Tag Archives: meet

Dustin Poirier inks deal to meet UFC knockout victim

A third fight between top-ranked UFC lightweights Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier appeared to move a step closer on Friday amid reports that Poirier has signed his bout agreement for what promises to be a telling rubber match.

According to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, Poirier has signed his contract for the second sequel in their seven-year long rivalry for a bout expected to take place at UFC 264 on July 10.

That will come just months after their second meeting in January, when Louisiana’s Poirier became the first man to defeat McGregor by strikes in either mixed martial arts or the Irishman’s sole professional boxing match, which came against Floyd Mayweather in August 2017.

McGregor has yet to sign his contract but sources close to the matter state that he has all but agreed to do so, after he almost immediately indicated his interest in a third fight following his defeat at UFC 257.

The Dubliner was victorious in their first fight in 2014, besting Poirier by first-round TKO in a featherweight contest.

There is little indication yet as to where the fight might take place, though it appears likely that it will be housed in a venue which will allow fans to attend.

The UFC has recently announced the reintroduction of fan attendance at upcoming events in Jacksonville, Florida and Houston, Texas.

The fight is expected to be among the most lucrative in UFC history, with Poirier chasing McGregor instead of an opportunity to win the vacant UFC lightweight world title – with his spot in that fight going to Michael Chandler, who will face the surging Charles Oliveira later this year.

The winner of McGregor vs. Poirier III will almost certainly be thrust into contention to face the winner of the Chandler-Oliveira bout.

The UFC has yet to officially announce the bout but further word is expected once McGregor and the UFC agree on terms. Promotion president Dana White had confirmed at a recent press conference that talks were underway.

Also on rt.com UFC boss White says Dustin Poirier has been ‘smart’ to turn down world title bout in favor of trilogy fight with Conor McGregor

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Khabib launches digital NFT cards as fans joke McGregor will buy ‘diamond’ version to FINALLY get chance to meet nemesis again

Retired UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has become the latest superstar from the world of sports to join the NFT revolution, announcing the release of a unique set of digital cards.

NFTs – non-fungible tokens – are becoming all the rage among the sporting elite and Khabib has become the latest name to jump on the bandwagon.

The tokens are touted as being ‘one-of-a-kind’ assets in the digital realm which can be bought or sold.

Taking to his social media platforms on Tuesday, Khabib revealed that he was releasing a series of “digital cards” bearing his image which fans could bid to get their hands on.

“Khabib Nurmagomedov proudly presents his NFT collection of unique cards,” read a statement on the website digitalkhabib.com.

“Three series of cards will be issued: gold, platinum and diamond. Cards will be issued in limited series and all unsold cards will be burnt. The diamond card will be unique, only one will be issued.”

The announcement went on to add that the move was a nod to Khabib’s recently confirmed retirement as he left the UFC as undefeated and undisputed lightweight champion.

The gold version will be limited to 290 cards, and will have “unlockable content” which will later be revealed to the owners.

The platinum edition, meanwhile, will be limited to just 29 cards and buyers will each “have the opportunity to receive a unique personal prize from Khabib” which will be revealed at a later date.

Top of the range is the diamond card, which will be limited to a single issue.

“The card buyer will have the opportunity to personally meet Khabib, and will also receive other gifts from him which will be announced at a later date before the auction starts,” the sales pitch gushed.    

It was that chance to meet ‘The Eagle’ which led some fans to troll former UFC rival Conor McGregor, who has been desperate to secure a rematch with the Russian star since Khabib submitted him in their Las Vegas grudge match in October 2018.

“Conor McGregor is going to buy the Diamond Card,” joked one fan, sharing the details of what the prize would give the owner.

“Smart man! Whoever is your financial advisor deserves an award,” wrote another fan, clearly impressed.

Others, however, accused Khabib of pushing his side-hustles a little bit too hard as he continues to expand his already broad range of business interests and endorsements. 

Despite their somewhat novel nature, NFTs are becoming increasingly big business for sports stars, just as they are in other areas.

Last month, golfer Bryson DeChambeau announced he was releasing a set of cards, while the NBA has also spotted the potential of the blockchain-based assets.

Basketball highlights are being made into NFTs – known as Moments – by NBA Top Shot, a joint venture between the National Basketball Association, the NBA Players Association and Dapper Labs.
Also on rt.com Joining the revolution: Golf star DeChambeau issues NFT cards as he becomes latest big name to dabble in digital tokens
So far, the record amount spent at Top Shot was by Jesse Schwarz, the founder of Front Page.

Schwarz spent $ 208,000 on a LeBron James dunk, saying: “Everyone knows there’s one Mona Lisa. You can print out a picture of it, someone can paint you a fake one. But there’s only ever one.”

Outside of sport, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey sold his first-ever tweet as an NFT for a staggering $ 2.9 million.

READ MORE: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sells his first tweet for $ 2.9 million

Whether Conor McGregor is willing to go quite that high for the chance to come face to face with Khabib again remains to be seen…  

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Russia boosts Arctic LNG shipments to China to meet growing energy demand

Russian gas producer Novatek has reached an agreement to supply more than three million metric tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from its Arctic LNG 2 project to China over a 15-year period.

This will help China ensure its energy needs and diversify its LNG supplies, analysts say.

“Russia’s Novatek has entered Petronas’ Shanghai LNG turf, adding to a growing trend of Shanghai diversifying its LNG supply mix, where currently about 80% comes from Petroliam Nasional Berhad [Petronas]’s Malaysia complex,” Cao Lujia, an analyst at BloombergNEF was quoted as saying by China Daily.
Also on rt.com Russia invites BRICS partners to join country’s massive Arctic oil & gas projects
According to Novatek Chairman Leonid Mikhelson, the Chinese market is one of the key regions in the company’s LNG marketing strategy, with Novatek planning to further increase its LNG supplies there.

“Our LNG commercial strategy is to diversify our client base and target end consumers in the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region, and the LNG volumes produced from our Arctic LNG 2 project are core to our long-term objective of delivering affordable, secure and sustainable natural gas for many decades,” Mikhelson said.

The Arctic LNG 2 is Novatek’s second plant for liquefying gas in the region, which is located on the Gydan Peninsula in Northern Siberia. The plant’s production is expected to reach 19.8 million tons per year when at full capacity.
Also on rt.com Russia beating United States in battle for China’s huge energy market
Russia has boosted LNG exports to China in recent years, supplying almost five tons in 2020, data shows. Russia was the fifth-largest LNG supplier to China in 2020, after Australia, Malaysia, Qatar, and Indonesia.

China’s gas demand has returned faster than expected after the Covid-19 pandemic, driven mostly by the industrial sector, which has recovered to 2019 levels in May. Its average annual demand for natural gas is projected to reach 430 billion cubic meters by 2025.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

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NCAA president agrees to meet protesting players after March Madness

The players are pushing for the NCAA to change its rules restricting athletes from earning money for sponsorships, online endorsements and appearances.

The National College Players Association said Tuesday that NCAA President Mark Emmert has informed a group of basketball players who started a social media campaign to protest inequities in college sports that he will meet with them after March Madness.

NCPA executive director Ramogi Huma said in a statement he received a letter from Emmert in response to the advocacy group’s request for a meeting between the head of the NCAA and three players who led the #NotNCAAProperty protest that started last week.
Through the NCPA, the players had requested to meet with Emmert and one of the NCAA’s top lobbyists on Tuesday morning.
NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said the association had no comment Tuesday.
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Michigan’s Isaiah Livers, Rutgers’ Geo Baker and Iowa’s Jordan Bohannon are pushing for the NCAA to change its rules restricting athletes from earning money for personal sponsorship deals, online endorsements and appearances.
The NCAA has committed to changing its rules regarding name, image and likeness rights, but the process has bogged down amid warnings from the Department of Justice about possible antitrust violations in the association’s proposal.
An NCAA case involving an antitrust ruling is scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court next week.
The NCAA has asked for help from federal lawmakers in the form of a national NIL law that would preempt dozens of state laws under consideration that would create different rules for competing schools.

Meet Wyoming’s New Black Sheriff, the First in State History

LARAMIE, Wyo. — Ask Aaron Appelhans if he ever wanted to be a sheriff, and he’ll say no.

“I don’t necessarily represent or identify with everybody in law enforcement,” said Sheriff Appelhans, who was appointed as sheriff of Albany County, Wyo., in December. “I come in with some different ideas of how to go about doing things.”

Sheriff Appelhans, a Black man, is now at the helm of one of the most historically white law enforcement institutions in Wyoming, one of the country’s whitest states. He is the first Black sheriff in the 131 years that Wyoming has been a state.

The appointment is symbolic for both Wyoming and the Mountain West, which has been insulated from much of the national reckoning over race and policing. Advocates of overhauling law enforcement say Sheriff Appelhans’s tenure will be a test of whether change can take root in a law enforcement culture that has historically entrenched itself against it.

“The concept of reform that everybody keeps talking about, it’s coming, whether they want it, whether they like it, or not,” said Charles P. Wilson, the chairman of the National Association of Black Law Enforcement officers, which represents around 9,000 Black and brown officers across the country.

Sheriff Appelhans, 39, is inheriting a troubled department plagued by the kinds of problems that have been documented in sheriff’s offices across the region. Allegations of nepotism, selective enforcement and excessive force have swirled around the Albany County sheriff’s office for years, critics of the department say.

Even Sheriff Appelhans’s appointment was born of controversy: he was named to serve out the term of David O’Malley, who stepped down[1] from the post amid a lawsuit over the shooting of an unarmed man, Robbie Ramirez, in 2018.

A Colorado native, Sheriff Appelhans carries little of the stiff formality often associated with sheriffs’ offices. He worked as a college-admissions officer for the University of Wyoming in Laramie before eventually spending a decade with the university’s police department, a path he says he never particularly envisioned. He talks regularly with the news media, opting to deal with reporters directly rather than through a spokesperson.

Sheriff Appelhans’s approach is a stark departure for a Wyoming sheriff, a storied, sometimes archaic institution central to the lore of a disappearing American West. Sheriffs’ offices are historically white, inaccessible to the public and politically powerful; as small a role as sheriff’s offices typically have in urban areas with large city police departments, they loom much larger in more rural states like Wyoming and Montana and in parts of the Midwest, and operate with comparatively little public oversight.

“They’re the top dog in the counties,” said Chris Walsh, the executive director of the Wyoming Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission, which certifies law enforcement personnel in the state.

In such sparsely populated territory, small towns rarely can afford to set up their own police departments, so most law enforcement duties fall to county sheriffs. In Wyoming, sheriffs are elected to four-year terms with no limits; many hold office for decades.

“The sheriff, by nature, has far less oversight,” said Karlee Provenza, a Democrat in the State House of Representatives who is also the executive director of Albany County for Proper Policing, an advocacy organization. “The process is meant to put that oversight into a ballot box. And that is slow, it’s unreliable, and it’s not real accountability.”

Nestled in the high desert between the Front Range foothills and Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest, Laramie is a relatively liberal political anomaly in the deeply conservative Wyoming ranchlands, a phenomenon bolstered by a robust population of college students at the University of Wyoming. Outside Laramie, sagebrush and cattle make up much of the rest of Albany County.

One of Sheriff Appelhans’s challenges will be rebuilding public trust[2] following the 2018 shooting of Mr. Ramirez by an Albany County Sheriff’s deputy, Derek Colling. Mr. Ramirez, who was said by his family to suffer from mental illness, was shot once in the chest and twice in the back by Mr. Colling during a traffic stop. A grand jury declined in 2019[3] to prosecute Mr. Colling for involuntary manslaughter. Mr. Ramirez’s family has filed a $ 20 million wrongful death lawsuit[4] against Albany County.

The incident brought national attention to the ease with which problematic officers can move unchecked from one department to another. Mr. Colling had previously been fired by the Las Vegas Police Department after being involved in two fatal police shootings and, later, violently beating a man[5] who tried to film him.

Mr. Ramirez’s name was sometimes invoked by demonstrators both in Laramie and elsewhere[6] in the state over the summer, when hundreds of thousands of people across the country marched[7] against police brutality.

Sheriff Appelhans did not want to talk about the incident or the lawsuit. But he acknowledged that the department’s history was one of the things that had made him wary as he considered whether to take on the job of sheriff.

“I think what he brings to the sheriff’s office is a calmness: He’s soft-spoken, but it doesn’t mean he’s a pushover,” said Linda Devine, a defense lawyer in Laramie who is a proponent of overhauling criminal justice. “I think Aaron has a really good heart, I think he has really good intentions, and I think he wants to bring this community together.”

Mr. O’Malley’s midterm departure means Sheriff Appelhans will not come up for election until 2022.

In the meantime, he plans to embark on an aggressive approach to bringing cultural change in the sheriff’s office. He is leading an effort to coordinate police response with resources like shelters, mental health professionals and support groups. Armed police responses, he said, can often escalate into situations that could be better handled with counselors or nonlethal force.

And, he said, he intends to diversify the 42-deputy sheriff’s office, where he said he is the only Black officer. Five deputies are women.

Sheriff Appelhans said he has unilateral authority over hiring decisions at the department and is actively seeking applicants, adding that he intends to recruit more Black, Latino and female officers.

“Law enforcement doesn’t do a very good job of reaching out to every other population that’s out there, especially women and people of color,” he said. “They just do a terrible job.”

Sheriffs’ offices in Wyoming have a long history of racial bias, advocates say. The issue confronted Sheriff Appelhans early in his tenure: On his second day in office, a Wyoming state representative, Cyrus Western, tweeted a racist gif[8] from the movie “Blazing Saddles” in reference to Sheriff Appelhans’s appointment.

“I didn’t want to say I knew it was coming, but it didn’t surprise me when it came,” Sheriff Appelhans said of the incident. “It isn’t something that I haven’t dealt with throughout my entire life. Unfortunately it’s something that I’m used to.”

Mr. Western later apologized[9] for the tweet, insisting he had not meant it as a disparagement of the state’s first Black sheriff.

References

  1. ^ stepped down (www.wyomingnews.com)
  2. ^ rebuilding public trust (www.wyofile.com)
  3. ^ declined in 2019 (laramielive.com)
  4. ^ has filed a $ 20 million wrongful death lawsuit (apnews.com)
  5. ^ violently beating a man (www.reviewjournal.com)
  6. ^ both in Laramie and elsewhere (svinews.com)
  7. ^ when hundreds of thousands of people across the country marched (www.nytimes.com)
  8. ^ tweeted a racist gif (trib.com)
  9. ^ later apologized (apnews.com)

Ali Watkins

Tom Jones Elvis Presley: When did Sir Tom meet The King Elvis Presley?

Sir Tom Jones has been on the music scene since his 1965 single It’s Not Unusual shot to the top of the charts. By this time Elvis Presley was one of the most famous men on earth, having had Number One albums and hits movies to his name. Express.co.uk delves into the memorable moment these two music behemoths met for the first time.

When did Sir Tom Jones meet Elvis Presley?

According to Sir Tom Jones, their meeting was a moment which he held dear for many years later.

It happened at Paramount Studios in 1965, where Elvis had been making movies for some time.

This was also the time Sir Tom was making his mark on the music business, with his first hit coming that same year with It’s Not Unusual.

READ MORE:  Green Lantern timeline: Does Green Lantern fit into Snyder Cut?

Speaking to Chris Evans on the BBC Radio 2 Breakfast show back in 2010, Sir Tom revealed: “I went on set and he [Elvis] was there filming and then he stops for a minute and is walking towards me, and I had a ballad out at the time called With These Hands.

“And there comes Elvis Presley singing With These Hands walking towards me, it was like a dream, and I thought ‘My God, this is unbelievable’.

“When he got to me he said ‘how the hell do you sing like that?’ and I said ‘Well you’re partly to blame.’”

This was the beginning of a beautiful friendship, with Elvis later inviting Sir Tom on stage with him in Las Vegas when they were both engaged there.

Speaking to the BBC Radio Wales, Jerry Schilling explained how Elvis had few friends in the showbiz world – but Sir Tom fit the bill.

He said: “Elvis didn’t really hang out with other entertainers that much, but if there was one artist that Elvis truly called a friend and hung out with the most, it was Sir Tom Jones.

“Elvis was always cautious about letting people get close and what their intentions were.

“The people he had working for him were not there for the job, it was because he knew they could travel with him and he trusted them.

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“But he was inspired by Tom and they became very good friends.”

Sir Tom has told some bizarre stories about his friendship with Elvis, including a time when his friend stripped off in Sir Tom’s dressing room while the Welsh crooner was in the shower, and tried to pitch him a song.

Sir Tom told US host Conan O’Brien: “He was wearing a North Beach leather outfit – a lot of us used to – and they weren’t lined, they were just natural leather.

“So he was standing there, cleaning up and looking in the mirror. So I’m naked and he’s half-naked.

“His pants are down round his ankles. So he’s standing there, singing this song to me.

“I’m trying to towel down and I said, ‘You know, Elvis, your pants.’ And he went, ‘Red!’ because he had a bodyguard called Red.

“So Red busts through the door thinking there’s something wrong… but Elvis says, ‘My pants, man.’”

However, Sir Tom explained he had to pull up Elvis’ trousers due to the tight leather, not just because he was “too celebrity” to pull up his own.

Galaxy A72 and A52 5G release and UK price: meet Samsung's new flagship killers

Samsung is back with its second Galaxy Unpacked hardware event of 2021 and this time it was all about the firm’s next mid-range devices. The new Galaxy A52, A52 5G and Galaxy A72 were revealed during the showcase, which didn’t take place in-person due to covid guidelines, and these new handsets certainly pack an impressive punch considering that you can pop one in your pocket for around £400.
Samsung says these new Galaxy smartphones have been created to include the features that consumers want the most – with a good camera, long battery, impressive screen and affordable price all a top priority.

In recent years, Samsung has moved away from piling all of its features into its priciest smartphones. The South Korean firm is increasingly focusing on the mid-range to fend off competition from the likes of Huawei, OnePlus, Xiaomi, Motorola and Googe. And looking at the spec sheet of the latest Galaxy A series, it certainly seems that Samsung has ticked all of the right boxes.

All three new smartphones offer an edge-to-edge Super AMOLED screen with small bezels to squeeze the most screen into the body. Those buying the A72 and A52 will be treated to a smooth 90Hz refresh rate, while the A52 5G going one step further with a 120Hz screen. This means it will offer an experience that’s as good as the much more expensive Galaxy S21.

For comparison, a few years ago, most phones only sported a 60Hz screen, so the higher refresh rate makes animations appear smoother, scrolling seem zippier, and fast-paced gameplay feel more responsive.

All three phones also offer a much brighter experience too, which should make them easier to view when outside. Samsung says it has boosted things from 600nits on its previous mid-range phones to 800nits on the A52 and A72.

If you do spend hours surfing the web and checking Instagram there’s “Eye Comfort Sheild” technology, which is designed to adjust the colour temperature and also helps reduce blue light emissions for less fatigue on the eyes. An embedded fingerprint is tucked under these screens as well for an easy way to access your files.

Spin the phones around and you’ll find a quad rear camera that features a main 64-megapixel lens alongside an ultra-wide, portrait and macro option. Samsung wants this snapper to be super simple to use and has included a scene optimiser that can work out where you are and adjust the settings accordingly. In fact, there’s a total of 30 scenes available so you should find the perfect look no matter what you happen to be shooting. These include people, places, food and even your pet.

As well as snapping some impressive images there’s also the ability to film footage on full 4K and the new Video Snap function lets you grab high-quality images straight from the video footage.

Another bonus of this camera system is that it features a full Night Mode which should boost the quality even when taking images in very low light.

Those opting for the A72 also get an improved zoom lens with 3X optical shots available from this device.

Head under the hood and you’ll find a two-day battery life which is helped by Adaptive Power Saving which adjusts to your usage with it even able to shut down apps that haven’t been used after a few days. Fast charging can also boost things back to full in under an hour.

The new A-Series feature 128 or 256GB of storage which is fully upgradable via an SD card and there’s also a fast Octa-Core processor, which should cope with most of your daily digits tasks.

Other features worth mentioning include dual Dolby Atmos speakers and the devices ship with One UI 3.0 out of the box with Samsung also confirming that these phones will get four years of security updates.

As the name suggests, the A52 5G also gets full access to the latest network speeds which allow you to download files at over 300Mbps. The A52 5G is priced at £399 with the A72 costing £429. The standard A52 isn’t launching in the UK

“At Samsung, we strive to provide our customers with innovative, industry-leading products at all price points, which is why we are delighted to launch the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G and Samsung Galaxy A72 as stellar additions to our smartphone portfolio” said Conor Pierce, Corporate Vice President for Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland.

“The Samsung Galaxy A52 5G offers cutting-edge features, including a vivid and smoother display, long-lasting battery and cameras designed to keep up with the demands of content creators. All this is powered by 5G, putting innovation in the hands of the next generation”.

Prepare for violence: UFC buzzsaws Justin Gaethje and Michael Chandler ‘set to meet in top lightweight contender matchup’

Fight fans are giddy at the prospect of a high-stakes showdown between elite UFC lightweights Justin Gaethje and Michael Chandler amid rumors that the two title contenders are set to meet in what should be a firework-filled bout.

According to a report from ESPN’s UFC insider Ariel Helwani, matchmakers are attempting to agree terms with both fighters ahead of a potential matchup later this year. As of yet, there is no indication of a potential date or location. 
Also on rt.com ‘New king in town’: Michael Chandler DESTROYS Dan Hooker inside one round at UFC 257, calls out Khabib
The potential fight appears to be the next step in UFC president Dana White’s plan to identify a top lightweight contender, perhaps with the intention of persuading the exiled Khabib Nurmagomedov to return to the cage for one more fight after the Russian champion announced his surprise retirement in the cage following a win against Gaethje in Abu Dhabi last October. 

Speaking to UK broadcaster BT Sport in advance of last weekend’s event in Las Vegas, White said that the 155lbs division has no true top contender at the moment – and that whoever rises to the top throughout the next battery of fights will be considered to be at the summit of the division.

Nobody’s in line like they should be next,” White said. “[Rankings] 1-9, all those guys are badass and could win on any given day… You could literally put all the names in a hat and pull ‘em out and match ‘em up and every one of those fights are awesome. This isn’t really rocket science.

Khabib is undoubtedly the best in the world, by a long shot. He’s the champ. The rest of these guys are going to have to fight it out. It doesn’t matter.”

Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor are set to fight for a third time this summer in a fight which will likely elevate the winner’s championship hopes, while the rest of the lightweight gentry – Tony Ferguson, Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev included – will also be hoping to cement their candidacy for a world title shot. 

First up, though, seems to be Chandler and Gaethje in what will be a fascinating clash between two fighters who harness similar styles in the octagon – and it certainly has MMA fans licking their lips with the word “violence” repeatedly attributed towards the potential fight on social media.

Another wrote that they “will not miss that war” between “two incredible fighters“.

Former Bellator champion Chandler announced his arrival in the upper echelon of the UFC’s lightweight fold in January when he defeated the gritty Dan Hooker by first-round knockout – while Gaethje, save for an insipid performance against Nurmagomedov last year, has otherwise been in imperious form lately. 

In a certain light, all of this speaks to the influence that Khabib retains over the rest of the UFC’s lightweight field. Despite being retired for six months now, Dana White hasn’t relented in his campaign to persuade his top-draw attraction to return to action and this current spate of lightweight bookings appears, in some sense, to be a riposte to Khabib’s request that White and the UFC “show [him] something spectacular“.

Justin Gaethje vs. Michael Chandler is certainly a good place to start. 
Also on rt.com ‘New king in town’: Michael Chandler DESTROYS Dan Hooker inside one round at UFC 257, calls out Khabib

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