Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Google doodle pays tribute to Indigenous land rights activist Eddie Mabo

Indigenous land rights activist Eddie Mabo has been recognised by the search engine Google with a Google doodle to mark his birthday.

Wednesday's Google homepage logo features a portrait of Mr Mabo in front of Murray (Mer) Island and the design was developed in consultation with Mr Mabo's daughter Gail Mabo.

Mr Mabo died in 1992 but would have turned 80 today.

A Google spokesman said it was a privilege to honour Mr Mabo in this way.

"Google doodles often celebrate milestone birthdays of people who have helped shape our history," the spokesman said.

"We're proud to honour Eddie Mabo's legacy with a doodle."

Uncle Harrison George, who is related to Eddie Mabo through his grandfather, said it was very positive to have an international company recognise Mr Mabo's work.

"What was won on the third of June 1992 was actually a precedent that was set for Indigenous people around the world," Mr George said.

"A lot of Indigenous people are actually struggling for their land rights and native title and a lot of them today are using the concept of what the Eddie Mabo case was all about.

"Eddie should be on Google because in a couple of months, [it] will be the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples."
Eddie Mabo's long fight for native title

Eddie 'Koike' Mabo was born on Murray Island in the Torres Strait but spent most of his adult life in Townsville.

He helped establish the Aboriginal and Islander Health Service and the Townsville Black Community School which taught traditional culture and language in addition to the state curriculum.

Mr Mabo and four others lodged a claim for land on Murray Island in 1982 which eventually went before the High Court and led to the creation of the Native Title Act in 1993.

Mr Mabo died just a few months before the court's ruling on June 3, 1992.

Uncle Aurie Marou remembers Mr Mabo from their school days on Murray Island.

He said Mr Mabo was a humble and respectful person who achieved great things.

"He was just a normal bloke, he just lived like an islander, he was not a warrior, he was a humble person," Mr Marou said.

He said at the time many on the island opposed Mr Mabo's activism and doubted he would succeed in his land claims.

"They are traditional owners too, they think that Eddie Mabo is going to claim the whole of Murray Island and that is why they go against him," Mr Marou said.

"But they don't really know what he is doing and what he is looking forward to.

"They think 'Oh, Eddie Mabo is going to go to jail' but when the decision was made, everyone followed him and he was a true leader."

AMD's Radeon RX 480 Benchmarked: Par For The Course

The amount of hype behind AMD’s Polaris-based line of graphics cards has been nothing short of monumental. It’s not hard to see why: when you promise a VR-ready card that only costs $US199/$US229, people are bound to get excited.

But when you put the card through its paces, does it live up to the hype? That depends on your expectations.

Image: Supplied

The jump from the previous generation of graphics cards has been a long time coming. And there’s good reason to be excited: if you’re an owner of the R9 200 or 300 series cards, Polaris offers an immense jump in power efficiency, performance per watt, more headroom for clocking, quieter GPUs and, most importantly, faster GPUs.

But precisely how faster are we talking? That will be the sticking point for a lot of gamers. Those expecting the RX 480 to compete on any sort of platform with NVIDIA’s GTX 1080 or even the 1070 — don’t bother, because that’s not what the card is built for.

Straight out of the box — or bubblewrap, as it was sent to us — the RX 480 is more of a natural replacement for the R9 390 series in performance. It’s also a serious competitor to NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 980: the cheapest 980 at the time of writing is $628, and once stock of those run out you’ll have to fork out $700 or more.

In comparison, 8GB models of the RX 480 are going for as low as $379. If you’re looking for a card that can handle virtual reality without breaking the bank, and you’re not expecting stratospheric levels of performance, the RX 480 is a good place to start.

Base Specifications

Built on the 14 nanometer FinFET semiconductor process, the RX 480 has a die of 232 mm2 and comes in two reference versions: a 4GB card with 7Gbps GDDR5 memory, a 256-bit memory interface, a core clock speed of 1120 MHz with a boost speed of 1266 MHz, and peak performance of up to 5.8 teraflops. There’s support for DirectX 12, the Vulkan API, DisplayPort 1.3 and 1.4, as well as 36 compute units and 2304 stream processors.

The 8GB reference model has largely the same statistics, but with 8Gbps of GDDR5 memory instead of 7Gbps, and a memory bandwidth speed of 256GB/s instead of the 4GB’s 224GB/s.

For the RX 480 specifically, here’s a full list of the card’s specs straight from the free-to-use GPU-Z utility.

All tests were conducted on the beta Crimson 16.6.2 drivers which were supplied by AMD. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect some improvement in performance as AMD continues to iterate on their drivers

Here’s the specifications for our benchmarking machine:

CPU: Intel Core i7-4790K @ 4.0GHz
RAM: 16GB Corsair Dominator DDR3-RAM @ 1600 Mhz
GPU: MSI R9 390X Gaming 8GB
PSU: Corsair HX850i 850W
HDD: Samsung 850 EVO 1TB SSD
Motherboard: ASUS Z97I-PLUS Mini-ITX (Intel Z97)
Keyboard: Cherry MX 3.0 Mechanical Keyboard
Mouse: ZOWIE FK2
Headphones: Audio Technica ATH-M50x

All figures shown are averaged out over three runs.

A staple as far as synthetic benchmarks go, 3D Mark’s Fire Strike demo pushes computers and their graphics cards to the limit. They’re often the first benchmarks you’ll see whenever a new GPU is released. It’s not wholly indicative of what a card’s real-world performance will be like, but it does provide a reliable indicator of the performance between cards

The RX 480 was never expected to be anywhere near the GTX 1080 when it came to single-card performance, but it’s an interesting comparison point for those considering running two RX 480’s in Crossfire. The much more helpful reference point here is against the MSI R9 390X.

In the base level Fire Strike test, the 390X is just over 11% faster than the Polaris-based RX 480. That gap widens to more than 12% in Fire Strike Extreme, and when the rendering resolution is upped to 4K for the Fire Strike Ultra test, the 390X is around 13.6% quicker.

On the surface, that seems a touch disappointing. But it’s actually reasonable when you consider the RX 480’s starting price, and the additional headroom it has for overclocking. People should also consider the fact that partner boards are likely to have even better performance, and it wouldn’t be unheard of for AMD to squeeze a bit more real-world performance out of the card down the road

It’s here where the gap between the RX 480 and the 390X starts to become more prominent, but the RX 480 still manages to achieve an admirable frame rate of 76.1fps in 4K.

The distance at all resolutions is noticeably higher than the 3D Mark results, with the 390X around 28 to 29% faster at all resolutions. That said, it’s an area where AMD can affect the most going forward with future driver updates. And it’s also worth remembering that The Talos Principle was tested using DirectX 11. Its Vulkan support is still pretty rudimentary, and the value of the RX 480 — and the Polaris line in general — supposedly shines the brightest in DirectX 12.

So let’s see how that plays out.

A better benchmark than a game, Ashes of the Singularity has been one of the most comprehensive DX12 benchmarks since even before its launch in Early Access. AMD cards have also been known to punch well above their weight in Ashes, as can be seen with the RX 480’s performance against the more powerful GTX 1080.

The Extreme preset with 4X MSAA was used for all resolutions, and the average fps is displayed below.

The distance between the RX 480 and the GTX 1080 certainly isn’t several hundred dollars. The gap between the RX 480 and the R9 390X is pretty minor too.

It’s not unfair to say that the RX 480 is more or less a direct replacement in performance for the R9 390, but with all the trimmings of less heat, less noise and more headroom for overclocking.

Vulkan support for DOOM still hasn’t arrived, and doesn’t look like it’s likely to over the next week. But no matter: the game’s performance in OpenGL is pretty stellar nonetheless. The RX 480’s performance is pretty respectable as well, hovering just a few percent underneath the R9 390X and only fractionally off the magical 60fps mark in 1440p.

Average frame rates are shown below, with the Ultra preset, FXAA (1x) and chromatic abberation enabled. All runs were conducted by running through the game’s third mission, Foundry, on the Ultra Violence difficulty for two minutes. No enemies were killed to ensure consistency with the amount of bodies being rendered and encountered, although slight differences occurred from run to run (such as the enemies opt to beat the snot out of each other).

With no adjustment to the stock speeds, the RX 480 more or less mirrors the R9 390X’s performance here across all resolutions. It blows out to around 12% at 2K, being able to hit 60fps at Ultra (and more on the lower presets) will make a lot of gamers pretty happy.

As part of the Polaris launch, AMD has bundled a new set of overclocking tools into the Catalyst driver suite. It’s called WattMan, and it’s accessible through the Gaming tab of the AMD Radeon Settings control panel. All 400 series cards will support the new overclocking software, but it’s not currently known whether support will also be extended to the 200 or 300 series.

The suite allows users to track peak and average fan speeds, GPU and memory speeds, temperature, and the GPU’s level of activity. WattMan also provides a histogram for tracking, and users can set individual overclocking profiles for specific games.

To overclock, users can either the GPU clock frequency slider in 0.5% increments, or they can set individual MHz targets across various stages. The GPU’s voltage control can also be adjusted manually if desired. It’s worth noting that the power limit feature for the temperature control, which can increase or lower the amount of power sent to the card, is specific to cards with the Polaris 10 XT core (so only the RX 480 for now).

I upped the core clock speed to 1330 MHz, the memory speed to 2050 MHz and allowed for an extra power to be sent to the GPU. I then ran the 3D Mark Fire Strike again, and the RX 480 maintained all the set limits without taking off like a jet engine (the drop downs are the loading times in between Fire Strike’s graphics/physics/combined tests).

From the testing I was able to do prior to embargo, there’s no reason why most users can’t at least squeeze an additional 100 MHz out of the GPU clock. But it’s worth noting that you don’t have a great deal of headroom in the temperatures. At stock settings the card idled at around 48oC, but under heavier loads (like when running 3D Mark, or something at 4K) temperatures will hover in the 70oC to 80oC range.

That’ll be a bit of a disappointment to users who were hoping to push the RX 480 further. But then again, we’re only dealing with the reference card here. Custom versions, particularly watercooled ones, could really eek out some value from AMD’s new Polaris GPU, although we won’t see those for months.

So that’s how the 14nm Radeon RX 480 from AMD, the card that so many have been so excited about, stacks up in the real world. It’s a solid performer at 1080p and 1440p. Hell, to have a card that can competently play titles at 1440p with the visual fidelity of DOOM while maintaining 60 FPS is an impressive achievement.

And if you can snag a RX 480 for under $400, that’s not an unreasonable deal.

But. As a reference board, the RX 480 doesn’t have a great deal of room for improvement. It runs pretty hot. And out of the box, it doesn’t surpass the R9 390 or 390X like some fans were hoping.

So we get back to expectations. The main line AMD promoted was that the RX 480 would be a VR ready card for $US199, although the slightly more expensive 8GB model is really what most people are interested in. And if you’re only looking to play at 1080p or 1440p, the RX 480 will get you there.

The thing is, the R9 390X is in the same territory — and if it’s possible to snag one up for cheap, it might be hard to pass up a deal. But the RX 480 doesn’t use anywhere near as much power, is quieter and doesn’t run quite as hot. It’ll really get interesting for a month or two until we see custom designs from AMD’s partners, designs that can cool the RX 480 a little better.

So is the RX 480 a good deal? That depends on what you were expecting. For some: definitely. But the RX 480 most certainly isn’t a giant killer. It’s more like the new par for the course, which isn’t so bad when you think about it.

The case for, and against, Elizabeth Warren as Clinton's running mate

Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren's first joint campaign appearance Monday further stoked speculation that the Massachusetts senator could be a leading contender to become Clinton's running mate.

But how beneficial would this actually be to the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee? A look at the pros and cons of a Clinton-Warren ticket.
She relishes attacking Trump

Aside from some of his vanquished GOP rivals or Clinton herself, few national political figures have drawn the ire of Donald Trump more than Warren. The Massachusetts senator has been unrelenting in her attacks on the real estate mogul in recent weeks, even before she formally endorsed Clinton. During Monday's rally, for instance, she referred to Trump as "a nasty man who will never become president of the United States."

And just like "Lying" Ted Cruz, "Little" Marco Rubio and "Low energy" Jeb Bush before her, she's earned derogatory nicknames from the presumptive GOP nominee, who's taken to calling her "Goofy" Elizabeth Warren and, more controversially, Pocahontas, a reference to her Native American ancestry that came under dispute during her 2012 Senate run.

Running mates traditionally play the role of attack dogs during the fall campaign, and it's clear Warren not only enjoys antagonizing Trump but also seems to get under his skin. If she could successfully distract him from making a case against Clinton in the fall and get him off the populist message that resonated with many working-class voters during the primaries, Warren could prove a valuable asset to Clinton.
Progressive hero

Bernie Sanders has said he'll vote for Clinton in the fall, even though he still, technically, remains a Democratic presidential candidate. The bigger challenge for Clinton will likely be ensuring that the millions of voters who backed him during the primaries vote for her as well. If there's one person other than the Vermont senator himself who would convince disenchanted Sanders voters the Democratic ticket was worth supporting in November, it'd likely be Warren, whose crusades against Wall Street made her a bona fide hero to many liberals.
An even more historic ticket

This one could, potentially, cut both ways. Clinton is already the first woman to lead a major-party presidential ticket. A ticket featuring two women would underscore the historic nature of the choice voters would face in November and could spark enthusiasm about a presidential nominee who, despite her barrier-breaking primary win, still inspires mistrust and a lack of passion among some voters, including many Democrats.

However, a key challenge for Clinton in holding off Trump could be maintaining enough support among white, working-class voters in Rust Belt states such as Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania, where the New York billionaire hopes to make in-roads with his populist message and bashing of the Washington establishment. Would Warren be the ideal candidate to allay concerns about Clinton to those voters? Perhaps not.
Home state not in play

A traditional reason to choose a running mate is the notion that they might put their home state in play when it otherwise may not be or help lock down a swing state. It's debatable how often this actually happens, though there are occasional examples, such as Lyndon Johnson helping to boost John F. Kennedy in 1960 in Texas.

Massachusetts is not exactly a battleground state, to say the least. Ronald Reagan was the last Republican nominee to win the Bay State, which he carried during his 1984 landslide re-election bid. President Obama won it with 60% of the vote in 2012. If Warren ends up the running mate, it won't be because she's from Massachusetts.
The risk of being overshadowed

If there's one thing a running mate shouldn't do, it's overshadow the candidate at the top of the ticket. Warren would bring star power to the fall Democratic campaign, which could be a good thing, but would Clinton really want a running mate whom many in her party may prefer at the top of the ticket?

Additionally, it's worth noting that Warren was, for a long while, the lone female Democratic senator not to endorse Clinton. Would Clinton be more likely to pick someone who was with her from the beginning, someone like Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota?

Suffice it to say, at this point in the process there are more questions than answers, so for now, let the speculation continue.

Michael Phelps skips 100-meter freestyle at Olympic Trials

Michael Phelps scratched out of another race Wednesday morning at Olympic Trials, opting to skip the 100-meter freestyle in favor of resting up for the 200-meter butterfly final in the evening.

Phelps was entered in both the 100- and 200-meter freestyle but did not swim either. That calls into question his possible place on freestyle relay teams at the Olympics. The 4x100 and 4x200 relays used to be part of his bedrock program at major meets.

His coach, Bob Bowman, is the men's Olympic coach this year, and he could place Phelps on the relay teams regardless. But the scratches could also signal that Phelps has decided to focus on his three individual events -- the 100- and 200-meter butterfly and the 200-meter individual medley. He's also expected to be on the medley relay team, assuming he holds his form in the 100 butterfly.

Already, he's watched several of his teammates from the 2012 Olympics struggle in signature events. Missy Franklin finished seventh in the women's 100-meter backstroke after winning gold in the event in London. Matt Grevers also won gold in the 100 back in 2012 only to finish third in a ferociously contested men's final on Tuesday. Phelps' oldest rival, Ryan Lochte, has fallen short in both of his individual races, though he's headed to Rio de Janeiro as part of the 4x200 relay team.

"I see a lot of new faces on the team," Phelps said after winning his 200 butterfly semifinal Tuesday. "I don't even know half of them."

He said that's good for the sport. But perhaps it also means he does not want to take anything for granted, even after winning his first two races easily.

Lenny Dykstra opens up about hard-partying Phillies and having sex with elderly women

There is no such thing as a boring conversation with Lenny Dykstra.

Yet for a guy who has admitted to blackmailing umpires, taking steroids prescribed by a “hillbilly doctor” and forcing Craigslist housekeepers to give him a massage, you have to wonder when the former Phillies center fielder is going to run out of things to open up about.

On Tuesday, Dykstra had another revelation to share with the world: He has embarked on a new post-baseball career moonlighting as a male gigolo for elderly women.

“I thought God put me on Earth to entertain people on the baseball field … but He actually put me on earth to [pleasure women],” Dykstra said on Howard Stern's SiriusXM Radio show. “I’m like Picasso.”

Dykstra told Stern how several elderly clients pay him for “companionship” and romantic dinner dates. Dykstra noted that for most of the older women, it’s more about intimacy than sex. “Their bones are brittle,” he said.

Stern asked if Dykstra would have sex with a woman who was Dykstra's age.

“If they paid me,” he responded. “It’s my duty.”

Warning: NSFW language

Dykstra also visited the “Dan Patrick Show,” where he made it clear which of his former teams was wilder off the field.

"I didn’t even know what partying was with the Mets,” Dykstra told Patrick. “That whole Mets team is made out to be some crazy, wild group. Our Phillies made them look like children. … We had fun and made people like it.”

Dykstra said he partied hard with his Phillies teammates, whether it was booze, drugs or other things. It was their reputation as a wild crew that made them so intimidating to other squads.

"It was rocketships, roids ... and the other teams knew it, too,” Dykstra said. “[The league] didn’t want any part of us.”

As it does often with Dykstra, the topic quickly turned to steroids, which the slugger admitted he started to take after being traded from the Mets to the Phillies in 1989 and becoming the team’s everyday center fielder.

“I’m a small guy,” Dykstra told Patrick. “My body just couldn’t hold up.”

Dykstra said the average fan doesn’t understand how grueling the 162-game season is for players.

“As weird as this sounds, I actually did [steroids] for the right reason,” Dykstra said. “I did it for my family and my ability to stay on the field.”

So what other Phillies were using steroids? “Anybody who was good,” an unusually reserved Dykstra said, unwilling to name anyone. “The only ones who weren’t using them were stupid.”

Ikea Recalls 29 Million Chests and Dressers After 6 Children Die

In a deal with federal regulators, Ikea announced Tuesday that it would recall 29 million chests and dressers in the United States after at least six toddlers were crushed to death in tip-over accidents.

The move by the Swedish company, the world’s largest furniture seller, represented a crucial victory for consumer advocates in a yearslong effort to hold it accountable for a growing death toll of young children dating to 1989.

The head of the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a stark warning to owners of furniture included in the recall.

“If you have or think you have one of these products, act immediately,” the commission’s chairman, Elliot F. Kaye, said in a statement. “It is simply too dangerous to have the recalled furniture in your home unanchored, especially if you have young children.”

Alan M. Feldman, a Philadelphia lawyer who is representing three of the families of toddlers in lawsuits against Ikea, said he welcomed the recall, but wished it had been issued much sooner. (He also said that the commission on Tuesday failed to note the death of a 3-year-old girl that was blamed on Ikea furniture in 2005, raising the toll to at least seven).

“I don’t think that we should forget that it took seven deaths and more than 70 injuries and an untold number of near-misses before Ikea was shamed into taking action,” Mr. Feldman said.

Lars Petersson, the president and chief executive of Ikea USA, said the recalled furniture was never intended to be free-standing, but rather secured to walls with provided straps, a step he called “an integral part of the assembly instructions.”

“If you are assembling correctly, the product is actually a very safe product,” he said in an interview on Tuesday.

Mr. Petersson declined to comment on the lawsuits brought by families, which accuse the company of knowing about the deadly risks of its furniture and failing to do anything about it.

“The death of a child is an incredible loss,” he said. “It should never happen. So our hearts go out to the families that have to go through this.”

A child dies, on average, once every two weeks in accidents that involve the toppling of furniture or bulky television sets, according to the safety commission. Every year, about 38,000 people visit emergency rooms for injuries related to tip-over accidents, a majority involving children under 5.

In many cases, the children slide drawers out from a dresser and then try to climb them like stairs. In a moment, an everyday item becomes lethal.

The commission said all six of the children crushed to death by Ikea furniture were 3 years old or younger. It also received reports of 36 injuries to children, it said.

Ikea’s recall applies to eight million chests and drawers in the company’s popular Malm line, the style involved in each of the last three deaths from 2014 to 2016.

The latest case, in February, added new urgency to the recall campaign. According to police records obtained by, a woman in Minnesota went into her toddler’s bedroom to check on him during a nap and found him crushed beneath a six-drawer Malm dresser. Emergency medical workers were unable to revive him.

Most American furniture manufacturers adhere to voluntary safety standards, which ensure that a unit will not tip over when a drawer is extended and 50 pounds of weight is applied. The recall on Tuesday applies to all Ikea furniture that fails that test, the commission said.

Last summer, Ikea offered free wall anchor kits to owners of its furniture, a step that consumer advocates dismissed as inadequate given that many consumers were unaware of the dangers posed by unsecured furniture.

As part of the agreement on Tuesday, Ikea agreed to pick up the recalled furniture from customers’ homes and issue a refund, or to install an anchor that secures them to the wall. It also applies to customers in Canada, where a 6.6 million units of the recalled furniture was sold.

Mr. Kaye, the safety commission chairman, said on Tuesday that he was encouraged by Ikea’s willingness make changes, adding, “That doesn’t exonerate them from the past, but it is, from a consumer-safety standpoint, a positive announcement.”

Asked whether any other retailers were selling furniture that posed risks to children, he said, “The best I can say at this point is our investigation continues, but that Ikea is not alone.”

Learn all about the American Hogwarts in Rowling's new Pottermore entry

In her latest Pottermore entry, J.K. Rowling finally delves into the mysterious American school, whose history is steeped in bloodshed and vengeance. The school was founded by Isolt Sayre, an Irish orphan girl descended from Hogwarts co-founder Salazar Slytherin, after she fled on the Mayflower from an evil aunt. llvermorny was known to be " the most democratic, least elitist of all the great wizarding schools," thanks to its co-founding by a No-Maj, Isolt's husband.

According to Pottermore, Ilvermorny will have four houses into which students (and now Pottermore users) can be sorted:

Horned Serpent; a ‘great horned river serpent with a jewel set into its forehead’
Pukwudgie; ‘a short, grey-faced, large-eared creature’
Thunderbird; a creature that ‘can create storms as it flies’
Wampus; ‘a magical, panther-like creature that is fast, strong and almost impossible to kill’

Each of the creatures are said to represent a different part of the whole witch or wizard -- the mind is represented by Horned Serpent; the body, Wampus; the heart, Pukwudgie and the soul, Thunderbird. Pottermore states that the Horned Serpent favours scholars, Wampus, warriors, Pukwudgie, healers and Thunderbird, adventurers.

Read the full Pottermore entry here.

Ilvermorny is set to appear in the upcoming film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, in theaters Nov. 18.

Fact Checking the House Benghazi Committee’s Findings

WASHINGTON — The House Select Committee on Benghazi released its report on Tuesday detailing the attacks in Libya on Sept. 11, 2012, that resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. The Republican-led committee found no evidence of culpability or wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton, then the secretary of state. Here is a selection of summarized findings in the report, with fact checks:

Finding: Despite President Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s clear orders to deploy military assets, nothing was sent to Benghazi, and nothing was en route to Libya at the time the last two Americans were killed almost eight hours after the attacks began. —Part 1, Pages 106, 141

This criticism is not particularly new. Senior Pentagon officials have consistently said that they were constrained by the “tyranny of time and distance” — that is, that the military could not have sent troops or planes in time to have made a difference. The report and Republican critics have always countered that had the White House and Pentagon acted more swiftly, they might have mitigated the later attack on the compound’s C.I.A. annex. But it is unclear what forces might have made a difference there.


Finding: A Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team sat on a plane in Rota, Spain, for three hours, and its members changed in and out of their uniforms four times. — Part 1, Page 154

This sounds like dithering that might have cost American lives.But the uniform swaps reflect the chaos and confusion in sorting out what was going on in Benghazi, and whether American forces should arrive identifiable as United States military personnel or be less noticeable in civilian clothes. Even the report acknowledges the challenges facing the so-called FAST teams: These troops did not have their own planes, which meant delays waiting for flights; did not travel with their own vehicles (they would need to find some in Benghazi when they landed); and were designed to deploy before a crisis hit, not during hostilities.


Finding: The vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff typically would have participated in the White House meeting, but did not attend because he went home to host a dinner party for foreign dignitaries. —Part 1, Page 107

This suggests that the Obama administration was not treating the crisis seriously. But the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr., was not a critical player in the drama. He was only one of many senior officials involved in managing the crisis, and was briefed after his dinner. There were many other senior White House, State Department and Pentagon officials, both in Washington and overseas, dealing with the crisis throughout the night.
State Department

Finding: The State Department failed to protect United States diplomats in Libya. In August 2012, roughly a month before the Benghazi attacks, security on the ground worsened significantly. Mr. Stevens initially planned to travel to Benghazi in early August, but canceled the trip “primarily for Ramadan/security reasons.” — Part 3, Page 99

An independent inquiry in December 2012, among others, came to a similar conclusion. That report faulted State Department officials in Washington for ignoring requests from the American Embassy in Tripoli, Libya, for more guards at the Benghazi mission and for failing to make sufficient safety upgrades. As security in Libya worsened in the summer of 2012, the State Department remained committed to a security strategy to deploy a modest American security force and then increasingly rely on trained Libyan personnel to protect American diplomats.That strategy, which had been set a year earlier after the fall of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s government, failed.
Intelligence agencies

Finding: Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta bluntly told the committee “an intelligence failure” occurred with respect to Benghazi. A former C.I.A. deputy director, Michael Morell, also acknowledged multiple times an intelligence failure did in fact occur prior to the Benghazi attacks. — Part 3, Page 129

Warning signs were indeed flashing red for months before the attack. The Obama administration received intelligence reports that Islamic extremist groups were operating training camps in the mountains near Benghazi. By June, the city had experienced a string of assassinations, as well as attacks on the Red Cross and on a British envoy’s motorcade. Mr. Stevens emailed his superiors in Washington in August, alerting them to “a security vacuum” in the city.

Buddy Ryan Was Philadelphia's Winningest Coach Who Never Won

Buddy Ryan’s introductory press conference as new coach of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1986 began with this ridiculous statement: “You got a winner in town.” Two weeks before that press conference, Ryan was carried off the field by the Bears after their Super Bowl XX victory, lionized as the architect of the 46 defense, and now here he was “in town” to duplicate his success and there was no reason not to believe him if only because he said so. As coach of the Eagles he won one NFC East title. Yet if you poll Iggles sycophants who throw half-full beer cups at the children of Cowboys fans, Buddy Ryan won Super Bowls in each of his five seasons, even though his actual playoff record was 0-3. In fact, one of the Top 10 Philadelphia sports moments was when Buddy tried to sock offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride in the jaw, even though this happened while he was a defensive coordinator of the Houston Oilers. (He missed on that punch, too, by the way.)

This is actually what Buddy Ryan brought to Philadelphia: WIP sports talk radio idiocy, The Wing Bowl, the 700 level anarchy in Vet Stadium. He brought out the self-mythologized, entitled, Calvin-pissing-on-Aikman’s-jersey side of Philadelphia sports fandom. If you can’t win anything, create a spectacle. Spectacles sometimes have more impact than actual wins and erase actual losses from the historical record. Who needs rings when you can cripple a kicker?

That’s what’s so amazing about Buddy Ryan’s Eagles legacy. Dick Vermiel’s teary-eyed press conferences almost brought a real-life Super Bowl winning team in 1980-81. He and Andy Reid, who won important playoff games for the Eagles more often than not, would both still probably lose out to having a stadium named after them in favor of Buddy. Winning percentages didn’t mean half as much as the perception that Ryan’s insane defense-over-offense bluster was somehow more important than whatever the scoreboard said at game’s end.

Now that there’s actual math to show the true value of wins and losses for most professional sports leagues, Buddy’s never gonna be revealed as any sort of genius for what he did as a coach. And imagine the outrage-takes that would result from Buddy’s petty battles with Tom Landry that carried over to Jimmy Johnson’s Cowboy teams? He’d be run out of town real quick in the modern NFL. But what if there is some mystical side to winning that undermines all those empirical formulas? Because Buddy Ryan was the living embodiment of the Rocky statue of Philadelphia sports—touch it and its existence is real, even though what it represents is pure fiction. And that’s why Buddy Ryan always won: because it felt like he did

In Pat Summitt, a Toughness Greater Than Invincibility

“Juliet?” said the voice on the other end of the line, in an unmistakable Tennessee accent. “This is Coach Pat Summitt.”

I nearly dropped the phone.

Back then, in January 1997, I was a journalism school student, and I had called Summitt’s office at the University of Tennessee to request an interview. It was one of a dozen calls I made to top college coaches for my master’s project, which focused on the American Basketball League, a new women’s professional league.

The only coach to return my call was Pat Summitt.

Summitt wasn’t just any coach: She and her Lady Vols had just won their fourth national championship and were on their way to winning a fifth. We spoke for more than an hour. When I thanked her for calling, she said that she always had time for young women trying to make their way in sports.

Summitt died Tuesday at 64 after years of struggling with Alzheimer’s-typedementia. In her 38 years as a head college coach, she won 1,098 games, more than any other Division I coach, man or woman, and led Tennessee to eight national championships.

You can talk about her toughness: She once dislocated her shoulder while chasing an aggressive raccoon off her porch, in an attempt to protect her Labrador retriever, and spent two hours trying to pop her shoulder back into place before calling for medical help. And you can talk about what a leader she was, for her players and for women’s sports. When she was offered a job coaching the men at Tennessee, she said, “Why is that considered a step up?”

But it’s also important to remember how Summitt dealt with dementia, and what a perfect reflection it was of her personality.

Like Muhammad Ali, in his long fight with Parkinson’s disease, Summitt faced a progressive malady for which there is no known cure — a disease that works to steal a person’s dignity and tempts those with it to retreat from the public eye.

Everyone chooses to deal with those diseases in a different way, no one effort more courageous than another. Summitt and Ali’s way was to use their fame and bring the world along on their journey, as they became the public faces of diseases that were once taboo to even acknowledge.

Their efforts to shed light on their vulnerabilities just added to their legacies, but in a totally different — and, arguably, more important — way.

When Summitt learned she had dementia, in 2011, she was only 59. “There’s not going to be any pity party, and I’ll make sure of that,” she told The Knoxville News Sentinel.

She told ABC, “What I want to do is to get people to understand that if you have dementia, don’t be afraid of it.”

If you know anything about dementia or Parkinson’s, you know that in fact, there is plenty to be afraid of.

Dementia slowly robs you of your cognitive abilities, eats away at your brain. Parkinson’s is another cruel thief: It steals facial expressions, voices, movement, the ability to swallow and, eventually, to breathe. It can also cause dementia.

When Ali was told he had Parkinson’s, it must have been a blow that stung him harder than any in his life. He cherished the sound of his own voice and loved the way his body moved. And, of course, he always talked about how pretty he looked.

Yet he didn’t disappear from sight. He showed up — body stiff, face frozen and left hand shaking out of control — to light the caldron at the 1996 Atlanta Games. The once invincible man wasn’t shy about showing that he wasn’t invincible after all.

I know how hard that must have been for him because my father, Zbigniew, was entering the final stage of Parkinson’s when he died in November.

I always considered my father the toughest man I knew, but never more than when I saw him — razor blade in one hand, one Parkinson’s pill in another — as he sliced the pill into wafer-thin segments. My dad knew that over time, his body wouldn’t respond to the medicine, especially as the doses increased. So he had tried to take control of what was happening by limiting himself to what would barely get him through his rough days, even though it would make his current days much rougher. He never stopped fighting.

For Summitt, having dementia could be embarrassing, especially for a woman whose sharp thinking helped her win games. But that didn’t seem to matter to her. She still looked for the spotlight, unafraid to describe what dementia had done to her and how she was coping with the changes.

Summitt was in a battle she could never win, but she still could make a difference for others by educating them about the disease. She spoke about her dementia in interviews, and also in her 2013 book, “Sum It Up,” in which she also talked about another issue that is often taboo to speak about — the six miscarriages she had before giving birth to her son, Tyler. She accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2012 ESPYs, where she gave a short speech, saying, “It’s time to fight.”

Soon after her diagnosis, she started the Pat Summitt Foundation, and its mission was to find a cure for Alzheimer’s.

At the end of our telephone conversation nearly 20 years ago, Summitt spoke about the importance of women in sports. She told me she was glad I was training to be a sports reporter because there needed to be more women writing about sports.

I wondered why she had taken the time for me.

Now I know.

Summitt wanted to make a difference in this world, both on and off the basketball court. That’s exactly what she did.

Istanbul Ataturk Airport Reopens After Deadly Turkey Terror Attack

Istanbul's busy Ataturk Airport reopened on Wednesday morning, hours after a coordinated terror attack blamed on ISIS left dozens dead, scores wounded and blood streaked throughout the arrivals hall.

Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said three terrorists had arrived in a cab and carried out the assault, opening fire and setting off at least two explosions.

A series of chilling videos captured the horror unfolding: Panicked passengers running with their luggage, an orange ball of fire and what appeared to be one of the attackers falling to the ground then exploding.

PHOTOS: Scores Killed in Istanbul Airport Bombing

Istanbul's governor said Wednesday that the death toll had climbed to 41 — including at least 10 foreigners and 3 dual nationals. More than 230 were injured though 109 have already been released from hospitals, the governor added in a statement.

Airport taxis had ferried the wounded to hospitals as the Red Crescent put out appeals for blood donations.

"People were wounded, people fell down in front of me ... They were torn to pieces," airport worker Hacer Peksen told The Associated Press.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which plunged Turkey into a state of national mourning. The country is grappling with a number of enemies domestically and abroad — but Yildirim said it appeared ISIS was to blame.

A senior U.S. intelligence official agreed that the attack fit the ISIS profile.

Turkey — which is also battling an ongoing insurgency from the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK — is participating in the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS.

Related: Turkey Is Bombing Both ISIS and Kurds Linked to Forces Fighting Them

President Tayyip Erdogan said the "heinous attack" during the holy month of Ramadan should serve as a warning to other nations that terrorism knows no borders.

"The bombs that exploded in Istanbul today could have gone off at any airport in any city," he said in a statement. "Make no mistake: For terrorist organizations, there is no difference between Istanbul and London, Ankara and Berlin, Izmir and Chicago."

President Barack Obama called Erdogan Wednesday to offer condolences, the White House said.

The White House will offer "any support that the Turks can benefit from as they conduct this investigation and take steps to further strengthen the security situation in their country," spokesman Josh Earnest said.

Signalling a potential shift in wake of the assault, Turkey's state-run news agency reported that Erdogan and Russia's Vladimir Putin had shared a "positive" phone call.

Relations between the two countries have been strained since Turkey last year shot down a Russian warplane — though earlier this week appeared to signal a warming of ties.

There were no immediate details on what if any additional security measures were in place Wednesday as Ataturk airport reopened, flags flying at half-staff outside the building. Passengers mixed with crews still cleaning up debris from the attack.

The airport is one of the busiest in Europe and has a double layer of security: Checks before entering a terminal, then security once inside. Those measureshave been hailed in the immediate aftermath for potentially saving dozens of lives.

However, the attack — months after a similar assault at Brussels Zaventem Airport— raises questions about security at transportation hubs.

New York's Port Authority Police said it had added high-visibility patrols at John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty International airports.

Istanbul's governor said 37 of the 41 victims have been identified so far.

Sobbing relatives gathered outside of a morgue in Istanbul, waiting to retrieve their loved ones' bodies.

Otfah Mohamed Abdullah dropped to the ground when gunshots broke out in the terminal — but her sister started running.

"I don't know which way she was running … I was on the ground until he finished," she told the AFP news agency late Tuesday. "Until now, I can't find my sister."

A State Department official said it was not aware U.S. citizens among the dead or injured.

How did Iceland become Europe’s giant-slayers?

Atongue-in-cheek but tragically believable image did the rounds on social media during England’s defeat to Iceland. It shows a breakdown of the country’s population to reveal how unlikely the island’s victory was, notwithstanding the opposition’s total crapness. Starting with 334,000 people (a Wakefield or Ealing – take your pick), it discounts the cohorts not eligible for the men’s national team. By the time we rule out women, fat men, sheep shearers, jailed bankers and amputees, there are 23 men left: the Iceland squad.

We get it – Iceland is a small country. And now they’ll take on France in the quarter-finals after a crazy, unbeaten run through the legs of giants. After their draw with Portugal, Cristiano Ronaldo petulantly dismissed Iceland’s “small mentality” and defensive play, adding: “They are not going to do anything in the competition.”

Yet there are many reasons why their victory isn’t totally inexplicable, even if Iceland does have a dentist as head coach. For 16 years, the island has invested in a player development system that puts England’s vanishing playing fields to shame.

Football clubs and local authorities exploited access to Uefa TV cash and pre-crash riches not by gilding the top flight but by starting at the bottom. From the age of three, any child can access Iceland’s army of 600 top coaches, or one for every 825 Icelanders (England has about one per 11,000 people). They train on a vast network of heated indoor pitches, often plonked next to schools. Sure enough, after 15 years (and in spite of ash clouds and economic storms), the system has produced some really good players.

But what else might explain Iceland’s triumph? John Rogers, a 39-year-old Geordie, has lived on the island for three years and never wants to come home. He works at the Reykjavik Grapevine, an English-language magazine, and runs itsTwitter account during games, offering such punditry as: “Óðinn’s breath propelled our heroic goalie to swat away that weak-ass header. #Euro2016.” (Óðinn is a Norse god.) “We started thinking of this as David v Goliath, but it has become David v all the Goliaths,” he says. “Iceland is generally an over-performing country and it’s hard to say why.”

“We’re impulsive and have this go-for-it attitude that goes for everything,” explains Rogers’s boss, Helga Thórey Jónsdóttir. Both also believe the island’s very smallness forges not only confidence, but also a winning, familial spirit. “Just look at how the team celebrated with the fans last night,” Rogers says. “They are playing for the people because they are the people – they drink in the same bars. There is no millionaire class but a real sense of kinship.”

Before the tournament started, Rogers predicted his adopted team’s path in France, including a 19-0 “rout of the meek Portuguese”. He guessed that Iceland would then meet England, and while his 100-0 prediction was out by a few, he otherwise nailed it: “The monied man-boys of England will be reduced to a quivering, teary spectacle after a volcanic bombardment of unstoppable shots.” So: bon chance, France – you may need it.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Buddy Ryan, defensive architect of 1985 Bears, has died

Buddy Ryan, the famed inventor of the 46 defense who was carried off the field by his players after the Chicago Bears’ victory in Super Bowl XX, died Tuesday morning, the Bears and Philadelphia Eagles confirmed. He was 82.

The team did not publicize the specific cause of death, but Ryan's health had deteriorated in recent years. An ESPN documentary in which Ryan was featured earlier this year reported he had been affected by stroke and cancer.

Ryan spent 26 seasons as an NFL coach and was a part of three staffs that appeared in Super Bowls, but his crowning achievement was as defensive coordinator of the 1985 Bears. “The 85 Bears was the best defense there ever was, and ever will be,” Ryan said in 2011. “They had a great scheme and great players.”

As a defensive assistant under Weeb Ewbank with the New York Jets in the late 1960s, Ryan began thinking of creative ways to rush the passer when he saw how pressure affected Jets quarterback Joe Namath.

According to Hall of Fame defensive tackle Alan Page, who played for Ryan in Minnesota and with the Bears, Ryan started tinkering with the 46 in the late 70s when he was the Vikings defensive line coach. Initially, it was a nickel defense designed to stop the pass.

When Ryan came to the Bears, he officially named it the 46 in honor of safety Doug Plank, who wore the number 46. “It really got going in 1981,” said Jeff Fisher, who played under Ryan in Chicago and coached under him with the Philadelphia Eagles. “It created so much havoc that eventually it became our base front. It allowed Buddy to dictate.”

The concept was to put Dan Hampton, who was the most difficult to block player, on the center, and crowd the offense with six men on the line and eight or nine in the box. Ryan usually blitzed between six and eight defenders from the defense, and his players loved it.

“We were so far ahead of what anyone else was doing,” safety Gary Fencik said. “It was so much fun to be a part of Buddy’s defense.”

Ryan could be abrasive and difficult to get along with. He made enemies of Bears personnel director Bill Tobin, who once called him “the most self-centered man I’ve ever met in the NFL,” Don Shula, Jimmy Johnson, Darryl Rogers, Barry Switzer, Steve Beuerlein and many others.

As head coach of the Eagles, he allegedly put bounties on the Dallas Cowboys' Troy Aikman and Luis Zendejas.

When he was defensive coordinator for the Houston Oilers, he derisively referred to offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride’s run-and-shoot scheme as the “chuck and duck,” and then took a swing at Gilbride on the sidelines.

His relationship with former Bears coach Mike Ditka was equally volatile. Ryan and Ditka had to be separated by players in Miami at halftime of the Bears’ only loss of the 1985 season.

When Ditka was hired to coach the Bears by George Halas in 1982, it was under the condition that he retain Ryan as defensive coordinator. Ryan had been in Chicago the previous three years, and as the 1981 season wound down, Page and Fencik wrote a letter to Halas asking that Ryan not be fired.

“Writing the letter was about what was in the best interests of the team,” said Page, who was retiring. “When you have a good thing, why throw out the baby with the bath?”

Shortly after Ditka was hired, Ditka told Ryan he wanted to run the Flex defense, which Ditka was familiar with from his time with the Cowboys. Fencik said Ryan told Ditka, “You are the head guy. You can do whatever you want. But I won’t be here. I’m not going to run that defense.”

Ditka backed off.

Ryan subsequently showed little deference to Ditka, ignoring his suggestions, telling his defensive players Ditka didn’t know defense, and referring to him as “that guy.”

When Ryan left the Bears after Super Bowl XX to become head coach of the Eagles, Ditka said, “I’m not happy he’s gone — I’m elated.” And he said, “Never again in history will an assistant coach get as much credit as Buddy did.”

The two carried on a feud for years, but when Ditka suffered a heart attack in 1988, Ryan called Ditka’s assistant to see how he was. It wasn’t until 2010, at a 25th anniversary celebration of the Super Bowl, that Ditka and Ryan buried the hatchet.

Ditka subsequently has spoken glowingly of Ryan. Ditka attended a 2011 dinner at which Ryan was honored and called Ryan the best assistant coach ever.

Ditka wasn’t the only superior Ryan shirked off. When he was coaching the Eagles, he referred to team owner Norman Braman as “that guy in France.” He would say Eagles general manager Harry Gamble was Braman’s illegitimate son.

Ryan could be difficult for players to get along with as well. He often referred to them only by their jersey numbers or unflattering nicknames. “My impression was that he couldn’t remember people’s names,” Page said.

His players came to loathe his postgame tape reviews. In front of the entire defense, Ryan would go over a play, mentioning first who made the tackle and who made an assist. Any other player who did his job on the play escaped notice. But many did not.

“You were either horse [expletive], dumb [expletive] or [expletive] hole,” Fisher said. “Horse [expletive] meant you missed a tackle or dropped an interception. “Dumb [expletive] would be you made a mental mistake. And you didn’t want to be an [expletive] hole.”

What could be expected from a coach who had been a master sergeant in the Army during the Korean War at the age of 18? His son Jim told Sports Illustrated in 1994 that Ryan still slept with his hand near his collarbone, where he used to keep his gun in Korea. It was a habit formed because the Chinese used to strangle soldiers with wire while they were sleeping.

“You lead men going into combat with you, and they trust you on ambush patrol,” Ryan said years later. “That prepared me for what was coming.”

As hard a man as Ryan could be, he had another side to him. “Gruff exterior, warm human being underneath,” said Page, who still spoke with Ryan every few months in recent years.

His first wife Doris said Ryan taught Sunday school and sometimes would be brought to tears by a hymn in church.

Ryan also teared up on the eve of Super Bowl XX. Knowing he was soon to leave Chicago, he told his defensive players, “I just want you guys to know that no matter what happens out there, you will always be my heroes.”

As many of his players wept, Steve McMichael stood up, picked up his chair and threw it across the room, impaling a blackboard with its legs.

The late Hall of Fame defensive end Reggie White once said players either loved Ryan or hated him, but most players White knew loved him. The late Jerome Brown, who played under Ryan in Philadelphia, once said, “I’d sell my body for Buddy.”

Hall-of-Famer Hampton said: “So many of us would have run through a wall for the guy. We all loved him, just loved him.”

Player agent Jim Solano, who also served as an advisor to Ryan, said three of his former Eagles clients — Clyde Simmons, Seth Joyner and Terry Hoage — wanted to follow Ryan so badly when he became head coach of the Arizona Cardinals that they accepted millions less than what they could have received elsewhere in order to play for him.

Ryan was known for his ability to teach as well as motivate. “What I learned about this game from then to now, he was the reason,” former Bears linebacker Otis Wilson said.

Ryan was not concerned that his players go by the book. He would tolerate players being late to meetings or lying on the floor while he spoke.

Page never liked to study opponents. He decided to run long distance races and had lost 20 pounds when the Bears acquired him. Page said the only thing Ryan cared about was that Page was making plays.

Ryan had survived two bouts with melanoma as well as a case of encephalitis. He spent his later years on horse farms in Kentucky.

Born Feb. 17, 1931, Ryan earned four letters as a guard at Oklahoma A&M. His childhood was spent in a house with no electricity or indoor plumbing. At Oklahoma A&M, now Oklahoma State, he studied the style of legendary basketball coach Hank Iba and learned how to motivate.

“Learning how to tear down a player with one sentence,” Ryan once said. “That’s what coaching’s all about."

Brad Biggs contributed to this report

Pat Summitt, legendary women's basketball coach, dies at 64

(CNN)Pat Summitt, who built the University of Tennessee's Lady Volunteers into a perennial power on the way to becoming the winningest coach in the history of major college basketball, died Tuesday.
Her death came five years after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. She was 64.
Summitt battled the disease with "fierce determination just as she did with every opponent she ever faced," her son, Tyler Summitt, said.
"Even though it's incredibly difficult to come to terms that she is no longer with us, we can all find peace in knowing she no longer carries the heavy burden of this disease," Tyler Summitt said.
In her 38 years at Tennessee, Summitt won eight national titles and 1,098 games -- the most by any Division 1 basketball coach, male or female. Her teams made an unprecedented 31 consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament.
Beyond the wins and the statistics, Summitt had a profound impact on women's college athletics.
When she became head coach of the Lady Vols in 1974 at the age of 22 -- barely older than some of her players -- the NCAA did not even formally recognize women's basketball. Summitt had to drive the team van to road games herself.
5 legendary Pat Summitt moments
As the wins and the championships piled up, Summitt's astonishing achievements commanded national attention and helped usher women's basketball into the spotlight.
"She'll be remembered as the all-time winningest D-1 basketball coach in NCAA history, but she was more than a coach to so many -- she was a hero and a mentor, especially to me, her family, her friends, her Tennessee Lady Volunteer staff and the 161 Lady Vol student-athletes she coached during her 38-year tenure," Tyler Summitt said.
Current Lady Vols Coach Holly Warlick credited Summitt with playing a "very significant role in molding me into the person I am."
"Pat gave me strength and courage to face anything," Warlick said. "She was driven to perfection and always remained true to her standards. That meant doing things the right way, no matter what. In my eyes, there's never been anyone better than Pat Summitt.
In her 38 years at Tennessee, Summitt won eight national titles and 1,098 games -- the most by any Division 1 basketball coach, male or female. Her teams made an unprecedented 31 consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament.
Beyond the wins and the statistics, Summitt had a profound impact on women's college athletics.
When she became head coach of the Lady Vols in 1974 at the age of 22 -- barely older than some of her players -- the NCAA did not even formally recognize women's basketball. Summitt had to drive the team van to road games herself.
5 legendary Pat Summitt moments
As the wins and the championships piled up, Summitt's astonishing achievements commanded national attention and helped usher women's basketball into the spotlight.
"She'll be remembered as the all-time winningest D-1 basketball coach in NCAA history, but she was more than a coach to so many -- she was a hero and a mentor, especially to me, her family, her friends, her Tennessee Lady Volunteer staff and the 161 Lady Vol student-athletes she coached during her 38-year tenure," Tyler Summitt said.
Current Lady Vols Coach Holly Warlick credited Summitt with playing a "very significant role in molding me into the person I am."
"Pat gave me strength and courage to face anything," Warlick said. "She was driven to perfection and always remained true to her standards. That meant doing things the right way, no matter what. In my eyes, there's never been anyone better than Pat Summitt."
A leader through victories and tough times
Summitt's impressive coaching record earned her a spot in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000.
In 2011, she announced she was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's, but vowed to keep coaching.
"This is not a pity party," she said. "We're not going to sit here and feel sorry for Pat Summitt."
She stayed on for one more year, securing the Lady Vols their 16th SEC Championship under her leadership before retiring. But she didn't step away from the sport she loved.
She retired in 2012, eight months after her diagnosis.
"If anyone asks, you can find me observing practice or in my office," Summitt said at the time. "Coaching is the great passion of my life, and the job to me has always been an opportunity to work with our student athletes and help them discover what they want. I will continue to make them my passion."

More than a coach, more than a celebrity
Although she was notoriously tough on the sidelines, Summitt's legacy extended far beyond the game.
"We learned about what it takes to be a leader, what it takes to be a great woman, what it takes to be a great lady, what it takes to have character, what it takes to have poise," said former Lady Vol and WNBA star Tamika Catchings in 2013.
Summitt's concern for her players extended to the classroom as well. All of the athletes she coached who completed their eligibility went on to graduate from the university.
Summitt's success made her a legend at the University of Tennessee, even to the school's other celebrated heroes. In 2012, Tennessee alum and NFL quarterback Peyton Manning presented Summitt with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at ESPN's ESPY Awards.
"I just always appreciated Pat's friendship and support," Manning said Tuesday. "I was always impressed with how all of her former players spoke about her. You speak to people like Tamika Catchings or Chamique Holdsclaw, and they just talk about the role that Pat played in all their lives on and off the court. You can just tell the impact that she had on those players."
Tennessee politicians and Obama remember Pat Summitt
In 2012, President Barack Obama awarded Summitt the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.
On Tuesday, he called her a patriot, a "proud Tennessean" and an unparalleled winner.
"Her legacy, however, is measured much more by the generations of young women and men who admired Pat's intense competitiveness and character, and as a result found in themselves the confidence to practice hard, play harder, and live with courage on and off the court," Obama said.
"For four decades, she outworked her rivals, made winning an attitude, loved her players like family, and became a role model to millions of Americans, including our two daughters," Obama said.
People we've lost in 2016

Vols Nation in mourning
Summitt remained a pillar of the University of Tennessee community and culture until her death. When news of her illness became public in 2012, "We Back Pat" became a rallying cry for thousands upon thousands of students and supporters who attended games bearing t-shirts and signs with the slogan.
As news of her death spread, reaction began to pour in from Tennessee and around the country.
"We have lost a legend," NCAA President Mark Emmert said Tuesday. "Pat Summitt's courage and tenacity on and off the court should be commended and emulated. Her commitment to excellence and developing young people leaves a powerful imprint on college basketball, higher education, and all individuals who have sought to excel in sports and life."
Tennessee issued a statement calling Summit "a global icon who transcended sports and spent her entire life making a difference in other people's lives."
"Pat was so much more than a Hall of Fame coach; she was a mother, mentor, leader, friend, humanitarian and inspiration to so many," the school said. "Her legacy will live on through the countless people she touched throughout her career."
Numerous coaches, players and journalists also offered respects

Sunday, 26 June 2016

George Will Leaves the G.O.P. Over Donald Trump

George F. Will, a conservative columnist and prominent Republican pundit for the past 40 years, said he has left the Republican Party because Donald J. Trump is the party’s presumptive presidential nominee.

Mr. Will revealed his decision on Friday in an interview with PJ Media. He said he had switched his party registration to unaffiliated this month, adding that Republicans should “grit their teeth” during a Hillary Clintonpresidency and then hope to beat her in 2020.

“This is not my party,” Mr. Will said in a speech on Friday at the Federalist Society before the PJ Media interview.

Mr. Will has criticized Mr. Trump throughout his presidential run.

“Only he knows what he is hiding by being the first presidential nominee in two generations not to release his tax returns,” Mr. Will wrote in his Washington Post column on Wednesday. “It is reasonable to assume that the returns would refute many of his assertions about his net worth, his charitableness and his supposed business wizardry. They might also reveal some awkwardly small tax payments.”

Mr. Trump has returned fire, denouncing Mr. Will often on Twitter and in his speeches.

“You know he looks smart because he wears those little glasses,” he said at a rally in November. “If you take those glasses away from him, he’s a dummy.

Few prominent conservatives have gone so far as to change their party registration since Mr. Trump clinched the nomination in May. But some have strongly condemned Mr. Trump and have said they will sit out the presidential race.

Keith Thurman wins unanimous decision over Shawn Porter in brutal slugfest

NEW YORK — The welterweight title fight between Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter was in the works for close to a year, and when it finally came to fruition, it delivered beyond all expectations.

They waged war in a slugfest that will surely receive strong consideration for fight of the year, and in the end, all three judges preferred Thurman’s cleaner, more accurate shots, turning in identical scores of 115-113.

Thurman (27-0, 22 KOs) retained his WBA welterweight title Saturday via unanimous decision, but the crowd of 12,718 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center booed the decision and gave Porter a thunderous applause during his post-fight interview, clearly in favor of the Las Vegas man’s rugged, pressure style. USA TODAY Sports scored it a draw, 114-114.

The 147-pound bout was the first on CBS in prime time since the initial meeting between Muhammad Ali and Leon Spinks in February 1978.

“I want to thank Shawn Porter for a tremendous fight, he’s a great warrior,” said Thurman, 27. “Defense is the key to victory. He smothers his punches a lot and makes it difficult for the judges to score. I was able to rock him with clear, effective blows and I believe that was the difference today.

“It’s all about defense. I had a great defense today.”

The bout was in talks for a Fall 2015 date and then was officially scheduled for March 12 but Thurman suffered whiplash in a car accident. The Clearwater, Fla., native was cleared for sparring just three weeks before fight night, but was sharp from the opening bell and was the cleaner, sharper puncher.

Per CompuBox, Thurman connected on 203 of 405 power punches (50%); Porter landed 177 of 460 (38%). The fight could have gone either way, but Porter (26-2-1, 16 KOs) didn’t make excuses or complain about the decision.

“At the end of the day, I’m blessed,” said Porter, 28. “We worked hard, Keith is a great champion. My dad (trainer Kenny Porter) says to keep your head up. I think I won the fight, but I’m satisfied because the competitor came out tonight.

“We need that rematch. I know the fans want that rematch. If he gives me another chance, I’m going to work hard in the ring and leave with his title.”

With the kind of tremendous action they created in the ring, a rematch is a no-brainer and an easy sell.

Porter charged out of the gate and they waged a fast pace in the opening round they kept up most of the fight. Thurman was able to counter Porter coming in on a number of occasions, and wobbled him several times throughout the fight, but the Cleveland native never wavered.

He unloaded on the champ in Round 2 after pinning him to the ropes to the tune of 70 punches (27 connects). Porter was effective on the inside and slipped in right uppercuts and effective body blows.

Thurman, who was making the third defense of his title, showed that he could handle the pressure of not only a top fighter, but the big stage. He had never faced a fighter of Porter’s caliber, but proved that he’s indeed the best welterweight in the world with Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao ending their careers (at least for now).

Thurman drilled Porter with a massive overhand right in Round 3, but Porter rallied and kept coming forward.

Each round seemingly featured several wild exchanges, which all brought the crowd to its feet. Porter, who held the IBF welterweight title but lost it to Kell Brook in 2014, began to find a home for his looping shots in the middle rounds, but his best asset might have been his chin.

“One-Time” is considered one of the biggest punchers in boxing, and he landed many flush shots squarely on Porter’s head. While his legs were shaky on several occasions, he never came close to hitting the canvas and never stopped punching.

“Showtime” badly hurt Thurman with a left dig to the midsection in the eighth which forced the champ to grab on.

The best was yet to come, though.

Round 9 will garner consideration for round of the year when 2016 is in the rearview, a savage three minutes of fisticuffs. Porter buzzed Thurman and then they traded blows in the middle of the ring for the remainder of the round.

Thurman has a great chance to be the face of boxing with his unique look, charismatic personality and power. If he keeps winning, the opportunity is there to fulfill his dream of becoming a household name.

But Porter is certainly no loser. Not when a fight of this magnitude delivers this kind of action and at this skill level. He parlayed a win over Adrien Broner to secure this assignment, and the loss shouldn’t be a setback.

But perhaps most of all, boxing was the winner. In a year filled with mismatches and few tremendous action fights, Thurman-Porter was the elixir so many fans sought.

“To have a fight with that kind of anticipation and you have the best fighting the best, and then you get a fight of the year candidate,” said promoter Lou DiBella, “you get what you anticipate, and you get what on paper you hoped it would be. This was a good night for the sport.”

How to watch the Argentina vs. Chile Copa América final

Tonight (June 26), we find out who

rules soccer in the Americas. Argentina will play Chile in the final match of the Copa América Centenario tournament, at 8pm US eastern time at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Sunday’s game is a rematch from earlier this month, when Argentina beat Chile 2-1 during the group rounds of the tournament. It’s also a rematch of last year’s final, when host country Chile defeated Argentina on penalty kicks. Chile slotted all four of its tries, while Argentina’s lone penalty scorer that night was Lionel Messi.

Americans know all too well the brilliance of Messi, who scored anunbelievable free kick last week as Argentina dismantled a hapless US squad in the semifinal. While Argentina is the favorite tonight, Chile is also in excellent form after beating Mexico and Colombia by a combined nine goals. Chile’s Eduardo Vargas is the tournament’s leading goal scorer with six, one more than Messi.

Here’s how to watch:

In the US
On TV (in English): Fox Sports 1
On TV (in Spanish): Univision, Univision Deportes
Online: Fox Sports Go, Fox Soccer 2Go ($20 subscription required),fuboTV ($10 subscription, but free trial available)
In Argentina
On TV: TyC Sports, DirecTV Sports, Televisión Pública Argentina
Online: TyC Sports Play, DirecTV Play
In Chile
On TV: Canal 13, DirecTV Sports
Online: DirecTV Play
In the UK
On TV: Premier Sports
Online: Premier Player
In other countries

Bill Cunningham, Iconic 'New York Times' Photographer, Dies At 87

Legendary New York Times fashion photographer Bill Cunningham, beloved for his street-style images, has died at the age of 87. Cunningham's death was reported by The Times and confirmed by Eileen Murphy, a spokeswoman for the newspaper.

His death comes two days after he was reportedly hospitalized following a stroke. He had photographed for the Times for nearly four decades, beginning in 1978 after a chance photograph of Greta Garbo got the attention of the paper.

"To see a Bill Cunningham street spread was to see all of New York," New York TimesExecutive Editor Dean Baquet said in a tweet posted to the newspaper's Twitter account Saturday afternoon.

A Boston native, he attended Harvard on scholarship but dropped out in 1948 to move to New York City. Cunningham then worked a number of jobs including advertising, writing a freelance column for Women's Wear Daily and served a stint in the U.S. Army before he got his first camera, the instrument that transformed his life.

Says the Times:

"Around 1967, he got his first camera and used it to take pictures of the 'Summer of Love,' when he realized the action was out on the street. He started taking assignments for The Daily News and The Chicago Tribune, and he became a regular contributor to The Times in the late 1970s, though over the next two decades, he declined repeated efforts by his editors to take a staff position."

Cunningham was noted for his individual flair for fashion — including his trademark blue jacket — and personal expression. This fashion sense was evident in his eye for candid photos of everyone, ranging from the everyday person to celebrities and socialites.

He also photographed clothes at Easter parades, jitterbugging fetes on Governor's Island and summer street fairs.

"He was everywhere," Jacki Lyden reports for NPR's NewsCast. "At Met Galas, the Chelsea Piers, New York Fashion Weeks — all on his beloved bicycles. He wore a French blue working man's jacket, had a crown of white hair and he ignored hubbub for what he saw in his lens."

His life and work were the subject of 2010 documentary, Bill Cunningham New York.Four years later, many of his early photographs — long before his images graced the pages of the Times — were featured in a series by the New-York Historical Society.

"Taken between 1968 and 1976, he worked on a whimsical photo essay of models in period costumes posing against historic sites of the same vintage," The Associated Press says of the series.

Cunningham received many accolades for his work, among them the Officier de l'ordre des arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture in 2008 and the Carnegie Hall Medal of Excellence in 2012.

"His company was sought after by the fashion world's rich and powerful, yet he remained one of the kindest, most gentle and humble people I have ever met," Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., the Times' publisher and chairman said.

"We have lost a legend, and I am personally heartbroken to have lost a friend."

USA vs. Colombia: Score, Reaction from 2016 Copa America 3rd-Place Match

The United States men's national team closed Copa AmericaCentenario play with a 1-0 loss to Colombia on Saturday evening at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

The loss came four days after Argentina embarrassed the U.S., 4-0, in the semifinals in Houston.

Following a lethargic display against the world's top-ranked team Tuesday, the United States came out more aggressive and attempted to surge into the attacking zone throughout the third-place match's opening stages.

Early pushes didn't yield much in the way of quality scoring chances, but the apparent 180-degree shift in mindset was encouraging, given the team's repeated slip-ups versus Lionel Messi and Co.

The pressure remained consistent throughout the first half, but the U.S. wasn't always fundamentally sound in the defensive third. With John Brooks and Fabian Johnson nursing injuries, head coach JurgenKlinsmann opted for a new back line that featured DeAndre Yedlin, Matt Besler, Michael Orozco and Geoff Cameron. As a result, tactical lapses opened space for Colombia, as's Jeff Carlisle noted:

Ultimately, the observation served as eerie foreshadowing.

James Rodriguez—who started even though he's expected to undergo shoulder surgery after the tournament, per ESPN FC's Tom Marshall—played a brilliant aerial pass to Santiago Arias, who calmly found CarlosBacca for the game's first goal in the 31st minute.

Fox Soccer offered a look at the opening tally:

According to ESPN Stats & Info, Bacca's goal tied him with Rodriguez for the team lead in Copa America play with two.

Klinsmann's side came out with more fire in the second half, and a flurry of chances within the first 20 minutes nearly drew the Stars and Stripes even.

The United States' best look came in the 51st minute, when Clint Dempsey lined up a free kick from well outside the area, but Colombian keeper David Ospina miraculously saved the strike that seemed destined to find the net, as Fox Soccer documented:

As Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl explained, Ospina had Dempsey's number throughout the tournament after he came up with a big free-kick save in the teams' group-stage meeting:

Bobby Wood, who returned from a suspension that forced him to miss the semifinals, rattled a shot off the far post in the 62nd minute, but that was as close as the U.S. would get.

Colombia did just enough to keep the Americans at bay, and the win pushed Los Cafeteros to 2-0 over their Group A counterparts in theCopa America, with both wins being shutouts.

Now that the dust has settled on its Copa America run, the U.S. can turn its attention back to 2018 World Cup qualifying.

According to the team's official website, the USMNT will be back in action Sept. 2 against St. Vincent and the Grenadines before it clashes with Trinidad and Tobago on Sept. 6.
Postgame Reaction

Although the USMNT failed to exact revenge, at least one American contributor believed the Red, White and Blue looked strong in defeat.

"We didn't get played off the pitch tonight," Cameron said, per the Associated Press' Bob Baum. "If anything, I thought we dominated the game. I thought we had a lot of chances that we just didn't put in."

Tim Howard, who drew his first start of the tournament, concurred.

"I thought we played well," Howard said, per Baum. "We certainly could have won the game. So a positive performance, and certainly the last four or five weeks have been a step in the right direction."

"It was just one of those days," Yedlin added, per Baum. "We got into the box, just nothing was falling for us. So you take the positives from this game and there were certainly a lot of them. I thought for how aggressive we were being offensively we actually defended pretty well. I thought we pressed pretty well and I thought overall it was a good team performance."