Games

FILE PHOTO: New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft in attendance at a press conference in advance of Super Bowl LIII at Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta
FILE PHOTO: New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft in attendance at a press conference in advance of Super Bowl LIII at Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., January 30, 2019. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

March 21, 2019

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is seeking to suppress video evidence that authorities assert support the solicitation of prostitution charges filed against him, ESPN reported Wednesday.

Per the report, a motion was filed Wednesday by Kraft’s attorneys with intentions to make sure the video, which he said has been described as “graphic and damning,” never is released. The report calls the motion a “warning shot” to prosecutors that Kraft’s team will challenge that police had probable cause even to collect the video as evidence.

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that prosecutors offered to defer prosecution for Kraft and the two dozen other men arrested in the case, but any defendant who accepts the offer must admit that there is enough evidence to lead to a conviction at trial, along with other stipulations. CNN reported Wednesday Kraft will reject the offer.

Kraft entered a not guilty plea after being charged with two misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitution at a day spa in Jupiter, Fla. The 77-year-old billionaire is alleged to have twice visited the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in January and received sex acts in exchange for money.

–Much of the New York Giants’ top brass — including head coach Pat Shurmur, offensive coordinator Mike Shula and senior vice president of player personnel Chris Mara — took Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins to dinner Tuesday night, then studied his on-field drills at the Buckeyes’ Pro Day the following day.

Draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network summed up the action: “Strong workout for Haskins. Improved foot quickness, excellent anticipation and pace on the ball.”

Haskins could be the choice if New York is ready to try to draft the replacement for Eli Manning with the No. 6 overall pick, but there could be competition as other quarterback-needy teams assess their draft positions. Haskins said he would soon meet with the Oakland Raiders (who hold the No. 4 pick), the Denver Broncos (No. 10), the Miami Dolphins (No. 13) and the Washington Redskins (No. 15).

–Also in Columbus, potential No. 1 overall pick Nick Bosa did not participate in on-field drills after performing well in drill work at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine.

He said he had meetings scheduled with the San Francisco 49ers, who hold the No. 2 pick, and the Giants. He also interviewed with all the top teams at the combine, including Arizona, which picks first. Bosa had 29 tackles for loss, including 17.5 sacks, in 29 career games for the Buckeyes.

–Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin told Sports Radio 950 KJR in Seattle that “more surgeries (are) on the way, most likely,” while the NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo cited a source in saying that Baldwin will meet with Dr. William Meyers in Philadelphia in early April about a potential sports hernia.

Baldwin, 30, missed two games in September with a knee injury and a shoulder problem arose later in the campaign. He had surgeries to address both issues this offseason.

–The Tampa Bay Buccaneers added two women as assistant coaches, making them the first full-time female coaches in team history and making the Bucs the first NFL team with two female coaches on staff. Maral Javadifar will take on the role as assistant strength and conditioning coach as Lori Locust will be an assistant defensive line coach.

–Quarterback Trevor Siemian has agreed to a reported one-year deal worth $2 million with the New York Jets. Siemian spent all of last season on Minnesota’s active roster, although he did not play as Kirk Cousins’ backup after the Vikings acquired him in a trade with Denver last March. Siemian, 27, started 24 games for the Broncos over the 2016 and ’17 seasons, passing for 5,686 yards and 30 touchdowns against 24 interceptions.

–The Minnesota Vikings, in search of help at offensive guard, announced the signing of Josh Kline, who was released last week by the Tennessee Titans. The deal is for three years and $15.75 million, according to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. … The Chicago Bears re-signed punter Patrick O’Donnell and backup quarterback Tyler Bray.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Cleveland Cavaliers
Mar 20, 2019; Cleveland, OH, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) reacts on the bench in the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

March 21, 2019

The Milwaukee Bucks played without All-Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo for a second consecutive game Wednesday night as he continues to nurse a sprained right ankle.

Antetokounmpo, a candidate for MVP, did not play in the Bucks’ road game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday. He also missed Tuesday’s victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, who were without their own superstar, LeBron James (sore left groin).

Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said of Antetokounmpo before Wednesday’s game, “He’s making progress, he just can’t go tonight. It’s us hopefully being smart and being somewhat cautious, but it’s more than that. He can’t play. We’ll see how the next 24-48 hours go, and I’m hopeful he’ll be in a good place as we move forward.”

The NBA-best Bucks (53-19) fell 107-102 to the Cavaliers, who own the third-worst record in the league at 19-53. Milwaukee returns home Friday for a game against the Miami Heat.

–Bucks power forward Nikola Mirotic will miss two-to-four weeks with a “slight fracture” of his left thumb, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported.

The Bucks acquired Mirotic from the New Orleans Pelicans at the trade deadline to provide depth off the bench. The team confirmed the injury but did not update his status.

Since the trade, Mirotic has played in 14 games (three starts), averaging 11.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 22.9 minutes per game. Mirotic sustained the injury in the Bucks’ 115-101 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday. The injury likely will keep him out the rest of the regular season.

–The NBA Summer League will have an international flavor in 2019, as the Chinese and Croatian national teams will join all 30 NBA teams in participating in the league, which will be held July 5-15 in Las Vegas, the NBA announced.

Team China played in Las Vegas at the 2007 NBA Summer League, but Team Croatia is making its debut at the event, marking the first time the league will have two international teams.

Each of the 32 teams will play four preliminary games, with the top eight teams seeded into a tournament to determine the champion. Those that don’t make the championship bracket will play a consolation game.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

MLB: Spring Training-Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays
Mar 10, 2019; Port Charlotte, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts (50) grounds out against the Tampa Bay Rays in the fourth inning at Charlotte Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

March 21, 2019

Reigning American League Most Valuable Player Mookie Betts said Wednesday he doesn’t expect to sign a contract extension with the Boston Red Sox, instead planning to enter the 2019 season playing under his existing one-year, $20 million deal before becoming a free agent next offseason.

Betts confirmed to reporters he rejected an offer of eight years and $200 million following the 2017 season, as first reported by Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

With baseball’s brightest young stars now committed to monster deals — Manny Machado (San Diego, 10 years/$300 million), Bryce Harper (Philadelphia, 13 years/$330 million) and Mike Trout (Los Angeles Angels, 12 years/reportedly $430 million) — Betts, 26, will command much more than $200 million if he remains on his career trajectory.

In 2018, Betts led the AL with a .346 batting average, a .640 slugging percentage and 129 runs. His .438 on-base percentage ranked second to Trout’s .460 mark. He displayed power and speed, with a career-high 32 home runs and 30 stolen bases.

–Without yet playing in a major league game, outfielder Eloy Jimenez agreed to a six-year deal worth a guaranteed $43 million with the Chicago White Sox, multiple outlets reported.

The deal, which also includes two option years, is a record in guaranteed money for a player already in a team’s system who had not logged a day of big league time. Jimenez, 22, has played in the White Sox organization since 2017 when he was acquired in the deal that sent left-hander Jose Quintana to the Chicago Cubs.

Because the contract will take him into his initial free agency years, the White Sox can put Jimenez on the major league roster now without worrying about starting his free-agency clock. He is expected to be in the team’s Opening Day lineup.

–Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw threw a simulated inning as he continues his build-up process for the regular season, one day after it was announced that he would begin the season on the injured list.

Kershaw, who turned 31 on Tuesday, is working through shoulder inflammation that appeared at the start of spring training. He threw 22 pitches on a back field at the Dodgers’ spring training complex at Glendale, Ariz. He faced batters in the batter’s box, though none of them took any swings.

There is no timetable on Kershaw’s return, but if he pitches that first full inning against hitters in the next week or so, there is a chance he could rejoin the Dodgers at some point in the second half of April.

–Chuck Harmon, the Cincinnati Reds’ first African-American player, who has already been honored with a plaque outside Great American Ball Park, died on Tuesday, the team announced. He was 94. Seven years after Jackie Robinson made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Harmon took the field for the Reds in 1954. He played in 289 career games, 203 of those in three seasons with the Reds, batting .238 with seven home runs and 59 RBIs.

–New York Yankees guest instructor Lee Mazzilli, who turns 64 next Monday, was scheduled to spend the night in the hospital after being struck in the head by a ball during batting practice at Tampa, Fla., according to published reports. Mazzilli played 14 big league seasons and batted .259 with 93 homers and 460 RBIs, and played for the Yankees for 37 games in 1982.

–Right-hander Ryan Pressly signed a two-year extension reportedly worth $17.5 million with the Houston Astros that takes him through the 2021 season, the team announced. The deal also reportedly has a $10 million vesting option for the 2022 season. … The Tampa Bay Rays and prospect Brandon Lowe have agreed on a six-year, $24 million deal, according to a report by The Athletic. Lowe, 24, is No. 93 on Baseball America’s list of Top 100 prospects and can play both infield and outfield.

–Detroit right-hander Michael Fulmer, who turned 26 last week, has decided to proceed with Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow. … The Baltimore Orioles decided to part ways with shortstop Alcides Escobar, granting the veteran his unconditional release. … The San Francisco Giants agreed on a minor league contract with Matt Joyce one day after the veteran outfielder was released by the Cleveland Indians.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

MLB: Spring Training-Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays
Mar 10, 2019; Port Charlotte, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts (50) grounds out against the Tampa Bay Rays in the fourth inning at Charlotte Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

March 21, 2019

Reigning American League Most Valuable Player Mookie Betts said Wednesday he doesn’t expect to sign a contract extension with the Boston Red Sox, instead planning to enter the 2019 season playing under his existing one-year, $20 million deal before becoming a free agent next offseason.

Betts confirmed to reporters he rejected an offer of eight years and $200 million following the 2017 season, as first reported by Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

With baseball’s brightest young stars now committed to monster deals — Manny Machado (San Diego, 10 years/$300 million), Bryce Harper (Philadelphia, 13 years/$330 million) and Mike Trout (Los Angeles Angels, 12 years/reportedly $430 million) — Betts, 26, will command much more than $200 million if he remains on his career trajectory.

In 2018, Betts led the AL with a .346 batting average, a .640 slugging percentage and 129 runs. His .438 on-base percentage ranked second to Trout’s .460 mark. He displayed power and speed, with a career-high 32 home runs and 30 stolen bases.

–Without yet playing in a major league game, outfielder Eloy Jimenez agreed to a six-year deal worth a guaranteed $43 million with the Chicago White Sox, multiple outlets reported.

The deal, which also includes two option years, is a record in guaranteed money for a player already in a team’s system who had not logged a day of big league time. Jimenez, 22, has played in the White Sox organization since 2017 when he was acquired in the deal that sent left-hander Jose Quintana to the Chicago Cubs.

Because the contract will take him into his initial free agency years, the White Sox can put Jimenez on the major league roster now without worrying about starting his free-agency clock. He is expected to be in the team’s Opening Day lineup.

–Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw threw a simulated inning as he continues his build-up process for the regular season, one day after it was announced that he would begin the season on the injured list.

Kershaw, who turned 31 on Tuesday, is working through shoulder inflammation that appeared at the start of spring training. He threw 22 pitches on a back field at the Dodgers’ spring training complex at Glendale, Ariz. He faced batters in the batter’s box, though none of them took any swings.

There is no timetable on Kershaw’s return, but if he pitches that first full inning against hitters in the next week or so, there is a chance he could rejoin the Dodgers at some point in the second half of April.

–Chuck Harmon, the Cincinnati Reds’ first African-American player, who has already been honored with a plaque outside Great American Ball Park, died on Tuesday, the team announced. He was 94. Seven years after Jackie Robinson made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Harmon took the field for the Reds in 1954. He played in 289 career games, 203 of those in three seasons with the Reds, batting .238 with seven home runs and 59 RBIs.

–New York Yankees guest instructor Lee Mazzilli, who turns 64 next Monday, was scheduled to spend the night in the hospital after being struck in the head by a ball during batting practice at Tampa, Fla., according to published reports. Mazzilli played 14 big league seasons and batted .259 with 93 homers and 460 RBIs, and played for the Yankees for 37 games in 1982.

–Right-hander Ryan Pressly signed a two-year extension reportedly worth $17.5 million with the Houston Astros that takes him through the 2021 season, the team announced. The deal also reportedly has a $10 million vesting option for the 2022 season. … The Tampa Bay Rays and prospect Brandon Lowe have agreed on a six-year, $24 million deal, according to a report by The Athletic. Lowe, 24, is No. 93 on Baseball America’s list of Top 100 prospects and can play both infield and outfield.

–Detroit right-hander Michael Fulmer, who turned 26 last week, has decided to proceed with Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow. … The Baltimore Orioles decided to part ways with shortstop Alcides Escobar, granting the veteran his unconditional release. … The San Francisco Giants agreed on a minor league contract with Matt Joyce one day after the veteran outfielder was released by the Cleveland Indians.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

Google vice president and general manager Phil Harrison speaks during a Google keynote address announcing a new video gaming streaming service named Stadia at the Gaming Developers Conference in San Francisco
Google vice president and general manager Phil Harrison speaks during a Google keynote address announcing a new video gaming streaming service named Stadia that attempts to capitalize on the company’s cloud technology and global network of data centers, at the Gaming Developers Conference in San Francisco, California, U.S., March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

March 21, 2019

By Paresh Dave

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A Google executive offered new details on Wednesday about the company’s upcoming video game streaming service, telling Reuters that game makers may use competing cloud providers and must avoid some inappropriate content.

Google, owned by Alphabet Inc, unveiled Stadia on Tuesday, saying the service launching this year would make playing high-quality video games in an internet browser as easy as watching a movie on its YouTube service.

The game would operate on Google’s servers, receiving commands from a user’s controller and sending video streams to their screen. Player settings, leaderboards, matchmaking tools and other data related to the game would “not necessarily” have to reside on Google’s servers, Phil Harrison, a Google vice president, said in an interview.

Hosting the data elsewhere, however, could lead to slower loading times or less crisp streaming quality, he said.

“Obviously, we would want and incentivize the publisher to bring as much of their backend as possible” to Google servers, he said. “But Stadia can reach out to other public and private cloud services.”

The approach could limit Google’s revenue from Stadia. It has declined to comment on the business model for the new service, but attracting new customers to Google’s paid cloud computing program is one of Stadia’s aims.

If a game publisher was using Amazon for some tools, “the first thing I would do is introduce you to the Google Cloud team,” Harrison said.

In addition, Stadia will require games to follow content guidelines that build upon the system of Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), a self-regulatory body, he said.

“We absolutely will not have A-O content,” Harrison said, referring to the ESRB’s moniker for the rare designation of a game as adult-only because of intense violence, pornography or real-money gambling.

He said Stadia’s guidelines would not be public.

Asked about growing public concerns about game addiction, Harrison said Stadia would empower parents with controls on “what you play, when you play and who you play with.”

Google views Stadia as connecting its various efforts in gaming, including selling them on its mobile app store, Harrison said. But game streaming, he said, is an opportunity to tackle among the most complex technical challenges around and potentially apply breakthroughs to other industries.

“We think we can grow a very significant games market vertical,” he said. “And by getting this right we can advance the state of the art of computing.”

(Reporting by Paresh Dave; Editing by Leslie Adler)

Source: OANN

David Hookstead | Reporter

March Madness begins Thursday, and that’s great news for everybody.

This is the time of year that we wait for and dream about for months on end. This is the time of year that separates the boys from the men. This is what college basketball is all about.

A total of 64 teams (I’m ignoring dumb play-in games) will begin their journey to a championship today. Of them, 65 will fall short and fail. Only one will cut down the nets. The stakes couldn’t get any higher.

The first matchup will between Minnesota and Louisville shortly after noon, and it’ll only get crazier from there. You can see the full slate of games here(RELATED: The March Madness Bracket Has Been Released)

I also want to congratulate all of you who will be taking this journey with me for another run through March and into early April. The eyes of the world are upon us as we prepare to do battle against one another.

While I might hate you all on the court, we share a bond as college basketball fans that is simply unbreakable. We walked on the moon and we play basketball. Find me another country that can say the same.

You can’t.

I hope you all are even a fraction as excited as I am. We’re going to drink some beers, debate nonstop for the next three weeks, win some money (probably won’t come out on top) and maybe we’ll even get smitten with a few young ladies that share our desires for great post defense, boxing out and working the shot clock. If only we could be so lucky.

As for me and by Wisconsin faithful, we’re hunkered down and ready for a long siege if it comes to it. We’re at DEFCON 2, gentlemen. With any luck, we’ll be at DEFCON 1 by the time the sun goes down at the end of the weekend. (RELATED: Watch Wisconsin Beat Kentucky In The 2015 Final Four)

The further our teams advance, the higher the stakes will get. Welcome to the world of college sports. My Badgers are going to show up and show out, and I don’t care who we steamroll in the process.

Doubt us at your own peril.

Get your beers cold, get your bets placed and get ready for a hell of a lot of fun. This is what we train for. Now, it’s time to go out there and execute our way to a championship.

Godspeed to all of you. It’s been a hell of a ride, and it’s been my honor to share this season with each and every one of you.

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: MLB: Chicago White Sox-Media Day
FILE PHOTO: Feb 21, 2019; Glendale, AZ, USA; Chicago White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez (74) poses for a photo on photo day at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

March 20, 2019

Without playing in a major league game, outfielder Eloy Jimenez agreed to a six-year deal worth a guaranteed $43 million with the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday, multiple outlets reported.

The deal, which also includes two option years, is a record in guaranteed money for a player already in a team’s system who had not logged a day of big league time. Jimenez has played in the White Sox’s organization since 2017 when he was acquired in the deal that sent left-hander Jose Quintana to the Chicago Cubs.

Including the options, Jimenez’s contract would be worth $77 million, according to ESPN.

Jimenez, the White Sox’s top prospect, had already been assigned to Triple-A Charlotte to start the upcoming season, but the deal means that he is now expected to be in the team’s Opening Day lineup on March 28 at Kansas City.

Because the contract will take him into his initial free agency years, the White Sox can put Jimenez on the major league roster now without worrying about starting his free-agency clock. If he played three weeks in the minor leagues to start this season, it would have delayed his move into free agency by one year. The new contract eliminates that scenario.

Jimenez, 22, batted .337 with 22 home runs and 75 RBIs in 108 games last season between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte. He is a .311 hitter in five minor league seasons with 65 home runs.

The previous record in guaranteed money for a player already in an organization was the six years and $24 million the Philadelphia Phillies agreed to with Scott Kingery last March. The previous record before that was the $10 million guarantee between Jon Singleton and the Houston Astros in 2014.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: MLB: Chicago White Sox-Media Day
FILE PHOTO: Feb 21, 2019; Glendale, AZ, USA; Chicago White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez (74) poses for a photo on photo day at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

March 20, 2019

Without playing in a major league game, outfielder Eloy Jimenez agreed to a six-year deal worth a guaranteed $43 million with the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday, multiple outlets reported.

The deal, which also includes two option years, is a record in guaranteed money for a player already in a team’s system who had not logged a day of big league time. Jimenez has played in the White Sox’s organization since 2017 when he was acquired in the deal that sent left-hander Jose Quintana to the Chicago Cubs.

Including the options, Jimenez’s contract would be worth $77 million, according to ESPN.

Jimenez, the White Sox’s top prospect, had already been assigned to Triple-A Charlotte to start the upcoming season, but the deal means that he is now expected to be in the team’s Opening Day lineup on March 28 at Kansas City.

Because the contract will take him into his initial free agency years, the White Sox can put Jimenez on the major league roster now without worrying about starting his free-agency clock. If he played three weeks in the minor leagues to start this season, it would have delayed his move into free agency by one year. The new contract eliminates that scenario.

Jimenez, 22, batted .337 with 22 home runs and 75 RBIs in 108 games last season between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte. He is a .311 hitter in five minor league seasons with 65 home runs.

The previous record in guaranteed money for a player already in an organization was the six years and $24 million the Philadelphia Phillies agreed to with Scott Kingery last March. The previous record before that was the $10 million guarantee between Jon Singleton and the Houston Astros in 2014.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: MLB: Spring Training-Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays
FILE PHOTO: Mar 10, 2019; Port Charlotte, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts (50) takes the field prior to a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

March 20, 2019

Reigning American League Most Valuable Player Mookie Betts said Wednesday he doesn’t expect to sign a contract extension with the Boston Red Sox.

He told Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald he’s firm that he will enter the 2019 season playing under his existing one-year, $20 million deal.

“That’s exactly what I expect,” the outfielder said. “Didn’t expect anything to happen until I’m a free agent.”

Betts confirmed to reporters he rejected an offer of eight years and $200 million following the 2017 season, first reported by Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

Betts can become a free agent after the 2020 season.

With baseball’s brightest young stars now committed to monster deals — Manny Machado (San Diego, 10 years/$300 million) Bryce Harper (Philadelphia, 13 years/$330 million) and Mike Trout (finalizing a reported 12-year, $430 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels) — Betts will command much more than $200 million if he remains on his career trajectory.

And he knows it.

“I love it here in Boston. It’s a great spot. I’ve definitely grown to love going up north in the cold,” Betts, a 26-year-old Tennessee native, told reporters. .”.. That doesn’t mean I want to sell myself short of my value.”

In 2018, Betts led the AL with a .346 batting average, a .640 slugging percentage and 129 runs. His .438 on-base percentage ranked second to Trout’s .460 mark. He displayed power and speed, hitting 32 home runs and stealing 30 bases.

In 644 career games over four-plus seasons with the Red Sox, Betts has a .303 career batting average, 110 home runs, 110 stolen bases and 390 RBIs.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Dallas Mavericks
Mar 18, 2019; Dallas, TX, USA; A view of the arena during the game between the Dallas Mavericks and the New Orleans Pelicans at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

March 20, 2019

The NBA Summer League will have an international flavor in 2019.

The Chinese and Croatian national teams will join all 30 NBA teams in participating in the league, which will be held July 5-15 in Las Vegas, the NBA announced Wednesday.

Team China played in Las Vegas at the 2007 NBA Summer League, but Team Croatia is making its debut at the event, marking the first time the league will have two international teams.

Each of the 32 teams will play four preliminary games, with the top eight teams seeded into a tournament to determine the champion. Those that don’t make the championship bracket will play a consolation game.

Every NBA team will participate in Las Vegas for the second consecutive year. The Portland Trail Blazers beat the Los Angeles Lakers for the 2018 title.

China will host and participate in the 32-team FIBA World Cup, which begins Aug. 31. Croatia did not make the field.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

David Hookstead | Reporter

An awesome fails compilation video of the Los Angeles Lakers has gone viral on Twitter.

Twitter user “Rob Perez” shared the incredible video of lowlights from the past season for LeBron James and his teammates set to One Shining Moment music.

If you’re a fan of basketball, then it’ll be laugh-out-loud funny for you. Give it a watch below:

It is truly spectacular how bad the Lakers turned out to be this season. LeBron set the sports world on fire when he signed there, and it just turned the team into a massive circus.

You have the three-time NBA champion being ignored by teammates, bouncing balls into TV sets, not playing defense and walking off the floor before games are over(RELATED: LeBron James Appears To Bounce Ball Into TV Broadcast On Purpose)

It’s a comedy of errors in Los Angeles.

I have no idea how the Lakers are going to get this sinking ship turned around, but they better figure it out fast. They simply can’t afford to have another season like the one they just experienced. The fans and the league won’t tolerate it.

They need to get LeBron some help, and King James needs to start motiving his guys better. He needs to lead by example, which hasn’t exactly been happening lately.

If they don’t get this circus fixed, then I suppose we’ll just keep laughing in unison. I’m sure LeBron would really love that.

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

Miller Lite isn’t playing games when it comes to responding to Bud Light.

Bud Light has had an impressive and humorous “Dilly Dilly” campaign centered around a medieval time period. Even as an avid Miller guy, I enjoy the commercials.

They even joined forces with “Game of Thrones” for a Super Bowl spot(RELATED: These Are The Sexiest Photos Of ‘Game Of Thrones‘ Star Emilia Clarke On The Internet)

They’ve also taken shots at the fact Miller is brewed with corn syrup, which is why I think my favorite beer company felt the need to retaliate.

Miller released two new commercials parodying the medieval theme, and about how “in the real world more taste is what matters.”

Watch both of the new videos below, which will both run heavily during March Madness.

As a fan of beer, I love the fact the these two major powers are now in an epic advertising battle. Competition makes everybody better, and it looks like Miller Lite has had enough of Bud’s antics. That means war, and that should make fans of comedy everywhere happy.

It’s a bold strategy to literally rip Bud’s entire concept and mock it for being fake. That’s the kind of strategy I can get behind.

The question now is how will Bud Light respond? I mean, Miller just came for their heads. They tried to dome them. You can’t just take that without a huge response.

This is like a nuclear war-escalation scenario. Expect Bud to hit back and hit back hard. I want this to get ugly, and I’ll be sipping a cold brew the whole time as I laugh nonstop.

Well played, Miller. Well played.

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

The NCAA tournament begins Thursday, and I couldn’t be more excited.

Throughout the history of March Madness, there have been lots of incredible moments. There’s Christian Laettner’s shot to beat Kentucky for Duke, North Carolina State’s improbable run, Wisconsin upsetting Kentucky, Butler making back-to-back finals and so many more. (RELATED: The March Madness Bracket Has Been Released)

Luckily, there’s a great video that captures all of those chilling moments for the fans. If you’re a fan of college basketball, then you need to see this video.

It’s the perfect way to prepare for the games on the horizon. Give it a watch below. (RELATED: Watch Wisconsin Beat Kentucky In The 2015 Final Four)

Who else is ready to run through a wall right now? I’m so amped. I’m not sure that I can wait until tomorrow. I want the games to start, and I want them to start right now.

There are always so many great storylines to follow. Who will win it all? Who will go down in flames? These are the questions that keep us on the edge of our seats as every second ticks off the clock.

The tournament is all about the highest of highs (beating Kentucky), and the lowest of lows (losing to Duke in the title game). You have to keep your head on a swivel at all times.

I don’t want to be friends with anybody who disagrees with the monumental importance of this sporting event.  Check out the entire bracket below, and let us know in the comments your favorite memories.

Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

Large portions of the country think Duke will be cutting down the nets when March Madness ends.

Sportsbetting.ag put together a map with each state’s most popular championship prediction based off geotagged Twitter data, and Duke was the favorite in 20 states. (RELATED: The March Madness Bracket Has Been Released)

Gonzaga is in second with nine states picking them to win. You can see the full map below.

March Madness map (Credit: SportsBetting.Ag)

March Madness map (Credit: SportsBetting.Ag)

First off, is anybody even surprised Duke is the heavy favorite in nearly half the country? I don’t think so. I’ve been saying for the past few days that they look borderline unstoppable, and anybody with eyes probably agrees.

Coach K’s guy’s out here determined to take souls.

Secondly, I love the fact Wisconsin is all in on the Badgers, a five seed, winning the tournament. That’s the kind of confidence that sets us apart from the rest of the country.

Sure, we’ve looked terrible at times down the stretch. You think that’s going to slow us down one bit? Not a snowball’s chance in hell. (RELATED: Watch Wisconsin Beat Kentucky In The 2015 Final Four)

We’re all in. Put Duke, Virginia or anybody else in front of us, and we’ll do what we always do. Ball out and win games when the lights are on and the stakes are high.

Finally, I love the delusion of people in Nevada. The Wolfpack are a seven seed, and people think they actually have a legit shot at winning the whole damn thing.

Good for them. Life must be easy when you live with that level of delusion. I almost envy that kind of blind optimism because Nevada’s best case scenario is to get murdered in the second round by Michigan.

I guess Vegas really can rattle the brain after enough time.

Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

The American Athletic Conference has agreed to a monster television deal with ESPN.

Sports Business Journal reported the following Tuesday:

The American Athletic Conference will get $1B for its media rights from ESPN over 12 years, according to sources. The average of $83.3 million per year is about four times what the AAC was making in its previous rights agreement with the net, which paid the league just over $20 million annually. The new agreement begins in ’20-21 and runs through the ’31-32 academic year.

The annual per-school average of $6.94M provides each AAC school with nearly $5M more in annual revenue.

I couldn’t believe this was real when I saw the numbers. The AAC? Is this a joke? Outside of UCF, literally nobody cares about the AAC. Nobody without ties to the conference gives a damn about their football games. (RELATED: Clemson Beats Alabama For National Title)

Sure, we all enjoy UCF tearing it up, but I don’t think people are clamoring to see UConn and Tulsa battle it out. What an incredible high-stakes matchup that’ll be over the next 12 years!

If this is the kind of money the AAC is getting these days, I can’t even begin to imagine what the Big Ten and SEC could get today if they renegotiated everything. What are we thinking? $10 billion? $15 billion?

Both conferences are about 100 times more important the AAC, and they just got a cool billion. These are the facts, and they don’t care about your feelings.

I’m honestly floored they got $1 billion. Again, outside of UCF, I wouldn’t pay $10 for a ticket to most AAC games, and I’m about as rabid of a college football fan as you’ll ever see.

Something tells me that ESPN is really going to regret this decision.

Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

Memphis Express quarterback Johnny Manziel seems like he’s done a lot of reflection over the past few years.

The Texas A&M Heisman winner held his first press conference since joining the AAF, and seemed very aware of the importance of football in his life.

“I’ve done a lot of soul searching and a lot of looking at myself in the mirror and coming to the realization that when I’m on a football field and on a team, my life is substantially better,” Manziel told the media Monday afternoon. (RELATED: Johnny Manziel Signs With The Memphis Express In The AAF)

He also added that “life isn’t all about football.” You can watch his comments below.

It’s wild how much it seems like Manziel has grown and matured over the past couple years. There was one point where it looked like he was on a path with a tragic end.

Now, he seems to have grown up, learned the mistakes of his past and is ready to get to work in the AAF(RELATED: Johnny Manziel Shows Off Arm Strength)

The addition of the college football legend really is a great sign for the Alliance of American Football. He adds instant name credibility, and will draw plenty of eyeballs for games on TV.

Manziel and the Express play Sunday night against the Birmingham Iron on the NFL Network. I have a feeling that plenty of people will be watching.

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

NHL: Washington Capitals at New Jersey Devils
Mar 19, 2019; Newark, NJ, USA; Washington Capitals right wing Brett Connolly (10) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the New Jersey Devils during the second period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

March 20, 2019

Brett Connolly had a goal and an assist, and the Washington Capitals defeated the New Jersey Devils 4-1 on Tuesday night in Newark, N.J., to move into sole possession of first place in the Metropolitan Division.

Andre Burakovsky, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Tom Wilson also scored for Washington. Nicklas Backstrom collected his 50th assist of the season, and Pheonix Copley made 20 saves.

Kenny Agostino scored, and Mackenzie Blackwood made 18 saves for the Devils, who have lost two straight.

Blues 7, Oilers 2

Jaden Schwartz capped his hat trick with a power-play goal at 18:48 of the third period as St. Louis defeated visiting Edmonton.

David Perron added two goals and an assist, and Alex Pietrangelo and Pat Maroon also scored for the Blues. Jordan Binnington made 15 saves to improve to 14-3-0 in his past 17 starts.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Zack Kassian scored for the Oilers. Mikko Koskinen stopped 17 of 20 shots before being pulled 5:42 into the second period after the Blues took a three-goal lead. Connor McDavid failed to tally a point, ending his 12-game scoring streak.

Flames 4, Blue Jackets 2

Michael Frolik scored the winning goal in a two-point night, and David Rittich was sensational while making 31 saves as host Calgary defeated Columbus. The Flames moved three points ahead of the San Jose Sharks for top spot in the Pacific Division and the Western Conference.

While Rittich had incredible fortune on his side with the Blue Jackets ringing four pucks off iron, he was outstanding all game, including a one-sided third period in which he stopped 11 shots.

Andrew Mangiapane, Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk added goals for Calgary, which has won four of its past five games. Zach Werenski and Oliver Bjorkstrand scored for the Blue Jackets.

Stars 4, Panthers 2

Alexander Radulov scored two goals, including the winner with 9:28 to play in the third period, and Tyler Seguin had four assists to lift host Dallas to a victory over Florida.

Dallas is now four points ahead of idle Arizona for the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Florida lost its second straight and is now 4-2-0 in its past six games.

Jamie Benn and John Klingberg collected the Stars’ other goals. Aleksander Barkov tallied twice for the Panthers.

Avalanche 3, Wild 1

Philipp Grubauer made 36 saves, Tyson Barrie, Tyson Jost and Ian Cole scored, and Colorado won at Saint Paul, Minn.

The Avalanche won their second in a row to tighten the Western Conference wild-card race. Colorado moved within a point of the Wild and within two points of Arizona. The Coyotes currently hold the second wild-card spot.

Zach Parise had a goal, and Devan Dubnyk stopped 35 shots for Minnesota. The Wild have lost two in a row, and they fell to 2-7-3 in their past 12 home games.

Predators 3, Maple Leafs 0

Brian Boyle, Wayne Simmonds and Filip Forsberg scored goals, Pekka Rinne stopped 22 shots, and Nashville defeated visiting Toronto.

Rinne has four shutouts this season, and the past two have been against the Maple Leafs. He has 55 career shutouts.

Ryan Johansen had two assists for the Predators, who managed only 20 shots on goal but won their third in a row. Frederik Andersen finished with 17 saves for the Maple Leafs.

Bruins 5, Islanders 0

Sean Kuraly scored two goals in a regular-season game for the first time in his career, and Tuukka Rask stopped all 13 shots he faced as Boston cruised to a win at Uniondale, N.Y.

The Bruins have won two straight following a three-game losing streak. Boston allowed 15 goals in the skid but has given up just one goal in its last two games. Jake DeBrusk, Patrice Bergeron and Noel Acciari also scored for the Bruins.

The Islanders lost for the second time in three games (1-2-0). New York goalie Robin Lehner, who played for the first time since sustaining what was believed to be a concussion on March 5, made 34 saves.

Hurricanes 3, Penguins 2 (SO)

Dougie Hamilton scored on the first attempt of a shootout, and that was enough for Carolina in a victory against Pittsburgh at Raleigh, N.C.

The Hurricanes made it past regulation when Justin Williams scored the tying goal with 1:56 left in the third period after the Hurricanes opted to go with an extra skater.

Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang scored with 4:37 remaining, but the Penguins couldn’t hold on.

Red Wings 3, Rangers 2

Jimmy Howard made 41 saves, and Andreas Athanasiou scored twice as Detroit opened a five-game road trip by holding on for a victory over New York.

Howard helped the Red Wings sweep the three-game season series with the Rangers by making at least 40 saves for the fifth time this season and 21st time in his career.

Detroit’s Frans Nielsen scored in the first period, and Athanasiou tallied in the second before adding an empty-net goal in the final minute. Ryan Strome and Brendan Smith were the Rangers’ goal-scorers.

Canadiens 3, Flyers 1

Goals from Brendan Gallagher, Shea Weber and Max Domi carried Montreal to a win at Philadelphia.

Andrew Shaw tallied two assists and Carey Price stopped 32 shots for the Canadiens.

Sean Couturier scored and Carter Hart made 33 saves for the Flyers, who took a second straight home loss for the first time since early January.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Sacramento Kings
Mar 19, 2019; Sacramento, CA, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard D’Angelo Russell (1) defends Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox (5) during the fourth quarter at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

March 20, 2019

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored the winning layup with 0.8 seconds remaining as the Brooklyn Nets overcame a 25-point, fourth-quarter deficit to post a stunning 123-121 victory over the host Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night.

D’Angelo Russell scored 27 of his career-high 44 points in the fourth quarter as the Nets outscored the Kings 45-18 to improve to 1-3 on a seven-game road trip.

Hollis-Jefferson scored 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting and drove through the lane to convert the winning basket. Jarrett Allen scored 13 points, and Spencer Dinwiddie added 10 for Brooklyn.

Marvin Bagley III scored 28 points, and De’Aaron Fox had 27 points and nine assists for Sacramento. Harrison Barnes scored 17 points, Nemanja Bjelica had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Bogdan Bogdanovic added 10 points for the Kings.

Rockets 121, Hawks 105

Clint Capela posted his sixth straight double-double with 26 points and 11 rebounds, and visiting Houston topped Atlanta to extend its winning streak to three games.

James Harden added 31 points, sinking 11 of 12 from the line, and had 10 assists and eight rebounds. Danuel House Jr. came off the bench to score 19, including six 3-pointers. Chris Paul scored 13 and had 11 assists.

Atlanta got 21 points and 12 assists from Trae Young, plus 20 points and 10 rebounds from John Collins. Taurean Prince added 16 points, and Vince Carter hit five 3-pointers and scored 15.

Warriors 117, Timberwolves 107

Stephen Curry scored 22 of his 36 points in the third quarter, and Klay Thompson added 28 points to lead Golden State past Minnesota at Minneapolis.

Minnesota trailed 59-47 entering the third quarter before going on a 14-2 run, tying the game at 61-all. That’s when Curry took over, scoring eight points in a 94-second span as the Warriors wrested control of the game.

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 26 points and grabbed 21 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who saw their six-game home win streak end.

Bucks 115, Lakers 101

Khris Middleton matched his season high with 30 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Milwaukee padded its lead atop the Eastern Conference with a win over visiting Los Angeles.

Playing without Giannis Antetokounmpo (ankle) and Malcolm Brogdon (foot), the Bucks extended their lead over the second-place Toronto Raptors to three games with 11 left for both teams. Brook Lopez matched his season high with 28 points, and Nikola Mirotic scored 23 while starting in place of Brogdon.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope shot 8-for-14 from 3-point range and scored a season-high 35 points off the bench for Los Angeles. The Lakers, who played without leading scorer LeBron James (groin), lost their fourth straight game and ninth in the past 10.

76ers 118, Hornets 114

Ben Simmons scored 28 points, and JJ Redick had 27 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists as Philadelphia earned its fifth straight victory, beating host Charlotte.

Tobias Harris hit three free throws in the final 8.2 seconds, and the Hornets missed a chance to tie the game when Jeremy Lamb was off target on a drive in the lane with two seconds remaining.

Jimmy Butler added 23 points for the Sixers, who completed a four-game season sweep of the Hornets. Their five-game winning streak is a season high. Charlotte has lost nine of its past 12.

Clippers 115, Pacers 109

Danilo Gallinari scored 24 points, and Montrezl Harrell added 20 as host Los Angeles improved its playoff prospects with a win over Indiana.

Rookie Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added 17 points as the Clippers moved into a tie with the Utah Jazz for seventh place in the Western Conference. The Clippers and Jazz are just 2 1/2 games out of third place in a crowded Western Conference field.

After scoring just two points in the first half, Bojan Bogdanovic finished with 19 as the Pacers lost their third consecutive game, keeping their playoff-clinching celebration on hold. Tyreke Evans also scored 19.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Joe Torre testifies before Senate Committee on Commerce Science and Transportation on domestic violence in professional sports in Washington
FILE PHOTO: Joe Torre, Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations (MLB), testifies before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation on domestic violence in professional sports in Washington December 2, 2014. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

March 20, 2019

By Jack Tarrant

TOKYO (Reuters) – Major League Baseball is concerned at strikeouts surpassing the number of hits and needs more balls in play to arrest the dip in popularity, the league’s chief baseball officer Joe Torre said on Wednesday.

Last season was the first in the league’s history to feature more strikeouts than hits, leading to calls for changes to increase interest.

Average attendance for regular season games in 2018 fell four percent from the previous year to 28,830 per game, according to MLB, while the total number of fans who showed up at the ballpark fell below 70 million for the first time since 2003.

Speaking ahead of the MLB season opener in Tokyo on Wednesday, Torre said the league needs to create more balls in play.

“I am concerned with our game because whenever you go through a season and there are more strikeouts than hits, then it is a concern to me,” said Torre, who led the New York Yankees to four World Series titles as a coach.

“To me the excitement of baseball, to watch the game and manage the game, is to have enough balls in play and we don’t have enough balls in play.”

According to NBC Sports, hitters were sent back to the dugout 41,207 times and recorded 41,019 safeties in 2018.

“We need to put the ball in play more,” said the 78-year-old Torre, who works as liaison between the MLB and its 30 clubs.

“Everyone is throwing 98-99 mph, everyone is trying to strike people out… it is all a concern to me.”

The Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics will start the new MLB season in the Tokyo Dome later on Wednesday and have been playing exhibition games as part of the league’s plan to spread the game in Asia.

“What has been great about the exhibition games here is that there has been a lot going on; players on bases, running the bases and that is exciting to me,” continued Torre.

“That is when the game is going to pick up pace, when we dare the hitters to hit the ball as opposed to trying to get them to miss the ball.”

(Reporting by Jack Tarrant; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)

Source: OANN

Kevin Daley | Supreme Court Reporter

  • Second Amendment advocacy groups are denouncing a state court decision allowing families of several Sandy Hook victims to sue a gun manufacturer.
  • The manufacturer, Bushmaster Firearms, produced and marketed the XM15, which shooter Adam Lanza used to kill more than 20 people. 
  • The Connecticut Supreme Court said the plaintiffs can try and convince a jury that Bushmaster’s marketing campaign for the weapon broke state law. 

The Connecticut Supreme Court’s Thursday ruling allowing victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre to sue gun manufacturer Bushmaster Firearms left Second Amendment groups bewildered.

The 4-3 decision found that the plaintiffs — the families of nine victims — can sue Bushmaster under state unfair trade practices law, despite a federal statute that protects the gun industry from most lawsuits.

“This is like suing Ford or General Motors because a car they sold was stolen and used to run over a pedestrian all because the car manufacturers advertised that their car had better acceleration and performance than other vehicles,” said the Second Amendment Foundation’s Alan Gottlieb.

“This ruling strains logic, if not common sense,” Gottlieb added. “The court dismissed the bulk of the lawsuit’s allegations, but appears to have grasped at this single straw by deciding that the advertising is somehow at fault for what Adam Lanza did that day in December more than six years ago.”

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), which filed an amicus (or “friend of the court”) brief sporting Bushmaster, said the court was exploiting a narrow exception to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) that shields gunmakers from civil liability in most instances.

“In a strongly worded and well-reasoned dissent, Chief Justice Robinson rejected the majority’s overly broad interpretation of the scope of the limited exception, which is contrary to legislative text, canons of statutory interpretation and the legislative history of the PLCAA,” NSSF said in a statement. “The majority’s decision today is at odds with all other state and federal appellate courts that have interpreted the scope of the exception.”

That exception cancels the gun manufacturer’s immunity if it knowingly breaks a law “applicable to the sale or marketing of the product.”

In other words, the plaintiffs believe that Bushmaster’s advertising scheme violated Connecticut’s unfair trade practices law, because it encouraged the use of its weapons for unlawful purposes. (RELATED: Supreme Court Takes Up First Gun Rights Case In A Decade)

Lanza used an AR-15 style rife called the XM15 during his rampage. The plaintiffs say Bushmaster glorified the weapon’s “militaristic and assaultive qualities,” tailoring a campaign with depictions of soldiers on patrol and promises of total dominance in combat. Such images appealed to disillusioned men, supplemented with slogans like “consider your man card reissued.”

This crime scene evidence photo provided by the Connecticut State Police shows a Bushmaster rifle in Room 10 at Sandy Hook Elementary School following the December 14, 2012 shooting rampage. (Connecticut State Police via Getty Images)

This crime scene evidence photo provided by the Connecticut State Police shows a Bushmaster rifle in Room 10 at Sandy Hook Elementary School following the December 14, 2012 shooting rampage. (Connecticut State Police via Getty Images)

Those appeals were especially effective with Lanza, they say, since he was an avid player of violent video games and aspired to a career as a special operator in the armed forces. Though Lanza had access to a cache of weapons — including handguns, shotguns, two rifles, and three swords — the plaintiffs said Bushmaster’s promotions prompted Lanza to choose the XM15 from his family’s stockpile, thereby making his shooting spree far more deadly.

However, Lanza did not himself buy the XM15 — he stole the gun from his mother, who purchased it lawfully from a retail gun dealership in March 2010. For that reason among others, the Connecticut Supreme Court acknowledged the plaintiffs will have a hard time proving their allegation.

“The plaintiffs allege that the defendants’ wrongful advertising magnified the lethality of the Sandy Hook massacre by inspiring Lanza or causing him to select a more efficiently deadly weapon for his attack,” the decision reads. “Proving such a causal link at trial may prove to be a Herculean task.”

Gottlieb went further, arguing there is no evidence connecting Lanza with Bushmaster’s practices.

“There is no evidence the killer was driven by any advertising whatsoever,” he said. “This is an affront to the First Amendment as well as the Second. Even hinting that the killer was motivated in some way by an advertising message is so far out in the weeds that it may take a map for the court to find its way back.”

The case need not reach a verdict to damage the firearms industry. The pre-trial discovery phase will give the plaintiffs access to Bushmaster’s internal communications and other sensitive records, which could itself prove harmful to the company.

An appeal could follow to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Lanza killed 27 people Dec. 14, 2012. After murdering his mother, he stormed Sandy Hook elementary at 9:30 am, when he killed 20 students and six staff. Several others were wounded. The student victims were 6- and 7-year-olds in the first grade.

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Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: MLB: Spring Training-Chicago White Sox at Chicago Cubs
FILE PHOTO: Mar 3, 2019; Mesa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Yu Darvish (11) pitches against the Chicago White Sox during the second inning at Sloan Park. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

March 20, 2019

Right-hander Yu Darvish allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits and struck out six in 4 2/3 innings for a Chicago Cubs split squad in a 6-4 spring training win over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday at Mesa, Ariz.

Darvish, making his return from a season-ending stress reaction in his throwing elbow to cap a disappointing first year with the Cubs, lowered his spring ERA to 2.25 through four starts. He has struck out 14 in 12 innings.

Jason Heyward and Javier Baez each went 2-for-3 to lead the Cubs’ offense. Top outfield prospect Kyle Lewis homered among his two hits for the Mariners, raising his spring average to .429.

Yankees 6, Rays 2

Greg Bird hit his third home run this spring, and Gary Sanchez clubbed two doubles as New York topped visiting Tampa Bay at Tampa, Fla. Right-hander Tyler Glasnow gave up five runs on four hits and four walks in 3 2/3 innings for the Rays.

Pirates 3, Tigers 1

Adam Frazier, Corey Dickerson and Josh Bell each had two hits as host Pittsburgh held off Detroit in Bradenton, Fla. The Tigers scored their lone run on a Bobby Wilson single in the ninth.

Nationals 3, Braves 2

Collin Cowgill’s two-run homer in the ninth inning capped a three-run Washington rally past host Atlanta at Kissimmee, Fla. Left-hander Max Fried drew the start for the Braves and struck out seven in five scoreless innings.

Rangers 3, Brewers 2

Right-hander Lance Lynn struck out nine in five innings, and Willie Calhoun drove in all three runs as visiting Texas trumped Milwaukee at Phoenix. Jesus Aguilar doubled in a run for the Brewers.

The following Florida games were canceled by rain:

–Blue Jays at Red Sox

–Mets at Marlins

–Twins at Orioles

–Phillies at Astros

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft arrives for the 89th Academy Awards Oscars Vanity Fair Party in Beverly Hills
FILE PHOTO: New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft arrives for the 89th Academy Awards Oscars Vanity Fair Party in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., February 26, 2017. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok/File Photo

March 20, 2019

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft can have the solicitation of prostitution charges in Florida against him dropped, but there’s a catch.

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that prosecutors have offered to defer prosecution for Kraft and the two dozen other men arrested in the case, but any defendant who accepts the offer must admit that there is enough evidence to lead to a conviction at trial.

Additionally, the defendant must complete an education course about prostitution, perform 100 hours of community service, be tested for sexually transmitted diseases and pay court costs, per the report.

Kraft entered a not guilty plea in late February after being charged with two misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitution at a day spa in Jupiter, Fla. The 77-year-old billionaire is alleged to have twice visited the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in January and received sex acts in exchange for money both times.

–In an interview with Sports Illustrated, running back Le’Veon Bell said he never intended to sit out the entire 2018 season.

Bell, who recently signed with the New York Jets as a free agent, told the outlet that his original plan was to miss only Week 1 of last season. But the running back had a change of mind as events played out with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Once he realized the Steelers could again put the franchise tag on him following the season, Bell continued to sit out, and never joined the team. He became a free agent after the season and received a four-year, $52.5 million deal from the Jets.

–Coveted quarterback Kyler Murray met with Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim and coach Kliff Kingsbury near the Oklahoma campus, the Houston Chronicle reported.

The Cardinals own the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft and the Oklahoma product and Heisman Trophy winner is under heavy consideration as he is viewed as a solid fit for first-year coach Kingsbury’s offense.

Arizona took quarterback Josh Rosen 10th overall in last year’s draft but the team’s actions involving Murray may display a willingness to move on from Rosen.

–Tempted to join his brother with the Patriots, tight end Martellus Bennett said he will instead remain retired to focus on his creative work.

Michael Bennett was acquired by the Patriots from the Philadelphia Eagles earlier this month, sparking speculation the defensive lineman might soon be joined by his 32-year-old brother, who retired after being released by New England last offseason.

–The Carolina Panthers signed defensive end Bruce Irvin to a one-year contract reportedly worth up to $5 million in an effort to boost their pass rush after the retirement of Julius Peppers. The seven-year pro has 43.5 sacks, 277 tackles, 15 forced fumbles and three interceptions.

–The Dallas Cowboys and wide receiver Randall Cobb agreed to terms on a one-year deal, the team announced. The deal is worth $5 million, according to the NFL Network. Cobb, 28, has been with the Green Bay Packers since they drafted him in the second round in 2011. He missed seven games last season due to concussion and hamstring injuries and caught just 38 passes for 383 yards and two touchdowns.

–Defensive end Robert Quinn visited the Cowboys as a precursor to a potential swap with the Miami Dolphins, but reportedly left town without a deal pending. The Dolphins are willing to pay part of Quinn’s 2019 salary to help facilitate a trade of the pass rusher, according to NFL Network.

–Kentucky tight end C.J. Conrad has been cleared for pre-draft workouts after he had to leave the NFL Scouting Combine earlier this month when a heart issue was found during his physical. Prior to the combine, most outlets had pegged him as a late-round prospect.

–Kicker Dan Bailey re-signed with the Minnesota Vikings, agreeing to a one-year deal with a base value of $1 million, per reports. … The Patriots have reportedly re-signed punter Ryan Allen to a one-year deal. … The Detroit Lions have signed restricted free agent running back Malcolm Brown to an offer sheet, which the Los Angeles Rams have until Monday to match, according to multiple reports.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Kids Choice Sport Awards 2018 – Arrivals – Los Angeles, California, U.S.
FILE PHOTO: Kids Choice Sport Awards 2018 – Arrivals – Los Angeles, California, U.S., 19/07/2018. Martellus Bennett poses. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok – HP1EE7J1PRC4Q

March 20, 2019

Tempted to join his brother and the New England Patriots, tight end Martellus Bennett said he will instead remain retired to focus on his creative work.

Michael Bennett was acquired by the Patriots from the Philadelphia Eagles earlier this month, sparking speculation the defensive lineman might soon be joined by his 32-year-old brother, who retired after being released by New England last offseason.

Martellus Bennett has since focused his creative efforts on his “life’s work” for The Imagination Agency.

“This is why I can’t come out of retirement,” he wrote in an Instagram post Monday. “I would love to play ball with my brother it would truly be a dream come true. But my biggest dream is to change lives with my creativity and that is what I am currently doing @theimaginationagency

“these kids don’t need another athlete to look up to or to aspire to be there’s plenty of inspiration out there for that. I want to inspire the next wave of creatives. The storytellers. The engineers. The designers. The doctors. The filmmakers. The composers. Tech moguls. And maybe a few athletes who like me never felt like they belonged in a locker room.

“I was never one of the guys guys most of my teammates would tell that. I’ve always been a creative who enjoyed competing. I’m playing the game that I was made to play and it’s the most fun I’ve ever had. Scoring touchdowns winning a super bowl has never made me feel the way seeing kids/families/people enjoying things I have created. I’m doing my life’s work fulfilling what I believe to be my life’s purpose. I hope everyone finds something that makes them as happy and as fulfilled as I have with my work @theimaginationagency I appreciate all of the love but this is waaaaayyy bigger than the game of football.”

Martellus Bennett has 30 career touchdowns and played 16 games for the Patriots in 2016, posting 55 receptions and seven scores.

Michael Bennett, 33, has played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Seattle Seahawks and Eagles.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

David Hookstead | Reporter

Is there anybody in this March Madness tournament capable of beating the Duke Blue Devils?

This is the question on everybody’s mind as the games begin in a couple days, and the conventional thinking has already changed so much over the course of a week.

If you asked anybody 10 days ago if Duke would likely win it all, their answer would have been simple. As long as Zion remains on the bench, then no.

Hell, I was locked into that camp. I’ve often said Duke was the best team in the country when healthy, but they stumbled often and ugly in their final six games as the freshman freak of nature rehabbed a sprained knee. They didn’t even look like a Sweet 16 team at times. (RELATED: The March Madness Bracket Has Been Released)

Well, I’ve got news, and the haters of the Blue Devils aren’t going to like it. Duke looks unbeatable right now. Sure, they could lose. Anybody could lose on any given day, but it’s not likely if they play their A-game for six straight matches of basketball. That’s just the reality of the situation.

UNC might be the second best team in America, and they lost to Coach K’s guys last week. Duke has handled Virginia with ease this season. Yes, they did lose early on to Gonzaga, but that was due in large part to the growing pains associated with playing such young freshman. (RELATED: Watch Wisconsin Beat Kentucky In The 2015 Final Four)

Let me be crystal clear, and it is painful for me to even utter. This young Duke team looks unstoppable, and I say that as somebody who hates them. Let’s not forget they stole a ring off my finger in 2015.

I get paid to tell the truth. That’s why my checks get signed, delivered and cashed. As far as I can see, there isn’t anybody I’d take over Coach K and his guys right now.

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: Super Bowl LIII - New England Patriots v Los Angeles Rams
FILE PHOTO: NFL Football – Super Bowl LIII – New England Patriots v Los Angeles Rams – Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. – February 3, 2019. New England Patriots’ Julian Eddleman (R) and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft celebrate with the Vince Lombardi trophy after winning the Super Bowl LIII. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

March 19, 2019

By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) – The owner of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots could be spared prosecution on charges of soliciting prostitution in Florida if he agrees to community service and other obligations, a spokesman for prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Robert Kraft, the National Football League team owner, is receiving the same offer from the Office of the State Attorney for Palm Beach County as the other first-time misdemeanor offenders caught up in the case last month, said Mike Edmondson, a spokesman for the office. Edmondson declined to say if Kraft has agreed to the offer for avoiding prosecution.

Kraft, 77, a businessman who built the Patriots into the NFL’s most dominant franchise, was charged following a police sting targeting sex-trafficking in day spas and massage parlors. The operation has led to charges against hundreds of people.

An attorney for Kraft could not be reached for comment. A spokesman for the New England Patriots did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Prosecutors would defer prosecution of Kraft if he agrees to 100 hours of community service, receives education on the harms of prostitution, undergoes screening for sexually transmitted diseases and pays court costs, Edmondson said by phone.

Prosecutors also generally require defendants avoiding prosecution in such cases to admit guilt or acknowledge that prosecutors would prevail in the case at trial, he said.

Kraft is one of 25 people who were charged in Palm Beach County with soliciting prostitution, a charge with a maximum sentence one year in jail if a person is convicted.

The New England Patriots play just outside Boston. Kraft lives in Massachusetts but owns property in Florida’s wealthy Palm Beach, 80 miles (130 km) north of downtown Miami.

Kraft is accused of visiting Orchids of Asia Day Spa in the Palm Beach County community of Jupiter on two separate occasions to solicit sex and was charged with two counts of soliciting prostitution.

Kraft, a friend and supporter of President Donald Trump, could face discipline from the NFL under a policy that applies to team owners and prohibits “conduct detrimental to the integrity” of the NFL.

In 2004, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay was suspended six games and fined $500,000 after he pleaded guilty to driving while on drugs.

Kraft’s wife of many decades, Myra Hiatt Kraft, died in 2011 of ovarian cancer. He has not remarried.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; editing by Bill Tarrant and Grant McCool)

Source: OANN

MLS: LA Galaxy Unveil David Beckham Statue
Mar 2, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; MLS commissioner Don Garber speaks during David Beckham statue at Legends Plaza at Dignity Health Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

March 19, 2019

By Hilary Russ

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Major League Soccer said on Tuesday that Roar Digital LLC, a joint venture between MGM Resorts International and GVC Holdings PLC, would be its exclusive sports betting partner, the league’s first.

The multi-year deal also makes MGM the league’s first official gaming partner, though not an exclusive one. It also provides MGM and Roar access to league data for fans and sports bettors, according to a statement.

“Major League Soccer is proud to partner with MGM Resorts to bring existing and new fans close to our sport in innovative and immersive ways,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in the statement.

Marketing rights are also included, with the sportsbook operators allowed to post visible signs for more than 100 nationally broadcast MLS games.

The deal makes MGM a partner with yet another major sports league after it inked similar agreements with the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball.

The National Football League named Caesars Entertainment Corp as its first casino partner in January, but that deal did not include sports betting.

The deals come in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in May 2018 that allowed states to legalize, regulate and tax sports wagering.

Less than a year later, eight states now offer legal sports wagering, including Nevada, which was always allowed to offer such bets.

Bookmakers, casinos, leagues, teams, media companies, data providers and others are seeking to capitalize on the brand new U.S. sports betting market that is now evolving state by state.

Professional sports leagues, which previously fought legalization because of fears it could lead to match fixing, now hope that the spread of legal sports betting will help engage fans and drive up the value of their teams.

MLS’ partnership will also develop a free game that can help “drive adoption of sports betting” in states that have already legalized it and build a base of potential bettors in those that have yet to adopt it, the statement said.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

(Reporting by Hilary Russ, editing by G Crosse)

Source: OANN

David Hookstead | Reporter

March Madness is here, and that means it’s time to throw some serious cash on the table.

As everybody knows, I’m a bit of a gambler. It’s just how I’m wired, and I generally do pretty well. March Madness is like Christmas on cocaine for gamblers.

It’s three solid weeks of games. It literally doesn’t get better at all. That’s why I asked people on Twitter how much they planned on gambling, and the results shocked me! Of the 1,295 voters, 71 percent said they’d gamble under $100.

Only 15 percent said they’d gamble more than $1,000.

These results were shocking to me, and they actually made me distraught. How is it possible that nearly three-quarters of the voters aren’t going to wager more than $100? I must be dreaming, right?

A great gambling rush during March Madness is like a drug being shot straight into my veins. It’s even better in fact because unlike drugs, a little gambling on college basketball never killed anybody. (RELATED: The March Madness Bracket Has Been Released)

Plus, are you really living life if your next mortgage payment isn’t on the line? I don’t think so.

There are some days you just know are going to suck. You just know, and that’s exactly what happened when I saw the results of this poll.

This isn’t what our founding fathers fought for. This isn’t why we dropped two atomic bombs on Japan. We didn’t go to the moon so that you guys could play it safe. We’re Americans.

We did all that cool stuff to have the freedom to drink some beers and piss our money away as we experience an emotional rollercoaster.

Ncaa Basketball GIF by NCAA March Madness - Find & Share on GIPHY

Second greatest emotional swing this country ever had was the Boston Tea Party. The first was when Duke stole a national title from Wisconsin. See, it all ties together. By not gambling on March Madness and risking your mental health and happiness, you’re pretty much saying that you hate freedom. (RELATED: Watch Wisconsin Beat Kentucky In The 2015 Final Four)

Freedom GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Don’t hate freedom. Don’t force me to associate with people like that. Do the right thing here. Put some beer on ice, get the grill fired up, and prepare for some great games.

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during the Google keynote address at the Gaming Developers Conference in San Francisco
Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during the Google keynote address at the Gaming Developers Conference in San Francisco, California, U.S., March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

March 19, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Google announced on Tuesday a video game streaming service dubbed Stadia that attempts to capitalize on the company’s cloud technology and global network of data centers.

The technology would allow users to play high-end games on their internet browser without having to wait for any content to be downloaded to their device.

Google unveiled the service during a keynote presentation in San Francisco at the Game Developers Conference, which is bringing together this week about 25,000 people who work in the video games industry.

(Reporting by Paresh Dave; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

Source: OANN

David Hookstead | Reporter

The Wisconsin Badgers have been wildly successful as an athletic program over the past 25 years.

In fact, since 1995, they lead the country in combined football bowl games and appearances in the college basketball national championship tournament with 43 total. Texas came in second at 40.

Do you hear that noise off in the distance? That’s the noise of weeping SEC fans on their knees pleading as they try to rationalize this news.

That’s the sounds of broken souls and broken minds. How could Wisconsin, a program the SEC fans on here love to criticize on a routine basis, be arguably the most successful athletic program in America during my lifetime? (RELATED: The March Madness Bracket Has Been Released)

Good look wrapping your brain around that one.

How much does it hurt, SEC fans? How much? Be honest with me. I know it does! I know it does! Don’t lie to yourself.

You have to look at the numbers, and you have to admit that I’m correct. Soak it up, live in the moment and recognize that you will never beat me.

Welcome to the big stage, gentlemen. This is the Big Ten, and we’re the crown jewel.* Get with it or get out. It’s that simple.

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

*I’m choosing to ignore our awful basketball season last year and our atrocious football campaign in 2018. It’s important to have a short term memory in sports. Hanging onto the past does us no good.

Source: The Daily Caller

MLB: Spring Training-Los Angeles Dodgers at Los Angeles Angels
FILE PHOTO: Mar 7, 2019; Tempe, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) runs to third base after hitting a triple against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first inning at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

March 19, 2019

Mike Trout is on the verge of a 12-year, $430 million contract extension with the Los Angeles Angels, ESPN reported Tuesday.

Trout, 27, is a two-time American League Most Valuable Player and was scheduled to become a free agent in 2020. The agreement, per ESPN, tacks on 10 years to the final two seasons remaining on Trout’s $144.5 million agreement with the Angels.

The deal would smash the massive contract signed by Bryce Harper — 13 years, $330 million with the Philadelphia Phillies — on March 2.

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zack Greinke had the MLB record annual average salary at $34.4 million. Trout would eclipse that mark with $36 million AAV.

Boxer Canelo Alvarez signed a contract with DAZN worth a minimum of $365 million.

Trout has a staggering 64.3 Wins Above Replacement through his age-26 season, which is far beyond any player at his age in Major League Baseball history.

The 24th pick in the 2009 amateur draft, Trout has made the playoffs only once with the Angels in eight seasons. Speculation built that he could bounce to the Phillies when his contract expired — Trout grew up less than an hour away in New Jersey — but the Angels declared their commitment to the superstar.

Trout, who has a career .307 batting average with 240 home runs, 648 RBIs, 793 runs and 189 stolen bases in 1,065 career games, also finished second in the MVP voting four times.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

David Hookstead | Reporter

Philadelphia Phillies player Carlos Santana had an incredible reaction to his teammates playing video games.

During a poor part of last season for the Phillies, players were focused on video games during matchups taking place out on the field. How did Santana respond to that? He just smashed the TV with a baseball bat. (RELATED: Bryce Harper Signs With The Phillies)

ESPN reported the following on the situation:

When the Philadelphia Phillies lost their ninth consecutive game toward the end of last September, veteran first baseman Carlos Santana felt like he needed to send a message to his teammates who he said spent portions of the game against the Atlanta Braves playing video games in the clubhouse. Santana grabbed a bat, retreated to the room at Citizens Bank Park where the gaming took place and smashed the TV to ensure there would be no more Fortnite the final two days of the season.

“I see a couple players — I don’t want to say names — they play video games during the game,” Santana told ESPN. “We come and lose too many games, and I feel like they weren’t worried about it. Weren’t respecting their teammates or coaches or the staff or the [front] office. It’s not my personality. But I’m angry because I want to make it good.”

This is awesome. It’s almost straight out of the movie “Moneyball,” when players dance to music after losing.

If you’re a pro athlete and you’re playing video games during actual games, then you should be suspended immediately. It should be a zero-tolerance policy.

You’re getting paid a ton of money to win. If you can’t delay picking up a controller for the four or five hours you’re committed to playing, then you have no business in the sport. It’s that simple.

I honestly wouldn’t have been surprised if this ended in a fistfight. Imagine giving everything you have, and then finding out some players are busy with Fortnite. (RELATED: Philadelphia Phillies Sell $4 Million Worth Of Tickets After Signing Bryce Harper)

Smashing a TV seems like a very calm and measured response.

If you’re dumb enough to play video games during a matchup, then you’re dumb enough to get your TV smashed. Play stupid games and I promise you that you’ll win stupid prizes.

Major shoutout to Santana for showing the Phillies what leadership looks like.

Source: The Daily Caller

An Angry Birds game character is seen at the Rovio headquarters in Espoo
FILE PHOTO: An Angry Birds game character is seen at the Rovio headquarters in Espoo, Finland March 13, 2019. Picture taken March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Anne Kauranen

March 19, 2019

(Reuters) – Finnish game company Rovio released an augmented reality game called Angry Birds Isle of Pigs, developed together with Swedish game studio Resolution Games for Apple’s mobile devices, the Finnish games developer said on Tuesday.

The release announced at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco came in addition to the two games the company had promised to release this year, with one of them already out.

(Reporting by Anne Kauranen; Editing by Edmund Blair)

Source: OANN

Japanese Olympic Committee President Takeda attends JOC board of directors meeting in Tokyo
Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda attends JOC board of directors meeting in Tokyo, Japan, March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

March 19, 2019

TOKYO (Reuters) – The head of Japan’s Olympic Committee, Tsunekazu Takeda, said on Tuesday he will step down from his position when his current term ends in June.

French prosecutors placed Takeda under formal investigation in December for suspected corruption in Japan’s successful bid to host the 2020 Summer Games.

Takeda, who was president of the 2020 bid committee, said during a JOC board of directors meeting in Tokyo that he would step down from his position when his term ends and not seek re-election.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka and Jack Tarrant; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prince Harry arrives with girlfriend actress Meghan Markle at the wheelchair tennis event during the Invictus Games in Toronto
FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Prince Harry (R) arrives with girlfriend actress Meghan Markle at the wheelchair tennis event during the Invictus Games in Toronto, Ontario, Canada September 25, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Blinch/File Photo

March 19, 2019

By Lisa Richwine and Rollo Ross

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Fascination, pride and the best soap opera in the world have many Americans eagerly awaiting the impending birth of Prince Harry and Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle’s first child.

After some 29 million Americans watched the televised May 2018 wedding of Harry to Californian actress Markle, the prospect of the first British royal baby born to an American mother is proving even more compelling.

“It’s going to be massive,” said J.D. Heyman, deputy editor of People magazine. “When Meghan presents the baby, when Meghan and Harry step out onto a balcony … I think what you will see is an enormous outpouring of affection for both of them.”

“The excitement around this equals the births of certainly Prince William’s babies and, frankly, Harry and William’s birth(s)” more than 30 years ago, Heyman added.

Despite America’s War of Independence fought against Britain some 240 years ago, Americans have long been obsessed with British royals, who regularly feature on the front pages of celebrity magazines.

British producer Nick Bullen, a co-founder of subscription streaming service True Royalty TV, which launched last summer, said a colorful and dramatic history with larger-than-life figures such as King Henry VIII drives the modern fascination with the royal family.

“The British royal family is the best soap opera in town,” he said. “It’s as simple as that.”

True Royalty TV is based in London but draws its largest number of subscribers from the United States.

While celebrity media outlets are chronicling Markle’s pregnancy with daily pictures and speculation over the baby’s sex and due date, True Royalty TV plans documentaries and talk-show discussions on topics including: how will the royal couple raise their first child?

“Imagine raising an American royal in Britain,” Bullen said. “It’s hard enough I think for a lot of Americans to come to London and get to grips with boarding schools and prep schools and little caps and little shorts and how we raise children in the UK.

“Will Dorian, Meghan’s mum, be involved in the baby’s raising?” Bullen said. “Will it have holidays in California? Will it be doing baby yoga? People want to know all that level of detail.”

Not everyone is getting caught up in royal baby fever.

“I actually don’t have too much of an opinion about it,” shrugged Evan Jorgensen, as he strolled along the Venice Beach boardwalk in California on Monday.

But most people Reuters spoke to said they were excited and pleased. Americans feel tremendous affection toward Markle, said Heyman.

“There’s a personal pride that many people feel, that an average American girl of a multiracial background has risen to this position,” he said.

(Reporting by Lisa Richwine and Rollo Ross; Writing by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Nick Carey)

Source: OANN

NHL: Arizona Coyotes at Tampa Bay Lightning
Mar 18, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning center Anthony Cirelli (71) is congratulated after scoring a goal against the Arizona Coyotes during the third period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

March 19, 2019

Tampa Bay earned its first-ever Presidents’ Trophy, and Steven Stamkos set a franchise record for the most goals as the Lightning beat the visiting Arizona Coyotes 4-1 on Monday night.

Victor Hedman’s goal in the first minute of the third period broke a 1-1 tie, and Tampa Bay’s top-ranked penalty-kill held Arizona scoreless with the man advantage in the game’s last 1:39. Anthony Cirelli, who also had an assist, and Yanni Gourde each produced short-handed, empty-net goals in the final minute.

Stamkos, 29, scored the game’s second goal of the first period. His 384th career tally broke the franchise record for goals previously held by Vincent Lecavalier, who was a member of the Lightning for 14 seasons. Stamkos is in his 11th season.

The Lightning, who improved to 31-6-2 on home ice secured the No. 1 seed for the postseason. They became the second-fastest ever to notch the Presidents’ Trophy, doing it in their 73rd game. The 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings did it in 71 games.

Canucks 3, Blackhawks 2 (OT)

Bo Horvat scored 16 seconds into overtime to lift Vancouver to a victory at Chicago. Horvat buried his 25th goal of the season with a shot from point-blank range on the Canucks’ first chance of the extra session.

Alexander Edler and Markus Granlund also scored for Vancouver, which won its second game in as many nights. Thatcher Demko earned his third career victory by stopping 29 of 31 shots.

Jonathan Toews and Erik Gustafsson scored for the Blackhawks, whose five-game winning streak came to an end. Patrick Kane tallied assists on both Blackhawks goals, giving him 101 points (41 goals, 60 assists) on the season. Chicago’s Corey Crawford stopped 31 shots.

Jets 3, Kings 2

Kyle Connor had a goal and an assist, and Winnipeg won at Los Angeles to extend its lead in the Central Division.

Kevin Hayes and Tyler Myers also scored, and Laurent Brossoit made 15 saves for the Jets, who moved three points in front of the Nashville Predators with 10 games left.

Sean Walker and Dustin Brown scored for the Kings, and Jack Campbell stopped 25 shots.

Golden Knights 7, Sharks 3

Jonathan Marchessault had two goals and two assists, and Reilly Smith had a goal and three assists to lead visiting Vegas past San Jose. The Golden Knights won for the ninth time in 10 games.

William Karlsson added a goal and an assist, and Mark Stone, Paul Stastny and Cody Eakin also scored goals for Vegas. Golden Knights goalie Malcolm Subban, playing in back-to-back games for the first time in his career with Marc-Andre Fleury sidelined due to a lower-body injury, made 36 saves.

Logan Couture scored two goals and Joe Thornton also scored for San Jose, which remained one point short of becoming the second team in the Western Conference to clinch a playoff berth.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Boston Celtics
Mar 18, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) drives between Denver Nuggets guard Will Barton (5) and center Nikola Jokic (15) during the second half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

March 19, 2019

Nikola Jokic had 21 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists, and the Denver Nuggets beat the host Boston Celtics 114-105 on Monday night to clinch a playoff berth.

Will Barton had 20 points, Gary Harris added 16 and Paul Millsap had 12 points and 11 rebounds for Denver, which is back in the postseason for the first time since 2013.

The Nuggets (47-22) swept the season series from Boston and surpassed their win total from last season with 13 games to go. Denver needs just 10 wins to match the franchise record for a season set in 2012-13.

Kyrie Irving led the Celtics with a game-high 30 points, and Al Horford scored 20. Boston played without Gordon Hayward, who left the Saturday game against the Atlanta Hawks with a neck strain.

Spurs 111, Warriors 105

DeMar DeRozan scored 26 points, and LaMarcus Aldridge added 23 points and 13 rebounds as San Antonio beat visiting Golden State for its ninth win in a row.

The victory was the Spurs’ 11th straight at home and guaranteed San Antonio (42-29) its NBA-record 22nd consecutive winning season.

Rudy Gay added 17 points for the Spurs. Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 25 points, and Kevin Durant tallied 24 in his return to the lineup after missing the past two games with a sprained ankle.

Pelicans 129, Mavericks 124 (OT)

Dirk Nowitzki reached a milestone, but his Dallas teammates failed to make it a celebratory evening, blowing a four-point lead in the final 19.1 seconds of regulation as visiting New Orleans pulled out the overtime victory.

Nowitzki made his first two shots, both trademark jumpers, in the opening four minutes to surpass Wilt Chamberlain as the NBA’s sixth-leading all-time scorer.

Julius Randle finished with a game-high 30 points for New Orleans, and Elfrid Payton recorded his fifth consecutive triple-double with 19 points (11 coming in the fourth quarter and overtime), 11 assists and 10 rebounds. Luka Doncic notched a triple-double for the Mavericks with 29 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists.

Heat 116, Thunder 107

Goran Dragic hit six 3-pointers and scored 26 points off the bench to lead visiting Miami, and Dwyane Wade scored 25 in his final game at Oklahoma City.

James Johnson also added 14 points as Miami’s reserves outscored Oklahoma City’s 67-10. Dragic had 11 assists. Kelly Olynyk contributed 18 points and nine rebounds to help the Heat win for the seventh time in nine games.

Oklahoma City was playing without Russell Westbrook, who was suspended after picking up his 16th technical foul of the season in a Saturday loss to the Golden State Warriors. Paul George led the Thunder with 31 points, and he grabbed nine rebounds.

Jazz 116, Wizards 95

Rudy Gobert had 14 points and 14 rebounds, and visiting Utah beat Washington. Gobert, the reigning Western Conference Player of the Week, was 6 of 6 from the field and made 2 of 3 free throws.

Donovan Mitchell scored 19 points and Jae Crowder added 18 for the Jazz. Ricky Rubio had 10 assists.

Jabari Parker led Washington with 19 points, and Bradley Beal, the Eastern Conference Player of the Week, added 15 on 4-of-12 shooting.

Raptors 128, Knicks 92

Jeremy Lin scored 20 points off the bench, Pascal Siakam added 19 points and eight rebounds, and Toronto hammered visiting New York.

Kyle Lowry added 15 points and eight assists for the Raptors before leaving the game with an ankle injury during the third quarter. He did not return to action. Fred VanVleet scored 13 points and handed out 12 assists for the Raptors, who have won all three meetings with the Knicks so far this season.

Allonzo Trier scored 22 points for the Knicks while Kevin Knox added 12 points and Damyean Dotson added 11. New York lost for the ninth time in 10 games.

Cavaliers 126, Pistons 119

Rookie Collin Sexton poured in 27 points, including a go-ahead 3-pointer with less than two minutes left, and Cleveland beat visiting Detroit. Cedi Osman supplied 21 points and six assists for the Cavaliers, who had seven players score in double figures.

Brandon Knight contributed 16 points, four rebounds and five assists, while Nik Stauskas led the Cleveland bench with 17 points. Marquese Chriss added a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Wayne Ellington scored 25 points to lead the Pistons, while Andre Drummond had 21 points and 21 rebounds. Pistons All-Star Blake Griffin sat out for just the third time this season.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Tsunekazu Takeda, President of the Japanese Olympic committee, attends a news conference in Tokyo
FILE PHOTO: Tsunekazu Takeda, President of the Japanese Olympic committee, attends a news conference in Tokyo, Japan January 15, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

March 19, 2019

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) chief Tsunekazu Takeda, who is expected to announce plans to step down on Tuesday, is also set to resign as a member of the International Olympics Committee, Kyodo News reported.

French prosecutors placed Takeda under formal investigation in December for suspected corruption in Japan’s successful bid to host the 2020 Summer Games.

(Reporting by Chris Gallagher; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: MLB: Spring Training-Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Dodgers
FILE PHOTO: Feb 25, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) looks on prior to facing the Chicago Cubs at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

March 19, 2019

For the first time since 2010, Clayton Kershaw won’t be the Opening Day starter for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The left-hander, who has started a club-record eight straight openers, was ruled out of the March 28 start against the Arizona Diamondbacks due to the persistent shoulder inflammation he has dealt with all spring. He has yet to pitch in a spring training game.

“When he’s ready to pitch for us is when he’s going to pitch for us,” said manager Dave Roberts, adding that it was unlikely Kershaw will begin the season on the active roster.

Roberts didn’t announce an Opening Day starter on Monday, but right-hander Walker Buehler is definitely in the mix. The last Opening Day starter for the Dodgers not named Kershaw was Vicente Padilla in 2010.

–Atlanta Braves right-hander Julio Teheran is set to make his sixth consecutive Opening Day start, which would tie him with Hall of Famer Warren Spahn for the longest modern-day streak in franchise history.

Teheran’s Opening Day streak is now the longest current one in the majors after the Dodgers said that Kershaw’s streak will end at eight. Spahn opened six seasons in a row from 1957 to 1962, when the Braves were in Milwaukee.

Teheran, 28, has spent all eight of his major league seasons with the Braves, compiling a 67-62 record with a 3.64 ERA. Teheran went 9-9 last season with a 3.94 ERA, striking out 162 and walking 84 in 175 2/3 innings over 31 starts.

–A poor spring training won’t prevent Ichiro Suzuki from starting the Seattle Mariners’ opener in his native Japan.

Seattle manager Scott Servais said Ichiro will be in the starting lineup Wednesday when the Mariners face the Oakland Athletics in Tokyo.

Suzuki, 45, is just 2-for-31 this spring, but Servais has no qualms about penciling his name in the lineup.

–Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yohander Mendez will miss the first half of the season because of an elbow injury, team officials announced.

The 24-year-old exited his spring training start Sunday in the third inning after losing velocity and feeling tightness in his pitching elbow. An MRI revealed a Grade 1 strain of the ulnar collateral ligament. The left-hander will not need Tommy John surgery.

The plan is to give him six weeks of rest, followed by about another six weeks of a throwing program.

–Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia will not break camp with the team and instead will begin the 2019 season on the injured list.

Pedroia expects to remain in Florida and play extended spring training games to build strength in his surgically repaired left knee. Manager Alex Cora said there is no reason to fear a long-term absence from Pedroia.

Utility options Brock Holt and Eduardo Nunez are likely to platoon at second base with Pedroia out of the mix.

–In the midst of the Philadelphia Phillies’ late-season collapse in 2018, Carlos Santana apparently provided the biggest hit in the team’s clubhouse.

Philadelphia posted an abysmal 8-20 record in September after having the best record in baseball in late July, and the team’s then-first baseman — now with the Cleveland Indians — reportedly took his bat to the clubhouse television upon discovering his younger teammates playing the video game Fortnite during one game against rival Atlanta.

“I see a couple players — I don’t want to say names — they play video games during the game,” the 32-year-old veteran told ESPN, relating how he slugged the TV the players were using. “We come and lose too many games, and I feel like they weren’t worried about it — weren’t respecting their teammates or coaches or the staff or the (front) office. It’s not my personality. But I’m angry because I want to make it good.”

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: NFL: Pro Bowl-AFC Practice
FILE PHOTO: Jan 25, 2019; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Kansas City Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill (10) does a backflip during AFC practice at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports – 12055388

March 19, 2019

Linebacker Vontaze Burfict was released by the Cincinnati Bengals after seven seasons, the team confirmed Monday.

“As we continue to build our roster for the 2019 season, we felt it best to give both the team and Vontaze a fresh start,” head coach Zac Taylor said in a statement.

Burfict, 28, had two seasons remaining on a $33.2 million contract extension, but releasing him results in a cap charge of only $1.8 million.

Burfict appeared in only 43 games in the past five seasons, encountering repeated head injuries — seven documented concussions — and three suspensions. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Burfict amassed more than $4 million in on-field conduct fines.

–Defensive lineman Haloti Ngata went to great lengths — rather heights — to announce his retirement.

The 13-year-NFL veteran posted a heartfelt message along with a photo on Instagram showing him standing atop Mount Kilimanjaro holding a banner that read, “I’m retiring from the NFL on top.”

“Just a man standing on top of the world with a heart full of gratitude. Thank you Lord for letting play the game I love for 13 unforgettable years,” read the social media post by Ngata, a 35-year-old who played for the Philadelphia Eagles last season.

–New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman said that he traded star wideout Odell Beckham Jr. because the Cleveland Browns made an offer that was impossible to pass up.

“We didn’t sign him to trade him, but things changed,” he said. “Frankly, what changed is another team made us an offer we couldn’t refuse.”

The trade last Wednesday ended months of speculation that Beckham was on his way out of New York. After signing Beckham to a five-year, $95 million contract in 2018, the Giants saw their season spiral downward.

–Adrian Peterson is officially back with Washington after the Redskins announced his signing.

Multiple outlets reported last Wednesday that Peterson agreed to a two-year, $8 million deal.

Peterson rushed for 1,042 yards and seven touchdowns in 16 games for the Redskins last season. He signed late in training camp after Derrius Guice sustained a torn ACL.

–Free agent wide receiver Jordy Nelson will visit the Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday, ESPN reported.

The New England Patriots, Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs reportedly are among other teams interested in Nelson. He became available last week when the Oakland Raiders released him following their trade for former Pittsburgh Steelers star wideout Antonio Brown and the acquisition of Tyrell Williams in free agency.

–Kansas City agreed to sign cornerback Bashaud Breeland to a three-year contract, ESPN reported.

Breeland, 27, played seven games with Green Bay last season, starting five, after originally agreeing to a three-year, $24 million free agent deal with the Carolina Panthers last March. That agreement was nixed because of a failed physical (foot).

–Running back and kick returner Ameer Abdullah signed a one-year deal with Minnesota.

Abdullah, 25, was Minnesota’s primary kick returner for the final seven games of last season after he was claimed off waivers from Detroit. He returned 10 kicks for 258 yards, with a long of 33.

–Philadelphia announced a one-year deal with veteran strong safety Andrew Sendejo.

Sendejo spent the past eight seasons with Minnesota. The 31-year-old became a free agent earlier this month when the Vikings declined the $5.5 million 2019 option on his contract.

–Washington signed free agent offensive tackle Ereck Flowers to a one-year, $4 million deal, according to multiple reports.

Flowers was the ninth overall selection by the Giants in 2015 but didn’t pan out as an impact lineman and was released last October. He finished last season with Jacksonville, where he started the final seven games of the season.

–ESPN apparently is trying to convince Peyton Manning to join the “Monday Night Football” broadcast team.

The Hollywood Reporter revealed that ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro and content chief Connor Schell flew to Denver a week ago to meet with the future Hall of Fame quarterback. It’s unclear if 42-year-old Manning is interested in assuming the analyst role.

–The investigation into allegations of battery against Kansas City wide receiver Tyreek Hill remains open.

Steve Howe, district attorney in Johnson County, Kan., acknowledged in a written statement that his office “has received numerous requests for information” about the status of the investigation into Hill but could provide no additional details.

Hill, 25, has not been charged with any crimes but is under investigation for an alleged battery incident involving a juvenile, according to multiple published reports. The Kansas City Star reported that Hill’s 3-year-old son sustained a broken arm in the incident.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: The SoftBank Group logo displayed at the SoftBank World 2017 conference in Tokyo
FILE PHOTO: The logo of SoftBank Group Corp is displayed at SoftBank World 2017 conference in Tokyo, Japan, July 20, 2017. REUTERS/Issei Kato

March 18, 2019

(Reuters) – Chip designer Nvidia Corp said on Monday it has partnered with Softbank Group Corp and LG Uplus Corp to deploy cloud gaming servers in Japan and Korea later this year.

Nvidia makes graphics chips for PCs and laptops that help video games look more realistic. Now the company is putting those same chips inside servers in data centers so that gamers who do not have an Nvidia chip in their computer can stream games from the data center.

Nvidia said at a conference in San Jose, California, that it has created a “pod” of its graphics cards that can support up to 10,000 gamers streaming games at once.

The company said Softbank and LG Uplus would use the cards for services to let customers stream games over 5G networks, the next generation of wireless data networks.

(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco and Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; editing by G Crosse)

Source: OANN

David Hookstead | Reporter

The Big Ten has another accomplishment to hang on the wall.

The conference led the country with the most teams to make the NCAA basketball tournament and to make a football bowl game. (RELATED: The March Madness Bracket Has Been Released)

Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio State and Minnesota all made both. No other conference had more than five teams.

Oh man, do you hear that noise off in the distance? That’s the sound of millions and millions of SEC fans losing their minds, and I couldn’t be happier.

Look, I know that I rag on the SEC on a routine basis, but it’s only because they deserve it. The people down there are great. Don’t get me wrong. (RELATED: Clemson Beats Alabama For National Title)

People in SEC country are incredible. I love all of them. They’re awesome and the women are hot. Having said that, nothing is more fun than watching them explode with jealousy.

Here’s the deal, folks. If you don’t want the Big Ten rubbing it in your face and laughing at you, then have more teams in the big dance and in bowl games. It’s really that simple. This isn’t rocket science.

As for the big boys in the Big Ten, we just continue to dominate. When the lights come on, you either perform or fade away. There are no other options.

As for my fellow Midwestern people, let’s enjoy watching our teams stomp all over people in a few days. It’s going to be fun!

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

The Cincinnati Bengals have released linebacker Vontaze Burfict after seven years with the organization.

NFL.com’s Tom Peliserro reported Monday that the Bengals cut Burfict, who has spent the past few years battling injuries and suspensions. (RELATED: Tyler Eifert Re-Signs With The Bengals, Financial Details Not Known)

The 28-year-old linebacker is well-known as one of the dirtiest players in the sport. Over the course of his career, Burfict has forfeited millions of dollars in salary because of suspensions and injuries. (RELATED: REPORT: Cincinnati Bengals Will Likely Hire Zac Taylor As Their New Head Coach)

The most egregious example of Burfict’s dirty play came when he and Adam “Pacman” Jones cost the Bengals (and former Alabama great A.J. McCarron) a playoff win with two late unnecessary roughness plays.

Today, the Bengals finally decided to cut bait with the troubled star. Good for them.

It was long overdue.

Follow William Davis on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

The XFL might let fans call plays when it returns in 2020.

XFLboard.com explained the following on the potential rule for the league in a post published March 11:

XFL head coaches Jim Zorn (Seattle), Marc Trestman (Tampa Bay), and Pep Hamilton (Washington D.C.) recently spent time working with “Your Call Football” in another test of the proposed XFL rules.

Your Call Football” is an interactive football competition where online spectators call the plays via a smartphone app.  Now in their second season, games are held on Monday evenings and played by relatively high quality players who are largely recent cuts from NFL and CFL rosters.

This is without a doubt one of the dumbest ideas that I’ve heard of in a very long time. Letting the fans call plays? This has to be a joke, right? Vince McMahon can’t possibly be this stupid.

I thought the XFL was supposed to be more serious this time around. Letting people a few beers deep dial up plays is outrageously dumb. (RELATED: Johnny Manziel Signs With The Memphis Express In The AAF)

Good luck finding a quarterback who repeatedly wants to drop back to heave bombs or scramble for his life because fans find it entertaining.

It’s going to take one major injury thanks to this idiotic plan before it will end forever. Also, good luck convincing a guy like Bob Stoops that the fans should be drawing up game plans instead of him.

Will it be entertaining for the fans? Sure, but the players are going to revolt. I can promise you that much.

There will be an open revolt if guys who take football very seriously find themselves running trick plays every other snap.

This is a potential disaster just waiting to unfold.

H/T: Barstool Sports

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

A Tupolev Tu-22M3 strategic bomber drops bombs during the Aviadarts competition at the Dubrovichi range outside Ryazan
FILE PHOTO: A Tupolev Tu-22M3 strategic bomber drops bombs during the Aviadarts competition, part of the International Army Games 2018, at the Dubrovichi range outside Ryazan, Russia August 4, 2018. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

March 18, 2019

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia has decided to deploy nuclear-capable Tupolev Tu-22M3 strategic bombers to the Crimean peninsula in response to the U.S. rolling out missile defense systems in Romania, the RIA news agency cited a senior Russian lawmaker as saying on Monday.

Russia plans to station the bombers at the Gvardeyskoye air base in Crimea, Viktor Bondarev, head of the upper house of parliament’s defense and security committee, was quoted as saying.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, and President Vladimir Putin flew into the Black Sea peninsula on Monday to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the annexation.

(Reporting by Maria Tsvetkova; writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by Andrew Osborn)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron greets Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta as they address a news conference after touring the Nairobi Central Railway in Nairobi
FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron greets Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta as they address a news conference after touring the Nairobi Central Railway in Nairobi, Kenya March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya/File Photo

March 18, 2019

By John Irish

NAIROBI (Reuters) – On a trip to East Africa last week, a beaming French President Emmanuel Macron was driven through the grounds of the Kenyan president’s official residence in a locally assembled Peugeot 3008 car.

Two days earlier, he toured churches hewn into the rock in Ethiopia. On a visit last year, he went to a Nigerian nightclub.

Macron, 41, is trying to recast the style of France’s engagement in Africa, where it was once a colonial power, hoping that building warmer cultural and personal ties will help boost business, trade and investment.

He signed contracts worth about 2 billion euros ($2.27 billion) while in Kenya, whereas British Prime Minister Theresa May did not conclude any on a similar trip last August.

A consortium led by Vinci secured a 30-year concession worth 1.6 billion euros to operate a highway linking the Kenyan capital and Mau Summit in western Kenya. Renewables firm Voltalia sealed a 70-million-euro contract for a solar power plant and an Airbus-led consortium won a 200 million euro deal for coastal and maritime surveillance.

But Macron’s four-day tour of Kenya, Ethiopia and former colony Djibouti showed how big a battle France faces in Africa, where China, Turkey and others have moved in quickly and aggressively, and competition is fierce from African countries.

In 2017, French exports to Kenya, a former British colony, were about $200 million — about half Uganda’s exports to its neighbor. China exported $3.8 billion, making it Kenya’s biggest trading partner.

The personal touch is vital when competing with China, French officials say.

“We’ve always used that form of diplomacy to implant ourselves,” said a French diplomat in the region. “But it becomes all the more important when facing China, because it differentiates us from their contract-oriented, low-cost, low-interest model of doing business.”

TOUGH TASK

Trade figures across the continent show how tough the task ahead is for France, the world’s sixth largest economy.

From 2000 to 2017, the portion of all French exports that went to Africa halved from 11 percent to 5.5 percent. The main competition has come from Chinese goods, particularly in French-speaking West Africa.

Since coming to office in May 2017, Macron, who spent several months as a diplomatic intern in Nigeria in the early 2000s, has visited 16 African states, with two visits each to Mali and Morocco.

He has focused mainly on long-running relationships in French-speaking Africa, particularly the Sahel, where the responsibilities of the 4,500 French troops deployed there include fighting Islamic State. But he also has sought to build ties with Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and Ethiopia.

Last week’s trip was a chance for Macron to show that “for too long we treated these East African countries like Banana Republics and they don’t like that,” said a former French envoy.

“They have resources, financial means and growth. “I’m not convinced that what is seen as ‘our Africa’ (France’s former colonies) can offer the business opportunities we have elsewhere on the continent.”

France is now seeking more targeted investments in specific sectors. The national development agency pours about 5 billion euros a year into Africa yet that barely scratches the surface alongside the cheap loans, big infrastructure investments and financing by China.

“It’s not easy to develop these economic links,” said Francois Gualme of the French Institute of International Relations, who worked for France’s development agency. “There’s a political presence, but the economic presence remains small.”

“FRANCE MUST COME BACK”

In Ethiopia, Macron said he wanted a new economic relationship, but Beijing has also been forging economic ties with Addis Ababa. China rebuilt, and financed through a multi-billion dollar loan, the rail link between the Ethiopian capital and Djibouti that was constructed by the French in 1917.

There are many signs of China’s presence, including Chinese laborers building skyscrapers or greetings of “Ni Hao” from children. Some Ethiopians resent the Chinese influence and hark back to when French and European influence was felt more widely.

Near the old French railway terminus in Addis Ababa, a group of former rail employees sat chatting in French at the Railway Workers’ Club in between games of petanque.

“You are from Paris, this is all from Paris,” said one who gave his name only as Getachew. “France must come back.”

That sentiment was expressed elsewhere in Ethiopia, where France has said it will share its expertise to develop tourism and rebuild the landlocked country’s navy.

“China is bad for us,” said Wonde, a 30-year-old taxi driver. “They bring China here — workers, food, women — and leave nothing for the Ethiopians.”

But the small group of business leaders that accompanied Macron on his trip showed few signs of cashing in on this sentiment. The delegation included the chief executive of telecoms group Orange, which wants to position itself in Ethiopia before the state telecoms operator is privatized, but its prospects are no clearer after the trip.

Diplomats and members of the delegation said the potential is great in Ethiopia, a country of 100 million people, but complained about slow and excessive bureaucracy.

“There’s the political will from the prime minister, but the administration doesn’t necessarily agree with everything that’s being done,” said one French executive. “It will take time to clear the bureaucratic hurdles.”

PROSPECTS IN KENYA

In Kenya, an economy with a long record of enterprise and a British-style bureaucracy, the prospects appear brighter.

Automaker Peugeot assembles two models in the country and a range of French companies — from Vinci to water and waste utility Veolia, energy firm Total and electricity group EDF — are vying for opportunities in the East African country.

But French businesses account for just 1.4 percent of the total market share in Kenya, and France ranks only 17th among trading partners in the region’s most dynamic economy.

“The relationship is not so much unbalanced between our two countries,” Macron said alongside Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta. “It is worse — it is weak to poor.

Macron said France should develop manufacturing projects based in Kenya. Kenyatta appeared to welcome that but did not respond directly when asked what France could offer that China and other countries could not.

There was, at least, success during the trip for a smaller business. Christophe Passelande, chief executive of Malteries Soufflet, said his barley malting company broke ground on a vast new plant on the outskirts of Nairobi he hopes will tap into Kenya’s large and growing beer market.

“When it comes to malting, the important actors are not Chinese,” Passelande told Reuters. “Our industry has real French know-how, and because of that we’re here first.”

But there is no sign that France is about to catch up with China in Ethiopia.

Asked whether France was a preferable partner to China, an Ethiopian businessman accustomed to working with the Chinese said: “Why would we want to put all our eggs in one basket?”

(Additional reporting by Marine Pennetier and Richard Lough; Editing by Luke Baker and Timothy Heritage)

Source: OANN

DJ Masatane Muto, diagnosed with the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), mixes music using a smart eyewear called 'Jins Meme' which detects eye and head movements, during his performance on the stage in Tokyo
DJ Masatane Muto, diagnosed with the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), mixes music using a smart eyewear called ‘Jins Meme’ which detects eye and head movements, during his performance on the stage in Tokyo, Japan, January 24, 2019. Picture taken January 24, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato

March 18, 2019

By Kwiyeon Ha

TOKYO (Reuters) – The music booms and lights flash as Masatane Muto, a wheelchair-bound disc jockey, uses is eyes to put on a show at a recent Tokyo music festival.

Muto, who lost the use of his hands to Lou Gehrig’s Disease, wears a pair of high-tech glasses connected to an app that controls music-mixing software.

“Through my performance, I hope to show that everybody should be given the chance to express themselves,” Muto, 32, told Reuters Television after performing at the J-Wave Innovation World Festa.

Muto was a 27-year-old advertising executive when he was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease – a progressive neurological disease in which patients gradually lose control of most of their muscles, though mental function remains unimpaired.

The disease, which gained prominence in 2014 through the “Ice Bucket Challenge” global video fundraising campaign, is terminal, with most patients dying within three to five years of their diagnosis. There is currently no treatment.

On the train home after his diagnosis, Muto vowed to make the rest of his life as innovative and creative as possible.

He quit his job and founded the group “WITH ALS” to raise awareness of the disease and help other patients live their lives to the fullest.

Muto dreamed of being a disc jockey and tracked down the latest technology to make it happen.

Now a radio personality, he performs as a disc and video jockey under the moniker “EYE VDJ”, mixing music with smart eyewear that detects his eye movements and allows him to use an app connected to music-mixing software.

A three-point sensor on the nose pad of the JINS MEME glasses detects subtle electronic changes in the surrounding skin which are caused by blinking or movement of the eyes.

The eyeglasses sell for 27,300 yen ($245) a pair, cheaper than many other eye-tracking devices. The source code for JINS MEME has been released to the public in the hope that others will find their own ways of using it, Muto said.

“ALS is thought to be an incurable disease, but I believe hope is now growing for ALS patients to pursue their lifestyle and quality of life with the help of technology,” he said.

Muto said his next dream is to perform at the opening ceremonies of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020.

“By then I may be bedridden, but I can perform with the help of technology and the support of many people,” he said.

(Writing by Elaine Lies; Editing by Darren Schuettler)

Source: OANN

David Hookstead | Reporter

The Big Ten showed up and showed out on Selection Sunday.

Eight teams from the conference were selected for the tournament, which led the way and is a record for the league, according to the NCAA. The ACC and SEC both put seven teams into the NCAA tournament(RELATED: The March Madness Bracket Has Been Released)

The B1G is represented by Michigan State, Purdue, Michigan, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Ohio State and Wisconsin. (RELATED: Duke Favored To Win March Madness, Gonzaga And Virginia Follow)

If that’s not a strong group of teams, then I just don’t know what is.

Stop me if you’ve heard this story before. Everybody doubted the Big 10 all year. Everybody overlooked us because we weren’t a sexy conference with our style of play and then we showed up when it matters.

It’s a story as old as time, and it’s one that I never get tired of hearing or seeing play itself out.

It’s almost like people involved in the B1G fandom pride ourselves for having a chip on our shoulders. We damn well should given how little respect we get for the product we put out and results we actually get. (RELATED: Watch Wisconsin Beat Kentucky In The 2015 Final Four)

Of course, it’s now time to go out and ball against the best teams in the country. None of this will matter if we go out and get smacked in the first round of the tournament.

You can see the whole bracket below, and analyze all the games for yourself.

As for those of us repping B1G schools, it’s good to know the committee got it right. Now, we march towards chaos and a championship.

God bless this beautiful sport and country.

Source: The Daily Caller

San Antonio Commanders returner Greg Ward Jr. had a wild touchdown Sunday against the Atlanta Legends.

Ward appeared to be completely trapped by five defenders on a punt return during the 37-6 win for the Commanders.

Yet, he somehow managed to miraculously escape the pressure and rip off a massive punt return for a touchdown. How he slipped the defenders is honestly mind-boggling. (RELATED: San Diego Fleet Quarterback Mike Bercovici Suffers Brutal Hit During AAF Opener)

When Ward first caught the ball, it appeared like he was going absolutely nowhere. Moments later, he put six points on the board. Watch the electric play below.

Once again, the AAF is out here producing solid entertainment during the NFL offseason. It really does seem like the league is here to stay, and that’s a good thing for fans everywhere. (RELATED: Johnny Manziel Signs With The Memphis Express In The AAF)

If the football stays at a high level like the play above, then people will continue to watch. I can promise you that much.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Greg Ward, Jr. (@gwardjr_nwh17) on

If you haven’t seen any AAF games yet, then you’re not living life the right way. You have to give them a shot.

I promise that you won’t regret it. As for Ward, that was one hell of an awesome play. Major props to him.

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

Duke is the heavy favorite to walk away from March Madness with a championship.

The teams with the top odds, according to OddsShark, are as follows:

  1. Duke +225
  2. Gonzaga +600
  3. Virginia +800
  4. Michigan +1000
  5. Kentucky +1200
  6. North Carolina +1200
  7. Michigan State +1200
  8. Tennessee +1400
  9. Auburn +2000

I can’t believe how much I’ve changed my tune on Coach K and the Blue Devils in the past few days. I pretty much wrote them off as they stumbled through their last six regular season games as Zion Williamson was sidelined with a sprained knee. (RELATED: The March Madness Bracket Has Been Released)

My opinion changed quickly when I watched them rock and roll their way to an ACC tournament championship, and the top overall seed in the tournament.

Now, I feel like taking anybody else is insanely stupid. Zion is back, Duke is rolling and I can’t see a situation where anybody touches them if they remain healthy.

As for a nice value pick, you can’t go wrong with UNC at +1200. The Tar Heels are playing some great basketball, but they do have a bit of a tough road with Kansas and Kentucky in their region.

Don’t sleep on UNC. We all know what Roy Williams and his squad are capable of in March.

As for my Badgers, we’re at +5000. You best believe that I’m about to smash that number. Might as well. It’s time to get rich! (RELATED: Watch Wisconsin Beat Kentucky In The 2015 Final Four)

Sleep on my Badgers all you want. I’ll just take the money and run. Welcome to March!

Sound off in the comments with who you’re taking and why. Can’t wait to see what you guys think will happen.

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: JP Morgan Chase & Co. corporate headquarters in New York
FILE PHOTO: A view of the exterior of the JP Morgan Chase & Co. corporate headquarters in New York City May 20, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Segar/Files/File Photo

March 18, 2019

By Anna Irrera

NEW YORK (Reuters) – JPMorgan Chase & Co is testing neuroscience-based video games to help recruit interns, as it seeks to increase the diversity of its workforce by broadening its candidate pool.

The bank is piloting technology from pymetrics, a startup whose games help companies assess applicants’ social, cognitive and behavioral features, such as attention, memory and altruism, Matt Mitro, JPMorgan’s head of campus recruiting, said in an interview.

To identify which potential interns might be best suited for a job, the platform measures a candidate’s attributes against those of a firm’s successful employees. This helps companies make their assessments more data-based than traditional processes.

Over the past few months, entry level employees at JPMorgan across the world played the pymetrics’ games, which were then played by hundreds of candidates for a limited number of full-time roles, Mitro said.

Mitro said employment history is a good indicator of fit for experienced workers, but with recent college graduates, resumes have less predictive value. That prompted JPMorgan to test pymetrics’ technology with entry-level candidates, who are usually just starting their careers.

Large firms have been increasingly turning to technology to make recruitment and other human resources processes more fair. Systems also include applications that scan performance reviews for unconscious bias or that monitor job ads for phrases that might dissuade a certain demographic from applying.

“Our re-imagining of how we hire is part of a broader objective at the firm where we are asking ourselves: ‘Can we better meet our diversity goals by broadening the pool of candidates we are considering?’,” Mitro said.

JPMorgan’s pilot will continue with applicants for 2020 internships in the United States, he added, noting that this technology would only be one step of the selection process.

Pymetric’s clients also include Unilever Plc and Accenture Plc, according to its website

(Reporting by Anna Irrera; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

Source: OANN


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