GM Caldwell feels Jags have ‘good situation’ after draft

Jacksonville Jaguars general manager David Caldwell entered the draft with three primary needs: pass rusher, offensive tackle and tight end.

After taking defensive end Josh Allen in the first round, the Jaguars shifted focus to shore up offense around quarterback Nick Foles, who joined the team during free agency.

Of the team’s seven picks, four went to the offensive side, leaving Caldwell with the feeling of mission accomplished on giving Foles the required tools to succeed.

“I feel like we shored up the offensive line,” Caldwell told reporters during his post-draft new conference. “We got him a playmaker with the running back. We got him a playmaker with the tight end.

“So, I feel like we did do some nice things there, and then the combination of the guys we signed in free agency and the guys we have, I think we’ve got a pretty good situation there.”

The Jaguars selected offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor in the second round, tight end Josh Oliver in the third round, running back Ryquell Armstead in the fifth round, and then added depth behind Foles with signal-caller Gardner Minshew.

Taylor, Oliver and Armstead are expected to immediately make an impact on an offensive unit that finished the 2018 season ranked 31st in scoring, 27th in total offense, 26th in passing and 19th in rushing with former quarterback Blake Bortles.

While each player will have a role, Caldwell likes what the physical Armstead provides to a backfield currently anchored by Leonard Fournette along with Alfred Blue and Benny Cunningham.

“He runs aggressively,” Caldwell told reporters of the rookie running back. “He runs a similar running style to Leonard, so it’s going to be a nice one-two punch with him, and Alfred and Benny. I think we needed a young back in that stable, and to be able to go with a guy that’s 220 pounds, runs a 4.4 and runs as aggressive as he does is a good thing.”

Meanwhile on the defensive side, Allen joins an already stout group, which finished fifth overall in the league despite Jacksonville’s 5-11 record, and the pass rusher is another piece to the roster.

Caldwell believes the additions in the annual three-day selection process should have the Jaguars back in contender mode two seasons removed from advancing to the AFC Championship Game.

And the team acquired the necessary pieces by sticking to the draft plan.

“Take the best player available, but also fill those three primary needs being pass rusher, offensive tackle and tight end, and we felt like we did that,” Caldwell said. “So, we did that by taking the best player available … We got the best scenario for our needs and best player available.”

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Caster Semenya loses appeal in controversial case over IAAF’s testosterone rules

Associated Press
Published 6:49 a.m. ET May 1, 2019

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Caster Semenya lost her appeal Wednesday against rules designed to decrease naturally high testosterone levels in some female runners.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport’s panel of three judges gave a complex verdict and “dismissed both requests for arbitration” from Semenya and the governing body of track and field.

In a landmark judgment, the court said the IAAF’s proposed rules on athletes with “differences of sex development (DSD)” are discriminatory but should be applied.

The judges ruled 2-1 that “on the basis of the evidence submitted by the parties, such discrimination is a necessary, reasonable and proportionate means of achieving the IAAF’s aim of preserving the integrity of female athletics in the Restricted Events.”

Semenya, a two-time Olympic champion in the 800 meters, will now be forced to medicate to suppress her testosterone levels if she wants to defend her world title in September in Doha, Qatar.

 

Still, the CAS panel “strongly encouraged” the IAAF to note its concerns when it applies the rules — which the judges believe might have to be modified in future to be fair.

“Indeed, it may be that, on implementation and with experience, certain factors may be shown to affect the overall proportionality of the DSD Regulations,” the court said.

The IAAF went into the case with the scientific argument that female runners with high testosterone levels have an unfair advantage in events from 400 meters to the mile.

However, the judges want the IAAF to apply the rules only up to the 800 because the evidence was not clear that women with hyperandrogenism have a competitive advantage in the 1,500.

“The CAS Panel suggested that the IAAF consider deferring the application of the DSD Regulations to these events (1,500 and the mile) until more evidence is available,” the court said.

That could give Semenya a route to compete at the world championships without taking medication. She was the bronze medalist in the 1,500 at the 2017 worlds in London.

A further appeal is possible to Switzerland’s supreme court in Lausanne. Federal judges rarely overturn CAS decisions but can intervene if legal process was abused.

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Julian Assange sentenced to 50 weeks’ jail over bail breach

Updated

May 01, 2019 21:17:12

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been sentenced to 50 weeks’ jail for absconding while on bail, when he fled to the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2012.

Key points:

  • Julian Assange first took refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2012
  • He was avoiding extradition to Sweden over a since-dropped sexual assault case
  • Assange’s lawyers say he will fight a US extradition attempt over allegations he conspired with Chelsea Manning to access classified databases

Assange was granted asylum by Ecuador after the UK Supreme Court upheld a ruling that he should be extradited to Sweden over a sexual assault case that has since been dropped. He has denied the allegation.

He claimed he was seeking political asylum because Sweden’s international arrest warrant would see him eventually extradited to the United States.

Assange’s lawyer Mark Summers told the courtroom packed with journalists and WikiLeaks supporters that his client sought refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy because “he was living with overwhelming fear of being rendered to the US”.

He said Assange had a “well-founded” fear that he would be mistreated and possibly sent to the US detention camp for terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay.

Mr Summers read a letter from Assange apologising for his behaviour in 2012 and saying, “I did what I thought was best”.

“I found myself struggling with terrifying circumstances,” the letter said.

The white-haired WikiLeaks founder stood impassively with his hands clasped while his 50-week sentence was read.

The 47-year-old’s supporters in the public gallery chanted “shame on you” at the judge as he was led away.

Assange had apologised unreservedly to the court for skipping bail seven years ago and moving to the Ecuadorian embassy.

After six years holed up inside, Assange was arrested and dragged out to a waiting police van on April 11.

Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno said the country had withdrawn its offer of asylum and accused Assange of harassing embassy staff.

The next day, he was found guilty of breaching his bail at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

Judge Michael Snow said Assange’s claim that he had breached his bail conditions because he could not expect a fair hearing in the UK was “laughable”.

“His behaviour is that of a narcissist who cannot get past his own self-interest,” Justice Snow said in his judgment.

Assange faces extradition hearing

On Thursday, Assange will again appear in court by video link as the US attempts to extradite him.

Assange is charged with conspiring with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to gain access to classified databases.

In 2010, WikiLeaks released hundreds of thousands of US military reports about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and US diplomatic communications.

The US Justice Department described it as “one of the largest compromises of classified information in the history of the United States”.

Assange faces up to five years in US prison if convicted. Assange’s lawyers said they would fight the extradition attempt.

More to come.

ABC/AP

Topics:

courts-and-trials,

world-politics,

international-law,

internet-culture,

united-kingdom,

sweden,

united-states

First posted

May 01, 2019 20:47:11

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Olympic champion Caster Semenya loses testosterone appeal

Updated

May 01, 2019 20:16:43

Caster Semenya has lost an appeal against rules designed to decrease naturally high testosterone levels in some female runners.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport’s (CAS) panel of three judges gave a complex verdict and “dismissed both requests for arbitration” from Semenya and the governing body of track and field.

In a landmark judgment, the court said the International Association of Athletics Federation’s (IAAF) proposed rules on athletes with “differences of sex development (DSD)” were discriminatory.

However, the judges ruled 2-1 that “on the basis of the evidence submitted by the parties, such discrimination is a necessary, reasonable and proportionate means of achieving the IAAF’s aim of preserving the integrity of female athletics in the Restricted Events”.

The IAAF has previously said it believes female runners with high testosterone levels have an unfair advantage in events from the 400 metre to the mile races.

Semenya, a two-time Olympic champion in the 800 metres, will now be forced to medicate to suppress her testosterone levels if she wants to defend her world title in September in Doha, Qatar.

However, the CAS judges say the IAAF should not yet apply the rules to the 1,500 metre.

More to come.

AP

Topics:

athletics,

sport,

discrimination,

south-africa

First posted

May 01, 2019 20:09:02

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Colts sign Spencer Ware after passing on RBs in draft

After bypassing the running back position during the draft, the Indianapolis Colts added a veteran presence.

The team announced it signed Spencer Ware on Tuesday. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero adds the deal is for one year and is worth $1.305 million with a max value of $2.05 million

The 27-year-old running back spent the last four years in Kansas City after being a 2013 draft pick of the Seattle Seahawks. After being released in 2014, he landed in K.C. but didn’t play the entire season.

After showing flashes as a backup in 2015, Ware burst out in 2016, compiling 1,368 scrimmage yards and five total touchdowns in 14 starts. Projected as the full-time starter in 2017, Ware suffered a preseason knee injury that wiped out his entire 2017 campaign. He started the 2018 season as a backup to Kareem Hunt, and was eventually passed up on the depth chart by Damien Williams after Hunt’s release. He finished 2018 with just 51 carries for 246 rushing yards and two TDs.

In Indy, Ware joins a jumbled backfield led by Marlon Mack, Nyheim Hines, Jordan Wilkins and Jonathan Williams. Ware’s best shot to carve out a role in Indy is as an early-down, between-the-tackles ball carrier.

In corresponding moves, the Colts waived safety Isaiah Johnson and defensive tackle DeShawn Williams, and released wide receiver James Wright.

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UNC Charlotte begins healing, Added intrigue to Barr testimony: 5 things you need to know Wednesday

Editors
Published 4:30 a.m. ET May 1, 2019

UNC Charlotte begins healing after campus shooting

In what Chancellor Philip L. Dubois called “the worst day in the history” of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, an ex-student opened fire in a classroom building on Tuesday evening, killing two people and injuring four others. The lone suspect was identified as Trystan Andrew Terrell, 22, who, according to school records, was last enrolled in fall 2018. Police disarmed and apprehended him in the room where pistol shots rang out, said Jeff Baker, the university’s police chief, crediting the officers’ actions with saving lives. Three of the injured were in critical condition at local hospitals and the fourth was stable, Baker said. The Associated Press reported that a vigil was being planned for Wednesday at the campus. In addition, the university cancelled exams, which were scheduled to begin Thursday, through the end of the week. Dubois said it was unclear when they would resume.

CLOSE

The University of North Carolina, Charlotte campus was on lockdown after a shooting that left at least two dead.
USA TODAY

Added weight for Barr appearance after Mueller letter surfaces 

Attorney General William Barr is scheduled to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday to discuss his handling of the Special Counsel’s Robert Mueller’s report examining Russian interference in the 2016 election. But Barr’s public appearance now has added weight thanks to the new information revealed Tuesday that Mueller privately objected to a summary Barr delivered to the public, clearing President Donald Trump of having obstructed the investigation, a Justice Department spokeswoman said. Mueller communicated his frustration to Barr in writing after the attorney general disclosed the special counsel’s conclusions in a summary letter to Congress on March 24. Mueller emphasized that nothing in Barr’s March 24 letter “was inaccurate or misleading, but he expressed frustration over the lack of context and the resulting media coverage regarding the special counsel’s obstruction analysis,” a DOJ spokeswoman said in a statement. The USA TODAY Editorial board writes Barr has “his work cut out for him.”

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Couple to plead guilty in college admissions scandal

A wealthy California couple is expected to plead guilty to conspiracy charges Wednesday in Boston federal court for allegedly paying more than $600,000 in bribes to get their daughters accepted into college. Bruce and Davina Isackson, of Hillsborough, California, would become the first parents in the nation’s college admissions cheating scandal to plead guilty in court. A dozen additional parents, including actress Felicity Huffman, have signed plea agreements with the Justice Department. Prosecutors say the Isacksons paid cheating-scheme mastermind Rick Singer to get one daughter into the University of California at Los Angeles and another into the University of Southern California. The couple faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison; Bruce Isackson could face an additional 20 years on money laundering charges.

Power struggle in Venezuela likely to lead to more violence, unrest

An escalating showdown between President Nicolas Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaido has sparked renewed violence and unrest in Venezuela that may continue on Wednesday. Clashes erupted Tuesday with officials loyal to Maduro saying they confronted a “coup” after Guaido called for an uprising. In a television appearance Tuesday night, Maduro declared that the opposition had attempted to impose an “illegitimate government” with the support of the United States and neighboring Colombia. Guaido countered with his own video message in which he urged Venezuelans to again take to the streets on Wednesday. The situation is extremely fluid and volatile as some experts say that if Guaido’s push does not gain momentum, the country will sink further into a dictatorship. If he succeeds, it will still be a long road to recovery for South American nation. 

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US, China officials try to resolve tariff war

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Wednesday meet with Chinese officials for talks aimed at ending a tariff war over Beijing’s trade practices. President Donald Trump last year raised U.S. duties on $250 billion of Chinese imports in response to complaints Beijing steals technology and unfairly subsidizes Chinese companies. Beijing has retaliated by raising import duties on $110 billion in U.S. goods. A Chinese team is scheduled to visit Washington next week for another round of negotiations.

 

 

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Wallabies face player divide over Folau religion controversy

Updated

May 01, 2019 18:50:09

Rugby Australia is facing a potential Polynesian player mutiny after one of the Wallabies’ most exciting prospects claimed all Pacific Islanders “might as well just be sacked” owing to their religious beliefs.

Key points:

  • Taniela Tupou responded to comments from Reds captain Samu Kerevi relating to a religious post over Easter
  • Israel Folau faces a Rugby Australia hearing on Saturday over his comments
  • A third of Australia’s last Test line-up of 2018 had a Polynesian background

Days out from Israel Folau’s attempt to save his multi-million-dollar career at a Rugby Australia (RA) code of conduct hearing, Queensland Reds and Wallabies hooker Taniela Tupou took to Facebook to express his support for the under-fire superstar.

“Seriously … Might as well sack me and all the other Pacific Islands rugby players around the world because we have the same Christian beliefs,” Tupou posted late on Tuesday night.

“I will never apologise for my faith and what I believe in, religion had nothing to do with rugby anyways… #TYJ”

Tupou, who rose to prominence as a schoolboy player in Auckland and whose signing with Rugby Australia in 2014 was seen as a significant boost to the side, has earned himself the nickname “Tongan Thor” thanks to his incredible strength on the rugby field.

The 22-year-old Reds prop attached a link to an earlier post from fellow Wallabies teammate and Reds captain Samu Kerevi, who apologised after taking to Instagram at Easter thanking “Jesus for dying on the cross for me. I love you Jesus#”.

“I appreciate the kind messages from everyone,” Kerevi posted.

“But to be clear I’m not apologising for my faith in Jesus Christ my saviour.

“God will always come first in my life and many other professional rugby players.

“Today, I felt things were taken out of context in regards to certain articles.

“I do not feel obliged to apologise to people because of the situation happening right now with a brother of mine.”

Last month RA issued Folau with a breach of contract notice following his latest round of controversial posts.

The three-time John Eales Medallist had been previously warned by RA about his social media conduct, and the game’s governing body subsequently announced its intention to terminate his contract.

Folau was stood down by the NSW Waratahs in the wake of an Instagram post claiming hell awaited “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolators” unless they repent and turn to Jesus Christ.

Folau will front a three-person tribunal — comprising chair John West, RA’s representative Kate Eastman SC and the Rugby Union Players Association (RUPA)-appointed John Boultbee SC — on Saturday.

However, Folau has since received backing from England star Billy Vunipola, who liked Folau’s post and called for people to “live their lives how God intended”.

Brisbane-born Vunipola was himself slapped with a warning by his English club Saracens over his defence of Folau’s post and handed a “formal warning” by the English Rugby Football Union.

Vunipola was roundly booed by Munster fans in the European Cup semi-final the weekend after his comments, while England teammate James Haskell said that he was “disappointed” that people had liked Folau’s post.

Haskell had earlier described Folau’s post as “spreading hate” and “the biggest load of s*** I have ever read”.

However, Vunipola’s England teammates, Manu Tuilagi, Nathan Hughes, Courtney Lawes — who wrote his own post defending Vunipola’s right to express his opinion — and Wales backrower Taulupe Faletau, all “liked” Vunipola’s social media post.

A third of Australia’s last Test line-up of 2018 had a Polynesian background

ABC/AAP

Topics:

sport,

rugby-union,

australia,

nsw,

qld

First posted

May 01, 2019 18:11:43

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