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Libyan-Canadian cleric linked to Manchester bomber plans return to Canada to clear his name – CBC News

A Libyan-Canadian cleric linked in U.S. and British media reports to Manchester bomber Salman Abedi says he will return to Canada in weeks with the intention of clearing his name. Abdul Baset Egwilla was an Ottawa-based imam until his return to Libya in 2007. In an exclusive interview with CBC News over Skype, Egwilla denied any connection to Abedi. &'8220;I challenge whoever accuses me of such a connection to produce evidence, such as a time, date and place where I met with the suicide bomber,&'8221; Egwilla said. CBC News has agreed not to disclose Egwilla's current location due to concerns for his safety, as he is the subject of death threats in Libya. Salman Abedi, 22, was identified on May 23 as the suicide bomber who killed 22 people and wounded more than 60 others, including children, at a pop concert in Manchester. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack. The bomber's father, Ramadan Abedi, who denies his son was a member of ISIS, has since been arrested by Libyan counter-terrorism officers. U.S. and British media reports, citing anonymous sources, have claimed a link between Salman, his father and Libyan-Canadian cleric Egwilla. A senior American official told the New York Times on May 24 that Salman Abedi &'8220;had links to a radical preacher in Libya&'8221; identified as Abdul Baset Egwilla, and that Egwilla's son had died fighting for ISIS. Egwilla's son did die in 2016, but Libyan news reports and a martyrdom notice at the time said he was killed fighting for the Omar Mukhtar Brigade, a Libyan Islamist militia that is not a listed terrorist organization. The Times newspaper in the U.K. reported May 27 that Ramadan Abedi was an associate of &'8220;extremist Canadian-Libyan preacher&'8221; Egwilla, and that the Libyan-Canadian is believed to have radicalized Ramadan's son, Salman Abedi. The father would regularly meet with Egwilla at Friday prayers in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, in 2015, added the Times, citing a resident of the city who asked not to be named. The Greater Manchester Police Force would neither confirm nor deny to CBC News that Egwilla is under investigation for possible involvement in the Manchester bombing. Egwilla, who has been absent from Libya for several months since fleeing a plot to assassinate him, said he has never, to his knowledge, met either Salman or Ramadan Abedi. &'8220;I am a public figure, I appear in the media. I show up in mosques and preach to a multitude of people. People know me, but I do not know them,&'8221; Egwilla said. &'8220;And if I met him once or twice before, it could be that he changed his beliefs later on, but I never met him in the first place,&'8221; Egwilla said of the Manchester bomber. Declassified documents released by Canada's Integrated Terrorism Assessment Centre in 2014 flagged a YouTube video in which Egwilla is seen &'8220;promoting violent jihad in Libya.&'8221; &'8220;In the video, Egwilla urged an audience of Libyan Islamist fighters to take part in jihad, stating that 'jihad is simply and easily accessible, and does not require moving as in the past, as it was for Afghanistan and Iraq,'&'8221; the report said. Egwilla says that call to jihad was made to recruit people to fight specifically against a militia led by a former general in Moammar Gadhafi's regime, and not a call to support the global jihadi movement. &'8220;I spoke about jihad only through Fajr Libya Dawn (a rebel militia alliance) and only when [Moammar Gadhafi] suppressed peaceful demonstrators and bombed them with anti-aircraft weaponry,&'8221; said Egwilla. &'8220;This was unjust and an act of tyranny.&'8221; Egwilla said people claiming to be with the government of Canada have attempted to reach out to him using the app Viber, though he says he has never agreed to an interview. Egwilla said he intends to speak to authorities to clear his name when he returns to Canada. After seven years in Ottawa, Egwilla left Canada for Libya in 2007, when Gadhafi's regime began sending signals that it would not persecute returning dissidents. ​ He began working at a Tripoli religious radio station and associated with a group of clerics that included Sadiq al-Ghariani, who today is the country's Grand Mufti, the top religious leader, and a strong supporter of Islamist militias. When rebellion broke out in 2011, Egwilla was a prominent supporter, and after the fall of Gadhafi's regime, was promoted to be the administrative director for the mosques in Tripoli. He said he became a prominent imam and broadcaster. In 2014, as splits emerged between liberals and Islamists over the direction post-Gadhafi Libya should take, Egwilla identified with the &'8220;Libya Dawn&'8221; coalition of Islamist militias that seized Tripoli from the UN-backed government. Libya Dawn soon found itself involved in a war with the secular forces of Gadhafi-era general Khalifa Haftar, and Egwilla's Ottawa-raised son Owais joined one of the Islamist militias battling Haftar. Owais died in combat in March last year. It was reported in some quarters that Owais Egwilla had died fighting for Islamic State. In fact, martyrdom notices posted at the time of his death show him as a member of the Omar Mukhtar Brigade, an Islamist militia that was part of the coalition that fought Islamic State and drove it out of its Libyan stronghold in Sirte. Egwilla says he fled Libya eight months ago following the kidnapping and murder of fellow cleric Nadir al-Omrani by assassins of the Madkhali sect of Sunni Islam. Madkhalis, followers of a school of thought founded by a Saudi cleric, have become increasingly active in Libya. Like Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Madkhalis in Libya have destroyed ancient shrines and manuscripts they deem un-Islamic and they consider voting to be heresy. In a videotaped confession seen by CBC News, one of [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource: mindanaoexaminer mindanaoexaminerJun 5th, 2017

May to tackle Trump over ‘evidence’ leaks – BBC News

Theresa May is to raise concerns with Donald Trump after evidence from the Manchester Arena bombing was apparently leaked to US media. UK officials were &'8220;furious&'8221; when photos appearing to show debris from the attack appeared in the New York Times. Monday night's attack at Manchester Arena killed 22 people &'' including children &'' and injured 64. Eight men are now in custody following the attack, carried out by suicide bomber Salman Abedi. The prime minister is expected to raise the issue of the leak with the US president when they meet at a Nato summit later. Details about Abedi's identity had already emerged in the US media less than 24 hours after the explosion and against the UK's wishes. Home Secretary Amber Rudd said she was &'8220;irritated&'8221; by the disclosure of Abedi's identity and had warned Washington &'8220;it should not happen again&'8221;. However, the pictures of debris &'' which appear to show bloodstained fragments from the bomb and the backpack used to conceal it &'' were subsequently leaked to the New York Times, prompting a furious response from within Whitehall and from UK police chiefs. BBC security correspondent Gordon Corera says UK officials believe that US law enforcement rather than the White House is the likely culprit for the leaks. The meeting between Mrs May and Mr Trump, at a Nato summit in Brussels, will take place as British police continue to investigate an alleged &'8220;network&'8221; linked to Abedi. Early on Thursday morning, detectives carried out a controlled explosion as they searched a property in the Moss Side area of Manchester. Two men were also arrested following a search of an address in the Withington area of Greater Manchester. In total, eight men, including Abedi's older brother, and a woman have been arrested in a series of raids across Manchester, Wigan and Nuneaton. The woman was subsequently released without charge in the early hours of Thursday. Meanwhile, Abedi's father and a younger brother have been detained by militia in Libya. A Whitehall source described the second US leak as &'8220;on another level&'8221;, and told the BBC it had caused &'8220;disbelief and astonishment&'8221; across the British government. The source said the the issue was &'8220;being raised at every relevant level by the British authorities with their US counterparts&'8221;. The UK's National Police Chiefs' Council described the &'8220;unauthorised disclosure&'8221; as a breach of trust which had potentially undermined a &'8220;major counter-terrorism investigation&'8221;. Counter-terrorism detectives have spoken in the past about how important it sometimes is the names of suspects do not make it into the media. A delay of around 36 hours, before the public know who they are investigating, can allow them to arrest known associates of the suspect before they know police are looking for them. Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said the leaks had worried him &'8220;greatly,&'8221; and he had raised them with the US ambassador. Mr Burnham told Newsnight a decision had been taken to adopt a &'8220;cautious approach&'8221; to making information public, &'8220;and yet the first reports were coming seemingly out of the United States&'8221;. Abedi's identity was first reported in the US &'' with American TV networks CBS and NBC naming him as the suspect. In other developments, the government has announced that a minute's silence will be held at 11:00 BST on Thursday in remembrance of those who lost their lives or were affected by the attack. The Conservatives and Labour are to resume local general election campaigning on Thursday, and national campaigning on Friday. Eight men and one woman have been arrested in the UK since Monday night, including Abedi's older brother Ismail, 23, although the woman has since been released. Younger brother Hashem, 20, was held by militia in the Libyan capital Tripoli, as was their father. Speaking on Wednesday afternoon, Greater Manchester Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said: &'8220;I think it's very clear that this is a network that we are investigating. &'8220;And as I've said, it continues at a pace. There's extensive investigations going on and activity taking place across Greater Manchester, as we speak.&'8221; As part of their investigation, police raided a block of flats near Manchester Piccadilly station in the city centre, requiring them to carry out a controlled explosion and briefly close the railway line. Police carried out another controlled explosion in the early hours of Thursday morning at an address in the Moss Side area of Manchester. Some of the victims had been making their way outside at the end of the gig when Abedi detonated his &'8220;nuts-and-bolts&'8221; bomb. Others had been waiting in the foyer to pick up children and family. A serving Cheshire police officer &'' off-duty at the time &'' was among those killed. She has not yet been named. The victims include 14-year-old Sorrell Leczkowski, from Leeds, whose grandmother is critically injured in hospital. Others who died are mother-of-three Michelle Kiss, Nell Jones, 14, eight-year-oldSaffie Roussos, Alison Howe, Lisa Lees, Jane Tweddle-Taylor, 51, Martyn Hett, 29, and Olivia Campbell, 15. Kelly Brewster, 32, John Atkinson, 28, Georgina Callander &'' thought to be 18 &'' and Marcin and Angelika Klis, a Polish couple from York, have also been named. South Shields couple Chloe Rutherford, 17, and Liam Curry, 19 have been named among the dead. Family members paid tribute to the teenagers and in a statement issued by police said: &'8220;They wanted to be together forever and now they are.&'8221; Of the 64 injured, [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsMay 29th, 2017

Man City faces repercussions for misleading UEFA on finances

By Rob Harris, Associated Press LONDON (AP) — European soccer's leadership has an initial conclusion on leaked Manchester City correspondence: The club has been misleading UEFA over its finances. With the power to ban clubs from the Champions League, the consequences from UEFA could be severe for the Premier League champions. UEFA discovered from reading internal emails from City, which were published by German media outlet Der Spiegel last month, the extent of schemes by the club to allegedly cover up the true source of income in a bid to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations, a person with direct knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the situation publicly while UEFA conducts a review of the City case. City has been transformed into an English soccer power in the decade since being bought by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a deputy prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and a member of Abu Dhabi's royal family, winning the Premier League three times since 2012. But unfettered spending on players has been restricted by European soccer's governing body — regardless of the owners' wealth. City has already been punished by UEFA for violating FFP, striking an agreement in 2014 that saw the team fined rather than banned from the Champions League for inflated sponsorship deals with companies linked to the club or its ownership. UEFA publicly said last month that evidence from "Football Leaks" could lead to past cases being re-opened. The person with knowledge of the situation said it was more feasible to use the leaks to re-assess the candor of club executives and as a basis to judge City's compliance with FFP in the current three-year assessment period. That covers 2015 when Der Spiegel said emails were being sent internally at City showing the manipulation of sponsorship revue from Etihad Airways, the state-owned airline from Abu Dhabi, which is the naming rights sponsor of City's stadium and training campus as well as appearing on jerseys. The sponsorship was said to generate 67.5 million pounds (about $85 million) annually for City. But City's holding company — the state-backed Abu Dhabi United Group — channeled 59.9 million pounds back to Etihad, according to Jorge Chumillas, the club's chief financial officer, in an internal email to club director Simon Pearce. City has not disputed the authenticity of any emails published by Der Spiegel over the last month. Given the fresh insight into City's financial dealings, UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin has said there was a "public interest" in the correspondence being leaked, while questioning how it was obtained. "We are assessing the situation. We have an independent body working on it," Ceferin said Monday. "Very soon you will have the answers on what will happen in this concrete case." FFP was the flagship policy of Michel Platini, Ceferin's predecessor as UEFA president, and introduced at the height of the global financial crisis in attempt to prevent clubs from becoming unsustainable. Since July 2011, UEFA has monitored the accounts of all clubs entering its two club competitions. The first period UEFA assessed clubs for compliance with FFP was 2011-13, when owners were allowed to cover losses up to 45 million euros. The leaks showed how City allegedly tried to artificially raise its revenue, in one case by 30 million euros, according to emails from 2013 reported by Der Spiegel. Abu Dhabi United Group was alleged to be sending cash to a shell vehicle which was created to supposedly buy the right to use players' images in marketing campaigns. There were further examples that Sheikh Mansour could have been the source of sponsorship revenue for Abu Dhabi state-owned companies like investment firm Aabar. Der Spiegel cited a 2010 email to Aabar from Pearce, the City director who also works for Abu Dhabi's Executive Affairs Authority. "As we discussed, the annual direct obligation for Aabar is GBP 3 million," Pearce wrote. "The remaining 12 million GBP requirement will come from alternative sources provided by His Highness." Seeing internal City correspondence has given UEFA a greater insight into the conduct of the club and its officials. A 2014 email from City lawyer Simon Cliff to a colleague showed the death of UEFA's lead FFP investigator being celebrated: "1 down, 6 to go." UEFA is examining whether to open disciplinary cases against individuals at City involved in attempts to provide a misrepresentation of club finances to the governing body's FFP accessors, another person with direct knowledge of the situation said. The person, who did not identify any individuals, spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the City case. A challenge for UEFA is getting City to provide information from related companies in Abu Dhabi that the leaks show are central to compliance with FFP. City has repeatedly declined to respond to the specific allegations in the leaks, dismissing a month of negative headlines by saying: "The attempt to damage the club's reputation is organized and clear." But City has had no such qualms using its website to cast aspersions on the reputations of other clubs over their ability to comply with FFP. City has used the media watch section on its website to cite unsubstantiated news reports, including a claim in 2016 that "Inter Milan are looking to circumnavigate FFP" and speculation this year that if Paris Saint-Germain "are found to have broken FFP regulations they face being booted out of the Champions League." Those pages were deleted from its website after City was approached for comment by the AP......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 5th, 2018

Leaks reveal Man City deal to hide player costs from UEFA

By Graham Dunbar, Associated Press GENEVA (AP) — Manchester City created a shell company for a commercial deal to disguise tens of millions of dollars in income from UEFA investigators, according to club documents cited by a German magazine. Der Spiegel cites internal Man City correspondence to show the team's holding company, state-backed Abu Dhabi United Group, paid the shell firm to "buy" player image rights from the club. The magazine reported that Man City officials detailed a long-term search for "creative solutions" to hiding expenses and evading UEFA monitoring of spending on players. Man City risked Champions League expulsion in 2014 if a UEFA club finance panel had found it had severely breached "Financial Fair Play" rules, designed to curb overspending on player costs. Critics say FFP protects storied clubs from ambitious rivals with new and wealthy owners. Der Spiegel is leading the Europe-wide publication of the "Football Leaks" documents. In recent days, European media have detailed plans shaped by Real Madrid for a breakaway European Super League kicking off in 2021, and how FIFA President Gianni Infantino has intervened in its independent ethics committee's work. Der Spiegel also reported last Friday that Man City threatened to destroy UEFA with legal action before reaching a 2014 settlement to forfeit 20 million euros ($22.8 million) in prize money. Man City has not disputed the authenticity of the documents, and said an "attempt to damage the club's reputation is organized and clear." Asked about what was reported in Der Spiegel, Man City manager Pep Guardiola said Tuesday: "Of course I trust the club, what they have done. Of course we want to follow the rules. UEFA, FIFA and the Premier League, they do what they have to do. Believe me, I'm completely honest, I don't know what happened, I'm a manager, focused on the pitch, the locker room." "I'm part of the club, I support the club," added Guardiola, who was speaking at a news conference ahead of City's Champions League match against Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday. "We want to do what we have to do in terms of the rules." Since Man City was bought with Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth in 2008, a team long in the shadows of more glamorous Manchester United has overtaken its rival on the field. City achieved this spending more than 1 billion pounds ($1.3 billion) to win a first Premier League title in 2012. This rise coincided with UEFA creating rules — in consultation with the European Club Association — to limit spending within a club's ability to generate revenue. Der Spiegel cited Man City documents in which officials wrote: "Without significant additional revenues ... UEFA FFP compliance WILL NOT be achieved." City CEO Ferran Soriano complained in one memo that ECA members were pushing for the UEFA rules — which many thought could curb the rise of Man City and Qatari-owned Paris Saint-Germain. "We will need to fight this," Soriano wrote, according to the magazine, "and do it in a way that is not visible, or we will be pointed out as the global enemies of football." Man City apparently wanted to shift some costs away from the club and helped set up a shell company called Fordham Sports Management with two British investors. It was supposedly used as a vehicle to disguise payments to players for the right to use their image in marketing campaigns. Der Spiegel said this helped turn almost 30 million euros ($34 million) into revenue instead of a cost, for the purpose of UEFA's investigation of club accounts......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 7th, 2018

Canadian woman en route to Vermont spa denied entry to U.S., told she needs immigrant visa – CBC News

A Canadian woman travelling on a Canadian passport says she was turned away at the U.S. border and told she needed a valid immigrant visa to enter the country. Manpreet Kooner, 30, is a Canadian citizen who was born to Indian parents in Canada and raised here. She now lives in Montreal's LaSalle borough with her fiancé and works in a science lab at a local college. She told CBC she was on her way from Montreal to a spa in Vermont for a day trip with two friends, who are both white, Sunday afternoon. They never made it. Kooner said she was held at the border for six hours before being turned away. At one point, she said, a border agent told her: &'8220;'I know you may feel like you've been Trumped,'&'8221; an apparent reference to U.S. President Donald Trump. Trump's January executive order barring citizens from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the country was later blocked in U.S. courts, but has touched off legal battles and confusion around the world. Kooner was told to apply for the visa at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa. She went to the embassy Monday morning but was told they couldn't help her, and that she would need to talk to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. &'8220;I'm speechless,&'8221; she said. &'8220;There are no answers.&'8221; In a statement, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) said it does not discuss individual cases, but that those who present themselves at ports of entry must prove they fulfill admission requirements, and that admission to the U.S. is at the discretion of the border officers. The statement also says CBP adopted a policy in 2014 that &'8220;prohibits the consideration of race or ethnicity in law enforcement, investigation, and screening activities, in all but the most exceptional circumstances.&'8221; Kooner's story is the latest in a string of recent tales involving Canadian travellers scrutinized or turned away by U.S. border agents. Last month, for instance, a woman from the Montreal suburb of Brossard said she was denied entry after being fingerprinted, photographed and questioned in detail about her religion and her views on Trump. Kooner was reluctant to attribute her situation to racism, but said friends who have reached out to her say that could be the case. &'8220;People have said we need to take that into account here, because unfortunately, yeah, my skin colour is brown,&'8221; she said. Kooner said this summer, her mother was turned away at the border as well, but wasn't told why. Kooner said she was told her mother's issues wouldn't impact her. She first had trouble getting into the U.S. last December, before Trump took office. She was with friends and her fiancé when her car was pulled over for what she was told was a random check, she said. She was made to fill out a number of forms, but was eventually told there was a problem with the computer system and they should return the next morning. When they went back, she was let through without any problems. She said that when she tried to cross Sunday, at Highgate Springs, Vt., an agent checked her passport and said they needed to ask her additional questions. The agent mentioned that she had been stopped in December and asked why she was trying to go through again, Kooner said. She said she told them she's a Canadian citizen, has no criminal record and, before December, never had any issues crossing the border. She also said she was fingerprinted and photographed, and signed a form to withdraw her application for entry to the United States. Though she was told there are no flags on her file, a border agent advised her not to fly to the U.S. without a visa, Kooner said. The reference to Trump came as the agent was explaining the reasons why she was refused entry, she said. The border agent couldn't say what kind of visa she would need, only that she would have to visit the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa to get one. Kooner said that's when she started to cry. CBC News spoke to Kooner's friend Alexandra Adam, who was one of the two women on the trip with her. Adam caught the end of the conversation between Kooner and the border agent and confirmed Kooner was told she likely wouldn't be allowed into the U.S. without a visa. Adam said she was not present when the agent allegedly made the Trump comment. A U.S. Embassy official said most travellers from Canada and Bermuda generally do not need visas for tourism and visits. Canadians who are intending to immigrate or those planning to marry a U.S. citizen are among those who do need visas. Kooner does not fall under either category. U.S. immigration lawyer Leslie Holman said it doesn't appear that there's a reason Kooner would need a visa to get into the country. &'8220;Even if someone has a visa, the ultimate decision as to whether they can enter the United States rests when you seek admissibility, at the time of entry,&'8221; she said. A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs told CBC News the common category of visa that is used for short term, non-immigrant travel to the United States – including tourism and business – is the B1/B2 visa. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, an average of 1.2 million people a day try to enter the U.S. at all crossings. Of those, an average of between 300 and 500 are denied entry for various reasons. Kooner has spent more than $1,000 on tickets to attend a musical festival in Miami at the end of the month, and planned to return to that city in May for [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsMar 7th, 2017

NCAA: New and improved Clint Escamis continues career in Mapua Srs.

Clint Escamis was having for himself a breakout season in last year’s NCAA 94 Juniors. Late in the second round of the tournament, however, he incurred what appeared to be a left knee injury. He then missed the Red Robins’ remaining games in the elimination round before returning to action in the Final Four. It was clear, though, that Escamis wasn’t himself, looking like he had lost his burst even as his shooting stroke was still there. Now nearly two months after Mapua won the championship with him on the sidelines, what was initially diagnosed as a knee sprain actually turned out to be an ACL tear. The good news is that last week, the 5-foot-11 playmaker finally had surgery to repair the ACL tear. Now, he has already begun the process of recovery. And when Escamis finally takes to the court anew, he is only adamant he will be better than ever. “I promise to get back as soon as possible so I can do what I do best which is to play hard and help my team win,” he said. He then continued, “I will not take this second chance for granted and I will make sure I’m always healthy and in the proper mindset when I go out to play.” The 18-year-old has already used up his eligibility in the Juniors and, therefore, will be returning to the action in the collegiate level. For now, however, he is yet to decide where exactly he will be making his return in. “Wala pa po akong decision for college. Focus po muna sa recovery,” he said. What is certain, though, is that he vows to give his all wherever he ends up. As he put it, “After this injury, makikita po ninyo ang new and improved Clint Escamis. Clint Escamis 2.0 po talaga.” According to sources, in the mix for the commitment of Escamis is former mentor Randy Alcantara who is now head coach of the Cardinals. University of the East is also said to have great interest in him. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News9 hr. 36 min. ago

Halep edges young American at Australian Open; Venus next

By Howard Fendrich, Associated Press MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Push Simona Halep to the brink, and she summons her best. The Australian Open's top-seeded woman got all she could handle from 20-year-old American Sofia Kenin in the second round before taking the last four games to emerge with a 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-4 victory that took 2½ hours Thursday. "Well, I have no idea how I won this tonight," said Halep, the reigning French Open champion. "It's so tough to explain what happened on court." A year ago at Melbourne Park, Halep was a point from being eliminated in two matches but came back each time en route to reaching the final. In the first round this year, she was down a set and a break before turning things around. And this time, against a hard-hitting Kenin, Halep trailed 4-2 in the third set and managed to not cede another game. And that was despite getting what she described as "a little bit injured" in the second set, something that seemed clear from the way she wasn't always able to run with her usual verve. "Hopefully," said Halep, whose No. 1 ranking is up for grabs during the Australian Open, "next round I play better." That third-round matchup will be quite intriguing, because it'll be against seven-time Grand Slam champion and former No. 1 Venus Williams. And the winner of that could face Williams' younger sister, 23-time major champ Serena, in the fourth round. Venus won a three-setter that finished a little before Halep's did — and in much more emphatic fashion. Pushed to that deciding set by getting broken to end the second, Venus ran away with the win down the stretch, defeating Alize Cornet 6-3, 4-6, 6-0. So what was the difference in the lopsided third set? "She was just putting more intensity than me. She was hitting harder, deeper," Cornet said. "I had a little less energy than in the second set and she took advantage of it and really raised her level." The 38-year-old Venus, unseeded at a major for the first time in five years, was the runner-up in Australia to Serena in 2003 and 2017. Serena advanced to the third round by beating 2014 Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard 6-2, 6-2 on Thursday night, reeling off the last five games and 16 of the final 20 points. That match was to be followed in Rod Laver Arena by No. 1 Novak Djokovic against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in a rematch of the 2008 final at Melbourne Park. Other winners in the women's draw Thursday included reigning U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka, past U.S. Open runners-up Karolina Pliskova and Madison Keys, No. 27-seeded Camila Giorgi and No. 28 Hsieh Su-Wei. In men's action, Stan Wawrinka was up a set and was just two points away from taking the second against Milos Raonic. Couldn't do it. About an hour later, 2014 champion Wawrinka was a single point from grabbing the third set. Denied again. And another hour after that, Wawrinka was two points from seizing the fourth to force a fifth. Nope, not on this afternoon. Wawrinka kept coming oh-so-close, and Raonic kept hanging in there and toughing out the most important moments along the way to a 6-7 (4), 7-6 (6), 7-6 (11), 7-6 (5) victory that put the 16th-seeded Canadian into the third round. "I missed a few little points," Wawrinka said, "that could have changed the match." So true. "It feels like 4 hours passed by in about 15 minutes. ... The adrenaline takes over," said Raonic, the runner-up at Wimbledon in 2016. "I was very fortunate to stay alive in that fourth set." They were interrupted for about a half-hour while the roof at Rod Laver Arena was shut because of rain at 4-all in the third set. Raonic thought that helped him quite a bit. "I do a little bit better indoors than outdoors," he said, "so thank you for raining up there." In other men's action on Day 4, 2014 U.S. Open runner-up Kei Nishikori withstood 59 aces from 39-year-old Ivo Karlovic en route to a 6-3, 7-6 (6), 5-7, 5-7, 7-6 (7) victory, but No. 7 Dominic Thiem retired from his match in the third set after dropping the first two, and 2018 Australian Open semifinalist Hyeon Chung lost to Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-2, 1-6, 6-2, 6-4. Raonic delivered 39 aces, part of an impressive ratio of 84 total winners to only 44 unforced errors. This was a matchup probably better suited to the second week than the second round of a Grand Slam tournament, given both men's credentials. But Wawrinka, a three-time major champion once ranked as high as No. 3, dropped out of the top 250 last season, when he had surgery on his left knee. His signature one-handed backhand is as dangerous as ever — he had a 16-2 edge in winners on that shot Thursday — and he hit 28 aces of his own. But as even as the match was in many respects — Raonic only won two more points overall, 163-161 — Wawrinka couldn't come through when he really needed to. Raonic had plenty to do with that, of course, including in the third-set tiebreaker, when he served his way out of trouble. Wawrinka's three set points there came at 6-5, when Raonic delivered a serve at 129 mph (208 kph) followed by a forehand volley winner; at 8-7, when Raonic's 125 mph (201 kph) serve drew a missed return; and at 10-9, when an ace at 132 mph (213 kph) did the trick. A 123 mph (198 kph) service winner gave Raonic that set. In the last tiebreaker, Wawrinka was up 5-4 before Raonic closed with three consecutive points to avoid heading to a fifth set. "Today, I'm sad and frustrated," Wawrinka said. "But in general, if I take some distance with it, I'm happy to see that I'm able to play again with this level, able to move that well.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 17th, 2019

MVP Ladder: Irving enters chase with work on, off the floor

By Sekou Smith, NBA.com The best of Kyrie Irving, both on and off the floor, has been on display the past few weeks. With the Boston Celtics’ season at an early crossroad, of sorts, it was Irving who stepped into the leadership void to steer things in the right direction. With injuries to key players complicating matters and chemistry issues still being sorted out, Irving was the veteran willing to step up and speak out in an effort to make sure the Celtics dealt with their issues head on. The Celtics had an inconsistent start to the season (10-10) before going on a eight-game win streak that was more like what was expected of them, only to hit the skids again briefly and lose three straight games before Irving piped up. "I think everyone can see that we've obviously had some inconsistencies regarding our play,” he said, “so I think it was just time to address it." A 36-minute players meeting in the locker room after a Dec. 21 (Dec. 22, PHL time) home thumping from Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks was enough for Irving, who didn’t spare anyone (himself included) from the harsh spotlight. It was a cathartic moment for the Celtics, who saw Al Horford return from a seven-game absence just in time for Sunday’s win in Charlotte. Kyrie was at his superstar best with the bright lights shining on Christmas. He torched the Philadelphia 76ers for 40 points, unleashing his full offensive arsenal (shooting 17-for-33 from the floor, 5-for-10 from deep), while also grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing out three assists. He was in showtime mode again Thursday night (Friday, PHL time) against James Harden and the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center, finishing his night with 23 points, 11 assists, five rebounds and just one turnover. The Celtics simply had no answer for Harden, who like Irving moves up the ranks on this week’s Kia Race to the MVP Ladder. But it’s clear Irving is ready to shoulder the burden of leading these Celtics, in whatever way necessary. * * * The top five this week in the 2018-19 Kia Race to the MVP Ladder: * * * 1. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks Last week: No. 1 Season stats: 26.4 points, 12.8 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.4 blocks, 1.3 steals Antetokounmpo turned Madison Square Garden into his very own Christmas playground when he smoked the Knicks for 30 points, 14 rebounds, four steals, three assists and two blocks to kick off the league’s showcase day. And just so the Knicks know it wasn’t a fluke, he hurried them again Thursday night (Friday, PHL time) at Fiserv Forum with 31 points, 14 rebounds, eight assists and four blocks in another rout. The Greek Freak is making it tough for anyone to nudge him from the top spot on this list; he’s averaging 24.8 points (on 60.9 shooting), 12.6 rebounds  5.6 assists and 1.7 blocks in his last 10 games. The Bucks are cruising during this stretch as well, solidifying their position as one of  the top teams in the Eastern Conference and the entire league at the close of the calendar year 2018. If this is just the warm up for 2019, Antetokounmpo can really crank up his MVP campaign between now and the All-Star break. 2. Kawhi Leonard, Toronto Raptors Last week: No. 2 Season stats: 26.4 points, 8.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.8 steals Leonard and the Raptors didn’t get an opportunity to showcase themselves for the world to see on Christmas but made up for that scheduling snafu with an instant classic in a win over Miami on the day after the holiday. Leonard scored 30 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had two assists and two steals in the winning effort. December has been good to the Raptors’ prized summer acquisition — he’s averaging 30.1 points (on .520 shooting) to go along with his 8.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.0 steals. For all of the chatter about how good the Raptors have been with Leonard out of the lineup and how good their quality depth is and has been all season, the fate of this team rests on Leonard’s broad shoulders come playoff time. He’s the one element they’ve lacked in previous runs, as a true crunch-time, go-to player in the postseason. All that noise about him not being an ideal vocal leader looks like just that at this stage of his tenure in Toronto. 3. LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers Last week: No. 3 Season stats: 27.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, 7.1 assists, 1.3 steals Lakers Nation held its collective breath earlier this week, awaiting the word on LeBron’s MRI after he heard a “pop” when he went down in the third with a groin injury in the third quarter of the Lakers’ Christmas Day (Dec. 26, PHL time) blowout over the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena. The news was better than expected but the catalyst for the Lakers’ revival this season is still expected to miss “several games.” This could actually prove to be a critical stretch for the Lakers. If they can manage to maintain their position in the Western Conference standings without LeBron in uniform, it’ll speak volumes about the growth and development of their youngsters. It will also instill some confidence in the entire group if they can piece together a few wins without the new king of Los Angeles. All that said, it would be shortsighted of anyone to dismiss the work LeBron has put in during the early-season turnaround this team has undergone. He was playing as well as anyone in the league this month (25.8 points on .516 shooting, 9.3 rebounds, 8.2 assists and 1.3 steals). 4. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors Last week: No. 4 Season stats: 28.6 points, 5.2 assists, 5.0 rebounds, 1.3 steals Curry bounced back from yet another uncharacteristic Christmas Day (Dec. 26, PHL time) performance (just 15 points on an ugly 5-for-17 shooting) with a big night against his brother Seth and the Portland Trail Blazers. But his 29 points and a triple-double from Kevin Durant wasn’t enough to lift the Warriors past Damian Lillard’s late-game heroics against his hometown team. If there was ever a time to be concerned about Curry and these Warriors, it’s now. Draymond Green and Klay Thompson cannot find their marks. The bench production is non-existent at times. And the edge the Warriors have used to their advantage for years seems to have vanished. The boost they need is more than just adding a superstar talent like Boogie Cousins (whose recovery from his Achilles injury seems to be in hyperdrive). The Warriors might need both Curry and Durant to go off script a bit and shake things up by going nuclear offensively to strike fear in teams the way this team once did. They’ve become far too predictable a target without the proper support from their other stars. 5. James Harden, Houston Rockets Last week: No. 7 Season stats: 32.3 points, 8.4 assists, 5.7 rebounds, 2.1 steals The reigning Kia MVP will not be denied any longer. Harden has been on an absolute tear of late and is bringing the Rockets back into focus in the Western Conference playoff chase while doing so. He’s posted back-to-back 40 point games (45 in their Friday, PHL time showdown win over the Boston Celtics and 41 in their Dec. 26, PHL time win over the Oklahoma City Thunder). He’s currently on a career-best eight-game run scoring 30 or more points, the first player to do so since Russell Westbrook did it in November of 2016. Harden’s the first to score 35 or more in six straight games since former teammate Carmelo Anthony accomplished the feat in April of 2013. Harden’s eight games of 40 or more points this season leads the league (Anthony Davis is second with five). The Celtics tried every player in uniform to stop him but to no avail. But Harden’s best work has been pulling the Rockets out of their sub-.500 hole at Thanksgiving to a season-best four games over .500 as they close out the 2018 portion of their schedule. * * * The next five 6. Paul George, Oklahoma City Thunder 7. Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets T-8. Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors T-8. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers 10. Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics And five more: Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans; De’Aaron Fox, Sacramento Kings; Tobias Harris, Los Angeles Clippers; Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers; Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder Sekou Smith is a veteran NBA reporter and NBA TV analyst. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 29th, 2018

Fernandinho s absence hurting slumping Man City

By Steve Douglas, Associated Press MANCHESTER, England (AP) — From a 15-match unbeaten start to three losses in 18 days, Manchester City's title defense in the Premier League has unexpectedly hit a wall. That the slump has coincided with the absence of Fernandinho is surely no coincidence. The defensive midfielder from Brazil has been one of the unsung heroes in Pep Guardiola's remarkable team, providing protection for the defense and a robust platform for its dynamic attacking play. A former box-to-box midfielder, Fernandinho chips in with the odd goal, too. It's only when he's not around that he is really appreciated. City slipped to its first defeat of the season — a 2-0 loss at Chelsea on Dec. 8 — with Fernandinho in the starting lineup, but that was regarded as an anomaly. City dominated the first half at Stamford Bridge, wasting chances before being hit by two second-half goals. He was missing, injured with a thigh injury, when City lost 3-2 at home to Crystal Palace and 2-1 away to Leicester either side of Christmas, when Guardiola's team put in almost unrecognizable displays. And there's a good chance he won't be playing on Sunday when City looks to revive its title challenge at Southampton amid the 20th round of fixtures. City has dropped to third place, seven points behind unbeaten Liverpool and one adrift of Tottenham. Defensively, City has looked fragile in Fernandinho's absence, with his replacements — John Stones, a center back briefly converted to center midfield, and Ilkay Gundogan — not in the Brazilian player's class as a shield for the back four. Whether it's his positioning, his reading of the game or his astutely timed fouls that stop opposition breakaways, Fernandinho is key to the way City balances attack and defense and has been previously described by Guardiola as "a fundamental player for us" and one of the best midfield anchormen. Guardiola wanted a back-up for the 33-year-old in the offseason but failed in a bid to sign Italy international Jorginho, who snubbed City's offer in favor of following Maurizio Sarri from Napoli to Chelsea. City didn't have enough time to land any of its other potential targets — Ruben Neves of Wolverhampton Wanderers was linked — so went into the season with just one proper holding midfielder. It has proved to be the team's big weakness, relying too much on Fernandinho being fit. Guardiola could turn to Ajax youngster Frenkie De Jong in the next offseason but, more immediately, he will hope Fernandinho returns quickly. The Spanish coach has already reiterated he won't be buying anyone in the January window. Even if Fernandinho has a chance to return for the Southampton game, Guardiola would be wise to make sure he is fully fit for the home match against Liverpool on Thursday, given the significance of that fixture to the title race. One thing going in Guardiola's favor in his most testing spell this season is the return of creative midfielders Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva, who could both start at St. Mary's Stadium alongside Gundogan. Fabian Delph, who has been filling in at left back in place of the injured Benjamin Mendy, is suspended after his red card at Leicester, so Oleksandr Zinchenko should start there......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 29th, 2018

Michael Spavor: Second Canadian ‘missing’ in China – BBC News

CANADA’S FOREIGN ministry says it is trying to make contact with a second Canadian who is believed to have been […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsDec 13th, 2018

Huawei exec faces U.S. fraud charges linked to Iran, court hears

VANCOUVER, Canada – Chinese telecom giant Huawei's chief financial officer faces US fraud charges related to sanctions-breaking business dealings with Iran, a Canadian court heard Friday, December 7, a week after she was detained on an American extradition request. Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada's Pacific coast city of Vancouver ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsDec 8th, 2018

Pogba has no regrets about United move ahead of Turin return

TURIN, Italy (AP) — Paul Pogba insists he has no regrets about leaving Juventus to rejoin Manchester United. Pogba was signed by United for a then-world record fee of $116 million from Juventus in 2016, ending a four-year spell at the Italian club during which he won four Serie A titles and two Italian Cup trophies. Since then, Pogba has won the Europa League and League Cup with Manchester United, while Juventus went on to secure two more league and cup doubles and reached the final of the Champions League. "Choosing to come back to United, first of all, was my choice. Juve were playing Champions League and Manchester were playing Europa. I don't regret my choice," Pogba said at Tuesday's news conference ahead of United's Champions League match against Juventus. "I know Manchester in the last few years haven't been at the top, but I came back to help the team and get them back to the top. We have a lot of goals. For me, it's not changed, I don't regret it at all. I'm very happy to come back to United and I'm sure we will come back to the best." Pogba was stripped of vice captaincy duties by United coach Jose Mourinho at the end of September for speaking out about his team's style of play. The France World Cup winner's relationship with Mourinho has appeared strained at times — last season as well as this campaign. "One thing is what the press says, and another thing is what Paul says and of course another thing is what I say," said Mourinho, who was sat next to Pogba at the news conference. "The press says we have a terrible relationship, Paul some weeks ago said we had a typical coach-player relationship, I think we have a good relationship. I would classify it as a good relationship between a coach and a football player." There have been question marks over Pogba's future at United but when the 25-year-old was asked if he is happy at the club, he responded with a smile: "Why? Do I look sad?" "I'm really happy, I'm happy to wear this shirt. It's a big club and at a big club there is always talk.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 7th, 2018

UK-Canadian ‘grand committee’ seeks to question Zuckerberg

LONDON --- Parliamentary committees in Britain and Canada on Wednesday urged Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before a joint hearing of international lawmakers examining fake news and the internet. Damian Collins, the head of the U.K. parliament's media committee, is joining forces with his Canadian counterpart, Bob Zimmer, to pressure Zuckerberg to personally take part in hearings, as he did before the U.S Congress and the European Parliament. The so-called "international grand committee" session would be held Nov. 27 and could include lawmakers from other countries. "We understand that it is not possible to make yourself available to all parliaments. However, we believ...Keep on reading: UK-Canadian ‘grand committee’ seeks to question Zuckerberg.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 31st, 2018

Italy’s debt monster: A primer

ROBERT J. SAMUELSON WASHINGTON, D.C.: Just when it seemed safe not to worry about the next financial crisis, up pops Italy. “In Italy, lavish plans may propel next crisis,” warned The New York Times. Or, “Italy’s budget rattles financial markets on debt crisis fears,” said Sky News. Exactly how a crisis might emerge isn’t clear.… link: Italy’s debt monster: A primer.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsOct 21st, 2018

Trump says refused to meet Canada s Trudeau at U.N.

NEW YORK, USA – US President Donald Trump confirmed Wednesday, September 26, that he had refused to meet Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, accusing Canada of treating the United States "very badly." "Yeah, I did," he told a news conference in New ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsSep 27th, 2018

Trump says he rejected meeting with Trudeau over trade fight

WASHINGTON --- President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he rejected a one-on-one meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over the trade dispute involving the North American neighbors and renewed his threat to slap tariffs on cars imported from Canada as negotiations drag on. Trudeau spokeswoman Eleanore Catenaro said in response: "No meeting was requested. We don't have any comment beyond that." In an extraordinary rebuke of America's northern neighbor, Trump vented his frustration with Canada during a news conference along the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, the latest sign of deteriorating relations between the two allies. "His tariffs are t...Keep on reading: Trump says he rejected meeting with Trudeau over trade fight.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 27th, 2018

Mourinho enters calm spell as Man United wins 2-0 at Burnley

LONDON (AP) — After the furor that followed straight Premier League defeats for Manchester United, Jose Mourinho's team produced a routine 2-0 victory over Burnley on Sunday. Romelu Lukaku's first-half double put United in control before the second half briefly took a dramatic turn when Burnley goalkeeper Joe Hart saved Paul Pogba's penalty kick and substitute Marcus Rashford was sent off for violent conduct only 11 minutes after coming on. "Even with 10 men for 15 minutes the team was the team that had the chances to score," Mourinho said. "We are all very happy that the boys can go for their international week with the feeling (of winning)." Tottenham, which set alarm bells ringing at Old Trafford by winning 3-0 there six days ago, was unable to carry that momentum to Watford, which came from behind to secure a 2-1 victory at Vicarage Road. Watford has won all four of its Premier League games and joins Liverpool and Chelsea with a maximum total of 12 points at the top of the table. Arsenal, meanwhile, joined United on six points as it secured a first away victory under Unai Emery with an entertaining 3-2 win at newly promoted Cardiff. After storming out of his news conference following United's defeat to Tottenham, demanding "respect, respect" from the media, Mourinho was much calmer ahead of his side's trip to Burnley, and the approach may have brought rewards on the field. Mourinho will have been especially pleased by United's improved defensive performance as it claimed a first clean sheet of the league season. Both the Portuguese and his squad will enter the international break with confidence that United's worst Premier League start for 26 years is firmly behind them. SMALL DRAMAS The only dramas for United this time concerned Pogba's penalty miss and Rashford's red card, but Mourinho wasn't critical of either. After Rashford was fouled in the box, Pogba — who has already scored two penalties this season — had his spot kick saved by Hart. "I never blame a player for missing penalties," Mourinho told BBC Sport. "I blame the ones who refuse to go up there. Paul's scored some good ones for us." The frustration of the penalty miss appeared to affect Rashford more than Pogba and within a minute of the miss the England striker had been sent off. Burnley defender Phil Bardsley tackled Rashford before kicking him in the aftermath of the challenge. Rashford attempted to take matters into his own hands, pushing his forehead into Bardsley's face, and was sent off. "I would say it was naive," Mourinho said. "It was a kid and a very experienced man. Bardsley's been in the game for 20 years and Marcus is a naive boy." SPURS STUNNED With Tottenham having taken the headlines last round with a statement victory over Manchester United, some seemed to forget that both teams held perfect records as Spurs made the short trip to face Watford on Sunday. By the end, there was only one perfect record to talk about — Watford's. The win for Javi Gracia's team was made all the more impressive by the fact Spurs took the lead shortly after halftime, as Abdoulaye Doucoure found his own net as he attempted to clear Lucas Moura's cross. The usually reliable Spurs defense would have been confident of seeing out victory from there, but was undone in the simplest fashion. Troy Deeney and Craig Cathcart both headed in set pieces in the space of seven minutes to turn the match around and keep Watford level with Liverpool and Chelsea at the top of the table. GUNNERS DUO STRIKE It's still early days in Emery's reign as Arsenal manager, but Sunday's win at Cardiff may prove a pivotal moment for the Spaniard. For the first time this season he opted to include both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette in his starting lineup and was rewarded with a first away victory in the Premier League. While there are still major defensive concerns for Arsenal, the play of the strike duo suggests Emery has a combination that will cause problems for any defense. Shkodran Mustafi gave Arsenal an early lead before Victor Camarasa leveled with Cardiff's first goal of the season in first-half stoppage time. Aubameyang struck after the break as Lacazette flicked the ball into his path, allowing the Gabon forward to find the bottom corner from outside the box. However, Arsenal was pegged back once more as Danny Ward headed the home side level with 20 minutes remaining. Not to be denied, the inspired Lacazette hit an unstoppable effort in at the near post with nine minutes remaining to finally see off Cardiff, which is still looking for a first win of the season......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 2nd, 2018

Gilas cadet Troy Rike won’t be joining NU in Season 81

Just nearly two months after joining up with National University, Troy Rike said on Thursday that he will not be playing in the looming UAAP Season 81. “Due to factors out of my control, I will not be able to play in UAAP Season 81. The news was devastating to me and I feel great regret that I won’t be able to take the floor with my teammates this season,” the Filipino-American big man said in a statement posted in his Twitter account. It is still unclear what “factors” were “out of his control,” but he made it clear that he remains in NU and remains hopeful to return to action there sooner than later. “It always has been and will always be my dream to play basketball in the Philippines. I hope to be able to pursue that dream here at NU and get back to playing soon,” he said. Rike played for four years for Wake Forest University in the US NCAA before coming back home to the Philippines to suit up for the Gilas cadets in the recently concluded 2018 Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup. He already holds a bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest, but has enrolled for a master’s degree in NU. As per UAAP rules, a student-athlete from a non-member school who is pursuing graduate studies in a member school shall not be subject to residency. As a post-graduate student, however, the 22-year-old will only have one year of eligibility for the Bulldogs. Now, it looks like that won’t be happening – in the looming Season 81, at least. Still, Rike showed much gratitude to the Sampaloc-based school in his statement. As he put it, “I would first like to thank NU, my coaches, my teammates, and management for welcoming me with open arms into the community the past couple of months. He then continued, “Although I’ve only been at NU for a short time, it really feels like home and I will always be thankful to have been part of the NU family.” The Gilas cadet then ended his statement by saying he will be cheering on the Bulldogs in the looming Season 81 tipping off on September 8. “I’m behind my teammates 100 percent and I’ll be cheering the squad on all season – no matter where the future may take me,” he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 29th, 2018

Margielyn Didal s uphill climb to Asian Games gold

PALEMBANG - Filipina skateboarder Margielyn Arda Didal reigned supreme in the women's street competition at the 2018 Asian Games from start to finish. The 19-year-old Cebuana paced the pack after her second run and never looked back to bag the Philippines' fourth gold medal. Didal was so dominating that she posted an untouchable top score of 30.4 points for her smashing Asian Games debut. Japan’s Isa Kaya placed a distant second with 25.0 points from the combined two runs and two top tricks with 25.0 for silver while 12-year-old Nyimas Bunga of Indonesia took the bronze with a tally of 19.8 in this captivating millennial sport making its maiden appearance in the quadrennial, 45-nation sportsfest. “I am very happy I did my best. Sobra ang saya po, lalung –lalo na sa mga skateboarders natin,” said the gregarious Didal, who  lived up to her billing as the top favorite after her devil-may-care showing at the packed arena. After her resounding win, Didal revealed the hardships she had to work through just to get some practice back in Cebu. Asian Games Skateboarding Gold medal winner Didal from Cebu recounts hardship just to practice ‘hinahabol kami ng police kasi Bawal’ pic.twitter.com/tKaQbDJWWT — DYAN CASTILLEJO (@DYANCASTILLEJO) August 29, 2018 "Sa streets lang, hinahabol kami ng pulis, mga security pag may nakitang nag-skate," Didal told ABS-CBN News' Dyan Castillejo via video interview. "Minsan po pag nasa mall, pag nakahawak ka ng board, bawal ka pumasok," she continued. “Gusto ko rin na maipakita na skateboarding is a serious sport but can also be fun as well.” Didal's mother is a streetfood vendor back in Cebu, while his father is a carpenter. Both her parents were unable to accompany or even witness her historic feat. With the win however, a lot of opportunities are set to arise for the young skateboarder.  Didal will receive P6 million in incentives from the government and other groups as a reward for gold medalists in the Asiad, and she plans to use the money to finally bring her family to her next event. Margielyn’s mother is a street food vendor in Cebu , her father a carpenter. She hopes to be able to get them a passport so they can be at her next comp abroad . pic.twitter.com/QADA0LoXtQ — DYAN CASTILLEJO (@DYANCASTILLEJO) August 29, 2018 "Kukuhan ko rin sila (parents) ng passport after Asian Games kasi maraming invitations sa skate event. Para makasama sa next event ko, sa Brazil," she bared. Skateboarding made its debut in this iteration of the quadrennial meet, and will become a medal sport in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Didal trained in the United States for two months before competing in Indonesia, with nothing more than a dream to erase skateboarding's negative connotation in the country.  "[Para] sa skate scene sa Pinas, manibago naman yung tingin ng ibang tao sa skateboarding," an emotional Didal bared. Now a gold medalist, Didal hopes her success leads to better support for the discipline.  Margielyn spent 2 months training in the USA sponsored by MVP Sports Foundation , NB , POC . She gets emotional talking about how she hopes skateboarding would be given attention as a Sport . pic.twitter.com/ORTcIE4jPI — DYAN CASTILLEJO (@DYANCASTILLEJO) August 29, 2018 Didal leanred to skate in the streets of Cebu . She hopes there will be Public Skateparks set up around the country as so much talent among Pinoys in this Sport , says the 19 yr old . pic.twitter.com/c3T7Lt4aUK — DYAN CASTILLEJO (@DYANCASTILLEJO) August 29, 2018 Her golden achievement was the fourth mint courtesy of Pinoy female athletes after weightlifter Hidylin Diaz, golfer Yuka Saso and the PH women’s gold squad, and the first major contribution of the compact national contingent competing in 10 events here to the country’s overall medal tally.      Philippine Olympic Committee President Ricky Vargas and chairman Bambol Tolentino, who went straight from the airport to the venue,  arrived just in time to witness  the former street kid go  from strength to strength in garnering  “I am blessed to witness this great event by a young girl, a carpenter’s daughter and former street kid, who did so well.  Because of her hard work and belief in herself she is now where she is,” noted Vargas after witnessing Didal’s impressive run. “Congratulations Margie. The country is grateful for your efforts and sacrifices ,” said Philippine Sports Commission chairman Butch Ramirez in statement from Manila immediately after learning of the Cebuana’s accomplisthment. “We are arranging a hero’s welcome for  you. “Your PSC family is behind you all the way. Mabuhay ang atletang Pilipino.” Also greeting Didal immediately after her victory were deputy chef de mission Manny Cabili  and POC officials Col. Jeff Tamayo and Jonne Go. A veteran of the prestigious Street League championships in London last May – the first Southeast Asian to be invited to the event – Didal led from start to finish, setting the tone of the lopsided contest with an opening score of 6.7 points, highlighted by a difficult  ”Board Slide” on the railings after taking the higher platform.      Using a 8Five2 yellow skateboard, she displayed her own version of hang time with an “Ollie” on her second run to go comfortably ahead with 14.4 points to second-running Isa’s 13.3, and seemingly was just getting started. In the tricks section, where the two best scores out five tries count , Didal went full throttle with another “Board Slide” to net 6.0 in her initial run, took it easy with a 3.7 output in the second, before wrapping the gold up with eye-popping scores of 7.1 and 8.9 points in the third and fourth attempts. With a flair for the dramatic, her coup de grace was an acrobatic “Backside 50/50, 360-degree Flip Out” that drew oohs and ahhs from the gallery – an astonishing feat considering that it was the first time she did it in a major international competition. “This was the first time that Margielyn tried that stunt and is the highest score garnered by any skateboarder so far in the street event,”noted Skateboard Association of the Philippines Inc. president Monty Mendigoria. Didal and the rest of the skateboarding were scheduled to return to Manila on Thursday in what undoubtedly will be a hero's welcome for the country’s latest golden Asian Games sensation. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 29th, 2018

Ronaldo relies on teammates for winning league start at Juve

By Daniella Matar, Associated Press VERONA, Italy (AP) — A smile, a wink and a thumbs-up: Cristiano Ronaldo didn't seem too perturbed at not scoring on his Juventus debut. The 33-year-old forward appeared relaxed after Saturday's 3-2 victory against Chievo Verona and, although Ronaldo did not stop to speak to reporters, he responded with those gestures when asked how he felt his debut had gone. His coach wasn't too troubled either. "Cristiano Ronaldo had a good game. He had several shots on goal. Today he didn't score because clearly it was written somewhere that he wouldn't score," said Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri with a smile. For the thousands of fans who descended on the medieval city of Verona, this was one of the rare occasions when the five-time world player of the year couldn't score. Ronaldo had scored in both pre-season friendlies he played for Juventus since his surprise 112 million euro (then $131.5 million) move from Real Madrid but could not find the back of the net on his competitive debut. And it was up to Federico Bernardeschi to rescue Juventus, with a stoppage-time winner as the Bianconeri fought back from a goal down to beat Chievo and get their pursuit of an eighth straight league title off to a winning start. Ronaldo should make his home debut next week against Lazio and there were encouraging signs for Juventus from this game. He linked up well with Douglas Costa, notably in the 18th minute when Ronaldo's effort went just the wrong side of the left post. Ronaldo also fired narrowly over from a tight angle on the half-hour, while he drew several smart saves from Chievo goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino, who is still going strong at the age of 39. The Portugal international almost scored the winner at 2-2, but Sorrentino got down quickly to beat away his angled free kick. "(Ronaldo) moved well at times but he wasn't picked out by his teammates," Allegri said. "He's a different footballer, you can see that. He's integrated into the team with ease." BALL TRICKS The excitement had been building in Verona since the fixtures were announced. The match at the Stadio Bentegodi was sold out and long queues to get in formed more than three hours before kickoff. The team bus carrying Ronaldo and his Juventus teammates was greeted by huge cheers, with fans crowding onto the balconies of the stadium. Ronaldo warmed up with crowd-pleasing ball tricks and Juventus fans cheered his every touch. BONUCCI BACK Juventus took the lead after just 162 seconds as Chievo failed to properly clear a free kick and Sami Khedira fired Juventus in front. The Bianconeri wasted chances to double their lead, with Ronaldo going close on several occasions. Mariusz Stepinski headed Chievo level shortly before halftime and Emanuele Giaccherini converted a penalty after being brought down by Juventus debutant Joao Cancelo. But Leonardo Bonucci marked his return to Juventus with a role in the equalizer after the Italy defender spent just one season at AC Milan. Bonucci headed in a corner in the 75th. The goal, which went down later as an own-goal from Chievo defender Mattia Bani, was met with a mix of cheers and jeers by the visiting fans. Mario Mandzukic's goal was ruled out by the video assistant referee shortly before full time following a foul on Sorrentino which led to an anxious few minutes as the goalkeeper received medical treatment on the pitch. ___ LOOK WHO'S BACK Carlo Ancelotti had a winning start to his return to Italian football as his Napoli team fought back to beat Lazio 2-1. Ciro Immobile scored a stunning opener for host Lazio but Arkadiusz Milik leveled in first-half stoppage time and Lorenzo Insigne netted the winner in the 59th. The 59-year-old Ancelotti took over from Maurizio Sarri at Napoli, who finished second last season, four points behind Juventus. Ancelotti has not worked in Italy since leaving AC Milan in 2009 after leading the Rossoneri to a number of trophies, including two Champions League titles......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 19th, 2018

Immigration fraud probers raid home, office of Fil-Canadian ex-legislator

EDMONTON, Alberta -- Canada's immigration authorities raided the home and office of former Alberta Progressive Conservative Member of the Legislative Assembly Carl Benito, a Filipino Canadian, on suspicion of immigration fraud schemes.   The Canada Border Services Agency on Thursday, August 16,seized more than $250,000 in cash, mostly in bundles of $100 bills in the raid.   Benito allegedly counseled dozens of Filipino immigrants on how to fraudulently extend their stay in Alberta through bogus applications for study and devious work-extension permits, according to an exclusive report by CBC News.   Benito, an immigration counselor, allegedly also ill...Keep on reading: Immigration fraud probers raid home, office of Fil-Canadian ex-legislator.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 17th, 2018