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Rolling Stones Cuba concert was mostly politics-free

Video includes clips from the BBC, Miami Herald and the Vatican and images from Getty Images.

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The Rolling Stones have officially brought their music to Cuba with a performance that seemed mostly free of a political agenda.

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For years, many Cubans listened to bands like the Stones in secret because their music didn't line up with the government ideology. But Friday's massive, free performance was meant to show that Cuba is opening up to the rest of the world.

According to the band's announcement, the concert at Ciudad Deportiva de la Habana was "the first open-air concert in the country by a British rock band."

Frontman Mick Jagger and company mostly avoided any political statement during the show, except for acknowledging the band's presence in the country was a sign "times are changing."

Some estimates say nearly half a million people attended the celebratory performance.

The event capped off a week where a sitting U.S. president visited the country in nearly 90 years.

One concertgoer told The Guardian there is a feeling among Cubans that "something good" is happening.

But not everyone saw the concert as a sign of good things to come. One democracy activist said the government was using it as a symbol of an "opening that isn't really taking place."

And at least one world leader did take issue with the event — the pope, though it wasn't because of politics. The BBC reports he asked the Stones to postpone the concert because it conflicted with Good Friday.

The concert was a part of the Rolling Stones' America Latina Ole tour that is traveling through Central and South America.

They have also started a push to donate musical instruments and equipment to benefit Cuban musicians across all music genres.

184-year-old giant tortoise Jonathan gets first bath ever

Video includes clips from St. Helena government.

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The world's oldest land animal just got his first bath ever, and it only took an estimated 184 years.

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Jonathan the giant tortoise is considered a national treasure on St. Helena Island in the Atlantic.

Surgical soap and soft brushes were reportedly used to protect his shell.

Dr. Joe Hollins, the vet who gave Jonathan his bath, said it was "purely for aesthetic reasons," but after the cleaning, Hollins noticed that the rings on Jonathan's shell, which would usually tell his age, had faded away.

Giant tortoises are usually only expected to live 150 years. After switching Jonathan to a more nutritious diet last year, St. Helena hopes he'll have plenty of years ahead of him.

Ill children can now see the world without leaving St. Jude Hospital

Video includes clips from Expedia.

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St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and Expedia have teamed up in a seriously cool way to help sick children.

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The "St. Jude Dream Adventures" campaign, the 360-degree virtual experience room at the Memphis, Tennessee, location, lets children too sick to leave the hospital experience what it's like to travel the world.

Here's how it works: An Expedia employee will travel to the child's dream location, which can be anywhere from an underwater tour to watching wild horses in Argentina.

Once there, children will have the experience in real time with the employee, which gives kids the opportunity to ask questions and learn from tour guides.


The project is the brainchild of the 180LA creative agency. While this initial exhibition only featured four children, the agency said it's talking with the hospital about making it a permanent installation.

180LA, St. Jude and Expedia have teamed up before. A few years ago, the trio released an ad where Santa flew coach around the world so he could donate his Expedia+ points to the hospital.

Parents: Relax! It's just a game; Sign reminds overbearing adults to lighten up

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Lots of parents become sideline coaches and their children's biggest critics when they attend school and extracurricular activities or sports events.

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They scream and shout, offering pieces of advice to the youngsters as they run to the next base, go for the next layup or aim to take the next shot. 

But a sign posted outside a Pleasanton Little League game in Texas serves as a reminder to parents that a game is just a game.

The sign reads:

"Reminders from your child: 

- I'm just a kid.

- It's just a game.

- My coach is a volunteer.

- The officials are humans.

- No college scholarships will be handed out today."

While the sign carries a serious message, it ends with a lighthearted, "Thank you and have fun!" 

A photo of the sign has spread rapidly on social media platforms.

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Move over 'America's Next Top Model.' Here's America’s Top Dog Model

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Sherlock, a 3-year-old labradoodle, spends his days as a medical alert assistance dog in Loxahatchee, Florida. On Saturday, however, he was dressed as Theodore Roosevelt, wearing gold wire-rim glasses and an olive green uniform.

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Twenty-nine dogs, including Sherlock, competed at the 12th annual America’s Top Dog Model casting call at the South Florida Pet Expo in suburban West Palm Beach. This year’s theme was “Meet the Paw-liticans” and featured dogs dressed like presidents and others as political figures throughout history.

Kate Kilpatrick, Sherlock’s owner, said she trained the rescue dog to help her college-student daughter keep tabs on her blood sugar levels years ago. Now that her daughter wears a monitor to keep track of her levels, Kilpatrick said she gets to keep Sherlock to herself most days and enters him in contests whenever she can.

“He’s doesn’t work for free, but he works cheap,” Kilpatrick joked, “paying” him with a doggy treat.

America’s Top Dog Model was founded in 2005 by Jo Jo Harder, who has watched the growth of the national organization that includes her own 7-year-old miniature greyhound, Romeo. Harder is also taping a reality show that she plans to pitch to different networks.

“It’s been wonderful. (We’re) just one big family,” she said.

Lulu, a 2-year-old Harrier who splits her time between West Palm Beach and New York with her owner, Gautam Dasgupta, was one of four finalists chosen Saturday. Dasgupta said he’s never entered his rescue dog into any contests but was convinced by Harder to enter, and he was glad he did. Lulu, though, went as herself instead of as a politician.

Finalists go on to be featured in the America’s Top Dog Model calendar and the top winner gets to be on the cover.

Peaches, a 3-year-old Yorkie, wore a golden tutu while sitting on the sideline as the reigning top dog model. Her owners, Claire Spielman and Bob Spielman, said they got Peaches when they retired and then got her certified as a therapy dog. It wasn’t until winning the competition in 2015 that they realized her other talents.

“It really changed everything for us,” Claire Spielman said. Then came magazine shoots, a website and dozens of prizes and honors.

But even with all the publicity, Peaches still spends Mondays playing with children at a local hospital and on Thursdays she comforts adults in therapy.

“It’s how we give back now,” Bob Spielman said.

5 March Madness horror stories

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The National Collegiate Athletic Association’s annual men’s basketball tournament kicks off Tuesday. And while betting on brackets and watching the 68 teams whittle down to a Final Four can certainly prove entertaining, it’s not always just fun and games.

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Here are some March Madness nightmares to watch out for:

1. A $24,000 bracket bruising

Bryan Armen Graham entered a March Madness bracket pool run by a friend in his hometown for years. He told The Guardian that in 2008, the total pot reached enormous heights -- 48,800. The winner would take home half of that -- $24,400. 

When Graham and his significant other moved into first place with just the championship game left, another member of the pool called to make him an offer. He told Graham he’d be willing to split the winner’s $24, 000 if he took first (a Kansas victory) if Graham promised to do the same should Memphis take home the championship, cementing his bracket dominance.

But Graham didn’t take the deal and ended up dropping to 24th place, out of the money entirely after Kansas lost.

2. Fake Final Four tickets

One North Carolina woman found herself out $1,480 after purchasing a pair of phony NCAA Final Four tickets on Craigslist, Fox6Now reported in 2015. She wasn’t the only person to fall victim to that particular scammer, who was purportedly posing as a doctor based out of Milwaukee. The physician’s office told the Better Business Bureau it had received dozens of call that week from customers who had bought tickets that never actually surfaced.

Tickets scams, in general, are fairly common at major sporting events. To avoid them, the BBB recommends sticking to reliable sellers registered with the National Association of Ticket Brokers, checking a vendor’s guarantee policy and using a credit card, which offers better fraud protections than cash or debit cards.

3. Office pool leads to legal woes

John Bovery of New Jersey used to run an office pool at the Wall Street firm where he worked. It was the typical football squares, NCAA tourney brackets, etc. But his $837,000 purse with more than 8,000 entrants came crashing down in 2010 when cops started investigating an alleged mafia member with ties to the pool.

Participants in NCAA tournament pools are rarely prosecuted, but there’s a strong argument that these contests violate both federal and state laws, so it’s wise to keep that in mind as you fill out your bracket.

4. Gambling addiction

To some people, betting on brackets may feel like harmless fun. But others may find themselves fueling a gambling addiction. One former New York stockbroker outlined the scope of his March Madness woes to ESPN back in 2013.

His troubles included “tricking his parents into investing $30,000 into his ‘business,’ when the money really was going to bookies,” columnist Rick Reilly reported. The stockbroker ultimately got help after attending Gamblers Anonymous. Those similarly suffering from a gambling addiction can consider looking for a support group online.

5. The health impact

The first time Betsy Fisher filled out an NCAA tournament bracket was her last. She was elated when her teams were advancing, but when they started to lose, she went into a funk, finally deciding the whole experience is just bad for her health.

“Now the weekend. Games on all day long. I can’t watch. I can barely ask my husband about the games,” she wrote on her blog in 2012. “I’m depressed that I’m not going to WIN. By the end of Sunday, I make a pan of brownies. Not only do I lick the bowl. I eat 3 before they have even cooled and eat another for good measure before bed.”

Other things to look out for:

Your boss knows you're watching games at work.

Many March Madness games happen during the day (it would take quite a while to air the whole tournament if every game was in prime time). For many college hoops fanatics, this leads to a conundrum -- miss a game or watch at work?

Companies aren’t totally clueless that this is happening, as people have reported about company-wide emails warning people about Internet connection issues due to too many people tuning in on their PCs. If you’re going to watch, tread lightly. You don’t want to get fired for watching a first round match-up.

No one is getting anything done. 

As a worker, you might not care about the occasional day where you don’t get much done, but your boss probably does. If you’re a business owner, March Madness can be downright disastrous. For several years, experts have estimated companies lose well over $1 billion to lack of productivity during March Madness, as employees fill out brackets and stream the games. Last year, job-placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas estimated losses would reach $1.9 billion.

A love of basketball could get you hacked. 

Cyber criminals know you’re going to start searching the Internet for bracket-building tools and information about the best teams, so they build malware around popular search terms, according to security site PC World. Just because something comes up in your search results doesn’t mean you should click on it -- don’t open attachments or links from sites or email addresses you don’t recognize, even if they’re related to your favorite team.

A ticket but nowhere to sleep.

There’s nothing more exciting than your team making its way through the tournament, especially if they end up in the Final Four or championship game. Why not celebrate with a spur-of-the-moment trip to the finals? Sure, it’ll be expensive, but you might be able to find a good deal. Be careful, though -- it’s not unheard of for people to lose money to a fake hotel offer during a major sporting event.

The BBB suggests asking for the name, address and phone number of a hotel in any offer you are considering and calling directly to verify that the room exists. You should also “check the hotel’s website or a reputable travel site to be sure that the location is convenient for getting to and from the arena,” it said.

Your ex could use March Madness against you in court.

When you’re in the middle of a divorce, nothing is off the table. As one North Carolina law firm highlighted on its site, excess drinking and gambling during March Madness and St. Patrick’s Day -- which falls in the middle of the tournament this year -- could be used in court to affect alimony payments.

Would you pay $50 to watch a new movie at home?

Video includes clips from Walt Disney Studios and images from Getty Images.

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Sean Parker, founder of Napster and former president of Facebook, has an idea about how to let you watch new-release movies from home. 

But it costs $50 per movie for a 48-hour viewing period, plus $150 for a set-top box.

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Variety reported Parker is an investor in the startup Screening Room, which uses anti-piracy technology to let users watch films at home the same day they hit theaters.

Attempts to put new movies in homes have failed in the past, but this one could succeed. Screening Room will bring both distributors and exhibitors in on the revenue it makes.

Critics say the plan is too expensive, but supporters insist that splitting the $50 cost among five friends to watch a new film at home costs less than catching a flick in theaters. 

Read more here.

Thousands of pounds of snow shipped to Alaska for Iditarod dog sled race

This video includes clips from Alaska Dispatch News and Discovery and images from Getty Images.

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Officials in Anchorage, Alaska, have combated an unusually low amount of snowfall with an effective solution. 

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Seven rail cars packed full of snow arrived in Anchorage on Thursday morning ahead of the annual Iditarod dog sled competition. Those seven rail cars of snow are in addition to the 1,000 truckloads already gathered.

Unseasonably warm temperatures forced event organizers to outsource for their snow this year — a cost that is budgeted as a part of regular street maintenance in the city.

While many U.S. states pay for the removal of snow from city streets, Alaska allocates some of a $60,000 budget to bringing in snow ahead of dog races. 

The famous Iditarod competition is a tradition that dates back more than 40 years. It brings hundreds of dogs and people to the ceremonial starting line. 

This year, race leaders had to shorten the starting leg of the race from 11 miles to three miles because of a lack of snow, but organizers are confident spectators won’t be able to tell the difference.

One race organizer told NBC, “race fans concentrated in downtown Anchorage will not notice any changes to the race start as the excitement of having more than 1,000 of the most finely tuned sled dogs in the world will, as always, make for an electric environment.”

The 1,100-mile race kicks off Saturday morning. 

Oscar-nominated movies explained in one sentence each

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The 88th annual Academy Awards will take place Feb. 28 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California. 

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If you haven't had time to see the movies, here's a breakdown of the nominees, one potentially sarcastic sentence at a time: 

"The Big Short" – A simple explanation of the 2008 financial crisis thanks to celebrities like Margot Robbie, who explains finance terms while drinking champagne in a bathtub.

"Bridge of Spies" – Tom Hanks has to negotiate trading a Soviet spy for an American military man across a bridge during the Cold War. 

"Brooklyn" – An Irish girl who moved to America is confused about where she wants to live and forgets she's married for a second.

"Mad Max Fury Road" – Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy are chased by a band of guitar-playing dehydrated warriors through a sandstorm.

"The Martian" – Astronauts accidentally leave Matt Damon behind on Mars, where he fights for his life and figures out how to grow potatoes out of dehydrated excrement.

"The Revenant" – Leonardo DiCaprio gets attacked by a bear and has an all around bad week as he fights the elements and seeks revenge for his family.

"Room" – Jacob Tremblay gains freedom after being held captive in a room for years, allowing him the opportunity to experience the outside world for the first time.

"Spotlight" – Mark Ruffalo helps uncover the Catholic church sex abuse story.

"Trumbo" – Bryan Cranston just wants to write movies, but he gets accused of being a communist because he is one.

"Steve Jobs" – It's about the life of Apple co-founder and former chairman and CEO Steve Jobs.

"The Danish Girl" – Eddie Redmayne transforms himself as he undergoes one of the first sex-change operations in a tear-inducing story.

"Joy" – Jennifer Lawrence plays a mom and reminds viewers that Joy Mangano developed velvet hangers.

"Carol" – 1950s fashion and forbidden love are on display in this film.

"45 Years" – An old married couple has a late life crisis when the wife finds out the husband was engaged before.

ESPN Source: Peyton Manning to announce retirement Monday

This video includes clips from and Nationwide and images from Getty Images.

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After 18 seasons and two Super Bowl titles, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is reportedly retiring. 

>> RELATED: A look back at all the NFL records set by Peyton Manning

Manning plans to announce his retirement Monday in a news conference, a source told ESPN. 

Manning's retirement wouldn't come as a shock. The soon-to-be 40-year-old is the oldest quarterback ever to start a Super Bowl.

After the Broncos won the national championship, on-field cameras caught Manning telling Pats coach Bill Belichick, "This might be my last rodeo."

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Manning will exit as the NFL's all-time leader in passing yards, passing touchdowns and total wins as a quarterback.

But Manning's postseason legacy has always been a point of criticism, which made his team's Super Bowl win that much more important. Manning now has two Super Bowl rings after Denver's victory. 

There's a reason Manning waited until after the season was over to make this decision. Manning said at Super Bowl Opening Night he didn't want a farewell tour throughout an entire season. 

And just because Manning might be retiring from playing doesn't necessarily mean he's done with football. 

There's speculation he could consider a front office job, with one report from CBS highlighting Cleveland and Tennessee as possible landing spots. 

“Few have left their marks on a sport as Peyton Manning has," Indianapolis Colts owner and CEO Jim Irsay said in a statement. "Simply put, he revolutionized NFL football. Peyton energized it as had no one before him, he made it more fun for our fans and (he) made the game better. Off the field, Peyton has been a tremendous ambassador for the game and the epitome of someone who gives back to the community. He is the most recognizable face in the history of the NFL and perhaps its most popular. I will miss seeing #18 on the field on Sundays, and I am proud and thankful for all he’s done for the Colts, our community and the NFL. On behalf of Colts and NFL fans worldwide, I thank Peyton and congratulate him on an incredible career.”

Manning played for the Colts for 14 seasons between 1998 and 2011. He began playing for the Broncos in 2012.

Congratulations Peyton, on an incredible career. You changed the game forever and made everyone around you better. It's been an honor.Posted by Tom Brady on Sunday, March 6, 2016

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