Journalists and human rights defenders stigmatized for covering land conflicts

first_img The Honduran Committee of Families of Disappeared Detainees (COFADEH) has told Reporters Without Borders that grave allegations were levelled against journalists, human rights defenders and civil society activists on 18 February by the head of the Xatruch Joint Intervention Force operating in Bajo Aguán, a militarized region in the northeastern department of Colón.Reporters Without Borders regards these accusations as a clear attempt to intimidate and censor, and fears for the lives of all those involved in providing information about this region at a particularly dangerous time.Speaking at a news conference, Xatruch Intervention Force commander Col. Germán Alfaro Escalante accused four people by name of “denigrating the actions of the armed forces” and of “besmirching the image of the Honduran nation.” Those named were Marvin Palacios, a journalist and COFADEH member; Wilfredo Paz, a spokesman for the Aguán Permanent International Human Rights Monitoring Unit; and Vitalino Alvarez and Yony Rivas, leaders of the Aguán United Peasant Movement (MUCA) and announcers on local community radio stations.Col. Alfaro also issued a press release making the same charges against other persons “who hide under anonymity.” Three news websites – Defensoresenlinea.com (COFADEH’s online newspaper), Voselsoberano.com and Hondurastierralibre.com – were also named.“This kind of public stigmatization directly exposes those concerned to significant risks, given the human rights situation in Aguán in particular and Honduras in general, where those who dare to provide information about land disputes and environmental problems are systematically criminalized,” Reporters Without Borders said.“The government must explain under what capacity a senior military officer, who is supposed to be subject to political control, took this initiative. It poses a real threat to freedom of information, one that should be referred to Inter-American and international bodies.”A total of 30 journalists have been murdered in Honduras in the past decade, 25 of them since a military coup in June 2009. Reporters Without Borders is still awaiting a response from the government to its request for specially adapted protection for journalists and human rights defenders.Consisting of more than 500 soldiers and police officers, the Xatruch Intervention Force was created to “carry out stabilization operations in Colón department.” According to its commander, it respects “human rights and the dignity of the individual” and guarantees “respect for private ownership” of agricultural land.MUCA spokesman Vitalino Alvarez told Reporters Without Borders: “This communiqué is an insult to all those who report human rights violations and who are repeatedly threatened by the armed forces. These soldiers and policemen do nothing to stop the abuses by the militia of landowners who persecute us.”Announcing that the organizations concerned are to hold a news conference today in Tegucigalpa, Alvarez added: “This is an outright act of censorship. And it is a threat that concerns even leading news media such as El Heraldo, when they publish the least report about the situation in Aguán.” In a press release on 19 February, the day after Col. Alfaro’s news conference, COFADEH criticized the “militarization of the country” by means of a military presence on the streets and in institutions designed to “annihilate the public’s requests and demands.” The COFADEH press release also condemned the Xatruch Intervention Force’s use of firearms, tear-gas grenades, torture, detention, criminalization of social struggle and attacks on the media.The dangers of covering land conflicts and environmental issues were also highlighted by the threats that Isaac Guevara Amaya, Radio Progreso’s correspondent in the northern city of Tela and founder of community Radio Exclusiva, received from police on 18 February.According to the Reporters Without Borders partner organization, the Committee for Free Expression (C-Libre), which reported the threats, Guevara is known for his coverage of local opposition to open-cast mining projects on the Atlantic coast.Reporters Without Borders reiterates its call for protection for Radio Progreso’s journalists. The July 2011 murder of Nery Jeremía Orellana, a Radio Progreso correspondent and director of Radio Joconguera in the southwestern municipality of Candelaria, is still unpunished.Agrarian, mining and environmental disputes are among the leading underlying causes of serious violations of freedom of information throughout Latin America.(Photo, from left to right: Wilfredo Paz, Juan Chinchilla, Osman del Cid, Yoni Rivas, Vitalino Alvarez, Marvin Palacios) RSF’s 2020 Round-up: 50 journalists killed, two-thirds in countries “at peace” HondurasAmericas Help by sharing this information Reports News February 21, 2013 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Journalists and human rights defenders stigmatized for covering land conflicts December 28, 2020 Find out more News RSF_en Newscenter_img RSF begins research into mechanisms for protecting journalists in Latin America May 13, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts April 27, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Honduras Organisation to go further 2011-2020: A study of journalist murders in Latin America confirms the importance of strengthening protection policies HondurasAmericas last_img read more

Eric Krasno Welcomes Cory Henry & Jon Batiste For 1st Night Of Blue Note Run [Photo]

first_imgPhoto: Capacity Images Photo: Chris Capaci Load remaining images Photo: Capacity Images When it comes to live music in New York City, every week is special. This week should prove to be particularly notable, as Eric Krasno (Eric Krasno Band, Lettuce, Soulive) brings his friends along for a three-night run at one of New York’s most famous jazz clubs, Blue Note. Eric Krasno & Friends are doing two shows a night (8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.) through Wednesday, March 21st, with a different special guest announced for each night.For the first night of the run, on Monday, Krasno welcomed special guest Snarky Puppy organist Cory Henry and surprise performer Jon Batiste. The house band consisted of Chris Loftin (Brian McKnight) on bass, Louis Cato (Jon Batiste and Stay Human, the house band on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert) on drums, and Nigel Hall (Lettuce) on the keys. As Nigel mentioned to the crowd before they took the audience on a funk journey, along with Krasno, this band was formerly known as Chapter 2.Seeing a show at Blue Note is unlike many shows because everyone is seated at a table, making for a more interesting dynamic between band and audience. To kick off the set, the band ripped right into a funky jam, with Chris Loftlin getting the crowd involved and clapping. Krasno had heads bopping at every table, as he offered some super funky guitar riffs while Nigel layering in some synthy rhythms.Before launching into the second song, “Be Alright”, Nigel told the story of how the number led him to initially get involved with Krasno. Nigel had been living in Bangor, Maine, at the time, and Kraz called him to play on a song. Nigel thought it was Ryan Zoidis of Lettuce messing with him and almost hung up the phone. Apparently, Zoidis is notorious for playing pranks. Once he realized it wasn’t a joke, Krasno sent him “Be Alright” to listen and add to, and Nigel fell in love with it. And it was understandable why: Nigel took us to church with his soulful voice, and everyone in the crowd was feeling alright.Four songs in, and the special guests in the crowd began to join the band onstage for sit-ins. First, it was Cory Henry, who joined Nigel Hall on the keyboard rig. They played a song originally written for Nick Daniels III and Dumpstaphunk called “Don’t Change For Me”. The joy in the room was evident, as Nigel could be seen slapping Cory on the back, and the audience, though seated, never stopped bopping and grooving.A couple of songs later, Jon Batiste was invited to join the group onstage. Batiste stepped in to join Nigel on the keys, and Cory Henry joined Krasno in the center of the stage on the harpejji. Rumor has it that Batiste did not sit-in during the early set, so this was a special treat for only attendees of the late show. The six of them stayed onstage together throughout the remainder of the set, which lasted four more songs. When the band finally launched into the Buddy Miles classic “Them Changes”, the energy was electric, and people clapped and sung along.It was a special Monday night of music in Greenwich Village. Watching such a talented, unique, diverse group of musicians onstage jamming together is quite an experience, as you can tell how much fun they are having exploring where they can take the music. As the band continues to warm up over the next two nights, Krasno will add in other special guests to the mix, including Questlove and Robert Randolph. You can check out photos from last night’s show below, courtesy of Chris Capaci.Photo: Eric Krasno & Friends | Blue Note | New York, NY | 3/19/2018 | Credit: Chris Capacilast_img read more

‘Spectre’: Latest Bond Battles Classic Roots

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Spectres certainly haunted 007’s latest film, which premieres this weekend in the United States.A chilling epigraph, “The Dead Are Alive,” hinted at ghosts from Bond’s past returning to haunt him. But before we got there, the camera followed a skull-masked James Bond (Daniel Craig) through a seamless shot in the festive streets of Mexico City as revelers celebrated Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead).The latest installment of the iconic 24-part series reintroduced SPECTRE–Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion–a criminal organization last seen in 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever. There’s also MI6’s dull subplot with “C” (Andrew Scott, Sherlock), whose antagonistic intent to technologically modernize British intelligence eventually tied in with the main storyline. Apparently GCHQ isn’t tech-savy enough.Bond’s latest mission was assigned via a recorded message left by his late boss, “M” (Judi Dench), who died in the previous film, Skyfall (2012). There are also villains and family alike who crept out of the darkness of Bond’s past.Since there’s not much else we can learn about Bond (this is the 24th film for Pete’s sake), the villains are often the most interesting characters, as is the case with Franz Oberhauser (Christopher Waltz, Inglorious Basterds, Big Eyes). Comparing himself to a meteorite building momentum, Oberhauser was introduced as a silent, unstable, and ultimately interesting shadow in Bond’s life, but the man behind the terrorist group was disappointingly absent for a large portion of the movie. Oberhauser ended up in the role of the classic evil mastermind, complete with his right-hand white cat, mostly inactive in hunting Bond. For a criminal mastermind, he was a bit of a letdown compared to the disturbing insanity of Skyfall’s Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem) or the testicle-torturing cruelty of Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen).The inevitable showdown between Oberhauser and Bond concluded with two very predictable and unsatisfying climaxes.But it was the spirit of the classic James Bond who truly plagued Spectre’s risqué romance and adrenaline-fueled action.Helicopters flipping violently over Mexico City, flashy sport cars racing through historic Rome, and wingless planes skiing down snowy Austrian Alps, all played to a hair-raising soundtrack and edge-of-your-seat action sequences. Simultaneously, Bond’s famed pulse-pounding action has reached a point where we know exactly what to expect. There’s little to no surprise anymore (sigh). When the music heightened, we’re prepared for a dramatic climax to the fighting. Even Bond, tired of brawling, at one point warned an incapacitated security guard to “stay!” grounded instead of getting his arse kicked again.Ass kicking wasn’t the only booty Bond got, of course. Bond girls, somewhat shamefully, have been iconized based on the size of their breasts and thinness of their waistline. In Spectre, that tradition continued. Weirdly, Bond pressed a grieving widow (whose husband he killed) against a mirror, whispered in her ear, and tingled her arms with the tips of his fingers, and somehow scored a night beneath her bed sheets. Some things will never change.The main love interest was the mistrusting damsel-in-distress Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux, Inglorious Basterds, The Grand Budapest Hotel), who kept Bond at arms length for less than 30 minutes until he proved his romantic value by tossing assassin Mr. Hinx (WWE’s Dave Bautista) out of a high-speed train.“What do we do now?” her accented voice purred.The two then burst through a bathroom door, lips locked, and their hands clawing each other’s clothes off. It was ridiculous, but you appreciated the spontaneous sex more when Madeleine whispered, “I love you!” to a wounded Bond 24 hours later, as well as to the eye roll of (hopefully all) viewers. Bond’s mutual feelings felt like it was meant to be more central to the plot, as expressed in the opening credits theme, “Writing On The Wall.” A chilling rhythm and Sam Smith’s beautiful falsetto touched on the absolutism of Bond’s love-or-death relationship with Madeline.But their love never felt absolute. Madeline’s romance was abrupt, disjointed, and unnatural compared to the reality of love and relationships, justified in Spectre only by classic Bond’s embodiment as the ultimate male fantasy. It’s almost as if the hilarity of the scenario was intentional, a wink to classic Bond’s seductive ways, but it’s not even funny. Spectre barely highlighted and explored any personal fragility or vulnerability beneath Bond’s masculine armor.This all came as a disappointing endnote considering Daniel Craig, the sixth 007 in the series–preceded by Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, and Pierce Brosnan–recently discussed the possibility of resigning after ten years and four films of playing the tuxedo-clan gentlemen.“It’s been an amazing ride doing [Spectre] and we’ve had incredible fun and it’s been a lot of hard work,” Craig said in an interview. “But it has taken up all of my life these two years. So, maybe a little of my life back would be nice.”The 24th Bond film’s weakness was its past. Spectre retreated to the comfort of author Ian Fleming’s source material. Director Sam Mendes’ second 007 film sacrificed creatively modernizing and innovating Bond again for predictable action thrills and fantastical romance.(Photo credit: James Bond/Spectre – Facebook)last_img read more

NBC’s obsolete Olympics: Is your credit union cable-passé?

first_img 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Heather Anderson Heather Anderson is co-founder of OmniChannel Communications, a marketing company that serves fintech and asset/liability management firms. Previously, she was executive editor of Credit Union Times. She has more … Web: www.omnichannelcommunications.com Details Thank god the Olympics are over. I’d rather watch another video of Armenian weightlifter Andranik Karapetyan dislocating his elbow than suffer through another painful night of NBC’s Olympic coverage. The network’s outdated programming has only reinforced television’s growing relevancy problem with tech and social-savvy viewers.Is your credit union making the same mistakes?Take, for example, the network’s sexist commentary. I had seen some social media posts criticizing the network but didn’t think much of it. Everybody criticizes the media.But not even five minutes after tuning in, my jaw dropped when I saw it for myself. As gold medalist swimmer Abbey Weitzeil entered Aquatics Stadium, commentator Rowdy Gaines quipped, “Let’s get a smile, Abbey.”No commentator would dream of encouraging Michael Phelps to smile for the good folks watching on TV right before he competed for Olympic gold.Why does it matter? Because it communicates that men compete, while women merely perform. That’s sexist, outdated and flat-out repulsive.If you don’t realize how much women bristle at being told to smile, you’re probably loathed in your credit union. Millennial women often respond to such a patronizing request with indignation. Baby boomer and Gen X women aren’t as obvious. They’ve grown accustomed to forcing a pleasant facial expression the clueless man perceives to be a smile intended to brighten his big, important day.The outward response doesn’t matter – all three generations of women note to avoid this man in the future. If he’s in the business of growing market share, he’s striking out with half of his prospects.NBC’s scheduling and delivery channels are also frustrating. Because the network only shows events during prime time, by the time it airs here on the West Coast, I’ve known the results for three hours or more. NBC is live streaming events this year for the first time ever on its website, but a cable provider login is required.In an omnichannel world, NBC will die a slow, painful death if it limits online viewers to only cable subscribers. By the next Olympics, it’s estimated at least ¼ of U.S. households won’t have cable service. The network paid $4 billion for exclusive domestic broadcast rights in the U.S.; that’s a lot of money to limit access to a rapidly decreasing market.Does your credit union provide an omnichannel experience? If you don’t communicate with members via text message, interact with them on social media or provide a mobile app that offers complete account access, the answer is no. And if that’s the case, you’re also dying a slow, painful death.Consumers today want what they want, when they want it and how they want it. There may be significant operational hurdles that prevent you from offering a true omnichannel experience, but consumers don’t care about your problems. The cooperative structure is important within the credit union community, but consumers aren’t willing to sacrifice convenience and innovation to support the credit union philosophy.Just like Netflix, Hulu and livestreaming apps provide an alternative to cable television, there are plenty of innovative financial service providers ready to steal your market share. Like the Olympics, the purchase of goods and services will survive the ages. How you deliver that service determines whether you survive, too.last_img read more

Arsenal summer signing Willian accused of ‘disappearing’ against Liverpool by Frank LeBouef

first_imgFrank Lebouef was critical of Arsenal summer signing Willian’s performance against Liverpool (Picture: ESPN)Former Chelsea star Frank Lebouef believes Arsenal were architects of their own downfall against Liverpool on Monday as Mikel Arteta’s side surrendered their 100% start to the new season.The Gunners fortuitously took the lead at Anfield through Alexandre Lacazette, but the Premier League champions turned the match on its head before half-time courtesy of goals from Sadio Mane and Andrew Robertson.Arsenal have improved as a defensive unit under Arteta and shocked Jurgen Klopp’s side at the Emirates towards the end of last season while they also took the spoils following a penalty shootout win in last month’s Community Shield.AdvertisementAdvertisementBut the visitors were largely overwhelmed at Anfield last night, however, with Klopp’s relentless juggernaut pressing the life out of Arsenal and carving out numerous goalscoring opportunities. ADVERTISEMENTLebouef, however, felt Arsenal should have done better to prevent Robertson from scoring at the far post 10 minutes before the breaj, with summer signing Willian particularly culpable having failed to track the full-back’s trademark run. Willian struggled to make an impact as Arsenal were beaten 3-1 at Anfield by Liverpool (Picture: Getty)‘They can have regrets because they didn’t do what they had to do and that was my concern about Willian,’ the former France World Cup winner told ESPN. ‘I’m going to point the problem on him. ‘I think he touched the ball eight times in the first half and he was the guy who didn’t follow Robertson from the cross for Alexander-Arnold. And we all know around the world when Alexander-Arnold has the ball Robertson goes for the second ball at the far post and you should be there.‘That was the problem when he was playing fro Chelsea he could be the best player in the world and then disappear completely and not doing his defensive part of the job.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing ArsenalArteta’s insistence on playing out from the back and inviting pressure was also questioned by Lebouef, who felt also couldn’t comprehend the decision to leave Dani Ceballos on the bench.He added: ‘In the defence with the crazy suicide passes that they made in the six-yard box from Leno to David Luiz and Holding where everyone starts sweating, just to take that risk. ‘I don’t know why Ceballos was on the bench, he has technique and finally gave good balls, the one he gave to Lacazette and some others. So there were some mistakes that they could correct and they didn’t, but they have to change to some stuff because it’s not the way that I see Arsenal playing.’MORE: ‘He’s turned the club around’ – Andy Robertson praises Mikel Arteta and Arsenal signings after Liverpool winMORE: Diogo Jota reveals Jurgen Klopp advice before scoring his first Liverpool goal against Arsenal Advertisement Comment Metro Sport ReporterTuesday 29 Sep 2020 11:30 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link86Sharescenter_img Arteta reflects after Arsenal are beaten 3-1 by LiverpoolTo view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video Play VideoLoaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 6:14FullscreenArteta reflects after Arsenal are beaten 3-1 by Liverpoolhttps://metro.co.uk/video/arteta-reflects-arsenal-beaten-3-1-liverpool-2258966/This is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page. Arsenal summer signing Willian accused of ‘disappearing’ against Liverpool by Frank LeBouef Advertisementlast_img read more

PFA crowns Irene Holmslykke as new CEO of asset management arm

first_imgIrene Holmslykke, new CEO of PFA Asset ManagementHolmslykke, who has been working at PFA Asset Management since January 2019, would be in charge of this process, the pensions group said.Ahrndt Lorenzen praised Lindstrøm Lage, saying he had made a big difference for many years and played a leading role in developing the whole area of investment at PFA.Meanwhile, Holmslykke said she was looking forward to getting started in the new job.“We have undergone a great deal of development in recent years, and I have have been very involved in that process myself,” she said.PFA said she has had special responsibility for building the structure around PFA’s increased focus on unlisted investments, and in her new job, she would be continuing with a similar task across the whole of PFA Asset Management.Before joining PFA a year and half ago, Holmslykke worked in several top investment positions at Danske Bank and its subsidiary Danske Markets, PFA said.Since Ahrndt Lorenzen came to the PFA group and took charge of investment, he has put a new stamp on the overall strategy, bringing with him ATP’s all-weather portfolio construction mindset.He told IPE earlier this year that PFA was in the process of mapping all its alternatives in terms of public market risks.Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here. Denmark’s largest commercial pension fund is adding a new leader to its asset management arm, whose first task will be to re-define the top role as more management-centred and less of an investment job.PFA announced today that former Danske Bank investment staffer Irene Holmslykke is being promoted within the group to the position of chief executive officer of its subsidiary PFA Asset Management – replacing the unit’s current CEO Christian Lindstrøm Lage, who is leaving the firm by mutual agreement after 12 years.Lindstrøm Lage became CEO of PFA Asset Management in September 2019, according to his LinkedIn profile.Kasper Ahrndt Lorenzen, group CIO of PFA and chair of the board of PFA Asset Management, said: “I am very happy that Irene Holmslykke has accepted the job as the new CEO of PFA Asset Management.” She was an incredibly strong candidate with broad experience across the financial and investment area, and also a very skilled leader, said Ahrndt Lorenzen, who moved to PFA from ATP last September.“She has the right skills to lead the further development of PFA Asset Management,” he said.Holmslykke is due to start the new job on 1 September 2020, and Lindstrøm Lage will continue working until the end of October.PFA said that in future, the CEO role at PFA Asset Management would focus in particular on the management and development of the subsidiary, while responsibility for investments would be “further anchored” in the respective investment teams.last_img read more

Little League Baseball comes to a conclusion

first_imgby Erin PerryThe sounds of summer ring through the air. Baseball bats cutting the dry winds of Summer days, children cheering and laughing as they hit balls and run bases, and coaches asserting corrections and shouting motivation as the Wilkinsburg Baseball League ends its season with the playoffs.This familiar scene has been occurring for more than 40 years under the direction of long-time Wilkinsburg resident and league participant David Reese. He and his co-organizers proudly tell of the successes of the program, that they provide a structured environment and activity for the youth of neighborhoods other than Wilkinsburg, that everyone comes with the intent of doing the right thing for the children, and that communities have a space to come together in peace.Students as young as 3 years of age play in the league, receiving the guidance of coaches who serves as father figures to many. According to David Reese, they are a consistent male presence in the lives of participants.The league provides a space for children to be surrounded by people who love and support them. Parents and friends sit sprinkled along the wood chipped bleachers watching their children while eating fries and icees from the concession stand.ANDRE BYRD OF WILKINSBURG SWINGS AT PITCH FROM EAST HILLS ANGELSYOUTH FROM THE BRADDOCK VIPERSGOOD TIMES IN WILKINSBURG AT TURNER FIELD AVOIDING A PITCH—Children ages 9-11 from the Homewood Reds and the Braddock Vipers play at Turner Field. (Photos by Erin Perry) Your comments are welcome. Follow @NewPghCourier on Twitter  https://twitter.com/NewPghCourierLike us at https://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Pittsburgh-Courier/143866755628836?ref=hlDownload our mobile app at http://www.appshopper.com/news/new-pittsburgh-courierlast_img read more

Li, 11, misses cut, makes impression at Open

first_imgLucy Li, left, gets a high-five from her caddie, Bryan Bush, right, after finishing her round during the second round of the U.S. Women’s Open golf tournament in Pinehurst, N.C., Friday, June 20, 2014. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)PINEHURST, N.C. (AP) — Lucy Li’s friends back in California have been filling her inbox with emails.That’s the only way they can reach her at the U.S. Women’s Open.The 11-year-old is too young for a cellphone.“They’re like, ‘Oh, you’re famous now,’” she said, laughing.Li made quite an impression at Pinehurst No. 2 — even if she didn’t make it to the weekend. The youngest qualifier in the history of the tournament mostly held her own at the Women’s Open.For the second straight day, a couple of rough holes proved to be her undoing.Hurt by a double bogey and a triple bogey, Li shot her second straight 8-over 78.According to her caddie, this week was never about her score.“She was here for the experience and the opportunity to play with the best players in the world,” caddie Bryan Bush said. “She proved that she can.”Li was 22 strokes behind leader Michelle Wie and 19 behind Lexi Thompson, who both know about playing the Women’s Open at a young age.Wie’s first was in 2003 when she was 13. In 2007, Thompson became the youngest to qualify at age 12 — until Li supplanted her.“I hope she’s having a blast out there,” Wie said.All eyes were on the pre-teen from the Bay Area who showed a beyond-her-years knack for bouncing back from mistakes and rough holes.She bounced back from her roughest hole — the par-4 13th — with one of her best.Li’s tee shot on 13 landed in some thick weeds, and she missed the ball when she tried to punch it out. After a brief chat with USGA President Tom O’Toole, she took a drop and her shot from that rough ricocheted off the green and near the seating area.After she chipped to about 15 feet, she pushed that putt wide right and tapped in for her second triple bogey of the tournament.She came back strong: Li birdied the 14th — her favorite moment of the tournament — and closed her round with pars on three of her final four holes to match her opening-round score.“I’m really happy with how I bounced back from the big numbers,” Li said.Marlene Bauer’s place in tournament history as the youngest player to make the cut remained safe: She was 13 in 1947 in the second Women’s Open before going on to become one of the founders of the LPGA Tour.___THE CUT LINE: A couple of the LPGA Tour’s most recognizable names didn’t make it to the weekend.Cristie Kerr, who won the Women’s Open the last time it was held in the North Carolina sandhills in 2007, was at 10-over — missing the cut by one stroke.Cheyenne Woods — Tiger’s niece — had six bogeys during her 75 and was at 13-over. And Morgan Pressel was at 12-over following her 75.Two other players who began the day in danger of missing it used strong rounds to earn tee times on Saturday and Sunday.Defending champion Inbee Park, who shot an opening-round 76, had three birdies on the back nine of her 71 that moved her to 7-over.“It’s never too far back in the U.S. Open, I think,” Park said. “Anything is possible on this golf course.”Lydia Ko joined her at 7-over after two late birdies during her 71.___AMATEUR HOUR: Minjee Lee was a fan at last year’s Women’s Open, spending the week hanging around with her hero — fellow Australian Karrie Webb — at Sebonack in New York.“It’s like the best experience ever,” Lee said. “So yeah, it was good last year.”This one’s even better.Playing the Women’s Open for the first time, the amateur moved to 1 over after her second-round 71 that pushed her into a tie for third behind Michelle Wie and Lexi Thompson.Now, after spending most of her life looking up to Webb, now it’s Webb who’s looking up at her — on the leaderboard.“It is my first and I’m in contention,” Lee said. “So I can’t ask for anything more, really.”Said Webb: “Another Aussie flying the flag. So that’s good. She’s a great little player.”___OFFLINE: Na Yeon Choi doesn’t Google herself anymore.Not after the 2012 Women’s Open winner read all those news stories about her back home in South Korea while she pushed to become the world’s top-ranked player.“I read all the Internet news in Korea and sometimes that gave me a lot of pressure,” Choi said, adding that now, “I try not to search my name on the Internet.”After climbing to No. 2 in the world rankings last year, she said she “tried so hard to be No. 1, that gave me a lot of pressure.“Last year, when I go to a tournament, I only think about winning,” she added. “I can’t control the winning, but I think that all the pressure affected my game in a negative.”Choi came to Pinehurst at No. 15 in the current rankings and was 1 over through two rounds.___EARLY EXITS: Two players withdrew Friday.Jane Park withdrew midway through the second round with a back injury. She shot a 75 in the first round and had five bogeys and a double bogey in nine holes in the second round.That came a few hours after the USGA said Lizette Salas withdrew due to food poisoning. Salas had eight bogeys in an opening 78.___Follow Joedy McCreary on Twitter at http://twitter.com/joedyaplast_img read more

Celebrities Praise Serena Williams for Winning 18th Major Tennis Title

first_imgTennis legend John MacEnroe has already affixed the title of “The Greatest of All Time” upon the crown of Serena Williams right after she won her 3rd U.S. Open in a row, her 6th U.S. Open overall and, most importantly, which tied her with the towering icons of the sport, Chris Evert and Martina Navratalova, with her 18th Grand Slam Tennis title.Just as remarkable is the fact that Serena (we now address her by first name only) won her first U.S. Open title 16 years ago against Martina Hingis who, by the way, was a great player named after Navratalova. To maintain that ravenous appetite over that vast time frame is also nearly unmatched in tennis history.It was an emotional acceptance speech by Serena before she was joined at center court by Evert and Navratalova and presented a gold bracelet with the number 18 scrawled across the face. The poignancy of the moment was somewhat awkward because of Serena’s elder sister Venus’ conspicuous absence. Serena also failed to thank her sister during her interview but thanked her father.Serena is now four away from equally idolized Steffi Graf for the most Grand Slam Titles in the Open Era.Celebrities were quick to climb onto social media to pay homage to, undoubtedly and undisputedly, one of the best players who ever grabbed a tennis racket in the annals of the sport. Take a look:last_img read more