Fourteen of the 16 teams, who reached next year’s African Cup of Nations, will start their final preparations this week in far-flung friendly internationals across three continents, stretching from the United States to Portugal and South Africa.Defending champion, Zambia, is in Johannesburg to play next year’s tournament host, South Africa at FNB Stadium, formerly Soccer City, with both hoping they will be returning to the 2010 World Cup final venue for the last game of the African Cup next February.Cote d’Ivoire, the continent’s top-ranked team and perennial favorite for the title, is away to Austria in Wednesday‘s matches, while Ghana plays first-time finalist, Cape Verde, in Lisbon.Nigeria faces Venezuela in Miami without Chelsea pair, Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel, but Newcastle striker, Shola Ameobi, is set for a long-awaited international debut.Ghana also will be missing a key foreign-based player with captain Asamoah Gyan granted leave to be with family after his mother died following a road accident at home in Accra.South Africa, which missed out on the last two Cup of Nations, has to permanently adjust to life without Everton midfielder and former captain, Steven Pienaar, after his surprise retirement from internationals. The North African trio of Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria are all in action at home tomorrow. Morocco hosts fellow finalist Togo, Tunisia plays Switzerland and Algeria welcomes Bosnia-Herzegovina.There are also Niger versus Senegal, Congo versus Burkina Faso and Angola versus Republic of Congo. Niger, Congo and Angola qualified for the competition next year.Gabon – which hasn’t qualified for South Africa next year – hosts Portugal, although the Gabonese fans won’t get to see Real Madrid star, Cristiano Ronaldo, after he pulled out of Portugal’s traveling squad because of an eye injury sustained in Spanish league action last weekend.Cameroon and Egypt, with 11 African titles between them, play in Europe but the former powerhouses can only look ahead to next year’s World Cup qualifiers after they were eliminated from January and February’s continental championship by minnows Cape Verde and Central African Republic respectively.
The Olympic torch will be handed over to Brazilian officials on Wednesday in a ceremony at the historic all-marble Olympic stadium in Athens, site of the first modern Games in 1896.The torch harks back to the ancient Olympics, when a sacred flame burned throughout the Games. The tradition was revived in 1936 for the Berlin Games.Brazil’s preparations have been overshadowed by the government crisis caused by accusations that Rousseff juggled government accounts to disguise budget shortfalls during her 2014 reelection.The beleaguered president insisted this week that Rio’s preparations are ahead of schedule.“The Games are in a totally adequate situation, we’re even a little ahead of schedule and more so than we had planned for,” Rousseff said Tuesday.– ‘Big party’ will banish problems -“(In terms) of the organisation of the Games everything was done…I don’t think it’s really a problem for the Games,” said Leyser.He said that in true Brazilian tradition, there will be a “big party” and “people (will) forget the other problems.”Bach on Wednesday said he was confident that Rio would lay on an “excellent Games”.“Ninety-eight percent of all infrastructure is ready, the test events are going successfully…we are just full of anticipation to come to Brazil,” he told reporters on Thursday.The IOC and Rio organisers have played down crime concerns and fears over the quality of water in Rio bay to be used for yachting and some swimming.“We are very confident that the competition area will offer safe and fair conditions,” Bach said this week.There have also been travel warnings and athlete cancellations over the Zika virus that is believed to potentially cause serious birth defects if contracted by pregnant women.Greek Olympic Committee chairman Spyros Kapralos said Brazil would pull through, much like Athens overcame chronic delays before it hosted the 2004 Games.“I think like we had in Athens, the same will happen in Rio, everything will come together and we will experience a fantastic Games,” he said.Share on: WhatsApp ANCIENT OLYMPIA, Greece | AFP |The Olympic flame was lit Thursday in an ancient temple in one country in crisis and solemnly sent off carrying international hopes that Brazil’s political paralysis will not taint the Rio Games that start in barely 100 days.As the flame was kindled in the 2,600-year-old Temple of Hera at Ancient Olympia, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach and Rio organisers sought to rally support.Bach said the Rio Games will be held “in a world shaken by crises” but hailed preparations for the first Olympics in South America.“Brazilian people will enthusiastically welcome the world and amaze us with their joy of life and their passion for sport,” he predicted.“Despite the difficulties that Brazil is facing today, the flame is a timeless reminder that we are all part of the same humanity,” Bach said.Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff cancelled her attendance as she battles threatened impeachment proceedings.In her place, Rio 2016 organising committee chairman, Carlos Nuzman, said the flame “brings a message that can and will unite, our dear Brazil.”“Brazil is ready,” Brazil’s acting sports minister Ricardo Leyser told reporters after the ceremony.Setting off from a country at the forefront of Europe’s migrant crisis, the flame will tour Greece and then go to scores of Brazilian cities arriving at Rio’s Maracana Stadium for the August 5 opening ceremony.After giving thanks to the ancient Greek sun god Apollo, high priestess Katerina Lechou, a prominent Greek actress, handed the flame to the first relay runner, Greece’s gymnastics world champion Lefteris Petrounias.– Refugee torch-bearer -Petrounias passed it to Brazilian volleyball legend Giovane Gavio, an Olympic champion at the 1992 Barcelona and 2004 Athens Games.Overall, some 12,000 torchbearers will carry the flame through Brazil.In a gesture to the migration crisis, a Syrian man who lost a leg in his country’s civil war will carry the torch through the Eleonas refugee camp in Athens next Tuesday.The man, whose is to be named Friday, has been living and working in Athens since being granted asylum in Greece.
De Bruyne is expected to be City’s leading candidate having contributed a league-high 15 assists and seven goals from midfield as Pep Guardiola’s have marched towards the title. 2364, United Kingdom | AFP | Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne, Leroy Sane and David Silva lead a six-strong cast that also includes the prolific Mohamed Salah and Harry Kane for the 2017-18 Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year award.Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea is the other nominee.Despite blowing the chance to seal the Premier League title in a thrilling 3-2 derby defeat to Manchester United last weekend, City still boast a 13-point lead at the top of the table heading into Saturday’s match against Tottenham. However, the Belgian may be beaten to the award by Salah’s free-scoring form.The Egyptian has scored 39 times in all competitions, including in each leg as Liverpool dumped City out of the Champions League quarter-finals 5-1 on aggregate.Salah leads the way in the race for the Premier League golden boot with 29 goals to Kane’s 25.Sane and Kane are also on the shortlist for the Young Player of the Year award alongside City goalkeeper Ederson and forward Raheem Sterling, Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford and left-back Ryan Sessegnon, who has starred in Fulham’s push for promotion from the Championship. Share on: WhatsApp
It’s getting rough out there for Trump supporters, especially on the Treasure Coast.Robert Youngblood, 67, told deputies with the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office that he was sitting at the bar with friends wearing his “MAGA” hat when 43 year old Matthias Ajple approached him and said, “You should go back to Russia, you communist” And slapped his hat. Then Youngblood says he came by again and spit on him.Deputies was able to track down “Ajple” at his home where he was arrested for battery.See video here.
Today is Veteran’s Day and we thank all those who have served and those who are currently protecting us for your supreme sacrifice. Take a look at ways you can say “Thank you” to veterans at local events in your area.Palm Beach County Lake Worth Beach – a Veterans Day parade is planned for Saturday at 11 a.m. The free event will take place downtown and will end at the Cultural Plaza located at 414 Lake Ave. where a Ceremony of Honor will be held afterward. Everyone is invited to attend. Boynton Beach – a Veterans Day service will take place Sunday at 10 a.m. honoring veteran’s, reservist, and active duty personnel. The special service will take place at Church of Our Savior, MCC located at 2011 South Federal Highway. The church is inviting the entire community to attend.Martin County Stuart – The Veterans Council of Martin County is hosting a Veterans Day Parade and Ceremony Monday at 10 a.m. on East Ocean Boulevard from Amerigo Avenue to Memorial Park, 300 S.E. Ocean Blvd. The Martin County Commission will also host a Flagpole Dedication Ceremony starting at 1 p.m. at The Elliot Museum, 825 N.E. Ocean Blvd. Port St. Lucie – The city is hosting a Veterans Day Service from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday at Veterans Memorial Park, 2100 S.E. Veterans Memorial Parkway.Indian River County Vero Beach – the Veterans Council of Indian River County is hosting a Veterans Day Ceremony on Monday at 8:45 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial Island Sanctuary in Vero Beach’s Riverside Park. The ceremony will include full military honors, with the Parade of the Colors by veteran groups, City of Vero Beach Police Department, Indian River County Sheriff’s Office, Indian River County Fire Rescue and numerous civic organizations. The Vero Beach High School Band will provide music throughout the ceremony and, “The Dolls” will be performing a patriotic set for the audience’s enjoyment. Please remember to bring your lawn chair. This event is free to the public.
A 5th day of public impeachment hearings is underway in the House Intelligence Committee.Today’s witnesses include Fiona Hill and David Holmes.Hill is a former official with the National Security Council and Holmes is a counselor for political affairs at the U.S. embassy in Ukraine.Hill is pushing back on the notion that it was Ukraine and not Russia that meddled in the 2016 presidential election. Hill says in her opening statement that Russia is ready to meddle again in 2020 and remains a serious threat to this nation’s democracy. Hill was the top Russia expert in the White House until she left her post in the summer. President Trump and some Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee have suggested it was Ukraine and not Russia that meddled in the 2016 election. Experts have said that conspiracy theory was started by Russia. Hill and foreign service counselor David Holmes are testifying today in the impeachment inquiry.
A West Palm Beach Police Officer is facing a DUI charge.According to the West Palm Beach Police Department, Officer Travis Limauro was already on paid administrative leave for an unrelated situation when he was arrested early Saturday morning by Jupiter Police.The affidavit states that Limauro caused an accident while trying to make a u-turn. The police officer who responded to the scene noted that Limauro had a strong smell of alcohol and was slurring his words. In addition, he failed several roadside sobriety tests and was then taken into custody.Police have charged Limauro with driving under the influence. He was released on his own recognizance.
President Trump is calling those behind the effort to impeach him dishonest and corrupt.The President spoke this morning at the National Prayer Breakfast with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sitting only a few feet away. Before speaking, Trump held up newspapers with banner headlines announcing his acquittal. He said he has been through a terrible ordeal. The theme of the nonpartisan breakfast was loving your neighbor. Before the President spoke, Harvard professor Arthur Brooks called on politicians to help heal the divide that he said is tearing the nation apart. When Trump began his remarks, he told Arthur he didn’t agree with him, and that he was not likely to approve of his speech. The President appeared to take shots at Pelosi when he criticized those who say they pray for him but don’t. And a shot at the one Republican to vote to remove him from office, Utah Senator Mitt Romney. He was speaking for friends and enemies, and said sometimes your friends are your enemies. The president will address the nation on his acquittal and the end to his impeachment nightmare at noon.
England’s Harry Ellis battled back from four holes down with five to play to win the 36-hole final of The 122nd Amateur Championship at Royal St George’s today. The 21-year-old from Meon Valley followed in the footsteps of his former Hampshire teammate, 2016 Amateur champion Scott Gregory, to lift the famous trophy after defeating Australia’s Dylan Perry in a dramatic match that went to the 38th hole. Ellis, who became the youngest player to win the English Amateur Championship aged just 16 in 2012, secured a place in The 146th Open at Royal Birkdale, next year’s US Open at Shinnecock Hills and, by tradition, an invitation to the Masters Tournament in 2018. Ellis said: “It’s unbelievable. I can’t believe what I have just done but you should never give up and never give in. I just kept giving myself chances down the stretch and luckily played much better than I had all day and somehow it was good enough that we had to go to the 38th hole.” Looking ahead, he added: “It (The Open) is very soon. Obviously, it’s on another links course at Royal Birkdale so we will see how we go. I just want to soak up the experience there and get as much from it as I possibly can. It has always been a dream to play in majors and I get to play in three now. My game is in a good place so hopefully I can do something there. For me I just want to soak it in. “My life tried to change at 16 when I won the English Amateur but I think at 21 I’m ready for it. I understand what is going to be ahead. Really, I just appreciate life a lot more, you know the story behind everything (after his mother passed away four years ago), and I’ve got to put it into perspective. Golf is an up and down game – it gives you some really bad times and it give you some really great times like today and just got to take the rough with the smooth.” The match was extremely close for most of the day and the first 18 holes were nip and tuck with neither player able to build more than a one hole lead. The match was all square going into the afternoon and although Ellis won the 20th hole with a birdie three it was the Australian who seized the initiative. Perry, who recently won the Riversdale Cup in his homeland, won four consecutive holes from the 22nd to go 3-up, before winning the 27th with a par to give him a commanding four hole lead with nine to play. Perry and Ellis continued to trade holes but the Australian maintained his four hole lead as the pair approached the 32nd hole. With only five holes to play Ellis’ second shot came within inches of going out of bounds. Perry, however, found trouble in a bunker and Ellis seized his opportunity to hole a putt for par and win the hole. That gave Ellis a lift and, after halving the next, he kept his nerve steady to win the next two holes with pars. On the 36th green, Perry missed a ten foot par putt to claim victory and the match went to extra holes. Stepping up to the 1st tee at Royal St George’s for the third time today both players played cautiously and halved the hole in par but the match was brought to a dramatic conclusion on the next. At the par-4 38th hole, Ellis was through the green in two and chipped to four feet while Perry, after hitting his second shot into a deep swail from which he struggled to escape, was on the green in four. When he missed his 8ft putt for bogey, Ellis had two putts for the championship but required only one to seal a memorable comeback victory. Perry said afterwards: “I’m a bit bummed but golf is a strange game. At the end of the day I have got to take the positives out of the week and move forward. “I played good all day and then down the stretch – that’s what the pressure does to some people. I hit a few good putts and had a nice few holes but it obviously just wasn’t meant to be. Congratulations to him, he played well down the stretch so good on him. “I have the European Amateur next week so I’ll rest up for that. Hopefully I can go one better.” The 123rd Amateur Championship will be played at Royal Aberdeen and Murcar Links from 18 to 23 June, 2018. Click here for full scores Image courtesy The R&A 24 Jun 2017 England’s Ellis battles back to win The Amateur
In this May 3, 2013, file photo, Miami Dolphins’ Don Jones runs during NFL football rookie minicamp in Davie, Fla. A negative one-word tweet from Jones about the drafting of Michael Sam drew a rebuke from the team. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File)MIAMI (AP) — Miami Dolphins safety Don Jones was fined an undisclosed amount Sunday and will undergo educational training after sending a negative tweet about Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to be selected in the NFL draft.Shortly after the St. Louis Rams took Sam in the seventh round Saturday, Jones tweeted “OMG” and “Horrible.” The tweets were taken down a short time later.Jones apologized for his comments Sunday and described them as inappropriate. The Dolphins said Jones has been excused from all team activities until he completes training related to his comments.“We were disappointed to read Don’s tweets,” coach Joe Philbin said in a statement. “They were inappropriate and unacceptable, and we regret the negative impact these comments had on such an important weekend for the NFL. We met with Don today about respect, discrimination and judgment. These comments are not consistent with the values and standards of our program.”The Dolphins reacted swiftly to Jones’ comments in the wake of the team’s bullying scandal last year, which embarrassed the NFL and prompted a nationwide debate about workplace harassment.Jones said he regretted that his tweets took away from Sam’s “draft moment.”“I remember last year when I was drafted in the seventh round, and all of the emotions and happiness I felt when I received the call that gave me an opportunity to play for an NFL team, and I wish him all the best in his NFL career,” Jones said in a statement. “I am committed to represent the values of the Miami Dolphins organization, and appreciate the opportunity I have been given to do so going forward.”Jones’ agent, Chris Martin, could not be reached Sunday for comment.___AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL