Review Category : Top Stories

Vikings Extend TE Kyle Rudolph’s Contract

Hannah Foslien/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The Minnesota Vikings have rewarded tight end Kyle Rudolph with a contract extension, the team confirmed on Monday.

The deal is reportedly for five years and worth a minimum of $36.5 million, with $19.4 million guaranteed. It could wind up being worth as much as $40 million.

“I’m extremely excited to get this extension completed and continue my career with the Minnesota Vikings,” Rudolph said in a statement. “I’ve said all along I wanted to stay in Minnesota. I love the fans, the community and, most importantly, I’m excited about where this team is going. I’m looking forward to the 2014 season and helping this organization reach our ultimate goal.”

The 24-year-old Rudolph has 109 receptions for 1,055 yards and 15 touchdowns in 39 games over three seasons with Minnesota. The team selected Rudolph in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft.

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Many Still Have a Hard Time Choosing Generic Brands

Hemera/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) — They may not have the big recognizable names but generic brand products deliver big savings.

Yet, a study by economists from the University of Chicago and Tilburg University in the Netherlands points out that many Americans are still forking over their money for name brands and wasting $44 billion annually in the process.

The study says that millions are duped by misleading ads even when they can buy generic products for far less.

But not everybody is fooled.

According to the researchers, the smarter the consumer — that is, those who are more educated — the greater the chance they’ll pick the generic version of a product rather than the name brand.

For instance, only nine percent of pharmacists buy Bayer, Advil and Tylenol with the rest opting for generic brands. Meanwhile, the average consumer will select the name brands 26 percent of the time.

Meanwhile, just one in five professional chefs will pay full price for name brand salt, sugar and baking powder, as compared to 40 of average households.

The researchers used Nielsen tracking data based on 77 million shopping trips by about 125,000 households.

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When Leisure Activities Feel Worse than Work

iStock/Thinkstock(MAINZ, Germany) — There’s nothing like “maxing and relaxing” after a hard day of work. For many, that involves plopping down in front of a TV or computer screen.

However, there’s a dark side to these seemingly harmless leisure activities, according to researchers at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany and the VU University Amsterdam in the Netherlands .

Apparently, a lot of people who turn off their minds when they turn on the TV or play video games feel like they’re failures because they’re not doing anything constructive.

In interviews with 471 people who talked about what they do to decompress after work, the researchers discovered that rather than delivering enjoyment, TV and other electronic devices wind up as a “burden and a stressor rather than a recovery resource.”

Dr. Leonard Reinecke went on to explain that the findings demonstrate “that in the real life, the relationship between media use and well-being is complicated and that the use of media may conflict with other, less pleasurable but more important duties and goals in everyday life.”

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Breakthrough Announced in Bill to Aid Vets

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — A bill to assist the nation’s veterans that looked all but dead last week was reportedly agreed upon Sunday by the chairs of the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs committee.

With Congress set to recess for five weeks after Aug. 1, it was imperative that lawmakers arrive at an agreement to assist tens of thousands of war veterans still waiting medical care at VA clinics across the U.S.

The legislation, expected to be announced Monday by Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Florida Republican Congressman Jeff Miller, presents more options for vets to seek medical attention, especially when they live far from VA facilities.

Among the choices vets would have under the bill is access to private health care providers when they live 40 or more miles from a VA hospital.

In addition, the bill calls for building more centers to care for veterans who critics say have waited an unbearably long time to see doctors because of alleged negligence and possible criminal wrongdoing to cover wait times.

What almost undid the agreement were differences on how much will be spent and how everything will be funded. More details should be available later on Monday.

Although certainly a breakthrough, the plan still needs the approval of negotiators from both chambers as well as a full vote by the House and Senate.

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Russia Wants UN Investigation into Downed Malaysia Airlines Plane

(MOSCOW) — Russia is calling for the United Nations Security Council to approve a UN-led investigation into what brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

“We believe that such an inquiry must begin as quickly as possible under the UN aegis. To that end the Security Council must make yet one more decision. We are alarmed that some of our partners have been trying to steer practical efforts to organize the inquiry into separate bilateral contacts with the Ukrainian authorities,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters on Monday.

The United States has accused pro-Russian rebels fighting in eastern Ukraine of shooting down the plane. Russia, however, has dismissed the accusations and suggested that Ukrainian authorities were responsible.

“I do not want to attack with accusations too soon, but I hope no one will be trying to cover tracks,” Lavrov said about an investigation facilitated by Kiev.

In the wake of the Flight 17 disaster, Western countries have increased pressure on Russia to end what they say is an attempt to covertly support pro-Russian rebel fighters in eastern Ukraine.

Investigators have had trouble visiting the site of the downed plane due to nearby fighting. So far, only a small team, led by the Netherlands, has visited the site. The international monitors at the site have raised concerns that significant portions of the wreck have been altered and cut apart, perhaps during the search for remains — but potentially also to hide evidence.

British intelligence sources told the BBC last week that they had intercepted phone calls suggesting rebels in the area wanted to give the black box fight recorders to Russia. Those recorders were eventually handed to investigators and sent to the United Kingdom for analysis.

On Monday, Lavrov seemed to confuse the U.S. intelligence images published over the weekend, suggesting they were about Flight 17 when they were about accusations Russia fired into Ukraine last week.

“It appears some images have just been published. Ten days later. We do not know what they did to these images, whether or not they were prepared,” he said, calling the images a “pretext to punish Russia.”

The images, released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Sunday, claim to show evidence that “Russian forces have fired across the border at Ukrainian military forces, and that Russian-backed separatists have used heavy artillery, provided by Russia, in attacks on Ukrainian forces from inside Ukraine.”

One slide provided by U.S. intelligence claims to show evidence of “self-propelled artillery only found in Russian military units” aimed at Ukrainian targets.

In what appears to have been a contentious phone call Sunday, Secretary of State John Kerry urged Lavrov “to stop the flow of heavy weapons and rocket and artillery fire from Russia into Ukraine, and to begin to contribute to de-escalating the conflict,” according to a State Department statement.

The unusually blunt statement added that Kerry “did not accept Foreign Minister Lavrov’s denial that heavy weapons from Russia were contributing to the conflict.”

Ukrainian authorities and the United States have sounded the alarm about fighters, weapons, and funding crossing into Ukraine from Russia. The White House has warned that unless the Kremlin halts the flow they will face more sanctions. On Monday, Lavrov said Russia will allow OSCE observers to monitor a few border crossings with Ukraine.

Lavrov said he was confused by Western demands that Russia change its policies or face consequences.

“I don’t know what they mean by policy changes,” he said, adding defiantly that Russia will adapt to sanctions.

“We will overcome the difficulties that will arise in certain parts of our economy. Maybe, we will become more self-reliant and more self-confident. This, too, is useful,” he said.

Lavrov said Russia will not go “eye for an eye” with the West over sanctions because it’s not “worthy of a big country.”

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When Leisure Activities Feel Worse than Work

iStock/Thinkstock(MAINZ, Germany) — There’s nothing like “maxing and relaxing” after a hard day of work. For many, that involves plopping down in front of a TV or computer screen.

However, there’s a dark side to these seemingly harmless leisure activities, according to researchers at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany and the VU University Amsterdam in the Netherlands .

Apparently, a lot of people who turn off their minds when they turn on the TV or play video games feel like they’re failures because they’re not doing anything constructive.

In interviews with 471 people who talked about what they do to decompress after work, the researchers discovered that rather than delivering enjoyment, TV and other electronic devices wind up as a “burden and a stressor rather than a recovery resource.”

Dr. Leonard Reinecke went on to explain that the findings demonstrate “that in the real life, the relationship between media use and well-being is complicated and that the use of media may conflict with other, less pleasurable but more important duties and goals in everyday life.”

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Breakthrough Announced in Bill to Aid Vets

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — A bill to assist the nation’s veterans that looked all but dead last week was reportedly agreed upon Sunday by the chairs of the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs committee.

With Congress set to recess for five weeks after Aug. 1, it was imperative that lawmakers arrive at an agreement to assist tens of thousands of war veterans still waiting medical care at VA clinics across the U.S.

The legislation, expected to be announced Monday by Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Florida Republican Congressman Jeff Miller, presents more options for vets to seek medical attention, especially when they live far from VA facilities.

Among the choices vets would have under the bill is access to private health care providers when they live 40 or more miles from a VA hospital.

In addition, the bill calls for building more centers to care for veterans who critics say have waited an unbearably long time to see doctors because of alleged negligence and possible criminal wrongdoing to cover wait times.

What almost undid the agreement were differences on how much will be spent and how everything will be funded. More details should be available later on Monday.

Although certainly a breakthrough, the plan still needs the approval of negotiators from both chambers as well as a full vote by the House and Senate.

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More Details Released On Hancock County Plane Crash

7/28/14 – 4:37 A.M.

One of the victims of a small plane crash that happened near Van Buren has been identified. Ralf Bronnenmeier, the CEO of Grob Systems in Bluffton, was piloting the plane. The second victim has not been publicly identified.

The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office says the crash happened around 1:10 a.m. on Hancock County Road 18, between Cass Township Road 215 and Hancock County Road 216. The plane was flying from Holland, Michigan to Bluffton. The investigation closed Hancock County Road 18 until around 9 p.m. last night.

Bronnenmeier had been the CEO of Grob Systems since 2003.


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Tim Clark Earns First PGA Win Since 2010

ThinkStock(MONTREAL) — Tim Clark birdied five of the last eight holes to rally past Jim Furyk and win the RBC Canadian Open at Royal Montreal on Sunday.

Furyk, who entered the day with a three-stroke lead, shot a 1-under 69 Sunday, but Clark’s 5-under 65 was enough to edge Furyk by one stroke.

“It looked like Jim wasn’t going to make any mistakes,” said Clark, who earned his first PGA win since the 2010 Players Championship. “He was pretty solid, so I knew I had to make birdies. At that point, there was nothing to lose. Suddenly I got hot and I went with it.”

Clark finishes at 17-under 263, which ties the tournament record for total score set in 1952 by Johnny Palmer.

Dicky Pride shot a 63 Sunday, matching the course record.

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Investigators Cancel Trip to MH17 Crash Site Due to Fighting

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(KIEV, Ukraine) — Personnel from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe won’t risk a Sunday trip to the site of the Malaysia Airlines flight that was shot down earlier this month.

Alexander Hug, Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine says that reports of fighting in the area caused the change of plans. “The security situation at the moment on the way to the site we planned to go today — and on the site itself — appears to be not safe,” Hug said.

The team is expected to reassess the situation on Monday and deploy personnel then, if the situation is safer. “We will not risk our unarmed civilian observer mission to deploy to a site where we can’t control the risk to a degree where we are confident we have it at the level where it is acceptable.”

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