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0Shares0000Arsenal’s Alexis Sánchez walked out of a training session in the week before the Liverpool match and rowed with team-mates. Photo: Peter Powell/EPALONDON, United Kingdom, May 18 – Alexis Sanchez says Arsenal’s inability to mount a sustained challenge on the Premier League title is the cause for his frustrations.The former Barcelona frontman did his utmost to lead the Gunners to the top of the pile this season, with 23 league goals in their 37 games played. But his form alone was not nearly enough for Arsenal, who go into their last game of the season, in fifth place on the standings, one point adrift of Liverpool and three behind Manchester City.The 28-year-old, who scored both goals in the club’s 2-0 win over Sunderland on Tuesday, to keep their top-four hopes alive, spoke of his frustrations ahead of facing Everton on Sunday.He said: “Because sometimes when I look at the team we have and the players here… because when it comes to winning the Premier League we often lose or draw against teams at home when we are superior.“Sometimes the frustration more than anything is about the fact we could be challenging for the Premier League title.”He added: “I’ve always said we have great players here, it’s just about having the mentality of being a great player and going out on to the pitch already thinking about winning.“That’s what we’ve done in the last three games. We had the mentality to win at all costs and we won and we won well.”With Arsenal in the FA Cup final this season, the club has a real chance of ending the season with silverware, and Sanchez says it would be a “positive” for the club.“I don’t know whether it would be successful or not, but I think it would be positive to beat Chelsea in the FA Cup final,” he added. “I think the players have the desire and mentality.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
Councilman Dennis Zine said he was upset by the department’s refusal to make those who issued the direct orders at the park available for questioning. “We need to know who gave the orders and what were they thinking,” said Zine, a retired LAPD sergeant. “I’m not talking about the officers who were on the skirmish lines, but those who made the decisions. Those are the people we need to talk to.” Bratton said Los Angeles Police Department officers will be invited to a future session of the City Council or to a special task force of council members that is reviewing the incident. The officers cannot be compelled to attend. Councilman Bill Rosendahl chastised the LAPD for the continuing problems. “I question the judgment used to declare this an unlawful assembly in the first place, but the bigger issue for me at this point is the rank and file officers that witnesses tell me were out of control,” Rosendahl said. Bratton and Deputy Chief Mike Hillman, whom Bratton named last week to head a new division coordinating the LAPD response to major events, assured Rosendahl changes had been made and more were planned. Hillman said it appeared to him that officers had acted improperly and had exceeded the boundaries taught in crowd control. Hillman also is in charge of developing a new program on crowd-control techniques to be taught to all officers. Last week, Hillman said he believed the department failed to follow its own guidelines on trying to deal with the situation. Bratton said the department also is completing a number of inquiries, including an after-action report. Other inquiries include a report detailing the use-of-force cases and an examination of individual officers and their behavior. Separate inquiries by the FBI and the Inspector General’s Office also are under way. email@example.com (213) 978-0390160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! A skeptical City Council received assurances Wednesday that the LAPD is already implementing changes to avoid a repeat of the problems that marred a May Day immigration-rights rally at MacArthur Park. In a second week of questioning by council members, Police Chief William Bratton said steps have been taken to improve communications and crowd-control training for officers. The moves come after a melee between demonstrators and police, who said they were attacked by more than a dozen agitators who threw rocks and bottles. In the ensuing effort to clear the park, officers used force against reporters and photographers as well as a number of people who appeared to pose no threat. “Clearly, we had a breakdown here,” Bratton said, referring to the fact he was not informed of problems at MacArthur Park as they were unfolding. “I think that message got through loud and clear to my command staff, given the action I took two days later. I think we fixed that problem.” After the incident, Bratton demoted Deputy Chief Cayler “Lee” Carter, who has subsequently retired, and reassigned Cmdr. Louis Gray. It was Gray who gave officers clearance to use nonlethal weapons against the crowd. But council members said Wednesday that they remain concerned about officers’ actions at the rally and the steps taken since. “When I asked my questions last week, I didn’t get a direct answer,” Councilwoman Janice Hahn complained.
“We have a lot of people who are passionate about what’s going on in Santa Clarita. I want them to have a place to write about the community.” It’s tough to define a blog, said Robert Niles, editor of the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Online Journalism Review. “If you ask 100 people you’ll get 98 different answers,” Niles said. “The only true defining characteristic of a blog is that it comes from the contraction of Web log, a linear and chronological written journal done on the Web.” But in a not-so-neighborly fashion, feuds also have emerged between competitive blogs hoping to claim this territory as their own. The Foothill Cities blog, which covers local government in the Inland and San Gabriel valleys, found itself in a battle against the city of Pomona a few months ago. The city challenged the site for a series of stories it published about the resignation of a local official and issued cease-and-desist orders to the site. The feud fueled debate over the role of blogs in the news and information community. Niles said he believes news is not defined by its medium, but by its purpose. “If it is done truthfully, accurately and it’s reasonably complete, then it can be news,” he said. What will set some bloggers apart, Niles said, is their dedication – work they do without pay. Usually that drive comes from a desire to simply get more local news. Kevin Roderick is the editor and creator of LAObserved.com, a popular urban media news blog that gets about 3,500 hits a day. Roderick, who follows blog-related news closely, said people in suburban communities have an insatiable hunger for what he calls “hyper-community news. “These sites will break things apart to a level of granularity that you don’t see from local media anymore,” Roderick said. Roderick, who has had his blog for four years, says it took him a long time to convince officials at City Hall and the state Capitol that his blog was a source of news. In Santa Clarita, local city officials have begun to catch on to the area’s own blogging trend. Gail Ortiz, Santa Clarita’s spokeswoman, said she reads about six local blogs every day. “From where I sit it is a good way to gauge the pulse of the issues in the community,” Ortiz said. Ortiz said she regularly feeds local blogs the same press releases she doles out to more mainstream media organizations such as newspapers and television stations. But she admits that she doesn’t view the online sites as news sites. “I see blogs mostly as opinion,” she said. “It’s like the new water cooler conversation.” Political figures seem to share that perspective. Santa Clarita Mayor Marsha McLean said she’ll only check a blog if someone tells her a certain item is worth checking. “I read three newspapers, but (blogs) are not something I check every day,” McLean admitted. Local bloggers, however, say they are determined to be viewed as legitimate news sources. Jeff Wilson started his site, www.scvtalk.com, about 18 months ago. Wilson posts a “daily brief” – a handpicked selection of local newspaper and other published stories – every day and he’ll occasionally do his own reporting. It takes Wilson at least 20 hours a week – all unpaid – but he says he doesn’t mind. “If I could become a full-time blogger in a year or two I would consider myself successful. But for now I am just feeding off the people who find the forum useful,” Wilson said. “To have people discussing things on my site drives me.” Wilson said his site gets about 300 hits a day – 10 times more than when it was launched – but the popularity has come at a price. Recently, Wilson found himself feuding with another local site on Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia that can be edited by site visitors. The battle was over how each of the local blogs defined itself as a source of information in Santa Clarita. Last month, another regional blog took a competing site to court after the blog owner said the new site stole his blog brand by using a nearly identical-looking page. “As more blogs come onto the scene, it is getting more difficult,” Wilson said. Still for Boser, who gets up every morning to read at least three newspapers and a few blogs before starting her day, the local blog scene in Santa Clarita is about creating a community. She has recently added several sections to the site including a list of local support groups and a column written by a youth sports coach. Local real estate agent Amy Atkins is the newest contributor to Boser’s site. Atkins said she enjoys blogging about topics including local financial buzz and pet news. But she said her biggest pleasure comes from knowing others in the virtual world will learn more about her community. “This is the biggest little town anywhere,” Atkins said. “I just want to keep the closeness of our community and let people know what’s going on.” firstname.lastname@example.org (661) 257-5254160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SANTA CLARITA – Even in this community, featured repeatedly in films and television shows for its quaint suburban attributes, the days of chatting over neighbors’ white picket fences are nearly extinct. But several residents have decided to bring back some of that neighborly conversation – this time over the digital highway. Using blogs or online journals as their medium, a growing number of residents are discussing everything from the best local restaurants to the nitty-gritty details of local legislation. The tech trend has resonated in Santa Clarita and other suburban communities across the Southland, where the Internet sites have become viable sources of news links and information for neighborhoods. And they are multiplying quickly, adding more voices to the media landscape that already covers the news in Santa Clarita. Some blogs – covering everything from community guides and rants to space and pets – are even catching the attention of community residents, local political figures and their media teams. “We are evolving into a more technology-based society,” said local blogger Barbara Boser, who started www.scvlife.net last year. “Blogging just gives you another way to stay in touch.” Boser, a Canyon Country resident, got interested in blogging while moonlighting at her husband’s Internet business. For this mother of 15- and 13-year-olds, the pastime quickly became a full-time hobby. Boser said she aspires to keep her site “friendly” and “light.” “I don’t want anyone leaving mean comments on my site,” she said. The only requirement for Boser’s contributors is that they be Santa Clarita residents who write with a local focus.
One of the questions the jurors submitted to the judge was whether they could sit in the car with the doors closed and air conditioning on. Fidler denied that request, saying the car, a Crown Victoria, may have a different air-conditioning system than Spector’s Mercedes-Benz. Jurors saw little evidence of Spector’s storied career in the music business other than a poster on a living room wall with John Lennon’s name on it and coffee table books about Elvis Presley and his Graceland mansion. During each of the three separate tours for the 12 jurors and six alternates, at least one person closed the door nearest the fountain, presumably to measure the sound from outside. What jurors first saw when they arrived was an imposing entryway to the property marked with a large sign that read “Phil Spector’s Pyrenees Castle.” Also posted outside were several no-trespassing signs. One of the questions jurors submitted asked if they could go upstairs and see the room where Spector’s blood-spattered jacket was found. They were told that area was not available. They also requested a virtual re-enactment of Clarkson’s death, asking if someone could close the doors and set off a loud noise inside while they waited outside. They also asked if someone could stand in the doorway and speak in a normal voice. After conferring with the lawyers, the judge rejected the requests. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Spector and his wife, Rachelle, wearing casual clothes, stood near the doorway as the jurors entered, along with lawyers and the judge, who conducted a brief court session before the tour, telling jurors where they could and could not wander inside the mansion. Spector’s wife stood arm-in-arm with her husband and both of them appeared somber as they watched a procession of jurors and alternates weave through the house in groups of six. Outside, a fountain in the home’s courtyard was running, splashing loudly, and among the jurors’ questions was whether it was the one that was running on the night of the killing. It was. Several jurors also sat in a car that was parked in the courtyard to replicate the vehicle Spector’s chauffeur was sitting in when he said he heard a loud noise, followed by the legendary music producer emerging from a door and saying, “I think I killed somebody.” The chauffeur’s statements have been attacked by the defense, which contends he could not have clearly heard what Spector said because of the fountain’s noise and because he was seated in the car with the doors and windows closed and the air conditioning on. He testified he got out of the car when he saw Spector. ALHAMBRA – Jurors in the Phil Spector murder trial were taken on a tour of his mansion Thursday where several of them tried to duplicate the scene of Lana Clarkson’s death by sitting in a chair in the foyer and assuming the position her body was found in on the night she died. After jurors took an initial run-through of the house, they gathered outside and formulated a list of 10 things they wanted to see and do, which they presented to Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler. One of them was to sit in a chair that was a copy of the one police found Clarkson slumped in, her legs extended, on Feb. 3, 2003. She had died of a bullet wound through the mouth. Prosecutors say Spector killed the 40-year-old actress when she tried to leave the house. Defense lawyers say she killed herself.
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“I had experienced a series of misfortunes, and my pastor told me it was because I had not completely broken the covenant with my ancestral idols,” the 52-year-old Nwigwe said of the bonfire three years ago. “Now that I have done that, I hope I will be truly liberated.” Generations ago, European colonists and Christian missionaries looted Africa’s ancient treasures. Now, Pentecostal Christian evangelists – most of them Africans – are helping wipe out remaining traces of how Africans once worked, played and prayed. As poverty deepened in Nigeria from the mid-1980s, Pentecostal Christian church membership surged. The new faithful found comfort in preachers like evangelist Uma Ukpai who promised material success was next to godliness. He has boasted of overseeing the destruction of more than 100 shrines in one district in December 2005 alone. Achina is typical of towns and villages in the ethnic Igbo-dominated Christian belt of southeastern Nigeria where this new Christian fundamentalism is evident. The old gods are being linked to the devil, and preachers are urging not only their rejection, but their destruction. The Ezeokolo, the main shrine of Achina – a community of mainly farmers and traders in Nigeria’s rain forest belt – has been repeatedly looted of its carved god figures. While no one has been caught, suspects range from people acting on Christian impulses to treasure thieves. Recently, a village civic association volunteered to build a house to keep burglars away from a giant wooden gong decorated with carved male, female and snake figures. The gong in the market square is reputed to be more than 400 years old, and in decades past was sounded in times of emergency. “We feared it may be stolen or destroyed like so many of our traditional cultural symbols,” said Chuma Ezenwa, a Lagos-based lawyer. But the move to protect a communal symbol has not changed the minds of others. Ikechukwu Nzekwe, a 48-year-old farmer who belongs to a traditional masquerade cult, rues the action of his younger brother, a born-again Christian who destroyed the family’s masquerade costume, including pieces dating back seven generations. The masquerade cult was once part theater, appearing at festivals to perform songs and dances, and part traditional police – its members helped enforce mores and customs. Now its role is largely restricted to theater, including performances and races by men in costumes depicting ancestral spirits. Ukpai, the evangelist, tells followers the artifacts bear “curses and covenants” linked to the gods they represent. “Since the curses and covenants do not automatically disappear when we repent, Rev. Dr. Uma Ukpai is a man called by God for the total liberation of mankind,” he says on his Web site, claiming to have the spiritual backing of Jesus to break the curses. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NIGERIA: Heirlooms are being destroyed by converts trying to rid themselves of idols. By Dulue Mbachu THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ACHINA, Nigeria – Born to a family of traditional priests, Ibe Nwigwe converted to Christianity as a boy. Under the sway of born-again fervor as a man, he gathered the paraphernalia of ancestral worship – a centuries-old stool, a metal staff with a wooden handle and the carved figure of a god – and burned them as his pastor watched.
The Barclays Premier League is back after the international break, and so is the Preview Show with talkSPORT!This week, Tom Rennie is joined by the former Premier League winger Paul Mortimer (Charlton, Aston Villa, Crystal Palace) to talk about Liverpool’s trip to Arsenal. ‘Morts’ also tells us that Villa are still well short of Premier League safety, and that Palace have a great chance of beating Man City on Monday.Former Sunderland and Chelsea winger Clive Walker says the Black Cats will fancy their chances against listless Newcastle on Sunday, while the Blues may not have a comfortable final few weeks of the season with Arsenal and City in with a title chance.Gareth Wheeler from TSN in Canada (one of talkSPORT’s Global Audio Partners) plays ‘Tom against the World’ and former Arsenal and England midfielder Ray Parlour gives us his ‘three to watch’ this weekend.
Yaya Toure has rejected big-money offers from China in the hope of staying in Britain, according to reports.The Manchester City midfielder is out of contract at the end of the season and has been approached by clubs from the lucrative Chinese Super League.Some reports have suggested the 33-year-old could command wages of around £430,000 per week by moving but he is not interested.It remains unclear whether City, who signed Toure from Barcelona for £24million in 2010, will offer him a new deal but, regardless, the player would like to stay in the UK.Toure has produced a number of fine performances and regained a place in the heart of City’s midfield over the past two months.Prior to that it seemed his glittering spell at the club, which includes two Premier League titles, would end ingloriously following a row between the club and his agent.Toure was frozen out of the first-team picture by manager Pep Guardiola after his outspoken representative, Dimitri Seluk, claimed the midfielder had been humiliated by his omission from City’s Champions League squad.That situation was resolved with an apology from Toure in November and his response since, Guardiola has confirmed, has ensured he will be restored to that squad for the remainder of the season.As his contract winds down, Toure is now entitled to speak to other clubs but he said earlier this month he would not.He said: “No, I won’t do that. My focus (is) on City, the future is there because for now the league is not finished.”Regarding the possibility of a new deal at City, Guardiola last week said of Toure and other out-of-contract players: “We are going to see at the end of the season.” Yaya Toure wants to stay in Britain, even if he leaves Manchester City at the end of his contract 1
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John PhillipsDozens of fire engines continued to guard mountain communities in Los Padres National Forest, where they had saved 40 dwellings a day earlier. However, Thursday’s main focus was on digging or reinforcing firelines directly on the fire’s northwestern edge. “We’re trying to pinch the fire off,” Ventura County fire Capt. Barry Parker said. Winds were light but erratic and lookouts were posted to warn crews in case the fire suddenly changed direction. “It’s extremely dangerous for them to be in there,” Parker said. The fire was moving slowly, feeding on dense stands of pine and thickets of chaparral, sumac and manzanita. LOCKWOOD VALLEY – A nearly month-old wildfire crept toward hundreds of forest homes Thursday but firefighters attacked the flames at close range and were confident they could prevent flare-ups. “We’re pretty optimistic. We’re getting some lines around the fire. It’s starting to look pretty good,” said Ventura County fire Battalion Chief Bryan Vanden Bossche, the incident commander for the Day Fire. “This is one of the days we’ve had the least amount of (fire) activity,” he said. The blaze was 43 percent contained after burning 159,281 acres, or nearly 249 square miles, of wilderness northwest of Los Angeles since Labor Day. The National Weather Service predicted low humidity during afternoon hours through Friday. That could dry out brush and make it easier for the Day Fire – the fifth-largest wildfire in recorded state history – to make an explosive advance. “The line will be tested,” said Melody Fountain of the U.S. Forest Service. The overall humidity was expected to increase beginning Sunday. Temperatures could drop 20 or more degrees as well, National Weather Service meteorologist Jamie Meier said. Authorities continued to recommend evacuation of Lockwood Valley and nearby communities, although many people chose to remain. More than 4,500 firefighters, aided by aircraft, were fighting the blaze, which was burning at elevations up to about 6,000 feet up in the mountains. The fire has only destroyed two barns, two outbuildings, three trailers, an unoccupied cabin and five vehicles. Firefighting costs have topped $53 million. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has authorized the use of federal funds to cover some expenses.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!