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Government statistics show that Germany registered 1.1million applications by the end of last year under its EASY system, which does not record much more than an applicant’s country of origin.German Interior Ministry spokesman Dr Harald Neymanns admitted that delays in the processing of asylum seeker applications would account for some of those missing.But he also said that in some cases refugees may not have stayed in Germany but instead gone on to a different country elsewhere in the EU.Spread around the country: Migrants are pictured arriving at the train station in Dortmund, western GermanyA third explanation is that the refugees may not have existed in the first place because some asylum seekers have been found to apply multiple times in an attempt to get sent to the city of their choice.EASY stands for Erstverteilung von Asylbegehrenden, which translates as Initial Allocation System for Asylum Seekers.The system, operated by the German Ministry For Migration And Refugees, aims to provide urgent first assistance to new arrivals by spreading them around the country based on a quota system.Once the applicant’s county of origin has been taken, officials assign the refugee a place where they are to be cared for, and where they can then make an application for asylum.It is the responsibility of the location and state where they are assigned to care for them, and provide accommodation.North Rhine Westphalia, which includes Cologne, takes far more of the immigrants than any other part of Germany with 21 per cent, whereas Bremen takes the least with less than 1 per cent. In the capital Berlin it is just over 5 per cent.The asylum seeker is then expected to make their application for asylum once they arrive at the end state destination.But of those refugees, only 476,649 326,529 men and 150,120 women have so far gone through with the process and registered for asylum.That means more than 600,000 are unaccounted for.Glum: Angela Merkel has come under increasing pressure over her open doors migrant policy as it emerged more than 200 migrants were suing her government for taking too long to process their asylum applications. Pictured right:Migrants walk in the so called ‘Mahgreb Quarter’ in Duesseldorf, GermanyIt comes as police in Munsterland in North Rhine Westphalia today carried out a series of raids as part of the ongoing investigation into the Cologne New Year sex attacks.Officers say they have so far recorded 821 complaints of criminal incidents including hundreds of sex attacks.The raids in Munsterland targeted two refugee centres, seizing 150 asylum seekers who were questioned in depth.They found that many claimed to be from Syria but were mostly from North Africa, a suspicion which has already been widely reported. But they also found that every second person had been registered at least twice on the EASY system.It is entirely possible that if somebody doesn’t like where they are being sent, that they simply re apply again later in order to get sent somewhere elseDr Harald Neymanns, spokesman for the German Interior MinistryAccording to Dr Neymanns, the main objective of EASY is to provide the basics that refugees from a war torn country would need, namely a roof over their head and food.He said: ‘It is entirely possible that if somebody doesn’t like where they are being sent, that they simply re apply again later in order to get sent somewhere else.’Many prefer to be in the big cities, and it might also be that they want to be sent somewhere they know they have contacts or relatives.’He said that delays in the processing of applications meant that there may be many people in asylum seeker centres who had not been able to make their application yet because of the backlog, and therefore it was difficult to know an exact figure for how many of the 600,000 were still in Germany but not yet registered.He added that others might not have stayed in Germany and had instead gone on to a different country. With regards to the numbers who had left Germany, or who did not exist in the first place, he said it was ‘almost impossible’ to tell.But the police investigation in Munsterland found that not only did some of the people living in the asylum centres have two identities, but that some had as many as four or five.
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SCHMALTZ, Gerard Francis born April 23, 1959, the 8th child of 10 to Frank Emily Schmaltz. He passed away suddenly on December 1, 2014 at the age of 55 in Wanham AB. Gerard was born at Eston, SK. He started school in Glidden SK and went on to school in Consul, SK and Davidson, SK. Gerard worked his whole life in the agricultural industry, from working with his Dad on the PFRA ranches to working for local farmers, wherever he was, his good work ethic and his caring personality were always welcome. Gerard moved to the Grande Prairie in 1981 and fell in love with the north. He worked in Sexsmith, AB for the UGG, transferred to Wanham where he settled buying some land and continuing his work with Grain Companies as they changed hands. He started raising Registered Paints and Simmental cattle. Gerard belonged to many organizations, including the Wanham Plowing Match, as well he was a standing member of the Wanham Grazing Reserve, and a member of the Catholic Church. Some of his hobbies included being an all around Cowboy who loved his horses and cattle, and he loved helping to coach two amazing boys, Jackson and Kole, in all their sports. Gerard is pre deceased by his father Frank Schmaltz, sister Theresa (Terry) Schmaltz, and brother Don Schmaltz. He is survived by his partner Deborah Dryer, her children Kurtis (Sarah) and Kristy, grandchildren Jackson and Kole, his mother Emily Schmaltz, brother Ray (Gail) Schmaltz, sister Pat (Bill Thomson), brother Cecil (Betty) Schmaltz, sister Donna (Jim Siroski), sister Sandi (Lorne Zentner), sister Cyndy (Darren Lutz), brother Gary (Tammie) Schmaltz, and many nieces and nephews. There was a memorial service on December 5, 2014 at 2 PM at Coco Hall, Wanham AB. Another service will be held December 13, 2014 at 3 PM at Saamis Funeral Home; 1 Dunmore Road SE, Medicine Hat AB T1A 1Z5, 403 528 2599. Donations can be made to the Canadian Mental Health society; Edmonton Region Suite 300 5th Street Place, 10010 105 Street NW, Edmonton AB T5J 1C4, Spirit River Minor Hockey Association; Box 533, Spirit River AB T0H 3G0, Wanham Plowing Match; 780 694 2233, or any charity of your choice.
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If we resign Markov, chances are we put him there, but again: wrong move imho. I think Markov Weber will look great for a few weeks but as the year goes on would look very bad.

I know people have suggested newcomerJakub Jerabek and who knows, maybe he can do it but it scares me. The jump from the KHL to the NHL, especially for a defensman is a big one. Give him 3rd pairing duties he might be fine but put him into a 1st pairingsituation? I dunno. The other thing is, most players as they streak into our zone will do everything they can to avoid weber, meaning there is an extra toll put on whomever he plays next to. I dont know if thats the best learning environment.

I think MB will move to add one more D man. I still think the best odds are that it’s Markov, but maybe it’s someone else. Maybe it’s Gelinas or Despres or Streit.. if we do go into the season with our current line up of D men, I agree with you that they’re almost certainly going to pair Alzner with Weber based purely on the fact that Alzner has the most experience playing big minutes. I think the concept of what skillset you need to play next to Weber (it should be an all around good player capable of big minutes but he also needs to be a good skater and a guy who can move the puck) is secondary. I wonder whether they will play Benn on the left, in which case he would likely be in the top 4 and play next to the player Alzner doesn’t line up next to (either Weber or Petry). Alzner has already stated direction told him he would get the chance to play next to Weber or Petry, so we know the team envisions him as a top 4 defender. That’s probably our top 4 to begin. Schlemko probably has the edge to play the 3rd pairing, and then the last guy should be Davidson unless Jerabek surprises. Morrow has got an outside shot, but I think the team probably sees him as an ideal 7th D man. So I see them going

The problem though, is that you’re throwing one player to the wolves. Playing next to Weber you have probably the toughest job of any of our defensmen because not only will it be your 1 responsibility to retrieve pucks for your pairing, the opposition is going to try to come down your side because no one wants to meet Weber in the corner. The one advantage (and the reason it worked for a while) playing Emelin Weber had was that there was no ‘easy corner’ you knew you were going to get mauled regardless of who you rushed in on.

I am not sure if any of Davidson, Jerabek, Schlemko or whomever can handle that but unless MB has a rabbit up his sleeve to acquire a true 1LD, i am assuming we’ll find out.

On paper, he’s everything we need. He’s mobile, skates well and shoots left. He’s said he wont sign with Colorado, so he’ll be going UFA. There are rumblings that MB will make a big push for him, and honestly, if our scouts think he could play top 4 minutes, I could see it being a VERY enticing offer for him i mean how many kids out there would get the chance to play next to Weber? say what you will about his flaws, most young defensmen would kill to suit up next to 6 for their first gig in the nhl.

On paper, he’s everything we need. He’s mobile, skates well and shoots left. He’s said he wont sign with Colorado, so he’ll be going UFA. There are rumblings that MB will make a big push for him, and honestly, if our scouts think he could play top 4 minutes, I could see it being a VERY enticing offer for him i mean how many kids out there would get the chance to play next to Weber? say what you will about his flaws, most young defensmen would kill to suit up next to 6 for their first gig in the nhl.

On paper, he’s everything we need. He’s mobile, skates well and shoots left. He’s said he wont sign with Colorado, so he’ll be going UFA. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League.
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I don’t see how this helps us. Yes, he can be an asset on the PP, but is he really going to be one of the top 6 D men at even strength? I’d easily put Weber, Petry, Benn, Schlemko, and Alzner ahead of him on the depth chart, so that means he’s battling Davidson, Morrow, and Jerabek for a spot on the team. Once again, MB seems to be stocking up on lower level depth but has done nothing to address the top end of his team, neither at center nor on D. It would be fine if this move was an adjunct move and he has 2 3 more deals up his sleeve to address the real issues, but he never does: Bergevin simply stockpiles depth and assumes this is a substitute for real talent.

I don’t see how this helps us. Yes,
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he can be an asset on the PP, but is he really going to be one of the top 6 D men at even strength? I’d easily put Weber, Petry, Benn, Schlemko, and Alzner ahead of him on the depth chart, so that means he’s battling Davidson, Morrow, and Jerabek for a spot on the team. Once again, MB seems to be stocking up on lower level depth but has done nothing to address the top end of his team, neither at center nor on D. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League.
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Universal attention economy, of course, is good in China,UGG Classic Argyle Knit China economy has become a global economic lever, world class thirty years ago in China, even a worthier will draw attention, only the unique cultural and ideological LieJiZhe can cause the interest.

Facing the GDP has, we should keep clear enough. Many problems that GDP, sometimes doesn make any sense. The oecd, was known as the director of accelerating the greatest economic history data and analysis expert, he published a long term performance of China economy in modern China, for the GDP estimates there before. In order to minimize rate and inflation factor of statistics of real economic scale, the effects of the PPP is calculated, and create a “1990 international yuan” as a measure of economic output and per capita income of the unit.

According to the calculation, accelerating from the 17th century to the early 19th century, China economic performance is wonderful. In 1700 and 1820, China GDP ranks the first in the world, not only from the world population growth to the growing 32.9% higher CAAC statistics from the world totalquantity 22.9% indicates that growth. But, after the qing dynasty of China, from the GDP, discount ugg boots accordingly, the contribution for the global economy, and finally become increasingly small shrink.

But China GDP per capita is not dominant. According to another study on ancient Chinese GDP pioneer research achievements, Hector belo 1840 China per capita GDP dropped to $206, Britain, France, for $for 447, Japan l78 for $310 dollars. The estimated to be optimistic dix in 1990, according to $constant prices, China per capita GDP in the first and l000 years for $450, 13 1820 for $600. However,
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the per capita GDP of the decline is undisputable fact.

China GDP per head has been soft rib, until now. According to the purchasing power parity, China GDP overtook Japan early, but China GDP per capita is only about $4,000, only about one tenth of Japan.

China GDP growth is mostly denotative growth of population and investment expansion, is the result of agricultural era, is the expansion and intensive cultivation, farming in the industrial age is expanding investment and output of the results. Now the marginal efficiency, lower investment, pull a GDP need several times in the investment deltas at the beginning of the reform. For example, as a rapid travel cart, by a single investment engine drive, scale and inertia momentum is more and more big, increasing investment needs.

China GDP growth is the dominant economies, quantitative results in the process of steering quality type economies, there must be a representative, the quality of economic data in the process of China economic development costs.

Some price is irreversible, such as pollution of the environment, such as the Yangtze river headwaters of desertification, such as the source of the Yellow River water exhaustion, such as more and more extreme weather, such as damaged monuments, all these are reminded us that China GDP growth, with strong administrative power as the forerunner, take the resource exhaustion, environmental pollution and a widening gap between rich and poor, the cost of pay of high cost. Some local double digit GDP growth,ugg nightfall black environmental cost, deducts deducts deducts cost, the placement of wealth destruction,
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economic growth will fall by more than half.

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“It seems like every time you turn around, somebody’s pounding a garage sale sign at the top of the street,” says Bob Fritts, owner of Fritts Financial Services in Concord Township. “Consumer spending is way down. People are looking to raise additional funds to make ends meet. Especially with the unemployment rate rising close to 10 percent, it makes it more valuable to clean out your junk.”

Nationwide, garage sale listings on online advertiser Craigslist have increased 80 percent this year, company officials said.

Chrissy Walters, a teacher at Edison Elementary School in Willoughby, says she holds a garage sale each year at the Willowick home of her mother, Jan Komar. This year, things were hopping much earlier than usual.

“We opened at 9, but our first person showed up at 8:30,” Walters says. “I feel like we’ve been busier than in past years, which is good, because we have a lot of junk to get rid of. We can always use the extra money. My husband says I have to get rid of my old clothes before I get more.”

Walters’ customers snapped up items like a cot for $5 that had been priced at $10 and a porch swing for $5.

“We’re proud garage salers,” Komar says with a laugh.

Diane Mayer, another Willowick resident, was at the East 327th Street sale shopping with her 11 week old morkie dog named Daisy May happily parked in her arms.

“I like going to garage sales,” Mayer says. “I like finding old cookbooks, and it’s fun. We just had a garage sale, and people were talking about the economy.”

Secondhand stores like Plato’s Closet in Mentor also are thriving.

“A lot of people are coming in to sell their clothes for gas money,” Plato’s Closet manager Sam Urankar says.

“And a lot of people are coming here to buy back to school clothes, because they can get brand name stuff for $6 to $15, versus like $60 or more at the mall.”
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RIYADH, Nov 5 (Reuters) Saudi Arabia’s future king has tightened his grip on power through an anti corruption purge by arresting royals, ministers and investors including billionaire Alwaleed bin Talal who is one of the kingdom’s most prominent businessmen.

Prince Alwaleed, a nephew of the king and owner of investment firm Kingdom Holding, invests in firms such as Citigroup and Twitter. He was among 11 princes, four ministers and tens of former ministers detained, three senior officials told Reuters on Sunday.

The purge against the kingdom’s political and business elite also targeted the head of the National Guard, Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, who was detained and replaced as minister of the powerful National Guard by Prince Khaled bin Ayyaf.

The allegations against Prince Alwaleed include money laundering, bribery and extorting officials, one official told Reuters, while Prince Miteb is accused of embezzlement, hiring ghost employees and awarding contracts to his own companies including a $10 billion deal for walkie talkies and bulletproof military gear worth billions of Saudi riyals.

The allegations could not be independently verified and members of the families of those detained could not be reached.

News of the purge came soon after King Salman decreed late on Saturday the creation of an anti corruption committee chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, his 32 year old favourite son who has amassed power since rising from obscurity three years ago.

The new body was given broad powers to investigate cases, issue arrest warrants and travel restrictions, and seize assets.

“The homeland will not exist unless corruption is uprooted and the corrupt are held accountable,” the royal decree said.

Analysts said the arrests were another pre emptive measure by the crown prince to remove powerful figures as he exerts control over the world’s leading oil exporter.

The roundup recalls the palace coup in June through which he ousted his elder cousin, Mohammed bin Nayef, as heir to the throne and interior minister.

MbS, as he is known, was expected to follow at least by removing Prince Miteb from leadership of the National Guard, a pivotal power base rooted in the kingdom’s tribes.

Over the past year, MbS has become the ultimate decision maker for the kingdom’s military, foreign, economic and social policies,
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causing resentment among parts of the Al Saud dynasty frustrated by his meteoric rise.

Saudi Arabia’s stock index was dragged down briefly but recovered to close higher as some investors bet the crackdown could bolster reforms in the long run.

The royal decree said the arrests were in response to “exploitation by some of the weak souls who have put their own interests above the public interest, in order to, illicitly, accrue money.”The line between public funds and royal money is not always clear in Saudi Arabia, an absolute monarchy ruled by an Islamic system in which most law is not systematically codified and no elected parliament exists.

WikiLeaks cables have detailed the huge monthly stipends that every Saudi royal receives as well as various money making schemes some have used to finance lavish lifestyles.

Analysts said the purge aimed to go beyond corruption and aimed to remove potential opposition to Prince Mohammed’s ambitious reform agenda, which is widely popular with Saudi Arabia’s burgeoning youth population but faces resistance from some of the old guard more comfortable with the kingdom’s traditions of incremental change and rule by consensus.

In September, the king announced that a ban on women driving would be lifted, while Prince Mohammed is trying to break decades of conservative tradition by promoting public entertainment and visits by foreign tourists.

The crown prince has also slashed state spending in some areas and plans a big sale of state assets, including floating part of state oil giant Saudi Aramco on international markets.

Prince Mohammed has also led Saudi Arabia into a two year old war in Yemen, where the government says it is fighting Iran aligned militants, and a row with neighbouring Qatar, which it accuses of backing terrorists, a charge Doha denies. Detractors of the crown prince say both moves are dangerous adventurism.

The most recent crackdown breaks with the tradition of consensus within the ruling family, wrote James Dorsey, a senior fellow at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.

“Prince Mohammed, rather than forging alliances, is extending his iron grip to the ruling family, the military, and the National Guard to counter what appears to be more widespread opposition within the family as well as the military to his reforms and the Yemen war,” he said.

Scholar Joseph Kechichian said the interests of the Al Saud dynasty, however, would remain protected.

“Both King Salman and heir apparent Mohammed bin Salman are fully committed to them. What they wish to instil, and seem determined to execute, is to modernise the ruling establishment, not just for the 2030 horizon but beyond it too,
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FILE This is a Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015 file photo of British heavyweight Tyson Fury and World Heavyweight boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko, as they stare at each other during a press conference in London. Tyson Fury 2.09m (6 foot 9) tall, weighs 116kg (18 stones, 3 pounds), is unbeaten in 24 professional fights, and says he is ready to shake up the heavyweight division by taking the WBA, WBO and IBF belts off Klitschko in a world heavyweight title fight in Duesseldorf, Germany, on Nov. 28.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)

BOLTON, England (AP) As Tyson Fury prowled the practice ring, stopping regularly for some shadow boxing and imagining Wladimir Klitschko on the end of his punches, his father looked on with pride.

“They wrote him off, saying he wouldn’t live,” said John Fury, recalling the day 27 years ago when the second of his six sons was born three months early, weighing just one pound (.45 kg).

“I told them, ‘It’s his destiny to live, and I’ll tell you one better than that he’ll end up nearly 7 feet (2.13 meters) tall, 20 stones (280 pounds/127 kg), and be the heavyweight champion of the world. And his name’s going to be Tyson, after Mike Tyson.'”

It could turn out to be some prophecy.

Tyson Fury is now 2.09m (6 foot 9) tall, weighs 255 pounds (116 kg), is unbeaten in 24 professional fights, and says he is ready to shake up the heavyweight division by taking the WBA, WBO and IBF belts off Klitschko in a world heavyweight title fight in Duesseldorf, Germany, on Nov. 28.

If he wins, the boxing world had better watch out. Fury might be among the most colorful and interesting characters in sports.

Born in Manchester,
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“If I can’t fight, nobody can,” Fury told The Associated Press in an interview at his gym in Bolton, northwest England. “Like a racehorse is bred for racing, I’m bred for fighting. Nothing else. I’m what you call a pure bred. Pure bred fighter. Pure bred idiot.”

An hour in the company of Fury and his entourage all family members is entertaining. The conversation switches quickly from his pride at his Gypsy background to his faith, his future he says he could become a pastor after retiring from boxing his distaste for material goods, and his belief that he’ll become a boxing legend.

“There has been no one like me,” he says.

In his small gym, there are drawings of boxing greats on every wall: Sugar Ray Robinson, Joe Louis, Jack Dempsey, Harry Greb, Muhammad Ali. A drawing of Fury himself is just to the right of Louis.

One of the good luck messages written by youngsters who train at the gym reads: “Hell Hath No Fury Like Tyson.”

“As I’m in this room now, I’m like a fish in water,” Fury said, with intensity in his eyes. “It’s my place. It’s where I’m supposed to be. I’m never happier than in a boxing ring.”

Fury is in the best shape of his life and is about five pounds (2.2 kg) lighter than his usual fighting weight, according to his trainer and uncle, Peter Fury.

“He’s’ 110 percent prepared,” Peter Fury said, shrugging off the fact that the fight against Klitschko was delayed five weeks after the Ukrainian was injured in training. “This is the stiffest test Wladimir has had in his career.”

Tyson Fury describes Klitschko as “the ultimate in heavyweight history” because of his 26 title defenses, but says the heavyweight division needs a change after a decade of dominance from Klitschko and his brother Vitali.

“He’s very good at boxing, not a very good entertainer,” Fury said of his opponent. “Unfortunately, fans have had to put up with it for a long time. He’s been able to get away with it because of his athleticism and size over the other victims. They go in there without a chance. But that’s where I change it all. I’m taller, heavier, younger, fresher, faster.”

It will be a huge step up for Fury, who is a former British, Irish,
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European and Commonwealth champion.

He could also be inspired by the return of his father in his corner. John Fury a former bare knuckle fighter nicknamed “Gypsy John” and also a one time British heavyweight contender was sentenced to 11 years in jail in 2011 for gouging out a man’s eye in a brawl.

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Mor’ What’s the first image that pops into your head when you think of Ugg boots? Probably not the tan coloured, sheepskin lined boots themselves.

More likely you’re thinking of the girl wearing the boots. Her name might be Rochelle, or Charlene, or Mikaela.

She’s in her 20s, blonde hair and tight jeans, scuffing out of a suburban shopping mall near you.

But a strange thing happened about five years ago. Ugg boots started popping up in glossy magazines, warming the A grade feet of celebrities like Kate Moss, Sarah Jessica Parker and Jennifer Aniston.

Even Oprah recommended them as a Christmas gift. Suddenly, Rochelle and Mikaela weren’t just fashionable, they were fashion leaders. Lower Hutt was 10 years ahead of Hollywood.

How the heck did this happen? To be honest, our friends over the ditch probably had more to do with Ugg’s rise than Rochelle or Mikaela.

While the origins of Uggs are hotly disputed, many believe they were invented by Australian surfers to keep their toes warm after spending all day in the water. And it was an Aussie surfer, Brian Smith, who took the boots to the United States in the 1980s.

The boots enjoyed a niche in Californian beach communities but it wasn’t until Smith’s Ugg brand was bought out by a US company, Deckers Outdoor Corporation, that sales really took off.

From the late 1990s, Deckers took an educated punt and began marketing Uggs as fashion footwear, not just comfy boots to slop around in. Success took a while to build but by the early 2000s, the brand revamp began to pay off, big time.

In 2002, Deckers’ Ugg sales were a modest $24 million. By 2009, that figure had grown to $711 million and this year, sales are on track to exceed $800 million.
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November 25, 2003By BOOTH MOORE Special to the Daily Press

Who says sensible shoes can’t be chic? After seasons of teetering atop their Manolos, the style mavens are stepping out in Uggs, the shapeless sheepskin clodhoppers that are downright uggo.

First popular here in the early 1980s with the surf set, in the past few months Uggs have migrated to the streets. Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon are wearing them to keep warm on cold soundstages, and stylists are tucking jeans into them or pairing them with miniskirts for a kind of rugged, anti fashion statement.

“I live in mine. They’re like wearing a pair of socks,” said Jessica Paster, a wardrobe stylist whose clients Minnie Driver, Jewel and LeAnn Rimes are also Ugg aficionados. “God bless the girls who can run around in high heels, but they are all going to have varicose veins by the time they’re 35,” said Paster, who has pairs in black, sand and blue.

Regular people are padding around in them, too.

“I don’t think they are the cutest shoes in the world,” said Marissa Liu, 15, a student at Santa Monica (Calif.) High School who has worn Uggs for three years. “But they are incredibly comfortable and warm and fun.”

But really, sheepskin boots in sunny Southern California? “We’re kind of coldblooded, I guess,” Liu said.

Designed to be worn without socks, the most popular styles are Ugg Australia’s classic tall and classic short boots, especially those in the new, hotter than hot blush pink and powder blue shades. If you can find them, they sell for $110 to $185 at Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, surf shops and smaller boutiques.

“It’s a bad year to be a sheep,” said Dave Hollander, president and co owner of Becker Surf Sport. In the 20 years since he began carrying Uggs in his five Southern California stores, he’s never seen anything like the current fuzzy footwear frenzy. “We got our shipment in August and it was gone in a matter of days.”

A production assistant from NBC’s “Will Grace” bought a pair, only to return several days later at the producer’s behest to buy boots for everyone on the set, Hollander said. “We had 18 pairs and that’s all we could give them. . . . We’re almost in a state of harassment here. The manager of my Hermosa Beach (Calif.) store is having a hard time conducting business because the phone won’t stop ringing.”

Nordstrom is facing the same problem. “The demand is outstripping the supply,” said Scott Meden, a buyer for the store’s women’s shoe division. Although not in any dictionary, in Australia “ugg” is a generic term for a sheepskin boot. With roots going back to the days when European settlers first brought sheep “Down Under,” ugg boots were originally a cottage industry. They became a commercial product only after being embraced by surfers as standard apres surf equipment in the 1970s.

Legend has it that Australian surfer Nat Young stumbled across the boots in 1969 in South Australia. (The pair he saw had been cobbled together by the father of a surf buddy.) Young was so taken with them that he asked Shane Steadman, a surfboard producer, to help him manufacture a pair. Soon, Steadman began selling the boots for about $15. They caught on first with surfers, and then with gauche suburbanites.

Couch, whose father was a rancher in Victoria, has always been in the ugg wearing camp. “I wear them with my PJs, but I’ve also been known to wear them under a ball gown to get ’round at an event.”

“I see them as a form of contraception,” said her husband, Gavin Brennan.

Uggs arrived stateside in 1978, when Australian surfer Brian Smith tried to peddle a few pairs around New York City to no avail. Eventually, the boots found their market in Southern California, and Smith created the Ugg Australia label. In the mid 1990s, he sold it to Goleta, Calif. based Deckers Outdoors Corp., which also makes slippers, clogs and women’s outerwear under the trademarked Ugg Australia brand.
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