China to face Kazakhstan
China defeated Uzbekistan with ease in Pool A at the Asia/Oceania Group I Fed Cup tournament in Shenzhen yesterday to set up a promotional playoff with Kazakhstan today and leave Taiwan to battle Thailand for third place. China’s Zhang Shuai beat Sabina Sharipova 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 6-1, while world No. 9 Li Na defeated Nigina Abduraimova 6-2, 6-3. In the doubles, China’s Peng Shuai and Zheng Jie beat Akgul Amanmuradova and Iroda Tulyaganova 6-3, 6-4. Kazakhstan edged Thailand 2-1 to top Pool B. Uzbekistan face a relegation playoff against Indonesia.
Mickelson sues Web service
Phil Mickelson is suing a Canadian Internet service provider in an effort to expose the identity of whoever has been posting “defamatory statements” about the four-time major winner, press reports said on Thursday. The American is suing Videotron SENC in a Quebec court to learn the name of the person or persons who Mickelson said have attacked his reputation and made the statements under the pseudonyms “Fogroller” and “Longitude.” “The postings suggest that plaintiff has an illegitimate child, that his wife has affairs and other similar vexatious statements that are absolutely untrue,” the complaint reads, according to a report in the Toronto Star.
Camper relies on rope stunt
A daring rope stunt boosted Camper’s bid to win the Volvo Ocean Race’s third leg yesterday as five yachts battled for the lead just a day from the finish line in southern China. South Africa’s Mike Pammenter acrobatically dangled over the side of the speeding yacht in a harness to free flotsam rope that had become attached to Camper Lifelovers’ hull, slowing the Spanish/New Zealand challengers. Pammenter was lowered to just centimeters above the water, where he was able to cut the rope free, Camper Lifelovers Australian skipper Chris Nicholson said. Camper, placed third, are in a five-way fight to the finish, with Spanish boat Telefonica leading the 3,051 nautical mile (5,650km) stage from the Maldives to Sanya.
Madonna promises no slipup
Superstar singer Madonna promised no wardrobe malfunctions for her Super Bowl XLVI halftime show, saying she has never worked so hard on preparing for a performance. The self-styled “Material Girl” promised she would not have a halftime clothing mishap such as the one that took place at the 2004 Super Bowl in Houston and exposed Janet Jackson’s nipple to a global television audience. “Great attention has been paid to my wardrobe,” Madonna said. “There will be no wardrobe malfunctions.” She will sing three classic songs and a new tune.
Super Bowl fakes seized
US authorities have seized a record US$4.8 million in fake Super Bowl souvenirs and tickets and shut down 669 Web sites, most from China, aimed at duping consumers with counterfeit items. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement director John Morton and NFL legal affairs vice president Anastasia Danias announced on Thursday the details of a nationwide operation that began in October last year and seized 42,692 items. Authorities, who seized only US$3.72 million in fake Super Bowl merchandise last year, have shut down 669 Web sites since June last year and 307 during Operation Fake Sweep.