NEW YORK (AP) — A New York appeals court has heard arguments for and against releasing the disciplinary records of the officer at the center of Eric Garner’s chokehold death.
The New York Post (http://nyp.st/2jd7a5C) reports that one judge on the panel asked Thursday why jurists’ disciplinary records are public but not officers’.
A lower court judge has ordered the records’ release.
But lawyers for Mayor Bill de Blasio (dih BLAH’-zee-oh) appealed. They cite a 40-year-old state civil rights law that allows the withholding of records used to evaluate the performance of police, firefighters and jail guards.
Advocates say the law doesn’t allow for transparency in government. De Blasio has said state legislatures should rewrite it.
Garner is heard saying “I can’t breathe!” repeatedly in a video that partially recorded his 2014 encounter with police.
Information from: New York Post, http://www.nypost.com
Maya Moore has been watching UConn intently, cheering for them to keep winning.
The former Huskies great, who was instrumental in the previous 90-game winning streak, hopes the current team can keep their record run going and shatter the mark her group set a few years ago.
“I don’t feel like it’s their streak and we have our streak. We all kind of share everything this school accomplishes,” Moore said in a phone interview with The Associated Press. “I’ve watched them play a couple of times. They are the same UConn, same unselfish passing. I’m proud of who they are and who they can be. That’s why I want them to succeed. If they were doing things differently, things might be different.”
Moore remembered the buildup when her Huskies were chasing the UCLA men’s record of 88 consecutive wins in 2010. There was so much more “outside noise” as they approached the vaunted mark with comparisons between men’s and women’s basketball and questions whether the Huskies were good for the sport.
Moore said that coach Geno Auriemma did a tremendous job keeping the team focused on the task at hand — winning the next game — instead of focusing on the bigger picture or paying any attention to those outside the team’s inner circle.
“The coaches did such a good job of shielding us from it,” she said. “Being undefeated and the streak weren’t our main focus. We didn’t want to get swayed from the ultimate goal of playing great basketball. At the same time, you knew what was there. You wanted to win and I think for us, it really brought out the best in us. We wanted to play well, our freshmen had to grow up fast.”
The Huskies, led by Moore, didn’t see their streak last much longer after topping UCLA’s mark against Florida State. They lost to Stanford nine days later.
“It was such a big deal to us when we did it,” Moore said. “Maybe not in the moment, but looking back, it’s such a legacy-defining accomplishment. The first to win 90 games in a row. Big picture, no one can take away from that streak, that time together, the uniqueness of that group we had over those games.”
This current run that UConn is on should go a lot longer. The team equaled the record mark Tuesday night in a rout of No. 20 South Florida. That game was over nearly as quickly as it started. UConn scored the first nine points and never looked back in the 102-37 victory — the biggest victory over a ranked opponent in school history. While Auriemma and his players have been reticent to talk about the streak, they did celebrate the accomplishment after the game.
“Some things you just can’t really explain; you just have to enjoy it.” Auriemma said. “We don’t set out to do these kinds of things. We don’t set out to set records, break records or keep track of records. We set out to play as hard as we can, play with as much energy as we can.”
With about 2 minutes left in the contest, fans were given signs that read “90 and counting” on one side. On the other was: “The Two longest win streaks in college basketball.”
When the final buzzer sounded, the players put on T-shirts celebrating the accomplishment. A video played with well wishes from former players, including Breanna Stewart and Morgan Tuck, who were key for the first 75 wins of the current run.
“I thought our record was safe,” Moore said. “But then as I saw the last graduating class, as well as how the current players continued to develop, I thought they had a good chance to catch us.”
The Huskies should break their record Saturday at SMU. They haven’t lost an American Athletic Conference game since joining the new league in 2013-14. So the only real potential obstacle before the NCAA Tournament is a home game against No. 5 South Carolina on Feb. 13. That would be the school’s 100th consecutive victory.
Auriemma has said repeatedly that the streak will end sometime. He set up the schedule this year with test after test for his young squad. Seven of UConn’s first 12 games featured opponents ranked in the Top 25, including at No. 2 Notre Dame, No. 3 Baylor and at No. 4 Maryland. The Huskies passed all of those exams to keep the run going.
“Honestly, I don’t sit here and figure out how many games we’re going to win in a row,” he said. “We’ve done it before.”
Before the 90-game run that Moore helped accomplish from 2008-10, UConn ran off 70 straight from 2001-03. Who’s to say there won’t be another one when this streak ends?
“As long as Coach Auriemma is there,” Moore said, “I wouldn’t be surprised by anything they do.”
Follow Doug on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/dougfeinberg
HONOLULU (AP) — The fishing didn’t quite work out for Jordan Spieth and Smylie Kaufman.
The kayak wasn’t much better.
Not long after Spieth watched good friend Justin Thomas shoot 59 at the Sony Open, he decided to join Kaufman for an island adventure .
It was all that.
They abandoned plans to fish from the shore, especially when Kaufman’s first cast landed a few feet in front of him. So they wandered out in a two-man kayak. Spieth put his phone in a plastic bag. Kaufman held onto his. They were surprised by a few waves, especially the one that broke on top of them and toppled the kayaks.
As Kaufman tried to climb back into the kayak, another wave got them.
“Chasing a sea turtle ‘crush’ was a bad idea,” Kaufman tweeted. “That’s when our fishing trip took a turn for the worst. Lost the fishing poles but survived.”
Moments later, Spieth saw a plastic bag floating on the water. It had enough air in it to float, and his phone was safe. Spieth thrust both arms in the air and celebrated as if he had just won a tournament. Kaufman wasn’t so fortunate.
By late afternoon, when the S.S. Minnow made it back to shore, Kaufman put his water-damaged phone in a bag of white rice.
“An old college trick,” Spieth said.
Kaufman removed the phone, filled with replies to his Instagram, and they were blurred.
Spieth pulled out his phone, and it was in good enough shape for him to watch video of their wobbly entry into the water, the kayak capsizing and Spieth finding his phone.
Maybe the Texan had it right when he said last month about the Hawaii swing, “Try and make it last as long as possible,” Spieth said. “Because once you get off the islands, it’s back to reality.”
TOKYO (AP) — Nintendo Co. said Friday that its Nintendo Switch video game console will sell for 29,980 yen (about $260) in Japan, starting March 3.
The Kyoto-based maker of Super Mario and Pokemon games made the announcement in Tokyo.
It said the console will sell for $299.99 in the U.S. The company said customers would need to ask retailers in Europe for prices there.
Anticipation has been growing ahead of the release of the Switch. Nintendo has shown players with a handheld whose remote controller section with buttons detaches from the left and right sides of the main part of the display.
Players can play the device as a regular handheld, place the display on a table, or use the screen of a TV set, connecting by wireless.
“Nintendo Switch is a brand-new kind of home gaming system that offers a wide variety of play modes,” Nintendo’s president Tatsumi Kimishima told reporters.
Nintendo will be hoping the Switch will buttress a turnaround after disappointing sales of the Wii U and the 3DS handheld.
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Leon Draisaitl scored in overtime and had two assists and the Edmonton Oilers beat the New Jersey Devils 3-2 on Thursday night to snap a two-game losing streak.
Connor McDavid earned his second assist on the winner, setting up a Draisaitl for a one-timer on a 2-on-1 1:50 into the extra period.
Andrej Sekera and Patrick Maroon also scored for the Oilers.
Travis Zajac and Steven Santini scored for New Jersey. The Devils have lost four straight.
The game marked the return of Taylor Hall, Edmonton’s 2010 first-overall pick who was traded to New Jersey in the offseason for defenseman Adam Larsson. Hall was welcomed with a video tribute at Rogers Place amid a standing ovation.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Thousands of people took to the streets on Thursday to protest chronic power cuts in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, in one of the largest unauthorized protests in the territory since the Islamic militant group took power a decade ago.
Hamas has shown little tolerance for dissent, and it moved quickly to contain Thursday’s demonstration. Police fired in the air to disperse a crowd of stone-throwing protesters and blocked journalists from the area. A day earlier, Hamas-run authorities arrested a local comedian who made a viral video lamenting the power shortages during the cold winter season.
The demonstration began in the Jebaliya refugee camp, and as it grew in size, the crowd marched toward the nearby offices of an electricity distribution company, chanting: “Raise your voice, electricity cuts mean death.”
Hamas police made way for the crowd, but took up positions outside the electricity company’s building. When a group of youths threw stones at them, they fired into the air to disperse the crowd. Later, the protesters arrived at the building and gathered peacefully.
Hamas forces blocked journalists from filming the gathering, and an Associated Press journalist was briefly detained at gunpoint until he handed over his mobile phones to plainclothes security men.
The Foreign Press Association, which represents international media operating in Israel and the Palestinian territories, said a photographer with Agence France-Presse was badly beaten in the head by uniformed policemen and required medical care after he refused to hand over his camera. The group condemned the “violent behavior” in the “strongest terms.”
Interior Ministry spokesman Iyad Bozom denied anyone had been injured. He said protesters were dispersed after they “attacked” the electricity company building and that “quiet has been restored” to the area.
Life has become increasingly difficult for Gaza’s 2 million residents, who are squeezed into the tiny coastal territory. Hamas’ violent takeover a decade ago triggered a border blockade by Israel and Egypt that, among other things, sharply aggravated power shortages.
In a sign of the worsening situation, Gaza comedian Adel al-Mashwakhi was arrested just hours after posting a video about the hardships under Hamas rule, friends and rights groups said. By Thursday afternoon, the video had received more than 250,000 views.
In the one-minute video, titled “Hamas, it’s enough,” he lists the basics missing in Gaza, including jobs and the ability to travel. “(Take) everything but electricity, Hamas,” he says, facing the camera.
Bozom declined to comment about the arrest.
Hamas, an Islamic militant group sworn to Israel’s destruction, has ruled the territory since 2007, routinely clamping down on critics.
Despite the hardships, anti-Hamas protests have been rare, in part because of fear and because even disgruntled Gazans believe there’s no realistic path to toppling the militants.
Gaza is currently experiencing the worst electricity shortage in years, with power supplied to households only three to four hours a day in a cold winter. Residents have tried to improvise, using old kerosene heaters to keep warm and restarting previously disused community ovens for cooking and baking.
In recent weeks, Gaza residents have staged spontaneous demonstrations, including marching at night with torches to demand more electricity.
Al-Mashwakhi posted his video late Tuesday.
“There is no work, no (border) crossing points, no food, no water and also no electricity,” he shouts in the clip, after getting out of a white car in the dark.
The artist has produced several short mobile phone videos and acted in some. He rose to fame locally with video clips in which he sings songs with nonsensical lyrics.
The Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights condemned the comedian’s arrest, and said it was the third time since last year that he was taken into custody for criticizing Hamas. During one of the detentions, he was tortured, the group said.