Dozens arrested on anniversary of deadly Egypt soccer riot

Published: Wednesday, February 01, 2017 @ 2:54 PM
Updated: Wednesday, February 01, 2017 @ 2:52 PM

Egyptian security forces arrested dozens in central Cairo on Wednesday, the anniversary of a soccer riot that killed over 70 fans in 2012.

Lawyer Mokhtar Mounir told The Associated Press that over 80 people were taken into custody, with some arrests made near the club grounds belonging to the Al-Ahly team.

Most of the victims of the rioting five years ago were fans of Al-Ahly. The rioting was Egypt's worst soccer disaster to date and one of the world's deadliest.

The lawyer said the police likely made the arrests Wednesday on suspicion those detained had planned to stage a protest. Public gatherings without a permit are banned under Egypt's draconian anti-terrorism laws.

Mounir said the detainees were undergoing security checks and officials would determine whether to release them or press charges. In 2015, a court declared Al-Ahly's hardcore "Ultras Ahlawy" fan group a terrorist organization.

The arrests came as Egyptians gathered in cafes all over the country to watch the national team play Burkina Faso in the first semifinals match of the African championship in Gabon. At least a dozen police and security forces' vehicles as well as armed troops were stationed near the Al-Ahly club grounds in the evening Wednesday.

In 2015, an Egyptian criminal court in the Mediterranean city of Port Said sentenced 11 people to death over the riot. No officials or security personnel were among the convicted. A court is set to review the appeals of the convicted later this month.

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This story has been corrected to note that Egypt was playing Burkina Faso in the first semifinals match of the African championship in Gabon.

FSU’s Dalvin Cook among high-profile players still undrafted

Published: Friday, April 28, 2017 @ 2:34 AM

Florida State running back Dalvin Cook was not drafted during the first round of the NFL draft on Thursday.
Getty Images

The first night of the NFL draft was full of surprises, from the seemingly lopsided trades of teams looking to move up to the players selected several spots before they were projected to go.

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Perhaps the most surprising thing about Thursday’s first round was the collection of names that remained on the board for Day 2. Here’s a look at the some of the players with first-round talent who didn’t hear their names called in Round 1:

>> Photos from NFL draft

Dalvin Cook

Florida State’s star running back seemed like a lock to be selected in the first round after posting 1,765 yards and 19 touchdowns in his junior season. Cook saw both Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey go in the top 10, Fournette going fourth overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars and McCaffrey going eighth to the Carolina Panthers. Cook could conceivably go to the Packers or Seahawks, the teams that hold the first two picks of the second round.

Cam Robinson

The 6-foot-6 former Alabama offensive tackle was projected to go somewhere in the middle of the first round, but after a 20-pick wait, the first offensive lineman off the board was Utah’s Garett Bolles. Tackle Ryan Ramczyk of Wisconsin joined Bolles later in the first round, leaving Robinson as the odd man out.

Quincy Wilson 

The University of Florida defensive back was considered a fringe first-round selection after a 33-tackle, three-interception season. Eight defensive backs came off the board Thursday night, but not Wilson.

Forrest Lamp

Much like Robinson, the limited number of offensive lineman taken in the first round pushed Lamp to the back of the line. Considered one of the most talent players at his position going into the night, Lamp undoubtedly will find a home on Friday night.

DeShone Kizer

Although Kizer wasn’t slated to be taken as high as some of the other quarterbacks available, some believed a team at the back end of the first round would take a chance on the Notre Dame product. With several teams still seemingly in precarious quarterback positions entering next season, it appears he’ll find a home sooner rather than later.

 

 

Dale Earnhardt Jr. surprises military veteran before Daytona 500

Published: Sunday, February 26, 2017 @ 7:21 PM
Updated: Sunday, February 26, 2017 @ 7:21 PM


            DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 26: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, is introduced onstage during the 59th Annual DAYTONA 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 26, 2017 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
            Chris Graythen

A lucky veteran got a chance to ride in the Goodyear blimp at the Daytona International Speedway, but didn’t realize that one of the people manning the blimp was NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Paul Siverson is a Marine Corps veteran who has served in Vietnam, Somalia and Desert Storm. Siverson also volunteers with Charlotte-based NCServes, where he helps veterans and service members transition back to their civilian lives.

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“I always wanted to be a Marine. I came for two and stayed for 30. That’s what I tell people,” Siverson said.

Siverson is also a diehard NASCAR and Earnhardt fan.

To celebrate Siverson’s life of service, Goodyear offered him and his wife a free trip to the Daytona 500 and a ride aboard the blimp.

Photos: Kurt Busch wins 2017 Daytona 500

Siverson got a huge surprise when he found out Earnhardt was waiting on board.

Earnhardt also gave a $10,000 donation to NCServes.

Michael Phelps opens up about his ADHD diagnosis

Published: Saturday, April 29, 2017 @ 12:11 PM

MONACO - FEBRUARY 14: Laureus World Comeback of the Year award winner Swimmer Michael Phelps of the USA smiles during the 2017 Laureus World Sports Awards at the Salle des Etoiles,Sporting Monte Carlo on February 14, 2017 in Monaco, Monaco.  (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for Laureus)
Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for Laureus

Olympic champion swimmer Michael Phelps is opening up about his struggles with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, was once told by a teacher that he would never amount to anything and would never be successful, according to a video message he recorded for Child Mind Institute.

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Phelps said that he couldn't sit still as a child and was "constantly bouncing off the walls." He said that his ADHD was a "challenge and a struggle," but he learned to manage it once he found someone he could talk to about his condition. 

In spite of the issues that Phelps has faced living with ADHD, he says he is proud of who he has become.

The Child Mind Institute told People that it hopes that Phelps sharing his personal experience will help reduce the stigma of ADHD.

Opinion: The ESPN we used to enjoy is dead and never coming back

Published: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 @ 11:36 PM

(Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Icon Sportswire/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The worst thing that ever happened to ESPN was the success of PTI.

>> READ MORE at Marcus Hartman’s “Cus Words Blog

Shortly after Pardon The Interruption debuted in October 2001, the network set about trying to replicate it on every other show on the network.

That has proven to be a disaster because nobody in Bristol gets the debate isn’t what makes that show great, it’s the debaters.

Tony Kornheiser and Michal Wilbon, not just colleagues but friends who genuinely seem to love arguing with each other about things they’ve actually put some thought into, have a unique rapport that can’t be copied easily.

And yet more than 15 years later, the people running ESPN continue to try in vain.

Collateral damage in this war against people who want good content has been mounting for years, and Wednesday was one of the worst as the company parted ways with a bunch of people who actually do good work and produce things worth consuming (mostly for their website) in an effort to offset financial losses wrought by spending more than they can afford on the rights to broadcast live sports.

If you wondered if the product on ESPN was ever going to get better, the answer is now clear.

For the most part, it appears ESPN kept the carnival barkers while cutting many of the people who actually gather the information people like Stephen A. Smith hyperventilate about.

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There’s a theory out there that mixing in too many liberal political messages has hurt the network’s bottom line, but I’m not sure I buy that. Of course, I don’t watch it enough to know just how liberal those messages are. It could be true. It’s probably at least a small factor.

I can’t imagine skewing in one direction politically helps, and I believe the whole stick to sports thing is actually good advice most of the time.

Not that everyone isn’t entitled to their opinion and encouraged to share it whenever they want, but there are a lot of sports fans who really don’t want political commentary in their sports.

And that’s a very fair request, at least 99 percent of the time. There are plenty of sources for news, politics and whatever else, but ESPN has the market cornered on live sports. So feel free to be obstinate, but don’t be surprised if there are consequences. 

Responding to consumer demand is important in any business, but ESPN hasn’t made a habit of that lately.

As often as they take a former athlete off the street and throw him or her into the studio – or worse yet, onto a broadcast – with no experience and much to learn about how to actually express themselves in an informative and entertaining manner, it’s clear ESPN doesn’t care about the quality of what it puts out there.

So at this point I assume if ESPN is having ratings problems (they are), it’s mostly because their product sucks.

I assume they’re cutting people from their website because it doesn’t generate much revenue in the grand scheme of things. The people who have run the network so poorly probably also figure whatever money the web does bring in can probably be maintained mostly by posting viral clips from their terrible sports opinion shows anyway.

Maybe I’m making a lot of assumptions for someone who gave up on ESPN long ago, but actually watching ESPN didn’t used to be essential in appreciating it.

I grew up without cable, but I knew all about SportsCenter.

There was no Twitter to make the catchphrases of Dan Patrick, Keith Olbermann, Stuart Scott, et al, go viral as they might today, but ESPN became a cultural icon in the 1990s anyway.

That was, oddly enough, because they presented sports in a fun and entertaining way. 

A lot of the good stuff was still there when I finally got cable in 2001 (dorm livin’, baby!), but it didn’t last long.

Within about three years, I quit watching for the most part (aside from live events and PTI), and nothing since has indicated I’m missing much. Certainly social media gives few endorsements, and neither have I found the few snippets I catch here and there appealing.

That’s why I keep coming to the same conclusion.

ESPN is dead and never coming back. Today is just one of the sadder reminders.