- Associated Press - Saturday, June 4, 2016


Muhammad Ali, the magnificent heavyweight champion whose fast fists and irrepressible personality transcended sports and captivated the world, has died. He was 74.

Ali suffered for years from Parkinson’s disease, which ravaged his body but could never dim his larger-than-life presence. A towering figure in his prime, he still traveled and made appearances in his later years despite being muted by the thousands of hits he took during his remarkable career.

He was hospitalized in Phoenix with respiratory problems earlier this week, and his family gathered around him. He died Friday night, according to a statement from the family.


GENEVA (AP) - Sepp Blatter’s $12 million bonus from the 2014 World Cup and yet another police raid for evidence of financial crimes at FIFA revealed the turmoil at soccer’s world body was far from over.

The scale of Blatter’s pay deal at the end of his 17-year presidency was finally confirmed by FIFA itself in a stunning opening of its financial books.

The now-banned Blatter and two recently fired top officials - secretary general Jerome Valcke and finance director Markus Kattner - awarded themselves raises, bonuses, and future golden handshakes totaling tens of millions of dollars.

Some of the contracted payments appear to break Swiss law, lawyers for FIFA said.


GREENBURGH, N.Y. (AP) - Jeff Hornacek competed against Phil Jackson for years, and he remembers only a couple of short, painful conversations.

So when Hornacek learned that Jackson wanted to interview him for the New York Knicks coaching job, he figured they would talk briefly before the president of basketball operations moved on to hire somebody he knew better.

Instead, their conversation lasted six hours, and now they will be together for a few years.

The Knicks introduced Hornacek as their new coach Friday, a few weeks after Jackson found the leadership and demeanor he wanted in his coach.


LOS ANGELES (AP) - Corey Seager hit three solo homers, the second driving in the go-ahead run in the sixth inning in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 4-2 win over the Atlanta Braves.

It was the second multi-homer game of Seager’s career, with the young shortstop blasting two against the Cardinals on May 15. He became the first Dodgers rookie with three homers in a game since Don Demeter on April 21, 1959, against the Giants at the Los Angeles Coliseum.


DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) - Two matches at home against Phil Mickelson made Brendan Steele feel inadequate. Two rounds at the Memorial gave him a share of the lead.

Steele put in a little more work and it paid off over two days in soft conditions at Muirfield Village. He had a 5-under 67 and was tied for the lead with past Memorial champion Matt Kuchar (66) going into a wide-open weekend.

Steele and Kuchar were at 12-under 132. The scoring was so good, however, that the cut was at 2-under 142, the lowest since Jack Nicklaus started this tournament in 1976.

Jordan Spieth for a brief moment looked as though he might be on the wrong side of it when he opened with two bogeys in four holes. He made six birdies over his last 12 holes for a 68 to at least stay in range, six shots behind at the halfway point.

Rory McIlroy shot a 66, playing the last seven holes in even par. Jason Day was thrilled with a 71 because he lost his swing and figured it should have been something in the upper 70s.

GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - Anna Nordqvist and Stacy Lewis know their way around the Donald Ross-designed Bay Course at Stockton Seaview.

Nordqvist opened her ShopRite LPGA Classic title defense with a 7-under 64 for a share of the lead with Ai Miyazato and Paula Reto. Lewis, the tournament winner in 2012 and 2014, had a 66.

Nordqvist bogeyed Nos. 11 and 12, the second and third holes of her round, then birdied nine of the last 12 holes. The Swede twice made four straight birdies - on Nos. 16-1 and 6-9.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - John Inman shot a 7-under 65 at the Wakonda Club to take a two-stroke lead in the PGA Tour Champions’ Principal Charity Classic.

It’s the first time Inman, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour, has led after the opening round on the 50-and-over tour. The milestone round came three days after he won a qualifying event at a nearby course.

Tom Lehman was tied for second with Todd Hamilton, Gary Hallberg, Mike Goodes and John Riegger.

Miguel Angel Jimenez opened with a 68 in his first start in the event. John Daly, also making Des Moines debut, had a 74.


SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - The United States would have preferred a far better first impression in the Copa America opener.

Now, the Americans find themselves under the pressure of needing to win.

Cristian Zapata scored his first international goal, James Rodriguez added a 42nd-minute penalty kick and Colombia beat the United States 2-0 Friday night.

CHICAGO (AP) - A federal judge ruled the world champion U.S. women’s soccer team does not have the right to strike to seek improved conditions and wages before the Summer Olympics, seeming to end the prospect of an unprecedented disruption by one of the most successful American national teams.

The case pits the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Players Association against the U.S. Soccer Federation, which sued in February to clarify the strike issue. U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman ruled Friday the team remains bound by a no-strike provision from its 2005-12 collective bargaining agreement.

The federation warned a strike could have forced the women’s team, which is seeking its fourth straight Olympic gold medal in Brazil, to withdraw from the Games and said that would have damaged American soccer as a whole.

The union wanted the option of striking, though it hadn’t said definitively that it would.

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