Category Archives: Sports

Olympic star Nathan Baggaley found guilty of attempting to smuggle $150 MILLION of cocaine into Australia

Olympic star Nathan Baggaley found guilty of attempting to smuggle $150 MILLION of cocaine into Australia

Olympic silver medalist kayaker Nathan Baggaley and his younger brother Dru have been found guilty of taking part in a failed plot to import 650 kilograms of cocaine worth AU$ 200 million (US$ 152 million) into Australia.

Brisbane’s Supreme Court delivered its verdict on Thursday in the case of the brothers, who had pleaded not guilty but were ultimately convicted by a jury after a two-week trial.

The incident took place on July 31, 2018, when Dru Baggaley and boat driver Anthony Draper were arrested after a dramatic sea chase involving elements of Australia’s navy, air force and police.

According to the prosecution, Baggaley and Draper were attempting to collect 650 kilograms (1,430lbs) of cocaine from a foreign ship more than 360 kilometers (223 miles) off the coast of northern New South Wales when they were spotted by aerial surveillance.

Two hours after they picked up the cocaine, the two men were pursued by a Royal Australian Navy patrol boat that caught them with dozens of packages of the substance on board.

Footage taken by authorities from the air showed Baggaley and Draper being chased across the high seas and Dru dropping dozens of bundles overboard before they were eventually seized by Queensland water police.

Dru’s brother Nathan, a two-time silver medalist in kayaking, was not on the boat, but the prosecution alleged that he knew about the plot and had helped his brother buy the craft and outfit it with navigation and satellite equipment.

They pleaded not guilty. Nathan Baggaley, the kayaker, insisted his younger brother Dru had told him he was buying the boat for a whale-watching business.

And Dru Baggaley tried to prove he was innocent by saying he thought he was going to pick up packages of tobacco, not cocaine.
Also on rt.com Lock & ski: Olympic champ sent to jail after cops find cocaine & other drugs at his home following arrest for speeding at 127mph
Draper, the boat driver, was also charged in the failed smuggling plot, pleaded guilty this year and received a 13-year jail term.

However, his sentence was reduced to a non-parole period of four years and three months after he testified against the Baggaley brothers.

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Erling Haaland's agent lands in Barcelona with Man Utd and Chelsea to miss out on transfer

Erling Haaland's agent lands in Barcelona with Man Utd and Chelsea to miss out on transfer
Erling Haaland could be edging closer to a sensational summer switch to Barcelona with both his father and agent, Mino Raiola, landing in Spain on Thursday to meet with the club’s president Joan Laporta, according to reports. Haaland burst onto the scene in 2019 with some impressive displays for Red Bull Salzburg, particularly in the Champions League.
Just six months later and his £17million release clause was activated by Borussia Dortmund, after Manchester United pulled out of negotiations.

But the striker’s impressive form in his first year in Germany has seen all of Europe’s elite clubs stand up and take notice.

With Haaland’s release clause of £68million not being active until 2022, Dortmund know they will be able to get more for him this summer.

And there is expected to be a bidding war for his signature with the likes of Manchester City, United, Chelsea and Real Madrid all being linked with a move

But Barcelona may be about to beat their rivals to the punch with a meeting taking place today.

Spanish outlet Sport report that both Raiola and Haaland’s father, Alf-Inge Haaland, have flown into Barcelona for a meeting with Laporta.

It is suggested that Raiola’s good relationship with Laporta could help Barcelona in negotiations.

The meeting is said to be ongoing in what could be a bitter blow to other teams hoping to sign Haaland.

Although transfer expert Fabrizio Romano suggests that other clubs are still involved in the battle to sign the Norway international.

Haaland has scored 49 goals in as many games since joining Dortmund, breaking numerous records along the way.

He recently became the fastest and youngest player to reach the 20-goal mark in the Champions League.

The 20-year-old needed just 14 matches to break the record, previously held by Harry Kane or achieved the feat in 24 games.

And the recent victory over Sevilla saw Haaland achieve something not even Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi have managed in their careers.

It was the fourth successive Champions League match he’d scored two or more goals in, becoming the first player in the competitions history to do so.

Such has been his explosive form since joining Dortmund, it is expected that signing Haaland will take close to a world-record bid.

There has been suggestions that any club wanting to sign Haaland this summer will likely have to pay in excess of £150million.

Pique lifts lid on furious Barca dressing room reaction to Anfield capitulation

Gerard Pique has admitted that Barcelona’s dramatic 4-0 Champions League defeat to Liverpool[1] in 2019 was the worst loss of his career.

On an unforgettable night at Anfield, the Reds overturned a 3-0 first leg deficit to reach the final of the competition at the expense of the Catalan club.

Pique, who was at the heart of the Barca defence that night has revealed the anger he felt caused him to ‘throw things’ in the changing room afterwards.

Asked during an interview with Spanish TV3 program Nexes about the most significant defeat of his career, he answered: “Anfield.”

He added: “I’m not the kind of player who comes into the dressing room throwing things on the floor to express my anger, but because of the first-leg advantage, I did just that.”

Pique was left furious at Anfield
Pique was left furious at Anfield

Luis Suarez and a brace from Lionel Messi at the Nou Camp had given Barcelona[2] a commanding first leg lead in the semi-final, with Pique and his teammates perhaps already thinking that they had one foot in the final.

However, two goals each from Divok Origi and Gerogino Wijnaldum turned the tie on its head and sent Barca crashing out in humiliating circumstances.

Jurgen Klopp’s side went on to beat Tottenham[3] 2-0 in the final in Madrid to lift the trophy for the sixth time.

Georginio Wijnaldum helped inflict misery on Pique and Barcelona. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Georginio Wijnaldum helped inflict misery on Pique and Barcelona. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Despite winning the Champions League three times with Barca, Pique has also been a part of repeated humiliations with the club.

A year before the Liverpool defeat, they allowed Roma to overturn a 4-1 first leg scoreline to progress on away goals.

Last year, they suffered a devastating 8-2 defeat to eventual winners Bayern Munich and this year lost 4-1 to Paris Saint Germain at home in the first leg of their 5-2 aggregate last 16 exit.

Behind the scenes turmoil saw president Josep Maria Bartomeu resign earlier this season and elections leading to the return of Joan Laporta in the role.

Pique, 34, hinted at a future run for office at the club himself following his eventual retirement.

‘In these elections, I saw myself reflected,” he added. “I have a lot of information from Barca and I wanted to see how they did it.

“It was a worthy fight. And I hope that Laporta fulfills the mandate. But I do not know, I do not know if in the future I will be president. I feel that I am still a footballer.”

References

  1. ^ Liverpool (www.mirror.co.uk)
  2. ^ Barcelona (www.mirror.co.uk)
  3. ^ Tottenham (www.mirror.co.uk)

[email protected] (ibrahim mustapha)

Utah Jazz stars say they feared for lives in emergency landing

Utah Jazz stars say they feared for lives in emergency landing

Utah Jazz stars have spoken of their horror when the charter flight they were traveling on was forced into an emergency landing when an engine fire broke out after the aircraft hit a flock of birds.

Jazz players and staff were traveling from Salt Lake City to Memphis on Tuesday when the Delta Boeing 757 ran into the birds shortly after take off, causing the left engine to fail.

The pilot safely landed, and the team later took a different plane to Memphis – albeit without teammate Donovan Mitchell on board – where they recorded a 111-107 win against the Grizzlies on Wednesday night.

Also on rt.com Utah Jazz stars ‘shaken’ as battered plane is forced into emergency landing after bird strike and engine fire

Despite ending without physical injuries, the incident significantly shook up a number of the Jazz players and staff on board.

“It felt like there was an explosion,” Jazz point guard Mike Conley said after Wednesday’s game.

“We hit something big, the plane immediately started to bunce and tilted to the left, the people at the back saw flames, the people at the front didn’t know what was going on…

“It felt like the plane was breaking apart in midair. For five or 10 minutes, it felt like complete helplessness. We’re thankful it wasn’t as serious as it could have been, but it was scary.”

Fellow Jazz star Jordan Clarkson also discussed the team’s fears.

“It got to that point where we were all on the plane like, ‘This might be really the end,'” Clarkson said. “I mean, it was a crazy situation. I understand fully why Don didn’t come…

“A lot of us really came to a point… at least 30 seconds in that flight, everybody came to the point where it was like, ‘Man, it might be over for us.’ It’s sad to say that. I don’t play with death or anything like that.

“It’s just something that we’ve got to push through and come together and keep going, stay strong, support each other.

“How much time we’ve got to take off, or talking to our mental health people or whatever it is, that’s a serious situation if you’ve never been faced with life and death.”

Jazz coach Quin Snyder said the team had talked through the incident on Wednesday to help overcome any lingering psychological damage.

“Everybody’s impacted in different ways, all very significant,” he said.

“And it wasn’t something that we were going to solve by just talking through everything, but I think it was important to acknowledge what we all went through [Tuesday], and, really, that same feeling of gratitude and appreciation for the fragility that we all live with, sometimes without being aware of it.”

A number of players including Mitchell had shared their relief after the incident, posting a series of prayer emojis on social media.

Mitchell was said to have missed Wednesday’s game for “personal reasons”, although it’s unclear whether he will be affected for road games in the near future.

Photos of the plane after the emergency landing showed damage to the engine and nose, which appeared to smeared in blood from the birds it had collided with.

RT

'No one has the right to tell us to shut up' – Lewis Hamilton blasts anti-activism critics

'No one has the right to tell us to shut up' - Lewis Hamilton blasts anti-activism critics
Lewis Hamilton says no one has the right to silence his views anymore after admitting last year’s push for diversity and equality in the sport was one of the bravest things he’s ever done.
Hamilton, Formula One’s only black driver, led pre-race anti-racism demonstrations last year, taking a knee on the grid with t-shirts supporting the course which were worn by all drivers.

It came after the global outcry following the death of unarmed black man George Floyd at the hands of US police.

“I would argue that last year was the bravest,” Hamilton explained to Sky Sport F1’s Rachel Brookes.

“For one of the very few people of colour within our sport, to be able to voice out your feelings and be open about experiences you’ve had, not be sure of the criticism or backlash that might come from that if it’s interpreted that way.

“I’m sure you can empathise as a woman in a male dominated sport, I mean I can only imagine the challenges you have faced and you for sure, will have had to have been quiet when you’ve taken certain flack or whatever it might have been.

JUST IN:
Lewis Hamilton wrestles with ‘positive’ reason he ‘could quit’ F1

He continued: “It doesn’t come easy. I think naturally people probably work hard to make things maybe look, or they appear easier than they are.

“But with great difficulty, and I’ve got a great team around me, but I would say I’m a lot busier than any drivers’ ever been.

“And finding the right balance is probably the hardest thing. You never want to arrive and people say, oh the reason you didn’t perform is because you’re too distracted by all these other things, which is an easy cop out for people to attack you with.

“If you look at along the way, all of the different things I’ve done, when I was in New York doing a fashion show, and then I flew over, everyone – even Niki [Lauda] was like you can’t do that.

“And then I put in that qualifying lap which kind of breaks that mould and everyone was like actually, oh yes you can. It’s what I really think it’s about, breaking the mould.

“I care to do the job, I wouldn’t be able to do all of these other things if it wasn’t for racing.

“There’s so much I want to do, but it almost feels like there’s not enough time, even though there is time. But like everyone they want everything now.

“You’ve just got to plan it out and be patient.”

Hamilton, the only active F1 driver to be knighted, also explained how it feels to now be a Sir, after receiving the highest honour on the Queen’s New Year’s list last year.

“I think I’m weird. It’s the same thing as when I got home, and I think my dad told me we’d got a call from Ron Dennis asking to sponsor [me] at 13 and I just went up to my room to do my homework,” Hamilton laughed.

“I think it’s definitely overwhelming, if you really think about it, and then you forget about it and then I walk around and don’t remember that I’m a sir. I think it’s more from the outside what it looks like.”

And when asked what he’d like to see after his name, away from his Formula One achievements, he continued: “I don’t really know, I haven’t really thought about it.

“Maybe game changer or voice for equality or something like that.”

Scoring Opening Day Padres tickets is expensive, better deals to come

Scoring Opening Day Padres tickets is expensive, better deals to come

With the Padres expected to make another playoff run, more fans want to see games in person and the Padres are rewarding those willing to make a commitment.

SAN DIEGO — When you combine all the excitement surrounding the San Diego Padres this season with Petco Park’s limited red tier capacity of 20%, it’s no surprise to hear ticket agencies report our Opening Day prices are among the highest in all of baseball.

On Wednesday, News 8 spotted upper-level seats starting at $ 255 apiece on resale sights. That comes out to $ 656 for two tickets once you add the fees. 
“Average get-in price for an MLB game for Opening Day is around $ 200,” said Jeff Gurian with Gametime Tickets. “Padres are among the more expensive side.”
Jeff said it’s a bizarre year because teams are waiting as long as possible before releasing seats. They’re doing that with the hope the county they’re in drops into a less restrictive tier that will allow more fans inside. 
“If the tiers change, they can release more tickets and sell more and that might also change the seating configuration for how they socially distance fans,” he said. 
With the Padres expected to make another playoff run, more fans want to see games in person and the Padres are rewarding those willing to make a commitment.
“We’ve had a pretty significant increase in season ticket membership because it does get priority access as capacity increases,” said Padres CEO Erik Greupner. “So we’ve had a lot of new members who placed deposits to ensure that when we do increase capacity, they’re going to be able to come watch the Padres play.”
Because of that bump in season ticket sales, team officials doubt a significant amount of seats will be available to the general public until the county falls into the yellow tier. That will allow capacity to increase to 67%. But until then, prices are expected to be higher than normal and that leads to warning – with the Padres such a hot ticket, buyers need to be aware of scammers selling fake tickets. 
“Make sure you do your research,” Jeff said. “Buy from a trusted seller. I think the days of Craigslist and meeting someone on a street corner for tickets are over.”
And Jeff has another tip: Keep checking prices online, especially for games after Opening Day. News 8 found tickets on the resale market for games later in that same opening homestand have already dropped significantly including several for less than $ 40. 
“If you can wait, I would advise doing so. There are probably better deals to be had,” Jeff said.
And if you’re heading to a Padres game this season check out the tips below to make sure you know the latest rules at Petco Park:

Bag Policy

No bags will be permitted inside Petco Park except for medical and diaper bags that do not exceed 4.5 inches by 6.5 inches, such as small purses, clutches and fanny packs.

Outside Food/Drink

Outside Food and beverage is not permitted except for medical or infant needs. Guests are allowed to bring in one factory-sealed plastic bottled water that is clear and unflavored and does not exceed 32 ounces.

Tickets

No paper tickets will be issued this year. Fans will need to download the MLB Ballpark App. Tickets will be sent to the app and the barcode will be scanned as you enter. Under the red and orange tiers, the Padres say it is doubtful the team will be selling any single game tickets to the general public. Tickets will only go to season ticket holders. That should change in the yellow tier.

Concession Stands

Fans will no longer line-up at stands. Instead, ordering and paying for your food will be done through the MLB Ballpark App. You will receive a text when your order is ready for pickup. Currently, only beer can be delivered to your seat. This can be done through the app’s “beer me” tab.

Seating

Under the red tier, capacity inside the stadium is limited to 20%. Every other row has been blocked off and rows with seating have been sectioned off into pods of 2 to 6 seats.

Park at the Park

This area will be open, but socially distanced pods have been painted on the grass. Groups up to 6 people will be allowed in each pod.
WATCH: Tips so you don’t strike out when heading to Padres games this season 

Lee Collins dead: Yeovil Town captain dies aged 32

Lee Collins dead: Yeovil Town captain dies aged 32
National League side Yeovil Town have announced that their captain has sadly died aged 32. A club statement read: “All at Yeovil Town Football Club are mourning the loss of club captain Lee Collins.
“Lee sadly passed away yesterday and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

“We ask everyone to respect the family’s privacy at this time.

“The club will make no further comment at this time.

“Our game with Altrincham tomorrow has been postponed.”

Collins started his career at Wolves in 2007 but he did not make any appearances for the Molineux side.

He had temporary loan spells with Hereford and Port Vale before he decided to make Vale Park his permanent home.

After 120 appearances over a three-year spell the defender moved to Barnsley, Shrewsbury (on loan), Northampton, Mansfield and Forest Green Rovers before settling in Yeovil in 2019.

Collins was on the bench for the club’s 3-1 victory over Barnet last Saturday and was due to be in the squad which faces Altrincham tomorrow. That match has now been postponed.

Tributes have poured in for Collins, with a host of Football League clubs sending their thoughts and prayers.

Former club Northampton wrote: “Northampton Town Football Club are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former defender Lee Collins.

“32 year old Lee made 86 appearances for the club between February 2013 and June 2015, playing in the May 2013 play off semi finals against Cheltenham Town and the final against Bradford City at Wembley.

“His final game for the club came in April 2015 before he moved on to Mansfield Town.

“He followed that with spells at Forest Green Rovers and was club captain at Yeovil Town.

“Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are extended to Lee’s family and friends.”

Doncaster Rovers added: “Our thoughts are with Lee’s family and friends. Rest in peace, Lee Collins.”

Ian Holloway tweeted: “Absolutely awful news. My thoughts are with Lee’s family & friends and everyone at YTFC. Ollie x.”

Fergie's 10 biggest Man Utd transfer rejections including Ronaldinho and Hazard

Manchester United have had some of the biggest and best players to ever grace the game don their kit.

David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo[1] and Wayne Rooney are just some of the famous names to play at Old Trafford.

And at the helm was Sir Alex Ferguson – who sat in the dugout for 27 years and oversaw the most successful period for any English club in history.

Along with 13 Premier League[2] wins were a collection of FA Cups, League Cups and Champions League trophies.

Fergie’s prowess in the transfer market is well-documented but even the great Scotsman made mistakes.

Here are the 10 that got away.

1. Sergio Aguero

Sergio Aguero has gone on to become a legend at City
Sergio Aguero has gone on to become a legend at City

It is hard to remember a time when Aguero was not ripping apart defences for Manchester City[3] but a move to the red half of the city was on the cards in 2011.

The Argentine was making a name for himself as a teenager at Atletico Madrid as clubs registered an interest.

Ultimately, Ferguson decided £35m was too much to spend on a youngster unproven in the Premier League.

Just the 257 goals for City…

2. Eden Hazard

United were close to signing Eden Hazard
United were close to signing Eden Hazard

While at Lille, Hazard was one of the most sought-after players in the world but only the two Manchester clubs were in the running.

But in 2012, the mercurial Belgian announced to the world on Twitter[4] he was joining Chelsea[5] to leave Fergie stunned.

The Scotsman blamed agent fees – which he insisted rose to £6m – a price he was not willing to pay, and Wilfried Zaha signed instead.

3. Raphael Varane

Raphael Varane has been linked to United for many years
Raphael Varane has been linked to United for many years

The Real Madrid[6] defender has been linked with a move to United almost every summer since he was born but the closest he has ever come to finally donning the red shirt was in 2011.

When the Frenchman was at Lens, he was the talk of the town with United and Real Madrid keen – who Zinedine Zidane was a director for at the time.

“I hurtled down on the train from Euston to Lille to sign the young French defender Raphael Varane,” Ferguson wrote in his book Leading.

“David Gill was getting into the finer points of the contract with Lens when Zinedine Zidane got wind of this and somehow scooped him up for Real Madrid from under our noses.”

4. Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale has gone on to have a successful career
Gareth Bale has gone on to have a successful career

When the Welshman burst onto the scene at Southampton[7], not even he could have envisaged the career he would go to have.

But it could have been all so different had he chosen United over Tottenham[8], with former Saints boss George Burley meeting Sir Alex to discuss a transfer in a hotel.

The Red Devils did not stump up the funds, however, and were concerned with his defensive prowess.

5. Samir Nasri

Fergie met Samir Nasri in a secret location
Fergie met Samir Nasri in a secret location

The former France international had a colourful time in the Premier League with the likes of Arsenal[9], City and West Ham[10] but a move to United was on the cards.

Fergie met Nasri in a secret location in Paris while he was with the Gunners and the winger told BeIn Sports in 2015: “We met with Sir Alex in Paris, in a hidden place, out of sight, so as not to fuel the rumours.

“But there was one thing that was a problem; I was asked to go to war with Arsenal to be able to join. I could not see myself doing it, especially with Arsene Wenger.”

6. Aaron Ramsey

United and Arsenal tussled over Ramsey in 2008

Sir Alex admitted Ramsey was “the one that got away” in a debrief with some of the best coaches in the world in 2014.

Now at Juventus[11], the Welshman looks set to return to the Premier League just two years after leaving Arsenal.

The midfielder signed for the Gunners back in 2008 over United.

7. Arjen Robben

Arjen Robben has had a fine career with the likes of Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich
Arjen Robben has had a fine career with the likes of Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich

Chelsea fans remember Robben fondly for his short but sweet spell under Jose Mourinho before joining Real Madrid in 2007.

But the Dutchman has admitted he would have signed for United – had they offered him a contract.

“I had a very good conversation with him [Ferguson] over dinner in Manchester and we spoke about football and life,” Robben told FourFourTwo magazine.

“I also went and had a good look around the training ground and everything was good, but after I went back to PSV nothing happened.

8. Ronaldinho

Ronaldinho poses during his official presentation as new FC Barcelona ambassador
Ronaldinho signed for Barcelona over United

In an alternative reality, Ronaldinho would have donned the iconic No. 7 shirt instead of Ronaldo at United.

Paul Scholes revealed the Brazilian was a signature away from joining but opted for Barcelona[12] at the last moment, which paved the way for Ronaldo’s arrival from Sporting Lisbon weeks later.

He said: “We were all excited – Ronaldinho, what a player! I think he was coming from PSG at the time and we were all going to get to play with him and he’s going to bring something special.”

9. Alan Shearer

United tried to sign Alan Shearer on two occasions

It is one of the biggest ‘what ifs?’ in English football – what if Shearer joined United? – and the answer would have been likely terrifying for everyone else.

Ferguson tried to sign the striker on two occasions, failing both times, as he joined Blackburn and then Newcastle[13] instead.

“Of course I was tempted to join Manchester United[14], but I do not regret either decision,” he told The Sun.

10. Paul Gascoigne

Paul Gascoigne nearly signed for United under Sir Alex

When it comes to unbridled genius on the pitch, there are not many than Gazza – and Ferguson was desperate to sign the maverick in 1988.

“Can I go on holiday, knowing that I’ve signed you?” he asked him, and was given assurances that a deal was done.

But while enjoying some sunshine, Fergie would read that Gascoigne had gone back on their verbal agreement and signed for Tottenham instead for £2.2m – a record at the time.

The United boss was so aggrieved he sent the midfielder a letter him a “silly boy” while also lamenting him for “turning down the biggest club in the world.”

References

  1. ^ Cristiano Ronaldo (www.mirror.co.uk)
  2. ^ Premier League (www.mirror.co.uk)
  3. ^ Manchester City (www.mirror.co.uk)
  4. ^ Twitter (www.mirror.co.uk)
  5. ^ Chelsea (www.mirror.co.uk)
  6. ^ Real Madrid (www.mirror.co.uk)
  7. ^ Southampton (www.mirror.co.uk)
  8. ^ Tottenham (www.mirror.co.uk)
  9. ^ Arsenal (www.mirror.co.uk)
  10. ^ West Ham (www.mirror.co.uk)
  11. ^ Juventus (www.mirror.co.uk)
  12. ^ Barcelona (www.mirror.co.uk)
  13. ^ Newcastle (www.mirror.co.uk)
  14. ^ Manchester United (www.mirror.co.uk)

[email protected] (Callum Vurley)

Gang of knife-wielding thugs who targeted Arsenal duo Ozil & Kolasinac jailed for more than 100 YEARS

Gang of knife-wielding thugs who targeted Arsenal duo Ozil & Kolasinac jailed for more than 100 YEARS

A gang of thugs who terrorized London with a series of violent armed robberies, including holding ex-Arsenal star Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac at knifepoint, have been sentenced to serve more than 100 years in prison.

The eight-man gang frequently targeted wealthy areas of the English capital in a crime spree between April 2019 and July 2020, where they broke into homes or held up people in their cars where they would demand that victims hand over money, watches and other valuables. 
Also on rt.com New footage shows Arsenal star Kolasinac face down knife thug as 2nd man pleads guilty to attempted robbery (VIDEO)
The series of robberies caused international attention in late 2019 when one of the men who has since been sentenced, Jordan Northover, and another man attempted to rob defender Sead Kolasinac and his then Arsenal teammate Mesut Ozil of their watches which are understood to have been valued in the region of £200,000 ($ 275,000). 

Security footage of the incident released to the public showed the powerhouse Bosnian Kolasinac chase off the two thugs – despite Northover allegedly threatening to stab him in the chest. Video evidence showed that Kolasinac didn’t even flinch as Northover prodded in the direction of the player’s neck with a 12-inch long sharp pointed instrument. 

Kolasinac has since joined German outfit Schalke on loan, while Ozil ended his Arsenal career to join Turkish side Fenerbahce.

Northover subsequently pleaded guilty to the attempted armed robbery and was jailed for a total of 18 years for this and other violent incidents. 

In total, Northover and the others involved in the spree committed around 20 violent offences including one particularly grisly one they broke into the bedroom of an 80-year-old woman before threatening her and demanding to know where her safe – which she didn’t have – was, reports The Sun. 

Other violent robberies involved crowbars, knives and even a gun.

The mob were finally brought to justice last summer after attempting to rob undercover police officers who had tracked them following another burglary in the London borough of Barnet. 

The sentence handed down to the eight men from Harrow Crown Court added up to a cumulative total of more than 100 years behind bars for the gang. 
Also on rt.com Arsenal held ‘big discussion about London gang threat’ after Ozil & Kolasinac knife attack
The way this gang targeted their victims and threatened them with weapons during their crime spree was truly shocking and abhorrent,” said Detective Sergeant Gary Taylor of the Flying Squad The impact these heinous crimes have had on the victims cannot be understated.

These defendants wrongly thought they wouldn’t be caught. However, Flying Squad officers were able to close the net on these robbers and bring them into custody after a proactive surveillance operation.

I would like to praise the victims for supporting this prosecution, and I hope these convictions will go some way to giving them some comfort. Across London, officers are working hard to keep the public safe by identifying people involved in serious violence and bringing them to justice.

RT

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RT.com

All the buzz around Petco Park for Padres Opening Day

All the buzz around Petco Park for Padres Opening Day

Bars, restaurants and Padre fans are on deck and ready for Opening Day on Thursday

SAN DIEGO — Padres fans have so much to look forward to this season. There’s a lot of excitement not just around the team but the return of fans.
“It’s great we are back to baseball. We’ve been waiting so long for baseball to be back. We are ready,” said Jeff Christensen, baseball fan.
He, Mick Scrivener and friends were on deck at Social Tap San Diego on Wednesday which overlooks the former Park in the Park now called Gallagher Square.
“This has been a long time coming, we’re super excited to get back to work and open up and have guests back,” said Brant Crenshaw, Social Tap San Diego co-owner.
Wednesday was the first day for Social Tap to open since closing in January for reconstruction during the pandemic.
On game day, it’s the place to meet up for fans with or without tickets. Checking in early to get on the list to be seated is encouraged. 
“Everyone wants to get into the stadium and this year I know it will be different,” said Crenshaw.
Many things are different this year inside Petco Park. First, San Diego is in the red tier so that limits stadium capacity to 20% which is 8,489 seats. Most of the tickets will go to long-standing season ticket holders.
Although Scrivener has had season tickets since 2004, he was not able to get Opening Day tickets but will be going to a game next week.
“It took a while, it wasn’t the easiest process in the world, I’m not going to lie,” said Scrivener.
RELATED: Tips so you don’t strike out when heading to Padres games this season
The Padres are on fire this year. Ticket agencies say Padres ticket prices are one of the highest for opening day in all of baseball. Last week, nosebleeds were going for $ 1,4000 on StubHub, a partner with Major League Baseball. On Thursday, prices went down to an average $ 212, but that was before fees.
Padres encourage fans to watch out for scammers.
Once you’ve purchased your ticket you won’t need to print it but download the MLB Ballpark app for ticketless entry.
“We have the app, we are set. The technology these days is going to be easy, we have no worries,” said Scrivener.
Once inside Petco Park, rows will be blocked off and seats will be grouped in pods. You won’t line up at concession stands but order your food and drink from the app.
Fans say they’re up to bat for the new rules.
“I don’t think we are look at the restrictions as a problem, we just want to be back and watching baseball,” said Christensen.
Padres play the Diamondbacks on Opening Day weekend. The first pitch is Thursday at 1:10 p.m.
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