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World News Headlines

    More than 450 asset managers, including major pension funds and insurance companies, are calling on governments to phase out coal-fired power plants and put a meaningful price on carbon to help tackle climate change. The funds, with over $32 trillion in assets, issued their appeal Monday as ministers gathered in Katowice, Poland, for the second week of a U.N. climate summit. Burning fossil fuels such as coal is a major source of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, and scientists say it needs to end by the middle of the century to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit). The United States has announced it is pulling out of the 2015 Paris climate accord. It is hosting an event at the U.N. talks to promote innovative fossil fuel technology.
  • A Swedish think tank said Monday that Russia has emerged as the world's second-largest arms producer after the United States. Russia surpassed Britain, which had held that spot since 2002 and remains Western Europe's No. 1 arms maker. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said in its annual report on the world's 100 biggest armaments groups that the combined arms sales of Russian companies amounted to $37.7 billion in 2017, an 8.5 percent rise from a year earlier. Russia's sales accounted for 9.5 percent of a worldwide total of $398.2 billion. The report includes both domestic and foreign sales around the globe, but doesn't include Chinese companies because of unreliable statistics, the institute said. Siemon Wezeman, a senior researcher at the institute, said Russian producers of arms and weapon systems have been on a significant growth path since 2011. 'This is in line with Russia's increased spending on arms procurement to modernize its armed forces,' Wezeman said. For the first time in the report's history, a Russian company — the Moscow-based and state-owned Almaz-Antey that makes advanced air defense systems among other things — was listed among the world's top 10 weapons companies. The report noted Russia started an initiative to consolidate its arms industry in 2007, a process that is expected to be completed soon. Overall, the U.S. continued to dominate the list with 42 companies accounting for 57 percent of total sales, including the world's largest arms producer, Lockheed Martin Corp. As a notable development, the report highlighted a 24 percent rise in sales by Turkish arms companies in 2017 from the preceding year. That reflected 'Turkey's ambitions to develop its arms industry to fulfill its growing demand for weapons and become less dependent on foreign suppliers,' senior researcher Pieter Wezeman said.
  • Polish President Andrzej Duda and Jewish community members have lit a menorah at the Presidential Palace to jointly mark Hanukkah. A part of democratic Poland's tradition is highlighting the long history and role of the Jewish nation in Poland. Hanukkah candles are lit each year at the palace in Warsaw. Duda, former Israeli ambassador to Poland, Shevah Weiss, along with the leaders and young members of Warsaw's Jewish community lit the marble-and-crystal menorah. Accompanied by first lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda, the president told the gathering of a few dozen people that he was happy at the joint meeting of a 'community of people who jointly build up the Polish society, who want to be together.
  • The Latest on migration issues (all times local): 8:55 p.m. A group of some of the world's richest countries says highly educated migrants have made up a growing proportion of people moving to nearly all its member states and European Union countries over the last decade. Secretary-General Angel Gurria of the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development says, 'much remains to be done to maximize the still untapped potential of migrants to contribute economically and socially to their recipient countries.' The OECD released a report, 'Settling in 2018: Indicators of Immigrant Integration' on the eve of a two-day U.N. conference on migration in Marrakech, Morocco, opening Monday. The report found that immigrants' relative poverty is more widespread than a decade ago, and about one in seven foreign-born people in the EU reported facing discrimination based on their ethnicity, nationality or race. OECD director for employment, labor and social affairs Stefano Scarpetta said about 5 million people enter OECD countries each year, amounting to 0.5 percent of the countries' total population. ___ 8:10 p.m. The leader of a U.N. migration conference that has been snubbed by the Trump administration and at least seven other governments has lashed out at 'misinformation' about an agreement on migration backed by about 150 countries. Louise Arbour says she expects the Global Compact for Migration to 'stand the test of time.' She defended the economic and humanitarian upsides of legal, safe migration and the contributions of around 258 million migrants worldwide today. She told reporters: 'It creates no right to migrate. It places no imposition on states ... It is not legally binding.' At least 100 ministers or government leaders are expected for the two-day conference opening Monday in Marrakech, Morocco, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Arbour said Australia, Austria, the Czech Republic, the Dominican Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Slovakia and the U.S. have 'pulled out.' ___ 10:35 a.m. As Morocco prepares to host the signing of a landmark global migration agreement, hundreds of migrants are languishing in a Casablanca camp rife with hunger, misery and unsanitary conditions. These sub-Saharan Africans who dream of going to Europe are a symbol of the problems world dignitaries are trying to address with the U.N.'s first migration compact being finalized at a conference in Marrakech on Monday and Tuesday. Rising numbers of migrants live in the makeshift camp on a soccer field near a busy Casablanca bus station. Scant food, lack of heat, no sanitation, lice and respiratory infections are the main worries at the Oulad Ziane camp. Morocco is a major source of Europe's migrants but is also a transit country and magnet for other Africans fleeing poverty.
  • Madrid turned into Buenos Aires for a night Sunday, with tens of thousands of Argentine fans transforming Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu into a stadium of their own. River Plate fans were the only ones celebrating in the end, both at home and in Spain, after the historic victory over fierce rival Boca Juniors in the twice-suspended final of the Copa Libertadores. River came from behind to beat the rival 3-1 in the second leg after extra time to win South America's equivalent of the Champions League 5-3 on aggregate. One of the most anticipated matches in South American soccer finally came to a conclusion, nearly a month after the first leg was played in Argentina. The final capped one of the most embarrassing chapters in South American soccer, which saw its leaders unable to stage the historic match on the continent. The second leg had to be played in the Spanish capital after it was marred by fan violence in Buenos Aires two weeks ago, when Boca players were injured before the game after River fans attacked the team bus with rocks, bottles and wood. Soccer great Lionel Messi and FIFA President Gianni Infantino were among those at the 'superclasico' at the Bernabeu, which saw the Argentine fans chanting throughout the match in a unique scene at the traditional European stadium. It was River's fourth Copa Libertadores title, and first since 2015. Boca Juniors remained on six titles and missed a chance to tie Argentina's Independiente as the competition's most successful club. 'River was the better team throughout the entire tournament,' said Matias Biscay, River's assistant coach who replaced the suspended Marcelo Gallardo. 'Our team played against the toughest opponents and knew how to overcome them. And in the final against our rival we were superior in both matches.' After reaching 1-1 after 90 minutes on Sunday, River went ahead when Juan Fernando Quintero scored four minutes into the second half of extra time, and Gonzalo 'Pity' Martinez added a third goal in the final minutes of the high-profile match. Dario Benedetto had opened the scoring in normal time just before halftime for Boca, and Lucas Pratto equalized for River in the 67th. Boca had Wilmar Barrios sent off early in extra time and then had Fernando Gago leave the field near the end because of an injury. The first leg at Boca's La Bombonera Stadium in Buenos Aires ended 2-2. Rival fans were separated for security reasons with more than 25,000 from each club expected at the Bernabeu, and many making the expensive trip from Argentina. Only supporters of the home team were allowed in the matches in Argentina to avoid fan violence. It wasn't a full house, though, with 62,000 attending the match at the around 80,000-capacity stadium. There were empty sections behind both goals. 'It's difficult to talk about the fans right now,' Boca Juniors coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto said. 'We couldn't win the Copa for them. They endured a lot to come here from all different parts of the world. It was incredibly sad in the changing room. It hurts a lot for me not to win the Copa, especially because of the fans.' Quintero scored with a shot from the edge of the area after a well-coordinated attack past the Boca defense. Martinez allowed the celebrations to begin when he scored into an open net in the final seconds as Boca goalkeeper Esteban Andrada had gone to the opposite area to try to equalize on a corner. Just seconds earlier, Leonardo Jara had a chance to score for Boca and send the match into a penalty shootout, but his shot struck the post to the desperation of the team's fans. Benedetto had opened the scoring with a beautiful goal on a counterattack in the 43rd. After receiving a superb throughball from midfielder Nahitan Nandez, Benedetto cleared a defender and entered the area with only goalkeeper Franco Armani to beat, then calmly finished with a shot into the corner. He appeared to taunt a River player as he ran to celebrate with his teammates. River got the equalizer after a pass from Ignacio Fernandez to Pratto, who scored with a low shot from near the penalty spot. The Nov. 24 second leg was initially postponed for one day after the Boca team bus was attacked outside River's Monumental Stadium. South American soccer governing body CONMEBOL eventually said the game couldn't be played in Argentina because of security concerns. The match in Madrid was played amid strict security measures. Supporters from both clubs took over the city streets throughout the weekend and had been near the Bernabeu since early Sunday. No major incidents between fans had been reported in the city, which was picked from several bidders in part because it has one of the largest Argentine populations outside of Argentina. Spanish authorities said a 68-year-old fan had a heart attack while going to the match and was hospitalized in critical condition. River fans celebrated the title at the Obelisk in downtown Buenos Aires, and the ones in Madrid were expected to take the team's red-and-white colors to an iconic plaza in the capital. With the victory, River Plate will represent South America in FIFA's Club World Cup this month. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • A labor union representing German railway workers is calling on its members to go on strike Monday after failing to reach a deal on pay. The EVG union said Sunday that employees of Deutsche Bahn, the country's biggest rail company, will stage a four-hour walkout on the morning of Dec. 10. Labor strikes are a common tactic during wage negotiations in Germany.
  • The Latest on the arrest of a top executive of Chinese tech giant Huawei in Canada (all times local): 12:45 p.m. A trade mission to China by the Canadian province of British Columbia has been cancelled because of the detention of a top Huawei executive in Canada. The province says in a statement the decision was made because of the ongoing judicial process involving Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou. She was arrested last week while changing flights in Vancouver and is awaiting possible extradition to the U.S. The delegation led by British Columbia Forestry Minister Doug Donaldson will instead end its trip after a visit to Japan. There are fears China could detain Canadians in retaliation. The Chinese government has warned Canada that if Meng is not released, the country will face 'grave consequences.' Meng is spending the weekend in jail before a bail hearing resumes on Monday. ___ 11:40 p.m. China has summoned the U.S. ambassador to protest the detention of an executive of electronics giant Huawei in Canada at Washington's behest. The official Xinhua News Agency says Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng 'lodged solemn representations and strong protests' with Ambassador Terry Branstad on Sunday against the detention of Huawei's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, while she was changing planes in Vancouver, Canada, last week. Meng is reportedly suspected of trying to evade U.S. trade curbs on Iran. Xinhua quoted Le as calling Meng's detention 'extremely egregious' and demanded the U.S. vacate an order for her arrest. It quoted Le as calling for the U.S. to 'immediately correct its wrong actions' and said it would take further steps based on Washington's response.   The move follows the summoning of Canadian Ambassador John McCallum on Saturday over Meng's detention and a similar protest.  ___ 11:30 a.m. A former foreign policy adviser to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Chinese pressure on the Canadian government to release a top executive of Huawei won't work. In a tweet, Roland Paris says, 'Perhaps because the Chinese state controls its judicial system, Beijing sometimes has difficulty understanding or believing that courts can be independent in a rule-of-law country. There's no point in pressuring the Canadian government. Judges will decide.' Paris was responding to reports from Beijing that China's Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng had summoned Canadian Ambassador John McCallum on Saturday over the holding of Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, who is reportedly suspected of trying to evade U.S. trade curbs on Iran. Le called Meng's detention 'unreasonable, unconscionable, and vile in nature' and warned of 'grave consequences' if she is not released. ___ 9:40 a.m. China has summoned the Canadian ambassador to protest the detention of a top executive of leading Chinese tech giant Huawei, calling it 'unreasonable, unconscionable, and vile in nature' and warning of 'grave consequences' if she is not released. A report by the official Xinhua News Agency carried on the Foreign Ministry's website says Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng had called in Ambassador John McCallum on Saturday over the holding of Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, who is reportedly suspected of trying to evade U.S. trade curbs on Iran. Huawei is the biggest global supplier of network gear for phone and internet companies and has been the target of deepening U.S. security concerns. The U.S. has pressured European countries and other allies to limit use of its technology.
  • A diplomatic standoff over a single word could set the stage for a bigger showdown during the second half of this year's U.N. climate summit. Negotiators took time out Sunday to rest after the first week of talks ended on a sour note the previous night, when the United States sided with Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in blocking endorsement of a landmark study on global warming. 'I think it was a key moment,' said Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists. 'The fact that a group of four countries were trying to diminish the value and importance of a scientific report they themselves, with all other countries, requested three years ago in Paris is pretty remarkable.' The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's special report on what would happen if average global temperatures rise by 1.5 Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit), and how to ensure they don't go higher, was widely regarded as a wake-up call for policy-makers when it was released in October . As diplomats wrapped up a week of technical talks Saturday, almost all 200 countries present in Katowice, Poland, had wanted to 'welcome' the IPCC report, making it the benchmark for future action. But the U.S. and three other delegations objected. 'The United States was willing to note the report and express appreciation to the scientists who developed it, but not to welcome it, as that would denote endorsement of the report,' the U.S. State Department said in a statement. 'As we have made clear in the IPCC and other bodies, the United States has not endorsed the findings of the report.' Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait also called for the study to be 'noted' but not 'welcomed.' While none of the four-oil exporting countries spelled it out, their objection to the report likely included its suggestion that fossil-fuel use needs to be phased out by 2050. Oil, gas and coal are major sources of carbon dioxide, which traps heat in the atmosphere. The 2015 Paris agreement set a target of keeping global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit), ideally 1.5 C by the end of the century. 'A 1.5 C and a 2 C worlds are very different in terms of mean climate, extremes, sea level rise, and climate-related risks,' said one of the report's leading contributors, Valerie Masson-Delmotte. The higher threshold increases the likelihood of 'climate change hot spots challenging basic water, food, economic security and the risk of irreversible loss of wildlife,' she said. Observers at the talks said the two Gulf countries' objection to the IPCC report came as no surprise. 'The Saudis with their sidekicks the Kuwaitis have long been troublemakers in this in this process,' said Meyer, who has followed international climate negotiations for many years. Russia's intentions were unclear, he said, while the U.S. position appeared to be driven by what he called President Donald Trump 's 'cavalier attitude toward science in general and climate science in particular.' 'It's really an embarrassment for the world's leading scientific superpower to be in this position of having to disbelieve a report that was written by the world's scientific community including a large number of pre-eminent U.S. scientists,' Meyer said. Saturday's floor fight casts doubt on whether countries will be able to reach consensus on important issues by Friday, including the need to step up national targets to curb carbon emissions. While many countries are sending ministers or even national leaders to the talks, the U.S. and Britain are among the countries that will be represented only by bureaucrats. ___ Follow Frank Jordans on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/wirereporter ___ Read more stories on climate issues by The Associated Press at https://www.apnews.com/Climate
  • Cyprus police say they have detained 40 Syrian migrants after a boat dropped them off along the ethnically split island nation's northwestern coast. Police said Sunday authorities had initially located the boat about 25 kilometers (15 miles) off the island's coast late Saturday. The migrants, including two women and a child, set out from Mersin, Turkey. The migrants disembarked in the country's breakaway Turkish Cypriot north before crossing on foot to the internationally recognized southern part where they were found by police near the northwestern village of Pyrgos. Police said all 40 people have been taken to a reception center on Nicosia's outskirts for processing. Cyprus says a recent spike in migrant arrivals has turned the tiny country into the EU's top destination for asylum-seekers per capita.
  • A British man who was exposed to the deadly nerve agent Novichok said he is struggling with his eyesight and mobility, and fears the poison will kill him within a decade. Charlie Rowley, 45, fell ill in June near Salisbury, England, after coming into contact with the Soviet-developed nerve agent that was used months earlier to attack former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter. Rowley, Skripal and his daughter survived, but Rowley's partner Dawn Sturgess, who was also exposed, died in the hospital. Rowley told the Sunday Mirror newspaper that he was back in the hospital being treated for meningitis. He said he was going blind and unable to use one arm, and said he was 'terrified about the future' and what long-term effects the military grade poison would have on him. 'I'm still worried the Novichok could kill me if I get any sort of virus again — it's on my mind all the time. I'm dreading getting a cold,' he said. 'I don't think I'll be alive in 10 years. It's been horrendous.' Britain accuses Russia of carrying out the poisoning of the Skripals, a claim Moscow denies. Rowley and Sturgess collapsed after they handled a small bottle containing the nerve agent, believed to have been discarded by the Skripals' attackers. Britain charged two alleged Russian military intelligence agents in absentia for the attack. The pair denied their involvement on Russian television. The Skripals' poisoning ignited a diplomatic confrontation in which hundreds of envoys were expelled by both Russia and Western nations.

Local News

  • The players bounced up and down on a hastily erected stage in the middle of the field, confetti falling all around as they hoisted the championship trophy. It's a familiar scene at the end of any season. Only this time, a team from Atlanta was doing the honors . The title drought in over in the A-T-L. Josef Martinez and Franco Escobar scored goals, Brad Guzan came up with a couple of clutch saves and Atlanta United gave the city its first championship since 1995 with a 2-0 victory over the Portland Timbers in the MLS Cup final Saturday night. Cheered on by the largest crowd in franchise history, United captured the crown in just its second season to set off a huge celebration in a city that has known so much sporting heartbreak. Owner Arthur Blank lifted a trophy and got soaked with champagne — less than two years after his other team, the NFL's Atlanta Falcons, squandered a 25-point lead in an epic Super Bowl collapse. 'My first night in my new house in Atlanta, I went to bed at halftime of the Super Bowl,' defender Jeff Larentowicz said. 'I woke up and I read the headlines and I couldn't believe what I saw.' Now, United had written a new headline. Champs . 'Hopefully, we can transcend that past,' Larentowicz said, 'and move on to a new future for the city.' Martinez, capping the greatest goal-scoring season in MLS history, put United ahead in 39th minute. Escobar added an insurance goal in the 54th, turning the final minutes into a raucous, flag-waving celebration and sending coach Tata Martino out with a title in his final game as coach. He's reportedly headed to Mexico to take over as that country's national coach. 'If I had to choose the way to leave somewhere, this is the best way,' Martino said. 'This is the way I wanted it to happen.' Atlanta reveled in its first title since the Braves won the 1995 World Series — a gap of 8,442 days, for those counting. 'Most of us aren't from here, so we don't know the pain that they've been through,' said United captain Michael Parkhurst, who finally broke his own drought after playing on four runner-up teams. 'I'm just happy that we could come through for them tonight. I know there were a lot of anxious and stressed-out fans.' After a surprising run in the playoffs, the Timbers were denied their second MLS championship after winning the cup in 2015. They prevailed on the road at Dallas, Seattle and Kansas City before coming up short in Atlanta. 'I'm extremely proud of the work we've had the entire season,' coach Giovanni Savaarese said. 'To be able to get to the MLS Cup, we played a lot of difficult teams.' Since major league sports came to Atlanta in 1966, the only other team to win a championship in one of the five major sports also came on the soccer pitch. The Atlanta Chiefs claimed the title in the North American Soccer League's inaugural season in 1968. While that team laid the groundwork, Atlanta United carried the sport to unprecedented levels in North America. The team shattered the MLS attendance record a year ago in its first season, and then took the mark even higher by averaging more than 53,000 per game this year — a level of support that would fit right in with the Premier League or La Liga. The crowd of 73,019 on Saturday easily eclipsed the previous record for an MLS Cup — 61,316 at New England's Gillette Stadium in 2002. Almost as soon as the final whistle blew, a victory parade through the streets of Atlanta was announced for Monday. Queen's 'We Are The Champions' blared throughout Mercedes-Benz Stadium. 'The first goal is always going to be massive one way or the other,' Guzan said. 'The second one really broke their backs.' United kept the ball in Portland's end of the field much of the first half. It seemed only a matter of time before Atlanta broke through. Appropriately enough, it was Martinez. Portland tried to clear the ball, but a sliding tackle by Parkhurst sent the ball rocketing back toward the Timbers net. Martinez managed to win possession from Jeremy Ebobisse at the top of the area, leaving the most prolific goal scorer in league history all alone against goalkeeper Jeff Attinella. It was no contest. Martinez, the league's MVP and Golden Boot winner after scoring 31 goals during the regular season, cut to his right to escape the sprawling keeper, easily sliding the ball into an open net to send the packed house into an uproar. 'I was feeling a lot of pressure before the game,' said Martinez, who added four more goals in the playoffs. 'My neighbors were putting flags all around my house and pushing notes under my door.' The Timbers finally created a scoring chance in the 42nd minute. Looking to atone for his mistake, Ebobisse slipped in behind the defense and was all alone in front for a cross. His header was right on the mark, but Guzan dove to his right to punch it away with both hands. It was Portland's only shot of the opening half. The Timbers created far more opportunities over the final 45 minutes, but couldn't get it past Guzan. Escobar was the one who finished off the Timbers . MVP finalist Miguel Almiron sent a free kick into the box, where Martinez managed to get a head on it. His attempt was heading wide of the net, but Escobar slipped free at the far post to deliver a sliding goal. The defender's second score of the playoffs doubled his goal output for the entire regular season. 'It's not every day you get to win a title,' Guzan said, speaking for an entire city. 'To be a part of this is truly special.' ___ Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/paul%20newberry ___ For more AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • Robert Barbiarz of Winder is arrested and booked into the Hall County jail, accused of stealing thousands of dollars worth of jewelry. From the Hall County Sheriff’s Office...  On December 5, 2018, Investigators with the Hall County Sheriff’s Office arrested Robert Rian Babiarz, 17, of Winder, during the course of a theft investigation.   Between early and mid-November 2018, Robert Babiarz worked for a company that was doing remodeling at the home of the victim in this case which is located in the 2100 block of Elysian Circle.   On November 15, 2018, the homeowner (victim) discovered she had jewelry missing. She called 911. The approximate value of the jewelry which was stolen was estimated to be worth $ 196,000.00.   The contractor who employed Babiarz was cooperative with Investigators who quickly identified Robert Rian Babiarz as a suspect in the theft.   Investigators obtained an arrest warrant for Mr. Babiarz for Theft by Taking (F) on November 16, 2018.   Mr. Babiarz was arrested without incident and booked in at the Hall County Jail. Bond has not been set at this time.    Investigators have recovered the majority of the stolen jewelry and returned items to the victim in this case.   This incident remains under investigation by the Hall County Sheriff’s Office.
  • The trial of one of the men accused of murdering two correctional officers is one step closer. On Thursday, a judge heard evidence of what could be included in Donnie Rowe's case.  Rowe sat at the table with his defense team, wearing a white jumpsuit and orange Crocs. Prosecutors say he and Ricky Dubose killed Sgts. Chris Monica and Curtis Billue in June of 2017. At times during Thursday's hearing, Channel 2's Lauren Pozen saw Rowe take notes, especially when prosecutors played his interview with FBI agents after he and Rowe were captured in Tennessee. The judge wouldn't allow us to play the video for you, but we were able to use a screenshot of it.  The FBI agent who questioned Rowe told the court he was very forthcoming. At one point in the interview we watched, Rowe breaks down in tears. He told the special agent he had met Dubose six months prior to the attack on the prison bus whilethey were being transferred. Rowe says multiple rounds were fired, striking one of the officers directly in the head.  We also heard testimony from the sheriff of Putnam County, who arrived on the scene moments after the attack. He described it as chaotic. He spoke with many inmates, who told him what they saw.  'I obviously was looking for the most information I could get to apprehend these people as quickly as I could. It was clear to me who they were, it was clear to me the crimes that occurred and that was my focus,' says Sheriff Howard Sills.  The judge did not rule on Thursday what will and will not be allowed into evidence. That will be decided at another hearing date next month. The families of the victims were also in court, at times holding back tears. Pozen spoke with Denise Billue, whose brother was Curtis Billue. She said it is very difficult for her to be here, but she shows up for her brother.  'Our faith is sustaining us. It keeps us strong. In the end, everything is going to work out. We believe in the judicial system, but we also believe in the process,' she said.    

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS — SEC legend Tim Tebow has been right about Georgia football most of the season, and that’s why his concerns about the Bulldogs having an Alabama hangover in the Sugar Bowl are alarming. After all, Tebow predicted Georgia QB Jake Fromm would bounce back after the LSU loss, and T ebow said freshman Justin Fields could ultimately be an answer for the Bulldogs in short-yardage situations. And now Tebow says Georgia coach Kirby Smart will be challenged to get his No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (11-2) motivated to play No. 15-ranked Texas (9-4) in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1 in New Orleans. Tebow said allowing the SEC Championship Game to ‘slip through their fingers’ in the 35-28 loss could damage morale. “Now for the time leading up to the game, where’s your motivation? Where is your edge? Where is that fire?” Tebow said in a 247Sports story. “That is something that the leaders of Georgia really have to lock in and say, ‘Hey you know what? We’re playing for pride. We’re playing a big program in Texas.’ “But a lot of these guys are going to say, ‘Listen, we don’t care about Texas. We care about Bama. We let that one get away. Now we’re going to play the 15th-ranked team in the country?’ “ Tebow said. “It’s like the motivation isn’t there, so I’m a little bit nervous about this game. And Kirby Smart has to do a really good job of disciplining his players, locking in, focusing.” Smart has been in a similar situation before and seen championship caliber teams at Alabama fall flat in the postseason, most notably, in the Tide’s 2009 Sugar Bowl loss to Utah. Smart, however, said he doesn’t feel this Georgia team is apt to allow the disappointment of losing to Alabama to break its will to play up to the program’s standard. “This is a much younger team than any of those Bama teams,” Smart said. “A lot of those kids, this will be their first or second time in a big-time bowl environment, which we’re still getting accustomed to that. “ Indeed, 68 percent of Georgia’s roster is freshmen and sophomore. “So these guys aren’t quite as experienced at that kind of bowl environment as maybe those Alabama teams that didn’t play as well as we probably should have,” Smart said. Tebow also added his list to the many who believed Georgia should have been granted a spot in the four-team College Football Playoffs. “ I thought Georgia was one of the top few best teams in the country,” Tebow said, ”should have been in the College Football Playoff.” Smart said lessons will be learned and the Bulldogs will be ready to step into the future. “There’s also the opportunity to move forward with really a young team,” Smart said. “and a chance to go on a national stage where our fans, I know, follow us to play in a New Year’s Six bowl game.” DawgNation Georgia football Sugar Bowl Kirby Smart and Tom Herman clash again in Sugar Bowl, now as head coaches Georgia football coach Kirby Smart believes Bulldogs will bounceback Some interesting Sugar Bowl numbers via Brandon Adams Georgia football double-digit favorite over Texas in Sugar Bowl Texas named Georgia football opponent in 2019 Sugar Bowl CFP Chairman explains why Georgia football was left out of CFB Playoffs 3 Georgia football players get Senior Bowl invites Mel Tucker will be hard to replace, when or if he leaves Georgia football     The post Tim Tebow: Georgia football challenged to find motivation for Texas appeared first on DawgNation.
  • The players bounced up and down on a hastily erected stage in the middle of the field, confetti falling all around as they hoisted the championship trophy. It's a familiar scene at the end of any season. Only this time, a team from Atlanta was doing the honors . The title drought in over in the A-T-L. Josef Martinez and Franco Escobar scored goals, Brad Guzan came up with a couple of clutch saves and Atlanta United gave the city its first championship since 1995 with a 2-0 victory over the Portland Timbers in the MLS Cup final Saturday night. Cheered on by the largest crowd in franchise history, United captured the crown in just its second season to set off a huge celebration in a city that has known so much sporting heartbreak. Owner Arthur Blank lifted a trophy and got soaked with champagne — less than two years after his other team, the NFL's Atlanta Falcons, squandered a 25-point lead in an epic Super Bowl collapse. 'My first night in my new house in Atlanta, I went to bed at halftime of the Super Bowl,' defender Jeff Larentowicz said. 'I woke up and I read the headlines and I couldn't believe what I saw.' Now, United had written a new headline. Champs . 'Hopefully, we can transcend that past,' Larentowicz said, 'and move on to a new future for the city.' Martinez, capping the greatest goal-scoring season in MLS history, put United ahead in 39th minute. Escobar added an insurance goal in the 54th, turning the final minutes into a raucous, flag-waving celebration and sending coach Tata Martino out with a title in his final game as coach. He's reportedly headed to Mexico to take over as that country's national coach. 'If I had to choose the way to leave somewhere, this is the best way,' Martino said. 'This is the way I wanted it to happen.' Atlanta reveled in its first title since the Braves won the 1995 World Series — a gap of 8,442 days, for those counting. 'Most of us aren't from here, so we don't know the pain that they've been through,' said United captain Michael Parkhurst, who finally broke his own drought after playing on four runner-up teams. 'I'm just happy that we could come through for them tonight. I know there were a lot of anxious and stressed-out fans.' After a surprising run in the playoffs, the Timbers were denied their second MLS championship after winning the cup in 2015. They prevailed on the road at Dallas, Seattle and Kansas City before coming up short in Atlanta. 'I'm extremely proud of the work we've had the entire season,' coach Giovanni Savaarese said. 'To be able to get to the MLS Cup, we played a lot of difficult teams.' Since major league sports came to Atlanta in 1966, the only other team to win a championship in one of the five major sports also came on the soccer pitch. The Atlanta Chiefs claimed the title in the North American Soccer League's inaugural season in 1968. While that team laid the groundwork, Atlanta United carried the sport to unprecedented levels in North America. The team shattered the MLS attendance record a year ago in its first season, and then took the mark even higher by averaging more than 53,000 per game this year — a level of support that would fit right in with the Premier League or La Liga. The crowd of 73,019 on Saturday easily eclipsed the previous record for an MLS Cup — 61,316 at New England's Gillette Stadium in 2002. Almost as soon as the final whistle blew, a victory parade through the streets of Atlanta was announced for Monday. Queen's 'We Are The Champions' blared throughout Mercedes-Benz Stadium. 'The first goal is always going to be massive one way or the other,' Guzan said. 'The second one really broke their backs.' United kept the ball in Portland's end of the field much of the first half. It seemed only a matter of time before Atlanta broke through. Appropriately enough, it was Martinez. Portland tried to clear the ball, but a sliding tackle by Parkhurst sent the ball rocketing back toward the Timbers net. Martinez managed to win possession from Jeremy Ebobisse at the top of the area, leaving the most prolific goal scorer in league history all alone against goalkeeper Jeff Attinella. It was no contest. Martinez, the league's MVP and Golden Boot winner after scoring 31 goals during the regular season, cut to his right to escape the sprawling keeper, easily sliding the ball into an open net to send the packed house into an uproar. 'I was feeling a lot of pressure before the game,' said Martinez, who added four more goals in the playoffs. 'My neighbors were putting flags all around my house and pushing notes under my door.' The Timbers finally created a scoring chance in the 42nd minute. Looking to atone for his mistake, Ebobisse slipped in behind the defense and was all alone in front for a cross. His header was right on the mark, but Guzan dove to his right to punch it away with both hands. It was Portland's only shot of the opening half. The Timbers created far more opportunities over the final 45 minutes, but couldn't get it past Guzan. Escobar was the one who finished off the Timbers . MVP finalist Miguel Almiron sent a free kick into the box, where Martinez managed to get a head on it. His attempt was heading wide of the net, but Escobar slipped free at the far post to deliver a sliding goal. The defender's second score of the playoffs doubled his goal output for the entire regular season. 'It's not every day you get to win a title,' Guzan said, speaking for an entire city. 'To be a part of this is truly special.' ___ Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/paul%20newberry ___ For more AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • ATHENS — Georgia basketball doesn’t take the court for another game until next Saturday, but when the Bulldogs do, you can bet junior Tyree Crump will be a focal point. Crump, a junior from Bainbridge, had a breakout game in Georgia’s 92-75 win over Texas Southern on Monday night, and more figures to be ahead for the Bulldogs’ long-distance sharpshooter. Georgia coach Tom Crean indicated Crump is precisely the sort of open floor player needed to make his uptempo game work. It didn’t take long for Crean to notice him. “I think early on when I got here you could tell there was a lot to his game that could improve,” Crean said. “There’s a lot of room for upside with him.” Crump might not have been the best fit for previous Coach Mark Fox’s deliberate style. But as much as Crean recognized Crump’s talents and abilities, Crump was immediately charged up by his new basketball coach. “He came in and he said ‘We want to play fast and we want to shoot three,’   and my eyes got big and my ears got big and I thought this is the perfect offense for me,” Crump said. “So we tried to listen to everything he said, and it’s carrying over into the season.” The Bulldogs will bring a 5-3 record into next Saturday’s 6 p.m. home game against No. 20 Arizona State in Stegeman Coliseum. The Sun Devils already have beaten one SEC team, winning at Mississippi State on Nov. 19 by a 72-67 count. Arizona State will put its perfect 7-0 record on the line on Saturday when it plays No. 6-ranked Nevada at noon. Crean indicated he’ll keep looking to get Crump free for more shots in the offense. “We want to move him, get him off screens, get him lost in the defense,” Crean said. “There becomes a comfort level that you have in a game like tonight, and he did a good job of playing through fatigue.” Crump is shooting 46.2 percent beyond the 3-point arc (18-of-39), significantly better than the next best player who has at least 10 attempts, Rayshaun Hmmonds (6-of-15). For all that Crean is trying to instill in Georgia basketball, it ultimately comes down to the time players are spending in the gym on their own to perfect their shot. It’s clear Crump is doing his work, and therefor he’ll be getting more opportunities moving forward. Here’s a look at others 3-point shooting percentage who have attempted 10 or more 3-point shots and how many minutes they average: Tyree Crump, 19.9 minutes, 18-of-39, 46.2 percent Rayshaun Hammonds, 24.5 minutes, 6-of-15, 40.0 percent Teshaun Hightower, 17.5 minutes, 7-of-25, 28.0 percent Nicolas Claxton, 27.5 minutes, 4-of-15, 26.7 percent William Jackson, 17.9 minutes, 4-of-17, 23.5 percent Georgia basketball’s Tyree Crump & Derek Ogbeide   DawgNation Georgia basketball Bulldogs get hot-shooting night from Tyree Crump, rip Texas Southern Guards play well off bench in Georgia basketball win over Kennesaw State Tom Crean says Georgia basketball has ‘long ways to go’ after Cayman Classic Georgia basketball sloppy in loss to Georgia State  Clemson too much for Georgia basketball in Cayman Classic Georgia basketball dominant in win over Illinois State Georgia gets fun-filled win over Sam Houston State The post Georgia basketball guard Tyree Crump 3-point output leads Bulldogs appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia football coach Kirby Smart isn’t expected to move too fast on filling the Bulldogs’ vacancy for a defensive coordinator, and with good reason. This is Smart’s first time having to replace a coordinator hire since taking over as Georgia’s head coach before the 2016 season, and it presents a different sort of challenge that few heads coaches have proven they can handle with consistent success. Coaching staff continuity is most often one of the most important factors to a program’s sustained success. Former Georgia defensive coordinator and secondary coach Mel Tucker, who was hired as Colorado’s head coach on Wednesday, will indeed be very difficult to replace. Smart and Tucker d eveloped former 3-star prospect Deandre Baker into a Thorpe Award winner and built a secondary that slowed a historically successful Alabama pass attack last Saturday. Tide coach Nick Saban provided some insight into how he has been so successful maintaining success even while having to replace coordinators almost annually. “ I think that you love continuity on your staff, but I always look at this as a challenge and an opportunity to add new energy, new enthusiasm, new ideas to your staff,” Saban said Wednesday night in Atlanta. “We don’t change our program. We don’t hire people to come in and be independent contractors and do what they want to do. They sort of have to buy into what we do, but the new ideas, the new energy and enthusiasm that they bring is always very helpful to improving our program.” Smart had a front row to that sort of philosophy while coaching at Saban’s side for 11 years at LSU, with the Miami Dolphins and at Alabama from 2007-15. Smart helped the Tide coaching legend develop the program through a time of several coaching and staff hires. The Bulldogs’ program has its own unique personality in several respects, but there are aspects of the framework that are similar to what Smart helped Saban build at Alabama. Georgia appears on the verge of creating its own dynasty with 68 percent of its roster freshmen and sophomores this past season. Smart and his program beat two of the four current CFB Playoff teams head-to-head last season (Oklahoma and Notre Dame) and led or were tied with defending national champ and current No. 1-ranked Alabama for 281 of the 290 plays in the past two games with the Tide in the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Indeed, the Bulldogs narrowly missed the CFB Playoff despite having to replace several key pieces from last season’s CFB Championship Game runner-up squad. RELATED: Kirk Herbstreit says CFP Committee let politics keep Georgia out So the defensive coordinator/secondary coach hire is as big of a decision as Smart has faced. “You know, I always say there’s a lot of books written about how to be successful,” Saban said. “There’s not many written on how to stay successful.” Smart has indicated that he might be inclined to promote from within if not hire a coach he’s already familiar with, though he’ll likely conduct a national search before deciding anything. “I think continuity is critical to recruiting success, (and) I know that the recruiting success that I’ve had as an assistant coach was because I was able to have the same area for a long time, you build relationships, you know people, you get to know them,” Smart said last November. “When you jump around from job to job, sometime’s that’s hard to do. I think our university and our support structure here has done a great job of helping us keep our coaches who are really good assets. “I mean, let’s be honest, we recruit well because of the assistant coaches we have. When you recruit well and get good young men in here, you can have a successful program. I think continuity is important, but I do think change is inevitable. It’ll happen. It’s happened to us every year.” Georgia football coordinator search Early list of names to consider for Georgia football DC opening Colorado announces Mel Tucker as new head coach Towers Take: Mel Tucker did excellent work for Bulldogs Mel Tucker expected to finalize Colorado deal very soon Whenever Mel Tucker leaves, he’ll be tough to replace The post Georgia’s Kirby Smart has insight to handle pivotal coordinator coaching search appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Nick Saban is standing behind his words that Georgia is one of the four best teams in the nation, even after he voted the Bulldogs’ No. 5 in the final Coaches’ Poll. Saban, whose Tide overcame two turnovers and a two-touchdown deficit to beat the Bulldogs 35-28 last Saturday, was asked at the CFB Playoff press conference in Atlanta Wednesday night about his final ballot. “ Well, I do think they’re one of the top four teams in the country but I didn’t think they were going to get in the playoff with two losses,” Saban said. “So I voted the teams that I thought had the best chance to get in, but I do think after playing Georgia they were one of the best four teams in the country.” There were plenty of people who agreed, including ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit, who went so far as to say the CFP Committee allowed politics to keep the Bulldogs out of the playoffs even though they knew Georgia was one of the four best. Indeed, the Bulldogs have led or been tied with No. 1-ranked and defending national champion Alabama 118 minutes and 54 seconds of 120 minutes and 281 of 290 plays of the past two meetings in the national championship game and SEC title game. Saban, who said after last Saturday’s game, “I sure as hell don’t want to play them again,” suggested the CFP Committee   saw last Saturday’s game as a loser-out game. “What this basically indicates is the SEC Championship game was a playoff game,” Saban said. “You know, the 1 and 4 team in the country played, and it was a heck of a game, and they played a great game, and they have a great team, and I think they’re one of the best four teams in the country, and that’s no disrespect to any of the people that are here, but I didn’t think they had a chance to get in with two losses.” CFP Committee chairman Rob Mullens said the two losses — compared to Oklahoma’s one loss — is not what kept Georgia out of the College Football Playoffs. “ Our job is to pick the four best teams, so it really wasn’t about number of losses,” said Mullens, who prior to getting his current job as the athletic director at the University of Oregon was the deputy director of athletics at Kentucky. “Obviously when you’re looking at the resume, you can see that they’ve got two and others have one, but again, their two losses are against highly ranked teams. It’s really about trying to get the four best teams.” Mullens is one of five current athletic directors on the 13-person committee, along with Ohio State’s Gene Smith and new members Todd Stansbury (Georgia Tech), Scott Stricklin (Florida) and Joe Castiglione (Oklahoma). While Saban suggested the committee wasn’t going to take a conference championship game loser, Mullen indicated that had nothing to do with the decision. “ The conference piece is out of it, that’s really not a part of it,” Mullens said. “We’re looking at — there were some people who felt they were the fourth best team, and even some that felt they were unequivocally felt they were the fourth best team. But after all the dialogue, the debate, the intensity, you put it to a vote, and the vote didn’t have them as unequivocally the fourth best team. In fact, it had them ranked No. 5.” Saban, when asked if his vote suggested the four best teams didn’t make the playoffs, made it clear he voted in the four teams he thought would make the playoff. “When we played Georgia I thought they were one of the best four teams in the country,” Saban said. “That doesn’t mean that they’re any better than the teams that are here, and I voted for the four teams that are here.” Georgia football’s great CFB Playoff debate Kirby Smart on CFP Playoff: ‘Every year it’s going to be different’ criteria ESPN analyst goes on epic rant after Georgia football left out of playoffs Nick Saban states Georgia one of top four teams in the nation after SEC title game CFP Chairman defends leaving Georgia football out Kirby Smart lobbying for CFB Playoff spot after loss Chip Towers: Committee got it right by leaving Georgia out of playoffs Closer look at Georgia football vs. Oklahoma statistically Georgia football one of best teams, and it doesn’t matter ‘Protocol’ cited as reason Georgia left out of College Football Playoff The post Nick Saban’s revealing explanation of why he voted Georgia football No. 5 appeared first on DawgNation.