Category: Today

Female midshipman testifies in U.S. Naval Academy rape case

By Lacey Johnson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A female midshipman testified on Wednesday she woke up disheveled, in pain and with a clouded recollection of the party in which three former U.S. Naval Academy football players are accused of raping her.

Three midshipmen – Tra’ves Bush, Eric Graham and Joshua Tate – are charged with sexually assaulting the woman in April 2012 after she blacked out from drinking too much at an off-campus party.

During her testimony at a preliminary hearing in the case, the female midshipman, who was a sophomore and 20 years old at the time of the alleged assault, recalled waking up with a painful knot on her back and little memory of the night before.

“I noticed I was really disheveled,” she testified. “I was really nerve-racked because I didn’t know what had happened.”

Later that day, Tate, who had invited her to the party, informed her that she had sexual intercourse with him and Graham, according to the female midshipman, who is a senior at the academy.

“He was like, ‘What? You don’t remember?'” she said. “He told me that we had sex and he was going to have to refresh my memory.”

“He was laughing,” she added, “and then I was like, ‘I don’t want to hear anymore.'”

The party took place at an off-campus party in Annapolis, Maryland, home of the elite academy that trains men and women to become professional officers in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.

In the days following the party, fellow students and social media outlets led the midshipman to believe she might have also unknowingly had sex with Bush – with whom she has a history of ongoing consensual sex – and possibly others.

“It seemed like everyone knew something I didn’t know,” said the midshipman, who did remember having consensual sex with one football player at the house the morning after the party.

“I didn’t remember having sex with six to nine people … so I was just kind of shocked.”

The so-called Article 32 hearing will determine if a general court-martial is warranted. Navy Commander Robert Monahan, who is presiding over the case at Washington’s Navy Yard, is expected to take several days to weigh the evidence.

After a probe by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Academy Superintendent Vice Admiral Michael Miller in June ordered Bush, Graham and Tate be charged with sexual assault and making false statements.

Nearly two weeks after the party, a fellow student approached the midshipman and insisted she report the underage drinking and possible sexual assault to authorities, she said.

“I did not want to report it at all,” said the midshipman, explaining that she did not want to get anyone in trouble and feared that her mother would force her to leave the academy.

Under pressure, the woman says she ultimately filed an assault report and volunteered to accept punishment for underage drinking. She sought legal help in early 2013.

Reuters generally does not publish the names of sexual assault victims.

The hearing comes after a spate of high-profile military sexual assault cases, including some involving personnel whose job it was to prevent sexual abuse.

A Pentagon study estimated that unwanted sexual contact in the military jumped by 37 percent in 2012 to 26,000 cases.

President Barack Obama told Marines at Camp Pendleton, California, this month that sexual assault undermined the U.S. military. He also spoke at the Naval Academy’s graduation ceremony in May and urged the new officers to stamp out sexual assault in their ranks.

(Additional reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Barbara Goldberg)

source : http://news.yahoo.com/female-midshipman-testifies-u-naval-academy-rape-case-015337265.html

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Preliminary hearing starts in U.S. Naval Academy rape case

By Lacey Johnson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A preliminary hearing for three former U.S. Naval Academy football players charged with raping a drunken female midshipman got under way on Tuesday, the latest in a string of sexual assault allegations in the U.S. military.

The midshipmen – Tra’ves Bush, Eric Graham and Joshua Tate – have been charged with sexually assaulting the woman in April 2012 while she was passed out after drinking too much at an off-campus party.

The so-called Article 32 hearing will determine if a general court-martial is warranted. Navy Commander Robert Monahan, who is presiding over the case at Washington’s Navy Yard, is expected to take several days to weigh the evidence.

Academy Superintendent Vice Admiral Michael Miller – after a probe by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service – in June ordered that Bush, Graham and Tate be charged with sexual assault and making false statements.

The investigation was touched off by allegations of an incident at the party in Annapolis, Maryland, site of the elite academy that educates Navy and Marine officers. The woman’s attorney, Susan Burke, said in May that her client got drunk and passed out at the party at a “football house.”

She woke up with little recollection of what had happened, and later learned that three football players were claiming to have had sexual intercourse with her while she was drunk, Burke said.

Burke said one of the football players pressured the woman not to cooperate with investigators. But when she followed the advice she was “ostracized and retaliated against by the football players and the Naval Academy community.”

The woman was also disciplined for drinking. She sought legal help in early 2013 and the Navy reopened the investigation, Burke said.

Reuters generally does not publish the names of sexual assault victims.

The hearing comes after a spate of high-profile military sexual assault cases, including some involving personnel whose job it was to prevent sexual abuse.

An annual Pentagon study this year estimated that unwanted sexual contact in the military, from groping to rape, jumped by 37 percent in 2012 to 26,000 cases.

President Barack Obama told Marines at Camp Pendleton, California, this month that sexual assault undermined the U.S. military. He also spoke at the Naval Academy’s graduation ceremony in May and urged the new officers to stamp out sexual assault in their ranks.

The increased number of sex-related incidents in the military prompted members of Congress to introduce legislation to toughen the Pentagon’s handling of sex crimes.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and military service chiefs have opposed taking sexual assault prosecution decisions out of the chain of command.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Gunna Dickson)

source : http://news.yahoo.com/preliminary-hearing-starts-u-naval-academy-rape-case-172330962.html

AC Milan, Arsenal vie for Champions League spots

Seven-times European champions AC Milan are looking to bounce back from a disastrous start to their Serie A campaign as they go in search of a place in the Champions League group stage this week.

The Italian giants and 2006 Champions League finalists Arsenal are amongst 20 teams in the play-off round vying for a spot in the lucrative group stages.

Milan, who last won the competition in 2007, go into their return fixture against Dutch runners-up PSV Eindhoven at the San Siro with a slight advantage after a 1-1 draw in the Netherlands a week ago.

However, Milan’s domestic campaign got off to a dreadful start at the weekend as they crashed to a 2-1 defeat at newly-promoted Verona, with coach Massimiliano Allegri lashing out at his side’s display.

“We had the totally wrong attitude (on Saturday) and we’re not going to make much progress if it continues,” warned Allegri.

Midfielder Andrea Poli emphasised the need to put the setback behind them and focus solely on Wednesday’s match against PSV, a game Allegri labelled as the “most important of the season so far”.

“We had a positive performance at PSV and we faced a dangerous side, but we got a good result and we will look to finish the job in the return leg,” said Poli.

“We always have respect for the opposition, but we are Milan and we have to qualify at every cost. We have to stop talking about it and just get on with the job in hand,” added the Italy international.

Arsenal effectively ensured the Premier League will have four representatives in this season’s competition after a commanding 3-0 victory against Fenerbahce in Turkey put Arsene Wenger’s men firmly in the driving seat ahead of Tuesday’s second leg in London.

History overwhelmingly favours Arsenal, who are on the brink of a 16th straight appearance in the group stage, with only two teams ever having inflicted a home defeat of three or more goals on the Gunners in the club’s European history.

Further lengthening the odds of an unlikely comeback is Fenerbahce’s dismal record in England, where they have scored a combined three goals in eight visits.

However, left-back Kieran Gibbs was adamant Arsenal would not become complacent, despite their status as heavy favourites to advance.

“It’s still not over because we’ve got another tie,” said the defender.

“We have to go in on all cylinders again, otherwise if we sit back and think that we’re already through it can put us on the back foot, and we don’t want that. We have to be strong and make sure we finish off the job.”

1967 winners Celtic must overturn a two-goal deficit against Kazakh champions Shakhter Karagandy in Glasgow on Wednesday if they are to continue their Champions League adventure.

“The tie is far from over. We’ve got plenty in us to turn the deficit around and the players will be very, very motivated,” said Hoops boss Neil Lennon.

“There will be a few players who will be disappointed with their performances, but we’re still well in this tie, although we’ve got a lot to do,” he added.

The Scottish club can take solace from the fact that they have staged a successful comeback from a 2-0 first-leg deficit in Europe on three of four occasions at Celtic Park.

German side Schalke face a testing trip to Greece to face PAOK Salonika after a 1-1 draw in Gelsenkirchen, while Polish champions Legia Warsaw host Steaua Bucharest after a 1-1 draw in the Romanian capital.

Real Sociedad, Austria Vienna, Basel and Viktoria Plzen go into their second-leg fixtures with two-goal leads, while Zenit St Petersburg take on Portuguese side Pacos Ferreira, with the Russians up 4-1 from the first leg.

source : http://news.yahoo.com/ac-milan-arsenal-vie-champions-league-spots-043420385.html

Ministers discuss UAE-Australia bilateral ties

Abu Dhabi, Aug 27 (IANS/WAM) UAE Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan Monday met Minister of Education in the Australian state of Victoria, Martin Dixon, and discussed bilateral relations between the UAE and Australia.

Dixon, who is also the chairman of the organising committee of the FIFA World Cup U-17 UAE 2013, was accompanied by Australian educational delegation including John Butler, Australian trade commissioner in the Arab region and Turkey.

Sheikh Nahyan hailed the relations between the UAE and Australia, especially in the areas of culture and investment.

Dixon said the relations between the two countries are growing steadily in the field of higher education, especially between the government of state of Victoria and the Abu Dhabi Education Council.

Sheikh Nahyan also discussed the preparations for the FIFA World Cup U-17, which will be held in October and November.

–IANS/WAM

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source : http://news.yahoo.com/ministers-discuss-uae-australia-bilateral-ties-010911902.html

Rugby fans can start planning to cheer Canada on at 2015 world cup

TORONTO – With Canada’s rugby victory over the U.S. on Aug. 24, fans can start thinking about a trip to Britain in 2015 to cheer the Canadian team on at the Rugby World Cup.

Canada clinched a spot in the tournament when it beat the American squad 13-11 at Toronto’s BMO Field.

The world cup will be staged in September and October 2015 at “some of the U.K.’s most iconic rugby venues,” says Britain’s VisitEngland tourism organization. Canada’s first match will take place Sept. 19, 2015, against Ireland at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.

Other cup venues include Villa Park (Birmingham), Leicester City Stadium (Leicester), St. James’ Park (Newcastle upon Tyne), Wembley Stadium (London), Brighton Community Stadium (Brighton), Kingsholm Stadium (Gloucester), Stadiummk (Milton Keynes), Elland Road (Leeds), Sandy Park (Exeter), Olympic Stadium (London) and Manchester City Stadium (Manchester).

The final is set for Oct. 31 at London’s Twickenham Stadium.

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Online: http://en.rugbyworldcup.com/

source : http://news.yahoo.com/rugby-fans-start-planning-cheer-canada-2015-world-220659103.html

Soccer-Guerron recalled to Ecuador squad short of top strikers

QUITO, Aug 26 (Reuters) – Ecuador, afflicted by a sudden shortage of top strikers, have recalled China-based Joffre Guerron for World Cup qualifiers away to Colombia and Bolivia next month.

Guerron, who plays for Beijing Guoan, comes into coach Reinaldo Rueda’s squad following the sudden death last month in Qatar of Christian Benitez and the suspension of Felipe Caicedo.

Caicedo, suspended for the Colombia match in Barranquilla on Sept. 6 after accumulating two bookings, is included as he will be available against Bolivia in La Paz four days later.

Rueda has also called up 18-year-old defender Gabriel Corozo for the first time.

Ecuador, looking to reach their third finals in Brazil next year, are third in the South American group with 21 points, five behind Argentina and two short of Colombia with four games to go.

The top four will qualify for the finals and the team finishing fifth will meet an Asian qualifier in a two-legged playoff for another berth. (Reporting by Alexandra Valencia; Writing by Rex Gowar; Editing by John Mehaffey)

source : http://news.yahoo.com/soccer-guerron-recalled-ecuador-squad-short-top-strikers-191056423.html

Robert Pires spotted in stands at Greek match, gets invited to play second half, scores

While enjoying his unofficial retirement in the small town of Rafina on the Greek coast, 39-year-old Arsenal legend Robert Pires decided to attend a friendly between local side Storm Rafina and AO Mykonos. It obviously didn’t take long for others at the match to notice that a World Cup winner was in their midst and with the home side trailing at halftime, they decided to ask Pires for a favor: to play the second half for them.

Having not played a professional match since he left Aston Villa in 2011, Pires took them up on the offer and proved the old saying that “class is permanent” by scoring one of two goals Storm Rafina had in the second half to win 3-2. After the match, Pires hung around to take pictures with fans.

And that was a day in the life of Robert Pires.

source : http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/soccer-dirty-tackle/robert-pires-spotted-stands-greek-match-invited-play-170116304.html