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Kobe Bryant: Five-time NBA champion is nominated for an Oscar

‘Dear Basketball’: Kobe Bryant’s poem A five-time NBA champion, two Olympic gold medals and now an Oscar winner? Kobe Bryant won everything on the basketball court but now he has been nominated for a famous gold statue for his short animated film ‘Dear Basketball’. The six-minute film, animated by former Disney animator Glen Keane, is based on a poem Bryant wrote in The Players’ Tribune in 2015 as he announced his intention to retire from basketball. The short’s music has been composed by five-time Academy Award winner John Williams, who has scored countless Hollywood films including Star Wars, Jaws, E.T., Jurassic Park, and the Indiana Jones series. Bryant, 39, played his final game in April 2016 after a 20-year career with the Lakers and the team...

CIA Director Says North Korea Seeks Arsenal for ‘Coercive’ Purposes

CIA Director Mike Pompeo said Kim Jong Un’s regime wants to use its budding arsenal for “coercive” purposes, dismissing North Korea’s contention that it needs a nuclear missile program to enhance its defense against a possible U.S. attack. Pompeo also said that despite Pyongyang’s rapidly improving missile and nuclear programs over the past year, Kim “will not rest with a single successful test.” “The logical next step is to develop an arsenal” of missiles capable of striking the U.S., Pompeo said in a rare public appearance Tuesday at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. “They have moved at a very rapid clip.” The Central Intelligence Agency director’s comments come amid gestures of reconciliation between North Korea and South Korea — which remain technically at war R...

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane annoyed by Kepa battle reports

The ESPN FC crew discuss the latest transfer rumours, including Eden Hazard to Real Madrid. Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane says he is “annoyed” by reports he won an internal battle to stop the club signing Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga this month. Kepa, 23, was widely tipped to join Madrid, with the Spain international having reportedly undergone a medical in the Spanish capital on Jan. 4. However, Zidane insisted he did not want reinforcements midseason, and Kepa has instead agreed a new contract at Athletic, which runs until 2025 and includes an €80 million clause. The morning after that deal was signed, Marca’s front cover said: “Zidane stops it” while reports have claimed the coach’s insistence to stick with his under-performing sta...

UEFA happy over transfers of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe to PSG – source

PSG coach Unai Emery feels the Spanish media is attempting to ‘destabilise’ his squad by reporting that Neymar is heading to Real Madrid. The nature of the transfers of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe to Paris Saint-Germain are no longer of interest to UEFA after European football’s governing body was satisfied both players were acquired in the correct manner, a source close to club has told ESPN FC. PSG remain the subject of a UEFA financial fair play (FFP) investigation into their spending in the last transfer window, but investigators are at least satisfied with the way that the Ligue 1 leaders activated Neymar’s €222 million release clause to sign him from Barcelona and negotiated a loan with an €180m option to buy this summer for Mbappe with Monaco. According to the s...

Barcelona confirm Javier Mascherano exit as China move looms

Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi made the top three in this week’s Power Rankings. Barcelona have confirmed that Javier Mascherano will leave the club this month, seven-and-a-half years after he joined from Liverpool for €24 million. The Catalan club have not yet confirmed Mascherano’s destination, but Hebei Fortune coach Manuel Pellegrini said at the weekend that he expects the Argentina international to join him in the Chinese Super League. Local reports suggested Barca will receive around €10m from Hebei Fortune for the transfer. Mascherano, 33, will hold a news conference on Wednesday to bid farewell to the club, with president Josep Maria Bartomeu and the first-team squad set to be in attendance. He will then say goodbye to the club’s supporters on the Camp Nou pitch bef...

Ronaldo fights for his No. 1 status

Zinedine Zidane says Cristiano Ronaldo is where he belongs at Real Madrid amid rumours of an exit. Following a Spanish media report saying the majority of Real Madrid supporters want Ronaldo to leave the club, Gab Marcotti and the FC panel dive into the implications. Mark Ogden and Rob Dawson explain why Cristiano Ronaldo is unlikely to swap Real Madrid for Manchester United. Anyone who doesn’t understand how Cristiano Ronaldo can unleash his “you won’t like me when I’m unhappy” act in order to pressure Real Madrid for a new contract at a time when his performance in front of goal is as poor as it’s been since he joined Manchester United as a teenager, really hasn’t been paying attention. Nor should this be seen in old-fashioned terms, because this...

Elon Musk’s Boring Co. pitches plan to build a tunnel under Culver City to LA

The Boring Company, Elon Musk’s most unassumingly named tech venture, has presented a plan to build a 6.5 mile tunnel between Hawthorne (where SpaceX HQ is located) and West Los Angeles, undercutting Culver City in between to link the two. Boring Co. executives presented the plan to the Culver City city council on Monday night, trying to sell the local regulators on the idea of a tunnel system designed to beat traffic and ease surface congestions. The Boring Company’s chief of operations Jehn Balajadia presented the plan to city government, explaining that Musk’s venture already has permission from Hawthorne city council for an easement for that side of the tunnel, and it’s also working with LA on an excavation permit, too, according to Wired. The pitch is that this tunnel would enable The...

Keegan-Michael Key Hints at ‘Key & Peele’ Reunion

Keegan-Michael Key Jordan Better Act Again We Still Have ‘Key & Peele’ Reunion!!! 1/23/2018 7:15 AM PST EXCLUSIVE Keegan-Michael Key was laughing, but we hope he was dead serious — he wants Jordan Peele to return to acting for a “Key & Peele” reunion. We got the funny man Monday at LAX where Keegan beamed with pride about Jordan, who just nabbed 2 Oscar nominations for “Get Out.” We also asked Keegan about what Jordan said a couple days ago — he’s joining Sir Daniel Day-Lewis and quitting acting. Not so fast … says Keegan, who definitely looks like he’s holding his breath for an iconic “Key & Peele” reunion which sadly ended after just 5 seasons. #FingersCrossed [embedded content]

James Franco Goes Surfing Day Before Oscar Snub

James Franco A Little Surf Before A Lotta Snub 1/23/2018 6:58 AM PST James Franco tried riding out the storm on a surfboard Monday — but it didn’t work … ’cause he wiped out a day later. Paps got James Monday in Malibu surfing with some pals, and he actually seemed pretty chipper  …  but his mood probably changed Tuesday after missing out on a Best Actor nomination. Lots of folks are claiming snub, especially since he won a Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award — he was also nominated for a SAG Award. Looks like those accusations were simply too much for the Academy … bummer, dude.

Germany’s Far Right to Head Budget Committee With Euro-Skeptic

Germany’s nationalist AfD party claimed the chairmanship of parliament’s budget committee and named a euro-skeptic to head the key panel in the Bundestag. Peter Boehringer, 48, was nominated by his Alternative for Germany’s caucus on Tuesday in keeping with a tradition that the biggest opposition party heads the committee, which has the power of the purse and a say in Germany’s euro-area policy, according to an emailed AfD statement. Boehringer, a businessman who decries paper currencies not backed by precious metal, calls for Germany’s “immediate exit from the illegal euro transfer union,” according to his website. Bailout policies to aid indebted euro-area countries violate European Union treaties, he says. Where Is Germany’s Gold? A previous story featuring Boehringer Founded as an anti...

Tillerson Says Russia Is Responsible for Syrian Chemical Use

Russia is ultimately responsible for chemical weapons use by the Syrian regime and should stop blocking United Nations resolutions seeking to investigate alleged violations of a 2013 accord to remove chemical weapons from Syria, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said. Russia, at a minimum, should abstain during Security Council votes, Tillerson said Tuesday in Paris at the end of a 24-nation meeting aimed at creating a “partnership” to punish chemical weapon use. “The facts are known and documented,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said. “But we face obstruction by several countries.” In November, Russia vetoed the renewal of a UN body that had investigated chemical use in Syria. U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said in a statement Thursday that there are reports that B...

”The die is cast…2019 is going to be lit!” Nigerians react to Obasanjo’s open letter criticizing the Buhari government

Nigerians are reacting to the explosive open letter former president Olusegun Obasanjo released today which was basically against the Buhari-led government and also PDP. The former president is currently trending on Nigerian twitter.  According to most Nigerians, with Obasanjo’s letter, the die is cast for the 2019 election. See their tweets below