New Swansea signing Botti Biabi Swansea have completed the signing of Falkirk striker Botti Biabi.The 19-year-old has agreed a three-year deal, joining the Jacks for an undisclosed fee, subject to international clearance.London-born Biabi will link up with the club’s under-21 squad.He has represented Scotland at under-19 level and helped Falkirk reach the Scottish Cup final last season, when he went on as a second-half substitute during a 2-1 defeat against Inverness.Biabi becomes the Swans’ third signing from Falkirk during the last 18 months, following Jay Fulton and Stephen Kingsley to the Liberty Stadium.“I am excited to join because this is a big club,” Biabi told the club’s official website.“Obviously, Stephen and Jay arrived here from Falkirk, so that will help me settle into the club.“I have spoken to them both, and they’ve made me feel very welcome.“I’ve seen Jay play in big games for the first team in the Premier League and cup, and I would like to follow in their footsteps.” 1
Salvatore Sirigu 1 Newcastle target Salvatore Sirigu will be too expensive for any of the Italian sides chasing him, according to his agent.The PSG goalkeeper has lost his place in the starting XI due to Kevin Trapp’s recent form between the sticks in France.The 28-year-old has made just one Ligue 1 appearance this season and been an unused sub in 13 others.The former Palermo man has been linked with a return to Serie A in recent weeks, with Lazio said to be lining up a bid for his signature.But Carlo Pallavicino, the shot stopper’s agent, says his client will not be heading back to his homeland for monetary reasons.That could be good news for Newcastle, who have lost Tim Krul to a long-term injury and have been keeping tabs on Sirigu.Pallavicino told Radio Olympia: “Lazio can’t afford him, and that’s the same for most Serie A clubs, even top ones.“Maybe Sirigu is not paid as much as PSG’s main stars, but things are like that for Italy at this time”.Sirigu is under contract until June 2018 and is earning around £3m a year.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits Daniel Sturridge has to be handled with more care in future as the injury-plagued striker cannot cope with playing three times in a week.The England international is out for a number of weeks with a hamstring strain sustained in Sunday’s 2-0 defeat at Newcastle – his third appearance in eight days.Klopp has said that with Sturridge’s fitness record he should probably have given his forward a break, even though his longest spell was an hour in the Capital One victory at Southampton in which he scored twice sandwiched between 19 and 28-minute cameos off the bench.“Of course, in this moment, he cannot play three games in a week,” Klopp said.“Nobody should do this too often. If you have a normal pre-season, if you have a normal period of time training, then you are ready for this.“It is a little hamstring [problem], nothing more, but we have to try together with him to make him more resistant.“It is no knee, no hip, no foot but this is a sign that it was too much for him.“Now we have 10 days, I would say, until we think about if he should play: that would be the Watford game maybe.“If he can run in eight days – eight days might be the longest time he has trained for in the last year – and be ready for physical training then maybe he is ready to play 20-25 minutes like it is.“That’s how it is in a usual situation for other players like this. After Watford we then have a normal week (before Leicester at home on Boxing Day), then we have another six days where he could maybe train. If the world is perfect!“Then we will have 16 days where he has trained at a high intensity, so that would be a big step for us. We have to look for this now.”Even Klopp marvelled at the quality of Sturridge’s finishing in the game at St Mary’s.But in his absence he will not put additional pressure on his remaining fit strikers Christian Benteke and Divock Origi – with the latter set to lead the line against Sion in their final Europa League tie in Switzerland – to step up another level.“I am not sure Christian and Divock can play that good to make everyone stop asking questions about Daniel – you asked me four questions about him and he’s not even here!” said the German.“We have Roberto (Firmino) too who can also play the position and that’s a good situation in that we have them.“If we didn’t have, then of course we would have a big problem but we don’t with these players.“I won’t make pressure for them, there is no reason I will say: ‘Okay, take your chance or leave’ or something like this. We have to work together.” 1 Daniel Sturridge is out for a number of weeks with a hamstring strain
If a Boxing Day derby strike was worthy enough of securing all three points, see Dan Wooden’s 12th-minute strike in the National League South. The Gosport Borough player found the back of the net with a superbly taken overhead kick as his side beat local rivals Havant & Waterlooville to stay in the play-offs. Next Jamie Vardy?See above!
Mario Suarez 1 Watford have completed the signing of Spanish international midfielder Mario Suarez.The 28-year-old has signed a four-and-a-half-year deal at Vicarage Road and joins from Serie A side Fiorentina for an undisclosed fee, understood to be around £4million.The transfer was confirmed on the official Watford website after the Hornets had progressed into the fifth round of the FA Cup with a 1-0 win at Nottingham Forest.Suarez started his career at Atletico Madrid before having loan spells at Real Valladolid and Celta Vigo and completing a permanent switch to Mallorca in 2008.The three-times capped Spain international made 64 appearances for Mallorca before returning to Atletico two years later in a deal worth £1.8million euros.Back in Madrid, where he spent one season under current Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores, he played 180 games in five years and won Primera Division, Europa League and Copa del Rey winners’ medals.Suarez joined Fiorentina last July where he made 13 appearances, scoring one goal.“I am very happy to be here because it is a dream come true to play in the Premier League,” Suarez told the official club website.“I am very excited with the project of the club, to be trained again by Quique and to start playing for Watford.”Sanchez Flores said on Thursday that Suarez’s imminent arrival was a statement of intent for the Hornets, who lie in 10th place in the Barclays Premier League with 32 points from 23 games following their promotion from the Sky Bet Championship last season.“I think the amazing news for Watford is that we have the possibility to convince players to come here,” Sanchez Flores said.“It means Watford is improving a lot in the last years.“The players are really clever and they have a lot of information.“Before they come to Watford they know everything – the owner, the players, the squad, the staff, the fans – so, when they decide ‘okay, I want to go to Watford’ it is because the conditions are really good.“There are a lot of teams in the Premier League with a lot of history so if they decide to come here it is amazing for us.”
Here are the top transfer-related stories in Wednesday’s newspapers and online…Antonio Conte has told Chelsea he would like to bring Roma sporting director Walter Sabatini with him if he moves to Stamford Bridge in the summer. (Daily Express)Louis van Gaal is set to survive at Manchester United until the end of the season – because Jose Mourinho doesn’t want to take over until then. (Daily Mirror)Real Madrid are considering selling Gareth Bale in the summer because of the Welshman’s poor injury record. The Welshman has featured in just 44% of the minutes played by Los Blancos this term, and is costing the Bernabéu outfit 750,000 euros a game. (AS)Arsene Wenger is stepping up his interest in £20million-rated Watford star Odion Ighalo. They have identified 26-year-old Ighalo as one of the players at the top of their shortlist for summer strikers. (Daily Mirror)Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta could be offered a coaching role by Pep Guardiola atManchester City if the Spanish player decides to retire at the end of the season. (Various)Sergio Aguero is poised to commit his future to Manchester City with a new contract extension. The Argentina ace is understood to have agreed a new deal with the Blues which will see his current one – which runs until 2019 – extended by at least a year. (Manchester Evening News)Southampton have not given up on keeping Sadio Mane beyond this summer – and believe a shock Champions League place could help them. Both Manchester clubs are interested in the 23-year-old forward while German champions Bayern Munich are also keen. (Daily Mirror)Newcastle goalkeeper Freddie Woodman looks set to be on his way out this summer. Premier League rivals Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham are lining up moves for the 19-year-old. (Daily Express)Crystal Palace are eyeing a move for Newcastle United starlet Liam Gibson. (TeamTalk)Sunderland are monitoring Lille defender Adama Soumaoro.The versatile 23-year-old has impressed this season playing at centre back but is capable of slotting in across the back four and is also adept at right back. (Daily Mail)And here are the latest talkSPORT.com headlines…?Antonio Conte to Chelsea? The parties have an ‘agreement in principle’, talkSPORT toldTransfer report: Former Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski wanted by Italian giants LazioJuventus weigh up surprise summer bid for ex-Liverpool defender Javier ManquilloGregory van der Wiel asks to leave Paris Saint-Germain – Manchester United poised to pounce?Real Madrid consider stunning summer swoop for Leicester City star Riyad MahrezManchester United transfer news: Portugal winger tracked ahead of potential £15.5m move
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityAnswer: First, let me thank you for your service in Iraq. One thing we should probably clear up: Are you sure no one else was using your phone while you were deployed? For purposes of this answer, we are going to assume that either the cell company billing is wrong or someone else has used your phone without your permission. If the cell company made a mistake, I first suggest that you call the company and dispute the bill. Rather than communicate with the debt collector, you should write or call your cell company and move up the chain of command until you get someone who has the authority to straighten out the mess that has been made of your account. Follow up in writing via mail with a return receipt requested. I spoke to two cell carriers and they both seemed more than willing to help a soldier who was one of their customers. If the cell company has sold the debt outright, then dispute the bill in writing with the collector. They will have to stop collection activity until you are sent proof that the debt is actually yours. If you see phone numbers on the bill that you don’t recognize, then you should ask that they be removed. Make sure to keep good records of who you write and speak with and request any concessions, actions, etc., be put in writing and sent to you. If the collector refuses your request, I suggest that you call and insist on speaking to a manager and be prepared to show that you were in Iraq from such-and-such date until such-and-such date. Your orders should cover that. Many cell phone carriers don’t offer service in Iraq, so it may be worth checking to see if yours may be one of them. Make sure to send any letters certified mail, request a signature card, and keep a log of your calls. If it appears as if the calls on your bills originated in Iraq, then it may be that your phone was used without your permission. I asked retired Lt. Col. Luis Beattie, a counselor at Money Management International, what to do in that case and he suggests that you go to your orderly room and speak to the first sergeant. Ask for legal assistance to deal with the collector and also ask to file a report of theft with the military police, who will look into the matter. If someone else had access to your phone while you are out on operations, their identity might be discernable by finding out who received the calls. Army Family Services may be able to help out if you need some additional assistance. For my other military readers and their families, here are a few other facts about the protection afforded to service personnel overseas: For debt collection, you have special rights under the service members Civil Relief Act. Among your rights under the act are: a creditor cannot change the terms of an existing credit agreement; cannot charge you more than 6 percent interest on outstanding accounts; you have the right to a postponement of any court summons for a debt of at least 90 days or until you return to the U.S.; as well as many more. For more information, there is a good section on the service members Civil Relief Act Web site. God bless you and the USA. Steve Bucci is president of Money Management International Financial Education Foundation. Visit www.moneymanagement.org for additional debt advice. If you have a question for Steve, e-mail [email protected] The Debt Adviser is a weekly feature of bankrate.com.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! By Steve Bucci BANKRATE.COM Question: I have a debt of about $4,000 from a cell phone company that said I was using my minutes and phone while I was in Iraq. I am still in Iraq and won’t be home until some time this month. The debt is in a collector’s hands. I talked to them while I was home on leave, and all it did was give me a headache. Is there anything else I can do to prove I’ve been over here during the slotted time? Thanks for your advice. – RAYMON
HOLLYWOOD – J.K. Rowling, perched on a golden throne and bathed in spotlights, didn’t seem so different from the 1,600 screaming kids who sat before her Monday morning. The “Harry Potter” scribe, with a sensible sweater over her attractive, floral-print dress, didn’t come across as a mega-wealthy, famous author from the other side of the world. She was a formerly single mother, a kid whose family didn’t understand her visions of magic, a dreamer. She was one of them. For an hour, Los Angeles Unified School District students from South Los Angeles to San Fernando listened to the immensely popular author read and discuss the fantastic world of wizardry that spilled forth from her mind. They got to speak with her, have their questions answered and walked away with signed copies of “Deathly Hallows,” the seventh and final book in the “Harry Potter” series. “She doesn’t talk to you like she’s a billionaire,” said Melissa Jimenez, a 17-year-old senior at San Fernando High School. “She talks to you like she’s a real person.” The students of Van Nuys Middle School gushed over the writer, holding her up with lavish compliments but still seeing her more as a peer than an icon. “Harry Potter changed my life,” sixth-grader Shavaree Buffington said. “Now we get to meet her.” “She was a single mom. She writes and takes care of her kids,” Serenity Toledo said. “I like to write and type a lot, too.” “We like the same things she does,” Christopher Edwards said. “Reading Harry Potter and writing.” “We’d all like to be successful like her,” Julia Cocilion said. They continued their list with cacophonous glee. Harry Potter spoke to them because he attracted action. Because he used magic. Because he feared death. Because he wore glasses. And, they learned during the program, Rowling faced the same real-world struggles that Harry encountered at Hogwarts and that they saw in their own classrooms. “At one point in my life, everything had gone wrong,” she said. “Judged by any external standard, though I try to avoid the word, I was a loser. But I didn’t feel like a loser.” Through hard work, luck and the help of friends, she assured them, they could succeed as she had. Hazel Kasusky shared the same dream. The 15-year-old Sun Valley resident and Polytechnic High School student feels an affinity for Potter’s wizardry ally, Hermione Granger, whom Rowling based upon herself. All three have parents who don’t always understand what’s going on at school. Each has a guy they consider a close friend. They’re all a bit bookish. The worlds of Kasusky, the seventh-year Gryffindor witch and the 42-year-old multimillionaire author didn’t seem so different, after all. “It’s all about magic, right? But a human thought of it,” Kasusky said. “She put it all together. I can see myself in there through Hermione.” [email protected] (818) 713-3738160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Following the summer success of “Deathly Hallows,” which tallied more than 8 million sales in just its first 24 hours on shelves, publishing house Scholastic Corp. sent Rowling on a three-city American book tour. After Los Angeles, she heads to New Orleans and New York City. Scholastic Corp. wants to hook a new group of readers who missed the Potter craze and will hand out copies of the first book in the series to school districts, including the LAUSD, which is expected to get about 5,000 copies. For Monday’s event, the district selected 15 high schools, 15 middle schools and 10 elementary schools to send 40 third- through 12th-graders who distinguished themselves in an essay contest. “You wouldn’t think high school kids would be so enthused, but they are,” said Pam Hamashita, principal at Canoga Park High School. “We had a Harry Potter day on a Saturday and they all came out. They’re really excited.” As Rowling sat onstage at the Kodak Theatre, reading about her hero’s departure from his miserable family, high schoolers with pink-and-black-spiked hair sat as equally riveted as young students dressed in Hogwarts robes and witches’ hats. She held the massive crowd in near silence, broken only with laughter at times.
GAME 2: Schilling is just the second 40-year-old to win a World Series start. By Mike Fitzpatrick THE ASSOCIATED PRESS BOSTON – There’s more than one way to rough up the Rockies. “This was the Pap-ajima show tonight,” Schilling said. “That was just phenomenal to watch.” The Series shifts to spacious Coors Field for Game 3 on Saturday night, when rookie Daisuke Matsuzaka pitches for Boston against Josh Fogg. “Our crowd is probably looking forward to this as much as anything in a long time,” Manager Clint Hurdle said. “We could use the support.” With no designated hitter allowed, the Red Sox must decide whether to play hobbling slugger David Ortiz at first base or bench his bat. If they keep getting this kind of pitching, it might not matter. “We’re going to make a series out of this,” Rockies rookie shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said. One night after Josh Beckett blazed through the Rockies with 97-mph fastballs in a 13-1 rout, Schilling shut them down with savvy and splitters. Nearly automatic in October, he improved to 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA in 19 postseason starts and tipped his cap to the pulsing crowd as he walked off the mound – perhaps for the final time in a Red Sox uniform. His fastball hovering around 87 mph, Schilling held punchless Colorado in check for 5
LOS ANGELES – A jury on Tuesday found two men guilty of the murders of an elderly La Habra Heights couple who were beaten to death with a tire iron in their home. Theodore Churchill Shove, 55, and Lewis Hardin, 35, were convicted of two counts of first-degree murder with the special circumstances these were multiple murders and that the killings of 81-year-old Hubert “Bert” Souther and his 79-year-old wife, Elizabeth Ann, were done for financial gain. Shove and Hardin face the death penalty. The penalty phase of the trial starts Nov. 5 at Los Angeles Superior Court. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.The jury also found Shove guilty of second-degree burglary, receiving stolen property and three counts of sending a threatening letter for the purpose of extortion, according to Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for the District Attorney’s Office. Deputy District Attorney David Walgren declined comment, saying the penalty phase is yet to come. The prosecution argued that Shove hired Hardin to kill the Southers because he wanted their business, Cal Aero Supply, a surplus hardware and tool business in Paramount. Souther had no intention of selling Cal Aero. When he didn’t show up for work, a relative went to the Southers’ house in the 2100 block of Ardsheal Drive on Sept. 17, 2001 and discovered the bodies. The prosecution also said that Shove also portrayed himself as “Tony Bonanno,” a man with alleged ties to the mob. Walgren said Shove coerced and threatened Cal Aero’s then-president, William Vann of Covina, into giving him information about Cal Aero’s safe which Shove and an accomplice burgled on Sept. 18. Shove also sent extortion letters to members of the Souther family. The defense’s stance was that someone else killed the Southers. The defense also questioned the forensic evidence. The verdict came as welcome news to the Souther family. “I’m so relieved and my family is so happy,” said Allison Renck, 48, who is one of the Southers’ two daughters. “My parents finally received justice. I’m very happy that (Shove and Hardin) are going to serve the justice they deserve.” Renck said her parents didn’t deserve what happened to them. She’s relieved Shove and Hardin won’t be out in the streets because she thinks they could hurt someone else. She pointed out that the case isn’t over because there’s still the penalty phase. And if the two get the death penalty, she said they could file appeals. Renck praised the prosecutors. “The DAs did a wonderful job for a case that is so bizarre (and) that should never have happened to my family. They had to go through all the evidence to make it clear enough,” she said. James Goldstein, who represents Hardin, said he was disappointed with the verdicts. “I felt there was doubt. I’m referring to the overall crime scene,” Goldstein said. He said none of Hardin’s blood was ever found in the room where the murders occurred. “And in fact I pointed out that the prosecution in his final summation even indicated that if the jury did not believe (Hardin) was the actual killer, he could be equally guilty as an aider and abetter.” He said it was still unclear who did the killings. Alex Kessel, Shove’s attorney, didn’t return phone calls. [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3026160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!