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Osaka: Grand Slam Comeback Ends In 1st-Round Loss To Garcia, Gauff Advances At Australian Open

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MELBOURNE, Australia – Naomi Osaka returned through the players’ tunnel after her Grand Slam return ended in a first-round loss, where her name is prominently displayed alongside prior Australian Open champions.

On Monday night, three matches into her return from 15 months off the tour and six months after the birth of her daughter, Shai, Osaka was defeated 6-4, 7-6 (2) by 16th-seeded Caroline Garcia in a tight match at Rod Laver Arena.

“The competitive side of me is really frustrated that I’m not winning these matches, of course,” Osaka said at a post-match press conference. “So I wouldn’t say, like, this comeback is how I thought because I’m delusional enough to think I could have won the tournament.”

She grinned before saying, “I think my delusion is what allows me to win the tournaments.”

Osaka won the U.SU.S.en in 2018 and 2020 and the Australian Open in 2019 and 2021. This was her first loss in the first round since her debut in Melbourne in 2016.

After losing in the first round of the French Open and the United States Open in 2022, she took a break from tennis to care for her health. For now, she has no plans to take any additional breaks.

osaka

Osaka: Grand Slam Comeback Ends In 1st-Round Loss To Garcia, Gauff Advances At Australian Open

“Yeah, I think I just have to keep living day by day and training hard and playing a lot more matches,” she said. “And hopefully, my dreams will come true.”

The big-serving Garcia did not offer Osaka a chance at a breakpoint during the match. Most rallies were brief, with only three lasting more than nine strokes. The majority were less than four. Most of the service holds were comfortable, except Osaka’s one dropped game in the first set. That made all the difference.

“I have a lot of respect for Naomi as a person and as a player — 15 months she’s been away,” Garcia said. “I’m pleased to have her back. Six months after giving birth, she’s already playing well. We must exercise caution.”

Osaka was one of three former Australian Open champions who returned to Melbourne Park as mothers, including 2016 winner Angelique Kerber and 2018 champion Caroline Wozniacki.

The Australian Open began on Sunday and will be played across 15 days for the first time, with the first round divided over three days to reduce late-finishing matches.

osaka

Osaka: Grand Slam Comeback Ends In 1st-Round Loss To Garcia, Gauff Advances At Australian Open

Nonetheless, it was 1:39 a.m. local time when Felix Auger-Aliassime completed a 4-hour, 59-minute victory over 2020 U.SU.S.en winner Dominic Thiem, 6-3, 7-5, 6-7 (5), 5-7, 6-3. A ball kid had to chase a bird off the court at Margaret Court Arena during the fourth set, which caused the audience to chuckle briefly. It then flew over the stadium briefly before play resumed.

Auger-Aliassime’s victory snapped a string of three consecutive first-round exits at majors.

Coco Gauff, the US U.S.en champion, defeated Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-3, 6-0 in the first match on Rod Laver Arena.

After receiving guidance from Andy Roddick, the 19-year-old Gauff, who won her maiden major at the U.S. U.S. in September, claimed she felt more confident in her serve.

Fourth-seeded Gauff only dropped one game on her serve in the second set and praised Roddick, adding, “He’s probably one of the best servers in history.”

Marketa Vondrousova, the Wimbledon winner, was eliminated in the first round after losing 6-1 and 6-2 to Dayana Yastremska while dealing with a hip issue.

Mirra Andreeva, a third 16-year-old, advanced to the second round after defeating 29-year-old Bernarda Pera 7-5, 6-2. She will face sixth-seeded Ons Jabeur, a three-time Grand Slam runner-up.

Alina Korneeva and Brenda Fruhvirtova, both 16, advanced after winning their maiden Grand Slam main draw matches on Sunday.

“I’m reallyd for this,” Andreeva remarked, playing Jabeur. “I’ve said several times that she’s the player I admire. I absolutely enjoy the way she plays. I’m confident it’ll be a fantastic match.”

osaka

Osaka: Grand Slam Comeback Ends In 1st-Round Loss To Garcia, Gauff Advances At Australian Open

Alex de Minaur, Australia’s newest top-10 player, advanced after former Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic retired from their match. De Minaur was ahead 6-7 (6), 6-3, 2-0 when the big-serving Canadian quit injured.

Daniil Medvedev, the 2021 and 2022 finalist at Melbourne Park, advanced after his opponent retired from their encounter.

Medvedev had lost the first set but was up 5-7, 6-2, 6-4, and 1-0 when 22-year-old Terence Atmane retired due to cramps.

“When I was feeling tired in the third set, I looked up the other end and saw he was cramping,” Medvedev told reporters. “The conditions were fine, but it has not been hot these seven days, and then it was hot today, so you get more stressed.”

Stefanos Tsitsipas, who lost to Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open final last year, defeated Zizou Bergs 5-7, 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 to progress.

Adrian Mannarino defeated Stan Wawrinka, the 2014 Australian Open champion, 6-4, 3-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-0. Djokovic, a 10-time winner, is now the lone Australian champion in the men’s tournament.

Andy Murray, a five-time Australian Open finalist, fell to Tomas Martin Etcheverry 6-4, 6-2, 6-2, and claimed it could be his last appearance in the season’s opening major.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Putin Says Russia Has No Intention Of Putting Nuclear Weapons In Space, Denying US Claims

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MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that Moscow has no plans to put nuclear weapons in space, asserting that the country has just acquired space capabilities equivalent to those of the United States.

Putin’s warning comes after the White House confirmed last week that Russia had received a “troubling” anti-satellite weapon capability, albeit such a weapon is not currently operational. White House national security spokesperson John Kirby stated that it would violate the international Outer Space Treaty but declined to comment on whether the weapon is nuclear-capable.

putin

Putin Says Russia Has No Intention Of Putting Nuclear Weapons In Space, Denying US Claims

The deployment of “nuclear weapons or other types of weapons of mass destruction” in orbit as well as the stationing of “weapons in outer space in any other manner” are both prohibited by the convention, which more than 130 nations have signed, including Russia. The White House stated that it would seek to engage the Russians directly on the issues.

“Our position is quite clear and transparent: we have always been and remain categorically opposed to the deployment of nuclear weapons in space,” Putin said in a statement. “Just the opposite, we are urging everyone to adhere to all the agreements that exist in this sphere.”

During a meeting with his defence minister, Sergei Shoigu, Putin stated that Russia has only achieved space capabilities that “other nations, including the United States, have.”

putin

Putin Says Russia Has No Intention Of Putting Nuclear Weapons In Space, Denying US Claims

“And they know it,” he added.

“We haven’t deployed any nuclear weapons in space or any elements of them to use against satellites or to create fields where satellites can’t work efficiently,” Shoigu said in an interview.

Shoigu claimed that the White House may have concocted assertions about a new Russian space capacity to pressure Congress to back Ukrainian aid and to convince Moscow to resume nuclear arms control talks, which Russia has postponed due to tensions with the U.S. over Ukraine.

putin

Putin Says Russia Has No Intention Of Putting Nuclear Weapons In Space, Denying US Claims

Putin did not rule out future discussions with the United States, but he restated his belief that Washington’s determination to Russia’s defeat in Ukraine makes them impossible at the moment.

“The U.S. and the West, for one thing, are calling for Russia’s strategic defeat, while, on the other hand, they would like to have a dialogue on strategic stability, pretending that those things aren’t connected,” Mr Putin said. “It won’t work.”

SOURCE – (AP)

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Popular Parent Blogger Ruby Franke Sentenced To Consecutive Prison Terms For 4 Counts Of Aggravated Child Abuse

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Ruby Franke, a mother and renowned web personality who pled guilty to four counts of aggravated child abuse last year, was sentenced to four consecutive sentences of one to fifteen years in a Utah jail on Tuesday.

“My charges are just,” Franke stated during the sentencing. “They offer safety to my family, accountability to the public, and they did show mercy to me.”

franke

Popular Parent Blogger Ruby Franke Sentenced To Consecutive Prison Terms For 4 Counts Of Aggravated Child Abuse

Franke, 42, had documented the mistreatment of her children on her now-defunct YouTube channel “8 Passengers.” She was arrested in August when her 12-year-old son fled and urged a neighbour to contact police.

Franke was initially charged with six counts but pled not guilty to two of them as part of a plea arrangement to testify against her business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, who was also charged with aggravated child abuse but reached a plea agreement, according to prosecutors.

franke

Popular Parent Blogger Ruby Franke Sentenced To Consecutive Prison Terms For 4 Counts Of Aggravated Child Abuse

According to court filings, the abuse included:

  • Depriving Franke’s children of food and drink.
  • Kicking her son while wearing boots.
  • Denying him oxygen.

According to court documents, Franke informed her children that the penalties were necessary to teach them obedience and repentance. It was also alleged that she “intentionally or knowingly inflicted and allowed another adult to inflict serious physical injuries.”

“For the past four years, I’ve chosen to follow counsel and guidance that has led me into a dark delusion,” Franke told CNN. “My distorted version of reality went largely unchecked as I would isolate from anyone who challenged me.”

franke

Popular Parent Blogger Ruby Franke Sentenced To Consecutive Prison Terms For 4 Counts Of Aggravated Child Abuse

Hildebrandt was sentenced on Tuesday and received the same terms. The judge stated they each have 30 days to submit an appeal.

“One of the reasons I didn’t go to trial…” “I didn’t want them to emotionally relive the experience, which would have been harmful to them,” Hildebrandt told the court. “My hope and prayer is that they will heal and move forward to have beautiful lives.”

SOURCE – (CNN)

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Welcome To The ‘Hotel California’ Case: The Trial Over Handwritten Lyrics To An Eagles Classic

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NEW YORK — In the mid-1970s, the Eagles worked on a mysterious new song.

Don Henley, with the help of band co-founder Glenn Frey, wrote down ideas on a lined yellow pad about “a dark desert highway” and “a lovely place” with a luxury surface and frightening undertones. And something on ice, like caviar, Taittinger, or pink champagne?

The hit “Hotel California” became one of rock’s most memorable. Nearly a half-century later, those scribbled pages of lyrics-in-the-making have become the focus of an unusual criminal prosecution, which begins Wednesday.

Glenn Horowitz, a rare book dealer, Craig Inciardi, a former Rock and Roll Hall of Fame curator, and Edward Kosinski, a memorabilia seller, are accused of conspiring to own and sell manuscripts for “Hotel California” and other Eagles classics without permission.

The three have pled not guilty, and their lawyers have stated that the men did not commit any crimes with the materials they obtained from a writer who had worked with the Eagles. However, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office claims the defendants conspired to conceal the documents’ disputed ownership, even knowing Henley claimed the pages were stolen.

Clashes over precious items are frequent, but criminal trials like these are uncommon. Many disagreements are addressed privately through lawsuits or agreements to return items.

“If you can avoid prosecution by handing over the thing, most people just hand it over,” said Travis McDade, a University of Illinois law professor who specialises in unusual document disputes.

Of course, the Eagle’s texts stand apart in other ways.

eagles

Welcome To The ‘Hotel California’ Case: The Trial Over Handwritten Lyrics To An Eagles Classic

The prosecutors’ primary witness is Henley, who is set to testify between Eagles tour stops. The non-jury trial could provide insight into the band’s creative process and life on the fast track to ’70s glory.

Over 80 pages of draft lyrics from the hit 1976 album “Hotel California” are at stake, including the words to the chart-topping, Grammy-winning title track. It boasts one of classic rock’s most recognisable riffs, best-known solos, and most oft-quoted — maybe overquoted — lines: “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”

Henley said the song is about “the dark underbelly of the American dream.”

It was streamed over 220 million times and received 136,000 radio airplay in the United States alone last year, according to entertainment data company Luminate. Over the years, the “Hotel California” album has sold 26 million copies nationwide, trailing only the Eagles’ greatest hits album and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

The pages also contain lyrics to songs like “Life in the Fast Lane” and “New Kid in Town.” Eagles manager Irving Azoff has described the manuscripts as “irreplaceable pieces of musical history.”

Horowitz, Inciardi, and Kosinski are accused of conspiracy to possess stolen property, among other offences.

They are not charged with actually stealing documents. Nor is anyone else, but prosecutors must still prove that the documents were taken. The defence claims that is not true.

Much is dependent on the Eagles’ connections with Ed Sanders, a writer who also co-founded the 1960s counterculture rock band the Fugs. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, he worked on an authorised Eagles biography, which was never published.

eagles

Welcome To The ‘Hotel California’ Case: The Trial Over Handwritten Lyrics To An Eagles Classic

Sanders is not charged in this case. He received a phone message requesting a comment.

He sold the pages to Horowitz, who then sold them to Inciardi and Kosinski.

Horowitz has handled large rare book and archive deals and has previously been involved in ownership disputes. One featured papers related to Margaret Mitchell, the author of “Gone With the Wind.” It was settled.

Inciardi worked on several notable exhibitions for Cleveland’s Rock Hall of Fame. Kosinski is a principal of Gotta Have It! Collectables, infamous for auctioning celebrities’ personal belongings, including Madonna’s latex underpants, which she unsuccessfully tried to prevent from being sold.

According to court documents filed by Kosinski’s lawyers, Henley informed a grand jury that he never delivered the lyrics to the biographer. However, defence attorneys have indicated they want to investigate Henley’s memory of the events.

“We believe that Mr. Henley voluntarily provided the lyrics to Mr. Sanders,” attorney Scott Edelman stated in court last week.

Sanders told Horowitz in 2005 that while working on the Eagles book, he was sent whatever papers he wanted from Henley’s residence in Malibu, California, according to the indictment.

Then, in 2012, Kosinski’s business auctioned off several pages. Henley’s lawyers came knocking. According to the indictment, Horowitz, Inciardi, and Sanders began bouncing around various accounts of the manuscripts’ provenance.

Sanders discovered the pages dumped in a backstage dressing area in one story. In others, he obtained them from a stage assistant or while collecting “a lot of material related to the Eagles from different people.” In another, he got them from Frey — an account that “would make this go away once and for all,” Horowitz said in 2017. Frey had died a year ago.

“He merely needs gentle handling and reassurance that he’s not going to the can,” Horowitz emailed Inciardi during a 2012 interaction about getting Sanders’ “‘explanation’ shaped into a communication” to auctioneers, the indictment states.

According to the indictment, Sanders offered or signed off on some of the various justifications, but what he said verbally is unclear. However, he appears to have disputed at least the dressing-room tale.

eagles

Welcome To The ‘Hotel California’ Case: The Trial Over Handwritten Lyrics To An Eagles Classic

Kosinski sent one explanation, approved by Sanders, to Henley’s counsel. According to the prosecution, Kosinski also told Sotheby’s auction company that the musician had “no claim” to the records and requested that possible bidders remain unaware of Henley’s objections.

Sotheby’s listed the song “Hotel California” lyrics in a 2016 auction but deleted them after learning of the ownership dispute. Sotheby’s is not charged in the case and has declined to comment.

According to court documents, Henley paid $8,500 for some draft lyrics from Gotta Have It! in 2012, when he began submitting police reports.

Henley’s defence counsel argues he hired starstruck prosecutors to take up his cause rather than pursuing a civil suit himself.

The DA’s office collaborated extensively with Henley’s legal team, and an investigator even wished for backstage passes to an Eagles concert — until a prosecutor declared it was “completely inappropriate,” according to Kosinki’s lawyers in court papers.

Prosecutors dismissed inquiries about their motivations as “a conspiracy theory rather than a legal defence.”

Last year, they stated in court documents, “It is the defendants, not the prosecutors, who are on trial.”

SOURCE – (AP)

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