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  1. 2019-11-25 17:00:00 America/Los_Angeles

    In win over Rams, Ravens' Lamar Jackson shows he's most electrifying player in all sports

    There was Earl Campbell running for four touchdowns against the Miami Dolphins in the Astrodome. Brett Favre’s unbelievable night after his father died. Bo Jackson rushing for 221 yards and running over Brian Bosworth. Tony Dorsett, Steve Gleason, Antonio Freeman ... the list goes on.Any list of the iconic performances over the history of “Monday Night Football” has to include Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson after what he did against the Los Angeles Rams. Jackson, making his Monday night debut, threw for five touchdowns. Jackson is the first player ever to throw for five touchdowns in his “MNF” debut. He rushed for 95 yards on eight attempts. The Ravens absolutely dismantled the defending NFC champions, scoring touchdowns on all six possessions with Jackson in the game on. the way to a 45-6 win.It was one of the finest individual performances in the 50 seasons of “Monday Night Football.” Jackson will be very tough to beat for NFL MVP after that. And he has probably taken the crown of the most electrifying player in all of sports.Who is the most exciting athlete in sports?If you could only watch one player in sports, who would it be?LeBron James is a fine choice, even in his 30s. Giannis Antetokounmpo would be a great pick, as would James Harden. Even a healthy Zion Williamson could work. Mike Trout and Ronald Acuna are fascinating baseball players. Lionel Messi might be the most entertaining athlete in the world, but let’s keep it to American sports to make the list more manageable.The best answer, especially after Monday night’s show, is Jackson. Nobody in the NFL can match the entertainment he brings. He’s the best running quarterback we’ve seen, playing in an offense that is uniquely tailored to his dual-threat ability, and he has some of the best passing games in the NFL this season. He has two perfect passer ratings, and Monday night’s five-touchdown game wasn’t even one of them. All of the criticisms of his passing ability before the draft and through last season look pretty silly now. Jackson can do everything on a football field, and he makes it look routine.Jackson and the Ravens looked unstoppable on Monday night. Technically they were unstoppable considering they went six-for-six scoring touchdowns on Jackson’s drives before the game was out of hand and Robert Griffin III took over.Lamar Jackson is NFL MVP frontrunnerJackson is different than Mike Vick, Randall Cunningham, Steve Young or some of the NFL’s other great dual-threat quarterbacks in that the Ravens have so many called runs for him. The closest comparison is Cam Newton, and the Carolina Panthers never called as many runs for Newton as the Ravens do for Jackson. Jackson could be one of the best running backs in the NFL — he’s on pace to blow past Vick’s single-season record for rushing yards by a quarterback — though the Ravens are probably happy he ignored all the naysayers and stuck at quarterback.While called runs are the foundation of the Ravens offense, there are times when things open up for Jackson on drop-backs and he improvises with his legs. That’s when he’ll make everyone hold their breath. On Jackson’s most entertaining play of the night, he saw the field open up in front of him after dropping back, so he shot through the line and into the open field. He weaved his way through the Rams defense for 29 yards, was tackled at the 1-yard line and was clearly upset he didn’t score. It’s about the only thing he didn’t finish on Monday night. Jackson was 15-of-20 for 169 yards and the Rams had no answer for him in the passing game.There are plenty of exciting players in the NFL. Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson are among them. Christian McCaffrey is a joy to watch. When DeAndre Hopkins contorts his body to make a contested catch, it’s a thrill.But there’s nothing currently in the NFL like watching Jackson. There’s no better show in American sports.

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  2. 2019-11-27 15:00:00 UTC

    Trump Knew of Whistle-Blower Complaint When He Released Aid to Ukraine

    Trump Knew of Whistle-Blower Complaint When He Released Aid to UkraineEbony Lopez’s electric company in Napa wine country used to get a handful of inquiries a week from people asking about generators. After PG&E shut power to millions of Californians last month, it’s more like 10 to 15 calls a day.“It’s been nonstop,” Lopez said. “People are definitely being reactive.”As Californians face years of intentional blackouts -- a strategy by the state’s utilities to prevent wildfires -- homeowners are rushing to find alternative sources of power to keep the lights on. Last month’s outages, in particular, swept across affluent areas just outside of San Francisco, hitting people who have the means to pay up for pricey equipment.The trend isn’t unique to California. With climate change colliding with an aging grid, residents of areas from snowy New England to the hurricane-threatened South face more disruptions to power. But with costs for whole-house generators or solar and battery packages running tens of thousands of dollars, the demand for backup systems underscores a stark reality: Wealthy people will be able to endure outages while the poor are left in the dark.“Like a lot of things that we’re talking about in society today and the inequality that exists, that gap in inequality could show up in even how you get your power,” said Aaron Jagdfeld, chief executive officer of Generac Holdings Inc., the country’s biggest standby generator company. Its shares have almost doubled this year on the prospect of rising demand.

    Newyork Post

  3. 2019-12-03 08:00:00 America/Los_Angeles

    Former prosecutor says corrupt congressman got ‘great’ deal

    SAN DIEGO (AP) — California Rep. Duncan Hunter pleaded guilty Tuesday to a single charge of conspiring with his wife to use at least $150,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses under a plea deal that a former federal prosecutor called “great” for the congressman who had faced 60 counts.The six-term Republican showed no emotion in the courtroom when he changed his plea to guilty and admitted he and his wife Margaret misused at least $25,000 in campaign money every year from 2010 to 2016. The charge carries up to a five-year sentence, but the deal calls for prosecutors to recommend much less when a judge sentences him in March.Former prosecutor Jason Forge said under the terms of the deal it’s likely Hunter will serve about a year in prison and perhaps less."I think if you decide to do a high-profile public corruption case, you have to set up an impervious example and they fell far short of this with this plea agreement," said Forge, who in 2005 prosecuted another San Diego-area congressman, Randy "Duke" Cunningham, in one of the biggest bribery scandals in congressional history."Ï would rather go down fighting than agree to this," he added. “He got a great deal.”Prosecutor Phillip Halpern defended the agreement, saying it held Hunter accountable."Appropriately today's plea is to the major count of the indictment and effectively puts an end to his political career"," he said. "Mr. Hunter now faces resignation, disgrace and imprisonment."Hunter said he and his wife dipped into the election funds between 2010 and 2016 more than 30 times and falsely reported the expenses as campaign related from their daughter’s birthday party at the posh Hotel Del Coronado to an outing with friends at a french bistro.“I failed to monitor and account for my campaign spending,” Hunter, 42, said outside the courthouse.He promised to discuss his future later and refused to answer questions about when he would leave the congressional seat he has held for more than a decade.An early supporter of President Donald Trump’s 2016 election bid, Hunter is the second Republican congressman to plead guilty to federal charges this year.Accompanied by his father, the former combat Marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan left the courthouse to jeers of “Lock him up!”Hunter’s pending departure will mark the end of a political dynasty in Southern California’s most Republican district. His father represented the district for 28 years before Hunter’s 2008 election.For more than a year, Hunter had insisted that criminal charges against him and his wife were the result of a conspiracy of the “deep state” meant to drive him from office in Democrat-dominated California.Halpern noted Hunter’s honorable military service and his family’s place in the 50th congressional district. But he had a sharp rebuke for the congressman’s claim that he was targeted because of politics.“No figure, regardless of what office they occupy, should be allowed in this country to cry witch hunt or fake news and attempt to deflect their criminal wrongdoings," Halpern said.Halpern said he would seek a minimum of one year in jail for Hunter.Prosecutors agreed to recommend a sentence of eight to 14 months, taking off time because of his military service in war zones and unspecified medical conditions. A judge will ultimately determine his sentence and could impose the maximum of five years.Hunter and his wife were initially charged with 60 criminal counts and prosecutors accused them of spending about $250,000 in campaign funds including for family vacations to Italy and Hawaii, private school tuition for their children, airline tickets for their family’s pet rabbit. They said the couple was broke and bankrolled their lives with the campaign money.Prosecutors also revealed Hunter spent some of the money on romantic relationships with lobbyists and congressional aides.His wife accepted a plea deal in June. In that deal, prosecutors indicated they would not seek a sentence longer than eight months, though Halpern said Tuesday her cooperation helped the prosecution and they had not determined if they will seek any jail time. She also faces a maximum of five years.Hunter told San Diego TV station KUSI in an interview that aired Monday that a trial would be tough on his three children. He said he hopes his wife is spared jail time.In October, former four-term Republican Rep. Chris Collins of New York pleaded guilty in an insider trading case, a day after he resigned from Congress._____This story corrects that Hunter pleaded guilty to misusing $150,000 not $250,000.

    California Headline

  4. 2019-12-03 08:00:00 America/Los_Angeles

    Mugabe left $10 mln, a farm and two houses

    Harare (AFP) - Zimbabwe's late former president Robert Mugabe left US$10 million, 10 cars, a farm and two houses, details of his estate released on Tuesday revealed.The state-owned Herald newspaper said his daughter, Bona Nyepudzai Mutsahuni-Chikore, disclosed these assets to the High Court after the family had been unable to locate his will.The $10 million (nine million euros) was in a foreign currency account with a local bank, the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe (CBZ), the report said.It did not identify the make or model of the 10 cars.During his presidency, Mugabe, who styled himself as a leftwing radical, was reported to own several farms that were seized during his controversial land reforms.Only one farm is listed on the inventory of his assets.His other properties, according to the list given to the High Court on October 21, include two houses in posh suburbs of the capital, Harare; his rural homestead in Zvimba; a two-hectare (five-acre)farming plot in Zvimba and a five-acre orchard.Mugabe, who ruled Zimbabwe from the country’s independence from British colonial rule in 1980 until being ousted in November 2017, died on September 6 at the age of 95 in Singapore, where he had been receiving treatment for prostate cancer."Mrs Grace Mugabe was listed as the sole surviving spouse while Bona, Robert, Bellarmine and stepson Russel Goreraza were listed as surviving children," The Herald reported.Mugabe once said in jest that he would remain in power until he turned 100.He was ousted after 37 years in power and replaced by his former deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa, whom Mugabe had fired weeks earlier.The later years of his rule were characterised by food shortages, massive joblessness and the use of brutal force against his opponents.Many had hoped Mnangagwa would fare better but the hardships that Zimbabweans suffered under Mugabe have returned to haunt the country.According to the World Bank, extreme poverty is likely to affect 5.7 million Zimbabweans this year -- equivalent to 34 percent of the population, after 29 percent in 2018.Gross domestic product is likely to contract by 7.5 percent in 2019, it says.

    California Headline

  5. 2019-12-04 00:00:00 UTC

    US Marine charged with illegally flying guns into Haiti

    RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A U.S. Marine caught smuggling guns into Haiti told investigators he wanted to help the country’s military learn marksmanship and defeat “thugs” causing instability there, according to a criminal complaint.The criminal complaint filed last week in a North Carolina federal court charges Marine Sgt. Jacques Yves Duroseau with smuggling firearms. Prosecutors say Duroseau flew from North Carolina to Haiti with baggage including eight firearms — at least five of which he bought himself — but lacked needed authorization to take them abroad.Duroseau, an active-duty U.S. Marine, and another unnamed person departed an airport in New Bern, North Carolina, on Nov. 11, Veterans Day, bound for Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, with two plastic containers of firearms and a third with ammunition, according to the court filing.Duroseau had filled out a firearm declaration form with American Airlines stating he was carrying unloaded guns but didn’t have permission from the U.S. Marines to leave the country or permission from U.S. authorities to export firearms, according to the complaint signed by Homeland Security Special Agent Charles Kitchen.Haitian authorities took Duroseau into custody and ultimately, he was questioned by U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents in that country.The criminal complaint said he told the agents he had traveled there to “defeat the thugs that have been creating a little bit part of the instability in Haiti.” In describing the eight firearms, he told the agents he “picked every gun” to teach marksmanship to the Haitian Army, according to the court documents.The Miami Herald first reported on what was in the criminal complaint.The firearms included five handguns and three rifles, and they were able to trace at least five of them to purchases made by Duroseau, according to court documents. Authorities say they found a 2018 receipt for one of the guns, which was bought at a store in North Carolina, in his trash.Kitchen stated that Duroseau also brought body armor and an officer’s uniform with him.The complaint said he has served as a firearms instructor and knew that bringing the guns to Haiti was illegal. He told investigators he knew he would be arrested in Haiti and that it was part of a plan to get attention to make a statement, according to the court documents.The U.S. Marine Corps confirmed that Deroseau is a machine gunner assigned to the 2nd Marine Division, which is based at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. He enlisted in 2011, according to a statement from the Marines.The statement said the allegations are inconsistent with Marine values and “if substantiated, the situation will be expediently, firmly, and fairly adjudicated.”The NCIS said in a statement that it couldn’t release further information about the investigation.American Airlines spokeswoman Martha Pantin said it appears Duroseau filled out American’s forms to ship guns and ammunition, which mostly occurs on domestic flights. She said American complies with federal regulations covering the shipment of guns and customer service agents verify that gun cases are locked before the bags are screened. She said employees do not open gun cases.The criminal complaint said the other person with Duroseau, who wasn’t identified, told agents Duroseau “was in contact with the U.S. Embassy in Haiti to tell them that he wanted to be President of Haiti.” The criminal complaint doesn’t list any charges against the second person.The electronic court docket doesn’t identify a defense attorney who could speak on Duroseau’s behalf. A spokesman for the federal prosecutor’s office, Don Connelly, declined to answer questions about whether Duroseau had a lawyer or when he would be brought back to the U.S. The docket also lists a variation of his surname as Durosau, but the indictment refers to him as Duroseau throughout.A federal magistrate judge issued an arrest warrant for Duroseau last week and asked the U.S. Marshal’s Office to serve it.

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