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High court sides with former athletes in dispute with NCAA

The court ruled Monday that NCAA limits on the education-related benefits colleges can offer athletes who play Division I basketball and football can’t be enforced.

WASHINGTON — In a ruling that could help push changes in college athletics, the Supreme Court on Monday unanimously ruled that the NCAA can’t enforce certain rules limiting the education-related benefits — things like computers and graduate scholarships — that colleges offer athletes.

The case doesn’t decide whether students can be paid salaries. Instead, the ruling will help determine whether schools decide to offer athletes tens of thousands of dollars in those benefits for things including tutoring, study abroad and internships.

The high court agreed with a group of former college athletes that NCAA limits on the education-related benefits that colleges can offer athletes who play Division I basketball and football can’t be enforced.

Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote for the court that the NCAA sought “immunity from the normal operation of the antitrust laws,” which the court declined to grant.

Under current NCAA rules, students cannot be paid, and the scholarship money colleges can offer is capped at the cost of attending the school. The NCAA had defended its rules as necessary to preserve the amateur nature of college sports.

But the former athletes who brought the case, including former West Virginia football player Shawne Alston, argued that the NCAA’s rules on education-related compensation were unfair and violate federal antitrust law designed to promote competition. The Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling barring the NCAA from enforcing those rules.

As a result of the ruling, the NCAA itself can’t bar schools from sweetening their offers to Division I basketball and football players with additional education-related benefits. But individual athletic conferences can still set limits if they choose. A lawyer for the former athletes had said before the ruling that he believed that if his clients won, “very many schools” would ultimately offer additional benefits.

The NCAA had argued that a ruling for the athletes could lead to a blurring of the line between college and professional sports, with colleges trying to lure talented athletes by offering over-the-top education benefits worth thousands of dollars. Even without the court’s ruling, however, changes seem on the way for how college athletes are compensated. The NCAA is trying to amend its rules to allow athletes to profit from their names, images and likenesses. That would allow athletes to earn money for things like sponsorship deals, online endorsement and personal appearances. For some athletes, those amounts could dwarf any education-related benefits.

The players associations of the NFL, the NBA and the WNBA had all urged the justices to side with the ex-athletes, as did the Biden administration.

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This post originally appeared on CBS8 – Sports

English starlets shine on both sides as Guardiola and Man City keep Champions League dream alive with win over Dortmund

Manchester City finally broke their Champions League quarter-final curse under Pep Guardiola as they won 2-1 in Germany to see off a spirited Borussia Dortmund 4-2 on aggregate and book a semi-final against Paris Saint-Germain.

City were forced to come from behind after a curled finish from 17-year-old English sensation Jude Bellingham put Dortmund in front on away goals in the tie, but got the job done in the second half thanks to a penalty from Riyad Mahrez and a quick-thinking finish from the increasingly influential Phil Foden.  

For Guardiola it sets up a first Champions League semi-final in his tenure with City as the Spaniard eyes the chance to win the competition for the first time since the second of his triumphs with Barcelona back in 2011.

For all their domestic brilliance since Guardiola took the helm, the Champions League is still seen as the competition City and their Spanish manager crave most desperately – a yearning which has only intensified after successive quarter-final exits through the varying degrees of torture in the past three seasons.

This was another tie City almost contrived to let slip away, leaving it late in Manchester in the first leg and surviving a scare in Germany against a Dortmund team tinged with youthful exuberance which at one stage threatened to embarrass the expensively-assembled visitors.

Ultimately it was a game illuminated by the brilliance of young Englishmen on both sides, as 17-year-old Dortmund starlet Jude Bellingham gave the hosts hope before City’s 20-year-old maestro Foden helped snuff it out.

It ended with a 4-2 aggregate scoreline for Pep’s City slickers, who were made to work far harder for their passage against the Bundesliga strugglers than many had foretold. 

With his team selection, Guardiola had falllen back on a favorite gambit by beginning without a recognized center forward as Gabriel Jesus started on the bench and Sergio Aguero remained at home after not being fit enough to make the trip to Germany. It was, however, a familiar enough line-up to allay fears from some fans that Guardiola might go into the tinkering mode which has been accused of causing City’s downfall under the Spaniard in recent years.

Early on at the Westfalenstadion, City settled into a familiar passing pattern although Mahmoud Dahoud did try his luck for the hosts when a misplaced pass handed him a free crack from distance, driving straight into the arms of a grateful Ederson.

After that warning sign it was Dortmund who struck first. Erling Haaland – the man coveted across the continent, including in the sky-blue half of Manchester – got in behind John Stones to cut the ball back invitingly, and while City blocked the first effort the ball fell kindly to Bellingham. The youngster took full advantage by curling a sumptuous right-footed strike which Ederson could only help on its way into the net with his fingertips.

It was delight for the Englishman after he had seen what looked like a clear goal harshly ruled out in the first leg at the Etihad, and this time he celebrated wildly with Haaland as Dortmund seized the ascendency in the tie. The goal also made Bellingham England’s youngest ever scorer in the Champions League and the competition’s second most youthful scorer in a knockout stage game.

A shell-shocked City almost found themselves further adrift when Manuel Akanji tested Ederson with a header when unmarked at a corner soon afterwards.

City, though, sparked into life around the 25-minute mark when Kevin De Bruyne rattled the crossbar after forcing his way into the box, with the visitors half-heartedly looking for a penalty when Bernardo Silva was bundled over attempting to latch onto the rebound.

Birmingham City alumnus Bellingham – who opted for a move to the Bundesliga before the start of the season, despite the likes of Manchester United circling – then proved his brilliance at the other end of the pitch as he blocked a close-range effort by Riyad Mahrez.

Oleksandr Zinchenko – preferred to Joao Cancelo at left back – came close but could only head straight in the arms of Dortmund ‘keeper Marwin Hitz, while Bellingham was booked for hauling down fellow England starlet Foden, continuing the Dortmund midfielder’s all-action first-half showing.

At the interval Guardiola was staring at yet another Champions League last eight exit but opted not to press the trigger and sent out the same personnel to get his team back into the tie. The Spaniard’s tactical mettle was being tested against a relative rookie across from him in the dugout in the form of 38-year-old Dortmund boss Edin Terzic – the former assistant who only took over as caretaker from the sacked Lucien Favre in December.

Bellingham was among those firing up the Dortmund ranks before the second half got underway, and Haaland headed the ball out from a City corner early on, further proof that this team tinged with young talent would be willing to put in a shift to hold onto their slender advantage. Hitz then tipped over from a Zinchenko cross as City pressed and probed at the Dortmund backline.

City’s patience was rewarded when Emre Can made a clumsy attempt to clear a Foden cross, contorting himself to head the ball onto his own arm. Spanish referee Carlos del Cerro Grande pointed to the spot and VAR backed up the decision, before Mahrez drilled past Hitz for his first Champions League goal of the season as City returned to the driving seat.

City built momentum but were reminded Dortmund weren’t done when they had to scramble clear when the ball fell to Dahoud in the box. Mats Hummels then headed agonizingly over the bar from a Marco Reus free-kick with just over 20 minutes to play.

After the focus on Bellingham, it was another England starlet who struck to steal the limelight and kill off Dortmund’s hopes. Collecting the ball from a corner, Foden looked up to pick his spot from the edge of the box with a low drive which caught out Hitz at his near post.

The Dortmund ‘keeper could have done better to keep the ball – and the tie – in his grasp, but it was lightning-quick thinking from the ever-aware Foden.

City were comfortable in the final 15 minutes as they brought on Raheem Sterling for Mahrez while for Dortmund the impressive if exhausted Bellingham made way for Julian Brandt.

Guardiola’s men saw out the match, moving into the final four of the competition for the first time since thy had Manuel Pellegrini at the helm in 2016.  

Sterner tests await against a PSG team fueled by similar lavish spending from wealthy Middle Eastern benefactors, but at least Guardiola’s men have put themselves within touching distance of the final – a feat which has eluded them so painfully in recent years. 

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This article originally appeared on RT Sport News

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Hillicon Valley: Supreme Court sides with Google in copyright fight against Oracle

The Supreme Court on Monday sided with Google against Oracle in a copyright fight, while vacating a previous ruling involving former President’s Trump use of Twitter. Meanwhile, Apple CEO Tim Cook said he hoped Parler would eventually return to the App Store, and a national labor board concluded that Amazon had illegally retaliated against two workers by firing them for speaking out against company policies.

A DECISION DECADES IN THE MAKING: The Supreme Court on Monday sided with Google in the company’s high-stakes intellectual property fight with Oracle, finding that the search giant’s copying of certain Java lines to develop its Android platform constituted fair use.

In a 6-2 ruling, the justices found that Google’s use of roughly 11,500 lines of code was lawful since the amount was relatively minuscule and because Google programmers used the language as virtual building blocks to develop new and transformative applications.

The court concluded that Oracle cannot claim copyright over these application programming interfaces (APIs), which let different applications communicate.

The battle between Google and Oracle over the use of the code in Android devices has been ongoing for more than a decade.

Read more about the ruling[5]

DISMISSED: On Monday the Supreme Court also vacated a ruling that found that former President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden should look to ‘Ostpolitik’ to negotiate with autocrats The Memo: Biden’s bet on taxes Why some Republicans think vaccine passports will backfire on Democrats MORE[7][8][9][10][11][6] violated the First Amendment by blocking his critics on Twitter, with the justices dismissing the case as moot.

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The court’s move came in an unsigned order. But Justice Clarence ThomasClarence ThomasThe Navy’s reading program undermines America’s security Supreme Court revives police shooting victim’s suit against officers Supreme Court explores extent of tribal police authority MORE[13][14][15][16][17][12], the court’s most conservative member, wrote separately to voice concern that Trump’s removal from Twitter reflected a degree of power in the hands of tech platforms that the court would soon need to address.

The lawsuit arose in 2017 after Trump’s social media account blocked seven people who had tweeted criticism of the president in comment threads linked to his @realDonaldTrump Twitter handle, which has since been banned on the platform.

Read more here[18]

A LUKEWARM WELCOME: Tim Cook said he hopes the right-wing social media site Parler will eventually return to Apple’s App Store.

“I’m hoping that they put in the moderation that’s required to be on the store and come back, because I think having more social networks out there is better than having less,” the Silicon Valley giant’s chief executive said during an episode of The New York Times’s “Sway” podcast published Monday.[19]

Parler, which has pitched itself as a free speech alternative platform to Facebook and Twitter, was removed from both Apple’s and Google’s app stores shortly after the violent insurrection at the Capitol in January.

Read more about Cook’s comments[20]

AMAZON UNDER FIRE: Amazon illegally retaliated against two of its workers when it fired them after they publicly criticized the company’s climate policies and supported workers protesting warehouse conditions, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found.

The NLRB found the allegations in the case had merit, and a regional director will issue a complaint if the case does not settle, according to the board.

The board’s determination about the firing of Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa was first reported by The New York Times[21]

A spokesperson for Amazon denied the allegations that the employees were fired for speaking out.

“We support every employee’s right to criticize their employer’s working conditions, but that does not come with blanket immunity against our internal policies, all of which are lawful,” the Amazon spokesperson said in a statement. “We terminated these employees not for talking publicly about working conditions, safety or sustainability but, rather, for repeatedly violating internal policies.

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The case is one of many allegations of unfair labor practices Amazon is facing, and the  NLRB is in the process of counting up ballots in the unionization vote at Amazon’s warehouse in Bessemer, Ala. If successful, the effort would create the first Amazon union in the U.S.[22]

Read more here[23]

DEMOCRATS QUESTION INSTAGRAM FOR KIDS: Democrats told Facebook on Monday they have concerns about the platform’s plans for an Instagram for children over the company’s “past failures” to protect kids on platforms aimed at youth users.

“Facebook has a record of failing to protect children’s privacy and safety, casting serious doubt on its ability to do so on a version of Instagram that is marketed to children,”  Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyGive Republicans the climate credit they deserve Biden risks first major fight with progressives Five takeaways on Biden’s big infrastructure package MORE[25][26][27][28][29][24] (D-Mass.), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Rep. Kathy CastorKatherine (Kathy) Anne CastorLawmakers wager barbecue, sweets and crab claws ahead of Super Bowl Biden recommits US to Paris climate accord OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Senate majority offers Biden new avenues on Trump environmental rollbacks | Democrats eye action on range of climate bills | Biden pushing to cancel Keystone XL pipeline as soon as he takes office: reports MORE[31][32][33][34][35][30] (D-Fla.) and Rep. Lori TrahanLori A. TrahanLawmakers vent frustration in first hearing with tech CEOs since Capitol riot Lawmakers call for action on first anniversary of Breonna Taylor’s death Ethics panel finds Massachusetts Democrat didn’t violate rules MORE[37][38][39][40][41][36] (D-Mass.) wrote in a letter to Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergCongressional CEO grillings can’t solve disinformation: We need a public interest regulator Google spending M to fight misinformation, fake news in Europe Hillicon Valley: Parler claims it alerted FBI to threats before Capitol riot | Warner presses Zuckerberg to tackle vaccine misinfo on Facebook, Instagram | U.S. schools increasingly resuming in-person learning MORE[44][45][46][47][48][43][42]

The Democrats pressed Facebook over concerns about children’s safety in regards to health, well being and data privacy.

Instagram requires users to be at least 13 years old to make an account, but Facebook has acknowledged that young users sometimes lie about their date of birth in creating an account. [49]

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“If we can encourage kids to use an experience that is age-appropriate and managed by parents, we think that’s far better than kids using apps that weren’t designed for them,” Stephanie Otway, a Facebook spokesperson, said in response to the letter.

But the Democrats said that if Facebook’s goal is to decrease the number of users under the age of 13 on Instagram, the proposal for an alternative “may do more harm than good.”

Read more here[50]

NETFLIX (NOT) ON TOP: Netflix saw its dominance of the U.S. streaming market slip during 2020 as new competitors emerged and the coronavirus pandemic forced many Americans to remain in their homes.

According to Ampere Analysis data shared with TheWrap, Netflix’s share of the U.S. streaming market fell from 29 percent at the start of 2020 to 20 percent, a drop of 31 percent.[51]

Netflix reportedly still had the most U.S. subscribers of any streaming service — about 67 million — as of January.

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Amazon Prime also saw a drop in U.S. market share, the news outlet noted. The company previously controlled 21 percent of the streaming market and is now down to 16 percent, a drop of 24 percent, according to an analysis. About 54 million Prime users use the video app in the U.S., TheWrap reported.

Lighter click: That’s awkward[53]

An op-ed to chew on: The information superhighway must be accessible and affordable for all[54]

[email protected] (Maggie Miller,Chris Mills Rodrigo and Rebecca Klar)