Miss Arkansas crowned Miss America 2017 in pageant's 96th year

Miss Arkansas crowned Miss America 2017 in pageant's 96th year

Sept 11 (Reuters) – Savvy Shields, a college student from Arkansas, won the annual Miss America pageant on Sunday after impressing judges with a jazz dance routine and her answer to a question about her take on presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Shields, a native of Fayetteville and student at the University of Arkansas, was one of seven finalists given 20 seconds to answer highly topical questions on some controversial issues, such as immigration and Clinton rival, Donald Trump.

Asked what her take was on Clinton, Shields offered that “if you’re trying to be leader of the free world, everything you say and do matters.”

PHOTOS: Meet the new Miss America

She noted that the media has sensationalized the campaign so that it was “hard to tell what is truth and scandal,” then added that “both these candidates have done a great job, but they also need to watch what they’re doing.”

Shields, who adopted “eat better, live better” as her platform for the competition, earlier performed a jazz dance to “They Just Keep Moving the Line” from the TV show “Smash.”

The first runner-up was Rachel Wyatt, Miss South Carolina, who fielded a question about immigration in the United States. She was followed by contestants from New York, Washington and Mississippi.

Missouri’s Erin O’Flaherty, who in June became the first openly lesbian contestant in the history of the nearly century-old pageant, failed to make the first cut of 15 selected from 52 entrants from the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Shields went into Sunday’s live two-hour ABC broadcast from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. with the advantage of having prevailed earlier in the week during preliminary judging in the talent competition.

Wearing a black strapless gown, she was crowned by the outgoing title holder, Betty Cantrell.

The pageant returned to the seaside gambling resort a few years ago after nearly a decade in Las Vegas. It was dropped by ABC in 2004 following a steep ratings decline, but returned after years on cable.

Judges, including singer Ciara, scored contestants who ranged in age from 18 to the cut-off of 24 based on talent, the live question segment, a personal interview and appearances in gowns and swimsuits.

Most of the finalists drew on music or dance for the talent portion, but some opted for pageant staples such as baton-twirling.

The winner receives a six-figure salary, expenses for the year and a $50,000 scholarship.

(Reporting by Chris Michaud; Editing by Michael Perry)

PHOTOS: Take a peek at the night’s competition

Street style tip of the day: Jumpsuit into fall

Street style tip of the day: Jumpsuit into fall

Tis the season of jumpsuits, jackets, fur and layers and layers of fall goodness. This jumpsuit is the perfect combination of chic and comfort. A great and simple way to transition to fall from summer.

To find out all the details about this outfit on The Egg Out West, click here!

52 Weeks of Chic highlights the very best of street style every day this month. See all the looks here.

Wawrinka beats Djokovic in four sets to win US Open

Wawrinka beats Djokovic in four sets to win US Open

Third seed Stan Wawrinka rose to the occasion once again to beat top-seeded defending champion Novak Djokovic 6-7(1) 6-4 7-5 6-3 and win the U.S. Open on Sunday for the third grand slam title of his career.

The 31-year-old Swiss, who defeated Djokovic on his way to winning the 2014 Australian Open and 2015 French Open, denied the world number one a third grand slam title this year following the Serb’s wins in Australia and France.

Wawrinka trailed Djokovic 19-4 in their career head-to-head, but the hard-working Swiss saves his best for the big matches and he came through again with a superlative performance to win his 11th tour final in a row.

The Swiss was better on the most important points of the nearly four-hour final that featured long rallies and brilliant shot-making from both players.

Wawrinka cashed in on six of 10 break point opportunities against Djokovic and frustrated the Serb by saving 14 of 17 break points against him.

The victory was worth $3.5 million for Wawrinka, who is only missing a Wimbledon victory to complete the coveted career grand slam.


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Canada pressures US to change 'ludicrous' marijuana policy

Canada pressures US to change 'ludicrous' marijuana policy

Canada is pushing the United States to change a border policy that has banned Canadians who admit consuming marijuana from traveling to the States.

Discussions are being held between the Canadian and the U.S. government about Canada’s plan to legalize marijuana, yet the travel policy hasn’t been addressed.

Related: Marijuana laws by state

In 2014, a man was denied entry into the United States after admitting to having smoked pot recreationally.

The incident sparked a debate since marijuana is already legal in several states of the US and soon will be legal in Canada.

Ralph Goodale called the current policy “ludicrous” and said a discussion needs to happen with the Department of Homeland Security

Kansas City player raises fist during anthem of NFL opener

Kansas City player raises fist during anthem of NFL opener

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 11 (Reuters) – Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters raised his fist on Sunday during a performance of the U.S. national anthem, the latest gesture by a National Football League player to draw attention to racial inequality.

San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick began the protests against injustice and police brutality when he refused to stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” during preseason games, at first choosing to sit on the bench and then later kneeling on one knee in a gesture that has divided fans.

Other players have followed suit, including Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall before Thursday’s season opening win against the Carolina Panthers.

The gesture on Sunday by the 23-year-old Peters, who is African-American, recalled the raised fist demonstration by black athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos during their medal ceremony at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City.

See photos of Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters:

The rest of the Chiefs team stood with interlocked arms during the anthem before their season opener against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, which is also the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2011, attacks.

Team members said they decided to lock arms as a sign of “solidarity” after discussing the issue as a group.

“It was our goal to be unified as a team and to be respectful of everyone’s opinions, and the remembrance of 9/11,” the team said in a statement. “It’s our job as professional athletes to make a positive impact on our communities and to be proactive when change is needed.”

The Seattle Seahawks also locked arms while standing during the national anthem before their season opener against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

It was not immediately clear with whom or to what cause the teams were showing solidarity, since Kaepernick’s protest involved kneeling or sitting for the anthem. Representatives for the teams could not be immediately reached.

The protesting players have been praised as allies of the Black Lives Matter movement, which grew in response to a string of high-profile police killings of unarmed black people across the country. About two-thirds of NFL players are black.

The protests have also provoked anger in some fans who see the gesture as disrespecting the U.S. flag, the military, and the country in general.

To mark the 15th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks, the league said it will play videotaped messages from President Barack Obama and his predecessor, George W. Bush, before each game, and a 9/11 decal will be placed on players’ helmets.

The Seattle Seahawks have said they have decided as a team to stand and also lock arms during the anthem on Sunday.

See photos of San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick:

“Progress can and will be made only if we stand together,” Doug Baldwin, a Seahawks wide receiver, said in a video he posted online announcing the team’s decision.

Kaepernick’s 49ers play their opening game against the Los Angeles Rams on Monday evening. Obama has defended Kaepernick, saying this week the player is exercising a constitutional right and provoking conversation “around some topics that need to be talked about.” (Reporting by Jonathan Allen in New York and Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Alan Crosby and Peter Cooney)