Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Curry and Record-Setting Warriors Headed Back to NBA Finals

Stephen Curry knocked down yet another 3-pointer in the waning moments, pulled his jersey up into his mouth and yelled to the rafters in triumph once more.

A special, record-setting season saved for the defending champs, with a memorable comeback added to the long list of accomplishments.

Splash Brothers Curry and Klay Thompson carried the 73-win Warriors right back to the NBA Finals, as Golden State rallied from a 3-1 series deficit to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 96-88 on Monday night in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals.

Now, Curry and Co. are playing for another NBA title — just as they planned since Day 1 of training camp in September.

Bring on LeBron James again.

"You appreciate how tough it is to get back here," Curry said. "You've got to be appreciative of this accomplishment, and look forward to getting four more wins."

The MVP scored 36 points with seven 3-pointers to finish with an NBA-record 32 in a seven-game series, and also had eight assists. Thompson added 21 points and six 3s, two days after his record 11 3-pointers led a Game 6 comeback that sent the series home to raucous Oracle Arena for one more.

The Warriors became the 10th team to rally from a 3-1 deficit and win a postseason series. They return to the NBA Finals for a rematch with James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, who lost the 2015 title in six games as Golden State captured its first championship in 40 years.

Game 1 is Thursday night in Oakland.

"We survived by the skin of our teeth," coach Steve Kerr said. "We were able to pull it out, and we're moving on."

His signature mouthpiece dangling out and the game ball cradled in his left hand, Curry pumped his right arm as yellow confetti fell through Oracle Arena once the final buzzer sounded.

With the Thunder trailing 90-86, Serge Ibaka fouled Curry on a 3-point try with 1:18 to go and the shot clock running out. Curry made all three free throws, then that 3-pointer to seal it.

"This is who he is. Having a clutch performance in a Game 7, that's Steph Curry," Kerr said.

And Golden State's beloved "Strength In Numbers" catchphrase coined by Coach of the Year Kerr was needed in every way.

"No one ever had any doubt that we could get this done," Draymond Green said. "People have seen teams down 3-1 before but they ain't seen many. They've definitely never seen a 73-win team down 3-1."

Andre Iguodala joined the starting lineup for just the second time all season and the 2015 NBA Finals MVP hung tough against Kevin Durant, who scored 27 points on 10-for-19 shooting. Shaun Livingston's breakaway, one-handed dunk late in the third provided a big lift off the Warriors bench.

Oklahoma City won Game 1 108-102 at deafening Oracle Arena, so Golden State never envisioned this one coming easily. Russell Westbrook had 19 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds for the Thunder.

"It hurts losing, especially being up 3 games to 1," Durant said.

It took a quarter and a half for Thompson to warm up after his 41-point performance in a 108-101 win Saturday at Oklahoma City that sent the series back to the East Bay.

He missed his initial seven shots before hitting a 3 6:02 before halftime, energizing the Warriors in their first Game 7 at home in 40 years.

Back-to-back 3-pointers by Thompson and Iguodala pulled the Warriors within 54-51 with 7:57 left in the third. They tied it on Curry's 3 at 7:21 and he followed with another 3 to give his team the lead.

Curry and Thompson each topped the previous record for 3s in a seven-game series, 28 by Dennis Scott and Ray Allen. Curry hit one over 7-foot Steven Adams in the third, and Thompson wound up with 30 3s.

Iguodala replaced Harrison Barnes in the starting lineup and what a move by Kerr, who did the same thing last year in crunch time. Iguodala made a pretty bounce pass through the paint to Green for Golden State's first basket, and his smothering defense on Durant kept the Thunder star without a shot until his 3 at the 5:45 mark in the first. Durant had just nine points on five shots in the first half.

But Oklahoma City dictated the tempo with snappy passes and the hard, aggressive rebounding that had been such a part of its success this season. The Thunder couldn't sustain it.

"They won a world championship last year, and they've broken an NBA record, and people are already talking about it before the playoffs started, this may be the greatest team to ever lace them up in the history of the NBA," Thunder coach Billy Donovan said.

The Warriors, who fell behind 35-22, lost their last Game 7 at home: 94-86 to Phoenix in the Western Conference finals on May 16, 1976.
 Source:ABC News

Monday, 30 May 2016

FRANCE 3-2 CAMEROON: PAYET NETS DRAMATIC LATE WINNER FOR EURO 2016 HOSTS

Didier Deschamps' side defeated the Indomitable Lions in
their penultimate pre-European Championship friendly after
goals from the West Ham man, Blaise Matuidi and Olivier
Giroud
A stunning injury-time free-kick from Dimitri Payet gave
France a 3-2 friendly victory over Cameroon in Nantes on
Monday.
The West Ham midfielder curled a shot beyond the reach of
goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa just two minutes after the visitors
had levelled the match at 2-2.
Blaise Matuidi's volley following a fine run from Kingsley
Coman had put the hosts in front before Vincent Aboubakar
levelled just two minutes later for a Cameroon side who
posed a consistent threat on the break.
Olivier Giroud was booed by some supporters outside the
Stade de la Beajouire, with several making their frustrations
over Karim Benzema's omission quite clear, but he
responded with a fine finish from a Paul Pogba cross for his
fifth goal in four starts to put France ahead.
Giroud missed a good chance for a second but was given a
largely warm reception when he was replaced by Andre-Pierre
Gignac just after the hour, as France began to push forward
in earnest in search of a goal to safeguard their third win in
a row.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting equalised against the run of play
in the 88th minute after a Laurent Koscielny error but Payet's
superb strike secured a third win in a row for Didier
Deschamps' side, who face Scotland on Saturday in a final
Euro 2016 warm-up game.
The home side began brightly but Cameroon almost
snatched the lead with 13 minutes played, Hugo Lloris forced
to make a fine one-handed stop low to his left after Karl
Toko Ekambi cut infield and aimed for the far corner.
France went ahead on 20 minutes with their first moment of
real attacking quality. Coman skipped away from Edgar Salli
down the left and clipped the ball towards the penalty spot,
where Matuidi was on hand to volley left-footed past Ondoa.
But the lead lasted just two minutes. Nyom made amends
for his earlier sluggish defending by drilling a fine low cross
towards the six-yard box, and Aboubakar arrived
unchallenged at the near post to turn the ball beneath Lloris.
Pogba spurned a great chance to put France back ahead,
flashing a header wide of the right-hand post when unmarked
12 yards out, but Giroud made sure of an advantage before
the break.
Juventus star Pogba created space down the right before
bending a superb cross towards the penalty spot, and
Giroud steered a stylish first-time finish past Ondoa.
The Arsenal man was thwarted by Ondoa just before the hour
mark after bustling his way into the penalty area, prompting a
few more jeers from sections of the crowd, and Pogba saw a
curling effort superbly clawed away by the 20-year-old
goalkeeper before N'Golo Kante drilled the rebound wide.
Substitute Cabaye was denied by a sprawling Ondoa when
picked out by a fine Payet pass, and they were hit with a
sucker-punch a minute later, as Koscielny's slip allowed
Choupo-Moting to latch onto Anatole Abang's pass and slot
past Lloris.
But Payet had the final word, curling a fantastic free-kick
beyond the reach of Ondoa from 25 yards out to secure the
win.
Source:Goal

DANI ALVES SET TO JOIN SERIE A CHAMPIONS JUVENTUS

The Brazil international will leave Catalonia after eight years
and 23 major honours with the Camp Nou club in favour of a
switch to the Italian giants this summer
Barcelona full-back Dani Alves will join Serie A winners
Juventus this week on a two-year contract, Goal can reveal.
The 33-year-old is expected to earn around €4 million-per-
year during his stay in Turin, with the option of an additional
year inserted into his contract.
The marauding right-back brings with him a wealth of
international experience, having won 89 caps for his country,
and is highly regarded by Massimiliano Allegri, who is eager
to stamp his authority on Europe.
Alves, who joined the Blaugrana from Sevilla in 2008, will
arrive with considerable UEFA Champions League exposure,
having lifted the European Cup on three occasions in 2009,
2011 and 2015.
Wing-back Stephan Lichtsteiner has a contract at the club
until 2017 and is unlikely to depart the Old Lady of Italian
football following the Brazilian's impending switch, with Juan
Cuadrado tipped to join former manager Antonio Conte at
Chelsea this summer.
Juve will also offer Alves' team-mate Javier Mascherano a
two-year deal, however the option of a third will not be
included. The Argentine defender is keen to move to the
Italian north and talks with his agents have gone smoothly,
but an agreement with Barca is still yet to be met.
The European heavyweight clubs enjoy a great working
relationship and Juve are hesistent to stretch their
correspondence but Mascherano is enamoured with the idea
of being allowed to return to a midfield role under Allegri.
Source: Goal

Former State Dept. watchdog debunks central Clinton email claim

The State Department’s former top watchdog, in an interview with Fox News, rejected Hillary Clinton’s repeated claims that her personal email use was in line with her predecessors’ – while saying he would have immediately opened an investigation if he caught wind of a secretary of state using such an account.
Howard Krongard, a George W. Bush administration appointee who served as the State Department inspector general from April 2005 to January 2008, cited his own experience in challenging Clinton’s insistence that her practices were nothing out of the ordinary.
“Certainly to my knowledge at least, Secretary [Condoleezza] Rice did not have a personal server. I certainly never either sent an email to one or received an email from one,” said Krongard, who served during Rice’s tenure. 
Further, he said, “I would have been stunned had I been asked to send an email to her at a personal server, private address. I would have declined to do so on security grounds and if she had sent one to me, I probably would have started an investigation.” 
Krongard noted that during Clinton’s four-year term, from January 2009 to January 2013, there was no Senate-confirmed inspector general in place. Suggesting the Clintons show a pattern of avoiding oversight, Krongard indicated that Hillary Clinton benefited from the fact there was no IG during her term.
"I would’ve been the most unpopular person in that building [had I been there]," Krongard said, emphasizing that the inspector general has broad powers and the ability to rein in even the most senior political appointees. "They are the people who enforce the rules, and there was no one enforcing the rules during that time."
Krongard spoke with Fox News before the current State Department inspector general’s office, led by Steve A. Linick, issued an extensive report on email practices of previous secretaries of state.
The day that report was issued, Clinton said in an interview that her use of personal email was consistent with predecessors Colin Powell and Rice.  
"Just like previous secretaries of state, I used a personal email. Many people did. It was not at all unprecedented," she said.
But, as Krongard indicated, the May 25 IG report clearly stated that Rice did not use personal email for government business. It said Powell used personal email on a limited basis to connect with people outside the department, and he worked with the State Department to secure the system. The report found Clinton did neither.
The report concluded Clinton’s use of a private server and account was not approved, and broke agency rules. The report said by the time she became secretary, the rules had repeatedly been updated, and were “considerably more detailed and more sophisticated.”
Krongard resigned from the IG position in December 2007 after accusations he blocked Iraq-related investigations, charges he denied. 
Regarding the 2,100 emails on Clinton’s server found to have contained classified information -- and another 22 “Top Secret” messages containing intelligence deemed too damaging to national security to make public – Krongard questioned how that material got there. He said it would take a deliberate act for the intelligence to "jump the gap" between the classified computer networks and Clinton's personal server.
"It could be done by taking a screen shot with … a camera of a classified email, take a screen shot and send it to an unclassified network. It could be copied, but there are restrictions in the State Department and elsewhere as to what copiers can work from a classified network and it can only be a secure copier. So that may not have been easy," Krongard said.
Asked if it could happen by accident, Krongard simply said, "No."
He also challenged Clinton and State Department claims that the emails in question were “retroactively classified.”
"I don't understand it, because it was either classified by the creator or it was classified by reason of where it came from or what network it was on,” Krongard said.
Clinton consistently has claimed nothing she sent or received was marked classified at the time. While technically correct, this distinction also appears misleading. A January 2009 non-disclosure agreement signed by Clinton confirms her understanding that "classified information is marked or unmarked.” 
Rather, it is the content and source that determine classification. Former intelligence officials say the emails were improperly handled by Clinton and her team and, once reviewed by the authority that originated the information, the emails were given proper classification markings.
While there is no public confirmation the Clinton server was breached, former senior military and intelligence officials -- including Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and former Defense Intelligence Agency chief Mike Flynn – have said they believe foreign intelligence services targeted Clinton's email system. 
In a recent interview with Fox News, the Romanian hacker who goes by the name Guccifer said he accessed the Clinton server with ease in March 2013. Anonymous government officials were quick to dismiss the hacker's claims, while admitting he was very skilled and breached the accounts of 100 Americans, including Powell.  

Okorocha denies presidential posters

 Imo Governor, Rochas Okorocha has denied having anything to do with the posters of the governor of Borno State, Alhaji Kashim Shettima running for the 2019 Presidency Rochas as the Vice. The governor said the posters were another mischief by mischievous elements cowed by his monumental achievements in Imo and what he represents in the politics of the South-East and Nigeria in general today. A statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo said those behind this mischief first invaded the social media with the fake posters and when they discovered that the comments by decent men and women doubted the source and the genuineness of the posters, they decided to paste them in Abuja. “On the part of the Imo State Governor, it is very difficult to capture what the folks behind this pettiness want to achieve or what must have prompted them, in the first place “Since 2015 elections when he cowed his detractors, they have never left any stone unturned to ensure that they put knife in the enviable relationship existing between the president and Governor Okorocha. Their latest unfortunate outing is the posters in question. “Interestingly, Governor Okorocha has for sometime now been reported to have told those willing to hear that he won’t run for the 2019 presidential election because of President Buhari. And by repeatedly saying that, he succeeded in disarming the little minds who had used that issue to blackmail him. “And now, they have begun to publish about Okorocha being the vice-presidential candidate to Governor Shettima. And for the sake of exposing these petty minded fellows, one can ask whether Rochas and Shettima would start campaign in 2016 for 2019 election?”

VanguardNews

Fayose dares Buhari to stop him from travelling abroad, says, ‘I can’t be cowed’

Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, on Monday, dared the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to carry out the alleged plot of preventing him from travelling out of the country , saying, “under the federal system of government, State governors are not appendages of the President and as a leading opposition figure in Nigeria, I can’t be cowed by President Muhammadu Buhari and his agents.” Fayose The governor, who reacted to reports that two governors, one from the Southwest and another from the South South have been placed on travel restriction on President Buhari’s order, in a press conference addressed by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, said; whenever he wished to travel out Nigeria, he will do so in the full glare of the public. He said: “I am not surprised or disappointed by this latest plot of the Buhari’s government because the President Buhari that we know is a man without any atom of respect for the rights of Nigerians as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and this he demonstrated as a military dictator and now demonstrating as a democratically elected president.” The governor said he was however amazed that “this dangerous dimension of compelling a sitting governor that enjoys Constitutional Immunity like the President to obtain clearance from the Director General of the Department of State Service (DSS) before travelling out of Nigeria can ever be contemplated.” He said President Buhari and his agents should be mindful of the fact that under a federal system of government, the states and national government both enjoy some autonomy, with sovereign power formally divided between the national government and the States such that each State retains some degree of control over its internal affairs. Olayinka, who was flanked by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Idowu Adelusi said; “Few days ago, when Governor Ayodele Fayose was reliably informed that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed that he should be banned from traveling outside Nigeria, he simply took the information as mere rumour, concluding that disrespect for the constitution of Nigeria and Buhari’s dictatorship would not be extended to the most ridiculous level of preventing a governor elected just as the president from traveling out of the country. “The thinking of Governor Fayose was that even though the Buhari’s presidency was capable of even attempting to prevent those opposed to the President from breathing the air, it must still be sane enough to be conscious of the consequences of placing any Nigerian under travel ban without an order of the court, not to talk of a sitting governor that enjoys constitutional immunity like the President. “However, when we read the story titled; “2 govs under watch, face travel ban” published on Sunday by two major national dailies, we have no option than to once again alert the public on President Buhari’s new dictatorial plot to infringe on the constitutional rights of Governor Fayose just because of his critical position on the President’s dictatorial tendencies. “The question is; if Governor Fayose has become a threat to the security of Nigeria just because he criticises President Buhari and says the truth about his mis-governance of the country, is this not a confirmation that the President hates dissenting views? “Section 35 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) provides that; “Every person shall be entitled to his personal liberty and no person shall be deprived of such liberty,” while Section 41 (1) provides that “Every citizen of Nigeria is entitled to move freely throughout Nigeria and to reside in any part thereof, and no citizen of Nigeria shall be expelled from Nigeria or refused entry thereto or exit therefrom.” “Article 13 (1) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which Nigeria is a signatory provides that ‘Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the border of each State’ while Article 13 (2) provides that ‘Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and return to his country,’ ditto Article 12 (2) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. “President Buhari and his agents should also be mindful of the fact that under a federal system of government, the states and national government both enjoy some autonomy, with sovereign power formally divided between the national government and the States such that each State retains some degree of control over its internal affairs. “Therefore, the President of Nigeria cannot lord himself over any State governor and President Buhari and his agents should accept this basic reality and stop behaving as if they own Nigeria in totality. “President Buhari and his agents, especially his kinsman; Alhaji Lawal Daura of the DSS need to purge themselves of this blood of dictatorship running in their veins and be guided by the Constitution of Nigeria. “Even ordinary Nigerians do not require clearance from the DSS or any security agency to travel outside Nigeria unless travel restriction is placed by an order of the court, not to talk of State Governors that enjoy immunity just like the President and are not under the control of the President. “The president and his agents should know that this is not 1984 when General Buhari, as a military dictator prevented late Chief Obafemi Awolowo from travelling outside Nigeria for medical treatment, thereby leading to his (Awolowo) untimely death in 1987! “They should also be reminded that the same way Buhari humiliated the late Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade; late Emir of Kano Alhaji Ado Bayero and late Obi of Onitsha, Ofala Akulalia Alphonsus Ogugua in 1984 by seizing their passports and restricting them to their palaces just because they travelled to Israel for business, he cannot restrict State governors from travelling outside Nigeria under whatever guise. “I therefore wish to state on behalf of Governor Ayodele Fayose that as an opposition figure, he cannot be cowed by this pettiness from the presidency. Governor Fayose, by this press conference is daring President Buhari and his anti-democratic agents to carry out this evil and shameful plot and let us all see how far it will take them. “Anytime Governor Fayose wishes to travel out of Nigeria, he will do so in the full glare of the public and we await how he will be prevented from exercising his rights as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution (as amended) as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. “We also wish to inform the President and his DSS men that as they were disgraced when they invaded Ekiti State House of Assembly, arresting members of the House indiscriminately, they will be put to shame this time too. “Also, the National Assembly is being alerted of this new threat to the Constitution of Nigeria by those who swore to protect it. Members of the National Assembly should by now begin to imagine what will be their fate if attempt is now being made to place travel restriction on State Governors. “It is our considered view that President Buhari should rather concern himself with the growing insecurity in the country and charge the security agencies, especially the DSS to perform their functions as enshrined in the constitution instead of running after petty issues. “The President should focus his attention on the economy of Nigeria that is almost collapsing and stop using his position to oppress other Nigerians. He should know that Nigerians are only interested in having food on their tables, not the number of people their President hounds into detention or oppress with his powers.”