Sports & Entertainment

Paolo Banchero had 29 points and nine rebounds, Moritz Wagner added 22 points and the Orlando Magic rallied from a 21-point deficit for a 119-109 victory over the host Philadelphia 76ers on Monday. Banchero's dunk with 36 seconds remaining gave the Magic a 117-109 lead. Moritz Wagner also hit a clutch jumper and sank two free throws in the final 2:34. Franz Wagner scored 19 points, Wendell Carter Jr. contributed 12 points and nine rebounds and Markelle Fultz added 12 points and 10 assists for the Magic, who snapped a two-game losing streak. Joel Embiid finished with 30 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Sixers, who had their seven-game winning streak snapped. James Harden amassed 17 points, eight rebounds and six assists, and Tobias Harris also had 17 points. Mavericks 111, Pistons 105 Luka Doncic reached the 50-point mark for the fourth time...
By Lincoln Feast - Kelly Slater will look to defend his Billabong Pro Pipeline title as surfing's world championship kicks off in Hawaii this week, with the added allure of spots at the Paris 2024 Olympics up for grabs at the end of the 10-stop global tour. The 50-year-old Floridian stunned the surfing world to win the event last year in perfect conditions at the dangerous Pipeline, declaring it the best victory of his unrivalled 30-year career. But Slater faces a tough task this year with surf forecasts suggesting smaller, windier conditions that might better suit some of his rivals, who include a host of hungry newcomers and some returning veterans. "He's an 11-time world champion, he's won every event on the schedule, holds every record in the sport and he continues to do mind-blowing surfing, but the truth of the matter is, it's getting harder and harder for him to win," World Surf League commentator Ronnie Blakey said....
- The Australian Open set a Grand Slam attendance record with more than 900,000 spectators visiting over three weeks, organisers said on Tuesday, despite the absence of some big-name players and schedule disruptions due to rain. A record 839,192 fans flocked to Melbourne Park from Jan. 16-29 for the first tournament in two years free of COVID-19 restrictions, beating the previous mark of 812,174 set in January 2020. The figures eclipse last year's attendance numbers at other Grand Slam main draws - 515,164 visited Wimbledon, 613,500 were at the French Open and 776,120 went to the U.S. Open. Over 60,000 also watched the qualifying events in Melbourne, bringing the total up to 902,312. The tournament, missing the retired Serena Williams, Roger Federer and last year's homegrown champion Ash Barty, broke its single-day attendance mark with 94,854 fans visiting on Jan. 21. The previous record was 93,709 set in 2020....
By Nick Mulvenney SYDNEY - Eddie Jones returned to his roots on Tuesday for his first formal news conference since being reappointed Wallabies coach and issued a call for the whole of Australian rugby to "roll their sleeves up" and help revitalise the game. In a message delivered at the school where he was once a pupil and teacher, Jones said the team would do their part by winning the World Cup in France later this year but could not revive the sport alone. "I reckon we've got to draw a line in the sand and where we've been and work out where we want to go ... then everyone needs to roll their sleeves up," the 63-year-old told reporters at Matraville Sports High School. "We can't do it by ourselves. We need everyone in the rugby community to find a bit more and they can. There's plenty of people who love rugby when the Wallabies win, so we're going to win, but we need them to maybe help start it." The Ell...
- Cindy Williams, who played Shirley alongside Penny Marshall's Laverne in "Laverne & Shirley," one of the most popular U.S. TV shows of the 1970s and 1980s, has died at 75, the AP reported on Monday, citing a statement from her family. Williams passed away in Los Angeles on Wednesday following a brief illness, said her children, Zak and Emily Hudson, in the statement. "The passing of our kind, hilarious mother, Cindy Williams, has brought us insurmountable sadness that could never truly be expressed," they said. "Knowing and loving her has been our joy and privilege. She was one of a kind, beautiful, generous and possessed a brilliant sense of humor and a glittering spirit that everyone loved." Williams, who was born in Los Angeles, began her career acting in TV commercials before landing roles in films directed by Hollywood greats George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola. She and Marshall first appeared...
MELBOURNE - Australia opener David Warner has expressed concern for the future of test cricket, with emerging players focusing on "short term" interests as lucrative T20 leagues proliferate globally. Warner, who has played 101 tests and more than 200 limited overs internationals, said he had tried to impress upon younger team mates, including Sydney Thunder talent Oliver Davies, the importance of the longest format. "I was speaking to (Davies) the other day. He likes playing white-ball cricket, I can't see him playing red-ball cricket any time soon," Warner told reporters. "If he wants to put his mind to it, he can definitely play. "But I've got a little bit of scaredness about what's going to happen in the next five to 10 years, where cricket is actually heading. "I'd love for guys coming through to play red-ball cricket and play test cricket because that's the legacy that you should want to leave behind."...
DERBY, England - West Ham United eased into the fifth round of the FA Cup after a comfortable 2-0 victory away to League One (third tier) Derby County on Monday. A volley from close range by Jarrod Bowen put the Premier League side ahead in the 10th minute and the forward then crossed for striker Michail Antonio to head in a second goal five minutes after the break. West Ham then comfortably saw out the victory without conceding many chances, setting up a fifth-round tie away to Manchester United next month. (Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Ken Ferris)...
By Danielle Broadway LOS ANGELES - The late pop singer Michael Jackson will be portrayed by his 26-year-old nephew, Jaafar Jackson, in the biographical movie “Michael," the Lionsgate studio said on Monday. "Michael" will explore “the complicated man who became the King of Pop,” Lionsgate said in a statement. The film will include "all aspects" of his life and his most noteworthy performances that set him on the path to becoming an icon in the musical world," it said. Production will start this year and the film will be directed by Antoine Fuqua and produced by Graham King, who both said that Jaafar Jackson had a natural ability to emulate his uncle and bring him to life. “It was clear that he is the only person to take on this role,” King said in a news release, adding that he "cannot wait for the world to see him on the big screen as Michael Jackson.” Lionsgate did not directly address one of the most co...
By Angelica Medina MEXICO CITY - Mexico's leading tennis players have decided not to play in next week's Davis Cup World Group playoff tie against Taiwan due to differences with the Mexican Tennis Federation (FMT). Led by Santiago Gonzalez, Alejandro Hernandez and Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela, the players said they will not take part in the Feb. 4-5 Group I playoff tie in Metepec, State of Mexico. "After a difficult deliberation, we have not reached a positive conclusion, so we have decided not to participate in the upcoming series against the Chinese Taipei team," said the players' statement, published on social media on Monday. "The lack of communication, lack of planning and lack of interest show that the situation has not been handled in the right way and that personal interests have taken precedence over sporting ones. "It is sad that the FMT does not have the minimum standards in dealing and planning with th...
- Leeds United have signed United States midfielder Weston McKennie on loan until the end of the season from Juventus, the Premier League club said on Monday. The 24-year-old has made nearly 100 appearances for the Serie A team since joining in 2020, scoring 13 goals and providing five assists. He has won the 2020 Italian Super Cup and 2021 Coppa Italia with Juve. He has 41 caps for the U.S. and helped the national team reach the last 16 at the World Cup in Qatar last year. The former Schalke 04 player will join fellow U.S. internationals Tyler Adams and Brenden Aaronson at Leeds, who are coached by compatriot Jesse Marsch. Leeds have also signed defender Max Wober and forward Georginio Rutter in the January transfer window. The club are 15th in the standings and sit just one point above the relegation zone halfway through the season. They next visit Nottingham Forest on Sunday....
- Non-league Wrexham could face a dream tie at home to eight-time winners Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup fifth round if they can get past Sheffield United in a replay, while Manchester City will travel to Championship (second-tier) side Bristol City. Wrexham, owned by Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, played out a thrilling 3-3 draw with visiting Sheffield United on Sunday. The National League (fifth-tier) leaders were only denied a famous victory over the Championship side by a 95th-minute equaliser, forcing a replay scheduled for next month. Spurs, who won 3-0 at Preston North End in the fourth round, face the winners of the replay following Monday's fifth-round draw, while Manchester City, who knocked out Premier League leaders Arsenal in the fourth round, face a trip to Bristol. Manchester United were handed a home tie against third-tier Derby County or fellow top-flight side West Ham United, who meet la...
- The 2023 Women's World Cup co-hosts Australia will kick off their campaign against Ireland at the 83,500 capacity Stadium Australia, Sydney's largest stadium, due to public demand for more tickets, FIFA said on Monday. The match was originally scheduled to take place at the Sydney Football Stadium, which seats 45,500, but FIFA decided to change the original plan for the Australia Stadium to only host knockout games. This will allow up to 100,000 fans to attend the tournament's opening matchday games, with the showdown between Australia's fellow co-hosts New Zealand and Norway taking place hours before at Eden Park in Auckland. "FIFA’s mission is to organise the biggest and best Women’s World Cup in history this year and fans, those who bring colour, passion, and atmosphere to Stadiums, will be such an integral part of the tournament's success," said FIFA Secretary General, Fatma Samoura in a statement. "With this in mind,...
- Valencia have parted ways with manager Gennaro Gattuso by "mutual agreement" just over seven months after his appointment, the lowly LaLiga club announced on Monday. Valencia said that after a long meeting between Gattuso and club officials they agreed to end the manager's contract. After losing 1-0 at fellow strugglers Real Valladolid on Sunday, Valencia are 14th in LaLiga with 20 points from 18 games, just a point above the relegation zone, having won only five league matches so far this season. The 45-year-old Gattuso, formerly a combative midfielder with AC Milan and Italy, has also managed Milan and Napoli, leaving the Naples club at the end of the 2020-21 season. He led them to a Coppa Italia triumph in 2020 but missed out on a Champions League spot by a point in his final campaign. Gattuso joined a Valencia side in turmoil as fans demanded investment from owner Peter Lim, who bought the club in 2014....
MILAN - Juventus on Monday said it would appeal to Italy's Sport Guarantee Board against a ruling that earlier this month docked the Serie A soccer team 15-point deduction in a ruling related to the club's transfer dealings. Earlier on Monday the appeals court of the Italian soccer federation published the reasons for the 15-point deduction ruling saying the club was found guilty of serious, repeated and prolonged wrongdoing. Juventus said in a statement that motivations published by the court were unfounded and illogical. (Reporting by Francesca Landini and Giulio Piovaccari; Editing by Mark Porter)...
KYIV - The International Olympic Committee on Monday rejected fierce criticism from Ukrainian officials, who have accused it of promoting war after the body said Russians could potentially be given the opportunity to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics. Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak at the weekend described the Lausanne-based body as promoting "violence, mass murders, destruction" and said on Monday a Russian presence at the Games would constitute giving the country "a platform to promote genocide". "The IOC rejects in the strongest possible terms this and other defamatory statements," the IOC told in a statement. "They cannot serve as a basis for any constructive discussion." Earlier on Monday, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba drew attention to the fact that many Russian Olympians had ties with the military, including by competing for sports clubs affiliated with the defence ministry. "The army that commi...
(Please note strong language in paragraphs 7 and 9) By Michael Holden LONDON - Hollywood actress Eva Green, who is suing financiers for her fee for a failed film in which she was to star, told a London court on Monday she would not make a "B movie", saying it could kill her career while making quality productions was her "religion". The French actress, whose film credits include the James Bond movie "Casino Royale", is suing White Lantern Films and SMC Speciality Finance for the $1 million fee she says is owed over the collapse of the planned independent movie "A Patriot", in which she was to play the main role. The production company has launched a counter claim against Green for breach of contract, blaming her for the science fiction film's failure before it went into production in late 2019, saying she never intended for the film to go ahead. Giving evidence at the High Court in London, Green, 42, said the...
LIVERPOOL, England -Everton have named former Burnley boss Sean Dyche as their new manager on a two-and-a-half-year contract until June 2025, replacing Frank Lampard, the Premier League club announced on Monday. The 51-year-old succeeds Lampard, who was sacked last week after a poor run of form left the team in a relegation battle. "It's an honour to become Everton manager. My staff and I are ready and eager to help get this great club back on track," Dyche said in a statement. "I know about Everton's passionate fanbase and how precious this club is to them. We're ready to work and ready to give them what they want. "That starts with sweat on the shirt, effort and getting back to some of the basic principles of what Everton Football Club has stood for a long time." Lampard was appointed in January 2022 after managing his former club Chelsea and Derby County, in the second tier. Everton had been flound...
- LIV Golf's 2023 schedule will have 14 events set to be played in seven countries with $405 million in prize purses, the breakaway tour announced on Monday, doubling the number of events from its inaugural season last year. The season begins with a Feb. 24-26 event in Mexico's Riviera Maya and ends with the team championship in the first week of November in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Other events will take place in the United States, Australia, Singapore, Spain and the United Kingdom. The 2022 season had events held in London, Portland, Bedminster, Boston, Chicago, Bangkok and Jeddah. "Last year helped lay the foundation for the future of golf at extraordinary courses that have hosted some of the world's top competitions," LIV Golf CEO and Commissioner Greg Norman said in a statement. "LIV Golf's schedule features fantastic venues and championship sites for our official league launch that will carry the sport into a new era."...
- Real Madrid will face bitter rivals Barcelona in the Copa del Rey semi-finals after the draw was made at the Spanish FA's headquarters on Monday. Osasuna will clash against Athletic Bilbao in the other semi-final. The matches take place on four different dates in February, March and April with the Spanish FA having a schedule headache as Real Madrid play in the FIFA Club World Cup early in February and then two legs of the Champions League last 16. Real and Barca meet in the first leg at Camp Nou on March 1 and will play the second leg at Santiago Bernabeu on April 4 or 5. Osasuna will play Athletic on Feb. 8 and March 1. The semi-final represents a chance for LaLiga and European champions Real to get revenge for their 3-1 loss two weeks ago in the Spanish Super Cup against Barcelona. Barca are currently the league leaders after they moved on to 47 points with their 1-0 win at Girona on Saturday. Real are se...
SYDNEY - Australia run machine Steve Smith clinched his fourth Allan Border Medal on Monday, becoming only the third player, after Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke, to achieve the feat. Smith polled 171 votes, while nearest rival Travis Head managed 144, to claim Australian cricket's greatest individual honour which he had previously won in 2015, 2018 and 2021. Former captain Smith racked up 1,524 runs, which included four hundreds, during the voting period and was crucial to Australia's rise to number one in the test rankings. Such was his domination in the two other formats that it did not matter in the end that Smith did not poll a single vote in the T20 Internationals. Smith will be one of Australia's key figures as they embark on a four-test tour in India where they hope to secure their place in the final of the World Test Championship. The 33-year-old has been in strong form in 50-overs cricket too and fa...