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Pussy Riot World Cup protesters get 15-day jail term, 3-year ban from sporting events

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By KT

Ian MacNicol/Getty Images(MOSCOW) — Four members of the anti-Vladimir Putin, anti-Donald Trump group Pussy Riot were sentenced to 15 days in jail for participating in a dramatic on-field protest during the World Cup final at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Sunday.

Veronika Nikulshina, Olga Kuracheva, Olga Pakhtusova and Petya Verzilov also have been banned from attending sporting events for three years, according the group’s representative, who confirmed the sentences to ABC News on Monday. The group also shared information about each of their member’s sentences in a series of tweets.

The Russian punk rock band and arts collective claimed responsibility for the on-field protest during the World Cup 2018 final between France and Croatia.

The four members ran onto the field early in the second half dressed as policemen, calling for the release of political prisoners in front of millions tuned in to the final match — including Putin.

According to a statement obtained by ABC News from Russian police, the Pussy Riot protesters who stormed the field were charged with administrative offenses — violating the rules of conduct for spectators during the holding of official sporting events and also wearing a police uniform without authorization.

In a post published on the group’s official Facebook page, the members claimed responsibility for the protest, explained the significance behind the police imagery and included a list of demands.

“Today is 11 years since the death of the great Russian poet, Dmitriy Prigov. Prigov created an image of a policeman, a carrier of the heavenly nationhood, in the russian culture,” the group wrote. “…The heavenly policeman rises as an example of the nationhood, the earthly policeman hurts everyone…The FIFA World Cup has reminded us of the possibilities of the heavenly policeman in the Great Russia of the future, but the earthly policeman, entering the ruleless game breaks our world apart.”

In their Facebook post on Sunday, the groups demands included letting “all political prisoners free,” “all political competition in the country,” and to “stop illegal arrests on rallies.”

Pussy Riot has been fiercely critical of Putin’s government. The group was launched into the international spotlight in 2012 when three of its original members were charged with hooliganism and sentenced to two years in prison for performing the anti-Putin protest song “Punk Prayer” at a Moscow cathedral.

Yekaterina Samutsevich’s sentence was suspended on appeal, but Nadya Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina remained in prison until December 2013.

After their release, the activists founded an independent media outlet that advocates for political prisoners and have continued to speak out against Putin and other leaders, including Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May.

“We’ve seen the authoritarian tendencies is parading all around the world as sexually transmitted diseases, and we think it’s time to make connection,” Tolokonnikova told CNN in August 2017. “It’s time to create global people’s movement if we want to find an alternative to this raid of populism, which we’ve seen in my own country, Russia and in America too, Donald Trump, and in the UK, which ended up in Brexit.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Scoreboard roundup -- 7/15/18

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By BM

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from yesterday’s sports events:

INTERLEAGUE
Final Colorado 4 Seattle 3
Final Oakland 6 San Francisco 2
Final L-A Dodgers 5 L-A Angels 3

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Final Baltimore 6 Texas 5
Final Boston 5 Toronto 2
Final Cleveland 5 N-Y Yankees 2
Final Detroit 6 Houston 3
Final Minnesota 11 Tampa Bay 7, 10 Innings
Final Chi White Sox 10 Kansas City 1

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Final Washington 6 N-Y Mets 1
Final Miami 10 Philadelphia 5
Final Atlanta 5 Arizona 1
Final Pittsburgh 7 Milwaukee 6, 10 Innings
Final St. Louis 6 Cincinnati 4
Final Chi Cubs 7 San Diego 4

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Pussy Riot claims responsibility for dramatic on-field protest during World Cup 2018 final

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By LL

VI Images via Getty Images(MOSCOW) — Pussy Riot claimed responsibility Sunday for an on-field protest during the World Cup 2018 final game between France and Croatia, a dramatic display of dissent that called for the release of political prisoners and advocating for freedom of speech.

Four members of the Russian punk rock band and arts collective ran onto the field early in the second half, dressed as policemen, and pitched a protest in front of millions of viewers who were tuned in to the final match, which was also attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The protest also comes a day ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump’s high-stakes summit with Putin in Helsinki.

“They’re held at the police station ‘luzhniki’ and the lawyer Nikolay Vasilyev from Agora is there. But the cops don’t let him in,” a representative of the group told ABC News in an email Sunday afternoon.

The message was relayed from Pussy Riot member Nadezhda “Nadya” Tolokonnikova, who was imprisoned in 2013 for protesting Putin’s policies, but was not one of the four members who staged the protest on the field.

According to Tolokonnikova, who cited a Russian police website, “They’re charged with 2 misdemeanor cases.”

According to a statement obtained by ABC News from Russian police, members who ran to the pitch are charged with administrative offenses —- violating rules of conduct for spectators during the holding of official sporting events and also wearing a police uniform without authorization.

In a post published on the group’s official Facebook page, the members claimed responsibility for the protest, explained the significance behind the policeman imagery and included a list of demands.

“Today is 11 years since the death of the great Russian poet, Dmitriy Prigov. Prigov created an image of a policeman, a carrier of the heavenly nationhood, in the russian culture,” the group wrote. “…The heavenly policeman rises as an example of the nationhood, the earthly policeman hurts everyone…The FIFA World Cup has reminded us of the possibilities of the heavenly policeman in the Great Russia of the future, but the earthly policeman, entering the ruleless game breaks our world apart.”

In their Facebook post on Sunday, the group called for letting “all political prisoners free,” “all political competition in the country,” and to “stop illegal arrests on rallies,” among other demands.

In 2012, three of the group’s original members were charged with hooliganism and sentenced to two years in prison for performing the anti-Putin protest song “Punk Prayer” at a Moscow cathedral.

Yekaterina Samutsevich’s sentence was suspended on appeal but Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina remained in prison until December 2013.

After their release, the activists founded an independent media outlet that advocates for political prisoners and have continued to speak out against Putin and other leaders, including Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May.

“We’ve seen the authoritarian tendencies is parading all around the world as sexually transmitted diseases, and we think it’s time to make connection,” Tolokonnikova told CNN in August 2017. “It’s time to create global people’s movement if we want to find an alternative to this raid of populism, which we’ve seen in my own country, Russia and in America too, Donald Trump, and in the UK, which ended up in Brexit.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: Sports News

      

Serena Williams loses Wimbledon final, 10 months after having baby

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By SL

Clive Mason/Getty Images(LONDON) — Less than a year after having a baby, Serena Williams fell just short of winning Wimbledon.

The tennis star lost the championship Saturday in a stunning two-set match to Angelique Kerber.

Kerber, who was ranked No. 11, beat Williams 6-3, 6-3 at the final at the All England Club in Wimbledon, London. Williams was vying for an eighth career Wimbledon title, after missing the Grand Slam tennis tournament last year while pregnant.

“I was really happy to get this far,” a visibly emotional Williams said in a post-match interview. “For all the moms out there, I was playing for you today and I tried, but Angelique played really well.”

Williams struck the ball into the net during the final point, and Kerber fell on the grass court in a show of victory. The two hugged from across the net after the game.

It’s Kerber’s first Wimbledon title and third Grand Slam title in her tennis career.

Williams, 36, had last faced Kerber, 30, in the 2016 Wimbledon final, where she was victorious.

“You’re such an inspiration for everybody,” Kerber said to Williams during her post-match interview Saturday. “Congrats again for coming back.”

It was Williams’ 10th final at the All England Club. A win would have tied her with Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam titles.

Williams was ranked No. 1 in the world when she took her maternity leave before welcoming a daughter in September with her then-fiance, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. The couple wed in an intimate ceremony in New Orleans three months later.

She was ranked No. 183 after returning to the pro tour in March.

“Unfortunately, in the ’90s, they changed the rule whereas if you were injured — then you come back, you lose your seeding,” Williams told ABC News’ Good Morning America during an interview last month in New York City.

“But they never took into account women that left No. 1” due to pregnancy, she added. “And left not for an injury, but to have a great life and not give up tennis, but to come back.”

Williams played unseeded at the French Open in Paris this May, eventually pulling out of the Grand Slam tournament in the fourth round due to an injury.

She was seeded No. 25 in Wimbledon this year after the All England Club amended the rules and ranked her in the tournament, instead of following the ranking list that doesn’t take into account players going on maternity leave.

Speaking to reporters after Saturday’s match, Williams again praised her opponent’s game, saying Kerber played “unbelievable.” She also explained that she was unsure “how I would be able to come back” after taking time off to be a new mom, and that making it to the Wimbledon final was a “great opportunity.”

“It was such a long way to see light at the end of the road,” Williams said.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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314 days after becoming a mother, Serena Williams is headed to Wimbledon finals

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By TJH

ABC News(LONDON) — Three hundred and fourteen days after becoming a mother, tennis champion Serena Williams earned her spot in the finals at Wimbledon.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion beat out German player, No. 13 seed Julia Goerges, Thursday in a 6-2, 6-4 victory to advance to the women’s final.

This will be Williams’ 10th final at the All England Club, according to Wimbledon, putting her in position to tie Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam titles.

In Saturday’s final, Williams, 36, will compete against another German player, No. 11 seed Angelique Kerber, herself a two-time Grand Slam champion. The two faced-off in the 2016 finals, where Williams was victorious.

Williams was ranked 25th in this year’s tournament after giving birth to a baby daughter in September. The All England Club amended the rules and seeded her, instead of following the ranking list that doesn’t take into account players’ taking a break for maternity leave. She was ranked No. 1 when she took her maternity leave and was ranked 183rd in the world after returning to the tour in March.

The tennis champion and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, welcomed a daughter named Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. Three months later, Williams and Ohanian, 35, wed in an intimate New Orleans ceremony.

Ahead of the tournament in London, Williams told Good Morning America that her body had changed after the baby.

“It wasn’t as tight as I was used to,” she said last month. “I’ve played tennis for over 30 years, so I’m so used to [being] incredibly fit. But I realized everyone is different.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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