Sunday, February 2, 2014

Published:

Seattle Seahawks overwhelm Denver Broncos 43-8 to win first Super Bowl title

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The Seattle Seahawks' mantra all season was to make each day a championship day.

They made Super Bowl Sunday the best day of all with one of the greatest performances in an NFL title game -- sparked by a defense that ranks among the best ever.

The Seahawks won their first Super Bowl crown in overpowering fashion, punishing Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos 43-8. That masterful defense, the NFL's stingiest, never let the five-time MVP get going, disarming the highest-scoring offense in league history.

Seattle (16-3) was too quick, too physical and just too good for Denver, and that was true in all areas. What was hyped as a classic matchup between an unstoppable offense and a miserly defense turned into a rout.

"We been relentless all season," quarterback Russell Wilson said. "Having that mentality of having a championship day every day. At the end of the day, you want to play your best football and that is what we did today."

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AP PHOTOS: Seahawks dominate, Bruno Mars heats up halftime at the Super Bowl

The Seattle Seahawks dominated play in Super Bowl XLVIII, scoring 12 seconds into the first half and 12 seconds into the second half, to beat the Denver Broncos 43 to 8. But if there were few fireworks on the field for Peyton Manning, there were plenty in the sky around MetLife Stadium as Bruno Mars heated up halftime with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Former New York Jets quarterback "Broadway" Joe Namath, who guided his team to victory in 1968 in Super Bowl III, even got into the act sporting a very furry fur coat, a nod to his earlier days in the limelight.

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10 Things to Know for Monday

1. WHAT TOOK THE LIFE OF A GREAT AMERICAN ACTOR

Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman, who struggled with heroin and was found with a needle in his arm, apparently died of a drug overdose.

2. A RECORD-SETTING SUPER BOWL, FROM THE FIRST SNAP

The quickest score in game history comes 12 seconds in; Seattle grabs two points when the ball got away from Peyton Manning.

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Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman found dead in NYC apartment; drugs suspected

NEW YORK (AP) -- Philip Seymour Hoffman, who won the Oscar for his portrayal of writer Truman Capote and created a gallery of slackers, charlatans and other characters so vivid that he was regarded as one of the world's finest actors, was found dead in his apartment Sunday with what officials said was a needle in his arm. He was 46.

The actor apparently died of a drug overdose, said two law enforcement officials, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case. Envelopes containing what was believed to be heroin were found with him, they said.

Hoffman -- with his doughy, everyman physique, his often-disheveled look and his limp, receding blond hair -- was a character actor of such range and lack of vanity that he could seemingly handle roles of any size, on the stage and in movies that played in art houses or multiplexes.

He could play comic or dramatic, loathsome or sympathetic, trembling or diabolical, dissipated or tightly controlled, slovenly or fastidious.

The stage-trained actor's rumpled naturalism brought him four Academy Award nominations -- for "Capote," ''The Master," ''Doubt" and "Charlie Wilson's War" -- and three Tony nominations for his work on Broadway, including his portrayal of the beaten and weary Willy Loman in "Death of a Salesman."

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Top Republicans say they support Gov. Christie, criticize ex-ally at center of bridge scandal

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- High-profile Republicans were adamant Sunday that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie should not resign from his post as chairman of the Republican Governors Association following a former ally's claim that there is evidence Christie knew about an apparently politically motivated traffic jam earlier than he has said.

The support from former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Wisconsin U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan put Republicans on the offensive and the Democratic chairman of a state legislative committee investigating the September lane closures near the George Washington Bridge on the defensive the day Christie's state hosts the Super Bowl.

Also Sunday, a member of Christie's administration who was subpoenaed by lawmakers investigating the lane closings confirmed she had resigned. Christina Genovese Renna left the governor's office Friday, according to her lawyer. Renna had reported to ousted Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Kelly, who apparently set the lane closings in motion with an email saying "time to cause some traffic problems in Fort Lee."

Christie, a potential 2016 presidential contender, has been going about Super Bowl ceremonial duties and has not taken questions about the scandal in recent days. He didn't respond Saturday when some spectators booed him at an appearance in New York City's Times Square. He planned to watch Sunday's game with his family from a luxury box at MetLife Stadium.

Giuliani, appearing on CBS' "Face the Nation" took aim at the credibility of two figures central to the scandal: John Wisniewski, who's leading the investigative probe, and David Wildstein, the former Christie loyalist who as an executive at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey last year ordered the lane closures after receiving Kelly's email, as someone with less than pure motives.

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Obama defends himself from array of Republican criticism in Fox Super Bowl pregame interview

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama defended himself against an array of Republican criticism in an interview during Fox's Super Bowl pregame show.

The president traded barbs with interviewer Bill O'Reilly in a live interview that covered his troubled health care law rollout, the 2012 attacks on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya and revelations that the IRS targeted conservative groups for extra scrutiny. "I try to focus not on the fumbles but on the next plan," Obama said.

Obama would not say why he didn't fire Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius after the failed launch of the government's online marketplace. He also declined to say that the biggest mistake of his presidency was telling Americans if they liked their health care they could keep it and argued the website is now working the way it's supposed to.

"We've got 3 million people signed up so far. We're about a month behind where we anticipated we wanted to be," Obama said

He defended against O'Reilly's questions about why administration officials initially described the attack in Benghazi, Libya, as a spontaneous mob protest of an anti-Islamic, American-made video. He rejected "the notion that we would hide the ball for political purposes when a week later we all said in fact there was a terrorist attack taking place."

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Super Bowl ads go sappy: emotional spots from Chevy, Coke, light humor from RadioShack, rules

NEW YORK (AP) -- Advertisers played it safe in Super Bowl ads this year.

There were no crude jokes. Sexual innuendo was kept to a minimum. And uncomfortable story lines were all but missing. And in their place, much more sedate ads.

From the light humor of RadioShack poking fun at its image with 80s icons like Teen Wolf and The California Raisins to a Coca-Cola ad showcasing diversity by singing "America the Beautiful" in different languages, it was a softer night of advertising.

With a 30-second spot costing around $4 million and more than 108 million viewers expected to tune in to the championship game, it's was crucial for advertisers to make their investment count. The shocking ads in years past have not always been well received (Think: GoDaddy.com's ad that features a long, up-close kiss came in at the bottom of the most popular ads last year.) So this year, advertisers out of their way to be more family friendly themes: socially conscious statements, patriotic messages and light humor.

"Advertisers are getting attention but they're not trying to go over the top," said David Berkowitz, chief marketing officer for digital ad agency MRY. "A lot of brands were going with the safety from the start."

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Despite increases in security measures, school shootings continue in American schools

WASHINGTON (AP) -- There's been no real reduction in the number of U.S. school shootings despite increased security put in place after the rampage at Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012.

In Pennsylvania and New Mexico, Colorado and Tennessee, and elsewhere, gunfire has echoed through school hallways, and killed students or their teachers in some cases. "Lockdown" is now part of the school vocabulary.

An Associated Press analysis finds that there have been at least 11 school shootings this academic year alone, in addition to other cases of gun violence, in school parking lots and elsewhere on campus, when classes were not in session.

Last August, for example, a gun discharged in a 5-year-old's backpack while students were waiting for the opening bell in the cafeteria at Westside Elementary School in Memphis. No one was hurt.

Experts say the rate of school shootings is statistically unchanged since the mid- to late-1990s, yet still remains troubling.

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Radicals with a taste for violence are wild card in Ukraine's protests

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) -- Wearing masks, helmets and protective gear on the arms and legs, radical activists are the wild card of the Ukraine protests now starting their third month, declaring they're ready to resume violence if the stalemate persists.

When the protests started in late November, attracting crowds sometimes above 100,000 and visits from Western officials, the gatherings' general determined peacefulness was an integral part of their claim to legitimacy. But in mid-January, the image of placid but principled people changed sharply, to frightening scenes of protesters heaving stones and firebombs at police.

The violence was sparked by the radicals within the larger protest movement, angered by President Viktor Yanukovych's implementation of harsh anti-protest laws and increasingly impatient with the protesters' failure to achieve any of their demands. In a vivid demonstration of frustration, they sprayed opposition leader Vitali Klitschko, the towering former heavyweight boxing champion, with a fire extinguisher when he pleaded for clashes to stop.

An uneasy truce settled in days later after three protesters died, but with no government concessions apparently in the works, the radicals say they're preparing to fight again.

"We are ready for a national mobilization and complete blockade of the government quarter. The time for chatter has passed," the leader of the radical group Pravy Sektor (Right Sector), Dmitry Jarosh, told The Associated Press. The group nominally cooperates with protest leaders, but often sharply differs with their views.

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Woody Allen calls Dylan Farrow allegations 'untrue and disgraceful'

NEW YORK (AP) -- Woody Allen called Dylan Farrow's allegations of child molestation "untrue and disgraceful," signaling that he would fight renewed claims dating back to Allen's tempestuous relationship with actress Mia Farrow in the early 1990s.

The movie director's publicist Leslee Dart said in an email Sunday that Allen has read Dylan Farrow's open-letter, published online Saturday by The New York Times, claiming she was sexually assaulted when she was 7 by her then adoptive father.

"Mr. Allen has read the article and found it untrue and disgraceful," Dart said.

Allen's lawyer, Elkan Abramowitz, also reacted: "It is tragic that after 20 years a story engineered by a vengeful lover resurfaces after it was fully vetted and rejected by independent authorities. The one to blame for Dylan's distress is neither Dylan nor Woody Allen."

Dylan Farrow claimed that in 1992 at the family's Connecticut home, Allen led her to a "dim, closet-like attic" and "then he sexually assaulted me." Farrow didn't specify Allen's actions, but described other abusive behavior.