 nearly destroyed his career.
Facing bankruptcy and the loss of everything he had built, he was thrown a lifeline by Rob Kauffman, an investment fund manager and racing enthusiast who stepped in late in that season to pump cash into an organization nobody in their right mind should have partnered landscape oil paintings for sale. It literally saved MWR, and Kauffman continued to answer the call at every level of Waltrip's plan to grow the organization into one of NASCAR's top teams.
"We went to Rob with a plan that cost a lot of money above budgets, a lot of money that I didn't have," Waltrip said. "We told Rob we really felt like this plan would enable us to improve our cars so our drivers could go win races. And Rob endorsed the plan, said 'I want to win, I want to be up front, I want to be a contender.' It enabled us to build the cars that we have today that Clint is able to drive so wonderfully and Brian is able to make those calls.
"So I think the main thing that happened at MWR was we came up with a plan and Rob said, 'I'll fund that plan.'"
It has worked to perfection with MWR earning its first Chase berths this year with both Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr., and on Saturday night, the organization had Bowyer, Truex and Mark Martin in the top 10 — the third time this season all three of its cars have finished inside the top 10.
And it came on a night when manufacturer Toyota took six spots in the top 10, in a fuel mileage race, a mere two weeks after Kyle Busch blasted the manufacturer for the poor mileage the his engine got at Dover. No problem at Charlotte.
"I'll just be honest — at the beginning of the year I heard a lot of things, a lot of rumors about the engines, the engines, the engines," Bowyer said, "let me tell you something, in a short amount of time, from the beginning of the year until right now, they've slowly and steadily become the best engine program in the sport."

Tuesday, 16-Oct-2012 02:51 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Tannehill throws for 2 TDs and Dolphins hold off late rally by R

<P>MIAMI : The Miami Dolphins' dysfunction took many forms Sunday, including a backward pass by Ryan Tannehill that flew out of bounds for a 17-yard loss.</P>
<P>His offensive linemen managed to commit four penalties in a three-play span, while defensive breakdowns and replay overrules were recurring problems.</P>
<P>Even so, the Dolphins did enough right to hold off the St. Louis Rams, 17-14.</P>
<P>Tannehill threw two touchdown passes and the Dolphins turned back several St. Louis scoring threats, including a 66-yard field goal try by rookie Greg Zuerlein that sailed wide left on the final play. Miami won despite being outgained 462 yards to 192.</P>
<P>"We know how football is played," Dolphins receiver Davone Bess said. "It's not about statistics; it's about winning. Pretty, ugly, it doesn't matter. It's just about winning."</P>
<P>The Rams scored their lone touchdown with 8陆 minutes left, then moved 49 yards to face a fourth and 7 at the Miami 48-yard line with 30 seconds left. Rather than go for a first down, coach Jeff Fisher sent out rookie Greg Zuerlein to try a 66-yard field goal — which would have been an NFL record by 3 yards.</P>
<P>The kick appeared to have enough distance but missed wide left, leaving both teams at 3-3.</P>
<P>"I can make that kick. I just didn't come through," Zuerlein said. "I came across the ball a little bit. I should have made it.<a href="">still life oil paintings for sale</a>."</P>
<P>He has made four kicks of 54 to 60 yards this season.</P>
<P>"The odds were much better for him to make the kick than us going for it," Fisher said. "He's got that kind of leg."</P>
<P>Zuerlein made his first two field goals to improve to 15 for 15 this season, then missed three times in a row, including wide left from 52 and 37 yards in the first half.</P>
<P>Tannehill went 21 for 29 for 185 yards with no turnovers. The rookie threw touchdown passes of 29 yards to Marlon Moore and 1 yard to Anthony Fasano.</P>
<P>But the Dolphins were outrushed 162-19, and Sam Bradford went 26 for 39 for 315 yards for the Rams, who struck for early gains of 44 and 65 yards. At halftime, St. Louis had outgained Miami 294-99 but trailed 10-6.</P>
<P>"We had a lot of opportunities to win this game, but we didn't get it done," Fisher said. He lost to the team that courted him in January, when he chose the St. Louis job instead.</P>
<P>The Rams were down 17-6 before they finally got into the end zone when Bradford scored on a 1-yard sneak on fourth down. He juggled the ball as he held it over the goal line, but the call was upheld following a review.</P>
<P>Bradford then hit Steven Jackson with the 2-point conversion pass to make the score 17-14.</P>
<P>Two other key reviews also went against the Dolphins. They led by 11 points and appeared on the verge of pulling away when they recovered a fumble by Bradford on a sack midway through the third quarter. But the turnover was negated by a review, when the officials ruled the play an incomplete pass.<a href="">seascape oil paintings for sale</a>.</P>
<P>On the Rams' next possession, Chris Givens lost a fumble after a short catch, but again the ruling was changed to an incompletion following a look at the replay.</P>
<P>Daryl Richardson's 44-yard run set up the Rams' first field goal, and Givens beat the Miami secondary deep for a 65-yard reception to set up another field goal for a 6-0 lead.</P>
<P>The Rams came away empty from two other trips into Miami territory in the first half.</P>
<P>"When they get into the red zone, our thinking is three points or less," cornerback Sean Smith said. "A touchdown is not an option."</P>
<P>Moore, a backup who came into the game without a catch this season, put the Dolphins ahead to stay when he slipped behind Janoris Jenkins for his first touchdown catch since 2010.</P>
<P>Rams fullback Brit Miller fielded a short kickoff and lost a fumble, setting up a Miami field goal. A 62-yard touchdown drive to start the second half put the Dolphins ahead 17-6.</P>
<P>But they often found it difficult to block the Rams. The offensive line was flagged for four penalties — one declined — during an especially unsightly sequence.</P>
<P>Miami's Brian Hartline, who came into the game leading the NFL in receiving yardage, was held without a catch.</P>
<P>"It wasn't pretty," Tannehill said. "It was pretty disappointing the way we played, especially in the first half. But we stuck together, hung in there and got it done."</P>
<P>NOTES: Fisher and Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland chatted on the sideline during pregame warmups. ..<a href="">portrait oil paintings for sale</a>.. St. Louis averaged 6.0 yards per carry against the NFL's No. 1 rushing defense. ... Miami rookie reserve Olivier Vernon had two sacks, including one on the play before Zuerlein's final kick. ... The Dolphins pulled off a fake punt to sustain a drive with four minutes left.</P>
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