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Volume 6 No. 212

People and Pop Culture

French investigators examining the exact cause of former F1 champion MICHAEL SCHUMACHER's skiing accident "intend to interview the driver's manager over the coming days," according to Anne Penketh of the London GUARDIAN. The Dauphiné Libéré newspaper based in Grenoble, where Schumacher is being treated for serious head injuries, reported on Thursday that prosecutor PATRICE QUINCY "had not been aware" of Manager SABINE KEHM's account of the accident, which "he intended to verify." On Tuesday, Kehm "rejected speculation that skiing at high speed may have caused the off-piste accident on Sunday just after 11am." She told reporters that he "appeared to hit a rock and was catapulted in the air, falling apparently head down on another rock." As of Wednesday night, Schumacher's condition "had stabilised after a second brain operation but he remains critical in the Grenoble hospital where his family are maintaining a bedside vigil" (GUARDIAN, 1/2). In London, Roy Greenslade wrote on "Greenslade Blog" that someone dressed as a priest, reportedly a journalist, "tried to sneak into the hospital room" of  Schumacher. The claim, made by Kehm, was "quoted widely in the German media." Kehm: "There have been several interesting incidents here at the hospital. There apparently was a person dressed-up as a priest, who tried to get near Michael" (GUARDIAN, 12/31).

Argentine first division side Colón hired DIEGO OSELLA as its new coach. Osella was officially introduced as Colón's new coach on Wednesday (CLARIN, 1/2). ... Former ManU striker OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER "has been appointed Cardiff City's new manager." Solskjaer "has agreed a 12-month rolling contract with the Bluebirds." Solskjaer, "who met his new squad at the club's training ground on Thursday, joins from Molde, whom he led to two Norwegian league titles and a cup win." Solskjaer's first game in charge "will be against Newcastle in the third round of the FA Cup on Saturday" (BBC, 1/2). ... VALENTIN IVANOV, the referee who "broke FIFA records by brandishing four red cards in one World Cup match, was named the chief of Russia's refereeing committee on Monday." Ivanov replaces ROBERTO ROSETTI "in the post" (R-SPORT, 12/30).

The Int'l Cricket Council Hall of Fame inducted DEBBIE HOCKLEY and BOB SIMPSON Thursday in Sydney. The duo received a commemorative cap from ICC President ALAN ISAAC in an event that was also attended by Cricket Australia Chair and ICC Dir WALLY EDWARDS, England and Wales Cricket Board Chair and ICC Dir GILES CLARKE and a number of living ICC Hall of Famers (ICC). ... Ivory Coast footballer YAYA TOURE "remained on course to be named African Footballer of the Year for a record-equaling third successive time" after being named on Wednesday as one of the three finalists for the award to be handed out later this month. The Confederation of African Football "cut the list of candidates for the 2013 award down from 10," with Toure up against his Ivory Coast teammate DIDIER DROGBA and Chelsea's Nigerian midfielder JOHN OBI MIKEL (REUTERS, 1/1).

TV presenter GARY LINEKER: "This Premier League winter break has lasted long enough. Bored now!"

Scuderia Toro Rosso driver DANIIL KVYAT: "Michael Schumacher's birthday today..I think we all would like to wish him what he needs most right now- strong health , and quick recovery."

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