Rampaging tractor leads Denver police on slow-speed pursuit (VIDEO, PHOTO)

By ethan / July 22, 2018

Trained canines had to be used to stop a joyrider who had led Denver authorities on what could only be described as one of the slowest police chases in recent memory.

The incident in an area of downtown Denver resulted in damage to several vehicles and properties after a man drove a John Deere tractor erratically down streets and onto a sidewalk, according to WEWS.

Footage from an eyewitness shows the subsequent bizarre police chase, with at least four cruisers seen following the tractor down a busy Denver road at half-pace. The strangely low-octane pursuit lasted for approximately 30 minutes, Denver Police spokesperson Tyrone Campbell admitted at a press conference.

At one stage, the tractor veers onto the sidewalk in an effort to escape the authorities, with a person filming from a building above exclaiming: “It’s so crazy.”

The chase finally ended when an officer used his car to ram the slowly rampaging tractor. According to the Denver Post, police dogs and a stun gun were also used to apprehend the suspect, who had driven the tractor into a number of parked cars.

The driver received a number of dog bites, and two officers were also taken to hospital after sustaining non-life threatening injuries.

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‘Why not start with Bellew at heavyweight?’ – Undisputed cruiser champ Usyk on future plans

By ethan / July 22, 2018

Undisputed cruiserweight champion Alexander Usyk has said he has no problem fighting Briton Tony Bellew at heavyweight after unifying all four major titles at 200 lbs by beating Murat Gassiev in the WBSS final.

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© Vladimir Astapkovich / Sputnik

A masterful performance from Usyk recorded a shutout unanimous decision victory against Russian Gassiev in front of a partisan crowd in Moscow to unify the WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO titles as well as clinch the Muhammad Ali trophy in the World Boxing Super Series final match.

Bellew is currently campaigning at heavyweight and recorded a couple of stoppage victories over former heavy and cruiser king David Haye in his previous two fights. The Liverpool man has made no secret of his willingness to fight the winner of Usyk-Gassiev.

“I know that Tony Bellew said he wanted to fight the winner of this fight,” Usyk told journalists at the post-fight presser. “He’s currently fighting at heavyweight and has just had a great fight with David Haye. Why not start from here?”

Usyk said that if Bellew, the former holder of the WBC cruiserweight title now in the Ukrainian’s possession, does not drop down to the 200 lbs weight class again, he would happily make the jump to heavyweight to make the fight happen.

Following the fight, Bellew tweeted: “Usyk I was BORN READY!! Let’s get this done!!”

After 12 rounds of championship boxing, all three judges awarded the fight to Usyk by scores of 120-108, 119-109, 119-109 on Saturday at the Russian capital’s Olimpiyskiy Sports Complex.

Regarding his immediate plans, Usyk admitted he would “go straight to Kiev, grab my stuff, and head straight for [my] kids” who he told press have been spending time with their grandmother in Simferopol on the Crimean peninsula.

READ MORE: Usyk v Gassiev – WBSS cruiserweight final from Moscow (AS IT HAPPENED)

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Intelligence chief Coats says media twisted his awkward 'say again' response to Trump's Putin invite

By ethan / July 22, 2018

US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats has blamed the media for spinning a story about his odd reaction to the news of US President Donald Trump inviting Vladimir Putin to a second summit, saying he meant no disrespect.

In a statement on Saturday, Coats sought to clarify his incredulous reaction to the breaking news that Trump invited the Russian leader to a follow-up meeting in the White House in the wake of their first meetup in Helsinki on Monday.

Coats was busy giving a live interview at the Aspen Security Forum on Thursday, when the news caught up with him thanks to MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, who moderated the event. Coats seemed to be completely oblivious to the announcement, as he asked the anchor to “say that again” before adding “OK. That’s going to be special” with a smirk.

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© Eduardo Munoz Alvarez / Getty Images

The media immediately interpreted Coats’ peculiar and vague reaction as a clear sign of defiance, with reports piling up that Trump is about to fire the intelligence chief for going “rogue.”

“Some press coverage has mischaracterized my intentions in responding to breaking news presented to me during a live interview,” Coats stated in a statement on Saturday, admitting that while his reaction was indeed “awkward,” it “in no way meant to be disrespectful or criticize the actions of the President.”

He went on to highlight the intelligence community’s efforts to “inform and support President Trump’s ongoing efforts to prevent Russian meddling” in the upcoming midterm elections, as well as to help the US President to “build strong relationships internationally in order to maintain peace,”pave the way for the denuclearization of “dangerous regimes” and ensure the security of the US and its allies.

Before his Aspen Security Forum appearance, Coats was already portrayed as a voice of dissent in the Trump administration by the mainstream media for seemingly standing up to Trump in the wake of the Helsinki summit, which Trump’s opponents dubbed “disastrous” and “nothing short of treason.”

Shortly after Trump “misspoke” during a post-summit press conference, saying that he doesn’t see “any reason why it would be” Russia that meddled in the US presidential election, Coats issued a statement, pointing out that the intelligence community has “been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy.”

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Facebook allows Radio Liberty to promote illegal political ads while touting stricter rules

By ethan / July 22, 2018

Facebook now appears to watch RT’s every step, but it has allowed the US government-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty to publish political ads targeting Americans, while introducing restrictions for other media.

The alarm over a federal-backed outlet targeting its Facebook ads at US audiences was sounded by the New York Times. The paper said that the move constituted a “potential violation” of the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948, which protect Americans citizens from domestic propaganda. 

It’s illegal for federal-funded new organizations under the umbrella of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) to promote their content in the US without a special request – and no such request was received by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) this time around.

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© Regis Duvignau

RFE/RL removed the ads shortly after they made headlines, with BBG spokeswoman Nasserie Carew saying that the outlet “ceased the practice” and that “none of the BBG networks should be distributing or promoting our content domestically in order to develop or grow domestic audiences.”

Radio Free Europe was created during the Cold War with the mission of promoting “democratic values and institutions by reporting the news in countries were a free press is banned by the government or not fully established.” It currently operates in 20 countries, including Russia, and, according to its website, had a budget of $ 120 million last year.

RFE/RL placed several ads on Facebook, including one which stated that “61 percent of the surveyed population in 12 countries views NATO favorably.”  The graphics were promoted in mid-July when Donald Trump was lambasting NATO member states at a summit in Brussels for not contributing enough to the US-led military bloc.

The question remains: how did Facebook turn a blind eye to such an ad when the company just announced news strict rules regarding commercials with political content in the US.

READ MORE: Tech giants squirm and dodge when grilled about China & N. Korea ‘election meddling’ (VIDEO)

But the social media site didn’t even label the RFE/RL’s graphic about NATO and other posts as political ads. There was also no “paid for by” marker on the materials, which has now been made obligatory for such entries.

Facebook’s criteria on what constitutes a political ad is too vague, media contributor John Griffing told RT. “There’s these double standards,” he said, adding that, apparently, the platform has no problem with somebody breaking its rules to “help defend freedom” in accordance with Washington’s take on it.

“It’s OK to propagandize and blanket the rest of the world with a CIA funded message, but it’s not OK for Russia to finance a television network… Why is that not OK?” Griffing said referring to RT posts getting flagged by Facebook on numerous occasions.

And it’s not only RT that’s been affected, as Russian scholar Sean Guillory was also recently prevented by Facebook from promoting an interview about his paper on the coverage of Donald Trump in the Russian media.

RT has asked the BBG on whether it considered RFE/RL’s graphics about a political-military organization like NATO to be a political ad, and we are currently awaiting a reply.

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Ukraine's Usyk beats Russian Gassiev to win WBSS final & Muhammad Ali trophy in Moscow

By ethan / July 21, 2018

Ukraine’s Alexander Usyk is the new undisputed cruiserweight champion of the world after recording a unanimous decision victory over Russia’s Murat Gassiev in Moscow in the WBSS tournament to claim the Muhammad Ali trophy.

Usyk now holds all four WBO, WBC, IBF and WBA world titles as well as clinching a top rank in the 200 pound division as he improved his undefeated streak to 15-0 with the win over Usyk at Moscow’s Olimpiyskiy Sports Complex.

Usyk won comfortably by wide scores of 120-108, 119-109, 119-109 by bamboozling a game and tough Gassiev who found no answer to the lightning hand speed and head movement in the Urkainian, who hands Gassiev the first defeat of his career.

DETAILS TO FOLLOW

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Usyk v Gassiev – WBSS cruiserweight final from Moscow

By ethan / July 21, 2018

WBO & WBC champ Usyk, from Ukraine, takes on Russia’s IBF & WBA champion Gassiev for the right to become the undisputed world champion and first ever holder of the coveted Muhammad Ali trophy.

The matchup is already being tipped for fight of the year honours between two undefeated fighters, with many struggling to pick a winner from the bout at the Russian capital’s Olympiyskiy Sports Complex. 

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Florida cops won’t charge man in shocking parking lot shooting over state’s ‘stand your ground’ law

By ethan / July 21, 2018

A Florida man who shot and killed another man in front of his children during an argument over a handicapped parking space will not face charges after the sheriff said the incident falls under the state’s “stand your ground” law.

Michael Drejka, 47, escaped a murder charge after shooting father-of-three Markeis McGlockton, 28, in the chest following a row outside a convenience store in Pinellas County near Tampa on Thursday afternoon.

READ MORE: Florida issued 1000s of concealed carry permits without background checks for more than a year

CCTV footage of the incident shows Drejka confronting the victim’s girlfriend about their car being parked in a handicapped parking spot without a permit. Witnessing the argument, McGlockton rushed to the scene and pushed Drejka to the ground. Drejka then pulled out his handgun and shot his assailant, who then wheeled away, clutching his chest.

Two of McGlockton’s children, a four-month-old and a three-year-old, were in the car at the time of the shooting. His five-year-old was in the store, according to the Tampa Bay Times

Drejka, who reportedly owns the gun legally and had a concealed carry permit, told deputies who interviewed him that he was afraid of being attacked. Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said the state would not bring charges against Drejka, as the shooting “is within the bookends of ‘stand your ground’ and within the bookends of force being justified.”

Florida’s “stand your ground” law was enacted in 2005 and allows residents of the state to use deadly force if they “reasonably believe” they are at risk of death or great bodily harm. The law states that people have “no duty to retreat” from their homes or vehicles if they feel threatened.

READ MORE: Florida strengthens ‘stand your ground’ rule used in Trayvon Martin case

The law was most controversially cited in the case of George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer who shot dead 17-year-old African American boy Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, in 2012. Zimmerman claimed he shot the boy in self-defence following an altercation between the pair. He was not charged at the time, but national media attention meant that he was eventually charged and tried in Martin’s death. He was acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter in July 2013.

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‘We are ready to welcome back Russia’ – IOC head Thomas Bach

By ethan / July 21, 2018

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has hailed reforms made by Russia to tackle doping, adding that the organization is ready “to welcome the country back” to the Olympic family.

Speaking at the IOC press conference in Lausanne, Switzerland on Friday, Bach noted Russia’s “readiness to turn the page” after the country was banned from taking part in the 2018 Games in South Korea.

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Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) President Alexander Zhukov © Maxim Shemetov

They have accepted that they have [been] served the toughest sanction that the IOC can issue with the suspension from the [Winter] Games and with individual athletes selection procedures not being governed by Russia but by the IOC,” Bach said.

They have got the message that they need to change,” he added, while also praising Russian sports officials for implementing reforms and appointing new members who were unmarred by the doping controversy involving the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA).

We have said that we are ready to support these kind of [reforms], because we think they are necessary and important. And we have also said that now the sanction [Olympic ban] has been served, and now everybody knows in the history books there will be no Russia in the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. We are ready to welcome them back, to re-enter the dialogue, and to support the reforms they need to undertake and they [have] started to undertake,” the IOC president said.

READ MORE: IOC to appeal CAS decision on cleared Russian athletes

Last autumn, the Olympic governing body suspended the ROC for alleged doping violations, obliging the Russian athletes who were considered eligible for the PyeongChang Games to compete under a neutral flag.

Right after the Games, the IOC reinstated the ROC after the body fulfilled all the requirements stipulated by the IOC and WADA.

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XXXTentacion killing: 4 charged with first-degree murder over rapper’s death

By ethan / July 21, 2018

Police in Florida have charged four men with the murder of Florida rapper XXXTentacion, including the two suspects arrested in June and July.

Robert Allen and Trayvon Newsome have now joined Michael Boatwright and Dedrick Williams in being accused of killing the hip-hop artist outside a motorcycle dealership in Deerfield Beach, north of Miami, on June 18. All four men were indicted by a grand jury on Friday.

READ MORE: Rapper ‘XXXtentacion’ shot dead in suspected Florida robbery

Williams had been picked up by police two days after the shooting, while Boatwright was arrested on an unrelated drug charge on July 5. Allen, nicknamed ‘Big Rob’ and ‘Fat Boy’, and Newsome remain at large, according to reports in the Miami Herald. Boatwright is accused of firing the fatal shot at the 20-year-old victim.

Police said that the rapper, whose real name was Jahseh Onfroy, was carrying a Louis Vuitton bag containing $ 50,000 in cash at the time of the attack. Onfroy had withdrawn the sum in $ 100 bills from a branch of Bank of America before going to the dealership. The four men are also accused of stealing the money.

READ MORE: Cops fire rubber bullets to disperse fans at slain rapper XXXtentacion’s memorial (VIDEO)

Onfroy’s exit from the dealership was blocked by a Dodge Journey rented by a friend of Williams, according to a police arrest warrant. Two men are then seen on surveillance footage  jumping out of the vehicle, approaching the rapper’s BMW and taking the bag before firing a number of shots into the car.

According to police, a video from Williams’ phone recorded hours after the shooting showed him dancing with $ 100 bills, which he threw in the air. He is also said have bought $ 800 worth of clothes from a store in Fort Lauderdale following the shooting, paying with eight $ 100 bills. Boatwright is also said to have taken similar pictures of himself holding $ 100 bills in the hours after the killing. Ammunition matching the casings found at the crime scene was also recovered from the cars of the accused, according to a police affidavit seen by NBC Miami.  

READ MORE: Police arrest 2nd suspect in rapper XXXTentacion’s murder

Police also said they uncovered searches on Boatwright’s phone for Onfroy along with the words: “Accessory to murder.”

Onfroy’s death came soon after his album ‘?’ entered the charts at number one. Before that, the rapper rose to unexpected fame after his debut song ‘Look at Me’ went viral on social media and the audio platform Soundcloud in 2016. Last year, he reportedly landed a distribution agreement worth an estimated $ 6 million, according to Variety.

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‘Out for season/no pay!’ Trump calls on tougher NFL suspension for protesting players

By ethan / July 21, 2018

US president Donald Trump has called on National Football League (NFL) bosses to suspend players involved in kneeling demonstrations for an entire season without pay.

Trump has repeatedly admonished players who partake in kneeling protests since the problem emerged in 2016. In a Twitter post on Friday, the president called for a one-game ban for kneeling and a season-long ban for a repeat offence.

READ MORE: Leading US sports clubs cut ties with Papa John’s in wake of n-word scandal

“The NFL National Anthem Debate is alive and well again – can’t believe it! Isn’t it in contract that players must stand at attention, hand on heart?,” Trump tweeted. “The $ 40,000,000 Commissioner must now make a stand. First time kneeling, out for game. Second time kneeling, out for season/no pay!

The anthem protest issue flared up again after Associated Press reported Thursday that the Miami Dolphins planned to suspend protesting players for up to four games under a new team policy.

In the wake of the news, the NFL and NFL Players Association made a joint statement on Thursday saying that no anthem-related team policies will be enforced for the next several weeks as part of a standstill agreement between the two sides.

Anthem protests have been one of the highly debated issues in sport for almost two years after former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during pre-game ceremonies in protest of what he viewed as police brutality and racial discrimination in the USA.

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