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WWE Superstar Windham Rotunda AKA Bray Wyatt Dead at 36

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WWE Superstar Windham Rotunda AKA Bray Wyatt Dead at 36

WWE superstar Bray Wyatt died Thursday at the age of 36. He was recognised for being one of the most creative brains in professional wrestling, pushing the boundaries with inventive identities.

Wyatt, whose true name was Windham Rotunda, had been out of the WWE for some months due to an unexplained health issue.

According to ESPN, Bray had been with WWE since 2009, with the exception of a year in 2021 and 2022 when he was unexpectedly released. Rotunda made a triumphant comeback to WWE last September, with great anticipation and a complex storyline that included cryptic vignettes that helped improve television ratings.

Rotunda was born into a wrestling family. Mike Wallstreet, his father, rose to prominence in WWE as Irwin R. Schyster, as well as in other promotions under his real name.

 

Former WWE champion Bray Wyatt dies

Rotunda’s uncle, Barry Windham, was a well-known wrestler in the 1980s and early 1990s and a member of the legendary Four Horsemen stable. Taylor Rotunda, Rotunda’s brother, also wrestles for WWE under the ring name Bo Dallas.

Windham Rotunda was married to JoJo Offerman, a former WWE ring announcer. They had two kids, and Rotunda had two more from a previous marriage. He was a two-time WWE Universal champion as well as a previous WWE champion.

Rotunda remade himself as the spooky figure The Fiend in 2019, using a horrific clown mask from a horror film. Bray Wyatt appeared in kid-friendly skits called Firefly Funhouse, but his dark alter ego, The Fiend, wrestled in his place.

Former WWE champion Bray Wyatt dies

These were intricate, imaginative ideas that Rotunda aka Bray Wyatt came up with for the most part on his own.

The Fiend was a divisive character owing to its near invulnerability in the ring, but it was a bold move and one of the most intriguing things on WWE television at the time.

Rotunda returned to WWE last year as the former Bray Wyatt, a good-guy figure who was reportedly hounded by demons such as The Fiend and Uncle Howdy. When Rotunda went missing from television in February owing to health difficulties, the tale was still evolving.

“Always had tremendous respect and love for him and the Rotunda family,” Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson wrote Thursday on X. “Loved his presence, promos, in ring work and connection with the WWE universe. Very unique, cool and rare character, which is hard to create in our crazy world of pro wrestling.”

WWE chief content officer Paul “Triple H” Levesque wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Our thoughts are with his family and we ask that everyone respect their privacy at this time.”

WWE Apologizes For Using Auschwitz Image In Preview Show

WWE Apologizes For Using Auschwitz Image In Preview Show

 

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Soccer Star Dani Alves Found Guilty Of Rape, Sentenced To Four And A Half Years In Prison

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Barcelona, Spain – Dani Alves, one of his generation’s most accomplished soccer players, was convicted of raping a woman in a Barcelona nightclub and sentenced to four years and six months in prison on Thursday.

The former Brazil and Barcelona right back was convicted in Spain under a new sexual liberty law that emphasizes the victim’s lack of agreement as the most important factor in assessing sex offences.

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Soccer Star Dani Alves was Guilty Of Rape, Sentenced To Four And A Half Years In Prison

A three-judge bench at the Barcelona Provincial Court convicted Alves, 40, of sexual assault for the event on December 31, 2022.

The court ordered Alves to pay the victim 150,000 euros ($162,000) in compensation and refrain from entering her home or workplace and communicating with her in any way for the next nine years.

“I still believe Mr. Alves is innocent,” Alves’ lawyer, Inés Guardiola, said. “I need to study the ruling, but I can tell you that of course we will appeal.”

Guardiola stated that Alves was “calm and collected” when he heard the verdict in court.

“We are satisfied,” David Sáenz, a member of the victim’s legal team, said, “because this verdict acknowledges what we have always known, that the victim told the truth and suffered.”

On Wednesday, Ester García, the victim’s lawyer, stated that she and her client would not be present for the verdict.

On the morning of December 31, 2022, the victim claimed Alves raped her at a Barcelona nightclub’s toilet. The court determined that the victim did not consent to sex and that, in addition to the defendant’s testimony, she was raped.

During his three-day trial last month, Alves denied raping the woman, telling the court, “I am not that kind of man.”

State prosecutors sought a nine-year prison sentence for Alves, while his accuser’s lawyers sought twelve years. His defence requested for his acquittal or, if found guilty, a one-year term and 50,000 euros in compensation for the victim.

The penalty of four years and six months is close to the minimum punishment for a rape conviction under Spanish law, which ranged from four to twelve years at the time of the incident. That has recently been changed to six to twelve years. In its punishment, the court stated that it favoured Alves since he had “before the trial paid the court 150,000 euros to be given to the victim without any conditions attached.”

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Soccer Star Dani Alves was Guilty Of Rape, Sentenced To Four And A Half Years In Prison

Sáenz stated that his legal team disagreed with the application of the extenuating situation, claiming that the money did not compensate for the harm done to their client. During the trial, medical experts testified that she had experienced post-traumatic stress.

“Clearly (it does not compensate), but that is what the court decided,” Sáenz told the court. “We have to examine the sentence to see if its contents are adequate for his acts.”

The state prosecutor’s office said it will review the verdict and decide whether to appeal.

Spain’s Deputy Prime Minister Yolanda Díaz expressed hope that the verdict “serves as an exemplary measure for all sexist behaviours that women suffer in all areas of our lives.”

The Alves case was the first high-profile sex crime after Spain revised its rules in 2022 to make consent key to defining a sex crime in response to a surge in protests following a gang rape case at the San Fermin bull-running festival in Pamplona in 2016.

The legislation, known as the “only yes means yes” law, defines permission as an unequivocal declaration of a person’s choice, emphasizing that silence or inactivity do not constitute consent. The statute, however, initially resulted in decreased terms for hundreds of sex offenders since it established lower minimum penalties, such as the one imposed on Alves, before being amended.

Irene Montero, the former equality minister who championed the “only yes means yes” statute, praised the decision.

“The sentence against Dani Alves plainly indicates that he committed sexual assault without the victim’s consent. It is the result of the feminist fight for sexual liberation and putting consent first,” she wrote on X, which was once Twitter.

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Soccer Star Dani Alves was Guilty Of Rape, Sentenced To Four And A Half Years In Prison

Guardiola’s defence during the trial was based on the film from nightclub security cameras, which she claimed showed the lady dancing “with sexualized movements” that “showed her interest” in Alves before the alleged attack.

García, the victim’s lawyer, stated at the end of the trial that the new statute rendered her client’s previous behaviour with Alves meaningless.

“I don’t care (how she was dancing); when she said ‘No’, she meant ‘No.’ “That is why the law was changed,” García explained. “The debate is no longer whether the victim put up resistance.”

Alves has been in jail since January 20, 2023. His bail requests were denied because the judge considered him a flight risk. Brazil does not extradite its citizens, who are condemned in other countries.

The woman told state authorities that she danced with Alves and willingly entered the nightclub bathroom, but when she wanted to leave, he refused to allow her. She claimed he slapped her, humiliated her, and forced her to engage in sexual encounters against her will.

A police officer who testified at the trial stated that the victim had to overcome her concern that “nobody would believe her” before formally accusing Alves. Another officer reported that the woman told him, “I don’t want money, I want justice.”

Alves changed his defence during the investigation while in detention, initially denying any sexual contact with her before confessing to consensual sexual intercourse. He claimed that not admitting to the encounter initially was an attempt to save his marriage.

During the trial, his defence concentrated on proving that Alves was drunk when he met the woman. However, the court did not consider this an extenuating circumstance in its ruling.

His conviction shatters Alves’ reputation as one of soccer’s greatest players.

Alves won titles with top clubs, including Barcelona, Juventus, and Paris Saint-Germain. He also helped Brazil win two Copa Americas and an Olympic gold medal at 38. He competed in his third World Cup, the only major trophy he has not won, in 2022. He played for Barcelona from 2008 until 2016, helping the club win three Champions and six Spanish titles, before briefly returning in 2022. He still has a home near the city.

He was detained while with the Mexican team Pumas. Pumas terminated his contract immediately.

Three days after his arrest, Alves was transported to the Brians 2 prison, located approximately 45 minutes northwest of Barcelona, for safety reasons. He has remained there ever since.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Record Point Total In Controversial NBA All-Star Game As The East Defeats The West, 211-186

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The Eastern Conference won the All-Star Game for the first time since 2014, defeating the Western Conference 211-186 on Sunday in its annual showcase of its best players.

The rosters included top players including LeBron James, Steph Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokić, and Kevin Durant.

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Record Point Total In Controversial NBA All-Star Game As The East Defeats The West, 211-186

According to the NBA, the scoring spree smashed numerous records. The East scored the most points ever, exceeding the 196 that the Western All-Stars scored in 2016, and the overall total of 397 surpassed the previous record of 374 set in 2017. The Eastern All-Stars also made a stunning 42 three-pointers, breaking the previous record of 35 established in 2019.

“Everybody was asking what the record was,” Milwaukee Bucks guard Damian Lillard said. “We found out and went after it.”

This year’s All-Star Game also featured the return of the original East vs. West format. From 2018 to 2023, team captains (the two players with the most fan votes in each conference) selected players from an All-Star pool, regardless of team or conference.

Lillard led the East with 39 points, capping off a hugely successful weekend by being awarded All-Star Game MVP after defending his Three-Point Contest championship earlier on Sunday. Some of his shots during the showcase game came from far beyond the arc.

“Kawhi Leonard and I were impressed with his ability to shoot from the halfcourt line as if it were a free throw. “Strength, power, muscle memory,” said 14-time All-Star Kevin Durant.

Karl-Anthony Towns, a Minnesota Timberwolves big man coming off the bench for the West, led all scorers with 50 points in under 28 minutes. Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, a regular season MVP candidate, scored 31 points to power the West.

Despite the broken records and attacking masterclasses, many fans and analysts chastised Sunday’s game for its apparent lack of competition.

Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics scored 36 points, while Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton, playing in his home court, scored 32.

NBA

Record Point Total In Controversial NBA All-Star Game As The East Defeats The West, 211-186

Defence has always been regarded as optional in midseason exhibition games, with players preferring to put on a show for the spectators with spectacular highlights while playing with less energy to avoid injury.

The All-Star Game is primarily a showcase, but the high point totals and sluggish defensive attempts have begun to irritate fans.

With the East’s advantage expanding in the second and third quarters and little to no defence performed on either end, the game was out of reach for the West early on, resulting in a lack of suspense down the stretch.

The popular Elam Ending, which ends a game when one team hits a target score in an untimed fourth quarter, was also removed with the return to the conference structure.

Mychal Thompson, the father of Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson, called the event a “farce,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver appeared frustrated after the final buzzer.

“To the Eastern Conference All-Stars: You had the most points. “Well, congratulations,” he remarked on-court after the game.

Even the players had worries about the game.

“I hope the All-Star Game returns to what fans want to watch over time. “I guess guys are trying to figuNBAre out how to play hard while also staying safe,” Brown remarked after the game.

Record Point Total In Controversial NBA All-Star Game As The East Defeats The West, 211-186

Durant argued that the lopsided scoreline was due to the game’s high-powered offence.

“The shot-making from the East was incredible,” he said. “Hard to play defence when somebody’s shooting 30-, 40-footers over you.”

Finding a way to revive interest and inject some energy into this NBA season mainstay will be a struggle for Silver in the coming years as the league strives to balance crowd-pleasing on-court antics and competitive spirit.

SOURCE – (CNN)_

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Stephen Curry Tops Sabrina Ionescu In 3-Point Shootout At All-Star Weekend

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Stephen Curry was on a roll in Indianapolis, but it wasn’t enough to beat Sabrina Ionescu.

And, fittingly, he won by three.

The Golden State star and NBA’s all-time 3-point champion defeated Ionescu 29-26 in the Steph vs. Sabrina battle at All-Star Saturday night, the league’s first him-versus.-her matchup.

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Stephen Curry Tops Sabrina Ionescu In 3-Point Shootout At All-Star Weekend

“For us to deliver a show like that, it was perfect,” Curry said. “As much excitement as you can generate in that short period of time with two outstanding shooters going at it. This is something we will cherish for a long time.”

Ionescu won the WNBA’s 3-point shootout at All-Star weekend last year with a record of 37 points, breaking Curry’s NBA shootout record of 31. A challenge was issued from there, and a plan was devised for them to meet over All-Star weekend.

So they did, and it seemed like the main event of the evening.

“Hopefully, this isn’t the last time we do this,” Ionescu remarked.

Given how much the fans — and everyone in the NBA and WNBA — seemed to enjoy it, it’s unlikely to be the last time, especially since Curry and Ionescu discussed adding partners to the mix next year when All-Star weekend happens to be in San Francisco, where he plays, and she lives.

Curry received a championship belt with images of goats—as in, GOATs—on either side.

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Stephen Curry Tops Sabrina Ionescu In 3-Point Shootout At All-Star Weekend

He is, without a doubt, the greatest shooter of all time. But Ionescu, the New York Liberty star, nearly overwhelmed him.

Ionescu took the first shot and made 18 of 27—starting 7 for 7. Some were worth one point, some worth two, for 26 points.

She shot from the NBA 3-point line, which is often 12 to 18 inches farther away from the hoop than the WNBA line, depending on the area of the court. Ionescu used a WNBA ball, which was smaller than Curry’s NBA ball.

Curry had to rally at the end, making nine of his last ten to seal the victory.

They combined to shoot 39 for 54 (72%) in a contest featuring unusual components, such as a lime-green glass floor in a football stadium with the world watching.

“This was so authentic for the both of us to be able to be here, finally not in a closed gym, shooting in front of everyone watching and understanding what it means for ourselves but also the bigger picture,” said Ionescu, who previously defeated Curry in an H-O-R-S-E competition without millions of people watching on television. “This is exactly where I wanted to be. It has altered the landscape of how people perceive what we are doing.”

There is no rivalry between the two, even though Curry heckled Ionescu during her rehearsal shooting session on Friday. He was booing her as she was shooting.

“Trying to apply some pressure, for sure,” Curry added.

curry

Stephen Curry Tops Sabrina Ionescu In 3-Point Shootout At All-Star Weekend

He has inspired Ionescu for more than half of her life. Ionescu’s family held season tickets to the Warriors games. He once gave her a high-five in the tunnel connecting the locker room to the court. She used a photo of him as her screensaver.

Years later, when Ionescu was shining in Oregon, she was the one who high-fived Curry’s daughters, who adored her. And on Saturday, Ionescu said the experience of simply being a part of something so unique on the All-Star stage taught her a valuable lesson.

“To just keep believing in myself,” she stated. “You know, ten years ago, I would have never imagined this was conceivable. And so being able to be up here is a blessing and an opportunity to even be in the same conversation with Steph and to see how much he respects me as a player, a basketball player, and a person for wanting to come out here and do this.”

The competition garnered funds for both of their causes, and Curry won the belt at the end – but they were both pleased.

“I don’t know what’s going to come out of it, but Sabrina and I talked about how cool of an opportunity it is to do something that’s never been done before in our game,” Curry said. “Her presence on this stage will greatly inspire the next generation of young boys and girls who want to compete and see themselves in either of us.” Wherever it goes from there, we know we can establish ourselves as doing something truly unique.”

SIYRCE – (AP)

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