Drake to host first-ever 'NBA Awards' on June 26

NEW YORK (AP) " Drake will host the NBA's first-ever awards show this June. The Canadian rapper will preside over the June 26 ceremony in New York, which will be televised live on TNT. The Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Sixth Man Award, Most Improved Player and Coach of the Year will be announced during the show. The league and Turner Sports say other awards will be open to fan voting. Drake serves as global ambassador for his hometown Toronto Raptors and is frequently seen in courtside seats at their games.

April 25, 2017 14:03 UTC

NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. to retire at end of season

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) " Dale Earnhardt Jr. abruptly announced his retirement at the end of the season Tuesday, a decision that will cost NASCAR its most popular driver as the series scrambles to rebuild its fan base. Earnhardt is not off to the greatest start this season, with only one top-five finish so far. Earnhardt has driven for Hendrick since 2008 after a nasty split with Dale Earnhardt Inc., the team founded by his father but run by his stepmother. Earnhardt made his first career Cup Series start on May 30, 1999, at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Kannapolis native is in his 18th full-time season at the Cup level and he made his 600th career series start earlier this year at California.

April 25, 2017 13:41 UTC

No more room for error for Madrid after loss to Barcelona

Barcelona leads on the head-to-head tiebreaker, but Madrid has a game in hand. Madrid led 26 of the 33 rounds so far, and was as many as six points ahead of Barcelona. Ramos won't be able to play on Wednesday because of the red card he received late in the game against Barcelona. The team's game in hand is at Celta Vigo and is likely to be played just before the final round. "You never know how that is going to affect the teams," Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said.

April 25, 2017 13:30 UTC

Manchester Derby: Guardiola coming up short in the big games

MANCHESTER, England (AP) " It's at this stage of the season, when games seem to matter more and trophies are on the line, where Manchester City was relying on Pep Guardiola coming into his own. Overall, in 11 league games against the current top seven this season, City has won just two of them. There is another blockbuster looming, a derby against archrival Manchester United on Thursday, and City dares not lose. Losing in that way to a side as fragile as Arsenal currently is highlights an issue that is becoming apparent at City under Guardiola: Managing games. BAD LUCKAll managers can point to moments of misfortune during games, but Guardiola has had a legitimate sense of grievance with certain key occasions.

April 25, 2017 12:45 UTC

Nastase will be the 'bad boy' if he says more about Williams

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) " Ilie Nastase said he would be considered the "bad boy" if he says anything more about Serena Williams, and then later said more in a separate interview. Nastase, the captain of Romania's Fed Cup team, last week speculated about the skin color of the baby the pregnant Williams is expecting. When asked Tuesday about Williams' response, Nastase told The Associated Press: "Anything I say, I am the bad boy." In an interview with Romanian website news.ro published Tuesday after the AP interview, Nastase again denied that his comments were racist. Simona Halep, a member of Romania's Fed Cup team, said she could not defend the things Nastase has said.

April 25, 2017 12:36 UTC

Guangzhou finally wins again in Asian Champions League

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) " Big-spending Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande finally won again in the Asian Champions League on Tuesday, beating Hong Kong team Eastern SC 6-0. Guangzhou, coached by Luiz Felipe Scolari and champions in 2013 and 2015, moved into first place in Group G with nine points. The Chinese team opened the group with 7-0 win over Eastern SC, but played out three consecutive draws after that. In Group H, Jeju United moved into second place with a 2-1 win at Jiangsu Suning. Adelaide United moved into third place in the group after a 3-3 draw Gamba Osaka.

April 25, 2017 12:36 UTC

League: Ben Matulino to leave Warriors

Ben Matulino's departure from the Warriors is official. The Warriors confirmed late on Tuesday night Matulino will depart at the end of the season to join the Wests Tigers. The 28-year-old made his 197th NRL appearance in his first outing of the season in the Warriors' Anzac Day 20-14 loss to the Storm in Melbourne. Matulino told football staff and his team-mates of his decision in the dressing room after Tuesday night's match. The club statement said that Matulino's focus is on finishing his last season with the Warriors on a high after starting his NRL career with the club in 2008.

April 25, 2017 12:00 UTC

NYC has increase in homeless students

NEW YORK (AP) " The number of New York City public school students who lived in homeless shelters for at least part of the last school year rose by more than 4,000 from the previous year. The city's Independent Budget Office says there were 32,803 homeless students in the 2015-2016 school year " a 15 percent increase. According to the Daily News (http://nydn.us/2q9ZCAq ), Education Department spokeswoman Toya Holness says Mayor Bill de Blasio has restored over $10 million for programs to help homeless students in his latest version of the executive city budget. Holness says efforts include hiring more social workers, expanding an after-school program and offering more school-based health services. ___Information from: Daily News, http://www.nydailynews.com

April 25, 2017 12:00 UTC

Injured Bale expected to miss Champions League semifinals

MADRID (AP) " Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale is expected to miss the Champions League semifinals because of a calf muscle injury. The club said tests on Tuesday confirmed the extent of the left calf injury that forced Bale to leave the Spanish league game against Barcelona on Sunday before halftime. Madrid did not specify how long it expects Bale to be sidelined, but similar injuries usually require three to four weeks of recovery time. The first leg against city rival Atletico Madrid in the Champions League semifinals is next week. Bale was out for nearly three months this season after surgery on his right ankle.

April 25, 2017 12:00 UTC

NZ Warriors confirm prop Ben Matulino's exit to Wests Tigers

NZ Warriors confirm prop Ben Matulino's exit to Wests TigersPHOTOSPORT Ben Matulino will be heading to Sydney at the end of the season. Ben Matulino has informed the NZ Warriors that he has turned down their offer for a new contract and will join Wests Tigers next season. "We welcome Ben as an integral part of Wests Tigers' future." Wests Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe said that Matulino will be a great addition to the playing squad. "We look forward to him bringing his experience to Wests Tigers for the coming three seasons.

April 25, 2017 11:39 UTC

Trump signals shift on wall funding to avert government shutdown

Trump signals shift on wall funding to avert government shutdownPresident Donald Trump has signalled he may be willing to wait a little longer to secure federal funding for his controversial border wall, a shift that could make it possible for Congress to finish work on spending legislation in time to avoid a government shutdown. A White House official who asked for anonymity confirmed what Trump said during the private meeting. JOSHUA ROBERTS/REUTERS White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer says he can't guarantee the US government won't shut down. "We feel very confident the government's not going to shut down," White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday, although he said he wouldn't guarantee it. The spokesman wouldn't say whether the president was willing to shut the government down over funding for the border wall.

April 25, 2017 11:03 UTC

NRL: Melbourne Storm fend off New Zealand Warriors in tight tussle

Storm 20 Warriors 14Video will play in Play now Don't auto playNever auto playThe Warriors remain a work in progress. The Warriors came close to getting a dividend from one of the toughest assignments in the NRL - a road trip to Melbourne - but went down 20-14 to the Storm tonight. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck was outstanding - again - as he seemed to cover every blade of grass on AAMI Park while Shaun Johnson came up with some trademark mazy runs. Related Content As it happened: New Zealand Warriors v Melbourne Storm League: Ben Matulino to leave Warriors Video Watch: Melbourne Storm fend off New Zealand Warriors in tight tussleBen Matulino made his long awaited return for the Warriors, coming onto the interchange bench in place of Charlie Gubb. A Johnson penalty - after the Warriors eschewed a quick tap - took the visitors ahead, before two late Storm tries sealed the result.

April 25, 2017 10:59 UTC

Armed police at incident in Invercargill

Armed police are responding to a firearms incident in Invercargill tonight. A witness at the scene said Armed Offender Squad police officers and ambulance staff were at the site of a commercial building on Otepuni Ave. It is understood the gunman has handed himself in, with one person saying "So everyone in the area is safe now". A witness said he saw a man pull up on a push bike, put on a balaclava and pull something out from his jacket shortly before the incident. Police would only confirm they were responding to a firearms incident.

April 25, 2017 10:07 UTC

Fit-again Wood gets England call-up for Champions Trophy

LONDON (AP) " Mark Wood has been selected in England's 15-man squad for the Champions Trophy after recovering from a third ankle operation. David Willey is another after recovering from a shoulder injury. England is in a group with Bangladesh, Australia, and New Zealand in the Champions Trophy at home. England plays South Africa in a three-match series before the Champions Trophy. ___England: Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

April 25, 2017 09:45 UTC

L.L. Bean orders delayed after systems upgrade problem

Bean says a systems upgrade is causing shipping delays. The Press Herald reports (http://bit.ly/2p08JGc ) that some customer orders have delays up to a week. The Maine-based company says the delays were caused by an upgrade to the retailer's order-processing and fulfillment systems. Beem adds that orders will be processed even more quickly than in the past once the systems upgrade is stabilized. ___Information from: Portland Press Herald, http://www.pressherald.com

April 25, 2017 09:45 UTC

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