Rio Police On Alert After Deadly Drug Violence

first_imgBy Dialogo October 19, 2009 Brazil deployed an extra 4,500 police Sunday as deadly clashes with drug traffickers brought down a police helicopter and left 17 people dead over the weekend in 2016 Olympics host city Rio. Jose Mariano Beltrame, Rio de Janeiro state’s security chief, told reporters reinforcements were sent in from outlying areas in an effort to calm tensions in the city’s sprawling, impoverished hillside favelas. Rio’s win to host the 2016 Olympic Games, the first ever to be held in South America, is a serious challenge for the city, hit by endemic urban violence. Some 6,000 people were murdered here in 2008 alone. Saturday marked a bloody first as two police were killed when drug dealers shot down their helicopter in the Macacos slum near Maracana stadium, where the 2014 soccer World Cup games and the 2016 Olympics will kick off. The aircraft exploded shortly after landing and only two policemen — including the pilot — were able to get out in time. The other two passengers burnt to death. After the helicopter crashed, a new gun battle erupted between gangs and more than 100 police, backed by Special Police Operations Battalion (BOPE) troops and an armored vehicle. Ten suspected criminals were killed in the shootout, a police spokesman said. “I have never heard so many gunshots in my life,” a 15-year-old girl who lives in Morro dos Macacos told the G1 website of the Globo media network. Bus driver Fabio Nascimento said 15 masked men armed with guns and pistols had ordered him to step out of his vehicle and evacuate passengers, declaring: “Get out, get out, we are going to set it on fire!” More violence erupted later Sunday in the Jacarezinho favela, where two suspected drug traffickers were killed during a shootout with police, police spokesman Oderley Santos said. Three bodies of suspected criminals were also found Sunday in the Sao Joao favela, he added. The president of the Organization of Lawyers of Brazil (OAB) in Rio denounced the parallel network of power in the city where, in some areas, gangs hold more control than authorities. Saturday’s dramatic clashes erupted as gangs in the neighboring “Morro do Sao Jao” favela tried to invade Morro dos Macacos and seize control there, officials said. Civilian and military police were on alert Sunday and those who were due to be off were called in, Beltrame said. Justice Minister Tarso Genro offered Rio’s authorities an elite army unit for emergency situations, but so far Rio state Governor Sergio Cabral has said no to that. Major police operations regularly take place in the favelas, home to drug gangs and a third of the city’s population — two million people. Brazil urgently needs to find new investment and to streamline its bulky bureaucracy as it prepares to host the world’s two biggest sporting events: the 2016 Olympics and 2014 soccer World Cup, analysts say. After Rio de Janeiro was chosen as the host of the 2016 Olympiad, the government promised new investment in a slew of new projects. Public safety and public transport are top priorities that will require major outlays. Even before its Olympics challenge, the South American giant will have to remodel and build new stadiums in 12 cities so that they could receive participants of the 2014 soccer World Cup. To organize both events, the country will have to spend between 17.6 billion and 30 billion dollars, according to professor Francisco Carlos of the Foundation Institute of Economic Research.last_img read more

Rebuilding teams, falling attendance among MLBPA concerns

first_img Troy Tulowitzki among Blue Jays veterans GM puts on notice “There are teams that are effectively announcing at the beginning of the year that they’re not going to be competitive that year, and in some cases that they’re not going to field the best players that they have,” collective bargaining director Bruce Meyer said. Another area of concern for the players’ association is a drop-off in attendance. Seven different organizations have had significant decreases, with the Blue Jays and Marlins down by more than 800,000.  As MLB teams are rebuilding and attendance continues to decrease for some organizations, MLB players are growing more and more concerned. One worry of the players’ union is centered around the level of competition and the changes teams are making if they enter the season knowing they don’t have a realistic chance to compete. MLB hot stove: Nathan Eovaldi signs 4-year deal with Red Soxcenter_img Commissioner Rob Manfred believes the decrease is a result of unusual weather and more games played in the cold, leading to 54 postponements last season, which is the most since 1989. Other areas of concern include altering the amateur draft to include an NBA-style lottery for the top picks in addition to the 10-day disabled list and the 10-day minimum for the recall of players optioned to the minors.”There’s a number of conversations that are going to need to be had,” Clark added. “We have seen some things that are eerily similar to last offseason,” union head Tony Clark said, via The Associated Press. “One of the concerns in general has to do with the level of competition or interest in competition across the teams in general. … When you have teams who are as we’ve seen already moving considerable amounts of their roster and/or other teams who are talking about doing so, it raises concerns about how that’s going to affect the market.”Some players call it tanking, while “management calls it the type of normal rebuilding that has been going on throughout Major League Baseball’s history,” according to the AP. Related Newslast_img read more

U.S. Open 2019: 5 storylines to follow at Pebble Beach

first_imgIt’s more than just the unpredictable weather and wind that play factors. There’s small, very small, greens, exceptionally narrow fairways and tough rough.Patrick Cantlay showed just that a week before the start of the tournament. He was standing on the ninth green, which is in the middle a difficult stretch of holes, when he threw a couple balls into the rough. They quickly got lost and Cantlay demonstrated how hard it was to simply chop the ball on to the green. Is Jordan Spieth back on track? How will Pebble Beach play after nearly a decade away from golf’s major circuit?There’s a lot on the horizon leading up to 2019’s third Grand Slam tournament. Related News U.S. Open 2019 betting odds: Brooks Koepka opens as 5-1; Tiger Woods (12-1) third There will be plenty of stories to follow at the 2019 U.S. Open this week and they involve some the usual names, including the surging Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson — who is still searching for his career Grand Slam 27 years into his career — and 15-time major champion Tiger Woods.But now there are a few other things to keep an eye on. Five storylines to follow at the 2019 U.S. Open:1. Can Brooks Koepka three-peat?Koepka has stolen the show at recent major championships. The 29-year-old has won the past two U.S. Opens (2017, 2018) and the last two PGA Championships (2018, 2019). He’s been calm, cool and collected as he breaks away from the field in an effort to etch his name in golf history.He won both U.S. Open titles by a combined five strokes. Last year, he was able to take the trophy despite carding two rounds over par and bounced back with a final round of 68 at Shinnecock Hills. Koepka became the first player to win the USGA’s marquee championship in consecutive years since Curtis Strange (1988-89) — and the seventh overall.Four majors in 23 months. Can last month’s #PGAChamp winner Brooks Koepka achieve a three-peat at the #USOpen?All next week, stay tuned-in to @GolfCentral Live From the U.S. Open for news and analysis from Pebble Beach. pic.twitter.com/XN2eJ3Z6gL— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) June 10, 2019If he can pull out another win at Pebble, Koepka will join one other of golfer to win three straight U.S. Opens, and that rare accomplishment is almost as old as the tournament itself.From 1903-05, Scotsman Willie Anderson claimed back-to-back-to-back titles. The impressive, and thus far impossible to replicate, streak started just eight years after the first U.S. Open.2. Can Phil Mickelson get his career Grand Slam?There’s something about this major that has bullied Mickelson for the better part of his career. The five-time major champion has won each of the three other top events. He’s certainly come close a handful of times in the U.S. Open, finishing solo second or tying as the runner-up in 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2013.Recently, Mickelson has been far from contention. In 2018, he finished tied for 48th; the previous year he withdrew the morning of the first round to attend the high school graduation of his daughter Amanda; and in 2016, he missed the cut.To make matters worse, or better if he were to finally complete the career Grand Slam, the U.S. Open always ends on Father’s Day — and this year that’s June 16, Mickelson’s 49th birthday.”The difficulty is not the age. The difficulty is that when you’re in your 20s you feel like you have multiple chances,” Mickelson said at the Memorial Tournament in May. “And when you’re turning 49, you’re like I’ve got two more chances, this year, and maybe Winged Foot and that’s about it. With that being the only one in the four that I haven’t won, and what it would offer me and how I look at my career, I put more pressure on it. That’s the difficult thing.”Mickelson’s collapse at Winged Foot in 2006 is perhaps the most memorable U.S. Open moment of his career. He reached the final hole, a 450-yard par-4, with a one-shot lead and just needed to par. Instead, he carded a double bogey. If Mickelson can win at Pebble Beach, a feat he completed at the 2019 AT&T Pro-Am in February, Winged Foot in 2020 will be all but forgotten.3. Will Tiger Woods bounce back to major glory?Woods put a cherry on top of his comeback by winning the 2019 Masters. The fan favorite when he takes the course broke an 11-year major championship drought with his most recent win. “It validated that I can still do it at the highest level,” Woods said at The Memorial, where he finished tied for ninth.Now, Woods is hoping to prove it at Pebble.He’s had success at this majestic course before, quite a bit actually. Woods set a major record when he claimed his first of three U.S. Opens at Pebble when he won by 15 strokes in 2000. It was not only the biggest win of any golfer at the U.S. Open but also any major … ever.Woods took an extended break between his Masters win and the PGA Championship. It was the first time he did not have starts sandwiched between majors since 2013 — that year he sat out the U.S. Open and The Open Championship.Woods was happy with his performance at The Memorial, his driver in particular, and it could be just what the Big Cat needed to inch close to Jack Nicklaus’ major record (18).4. Will Jordan Spieth continue his upswing?Spieth is no stranger to major glory. It was only four years after turning professional when the now-25-year-old won two consecutive major championships: the 2015 Masters and U.S. Open.He went on to win the British Open in 2017, but for the once-unstoppable golfer, he has not won since.Spieth entered the PGA Championship in a rut and had not placed within the top 20 before this particular major. He was able to climb into a tie for third place by the end of the week and since then he has finished tied for eighth (Charles Schwab Challenge) and tied for seventh (Memorial).”I’m kind of on the rise from kind of a trough, and it feels good to be on the rise,” Spieth said at The Memorial, the last tournament he competed in before the U.S. Open. “It feels good to have some momentum.”Others are liking that momentum as well. Spieth is a favorite, among Koepka, Woods and Dustin Johnson, to win this weekend.5. How will Pebble Beach play?Pebble has some of the most beautiful views in golf — and some of the toughest shots. It’s nestled against the coastline and has open views of the bay.center_img Pebble beach going to show its teeth next week💨A post shared by Patrick Cantlay (@patrickcantlay) on Jun 6, 2019 at 9:06am PDTGolfers will be tested along the coastline, and as they weave their way through the course. It will be impressive if a player can go low, a 63 has been shot in each of the last two U.S. Opens, but it will be even more impressive if one can dodge the difficult course the USGA is sure to serve up. U.S. Open 2019: Notable Thursday-Friday groups, tee times at Pebble Beach View this post on Instagramlast_img read more

The 5 best performances from Shaquille O’Neal

first_imgby Christy LemireLOS ANGELES (AP)—Shaquille O’Neal announced this week that he’s retiring from the NBA after 19 seasons. He shared the news on Twitter, of course, where he has nearly 4 million followers—which just goes to show what an engaging, larger-than-life presence he’s been off the court. That big personality has extended to movies, music and more, and made Shaq a one-name pop culture icon. You can analyze the 15-time All-Star center’s prodigious stats all you want and measure him against the greats of the game, but here’s a look at the big man’s five best performances outside of basketball (although pretending to get along with former Los Angeles Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant deserves an honorable mention):•Shaq the rapper: Plenty of athletes have tried to cross over into the music business with varying levels of success. But Shaq actually built a rap career in the ‘90s, having recorded with the likes of the late Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg and Warren G. He’s recorded so many albums, he’s even got a greatest-hits collection. He’s used his rhymes to talk obligatory amounts of trash, as he did in an infamous freestyle in which he, um, asked Bryant a delicious question. But he’s also opened up through his music: His 1994 single “Biological Didn’t Bother,” which became a minor hit, was about his estrangement from his father, and it sang the praises of the stepfather who raised him.•“Shaq vs.” (2009-2010): The short-lived ABC reality series provided Shaq with a great opportunity to show off one of his more endearing traits: his ability to goof off and toy with his own image. He’d take on various athletes and celebrities in their own arenas, usually with amusing results. In the Justin Bieber episode, for example, he challenged the pop star to a dance-off and a bowling competition. He swam against Michael Phelps, boxed Oscar De La Hoya, tried to out-cook Rachael Ray and crammed more hot dogs in his mouth than eating champion Joey Chestnut (albeit with help from other people).•“Blue Chips” (1994): For his film debut, the former LSU star plays a character named Neon Bodeaux, a monster from the Louisiana swamps. The younger (and much leaner) Shaq and his then-real-life Orlando Magic teammate Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway co-star as a couple of the prospects coveted by a hotheaded college coach (Nick Nolte). Shaq’s first appearance on screen in director William Friedkin’s film is epic, a thunderous mix of slo-mo and dramatic lighting. “He ain’t just big, Pete, he’s quick,” a friend tells Nolte’s character. “He’s totally raw—he’s never been coached.” He quite simply dominates, just as he would in real life for much of his lengthy career.•“Kazaam” (1996): Shaq’s next attempt at big-screen superstardom wasn’t quite so successful. This supposedly family-friendly comedy, in which Shaq stars as a rapping genie who bursts out of a boom box, currently has a whopping 4 percent positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. That’s right—it received one positive review. As directed by former “Starsky and Hutch” star Paul Michael Glaser, “Kazaam” finds Shaq protecting a young boy from neighborhood toughs and promising, in song, to “green egg and ham it.” So bad, it’s good. Almost.•Shaq the statue: Shaq became a fan favorite no matter what city he was playing in, but he wowed them in Boston—where he made his last stop, with the Celtics—by doing absolutely nothing. Last fall, he tweeted that he’d be heading to Harvard Square to pose as a statue. And that’s exactly what he did: He sat motionless for an hour, which drew a swarm of onlookers. People elbowed their way through the crowd to get close and several posed for pictures with him. One woman even offered him free burgers but he wouldn’t budge. Why? Why not. But for someone who’s known for his charisma, he was extremely convincing.(Think of any other examples? Share them with AP Movie Critic Christy Lemire through Twitter: http://twitter.com/christylemire.)last_img read more

Thurston County Traffic: Overnight Ramp Closures Scheduled in Tumwater, Lacey June…

first_imgFacebook28Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Washington State Department of TransportationDuring the evening of Thursday June 25, overnight travelers who use southbound US 101 to reach southbound Interstate 5 are encouraged to give themselves extra time.Tumwater10:00 p.m. Thursday, June 25 to 5:00 a.m. Friday, June 26The southbound US 101 on-ramp to southbound I-5 will close.Travelers will detour via northbound I-5, Port of Olympia/Henderson Boulevard and southbound I-5.The overnight detour will allow Washington State Department of Transportation maintenance crews to seal cracks which extends the useful life of the roadway.During the evening of, Friday, June 26, crews will close the two ramps at the Marvin Road interchange for paving. This work is part of the project to transform the Marvin Road overpass into a diverging diamond interchange.Lacey8:30 p.m. Friday, June 26 to 8:00 a.m. the following dayNorthbound I-5 exit to Marvin road will close.9:00 p.m. Friday, June 26 to 8:00 a.m. the following dayMarvin Road on-ramp to southbound I-5 will close.Construction and maintenance information on state highways in Thurston County is available online. Travelers can get real-time information on the WSDOT app and by following the WSDOT regional Twitter feed.last_img read more