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Comment on Compulsive gambler just can’t win by TheLawToday
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A federal judge in New Jersey has issued the most complete and comprehensive judgment ever about whether a compulsive gambler can sue a casino.The short version of her 10-page-long legal analysis: “No.”Arelia Margarita Taveras, a disbarred lawyer, sued most of the casinos in Atlantic City, as well as many of their owners and employees.She alleged that “the Defendants facilitated Plaintiff’s gambling addiction and induced her to gamble away money belonging to her and others . . .” She pleaded 12 separate causes of action, including negligence, negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and violations of the federal racketeering statutes and the Bank Secrecy Act.Some of Taveras’s claims were a stretch. For example, she alleged that the casinos owe her money because they failed to report her cash transactions of more than $10,000. The problem is that even if a casino does fail to file its required reports, that does not give a player the right to sue.But raising every possible claim required U.S. District Judge Renee Marie Bumb to examine every possible legal theory a compulsive gambler could have.Judge Bumb is a federal judge, so she is free to interpret federal statutes, like the Bank Secrecy Act, bound only by the decisions of higher federal courts. But many of Taveras’s causes of action were based on New Jersey state law. Judge Bumb’s role was to decide how the New Jersey Supreme Court would answer legal questions, which it often had never considered.Judge Bumb started with the rule that for there to be negligence, “the Court must find as a matter of law that Defendants owed Plaintiff a duty.” Taveras argued that casinos have a duty to keep their premises safe, and “that her continued gambling was an unreasonable danger foreseeable to Defendants.”Judge Bumb focused on New Jersey’s “extraordinary, pervasive and intensive regulations over virtually every facet of casino gambling.” Her conclusion: If the state had wanted to impose a duty on casinos to rescue compulsive gamblers from themselves, it would have said so.Judge Bumb similarly rejected Taveras’s request to create a duty somewhat like that imposed on bars to not serve drinks to obviously drunk patrons. “Plaintiff’s theory would, in effect, have no limit . . . [it] would impose a duty on shopping malls and credit-card companies to identify and exclude compulsive shoppers.”One of the more interesting parts of the Opinion was Taveras’s claim that gambling is an “abnormally dangerous activity.” Looking at cases such as dumping toxic waste, Judge Bumb concluded: “Needless to say, gambling can indeed be a safe activity, gambling is common, and state-regulated casinos are not inappropriate locations for gambling.”The Opinion contains other statements that can prove useful for the gaming industry both legally and politically. In rejecting Taveras’s claims for emotional distress, Judge Bumb held, “In allowing, even encouraging, Plaintiff to continue gambling, Defendants acted well within the bounds of the community norms reflected in state law.”In dismissing the counts based on fraud, for supposedly misleading Taveras “into thinking that gambling would result in high returns and rewards,” Judge Bumb ruled, “Plaintiff fails to identify with particularity (by quoting, for example) even a single falsehood or misleading statement . . .”There is no doubt that compulsive gambling can destroy lives. But the legal problem for compulsive gamblers is that the decision by a state to legalize gaming means the state has consciously weighed the pros and cons.So long as card clubs and casinos, and their executives, obey the rules, they should not be legally responsible for the harm compulsive gamblers do to themselves.© Copyright 2011. Professor I Nelson Rose is recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on gambling law and is a consultant and expert witness for players, governments and industry. His latest books, INTERNET GAMING LAW (1st & 2nd editions), BLACKJACK AND THE LAW and GAMING LAW: CASES AND MATERIALS, are available through his website, www.GAMBLINGANDTHELAW.com.
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Elliott hopes for Tiger green light
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Gordon Elliott admits it will be disappointing should Tiger Roll not run in the Randox Grand National after being allotted 11st 9lb - but underlined the final decision will rest with owner Michael O'Leary.The diminutive 11-year-old was denied the chance to win the race three times in a row - something not even Red Rum managed - by the Covid-19 pandemic, but Elliott is training him to peak on April 10. However, it has been well documented that O'Leary and his brother Eddie felt he needed plenty of help from handicapper Martin Greenwood for him to stand any chance of winning the race again, warning he would not run if he was rated "in the 160s or 170s".Tiger Roll won in 2018 from a mark of 150 and defied a 9lb rise 12 months later. This year he is off 166, despite pulling up on his last appearance at Cheltenham in November."He has got 166 and he won off 159 two years ago when the race was last run. He seems in good form at home and we are looking forward to the race," said Elliott. "You are always hoping you are going to be a couple of pounds less than what you have been given, but to be honest we will just smile and take it. "I have to concentrate on training the horse and I just hope his owner lets the horse run in the race for the public. Everyone will be looking forward to seeing the horse run again in the Grand National, but Michael will make that decision. "It will be disappointing for everyone if he doesn't turn up, but as you know he makes the decisions. He is 7lb higher than what he won off before, but it is probably fair enough."If you look at him he is not the biggest horse in the world, but he really seems to enjoy those fences."Regarding his run in November, Elliott said: "He made a mistake the last day at Cheltenham and he was lame after the race, but thankfully he is OK now."We injected his stifles behind and thankfully he is back sound and moving very well and we are very happy with him at the moment. We will just keep our heads up and hopefully he will be OK for the rest of the season."He is in the Boyne Hurdle at the weekend, but the ground is very soft, so we might not run him. If it isn't too bad he will run, as he has run in it the last two years."He is in good form and if the ground is right for him we would like to run him as it's a race he has won before."When contacted on Tuesday, Eddie O'Leary said: "We've said all we're going to say on the matter and will be offering no further comment."Elliott has 15 other entries, but that has already been slimmed down by the news Delta Work is out for the season and the likes of Aforementioned, Monbeg Notorious and Roaring Bull are highly unlikely to make the cut.Of his other hopefuls he added: "I would say I would hopefully run Presenting Percy (11st 9lb). He has had a little setback, but hopefully I will have him back for the National. Tiger Roll, The Storyteller (11st 8lb) and Alpha Des Obeaux (10st 9lb) will all hopefully go."I thought one down at the bottom with 10st 6lb could be very well handicapped, a horse called Milan Native. He has had a wind operation since his last run and he is one I am looking forward to for the Grand National this year."Three horses are weighted 1lb higher than Tiger Roll - Nigel Twiston-Davies' Bristol De Mai, Tiger Roll's Cheltenham conqueror Easysland and Gold Cup runner-up Santini.Magic Of Light, second to Tiger Roll two years ago, has 10st 13lb, Ladbrokes Trophy winner Cloth Cap has been given 10st 5lb while Welsh National winner Secret Reprieve needs a little bit of luck to secure a place as he is on 10st 1lb.
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Colonial Downs Proposes Casino Resort in Dumfries
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Rosie’s Gaming Emporium opened doors on January 8. It is a 19,000-square-foot gaming center with 95 video slots, located in the Triangle Shopping Center in Dumfries. Colonial Downs, the property’s owner, now proposes another building, which is a massive $389 million casino resort on the grounds of Potomac Landfill, a debris junkyard on the edge of town. The future facility would be called “The Rose” and would be the first in Virginia with this size, providing such gaming options. According to the plan for “The Rose”, the facility will consist of 50,000 square feet of gaming space, a 250-seat sports bar, as well as other bars and restaurants, 200 hotel rooms, a theater with 1,500 seats and 7,000 square feet of meeting space. Colonial Downs, which owns Rosie’s and operates a racetrack in New Kent County near Richmond, as well as four other Rosie’s emporiums across the state, will pitch its idea today during a 7 a.m. Dumfries Town Council meeting. The new facility is hoped to bring a lot of profit to the town. It is expected to create 640 jobs that pay $15 an hour wage. 96 managers will be hired to work at The Rose and they will make an average of $70,000 a year. According to Colonial Downs, the new casino would generate $11.3 million a year in new tax revenue for Prince William County and nearly $80,000 a year for Dumfries. If the pitch is accepted, construction of the new casino will start in August this year, which means that Potomac Landfill will be closed 11 years earlier than planned. The casino will take 22 acres of the property with 79 acres remaining that will be converted into a park with sports fields, trails and open space. The town documents stated that the park would open in December 2022 and the casino would open only a month later. This is if everything goes according to plan. The Potomac Landfill The town agreed with the landfill in 2016 to close the facility. The closing date was set for 2032. At that time, the town planned on turning the site into a public park. The problem for the landfill started in 2011 when the neighbors and drivers on the Interstate 95 complained of sulfur smell. It was permeated the surrounding area so the facility needed to shut down. Rosie’s Gaming Emporium is the first gaming facility to open its doors in Northern Virginia. Since its opening, more than 21,000 people have visited the gaming parlor in the shopping center. The property has donated more than $75,000 to charity since it started operating and has created 100 jobs for the locals. Its establishment was made possible by the legalization of gambling in Dumfries in November 2019. A citywide referendum passed with more than 60% of the vote, following an extensive advertising campaign by Colonial Downs. Source: “Resort casino proposed to open in Dumfries in January 2023”, Potomac Local, January 15, 2021
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Fortnite 15.40 update release time confirmed: Pump shotgun to possibly return
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Epic Games has been on a roll with Fortnite this season.The Fortnite 15.40 update is an important one that comes to the game today. And it's expected to bring in a lot of interesting new content with it.Chapter 2 Season 5 will be concluding in a month, so the publisher might begin tying all the loose ends to move forward from this point.The villain for this season hasn't been disclosed yet, but that's not the highlight of this update. There's a possibility that the pump-action shotgun might finally return. Fortnite 15.40 update release time and other detailsKnock knock. 🚪The v15.40 update is scheduled to release on February 16. Downtime for the update will begin at approx. 4 AM ET (09:00 UTC). pic.twitter.com/W54TynVlZQ— Fortnite Status (@FortniteStatus) February 15, 2021As per the above tweet, the downtime for the Fortnite 15.40 update is scheduled to begin at 4 AM ET (9 AM UTC/9:30 AM IST on Wednesday). Although the patch notes for this update is still missing, just like the other update, Epic gave users a heads up of what they could expect.v15.40 brings:✅Blast back with an unvaulted favorite!✅Fun for the whole squad! Characters will have more Exotics in stock for allies (or enemies) to acquire.✅LTMs coming soon: Air Royale ✈️+ Floor is Lava 🌋✅Adjust object/build level of detail in PC Perf Mode alpha— Fortnite Status (@FortniteStatus) February 15, 2021 The very first line of the tweet reads: "Blast back with an unvaulted favorite."This has led fans to assume that the pump-action shotgun is returning. Many took to Twitter to look for answers that would satiate their curiosity. The entire community has been asking the developer to unvault the pump-action shotgun for a while now. With Epic saying that a favorite will be unvaulted, some people cannot remain calm.However, there's another speculation doing the rounds. Since the first line of the tweet says: "Blast back with an unvaulted favorite," players believe that it's the Flint Knock that will be returning to the game with the Fortnite 15.40 update today. since when did you get blasted back with the pump? its the flint knock.— FlameZ (@lachie204) February 15, 2021 While the internet argues on this matter, the Fortnite 15.40 update drops in a few more hours. And once it drops, everyone will know which weapon was unvaulted.Epic has been into heavy teasing as of this season with interesting wordplay as well, so there's a high chance that it might be the Flint Knock that returns with the 15.40 update. Published 16 Feb 2021, 12:32 IST .
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PokerStars Rolls Out New LSNG Leaderboard Promotion, Tetris + Spin & Go
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PokerStars has rolled out Tetris + Spin & Go, a temporary takeover of their ultra-popular lottery sit and go game with a new theme and a lucrative new promotion for players. F5poker first revealed that PokerStars was working on such a promotion back in September 2020. On Monday, it deployed globally on most licenses on the global dot-com pool as well the European shared liquidity network of Spain, France and Portugal. The Spin and Go lobby in the client has been redesigned with a Tetris aesthetic, as have the tables. The game itself remains unchanged—fast, winner-takes-all sit and gos with a random top prize. What is new is the promotion on top: Tetris-themed leader boards. While the mechanics are fairly complicated—it involves Line Clears, Levels and Game Scores—it boils down to daily player rankings where cash prizes are given out to the highest volume players. For players that fall outside the cash prizes, the operator has a $5000 daily prize draw for players that finished in the top 500. In total, the operator says that over $1.5 million will be paid out in the dot-com market and almost as much—€1 million—in the Southern European market from now until the end of March. This works out at over $33,000 daily in dot-com, and €23,000 in Southern Europe. It appears to replace the previous long-running Spin & Go 20 and 50 leader boards. This had given away just over $20,000 a week and had run throughout much of 2020.
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Did the next Macau bubble just start two weeks ago?
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The entire concept of a “bull market in stocks” makes little sense. Sound crazy? These days, certainly, because we’re always hearing about a perpetual bull market in stocks. Valuations increasingly disconnected from economic reality, asset bubbles in one class or another, armies of speculators moving like zombie hoards descending on the next fad and blowing it up to infinity and beyond, Buzz Lightyear-like.Why is the whole concept of a bull market generally, nonsense? Because if the value of everything is going up simultaneously, then nothing is going up. If everyone is a superhero, nobody is. If, in an imaginary economy, absolutely everything costs, say, $5, (labor, land, capital whatever) and then the next day everything costs $10, then what’s changed? The answer is absolutely nothing.The only thing that matters is relative valuations between asset classes. Let’s divide them into three of the most basic ones. Equities (stocks), bonds (debt), and commodities (consumer goods). If all three are going up in tandem, then there is no “bull market” in anything. If commodities are going up faster than stocks and bonds, you have inflation, or even hyperinflation. Ask anyone in Venezuela whether they care that their stock market is doing great, nominally. They don’t. They’re looking for their next glop of gruel or morsel of moldy bread to survive the day.But if stocks and bonds are rising and consumer goods are static to falling, you have a bull market in financial assets. This is where we are now. And boy are we really hard and deep into it now. Below is the ratio of the S&P 500 to the CRB Commodities Index.And I’ve got news for everyone. This bull market in stocks relative to consumer goods in dollar terms is already over. It ended almost a year ago. On April 20, 2020 to be exact. Red circle blowoff top above. That was when oil crashed to negative $35 a barrel and we all lived in an alternative financial freakhouse universe. But I have more news than that. This entire “bull market” in stocks has been one gigantic illusion from the very beginning. Stocks aren’t going up. They haven’t gone up for 21 years. Money is going down. Here is the graph of stocks relative to the prime monetary commodity, gold, over the same timeframe above.We can see here that from 1990 to 2000, we had a real bull market in stocks. Equities rocketed in gold terms and in terms of consumer goods generally. Everyone felt richer. Portfolios up, expenses down. But since that time, money has been dying at an accelerated pace and the standard of living has fallen.The bull market in stocks over the last 21 years has been an illusion, a tiny echo of the bull that ended at the turn of the century. We have spent the last 21 years trying to reinflate it, but gold has exposed the lie. We are now at the point where the illusion is about to collapse completely. In my view, we have only a few months left until it all hits the fan. Until then, the bubbles will keep coming in staccato frenetic fashion, moving from one asset class to another faster and faster, until we all get so dizzy we can’t follow it anymore. Last week I speculated that maybe the next target for the zombie hoard will be in penny gaming stocks. I was close. It’s in Macau stocks. It may already have started two weeks ago. The frenzy has started over news about China opening up again. I mean, just look at this crazy chart of the Macau proxy ETF:That last surge higher is just since February 1. We could be at the beginning of a crazy but brief ride higher in Macau stocks right now. New all time highs again, and Macau isn’t even fully open yet. The latest full month statistics for December show a 78.6% drop in visitors year over year. And yet we’re at new all time highs in these stocks already. It’s just completely crazy. I can understand the Macau opening up again trade, but to argue that this factor is being priced in at these levels, at new all time highs? As if none of this full year shutdown hurt any of the casinos fundamentally at all? That’s just totally bonkers crazy. It’s a reflection of the value of the currency these stocks are priced in, not the stocks themselves.What’s happening is that the zombie hoard of bubble chasers is reading the headlines regarding China starting to open up again, and they’re slamming buy orders and call options like they’ve been doing with tech stocks and Gamestop and BTC and all the other fads. We just got news out of Bloomberg that China’s Imax had a face-ripping rally due to exploding ticket sales. China is, indeed opening up, and the zombie hoard of speculators is now going to spray their money hoses at anything Chinese. Macau might be at the center of it.How high can this Macau bubble go, if that’s what we just saw start two weeks ago? The truth is, it doesn’t matter. If you get into it, you’ll get hooked and keep levering yourself up, counting your paper gains, unable to separate from them until you get caught in a vortex. At some point, my view this year, it’s all going to come crashing down when all the damage from 2020 is finally revealed all over the world. You can’t paper it over forever. The damage to Macau casinos doesn’t just go away. It festers in the form of more and more debt, and a damaged consumer base that can no longer patronize casinos in the way it once could. Festering wounds need the paper bandage removed and they need to be operated on. That is painful. And it’s coming.When we think of the word “bubble”, what are we really talking about? A bubble is something that looks, from the outside, to be really big and stable. The shape of it, a sphere, is the most stable shape in the universe. It’s why planets, stars, moons, and possibly even the spacetime continuum itself, spontaneously shape themselves into spheres. The force of gravity equalizes at every point on the sphere, forming equilibrium. Nature always seeks equilibrium. And so bubbles take on the illusion of stability, but unlike a real sphere, there’s nothing inside them. When they pop, they are gone almost instantly. This one is about to pop. Macau appears to be the next victim sucked up by the bubble. Macau will survive and rebuild. The question is, in what form? I wouldn’t take a bet the depended on me getting the answer to that question right.
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Sensational Serena through to Osaka showdown
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Serena Williams came through a huge test of her Australian Open title credentials to beat Simona Halep in a high quality quarter-final and reach the last four at Melbourne Park for the ninth time; The 39-year-old American will next face Naomi Osaka for a place in Saturday's final Last Updated: 16/02/21 10:31am Serena Williams defeated Simona Halep to reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open Serena Williams turned back the clock to make it through to the Australian Open semi-finals where she set up a blockbuster clash against Naomi Osaka. Williams made it through to her 40th Grand Slam semi-final after gaining revenge for her Wimbledon final loss to Simona Halep.Halep produced a sensational performance to stun Williams 6-2 6-2 at the All England Club in 2019 - one of four Grand Slam finals the American has lost since winning her 23rd singles title in Melbourne four years ago. Williams began this match with a determination to ensure there was no repeat and powered her way to a 6-3 6-3 victory. Williams gained revenge for her Wimbledon final loss to Halep Williams, who mixed 24 winners with 33 unforced errors over the contest, has not won a major since her seventh Australian Open triumph in 2017 and next faces in-form Japanese third seed Naomi Osaka with a place in the final on the line.In her on-court interview, Williams said: "I definitely think this is the best match this tournament and obviously I had to go up against the number two in the world. I knew that I had to do better and that's what I did, so I'm excited."The quality of the second set did not match the first, with Williams making a host of unforced errors, but Halep could not take advantage. The best I have seen @serenawilliams play in years! Movement and defensive skills were impressive. Huge semifinal vs @naomiosaka. Whoever wins this one in my opinion goes on to win the title.— Greg Rusedski (@GregRusedski1) February 16, 2021 Osaka will not be so generous in what will be a first Grand Slam meeting between the pair since their notorious US Open final in 2018, when Williams received a game penalty for verbally abusing umpire Carlos Ramos and Osaka's first major title was accompanied by deafening boos and whistles.Since then the Japanese player has won two more major titles and is unbeaten on the biggest stage since last year's Australian Open. 52 - Chris Evert44 - Martina Navratilova40 - Serena Williams37 - Steffi Graf Williams (left) receives congratulations at the net from Halep Williams shot out of the blocks on Tuesday, moving into a 2-0 lead with a combination of extreme power and incredible angles.Halep fought back to level but Williams forged ahead again and confidently served out the set.The 39-year-old, who is once again two matches away from finally equalling Margaret Court's record of 24 slam singles titles, made a shaky start to the second set, spraying unforced errors as Halep moved into a 3-1 lead.But the Romanian was unable to find the level to put doubts into Williams' mind and the 10th seed finished the match with a run of five games in a row. For Halep, who reached the semi-finals last year and was losing finalist in 2018, it was back to the drawing board as she looks to add to her two Grand Slam titles at the French Open and Wimbledon.Don't forget to follow us on skysports.com/tennis, our Twitter account @skysportstennis & Sky Sports - on the go! Available to download now on - iPhone & iPad and Android .
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Cleveland Cavaliers 98-129 Golden State Warriors: Twitter erupts as Stephen Curry and Draymond Green showcase their supremacy
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The Golden State Warriors made the most of a second-quarter burst to eventually down the Cleveland Cavaliers 129-98. Stephen Curry and Draymond Green made several highlight plays to get the job done for the home side at the Chase Center.The duo didn't even have to feature in the fourth quarter with six Golden State Warriors scoring in double digits to close out the game with ease. They even restricted the Cleveland Cavaliers well who shot less than 40% from the field.Cleveland Cavaliers get going early but Golden State Warriors eventually take controlIt was a fairly close affair in the first quarter. Stephen Curry stepped up for the Golden State Warriors and scored a quickfire 16 points but the Cleveland Cavaliers responded well. The likes of Collin Sexton and Jarrett Allen kept them in the running.Things changed towards the end of the second quarter where the Golden State Warriors went on a 23-8 lead to finish the first half with a 10-point advantage. The Cleveland Cavaliers couldn't recover from there as the Dubs extended their advantage in the third quarter thanks to the playmaking of Draymond Green.The Warriors have held their opponent to 105 points or less, and 40.6% FG shooting or less, in 4 of the last 5 games— Grant Liffmann (@GrantLiffmann) February 16, 202128 games into the season, the Warriors are the 8th seed in the West with a 15-13 record.Not too bad for the projected 14th seed ahead of the season. pic.twitter.com/GYc8ifhLdt— r/Warriors (@GSWReddit) February 16, 2021I'd say it's not the Cavs night. But not their month might be more accurate— 𝙅𝙪𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙣 𝙍𝙤𝙬𝙖𝙣 🇨🇦 (@Cavsanada) February 16, 2021 Weird to see the Cavs down 20 against the Warriors. Usually doesn’t happen until June— Rashad (@rashadalaiyan) February 16, 2021Whispers* the nets showed how to stop a lot of the warriors plays..... (continues to whisper) but hopefully the rest of the league didn’t watch— IN THE LAB (@DevInTheLab) February 16, 2021Stephen Curry and Draymond Green too hot to handle for Cleveland Cavaliers The two veterans rose to the occasion again Stephen Curry continued his tremendous campaign with another outstanding performance. He had 36 points for the Golden State Warriors tonight on 13-of-19 shooting including seven made threes. He's on course to become only the third player in NBA history to record a 5-40-90 clip in multiple seasons alongside Larry Bird and Steve Nash.Curry was aided in his efforts by Draymond Green who's been flawless as the primary playmaker for the Golden State Warriors. He's averaged 11.6 assists per game since the start of February and had 16 dimes against the Cleveland Cavaliers.Steph Curry is averaging 30/6/5 on 50/44/94 splits.He’s carrying a team missing Klay Thompson and ALL 3 big men to a playoff spot in the West. Stop saying he’s in the MVP conversation...he IS the MVP. pic.twitter.com/sXHbJSB6mA— Guru (@DrGuru_) February 16, 2021 Steph Curry and Draymond Green, it turns out, are good basketballers.— Golden State of Mind (@unstoppablebaby) February 16, 2021Curry is very nearly doing 50 40 90 on 30ppg while teams main goal is to harass him as much as possible since his star teammates are goneThis is going to be funny forever— Dom2K☘🤦🏾‍♂️ (@Dom_2k) February 16, 202110 straight games with 27+ points for Steph Curry is the longest such streak of his career— Grant Liffmann (@GrantLiffmann) February 16, 2021Draymond's passing x Steph's gravity is the most lethal offensive combo in basketball— Antonin (@antonin_org) February 16, 2021 Draymond is avg'ing more assists (8apg) than points (5.2ppg). Who is the last qualified starter to do that?— sam esfandiari (@samesfandiari) February 16, 2021The Golden State Warriors will now take on the Miami Heat on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Cavaliers will look to end their eight-game losing streak against the San Antonio Spurs.Also read: "Do you not think that affects someone mentally?" Draymond Green blasts the NBA for differential treatment of teams and players in trade situations Published 16 Feb 2021, 12:08 IST .
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Root: Pitch not to blame for England defeat
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England captain Joe Root says team "outplayed" by India on tough surface as they lose second Test by 317 runs; skipper feels his men can learn from the way the hosts found control with the ball and batted calmly; third Test in Ahmedabad from February 24 Last Updated: 16/02/21 10:01am 0:56 England captain Joe Root says his squad must not get too down about their heavy defeat in the second Test against India. England captain Joe Root says his squad must not get too down about their heavy defeat in the second Test against India. Joe Root refused to blame the spin-friendly Chennai pitch for England's thumping defeat to India in the second Test - and has urged his side to learn from the difficult conditions they faced. England were spun out for 134 and 164 at MA Chidambaram Stadium on a dusty surface as India wrapped up a 317-run victory on day four to level the four-match series at 1-1.Rohit Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin completed hundreds for India and Root says the hosts showed England a template for scoring runs on unhelpful tracks for batsmen. Root says his side must learn from the challenging conditions they faced in Chennai (Pic credit - BCCI) "I wouldn't say it was a good pitch but it made for very exciting cricket and it was not the reason we lost the game. We were outplayed in all three departments," said the England skipper."For us, it's a bit of an education. It was a surface that spun a huge amount and bounced more than we anticipated but we should take that as a learning and be better for it the next time we experience conditions that are similar."The toss was an important one to win - but it wouldn't have guaranteed us a win either. India showed you can score runs and found a way of managing a very tricky surface."Our batters need to learn from how India rotated strike, while what I took from how they played was how calm and unflustered they were. When a delivery really misbehaved, they didn't waver from their game-plan." Ravichandran Ashwin (pictured) and Rohit Sharma scored centuries for India in the second Test (Pic credit - BCCI) Root - whose side will be looking to bounce back in the day-night third Test in Ahmedabad from February 24 with their six-match winning streak in overseas Tests having been snapped - also felt his bowlers could have been more frugal on day one when India reached 300-6 after electing to bat."We have to find ways of building pressure for long periods of time with the ball, bowling six balls at one batter, which India made very difficult for us."Can we string maidens together and force wickets through very disciplined passages of play? I think India did that better than us."On day one we could probably have been a bit tighter and squeezed the game, making it hard for them to score freely. The four-match Test series is tied at 1-1 heading into the third Test, a day-night fixture in Ahmedabad from February 24 "We have to learn from the opposition, who played very well, but we are 1-1 in the series and there are two very important games to come."We are very excited about that because of how well we played in the first game. We are very much in this series. It's set up very nicely."We have to stay level. We don't get above our station when we win and it's not all doom and gloom when we have tough weeks."It is very important we stay level as a team. We have to learn but that is one thing we have done well in recent times so hopefully we can take that into the rest of the series." 0:52 Root says he understands Moeen Ali's decision to leave England's bio-secure bubble and return home to his family Root says he understands Moeen Ali's decision to leave England's bio-secure bubble and return home to his family Root - who also confirmed that all-rounder Moeen Ali will miss the rest of the series having opted to fly home - said Ben Stokes only bowled two overs in the game for tactical reasons, not due to injury."Ben is fit and able to bowl but, on that surface, you look at the overs of seam bowled and it was minimal," said Root."I'm sure Ben will have an impact on this series with the ball as he did in the first game. He can grab big moments and turn them on their head."Pressed on whether he wanted to include the rested James Anderson, who had starred with a scintillating spell of reverse-swing bowling on day five of the first Test, Root added: "It was discussed. "But we need to look at the series as a whole. The pink-ball game looks an exciting opportunity for someone like him to have a real impact."Follow text commentary of the day-night third Test between India and England in Ahmedabad on skysports.com and the Sky Sports app from 8.30am on Wednesday, February 24. .
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Meet America’s 63rd National Park
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As Americans continue to weather the pandemic, the $2.3 trillion coronavirus relief and spending bill passed by the federal government in December brought an unexpected and lasting gift: a new national park.The 5,593-page spending package included a raft of provisions authorizing little-known projects — the construction of the Teddy Roosevelt Presidential Library in North Dakota, for one — and giving lawmakers a chance to advance a variety of long-delayed initiatives. Among them was the elevation of the New River Gorge, in southern West Virginia, to the status of Yellowstone, Yosemite and the country’s other most renowned outdoor spaces. The designation of the area — roughly 72,000 acres of land flanking 53 miles of the gorge — as a national park and preserve creates the 63rd national park in the United States and completes a multigenerational effort, started in the mid-twentieth century, to transform a tired industrial area into a national landmark.“Towards the end of this year, with these big bills coming down, I decided to strike,” said Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican and the state’s junior senator, who, along with Senator Joe Manchin III, a Democrat, introduced the New River Gorge legislation in 2019.“This was the right opportunity,” she said.A draw for rafters, kayakers and other outdoor enthusiastsThe gorge and its surroundings have been prized for decades as one of southern West Virginia’s more spectacular natural places.In 1963, the West Virginia House of Delegates passed a resolution seeking to designate the New River Gorge as a “national playground,” preparing to send the proposal to President John F. Kennedy, whose primary campaign was lifted substantially through support from West Virginia voters. But momentum to create a national recreation area stalled after Mr. Kennedy’s assassination later that year.Though the gorge remained a curiosity among rafters and outdoor enthusiasts, the area only received federal protection from the Interior Department in 1978, when it was designated a national river.Now, the outdoor offerings in the gorge have come to define the area as a premier destination for adventure sports in the East.The New River plunges 750 feet over 66 miles, resulting in long stretches of violent rapids that can reach a class five level, generally considered the most difficult that can be navigated by white-water boaters. (Licensed outfitters operate in several towns near the river, providing rentals and tours for rafting and kayaking.)The canyon walls, which soar as high as 1,600 feet, offer miles of cliffs that rank among the best in the East Coast for rock climbing. Sheer faces in the gorge made of robust Nuttall sandstone provide both traditional and sport-climbing routes across the difficulty spectrum.Bike routes are scattered throughout the park on both sides of the river, with options for both technical mountain biking and more casual pedaling along former railroad beds.A glimpse back in timeAccording to the National Park Service, geologists believe the New River — its name a misnomer used by early American explorers who often assigned the same name to any river they came upon for the first time — was a segment of the preglacial Teays River. This larger river, which traversed much of the current Ohio River watershed, was later diverted and broken up by glaciers. The age of the Teays is uncertain, but fossil evidence suggests it could be as much as 320 million years old, leaving its remnant, the New River, as quite possibly the second oldest river in the world.Beyond the millions of years of geological history on display, the gorge is also filled with signs of the region’s heritage as a major coal production hub.Miners once capitalized on the easy access to rich deposits of high-quality bituminous coal in the canyon, where the river had already shorn through hundreds of feet of rock. Especially after the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway linked the New River coal fields to markets in 1873, dozens of boom towns popped up along the river’s edge, thriving well into the 1920s.In 1963, a coal mine was still operating in the gorge, said Dave Arnold, a state tourism commissioner who operated a rafting company for more than 40 years.“In ’76 or ’77, if you were in my boat, we’d have been floating down the river and I would have been showing you, ‘here’s an old coal tipple, here’s the old hotel at Caperton, here’s this and that,’” he said.The demand for coal around the turn of the twentieth century was so high that towns existed every half mile along up the river, according to the Park Service. As the industry went into decline, however, by the 1950s many were already abandoned, leaving ghost towns scattered throughout the gorge. Additionally, logging during the late nineteenth century stripped vast portions of the gorge bare, clearing enormous swaths of virgin forest.The park contains the remnants of communities such as Nuttallburg and Kaymoor, which still stand near the riverbank and are accessible from points higher up. Seams of exposed coal are visible along some trails leading into the gorge and its towns, where abandoned mine portals and the foundations of coke ovens remain.Restoring an ecosystem with diverse wildlifeDespite the environmental degradation and pollution that industry unleashed, some unique ecological features make the gorge well-suited to a diverse combination of wildlife, which has slowly reappeared as time has passed.The river lies at the center of a migration corridor where plants and animals that typically range further north or south come together, including several federally endangered and threatened species, such as the Virginia big-eared bat and the Allegheny woodrat.According to Lizzie Watts, the park’s superintendent, the river itself is also notably warmer than surrounding areas, making it a popular warm-water fishing destination with more than a dozen public access points. The river is one of the premier spots for smallmouth bass fishing on the east coast, and muskellunge and walleye are common in the park today.“The next generation will have the opportunity to see what, in the last 150 years, it looks like when an area goes from being logged and mined to left alone,” Ms. Watts said. “The ecosystem has come back to full trees and mature forests.”As federal protections took effect after the Park Service began overseeing the area as a national river in 1978, wildlife has largely recovered, and many see an opportunity to showcase the region’s natural elegance.“To show off our rock climbing, our extreme sports availabilities in that area, is just really exciting,” said Ms. Capito of what she described as a “kind of wild and wonderful part of our state.” ‘The cream of the crop’The National Park Service, created in 1916, oversees more than 400 areas across the country, including national monuments, seashores and battlefields as well as parks, which together total more than 85 million acres.While the new title for New River Gorge does not fundamentally alter the area’s day-to-day operations, both lawmakers and the Park Service tend to view “national parks” as the crown jewels of the park system — a protection granted to some of the largest and most prized tracts of the country.“National Park status is usually considered like the cream of the crop,” Ms. Watts said. “But it really is just another one of those names.”The New River Gorge does not match the scale of many national parks in the western United States, where Death Valley, the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone sprawl over more than 1 million acres each.Nevertheless, officials expect the new designation to bring a substantial influx of travelers, boosted in part by a dedicated set of enthusiasts who strive to visit every national park.In typical years, around 1.3 million travelers visit the gorge, according to the Park Service’s tourism data. Based on studies of other areas that received national park status, Ms. Capito said she expects to see visitors increase by as much as 20 percent.“It does feel like the very beginning stages of transformation for the whole area,” said Becky Sullivan, the executive director of the New River Gorge Convention and Visitors Bureau. “I’ll be very, very interested to see where we are in about 10 years.”Maintaining the community and its favored pastimesAs unique outdoor attractions throughout the Appalachian region have gained more national visibility, some concern has grown over the idea of a wealthy and mobile set from out of state trampling the communities adjacent to these places.West Virginia remains the second-poorest state in the country in terms of median household income, according to data collected by the United States Census Bureau. And while tourism has brought a needed injection of wealth to areas all around the gorge, it has also changed the makeup of neighboring communities, as more people have come to visit the park or settle down near it.Interest in the natural offerings around the park has brought slow but measurable change for small towns nearby like Fayetteville. Officials say that the advent of remote work during the pandemic has only hastened a trend of properties in the area being repurposed for vacation rentals and outsiders snapping up second homes.“You cannot find a house for sale in Fayetteville, because they’re just in such high demand,” said Sharon Cruikshank, the town’s mayor. “So that definitely changed the budgeting of the town as well as the county.”When legislation was first introduced to designate the area as a national park, pushback came from some locals. Hunters have long enjoyed access to secluded sections of woods around the gorge, and with hunting prohibited in federal parks, some protested the potential loss of thousands of acres of hunting grounds.In a compromise, more than 65,000 acres of the total area were designated as a nature preserve where hunting can continue as before, and only roughly 7,000 acres directly within the canyon are officially off limits as national parkland. A provision was included to empower the park to acquire more than 3,000 acres of private land around its current boundaries as well, to expand the size of the preserve and add public hunting grounds.In a nod to tradition, the legislation also enshrines the right for visitors to continue to make use of one of the park’s most famous features — the New River Gorge Bridge — at least once a year.BASE jumping, an extreme sport in which jumpers parachute from elevated structures or cliffs, is banned in every other national park.But, since 1980, BASE jumpers have been permitted to plunge from the top of the 876-foot-high bridge and parachute down toward the river once a year, on Bridge Day, held one Saturday in October. The legislation designating the area as a national park allows that tradition to continue.As many as 100,000 people typically come to watch the jumpers plunge, according to Ms. Sullivan, providing a major boost for businesses in the region. The event has only been canceled twice, including last year because of the coronavirus.Bridge Day’s organizers advise jumpers that the only dependable way to touch down safely is to plan to land directly in the river. In normal years, hundreds do so, often multiple times that day, gliding down and softly hitting the New River’s waters.
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