DC5m United States mix in english 710 articles, created at 2017-02-26 07:07


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Trump says he won’t attend correspondents dinner this spring (38.99/39)

By The Associated Press
Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017 | 6:38 p.m.
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump, who has been criticizing the news media and is famously thin-skinned, says he won't be attending the White House Correspondents' Association dinner — sparing himself the dubious honor of being an in-the-house target of jokes.
The annual fundraiser for college scholarships and venue for reporting awards mixes politicians, journalists and celebrities and is typically attended by the president and first lady. Remarks by a comedian, often roasting the president, and a humorous address by the president himself, often roasting the press and political opponents, have highlighted the event, which C-SPAN has carried live.
In a tweet Saturday, Trump wrote: "I will not be attending the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening! " He gave no reason for not attending.
Trump has long had an adversarial relationship with news media. Since taking office, however, he has stepped up his criticism by accusing some prominent news outlets of publishing "fake news" and calling them "the enemy of the American People! "
Trump had been a regular at the WHCA dinner in recent years, befitting his celebrity status as a reality TV star and beauty pageant owner. He skipped the dinner in April 2016, which came amid the presidential campaign and was the last of the dinners in which President Barack Obama was the honored guest. That didn't mean Trump wasn't the butt of jokes. At one point Obama told guests that Trump "has spent years meeting with leaders from around the world — Miss Sweden, Miss Argentina, Miss Azerbaijan. "
If he attended the dinner Trump would be a prime target of jokes, the camera showing his reaction to one-liners. In 2011, he was on hand — and appeared humiliated — as Obama lobbed joke after joke at his expense. At the time Trump was a proponent of the debunked claim that Obama wasn't born in the U. S.
In a statement following Trump's tweet, WHCA President Jeff Mason said: "The WHCA takes note of President Donald Trump's announcement on Twitter that he does not plan to attend the dinner, which has been and will continue to be a celebration of the First Amendment and the important role played by an independent news media in a healthy republic. "

Senior GOP House member calls for independent investigation of Trump's Russia ties Video WBBH News for Fort Myers, Cape Coral & Naples, Florida
Trump tweets he’ll skip White House Correspondents’ dinner – after some media also cancel — RT America
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Trump Says He Will Not Attend White House Correspondents’ Dinner
Trump won't attend correspondents dinner, sparing him a likely roasting


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National security staffer quit after 8 days in Trump White House (27.99/39)

WASHINGTON -- A White House national security staffer resigned after eight days in the Trump administration. The Maryland woman is a Muslim-American whose family emigrated from Bangladesh.
She was a holdover from the Obama White House who had hoped to stay.
“It was a very tense and unwelcoming feeling,” Rumana Ahmed said.
Ahmed worked as a staffer on the National Security Council during the Obama administration. When President Trump took office, she decided to stay, but quickly became uncomfortable.
Rumana Ahmed worked for the National Security Council under President Obama.
“I got both of those looks of ‘oh my God, like, are you OK, you know, is this, you know, I’m surprised you’re still here,’” Ahmed said. “But then you also had others who were just very cold and just kind of ignored the fact that I was even there.”
She was hoping to change minds, even though as a Muslim-American woman she had been offended by the president’s rhetoric on the campaign trail.
“At the end of the day you may not convince everybody, but there might be one or two people who will be willing to at least listen,” Ahmed said.
As for convincing anybody in the Trump White House, she said, “There was no opportunity to interact with anybody.”
In the chaotic early days, Ahmed believes she and other staffers were often cut out of the policy-making process.
Rumana Ahmed quit the National Security Council eight days after President Trump took office.
“You kind of actually found out about things as they came out in the news, and that wasn’t just true of some of us who stayed, but it was also true of some of the Trump staffers as well,” Ahmed said.
Ahmed said one of the last straws for her was the president’s executive order banning travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Less than two weeks into the Trump presidency, she quit.
“Walking into that building was becoming more and more difficult every single day because everything that administration was doing stood against what I stood for as both an American and a Muslim,” Ahmed said.
There has been a lot of turmoil on the National Security Council. Just this week, Mr. Trump named H. R. McMaster to replace Michael Flynn as national security adviser. White House officials did not have a lot to say about Ahmed’s comments, only that they wish her well.

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The Latest: Suspect in custody in New Orleans parade crash (22.99/39)

The Latest on a vehicle plowing into a parade crowd in New Orleans (all times local):
8:30 p.m.
New Orleans police say the number of people injured after a vehicle crashed into a crowd watching the Krewe of Endymion parade in the Mid-City section of New Orleans has increased to 28 and a suspect is in custody.
Police Chief Michael Harrison says one person in custody and that he is being investigated for driving while intoxicated. Harrison was asked twice if terrorism was suspected. While he didn't say "No" he said it looks like a case of DWI.
Harrison says that 21 people were hospitalized after the crash with five victims in guarded condition. Seven others declined to be hospitalized.
This story has been corrected to clarify that Harrison did not say that incident did not look like it was terror related when asked by the media but that it seemed to be a DWI case.
7:30 p.m.
Police say 12 people were injured when a vehicle plowed into a crowd watching the Krewe of Endymion parade in the Mid-City section of New Orleans.
The crash was reported Saturday at about 6:45 p.m.
New Orleans Police Department spokeswoman Ambria Washington said that "initial reports show so far that about a dozen people are in critical condition. "
She says that number could increase as the investigation continues.
One woman at the scene told The New Orleans Advocate ( that a silver truck whisked by her just feet away as she was walking through the intersection.
Carrie Kinsella said, "I felt a rush it was so fast. "
Twenty-year-old Kourtney McKinnis told the Advocate that the driver of the truck seemed almost unaware of what he had just done.
"He was just kind of out of it," she said.

21 injured after car plows into crowd watching Endymion parade
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Democrats choose old-guard stalwart Tom Perez to lead party (9.99/39)

The Democratic Party put its faith in its old guard Saturday to guide it out of the political wilderness, choosing as its new leader an Obama-era Cabinet secretary over the charismatic congressman backed by the progressive wing of the party.
Tom Perez, a former secretary of Labor with strong ties to unions, persuaded the spirited assembly of party delegates in Atlanta that he can best help harness a grass-roots outpouring of anti- Trump protest and anger into a Democratic resurgence at the ballot box.
“We are suffering from a crisis of confidence, a crisis of relevance,” Perez told delegates before they chose him in a down-to-the-wire contest with Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, whom the Bernie Sanders wing of the party had rallied around.
“We need a chair who can not only take the fight to Donald Trump.… We also need a chair who can lead a turnaround and change the culture of the Democratic Party,” Perez said.
President Trump tweeted his congratulations to Perez, adding “I could not be happier for him, or for the Republican Party!”
The ascendance of an establishment liberal is certain to renew tension between Democratic Party stalwarts and the unruly progressive movement aligned with Sen. Sanders of Vermont and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who both backed Ellison.
Some Ellison supporters erupted in protest as the final vote was announced.
Perez quickly sought to unite the party by naming Ellison his deputy chairman, a move unanimously approved by the 435 assembled delegates.
They had earlier supported Perez 235-200 in a second round of voting after several other candidates dropped out. Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., had appeared a potential challenger but dropped out before the first round of voting.
Ellison urged supporters not to “waste even a moment going at it about who supported who.… We don’t have the luxury of going out of this room divided.”
Perez, who takes over from Donna Brazile and is the first Latino to lead the Democratic National Committee, will become the new face of the beleaguered party on cable news networks and at campaign rallies after a year that saw not only heavy losses at the ballot box but Russian government hacking aimed at DNC computers.
But tending the talk show circuit will be overshadowed by a much tougher and less glamorous job: repairing a party tattered by bickering factions, muddled messaging and neglect after eight years of the Obama administration.
Following the stunning GOP wave in the 2016 election, the Democratic Party is weaker than it has been in decades.
Republicans now hold not only the White House and both houses of Congress ; they control 69 of the country’s 99 state legislative chambers and 33 governorships — including 25 states where they control both the governor’s office and the state legislature.
Perez was the favored choice of the Obama White House and the party establishment. He is a steady hand whose reorganization plans are ambitious but are not threatening to longtime party operatives.
Obama White House alums worked their connections in the states to garner delegate votes for him. Perez himself campaigned with a message similar to what Hillary Clinton used in her primary race against Sanders: He argued he was not just a progressive, but one who has gotten things done.
His victory was nonetheless a disappointment to the energetic movement Sanders inspired, which will be crucial to any successful effort at rebuilding the party and winning elections.
Progressive activists had seen the leadership race as an opportunity to take control of a party apparatus that has been hostile to their political vision. They had put their faith in Ellison to rebuild the party around the grass-roots organizing model Sanders harnessed during last year’s Democratic primaries.
Many were inspired by Ellison’s personal story as a minority politician whose majority-white, working-class district in Minneapolis elected him as the first Muslim member of Congress in 2007.
Sanders congratulated Perez in a statement that also warned, “It is imperative that Tom understands that the same-old, same-old is not working and that we must open the doors of the party to working people and young people in a way that has never been done before.”
The uneasiness of progressives was underscored by a floor fight that played out just before the chairperson vote, in which delegates voted against reinstating a ban on corporate donations to the party.
The advocacy group Move On also put Perez on notice that it expects him to change a party that “has become too Washington-insider, too beholden to the same big donors and consultants, and too timid on issues of social, racial, and economic justice. "
The leadership election did little to quiet the raging internal debate about what happened in November. There is no consensus about how Donald Trump smashed the so-called Blue Wall of Democratic strongholds and won state after state that the Democrats assumed were out of his reach.
Many progressives attribute the loss — and the erosion of power on the state level — to a weak message and failure to aggressively embrace a populist economic agenda, as well as a reluctance to embrace the identity politics that could energize minorities.
They say the white working-class Rust Belt voters who had backed Obama marked their ballots for Trump, or for third-party candidates, because they wanted big economic change, not more moderation.
Others in the party argue that’s a misreading of the election results, and that the path back to power for Democrats is not on the hard left.
Where Democrats fall in this debate guides how they approach upcoming elections. The party is grappling over how heavily to invest in recapturing voters it lost in the Midwest versus parts of the Southern states where minority populations are booming, and where Republicans are holding congressional seats in districts that Trump lost or just barely won.
But much of the work before Perez is even deeper in the weeds. He will have to rebuild the badly frayed network of state and county parties that form the backbone of the organization. Their disconnectedness to the Democratic National Committee and, in some cases, lack of persistent, steady management has become a major vulnerability.
He takes over the party at a difficult but also opportune time, amid the erupting anger over the direction Trump and the Republican-led Congress are taking the country.
Perez will need to move quickly to build the infrastructure needed to channel all that energy, and to keep it brewing through the next big election, which is still two years away.
Considering the party’s state of disarray, the leadership race was notable for its lack of public bloodletting.
The candidate forums were congenial, the campaign messaging polite — a reflection of the nature of this particular election, which is decided by party officials more preoccupied with nuts-and-bolts party business like resource allocation and how conventions will be run than with heady issues of ideology.
But simmering beneath the surface were tensions over how badly the party fared during the Obama years and who might be at fault. Perez was encouraged to run against Ellison by some Obama allies who stood to lose lucrative party contracts in a takeover by the Sanders faction.
Follow me: @evanhalper

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Muhammad Ali’s son detained at airport: ‘Are you Muslim?’ (8.60/39)

Returning from a Black History Month event in Jamaica, Muhammad Ali Jr. and his mother, Khalilah Camacho Ali, were pulled aside and separated from each other while going through the immigration checkpoint on Feb. 7 at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, said Chris Mancini, a family friend and attorney. Camacho Ali was released a short time later after showing a photo of herself with her ex-husband, the former heavyweight boxing champion, Mancini said. But Ali Jr. was not carrying a photo of his world-famous father — a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Ali Jr., 44, who confirmed his Muslim faith, was detained about two hours, despite telling officials that he’s Ali’s son and a native-born U. S. citizen, Mancini said. It was the first time Ali Jr. and his mother have ever been asked if they’re Muslim when re-entering the United States, he said. “From the way they were treated, from what was said to them, they can come up with no other rational explanation except they fell into a profiling program run by customs, which is designed to obtain information from anyone who says they’re a Muslim,” Mancini said in a phone interview. “It’s quite clear that what triggered his detention was his Arabic name and his religion.” Reached for comment Friday, a U. S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman said in an email: “Due to the restrictions of the Privacy Act, the U. S. Customs and Border Protection cannot discuss individual travelers; however, all international travelers arriving in the U. S. are subject to CBP inspection,” according to The Courier-Journal’s report about the detention.

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Customs: Ali’s son wasn't detained because he's Muslim
Border agents ask Muhammad Ali’s son
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Ali’s son questioned about his religion at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
Muhammad Ali's son reportedly detained at airport, asked twice about his religion


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Big night for 'Moonlight' at the Independent Spirit Awards (7.99/39)

Feb. 25 (UPI) -- The coming-of-age story Moonlight was the big winner at Saturday's Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica.
The film was named Best Feature and its stars were presented with the Robert Altman Award for outstanding ensemble.
Barry Jenkins, who wrote and helmed the movie, won the Best Director and Screenplay prizes. The drama also earned the honors for Best Cinematography and Best Editing.
Casey Affleck was named Best Male Lead for Manchester by the Sea , Isabelle Huppert Best Female Lead for Elle , Ben Foster Best Supporting Male for Hell or High Water and Molly Shannon Best Supporting Female for Other People .
Robert Eggers' The Witch earned him the accolades for Best First Feature and Best First Screenplay.
O. J.: Made in America was deemed Best Documentary and Toni Erdmann Best International Film.
The Spirit Awards, traditionally presented the day before the Oscars, recognize excellence in low-budget film-making.

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Kate Beckinsale stuns at Independent Spirit Awards


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Obama’s labor secretary edges out Sanders-backed candidate for DNC chair — RT America (6.73/39)

Perez got votes of 235 out of 435 members of the Democratic National Committee conference in Atlanta. He emerged as frontrunner in the first round but fell one vote short of an overall majority, forcing the contest to go into a second round.
Perez, who has received backing from former Vice President Joe Biden, is widely viewed as an establishment candidate as opposed to Ellison, who was touted for the post by Clinton’s democratic socialist rival, Bernie Sanders.
After Perez emerged as the winner, Ellison hinted that his opponent’s victory would play in the hands of big corporate donors. “No big money. Party for the people,” Ellison chanted in protest as cited by US Today.
However, the newly-elected chair was quick to sooth rising tensions by offering Ellison to become his deputy and calling for a unity in the face of “Trumpism.”
"Trump is right outside that door — and not just Trump but Trumpism,” Perez said, adding that the Democrats must put on a united front against the new president, who he denounced as “the worst president in the history of the United States.”
Apart from a challenge to provide strong resistance to the Trump administration, Perez also noted the need to tackle the “crisis of confidence, crisis of relevance.”
“We need a chair who can not only take the fight to Donald Trump. We also need a chair who can lead a turnaround and change the culture of the Democratic Party and the DNC,” Perez said, addressing DNC members.
Perez, who is a descendent of Dominican immigrants, specifically took aim at Trump’s decision to ban arrivals from seven predominantly Muslim nations, which has been since overridden by the US judges.
"You are the ones who can bring comfort to people fearing a ban or a wall or losing their Social Security," Ellison appealed to the gathering, adding that “the American people need us in the moment.”
READ MORE: Clinton chair John Podesta claims FBI helped Trump beat Hillary (VIDEO)
Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was one of the first to congratulate both Perez and Ellison with their new roles in a tweet, stating that she is “excited for strong, unified party standing for best of our country into the future.”
Her words were echoed by former US President Barack Obama, who expressed hope that the two will “lay the groundwork for a new generation of Democratic leadership.”
President Trump has also weighed in.
“I could not be happier for him, or for the Republican Party!” Trump said in a tongue-in-cheek remark.
The DNC has suffered a series of blows to its credibility during the presidential campaign after the emails of Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta containing evidence of the DNC’s bias in favor of Clinton were published by WikiLeaks.
The scandal, which arguably cost Clinton victory on November 8, also mired interim Democratic Party Committee chairwoman Donna Brazile and saw her resigning as a CNN contributor after the new batch of emails revealed she had leaked CNN debate questions to the Clinton camp.
The appointment of Brazile as interim chair was preceded by the resignation of former DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz just before the Democratic party convention in July, prompted by a WikiLeaks publication of her emails, in which she described Sanders’ campaign manager Jeff Weaver as “a damn liar” and accused Sanders of lacking any understanding of the party’s operation.

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Everything President Trump has tweeted (and what it was about) (5.99/39)

His tweets have the power to shape international relations, send stock prices up — or down — and galvanize the American public.
We're watching how Donald Trump is using this platform of unfettered communication now that he’s commander in chief. Here is everything Trump has tweeted since he was sworn in as 45th president of the United States. In many cases, we look at what he was reacting to and whether what he said was accurate. And, as much as possible, we'll relate what else was going on at the time. Check back for more as Trump continues to tweet.
President Trump tweets he will not attend the April 29 White House Correspondents' Dinner, considered the premier social event of the Washington press corps.
His announcement comes amid growing tensions between his administration and the media. Trump has decried stories he doesn't like as "fake news," and described unnamed news groups as an "enemy of the people. "
A day earlier, the White House barred reporters from several major news organizations, including the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, CNN and Politico, from attending an off-camera press briefing.
Read more
President Trump shares a link to his weekly address.
President Trump shares his optimism in the economy after the Dow Jones industrial average extends its winning streak to an 11th day, setting another all-time high .
Trump has broadly promised to relax financial regulations and overhaul the tax code , but he hasn't yet submitted specific proposals to Congress.
Despite the stocks' higher finish on Friday, indexes spent most of the day lower. Some financial experts said that questions about the contents and timetable of Trump's tax proposal might have contributed to the wobble.
“The markets don't like all of this uncertainty,” strategist Jerry Lucas of UBS Wealth Management told the Associated Press.
Trump said earlier in the week that his tax plan is “very well finalized” but won’t be submitted to lawmakers until after they attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the administration hopes to have the overhaul completed by August, though he acknowledged that the timeline is ambitious.
President Trump notes that the news media has not reported on a minor dip in the national debt, contrasting the fluctuation with a rise in the debt that occurred during the first month of Barack Obama's presidency.
Trump's tweet came shortly after Herman Cain, who ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, made a similar comment on Fox News.
While the numbers are accurate, Trump's tweet suggests he deserves credit for something that is largely beyond his control, especially since he hasn't yet given Congress any proposals to change tax laws or the financial industry.
"Considering that Trump hasn't enacted any fiscal legislation, it's a bit of a stretch for him to take credit for any changes in debt levels," Dan Mitchell, a libertarian economist at the Cato Institute, told the fact-checking website Politifact .
President Obama's first month in office in 2009 was largely taken up with spending bills aimed at easing the massive recession that he had inherited.
Trump inherited an economy with low inflation, low unemployment and a booming stock market.
The national debt, which stands at just under $20 trillion, is expected to rise by more than $500 billion in the fiscal year ending in September.
President Trump suggests his supporters should hold their own rally and says it would be "the biggest of them all. "
It's not clear exactly what prompted his comment, but it came a day after a star-studded crowd of nearly 2,000 protesters gathered outside the Beverly Hills headquarters of United Talent Agency for a rally against the policies of Trump's administration.
The tweet prompted a sharp response from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who shared a pair of side-by-side photos that appear to show the crowd at Trump's Jan. 20 inauguration compared with that at the Women's March on Washington , a protest against Trump's presidency that took place a day later.
The size of Trump's inauguration crowd became a point of obsession for the president in the days following the ceremony. He repeatedly complained that media coverage hadn't accurately reflected the attendance and reportedly pressured the National Park Service to find photos showing that the crowd wasn’t smaller than that at Barack Obama’s first inauguration in 2009.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer also blasted media coverage of the event, insisting that it drew "the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration" despite evidence to the contrary. When challenged about those claims on NBC's "Meet the Press," Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway defended them as "alternative facts. "
President Trump again blasted the press on Twitter, echoing remarks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in which he described the media as "the enemy of the people. "
His tweet came hours after both CNN and the New York Times (along with the Los Angeles Times, BuzzFeed News and Politico) were excluded from a White House press briefing that would usually be open to all reporters with credentials.
President Trump shares a link to an article about a meeting he had with representatives of organizations that deal with human trafficking.
In the article, Trump says that the issue deserves more attention and that he'll direct the departments of Justice and Homeland Security to review the resources they're devoting to fight it.
President Trump took the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland on Friday morning.
Last year, he skipped the forum , underscoring the friction between the populist candidate and many of the warring factions in his party during a heated presidential primary season.
President Trump appears to respond to a CNN report that the FBI had rejected a request from the White House to publicly refute claims that members of Trump's campaign communicated with Russian intelligence officials during the 2016 presidential race. The report cites anonymous sources.
This is not the first time Trump has denounced what he calls "leakers" in the government.
Previously he has said that these leaks contributed to the dismissal of former national security advisor Michael Flynn. Flynn resigned after admitting that he gave conflicting accounts of contacts with a Russian diplomat and misled Vice President Mike Pence about the matter.
Flynn did not tell Pence the truth about those communications until after they were made public in a Washington Post report based in part on anonymous sources. And it wasn't until scrutiny mounted over that report and subsequent accounts that Flynn was asked to resign.
Trump has also blamed leaks for fueling the initial media reports that members of his presidential campaign had contacts with Russians , which the FBI reportedly declined to dispute.
President Trump is scheduled to attend a dinner with members of the Business Council on Thursday night. The invitation-only group of chief executives, based in Washington, was formed to advise the executive branch of the U. S. government, according to the organization's website .
President Trump again name-checks Chicago in a tweet decrying gun violence in the city.
The day before was Chicago's deadliest of the year so far, according to data from the Chicago Tribune. Seven people were shot and killed, including a woman who was eight months pregnant.
Trump also sounded off about violence in Chicago a few days after his inauguration, tweeting that if the city didn't solve its "horrible 'carnage,' " he'd "send in the feds. "
But legal experts doubt he'd have the authority to do so, as Chicago's crime rate alone doesn't constitute a violation of federal law.
President Trump met with two dozen chief executives of manufacturing companies and vowed to help restore factory jobs he says have been lost to foreign competition.
Yet some of the CEOs suggested that there were still plenty of openings but too few qualified people to fill them. They urged the White House to support vocational training for the high-tech skills that today's manufacturers increasingly require.
White House officials said that Trump supports efforts to increase training for factory jobs, but they didn't provide details.
Trump has touted the increases in the stock market since his election, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called the market's reaction "a huge vote of confidence in the Trump economic plan. "
That plan reportedly involves cutting income taxes for middle-class workers and simplifying and reducing business taxes to make them more competitive with those of other nations. But Trump hasn’t yet submitted a tax proposal to lawmakers, who are working on their own versions of an overhaul.
Trump said Wednesday that his tax plan is “very well finalized” but won’t be submitted to Congress until after lawmakers attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
President Trump tweeted about his visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which took place during Black History Month, early the morning after the visit.
During the visit, Trump made his first direct comments denouncing anti-Semitism , an issue he had declined to directly address for weeks .
“The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible, and are painful, and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil,” Trump said while addressing reporters at the museum.
His comments followed what appeared to be coordinated calls Monday targeting Jewish community centers across the country, with a total of 11 centers — from Albuquerque to Buffalo, N. Y. — receiving bomb threats. It was the fourth time this year that Jewish community centers were targeted.
Democrats are gathering in Atlanta this week to choose their new national party chair. With the ballots going out, Trump weighs in on the leading contender with a self-referential tweet.
Ellison, who represents Minneapolis and some of its suburbs, said in an interview on ABC's "This Week" in July 2015 that Trump had momentum and could make it all the way to the White House.
"Anyone who is terrified of the possibility of President Trump, better vote, better get active, better get involved," Ellison said. "Because this man has got some momentum and we better get ready for the fact that he might be leading the Republican ticket. "
His prediction was met with laughter by ABC's George Stephanopoulos and the Maggie Haberman of the New York Times. [The Washington Post reached out to all the panelists to see what they were thinking at the time.]
"I know you don't believe that," Stephanopoulos responded.
In the days after Trump's upset victory, Ellison's candidacy earned the backing of some top Democrats. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders called Ellison "one of the most progressive members of Congress. "
Ellison goes into the DNC vote with some big endorsements from the Western wing of the committee, including California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton.
The Hill reported that its poll was conducted online and surveyed 2,148 registered voters between Feb. 11 and 13: "The partisan breakdown is 39 percent Democrat, 30 percent Republican, 27 percent independent and 5 percent other. The Harvard–Harris Poll survey is a collaboration of the Harvard Center for American Political Studies and The Harris Poll. "
The Times took an in-depth look at sanctuary cities in January:
"There is no neat definition of 'sanctuary city,' but in general, cities that adopt the designation seek to offer political support or practical protections to people who are in the country illegally.
"For some cities, the sanctuary movement consists simply of encouraging people without legal status to get more involved in government. For instance, Huntington Park has never declared itself a sanctuary city but appointed two people without legal status to a city commission, a move that generated national attention.
"Other places, such as San Francisco, adopt far-reaching policies, such as taking steps to cut ties with federal immigration officials and refusing to fully cooperate with them. San Francisco declared itself a sanctuary city in 1989, and city officials strengthened the stance in 2013 with its 'Due Process for All' ordinance. The law declared that local authorities could not keep immigrants in custody to be handed over to federal immigration officials if they had no violent felonies on their records and did not currently face charges. "
President Trump names Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster as his new national security advisor , replacing Michael Flynn, who was forced to resign last week.
Read more
President Trump ’s mysterious reference to a frightening security episode in Sweden prompted a deluge of online ridicule — and an official request for an explanation Sunday from a Nordic country that prides itself on tranquility.
Swedish authorities reported no terror-related incident or other episode involving large-scale violence at the time Trump made his remarks.
The Twitter hashtags #lastnightinsweden and #swedenincident blew up online, yielding posts including an image of a cozy farmhouse set in an idyllic-looking snowscape, an array of riffs on complicated IKEA furniture-assembly instructions and an assortment of tweets pretending to darkly implicate Sweden’s perhaps best-known export, the ’70s pop sensation ABBA.
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At a Saturday campaign-style rally in Florida just four weeks into his presidency, President Trump made an odd statement in reference to countries that accepted Syrian refugees.
"We've got to keep our country safe," Trump told the crowd. "You look at what's happening in Germany. You look at what's happening last night in Sweden. Sweden! Who would believe this? "
There wasn't much happening in Sweden, though. The statement recalled advisor Kellyanne Conway's reference to a nonexistent " Bowling Green massacre. " And on Twitter, Ikea jokes ensued.
The next day, deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump was referring to a report he had seen the night before. "He was talking about rising crime and recent incidents in general," she said , "and not referring to a specific incident. "
Speculation had already begun that Trump was referring to a segment that ran on Fox News the night before. Then the president confirmed that.
At the campaign-style rally in Florida, Trump continues his attack on the media, declaring before thousands of cheering supporters that “fake news” is undermining his nascent administration’s accomplishments.
Though the administration has faced setbacks, including the resignation of Trump’s national security advisor amid a deepening controversy over Russian interference in U. S. government, approval ratings that are historically low for a new president and the courts’ stalling of the temporary ban on travel to the U. S. from seven majority-Muslim nations, Trump paints a far different picture.
He says the White House is running “so smoothly” and that “a great spirit of optimism” is sweeping the country, citing recent stock market highs as his chief evidence.
Trump also sends a tweet at 12:26 p.m. that reads, "Getting ready to leave for Melbourne, Florida. See you all soon! " It's later deleted.
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Who is Tom Perez? (5.57/39)

Last Updated Feb 25, 2017 5:16 PM EST
Tom Perez was elected Saturday as chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) after a competitive race against Rep. Keith Ellison, becoming the first Latino to lead the party.
Perez, 55, left the Obama administration last month after serving as labor secretary since July 2013. In that job, he helped push for new overtime rules to ensure workers get overtime pay, extended overtime protections for home care workers and extended minimum wage protections.
The two supposed factions of the Democratic Party came together, at least for just a moment. Obama Labor Secretary and Hillary Clinton-backer Tom...
He also helped establish worker safety rules, and under his leadership the department provided paid sick leave and ensured employment protections for federal contractor employees, according to his biography on the department’s website.
He was elected Saturday in Atlanta, receiving 235 votes and surpassing the 218-vote threshold to win. Ellison, a Minnesota Democrat and the first Muslim elected to Congress, received 200 votes. Perez appointed Ellison as deputy chairman immediately after the results were announced.
“We are united as a party,” Perez said after his election, with Ellison standing by his side. “We have so much work ahead of us because across America, people are fearful. People are fearful for our future. Democrats united are the hope for our future.”
Perez is a native of Buffalo, New York, and received a bachelor’s degree from Brown University, a law degree from Harvard Law School and a master’s of public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
His parents were immigrants from the Dominican Republic. His dad died when Perez was only 12 years old, according to his biography on his campaign website, and he later put himself through college by working on the back of a garbage truck.
He started his career as a civil rights attorney at the Department of Justice and later served as special counselor to Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Massachusetts. Under Attorney General Janet Reno, Perez served as deputy assistant attorney general for civil rights, and toward the end of the Clinton administration, he was the head of the Office of Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services.
Before President Obama nominated Perez to his Cabinet, succeeding Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, he returned to the Justice Department in 2009 to serve as assistant attorney general for civil rights.

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Oscars 2017: A cheat sheet to the 2017 Academy Awards (5.36/39)

Movie’s biggest night is coming soon to a TV screen near you.
The Oscars will be broadcast on Sunday, Feb. 26 at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT, with red carpet coverage beginning at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m PT.
The Oscars will air live from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on ABC, and will also stream on and on the ABC app. For those watching from outside of the U. S., you can find out which network is broadcasting the event here .
Jimmy Kimmel will host the ceremony this year and he's promised humor and respect (except, of course, for rival Matt Damon).
"I think I have a pretty good sense this is not the Comedy Central Roast," he told USA TODAY. "That’s not to say I won’t be making fun of people and things. I will but I do recognize for a lot of people this is the biggest night of their professional lives and the last thing I want to do is ruin it for someone. "
Or for himself. The comedian admits hosting the Oscars is all he thinks about and, Sunday night, the pressure will be on. "It’s one thing to bomb on a Wednesday night in front of three million people," he said. "But it’s another thing entirely to bomb at the Oscars. It stays with you your whole life. "
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See the complete nominations list here.
Leonardo DiCaprio, Amy Adams, Janelle Monáe, David Oyelowo, Alicia Vikander, Brie Larson, Halle Berry, Kate McKinnon, Mark Rylance, Riz Ahmed, Dwayne Johnson, Javier Bardem, Felicity Jones, Leslie Mann, Emma Stone, John Cho, Jamie Dornan, Dakota Johnson, Charlize Theron, Chris Evans, Gael García Bernal, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Hailee Steinfeld and Shirley MacLaine are all set to fête their peers at the 2017 ceremony.
The Academy has yet to post details about this year's segment, but viewers will want to look out for tributes to Garry Shandling, Anton Yelchin, Garry Marshall, Gene Wilder , Alan Thicke, Zsa Gabor, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, Mary Tyler Moore, Emmanuelle Riva,
Richard Hatch,
Frank Pellegrino and Mike Connors, among others.

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5 Interesting Takeaways From Warren Buffett’s Letter To Shareholders (4.47/39)

Earlier today, Warren Buffett released his annual letter to shareholders. There were five interesting takeaways from this letter:
(1) He spends the most time criticizing the high fees charged by portfolio managers who generally produce sub-par results. “When trillions of dollars are managed by Wall Streeters charging high fees, it will usually be the managers who reap outsized profits, not the clients. Both large and small investors should stick with low-cost funds.”
Also, he states: “There are, of course, some skilled individuals who are likely to out-perform the S&P over long stretches. In my lifetime, though, I’ve identified – early on – only ten or so professionals that I expected would accomplish this feat”.
But later he states: “Moreover, we have paid substantial sums for over-performance to our two in-house investment managers — and we hope to make even larger payments to them in the future.”
Todd Combs and Ted Weschler each manage about $10 billion. Since the two managers each year are eligible to receive as bonuses 10% of the amount by which their portfolios exceed the return on the S&P 500 (in addition to an annual salary of $1 million), both Combs and Weschler have been among the very few who have outperformed the S&P 500 over the past five years.
(2) Warren Buffett very rarely recommends the purchase of any stock. But he clearly makes a case that Bank of America is undervalued. Although Berkshire has until September 2, 2021 to convert its Bank of America Preferred stock with warrants, he states: “If the dividend rate on Bank of America common stock – now 30 cents annually – should rise above 44 cents before 2021, we should anticipate making a cashless exchange of our preferred into common”. (When the common stock dividend rises above 44 cents, the annual dividends on the common stock resulting from the conversion of the preferred would exceed the dividends on the preferred stock).
(3) Warren Buffett presents a convincing case for the repurchase of shares by companies whose shares are undervalued (trading below intrinsic value). This contradicts the perceived wisdom of many that share buybacks are just financial engineering.
(4) Buffett states for the first time: “we have made no commitment that Berkshire will hold any of its marketable securities forever.” (Previously, he has mentioned that his preferred holding period is forever.)

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Wagner stars as Michigan wins on Senior Day (4.45/39)

A link has been posted to your Facebook feed.
Turns out the real question was how was Purdue going to slow down Moritz Wagner?
The sophomore center stole the show on Senior Day, pouring in a career-high 24 points — 22 coming in the first half — on 10-for-15 shooting in an 82-70 win over No. 14 Purdue at a sold-out Crisler Center. Wagner’s previous high was 23 points against Nebraska on Jan. 14.
Derrick Walton Jr. had 17 points, 11 rebounds and five assists in his final home game for Michigan (19-10, 9-7 Big Ten), which has won five of six and took another huge step toward punching its ticket into the NCAA Tournament. Duncan Robinson scored 11 off the bench and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman added 10 points.
BOX SCORE: Michigan 82, Purdue 70
“Moe’s a problem. He's a gnat on defense and he's a problem on offense,” Walton said. “He gives people fits and I’m just happy he's on our side. He worked so hard this summer and last year when he was pretty much not playing, to see him have an output like this it's one of those things where I feel like I'm a part of it.
“He's got so many skills. I don't think you can put him in a box of what he can do.”
After Michigan roared to a 15-point halftime lead, Purdue opened the second half with the first four points on a hook from Swanigan (18 points, five rebounds, five turnovers) and two free throws from Carsen Edwards (18 points) to cut the deficit to 45-34 with 18:34 to go.
The Wolverines countered with six straight points on two Abdur-Rahkman free throws, a D. J. Wilson layup and a Zak Irvin jumper to push it to 51-34 at the 15:05 mark. Wagner helped stem the tide on the defensive end during the spurt, forcing a turnover and drawing a foul on Swanigan on back-to-back possessions before picking up his third foul in the post.
“I don't really care about the offense. That was what made me actually proud today was that regardless of whether we scored or not, we locked in defensively if it was individually or as a team,” Wagner said. “We just executed the game plan really well and that was my focus after every basket. I was running back and saying, 'I have to guard a national player of the year candidate right now.' That was fun.”
With Wagner on the bench, Purdue began chipping away and used an 8-2 run with four points from Isaac Haas and jumpers from Edwards and P. J. Thompson to cut it to 53-42 with 11:08 left.
But Abdur-Rahkman stepped up and led a 13-2 flurry to extend Michigan’s lead to 66-44 over the next two minutes. He found Wilson on the baseline for a dunk, knocked down a jumper and dished to an open Xavier Simpson in the corner for a wide-open 3-pointer before Wilson and Robinson capped the run with 3-pointers.
Purdue (23-6, 12-4) didn’t go away quietly, rattling off a 13-2 run of its own to tighten it at 68-57 at the 5:09 mark. Swanigan scored five points during the stretch with a layup and three-point play.
After sitting much of the second half, Wagner came back in and hit a layup and Walton had a three-point play to give Michigan some breathing room at 73-59 with 3:58 remaining.
But Purdue surged with another 8-0 run over the next minute, cutting it to 73-67 on back-to-back 3-pointers from Edwards and a layup by Vincent Edwards (13 points) off a backcourt turnover to put Michigan in danger.
Walton came to the rescue with a leaning 3-pointer to beat the shot clock and Wilson hit two free throws to reestablish a double-digit lead, 78-67, with 1:32 to play. Abdur-Rahkman and Walton each added two free throws in the final 1:14 to put it away.
“I'm really excited for our team, program to be able to beat a really good team like Purdue and the way we beat them,” Michigan coach John Beilein said. “I'm proud of our seniors … and I’m proud they can go in front of that crowd and get a big win like that.”
Wagner was locked in and aggressive from the tip on both ends of the floor. He made three layups and forced a turnover, foul and jump ball while guarding Swanigan as Michigan opened an 8-4 lead with 15:59 left in the first half.
After Edwards knocked down a jumper to cut Michigan’s lead to two, Wagner began heating up from long range as he and Walton combined to make seven consecutive field goals. Wagner hit two 3-pointers and Walton had four points on a steal and layup and a mid-range jumper as the two combined to score 10 points in a two-minute span to extend Michigan’s lead to 25-18 with 7:41 remaining.
“(Wagner) was the difference not just in the first half, but I thought in the whole game,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “Just from setting the tone even though he didn't score very much in the second half. His ability to stretch the defense and their ability to find him in that matchup. Obviously he's a very skilled guy. He can drive the ball, shoot 3s and is very talented. He had a great game. "
Wagner continued his offensive assault, backing Swanigan down, spinning and finishing with a reverse layup at the rim before he and Walton knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers to extend the lead to 33-20 with 5:38 left.
Wagner was far from done, though. He buried his fourth 3-pointer from the wing, converted a layup and forced a traveling call on Swanigan down the stretch before Robinson drained a corner 3-pointer with a second left to give Michigan a 45-30 advantage at the break and its five seniors one final, lasting memory.
“Moe Weezy's a pro. I said that since the first day he stepped foot on campus last year,” Purdue guard and former Wolverine Spike Albrecht said. “We knew he was going to create a matchup problem.
“Whatever he did tonight, that's him in a nutshell.”

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Saturday's roundup: Fowler builds 4-shot lead in Honda Classic (4.34/39)

Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. — Another strong finish over the closing stretch Saturday. Another big lead after 54 holes.
Rickie Fowler can only hope that Sunday at the Honda Classic turns out as easy as it did the last two weeks on the PGA Tour, when Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson converted big leads into inevitable victories.
Fowler made two birdies over the final three holes to cap a 5-under 65 that gave him a four-shot lead over Tyrrell Hatton of England as he tries to end a frustrating year of not winning anywhere in the world.
“It would be nice to follow in their footsteps,” Fowler said. “But I do have a lot of work to do tomorrow. A four-shot lead is nice. That can obviously go away very quickly, too.”
Fowler holed a 10-foot birdie putt on the 16th, got a potential break with a ruling behind the 17th green that allowed him to use a putter instead of a wedge, and then closed with a drive so bold and big that he had only a 7-iron into the par-5 18th to set up a two-putt birdie.
That put him at 13-under 197 and plenty of room for error.
Spieth made three birdies over his last four holes Saturday at Pebble Beach to build a six-shot lead (he won by four). A week later, Johnson birdied his last three holes at Riviera to build a five-shot lead and won by that margin.
The difference could be PGA National, with all its water and a forecast of strong wind for the final round.
“If you’re playing from three, four shots behind, you can’t make a mistake,” Fowler said. “When you’re out front, four shots, I make a mistake, OK, we’re still up. … To be out front and be in control and with the way I feel about the game, the way I’ve been swinging, I’m looking forward to it.”
Fowler is 5 under over the final four holes at PGA National so far this week.
“Birdies happen in the Bear Trap,” he said, referring to the closing stretch. “But other numbers do, as well.”
Hatton did his work before that stretch, running off three straight birdies to get within one of the lead. But he went long on the 17th and was perplexed by the Bermuda grass that he rarely sees. He chipped 15 feet by the pin and made bogey, then left a wedge short of the 18th green and had to scramble for a par and a 66.
Hatton and Fowler played together in the third round of the British Open last year, when neither had a chance to win the way Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson were playing Royal Troon that week. There’s plenty at stake this time.
Hatton, in his first PGA Tour event in Florida, came into the week with no expectations and stuck to that plan.
“All you can do is try your best and play well. That’s what I try and do every week,” Hatton said. “It’s a new course for me. I played 27 holes on Monday and Tuesday, and my caddie has done enough homework. So we know what to do. Hopefully, I’ll just play well.”
Two-time major champion Martin Kaymer had a chance to join Hatton at 9-under 201 until he took bogey from the middle of the fairway on the 18th and wound up with a 68. That left him in a large group at 7-under 203 that included Emiliano Grillo, who finished his 65 just as the leaders were starting the third round.
Ryan Palmer and Wesley Bryan, tied for the lead going into another tame day in South Florida, lost ground over the final two hours. Palmer played the final 11 holes in 4 over and shot 73, leaving him seven shots behind. Bryan hit consecutive tee shots into the hazard — including the par-3 15th that led to double bogey — and he made birdie on the 18th to salvage a 72.
Fowler hasn’t won since Abu Dhabi a year ago in January. His last PGA Tour victory was in September 2015 at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
“I definitely need to put myself in this position more often, which is just going to lead to me winning more often,” Fowler said. “I’m not going to be able to take a 36- or 54-hole lead every time and win, but the more times you put yourself there, the more trophies I get to hold on Sunday.”
This is the fifth time he has held a 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour and Fowler has yet to win from that position. He had a three-shot lead going into the final round at the Memorial in 2010 and shot 73 to finish three behind Justin Rose.
There at least was small redemption from a year ago, when Fowler became the first player to go bogey-free over the opening 36 holes at PGA National. But on Saturday, he made no birdies, shot 74 and dropped out of the hunt.
“I did better than last year,” he said. “I’m definitely in a better position that last year.”
Amy Yang had a four-stroke lead in the LPGA Thailand at 17 under with five holes left when third-round play was suspended because of darkness.
The South Korean player, the 2015 champion, had 10 birdies and an eagle in 31 holes Saturday in the rain-delayed tournament on Siam Country Club’s Pattaya Old Course.
England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff and South Korea’s Sei Young Kim were 11 under, and Thai sisters Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn were in the group at 10 under — all still on the course.
The Joburg Open was reduced to 54 holes after more rain left the course waterlogged and forced another suspension in play.
Many of the players hadn’t started the third round when thunder and lightning forced organizers to halt play early in the afternoon at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club.
England’s Paul Waring and South Africa’s Darren Fichardt shared the lead at 11 under, with Waring completing a 67 in his second round early Saturday.

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Greg P. Russell's Academy Award nomination rescinded (4.26/39)

Less than 24 hours before the Oscars , the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences voted to rescind the sound mixing nomination for Greg P. Russell for his work on 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.
The decision, announced Saturday, was due to Russell's violation of Academy campaign regulations.
Russell violated strict rules applied to telephone lobbying, according to a statement released by the Academy.
Rescinded: The Academy has rescinded Greg P. Russell's Oscar nomination for Sound Mixing after learning of a violation of campaign regulations (pictured in 2017 in Beverly Hills)
Based on a true story: 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi is a Michael Bay-directed film about the 2012 attack on the US Embassy in Libya
'The decision was prompted by the discovery that Russell had called his fellow members of the Sound Branch during the nominations phase to make them aware of his work on the film, in direct violation of a campaign regulation that prohibits telephone lobbying.'
Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs said they take 'very seriously the Oscars voting process'.
The organization's rules say 'contacting Academy members by telephone to promote a film or achievement is expressly forbidden, even if such contact is in the guise of checking to make sure a screener or other mailing was received,' the release explained.
Russell's nomination was rescinded following a vote cast by the Academy's Board of Governors on Thursday, done upon the Sound Branch Executive Committee's recommendation, according to Variety .
Russell (pictured in 2013) has received 17 Oscar nominations for Best Sound
13 Hours is still eligible for the award, but only for mixers Gary Summers, Jeffrey J Haboush and Mac Ruth.
At the Oscars on Sunday, the '13 Hours' crew is competing against the sound mixing team from Arrival, Hacksaw Ridge, La Land and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
It is the only Academy Award 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi has been nominated for.
The last time the Academy rescinded a nomination for a similar reason was in 2014.
Alone Yet Not Alone's nomination was retracted in the best original song category after learning that the song's composer, nominee Bruce Broughton, had used his position as a former Academy governor to personally promote his own work.
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi is a Michael Bay-directed film about the 2012 attack on the US Embassy in Libya.
The film was released in 2016 and stars John Krasinski, James Badge Dale, Pablo Schreiber, David Denman, and Dominic Fumusa.
The film was released in 2016 and stars John Krasinski, James Badge Dale (pictured), Pablo Schreiber, David Denman, and Dominic Fumusa
An accomplished sound mixer who has received 17 Oscar nominations for Best Sound in his career, Russell's credits include Transformers: Age of Extinction, Skyfall, The Da Vinci Code, Memoirs of a Geisha, Muppet Babies, and Spider-Man.
He's also worked on iconic television shows The Love Boat and Charlie's Angels.
Russell has recently worked on Smitten!, Transformers: The Last Knight, 6 Below, and AG-1: Adrift.

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Oscars 2017: Who’s likely to win, and other things to demeanour out for (4.21/39)

It’s a biggest night of a year in Hollywood – a Oscars start during 17:30 PST on Sunday (01:30 GMT on Monday). As a final preparations take place, here’s what to demeanour out for in a categorical battles. Best picture
The frontrunner: La Land
Surely, with a record-equalling 14 nominations, this will strut off with a tip award. It’s classical nonetheless contemporary. It feels distinct any other complicated film, nonetheless feels so right. And it’s about a anguish and enjoyment of “making it” in Hollywood. What could be some-more Oscar-friendly?
The challenger: Moonlight
A beautifully-crafted film and a beautifully-told story, Moonlight gives shade time to a form of executive impression that Hollywood doesn’t routinely dwell on, or does so usually as a classify – a poor, young, gay, black, marginalised man.
The outsider: Hidden Figures
This real-life story of 3 black, womanlike mathematicians in a white, masculine universe during Nasa in a 1960s has exceeded expectations during a US box office, and is a highest-grossing of a 9 best design nominees. Best actress
The frontrunner: Emma Stone (La La Land)
If La Land is to brush a board, afterwards it will brush Emma Stone along with it. She’s also during a age, and a theatre of her career, during that a Academy likes to acknowledge womanlike stars to a A list.
The challenger: Isabelle Huppert (Elle)
The French singer won a Golden Globe for her purpose in rape punish thriller Elle, and there’s a clever fortuitous that thinks a Oscars should give her a credit she deserves for her 40-year career.
The outsider: Natalie Portman (Jackie)
At one stage, Portman and Stone were neck-and-neck. The Academy loves stars who renovate themselves into real-life legends, as Portman has with former US initial lady Jackie Kennedy. But Jackie has underperformed during a box bureau and elsewhere in a Oscar nominations. Best actor
The frontrunner: Denzel Washington (Fences)
Denzel is substantially a extrinsic favourite in this race. If he wins, he will turn usually a fourth masculine to have won 3 behaving Oscars, and will be a oldest best actor leader for 25 years.
Or maybe a frontrunner is: Casey Affleck (Manchester by a Sea)
It’s a tighten call, and Casey is still in unequivocally many row for his depiction of restrained grief. But he has slipped back, partly since he’s frequency bewitched a debate circuit, and partly since of a shade expel by passionate nuisance claims dating behind to 2010.
The outsider: Ryan Gosling (La La Land)
If Ryan Gosling wins best actor, afterwards La Land unequivocally will be unconditional all before it. Best ancillary actress
The frontrunner: Viola Davis (Fences)
Playing a same purpose that warranted her a Tony Award on Broadway, Viola is, according to a bookies and a pundits, a surest thing in this year’s Oscars.
The challengers: Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Nicole Kidman (Lion), Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures) and Michelle Williams (Manchester by a Sea) all gave excellent performances. But they needn’t worry rehearsing an acceptance speech. Best ancillary actor
The frontrunner: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)
Ali was a standout performer in Moonlight’s ensemble. And with a purpose in Hidden Figures also among his credits, he is another actor a Academy is prepared to lubricate as a vital star.
The challenger: Dev Patel (Lion)
There’s a lot of adore and a late swell of support for Patel, who has come of age as an actor 8 years after his breakthrough film Slumdog Millionaire won 8 Oscars.
The outsider: Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water)
He might be supporting, though Bridges steals a uncover as a wizened, nonconformist Texas Ranger. Best director
The frontrunner: Damian Chazelle (La La Land)
La La Land is so dear by a Academy that they’re expected to prerogative Chazelle’s prophesy and insolence – and a fact he’s done a film like this during a age of 32. He would be a youngest best executive leader in Oscars history.
The challenger: Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)
But Moonlight also shows singular directorial astuteness and outlines a attainment of another vital film-making talent in Jenkins, who would be a initial African-American leader of this award.
The outsider: Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge)
It would be a large matter to give a endowment to a Australian after his outcast from Hollywood following scandalous anti-Semitic, extremist and misogynist outbursts. But afterwards again, a Oscars did give this endowment to Roman Polanski in 2003, notwithstanding his possess Hollywood outcast after revelation wrong sex with a 13-year-old girl. How many Oscars will La Land win?
The enchanting low-pitched has a record-equalling 14 nominations. That includes dual for best strain – definition it can win a limit of 13 statuettes.
The record series of wins in Oscar story is 11 (Titanic, The Lord of a Rings: The Return of a King and Ben-Hur). The record for a low-pitched is 10 (West Side Story).
The hype has cooled a little, so La Land will do good if it gets into double digits. It’s a favourite in 10 of a 13 categories in that it has nominations – a usually ones in that it isn’t frontrunner are best actor, strange screenplay and sound editing. The many opposite Oscars ever?
After dual years of #OscarsSoWhite, in that there were no non-white behaving nominees, 3 of a 4 behaving trophies could go to black actors this year.
If Denzel, Viola and Mahershala all triumph, it will be a initial time that black performers will be in a infancy when a 4 behaving winners get together for that post-Oscars print hug. Who will discuss Donald Trump?
A lot of people, probably, directly or indirectly. There’s a whole apart essay on this. Will Lin-Manuel Miranda get a PEGOT?
There is a name organisation of 12 people who have got what is famous as an EGOT – a set of Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Awards.
There’s an even some-more name organisation of usually dual people (composers Richard Rodgers and Marvin Hamlisch) who have got a PEGOT – all a above and a Pulitzer Prize.
Lin-Manuel Miranda, who combined a Broadway pound Hamilton, now has a PEGT – he’s usually blank an O. He’s nominated for best strain for How Far I’ll Go from Moana.
La La Land is prohibited favourite for that prize, of course. But could a fact it has dual nominations in that difficulty separate a La opinion and let Lin-Manuel hide in to finish a set? 21st time propitious for Oscar’s biggest loser?
Sound recording operative Kevin O’Connell notched adult his 21st Oscar assignment this year for his sound blending work on Hacksaw Ridge.
That’s a good feat – a gleam usually entrance off it somewhat when we cruise a fact he’s never won.
This could be his year. It could. Except La Land is station in his way. So it won’t.
At a nominees’ luncheon organisation print this year, a Academy placed him in a middle, subsequent to a hulk Oscars statuette – and a face he done shows he’s past caring. Sibling adversary for visible effects nominees
Two British brothers are nominated for best visible effects this year, for opposite films.
Paul Corbould is nominated for Doctor Strange, while Neil Corbould is shortlisted for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Neil has won twice before – for Gladiator and Gravity – while Paul, formerly nominated for Guardians of a Galaxy, has never won.
It’s a gifted family. There’s another visible effects sorceress brother, Chris, who won an Oscar for Inception. Fortunately for a consequence of preventing serve family rivalry, he’s not nominated this year.
Follow us on Facebook , on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts , or on Instagram during bbcnewsents. If we have a story idea email .

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Trump Administration House Bars Major Media Organizations From Latest Press Briefing (4.21/39)

The relationship between the White House and the news media took another step backward Friday when CNN, The New York Times, BuzzFeed and others were kept out of secretary Sean Spicer's briefing.

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Fox News claims Swedish unknown Nils Bildt is 'national security advisor' (4.18/39)

Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Officials in Sweden claim they've never heard of Nils Bildt, the man described by Fox News as a "Swedish defense and national security advisor. "
On Thursday, The O'Reilly Factor featured two Swedes. The guests debated whether or not refugees and immigration have influenced crimes rates in the Scandinavian country.
One of the guests, Nils Bildt, was described -- both verbally by Bill O'Reilly and in text on the screen -- as a "Swedish defense and national security advisor. "
Officials with Sweden's foreign and defense ministries have since confirmed Nils does not hold any official position within the Swedish government.
"We have no spokesman by that name," said Marie Pisäter , an official with the Swedish Defense Ministry.
The Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter reported Friday that Bildt moved to the U. S. from Sweden in 1994. The paper determined his original surname was Tolling, and that he was convicted of a violent crime in Virginia in 2014.
Bildt is one of the founders of an international consulting firm called Modus World LLC, which according to its website specializes in "operations and management of possible kidnap and ransom situations. "
Bildt told reporters he hasn't misrepresented himself.
"I made clear that I am an independent analyst," Bildt told DN .
Fox News defended their decision to call Bildt a national security advisor.
"Our booker made numerous inquiries and spoke to people who recommended Nils Bildt and after pre-interviewing him and reviewing his bio, we agreed that he would make a good guest for the topic that evening," David Tabacoff, The O'Reilly Factor 's executive producer, told the Washington Post .
Last week, Trump referenced a terrorist attack in Sweden that never happened.

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Malaysia says Kuala Lumpur airport safe, no trace of deadly VX nerve agent after Kim murder (4.10/39)

Malaysian police have completed a sweep of the airport terminal where the exiled half-brother of North Korea’s leader was attacked and say they found no trace of the nerve agent that was suspected to have been used to kill him. Senior police official Abdul Samah Mat, who is leading the investigation, declared the budget terminal at Kuala Lumpur’s airport a “safe zone” after the sweep detected no hazardous material. More than a dozen officers in protective gear conducted the two-hour sweep early Sunday. The investigation has unleashed a serious diplomatic fight between Malaysia and North Korea, a prime suspect in the February 13 killing of Kim Jong-nam. Friday’s revelation by Malaysian police that the raised the stakes significantly in a case that has broad geopolitical implications. Two women are seen shoving something into Kim’s face in leaked CCTV airport footage. The 45-year-old later suffered a seizure and died before he reached hospital. Large sections of the terminal’s departures hall were cordoned off with police tape in preparation for a 75-minute sweep for traces of the highly potent toxin as a few curious onlookers watched. Authorities said two female toilets and other relevant areas were checked in the terminal. Student Hariz Syafiq, 21, who was due to take a domestic flight later, said: “Yes, I’m worried a bit. Why didn’t they quarantine the airport?” The sweep involved officers from the police’s chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear teams, as well as the fire department’s hazardous materials unit and the government’s atomic energy board. Abdul Samah said the budget terminal was “free from any form of contamination of hazardous material.”

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Michigan's win over Purdue shows it may have future in NCAA tournament (3.55/39)

He isn’t going to get rich bullying big men in the NBA. He’s much too skilled for that.
But it was obvious how much Michigan’s basketball team has grown when Moe Wagner, a 6-foot-11-inch shooting guard, held his ground against the burliest forward in the Big Ten.
There, in that moment, Wagner stood up to Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan and forced a travel. The Wolverines were up 15 early in the second half when U-M’s German transplant caused the turnover, and the symbolism said plenty.
No more backing down.
Not from Wagner, whose best skill might be his American penchant for trash talk. Not from Duncan Robinson, who is showing he can play defense to compliment his deadly jump shot. Not from Zak Irvin, the senior whose offensive game may be gone but who spent this afternoon chasing Purdue’s shooters off the three-point line.
And not from Derrick Walton Jr., the point guard who walked out onto the court before the game with his parents to celebrate senior day, then led his team to its best victory of the season.
“He’s such a great unselfish player,” said his head coach, John Beilein.
But when U-M’s 22-point lead shrank to six and the Boilermakers were knocking down threes and trapping the Wolverines all over the court, it was Walton who decided to be selfish. He launched a double-clutch three-pointer as the shot clock expired.
Went it snapped the net, the Wolverines were back up by nine and had thwarted Purdue’s surge. It was the shot of the game.
But Walton wasn’t the player of the game. That was Wagner, whose combination of size, skill and attitude are getting harder to ignore.
Walton might be the heart of these Wolverines, but Wagner is the spirit.
“He is so loved by his teammates,” Beilein said. “He has empathy for everybody.… There is a lot of love on this team, and Moe has really promoted that.”
It isn’t just love that he’s bringing. Ask him, said Walton, “why he thinks he’s Kevin Durant?”
Walton was joking as he talked about Wagner’s uncommon skill set for his size. And while Wagner doesn’t have Durant’s easy athleticism and ball handling, he does have the NBA superstar’s versatility. He also has his confidence.
“He’s got a little chippiness to him,” Walton said. “He adds a different dynamic. When he gets it going it’s so electric.”
Also: “He’s always talking, regardless how he’s playing.”
This afternoon, Wagner blitzed Purdue with 20 first-half points. He hit four threes. He took Swanigan off the dribble. At one point he flew down the baseline and tried to dunk over Purdue’s redwood center, Isaac Haas, who is 7-2.
He missed the dunk and landed on his rear. But the attempt created a stir with the fans in the Crisler Center and, more important, with his teammates, who rose off the bench in anticipation. The truth is that when Wagner gets rolling, he lifts the team in a different way than when Walton or Robinson does.
Because he makes a play and then howls.
“He’s not afraid to let you hear about it,” Walton said. “I think that’s a guy, me personally, that’s how I grew up playing. Seeing another guy with that fire makes you get relaxed and follow suit.”
Walton said Wagner played with “American grit.” Which is clearly rubbing off, because the rest of the team is too.
Three weeks ago, U-M got outworked and outmanned on its home floor against Ohio State. That loss left the Wolverines two games under.500. It also left them searching for toughness.
They have found it in the six games since — U-M is 5-1 and looks to keep adding to its emerging identity. Beating Purdue likely sealed a bid to the NCAA tournament. Yet these Wolverines want to stay a while once they get there.
If Wagner has his say, they will.
Contact Shawn Windsor: 313-222-6487 or Follow him on Twitter @shawnwindsor. Download our Wolverines Xtra app for free on Apple and Android devices!

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Casey Affleck Slams Trump Administration at Spirit Awards [VIDEO] (3.47/39)

Since the claimed basis for his comments was the way TV exposure empowers his influence over his own children, maybe talking about the damage caused by sexual harassment in the workplace would have been an area of greater expertise for him.
The election made it clear that the American people do not give a damn about Hollywood’s politics.
There is a reason that these idiot actors read lines that someone else writes for them. They OBVIOUSLY can’t think very clearly.
Because you disagree with them, they can’t think clearly.
I see.
You’re an actor. No one cares what you say on your bully pulpit. Stick to the point of why you’re there. Bye!
You cared enough to post about it.

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Gunman opens fire on car after crash, kills 8-year-old in Texas (3.36/39)

An 8-year-old girl was shot to death after surviving a car crash early Saturday morning in Houston, Texas. The three-car crash and subsequent shooting took place on West Fuqua Street near Sam Houston Parkway. Officers said two cars were headed south on West Fuqua when they crashed into a black Honda Accord going east along the Beltway feeder road. Soon after, officers believe someone in one of the cars headed southbound started firing gunshots. "At some point somebody from one of the two other vehicles on Fuqua got out, shot up the other vehicle, striking a young 8-year-old girl in the backseat. She later died from her injuries at the hospital," said Detective David Stark, with the Houston Police Department. The girl was identified as DeMaree Atkins. The child was traveling with her mother, Toyia Thomas, and police believe they were just bystanders. Officers are looking for the drivers of those two cars. One of the cars, a white Pontiac, remained at the scene but the driver took off. The driver of the other car drove off. Their car is described as a dark sedan, possibly a Toyota, possibly with front-end damage. Thomas said the third car came up after the initial crash. "I looked over and thought she was trying to help," Thomas said. "She pulled a gun out of the window and she started shooting. Each one of those bullets hit the back of my car where my baby was. I pulled her out of the car, I didn't even know she had been hit. I thought she was still asleep. "Thomas said she laid her daughter on the ground and when she looked at her jacket, she saw the blood. She said she pulled her daughter's shirt up and saw that the bullet had gone through her.

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Remy Ma’s ‘Shether’: Fans React To Nicki Minaj Diss Track — Tweets & Memes (3.29/39)

Remy Ma , 36, immediately sent fans into a frenzy when she cryptically posted a message on Feb. 25 via Twitter reading, “You wanna see a dead body?” The Love & Hip Hop star debuted her epic diss track “Shether” by sharing a link underneath, and no-one could anticipate just how much she was going to try to obliterate Nicki Minaj , 34, and everything she stands for. Many loyal and not-so-loyal Barbz (Nicki fans) took to Twitter after hearing the F-bomb laden lyrics, voicing their reactions with epic memes that perfectly captured their response to the scathing diss track.
When you a Nicki fan but you haven't heard a lie yet on Remy Ma's diss…
— Berenabas (@BerenabasG) February 25, 2017
Me: I'm so over celebrity drama it's such a waste of time "Remy ma drops Nicki diss track" Me:
— ❔ (@anisasx) February 25, 2017
— THE KID MERO 🇩🇴 (@THEKIDMERO) February 25, 2017
The 4 stages of listening to Remy Ma SHether Nicki Minaj
— Sarah Eugene (@eugene_sarah) February 25, 2017
My mom is in her room listening to the Remy Ma diss track going nuts. Haha. Glad I came home
— Wiz Khalifa (@wizkhalifa) February 25, 2017
This how twitter was today with Remy Ma diss track.
— The. Geo 🙋🏽‍♂️ (@ElGeovanni2) February 26, 2017
@NICKIMINAJ when she logged on to Twitter this morning.
— Keshaun (@keisperplexed) February 26, 2017
Remy Ma diss track about Nicki Minaj got Twitter going nuts. She better hurry up & respond to try & redeem herself.
— Darnell Moore (@DarnellMoore85) February 25, 2017
@NICKIMINAJ I hope u get her, I know you got barz an it's time to bring em out bring em out, low da Twitter hype. 😰😰😰😰😰😰😰😰
— live2inspire (@T1Official) February 25, 2017
The Bronx rapper took no prisoners with her nearly 7-minute single, while also paying homage to Nas ‘ 2001 diss track “Ether,” which was directed at Jay Z. There was a collective “oh no, she didn’t” reaction on social media, as seen by several messages. One person shared a gif of a woman falling to her knees in devastation, alongside the caption, “NICKI: WHY AM I TRENDING? *LISTENS TO “SHETHER.” Another fan shared a video of an entire building burning, writing, “Twitter right now because of Remy Ma’s diss track for Nicki Minaj 😂.” That was only a start!
One person even shamelessly admitted, “When you a Nicki fan but you haven’t heard a lie yet on Remy Ma’s diss.” Rapper Wiz Khalifa , 29, also stepped into the heated conversation , by revealing via Twitter, “My mom is in her room listening to the Remy Ma diss track going nuts. Haha. Glad I came home.” We can see why so many Barbz are in utter shock, especially since Remy accused her rival of using a ghostwriter, sleeping around as an “A-list groupie” and more.
Remy’s lyrics include, “I saw Meek [ Mill ] at All-Star, he told me your ass dropped / He couldn’t f— you for three months because your ass dropped/ Meek, Drake , Safaree [ Samuels ], I see men in your pants.” The drama definitely reached a boiling point after Nicki dissed Remy in a recent feature with Gucci , called “Make Love.” Now, fans can’t wait to see if Nicki will respond again!
HollywoodLifers , are you team Remy or team Nicki? Leave your thoughts below!
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Saturday’s boys’ high school basketball summaries 02.25.17 (3.28/39)

Butler 23 13 21 70
Rocky River 10 7 21 20 58
Butler: Zane Rankin 16, Omega Stitt 13, Jah'Lil Carter 12, Gerrale Gates 10, Stowe 9,Little 8, Morrissette-Barnett 2.
Rocky River: Raequan Brown 21, Jayden Springer 17, M. Evans 10, Haywood 6, Maddox 4.
Notable: Butler goes to Elite 8 2nd year in a row, 29-0. Butler will play home on Tuesday night 7 PM vs West Forsyth.
Weddington 11 7 30 12 - 60
JM Robinson 18 11 15 18 - 62
Weddington: Davidson 2, Timmy Havens 15, Corey Davis 13, Dixon 4, Ryan Schwieger 26
JM Robinson: Means 9, Torraice S. 12, Misheimer 6, Roberts 6, Lavar Batts 29
Notable: Weddington Seniors. The senior class finishes their career with a 93-24 over all record, 3 conference championships, 4 conference tournament championships and made it to the 3rd round of the NCHSAA playoffs 3 out of 4 years; Robinson: Lavar Batts Jr: 29p, 5r, 5a (Lavar hit the game winning lay-in with 6.1 seconds left); Vi'Chon Means: 9p, 3r; Jamari Roberts: 6p, 10r, 2b; Javonte Misenheimer: 6p, 3r
Lincolnton 12 21 13 14 -- 60
North Surrey 32 23 16 -- 94
Lincolnton 60 - Sage Surratt 28, Langdon Givens 10, Robbie Cowie 8, Yung Sherrill 4, Tyshawn Harris 4, Kris Robinson 4, Jeffrey Diaz 2
North Surry 94 - Carter Phillips 33, Kendal Tucker 21, Mason Hawks 18, Casey Hull 15, Jacob Harrison 3, Ethan Simmons 2, Chase Chandler 2
Records: Lincolnton 24-2
Lincoln Charter 16 21 23 18 78
West Montgomery 8 18 15 12 53
Lincoln Charter: Kody Shubert 19, Jehlon Johnson 16, Levontae Knox 15, Gabriel 8, Holm 8, England 6, Wilson 4, Mayfield, Collonia, Stewart, Martin
West Montgomery: Javiu Morrison 28, Jerome Stanback 11, Leake 6, Clausell 3,
Notable: Jehlon Johnson 16 pts 15 rbs 3 block 3 assists; Levontae Knox 15pts. 11 rbs. 3 steals 3 assist; Kody Shubert 19pts. 6 assist 5 steals

Photos: NC State vs Virginia | 02.25.17
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Dodgers defeat the White Sox, 5-3, in exhibition opener (3.13/39)

The Dodgers defeated the Chicago White Sox , 5-3, in their exhibition season opener Saturday before 8,474 fans at Camelback Ranch.
AT THE PLATE: Brett Eibner became the first Dodger to hit a home run this spring when he took deep White Sox pitcher Giovanni Soto deep. Eibner, an athletic outfielder, figures to provide depth with triple-A Oklahoma City. .. The top of the lineup, led by new addition Logan Forsythe , generated a three-run splurge in the third inning. Forsythe hit a one-out double off pitcher Chris Beck. Corey Seager walked and Justin Turner delivered an RBI single. After an RBI double by Yasmani Grandal, Turner scored on a groundout by outfielder Franklin Gutierrez. .. Scott Van Slyke provided an RBI single in the seventh inning.
ON THE MOUND: Entering the game after Clayton Kershaw and Alex Wood, Josh Ravin struck out two but allowed a run on a hit and a wild pitch. Ravin is competing to make the Dodgers bullpen. He may be hamstrung by his minor league options, which would allow the team to stash him with triple-A Oklahoma City at the start of the season.
EXTRA BASES: Manager Dave Roberts sounded pleased about the progress of Scott Kazmir and Hyun-Jin Ryu, each of whom threw live batting practice Friday. Both are slated to throw another round of live batting practice before being scheduled to pitch in a game. . .. Forsythe batted leadoff Saturday, but Roberts suggested outfielders Andre Ethier and Andrew Toles also could draw that assignment. Before Ethier fractured his leg last spring, the Dodgers intended to use him as the leadoff man against right-handed pitchers. . .. Chris Taylor played center field Saturday, as the team tries to increase his versatility. Taylor is battling Enrique Hernandez and Charlie Culberson for a utility spot on the bench.
Twitter: @McCulloughTimes

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Texas transgender wrestler wins state title (3.10/39)

HOUSTON - Euless Trinity wrestler Mack Beggs wins the Texas 6A Girls wrestling title Saturday.
Beggs faced Chelsea Sanchez of Katy Morton Ranch High School in the state final match.
Beggs, 17, the transgender teen who identifies as male, advanced to the state final after pinning Kailyn Clay of Grand Prairie High School in a semifinal match Saturday morning.
After his win, Beggs family and teammates cheered as did a majority of the spectators at the Berry Center in Cypress just northwest of Houston.
The University Interscholastic League passed a rule overwhelmingly in early 2016 that dictates athletes must compete based on the gender listed on their birth certificate.
Sandy Gonzales says she could hear a smattering of boos directed at her stepson.
"Everyone has their own opinion," Gonzales told News 8.
Copyright 2016 WFAA

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Man drives vehicle into pedestrians, shot by police (3.08/39)

HEIDELBERG, Germany — A man armed with a knife was shot and injured by police Saturday after he drove a car into a group of pedestrians in Heidelberg, Germany, local police said.
Three people were injured, one seriously, Mannheim police said. After driving his car into the group, the suspect tried to flee the scene and was then shot by officers. The suspect was seriously injured and taken to the hospital.
No motive is known, and the suspect has not been identified.
The crash occurred near a bakery stand in a central square of Heidelberg, police said.
The Mannheim police are leading the investigation since its police district merged with that of nearby Heidelberg.
Heidelberg sits along the Neckar River in southwest Germany about 88 kilometers (54 miles) south of Frankfurt. It is home to Heidelberg University, the oldest university in Germany.
The incident comes as Germans are still reeling from the deadly attack at a Berlin Christmas market. Twelve people died and 48 were injured when a tractor-trailer barreled into the crowded market December 19.
The driver of that truck, Anis Amri, was later killed in a shootout with police in Milan, Italy.
Amri had pledged allegiance to ISIS in a video posted by the ISIS-affiliated website Amaq.
German police say at this time the Heidelberg incident has no connection to terrorism.

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Rex 2017, Dr. Stephen Hales, will greet his subjects on Mardi Gras (2.31/39)

For 15 years, Dr. Stephen W. Hales has been diligently chronicling and sharing the history of the 145-year-old Rex organization.
On Tuesday (Feb. 28), Hales, 70, will make some Rex history of his own. In recognition of his service to the krewe and the city, the pediatrician who has treated several generations of young New Orleanians has been chosen to be this year's Rex, king of Carnival.
"Few people have deserved the honor more," said Henri Schindler, who designs Rex's floats. "He does so much for Rex and does it not seeking honors or glory but does it because he loves it. ... So many people have said for so long that this man really deserves to be Rex. "
The object of this adulation, who has been a New Orleanian since 1975, was smiling and more than somewhat bemused as he sat at the dining-room table in the Uptown apartment where he and his wife, Nancy, live.
"I'm delighted," he said.
Even though several months have passed since Hales learned of his elevation, "I still can't quite process that," he said a few days before his 24-hour reign. "This was not expected. I'd been very happy as a worker bee for a long time. "
Regardless of Hales' professed nonchalance about recognition, there is no overlooking his extensive involvement. His service on a host of educational and medical organizations fills two single-spaced pages.
"Stephen is a guy who likes to get stuff done," said Michael Rapier, a former Rex who serves with Hales on Fidelity Bank's board. "When he sees a problem, he doesn't sit still until he figures a way through it. He has mastered the art of diplomacy to such a degree that he can get stuff done that some folks might think is controversial, but he can make folks feel so good when it's done. "
Within the Rex organization, Hales spearheaded the initiative to repair the krewe's den after it was trashed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The organization's costumes, jewelry and priceless documents had marinated for weeks in five feet of water.
To repair Rex's treasures, the artisans he found included a silversmith, a picture framer, a paper conservator and a ribbon restorer, a specialty that many people never have heard of. Because hand-lettered parchment scrolls listing every king and every member of his court since 1872 had been damaged beyond repair, Hales enlisted Matthew Hales, one of his sons, to create scrolls and appropriate flourishes with his computer.
Everything was finished and on view in the den, ready for visiting schoolchildren and adults, by Twelfth Night in 2008, the traditional start of the season. The Rex organization has declined to say how much the restoration cost.
The task made Hales aware of the importance of preserving Carnival history.
"We've always been concerned about it," he said then, "but more so now. "
Hales is never far from history. In the room next to where he sat, a wall is given over to framed Mardi Gras artifacts, including elaborate ball invitations, sketches for costumes and floats, and a newspaper's full-page, full-color, float-by-float depiction of a parade.
With an enthusiasm worthy of Indiana Jones describing an epic quest, Hales was positively gleeful when he talked about acquiring old books about Mardi Gras and Rex paraphernalia such as krewe favors, ball programs, royal edicts and medallions.
"I've always loved history," said Hales, adding that the post-storm renovation of the den and its holdings offered the krewe a rich opportunity to gather and display Rex's treasures and, perhaps, motivate people to send in some of their mementos.
To make sure that the audience for these gifts would be larger than the number of people who could squeeze into the Rex den on South Claiborne Avenue, Hales worked with two of his sons, Matthew Hales and Tim Soslow, to show off some of Rex's ornaments on the Rex website, Both men know their way around computers: They work for Turbosquid, a local firm that provides 3-D models. Matthew Hales is a vice president, and Soslow is a systems architect.
Stephen Hales put pictures of many of the organization's artifacts into a book he wrote, "Rex: An Illustrated History of the School of Design: Pro Bono Publico. " ("Pro Bono Publico" - "For the public good" in Latin - is the krewe's motto.)
Proceeds from the book's sales have gone to the Pro Bono Publico Foundation, which was set up after Katrina to help rebuild the city's public schools by supporting charter schools and other educational organizations. It has awarded nearly $6 million in grants, said Christian "Christy" Brown, a krewe official.
The foundation gets its money from Rex members' donations. In addition to underwriting grants, krewe members do volunteer work at charter schools and sit on schools' boards.
Brown, who praised Hales' "passionate caring" for this initiative said the physician "brought an expertise to the table in terms of helping us select the winning charter schools and support organizations. "
Perhaps, Hales suggested, some of his enthusiasm for Carnival and its role in New Orleans is due to his status as a relative newcomer. While many Carnival grandees can trace their lineage back to the days before Louisiana was admitted to the Union in 1812, Hales didn't get to New Orleans until 1975.
"When we grow up with something, we see it in a certain way," he said. "Fresh eyes may see something else there and may appreciate it a bit more. I think many of us in New Orleans become a bit overwhelmed by the traffic jams and the noise and the bother and everything else, but I didn't so much get converted. I was deeply attracted to not just the pageantry but to the history and context. "
He grew up in Utah - in Ogden and Salt Lake City - where about 40 members of his family were doctors. After earning a medical degree at the University of Utah and completing a residency in Arizona and a fellowship in Texas, Hales came to New Orleans to be acting chief of pediatrics at the U. S. Public Health Service Hospital in Uptown New Orleans (now part of Children's Hospital's planned expansion).
His arrival coincided with the fall of Saigon, which resulted in a flood of refugees from South Vietnam. Hales was responsible for working with social-service agencies and ensuring that the children had good health care.
"I had expected to spend a couple of years in an interesting place and maybe go back West," Hales said, "but I fell in love with the place. This is home. "
He had a solo practice for 25 years before founding Hales Pediatrics, which has six physicians, including himself. He's in the office three days a week.
"I have a feeling I'm going to see lots of children" along the parade route who are or were patients, said Hales, who has treated all but two of the last 20 queens of Carnival, as well as the children of a brace of Rexes.
He and Nancy Hales have six sons and 13 grandchildren.
Hales, a member of the Rex organization for about 35 years, first dipped a toe into the waters of Carnival history when he started making placards that would explain the meaning of each float to den visitors and to members as they load swag onto their floats on the Sunday before Fat Tuesday.
These are helpful and, indeed, vital for understanding some of the more arcane floats. For instance, in 2015, when the parade theme was "Wars That Shaped Early America," there were obvious choices, such as the Battle of New Orleans, the French and Indian War and the Boston Tea Party.
But how about Little Turtle's War, a Native American leader's attack on Ohio settlements, and the War of Jenkins' Ear? The latter event was part of a conflict between England and Spain in which a Spaniard sliced off the ear of Capt. Robert Jenkins while boarding his ship. The ear was later displayed before Parliament.
Hales has conducted the research and provided the explanations, year in and year out, and he has done so for this year's parade, whose theme is "Carnival Fetes and Feasts. "
As a result of this deep involvement with the Rex organization's past, Hales said, he feels he is in the presence of ghosts of Rexes past when he's in the Kings' Room in the den, where photographs of past monarchs line the green walls.
"When I'm in the Kings' Room and look at all those portraits, it is a library of civic service," he said. "I can't look at those portraits and not connect them to the commitments they've made and the work they've done to make this city better. "
Given Rex's role in post-Katrina New Orleans, Hales said his predecessors "would have been so pleased at what these guys have done. "
To Hales, Rex consists of "men who are up to their elbows in making this city better and are so consistent with this organization and its values," he said. "It's not just the old art and the beauty from the past. We're continuing to create art and create traditions and make a difference in this city. That's just about as happy as it gets for me. "

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New DNC Chariman Perez: If Trump Were Dem “There Would’ve Been Articles Of Impeachment Filed Already” (2.21/39)

REPORTER : “Do you agree with Yoo you are new democratic that says he believes President Trump has already done several things that legitimately begs the question of impeachment and if so what plans?”
PEREZ: “Are you now seeing Republicans call for a special investigation of what happened in the run-up to the election. That’s disrespectful to all foxes to call it the fox guarding the hen house. We have to make sure that it is fair. If the tables had been turned and Hillary Clinton had won the presidency with the help of Donald Trump — with the help of Putin — I confuse Putin and trump because they’re so similar, and the help of all this hacking, the Republicans — how many Benghazi hearings did they have? 15? There would have been articles of impeachment filed already. I hope this independent investigation is done, and I’m glad finally to see some Republicans calling for it as well.”

Tom Perez elected DNC chair
Tom Perez Elected As New DNC Chair


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Tyrrell Hatton four shots behind leader Rickie Fowler (2.19/39)

Tyrrell Hatton continued to enhance his burgeoning reputation by throwing himself into contention of the Honda Classic going into Sunday's final round.
The 25-year-old, from Buckinghamshire, won his first European Tour title in October and now he could win a first on the other side of the Atlantic, but will have to overcome a four-shot deficit to leader Rickie Fowler at Palm Beach.
Hatton carded a four-under-par 66 to climb the leaderboard on nine under, firing six birdies and he could have been in an even better position had he not bogeyed the par-three 17th.
Tyrrell Hatton carded a four-under-par 66 to climb the leaderboard on nine under
Hatton will have to overcome a four-shot deficit to leader Rickie Fowler at Palm Beach
He will tee off last with Ryder Cup star Fowler on Sunday after the American made his move with a blemish-free 65, which saw five birdies.
Five men, including two-time major champion Martin Kaymer are two shots behind Hatton on seven under, with Emiliano Grillo and Sean O'Hair big movers up the leaderboard.
Luke Donald, Paul Casey and Sergio Garcia are all on five under and probably too far back to make a challenge on Sunday.

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Rickie Fowler builds 4-shot lead in Honda Classic


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Rep. Ellison: 'We got to win elections' (2.16/39)

- At the Democratic National Committee meeting on Feb. 25, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) said, "we are in this mess" because Democrats lost "not one election, but 1000 elections. " Ellison is running for Democratic Party chair. ()

DNC Elect Pro-TPP Tom Perez As Chair
Tom Perez Elected As New DNC Chair


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UNCG beats VMI, sets up championship showdown (2.15/39)

RJ White scored 18 points with 10 rebounds and UNC Greensboro beat VMI 74-67 on Saturday night to set up a title-showdown matchup with East Tennessee State.
The Spartans (22-8, 13-4) host ETSU (14-3) Monday night for the No. 1 seed to the Southern Conference Tournament. If UNCG wins there would be a three-way with Furman (14-4) atop the league but the Spartans hold the tiebreaker.
White picked up his third double-double this season in helping UNCG collect its 22nd victory, the second-most in program history with its 13 SoCon wins a program record. The Spartans have their third six-game win streak of the season.
Francis Alonso scored 17 points and Marvin Smith and James Dickey added 10 each for UNCG, which scored 21 points off 15 turnovers.
QJ Peterson scored 22 points, Trey Chapman 17 and Adrian Rich 12 for the Keydets (6-22, 3-14). Julian Eleby grabbed 12 rebounds.
Dickey's dunk with 6:15 to go gave UNCG the lead for good but the win wasn't secured until the Spartans made three free throws in the final 28 seconds while VMI missed three 3-point tries.
The game time was pushed back two hours because more than half the UNCG team — players and coaches — were dealing with flu-like symptoms over the previous 36 hours.

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Tigers blast Astros, Cabrera shrugs off plunking (2.13/39)

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The Tigers had gone 11 innings without scoring a run this spring until Andrew Romine, Ian Kinsler and Victor Martinez homered in consecutive at-bats in the third inning off Astros right-hander Edison Frias.
Martinez’s blast was majestic, into the new Margaritaville Patio in right field.
BOX SCORE: Tigers 11, Astros 4
Verlander was watching the video feed with Kirk Gibson.
“Gibby said, ‘Somebody is going to get hit,” Verlander said. “I was like, ‘This is spring training, nobody is going to get hit, and it’s Miggy (Cabrera, at the plate).’ Then the first pitch to Miggy, whack. I just went, ‘Holy crap!’ and I went running.”
It could have been an ugly scene, as players from both dugouts quickly got to the top step of their respective dugouts. But Cabrera, who was hit in the left forearm with the high and tight pitch, quickly raised his hand to the Astros bench and to umpire Hunter Wendelstedt that all was OK.
“Miggy is good at that,” Verlander said. “You take a second to realize it wasn’t a fastball and he was sure it wasn’t on purpose. But it looked bad.”
So bad, in fact, that Verlander left the clubhouse and ran out to the field in case benches cleared.
“Just in case,” he said, with a smirk. “I’m sure with my cutoff shirt I was pretty intimidating.”
Iglesias taking measures to maintain a shortstop’s body
Wendelstedt immediately ejected Frias, Cabrera was unharmed (he had a double and a single in three at-bats) and the Tigers went on to beat the Astros 11-4. Afterward, Cabrera completely waived off the incident.
“He does what he needs to get ready,” he said. “I do what I need to get ready. Not my business.”
Still, the Tigers are tired of seeing their hitters put on the DL after being hit by pitches (Cameron Maybin and Nick Castellanos last year).
“We need to protect that man,” Verlander said of Cabrera. “He gets pitched in a lot and we had some freak injuries last year when guys got pitched in and got hit and broke their hand. You can very easily point to those as to why we weren’t in the playoffs last year.
“If you can’t pitch in, don’t pitch in. And I am not saying (Frias) did that; he threw a breaking ball (slider) and I am sure it wasn’t intentional. But a baseball is a weapon. You are throwing it 96, 97 miles per hour and if you can’t effectively throw the ball into a righty, if you are right-handed, you shouldn’t be doing it.”
Verlander, making his first start of the spring, featured a lively fastball in two scoreless innings. According to the radar gun the Tigers were using, Verlander’s fastball was hitting 92-95 mph.
“I felt pretty good, a really good first step,” he said. “I made it through, my arm’s still attached. Everything is all right. I mean, it was a little erratic. I worked on some stuff, but overall, pretty good.”
He struck out two, throwing fastballs past Teoscar Hernandez and Jake Marisnick in the second inning. He gave up an infield hit to Nori Aoki to start the game — a bounder that eluded Verlander — and a walk.
“I thought that was the best first outing I’ve seen from Ver,” manager Brad Ausmus said.
In all he threw 33 pitches, 18 for strikes.
Anibal Sanchez proud of new U. S. citizenship
“I don’t think you will ever see me throw five or six straight change-ups,” Verlander said, which he did when he walked A. J. Reed leading off the second. “It’s just points of emphasis. I will throw enough fastballs to get dialed in, just through the natural process of pitching.
“For now, I’m spinning some stuff, throwing stuff when normally I wouldn’t, just to get a feel for it. My hope is that it speeds up the process of getting a feel for the other pitches.”
Lefty Blaine Hardy, in a fight for one of the final bullpen spots, threw a 10-pitch, scoreless third inning. Of the 10 pitches, nine were strikes.
Right-handers William Cuevas, Mark Lowe (two strikeouts) and Alex Wilson (two strikeouts) pitched scoreless innings. Right-hander A. J. Achter (MSU) gave up two unearned runs in the fourth.
Verlander hopes training regimen ignites faster start
Shane Greene gave up two runs on three hits in the eighth. Justin Wilson pitched a scoreless ninth.
The Tigers pounded out 15 hits. Justin Upton ripped a long, RBI double to the center field fence. Jason Krizan homered and Alex Presley got himself a Little League grand slam in the seventh.
With the bases loaded, his single eluded the center fielder. He circled the bases, all four runs scored.
Tyler Collins, who has a lat injury and can’t play in the field for two weeks, ripped an RBI single and lined out to deep left center field. JaCoby Jones also contributed two singles.
Matthew Boyd will start for the Tigers Sunday against the Mets in Port St. Lucie.
Twitter @cmccosky

Tigers see no ill intent in rookie's pitch that hit Miguel Cabrera after 3 home runs
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Tigers 11, Astros 4, exhibition
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GOP congressman calls for special prosecutor in Russia investigation (2.10/39)

Rep. Darrell Issa, the former chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said Friday that a special prosecutor is needed to oversee the investigation into communications between President Trump’s associates and Russia.
In an interview on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” Maher asked the California Republican if he would have let it slide if what happened to the Democrats in 2016 happened to Mitt Romney in 2012.
“No,” Issa said, adding that he also will not let the current situation slide.
He said the House and Senate Intelligence committees should pursue their investigation into the contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia.
“You cannot have somebody, a friend of mine Jeff Sessions, who was on the campaign and who is an appointee. You’re going to need to use the special prosecutor’s statute and office to take — not just to recuse. You can’t just give it to your deputy. That’s another political appointee,” Issa said after Maher said that Sessions, now the attorney general, should recuse himself.
Issa said that “there may or may not be fault,” but he said that the public is starting to understand that Russian President Vladimir Putin murders his enemies and is interfering in other countries’ elections in eastern Europe.
Last week, The New York Times reported that some Trump campaign officials and other associates had repeated contact with Russian intelligence before the election last November. Sources told CBS News the FBI has questioned people close to the president, including retired Gen. Michael Flynn, who resigned as national security adviser earlier this month.

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Girl Driving Mother’s Car Crashes During NW Indiana Police Chase (2.10/39)

CHICAGO (CBS) — An Illinois girl who drove her mother’s car without a license was injured in a rollover crash during a police chase on Saturday in northwest Indiana.
A state trooper saw an erratic driver at 1:53 p.m. who was traveling east on Interstate 94 near Ripley Street, according to a statement from Indiana State Police. He saw the vehicle changing lanes without signaling and speeding from 50 mph to 110 mph, so he turned on his emergency lights and siren to try and make a traffic stop.
The vehicle did not stop and continued speeding east on I-94, passing in and out of traffic lanes without signaling, police said. The vehicle then tried to exit at U. S. 20 in Burns Harbor, Indiana, but it drove off the ramp as it curved and into a ditch. The car rolled over several times before coming to a rest on its wheels.
The girl who was driving the car was taken to Porter Hospital in Valparaiso, Indiana, to be treated for injuries that were not life threatening, police said. Her name and age were withheld because she is a juvenile.
Charges against the girl will be filed through the Porter County Juvenile Court, police said.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2016. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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Why Natalie Portman won't be attending the Oscars (2.10/39)

Walking the Oscars’ red carpet is a chore even under the best of circumstances. When you’re several months pregnant? Forget it.
At least, that’s what Natalie Portman is saying. The Oscar nominee, lauded in the lead actress category for playing Jacqueline Kennedy in the biopic “Jackie” has announced she won’t be attending Sunday’s ceremony, citing her pregnancy. Portman is in her third trimester.
"I feel so lucky to be honored among my fellow nominees and wish them the most beautiful of weekends,” Portman said in a statement.
Portman was pregnant with her first child, her son Aleph, when she won the Oscar in 2011 for “Black Swan.” Referring to her impending motherhood, she thanked choreographer Benjamin Millepied, now her husband, for giving her "the most important role of [her] life. "
Portman was nominated alongside Emma Stone (“La La Land”), Isabelle Huppert (“Elle”), Meryl Streep (“Florence Foster Jenkins”) and Ruth Negga (“Loving”).
Leading up to the Oscars, Stone has won a Golden Globe (musical/comedy) and SAG Award, while Huppert has taken countless critics prizes along with the Golden Globe for drama.
See the most-read stories this hour »
Twitter: @glennwhipp

Oscar nominated Natalie Portman won't attend Academy Awards 'due to pregnancy'
Natalie Portman to skip Oscars due to pregnancy


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Oscars promise something new this year: excitement (2.09/39)

Y ou’d think people would be happy about this year’s batch of Oscar nominees. After all, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences really showed its whiteness last year by shutting out filmmakers and actors of color. The major lack of diversity launched the now-notorious #OscarsSoWhite hashtag, made several African-American entertainers boycott the ceremonies and prompted last year’s host – poor Chris Rock – to basically devote his whole Oscar monologue to trying not to irk the Hollywood community while also pointing out, yeah, you guys can be racist too!
But, this year, they’ve learned their lesson. All of the major nominees are peppered with people with color. Three of the films nominated for Best Picture (“Hidden Figures,” “Fences” and “Moonlight”) feature predominantly black casts. There is also one movie, “Lion,” featuring actors and characters of Indian descent. Some African-American nominees are considered a shoo-in to win awards. Viola Davis (“Fences”) is a no-brainer for Best Supporting Actress, while Mahershala Ali (“Moonlight”) has been charming enough people to make his Best Supporting Actor win a given.
But since this is the Oscars, some people still gotta be mad about something.
The big offender this year is “La La Land,” director Damien Chazelle’s musical romance starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as stardom-seeking Angelenos in love. As adorable as that sounds, the movie (which has 14 nominations, tying with “Titanic” and “All About Eve” for the most in Oscar history) has also been the subject of hot-take think pieces and nasty divisiveness amongst critics and cinephiles. While the lovers are apparently raking people over the coals for not being as over-the-moon about it as they are ( “Saturday Night Live” even did a sketch recently about the movie’s rabid fanbase ), the haters are mostly condemning it for its overwhelming whiteness, even slamming Gosling’s piano-playing protagonist for being a “white savior” because he wants to save jazz.
“Land” has been heavily predicted to take the Best Picture Oscar – mainly because detractors feel it’s a sort of self-congratulatory lovefest. Besides, in the past few weeks alone, the Patriots won the Super Bowl and Adele’s “25” took Album of the Year over Beyonce’s “Lemonade.” So, you can see why people are expecting the Oscars to be all-white.
But I wouldn’t be surprised if there are some upsets. Even if they don’t come, I’m just happy a lot of the movies and performances I liked last year actually got nominated for Oscars. It looks like those 683 new members the Academy welcomed last summer – 46 percent of them women and 41 percent people of color – are finally making the Oscars something it hasn’t been in years: exciting.
Here are my predictions for who will win, as well as who/what should win and who/what would’ve/could’ve/should’ve gotten a nod.
“Hacksaw Ridge”
“Hell or High Water”
“Hidden Figures”
“La La Land”
“Manchester by the Sea”
Will win: Everybody thinks “Land” is a lock, but I think the Academy will go for “Moonlight,” especially if they don’t want another #OscarsSoWhite backlash on their hands.
Should win: Since this is a year where several of the movies on my 10-best list got nominated, I wouldn’t mind if “Fences,” “Hell,” “Manchester,” “Moonlight” or – yes! – “Land” got the trophy.
Woulda/coulda/shoulda: The Academy did give the cold shoulder to “Silence,” “Paterson” and “Aquarius,” my choice for best foreign film of 2016. And when are they gonna let documentaries into this category? Best Documentary nominees “I Am Not Your Negro” and “O. J.: Made in America” were two of the best movies I saw last year.
Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”
Andrew Garfield, “Hacksaw Ridge”
Ryan Gosling, “La La Land”
Viggo Mortensen, “Captain Fantastic”
Denzel Washington, Fences
Will win: Washington. “Fences” was basically his master class.
Should win: Affleck turned in a great performance. Unfortunately, those sexual-harassment charges still hang heavy over his head.
Woulda/coulda/shoulda: Oscar golden boy Tom Hanks did real-life hero “Sully” Sullenberger proud in “Sully,” while Adam Driver made a winning, working-class romantic in “Paterson.” And am I the only one who thinks Gosling should’ve been nominated instead for his comic tour-de-force as a buffoonish detective in “The Nice Guys”?
Isabelle Huppert, “Elle”
Ruth Negga, “Loving”
Natalie Portman, “Jackie”
Emma Stone, “La La Land”
Meryl Streep, “Florence Foster Jenkins”
Will win: Stone. She was too dang darling in “Land.”
Should win: Stone, with Huppert – another fiery-haired hellion – coming in a close second.
Woulda/coulda/shoulda: Sonia Braga (“Aquarius”) and Annette Bening (“20 th Century Women”) each gave wonderful performances as aging, boho nonconformists. But, seriously, why wasn’t Viola Davis nominated for Best Actress instead of Best Supporting Actress for her knockout “Fences” performance?
Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight”
Jeff Bridges, “Hell or High Water”
Lucas Hedges, “Manchester by the Sea”
Dev Patel, “Lion”
Michael Shannon, “Nocturnal Animals”
Will win: Ali. His SAG Awards speech practically cinched it.
Should win: Shannon is long-overdue for an Oscar, but I still wouldn’t be mad if Ali won it.
Woulda/coulda/shoulda: What about Liam Neeson’s defeated priest in “Silence,” Aiden Ehrenreich’s crafty cowboy star in “Hail, Caesar!” or Hayden Szeto’s awkward but artful teen in “The Edge of Seventeen”?
Viola Davis, “Fences”
Naomie Harris, “Moonlight”
Nicole Kidman, “Lion”
Octavia Spencer, “Hidden Figures”
Michelle Williams, “Manchester by the Sea”
Will win: Davis. End of story.
Should win: If Davis wasn’t in this category, it would be Williams all day.
Woulda/coulda/shoulda: Lily Gladstone was heartbreaking as lovesick ranch hand in “Certain Women,” while Janelle Monae was rousing as a budding NASA engineer in “Hidden Figures.” And I would’ve loved to have seen either Elle Fanning or Greta Gerwig get nods for their complex turns in “20th Century Women.”
Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”
Mel Gibson, “Hacksaw Ridge”
Barry Jenkins, “Moonlight”
Kenneth Lonergan, “Manchester by the Sea”
Denis Villeneuve, “Arrival”
Will win: Since “Moonlight” will get Best Picture, Chazelle is just gonna have to be happy with a Best Director statuette.
Should win: You have to admit Chazelle directed the hell outta that movie.
Woulda/coulda/shoulda: Clint Eastwood (“Sully”), Martin Scorsese (“Silence”) and Joel & Ethan Coen (“Hail, Caesar!”) did some award-caliber work last year. But I guess the Academy figured since they already have Best Director Oscars, let’s give some new kids – and Mel Gibson – a shot.

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Wrestling finals: 8th tiebreaker propels Richmond to Division 3 title (2.08/39)

MT. PLEASANT – Richmond’s Hayden Bastian won a 4-3 decision on a last-minute takedown at 130 pounds to tie defending champion Dundee at 28-28.
Then the waiting began Saturday at Central Michigan’s McGuirk Arena.
Officials reached the eighth tiebreaker before announcing Richmond as the Division 3 state champion.
Criteria H awards victory to the team that totaled the most points on first points in the 14 matches. Richmond won that category 17-9 to earn the program’s eighth team title since 2000.
“We had kids like Hayden (Bastian) that is unranked but takes out a good kid; Eric Barr (152) did the same,” said Richmond coach Brandon Day. “We just have good kids that battle hard and love each other.”
Dundee built a sizeable lead through seven matches before Richmond (29-2) won four consecutive weight classes – Colton McKiernan at 215, Tyler Marion at 285, Austin Kilburn at 103 and Roy Costello at 112 to battle back.
Division 2 : Warren Woods Tower fell short in its bid for its first state championship.
Lowell won the final two matches to capture its fourth consecutive Division 2 championship, 32-21. Jeff Leach beat Brandon Harger at 125 pounds and Channing Perry scored a major decision over Ryan Daniel at 130.
“We didn’t feel a whole lot of pressure,” Tower coach Greg Mayer said. “I don’t think they wrestled tight. I think they wrestled well, just not good enough. From a pressure standpoint I thought it was minimal.
"But I hope they take away the memories of each other, the time they shared with each other throughout the course of this season, and this as the culminating event. They had a great season and no one can take that away from them.”
Tower (28-1) won five matches, but a five-win swing in the middle of the match by Lowell proved to be too much.
“We wrestled hard and we wrestled good,” Mayer added. “There were a couple matches we were hopeful we’d fare a little better in but we didn’t, in the upper weights, and we hoped to gain some bonus points in the lower weights. But that’s not here nor there. We wrestled great but just came up a little short.”
Div. 4 : Four years and counting.
That’s how many consecutive times Hudson and New Lothrop have faced off in the Division 4 state championship, the longest running rivalry in the state.
Add a sixth title for Hudson, a 51-13 winner over three-time defending champion New Lothrop.
It was a special win for senior Tylor Grames, who led off the match by beating top-ranked Eric Birchmeier, 5-1, at 189. Grames lamented the past three years as team runner-up.
“I think the tone set us up for victory, I honestly do,” Grames saiad about leading off. “I was (ranked) No. 2, he’s No. 1. I had to stay focused. I came out on top and got the team amped up and positive.”
Stars and stripes : Each round of the wrestling finals were kicked off with the national anthem sung by a veteran of war, coaching and officiating. Jim McCloughan of South Haven coached football and baseball for 38 years, coached wrestling for 22 years and has been a wrestling mat official for the last 25 years. He’s a Vietnam War veteran who served as a combat medic and was approved to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor by Congress and President Obama just two days before Christmas, but hasn’t received it in person yet.

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Saturday’s college roundup: UMaine men’s basketball earns win (2.07/39)

VESTAL, N. Y. — Andrew Fleming scored 17 points and Austin Howard 14, including the go-ahead basket, and Maine rallied to beat Binghamton 72-71 in a regular-season finale Saturday.
Howard’s midrange jumper followed by his two free throws after a steal by Fleming gave the Black Bears a 70-67 lead with 32 seconds left. Willie Rodriguez scored for the Bearcats but Ryan Bernstein countered with two free throws. Binghamton’s Timmy Rose made two free throws with 4.7 seconds left but Maine was able to run out the clock.
After blowing a nine-point second-half lead, Maine came back from a 10-point deficit with eight minutes left.
Bernstein finished with 13 points and Dennis Ashley 11 for Maine (7-24, 3-13), which ended a four-game losing streak.
Rodriguez scored a season-high 26 for the Bearcats (12-19, 3-13), who have lost eight straight.
Michela North had seven points and 14 rebounds for Tufts. Lauren Petit scored 10 points for Bowdoin.
MK Caverly scored 13 points for Colby.
Chris Harlow and Brady Fleurent also scored for the Nor’easters, who play at No. 2 Nichols in a semifinal Wednesday.
Hamilton scored four straight goals after Ronnie Lestan gave Bowdoin a 1-0 lead 4:02 into the game. Matt Sullivan scored for Bowdoin with 1:01 remaining, 13 seconds after the empty-net goal.
Babcock’s winner came just 12 seconds after Colby’s Michael Rudolf tied the game at 4.
Kienan Scott, J. P. Schuhlen and Geoff Sullivan also scored for the Mules.
Emily Corrales, Annie Mullen and Abby Kinens each converted for the Nor’easters in a 14-minute span starting 12:04 into the second period.
UNE plays top-seeded Norwich in a semifinal Friday at Northfield, Vermont.
Zoey Pellowitz had two goals and two assists for Manhattanville.
Katie Couture and Jensen Hamblett scored first-period goals for USM.
Kerri St. Denis made 41 saves for Bowdoin, which plays at top-seeded Middlebury in the title game on Saturday.
Matt Chlastawa and Brendan Mullally each scored three goals for Bates.
Mitch Mullin had four goals for UNE. Zadworny finished with three.
Harris also ran the mile anchor leg in the distance medley relay, helping Penn State place fourth in 9:42.12.
After running a personal-best time of 7.28 seconds in Friday’s preliminary round, Hall was clocked in 7.35 in Saturday’s final. Aleia Hobbs won with a time of 7.18.
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Reed wins wreck-filled Daytona Xfinity race (2.06/39)

Daytona Beach, Fla. — Ryan Reed picked up the second Xfinity Series victory of his career — both at Daytona International Speedway — by winning the wreck-filled season-opener Saturday.
Reed held off Austin Dillon and Kasey Kahne in a two-lap overtime shootout to win in a Ford for Roush Fenway Racing. Reed’s only other career victory came in this race in 2015, and he was celebrated for overcoming a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes to become a race-winning driver.
Reed had initially been told upon diagnosis that he’d not be able to race.
“Man, I thought about it this morning. I’ve had so many people come up to me and tell me how amazing that last win, my first win, was for certain people,” Reed said. “Everyone knows, a lot of people know, that I have Type 1 diabetes, and to see what that win meant to people it drove me to get back to victory lane.”
Roush was winless last year in both the Xfinity and Cup Series, but Reed’s victory ensures him a spot in the Xfinity Series playoffs.
“At the end of last year, I told everyone we had a lot of momentum and I said we’re going to go to Speedweeks ready to go and here we are,” Reed said. “So many good things are happening right now.”
Kahne finished second in a Chevrolet for JR Motorsports, which had five cars in the field and a rough day because of all the accidents.
Austin Dillon was third in a Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, and Brad Keselowski was fourth in a Team Penske Ford. Scott Lagasse was sixth and the highest finishing Toyota driver.
“A race like this, you just feel good to survive,” said Keselowski.
A multi-car accident with 17 laps remaining cost Elliott Sadler the victory, but it wasn’t a total loss. Sadler, one of the JR Motorsports drivers, won the first two stages of NASCAR’s new format and was in contention for the win until the accident.
He wound up in the garage because his car was too damaged to be repaired on pit road. Sadler finished 24th.
The first 30-lap stage was marred by two long stoppages, including one to fix the damaged fence at Daytona. Although the segment was only 30 laps, two multi-car accidents ate up more than 47 minutes in red-flag time.
Reigning series champion Daniel Suarez chastised his fellow drivers for being too aggressive too early in the race.
“I feel like we were racing too hard. It’s too early,” he said. “I just feel like it’s a long race and we should be a little bit more smart.”
Darrell Wallace Jr. also thought the drivers would be more conservative and try to make it through the opening stages.
“We kind of figured that it would be different, but I thought everybody would still be somewhat smart and mindful of not tearing up your equipment early and let’s go after it with three to go,” Wallace said. “But there are different mentalities out there and that’s what causes chaos.”
When the second segment began, only 22 of 40 cars were on the lead lap, and 12 were listed as too damaged to continue the race.
Also, Dillon’s team was penalized before the race for having an unapproved substance on its tires. NASCAR punished the No. 2 Chevrolet by taking a set of tires, leaving the team at a competitive disadvantage for the 300-mile race.
But after all the early accidents led to tire damage, the Richard Childress Racing team successfully petitioned NASCAR to get the set back. The decision helped Dillon stay up front late in the race.

Ryan Reed wins Xfinity Series opener at Daytona in two-lap overtime shootout
Reed grabs Xfinity Series win in wreck-fest at Daytona


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EPA chief promises swift rollback of Obama-era rules (2.05/39)

U. S. environmental chief Scott Pruitt unveiled plans to roll back at least three Obama-era rules at the EPA while vowing to give businesses “regulatory certainty.”
Those policy reversals, set to start next week, will empower the Environmental Protection Agency to focus on its core mission of protecting the air and water, Pruitt said Saturday in a speech and question-and-answer session on the final day of the Conservative Political Action Conference in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
“The previous administration was so focused on climate change and so focused on CO2, some of those other priorities were left behind,” Pruitt said in his first detailed remarks since being sworn in to lead the EPA on Feb. 17. “I really believe that at the end of eight years, we’re going to have better air quality, we’re going to have better water quality because it’s going to be vested in a partnership” with states.
As soon as Monday, President Donald Trump is slated to sign documents compelling the EPA to begin undoing recent regulations, including the Clean Power Plan that slashes greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation and the Waters of the U. S. rule that defined which waterways are subject to pollution regulation. Documents drafted by the Trump administration would direct Pruitt to begin dismantling those measures, helping fulfill the president’s pledge to eviscerate rules he describes as throttling U. S. energy development.
“There are some regulations that in the near term need to be rolled back in a very aggressive way,” Pruitt said. “In the next week you may be hearing about some of those.”
“We know what those are: The previous administration took the Waters of the United States rule and transformed the Clean Water Act and made puddles and dry creek beds across this country subject to the jurisdiction of Washington, D. C.,” Pruitt said. “That’s going to change.”
Pruitt described another high-priority target on Saturday: an EPA rule imposed last year that limits methane gas emissions from oil and gas wells. Pruitt took aim at the measure while he was Oklahoma’s attorney general, with the urging of oil and gas producer Devon Energy Corp., according to recently disclosed e-mails.
Pruitt built his political career fighting federal regulations he said usurped states’ power, joining more than a dozen lawsuits challenging EPA actions. After eight days on the job, Pruitt’s view of the agency didn’t appear to have changed dramatically.
“People across the country look at the EPA much like they look at the IRS — and I hope to be able to change that,” Pruitt said.
Pruitt reiterated earlier vows to collaborate with states and stay within the contours of federal statutes when crafting environmental mandates — an approach he said would help ensure regulatory certainty.
“Those in industry should know what’s expected of them,” Pruitt said. “Those in industry should know how to allocate their resources to comply with the regulations passed by the EPA.”

Scott Pruitt says EPA could begin rolling back Obama rules next week
Aggressive cuts to Obama-era green rules to start soon: EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt


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Salt Lake town hall meeting with Rep. Chris Stewart canceled (2.04/39)

SALT LAKE CITY — A planned town hall meeting Saturday with Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah was unexpectedly canceled.
The event had been scheduled from 6-8 p.m. at West High School, but Stewart's office released a statement Saturday afternoon that the event had been canceled "due to circumstances beyond our control. "
The town hall meeting will be rescheduled, according to the statement.

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Erica Parsons laid to rest 5 years after she went missing (2.04/39)

Sandy Parsons, who only recently started cooperating with detectives on the case, confided through a third party with investigators where her body would be found. It is not known what prompted him to begin working with the authorities after years of denying anything to do with his adoptive daughter's disappearance. Authorities in Rowan County, along with the FBI, had obtained leads in August that Erica was 'more than likely deceased'. Although authorities suspected from the beginning that Erica’s adoptive parents, Casey and Sandy Parsons, had something to do with her disappearance, a national search for the teen went on for three years. The couple claimed that Erica went to live in Asheville with a woman they believed to be her biological grandmother, Irene 'Nan' Goodman, but that woman has never materialized. They repeated this claim on a nationally-televised interview with Dr Phil soon after her disappearance in 2011. Testimony at the 2015 fraud trial of adoptive parents Casey, 41, and Sandy Parsons, 42, unveiled a pattern of abusing Erica, the couple's niece, who lived with the family in Rowan County from 2000 until she disappeared in 2011 at age 13. She was not reported missing until 2013, when Erica's adoptive brother, James Parsons, contacted Rowan County authorities after his parents had kicked him out. He told deputies that Erica had been missing for two years. Late 2011 was the last time he saw Erica, who was developmentally disabled and partially deaf, when she was standing in a corner as punishment and 'looked like a zombie', he said in court. He said Erica said she did not feel good and could not breathe well, and that the next morning she was gone. Testimony from the couple's 2015 fraud trial - they had continued to cash Erica’s disability checks - described in graphic detail the abuse she endured before her disappearance while living with Sandy and Casey Parsons. That included being fed dog food or no food at all, being excluded from family activities and having her arm broken by one of her siblings. In March 2015, Casey Parsons was sentenced to 10 years in prison for tax fraud and her husband, Sandy, to eight years. 'I've sentenced more than 1,000 people,' U. S. District Court Judge Thomas Schroeder said to Casey Parsons before handing down her sentence. 'I cannot think of another case that has troubled me more.'

The Charlotte Observer
Loved ones, community lay Erica Parsons to rest Saturday


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Latest: Donations top $1M for Kansas bar attack victims (2.04/39)

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) - The Latest on a deadly shooting at a Kansas bar that some witnesses said was racially motivated (all times local): 5 p.m. GoFundMe sites for the families of an Indian man who was killed and two men who were injured in a shooting at a Kansas bar have raised more than $1 million combined. The four sites were set up to help relatives of Srinivas Kuchibhotla pay for expenses in the wake of his shooting death Wednesday at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe (oh-LAY'-thuh), as well as assist the families of the other victims. Kuchibhotla's friend and co-worker for GPS device-maker Garmin, Alok Madasani, was wounded. Another man, Ian Grillot, was shot when he tried to stop the gunman. A GoFundMe spokeswoman said in an email Saturday that the outpouring to the four funds involves more than 26,000 donations from all U. S. states, the District of Columbia and 39 countries. The suspected gunman, Adam Purinton, remained jailed Saturday on charges of murder and attempted murder. ___ 1:50 p.m. A suburban Kansas City sports bar has reopened, three days after a man shot two Indian men and a third man who tried to intervene, in what some believe was a hate crime. Brandon Blum, a co-owner of Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe (Oh-LAY-thuh), Kansas, told The Associated Press on Saturday that the bar has been a neighborhood fixture for 30 years and that everybody's upset by Wednesday night's attack. Patrons who trickled in for lunch Saturday often hugged each other and staff. Blum declined to discuss the attack in further detail or to say whether the local man charged in the attack, Adam Purinton, was a regular. One of the Indian men was killed and the other two men were wounded. Purinton faces murder and attempted murder charges. Authorities have not said they are investigating the attack as a possible hate crime, but the father of the wounded Indian man said he believes it was one. ___ 11:25 a.m. A longtime neighbor of a Kansas man accused of shooting three people at a bar says the man was a heavy drinker who deteriorated after his father died about 18 months ago. Andy Berthelsen said Saturday that Adam Purinton became "a drunken mess" and bounced among menial jobs over the past year. Berthelsen says that in his 15 years as Purinton's neighbor in Olathe (Oh-LAY-thuh), Kansas, he doesn't recall Purinton making racist remarks or talking about politics. He says Purinton and his father were close and that the father died within weeks of being diagnosed with cancer. Witnesses said Purinton yelled at two Indian men to "get out of my country" before opening fire Wednesday evening. One of the men died and the other was wounded, along with another bar patron. ___ 8:45 a.m. One of two immigrants from India who were shot in a suburban Kansas City bar says the attacker was asking about their visa status shortly before the attack, which some have suggested was a hate crime. Alok Madasani told The New York Times ( ) that while he and Srinivas Kuchibhotla were on the patio of the Olathe, Kansas, bar Wednesday evening, the man asked what type of visa they had and whether they were in the country illegally. They were not. Madasani says he went to get a manager, but when he got back to the patio, the man was already being escorted out. Authorities say the man, 51-year-old Adam Purinton, returned with a gun and shot Madasani, Kuchibhotla and third man who intervened, killing Kuchibhotla. Purinton was arrested hours later in Missouri and is jailed on murder and attempted murder charges. Madasani was treated and released while the other victim, Ian Grillot, remains hospitalized. ___ This item has been corrected to reflect that Madasani and Kuchibhotla were in the country legally, not illegally. ___ 1:13 a.m. A neighborhood bar in suburban Kansas City where one man was killed and two others were injured is scheduled to reopen even as the community tries to recover from an attack that witnesses said was racially motivated. Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe, Kansas, will reopen Saturday. It has been closed since the shooting Wednesday evening while patrons watched a Kansas-TCU basketball game. Witnesses told investigators Adam Purinton yelled at two Indian men to "get out of my country" before opening fire. One man, 32-year-old Srinivas Kuchibhotla, died. Two other men, 32-year-old Alok Madasani and 24-year-old Ian Grillot, were injured. Madasani was released from the hospital while Grillot remains hospitalized. Purinton was arrested early Thursday at a restaurant bar in Clinton, Missouri. He is jailed on murder and attempted murder charges. Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Kansas community tries to heal from deadly bar shooting
Latest: Donations top $1M for Kansas bar attack victims - - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports


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Australia, Indonesia restore full military ties, see progress on trade (2.03/39)

By Harry Pearl
SYDNEY, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Australia and Indonesia said on Sunday that full military ties between the two countries had been restored, after Indonesia´s military suspended cooperation in January because of "insulting" teaching material found at an Australian base.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull made the announcement alongside Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who arrived in Australia on Saturday for his first visit as president.
"President Widodo and I have agreed to full restoration of defence cooperation, training exchanges and activities," Turnbull said at a news conference in Sydney.
Widodo´s visit to Australia comes less than two months after military ties were suspended, an event that sparked a minor diplomatic spat and led to an apology from Australia´s army chief in February. Military cooperation between the two countries has ranged from joint training and counterterrorism cooperation to border protection.
The "insulting" material suggested that Indonesia's Papua province should be independent and mocked the nation's state ideology.
Indonesia and Australia have a history of patchy ties, but both leaders were keen on Sunday to emphasise their commitment to a strong relationship.
"That robust relationship can be established when both countries have respect for each other´s territorial integrity, non-interference into the domestic affairs of each other and the ability to develop a mutually beneficial partnership," Widodo said.
While the primary focus of the visit was on security and economic issues, including the finalisation of a bilateral free trade deal by the end of the year, talks touched on tourism, cyber security and social links.
Widodo met Australian business leaders on Saturday, telling them that investor confidence in Indonesia was strong and reassuring them that Indonesia was a stable country in which to do business.
Following one-on-one talks, Turnbull said tariffs would be cut for Australian sugar and Indonesian pesticides and herbicides. He also praised changes to the export rules for live Australian cattle.
Widodo told The Australian newspaper this week he would like to see joint patrols with Australia in the South China Sea if they did not further inflame tensions with China.
China - which claims almost the entire sea region - irked Indonesia last year by saying the two countries had "overlapping claims" to waters close to them, an area Indonesia calls the Natuna Sea.
The leaders stopped short of announcing joint patrols on Sunday, but stressed the importance of resolving disputes peacefully and in accordance to international law.
"As maritime nations and trading nations, Australia and Indonesia are natural partners with common interests," Turnbull said.
Collaboration on counterterrorism, especially the return of foreign fighters from the Syrian and Iraq conflict zone, would continue, Turnbull said.
(Reporting by Harry Pearl; Editing by Kim Coghill)

Australia hails the Pune win no one saw coming
Australia and Indonesia announce restored defence cooperation


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Saturday’s College Hockey Scores (1.28/39)

American International 2, Army 1, OT
Quinnipiac 4, Brown 1
Clarkson 6, Dartmouth 4
Merrimack 3, Vermont 2
Maine 5, Northeastern 4
Boston U. 4, Notre Dame 1
RPI 3, Colgate 2
Harvard 6, St. Lawrence 3
Providence 2, UMass 1, OT
Princeton 4, Yale 1
Bowling Green 2, Ala.-Huntsville 0
Michigan 1, Ohio St. 0
N. Michigan 5, Michigan Tech 3
Penn St. 4, Michigan St. 1
Need a break? Play a quick game of solitaire or Sudoku. Or take one of our fun quizzes!
Take a look back at photos of Washington's baseball teams during Spring Training.

Saturday’s College Basketball
Saturday's Regional Playoff Scores
Saturday’s College Baseball Scores
Saturday’s high school basketball scores 02.25.17
College Basketball Scores
Women’s College Basketball Scores


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Special Report: The Truth About Satanism and Trump (1.25/39)

Alex Jones breaks down the left’s obsession with Satanism and how they are leveling it against President Donald Trump
RELATED: Witchcraft to Hex Trump’s Populist Battle Cry
READ: Protesters Freak Out, Yell “Lucifer!” After GOP Town Hall Opens With A Prayer
RELATED: Lana Del Rey Joins Effort to Defeat Trump With Witchcraft

Trump to Washington reporters: Not going to your dinner


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Honda LPGA Thailand Par Scores (1.22/39)

Need a break? Play a quick game of solitaire or Sudoku. Or take one of our fun quizzes!
Take a look back at photos of Washington's baseball teams during Spring Training.

Honda LPGA Thailand Scores
Yang leads by 5 strokes into final round of LPGA Thailand
Honda Classic Scores
Honda Classic Par Scores
Golf-U.S. PGA Tour Honda Classic scores


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ABC7 First Alert Weather Forecast (1.14/39)

Warmer on Sunday. High in the 40s. Partly cloudy and windy. High: 46, Low: 30Partly cloudy. High: 49, Low: 35Showers and a few thunderstorms. High: 55, Low: 37Snow showers. High: 37, Low: 28Chilly. High: 38, Low: 23Flurries late. High: 36, Low: 20Much warmer. High: 51, Low: 34

ABC7 News Weather forecast for Sunday morning


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Boys’ basketball: Greely beats Falmouth, wins Class A South (1.07/39)

The unbeaten Greely boys’ basketball team used a workmanlike effort to defeat undermanned Falmouth 47-26 in the Class A South boys’ basketball final Saturday night at Cross Insurance Arena.
Top-ranked Greely (21-0) will face Messalonskee in the state championship game at 2:45 p.m. next Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. Greely’s last appearance in a state final was 1998, when it won its third Class B title in four years. Messalonskee will be making its first state championship game appearance.
Falmouth, the No. 2 seed, finishes 15-6, with three losses to Greely.
Ryan Twitchell scored 13 points and grabbed 17 rebounds (11 offensive) for Greely. Matt McDevitt added 11 points and Zach Brown contributed nine.
Falmouth played without senior point guard Colin Coyne, who averaged 18.4 points per game. Coyne suffered a third-degree sprain of his foot in the regional semifinals Thursday.
Without Coyne, the defending Class A champions struggled to score. Freshman Michael Simonds scored 11 points for Falmouth.
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Send questions/comments to the editors.

South Central boys basketball hangs on to beat Apex, move to 4th round
Boys’ basketball: Greenville overpowers A.R. Gould, claims Class D South title
Girls’ basketball: Brunswick stuns Greely, wins first regional title


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Bohannon scores 24 to help Iowa beat No. 24 Maryland 83-69 (1.06/39)

Freshman Jordan Bohannon scored a career-high 24 points, hitting 8 of 10 3-pointers, to help Iowa breeze past fading No. 24 Maryland 83-69 Saturday night.
Tyler Cook had 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Hawkeyes (16-13, 8-8 Big Ten), who improved to 2-7 on the road this season. Iowa led by seven at halftime and erased any shred of suspense by taking a 16-point lead with 10:28 remaining.
The Hawkeyes went 16 for 26 beyond the arc in avenging a home loss to Maryland on Jan. 19.
Bohannon came in averaging 9.2 points per game and shooting 37 percent from 3-point range. Cook, who's also a freshman, scored only eight points in the first meeting between the teams.
Kevin Huerter scored 13 points for Maryland (22-7, 10-6). Since opening 20-2, the Terrapins have lost five of seven and three in a row.
Eager to rebound from a home loss to Minnesota, the Terrapins came out flat against an Iowa team that had beaten only Rutgers on the road.
Maryland's biggest lead was two points, and the Terps never led after relinquishing a 24-23 advantage midway in the first half.
Maryland went 11 for 34 from 3-point range and took only nine free throws.
Cook scored 15 points and Bohannon drilled four 3-pointers to help Iowa take a 47-40 halftime lead.
The Hawkeyes went 8 for 12 from beyond the arc, outrebounded Maryland 20-14 and limited standout guard Melo Trimble to three points on 1-for-5 shooting.
Huerter opened the second half with a 3-pointer to give the crowd hopes of a comeback, but Bohannon nailed three 3s in a 10-1 spurt that made it 58-44.
Trimble finished with 10 points, going 1 for 9 from beyond the arc.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes proved they can beat a decent team on the road, although Maryland has been struggling at home and away lately.
Maryland: The Terps need to right the ship in a hurry. They've dropped in the Big Ten standings and are sure to fall out of the Top 25 in the next poll.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes travel to Wisconsin on March 2 for their only regular-season meeting with the Badgers.
Maryland: The Terrapins face Rutgers on the road Tuesday night. Maryland beat the Scarlet Knights 67-55 on Jan. 24.

Amin scores career-high 31, Texas A&M-CC wins 9th straight


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Miami man sentenced to 100 years in prison for child pornography (1.05/39)

A 39-year-old Miami man was sentenced to 100 years in prison for child porn this week for hosting a computer network from his home where anyone could download the illegal videos.
Manuel Perez Gonzalez was convicted of distributing, receiving and possessing child pornography. U. S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro gave him 100 years in prison, followed by 25 years of supervised release. If he’s ever released, he’ll have to register as a sex offender.
Prosecutors compared his peer-to-peer sharing to a criminal with a “giant pile of drugs on his front step.”
“He let anyone take as much as they liked, as often as they liked. The pile never diminished, but instead grew as the Defendant added to it,” they wrote. “Instead of drugs, though, the Defendant peddled the rape and sexual abuse of children.”
Law enforcement officers connected to his IP address and downloaded 19 videos featuring the abuse of children. After obtaining a search warrant, agents seized Gonzalez’s laptop and a CD, which both contained child porn videos, in October 2015.
Prosecutors argued that his chances of re-offending (if released) were high because his live-in girlfriend knew about the illegal activity and never reported it. In addition, Miami-Dade police were called to the home in 2014 when someone reported that a young boy had been sexually abused there over several years by a woman. The case, which came to police attention before the discovery of child porn, was never prosecuted.

Delaware repeat offender sentenced to 60 years in shooting
Del. man sentenced to 12 years for sex abuse at daycare


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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw breezes through first Cactus League outing (1.05/39)

The normalcy of Clayton Kershaw ’s appearance in the Dodgers ’ Cactus League opener, his first outing since the sixth game of last October’s National League Championship Series , extended from the results on the mound to the self-assessment afterward.
Kershaw raced through one inning against the White Sox in a 5-3 victory on Saturday afternoon at Camelback Ranch. He faced three batters and retired all three. He struck out outfielder Melky Cabrera. The White Sox could not hit a ball out of the infield.
Shortly after his performance, Kershaw appeared in the Dodgers clubhouse. He described the one changeup he attempted as “terrible.” He mentioned how he fell behind in the count to each hitter. He expressed displeasure with his fastball command.
“When something doesn’t work in spring, I’m going to stress out about it and worry about it until I fix it,” Kershaw said. “I’m not just going to say ‘I’m going to figure it out at some point.’ Even if that might be the case, I feel like I have to harp on it and stress on it until I get it to where I want it to be.”
These are the standards Kershaw has set for himself. He did not lower them in the wake of the herniated disk he experienced last summer. Asked about his back on Saturday, Kershaw pronounced himself “all good.” He would like to consider the matter settled.
Dodgers officials cannot forget what happened with Kershaw in 2016. But thus far in spring, he has helped ease any concerns. Manager Dave Roberts complimented the cleanliness and repeatability of his delivery thus far.
“If we hadn’t known his history last year, we’d think nothing of it,” Roberts said. “He looks great. He obviously adjusted some of his off-season workouts, but he looks great.”
Kershaw began the adjustments as he recovered last summer. He was able to pitch in September and October. He finished the season with a 1.69 earned-run average, which led all starting pitchers who logged at least 100 innings. Despite throwing only 149 innings, Kershaw was the most valuable pitcher in baseball, according to FanGraphs’ version of wins above replacement.
He will headline a rotation that is deep but unsettled as March approaches. Rich Hill will start against Milwaukee on Sunday. Kenta Maeda takes the ball against Colorado on Monday. Roberts indicated he was not ready to reveal his starters for the two games after that. The last two spots in the rotation are being dangled as the prize in a competition among Scott Kazmir , Brandon McCarthy, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Alex Wood, Julio Urias, Brock Stewart and Ross Stripling.
Kershaw indicated he expected to throw two innings in his next outing. The presence of the World Baseball Classic has lengthened spring training , providing ample time for Kershaw to stretch out his arm. He threw 17 pitches in the bullpen following his inning Saturday.
Kershaw operated at an expedient pace on the mound. At 1:02 p.m., an appreciative cheer greeted his arrival. Two minutes later, he threw his first pitch. Four minutes after that, his work was done.
“The results were OK,” Kershaw said. “I got three outs.”
The only time Kershaw showed emotion was to castigate himself for his misplaced changeup to Cabrera. He had thrown several changeups, his uncooperative fourth pitch, during live batting practice earlier in the week. But he still has not mastered the offering, which he experiments with every spring.
“It’s always nice to see him out there when he’s competing,” Roberts said. “I know he’s probably going to lose sleep over that one changeup that he left out of the zone. But it was good. It was good to see him back out there.”
Wood followed Kershaw onto the mound. He allowed three runs and two hits across two innings. If he does not make the rotation, Wood could aid the bullpen — or he could be optioned to the minors.
“I thought Alex was fine,” Roberts said. “The fastball was good, had life. He gave up some hits, but there were some good breaking balls, some good changeups. I thought he was fine today.”
Twitter: @McCulloughTimes

White Sox fall to Dodgers in Cactus League opener


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Georgia St. still in title hunt with 71-54 win over UALR (1.04/39)

Devin Mitchell scored 16 points and D'Marcus Simonds added 10 and Georgia State pulled away from Arkansas-Little Rock in the second half for a 71-54 win on Saturday night.
The Panthers entered the game tied for third place, and a game and a half back out of first place in the Sun Belt Conference standings. The top four teams earn a bye in the first round of the conference tournament.
Georgia State (18-10, 11-5) led 31-30 at intermission, and after the break, Jeremy Hollowell hit a 3 and Malik Benlevi had a 3-point play off a layup. Kemy Osse later made a 3 to reduce the Trojans' deficit to 41-38. Devin Mitchell countered with a 3 and a jumper for a 46-38 Panthers' lead.
UALR (13-15, 4-11) couldn't get closer than seven (48-41) after a pair of free throws from Andre Jones with 10:21 left.
Lis Shoshi led UALR with 12 points and Osse had 11.

Frazier's last-second FTs lift Georgia past LSU, 82-80
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Yale rolls to 99-86 lead over Dartmouth (1.04/39)

Miye Oni scored a career-high 27 points, Alex Copeland added 23 more and Yale snapped a four-game skid with a 99-86 win over Dartmouth on Saturday night.
Anthony Dallier had 17 points and Blake Reynolds 15 for Yale, which is in third place in the Ivy League and looking to clinch a berth in next month's four-team inaugural conference tournament.
The Bulldogs (15-10, 7-5) broke away late in the second half with a 12-0 run that included a 3-pointer from Oni to go up 89-79 with 2:29 to play. They protected the lead the rest of the way, outscoring Dartmouth 8-4 over the final two minutes to clinch it.
Earlier, Dartmouth (6-19, 3-9) edged into a 58-57 lead with Evan Boudreaux's jumper with 15:45 left but Oni got a layup less than a minute later to put Yale back on top for good.
Boudreaux finished with 27 points and 12 rebounds for Dartmouth and Taylor Johnson had 15 points.

UM's Moritz Wagner on career game in win over Purdue


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Frye leads with 21, Nicholls edges S. E. Louisiana 77-71 (1.04/39)

Ja'Dante' Frye scored 21 points on near-perfect shooting and Nicholls edged Southeast Louisiana 77-71 on Saturday.
Frye was 6 of 7 from the floor — including 3 of 3 from deep — and 6 of 6 from the line for the Colonels (14-15, 7-9 Southland Conference). Lafayette Rutledge added 18 points, Jahvaughn Powell had 16 points and nine assists and Johnathan Bell had 11 points and four steals.
Nicholls led 42-35 at the break and a Rutledge 3-pointer helped stretch it to 50-42 early in the second half. Southeast Louisiana cut it to 63-60 late on Marlain Veal's 3 with 5:40 left, but Frye and Rutledge sank back-to-back 3-pointers after that to push the Colonels' lead to 69-60 with 4:17 to play and the Lions (15-15, 8-9) never threatened from there on.
Veal scored a career-high 29 points for Southeast Louisiana.

Louisiana-Monroe beats Appalachian State 75-64


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Judge decides against fining widow who called police 'pigs' (1.04/39)

A federal judge has dismissed a request to impose a stiff fine against a widow who called police "pigs" on Facebook as she vented her frustrations over the death of her husband in a scuffle.
U. S. District Court Judge Timothy DeGiusti declined to sanction Nair Rodriguez for the 18-minute Facebook Live video she made in December, pleading for justice for her husband, Luis Rodriguez.
Nair Rodriguez is suing the city of Moore, its police department and the theater in whose parking lot her husband died after officers intervened in a family argument. She claims authorities violated her husband's civil rights by using excessive force during the altercation in the Oklahoma City suburb.
The defendants asked the judge to sanction Rodriguez for disrupting the case by live-streaming her frustrations from outside a room where an officer was being deposed. They accused her of inciting violence against police with the "pigs" label, and sought a penalty of about $4,000 to recoup legal fees and other expenses.
But DeGiusti called the request "not appropriate" in a six-page ruling, The Oklahoman reported ( ).
Rodriguez, 51, called the ruling "fair. "
"They were trying to discredit me and my case," she told the newspaper. "It's good that at least one thing has finally happened in my favor. "
Nair Rodriguez has accused officers and theater security guards of used excessive force that caused her husband's death. In a cellphone video she recorded that night in 2014, Luis Rodriguez can be heard saying, "I can't breathe" while police held him down.
The police said Luis Rodriguez didn't cooperate and took a "fighting stance," appearing as if he was going to hit an officer.
Information from: The Oklahoman,

Judge: No fine for widow who called police ‘pigs’


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Supreme Court weighs law banning sex offenders from Facebook (1.04/39)

Fresh from a trip to traffic court, Lester Packingham Jr. celebrated his turn of good fortune by announcing to friends on Facebook that his pending ticket was dismissed without him saying a word.
"No fine. No Court costs. No nothing. Praise be to God. Wow. Thanks, Jesus," Packingham wrote in a 2010 post that led to a lawsuit being heard by the U. S. Supreme Court on Monday.
Packingham, 36, was forbidden by a 2008 North Carolina law from using commercial social networking sites like Facebook that children could join. That's because he's a registered sex offender who was convicted of indecent liberties with a minor when he was 21. He served 10 months in prison.
A Durham police officer investigated Packingham's post and determined he used an alias rather than his real name. Packingham was prosecuted, convicted of a felony and received a suspended prison sentence. His lawyers say no evidence pointed to Packingham using Facebook or his computer to communicate with minors or that he posted anything inappropriate or obscene.
Now the Supreme Court's task is deciding whether the law, meant to prevent communications between sex offenders and minors via social media, is so broad that it violates the Constitution's free-speech protections.
The case reaches the Supreme Court after it was upheld by North Carolina's highest court in a divided ruling. The law addressed websites that might allow sex offenders to gather information about minors, the state court said. But dissenting justices argued the ban extends further and could outlaw reading the New York Times and Food Network website.
Lawyers arguing on Monday are expected to continue that dispute.
Groups including the libertarian Cato Institute and the American Civil Liberties Union argue the North Carolina law could ban sex offenders from online life that includes looking for jobs or reading the daily musings of President Donald Trump and is unconstitutional.
"Everyday Americans understand that social media — which includes Twitter, Facebook, Instagram — are absolutely central to their daily life and how the First Amendment is exercised in America today," said Stanford law professor David Goldberg, who will represent Packingham at the Supreme Court on Monday.
Though the intent of North Carolina lawmakers may have been to block sexual predators from finding and grooming prey online, Goldberg said the law goes further and makes it a crime for someone on a sex-offender registry to say anything about any subject on social media.
"That goes way, way too far," Goldberg said. "It's a crime to do anything, including what Mr. Packingham did, which was to say 'God is good' because he was victorious in traffic court. There's never been any suggestion that he was up to anything but exercising his freedom of speech. "
Georgia, Kentucky and Louisiana also have laws restricting sex offenders' use of use of social media sites. Nine other states require offenders to disclose their online usernames and profiles, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
"We have to protect young people wherever they are, whether that's at school, or at summer camp or increasingly online," said North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, whose office is defending the law. "This North Carolina law keeps registered sex offenders off of social networking websites that kids use without denying the offenders access to the internet. It just keeps them off of certain web sites. "
The law's supporters contend that it doesn't regulate what sex offenders say, just the time, place and manner of their speech, which most people understand through the legal maxim that you can't yell "fire" in a crowded movie theater. The law doesn't ban offenders from using the internet entirely, just social media sites like Facebook, said Louisiana Deputy Solicitor General Colin A. Clark, who wrote a brief supporting the law joined by attorneys general in 12 other states.
"There's nothing that a sex offender can't say on the internet. They just can't say it on Facebook," said Clark. His state, Nebraska and Indiana have had laws that federal courts ruled violated the free-speech rights of sex offenders. Louisiana amended its statute to comply with the court decision.
The vast majority of the more than 800,000 sex offenders nationwide are required to register their names, addresses and photographs on registries maintained by states, Clark said.
States are trying "to come up with a practical solution to the practical problem of sex offenders being on social media and harvesting information about our children and then soliciting them online," he said.
Follow Emery P. Dalesio at His work can be found at

Supreme Court weighs NC law banning sex offenders from Facebook


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Report: GOP Governors Planning Healthcare Reform Proposal (1.04/39)

Republican governors said Saturday that they were working on a proposal for reforming healthcare amid the debate on repealing and replacing Obamacare.
"I'm very encouraged about the fact that there has been outreach to all of us," Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval told reporters after the National Governors Association held a meeting on healthcare at their conference in Washington. "I think the Republican governors will be putting something together. "
He did not provide a timeline for when the governors' plan would be available, though association members would be meeting with Capitol Hill legislators on Monday to discuss healthcare issues.
Members of Congress are seeking input from governors regarding Medicaid expansion as they seek to replace the Affordable Care Act, according to the Hill.
In January, Ohio Gov. John Kasich proposed that eligibility for Medicaid expansion be reduced from those living at 138 percent of the federal poverty level to 100 percent.
The governors said that a compromise between the thresholds has been discussed — and that remains one option under consideration.
Kasich participated in Saturday's session and he met with President Donald Trump on Friday on the issue at the White House.
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price also attended the governors' presentation.
The Hill asked Sandoval on whether Price appeared opened to the Medicaid expansion.
"I wouldn't assume that," he responded.
"One of the things he talked about was having an environment where people can keep their coverage," the governor added. "What that means, that's something that is going to be a subject of conversation later on. "
Trump also met with two GOP governors to discuss healthcare issues, the Hill reports.
They were Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Florida Gov. Rick Scott, the White House disclosed.
"There's continued efforts by staffs from Nevada and Ohio and Michigan," Sandoval said, "and all them working together to try to keep everybody's interests in mind. "

Leaked report suggests millions could lose coverage under GOP health proposal


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One injured after car slams into dealership (1.04/39)

ROCKVILLE, MD (WUSA9) - A car went through a car dealership and showroom Saturday afternoon in Rockville, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue said.
It happened at the maintenance shop at the Ourisman Volkswagen in the 800 block of Rockville Pike around 4 p.m. as a car went through the building, police said.
One person was transported with non-life-threatening injuries.
Hazmat units assisted on scene, and a building inspector was requested, police said.
The cause of the crash is unknown at this time.
(© 2017 WUSA)

Driver arrested after passenger dies in Everett car crash


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Kestrel Heights rallies by East Carteret boys basketball in third round (1.03/39)

Top-seed Kestrel Heights rallied from an eight-point halftime deficit to defeat six-seed East Carteret 71-61 and advanced to the fourth round of the N. C. High School Athletic Association 1A boys basketball playoffs.
The Hawks (29-1) trailed the majority of the first half but turned it up to begin the third quarter.
Trailing 28-20, Kestrel Heights scored the first 11 points to grab its first lead since it was 2-0. The Hawks continued to use full-court pressure and tight man-to-man defense to force the Mariners into turnovers and bad looks.
After East Carteret scored four straight points to take a 32-31 lead with 4:33 left in the third, Kestrel’s Marcotis Hall’s 2-point jumper gave the Hawks the lead which they would never surrender. Hall finished with 15 points.
“It had to be the halftime speech we gave,” said Kestrel Heights coach Lenell Wallace of his team’s second-half turnaround. “We told them, after all of the mistakes we made, we’re still only down eight. We’ve been there before.”
Kestrel Heights will face No. 7 seed Whiteville at home in the next round.
After his team scored just nine first-quarter points, Wallace told his players to keep driving and attacking the basket. With that effort, they gained a huge advantage at the free throw line. The Hawks shot 24-of-33 from the charity stripe, while East Carteret was just 6-of-12.
“We still had the intensity, and we came out aggressive,” said Javier Rogers, who led the Hawks with 20 points. “Since they were in foul trouble, we kept attacking the basket. We kept feeding the post, and if they didn’t have anything, they kicked it back out.”
Kestrel extended its five-point third quarter lead to double digits following a 10-5 run to start the fourth quarter. After trading baskets at the two-minute mark, Hall made 1-of-2 free throws to push the lead to nine with 38 seconds remaining.
The Mariners (19-10) had four players score in double figures, led by Jack Garrison’s 16, all coming in the second half.
While Kestrel’s focus was on stopping Garrison, Malik Collins and Darius Collins picked up the slack early. Malik had 14 points, 10 coming in the first half, and Darius scored 13.
“Our game plan was to stop Jack Garrison and Marshon Simmons. Malik Collins did a lot of damage on the boards,” said Wallace.
After a 38-point winning margin following the opening two games, Rogers insists a game like tonight’s didn’t affect them mentally, just physically.
“It affects us physically. We’re tired. We’re 29-1 now and we just have to keep pushing,” he said.

Rocky Mount prevails in fifth meeting with Nash Central girls basketball, this time in the playoffs
Millbrook girls basketball pulls away from Green Hope in 3rd round playoff game
South Central boys basketball hangs on to beat Apex, move to 4th round
Southeast Raleigh holds off Heritage girls basketball, moves to 4th round


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Indonesia, Australia agree to closer naval cooperation (1.03/39)

SYDNEY (AP) - Indonesian and Australian leaders on Sunday committed to free trade and closer naval cooperation as they urged countries in the Asia-Pacific region with competing territorial claims to obey international law.
Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo arrived in Sydney on Saturday on his first visit to Australia as his nation's leader. He and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said they had agreed to finalize a free trade agreement this year.
Jokowi said the first issue for Indonesia was the removal of all Australian barriers to the import of Indonesian palm oil and paper. But before the deal is finalized, Turnbull announced that Indonesia has agreed to reduce tariffs on Australian sugar and ease restrictions on Australian cattle imports.
Australia in return will remove all tariffs from Indonesian pesticides and herbicides, he said.
The two leaders also witnessed the signing of an agreement on maritime cooperation that include strengthening maritime security and border protection as well as combating crime and improving efficiency of shipping.
"We have vested interests in the peace and stability in our region's seas and oceans, so we both strongly encourage the countries in our region to resolve disputes in accordance with international law which is the foundation for stability and prosperity," Turnbull said.
Indonesia does not have a territorial dispute with China in the South China Sea, but there have been tensions because China's so-called nine-dash line representing its claim to most of the sea appears to overlap with Indonesia's exclusive economic zone extending from the Natuna Islands.
Beijing has described the area as a traditional Chinese fishing ground, although it is nearly 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) from the Chinese mainland. There were three known incidents between Chinese fishing vessels and Indonesian government ships last year.
Jokowi is not regarded as pro-Australia as his predecessor, Susilo Bambag Yudhoyono. Turnbull took the unusual step of inviting Jokowi to a private dinner at his Sydney Harbor-side mansion on Saturday as a gesture of the close ties between Indonesia's 250 million people and Australia's population of 24 million.
The relationship has been fractious in the past.
Military cooperation on language training was suspended last month after an Indonesian officer saw as derogatory references to Indonesia's state ideology Pancasila in training materials used at a special forces base in the west Australian city of Perth.
Turnbull said Sunday that he and Jokowi had agreed to fully restore defense cooperation.
Another irritant in the relationship is the Australian navy's tactic of turning asylum seekers' boats back to Indonesia. Indonesians regard forcing Australia-bound boats carrying foreigners to Indonesia's shores as an affront to Indonesian sovereignty.
The leaders also announced that an Australian consulate will open in the Indonesian city of Surabaya and Indonesian language teaching centers in the Australian cities of Sydney, Brisbane and Darwin.

Australia and Indonesia announce restored defence cooperation


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Norfolk State gets bounce-back win, holds off Howard, 73-65 (1.03/39)

Jonathan Wade hit a pair of 3-pointers down the stretch and Norfolk State bounced back after having its 10-game win streak snapped Monday to beat Howard, 73-65 in the Spartans final home game of the regular season Saturday night.
With one game left in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference schedule, Norfolk State is two games back of conference leader North Carolina Central and one game ahead of Morgan State in second place. The Spartans close out the regular season Monday at Hampton.
Wade and Zaynah Robinson each scored 16 points to lead Norfolk State, which shot 48 percent from the field (24 of 50), including 3 of 10 from long range, and was 22 of 34 from the free throw line. Kerwin Okoro and Alex Long contributed 13 and 12 points, respectively.
Charles Williams hit five 3-pointers and finished with 28 points to lead Howard (7-22, 4-10). Solomon Mangham added 13 points.

Iowa State holds off No. 9 Baylor for another gold-star win


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London teens 'planned to travel to Syria to join ISIS' (1.03/39)

Five teenage boys have appeared in court on terrorism charges that include taking part in paintballing as preparation for an alleged plan to travel to Syria to join terror group Islamic State.
The suspects, including a 15-year-old schoolboy, are all from London. The group – with the exception of the 15-year-old – are alleged to have planned to travel to Syria. Two are accused of buying tickets and obtaining visas to first go to Turkey.
Four are charged with not only ‘the intention of committing acts of terrorism’ but also ‘preparation for giving effect to this intention’ by going to a gym ‘to increase fitness’ and by taking part in paintballing.
All five of the teenagers appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court in Central London
Four are charged with not only ‘the intention of committing acts of terrorism’ but also ‘preparation for giving effect to this intention’ by going to a gym (stock image)
All five appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court in Central London. The charges include possessing and disseminating extremist material, which included a bomb-making recipe, as well as videos of beheadings of prisoners by Islamic State (IS).
Four of the suspects, aged between 16 and 19, have been remanded in custody and will appear at the Old Bailey on March 19.
The eldest member of the group, Ahmedeltigani Alsyed, 19, is of Sudanese origin and lives in Hounslow, West London.
He was charged with attending a gym to increase fitness as well as a paintballing event as preparation for travel to Syria to join IS.
A 17-year-old, from West London, was also charged with attending a gym to increase his fitness and a paintballing event for eventual travel to Syria.
He was charged with disseminating extremist material, which included executions of IS prisoners, contrary to the Terrorism Act 2006.
A 17-year-old from Morden, South West London, and a 16-year-old from Lambeth, were charged with buying tickets and visas for Turkey as well as survival equipment for travel to Syria.
Members of the rapid response forces fire a heavy machine gun during a battle with Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq
The 17-year-old was also charged with possessing a terror manual called The Successful Pressure Cooker Bomb. None of the four entered a plea.
The 15-year-old schoolboy of Somalian origin, from Waltham Forest, East London, appeared in a separate youth court at the same court, and was charged with two counts of disseminating extremist material.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges. He will appear again at youth court on April 19.
He was remanded into the custody of the local authorities while living at his family address with conditions including a night curfew; restricted internet access; reporting to a local police station; and a ban on international travel.

MISSING: 15-year-old Southeast D. C. boy
Indian forces rescue doctor from ISIS in Syria


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Warren Buffett to investors: Wall Street fees a waste of money (1.03/39)

OMAHA, Neb. — Billionaire Warren Buffett used his much anticipated annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders to reiterate his wariness of high Wall Street fees and his positive outlook for the U. S. economy.
Buffett devoted a section of the letter released Saturday to again explain the benefits low-cost index funds have over most other investments. But he kept the letter focused on business and didn’t weigh in on politics.
He said he estimates that wealthy investors who use high-priced advisers have wasted over $100 billion over the past decade.
A study from Standard & Poor's shows that over a 10-year investment horizon about 90 percent of actively managed U. S. mutual funds failed to beat...
“The bottom line: When trillions of dollars are managed by Wall Streeters charging high fees, it will usually be the managers who reap outsized profits, not the clients,” Buffett wrote. “Both large and small investors should stick with low-cost index funds.”
To prove his point, Buffett recounted the first nine years of a 10-year bet he made that an S&P 500 index fund will outperform a collection of hedge funds. He made the wager with the money managers who own Protege Partners LLC a few months before the recession began in 2008 with both sides picking a charity that would get at least $1 million.
Buffett’s chosen index fund has recorded an 85.4 percent gain over than time while the hedge funds delivered an average of 22 percent.
Buffett again praised the country’s market system for its ability to allow Americans to continue building “mind-boggling amounts” of wealth, but he didn’t compare his views to dire picture political candidates offer, as he did a year ago. Buffett is a longtime Democrat who supported Hillary Clinton, but he has said he thinks the economy will be OK under President Donald Trump.
“I’ll repeat what I’ve both said in the past and expect to say in future years: Babies born in America today are the luckiest crop in history,” he said.
A new CBS News poll found that 61 percent of Americans believe the economy is in good shape, the highest number since the Great Recession. A surg...
Buffett devoted most of his letter to detailing the evolution of Berkshire and the performance of the Omaha, Nebraska-based company last year. His annual letters are always well read because of his successful track record and his knack for explaining complicated subjects in simple terms.
Berkshire has come to rely increasingly more on acquisitions of entire operating businesses instead of just its stock portfolio that includes major stakes in Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo, Apple and others.
Berkshire already owns more than 90 subsidiaries, including Geico insurance, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, BNSF railroad, clothing, furniture and jewelry firms.
Buffett said he will continue looking for more acquisitions with Berkshire’s roughly $86 billion in cash, but the company’s size means it will be hard to match its previous results.
Buffett said Saturday that Berkshire recorded a 10.7 percent increase in book value and a 23.4 percent gain in stock price in 2016. Over the past 52 years, Berkshire’s book value — which is an estimate of its assets minus liabilities — improved 19 percent and its stock price grew 20.8 percent in compounded annual gains.

Buffett has harsh words for Wall Street in annual letter


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Iowa State upends No. 9 Baylor 72-69 (1.03/39)

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Deonte Burton scored 22 points, including a crucial 3 with 1:17 left, and Iowa State beat No. 9 Baylor 72-69 on Saturday for its fifth straight win.
Monte Morris had 17 points with seven assists for the Cyclones (19-9, 11-5 Big 12), who have their longest winning streak in league play since a seven-game stretch in 2005.
It was a back-and-forth matchup for over 30 minutes, with nine lead changes and 13 ties. But consecutive 3s from Donovan Jackson and Morris gave Iowa State a 56-51 lead with 6:50 left.
Johnathan Motley made it 62-61 on a dunk with 1:48 to go. But with the shot clock about to expire, Burton banked in a 3 from the top of the key.
Baylor, which followed with a turnover forced by Iowa State pressure, eventually pulled within 71-69 with 4.3 seconds left before King McLure’s contested 3 at the buzzer failed to find the rim.
Motley had 27 points and 11 rebounds for Baylor (23-6, 10-6), which dominated the Cyclones in second-chance points 26-2 and on the boards 37-17. But Iowa State shot 58 percent from the field and was 8 of 15 on 3s.
Baylor: The Bears missed a big chance to bolster their NCAA Tournament resume with a win in Ames. But a home win over West Virginia on Monday night would help Baylor redeem itself.
Iowa State: The Cyclones are peaking at the right time. Given that Iowa State is also a guard-oriented team, it’s also fair to think that the Cyclones might be able to do some damage in March. The win also put Iowa State into a tie for second with the Mountaineers in the Big 12.
Losing in Ames is nothing to be ashamed of, considering that the Cyclones have beaten four of their last six top-10 opponents at home. But Iowa State might find itself in next week’s Top 25 after an extended absence.
Baylor hosts West Virginia on Monday.
Iowa State hosts Oklahoma State on Tuesday, the final game for Burton, Morris, Naz Mitrou-Long and Matt Thomas at Hilton Coliseum.
More college basketball at
Need a break? Play a quick game of solitaire or Sudoku. Or take one of our fun quizzes!
Take a look back at photos of Washington's baseball teams during Spring Training.

Iowa State holds off No. 9 Baylor for another gold-star win


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A cadre of casually-clad stars come through Oscar rehearsals (1.02/39)

Dwayne Johnson posed for a solo pic on the Dolby Theatre stage. Taraji P. Henson pretended to run off with the wooden prop Oscar. And a makeup-free, casually clad Halle Berry made a rehearsal actor's day when she kissed him on the cheek as he came onstage to accept an award.
"That's Halle Berry! " the actor said, eyes wide.
Saturday is rehearsal day for Sunday's Academy Awards, when a parade of superstar presenters comes through the Dolby Theatre to practice their lines — another famous face every 15 minutes. It's also casual day at the Dolby, as most stars come dressed down — except for the women's feet: Many actresses wear their show-day shoes to try them out on the Oscar stage.
Salma Hayek, however, was not dressed down. Wearing all black, from her blazer and blouse down to her stiletto-heeled boots, she looked like she just walked out of a magazine spread.
"OK, let's do this," she said from center stage.
Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone had fun with a microphone sound-check. Stone asked the stage manager if they should begin reading their lines and was surprised to hear her voice amplified to the room.
"Hot mike," Gosling said, putting his mouth on the microphone.
"Sibilance," Stone responded, invoking an old "Wayne's World" sketch as she leaned into the mike.
"Sibilance," Gosling replied.
Judd Apatow accompanied wife Leslie Mann to her read-through, and he documented the experience with his cellphone. He shot photos of Mann on stage and took pictures of her seat-saving placard. He also helped write her script for Sunday.
"I think we're going to fix it up a little bit and practice for tomorrow," Mann told a stage manager.
Vince Vaughn also plans to pen a portion of his Sunday night script, he said from the stage Saturday.
Amy Adams brought a very special guest along to rehearsals: her 6-year-old daughter, Aviana. Mother and daughter also wore matching outfits: Gray sweatshirts with rainbow-striped sleeves that read "Good vibes only. " Adams paired hers with skinny jeans and tall silver platform shoes.
When she finished her lines, her daughter came to meet her onstage, but nearly tripped on the way up.
"Her and Jennifer Lawrence, you know," Adams joked, referencing Lawrence's fall on her way to accept her Oscar in 2013.
"Fifty Shades of Grey" stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan looked out from the stage to try to find their seats in the theater, all marked by photo placards.
"Oh my God, I'm in the corner," she said, smiling at having found it. "I'm way in the corner. "
"I'm probably up there," Dornan said, pointing up to the balcony. (He's actually seated near his co-star.)
Brie Larson wore an ACLU T-shirt under a denim jacket to rehearsals. Kate McKinnon paired black leggings and gray hoodie with towering black platforms, worn over socks. Samuel L. Jackson kept things relaxed, wearing a gray tracksuit and backward ball cap. He snapped a few cellphone photos of the stage after running through his lines. Scarlett Johansson didn't bother with heels. She wore clogs with her black pants and white moto jacket, and took a moment to admire the stage when she walked onto it.
"It's very beautiful," she said.
Jason Bateman was in a joking mood. When a stage manager told him not to read the teleprompter lines in red, Bateman replied, "I say it louder, right? That's why it's in red. " David Oyelowo made rehearsals a family affair: his wife and four children sat in the theater as he rehearsed.
Other stars rehearsing Saturday included Jennifer Aniston, Chris Evans, Alicia Vikander, Felicity Jones and nominee Dev Patel, who confessed to a stage manager, "I'm very nervous. "
But the presenters who had the most fun at rehearsals were the stars of "Hidden Figures. " Henson and supporting actress nominee Octavia Spencer were all giggles onstage.
"I'd like to thank the academy for opening the curtains for such a grand entrance," Spencer said, putting on a British accent.
"It was my idea! " Henson shouted. "Right, academy? "
Their co-star Janelle Monae, who looked camera-ready in a colorblock sweater, stayed quiet.
"She's the straight man in this group," Henson told a stagehand. But not so straight that she wasn't willing to strike a "Charlie's Angels"-style pose with Henson and Spencer when the curtains opened to reveal the women onstage.
They practiced their entrance before presenting the prop Oscar. As Henson handed it to the fake winners, she said, "You're amazing. Hire me! "

Hollywood, Anti Trump Forces Gear Up For Academy Awards


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This day in WND history: WND ranked in Top 9 Contact WND (1.02/39)

WND ranked in Top 9
Feb. 26, 2000: ranked WorldNetDaily for the third consecutive month in the top nine most-read news sources on the World Wide Web , putting WND just 1,000 readers behind the government-subsidized National Public Radio’s
Characterizing itself as “the first Internet Ranking Search Directory to be based on scientific market research data,” Top9’s list of top non-newspaper news sources ranked by viewership:,,,,,,, and
The service also ranked WND as the 3,821st largest website in the world and the 39th largest news service of any kind based on unique visitors and the 20th largest based on pageviews, with more than 6.2 million pages served.
View the full story
To see WND highlights from every calendar date, click here. Never miss another big story. Sign up for WND’s free email news alerts right now!

Outcry at Trump ban on free press


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James: Daytona 500 defines past and future for Elliott, Earnhardt (1.02/39)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — He dragged expectation to NASCAR’s highest level, the driver on the front row of the Daytona 500. Daddy raced, was a champion, ran a lot of laps around these high banks at Daytona International Speedway before finally winning the sport’s greatest race.
That son of the successful and wildly popular legend bore the benefit and the scrutiny of a notable last name as he toiled to make his own way. He showed promise by winning an under-series championship before taking that last step in his father’s footsteps, and out of his shadow.
That driver on the front row of the Daytona 500 is actually both of them — albeit separated by 21 years, a literal lifetime to one of them: pole-sitter Chase Elliott. By leading the procession to the green flag on Sunday, Elliott begins his second season in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, where his father, Bill, won the 1988 championship and the Daytona 500 in 1985 and 1987.
To his right will be Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr., whose father and namesake was a seven-time series champion and won the Daytona 500 in 1998. This is an Earnhardt who, at 42, believes he still has much to do and has plied the garage of a track where he’s won two Daytona 500s (2004 and 2014) with the spring of a rookie’s step all Speedweeks.
PHOTOS: Behind the wheel with Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Few have the perspective on what Elliott is trying to accomplish like Earnhardt. And as Elliott, 21, prepares for his second Daytona 500 — and his second time starting on the pole — Earnhardt thinks his young Hendrick Motorsports teammate might have entered the series in a more pressurized environment than he did in 2000, partly because Elliott also had the scrutiny of replacing four-time series champion Jeff Gordon in the iconic No. 24 Chevrolet.
“He’s got a lot of pressure on him,” Earnhardt said Thursday night. “I couldn’t imagine … When I went into Cup racing, man, I had my father as my boss. I had a security blanket. I didn’t worry about any of that stuff. I never worried about my job. I was going to get plenty of rope to learn and get better. And he’s driving for Hendrick.
“I couldn’t imagine going into Rick’s car as a rookie. Even though he’s got his dad supporting him and that to lean on, man, the pressure to drive that 24 car must be immense.”
Elliott may feel it, but he doesn’t show it publicly, perhaps except for his penchant for excess apology when a potential breakthrough run for a Cup win collapsed last season. And he’s not asked his teammate about how this all was for him.
“I can’t say we talked about some of those things in particular,” Elliott said, “but he has been a good teammate and a good one to lean on and especially at places … You can tell the places he feels really confident about because he’s more open and willing to talk and share. He’s willing to talk and share about anywhere, but he really likes to share about places he feels really, really good about. This being one of them.”
PHOTOS: Behind the wheel with Chase Elliott
Absolutely one of them. Earnhardt looks and acts nothing like a driver in the autumn phase of a career, likely because many things feel new and precious again after nearly having it all wrested away when he was forced to miss half of the 2016 season because of a concussion that plagued his vision and balance.
This could be some sort of torch-passing ceremony, if the elder pushes the latest next-great-NASCAR-hope to a first Daytona 500 victory. It would be an instant classic. Especially if the insidiousness of concussions steals what Earnhardt has worked so hard to recover. But Earnhardt certainly isn’t going to serve one up for Elliott if a third 500 win is within the means of the wizardry he conjures on restrictor-plate tracks.
This will more likely be two teammates with obviously potent Chevrolets taking the measure of each other on NASCAR’s grandest day. And that will be incredibly interesting to watch between the master and the pupil who has displayed an aptitude that has impressed Earnhardt. Elliott, Earnhardt said, is “already pretty damned bad-ass at this game.”
Scores of potential winners will have much to do in ruining this tale, former 500 winners Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano among them. Logano’s Team Penske comrade, Brad Keselowski, might have had the best car this Speedweeks.
So Elliott will need an ally. Maybe he’ll seek out Earnhardt once the undulating packs of cars begin churning around them; maybe, in the final laps, when decisions matter.
“Maybe, maybe not,” Elliott chuckled. “Obviously, he’s going to be really fast. He’s also going to be really hard to beat, so I don’t know if you want to help him or not, because you never know.”
That driver on the front row, he’ll work it out when the time comes.
Follow James on Twitter @brantjames
PHOTOS: History of the Daytona 500

2017 Daytona 500: Start time, lineup, TV/radio schedule, live streaming


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Columbus Blue Jackets come off break to rout New York Islanders (1.02/39)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Unlike some other NHL teams coming off their bye week, there wasn't a spot of rust on the sleek Columbus Blue Jackets.
In their first game following a five-day break, the high-energy Blue Jackets blew out the New York Islanders, 7-0, Saturday as backup goalie Joonas Korpisalo earned his first career shutout.
Josh Anderson and Nick Foligno each scored twice, and David Savard had a goal and three assists. Boone Jenner and Jack Johnson also scored to help the Blue Jackets end New York's three-game winning streak.
Columbus has a comfortable hold on the top wild card in the Eastern Conference, while the Islanders are in a tight race for the final playoff berth.
Anderson said the mandatory hiatus did the Blue Jackets good.
"I think we need the break, to be honest with you," he said. "I know it hasn't been working out in other teams' favor, but for us to move away from each other for a little bit, to get some rest, and I thought our energy was really good tonight. It started off with practice yesterday. I thought we were really good, and we just came out tonight and played simple. "
Columbus limited the Islanders' time in the offensive zone, and Korpisalo stopped all 24 shots.
"My part was pretty easy today," said the 22-year-old Finn, who's been back and forth between Columbus and AHL affiliate Cleveland this season.
"Korpi made some great saves in that first period to give us a chance to get our legs underneath us," Columbus coach John Tortorella said. "That was a very important part of the game. "
Johnson got Columbus started when his shot from the point bounced off the skate of New York's Nick Leddy and through goalie Thomas Greiss' pads 5:19 into the game.
Later in the first, Cam Atkinson's shot from the left circle was stopped by Greiss, but the rebound trickled back out from between his legs, and a charging Jenner tapped it in .
Foligno capped the first-period barrage when he deked the goalie and scored on a backhand.
The Blue Jackets outshot the Islanders 17-9 in the period, and Greiss was benched in favor of Jean-Francois Berube.
It didn't seem to matter. Anderson kept it going 4:31 into the second with a sharp one-timer from the high slot off Jenner's pass. Late in the period, Anderson got another one when he picked the pocket of defender Thomas Hickey in the neutral zone and launched a rocket past Berube from the right circle.
The highlight-reel goals continued in the third period when an airborne pass from Savard found Foligno for a breakaway 6:06 in. Savard flicked in the seventh goal from the right circle with 6½ minutes left.
Greiss stopped 14 of 17 shots in the first period, and Berube stopped 24 of 28 the rest of the way.
Islanders center John Tavares said there was plenty of blame to go around.
"Clearly we were pretty off today," he said. "What was disappointing the most was that we didn't even give ourselves a chance with the way we competed. It wasn't even mistakes or poor execution. We made it so easy for them to play against. It's tough to explain now. "
Columbus was without forward Matt Calvert and center Lukas Sedlak. Both have oblique strains. Markus Hannikainen was recalled from Cleveland of the American Hockey League. ... New York forward Cal Clutterbuck was out with an injury for the 15th time in 20 games. D Adam Pelech also was scratched. ... Columbus completed a 4-3 homestand, its longest of the season. ... Savard got his 100th career point with an assist on Johnson's first-period goal. ... New York is 2-1-0 during a stretch of nine straight road games.
Islanders: At the Dallas Stars on Thursday night.
Blue Jackets: At the New York Rangers on Sunday.
NHL photo of the day
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Back from break, Blue Jackets sharp in routing Islanders 7-0


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Jamie Lynn Spears' daughter Maddie recovered from accident (1.02/39)

Jamie Lynn Spears' daughter Maddie has 'fully recovered' from her ATV accident.
Eight-year-old Maddie Aldridge is now completely recovered following a life-threatening incident in which an off-road vehicle she was riding flipped over and into a pond a few weeks ago.
On Saturday Jamie Lynn, 25, told Twitter followers she's 'Blessed to say my daughter has fully recovered & returned to her normal activities. It's my first day back to work. love y'all #Godisgood.'
'God is good' On Saturday, Jamie Lynn Spears told followers her daughter Maddie had fully recovered from her off-road accident about a month ago
The Zoey 101 actress has kept fans updated on her daughter's progress via social media.
After her daughter's release, she thanked everyone who helped Maddie make a full recovery.
'Thanks to the amazing first responders, and medical teams at University and Children's Hospital in New Orleans, LA, we are headed home with our baby girl as she continues to recover,' said the Mississippi born star.
Feeling better: The eight-year-old seems to be full recovered after her life threatening ATV accident earlier this month
She continued, 'Above all else we are so thankful for each and every prayer, because we know that is what truly made the difference. Thank you again to everyone. We are truly blessed.'
Older sister Britney Spears also thanked fans for their support via social media.
'We are so grateful to share that Maddie is making progress. Thank you all for sending thoughts and prayers our way. Let's all keep praying,' shared the
Giving thanks: Jamie Lynn made sure to thank everyone who had a part in her daughter's recovery, including the first responders who brought Maddie to the hospital
And Lynne Spears - Maddie's grandmother - also took to social media to thank all of those who sent well wishes to her granddaughter.
She wrote, 'I really don't know how to express my heartfelt thanks to all of you who have prayed continuous prayers for Maddie at this very difficult time!
'Thank you, God bless you and I know that the huge outflow of Prayers created this miracle and has humbled my family and I! Maddie is doing great and getting better everyday!!'

Jamie Lynn Spears' Daughter 'Fully Recovered' After ATV Accident


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Inside the Spirit Awards 2017: 13 Things You Didn’t See on TV, From Matt Damon to Jon Hamm (1.02/39)

“Moonlight” was the big winner Saturday at the Film Independent Spirit Awards, with Nick Kroll and John Mulaney hosting the most casual awards shows on the calendar in a beachfront tent in Santa Monica.
Although the show was telecast on IFC, those watching missed some action that only those attending the ceremony were privy to. Lucky for you, TheWrap was there for the fun.
Here are some things seen and heard:
While the pre-show action is outside the tent, the early faces inside are “Hell or High Water” writer Taylor Sheridan, the Fox Searchlight team, IMDb founder Col Needham, producer Lauren Selig and Kenneth Lonergan. Places are set at front row tables for Freida Pinto, Orlando Bloom, Colin Hanks and “Fargo” lovebirds Jesse Plemons and Kirsten Dunst, who have yet to arrive.
1:16 p.m.
Table 227 is “Loving.” It’s buzzing. Director Jeff Nichols and producer Colin Firth are engaged in an animated conversation, as Ruth Negga is approached by a constant stream of greeters. She’s also up for an Oscar on Sunday.
The wild girls from “American Honey” – Sasha Lane and Riley Keough – earn their stripes in Perrier-Jouët’s secret champagne garden adjacent to the cocktail area. TheWrap spotted Fox Searchlight co-President Nancy Utley in here too. (Randy Shropshire/Getty Images)
1:25 p.m.
In her trademark black and white, Janelle Monae is the first to arrive at the “Moonlight” table. Kerry Washington glides in to find her spot at the table next door. As more of the “Moonlight” ensemble arrive, it’s seflie time with the “Scandal” star. Film Independent President Josh Welsh is a table-neighbor to both.
Also Read: Every Oscar-Nominated Movie You Can Watch at Home Right Now (Photos)
1:36 p.m.
The doors are closing soon. Annette Bening and Warren Beatty arrive, both in leather jackets. “How old is your baby?” Bening asks Washington and husband Nnamdi Asomugha.
Matt Damon
1:41 p.m. Matt Damon and his “Manchester by the Sea” producer Chris Moore are holding court in the middle of the room. They are pals going all the way back to the HBO version of “Project Greenlight” in 2002.
1:45 p.m.
The show is starting in the tent even though it does not air live until 2 p.m. Colin Hanks walks out on stage to present the first off-air award — editing. “Moonlight” wins. Of all the nominees, “Moonlight” received the biggest cheer in the package. Even before the show starts, the win for Joi McMillon and Nat Sanders got a standing ovation. The room is hot for “Moonlight.” The benefit of the early off-air win is that they can give long acceptance speeches.
Also Read: Oscars 2017: Our Predictions in All 24 Categories (Photos)
1:53 p.m. Josh Welsh thanks the press for being here at a time when they’ve been called “the enemy of the American people.” It gets a loud applause. Welsh reveals that he called the ACLU to recruit their help to make sure that foreign filmmakers could attend because of the “travel ban.”
2:06 p.m.
During John Mulaney and Nick Kroll’s monologue riffing on celebrity cutaways, intended target Samuel L Jackson is not here. Exec Producer Joel Gallen interjects on the house PA — blaring into the room during the show and over their monologue as the voice of God — to say “not here.” As you saw on TV, Jackson would show up later.
Ruth Negga pops in on happy couple Ben Foster, his spirit award, and Laura Prepon. (Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Film Independent)
2:17 p.m.
After Ben Foster’s win for “Hell or High Water,” he walks off stage back to his table. Laura Prepon repeatedly grabs and kisses him. As a press staffer comes to wrangle him out of his seat moments later, he stands up, cracks open the bottle of Bulleit Bourbon that’s on his table, and pours himself a glass — neat, no ice — as a “roadie” for his trip backstage.
Also Read: 13 Oscar Records That Could Be Broken Sunday, From 'La La Land' to Denzel
NOW: Superstar! Molly Shannon freaking out after winning #SpiritAward . @KateBeckinsale jumps in abt 10 secs
– @CelebSightings (@CelebSightings) February 25, 2017
3:37 p.m. Molly Shannon dissolves in raw manic emotion, as she wins for Best Supporting Actress for “Other People” and speaks about cancer. We hope Josh Welsh will forgive her for breaking the “no paper list of thank you’s.” As the show goes to commercial she gets a standing O and runs back into the crowd. Kate Beckinsale runs over to join her.
3:50 p.m. Nick Kroll takes the stage during a break. “It’s a commercial break, but we are going to present an award so… *singing*… Shut the f–k up!” The crowd is loose now. They love the candor.
4:26 p.m.
Gary Clark Jr. continues to play after the show ends. A small crowd stands around watching the free bonus concert.
Barry Jenkins and Jon Hamm sign autographs after the show in the windy 59 degree less-than-ideal beach day. (Mikey Glazer)
4:46 p.m.
Although the night is chilly — for southern California — Jon Hamm and Barry Jenkins were still signing autographs outside long after the show ended.
Read original story Inside the Spirit Awards 2017: 13 Things You Didn’t See on TV, From Matt Damon to Jon Hamm At TheWrap

Jon Hamm twirls in his grey suit at Indie Spirit Awards


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TMSA students advance at fair (1.02/39)

Students from Triangle Math and Science Academy in Cary attended the Regional Science Fair on Feb. 11 at Hillside High School in Durham. Seven won awards in their category and will advance to the State Science Fair at Meredith College on March 25.
First-place winners were Nicholas Lenfestey , fifth grade; Shishira Somashekar , seventh grade; and Sarah Sander , eighth grade.
Honorable mention awards went to Micheal Ansari , eighth grade; Matthew Hughes , ninth grade; and Lucas Turner , ninth grade.
Shruti Marota , ninth grade, won third place.
The academy’s Middle School Cyber Patriot team has advanced to the Middle School Division Semifinals of the Cyber Patriot IX competition.
Cyber Patriot is a national youth cyber education program created to inspire middle and high school students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. The middle school team successfully addressed the multiple cybersecurity scenarios presented in the competition and earned their way into the Division Semifinals.

And the winners of the Dallas Regional Science and Engineering Fair are...


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Freshman Brown fuels UM to victory over 10th-ranked Duke (1.02/39)

It was Senior Day at the Watsco Center on Saturday, but it was a freshman, Bruce Brown, who grabbed the spotlight from start to finish, scoring 25 points to lead the University of Miami to a 55-50 upset of 10th-ranked Duke in front of a sold-out crowd and a national TV audience.
Brown scored the first seven points of the game and slammed in the exclamation point, a dunk at the tail end of a long inbounds pass from Anthony Lawrence with five seconds left that stretched UM’s lead from three points to an almost-insurmountable five. Brown shot 11 for 18 with four assists, four rebounds, two steals and two blocks.
“He’s had a great year, was terrific [Saturday],” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said of Brown. “Overall, when you’re defending them, somebody will probably score. He scored half their points almost. He’s an outstanding player. Our defense was not bad; he made tough plays.”
Brown, who scored 30 points in an upset of then-No. 9 North Carolina in late January and also recorded the second triple-double in school history, shrugged off Saturday’s performance as just another day at the office.
“I just went out and played hard, read their defenses, and the court opened up for me,” he said. “I’ve been playing in big-time games my whole life, AAU, high school, so I’m used to it.”
UM has won five of eight games against Duke since Jim Larrañaga took over the program. They were 2-17 against the Blue Devils previously. On Saturday, UM held Duke 32 points below its season scoring average and to 21 first-half points (tying a season low). Miami had a 40-20 scoring edge in the paint.
“We know with our defense we can play with anybody,” said UM senior Davon Reed, who struggled with his shot — 3 for 11 — but had a game-high 10 rebounds. “To get two huge wins back-to-back against ranked teams is an amazing feeling. I’m just thankful Bruce came in and had a lifetime game.”
Duke was without guard Grayson Allen (ankle), who averages 15 points per game, and an ailing Amile Jefferson had just four points in 21 minutes. Luke Kennard and Frank Jackson scored 16 points each.
Miami raised its record to 20-8 with two road games to go, and Duke fell to 22-7. The teams are tied with 10-6 records in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Five days before knocking off Duke, the Hurricanes shocked 18th-ranked Virginia on the road. The back-to-back wins over ranked teams, coupled with a 6-1 record in their past seven games (the only loss coming by five to then-fourth-ranked Louisville) will likely be enough to secure an invitation to the NCAA Tournament.
“Only 68 teams are 0-0 out of 351 [at the start of the NCAA Tournament] and we’re going to be one of them, Miami will be one of them, and there will be quite a few of them from this conference,” Krzyzewski said. “I think this game is pretty much indicative of all the games in our conference. There’s just a couple plays, a bigger performance like by Brown, something that separates you just a little bit. All the teams are so damned competitive.”
The Watsco Center was officially sold out for every game this season, but depending on the opponent thousands of seats were often empty. That was not the case on Saturday.
It was a true packed house, with a crowd of 7,972 that included former Florida governor Jeb Bush, Heat forward Chris Bosh, former Heat star Ray Allen and retired Yankees star and Miami native Alex Rodriguez. The students provided energy at key moments, and when the final whistle blew they stormed the court to celebrate with the team. Larrañaga delighted in the scene.
“We are not the perennial powerhouse like Duke or [North] Carolina,” he said. “We don’t have the fan base yet. The operative word is yet. Our students have shown up for all the big games. Now we need them to show up for all the games. If we truly want to compete for a national championship, the students need to know, hey, [they] can lift us on their shoulders and take us to [the] promised land.”
UM point guard Ja’Quan Newton returned to action after serving a three-game suspension but did not start. He did, however, score the final basket of the first half to push UM ahead 22-21 at the break. Newton also scored the go-ahead bucket to make it 41-39 after Duke had gone on a 12-2 run.
The Hurricanes’ remaining games are at Virginia Tech on Monday and at No. 19 Florida State on March 4.
“We still have two huge games ahead of us,” Larrañaga said. “Those two teams are 33-1 at home. FSU is undefeated at home. As satisfying as this win was, our work is still ahead of us.”

Duke can’t handle Brown in 55-50 loss at Miami


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Jonathan Quick returns to Kings after 59-game injury absence (1.02/39)

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Jonathan Quick admits he initially wondered whether he could return from a severe groin injury at all this season.
After 4 1/2 months away, the Los Angeles Kings' stalwart goalie is scrambling around the Staples Center crease again, just in time for their playoff push.
Quick made 32 saves in the Kings' 4-1 rivalry win over the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday. The two-time Stanley Cup winner had been out for 59 games since he went down in the first period of their season opener Oct. 12.
Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick defects a puck during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Anaheim Ducks Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Kings won 4-1. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
"Obviously, when you first get hurt, everything runs through your mind," Quick said. "You start thinking thoughts that maybe you shouldn't, and (I'm) just glad it worked out that I was able to come back and play here. "
From his standing ovation in pregame introductions to his frantic final saves, Quick provided a noticeable boost in his return. The Kings and their fans have been drained by Los Angeles' struggle to stay in playoff position in recent weeks, with seven losses in the previous 11 home games despite solid goaltending from Peter Budaj.
The Kings haven't won a playoff round since their run to their second Stanley Cup title in 2014, but Quick's unorthodox, theatrical style of play has long epitomized the team's ability to meet challenges in unusual ways.
Now the 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy winner is back - and maybe the Kings are, too.
"It was exciting for everybody - players, coaches, fans," said Darryl Sutter, who became the coach with the most wins in Kings history with the victory. "It was fun to see. He's an emotional leader in a lot of ways for our hockey club. It's good to have him back in the room. "
Quick gave up his only goal in the first period when Anaheim's Andrew Cogliano redirected a pass from Ryan Kesler. The Ducks couldn't beat him again, and Quick spent the rest of the afternoon doing the splits and showcasing the remarkable athleticism Kings fans have grown to love.
"He's one of the best, if not the best, goalie in the league," said Tyler Toffoli, who scored two goals for the Kings. "He stood on his head and made some big saves when we need them. "
Quick won a career-best 40 games last season to become a Vezina Trophy finalist for the second time. When healthy, he has been the Kings' starting goalie since December 2008, becoming the franchise's career leader in victories in March 2014.
Quick's injury was the second significant groin problem of his career, and the Kings decided on patient rehabilitation instead of surgery. After an unspecified non-surgical procedure and many weeks of rest, Quick had been skating with the Kings for several weeks.
Follow AP Hockey Writer Greg Beacham on Twitter:
Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick guards his net during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Anaheim Ducks Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
The puck hit by Anaheim Ducks' Andrew Cogliano enters the net past Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick for a goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, in Los Angeles.(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, left, makes a save against Anaheim Ducks' Andrew Cogliano during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Anaheim Ducks' Ryan Kesler, left, is defended by Los Angeles Kings' Tyler Toffoli, center, as he tries to score against Kings goalie Jonathan Quick during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, right, and Anze Kopitar, of Slovenia, celebrate their team's 4-1 win against the Anaheim Ducks in an NHL hockey game Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Jonathan Quick returns to spark Kings to 4-1 win over Ducks


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Oscar-nominated stars before they were famous Video (1.02/39)

Transcript for Oscar-nominated stars before they were famous
set to be handed out here in los Angeles tomorrow. Familiar faces glittering on red carpet. But as ABC's Chris Connelly tells us they weren't always famous.??? Reporter: Before she was Hollywood's most nominated actress, she was Mary Louise Streep, a Jersey girl from the suburbs. Vivacious. A cheerleader. Even a homecoming queen. Appearing on Broadway in the play "Secret service. " Please don't be angry if I ask you once again about your orders. Reporter: There aren't a lot of Oscar nominees who got their start on "Baywatch. " Listen, I'm having a party Friday night. You want to come? Yeah, sure. Bring sand in your shoes. We'll make it a beach party. Reporter: Yep, that's best supporting actress nominee Michelle Williams at just 13 years old. Tell me about those handsome young strangers -- Reporter: Best supporting actor nominee Jeff bridges, and his brother, beau, got their start on the show sea hunt with their late father. You promise not to tell. You better keep that promise. I promise! Reporter: Three-time Oscar nominee Viola Davis' grew up in poverty. Her acting career began at 8, when she and her four sisters put on a skit in a local talent show. We lived in a condemned apartment building with these tiny closets, and I would go in the closet for like an hour or two just rewriting the skit. I think I might make a good lawyer because -- Reporter: Emma, then Emily stone, as a teen took part in a VH1 reality competition series called "In search of the new partridge family. " Here comes Emily stone!??? ??? city of stars ??? Reporter: Now she's looking for her first win for playing an aspiring actress and star-crossed lover in "La la land. " Chris Connelly, ABC news, los Angeles. And our thanks to Chris. Before they were famous airs tomorrow at 3:00 P. M. Eastern. And "World news tonight" is live from the oscars tonight before our red carpet coverage starts at 7:00 P. M. I'm Tom llamas. Have a great evening. Good night.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

Isabelle Who…ppert? A Beginner’s Guide to Oscar-Nominated ‘Elle’ Star


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NASCAR XFINITY-PowerShares QQQ 300 Results (1.02/39)

1. (2) Ryan Reed, Ford, 124 laps, 0 rating, 47 points.
2. (9) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 124, 0, 0.
3. (16) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 124, 0, 0.
4. (6) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 124, 0, 0.
5. (18) Brendan Gaughan, Chevrolet, 124, 0, 38.
6. (25) Scott Lagasse Jr, Toyota, 124, 0, 31.
7. (35) Joey Gase, Chevrolet, 124, 0, 30.
8. (26) Garrett Smithley, Chevrolet, 124, 0, 29.
9. (17) William Byron, Chevrolet, 124, 0, 28.
10. (34) Harrison Rhodes, Chevrolet, 124, 0, 27.
11. (14) Matt Tifft, Toyota, 124, 0, 31.
12. (23) Dakoda Armstrong, Toyota, 124, 0, 31.
13. (31) Brandon Hightower, Toyota, 124, 0, 24.
14. (13) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 124, 0, 23.
15. (8) Blake Koch, Chevrolet, 124, 0, 29.
16. (29) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 124, 0, 21.
17. (39) Mario Gosselin, Chevrolet, 124, 0, 24.
18. (36) Ray Black Jr, Chevrolet, 124, 0, 19.
19. (5) Ty Dillon, Dodge, 124, 0, 0.
20. (7) Tyler Reddick, Chevrolet, 122, 0, 19.
21. (28) Ryan Sieg, Chevrolet, engine, 116, 0, 16.
22. (30) Anthony Kumpen, Chevrolet, overheating, 111, 0, 15.
23. (22) Aric Almirola, Ford, vibration, 108, 0, 0.
24. (11) Elliott Sadler, Chevrolet, accident, 106, 0, 33.
25. (24) J. Yeley, Toyota, accident, 103, 0, 12.
26. (3) Brennan Poole, Chevrolet, accident, 59, 0, 19.
27. (27) Benny Gordon, Toyota, accident, 35, 0, 10.
28. (32) Chris Cockrum, Chevrolet, accident, 32, 0, 9.
29. (1) Brandon Jones, Chevrolet, accident, 28, 0, 8.
30. (15) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, accident, 28, 0, 7.
31. (4) Daniel Hemric, Chevrolet, accident, 28, 0, 6.
32. (19) Erik Jones, Toyota, accident, 28, 0, 0.
33. (12) Darrell Wallace Jr, Ford, accident, 28, 0, 4.
34. (21) Daniel Suarez, Toyota, accident, 28, 0, 0.
35. (37) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, accident, 23, 0, 2.
36. (10) Spencer Gallagher, Chevrolet, accident, 22, 0, 1.
37. (20) Cole Custer, Ford, accident, 22, 0, 1.
38. (38) Clint King, Chevrolet, accident, 22, 0, 1.
39. (40) Jeff Green, Ford, accident, 22, 0, 1.
40. (33) David Starr, Chevrolet, engine, 4, 0, 1.
Average Speed of Race Winner: 117.137 mph.
Time of Race: 2 hours, 38 minutes, 47 seconds.
Margin of Victory: seconds.
Caution Flags: 10 for 42 laps.
Lead Changes: 23 among 8 drivers.
Lap Leaders: B. Jones 0; R. Reed 1; B. Keselowski 2-10; K. Kahne 11; E. Sadler 12-30; B. Gaughan 31-35; W. Byron 36; B. Gaughan 37-47; E. Sadler 48-65; A. Dillon 66-79; B. Keselowski 80-81; A. Dillon 82; B. Keselowski 83-86; A. Dillon 87-97; B. Keselowski 98; A. Dillon 99; B. Keselowski 100; E. Sadler 101-103; K. Kahne 104-111; R. Reed 112; K. Kahne 113-116; R. Reed 117-121; B. Keselowski 122; R. Reed 123-124
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Led, Laps Led): E. Sadler, 3 times for 37 laps; A. Dillon, 4 times for 23 laps; B. Gaughan, 2 times for 14 laps; B. Keselowski, 6 times for 12 laps; K. Kahne, 3 times for 10 laps; R. Reed, 4 times for 5 laps; W. Byron, 1 time for 0 laps; B. Jones, 1 time for 0 laps.
Wins: E. Jones, 4; E. Sadler, 3; D. Suarez, 3; A. Dillon, 2; A. Almirola, 1.
Top 10 in Points: 1. D. Suarez, 4040; 2. E. Sadler, 4038; 3. J. Allgaier, 4035; 4. E. Jones, 4032; 5. T. Dillon, 2214; 6. R. Reed, 2205; 7. B. Koch, 2200; 8. B. Poole, 2192; 9. R. Sieg, 2171; 10. B. Jones, 2168.
A maximum of 150 points can be attained in a race.
The formula combines the following categories: Wins, Finishes, Top-15 Finishes, Average Running Position While on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish.

Gallery: Powerhouse QQQ 300


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Rachel Dolezal Is Nearly Homeless, On Food Stamps (1.02/39)

Former NAACP branch president Rachel Dolezal, who lied about being black but still identifies as black, is now jobless, living on food stamps and expects to lose her home next month.
“There’s no protected class for me,” the former NAACP branch president told The Guardian. “I’m this generic, ambiguous scapegoat for white people to call me a race traitor and take out their hostility on. And I’m a target for anger and pain about white people from the black community. It’s like I am the worst of all these worlds.”
Dolezal has applied for over 100 jobs, but has received no offers, even from a supermarket. She has, however, been offered work in porn and reality TV. While a friend helped pay her rent for February, Dolezal expects she’ll lose her home next month.
“I do think a more complex label would be helpful, but we don’t really have that vocabulary,” said the former Africana studies instructor. “I feel like the idea of being trans-black would be much more accurate than ‘I’m white.’ Because you know, I’m not white.”
“It wasn’t like the honest thing to do is say, ‘I’m white’, because race is a social construct,” stated Dolezal to The Guardian. “And this gave me this great sense of internal freedom: I wasn’t actually all fucked up. I was actually on to something this whole time.”
“I’m not going to stoop and apologize and grovel and feel bad about it. I would just be going back to when I was little, and had to be what everybody else told me I should be – to make them happy.”
The former chair of Spokane’s police ombudsman group sunbathed, used traditionally black hairstyles, checked the “black” box on employment and medical documents, responded to inquiries about her ethnicity with “mixed,” and, if asked whether her mom or dad was black, said her mom was white.
Dolezal detailed her childhood in Montana in the article as one containing a suppression of her creativity by her white Christian fundamentalist parents, who supposedly beat her.
She says that she drew herself as having curly hair and dark skin and would cover herself with mud and pretend to have been kidnapped from Africa. When her parents adopted black children, she braided their hair, educated them on black history, and “began to see the world through black eyes.”
“On the white side I noticed hatred, fear and ignorance,” recounted the former NAACP branch president to The Guardian, describing her experience at college in Jackson, Miss. “And on the black side I noticed fear, anger and pain. I felt more at home with the anger and pain towards whites, because I had some anger and pain – toward not just my parents but also, even though I wouldn’t have been able to articulate it then, towards white supremacy.”
Dolezal braided her hair and wore dashikis as symbols of “renouncing the propaganda standards of European beauty being superior.” But while some progressives would deem these acts cultural appropriation, Dolezal noted that African American peers in her church said that “to copy is to compliment,” according to the article.
A year after Dolezal received a graduate scholarship and teaching capacity at the historically black Howard University, she became pregnant and her tutor revoked the two positions. Dolezal sued Howard for both gender and racial discrimination because the tutor had said “your white relatives can probably pay your tuition.”
“I would say the primary discrimination was gender,” remarked Dolezal. “It sounds bad, right. It sounds like I just played that card for my advantage. But I just knew that if I did not have my scholarship, we were going to lose our apartment and Kevin was going to have to drop out of school.”
Dolezal had acquired the idea that racial identity was “an invention of human beings” from Howard University. But according to her brother, “when she came [to Howard], they saw she was white and she wasn’t treated that well, especially by people that worked there. She probably started developing this kind of dislike for being white and dislike for white people. She used to tell [her adopted brother] … that all white people are racists. She might have developed some self-hatred,” as reported by CNN.
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Former Spokane NAACP President Dolezal claims she's jobless, on food stamps


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Plum breaks NCAA scoring mark as Washington beats Utah 84-77 (1.02/39)

SEATTLE — Kelsey Plum was ready for her chase of the NCAA all-time scoring record to come to an end.
For the final regular season game of her college career, Washington's star orchestrated the finest performance of her career and one of the best in NCAA history. And with it, Plum scored a career-best 57 points and put an end to her quest of tracking down Jackie Stiles and the number 3,393.
Now, no one has scored more points in NCAA history than Plum.
"I'm glad it's over. It was getting to a point where it was almost disheartening in a way because people expect so much and I understand," Plum said. "I'm grateful for it. We're going to talk about it and give it credit but now that it's behind us I'm very grateful for that too. "
Plum carried No. 11 Washington to an 84-77 victory over Utah on Saturday with a dazzling performance. She needed 54 points entering the day to break Stiles' record and did so with a second-half barrage where Plum couldn't be stopped.
"We tried everything. And she just kind of took over. ... It was almost like she became possessed," Utah coach Lynne Roberts said. "Even as the opposing coach you stand there like 'Holy cow. This kid.'"
Plum hit 19 of 28 shots and was 13 of 16 at the free-throw line. She had 38 points through three quarters and took over in the fourth after teammate Chantel Osahor fouled out early in the quarter.
Plum tied Stiles' mark with a hesitation drive and scoop over the outstretched arm of Utah center Emily Potter with 4:57 left in the game. After a Utah basket and a timeout, Plum hit a runner from just outside the lane with 4:06 remaining to move past Stiles on the all-time list. Plum scored 19 of Washington's 22 points in the final quarter and now has 3,397 career points.
The fourth quarter was the perfect sequence of shots for Plum to eclipse Stiles. Starting with a 3-pointer and capped by the 10-foot runner to hold the mark alone, they were each examples of how Plum is a multi-dimensional player that can't be slowed by simply taking away one part of her game.
"She did tonight exactly what she's done for us since she got on campus, what is needed. We needed her. We needed every one of those shots," Washington coach Mike Neighbors said.
Washington needed all of her points to hold off a challenge from Utah (16-13, 5-13 Pac-12), who hung around just enough to make the Huskies uncomfortable. Neighbors even questioned his decision to pull Plum with 44 seconds remaining and give her the ovation she deserved, but leading by just eight points.
Perhaps fittingly, Plum's 57 topped Stiles' career-best of 56 points, even as Plum was trying to get over an illness and ate applesauce on the bench during timeouts. Neighbors also expects Plum to complain in the coming days about her three missed free throws that could have given her 60 and a share of the NCAA single-game scoring record.
As it stands, she'll have to settle for school and Pac-12 single-game marks.
"You don't do something like this by yourself and I hopefully make that very clear," Plum said. "This is an individual record but it's broken by a village of people. It's broken by every teammate that I've ever played for, every trainer, doctor, my parents, my sisters my brother, it's this university, it's the support I've been given. I'm very grateful, but it's not something I take on myself because it's not broken by just me. "
Utah: The Utes must wait for the final day of the regular season to see results of other games before knowing what its seed will be for the conference tournament.
Washington: The Huskies will be either the No. 2 or No. 3 seed for the upcoming Pac-12 tournament next week across town at KeyArena. Washington can only move up to the No. 2 seed if Stanford loses on Sunday at Oregon.
The Utes pulled within three early in the second half and staying close enough in the fourth quarter that Plum was needed. Paige Crozon led Utah with 22 points and Tanaeya Boclair added 15.
Utah: The Utes will play on the first day of the Pac-12 tournament next Thursday.
Washington: The Huskies will have a bye in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament and play in the quarterfinals

Washington's Kelsey Plum breaks NCAA women's all-time scoring record


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Alex Rodriguez, Silicon Valley tycoon Anne Wojcicki split (1.02/39)

The $21 million the Yankees still owe him should cheer him up.
After dating for nearly a year, Alex Rodriguez has split with Silicon Valley titan Anne Wojcicki, sources confirmed to the Daily News.
The pair quietly broke up a couple of months ago, a source said.
Wojcicki, the ex-wife Sergey Brin, a Google co-founder, was a change of pace in Rodriguez’ love life.
The slugger had been romantically involved with pop culture starlets like Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson and Madonna before he started seeing Wojcicki.
A Yale graduate, Wojcicki is worth more money than Rodriguez as well, which isn’t something many people can say.
She is the co-founder of 23andMe and divorcing Brin in 2015 put her net worth in the billions.

Alex Rodriguez, Anne Wojcicki Split: Report


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Deron Williams clears waivers, intends to sign with Cavs (1.02/39)

Free-agent guard Deron Williams has cleared waivers and told the Cleveland Cavaliers he intends to sign with them.
Williams, a five-time All-Star, was waived this week by Dallas. He will give the defending NBA champions a playmaker they've needed all season and one LeBron James demanded.
Williams cannot sign with the Cavs until Monday. Cleveland hosts the Milwaukee Bucks that night. The Cavs will be the fourth team for Williams, who is averaging 13.1 points this season.
Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue can bring him off the bench and also play him with Cleveland's starters to give James and Kyrie Irving rest before the playoffs.
Cavaliers general manager David Griffin didn't make a move at Thursday's trade deadline, but said the team still needed a playmaker. Williams can also back up Kyrie Irving at point guard, a spot the Cavaliers have been trying to fill since the start of the season.
Griffin's previous acquisitions are a big reason the Cavaliers are 8-1 in February. Kyle Korver is shooting 52 percent from 3-point range since being acquired from Atlanta and has made up for the loss of J. R. Smith, who is out until April with a broken right thumb.
Derrick Williams, who is on a second 10-day contract, is averaging 9.8 points in five games with the Cavaliers.
Cleveland has been also looking to add frontcourt depth since Kevin Love had surgery on his right knee earlier this month. Love, who is averaging 20 points and 11.1 rebounds, said Friday that he plans on being ready for the playoffs.
Free-agent Larry Sanders worked out for the Cavaliers last week and Andrew Bogut is another possibility to join Cleveland. Bogut is expected to have his contract bought out by the Philadelphia 76ers, who acquired him from the Mavericks at the deadline.

NBA Rumors: Deron Williams Will Sign With Cleveland Cavaliers On Monday


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$6.3M contract awarded to remove Boardman River Dam (1.02/39)

Michels Corporation of Brownsville, Wisconsin, will remove the Boardman Dam and restore sections of the Boardman River.
Carl Platz of the Army Corps says the project will help rebuild the aquatic ecosystem and return the river’s natural flows toward Lake Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay.
It’s part of a broader environmental restoration initiative for the Boardman that includes upgrading fish passage and wildlife habitat, restoring wetlands and establishing native plant communities.
The project will enhance movement of woody debris and sediment through the river system and the balance between cold- and cool-water species.
The contractor is scheduled to begin work this spring and finish by December 2018.

Company awarded $6.3M contract to remove Boardman River Dam


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Thorny skate won’t be added to endangered species list (1.02/39)

Portland, Maine — The thorny skate’s population may have declined, but not by enough to justify listing it under the Endangered Species Act, the federal government has ruled.
Environmental groups had argued that the bottom-dwelling fish’s population loss in the northwest Atlantic Ocean was considerable enough to afford it protections set aside for endangered animals. But the National Marine Fisheries Service disagrees.
Documents published in the Federal Register on Friday state that the fisheries service has concluded the thorny skate is “not currently in danger of extinction” in all or a significant piece of its range. The service said the fish is also not likely to become in danger of extinction soon.
The agency agreed with the petitioners that surveys of the skate have declined over time. Recent catch surveys show less than 5 percent of the peak they reached in the 1970s, the report stated.
However, the skates “remain numerous throughout the greater portion of their range, numbering in the hundreds of millions,” the report stated.
The thorny skate ranges from Greenland to South Carolina. Animal Welfare Institute and Defenders of Wildlife called on the federal government to offer the fish Endangered Species Act listing, which could’ve led to habitat protection or new fishing restrictions.
The skates live in the Gulf of Maine, a key commercial fishing area, and the call to protect them generated some resistance from fishing groups.
Tara Zuardo, an attorney for Animal Welfare Institute, said Saturday that the group is disappointed by the government’s ruling, and disagrees that the skate is not being subjected to overfishing.
“Climate change and other factors continue to impact this species,” Zuardo said.
Fishermen have been prohibited from harvesting the thorny skate commercially since 2003. The fish are sometimes taken as bycatch in other fisheries, including by vessels that seek cod and some that seek other skates.
Skates have commercial value as bait as well as food, with the meat frequently appearing as “skate wing” on menus. It tends to be a little less expensive to consumers than other kinds of fish.

Thorny skate will not be added to endangered species list


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Dems, GOP spar over Medicaid reform at govs’ meeting (1.02/39)

WASHINGTON — Tensions emerged Saturday between Democratic and Republican U. S. governors over a GOP-led proposal for a major overhaul to Medicaid, with Democrats saying the changes would take away people’s health coverage to finance tax cuts for the wealthy.
GOP governors intend to present Congress with a plan that they say would give states more flexibility to administer health coverage for poorer residents while protecting states from absorbing the costs of repealing the Affordable Care Act. Democratic governors said Saturday that their Republican counterparts were being dishonest about the effects of their plan.
“They want to spend less money on people’s health care so they can do tax cuts for the rich. They’ve tried to put this camouflage on it that somehow they’re giving governors flexibility. We’ve got plenty of flexibility,” Democratic Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said. “This is not what we are asking for.”
While major changes to former president Barack Obama’s signature health care law appear inevitable with Republicans controlling the White House and both houses of Congress, Inslee said there’s still a chance that Democrats can win over GOP lawmakers who’ve been facing angry constituents at town hall meetings.
“People are madder than hops about this. Look, there’s four Republican members of the House in the state of Washington, and they’re now in the witness-protection program,” Inslee said. “We think churches are going to offer them sanctuary at some point, given how mad people are about this.”
Inslee, whose national profile is rising as Democrats look for new leaders following Hillary Clinton’s loss in November, led a successful legal challenge against President Donald Trump’s ban on travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
The angry rhetoric about health care reform brought a dose of political reality to the nonpartisan National Governors’ Association’s winter meeting, where governors otherwise spend time praising each other and participating in panels on noncontroversial topics, such as early childhood education, a cause that got a boost from actress Jennifer Garner.
On Saturday afternoon, the governors met behind closed doors with Health Secretary Tom Price, who according to several governors said the Trump administration wanted to partner with states to reform health care but did not provide specifics.
Meanwhile, at the White House, Trump met with two Republican governors, Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and Florida’s Rick Scott, and discussed “how best to solve the problems” of the Obama-era health law, with “special emphasis” on states’ role in health care, according to a statement by his press secretary.
The entire governors’ group will meet with Trump and congressional leaders on Monday.
The governors also listened to a consultant’s report about the fiscal impact of a Medicaid overhaul on states. The report, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, predicted that Medicaid reforms being proposed by House Republicans would result in tens of thousands of people losing their insurance coverage in an average-size state.
Inslee and Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia called the report “disturbing.” Republican Gov. Matt Bevin of Kentucky said if Democrats were disturbed, they haven’t been paying attention.
“The kind of conversation that’s being had now — sobering, shocking, surprising as it might be to some — is the conversation that we must have because the piper has to get paid at some point,” Bevin said. “People are looking at reality, and that’s good.”
The GOP governors’ Medicaid proposal, a draft of which was obtained by The AP, urges Congress to change Medicaid from an open-ended federal entitlement to a program designed by each state within a financial limit. Medicaid provides insurance to more than 70 million low-income Americans, and states had the option of making it available to more people under Obama’s health care overhaul.
Some of the GOP governors behind the reform proposal, including Ohio Gov. John Kasich, opted to expand Medicaid in their states despite pressure from conservatives.
Another GOP governor in a Medicaid expansion state, Doug Ducey of Arizona, said Democrats are failing to acknowledge the shortcomings of Obama’s health law and the need for urgent reforms.
“We don’t want to see any citizen have the rug pulled out from underneath them, yet we know Obamacare is failing,” Ducey said. “We’re working hard to put together a plan that will replace Obamacare and actually be an improvement for health care, be a real reform of the Medicaid system.”
It’s not clear whether House Republicans will accept the GOP governors’ proposal. Many congressional Republicans want to rewrite the basic financial contract for Medicaid, offering flexibility to states in exchange for limits on future federal funding. Budget hawks including House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., support the kind of program flexibility Republican governors are seeking, but chiefly want to spend less on Medicaid.
A recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll shows that 8 in 10 people nationally say lawmakers should preserve federal funding that has allowed states to add coverage for roughly 11 million low-income people. Almost 7 in 10 Republicans agreed, according to the survey by the nonpartisan group.

Democrats, GOP spar over Medicaid reform at govs' meeting


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DePaul mounts comeback, but falls short vs. Seton Hall (1.02/39)

Led by senior Billy Garrett Jr., DePaul rallied from 20-points down to cut the deficit to one point, but fell short against Seton Hall, 82-79 on Saturday.
The Pirates began the second half on a 14-2 run that boosted their eight-point intermission lead to 20, 49-29, with 16:26 to play.
DePaul cut it the lead to 55-50 midway through the half and to 77-76 when Garrett made a clutch three-pointer with 21 seconds left. DePaul fouled on the next possession and Seton Hall’s Khadeen Carrington made both free throws to give the Pirates a three-point lead. The Blue Demons could not convert in its final possession.
Garrett matching a career high with 26 points. Eli Cain added 21 and Tre’Darius McCallum scored 15 points for the Blue Demons (9-20, 2-14 Big East conference)
Seton Hall was led by Desi Rodriguez, who scored 19 points and grabbed five rebounds. He was 8 of 15 from the floor for the Pirates (18-10, 8-8). Carrington added 18 points and six assists, Angel Delgado had 16 points and a team-high 10 rebounds, and Myles Powell had 15 points and four steals.
The Blue Demons return to action Tuesday on the road against Providence. Saturday was DePaul’s penultimate game at Allstate Arena. The team will play its home games at Wintrust Arena in the South Loop. The final game for DePaul in Rosemont will be against Xavier on Saturday.

Seton Hall Holds On Late To Edge DePaul 82-79


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Former NFL player says he can’t recite the alphabet because he played pro football (1.02/39)

While many fear that playing football could lead to permanent and severe brain damage, Cedric Benson, a former football star, tried to use the sport as an excuse for not knowing something most people memorize by kindergarten: the alphabet.
Last Saturday, Benson was pulled over in Austin, Texas, in the early morning for speeding and making an illegal turn, according to the Austin American Statesman. When he was pulled over, he attempted to enter a nearby convenience store and smelled of alcohol, according to police records obtained by .
But when officers attempted to perform a field sobriety test, Benson had a novel excuse for his inability to pass. According to KEYE , Benson was unable to recite the letters from G to T or count any higher than three because he had “played 8 years in the NFL.” That would include five letters from his own name.
He was arrested and later released on bail.
This is not the first time Benson has been arrested for alcohol-related offenses. The once-heralded running back was selected in the first round of the NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears in 2005 after a successful four-year career at the University of Texas at Austin. In 2008, however, the Bears released him after two DUIs charges, per ESPN. He was arrested again in 2010 for punching a bar employee and in 2014 for public intoxication, per KEYE.
At the University of Texas, Benson was a first-team All-American. On the university’s website , Benson’s degree and major are not listed.
In the NFL, he enjoyed several strong seasons, but after suffering a sprain in his left ankle in 2012, he was placed on the Injured Reserve and never returned, per .
According to SB Nation , once he left the league, Benson planned to work in loan origination and received a license to do so. However, he also said transitioning to a normal life after the intensity of the NFL was difficult.
“You're an animal,” Benson told SB Nation of life in the NFL. “You're constantly pushing your very existence to the very edge. If you go out into society and push yourself to the very edge, people will say, ‘That guy's f------ crazy.’”
While Benson suffered from a variety of lower-body injuries in the NFL, there are no records of him ever suffering a concussion.

Blessed Trinity RB Steele Chambers does ballet to help with footwork


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Out of the shadows: Manila's meth dealers back on the streets as cops pull back (1.02/39)

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs had until three weeks ago driven the trade in crystal methamphetamine underground, according to residents and drug users in some of the slum areas of the nation's capital city.
As thousands of users and dealers were shot dead by police and vigilantes in the first seven months after Duterte came to power last June, open dealing in the drug, known here by its street name shabu, largely stopped. Instead, deals were done on the quiet between people who knew each other, maybe with a text message first.
But since Duterte ordered the Philippine National Police(PNP) to stand down from the drugs war last month, after declaring the force "rotten to the core", the drugs trade has come back out of the shadows, more than half a dozen drug users and dealers in some of Manila's toughest areas said in interviews. Many spoke on condition that only their first names be used in this story.
Beside one of the less-used railroad tracks in Manila - a grassy area scattered with human excrement only a few miles from the gleaming high-rises of the Makati business district - shabu was easily available last week, costing just a few pesos (cents) per hit. Residents said that when they traveled on the illegal trolleys that ferry people for a few pesos along the track when there are no trains in sight, a fellow passenger will often offer them a sachet of the drug.
Eusebio, 52, who pushes a wood and bamboo trolley on the track for a living, said dealers sometimes walk alongside calling out: "How much are you going to buy? "
"Now that the operations have been suspended, drugs have become rampant again," he said. "Those who were hiding have resurfaced. "Another trolley-pusher, Boyser, 59, told two Reuters journalists: "If you weren't reporters, they would offer you drugs. "
In a dark cinderblock room that serves as a drug den in another part of Manila, there were similar stories from users.
"We have more freedom now," Jason, a 39-year-old bartender told a visiting reporter as he inhaled shabu smoke. "All the users are still users, except those who have been killed," he said, adding that he has used shabu for almost two decades.
More than 8,000 people have been killed since Duterte was sworn in almost eight months ago, about 2,500 of whom were killed in official police anti-narcotics operations. Human rights groups believe many of the others were extra-judicial executions committed as part of the war on drugs, and in cooperation with the police – a claim the Duterte administration has vehemently denied.
The president's office did not respond to a list of emailed questions about the drugs war and whether dealers were now openly back on the streets.
Duterte has repeatedly said he will hunt down drug lords and other "high value" targets and to date, there have been a handful of large-scale seizures and raids on shabu laboratories. But most of those killed in the war on drugs have been small-time dealers and users in some of the country's poorest neighborhoods.
The PNP stopped publishing an official tally of drug war killings from police operations on Jan. 31 when Duterte ordered the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to take over the campaign.
According to reporters and photographers from Reuters and Philippine news organizations working the crime beat on the night shift, "vigilante-style" killings of drug suspects have continued, but at a much slower pace. Police data shows 398 people were killed nationwide in the first 20 days of February. Details of the killings were not provided and it was unclear how many were drug-related.
Some anti-narcotics experts say they will not be surprised if it turns out that the drugs war has been ineffective. They say that ruthless operations against drugs, like Duterte's, have failed elsewhere in the world.
Colombia's former president, César Gaviria, said in a New York Times column earlier this month that his country's long war on drugs not only failed to eradicate drug production, trafficking and consumption but also pushed drugs and crime into neighboring countries, while "tens of thousands of people were slaughtered. "
Thailand launched a "war on drugs" in 2003 that killed about 2,800 people in three months. But figures show it had no lasting impact on meth supply or demand in Thailand. "The world has lost the war on drugs, not only Thailand," the country's then Justice Minister Paiboon Koomchaya told Reuters last July.
When an aggressive anti-drugs campaign begins, supplies may be tight for a while, street prices may spike, but ultimately drug usage does not drop, say those who have studied the results.
"We don't know of any examples from around the world where very hardline approaches have worked effectively," said Jeremy Douglas, the regional representative for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. "They can temporarily disrupt street business, but they don't disrupt demand. "
Some police officers told Reuters that they had received reports of increased street-level drug activity since they were ordered to stand down.
Manila Police Commander Olivia Sagaysay, who oversees four precincts in the city, said the war on drugs had lost momentum and morale among her officers had suffered since they were ordered to stand down.
"It's depressing," she said. "But who are we not to follow the higher-ups? "
She said she expected the trade to increase but maybe not return to its previous levels because "networks were disrupted" and "pushers were killed. "
In a written response to questions from Reuters about the impact of Duterte's campaign on the street-level shabu trade, the PDEA said that "based on reports gathered, the supply of illegal drugs in some areas are still considerably abundant. "
The PDEA attributed low street prices for shabu - prices overall have risen only minimally since the war on drugs began and in some areas have fallen - to a "lack of customers" or drug traffickers trying to get rid of their supply "in order to avoid arrest. " It said drugs were being hoarded and that it was difficult for users to transact directly with traffickers. The PDEA did not provide evidence for any of its assessments.
PNP spokesman Dionardo Carlos said drugs would return to the streets because it was "a billion peso business" and "money talks".
In his view, though, the drug war had not failed. "We hit the target and now it goes back to PDEA. As far as the PNP is concerned we did our part in the past 7 months. I hope PDEA will be able to do their part. "
The PDEA has just about 1,800 people on its rolls compared with the national police force of 160,000. Of the existing PDEA personnel, only about half are field operatives.
PDEA spokesman Derrick Carreon said his agency will add staff and that the president would soon be issuing an executive order to set up an anti-illegal drugs inter-agency council and task force that would also draw from the military, the National Bureau of Investigation and the PNP. The task force will be charged with pursuing the war on drugs.
"There is a temporary vacuum of warm bodies but it won't be long," Carreon said, adding that those involved in the drug trade would be wrong to think they were safe.
"If that's their perception, it won't last long," he said. "They will find out in the hardest way that they are terribly wrong. "
"GO AFTER COOKERS"Still, Jason, the bartender who is a shabu user, said Duterte's campaign was not successful because he targeted the wrong people.
If authorities had gone after the "cookers", the people manufacturing the drugs, instead of users and small dealers, people like him would be unable to buy and would move on. As it is, Jason said, shabu is always in plentiful supply, adding he was addicted and the drug eliminated any fear he may have had of being shot by police or vigilantes.
As he spoke, Jason poured white crystals into a long strip of aluminum foil folded into a trough, tilted it slightly and held a flame below. Almost immediately, it produced a thick white smoke, which he sucked up through a narrow aluminum foil straw.
He then began speaking again, more animatedly. "I buy drugs every day! " he said.
(Reporting by Clare Baldwin and Neil Jerome Morales; Additional reporting by Andrew R. C. Marshall and Erik De Castro; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan and Martin Howell)

INSIGHT-Out of the shadows: Manila's meth dealers back on the streets as cops pull back


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No. 2 Villanova beats No. 23 Creighton, clinches Big East regular season title (1.02/39)

VILLANOVA, Pa. -- When the final buzzer sounded, the sellout crowd of 6,500 stood and applauded as Villanova celebrated a fourth consecutive Big East regular season championship.
Yet the second-ranked Wildcats are far from being satisfied this season.
Eric Paschall scored 19 points, Josh Hart added 16 points and seven rebounds and Villanova defeated No. 23 Creighton 79-63 Saturday at The Pavilion.
Kris Jenkins scored 15 and Mikal Bridges had 11 points and eight rebounds for the Wildcats (27-3, 14-3 Big East).
"We're not done yet," Jenkins said. "We have a lot more to accomplish. "
Villanova competed in the last game in The Pavilion, which opened Feb. 1, 1986. The arena will undergo a major renovation beginning in June and is scheduled to re-open in the fall of 2018.
Shortly after the milestone victory, the deluge outside began leaking at half court.
"The Pavilion ended with a big puddle at half court," Villanova coach Jay Wright said. "This was definitely the building's last day. "
The Wildcats bounced back from Wednesday's 74-66 home loss to No. 22 Butler, which snapped a program-best 48-game winning streak at The Pavilion.
The Wildcats struggled from 3-point territory (4 of 19), but made up for it at the charity stripe, knocking down 17 of 22 free throws and outrebounding the Bluejays, 33-28.
"Nothing changes," Hart said of the team's demeanor. "Whether we win or whether we lose, we go back to work the next day and focus on getting better. "
Marcus Foster paced the Bluejays (22-7, 9-7) with 25 points while Khyri Thomas contributed 17 and Zach Hanson had 10. They had won three straight games over top 25 opponents before Saturday.
But Creighton dropped its second in a row after losing 68-66 to visiting Providence Wednesday night.
"Our inability to guard without fouling and 16 turnovers was too much to overcome," Creighton coach Greg McDermott said.
Foster kept the Bluejays close by hitting 8 of 18 from the field, including 6 of 9 from beyond the arc, to go along with eight assists and five rebounds.
It wasn't quite enough.
"They always play hard," Foster said of Villanova. "They're fundamentally sound. To beat a great team like that, you have to limit mistakes. "
Villanova played without senior forward Darryl Reynolds for the fifth straight game. Reynolds, out with a rib injury, was honored before the game along with seniors Hart and Jenkins. The trio has been a part of four Villanova teams to post an impressive 124-16 record, four Big East regular season titles, four Big 5 championships and one national championship.
And the Wildcats don't believe they're done.
"This game isn't about the seniors," Hart said. "It's about the next step on our journey. We fight and we battle and I'm proud of that. "
With the game tied at 45, Villanova went on a 20-9 run to take a 65-54 advantage with 6:17 remaining. Paschall's offensive rebound and basket gave the Wildcats that 11-point cushion and sent the sellout crowd into a frenzy.
It was enough of a lead to propel Villanova to a home victory and clinch yet another title.
Villanova surged to a 10-point advantage on two occasions late in the first half before the Bluejays responded. Foster's fourth 3-pointer of the half tied the game at 33 with less than 30 seconds remaining and that was the score as both teams entered their respective locker rooms.
Foster led all first-half scorers with 14 points. Paschall paced the Wildcats with nine points.
-- Creighton G Marcus Foster eclipsed 10 points for the 12th straight game.
-- The Bluejays fell to 4-32 all-time against top five teams.
-- Villanova is off until next Saturday for the regular season finale at Georgetown.
-- Creighton will conclude its regular season portion with two games -- Tuesday against St. John 's and Saturday at Marquette.
-- Villanova coach Jay Wright earned his 503rd career victory.

Nova's win over Creighton should lock up that No. 1 seed


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No. 19 Florida State holds off Clemson (1.02/39)

CLEMSON, S. C. -- After his team's 109-61 demolition of Clemson on Feb. 5, Florida State Coach Leonard Hamilton said he knew his team wasn't 48 points better than the Tigers.
Hamilton was right.
But being two points better was plenty good enough for the Seminoles on Saturday.
Xavier Rathan-Mayes scored 15 points as No. 19 Florida State dealt Clemson its latest in a gut-wrenching series of close defeats, 76-74, in an Atlantic Coast Conference game at Littlejohn Coliseum.
Rathan-Mayes made only 5 of 12 shots from the floor, but came up big by scoring 13 of his points in the second half, including four in the final 1:45 as the Seminoles staved off a strong upset bid by Clemson.
"It was a typical ACC blowout -- a two-point victory," Florida State Coach Leonard Hamilton said.
Florida State improved to 23-6 overall and 11-5 in ACC play and remained in a tie for second place in the league standings.
The Seminoles, who play at No. 10 Duke on Tuesday, won on the road for the first time since Feb. 1 and improved to 3-5 in ACC road games.
"There's no doubt that this was an important game for us," Hamilton said. "It keeps us at pace with some of the other teams that are fighting for position in the ACC Tournament. It gives us the opportunity now to go on the road and control our own destiny.
"Any time you're in a position like we're in, where you can control your own destiny, it motivates you and definitely you're your attention. "
Clemson (14-14, 4-12) was bidding for its first victory against a Top 25 team in Littlejohn Coliseum since the arena reopened last November following a $63.5 million renovation.
But the result was painfully familiar for the Tigers, who have lost 10 games by six or fewer points this season, including nine losses by six or less points in ACC play and five by two points or less.
"You feel for your players because you know how hard they're working," Clemson Coach Brad Brownell said. "It's hard when you work and put energy and effort and the emotional side of you into all of these games, and you don't get rewarded. "
The Tigers led 74-71 with under two minutes remaining, but that's when Rathan-Mayes took over. He made two free throws to cut Clemson's lead to one point with 1:45 left, then scored on a driving layup with 1:15 remaining to put the Seminoles ahead for good.
After Florida State's Trent Forrest made one of two free throws with 8.4 seconds left, Clemson guard Marcquise Reed missed a jumper in the lane with five seconds left to seal the Tigers' fate.
"We got the shot we wanted," Brownell said. "He backed them off, he spun -- probably had a little more time than he realized and let it go a little quick -- but he got 12 to 13 feet from the bucket, and he's our best player at that. So it's one you can live with. "
Florida State led at halftime, 38-37, and the game remained close throughout, with neither team leading by more than seven points. The score was tied seven times and there were 12 lead changes.
Both teams shot 45 percent from the floor and Clemson held a slight edge from the free throw line (82 to 81 percent).
"It was a typical, hard-fought ACC game," Hamilton said. "This is the new ACC, where regardless of who you're playing, if the team is ranked, and regardless of your position in the league, anyone is capable of winning. "
Freshman forward Jonathan Isaac added 14 points for Florida State, while sophomore forward Dwayne Bacon had 12.
Senior forward Jaron Blossomgame led Clemson with 24 points. Guard Shelton Mitchell scored 15, while senior center Sidy Djitte added 12 points and nine rebounds. Reed scored 10 for the Tigers.
-- G Marcquise Reed is averaging 13.7 points over Clemson's last seven games.
-- F Jaron Blossomgame needs three field goals to rank in the top 10 in Clemson history in field goals, points, rebounds, free throws and 20-point games.
-- C Elijah Thomas has made 21 of his last 31 field goal attempts.
-- Florida State G Xavier Rathan-Mayes has an ACC-leading 3.6:1 assist/turnover ratio in league games.
-- F Jonathan Isaac leads the Seminoles with 40 blocked shots and has at least one block in 11 consecutive games.
-- G Terance Mann is shooting .625 from the field over Florida State's last six games.

South Carolina State handles Florida A&M 75-64


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No. 17 SMU turns back UConn (1.02/39)

HARTFORD, Conn. -- SMU is riding an 11-game win streak under coach Tim Jankovich, is battling Cincinnati for the top seed in the American Athletic Conference tournament and last lost on Jan. 12.
Jankovich is on the verge of recording one of the best records for a first-season coach ever at a Division I school.
With all that going for him and the Mustangs, Jankovich knows his team still is flying under the radar as the NCAA Tournament approaches.
"We know that? Is that a fact? " Jankovich said Saturday after a 69-61 win over Connecticut, alluding to the fact that there is a lot of time before Selection Sunday on March 12. "If we lost four or five in a row, are we still in? I can't stand all (the bracketology) because it's like a poisonous snake. ... But I do kinda (like our position). "
SMU (25-4, 15-1 AAC) didn't resemble a tournament sleeper against the Huskies at the XL Center. Led by guard Shake Milton, the Mustangs put together a lethal display of shooting and four players scored in double figures as SMU defeated Connecticut (14-14, 9-7) in a game heavy in implications for the AAC standings.
Milton, a sophomore shooting 41 percent from 3-point range this season, matched his career high with six threes in the first half and finished with 20 points.
Milton was 7-for-14 overall from the field and missed only one 3-point shot in the first 20 minutes as the Mustangs built a 41-30 lead at the break.
The Huskies got as close as five points in the second half but Ben Emelogu's layup ended the rally and a layup by Milton two minutes later had SMU's lead back to 11.
"(Connecticut) has a good team and we were playing on the road," Ojeleye said. "You have to expect them to make runs. It's tough but we have a lot of good shooters. "
Semi Ojeleye added 16 points, Ben Moore chipped in with 15 and Sterling Brown had 11 for SMU.
Connecticut was 2-for-10 on 3-pointers in the first half and shot only 39.7 for the game overall.
Forward Kentan Facey scored 15 points for the Huskies, including nine in the first half, but leading scorer Jalen Adams sustained a moderate left ankle sprain right before halftime and did not return. He scored four points on 1-for-6 shooting in 16 minutes. His status for Wednesday's game at East Carolina will be determined later in the week.
"Nobody wanted Jalen to get hurt," Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie said, "Especially Jalen. But it happens. "
Milton was the only SMU player with more than one 3-pointer, but half of the Mustangs' 26 shots in the half were long range. Milton led all scorers at halftime with 18 points, almost five points better than his season average.
"We have a lot of good shooters," Jankovich said. "This is what has happened all year long. You never know where the fire may break out. Obviously Shake was amazing carrying us in the first half. "
Connecticut, trying to finish in the top five of the AAC standings and earn a bye for the conference tournament that begins March 9 at the XL Center, opened the game with a 4-1 lead.
But SMU turned the momentum by rolling off 13 unanswered points. Milton's first 3-pointer with 15:33 remaining in the half gave the Mustangs a 14-4 lead,
SMU increased the margin 16 with 8:04 remaining when Milton hit another 3-pointer.
-- UConn fell to 4-3 at the XL Center this season. The Huskies also lost to Auburn and Houston there, while beating Boston University East Carolina and Memphis. The Huskies will host the AAC tournament on March 9-12.
-- SMU leads the AAC in scoring defense and has held 21 of the last 22 opponents to 66 points or fewer.
-- SMU won the regular season series with UConn, also winning 69-49 in Dallas on Jan. 19. The Mustangs lead the all-time series 8-2.

Milton scores 20 to help No. 17 SMU beat UConn


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Trump administration blocks changes on coal mining royalties (1.02/39)

The Interior Department has put on hold changes to how the federal government values huge volumes of coal extracted from public lands, primarily in the Western United States, after mining companies challenged the agency in federal court.
The move by the Trump administration means current rules governing the industry will remain in place pending decisions in the courts, according to an agency notification due to be published Monday in the Federal Register.
The changes, crafted under the administration of President Barack Obama, were aimed at ensuring companies don't shortchange taxpayers on coal sales to Asia and other markets. Coal exports surged over the past decade even as domestic sales declined.
Yet federal lawmakers and watchdog groups have long complained that taxpayers were losing hundreds of millions of dollars annually because royalties on coal form public lands were being improperly calculated.
In 2016, companies sold 316 million tons of coal from federal and Indian lands valued at $5.4 billion. Those sales generated almost $600 million in reported royalties, according to Interior department data. Most coal from public lands is mined in Wyoming. Mines in Montana, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico also play a significant role.
The fuel is used to produce about one-third of the nation's electricity, a figure that has dropped sharply in recent years as cheap natural gas has gained a much larger share of the power market.
Rules in place since the 1980s have allowed companies to sell their fuel to affiliates and pay royalties to the government on that price, then turn around and sell the coal at higher prices, often overseas. Under the suspended rule change, the royalty rate would be determined at the time the coal is leased, and revenue will be based on the price paid by an outside entity, rather than an interim sale to an affiliated company.
Conservationists criticized the administration's move, saying it was a "sweetheart deal" for the industry and will deprive states of much-needed revenues. About half the coal royalties collected by the federal government is disbursed to states.
"This announcement is a gift to coal companies trying to avoid paying their fair share," said Steve Charter, a Montana rancher who lives next to the Bull Mountain coal mine near Roundup, which has sold fuel to customers in Asia.
Companies including Gillette, Wyoming-based Cloud Peak Energy argue that the higher price includes transportation expenses and other logistical costs that shouldn't be factored into royalty payments.
The hold placed on the rule was welcomed by lawmakers from Western states. Montana U. S. Sen. Steve Daines said the rule would have had "immediate detrimental effects" on the mining industry.
U. S. Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, said the rule change threatened to increase electricity rates for rural communities by raising the cost utilities pay for coal. "The Trump administration made the right decision to suspend this illogical and legally dubious rule," Bishop said.
The Interior Department rule also included changes to oil and gas valuations, but those changes have attracted far less attention than coal royalties.

Coal royalty program changes frozen by Trump administration


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Pregnant Amal Clooney covers her growing baby bump (1.02/39)

She stole the show at the 42nd annual Cesar Awards on Friday evening, but it was a comparatively subdued Amal Clooney who stepped out for dinner with husband George the following night.
The human rights lawyer, who is expecting twins with the Hollywood veteran, covered her growing baby bump with a floral print monochrome minidress as they left their hotel ahead of a romantic night out in the self styled city of love.
With a thigh-skimming detail the dress revealed her nicely toned legs, while strappy knee-high boots rounded off another stylish ensemble.
Stepping out: She stole the show at the 42nd annual Cesar Awards on Friday evening, but it was a comparatively subdued Amal Clooney who stepped out for dinner with husband George the following night
Adding a hint of vibrancy to an already striking look, Amal, 39, opted for a rich layer of red lipstick and deft touches of blusher.
Placing a protective hand on his pregnant wife's arm, George looked typically dapper in his trademark black two-piece suit.
Completing his look, the 55-year old sported a matching black-turtle neck and matching dress shoes ahead of their evening meal at local restaurant La Pelouse.
Stylish, as always: The human rights lawyer, who is expecting twins with the Hollywood veteran, covered her growing baby bump with a floral print monochrome minidress as they left their hotel ahead of a romantic night out in the self styled city of love
Striking: With a thigh-skimming detail the dress revealed her nicely toned legs, while strappy knee-high boots rounded off another stylish ensemble
The pair were stepping shortly after George's mother Nina revealed the couple are expecting one of each sex.
In an interview with RadarOnline, the 77-year-old former city councilwoman shared her excitement over the expected June arrival for George and his glamorous wife.
'It will be one of each! Yes, a boy and a girl. That’s what I’ve been told,' she said from her Kentucky home. 'How marvellous! My husband and I are extremely excited.'
Finishing touches: Adding a hint of vibrancy to an already striking look, Amal, 39, opted for a rich layer of red lipstick and deft touches of blushe
Smart: George looked typically dapper in his trademark black two-piece suit, teamed with a matching turtle neck sweater
George recently spoke for the first time of his 'excitement' at the news that he and Amal will be welcoming twins this summer.
The actor said: 'We are really happy and really excited. It's going to be an adventure. We've sort of embraced it all with arms wide open.'
Speaking to French programme Rencontres de Cinema, he said his friends were 'very supportive' of the news, despite having given him a hard time at first.
Sweeping statement: Amal stole the show at the 42nd annual Cesar Awards on Friday evening
'Then it got really quiet,' he said. 'And they all just started making baby crying noises, and the whole table just busted up laughing.'
On Friday evening George took to the stage at the French capital’s Salle Pleyel to collect the prestigious César d’Honneur Award for his services to film.
Paying an emotional tribute to Amal, who watched from the audience, he said: 'To my wife Amal, there isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not proud to be your husband.
'And I am excited about the years to come, and particularly the months to come. I love you very much.'
I love you: On Friday evening George took to the stage at the French capital’s Salle Pleyel to collect the prestigious César d’Honneur Award for his services to film, before paying an emotional tribute to his pregnant wife

George Clooney And Amal Shopping In Paris For Twin Babies’ Nursery


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Mama June Shannon Accused of Wearing Fat Suit on Weight Loss Show (1.02/39)

Fans are accusing Mama June Shannon of wearing a fat suit and prosthetics to exaggerate her weight loss on her new show, Mama June: From Not to Hot.
After the 37-year-old reality star's new WE tv series premiered on Friday, February 24, several viewers took to social media to question whether the "before" scenes were actually filmed after she dropped the weight.
"It's obviously obvious that Mama June is wearing a fat face and suit for this show's confessional," one Twitter user captioned a video, in which Mama June appears to be wearing a prosthetic chin below her newly slimmed-down face.
Other eagle-eyed fans noticed differences in the former Here Comes Honey Boo star's hair color and pointed out that she looked stiff and didn't move around much. "You can tell some 'before' surgery scenes were filmed after... fake neck & much blonder hair," one viewer noted. Another added, "If she isn't in a prosthetic fat suit, then why can't sure turn her head? She is turning her whole body. "
Mama June's new show documents her weight loss journey and so-called "revenge diet" after her high-profile 2015 split from Mike "Sugar Bear" Thompson. In the series premiere , she was seen exercising outside in an attempt to break the plateau she hit after undergoing gastric sleeve surgery in May 2015.
Earlier this month, a trailer for the reality series hinted that Mama June dropped from 460 pounds to a size 4 , but she has yet to officially reveal her new figure.
See more fan reactions below, and tell Us : Do you think Mama June wore prosthetics?
Mama June: From Not to Hot airs Fridays on WE tv at 10 p.m. ET.
Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!

Mama June Wearing Fat Suit On ‘From Not To Hot’? — Fans Freak After Premiere


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AP Top Stories Feb. 25 P (1.02/39)

Here are the top stories for Saturday, February 25th: The DNC elects Tom Perez as new chair; Trump says he will not attend the White House Correspondent's Dinner; Syria's Homs is battered with attacks and strikes; Zimbabwe's president turns 93.

Top 25 Fared


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Wrestling: Detroit C. outgrapples Davison in Div. 1 (1.02/39)

Mount Pleasant — Detroit Catholic Central has enjoyed tremendous success against Davison with the Division 1 state team championship on the line. Saturday afternoon at McGuirk Arena was no different.
Catholic Central lived up to its No. 1 seed and earned a 35-22 victory over No. 2 seed Davison to earn its 12th state championship and first since winning three straight from 2012-14, with two of those titles also coming against Davison.
“It feels unreal, feels unbelievable and I’m just so happy for our community, happy for our young men for all the hard work they put in,” said Mitch Hancock, who guided Catholic Central to its fifth state title in his 10 years as head coach. “It’s awesome to represent everyone here and Catholic Central High School in the right way.
“To cap this off like this is absolutely remarkable. I mean, we were undefeated in the state of Michigan and we wrestled some pretty darn good competition. Our 11 seniors are fantastic and our guys work extremely hard and they got the job done. I couldn’t say more about our group of guys and our coaching staff. We have one of the best coaching staffs in the country and I firmly believe that.”
Hancock felt extra good since the win came against one of Catholic Central’s top rivals.
“I take my hat off to Roy Hall, who is one of the best coaches in the country, a Hall of Famer who does a remarkable job with his guys day-to-day. My heart hurts for him a bit, but I’m very happy for my guys.”
Catholic Central got the best of Davison after falling to its rival in the state quarterfinals two years ago, then in the state semifinal match last year.
Catholic Central got bonus points in a number of matches, including pins from Jackson Ross (215), Kevon Davenport (130) and Tyler Morland (171) and a technical fall win by Cameron Amine (140).
“To beat Davison to avenge that (semifinal) loss makes this even sweeter,” said Ross, one of the seniors. “That loss last year motivated us for the offseason and then all this season as well. There’s no better feeling than to go out like this, in front of our fans like this, it’s the best feeling in the world.
“Hats off to Davison. They have a great team and wrestled great, but it was our day. I’m very proud of our team and our seniors, and to send us out like this is a great feeling.”
Ross was proud of freshman Derek Gilcher, who came back from a 7-5 third-period deficit to earn a 9-8 decision over Jaron Wilson at 119 pounds to give Catholic Central a 15-9 cushion.
“Derek wrestled great and we expect that of him,” Ross said. “Really, that match was huge for us and really turned the momentum. He just did a great job for us.”
Gilcher said, “All the training and hard work that I put in the room paid off and it showed on the mat. I tried something that I usually don’t hit and it worked, then I tried it again and it worked again, just a great feeling.”
Catholic Central defeated Davison by 10 during the season, building the suspense for a rematch with more on the line.
“It was a 10-point win, but it was in their territory and it was pretty hostile and in a one-sided environment and our guys wrestled hard, but we didn’t wrestle to the best of our ability,” Hancock said. “We used that as motivation to spread the gap a little bit.”
Catholic Central finished 31-1 with its loss coming against St. Edwards of Ohio, the No. 2 team in the nation.
Division 4
Top-seeded Hudson (18-9) dominated New Lothrop, 51-13, to earn its first state championship since it won five straight from 2009-13.
Zach Bailey (215), Tucker Scholl (112), Tyler Curtis (119), Jordan Hamdan (125), Johnathan Betz (160) and Spencer Blanco (171) all had pins for Hudson, which advanced to the state title match for the ninth straight year.
Hamdan’s pin was his 100th career victory. @DavidGoricki

Wrestling: Catholic Central too much for Davison in Division 1 final


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Army veteran starts ‘fight club’ to help others with PTSD (1.02/39)

SAN DIEGO — Todd Vance was serving in the US Army when the September 11 attacks occurred.
“I decided to re-enlist for another three years,” he said. “And I asked to be part of the first deployed unit to Iraq.”
Vance served as a squad leader and ran more than 250 combat missions before returning to San Diego in 2005.
“At first, it was all elation. I was just happy to be alive and happy to be out of the military,” he said. “Slowly but surely, reality was setting in about what I had seen and what I had done.”
Facing his own battle
About six months after returning home, Vance began encountering his own personal issues.
“I turned into a recluse. I was drinking too much. Basically anything that would either produce an extreme adrenaline rush or numb my adrenaline rush and the hypervigilance and anxiety I was having,” he said.
Vance went to the Veterans Affairs center for counseling. He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and sent home with a shopping bag of medications, including mood enhancers, sleeping pills and anti-anxiety meds.
Along with drinking, he started abusing the prescriptions he had been given.
“I’m glad my family ended up telling me I needed to seek professional help,” Vance said.
He went to therapy and decided to go back to school. But it wasn’t until he got involved with mixed martial arts that his life began to change.
“Martial arts 100% saved my life,” he said.
Fighting for veterans at home
Vance, who had been a professional Muay Thai fighter in high school, started training at the local MMA gym.
“It gave me the structure, the discipline, the camaraderie, the routine that I needed to have in my life that I was missing so much from the military,” he said. “Before training, I had no reason not to drink until 3 in the morning. I was training six days a week, often two times a day, and eating clean.”
Vance finished community college and enrolled at Point Loma Nazarene University, where he earned a degree in social work.
“I realized I had a passion for working with and for military veterans,” he said.
He decided to pay it forward and start an organization that uses mixed martial arts to help veterans overcome PTSD and other challenges adapting back to civilian life.
“If a veteran is happy and content with their daily life, they may or may not be drawn to a program like this. But somebody who is facing anxiety and post-traumatic stress and all those different issues, they’ll probably be here,” he said.
‘Focused on technique and fitness’
The program started off as a veteran competition team and became a nonprofit in 2012. Vance called it P. O. W., short for Pugilistic Offensive Warrior Tactics.
“It plays on (the term) prisoner of war because when you come home from combat, you’re a prisoner of your own personal war,” he said.
It may seem counterintuitive that a “violent” sport like MMA is helping people cope from the violence of war. Vance disagrees.
“Martial arts is focused on technique and fitness. … We have served more than 275 veterans, and all the success stories we have is a testament to the effectiveness of the program,” he said. “We see people get right out of the military, they’re young, they’re a mess, they don’t have any employment or social skills. Two or three years later, they are working on their master’s degree.”
The program offers free mixed martial arts classes for veterans three times a week at the Undisputed Downtown gym in San Diego. But it’s also group therapy disguised as MMA.
“We offer peer-to-peer coaching, support and counseling,” he said. “We’re doing a lot of exposure and vulnerability sharing to where they can start to feel normal around a group of people.”
MMA helps veterans stay calm, think critically in stressful situations and move on, Vance said.
“It helps people that have anxiety and depression and who are dealing with trauma to be present in the moment,” he said.
At the end of each class, he also incorporates yoga to help the veterans clear their mind and leave with a clean slate.
Vance recently conducted a study of 30 participants over a one-year period. The results showed a 90% improvement in physical health; 80% improvement in coping with stress and symptoms of PTSD; and a 100% improvement in reducing the feelings of isolation.
‘They want to help you do better’
Joshua Tanida, who takes the martial arts classes, served as an engineer in the US Navy for four years. About six months before he was discharged, he began suffering from depression, low self-esteem and low self-worth after feeling isolated on the aircraft carrier.
“I started losing a lot of drive to do anything,” he said. “I just felt distant from everyone. Like nothing really mattered.”
Tanida went to the VA for counseling in 2014 and joined the program a year later.
“They help build you up as a person and build your self-esteem,” he said. “They know how you feel firsthand, and they want to help you do better. … I’m a whole different person than I used to be.”
Vance said it’s the best feeling to know that he’s helping others.
“It’s so therapeutic for me to be able to revisit things that bothered me in the past and to help a younger veteran process that stuff and to get them on track.”

Army veteran starts 'fight club' to help others with PTSD Contact WND


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Pac-12 basketball: Oregon edges Stanford to earn rare Bay Area sweep (1.02/39)

Jordan Bell scored on a putback with 14 seconds left to give No. 6 Oregon its second straight nail-biting victory in a rare Bay Area sweep as the Ducks beat Stanford , 75-73, on Saturday in Palo Alto.
Bell's game-winner followed Dillon Brooks' last-second, tiebreaking three-pointer three nights earlier at California to give Oregon (26-4, 15-2 Pac-12) its second sweep of its conference Bay Area rivals since 1976. The other came two years ago.
Tyler Dorsey scored 15 points to lead Oregon, while Brooks added 14.
Reid Travis had 27 points and 14 rebounds to lead the way for the Cardinal (14-14, 6-10), but committed a turnover on the final possession to end any comeback hopes.
Stanford trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half but battled back to tie the game five times in the second half. But it took until that fifth equalizer for the Cardinal to take their first lead since being up 9-8 early in the first half.
Travis' jumper in the lane made it 71-69 with less than 3 minutes left but the lead was short-lived as Brooks hit a jumper at the other end to tie it.
The score was tied at 73 when the Ducks managed four offensive rebounds on one possession before finally converting on Bell's shot with 14 seconds left. It capped a wild sequence that started when Dylan Ennis missed an off-balance 3-pointer as the shot clock ran down. Payton Pritchard missed on the putback attempt before Bell converted his.
Travis lost the ball in the paint at the other end to seal the victory for Oregon.

No. 6 Oregon wins another nail-biter, 75-73 over Stanford


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Johnson with double-double, Saint Louis edges Saint Joseph's (1.02/39)

Jalen Johnson scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, Mike Crawford hit a key 3-pointer, and Saint Louis edged Saint Joseph's 61-60 with an unusual ending on Saturday.
The Billikens were up 61-58 with five seconds left when Crawford missed a pair of free throws. The Hawks' Jai Williams grabbed the rebound and passed to James Demery. Demery dribbled the floor and bypassed Brendan Casper, who was calling for the ball just outside the 3-point arc, and made a layup as time expired, sealing a one-point win for Saint Louis.
Crawford's 3-pointer gave the Billikens a 59-58 lead with 1:15 to play. Johnson forced a turnover on Saint Joseph's next possession, and Aaron Hines made a layup to stretch the lead to 61-58.
Saint Louis (10-19, 5-11 Atlantic 10) snapped a three-game losing skid.
Chris Clover scored 17 points to lead Saint Joseph's (10-18, 3-13), which has lost eight straight.

Johnson with double-double, Saint Louis edges Saint Joseph’s


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NASCAR seeks boost to steep decline with strong Daytona 500 (1.02/39)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The good news for NASCAR is that all signs indicate Dale Earnhardt Jr. has a legitimate shot to win the Daytona 500.
A victory for NASCAR's most popular driver, in his return to racing after a concussion sidelined him the second half of last season, would be a massive boost for the sagging series. Earnhardt's star power has been one of the bright spots of Speedweeks and his strength on the track has been obvious every time he's behind the wheel of his Chevrolet.
Earnhardt was part of a Hendrick Motorsports qualifying sweep for Sunday's season-opening race. Chase Elliott won the pole, and Earnhardt will line up next to him on the starting grid. Elliott added a win in a qualifying race, and Earnhardt led 53 of 60 laps in a second qualifying race before he was passed at the end.
So the Hendrick cars have speed, the drivers aren't cowering from the Toyota teamwork that dominated last year's race, and they are ready to go bumper-to-bumper with the Team Penske fleet.
It means Sunday could be a strong opening day for NASCAR, particularly if Earnhardt can pull off his third victory in "The Great American Race. " He's not ready to call himself a favorite, and thinks he'll have his hands full with the Joe Gibbs Racing group and Penske drivers Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski.
"Watching the last several plate races, I think the Gibbs guys have the market cornered on the favorite," he said. "The Penske guys are really strong. So I think it's their race to lose. The Hendrick cars are going to be up there trying to mix it up. "
NASCAR needs Sunday to go off without a hitch.
The series is under heavy scrutiny because of sliding attendance and television ratings, plus the title sponsor deal with Monster Energy came in at a fraction of what NASCAR was looking for when it began shopping the naming rights almost two years ago.
NASCAR celebrated its deal with Monster in a Las Vegas announcement, and has hitched its wagon to the hope that Monster can attract a younger demographic and raise the excitement level at all the events. But there was little signage around the track during Speedweeks, and one of the few indications Monster is the new sponsor were the scantily-clad women around for some of the pomp and circumstance. There's been no television advertising and NASCAR was even the subject of a critical examination in the Wall Street Journal.
NASCAR has countered with a JGR announcement that defending race winner Denny Hamlin and FedEx have signed long-term extensions , while Team Penske locked in Logano and Shell-Pennzoil through 2023.
"People are talking about the health of the sport, and this is a watershed moment," Roger Penske said of an extension that took nearly a year to complete with Shell.
Both FedEx and Shell-Pennzoil are major sponsors who spend something close to $20 million a year to brand the race cars and market to the NASCAR audience.
"This is a very positive story in our sport, to see the commitment of a very large company like Shell and Pennzoil are and for them to be able to sign up with this team really makes a statement for not only where Team Penske is, but for where NASCAR is as a sport," Logano said.
Problem is, NASCAR doesn't yet know exactly where it is.
NASCAR will launch a new advertising campaign on Sunday called "Ready. Set. Race. " and a crash-filled 30-second TV ad was revealed Saturday to promote the 500.
In an effort to add excitement to the racing — something both the television partners and Monster wanted — all events will be run in segments this year. It means the Daytona 500 won't exactly be a 500-mile race of attrition, but will instead be cut into three parts. There are points on the line for each segment, giving drivers incentive to race hard for the entire race, and one final long push to the checkered flag.
It's a risky move for NASCAR, but one embraced publicly by drivers. Some fans, particularly longtime watchers, are horrified at the gimmicks NASCAR is using, but a rising crop of young drivers are eager to give it a try.
"I think you have a group of guys coming along that are going to put their signature on this sport," said team owner Chip Ganassi. "The sport's gone through some changes. We're looking at a new format. Some of us older guys, when they talk about changing the format, we look at each other, ask questions. These young drivers, they go, 'OK.' It's kind of no big deal to those guys.
"I think that says a lot about how they approach it, how they look forward to it. So I think it's pretty bright when you have an attitude like that. "
Indeed, the faces are rapidly changing in NASCAR as the stars are aging out of their rides.
Jeff Gordon is now a television analyst and will drive the pace car on Sunday. Tony Stewart retired at the end of last season. Carl Edwards decided in late December he didn't want to race this year after coming 10 laps short of winning the championship. Greg Biffle has committed to a television job.
With all those open seats, the series is starting to shift and there's more attention for drivers like Elliott, Gordon's replacement a year ago, and Daniel Suarez, the Mexican driver who turned his Xfinity Series championship into a promotion to the Cup series when Edwards retired.
JGR development driver Erik Jones is a rookie this year and will team with Martin Truex Jr. at Furniture Row Racing as de facto Gibbs drivers.
Austin Dillon made the playoffs last year, and his younger brother, Ty, has a full-time Cup ride this season. Kyle Larson also made the playoffs, and Ryan Blaney had a productive rookie season driving as a Penske development driver.
The starting grid Sunday will look a lot younger, but the car owners who pay for the talent don't seem to mind.
"I love to watch the young guys. I don't know whether it makes me feel young again, I don't know what it is," said Rick Hendrick. "It's just fun to watch those guys mature, grow, come up through the ranks. I've never seen the level of talent that we have today. I think these guys adapt so much faster. I think it's due to video games, simulators, all that.
"The level of the young guys that you see coming along that have the talent that they have, it's super exciting. "
More AP auto racing:

NASCAR: Previewing Daytona 500


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Rooney to lift EFL Cup if Man Utd beat Southampton (1.02/39)

Wayne Rooney could end a turbulent week by lifting the League Cup for Manchester United, even if he doesn't play against Southampton.
Rooney, who committed himself to United for the remainder of the season after being linked with a move to China, is in Jose Mourinho's final squad but has not played since February 1.
However, it is believed his team-mates are keen for their captain to collect the silverware if United win the trophy for the fourth time this century.
Wayne Rooney has returned to the Manchester United squad to face Southampton on Sunday
The 31-year-old could lift the EFL Cup but Jose Mourinho doesn't mind so long as his side wins
Mourinho indicated he will happily leave the decision to his squad with Michael Carrick or Chris Smalling likely to wear the armband if Rooney doesn't start.
'I don't care who lifts the cup, I just want to win the match,' said the United boss.
'He [Rooney] is always our captain, whether playing or being on the bench, or coming on or starting and leaving the pitch. But I don't think he cares either, we all just want to win.'
Rooney may be reluctant to collect the cup, given the publicity John Terry received when he put his Chelsea kit on to celebrate their 2012 Champions League success while he was suspended.
But the situation is different for Rooney as he is involved in Sunday's final. He could join the on-pitch captain, as Bryan Robson did with Steve Bruce when United won the Premiership in 1993.
Rooney has found himself lower down the order since the arrival of Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Mourinho could become the first United manager to win a trophy in his first season at the club
Mourinho says he can't wait for the kick-off as he tries to win the cup for the fourth time. He won three times with Chelsea and he could become the first Manchester United boss to win a trophy in his opening season.
Mourinho told MUTV: 'I'm not nervous. I've had many years in football, many finals — I want to play. I want to win, I want to feel responsibility, big responsibility — that's all.
'I'll go for dinner with all my assistants. We're in a positive way, we're together and we start now being together and focused on the game. It's not one more game, it's always a special match.'

Nick Holmes reflects on Saints' FA Cup win over Man United
Juan Mata available for Manchester United EFL Cup final
Jose Mourinho hopes EFL Cup win can launch Man Utd dynasty


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Song and dance, protest and politics to mingle at Oscars (1.02/39)

The 89th Academy Awards show promises to be equal parts pomp and politics.
The only thing expected to take the stage more often than the frothy front-runner "La La Land" at Sunday's ceremony is protest (and probably some punchlines) over the policies of President Donald Trump. For largely liberal Hollywood, his election has proven a rallying cause-celebre throughout an awards season that has otherwise been a parade of honors for Damien Chazelle's celebrated musical.
Just how political things are going to get at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles may be the biggest question of Sunday night's show, to be broadcast by ABC beginning at 8:30 p.m. EST, with red carpet coverage starting earlier. The current forecast for Sunday is only a slight chance of rain, though the inside of the Dolby Theatre is expected to be far stormier.
Even the usually glitzy lead-up to Sunday's show has taken on the form of a gathering tempest. On Friday, the United Talent Agency, forgoing its usual Oscar party, instead held a rally over immigration. "We will not tolerate chaos and ineptitude and war-mongering," Jodie Foster told attendees.
More strikingly, the six directors of the foreign film nominees on Friday released a joint statement condemning "the climate of fanaticism and nationalism we see today in the U. S. and in so many other countries, in parts of the population and, most unfortunately of all, among leading politicians. "
The signees included the Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, whose "The Salesman" is favored to win him his second foreign language Oscar. He isn't attending the awards out of protest for Trump's proposed travel ban from seven predominantly Muslim nations, including Iran.
On Friday, he posted a video thanking the Hollywood community for its support of his Oscar boycott. In it, Farhadi condemned Trump's policies and said they are "trying to promote hate. "
And sure to stoke the rhetoric at Sunday's Oscars is news this weekend that U. S. immigration authorities are barring entry to a 21-year-old Syrian cinematographer who worked on the documentary short nominee "The White Helmets," about the nation's civil war.
Meanwhile, about 20 Trump supporters gathered Saturday at an intersection near the Dolby Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. One held a sign with Trump's signature slogan, "Make America Great Again," while another sign asked motorists to honk if they supported Trump. There were few honks.
Some Trump supporters are calling for a boycott of the broadcast, expecting more speeches like Meryl Streep's fiery remarks at the Globes — which prompted Trump to call her "overrated. " (The Academy of Motion Pictures on Friday added Streep, also a nominee, to its presenters.) But similar so-called boycotts have also trailed the Broadway sensation "Hamilton" and 2016's top box-office hit, the "Star Wars" spinoff "Rogue One. "
ABC would be very happy with similar results, especially after last year's telecast, hosted by Chris Rock, drew 34.4 million viewers, an eight-year low. Ads this year are still going for $2.1 million for 30-second spots.
Host Jimmy Kimmel will have a delicate balance on his hands. Play it too light and he'll appear out of sync with the mood. Hammer too hard and he'll alienate viewers already inundated by politics.
A lot of the suspense has been deflated by the juggernaut of "La La Land," the Golden Globe winner and favorite to win best picture. It's up for 14 awards, tying it with "Titanic" and "All About Eve" for the record.
Rock's 2016 show, which he introduced as "the White People's Choice Awards," was rife with Hollywood's diversity debate. But after two straight years of all-white acting nominees and the resulting "OscarsSoWhite" rancor, this year's field is teaming with African-American actors and filmmakers, thanks to films like best-picture candidates Barry Jenkin's coming-of-age tale "Moonlight," Denzel Washington's August Wilson adaptation "Fences" and Theodore Melfi's uplifting space-race drama "Hidden Figures. "
For the first time, an actor of color is nominated in each acting category. A record six black actors are nominated. Four of the five films nominated for best documentary were made by black filmmakers. Bradford Young ("Arrival") is the second black cinematographer ever nominated. Kimberly Steward, the financer of "Manchester by the Sea," is the second black female producer nominated for best picture.
The nominees follow the efforts by Academy of Motions Pictures Arts and Sciences President Cheryl Boone Isaacs to diversify the membership of the largely white, older and male film academy. In June, the academy added 683 new members: 46 percent of them were female; 41-percent were nonwhite; and they pulled from 59 countries.
There is other turmoil, too. Only one major studio — Paramount, which distributed "Arrival" and "Fences" — scored a best picture nod this year — and its chief, Brad Grey, departed last week. Amazon, on the other hand, scored its first best-picture nomination with "Manchester by the Sea. "
Nekesa Mumbi Moody contributed to this report.

Five facts about Sunday's 89th Annual Academy Awards


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Pistons searching for ways to jump start Reggie Jackson (1.02/39)

AUBURN HILLS -- It's been a weird month for Reggie Jackson.
Not only has he struggled in finding his burst of speed again, but rumors circulated for weeks the Detroit Pistons were looking to trade him.
The trade never happened, but Jackson found himself on the bench for the fourth quarter and overtime of Detroit's come-from-behind win Thursday over Charlotte.
"I think he's been trying defensively," said Pistons president-coach Stan Van Gundy. "Just offensively, we've got to find an answer. I know he's frustrated. He's frustrated with me, play calls and things like that. So, we're going to have to find something to where he can play more effectively, more productively, on the offensive end of the court. "
Jackson and the Pistons are in a bit of limbo. The plan coming into the season was to try and speed up and diversify the offense, one they were going to work through with Jackson - who flourishes in the half-court pick-and-roll game - in training camp.
That never happened, as he required a procedure to treat tendinitis in his left knee and missed the first 21 games of the season, forcing an expedited process with backup point guard Ish Smith. It worked with mild success, then Jackson returned.
"I don't think we'll change a lot," Van Gundy said. "He's a pick-and-roll player, and that's the game he wants to play. He's frustrated that we're not playing enough of it, and we aren't playing as much of it because it hasn't been effective. "
The Pistons play with a 4-point disadvantage with Jackson on the court this season, the worst plus/minus rating of anyone on the roster. Ball movement has been an issue at times, and the current starting lineup - with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Marcus Morris, Jon Leuer and Andre Drummond - are minus-3.0 as a group.
"He and I have got to make sure we're on the same page," Van Gundy said. "Reggie's been good through the whole thing. His attitude has been great. He's trying to find his way without having the ball as much in his hands. That's not easy. This isn't an easy situation for him. "
Van Gundy wouldn't specify what he wants Jackson to do more of, though he ruled out the idea of utilizing him more off the ball or in the post.
Complicating matters is Detroit's recent run, winning seven of its last 10 games, and Jackson's diminished role in the offense.
So far in February, he's averaging just 9.4 points and 5.5 assists per game. He's shooting 36.3 percent from the floor, just 28 percent from the 3-point line, and was 1 for 6 before riding the bench for most of the second half Thursday.
"He's a great talent. He's a tough guy to stop," Van Gundy said. "It's awfully hard to find a talent of his caliber -- and on top of the talent, he's a good guy, he's a team guy. He's stuck with it. To me, what I've got to do with him is figure out way to get the best out of him. It's not a matter of getting rid of him. It's getting him back to playing the way he was. "

Detroit Pistons' SVG: Celtics' Isaiah Thomas merits MVP consideration


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April the pregnant giraffe: live stream attracts millions – and YouTube censors (1.02/39)

April the pregnant celebrity giraffe continued to do well on Saturday as she awaited the arrival of her fourth calf – and a live stream of her wait attracted upwards of 30 million viewers.
April is a 15-year-old giraffe who lives at the Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, near Binghamton in New York state. Her celebrity kicked into high gear on Thursday after YouTube abruptly cut the live stream when what the zoo called “animal rights extremists” alleged a violation of its “nudity and sexual content” policy.
Up to that point more than 20 million had watched footage from the camera placed in April’s stall. The abrupt blackout incensed giraffe fans, who complained that their “the miracle of life” video was being suppressed. The video was subsequently restored to YouTube.
Attempts to contact the Animal Adventure Park were not successful as it is closed for the season, but Jordan Patch, its owner, said in a video on Facebook Live it was OK if some animal activists did not agree with the decision to live stream the birth. The decision to remove it, he said, was wrong.
“This has pulled an educational tool away from tens of millions of individuals,” Patch said, adding that the decision could harm giraffes by reducing awareness of their vulnerability in the wild.
Veterinarians said on Facebook on Saturday they were satisfied with April’s progress but could not forecast when the birth would occur. Giraffes, they said, tend to hide signs of labor.
“Physical posturing and other activity observed,” they wrote. To the untrained eye, April was mostly standing still and swinging her tail or slowly circling her pen.
Giraffe pregnancies last for 15 months, with new-borne calves weighing around 150lbs and standing 6ft.
While April and Oliver, the five-year old father of her calf, enjoyed yard time on Friday, the pair were being kept in separate stalls.
“His rambunctious play for an extended period could have negative effects,” the vets wrote . “Boys will be boys.”

Watch live: April the giraffe preparing to give birth at New York zoo


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Thompson, Elon bench power Phoenix past Delaware, 81-59 (1.00/39)

Dmitri Thompson scored 22 points and Elon's bench almost matched Delaware's total in an 81-59 Colonial Athletic Association victory in Saturday night's regular season finale.
Elon got 58 of its 81 points from its bench, led by Thompson, who hit 7 of 12 from the field and 7 of 8 from the line. Dainan Swoope contributed 14 points off the bench. No Elon starter scored in double figures.
No. 5 seed Elon (18-13, 10-8) faces No. 4 seed William & Mary in a conference tournament quarterfinal Saturday in North Charleston, S. C.
No. 9 seed Delaware (12-19, 5-13) faces No. 8 seed Hofstra in a first-round game Friday.
Elon outscored the Blue Hens by 11 points in each half, building a 40-29 advantage at halftime.
Overall the Phoenix shot 45.1 percent from the field (23 of 51), including 10 of 29 from long range, and 25 of 36 from the free-throw line.
Ryan Daly finished with 18 points and nine rebounds to lead Delaware. Eric Carter added 12 points with eight boards.

South Dakota beats IUPUI 92-85 for share of Summit title


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The Saturdays' Una Healy stuns in sweeping sequinned gown (1.00/39)

Una Healy is known for her lilting voice and flame-haired beauty.
And The Saturdays singer looked every inch the star as she flaunted her flawless figure in a breathtaking floor-length bejewelled gown at fellow Irishman Ronan Keating's Emeralds and Ivy Ball on Saturday night.
The 35-year-old attended the annual event held at Battersea Evolution in London alongside a host of other music, screen and film stars in order to raise money for Cancer Research UK and the Marie Keating Foundation.
Breathtaking beauty: The Saturdays singer Una Healy ooked flaunted her flawless figure in a floor-length bejewelled gown at Ronan Keating's Emeralds and Ivy Ball on Saturday night
The bardot embellished number snugly wrapped the mother-of-two's slim figure as she walked the red carpet.
Una looked relaxed and happy to pose for cameras as she posed for pictures alone.
Revealing bronzed shoulders and eschewing a necklace to ensure all attention was on her eye catching dress with its low neckline, the Irish singer also opted for pared-back makeup.
She wore her gorgeous red hair in natural, slightly tousled waves and added a pair of black-and-silver boat shaped earrings to complement her ensemble.
Perfect ensemble: The mother-of-two wore her gorgeous red hair in natural, slightly tousled waves and added a pair of black-and-silver boat shaped earrings to complement her outfit
Stunning: The dress hugged the Irish singer's pert derriere and hung all the way to the floor
Una has now ventured out on a solo career. She released her single debut, Stay My Love on which she teamed up with Nashville star Sam Palladio, earlier this month -along with her new album entitled The Waiting Game.
And the singer recently disappointed fans of the girl group when she revealed they wouldn't be reuniting anytime soon.
She told Lorraine on Tuesday: 'I always say when the nostalgia kicks in, that’s when bands reform and I hope one day we will, but it won’t be for a few years.
'I really miss the girls and their company. We’re all doing out own thing, but I’ve got the guys in the band. But of course I miss the girls.'
Date night: Ronan and Storm Keating looked loved up more than ever as they arrived at the Emeralds and Ivy Ball in London on Saturday night
The black tie event aims to raise money for a the Marie Keating Foundation that Ronan joined as a director in 2001.
He and his four siblings founded the charity in 1998 following the loss of their mother Marie to breast cancer.
The ball celebrates a firm partnership with Cancer Research UK, something that has so far raised an incredible amount of much-needed funds over the years.
Boyzone star Ronan, 39, looked dapper and stuck to the colour theme as he attended with his pregnant wife Storm in an emerald coloured suit.
Sauve: Working the theme into his attire, former Boyzone star Ronan sported a dapper emerald green blazer for the gala
Australian stunner Storm, 35, happily showcased her blossoming bump in a stomach hugging black strapless gown.
The TV producer was positively glowing in her couture number which featured a bump accentuating peplum that cascaded over her stomach as she held lovingly onto it, making her way up the red carpet.
It is the first child for the couple, though Ronan has three children from his previous marriage to Yvonne Connolly - Jack, 17, Missy, 15, and 11-year-old Ali.
Speaking on Loose Women earlier this month, Ronan said: 'The kids are over the moon, Ali FaceTimes every day saying 'How big is the bump? Can I see the bump?'
And speaking of her step-children, Storm declared: 'Every time I see him with his kids I fall more and more in love.'
Other attendees included model Amy Willerton, fresh from The Jump, who sizzled in a plunging maroon gown that highlighted her incredible figure as she arrived on the carpet.
Style star: Fresh from her stint on The Jump, Amy Willerton sizzled in a plunging maroon gown that highlighted her incredible figure as she arrived on the carpet
Amy was joined by a number of her Channel 4 cast mates including Josie Gibson and Spencer Matthews at the charity bash.
And model Abbey Clancy, who had a heavy night at the Brits afterparty earlier this week, looked stunning in a demure gown at the event.
MIC's Tiffany Watson also put in an appearance, dazzling in a metallic gown with a sultry thigh-high slit and matching clutch.
Party pals: Amy was joined by a number of her Channel 4 cast mates including Josie Gibson and Spencer Matthews
Metallic muse: MIC's Tiffany Watson dazzled in a metallic gown with a sultry thigh-high slit
Demure darling: Model Abbey Clancy put on a demure display in a black gown after an alcohol fuelled night earlier this week at a Brits afterparty with her brother and husband Peter Crouch
Dressed to the nines: The backless number highlighted her leafy frame as she stepped onto the carpet

Jessica Wright wears flared jumpsuit for charity ball


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Lost hopes (1.00/39)

In a arise of his victory, Stoke Central’s new Labour MP Gareth Snell claimed it had been a delight for a “politics of hope”.
But with a lowest audience in a constituency’s story and a domain of 2,620 a narrowest ever available in this once unapproachable Labour heartland, can this stipulation unequivocally be believed?
It’s a splendid and breezy day in Stoke-on-Trent.
The city has been during a centre of a domestic spotlight for weeks now, yet people seem some-more meddlesome in deliberating a issue of Storm Doris than a tiny matter of Stoke Central’s by-election result.
This fixed operative category village was once sexually behind Labour.
In 1951, some-more than 60,000 went to a polls – 34,260 subsidy Labour.
Rather than feel winning about Gareth Snell’s win, Labour electorate peaceful to speak simply seem relieved Paul Nuttall didn’t bind it.
In all, 7,853 voted for Mr Snell, compared to 5,233 who wanted UKIP to win.
Wendy Wright, 51, from Newcastle-under-Lyme, suspicion a opinion for UKIP might have been aloft had it not been for a catastrophic campaign.
“I’m not astounded Labour won given of a approach UKIP rubbed a campaign,” she said.
“The people of Stoke seemed to consider he [Paul Nuttall] didn’t come from a area and they didn’t trust his container of lies.
“It’s a service UKIP didn’t get in yet [Labour maintaining a seat] usually means things are going to stay a same.”
Ms Wright pronounced there had not been a high audience given “people aren’t meddlesome in politics”.
She said: “They’ve kind of mislaid faith and mislaid hope. They think, what’s a point, nothing’s going to change.
“It’s a deprived area and it’s a contrition given a people are so welcoming and friendly.”
Veronica Millington, 71, from Blythe Bridge, pronounced she and father Anthony, 75, were “Labour by and through”. ‘Make things better’
They corroborated Mr Snell in a by-election and also voted to stay in a European Union.
“I consider a people of Stoke do caring about politics and they wish to make things better,” she said.
“I consider they were misled by UKIP in a beginning. They seemed to guarantee them so many and people saw it as a new possibility really.
“It was usually when all a lies came out they saw how many wrong things had been said.”
Mr Millington, 75, voiced regard about since so few people worried to go to a polls.
“The audience seemed to be unequivocally low and we consider a lot of people consider it was a foregone conclusion.
“They suspicion a Labour Party would win. Now either or not they’ve had a jar from a alien now, we don’t know.”
For a city that has had such a clever attribute with a Labour party, a changing domestic landscape over a past 7 decades reveals a lot about a strength of feeling in a community.
Labour has won all 18 elections given a pregnancy of a Stoke Central constituency, with a Conservatives entrance second until 2001. ‘Growing alienation’
But nonetheless Labour enjoyed a heyday in a 1960s and 70s, their share of a opinion has consistently depressed over a years down to a record low of 37% in this by-election.
So since did this city of proud, operative category electorate tumble out of adore with Labour?
“Things started to change given of a flourishing disunion of a people of Stoke-on-Trent from Westminster,” says Prof Mick Temple from Staffordshire University.
“Industry was decimated in a 1980s – coal, steel and a Potteries.
“When we initial came here [in a early 90s] infrastructure was poor, schools were bad and still today, stagnation is aloft than a inhabitant average.”
From a closure of Shelton Steel Works – where 10,000 once worked – to a timorous of a famous pottery industry, a people of Stoke-on-Trent have lived by some violent times.
But a dour images of derelict factories and houses mostly shown by a media are not a loyal thoughtfulness of a passion and honour of a village that is fiercely unapproachable of a heritage.
Data shows 6.2% of adults in Stoke Central explain stagnation benefit, distant aloft than a inhabitant normal of 3.8%.
In new years employers such as Bet365, Michelin Tyres and Goodwin have invested millions of pounds into their businesses, providing jobs for thousands of people.
Hanley’s famous pottery attention is also enjoying something of a resurgence, with Emma Bridgewater investing some-more than £1m in a abounding ceramics factory.
Middleport Pottery, home of world-famous Burleigh, is in a inhabitant spotlight interjection to a success of BBC Two’s The Great Pottery Throw Down.
Millions of pounds are being spent regenerating a city.
For many people though, a investment has been too little, too late.
“The feeling is that a city has been upheld by Westminster and a EU, and that is since people voted Leave so overwhelmingly,” says Prof Temple.
“There are many towns in a north of England where people feel a same – areas that are developed for UKIP.”
From 2005, a BNP and UKIP began to ring with voters, entrance fourth and fifth in that year’s choosing and again in 2010.
By 2015, UKIP had won so many support a claimant Mick Harold came second to Tristram Hunt for a chair that had a lowest voter audience in a whole of a UK.
Pub owners Tony Flackett, 69, corroborated Paul Nuttall in Thursday’s poll.
“It feels sad, it’s such a shame, they’ve worked unequivocally tough and people have come from all over a country.
“I’ve always voted for Conservatives yet a final dual years we voted UKIP given of Brexit and immigration.
“But life goes on and during slightest they reduced a margin.”
Tom Wilson, 26, voted for UKIP in a by-election and pronounced he was “very upset” during a result.
“I consider Labour winning is unequivocally bad news for Stoke-on-Trent.
“There has been years of slight in Stoke with income spent usually on Hanley.
“I consider usually UKIP would have done a change for a people of Stoke.”
UKIP has done moves to seductiveness to former Labour voters, as good as those who before corroborated a Tories.
“They’re some-more pro-State, pro-NHS. They recognize that clever nationalistic summary upheld by a operative class,” says Prof Temple.
Between a 2001 and 2011 Censuses, a non-white race doubled and there was a comparatively high race of Muslims, he said.
“I’m not observant a response was a extremist one – Stoke-on-Trent was removing reduction and reduction income from a supervision and a EU and a feeling was a normal operative category village was being overtaken.
“Many operative category electorate felt they could not demonstrate their views within a Labour party.
“The BNP and UKIP gave them a possibility to contend how they felt.”
Now Mr Snell is a town’s new MP, a plea is on for him to win behind a trust of former Labour supporters and rivet with new ones.
Lee Woolrich, 33, from Stoke-on-Trent, is conduct of customer services for a digital group yet did not opinion in a by-election.
“I’m ashamed unequivocally that we didn’t use my vote, yet we roughly don’t consider we deposit adequate in politics to make an sensitive decision,” he said.
“I don’t consider immature people are intent in politics. we consider they are some-more so recently given of what’s happened in America.
“I review about Paul Nuttall and some of his views and policies and we don’t trust it’s what we need here.”
Mr Woolrich believes politicians need to take some-more of an seductiveness in Stoke-on-Trent – he too feels a place has been mislaid and is badly represented by a media.
“Stoke is doing good though those kinds of ideas.
“I adore a developments in Hanley and a informative quarter.
“Stoke is display signs of change and removing in line with cities like Manchester.
“On a internal level, we like a instruction things are going in yet we don’t indispensably consider supervision in London will listen to a people of Stoke. ‘Steeped in history’
“I hatred that tarnish that Stoke isn’t a good place to live.
“It doesn’t do a place justice. It’s a pleasing city steeped in history.”
And Prof Temple agrees. “It’s a many some-more appealing place,” he said.
“I’ve been here for 24 years, I’ve lived all around a universe and this is a friendliest, many awake village I’ve ever known.
“Stoke-on-Trent has an temperament many places in a UK have lost.
“There’s a unequivocally clever clarity of community. It’s a place where loyalty and family is still strong.”

David Harewood: Next Doctor Who should be black or female


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MISSING: 14-year-old Northeast D. C. girl (1.00/39)

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - The Metropolitan Police Department needs the public help to find a missing 14-year-old girl.
Seyauna Parker was last seen in the 1300 block of Saratoga Avenue in Northeast D. C. on Friday, Feb. 24 between 7 a.m. and 9:30 p.m., police said.
She is described as a black female, medium complexion about 5’5” tall and 150 pounds. She has black hair, brown eyes, and was last seen wearing an IDEA school uniform polo with khaki pants and black tennis shoes, police said. She also wears a nose ring.
(© 2017 WUSA)

MISSING: 15-year-old Southeast D. C. boy


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Ducks-Kings Sum (1.00/39)

First Period_1, Anaheim, Cogliano 14 (Silfverberg, Kesler), 16:53.
Second Period_None.
Third Period_2, Los Angeles, Toffoli 11 (Pearson, Doughty), 3:37. 3, Los Angeles, Toffoli 12 (Carter, Pearson), 7:48. 4, Los Angeles, Brown 10 (Kopitar, Gravel), 8:05. 5, Los Angeles, Carter 30 (Pearson, Kopitar), 18:53.
Shots on Goal_Anaheim 12-7-14_33. Los Angeles 6-13-14_33.
Power-play opportunities_Anaheim 0 of 4; Los Angeles 0 of 4.
Goalies_Anaheim, Bernier 9-6-2 (32 shots-29 saves). Los Angeles, Quick 1-0-0 (33-32).
A_18,230 (18,118). T_2:55.
Referees_Steve Kozari, Justin St Pierre. Linesmen_Brandon Gawryletz, Shane Heyer.
Need a break? Play a quick game of solitaire or Sudoku. Or take one of our fun quizzes!
Take a look back at photos of Washington's baseball teams during Spring Training.

Ducks-Kings Sums


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Krewe of Towahpasah 2017: See photos from the Reserve parade (0.21/39)

The Krewe of Tohwahpahsah parade rolled Saturday (Feb. 25) in Reserve, with all sorts of vehicles and homemade floats. The parade began at West 10th Street and Railroad Avenue in Reserve.
The krewe was started in 1984 by the Triche family: Lawrence "Noonie" Triche, Lawrence P. Triche, Lisa Triche and Calvin Triche.

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Krewe of Iris 2017 rolls in New Orleans: See Mardi Gras parade photos


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News Minute: Here is the latest Oklahoma news from The Associated Press at 5:40 p.m. CST - - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports (0.15/39)

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - A Tulsa-area mother was arrested after police found her passed out behind the front seats of a truck filled with drugs and exposed needles and her 2-month-old infant left unsupervised in the cold vehicle. Tulsa officers found the infant in a truck parked at a home improvement store late Friday.
MOORE, Okla. (AP) - A federal judge has dismissed a request to impose a stiff fine against a widow who called police "pigs" on Facebook as she vented her frustrations over the death of her husband in a scuffle. U. S. District Court Judge Timothy DeGiusti declined to sanction Nair Rodriguez for the 18-minute Facebook Live video she made in December, pleading for justice for her husband, Luis Rodriguez.
TULSA, Okla. (AP) - A 10-day burn ban is in effect in a northeast Oklahoma county as the chance for wildfire outbreaks continue throughout much of the area. Emergency managers in Tulsa County approved a proposal by commissioners on Friday after consulting with area fire departments about the risk for wildfire danger.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is investigating after two people died in a Washita County crash. A preliminary report from the agency says the driver, 34-year-old Rhonda R. Hulett, and her passenger, 46-year-old James Deffenbaugh, died in the crash late Friday about 15 miles east of Cordell.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Border agents ask Muhammad Ali's son: 'Are you Muslim?' - - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports
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Saturday’s Sports Transactions (0.06/39)

BALTIMORE ORIOLES — Agreed to terms with INF Paul Janish on a minor league contract.
KANSAS CITY ROYALS — Agreed to terms with Ps Miguel Almonte, Andrew Edwards, Nathan Karns and Matt Strahm; C Cam Gallagher; INFs Christian Colon and Raul Mondesi; and OFs Jorge Bonifacio, Samir Duenez, Peter O’Brien and Paulo Orlando on one-year contracts.
TEXAS RANGERS — Agreed to terms with LHP Yohander Mendez, INFs Joey Gallo and Ronald Guzman, OF Delino DeShields and RHPs Eddie Gamboa, Keone Kela, and Connor Sadzeck on one-year contracts.
NEW YORK JETS — Released C Nick Mangold.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS — Agreed to terms with DT Earl Mitchell on a four-year contract.
NHL — Upheld the 10-game suspension of Anaheim F Antoine Vermette.
ANAHEIM DUCKS — Reassigned D Brandon Montour to San Diego (AHL).
ARIZONA COYOTES — Assigned G Adin Hill to Tucson (AHL).
CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS — Assigned G Jeff Glass to Rockford (AHL).
DALLAS STARS — Recalled LW Remi Elie from Texas (AHL).
LOS ANGELES KINGS — Activated G Jonathan Quick and F Jordan Nolan from injured reserve. Assigned G Jeff Zatkoff to Ontario (AHL).
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING — Acquired RW Stefan Fournier from the Arizona Coyotes for RW Jeremy Morin.
GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS — Recalled D Matt Caito from Toledo (ECHL).
ONTARIO REIGN — Assigned F Quentin Shore to Manchester (ECHL).
ROCHESTER AMERICANS — Recalled G Jason Kasdorf from Elmira (ECHL).
MANCHESTER MONARCHS — Loaned D Connor Hardowa to Ontario (AHL).
NEW YORK COSMOS — Signed Ms David Diosa and Javi Marquez.
ARIZONA — Named Dave Heeke athletic director.
Need a break? Play a quick game of solitaire or Sudoku. Or take one of our fun quizzes!
Take a look back at photos of Washington's baseball teams during Spring Training.

Saturday’s College Basketball


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Crêpe expectations: Pannukakku Finnish pancake (0.04/39)

50g butter, melted
120g plain flour (gluten-free if wished), sifted
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons clear honey
2 large eggs, beaten
300ml semi-skimmed milk
500g rhubarb, cut into 3cm pieces
juice and zest of 1 orange
60g soft brown sugar
200g strawberries, finely sliced
1 tablespoon vanilla sugar or 1 teaspoon icing sugar and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
200ml crème fraîche
♥ Preheat the oven to 220C/gas 7. Put a 24cm ovenproof cast-iron frying pan or baking dish in the oven to heat up.
♥ Put 40g of the melted butter in a large bowl and add the flour, vanilla, honey, eggs and milk. Mix together using a hand whisk to make a pouring batter with the consistency of double cream. Leave to stand for 1 hour, as this will make it rise better.
♥ Use the remaining melted butter to coat the heated frying pan, brushing it up the sides. Pour in the batter and put the pan in the hot oven. Cook for 20-25 minutes until the batter has dramatically risen, is a little crusty and golden brown at the edges and looks like a just-set custard in the middle.
♥ Meanwhile, make the compote. Put the rhubarb in a saucepan over a medium heat and add the orange juice and soft brown sugar. Cover the pan. Cook to dissolve the sugar and then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and add the orange zest, then simmer for 6 minutes. Stir gently, then add the strawberries and cook for 2 minutes. The compote can be served warm or cold.
♥ In a small bowl, stir the vanilla sugar, or icing sugar and vanilla extract mixture, into the crème fraîche. Serve the pancake immediately with the compote and vanilla crème fraîche.

Crêpe expectations: Lemon crunch pancakes
Food: Crêpe expectations
Crêpe expectations: Scottish Oat Pancakes
Crêpe expectations: Fluffy coconut pancakes


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Chilean championship results and standings (0.03/39)

Feb 26 (Gracenote) - Results and standings from the Chilean championship matches on Sunday Saturday, February 25 Audax Italiano 3 Huachipato 2 Deportes Antofagasta 1 Palestino 1 Universidad de Chile 0 Everton 0 Friday, February 24 O'Higgins 4 Cobresal 1 Universidad de Concepcion 1 Deportes Iquique 1 Standings P W D L F A Pts 1 Deportes Iquique 4 3 1 0 9 4 10 ------------------------- 2 Colo 3 0 9 1 9 3 Audax Italiano 4 3 0 1 7 6 9 ------------------------- 4 Everton 4 2 0 5 2 8 5 Universidad de Concepcion 4 2 1 4 7 6 O'Higgins 3 2 0 1 7 3 6 7 Huachipato 4 2 0 2 7 6 8 Deportes Antofagasta 4 1 2 7 6 4 9 Universidad de Chile 4 1 2 4 10 Santiago Wanderers 2 1 0 1 3 1 3 11 Union Espanola 3 1 0 2 5 7 3 12 Temuco 3 1 0 2 3 6 3 13 Universidad Catolica 3 1 0 2 5 3 14 Cobresal 4 1 0 3 5 10 3 15 San Luis 3 0 1 2 3 5 1 16 Palestino 4 0 1 3 4 8 1 1: Copa Libertadores 2-3: Copa Sudamericana Next Fixtures (GMT): Sunday, February 26 Temuco v Colo (1500) Santiago Wanderers v San Luis (2100) Universidad Catolica v Union Espanola (2330)

Soccer-Paraguayan championship results and standings
Soccer-Ecuador championship 1st round results and standings
Soccer-Peruvian championship results and standings


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Winning numbers drawn in 'Pick 5 Evening' game (0.03/39)

The winning numbers in Saturday evening's drawing of the Florida Lottery's "Pick 5 Evening" game were:
(four, five, zero, two, one)

Winning numbers drawn in 'Pick 4 Evening' game
Winning numbers drawn in 'Pick 3 Evening' game
Winning numbers drawn in 'Pick 2 Evening' game


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Teresa Palmer takes a Hollywood stroll with the family (0.01/39)

She's defied post-pregnancy body expectations as she flaunts her slender frame just weeks after giving birth.
Now it appears Teresa Palmer, 30, has just added jet lag to the list of things that refuse to bring her down.
The Australian actress looked beaming as she strolled through Hollywood on Friday, just a few days after departing from Sydney, with the beauty's accompanying family looking notably less fresh.
No jet lag here! Teresa Palmer looked beaming in a cropped stipe t-shirt and skin-tight jeans, as she carried two-month-old Forest Stage on a stroll Friday, seemingly defying jet lag after arriving from Sydney just days ago
The beauty opted to carry, instead of push two-month-old Forest Sage in the impressive snaps.
Following on behind her was hunky hubby Mark Webber, 36, and his son from a previous marriage.
Getting a lift from dad was the couple's second child, three-year-old Bodhi Rain.
Teresa was spotted sporting a pair of blue plastic sunglasses, flaunting her slender post-pregnancy frame in a cropped stripe T-shirt and fitted denim jeans.
Odd one out! The 30-year-old's hubby Mark Webber, 36, his son from a previous marriage (L) and the couple's second son Bodhi Rain, 3 (being carried by Mark), appeared a little more tired-eyed
Her ample assets filled out the short cotton top, meeting her high-waisted bottoms at the navel.
Teresa's lithe legs were hugged tightly by her faded pants, which stretched to the ankle.
The Hacksaw Ridge actress wore a pair of understated black slip-on sandals to complete her carefree look.
Nap time? The pair both joined the Australian actress on the longhaul flight from her home country
Hubby Mark's furrowed brow expression contrasted his wife's toothy grin.
The bearded fellow-actor and adorable blonde-locked both opted for blue hoodies on the stroll.
His son from a previous marriage had his eyes closed in the snap to add to the tired-eyed impression, although he was likely just captured mid-blink.
Week 10! Meanwhile, The beauty has been sharing a weekly postpartum pregnancy blog with fans, where she goes into the details of her experiences with raising a second child
Teresa keeps her blogs Your Zen Life and Your Zen Mama updated alongside her acting work.
The beauty has been sharing a weekly postpartum pregnancy blog with fans, where she goes into the details of her experiences with raising a second child.
She met Mark via Twitter in late 2012, and they were married in Mexico in December 2013.
Met online! She met Mark via Twitter in late 2012, and they were married in Mexico in December 2013

Teresa Palmer says women need to celebrate their baby body


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Can Hong Kong follow Singapore’s lead in water tariffs? (0.01/39)

S ingapore’s leaders might not have endeared themselves to their public with their announcement this week of a 30 per cent jump in water prices, but experts are urging Hong Kong and other Asian metropolises to emulate the Lion City’s policy as a regional shortage looms.
The increase, phased over two instalments starting from July, was necessary because production and transmission costs had risen since the last price adjustment in 2000, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat told lawmakers on Monday as he announced the 2017 budget.
The wealthy but resource-poor city state is seen as a world leader in water management and technology. Imported water from Malaysia accounts for about half of Singapore’s total water supply, an arrangement that has existed since the two countries acrimoniously split in 1965.
In recent decades, the island state has developed alternative sources of water to guard against Malaysia using its supply as a diplomatic bargaining chip. Singapore’s two desalination plants and NEWater – recycled water from the sewage system – can meet around 65 per cent of the 1.6-billion-litres-per-day demand, according to its water agency.
The finance minister said the increase in prices would help pay for new water infrastructure, including additional desalination and NEWater plants that are expected to meet up to 85 per cent of total demand by 2060.
Water security experts say the Singapore-style increases in water tariffs – if calibrated carefully in a tiered pricing system – could help significantly reduce wastage.
“We do need to apply water tariffs to disincentivise water wastage,” a spokeswoman for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) told This Week in Asia .
“In general, appropriately designed fiscal instruments and water pricing principles can create incentives for more efficient water use by reflecting the full costs of water.”
According to Ma Jun, director of the Beijing-based Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, there is evidence across the globe showing that water tariffs “help cut waste, increase efficiency and help to cultivate water resilience”.
Experts, however, caution that policymakers in developing economies should guard against hurting vulnerable groups.
Singapore’s Heng said on Monday that lower- and middle-income households in the country would receive vouchers to offset the increase in water prices.
“In all cities, but particularly in cities like Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur, we need to ensure that water tariffs do not reduce access by the poor to clean water,” the UNEP spokeswoman said.
She added that there were ways to “apply water tariffs differently to Singapore that both incentivise water efficiency but also ensure water access”, including making a fixed quota of water – about 6,000 litres – free of charge, but charging higher rates if that limit is exceeded.
When the rate hikes are fully implemented in 2018, Singapore’s household water tariff per cubic metre will be S$1.21 (HK$6.69) for volumes below 40 cubic metres, and S$1.52 per cubic metre for volumes above.
The Southeast Asian country’s push to disincentivise water wastage comes amid rising concern about freshwater supply in Asia.
Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology last year said economic and population growth coupled with climate change could lead to “serious water shortages” in the region by 2050. The three factors could lead to one billion more people becoming more “water stressed” compared with today.
Experts say Hong Kong is among Asia’s thirstiest metropolises and is in urgent need of water management reforms.
The freeze in tariff rates in the past two decades “because of politics” is hurting water conservation efforts, said Frederick Lee Yok-shiu, director of the water governance research programme at Hong Kong University.
“On average, taxpayers are subsidising half of each household’s water bill. There is no economic incentive for users to conserve water,” Lee said. “Asking each household to pay for the full cost of water use will help remind them of the actual value of freshwater.”
A spokesman for the Hong Kong Water Supplies Department (WSD) told This Week in Asia that the agency would “continue to review water tariffs that cover domestic and non-domestic accounts”. He said affordability, financial performance of the waterworks, prevailing economic conditions, and the views of lawmakers were among factors that were being considered in the agency’s review.
“The rates of adjustment, if proposed, are subject to the result of the review,” he said.
Around 80 per cent of the city’s water supply comes from the Dongjiang river in Guangdong. The WSD says that the city paid HK$4.3 billion for the mainland water supply in the 2015-2016 financial year.
Lee, the HKU professor, said the cross-border agreement allowing Hong Kong to tap the Dongjiang river gives the “perception that the city enjoys an abundant supply of fresh water”.
But that, Lee said, was a “misplaced belief” because competition for supply from the river is likely to increase as climate change affects water supply in the southern China region.
Still, raising water tariffs in Hong Kong would not be easy, said Ma, the Beijing-based environmentalist who authored the book China’s Water Crisis .
“It’s not easy to get [popular support] for water tariff increases.
“Singapore is a unique case because there is an understanding that water conservation is critical because there is no other alternative,” Ma said.
And on mainland China, any move to raise water tariffs would probably be met with questions from the public on how the increased revenue would be spent and whether it would lead to an improvement in services, Ma said.
“But those things are not likely to be transparent, and so people are unlikely to support paying more for water.”
In Singapore, politicians from the ruling People’s Action Party faced a barrage of questions about the timing of the tariff jump. Some commentators said the roll-out of the price adjustments should have been delayed amid uncertainty over the economy.
The government in August 2015 had said it saw “no need for an adjustment” to water prices. The price rise announced this week comes 18 months after that declaration.
Lawrence Wong, the national development minister, said in a forum on Thursday that receding water levels at a key Malaysian reservoir that supplied Singapore compelled the government to act quickly.
“Water for us is a matter of national survival. It’s a matter of strategic importance. We felt that we had to make the increase now,” he said. ■

The illness at the heart of Hong Kong’s police force


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Rumors circle about Ivanka and Jared's influence on Trump (0.01/39)

As rumors continue to swirl that Ivanka and Jared Kushner are influencing President Donald Trump 's legislation, the couple were all smiles as they left their Washington, DC, home on Saturday with their three children.
Ivanka wore a white button-down shirt, black leggings and white sneakers as she stood on the sidewalk with Jared and their children, Arabella, Joseph and Theodore outside their $5.5million home in DC's Kalorama neighborhood.
Meanwhile, Jared looked relaxed in a long-sleeve shirt, jeans and a baseball cap.
Ivanka and Jared Kushner leave their Washington, DC, home on Saturday with their three children, Arabella, Joseph, and Theodore
The 35-year-old businesswoman and her real estate mogul husband have reportedly helped lead the charge in changing parts of President Donald Trump's executive orders.
While Kushner, 36, is Trump's senior White House adviser, Ivanka doesn't hold an official role in her father's presidential cabinet.
She has, however, been an unofficial moderator for the president and has appeared at various meetings alongside her dad.
Trump Press Secretary Sean Spicer was asked about Ivanka’s role if any, that she has within the administration.
Spicer said: 'I think her role is to be helpful and provide input on a variety of areas that she has deep, passionate concerns about, especially in the area of women in the workforce and empowering women.
'She is someone who has a lot of expertise and wants to offer that, especially in the area of trying to help women.'
Ivanka wears a white button-down shirt, black leggings and white sneakers as she stands on the sidewalk with Jared and their children, Arabella, Joseph and Theodore outside their $5.5million home in DC's Kalorama neighborhood
While the Kushner family enjoyed some time together, a member of the US Secret Service receives a package in front of their Washington, DC, residence on Saturday
Despite not having an official title, Wall Street Journal reporters Amy Harder and Peter Nicholas wrote that it was Ivanka who reportedly influenced two deals involving climate change and LGBT rights.
The power couple may have influenced Trump's executive order critical of climate change and the Obama-era global climate deal.
'At the request of President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his wife, Ivanka Trump, language critical of a global climate deal was struck from an executive order that Mr Trump is planning to sign soon', reports The Wall Street Journal.
'The executive order, which targets Mr Obama’s broad climate agenda, now includes no mention of the climate deal, which nearly 200 nations struck in Paris in 2015.'
Their influence doesn't stop there. They've also helped kill a proposed order that would have scrapped Obama-era LGBT protections, The New York Times reported.
The New York Times called the husband-wife duo 'the two most influential social liberals in President Trump’s inner circle'.
'There are some in Trump’s family that have some views on these things', a source close to the administration told Politico . 'That’s where the decision is ultimately being made'.
Rumors continue to swirl that Ivanka and Jared (left) are influencing President Donald Trump's legislation. Here a member of the US Secret Service walks beside Jared outside the White House senior adviser's home in the Kalorama neighborhood of Washington, DC on Saturday
Jared looked relaxed in a long-sleeve shirt, jeans and a baseball cap
The 36-year-old real estate mogul (left) may have influenced Trump's executive order critical of climate change and the Obama-era global climate deal
Recently, however, the couple, who has been seen as a moderating force on social issues, have been silent on the president's decision to revoke federal protections that had allowed transgender students to use the public school bathroom of their choice.
'Yesterday’s actions really puts into question whether there are allies in this administration,' Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign told Politico .
'It’s important to define what an ally is - it’s not someone who sends the occasional tweet, it’s not someone who has people talking on background to reporters about your supposed view.
'An ally is someone who stands up, champions and fights for our community.'
In the past, Ivanka and Jared have described themselves as supporters of LGBT rights.
The couple has not publicly commented on the matter.

Jordana Brewster dons Mickey Mouse sweatshirt for lazy day


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My Brexit fightback starts here: MICHAEL HESELTINE (0.01/39)

Three days after the EU referendum , I set out in this newspaper my reaction. I made three points. First, put Brexiteers in charge. Secondly, I urged the Government to get on with it. And finally, I said the fight back starts here.
Today, five days after the House of Lords approved the Second Reading of the Brexit Bill, which allows the Government to trigger Article 50, I stand where I stood eight months ago.
The Prime Minister shrewdly placed Boris Johnson, David Davis and Liam Fox in the three leading trenches in the battle to leave Europe. It was in itself controversial and certainly surprising but it was right.
The Prime Minister shrewdly placed Boris Johnson, David Davis and Liam Fox in the three leading trenches in the battle to leave Europe
Any more balanced approach would have opened the door for the charge by the Brexiteers that they were robbed. ‘If only we had been in charge’ would have echoed through the debate as the inevitable compromises emerge from the forthcoming dialogue.
They are in charge. We can all see that they are in charge and they will have to explain why black is sometimes white.
My second preoccupation was to limit – to any possible extent – the damage to our economy that uncertainty over our future relationship with our largest market would cause. Uncertainty is inevitable and will remain so until a clear roadmap is set out in detail and secured by the agreement of both sides. The Lords recognised the mandate delivered by the referendum result and, certainly, its subordinate role as an unelected authority. There was no appetite to assert a more ambitious claim.
They are in charge. We can all see that they are in charge and they will have to explain why black is sometimes white.
I have no time for those who argue the Government should set out its negotiating position in any form in advance of the forthcoming dialogue.
Time and again in private sector negotiations I have set out my demands at the outset. Frequently I never expected to receive them in whole or even in part. It is how negotiation works. You go on until both sides either compromise or give in. Hands are shaken. Optimistic public relation statements issued. But that is not how it works in the public sector. The slightest hint of a defined position becomes a psychological red line.
A more formal position becomes a ‘Maginot Line’ behind which there is no retreat. Immediately one group of supporters will denounce such a position as inadequate by their standards, while the media will define the opening bid as the start line from which any retreat is national humiliation.
Any more balanced approach would have opened the door for the charge by the Brexiteers that they were robbed
The Government knows this full well and has rightly avoided the trap. But the Government doesn’t know what 27 other EU countries will do in the end in their national self interest and to satisfy their parliaments and electorates.
It is more confusing than that. Europe has elections coming up. They don’t even know some of the governments with which they will be negotiating.
The Government needs to proceed as fast as circumstance permits. The scale and complexity of the negotiation make an effective end date impossible to predict. The forthcoming elections in France, Germany and Holland shroud the effective start date in uncertainty. In the end the outcome of Brexit will have to be confirmed by Parliament. It will also have to pass in 27 national European parliaments, several sub-national parliaments and the European Parliament. It was perhaps unwise for our Government to suppose that our Parliament should be excluded where all others were included. Very sensibly, after the Supreme Court interpreted the law, that position was reversed and Parliament was restored to its rightful constitutional role as the ultimate authority.
I will vote in the House of Lords to ensure that position is legally intact. This is not a confrontation with the Government which has already made such a commitment. It is – put simply – a decision to ensure that the Commons has the chance to define its role in the exercise of its authority over what most people regard as the defining issue of our time.
That brings me to my third point. The fightback starts here.
My opponents will argue that the people have spoken, the mandate secured and the future cast. My experience stands against this argument.
I have had my share of opposition politics. I first became an MP in the 1960s when Harold Wilson was Labour Prime Minister. Our duty, we argued, was to oppose. Oppose who? The Government of the day with its popular mandate. From day one we used our parliamentary votes to challenge Bill after Bill despite its clear presence in the Government manifesto.
Of course, we usually lost as the popular elected majority prevailed. But not always. I led the opposition to a Labour Government Bill to nationalise our ports in the 1960s. We so delayed the legislation that it fell when an election intervened.
I led the opposition to another nationalisation measure, the Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industry Bill, which Labour secured only by cheating over the pairing system and celebrated by standing on their parliamentary benches and singing The Red Flag. The rest remains history, as the recent West End play, This House, has revealed.
Only Parliament can legislate. Today it is about to authorise the mandate of last year’s EU referendum. Should that authority have any time limit or be in any way influenced by the outcome of the unpredictable negotiations?
Both questions demand an affirmative answer for me.
At the moment there is no evidence that public opinion has changed since the referendum. The PM rides high in the polls and Jeremy Corbyn’s official Labour Opposition has opted to leave the stage. This reinforces the ‘get on with it’ argument. But what if this present background changes?
The PM rides high in the polls and Jeremy Corbyn’s official Labour Opposition has opted to leave the stage
I have no intention to list the sort of events that could precipitate such a situation. I have never known a future populated by such uncertainty, but my preoccupation is to ensure that if public opinion changes then Parliament has the means to reflect that, whether by election, referendum or rethink.
It should not be forgotten that a month before the EU referendum, Nigel Farage said if the Brexit campaign lost by around 52 to 48 (in the event it won by precisely this margin) it would be considered ‘unfinished business’, with pressure for a second referendum to reverse the result.
And Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has made it clear she is determined to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence if the Brexit talks result in Britain leaving the Single Market.
However, I will make one projection. My belief is that there were two underlying factors at work that led to the referendum result.
The first was the frustration caused by years of stagnant living standards. Something had to be blamed and Europe was readily to hand.
Throw immigration into the mix and the mood for change sought something to latch on to. Nigel Farage articulated that and later Donald Trump’s campaign gave it a transatlantic articulation. Marine Le Pen in France, Geert Wilders in Holland, and Frauke Petry in Germany now contribute a European voice.
The free movement of people enshrined in EU rules is under scrutiny. I think our request for change could find a very different reception on the Continent by the end of the coming cycle of elections.
Parliament must have the chance to react to that.
In the meantime, the Government’s immigration policy could gain increased credibility if it took control of the majority of immigrants, who come from outside the EU and over which the EU has no power to influence us at all. I have to recognise the argument that this could require me to defy a three-line whip by my party. I was first elected to Parliament in 1966 and only on three occasions have I consciously and publicly done that.
The first was when my party whipped against the Labour Party’s anti-discrimination race relations legislation in the late 1960s. I was then involved commercially in hotels and employment agencies. I knew what the disease of ‘no coloureds’ meant. These were the days of Enoch Powell and ‘Rivers of Blood’. I defied the whip and three weeks later my party changed its mind. Around the same time I voted against the Labour Government’s policy to renege on the undertaking to Kenyan Asians at risk of persecution that there would be a home for them here.
I revolted against the Poll Tax. I make no apology – it contributed massively to the destruction of our party in Scotland and would have done so elsewhere in the UK if we had not got rid of it in 1990. My third revolt was a more personal gesture to my old friend, Conservative MP Jill Knight – who entered Parliament with me in 1966 – in her defence of opticians and her family business.
It is an ironic reflection on events that the Tory whip sent to dissuade me from this action crossed the floor and is now a Labour peer!
In the end, politics is a lonely place. There comes a moment when only you can know what you must do. In a sense the public is right. We are only in it for what we can get out of it.
Where they are wrong is in defining the ‘it’ in crude material or financial terms.
The ‘it’ is the knowledge that in some small way we contributed to a wider sense of national purpose and interest.
You can express that in the crudest terms that Donald Trump repeatedly does, or you can draw the inspiration I have derived from every Prime Minister for whom I have worked, who perceived British self interests were enhanced within the shared sovereignty of Europe.

Michael Heseltine is to lead Lords' Brexit revolt


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Rally for transgender rights in Tacoma (0.01/39)

A reader asks: What is the project on 27th Street West in University Place that regularly has the five-lane road down to one lane? And when will it be done? Getting to the post office (and nearby Starbucks) has become nearly impossible.
Over a hundred competitors of all ages participated in the third annual PNW Taekwondo Duel which was held at the Mountain View Community Center in Edgewood.
Mary Matsuda Gruenewald tells of being a high school student on Vashon Island when Pearl Harbor was attacked and her family was sent away to internment camps.
Dan Stromstad and Dennis Johnson have been friends for more than 35 years. Woodturning has brought them closer together.
The landslide in Puyallup occurred just after 6 a.m. in the 3400 block of East Pioneer Way near Shaw Road. Police advised drivers to avoid the area.
Yellow Bird Catering, a new business about to open, suffers a blow when car slams into building near East 64th Street and McKinnely Avenue in Tacoma.
The newest program from the Harbor History Museum brought sparks flying as history came alive for museum guests on Saturday. Doyle Lewellen, a volunteer on the Shenandoah restoration project, showed his tools, several personally crafted, and gave a demonstration of blacksmithing methods.
More than two dozen protesters gathered Tuesday night on Tacoma’s Tideflats outside the Northwest Detention Center, where federal immigration authorities earlier brought a Seattle man who came to the U. S. from Mexico as a child.
Sixteen sea gulls survived an illness that paralyzed them at the Port of Tacoma in January, and were released Tuesday afternoon near the Puyallup River.
Charles and Juanita Skaggs are celebrated their 80th wedding anniversary at the Frankie Tobey Jones senior community on February 7, 2017.

Rally urges voters to ‘Decline to Sign’ ballot measure to roll back transgender rights


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Inside the newsroom: Making media the enemy is dangerous (0.01/39)

SALT LAKE CITY — Let's just state at the outset that you might not agree with this column. But shedding light on our discussions inside the newsroom during the past two weeks may bring some perspective to what journalists, political leaders and the general public are dealing with during this time of uncertainty.
President Donald Trump by his words and his actions has declared war on the mainstream media. And that's not good for our country.
Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes made sweeping statements about some media. And that's not good for Utah.
And some media organizations are concentrating many resources on covering such conflicts the way they would cover a war, lurching from battle to battle. And that's a distraction from real issues that need attention, and thus not good for the country.
All of this leaves readers searching for leadership it can trust and news it can trust to help inform the lives they are working so hard to live well. And it's testing our foundational institutions and principles, including government, freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
In the case of our president, he famously tweeted on Feb. 17 the following: "The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes , @NBCNews , @ABC , @CBS , @CNN ) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People! "
Here he used the term "fake news" as a synonym for mainstream media outlets and named them. Friday, he criticized media again, using the same terms but saying media didn't portray his words honestly.
This time he said, in a speech to the Trump-friendly Conservative Political Action Conference, "A few days ago I called the fake news media the enemy of the people, and they are. "
He said reporters make up sources, and he then attacked media credibility: "They're very dishonest people. In fact, in covering my comments, the dishonest media did not explain that I called the fake news the enemy of the people, 'the fake news.' They dropped off the word fake. "
Trump went on to say, "I'm not against the media. I'm not against the press. "
His administration than prevented the New York Times, Politico, CNN, BuzzFeed, the Guardian and others from participating in a followup media question-and-answer session, allowing CBS, NBC, Fox and ABC into the meeting. The Associated Press and Time chose not to attend in protest of the administration's actions.
In the case of Reyes, at a much more localized level, he called a press conference to reiterate that "his office is serious about investigating and prosecuting human trafficking and crimes against children. "
But he attacked media coverage, without specifying the organizations or his complaints. As reported by Deseret News reporter McKenzie Romero, he said, "Utah is a pretty trusting environment, too, and often it is able to flourish hiding in plain sight here. People don't believe it can happen here, fueled sometimes by media stories and reports that these kinds of things don't exist and they're fabricated by law enforcement. "
Here's the problem: When President Trump or Attorney General Reyes treat the media as a monolith and criticize "media" in sweeping statements, it delegitimizes news stories, assigns untrue motivations to reporters, and threatens the impact of the legitimate, constitutionally protected "freedom of the press" in its role as a watchdog of our institutions. It labels media as one giant institution.
In response to Utah's attorney general, my experience is that the engaged public does understand that sex trafficking can happen here, because the Deseret News, the Salt Lake Tribune, KSL-TV and Newsradio, and the other major broadcast and print media in the state aggressively report on these incidents, including the attorney general's own work with Operation Underground Railroad to save young people from sex trafficking. That in turn shines a light on what's happening in Utah.
And now to the Fourth Estate, the term representing media and born from its English roots by British politician Edmund Burke. He noted that there were three estates in Parliament and the reporters in the press box were the fourth estate, carefully watching the activities of the lawmakers.
As reporters it is easy to follow the horse race of an election — who is winning and who is losing — rather than the issues of an election. It's compelling to follow the battle between Trump and the New York Times, CNN and others. Circulation and viewership is growing because of it. But it can't be at all costs.
It also poses a dilemma for journalists. If all journalists boycotted the after-speech press questioning Friday as the Associated Press did, what would happen? I suspect President Trump would simply speak through Twitter to his millions of followers, and then the media would follow his words on Twitter.
Such a result doesn't help the country and doesn't meet the standards of the Fourth Estate. So the answer from a journalism perspective is to work harder at covering the news. That was our discussion in the newsroom. Do better, work harder.
We don't like unfair attacks on journalists. But we can also see when journalists are lazy in their reporting or focus on "the easy" rather than "the necessary. " And treating any institution (or side) as a monolithic, single-minded entity is hurtful to the country.
We covered the president's Friday speech online and deliberately gave it front page play in Saturday's print edition of the Deseret News under the headline: "Trump's CPAC popularity shows he's conquered conservatives. " It spoke of the conflicts but also of Trump's work on immigration and trade.
The actions of our leaders, including attacks on journalists, need to be called out and reported. But so does the rest of the story.

Inside the newsroom: Inside the newsroom: Making media the enemy is dangerous


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LSU hitters post big numbers in lopsided win against Maryland (0.01/39)

A look at the left-to-right direction of the flags beyond centerfield told LSU hitters much of what they needed to know Saturday.
With the Tigers facing a pitcher whose breaking pitches measured in the low-60 mph range, hitting coach Micah Gibbs outlined a plan for them to put the ball into right field.
"The wind was blowing so much to the right-field corner it was fruitless to try and hit balls into the air into left field," coach Paul Mainieri said. "That ball wasn't going to go anywhere. "
That plan came to fruition when LSU posted seven runs in the third inning of a 14-0 victory that put the Tigers in position for a series sweep of Maryland when the teams meet again at 11 a.m. Sunday.
Three triples, one to right-center field and the other two to the corner in right, provided much of the punch that inning.
Rankin Woley, Brennan Breaux and Antoine Duplantis hit the triples, with each of them scoring on hits by the batters after them. LSU (6-1) posted eight hits that inning, with four for extra bases.
"They came with a lot of big curveballs," said freshman Jake Slaughter, who led off that inning with a single and then hit a two-run double that accounted for the other extra-base hit that inning. "We were thinking with the wind blowing everybody was trying to hit it to right field, which helped us sit on the curveball even while hitting the fastball. "
All nine players in the starting lineup reached base, with eight registering at least one hit. Duplantis and Slaughter both had three hits, with Woley and Kramer Robertson both posting two. Zach Watson, a mid-game entry into centerfield, also finished with two hits, including one double.
Cleanup hitter Greg Deichmann came up three times with a runner on third, twice hitting a sacrifice fly that tied a school record for most in a game last achieved by Alex Bregman in 2015, and then hitting an RBI-single in the third.
LSU ended with 18 hits, including five for extra bases, against six pitchers from Maryland (1-4).
The offensive output would have taken any sense of suspense out of the game were it not for the no-hit bid Jared Poche took into the ninth inning.
"I thought the guys just executed a great game plan that Micah Gibbs laid out for them," Mainieri said. "We were locked in. We had a lot of really great, great at-bats. "

Jared Poche nearly throws another no-hitter for LSU in win against Maryland


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Martin Kemp talks of eight-hour bender with Steve Strange (0.01/39)

He recently came back into the spotlight after bagging a role on the judging panel of BBC show Let It Shine.
But Martin Kemp reminisced on his young and wild days with the Daily Star Sunday as he confessed to enjoying an eight-hour drug bender with Steve Strange.
The Spandau Ballet star, 55, admitted to the paper that his time on a hallucinogenic drug at a wild party with the late pop star was 'one of the best nights he ever had'.
The glory days: Martin Kemp reminisced on his young and wild days on Sunday as he confessed to enjoying an eight-hour drug bender
While the father-of-two has relaunched his career on the new BBC reality show, the bassist happily looked back at his young and reckless days with best friend Steve Strange.
Talking to the paper about a particularly wild night with the singer, he explained that the pair took Mescaline alongside fellow guests - which resulted in the party continuing for hours on end.
The EastEnders star admitted: 'It is a lot of fun, I have to say. But it goes on for hours – like eight hours. And by the time that happens you are knackered.'
Loving it: The Spandau Ballet star, 55, admitted to the paper that his time on a hallucinogenic drug at a wild party with the late pop star (R) was 'one of the best nights he ever had'
While he did not condone the use of the drug, he went on to explain that the effect it had on him meant he was unable to communicate with his cab driver.
He continued: 'My whole jaw had turned to rubber and it was bouncing off the pavement.'
The New Wave rocker also explained that he then felt compelled to pick his nose when he got home, leaving his bed sheets soaked with blood - but added that he still looks back on the night fondly, despite its gruesome details.
No stopping them: Talking about a particularly wild night with the singer, he explained that the pair took Mescaline - which resulted in the party continuing for hours on end
'I woke up in the morning and there was blood everywhere – but it was one of the best nights I have ever had,' he finished.
Martin was often seen out partying with Steve, who he first met in a queue for the iconic weekly Blitz-club night in Covent Garden - also attended by the likes of his brother Gary Kemp and Boy George.
The pair remained friends until Steve's untimely death in 2015, at the age of 55.
Life-long friends: The pair met in the iconic Blitz-club back in the 1980s, and remained friends until Steve's untimely death in 2015, at the age of 55
It is not the only time Martin has revealed his formerly wild lifestyle to fans - having confessed to having his wedding cake laced with cannabis to The Sun last week.
Talking of his big day with pop sensation Shirlie Holliman, he said of their centre-piece: 'There was a man and woman at the top (of the wedding cake) and it was traditional but somebody else had made it… the whole thing was made of dope.'
'The whole thing was a space cake. People were walking around my house off their faces.'
Wild things: It is not the only time Martin has revealed his formerly wild lifestyle to fans - having confessed to having his and wife Shirlie Holliman's wedding cake laced with cannabis
Leaving the fun in his youth however, the former pop star has now settled down into quiet family life with his wife of twenty eight years and their two children, Harley and Roman.
Putting his musical knowledge to good use, Martin recently starred as a judge on BBC reality show Let It Shine.
Joining Gary Barlow and Dannii Minogue on the panel, the group embarked on a hunt for five young boys to play Take That in a new West End musical about the band.
Reaching its climax on Saturday night, finalists Five to Five were crowned the champions.
New projects: Putting his musical knowledge to good use, Martin recently starred as a judge on BBC reality show Let It Shine (above)

Martin Kemp admits stadium rock ruined his hearing


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LIZ JONES on stars with accessories the size of HIPPOS (0.01/39)

What’s this? A cacophony of famous women are suddenly photographed out and about carrying shopping bags the size of hippos.
This despite the fact the brand they wield, Goyard, has until now been the most mysterious in the universe: it doesn’t advertise, give interviews or even have a press office in the UK.
What we are seeing, of course, is a charm offensive that means the French trunk maker is poised to go global with its luggage, including the suddenly ubiquitous £980-£1,140 St Louis tote.
Left: Binky Felstead from Made In Chelsea arrives at the Clothes Show Live in Birmingham with her Goyard bag. Right: Michelle Collins seen leaving the BBC Radio 2 Studios
Left: Kim Kardashian had her bag full when she was spotted outside a sushi restaurant. Right: Darcey Bussell' pictured on her way to an event in London
Fashion cognoscenti will know the bag offensive is part of a classic three-prong approach.
First, shower the right celebs with freebies. Then get editorial in the right magazines (such as Goyard’s recent full-page report in Vogue, featuring its canvas and leather holdall at £2,290, a £3,310 vanity case and suitcases from £3,505).
And, thirdly, sponsor an exclusive event, leaving a little something on guests’ pillows which they can later post pictures of themselves hugging on Instagram.
the French trunk maker is poised to go global with its luggage, including the suddenly ubiquitous £980-£1,140 St Louis tote
Left: Trinny Woodall seen at the ITV This Morning studios carrying a Goyard bag. Right: Louise Redknapp arriving at BBC studios
Left: Even Harper Beckham has a child-sized Goyard. Right: Gwyneth Paltrow carries her on a rainy day in Los Angeles
Lo and behold, Goyard is one of the high-end sponsors, along with Rolls-Royce and Dom Perignon, of the 50th birthday celebrations of Hotel Byblos in St Tropez this summer.
The proof of the pudding (not that any of these women eat dessert) is whether something that at first sight resembles a Tesco Bag For Life is worth it.
I’m afraid it is. The trademark chevrons are almost impossible to fake, so everyone will know you can afford the real thing. The bags are animal friendly, soft, waterproof and become more beautiful with age.
While Vuitton is ubiquitous even in the most provincial airports, the St Louis totes feel new and exclusive. Crucially, you can only buy the bags from Goyard stores, such as the one in Mayfair. Goyard simply doesn’t do e-commerce. And you don’t get more exclusive than that…
Meghan Markle flashes a smile, and her Goyard bag, after reportly spending the weekend with boyfriend, Prince Harry

LIZ JONES: My dogs wouldn't attack your kids but I might


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Frank Kaminsky takes control at center as Charlotte Hornets end losing streak (0.01/39)

Frank Kaminsky is getting his shot at center in the absence of teammate Cody Zeller, and he's become a bright spot for the struggling Charlotte Hornets.
Kaminsky had 23 points and 13 rebounds to help the Hornets beat the Sacramento Kings 99-85 on Saturday to end a five-game losing streak.
With the injured Zeller playing just once since Jan. 25 and backup Miles Plumlee also injured, Kaminsky has become the man in the middle after playing mostly power forward since entering the NBA last season.
Against the Kings, Kaminsky was instrumental at both ends of the court.
"It's all about confidence. When it's high, you feel like you can do anything," Kaminsky said. "I'm playing right now the way I've felt I can play. I've always been confident playing center. "
The Hornets went ahead late in the first quarter and led the rest of the way for their second win in 14 games. The Kings never got going offensively, and Charlotte led by 23 points in the second half while ending their 12-game road skid.
Marvin Williams scored 16 points and Nicolas Batum had 15 for the Hornets, who had squandered fourth-quarter leads in losing their three previous games.
"It's been disappointing. But we've still got a lot of guys in this locker room who want to win," Marvin Williams said. "We have the right attitude and we're confident we can turn this thing around. "
Ben McLemore led the Kings with 18 points and Buddy Hield had 15 in his second game since being acquired from New Orleans in a trade for DeMarcus Cousins. Anthony Tolliver and Tyreke Evans had 11 points each.
Sacramento had won five of its previous six games but trails eighth-place Denver by 1 1/2 games.
It's been a miserable past seven weeks for Charlotte, which had a 19-14 record on Dec. 29 after beating Miami. The Hornets went into a tailspin, losing 19 of 24 before defeating the Kings.
Kaminsky had been a bright spot of late, averaging 19.9 points in the last five games. Frequently left alone on the perimeter, Kaminsky made five 3-pointers and hit 9 of 18 shots overall.
"It's hard when you're playing a shooting big like that. You're trying to contain Kemba Walker, (Nicolas) Batum, you're trying to help your guard, and you've got a guy who is a flamethrower," Willie Cauley-Stein said about guarding Kaminsky.
The Kings were seeking their first five-game winning streak at home since the 2007. Sacramento shot 39 percent and were outscored 28-18 in the third quarter when Charlotte built a 79-58 lead.
After a 16-point victory over Denver in their first game without Cousins, the Kings looked listless against the Hornets. The Kings missed their first six shots of the second half as Charlotte ran off 12 straight points for a 63-40 lead.
"We spent a lot of emotions on the game on the other night," Kings coach Dave Joerger said. "Tonight was a situation where you got a veteran team, a physical team, and they pushed us around the court. "
Hornets: Charlotte scored the first 12 points of the game, only to have the Kings counter with a 15-point run. ... The seven-game road trip, their longest of the season, ends March 4 in Denver. ... Marco Belinelli had 13 points and Kemba Walker had 12.
Kings: Evans, who played four seasons in Sacramento, got his first start as a King since April of 2013. He was traded to New Orleans in the offseason. ... The bench had a season-high 72 points against Denver, but had 29 against the Hornets. ... Cauley-Stein had two points after getting a career-high 29 against Denver.
Hornets: The difficult road trip continues Sunday against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Kings: Minnesota comes to town Monday looking to gain ground on the Kings in the playoff hunt.

Kaminsky scores 23, Hornets end five-game losing streak


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Even when not feeling his best, Jared Poche takes no-hitter into ninth for LSU (0.01/39)

The thought of another no-hit bid stayed far from Jared Poche's mind during the third inning Saturday.
With the LSU baseball team well on the way to a 14-0 win over Maryland after scoring 11 runs through the first three innings, the left-hander wasn't feeling his best and put a focus on doing just enough to get the pitching victory.
If that meant grinding his way through the fifth inning, than that's what he would do.
"And then after that fifth inning, I felt a lot better and I felt like I was getting stronger," he said. "So I went out for the sixth and felt even better. "
Poche lasted until the ninth, when he surrendered a leadoff single on a bouncer toward second base, where shortstop Josh Smith fielded the ball and tried in vein to make a throw that bounced to the first baseman.
LSU coach Paul Mainieri said Smith wished he could have made the play that would have preserved the chance at another no-hitter, with the coach saying the difficulty of the play was such that "nobody could have made that play. "
The single ended the bid for Poche to begin the season with successive no-hitters, after he achieved a seven-inning version of the feat one week earlier in the second game of a doubleheader against Army.
Mainieri removed Poche immediately after the single. He walked off the field to an ovation to the announced crowd of 10,608, and junior staring pitcher Alex Lange greeted him with a big hug and a few pats on the back.
"That was probably one of the top three standing ovations I got here from this crowd," said Poche, who stands as the only four-year starting pitcher during Mainieri's 11 seasons at the school. "It's special every time. ... Hopefully I can have a few more of those this year. "
Mainieri wanted to take Poche out after seven innings but was talked into leaving him in for the eighth by pitching coach Alan Dunn. LSU (6-1) by then had reliever Russell Reynolds warm for when Poche eventually surrendered a hit on his 98th pitch.
"He wasn't going to throw one extra pitch more than he needed to," Mainieri said.
Poche worked his way back from a pair of 3-1 counts to get a couple strikeouts early as he retired the first eight hitters before a hit batter put a runner with two out in the third.
He allowed a two-out walk in the fourth and then retired 11 straight before a one-out walk in the eighth.
The outing put his full-season stat line at 15 innings, one hit allowed, zero runs, two walks and 10 strikeouts.
His latest outing came after Lange's 12-strikeout showing Friday in a win that opened the three-game series, and the eight scoreless innings lowered the combined ERA for all starting pitchers to 0.90 over 40 innings.
The outing last week for Poche gave LSU its first complete-game no-hitter since 1979, and the sixth in school history.
"And then to say he almost did it (again) but for an infield single," Mainieri said. "It's really quite amazing. "

Jared Poche nearly throws another no-hitter for LSU in win against Maryland


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Area college basketball: Winthrop rolls to share of Big South title (0.01/39)

Roderick Perkins hit six 3-pointers to score 18 points as Winthrop claimed a share of the Big South Conference regular season championship and the No. 1 seed into the conference tournament with a 93-56 rout of Presbyterian on Saturday.
The Eagles finished tied with UNC Asheville, both with 15-3 conference records, but the tiebreaking formula favored Winthrop. The Eagles will host the conference tournament quarterfinals, semifinals and finals.
First-round games are Tuesday, with the final three rounds beginning Thursday.
The Eagles roared out of the gate and built a 21-point lead by halftime, 49-28.
Keon Johnson and Anders Broman each scored 17 points for Winthrop (23-6, 15-3). The Eagles shot 31 of 59 (52.5 percent) from the field, including 48.5 percent from long range (16 of 33).
Ed Drew scored 13 points and Darius Moore added another 12 for Presbyterian (5-24, 1-17).
Gardner-Webb 87, High Point 83: Brandon Miller hit the second of two free throws with :33 remaining in overtime to give the Runnin' Bulldogs (18-13, 11-7) an 87-83 lead as Gardner-Webb held on to earn an 88-86 victory over High Point in the Big South Conference finale Saturday.
Coming off an 81-76 upset of top-seeded UNC Asheville, Gardner-Webb (18-13, 11-7) wrapped up the No. 4 seed into the conference tournament and a first-round bye. The Runnin' Bulldogs will face High Point in a quarterfinal battle March 2. Laquincy Rideau scored 22 points to lead Gardner-Webb, converting 10 of 15 shots from the free throw line.
Louisiana-Monroe 75, Appalachian State 64: Travis Munnings scored 21 points with 8-for-11 shooting to lead Louisiana-Monroe (8-20, 2-13 Sun Belt Conference). Appalachian State (8-19, 3-13) twice cut the gap to a single point, first with two free throws from Patrick Good to trail 52-51 and then 54-53 after Isaac Johnson's dunk. ULM then pulled steadily away down the stretch. Ronshad Shabazz led Appalachian State with 20 points and Johnson had 10 rebounds.
Queens 80, Tusculum 54: Daniel Camps led Queens (25-3, 19-3 SAC) on Senior Day with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Mike Davis added 13 points and Todd Withers 12. Ike Agusi has six assists. Queens is ranked No. 12 in the NABC Poll.
Charlotte 89, Marshall 75: Charlotte (18-9, 10-6 Conference USA) took a seven-point lead at the half and blew the game open in the third quarter to convincingly snap a four-game losing streak. All 49ers starters hit double figures, led by Lefty Webster’s 17 points. Hunter Grace scored 14 points with 13 rebounds.

Winthrop earns top Big South seed, routs Presbyterian 93-56


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Krissy Marsh says she would have sex with Kyle Sandilands (0.01/39)

They're the sassy reality TV starlets set to debut on The Real Housewives of Sydney this Sunday.
And ahead of the show's highly-anticipated premier episode, the show's cast has weighed in on the pressing issue of whether they would have sex with Kyle Sandilands, Shane Warne or Malcolm Turnbull in a game of 'shag, marry, kill'.
Speaking to News Corp , Former Miss Universe Australia Krissy Marsh bluntly claimed that she wouldn't think twice about picking shock-jock Kyle over the rest, saying: 'I think Kyle would be a really giving lover.'
'I think Kyle would be a really giving lover': Former Miss Universe Australia Krissy Marsh bluntly claimed that she wouldn't think twice about picking shock-jock Kyle over Shane Warne and Malcolm Turnbull
'I love him. Always been a massive fan of him. I've been calling up on that show for years,' she gushed.
'I'd marry him too, because I think he'd be a really nice husband,' she added.
Meanwhile, politician's wife Lisa Oldfield had some less-than-flattering words for Shane, who she would have sex with, 'if he wrapped it... wrap before you tap.'
'I love him. Always been a massive fan of him': The former model gushed about the radio shock jock , claiming that she would also choose to marry him over the other contenders
Burn! Meanwhile, politician's wife Lisa Oldfield had some less-than-flattering words for Shane Warne, who she would have sex with, 'if he wrapped it... wrap before you tap.'
Lisa claimed she would kill Malcolm in the game, leaving Kyle to walk her down the aisle.
In fact, Shane lost out to Kyle Sandilands in the marriage department for all the Housewives.
The only Housewife to pick Shane as her shag-of-choice was Victoria Rees, who said she would take him to bed: 'to see what all the big deal is about.'
King Kyle on top! Lisa claimed she would kill Malcolm in the game, leaving Kyle to walk her down the aisle
It comes after the Real Housewives of Melbourne star Lydia Schiavello denied rumours of a romance with the spin king.
Lydia, who is married, was accused of having an affair with Shane by co-star Jackie Gilles in the final episode of season three.
Denying the allegations, Lydia, who was the ambassador of the now defunct Shane Warne Foundation, told OK! magazine: ‘It’s all c**p,’ Lydia.
It comes after the Real Housewives of Melbourne star Lydia Schiavello (left) denied rumours of a romance with the spin king (right)

The Real Housewives of Sydney 'out of control'


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Mourinho: Sacked Leicester boss Ranieri will bounce back (0.01/39)

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has predicted Claudio Ranieri will bounce back into another job as he did following his dismissal by Chelsea at the end of 2015.
Mourinho, who has been outspoken in support of Ranieri after he was sacked on Thursday despite leading Leicester to the Premier League title last season, revealed he went on holiday to Brazil to get over being fired by Roman Abramovich - also having won the title.
'I went to Brazil and enjoyed it, watching Premier League matches in the Christmas and New Year period and started thinking about what next as for me there was clearly a next step and for Claudio there will be a next step too,' he said.
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has predicted Claudio Ranieri will bounce back
Ranieri was sacked on Thursday despite leading Leicester to the league title last season
'Nobody can delete history and that is what helped me. You cannot go to the laptop and press delete. You cannot delete what people did.
'From my experience, there are two things that he needs to know. One is that nobody can delete it. He knows that, and I can promise him also that nobody forgets.
'Chelsea supporters don't forget what I did at that club. What Claudio did at Leicester was bigger than my three Premier Leagues for Chelsea. It doesn't matter so we can't make a drama.
'In 50 years time, Leicester fans will know what Claudio did. It will be positive. They will react in a positive way.'
Mourinho was appointed Manchester United manager last summer six months after he'd been let go by Chelsea.
Mourinho was appointed Manchester United manager six months after leaving Chelsea

Leicester team on defensive breaking silence on Ranieri exit


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Joy for student, 17, after last minute heart transplant (0.01/39)

17-year-old Ankur Rai would live was given just one week to live but on the seventh day he received a medical miracle
'One week' - that's how long doctors said 17-year-old Ankur Rai would live.
The IIT aspirant desperately needed a transplant as his heart counted down to the final the beats.
His parents too were preparing for the worst. Ankur had suffered a virus-triggered heart ailment and doctors at AIIMS were not very hopeful.
They put him on life support, waiting for a miracle. India has a huge gap in demand and supply of organs and experts say many people are unwilling to donate relatives' organs due to religious beliefs, because they don't understand how it works, or because it is a difficult procedure.
But, on the seventh day of what doctors said would be his final week, the medical miracle happened.
AIIMS had activated all its channels for a heart and they found not one, but two of them.
However, the first one from Chandigarh did not work, so the second from Jaipur was brought in.
It worked, much to the joy of the parents and the cardiology team working on the teenager. Ankur is alive today. He is in the ICU, under observation of experts.
The youngster was preparing for the IIT entrance exams when he suffered this peculiar heart problem.
'We took him to PGI Lucknow. Initially, he was put on pacemaker. But that didn't work. We brought him to AIIMS and here the doctors gave up all hope suggesting that he had seven days of life left in him unless there was a quick heart transplant.
Heart transplants are rare because of their short lifespan (just 4-6 hours) it becomes a race against time to transport the organ once it becomes available (file picture)
'It wasn't easy to find a heart in just seven days, but a miracle happened for us. We are thankful to the doctors here,' said Arvind Rai, Ankur's father.
Heart transplants are rare in India and because of their short lifespan (just 4-6 hours) it becomes a race against time to transport the organ once it becomes available.
Dr Sandeep Seth, who conducted Ankur's heart transplant at AIIMS, told Mail Today, 'Ankur had severe end-stage heart failure and needed an urgent heart transplant.
'He had a possible viral infection at some stage, which affected the heart and then did not recover.'
About 70-80 per cent of patients suffering heart failure can be managed with medicines and don't need special devices or transplants, say experts 'Here we thought that we can give the patient a chance.
The reason was that his blood group was AB+ (universal acceptor).
'We took a chance. We put him on Extra-corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (a portable heart lung machine) and began search for a new heart,' said Dr Seth.
ECMO comes at a hefty cost, about Rs 1 lakh per day in private set-up, say doctors.
But it worked and Ankur became conscious. The wait for the heart was the biggest challenge.
'Had he not been AB+ we could not have saved him,' said a senior doctor.
The first call came in from PGI Chandigarh, but it was wasted due to the odd timing of heart harvesting.
Finally, on the last day of the deadline, a call from Jaipur.
'We sent our surgeon to Jaipur at night and he returned in the morning on the first flight. Delhi police was asked to create a green corridor till AIIMS,' said the doctor.

'Bionic' heart that's as good as a transplant


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Tony Bellew claims he would have 'eaten David Haye alive' (0.01/39)

Total professional fights - 31
Wins - 28 | Wins by knock out - 18
Losses - 2
Total professional fights - 30
Wins - 28 | Wins by knock out - 26
Losses - 2

David Haye warns Tony Bellew: I'm really going to hurt you


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Crowds see spectacle of Jack White's record plant (0.01/39)

Standing inside Detroit’s Third Man Records — finally! — after a numbing wait in line Saturday, Julia Hickling of St. Clair Shores issued an odd and perhaps apropos conclusion about mega-musician and Third Man founder Jack White:
“I feel like Jack White is the Willy Wonka of modern-day music buying,” she said.
Hickling, a singer with a local indie-rock band called Atmig, meant that as a compliment to White, whose brand-new record-pressing plant in Detroit drew crowds on a cold winter’s day for its grand opening. Some in line reported waiting four hours to get into the building on Canfield between Cass and Second.
Read more:
Her observation wasn’t a stretch. Just look around the place:
The record factory — officially dubbed Third Man Pressing — sits at the back of the long and narrow retail-performance area of Third Man Records.
The manufacturing floor would be a novelty of its own, just for its business of putting recorded music to vinyl. But White has added extra off-kilter touches — painting the spotless 10,000-square-foot room in searing yellows and pitch blacks, and staffing the place with workers wearing identical blue coveralls.
They operate eight new presses imported from Germany that can pump out 5,000 albums a day. On Saturday, they produced colored vinyl — discs that were red and yellow and even clear.
Observers watched the goings-on for free from a window, offering the feeling of a Wonka spectacle. Others paid for tours. In the afternoon, there were rousing live readings from a stage and a performance by the Craig Brown Band.
Third Man Pressing, debuting to the public, fit nicely with the rest of the building, where Hickling in mirthful fashion remarked that the counter workers who were selling the place’s freshly pressed wax resembled Oompa-Loompas straight from the Chocolate Factory. The saleswomen wore tunics in the omnipresent yellow, dotted with black squares. Their hair was the hue of lavender or scarlet or as blue-green as cotton candy.
Hickling, pleased with what she was seeing, said she and two of her bandmates withstood the line outside and the 37-degree chill “just for the spectacle of it. It’s a lot of fun. ... I think Jack White is bringing a lot of excitement back into the experience of music.”
Ben Blackwell, who called himself a “psychedelic stooge” who oversees vinyl operations for Third Man, said people started lining up Thursday night for Saturday’s door-opening. From morning to at least mid-afternoon, the line was a block long. Sixteen-year-old Brody Britton and his friend Michael Livingston traveled about an hour from Hartland to be there.
“Because we love the music,” Britton said. “We are huge music fans.”
Said Livingston: “We’re probably the only two people in our school that own record players.”
Yet, this wasn’t a young-people-only event. The line held plenty of those with enough seasoning to have experienced vinyl the first time around.
“With vinyl,” Blackwell said, “there’s an allure, something psychological that draws people into it.”
This coming from a man with his own, well, eclectic tastes. Blackwell, who said he is a nephew of White’s, claimed his first vinyl record was a Weird Al Yankovic “Eat it” 45 from the Harmony House on Mack Avenue in Grosse Pointe Woods. This was before vinyl was prematurely ruled dead by the emergence of the compact disc.
Interest in the older format is rising: Global sales could hit $1 billion this year, the Free Press has reported. Third Man Pressing hopes to capitalize, and its menu Saturday included special-edition LPs from bands like Detroit’s own White Stripes, the Stooges and the MC5.
The people outside and inside Third Man Pressing on Saturday apparently couldn’t get enough.
After emerging from an exit, one man could be overheard exclaiming to his companion:
“I got the very last Stooges. The very last!”
Companion: “The guy behind you was pissed.”
They walked away, past the people still standing in line, laughing.
Contact Jim Schaefer: 313-223-4542 or Follow him on Twitter: @DetroitReporter.

Photos: Crowds see spectacle of Jack White's record plant


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IRC deputy remembered as always smiling (0.01/39)

VERO BEACH — For the Rev. Sonny Chambliss, his cousin's childhood nickname "Kool-ade" sums up the man who was fatally shot Feb. 17 in Gifford.
As does the Kool-Aid drink mix, Deputy Garry Chambliss "came in a small pack but makes five quarts:" he has had a wide, positive influence on people throughout his 50 years of life, the Orlando minister told the 800 people attending the midday funeral on Saturday at the Central Assembly of God.
Representatives of more than 20 law enforcement agencies attended, as well as former Indian River County Sheriff Tim Dobeck, Indian River County Commissioners Peter O'Bryan, Tim Zorc and Joseph Flescher and former NFL football player Dale Dawkins.
Indian River County Fire Rescue displayed a large American flag at half staff from a fire truck extension boom.
During the two-hour service, speaker after speaker said the law enforcement officer always had a smile and compassion for people in the community, especially his family.
"You are in my heart," his daughter, Briyunna Chambliss, said of the man who always took her and her sister De'ja Chambliss to McDonalds for ice cream.
Chambliss was off duty the evening of Feb. 17 when he was hit by a stray bullet fired about 170 yards away from what Sheriff Deryl Loar described as a roadside firefight on 28th Avenue. At the funeral, Loar pledged to bring the assailant to justice.
"We will catch him," Loar said of the unidentified shooter. Investigators were working the case as the funeral went on, as Chambliss was buried at Gifford Cemetery and as Chambliss' family attended a dinner at the Sheriff's Office, said sheriff's spokesman Lt. Eric Flowers.
Sonny Chambliss echoed Loar's comment. "God is going to provide the strength, the knowledge and information to solve this. "
The deputy's lifelong friend, Melissa Stewart, knew the deputy from elementary school and living in Gifford Gardens. She recalled tricking him when he starting wanting to get too friendly when they were in middle school. When she told him to stop by her house, she didn't tell him her father was standing in the front yard. "All I could see were his (Chambliss') knees peddling as fast as he could" to get away.
Dawkins played sports with Chambliss at Vero Beach High School. "He always had a smile on his face, was very unselfish and was a natural-born leader. "
Dawkins was among dozens of Chambliss' former classmates who attended the funeral.
Chambliss graduated in 1986, attended Peru State College and in 1988 joined the Sheriff's Office. "He was a compassionate, caring, influential and professional law enforcement officer, " Loar said. "He immediately started getting accolades for being a dependable employee. "
Part of his job was community policing, a job that included visiting Glendale Elementary. "Children looked forward to his coming," Loar said.
Later, Chambliss worked transporting prisoners to state prisons and elsewhere. Loar said Chambliss is the only person he knows of who got a commendation letter for that work, from the chief judge of the circuit court.
Even after 25 years on the job, Chambliss physically chased down a felon he heard was running away.
"This is a sad occasion," said another of his cousins, Pastor George Chambliss of Haines City. Yet, "This is a chance to celebrate. Sing to the glory of God just like he would. "
A choir sang, "I got a feeling everything is going to be all right. "
Community says goodbye to slain deputy at Vero Beach funeral | Videos, photos
Community pays respects to slain Deputy Garry Chambliss | Photos, videos
Gifford vigil honors life of slain Deputy Garry Chambliss | Video, photos
Prosecutors debate charges to bring in death of deputy in Gifford | Video
Gifford residents struggle with social divide
Feud might have led to fatal gunfire in Gifford
'Devastated' Gifford talks next step after death of Deputy Garry Chambliss
Search continues for Gifford shooting suspect
Suspect sought in fatal shooting of off-duty deputy Chambliss in Gifford | Video
Off-duty Indian River County deputy killed in Gifford shooting

Funeral for Deputy Garry Chambliss in Vero Beach


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Saturday’s Major League Linescore (0.01/39)

Ynoa, Givens (3), Garcia (4), Stewart (5), Bridwell (8), and Perez, Sisco; Brault, Williams (2), Watson (3), Hudson (4), Rivero (5), Nicasio (6), Bastardo (7), Schugel (8), Light (9), and Diaz, Jhang. W_Hudson 1-0. L_Garcia 0-1. HRs_None; Bostick, Jhang.
Peacock, Frias (3), Gustave (3), Sneed (4), Riefenhauser (6), Chapman (7), Holmes (7), and Stassi, Heineman; Verlander, Hardy (3), Achter (4), Cuevas (5), Lowe (6), Wilson (7), Greene (8), Wilson (9), and McCann, Greiner. W_Hardy 1-0. L_Frias. HRs_None; Kinsler, Martinez, Krizan, Romine.
Hughes, Duffey (3), Vogelsong (4), Rosario (4), Mejia (5), Pressly (6), O’Rourke (7), Chargois (8), and Murphy, Rodriguez; Elias, Thornburg (3), Barnes (3), Kelly (5), Ross Jr. (6), Hembree (7), Olmos (8), Maddox (9), and Vazquez, Butler, Procyshen. W_Olmos 1-0. L_Chargois 0-1. Sv_Maddox. HRs_Stubbs, Park; None.
Warren, Enns (3), Camarena (5), Heller (7), Holder (8), Mantiply (9), and Romine, Deglan; Morgan, Ramos (3), Pinto (4), Appel (5), Rodriguez (7), Ramos (8), Neris (9), and Rupp, Holaday. W_Neris 1-0. L_Mantiply 0-1. HRs_None; Franco (2), Hoskins.
Lindblom, Runzler (2), Eppler (3), Neverauskas (4), Santana (5), Lakind (6), Dickson (7), McKinney (8), Kuchno (9), and Stallings, Williams; Carpenter, Eveland (2), Schultz (3), Farquhar (5), Rasmus (5), Marks (6), Wagner (8), Guerrieri (9), and Casali, McKenry. W_Lindblom 1-0. L_Eveland 0-1. HRs_Stallings; Sucre.
Weaver, Oh (3), Gomber (4), Gant (6), Phillips (8), and Molina, Kelly; Volquez, Koehler (2), McGowan (3), Cervenka (4), Wittgren (5), Copeland (7), Gonzalez (8), Cunniff (9), and Realmuto, Telis. W_Copeland 1-0. L_Gant 0-1. Sv_Cunniff. HRs_Carpenter, Bader; Yelich, Bour, Moore.
Lawrence, Harrell (3), Beliveau (4), Sparkman (4), Rowley (5), Borucki (6), Grube (7), Browning (8), and Graterol, Monsalve; Colon, Danks (3), Boyer (4), Cabrera (6), Morris (7), Jackson (9), and Suzuki. W_Boyer 1-0. L_Sparkman 0-1. Sv_Jackson. HRs_None; None.
Gonzalez, Gott (2), Nathan (3), Perez (4), Albers (5), Guthrie (6), Romero (7), Adams (8), Eitel (8), Broadway (9), and Norris, Solano; Gilmartin, Taylor (3), Blevins (5), McGowan (6), Wilk (6), Smoker (8), Regnault (9), and Rivera, Plawecki, Carrillo. W_Albers 1-0. L_Gilmartin 0-1. HRs_Harper, Stevenson, Skole, Soto; None.
Zastryzny, Johnson (2), Beeler (3), Medina (4), Nance (5), Henderson (6), Floro (7), Cleto (8), and Montero, Caratini; Cain, Melancon (3), Blach (4), Kontos (6), Morris (7), Osich (8), Strickland (9), and Posey, Federowicz. W_Kontos 1-0. L_Henderson 0-1. Sv_Strickland. HRs_None; Hwang.
Suter, Jungmann (2), Chamberlain (3), Blazek (4), Torres (5), Webb (7), Marinez (8), and Susac, Garcia; Petit, Pounders (3), Alvarez (5), Guerra (6), Yates (7), Ege (8), De Los Santos (9), and Perez, Briceno. W_Pounders 1-0. L_Chamberlain 0-1. Sv_De Los Santos. HRs_None; None.
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League One: Sheffield United move seven points clear (0.01/39)

Billy Sharp netted twice as Sheffield United claimed a 2-0 victory over Bolton to move seven points clear at the top of Sky Bet League One.
Sharp took his goal tally to 23 for the season to give United a commanding advantage over second-placed Scunthorpe and Fleetwood now in third, while the defeat for Bolton leaves them fourth and without an away win since late November.
An own goal by Bristol Rovers captain Tom Lockyer earned promotion-chasing Scunthorpe a point from a 1-1 draw at the Memorial Stadium following Ollie Clarke's opener.
The Sheffield United players celebrate with Billy Sharp during their 2-0 victory over Bolton
Sharp took his goal tally to 23 for the season to give United a 2-0 victory over the Trotters
David Ball proved Northampton's undoing in creating one and scoring another as Fleetwood cruised to a 3-0 victory, with a goal apiece also from Devante Cole and Bobby Grant.
Ex-Port Vale loanee Alex Jones returned to haunt his former club as his late goal gave Bradford a 2-1 win at Vale Park and a move up to fifth.
Jones' 74th-minute strike helped the Bantams, who were without a win in four matches, get their play-off push back on track after JJ Hooper had equalised for the home side following Romain Vincelot's opener.
Two Josh Wright goals in the space of four first-half minutes earned Gillingham a 2-1 win over 10-man play-off contenders Southend, who lost Ryan Inniss to a second yellow card deep into first-half stoppage time. Nile Ranger's header reduced the deficit, but the Gills held on for maximum points to move up to 17th.
Conor McAleny scored a hat-trick as Oxford's pursuit of a play-off place gathered momentum with a 4-0 mauling of relegation strugglers Chesterfield.
Rob Hall put Oxford in front before McAleny made it two in the 36th minute and then punished some woeful Chesterfield defending in a one-sided second half at the Proact Stadium.
Swindon strengthened their chances of survival with a 3-1 win at bottom side Coventry thanks to a Nicky Ajose brace either side of Jonathan Obika's effort. George Thomas netted a late consolation in reply.
Bobby Grant scored for Fleetwood as they beat Northampton Town 3-0
Oldham goalkeeper Connor Ripley saved two late penalties from Lee Gregory as his side held play-off chasing Millwall to a goalless draw to keep the Latics two points above the drop zone.
Referee Chris Sarginson issued three red cards as Peterborough beat Rochdale 3-1 victory.
The hosts scored through Jack Baldwin, Tom Nichols and Paul Taylor with Joe Thompson on target for Dale, while Joe Rafferty and Donal McDermott saw red for Rochdale and Baldwin's dismissal left the Posh with 10 men.
Lyle Taylor grabbed the only goal of the game as AFC Wimbledon beat Walsall 1-0 in a mid-table clash and Ryan Lowe scored a first-half winner as Bury boosted their survival hopes with a win by the same score at Charlton.
MK Dons scored twice in the opening 10 minutes - through Kieran Agard and Paul Downing - to secure a 2-1 win over struggling Shrewsbury, for whom Stephen Humphrys netted a late consolation.

Guingamp 1-2 Monaco: Leaders move three points clear


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Juve 10 points clear in Serie A while Napoli suffer defeat (0.01/39)

Juventus (4-4-2): Neto; Alves, Bonucci, Rugani, Sandro; Cuadrado (Pjaca 85), Pjanic, Marchisio (Rincon 79), Sturaro (Dybala 74); Mandzukic, Higuain
Unused subs: Buffon, Chiellini, Benatia, Barzagli, Lemina, Asamoah, Lichtsteiner, Audero
Goals: Skorupski og 52, Sandro 65
Empoli (4-3-1-2): Skorupski; Pasqual, Costa, Belluschi, Laurini (Veseli 70); Mauri (Buchel 77), Diousse, Krunic; El Kaddouri; Marilungo (Thiam 70), Pucciarelli
Unused subs: Zambelli, Dimarco, Maccarone, Croce, Zajc, Barba, Pelagotti, Cosic, Tello
Booking: Belluschi 82

Soccer-Napoli suffer shock home defeat by Atalanta, Juve plough on


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California man pleads guilty in cover-up of 1994 murder (0.01/39)

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) - The brother of a man convicted in the 1994 stabbing death of a California college student has pleaded guilty to helping cover up the crime.
KABC-TV reports ( ) Armando Lopez was sentenced Friday to a year of probation after entering a guilty plea to dissuading a witness.
He is the brother of Sam Lopez, who was sentenced in 2015 to the killing of his ex-girlfriend Cathy Torrez 20 years earlier.
Police say the 20-year-old Cal State Fullerton student was stabbed 70 times and forced into the trunk of a car, where her body was found a week later.
Lopez, who admitted to the crime during sentencing, is serving 26-years-to-life in prison.
Xavier Lopez, their cousin, also pleaded guilty to a role in her death and investigators still hope to prosecute another man they also believe was involved.
Information from: KABC-TV,

Waterloo man pleads guilty to reduced charge in shooting


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Owen Farrell will be 'even better than Jonny Wilkinson' (0.01/39)

Owen Farrell will run out ahead of his team-mates at Twickenham on Sunday. To mark his 50th cap, the 25-year-old England centre will go out to receive the acclaim of a Twickenham crowd who now trust Farrell in precisely the same way they trusted Jonny Wilkinson.
In so many ways, Farrell is pulling ahead of the competition.
His inch-perfect 76th-minute pass that put Elliot Daly away for the match-winning try against Wales a fortnight ago came barely 20 minutes after he had shrugged off one of the biggest hits in Millennium Stadium history with little more than a wry grin.
England centre Owen Farrell has been tipped to be better than legend Jonny Wilkinson
Eddie Jones heaped praise on Farrell before his side's Six Nations game with Italy
Jones believes that Farrell has improved his temperament and can eclipse Wilkinson (right)
Just like Wilkinson, Farrell is as tough as boots. Just like Wilkinson, he relishes the hit. Just like Wilkinson, his goal-kicking appears nerveless and technically immaculate.
Standing 6ft 2in and weighing 15st 2lb, Farrell, who will play at centre but is equally comfortable at fly-half, has developed into England's talisman through the relentless excellence of his performances. It is almost impossible to recall him having a bad game.
'He's very humble off the field but then when he crosses the whitewash he turns into some kind of Tasmanian devil,' says Matt Dawson, England's 2003 World Cup winning scrum-half and BBC pundit.
'He becomes this whirling dervish who hits rucks, makes smashing tackles and then floats beautiful passes. Then in the cool calm moments you see him gesticulating on where and how they're going to play. He's very organised.
Farrell is pulling ahead of the competition with his trusted right boot and leadership qualities
Farrell played a key role in the late winning try in Wales and Jones has tipped him for glory
'There are a lot of parts of Owen's game that I think are better than Jonny Wilkinson's and there's every chance he could turn into a world superstar, if he's not one already.'
High praise indeed from the man who provided the pass from which Wilkinson dropped the most iconic goal in English rugby history.
One of the few England players who is already surely pencilled into Warren Gatland's starting Lions XV to face New Zealand in Auckland on June 24, the calls for Farrell to be named captain are growing, as is the praise from around the world.
'Defensively he has absolutely no faults,' says former South Africa coach Nick Mallett. 'He is a magnificent defender who puts his body on the line. He reminds me of Henry Honniball who I had at No10 for the Springboks.
Jones offers advice to Ben Te'o in the captain's run and the Australian was effusive of Farrell
Farrell's kicking will again be in the spotlight on Sunday after being selected at centre
The teams for Sunday's match
'His kicking out of hand and kicking for posts is immaculate. Playing at 12 for the past couple of seasons outside Ford will have done him tremendous good if he does move back to 10. His distribution is now superb and his pass to Daly to set up the try against Wales was out of the very top drawer.'
Former All Black captain Richie McCaw believes Farrell's battle with New Zealand fly-half Beauden Barrett could decide the series. He says: 'The English have benefitted from getting some good front-foot ball and using a guy like Owen.
'His confidence has grown like Beauden Barrett's has and he is starting to believe in what he can do and directing things pretty damn well. He just looks a lot more comfortable directing things and he has been given that better service.'
Former Scotland and Lions coach Jim Telfer says the England vice-captain's performances could see him edge past Alun Wyn Jones to captain the Lions. 'Alun Wyn Jones is the favourite, but Farrell is one player who may come into the reckoning,' he says.
Anthony Watson gets his hand on the ball as he is lightly put through his paces on Saturday
Captain Dylan Hartley will allow Farrell to lead out the side on the day of his 50th cap
'He's already been on one Lions tour and he's a certainty to go on this one. Martin Johnson was in a similar position when we went to South Africa 20 years ago. When he took a heavy knock from Ross Moriarty in the Welsh game, he didn't writhe about in agony like some soccer players. He got up, smiled wryly and got on with it. I think players respect him.'
With 562 points in 49 England Tests, Farrell is second only behind Wilkinson in the list of the country's all-time points scorers.
England coach Eddie Jones, who first encountered Farrell as a 16-year-old at Saracens' academy, says there's plenty more to come.
'You could tell when he was young that he would always be a driven player, driven to be his best,' says Jones. 'It was almost inevitable he would be a first-team player at Saracens. If you've got that amount of desire and a reasonable amount of natural ability, you are going to be a good player.
'I don't think he's as good a player as he can be yet, and that's the great thing because his next 50 caps will be better than his first 50 — much better.
'I don't think he should be compared to other players. He is Owen Farrell and he is a different player. His first 50 Tests I think he will be disappointed that his winning record is less than Jonny Wilkinson. I am going to guarantee that in his next 50 his winning record will be better than Jonny Wilkinson.'
Mike Brown has returned to the starting XV and looked fresh during Saturday's captain's run
England will be aiming to maintain their winning run at Twickenham against unfancied Italy
With a spiky edge which has occasionally seen him get on the wrong side of referees, Farrell does not have the same cherubic reputation that Wilkinson forged.
His desire for self-improvement is becoming legendary and as long as he is on the field, England have belief. His switch to inside centre to accommodate George Ford at fly-half has been achieved seamlessly and without fuss.
The playmaker axis is working smoothly and Ford looks twice the player with Farrell alongside him and goal-kicking responsibility removed.
'Owen's never fazed, is he?' said team-mate Jonny May. 'He's a competitor. You see it out there. He wants to be the best. He gets stuck in and the way he leads with his actions is inspiring on the pitch. He speaks well during the week as well and he knows the game inside out.
'He's so wise. Wise beyond his years really. He's 25 and he carries respect with him and we all follow him. He is one of those guys you want to follow.'
In every sense, Farrell is ahead of the pack.
England come together for a team talk at the end of their final training session ahead of Italy
Jonny May says that Farrell is not fazed by all the hype being created by his individual displays

Farrell can become a great like Wilkinson, says Woodward


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Sock cruises into Delray Beach ATP tennis final (0.01/39)

Jack Sock of the US is seen during his men's singles third round match against France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on day five of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 20, 2017
Jack Sock will go for a second ATP title of 2017 on Sunday after vanquishing fellow American Donald Young 6-4, 7-6 (7/2) to reach the final of the Delray Beach Open.
The third-seeded Sock, winner of the Auckland Classic in January, saved the only break point he faced in the match and won the last seven points of the second-set tiebreaker to seize the victory.
He next faces either top-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic or Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro, who met later Saturday.
Del Potro, the 2009 US Open champion who has battled to reestablish himself among the elite after a series of wrist surgeries, toppled defending champion Sam Querrey in the quarter-finals.
After fitness issues prompted him to skip the Australian Open, Del Potro is playing in his first tournament of 2017 and said he was eager for the challenge posed by the big-serving, hard-hitting Canadian.
"It's going to be a big chance for me," Del Potro said. "He's the favorite and is playing so good, but I want to see how my level is against the top players at this part of the year. "
Del Potro and Raonic have split their two prior ATP meetings, but haven't played each other in four years.

Jack Sock beats Donald Young to reach Delray Beach final


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Storm Keating showcases her baby bump at charity ball (0.01/39)

They revealed they are expecting their first bundle of joy together later this year.
Thrilled about their impending bundle of joy, Ronan and Storm Keating looked loved up more than ever as they arrived at the Emeralds and Ivy Ball in London on Saturday night.
Australian stunner Storm, 35, happily showcased her blossoming bump in a stomach hugging black strapless gown, beaming with her 39-year-old beau by her side for his event in aid of the Marie Keating Foundation and Cancer Research UK.
Date night: Ronan and Storm Keating looked loved up more than ever as they arrived at the Emeralds and Ivy Ball in London on Saturday night
The TV producer was positively glowing in her couture number which featured a bump accentuating peplum that cascaded over her stomach as she held lovingly onto it, making her way up the red carpet.
Style maven Storm was striking in her floor-length dress that featured saucy thigh-high slits on either side of her gown to showcased her slender limbs.
Teetering up the carpet, she slipped on a pair of pointed black pumps while accessorising her look with eye-catching pink diamond Glenn Spiro earrings and butterfly ring.
In complete bliss, the fashion maven left her golden blonde locks to drape over her shoulder in a soft wave as she wrapped her arm around her husband.
Radiant: Australian stunner Storm happily showcased her blossoming bump in a stomach hugging black strapless gown, beaming with her music star beau by her side for his event in aid of Cancer Research UK
Working the night;s theme into his attire, former Boyzone star Ronan sported a dapper emerald green blazer for the gala.
The Life Is A Rollercoaster hitmaker - who married Storm in Scotland in 2015 - teamed his suave tuxedo with a dinner suit pant, white shirt and bow tie.
Recently, the musician shared his excitement for the arrival of his fourth child, the first with wife Storm.
The Irishman heaped praise upon his second wife in an interview with The Sun's Fabulous magazine.
Sauve: Working the theme into his attire, former Boyzone star Ronan sported a dapper emerald green blazer for the gala
Discussing his expanding brood, Ronan said: 'For me it’s brand new. This is something we’re doing together and it’s a wonderful experience. That’s very exciting and I’ve really welcomed it every step of the way. I think it’s the most excited I’ve ever felt about anything.'
Storm's changing form has been driving Ronan wild, with the Boyzone singer revealing: 'I love her bump – it’s so petite and beautiful – and she looks incredible. It’s very sexy. I’m allowed to say that because she’s my wife. When she’s getting dressed, it’s just fab.'
While the star is keen to make Storm's pregnancy as easy as possible, he can sometimes be a little too hands on, according to the blonde beauty.
She said: 'He’s too supportive sometimes – I have to tell him to stop! He does everything for everyone all the time.'
Style star: Fresh from her stint on The Jump, Amy Willerton sizzled in a plunging maroon gown that highlighted her incredible figure as she arrived on the carpet
Work it! The model's choice of ensemble accentuated her ample cleavage as she made her way to the venue in her nude strappy sandals
Ronan's children from his previous marriage to Yvonne Connolly - Jack, 17, Missy, 15, and 11-year-old Ali, are also excited.
Speaking on Loose Women earlier this month, Ronan said: 'The kids are over the moon, Ali FaceTimes every day saying 'How big is the bump? Can I see the bump?'
And speaking of her step-children, Storm declared: 'Every time I see him with his kids I fall more and more in love.'
Fresh from her stint on The Jump, Amy Willerton sizzled in a plunging maroon gown that highlighted her incredible figure as she arrived on the carpet.
Chic: The British beauty worked her glossy brown locks into a side chignon for the evening
Party pals: Amy was joined by a number of her Channel 4 cast mates including Josie Gibson and Spencer Matthews
Metallic muse: MIC's Tiffany Watson dazzled in a metallic gown with a sultry thigh-high slit
Swit swoo: Accessorising her look, the 23-year-old held onto a black clutch as she injected height into her waist cinching look with black caged heels
Daring: The Saturdays Una Healy looked sensational in her bardot embellished number
The model's choice of ensemble accentuated her ample cleavage as she made her way to the venue in her nude strappy sandals.
Amy was joined by a number of her Channel 4 cast mates including Josie Gibson and Spencer Matthews at the charity bash.
Made In Chelsea's Tiffany Watson dazzled in a metallic halterneck dress which showcased her toned pins with it's saucy thigh-high slit.
Accessorising her look, the 23-year-old held onto a black clutch as she injected height into her waist cinching look with black caged heels.
Demure darling: Model Abbey Clancy put on a demure display in a black gown
Dressed to the nines: The backless number highlighted her leafy frame as she stepped onto the carpet
Girls' night out: The Liverpudlian appeared without her husband and footballer Peter Crouch for the evening
Glam gal: Abbey accentuated her plumped pout with a slick of warm nude lipstick
The black tie event held in Battersea aims to raise money for a the Marie Keating Foundation that Ronan joined as a director in 2001.
He and his four siblings founded the charity in 1998 following the loss of their mother Marie to breast cancer.
The ball celebrates a firm partnership with Cancer Research UK, something that has so far raised an incredible amount of much-needed funds over the years.
In contrast: TV Presenter Natalie Pinkham (L) and reality star Jessica Wright (R) turned up on the carpet in contrasting looks
Classic: A Place In The Sun's Laura Hamilton and husband Alex Goward arrived at the worthwhile event

Ciara shows off her baby bump in thigh-baring evening gown


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Andy Samberg toasts 'still alive' celebs in spoof tribute

The Film Independent Spirit Awards turned the tables, opting to humorously celebrate those still alive in their In Memoriam tribute.
Held in Santa Monica on Saturday and aired by IFC, the show featured Andy Samberg dressed as Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, long wavy wig and all.
As a band blared, he honored various celebrities in song for being 'still alive' - though Fred Armisen wasn't quite as lucky as the rest of them.
Showstopper: While award show season tends to feature In Memoriam tributes to the past year's fallen celebs, Andy Samberg turned the tables at the Film Independent Spirit Awards
In classic In Memoriam reel fashion, the names and faces of the commemorated people appeared on long screens behind the Brooklyn Nine-Nine star.
Through a throat of gravel, he flung a bit of 'still alive' praise at people ranging from 85-year-old director Miloš Forman to 20-year-old actress Hailee Steinfeld.
He went on to warn the audience that 'If you love somebody famous, then you better tell 'em right now / 'Cause all your favorites may die very soon.'
Counting blessings: He'd dressed as Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam and as a band blared, he honored various celebrities in song for being 'still alive'
Yet 'One thing's for sure: / I'm Eddie Vedder and I love the Cubs,' Samberg continued, poking fun at his own impression: 'My voice sounds exactly like this.'
The Saturday Night Live alumnus moved on to the actors scattered through the audience, including a chuckling Matt Damon, whom he called 'Mattie D-Bones.'
Viggo Mortensen, who'd had a Best Male Lead nomination for Captain Fantastic, grinned and gave a thumbs up as Samberg sang: 'Viggo, he sleeps outside.'
Not In Memoriam: @AndySamberg 's tribute to the stars who are still alive. #SpiritAwards
Hanging on: Through a throat of gravel, he flung a bit of 'still alive' praise at people ranging from 85-year-old director Miloš Forman to 20-year-old actress Hailee Steinfeld
Meanwhile, Craig Robinson, nominated for Best Supporting Male in aid of Morris From America, was nodded to in the line: 'Craig Robinson lives in Van Nuys.'
The beloved comic actor put on a show of contempt, shaking his head and mouthing something indistinct as Samberg delivered his shout-out.
Casey Affleck, who won Best Male Lead for Manchester By The Sea that night, 'just stepped outside,' as Samberg sang as the camera alighted on his empty chair.
Sound advice: He went on to warn the audience that 'If you love somebody famous, then you better tell 'em right now / 'Cause all your favorites may die very soon'
Once he got to his fellow Saturday Night Live veteran Fred Armisen, and began to say that 'he is al-...' the camera saw Armisen lolling in his seat and then going still.
'Oh, no,' said Samberg, dropping the singing and the Vedder impression and drifting back into his normal speaking voice. 'Just now? Ugh, dammit.'
The 38-year-old said haltingly: 'And he was - he was, like, a pretty close friend of mine. You know, we did a lot of projects together. Sorry, guys.'
Aragorn's still around: Viggo Mortensen, who'd had a Best Male Lead nomination for Captain Fantastic, grinned and gave a thumbs up as Samberg sang: 'Viggo, he sleeps outside'
Pulling his phone from the pocket of his shorts, he said: 'I just gotta do one thing really quick,' and pretending to type out a social media message.
'"Wrecked beyond words,"' he read aloud, his voice quivering, while his fingers tapped across the touchscreen. '"Make 'em laugh up in Heaven, Freddie. "'
Closing out: '"RIP," and tweeted,' he crowed: 'Okay, mourning complete. Two, three, four!' and launched back into the song.
Meanwhile, John Mulaney and Nick Kroll - who'd compered the night's festivities - lifted an inert sunglasses-wearing Armisen from his chair and dragged him off.
Lost colleague: When he tried to honor his fellow Saturday Night Live alumnus Fred Armisen for being 'still alive,' Armisen played dead and was dragged inert from the scene by the award show's hosts John Mulaney and Nick Kroll
American Honey
Manchester by the Sea
Andrea Arnold, American Honey
Pablo Larraín, Jackie
Jeff Nichols, Loving
Kelly Reichardt, Certain Women
The Childhood of a Leader
The Fits
Other People
Swiss Army Man
Annette Bening, 20th Century Women
Sasha Lane, American Honey
Ruth Negga, Loving
Natalie Portman, Jackie
David Harewood, Free In Deed
Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
Jesse Plemons, Other People
Tim Roth, Chronic
Edwina Findley, Free In Deed
Paulina García, Little Men
Lily Gladstone, Certain Women
Riley Keough, American Honey
Ralph Fiennes, A Bigger Splash
Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
Shia LaBeouf, American Honey
Craig Robinson, Morris from America
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
Mike Mills, 20th Century Women
Ira Sachs & Mauricio Zacharias, Little Men
Taylor Sheridan, Hell or High Water
Chris Kelly, Other People
Adam Mansbach, Barry
Stella Meghie, Jean of the Joneses
Craig Shilowich, Christine
Ava Berkofsky, Free In Deed
Lol Crawley, The Childhood of a Leader
Zach Kuperstein, The Eyes of My Mother
Robbie Ryan, American Honey
Matthew Hannam, Swiss Army Man
Jennifer Lame, Manchester by the Sea
Jake Roberts, Hell or High Water
Sebastián Sepúlveda, Jackie
Free In Deed
Hunter Gatherer
American Honey
Morris from America
I Am Not Your Negro
Under the Sun
Aquarius (Brazil)
Chevalier (Greece)
Under the Shadow (Iran and U. K.)
Lisa Kjerulff
Melody C. Roscher & Craig Shilowich
Andrew Ahn, Spa Night
Claire Carré, Embers
Ingrid Jungermann, Women Who Kill
Kristi Jacobson, Solitary
Sara Jordenö, Kiki


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Parents take kids out of school after Black Panther poem

A high school in Boutte, Louisiana upped the number of police on campus after a group of students performed a poem referencing the Black Panthers which lead to rumors of a bomb threat.
Parents believed there was a threat and pulled students out of class after students recited a poem inspired by the political party for a show celebrating cultural diversity.
St. Charles Parish Public Schools wrote on Facebook: 'There are unverified rumors and speculation regarding a bomb threat at Hahnville High School.'
Parents line up to pick up their children after an unverified bomb scare Friday
After the performance for a cultural show, parents pulled students out of school because of unverified bomb threats. The school upped police presence as a precautionary
'There is additional police presence on campus as a precautionary measure. There is no creditable source or threat regarding this reported information.'
The performance featured nine black students who alternated between reciting the poem separately and in unison.
Towards the end of the performance, people in the audience snapped and cheered after certain lines.
It ended with some of the students holding up their fists as a sign of black power.
The school system defended the choice to allow the performance after some parents complained saying the intention was to 'unite the student body'
Data from StartClass shows that the school's population of 1,500 students is 30 percent black.
Students were allegedly required to watch the performances for the cultural show or they would be written up.
Several parents complained that the students were allowed to perform a poem citing the Black Panthers and that their children had to listen.
The school system told WWLTV : 'St. Charles Parish Public Schools respects and celebrates cultural diversity, historical perspectives, individual differences, and recognizes the importance of a positive learning environment inclusive of all.'
'A particular poem that was written by a student and shared by students at the Hahnville High School cultural show offended some audience members. We apologize as that was not the intention. The cultural show was intended to celebrate diversity and unite the student body.'


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ISIS drones disrupt U. S.-backed Iraqis' fight for Mosul

SOUTH OF MOSUL, Iraq -- On the outskirts of Mosul , Iraqi forces backed by the U. S. military are slowly taking ground from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS .
This past week, they retook the airport and started pushing deeper into Iraq’s second largest city.
Day Seven of the battle for western Mosul and the Iraqis -- by their own account -- are moving very slowly. Their operations are being disrupted by ISIS drones, sometimes operating in swarms of three to five. They are off-the-shelf quadrocopters, which drop hand grenades or artillery shells, and in a video released by ISIS appear to score a direct hit on an Iraqi armored personnel carrier.
A still from a video released by ISIS, showing what appeared to be a direct hit on an Iraqi armored personnel carrier.
Hundreds of civilians from the city escaped into the surrounding desert, but an estimated 700,000 remained trapped inside their homes.
U. S. advisers are operating closer to the front lines in an attempt to help the Iraqis better coordinate their attacks. Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of U. S. forces in the Middle East, inspected the medevac helicopters and the field hospital set up to receive American casualties. But there haven’t been any since the battle for West Mosul began. Iraqi medevacs, on the other hand, flew 26 missions on Friday.
Helicopters on a U. S. base near Mosul.
Signs of American support are everywhere. Apache helicopter gunships wait for missions at a base 40 miles south of Mosul as do mobile rocket launchers under the command of Lt. Mary Floyd.
The rockets have a range of 15-70 kilometers, Floyd said, which is in range of Mosul from the base.
Closer to the front lines, less than 10 miles south of Mosul, American howitzers are on call 24/7. Their mission is to suppress enemy fire and, in the words of Capt. Geoffrey Ross, give the Iraqis the gumption to move forward.
American soldiers in a base near Mosul.
Ross said he can’t discuss how many rounds have been fired, “but it’s considerably more than we thought we were going to shoot when we left Fort Hood.”
The Iraqi strategy is to take back the city in deliberate, small bites. On Friday, it cost them four dead and 53 wounded, and an American officer says it’s going to be hard every day.


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Recovery continues for many in devastating San Jose flooding

The effort to rise from the flood waters is proving to be quite a challenge for residents in San Jose. As of Saturday night, evacuations were still in place in the Rock Springs area, the Old Oakland Road Mobile Home Park and the Williams Street Park neighborhood. Evacuations began Tuesday with 14,000 people under a mandatory order. A total of 4,554 units are still in the mandatory evacuation areas and the city says police have increased patrol there. San Jose's mayor says he will ask for a public meeting to discuss the city's response admitting that a clear failure, led to the flooding and a delay in evacuations. It's been a challenge for many residents to clean up. "Here we're doing a decontamination and opened up the walls we extracted all the water," said Sal Garcia, San Jose resident. The next step is bringing in dehumidifiers for a three day dry out at this home. Block after block crews are Pumping out water as flood victims salvage what they can when they get access. One mom was here advocating for her daughter who lives in a red-tagged apartment. "She said she had to pay as long as her stuff was there, regardless of whether she had access and I think that's very unfair of the landlord," said Mary McKay, flood victim. Those kinds of problems and questions are being referred to a newly opened local assistance center where victims of the Coyote Creek flood can plug into help from nonprofits and the government. "People who need access to rental assistance and food, to people who have questions on how to handle insurance and contractors to do repairs in their home," said San Jose Deputy City Manager Kim Walesh. Over a half a million dollars has poured into a community foundation fund. Charities are shuttling in clothes and donors are dropping off food, suitcases and pet carriers at one of the shelters at James Lick High School. What they need most though is money to help people with storage units and down payments for new places to live. "It hits you hard sometimes, but that's why we do what we do," said Julia Bishop, Red Cross volunteer. "We are really focused on recovery this weekend. Next week, we're going to focus on how do we fix this going forward," said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. There will be a public hearing to improve notification so this never happens again.


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Caver leads with 15 as Old Dominion tops W. Kentucky 67-53

Ahmad Caver sank four 3-pointers, scored 15 points, and dished six assists to help Old Dominion defeat Western Kentucky 67-53 on Saturday night.
The win pushes Old Dominion (17-10, 10-5) into a second-place tie in Conference USA, setting up a key game with UTEP, also 10-5, in El Paso, Texas on Thursday. Both trail Louisiana Tech (13-3), which was upset by Rice on Saturday.
B. J. Stith added 13 points for the Monarchs and Brandan Stith 11. Old Dominion was 26-for-57 shooting from the floor (46 percent) while Western Kentucky shot 15 of 49 (31 percent).
The Monarchs never trailed and led 37-23 by halftime. Western Kentucky didn't score for the first three minutes of the second half until Que Johnson hit a 3-pointer and only came as close as 10 points three times.
Pancake Thomas led the Hilltoppers with 17 points, though was 4 of 10 from the floor, Que Johnson added 12 and Justin Johnson 11. Justin Johnson grabbed seven boards and Thomas six.


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Kerr not 'messing around' with KD's injured hand as road trip looms

Oakland — On Thursday night when a reporter informed Kevin Durant that the Golden State Warriors had placed him on the injury report with a left pinkie contusion, the eight-time All-Star brushed aside the official designation.
“You could have done without that one.”
Two nights later, as the Dubs prepared to host the Brooklyn Nets at Oracle Arena, Durant’s hand was dinged up enough to keep him out of the lineup.
“It was still bothering him a little bit today, but the X-rays were fine, so it’s just lingering,” head coach Steve Kerr said during his pregame press conference.
With the Warriors set to depart on a five-game road jaunt on Sunday, Kerr opted to play it safe, giving the former MVP plenty of time to heal up.
“Kevin’s hand is still a little swollen and so it was not anything we were going to mess around with,” Kerr said. “We’ve got a long trip coming up, a lot of games. It made sense to give him the night off and we’ll have tomorrow off flying to Philadelphia. So, hopefully the next couple of days it will calm down and it will be fine. It’s kind of a day-to-day thing.”
The Warriors play five games between Feb. 27 and March 6, host the Boston Celtics on March 8 and then play a back-to-back on the road on March 10 and 11.
“We don’t have anything planned right now,” Kerr said when asked if he’s lined up any rest for his players. “But anything that pops up — like today with KD’s hand being sore — we’ll automatically give a guy a rest if he’s banged up. We’ll have to look at the schedule. We’ll probably look at it on the plane tomorrow and get a feel for what we might do.”
“But you can look at it yourself and see, we’ve got some tough travel and back-to-back stuff and as [PR boss] Raymond [Ridder] says, ‘We’ve got an eight-game road trip coming up with one of those games being at Oracle.’”
Weber’s status up in the air
With Briante Weber’s second 10-day contract ending at the conclusion of Saturday night’s game, the reserve point guard is caught in limbo.
Kerr and general manager Bob Myers will have to decide if they want to lock Weber in for the rest of the season or pursue a veteran guard on the buyout market.
“It’s just based on what we feel is our best option,” Kerr explained. “And he’s been good. We’ve really been impressed with him. We like him, but we’re going to keep all of our options open. I know we’ve got to make a decision — I think tomorrow. So, we’ll probably meet, Bob and I tonight and figure out what are options are and what we want to do, but Briante’s been really good and we’re happy with him.”


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Alabama A&M snaps 11-game losing streak

De'Ederick Petty tallied 24 points, seven assists and six rebounds, Quinterian McConico and Alabama A&M added 15 points and 12 boards, and Alabama A&M snapped an 11-game losing streak with an 87-74 win over Prairie View A&M on Saturday night.
Adrian Edwards totaled 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Alabama A&M (2-24, 2-13 Southwestern Athletic), who led by as many as 22 points late in the second half.
Prairie View A&M (10-19, 7-8) led 14-11 with 11:52 left in the first half on Troy Thompson's 3-pointer, but Edwards hit a pair of free throws for Alabama A&M, and Petty followed up with a 3 to put the Bulldogs ahead for good.
Tevin Bellinger led the Panthers with 19 points, and Thompson made four 3s and finished with 17 points.
Alabama A&M, which ranks 349 of 351 Division-I teams in scoring at 60.9 per game, made 26 of 51 from the field (51 percent) and 9 of 16 from beyond the arc, outrebounding the Panthers 48-25.


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Saturday’s girls roundup: Providence Day makes it 8 in a row, Mallard Creek advances

↑ Providence Day girls: Won 8th straight state championship Saturday.
↑ Mahaley Holit, Central Cabarrus: passed the 2,000 point career mark and led her team to a win over previously unbeaten North Iredell. Holit had 18 points and six assists. Elanna Peay had 11 points and 13 rebounds.
↑ Jiera Shears, Hickory Ridge: hit a 3-pointer to send Saturday’s 79-76 win over Canton Pisgah into overtime, where Hickory Ridge won to remain unbeaten a t29-0. Shears finished with 17 points, two steals and two assists. Gabby Smith had 16 points and 13 rebounds In overtime, Deja Neal made 5-of-6 free throws, and Randi Neal hit the game-winner with 8.7 seconds left in OT.
Brooke Arney, East Burke: 30 points in a 77-46 win over No. 12 Monroe. Reece Davis added 11. Monroe got 14 from Destiny Wallace.
Janelle Bailey, Laila Barnes, Providence Day: Bailey, a McDonald’s All-American, had 22 points, 22 rebounds, six assists and two blocks in a 58-57 win over High Point Wesleyan in the NCISAA 3A state finals. Barnes had 14 points and four rebounds.
D’Shara Booker, Ardrey Kell: 12 points, 15 rebounds in a 53-41 win over Hough.
Mya Caldwell, Davidson Day: 17 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals for Georgia recruit in NCISAA 2A state championship game.
Ahlana Smith, Kay’lla Richardson, Mallard Creek: Smith had 27 points, 15 rebounds, six assists, five blocks and three steals in an 80-61 win over Rocky River. Richardson had 24 points and 10 rebounds.
No. 1 Mallard Creek 80, No. 8 Rocky River 61: Mallard Creek jumped on Rocky River early, leading 22-5 after the first quarter. Janay Sanders had 14 points for the Mavericks (28-0). Ariana Nance of Rocky River completed a brilliant postseason run with 31 points for Rocky River.
Carolina Day 59, No. 3 Davidson Day 49: Carolina Day won its seventh straight NCISAA 2A state championship, keeping Davidson Day at arm’s length all game and hitting free throws late. Carolina Day made 8-of-10 in the final 61 seconds. Parker Tompkins had 13 points, nine blocks, five rebounds and two steals for the Patriots, who lost to Carolina Day in the finals for the second straight year.
No. 6 Providence Day 58, High Point Wesleyan 57: The NCISAA 3A state championship game was close throughout, and every time Providence Day (24-4) tried to pull away, Wesleyan (24-7) would pull back. Wesleyan used a strategy on McDonald’s All-American Janelle Bailey that she said had not seen before, a full-court double team -- and dared other Chargers to beat them. But Bailey had another huge game and a three-point play from the UNC signee gave Providence Day a 56-51 lead with 41.1 seconds to play. She hit two free throws for a 58-51 lead. Wesleyan got a pair of three pointers, just six seconds apart, to close within one. Bailey missed two free throws with 3.5 seconds left before Wesleyan’s star player, Shaniya Jones (24 points) hit the rim with a potential game-winning shot at the buzzer.
No. 7 Ardrey Kell 53, No. 10 Hough 41: Deniyah Lutz had 16 points to lead the Knights to the win. Ardrey Kell held Hough to 12 points in the second and third quarters. Lauren Stokes had 19 for Hough.


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Team honors Sandy boy killed in snowmobiling crash during first game after tragedy

SANDY, Utah -- It was just a few days ago that a young basketball team lost one their players, Jaxon Lewis, in a tragic snowmobile accident.
Jaxon loved basketball and played on two teams. For this team Saturday, it was their first time playing without him, but they tried to keep his spirit in the game.
“I find it really cool that we’re like celebrating Jaxon like this because he was a really good kid - and like always let me sit next to him on the bus - no matter what,” said teammate Stockton.
The 12-year-old boy was killed in an accident February 20. Saturday his team honored their friend while wearing Jaxon's number.
Jaxon's spot on the bench was filled by his father Saturday. Devin Lewis cheered on the team, just like he would his son.
“I really believe, feel, that just continuing on doing those things that he loved is going to keep his spirit alive, and that’s really why I wanted to be here because I feel a piece of him here,” he said.
Jaxon is remembered as being a gentle giant. Loved ones say he was kind and inclusive as well as a loving son, brother and friend.
“I just know that there is life after death, and that, you know, our family will reunite and we’ll be back together, and one day we’re going to be able to embrace Jaxon again,” Lewis said.
Friends of the family have set up a GoFundMe account to help with funeral expenses.


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Women's Institute in a jam over their crumbling Jerusalem

It is the hallowed hall where the ladies of Middle England have studied the fine arts of cake-making and flower-arranging for generations.
But now the Georgian stately home that houses the Women’s Institute college may have to close down after almost 70 years, unless £2 million can be raised for a rescue fund.
Opened in 1948, Denman College – a grade II listed Georgian house set in 17 acres near Abingdon, Oxfordshire – is the WI’s jewel in the crown.
Opened in 1948, Denman College (pictured) – a grade II listed Georgian house set in 17 acres near Abingdon, Oxfordshire – is the WI’s jewel in the crown
The Women's Institute has been based at the grade II listed Denman College since 1948 but fears are growing it may need to be shut down unless it can raise £2 million to help with repairs by March 2018
Sadly it is now in need of repair and unless the fund target is met by March 2018, the Institute’s national board will review its future.
The warning has sent shockwaves through the organisation’s 220,000 members, who include the Queen, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Countess of Wessex and the Princess Royal.
WI members and supporters have vowed to take action, following in the footsteps of the Yorkshire ladies who posed nude to raise funds to fight leukaemia and put a modern spin on the ‘jam and Jerusalem’ ethos.
One WI member in her 70s has vowed to cycle from Southampton to Abingdon on a sponsored ride, according to college head Jane Dixon.
Annually almost 10,000 students – mainly WI members, though it is open to all, including men – attend classes that last from a day to residential courses over four nights.
The popularity of TV shows such as The Great British Bake Off and The Great Sewing Bee has fed the popularity of courses. The college has been licensed for weddings since 2012 but only five so far have been held.
Editor of The Lady, Sam Taylor, suggested the WI should make better use of Denman to raise funds. Ms Taylor said: ‘It’s time for the WI to be brave again.
Opened in 1948, Denman College – a grade II listed Georgian house set in 17 acres near Abingdon, Oxfordshire – is the WI’s jewel in the crown
‘Last time they took off their tops for Calendar Girls and this time they should open their doors to non-members more enthusiastically.
‘There is nothing to fear. If the Queen opens her house to the public it’s about time the WI did so more freely at Denman. They need to do more advertising and spread the jam a bit more.
‘A lot of people would like to go there. After all you can get a long way in life if you know how to make a good Victoria sponge.’
Christine Hounslow, from Swindon, is heading the Denman appeal. She said: ‘I know outdoor summer picnic concerts are being considered in the gardens and it’s a great place for parties.
‘We really want it to be fully used. WI members are fundraising.
‘We’ve got £275,000 and it’s rapidly rising. I’m not sure we’ll reach the £2 million target unless we attract funds from people outside the organisation.
‘I think we’ve been a bit shy telling people about the appeal.’


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Wilder retains WBC title with 5th-round KO of Washington

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Deontay Wilder returned from right arm injuries to stop Gerald Washington in the fifth round retain his WBC heavyweight title Saturday night.
Wilder (38-0, 37 knockouts) seemed mostly cautious with his right in the early rounds but staggered Washington (18-1-1) and sent him down with a hard one followed by a left. He came right back at the former USC football player and Navy mechanic, pummeling him against the ropes with both hands.
Referee Mike Griffin stopped the fight after Wilder punctuated his barrage with a left uppercut. An unsteady Washington wobbled against the ropes on the opposite side after the stoppage.
It was the Tuscaloosa, Alabama, native's fifth title defense.
Last year, Wilder broke his right hand and tore his right biceps in a knockout of Chris Arreola.


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Bickell skates in 1st minor-league game since MS diagnosis

Bryan Bickell had an assist in his first hockey game since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Playing for the Carolina Hurricanes' AHL affiliate in Charlotte, Bickell logged about 10 minutes of ice time while playing on the fourth line in the Checkers' 6-1 victory over Cleveland on Saturday night.
Bickell had the primary assist on Kris Newbury's goal that made it 5-0 just 2:51 into the second period.
He called it "a rough one to jump back in and play at a high pace. "
Bickell, 30, won three Stanley Cups with Chicago before coming to Carolina in the offseason. He had been out since October, was diagnosed with MS in November and began practicing last month with the Hurricanes, who formally assigned him to Charlotte on Friday.


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Hurd KOs Harrison in 9th for IBC junior middleweight title

Jarrett Hurd knocked out Tony Harrison in the ninth round Saturday night to win the vacant IBF junior middleweight title at Legacy Arena.
Hurd (20-0, 14 knockouts) of Maryland sent Detroit's Harrison (24-2) down with a right hand at 2:24 after hurting him several times in the late rounds.
The title was vacated with Jermall Charlo's move to middleweight. Harrison got up in time to continue but the referee stopped it after he spit out his mouthpiece.
It was the undercard of Deontay Wilder's WBC heavyweight title defense against Gerald Washington.
Heavyweight Dominic Breazeale (18-1, 16 KOs) knocked previously unbeaten Izuagbe Ugohono (17-1) through the ropes and out at 50 seconds in the fifth round. It was the third knockdown of Ugohono, who had sent Breazeale down with four straight rights late in the fourth.


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Brighton takes second, Howell third at Lakes swim meet

WATERFORD — Entering the Lakes Conference swim meet on Saturday, Howell head coach Zach Kasprzak said he believed it to be a three-team race between Grand Blanc, Brighton and Walled Lake Northern.
“Initially, we looked at the teams on Wednesday when we got all the entries,” the Howell coach said. “And it looked like those three teams out in front. Grand Blanc, Brighton and Walled Lake Northern were all grouped together. Howell was significantly behind that group.”
Now, Howell had proven it was as good as at least two of those teams after going 5-0 in head-to-head duals and beating both the Bobcats and Bulldogs in KLAA West action. But after a West Division meet in which the Highlanders placed third — more than 50 points behind Grand Blanc and 100 behind Brighton — which thus created a three-way tie for the division crown, things perhaps looked murky entering the conference race.
However, by day’s end, despite just one first-place finish, the Highlanders climbed into that top group, placing third with 617 points at Waterford Mott High School, ahead of Northern (608) and behind second-place Brighton (641) and Lakes Conference champion Grand Blanc (667).
“The kids did great,” Kasprzak said. “I don’t know if there were any surprises. It was just, we ended up getting a lot of swimmers in the top heats, and some of our main guys that have been our go-to guys all season stepped up. … A lot of guys exceeded expectations.”
Howell’s one winner was its 200-yard freestyle relay team of Caleb Balgaard, Henry Bauer, Braden Gregory and Stephen Meagher. The foursome clocked a time of 1 minute, 29.36 seconds to take the gold medal ahead of Grand Blanc (1:29.62) and Brighton (1:30.84).
In total, the Highlanders had 15 top-eight finishes, including all three relay teams, which all made the state cut on Saturday. Meagher earned the bronze in the 100 butterfly with a 52.60-second time, and was also part of Howell’s trio to place in the 500 freestyle.
Meagher (4:53.79) was fifth while Jackson Manning (4:56.35) was sixth and Hunter Gubeno (5:00.73) took eighth, the three picking up crucial points for the Highlanders and allowing them an outside shot at winning the meet in the final event.
Caleb Balgaard was fourth in diving with a score of 407.15, but most notably clocked a 21.93 in the 50 freeestyle to take third. That’s only a half-second off All-State honors last year, which put him in rare territory having already been an All-State diver.
“He’s got his eyes set on kind of being in the swimming event, and being a dual-sport All-State athlete in swimming and diving,” Kasprzak said. “He’s always swam the 50 for us, but he’s just gotten bigger and stronger over the years, and better and better.”
Meanwhile, Brighton continued its impressive first season under head coach Jason Black by claiming the silver medal. The Bulldogs got one individual first-place finish from sophomore Drew Panzl, who just edged out his brother Brennan for gold in the 100 breaststroke.
Drew recorded a 59.61 while Brennan posted a 1:01.31.
Cade Hammond also was a silver medalist in diving with a score of 316.80, and the 200 medley relay squad of Drew Panzl, John Louria, Evan Wilson and Dominic Fiorini clocked a 1:38.06 to grab second as well.
“We had an excellent (preliminary) meet (Friday), and we swam really well today,” Black said. “We didn’t do quite enough to get it done, but I’m happy with the entire weekend.”
Drew Panzl also took the bronze in the 200 IM with a 1:58.97, breaking the school record.
“It’s funny,” Black said. “Drew, our goal for him has been the state meet. So expectations for him were to swim his best, and he did. He swam well in the IM, broke the school record and are goals continue to be two weeks at states.”
Pinckney’s David Turner actually ensured that his team had the most firsts in Livingston County.
The Pirates senior claimed two victories in the 100 and 200 freestyles with times of 47.05 and 1:43.48, respectively. Turner helped give Pinckney a sixth-place finish, ahead of Hartland, which tied for seventh. Hartland’s best was senior Cory Nelligan, who was second in the 50 free (21.76) and third in the 100 free (48.52).
Livingston County swimmers who qualified will now head to their respective division state meet in two weeks. For Howell, Brighton and Hartland, that will be at Oakland University beginning March 10. Pinckney begins on the same day in Division 2 action at Eastern Michigan.


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Sydney's wet weather: Rain and thunderstorms for next week

Sydney is on track for a wet start to autumn with forecasters tipping seven straight days of pouring rain or thunderstorms.
After copping 60 millimetres of rain on Saturday night - with some suburbs seeing close to 80 - the city will again be drenched by rain on Sunday.
Up to 15 millimetres of rain is expected to blanket Sydney on Monday.
Rainfall will ease but remain consistent for a full week as temperatures hover in the low 20s.
Sydney is on track for a wet start to autumn, with forecasters tipping seven straight days of pouring rain (rainfall radar for last 24 hours pictured)
Up to 15 milimetres of rain will blanket Sydney (pictured on Sunday) on Monday, with rainfall easing but remaining consistent for a full week
Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Neale Fraser told The Daily Telegraph the rainfall would linger throughout the week across the broader Sydney metro region.
'It's going to continue today. There are a lot of showers around and it will be heavy at times briefly,' Mr Fraser said.
'There is even more showers for the rest of the week, from Monday through to Friday.
'It's going to be a humid week with lots of showers coming in and out with a risk of thunderstorms each day.'
The Bureau of Meteorology forecasts rain and chances of thunderstorms for the next week (pictured is Copacabana Beach, NSW)
Despite the soggy conditions, the weather will be humid across the week in Sydney
Brisbane won't escape the soggy weather either - with the Bureau of Meteorology predicting showers producing roughly 15 millimetres of rain every day next week.
The capital city of Queensland could see as much as 40 millimetres of rain on Wednesday as temperatures float around a muggy average of 25 degrees all week.
Melbourne could see light showers come next Saturday, but will sweat through tops of 33 degrees as the sun comes out and stays Monday onwards.
On the west coast of Australia things will be fine and sunny, with Perth forecast to enjoy perfect weather with highs in the low 30s and no sight of rain.
The conditions in Sydney will be nothing like the devastating storms that battered the NSW coast last weekend with widespread power cuts and tennis ball-sized hail that wrecked homes and cars.
Sunday: Max 23, showers increasing
Monday: Max 25, showers
Tuesday: Max 26, showers
Wednesday: Max 26, showers
Thursday: Max 25, showers
Friday: Max 27, showers
Saturday: Max 26, showers
Sunday: Max 24, partly cloudy
Monday: Max 27, sunny
Tuesday: Max 28, sunny, light winds
Wednesday: Max 28, partly cloudy
Thursday: Max 28, mostly sunny
Friday: Max 23, cloudy, showers
Saturday: Max 25, cloudy
Sunday: Max 28, mostly sunny
Monday: Max 31, sunny, light winds
Tuesday: Max 32, sunny, light winds
Wednesday: Max 33, mostly sunny
Thursday: Max 31, mostly sunny
Friday: Max 29, partly cloudy
Saturday: Max 29, possible shower, light winds
Sunday: Max 29, sunny
Monday: Max 35, sunny
Tuesday: Max 38, cloudy
Wednesday: Max 38, cloudy
Thursday: Max 38, sunny
Friday: Max 37, sunny
Saturday: Max 34, sunny
Sunday: Max 30, shower or two
Monday: Max 28, showers
Tuesday: Max 28, showers
Wednesday: Max 28, showers
Thursday: Max 29, showers easing
Friday: Max 29, showers
Saturday: Max 29, showers, chance of thunderstorm
Sunday: Max 32, showers, storms
Monday: Max 32, showers, storms
Tuesday: Max 33, possible shower
Wednesday: Max 34, possible shower
Thursday: Max 34, cloudy
Friday: Max 34, possible shower
Saturday: Max 33, shower or two
Sunday: Max 30, sunny
Monday: Max 30, sunny
Tuesday: Max 33, sunny
Wednesday: Max 35, mostly sunny
Thursday: Max 33, Sunny
Friday: Max 34, sunny
Saturday: Max 35, mostly sunny
Sunday: Max 23, cloudy
Monday: Max 27, cloudy
Tuesday: Max 28, possible shower
Wednesday: Max 30, partly cloudy
Thursday: Max 29, shower or two
Friday: Max 27, cloudy, showers
Saturday: Max 27, showers
It will be wet along the east coast of Australia but sunny on the west coast this week (pictured is a monthly forecast of rain across Australia)
The conditions in Sydney will be nothing like the devastating storms that battered the NSW coast last weekend


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Peta Credlin says Tony Abbott motivated by frustration

Tony Abbott's former chief of staff has defended her former boss saying his criticisms about the Coalition is a desperate attempt to hold the Liberal Party together.
Peta Credlin wrote former prime minister Tony Abbott was not going anywhere after he announced a controversial manifesto on Thursday, which saw Mathias Cormann slam the criticism as 'self-indulgent' and 'deliberately destructive'.
Ms Credlin said Mr Abbott was attempting to hold the party together after a recent slide in the Coalition's popularity.
Former Prime Minster Tony Abbott is desperate to hold the Liberal Party together according to his former chief of staff Peta Credlin
Tony Abbott's former chief of staff Peta Credlin has defended her former boss
'It comes down to this; Malcolm Turnbull is desperate to hold on to power and Tony Abbott is desperate to hold the Liberal Party together,' she wrote in a column in The Daily Telegraph.
Ms Credlin also did not sugar coat her opinion about her former boss's move to openly criticise his party, but says his comments come from a place of frustration.
'He's just come back from a large number of marginal seat visits in the past few months so he's got no illusions about the anger among Coalition supporters and party members.
'What I see, in part, is his unmasked frustration that after fighting for five years to win 25 seats off Labor, and bring an end to the disastrous Rudd/Gillard years, the Coalition copied Labor's playbook, changed leaders and as a result, threw away 14 seats at the last election.'
Ms Credlin appeared on Sky News and claimed the party was bleeding supporters with her phone ringing off the hook.
'My phone is ringing off the hook. The party in Canberra is not listening, understanding or connecting with the party around the country,' she told Sky News.
'But by God they're angry and they are leaving in droves and it shows in Newspoll after Newspoll. The party is bleeding, the supporters are going and I honestly fear the party will not get them back.
'It's on life support.'
Peta Credlin wrote Malcolm Turnbull (pictured) was 'desperate to hold on to power'
Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott with his chief of staff Peta Credlin
He said by abolishing the renewable energy target, cutting immigration to make housing more affordable, scrapping the Human Rights Commission and reforming the Senate to have government - the party would be worth voting for.
Despite the tension within the Coalition, a Liberal frontbencher insisted his party will not be following the Rudd and Gillard script of knifing a sitting prime minister in the back.
Mr Abbott, ousted by Mr Turnbull in 2015, said the coalition had become 'Labor lite' and politics should not be 'just a contest of toxic egos or someone's vanity project'.
Assistant Cities Minister Angus Taylor played down the distraction.
'We've seen the Labor movie,' Angus Taylor told the Seven Network.
'The overwhelming thing you've heard from the party room in the last 24 hours is we've had enough, we want to get over the distractions and move on and focus on the agenda that Australians care about.'
Assistant Cities Minister Angus Taylor said the Liberal party would be moving on from the tension within ranks (Stock Image)
Labor frontbencher Jason Clare was doubtful the ongoing feud can be put to bed.
'Abbott and Turnbull have hated each other for years. It goes back to university,' he told the Seven Network.
'We know division is death, people hate this stuff. This is a bad, divided government and that's why the people will throw you out at the next election.'
Mr Turnbull and senior ministers have blasted Mr Abbott for his 'sad' provocative outburst.
However, Mr Abbott's backers say he simply wanted the government to focus on issues concerning voters.
The Liberal backbencher called for the renewable energy target to be cut, immigration rates to be reduced, the Human Rights Commission to be scrapped, an end to new government spending and reform of the Senate.
Labor frontbencher Jason Clare was adamant the feud could not be resolved so easily and that the Coalition was a divided government (Stock Image)


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Lead lingers, testing still sporadic in metro schools despite investigation

There's been a lot of talk about lead in the drinking water lately. Some of that talk has actually turned into action.
Last summer, 11Alive wanted to know what school districts in the metro were doing to make sure the water coming out of their fountains and faucets was safe.
As Investigator Rebecca Lindstrom learned, not much.
After 11Alives's initial investigation into lead contamination in school water sources , the Cherokee and Clayton school districts sent written statements insisting their drinking water met all safety standards and that “anything built or installed since 1990, by code, was lead free.”
But in the following months, attitudes seemed to change as Lindstrom showed that wasn’t always the case.
Forsyth and Henry Counties now indicate they will test all of their water sources district-wide. Cobb and Gwinnett Counties have conducted some random testing, but Douglas County still insists there’s no need.
The Atlanta Public School System had already finished its testing when DeKalb County announced it would test all of the fountains and faucets throughout the district.
Initial testing in DeKalb could last until the end of the school year, but so far a spokesperson said they’ve finished 91 of their 148 facilities. Of the 2,439 samples taken, 3.7% were above the EPA action level of 15 parts per billion. The district has been able to remediate many of those water sources, and until they are fixed, the district stresses the water fountain or faucet remains off.
Fulton County Schools told Lindstrom last summer, the district only planned to test six schools, mainly older construction. But it, too, has since expanded testing district-wide. The results? Thirty schools built in Fulton County after that “lead ban” had a water source with high lead levels. Some of its highest results were found in the faucets that fill kitchen kettles.
“It’s basically something they can cook soup or stew or something like that in,” explained Joseph Clements, the Director of Facilities Services.
The water that came out of the kettle at Chattahoochee High was 23 times higher than the federal limit. The district was quick to note that the test reflected lead levels only in the first cup of water. Levels can drop quickly after that and a kettle uses gallons of water.
Still, Clements admits, he didn’t expect to find such high lead levels in the district’s newer constructed buildings.
So what’s going on? Despite all the rules on how the water is treated, the type of pipes that can be used to transport it and even the solder used to plumb it, until now, haven't been monitored as heavily. Regulators hadn’t paid as much attention to the lead in the valves at the end of the line. Basically, the faucet where the water comes out.
New valves can have 97% less lead in them than those made just three years ago. While not all valves are leaching lead, schools won’t know if they’re impacted unless they test for it.
Sen. Vincent Fort doesn’t believe testing for lead should be optional. He’s introduced a bill to require testing the water, not just at public schools, but also private schools and daycares.
“Lead poisoning is about as dangerous as you can imagine and when we’re talking about children, it’s especially dangerous,” Fort said.
Currently, there are no state or federal requirements for schools on municipal water systems to test their water for lead. Given the risks and current test findings, Lindstrom tried to talk with the EPA about whether that should change.
The EPA would not talk on camera, but did say they had sent letters to governors and commissioners highlighting the importance of testing, and that it was currently reviewing recommendations made by the National Drinking Water Advisory Council.
A spokesperson also added, “there is a compelling need to modernize and strengthen implementation of the rule – to strengthen its public health protections and to clarify its implementation requirements to make it more effective and more readily enforceable.”
If districts do decide to test, there is a cost, and only the community can decide if it’s worth it. Fulton County spent about $300,000 just on tests and found problems at 161 schools.
“The question is, can we afford to fix it," Clements asked. "We will find the money to fix it. Until we get to fixing it, all those water sources remain turned off and out of service.”
Here’s a look at the responses 11Alive received from metro school districts last summer and now:
Several school districts have tried to be as transparent as possible about their testing and the results. Both Fulton and DeKalb Counties set up hotlines to answer parent’s questions, but say they haven’t received many calls.
(© 2017 WXIA)
Proposed bill would mean mandatory lead testing at Ga. schools
Several water fountains in DeKalb schools test positive for lead
High lead levels found in kindergarten classroom water fountain
11Alive investigation leads to widespread water testing in schools
Atlanta schools target lead in water


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Guy Sebastian is forced to apologise to animal activists

What started as an innocent fishing expedition became far more controversial for Guy Sebastian this weekend.
On Saturday, the Australian pop-star took to Instagram to showcase a 200kg blue marlon he had hooked for two hours before returning it to the ocean.
Beaming as he gripped the fish with one hand, Guy wrote in the caption: 'What a day! 200kg blue caught in about 120 fathoms in 26+ degree water.'
Fishy business! Guy Sebastian has been forced to apologise to animal activists after hooking a 200kg blue marlin during fishing trip
'Took 2 hours to bring in and this magnificent creature was returned and swam away nicely. Gear used was a shimano tyrnos which was a dream to fish with.'
'Thanks and @wahoo_charters_sydney for putting us on the bite,' he added.
Animal activists didn't waste time slamming the Black And Blue singer, with one commenting: 'Glad it was released, but two hours of stress and struggle for this beautiful fish - don't understand the pleasure it gives you.'
Controversial: Animal activists didn't waste time slamming the Black And Blue singer, with one commenting: 'Glad it was released, but two hours of stress and struggle for this beautiful fish - don't understand the pleasure it gives you'
Guy decided to poke fun at his critics by responding to a comment that read: 'Poor thing looks horrified', by commenting back: 'Don't worry I was fine I'm used to being out in deep water but thanks for your concern :-)'
After another user wrote: 'Poor thing', Guy cheekily hit back: 'All good my arms are a bit cooked but otherwise all is well'.
Assuring fans that the fish was left unharmed, Guy wrote to another critic: 'He swam off very happy and even thanked me for the selfie'.
'Don't worry I was fine': Guy decided to poke fun at his critics by responding to a comment that read: 'Poor thing looks horrified'
Eventually, Guy was forced to apologise to those campaigning for the ethical treatment of fish.
'I'm a big animal lover and have utmost respect for all creatures,' he wrote.
'I have grown up fishing and also teach my kids to treat fish with respect. We very rarely keep fish to eat they are mostly thrown back,' he added.
'I'm a big animal lover': Eventually, Guy was forced to apologise to those campaigning for the ethical treatment of fish


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Ross provides spark for Magic in 105-86 win over Hawks

Terrence Ross scored 24 points, Nikola Vucevic had 16 points and 14 rebounds and the Orlando Magic beat the Atlanta Hawks 105-86 on Saturday night to snap a two-game skid.
Ross played his second game with Orlando after coming over from Toronto in a trade for Serge Ibaka and gave Orlando the shooting touch it has lacked all season. He hit 10 of 15 from the field, including 4 of 7 from 3-point range.
Orlando also got double-digit production from Aaron Gordon (18 points) and Elfrid Payton (15). Payton was just short for his fourth career triple-double with nine rebounds and nine assists despite not playing at all in the fourth quarter.
Tim Hardaway Jr. led five Hawks in double figures with 15 points. Atlanta was playing the back-end of a back-to-back and dropped its third straight. The Hawks are trying to remain in the top five in the Eastern Conference.
The Magic improved their ball movement, getting 21 assists on 37 field goals while shooting nearly 48 percent from the field.
With Ross leading the way, Orlando led by 21 before putting away an Atlanta team that played flat for much of the second half.
After a back and forth first half, the Magic claimed a 49-46 lead by halftime on the strength of a 9-0 run. Orlando led 11 points in the first quarter, and Atlanta's largest lead was nine points in the second quarter.
The score was tied five times and there were six lead changes during a first half in which both teams were inconsistent.
Hawks: Dennis Schroder was back on the floor Saturday but did not start after being suspended for Friday's game after missing two practices following the NBA All-Star break. Malcolm Delaney started in his place at point guard. ... Dwight Howard picked up four fouls in the first half.
Magic: Vucevic was listed as questionable prior to the game with a sore Achilles tendon, but coach Frank Vogel said before tipoff that the center was fine and would be able to go. ... Point guard C. J. Watson missed his second straight game with a sore right Achilles tendon. ... Vucevic had a double-double by halftime with 10 points and 12 rebounds. He now has a team-high 27 double-doubles on the season and 185 career double-doubles.
Hawks: Travel to face Boston on Monday.
Magic: Host the New York Knicks on Wednesday night.


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Peter Kay dresses up as Honey G on Let It Shine final

He is known for his antics and comedian Peter Kay was not going to let down the massive Let It Shine audience when he took on a guest judge role.
The Northerner decided to make an entrance by dressing as 'Honey P' - a character inspired by X-Factor finalist Honey G - at the competition final on Saturday night.
The 43-year-old TV personality was standing in for an 'ailed' Robbie Williams as the decision was made about who would appear in The Band, a stage musical based on Take That hits.
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Spitting image: Comedian Peter Kay dressed as X-Factor finalist rapper Honey G as he stepped in for Robbie Williams as guest judge on the Let It Shine final on Saturday night
Peter echoed Honey G's signature brazen and relaxed style for the impression, dressing in a neon disc-decorated bomber jacket with a shiny gold collar and matching baseball cap.
The comedian aldo donned a shoulder-length straight black wig and covered his face with dark shades similar to those worn by the X Factor star.
Peter walked onto the dazzling stage imitating the walking movements of the rapper to gasps and cheers.
He enveloped the final hosts Graham Norton and Mel Giedroyc in giant bear hugs before sauntering to the front of the stage in Honey G style as the crowd went wild.
Let It Shine is a music competition hosted by Graham Norton where judges Gary Barlow, Dannii Minogue and Martin Kemp audition singers.
Take That bandmate Gary Barlow launched the talent show to find the stars who will appear in The Band, a stage musical based on Take That hits, and its normal judges are Gary Barlow, Dannii Minogue and Martin Kemp.
Meanwhile on another stage across town the real Honey G was performing at the O2 Arena with fellow X-Factor finalists.
The rapper made no mention on social media of the comedian's impersonation.
Impersonator: The comedian echoed Honey G's signature relaxed style, dressing in a neon disc-decorated bomber jacket with a shiny gold collar and matching baseball cap
On stage too: Honey G herself was performing at the O2 Arena with fellow X-Factor finalists on Saturday night - and made no mention on social media of the comedian's impersonation
Robbie Williams was originally meant to be the guest judge for Saturday night's final, but announced he would pull out on Friday at the last minute.
The 43-year-old pop star cited a mystery 'ailment' and announced the comedian as his replacement.
But Robbie confirmed he would still perform with Gary, Mark Owen and Howard Donald on the live show despite being too unwell to fill the role of guest judge.
'Ailment': The BBC announced that Robbie will not appear as a guest judge on Let It Shine due to an 'ailment', but the star will still reunite with Take That bandmates to perform on the show
Raunchy: Robbie rocked the BRITs award show with a sexy medley of his hit songs, surrounded by writhing dancers in skimpy outfits
A message on the BBC website then announced that Robbie was too ill to act as judge.
'As previously announced, Robbie Williams will reunite with Take That for a special performance for the Let It Shine live final,' it read.
'Sadly due to an ailment he is unable to continue with the role of guest judge and we wish Robbie a very speedy recovery.
'However we are thrilled to announce that Peter Kay will join as guest judge and sit on the panel alongside Gary Barlow, Dannii Minogue and Martin Kemp for tomorrow night’s live final.'
Talent show judge: Gary and Robbie have had an up and down relationship over the years after achieving massive fame in their boy band Take That in the '90s
Let It Shine: Judges Gary Barlow, Dannii Mingogue and Martin Kemp, pictured with guest judge Ashley Roberts (l), look for singers to perform in The Band, a musical based on Take That hits


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NFL right to bench troubled prospects from combine

Chad Kelly had visions of showing off his rocket arm and convincing decision makers at the NFL scouting combine next week that he’s worth taking a chance on, but the Ole Miss quarterback will have to wait.
Kelly’s camp is hopping mad – and he might just show up in Indianapolis, anyway – that an invitation and travel arrangements to attend the combine were rescinded by the NFL because of a relatively new policy banning prospects who have been convicted of violent crimes.
No need to criticize the NFL for the awkward pull-back of the invitation.
Kelly has no one to blame but himself.
His issue stems from an altercation outside of a Buffalo bar in 2014, when he allegedly fought with bouncers and threatened to retrieve his “AK47 and spray the place.”
He pleaded guilty to a non-criminal charge of disorderly conduct.
Remember, in the NFL court governed by Roger Goodell and a toughened personal conduct policy in the aftermath of the Ray Rice fiasco in 2014, a plea bargain counts as a conviction.
So how does Kelly – not banned from playing in the NFL, mind you, just the combine – get invited to the combine in the first place?
Maybe it’s another case of outsourcing, months after the Hall of Fame Game was cancelled due to a shabby paint job on the field. For years, the combine has been administered by National Football Scouting, a company headed by Jeff Foster. You’d think that Foster’s group is aware of NFL policies, especially those involving hot-button issues such as domestic violence, and that a case involving a high-profile prospect like Kelly, nephew of Hall of Famer Jim Kelly, couldn’t slip through the cracks.
In any event, it comes as no surprise that the invite was flagged as a no-go.
In mid-January, Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president for football operations, sent a memo to teams outlining the combine policy, which stated that prospects won’t be permitted to participate “if a background check reveals a conviction of a felony or misdemeanor involving violence or use of a weapon, domestic violence, sexual offense and/or sexual assault.”
That’s the plain-and-simple explanation in sidelining Kelly. And the red light also extends to Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon and Baylor receiver Ishmael Zamora.
This policy is a great message that the NFL needs to keep sending. The league was hammered, and rightfully so, for its policies, Goodell’s wishy-washy application of such, and institutional culture in the wake of the Rice-Adrian Peterson-Greg Hardy trilogy.
Mixon slugged a woman and fractured her face in 2014, which resulted in a misdemeanor charge, season-long suspension, community service and pending civil suit. Zamora beat his dog with a belt, which led to a misdemeanor charge and three-game suspension.
In the big picture, the league’s combine policy should be a deterrent to college football players – as if their character, laws, reputation and the criminal justice aren’t enough – who may engage in foolish behavior away from the gridiron.
Going to the combine, an essential job fair where more than 300 prospects will be evaluated and interviewed by teams, is not a right. It’s a privilege.
Of course, in the win-or-else domain of the NFL, talent affords opportunity. Kelly will still have a chance to wow teams during his pro day workout on April 6, and interested teams can conduct interviews and bring him in for visits.
He’ll miss out on a convenient and efficient opportunity at the combine, but it’s the price he’ll pay, although agent Vance McAlister could bring him to Indianapolis to at least get face time with teams outside of the combine windows.
Mixon is the best player who won’t be at the combine. His pro day workout is March 8.
He’s a first-round talent who likely won’t even be on some teams' board.
Last year, the Kansas City Chiefs drafted dynamic returner-receiver Tyreek Hill from West Alabama in the fifth round, despite a domestic violence conviction that got him kicked out of Oklahoma State. Hill emerged as one of the NFL’s best rookies and there have been no off-the-field incidents.
The Chiefs took a chance on Hill and to this point, it has paid off.
While some teams might view Mixon — who tallied 2,921 yards from scrimmage and 26 TDs in two seasons — as a risk worth taking, the PR issue looming is fueled by video showing him punching a woman inside a pizza restaurant.
How this affects Mixon’s stock will be a key subplot before the draft.
We know Mixon won’t wind up with the New England Patriots, as one of the few limitations that team owner Robert Kraft put on Bill Belichick years ago was to avoid players who were involved in domestic violence issues. Similarly, Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis told me recently that his franchise has its own no-domestic violence policy — and one that could face a test if the team expects to add suspended pass-rusher Aldon Smith to the fold.
Still, the players missing the combine will get evaluated.
And while the NFL has a standard for combine invites, teams ultimately make their own decisions about which players they want to bring in the fold. Sometimes talent trumps the character traits that some regard as essential to fielding a winner.
A personnel director for an NFL team told USA TODAY Sports he evaluates whether to draft prospects such as Kelly, Mixon and Zamora on a case-by-case basis. The person requested anonymity because for competitive reasons.
With some cases obviously being much harder to sell than others.


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School yard slime craze risk to children says experts

It is the biggest craze since loom bands two years ago, but tens of thousands of children are putting their health in jeopardy by creating and swapping home-made polymer slime – the key ingredient of which is a pesticide that may damage fertility and cause serious eye irritation.
Schools and health experts are now issuing warnings amid fears youngsters will end up in hospital if borax – the chemical behind the slime that can be bought over the internet – gets into their eyes or lungs.
The EU’s European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has labelled borax ‘toxic to reproduction’. In a hazard alert it warned: ‘This substance may damage fertility or the unborn child and causes serious eye irritation.’
The EU’s European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has labelled borax ‘toxic to reproduction’
Experts said the EU alert means anyone exposed to high levels of borax may give birth to babies with faulty genes later in life.
Used in school experiments, chemistry teachers must dilute borax in solution to a level at which it’s not toxic: 1g of borax in 20ml of water. However making slime at home and selling it to classmates or friends is now a global fad.
There are nearly 2 million posts on social media site Instagram where children compete to make the best slimes that they sell among each other for up to £10 a pot.
Steve Jones, director of the schools’ science advisory service, said: ‘Making the slime is what we’re most concerned about, because you’re trying to limit the amount of dust you raise. If you splash it around your kitchen willy-nilly you’re exposing yourself to something classified as toxic.’
Schools and health experts are now issuing warnings amid fears youngsters will end up in hospital if borax gets in their eyes (stock image)
The Mail on Sunday was able to legally order borax on eBay from Bio Aquatek Ltd in Stoke-on-Trent, with no questions asked. There were no warnings on the eBay product page. When it arrived, the 1kg of white powder costing £9.38 carried a warning saying: ‘May cause eye and skin irritation, may cause respiratory and digestive tract irritation.’
Duncan McMillan, from the Royal Society of Chemistry, said: ‘The polymer slime experiment is designed to be carried out by or with the supervision of a qualified teacher or responsible adult. And while it’s fun for children, as with any experiment it’s important to take health and safety seriously.’


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Sports Digest

Hanley Ramirez and Chris Young each hit an RBI double, Mookie Betts went 2 for 3 and scored two runs, and the Boston Red Sox defeated the Minnesota Twins 8-7 Saturday in a spring-training game at Fort Myers, Florida.
Non-roster invitee Brian Bogusevic singled home Deven Marrero to snap a tie in the eighth and help Boston rebound from a 3-2 loss to the Mets in its spring opener Friday.
Byungho Park and Drew Stubbs homered for the Twins.
NBA: Frank Kaminsky had 23 points and 13 rebounds, and the Charlotte Hornets beat the host Sacramento Kings 99-85 to end a five-game losing streak.
Williams, waived last week by Dallas, will give the defending champions a playmaker they have needed all season.
NHL: Josh Anderson and Nick Foligno each scored twice, and the host Columbus Blue Jackets showed no rust as they returned from a five-day break with a 7-0 romp over the New York Islanders.
NFL: The New York Jets released Nick Mangold, the longest-tenured member of the team, a move that saves New York just under $9.1 million against the salary cap.
An 11-year pro and a leader in the locker room, Mangold, 33, has said he doesn’t plan to retire.
PGA: Winless in more than a year, Rickie Fowler built a four-shot lead going into the final round of the Honda Classic at Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
Fowler made two birdies on the last three holes Saturday at PGA National for a 5-under 65 as everyone around him was struggling to finish. Fowler was at 13-under 197, four shots ahead of Tyrrell Hatton of England.
LPGA: Amy Yang of South Korea had 10 birdies and an eagle in 31 holes on Saturday after round three of LPGA Thailand in Chonburi was suspended because of bad light.
With five holes left, Yang was at 17 under and had a four-shot advantage over 2011 US Women’s Open champion Ryu So Yeon, whose completed third-round 68 gave her the clubhouse lead of 13-under 203.
EUROPEAN TOUR: The Joburg Open in Johannesburg was reduced to 54 holes after more rain left the course waterlogged on Saturday and forced another suspension in play.
England’s Paul Waring and South Africa’s Darren Fichardt share the lead at 11 under, with Waring completing a 67 in his second round early on Saturday. Fichardt was one of the few players to finish his second round on Friday.
DUBAI CHAMPIONSHIPS: Elina Svitolina of Ukraine is set to debut in the top 10 after winning her second title of the season at Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Svitolina dominated Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-2 in the final, which started two hours late because of rain.
Thiem defeated Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-1, 6-4 on Saturday to advance, and Carreno Busta ruined the night of 18-year-old Norwegian Casper Ruud, 2-6, 7-5, 6-0.
MEN’S BASKETBALL: Eric Paschall scored a season-high 19 points and Josh Hart added 16 to help No. 2 Villanova (27-3, 14-3) clinch its fourth straight Big East regular-season title with a 79-63 victory at home over No. 23 Creighton (22-7, 9-7).
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Katie Lou Samuelson broke out of a shooting slump, scoring 29 points to lead top-ranked UConn (28-0, 15-0 AAC) to a 91-48 win over Memphis (13-15, 6-9) that extended the host Huskies’ record winning streak to 103 games.
– News service report
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Kylie Jenner spends the day with horses in Los Angeles

Kylie Jenner spent the afternoon in Los Angeles with friends, along with several horses, a goat and a trio of dogs.
The starlet also performed back flips on a trampoline and shared the whole adventure with her many followers on Snapchat on Saturday.
The 19-year-old Keeping Up With the Kardashians star joined her best friend, Jordyn Woods, also 19, and a blonde female for a day of roughing it with farm animals.
Animal kingdom: Kylie Jenner spent the afternoon in Los Angeles with friends... and horses, a goat and a trio of dogs... and shared it all with her many followers on Snapchat on Saturday
The trio started off playing with a pack of at least three spotted pups which were most likely Dalmatians before spending time with a goat named Clyde.
Then they visited the stables where a slew of horses were hanging out, getting all of their attention.
Their blonde friend saddled up and rode one of the dark horses around a closed course.
The reality star, being the jokester that she is, zoomed in on her girlfriend's backside and made a comment about a 'horse's a**.'
Animal loving trio: The 19-year-old Keeping Up With the Kardashians star joined her best friend, Jordyn Woods, also 19, and a blonde female for a day with farm animals
The GOAT: The trio started off playing with a pack of at least three spotted pups which were most likely Dalmatians before spending time with a goat named Clyde
Farm fun: Kylie posed in front of Clyde the goat with a riding helmet on, then walked the grounds with her best friend, Jordyn
Perfectly named to be King Kylie's favorite member of the animal kindgom, the lip kit mogul took a particular liking to a horse named Prince.
The hair and makeup chameleon also had a special affinity for a dark brown and rust colored horsed, which she deemed to be rocking an ombre because it's muzzle was darker than its neck and its hair on top of its head subtly echoed that gradient.
'Slaying the ombre,' Kylie wrote overtop of the still image of the creature.
Pretty horses: The hair and makeup chameleon also had a special affinity for a dark brown and rust colored horsed, which she deemed to be rocking an ombre
The prince of the kingdom: Perfectly named to be King Kylie's favorite member of the animal kindgom, the lip kit mogul took a particular liking to a horse named Prince
Animated action: She took a little break from the live animal action to dance around on Snap with the floppy-eared bunny rabbit filter in the snow
She took a little break from the live animal action to dance around on Snap with the floppy-eared bunny rabbit filter in the snow.
After they were done getting their fix with the livestock, the ladies moved the party to a trampoline with Kylie and the blonde did flips as Jordyn watched. The youngest Kardashian-Jenner stuck the landing on her first backflip attempt, but missed it by a bit on her second, chastising herself for not tucking enough in mid-air.
When all the excitement was said and done, they moved the party inside, where Kylie appeared tired out from the excitement of the day.
Flipping out: After they were done getting their fix with the livestock, the ladies moved the party to a trampoline with Kylie and the blonde did flips as Jordyn watched
So close: The youngest Kardashian-Jenner stuck the landing on her first back flip attempt, but missed it by a bit on her second, chastising herself for not tucking enough in mid-air
Tired out: When all the excitement was said and done, they moved the party inside, where Kylie appeared tired out from the excitement of the day


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Driver Says He’s Scared To Get Behind The Wheel After BQE Accident

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A driver narrowly escaped a terrifying accident on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway this week as a dozen metal poles flew off a flatbed truck, sending one smashing through his windshield.
As CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported, Munther Abu-Hamda’s black car is now parked and is going to stay that way for the foreseeable future after the poles fell off a truck on the BQE Thursday night, creating a rainstorm of pipes all over the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. They dented his car and pierced his windshield.
“I can’t explain for you because I’m thinking to die,” Abu-Hamda said. “I expected more pipes coming through my windshield to my side.”
The accident happened around 8:30 p.m. and caused a traffic nightmare on the BQE near Atlantic Avenue for the next three hours while crews cleaned up.
Abu-Hamada said he cannot imagine what would have happened if the pole had struck just a couple feet to the side, and said just the thought of it is enough to scare him out of getting back behind the wheel.
“I’m not driving. I’m scared to drive, I’m scared to drive,” he said.
That fear poses a problem for the Staten Island father of six who has been working as a black car driver for the past 20 years.
“I’m thinking of my kids. What’s going to happen if something happens to me? How will my kids survive?” Abu-Hamada said.
He’s also thinking about the driver of the flatbed, whom he just got a glimpse of from below the overpass.
“I asked the officer how this guy’s feeling, he said he can’t talk, he’s in shock,” Abu-Hamada said.
Authorities said no one was hurt and there were no arrests.


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Aubrey Plaza stuns in leggy Versace dress at the ISA's

Saturday's Independent Spirit Awards brought out all of indie film's greatest stars.
Actress Aubrey Plaza was a standout on the red carpet, where she looked chic in a Versace dress with a collared top and leg baring mini skirt.
At the ceremony, the 32-year-old star presented the John Cassavetes award with actor Edgar Ramirez.
Arriving in style: Actress Aubrey Plaza wore a showstopping Versace dress to Saturday's Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, California
Giving out the goods: The 32-year-old talent was there to present the evening's John Cassavetes award alongside actor Edgar Ramirez
The former Parks and Rec star stunned in the fashionable black and white frock by Versace.
The Delaware born star's dress featured a graphic button up top with the brand's iconic Greek key pattern down the sleeves.
Contrasting the piece's conservatively cut top was the dress's super short mini skirt which showed off the NYU alum's thin legs.
Leggy lady! The Parks And Rec alum showed off her stellar stems in the thigh skimming Versace number
Lighten up! The NYU alum's hair looked lighter than usual, as the star rocked a chic lob
Making the most of things! Aubrey and Edgar Ramirez handed out the John Cassavetes honor, which is given the best film with a budget below half-a-million dollars
Aubrey added an extra bit of polish to her look with red lipstick and a smart lob that looked several shades lighter than usual.
On stage the Legion star presented the John Cassavetes award with actor Edgar Ramirez, who looked dapper in well-tailored blue suit with matching tie.
The John Cassavetes award is presented to the film who's creative team made movie magic with a budget under $500,000. The award went to the drama Spa Night.
She cleans up nicely! Fans of Aubrey's comic sass were probably surprised to see the actress's glamorous side at the awards show
Saturday's Independent Spirit awards were a celebration of all the wonderful things that come from independent storytelling and small filmmakers.
Several films seemed to sweep up the awards at the ceremony.
Barry Jenkins and Moonlight brought home six honors, including Best Feature, Best Director, and Best Screenplay.
American Honey
Manchester by the Sea
Andrea Arnold, American Honey
Pablo Larraín, Jackie
Jeff Nichols, Loving
Kelly Reichardt, Certain Women
The Childhood of a Leader
The Fits
Other People
Swiss Army Man
Annette Bening, 20th Century Women
Sasha Lane, American Honey
Ruth Negga, Loving
Natalie Portman, Jackie
David Harewood, Free In Deed
Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
Jesse Plemons, Other People
Tim Roth, Chronic
Edwina Findley, Free In Deed
Paulina García, Little Men
Lily Gladstone, Certain Women
Riley Keough, American Honey
Ralph Fiennes, A Bigger Splash
Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
Shia LaBeouf, American Honey
Craig Robinson, Morris from America
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
Mike Mills, 20th Century Women
Ira Sachs & Mauricio Zacharias, Little Men
Taylor Sheridan, Hell or High Water
Chris Kelly, Other People
Adam Mansbach, Barry
Stella Meghie, Jean of the Joneses
Craig Shilowich, Christine
Ava Berkofsky, Free In Deed
Lol Crawley, The Childhood of a Leader
Zach Kuperstein, The Eyes of My Mother
Robbie Ryan, American Honey
Matthew Hannam, Swiss Army Man
Jennifer Lame, Manchester by the Sea
Jake Roberts, Hell or High Water
Sebastián Sepúlveda, Jackie
Free In Deed
Hunter Gatherer
American Honey
Morris from America
I Am Not Your Negro
Under the Sun
Aquarius (Brazil)
Chevalier (Greece)
Under the Shadow (Iran and U. K.)
Lisa Kjerulff
Melody C. Roscher & Craig Shilowich
Andrew Ahn, Spa Night
Claire Carré, Embers
Ingrid Jungermann, Women Who Kill
Kristi Jacobson, Solitary
Sara Jordenö, Kiki


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Danielle Brooks flaunts cleavage in daring jumpsuit

She is a champion of body positivity.
And Danielle Brooks looked positively ravishing at the Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday.
The 27-year-old flaunted her cleavage in a daring black jumpsuit, with a neckline that plunged right to her navel.
On show: Danielle Brooks looked positively ravishing at the Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday
She paired the look with a pretty pair of black ankle strap heels and a simple black clutch.
Her minimal accessories included a thin gold chain that traced the path all eyes did.
The Orange Is The New Black star also attended the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards gala on Thursday, where she spoke to The Cut about her new modeling campaign with Lane Bryant.
Taking the plunge: The 27-year-old flaunted her cleavage in a daring black jumpsuit, with a neckline that plunged right to her navel
When asked how people have been reacting to her new role, she replied: Only positivity.
'I have not really come across too many trolls, which is nice,' she said.
'Women are seeing themselves and are feeling beautiful about their bodies because they’re having people who are bold enough to say that they’re fearless in their skin.
Style: She paired the look with a pretty pair of black ankle strap heels and a simple black clutch
'It’s been cool to get their reaction and see women be proud to be in bathing suits and not be afraid of showing stretch marks or whatever.'
She called on the entertainment industry to help encourage body positivity for women.
'I think they can continue to put people on the cover [of magazines]… Making sure we are on the covers, on the backs, the fronts, the middle of the magazines, and on screens. All of it.'
All eyes on me: Her minimal accessories included a thin gold chain that traced the path all eyes did


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FAU beats UTSA 73-66, gets conference tourney berth

Adonis Filer scored 20 points and FAU pulled ahead early to beat UTSA 73-66 on Saturday night to earn the final berth in the Conference USA Tournament.
Gerdarius Troutman's 3-pointer put FAU up for good, 5-4, en route to a 36-29 halftime lead, with the Owls outscoring the Roadrunners 18-12 in the paint in the half.
FAU led by 15, 46-31, after opening the second half with a 10-2 run, and by 16, 54-38, on Filer's jumper with 8:35 left to play. UTSA closed to seven, 64-57, on Gino Littles' 4-point play, but got no closer than six the rest of the way. Filer's two free throws capped a 6-2 run and the Owls led by 11, 70-59, with 52 seconds to go.
Nick Rutherford scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds for FAU (10-17, 6-20).
Giovanni De Nicolao scored 15 and Littles had 14 for UTSA (12-17, 7-9).


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UNR hands UNLV historic beating in rivalry rout

L. E. Baskow
UNLV guard Jovan Mooring (30) looks up from the floor after taking a hard shot from UNR defenders during their game at the Thomas & Mack Center on Saturday, February 25, 2017.
By Mike Grimala ( contact )
Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017 | 6:33 p.m.
UNLV tangles with UNR during their game at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Thumbnails Gallery
With eight minutes to play in UNR’s blowout win over UNLV on Saturday, reserve forward Leland King scored inside to push the Wolf Pack lead to 27 points. The nondescript basket was inconsequential, but the visitor’s bench area erupted as UNR players and personnel completely drowned out the home crowd at the Thomas & Mack Center.
When King scored again a minute later, the reaction was even more explosive. The whooping and hollering from the UNR players could be heard in the upper deck on the opposite side of the arena as the few UNLV fans in attendance silently made their way to the exits.
If there was one sequence in UNR’s 94-58 victory that encapsulated the state of this rivalry as it stands today, King’s personal cheering section was a good place to start. At that moment, UNLV had been beaten on the court (soundly, for the second time in two tries against UNR), the home crowd had been beaten into submission, and the fan base had been beaten into admitting (and accepting) that UNR is now the big brother in this in-state sibling rivalry.
Unlike Wednesday’s loss at Air Force, the Rebels didn’t quit in this game. They played hard, they played with heart and they played with pride. They just weren’t anywhere near good enough to play with UNR.
It was the Rebels’ ninth consecutive loss, and while first-place UNR gears up for a run at the NCAA tournament, last-place UNLV is going to spend the next two weeks playing out the string.
In the locker room after the game, Marvin Menzies gave it to his players straight.
“I didn’t yell and cuss and scream at them,” Menzies said. “I just told them the truth. The reality of the situation is, this transition has been tough. So we’ve got to define how we’re going to finish this thing.”
In all honesty, the Rebels’ season probably ended midway through the second half of this game, when UNR used hot shooting from guard Marcus Marshall (28 points, 8-of-10 3FGs) and forward Jordan Caroline (31 points, 12-of-16 FGs) to expand its lead to 24 points after a 15-2 run.
A few minutes later, while UNLV embarked on a scoring drought that lasted nearly six minutes, UNR ran off another 18 straight points — a streak that included King’s buckets — to turn the game into an historic rout.
When the two teams met in Reno on Feb. 8, UNR set a series record for margin of victory with a 104-77 win. On Saturday, just 17 days later, the Wolf Pack shattered that record by nine points.
Menzies said the Rebels were overwhelmed by UNR’s capacity to make shots and sustain intensity throughout the game.
“When you run up against the best player in the conference and he makes eight 3’s — and most of them were challenged — what are you going to do? You just pat him on the butt and send him down the court and say, ‘Good shot,’ and then get ready for the next possession. And then the guys come off the bench and they’re making shots, and it’s like the dam breaks on us and we’ve got to figure out how to plug it up while it’s flooding, and that’s tough to do.”
Sophomore forward Kris Clyburn (12 points) put on a brave face, but the epic nature of this latest loss is clearly having an adverse effect on the players.
“It’s kind of tough right now,” Clyburn said, “but we’re working on keeping a positive mindset throughout this whole process. Everybody loses. We’ve just got to keep our heads up and [move on to] the next possession.”
For UNLV (10-19, 3-13 MWC), moving on means playing the final two regular-season games (at home against Utah State on Wednesday and at Fresno State on Saturday) and trying for an improbable victory in the play-in round of the Mountain West tournament. Once that’s done with, it will be time to forget this year forever and begin preparing for the 2017-18 season. That could mean mass roster changes, and Menzies didn't dance around that topic.
"I haven’t experienced this too often in my career, especially not in rivalry games," Menzies said. "We’ll keep working at it. I know what we’re doing works, but it’s not working with this group. "


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Justin Bieber shows off chiseled torso on shirtless hike

Justin Bieber 's Instagram page played host to a photo of himself standing shirtless on a mountain hiking path on Saturday.
The 22-year-old showcased his toned physique and sprawl of tattoos, including a cross on his chest and 'SON OF GOD' scrawled across his stomach.
Having famously posed for Calvin Klein in nothing but their underwear in 2015, the singer had worn their underpants again, allowing the waistband to slide up into view.
Still plugging Calvin Klein: Justin Bieber's Instagram page played host to a photo of himself standing shirtless on a mountain hiking path on Saturday
The brand name was written in white repeatedly along the black band, which complemented the black and white shorts he'd got on.
He'd popped on white shoes and black and white socks, and he shoved his hands into his pocket as he posed for the photo, presented without caption.
Earlier that day, he'd uploaded an Instagram photo of a notebook with a cover that advertised his Purpose World Tour, named after his fourth and latest studio album.
Tour in progress: Earlier that day, he'd uploaded an Instagram photo of a notebook with a cover that advertised his Purpose World Tour, named after his fourth and latest studio album
The tour's currently in progress, having launched in Seattle last March and enjoyed in its latest stop with three concerts at the Foro Sol in Mexico City.
Its next show will take place at the nib Stadium in Perth on March 6, and it'll wrap up with two performances at the Rogers Centre in Toronto come September.
The previous day, he'd explained on Twitter why he'd been spotted walking down the sidewalk with a liquid splotch on the groin of his $700 Vetements sweats.
'Someone got me flowers and I was driving, made a turn, and the water spilled': The previous day, he'd explained on Twitter why he'd been spotted walking down the sidewalk with a liquid splotch on the groin of his $700 Vetements sweats
'Someone got me flowers and I was driving, made a turn, and the water spilled on my d*** area... Didn't bother me if it made ya laugh nice!' he singer tweeted gamely.
He then went on Instagram and uploaded a tongue-in-cheek meme comparing his wardrobe mishap to a photo of Adam Sandler in Billy Madison.
'You aint cool... unless you pee your paints,' the image was captioned, quoting Sandler's titular character in the 1995 comedy film.
'You aint cool... unless you pee your paints': He then went on Instagram and uploaded a tongue-in-cheek meme comparing his wardrobe mishap to a photo of Adam Sandler in Billy Madison
He'd also been spotted Friday night arriving at Catch LA, the West Hollywood outpost of a New York-born establishment.
His bomber jacket featured patches of four national flags - of America, Canada, France and Japan - and was flung over an orange hoodie.
Large spectacles sat on his face, and he'd paired a pair of light jeans with white shoes for his night out on the town.
On the town: He'd also been spotted Friday night arriving at Catch LA, the West Hollywood outpost of a New York-born establishment


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NCISAA All-State teams announced

1A Girls:
Izabela Leite Neuse Christian Academy
Kendal Moore Northwood Temple Academy
Maria Albiero Neuse Christian Academy
Ciara Moore Northwood Temple Academy
Alex Scruggs Trinity Christian School
Aniyah Vanhook The Burlington School
Molina Williams The Burlington School
Jala Holloman Wayne Country Day School
Izabel DeAngelo Neuse Christian Academy
Nikki Cooke Trinity Christian School
1A Boys:
Coby White Greenfield School
Jamal King Wayne Country Day School
Elijah McCadden Greenfield School
Joey Baker Trinity Christian School
Josh Nickelberry Trinity Christian School
John Meeks The Burlington School
Jordan Nelson The Burlington School
Michael Hueitt Jr. Northwood Temple
Maurice Wilcox Neuse Christian Academy
Jalen Knight United Faith Academy
K. C. Hankton United Faith Academy
2A Girls:
Sierra Votaw Harrells Christian Academy
Zaria Wright Concord First Assembly Academy
Eleah Parker Northside Christian Academy
Maya Caldwell Davidson Day School
Parker Tompkins Davidson Day School
Ralene Kwiatkowski Carolina Day School
Grace Smith Cary Christian School
Kasey Kidwell Carolina Day School
Shamani Stafford Concord First Assembly Academy
Skylar Hatfield Calvary Day School
Halei Gillis Carolina Day School
2A Boys:
Jordan Ratliffe Village Christian Academy
Milos Supica Freedom Christian Academy
Donovan Gregory Carmel Christian School
Caleb Mills Asheville Christian Academy
Tai Giger Carolina Day School
Kris Monroe St. David’s School
John Michael Wright Fayetteville Academy
Nate Hinton Gaston Day School
Stephen Edoka Concord First Assembly School
L. J. McCoy Westchester Country Day School
3A Girls:
Shaniya Jones Wesleyan Christian Academy
Gloria Smith Greensboro Day School
Nicole Mackey Wesleyan Christian Academy
Janelle Bailey Providence Day School
Kennedy Boyd Providence Day School
Sarah Billiard Covenant Day School
Claudia Dickey Charlotte Latin School
Madison Taylor Ravenscroft School
Izzy Strigel Durham Academy
Lynn Johnson Ravenscroft School
MaKayla Smith Hickory Grove
3A Boys:
Matt Halvorsen Christ School
John Newman Greensboro Day School
J. P. Moorman Greensboro Day School
Jalen Seegars High Point Christian Academy
David Caraher Wesleyan Christian Academy
Jaylen Hoard Wesleyan Christian Academy
Devon Dotson Providence Day School
Jairus Hamilton Cannon School
Trey Wertz Providence Day School
B. J. Mack Charlotte Christian School
Madison Monroe Southlake Christian Academy


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Niyo: Walton arrives, and brings Wolverines with him

The Wolverines weren’t exactly reeling, but they were hardly rolling at this point. And with the U-M student section counting down the seconds in earnest, Walton knew he had to do something.
Not because it was Senior Day, or because this is his last hurrah. No, as Michigan’s captain and point guard had noted barely 24 hours earlier, on the eve of his final home game, it’s much simpler than that, actually.
“I’ve got one job,” he shrugged, “and that’s to win the game.”
So he did, no questions asked, no apologies necessary, helping Michigan (19-10 overall, 9-7 in the Big Ten) stake its claim to a likely NCAA Tournament bid Saturday with another impressive victory, this time over the 14th-ranked Boilermakers.
Walton tried dribbling to his right, but Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan was there to deny his path. That sent him back to his left, but after losing the handle briefly, Walton had no choice but try something desperate.
He stepped around guard P. J. Thompson, then tossed up a leaning — almost lunging — 3-point attempt just before the buzzer sounded. The shot hit the back of the rim and dropped neatly through the net, bringing his teammates to their feet on the bench, the crowd roaring to life behind them, and the lead back to 76-67 with 1:43 to play.
That was the ballgame, all right, and maybe a lot more.
“Well, I silently thank God because there’s no reason I should’ve made that shot,” Walton said, almost sighing in relief. “It’s probably one of the worst possessions we had all game, just kind of dribbled the ball around. But we had a lot going against us this season, and I think this was one of those moments where we finally got a good bounce.”
And even more bounce in their step as they move on now, hitting the road to finish the regular season at Northwestern and Nebraska, before heading to the postseason — first the Big Ten tourney in Washington D. C. and then the NCAAs somewhere.
There are no guarantees at this point, but Saturday’s win should do wonders for the Wolverines’ comfort level on Selection Sunday in a couple weeks. They didn’t just survive a late-season schedule that Michigan coach John Beilein a month ago had said “makes my stomach sick.” They’ve actually started to thrive in spite of it — or because of it — winning five of their last six, including impressive resume-building victories over Michigan State, Wisconsin and now Purdue.
“I think this week speaks volumes,” Walton said, “and hopefully the committee sees that.”
What we saw Saturday was another coming-out party for sophomore forward Moritz Wagner, who lit up the Boilermakers for 22 points in the first half and finished with a career-high 24 — on 10-of-15 shooting — in just 27 minutes. The Wolverines continually exploited matchup problems at the offensive end, Walton and Wagner playing pick-and-pop on Purdue and All-America candidate Caleb Swanigan almost as if they were running pregame warm-ups, at times.
“That’s just my guy, man,” Walton said of Wagner. “I’ve got an absurd amount of respect for him. That’s just our little thing. He knows where I’m at, I know where he’s at. And with a defense like that, I felt like it was my priority to make sure he got the ball in space. Whenever I had two guys on me, I made sure I found him.”
As a result, Purdue coach Matt Painter found his team trailing by 15 at the half, and the Boilermakers responded by switching defensively on everything in the second half. That limited Wagner’s effectiveness somewhat, and for a time it flustered the Wolverines, who missed their first seven 3-point attempts in the second half.
But Michigan’s playing more than just a two-man game these days. And even without Irvin producing offensively — he was 2-for-8 and finished with four points Saturday — this team is surging at just the right time.
Wagner’s a big part of it, obviously. Others like D. J. Wilson and Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman and Duncan Robinson are coming on as well. Even freshman Xavier Simpson, who hit a key 3-pointer to stop one Purdue run midway through the second half, is contributing now.
But all of them are following Walton’s lead, something Michigan fans have been waiting nearly four years to see, ever since Trey Burke bolted for the NBA and a prep All-American from Detroit stepped in to replace the national player of the year as a freshman starter in 2013.
Walton helped Michigan reach the Elite Eight his first year, but injuries derailed his sophomore season and hampered him again as junior, though he and Irvin did manage to drag the Wolverines back to the NCAAs with a late push a year ago. This year, though, he looks like he’s finally in complete control, which prompted Painter to say Walton, who finished with 17 points, 11 rebounds and five assists without a turnover Saturday, is “what college basketball is about.”
“I mean, he’s really become the guard that I think he always wanted to be and we always wanted him to be,” Beilein said. “And it’s not that he’s been bad in between. He’s such a great, unselfish player, it was always about the team. But I think he convinced himself that if it’s really about the team, then I need to do more.”
That’s something Purdue’s Spike Albrecht always knew was possible. He and Walton were teammates the last three years in Ann Arbor — backcourt mates, actually — and they were on the phone reminiscing about that shared journey the other night. Albrecht’s playing a fifth year as a graduate transfer for the Boilermakers this season, so he was back for a senior night encore in a different uniform Saturday.
“This is the Derrick Walton that Michigan has been waiting to see the last few years,” Albrecht said. “He’s playing as good as anybody in the country, and he showed it tonight.”
More important, though, is what this Michigan team is showing lately
Ever since having their collective toughness questioned a month ago, labeled a “white-collar” team after a lopsided loss at Illinois, they’ve played like a different group. Defensively, they’ve improved dramatically, closing out on shooters with far greater effort and even holding their own in the paint. And offensively, they’re starting to find a more consistent rhythm. Facing the Big Ten’s best defense Saturday, Michigan averaged an eye-popping 1.26 points per possession.
Some of the Wolverines credit a players-only meeting after that Illinois loss for lighting a fire. That meeting started with Walton vowing he could do more — “addressing myself first, as a leader,” he said — rather than calling out others.
“After that Illinois game I just really felt it was vital for us to come together and, as a unit, talk about what we really wanted to do as a team,” said Walton, who is averaging 18.4 points, 6.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists in the nine games since, while playing nearly 37 minutes per game. “It’s a different team, but it’s the exact same guys. I think it’s just a different type of mentality. Just get it done, by any means necessary.”
And Saturday, Derrick Walton Jr. made sure his team did exactly that.


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U-M notes: Moe Wagner 'a problem' for opponents, shows out vs. Purdue

In a 5 minute span, Moe Wagner stamped Michigan's season.
Raining three-pointer after three-pointer, Purdue was helpless to handle him.
Which makes sense when a 6-foot-11 dynamo can shoot like a wing, take defenders off the dribble like a guard and fight around the rim like a center.
Pushing a two-point lead to five, a four-point lead to seven and eventually to 10 and 16, his 5-minute surge, dropping those long-range shots, placed the game on his broad shoulders and shoved the Big Ten leader to the ground in one motion as Michigan beat Purdue, 82-70, on today .
With 22 points in the first half, Michigan's best first half since Daniel Horton's 24 in a 2002 non-conference game, Wagner showed a national television audience that he was special.
Or, according to one of his veteran teammates...
"Moe's a problem," Derrick Walton Jr. said. "That's all I can say, he's a problem. He's a gnat on defense and he's a problem on offense. I'm just happy he's on our side. "
Purdue made runs in the second half, but Wagner's offensive pivot point changed everything.
Combined with his trademark ebullience, engaging the first sellout crowd of the season, the points and energy blended together.
"He's got so many skills, I don't think you can put him in a box," Walton said. "He's got a little chippiness to him and he's not afraid to let you hear about it. It's how I grew up playing. And seeing another guy with that fire, makes you get relaxed and follow suit. I think he adds a different dynamic. "
Wagner knew exactly what he was getting into against Purdue and potential All-America forward Caleb Swanigan.
Instead of running from the challenge, he embraced the opportunity.
It began with him working for an offensive rebound, making a steal, taking a three-pointer, then driving it to the basket all in the first 2 1/2 minutes.
At the time, he couldn't have imagined what awaited him but he knew he needed to set a tone.
"I don't know if that was the plan," Wagner said, protecting John Beilein's proprietary strategy. "But I had an aggressive approach, let's just say that. "
He didn't remember an offensive half like that ever but was just as proud of his defense, containing Swanigan, who finished with 18 points, five rebounds and five turnovers, frustrated into mistakes.
"I don't really care about the offense, (defense) was what actually made me proud," Wagner said. "After every (possession), whether we scored or not, we locked in defensively. If that was individually or as a team, we just executed the game plan really well. That was my focus. After every basket, I ran back and (would) say, I have to guard the national player of the year candidate right now. That might have been it.
"That was fun. "
Senior night: Michigan briefly honored its five seniors before the game with their introductions and framed jerseys but departed from tradition after, allowing Walton and Zak Irvin to briefly thank the crowd.
Walton's performance in his final Crisler Center game -- a double-double (17 points, 11 rebounds) complete with the clutch three-point play, then shot-clock three-pointer to push the lead back out when it got dangerous -- typified his career. And his season-ending push.
"I wouldn't say it's his development -- in his defense, it's the first time he's been healthy," Purdue coach Matt Painter said. "He's been banged up in his sophomore and junior year (and) as a player you don't want to talk about it. (Now) you can see he has that step-back and he can make plays with that quickness and that athleticism. He been great, he's what college basketball's about, keep improving, get better, a great leader. Stuck it out.
"He's a really good player and he'll probably end up being a first-team all-conference guy in our league this year. "
Notes : After missing nine free throws in each of the past two games, making both closer than necessary, Michigan hit all six in the final 1 1/2 minutes and was 11-for-11 for the game. The first time all season U-M was perfect from the line. ... Redshirt junior walk-on Sean Lonergan had the ball and was on a fast break in the game's final seconds, but instead of attacking the basket for points on his senior day, he pulled it out and handed it off to Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman as the game ended. "I wish Sean would have just gone and laid it in," Beilein said. "He wanted to be the good gentleman, sportsman and not lay that one in. I think Matt and his team would have forgiven him. "
Contact Mark Snyder: Follow him on Twitter @mark__snyder. Download our Wolverines Xtra app for free on Apple and Android devices!


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Suspect in Kim Jong Nam attack says she got $90 for a prank

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Malaysia’s health minister said Sunday autopsy results suggested a nerve agent caused “very serious paralysis” that killed the exiled half brother of North Korea’s leader, as police completed a sweep of the budget terminal where he was poisoned and declared it safe of any toxin. The investigation has unleashed a serious diplomatic fight between Malaysia and North Korea, a prime suspect in the Feb. 13 killing of Kim Jong Nam at Kuala Lumpur’s airport. Friday’s revelation by Malaysian police that the banned chemical weapon VX nerve agent was used to kill Kim raised the stakes significantly in a case that has broad geopolitical implications.
Police in Malaysia say the half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un was killed by VX, an extremely dangerous nerve agent developed for c...
Health Minister Subramaniam Sathasivam said the state chemistry department’s finding of the VX toxin confirmed the hospital’s autopsy result that suggested a “chemical agent caused very serious paralysis” that led to death “in a very short period of time.” The VX agent can lead to death very quickly in high doses, he said.
The killing of Kim Jong Nam took place amid crowds of travelers at Kuala Lumpur’s airport and appeared to be a well-planned hit. Kim died on the way to a hospital, within hours of the attack.
Tens of thousands of passengers have passed through the airport since the apparent assassination was carried out. No areas were cordoned off, and protective measures were not taken. Subramaniam said there have been no reports so far of anyone else being sickened by the toxin.
In this June 4, 2010 file photo, Kim Jong Nam, the eldest son of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, waves after his first-ever interview with South Korean media in Macau, China.
Late Saturday, however, police said they would begin a sweep of the budget terminal where Kim was attacked to check for traces of VX. The sweep started around 2 a.m. Sunday involving officers from the police’s chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear teams, as well as the fire department’s hazardous materials unit and the government’s atomic energy board. Although VX is not radioactive, police said the radiological team and the atomic energy board were involved as a precaution. Abdul Samah Mat, the police official leading the investigations, said a two-hour sweep by more than a dozen officers in protective gear detected no hazardous material. He said the budget terminal is “free from any form of contamination of hazardous material” and declared it a “safe zone.” Earlier Saturday, police warned they would issue an arrest warrant for a North Korean diplomat if he refuses to cooperate with the investigation into the attack. Experts say the nerve agent used to kill Kim was almost certainly produced in a sophisticated state weapons laboratory and is banned under an international treaty. But North Korea never signed the treaty, and it has spent decades developing a complex chemical weapons program. Kim was not an obvious political threat to his estranged half brother, Kim Jong Un. But he may have been seen as a potential rival in North Korea’s dynastic dictatorship, even though he had lived in exile for years. North Korea has denied any role in the attack. Malaysia said earlier in the week that Hyon Kwang Song, a second secretary at the North Korean Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, was wanted for questioning. But authorities acknowledged at the time he has diplomatic immunity and they couldn’t compel him to appear.
There is a new twist in the airport murder of the half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Investigators in Malaysia say the female sus...
On Saturday, Malaysia’s tone changed. Abdul Samah, the police official, said authorities would give the diplomat reasonable time to come forward. “And if he failed to turn up ... then we will go to the next step by getting a warrant of arrest from the court,” he told reporters. Lawyer Sankara Nair, however, noted that diplomats have immunity privileges even in criminal cases. “Police can apply for a warrant, but it can easily be set aside by the embassy,” he said. Malaysia hasn’t directly accused the North Korean government of being behind the attack, but officials have said four North Korean men provided two women with poison to carry it out. The four men fled Malaysia shortly after the killing, while the women - one from Indonesia and the other Vietnamese - were arrested. On Saturday, representatives from the Indonesian and Vietnamese embassies in Malaysia met with the two women. Indonesia’s deputy ambassador Andriano Erwin told reporters later that Siti Aisyah said she had been paid the equivalent of $90 for what she believed was a harmless prank. Aisyah, 25, said she had been introduced to people who looked like Japanese or Koreans who asked her to play a prank for a reality show, according to Erwin. Asked if she knew what was on her hands at the time of the attack, Erwin said: “She didn’t tell us about that. She only said that it’s a kind of oil, baby oil, something like that.” An odorless chemical with the consistency of motor oil, VX is an extremely powerful poison, with an amount no larger than a few grains of salt enough to kill. It can be inhaled, swallowed or absorbed through the skin. Then, in anywhere from a few seconds to a few hours, it can cause a range of symptoms, from blurred vision to a headache. Enough exposure leads to convulsions, paralysis, respiratory failure and death. The Vietnamese woman who was arrested, Doan Thi Huong, also thought she was taking part in a prank, Vietnam’s foreign ministry said Saturday. In grainy surveillance footage, the women appear to smear something onto Kim’s face before walking away in separate directions. Malaysian police said the attackers knew what they were doing and had been trained to go immediately to the bathroom and clean their hands. Experts say the women must have taken precautions so the nerve agent wouldn’t kill them. An antidote, atropine, can be injected after exposure and is carried by medics in war zones where weapons of mass destruction are suspected. Also Saturday, police confirmed that a raid earlier in the week on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur was part of the investigation. Abdul Samah, the police official, did not specify what authorities found there, but said the items were being tested for traces of any chemicals.


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Margot Robbie filming court scene for I, Tonya in Atlanta

She's currently in Atlanta, Georgia filming I, Tonya.
And Australian actress Margot Robbie has been spotted trying to keep a low profile as they film a courtroom scene for the sports drama biopic, on Friday.
The 26-year-old will star as American former figure skating champion Tonya Harding.
Under wraps: Australian actress Margot Robbie has been spotted trying to keep a low profile as they film a courtroom scene for sports biopic I, Tonya in Atlanta
She was seen walking with film staff wearing what appears to be a black hooded cape, covering her trademark blonde tresses and her costume.
The Wolf of Wall Street actress also carried had a black script folder and a bottle of water.
Margot appeared to be wearing a black above-the-knee dress, matched shiny, black kitten heels.
Low profile: The 26-year-old was seen walking with film staff under a veil of black over her head, covering her trademark blonde tresses and her costume
True events: Margot will star as American former figure skating champion Tonya Harding
The film is based on the twice Olympian who was known for being the second woman to do successfully complete the triple axel leap.
In 1994 Tonya was handed a lifetime ban from the U. S. Figure Skating Association for pleading guilty to for orchestrating the attack on her rival Nancy Kerrigan
Aside from filming the sport drama, Margot has also been busy voicing a character in the upcoming live action, animation adaptation of Peter Rabbit starring Rose Byrne.
Professional success: Three of her films ,The Legend Of Tarzan, Whisky Tango Foxtrot and the highly anticipated Suicide Squad were all released in 2016 and recieved well by audiences
Up coming projects: Margot has also been busy voicing a character in the upcoming live action, animation adaptation of Peter Rabbit starring Rose Byrne
The past 12 months have been a whirlwind of professional and personal success for the Neighbours alumna.
Three of her films The Legend Of Tarzan, Whisky Tango Foxtrot and the highly anticipated Suicide Squad were all released and well recieved by audiences all over the world.
In December, she married her British boyfriend, film director Tom Ackerley in a secret ceremony in Byron Bay.
Wedded bliss: In December, Margot married her British boyfriend, film director Tom Ackerley in a secret ceremony in Byron Bay


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Daryl Easton Tragically Takes His Own Life

February 24, 2017, legendary magician, Daryl Easton, passed away. Daryl was best known for his slight of hand card tricks and he captivated audiences with his talent. However, even with his fame and accomplishments, Daryl chose to end his life at the age of 61. NBC Los Angeles reported that his body was found mere moments before his scheduled appearance on stage.
Around 7:30 p.m., police received a call that someone had died at The Magic Castle in Hollywood Hills. A Hollywood police spokesman said that a body was discovered in the closet of the private night club. The deceased was clad only in his underwear and he had a plastic bag over his head. They concluded that Mr. Easton committed suicide by hanging himself.
A spokesperson for The Magic Castle claims that the police were wrong when they said that Mr. Easton was only wearing his underwear. They report that he was fully dressed at the time he was found.
#halloween Magician Daryl Easton, 61, Found Dead After Killing Himself in Hollywood’s Famed Magic Castle #socialdome
— Halloween Costumes (@Halloweenpirate) February 25, 2017
The Magic Castle posted a statement on their Facebook page, as they mourn the loss of one of their favorite patrons and entertainers, Daryl Easton.
“The Academy of Magic Arts (AMA) and the Magic Castle mourn the passing of celebrated magician and AMA family member, Daryl. Daryl, who was performing at the Magic Castle this week, was found dead on the club’s premises on the evening of Friday, Feb. 24, and his death has been ruled a suicide by the Los Angeles Police Department. The magic community mourns the loss of one of our most beloved and talented performers and the AMA’s deepest regrets and heart-felt sympathy go out to Daryl’s family.”
Daryl Easton was a much loved magician and he delighted audiences young and old. The Magic Castle’s statement went on to say that Daryl was “an award-winning close-up magician with over 40 years of experience in both performing and selling the finest magic in the world.” He received first-place FISM Gold medal winning, and he “performed as a headline act at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for seven years, fine tuning his already encyclopedic knowledge of magic. Daryl has performed literally thousands of shows for audiences as diverse as the Witch Doctors on the South Pacific island of Vanuatu to the movers and shakers of the political world at the Presidential Ball in Washington, D. C.”
Daryl Easton ‘s real name was Daryl Martinez. After he proved to be a master magician, he was often referred to as :”The Magician’s Magician.” Mr. Easton came up with several tricks of his own, including “Presto Printo,” Cardboard Chameleons” and the “Jumping Knot of Pakistan.”
Often the most upbeat people are the ones who hold the most pain. Daryl inspired a generation. #magic #magician #magiccastle #daryleaston
— David Minkin (@Davidminkin) February 26, 2017
No one knows what caused the famed magician to take his life. Thoughts of suicide must not have entered his mind, as his last post on Facebook gave no hint at depression. The famed magician said at he was going to California to do some shows at The Magic Castle for a week. What happened to make this talented magician end his life remains unknown. The police rule his death as a suicide by hanging. But, the coroner is not as certain and will continue to investigate the cause of death.
The Magic Castle was built for Rollin B. Lane, a wealthy banker and real estate magnate in 1908. Mr. Lane owned acres of land and he had a dream of it filled with orange groves, ranches and farms. Unfortunately those dreams came to and end when the country was hit with a severe drought. Mr. Lane moved away in the 1940s.
Mr. Lane’s private mansion changed hands and it was turned into a multi family home. After that, the mansion changed owners again, and it became a home for the elderly. That didn’t last long either, and it was changed into a series of apartments.
In 1961, Milt and Bill Larson, along with Bill’s wife, Irene, devised a plan. They wanted to transform the Lane mansion, which looked run-down from years of neglect, into an exclusive clubhouse for magicians. They got a team of people together and returned the mansion to its former grandeur state. On January 2, 1963, they opened The Magic Castle doors.
The Magic Castle is an exclusive, private club. Reservations are required and their customers must wear a coat and tie. The Magic Castle is a place for magicians and illusionists to gather and amaze each other with magic. Daryl Easton and his magic will truly be missed.
Our thoughts and prayers go out for the family, friends and fans of Mr. Daryl Easton. May he rest in peace.


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Bubble Watch: Saturday's winners and losers among fringe teams

TCU was a free throw away from upsetting West Virginia on Saturday and as a result could now be one free throw away from being an NCAA tournament team. The Horned Frogs were positioned to pick up a marquee victory that likely would have shifted them on the right side of the bubble and stood out as necessary eye candy for the selection committee come Selection Sunday. Instead, the 61-60 loss will stand as a crucial missed opportunity to boost the their résumé.
Down by one with 10 seconds remaining, TCU's Alex Robinson had a chance to give the Horned Frogs the lead with two attempts at the charity stripe. Instead he split the free throws to knot the game at 60-all. Then West Virginia's Daxter Miles, as a result of a controversial foul call, split a pair of free throws himself and TCU's three-pointer at the horn missed.
"We didn't' get the break down the stretch," TCU coach Jamie Dixon said after the game. "We've got to start making breaks. "
Simply put, the uneasy life of a bubble team means one possession — or bricked free-throw — could alter a team's postseason fate. TCU (17-12, 6-10) really needed that victory to put it over the top. Instead, there are just a few decent wins — against Illinois State and Iowa State — to like about the Horned Frogs' mediocre profile that features an RPI in the 50s and a non-conference strength of schedule in the 100s. Their two remaining regular-season games pit them against fellow bubble team Kansas State and the only dreadful team in the Big 12, Oklahoma. Lose either of those and they're done. Although, losing to WVU means a big win the Big 12 tournament is needed. Without it, there's just not enough there for Dixon's team.
Here's a look at the rest of Saturday's winners and losers among bubble teams (This list will be updated throughout the night).
If someone told Michigan players "beat Purdue and you're in," they got that message on Saturday by emphatically rolling past the first-place Boilermakers to inch way on the right side of bubble and into the safety zone. They had decent wins before this — against SMU and Wisconsin. But this one will hold more weight. Sitting at the No. 10 line in bracketology before the win, the Wolverines will shoot up and are very secure for an at-large bid, although not 100% at this point. In road games against Nebraska and Northwestern next week, they probably need to win one of those to comfortably put on their dancing shoes.
Vanderbilt steamrolled Mississippi State by 29 points to further enhance its credentials. The Commodores sport wins over Florida and Iowa State and are 6-5 against teams in the top-100. Then factor in the country's best non-conference strength of schedule. These are all features the committee will be impressed with to the point where a so-so record and loss to Missouri aren't that big of a deal.
Ole Miss (18-11, 9-7) has the most work to do of SEC bubble teams because it hasn't really beaten anyone. Its best win is... Vanderbilt. And the RPI is in the high 60s. So this victory was surely necessary, but it won't push them in yet. Wins this next week against Alabama (March 1) and South Carolina (March 4) could do that.
Georgia (17-12, 8-8) barely got past SEC bottom-feeder LSU in an 82-80 decision. Had the Bulldogs lost, their at-large hopes would've been squashed as they already own a bad loss to Oakland. Instead, they're still highly in the mix. Despite no decent victories on its profile, UGA has a top-20 strength of schedule to keep it in the discussion.
In a clash between two bubble teams fighting for a bid, Providence out-dueled Marquette, 73-69. The Friars (18-11, 8-8) now has four consecutive wins, all against likely NCAA tournament teams. This team has a really good chunk of notable wins, Butler and Creighton being the biggest, but it also owns some absolutely horrendous losses to St. John's Boston College and DePaul.
A weak bubble is the Shockers' best friend this season, as their at-large chances more so depend upon what bottom-of-the-pack ACC and Big 12 bubble teams do than what they've been doing on the hardwood — which has been drubbing opponents. On Saturday, the Shockers took down Missouri State by 19 points to claim a share of the Missouri Valley Conference title with Illinois State. At 27-4 and no bad losses, it's going to be tough for the selection committee to put a team six games below.500 ahead of Wichita in the tourney field, even with a lack of a marquee wins for the Shockers.
The Redbirds have been winning in less dominating fashion than their MVC rival but Saturday's 21-point road win against Northern Iowa, a team that had won nine of 12, was pretty impressive. It clinched them a share of the Valley regular season title, which of course doesn't mean much to the selection committee. The weak bubble could also pave way for Illinois State (25-5, 17-1) to reach the Dance if it were to lose to Wichita State in the Arch Madness final in St. Louis. Any other loss would likely be too staining due to a down year in the Valley (more than half the league is outside the RPI top-100). The Redbirds' RPI could sneak in the low 20s by season's end, making that stat very hard to ignore. The only thing worse about their résumé as compared to Wichita is two bad losses outside the top-100 to Tulsa and Murray State. How the committee values Wichita State, No. 25 in the coaches poll this week, will matter for Illinois State because it's rare that a team with bad losses and no real marquee victory make the cut. Plus, ISU's ugly loss to the Shockers came without one of its best players, MiKyle McIntosh.
See ya. If Kansas State hadn't already shattered its at-large chances, it did so on Saturday night in the form of a 30-point loss to Big 12 doormat Oklahoma, which had previously lost nine of 10. The Wildcats are now 2-8 in the last 10 games and 6-10 in the Big 12. K-State has wins against Baylor and West Virginia, but the one thing that would've kept the committee interested was no bad losses to help negate a non-conference strength of schedule of 236. Now, they've got a bad loss staining the résumé big time.
The Panthers needed this one, against a likely NCAA tournament No. 1 seed, but ultimately fell to North Carolina, 85-67. Missed opportunity, but the only thing that really does for Pitt's resume is make the loss department look even uglier. The Panthers are 4-12 in the ACC, and yet, they're not completely out of the mix. Credit a horrendous bubble field and the strength of the ACC. What Pitt has that teams like Illinois State and Wichita State don't have are wins against Florida State, Virginia and Maryland to go along with a top-10 strength of schedule. Don't let the 15-14 record deceive you.
Also 4-12 in the ACC is Clemson. The Tigers were right there, and poised to get a signature victory against Florida State, but fell short in a 76-74 decision. That loss drops Clemson to 14-14 on the season and takes away a chance for them to get an eye-popping win tacked onto their underwhelming credentials which feature wins against the best win against South Carolina. That gets negated by resume-staining loss to Oklahoma. Clemson's last two regular-season games are against bottom-feeders Boston College and N. C. State. They're likely already out barring a late surge, and if they lose either of those two games their at-large hopes are all but eliminated.
The Volunteers (15-14, 7-9) were already reeling, and then lost by 27 points to South Carolina on Saturday. Tennessee is one of the SEC's many weak bubble teams and losing to fellow borderline squad Vanderbilt earlier in the week really hurts its tournament cause. With a bevy of losses — and a chunk of them to other SEC bubble foes — there's only so much a top-10 strength of schedule can do, especially considering Vanderbilt's SoS is top-five.
Saturday's loss to fellow bubble team hurts Marquette quite a bit, especially since it's trying to pretend its non-conference strength of schedule in the 230s doesn't exist. Wins agains Villanova, Creighton and Xavier are tough to ignore. So is a loss to St. John's and an RPI of 69.


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Oakland Raiders: Ranking Team Needs For The NFL Combine, Free Agency [Opinion]

The Oakland Raiders are headed for the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, like the other 32 franchises. What prospects will the team be looking closely at when the combine begins on Feb. 28?
Both of the answers to these questions begin by looking at the team’s offseason needs. What areas can Oakland improve, after making the playoffs in 2016?
Check out the rankings below.
Raiders #DanWilliams rides camel, sails Sea of Galilee
— Zesty Raiders News (@zesty_raiders) February 19, 2017
Over the past two seasons, the Raiders have passed on prominent defensive tackles like Leonard Williams (2015) and Robert Nkemdiche (2016) in the NFL Draft.
Granted, Oakland did have solid role players like Justin Ellis and Stacy McGee at the position. They also have 2015 free agency acquisition Dan Williams as the headliner at that position. Plus, they drafted Jihad Ward and Mario Edwards Jr. in the past two drafts. Both defensive ends have the ability to slide inside to tackle.
Regardless, the Raiders need a game changer at that position. Oakland finished last in sacks. They also allowed 4.4 yards average on run plays.
This offseason, the Raiders must address the position via a high draft pick or marquee free agent. Getting penetration from that position helps out the entire defense.
Raiders' Malcolm Smith likely on way out in Oakland, free agent replacement options – USA Today #RaiderNation
— Oakland Raiders (@OaklandRNews) January 16, 2017
Catching a trend here? The Raiders need improvement in the middle of their defense at the second level too.
The Raiders cycled through multiple starting insider backers last season. Cory James and Ben Heeney showed some glimpses but both are too inconsistent to be starting backers for an NFL playoff team.
Not to mention, Riley and Smith are also slated to hit the open free agency market on March 8. Either player could get resigned to provide a stop-gap solution for Oakland. However, the Raiders could do well to sign or draft an impact middle linebacker that could secure the position for years to come. The team has not done that since they drafted Rolando McClain at No. 8 in 2010. McClain ended up only lasting a few seasons with the Raiders.
Nonetheless, McKenzie, Del Rio and defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. all played linebacker in the NFL. Thus, they know what playing the position entails. Expect them to finally place a premium on that position in free agency or the draft.
Oakland Raiders Right Tackle Austin Howard Undergoes Shoulder Surgery #Raiders
— Raiders Report (@raiders_fanly) January 20, 2017
2013 second round pick Menelik Watson has only played in 27 games since being drafted, mostly due to injuries. Watson is slated to become a free agent in a few days.
Plus, 2014 free agency acquisition Austin Howard has been a mixed bag of injuries and inconsistencies at that position too.
This NFL draft class is low on premium offensive tackles. Hence, McKenzie and Del Rio should take a hard look at the position during the combine. They might find a gem in the late rounds.
Otherwise, they may be forced to sign a veteran option. However, this free agency tackle class is not much better. It is like buying a used car, because you’re really just buying someone else’s problems.
The Silver and Black could also elect to stick with Howard or try to develop rookie Vadal Alexander. Alexander proved his worth as a blocking tight end and reserve last season, despite being a late draft pick.
The Oakland Raiders could also afford some depth at the cornerback, quarterback, running back and wide receiver position. Luckily, guys like quarterback Derek Carr , receiver Amari Cooper , corner Sean Smith and running back DeAndre Washington are returning for another season.
Behind those key players, the Raiders may need to replace some depth pieces like corner D. J. Hayden , running back Latavius Murray , quarterback Matt McGloin , and receiver Seth Roberts. They are all slated to test the open market on March 7.
It should also be mentioned that any of these team needs could change depending on the Raiders’ next steps. They could re-sign some of their pending free agents to sure up their position needs. The Raiders could also cut additional players to create more salary cap space, which creates more of a void at any given position.
Stay tuned to see what the Raiders do to address their team needs at the NFL combine and during free agency.
[Featured Image by Jack Dempsey/AP Images]


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Why do all NASCAR drivers sound alike?

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. —The script goes something like this: a NASCAR driver emerges from the car, mentions his car sponsor followed by the engine manufacturer, says a few sentences about what just transpired and drinks from whatever soda or energy drink he or she is loyal (or contractually bound) to.
“I remember the first time I saw that,” retired NASCAR driver Jeff Burton told USA TODAY Sports. “At first, I thought, ‘Wow, that’s pretty cool.’ Then you realize all your sponsors are on your fire suit and car, so they know you know what companies you’re representing. You may be thinking you’re helping those corporate sponsors, but you’re actually hurting them.”
While there are many factors to NASCAR’s ratings and attendance declines, many drivers and others around the track pin part of the malaise on an inability for fans to connect with the current crop of drivers. Take Jimmie Johnson, who has dominated the sport with seven Cup titles but will never be confused as fan favorite.
“If you look at the history of the sport, you had Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough Darrell Waltrip and Dale (Earnhardt) Sr. just being themselves,” veteran driver Todd Bodine said. “You could get a feel for their personalities. In this generation of drivers, we all do this corporate song and dance. We want to thank Quick Lube or whatever sponsor we have and then give standard answers in television interviews. It’s become vanilla. It’s become boring. We don’t see any personality.”
Four-time champ Jeff Gordon told USA TODAY Sports that he understands why NASCAR drivers, unlike athletes in other sports, can feel hamstrung.
“It’s a lot of pressure,” Gordon said. “It’s a huge part of what goes on in the sport. You’re not just focused on being the best driver, being part of a team and winning races. You have to be conscious of the business side and the commercial side of it as well.
“Take LeBron (James) and other athletes who have personal service agreements. When they’re representing a company, they are conscious of that. But usually they go, ‘No. No. What happens on the court or on the field is different than what happens away from it.’ As drivers, we are thinking those are the same.”
Even at 16, Camping World Truck Series driver Todd Gilliland says he understands the driver-sponsor relationship well.
“You have to keep the sponsors happy or else you wouldn’t be here, but not many people want to talk to you if you don’t have a personality,” said Gilliland, whose father, David, raced in Cup. “It’s hard to balance.”
Driver conduct has rarely been seen as a reason for companies to drop out as a sponsor. Moreover, Burton said not once in his 22-year Cup career did a corporation dictate to him how he should conduct himself in front of the news media.
“A lot of that isn’t generated by the corporations, but the drivers worried about the corporations,” Burton said. “I’ve never been in a corporate situation where I was encouraged to not say what I thought. Still, I hear a lot about this corporate speak and it sounds like they are all afraid of saying something that will make the sponsor mad. It needs to change. I told my son (K&N Pro Series East driver Harrison Burton) that people want to hear what you think.”
Cup driver Clint Bowyer, one of the most affable drivers in Sunday’s Daytona 500, has never shied away from speaking his mind, including telling reporters about the travails of changing his child’s diapers at media day here last year.
But he said as much as Twitter and Facebook have helped drivers connect with fans, there’s definitely a downside of the new landscape.
“Ten years ago when I came into the sport, we didn’t have as much social media and all that crap,” Bowyer said. “We weren’t scrutinized for every little move we made. I hate that. I look at these kids and I realized how much it sucks for them.
“I used to go out with the guys, who were my heroes, and we’d go downtown. They showed me how to do it. Now, if we go do that we can be (accused) of not being dedicated to what we are doing. Some of it’s true, but some of it is a made up opinionated story from when somebody caught a bad moment or something.”
Driver Joey Logano, whose five-year extension with Penske racing was announced on Friday, bristled when asked if drivers of his generation were too guarded.
“I really feel like I am who I am,” Logano said. “Love it or leave it. I am very fortunate to have an owner who is not going to put the chokehold on you if you say something wrong. Roger (Penske) is a very open person to have a conversation with. I have a sponsorship with Shell and Penzoil that while I’m not going to go out there and be an idiot, they let me say what I want to say.”
Teams and manufacturers offer media training to drivers, although that’s more to make them more comfortable in front of reporters than hammering home the need to mention sponsors repeatedly.
Two-time Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip, who is making his final start in the season-opening race on Sunday, said all he had was his older brother.
“I had media training and his name was Darrell,” Waltrip, quipped “I just copied what he did.”


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OJ Simpson could be released on parole as early as October

OJ Simpson may be released from prison as early as this October after serving nine years of 33 yr sentence. Pictured: Simpson in 2016
OJ Simpson may be released from prison as early as this October, after serving nine years of his 33-year sentence.
October 1 is the earliest possible parole date the 69-year-old former NFL star.
It is expected that a parole board will recommend his release due to good behavior, the Sunday Express reported.
Simpson has been serving a nine-year sentence at Lovelock Correctional Center in rural Nevada.
He was found guilty in 2008 of 12 counts including kidnapping, robbery and assault with a deadly weapon.
October 1 is the earliest possible parole date the 69-year-old former NFL star. It is expected that a parole board will recommend his release due to good behavior. Pictured: Simpson escorted by officers during a hearing on charges including kidnapping and robbery
He was found guilty in 2008 of 12 counts including kidnapping, robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. Simpson and accomplices robbed memorabilia collectors Alfred Beardsley and Bruce Fromong of nearly 800 items in a Las Vegas hotel room in November 2007
Simpson and accomplices robbed memorabilia collectors Alfred Beardsley and Bruce Fromong of nearly 800 items in a Las Vegas hotel room in November 2007, Sports Illustrated reported.
He alleged the pair had stolen items from him.
Simpson receives as much as $25,000 monthly, $300,000 yearly, or $2.7m throughout his prison stay, from his NFL pension.
He is prisoner 1027820 at the 'medium-custody' facility, where he will need to win over four of seven commissioners at his parole hearing, which could occur this summer, and receive a certain number of 'points.'
The 11-point based system in Nevada reflects issues such as gang membership, drug and alcohol abuse and age in assessing parole eligibility and each issue reflects values from -1 to +2.
He would need less than five points to be considered 'low risk.'
Simpson is prisoner 1027820 at the 'medium-custody' facility, where he will need to win over four of seven commissioners at his parole hearing, which could occur this summer, and receive a certain number of 'points.' Pictured: Simpson in 2013
Simpson receives as much as $25,000 monthly, $300,000 yearly, or $2.7m throughout his prison stay, from his NFL pension. He was paroled on five charges in 2013, when he argued he displayed good behavior. Pictured: Simpson in 1994 during his trial for murder
Simpson was paroled on five charges in 2013, when he argued he displayed good behavior in the prison.
A criminal defense attorney told the Express: 'He's the kind of person who gets paroled.'
The attorney added: 'He has done a significant amount of time and, by all accounts, hasn't caused any problems.'
The more famous case the controversial figure was involved in pertained to the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown, pictured, and Ron Goldman, pictured below right. In 1996, a jury acquitted him in what was widely termed the 'Trial of the Century'
Simpson was acquitted of the murders of Brown and Ron Goldman, pictured. He was later found liable for the deaths in a civil suit and was ordered to pay $33.5m to families
The more famous case the controversial figure was involved in pertained to the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman.
In 1996, a jury acquitted him in what was widely termed the 'Trial of the Century.'
Recent films such as the documentary OJ Made in America and mini-series The People vs OJ Simpson, in which Cuba Gooding Jr portrayed Simpson, dramatized the dramatic trial which culminated in his acquittal.
Simpson was later found liable for the deaths in a civil suit and was ordered to pay around $33.5m to the families of Goldman and Brown.
Each family claims it has received little of what it is owed.
Simpson has avoided paying through a variety of means including his move to Florida - where a law can block the forced sale of residences.
Creditors cannot attach his NFL pension.


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Revellers flood seaside for Brazilian 'mud street party'

Women wade in a pool of mud during the traditional 'Bloco da Lama' or 'Mud Street' carnival party, in Paraty, Brazil, on Saturday
Chilean tourists Michele Yoyo and her husband Rodrigo Yoyo, share a kiss as they wade in a mud puddle during the celebrations
Legend has it the 'bloco' was born in 1986 after local teens hiking in a nearby mangrove forest smeared themselves with mud to discourage mosquitoes and then wandered through Paraty
The party grew year after year, but revelers eventually were banned from parading in the colonial downtown after shopkeepers complained pristine white walls were stained with the hard-to-remove mud
Instead, revellers must now drink and dance on the beach while getting down and dirty to Brazilian funk and house music
Hundreds of revellers flooded the small seaside town to cover themselves in mud during Brazil's Carnival celebrations
Paraty is a small town on Brazil's Costa Verde, between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. In contrast, carnival-goers in Rio yesterday showed off their extravagant costumes and opulent head-dresses as thousands danced in the streets
A couple covered in mud kiss during the traditional 'Bloco da Lama' as they celebrated on the first day of the five-day carnival


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Murder exposes a darker side of middle-aged online dating

He was meant to be her happy ever after - a fairytale ending for the prolific children's author consumed by grief. When Helen Bailey's husband of 22 years drowned on holiday in Barbados in 2011, her world crumbled. Then she met Ian Stewart (58), a "gorgeous, grey-haired widower", on an online bereavement group.
He had lost his wife and quickly they bonded over what they had both been through. Within a year, Stewart had proposed. The couple moved to Royston, Hertfordshire, and set up home in a seven-bedroom mansion. Bailey even changed her will so her fiance would inherit almost all of her €4.7m fortune if she died before they married. She was worried he would be left vulnerable if their paperwork wasn't in order.
But their cosy domesticity was short-lived. Last July, Bailey (51) was discovered in a cesspit underneath the house, alongside the remains of her faithful dachshund, Boris. Her body was so badly decomposed she had be identified by her dental records.
Last week, Stewart was sentenced to 34 years in jail for Bailey's murder. The jury heard how he had been secretly drugging his partner with zopiclone, a sleeping medication, for weeks before suffocating her. Later that day, he watched his eldest son, Jamie, play bowls, taking him back home for a post-match Chinese takeaway. Afterwards, he changed a standing order from Bailey's bank account to the couple's joint account, switching the amount from £600 to £4,000.
In the months that followed (Stewart told concerned relatives Bailey had left a note saying she "needed some space") he renewed Arsenal season tickets and even flew to Spain for a holiday he had booked with his wife-to-be.
The grim final chapter in the life of a woman described by family as "immensely witty and talented" has once again exposed the seedy underbelly of the digital world. This time, however, it's not the online exploitation of children that's raising alarm bells - research suggests older women are, in fact, the internet's most vulnerable.
This becomes even more apparent when they are going through difficult emotional times which come with this life-stage, such as divorce or bereavement, when usual good judgment may not be so finely tuned and a lot of very personal information can be unloaded very quickly if they find someone to trust.
"The most successful scams are carried out on women between the ages of 40 and 60," says psychologist Emma Kenny, who explores the perils of internet dating in a TV documentary, Dated to Death, to be broadcast next month.
"Increasingly, older men are going out with much younger partners. A lot of middle-aged women find themselves incredibly lonely and this emotional vulnerability can cause them to make bad choices. Quite often, a woman will go for someone who validates her, and she might reveal a lot of personal information early on, which enables predators. "
The number of people defrauded by online dating schemes has hit a new high, according to the UK's National Fraud Intelligence Bureau - last year, almost 4,000 victims of 'romance fraud' handed over a staggering £39m. Forget the well-worn trope of the wealthy widow conned overseas by an unscrupulous lothario you could see coming a mile off - the danger has now moved closer to home, and can be much harder to spot.
'Nancy', a 37-year-old single mother, was duped out of €350,000 by Marcello, a man she met on Within days, the attractive Italian, who claimed to be Manchester based but working in Turkey, persuaded 'Nancy' to move their conversations to an instant messaging service. After six weeks, he asked for a loan for his son, who needed surgery.
"It escalated unbelievably quickly, so straight away it was the medical fees, then money for food, rent and taxes to get them out of Turkey," said 'Nancy', who is now facing bankruptcy.
"I wasn't comfortable, and then I got in so far I couldn't get myself out. You keep going in the hope this person is genuine. "
It's not just the betrayal of trust women like 'Nancy' have to endure - a number of female victims of so-called 'love scams' claim to have been excoriated for their perceived naivety. Like Bailey, the casualties are often smart, successful women who under other circumstances would know better.
One 68-year-old university professor I spoke to declined to be interviewed after she was trolled for publicly admitting to giving £140,000 to a con artist she met on a dating site. "People haven't a clue how clever and sophisticated these men and their scams are," she told me.
Those who have suffered an emotional trauma, like a divorce or bereavement, are particularly susceptible to grooming, says Kenny. "My friend is widowed, so I checked out a couple of support forums for her. You could tell that not everyone on there had lost a spouse. It's awful to say, but trust no one. "
"It's truly astonishing how much time and effort fraudsters will invest in building a relationship with someone," says Tony Neate, CEO of Get Safe Online.
"Starting a new relationship at a difficult time in your life can prevent you from noticing the signs of something more sinister. It is this vulnerability that they prey on, which makes it ever so important to talk to your friends and family about your experiences online. They might spot something suspicious you don't. Even if you feel you have become close to someone on the internet, you must remember that they are still a stranger. "
It is also sensible to check the privacy settings on all of your social media accounts to ensure that people can't easily fish for details about your private life which they can exploit further down the line.
Of course, for the majority, support forums provide a tremendous source of comfort during the worst of times. It was through a Widowed and Young Facebook group that 'Annie' (42) met her partner, 'Andrew'. They've been together for three and half years.
"You can't assume that because someone has been through the same thing as you, they're somehow 'safe', but I did feel like I got the measure of 'Andrew' pretty quickly," says 'Annie'. "People have made a lot out of the fact that [Bailey and Stewart] met on a widows' group but I think that's irrelevant. Sadly, you can meet bad people anywhere. I don't think there was any way she could have known. "
© Telegraph


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Obituary: Norma McCorvey

Norma McCorvey, who died last weekend aged 69, was better known as Jane Roe, the plaintiff in the 1973 Supreme Court case Roe vs Wade, which, in one of the most contested decisions in US legal history, secured the right to an abortion for American women.
She became a poster-girl for the pro-choice movement. But in 1995 she announced that she had found God, left her job at a Dallas abortion clinic and signed on with Operation Rescue, a militant anti-abortion group. Yet McCorvey was never an entirely satisfactory symbol for either side of the debate.
She was born Norma Leah Nelson on September 22, 1947 in small-town Louisiana, into a dysfunctional household. Her grandmother was a prostitute and fortune-teller; her mother was a violent alcoholic who sought to raise her a Roman Catholic; her father, a television repairman who left when she was young, was a Jehovah's Witness.
Norma spent part of her adolescence in a Catholic boarding school (where she claimed to have been sexually assaulted by a nun) and at a reform school. Aged 16, she married Woody McCorvey, a sheet-metal worker who became violent when she became pregnant; she left after two months.
A daughter (Melissa) was born in 1965, but Norma developed a drinking problem and when she announced that she was a lesbian, her mother threw her out, though not before persuading Norma to sign papers giving her custody of the baby. "My mom screamed, what did a lesbian know about raising a child?; I lost my child, and my home," she told an interviewer in 1998.
Before long, Norma was living on the streets in Dallas, Texas, struggling with alcoholism, depression and drugs, and taking lovers of both sexes. Another daughter was given away for adoption in 1967.
Then, in 1969, she found she was pregnant again (she originally claimed that she had been raped, but later admitted lying). By this time, she was working in a carnival looking after freak animals. Feeling she could not face going through with another birth, she inquired about abortion, only to find that it was illegal in Texas.
She visited a back-street abortionist, but was so shocked by the squalor, she could not go through with it.
Soon afterwards, she was introduced to Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffee, lawyers who had been looking for a plaintiff to challenge the Texas ban. Legal battle was joined in 1970: Jane Roe v the Dallas district attorney, Henry Wade. The case slowly rose up the legal system, becoming a class action, until, in January 1973, the Supreme Court deemed abortion a fundamental right under the US Constitution.
McCorvey had never been asked to testify in court, and by the time the Supreme Court heard the case she had her baby, another girl, and given her up for adoption.
For a while she disappeared from view, but during the 1980s she became active in the pro-abortion movement, working in abortion clinics and gradually letting people know that she was Jane Roe. As a result she became a target of violent abuse. In 1992, she published I Am Roe, in which she wrote of her lesbianism and attacked the "anti-choice fanatics... trying to inflict their own religious views on others, still trying to hide their anti-woman feelings".
It was at a book signing the same year that she was first confronted by Flip Benham, national director of Operation Rescue, who accused her of being "responsible for the deaths of over 33 million children". Six months later, he opened Operation Rescue's national headquarters next to the clinic where Norma was working.
Initially she resisted any contact, but eventually started to talk to members of the organisation during smoking breaks. "They were down-to-earth, they weren't telling me I was going to fry in hell, though I'm sure they were thinking that. They were very kind to me," she recalled.
She accepted an invitation to visit Benham's church, and within a year was proclaiming herself "100pc pro-life". When Benham baptised her in a backyard swimming pool, the ceremony was filmed for national television.
Months later she announced that her relationship with her partner, Connie Gonzalez, was platonic. "I am not a lesbian. I'm just a child in Christ now," she said. In 1998 Norma announced that she had become a Roman Catholic, and the same year she published Won by Love in which she proclaimed her belief that abortion "wasn't about 'products of conception'... It was about children being killed in their mother's wombs".
Abortion-rights activists questioned her motives and in 2013, in interviews in Vanity Fair, Flip Benham claimed that he had come to see her as someone who "just fishes for money" while Connie Gonzalez described her former lover as a "phoney".
Yet she continued to pop up at anti-abortion rallies, including in 2009, when she was arrested along with 26 others, inside the grounds of the Catholic university of Notre Dame, Indiana, protesting against the appearance of Barack Obama.
In later life she moved to live near her daughter, Melissa, who survives her.


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They won't admit it in Sweden, but does Trump have a point?

I was in Stockholm a week last Friday - an eyewitness on the great night that nothing happened. Donald Trump gave a speech in Florida the next day, asking his audience to look at what had occurred "last night in Sweden".
Something appalling, apparently, involving asylum seekers. The Swedes "took in large numbers," he said. And now "they're having problems like they never thought possible". But he was wrong: nothing of note had happened that night. His mistake was used by much of the Swedish media (and politicians) to slate him, as if he concocted the whole idea of an immigration problem.
The mockery lasted for days: what event could he have been referring to?
Were some meatballs burned in Uppsala? Did an Ikea run out of Billy bookshelves? "What has he been smoking? " asked Carl Bildt, a former prime minister. He could almost have asked: Crisis? What crisis?
The inside pages of most Swedish newspapers would carry the answer. Early last week, for example, a riot broke out in one of Stockholm's suburbs, ending in a photographer being injured and a policeman opening fire. There were also stories about how six Afghan child refugees had committed suicide in Sweden in the last six months, failed by a government system that cannot cope with the 25,000 unaccompanied migrant children in its care. All this is shocking - but in Sweden nowadays, not so surprising.
Sweden is not a country that is falling apart. You can still land in Stockholm's gorgeous Arlanda Airport, skate on the frozen lakes in special lanes polished by the local authorities, cook sausages on the communal barbecues. The Scandinavian paradise is still there, welcoming and inspiring. The government has, after great upheaval, managed to cut the refugee influx by four-fifths. But its failure to integrate those already there has led to another Sweden, a country within a country characterised by gang violence and joblessness.
It's easier to ignore this in Stockholm than it is in Malmo, a smaller city which has long been the first port of call for immigrants who arrive over the bridge from Denmark.
On the day I arrived in Sweden, a 23-year-old was murdered in the city square there, shot in the head in front of several witnesses. It was the third such murder in six weeks. The local press tends not to report the ethnicity of the victim or suspects in such attacks, but Swedes have learnt to recognise immigrant-related gang crime when they see it.
Foreigners who visit the wrong part of Sweden can pay a heavy price: last summer a British boy was killed in a grenade attack in Gothenburg as he slept with his family.
If grenades were being thrown into children's bedrooms in Athlone or asylum centres were being torched in Meath, the immigration debate here might be a little different. The word "crisis" might be used. But what's striking about Sweden is how defensive policymakers are when confronted about all this; how insistent they are that things are under control. As the violence affects just a sliver of society, the overall Swedish crime figures are quite small. Trouble can be buried in the data.
Wider discussion about all of this is also discouraged by what's known as Sweden's 'opinion corridor' - the narrow parameters into which public debate is confined. Those who step outside, and talk about the immigration problems, risk being accused of bigotry. Or, perhaps worse, giving succour to the more populist Sweden Democrats, the party now supported by one in six Swedes.
The immigrants do want to work, but find themselves stuck outside a heavily regulated jobs market that could have been designed by a populist demagogue to keep them out. For unskilled work in restaurants, for example, the trade unions' unofficial (but strictly enforced) minimum wage is about €11 an hour. For unskilled immigrants, especially from countries like Afghanistan and Somalia with no properly functioning education system, this means the Swedish dream ends before it begins. A policy intended to lift everyone's wages has ended up destroying entry-level jobs, and ensuring thousands of immigrants are shut out of the economy, denied the first rung on the ladder to work.
Among Swedes, unemployment is about 4pc and falling. Among immigrants, it's 22pc. No developed country has a higher differential.
The Swedish government describes itself as a "humanitarian superpower" and accepted refugees on that basis, but its fatal mistake was to welcome so many without being able to integrate them. Hence the zones of joblessness and the criminality, and the inability to know what to do about it.
The resulting shadow society is now quite advanced, with its own moral codes and even its own legal system. Tribal courts are now in operation, dealing with crimes - or, at least, what count as crimes in the underworld. The fine for attempted murder is about €59,000, according to Malmo's chief prosecutor. Of the 37 murders and attempted murders in the first half of last year, just seven have been solved. But what are police to do, when witnesses drop out and victims drop the charges? Officers admit that, when child refugees go missing from care homes - feared to have been passed into prostitution or criminal gangs - there is not much they can do.
In so many fields - technology, music, retail - there are Swedish firms leading the world. But its social model, created from the best of intentions, has ended up incubating a violent underworld into which immigrants are being ensnared. As a friend of mine puts it, Sweden is still "10 parts heaven to one part hell" and you can avoid the hell (if you're not a refugee). But the problems it now faces are those of shadow societies, mafia courts, gangland killings and conundrums like how to handle adult refugees who turn up with a child bride in tow. And how to pacify suburbs that are slipping out of police control.
These issues all fit a certain description. They all stem from Sweden's decision to take larger numbers than it could cope with, leading to problems that were once never thought possible. It will pain the Swedish government to admit it, but on this point, at least, Donald Trump was right.


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Danny Dyer's aunt urges EastEnders star to get a grip

Danny Dyer's aunt has urged the troubled star to 'take a step back and look at his life.'
The Eastenders actor has been embroiled in controversy of late with claims that he cheated on his wife Jo Mas.
He allegedly sent explicit photos of himself to another woman nine weeks before the pair wed last September.
Now, his worried family are urging the 39-year-old to get a grip.
Danny's aunt ­Debbie Meakin told the Sunday Mirror : 'He needs to take a step back and look at his life.
'He's got a lovely family – his children and his wife.
'It's just a shame.
'It's just same old, same old.
'How he acts doesn't just affect him, it affects his wife and kids.'
To add to the drama Danny's daughter, Dani, 20, found the woman he allegedly sent nude snaps to and threatened her.
After tracking down the woman on social media Dani fired off a series of vile comments including, 'karma is a b**** you vile ugly disgusting human being'.
And she branded the woman an 'ugly dirty skank' and threatened: 'If I see you i'll f*****g hurt ya.'
Danny Dyer with his daughter Dani (left) and wife Jo (right) in September 2014
Dyer is currently on an extended break from EastEnders, in which he plays pub landlord Mick Carter.
A source told The Mirror: 'If quitting the show to give him time to focus on his family is necessary, he will.'
Another family member of Danny's, who did not wish to be named, said: 'He's nothing like people think.
'He's got different values and different attitudes to other members of the family and there's a long- running rift between some of us.'


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Browning, Elmore combine for 51, Marshall edges Charlotte

Stevie Browning and Jon Elmore combined for 51 points and Marshall held on down the stretch to defeat Charlotte 93-89 on Saturday.
Marshall's guard tandem has combined for 22 games of scoring at least 20 points each this season. Browning found his shooting touch after a stretch of four games where he either scored fewer than 10 points or didn't play at all. Elmore has reached double figures in every game this season.
Charlotte, which trailed by 14 in the first half, had rallied into a 54-41 lead early in the second. Browning and Elmore did the heavy lifting with nine of Marshall's 11-1 run, cutting the gap to 55-54 with just under 15 minutes left.
The Thundering Herd (16-13, 9-7 Conference USA) led by as many as seven before Charlotte (12-15, 6-10) made its stretch run, twice whittling the lead down to two points in the last 55 seconds. Anthony Vanhook and Andrien White each scored for Charlotte to make it a two-point game, but both times Marshall answered with two free throws.
Vanhook scored 21 and White 18 for the 49ers.


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Kansas clinches 13th straight Big 12 title outright

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Every season somebody emerges to challenge Kansas for supremacy in the Big 12 — an Oklahoma here, a Texas there, this year Baylor and West Virginia for a spell.
Nobody ever passes the Jayhawks.
Josh Jackson scored 18 points and Frank Mason III added 16 to help No. 3 Kansas beat Texas 77-67 on Saturday night to secure its 13th consecutive Big 12 regular season championship outright.
Devonte Graham and Dwight Coleby added 12 points apiece for the Jayhawks (26-3, 14-2 Big 12) who have won six straight games.
Graham said he never worried about the string of titles getting severed this season.
“I don’t want to sound cocky, but no, I don’t think we had that doubt that we would be that team that breaks the streak,” Graham said.
Kansas has shared four of the 13 titles. Coach Bill Self said the victory over TCU on Wednesday to earn at least a share of the title was bigger than the win at Texas.
“But it’s still nice not to share,” Self said.
Jarrett Allen led Texas (10-19, 4-12) with 20 points. Andrew Jones added 18 for the Longhorns, losers of five straight games.
Texas committed 15 turnovers, six by guard Kerwin Roach Jr., and Kansas converted them into 28 points. Roach did contribute nine points six assists and four steals.
Kansas used a 12-0 push in the first half to take a 13-point lead before settling for a 40-31 edge at the break. Coleby, a little-used forward who averages 1.2 points a game, scored 10 in the half, converting 4 of 5 shots inside.
The Longhorns cut the lead to five with a 3-point basket by Jacob Young midway through the second half, but Kansas responded with an 8-1 run and eventually led by 15 with less than three minutes remaining. Mason and Jackson scored four points apiece during that span.
Texas coach Shaka Smart said his team could not sustain the approach required to beat Kansas.
“Against Kansas, you have to be aggressive,” Smart said. “We were just too timid to start the game. We got into a stretch where we got some aggressiveness going. We didn’t sustain that level of aggressiveness. If you want to win games like that, you have to go at people.”
Kansas: The Jayhawks have won 12 of their last 13 games against Texas, including seven straight, giving them a 29-8 edge since the Big 12 began competition in 1996-97. Texas did, however finish in a first-place tie with the Jayhawks during two of these 13 straight Kansas Big 12 regular season championships – in 2006 and 2008. The Longhorns beat Kansas in Austin both seasons.
Texas: The Longhorns are 4-4 in Big 12 home games. Before Saturday, their largest margin of victory or defeat was four points.
Coleby’s 12 points matched a career best for the 6-foot-9 junior who transferred to Kansas from Mississippi and sat out last season to regain his eligibility. Coleby missed a season of practice time after tearing the ACL in his left knee in September 2015. He played 13 minutes against Texas after averaging fewer than five in 16 games before Saturday. Coleby said he had no idea he was going to receive more playing time.
Dwight played great,” Self said. “I thought he was as good as anybody we had today.”
Allen, the Texas freshman, scored a season-best 22 points against Kansas earlier this season and produced 20 more on Saturday. Allen, a McDonald’s All-American from the Austin area, chose Texas over Kansas as his college destination.
Considering the way Allen has played against Kansas, Self said, “We should be the one that’s mad at him since he picked Texas over us. He shouldn’t be mad at us. But I think he’s great.”
Kansas is at home against Oklahoma on Monday. The Jayhawks beat Oklahoma 81-70 on Jan. 10 with Mason scoring 28 points, including five 3-point baskets.
Texas is at Texas Tech on Monday. The Longhorns beat the Red Raiders 62-58 on Feb. 1 in Austin. Eric Davis Jr. made a big 3-point basket with 28.8 seconds remaining for Texas, which does not have a road win this season.
Need a break? Play a quick game of solitaire or Sudoku. Or take one of our fun quizzes!
Take a look back at photos of Washington's baseball teams during Spring Training.


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Woman who ate KFC almost EVERY DAY loses 45 kilograms

Kirby McGregor had been gaining weight for years but it was not until doctors found swelling in her brain she realised she needed to do something about it.
The 28-year-old had ballooned up to 145 kilograms and had suffered a number of health problems because of her weight.
Within only a few years the Brisbane woman had a blood clot in her brain, her gallbladder removed and then immense swelling in her brain, all partly caused by her size.
Transformation: Kirby McGregor (pictured) has lost 45 kilograms in only six months
Realisation: The 28-year-old weighed 145 kilograms in 2016 (pictured) and had a number of health problems
Happier and healthier: Now the Brisbane woman weighs 99 kilograms (pictured) and said she's not stopping anytime soon
She said doctors told her if she lost weight many of the problems would resolve themselves, which she said 'scared her straight'.
'The swelling in my brain could have turned into a embolism. It was very serious,' she told Daily Mail Australia.
So in August 2016 Ms McGregor had surgery for a gastric sleeve, started exercising and changed her diet completely.
'Before I was eating KFC almost every day. I would have it four to five times a week,' she said.
'Portion control was the biggest problems too. I didn't know when to stop eating.'
Before and after: Ms McGregor was eating KFC nearly everyday and had no portion control before she made a change
'Scared me straight': The 28-year-old got a gastric sleeve and changed her habits after doctors told her dangerous swelling in her brain was due to her weight
This bad diet, combined with eating more during a relationship, meant the young woman gained weight slowly at first.
But then, in 2015 and 2016, the 28-year-old put on a huge 30 kilograms in only a year.
Ms McGregor said while she was confident on the outside, inside she was feeling terrible about herself.
Now the 28-year-old exercises regularly, eats healthy and doesn't overindulge.
New lifestyle: Now she eats healthy, exercises regularly is much healthier
'I'm going to keep going': Ms McGregor said that she's determined to lose another 20 kilograms
She said she can't even imagine going back to her old habits.
'I don't touch KFC,' she said. 'I couldn't even dream of eating it anymore, it makes me feel sick.'
Now in only six months Ms McGregor has lost 45 kilograms, and says that she has another 20 she wants to lose.
'I'm going to keep going,' the 28-year-old said.
'I want to feel like the old me again, before I gained the weight.'


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Tom Hughes and Jenna Coleman enjoy break on set

It is difficult to imagine Prince Albert feeling entirely comfortable wearing a denim jacket and clutching a coffee.
But Tom Hughes, who plays the German-born Royal in the second series of ITV’s historical drama Victoria, was pictured in this less than regal attire during filming last week.
Moments later, however, the 30-year-old was transformed into the Queen’s consort by changing into a more appropriate frock coat.
Take 1, pictured left, Tom Hughes who plays Prince Albert is seen looking comfortable wearing a denim jacket and clutching a coffee. While right, Take 2, he changes into a frock coat
His co-star Jenna Coleman, 30, who left the BBC hit Dr Who to play the young Victoria, was also spotted incongruously carrying her iPhone 7 and sunglasses while looking resplendent in a vintage ivory dress and crown.
The pair were filming a christening scene at Beverley Minster in East Yorkshire on Friday.
Earlier last week, Miss Coleman was spotted filming at Wentworth Woodhouse, Britain’s largest privately owned stately home, in South Yorkshire.
But she was giving away no clues to the reason, as her decidedly unregal pose between takes reveals.
Tom Hughes and Jenna Coleman mix old and new while filming the new series of hit Victoria


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Katie Price reveals she opening her own beauty salon

She recently insisted that her thinning mane was down to stress after online trolls pointed out a 'patch of hair loss' on a recent Instagram post.
And despite having issues with her tresses, Katie Price took to Twitter on Saturday to reveal she's opening her very own beauty salon.
'I can't wait to go @pro_beauty at Excel tomorrow to see what products and equipment I want in my new beauty salon opening soon,' the former glamour model, 38, gushed about the exciting new venture.
Mane focus! Katie Price, 38, took to Twitter on Saturday to announce she's opening her very own beauty salon, despite suffering from thinning hair
This may come as a surprise for her fans after she recently defended the accusation that her dependency on clip-in hair was making her bald, following fans' reaction to a lack of locks spotted in an Instagram post on Wednesday.
Businesswoman Katie was quick to insist that the thinning was down to stress, biting back at the troll with a scathing comment about her 'eye bags'.
Katie was bluntly told: 'You're going bald?!?' in a comment written on a video post the entrepreneur used to make the announcement of her beauty store opening.
The model quickly replied: 'I've had 5 kids stress last year and hair loss due to it so not extensions so thanks for the put down! Your bags need doing under your eyes.'
'I can't wait!' The former glamour model seemed thrilled as she revealed she was going to check out the new products and equipment in the new salon
Fighting back: Katie recently slammed a fan after she was accused of creating a bald patch in her hair (pictured) by overusing hair extensions
Big hair, don't care: Katie's fans know that the model favours a big hair look
Model image: She relies heavily on wigs and hair extensions to boost the length and volume of her tresses
It's little wonder that Katie felt compelled to defend herself, since the comments were largely filled with questions about the supposed 'bald patch'.
'Look at what them extensions have dun to the side of your head!' one fan said: 'Try to stay natural you look so much better with natural hair and it definitely won't get better it will get a lot worse an ur have patches all over your head!'
'Wooowww look at the bald patch hair is damaged... (sic)' another added, pointing out the sparse area in the blonde's top knot hairstyle, right at the scalp.
Another added: 'My hair fell out there, exactly same / comforting to know It happens to the best of us - think stress - anyway growing back now - couldn't care anyway. Katie always looks fab'
False: But the brunette was quick to reply to a comment, insisting it was her levels of stress and her five children that were causing the hair loss
Harsh: One of her Instagram followers boldly told her she was going bald
Stress: But Katie was quick to put it down to stress and her five children
Cruel: Katie had a rapid and scathing retort for her online troll
Having a debate: Katie's fans created their own discussion about the bald patch on her head
Katie recently expressed her dislike for her hair at a natural length, posting a make-up free picture, sans extensions, two weeks ago.
She captioned it: 'I absolutely hate my natural look with my hair like this with no extensions what do you think honestly?'
And while Katie's feedback is not without its nasty commenters, the TV personality is largely well supported by her fan following.
'Why so many people commenting nasty about your hair!??' asked one of Katie's 1.4m fans.
'Absolutely hate it': Katie recently told her fans that she couldn't stand her hair natural
Natural: She is not used to wearing her hair without the extra lengths
'God sake guys, if u got nothing nice to say then don't say it at all!.. I didn't even look at that, just watched and listened to your great news! Well done babe x'
Another added: 'I think your hair looks cute in the top knot & it's just the way your hair is parted that makes it look a bit thinner in that area. Some people really need to get a life.'
Hair extensions, which are generally attached by weaving real fibres to the existing strands, can cause permanent damage to the hair.
The weight and the constant pulling can cause the hairs to either break or come out at the follicle.
Wigging out: Katie has also been investing in good quality wigs, and trying them out for her Instagram feed


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Head judge Jason? Strictly stalwart is tipped replace Len

He became one of Britain’s most popular TV personalities, so filling Len Goodman’s ballroom shoes on Strictly Come Dancing was never going to be easy.
But BBC bosses think they might have found just the man to take his seat on the hit show – and he’s right under their noses.
The Mail on Sunday understands Strictly’s chief choreographer Jason Gilkison is a frontrunner for Len’s head judge job.
The Mail on Sunday understands Strictly’s chief choreographer Jason Gilkison is a frontrunner for Len’s head judge job
Show chiefs have decided they need to hire someone with ballroom and Latin knowledge, just like Goodman, 72.
Gilkison, 50, already holds a powerful role as Director of Choreography, meaning he is in charge of helping the professional dancers with their routines and creating the group dances.
He also directed the grand finale routine performed to honour Len’s retirement in December.
Gilkison joined the BBC1 show in 2014 and has gained huge respect for his technical ability and knowledge of the ballroom world.
Producers have also been impressed with his previous performances as a judge on the Australian version of So You Think You Can Dance. He also worked as a choreographer for the US version of Strictly, Dancing with the Stars.
One show source told The Mail on Sunday: ‘Jason is viewed as a perfect replacement for Len.’ A source added: ‘He is being described as a really, really good call by some of the most influential and professional dancers on the show. He is their choice.’
Others believed to be in the running include British ballroom champion Gary Edwards, former professional dancer Karen Hardy and show favourite Anton du Beke. Darcey Bussell is believed to have been ruled out.


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Cindy Crawford says she has cellulite

She may be considered one of the world's most beautiful women.
But even Cindy Crawford, 51, makes no secret of her supposed body flaws, having this week revealed that she, like so many other women, battles with cellulite.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph , the iconic model said: 'I have cellulite. I admit it. But sometimes I just say, 'Screw it, I am going to wear a bikini'.'
'I have cellulite. I admit it. But sometimes I just say, 'Screw it, I am going to wear a bikini'': Cindy Crawford, 51, makes no secret of her supposed body flaws, having this week revealed that she, like so many other women, battles with cellulite
'I don’t look the same as when I was 20 or 30, but the challenge is to embrace that and the life you’ve built along with that,' she told the publication.
The mother-of-two has previously spoken about her body changing over time, telling Net-a-Porter's The Edit magazine that she struggles with body-consciousness and aims to come to terms with her looks.
'I'm a normal woman, sometimes I feel pretty good and some days I'm like, 'Oh, my God, nothing fits,' she said.
In her 2015 novel Becoming By Cindy Crawford, Cindy penned an essay about the pressures of the modelling industry and how she never managed to fit the mould.
'I'm a normal woman': The mother-of-two has previously spoken about her body changing over time, telling Net-a-Porter's The Edit magazine that she struggles with body-consciousness and aims to come to terms with her looks
'I never had a typical model's figure': In her 2015 novel Becoming By Cindy Crawford, Cindy penned an essay about the pressures of the modelling industry and how she never managed to fit the mould
'I never had a typical model's figure. Even when I was starting out and models were a healthy size 6 [Australian size 10], I was still on the voluptuous side,' she wrote.
'Young models are getting thinner and sample sizes are getting smaller. There isn't a chance in hell that I'd be able to squeeze into them,' she later wrote.
'And no matter how great you can feel about yourself, when someone hands you a pair of pants that barely fit halfway up your thighs, it feels awful.'
Genetically blessed! Meanwhile, Cindy's daughter Kaia, 15, is poised to follow in her famous mother's footsteps, having recently become the face of Marc Jacobs Beauty
'The most important message I can promote is one that supports diversity and health,' she added.
Meanwhile, Cindy's daughter Kaia, 15, is poised to follow in her famous mother's footsteps, having recently become the face of Marc Jacobs Beauty.
Speaking to Vogue Australia , Cindy admitted that she has some reservations about her lookalike daughter entering the fast-paced fashion industry.
'The only concern I have for her, and it isn't an issue, is that in the modelling world I hit the top and if she doesn't it might be a lot of pressure for her,' she said.
Cindy added: 'If you a have successful parent and you go into the same business but you're not successful then what?'
Worried: Speaking to Vogue Australia , Cindy admitted that she has some reservations about her lookalike daughter entering the fast-paced fashion industry


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Vanessa Hudgens shows off hippie style in circular shades

For her role as an insurance adjuster on NBC's Powerless, her wardrobe consists of office attire.
Yet on Saturday, Vanessa Hudgens ditched the boardroom look for casual attire while out in West Hollywood.
As she strolled down Melrose Avenue, the starlet kept busy with her cell phone.
Casual walk: On Saturday, Vanessa Hudgens, 28, was spotted on a stroll in West Hollywood
Vanessa kept warm in a cropped hoodie paired with a set of high-waist trousers.
The 28-year-old added extra height to her 5ft 1in frame with black chunky boots.
The brunette beauty accessorized with a choker necklace, a Louis Vuitton purse, and vintage circular shades.
Preoccupied: As she headed down Melrose Avenue, the starlet kept busy with her cell phone
Casual: Vanessa was warm in a cropped hoodie paired with a set of high-waist trousers
Currently, Vanessa stars as insurance adjuster Emily Locke on NBC's Powerless.
The TV show is a comedic look into the world of DC Comics, from a regular person's perspective.
In the show, Vanessa is the new boss of a group of inventors who create products to protect everyday people from the aftermath of superhero events.
Eclectic: The Powerless star added extra height to her 5ft 1in frame with black chunky boots
While the girlfriend of Austin Butler has steady work with the freshman show, she'll continue to keep busy with an additional project.
According to Just Jared Jr. , Vanessa will join Emile Hirsch in a new romantic comedy, The Pre-Nup.
The plot of the film centers around the 'hilarious consequences of an American groom suggesting to his British bride that they should get a pre-nuptial agreement…the night before their wedding,' read a quote from the site.
Eye-catching: The brunette beauty's ensemble stood out with a rose gold jacket


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Kylie Jenner-endorsed tea wraps have 'zero effect'

An Australian doctor has warned people are wasting their money buying one of many products endorsed by celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Megan Fox.
Both the huge stars have posted photos to their social media accounts of them using a 'FitTea wrap'.
The product, which is a wrap applied to the stomach, claims to 'tighten, tone and firm' as well as reduce the appearance of cellulite.
Social media power: Kylie Jenner is one of many celebrites who have been paid to endorse FitTea Wraps
Celebrity style: The wraps, also endorsed by Megan Fox (pictured) claim to reduce cellulite, as well as tighten, tone and firm your stomach
But Dr Sam Hay has told Body and Soul there was 'no scientific evidence' the wraps worked in any way.
'Fat and cellulite have a very low blood supply, so very little of those ingredients [in the wrap] are going to be absorbed through the skin, and even less of it is going to be absorbed into the fat,' he explained.
Despite this, the company seems to be very successful, mostly on the bad of paid celebrity endorsements on social media.
Jenner posted her endorsement to her 87 million Instagram followers on Tuesday, where it got more than 1.4 million likes.
Not what it seems: But Dr Sam Hay (pictured) has said the product has no 'zero impact' and does not work
'People are being hoodwinked': The expert said that the public are 'stupid' if they believe the wraps work
'Enjoying my @fitteawraps they're keeping my tummy toned & lean as it gets closer to summer,' she captioned a photo of her using the product.
The 19-year-old charges up to $300,000 for a single sponsored Instagram post, meaning that companies have to have significant cash to get her endorsement.
And with a legion of fans all over the world, it often proves worth it, with millions buying anything the teenager touches.
Costly: Jenner charges up to $300,000 for a sponsored post on Instagram, so FitTea has splashed out on their ad with her
Balance: Dr Hay said to forget the wraps and instead focus on a healthy diet and exercise if you want to lose weight and tone up
But Dr Hay is very critical of those who are spending their money based on Jenner's posts.
'I am flabbergasted that people are stupid enough to believe in this,' he said. 'There's just no science behind it whatsoever. People are being hoodwinked.'
The expert said that if people want to lose weight the answer is fairly simple: eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly.


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7th grader nails 'terete' for O. C. spelling bee win

COSTA MESA – Silent “e”s and double “r”s. “I”s switched with “a”s and “c”s with “t”s.
And at least one journalist frantically Googling the word for a waxy, flammable, white or transparent solid with a strong aroma to see if it has an “f” or “ph.”
“Camphor, C-A-M-P-H-O-R, Camphor.”
The Orange County Department of Education on Saturday hosted the 54th annual Orange County Spelling Bee, a marathon event featuring 47 students, grades six through eight, from 14 public school districts and 11 private schools.
And in Round 13, seventh-grader Winston Zuo spelled “terete” correctly to earn a spot in this summer’s Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Words in the early rounds ranged in difficulty from “plural” and “innate” to “azimuth” and “nachtmusik.”
Zuo spelled “crinoid” correctly in Round 12 and “uvula” and “telharmonium” in others.
Students used every lifeline at their disposal: country of origin, alternate pronunciations and part of speech.
Through seven rounds, twenty letter-smiths remained.
By the 10th round, the only competitors were Zuo, from Fairmont Private Schools’ Historic Anaheim campus, and Audrey Lim, from St. John’s Episcopal School in Rancho Santa Margarita.
Seven third-place winners received $100. Lim earned $200.
Zuo won complimentary trips to the national competition for himself and a chaperone.
Las Flores Middle School, in the Capistrano Unified School District, had the most participants, with four kids. A contest-high 12 students represented Irvine Unified School District.
Contact the writer: 714-796-7724 or


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Clean-up efforts continue as floodwaters begin to recede in Box Elder County

BOX ELDER COUNTY -- Garland City residents saw a much drier scene than previous days in Box Elder County Saturday. Much of the flood water has receded, but there are still some problem areas.
On resident Justin Wilson's street, pumps are still working around the clock to pull water out of the neighborhood.
"Monday night is the only time I've had sleep," Wilson said, adding he woke up Tuesday morning to find 3 feet of water in his son's room.
Wilson said he moved into his home in October and put around $25,000 into remodeling. He had to rip up new carpet and said he will have to put in new walls, baseboards and furniture. On top of all of that, his home does not have any heat.
"Questar Gas came in here and shut the gas off," he said.
Wilson mentioned he was thankful for his community and his boss, who helped supply space heaters and clothing to keep his family warm.
"Me and my wife and my kids, we're not doing this alone," Wilson said. "There's other people that's out there fighting it. "
Mason Hansen and his dad told Fox 13 News they have had a similar issue. They found a few inches of water in their home, and they also had to rip up all of their carpet.
Mason said all of his friends are talking about the flooding, and he said some have had to move.
"I'm a little worried just because my grandparents have been getting water, and we don't want to have to go through the same thing again," he said.
With warmer weather coming, residents just might have a flooding issue again.
The Red Cross has been helping flood victims throughout the week. Saturday evening they were at the Garland City offices to provide supplies to victims and offer recovery plans to those who simply do not know what to do.
For help, you can call the volunteer center at 435-695-2554.


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Michelle Keegan fires back at split rumours

Rumours at the time surfaced claiming Michelle was growing increasingly close to her Our Girl co-star Luke Pasqualino, who plays maverick Special Forces officer Elvis Harte. The show had launched at a swanky bash in London in September, where the stunning actress ensured her wedding ring was in full focus during the recent launch party, Luke was nowhere to be seen. Reports surfaced claiming Luke had dodged the premiere in a bid to avoid questions about their union, although representatives for BBC and Luke told MailOnline at the time his absence was down to work commitments. The former Coronation Street star - who will celebrate her second wedding anniversary in May - is expected to fly out to South Africa in March and will reportedly be shooting the 10-episode series until November. Previously, it was believed the brunette beauty was looking for a swanky pad in Cape Town while she filmed. The star reportedly wanted a 'modern, airy flat' in Sea Point, Clifton or Camps Bay areas of Cape Town, according to The Sun on Sunday.


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Naomi Watts looks radiant and relaxed in Beverly Hills

Australian actress Naomi Watts is known for her stylish ensembles.
So it's of no surprise that she inspires her pals with her fashionable looks.
The 48-year-old looked radiant and relaxed as a friend joined her in sporting in an almost identical outfit as they enjoyed a spot of shopping and coffee in Beverly Hills on Saturday.
Shopping! Naomi Watts looked radiant and relaxed in an ornately detailed silk jacket as a friend joined her for a spot of shopping and coffee in Beverly Hills on Saturday
The Mulholland Drive actress gleamed with an age-defying glow as she took a stroll through the lavish shopping district.
She wore an ornately detailed black silk jacket with stunning stitched-floral patterns.
The light garment hemmed sharply at the neck, opening down the middle to expose a simple white T-shirt.
Naomi completed her outfit with a pair of skintight blue denim jeans and medium-sized leather handbag with lighter chain straps that contrasted effectively with her darker outerwear.
Denim duo! Shopping wasn't the only thing the friend joined the 48-year-old for, the pair both sporting blue denim jeans, similar hairstyles and near-identical footwear
The mother-of two was joined by a friend who quite literally appeared to be following in her footsteps.
The coffee-holding duo sported similar blonde hairstyles, with Naomi's decision to part her short locks on the other side the only notable difference.
Blue jeans and white tops were clearly the flavour of the day for a pair, with the star's gal-pal opting for a slightly lighter, more relaxed pair of otherwise lookalike bottoms.
The twinning look was completed with the seemingly identical white lace-up shoes, with their footsteps even being caught in the exact same right-foot stride in one image.
Short of hands? Naomi appeared to be short of hands at one point, struggling with an oversized shopping bag and cup of coffee. She freed
Naomi appeared to be short of hands at one point, struggling with an oversized shopping bag and cup of coffee.
She freed a hand by resting the bag over her wrist, looking ready at one point to try and transfer her drink to her now-freed grasp.
Perhaps revealing lunch plans, a crusty baguette loaf stuck out of the top of her shopping haul.
Sorted! A later snap revealed that her drink transfer was in fact successful, the angle revealing the brew came from Farm Shop
A later snap revealed that her drink transfer was in fact successful, the angle revealing the brew came from Farm Shop.
The beauty's plump lips pealed into a smile in the snap as darkly tinted sunglasses covered her refreshed face.
Her blonde locks were nestled behind one ear, spilling onto her ornate jacket.
From happier times: Naomi separated from longtime partner Liev Schreiber (middle) last year after 11 years together
Naomi separated from longtime partner Liev Schreiber last year after 11 years together.
They share custody of son's Alexander, 9 and Samuel, 8.
She returned to acting in 2009 after a brief hiatus around the time of her pregnancies.
The kids: They share custody of son's Alexander, 9 and Samuel, 8


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Extra Course: British desserts at Pleasant House

In this week's Extra Course, ABC7 food reporter Steve Dolinsky talked about some of the traditional British desserts at Pleasant House, including a mini-trifle, a sticky toffee pudding and some of his favorite cookies in town.


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Oscar Contenders Reveal the Other Films They’re Rooting For (Exclusive Video)

Natalie Portman, a front-runner for Best Actress this year for “Jackie,” is rooting for the indie “Moonlight” in this year’s Oscar race.
“I really love ‘Moonlight’ so much,” Portman told TheWrap at this year’s Palm Springs International Film Festival. “I love a lot of things I seen this year.”
She was one of several of this year’s awards contenders who stopped by TheWrap’s interview studio to reveal their favorites this year — other than their own projects.
Also Read: How Many Votes Will It Take to Get an Oscar Nomination in 2017?
“‘La La Land.’ I’m a big fan of Ryan [Gosling],” “Moonlight” star Mahershala Ali said. “There was an effort there to do something that hadn’t quite been done in some time or in that way so I really appreciate that.”
Amy Adams, a Golden Globe nominee for “Arrival,” noted: “Any of the women that are being talked about are so deserving. It’s hard to just pick one. It’s kind of great about being in this category this year you can sort of cheer for everybody you’re supposedly competing against because you’re really excited to be included among them.”
And “Hidden Figures” star Octavia Spencer said, “I’d love to see Viola (Davis) win one. Viola Davis is one of the greatest actresses of our time and we need to crown her.”
Also Read: Will the Oscars 'In Memoriam' Be the Biggest, Saddest Ever?
Spencer’s co-star Jim Parsons added, “Right now based on what I know, would throw my weight behind ‘Moonlight.'”
Watch the video above for their responses and from others as well.
Read original story Oscar Contenders Reveal the Other Films They’re Rooting For (Exclusive Video) At TheWrap


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Body Shamers Can't Stop Miss Canada from Enjoying Her Donuts

Miss Canada Siera Bearchell earned her time in the spotlight for going after body-shamers and confronting how we expect beauty to just come in a certain size. She may not have walked away with a crown but she did capture the favor of many and continues to be a voice to change what we’ve been used to when it comes to beauty standards.
Apparently, she loves us back as she had to return to the Philippines in time for the launch of Tim Hortons . “I love how the people here are so warm and welcoming,” she says. It’s here that we got to have a #PreenPopQuiz with the beauty queen about donuts and the people who try to shame her for eating them.
Sour Cream Glazed. It’s also my guilty pleasure.
Coffee. ( Laughs ) Motivation-wise, well, I’m a law student and I have a lot going on right now so it’s exciting. It’s simply a passion for life. Whatever I’m doing in the moment, makes me motivated.
It depends. When I’m in school, I drink more coffee but usually, I just have one cup a day.
Being rude, having no manners.
In the morning, I have a peanut butter and banana toast. For lunch, some chicken and vegetables. For dinner maybe a tofu stir-fry.
No matter what you do people will always criticize you and you just need to laugh it off. I don’t know what brings people to say the things they do. I want to encourage people to not make those comments rather than talk about how to deal with those comments.
Someone told me that I was promoting obesity which is absolutely ridiculous.
That were airheads. We’re not. We’re intelligent women who have advocacies and passions.
I don’t think I had just one. We were awesome. Miss Japan was my roommate, Miss Cayman Islands was great and so was Miss Barbados.
I am always promoting being confident in who you are, being comfortable in your own skin. We live in a world that promotes our insecurities and focus on the things we should change, so try to be as confident as you can in being who you are.
Photo courtesy of Siera Bearchell’s Instagram account
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Friend of Nigel Farage 'helped the Leave campaign'

Hedge-fund billionaire Robert Mercer offered his data analytics firm's services to the Leave campaign to target voters
A billionaire friend of Nigel Farage and contributor to Trump's campaign fund offered his expertise to help the Leave campaign.
Hedge-fund mogul Robert Mercer co-owns right-wing news organisation Breitbart, as well as data-analytics companies.
His firm, Cambridge Analytica, was paid £4.8 million by the Trump campaign to persuade swing voters to cast their ballot for the property magnate.
He is alleged to have offered his firm's services to Farage for free, according to the Observer .
Mr Mercer also shared his knowledge on how to target voters on Facebook to the Leave campaign .
His work was not mentioned to the electoral commission.
All services worth more than £7,500 should be declared to the independent body.
The US businessman's strategy was to scrape personal data from profiles to learn how their message can be passed around social media networks.
The communications director of, Andy Wigmore, told the Observer: 'They (Cambridge Analytica) were happy to help. Because Nigel is a good friend of the Mercers.
'We shared a lot of information.' founder Arron Banks also told the Observer: 'AI won it for Leave.' founder Arron Banks also told the Observer: 'AI won it for Leave'


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Blac Chyna is spotted without engagement ring after split

Last Thursday, it was reported that she split from on-off fiance Rob Kardashian.
And on Saturday, Blac Chyna was spotted out in Beverly Hills without her engagement ring, possibly confirming the breakup.
The mum-of-two enjoyed time out alone, as neither her son or daughter appeared to be with her.
Surely done? On Saturday, Blac Chyna, 28, was spotted out in Beverly Hills without her engagement ring, possibly confirming the breakup
For her day out, the reality star was comfortable in head-to-toe black.
The mum to King and Dream paired a drawstring T-shirt with a set of skinny athletic trousers, cinching in her waist with the provided belt.
Blac accessorized minimally with a bangle, watch, shades and a bright red handbag.
Noticeably absent was her engagement ring given to her by her ex-fiance.
Absent: A close-up of her left hand revealed her bling-less finger
Keeping it simple: For her day out, the reality star was comfortable in head-to-toe black
Comfortable: The mum to King and Dream paired a drawstring T-shirt with a set of skinny athletic trousers, cinching in her waist with the provided belt
Last Thursday, Us Weekly confirmed that Blac and Rob split yet again.
'Rob thinks it's the right decision. Chyna has disappeared for days at a time without communicating or providing any updates. This won't end well,' a source told the site.
A separate source revealed the reason behind their breakup.
'[It's the same] with her yelling and screaming about how his family doesn't like or support her, and his insecurities.'
Single: Last Thursday, Us Weekly confirmed that Blac split with ex-fiance Rob yet again
'His family doesn't like or support her, and his insecurities': A separate source revealed the reason behind their breakup
The couple have had occasional spats, but perhaps the most explosive was last Christmas.
Rob took to Snapchat to share a video of his empty home.
'So I get home and Chyna took the baby. Took the whole nursery we built. And she just left me alone and took the baby,' he said.
'She just left me alone and took the baby': The couple have had occasional spats, but perhaps the most explosive was last Christmas when Rob took to Snapchat to share a video of his empty home


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Weber State falls to Idaho in OT after rallying from 8 down with 35 seconds left in regulation

MOSCOW, Idaho (AP) — Trevon Allen scored 25 points and Idaho averted disaster after blowing an eight-point lead with 35 seconds left, surviving to beat Weber State 83-78 in overtime on Saturday.
The win gives the Vandals (15-12, 10-6 Big Sky) the season split with the Wildcats, avenging a 25-point drubbing earlier in the year.
Idaho led 72-64 with 25 seconds left, but a series of missed free throws allowed Weber State to roar back and tie it. Kyndahl Hill hit the levelling free throws for Weber State after drawing a foul on an offensive rebound with less than a second remaining.
Weber State (16-11, 11-5) did not trail for the first 4:21 of the overtime, but Allen hit two free throws to give Idaho the lead for good with 39 seconds left. The Vandals ended the extra period on a 7-0 run.
Arkadiy Mkrtychyan added 13 points for Idaho, which moves into a third place tie with the Wildcats in the Big Sky.
Jeremy Senglin scored 31 points for Weber State. Senglin hit five 3-pointers and now has 109 for the season, breaking his own single-season school record.


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Nigella Lawson 'dates' author wrongly jailed for murder

At the time Mr Saatchi laughed off the incident as a 'playful tiff', and accepted a police caution for assault. However, former advertising tycoon Mr Saatchi soon announced via the Mail On Sunday that he would be divorcing Ms Lawson after 10 years of marriage because she refused to defend his reputation following the publication of the photographs. Sources close to Saatchi, now aged 73, had suggested he was willing take his ex-wife to court in order to reveal the ‘truth’ about their break-up following the release of a series of photographs showing him with his hands on her neck.


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2 soldiers wounded in Maguindanao drug raid

COTABATO CITY – Two soldiers were wounded in an Army-led antidrug operation in Datu Paglas, Maguindanao, on Saturday.
Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc, commander of the 33rd Infantry Battalion (IB), led the pre-dawn operation in Barangay Lipao here against Abdulatip Pendaliday alias Commander “Grass Cutter” and 15 of his men.
Pendaliday, one of suspected bigtime drug lords in Maguindanao, surrendered to the police last year at the height of “Oplan Tokhang.”
Cabunoc said elements of 33rd IB and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (PDEA-ARMM) raided two safe houses of Pendaliday in the middle of a banana plantation at about 4 a.m.
A 15-minute fire fight ensued. The suspects, including Pendaliday, were able to flee, but two of his followers were wounded and arrested. Two soldiers were also wounded in the fighting.
Government forces found more than P500,000 in prohibited drugs, paraphernalia, cash and an M-16 assault rifle in the shanties where, according to Cabunoc, Pendaliday conducted his illegal drug business.
“His clients go to the middle of the plantation to avoid detection by government forces,” Cabunoc said.
Pendaliday, Cabunoc said, earlier yielded to police during the “Oplan Tokhang” but had apparently returned to his trade. CBB


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Charles Bronson's bisexual fiancée reveals escort past

Former Coronation Street actress Paula Williamson, 36, spoke about her seven-year career in the sex industry to Bronson during a visit to HMP Wakefield
Charles Bronson's fiancée has admitted to the jail hardman she once worked as a £500-per-night escort and lap-dancer.
Former Coronation Street actress Paula Williamson, 36, spoke about her seven-year career in the sex industry to Bronson during a visit to HMP Wakefield.
In response, the inmate said he was 'proud as punch' about her work - as it 'takes some b****cks'.
Ms Williamson, who has a 'ritual' of seductively eating a banana in front of Bronson 'for his viewing pleasure', said she was forced into the sex trade by poverty.
She once carried out a sex act on a woman whose husband watched with another man as part of a 'VIP' session, reported Gemma Aldridge in The Sunday Mirror .
Bronson, who has spent 43 years behind bars, proposed to Ms Williamson on Valentine's Day.
They are getting married even though they met for the first time last September.
The actress said she used escort work to fund her rent after drama school and had not told her family about her previous life before Bronson.
She told The Sunday Mirror: 'I'm not proud of it just like Charlie's not proud of some of the crimes he has committed.
'I told him what I used to do and he asked me why. I told him it was to pay my way because I have never taken handouts and I was struggling to make the rent.
Ms Williamson, who has a 'ritual' of seductively eating a banana in front of Bronson 'for his viewing pleasure', said she was forced into the sex trade by poverty
The actress has appeared in several British soaps and said they are a 'perfect match'
'He said: "Well, I'm proud as punch because it's not an easy job to do, it takes some b****cks. " He was right. It did.'
Ms Williamson also revealed she dated a female prison officer while working at a lap dancing club.
She stopped working in the sex industry after seven years because the work had begun to 'grind me down emotionally'.
Ms Williamson denies that she is marrying Bronson as a publicity stunt to relaunch her career.
Ms Williamson denies that she is marrying Bronson as a publicity stunt to relaunch her career
She told ITV's Good Morning Britain: 'He's a gentle giant and he is a gentleman. He's very, very caring. He's never hurt a woman, he's never hurt a child.
'He's the first to admit his crimes, but he has served his time for those crimes. He's served fourteen years over his time for those crimes.'
She added: 'I do know Charlie and this is the real deal. I'm very excited to be his fiancée because I'm in love with the man. That's the god's honest truth.'
The dangerous inmate proposed to his girlfriend by serenading her with a personalised version of the Frank Sinatra classic My Way.
He had a diamond cluster ring delivered before asking her 'Do you want to be my missus?'.
Ms Williamson said she completely understands why people would question why she's marrying Britain's most notorious prisoner.
She said: 'Yes, Charlie's the first to admit that he's done a lot of terrifying things and I'm aware of those things.
'However, the Charlie that I know is not the same person that's committed all those offences while he's been incarcerated.
'He is that person, he's committed these offences and he's made these mistakes, but he's a different character now.
'He's 64-years-old and he's 14 years over the tariff he should be. He's up for parole this year anyway.'
The couple exchanged letters while Bronson was engaged to his former partner Lorraine Etherington, secretary of the Charles Bronson Art Foundation which raises money for charity by promoting his drawings.
He proposed to her in 2015 but the couple later split and it is believed he did not meet Ms Williamson until after the end of that relationship.
Bronson, who has been married twice and engaged three times, is believed to have saved up for the ring despite previously getting 'knock-off versions' for his partners.
The couple exchanged letters while Bronson was engaged to his former partner Lorraine Etherington, secretary of the Charles Bronson Art Foundation which raises money for charity by promoting his drawings
The former bare-knuckle boxer was first jailed in 1974 but has had his sentence increased for attacking fellow inmates and taking people hostage
The former bare-knuckle boxer was first jailed in 1974 but has had his sentence increased for attacking fellow inmates and taking people hostage.
Bronson - whose life was made into a 2009 film starring Tom Hardy as the prisoner - has been married twice before, first to Irene Bronson, whom he divorced in 1977 after a five-year marriage.
The couple had one child - Michael - who was born in 1970.
Bronson then married Fatema Saira Rehman, a Bangladeshi-born divorcee, in 2001 after the pair had corresponded after she saw a picture of him in a newspaper.
He briefly converted to Islam during the second marriage, which ended after four years.
Asked about whether their marriage would go the same way Paula said: 'I am a different person to what she is'.