News Modal Trigger Authorities in the English city of Manchester said Tuesday they are treating a New Year’s Eve stabbing of three people — including a police sergeant — as a terrorist incident. A witness has said the assailant shouted “Allah” during the incident, but officials have not confirmed that. Chief Constable Ian Hopkins of the Greater Manchester Police said: “I know that the events of last night will have affected many people and caused concern. “That the incident happened so close to the scene of the terrorist attack on 22 May 2017 makes it even more dreadful.” That day, British suicide bomber Salam Abedi killed 22 people, including seven children, at an Ariana Grande concert in the city. British Prime Minister Theresa May said Tuesday she was thinking of the latest victims. “My thoughts are with those who were injured in the suspected terrorist attack in Manchester last night,” she tweeted. The prime minister also thanked the emergency services “for their courageous response” to the attack, which started about 9 p.m. Monday. Hopkins also praised the officers who “swiftly detained” the attacker. “We are treating this as a terrorist investigation which is being led by counterterrorism officers with support from Greater Manchester Police. He said he heard the man say: “As long as you keep bombing other countries, this sort of s— is going to keep happening.”
HOPE springs eternal and with a new year upon us, our thoughts turn to our aspirations for Oklahoma and the nation in 2019. A successful Stitt administration The 2018 election saw businessman Kevin Stitt, previously a political unknown, surprise many pundits by winning the Republican gubernatorial nomination in a field that included several well-funded, competent opponents, and then win the general election over a well-known Democratic opponent. Stitt says his focus will be on making Oklahoma a “top 10” state and reforming government in the process. We hope he succeeds on both fronts, and hope Stitt understands those goals require more than technocratic change. A better-run government that produces the same results — such as low educational achievement and high rates of addiction — is not a success. Legislative focus In this space one year ago, we hoped to see the Legislature become less important since that would mean the private sector was growing again and politics could naturally become less high-profile. Last year's session ended with lawmakers patting themselves on the back even though little of real substance was achieved. This year, we hope to see the opposite. Policymakers must find new ways to deal with certain crimes that drive down recidivism and also reduce taxpayer costs. Otherwise, the current trajectory of prison incarceration will require spending hundreds of millions on new prisons in the near future.
Breaking down Kyler Murray’s uncertain future ahead of the Orange Bowl: ‘It’s never bad to have options’
The Kyler Murray decision is fascinating. "Right now, obviously, I'm going to play baseball, but I'm not focused on any of that right now," Murray said. Can confirm Kyler Murray’s contract with #Athletics includes a provision whereby he’d forgo/repay a very large portion of his signing bonus if he opts to play in the NFL. Quarterback Lamar Jackson was the final pick of the first round of the 2018 NFL draft, and he signed a four-year deal worth about $9 million. But if he stays the course and chooses baseball, it could be another half decade before he makes more than a million dollars in a season. So by 2023, Murray would be making less than $1 million annually. 3: Play both sports. If Murray could pull off being the first two-sport athlete of the social media era, he would be in position to make as much money off the field as he would on it. There's no hard deadline for Murray to make a decision, though whether he participates in the NFL scouting combine could shed some light on his thought process. "He's either going to be a Major League Baseball All-Star or he's going to be a Pro Bowler," Riley said.
— NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is ready to perform a flyby of the most distant solar system object ever, an event largely unaffected by the ongoing government shutdown. New Horizons will make its closest approach to the Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69, nicknamed Ultima Thule, at 12:33 a.m. Eastern Jan. 1. Controllers transmitted a “knowledge update” to New Horizons early Dec. 30, changing the timing of events during the flyby by two seconds to reflect improved knowledge of the position of Ultima Thule relative to the spacecraft. Scientists involved with the mission were excited about the science they expect New Horizons to return, but not nervous about the flyby itself. Among them was Moore, who said he and another Ames scientist, Dale Cruikshank, needed to “deal with the bureaucracy” in order to get excepted from the furlough and permission to travel to APL for the flyby. Scientific wonderland Moore and other scientists are looking forward to the expected seven gigabytes of data that New Horizons will collect during the flyby, including images, spectra and particle data about Ultima Thule. While a few images and other data will be returned in the days following the flyby, it will take the spacecraft about 20 months to transmit all the data it collected because of its extreme distance from the Earth. The spacecraft will start returning data collected during the flyby later Jan. 1. However, observations of the object so far have revealed a flat lightcurve, making it difficult to discern a rotation period. Weaver said the most likely explanation of the lack of a lightcurve is that New Horizons is looking directly down the rotation axis of Ultima Thule, so that it looks at the same part of the object all the time.
Russell Westbrook is leading the NBA in defensive rating this year. While the offensive numbers for Russell Westbrook are down this year compared to past seasons, he has impacted games in other ways thus far — specifically on the defensive end. According to Basketball-Reference, Westbrook leads the league with a 97.8 defensive rating, just ahead of players like Hassan Whiteside, Myles Turner and Giannis Antetokounmpo, among others. He is coming off of a season-high 40 points against the Suns Friday night as Paul George sat with a right quad contusion. The Thunder have relied less on Westbrook this season as his 21 points per game would be the third-lowest of his career. In addition to having the best defensive rating, Westbrook leads the NBA with his 2.6 steals per game while he also is the league leader with 3.8 deflections per game, second in loose-balls recovered per game and seventh in defensive win shares with 2.2. Earlier this week, Westbrook spoke about what he’s doing defensively. “In the year’s past, I would say that I would gamble a lot more and I would get steals here and there but now I’m more in the right spot using my hands just being in the place that I need to be defensively,” Westbrook said. “By me doing that, it is allowing me to get my hands on basketballs, get deflections and get out in the passing lanes. So, I just tried to do a better job of that coming into this year and leading the way and try to defend at a high level every night so just taking pride in that.” The Thunder have been near the top of the league in defense this season and having Westbrook engaged on that end of the floor has certainly helped the team.
OU football: Lincoln Riley says he’ll take a step back before deciding on defensive coordinator hire
HOLLYWOOD, FLA. — Sitting in a hotel conference room less than 12 hours removed from Saturday's 45-34 Orange Bowl loss to Alabama, Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley reflected on the lessons of his mentors. “In big decisions like this, you have to take a step back and look at the whole picture with a clear mind,” Riley said specifically about the search for a defensive coordinator. “I'm not going to wait around and drag my feet. I'm going to make sure we get the very best person that we can.” Riley learned from people like Donnie Duncan and Bob Stoops not to make rash decisions and he hasn't. It took him six games into his second season as head coach to part ways with defensive coordinator Mike Stoops. Riley said he was going to approach this defensive coordinator search in a measured manner. “It's more important to just get the right guy and more important to get that thing where we need it to be,” Riley said. “I've been laser-focused on this game. Now I'm just kind of adapting and didn't even think about really what was going to happen if we didn't win. Only Curtis Bolton among that group is a senior.
Moroccan authorities have arrested a Swiss national in connection with the killing of two Scandinavian women as part of an ongoing investigation, Morocco's Central Bureau for Judicial Investigations (BCIJ) said. The two tourists, Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, of Denmark, and Maren Ueland, 28, of Norway, were found dead early on December 17, with knife wounds to the neck near the village of Imlil, on a route to Toubkal, North Africa's highest peak and a popular hiking and trekking destination. The man arrested on Saturday, who has not been named, is also suspected of "involvement in recruiting Moroccan and sub-Saharan nationals to carry out terrorist plots in Morocco against foreign targets and security forces in order to take hold of their service weapons", according to the BCIJ. It said he also held Spanish nationality with residence in Morocco. BCIJ's statement added that the suspect is alleged to have taught other suspects communication skills using "state-of-the-art communication technologies" and the handling of firearms. The suspect is currently in custody as part of the investigation under way to shed light on all the criminal acts and "terrorist" schemes he was planning to execute, the BCIJ stated. Wave of arrests Authorities have arrested 19 other men in connection with the case, including four main suspects who had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, Daesh, also known as ISIS) in a video made three days before the tourists' bodies were found. Moroccan security and domestic intelligence service spokesperson Boubker Sabik described the four men as "lone wolves", and said "the crime was not coordinated with the Islamic State", without explaining how the authorities had come to their conclusion. Compared with other countries in North Africa, Morocco has been largely insulated from attacks by armed groups. The most recent took place in April 2011, when 17 people were killed in the bombing of a restaurant in Marrakech.
Mayweather promises entertainment, not a KO, in Japan Floyd Mayweather is promising entertainment when he fights Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in three rounds of exhibition boxing on New Year's Eve, but not necessarily a knockout. "If it happens, it happens," Mayweather said Saturday when asked whether he was going to knock out Nasukawa. But the American was adamant that his opponent wasn't going to knock him out or down on Monday. "Throughout my years at boxing, I never touched the canvas once," Mayweather, 41, told reporters at a Tokyo hotel, brushing off the upcoming event as "just another day." Neither kicking nor official results are part of the Rizin Fighting Federation match, but a knockout is possible under the special rules. Mayweather had initially appeared to walk away from the fight, set for Saitama Super Arena, on the northern outskirts of Tokyo. The Mayweather-Nasukawa bout will culminate an evening of more than a dozen fights, which will be streamed by FITE for a fee, but not in the U.S. Fuji TV is broadcasting the fights in Japan.