Selfie use frowned upon
The White House warned on Thursday against using US President Barack Obama’s image for commercial gain, after a top baseball star snapped a “selfie” with the US leader on a Samsung phone. The company retweeted the shot taken by Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz on its Note 3 device, pouncing on a viral marketing coup. However, the White House, after initially holding its fire over the snap taken when the World-Series-winning Red Sox team met Obama, made its displeasure clear two days later. “As a rule, the White House objects to attempts to use the president’s likeness for commercial purposes,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said. “We certainly object in this case,” he added, hinting that the White House counsel’s office had become involved, but declining to give details of any discussions with Samsung. The selfie shows a beaming Obama alongside Ortiz, holding a Red Sox jersey presented by the team.
Doherty leads Cadiz Open
Jack Doherty, who only made it out of qualifying school at the 12th attempt last year, carved out a one-shot lead on the rain-hit first day of the Cadiz Open on Thursday. The 31-year-old Scot shrugged off a two-and-a-half hour delay to card five birdies and two bogeys. That form gave the former Australian amateur champion a three-under par 69 for a one shot lead over Welshman Bradley Dredge. The rain delay meant half of the 144-strong field were unable to complete their first rounds on Thursday.
Woman killed in Arizona
An attempt to set a world skydiving record by having more than 220 people free-fall from an airplane in formation turned tragic on Thursday when one jumper died during the effort at the same Arizona location where two skydivers fell to their deaths last year trying to set a different record. Police identified the person killed as Diana Paris, 46, from Berlin, Germany. Her husband told authorities she had completed 1,500 jumps in her skydiving career. Skydive Arizona blamed the accident on a malfunctioning parachute that was released too low to the ground to allow a reserve parachute to fully open. The skydiver was declared dead at the scene. “It had nothing to do with the size of the group or the aircraft,” World Team spokeswoman Gulcin Gilbert said. The accident occurred during an attempt to break a world formation record. The group of 222 people was to free-fall from about 5,480m then come together in a formation like a snowflake and separate and link in another formation before pulling their parachutes. The group did not set the record during the ill-fated jump or during several more after the death. They planned to continue yesterday with 221 skydivers. “Our dear friend cannot and will not be replaced,” said Gilbert, whose group organized the record attempt. “The group will continue to hold the slot open in the skydiver’s honor.”
Belgian wins home event
Belgium’s Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, riding for the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team, won the Three Days of De Panne on Thursday after making up a 20-second deficit on the final day’s time trial. Van Keirsbulck was fifth on the last stage, won by Maciej Bodnar of Cannondale Pro Cycling. Bodnar finished ahead of Jan Barta of the Czech Republic. Van Keirsbulck had started the final day in sixth place, 20 seconds behind overnight leader Gert Steegmans. In the overall standings, Van Keirsbulck finished ahead of Australia’s Luke Durbridge.